Measuring the Audio Signal! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 11-09-2000, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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We all know that I, the non-engineer, primarily use my ears. They tell me how much better my system sounds with both PS Audio Power Plants and Bybee devices. But I don't discount the importance of equally being able to use tools to measure the audio signal - for not only frequency response, but also electro-magnetic interference, radio frequency interference, quantum noise (which Bybee reduces), etc.

I'd luv for comments by objectivists, subjectivists and in-between regarding what measuring devices are available, the cost thereof, and exactly what each device measures regarding the audio signal!

Credit Steven Gage for the subject, as he was e-mailing me discussing DD vs DTS and how to measure it? But he was asking the wrong guy, I'm Mr. Ears.

Please e-mail your friends in the industry and see if we can get more to participate in this discussion.

And remember, no flaming, lets avoid unruly arguments of subjectivist-objectivist nature. Lets emphasize what we all agree on, trying to improve the quality of our audio, and lets have a civil and polite discussion about our different ideas and equipment available that might help us in this regard.




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post #2 of 29 Old 11-09-2000, 11:47 AM
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Steve,

You might be interested in reading the writings of James Boyk of Caltech and his "take" on measurements.

Additional writings of Art Ludwig may also be of interest to you.

Both Boyk and Ludwig discuss the relevance and correlation of measurements to sound perceived through hearing.

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post #3 of 29 Old 11-09-2000, 02:48 PM
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Steve,

I in turn have to credit someone else for really starting this idea in my mind. See http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/001965.html for more details.

I can understand the difficulty in measuring the sonic differences between components, the question I have is, can a measurement determine if there are any differences at all?

Whether you have separates, receivers, low end, high end, $2 interconnects, $1,500 power cables, and on and on, you end up with an analog signal at the speaker inputs.

To compare differences between certain components such as power cables, inteconnects, power conditioners, etc. why not measure the differences presented at the speaker input and compare. In this manner you could take a single component within a system (aka interconnect between CD and Preamp) and determine if there is actually an effect at the end of the chain.

I am not saying that you determine from the change whether it is good or bad but rather just the fact that there is a change at all.

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post #4 of 29 Old 11-09-2000, 09:31 PM
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There are quite a few things that can be measured and compared. There are limitations to these that must be kept in mind. One limitation that most testing requires a simple signal of known characteristics so that it is easy to compare the signal before the device to the signal after the device. The other is that some audio properties are psychoacoustic in nature.

One of the psychoacoustic properties is imaging. It is our brain that blends the two or more sound sources into a single spacial image. We do have models on how the process works and those are used to generate the virtual surround systems. It may be possible to use those virtual surround algorythms to check for changes in imaging, but I do not know if anyone has actually tried to make an "imaging meter" that way.

Frequency response is pretty simple to do, but most tweeks as well as most equipment has such good frequency response that few cause problems. For electical frequency response, you need a calibrated signal generator covering the range of interest and a calibrated meter to read the signal. You simply have the signal generator sweep the region of interest and plot the signal that makes it through the device. It either the signal generator or meter are not calibrated then the results will have errors depending on any non-linearity in those devices. Cost ranges from a couple of hundred if you want ballpark measurements (accurate 3 dB or so) to thousands if you want better. Accurate acoustic frequency response requires a calibrated signal generator and a calibrated microphone. Again a couple of hundred $ for ballpark measurements or a couple of thousand for high accuracy.

THD+N. You send a test signal through a device and record the signal at the other end. If you subtract the original test signal from the recorded signal what is left is how the device changed the signal. With a theoretically perfect device, the result of the subtraction would be an absolutely flat 0. You can compare this number to see if certain devices change the test signal more than others, but it does not in itself say what the actual changes are. You can run the signal through a Fourier transform and see how much of the various harmonics are present. Once you subract the harmonics out as well, what is left is noise. I have no idea what the hardware to do this costs.

With an oscilloscope you can look at the actual waveform of a test signal. You can, for instance, put a 1kHz signal through a Bybee and look for distortions in the waveform like overshoot/ringing, flattening of peak tops, etc. You can also see some noise on the waveform as well. You can get used 'scopes for less than $100 or you can spend anywhere from $300 to several thousand for a new one depending the capabilities you need.

RFI is of course a subset of EMI (radio is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum). There are field strength meters to measure the airborne fields around wires, electronics, etc. You can get cheap ones <$200 that will just give a total measurement or much more expensive ones that allow measurement at specific frequencies. You can even do really rough tests with a portable AM radio - try moving one around your monitor and you can actually hear which areas of it radiate RFI more or less. For RFI on a wire, you can do the frequency response measurement but without a test signal to see what is there. If there are specific frequencies you expect (like looking to see if 16MHz clock signal in a CD player is leaking into the analog side), you can use and ocilliscope to look at and measure them.
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post #5 of 29 Old 11-10-2000, 09:37 PM
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How about giving SpectraLab ( http://www.soundtechnology.com/download-center.htm ) a whirl. You can download the 30-day trial for free. Then you connect the line out of your trusty RS SPL meter to the line in of your soundcard, and apply the known mic compensation for the RS SPL within SpectraLabs and start blasting the pink noise.

I'm certainly no expert here, but this was how I finally got my system sounding right after trying for months and months w/just my ears. It's fascinating to actually see how speaker placement, toe-in, cross-over. etc affect frequency response. By far, the biggest improvement for me was be able to "see" what my sub's 360deg. phase dial interacted w/my other speakers. Just recently, I realized the what and how to use the Real Time Transfer function. You can even use this to precisely calculate the speaker delays.

I am by no means an expert in this area, but (I think...) I've measured noise, etc by directly attaching to my DVD players analog outs and playing digital silence. There's a lot more in this program that looks interesting but that I just don't understand as this point.


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post #6 of 29 Old 11-11-2000, 02:28 PM
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I also decided to resort to a PC program to help me understand my in-room response. This program is called ETF, and the website is listed below:
www.eftacoustic.com

This program uses Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis to calculate in-room frequency response (at the listener position) using either a Radio Shack SPL meter for a mic or a calibrated mic/pre-amp combination. I even use a notebook running on battery power to cut down on ambient noise.

Most recently, I am using it to help me integrate my left and right mains (Dynaudio towers) with an M&K MX700 sub through a Marchand XM-9 active crossover.

It is specifically designed to help with speaker positioning and delay distances and even has a pseudo real time mode to allow you to make changes and observe their frequnecy effect on the PC screen.

It also has a section specifically for integrating subs with mains and also has sections on the design and placement of room treatments.

All in all pretty useful for $149.

By the way, I am only a satisfied owner of the software and have no business or any other kind of connection with the developer.

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post #7 of 29 Old 11-12-2000, 08:30 AM
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Stephen,

I agree that our ears/mind are the ultimate decision maker. For me, who doesn't know if he has golden ears or not, I utilize science to help point me in the right direction. It's not the use of measurement for measurement's sake, but rather the ability to correlate specific actions and changes in my system with a record of how it changes the in-room frequency response.

The important aspect of ETF that makes it more useful is the careful use of the time domain slicing with impulse response analysis. I was not trained musically so I don't automatically recognize that the bump in my bass crossover is at 50 Hz.

So, my measuring is not for absolute numbers, but rather for comparisons as I zero in on what I like best.

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post #8 of 29 Old 11-12-2000, 10:59 AM
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Bruce,

Quote:
I was not trained musically so I don't automatically recognize that the bump in my bass crossover is at 50 Hz.
In my younger years, I was formally trained on 4 musical instruments, starting at the age of 5. What that training taught me was that it is not just our ears that we hear with, but with our entire bodies. Your body knows when a musical note is harmonically correct and when it is not. When the musical note (or a sound) is harmonically correct, the body reacts emotionally in a way which signifies this "correctness". Unfortunately, there is no instrument (nor program) which will measure harmonic correctness of music nor the emotional impact of music on the human body. A musical note (or any sound in nature) is not composed of just one frequency, which is all that test equipment can measure (i.e., a 50 Hz musical note consists of harmonic frequencies as well as the fundamental frequency). You may be able to get the fundamental frequency measured with a piece of test equipment or, through algorithms, be able to "predict/calculate" frequency response in a given room of known dimensions, but you will never be able to measure nor predict the "correctness" of musical sound in any environment with test equipment.

All energy consists of a fundamental and harmonics. Even if we go down to the center of an atom, we find that the energy levels surrounding an atom are the "harmonics" of a basic fundamental at the atom's central core. Test equipment can only take us so far and, as of now, it will only get us to the fundamental in sound. Electrical energy, acoustical energy, mechanical energy, etc. all consist of harmonics as well as a fundamental. Now take human emotions and try to enter all this into an equation or a program to determine what something will sound like. My point of the readings of James Boyk at Caltech music school is this total lack of correlation between what may be measured and what we "hear", because we do not only hear music, we also "feel" it.

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post #9 of 29 Old 11-12-2000, 04:25 PM
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I like to think of the human ear as another piece of test equipment that can detect and analyze what all the other instruments may miss. But, the other gear is still needed and useful.

I can hear it. Your inability to measure it is not my problem.
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 07:13 AM
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Guys,

Great discussion!

Simple question.

1. Setup test equipment to measure the amplifier output from the speaker cable right before the speaker.

2. Change the digital cable between the CD player and Processor.

3. Remeasure.

Will one be able to measure a difference???

Steve

[This message has been edited by gages (edited 11-13-2000).]
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post #11 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gages:
Guys,

Great discussion!

Simple question.

1. Setup test equipment to measure the amplifier output from the speaker cable right before the speaker.

2. Change the digital cable between the CD player and Processor.

3. Remeasure.

Will one be able to measure a difference???

Steve

[This message has been edited by gages (edited 11-13-2000).]
You don't get it! You can't measure the difference between a $5 cable and a $250 cable. You have to have the right ear to hear it. Just like those power cords. We as engineers know nothing about music. Our scientific mumbo-jumbo has no place in the finer esoteric audio circles. I just read an artical abou which brands of congac and cigars make this $2500 calss A 3 watt amp sound the best. Well SH--. Given enough congac I'll bet that KMART boom box sounds damn good too.

While not a direct quote, this post is a compliation of the various responses I got over the past few months to the same questions you ask.
Point is, you do get. Spend money on better equipment, not cables.


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post #12 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gages:
Guys,

Great discussion!

Simple question.

1. Setup test equipment to measure the amplifier output from the speaker cable right before the speaker.

2. Change the digital cable between the CD player and Processor.

3. Remeasure.

Will one be able to measure a difference???

Steve

[This message has been edited by gages (edited 11-13-2000).]

Maybe.
It depends on
1) The difference between the two cables.
2) The quality of the digital output signal
3) The quality of the DIR (Digital Input Receiver)
4) Your test equipment

If you want to dig into this a bit, here is some interesting reading. Go http://www.tagmclarenaudio.com/produ...literature.asp
and select the technical papers on both Cable AvantGarde and cd transport CDT20R. The server will automatically zip the requested .pdf files and email them right back to you. You will of course need Acrobat Reader, but you already have that http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
It will take a wee bit of wading through, but the papers are well written, have solid engineering behind them and are not overly technical. Througout them, reading between the lines, you can see the thoughts of curious scientists challenged by hearing tests that reveal differences that might not be expected nor easily explained.

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[This message has been edited by Buzz Goddard (edited 11-13-2000).]

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post #13 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 01:41 PM
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These cable manufactures are always leary of any comparision tests but when the do conceed, they always go for the A/B tests through a switch box. Then when we get identical results they blame the switch box for degrading their cable to that of the other.

What these poeple NEVER conceed to is a subtractive test. A true subtractive test eleminates any error of the test setup. Distortion is measured this way. If I feed a sine wave with 10% distirtion into an amp, I can still spec the amps distortion at 1% or to the resolution of the analyzer. How? Because that 10% distirtion is on the input and 100% of it should be on the output. Anything added or lost is happening within the amp and is therefore distortion. In this case the quality of the input source has no bearing on the measurment. I challanged Granite Audio to a similar test of their $600 power cords versus a comidity grade of the same guage. They backed down (didn't respond further) to the test.

Many of the published tests I have seen on esoteric audio accessories and even some components are carried out with poor scientific practice and questionable technical credentials of those performing them. Either by purpose or ignorance, the rseults are not accurate and would not stand to to professional scrutiny. Professional means IEEE or similar engineerring socities who uphold these standards.

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post #14 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Gentlemen, Gentlemen, please, please, I started this thread (and I can end it, as Moderator. Hee! Hee!)

More seriously. We are not going to end the Objectivist/Subjectivist
arguments about whether esoteric or expensive cabling is worthwhile?
This forum isn't into argument solely for the sake of argument - let's leave that to national presidential elections, ok?

I started this thread for a reason. Because I believe in my ears - somewhat - but I also want to learn about objective sonic measurements as well.
And maybe as I learn about objective measuring, this will help me also learn to listen better, and perhaps also to better differentiate what I am hearing and whether it is worth the cost. Often, the best way say for an objectivist to persuade a subjectivist, or the other way around, is to politely state your reasons for your beliefs, give information that may be helpful for everyone no matter what their particular objective or subjective beliets,don't make the same point more than once, and be respectful.

Actually, all folks here are doing pretty good up to this point. Let's keep it up!!!



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post #15 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 05:47 PM
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Granite Audio:

Sorry if I was not accurate. So as not to make this mistake again let me outline what I beleive the claim was and you correct what is wrong.

>I buy one of your 12 gauge 6 foot power cords. We listen to with it.

>I replace it with a Belden or no-name 12 gauge 6 foot cord.

>Using the same setup are you saying I or anyone will hear a difference?

That's all I'll say - no further personal opinion from me.

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post #16 of 29 Old 11-13-2000, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Glimmie, in my setup I have played some with power cords, including vs stock cords, and I have heard differences. In fact, I can adjust the weights on Mike VansEvers' Double Pandora tuneable power cord and hear differences.

Now, hearing differences is based both on sensual ability, actual physical differences in sonics even though they may not be perfectly susceptible to measurement, possible placebo effects as well, and of course the person listening and whether he or she may innerly desire to hear or not hear any sonic changes that may be occurring.

Now if I were a betting man, and the subject was a well known Subjectivist who always says that cables and power cords and power conditioners can't improve sonics, I would bet that the true Subjectivist listening to these changes would NEVER ever note any sonic improvements.

I might add that Don Hogland, of Granite Audio, has for years NEVER been a proponent at least of power cords making a difference. A friend of mine brought up this subject with Don, regarding his company's amplifiers, more than a year ago, and to Don's credit he has been experimenting with power cords since then as he has reportedly found that the power cord can make a sonic difference with his amplifier.



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post #17 of 29 Old 11-14-2000, 02:10 PM
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Ok, I'll buy it. But what about the 50+feet of Romex in the wall of a typical setup? I am not trying to be sarcastic here but am curoius how the users of these high end power cords deal with the wall wiring issue? They must have asked this question at some point.

This is my solution to power conditioning.
I have about 60 feet of #10 30a dedicated isolated ground circuit with the wires in a combination of steel flex and EMT. The wire is plain old THHN from the electrical supply house. The 30a feed splits into two 15A busses in my power switch box both busses feeding through Corcom 20a Pi filters and all sequence switching is done with zero crossing solid state relays. The components are standard grade, i.e. no special gold crimp lugs or connectors. The main plug is a standard Hubbel twistlock and IG receptical. The power outlets on the box are Home Depot Decora types. (it's a lot easier to cut out a hole in a DIY rack box for a decora than a standard receptical).

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post #18 of 29 Old 11-16-2000, 11:33 AM
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Gents,

This past week I was able to vist with Albert Von Schweikert of Von Schweikert Audio. Albert is a fairly knowledgable guy and I posted the measuring question to him.

Albert's take was that measuring equipment is NOT sophisticated enough at this point in time to identify differences between certain types of components (including interconnects, power cords, etc.) However, the ears do show differences (not saying good or bad, just differences) between these components.

Therefore, he claims (and I agree) that although differences can not necessarily be measured they can be there.


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post #19 of 29 Old 11-16-2000, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gages:
Gents,

Therefore, he claims (and I agree) that although differences can not necessarily be measured they can be there.


Steve
Have you ever seen a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)? These systems are used in the entertainment industry to fix mistakes. I have seen demos to where words can be totally changed and not be detectable, These systems can take apart the audio signal down to the sample rate. Then there is sub sampling which can even go finer, but is not totally exact. Law enforcement uses similar devices for obvious applications. These systems are not that expensive (but can be)and usally run on MACs and PC's.

If somebody took the time these systems could do extensive analysis between different components including cables and cords. I would be curious to see how these test results stack up.

I agree that using analog test equipment may not detect these extremely subtle differences some people claim to be able to hear. But use the horsepower of today's computer based test equipment to measure today's audio equipment is a fair match.

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post #20 of 29 Old 11-16-2000, 05:33 PM
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No matter what the word length, bit size, sample rate is .... it's still digital. Analog is the real thing. Digital at any resolution is still only a facsimile made of square waves that look like stairs on a scope.

Give me analog LPs or give me death.

I can hear it. Your inability to measure it is not my problem.
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post #21 of 29 Old 11-17-2000, 12:25 PM
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Phil;
great! You asked the Romex question too. I wonder if the power cord manufactures are now going off and developing audiofile grade house wiring and circuit breaker panels. Think of the marketing potential here.

Coolcat;
You bring up a good point provided you srouce was analog from the start such as older LP's. But today it's almost impossible to aviod digital processing somewhere in the chain. But digital audio is pretty much a mature technology today. Not that it can't be improved.

I can relate to a similar analogy in video. If you haver ever seen an old 2" VTR tweaked to perfection, the performance is unapproachable even by todays modern digital VTR's. The reason is these old machines had analog timebase correction. Remember in the 60s, computer memory operating at video rates storing even a few lines of video was science fiction. They used delay lines made from coil with variable capacitor diodes across them instead. The end result was the video was never quantized and it was very evident when compared to digital TBC's in the 70s. It was very clean and any noise present was analog in nature and looked pleasing.

Just as you audio types long for vinyl LPs and tube amps, we video folks long for 2" VTR's and four tube cameras.

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post #22 of 29 Old 11-17-2000, 09:26 PM
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Coolcat,

Actually, the world is digital! All the stuff you see around you is a facsimile. All that randomness is actually made up of atoms, (protons, electrons, etc.). When put together in sufficient quantities, they look random. Just like if the sample rate of a digital signal is high enough, it looks analog. Nice ANALOGy eh? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Some scientist were curious as to how nature makes a sphere. They ran a nubmer of experiments, and what they found were 'bucky balls', (named after Buckminster Fuller). It turns out that one of natures favorite designs are duodecahedrons(sp?), invented by 'Bucky', (actually invented by nature first... "Originality is the ability to forget your source!"). Again, 'digital pieces' made to look analog.

Time also comes in digital packets. It turns out that you cannot slice time into an infinite number of pieces, it comes in chunks. Again, the 'sample rate' is so much higher than we percieve, that we see time as just flowing along.

This phenomenon has caused some whacked out guys to postulate that we do not really exist and that we are just some computer simulation, ('The Thirteenth Floor' was based on this), and that the indivisible packets of time are really the cycle time of the computer that we're running on.

As to power cords, etc. If you have a $300 power cords plugged directly into a wall outlet, you're gonna hear the romex. No way around it. If you have them plugged into power conditioning, then there's a chance that you could see/hear a difference, (double blind caveats, etc., notwithstanding).

Phil

P.S. I know that atoms are made of quarks etc., but they are still chunks, no matter how they slice them, they will always be chunks. They just keep finding smaller chunks. Even going back to the begining of space-time there was only on very dense chunk, the singularity.

HT is so much cheaper when your a scientist. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
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post #23 of 29 Old 11-18-2000, 01:17 AM
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Quotes by Phil Olson "Actually, the world is digital! All the stuff you see around you is a facsimile. Time also comes in digital packets. This phenomenon has caused some whacked out guys to postulate that we do not really exist and that we are just some computer simulation,"

???????????????????What?????????????????????????

Say, can we get back to talking about test gear and simple tests that Steve can do on his system?

Glimmie, The original source, MUSIC, is always analog. Audiophile grade house and in-wall wiring has been available for years. It is continuous-cast oxygen-free copper and UL Class 2 rated for in-wall use.

I can hear it. Your inability to measure it is not my problem.
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post #24 of 29 Old 11-20-2000, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by coolcat:

Glimmie, The original source, MUSIC, is always analog. Audiophile grade house and in-wall wiring has been available for years. It is continuous-cast oxygen-free copper and UL Class 2 rated for in-wall use.
I'm not talking about speaker wire. I'm talking about the AC power line. UL class 2 right off the bat is not rated for 12Ovac line. Class 2 is limited to 100 watts or 50 volts, which ever is hit first. All primary AC wiring is class 1. Incidently when speaker runs are over 100 watts RMS in a commercial installation such as movie theatres, they must be installed as class 1. That means in condiut and metal fittings throughout. They allow six feet of exposed wire to connect to the amp and at the speaker.


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post #25 of 29 Old 11-26-2000, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Mr. Peep (please excuse my abbreviation for his long screen name), how much is justified for any product, whether power cable, interconnect, speaker cable, surround processor, amplifier, is in the mind of the potential purchaser. We are all entitled to learn, read, experiment,
and determine for each of ourselves how much is justifiable to be spent. Personally, I tend to agree with Mr. Peep, that $600 is too much to spend for a power cord. But I also disagree with Mr. Peep in that I am willing to pay in the neighborhood of $200-$300 retail for Harmonic Tech single crystal copper (no filtering) power cords which I use throughout my system, in conjunction with PS Audio AC power regeneration for front end components/projector or VansEvers Unlimiters for power amplifiers/subwoofer amplifiers.

Mr. Peep, did you know that Mike VansEvers agrees with you, in that none of his power cords retail as much as $600? Mike has designed excellent power cords with a sliding weight allowing one to tune system sound. I have tried them and they do work as represented.

ANd Mr. Peep, as for "mumbo jumbo", if it wasn't for individuals willing to extend out beyond the grounds of accepted scientific wisdom willing to theorize about what may possibly be out there, we wouldn't have discovered "dark matter", and only five years ago "dark matter" was dismissed as "mumbo jumbo". Its so easy to dismiss everything you don't understand or can't explain as "mumbo jumbo", isn't it? Frankly, I think the use of the term "mumbo jumbo" is merely a polite way of calling someone a silly name, and that use of that term is "mumbo jumbo" in and of itself.

OK. Enough mumbo jumbo for now!



[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited 11-26-2000).]

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post #26 of 29 Old 11-26-2000, 10:26 AM
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Peeps,

You've got to reallize that there are a ton of people in this hobby for whom $600 is one day's pay (equivalent to ~$150K/yr) or less. For them, buying a $600 cable instead of a $60 one is easy even if the only difference is the more expensive one is prettier (and there's nothing wrong with that) and there is no real performance difference.

For those of us of more average income (like myself), its hard to imagine $600 as disposable, but for a lot of people it is. Its nothing to be bitter or ashamed about...We all have to make our own cost/benefit/value judgement relative to our income and be happy with the result. Trying to argue about the value of items is pretty useless because everyone has a different frame of reference and set of circumstances.
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post #27 of 29 Old 11-26-2000, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Peeps, you have made your point, and frankly, although I personally disagree with you much but perhaps agree with you some, I respect that your viewpoint does deserve to be expressed, provided we can avoid flaming and endlessly circular arguments.

Now if anyone wants to talk further about measuring the audio signal, please be my guest.

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post #28 of 29 Old 11-27-2000, 10:46 AM
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OK Mike, I see what you are saying. As one EE to another your are claiming the power cord is a pole of a multipole filter starting with the breaker panel or perhaps even before that. Very interesting theory. Yes, that can be proven mathmatically and probably measured. As for it's effect on the sound, I must disagree but that's only my opinion. Disagree or not, I like your theory and must admit I never thought of that scenerio.

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post #29 of 29 Old 11-27-2000, 09:05 PM
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Of course, I would love to have an AP1 or AP2....The price tag ($5000-$20000 depending on model and options kills) it for me though...Would love to find one at an auction where no one knows what it is and "steal" it for a couple of hundred...
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