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Speaker cables?

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Archive through January 30, 2005edster922100
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Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1337
Registered: Aug-04
Stealth C et al,

"The senses can be deceived quite easily MyRantz."

I agree entirely otherwise hypnotists and magicians would be out of work. But that has nothing to do with my experience of hearing subtle improvement with the Kimber cable. I can't prove to you otherwise nor shall I ever be able to change your views. No offence intended, but as I have no more I can add I shall leave you all to it and enjoy what I am hearing - and with the knowledge I that I am not under the influence of deceived senses. Sorry about starting a religious discussion, that was, I thought, quite obviously not the intention.

Have fun with it.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 25
Registered: Jan-05
Edster, nonetheless people pray to Buddha and various bodhisattvas. But again, it largely depends on the variant of Buddhism that you want to discuss. As for Zen being the most well known in the west, it is up for debate, but I daresay that the Dalai Lama is the best known figure of Buddhism and he certainly doesnt practice Zen. Either way, it is not for discussion on this thread. You can PM me if you really want to discuss it further.

MyRantz: No offence intended to you either, but because there are so many explanations that can interpret an improvement in sound, I remain skeptical of wiring. Although as I said, high quality construction does make a difference, although paying too much for it is just a fools errand.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 307
Registered: Sep-04
mauimusicman

"If electron flow migrates outwards with rising frequency and bypasses the conductor's center, why not eliminate the center entirely and build a hollow cable?"

QED X-Tube series cables do precisely that. Tube based cables are really expensive to make and somewhat impractical in use because they tend to be quite stiff. The QEDs are probably the most successful implementation so far (there have been others).

Stealth C: Let me see if I get this straight. You accept that there are differences in the sound between cables. You do not accept that these differences warrant the sometimes exorbitant sums of money the manufacturer asks for the product. If that's what you're postulating, then you're actually agreeing that different cables DO make a difference! The question of whether or not the cables are value for money depends on the customer's personal circumstances.

Also, it's been observed that one piece of equipment may work synergistically with another and yet the same piece of equipment seems to mismatch with another make. In the same way, the relatively minor difference a cable makes in one system may be quite a major difference in another system simply because of it being a better match. For example, I believe the best interconnect for Arcam equipment at the moment is the Acoustic Precision EIKOS interconnect which is a snip at £89 for a 1m length. I have tried the Arcam stuff with different interconnects varying in price up to £500 (1m length) and always come back to the AP interconnect. It's just a better blend, irrespective of price.

The important thing from my point of view is that you do perceive the differences. Once you're there, it's up to you to decide whether they're value for money in the context of your circumstances, naturally! However, there are others here who dispute that different cables sound different at all - and that running in cables makes no difference (there is one make where it doesn't seem to make any difference but all the rest do seem to benefit from it). I don't subscribe to the idea of charging to run in people's cables for them - that seems a stretch to me, but I guess if there are people willing to pay for it and the dealer has the time and patience to do it, then that's up to the particular market in which it is done. I do know, for example, that running in customer kit (cables included) is part of the service in certain parts of the world (and free in those parts).

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 28
Registered: Jan-05
I agree that cables make a difference Frank, but whether, after a certain point, they make the sound more accurate is definately still up for debate. Also as you yourself stated, you sell silver plated copper wire whose intent is to have the treble arrive prior to the corresponding bass frequencies. While it may be more pleasing to the ear and create a more "open" sound, is it more accurate to have the treble arrive out of sync with the bass? One can potentially make subtle effects with cable, but once a person has already aquired competently engineered speaker wire of appropriate gauge, how much more accurate does the sound really get?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 292
Registered: Oct-04
Well you wouldn't pair $3000 of cables with $1000 speakers. Questioning the practicality of someone purchasing home theatre systems costing tens of thousands of dollars is like questioning why someone buys cars worth $300,000. And when you buy the best equipment you want the best cables as well.

 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 309
Registered: Sep-04
Stealth,

Accuracy - hmmm. I've always had a problem when people quote accuracy. I found the Pink Triangle Anniversary - in its day regarded as the most accurate deck on the planet - as the most unremittingly boring bit of kit I'd heard. I've heard many other pieces of equipment that are similarly accurate but uninvolving. It seems that although they may be accurate, they become more unmusical. In the late 80s and early 90s there was a fashion/spate of tests done of various kit against master tape recordings and checking to see which bits of kit were the closest to the master tape - and thereby being the most accurate. Eventually this fashion was abandoned as a fruitless exercise, probably due to the combinations of equipment each introducing its own inaccuracies to the equation.

The conclusion then is that all HiFi, no matter how accurate, remains inaccurate. Once one reaches this conclusion, one chooses the equipment on the basis of which combinations blend to give you the musical message behind the sounds that the system transmits. The musical message is that emotional connection conveying elation/sadness/anger/shame or any of a myriad of emotions that a performance can convey. The blend of equipment is the key to achieving this, and the cables are part of that blend since they do sound different.

Don't get me wrong - accuracy is a wonderful ideal to aim for, but not at the expense of the musical message without which there might as well be no music.

Kano

If the $4000 combination of $3000 cable and $1000 speakers beats another $4000 combination of $1000 cable and $3000 speakers, which would you choose? It's not a question of the cost, but a question of the effectiveness...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 29
Registered: Jan-05
I have no desire to really argue about it anymore, but suffice it to say that this is why there is a contraversy in regards to high end cables. Then again most people dont like JBL and they are among the most popular brands for movie theaters, studios, etc. If people truly wanted sound as close as possible to the artists intention, there are few other choices than JBL.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 314
Registered: Sep-04
Well put, Frank. That all seems to make sense. But accuracy.... Hmmm.

If the equipment conveys the performance 'accurately' and the performance was one of a 'musical' presentation, then how more musical can it get as we move away from accuracy?

I am begining to think, after reading many posts across the band of subjects here, that the whole 'musicality/accuracy' debate is something people get wound up in without having any definate parameters to lock onto.

If timing be the essential additive to dynamics in order to arrive at that elusive quality of 'musicality', then the system possessed of these qualities in equal and abundant measure, will be the most accurate, logically speaking.

There seems to be some confusion surrounding this subject and I'm not altogether sure many people are not simply trying to mystify the qaunta required for musical accuracy, if even only to themselves.

No offence meant - I'm still learning in this area.

V
 

Shahrukh
Unregistered guest
Listen all of y'all. Cables do make a difference! A very minute difference in most cases. It's only makes a "huge" difference with a super expensive hi-fi equipment. If you listen to Nautilus, Wilson Bs, Linn and Krells with cheap cables, the sound is obviously not gonna be what you paid for. That's when expensive cables come into play. And hey, we're arguing with "perceptions". Hey guys, remember the basics of good sound. What I like to hear may not be what you like. What I think makes a difference, might not make a difference to you. C'mon guys, jus trust your OWN ears. To each his own, I always say.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 312
Registered: Sep-04
Stealth,

Sorry, I didn't realise we were arguing. I thought we were just discussing. Interesting point about JBL - in Europe it's quite rare to find JBL in a studio. The more usual brands to be found in that application are Dynaudio, B&W and PMC. The first two are usually combined with Chord Electronics amps and the latter usually with Bryston. OTOH, it's quite common to find JBL in movie theatres, though I don't know what electronics are specified, nor why this is the case.

Personally, every time I've heard JBL's I've detected a colouration and fullness in the bass that one does not usually find in real life. It's very pleasant, but not exactly accurate. That said, I haven't heard the K series speakers which are meant to be really quite something.

Varney

As I said earlier, accuracy is a laudable aim. The problem is the difference between the micro and macro. If the designer addresses the little inaccuracies in his amp (say), making the individual instruments all sound more realistic - or accurate - then the outcome should be a more accurate and musical event, and it may well be. However, if the whole piece sounds less musical or even less accurate after these adjustments (possibly due to the adjustments at instrument level having an effect on each other overall), then s/he has to rethink and possibly reduce the micro accuracy in order to bring back the macro accuracy - or musicality - of the whole piece.

The problem is that nobody has been able to prove defnitively what makes a piece of music elicit an emotional response, nor why this happens. It's known that certain combinations of sounds and notes run at a particular pace usually elicit certain responses, but it's not really understood why or how these sounds make this kind of response happen. Also, all equipment is essentially passive. It receives a signal and transmits it along a chain. It doesn't know what's next. OTOH a musician usually knows the piece and interprets what's next, using the score as a guide. Yet, Rodrigo's guitar concerto sounds very different if the guitarist is different. So the job of the equipment is much more difficult in my view, simply because it can't know what's coming next and 'get ready to rumble'.

Timing is, in my view, the most important measure in any piece. However, there are many people who would disagree with this, including some who are very highly regarded in the HiFi industry - such as Ken Kessler of HiFi News for example.

I am convinced timing is the most important measure. The reason I say this is that 'time' is the only universal measure in music. All scores (apart from one or two Schoenberg pieces) are based on 'time' or beats. The problem with 'timing' is that it is not simple 'time'. Timing involves the subtle change of 'time' in any piece. So for example, although a movement is marked as 'andante', it may vary in pace, the time ebbing and flowing and not constant. Even a typical 4-4 beat is messed around with by a typical rock band.

So the equipment, which remains essentially passive, is always caught on its back foot, having to react quickly (but not infinitesimally so) to the signal. Now consider that there are several bits of equipment in the chain from disc to CD player (or turntable) to amp to speakers all via wires (!), each with their own variances which are cumulative and considerable. And that's not mentioning the just as corrupted recording chain of course! It's laudable for the manufacturer to aim for accuracy, but in the blending of the products, one has to choose the compromise that most suits one's own taste - and not necessarily the most accurate at a given price.

I agree about the confusion, and I'm probably deluding myself just as much as anyone of course, but I do feel there is some element of truth in everyone's point of view, no matter how opposed they are. This is why - in my view - it's essential as one goes up the HiFi ladder to build a trusting relationship with a dealer. As time goes by, he gets a feel for your requirements and preferences, but he and you also build a mental picture for the combinations and how each modification can unbalance your system as it grows with you. Your local dealer may not have the kind of kit you wish to hear, but this is partly for financial reasons but also because he already has a mental picture of how his kit works together and is building slowly a bigger and better picture. He spends his time on this stuff a great deal and he has a short period in which to show the balances of the kit when you're in the shop. The better acquainted you are, the better equipped you'll be to articulate your needs and for him to understand them - and with a solid relationship, he'll be more willing to go the extra mile for you.

...if he's a good dealer of course...!

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sinkdrain

Post Number: 117
Registered: Aug-04
I have a hard time believing that "super" cable will make a measureable difference in sound reproduction. This "super" cable is replaced by normal wire both in the speaker and in the receiver.

I play an unlaquered tenor saxophone because I feel it vibrates more and produces a more resonate tone. I know that no other listener will ever hear the difference- even if I A/B it. However, it makes ME play better (and I swear I hear a difference).

Your home stereo is your musical instrument and if expensive magical cables that only you can hear makes the listening experience better for YOU than its a must have!
 

Silver Member
Username: Sinkdrain

Post Number: 118
Registered: Aug-04
I have a hard time believing that "super" cable will make a measureable difference in sound reproduction. This "super" cable is replaced by normal wire both in the speaker and in the receiver.

I play an unlaquered tenor saxophone because I feel it vibrates more and produces a more resonate tone. I know that no other listener will ever hear the difference- even if I A/B it. However, it makes ME play better (and I swear I hear a difference).

Your home stereo is your musical instrument and if expensive magical cables that only you can hear makes the listening experience better for YOU than its a must have!

I think we can get too caught up in the science of an audio system. Its more like: 80% science and 30% magic

The goosebumps don't come from science...it just might be those cables.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 33
Registered: Jan-05
Frank: As far as JBL goes, the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles uses them. I don't know if they still are or not, but for a long time most soundtracks were mixed to sound best there. If you own a movie theater and want the closest reproduction possible to this, you would probably want those same JBL speakers. Couldn't tell you the electronics behind it though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 93
Registered: Apr-04
I may be over simplifying things and repeating what others have said already, but here is my two cents. I believe whole heartedly in Frank's conclusions and the others who agree that cables do make a difference in this thread. For those who have not "tried" other cable/component combinations how can they conclude the sound is not better or at least sonically different. Buying a pair of $20 monster cables and comparing them to their parts express $5 dollar cables is not a valid comparison IMO. Listening to cables and components in a hi fi shop for a few minutes in sonically poor rooms with dozens of speakers lined up in rows with bad placement is a bad comparison also. It is all about synergy and what sounds best to you and what works best in your own listening conditions. I do believe though there is a point of diminshing returns which has been the case all along with hi fi equipment. Some speakers will benefit from better components and cables to higher degrees than others.

Here is an excellent review on some cables with the author's opinions of cables in general.

http://www.stereotimes.com/cables042501.shtm
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 126
Registered: Nov-04
james, my main problem with super cables is not the fact that they may or may not make differences in the way the speakers sound. my main problem is that there is no reason to believe that i need to spend the money for super cables and no one can give me any kind of scientific conjecture that makes sense. same with cable break in. i personally have no desire to spend hundreds of dollars just to have an experiment with my speaker system. when im older and more senile with more money i may dabble in this. but now it seems too ridiculous.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 51
Registered: Jan-05
I find it interesting that some of the same people who say they use component cables to hook-up their TV(something scientifically proven to be inferior) are the same individuals who say each cable has a unique sound and personality.
 

New member
Username: Canadam

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jan-05
component video has been scientifically proven inferior ? this is the first i've ever heard this !
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 319
Registered: Sep-04
Chris,

You might as well ask for "any kind of conjecture that makes sense" for a "reason to believe that you need to spend the money" on super amp / super CD player / super speakers. None of these pieces of equipment have enough componentry to reasonably justify its retail cost, so why single out cables?

Once you accept that cables can sound different, the question of how much money they cost is moot. That is all down to market forces.

Also, it's my experience that nobody really wants to spend more than they have to in order to get the performance they're looking for, be it on cables or equipment.

Paul, my understanding is that of all analogue connections, the component signal is the best in theory. In practice, I find it depends on the implementation, but more often than not component seems to be the best. That said, DVI/HDMI seems to come out with possibly better results, but the cables are usually different so it's difficult to do a straight A/B comparison of just the connection type. I do feel that DVI/HDMI is very implementation dependant though, having seen one or two that are not as convincing as others.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 130
Registered: Nov-04
frank, im not singling out cables. all the things u mention are things that i would not buy into unless someone was generous to buy me let me listen to their expensive systems. being a college student its hard to find peers or collegues that have a system that is far superior to my own dwarfing my own costs. this specific thread is about cables so why not argue cables. i don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but it doesn't seem justifiable to me. it would be heaven for me to walk through a hi fi store and listen to all the different equipment but i don't have that kind of time or even a car right now. the reason i am being persistent is that when you guys boil it down, the only reason that i am to believe that there is a difference with different cables or cable break in is because you "hear" the difference. that really isn't enough for me unfortunately. and again, i directed this comment to maui before, im not trying to disprove the other side's view, i would rather people disprove me and get me on the other side. at the same time i would like other people to question what the root of this difference really is. is this not the real purpose of a forum or a discussion?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 54
Registered: Jan-05
""Paul, my understanding is that of all analogue connections, the component signal is the best in theory. In practice, I find it depends on the implementation, but more often than not component seems to be the best. That said, DVI/HDMI seems to come out with possibly better results, but the cables are usually different so it's difficult to do a straight A/B comparison of just the connection type.
----------
Sure I can......

My point is that some of the people in this discussion say they prefer the inferior analog component cable hookup to the proven superior DVI/HDMI connection for video.

...............and at the same time, those same individuals preach about huge value of dropping the motherload on a set of pricy 'botique' speaker cables.

You have to admit how funny that looks to the casual observer, expecially considering that the DVI is universally known to be best video connection, while at the same time, the same cannot be said about the 'botique' speaker cables compared to their competitiors.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Chris,

> when im older and more senile with more money i may dabble in this. but now it seems too ridiculous.

Beautifully said! : )
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 322
Registered: Sep-04
Chris,

Now I think I get where you're coming from! Given that you don't have the time to go hear the difference, it seems unlikely that you'll ever be convinced. It's a bit like saying that one pair of shorts is more comfortable than another. No amount of speculation will prove it to you - and of course one's personal preference is different to the next person's. You won't know 'til you've tried.

Paul, the component conection is the best analogue connection. If the D/A conversion in the DVD player is better than that of the display, you may get a better result from component than the DVI/HDMI interface. You can't argue with this.

Personally, I'm not really convinced of the value of very high priced cables for video connections. I think they make small differences, if any. However, I'm quite prepared to be blown away by a cable if one comes along that makes a big difference.

I guess you're of the opinion that any digital cable will sound exactly the same as the next since they're only transmitting numbers. Well, in my experience with digital cables between DVD players and surround amplifiers, this is not the case. Different digital cables sound different. Some are cheap, some are expensive.

Regards,
Frank.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Sinkdrain, you say "This "super" cable is replaced by normal wire both in the speaker and in the receiver" Sorry. My speakers have Audio Magic's best silver wire inside them.
 

New member
Username: Guss

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-05
cabels are as importaint as the speaker and amplifier and source. PERIOD
those who say diffrent have to listen to real cabels before speaking. your system will "open up" with new cabels and this is true you who doubt live in a fantasy world, were cheaper is better, thats not the real world man. wake up
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 136
Registered: Nov-04
guss learn to spell before trying to convince me about how important cables are. how would a 16 year old know anything about speaker cables or anything else about audio? you had all the physics and audio experience since you were a fetus?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 95
Registered: Jan-05
who are you to say that 16 year olds dont know any thing about cables or audio in genreal. I will agree that I don't have as much expirence as others on this site, but we all have to start some where.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 138
Registered: Nov-04
yes well all do have to start somewhere. i dont have much experience either. but please, when someone acts like they have all the experience in the world regardless of age it gets old and annoying very quick. guss tells us to wake up into the real world, please. finish high school first then try to tell me wake up. people with over 15 years of real A/V experience still struggle with the idea of cables effecting a system. let me ask you this then cory, how do you own a full HT system worth $4000 as you say and not own a car? how do you have experience since the age of 12? its hard to imagine having a generous understanding of how speakers work and such at that young of a age. if you do then i commend you for it. but when someone tells me to wake up when they can't even spell, its a little annoying.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 96
Registered: Jan-05
I agree.

For the system that costs 4000 I have a job and for the current income I do not have enough to cover car with insurance,gas,etc... but i'am going for my learners if that means any thing.

For the thing when I was 12 I liked taking things apart and speakers were a big part of that. I would try and make loud speakers from head phones, alot stupid crap like that. I look at that as experince.

 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 139
Registered: Nov-04
well cory, i'm impressed. thats all i have to say.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 97
Registered: Jan-05
Thanks man. Chris hows the Velodyne. Im looking from company to company, and Velodyne has had some good reviews hows your take on it?
 

michigander
Unregistered guest
Every body will say that cables make a diffrence and they do, but all CD's are not recorded the same. You could have the best receiver, speakers and wire and if the CD is recorded to sound good on a boom box it will still sound bad.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 140
Registered: Nov-04
the velodyne performs pretty well. its not boomy at all, or atleast i don't think it is. i have become more and more interested in jazz/classical old rock. i still have my rap, r&b, techno and pop music. the sub may not be as punchy for the very bass heavy rap and such but the bass is still very much there. it does a very good job filling in the gap for my 601s. i am trying to save money up to get a pair of MMGs and i think that the sub will still be very good in that setup. the sub was fairly cheap and small which is what got my attention.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Paul, you would certianly lose that bet with me. I used to work in a high end audio store. In our spare time, myself along with others, designed and built speaker systems. We would sit and listen intently for hour after hour with many types of music. And we would measure. We would change one capacitor and listen again for hours. And measure. We would change a x-over point ever so slightly then listen again for hours. And measure. Not all that is audable is measurable. Trust me, my ears are extremely well trained. I can point out a ribbon mic in a recording, recordings that are out of phase.....even just VOCALS out of phase with the orchestra( like the old MOFI Frank Sinatra stuff). I hear intruments that are out of tune where others look at me with heads cocked in disbelief. Then I point out to them "Listen to the "d" string on the bass....it's flat" THEN they too hear it. I'm used to all you nay-sayers.
Someone asked what being a musician had to do with anything. Thats easy: I know what intruments sound like. REAL instruments. Not RECORDINGS of instruments. Anyone that doesn't think that could be an advantage when auditioning audio gearis only fooling themselves. I hear real, live intruments EVERY day of my life. It's a HUGE advantage. And I hear differences in cables.
There are some here that refuse to believe there are differences in cables/wire. Thats your choice. There are probably also many here that think Ford is as good as Toyota.....heck.....probably some that think they are even better! Even a few that might think all cars are the same. There is no difference.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 325
Registered: Sep-04
Chris,

There's a lot of people who can't spell, and even more who don't speak English as their first language, all of whom can contribute with very different points of view. Each should have an airing and be encouraged to contribute. As for old and annoying - I'm 40 years old and that's annoying - very!

Guss and Cory

I'm very glad to see younger contributors on here. If you can take the patronising advice of a 40 year old balding fatso (accurate if not flattering depiction), whenever you write a note (here or elsewhere), try to take a moment and re-read it imagining yourself to be the recipient. If you do this, you may find you'll re-word the note to have more impact through better structure or phrasing. Also emotion doesn't come through too easily and is often misunderstood in written media, so the less emotional the note, the more understanding it will have, typically.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 146
Registered: Nov-04
frank, i think you expressed my feelings better than i did. i can be a bit brash at times. i guess i was more upset at the fact a 16 year old was trying to tell me what to think. but yes, it is good that people as young as they are have an interest in this. more people need to be interested in hifi. to many hifi stores are disappearing because of audio quacks like bose and uninformed consumers. props to you guys.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 114
Registered: Jan-05
Frank, posting this a bit late, but I DO agree emphatically with your opinion of timing being the critical factor in musicality. An off key singer or instrument player can be captivating. A musician with no sense of timing is dire.

I believe that timing, or rhythmic pattern is fundamental to our existence (they are everywhere), so its possible to see the connection, and thus the significance.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 462
Registered: Feb-04
Have you guys heard of the Coke versus Pepsi experiment that was done at a medical school, Baylor I believe? The medical staff monitored the brain activity of folks taking the taste test. When it was a blind taste test, the majority of folks chose Pepsi and a certain part of the brain was most active. When the folks knew which brand they were tasting, the majority chose Coke. The interesting part is during the open-eye taste test a different part of the brain was active (compared to the blind test), the part of the brain that is associated with self-esteem and identification.

If you extend these findings to speaker cables, you could say that people might genuinely prefer expensive cables, but it might have more to do more with self-identity than sound quality. As far as I know there is no scientific (physics or electrical) reason for the superiority of high-end cable compared to good copper, thick wire. But there may be good pyschological reasons. Just a thought.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 463
Registered: Feb-04
Just to clarify, I do believe the design, quality of parts, and construction quality can make a significant difference in audio equipment. But when it comes to speaker wire, whose sole function is to conduct current from point A to B, I'm skeptical about qualitative differences in wires made of the same material.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1374
Registered: Aug-04
I wasn't coming back here, but Two Cents your comments begged my return. I was skeptical also about cable upgrade benefits so I cannot blame you for that. I had a pleasant surprise from the difference the Kimber Kable made over the old Monster 10g but maybe that was only delusional because of my ego.

How that relates is beyond me: " Hey man, my cable is better than yours!" Forgive me, but I think that argument is laughable. Just as I believe any blind testing with Coke and Pepsi is - shut your eyes and hold your nose and get someone to give you various samples of food to taste and see how many you get right.

The fact is I could care less what people think of my thoughts on this cable issue, but I did initially let them be known to my friends here because I thought I was offering something of value (not earth-shattering I know) which they may consider at some time.

Maybe at times my self esteeem could do with a lift, but let me tell you my friend, cable sure ain't gonna do it!

I tried it - I liked what I heard. I then tried bi-wiring with the same cable and again, I liked what I heard. Now, about a week or so later I still like what I hear, in fact I'm such an egomaniac, I think the sound has improved even a little more. Excuse me now 2C, but I have to go find the mirror so I can listen to some music.

:-)


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I have no real interest in this discussion. Having sold audio for over two decades since the cable wars began, I have a been there and done that attitude towards these things.
I will state simply the idea there is nothing in a cable that can make a significant difference is ignoring the obvious. Any cable between two points of connection, passing voltage along its length will exhibit characteristics of impedance, resistance, capacitance and inductance that are documented facts. Many cable companies will even publish these specifications. Companies such as Belden that supply the professional market have to maintain strict adherence to these specifications because a variation can mean an unwanted and unexpected deviation from the performance of certain pieces of equipment in the professional market. A long run of microphone cable with a high capacitance will be a disaster for an engineer not expecting to see that measurement. The overall response of a cable is taken into consideration whenever any cable is specified in a profesional installation.
Other characteristics that enter into the construction of a cable are dielectric material and its absorption rate and release and how the cable is terminated along with the impedance (and other) characteristics of each connector. Some connectors are specified to maintain certain impedance characteristics and others will vary from that. Taking each of those factors within the context of an electrical circuit; how could there not be an interaction between the various components that make up that circuit? Why would that interaction not affect the sound of the circuit? If anyone cares to address this question with scientific facts instead of unintelligent munbo jumbo, I will listen.

To be fair, there have been many articles published by engineers with great technical skills which go a long way toward advancing the reasons for and against the sound of cables. If someone would care to read any of these articles and then make their case, it would be an enlightening experience on this forum. Unfortunately the discussions of cable always fall into a "cause I said you're an idiot for beleiving what you believe" approach to shouting down the opposite view. I would suggest if you want to know more about what you spend money on, you take a bit of time to actually learn a few of the why's and wherefore's of the hobby. A little knowledge can be wonderful. A very little knowledge can be dangerous.

Thank you for your time.


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1375
Registered: Aug-04
"To be fair, there have been many articles published by engineers with great technical skills which go a long way toward advancing the reasons for and against the sound of cables."

This is exactly what had prevented me from trying different cable long ago. I had read and become confused with many 'so called expert opinions' and I'm just not technically minded enough nor do I have the will to spend my time re-educating myself to evaluate whom I think is correct - let alone to argue the point scientifically. It is enough that I need to learn as much as I do to retain the ability to make a meagre income. So, in this case, all I felt I could do is express my point of view from my own experience.

"A little knowledge can be wonderful. A very little knowledge can be dangerous."

Quite right, and knowledge is also borne from experience. Unfortunately, it takes an educated person to take that experience and break it down to scientific terms. I just wish those who to choose to debate the issue either base their comments scientificaly or, at least from their own experience. At least then, the debate can be informative without deteriorating into a slanging match or providing an excuse to deliver low grade sarcasm for which I confess I am guilty of at times.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I would make a bet the majority of those who are certain anything more than 12 AWG cable is a conspiracy meant to take money from their pocket have never tried a decent cable. Not everyone has to understand the in's and out's of cable design, or any other part of this hobby, to simply try something before passing judgement. My constant irritant is the person who insists I have not heard what I know I did hear. If someone chooses not to hear the difference or not to spend the money, I have no problem with that attitude. I have lots of problems with those who want to ridicule me for saying I can hear a difference. I would encourage everyone to be open minded about other's opinions and listen to what the other person has to say. Whether you agree or disagree, it's just common courtesy.


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1376
Registered: Aug-04
Hear Hear!
 

New member
Username: Philj

Plymouth, Devon

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-05
Cables do make a difference. full stop, no question. When i first started building a hi fi system at the tender age of 11 i used solid core mains cable for a time. was more than happy with it until i tried some cheap'n'nasty 79 strand that thrashed it.

my kit aint the best in the world i know but im on a student budget, but have just upgraded from audioquest 9+ to audioquest indigo and that opend the B&W's up no end. more life, vibrancy and detail came from the upgrade along with better soundstaging and decay (especially when using the record deck as source).

you wouldn't consider swapping interconnects back to the standard rubbish that is usually suppllied, so why should speaker cable be any different?
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 339
Registered: Sep-04
If material properties of cable make no difference to the sound, then neither would the extensive research, which I am sure has been done already into those of the internal componentry of an amplifier or crossover of a speaker for instance, influence the sound any more or less.

Hell, even different gases have different die-electrical properties. A quick excursion into metallurgy would be all that's needed to see how at the very least, consideration of cable quality should come into the planning of a good stereo system.

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 36
Registered: Jan-05
Fortunately my ears are bad enough to be happy with cheap cable.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Lucky you.


 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 38
Registered: Jan-05
Saves quite a bit of money I must say.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1380
Registered: Aug-04
Must you?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 39
Registered: Jan-05
I must say I also like this little article in regards to Monster Cable:
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2559

I especially like this part "Better yet, what the f... is a Monster Jazz Instrument Cable? Does jazz music really require its own special cables to accurately convey the subtle dynamics of an instrument which would otherwise be lost using the shoddy and inferior Monster Rock Instrument Cable? ... How come there aren't any Monster Rap Instrument Cables which excel in reproducing sampled cliched vinyl drum loops for 40 minutes?"

And yes, I must if you folks continue to drag this damnable topic up over and over again. Forgive me if I seem aggressive, but this is a topic that needed to die a long time ago.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1381
Registered: Aug-04
No one said all is honest in the world of cable marketing, we have just stated our belief that some cables offer benefits over others. And it seems to me that you are the one dragging this damnable topic up over and over again. Stop the silly comments and maybe you can let this topic die and take out your agressions elsewhere.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 40
Registered: Jan-05
MyRantz- You will note that there are about 30 posts between this series of my posting and the last time I posted. Also my latest posting on this subject began about an hour after it was posted on by Varney, hardly dragging back from obscurity as it was on the top of the board.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1382
Registered: Aug-04
Please - have the last word . . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2188
Registered: Dec-03
As Jan mentions:

"Any cable between two points of connection, passing voltage along its length will exhibit characteristics of impedance, resistance, capacitance and inductance that are documented fact"

So yes there can and will be differences in cable.
How much of a difference to you comparred to someone else may be a wider
margin depending on how one percieves a change.
To some a slight change when they are trying to tweak there system for that
last little bit in the direction they want may be huge!
But for someone else that same change is nothing to them.

And just because there is a change does not mean it's for the good.

Also just because you buy expensive cable does not mean it will be better.
If you have some pretty good well made cable allready and you buy something
exotic that has little difference "to you" or the change is not to your liking
Doesn't necsasarlly mean it's better or worse!

There are some very good inexpensive cables out there and if they fit your
budget and sonic performance then that is all that should matter for you!

I'm not going to name cable names but I've found several very well made cables
that work great on my system at the price I want to pay!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Reggie_lives

Post Number: 13
Registered: Dec-04
Lowtax is the man. If you don't have a subscription to Something Awful, you should get one. NOW!
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 341
Registered: Sep-04
"And yes, I must if you folks continue to drag this damnable topic up over and over again. Forgive me if I seem aggressive, but this is a topic that needed to die a long time ago."

Then perhaps you should just kill it?

Or is it just that it should have died the moment you had your say?

"Fortunately my ears are bad enough to be happy with cheap cable."

Perhaps you ought to go to your local BOSE dealer and tell them this. Perhaps they might be able to recommend something ideally suited to your needs.

:-)

V

 

Anonymous
 
Expensive speaker cables = tax on stupidity. End of story. Anyone who would spend the price of a decent amplifier on speaker wires is a moron.

ps, for anyone out there who owns the super expensive cables, I will gladly break them in for you for a mere $12/meter + s/h.
 

New member
Username: Bassisthebest

Rushville, Il

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-05
what is the best amp for 4 8 inch harts perfessional series
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Well, that was a quick slide back to the tar pits wasn't it?


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 465
Registered: Feb-04
Anyone interested in starting a fight club?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 43
Registered: Jan-05
Varney: No it should have died after the original question was answsered. Unfortunately people like maui felt insecure with the fact that good quality extension cord will give a person 99.99999 percent of the musical performance the best in the field has to offer. Lets face it, even with my cheap cable I hear all the instruments just fine. My speakers image well, have good extension, and are plenty detailed with said cable. I have ears as well like the rest of you. While I may not be a musician (or claim to be at least) like maui, I listen to people talk on a daily basis. I know what sounds correct and what doesnt because I have ears and listen to the world around me. I am not an audiophile like some of you, in that I am not a snob who sits in a dark room for five hours a day listening to his speakers wishing he could afford something better. If you hear, or think you can hear a difference with your super cables good for you. But you need to face reality because most people cannot, and as you get old and pass the tender age of 30 your hearing is going to go down the toilet anyways.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

That's it! Of course, why didn't I realize that? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Lord save my soul. I'm over thirty and it's all down hill from here.

Mama, push the oxygen tank and the wheelchair into the music room. Mama! Mother!!! Dang that woman, her hearing just ain't been the same since her 29th birthday. MOTHER!!! I SAID, PUSH THE WHEELCHAIR AND ... OK, OK, SO YOU HEARD ME. I DIDN'T HEAR YOU, DANG IT! They get mean once they're over twenty five. MOTHER, WATCH OUT FOR THE CABLE, IT'S DARK IN THAT ROOM!!! They used to call me a snob about hifi. Nowadays the only thing I'm a snob about is my denture cream. I wonder if there really is a difference between regular creams and the expensive stuff. Doesn't matter, I'm gonna die soon anyway. Where's that boogie woogie LP I was listening to?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Snot nosed little brats.


 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 44
Registered: Jan-05
Geezer.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 317
Registered: Oct-04
"good quality extension cord will give a person 99.99999 percent of the musical performance the best in the field has to offer"

You're an idiot.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 45
Registered: Jan-05
If you say so. At least Im not the one spending hundreds of dollars for a few bucks worth of material and some magic.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1384
Registered: Aug-04
You mean all that stuff that goes up your nose only costs a few bucks?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 46
Registered: Jan-05
...
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 150
Registered: Nov-04
and now this reminds me of something, kindergarten maybe?
 

Anonymous
 
Now, now, boys. Keep the discussion friendly if you can.
If not possible then sent vitriolic personal emails to express your contempt for each other!

anon
(content with £1.50 a metre 12AWG OFC 406 strand copper) :-)
 

Varit
Unregistered guest
Some guys in a white van sold me some wire they said had been sent on their job by mistake. They told me it was worth a million dollars and only charged $200. Was I ripped off?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 18
Registered: Dec-04
Sounds like you got some Nordost cable at wholesale price, so probably not. ;)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Se7en

Post Number: 17
Registered: Jan-05
that monster site was funny as hell, and its true for me at least, that i have to go to the ends of the earth to find other cables cause theres just not enough selection where i live.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 345
Registered: Sep-04
Stealth C,

" I am not an audiophile like some of you, in that I am not a snob who sits in a dark room for five hours a day listening to his speakers wishing he could afford something better. If you hear, or think you can hear a difference with your super cables good for you."

So you are an audiophile who has decided that cheap cable is good enough for your requirements? That's fair enough. That might sum me up, as I use mid-priced cable myself. Then again, how do we define 'audiophile'? A geek who's only chance of becoming an effective person is to own clear sounding audio? Someone who get's turned on by black boxes and expensive wires? A word synonymous with snob, mystic or gentle elite? Or just someone who is open minded and educated just a little enough to at least try these things before passing judgement? It's a hard one to define, I think you'll agree.

As to the point about degenerated hearing, as far as I know, it is yet to be proved that one cannot still hear important differences despite the overall drop in volume. It all depends on the nature of the hearing difficulty, which is often associated with age deterioation, but not entirely dependant on it.

So was the original question answered? Who answered it? Was it a unanimous addition to empirical science which was achieved here?

Perhaps it was just one of those questions which leads, inevitably, as they do, onto other things? Digression often tells us what people really want to discuss, doesn't it?

V





 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 347
Registered: Sep-04
Christopher Lee,

Question: What is the difference between kindergarten and an audio enthusiast's forum?

Answer: The building blocks change from multicoloured to all back and silver.

:-)

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 351
Registered: Sep-04
"Now, now, boys. Keep the discussion friendly if you can.
If not possible then sent vitriolic personal emails to express your contempt for each other!"

And in where would the fun lie for the spectator?

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 352
Registered: Sep-04
"Expensive speaker cables = tax on stupidity. End of story. Anyone who would spend the price of a decent amplifier on speaker wires is a moron."

Well, lets see now.... I spent £25 on my amp, £99 on speakers and £30 on speaker cable.

Since my speaker cable came to more than the amp, I must be a complete moron with bells and tassles on!

Anyone got any sound advice on painless suicide methods? I have suddenly lost the will to carry on....

V
 

Anonymous
 
Thirty pounds is NOT expensive speaker cable. But either way, you are a full-on moron.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 50
Registered: Jan-05
Varney-Carbon Monoxide. Puts you to sleep pretty quickly and you don't really know whats happening if you do it right.

As to the question- Will good extension cord make a decent budget speaker cable?

Answer: by Berny, and elaborated on by Anon: Yes.

If you feel that there is something of significantly better quality than #14 extension cord on the same budget, please do educate us.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 355
Registered: Sep-04
Anonymous,

"Thirty pounds is NOT expensive speaker cable.

Well, thankyou for pointing out the obvious....

"But either way, you are a full-on moron."

And thankyou again for sharing your opinions with us.

Stealth C,

What an amusing fellow you are....

;)

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 51
Registered: Jan-05
Glad I could be of some interest to you. At least this thread really helped to boost my post count.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

If not your esteem among fellow forum members.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 356
Registered: Sep-04
Going for gold are we?

He gets funnier with each post. Why don't you change your ID from Stealth to B52? After all, we did see you coming from many miles away.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 357
Registered: Sep-04
I am sorry - that was terribly uncalled for. I just couldn't resist it though :-)

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 158
Registered: Nov-04
hahaha, this thread has been totally hijacked. you guys crack me up with each post.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 358
Registered: Sep-04
Custard pie anyone?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 52
Registered: Jan-05
"He gets funnier with each post. Why don't you change your ID from Stealth to B52? After all, we did see you coming from many miles away. "

Do tell.

J. Vigne- Sorry to insult the elderly among us. Where are my manners.
 

Unregistered guest
Several people have pointed out real measurable differences in cables. If you want to continue to argue that cables make no difference then you need to address that point. If you want to argue that cable differences are not significant enough to make a difference in what is heard then it would follow that at some point an audio system would reach sufficient resolving accuracy to hear those differences if human hearing is sensitive enough. There are many studies showing just how sophisticated human hearing is, whether such a system yet exists is debatable but no one seems to be arguing that point. I have no trouble believing cables won't make a difference on Bose speakers but if you aren't going to refute the measured differences in cables then explain why those differences are too small to be heard.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 53
Registered: Jan-05
Gcrain- Take a look at Audioholics speaker wire roundup and tell me how things like Cardas which cost an arm and a leg do against standard 10AWG wire in testing of impedence, capacitance, etc.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 160
Registered: Nov-04
gcrain, have you ever tried to hear everything that enters your ear? if you listen to lets say orchestral music can you hear every instrument playing every note? when you look at something can you analyze everything in you field of vision simultaneously? the answers are obiously no. do not quote me on this, but i am positive that the brain interprets vision best in the center 10% of the field of vision. if you want to see something you will, and other things will stay hidden unless someone makes it a point for you to notice it. perfect example is when you cant find something thats sitting right infront of you. i would think the brain has a similar way of inerpreting sound. if you want to hear the violins you will hear the violins. it doesnt mean all the other instruments disappear, but they become risidual. i dont think this will make any sense to anyone, i doubt when i read this tomorrow morning it will, but the point i am trying to make is that complexity of a system does not denote that we percieve things better. we can get all the information in the world, but if our brains just cant process it, or the resolution of the information is not enough, things become negligible. this probably proves nothing, but i thought that i should add this in.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 54
Registered: Jan-05
Ehh, why bother arguing with him, he can actually read through the 190 posts and gather all the info about cables he wants.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 321
Registered: Oct-04
"Gcrain- Take a look at Audioholics speaker wire roundup and tell me how things like Cardas which cost an arm and a leg do against standard 10AWG wire in testing of impedence, capacitance, etc."

One specific review of two products does nothing to substantiate your claim that extension cords offer 99.99999 percent of the musical performance the best in the field has to offer.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Insult the elderly, eh? Not at all. You've gone a long way to proving my point that when this subject is discussed the morons with no hearing can only resort to insults. Too bad you have nothing useful to add to the duscussion and find it entertaining to insult someone who doesn't share your opinion. But, it seems that's the way the world is going.

I would suggest two things to you, young man. First, wipe your nose and go tell your mother you called someone a geezer. I'm sure she'll be proud of her progeny. Secondly, I wish you the good fortune to get to the point where someone will call you a geezer. I only hope you get a bit more knowlegeable and a lot more polite in the intervening years.

If anyone would care to add their comments on the technical reasons a cable does or doesn't affect the sound of a system, this discussion can proceed. If you can only direct me to another person's opinion that supports your own, I have enough of that in the outside world.

If the name calling and insults are your only defense, please leave us geezers to spend our well earned cash on what we want. We're not leaving you snot nosed brats an inheritance anyway.



 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 817
Registered: Dec-03
Mr. Vigne,

From one "old Geezer", to another, I like like to say Bravo. Well said.

I would also like to remind you what we were taught as youngsters. Never argue with a fool, because a third person overhearing, may not be able to tell who is who.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 362
Registered: Sep-04
The dictionary offers us the definition of 'Geezer' meaning 'elderly g@y gentleman'. but surprisingly it is hardly ever taken to mean 'ancient @rse bandit'.

It perhaps ought to be pointed out that in the more southern areas of Great Britain, 'geezer' is synonymous with 'guy', 'mate', 'nice bloke', etc and is hardly ever seen as insulting. As in: "Awright, me ol' geezer?" generally taken to mean: "How are you my old friend?"; but may also and in most instances used, be applied to males over 40 years of age.

Thus ends Varney's lesson on slang from over the pond for the day.

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 55
Registered: Jan-05
J Vigne- Unless you can prove to the contrary that as you age, your hearing gets worse you have done nothing to prove your point.

Kano- Actually Audioholics has a couple of reviews of about 10 different products with testing to show if skin effect is a lie or not among other things and shows that the electrical properties of high end cable are not any different than standard cable. And again, I invite you to scientifically prove me incorrect. Unless you can actually prove that pieces of information are missing from the data stream that extension cord presents, I would suggest you remain silent.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 363
Registered: Sep-04
Woo hoo!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 56
Registered: Jan-05
Ohh and one last thing Mr Vigne. You will also note you were the first to resort to insults regarding age. I pointed out the fact that peoples hearing starts going down as they approach 30, which is fact, and you go and blow it out of proportion due to your insecurities.

Unfortunately I have to agree that this discussion is going nowhere.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"J Vigne- Unless you can prove to the contrary that as you age, your hearing gets worse you have done nothing to prove your point."


"I pointed out the fact that peoples hearing starts going down as they approach 30, which is fact, and you go and blow it out of proportion due to your insecurities."



"Unfortunately I have to agree that this discussion is going nowhere."



Fine. I'll take the last word. As you remembered in your subsequent post (Really, memory slipping at your young age. How have you been abusing yourself?), the point about hearing loss was made by you. My point was you are a snot nosed brat with no knowledge; and, that fact hasn't changed. Since I wished you the gift of "geezerhood", I will remind you that your hearing is on the downhill slide right now also and will continue along that path until you find yourself sitting alone in a dark room somewhere. If you, by chance, think the differences in cables are limited to the frequencies lost as we age, I believe we have found one reason you cannot hear the improvements made by better cables. To compensate for your youthful, snot nosed lack of knowledge, I will tell you the improvements are in every frequency range and extend beyond the parameters of mere frequency response. I would suggest you listen once again to some decent cables, but that would be a waste of time; wouldn't it? So we'll just settle for, "You don't know crap about what your yakking about."

As to my insecurities, I want to thank you. Most on this forum would not accuse me of being insecure. On the contrary, some have suggested an over abundant reliance upon my knowledge and experience and a willingness to display what I know that certain snot nosed brats never will. I am humbled by your opinion.

What I have learned in all my years is anyone who is so ready to make an accusation against another person is most often the one who is guilty of the flaw they denounce. Another character trait you display too frequently.

That makes you a stupid, insecure, unwilling to learn, rude snot nosed brat. Oh, yes, and you're still deaf. I suggest we end this now before my estimation of you gets any worse than that. Or are you going to come back for more abuse? That too is a character flaw. Or possibly you like it?




 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 57
Registered: Jan-05
"My point was you are a snot nosed brat with no knowledge; and, that fact hasn't changed."

Sticks and stones... You prove that you are such a wonderful fellow every time you post.

" To compensate for your youthful, snot nosed lack of knowledge, I will tell you the improvements are in every frequency range and extend beyond the parameters of mere frequency response."

Yes its "magic", how easily I forget. How companies take five dollars worth of copper and magically transform it into 5000 dollars worth of cable is indeed a magical process.

"So we'll just settle for, "You don't know crap about what your yakking about." "

Indeed, all it seems I can do is quote reliable sources who have done significant testing on the matter to show that the physical properties of resonably priced cable versus uber-cable are minimal. My mistake. I must be just a snot nosed brat after all.

"On the contrary, some have suggested an over abundant reliance upon my knowledge and experience and a willingness to display what I know that certain snot nosed brats never will."

Good for you. I am glad you have found acceptance on the internet. That makes you ever so cool.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Come back when you grow up.


 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 59
Registered: Jan-05
Again, sticks and stones.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Back again? You just won't let this go until you have the last word; will you? That is a serious character flaw. They're really beginning to stack up on your side.

Look, if you want to make a point that has escaped you in all the posts you've made on this thread, I'll give you a chance. No name calling and no acting like a snot nosed brat. I'm interested to hear your point of view because it has eluded me so far.

Apparently you have the opinion that science has not proven there is a difference between cables and you use that as your argument that expensive cables are a waste of money. But you also say you believe cables make a difference, though you apparently can't decide whether the difference is better, so there seems to be a disconnect there between what you read and what you think. You would appear to have a problem with the idea of what is better for yourself but not for someone else. Apparently you are upset about cable companies that produce very expensive cables but you're OK with cable companies that produce not so expensive cables. You also seem to be upset with us old geezers, or snobs as you call us, who would prefer to spend our money as we see fit. (Personally, we are in somewhat of an agreement. I think it's rather decadent to spend large amounts on cables, but I never thought it was my position to tell anyone else how they should spend what they earn.)

Here's my deal for you. Show me one of these scientific articles you mention that disproves the effect of cables. Then tell me what the article actually says. Not that it agrees with your opinion. Put it in plain language that we can all understand and tell me why this proves cables don't matter. I can point you to dozens of articles that tell you cables do matter. Just finding someone to agree with your opinion is not the hard part. The part that's important is understanding what has been said. So far I haven't seem you show anything that would indicate you understand what you've read. It would appear you've just skipped to the last paragraph and it said what you wanted to hear. That was all you were interested in reading.
After you've done that, show me why you think less expensive cables make a difference but more expensive cables aren't worth the money. It would seem to me if you can do one of these, you can't do the other. I'm also interested in why you can't decide what's better.
Finally, if you think less expensive cables make a difference, tell me what makes you the arbitter of what is too expensive to make a difference. Tell me who appointed you the decision maker and at what point did you two agree an amount was too much to spend on cables.

Do this and we can have a discussion. Otherwise your comebacks are just furthering my intial point.

A) Show me an article that offers proof cables make no difference.

B) Tell me in plain language what the article says to make that point.

C) Tell me why less expensive cables make a difference.

D) Tell me why more expensive cables don't make a difference.

E) Tell me why you can't decide what's better if you think it's different.

F) Tell me who made you boss.



Your turn.





 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 61
Registered: Jan-05
A) http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/audioprinciples/interconnects/speakercablere viewsfaceoff.php

B) In terms of resistance, which is considered one of the most important aspects of speaker wire, the uber-cables get crushed by 10AWG line. Most of the high-end manufacturers cite things like skin effect as being a major problem at audible frequencies, however the testing seems to show that the uber-cable does no better in the audible spectrum than 10AWG line.

C) Some makers simply dont competently build speaker wire. Others heavily overcharge (think Monster) when you can get equivilent or superior product for cheaper.

D) If one can get well made wire at a buck or two a foot which has great electrical characteristics, what point is there to buying wire that is 500 dollars a foot whose electrical characteristics are no better?

E) Using different lengths of cables can make the sound "different". It is by no means better. Different does not equate to more accurate, just different. Accuracy is the main point of having high end equipment is it not? Trying to get the best representation of what was originally played. How does 500 dollar a foot wire with worse resistance than relatively cheap 10AWG wire help me with this goal?

F) I never claimed to be the boss

Now I have a question for you. Assuming for a second that uber-cable is better for a second, how short of a run would it take to make the differences moot? For example, if you have a 1 meter run, how much of an advantage will you gain by having 500 dollar a foot wire versus 1 dollar a foot wire?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 62
Registered: Jan-05
One other thing, if you personally agree with me, what is the point of your argument?

If others wish to blow their money, I don't care. It is good for the economy that they do so. However, when I see a thread where someone is asking if extension cord will make decent speaker wire, and there are people saying that you have to spend 50 bucks a foot on wire if you really want to hear your music, I tend to say they are full of it.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

A) Very nice graphs and such. The problem with this "test" is they never listened to the cables. They had a predetermined outcome that the cables wouldn't measure significantly different from each other and they set out to prove their point. They did not ask, "Do the differences we can measure in these cables have an effect on the sound?" That is the point of the discussion about cables. You may disagree, but I cannot subscribe to the "if it measures Ok, it will sound OK" school of thought. One listen to a cheap receiver with 0.01% THD will often prove the fallacy of that argument. Your choice of articles does nothing to change my mind.

B) I don't know who told you resistance was one of the most important aspects of cable design, but it is generally a moot point until you are running 100' or more of 18AWG cable. If you'll look at the numbers we're talking an average of 3 millionths of one Ohm per foot. That's not enough to make a difference in any cable as long as the resistance is equal across the bandwidth. What the charts and graphs do show is a measured difference that is quite dramatic in the capacitance and inductance of the cables tested. When there is that much variance between the results of the measurements, I would think it would be natural to ask what effect this might have on the sound. There are no tests that indicate dielectric absorption or some of the other claims for cable effects. From what was included in this test, I would disagree that "most of the high-end manufacturers cite things like skin effect". Most of the cables in this survey did not site skin effect. I believe you just made that up to try to make your point.

C) I didn't see any cable in the survey that was considered unacceptable construction by the tester. He may have disagreed with using a spacer to obtain lower inductance, but he didn't mention until another test that higher inductance is almost always a corrolary to lower capacitance. I'm sure he knows what he wanted to say, but he didn't give the case for the maufacturer's decision very well.

In claiming that companies overcharge and there is superior performance available you are making subjective evaluations that are just your opinion. You cannot allow yourself to make a subjective judgement and then turn around and deny those who feel cables do make a difference based on their subjective judgements. I would also point out that terms such as "overcharge" and "superior" are not absolutes that you can point to. You do not get to judge what is superior for me nor when I have been overcharged. In the end, I see nothing in the test that indicates superior anything. The test is of measured values, not subjective impressions. I'm going to have to guess once again you made that part up on your own.

D) Since there are no qualities stated that define "great electrical characteristics" as having an effect on sound, we have a problem as I see it. If there are different electrical properties in a cable, such as those displayed in this test, that I find affect the sound of my system; why should I not pay what is aksed if I feel it is justified by my subjective impression? I would have to say the writer's lack of a listening test is an unforgivable oversite in making the point.

E) We've been through the red herring of resistance. If you can tell me you can detect a 3mOhm resistance per foot, I can tell you I can hear 350 pf of capacitance per foot. Most engineers would tell you I have the better chance at hearing the effect of high capacitance no matter what the cable.

F) You may not have claimed to be boss, but it appears you think you can decide what was superior and what was overpriced for someone else. That's rather "bossy" in my book.

Your last question again reflects your lack of knowledge about high end cables. One of the benefits of a better cable is the sound is relatively unchanged as the length is changed. A one meter "uber" cable should sound very much like a ten meter or twenty meter "uber" cable. That can't be said for extension cord unless you're using it on a light bulb.

Finally, "One other thing, if you personally agree with me, what is the point of your argument?" You don't read well. I never said I totally agreed with you. I said I thought it was "decadent to spent large amounts on cables, but I never thought it was my position to tell anyone else how they should spend what they earn." You seem to think you should ridicule someone who disagrees with you. There has not been, to my knowledge, anyone on this thread who insisted anyone had to "spend 50 bucks a foot on wire if you really want to hear your music". What has been said is that better cables sound better than simple extension cord. You, however, feel anyone with that opinion is full of it. You feel anyone who spends money that you don't approve of is a snob. You feel that anyone who disagrees with you is a "geezer".

So, the reason I am arguing with you is simple.

I don't like snot nosed brats.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 63
Registered: Jan-05
J Vigne:

"One listen to a cheap receiver with 0.01% THD will often prove the fallacy of that argument."

One never said manufacturers dont lie. But if you feel that measurements cannot be applied to speaker wire then that is indeed a fundamental rift in our thinking.

"If you'll look at the numbers we're talking an average of 3 millionths of one Ohm per foot. "
It is 3 thousandths of an ohm per foot...which is a thousand times more significant...

" I don't know who told you resistance was one of the most important aspects of cable design, but it is generally a moot point until you are running 100' or more of 18AWG cable."

Perhaps for power loss, but if the resistance is too high as compared with the speaker there are issues. But since you thought that the resistance of wire was 1000 times less than it really is perhaps this is an oversight on your part?

"From what was included in this test, I would disagree that "most of the high-end manufacturers cite things like skin effect". Most of the cables in this survey did not site skin effect. I believe you just made that up to try to make your point. "

In a couple points in the article it notes manufacturers citing skin effect as problems in their advertising, perhaps you just glazed over those parts, but you can reread the Cardas, Goertz and Empirical Audio sections again if you so like.

"What the charts and graphs do show is a measured difference that is quite dramatic in the capacitance and inductance of the cables tested."

You will also note that the 10AWG wire owns capacitance. Capacitance and inductance aren't an issue unless you are talking some pretty long runs of wire.

"A one meter "uber" cable should sound very much like a ten meter or twenty meter "uber" cable."

How about 200 meters of uber-cable? How about 1 meter of uber-cable versus 1 meter of 10AWG copper wire? How much BETTER will uber-cable sound? You didnt answer my question.

"I would have to say the writer's lack of a listening test is an unforgivable oversite in making the point. "

Ahh but theres the catch. In a controlled double blind test no one has actually noted a major difference between cables when an appropriate gauge was used.

Beyond the fact you have done absolutely nothing to prove the superiority of the ultra high end cables, nobody seems to be able to under any circumstances beyond saying "well I can hear a difference!!!". So the question is raised, why should I or anyone else buy them? A hundred dollars a foot for a placebo is quite a bit dont you think?
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Measurements can be applied to lots of things. One of the problems with audio specs is they are taken in a fashion in which the product is not used. An amplifier has to run a speaker not a load resistor. Music is a bit more complex than a sine wave. And a wire has no significant properties until it is in a circuit. Measuring the cable outside of the function it has to perform is next to useless.

Am I wrong? All this time I've been reading 47kOhms as 47,000 Ohms. Kind of like 10kHz is representing 10,000 Hz, or $10k equals $10,000. mOhms is representing "milli" as in millionths of an Ohm. Please explain if I'm wrong, I'll have some resistors to change.


If the speaker is considered a nominal 8 Ohm load, how much cable would you need at 3mOhm per foot to have a cable resistance that is too high?

Three doesn't amount to "most".

Of course the 10AWG has capacitance. That's my point. All cable has certain electrical properties that can affect its performance in a circuit. Resistance is cumulative over length, but capacitance and inductance can be too high with a very short cable. Hook a two meter hi cap cable to a phono cartridge and listen. Same thing happens on a speaker cable, except now the amplifier might begin to oscillate.

200 meters of any cable is a ridiculous conjecture since no one is discussing running cable to the PA system of the football field. Be realistic. I can't answer how much better a cable will sound because each cable sounds different. That's what we're discussing. Remember? And what is better? Now we're back to those subjective judgements you don't want me to make.

Ahh, but there's the catch. You think that because you want to believe that. Cables are identifiable in DBT. But I don't care much for DBT. I'm sure you do.

Beyond the fact you've done nothing to prove cables don't have an effect (remember, no listening test), people have said, "I can hear a difference". So the question is raised, why not listen and decide for yourself instead of relying on someone else's test to get your answer. If someone tells me they like a certain wine, or car or camera; all of which are subjective judgements, I will try out that product to see if I agree. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I find it miserably lacking in curiousity and respect to simply decide such things can't be.

Have you ever sat down and listened to an expensive cable in a very, very good system? Something like $50-75k worth of equipment? Or have you just decided to stick with a cheap receiver and speakers because you can't hear the difference and they measure the same; so speaker cable probably doesn't matter. If you haven't given it a fair chance; how can you make a decision? You sound like you'd go into an audio shop and announce to the salesperson you can't hear a difference in cable and call them a liar, thief and snob for suggesting that possibly you might be able to hear an improvement. You wouldn't be the first I've come across like that. If you want to go on thinking you can't hear something, no problem by me. Just don't insult me by telling me I'm a fool for saying I can hear something I know is there.





 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 64
Registered: Jan-05
You know its funny too, people on this forums love to bash Bose all the time. No one who likes them really gets any respect or decent treatment, but always is told how they are incorrect and how shitty their speakers are. I am not a supporter of Bose by any means but I find the similarities quite amusing. "You must listen to the sound, not look at what the measurements show!!!" Both take about 20 dollars of material and some fancy packaging and charge a hundred times what its worth. With that said, go ahead and flame away, I'm done with this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 65
Registered: Jan-05
"Please explain if I'm wrong, I'll have some resistors to change. "

milli=1/1000

1000 millimeters = 1 meter
1000 milligrams = 1 gram
1000 milliliters = l liter
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 66
Registered: Jan-05
Ohh and the 10AWG had the lowest capacitance btw.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 322
Registered: Oct-04
"The Starflex speaker cable from River Cable is their entry level speaker cable. It is a Star Quad speaker cable (4 twisted conductors) with similar compression banana plug terminations. It's about 35% cheaper than their Flexygy 6 speaker cable and actually measures lower in inductance and resistance making it their best value and performing speaker cable in their product line up. I really like this cable's performance, appearance and build quality. All of these factors are what sold me on these cables to be used for the front three channels of my reference system. I would love to find a technical criticism of this cable and/or marketing literature, but other than their higher than Zip Cord price, I can't find any. In my opinion the asking price of these cables is not unreasonable given their performance, cosmetics, quality of terminations and product appeal. IF you are looking for a reasonably priced esoteric cable that will do no harm to your system, both River Cable offerings will serve just fine."

The reviewer himself opted to pay more than the price of 11 AWG zip cable for the River Cable. Why would he buy more expensive cables if there is no performance difference???

???

 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 323
Registered: Oct-04
yotta [Y] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
zetta [Z] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
exa [E] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000
peta [P] 1 000 000 000 000 000
tera [T] 1 000 000 000 000
giga [G] 1 000 000 000
mega [M] 1 000 000
kilo [k] 1 000
hecto [h] 100
deca [da]10
deci [d] 0.1
centi [c] 0.01
milli [m] 0.001
micro [µ] 0.000 001
nano [n] 0.000 000 001
pico [p] 0.000 000 000 001
femto [f] 0.000 000 000 000 001
atto [a] 0.000 000 000 000 000 001
zepto [z] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001
yocto [y] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001

Micro Ohms or Milli Ohms?..... but really does it make a difference?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I'll take that last answer from Stealth to mean he's never listened to decent cables.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The issue of resistance is a minimal argument at best. The DC resistance measurement is of little value unless seen along with several other properties of the cable. The value represented by the various cables in the test all amount to a minimal amount of resistance within the circuit of the amplifier and speaker connection. What happens when that resistance value is combined with the capacitance and inductance to determine the impedance of the cable is a more significant measurement that isn't shown. Even impedance is still just a minor portion of the overall charcteristics of a cable design.

 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 364
Registered: Sep-04
Posted by Stealth C:

"Ohh and one last thing Mr Vigne. You will also note you were the first to resort to insults regarding age. I pointed out the fact that peoples hearing starts going down as they approach 30, which is fact, and you go and blow it out of proportion due to your insecurities."

Always irritating to me is the person who, once they have an idea in their heads, try to assert it as 'fact', without caveat and without moderation. In offering statistics on such an issue we might be able to see how it fits into our discussion as a valid point to consider.

My granddad reached ninety-one and, despite the nature of his ultimate physical demise (which was quite sudden actually) - his hearing remained vital to the day he died. So too, did my grandma's hearing remain until her death at 87. I also have a friend, who is younger than me, at 31, who's hearing has been deterioating for a number of years and is, sadly, expected to loss out further as he ages.

"Unfortunately I have to agree that this discussion is going nowhere."

I think this discussion may not be going entirely as the young gentleman had intended, but it's certainly going somewhere....

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 365
Registered: Sep-04
I do not wish to get further into the argument about the specific economies born of the per-foot spend. Not until I am more aquanted with some of the terminology at the very least.

Please, I would like to assess this argument on the merit of the cables rather than the flaws of any one person's character at this point.

So:

AWG?

I know mid-priced dedicated strand and I know (of) ordinary electrical cable. There is solid core and there is the twisted, 2 & 3 core flex, which comes in varying weights. Please, when we talk about 8,10,etc AWG, which of these are we talking about?

I am under the impression that copper, silver and gold improve conductivity successively. I am also under the impression that removing oxygen from conductors improves their electrical properties, but as to the sonic benefit, I can only guess, as all of the cables I have used, claim to be oxygen free.

I am aware that copper is the prefered material, due to the fact it must be more ecnomical than (heh!) solid gold, for instance (!). Wow! Imagine that (but no thanks!!!)!

I make the assessment that a mid-priced, dedicated strand cable makes an audibly sonic improvement over a cheaper, 79 strand budget cable, from experience. From this, I could assume a more expensive cable will make further improvements, but concede there may be a point where the sonic improvement, in proportion to the spend, begins to drop off.

If a solid core material offers a more than adequate connection, with audible benefits over a lesser strand, then in buying a mid-priced strand, we are really paying for the convenience of a cable which flexes and drapes nicely to suit our installation. Anyone disagree?

The problem with the words 'difference' and 'improvement' as I see it, are that here, they are being wrongfully applied to a subjective argument. Most audiophiles feel that often it is the smallest 'differences' which go towards the overall 'improvement'. If that 'difference' is based on personal tastes, then we really find ourselves jammed into a dark alley where no progress in this argument can be made. Our scientifically proven 'improvement' equates to a difference in any case, whereas a 'difference' can mean just about anything.

It is only human consumerist nature that we should start to worry if there is a shred of evidence on the horizon we might get the same performance from a domestic electrical cable, as the £5 per metre 'audioquip' equivalent. As the prices of audio cable rise, it is only natural to question the claims, but also to wonder if we could squeeze that bit exta out of our beloved equipment by their use.

Before anyone makes any mistake about my own position on this, it's important to say that I make the rule: Keep the cable cost realistic within the budget of the entire system, but don't compromise the new amplifier with insubstantial connections.

Where I take issue against some of the postings in this thread, is that scientific testing of the 'differences' must to some ears equate to an improvement, where listening tastes are concerned, yet we have some who want to crush and ridicule those who make an effort to tweak the flavour of the wine to complement the main course.

I hope this will be recieved with due consideration that I am willing to look at both sides, despite the alleged character flaws highlighted in some of the diatribes.

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 67
Registered: Jan-05
J. Vigne- For someone who claims to have vast amounts of knowledge that others rely upon you seem to have a vast gap in your knowledge. Fortunately you dont work in the healthcare industry or you would have overdosed patients 1000 times over with your knowledge of the metric system.

As far as resistance goes, take for example B&W. They suggest a max impedence of 0.1ohm for speaker wire. That translates out to 33.3 feet worth of 0.003ohm wire maximum. So yes, resistance does make a difference, even when it is that low.

However, you unwittingly seem to prove my point. At these small quantities there is very little difference among the cables realistically in terms of impedence, capacitance, and inductance. One would imagine with a 10 foot length of cable of 10AWG as a result you would get a full signal transfer from the amplifier to the speaker with minimal degredation of the signal. So in order for said uber-cables to sound significantly better, they must add something to the sound, which is against the point of audiophile equipment. Speakers and cables are inherently designed to be as transparent as possible. Therefore if you are competent, you want to introduce as little of your own "sound" to a wire as possible and leave time correction and other things to the source. If you disagree, please interject.

As you were so kind to pass judgement upon me however, I do feel somewhat amused that someone who claims to have vast knowledge in his field has really so little basic knowledge. It would appear that your education is limited to high school at best, and that you probably sell this garbage for a living. Perhaps if you werent a blowhard who was so sure of himself you could even take a minute to learn something about the metric system. And good luck with those resistors.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Snot Nosed Brat - I thought you were going away. What is this; the third time you've said you've had enough and then come back to toss a few insults? Make up your mind; it seems easy enough for you to do in other matters.

Varney - AWG is the American designation for American Wire Gauge. The lower the number, the thicker the cable. It doesn't matter whether it is stranded or solid core; the cumulative size of the cable is the final determinant of gauge. I'm sorry I can't remember off hand what the European equivalent would be.

In terms of conductivity, the best is silver, followed by copper and then gold. Silver is expensive. Copper will oxidize if left bare to the elements. Gold will have the lest amount of oxidation and is used as a plating over a copper and nickel substrate for that reason more than its conductivity.

Like any other aspect of audio, or for that matter most of life, there is a point of diminishing return on your investment. At some point the improvement over point X is accomplished with moderate cost. Going from a mid priced receiver to low priced separates is a decent example. As the costs rise, the improvements will, at some point, be more expensive for smaller amounts of gain. Where that point is can only be determined by the individual. We spend large amounts of money on our audio/video systems in the States. What is not that much to our sensibilities would be a fortune to many people in the underdeveloped countries.

Primarily the benefit of stranded cable over solid core is the flexibility of the cable. For some applications, however, solid core cable is less than the ideal choice for performance. Typically as the frequency the cable has to carry rises and/or the voltage drops, the more desirable cable will be a thinner, stranded cable. This can be accomplished by using multiple solid core cables of a small gauge with their own individual insulation, such as Litz wire.

Your question of difference vs. improvement is a perennial point of disagreement among audiophiles. Naturally any change is a subjective judgement as to its benefit. Part of the assumed reason for the upgrade need by many audiophiles is the idea that what they have purchased is merely different and not a substantial improvement. It is easy for a listener to hear a brighter system as possessing more detail and therefore better; only to find the extended high frequencies are tiring to the same listener after long periods of too much of a good thing. There isn't room to cover the topic in this short space since the argument has gone on for decades. Your point is valid and often boils down to "what I like" vs. "what I think is more accurate". Of course, the term accurate is a bit dicey also.



 

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 116
Registered: Jan-05
I stopped posting on this thread some way back since the luddites seem to have taken over. It is so disappointing to see such a closed mind on a subjective subject (yes it is English, I should know since I am one), how one can critiscise another persons observations is at best arrogant. To then argue a point with clearly no scientific knowledge is rather pathetic. I wonder of stealth you have actually READ any of the replies to your diatribe, I think not from what is written above!

So to the facts in my universe: QED Kudos (about £3/m) sounds noticeably better than standard mains cable. QED silver anniversary (£5/m sound better still).

The evidence is elsewhere to support the theory that cables do improve the sound quality: open up the case of a budget and a high end amp or CD player or even speakers, and you will notice differences in the quality of the components and internal hardware, which oh my includes cable!! Attention to shielding, freedom from vibration (wait, you're going to tell me that vibrating a capacitor i not going to have an effect on its' electrical properties..); the quality of the soldering in terms of metallurgy and electrical conductivity. Aah but of course, a NAIM sounds no better than a portable CD player does it..silly me of course not, its in my head, and I have just wasted all my money again. Jeez I wish I was smarter :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 366
Registered: Sep-04
Heh - little wonder I got confused with the AWG terminology! :-) As for 'Euro' gauge, we brits constantly buck against continental assimilation and the last time I bought wire, I think it may have been in mm.

So if there are differences, they could subjectively be viewed by some as improvements? Okay, well I think that clears up most of the issue. If a sonic change is heard, for better or for worse, within the budget range, you're spending your money on an upgrade, rather than a lemon by choosing your cables wisely. Enuff said, I believe.

V



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 367
Registered: Sep-04
Then again, elec wire is sold in 'amps' as the guage I believe. More amps, thicker cable. Essentially, the thickness and strand-count changes here (I think).

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 368
Registered: Sep-04
It now remains only to ask, since some of us have revealed our cabling conditions, which type of cable Stealth C has auditioned and finally plumped for. If the answer lies further up the thread, I hope the young gentleman will forgive me for feeling lazy today. In any case, I think such newly posted info would lie here well in context with the above discussion.

So....?

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Yes, it is fortunate I don't work in the medical field. Is that were you work? I understand it is populated by quite a few @ssholes.

I suppose the most fortunate thing is I'm not trying to give my speaker cables an IV. I'll take another look, I don't mind admitting I'm wrong when facts are presented, but last time I looked resistors were not measured in liters.

http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/resist.htm

If you'll open the first page to your survey, you'll see EDDY current listed in micro Ohms. That doesn't imply thousandths to me. If you want to continue this argument you are welcome to do so. My opinion is the measurements taken by the tester are as relevant as looking at the power and THD spec on an amplifier and choosing based on that information alone. I understand there are people who feel anything that tests good will sound good. I don't happen to be one of those people. You appear to be someone who either believes that credo whole heartedly and/or have admittedly poor enough hearing you simply cannot determine a difference when presented with an obvious example.

I do wish when you read my posts you would take better notes. I have never said resistance is not important. I've said resistance is a minimal figure compared to other measurements such as capacitance and inductance within the whole lot of measurements. My stance is a simple measure of resistance is of little consequence when other measurements are not included to give a better explanation of the cable's properties and performance. DC resistance is of minimal concern to me in most home audio applications. Argue that if you think you must.

I won't "interject" my comments regarding transparency since the format of the forum does not allow me to interrupt you no matter how desparately I would try. Your concept of speakers being designed to be as transparent as possible would indicate your admitted lack of hearing or you haven't been in an audio shop in ages. Yes, the "best" speaker companies strive for a level of transparency, but that is a far cry from the reality of the speaker world. I would think anyone could understand that cables cannot "add" anything to the sound. (They don't put little, tiny people in there with instruments to play along with the music.) Adding something that is not in the source is an impossibility in a system. And the timing is determined by the source; anything that happens in the playback chain is only going to damage the timing. What any component in a system can do is remove, shift or diminish something from the original signal. You have made up your mind that the numbers given in your test are the only numbers that are important to judging how a cable will perform. If you go back to my first post in this thread, you will see I indicated a cable exists only within the context of a connection between two points. Both of those points have electrical properties of their own. Therefore a cable's performance can only be considered as it relates to those two points. In that context, small differences in a cables' measured characteristics may play a role in the transfer of the signal from the amplifier to the speaker. Can you comprehend that idea? Write it down and study it before you make it into something it's not. You have not done well at repeating back to me what I've written. I can only assume you read into everything what you would prefer was there.

As you decend further down into being a shouty snot nosed brat, I would prefer to stop at this point in this obviously futile banter. As I see it, you consider anything you don't approve of in the audio market place as "garbage". You disapprove of people spending their money in a fashion that doesn't please you. You consider someone who prefers to hear what they consider an obvious difference to be a snob. (We've been over this before, it's getting tiring.) You have bad hearing by your own admission. That your hearing saves you from spending money would appear to be your reasoning for wanting others to not spend money. (Even your tester finds a $195 cable reasonable.) You believe a handful of measurements are sufficient to tell you everything you need to know about a piece of audio equipment. You feel any company that asks more than what you want to spend is a thief and so are the salespeople who represent that product. You think a liter of Pepsi can be measured in Ohms. You are still a snot ... no, we've done that one already.

Most importantly, I can only gather from your lack of response to a direct question, you have never listened to a decent speaker cable. Correct me if I'm wrong. Please inform the group what cable(s) you have heard on what sort of equipment and whether you heard any differences. If you have not listened to something, you have no credibility beyond being able to read a survey. If you have no credibililty, you have nothing more to add to this discussion. You merely become an annoying little gnat. An annoying snot nosed ... nevermind.

In case you haven't noticed, this forum is read and discussed mostly by people who believe there is more to audio than numbers and reading articles. That doesn't mean you don't belong here, it is a free forum. It does mean that coming into this forum should be done with a bit of respect to the members and their opinions. After all your posts, and all the insults you've thrown around, I don't think you've convinced anyone who didn't share your opinion originally that you are correct. There appears to be nothing that anyone here can say to change your mind. There are some differences between you, me and the other forum members. You seem to not be willing to entertain the idea that cables can make a difference and therefore have never heard a better cable. Your mind is shut. The members on the forum who believe cables can make a difference have taken the opportunity to try something new and unfamiliar. Their minds were open and they feel they have learned from the experience. I admit I do not know everything about audio. I have discovered the more I do know, the less I know in the context of the whole enchilada. You, on the other hand, know very little concerning what you are railing on about and feel by repeating the same few words over and over, and adding more and more insults, you will convince someone you are correct. You think your knowledge is sufficient; others on this forum are here to learn something new. You have become an annoying (you fill in the blanks, I'm getting tired of typing it out).

I am through with you. You've wasted my time for no good purpose than your own amusement. If you wish to continue to repeat your concept of resistance as the most important function of a cable, go ahead. I doubt you'll get much air time in rebuttal. You can respond to this with whatever slurs you care to make. As you say, sticks and stones ...

If you would care to say you have your opinion and I have mine and we shall not convince the other, I can live with that. I shall cease calling you a snot nosed brat. (Though that's how I'll always remember you.) You can go on to bother some other unsuspecting soul on this forum and we'll call this a draw. If you would prefer to carry on this discussion, blather on. I am done with your comments.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 69
Registered: Jan-05
Varney- I have no problems with flavoring the wine as you say; I have problems with people who claim a whole new world of inner detail wait for me. My personal choice is 16AWG el cheapo wire.

J Vigne- Ill take this as meaning "I have no knowledge of science". If you cant understand the simple concept that milli is 1/1000, then you my friend are a moron. There is no discussion to carry on if your supposed knowledge in this field consists of marketing spiel from various companies. Goodbye.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 120
Registered: Jan-05
a moron is defined as someone who has an IQ of less than 50, which even Jan's most vehement critic could not reasonably claim (I suspect, though its relevance is small that he has a significantly higher intelligence than that of a moron).

I cannot see how not understanding that 1/1000 is the same as milli is any different than failing to understand the basics of electrical inductance, capacitance and resistance; and their influence on conductivity of different electrical frequencies.

Humbleness is a virtue that some of our American cousins seemed to have failed to grasp, and you are an embarrasment to your nation. The world is in such safe hands, no wonder we all live in such uncertain times.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 371
Registered: Sep-04
"Varney- I have no problems with flavoring the wine as you say; I have problems with people who claim a whole new world of inner detail wait for me. My personal choice is 16AWG el cheapo wire."

....And the other wires you have auditioned are....?

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I doubt you'll get an answer to that one, Varney.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 372
Registered: Sep-04
I was on a train last year, where in front of me were two American families (on vacation, one would hope) talking away and just - you know, being American. Fine. One of the women was wearing a surgical mask (heh!) - the purpose for which still eludes me....

Anyway, as I got up to get off the train, I somehow managed to get the shoulder strap of my rucksack caught on something. Suddenly, I felt a prezcence behind me, which helped lift heavy rucksack high enough for me to sort out the problem. Turning round to thank whoever had lent such a kind hand, I was presented with the grinning, well-fed, clean-scrubbed face of a large friendly man who insisted, in his Houston drawl:

"No prablem, bud - jusst a helping haaand from Ammmmeeerica."

Such a nice fellow. Couldn't help muttering to myself afterwards though:

"As long as that's the only 'help' you're thinking of giving...."

Perhaps I am just a miserable young f@rt, but that smile continues to haunt somewhat. Euckh!

But hey - I come here to talk audio - not politics and I'm quite content to keep it that way, thanks :-)

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 373
Registered: Sep-04
Needless to say - educated Americans among us here need not respond. :-)

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

All this flap over two cent a foot 16 AWG el-cheapo wire. I will give the chap one thing; when he commits himself to buying cheap wire, he does it right.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I have gone back and read my posts again. I did at one point state outright mOhm was meant to mean millionths. I was wrong and do aplogize. I was looking at one thing and thinking another. The issue of taking one measurement out of context remains.



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 390
Registered: Sep-04
J.Vigne,

Well, only one person said you were a moron for making a trifling mistake.... and whether even he truly believes that, is quite another thing....

Stealth C -

"...And the other wires you have auditioned are....?"

(A cactus is obscured for a moment by rolling tumbleweed, which skirts across a bovine skull. The wind moans, vultures circle overhead....)

Well, looks like that's settled then. Well, it's Back to our moronic bliss now, I suppose. Glass of prune juice anyone?

:-)

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Let me dig my hole a bit deeper here. As I said in a later post, DC resistance is of little interest to me in a home audio system. Resistance in a speaker cable, as a whole, is the easiest property of a cable to control. At the lengths used in the typical home audio system resistance alone does not amount to a significant number. Inductance and capacitance are the more difficult of the major characteristics to maintain as one will almost always affect the other when the cable is used in a circuit. When looking at the combined effects of resistance, capacitance and inductance, the concept of impedance begins to take shape. Even with this information, what the effect of the combined impedance of the cable will do to the signal is dependent upon the circuit itself. This from an article on cable construction, "the characteristic impedance of a cable varies with frequency. At DC, the characteristic impedance of all cables is infinite (for all intents and purposes), and the rated impedance is usually not reached until the signal frequency is well above the audio band". And, "in order to obtain a low characteristic impedance, it is necessary to have very low inductance and relatively high capacitance ... ". Relatively high capacitance will present problems to most modern amplifiers. There is the rub.

Within the circuit of the amp/cable/speaker, the rise and fall of the speaker's impedance is much greater than the impedance of the cable and will affect the overall impedance of the circuit. If the speaker's impedance dips with frequency, the cable's impedance as part of the circuit will follow along. The same is true if the circuit impedance should rise with frequency. (This is very likely the case when dealing with the ported speakers common today as the impedance spikes at the port resonance.) At the amplifier end, the output impedance of the amplifier's circuits will (in any reasonable amp/cable combination) be substantially lower than the static measurement of the cable therefore making the resistance/impedance of the cable insignificant to the proper operation of the amplifier. Of course, this can change if the amplifier is not up to the task of driving the difficult load some speakers present. It is the interaction of the cable within the circuit that is the important factor here. The smaller output impedance of the amplifier normally being relatively unaffected by any well designed cable, but the larger impedance of the speaker having a determining effect on the overall impedance (not resistance) of the circuit.

I don't know if that clears up what I should have posted. I didn't understand why the issue of resistance became the argument. Now that I read my posts again, I understand ca's comment of 2:37 on the 13th. As I see the issue of speaker cables and the sound of the system, it has nothing to do with the DC resistance of the cable whether the number at any one frequency is in the thousands or the millions. The more important factor of a cable's performance is within the circuit of the amp/cable/speaker. As such the less radical the impedance swing of a speaker, the better the chances speaker cables will have less overall effect. Since high end audio is populated with many speakers with impedance swings of twenty Ohms or more from low to high, the effects of a cable are not to be discounted with most speakers that are sold today. The measurements that represent the individual cable manufacturer's ideas on cable design, whether they amount to a few millionths of an Ohm in Eddy current resistance or some other factor, should be looked at as possible explanations for the difference that people percieve in cables. As most of us know about our audio systems, the Devil is in the details. To take any one measurement and decide that alone determines how a cable will sound is too simple an idea in the context of the multiples of amp/speaker combinations that cable could be used with. To see differences in the measured performance of a cable and not want to listen to the influence, if any, they might have on the sound of the system, seems to me to be looking not for an explanation but a justification.

Now, I apologize again for my error. I hope this makes the case better that I did in my previous posts. As Varney suggested earlier; custard pie, anyone?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Custard pie and prune juice. MMMMMMMMMMMM.




 

Silver Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 109
Registered: Jan-05
Well know I will mention what diffrent wires/sizes has done for me.

I have a Sony STR-DE995 and I know the amps are crap but really there not and I found this out by changing the wires that went from the out of the amps to the output.

I believe that the gauge of the wire before was 18AWR and I changed it to 12AWR,....What a diffrence bass and midrange can now shake the house with out the sub and the highs aren't tiny any more with my JBL's its like the hole sound stage has opened up and took a breather.

If you have A extra receiver around I reccomend you change the gauge of the wire for the amp to the output just as an experiment to see for your self!
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 344
Registered: Sep-04
Cory

The thing is, it's not just the gauge that makes a difference. That's the most obvious thing. The alloy of which the metal is composed, the format of the cable (e.g twisted versus flat) and the insulation sheath all make contributions to the cable's electrical characteristics, particularly impedance and capacitance which, as explained so elegantly by Jan above, are the more important factors in cable design.

If you take the simple 'double-up' route of using the same speaker cable twice over, the change to the electrical properties is quite simple. However, if you change the physical cable itself, you may get quite different results.

Finally, most amplifier manufacturers use buffering at the output stage to be able to lower the effect of variance in load by cable and speaker. This means that they are more likely to be able to cope with high capacitance cable such as Monolith 20/20 or Goertz. Naim Audio, on the other hand, designed their amplifiers without buffering and specified that the speaker had to be 3.5m per side of their own cable as the amps were designed with this cable as part of the circuit. Using other cables could invalidate the warrnaty on those amplifiers, and a cable such as Monolith or Goertz could very easily cause the amp to fry. The latest entry level amps from Nam do not have this limitation, but their high-end amps still do.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Anonymous
 
"So to the facts in my universe: QED Kudos (about £3/m) sounds noticeably better than standard mains cable. QED silver anniversary (£5/m sound better still).

"The evidence is elsewhere to support the theory that cables do improve the sound quality: open up the case of a budget and a high end amp or CD player or even speakers, and you will notice differences in the quality of the components and internal hardware"

You conflate theory and opinion with fact, and fail to distinguish between items with moving parts and/or components that manipulate (change or otherwise alter) electrical signals, from the inert conduits that carry these signals. Then you accuse anyone who doesn't subscribe to your inane beliefs as "luddites."

Not much else to say here, except that I wish I was in the heavy-gauge wire business. A few pigeons like you and I could retire young.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 345
Registered: Sep-04
Anon

Conduits are not inert. If they were, no signal would get through.

Frank.
 

Sonic Susan
Unregistered guest
"Naim Audio, on the other hand, designed their amplifiers without buffering and specified that the speaker had to be 3.5m per side of their own cable as the amps were designed with this cable as part of the circuit. Using other cables could invalidate the warrnaty on those amplifiers, and a cable such as Monolith or Goertz could very easily cause the amp to fry."

Very odd!
Naim are obviously not very good at designing electronic stuff. I think I'll steer well clear of them. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 71
Registered: Jan-05
J. Vigne- Now you are finally starting to make a bit of sense. But, saying those minor differences will vastly enhance the detail of the sound is still a little much for me. And yes I have stepped inside a hi-fi shop before to see what these cables have to offer. But my question is what about these cables makes it so people say that the resolution of the sound is so dramatically increased? Is it people just exaggerating? Since minor differences can on occasion have a major effect (speaker placement for example), is this just a case of this?
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 394
Registered: Sep-04
Now this sounds like a more civilised aproach to the debate. See, I was hoping you still had it in you to do so, Stealth.

Comments on cabling and the claims of what paper cups underneath your cables will achieve may seem somewhat exagerated; but without actually trying it, I am in no position to judge. It's important to see this all in context. I would not dream of spending more than £5 per metre at this point, or perhaps I'd consider £10 if I'd just bought £500 worth of amplification. It all depends on whether I hear a difference. The problem with auditions in hi-fi stores (and this goes for everything - not just cabling) is that the differences you percieve come to one in time, not always overnight. I'm sure there are others who will corroborate that late one night, you suddenly notice something - just the twang of a string, or the parting of a singer's lips or the nature of sudden attack of a bass line into the piece, wheras before you were aware only that it was there.... You sit up straight and suddenly think - God! I never heard that before with my previous arrangement. One instinctively knows when something has changed. It's not the same kind of illusion as, say, believing a dead relative just spoke to you, or that you saw a white figure walk past the tree in the graveyard last night.... it's something hard to explain, but very tangible. One has to be in the right frame of mind, of course to percieve these lovely little extras born out of the tweaks - but honestly, I wouldn't suggest for one minute that 5 minutes to half an hour in a commercial listening room is enough to make the assessment that dedicated cable is a complete waste of money.

That's all I can say really. It's my opinion, but I've tried to base it on facts as I percieve them. Not just with wire, but with other things, even including selotape over the speaker-flange bolts on a rough old pair of Technics speakers I used to use. Sounds mad, but it does something.

And do you not honestly think, Stealth, that if you bought some decent speaker cable, that you'd not thank people in here for suggesting it over 10AWG, if these differences became apparent to you over time? As with everything - the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 395
Registered: Sep-04
Having said this -- heh! I am still wary of the reviews when they talk of 'instant' results with some things. I think there may be some 'incentive born' exageration going on in a lot of Hi-fi lifestyle magazine writings, but that's not to say this goes for every case. I think it's about sorting the wheat from the chaff, which is very hard sometimes, I admit.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 396
Registered: Sep-04
Sonic Susan's comment about NAIM.... Can anyone in the know expand on this please? This post intrigues me....

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 153
Registered: Jan-05
So nicely and well put anonymous, like you really think I would buy anything from someone with your attitude! Go back to sales school boy!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 154
Registered: Jan-05
On second thoughts, above comment retracted, there is no need for sarcasm: apologies to whoever anonymous you are; of course you are entitled to an opinion without having derogatory replies posted.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


S.C. - Yes, I try to make sense whenever possible. Some moments are more difficult than others. I do apologize for the error on my part, it was truly a brain phart.

Before I go further in this discussion, I would like to know where we stand on the issues I laid out in my post of 02/15, 3:47 am. Do you see that as a beginning to a reasonable explanation on the subject, or are we still far apart on other issues also? Are you stead fast in your belief that measurements tell the whole story in audio?


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 397
Registered: Sep-04
Cable is hardware.

Well, it isn't software.

Perhaps it's flexi-ware?

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 72
Registered: Jan-05
I can definately agree with your post. However, while measurements may not tell the whole story, there must be a reason why people note a positive difference between cables. People make some pretty bold claims about their cables saying their speakers open up like they had been covered with a blanket before. As a result, I still question why they notice such a dramatic effect. If it is something similar to what I posted above, thats fine, and in my personal circumstances it would be a waste of money regardless; however, if there is something specific to high end cables that makes them dramatically superior as some people claim, I would like to know what that is.

As for the errors, it is quite easy to make a mistake, especially in the heat of an argument.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I will answer the question, but it will require more time than I can devote right now.


 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 349
Registered: Sep-04
Sonic Susan

Steer clear of Naim if you wish. Here in the UK, they're a well-respected brand which has been going for some thirty years. Not only are they well respected for their kit's fidelity, but also for its enviable reputation for longevity and reliability.

Naim is one of very few manufacturers to make their amps unbuffered. Perhaps this is why it has a fairly unique sound.

Regards,
Frank.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

" People make some pretty bold claims about their cables ... "

" ... if there is something specific to high end cables that makes them dramatically superior as some people claim, I would like to know what that is."

I have thought and thought on how to most easily and completely provide some insight to the issue. I have failed in every attempt. Oh, there are lots of notes; lots of beginnings and endings laying about. But they all, in trying to be succinct, achieve just the opposite effect. I'm trying to explain the difference and value of every automobile ever made, or bottle of wine, or bit of human nature in a short few paragraphs. It can't be done.

Why do people make such claims of astonishment when switching cables? Ask yourself why people say they have "the worst headache ever"? Because they do. Why are people suprised at the difference between certain automobiles? Because the difference is there, whether everyone notices or not. I believe to answer "why do people" do anything is well beyond the scope of this post. Though I'm certain we all have some idea and experience in the matter. Some of that experience is provable as as fact, some is more based on observation and conclusion.

There is where most of my scribblings have ended up. There are people who, whether scientists or salespeople, fall along the lines of rationalists and empiricists. Plato and Aristotle, Galileo and Einstien or theorists and experimentalists. If you view science as telling us all we need to know, you will sit here. If you consider what we need to know we should look for, you will sit there. The agnosticism you bring to the discussion will determine your place along the string that stretches between the two extremes of here and there. Are you the person who believes in the supernatural and alternative medicine? Are you the person who believes the public should be saved from such hoaxes? Are you the person who wants more proof, one way or the other?

Looking, over the past few days, at some of the claims on both sides of the cable issue, has made clear the amount of avoidance, diversion and out right dismissal of intelligent debate that exists on both sides. What I have found, for the most part, is the conclusion a well made cable will sound better than a poorly made cable. Yes, it suprised me too. To the rationalist this is all they need to know. To the experimentalist, this asks a basic question; why? It in itself is not a conclusion, but a point to research further. What then constitues a "well made cable"?

I don't know. Many people don't know. That seems to be the biggest stumbling block to the rationalist who wishes all things be defined and definable. But, as I read most of the dismissals of cable sound, I see a logic that often progresses along the lines of ABC*EFG.

There are too many claims on both sides to address easily. I'm not a scientist who can explain where the logic on either side ultimately fails. In some cases it's obvious, in another it is a matter of my needing more knowledge to get to a simple answer. If there is one to be had.

The cable industry is made around the models of physics, metalurgy, polymers, antenna theory, cable theory and just a bit of JooJoo. It wasn't that long ago the idea of an amplifer's performance beyond 20kHz was dismissed as irrelevant to the sound of the amplifier. Only in the past thirty years have capacitors played a role in better amplifier sound. If the dielectric of a cap can affect its sound, why not the dielectric of a cable?

There may prove to be issues that are presently overlooked which will rise in importance if we continue to exam the sound of cables. If we merely dismiss the idea out of hand, then we assume science has told us everything we need to know.

Without refuting every test or manufacturer's claims, I have to fall back on my experience. A well made cable will sound better than a poorly made cable. I've heard the results. Much of what launched Kimber Kable in the market was a new approach to cable design that took a fresh look at the L-C-R of a cable to see the overall impedance, not just the L or R. Kimber also had an idea that went to antenna theory, which had been dismissed at speaker levels until then. Becuase the science was solid, though radical, Kimber is one of the most successful cable companies today. A major portion of their success has to be considered the fact that Kimber is almost a virtually gauranteed workable cable in almost any system. With all the variables to be considerd if we view the cable as part of a circuit between the amplifier and the speaker, Kimber is successful as often as 14AWG zip cord. But it sounds better in my experience.

Considering the multiples of combinations of amplifer/cable/speaker that can be made, I don't know that I have a better answer than to suggest look at the combination you're faced with. Does the amplifier have a lot of capacitance at it's outputs? Does it have quite a bit of negative feedback? Does the tweeter spike in capacitance as it reaches its highest impedance and the phase of the operating system shift? Does the woofer generate large amounts of back electromotive force? All these might be a reason for choosing one cable over another. Even if the only choice is to use Kimber over zip.

Are there other aspects of a cable's construction that might influence the results? Will skin effect matter? Will some made up term from the marketing department solve the equation? I really don't know.

I am an observationalist. I believe most people would consider themself as such. If I see my dog respond to a homeopathic treatment, I have to consider the efficacy of the treatment on an animal that cannot make an irrational decision based on belief. There should be no placebo effect in that case. No JooJoo. If a system responds to the insertion of a cable, I have to, after numerous similar results, consider the ability of that cable to affect the workings of that circuit.

Obviously there will be people who disagree. I'm certain this post will receive a fair share of ignorant responses from those who would merely wish to feel superior and look no further. I would prefer anyone who sees fault with my conclusions, as simple as they are considering the space available, would respond intelligently. All I can offer is first hand experience which some will dismiss as easily as the ghost in the neighbor's house. To them it is all JooJoo.

If you wish to discount my ideas as inconcievable, I ask only that you do so in an intelligent fashion. If you wish to further clarify my statements, I ask that you also make intelligent remarks.

I've tried to make the post as simple, and as complete, as possible, but the situation does not crave simplicity and there is no complete answer in my opinion.







 

Bronze Member
Username: Gavincumm

Post Number: 84
Registered: Feb-05
I can't say anything about expensive cables. The best ones that I have heard were the monster cable sigma retro. Smooth, dynamic, detailed, and uncoloured. Hooked up to MartinLogan prodigies, you could definatly hear a difference from standard 10 AWG OFC cable.

An 8 foot pair goes for $2000.

gavin
 

Anonymous
 
Gavin C*mm says that his $2000 cables are smooth, dynamic, detailed, and uncolored.

It's a cable, dammit. It has no properties, other than to transfer electrical impulses. I'll refrain from commenting on the fact that someone spent $2k on sixteen feet of wire in the hopes that it makes a demonstrable difference over something reasonably well made that costs 1/100th the price.

ps, Frank Abela: Look up inert. One definition is "inactive until acted upon by an external force."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gavincumm

Post Number: 88
Registered: Feb-05
I never said that MINE were $2000 a pair. I just said they were the best I have heard! Hook up zip cord to some HIGH END (note...not BOSE)speakers, and then go grab some DECENT cable (my personal cable is Canare...$50 a pair)

gavin

 

Anonymous
 
Matter of fact, I have tested 10 ga OFC, 12 ga OFC, Monster (forget which model), Kimber Monocle XL, and Black and Decker outdoor extension cords--all running between a Pioneer elite receiver and Paradigm Monitor Sevens (Source: NAD C542 CD player) in a music-only two-speaker setup. I conducted my test at a friend's home theater installation business's listening room, mostly because I often had heard that speaker "wire" was the most important component, next to the speakers themselves. I thought that sounded crazy. Fortunately, I was better positioned than most to test my skepticism.

He--the friend--says that people in his biz push expensive cable like there's no tomorrow because of the high margins. He says that most of his clientele will believe what they're told to believe. My friend will say, "notice how much warmer these speakers sound with the light cherry finish, than with the black ash finish," and Mr/Ms well-heeled home audio buyer will say, "oh yeah, TOTALLY!" He's not a charlatan; he refuses to sell Bose, for example. But since he installs a lot of $10k plus systems, he oftentimes defers to customer whim, as long as it doesn't compromise system performance. So, if some customer insists on spec'ing an item that's costly but yeilds little, my friend will spend a minute discussing the benefits, costs, and drawbacks. But beyond that, he leaves the decision to the customer.

The difference among the cables tested? Pffft. Puh-leez! (And let's not get into the lockerrom comparative anatomy aspects of whose ears are more sensitive or better trained, okay?)

I'd say my beliefs are pretty free from dogma, but I will cop to being very subjective: I hate b/s.

But to make you happy, I'll say the Monsters were less "sugary" than the Kimbers, and that the Black and Decker cords had less of a crepescular or slippery note to them than the zip cord-- in fact, I clearly detected in them hints of Maple, G.K Chesterton, and the '69 Mets when Duffy Dyer was catching Koosman.... <sarcasm>And anyone who doubts me is a Luddite, or just plain ignorant about audio.</sarcasm>

My feelings on all this: Buy what you want, pay what you want, believe what you want. In audiophilia, above a certain point all logic be damned.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gavincumm

Post Number: 89
Registered: Feb-05
I do admit that there is a huge profit margin in speaker cables. Just look at MIT, which IMHO are nothing more than a snake oil company.
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