Originally Posted by DemonicLemming
What's always struck me as funny is that, as expensive as the high-end cable market is, I've never once seen actual empirical measurements between one cable and the next.
I have. There are three factors that determine cable performance: resistance, capacitance and inductance. That's it, anything and everything else that the cable mountebanks claim influences the result is pure unadulterated bunk.
Where resistance is concerned all cables of the same material and gauge will have exactly the same resistance.
Where exotic materials are concerned there's nothing to be gained. Silver, the most commonly used 'high end' conductor has 5% less resistance than copper. But to get the same results with copper as silver you simply use either 5% larger gauge, or 5% shorter length.
Capacitance and inductance are affected by the size and dielectric properties of the insulation. But more expensive insulations work no better than inexpensive insulations.
There are measurable differences in capacitance and inductance between different cables. But those differences are never related to price. Some of the lowest measured capacitance and inductance are found in the least expensive wire available, while some of the worst measured capacitance and inductance are found in the most expensive wire available.
As for what really counts, can you hear a difference, in blind testing even self-proclaimed Golden Ears have never been able to correctly identify cables by brand, price or performance with any higher degree of accuracy than pure chance. That's because even though differences can be measured the measuring gear has a degree of accuracy a few orders of magnitude higher than the human ear. When a cable is so poor that it's audible it's simply defective.