Re: Audio quality is king
People hear with differing sensibilities, so good amp and speakers are a must for me! The wiring should be thick for reduced impedance as that would lower the signal strength and, as such, the volume which "might" introduce noise (the latter (noise) ONLY if placed before the amp), the cable does not need to be gold, though. The gold connectors on sockets are, I think, to prevent corrosion ... some audiophile lunatic came up with the "gold conducts leccy better" so "conducts sound better" and that stuck with the marketing teams of different brands.
There is a world between e.g. Keane's "Somewhere only we know" on iTunes and on CD (Same Album, same cover), it might be a different mix or the compression algorithm used completely "deleted" some of the sounds.