Expensive Cables. Are they worth the Money?

Bob the Builder posted:
analogmusic posted:
Bob the Builder posted:
analogmusic posted:

and the SL also whipped and walked all over the Chord Super Array for bass in the same way.

It depends on what is being measured and what is of importance.

For me a Naim system without awesome tight, controlled and articulated bass is not performing as Naim and Roy George intended.

Of course it's not the only thing that I listen for, but this is where the Naim cables dominate - in the words on another forum member "in a not so subtle way"

Incidentally Steve Sells who designed the statement, uses 2 (!!) Naim N-subs at home with his SBL's.

 

What's Boy George got to do with it?

 

Roy George of Naim audio

IT WAS A JOKE >> BOY << I SAID >> BOY << GEORGE  not Roy George >> BOY << GEORGE the bloke from Culture Club all make up and dreadlocks.  It was a bad joke I know but pay attention please 

And there was me believing Boy George had become a guru on music standards linked to Naim...

Innocent Bystander posted:
Bob the Builder posted:
analogmusic posted:
Bob the Builder posted:
analogmusic posted:

and the SL also whipped and walked all over the Chord Super Array for bass in the same way.

It depends on what is being measured and what is of importance.

For me a Naim system without awesome tight, controlled and articulated bass is not performing as Naim and Roy George intended.

Of course it's not the only thing that I listen for, but this is where the Naim cables dominate - in the words on another forum member "in a not so subtle way"

Incidentally Steve Sells who designed the statement, uses 2 (!!) Naim N-subs at home with his SBL's.

 

What's Boy George got to do with it?

 

Roy George of Naim audio

IT WAS A JOKE >> BOY << I SAID >> BOY << GEORGE  not Roy George >> BOY << GEORGE the bloke from Culture Club all make up and dreadlocks.  It was a bad joke I know but pay attention please 

And there was me believing Boy George had become a guru on music standards linked to Naim...

I would take as much notice of him as Roy George IB either one of them could tell me fairy dust powered my Naim amps and I wouldn't care.

Bob the Builder posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
Bob the Builder posted:
analogmusic posted:

 

Roy George of Naim audio

IT WAS A JOKE >> BOY << I SAID >> BOY << GEORGE  not Roy George >> BOY << GEORGE the bloke from Culture Club all make up and dreadlocks.  It was a bad joke I know but pay attention please 

And there was me believing Boy George had become a guru on music standards linked to Naim...

I would take as much notice of him as Roy George IB either one of them could tell me fairy dust powered my Naim amps and I wouldn't care.

What???? Do you mean it doesn’t??????

Yeah, I gather there is actually a difference: fairy dust is gifted to you, but you pay for electricity. Which prompts a question: why, when we buy our electrons from the electricity supplier, don’t we get a refund when they go back to the supplier down the other wire... seems like we’re being diddled somehow. 

Scientists just recently discovered that Oumaumau, the alien turd from another solar system that passed through our own - was covered with a thick crust of Organic Fairy Dust.       Much better quality than our terrestrial stuff.   Imagine what hifi could be made if we managed to get our hands on it !!

Innocent Bystander posted:
Loki posted:

...because then you couldn't upgrade the cable...

Why not?

The cost of having a new cable fitted would be negligible compared to the cost of some of the cables discussed on here (and with one connector less on he cable it should itself be considerably less expensive).

well, because it sounded like you were only interested in captive cables, but if you have the nous, then-indeed, why not? Although it is significantly easier to swap cables for testing or upgrading using the plug and socket method.

Loki posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
Loki posted:

...because then you couldn't upgrade the cable...

Why not?

The cost of having a new cable fitted would be negligible compared to the cost of some of the cables discussed on here (and with one connector less on he cable it should itself be considerably less expensive).

well, because it sounded like you were only interested in captive cables, but if you have the nous, then-indeed, why not? Although it is significantly easier to swap cables for testing or upgrading using the plug and socket method.

Personally I’ve always preferred gear with detachable cable, making it easy and convenient to substitute different lengths (including making up much own), especially if there may be a warranty issue with opening a case. However, in the strict interests of sound quality, if the mains plugs/sockets can have a bearing, then it is patently obvious that avoiding them at one end of the cable removes on source of degradation, and one potentially expensive coupling - yet strangely that is not done with high end kit, yet is done with cheapo stuff (where the purpose is to save the £1 or two cost of the plug/socke)

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Interesting analogy     Actually I think it’s the pressure of 'electrons’ you are buying from your utility provider.... no pressure, no supply...

Hmm, the pressure (voltage) is there even if you don’t throw the switch. Electricity charging is based on the quantitative movement of charge under the applied pressure, so that is indeed the movement of electrons...

Are you sure .. you only have pressure if there is something to resist... an open switch means there is nothing resisting so no pressure... ... so... there is potential to ground yes.. but no pressure or current.... unless there is a path or flow to ground...  pressure is analogous to current, and potential analogous to voltage... we pay for energy (joules) which is pressure x potential / time .... if the pressure is zero, then the energy consumed is zero, even though the potential could be a million volts. Current is essentially electron flow... and of course with AC the average flow of electrons over integer time of cycles, if you are thing of physical displacement, and there is a flow to ground, ie pressure, is zero.

wenger2015 posted:

we have already been to the padded cell and back, so best get back on track.....

at least everyone is agreed now, the high end cables justify their price tag.....

Now there's an inflammatory remark that is sure to get this back on track…….

From a SuperLumina full loomist (or should that be full loony).

Ah, but this is still about the cables, because it is what they do,carry electrons!

Amps aren’t pressure, as amps are simply measure of the charge carried per second, and that depends on the voltage (which I suggest is analogous to pressure) and the resistance through which it flows. The open switch is more analogous to a very high resistance, in practical terms infinite. (Unless the voltage gradient gets high enough to ionise the air...)

Innocent Bystander posted:

Meanwhile it would still be interesting to lear if people have an arbitrary cutoff for what they would consider, and whether it varies by cable function. (And maybe whether it might change if they were to win a lottery jackpot!)

Interesting question? 

Of course if the numbers were to come up I think most of the sceptics here would be having a change of heart? 

Innocent Bystander posted:
Loki posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
Loki posted:

...because then you couldn't upgrade the cable...

Why not?

The cost of having a new cable fitted would be negligible compared to the cost of some of the cables discussed on here (and with one connector less on he cable it should itself be considerably less expensive).

well, because it sounded like you were only interested in captive cables, but if you have the nous, then-indeed, why not? Although it is significantly easier to swap cables for testing or upgrading using the plug and socket method.

Personally I’ve always preferred gear with detachable cable, making it easy and convenient to substitute different lengths (including making up much own), especially if there may be a warranty issue with opening a case. However, in the strict interests of sound quality, if the mains plugs/sockets can have a bearing, then it is patently obvious that avoiding them at one end of the cable removes on source of degradation, and one potentially expensive coupling - yet strangely that is not done with high end kit, yet is done with cheapo stuff (where the purpose is to save the £1 or two cost of the plug/socke)

This is a question I have asked once but it seem that the powerline connector at the box end sounded better than a captive cord directly welded to the transformer! 

Still have doubts about that one...

Innocent Bystander posted:

Meanwhile it would still be interesting to lear if people have an arbitrary cutoff for what they would consider, and whether it varies by cable function. (And maybe whether it might change if they were to win a lottery jackpot!)

Why would anyone place an 'arbitrary' cut-off on cables? Does anyone place an 'arbitrary' cut-off on boxes? There is a cost level which my financial position would struggle to accommodate, but that is not in any way 'arbitrary'. I am looking to see what a second hand kidney might fetch, though.

If there are arbitrary cut-offs for posh cable prices then I would imagine this is a movable feast as you move up and down the prejudice scale and as you gain experience from actually demoing such cables. So if anyone does offer a cut-off figure I would suggest it might be a temporary one.

I you would have asked me the question a very few years ago I would have given you a cut-off number that is a fraction of that I would give you today. So maybe the more relevant questions are….where do you self-assess yourself on the prejudice scale where 1 is a total (posh cable) sceptic and 10 is total acceptance of the contribution and value posh cables offer in terms of SQ……and have you moved along this scale (in either direction)?

See Wenger, totally back on track after your mischievous remark. 

Hook posted:
james n posted:
TOBYJUG posted:

I always get confused by this Chord company. Is it the same brand that makes cables, Hugo Daves and those huge monster power amps that glow in the dark ????

Same name, different company. One makes hideous looking kit, the other hideously priced cables

Together they were the inspiration for Roy George’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”. 

The boy only got as far as...

"Karma Karma Karma Karma, Chord Chameleon..."   

 

nigelb posted:

If there are arbitrary cut-offs for posh cable prices then I would imagine this is a movable feast as you move up and down the prejudice scale and as you gain experience from actually demoing such cables. So if anyone does offer a cut-off figure I would suggest it might be a temporary one.

I you would have asked me the question a very few years ago I would have given you a cut-off number that is a fraction of that I would give you today. So maybe the more relevant questions are….where do you self-assess yourself on the prejudice scale where 1 is a total (posh cable) sceptic and 10 is total acceptance of the contribution and value posh cables offer in terms of SQ……and have you moved along this scale (in either direction)?

See Wenger, totally back on track after your mischievous remark. 

When my original dealer suggested back in the day that approx 30% of ones hifi budget be spent on cables ......I was definitely a 1......many years later I am now a 10. 

wenger2015 posted:
nigelb posted:

If there are arbitrary cut-offs for posh cable prices then I would imagine this is a movable feast as you move up and down the prejudice scale and as you gain experience from actually demoing such cables. So if anyone does offer a cut-off figure I would suggest it might be a temporary one.

I you would have asked me the question a very few years ago I would have given you a cut-off number that is a fraction of that I would give you today. So maybe the more relevant questions are….where do you self-assess yourself on the prejudice scale where 1 is a total (posh cable) sceptic and 10 is total acceptance of the contribution and value posh cables offer in terms of SQ……and have you moved along this scale (in either direction)?

See Wenger, totally back on track after your mischievous remark. 

When my original dealer suggested back in the day that approx 30% of ones hifi budget be spent on cables ......I was definitely a 1......many years later I am now a 10. 

Pretty much my journey too, although I have always suspected cables play a part in the final SQ than emerges from your speakers so I probably started at 2.5.

As this scale might gain some traction, I suggest we refer to it as the 'accsceptance' scale. 

nigelb posted:
wenger2015 posted:
nigelb posted:

If there are arbitrary cut-offs for posh cable prices then I would imagine this is a movable feast as you move up and down the prejudice scale and as you gain experience from actually demoing such cables. So if anyone does offer a cut-off figure I would suggest it might be a temporary one.

I you would have asked me the question a very few years ago I would have given you a cut-off number that is a fraction of that I would give you today. So maybe the more relevant questions are….where do you self-assess yourself on the prejudice scale where 1 is a total (posh cable) sceptic and 10 is total acceptance of the contribution and value posh cables offer in terms of SQ……and have you moved along this scale (in either direction)?

See Wenger, totally back on track after your mischievous remark. 

When my original dealer suggested back in the day that approx 30% of ones hifi budget be spent on cables ......I was definitely a 1......many years later I am now a 10. 

Pretty much my journey too, although I have always suspected cables play a part in the final SQ than emerges from your speakers so I probably started at 2.5.

As this scale might gain some traction, I suggest we refer to it as the 'accsceptance' scale. 

Hey, your on form today....brilliant....

I’m retired now, so incone doesn’t allow for any major upgrades, but if our plan to downscale our house (3.5 years and counting so far) actually happens then I’ll have a bit of dosh to play with.

But there’s a hefty wish list: DR the 552/500; demo Fact 12 vs Kudos 707; demo cable upgrades. And it will probably go in that order...except that the budget won’t stretch to it all so after the amp upgrades I may try Sarum T (but probably not Music, though never say never) with my current speakers.

nigelb posted:

If there are arbitrary cut-offs for posh cable prices then I would imagine this is a movable feast as you move up and down the prejudice scale and as you gain experience from actually demoing such cables. So if anyone does offer a cut-off figure I would suggest it might be a temporary one.

I you would have asked me the question a very few years ago I would have given you a cut-off number that is a fraction of that I would give you today. So maybe the more relevant questions are….where do you self-assess yourself on the prejudice scale where 1 is a total (posh cable) sceptic and 10 is total acceptance of the contribution and value posh cables offer in terms of SQ……and have you moved along this scale (in either direction)?

See Wenger, totally back on track after your mischievous remark. 

Historically probably a 3 for interconnect and speaker cable and a 1 for power cables.  Now a 10 for all of them.

analogmusic posted:

well to me, the cut-off  levels for cables is the pricing of Superlumina, and also Powerlines.

 

 

Why?  So you would consider a non-Naim cable that cost the same as Superlumina and Powerlines but not one that cost £1 more however good it sounded.  I really don't understand your position.  With the greatest respect it seems slightly blinkered.

What if Naim doubled (or halved) their cable prices tomorrow?

Innocent Bystander posted:

Meanwhile it would still be interesting to lear if people have an arbitrary cutoff for what they would consider, and whether it varies by cable function. (And maybe whether it might change if they were to win a lottery jackpot!)

It is an interesting question. I speak as one who bought a Powerline (ex dem) so I am not a complete sceptic. However, whilst I agree that cables can make a difference, even if I had a lottery win I just could not stomach paying the level of mark up involved with the high end of the cable world. I have no plans to buy any more but if I did  then something around £1000 per wire would be an insurmountable psychological barrier. Possibly if the new mansion I bought had a huge (no pun intended!) room I would go to £100 per metre for the speaker wires.

No matter how much money I had, I just wouldn't - not to say people that do are wrong, it's just how I feel.

Bryce Curdy posted:
analogmusic posted:

well to me, the cut-off  levels for cables is the pricing of Superlumina, and also Powerlines.

 

 

Why?  So you would consider a non-Naim cable that cost the same as Superlumina and Powerlines but not one that cost £1 more however good it sounded.  I really don't understand your position.  With the greatest respect it seems slightly blinkered.

What if Naim doubled (or halved) their cable prices tomorrow?

I think that he would emphatically not consider any non-Naim brand of cable but would pay whatever price Naim put on SL or Powerline, is that right?

I don’t have any psychological hang-ups about cable pricing in relation to any other element of hi-fi gear. What I am prepared to pay is based upon what the cable (or any other bit of kit) does in relation to the same outlay elsewhere on the system, whether I consider that to be of real value, and whether I have the budget available. Allocating budget on a strict notional basis doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever (“oh sh*t, that cable sounds fabulous but I can’t buy it because it would exceed my 30% allocation of budget...”).

I remember my indignation at the price of the Linn Keel when they first came out and started listening elsewhere. As it turned out, I didn’t find anything else that floated my boat and, after auditioning it and having the money available, ate humble pie and bought one and haven’t regretted it ever since.  

Think also what it used to be like here before Naim launched SL. The fact that it carries a Naim label has massively softened attitudes towards cable pricing.

Dave J posted:
Bryce Curdy posted:
analogmusic posted:

well to me, the cut-off  levels for cables is the pricing of Superlumina, and also Powerlines.

 

 

Why?  So you would consider a non-Naim cable that cost the same as Superlumina and Powerlines but not one that cost £1 more however good it sounded.  I really don't understand your position.  With the greatest respect it seems slightly blinkered.

What if Naim doubled (or halved) their cable prices tomorrow?

I think that he would emphatically not consider any non-Naim brand of cable but would pay whatever price Naim put on SL or Powerline, is that right?

Dave J - I didn't particularly like the prices of Superlumina and still don't.

But in my efforts to try and save money - I've heard all the alternatives - and for what I value in music, SL are the best cables.

It isn't about a Naim logo, it's all about the performance in a Naim context and getting the passion and energy of the performance.

Again my opinion only.

For one of my systems, I have a Core, a 272 and a 250 DR.  I am driving Burmester B10 speakers.  I am a believer in cables - I’ve used many good ones over the years with other systems, and I have heard a difference.  For my Naim system I am driving my speakers with Crystal Cable Reference cables.  I have a Siltech power cable for my 250 DR.  I have connected the digital out from the Core to the 272 using a Siltech digital cable.  And now I’m contemplating the SL DIN to XLR cable.  I believe that good cables do improve the sound.

docmark posted:

For one of my systems, I have a Core, a 272 and a 250 DR.  I am driving Burmester B10 speakers.  I am a believer in cables - I’ve used many good ones over the years with other systems, and I have heard a difference.  For my Naim system I am driving my speakers with Crystal Cable Reference cables.  I have a Siltech power cable for my 250 DR.  I have connected the digital out from the Core to the 272 using a Siltech digital cable.  And now I’m contemplating the SL DIN to XLR cable.  I believe that good cables do improve the sound.

Might need to increase the upper end of the 'Accsceptance' scale!

I confess to not having read every reply in this massive thread and chime in just in case nobody has mentioned it.

While listening to music has some physiological elements to it, how we perceive the music is a psychological process.  That being the case, expectations and other forms of bias enter into it. Those who deny that "cables matter" don't hear an improvement. Those who paid serious money and expect an improvement, hear it.

I'm just trying to optimize the investment already made and better cables (oh ya...and cable dressing) deliver an improvement to my ears. I really don't mind or care if some believe science doesn't support it. I hear it in my home while listening to music.  

On a related note: Just decided to buy some Transparent Audio speaker cables. Their pricing model is shocking. They have several different levels and the price doubles with each level. Entry level: $100USD for 8 feet, then $200, $400, $800, $1600, $3600...and there are 4 levels above $3600 taking prices into the stratosphere.  VFM is another whole discussion.

High end cables are "worth it"?

Those of us with Krell power amps have been using Transparent cables for decades. Their prices are frightening, but then the sound quality is equally astonishing.

Long before Naim figured out how to make decent cables, some of us were enjoying the benefits of this essential part of the hiring chain. Despite claims, at that time that cables (and speakers for that matter) were almost insignificant.

Good to see that Naim, Chord and their followers now have a decent range of choices.

I would also say, before any of us cable believers part with our cash, we would have had an extensive home dem first.

In my own case, I compared TQ Ultra Silver, then Black Diamonds, then Silver Diamonds and also Naim Super Lumina. 

So I personally was not willing one cable to be better then another, I was just wanting to buy the best for my system that I was able to do at the time.

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