Like

Archive through January 30, 2005

 

New member
Username: Se7en

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-05
i wasnt sure where to post this but some guy told me that i could use 14 guage extension cord from home depot as a speaker wire. he read it on absolute audio or sound, i forget. he showed me the article. its supposed to be pretty good for the price your paying anyone else tried or heard of this?
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2561
Registered: Dec-03
yes you can.
 

Anonymous
 
It will sound as good as anything realistically unless you have ultra-long runs of wire. However, if you only have runs of say, 10-15 feet, and 8 ohm speakers, even that may be a waste of money.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 52
Registered: Jan-05
Sorry anon, I disagree entirely!

I used ring main (30 amp) and 13 amp mains cable for years with my hi fi systems, untiul I bought some QED silver strand a few years ago made a signifcant difference to the sound, and I am using just 5m lengths. Similarly same experience with inter-connects, they do have a noticeable influence on the system sound.

If you cannot hear the difference between plain electrical cable and specialist (even cheap) dedicated speaker cable then you are probably wasting your money on expensive hi fi gear!
 

Anonymous
 
CA_Convert:

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

There are several other articles on the net like this, at sites such as audioholics.com.
Sorry to break it to you man.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 30
Registered: Nov-04
Super-duper cables make no demonstrable difference in sound reproduction quality. Period. If you can afford them, more power to you.

Wire moves electrons. Any differences in transductive quality of materials (at the current levels common to amplifier/speaker interface) are negligible at best. Copper is better than Al; silver is better than copper. However, the difference between aluminum and silver is too small to contribute (or detract) from sound quality. Any perceived improvement in fidelity are imaginary.

Decent quality outdoor extension cords with the ends lopped off and replaced with good connectors are your best bet.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1301
Registered: Aug-04
Well Anonymous and Jim-Bob until the other day I thought along the same lines, but after deciding to take advice from someone who's been in the industry for many years, I replaced some basic old 10 guage Monster cable with some more expensive (not stupid expensive) Kimber cable and immediately notice a difference. The mids became a little more open, the highs seems cleaner and less edgy and the bass a little fuller. Not an earth shattering difference but one that made me pleased I didn't waste my money.

So maybe I should see a shrink :-)

 

Anonymous
 
The article does note several reasons why there is a difference when you first hook up the wire. Example: If there is corrosion at the contact point or if the contact is loose, when you put in new cable, it will make a difference. However, if you do an A-B comparison with new wiring, as long as the wire is of sufficient gauge and the insulation isnt crap, there will be no real audible difference between super-expensive stuff and ordinary cable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2577
Registered: Dec-03
uh-oh...I was afraid this was going to happen!
 

Anonymous
 
Indeed...but people have the right to know. If afterwards they still want to spend money on golden cables that use scrapings from the Hope Diamond for EM shielding, thats fine.
 

New member
Username: Se7en

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-05
cool, lots of info about speaker wires. if i do get home depot wires should i still get 14 or 16 guage or will it make no difference?
 

Anonymous
 
Depends on the length of the run and your speakers. If its less than say 20 feet, 16 guage is more than likely good enough. If you have low impedence speakers (4ohm) 10-15 feet would be the max with 16 guage that I would suggest.
 

New member
Username: Se7en

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-05
cool thx
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jan-05
Wow, interesting thread.....

I have heavy gague(either 10 or 12) going to my front speakers, but have 16 gague for my rear. I'll bet the run to the back left speaker is well over 50 feet because it runs the lenth of two complete walls, and around back sliding glass doors.

yikes....

maybe some new speaker wire is in order. I probably wont go for the megga monster cable stuff though, but get some regular 10 or 12 gague stuff. That stuff is pretty thick, imo.
 

Anonymous
 
Overpriced speaker cables = tax on stupidity.

Glad I could clear this up for you all.
 

New member
Username: Se7en

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jan-05
whaT speakers and reciever are you using paul?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jan-05
This is the makeup of my HT.....

Mitsubishi 65" HDTV
Pioneer vsx9500s -Receiver
Sony DVP-NS575P - Dvd Player
Cerwin Vega D9 -front speakers
Cerwin Vega HT-Ctr - Center
AAL83-Rear Speakers

I just recently upgraded the TV and that's when I realized I needed to do the same with the Receiver too. Mine has decent power, but has late '80s pro logic surround. The front speakers wont be going anywhere soon though......I figure within the next couple weeks, I'll pull the trigger on a new receiver. Im leaning towards the YammiRX-v2500 because it has power similar to my current receiver, and I like it's features for the Home theater.

As for the speakers, I wont replace them with anything except for a set of behemoths that will go down to 20hz.....No subwoofers for this guy. Unfortunately, the only people who make speakers large enough, and that go low enough cost megga-thousands.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Always makes me chuckle when I read testimony from "experts" who hide behind names like "anonymous" claiming there are no differences in wire citing some early 1980's Stereo Review article. Anonymous probably isn't old enough to remember the magazine let alone to have read an issue. ANY issue. See, Stereo Review never once said a bad word about ANY product they tested, no matter how pathetic it was. They were a joke. A complete INSULT to the audio world. Thats why they no longer exist. I can recall a Carver reciever rated at 130 watts/side, that when Stereo Review tested the piece it did 18 watts. Not one mention of this in the text, but if you knew how to read the charts.....
Secondly, high end cables need to break in. This takes time, rendering any quick A/B testing essentially useless. Besides, too many variables exist to say wire sounds the same: Impedence fluctuation, phase issues, etc.....all very real things to consider.
Believe whatever side of the fence you choose....after all it IS YOUR money.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 60
Registered: Jan-05
Sorry Anon, but I use my EARS (wow what a great idea) when assesing whether somehting sounds better or not. Opinions are just that, so sorry "man", in my opinion you are wrong (and please dont try to tell me otherwise).

Ok so wires just move electrons, but have you thought about the fact that most cable is wire rope. There are potentially many interfaces within the rope alone, not to mention impurities, inter-crystalline boundaries that could have an effect on resistance, resonance, magnetic inductance effects etc etc etc.

Ultimately, if you can't hear the difference between $1 worth of mains cables and $200 of "super duper" cable, then great for you! Save some money; but please don't insult the intelligence of the rest of us.

By inference Anon, then surely most of hi-fi is a tax on stupidity since the sonic differences are often quite small to the majority of folk. Remember this is HI-FI forum.

I think there is a name for those who ridicule technology for ridicules' sake, but I'm way too polite to use it here.:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 95
Registered: Apr-04
How fun,

James Randi (The Amazing Randi) of the Randi Foundation and Randi Challenge (prove your mystical claims and get 1 million dollars) has had some interesting interchanges regarding audio claims of this type:

http://www.randi.org/jr/112604yes.html
http://www.randi.org/jr/091704a.html
http://www.randi.org/jr/120304youve.html

Check the archives for lots more!


Expectancy effects and placebos have been known about for many, many years. An excellent article about how that works is "The Belief Engine", by James Alcock available at http://www.csicop.org/si/9505/belief.html

Have fun!
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 298
Registered: Sep-04
Different wires sound different. It's that simple. Anyone who believes differently is deluding themselves. In any given system, the differences between cables can be small or large.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Anonymous
 
ca_convert: Insult the intelligence of someone who has faith in a palliative (i.e., the efficacy of high-end cables?) Isn't that a paradox?

There are differences in materials, but these differences are NOT great enough to affect reproduction fidelity, since we are talking about absolutes: does the wire effectively carry current, or does it not. Cables do NOT impart any qualities to the music, just as pipelines do not make gasoline any more or less combustive.

Marginal differentiations in Hi-Fi equipment are NOT analagous to the cable scam, buddy. In audio equipment, are competing philosophies, a variety of devices, both mechanical and digital, that yield genuine differences in the quality of sound reproduction or operating facility/flexibility (user interface, etc). Hell, just the fact that there are competing formats--CD, HDCD, DVD-A, et al--renders your contention moot.

I won't even dignify Frank's fact-free assertion that inert hunks of braided metal can have different qualities. Okay, maybe I will: Metals can be fabricated to have different qualities or facilities, e.g. tensile strength, elasciticy, etc. All wires designed to carry current do just that, so metallurgy is kind of a dead issue when it comes to speaker cable. The caveat to this is that wider gauge wire will, generally, perform better than a narrower gauge one.
 

Anonymous
 
ca_convert: Insult the intelligence of someone who has faith in a palliative (i.e., the efficacy of high-end cables?) Isn't that a paradox?

There are differences in materials, but these differences are NOT great enough to affect reproduction fidelity, since we are talking about absolutes: does the wire effectively carry current, or does it not. Cables do NOT impart any qualities to the music, just as pipelines do not make gasoline any more or less combustive.

Marginal differentiations in Hi-Fi equipment are NOT analagous to the cable scam, buddy. In audio equipment, are competing philosophies, a variety of devices, both mechanical and digital, that yield genuine differences in the quality of sound reproduction or operating facility/flexibility (user interface, etc). Hell, just the fact that there are competing formats--CD, HDCD, DVD-A, et al--renders your contention moot.

I won't even dignify Frank's fact-free assertion that inert hunks of braided metal can have different qualities. Okay, maybe I will: Metals can be fabricated to have different qualities or facilities, e.g. tensile strength, elasciticy, etc. All wires designed to carry current do just that, so metallurgy is kind of a dead issue when it comes to speaker cable. The caveat to this is that wider gauge wire will, generally, perform better than a narrower gauge one...and that better connectors will result in, well, a better connection.
 

Anonymous
 
If I had a dime for every time someone like maui... claimed that cables needed breaking I'd have enough to blow on those useless, overpriced strands of wire that people hereabouts swear have magical properties beyond their more plebian brethern.

Come on, gang, this is physics, not alchemy.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 302
Registered: Sep-04
Anonymous,

My assertion was made on the basis of many years experience in and involvement with the HiFi trade. There are few - if any - facts involved, mainly experience. I've listened to dozens of different cables and most of them have quite noticeable differences. Each has its own distinctive character. Brands seem to display a general character, which is not unusual in electronics brands or speaker ranges, so there must be something in the manufacturing techniques that brings about these characteristics. Chord have their way of doing things and Black Rhodium have a different way of doing things.

The idea that metals can be fabricated to have different qualities or facilities should not simply be extended to their physical attributes, but also to their electrical attributes. After all, if you know any physics, then you'll know that changing the profile or shape pf a wire will modify its electrical attributes enough to change the amount of current carried, or even the way it's carried in the wire.

The corollary of this should also be accepted - that an electrical change in the wire will change its physical attributes to a certain degree. After all, if a stream of electrons is making its way through a wire, it's not unreasonable to assume that they will find the easiest path through the wire and this may change over time.
This could account for run-in, in which I believe thoroughly by the way. As a part-time dealer I have seen how much time is devoted by dealers on running in their new demonstration kit (and that includes cables). I've heard the differences and I'm sure you'll agree they wouldn't waste their time doing it if they didn't think it made any difference!

The very idea that different metals will just carry current in exactly the same way shows just how little you actually understand (as opposed to know) about the subject. This is not digital electronics - it's analogue! It's not an on/off scenario. It's a lot more complicated when you consider that in fact it's not even direct current but AC which we're talking about here. Therefore you can't talk about current - you need to talk about frequencies. Once this happens you get different effects happening depending on the type of metal, grade of metal and profile of the wire involved. For example, it is FACT that bass frequencies travel in the core of wire strands whereas treble frequencies travel on the surface of the wire. This means that you can get quite different effects with multi-strand or solid core wires since you get interference with treble frequencies between strands but no interference with bass frequencies, whereas you don't get that with solid core. Also, it's FACT that the same frequencies travel through silver wire at a different rate to copper. This is why usually a silver plated copper cable will sound more open - the treble frequencies arrive at the other end of the wire just a shade ahead of the bass frequencies. However, you can get around this problem by changing the form factor of the whole cable. For example, if you have straight multi-strands in a twisted pair configuration, this changes the properties of the wire in terms of inductance and capacitance to provide a better result.

Finally, it's not just the HiFi industry which makes these claims for different wires. Most HiFi wire manufacturers do not make the actual wire. They source it from other places. For example, Nordost base their technology on wire used in the medical field - and chosen specifically in that field for its unique electrical properties. As another example, Chord Co.'s top cables are based on the wires used in microwave and telephony applications. Those applications use these special cables over thousands of miles and cost those companies an absolute fortune. Making up interconnects of only 1 metre long is also extremely difficult because the wires don't lend themselves to that application, and the make-up time of these cables is so high that this raises the retail price of the cables very significantly.

Dismissing the subject of cables with a "14-gauge cable of any type will be as good as any other 14-gauge cable of any type" is so blinkered.

If this were 16th century Italy, you'd be the one shouting that Galileo should be imprisoned for life for suggesting the earth wasn't the centre of the universe and flat!

Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 26
Registered: Jan-05
"I've listened to dozens of different
cables and most of them have quite noticeable differences. Each has
its own distinctive character. Brands seem to display a general
character"
************************************
Somebody please tell me he did not just say that??
Each to their own.......

IMO, the individual quoted sounds like he probably sells the stuff, and you can hardly blame him for believing in what earns his living.

Ya know, when I was 22 and fresh out of college, I sold life insurance, and I truly believed every responsible living human should have a $1,000,000 policy. People have a habit of believing in what they sell, and there is no shame in that. Even if it's hogwash.......

Im sure if I were a snake-oil saleman, I would probably believe(deep in my heart)that it worked too had I sold it for enough years.

This is my first and last comment on the matter........
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
This whole thread seems to come back to what I call the Audiophile Hearing Theory:

Going above a certain base price point of decency (say, $700 for a receiver) yields relatively minute/subtle differences in sound quality that are only audible to perhaps 5% of the population, with another perhaps 20% who claim to hear a difference mainly due to:

1. The Placebo Effect

2. Buyer's Remorse Avoidance (a.k.a. not wishing to feel like a complete moron after forking out huge gobs of money)

3. Authority obedience (listening to whatever the presumed Audio Authorities---many of whom have a direct economic interest in promoting super high end stuff---prescribe)

4. Ego-wanking (wanting to feel like one of the elite who can really appreciate---and afford---the difference)

I'm sure those 4 factors are central to any number of luxury hobbies: fine wine, fine dining, fine clothing, etc. It's got to be one of the primary engines of our capitalistic system!

CONCLUSION: go with whatever your own ears tell you, but for the sake of harmony, allow the benefit of the doubt to that theoretical 5% of the population!

So personally I'd find a place with a good return policy to buy the high end stuff and test it out with the cheap generic stuff, if you really want to find out for yourself.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 96
Registered: Apr-04
Frank,

I don't sell audio. I play with audio. On the other hand, as a Psychologist I have spent lots of time studying more than my fair share of studies on perception, belief, memory, and cognition.

We tend to believe that memory (in this case audio memory) is reliable; in essence a literal recording of and event. In reality, memory is a constructive process that is confabulated from associations, current perception, and belief.

Which is why people's memories of events change over time relative to how they currently take self-meaning from the events. There are reams of scientific evidence to support this, as well as to support how easy it is to create false memories.

Additionally, your perceptual equiptment, namely your ears and brain, do not have sufficient memory over time to be able to judge the difference between samples for the kind of discrimination you are talking about when switching out wires. There is simply too much time between stimuli.

For there to be any meaningful attempt at discerning between stimuli, samples would have to be presented almost simultaneously. In the time it takes for most people to switch a wire that memory of the first stimulus is long gone; you remember what you tell yourself about it, which is mediated by cognition (i.e., belief).

Doing self-reported tests, where a subject not only knows what wire they are listening to, but have delays between the tests increases the likelihood that what you are hearing is simple belief, self-delusion, etc.

However, if you really can demonstrate what you espouse, then contact Mr.Randi at http://www.randi.org about demonstrating in controlled, double-blind studies that there are demonstratable differences that can be detected and collect the million dollars.

Good luck with that one.

Have fun!
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 303
Registered: Sep-04
Shan Tao

There are several problems with double blind tests. One of the problems - and which invalidates them in my view - is that the process to which the person is subjected does not allow for that person to truly engage emotionally to musical stimuli. Even if music is played in the test, the pressure of the test places stress on the test subject which destroys their ability to connect with a performance.

Another problem with double blind tests is very often they introduce third party switches into the reproducing chain. These third party devices are built with little regard to their effect on the chain and therefore undo the solid work of other parts of the chain, especially the more subtle ones.

I agree with many of your statements on memory, and this is why I come back to my first point of connecting with a performance. One's memory of an emotional connection is much stronger than one's aural memory and lasts longer. That is the important measure - not just the aural memory - but this is not part of the test which makes the test invalid in my view.

It's all very well to tell me to go back to Mr. Randi although it proves nothing. I admit this is the first I've heard of him and will be interested to read what he has to say on the subject, though I'm sure I will not take the $1M test simply because I don't believe in the methods that are used.

Paul, I have observed that brands do seem to have a general character. I'm not sure why this is the case. I do know that different cable manufacturers use different make-up techniques to build their cables. There are differences in soldering techniques and type of solder, twisting methods, connecting plugs and the like. However, within a manufacturer's range, they tend to use the same techniques. Also, the manufacturers select their cables for their own sonic preferences, just as any electronics manufacturer makes amplifiers that they like the sound of. I believe this may be why the different cables from any one brand exhibit broadly similar presentations with differences in quality as one goes up the quality chain. That said there are some situations where this is not true where the technology of one cable may differ to others in the range.

I am pretty open about the fact that I 'work' (play?) in a HiFi shop on Saturdays. That said, I don't earn my living from it (Software Support). The reason I get a bit heated is that the naysayers on the subjects of cabling, racking, mains supplies etc. ruin potentially good systems for the other people who aren't well versed on the subject or don't have access to quality advice from a quality dealer.

edster,

An interesting way of looking at it, but wrong:

1. The placebo effect is only valid when there is a vested interest. As a Saturday person my vested interests are in my system at home and making the systems in the shop sound as good as possible. I don't get paid a commission - I just do it for fun so this effect is very small if any at all. I play with the kit and find the best combinations, which rarely include the more expensive speaker cables.

2. Buyers Remorse - since I get to play a lot before I actually buy anything I have to be pretty well convinced before I shell out any cash!

3. Authority obedience. Good dealers are far more critical about equipment (include cables) than your average customer. They spend a lot more time working out the best combinations in order to provide their customers with a good service. There is also generally a great deal of robust discussion between employees over the merits of the various options and when one looks at what they have at home one can see differences there as well. The authority avoidance thing may be true with some dealers but the better ones have a healthy dose of skepticism as well as genuine debate on the subject, so the moral is to choose your dealer carefully.

4. Ego-w*: there is certainly an element of truth to the fact that one takes pride in one's ownership of quality things, be it a car, house, HiFi, etc. but this just makes us human, no more, no less.

As to whether you can tell the difference or not on kit that costs more ($700 is not a lot of money for a receiver - and I'd argue you haven't really got into the good ones yet at this point!), you can only tell when you've heard it. In nearly 9 years of demonstrating kit to customers, where I get the "I won't be able to tell the difference" argument constantly, I have only had a customer tell me they can't hear the difference on 2 or 3 occasions. People are fairly tight with their money, especially when they're in a quality HiFi shop since there is quite a perception that dealers are in it for the money (oh if only - margins are a lot lower on most HiFi items than most other retail outlets, opticians for example whose markup is up to 1000%) or that they genuinely believe they won't be able to hear a difference. If that's the case, they're hardly likely to shell out hard earned cash on slight differences. They must perceive big differences, and it must be repeatedly demonstrated to them generally speaking.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 102
Registered: Nov-04
i think its amazing how people really do think that there are "super cables" and cable "break in". yes purity will play a role, the structure of a wire braided opposed to solid, yes materials used will affect silver opposed to copper or gold and yes there may be differences. but since when does an electron have any influence on the structure of a crystaline metal? last time i checked the mass of an electron is negligibe in comparison to that of a proton or neutron let alone a whole collection of them making up the nucleus of copper or any other metal. it is ridiculous to say that the atoms reorganize themselves allowing for a better flow for the electrons. all materials have what is know as a drift speed for electrons and that speed never changes, never. just like the vlaues of conductance, resitivity, inductance, capcitance never changes for a material at a given temperature. THAT is physics. it always makes me laugh when i read maui telling other people off about how they think they know everything, when you are being hypocritical and claiming that you yourself know more than others. please, get over yourself. and i agree with shan, mind plays more tricks than nature does.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 65
Registered: Jan-05
Maybe the mind does play more tricks than nature does, but then isnt nature what the mind interprets?

Anyhow, back to the science...the belief that the conductivity of a material is independant of its crystalline structure is not true.

In fact, electrons have no influence (whatever that means Chris :-) on the structure of a xtalline metal, unless you are smelting bauxite; however, since most of the intermetallic compounds found in Cu alloys are mostly non conducting, it is therefore reasonable to assume that the density and population of these intermetallics could have an effect on the electrical conductivity of that material.

Also, if you wrap a electrical conductor around an iron core and pass an alternating current through it and there will be a magentic field generated around the core (a basic inductor) so, coil your speaker wires around another set of cables that are unshielded, or even the base of your speaker stand, then there will be some effect on the effective impedance of that conductor.

Now I'm not claiming that these effects have an audible effect, just that they must have SOME effect.
Ultimately, if you can HEAR the difference, and want to pay for it, then whats the foolishness in that? I have many friends who cannot see the value in spending £100 on a CD player, let alone £1000's. In their eyes every one of us posting on this forum who have an interest in reproducing music well is a fool with too much money: perhaps the most amusing facet to this thread is the sight of aliens claiming there is no life other than on planet earth.
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
Frank, your silver plated copper cable truly astounds me. It isnt often when I hear someone selling hi fidelity equipment touting a product that actually intentionally distorts the audio signal. If as you say it forces the treble out of sync with the associated bass frequencies, then it is the exact opposite of what an audiophile would wish.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1322
Registered: Aug-04
It really irks me when people tell me what I can hear or can't hear - I know what I hear - why would I make it up? I wonder how many of the flatearthers here have even tried various cable or, do they just blindly believe what they read.

I don't have what most would call a high end system, probably mid-fi, but it all cost me a pretty penny here in Australia I can assure you and I for one was never about to fork out a heap of money for exotic cable. I too, was somewhat sceptical about the advantages of various types of higher end cable. But I was prepared to listen to someone involved in audio for many years and give some supposedly better, though not overly expensive 'different' cable a try - and I can assure all of you that there was an instant perceivable and improved difference. I have some hi-res discs that I have listened to very critically just to note the resolution differences in these formats and when I changed cables I heard subtle but pleasing differences. So you may believe it or not. What I say won't make any difference to most of you so all I can suggest is for those who at least have an open mind - give it a try. To the others - well, you're certainly entiltled to express your views I guess.

 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
MyRantz: The problem is, under controlled testing most people dont hear any difference. If you do then more power to you.

And as far as the flat-earth thing, science (geometry actually) had proved the earth was round hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. Science has so far proven uber-expensive cables to be a waste of money.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1323
Registered: Aug-04
Stealth C

I can't speak for uber-expensive cables as I've only recently tried slightly expensive ones, but as I hear subtle differences with these, I would no longer be as sceptical about claims made by the more exotic cable manufaturers as I once was - and with regard to the price of many of them, I agree that even if there would be, again, improved differences, they could well be a waste of money if there was not a reasonable cost/difference ratio.

Thanks for the 'earth history' lesson - I guess I asked for it :-)

 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
I personally subscribe to the Audioholics.com version of things. They go pretty in depth with their testing to show what is crap and what isnt.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1324
Registered: Aug-04
Well, there you go then!
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
Yeah, it isnt real relevant to much of anything, but I figured Id just say it. My budget allows me to buy my cable at target so it doesnt really matter anyways.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 103
Registered: Nov-04
maybe i should have said the mind plays more tricks than physics does. ca_convert i understand your point at the end and agree with you on that point. but i think you miss my point. your simple inductor example will change certain properties and having cables not insulated or wound around something will probably make some change to the signal, but that is external to the wires themselves and is beside the point of this arguement. i find it hard to believe that you really think resitivity is independent of the crystalline structure. copper has very few limitations on how its structure forms when turned into a solid, glass however does not and is a very unorganized crystal. i will include an article that i found on the internet about the microstructure of metals like copper.
http://www2.thefabricator.com/Articles/Welding_Article.cfm?ID=568
your list of potentially interfering characteristics are not things that change from one run of copper to another. copper is copper, unless of course you use different materials as alloys or in unison in a braided wire, or even if somehow cable companies know how to change copper's inherent physical properties. as stated in the article, the grain size has a direct affect on how well the metal will exhibit its properties, your crystalline boundries. but that is a manufacturing problem, not a problem due to the cable itself. yes impurities in anything will affect the overall attributes to any substance, but isnt that why you pay alittle extra to get high purity copper wires? i would like to hear a more explicit explaination of how the flow of electrons has any affect on how the copper crystalline structure is oriented or for that matter any other metal. frank, i hate to be a pain in the butt to you, but its very easy to play with words and justify your own reasoning for making any purchase. i know that i am still an amateur and i could be completely wrong in my reasoning, but science tells me that something must be wrong here. i dont mind someone spending lots of money on something i find ridiculous or something they that they truly believe in, but dont try to shove it down my throat.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Anonymous, you got a masters in physics, do ya? A friend of mine does. Matter of fact he is a couple graduate courses away from a masters in QUANTUM physics. Guess what? Yeah, your not gonna believe this, but he does not agree with you. Neither do I. Nor does anyone else with a good enough system to hear the difference. Why not let others make the choice for themselves?
Christoper Lee....trust me, they DO break in. Mine took WEEKS. In fact, I was very tempted to revert back to my old cables. Amplifiers sound better when broken in. Speakers too. CD players should be left on 24/7/365 to sound they're best. Critically listen to your system cold (As soon as you turn it on).....then again same song, same volume 2 hours later leaving the system on. You will hear a fairly audable difference for the better. In fact, no reviewer will even test a piece of audio equipment untill it warms up fully.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
One more thing folks: Anyone here that can say with any degree of honesty that your audio system sounds as good during the daytime as it does late at night? Ask Christopher.......it's just your mind playing tricks on you at night after a long hard day of work. Nothing to do with the electrical purity at night. Right Chris? Waiting on your psychological explanation............
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 304
Registered: Sep-04
Chris,

I was not trying to shove it down your throat. As it happens I was trying to stop Anon and the rest from shoving what they believe down my throat - especially as I know they're as mistaken as lemmings on a bad night. If I came across as shoving, then I apologise.

Physicists have been wrong in the past. As I recall, all the top physicists were expecting to prove that the universe's expansion was decelerating last year and found out that all heavenly bodies are actually accelerating away from each other instead! Mind tricks perhaps?

The only justification I need for a purchase is the evidence of my ears. This justification is no different to whether I buy a Naim, Chord or Arcam amp for example. Yet, simply because an amplifier contains many parts, you accept that it should sound different. When it comes to wire you do not, and yet amps are made up of much the same components yet it's accepted that they sound different.

Once again, please accept my apologies for being as dogmatic as the rest. I guess my incredulity at such blinkered responses in a free world got the better of me.

Regards,
Frank.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 98
Registered: Apr-04
Hi maui;

you wrote:
"Anyone here that can say with any degree of honesty that your audio system sounds as good during the daytime as it does late at night? Ask Christopher.......it's just your mind playing tricks on you at night after a long hard day of work. Nothing to do with the electrical purity at night. Right Chris? Waiting on your psychological explanation............"


Hmmm certainly if one believed the power was less dirty at night, they could choose to associate that phenomena with music sounding better.

As an aside - Is there any evidence that power is purer at night? Can anyone cite physical studies that demonstrate this? Likewise, can anyone cite studies that demonstrate that people can discriminate between the two conditions (dirty power/pure power) that one is preferred and can be consistently chosen over the other in double blind tests? Because so far this has all the makings of a good urban myth.

But back to your initial question regarding psychological factors. People are belief generating machines. Their minds are set up for the purpose of abstracting out patterns of change and associating ideas, concepts and stimuli. It
was made that way to allow survival, not rationality. Belief about the connection between cause and effect can be rational or irrational. For example, when I drop a pencil it falls to earth - a rational cause and effect observation. Or, I saw a light in the sky last night and this morning my neighbours cat is missing - the light must have been a ufo and it abducted the cat. That is irrational, but represents an attempt, using (one's belief about aliens in this case) cause and effect reasoning and your mind attempting to connect the dots. What's that old zen buddhist joke, "I know there is cause and effect, I am just never sure which is which".

In any case, if you believe that clean power at night makes your system sound better, then it will, to you. If you believe in the virgin mary enough and say enough devotional prayers, you might see her face in a taco shell in Mexico. If you have an a priori belief that wires will improve your system and you replace the wires the probably will sound better. Nothing mystical about that.

But there is an easier more parsimonious explanation and it comes from simple biology and perception. At night, there are less ambient background noises. It is quieter at night. There are less people about, less machines, less autos, and because of that there are less competing stimuli against which the sound of the music must compete. Therefore, the music sounds clearer and better. Additionally, from a psychological perspective, one might posit that during the night there are fewer stressors on you, having completed work and other tasks of the day, so there are less *internal* mental distractors and you are free to listen more carefully and enjoy the music and thus it sounds better.

There are two simple explanations for the same experience and phenomena.

Hpoe that helps. Take care.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 67
Registered: Jan-05
Chris,

Appreciate your reply, and the fact that you are actually interested in the subject, and not simply on an ego fight as so often happens is appreciated.

Firstly, glass isnt a crystalline material, it is in fact an supercooled liquid, which is what after a long period of time (100's not 10's) of years, glass windows become thicker at the bottom.
That's not really that relevant to the thread I know, but bear with me.
In an ideal situaiotn, Cu would just be Cu in that a lump of Cu only contains atoms or copper aranged in probably a square hexagonal lattice (forgive me if that's incorrect - It has been many years since I practiced metallurgy for a living), which indeed would probably have little difference on the mass electrical properties.

However, the reality is that no commercially available metals are pure, and in the majority, the slight impurities make a huge difference to the physical properties of the material. For exmaple, steel being a mixture of iron and carbon at typically <5% carbon for all steel types, with the most usable from an engineering perspective being much lower amounts. Soem of this carbon, and indeed any other impurities lying around in the scrap charge, the furnace, the atmosphere; all combine to produce various inter-metallic compounds. The nature, distribution and size of these intermetallics have a very significant effect on the physical properties of the finished alloy.

Now I am no expert on the specific metallurgy of Copper, so I cant be certain of my arguments, although I certainly know this to be true of aluminium alloys.

One thing is certain though is that if you were to be able to produce a copper wire, that had a cross section of intermetallic (a simple oxide layer would suffice) across its section, its electrical conductivity would be massively altered. Of course, the chances of that occuring naturally are to all intents zero; but, for sure these insulative compunds do form at the grain boundaries of the crystals that are formed within the material. Since electrons have to flow across these boundaries as well as through the individual crystal lattices; then it must be that if there is a non conductive "wall" then there must be some, no matter how small; effect on the conductivity of that material. This is my point - to say there is no effect copper is copper is copper is in fact technically or scientifcally if you prefer very incorrect. The issue really is whether theses effect are actually audible, which is as much about philosophy than it is about science. Clearly some people believe they are audible, and others don't. Some people think NAD amps are warm and woolly, others think they sound thin and light.

As I have said, most of my friends think spending more that £200 on their complete all-in-one-box system is mindtricks! Who cares...if it makes us smile, be happy; then waiter, get me a placebo!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 26
Registered: Dec-04
Wow Shan. Lovely. Now snatch the pebble from my hand...(just Kidding). It is in the ears of the beholder. The entire reason for our hobby is personal enjoyment. I can think of no other product that is offered for no other reason than personal enjoyment. I like cars, but they get me to work. I like horses, they get me to town and pull my wares. Music is for personal pleasure only, and personal it should be. Pick what works for you, night or day. Cheers
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 27
Registered: Dec-04
Hey ca, well done. If I might add, pure copper doesnt happen for most of us.
For available wiring, additives, for the purpose of production, include arsenic(for compliance), beryllium(for retention) and antimony(for impedence). All are well known semi-comductors.

Shall we compare these to a summers day?

Take the comparitive wires in question in 12" lengths. Wrap the insulated conductor tightly around a known ferrous item(8" #2 phillips screwdriver) and snap the exposed ends of the conductor across a 12 volt car battery(protective eyeware rocommended).

The result is a superheated copper, and barely warmed additive. If the samples vary widely in rigity of the resulting spring, you have evidence of high beryllium content in the stiffest conductor. Should the wire remain flaccid, you have a high copper purity OR a high arsenic content.

In either case you have a magnetised screwdriver.
woo hoo.

In producing conductors, the manufacturer has packaging in mind all of the time. To market small, expensive spools of product, it must be pliable. opposed, a massive roll (or lot) need not be pliable to store in coil.

I like beryllium as a semi, as it does not affect flow as much as, say, antimony.

Keep a stiff wire.

Cheers
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
mauimusicman: Good for you, you have friends in college!!! And they are a couple steps away from a masters degree no less. Unfortunately you have stated nothing to prove your point whatsoever other than "Well I have a friend who thinks I'm right and hes in college!!!". Ask your friend to conduct scientific testing and prove in real terms why your high end cables are better. Then I will care.

Many educated audiophiles do believe that cables make a huge difference while many do not. It is, as you can tell, a very heated debate. No one has said you do not have the right to choose your cable. However, in a lot of testing, "audiophile" level cables costing $500 a foot have inferior qualities as compared with plain old competently engineered 10AWG zip cord. They do look nice though.

As for ones audio system sounding better at night, there is typically less ambient noise at night time. This makes a hell of a lot more difference than the quality of electricity.
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
Frank, unless you can scientifically prove that your cables have superior physical characteristics to 10AWG zip line of resonable make, then only "audiophiles" who are wrapped up in the idea of getting high end cables will buy them. Quote even one source for me that goes and tests the physical qualities and says they are vastly superior to 10AWG and you will have more credibility than you do now.

This is not to say that some high end cables aren't worth the money for looks, build quality, etc. However, when companies say "send us your cables and we will break them in for you for a small fee", I tend to laugh in their faces.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 107
Registered: Nov-04
maui, i dont deny break in of amps, cd players, or speakers. that may seem contradictory, but i guess it is very hard for me to think metal wire needs to be broken in. i may very well be wrong since i do lack the experience in audio. but it does not make any sense to me that there would be any break in period for wires. frank, i didn't mean to direct that comment to you specifically, but i do understand where you are coming from and i appologize. my words may have been too harsh. it was more my fault then yours for trying to get at someone in the dialogue here. ca_convert, i appreciate you trying to answer my question. i am honestly not trying to bash here. this idea of wire break in bugs me because it doesnt make any sense. i appreciate the reply, but i still dont see an explaination of what exactly is breaking in. the reason i attacked the idea of crystalline structure rearranging is because frank suggested that break in would be due to rearrangement of the copper for better electron flow which i found hard to believe. the reason why i keep falling back to mind plays tricks is because the mind does very often misinterpret what is around us and can force misinterpretations upon ourselves. as long as there arnt people coming up and saying we are all idiots, i will be happy to try and have a civilized dialogue here with the rest of u guys.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nuck

Parkhill, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 30
Registered: Dec-04
Christopher, the construction of wiring can indeed change over time with several infuences.

First, electrolysis is a critical factor. Depending on a bunch of stuff, additives to the potion can transfer electrons, and become ionized, in cases, depending on enviorenment.

Temperature is first for thermal and electrolytical transfer, if the wire gets this hot, something is wrong with impedence and power.

Secondly, natural transfer of electrons is something engineered, not happenstance. If this is a siht happens sort of thing, how can it be predictable?

I do not believe that wires have to 'run in' to be effective, however I do think I want conductors that have been 'seasoned' before I buy them.

My wires were buried for 1 year before they were delivered by the dog who dug them up.(next to the 427 block buried for 3 years.

Time will tell
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 108
Registered: Nov-04
nuck, i cant understand a single thing that you said. what does electrolysis have to do with wires over time? electrolysis to my knowledge involves things such as batteries where redox reactions occur. where does that happen on speaker wires? what is a potion? temperature will have an affect but that does not constitute break in. the decrease in resistivity only exists so long as the temperature change is there. for your second point, physics has many equations predicting the behavior or metals very well. it is predictable. i never said otherwise. if i did then my fault for not being more explicit. path may not be, but many other things are. i still have no reason to give credit to the idea of cable break in. anyone else have a better reason?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 69
Registered: Jan-05
I'm with Chris on the "breaking in" theory, if only because its not been my experience of what I have heard. decent inter-connects sound good from day 1, and I did not notice any improvement. I have to say that under normal operating conditions it is highly unlikely that the physical structure of the conductor would change unless you heated it to a temperature beyond whihc the insulating material would have burnt away within seconds, or cold worked it to a degree that would require you to have crushed the wire flat.

My arguments have really been supporting the claim that specialist inter-connects COULD sound better (at least different) to standard ring main wire ( I have used 30 amp solid core before now, and sounded sh1t!)
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 278
Registered: Sep-04
Shan Tao,

Many in here are probably aware of the exploits of Mr. Randi. However, Randi's main objective was to prove that supernatural phenomena was mostly in the mind of the believer. I, personally am a believer that the showmanship and the exposure has now become his prime objective, so that he will turn his sceptical tirade to almost any phenomena which has questions surrounding it. What many people miss is that the amazing little man has always been a perfomer and fail to acknowledge that sceptical analysis has now become a form of entertainment. As they say - that's showbizzness.... As a 'psychologist' (as you call yourself) I would expect you to realise this. It's important to keep your counter arguments in context. We are talking about speaker wiring here - I doubt anyone with an ounce of numpf about them would despute there are many gadgets around which rely on psuedo science, magic and faith in order to function.

Anonymous,

It's a good idea to read thoroughly through a third-party document before posting it as your counter argument. In it, you will find that impurities in wire may cause corrosion, which would be detrimental to a good connection. Although informative and in some ways, enlightening, you also have to deal with the possibilty that the speaker switching unit used in Gordon Gow's experiment may have cancelled out some of the differences in materials used. The article does not mention the metallurgy of the terminals and switching gear. If you are to assume this makes no difference to the sound, either, then you must also concede that you too, only have your beliefs to fall back on. Written articles such as this constitute evidence, but they do not provide proof - for or otherwise. The best assessment you can make is through testing this for yourself. I might also add, that somewhere I have heard tube amps are less sensitive to speaker cabling than transistorized equipment. Something to do with the lower power output and the perhaps the fact they put out a 'softer', more 'musical presentation than transistors. Now - if I'm not sorely mistaken, isn't this what Mcintosh produce?

I am neither a metallurgist, nor an expert in electronics, but I am able to hear a difference in the weight of cabling used, which is what the article did seem to offer as a conclusion. That length and weight are proportionate seem to be the main point which allude more to volume and overall dynamics issues than some of the more subtle areas of difference some people swear to hearing.

At the start of the article: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm,
we see the differences in resistance between materials are cited, but assessed, it would seem, by what is measurable. What is sonically percieved relies on a myriad of combined conditions.

I think a stronger argument could be gained by combining what you can measure on a test-bench, with what scientists are discovering about how hearing is achieved, both in the inner ear and through the bones, finally the brain. It is all too easy to pick a side of the fence and sit there, defending it like crazy.... That in itself is no more than a quest for 'righteousness' and the feeling of power developed through winning an argument. That is when learning stops and the ego takes over. (Shan-Tao should already be familiar with this, we can only hope!). Insulting people on their supposed gullibility does little to bring the truth closer in this argument, without experience to support it.

Personally, I'm not a constant cable-swapper. I bought decent equipment and upgraded from bellwire to copper strand; from £1.50 (1 dollar) interconnects to gold tipped, balanced lines - all in a bargain conscious expedition which has taken some months to complete. I'm happy with what I have and I notice that some equipment I own is less sensitive to it's cable arrangments than others. Cabling is the weakest link and the only controllable variable for the consumer to upgrade, while staying this side of the cabinets.

Please don't ridicule people for buying what they feel is appropriate for their systems, until you have carried out these tests yourself. It's too easy to rely on statistics, without taking into account that some things may not be testable until we can measure exactly how the ear deals with the sound.

For now, we have to rely on percievable sonic differences. If that's not good enough for you, then I suggest you are less interested in musicality than you are in the politics of hi-fi. Try listening to some music with a relaxed attitude for a change.... You might enjoy it.

V








 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 279
Registered: Sep-04
Oh and I should also mention, to anyone who is sceptical about 'de-statting' your discs, that a little dab of furniture polish can be scientifically rationalized: Static not only means the difference between a disc that will not play, but also a cleaner disc makes for a cleaner sound. Did anyone actually believe early publicity ads for the Compact Disc format, which had discs spread with butter and jam? A laser cannot penetrate anything other than a clear surface.

V
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Shawn, I don't know why audio systems sound better at night. I'm speculating on the cleaner power theory. Many say it's just quiter at night therefore you hear subtle nuances masked by daytime traffic, etc. I live on Maui where the most common visitor's comment is "It's soooooooo quiet here" so thats not it. I was hoping our resident shrink had an explanation.
Stealth, my friend is not in college. He has tought advanced physics courses at a college. He's also a designer,accoustical engineer, recording engineer,
and is very highly respected in audio. Not that any of that matters to you.
Christopher, lots of things in audio don't make sense. This is just one of a plethora of audio's little mysteries. Here's another: Which amp do you think would sound better: One with .5% thd or one with .0005% thd? Can and generally is the one with higher distortion. Why is this? We know the answer. Many amps low thd figures come from the increase of global negative feedback. This has a desireable affect on paper by lowering thd and widening bandwith or frequency response. However, it sounds markedly worse. Of course if your buying purely based upon stats....you would choose the lesser amp. Food for thought.....
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
"Anonymous, you got a masters in physics, do ya? A friend of mine does. Matter of fact he is a couple graduate courses away from a masters in QUANTUM physics." Sounds to me like your friend is taking classes in college, Maui. Also, a person with a degree in quantum physics is not as qualified as say, an electrical engineer to discuss wiring in the first place. I sense lies...

Secondly no one has yet shown a single iota of testing to prove to me that cable that costs an arm and a leg is superior to 10AWG copper wire. Audioholics, with an electrical engineer on hand, does run various tests on impedence, inductance, capacitence, etc, and comes to the conclusion that other than looks, there is little point to buying uber-expensive cable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1329
Registered: Aug-04
Stealt C

Apart from what everyone says and what you read, what conclusions have you drawn from your own tests between lower/mid and high end cables?

 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
I personally find that the differences are too small to mention. Keep in mind however, I have relatively short runs of 15 feet and use decent quality 14AWG oxygen free, stranded copper cable. There are differences in sound with high end cable, but I cannot say that I find any to be particularly BETTER sounding than the regular cable.

Personally, unless I found there was a significant difference in sound, I would not pay 50 dollars a foot for any cable, let alone 500 dollars (probably more than its weight in gold...), when I can get 99% of the performance for 1% of the price.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 280
Registered: Sep-04
Now THAT I can agree with.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 110
Registered: Nov-04
still wondering if anyone that believes in cable break in will try and give me an explaination. and dont give me, "well you have to try it yourself and listen because there really is no explaination and it wouldn't make sense if i tried to explain it". those are the only responses i've been getting. come on, if u guys are so passionate about this idea you should be able to make a stupid college kid like me understand.
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-05
Come now Christopher. Dont you believe giving me 500 dollars a foot for cable and then paying me another 50 dollars a foot to break them in for you is a worthwhile endeavor? Even though the material worth of the cable is maybe a couple bucks per foot, and my breaking them in for you consists of laughing for hours on end that someone is dumb enough to pay to have cables broken in for them, it is well worth the investment.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
From the Analysis Plus tecnical folks: A dedicated loudspeaker cable acts as a signal transmitter between what are essentially impedance-mismatched components -- amplifier and speakers. Minimizing this inherent mismatch is addressing a primary effect rather than worrying unduly about second- and third-order effects. While undoubtedly real, these higher-order effects -- such as dielectric energy storage -- have a much lesser impact on the overall picture.
The cited basic impedance mismatch between amp and speakers is further compounded by a loudspeaker's erratic impedance curve that varies with frequency despite its nominal rating, which really is merely an average value that often hides severe dips and peaks. Put simply, a speaker's impedance is a moving target. To add further complexity, a traditional round conductor isn't a fixed value either as it increases its characteristic resistance with frequency due to skin effect. Rising frequencies diminish current density. Most of the center of the conductor is bypassed so that the majority of high-frequency signal content propagates only along the conductor surface. This effect is multiplied in the common cylindrical two-conductor designs where source and return-current conductors are merely separated by a dielectric. The bi-directional current flow causes current bunching when the magnetic fields of source and return current "pull" on each other. This again reduces current flow in most of the actual conductor mass except for the area in close proximity to the parallel conductors. Hence this type of interaction is known as the proximity effect. It again causes resistance to increase with rising frequencies, making signal propagation more inefficient. The designs most successful at addressing current-density effects are rectangular-solid-core conductors, usually one-piece flat ribbons. Solid-core conductors, however, are highly susceptible to kinks, which, when measured under a time-domain reflectometer, reveal impedance mismatches and internal reflections. Pop quiz. 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?
Mr. Electrical Engineer......???????
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 111
Registered: Nov-04
again. still havent given me a reason to believe that cable break in exists. i appreciate the information in you post maui, but you are still avoiding my question, if that was an attempt to answer my question. sorri maui for forgetting about your psychological explaination for night time listening. i wouldn't know since i dont hear a difference. and even if i did, im not a psychologist so i wouldn't be able to answer. but i would like to ask how the power coming in at night time would be cleaner, and by cleaner i assume you are talking about the current osscilations matching a sine wave better. what would make the turbines, heating elements, magnets, or any part of the power plant cause a differene in the quality of the AC current? AC current from a power plant is always dirty just by matter of fact of how its being generated. i really don't see any reason for power companies to go through the trouble of making their power cleaner at night as opposed to day time when it would actually be more usable.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 90
Registered: Jan-05
The only reason I could think of for the power being "cleaner" during the night is that there isnt as much powertools,heavy machinery,etc... on
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-05
"Pop quiz. 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?"

http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/audioprinciples/interconnects/skineeffectaud iocables.php

I quote "Actual measured increase in AC Resistance due to Skin Effect at 20 kHz is less than 3%. See the results in our Cable Face Off Article for more details."

3% measured effect. Shucks, I should go and plunk down 5 grand now!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 282
Registered: Sep-04
Well, I've heard it said, there is a drop in gas pressure when all the men are returning home for work, and the housewives have the dinner on....
I've also heard it said, there's a dip in the electrical current during the commercial breaks of Coronation Street. That's nearly the whole country turning on their kettles for a cuppa.

Still doesn't answer the question entirely, but goes along with what Cory says.

Also says a lot about the country's mentality when it comes to entertainment.

V
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Christopher.....your question reminds me of one my father used to ask when I was a kid. "Where was the little boy when he jumped off the bridge"?
If you answered "On the bridge" he would reply "No, that was before he jumped" If you answered "In the water" he would reply "No, that was AFTER he jumped" If you then replied "In the air" he would reply......"No that was still after he jumped" No matter what your answer, it was wrong.
LISTEN. Not everything is black and white. No matter how much we would like it to be. Especially when it comes to audio.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Stealth....your post does nothing to dismiss the audable affects of wire. Skin effect, though real was merely one of the problems presented in my post. How do you dimiss the very real problems presented between amp/pre-amp/speaker impedences? You can't. What about the non measureable's? By that I mean things that are VERY audable but not measurable? In speaker design, most designers rely on FFT or MLS data. That data though, does not measure phase/time problems. Yet manufacturer after manufacturer will design speakers based upon nothing more than this information, disregarding time domain problems that exist in most speakers today. It is NOT an exact science by a long shot with the current technology. Choose to believe it is if you wish, but you would be wrong. VERY wrong.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Shan, you wrote "from a psychological perspective, one might posit that during the night there are fewer stressors on you, having completed work and other tasks of the day, so there are less *internal* mental distractors and you are free to listen more carefully and enjoy the music and thus it sounds better"
I work nights. I'm a musician. Try again.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 100
Registered: Apr-04
Hi Varney;

you wrote:
" Many in here are probably aware of the exploits of Mr. Randi. "


:-) I hope so, he is wonderfully entertaining.


going on you say:
" However, Randi's main objective was to prove that supernatural phenomena was mostly in the mind of the believer."

Indeed so. However, in the links I provided, he has been examining interesting audio claims like shakti stones that improve sound, funny looking coat rack thingies that improve sound, audio wire and has had an interesting ongoing interchange with an editor from one of the audio magazines. He has extended his "challenge" to people with pseudo-scientific beliefs to take up.


you also wrote:
" I, personally am a believer that the showmanship and the exposure has now become his prime objective, so that he will turn his sceptical tirade to almost any phenomena which has questions surrounding it. What many people miss is that the amazing little man has always been a perfomer and fail to acknowledge that sceptical analysis has now become a form of entertainment. "

Yep, entertainment it is. Enjoyable as it were, as is Penn and Teller in their show "Bullshit", hahaha perhaps I should email them and ask them to explore 500 dollar a foot cable. That might be entertaining as well.


you also wrote:
" As they say - that's showbizzness.... As a 'psychologist' (as you call yourself) I would expect you to realise this."


Yessirreebob, a psychologist, got the papers to prove it and everything. My mom was very proud. And I understand fully he is an entertainer whose shtick is debunking and skeptical analysis in an entertaining way. He pretty much says so on his site.

You also shared:
" It's important to keep your counter arguments in context. We are talking about speaker wiring here - I doubt anyone with an ounce of numpf about them would despute there are many gadgets around which rely on psuedo science, magic and faith in order to function. "


Indeed so. But if one is making claims that something shows a demonstratable improvement, then that should be able to be tested. People can argue the physics of this all day, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding (or in this case the listening). Double blind tests are the gold standard in tests of human perception. If the effect of so-called "better" wires is true, then it should be able to be shown that people can, in double blind tests, identify the "better" wires by how the music sample or stimuli sound. So far, it appears from the limited tests done that this is not so.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 101
Registered: Apr-04
Hi Maui;

you wrote:
" Shan, you wrote "from a psychological perspective, one might posit that during the night there are fewer stressors on you, having completed work and other tasks of the day, so there are less *internal* mental distractors and you are free to listen more carefully and enjoy the music and thus it sounds better"
I work nights. I'm a musician. Try again."


You know I used to be a musician too. People kept saying the standard, "don't give up your day job". In retrospect, I am glad I listened.

Not sure what being a musician has to do with anything in our discussion. But, being a musician, you work nights, :-) but you don't work all night. You eventually go home, I mean for there aree only so many drinks and barmaids and eventually you gotta go home. And you turn on your music and relax before dropping off to blissful sleep, don't you? Otherwise how could you be listening to music and speculating that it sounds better cause you have dirty power in the day?

Take care
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-05
Maui: : In plain and simple terms, no real scientific explanation has been given that can be proved beyond resonable doubt that justifies the existance of high end cables over ordinary 10AWG copper cable. You say that the differences are not measurable, yet science and measurement is what gave us audio in the first place. Why should I have faith in something that science has given me but cannot be measured. Furthermore why should I have faith in something that in a controlled double blind test, fails miserably.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Triedit

Nashville, TN USA

Post Number: 25
Registered: Dec-03
There is definitely a difference in expensive cables.

I recently built a dedicated HT room. Expense was no object. I wired all outlets to the breaker box with speaker cable that cost over $100/ft. My lights are much brighter and now incadescent bulbs glow like flourescent bulbs. I hope that the city building codes inspectors do not discover that I did not use standard wiring.
 

Silver Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 113
Registered: Nov-04
maui if ur not gonna bother to at least try and answer my question then im going to assume you dont have one. yes i am constantly asking questions and trying to get at exatly what is causing this not to prove you wrong, but so someone can prove me wrong. im not the blind one leading other blind people around anymore. if it is really going to make a difference i would like to know why. i would like to believe that buying $200 speaker wire has a reason. simply dismissing the world of audio as still "shooting in the dark" does not statisfy me. if that really is the case, then i guess i should find a good job so i can spend thousands upon thousands shooting in the dark. you remind me of people trying to defend the existence of God, for the record i am christian but do not attend church anymore...dont ask why. no matter what you do or say, you will never get to to core of the question and when you get cornered you shove your hands in you pocket and say "well the bible says so" or "well you just get that feeling".
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jan-05
Hell even the existance of God can be defended by scientific reasoning and logic. Speaker cables costing 500 dollars a foot cannot be defended by scientific reasoning and definately not by logic. Even if there is some small 1% difference in measureable performance (which by scientific means there still isnt!), it wouldn't be worth the money over regular 10 or 12AWG zip line which can be had for something like a buck a foot.

Ohh and "How do you dimiss the very real problems presented between amp/pre-amp/speaker impedences? " If you read any measured testing you would see that the 10AWG has superior impedence to uber-cables.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 283
Registered: Sep-04
Shan Tao,

"Yessirreebob, a psychologist, got the papers to prove it and everything. My mom was very proud."

Is your name really Ned Flanders?
Sorry, I just could not resist that one.

You seem very eager to offer paper as proof. I think practical experience is key to developing the skills in each individual practitioner. Don't take this personally, but I have found the many desk-bound, book adherants I've seen to be rather out of touch with the realities of the patient's life, whereas I've met people, ranging from a bronze founder to an ex-soldier who seemed more astute in their understanding.

Just how much time do you spend listening to music and how much of your free time have you actually spent cable swapping to find it makes no difference?

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 77
Registered: Jan-05
Stealth, when will you understand this simple fact: if it sounds better, and you wish to buy it, THEN IT IS BETTER. period. Why, because this is a hi fi forum, and we are debating what you HEAR, not how electrons flow or don't. Simple fact is that many people can hear the difference, and enjoy what they hear. This ridiculously naive "if it aint in a science text book then it cannot be so" nonsense is not really progressing the understanding of musical reproduction.

I am sure also, that if you were to solicit you information from a cable company, you might find a scientific causal link that you are questioning. So, even science is subjective at its boundaries, rather like your logic! Open minds please!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 28
Registered: Jan-05
I would be any amount of money that the 'alleged' sound critic could not tell the difference or distinguish the expensive speakerwire from the cheaper wire in a sound test with identical equiptment placed side by side. The audiophile with his 'alleged' good ears knows it too. But hey, each to their own. Reading a debate over who makes the better sounding wire is pretty entertaining though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 102
Registered: Apr-04
Hi Varney;

you asked:
"Just how much time do you spend listening to music and how much of your free time have you actually spent cable swapping to find it makes no difference?"


Oh lots of time here and there. I listen in my office when doing paperwork and I have no clients scheduled and at home in the evenings. Usually listen to Jazz, but also classical, rock and lately YES on CD's that I just bought as my turntable that I bought in 1977 just bit the dust. I briefly considered getting my old 8 track player and 8 track tapes from the basement to use in the interim while I got a new turntable but thought better of it and bought some CD's. Been enjoying the yes.

I have lots of friends into audio and we get together socially and talk of things. Some are wire zealots while others are wire skeptics. My one friend has his wire on di-electric and plastic thingies that suspend the wire exactly 12 inches off the floor to separate it from ground. He believes it makes the $100/foor wire sound better. He once got a mouse in his house and he claimed that he could tell when the mouse passed under the wire because it changed the sound (no I am not making that up, it is tooo stupid to make that up). I did let him know that we have medication and can treat that now :-)


In any case, we have played with wire and swapped them out on occasion and I perceive no difference. Once for fun, I pretended to swap the wire out 3 different times and left in the same 10 guage zip cord, and my friends (even the one with the elevated wire and mouse sensitivity) rated the 10 guage wire on three same trials differently (i.e., on one trial he said that it had better mids and a more wide soundstage, on another trial same music same wire he said it made the treble harsh).

Needless to say, I personally wouldn't spend money buying expensive wire after that.


 

Bronze Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 91
Registered: Jan-05
Hi Shaun/Varney im wondering what kind of wire you guys use? and what diffrences with using diffrent types of wire if any
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jan-05
Ca-Convert, first of all no this is not a hi-fi forum. This is a home audio forum, specifically for speakers. As a result this conversation doesn't have any real reason for being here in the first place. Secondly science invented speakers, and the wiring that connects amplifiers to them. Who are you to question science now? Thirdly, even if I did query the cable companies in question, I imagine I would get a BS response with no scientific proof to back up their claims, no testing whatsoever, etc. Finally, as for hearing with your ears I wholeheartedly agree on this fact. However, when we talk about cable that costs massive amounts of money people need to question this. If someone already has 10 or 12AWG wire of good quality whose resistance is more than sufficient for the lengths required by any science text, which would be a better return on $10000 dollars, 2-10 foot strips of speaker cable whose performance enhancements are dubious at best, or perhaps some acoustical treatments for your room, whose results are well proven? Its not just performance that is in question, it is bang for the buck. If you are Bill Gates, by all means blow your cash. Its good for the economy. However, if you are an average person like most of us here, your cash is better spent elsewhere.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1332
Registered: Aug-04
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such trifling investment of fact."

- Mark Twain

Who beieves the story about Adam and Eve - millions of Christians do! Most scientists don't. You believe what you want to believe. Do you believe what your eyes, ears an nose tells you. If your answer is yes - you'd be right - some of the time. Do you believe what you read. If the answer is yes - you'd be right - some of the time.

The thing is - I know what I hear. The difference is - you don't!

And vice versa - of course!


 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 80
Registered: Jan-05
Science did not invent speakers, man did; through a desire to reproduce music, perhaps one of the most understood and yet misunderstood "sciences". Music is perhaps not a science, I doubt that you could explain to me (based upon what you have written thus far) why music based around 4th multiple time signatures is appealing, nor indeed why (other than the bleedin obvious) harmony should be "harmony" based around a mathematical relationship of frequencies played simultaneously (I'll respect you more if you can tell me what one of those is).

Your assumption of BS from a cable company is a succinct, though perhaps inelegant facsimile of what I wrote.
I wonder if Mrs Einstein told her son, who; when questioning the great steam roller of quantum mechanics; told him "who the frick are you to question science" <in>


As you succinctly put, if you are an average person, then spend you money elsewhere; if, however you can HEAR the difference, then spend it on that. Finally economics:

I spent £350 on my amp
£300 cdp
£300 speakers
£500 vinyl
£20 cables

Hmmmmm Bill Gates would be quivering. Come on get real and stop frightening people with your ignorance, history is littered with ignorance and misplaced valiance. say no more eh my american "friend" (sits back and waits for a severe flaming ha ha :-))
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 284
Registered: Oct-04
If you buy Wilson Alexandria X-2 speakers for $120,000 you WILL notice a difference between different cables. You would NOT use Home Depot, Monster, or any other generic brand. People like My Rantz have described the improvement in sound quality going from Monster to Kimber Kables, which retail for close to the smae $. While Monster is good quality, there is definitely better quality cables for the same cost.

Sure, they're just copper wire in various forms of wraps, but the quality of manufacturing definitely plays a role in the sound produced. Different cables have different resistance, different metals may have different sound properties. Saying they're as simple as copper and plastic is the same as saying speakers are just wood and paper, the materials used or how well they're constructed doesn't mean a thing.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jan-05
The senses can be deceived quite easily MyRantz. Entire religions are based on this fact (Buddhism for example). What you "hear" is only your minds perception of what happened. If your mind perceives that uber-cables are better, that is fine, but it doesnt mean the sound changed. This reminds me of the study where people were sat down in front of two identical tvs, one with a sound system, and one without. People consistantly said that the tv with the sound system had a better picture, even though the picture did not change. Perhaps you see the pretty cable and your mind plays the same trick?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 285
Registered: Oct-04
Good argument - Even if it sounds better it's only because your mind is playing tricks on you.

If you read his first comment in this threadx he said that he didn't expect it to sound better and it did. Your rationing would have him expecting it to sound better because the cables are "pretty."

http://www.kimber.com/Products/LoudSpeakerCables/8TC/8TC.aspx

these cables don't really look any better than any other cables to me, but look at the description -

"Consisting of sixteen individual TCSS conductors, eight blue and eight black, arranged in a large format braid. Individual conductors are Hyper-pure copper and utilize our proven VariStrand conductor geometry. The insulating dielectric is a high pressure-low temperature-extruded Teflon. The aggregate wire size is two 9 awg conductors. By virtue of its full, accurate and dimensional sound, 8TC ranks as one of the best high-end audio values of all time and, without question, is the best sounding moderately priced cable on the market."

Sounds like there is a lot more to it then just copper and plastic.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jan-05
1. Man using science invented speakers CA-Convert, otherwise you would still be living without electricity, etc. Without observation and understanding, we wouldnt be able to make anything.

2. I never claimed to have vast amounts of knowledge about music. However, I have ears and an inquiring mind. These are apparently two things that companies like Cardas are scared shitless of.

3. I am not talking about cabling that one can buy for £20. I am talking about cable that costs £100+ per foot. There are differences in cable, but when you get up to a certain point
they become very minimal. And there is wire that does cost that much sadly...Poor construction is poor construction and that can come at any price.

4. Einstein used and understood observation and science. He didnt question it, he understood it better than anyone of his time and thereby revolutionized the thinking of the day. Einstein didnt just come up with his theories while taking a dump. He observed, and postulated new theories which would explain his observations. These cable companies have broken no new ground. You dont see any of them with a nobel prize to their name.

6. Construction does play a huge role in speaker wire. However, if wire is very well made at 2 dollars a foot, how much better can it realistically be at 500 dollars a foot.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jan-05
Kano, I never claimed that cables dont sound different. I also never claimed that Monster was particularly wonderful. Furthermore there are many explanations as to why swapping out old wiring with new wire would make an audible difference (corrosion, loose contacts, etc). However, I am not bashing products whose price point is that low. It is because products like that exist however that I bash products who have price points that are through the roof.
 

PLAN B
Unregistered guest
Talk about hijacking a thread. I believe the original poster asked about the price/performance difference between regular speaker wire and standard 14 gauge wire. He definitely wasn't inquiring about speaker wire costing over 230 dollars for 10 feet of it that much I'm sure of. I personally can't afford speaker cable that expensive or even half that, but if you can and you think it is making a difference, then more power to ya.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 286
Registered: Oct-04
"It will sound as good as anything realistically unless you have ultra-long runs of wire. However, if you only have runs of say, 10-15 feet, and 8 ohm speakers, even that may be a waste of money."

The original poster's question was answered long ago. The thread turned into a debate about any performance differences between wires. While extension cords will work fine, there is a performance loss.

You don't have to spend 230 dollars for 10 feet, I used that cable of an example of the quality and technology that goes into good quality cabling. While it's true that once you meet a certain point, the difference will be negligible, at the same time I would never argue that it will perform no better than cables that cost half as much.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jan-05
Unfortunately I believe the problem is we are talking about two entirely different things. I am shooting down products that cost hundreds of dollars per foot that show no (key word here) practical benefit to (another key word here) competently engineered cables of 10 or 12AWG which cost much much less. You are comparing your (by comparison) el cheapo Kimber cabling to extension cord.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 284
Registered: Sep-04
" Entire religions are based on this fact (Buddhism for example). What you "hear" is only your minds perception of what happened. If your mind perceives that uber-cables are better, that is fine, but it doesnt mean the sound changed."

Ahh, but if he knew anything about Budhism, he'd know that if he THOUGHT the sound changed, then it really did change.

Budhism is known to be be seen as both religion and philosophy. Religion is not based on fact, but on faith.

Are you favouring the empirical knowledge that nothing changed, with the full awarenes that the world is really only an illusion? Looks like we got us our first paradox for the thread. Well done, Stealth C!

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 285
Registered: Sep-04
"Ca-Convert, first of all no this is not a hi-fi forum. This is a home audio forum, specifically for speakers."

So.... hi-fi isn't home audio? Okay. Well, tell you what then - go tell that to the guys who put stereo systems in their cars. Oh, sorry, I forgot - they live in their cars. Silly me.


Before I leave you with that thought - have a CLOSE look at the logo....

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 18
Registered: Jan-05
Buddhism has a lot of different schools, probably as widespread as Christianity. Almost all believe that our "mind" itself is an illusion, but some do believe the world does "exist" (Theravadins typically hold this belief).

Buddhism started as a philosophy but ended up a religion. Shakyamuni and the band are considered "gods" if you will now by the majority of Buddhists. It is two d's by the way. And you tell me I know nothing about Buddhism...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jan-05
Hi-Fidelity and Home Audio are two different things in the context being discussed. People say how sony is mid or low fi and people with sony gear post here all the time. Secondly, there is a seperate forum for car audio. You will note: Home > Message Board > Home Audio > Speakers > Speaker cables?

As for the logo, it depends on your definition of "hi-fi".

And why the hell are we arguing about this now?
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 286
Registered: Sep-04
"Hi Shaun/Varney im wondering what kind of wire you guys use? and what diffrences with using diffrent types of wire if any"

Well, one night, something round and flat landed in my backyard and before the government took it away, I stripped all this silver stuff out of it.... Works well....

Not sure they'll ever get it to fly again, though.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 287
Registered: Sep-04
"As for the logo, it depends on your definition of "hi-fi"."

HI FI High Fidelity
HIFI Heterodyne Instrument for FIRST (Far-Infra-Red and Sub-Millimeter Telescope)
HIFI High Fidelity
HIFI Hypertext Interface for Information (Esprit)

I dunno. I suppose it could be any of these....

"Hi-Fidelity and Home Audio are two different things in the context being discussed."

Are they? So, in the interests of freedom of speech, then where do you suggest we post our comments....? On 'Toasters & Sandwich Makers?'

"....and people with sony gear post here all the time."

Well, everyone has their problems, I suppose.

"And why the hell are we arguing about this now?"

I dunno that either. Perhaps because you wanted to....?

V
 

Bronze Member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 20
Registered: Jan-05
I suppose what I am trying to say is that Home Audio includes hi-fi, but it includes low and mid fi as well. So no, this is not just a hi-fi board. On that note, I bid you a good night. Youre an interesting one Varney, I will give you that.
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 288
Registered: Sep-04
Well, 'slong as yur still smilin', bud - thas' all that matters. :-)

No offence

Goodnight

V
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Stealth,

> Buddhism started as a philosophy but ended up a religion.

Only partially true, mainly for Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism which is highly ritualized and was influenced by local strains of deism, animism, etc. Japanese Zen, which I'd argue is the form most well-known in the West, however is primarily a practice and a philosophy.

> Shakyamuni and the band are considered "gods" if you will now by the majority of Buddhists.

That's also not true at all. Buddha is revered as a paragon of ultimate enlightenment because of the teachings that he left behind, however he is not deified---in the same way that Muslims revere Mohammed as a Prophet but not as a "god" in any sense of the word.

In fact there is a famous Zen maxim, "If you see a Buddha on the road...kill him." (Meaning that we are all potentially Buddhas so destroy any attachments to a single monolithic and separate Buddha.)
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Facebook

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us