Recently I have been interested in really good audio for extremely low cost. I am sure the differences between the cables would be more noticable with higher end "audiophile" gear. You use what you have access to and that is exactly what I did.
I purchased a RadioShack cable for $15 at 188cm and a Kimber CQ-mini AG (bought for $100 off ebay, lists for $300 on needledoctor) at 107cm and did some formal/informal tests with some friends.
The signal went as follows: Sony DVP-S7000 player -> RCA cable -> Audioengine 5 computer speakers.
We would listen to 10-15 seconds of each song and then listen to the "other" cable. I have to admit that I was hoping the difference would be proportional to the cost spent on the cable. However I was wrong. In many situations it was very hard to pick up on the minute details.
Since we listen to hard rock we tested with Guns and Roses (2 cds), Metallica, Megadeth, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and the Beastie Boys. We noticed songs that started out soft (not full band at full volume) were easier to differentiate. Metallica's Orion was very obvious.
The results are as follows: The first number is how many we guessed Kimber, the second how many RadioShack, and the last number is a not sure if applicable.
Myself = 9-6
Justin = 2-8
Harv = 6-9-1
Stu = 3-0-2
Some caveats: If I elminate one of the CD's (GNR Illusions II) Our stats go as follows:
Myself = 9-2
Justin = same (he played the songs)
Harv = 5-6-1
Stu = same (he was not present)
We noticed that Justin was sitting further away from the speakers which could account for his reduced score. We tried getting him to sit closer and try other songs but he was finished for the day.
We all had our hand at playing songs except Stu who happened to show up at the last minute hence why he only has a few songs.
Cable length. The Kimber was shorter than the RadioShack.
Again, I am sure the results would be different with a better CD player and better speakers. But again, I only have so much $ and limited equipment.
Let me know what you think.