I don’t hate cables and separates, quite the opposite, I’m enthusiastic about cable, the geometries and metallurgies of high-end cables are very interesting and alluring. I love having quality cable that also looks and feels nice.
Some cable is always required and it should be good enough to be as neutral as possible - least losses and least “component-like” impact on the signal as can be. I’m all into having the components give me the type of distortion that best suits my ears, so to say, colouring the signal. Cable should not do this and isn’t meant to do this, it should simply be good enough to stay out of the way sonically, imo.
Hard-wiring (preferably without solder so ultrasonic welding or what have you…) or having optimized terminals is something that’d give quality cable its rightful potential. It really got me thinking what the designer of those Fidelium cables had to say about what standard terminals do to the precious EM wave we so much care about. They’re bottlenecked designs even with the best materials. The best materials we tend to see are used at the cable’s ends anyway, it’s not like component manufacturers could afford having every connection with cryomagnetically treated silver base metal and rhodium plating. So how much good will it do to have those materials in contact with standard gold-plated terminals on the component’s side? (Probably not a huge difference in impedance characteristics on paper, but hey, if we have cryomagnetically treated silver at all, it should be everywhere!)
If I had the money for a loom of cables good enough that they’d satisfy me for the rest of my life (as if…), I’d spend a portion of its cost on having it professionally hard-wired where applicable and where terminals can’t be avoided, the devices would be fitted with after-market terminals matching the cable. A very simple bottleneck-eliminating procedure that I don’t see people with >100k$ systems mentioning… Even just the after-market component terminals! It’s the least the millionaire audiophiles could do if they’re piquant enough to buy state-of-the-art cabling.
By the way, are there other methods for high-tech solder-free welding than ultrasonic? Something that’s as friendly to lattice structures as possible. Lasers?
Also… how come speaker terminals seem like the only terminal that’s being actively developed for just high-end use in mind? How come we don’t have high-end oriented alternatives for RCAs, XLRs, etc? As in low-mass, geometrically contact surface optimized down to the atomic lattice level with the best RLC characteristics? This is being done to existing (ancient!) connectors, why not just develop new ones that account for all-round optimality by their core design?
I’m far from an engineer, yet I don’t have a hard time imagining better terminal structures. The RCA is ancient! ANCIENT!! And it’s NOT ******* GOOD ENOUGH! (Picture an angry Gordon Ramsay saying this while hurling a plateful of RCA connectors into the trash bin)