Originally Posted by SmithandWesson
Frankly I don't care what anybody claims they heard unless it was done in a scientific manner to control variables. The mind and body can be deceived and influenced with incredible ease.
That just shows that you don't have enough experience... 20 some years ago there was "the lowest THD" race in the Hi-Fi in Japan. The result - tons of amps, that had great numbers on paper but gave out lifeless sound. Right now I have two DACs : Oppo 105 and Mark Levinson 360s... on paper Oppo is superior, but when you turn them on - Levinson blows Oppo out of the water. It is so much superior that there's just no comparison.
So, scientific approach doesn't help much in audio. There are so many things that affect the sound that simply cannot be explained. Best example - Acoustic Revive products, all of them are esoteric...but even the die-hard sceptics have to agree that they work when they actually audition them.
As for the cables ... you don't have to buy it, all you need to do is try a couple dozen of different ones ranging from el-cheapo Monoprice, to...let's say, AudioQuest Guibraltar ( which is not really that expensive ) and then speak FROM EXPERIENCE. That's the only thing that counts, not what you read somewhere online.
When I was building my first setup the worst match for my speakers was a 2000 dollar Nordost, the best match - 250 dollar Supra Ply 3.4. So, high price doesn't necessarily mean that this particular product will sound great with the rest of your components. It's all about the synergy. With poor cable choices ( power, ICs, speaker ) one can easily screw up a decent setup, but right cables will make a well-balanced setup really shine.
The more transparent the setup is, the greater is the influence of the slightest change and more obvious it becomes. Of course, this is relavant to Hi-Fi ,not Home Theater. With HT everything is a lot simpler.