Okay, seeing that I have some time to spare here's my take on this subject. I'm not saying it must be right and I'm not saying it explains all there is to explain. Just my thoughts.
1.) Blind tests for cables are over-rated. For me, I do not often come across "first note" moments where something is recognizably better after a few notes. I think like most, I have to listen for quite a lot of music to make up my mind. The more subtle the difference, the longer it takes, usually. Sometimes, for a number of factors, some thing stands out but that's quite rare to detect that at first sitting. I fear I am not alone. May be I am...
With this in mind, it's going to be difficult to tell apart cables as they're switched back and forth. Specially if there are quite a lot of them to be swapped around and if not enough time is given for each one. (definition of "enough" really depends on the magnitude of the difference, imo.) So there's probably a detectable difference, but is it enough to reliably differentiate or identify a particular cable? Probably not. Even in my home system, sometimes I hear things I've never noticed before without adding or changing anything. Hell I'm sure we've all swapped left and right channels and went for days without noticing. I know I have.
So my criticism isn't really against blind tests exactly, but putting people in a room and swapping one cable then the next (repeat etc) and asking them to actually identify which after a day of listening to all of them which is which is probably wishful thinking. I know that for me it would be, most likely.
Cables don't make THAT much of a difference, IMO. Our gear have characteristics that underlie those of the cables. It's like watching tv through sunglasses. Your TV's image quality primarily determines the image quality you see, comparable to your amplifier/source/etc. in the case of cable tests. So I feel blind tests, at least in the way it is commonly conducted, do not really give meaningful results.
2.) Expectation bias works both ways. I don't mean just people expecting cheaper = worse, but people expecting things to NOT sound different at all will more likely find they're right because that is their expectation. Rarely is this talked about, but it works just as effectively as people expecting their $5k power cable to deliver sonic nirvana.
If you combine this with (1) then it's easy for someone with a "no difference" expectation bias to quickly dismiss changes they have not yet heard or stumbled upon.
Since we cannot really whip out sodium thiopental and pump audiophiles full of the stuff before tests, it's hard to really be certain who expects what before testing, it gets even more complicated as audiophiles as a group are probably more expectant of differences than other groups, but then again, there are a significant group among audiophiles that are of the Objective2 camp. All in all, it's a bit of a mess…
3.) The pricing scale is absurd. This basically leads people into thinking that it must all be snake oil and hocus pocus. Surely something you get for free cannot really be taken to heights where it costs tens of thousands? Can it?
I'm not in the wire/cable industry, but as far as I know, cables and wires are usually made in hundreds of meters. Each production lot is probably miles long and it probably has to do with the batch size the machines are capable of. If it's minimum 400 lbs/batch then you'll have to order 400 lbs of the stuff however long that is. Probably a little more just to ensure decent quality. It is also likely that people with the best/newest machinery and best quality controls tend to be large suppliers with larger machines.
Now if you're looking to make a very particular design just for you, then there's a problem with production vol. vs. possible market vs. complexity vs. stocking fees vs. your bank account. Long story short, it's probably a crazily exponential increase in cost to go from a fairly common type of wire to a bespoke one. And bear in mind that most audio cables are hand terminated or even hand made still. So more than anything else in the chain of audio equipment, the diminishing returns effect sets in extremely very quickly.
If you look at it another way, it's not that these things are expensive (well I'm talking within reason here) but the common types of wires are just crazily cheap because of mass production techniques and common stocks etc.
Does it cost Nordost thousands of dollars to make a pair of Valhalla speaker cables? Only they can say, but I don't expect it to be cheap by any means. But that really should have no bearing on whether or not it is better/same/worse than the free ones you got. Sadly most people let this get to them and form eventually a bias in (2).
So what's my point? Many, many companies and dealers offer trials and returns of cables. It's perhaps best to find out for yourself rather than blindly following blind tests feeling that they are the be all and end all of truths. After all, neither the cable manufacturers nor the blind tester will be listening with you.
But that's just me saying stuff...