why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable


I have tried expensive cables and one's moderately priced. I would say there were some differences but I can't actually say the expensive cables were better. IMHO I believe a lot of people buy expensive cables because they don't actual trust their ears and are afraid of making a mistake. They figure the expensive cables are better for the fact they cost more. If you have a difference of opinion or share the same thoughts, I would like to hear about it.
taters
They buy the hype.
Sorry, but better cables means better sound. every time in my system. yes i have mid level cables beat some high end cables. But never a cheap cable compare to a high end cable.enjoy Pete
I think you nailed it.
With the price comes the promise.

I know there are better cables out there beyond my reach but within my budget there are some mighty fine cables that can do it almost as good as the higher priced ones. This is one area where the "law of diminishing returns" applies.

All the best,
Nonoise
What makes an expensive cable expensive ? Is it the fancy jacket ? The Ultra rare conductor materials used (LOL) ? The fancy box they come in ? Biggest sham on us audiophile fools ! If we only knew the mark up v.s. actual costs , no one in their right mind would ever buy one .
I spend my audio dollar mostly on equipment, rather than cables. I buy cables that allow me to feel much more connected to the music, and I dismiss the rest. I use for MY system (made up of all separate components) low to moderately priced cables... Morrow Audio and used Nordost cables. The used cable market is very good btw. The right cable for any ones own system will vary greatly by sound and cost. IMO.

regards,

Matt M
I made my way up from lower cost cables to higher, and along the way the cables which cost a few hundred dollars didn't give much of an improvement over the less expensive ones. When I was able to purchase cables that are considerably more costly, the benefits were immediate. The experience isn't just heard, but felt. The musicians have arrived in my room. As far as the construction costs, they don't matter to me if they make me feel good.

I'll never understand why some people can put every person and system into one group just because they are unable to hear a difference. If you're unable to hear a difference, so be it. But don't put us all in your group. The OP has an opinion which is fine, probably true to a point, but I think not so many as he thinks.
Do you really believe that the cables make little or no difference? Would you consider a Radio Shacke receiver and bookshelf speakers with their factory supplied cables able to match an all MBL system with Cardas Clears? The system is only as good as its weakest link. I do studio mastering. The difference in detail and accuracy between cheap cables and reasonably priced high end cables is not subtle. It's true that the improvements shrink as the prices rise but isn't that true in every field. Is a Porsche 911 really five times better than its cousin the VW Beatle? Is the Porsche 918 really 10 times better than the 911? Is the the Bugatti Veyron three times better than the 918? The answer is an emphatic "no" if all you could afford was the Beatle in the first place.

One should to match the qualities if ones system with the quality of the cables to be owed. If you don't you will only be strangling the reasons you bought the equipment in the first place.

Don't buy Audioquest Wild Blue XLR interconnects to connect a $500 preamp to a $600 power amp. Match it to something like the Red Rivers. That way your system will be balanced in terms or performance and sonic quality and you won't have to worry about the rest.
I have bought some moderate expensive cables because when I auditioned them they sounded better then the cheaper cables I had. I also buy cables used and that helps reduce the amount of money spent
Alan
"10-25-15: Maplegrovemusic
What makes an expensive cable expensive ? Is it the fancy jacket ? The Ultra rare conductor materials used (LOL) ? The fancy box they come in ? Biggest sham on us audiophile fools ! If we only knew the mark up v.s. actual costs , no one in their right mind would ever buy one ."

That can be true, but its not always the case. Not all cables are easy to make. For example, Nordost's flat ribbon cables, Tara RSC, the internal conductor layout in Cardas cables. I could give more examples, but these 3 are enough. Some of these designs are so unique, the cables need to be made by hand, and the machines used to make the cables need to be custom built. To make their flat cables, Nordost had to build the machine themselves. If you look closely at some of their cables, the level of precision and detail are amazing. When you see that, you realize how difficult some of these cables are to make.
I hear notable differences between stock cables and the brands I have used and/or tested in my system from Stealth, Sainline, Audioquest, Cardas, Kimber, Nordost and Shunyata. Every one of the above cables has made a difference, almost without exception for the easily discernible betterment of the overall sound---some raise the bar as much as an upgraded component, others provide a certain house sound to the proceedings.
That being said, I will probably never be convinced that a single cable should cost as much as I am willing to pay for a component.
In order to get the benefit of good expensive cabels, the rest of the system must be equal good.I think you can only get the full potential of your equipment when you use eg. equal good cabels. The same as with decoupling. The weakest link in the chain sets the level and cabels are also a component.
At a certain level of refinement, it becomes much more obvious what changes in the system, does to the sound. It is possibel to get a concert into your lisiningroom but everything in your system must be in ballance and at a very high level.
Better cabels helps the system haveing a open, airy, natural clear 3D view without artifacts at all.
Its like looking at a 300" widescreen, its fantastic but the flaws are easily seen, therefore everything must be perfect or you better stay with the 50" screen and save the expensive cabels.
Getting an ultra highend system to play correct and find the full potential takes years and thats the art about it. The closer you get, the more you fell the transformation of feelings from the musicians.
In order to get the benefit of good expensive cabels, the rest of the system must be equal good.I think you can only get the full potential of your equipment when you use eg. equal good cabels. The same as with decoupling. The weakest link in the chain sets the level and cabels are also a component.
At a certain level of refinement, it becomes much more obvious what changes in the system, does to the sound. It is possibel to get a concert into your lisiningroom but everything in your system must be in ballance and at a very high level.
Better cabels helps the system haveing a open, airy, natural clear 3D view without artifacts at all.
Its like looking at a 300" widescreen, its fantastic but the flaws are easily seen, therefore everything must be perfect or you better stay with the 50" screen and save the expensive cabels.
Getting an ultra highend system to play correct and find the full potential takes years and thats the art about it. The closer you get, the more you fell the transformation of feelings from the musicians.
Thank you Zd. You have just proven that there is a higher correlation between cost and degree of difficulty to manufacture, than there is between cost and sound quality.
I roll my own.
Taters,
I agree that some people buy expensive cables for various reasons that you mentioned and I know for a fact there are some that have an unlimited supply of funds and think that more expensive must equate to better sound.
On the other hand there are those such as myself that have a limit on what can be spent and in the past I have demoed a variety of cables of all price ranges and let my ears and pocket book tell me what sound I like and what I can afford.
I guess the bottom line is one can’t classify all into one category.
I recall clearly the first time I replaced the manufacturer-supplied interconnect with an Audioquest Ruby cable. The difference was obvious. I have tried several mid-line cables, like Tara Labs "Pandora" and Kimber "KCAG." Honestly, I can't discern a sound difference between the two. I mostly listen to headphones, so I would expect to hear it there. I think what you pay for in very expensive cables is the complicated way they are manufactured. If you have the means, go for it. But I don't believe you are getting your money's worth.
10-26-15: Tonykay
" ... If you have the means, go for it. But I don't believe you are getting your money's worth."

What we have here is the enduring law of diminishing returns. It's inescapable. Each person must settle the value equation for himself.
There are certainly some people who buy expensive cable for the reasons you state, but others who can actually hear what they're buying and are confident in their ability to assess the benefits the cable brings to the system and that the cost is appropriate for that level of upgrade. When I had my big Naim system, the benefit of the $1000 HiLine IC over the one supplied with my CD player was a very significant upgrade and much less expensive than upgrading my amplifier or CD player at the time. It's all about what you can actually hear yourself. Don't assume others can't because you can't. Some say they hear the difference between the two sides of the Linn felt mat. I don't, but I don't presume they're deluding themselves just because I don't hear it.
Why not i buy what sounds best.
I buy and enjoy used components that hold their value for years. Key is buying from a mainstream manufacturer with a big (cult?) following, good support and longevity. For me that is ARC, VPI, Nordost and Vandersteen. In that light, cables are as much an investment as is an amp. Buying at half price I'm not going to loose much. The demand will always be there. Currently I'm running a tweaked VPI HW-19 MKIV/JMW with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, ARC PH7, ARC REF3, Ayre V-5xe and Vandersteen 3A Sigs. They are strung together with Nordost Frey2 interconnects and a Acoustic Zen Satori Shotgun SC's. An engaging system. Recently I was Blown Away by replacing the IC between the pre and main amps with a Nordost Tyr 2. That IC breathed a life and magic into my rig that is the Holy Grail we all hope for. It is without reservation the biggest leap in system satisfaction I have ever experienced. In addition to the Frey 2, I have lower priced cables around the house by Kimber, LAD, Audioquest and Zu. They can't touch the Frey 2 by a long shot. The Frey 2 can't touch the Tyr 2 by along shot. On a (much) lesser system all these cables sound a lot alike and I would not bother with more than a very basic entry cable by Audioquest. It's not worth it.
1. the eye
2. the mind

Anyone wears Prada?
why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable
Because in some cases, they sound superior.

In my system, I use a combination of PCs. 2 that were custom made at $175 each and the rest Nordost Valhalla, High Fidelity and Shunyata Sigma.

I build my AUDIO system base on SOUND QUALITY and NOT status, measurements ... I use my EAR and buy what sounds the best!!!
Because they have big investments in their systems and are concerned the wires would be the bottleneck otherwise.
Thank you for making my point Professor825.
I'm off that particular merry go round. My system has only the very thin wires connecting the lightweight earphones to the portable player. I eschew all other cables, interconnects, power cords, digital cable, what have you.
The resolution capabilities of your system will directly impact the impact (good or bad) of the cables in your audio emjoymemt.
That elusive ethereal positive impact us an alchemy derived from the synergy (or lack of it) from ALL of ICs, speaker and power cables, layered on to the synergy with your electronics and your speakers.

High Price -- in isolation to the above -- is a red herring other than quality build product costs .... Full stop.

One size does not fit all - I've heard high end cables that sound great in system A but swapped into system B, they sounded like sh*t.
I'll never understand why some people can put every person and system into one group just because they are unable to hear a difference. If you're unable to hear a difference, so be it. But don't put us all in your group. The OP has an opinion which is fine, probably true to a point, but I think not so many as he thinks.
Abucktwoeighty (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

+1

I guess the bottom line is one can’t classify all into one category.
Lak (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

+1

It's all about what you can actually hear yourself. Don't assume others can't because you can't. Some say they hear the difference between the two sides of the Linn felt mat. I don't, but I don't presume they're deluding themselves just because I don't hear it.
Chayro (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

+1

why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable
Because in some cases, they sound superior.

In my system, I use a combination of PCs. 2 that were custom made at $175 each and the rest Nordost Valhalla, High Fidelity and Shunyata Sigma.

I build my AUDIO system base on SOUND QUALITY and NOT status, measurements ... I use my EAR and buy what sounds the best!!!
Knghifi (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

+1

Freedom of choice! Democracy rules.
If the question is about why people have a need to buy expensive cables, then why not ask a more general question? Why the need to buy expensive audio equipment? I don't think there's an actual need, but there is a desire. It may say something about themselves to others, but more importantly it's a self-affirming message to themselves. I deserve it, I can afford it and the world is good! Effectively it's comfort food for the soul.
LoL!, I haven't had a cheap cable in 25 years!, this is a debate that is on coming from those who have not had the privilege to listen to world class cable's!, once they do, the audio nerveversa kicks in, then you will know cable's are a component!
You're hearing (or system) does not allow you to hear the
difference, but there is no need to be defensive about it
and to post on the forum in hope of finding other people who
cannot hear the difference to make you feel better.
Here we go again.
There are audiophiles and there are 'yuppi audiophiles' who are not audiophiles.
Better cables are almost always quite expensive, just like components.
Turntable itself is a very simple thing that is exteremely difficult to make right.
Kiwanis,

I never said that. What I did say is that I have heard more expensive cables and moderately priced cables. I said I could hear there was a difference between the cables. I just could not say the more expensive cables were better. Just different.
Early on I did a 'cable shootout' with some loaner cables and was impressed with Audio Magic. Since then I have worked up through their food chain as great deals became available. Each time I went to a higher level the improvement was unarguably there. There is, no doubt, a lot of subjectivity in the world of cables. I still believe, however, that you get the 'possibility' of real gains as more $$$ are spent.
If anyone uses or tries different cabling in their system and can't hear a difference, I believe they have a non synergistic play back system and are at a loss to experience what a live realistic sound can be had
"10-26-15: Nicotico
Thank you Zd. You have just proven that there is a higher correlation between cost and degree of difficulty to manufacture, than there is between cost and sound quality. "

I don't know if I've proven anything, but I would have to agree. Personally, I love it when a cheap cable sounds better than an expensive one. But that doesn't mean that the more expensive one isn't any good, it just may not be the right match.
inna,

The only people that can afford the very expensive cables are yuppies. I don't think the companies care if they are audiophiles or not. As long as they can shell out the cash.
zd . thanks for pointing out the manufacturing costs for one cable out of a thousand !
Why do people feel they need to buy cheap cables??
Cables made of 24k gold would be cheaper than some copper cables . Someone please explain this ? How can a copper cable be worth thousands of dollars ? The answer is someone is willing to pay it . All the pricing is based on what someone is willing to pay and not a set price markup over material costs .
I like yuppies. They go buy very expensive stuff, soon after that they do it again, and we have a great choice of cables for 25% the initial cost.
But not all people who buy expensive cables and components are yuppi audiophiles. Some audiophiles on moderate income actually save up big time to get what they want, including new. I don't mean $10k interconnects, $100k amps and $200k speakers. That would be hard to save up for on moderate income. I mean $2k interconnects, $20k amps and $40k speakers. Yeah, most of them buy used.
Besides, there are rich people who are true audiophiles. They just buy what appears to be the best to their ears.
I don't envy them much - they have nothing to upgrade to. Or almost nothing.
How about you buy what you like and I"ll buy what I like.

The term "expensive" doesn't really mean much.
All these responses and discussion over such
an ambiguous term seems rather ridiculous.
Please define "expensive" so I know what we're talking about.

$100, $500, $1000, $5,000, $10,000? For all I know
we may all be talking about different things here.
One person's expensive could be a drop in the bucket to another.

"Why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable?"
Should this read: Why do SOME people feel the need.......?
The answer could only be pure speculation.

The implication from reading this thread is that only stupid gullible people NEED to buy the UNDEFINED expensive cable. So why doesn't the original poster just come out and state that in his wisdom he is superior when it comes to HIS choices of cable and be done with it?
Rather than masquerading his obvious superiority in a thread question.
Over $1000 for a 1M pair interconnects is certainly expensive, or $2000 for a pair of 2M speaker cables.
In fact, I believe that speakers are no less 'overpriced'.
Do they try to sell furniture or sound when they sell expensive speakers? I guess both. And so double the price - you pay for both. Not to mention that they might cost 10% that figure to the manufacturer.
At least cables by definition are ugly, you can't sell them as a nice furniture too.
But also, why do some think that transmitting the signal with minimal loss and distortion is easy to accomplish?
Anyway, I just bought $1200 interconnect to replace $800 one from $1000 phono to $1500 integrated amp. Stupid, right? Everything was bought used. I'll have to burn it in for 200 hours because it was refilled with Ferox by Purist and then I might report my findings. It is one step up from what I have now, I bet there will be a difference but not big.
Has nothing to do with cost! , if my cable's cost $19.00 I would be thrilled, sadly in the real world, you get what you pay for! ,lol
the reason...for the same reason most of us buy or want to buy expensive components. The desire is to obtain great sound. I spent on equipment at first and only thought about cables afterward, having been exposed to the idea that good cables made a significant difference, by reading about it here, for the most part.
I will add that it is easier to spend a couple of hundred on a cable than coming up with the money needed to buy better components, thus there is appeal in that sense. The OPs "expensive" is still undefined, if it is thousands then I have no idea why some people do it. Perhaps they have spent much, much more on their equipment and this the final tweak.
I did find that certain cables made a meaningful difference in sound quality and others did not. The price didn't seem to be the defining factor.
But I have not spent thousands on individual cables, so my experience is limited by my cheapness, about $500 and mostly less. Most normal, non audiophiles would consider that much spent on wires to be truly insane.
The usual reason audiophiles dismiss more expensive cables in a-b comparisons is because to be blunt, their systems aren't capable of clearly revealing the differences.
To summarize, if you can't clearly discern the differences between cables it is probably that your system isn't at the level of the cables, or your maybe ears aren't sophisticated enough to hear the differences. Really...seriously?
10-27-15: Tonykay
To summarize, if you can't clearly discern the differences between cables it is probably that your system isn't at the level of the cables, or your maybe ears aren't sophisticated enough to hear the differences. Really...seriously?
I hope you get the answer you want so you can live on comfortably in delusion. Something about bliss?
I agree with Melbguy1!