Expensive Cables. Are they worth the Money?

Don Atkinson posted:

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.

Once again Naim never said cables were insignicant.  They said that they hadn’t found any that were better than their standard offering.  

wenger2015 posted:

I wonder if anyone bought themselves any expensive cables for Xmas? 

 

Guilty as charged, purchased a pair of 4 pin Din to XLR Super Lumina to make up the full S/L loom and yes expensive cables do make a difference.

Pcd posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I wonder if anyone bought themselves any expensive cables for Xmas? 

 

Guilty as charged, purchased a pair of 4 pin Din to XLR Super Lumina to make up the full S/L loom and yes expensive cables do make a difference.

Is that a positive or negative difference? ()

 

...Of course they make a difference ...to the wallet if nothing else!!!  

Pcd posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I wonder if anyone bought themselves any expensive cables for Xmas? 

 

Guilty as charged, purchased a pair of 4 pin Din to XLR Super Lumina to make up the full S/L loom and yes expensive cables do make a difference.

Congratulations, I know the SL full loom is something very special, ENJOY 

docmark posted:

I, too, bought expensive cable for Christmas - the SL Din to XLR interconnect for my 272 to 250 DR, and a Siltech digital cable for my Core digital out to 272 digital in.

Hi docmark 

i also have the Core 272/Xpsdr/250 DR with stock cables,can you give me your thoughts on the new cables you added?

Hi No Quarter,

in my opinion, the digital out to my 272 with the Siltech cable sounds astonishing.  It’s much better, in my opinion, than using UPnP thru Ethernet.  The first time I tried it, I was really surprised at the difference I heard.  Brighter (in a good way), more detail, music seemed more alive.  UPnP is acceptable, but I find myself always going back to the digital out option from my Core.

docmark posted:

Hi No Quarter,

in my opinion, the digital out to my 272 with the Siltech cable sounds astonishing.  It’s much better, in my opinion, than using UPnP thru Ethernet.  The first time I tried it, I was really surprised at the difference I heard.  Brighter (in a good way), more detail, music seemed more alive.  UPnP is acceptable, but I find myself always going back to the digital out option from my Core.

I use a Nordost Heimdall 2 digital cable between my Core and 272,when I am not using it with my XD 600s...which Siltech cable are you using?I agree that the digital out is superior than UPNP,what about the Superlumina cable,I assume it will take some time to break in though?

I'm using Supra ethernet cables between the NAS, network switch, and Naim ND5xs, then a Silnote Orion digital interconnect between the ND5xs and Devialet D400. This way I get the benefit of the Silnote cable and the Devi DAC.  I'm amazed by the music. It's surpassing my ears ability to discern the quality...sort of!

The Strat (Fender) posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

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.

Once again Naim never said cables were insignicant.  They said that they hadn’t found any that were better than their standard offering.  

Well, they hadn't really tried, had they !

Don Atkinson posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

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.

Once again Naim never said cables were insignicant.  They said that they hadn’t found any that were better than their standard offering.  

Well, they hadn't really tried, had they !

I think that conclusion is spot on....

I listened to Chord Music speaker cables and the sound went strange. It was very up front with clearly too much bass compared to Sarum and Sarum T, I have no idea why, The owner of the system bought Sarum T, it worked much better than Music. The good things with Music was a very live sound and quieter background, it was clear that more info got to you but since bass balance was way off it did not work.

I have had a set of the new Witch Hat Phantom Speaker cables in place since NYE. They were purchased because their Hatpin Pre to Power amp cable made such a positive difference in my system, plus a 30 day no risk trial I thought may as well give them a go.

These Phantoms are really surprising me on what they have done, I am not very good at saying why, the one thing that stands out massively is that female vocals are far more controlled/cleaner? On a couple of London Grammar tracks Hannah's voice had a real edge to it with the Blacks in place, that has now completely disappeared. I find that the sound is just much nicer to listen to now, I can listen longer and get deeper into the music, and the Bass is wonderful.

I guess it is fair to say that at £245 for a 3.5m stereo run these are a bit of a bargain, they may well have a Giant killer on their hands.

For me, the only "real proof" is in my enjoyment of the music. If some upgraded cables, plugs etc. increase my enjoyment of the music, that's proof enough. Scientific proof of "better" does nothing for me in my home. My subjective evaluation of "better" does.

In my experience, cables, cable dressing, interconnects, power delivery, support, system synergy, adjustments of my TT and cartridge...everything matters and in my subjective evaluation, each delivers "real proof" of musical improvements to me. 

How much? 23.79%

audio1946 posted:

cables are great for dealers .  subjective area with no real proof   big profits  .   for plugs/insulation/ conductor  

 I bet there’s a very healthy profit when a dealer sells half a dozen caps and a toroidal transformer. I have found there is just as much ‘proof’ with the right cable as a black box. Not all cables are equal, as with boxes. 

2 weeks ago I added a second hand SL din-xlr cable from my 250dr to 272.  I still have A5 speaker cables to my ovators. At this stage, I am afraid to say ,there is no discernible difference over the lavender cable. I guess it comes under the ‘incremental improvements ‘ category’ of upgrades. Having said that, I have not put the lavender cable back in place, maybe this will make me realise there actually has been an improvement.

Kiwi cat posted:

2 weeks ago I added a second hand SL din-xlr cable from my 250dr to 272.  I still have A5 speaker cables to my ovators. At this stage, I am afraid to say ,there is no discernible difference over the lavender cable. I guess it comes under the ‘incremental improvements ‘ category’ of upgrades. Having said that, I have not put the lavender cable back in place, maybe this will make me realise there actually has been an improvement.

Reverting back from an 'upgrade' is often more telling than when first installing it.  That said, my experience with the SL cables was the SL XLR being the final piece to create the full loom.  I started with the speaker cables and interconnect and they were both stunningly good from the first song played. The SL XLR come later and its addition wasn't as a big an improvement as the other two.  

Finkfan posted:
audio1946 posted:

cables are great for dealers .  subjective area with no real proof   big profits  .   for plugs/insulation/ conductor  

 I bet there’s a very healthy profit when a dealer sells half a dozen caps and a toroidal transformer. I have found there is just as much ‘proof’ with the right cable as a black box. Not all cables are equal, as with boxes. 

Absolutely right Finkfan.

 

MDS posted:
Kiwi cat posted:

2 weeks ago I added a second hand SL din-xlr cable from my 250dr to 272.  I still have A5 speaker cables to my ovators. At this stage, I am afraid to say ,there is no discernible difference over the lavender cable. I guess it comes under the ‘incremental improvements ‘ category’ of upgrades. Having said that, I have not put the lavender cable back in place, maybe this will make me realise there actually has been an improvement.

Reverting back from an 'upgrade' is often more telling than when first installing it.  That said, my experience with the SL cables was the SL XLR being the final piece to create the full loom.  I started with the speaker cables and interconnect and they were both stunningly good from the first song played. The SL XLR come later and its addition wasn't as a big an improvement as the other two.  

That’s spot on MDS, the revert back from an upgrade scenario is very revealing.

I purchased a new SL DIN to XLR interconnect for my 272 & 250DR.  I noticed pretty much immediate improvement with the sound.  The music seemed to open up, had more life to it, and I noticed too that there was better separation of instruments.  It was not a subtle change.  I use Crystal Cable Reference as my speaker wire.  I use a Siltech Digital cable between my Core & 272.  I’m also using a Siltech power cable on my 250DR.  In my opinion, expensive cables often do make a difference.

I am also sure that "how expensive" enters into the "is it worth it" discussion. One very well established and respected cable manufacturer in the US doubles the retail price with every step up the quality ladder. Starting from approximately $100USD with at least 7 levels...do the math. $32,000USD. I really have trouble imaging "worth it" in the leap from $16K to $32K, but somebody must. Amazing pricing if they can sustain it!

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