PAUL STAMLER: Interview

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The ins and outs of cable and wire... By Paul Stamler

It’s only wire. Or is it

The world of audio splits into two camps on the subject of wire and cable. On the one hand, most audiophiles claim to hear massive differences between cables, shelling out remarkable sums for ever more exotic configurations. (I believe the record is $15,000 for a 1-meter stereo interconnect.)

The other side says this is tommyrot, that except for a few effects produced by resistance and capacitance, wire is wire and the mega-priced jewels beloved of audiophiles sound no different than their Radio Shack equivalents. Many—but not all—audio professionals fall into the latter camp.

In this article, I’ll try to steer a path between these two positions, garnering useful information from both. I should state right now that I consider myself a recovering audiophile, and a moderate on the subject of cables: I do hear differences between them, but I’m skeptical about the more extreme claims—and I certainly wouldn’t spend the price of a good used car on them.

Let’s start with stuff everyone agrees on.

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