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Advice for first hifi system

 

New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-11
I find myself in an interesting predicament, and since I have done my hifi research using this site I figured joining up and asking would be the most appropriate. I should begin by disclosing that I have close to zero audio component knowledge.

I have recently been introduced to a few nice, high end sound systems. Having heard what music can actually sound like, I am hooked and need to set up a system myself. I have been researching and trying to look into what the best setup for me would be, and have narrowed it down to a few components. I am looking for a 2 ch, bookshelf system. My problem is that where I used to go get stereo equipment, the stereo advantage, now only sells HDTVs and AV equipment. To my surprise the people working there said they don't believe there are any places where I could go listen to integrated amps and bookshelf speakers. What a bind! By simple intuition, and by reading here, I realize it is optimum to go listen to what you want before you buy it, but I guess that is not possible for me. I have heard the B&W 685 speakers, and really like them. I am guess that is what I would like to use for speakers, the rest I am not so certain on.

So far, I think that having a Marantz PM8004 as my amp is the best way to go. As far as user opinion, it is a great sound amp, can power the B&Ws and is a quality entry point into the arena of (low end) HiFi. There are a few others in consideration, Creek evo 2, maybe arc am a28, but I have a preference for the Marantz because I also want to get the SA8004 SACD player. I currently have a decade old Sony Dream System that I have played some SACDs on and would like to hear them on a more proper SACD player. To my knowledge arccm and creek don't offer matching SACD players. I know that is lame, but I like the idea of a matching set up. Moreover, the SA8004 has digital in, so I can route my AIFF through an aTV and then I can use that as a DAC as well.

So my question, how do you think the B&W 685 paired with marantz PM8004 and SA8004 will sound. Does anyone have first hand experience? I mainly listen to jazz, rock and classical. Louis, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews Band, Meldoy Gardot, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, SRV, etc. Will these artists sound good on these components, do they complement each other? I realize not hearing them in person is sub optimum, so need some advice on what to do.


Thanks,
Kevin
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5573
Registered: Apr-05

quote:

I realize it is optimum to go listen to what you want before you buy it




It isn't just optimum, it's critical. However, if you're certain you can turn around and sell the equipment and make profit or break even, then it's actually kind of fun. You might want to check your local classifieds or craigslist as you'll find some killer deals on high end gear there. Especially on tower speakers as those sellers generally don't want to ship and have to greatly reduce the price to make it attractive to their smaller local audience.

It's great you've at least picked some speakers. And nice choice. I actually haven't heard the 685's yet, but I'm picking up a pair tomorrow. I currently have the B&W CM1's as well as 686's playing off my slightly older but still fantastic Marantz SR-18U. It sounds great.

That's a really great amplifier for the B&W's in my opinion. And I think you're being a little self-deprecating by calling that setup the "low end" of hifi :P I personally think it's somewhere in the middle. Honestly, once you start spending in excess of 5k, the law of diminishing returns really sinks in and at least for me personally, I don't hear a ton of difference in speakers and equipment beyond that price point.

I'm also a bookshelf speaker and 2 channel guy. One thing you might also want is a subwoofer. The ASW300 would be a nice little sub to fill out the bottom end, as well as a few other newer B&W subs. I'll let you know what I think of the 685's, but even with the 686's and CM1's (well any B&W bookshelf speaker I've heard), they need a subwoofer. You can still get a great sound, but at least for me, it was pretty apparent that some sound was missing, especially with some of my movie soundtracks like those from Hans Zimmer. ;)
 

Silver Member
Username: Unbridled_id

ChicagoUsa

Post Number: 564
Registered: Mar-04
I mean the options are so varied at the general price point you are at.
Marantz and B&W are fine products, and I cannot say how they will sound together. Even if I could I wouldn't know if you would like how they sound together. Jexx is right about getting a subwoofer...

Possible Integrated amps: NAD c356bee/c375bee, Cambridge 650/740. I believe the price point for the Marantz integrated and cdp is around $1000 each.

Other bookshelfs you could look at are PSB imagine B's, NHT classic 3's. Very different speakers but both very nice.

CDP's you could look at are the NAD c565 which also has a digital in. The cambridge 650/740 are also quite nice.

I own the NHT b-10d sub and it's really nice as well so look at that. Other here have listened to more equipment and can offer more options/opinions. If you want to explore the NAD/PSB option call DMC electronics. They are top notch and you will like the prices.
 

New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-11
Thanks for the replies! I was looking into maybe an NAD amp or arcam as I heard they sound really good, but I don't really want to mix and match components. So I guess I am curious, does it matter? I definitely think I am going to get the Marantz SACD player, would it go better with a marantz integrated? Another noob questions, does the Marantz PM8004 have the ability to add a sub? I thought it was only 2 ch??

For reference:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-13352-marantz-pm8004-integrated-amp.aspx

Also, say I get that amp, I know nothing about wiring. Would this be good to go from the PM8004 to the B&Ws?
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-295-audioquest-type-4-speaker-cables-pr.aspx


and is this a good way to connect the SACD to the integrated?
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQBMII

Thanks!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5574
Registered: Apr-05
Mixing and matching components is absolutely fine and not atypical. It's just a difference of aesthetics is all.

That PM8004 is still an excellent amplifier. And it does have the ability to add a sub; just hook up the subwoofer to one of the pre-outputs.

And don't get that wire or RCA cable!! That's ridiculously expensive. Expensive cables made of exotic material are a complete sham. Just get some durable cable and that's all you will ever need. Sure that stuff looks nice, but is it worth that amount of money? Certainly not! If you want well-built cable that still looks nice but is priced appropriately, I highly recommend Knukonceptz:
http://www.knukonceptz.com/home-theater-speaker-cable.cfm Any of the cables will be perfect, even the super cheap ones. Just get whatever looks best to you if you're after aesthetics. I'm running some cheap 20 gauge cable to my B&W CM1's that came in a premade home theater kit and it sounds just as good as my super expensive transparent brand speaker cable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2461
Registered: Oct-07
Generally, 20ga wire is a no-go.
You will be adding series resistance and lowering the damping factor, not to mention limiting power transmission.
20ga wire MAY work for very short runs....like 2 feet or less with higher impedance speakers of higher sensitivity.
For my 4ohm or so panels of very low sensitivity? No possible way.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16475
Registered: May-04
.

"And don't get that wire or RCA cable!! That's ridiculously expensive. Expensive cables made of exotic material are a complete sham. Just get some durable cable and that's all you will ever need. Sure that stuff looks nice, but is it worth that amount of money? Certainly not! If you want well-built cable that still looks nice but is priced appropriately, I highly recommend Knukonceptz:
http://www.knukonceptz.com/home-theater-speaker-cable.cfm Any of the cables will be perfect, even the super cheap ones. Just get whatever looks best to you if you're after aesthetics. I'm running some cheap 20 gauge cable to my B&W CM1's that came in a premade home theater kit and it sounds just as good as my super expensive transparent brand speaker cable"




This isn't the place for a cable discussion but I would suggest you take Jexx's opinion of cables to be nothing more than Jexx's opinion of cables. IMO, anyone who begins the discussion with "ridiculously expensive" and then moves on to the indictment that cables are a "sham" should be regarded as possibly not sharing your set of ears or your set of sound quality values. The question should not be whether "expensive" cables are to be considered a good value but rather cables will - in your system and to your ears - make any differences or certainly any improvements to the sound quality.

If you have already made the decision cables should be regarded as another component in your system's performance, then it is your decision which cable is beyond a reasonable monetary balance point for your system. Most of the members of this forum consider cables to be a worthwhile addition to any system at any level though I would say only a few of us have invested thousands into cabling our systems.

If you have not yet made a decision about the value of cables as a component, then you should begin with some decent cables - the AudioQuest would be a decent starting point IMO - and make a few comparisons to other cables. There are specific electrical values which can determine just how well a particular cable fits into a system and those values, should they be ignored, can result in inferior performance from the system as a whole. A decent cable retailer should be able to provide some assistance on the matter of cable compatibility within any given system. There are also the intangible qualities of cables which have yet to be fully explained but are easily noticed in a highly transparent system. The quality which would make for a perceived increase in apparent stage depth, height or width is not a known value when discussing the elctrical parameters of cables. Yet most listeners with an open mind toward cables have certainly experienced the transformation of their system's preformance when experimenting with cables.

And, to be fair, there are too many cable retailers rather than cable manufacturers. The cable retailers do nothing more than have their name and model number printed onto the outside dielectric of the cable's insulation. They are selling exactly what you might find from another retailer at a different cost. To avoid wasting money and finding yourself in this situation, I would suggest you stay with well known and well regarded cable companies known to present good values for the money invested. AudioQuest would fit that bill.

When someone tells you they can't hear the difference between cables, you might consider whether their system is not sufficiently transparent to allow such improvements through. Or, possibly, what they value and what you value in music are simply different qualities. I suspect the retailer where you used to buy equipment still has a few cables you could experiment with and this would be a good way to satisfy any curiousity you might have about cables. Understand what return policies any retailer has for their cables and ask to audition a few pairs in your own system. The same cable can perform quite differently in two dissimilar systems and certainly to two different listeners. I say that from years of personal experience selling high end audio and finding out just what my clients determined to be valuable and what they didn't hear at all. No two listeners were ever exactly alike.



My personal preference is for solid core (rather than stranded), thin gauge cables but that is because electrically they fit well within my systrem and to my ears they are superior in most ways to heavily stranded, low gauge cables with thick dielectric materials. However, my speakers are very easy to drive. I'm not running B&W's which will require some current delivery from the amplifier and, if I were, thin gauge cables would be completely out of line in such a system. Nor are my tube amplifiers of the high current delivery type so what I prefer in cables wouldn't be my suggestion for the vast majority of systems out there. As leo suggests thin cables are very system dependent and are not at all for everyone. Though that is not to say you need garden hoses running across your room.

If I were selling you the system you seem to propose, I would say try the AudioQuest cables and determine just whether you think they are worth the investment. And remember, perceiving just what a cable does in a system depends on just what you consider to be of value in sound quality and that can change over the first few months of owning a higher quality system. As you begin to hear deeper into your recordings what you preceive when you first set up the system isn't going to be what you perceive this time next month or the month after that. And cables will become much more important to most listeners as their systems become more transparent over time and equipment upgrades are taken further towards transparency to the source. "Tweaks" as they have come to be known are valuable tools which will increase the performance of most systems if the user is open to their values. Making a small modification to the set up of your system can mean cables sudenly become much more valuable as components within a well balanced system. Experiment with an open mind.

http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/672623.html


.
 

New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jul-11
Thanks for the info guys. I know that with digital cables (e.g., HDMI) there often is no improvement with expensive (read: monster) cables, but I would have thought for analog it may make a difference. As far as the ga of the cable, what would you recommend for the B&Ws? I know its noob, but what connectors should be on the end, there are a variety to pick from. Assume going from the marantz PM8004 to the BWs. Also, for the CDP to the integrated, is that the RCA type connector?
Leo which would you use for the speakers?

Thanks,
Kevin
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5575
Registered: Apr-05
Cables are cables. It's just your mind that makes the cable sound better: A form of cognitive dissonance. You paid big bucks for a cable so it should sound better.

This reminds me of a psychology experiment where Richard Wiseman had participants in a study blindly taste two wines, one roughly $50 a bottle and the other roughly $7 a bottle and the participants could not tell the difference: the odds were 50:50 (chance) of guessing which was which.

A similar study done at Caltech gave participants wine and distinguished the wine only by its retail price. Participants did not know that they were given the same wine multiple times with different price tags. Interestingly enough, the same wine when tagged with a higher price was rated as tasting better. http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050.abstract They even found that increased activity in the orbitofrontal cortex was responsible for this perceived improvement in wines.

And I'll say the same: Jan's opinion is just Jan's opinion. You can find copious amounts of information on the internet telling you that cable is a complete sham.

Obviously up to a certain extent the cable will make a difference, like say using lamp cable. Other than that, good luck in finding someone that can tell the difference. I bet I could even fool Jan.

If you don't believe me, then why do high end speaker companies like KEF, Dynaudio, Energy, B&W, even in Wilson Audio speakers (supposedly one of the best speakers out there) use standard 14-12 gauge speaker cable inside the actual speaker cabinet? Hmm?

Check this out:

Audio, but especially high-end audio comes with its own strong following, and unlike with computers, where absurd performance claims can easily be debunked by running a set of benchmarks, there are no such benchmarks in audio. That is unfortunate as many manufacturers of audio equipment fool people into buying equipment or accessories based on claims that are simply false and in many cases blatant lies.
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/1790/ (he tells you why, plain and simple, expensive cable is a farce).

And this guy really breaks it down if you want to get into depth: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#expensive

I do need to say I'm not running the 20 gauge cable anymore since it looked awful. And it was only about three feet in length so no big deal.


quote:

anyone who begins the discussion with "ridiculously expensive" and then moves on to the indictment that cables are a "sham" should be regarded as possibly not sharing your set of ears or your set of sound quality values.




Oh nice, an ad hominem attack. This is poor logic, Jan.


quote:

There are specific electrical values which can determine just how well a particular cable fits into a system and those values, should they be ignored, can result in inferior performance from the system as a whole.




Yes, resistance ®, capacitance ©, and inductance (L) per foot and the length of cable used are the only parameters that have any effect in the audible spectrum.


quote:

Yet most listeners with an open mind toward cables have certainly experienced the transformation of their system's preformance when experimenting with cables.




As I said, you tell yourself that it was expensive, so it sounds better.


quote:

the same cable can perform quite differently in two dissimilar systems and certainly to two different listeners.




This is an unfair comparison. You're adding in more than one variable. The main reason for an audible difference, obviously, is the actual system itself, not the cable.


quote:

And remember, perceiving just what a cable does in a system depends on just what you consider to be of value in sound quality




I agree; it's all cognitively based. Expensive cable itself won't produce any audible difference in sound, but you thinking it that the expensive cable sounds better will, naturally, make it sound better. All thanks to the orbitofrontal cortex.

Also, Jan has to sell this equipment, so one must realize it is his job to propagate the cable myth. I don't sell audio, I'm just an enthusiast with a background in psychology (and hopefully more if all goes well).
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2466
Registered: Oct-07
In a system running fairly low power.....tubes, perhaps, and high sensitivity speakers, a little more series resistance of 'thin' cables simply won't matter.
For many others, however, using voltage source SS gear of higher power along with wackier speaker loads (Some B&W may qualify) have found speaker cables of appropriate gauge are needed.
20ga? Not in my system in 100 years. I'd rather run 14ga lamp cord from the home store.
And that is for primarily technical reasons, not touchey-feely stuff.
However, that 2 different cables can perform differently in 2 different systems and 2 different listeners doing the comparison may disagree is fine.......

There are a number of sources of inexpensive GOOD cable. Audioquest, BlueJeans, MonoPrice are 3 among many. Nobody is advocating nose-bleed levels of cable spending, but for Pete's sake, stay away from junk.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2467
Registered: Oct-07
Kevin, if good is good enough without going thru a huge deal and a bunch of cables, for interconnects (ICs) BlueJeans (the Anti Monster company!) is as good as any. AudioQuest may be more money at higher levels.....AQ has a big line, so check 'em out.
RCA is the default connector.

For speaker wire? Well, I went Blue Jeans, but others can reasonably differ without heartburn. But most would agree that either bare wire or spades is the way to go. A few years ago, Home Despot extension cords were considered good budget. But, Home Despot changes vendors more often then I do my socks so they are long gone and replaced with something of higher profit potential.

For long runs....maybe 30 feet or more, 12ga would be nice for a high power system played very loudly. Otherwise, 14ga will get the job done.

Just for the record....I use BJ 10ga of high strand count. The exact opposit of JV recommendation.....though the insulation IS pretty thin. The maker of the cable, which is not often disclosed in the secondary market, is Belden, a known commodity.

What hasn't been discussed so far is the need to 'keep it clean'. Copper oxidizes readily and in extreme cases will even turn green. Buy and use a contact cleaner product.....DeOxit is popular and available at places like Fry's here in SoCal. Some people plug/unplug on a regular schedule (annual, for me) to 'refresh' the connection.

In general, the better the system, the more the details count.
Search for references to Crystals.....Cable Lifts.....Room Treatments and Power Conditioners. All have fans / followers and detractors. It'll drive you nuts if you let it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5577
Registered: Apr-05
Leo, I should have made it clear that I wasn't running more than 60 watts on the 20 ga. cable as well.

BlueJeans seems to be really great too. I dunno how I feel about that acronym, though... anyway here's a link: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/

I'm still a big fan of Knukonceptz.

And yeah, it's kind of sad how many "extras" can be thrown into ostensibly making a system sound better, like crystals and power conditioners. Most of it is snake oil. Even if it does provide some marginal sound benefit, you'd be better off putting the extra money toward getting better actual gear (the speakers, amplification etc.).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16477
Registered: May-04
.

"If you don't believe me, then why do high end speaker companies like KEF, Dynaudio, Energy, B&W, even in Wilson Audio speakers (supposedly one of the best speakers out there) use standard 14-12 gauge speaker cable inside the actual speaker cabinet? Hmm?"



Uhhhhh, ... those manufacturers don't use "standard" 14-12 gauge speaker cable inside the actual cabinet. I don't even know what "standard" speaker cable is. Dave Wilson (one of the "best" speaker manufacturers out there) actually designed the cabling used in his speaker systems and it is different for each connection in each speaker model. He goes so far as to select the specific solder type they will use for each connection - and the specific connectors they will use for each connection.

It's difficult enough to debate someone with facts they actually know and that both parties can agree to. When you start making up BS that isn't a fact and that isn't true, then there's seldom a point to any conversation with someone willing to create "facts" on a whim.



"quote:
anyone who begins the discussion with "ridiculously expensive" and then moves on to the indictment that cables are a "sham" should be regarded as possibly not sharing your set of ears or your set of sound quality values."


Oh nice, an ad hominem attack. This is poor logic, Jan."


Jexx, you don't even know what an "ad hominem attack" is. What? you've just seen other people use the phrase and so you thought you'd try it? I didn't attack anyone and I certainly did not attack anyone's character specifically; http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/ad-hominem/ If you feel my telling the op to take your suggestion as nothing more than a "suggestion" - your opinion as nothing more than your "opinion" - is an ad hominem "attack", then you must travel in very polite societies.

However, if you think you actually have the same ears as everyone else, then I can point to some extremely poor logic on your part. Don't get huffy about this, this isn't the place for a cable war.




"quote:
There are specific electrical values which can determine just how well a particular cable fits into a system and those values, should they be ignored, can result in inferior performance from the system as a whole."




Poor logic again? You have forgotten dielectric absorption which will be present with any conventional cable and which will result in numerous errors in a signal which is as complex as music. Cross talk between cable legs is of importance. Cables can be microphonic, though someone like you would probably have never seen evidence of this. You've also ignored the electromagnetic fields which can arise from the pulsation of energy through the cable and you've not mentioned the residual magnetic fields which will remain even after the signal has ceased to exist. And, in case you did not read the entire post, "There are also the intangible qualities of cables which have yet to be fully explained but are easily noticed in a highly transparent system."

This does not qualify as "cognitive dissonance", another term you don't seem to understand. I would suggest here that the cognitive "dissonance" is to be found in your perception of cables and of those peole who employ good cables in their systems. If you cannot perceive what others clearly can - and many listeners can, then that establishes a dissonance within your perception. If you've spent high dollars and still cannot perceive any improvements when you realize you should be able to perceive "something" all the others describe, then a dissonance between the reality you expect and your own lack of perceptive skills arises and you must seek some manner of leveling the dissonance within your own cognition. As others describe the improvements made by changing out cables, you can perceive nothing and the more they describe improvement while you perceive no changes, the more the dissonance is established in your uncomfortable cognition of (un)reality. The only way for you to balance that dissonance - for someone who cannot preceive what others clearly can - is to claim everyone else is wrong and you are right, cables make no difference. You then seek out others with similar disabilities in order to feel good about your lack of perceptive skills, You then congratulate each other on the false conclusion everyone but you has a problem. This shouldn't take someone with a background in psychology long to figure out. It's the same trick the big*t uses when he claims the other party has played the race card.

We all seek consonance in our perceptions and when someone like you has their perceptions challenged by the majority, they resort to claiming everyone else is wrong as they attempt to bring consonance back into their perception of the world. The only way you can personally have consonance is to bring everyone down beneath your level of inadequate perception. As is typical, those who cannot are unwilling to allow those who can to be happy.

As I've stated many times on this forum, Jexx, I cannot be held responsible for what you cannot hear. I am only responsible for what I have the capacity to perceive. Just don't try to blame me for what you can't hear that I can. Possibly, you need a more transparent system than you have and then you wouldn't encounter the apparent dissonance of not perceiving what so many others can easily describe and how their perceptions are altered by the removal or insertion of a single cable. Quite possibly, you need a system which will wipe a few windows clean before you should even be making any assumptions regarding what other listeners have the ability to perceive.



Possibly, you are operating under the "no-cebo effect". Again this is simply the reversal of what you want others to believe based upon your inability to perceive what they clearly can. You've already determined that cables have no value in your perception of ... what? Music? Or just a bench test sinewave? Into a reactive speaker load or into a resistive bench load? I don't know if you've ever actually even tried perceiving what cables can effect. I seriously doubt you've tried those "expensive" cables all the naysayers keep talking about. The cause of your affliction we don't know - Is the system not transparent enough? Are the cables actually similar in all matters electrical and physical? Have you inserted the cables in a direction of signal flow which would cause a degredation of sound quality? Are there extraneous issues, say, a magnetic field which has been established in the cable or microphonics being picked up by the cable or other components? Have you simply not even tried the cables you are certain have no value?

etc.

And, therefore, your self protection mechanisms are already 90% of the way towards you not perceiving any differences due to a poorly established test or more to the fact, simply your inability to perceive exacty those values which the cable can affect. Expectation bias is as strong in one direction as it is in the other. If you are not listening for a value such as "blackness", then you will never preceive "blackness" no matter how well the cables might produce such an effect in the music. If your system is not sufficiently well assembled to allow for "depth", then you will never perceive a change in depth accompanying a cable swap. How many reasons do I have to suggest when there can be numerous excuses for your cognitive failures? But to dismiss every other person who has independently established the value of cables in well prepared comparisons as being at fault is simply absurd. But that is your cognitive dissonance at work, eh?



You also seem to forget the cable is a part of a circuit and the parameters which are in front of and at the load end of the circuit are important in determining the values of those parts which exist in between. 20 AWG cable isn't a good selection for most B&W's - even at low volumes or even in short lengths due to the reactive nature and the subsequent high current draw of most modern B&W speaker systems. So maybe you should have considered at least the I, R and C values before you made that connection. Hmmmm?



"quote:
the same cable can perform quite differently in two dissimilar systems and certainly to two different listeners."


This is an unfair comparison. You're adding in more than one variable. The main reason for an audible difference, obviously, is the actual system itself, not the cable.


No, I'm saying two systems with dissimilar components can result in dissimilar results with the same cable. We are only changing one component - the cable. You can pick most any value you'd prefer for the two systems. If it's an electrical value you'd prefer, the same cable inserted into a circuit with a high output impedance will possibly have a different result than the same cable inserted into a system/component with a low output impedance. If the load is highly reactive, then possibly the cable will result in a difference not perceived in a system with a more benign load. The cable that is likely to work well with a vintage 35 watt, transformer coupled tube amplifier is probably not the same cable which would provide the most satisfactory results when used with a high wattage, solid state, direct coupled amplifier. A cable with high capacitance isn't as good a match for a purely passive pre amp as it would be for an active buffered output stage. High capacitance in a cable might cause one circuit to oscillate while another remains stable. Or it might cause excessive roll off of frequenices in one circuit but not in another. Highly inductive cables would be just as bad but in different areas of concern. The high termination impedance of one connector (cables need connectors, you know?) will affect the loading of the circuit and how signals are reflected back to the source when it is inserted into a circuit expecting to be terminated at, say, 75 Ohms. The shielding or circuit grounding technique of one cable might allow a leakage of RF or EM interference. And so on and so on. To consider only R, C and L as important parameters in a cable is about at the level of someone who has yet to enter first semester electronics. Just those things we do know about cables are enough to justify the proposition that any cable can make any connection sound dissimilar from another connection. Whether you can perceive the difference is another matter, Jexx.

Surely what you might prefer as the curcuit lead for a low output, low impedance moving coil cartridge which is sensitive to capacitive loading but immune to inductance would be very different than what you would select for a high output, high impedance moving magnet where capacitance is immaterial to the loading the cartridge but resistance is a consideration. Should we require more than about a meter's length to a certain cable, the values of the cable will obviously affect the final result.

If you'd prefer a more subjective value, a "thin" sounding system wouldn't share the same benefits from specific cabling as would a "dark" sounding system. All I'm saying is when you look beyond the most superficial values the same cable is not always a good match for two different systems. Don't get your boxers in a knot.



Two listeners are extremely unlikely to have the same priorities in sound and certainly not the same when it actually comes to music. So, what's unfair about stating, "... the same cable can perform quite differently ... to two different listeners."?




"Also, Jan has to sell this equipment, so one must realize it is his job to propagate the cable myth. I don't sell audio, I'm just an enthusiast with a background in psychology (and hopefully more if all goes well)."



I sold high end audio for twenty five years. I have not sold audio for the last ten years. So I have no job at stake here, just the desire to see a fairly stated case for audio. Besides, just how could I profit by telling someone on a forum to audition several cables borrowed from their local shop and then buy the cables they prefer? I would expect someone with a psychology background to be better at not suggesting such BS, Jexx. Logical fallacies are not going to get you very far. Ad hominems which suggest I am being less than truthful in order to profit from my dishonesty are just that - ad hominem attacks - and they are not appreciated in this conversation. Do not accuse me of what you manage to do without even thinking of the consequences.



Expensive cable itself won't produce any audible difference in sound, but you thinking it that the expensive cable sounds better will, naturally, make it sound better. All thanks to the orbitofrontal cortex.


What you are describing is the placebo effect and it can influence many things - or nothing. By the description of a classic placebo and most especially in the example you used employing the same wine at different suggest pricings, a subject can expect a low priced cable to be excellent also. The concept that only high priced cables are expected to sound "high priced" is, therefore, not logical by your own example. By your own examples, any cable can sound any way anyone thinks it can. And, that's really the most important point. As long as what is perceived is highly repeatable, then what does it matter to anyone whether the listener is responding to a placebo or to reality?



What is logical is that no two people perceive music in the same manner. That has been demonstarted on numerous occasions and most of us have experienced such a result when discussing the same concert or recording amongst friends. It is also logical to asume that the less transparent the system the less the cable will affect its audible performance unless the match is obviously poor - like 20AWG cable on B&W's.

No one has claimed "expensive" cables are needed in this system.

What I have objected to is your attempt to tell the op just how he should spend his own money. It's his money and he should have the right to spend his money anyway he chooses without your interference. If he chooses to purchase more expensive cables that you would prefer, it's none of your business to tell him he is a stupid jerk for doing so. You would appear to have an entire garage full of prejudices built up. What you do not have is the right to impose them on the op. The op didn't ask your opinion of cables. The question only related to whether the cable linked to was a good cable choice. That's all you were required to respond to.



And I'll say the same: Jan's opinion is just Jan's opinion. You can find copious amounts of information on the internet telling you that cable is a complete sham.


You most certainly can, it seems those people who cannot perceive improvements to be found in good cables are ever so willing to tell everyone else just how stupid they are and what jerks they are for spending their own money in a manner which gives them pleasure. Those same people who will warn you against the snake oil of cables will also be the ones who will tell you all amplifiers that have identical measurements will sound alike. Or that CD's always sound better than vinyl. Or that transistors are better than tubes. Or that the crosstown bus is better than the uptown bus. Or which ever prejudice they feel like imposing on someone else. Of course, as with Jexx's forgetting the numerous values to be found in cable, those "same as" naysayers tend to only look at watts and THD. Once you have any idea of how audio operates, then you will understand there is far more to know than what we presently grasp and certainly far more to consider than R, C and L.


Jexx, I really don't want to get into a squabble over cables because i hate to have an intellectual battle with an unarmed man. Let the op select what he wants to own and leave it at that. OK?








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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16478
Registered: May-04
.

"As far as the ga of the cable, what would you recommend for the B&Ws? I know its noob, but what connectors should be on the end, there are a variety to pick from. Assume going from the marantz PM8004 to the BWs. Also, for the CDP to the integrated, is that the RCA type connector?"


Depending on the length of each run you should probably be using a 16AWG cable type. The issue is not so much the cable gauge as it is the need for current to be passed through the cable. The B&W's have a tendency to draw current as they react to the signal and they have a relatively high back EMF into the amplifier. A slightly thicker cable will be an advantage in several ways but you have no need for extremely heavy gauge cables when using a mid-priced integrated amplifier. Probably anything heavier than 16 AWG will be difficult to fit into the lugs on the amp and speaker. Most cables used for consumer audio do not adhere to a strict gauging. Rather than buy a specialty cable by gauge, you buy a cable according to its construction and materials. If you're going to be playing the system at moderate levels with an integrated amplifier, then you need no more than approximately 16AWG. That gauge should be sufficient for up to 50' runs. Have both sides of the system running equal lengths but do not coil any extra cable. Place extra cable lengths in a soft "S" shape behind the amp or speaker.

Bare wire is your best connection if you can make what is called a "gas tight" connection. Typically, the binding posts on most speakers and integrated amplifiers won't torque down sufficiently without doing damage for such a connection to be made. I would say do a bare wire tightened finger tight and then about a quarter turn more and then about every year redo the connection by removing enough dielectric insulation to expose fresh copper. You'll only need to strip about 5/8" of insulation for each connection. If you don't want bare wire, then spade lugs are the next best option if they fit into the speaker lugs of the amplifier.

RCA's handle analog singals. If you want the amplifier to see a digital signal, then you might select a different type of connector.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16479
Registered: May-04
.

"And yeah, it's kind of sad how many "extras" can be thrown into ostensibly making a system sound better, like crystals and power conditioners. Most of it is snake oil. Even if it does provide some marginal sound benefit, you'd be better off putting the extra money toward getting better actual gear (the speakers, amplification etc.)."


That too is only your opinion, Jexx. One that probably is pure conjecture on your part rather than being based on personal experience. Most of us here wouldn't agree with that sentiment.




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Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5579
Registered: Apr-05
All you have is that it "sounds better" vs. my concrete evidence that the orbitofrontal cortex makes it sound better.

Saying that I can't hear what you hear is indeed ad hominem. I'll explain:
1. Person A makes claim X. (I say expensive speaker cable is a rip-off)
2. Person B makes an attack on person A. (You say I can't hear the difference)
3. Therefore A's claim is false. (Expensive speaker cable is worth it, according to you)

And even in the first place you would need to prove that I can't hear what you can.

And "most of us would agree" is silly since I don't see anyone else agreeing with you here.

Jan, don't take this personally. It's perfectly all right to disagree with someone on an intellectual level but still remain friendly to them. I just want to save the OP and others some money based on sound science.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16482
Registered: May-04
.

I don't see anyone else agreeing with you, Jexx, you "silly" boy. This is what I posted, "What is logical is that no two people perceive music in the same manner. That has been demonstarted on numerous occasions and most of us have experienced such a result when discussing the same concert or recording amongst friends."

Don't cherry pick my post and then try to make something out of nothing. If you do not agree with the complete statement, say so. But don't engage in gamesmanship with a few words taken out of context. It would be fairly easy to demonstrate my point if you wish to carry your claims to their logical end.


Looks to me as though leo has more in common with my position regarding cables than with your own. Or, do you prefer also to selectively edit his words to suit your own purposes?





If your "sound science" is only that science you care to look at, then I once again cannot debate someone willing to make up whatever they need to say just to say something. If all the values I mentioned regarding cables - which were just those that came to mind and not at all an inclusive list - are not "science" to you, then I would say your science and your conclusions are seriously flawed. Actually, no matter which way you view the physical attributes of cables, I would say your conclusions regarding cables are seriously flawed simply becuase there are so many physical attributes of cables which seem to have escaped your notice.


"Saying that I can't hear what you hear is indeed ad hominem. I'll explain:
1. Person A makes claim X. (I say expensive speaker cable is a rip-off)
2. Person B makes an attack on person A. (You say I can't hear the difference)
3. Therefore A's claim is false. (Speaker cable does make a difference, according to you) "



That does not break down to prove any "ad hominem attacks" were made upon your character. In my examples "you" should not be taken to mean "you"/Jexx. "You" should represent all those individuals whose science is based upon selectively picking only those things which agree with their flawed perceptions and ignoring all of those evidences and known facts which indicate a countervailing conclusion. "You" amounts to nothing more than colloquial shorthand for "all of those people".

Is empricism not science at its most elemental? First observe and then deduce? I have observation and experience to back up my claims along with solid science. What "expensive" cables have you experienced and with what systems? Or, is this all what you've read in your books? Were you aware of the problems with connectors and incorrect impedance loading of the transmission line? Reflections of signals? Of RF and EM interference along with improper shielding and grounding techniques? If so, why did you not mention them?

How did you determine the reference system(s) had sufficient transparency to display small changes made to any single component? How did you establish a fair test that did not in some way tip your impressions to one conclusion or the other? How did you protect yourself from the placebo and the "no-cebo" effect?

If pseudo-science is what suits your decision making process, then you can accept the fact that "you" have been included in those descriptions I made. But no "attack" - ad hominem or otherwise - was intended to disparage your character, only your science and your conclusions. Saying and then proving your conclusions are wrong does not consitute an ad hominem attack by anyone's rules. If that were so, it would merely be a matter of who made their claim first and then began screaming "ad hominem" at all who followed with contradictory proofs. You need to check your rules of debate, Jexx. And you might begin with the link I provided above.



"And even in the first place you would need to prove that I can't hear what you can."


I've already done that. No two people experience or perceive a musical event in exactly the same manner. As you say - "and even in the first place" - it would be a physical impossibility for your ears to be in the exact location of my ears at the same time I was experiencing an event. That is a fact anyone should easily accept as a truism. That it is only a single fact with which to substantiate my opinion should hardly require elucidation.

Furthermore, and I would say most importantly, you fail to see perception as the event which occurs, not the hearing process which stops at the ear drum. For someone who claims a familiarity with the cognitive sciences, this should be quite evident to you.


Your opinion of cables remains only your opinion and nothing more. There is no science to which you can make a claim other than the faux-science of ignoring the obvious.


Finally, you still have no business telling the op how to spend his own money. As I said, there was no request made for your opinion of "cables".



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16483
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/57/index.html


http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/84/index.html


http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/are_you_a_sharpener_or_a_leveler/index.html




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Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5580
Registered: Apr-05

quote:


Your opinion of cables remains only your opinion and nothing more. There is no science to which you can make a claim other than the faux-science of ignoring the obvious.


Finally, you still have no business telling the op how to spend his own money. As I said, there was no request made for your opinion of "cables".




Thems fightin words! Haha, I just showed you hard data from engineers, including a peer-reviewed scholarly research study, all proving that expensive cable is a sham. You're giving me stuff that was written by journalists and your personal opinion is all.

There was indeed a request for our opinion of cables! Let me quote the OP:

quote:

I know nothing about wiring. Would this be good to go from the PM8004 to the B&Ws?




This is asking for our help! And if someone is doing something that is potentially a bad decision and is clearly asking for advice, it is up to us, as the "experts" to tell what we know, and not just let the person make a stupid mistake. And that statement made that we shouldn't tell him how to spend his money is hypocritical. This is an audio forum. People want our advice on how to spend their money since they trust us. In any case I see you do it in nearly every post you make, Jan, and I do the same. Otherwise there would be nothing to talk about.

Jan, calling me silly is childish and immature. If you want to get personal, then don't post! After all of this I don't think of you as any lesser of a person, just that you have a different opinion. I still appreciate the advice you've given me in the past and will certainly acknowledge you have a lot of knowledge and experience. It's even a bit fun to debate about this as I'm a bit bored right now. But if you're starting to feel angry etc. then we can just agree to disagree, all right?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16486
Registered: May-04
.

Jexx, you are becoming a bore. Your style of debate which suggests I have been attacking you and that I dislike you is pure eighth grade stuff. It was, as you well know, you who first applied the term "silly". It was you who posted the first real ad hominem, not the make believe type you want everyone to see when it doesn't exist. And you continue to make up crap just to have a position - not a very good position at all but slippery is better than nothing when you are on the loosing end of the debate. As I said, Jexx, I don't see anyone agreeing with you.


The op asked whether the AudioQuest cable was suitable for the amp and speakers he was considering. What he did not ask for was your belittlement of his opinion that quality cables were a worthwhile addition to his system. He did not ask you to tell him he was a fool for wanting to use a well regarded cable. Telling him "expensive" cables - where did you ever get that you were the person who could determine what was "expensive" for someone other than yourself? - were a sham was not what he was asking. You were out of line with that response, Jexx. I don't care what you think about cables, but you have no right to tell anyone on this forum what they are considering as a purchase amounts to fraud. For your opinion is something you would have a very difficut time proving as fact.


Since you're still relatively new here, Jexx, I'll repost a few of my guidelines for how I go about this forum. I seldom - very seldom -make suggestions for what others should buy. I'm not in a position to dissaude anyone from doing what they have set out to do - good or bad. You can check my history on this forum and see that is the case. I will suggest how they might go about establishing a good system or choosing a decent component but seldom do I suggest any specific product or berate a poster for suggesting they might prefer this over that. I post facts and procedures more than anything else. If the question is whether a Yamaha receiver is the best choice; first, I tend not to respond to such threads unless no one else provides an adequate reply. I don't recall ever telling anyone that a Yamaha receiver is a sham or telling them they are foolish for thinking Yamaha makes good products. The op shouldn't be insulted for thinking they have found a good product just because anyone on this forum wouldn't think to place it in their own systems. I've been told I'm very direct on this forum but I find what you have done here to be beyond direct and well into insulting the op's intelligence.



"This is asking for our help! And if someone is doing something that is potentially a bad decision and is clearly asking for advice, it is up to us, as the "experts" to tell what we know, and not just let the person make a stupid mistake. And that statement made that we shouldn't tell him how to spend his money is hypocritical. This is an audio forum. People want our advice on how to spend their money since they trust us. In any case I see you do it in nearly every post you make, Jan, and I do the same. Otherwise there would be nothing to talk about. "


What I find highly hypocritical is the idea you believe you have the right to inform someone here that what they intend to purchase is a fraud when you have no direct experience with the product. You don't do you? I mean, if you had, that would be a different discussion. But you don't as far as I can tell. You have virtually no experience with any "expensive" cables in any "expensive" systems. As with all naysayers you have made up your mind and it is now closed to any new information or experience. And you claim that as science. That is hypocrisy at its highest. Possibly you would have nothing else to talk about on this forum if you were not allowed to push your preferred products on others and insult the op by telling them what they have settled on is a sham but there are other things to discuss. 16,000+ posts later, I can tell you there are other things to discuss.



"Jan, calling me silly is childish and immature. If you want to get personal, then don't post! After all of this I don't think of you as any lesser of a person, just that you have a different opinion. I still appreciate the advice you've given me in the past and will certainly acknowledge you have a lot of knowledge and experience. It's even a bit fun to debate about this as I'm a bit bored right now. But if you're starting to feel angry etc. then we can just agree to disagree, all right?"



Where have I been angry, Jexx? Do you feel picked on? Do you see ad hominems where they do not exist? It would appear so. I'm not sure what audience you think you're playing to but it doesn't wash and anyone can see that. So stop with the child's games and either debate or not. My rules for this forum have always been that I will not hold grudges from one thread to the next - this is after all just an audio forum. I have been in numerous debates over the years and I expect to be in more in the coming years. But, untill someone proves they are not to be trusted, I approach each thread with the attitude that what was said in one thread should not extend into yet another. I have to say, Jexx, with the playground games you prefer to play, you are quickly becoming someone I am learning not to trust.



" I just showed you hard data from engineers, including a peer-reviewed scholarly research study, all proving that expensive cable is a sham. You're giving me stuff that was written by journalists and your personal opinion is all."


Show me again this "hard data" you talk about. What I see are two links, one of which is purely Roger Russell's opinion and the other which has a title of "Dispelling audio myths, the cable lie". Not at all biased in that last one, eh? The author is playing a game of "argument from authority" much as you would like to. " Unlike many of these manufacturer's customers I have a sound grasp of the underlying physics as I took the trouble of completing a Master's degree in electronics engineering." We both(?) know arguments from authority are just another form of logical fallacy which does not hold up under scrutiny. Anyone familiar with the history of audio can realize two things; first, many of the best products and longest lasting companies have been started and succesfully established in the audio communitiy by those people who didn't go to the "trouble" of getting a Master's degree. No one requires a Masters degree to know what good music is and a degree does nothing to ensure the person holding that piece of paper can actually hear. Second, it is not debatable that by the time you have received your Masters much of the curiousity which made science an interesting field to explore has been driven out of you and replaced with orthodoxy and a phlegmatic acceptance of how you must think in order to please the professors.


Cables have been a topic of debate in audio for over forty years. How many AES Journal articles have been written about cables in that time? One. One which came to the conclusion wire must be damaged to be "heard". Don't rock the boat is the AES motto. Yet we know from history science has often been highly partisan rather than highly quizzical. And we know from history that entrenched science has often been wrong. Plato/Aristotle, The Church/Galileo, "Modern Science"/Lister. In each case - and again those are just a few which come to mind - the established and entrenched interests denied what the more curious individual stated as a theory. Why? Mostly due to their desire to remain established and entrenched but also and often because they refused to see beyond what they already believed to be true.

Scientific inquiry cannot begin without an observation - Aristotle tells us that; http://hubpages.com/hub/Empiricism-Aristotle-the-First-Empiricist From the original observation the empiricist begins to develop a theory based upon further observation and experimentation. The rationalist on the other hand merely accepts what is in front of them and has no interest in the nature of "why". This is where the AES and virtually all Masters programs in engineering exist - they have little interest in the why and are more focussed on the "because I said so". One paper in forty years tells the story of how entrenched the engineering society has become regarding audio cables.

We know from recent history that cables as a component began as a single reviewer having the courage to express an opinion well out of the mainstream. Shortly after that intial opinion was expressed a few other reviewers, who were continents apart from each other and who had no interest in the other's opinions, expressed similar opinions based upon their own observations. Then the audiophile became involved and the divide between scientist and audiophile, pro sound and audiophile began to heat up with the entrenched forces resisting being dragged beyond any opinion they had previously expressed. Slowly the pro sound group has most recently given up some ground in the battle to satisfy those who make their living with their ears. High quality cables and connectors are now sold in any major music store and are found in the gear most touring musicians take on the road with them. Yet there remains the entrenched group of know nothings who refuse to budge on the matter. They see L,C,R while the rest of us know about dielectric absorption, magnetic fields, microphonics and RFI/EMI, etc. and we listen and we observe.






Since you seem more interested in your childish games where you make up BS to accuse me of than you seem interested in actually exploring why cables can be a significant component in a synergistic system, I really have no more use for your entrenchment, Jexx. Here's a link to a past thread which does the entire cable thing; http://www.ecoustics.com/cgi-bin/bbs/show.pl?tpc=1&post=235535#POST235535 consider it to be all that needs to be said on this matter unless you have some desire to actually carry on a conversation without the addition of your little fantasies and games.








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Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5581
Registered: Apr-05
Jan, I've been on this board since April of 2005, which is just barely a year "younger" than you, so I know how things work. I had 10,000+ posts, but many were deleted when Brian purged the board several years back of old messages.

At least I have the maturity to agree with you on several points.
 

New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jul-11
Thanks for the info! It seems that I amy have opened a can of worms with the wire question. I appreciate the suggestions pertinent to my system. There is; however, a change. I went to my local best buy (they have BWs set up) to listen to the 685s. All is well and good as I like the sound. They fit perfectly in my room right now (an office). Well, just because I was curious, I had him turn on the 683s. Big mistake. I need those speakers! So much difference. They are way overkill for my office (15'x15'), but next year they will be in the living room, so I think they will fit perfectly. Now my whole set up changes, as I need more juice. It seems like the ideal thing to do is to use a stereo power amp to rock the speakers and a pre-amp. Perhaps worth looking into, but as I don't want racks of equipment, what you are your thoughts on the NAD C375bee? I think 150W x 2 will be perfect for those speakers? I know they are maxed at 200W but theses are small spaces so I don't need to get that high. So BW 683 and NAD C375BEE. Is there anything I am leaving out? I will get the NAD C365BEE CDP for it as well, but not for a few months. Right now I am using an Sony Dream surround SACD player. I know not the best source, but it will hold me over for a few months.

Anyone have any comments on this set up. After some introspection I realized that I do not have any SACDs, and that I will not be buying any, so getting a player isn't worth it. I have AIFF to stream via the CDP (optical - either Airport Express or Sonos if I want HD), and can download HD tracks if I feel the need).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16495
Registered: May-04
.

I would make the source player a far higher priority than you have. For the last two or more decades better audio retailers and manufacturers have subscribed to the "garbage in = garbage out" theory of system building. If given the choice between $200 speaker cables and a better digital source, I would always recommend putting the money into the source and spending less on cables for the time being.


You seem to not understand power and how it applies to loudspeakers. Let me explain a few things and provide some links to more information. The 685 is spec'd at 88dB sensitivity which is relatively high for a standmount speaker. This would suggest the speaker would play rather loud with only a handful of watts being applied to its inputs. This a generally regarded as a good thing since buying watts can be a very innefficient way to achieve good sound. That 88dB spec is with only one watt input and doubling the number of watts to two provides approximately 3dB of additional loudness or 91dB*. Taking the B&W's spec as a base we could arrive at what is often considered an "average" listening level of 95dB with well under 25 watts of peak power. And certainly, as those of us who have seen meters on an amplifier fluctuate while listening know, most comfortable listening levels will require about 2 watts on average.

However, as with most modern B&W's the speaker has a very demanding impedance load which - though not indicated - is typically accompanied by a very demanding electrical phase angle. These two values make the B&W a fairly difficult speaker to drive well. Of course, "good sound" is yours to decide but I wouldn't be looking for just high wattage numbers as these have very little to do with actually delivering the sort of power which will be successful with the B&W's. To be more precise, wattage as you see it spec'd for an audio amplifier is the combination of volts + amps when working into a set impedance. You can find more about this calculation in these threads; http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/643339.html

http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/628565.html

and this post; http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/682815.html#POST1956655

Those pieces of information form the foundation for a successful match between amplifier and speaker and should IMO be studied by anyone considering a purchase which extends above $50.


The point being made in both is to inform the buyer that numbers on speakers seldom tell the full story and amplifiers have even dicier specs. When the impedance load on the amplifier drops, the amplifier must produce far higher current than volts. When that drop in impedance is accompanied by a high phase angle, the relationship between amps and volts is distorted in such a way that less work is being done for equal amounts of "watts" being put into the speaker. What this means to anyone considering a speaker with a low impedance and a high phase angle is they will need an amplifier that is not merely capable of supplying "watts" but one which is capable of increasingly high current delivery.

While we're dicussing watts, the "max wattage" or "power handling" spec on any speaker is pretty much a nonsense spec and supplying wattage up to that number is not at all important to the success of the system. In the case of the B&W, if you were to drive it with a 50 watt amplifier capable of high current delivery, you would be far better off than had you chosen a 200 watt amp which is shy on current.

Unfortunately, high current delivery is rather expensive to design into an amplifier as it requires substantial amounts of money being put into the power supply of the amplifier.

IMO and that of many other listeners the NAD amps are not your best match to the B&W's demands. In roughly the same price range the Rotel amps and digital players are often paired with the B&W's with what the owners consider to be great success. Of course, buying separates means you can mix and match components to build a system to your tastes. You'll have to get away from Best Buy however to find the components which actually might suit the B&W's.


I know that many buyers have never been introduced to any method of piecing together a system that doesn't start with the speakers and then buying lots of watts to drive the speakers and mostly ignoring the source but that has become a fairly old fashioned way of buying audio. While this will be your system and you'll get to make the decisions, putting a higher percentage of your available funds into the front end of the system while according sufficient cash to items such as cables and well built speaker stands has replaced the old ways of system building with a more logical manner of extracting the most music for the least amount of money.

http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/672623.html



* Doubling the wattage applied to the inputs of the speaker will always result in just about 3dB of additional loudness if all things are equal. Unfortunately, there are seldom two speakers or two amplifiers which are actually "equal" in all ways. Therefore, you should assume the increase in wattage is expotentially higher than is the increase in potential loudness levels in a real world system. Taking the B&W's 88dB spec as a base you would see that 2 watts input equals 91dB loudness while 4 watts should achieve 94dB - roughly what most consider an average listening level. However, as we continue to double the wattage we soon get to that point where we are jumping from 50 to 100 watts and then 100 to 200 watts and we are still only retrieving that same 3dB increase in potential loudness. You can use this link to calculate about how much volume you can expect from a speaker and amplifier combination; http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

Notice that adding a second loudspeaker to the room increases the total loudness and two watts on average once again becomes typical of a comfortable listening level. How far away you sit from the speakers will also change the calculation as will the reinforcement provided by speaker placement. The additional loudness levels you gain by having higher wattage is all on the peak levels and not so much on the average levels. What you gain is the ability to play at louder average levels while not clipping the amp into distortion on the peaks. All these "specs" are, however, just numbers which do not speaker to the quality of the pairing, only to the technical matters of potential loudness. In a situation where the electrical phase angle of the speaker is high (as is typical of the B&W's), the amplifier will have to work much harder to produce sufficient amperage/current to achieve equal loudness output when compared to a speaker with a more benign impedance/phase angle.


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New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-11
Wow Jan thanks for the post, I would rep you if I could! I am beginning to understand more how amps/speakers are rated. Sifted through those threads and some that are linked in those threads. I by no means understand it, but get the gist. I will go back through, but to sum it up due to the speak design of the B&Ws (Btw, I am interested in the floor standing 683s), high wattage is not as important (or equally important) as having enough current through the amp vis a vie heavy duty power supply. Could you give me a recommended amp set up for the 683s? I am going to do more reading and figuring, but I am curious what you would choose ($1200 max-ish). Maybe a rotel RA-1080 amp with matching rotel pre-amp and CDP? I know you said I should put more into the source, but I didn't think the NAD one was too bad. I will not spend over $1k.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16499
Registered: May-04
.

Allow me to further clarify the subject of current delivery. As I stated the speaker will draw ever higher current from the amplifier as the load impedance of the speaker falls. Most solid state amplifiers will be less than happy with an impedance load lower than 6 Ohms and quite a few would be shutting down or even in danger of self destructing once the impedance load falls beneath 4 Ohms. In most modern speaker systems the impedance (and phase angle) is variable with frequency and the lowest impedance point is often in those regions of bass response where the power demands are already relatively high. A simultaneous increase in electrical phase angle (at those same frequencies where the impedance load drops) simply makes the job of the amplifier that much more difficult as less work is being done as the phase angle rises. These two values make for what is known as a "reactive load" loudspeaker vs the purely resistive load of, say, a test bench.

The power supply of any amplifier is the first key to its success when driving difficult loads. However, building a sturdy power supply is the most expensive part of any amplifier - an amplifier is by definition a "modulated power supply" - and it is far simpler and less expensive for a manfuacturer to add features and geegaws rather than build a better power supply. Testing a middle of the road amplifier on a test bench where the amp is loaded only by a purely resistive load (a load resistor which does not vary in impedance or phase angle) can show a high wattage as the amplifier is only required to deliver high voltage and minimal current under such test conditions. Unfortunately, no one tests amplifiers for current delivery as a standard procedure. Therefore, a consumer is somewhat forced to take the word of the manufacturer and the reputation they have developed in the audio community when it comes to any amp's capacity to drive low impedance loads.

Looking at the B&W 683 spec sheet; http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/600_Series/683.html we unfortunately find it to be an even more difficult load than the 685. The minimum impedance value of 3.0 Ohms makes for a very difficult speaker load for most amplifiers of anything less than a stellar calibre. As is common with most modern B&W's we can assume the phase angle is also demanding a "stout" amplifier to deal with these combined values.

My first suggestion would be to find speakers which simply didn't require extreme amplification. With so many speakers out there which are far simpler loads for an amplifier, the need for the B&W's becomes, IMO, quite questionable. Any chance you could be pulled off the B&W's for a more rational speaker design?


If not, then the suggestion would be to keep the volume levels moderately low. It should be clear that any amplifier must produce a certain amount of voltage and current to drive any loudspeaker. If you are not pushing the volume levels of the system, then a lesser amplifier might be considered a possibility with the B&W speakers. One problem of demanding speaker loads is, however, they don't always sound very good at lower volumes and they tend to demand more "juice" to get going. Simpler speaker loads tend to sound better at any volume level.


Auditioning speakers in a shop such as Best Buy is not your best choice for numerous reasons but primarily for two specific reasons that are worth mentioning. First, you can't hear a speaker when there are other speakers in the room. For a high quality demo you need to have the amplifier connected directly to the speakers and have as few other speakers in the room as possible. And you need to be able tosit down and relax while listening to music in the same manner you would in your home, not standing up in a crowded room with a dozen other systems playing in the background while being asked to decide whether you prefer "A" or "B". Additionally, the speakers should be situated to provide the best possible performance from the system, not lined up one on top of the other against the wall. Obviously, none of this applies to how BB displays their speakers. Second, the amplifier, as I mentioned, needs to be connected directly to the speakers and not through a switching box. Most speaker selector switches in audio stores utilize transformers inserted between the outputs of the amplifer and the speaker load. This acts to minimize the effects of low impedance loads on the amplifier and will not show exactly how an amplifier drives a highly reactive load. So you need to find a decent independent audio reatiler who can provide a rational demonstration of their products.

How much effort are you willing to put into this purchase before you drop a few thousand dollars? Enough to actually do some travelling to find a suitable dealer?






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Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1708
Registered: Oct-10
I have to agree with you Jexx. When Shirley got her system, a friend of mine set it up for her. He tried Rockfish, Monster and Audio Quest interconnects with her blindfolded. She couldn't tell the difference, so she bought all Rockfish cables. Why spend the extra for names & gimmicks like AQ & Monster. The psychology you speak of has been used for years. Look how cheaply Bose gear is made, yet they move a lot of it. People waste huge amounts of $ on that crap and think they're getting something good.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16500
Registered: May-04
.

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence." Floyd Toole
 

New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jul-11
I agree, BB is not the best place to get equipment. Although, ours does have two audition rooms where you can sit and listen to the speakers, it is obviously sub optimum. The only speakers they had set up directly to the amp was a electromagnetic set, otherwise all through their interconnect set up. After listening to the BWs and other brands I liked the 683s the best. I could change speakers, but since I have heard them and like them I think it is a good starting point. I had heard the 685s in a home environment, and liked them a lot, but they are really upstaged by the 683s. Unless it sounds terrible, I will get the 683s.

For the rest of the system I am thinking of buying a rotel RB-1080 power amp, equivalent rotel pre-amp and probably the matching CDP or cambridge audio 740C. I will get products off audiogon or equivalent, so if I don't like the sound I can flip and not worry. It would be a few hours drive to get to the nearest audio place where I could audition, which is unfortunate.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16501
Registered: May-04
.

You might post a question in the "Speaker" section for the forum asking for more suggestions which would pair well with the B&W's. Otherwise, your plan sounds about as good as is possible in your situation.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1103
Registered: Dec-06
James, many here will tell you they can hear the difference cables make. So rather than come to a definite conclusion based on one or two instances, personally I'd say try to keep an open mind. Looking into what cables work well with a Classe amp may have yielded other options, which might have led to more apparent differences in sound.

The cable is part of the overall circuit. Change a cable and you've changed the circuit, and in some way you've also changed the way the signal behaves. It's almost inconceivable to me that you won't also change the sound as a result. At times it will be more perceptible than at other times, but if the signal behaves differently and the signal is what creates the sound, then it logically follows that the sound will also be different in some way.

Naim makes their own speaker cables, designed to take full advantage of their amplifier designs. I haven't read from too many people who would suggest purchasing other cables. And Naim cable isn't expensive.

Not looking to get into a cable debate, as this is really all I can add on the topic. Just stating what makes sense to me. For the record, I've swapped cables in and out and haven't heard great differences. It happens. But there are also those "a-ha" moments where a difference really is clear.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5584
Registered: Apr-05
Hey James, thanks for the support.

As for the lower impedance ohms of B&W speakers, the 3ohm minimum load on the 683's isn't a colossal concern. I have the 684's and they rarely dip below 6 ohms and my amplifier drives them fine (they are also listed with a minimum 3 ohm impedance). The 683's are a fantastic choice and the one I would get if choosing something from the 600 series (I'm also a huge fan of the 686's). And you won't have to worry much about the ohm load if you get a good amplifier like a Rotel.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2484
Registered: Oct-07
Super,
Go back to shirly.....in 6 months or a year with some different cables and THAN try your 'test'.
If the system is setup properly, she should, at that point be able to beging discriminating between cables. Find some 'bad' cables so the difference is accented.
IMO, I'd avoid Monster anything. Overpriced and hyped come to mind. I spent 7$ on a cheapo HDMI cable today. Fine results and easily better than the component (5 cable) mess it replaced.

As for B&W being an 'easy' load? I depends on the model. Impedance is a nice, easy measureable to talk about, but the real indicator of a 'bad load' is the phase angle.
In your house, this is what is called Power Factor. Don't forget you....or your amp, is 'billed' for watts. BUT the higher the phase angle the greater the VA of the load. IF the high phase angle is at or near the same frequency as an impedance 'dip', inferior amps will simply fail the test. IOW, it's gonna sound bad.

http://www.audiograph.se/Downloads/PowerCube_12p_brochure_complete.pdf

The link may be a little 'much' but get out of it what you can. Good amps do better into difficult loads.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5585
Registered: Apr-05

quote:

Go back to shirly.....in 6 months or a year with some different cables and THAN try your 'test'.
If the system is setup properly, she should, at that point be able to beging discriminating between cables. Find some 'bad' cables so the difference is accented.


[sic]

Define bad cables. If the cable is crappy enough (lamp cord) then she will certainly hear a difference. Also, isn't that a bit biased to say she'll hear a difference? Why not make it a little more scientific and say she may or may not hear a difference?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16513
Registered: May-04
.

"Why not make it a little more scientific and say she may or may not hear a difference?"



You didn't say that earlier.



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Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1711
Registered: Oct-10
You're very welcome Jexx.

Dan, I agree with you to the point that if you use cheap crappy cables, like the ones that come with source players, they'll damage the sound. However, I have several sets of Rockfish, Monster, AQ and other brands. I have tried them all with DVDs, blu-rays, CDs and VHS tapes and there is no real difference. They all have their gimmicks and claims, but that doesn't make any particular brand of cable better than the rest. It makes Monster more expensive than Rockfish and AQ more expensive still. I use Monster speaker wire because it was the cheapest 12 awg I could find. I certainly am convinced that speaker wire gauge has a lot more to do with its performance than brands and gimmicks. This comes from months of swapping out speaker wire and comparing brands and gauges. After I bought the Monster 12, A friend said he'd found 12 awg cheaper. Changing gauges makes a very noticeable difference. Brands on the other hand, no difference.

Leo, my friend who set up and connected Shirley's system knows exactly what he's doing, so yes it's set up properly. He has lots of experience with audio gear including cables. He has done lots of testing with various brands on himself and other people. Rockfish is what he uses exclusively. Why? When he tried various brands of cables with every brand of source player, amp and speaker from Sony to McIntosh, B&W and Avante Garde, neither he nor anyone else involved could tell any difference...except in price of course!
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1712
Registered: Oct-10
"You didn't say that earlier."

So what? Jexx didn't have an occasion to say that earlier. Do you suggest things without reason to Jan?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1104
Registered: Dec-06
You are right, brands don't matter. But it's not because they all sound alike, it's because they have different designs and don't sound alike. van den Hul does not have one kind of sound because they make dozens of different cables. Therefore, I would never say that vdH is better than brand X - it's too general a comment.

Again, if you change the circuit, how can you not change the sound? If we disagree on this then we will just have to agree to disagree on the topic as a whole.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5587
Registered: Apr-05

quote:

Again, if you change the circuit, how can you not change the sound?




One could even argue that all amplifiers sound the same despite using different circuits as long as there is no distortion (Richard Clark's $10,000 challenge proves this). So changing the "circuit" isn't as critical as one might think to how it sounds. Of course in the real world the way an amplifier distorts and other factors affect how an amplifier does sound in the end, so I'm no saying all amplifiers sound the same, simply that it is possible to change a circuit and not affect the sound. Further, one has to question just how critical wire is to the actual circuit (which is obviously the heart of the debate going on in this thread...).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16517
Registered: May-04
.

So what? Jexx didn't have an occasion to say that earlier."


Yes, he did. Haven't you actually read the entire thread?

What are you trying to start here, james? You had to interject something in another thread where I had posted and which served no purpose of furthering the discussion. What are you trying to start for no good reason? C'mon, james, a cable war is not something anyone here is interested in seeing. It serves no purpose other than to allow some people the opportunity to start up where they left off in another thread calling someone else names and posting crap that doesn't need to be posted. Drop it.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16518
Registered: May-04
.

"Richard Clark's $10,000 challenge proves this"

No, it doesn't. Read Fremer vs The Amazing Randi. You yourself in your previous coming to the surface for air wanted leo to say "maybe" but now you post absolutes. You can't play both sides of the court from one side line seat.



"So changing the "circuit" isn't as critical as one might think to how it sounds."


That was a pun of course. Otherwise, it is shear stupidity backed by nothing other than one hundred years of people altering circuits in order to change the sound. Please, you two guys, stop this before it gets very stupid. Believe whatever you want to believe but leave the rest of us alone or else just stop suggesting equipment. You can tell everyone a $99 receiver is good enough because you can't tell the difference and some cheap lamp cord will connect the speakers without problems.

Neither of you have done that so far so your logic is completely out of whack with your previous positions. This has nothing to do with "expense", so don't even go there.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16519
Registered: May-04
.

"Further, one has to question just how critical wire is to the actual circuit (which is obviously the heart of the debate going on in this thread...)."


OK, don't try to tell us again how speaker manufacturers just use "standard" cable. They don't. Don't reinvent all the poor arguments you made earlier or ignore all the values you forgot to think about previously just because james wants to start a cable war. The op has gone away. There is no need for this in "this thread".

Just one small value I had mentioned earlier, dielectric absorption, is real and it affects how the circuit operates under dynamic conditions. The dielectric absorption of Teflon is different than the DA of PVC which is different than the DA for other dielectric materials. The DA of a printed circuit board is different than would be the DA for point to point wiring. This affects the sonic quality of the signal. Not in ways which will be measured by the traditional cumulative tests run to check for THD but at the component level - where the action of sonics truly occurs, it will affect the sonics of the signal.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16520
Registered: May-04
.

This article by Marsh and Jung appeared in Audio magazine back in 1980, about the time cables were first being discussed as components which affect the sonics of the system. It should be fairly simple to see how cables and caps are similar in that both rely upon conductors separated by a dielectric. Both are affected by, among other values, dielectric absorption. Ribbon type cables have even been described as unrolled caps. The article appeared in two consecutive issues of the magazine and appears in full in this article.


Up to values of about 10,000 pF, polystyrene is the best all around choice, as it has reasonable size and is readily available in many sizes, with tight tolerances available. Above 10,000 pF, and up to 0.1 u F, it still can be used but is much harder to obtain.

Above, 0.1- u F polypropylene (or metalized polypropylene) is the dielectric of choice, as it has nearly the same relative qualities of DF and DA as polystyrene. Tight tolerances are available (but will be special order), and you can get capacitors up to 10 u F or more.

Teflon may well be the best dielectric of all for audio, but is produced in limited volume and is generally not practical. Parylene is an excellent dielectric also, but limited in electrical size ( 1 uF or less) and not widely available. Polycarbonate is perhaps the next best all-around choice behind these and is generally available in a wide range of values.

Polyester types are the most widely available for all the films and are already widely used in many audio circuits. There is no doubt that this is due to the generally low cost of these capacitors, but convenience and low cost should not be primary selection criteria to a critical audiophile. Polyester capacitors can be readily heard in good systems, with defects similar to those described for tantalum but, of course, reduced in magnitude.

In our opinion, polyester capacitors should be very carefully applied in an audiophile's system, and any system using them in the signal path may potentially benefit by the substitution of (equal value, voltage and tolerance) polypropylenes or polycarbonates. We have done this ourselves on different items of equipment, tube and transistor, with always the same result�a stunning upgrade in sound quality. Further, we have observed others do similar things, either completely independently or at our direction, with the same type of results.

It is not surprising to us that this type of reaction occurs, since one single polyester or electrolytic (or other polar type) can be heard, and a typical update to an old preamp or amp might replace a dozen or more! If you did nothing more than take an old (stock) Dynaco PA5 preamp and change the capacitors to polypropylenes, you can be literally astounded at the results. All of this is available at moderate cost to anyone who can solder, and you need not send your amp off to the specialty audio shop either!


http://www.reliablecapacitors.com/pickcap.htm




Please read the article and do not continue to discuss how amplifiers distort in total. Or how without any technical knowledge to back up what you claim, you wish to ascert that all cables are all similar. This is not about conventional measurements taken to sell a piece of audio gear to an uninformed customer. This is about what occurs at the component level which is where designers do their work to change circuits for the better.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue45/marsh_p2000t.htm

The device level is where things get a lot more interesting for the serious designer and enthusiast. For one thing, the "chunk" size is about right for getting at least a modest degree of correlation between what you hear and what you measure. For speaker drivers, roughness in the 3D cumulative-decay waterfall is a good index of potential coloration; however, the 3D waterfall loses most of its meaning when applied to the entire speaker, since the crossover neatly hides most of the gremlins from sight (although not from the ear of a skilled listener).

The device-level approach also works for electronics; the audiophile-approved 6DJ8/6922 loses much of its "low-distortion" charm when its abundance of 3rd and higher harmonics appears on the spectrum analyzer. Similarly, the audiophile favorite of the 12AU7 loses some of its luster when a dirt-cheap surplus NOS 6SN7 has three times lower distortion and three times the drive capability. These things are audible; when you work at the device level, repeatable correlations between sonics and appropriate measurements begin to dawn. Unfortunately, as long as magazine reviewers are incapable of appreciating the functional difference between a mu-follower and a SRPP, they will never penetrate this level of insight and understanding.

This is the right level for the skilled illusionist to work their magic. The adventurous triode builders, unlike the armchair generals of the mainstream magazines, have actually built mu-followers, SRPP's, RC-coupled circuits, transformer-coupled circuits, and explored the wonders of parallel-feed. Some of the geekier folks have turned on their spectrum analyzers and peered at the little wiggles down in the -120dB region ... and lo and behold, found useful correlations. By doing so, they are treading in the footsteps of Norman Crowhust, D.E.L. Shorter, and other pioneers of the Fifties.

Norman Crowhurst wrote a fascinating analysis of feedback multiplying the order of harmonics, which has been reprinted in Glass Audio, Vol 7-6, pp. 20 through 30. Mr. Crowhurst starts with one tube generating only 2nd harmonic, adds a second tube in series (resulting in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th), and then makes the whole thing push-pull (resulting in 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th), and last but not least, adds feedback to the circuit, which creates a series of harmonics out to the 81st. All of this complexity arises from theoretically-perfect tubes that only create pure 2nd harmonics!

With real devices there are even more harmonics. Then there's the effect of reactive loads, which adds a frequency dependency to the harmonic structure! (With reactive loads, additional harmonics appear due to the elliptical loadline seen by the power tubes. The elliptical load-line dips into the very nonlinear low-current region, resulting in an instantaneous increase in upper harmonics. This spectral "roughening" is most audible with strong low frequency program material and hard-to-drive horn or vented bass drivers.)

Feedback has no ability to "improve" the proportion of the distortion harmonics in a raw amplifier; it reduces all of the harmonics found in an amplifier in direct proportion to the feedback ratio, then adds new harmonics of its own thanks to the summing action of the feedback node. In practice, this means replacing large percentages of 2nd and 3rd harmonic with very small percentages of very many high-order terms. THD meters simply add all the terms together, paying no attention at all to the order of the distortion.

Crowhurst's mathematical derivation of the harmonic multiplication properties of feedback is impressively clear and direct, and D.E.L. Shorter's 1950's Wireless World analysis of how IM distortion dominates HD with real-world musical sources is equally clear. Put the two together and it is apparent that conventional feedback circuits create extremely large numbers of low-level sum-and-difference IM products. This adds a dynamic program-correlated distortion floor to the truly random noise from the electronics and the recording environment. Random noise by itself is perceptively benign, since the ear can hear "into" the noise, and discerns echoes as much as 10 to 20 dB deep into the noise by using a process of cross-correlation in the brain.

Echo (space) discrimination is an ancient survival skill that directly ties to the emotional limbic center in the brain; defeat this process by cluttering the echoes with high-order distortion, and emotional perception of the music is profoundly altered, perhaps even removed entirely.


http://nutshellhifi.com/library/illusion-engines.html


Also several decades ago, Richard Heyser - probably one of the most forward thinking engineers who ever worked in audio - created an amplifier which measured as perfectly as could be detected by the best test equipment of the time. No one thought it sounded good - at all. Which had always been Heyser's point. If you are unfamiliar with Heyser or with Marsh and Jung, please, do some reading before you continue on this ridiculous path to a cable war on this thread which is simply filled with uninformed nonsense. The fact anyone of you is unable to preceive the effect of a cable on the sonics of a system does in no way what so ever mean everyone else is equally impaired.

"One of the worst-kept secrets in audio engineering is that what we hear does not always correlate with what we measure." So wrote the late Richard Heyser 30 years ago, as quoted in Time Delay Spectrometry, a 1987 anthology of his writings (footnote 1). What do we hear? Music heard live consists of a sound pressure that changes according to the logical demands of two things that have no physical reality: the way in which music is structured in time and pitch, and how that structure is ordered by the composer/musician. Heyser, one of the most perceptive audio engineers I've had the privilege to meet, repeatedly emphasized in his essays and papers that the reproduction of music is a multidimensional event.
According to Heyser, the real aspects of the concrete framework that supports the two abstractions are at least five-dimensional. Sound has a "where," which covers three dimensions by itself. It has a "tone," which includes pitch and timbre, themselves independent variables. Its intensity, a "how much?" that varies with time, represents dynamics. It has a "when" aspect in that the listener's instantaneous perception of musical values depends very much on what has gone before. And which of these aspects is the most important when assessing quality will be different for each listener.

By contrast, any typical measurement is a two-dimensional, or at best three-dimensional reductionâ€"as in Stereophile's loudspeaker waterfall plots, where amplitude is plotted against time and frequency or direction and frequency. And the choice of which to plot against what may not be related at all to sound quality, but to the practicalities of being able to perform the specific test. There's the old story of the drunk looking for his keys under a street lamp. A passerby joins in the search and, after a fruitless few minutes, asks where the drunk has dropped them. "Over in the bushes," answers the drunk, "but it's too dark to look there."

To make things worse, every perceived aspect of a component's sound quality is affected by more than one technical aspect of its design. If a listener describes a loudspeaker as sounding "bright," for example, is it because the speaker has a tilted-up on-axis frequency response? Or is it because the speaker may be flat on-axis but its dispersion has some mid-treble peaks? Or because the power response tilts up? Is it because the speaker has excessive midband distortion? Is it a combination of all four, exacerbated by a lean-sounding woofer tuning? Or does the brightness have nothing to do with the loudspeaker's "sound," but is instead due to the partnering amplifier being driven into momentary, music-dependent overload by a speaker impedance that features a punishing combination of low magnitude and extreme phase angle? Although any single measurement will always have some connection with sound quality, that connection can be tenuous.


http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/398awsi/index.html



Why not just allow others to do the arguing for us?

http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=the%20sound%20of%20capac itors%20steve%20bench&type=



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New member
Username: Teutoniccarfan

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jul-11
Jan,
I am going to continue looking around and learning before I make my decisions, but I came across this amp. I was wondering if you could explain to me the upgrade options available for this amp:

http://www.odysseyaudio.com/products-stratos-stereo.html

What does this refer to?
Additional 60,000µF memory bank for 120,000µF total

It seems like even the basic amp option has decent 'specs'

Thanks,
Kevin
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16524
Registered: May-04
.

As written, no, I can't explain what they intended to say. My best guess is this is a foreign made component and the "engineers/marketing" people wrote something in a language other than what we are both reading. What was intended got lost in the translation process.

What they are referring to as "memory" is what we probably call the storage capacitance of the power supply. I suppose.

If that's the case, they are suggesting that adding additional voltage/current in storage will provide "better" sound quality. That's somewhat debatable just by looking at the specs provided. However, with the B&W's requiring a high current delivery from the amp, this is something to consider as a viable option, I suppose. A lot depends on how the additional capacitance is added to the amplifier's power supply - just adding larger caps isn't normally the best route - and also on how you'll actually use the system.

"Power" is stored in the supply caps of an amplifier's power supply and is released as demanded to satisfy the load. If there are insufficient amounts of this power in the supply caps, the amplifier will first drain the supply and then go in search of more "juice". Poorly designed amps will begin to draw current directly from the AC line but only for a given amount of time. Caps can only refill themself at a given rate so drawing current to refill the supply is a process limited by the caps themself. During this time when the amp lacks sufficient current to do its work the speaker, acting as a motor (the voice coil of the driver), can actually begin to drive the amp through its negative feedback loop (back EMF). This isn't how the whole system was designed to operate. Should another large current peak be hit while the caps are still charging, the amp simply won't have the reserves to deal with the conditions. In most cases the amp will slide on through without much more than a temporary disruption in sound quality - a system phart. In the most extreme cases though, the amp will shut down and can be damaged if the situation repeats itself. Properly designed high storage capacity power supplies tend to minimize these problems. If you're going to drive demanding speaker loads, then high storage capacitance is a good idea if it is applied in a sensible manner.

This paragraph from an above post would be worth considering as its implications could easily apply to any system using demanding speakers ...
To make things worse, every perceived aspect of a component's sound quality is affected by more than one technical aspect of its design. If a listener describes a loudspeaker as sounding "bright," for example, is it because the speaker has a tilted-up on-axis frequency response? Or is it because the speaker may be flat on-axis but its dispersion has some mid-treble peaks? Or because the power response tilts up? Is it because the speaker has excessive midband distortion? Is it a combination of all four, exacerbated by a lean-sounding woofer tuning? Or does the brightness have nothing to do with the loudspeaker's "sound," but is instead due to the partnering amplifier being driven into momentary, music-dependent overload by a speaker impedance that features a punishing combination of low magnitude and extreme phase angle? Although any single measurement will always have some connection with sound quality, that connection can be tenuous.





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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2486
Registered: Oct-07
This is additional power supply capacitance. Its goal is to smooth 'ripple'....very small variations in voltage and to provide power storage.
Adding capacitance is subject to diminishing returns and too much doesn't really help. 120,000mfd is a LOT

The downside is potentially the huge current spike at turnon, to charge these large caps. The double transformer option simply adds to the spike potential. Leaving it on all the time? Maybe, if in a cool spot and it won't cook itself.

Can you add the extra capacitance later? Is there a built in plug for the extra circuitry? You could than buy the 'stock' amp and add if you really thought it was necessary. Which unless you played hugely dynamic music at loud average levels, you probably wouldn't.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5588
Registered: Apr-05
Jan, I didn't have occasion to say it earlier. I feel that expensive speaker cable is a sham, but if I were to experiment with Shirley I would "have an open mind" to use your term and see if she could tell the difference or not.

Also, dialectric absorption refers to the capacitors and how much they discharge, NOT the wiring in the circuit. Honestly, you're confusing the heck out of me with throwing around these technical terms in the wrong way.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16525
Registered: May-04
.

"Jan, I didn't have occasion to say it earlier. I feel that expensive speaker cable is a sham, but if I were to experiment with Shirley I would "have an open mind" to use your term and see if she could tell the difference or not."

Glad to hear it, hindsight and weasling are both 20/20 vision. But that is not what you had posted to Kevin ...
" And don't get that wire or RCA cable!! That's ridiculously expensive. Expensive cables made of exotic material are a complete sham. Just get some durable cable and that's all you will ever need. Sure that stuff looks nice, but is it worth that amount of money? Certainly not! If you want well-built cable that still looks nice but is priced appropriately, I highly recommend Knukonceptz:
http://www.knukonceptz.com/home-theater-speaker-cable.cfm Any of the cables will be perfect, even the super cheap ones. Just get whatever looks best to you if you're after aesthetics. I'm running some cheap 20 gauge cable to my B&W CM1's that came in a premade home theater kit and it sounds just as good as my super expensive transparent brand speaker cable."



Or, ... "And yeah, it's kind of sad how many "extras" can be thrown into ostensibly making a system sound better, like crystals and power conditioners. Most of it is snake oil."


Or ... \i"Cables are cables. It's just your mind that makes the cable sound better: A form of cognitive dissonance. You paid big bucks for a cable so it should sound better"}

You can't claim something is a "complete sham" and "snake oil" or it's all in your head and then say listen with an open mind. How stupid do you really think we are?


I really don't care to beat this to death but DA is a function of any conductor which employs a dielectric. Possibly, you would be happier with the term dielectric loss. Either way, the point is the dielectric does affect the way a signal is sent from input to output of a cable - or a capacitor - and various dielectrics have different values.

Honestly, for someone who thinks cables only have values of I, C and R, your complaints are not impressing me.

"Yes, resistance ®, capacitance ©, and inductance (L) per foot and the length of cable used are the only parameters that have any effect in the audible spectrum."


Goodlord! Do you honestly think you can just make this stuff up and deny what you've actually posted without a single concern for the truth?! Have you read any of the links I've posted or are you unconcerned because they didn't come from anyone you consider to be a "scientist"? Or, because they didn't agree with what you care to think?


http://www.answers.com/topic/dielectric-absorption

http://www.answers.com/topic/dielectric-loss

http://www.answers.com/topic/dielectric-power-factor

.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5589
Registered: Apr-05
I do think Shirley (or anyone) would not be able to tell the difference in a cable, but having that thought alone will influence the outcome of the experiment (expectancy bias) so I would have to be as objective and neutral as possible to find the truth. It's basic research 101.

And I have glanced at a few of the links you posted, though it's a bit hypocritical to say I haven't read your links when it doesn't appear you've read mine (correct me if I'm wrong, though).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16532
Registered: May-04
.

So you're admitting you don't read my links! And you think that I am being hypocritical?! Geeez!!!!


I told you the Roger Russell link is merely his opinion. I also told you I don't take much stock in articles which start off with a conclusion and then begin to set forth a baised proposition meant to prop up a faulty logic process. Other than that, I've read all I need to on the cheap cables web pages and I've seen most all of the BS "psychological" pages you and others have linked to trying to find someone else who can hear no better than you can.

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence." Floyd Toole


What more do you want? I haven't seen any new argument from you than I have from any other near deaf naysayer in the last thirty years. Believe whatever you want, none of the rest of us care about what you cannot hear or think. But leave the rest of us alone because we're trying to enjoy the music.




"I do think Shirley (or anyone) would not be able to tell the difference in a cable, but having that thought alone will influence the outcome of the experiment (expectancy bias) so I would have to be as objective and neutral as possible to find the truth. It's basic research 101."


That, Jexx, is CYA 101a after the fact That isn't what you said to Kevin. On three separate occasions that is not what you said to Kevin. Backing out of this now is pretty d*mn difficult. And saying now you would have said or done something different then had you only known your words would be used aganst you is very hypocritical. I thought you were pretending to be "adult" about this.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Illuminator

USA

Post Number: 5590
Registered: Apr-05
Okay I'm done arguing with you Jan. Neither one of us is going to change our minds and I'm not learning anything useful by continuing this discussion. And honestly, I could care less since this is just a forum thread that only a few people will ever see.
 

Silver Member
Username: Joe1234

Post Number: 125
Registered: May-09
Any two different cables will objectively convey a signal differently, its pointless to discuss if those differences are meaningful, even if that pretty looking cable could only make you believe that you are listening better its worth every penny you paid for it
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1719
Registered: Oct-10
No Jan, Jexx hadn't any occasion to point that out earlier.

Dan, I have a box full of various "grades" of cables by various companies. This includes a few of the ones that came with source players. If I put one of the crappy, came with it cables in the circuit, the sound quality suffers. Otherwise, it's a matter of weather you want to save $ by using Rockfish or spend extra for prettier cables. If you like the blue Audio Quest G Snake, that'll cost ya. If you like red better, AQ Sidewinder will cost you more. The green ones are more expensive still.

Joe, if you can truly perceive an advantage, which I suggest you try blindfolded while someone else switches the cables, then it's worth the extra coin. However, having done a lot of swap outs, so far Rockfish for considerably less bux sounds just as good to me as AQ's top of the line.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16535
Registered: May-04
.

"Neither one of us is going to change our minds and I'm not learning anything useful by continuing this discussion."


You seem to forget that learning anything useful only comes when two conditions are met; first, you must be willing to learn, and, second, you must listen to what the other party has to say. You've already admitted you are not reading what I have to say and you obviously therefore have not opened your mind to learning anything useful. Anything that is other than those items you have not already made up your mind are in agreement with what you prefer to believe.

These are the function of your "Belief Engine". Possibly you'll read these links and possibly you'll be open to listening to what others have to say.

There's a strong survival imperative, in other words, to prefer failure by believing something untrue over failure by not believing something that is true. Believing is less expensive than not believing ...

... Groups, like individuals, form beliefs. To reject the beliefs of your group was to risk ostracism and death. People who questioned and challenged the beliefs of their tribe often did not survive to pass on their genes to future generations; the ones that were most likely to pass along their genes were the ones who learned to believe what the group believed, even if it was contradicted by clear and available evidence.
http://www.xeromag.com/belief.html

Beliefs are generated by the belief engine without any automatic concern for truth. Concern for truth is a higher order acquired cognitive orientation that reflects an underlying philosophy which presupposes an objective reality that is not always perceived by our senses.

The belief engine chugs away, strengthening old beliefs, spewing out new ones, rarely discarding any. We can sometimes see the error or foolishness in other people’s beliefs. It is very difficult to see the same in our own.
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/belief_engine/


Jexx, you ceased your engagement of a sceptical mind and any form of critical thinking when you accepted the idea, "Yes, resistance ®, capacitance ©, and inductance (L) per foot and the length of cable used are the only parameters that have any effect in the audible spectrum", as the last piece of information you required.

I've spent twenty five years in audio sales and the hobby itself thinking about the information both pro and con surrounding cables. From the time the first Monster Cable speaker cable arrived at the Pacific Stereo store I was working at in 1977 until I last worked in retail audio I was expected to continue to learn the possiblities of cables. I venture to say I have experiemented with a few more cables than have you in a few more systems than you have. I have spent the last seven years on this forum debating exactly the same arguments you have presented as your only proofs of your beliefs. I provided a link to a thread from years back, did you bother to look at it? I doubt it. You ceased thinking and questioning at the point where you had satisfied yourself that others were comfortable with your belief engine and you with their's and that you were in no danger of being ostracized by your tribe of naysayers who cannot hear or think any better than can you. In other words, I heard exactly the same arguments you have today from the same sort of naysayers which I encountered way back in 1977. Nothing on your side has changed on iota.

When you are actually adult enough to admit there might be something you do not already know - something which has transpired in the intervening years since 1977, then this discussion might be worth pursuing.

.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16536
Registered: May-04
.

"No Jan, Jexx hadn't any occasion to point that out earlier."


James, for godssake, read the thread.




"Dan, I have a box full of various "grades" of cables by various companies. This includes a few of the ones that came with source players. If I put one of the crappy, came with it cables in the circuit, the sound quality suffers. Otherwise, it's a matter of weather you want to save $ by using Rockfish or spend extra for prettier cables. If you like the blue Audio Quest G Snake, that'll cost ya. If you like red better, AQ Sidewinder will cost you more. The green ones are more expensive still."



"The question should not be whether "expensive" cables are to be considered a good value but rather cables will - in your system and to your ears - make any differences or certainly any improvements to the sound quality.

If you have already made the decision cables should be regarded as another component in your system's performance, then it is your decision which cable is beyond a reasonable monetary balance point for your system. Most of the members of this forum consider cables to be a worthwhile addition to any system at any level though I would say only a few of us have invested thousands into cabling our systems."; Jan_b_vigne posted on Friday, July 29, 2011 - 17:44 GMT

Read the thread. There is no point in repeating the same BS over and over.



"Joe, if you can truly perceive an advantage, which I suggest you try blindfolded while someone else switches the cables, then it's worth the extra coin. However, having done a lot of swap outs, so far Rockfish for considerably less bux sounds just as good to me as AQ's top of the line."



Blind Tests & Bus Stops

In the summer of 1978 I took part in a blind listening test organized by Martin Colloms, in which the panel tried to distinguish by ear between two solid-state power amplifiersâ€"a Quad 405 and a Naim NAP250â€"and a tube amp, a Michaelson & Austin TVA-1. The results of the test were inconclusive, the listeners apparently not being able to distinguish between the amplifiers (see HFN, November 1978). Having been involved in the tests, having seen how carefully Martin had organized them, and having experienced nothing that conflicted with my beliefs, I concluded that the null results proved that the amplifiers didn't sound different from one another. I bought a Quad 405.

However, over time I began to realize that even though the sound of my system with the Quad was the same as it ever had been, the magic was gone. Listening to records began to play a smaller role in my lifeâ€"until I replaced the 405 with an M&A tube amplifier two years later.

The lesson was duly learned. Whether or not they can be told apart under blind conditions, amplifiers can have a major effect on a system's sound quality. And more important, normal listening had revealed what the blind test had missed. I told this anecdote at the debate to make two specific points. First, it demonstrates that my following the then-as-now "objectivist" mantraâ€"that audiophiles should buy the cheapest amplifier that offers the power and features they needâ€"had let me down. Second, it pits against one another two core beliefs of the believers in "scientific" testing: 1) that a blind test, merely by being blind, reveals the reality of audible amplifier differences; and 2) that sighted listening is dominated by nonaudio factors, the so-called "Placebo Effect."

To explain my quarter-century-old Damascene experience, you have to accept that either the blind test was flawedâ€"in which case all the reports that cited that 1978 test as "proving" the amplifiers sounded the same were wrongâ€"or that the nonaudio factors were irrelevant, in which case the criticisms of sighted listening based on that factor must be wrong.

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/705awsi/



" And remember, perceiving just what a cable does in a system depends on just what you consider to be of value in sound quality and that can change over ... months of owning a higher quality system. As you begin to hear deeper into your recordings what you preceive when you first set up the system isn't going to be what you perceive this time next month or the month after that. And cables will become much more important to most listeners as their systems become more transparent over time and equipment upgrades are taken further towards transparency to the source. "Tweaks" as they have come to be known are valuable tools which will increase the performance of most systems if the user is open to their values. Making a small modification to the set up of your system can mean cables sudenly become much more valuable as components within a well balanced system. Experiment with an open mind." ; Jan_b_vigne posted on Friday, July 29, 2011 - 17:44 GMT



Read the thread, james. Unless you have something new to contribute, there is no purpose in repeating what has already been covered. And there is certainly no point in ignoring what has already been covered. Read the thread.





.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1106
Registered: Dec-06
I think it's basically what was said in the article, Jan. Our short-term memories with respect to sound are quite poor. It is difficult to listen to something, then switch a component and listen again, and spot the differences. However, I've always found it much easier to listen to a system over time...to get used to the sound. Then swap a part of the system. Now whatever differences exist become much more apparent.

Also, when listening blindfolded, we are not listening the way we normally do. This introduces certain stresses that are not a factor in normal listening.

I used to think blind A/B testing made sense, but if the tests do not yield reliable results then there is little point.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1723
Registered: Oct-10
Jan, I read the whole thread more than once. Jexx's advice about making it scientific WITHIN THE CONTEXT THAT HE SAID IT, was not called for until the post where he said it.

This is thread becoming another exercise in futility w/o resolution. I don't hear differences in cables apart from the come withs and that will only change if it does so on it's own, not because you think it should Jan.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1725
Registered: Oct-10
IE: shut up Jan!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16541
Registered: May-04
.


james, you are a bl00dy idiot.


Want proof?



It took you over half an hour to make the last post.





Bl00dy idiot!




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1727
Registered: Oct-10
Wanna see a bl00dy idiot Jan? Look in the mirror!

Just because there is a half hour between posts, that certainly does not mean it took 30 minutes to type, "IE: Shut up Jan!" you f*cking idiot! I don't hear a difference between Rockfish and AQ and that isn't going to change because you think it should you piece of sh!t.

IE: Shut up Jan!
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1732
Registered: Oct-10
Elk: Jan has been banned from many forums.

Jan: Don't believe what Elk says.

No, that couldn't have happened. Jan couldn't possibly get banned from many forums for acting like a moron just like he does here. We should believe that Jan never had issues on other forums. We should also believe that Jan didn't deserve to be banned from stereophile.

ROTFLMAO!

You're a liar and a joke Jan!
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2495
Registered: Oct-07
LONG TERM LISTENING.
Agreed. When I set my system up, I did what looked right, based on years of experience with panels. OK start.
Next day, started tweaking. 10 minutes max for this. Better? Gave it another day.
Repeat for 3 or 4 more cycles. Leave alone for a week.

Never settled in to my satisfaction.

Flipped panels around to listen to pole piece side. A couple cycles of adjustments and I'm home.

I did the same when I added a sub. Start with prelim adjustment and tweak away. Let it sit for a time and just listen. At some point, something bugged me.....When I figured out WHAT, I adjusted again with that specific problem in mind.....Say bloomy mid-bass, for example. Lowered x-over frequency. Lowered it again.

The closer I got to 'final', the longer I let it sit between adjustments.

Finally success....Don't touch that dial!
 

Silver Member
Username: Joe1234

Post Number: 130
Registered: May-09
There are many ways to explain why at some point someone will not be able to hear differences between cables, one is that your hearing for whatever reason does not allow for it or maybe you cant hear it because you are biased against hearing them or maybe your test equipment is not as high end as it is needed or maybe: ______________________ .

But if you purchase one of those pretty cables and it really makes you hear better your music you are not getting scammed.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16542
Registered: May-04
.

Regarding the "placebo effect"; If the test subject responds to a placebo in a positive way on all occasions, then the subect has received the benefits in the real world. Score as a positive result.

Regarding the "no-cebo effect"; If the test subject does not respond to a treatment which results in positive scores from other subjects, then the test subject has seen no benefit. That, however, does not negate the benefits managed by all others. It is quite possible the test subject was biased to expect no results and expectations biases based upon prevailing belief engines were met. Score as a null, mark the result as inconclusive and move on to studying why the positives were met.


This is were most naysayers fail; once they fall into the "no response" category, they simply stop looking for why others have experienced a positive result. They circle the wagons with others who share their opinion while those who have experienced a positive result continue to ask, "Why?" If you have no curiosity, you will never find a new answer.


As any Catholic school educated child will tell you; if you seriously think it, you're already going to he11.




Nope! sorry, that's mortal sin. Oh, well, the same applies to cables and audio tweaks.






.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth

Canada

Post Number: 16568
Registered: Jan-08
Jan Vigne banned
Posted: November 15, 2010 - 10:41am

We have banned Jan Vigne from the forum.

I have tried, John Atkinson has tried, Ariel Bitran has tried, and members of the forum have tried to assist Jan Vigne in becoming a valuable, productive, sociable member of our community, but Jan simply could not function within the group.

Jan's contributions turned regularly to hostility. Jan's contributions worked to derail threads so that his behavior and personality became the focus of discussion. And, ultimately, we felt Jan's behavior dissuaded others from participating and prevented new members from joining.

It's always unpleasant to have to ban a member of our forum, but we feel this is the right decision and we hope it helps to make the forum a better place.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth

Canada

Post Number: 16569
Registered: Jan-08
Jan Vigne's Profile User Rating: -----
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http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/user/26030-jan-vigne/
 

Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth

Canada

Post Number: 16570
Registered: Jan-08
User is offline mtheory

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 40
Joined: 24-September 10
LocationTwin Cities

Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:28 AM
Jan, I really don't for the life of me know why you bother asking anything here, unless it's just to give yourself an opportunity to be argumentative and pretend that you know more than someone else. You clearly haven't any interest whatsoever in somebody else's opinion, whenever it differs with yours, and since you clearly have virtually zero real world experience of your own, and yet aggressively cast aside advice and input from those who do, I really can't see any point for your questions. You already know everything there is to know. You're an audio God, amongst mere mortals. We all can only bow to your magnificance and brilliance. We're in awe and are so fortunate to be in the presence of such a brilliant mastermind. Thank you for blessing we humble idiots with your astounding glory, almighty one.

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/56879-valve-jr-as-an-acoustic-amp/page_ _p__773569#entry773569
 

Silver Member
Username: Chaff

Post Number: 790
Registered: Feb-10
PLAYMOUTH ..(sat forum idiot)

still posting your stupid c/p's...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16543
Registered: May-04
You gotta love it, Chaff!

"Sad forum idiot"





Sadly, it's what internet trolls do!



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1734
Registered: Oct-10
ALL salespeople are crooks and liars. Jan was a salesperson. What a surprise! He's still a crook, liar, Internet troll, bombastic cyber bully and spineless worm. No hope for improvement either. Wanna talk about sad?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4481
Registered: May-05
Another thread turned into a sh!tshow. Great job, guys.

Kevin,

It seems youve found a speaker you've heard and really like. Stick with them. There's better out there, but there's worse too.

If you're set on the 683 over the 685, you really should be certain that they'll end up in a larger room than the office. Bigger speakers have a tendancy to dominate a smaller room. Bass can become over the top and drown everything else out, either subtley or in an in your face manner.

I honestly believe the 685 would be a far better chioce if the speakers are going to stay in the office. The 683 may have sounded far better in the audition room, but that's a room which had appropriate space to allow them to breathe. You should really consider where the speakers will end up in the long run and plan accordingly.

In regards to components, keep it simple IMO. The Rotel seperates have traditionally been pretty good with B&W. I haven't heard Rotel's latest, let alone with 683s or 685s, so no real comments from me about the pairing.

I'm not sure how much you're willing to spend on the preamp and power amp nor what the current prices are on the new and used market, but for equal money have you looked into higher end integrated amps? You could find a used Bryston B60 for about $1k or a Naim Nait 5i for a few bucks cheaper. Either will drive the B&Ws pretty well (I own a B60 and have heard it with 683 and 685) and will sound better than the Rotel stuff IMO. A used Bryston will get you the balance of their 20 year warranty, which makes it a very safe bet used. And it'll hold it's value quite well if you want to get rid of it.

The source is definitely important, so don't skimp on it. Due to the Apple TV and desire to play SACD, maybe get an external DAC rather than a CD player?

Just some food for thought. The integrated amps I mentioned are a good bit less powerful than the Rotel stuff from a wattage standpoint, but their power supplies are far more stable into complicated loads and therefore should perform better. Bryston's 60 watts and Naim's 50 watts should drive those B&Ws to pretty good volume levels in any normal sized room. If you're looking for KISS concert levels in a huge room, neither one nor the Rotel stuff will really get it done IMO.

Another amplification combo that may be worth considering is thw Adcom GFA 5802 and GTP 750 amp and pre (not sure about the letters, but the numbers are correct). They're a bit old, but they were quite good, and matched up very well with B&Ws back then. They were Nelson Pass designs.

Sorry to skip around in my post. Using an iPhone doesn't make efiting very easy.

Last thought - keep it simple with cables and don't go crazy. I'd recommend Blue Jean cables to start out with, as they're cheap and very good quality. Get used to what the system is doing over a period of time, then revisit it IMO. I definitely hear differences in them, but I view them as the finishing touch. I don't get a true sense of what cables are doing until after I've lived with components for at least several months. Everyone's different though.

OK... Last last thought...
Whatever you buy, the most impirtant thing is proper set up. Putting speakers where they look and/or fit best isn't going to get the job done. Speaker and listening position will easy make or break a system. Well placed speakets will make a mediocre system sound pretty good. Poorly placed speakers can make the very best sysyem sound poor. Placement's critical.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4482
Registered: May-05
I'd also be willing to bet something like an Arcam A90 and rDAC would sound bettrr than tbe Rotel combo.

Just opinions of course. Take them as you will.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1743
Registered: Oct-10
I will concede one point though. I use an AQ interconnect for my sub and it does sound better with this cable than it does with Monster or Rockfish. The bass is cleaner and more detailed with the AQ than with the other two.
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