Do audio cables make a difference to a Hi-Fi system?
24th July 2023
Do audio cables make a difference to a hifi system?
The short answer is yes. Hi-Fi enthusiasts can hear differences between different cables and Russian engineers have measured it.
In an article entitled, ‘Loudspeakers: Effects of amplifiers and cables – Part 5’, https://www.eetimes.com/loudspeakers-effects-of-amplifiers-and-cables-part-5/#
Philip Newell and Keith Holland describe the work of two Russian engineers investigating distortion effects of different speaker cables. The engineers discovered that when amplifiers drive a complex load such as a loudspeaker, (which contains a number of different components such as resistors, inductors and capacitors), as opposed to a single resistor load, speaker cables introduce distortion.
Their explanation was that cables changed the way that the speaker load is seen by the amplifier even when short lengths were used.
They concluded that the same audio cable would perform differently when hifi components were changed.
In other words perfect cables do not exist across all types of audio equipment. All interconnects have an electrical footprint and there will be some that are best for a particular hifi system.
So, whether you are listening to your music on a basic audio system, a home cinema system, a one box hifi system or on a very expensive set of audio components, if you are not hearing the sort of audio performance you were expecting you should be asking whether your cables are the right ones for your system.
© C J Bell