If you had to choose, which cable would you buy?


I’ve been pondering something for a while.

Cables operate with 3 main specs - Impedance, Capacitance, and Resistance. We know these can be measured by test gear. With this data, we can determine the differences between cables. If a difference is too negligible to be audible, then we can assume that 1 or more cables share the same level of performance. I am only referencing this discussion.

For the sake of this discussion, let us deduce that we have the most flawless test gear in the world. There are only 3 units available worldwide. Since we are using the DynaTox Industries 3000, we can be certain that our measurements are accurate. Along with this, we have unbiased / blind listening tests that are conducted by 4 people with perfect hearing. We are using the same system and have an extra person swapping cables; no other changes whatsoever.

Our cables:

RCA cable #1: household cable - measures poorly. (noisy) = $10
RCA cable #2: department store cable - measures better. (less noise) = $40
RCA cable #3: specialty cable from Japan - measures even better. (inaudible) = $250
RCA cable #4: NASA cable - measures even better! (inaudible) = $2500

From the given examples, the specialty cable from Japan and the NASA cable are flawless in terms of performance. Since the NASA cable measures slightly better as proposed, is the price justified? I would think so. Yes.

Which cable would you buy?
7504ed1a 1fd4 440c ae3d 83599a6ac1f6mastering92
Hmmmm.... Here are my two cents:

1) Buy only what you can afford

2) Nothing substitutes own experience. So try as much as you can.
Yes, I do sound like Mr. Obvious. But it all comes down to this. Sorry if this was not helpful
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the one that sounds the best that i can afford.
I would have to listen to them all in my system for an extended time, with my music as I don’t listen to measurements, as they are not music. Maybe I would buy, maybe I would not.
If I had the time and inclination, like I used to. I would do extensive listening tests. What I did about thirty years ago when I evaluated about six or eight sets of interconnects. I came up with six or eight subjective variables that I could discern with the sound through each. Like overall tonal balance, micro details, decay, background, image specifiicity. Then I rated all cables from one to ten. Then I rated the importance of each variable and came up with a rating for each. Then.... most importantly, I listened to them each in order to really verify that in overall appraisal each rating really reflected the overall sound to me (it did). The last, kind of a sniff test, so that just because I noticed things about each set, that in aggregate this did reflect more pleasing. At the end of this I purchased a pair. Which I was really happy with until my audio guy told me I absolutely had to listen to these new interconnects he got... although over my budget category. They were Nirvana SX-1 (?). Whole cow, so much better they simply were off the scale in every category. They were a ridiculous $2K per pair... I bought three pair. It was as if I had upgraded each component in my system to 2x the cost. Those were my interconnects for over 25 years and some of the best money I ever spent.
Whatever is on sale at RadioShack. 
Breaking news: RadioShack is bankrupt. Some decades ago. Maybe you have not been keeping up to date with the hobby in a while?
Yeah with over 1300 posts I have been living in a cave🙃
There are people here with thousands of posts that don’t even listen to music, and don’t own any audio system. Just saying 
tom6897, what state you in? It's effecting the noise I'm picking up in CA.

LOL, be careful it's not all the same... Who, How, What, ALL make a difference in the quality of the cable.  What they measure, not so much.
What are the cables doing, tonearm cabling, 12k power amps.. Power Cable, coaxial, RJ45.. Depends what it's doing.

Now shielding yes or no

Now ferrite rings, active grounding, passive grounding, and la te da...

Measure? Look and see how the wire was put through the die and make sure it's the right direction, connect the terminal ends and condition the cables with a cooker.

NOW LISTEN.. to hell with measure... THEY all measure good what kind of cable are you using.. .000X difference, in any cable I use.. But they sure sound different...

Regards
The best audioquest can make!

 Great company!

Perfect hearing?  
Huh?
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Benchmark. Inaudible.

If price were no object? Cardas.
Millercarbon you are annoying. You have the prissiest system I know of; pontificate on everything, and dis people that ask questions you regularly would ask yourself.

yes i agree with earlier commentary

serious $ into cables is about the final tweaking/fine-tuning the subtle tonality and presentation of a stable, well selected, well matched, well set up, high resolution, high performing system

otherwise it is tail wagging dog, or just a waste of $
I would choose OCC single Crystal cable. Acoustic Zen is the most reasonably priced of all the companies that sell OCC single Crystal the other companies charge four times as much. OCC single Crystal has been proven for 40 years to be far superior to anything OFC.
Benchmark: Inaudible
Gather the usual "Perfect hearing" foursome.
We've got some work to do. 


“Which cable would you buy?”

If money were no object.....

All of them would be purchased. 
Based on your scenario the answer is maybe...  if you as the buyer feel the measurements are worth the price difference or perhaps you heard a difference.  
But measurements are defined and based on our knowledge versus experience. A bee flies but based on our understanding of physics that is a miracle 
Personally, I would not buy #1 or #4.  Number 1 for obvious reasons (no quality) and #4 because that is more than I would spend on any one cable, and if I never heard it in my system, I wouldn’t know what I was missing.

Number 3 sounds like a good choice, but that depends upon how #2 sounds.  If it sounds “good enough” to go with the equipment I have, which is not top quality, then I might purchase #2. If #3 really made a noticeable improvement, and I didn’t need to spend that much on every cable to get the improvement, then I might opt for #3.  I’m not one to chance diminishing returns to the heights that some others are, as I don’t have the money that some others do.
We do now have RadioShack products located in various Hobby stores in Ohio.Big RadioShack sign generally toward the back of the store. Fundamental items primarily.  
The one that sounds better with my my equipment.
This may be astounding but I just swapped out mine yesterday. I was getting a good amount of 60Hz. and then bought Amazon brand cables (no joke). Obviously Amazon buys them from someone who rebrands them with the Amazon labels. They are fantastic! My Dual 1229 is probably 30dB quieter. I still have microphonics issues that I attribute to the lousy suspension but it’s acceptable (for now). The 60 Hz is way down and barely audible with no music playing and the volume at 12:00. My Pioneer SX-1010 has 100 Watts rms/channel and my speakers do about 91dB at 1Watt (as a point of reference).
If everything in your system in properly set up in the room, quality cables will make a difference. Long story medium- I moved my system from a perfect space to an imperfect space. The layout in the new space did not allow for me to hear all the nuances I heard in the previous space. Oh well. I sold 15K in cables and conditioners and found a new balance. Cables will never give passion to a dead system BUT they can bring tears if you already get goosebumps.
There is actually a Radio Shack in my small town. I never wee anyone there shopping but it so far is still open.
I've bought 2 pieces of gear based a lot on measurements. They were  my first & my last. Lesson learned. It was a high end piece, expensive and measured great. I still cringe when I see that brand posted. I was happy to get rid of it. 
Click bait war game thread.

OP is trolling, even though the OP text says otherwise, which, by definition and prior acts on the record, is trolling.


In high end audio... with cables for line level signals shielding is reduced or almost, absent. Look at them. the serious ones. Note the lack of any 'all encompassing' and/or smothering shielding. There is a reason for that.

Not because the given cable makers and designers are illiterate as to specification and measurement. Where shielding, in most cases... is detrimental to  propagation and signal in important ways, re how transient expression occurs and is desired to propagate with a lack of all potential interference - in high end audio.

Shielding is fine for dirty environments. Which would be a lab, or a studio or working environment like for pro audio in situ (in most pro usage). When it's raining, use a coat.

Where in high end home audio, in a controlled environment, shielding, is, for the most part, for line level signals, absent. For some very good reasons. Ten, twenty, thirty or more manufacturers of very expensive cables would not make such a basic mistake.

Think it through.

If one can't navigate the the data set, via discovery or prior knowledge, there is no logical reason to fall back on the dogmatic textbook and attack the cable makers as being in some sort of violation of law. That would be psychologically limited and demeaning of the self.
Thank you to all who posted here. 

@teo_audio I wrote this because I was curious for answers.

You wrote a long message that doesn't even answer the question. 

You wasted your time writing all of that. You are the troll.
@mastering92,

Cables operate with 3 main specs - Impedance, Capacitance, and Resistance. We know these can be measured by test gear. With this data, we can determine the differences between cables. If a difference is too negligible to be audible, then we can assume that 1 or more cables share the same level of performance. I am only referencing this discussion.

Wrong hypothesis to start with, you cannot determine possible differences in sound with data or make the assumption that a difference would be negligible audibly and all would share the same level of performance. 

From the given examples, the specialty cable from Japan and the NASA cable are flawless in terms of performance. Since the NASA cable measures slightly better as proposed, is the price justified? I would think so. Yes.

Yes and no, i have not listened to a NASA cable but i have experience with the Japanese ones.

Try to use your eras when you decide to move on.
Respect the people who took the time to answer.

G

If by inaudible you mean inaudible, numder 3 wrap it in NASA sleeve and sell it for 2500. Teddy isn't the only one who knows how to fleece idiots.
I have Synergistic Research Alpha Sterling active through out my system, mid-priced but definatly high end sound (if you can find them these days). 
I think a well know MA company had some NASA in their ads when I sold a boatload of them years ago. Well not boat but truck.
Shakespeare got it right 400 years ago! "What fools these mortals be!". Just buy Monoprice! 
The first person to prove scientifically that wire has a "sound" will win the Nobel Prize in Physics! 
Oh for the days when we all used gray Switchcraft cables from RS! Never heard anybody complain! 
@jasonbourne52 That’s an oxymoron 😳👂
@petg60 

"Wrong hypothesis to start with, you cannot determine possible differences in sound with data or make the assumption that a difference would be negligible audibly and all would share the same level of performance."
Nope. Right hypothesis. Like I said, we have confirmed cable #3 and #4 are superior to the others and equal performers. We had humans in the example test each cable. Only the measurements for the NASA cable are slightly better. Maybe read it again.


"Try to use your ears when you decide to move on. Respect the people who took the time to answer."
The cables and measurement equipment I mentioned do not exist. I wrote it this way because I don't want to bring up particular audio brands - thus inciting some kind of battle of the ages over cables on here. Respect is earned. If someone doesn’t respect me, then I won't respect them. I mean, I will do my best to be polite...but unfortunately that has not been working for me.

Being that it's an interconnect I would choose the most effeminate cable.

DeKay
NOS Radio Shack.  The copper improves with age.
Great cables I would use them to jump start my car in the winter.
 @mrklas- "A bee flies but based on our understanding of physics that is a miracle."            Actually: those involved in the science of Aerodynamics were confounded by the fact that Bumblebees could fly and hover, based on a limited understanding of what and how to measure, exactly what was going on (and: the Bumblebees ignored their objections).       Then: in the Twentieth Century, the science of Fluid Dynamics took flight, and the blindfolds fell off.   https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article/208/3/447/15902/Dynamic-flight-stability-of-a-hovering-b...       Likewise: those whose understanding of electricity is limited to the measurements and theories, conceived by the Nineteenth Century's (1800's) scientists, can't fathom how our highly complex/terribly fragile musical signals can be affected by our cabling/wave guides.       We were taught by our Physics professors and lecturers, back in the Sixties (as opposed to those of Case's EE Dept), a number of electrical theories, developed in the Twentieth Century, that open the door to a plethora of possibilities, as to why many of us observe (hear) differences in improved wave guides (NOT as though that was ever our Prof's intended application/goal).        Whether the sciences/measurement methods catch up, or not; like the Bumblebee, I'll ignore the objections and enjoy the phenomena.
jasonbounre52 posts a lot like robbejerman does:
Three posts in a row all ending with exclamation marks.
That, and he has the same point of view.
Curious.

All the best,
Nonoise
jasonbourne52
The first person to prove scientifically that wire has a "sound" will win the Nobel Prize in Physics!
Not so - differences between cables have been shown in the sort of scientific double-blind listening tests that measurementalists seem to prefer. You might check with Michael Fremer about his history with blind cable testing and how some test conductors account for "outliers."
Why oh why would anyone "have to" choose?
Hypothetical BS?
cleeds"You might check with Michael Fremer about his history with blind cable testing"

There is nothing special, unique, or extraordinary about Michael Fremer there have been many scientifically controlled double-blind listening tests that confirm beyond any question, doubt, or legitimate challenge that some listeners under some conditions can hear differences between audio cables intended for use in a Music Reproduction System. There are many people here who post test results conducted by others that do not reveal such differences but those test results can only be applied to that specific test and can not scientifically be applied to the results of other tests or to what other listeners might expect in their own experience.