If audio cables and I entered into a relationship on Facebook, our status would undoubtedly be “It’s Complicated.” Because there’s no doubt that I’ve heard cables from various manufacturers that do sound different, but once you hit a certain minimum threshold, there’s no correlation — at least not that I’ve heard — between the price of a cable and its performance. And my ears have certainly never heard anything to make me believe the spooky claims of cable manufacturers who tack fancy-sounding bonus features onto their cables, like crazy kludgy boxes that supposedly do something esoteric-sounding to the signal. The day I see a speaker cable (or more likely an HDMI interconnect) with a speedometer on it is the day I give up writing about cables altogether.
So when SVS sent out a press release this morning announcing its new SoundPath Audio Cable line, I groaned a dismayed groan. Mostly because SVS is a speaker company for whom I have oodles of respect. I have one of the company’s PB-1000 subwoofers in for review right now, and am really impressed with its quality, especially for the price.
What in the world could SVS possibly bring to the table to make its new cables interesting in a market crowded by overpriced, doodad-packed cables?
For a start, they’re skipping the gimmicks. For another, they’re building really rugged, high quality cables out of tried-and-true materials, with exceptional attention to detail: 13-strand high-purity copper hand-soldered straight to a cold-fused 50 micron gold-plated brass RCA center pin, with the outer PVC jacket secured to the RCA connector via a large diameter set screw, and an outer RCA ring designed for optimal grip.
Yawn, I know, right? The thing is, that’s how you make a good RCA interconnect. Anything else is superfluous marketing tactics, and merely adds to the price without adding to the performance of the cable (and often hurting it).
Speaking of the price, the SoundPath Audio Cables are kinda ridiculously cheap for a cable this well built: $29.99 for two meters, up to $59.99 for a fifteen-meter run.