Never Spend More On Cables Than Your Equipment Cost$$$$$$$$$$

Another interesting read and I agree!

Not a flat earther and cables can make a difference but sticking a $600.00 PC on a $699.00 DAC is a freaking waste of money. IMHO.

As one of my racing instructors Fast Freddy Spencer used to say "Gotta have the apple before you can polish it" .

Spend the money on front end then upgrade your cables.

Just me thinking out loud.



Never have and never will. Unless YOU get rich and buy me one. :-) That works for me.. 


@pops oh I will if they only have 6 dealers that has to be some high dollar stuff?????????



Only have $25K in my system no $10K cables going into it ever. Even after I sell all that Pfizer and Apple stock and cash in my Bitcoins.

I actually think that it's best to select the best cables you can afford and then upgrade your components as you can afford them.  No reason not to start with Nordost cables across the board and Goodwill components (if necessary) as budget allows.

The power cord that connects to the DAC in my system costs more than the component. Actual price paid.

The power cord is Acrolink 8N-PC8100 ($4,000).

The DAC is Chord QBD76 (RRP 6,295 but I paid $3,800 for it, used).

Well that is silly but it's your money, your choice.

And what have you spent on your room acoustics?

Not even $400.00


The system is in the living room and commercial room treatment products cannot be considered due to WAF issues. 

QED makes good cables for their price range, but they are not quite high-end.  I have the Reference 40 but compared to Acoustic Zen Hologram, they are inferior.

Post removed 

I downsized my amps and speakers a long time ago and kept my favorite cables.


My cables now cost more than my CD/TT/amps/speakers combined, but if I add in the rack, specialty shelving and power conditioners I'm good to go.



I guess that rules out the Professional Elite ICs from High Fidelity Cables for those of us who have spent less than $100,000 on our speakers and upstream components.  

Somewhat agree I would not go out of my way or intentionally seek a cable costing as much or more than a component. Most components typically have a power cable and a IC or digital cable connecting, and if a preamp there may be several IC’s that equal or surpass the cost. In my system only my DAC has associated cables exceeding its cost, but because I pulled my preamp out of the chain and feeding my DAC directly to my amp(s) and I’m very impressed and not sure I’ll roll my preamp back in until I want to spin vinyl. I think with a lower level of cables I would not be as impressed, but the more expensive cables are letting my DAC play to its full capability. This is my DAC and current cables.


RME ADI 2fs DAC w/Teddy Pardo LPS w/SR Orange. Nordost Frey 2 2M Balance IC, Nordost Silver Shadow spdif and WyWires Silver Juice II Digital PC. So I’m guessing the cables here are 2X the price but it sounds great.

Like so many of the audio "truths" we throw around, the one that says cables should only cost 10% of your system is overly simplistic, IMO. Yes - when you are buying a new system and you have a limited budget, I totally agree that you should spend 90% on the components. No question. But after you have stuff you really like and want to bring out it’s full potential, I think it’s a good idea to at least try some relatively expensive cables after you have saved up some additional funds. Although I’ve been involved in high-end audio since the Dahlquist/Ampzilla days, I never experimented with more expensive cables until recently and I was very surprised by the amount of improvement that can be gained with better cables. For example, I am currently using a $1500 Purist Neptune IC on a 5K amp/dac combo and I was amazed at the improvement over a very decent Black Cat IC. As I said, if I were building the system from scratch, I would not have done it that way, but I really liked the DAC and amp and was curious to see what a good cable could do. And it did a lot. Just my opinion, but at least it's based on first-hand experience, not something I read.

PS - I just did some quick math and, despite the admittedly expensive IC, I’m only into about 20% of my system for cables. Probably because I don’t have room for heavy power cords. So I don’t feel so bad now. Boy, this stuff adds up fast, don’t it?

@jerryg123 RE: ....

but sticking a $600.00 PC on a $699.00 DAC is a freaking waste of money. IMHO.

So here’s the problem with this particular train of thought...

  • to start with that "$699 DAC" seldom had a "substantial power supply", because the power supply is often the most overlooked and underestimated part of any "budget component"
  • it does not have the capability of handling transient spikes in music
  • it does not have the capability of handling the dynamic nature of music
  • all of which detract from the overall sound of that component
  • poor imaging is often a direct result

Using a really good power cable - and there are some out there starting around $350 - will improve the performance of a component far beyond what a stock power cable can achieve

  • Cables like those from Zavfino, use UP-OCC copper, which offer exceptional dynamic perofrmance
  • replenishing that energy used in the reproduction of music is critical to achieving excellent perofrmance
  • Cable geometry lowers the noise floor making for a much quieter musical rendering
  • using the right Insulations also lower the noise floor resulting in improved sound

Whereas - the amplifier has a much more robust power supply

  • it is more able to handle those transient peaks and generally offers superior dynamic perofrmance
  • but you can still improve performance with the right power cable
  • unfortunately, because of their heavier duty power supply, many amps do require even better quality power cable than that used for a source component

Todays electronics tend to perform much better than their power supplies allow. So using a good quality power cable can make a significant perofrmance improvement

I know this after many years of fabricating my own power cables and applying them to a variety of components,.e.g..

  • my $250 Yamaha Mini System
  • my Bluesound portable streaming speaker
  • my Bluesound Node 2 streamer
  • my Bifrost DAC
  • my Nami 5i amplifer
  • my Simaudio Moon phono stage
  • my Bryston B135 amp
  • and friends audio systems exceeding $70k

All of these benefitted from cable upgrades

Of course - if your other cables (i.e. speaker and interconnect) are not of a similar quality then you will probably have more difficulty hearing the improvements a power cable upgrade might make

I have come to realize that my cables are as important as my components, because they allow each component to operate at peek performance

I realize this may sound counter intuitive, and if I hadn’t tried it for myself, I might believe the same as yourself.

But I have spent many years investigating cable designs and actually proving (to myself and friends willing to listen) what makes a good cable.

Commercial products from Zavfino are a very good place to start because their entry level cables are affordable and they work because they know how to make a very good cable - their UP-OCC cables offer exceptional perofrmance

Hope that helps - Steve


@williewonka - just got Zavfino cables for my new speakers a few weeks ago, and they're great - you are right - excellent cable value for money! Never heard of 'em until this forum.... 

@williewonka you work for CNN?

You left off 1/2 my statement. Not a flat earther and cables can make a difference

I am not a cable denier.

No fight here bubba!

For fans of UP-OCC copper, here's an interesting document that you should read.

Audio Sensibility is another maker that's often overlooked on this forum.

The document also contains interesting info. on other makers licensed for OCC.

Yes I agree, cables were the last upgrade accept for speaker cables. Speaker cables were one of my first. Happy listening.

@jerryg123  - my apologies - but the last part of your statement did seem to be - a tad on the skeptical side ? 😉

But I do get where you are coming from - it can seem a little absurd to those that have not experienced a great cable - i.e. until they hear the difference😮

Happy listening - Steve😎






So many cable opinions, so few audio examples.

Last year I recorded several speaker cables in my mastering lab with DPA reference mics, a Neve preamp and carefully studied the differences with a mastering DAC and headphones.

My conclusion was that while those cables did sound different, those differences were small. I noticed the biggest differences between cables of different gauges. The 10 gauge slightly emphasized the lows and and the smaller gauges did the opposite. If anyone thinks they could listen to a music sample, connect different cables and sit down and hear the differences, sorry, not a chance. Tilting your head in a different position would cause more of a change than the cables did.    

I also found that by adjusting the samples with a good EQ using usually less than 1/2 db, I could make any of the cables sound like the others. Like someone said, it's your money but I'd much rather have reasonably good cables and an exceptional EQ than the opposite.     

Some of these guy like crack junkie when it come cable. It like doing leg workout 8 days week and no do chest or back. 

Fast Freddy Spencer

I really envy you, probably the most gifted of all time IMHO