How to: Hi-end cables

Few audio debates stir as much passion as this one…but that makes sense based on the wide divergence of opinion on the matter. Critics claim that sound quality is virtually unchanged regardless of the type of cabling that is used; proponents totally counter that argument, crediting different cables with specific tonal characteristics and proportional increases in sonic quality.

Regardless of your choice, from the cheapest “bargain” wire to the most expensive cable, these basic tips will help you get the most from your components:

  • Use a cable of a 16-gauge equivalent or larger
  • Use the shortest possible lengths of cable that you can
  • Take the most direct route possible from the amplifier to the speakers
  • Avoid kinking or bending of the cables

In the final analysis, high-end cables generally are made with better materials. Is the difference in sound worth the extra dollars? Only your ears can answer that question.