How true is this?

Not my experience. Good speaker cables can lower the noise floor, which does much more than just act like tone controls.

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do you refer to audible noise floor?

I have speaker cables that would change even his way of thinking.
You would do a major jaw drop.
There are lots of people who say cables are a waste of money. I don’t pay any attention to them. Many Americans think the world is flat and all pictures from space are fake. I am guessing they don’t believe in cables either.


It’s not?!



Heard these speaker cables in a recent in home demo, and left feeling they were holding the system back. I believe they may be just fine for someone starting out, but inappropriate for the particular high end system I auditioned. No need to name the brand or dealer.


Now that I am into my 70s I believe it is not flat - it’s uphill in every direction!


There are many real differences in cable measurement through analog frequencies. Impedance, swept resistance, Vp, R, L and C. To say cables are all the same is patently wrong. That some can not hear a change with cables in a set system can be true. I have plenty of measured differences on the ICONOCLAST web site.

The amplifier’s properties change into reactive loads. Amplifiers are tested into a reference resistance and reference cable load to get some common ground for comparisons. They aren’t too accurate as reactance is higher (in real use). The reactance an amplifier sees includes the speaker and cable. The more resistive the speaker, as the speaker is the major contributor to total reactance, the less the amplifier’s load will impact the linearity. This will electrically make the change in cable less important.

That same person, with a much more reactive cable+speaker into a specific amplifier may hear a difference, as an example.

But to simply say all cable is the same through analog is measurable not true. Reactance properties are time based and absolutely have to alter voltage and current over time when they differ from a pure resistance that exhibits no time based changes.

If superposition, which is adding those time based differences, isn’t true, than everything we know about L and C is wrong and it isn’t. We move current and voltage from the intended place in time and that alters the power dissipated across frequency and thus what we hear in simple terms.



I trust Steve Huff’s honesty.
My take away was that Steve needs to visit his audiologist. Earwax removal can be one of your biggest upgrades.


I don’t know this guy, but I won’t argue with his findings. My experience is speaker cables make subtle changes. I would sure hope when he says there was an improvement with the Valhalla’s there is, but given the cost differential is that change worth it? That’s a personal decision. I’ve been comparing a single run of Iconoclast SPTPC speaker cables (plus the PS Audio jumpers) with my AudioQuest Oak internal biwire cables on my FR20. Do I hear an improvement, yes a very small one, but is it worth it for over $2k for a single run? And another $1K+ to make a bi-wire set with TPC? Uh, not so sure. No knock on Iconoclast, they make a wonderful product, but I sometimes wonder about my hearing. No Ron, it’s not ear wax, but the FR20’s made an obvious improvement over the Vandersteen 5 so I still have something left. I’m probably just a minor leaguer and will never be in the big leagues with you know who. It is kind of fun to watch from the box seats though …


Based on my experience with those cables over a year ago when they became a topic of discussion on another forum and sold for $29 they make an adequate set of cables for making speaker level connections to a pair of subwoofers. When trying them in two different systems after they were broken in they were nothing special but for someone on a budget they may be just what they are looking for. I know several people using them as subwoofer cables.


Those cables, like 1313A, large zip cord design, are 100% fine for a subwoofer cable because they don’t need any of the higher frequency optimizations. To influence linearity at higher frequencies, you need to design with smaller aggregate AWG size multiple wires. This is a lot harder to do to maintain R, L and C values reasonable.

I go through all of this on the ICONOCLAST web site and the physics applies to all cables, not just mine. Designers are free to choose materials and geometries to achieve like results. Maybe better if you pay tens of thousands. Ask them HOW do your cables work? Show me. A cable that isn’t truly better in industry accepted measurements can’t sound different can it.


Is there a chance that The Industry still doesn’t know ALL of what to measure and once realized, how to measure that or those new variables?

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I’d say there’s a really good chance that the industry hasn’t yet figured out all of what to measure, which is why using one’s ears is ultimately the best means of determining what sounds good.

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With all the engineers, marketing, and sales WHY don’t we know?

The measurements, open-short impedance, R, L C and Vp linearity and such are all industry standard properties for cable. Nothing new here. How cables behave and why is also well known. For some reason the audio industry refuses to publish what we do know so consumers can make comparisons. Is the cable even capable of doing what is suggested?

If I had my way, ALL cables sold would publish industry standard open-short impedance and the “shorted” swept Rs graph and the complete open-short data table used to make both graphs. L and C measured at 1 KHz (industry standard) and single wire loop DCR (one insulated wire) and aggregate loop DCR (all wires in aggregate parallel). The test would be on a standard test length for resolution mitigation. Tests, as they are proven to be repeatable, can be added by a vendor but the MINIMUM should be the above.

This is not new stuff. ICONOCLAST was designed and made using ALL industry standard test and calculations. HOW the parameters are optimized for analog audio have been 100% explained as to what moves what and why. This accurately leaves the open ended question as to how good can a cable be and be too good to hear. That’s exactly what the consumer needs to know.

Each step in Blue Jeans, BAV and ICONOCLAST cable design optimizes variables to be a better analog cable by MEASUREMENTS…but how much of that “better” does your system benefit from? STOP when that level is reached until you change the amp or speakers. Then you might need to see if the next step is important. We have simple zip cord all the way to complex 28 AWG designs. Every one is different in important ways to be better but this isn’t what we can hear in every system based on the speakers and amplifier’s response to reactive loads. Also, the amp can’t change the Vp linearity as that is imbedded in the cables loop DCR design. The amp sees the aggregate R, L and C only.

We have published, to standards, data on electrical for our products. Why is cable sold with really NOTHING except a partial BOM, Bill Of Materials, that is meaningless until the electrical are measured? Once that’s published we can make at least some assumptions on possible capability.



I will probably have my audiophile card taken away from me, but I think there are (at least in cable land) way fewer true engineers in this arena (in audio) than we might think. I suspect most of these cable guys were people “with an idea”, having little to no real basis at the start on engineering skill and training in the actual disciplines needed. The fact that so many succeeded and thrived… is a question I will leave for individuals to answer for themselves.

To Galen’s point about characteristics like R, L, and C being well known as important to cable design, my sour reality perspective on the hobby suggests to me that some of these cable makers at the start didn’t even know that - at least at a level that was insightful enough to know what to do about it at a total design perspective. Think back. How many recall some cable guys touting “lowest capacitance ever !”, as though that was the only thing that mattered? Or ‘lowest resistance’ or fill in the blank.


Because the technical development is achieved thru scientific endeavors. And science is, always has been and always will be imperfect, or there aren’t new discoveries.

New methods of measurement don’t make the foundation we currently know to be accurate and repeatable wrong. The new methods just better paints the picture by adding colors we didn’t see before. The methods that are accurate, and standardized in technique, should be published with the product.