Believe it or not, there is one aspect of the cable debate not covered: Durability
I agree that the argument regarding very expensive cables is a thoroughly beaten dead horse.
However, I have not seen the, what I call the "$700 vs $400" debate settled.
Also, no one really discusses longevity and durability issues that are very important when it comes to cabling.
Please allow me to explain.
Several years ago, I built my HT. Spent about $30k. It is the best $30k I have ever spent.
I spent $700 on my cabling, and was ridiculed, because I could have built my own for $400.
Most of my cabling was from RAM electronics. I have 9 large free standing speakers, and 6 18 inch subs. 5 Amps and several other components. I need a LOT of cabling.
A good amount of my front stage cables are exposed, so I went with some very good looking braided sleeves.
Ram use crimp sleeve "ferrules" on Canare 4S11 cables, and I went with their best connectors up front. My rear stage cabling was from another source, because I needed flat cables under my carpet. I went with connectors a step down from what I used up front.
3 years later, what have I discovered? First, with 2 dogs, one 7 year old son, a cleaning lady that has a gift for pulling my connections out, I am glad I have good quality connectors. Cheaper connectors would have needed complete replacement.
In the zillion cable debates, no one mentions durability. It is very important. Kids and dogs are....well kids and dogs. My cleaning lady gets the house spotless and moves furniture around. Furthermore, I have not even mentioned moving. Connector hell.
As mentioned above, The set up I spent $700 on could have been built for $400. Of course I would also spend on equipment, so lest say $450.
The problem is, when it comes to this kind of work, I suck. 2 left hands and easily frustrated are not a good combination. In my case, the extra $250 I spent was justified.
So, the question is, was I foolish for spending $700?
If we look at the durability and aesthetics of something I will be looking at for 20 more years, I think not.
I am most certainly not arguing that there is an audibly difference between $10K cables and less expensive cables. That "snake oil" has been settled, IMO.
Thoughtful feedback is welcome