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post #1 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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There, now that I've voiced my opinion about one of this industry's worst scams, it will be nice to read other's opinions on the matter.

If the electrical cables in our walls can be bought at the Homedepot for less than $1 a foot, how in all of science can a 3 foot, $300 (or more) esoteric AC cable pretend to improve on anything?

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post #2 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 11:38 AM
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Please run a quick search then delete this thread... Most agree with you, some do not, and it is never good to mix the camps....

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #3 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadster-s View Post

There, now that I've voiced my opinion about one of this industry's worst scams, it will be nice to read other's opinions on the matter.

If the electrical cables in our walls can be bought at the Homedepot for less than $1 a foot, how in all of science can a 3 foot, $300 (or more) esoteric AC cable pretend to improve on anything?

Don't get me wrong, I am one of the biggest cable naysayers here. But if the high cable has filtration built in, it could attenuate conducted EMI.

But then and decent piece of gear has an internal filter to do just that. If the gear has a switch mode power supply, then even the cheapest piece of electronic junk has an EMI filter by law.

Now at the risk of opening this hornets nest, there have been some discussions of ground currents and how some power cords will react to that differently. But in the end it was agreed to fix this problem with an expensive power cord is at its root still a kludge. And if a $5000 6 foot 10awg audiophile cord will equalize the ground currents, then so will a 6 foot 10awg Home Depot cord.

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post #4 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 12:26 PM
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Neutron?
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post #5 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 12:34 PM
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I will have a large popcorn and a blur slirpy, now, on with the show....


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post #6 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it's obvious from my system set-up that I'm always (well, most of the time) willing to invest in quality gear to achieve improved performance. This has been a 30+ year journey for me.

The first to respond to my thread is obviously right, this has been discussed on several other threads before, but I keep reading new ones with members showing off their $$$ power cables and claiming how it improved on the sound. I guess I'm just looking for some solid scientific explanation...

Slurpy and popcorn in hand, I'm also waiting to see how I can improve on my skills as a solid tweaker.

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post #7 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Neutron?

He met his counterpart in the Bizarro universe and was annihilated in a burst of cosmic energy never to be seen again.

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post #8 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadster-s View Post

The first to respond to my thread is obviously right, this has been discussed on several other threads before, but I keep reading new ones with members showing off their $$$ power cables and claiming how it improved on the sound. I guess I'm just looking for some solid scientific explanation...

Slurpy and popcorn in hand, I'm also waiting to see how I can improve on my skills as a solid tweaker.

I'd suggest that you take advice to read and investigate other avenues for improving your skills as a "solid tweaker". There is no "solid scientific explanation".

I hope the moderators will close this thread before it turns into another turd tornado.
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post #9 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadster-s View Post

If the electrical cables in our walls can be bought at the Homedepot for less than $1 a foot, how in all of science can a 3 foot, $300 (or more) esoteric AC cable pretend to improve on anything?

Explanation here: http://www.theaudiobeat.com/visits/s..._interview.htm

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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Please run a quick search then delete this thread...

Please don't be such a party pooper. Thanks Don.

cheers,

AJ
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post #10 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 01:39 PM
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Neutron?

As you read, I stepped around that very carefully

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post #11 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Explanation here: http://www.theaudiobeat.com/visits/s..._interview.htmAJ

Comparing a power cord to a water filter, really?? It's nice for Shunyata to try and convince us we need to filter something any decent component simply doesn't need us to do in the first place. But thanks anyway for this link, it was interesting to read their arguments.

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post #12 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Neutron?

He's busy checking connections so they don't exceed light speed.

cheers,

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post #13 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 04:46 PM
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The whole audiophile accessories market is largely a scam, e.g. audiophile fuses. It's not just AC power cables. Several of us referred to buyers of this stuff as "suckers" over in the Ultra High End forum. Not too surprising that several other members got upset with the terminology.
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post #14 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 04:50 PM
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Love being in some big box store and listen to the sales pitch women and older people get on wires and surge protectors. My mother in law got conned into a Monster cable surge protector at about 85.00 for a 27 inch tv and dvd/vhs combo.

I pulled back her ET center recently and busted out laughing when I saw the damn overpriced surge protector.......lol

Surge protectors are very good idea just not Monster cable one especially for that setup !
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post #15 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 05:07 PM
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Love being in some big box store and listen to the sales pitch women and older people get on wires and surge protectors. !

I hate that. Have to bite my tounge. And it hurts. I hate pain.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #16 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 07:22 PM
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I bought a flat screen on line from BB for my elderly folks in North Carolina. They would pick it up from their local BB. I made sure my dad understood that he was to tell the salesperson that he would walk out immediately if they said ANYTHING about cables, surge protectors etc. He was there to PU a TV- PERIOD.
My dad called to tell me they started to ask about cables and he said he told them to just "STOP. Just get my damn TV and all is well."

My dad can be very insistent and leave no doubt as to his feelings. Mom said he was chuckling all the way home because the snert salesboy was just dumbfounded.
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There are some that love to spend their money on high end cables, that do nothing. I have come across a few theater builds, that the party's have used $200+ power cables, and these so called high end power outlets, believing that it is going to change things.

I am lucky though, our city owned POCO has capacitor banks about every mile on their grid, so I get some of the cleanest power out there.
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post #18 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

There are some that love to spend their money on high end cables, that do nothing.

Here is where I once again have to disagree and restate why. If high end cabling makes someone believe that their stereo (or HT) "sounds" better..and it does, per their hearing/perception, how can you claim it does nothing?
It may not change the soundwaves/soundfield to audibility thresholds, but that is only one component of the hearing process. A great deal happens after the soundwaves impinge upon the pinna.
Clearly it does change their perception of the sound as much as if it were real in the soundwaves/soundfield. That's something. Not nothing.

cheers,

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post #19 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 08:28 PM
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I know that there's a million and one thread about cables and stuff...but I just can't stop reading them

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Love being in some big box store and listen to the sales pitch women and older people get on wires and surge protectors

lol, so true. If it wasn't for that poor sap trying to make a living selling HTIB and biomechanically engeneered cables, I would just casually jump in and stop the nonsense.


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post #20 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Here is where I once again have to disagree and restate why. If high end cabling makes someone believe that their stereo (or HT) "sounds" better..and it does, per their hearing/perception, how can you claim it does nothing?
It may not change the soundwaves/soundfield to audibility thresholds, but that is only one component of the hearing process. A great deal happens after the soundwaves impinge upon the pinna.
Clearly it does change their perception of the sound as much as if it were real in the soundwaves/soundfield. That's something. Not nothing.

cheers,

AJ

mmmh, I have to agree with you here. Perception is deceiving indeed. If you can afford 'em, and it "sounds" better, who are we to contradict. Just like most ppl would say that this is better than this even though they do the same thing, the same way.


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post #21 of 77 Old 02-27-2012, 09:06 PM
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They do it to attract female frogs. You would too if you lived in a swamp. And if they can wear white in the winter I don't see why the rest of us can't either.

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post #22 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 03:29 AM
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They do it to attract female frogs. You would too if you lived in a swamp. And if they can wear white in the winter I don't see why the rest of us can't either.

aaaawh, it's much clearer now.


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post #23 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Here is where I once again have to disagree and restate why. If high end cabling makes someone believe that their stereo (or HT) "sounds" better..and it does, per their hearing/perception, how can you claim it does nothing?
It may not change the soundwaves/soundfield to audibility thresholds, but that is only one component of the hearing process. A great deal happens after the soundwaves impinge upon the pinna.
Clearly it does change their perception of the sound as much as if it were real in the soundwaves/soundfield. That's something. Not nothing.

cheers,

AJ

Quite so but from my general reading of such claims over the years, this seems to be somewhat of a temporary perception. The claimant will invariably and with the utmost seriousness then investigate things like fuses, maybe a Noise Harvester or three, component isolation products, etc. After due diligence and some consideration, pronouncements of a subjective nature are made. There are times when I think to myself that if the soundstage and spaciousness widened so much, it must certainly exceed the capabilities of a pair of 901's.

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post #24 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Here is where I once again have to disagree and restate why. If high end cabling makes someone believe that their stereo (or HT) "sounds" better..and it does, per their hearing/perception, how can you claim it does nothing?

Well obviously, the cable does something. In fact it does a lot of somethings, but they are *all* dependent on the listener, and not dependent on the cable itself. We know this because when we separate the listener from knowledge of what he is listening to, his responses become random.

One change of the state of mind of the listener, such as may be caused by a skeptical post on a forum like AVS or a casual remark by some random person, and poof, it all goes away.

Quote:


It may not change the soundwaves/soundfield to audibility thresholds, but that is only one component of the hearing process. A great deal happens after the soundwaves impinge upon the pinna.

The key is reliable correlation. If you actually do something that reliably changes how your system sounds, then you have a solid base to build future actions.

Wire and other such tweaks are sold on the basis that this reliable correlation exists. AFAIK nobody sells magic wire and power regenerators on the basis that they may or may not work tomorrow or next week. These things are sold with warranties that run for months or years, so it is fair to assume that people buy these things thinking that their benefits will last for a significant amount of time.

Quote:


Clearly it does change their perception of the sound as much as if it were real in the soundwaves/soundfield. That's something. Not nothing.

It all comes down to value. Magic wires and power regenerators are a risky way to invest your money because they only work as long as you think they will.
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post #25 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

I bought a flat screen on line from BB for my elderly folks in North Carolina. They would pick it up from their local BB. I made sure my dad understood that he was to tell the salesperson that he would walk out immediately if they said ANYTHING about cables, surge protectors etc. He was there to PU a TV- PERIOD.
My dad called to tell me they started to ask about cables and he said he told them to just "STOP. Just get my damn TV and all is well."

My dad can be very insistent and leave no doubt as to his feelings. Mom said he was chuckling all the way home because the snert salesboy was just dumbfounded.

You've raised your parents well! ;-)

BTW you are blessed to have them around.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Here is where I once again have to disagree and restate why. If high end cabling makes someone believe that their stereo (or HT) "sounds" better..and it does, per their hearing/perception, how can you claim it does nothing?
It may not change the soundwaves/soundfield to audibility thresholds, but that is only one component of the hearing process. A great deal happens after the soundwaves impinge upon the pinna.
Clearly it does change their perception of the sound as much as if it were real in the soundwaves/soundfield. That's something. Not nothing.

cheers,

AJ

Power cables can change the tone or soundwave, or the soundfield. As for speaker or patch cables, there has been an argument there on cheap which is known to be exactly that, and really expensive, which is really that, but in the middle, you have good quality, good cost for the buy, which work just as good as those overpriced expensive cables.

Now of course, for HDMI cables, it has been shown, that the really expensive cables are no different, than the lower priced ones, with the exception that you spent more than you should have on it.

A few years back, a city did a test with their water and the public. They took a bottle from one of the expensive brands, bottled their water in it, and had people compare it to a like brand. People perceived that the city water was better than the other brand, all because they saw the label on the bottle. A person's brain will do a lot to make you believe something, when it is actually not always true.
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post #27 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 05:32 AM
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Power cables can change the tone or soundwave, or the soundfield.

In which alternative universe? Or are you saying that if we unplug them, the sound goes away,and that's a change to the soundfield?

Quote:


As for speaker or patch cables, there has been an argument there on cheap which is known to be exactly that, and really expensive, which is really that, but in the middle, you have good quality, good cost for the buy, which work just as good as those overpriced expensive cables.

There is for all intents and purposes no correlation between cost and sound quality, unless you consider 24 gauge speaker cable and less extreme stuff to be part of this discussion.

Quote:


Now of course, for HDMI cables, it has been shown, that the really expensive cables are no different, than the lower priced ones, with the exception that you spent more than you should have on it.

Phew, got one right!

Quote:


A few years back, a city did a test with their water and the public. They took a bottle from one of the expensive brands, bottled their water in it, and had people compare it to a like brand. People perceived that the city water was better than the other brand, all because they saw the label on the bottle. A person's brain will do a lot to make you believe something, when it is actually not always true.

It turns out that much of the bottled water that is sold around here (SE MI) is labelled as coming from the local regional water supply. It may be deionized and reloaded with selected minerals, or it may just be filtered.

I think that most use of bottled water around here is for sake of convenience and for dealing with ancient pipes in old buildings that have not be properly maintained.
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post #28 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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Cables do not send soundwaves or soundfield, they send electrical current, in the sense that it is a waveform that has just enough voltage to be used as a carrier, but enough amplitude, that allows the signal to travel. The larger the wire gauge determines how far it will travel, but in turn you offset the costs that if it is too long of a run, or too large of a gauge of wire, it can cause resistance, which in turn can cause signal path failure.

Unless the resistance is really high, or the jacket or di-electric has too much capacitance, it does not matter, just that people need to quit using overpriced snake oil cables.
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post #29 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 06:24 AM
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I went to a HHgreGG yesterday for Sh!ts and G!ggles.

I like to look at the 80" TVs and realize that I would have to sit 20' away to not go blind, but anyway. Acoustic Research had HDMI cables that were 6' for $99.97! WTF!!! I bought my first HDMI cable from Biglots for $9. I got my second and third from Monoprice for even cheaper.

On top of that HHgreGG had the monster power strips, for $99, and one monster(pun intended) one that was like 4' long for $199.

It's like PT Barnum said, "...there's one born every minute"(paraphrased).
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post #30 of 77 Old 02-28-2012, 06:30 AM
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I can think of three cases when changing a power cord might make a difference (which means there are at least four):

1. The cable is simply too small for the current (power) demands so a larger one helps. This assumes the cable in the wall is much larger than the too-small power cord. I have not seen this issue.
2. The ground return is poor so using a cord with a different/larger ground wire helps. I personally have yet to see this matter.
3. The cord is picking up local EMI/RFI so a shielded cord helps (local means between the wall and the component; almost certainly the wiring in the house is not shielded). This is usually a problem with the component's input filter, not the power cord...

None of these strike me as likely scenarios that would cause audible differences except in extreme situations. I am not sure testing with microsecond load pulses is really needed...

The biggest reason I have for buying BJC is higher quality cable and (mainly) better connectors/assembly but I have a mix of Monoprice, BJC, and various Monster and other esoterics and have not heard differences among them. I have not swapped power cables much but have yet to hear or measure any difference whether I use 16-gauge or 10-gauge even on my power amp, and a shielded cable to my AVR made no difference to me. For speaker cable, going from 18-gauge zip cord to Fulton Gold on a 20' run to my Maggies made a slight difference, but doubled-up 16-gauge zip was essentially the same as the (incredibly expensive back then) Fulton Gold.

I realize I have not tried the very expensive stuff so have no actual proof they do not work. Nor am I likely unless one of the makers decides to give or loan me cables to try; I need my money for other things.

FWIWFM - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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