Caught this on Slashdot and thought it would be interesting to get some perspective from the audiophile crowd here...
The "Anjou Speaker Cable" markets a nearly 1-inch in diameter, "no compromise" audio speaker cable and purports of being the finest amp-to-speaker connection available anywhere. They have a very lengthy and detailed list of claims on their website, here :(http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_anjou_sc.htm)
Now, I'm of the understanding that $7250 could buy you an awfully damned nice stereo amplifier itself, and that's what they're asking for a single 12-foot pair of their cable.
I also belong to the Center for Inquiry Transnational, which is basically a skeptic's society. Through them, I receive James Randii's newsletter -- he's a very well-known skeptic who fights for truth and reason within the science, education, and the media. He's particularly famous for offering a $1 million USD prize for anyone who can conclusively prove a supernatural ability or demonstrate paranormal phenomena, a prize that has been pursued by hundreds, but to this date been unawarded. Think what you will about our particular approach to skepticism -- but the reason I bring him up is that in respect to the $7250 speaker cables, he says:
I was also under the impression that Monster Cables are notoriously overpriced. But when a well-known scientific skeptic goes out of his way to call "bullshit" on a consumer electronics product, and hurl barbs at the "audiophiles" who claim these cables offered a noticeable benefit. For example:Well, we at the JREF are willing to be shown that these “no-compromise” cables perform better than, say, the equivalent Monster cables. While Pear rattles on about “capacitance,” “inductance,” “skin effect,” “mechanical integrity” and “radio frequency interface,” – all real qualities and concerns, and adored by the hi-fi nut-cases – we naively believe that a product should be judged by its actual performance, not by qualities that can only be perceived by attentive dogs or by hi-tech instrumentation. That said, we offer the JREF million-dollar prize to – for example – Dave Clark, Editor of the audio review publication Positive Feedback Online, who provided the above rave review. If Mr. Clark should choose to apply for the prize, he would be unlike John Atkinson of Stereophile Magazine – see randi.org/jr/121004science.html#11 – who made great noises about being ready to snap up the million, then got distracted by things such as gullible readers who accepted his claimed abilities, and backed out. But we’ll see…
What does "danceable" mean? How exactly do stereo cables improve the "swing and pace" of one's music?"In extended listening sessions, I found the cables' greatest strength to be its PRAT. Simply put these are very danceable cables. Music playing through them results in the proverbial foot-tapping scene with the need or desire to get up and move. Great swing and pace—these cables smack that right on the nose big time."
-Dave Clark, Editor Positive Feedback Online
So my question to the audiophiles of the forum (out of sheer curiosity and interest... not putting anyone's hobby down in any way) is... can you really tell the difference? How much do you have to spend on a stereo amp and speakers for the difference between a $7250 and a $50 speaker cable to be truly appreciable?
I realize that product opinions are incredibly subjective based on the person, as with cars, cigars, and shaving brushes. But there's something about this stereo cable business (and I've read a considerable bit about HDMI cables in the same vein) that seems a bit different to me. What do you think? I'm interested in "non-audiophiles'" gut reactions as well.