Cables… Science or witchcraft?

Author: Toby  

As you may have noticed, my little catch phrase is “Trust your ears”. While a lot of people dispute the importance of high end cable they undoubtedly make a difference when paired with worthy equipment. Now I am not saying that the greatest pair of $5,000 speaker cables will make that $20 speaker from el-cheapo-mart sound incredible, nor would it even be suitable for a pair of $5,000 speakers. A good rule of thumb is to spend around 5 to 10% of the total systems’ cost on cables. You will see a lot of stores recommending this technique as it seems to offer the best balance of sound quality to cost. Beyond this level we reach the rule of diminishing returns, where the benefit is less noticeable (if at all). As I mentioned before, the $5,000 cable isn’t going to make your $5,000 speakers sound twice as good, however that $5,000 cable may make a noticeable difference to a $50,000 pair of speakers (yes they exist at that price). Paying too much for cables is the equivalent of putting ultra-expensive F1 Pirelli racing tyres onto a commodore, you just don’t reach the speeds to feel the difference when driving. However, paying too little will crash you straight into that tree on the side of Distortion-Street (not really, your stuff will just sound less than optimal). 

As always, be realistic with your expectations and trust your ears!