Cable Confession Time-Share Your Experience BUT Let's Not Argue
I thought it would be a good idea (or a really stupid one) to share our experiences on cables so that it may benefit hi-fi newbies (like myself) so that they know where to spend more money. Keep in mind that I do not have reference level equipment by any measure and I'm open minded enough to accept the fact that upgrading to a better setup might reveal differences that I have yet to notice. I will discuss my findings in order of importance (i.e no.1 would be my must have and something lower order would be of less significance.)
1) Replacing speaker links with speaker cables. I have tried doing this with both expensive and cheap cables. The results are always clear-it sounds weigthier, bass is much better and is better distinguished. Just do yourself a favour and try this, make your own because it takes little effort and you probably have a little spare length of speaker cables anyway.
2) Mains Cables. Some give you the impression that your amp has suddenly got more power like my Choseal reference. Others make the background "blacker" but to my experience this has been at the expense of volume (you need to turn the amp higher to achieve the same volume, which is fine if you have a powerful amp). I have not tried this on a cdp or dac as my current sources don't have removable mains.
3) Mains Blocks. There are lots of mains blocks around that don't do anything. There are those that do a lot but they cost a pretty penny. I have tried a 200 pound one which made a difference but I felt the same results can be achieved from a 60 pound mains cable. So I wouldn't personally recommend it. If you get a mains regenerator that is a different story!
6) Black Ravioli and the likes. I used soft rubber flat discs under my amp and speakers. If you stack quite a few of these discs then they do make a noticeable difference. It was a change in soundstage rather than tonal balance, the speakers seem to be less present in the soundstage. Considering the rubber discs cost about 5 pounds, you can really give it a go without much loss. I have tried more solid brass feet under amps and felt that they made no difference whatsoever except adding a bit of bling (which I liked )
5) Interconnects. I could tell that a Chord Crimson 2 added warmth and bass to my already warm setup whereas a QED revelation balanced things more towards neutral, I would recommend getting interconnects but not go crazy with it. The 10% rule to spend on your entire system cabling and mains is IMHO the max you should spend.
6) Speaker cables. I'm sorry but I just can't say that my 120 pounds spent on QED revelation speaker cables made a huge difference, I noticed a bit more neutrality but this is really picking hairs and I felt that this was my worst purchase. (Mind you, I noticed all the above differences even before I switched to these expensive cables). I honestly couldn't tell you the difference in a blind test.
There you have it, my reccomendations in order of importance. Please share your insights and experiences, I would love to hear what you have heard and what you haven't.