Fidelity is the same through a monster cable or a coat hanger. I choose not to believe. Copper is normally coated in nickel too, then gold (nanometers). Electron transfer still has to travel through oxygen free copper or a bare metal capacitor. (Silver if you're serious, and why not with a $10k set up or the likes). I own gold plated cables because I like their braided look and they have good shielding (this is what you want) and don't mind spending a bit for the sake of aesthetics. But it really is for specific resilience to corrosion. That's funny with the battery, I found the pic and linked the attached thread to explain what it was. I think the added resistance from a dirty contact is causing heat build up. There's also the hard to clean contact on the PCB which might have a bad effect on the overall circuit.