The Science of Cables


It seems to me that there is too little scientific, objective evidence for why cables sound the way they do. When I see discussions on cables, physical attributes are discussed; things like shielding, gauge, material, geometry, etc. and rarely are things like resistance, impedance, inductance, capacitance, etc. Why is this? Why aren’t cables discussed in terms of physical measurements very often?

Seems to me like that would increase the customer base. I know several “objectivist” that won’t accept any of your claims unless you have measurements and blind tests. If there were measurements that correlated to what you hear, I think more people would be interested in cables. 

I know cables are often system dependent but there are still many generalizations that can be made.
mkgus
NASA must have had great cabling to broadcast live television
from the Moon in 1969,
not to mention superior battery technology!
Although if they implemented some sort of teleportation tweak
than it is all fully believable.

Taras, The need for cable elevators fully proves the existence of gravity!! 
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I believe some cables show a difference. I’ve had blind (but not double blind) tests between Wireworld and Mogami.

My guests were able to hear the difference I did but we completely disagreed as to which was better.

Value of cable difference to me? Maybe $30. Actual costs difference: $300.

I could explain everything I heard by assuming WW had more capacitance and my amp at the time had more impedance than I expected. Nothing there required an explanation of the overlap of Maxwell's equations and the great pyramid of Giza.

I have never bought expensive speaker cables since then.
the perhaps aptly named sleepwalker raises this criticism:
 Tell us you can’t hear the difference between a lousy Walmart 24 AWG “speaker” cable and a decent audiophile 12 AWG speaker cable, or a lousy 50 cent dollar store interconnect with 1000 pF per foot capacitance between your preamp and amp, compared to an audiophile cable with 12pF per foot capacitance? Or is it “all good” as long as you shake the magic chicken’s foot at it?


The entire thrust of my argument is that its not what you measure but what you hear that counts. So its just beyond goofy trying to say I can't hear a difference. I mean, you miss that one, you are lost. As in wrong planet. Lost. 

But the quote of mine sleepwalker takes issue with is saying electrical measurements are "irrelevant". On that one word I will say, maybe "not decisive" would have been better. Or technically better still, "occasionally helpful but hardly sufficient". But we don't write purely for technical accuracy. We award points for style too. Either way, doesn't change the fact that the only useful means we have of judging audiophile cable performance is by listening. Its simply beyond question. We buy these things to listen to music. Not to hang on the wall beside a printout from a scope. 

We stand by irrelevant.

And not to say Truth is a democracy, but we are heartened to see a clear preponderance of comments in support of our position.

How you "shake" your "magic chicken's foot" sleepwalker you can keep to yourself. TMI. 
I've tried diy single-core & branded cables, and I have heard differences, consistently. Ditto with various branded cables. I'm saying different, not better, worse, etc.
I've often wondered what the real issue with cables is: do people object to *expensive* cables because they are expensive, ergo snake oil, or do people object to the idea that differently constructed wires result in different sound?
If it's the first, I've found that cables tend to be expensive when they sound good in a number of systems. The production price can be a secondary consideration.If it's a matter of rejecting the idea that different cable constructions affect the sound, it becomes a religious topic.