Originally Posted by hehe299792458
I'm planning on purchasing some Rotel pre-amps and amps. The amps themselves are around $8000, and the salesperson insisted that they'd be wasted on cheap cables. So he recommended high-end Transparent cables for me. Most of these are RCA connections between the pre-amp and amp. They are also "directional".
Are they worth it? I'm pretty new to audio and analogue signals, but I know for network cables, as long as they are shield and made to the same spec, there's very little difference cables make. Monoprice makes some pretty cheap cables in comparison.
Transparent MusicLink RCA Interconnect Cable, 2m
Transparent Music Wave Speaker Cable, 15'
Transparent Music Wave Speaker Cable, 8',
Transparent MusicLink RCA Interconnect Cable, 15’
All told, these cables add up to around $2200.
This is a topic which can cause flamewars.
Unfortunately, in most cases the features attributed to those types of highly expensive cables are, well, snake oil, and are readily available in much less expensive brands. High priced cables usually have very high margins and are a significant source of profit for their sellers. (In the past when I've purchased A/V equipment from local brick-and-mortar A/V specialty stores, they often threw in "boutique" cables for essentially free. Local stores like that have to charge higher prices than internet resellers, but they often other services at no additional cost, like providing a loaner when equipment has to be returned for repair.)
The general consensus here on AVS is that cables have very little, if any, effect on what you hear. Cables which cost $6 from Monoprice sound just as good as $1000 cables from one of the boutique manufacturers. Longer cable runs do require thicker (smaller gauge value) wires to minimize signal attenuation, but that's only a minor cost increase.
The only directional cables are those which have electronics built into them to amplify signals for long cable runs. Called "active" cables, they're needed for HDMI cable runs longer than about 25' and allow the use of thinner, more flexible, cables on shorter runs. Monoprice sells Redmere brand active cables, for example.
In some cases, as when AV equipment has to be used in an electrically noisy environment or when there's a "ground loop", it can make a difference in noise levels depending on which end of an RCA cable is grounded. Relatively few people encounter this type of problem.