Worth upgrading my cables?

I’ve made a ton of updates to my system over the last six months and now I’m wondering if my cables need some attention. Here are my questions:

  1. Based on my system, and current caballing (description bellow), do you think I would recognize a noticeable improvement by updating my cables?
  2. If yes, which cables would you prioritize (speaker, interconnects, power)?
  3. Lastly do you have any specific recommendations.


Current system:

  • Technics SL-1200G (Hana SL) --> Manley Chinook --> Manley Jumbo Shrimp --> Finale Audio Classic 300B monoblocks --> Klipsch Heresy IV
  • All interconnects are Morrow Audio MA1
  • Speaker cable Canare 4S11 Star Quad Bi Wire
  • Power cables Tripp Lite Heavy Duty , 15A, 14AWG


Thanks for your thoughts!


I read some good things about the audioquest robin hood speaker cables.

What do you think the system is missing in terms of sound quality?

@mastering92 great question. Overall the system sounds really nice (i've swapped a lot of components to get here) and most of the tubes are dialed in at this point (still working toward the right 300B). I guess I'm just wondering if I'm leaving some performance on the table with my current interconnects and speaker cables. 

The system has (to my ear) a good balance of detail/definition/separation and fluidity/ease. If anything, I'd be happy to have a smidge more fullness to the presentation and a touch more bass presence. 


I don’t use cables to fine-tune a system, but I will say that upgrading my DAC’s power cord to a monoprice hospital-grade cord ($11 on amazon) (up to 1625w, up to 105 degrees, and 13A with all required/over-the-top certifications improved the performance. But only very marginally. The original power cord was very cheap...not sure why an Italian company would include such a lousy power cord. (obviously the cord was made elsewhere)

I had problems with a trip-lite USB cable: music software froze with large files, jriver), after upgrading to silver - the best conductor of electricity, that problem is totally gone. Plays without a hiccup now. And it’s not because of the laptop...I have a gigabyte Aero 17 that is overpowered like hell...

Improving bass presence may mean moving your speakers back.

Experiment with moving your seating position forward, for more fullness to the presentation.

Invest your time creatively, working with what you have, before spending any money.  Make sense?

I’ve upgraded every cable and component minus integrated amplifier and speakers. The greatest improvement was adding the Shunyata Everest and power cables noted in my system description. These were also the most expensive cables in my system.  I did so through a vendor that provided a great price, free shipping and sixty day no questions asked return policy.  This policy actually cost me money, because I found out that within the Shunyata line, more money meant better performance.

Your wire is fine! No need to spend more $$$. Don't listen to the wire fanatics! 

@designtaylor I own and like Morrow cables.  It looks like you are using their entry level product, MA1.  If you want to invest in better quality interconnects, I suggest you wait for their Black Friday sale when the better cables will be 65% off (based on previous sales).  Morrow also offers a full refund policy if you are not happy with the product.  


I’ve seen your post on many threads and you seem to have a great deal of experience and your suggestions seem well thought out, yet your absolute position on cabling is perplexing. Most people that spend a good bit on cabling do so through listening. I admit that some changes are subtle, but others are not.

Agree on the Morrow cables. I’ve gone from level three to level four and five and have heard improvements at each increase. That said, I think your biggest bang would come from power cable upgrades for your source and preamp.  Off topic but the isotech Gaia speaker footers gave me a significant improvement bigger than any cable upgrade. 

I would have to say yes, a very very high probability. Given you are happy with your components sound… great. That is where you want to start.


I do, speaker cables first, then amp power cord, then interconnects, then other power cords.


I would recommend either borrow, rent, or check out some high end speaker cables. Brands that I would try… DHLabs (great value for money, I usually do these until I know where I want to go), Cardas (tend to be very musical and warm), Wire World, AudioQuest, and Transparent cover the gamut.


You have to try them and only buy if you hear a difference worth the investment. It is hard to say, “buy this” because your system isn’t the same as anybody else’s. It makes a difference. I have their many Nordost… some have been the best I ever heard, some OK, and one particular in between my streamer and DAC… simply horrible. I personally use Transparent almost exclusively. They are extremely… well, transparent… but for my components… perfect.


All my interconnects… cables and power cords have provided value commiserate with their price. For instance my speaker cables were $5k, connection $32K speakers with a $22K amp… the increase in performance very much worth the cost. It is not atypical that your wires comprise 10 - 15% of your system. I don’t start working on these until I have the components that sound perfect to me… then I can get another 10 - 20% additional performance out of mt\y system. The better your system, typically the more you can get out of wires.



You have good wire already.  Depending on what you replace with, you may notice a difference, but you may not prefer it, or there may be no difference at all.  

I'm of the school that I'll put my money towards components first while have well constructed cables. I use Mogami wire for just about everything - RCA, XLR, and speakers. For power cables I use Pangea plus home-made cables using high quality  Furutech wire and connectors.

Can I do better?  Dunno but I'm okay with that

Thanks for all the feedback. Nice to see the full gambit of audiophile responses. My suspicion is that my current wires are about 70-80% as good as the rest of my system and while there is likely room to gain subtle improvement it may not be the best bang for the buck. Really the root of my question is... I'm I holding my current components back by not upgrading my cabling? 

If you want just a bit more bass to the sound. Add a furutech NCF rhodium connector to the power cord connected to you amplifier/dac. The carbon fibre/stainless one is the best one.[pricey but cheaper than changing cables]. I also have furutech NCF silvers to boost mids and treble. My power cords are Black Cat Silver.


When we want to understand cables, we measure them. The inductance, capacitance and resistance of a cable can define what it can do, vs what it can’t. Cables are just a bridge between 2 points...and low resistance is the most important factor.

Human hearing is quoted to be 20 HZ to 20 KHz, or 12 HZ to 28 KHz for people in ideal laboratory conditions. Hearing differences in otherwise good-quality cables at the same lengths is usually small amounts of gain differences (volume not matched, or an inferior conductor, such as CCAW or lamp cord which can be either be too thin-sounding, or with a slight edge of warmth. We don’t want the metallurgy of the cable to influence sound quality. We want the cable to "get out of the way" and allow the electronics to perform.

High purity copper, PCOCC copper, cables from pro audio brands - Belden, Mogami, Canare, or silver/silver-plated cables are just fine.

Some high-end audio cable companies want you to believe there is a hierarchy of "improved performance" when you move up their product line.

If their lower-end/cheaper cables are inferior...why are they producing them in the first place? It’s not like buying a car with different trim options...

I do not trust audio cable companies that make claims of performance-specific improvements: better bass, midrange, treble, imaging, etc. substantial changes like that cannot be determined by cable companies who have never heard your system before.

You can certainly make it sound different by changing cables.

Making it sound "better" may be a different story.  Personally, I don't hear much difference as long as they aren't physically damaged or shorted (as long as the cables are conventional and don't have batteries or resistors or crazy capacitance, etc.)


You have a nice setup, play with positioning and enjoy it.


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DH Labs new “Cryo” cables are worth looking at and they have a solid money back trial period.  I’ve not used them but @blisshifi (Juan) has extensive experience with these cables.  Juan was one of a trifecta of experts that really helped me with my system.

Cerious also makes great, modest cost cables, with return privileges. Since you can listen and try for free, ignore those who say cables are irrelevant, simply decide for yourself, you'll find no agreement here...

I don't know that changing cables will result in music sounding better, but it will most likely sound different.

+1 Changing your cables will change how your system sounds. Different isn’t necessarily better. One option is to keep trying cables until you find the sound you think you’re looking for — that’s a slippery slope. Try loaner cables, www.thecableco.com has a lending library that is helpful.

There’s something to be said for enjoying your system as it is while upgrading over time. You can burn through a lot of cash and drive yourself nuts trying to do too much too quickly. Enjoy the journey, the destination will arrive before you know it. Good luck!

I’d focus on room acoustics and speaker placement first. 

As far as cables go, I’m familiar with the 4S11 speaker cables since I own and use a pair of these. They’re nice and warm sounding. Not the latest word in transparency and soundstage but are not bad by any means. You can do better. After the speaker cables I would tackle the power cords. Synergy is key. Either borrow from The Cable Company or buy used or get new cables from a dealer with a proper return policy. Auditioning in your system is a must. 

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You would absolutely benefit from changing your speaker cables to Morrow, but I would at least go to the SP-4's. I had SP-6'S and sold them because I needed a longer run. I replaced them with Canare 4S11's and everything completely collapsed! Presence, soundstage, details and it sounded like the speakers were shouting music at me instead of placing music in the room. Now I'm completely satisfied with Morrow (SP-7's) speaker cables back in my system. But like I said, SP-4'S is the lowest I would go in the lineup, as I have gone through this before. Throughout the years I have had SP-4'S, SP-6'S and now SP-7'S. My interconnects are Dig-4 and MA-7's. And I promise you that even after months of use, they keep getting better! For power cables, I have all hospital grade 14awg from Amazon and I'm happy with them. The only cable that I will eventually replace is the Dig-4, and I'm going to replace it with the Acoustic Zen MC-2 since I hear so many success stories about it. Have a great day and enjoy the music! ✌️

My suggestioin is to get get your hands on as many cables types in as many price points as you can "reasonably" get your hands on. This would include cables above your "comfort zone" if they can be returned. Expanding the size of your "toy box" makes things a lot more fun, and you’ll get to experience things outside of the scope of "highly recommended" products. I’m going to predict that you’ll find improvements in areas where you least expect it. To me, this is often the most rewarding aspect of upgrades. The price of admission may be less than you budgeted, or a whole lot more. Your internal calculator of value vs performance is the final, and most important, variable.

I would also include upgrading your wall outlets. IMHO power delivery is often the most underappreciated aspect of system performance.

One more thing. I’d consider putting $10 worth of Dynamat on those Heresy horns.

Assuming that you have solved, power distribution, speaker positioning, turntable/ cartridge alignment, components support, any room treatment (if needed), then better cables, no matter if silver or copper, will definitely have a positive effect. Everything matters for achieving a good sound not just cables. You can find a good and reputable dealer and borrow complete sets to try out, and save money in the long run. I have a sweet spot for cables that use means of better conductor manufacturing process so that leaves out for me the majority of the pro called cables. In an era of Triple C, Ducc or even OCC (all of them having advanced methods of manufacturing), the ones using OFC are lacking. But good sound of a cable is not only determined by its conductor but by its overall construction, the materials used, the geometry and the connecting component.

After trying out and experimenting you can only decide what is good for your system.

So many folks here have fine quality components connected with less accomplished cables. Mistake every time!  If you need convincing, then do it. Research cable offerings, make a short list of those you would like to audition, and listen.  If you don’t hear ANY differences then you are at a point with your system where it is incapable of revealing cable variances. If your music satisfies you then you are at a good spot and should just relax and enjoy what you hear. 

If you do hear differences, the real work now begins. What cable sounds how in what system connection?  What combinations of cables in specific connections, improves the sound of your music?  The one real limiting factor is cost, assuming you have a limit on the funds you can allocate to your cable project. 

My last five system purchases have been cables. Four were power cables and one is the interconnect between my line stage and power amp.  

one warning…don’t even go there if you can’t afford the cables you audition. You can’t unhear what the auditioned cables brought to your system. That just leaves you with a persistent reality of loss.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions. It sounds like it is worth investing some better/different cables to match my system. This is not to say the cables are the be all end all, and that as always placement, room treatment, component synergy, etc. are all critical factors to consider as well. 

If you have not experimented with moving your speakers around then S Gordon’s advice is great. Mr. Prentice was also right on the money if you do go the cabling route

In order of importance for my system:

  1. speaker placement (free and uber-important)
  2. speaker isolation (own and like IsoAcoustics Gaia)
  3. speaker cables (own and like Morrow Audio)


If you’re curious about what differences/improvements you might get from better cables, I’d suggest that you pick one interconnect (maybe source to preamplifier) and try another Morrow Audio cable further up the line.  If you don’t like it or hear a difference/improvement then return it. 

I’ve only done a little experimenting with cables. For interconnects, I tried an Audioquest Chicago (RCA) and was impressed compared to my BJC LC-1 interconnects. I was impressed enough that I wanted to try something better and figured that moving up in an Audioquest product would be a more apples to apples comparison, so I selected the Sydney (RCA) based on design features and also the price point. It was another step up, but not as significant as the first step with the Chicago. 

I got a new DAC so wanted to move to a balanced interconnect so took advantage of a Black Friday sale for some Morrow Audio MA4 (XLR) interconnects. They were the level that I alway had interest in and with the sale aligned with my price point. I’ve been very happy with them and consider them better to my AQ Sydney, but they technically are close to double for retail price so they should be better. 

If you like the sound of your system, try moving up a few levels. You can trade in your current cables for 65% off, with little risk of them not sounding at least as good. If they end up being a worthwhile improvement then you could work towards upgrading your other cables. 

The only suggestion I will make, is purchase cables from the used market.  There are so many really great values out there.  

@rocray With all the fake cables out there (just just over to the Fake Chinese Cable thread with it's 13 pages of comments) I would be very leary of buying on the used market thse days.  Just saying.....

@bigtwin : Ali Express only counterfeits a small portion of audiophile cables. Audioquest, Nordost, Gryphon, Shunyata, Cardas, and a few others. Before you buy, use the key words just to be safe. Ask for verification of Authorized US dealer, from seller, and you will be fine. 

There’s something to be said for enjoying your system as it is while upgrading over time. You can burn through a lot of cash and drive yourself nuts trying to do too much too quickly. Enjoy the journey, the destination will arrive before you know it. Good luck!

+1 @rhg3 

Try an easy experiment find an interesting used interconnect, the easiest cable to change, and drop it in your system and see what you think. Buying used you can always resell the cable if you don't like it or hear no difference.

Try this vs. your stock power cord: 



If it makes no difference, I will send you $49 free. And, I have nothing to do with seller

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maybe ask an electrician what he thinks of that power cord...

before willing to part with your money and maybe give it to a stranger on the internet.


maybe ask an electrician what he thinks of that power cord...

I am all ears. Please tell me.

before willing to part with your money and maybe give it to a stranger on the internet.

It’s $49 for duck’s sake. You guys are really a strange lot.


I don't know where you are located, but if you are close to Fall River, Massachusetts you are more than welcome to come on by and I can demonstrate how much cables make a difference... You would be blown away by how much of a dramatic change there is... I invite anyone else who is interested as well... 

my electrician audiophile friend remains in amazement over the difference cables make, even after 20 years of experiencing it, as it technically makes no sense to him...fortunately for him he ultimately decides by listening not reading...

First, I do not want to offend anyone, or dispute their findings about improved sound quality through better power cords.  For my system, I have normal Romex electric wire from my breaker box to my plugs.  My brain thinks that if I had a power cord made of this same Romex wire to connect from my plug to one of my components, it would not affect sound quality…it’s just a continuation of the same type of wire.  So do people that promote better power cords believe that a link of better wire somehow filters out bad characteristics, or adds in good characteristics?  I’m just trying to figure out if there’s a theory as to how this works.  On the other hand, I can see that some things can happen without explanation.

@tcotruvo The logic of the “power cords make a difference” argument is that the component to which the power cord is connected experiences the AC it receives from that cable and knows nothing of the original origin of that power. So whatever that cable does to the original AC that is what the component operates from.

An anecdote.  Paul McGowan, the head honcho of PS Audio used Audioquest’s top level power cables on his reference system gear and was confronted with the reality that his system sounded so much better than with PS Audio’s own reference grade cables. From then to this day, PS Audio recommends AQ power cords be used with PS gear.