what do you know"

after experimenting with diferent spkrs cables, from audio quest mont blank,to VD reference, cardas GR,my current cables. whent to a friends house over the weekend to audition it's new VTL 7.5 preamp, stumble across a pair of MIT 750,spkr cable that has been neglected for a long time and asked to borrow cables for a trial, wasnt' specting mouch from cable, but for my surprice this cable blew away all my other cables buy far, imaging was unbeliavable,instrument separation,air and sound stage was out of this word, to be honest the best Ihave try by far, did some research on this cable, and it sells for $175 or bo, now I have my $2500 cables for sale and I can believe Im doing this, anybody with similar experience,
Most people seem to agree that cable performance is system dependent. Which to me means that you are just as likely to find that an inexpensive quality cable can outperform a much more expensive quality cable, in an arbitrarily chosen system.

My own feeling, as an electrical engineer as well as an audiophile, is that assuming the cables being compared have adequate gauge, are not excessively long, do not have unusually large amounts of resistance, capacitance, or inductance, are constructed and soldered so that the connections are reliable, and have clean connectors, there are no solid technical reasons that would allow prediction of better or worse performance from any one cable compared to any other. Which means that trial and error in your particular system is the only way to find the one with the best performance, and which also means that a $175 cable is just as likely to outperform a $1000 cable as vice versa.

I know many people will disagree with much of that, but as I say I have yet to see a plausible technical explanation (as opposed to marketing techno-babble) that would enable reliable prediction of cable performance, among cables meeting the basic criteria I listed above.

-- Al
Capacitance[sp],inductance[sp] and a few other factors have no correlation to price but synergy.I wish Sean was still here!Anyway,yes,this is common among us freaks.I just went from 800$Cardas to 65$ Anti-cables,go figure.....
>> I wish Sean was still here!
yes, Sean! he used to be here all the time, tirelessly & relentlessly educating the folks. he used to catch a lot of flak & probably learnt to dance well also! ;-) Many people appreciated his presence here as they learnt a lot from him.
So, where is Sean these days?
Decided to exit Audiogon because of the flak that he got here? Exited the audio hobby?
do you know, Usblues??
I do not Sir.I got here around late 99-2000 and he was the man!Possibly some of his stuff is here in the archives???I remember his cable thoughts especially were illuminating.I wish I did know where his door is.I hope he's doing well wherever....Happy Holiday my friend....I have seen you here also alot....Bob
The points made on the aspects of wire here are valid, and I suspect it is just those aspects in conjunction with your equipment which dictate what speaker cables will do besst for you... eg., resisttance inductane, capacitance... etc.

My own exp with speaker cables thus far has only proven out cheap is OK, and more expensive is more OK. I doubt I'll ever be able to get way on up into higher priced speaker cables and will only if I redo my setup, shortening the length for those cables.

Sometimes it's as simple as finding the missing peg that fills out the mix of cables and components you have on hnad. Sounds like you did. Good for you. Mine were the SR Sig 10s. They were slightly more than a $100.
Blindjim makes a good point.I remember not too long ago getting very frustrated with finding the right tube combo and knowing I was just one tube pair away from achieving exactly the tone I was looking for..Come to find out it was a tube I never considered and finally after trying,only because I tried everything else that I nailed it..They were not the most expensive tube,but the right tube for the mix...System synergy comes in many sizes,shapes and Brands and its usually always the long way home..........

There is another way to look at it.

Since technically speaking there is no reason to assume one cable should be any better than another (given your caveats on gauge, properties etc.) then one can conclude that differences are most likely due to the way the equipment behaves. A reasonable engineering "philosophy" is that well designed equipment which is well matched together should be capable of performing perfectly well with any number of acceptable cables. Therefore, if some equipment turns out to be highly dependent or sensitive to a piece of wire than it really might be worth considering to avoid said equipment or its combination in a manner that causes such unreliable performance. (I exclude cables that are designed to be filters or act like an equalizer from these comments - stuff that is deliberately designed to change the sound)
shadorne well said
to be a little more blunt if you got !@#$ equipment you really have to start using cables as equalizers.
Well made an accurate cables are more likely to reveal all your systems flaws even more.
Great cables belong in great systems and people with grappy systems can not fairly assess a great cable due their systems dependence on a cable that offers needed coloration.
There are no differences, it's in your head.

Try this experiment: gather 3-4 cables, from cheap $5 to as expensive you want to go. Get a friend you can trust and get him to randomly hook up the different cables. Tell him to be as tricky as he wants, and do this several times and make sure he records the results of which cables you prefer. Guarantee you will probably pick the $5 cables as often as the $1000 cable.

I have tried this experiment many times with so-called audiophiles. None can ever pick out the expensive cables. Placebo effect. BTW, all the wiring used inside your speakers and components are regular copper wire-nothing fancy, nothing 'magical'.

If someone can actually explain to me in scientific terms how speaker cables make an 'audible' difference I would shut up, but they can't and that's that.

And don't get me started n 'power cords'...

The people who claim they can hear a difference are too scared to b proven wrong, they won't do the test and will make excuses.

Speaker cable has NO MEASURABLE distortion, it's static...it transmits a signal, that's it.

Good luck!
Baroque lover, you are not entirely correct. I have in my system a set of SEEC speaker cables that have the correct level of highs, mids, and bottom end. When I tried a set of VD David 2.0's, the bottom end increase was dramatic, so much so, that I had to pull them from the system. They are for sale in the classifieds now. If these were to be switched in with the ones I have now, I could tell in a minute which ones were in. The same goes for a new power cord I put on my CDP. It increased the bass so much, I had to take it out. Maybe the people you tried this with cannot tell, but don't group everyone in with your group. There are alot of different ways of going about trying this test, and it doesn't sound like it was very controled.
Just because some folks can't hear the difference doesn't make it snake-oil. If it doesn't work for you, fine, let it go. No need to discredit the folks who posted above that do hear a difference.

I wonder if anyone will take you up on your offer to make a test with a friend?

I recall that Mike Lavigne did this exact type test about a year ago and was
unable to pick one good cable over another good cable using his own system
when blind ( but heard a difference when sighted )The test at least showed
that differences between cables are vanishingly small on one of the most
resolving systems on A'gon. I don't recall the details - so excuse me if I didn't
get all the facts straight - but I know that it was a "revelation" that
only someone as decent and generous as Mike Lavigne would admit to. Of
course, I regularly admit to being tin eared so nobody would be surprised if I
could not hear a difference and with my modest system it would prove
nothing, as doubters would just point to my crap system.

read above. The difference you are hearing is the placebo effect. The truth of the matter is that electricity DOESN'T CARE that the wire it is traveling through has "5 dialectric layers of true ground float, hot fused with ProtecX treatment that is cryogenically treated".


There are hundreds of ways you can change the way a loudspeaker sounds in the crossover alone--just has nothing to do with the brand of wire used internally or externally.

Beyond length and gauge, you are paying for marketing and looks.

Here is some reading...I suggest people read it, regardless of what they truly believe, and put your own prejudices aside, and test you OWN theories that you can hear a difference. If it makes as big a difference as most claim you shouldn't need super rigorous testing conditions. All you have to do is point out which cable 'sounds' better.




I know of two designers who use very basic cable in all of their designs and in their testing facilities. Alan Shaw and Vince from Totem. Alan uses 79 Strand copper and Vince uses a basic 14 gauge copper wire.
the above three links are actually all different.

Regarding Juancgenao's original post, over the years, I have had several experiences just like yours. My advice: live with the MITs for a month or so before you declare them the winner. I've often suspected that, with cables, sometimes putting a different set in the system seems to be a dramatic improvement, but it just doesn't pan out that way over time. This phenomenon is a mystery to me, but I have experienced it.

That said, imaging and spatial stuff is what MIT does best. Once you become accustomed to it, you may find that they are lacking in some other areas. Or not. Many people swear by MIT.
I have replaced my very expensive speaker cables with Anti Cables, which I find to be remarkable. I wish I would have known about them before spending all that money. As for those who are implying that differences in cable sound quality is not real, but only in your head, I ask what is the difference, if you hear it, you hear it!! Cables do have different sonic signatures and I don't know how anyone can deny it! For all of those research papers that allude to this as being a placebo effect, I say scientists once believed in Newton's laws of Physics as infallible until Einstein's General Theory of Relativity disproved most of it!! This is a hobby, have fun, Trust your EARS!!
Alan uses 79 Strand copper

I recommend that too. Great speaker wire - you get nice contact at the binding posts and very flexible - no stress on connectors.

If you hear it, you hear it?

placebo effect

any effect that seems to be a consequence of administering a placebo; the change is usually beneficial and is assumed result from the person's faith in the product or preconceptions about what the product was supposed to do;

Also see subject-expectancy effect. ACTUALLY READ this stuff people. This is why it is SO important to engage in objective experiments like the aforementioned.

In other words: IT'S PSYCHOLOGICAL!!!

Get over this fact and you can actually move on to enjoy the music.

BTW, what research papers are you referring too? Or are you inferring that they exist? If this is so why do you dogmatically dismiss them?

Furthermore, you use a very weak objection with regards to Newton's Laws. What do they have t do with electricity? Do you even have a basic understanding of electro-magnetic science?

I'm also not sure what you mean by this statement. If there is some 'mystical' force field beyond our 'human capacity' of understanding that is affecting the sound of our systems then how do the perpetrators of such high-end cables garner the knowledge to make them?

I'm confused????

Yes, it is well made, relatively cheap and works fine.

During these uh, 'blind' testgin sessions, were the cables all being kept hot? hot swapped in and out too?

I'd not allow wires to be popped on or off my gear while it was energized... or anyone else’s. Then there's the warming up part. I'm doubtful a good A/B situation exists unless one uses likewise gear/sources, or those with multiple inputs or outputs so differing cables can be alternatively chosen at one’s discretion. For instance, with a preamp connected to all the same CDPs, but with different ICs on each CDP. Even then there’s the warming up period to do all over again… albeit somewhat a more abbreviated period if done in that fashion.

main IC comparisons would be tougher, given the above constraints... speaker wires too would be problematic to A/B properly.

My DAC has twin outputs, yet even there, XLR>RCA adapters need to be used on one set. It's easy to discern the diffs between cables using it as a source however in spite of that one addition.

Don't make memory an aspect of the session. Such tests are going to be problematical indeed, yet I'd bet a good deal merely selecting from one pair to another will surely reveal if there are any sonic diffs from pair to pair.

I mean as long as one is going to do an A/B of cables... make the affair such that ONLY the cables are indeed the items being subjected to the test. NOT the ICs and your memory, right?

That is of course, IF you’re looking to prove something about cables and NOT about aural memory.

Naturally, it stands to reason always, if you don’t hear a diff, and you’ve done an exact comparative session without reliance upon memory, then certainly one should not pay the difference… regardless the amount of $$$ you have in your gear.
Baroque_lover, For some reason they didn't allow my original post to go through, hope this one does get posted. Just wanted to say Happy Holidays , hope you get over yourself so that you will hear the music too!!
Just wanted to say Happy Holidays , hope you get over
yourself so that you will hear the music too!!

And you guys too - those on both sides of the fence - those with ordinary
cables and those with expensive ones - I believe Baroque has installed Harbeth
Compact 7's recently - I am sure he enjoys the music in spite of the cable/wires
issues and problems he faces - we all face. I bet we all do enjoy the music!
Happy Holidays
Baroque lover, if you believe in the placebo effect, fine. Don't force your beliefs on the folks who hear a difference. Nobody really cares, and it's annoying.

Likewise, if you believe in imaginary differences in speaker cables, fine. Don't force your beliefs on the folks who are new to the forums and have limited knowledge on the issue.

For some reason my previous post did not go through but I will reiterate.


I will have a great Christmas! I don't think that comment was called for but I hope you have a great holiday yourself.


Kept hot? energized? what are you talking about???

If the same rigorous testing conditions are not implemented during the demoing stage how do you truly know that the more expensive cables are better? Wouldn't it stand to reason that if the differences are so obvious comparing them in your system that you should be able to pick them out under blind conditions???

It's not a matter of 'believing' in the placebo effect, it's documented FACT--cable toasting is NOT.

I should also note that I used to believe in high-end cable and even sold it when working in retail.

I even recommended it on these forums.

A few months ago I did a double blind test and I failed--BAD!!!

At the time I could have swore I heard differences but the results don't lie. I thought they were playing a joke on me by leaving the 'high-end' cables in all ten times. Several people were there and I participated in one of the tests for another fellow friend/audiofool. He failed too.
Your statement, " I failed Bad" is the first accurate thing that you've said so far. Either you're deaf, the system was incapable of resolving the differences in cables or that EE degree has caused your brain to harden up(happens all the time). Of course- The possiblity exists that those two particular cables had no differences to hear(I wasn't there). At any rate- One listening test hardly constitutes "empirical data".
Rodman99999 - you are particularly hard. Play nicely

A suggestion: make sure to mention that you are "tin eared" on any thread that goes in this direction. If you admit to being inferior or just plain average when making these kind of observations then those who are certain of their superiority (can hear big differences and don't need to do blind tests to confirm what they hear) will not be offended.
If the same rigorous testing conditions are not implemented during the demoing stage how do you truly know that the more expensive cables are better? Wouldn't it stand to reason that if the differences are so obvious comparing them in your system that you should be able to pick them out under blind conditions???
You make a good point. Those who dismiss blind testing often hide behind protestations that the methodology was failed. But it cuts both ways. If the differences are so obvious at home, shouldn't they be at least apparent even under less-than-perfect test conditions?
This hobby is about better sound for more enjoyable listening.....audiophiles make many changes to improve sound ie..cables....capacitors. There are many "listening tests on capacitor differences...Tony Gee as an example. Cables like capacitors do make a difference....case closed. There is no doubt that the MIT cable improved the sound....I would listen for a few more days and see if there are changes. Synergy plays a big part between componets. After you have been doing this a while your ear becomes trained...if you don't believe cables or capacitors can make a difference....your not serious about this hobby.
Well, I guess that settles it! All you non-believers, get the fugazi outta here -- this place is only for people who are serious about this hobby.

Science is only good when it supports your belief system.
It seems to me that this thread has gotten a little crazy and I apologize for my remarks. I just think that we don't have any tests that can determine what a person should or will hear whether it's a cable or equipment. I oftentimes read John Atkinsons amplifier measurment reviews in Stereophile and sometimes the results of those measurements would imply that the amplifier will not sound good, but many times the reviewer will determine that the amplifier sounds excellent. What are you going to believe, the data from all of these tests or your ears??!!
"Well, I guess that settles it! All you non-believers, get the fugazi outta here -- this place is only for people who are serious about this hobby.

Science is only good when it supports your belief system."

Drubin are you a non-believer.....cables make no difference..no matter what it is? You use expensive and quality equipment....do you use $19.95 Monster cable?

Ballistics proves that a hollow point bullet penetrates well....but I don't want to prove it...first hand.

Where is there a scientific test on the sonic performance of cables?? It doesn't exist...
So all this non-sense about cable improvement being imaginary is hogwash....and that's not scientific....just my reality of my trained ear.
Cables like capacitors do make a difference....case closed

Capacitors indeed make a difference. Especialy when used in passive crossovers or coupling capacitors.

There is no doubt that the MIT cable improved the sound

MIT cables appear to use many active elements. This is akin to a custom filter. The active components will work in concert with the voice coil and passive crossover in the speaker resulting in a different sound from ordinary wire. There is no doubt that the MIT cable will change the sound - depending on the speakers and your tastes it could be an improvement or not. Of course, MIT claim that the adjustment must necessarily be an improvement and back it up with basic power engineering. Although speakers are mostly designed to be controlled by a voltage source accurately amplifying a source signal.

The MA Oracle even has an adjustment control.

One must be careful not to get into a heated argument with these type cables versus ordinary cables (wires) as MIT are indeed substantially different and may sound better (depending on your tastes and existing system synergy).
Shadorne, that is nothing, For 8000 usd you get just one knob to alter the sound. On my 1981 made preamp there are three knobs for the same purpose, and on my active loudspeakers additional seven. With 10 knobs, I think, my system is certainly a world-beater as far as tailoring of sound concerned! If I would be a real audiophile I would be all day adjusting the knobs to get the best possible sound.
Yes, I agree with Shadorne's post. My comment in the second post in this thread applies to cables that are designed to simply make a connection, and that have inductance, capacitance, and resistance that are negligible in relation to the impedances of the components at both ends, at the frequencies involved . Cables that are designed to be non-neutral are a different story altogether.

-- Al
Ah, I had such a LONG and juicy retort to SO many here. But I don't have all the time to argue with everyone. ;)

I will say this: Baroque Lover, it's clear your ego got bruised; no doubt you sound so angry and "on the march". I assert that there exist differences between cables. I also assert that humans are lousy at short term auditory recall, hence they are crappy at blind listening tests - as you found out. I have excellent hearing (no "tin ear" for me, please), but would not want to take a double bind test with my favorite cables for that reason.

I keep hearing demands for science behind cables. Fine. Here's an axample from some cables I reviewed/am reviewing - David Salz's Wire World Cables. He has a fairly concise discussion of the science behind the geometry of his cables. He addresses the issue of "inductive loss", which I find logical and efficacious in listening, as I point out in my review on Dagogo.com. See his website:


Click on the "Wireworld Technology" link.

Now, if someone wants to protest that his theory is intact, but, "...how can it affect a lousy three feet of wire...after going through the power company's lines, transformers, etc" I would assert that is not a scientific argument but rather overt skepticism. :)
David Salz is basically recommending low series resistance and low inductance in speaker cables. This is good advice.
In interconnects you would want low parallel capcitance.

The pitfall with seeking costly incremental percentage improvements in cable properties (for example copper to oxygen free or to silver wire or to special wire geometries) is that one may believe that the percentage improvement will actually translate directly into proportionally large percentage audible improvements. No so. In most cases, wires have such a small effect on the signal that with well designed and matched equipment the differences between one ordinary wire and another will be minute. For sure everything with a different equivalent R, L, and C has got to sound slightly different but the differences are so small as to be what a tin eared person would regard as negligible (no more than mere tenths of a decibel and often much less - unless you get into really strange designs that push the envelope in inductance or capcitance and resulting large phase shifts and attenuation).

Depending on which side of the fence you are on, a possible conclusion is that one might be better served by handing over more money for a better amplifier or a much better speaker (one with a bit more money in driver quality) or room acuostics than investing in incremental improvements in speaker wire.
Actually, I am a believer, but I'm always open to new information. And the science I was referring to is the testing methodology. I accept that there are things in audio that can't be explained.
A lot of technical talk here.

It's inevitable some people would spend big money on cables especially those with $200k systems as to them it would be "injustice" to spend $200 worth of cables on their mega-buck rigs that would deserve "better" cables. Given that these folks can afford good quality systems, $10,000 worth of cables is nothing since it's likely that they will outperform lesser cables although the margin of improvements may be not significant.
I see people that have switched to the inexpensive Anti-cables with marvelous results, where they replaced cables costing multiple hundreds of dollars. I tried the Anti-cables in my system, and I found they did not sound very good. I firmly believe the folks who found them to work much better than the more expensive brands did actually find a major improvement. Different equipment, different results. I only wish I could have found something in the same price range that did the same for my system before I spend the dollars I have.

Yes, I believe cables make a big difference, and in stating this, I'm not forcing my beliefs on anyone. Just making a statement.
I'm really starting to get irritated with this forums censorship, especially as a CONTRIBUTING member who pays.

I put a lot of effort in long winded posts and when they don't get posted it's very irritating.

I am contemplating shutting down my account and never contributing a single dollar to this forum again if something doesn't change.
Baroque lover, instead of needling folks here, why not start a new thread on the topic of the plecebo effect, and see where it goes. You will probably get alot more interested parties who have the same view post to your thread, who do not even know that this is a topic in this one.
That way those of us that have ears(and/or are trained in "critcal listening") can totally ignore what we know to be horseshite.

It's called reason, get some...
So, How was everybody's Thanksgiving??
HAHAHAHA,good one C.......
Appears to be quite a bit of leftover turkey.

...and apparently some ham too.
All this talk of sloppy leftovers makes me hungry.