You may be right! But hold your horses…
There are may factors and variables that exist in a person’s setup. ALL of those factors play a part to determine what, when or if you’re going to be able to hear differences in your system.
Your speakers, source, gear, placement, room size/shape, room treatment, among many other factors all play a roll. Even the type and the quality of the music you listen to plays a big factor.
Say you’re using an old A/V receiver with some cheap or vintage speakers. The speakers are pushed against the walls in a large room with only basic home furnishings, with mostly bare walls & floor, and you listen exclusively to 70s rock and 80’s hairbands, it’s not likely that you’re going to hear much difference from better cables, regardless of spending $10, $100 or even $1000.
Such a setup isn’t bringing much to the table beyond room-filling sound. With so many bottlenecks, a lot of performance is being left on the table.
On the other hand, if you have some decent quality gear, using a quality integrated amp, or using some decent separate DAC, Pre and/or amp(s), some good quality speakers that are pulled away from the walls, in a lightly to moderately-treated room, and you listen to a wide variety of well-produced music, you will have a much better chance to notice even moderate differences in cables, gear, etc. As such, this system has fewer bottlenecks, allowing it to bring a lot more performance to the table, especially in terms of clarity, sounstage separation and layering. Even relatively small changes will be more apparent.
That said, “more expensive” doesn’t always mean better sound quality & vice versa.
Another factor is the construction of the cables themselves. While you might gat a nice boost in output going from 22 gauge to 16 gauge lamp cord, the difference in sound between 16 gauge and 12 gauge zip cord will be quite minor, as the only difference between them is the effective gauge of the wire being used.
A cable made with multiple wires braided together or cables using a unique construction, (e.g. solid core vs stranded, shielding, twisted pairs/tri/quad, foil, specialty dielectrics, etc) are all going to be bringing different things to the table, as those differences in construction and materials will have an effect on the LCR (inductance, capacitance and resistance) values of one cable over another, and each unique variety of cable will then have a different effect on the signals that are passing through them.
Where you use high-quality cables in your system makes a difference too. You will often get bigger changes by upgrading the cables on/between source gear, like a DAC or Phono stage, than you will on power amps at the end of your chain. Essentially the cleaner the signal is kept from the source, the cleaner it will be after it’s amplified.
All of those little factors end up playing a big roll in your ability to hear the differences that good quality cables bring to the table.
We’ve perplexed visitors many times over by simply swapping out the USB cable wich connects to our DAC, or even reversing the direction of the FireWire cable connected to our external hard drive. Both of which create immediate and yet different effects to the sound of our system as a whole.