Originally Posted by kjoh
I also believe cables make a difference, at least with the HD650's. I upgraded mine to the Blue Dragon V3 and I couldn't believe how much more laid back they were. Created a very neutral sound IMO.
Originally Posted by pp312
Even the Headphonia test you cite remarks that the Blacksilver made the most difference. Conclusion? Don't have a conclusion as to what you should do, but I do believe the Blacksilver is the one all skeptics should try.
Let me clarify: I am not a cable "skeptic," in the way I usually see the term employed here on Head-Fi. Thirty years ago, I worked for two high-end audio dealers that sold Mark Levinson, Krell, Audio Research and Conrad Johnson electronics, and all of the speaker brands you would expect with those brands: Quad, Magnepan, Martin-Logan, Dayton-Wright, etc. I have personally heard too many occasions when it was clear that a speaker cable (I didn't mess with headphones much at those dealers, but the amplifier-to-transducer connection is identical, and arguably even more important with headphones) made a significant, if not large, effect in how a speaker sounded. Heck, it's arguably no different in importance from the quality of the wire employed in internal component point-to-point wiring or the quality of a PCB trace.
But rather than say a cable sounded "better," our lead service technician, who had worked at NASA, would just say, it "sounds different," and reserve judgement on the whole "better-worse" thing for extended listening and A/B tests. I remember when Kimber Cable first came along, how excited I was to read some product literature that actually explained how cables could make such a sonic difference in scientific terms that were reasonable to me. OTOH, when I worked at the second dealer, I saw the profit margins on Audioquest cables, and it was obvious from their dealer and recommended retail prices that they were in the snake oil business, like extended warranties.
The problem is living in a remote, non-urban area, I have no dealer to audition any kind of equipment with, including cables. And while I can do a lot of on-line research to guide purchase decisions on components, the cable reviews are totally subjective, from my perspective. The Headphonia comparison I cited said that a Sennheiser DIY cable made of CAT-6 ethernet cable sounded better than the standard cable. OK, I believe it. So, at some point, if I don't feel up to soldering the little Cardas connectors myself and messing with the hot glue and heat-shrink tubing, I will ask Head-Fi-er Lil Knight to make me some cables, but I'm not in as much hurry to do it now as I was a few weeks ago. I just have to decide on wire, and right now, I lean toward Mogami Neglex 2534, simply because I get almost as strong a signal from four other neighbor's WiFi networks as I do from my own. The hyper-expensive cryo-silver boutique cables I've seen don't seem to address RFI and EMI rejection in a quantifiable manner; it's one of the chief concerns of professional musicians performing live music. Just IMHO, of course, and YMMV.