Cables are very system dependant. Money makes no difference. You might find that the $100 cable in your system sounds better than the $1000 cable.
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I've found as you spend more on cables, you definitely get more. Certainly not a linear relationship, but neither is it the case with components.
Like components, you get more detail, better sound staging, more air etc.
Of course system matching is very important, but done right spending more on cables can equal replacing a key component.
Aside from system matching, really good cable will sound good in any system. Also, some cables are very overpriced and some not. But very best cables are always expensive and they should be. I believe, it is just as difficult to design and build great cable as it is with components.
In my modest system DiMarzio interconnect is overall almost as good as Purist Audio at less than 20% the cost. In any case, when it comes to upgrades, cables or components, I advocate rare but big steps approach not often and small. And of course you spend more doing it, usually at least a double for used pieces.
But very best cables are always expensive and they should be.I believe, it is just as difficult to design and build great cable as it is with components?
I added the question mark after this statement because all cabling comes off of spools.With no or very little change in it's structure. The only thing that's added after is an RCA plug or spade or what ever termination is added to the finished product. I find it amazing that anyone would pay for such a common product that has gone through very little structual change.
Mr B- Try the Synergistic Tesla line(especially the Apex & Tricon Analog). Both will allow you to hear exactly what is going on upstream(for better or worse). The Kimber Select line(1030's/1130's) are also excellent, in that regard. I own some of both. Good cables WILL NOT sound good, in ALL systems. ie: If your source components are grainy, bright, etc.; you MAY be happier with a less transparent cable. Not the ideal way to correct system defects, but- many use cabling as tone controls. When some experience sounds that don't appeal to them(ie: upstream defects exposed by a good/transparent cable), they blame the wire. An excellent/transparent speaker cable= Analysis Plus Big Silver Oval(my latest upgrade and less expensive than what I was using).
Audiofeil and Inna, uncalled for on both counts. You both have a great deal of insight and experience, and it harms your reputation and credibility when you lower yourselves to name calling and vulgarity.
In testing dozens of brands/sets of cables I agree that the better cables do often cost a fair bit more. I've not been impressed by any cheap cables, including the Anticables and lower end products from brands which use passive networks or braided lower total gauge offerings. Perhaps that is due to the production costs of the better sounding cables and perhaps it is due to the marketing; either way is not my point. My point is that the better sounding cables I have used have tended to cost a lot more than the Home Depot DIY stuff. The trend, in my experience, has been that one has to accept spending as much as one or two good components to get superior performance from cables. That is a generalization, and I'm not interested in arguing it.
Back to the topic, typically a cable maker is not going to load his low end products with his best technological application, so the higher end stuff will sound better. However, as I'm sure Audiofeil would assert and I would agree, there are profound differences in performance across brand lines and a lower end product from one manufacturer may - note "may" - outperform another's top end products. However, I have found a threshold below which point one is not typically going to find superior sound. Like the search for a superior pre or source, you have to be willing to put something beyond the bare minimum into it in order to get superior results.
I assert the only way to know a cable's true sound is to test it in a group, a full system assessment of the brand.
I think the best statement on this thread, is that it's just wire dude. Nothing more. But that is what pays for ads in magazines and keeps us off track, which is the music. Although I do have to admit I almost fell off the couch with laughter at the "open mouth" comment!!! Holy Shite....you got balls dude! Kudos!