I have long thought the amount of money spent on interconnects and speaker wire was insane. Some of the interconnects and speaker wire people are using on this forum, cost more then the players, speakers themselves.
I do agree that they make subtle differences I've long thought it was INSANE to spend a huge amont on cables, and would be better spent on a source player or pre-amp.
I use Cardas interconnects and AR master series speaker wire but I have to tell you, I'd be lying if I said I could hear a difference right away if somebody changed the wiring without my prior knowledge.
Which brings me to last month's The Absolute Sound article by Paul Seydor (TAS issue #147) where they did part-two of a speaker wire shoutout. In the shoutout two writers from TAS used Home Depot extension cord ($30) against several other wires costing hundreds. These included, MIT, AudioQuest, Kimber Kable, Nordost, Monster. The results were staggering. Both writers agreed they'd be hardpressed to tell a difference between the Home Depot extension cord and the other luxuary cables. The impact this has had on TAS subscribers and readers alike has been huge. Alot of readers are now lookin for Home Depot extention cords in order to do their own tests. One reader wrote in to suggest his $30 Home depot wire sounded better then his previous $600 AQ Hyperlitz wire, and was left scratching his head.
I don't dispute that speaker wires and cables can make a difference. The junk in the box is just that. But a decent cable doesn't always have to cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And for a first timer, i'd always recommend hardware over cables. Just some food for thought.