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.
I agree that cables are super easy to measure in terms of R, C and L.

I think that what's not well understood is their effect on the final output. I've heard speaker cables behave in such a way that makes me believe amps and speakers are more susceptible to these than we think. I've heard a lot of cables which "enhance imaging" do so by cutting the treble.

In the mean time, snake oil proliferates and people pay outrageous sums of money for essentially tone controls, with noise blocking.

Pretty much why I use balanced, pure silver cables with shielding and build my own. Cheap, very very good sounding. If I need a tone control I'll use ... a tone control.


If I need a tone control I'll use ... a tone control.

My sentiments exactly.

I can describe all the differences between many brands due to tests and comparing. And the differences are huge, so again the question is?

Which ones are the most coherent and realistic sounding cables?

Then you need to learn first how voices and instruments sound in reality? Because when you hear most audio products and even for cables count the same thing, they differ all too much from the truth.

When I talk with manufacturers and I ask them simple questions about sound and how the human emotion works regarding music they have no idea.

The next question is; how for God sake they make their choices. And on what it is founded?

In the past and still today most people who buy cables want to adapt the timbre and sound of their system.

This is not the way how you should use cables. People often have no idea what the DNA regarding the properties of each individual component is in their system. This is why trial&error is pure gambling.

When you do not know the DNA of each individual part in your system is, it is 100% impossible to understand what the F. you are doing. And yes these are 100% facts.

I talked since 2017 with many manufacturers about the way they work. They all agreed that the cannot look back what the DNA is of every single part. And they also agreed that trial and error has no real foundation.

Even when I talked to manufacturers who create products who can reveal all the aspects of sound, is that it is still difficult to understand why it can reveal all the aspects of sound. Like they had some luck. There is still a lot what is unknown in audio.

Since 2015 we spent a lot of time in testing and doing research regarding electro-smog, magnetism and high-frequent noise. We did all these tests with the advice of people who are specialists in these parts. But when I talked to manufacturers they have very little insight and knowledge about these aspects.

People who see audio as their hobby have no idea how low the level is of the effectiveness of each component in their system. It is insane how much quality, details, layers, and realism in sound you will lose. Due to the influences of the acoustic, electro-smog, magnetism and high-frequent noise on the sound and stage.

It is sad to see and hear how few products there are who can reveal all the aspects of sound. This proves how little most manufacturers know about sound and all the influences on sound and stage. They only focus on their products. And they don’t care about the systems where their products are used in. This is not their responsibility they often say.

I think a lot different about this matter. In my opinion, manufacturers have to work a lot more precise to create the best and most realistic sounding products. But the facts show that this is not how it is in reality. I have done thousands of tests with cables in over 20 years of time now. And even here the sad thing is the fact that most brands cannot reveal all the aspects of sound.

But trail&error will never make you aware and understand what the DNA is of the cable you just put into your system. They will only listen to the end result. But they will never have any F. idea of why the end result is what they hear. It is insane that the whole world is doing audio by trial&error. Even when people are interested in new cables they still have no F. idea of what they are doing.

For conditioners, you have the same outcome as with amps, preamps, sources, cables, loudspeakers that by far most products are still incomplete. So when you use these conditioners you limit yourself often with your audio system. It limits you in hearing and perceiving all the different aspects of sound.

But...due to trail&error, you will never have any idea what you miss. And which aspects that part in your system cannot reveal. This is why trial&error is pure random order. They all wanted us to believe that sound is just a matter of personal taste. You only can choose your own system.

Even this is not the truth. Based on the fact that both voices and instruments sound as they sound in reality. I have done a lot of research on how human emotion works regarding music. It made me understand that you need all the different aspects of sound to feel the emotion of your own music.

I am addicted to music since I was 6. I spend about 200 euro on new music every single month. This has been like this for many many years now. I make time to listen to new music for about 3-4 hours every single week. In over 20 years visiting hundreds of clients with audio systems I learned how little music the most people own?

So I asked them; are you happy with your system? And most were not. That is why they often invited me. All their systems where incomplete. So it was very easy to explain to them why they miss the intensity and emotion during listening to their system.

When I did ask them why they have so little own music? They said that when they have the sound they are looking for they will start buying music. But most people who do audio by trial&error will never come to the ultimate level they hope to create. Even after many years they still hope to find the sound they are dreaming of.

Almost all human beings can only perceive 1 to 3 different aspects of sound within 1 second. This also proves that is it 100% impossible to create an ultimate sounding system by themselves. Based on the fact that trail&error systems are almost all incomplete regarding the missing aspects of sound. What is missing never can be perceived when even one part of their system is missing aspects of sound.

The audio industry has been sleeping for a long time now. And trial&error is the main reason why the audio market is decreasing. When you are honest and see what the level is what you can get by doing audio by trial&error the outcome is not that great. Due to the fact that trial&error is extremely ineffective.

I use a lot of silver in my system. All interconnects are 100% silver. I use 2 sets of AudioQuest Wel Signature and the rest is AudioQuest Wild Blue Yonder. I only use Audioquest Diamond RJE-cables, Diamond HDMI cables, Diamond USB.

And the new AudioQuest Firebird has a lot of silver as well. The Bass uses 51% pure silver and the Zero about 30% of pure silver. I only use one Audioquest Dragon High-Current power cable with silver for my subwoofer. And an Audioquest Wild Dog 100% silver interconnect.

You cannot use silver as much as you would like to. Research proved that there are many many brands and products where copper cables work a lot better. Most audio products are very limited in the level of diversity (layering) in sound. And when you use silver cables, the level in layering will become even less.

But trial&error will not give you the information about the DNA of every single part within your system. You cannot look back to understand what the influence is of every single part. Because you are listening only to the end result. So you are doing audio by random order all your life.

You first need to imply products which can create a stunning level in diversity (layering) in sound before you can use silver a lot. And no most products are not usable for this. Power cables with silver work in most situations for amps, preamps, sources, power supplies and conditioners not as good as most copper versions.

They limit the level in layering too much. When you would judge a power cable on all the aspects of sound, it becomes even clear that copper will have a better end result on all different aspects compared to silver.

You only can understand which cable works best when you can judge your audio system on all different aspects of sound. But trail&error gives you no F. insight at all. You only can pray and hope for the best.

The new AudioQuest cables create a new level in sound quality I never have seen and auditioned before. When you compare the new AudioQuest cables with the old ones, they are now in a totally different league.

The only limitations I found are the Niagara conditioners. I can prove by facts and sound that they are incomplete regarding the aspects of sound. There are a few more Audioquest products which are not that great. But in general, they all own the DNA you want and need in your system.

The biggest difference is that AudioQuest cables have a much bigger influence in the Tru-Fi world compared to the limited trial&error world. This is why our clients have a different perspective and even truth regarding AudioQuest cables. Tru-Fi gives us full access to all the different aspects of sound.

But in the trial&error world, the AudioQuest cables work a lot less effective. Due to the fact that trail&error systems miss different aspects of sound. Trial&error (gambling) systems block you from having full access of all the AudioQuest cables.

When you miss different aspects of sound, you only can use the AudioQuest cables at a limited level. You still have no access to the parts which you cannot reveal with your system. This is why all people from the limited trial&error world have a different truth compared to all Tru-Fi owners.

And again the question is?

What is the real truth?

Many people are still rather skeptical about cables. After testing hundreds of cables in over 20 years of time I understand their thoughts very well. When I look back to all these tests I have carried out I have to admit that by far the most are not worth the money.

So the question is: Are most cables a scam or snake oil?

The problem can first be found more based on the limitation in insight and knowledge of the people who create them. When you cannot even answer simple questions about sound, or how our emotion works regarding music or even the aspects that influence sound and stage.

It is impossible to create good cables. In audio, many discussions are often about the limitations of products and by cables, we even hear it a lot more.

So again you may ask: why so many people still don’t trust most brands who manufacture cables?

Because first the insight and knowledge of people who work in audio are rather limited regarding the influence and importance of cables in general. Trial&error will never give you the insight to understand what exactly the influence and level of importance is of any cable.

You change a cable for another cable. But when you have no F. idea which properties of sound you took out and which ones you brought in. It is all one big guess and gamble. You never can tell what those cables do in your system. Trial&error is only focussing on the end result. This is why it lacks any kind of foundation. There is not even any kind of discussion possible.

Are there brands in cables who work well and are really important?

The answer is, yes there are. But.......only a few. This creates the main reason why most people are still so skeptical. All those brands and products which are not worth the money causes all these feelings and thoughts. And even create a wrong image of those products who are worth the money.

Most reviews in audio these days are paid. So what you read is often not the truth. This does not make people less skeptical. The audio industry makes it even worse. I think it’s very clear and easy to understand why our audio-market is decreasing?

Because the level in quality of most products is not good enough. This is the truth and the reason why something has to change in the world of audio. They way they make their choices now doesn’t work that well.

What needs to be changed and done to make people less skeptical about cables?

Very simple; manufacturers need to learn first more about sound and music in general. And create products which can reveal all the aspects of sound. This is the only way to change it. There is no other option what will work that effective.