This isn't a thread in the cable section. I'm sorry if I stepped on any toes, and I won't be engaging in any flame wars. I don't engage in flame wars. Just wondering why people spend so much for good cables. It's okay, I don't need an answer. I suppose I'd have to ask people themselves why they are buying expensive cables. So disregard the question.
No worries. The rules are just to keep things civilized since there are fairly strong opinions whether cables make a difference, or not.
I have a very high end home system. I couldn't believe cables would make any difference either. Wire was just wire. Then I borrowed some high end cables to try and was completely blown away by the changes. Better transparency, better base definition, cymbals that actually sounded like cymbals, and I could hear details in the music the I hadn't heard before. I really did not want to believe the difference I heard in the music....
IMO improvements are likely system dependent. With my portable system, if I were just using my ES5 ciems with my iPhone 4s, I probably wouldn't care whether the ES5 has aftermarket cables - I really doubt I could hear much difference between the stock and aftermarkets. But with my iPhone 4s > Class -db > Pico > ES5 combination, even though it is much better that just the 4s > ES5, I was a bit disappointed with my ES5 in that I felt the highs were weren't quite a bright as they needed to be to be in balance with the rest of the presentation. An aftermarket headphone cable increased the treble definition, and now the ES5 is living up to what my initial expectations were when I purchased them - that they are really a very good ciem.
On a modest system, I probably wouldn't even consider aftermarkets.
Look through some of the old cable and high end headphone threads if you want to see what others think about replacement cables.