Do High-End cables make a difference?

Here are my thoughts...

I’m acquiring some high-end bulk cable and high-end RCA connectors in Taiwan for use in my system because I think these can help prevent noise from entering the system compared with cheap interconnects. I can get it cheap here and build a 1 M interconnect pair for < $30 that would probably run $200+ in the US. So, that’s the only reason I’m doing it, its cheap and its bigger conductors with better shielding and thus possibly reduced hum etc. All this nonsense about, “time correction” bla bla bla… what ever the ridiculous claims are is just not valid.

If you were to hard wire your pre-amp to your amp using the little jumper wires that normally go from the PCB to the chassis mounted female RCA that would effectively eliminate the interconnect all together and thus define the limit. The limit is the absolute maximum of how good the system can be from an interconnect stand point. It can not be better than this. No interconnect can magically re-master your music into something better than it was when it left the output of the previous device. Next we define the limit at the other end…the devices are not hard wired and there is no interconnect. They are simply not connected and you get no sound…this is 0%. So, the best any cable can do is 100% ( equal to no interconnect …devices hard wired) and the worst any cable can do is be wide open…no connection…0%.

If you take the cheap interconnect that came with the $59 Universal disc player and connect your system with it you are not going to have any difficulty hearing the music. In fact, in a blind test between this cable and the most expensive cables or the direct hard wire, the average person off the street (not you and your golden ears but rather the person off the street) probably could not hear a difference. So, clearly the cheapest cable is a long way from 0%. In fact it’s probably 99% or better. This means that the absolute best a more expensive cable can do is increase the performance by 1%. This can hardly produce a, “night and day” difference.

Loudspeakers also have a limit. The 100% limit would be to recreate the original performance as an exact replica of that performance in every way. Typical loudspeakers fall far short of this leaving a much larger gap between where you are, and where you could be. The absolute best maximum limit of the cables is simply too close to where the cheapest cable already reaches for high end cables to make a significant difference. There is simply no difference room available to move up in whereas with speakers, there is a lot of room for improvement. The cables job is simply much less complex than the job of the speaker and its too easy to attain near perfection with an inexpensive cable.

So, with a cable, it is not a matter of how good a high-end cable can be because this is limited. It is rather a matter of how bad a cheap cable can be. Due to the simplicity of the cables job, the cheap cable simply can not be bad enough to make the expensive one sound that much better. Additionally, the expensive one can not move above 100%, so there is simply no way to put a distance between the two.

So, for better sound quality concentrate on things that have room to improve rather than concentrating on things that do not have room to improve. Spend the money on better speakers. I think you will find a better speaker connected to the amp with clip leads and interconnected to the pre-amp with those cheap interconnects packed with the cheap DVD player will still sound far superior to bad speakers connected with the best cables available.

The above is only my opinion and you of course have the right to your own opinion regardless of how incorrect that opinion might be;-)