Interconnect integrity question

I come to all of my audio compatriots with a question I hope you all can help me with. I have been asked to do some beta testing of interconnects. At first glance, I thought it might be a good idea. I'd be testing(comparing) cables of different wire gauges, trying to provide an input in the very thin gauge versus thicker(22) guage wire argument. This whole thing has emerged on the scene VERY fast, literally in the past two weeks. I don't recall much discourse in this subject previous to this month. It seems a lot of people out here have come out of nowhere preaching the merits of miniscule wire gauge. I have previously tried very thin wire in two VERY limited auditions. I try to stay away from flavor of the month audio, relying instead on good equipment I can live with for a LONG(5 years, MINIMUM!) time. Upon further thought of this offer, I became a bit more apprehensive. The only thing I bring to this site is my opinion. My opinion is worthless without a certain measure of credibility. I feel that perhaps in entering into a relationship with a manufacturer, I lose that credibility(as some others have, at least in my mind). I have NEVER allied myself with ANY company. I do however voice support of companies I feel offer excellent sound and/or value for money. My question to all of you good people is that should I accept this offer? I may buy the cable(I am not in need of it), and give an objective critique. But I am interested in the opinions of as many of our members as possible. I am not saying, I will go with "majority rules", although your opinions will be one of the determining factors(weighing heavily) in my decision. Thank you all for your consideration.
We are a manufacturer and would I like to post this response which I hope is not seen as being too biased!! Just to say that your question is a very good one, coming from someone who is obviously honorable and (judging by your other posts) a genuine audio enthusiast. It may help you to know that from our point of view we believe that it can be very difficult for someone (such as yourself) to be seen to be enthusiastic about a particular product and not come across as being "in the pocket" of the manufacturer. When we have products out for beta-test all we expect back from the trial is for the individual who trials the item to complete a survey sheet which gives us their honest impressions. When we are asked if there is any problem if mention about the beta-trial is made to others, our usual response has been to say "no problem if you mention it to your friends and other audio enthusiasts, you are free to say as you please, good or bad!" From our point of view we would obviously be pleased to get publicity by means of someone writing about our products but only as long as that publicity is freely given and without there appearing to be any bias one way or the other. Maybe the best course of action is similar to the one you have taken and that is to make it clear from the outset that the person is testing/comparing a particular product, that they have no connection with the manufacturer other than they have been asked to freely participate and that they will post their findings (good or bad) when they have finished the test? Bear in mind though that the subject of cables is becoming very "touchy" and that what works in one room/system may not be so good in another. I feel people lose sight of this when they vehemently recommend one product over another! There is no such thing as the best product, only what is best in a particular circumstance. The only true way to test any product, even more so with cables, is in the system the component is going to reside in (hopefully for many pleasurable listening years). Hope this helps and thank you for reading this, regards, Richard at
Go for it. I do not see any harm that can come of it. If your honest with your impressions who care what others think.
Trelja, Go for it. I enjoy your comments. I trust your integrity.
I see no problem with it, so long as you're honest with your impressions. You can disclose that you've done the testing in your future posts which might relate to the items you tested, if you want to point out the conflict (did you guess I could be a lawyer?). I myself have listened to products before they were put out on the market, and have bought some of them when I was impressed with them. I haven't had opportunity to recommend them on this site, principally because they are either not yet, or are no longer, made (my speakers and interconnects); if I did, I would probably point out my involvement in their testing. I should mention that it was very educational for me to be involved in evaluating a new product--you might find the same. It's different when you're listening critically as opposed to listening for pleasure. I wound up purchasing my speakers and interconnects when I found that I was really enjoying listening to music through them (and when I could afford them).
Trelja, Why not? Those that recognize your helpfull nature should have nothing negative to say re: possible good (or bad) comments. Good luck!!!
As you're already surely aware, keep in mind that interconnects (especially) can take a VERY long time to break-in. I have some which kept changing {bright-dark-bright} causing much frustration, until I finally understood what was happening. One day I'd like them, a few days later - Yuck! I finally connected them, sourced from a tuner, into a dummy load for a month without even listening. By then they had finally settled down; I was happy & bought the two pairs. I drove my dealer nuts, but he was very patient & understanding - they had previously experienced this phenomenon. As Vantage says: remain aware that cabling is so system-dependent, that the only 'best' cable is what sounds best in your rig, and may not cut it elsewhere. I agree with Mr. Trelja that once I finally settle on something, I tend to stick with it (ex: our 28 yr. wedding anniversary is next month - wow).
I think you should feel honored to do it. Your honesty, knowledge and fine character has been recognized.
I too am trying those cables now.
“The only thing I bring to this site is my opinion. My opinion is worthless without a certain measure of credibility”. Quite possibly the reason that you WERE approached in the 1st place is for the reasons you yourself stated above, it is recognized. Trelja you have made some very interesting observations in your question that I for one recognize in well-reproduced audio. I have personally noted that there is a great tendency to exaggerate miniscule differences in components, particularly cables. I am not an equipment jockey and have moved, as you, ever so slowly over the years. I like to savor changes in my system. It is the only way to truly recognize whether or not a product is going to work in the long run. I would also like to acknowledge the response from Richard of vantageaudio concerning the synergy factor of any given component in a particular system, there is no BEST though there is too much hype in that direction. So to you I say go for it but always be true to yourself and DO NOT ever be influenced by anything other than what you hear.