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View Full Discussion Sooooo...when I saw this drop posted I prepped myself for some entertaining comments but I wasn't expecting it to be this one sided. For the person that suggested avoiding using analogue cables by using an integrated DAC/Amp...this may work for headphone circuits but in a dedicated system, you carrier (cd player) should feed your dedicated DAC then send the converted signal to your pre-amp (which might be integrated with the DAC since it is a small signal) whcich should then be routed to discrete monobloc amps to avoid cross talk between the 2 channels. Another reason to avoid integrated units is because a lot of people are using Maggies and other planar speakers that need a lot more power to perform to their peak capacity.
While $100 may sound expensive for a set of cables, it's all relative. If you happen to be one of the privileged few to own a Davinci DAC, you probably don't want to connect it with a coat hanger (and $100 is probably what you spend on breakfast). For those of you unfamiliar, the Davinci DAC is currently one of the top, if not the top of the line DACs in current production. It costs on the order of $30,000 and weighs in at about 60 lbs. (at least 2x the weight of an average receiver). If you can drop $30,000 on a DAC, you can easily spare the $100 for cables (hell, move up the line for the MA7's).
I agree with Tristor that the BJC cables are indeed good cables, there are plenty of supporters out there but here's the thing, if you are happy with your gear and don't want to drop $2000 on a new pair of monoblocs, why not drop $100 on some cables and see what happens? People are spending that on a chunk of steel to shave their face and 5x to 10x that for headphones which then need to be driven by an $800 amp...a $100 cable is going to break the bank? WTF?
Back to "wire is wire" debate - I found a nice article regarding cables and whether they make a difference (http://parttimeaudiophile.com/2012/09/22/the-great-cable-debate/). For those of you that don't want to read it all, it basically breaks down like this - cables do make a small difference which is measured and shown in a linked article here (http://www.empiricalaudio.com/computer-audio/audio-faqs/short-versus-long-cables). This article says that as long as you keep the runs short, there should not be serious signal degradation but better cables carry better measurable signals over longer distances. So, buy cheap interconnects and keep them less than 2 meters and keep your speaker runs under 4 meters with cheap speaker wire. So if you are thinking of using these for your headphone setup or home theater system, the effects may not be audible. If you have a dedicated hi fi system, it just might be, better signal at short distances...who knows?
The rest of the article discusses why double blind testing isn't really applicable. The basic rundown is that the majority of the population is not trained to critically listen. Therefore, the entire test is biased because you don't have a large group of people that are trained to hear the things that small adjustments can make.
Finally, since most of the massdrop group seems to be tuned into headphones, consider the ODAC and O2. This is a headphone DAC/Amp that is meaused to have properties that should provide near perfect reproduction. Yet people still buy the crack and Aune T1 and the $800 woo (?) tube amps that are offered. But the ODAC is measurably better, numbers prove it. This goes to show that people may prefer the sound of something that may not be perfect. Then, they take these amps and and use different tubes, but the circuit was designed for that tube and a 12AX7 is a 12AX7, right? So why do you have to pay $100 for one that's 40 years old with a rocket on it? Just an example, but perhaps cables can have the same effect.
Finally, for the other fancy MSE graduate. Consider that cables carry current and voltage and perhaps generate some heat. These may change the crystal structure of the copper wire over time and result in some electrical and sonic changes. Another thing to consider is the solder joint between the connector and the wire - if done by a sweatshop worker with little care, the joint may increase resistance through the line, causing possible sonic differences. Further, if you have worked in industry, you will know that there are various grades of copper, impurities may cause sonic differences as well (i.e. you can buy a 1 carat I2 diamond for $1000, but if you want to buy a 1 carat SI2 diamond, you need to drop $10,000). If your $10 cables are full of oxide and other crap, your signal will not be as good a 99.999% copper.
Just thought I would offer some other things to consider. One question for massdrop - why are these not offered in a balanced configuration as well?
"The rest of the article discusses why double blind testing isn't really applicable. The basic rundown is that the majority of the population is not trained to critically listen. Therefore, the entire test is biased because you don't have a large group of people that are trained to hear the things that small adjustments can make."
Well then do a double blind test with audiophiles who have been trained for critical listening. It might not be practical to do so, but I'd just like to see something more than anecdotes from people who have a vested interest in justifying their purchase. No one likes to own up to the fact that they might have made the wrong choice for themselves, so people tend to justify it to themselves. I think that the PS4 vs XBONE or Apple vs PC debates have everything to do with this - people identify too much with their selected tech and get so emotional over consumer goods.
"Finally, for the other fancy MSE graduate. Consider that cables carry current and voltage and perhaps generate some heat. These may change the crystal structure of the copper wire over time and result in some electrical and sonic changes."
See, this is a physical cause and it could contribute to the sound for someone with sensitive ears. I'm not ruling out that these cables sound better than a 1m pair of shackers, I'd just like a more objective lens. Or failing that, less hubris in the marketing. Signal jumping from strand to strand? Sure, that *might* have a noticeable effect, as it is a physical system. But until you can answer with more than "don't know" for why the signal direction matters, maybe don't put that on the cables?
They do look like well made cables, and I do appreciate things that are well made. That in itself is worth paying more. I know that Morrow can't say "Buy these cables because they're well made and you might feel or hear that they're better sound quality but we can't really demonstrate that so *hand-wave* SCIENCE!", and the audiophile industry often runs on (what I feel are) overreaching claims. It's just unfortunate that there's often a lack of evidence to back up these claims.
And thanks to @Mark and MD for tolerating open discussion. I think that's the best choice for the community and I certainly appreciate it.