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Better cables = better sound?

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 


I have been wondering about this quite some time. Now that I have more money to spend. Things like this are of more interest to me. But do better cables provide better sound, or what is the deal with more expensive cables?

Additional question if you got time: Apple iPod Classic 160Gb vs Sansaclip+? (Which one gives better or clearer sound?)

post #2 of 108
I believe in cables, some don't.
IPod has line out and much more storage + better build quality and battery life.
post #3 of 108

DAC + Amp + Cables = better (clearer) sound.

post #4 of 108
Thread Starter 

Is there any scientific evidence for cables giving better sound? I just feel people say that they like it. But I have never seen anyone explain why. Do anyone here know? :)

post #5 of 108

You need to go to the Sound Science forum for a question like this. There have been countless threads there on this topic. But warning - people can get very irate on this topic and the threads often crash in flames. Can be good entertainment value though :o)

post #6 of 108
I think there were some measurements about this on InnerFidelity. While there is some difference there, it is very small. DAC/source, amp and most of all speakers/headphones themselves matter much more AFAIK.
post #7 of 108
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

You need to go to the Sound Science forum for a question like this. There have been countless threads there on this topic. But warning - people can get very irate on this topic and the threads often crash in flames. Can be good entertainment value though :o)

What do you mean? People disagree? :D

post #8 of 108

sure, you'll get a scientific explaination here

post #9 of 108
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your replies

post #10 of 108

There is no proof but it wouldn't be the first time science has failed us. The problem here is that measurements are often used to project an observation or being used as the observation itself instead of measurements being the tool to explain the observation. Sometimes we just don't understand what's going on like with gravity. Doesn't mean it isn't there. In this case it may or may not depending on your personal bent but I've personally heard very significant differences. That doesn't mean more expensive is the key to goodness or that a cable is ever more important than the kit.

post #11 of 108
It's all about synergy , metallurgy, wealth n personal taste.
Better cable = better definition it's true. smily_headphones1.gif

Back to myself, every cable I tried made a difference in sound,
Sometimes I liked the difference, sometimes I don't.
I sold those that didn't enhance my setup.
It's that simple, no science will stop that

Bite the bullet....go get a "better" cable tongue.gif
post #12 of 108
Thread Starter 

Thanks again. Last 2 replies was something I was looking for. :)

post #13 of 108

If you're looking for that kind of reply, then here's my take:


Cables are no different to any other component, which all follow this rule:

A carefully chosen component at a higher price point will always beat a component at a lower price point. There are no exceptions to this rule, but the key phrase is "carefully chosen". Because a randomly chosen component will give random results.


The reason why price alone is not enough to decide which cable is right for you is because the designer/manufacturer has many areas where they focus their attention: personal sound preference (house sound), aesthetics, build quality, marketing. markup (greed), after sales service, etc.


The personal preference of the designer is important, which leads to a house sound for their whole range. For example, Nordorst cables major on detail and transients, but some find this gives a thin, unforgiving sound. Cardas are the opposite end, being warm and forgiving, but some find this dull and slow. Makers with extreme house sounds tend to have extreme supporters and detractors.


One way of starting, is to zoom in on one or two makes that have a house sound that appear to match your preferences. Then choose two different price points within their range and see if you can tell the difference. Always on a trial basis so you don't lose any money if you decide to back out. If you have to struggle to hear any difference, then these (or maybe any) cables are not for you, then just back out and don't worry about it. 


My comments on house sound are over simplifications. In practice, these things change with time as different models are introduced. Also, cables are fundamentally neutral compared so say headphones. So the tonal aspect I mentioned is just one aspect. The real benefit of getting a better cable, for me, is in getting more natural, life like images within a more spacious soundstage.


Many people don't hear this though, and who knows if you will or not? So try not to waste money if you can't hear any benefit.


Edit: I was thinking of interconnects and power cords when writing this. I haven't tried swapping headphone cables, so won't comment on those.

Edited by TheAttorney - 4/19/13 at 8:41am
post #14 of 108

Although I'm skeptical about the subject here's an article worth to read:

post #15 of 108

Cables don't make an ounce of difference, upgrade your source. Crap in, crap out.

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