this is the same cable i found not so long ago on ebay but with updated pricing of today (for honest comparision):
Plus Sound lists the folowing 4ft Hifiman copper cable:
it costs $119 for a 4FT cable as we all can see ladies and gentleman..damn i sound like a quissmaster..lolz..,
and here is the similiar cable of Toxic Cables that costs almost the same but is 6FT! (so 2 feet extra..my dutch genes are tingling here
) and also IMHO looks a bit classier (but thats personal! as i am sucker for sexy cables).
when i checked Toxic Cables i found this little beauty: 6ft silver cable (26AWG) called the Silver Poison cable which costs $232 (still for a 2FT longer cable then the Plus Sound one)
While all of this is true and you also point out a bit later in your freaking long post that you refer to a TOC and not only the price matters you should never ever just compare it like that. Sleeving and using foils costs the cable manufacturer more money (not only in material cost, but it also takes much more time to make a cable).
There is a good reason why for instance Frank's new silk scorpion wire costs more money than the unsleeved version, simply because he also has expenses for the silk (while I've seen silk to buy for diy not that expensive this version shown on the pictures of the new silk scorpion wires is of a total different quality ...) and he also needs to spend some extra time for sleeving. The very same goes for foils. On top of that the more layers you use, the more research you have to do on the whole topic regarding side effects such as making the cable not flexible enough, making it too heavy, not being able to fit certain connectors (for instance happens with heavy gauge wire, it's way easier to solder a 24 or 26avg wire to a connector than 18avg and for some connectors it's even hardly possible or at least takes up way more time) or actually even decreasing the sonic capabilities of a cable because you added too many layers of foils etc. Some companies like DHC believe in putting several layers of foils and on top several different layers of insulation. The materials should work together and you also have to put more thoughts into still getting the right sizes from the inner layer to the outer layer of a cable. Furthermore, the metal being used can also offer way more than purely OCC treatment, cryo-treated, soft annealed/tempered and purity come to my mind. Craftmanship, unique cable designs etc just make it even more complicated to compare cables between different companies.
Finally there are things (some of you mentioned in your TOC already) such as customer support, quick delivery, custumization, technical advice (e.g. if you don't know which cable you need or would be best for your setup) etc.
That's why i personally think your comparision with exact USD prices is not actually that helpful because they don't take into account a lot of things. Basically you take the wire + length and compare the prices.
I'm not trying to be harsh here so please don't get it wrong, I do appreciate your effort in trying to get your point across in Frank's pricing model. I'm basically on the same boat as you, I've checked out a lot of cable manufacturers and most of them had way too high prices for what they offer for my taste. The prices will never reach diy prices because obviously you also have to pay for the work, the equipment being used, the organisational effort, websites promoting them, research etc and last but not least obviously some profit. Even if making cables is thing you enjoy most in life (apparently very true for Frank ) you still need to be able to live from it. So there has to be some balance and reasonable pricing (still being able to run the business while not asking astronomical prices).
The reason Frank's cable are so attractive is not a single point such as prices (tbh when I had seen his cables for the first time like one year ago my immediate reaction was "pretty good prices but no customization" (because I didn't know back then that his website only showed a small fraction of his cables and there was nowhere stated it is otherwise on the website), "boring designs" (well I had only seen standard black multifilament nylon sleeving which is ultra standard for every audio cable) and not much "research" (no special foils being used, just plain wires->insulator->sleeving->done). So frankly, I thought something along the lines of "you get what you pay for". However, the silver-gold I had only seen for reasonable prices from Mundorf (zendo cables) which Frank offered way cheaper got me really curious. After checking out head-fi and finding cable offers on ebay I realised how wrong I had been with my initial impression. Frank's cables are so attractive because his cables are well-design products in every regard. Yes, you will find a manufacturer with some special sleeving option he might not offer yet, yes you might find a manufacturer that offers ... BUT this will be always true. He offers well-build cables (I inspected mine carefully and I can't find a single flaw), he uses top material (even the Mundorf gold-silver-solder as a standard!), you can basically get every cable you need (just need to pm him about your needs, he will even design you something for no extra cost ... ), his prices are really good (compared to the whole package he offers) and last but not least his customer support is excellent. His waiting times have caught up to the ones from other cable manufacturers (a few weeks waiting time) which is negative for me (at least last time cause my old cable was broken ... ) but totally reasonable since he runs a small company that is just booming a lot lately (same with his updates on his website, with all those new cables etc I understand that it's tough atm to keep up with providing long textual explanations, pictures etc etc).
I just wanted to add a note about his customer support and this is a true sign of what kind of person Frank is and what his attitude on running on a company is. When I ordered my SP we had sent each other quite some emails and while I never checked how long the answers took it was from 1minute to about maybe 1hour maximum. That already alone surprised me. Not many companies have a quick response time. I was allowed to pay per Paypal on my wish instead of using the paying option on the website so I had to create no google account. Then I ordered the wrong termination by accident (3.5mm instead of 6.35mm), received my cable and was disappointed cause I couldn't used it (the cable looked so gorgious though and very flexible which I absolutely loved)). So I went straight to a nearby hifi-shop to buy a crappy adapter which only seemed to work half of the time and looked pretty ugly. I wrote Frank an email about the termination (I first thought it came with the wrong one) and Frank realised my mistake and he offered me to just ship it back and reterminate it for no extra cost (yes that is right, no extra cost, because Frank is just such a nice guy, hopefully not everyone is expecting Frank to do free stuff now for them ...) or a venom with a special price. This is what I call customer support and things like these make me come back as a customer at a later time again and again (Once I'm really satisfied with a certain company I always come back if I need something at a later point. Always worked out fine for me this way.). Unfortunately the cable kinda got lost on the shipping back to the UK for retermination when I had decided to ship it back and not having it for some days (that was a hard decision believe me) so I had to wait a bit if the package still shows up or actually got lost and fortunately a friend lend me his cable in the meantime. So I had set on ordering one of Frank's cables again because I got to see his cables in reality and experience his customer support but since there are new cables coming out 24/7 currently I can't decide really on which one. Damn you Frank, you make it way too hard to decide! That's btw the reason I said a few pages ago that I might not be the best to compare the sonic differences between stock on his cables since I didn't have it for too long and could only provide some initial impressions and why I've been so keen on getting information about the new cables until Frank has finished his cable overview.
Sorry for this wall of text, but I'm pretty bad at getting a point across in a short and precise way.
Sidenote: Will the new stranded silver wire with the higher than SP gold content be available with this new silk cotton as well? I really like the looks of it and I personally really enjoy the feeling of touching silk. I'm afraid that the cables won't be nearly as flexible any more compared to the unsleeved versions. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.