The other problem is that buying the high end cables creates a placebo effect of its own and introduces yet another phenomenon that probably has a name, of which I am unaware. I think of it as reverse buyers remorse, a sort of cognitive dissonance that goes something like this: Only stupid people spend big money on stuff that doesn't work. => I'm not stupid. ==> I spent big money on this ==> It works.
Riddle me this then sir. Let's say I spend exactly $500 on cables from two different manufacturers. Same type of cable, same price, just two different brands. The both look equally pretty, and are both backed by marketing fluff and positive reviews. I think one sounds great, and the other does not. Please explain how the placebo effect is working there. All factors are the same, the only variable is brand and design. If all cables sound the same, $500 cable 1 MUST sound the same as the $5 Monoprice equivalent, and $500 cable 2 MUST sound the same as the two other cables. If I'm comparing just one $500 cable to a Monoprice cable and I decide the $500 cable sounds better, fine you can write that off as placebo. You'd be wrong, but you'd have an argument.
How does placebo work when one expensive cable beats another though? Shouldn't they sound the same? How am I tricking myself if they are both expensive? I'm still waiting for a cogent argument on this.