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How do you feel about cables?

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Here's your chance to chime in anonymously, without risking any flames or getting anyone ticked off/ticking anyone off... how do you feel about cables?

I'm sure this has been asked / done before, but what the hey... probably nothing left that hasn't..

Note - this poll is asking about audio cables specifically, not power cords.
post #2 of 66
I'm torn between the belief that cables may make a small 1-2% difference in sound and cables makeing no difference in sound quality.
post #3 of 66
I would say less important than equipment (source, amp, speaker, headphones) but important none the less. So I'm not sure between answer #1 or #2...
post #4 of 66
IMHO cables make a huge difference. They can make or break a system, the last ounce of musicality that allows imaging to be holographic and sound real, that's what HiFi is all about.
post #5 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by yidimsum
IMHO cables make a huge difference. They can make or break a system, the last ounce of musicality that allows imaging to be holographic and sound real, that's what HiFi is all about.
Interesting, opinions like this make the poll much less "accurate" -- because (I think) you're saying that they contribute the last ounce of musicality (fits into the 1% to 5% difference category), yet they also make a huge difference (fits into the first category).

Maybe I didn't word this poll carefully enough... oh well. I think you're actually voting in the second category (they make a smaller 1% to 5% difference) as far as what I had in mind when formulating the questions.
post #6 of 66
When I voted "Cables make a major difference..." I stand by this. By last ounce, I guess I mean everything and more that differentiates between a high-end system and less high quality components that you would find at Best Buy. If you have a resolving system, gotta get the right cables for synergy.
post #7 of 66
None of the above. It's somewhere between "a major diffeernce" and 1-5% difference.
post #8 of 66
Yes cables make a big difference ( by the way how can you quantify that with '%' ).

The better the gears are, the bigger the difference will be.
It's not that you'll get crappy sound with good gear and generic cables, but good cable can make the difference between 'really good' and 'outstanding'.
post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mastergill
Yes cables make a big difference ( by the way how can you quantify that with '%' ).
If % signs turn you off, rephrase the poll option to yourself this way:

Instead of:

"Cables make a smaller difference in sound, it's the last 1% to 5%" --

Substitute this:

"Cables make a smaller difference in sound -- think about upgrading them as the final option after finishing up with everything else."

That's another way to say what I meant, but there's not enough space allowed for long/wordy options when posting a poll.
post #10 of 66
Try a cheap experiment.

Buy a cheap $5.00 generic RCA interconnect from Walmart or Home Depot that would work in your system. Then buy a $13 dollar Acoustic Research RCA interconnect from Best Buy that would work in your system.

If you notice a difference in sound quality (more presence, clarity, and detail), than you will have a better understanding what all the fuss is about.

However, if you do not notice any difference at all in the sound quality between the 2, stay with the cheap cables.

How do I feel about cables? If I upgrade a cable, I'll listen to an album I am very familiar with. If I hear musical details that I never knew existed before, I then feel that it is worth paying a little extra for a better cable.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
None of the above. It's somewhere between "a major diffeernce" and 1-5% difference.
I agree. Recently I picked up a HGA Silver Lace IC whihc was my fifth or sixth try at a silver cable over the years (could never get a silver cable to work for me) and I must say this cable made a significant difference in the sound. It's presentation is well open and very lively with no edge and a lot of liquidity. The cable might have a "sound" but I like it. Very nice synergy with the HD600.
post #12 of 66
First, which cables? Interconnects, digital cables, speaker wire, or headphone wire?

Regardlesss, in general there really wasn't quite my option there, either. I'm more along the lines of something like this: cables make only a small difference, in that really bad cables hurt, but the point of diminishing (zero?) returns is reached very, very quickly. Most of what makes bad cable bad is poor connection and small gauge. Interconnects probably matter more than speaker wire, not sure on headphone cable... $300/foot on cables? Snake oil. Drop an order of magnitude and spend what you saved on better source or speakers/phones.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Interconnects probably matter more than speaker wire, not sure on headphone cable... $300/foot on cables? Snake oil.
Have you heard many $300+ cables? In a system worthy of $300 cables? Are you arguing that all cables above $300 sound the same (maybe some differences in flavoring, but no real difference in quality)? I disagree, but OTOH, I'm also not arguing that *all* $600 cables will automatically outperform *all* $100 cables either. The degree of difference you a) actually get, b) are capable of perceiving and c) and the value you place on that difference are all going to vary from cable to cable and from person to person.

Mark
post #14 of 66
Wow, for the first time in my life, i find myself agreeing with markl

Seriously, cables do make a difference, more than the last bit of a system, but they certaintly aren't as important as any other item in the audio chain
post #15 of 66
Without reading anyone's post (only the poll choices):

Cables/interconnects can make more than a last 1% to 5% difference. In some cases it can be a 20% difference in quality.

Even in entry-level areas, switching from Tributaries 12 gauge zip-cord to Kimber Kable 4PR gave me an easy 10% increase in detail and 5% in dynamics for my speakers. Changing from Monster interconnects (~$40) to Kimber Tonic interconnects (~$40) gave me at least a 10% dynamic improvement and better detail with my CD player.
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