For most of my adult life, I have been a boutique cable/interconnect sceptic. My speaker cables, for example, have typically been 12-gauge oxygen-free copper wire I purchased in bulk.
About a year ago, Marbles brought his cables along to a show and I had a chance to audition them. The room was far from perfect and there were really too many variables to be certain, but I thought I heard a noticeable improvement when we switched to his cables.
In my demo room, I do not like to use high-powered source gear or exotic cables. I want people to realize that what they hear is the result of the speakers and not any other component in the chain. Those who have been to my home can verify that I use nothing exotic (except perhaps for speakers).
Then, last fall, I met a man named Carl Smith. Carl is a retired AT&T Lab engineer who designed about 40% of all the cables used for critical applications at AT&T labs. He also happens to be a life-long audiophile.
Carl has spent an incredible amount of time, energy and money researching wire, connectors, teflon, braiding techniques, etc. in an effort to develop the best audio cables that can be made with current technology.
When I heard his cables, I was very surprised at the difference in sound quality. So I spent many hours talking cables with Carl. He knows his stuff.
Now Carl is not in the business of building cables. It is his hobby - his passion. But I always get asked about cables and thought that if I were ever to offer any for my clients, I wanted to make sure they were among the very best.
So I asked Carl if he would build custom cables for owners of my speakers. He agreed.
Carl's cables are not inexpensive. But the materials he uses are quite exotic and costly. And the time and care he puts into doing them right can only be the result of a labor of love.
Are they worth the cost? Like anything else, that is a difficult question to answer. I have always been happy with 12-gauge OFC copper wire for speaker cable and regular Canare cable for interconnects. But I now have some of Carl's cables and interconnects and will not likely go back. I guess that pretty much sums up my opinion.
I posted a page on my web site if you would like more information. Here is a link.