technical explanation for cable direction?

I always connect my cables according to the arrows on them or the manufacturers recommendations. (Why take a chance that ignoring them MIGHT make my system sound less than it could?) However, I have an EE degree from the 70's, and frankly, I KNOW that audio signals are only AC and I cannot for the life of me believe that it could possibly make a difference. I believe that the current in an audio cable is actually "performing a circular dance", at the speed of the highest frequency contained at the time, between its ends, and if you could measure or glimpse the direction of electron flow at any one instance, it would be going one direction or the other, changing instantly (according to the frequencies contained) and averaged over 1 second or minute or day would be zero. Current DOES NOT flow from the amp into the speaker and stay there. Current flows back and forth through the voice coil of the speaker back to the amp in both directions. If you connect an oscilloscope to the + & - of any audio cable you can "see" this balance. (identical shaped waves above and below the zero line, representling voltage in each direction) SO: Do I know just enough to be confused and not enough to know some detail that makes cable direction meaningful? I really think its just BS. Whew! please help
Can you hear a difference when you reverse the cable direction?
In many cables the shield that surrounds the hot and ground wires is only connceted at one end. There are two reasons for this, first, the shield should not be allowed to act as a second ground path, the difference in the potential of the two paths being a source of hum, and second, as this screen is designed to attract RFI and EMI before it reaches the hot and ground conductors the preamp is best dealing with these sources of interferance at its's output rather than tieing the screen to the input of the amplifier where it will be amplified.

Well, thankyou..... that certainly makes sense. I had not heard that. Thats sort of the same reason why bi-wiring sounds better (reverse current created by the rebound of the voice coil is best delt with at the output of the amp)
Ben Duncan measured the diode effects in wire and published this in Hifi News & Record Review a couple years ago if you need proof for directionality other than listening tests.....
It may be true that some cables only connect the sheild at one end but this can make the interconnect act as an antenna for RF.
A couple of years ago, A'Gon member Redkiwi stated that pretty much all wire is "directional" in audio, so prior to intstalling my ded. AC system, I decided to test that premise. I ran a 60 ft. 6 ga. stranded cable from my main breaker box to a submain. Well, direction "A" produced music that was very soft, dull, undynamic and in general "boring", so I switched direction and music was then much more normally live, natural, and dynamic. The difference was pretty dramatic. I was so amazed at this that the next day I repeated the test with the same results.

I have no idea why wire should behave this way (it was new, BTW), but there way no doubt about it, and I suspect that there is no way to measure what was going on. Neither do I know if over time the "soft" direction would improve with use. I had a job to do and a decision(s) to make. I'm sure you know what it was. But I will say that since that set of trials, I've become a strong believer in the directionality of wire, but an even stronger believer in the subjective nature of much of this hobby. There is a great deal about most sciences that is unknown. Cheers. Craig
I'd like to know the citation for Ben Duncan's test on wire where he found and measured "diode effect." Duncan is pretty darn sharp and I've never heard of such a thing being measured. What's the exact date and issue??

With all due respect to Rwwear, all cable, by nature, acts as an antenna. The purpose of the sheild, which surrounds the hot and ground signal carrying legs, is to shunt RFI and EMI away from these signal carrying elements.
Same for power cords. I have both a Vansevers 201 and 211 power cord. They are identical in every way, except for the wire runs in opposite direction from each other. The 201 is definitely warmer than the 211. The frequency extremes are a little more clear in the 211. (Basically the opposite of warm in the mids of the 201). Very noticeable between the two, with just a reverse of the wire.
True Viridian but my statement says that the shield should be connected at both ends. If not, the cable is more likely to pick up RF.
I do not see it that way. As I said in the original post if the shield is connected at both ends it can act as a second ground path, a true recipe for hum and RFI/EMI can be shunted to the input of the amp where it will be amplified.