I actually wasn't taking the piss. It was a genuine question/possible explanation...
All cabling has electrical parameters (resistance,inductance and capacitance) which are generally tiny and insignificant as far as audio is concerned. Speakers have these characteristics but rather more so.
All good, well designed amplifiers are unconditionally stable in that they should be immune to these reactive loads.
Unfortunately, however, not all are... I'm not going to name NAMES (ahem) or I'd be up the CREEK heading for CAMBRIDGE.......
What can happen is the amp can become unstable and produce ultrasonic (and much higher) oscillations. It can be contniuuos or appear on parts of the audio waveform.
This causes audio distortion and it is this that people hear as differences between cables.
Usually with no signal the amp is OK, but putting a sinewave through and increasing the volume, then bursts of oscillation appear at certain parts of the waveform.
I had one amp in that would oscillate at VHF and was detectable on an FM radio!
Strap yourselves in chaps
Can a change of speaker cable affect your soundstage? Yes.
Can moving your head six inches affect your soundstage? Yes.
Make of this what you will...
It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty. Either way, there's room for more beer in it.
OP - have you perhaps just wired one of your speakers out-of-phase?
OP - have you heard this effect with various recordings or just with a few? Sometimes a change of gear or cabling can affect the way recordings are presented, either bringing you closer to the quality of the recording (or lack of) or the opposite. I've recently changed amps, speakers and cables! The differences are not subtle, but yes, I have heard these differences between speaker cables before. Unlike one of the previous postings, its not just that amps which exhibit extreme sensitivity to reactive loads that real the culprits (I won't Naim naims) as the manufactures usually recommend a particular cable to use with them (which has the required electrical parameters) but many amps can be sensitive to highly capacitative loads. Where some may not notice much difference between IC's, IMHO loudspeaker cables can have a more marked effect...as can drawing the curtains, introducing soft furnishings or sitting off-axis.
small movements in listening position OR speaker position can make a huge difference with ML electrostatics
I've noticed less activity on the Wam as of late, which is probably due to the recession and people buying less kit. But I do sometimes wonder if it's because the view that 'absolutely nothing makes a blind bit of difference to a hifi system, except perhaps speakers' has become pervasive in recent months, which causes people to stay away from the website.
I really have heard speaker cables make some difference, maybe not a massive one and certainly not as much as new equipment (and of course obsessives take the cable thing too far), and that's that.
Oh dear - perhaps I'm getting paranoid again.
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Last edited by wizons; 14-06-2012 at 10:27 PM.
Ah, not wholly surprised by this - you could barely have two more different cables in their electrical characteristics: the Isolda is a deliberately high capacitance/low inductance flat-ribbon design, the absolute complete opposite is true of the Kimber's high-inductance woven design. Ironically after all the dismissive comments, these two cables should exhibit measurably different LCR values at audio frequencies.
They aren't mutually exclusive