Originally Posted by bigshot
To be honest, I really don't care. I'm sharing what I know for the benefit of newbies who need direction as to where they should best focus their attention. I'm trying to help them understand the basic concepts, so they can get a great sounding system without a lot of trial and error. You can feel free to do whatever you please. I was just replying to your claim that I don't think anything makes a difference. That clearly isn't true.
What .... you cant answer a few simple questions? What are you afraid of Steve?
As for your claim you are sharing to benefit newbies .... lots of people are doing the same. But, clearly some of us do not have the same opinions as you. Cable performance may not have any concrete price/ performance relationship. But, cables do sound different and depending on what they are connected to they can make anything from no difference to a very noticeable difference. I believe if you dont do a little cable experimentation you will never truly get the most out of your system. I have been a music lover all my life, DIYer and audio experimenter for for nearly 40 years and in my experience there is no doubt there are cable differences from my audio experiences.
To answer the questions .... I use $6 volex 17604 power cords on all my equipment. Why? I tried some different high end .... or whatever you call them power cords. Again, they sound different but I didnt get any performance advantages over cheap cords. The cheap volex cords actually sound noticeably better to me on my tube amps and I am thrilled they do. The "high end" power cords are long gone.
I have used every type of IC from the stock IC that came with a unit to some fairly expensive name brand stuff like MIT. IC's make a definite difference to me which makes sense since they ARE the signal path. Cheap stock IC's, IC's from Radio Shack etc... have never offered the musical satisfaction I demand. Name brand IC's are hit and miss but some do synergize very well in my setups.
But, I dont like to pay the high price tag for the ones that do synergize. So to get around this I go through DIYers and get a better quality IC at a substantially lower price. Unfortunately, to get the best match you still have to experiement. A cable that is awesome in one setup will not sound so perfect in another.
Much of the cable resistance appears to be this sticking point .... the expectation a cable will always sound superior in every situation. Price, wire gauge, wire type etc... have no bearing on what will work best in any given system or situation; you have to hook them up and listen. I only consider an IC cable unfit if the cable will not offer a minimum good sound quality level with at least one setup. What is this minimum sound quality level? I dont know .... but I do know when I hear it. Just like I know when I hear a good recording vs a bad one.
I have some pure copper, gold alloy and silver / gold alloy hybrid IC's. Each one has a system they excell in. But, none are the answer for every setup.
Digital cables, again I have experimented quite a bit here and there are differences in presentation and resolution that matter. I dont think digital cables matter as much these days with the newer input receivers and better digital clocks vs pre 2000 digital. But, the inexpensive BJ's digital and the like just have not worked for me, even though on paper, the BJ cable seems to be a perfect solution. I have tried more expensive cables but I preferred a cable that cost $50.
My DIY cable maker turned into Enigma Audio and I asked for the cheapest cable he made and got this $50 wonder. The difference is to the level, for example, I dont care for the OMZ dac with the BJ cable vs I am very pleased with the OMZ dac with the Enigma Audio cable.
Saying expensive cables are overpriced, which I agree with in most cases, is much different than saying all cables sound the same. Saying an expensive cable will provide a better sound quality in every case, which I dont agree with, is much different than saying all cables sound the same. Saying all cables, be the they copper, silver or an alloy, regardless of the design and manufacturer all sound the same is foolish .... my eight year old can tell there is a difference. Hence, my question if you really do listen with an open mind.
I am in no way tied to price as an indication of quality. I am in no way convinced any particular cable materials or metals will always offer superior sound. But, throwing in just any cable, particularly interconnects, with high resolution componenets can be asking for disappointment. If you put in any cable in your system and the sound is good enough for you .... congratulations. I get lucky on the first try sometimes too. But, sometmes that is not the case and I have to try a few different cables to get the sound to sound right.
So, I have some advice for newbies myself. Dont accept theory, hype and spec sheets .... listen and have an open mind. Listening will tell you all you need to know. If a componenet or cable makes a difference to YOU that is what matters.
Cheers, see ya