Cable terms

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Every time I write about cables my friend Bill Low of Audioquest scolds me for suggesting they alter the frequency response, when in fact any reasonable cable does no such thing. And Bill's correct. Yet. We choose cables that seem to alter the frequency spectrum: this one has better highs, this one profound lows, while others are more open and airy than the last. I suppose the answer lies in terminology. When I hear one set of interconnects with extended highs I understand it will likely measure flat into the hundreds of thousands of cycles per second. So technically what I say is incorrect, yet in a practical sense, the sense that we all use to describe what we hear, it most certainly does. And worse, we rely upon the synergy between components to make these audible declarations. A particular cable placed between preamp A and power amp B might prompt me to suggest it opens up the highs and extends them–while the same cable placed between preamp C and power amp D might prompt me to suggest it has lost bass and the top end is now shrill. Terms are all we have to verbally enunciate that which we catalog in our head from experience. When those terms clash with one's worldview of the same words, that's when wars break out.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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