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How Much You Spent On Cables In Your System(s)

Discussion in 'audio' started by ryder, Jun 16, 2021.


How Much You Spent On Cables In Your System(s)

  1. £250 - £500

    31 vote(s)
  2. £501 — £1,000

    27 vote(s)
  3. £1,001 - £2,000

    20 vote(s)
  4. £2,001 - £5,000

    14 vote(s)
  5. £5,001 - £10,000

    6 vote(s)
  6. > £10,000

    7 vote(s)
  7. 0 - £250

    86 vote(s)
  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d say ‘invested’ rather than ‘spent’ as I buy decent stuff second hand at prices I could easily recoup if I sold. No different to buying any other hi-fi kit really. I honestly don’t know what I’ve spent as some of it is decades old now, and there is a lot of it as I have three systems in use, two with multiple sources. It certainly adds up, likely around £600-700, maybe a bit more if factoring-in buying obscure things like NOS Bulgin connectors for the valve amps & Quads, second hand switched MW mains blocks etc.

    I really can’t understand anyone using throw-away crap when owning decent stuff can be had for investment only. Surely no one is that broke they can’t afford to invest £50-70 for a nice second hand interconnect or whatever that will still be worth that in a decade? That makes it all but free!
    clap, Darren, duckworp and 2 others like this.
  2. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    Atlas Element interconnects (x 4) = £160 ish
    AudioQuest slip 14/4 @ £7/m x about 20 (to go around the room perimeter) = £280
    Total £440. Don't see me changing ever (but maybe need speaker cable if /when we move, as it is glued to the floor inside the grippers)!
    CJ14 likes this.
  3. Colin L

    Colin L High-tech low-life

    Quite a lot but, in the context of the system, not that much.
  4. CJ14

    CJ14 Retired

    Can I have the same system please?
  5. Alvarado

    Alvarado pfm Member

    I agree with you, it doesn't matter and it's no-one else's business what other people do with their money. But isn't it more 'damn right crass' and 'judgemental' and 'uncalled for' and 'unnecessary' to ask people how much they spend in hard cash? To ask someone not about absolute numbers but whether their cables cost 1% or 5% of the total seems to me both more insightful and less intrusive at the same time.
    booja30 likes this.
  6. MaxiMe

    MaxiMe Member

    Lots! (£1-2k)
    But not too daft in context of the overall system. (NDS with Teddy Pardo XPS and XPS Plus; Violectric V281; Meze Audio Empyreans [with upgrade silver balanced cable, might actulally be over £2k all in!])
    As I upgraded and my system became more transparent, the effects of improved cabling became more noticeable.
    The final cables I invested in were 4 x MCRU No. 75's and I was pleasantly surprised at the uplift.
  7. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Lol, well we need something to join the boxes up and it's not like they come supplied with free cables anymore, or did they ever? I know the JVC stack my brother had came with free cables which were used but I've never had a free cable with separate component so something needed to be bought.
  8. cj66

    cj66 pfm Member

    Under £250 for sure, all second hand.
    If I had to pay new prices now I really wouldn't bother, even second hand has become a wee bit silly in recent years.

    Would like to change my speaker cables to Cable Talk 3.1 or similar and really should go mad and invest in a rewire kit for my Rega 250, but that's it, no more cables after that.
  9. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Platinum Ears

    Well hey, may as well base it on their salary, so what percentage of their salary do they spend on cables working on that logic surely?

    No one has been forced to reply giving a number.

    Overall , its all ridiculous really, but putting a number on it is more transparent and honest, because overall, it dosen't really matter to anyone but the beholder, however as a hobby curiosity, its interesting to see...

    But I do like that @booja30 got his like in there super fast! Always chuckles me it does.
  10. Alvarado

    Alvarado pfm Member

    Well no because no-one cares what proportion of someone's salary is spent on cables.

    The point I'm apparently failing to make is that there is some link between the value of components and a the value of a whole system. If someone came on here and said I've bought a '£10k amp and I'm looking for some £200 speakers, which ones would you recommend', you'd likely get a string of comments saying 'well mate perhaps you should re-assess the balance of spending between the speakers and the amp'. All I'm saying is that I believe it would make more sense to think of cable costs in relative terms rather than absolute terms.

    If you don't agree that's fine. We're allowed to disagree.
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Just the free cables, other similar types I've accumulated over the years and a few I've made up with whatever coax was to hand. They make zero difference and are of zero importance beyond being required for the system to work.
  12. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member


    An amp and speakers are not lengths of copper wire.
  13. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    You'd have to have my brain, too, and that's not for sale.
    naimplayer, CJ14, Vinny and 1 other person like this.
  14. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    About 80 on 4 sets of interconnects and the same on speaker cables, 6mm thick 3.5m runs. All no frills stuff.
  15. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Fair point. I guess it depends on whether someone expects there to be a substantial difference between, say, a new £15 Van Damme/Rean cable and a £50 second hand cable.
  16. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    My budget was split as follows:

    Transport - 19.75% (computer + network bridge NUC + software, DAC)
    DAC - 16.50%
    Amplifier - 19.00%
    Speakers & stands - 43.50%
    Cables - 1.25% (20cm USB £2 + 50cm interconnect £24.5 + 2x 5m speaker wire £13.5 = £40)
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed, and once you get to the level of using good studio-grade cable and quality plugs you are ‘there’ IMHO. A long while ago I figured out that making my own cables wasn’t actually the best use of my time even though I am obsessively neat and get a totally professional result. When you price short runs of cables, small numbers of plugs plus your time it is actually way more cost effective just to buy a second hand vdH, Chord, Audioquest, Rega or whatever takes your fancy as they’ll cost little if anything more and will hold value better. The only cables I make for myself now are the really specialist ones, e.g. Bulgin mains leads, octal interconnects etc. The stuff you can’t buy at just investment.

    This sort of thing:



    Both were quite expensive in raw parts as the parts they use are old, obsolete and correspondingly rare to buy NOS, but I’m very happy with the quality I achieved and they are exactly right for the job in hand. I am appropriately obsessive when it comes to this sort of thing, I just won’t use junk, e.g. I actually hunted down ex-military rubber strain-relief glands for the Bulgin mains plugs (which really took some finding!) as one of my very first electric shocks was from one of these round the back of an ancient guitar amp back in my teens and I just do not trust them the way most people make them up. My pair above are really, really solid! The two mains leads probably cost £60 each in parts, and I don’t begrudge a penny. I’m not a drunk, smoker or other drug addict, I’m pretty reclusive and don’t like going on holiday very much, I don’t have kids to feed, so what’s £120 on a pair of leads? I’ve spent that on a night out before now and these will last me for the rest of my life and hopefully partner the similarly obsessively rebuilt classic vintage amps they belong to long beyond that.

    I just don’t get the hate. Genuinely good stuff is always worth paying out for IMO. Do it right! Enjoy it!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
    Andrew C!, Darren L, duckworp and 2 others like this.
  18. duckworp

    duckworp pfm Member

    I’d definitely say it is worth experimenting with. Many companies (eg MCRU) do 30 days money-back demos of mains cables. Or, as Tony says, buy second hand and simply sell it on if you don’t get any improvement.

    I’ve heard the biggest differences of all cables is with the power cable to the DAC. Though the cable to my integrated amp also makes a smaller difference. In my Naim days I found the CDP and pre-amp improved most. But I have heard many mains cables which made no difference and some which made a big difference so experimentation is a good idea. In my experience price is not always correlated with results. More than other forums (apart from at the church of Audio Science Review) PF does seem to have a number of very vocal anti-cable folk, but I would suggest ignoring them and giving a few mains cables a go.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  19. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Thick copper, tight plugs, metal bodies, shielding if needed, all else is just a waste of money.
    martin clark, chartz and booja30 like this.
  20. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    I came to the same conclusion here.

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