I’ve always experienced cables to make a difference in SQ. I just never realized that really good cables can be components that make other components in the chain really sing.
I have a DSD DAC going into a BHK Preamp, then into a BHK 250 amp driving Focal 1038be speakers. All are connected to a P15 regenerator. My connects included an AQ USB Coffee from PC to DAC, AQ XLR Yukons going from the DAC to the preamp and the preamp to the amp, and AQ Castle Rocks to the speakers.
This week I replaced the Yukons with AQ Earths and the Castle Rocks with AQ Robin Hoods. Changing the Yukons for Earths alone made an audible difference, particularly in clarity and staging.
However, the base extension was not quite there. Speaker placement did not get it for me. I thought perhaps the Focals were not as capable, as some reviewers have reported, of going down deep.
Not wanting to give up I replaced the AQ Castle Rock speaker cables with AQ Robin Hood Zeros. I hoped for an improvement in bass extension, what I got was a transformation. My Focals are in fact quite capable of reproducing deep and natural bass.
The AQ Castle Rocks are hardly a shabby cable. Neither are the Yukon interconnects for that matter. They just don’t have the resolving power of their higher grade and more expensive relatives.
From now on I will look at reviews and comments that claim audio components lack or have too much of an SQ trait with more critical eyes, looking at cables as components that can enhance or detract from the resolving potential of fine gear.