My name is John Zimmer. I'm the owner of Sound Representation, which specializes in the sale of high-end audio equipment. I really learned everything that I know about high-end audio from working at this store that we're sitting in right now, Stereo Exchange. I'm going to teach you what to look for when you want to shop for a stereo.
Believe it or not, speaker cable has an audible effect on your stereo system. Speaker cables really need to be effective at blocking out radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference. There's different ways speaker manufacturers achieve this, one is through traditional shielding, and that does a pretty good job of rejecting radio frequency interference. Another way is simply having a speaker cable that is braided—you have runs of copper that are actually crossing in parallel lines.
So it's important to audition different speaker cables and see how they work in your system, and it's very system specific.