Another heated debate among audio enthusiasts is whether they subscribe to the “loom theory.” Loom Theory basically says that your system will sound better if all of the cables are from the same manufacturer. Is this something promoted by manufacturers to increase brand loyalty? Or is there a real difference in sound when keeping like with like? Here’s what some of our users had to say about their experiences.
Rja: I’m not sure it’s “loom theory” as much as “loom speculation.” I’m sure you can get great sound that way but I know from experience that it can also be achieved by mixing and matching brands. So where does that leave the “loom theory”? Pretty meaningless in my opinion.
Onhwy61: If there really was something to the loom thing, then why doesn’t it apply to the rest of our systems? Why not have all our components from one manufacturer and reap all that synergy stuff. Now if the objection to that is something along the lines that no single manufacturer has the expertise to make entire systems, then what makes you think an interconnect maker knows how to design a digital cable or even a power cord? Just because they look similar does not mean they are they operate the same.
Gpgr4blu: Having experimented with numerous cables for years (Tara, Kimber, Stealth, Nordost, Shunyata, Audioquest and others) as mix and match and otherwise, I am a firm believer in the loom theory. Every cable has a character. Some provide better leading edge, some better tone, some lusher mids, some fuller bass, others more impactful bass, etc. As there is no perfectly neutral component, there is no perfect cable. Among the above brands, there are no slackers and none with any major weaknesses that I’ve heard. But for my system, there was one that I preferred as a complement to the sound of my components. Whenever I inject another brand in the mix it interferes with the overall sound that I’m after.
Now — if a source component needs a boost in one area or a little bit of tempering on another (e.g.-high end too brittle or too prominent), I have, in the past, put the appropriate cable in that spot. But for me the better solution is to gather the components that best provide the sound you seek and then wire the system with a loom that does no harm to or complements that sound. This goes for cables. I have not experimented with power cords in the same way so I cannot say that they form an essential part of the loom. Others may decide to color each component. I guess I just don’t have the patience for that.
Plato: I think if it sounds good to you it’s great. When it comes to system cabling and personal listening bias there are just too many variables; so short of inviting a bunch of us over to witness “the loom” no one can really offer a valid opinion, including me. Happy Listening!
As with all audio dilemmas, no two systems and no two sets of ears are exactly the same. You are the final judge when it comes to what your system sounds like and how you want it to sound. Each cable may affect the sound in a different way. Adding different tonalities with cables may be a better route for you, but staying consistent with your loom could also be appealing.
What are your thoughts? Are you a believer in the loom theory? Comment below!