Interesting thought, Thorman. I have been changing cables frequently because I can't really remember how my system sounds once I stop listening to it. Sounds silly, I know, but it is what it is.
Clio, my RSA cables all have well over a thousand hours on them, I've made sure of that. :)
I'm getting irritated by the comparison. I think I'm learning what the phrase "inner detail" means. I suspect it is connected to transparency. With the RSAD cable in, I hear details like the echo in the studio. I barely hear it, if at all, with the Statements. I prefer the RSAD to the PS Audio for Jazz and classical.
So that's it, I like the RSAD better. Not so fast. The reason I started looking into new cables is because there is some coloration with the RSAD, I think. Piano never quite sounds "right" - it's like a little film/haze is in that area. I hear it with electric guitar most of the time, too. Interestingly, the Poeima projected vocals a little more up front than I'd like until I inserted 85Hz filters on the inputs to my amp; now vocals are almost too recessed. Why that filter made that change I have absolutely no idea.
The PS Audio statements are livelier, seem to be a bit "weightier" and I like them better for rock and country, but I know I'm missing that "inner detail" I guess, because I don't get the feeling I'm actually there in the studio hearing the reverberations like I do with the RSAD. The PS Audio reminds me of mid-fi equipment in that it sounds great with material that isn't recorded well or doesn't contain alot of nuances. Not that I'm knocking it for that, because it isn't that the PS Audio Statements are mid-fi quality - quite to the contrary, I think they are remarkable in that they give a solid, well-defined soundstage and the music sounds great. I really enjoy just sitting back and listening to the music with the PS Audio. With the RSAD, I always feel like I'm doing "critical listening" trying to hear all the details the RSAD is capable of throwing at me.
I still haven't figured out how I can call the RSAD both "smooth" and "detailed" at once, but I guess other RSAD owners, at least, know exactly what I mean.
I do think I hear some rolling off in the highs with the PS Audio cables, and I will explore that quite a bit tonight, since the cables will stay in my system for another week while I bring in a new sub (ACI Titan arrives tomorrow) and try to set it up properly over the next few days.
So now I'm wondering if I'm hearing what some here have suggested: that there is no absolute best cable even for a given system, and that all cables will have some shortfall that you just have to live with. We'll see.
Thanks for your continued thoughts and recommendations!