There's just something about extreme audiophiles that is either amusing or depressing, depending on your point of view. Now, as a music fan, I've got nothing against trying to make things sound better -- but there are serious diminishing marginal returns after a certain point (and, of course, there are some really fantastic musical compositions that were recorded on such crappy equipment that it's never going to matter). However, there is a group of audiophiles who really seem to stick up their nose at anyone who dares to suggest they've taken things too far. Professional skeptic James Randi apparently wants to put them in their place -- and is offering up $1 million to make his case. As pointed out by Slashdot
, Randi is now offering $1 million
to anyone who can prove that there's any real difference in performance between a pair of $80 Monster HDMI cables (which many will claim is already overpriced) and the astoundingly priced $7,250 12-foot "Anjou" audio cables from Pear Cable. As Randi notes, the key is in the actual performance -- not in "qualities that can only be perceived by attentive dogs or by hi-tech instrumentation."