Principles of audiophile cable construction?


Over the last 2-3 years within the budget I could afford I have been tweaking my system to get the most I could out of sane expenditure. I've been pleased with Teflon cap upgrades, amassed quite a collection of 12AT7/12AU7 vacuum tubes in reaching the same conclusion as most that Telefunken is hard to beat. Now I'm turning my attention to cable upgrades and as I look at what's advertised its my impression that most of whats out there is snake oil technology or cable jewelry. Bear in mind that I'm jaded from having sold audio products in the 80's where it was common for a basic product to be a sound value and the upgraded products to be small tweaks sold at 10 times the additional manufacturer cost. Having a science and product development background I have some opinions on what should be guiding principles of cable design but am not familiar with any site that is a good reference. Ultimately I feel the audiophile cable industry needs the equivalent of an Internet RFC to protect audiophiles from the snake oil and jewelry cable products.

So a request for references: what good sites do you know where they provide competent information on what audiophiles agree on as guiding principles for audiophile quality interconnects?
davide256
Cable jewelry is almost like putting lipstick on pig.
This site, because the correlation between the science of cables and the sound is still not dependable. Because of that, it is best to state your sonic preferences on the forums, and look for a concensus from member opinions.
The new liquid polymer conductor cables from Audio Magic look pretty interesting.
Check out Cable Asylum on the Audio Asylum site. They have a F.A.Q.s section to explore
"Having a science and product development background I have some opinions on what should be guiding principles of cable design but am not familiar with any site that is a good reference. Ultimately I feel the audiophile cable industry needs the equivalent of an Internet RFC to protect audiophiles from the snake oil and jewelry cable products."

If you are an authority then why bother?
There is an excellent article in the new issue of TAS (the absolute sound) on this very thing.

The author discusses design, geometry, construction, etc. I found it a very good read, although I already knew much of what was written.
There is No absolute reference, hence none of this matters. Try a brand of cables and if it improves the sound of your system, enjoy.
What Davide is asking for is a source of information which Mofimadness helped with. If one were to DIY or have specific cables made, how would you go about deciding on specific materials and choice of construction, etc?
thanks Mofimadness, I'll go find that article. I want better cables but I can't afford the route I went with tubes where I kept buying different ones until I found what worked best... cables are much more expensive than tubes. So I'd at least like to steer clear of those that conflict with known predictors of good performance
It might have been the article that Mofimadness referred to but if not, there is one that came out recently that concluded that conductors should be thick or you'll never get what the high end can offer. I found the exact opposite to be true, for me, so go figure.

Output impedance on amps have yet to be (and never will be) standardized, as well as speaker input impedances so no sinlge cable will sound the same in different set ups. Having said that, lots of systems come close or at least stay within the realms of sanity so cables have a good chance of letting you know how they 'might' sound in your system.

It's sites like this and some of the better review sites out there that have a larger sampling rate of equipment to test the cables with. With each and every change of equipment comes a new set of variables but there can be consensus.

All the best,
Nonoise
This should get you started SPEAKER WIRE
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There was a pretty good thread started by a member sometime in March 2013 on this subject:
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?fcabl&1363313104

And, there is Jon Risch's website for DIY cable contruction that has been put to great use by many, many DIYers:
http://www.geocities.ws/jonrisch/cables.htm
The Roger Russell document is very interesting.
I think a pure copper wire plugged with good connections should do the trick in many system.
I tried 2 different cables on one system, same length, same size but one was pure OFC (analysis OVAL 9) and the other one was silver over OFC (big silver oval). The second one was better in the overall bandwith, dynamic and naturalness. Not a huge gap but significant enough to choose the big silver.

I understand the Ohms rules M. Russell explained but how can he explain that? I was with another guy during the test. He was the non-believer kind. When i switch the 2 cables, he was stunned!...and become a believer...
Years ago I was kinda in the same situation. I had a pretty good set up but didn't really have a lot of knowledge about which cables might better my listening experience. I read comments from many of the more experienced posters on this site and then went to the Cable Company web site where they will lend you the cables to try at a very minimal cost. Back then I think it was just the shipping cost. I tried 6 or 7 different cables before I found the right one but that company really offers a great deal.
This is long story shortened...material to make up the cable is what it's all about, and eye candy is just that.

There are numerous articles on the inter web that explains what an interconnect basic construction needs to be. Now factor in whether copper, silver, gold, or a mixture of all for your needs. With that done lets think terminals and then on to the jacket.
Do you need shielding? Ah, hell... I can go on and on. Do yourself a favor and research, you don't need to spend your $$$ on marketing hype.