Originally Posted by kbeam418
Originally Posted by FMW
Actually cables don't matter at all. What you bought is fine. Apparently your old ones were defective in some way. Take care.
No the "old" wires are in good condition, in fact I'm using them for my tape deck.
One might conclude that the hiss in the tape deck is masking the hiss in the wire. However. speaking as a degreed engineer with over 50 years of experience with audio including building, repairing and installing thousands of cables for all kinds of audio systems large and small, the possibility of a ordinary $5 cable filtering our hiss is slim and none.
There are two other effects. Sometimes really heavy RF interference (as in a studio at the base of a transmitting tower) can sound like hiss. Not many people live on top of high powered transmitters but it happens. Cables that are corroded and used in a damp environment can generate some hissy noises on their own. I've run into things like this very very rarely.
I think cables do make a difference BUT only to a certain extent.
Not to be critical, but that statement is pretty vague.
I'd add that with experience with 100's of thousands of feet of cables and thousands of cables that I built, installed or repaired, the usual extent is zero. There are a few others around here with similar experiences as mine, and AFAIK they will tell you the same thing.
I'm guessing my old cheap cables have worse shielding if any.
Sheilding is not much of an issue with line level audio cables such as those related to tape decks and CD players. Some audiophiles use unshielded cables for these things and it all works pretty much the same in most situations.
I don't really believe that gold plating makes a difference.
The counterpoint is that corroded contacts can have all kinds of audible effects, the most common being intermittent or even no sound at all. As I mentioned above corroded contacts can rarely cause distortion or hissing noises. If I had a cable that did any ot these things it would be repair or replace, mostly replace. Cables are often so inexpensive that you don't bother to repair them. OTOH cables with special connnectors or configurations get repaired because they may need to be special ordered to replace, etc.
Gold is more of an appearance item. Knowledgeable pros if anything avoid pure gold because it is very soft and wears off in heavy use. Once it wears off (I've seen this many times) you are left with base metal which may itself be a better contact (because the manufacturer knows about the problems with gold) or it might be absolute crap, depending on the connector.