Over the weekend, my friends and I completed a series of blind tests. We were curious as to whether or not expensive cables made that much of a noticeable difference. Posted below are the results from our testing. To sum everything up, we did NOT find a difference with different cables. If you refuse to believe we could have come up with that result, do not read anymore. The results below are FACTS, and the conclusions I draw are my opinions based on the facts. I am not trying to start a flame war, so please don't do it. This weekend was very educational for me, as I hope you all will find the information below interesting. Multiple tests were conducted and they are all summarized below. There were 7 people present, and I would consider in this group there are 2 audiophiles, 1 enthusiast (me), and 4 casual listeners. All tests had at least the 2 audiophiles and myself present. We were at my friend's place, so I'm not too sure of his equipment. He had a Sony CD Player, a NAD CD Player, NAD Preamp/Amp, Energy E3 (or something like that) speakers. Cables coming from the amp to the speaker costed $12 a foot, so were pretty decent. Interconnects were the cables tested. I can get exact model/makes if anyone is really interested. He had a bunch of other equipment, but they weren't used so I won't list them. The CDR Test It all started from a friend that claimed he was able to hear the difference from an original cd versus a copied CDR. So the bet was on and a date was set. We decided to conduct other tests as well since we were going to be there. Five original CDs known to the listener were brought, and 1 song from each disc was copied to a CDR with Nero software. The listener will be allowed to listen to all tracks, and then all copied tracks prior to testing. For testing, the original track will be played, and then either the same original or copied track will be randomly played. The listener must pick whether the second track played was the original or the copy. The listener must be correct at least 8 out of 10 tries. So before testing we played the originals and the copies. I thought I was going to lose. Almost everyone in the room could hear the difference. Two out of the five songs sounded very obvious they were different. So testing began. We tried as best as possible to make the test double blind. An original track was played, and a coin was flipped to determine whether the original or copied track was to be played. After 4 runs, we stopped because the listener had MISSED 3 out of 4 guesses. Two of those were songs we thought were obviously different. The CD Player Test My audiophile friend wanted to know whether he wasted his money or not on the NAD Cd Player so we did a blind test on this. So before testing we played tracks on both players and the NAD sounded a bit better. More clarity and sharpness. So blind testing started and we all could hear the difference again with the NAD showing more clarity and sharpness. The Interconnect Cable Test Two sets of cables were tested at once. Each set was connected to one of the two sets of outputs from the CD Player. This way, the Preamp could switch between the two by pressing only a button. The cables tested are listed below: $300 THX Certified cable (don't know the brand/make) 5' $3 El Cheapo cables 3' Custom made RG6 cables 5' Custom made Category 5 cables 15' (not a typo, 15 feet) So the $300 cable and the El Cheapo cable were played for reference. Two out of three of us could not hear any difference, the third (the owner of the cable) heard a slightly clearer treble and better defined bass. So the testing began. For about 2 hours we did many tests on different songs and cable matchups. There were up to five people in the room and everyone came up with the same answer. No differences in sound, not even the 15' Cat5 cable! We also switched speaker cables to be sure the speaker cables aren't the limiting factor, and again no differences were heard. I can post pictures of the custom cables if anyone wants to see them. I forgot them at my friends place, so it will take a few days for me to get them back. MY Conclusions x I absolutely do not trust non-blind tests anymore. I have witnessed first hand how much of a difference it makes when people know before hand which one they are listening to. x More expensive components generally yield better sound, but the difference is only slight and you generally lose in the bang-for-your-buck department as prices go up. x Expensive cables didn't make a difference in my friend's setup and I doubt they will in mine. YMMV. Even if they did make a difference, it is so slight that the cost cannot justify it unless you have money to burn. x I'm going to keep on using and making my own custom cables. They look nice.