Do good cables make an audible difference in sound? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 604 Old 08-06-2014, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
A lot of the basics an EE learns are applicable to the things discussed here ... Recent interviews have shown a shocking reduction in basic circuit theory in favor of more programming and computer skills in undergrad curriculum, at least based upon the candidates (for an analog position) we have seen.
True even 20 years ago - basic circuit theory classes were crammed into the first year to make room for unrelated "core curriculum" classes (sense any resentment there?). And circuit theory ended there - with very little practical experience in labs to back it up. And as you said, as soon as students choose the some digital electronics specialty much of that knowledge is left behind (it certainly was for me).

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I do agree EE's coming out of school today are much more diluted as to the basics but then there is only so much you can learn in 4 years. When I was in an EE program, that would be 1980, raw TTL chips were state of the art. A Xilinx gate array with schematic capture was a pipe dream.
Yes, I think engineering programs continually struggle to keep "4 year degrees" to few enough classes that can actually be taken in 4 years. For me state of the art was microprocessors and early DSP - but that didn't give me any more insight into actual acoustic engineering than any previous state of the art (probably less) - only some of the new technologies that were being used in consumer audio equipment.

That is why I am on AVS - to learn about acoustics and sound reproduction - something that a couple of semesters of circuit theory and engineering physics only supplied a foundation to build upon. I try to learn something from you guys every time I read a post.

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post #272 of 604 Old 08-06-2014, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
True even 20 years ago - basic circuit theory classes were crammed into the first year to make room for unrelated "core curriculum" classes (sense any resentment there?). And circuit theory ended there - with very little practical experience in labs to back it up. And as you said, as soon as students choose the some digital electronics specialty much of that knowledge is left behind (it certainly was for me).



Yes, I think engineering programs continually struggle to keep "4 year degrees" to few enough classes that can actually be taken in 4 years. For me state of the art was microprocessors and early DSP - but that didn't give me any more insight into actual acoustic engineering than any previous state of the art (probably less) - only some of the new technologies that were being used in consumer audio equipment.

That is why I am on AVS - to learn about acoustics and sound reproduction - something that a couple of semesters of circuit theory and engineering physics only supplied a foundation to build upon. I try to learn something from you guys every time I read a post.
What books have you been reading on Acoustics?
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post #273 of 604 Old 08-06-2014, 09:05 PM
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Everest and Toole are decent starts...

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Handboo.../dp/0071603328

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduc...ds=toole+sound

I'd have to dig a little more for my graduate texts.

Edit: Sorry missed yours was not a general question. No idea what mtn-tech is reading, but those two titles are worthy of shelf space...

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post #274 of 604 Old 08-06-2014, 09:25 PM
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Just once...ONCE, I'd like to read a review of expensive cables or any other asinine "tweak", and read that the sound actually got worse. It's extremely odd it's ALWAYS an improvement. I also really love the ludicrous "break in" periods of these voodoo items. 250 hours for stupid wires? At 200 they sound "meh", but at exactly 250 the whole universe changes.

I need to get into this business, just use some basic wire, cover it in something pretty, charge an absurd amount of money for it and then make utterly impossible claims, and some will line up for the financial raping.
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post #275 of 604 Old 08-06-2014, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Garidy View Post
What books have you been reading on Acoustics?
No knock on Mr. Toole -- he's a smart, nice guy.

Since the elements of acoustical engineering haven't changed much, I'd recommend one of the pioneering books: Harry F. Olson's Elements of Acoustical Engineering.

If that's not quite classic enough for you, RCA's Radiotron Designer's Handbook has some interesting acoustical tidbits found between all of the chapters on vacuum tube circuit design.
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post #276 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
Just once...ONCE, I'd like to read a review of expensive cables or any other asinine "tweak", and read that the sound actually got worse. It's extremely odd it's ALWAYS an improvement. I also really love the ludicrous "break in" periods of these voodoo items. 250 hours for stupid wires? At 200 they sound "meh", but at exactly 250 the whole universe changes.

I need to get into this business, just use some basic wire, cover it in something pretty, charge an absurd amount of money for it and then make utterly impossible claims, and some will line up for the financial raping.
Here you go (was 'worse' until they were 'calibrated'). Makes you wonder why someone would want a transmission line that actually as EQ built in... I had a good laugh after reading this (check out the price for the 'calibration').

http://transparentcable.com/special/

Excerpt (click on the link to read the full story): " Brian found an almost new pair of 1-meter Transparent Balanced Reference Interconnects listed on Audiogon at a great price. He jumped at the chance.

When he hooked them up to his Krell system, though, they just didn't sound right. He was almost ready to send them back when his friend asked him if he had the cables calibrated for his system.

“Calibrated? What?!”

“Call Transparent, and tell them your serial number. They’ll know what components were intended to be used with your cable.”"

Forgot to add - this was from an Audiogon email...
http://audiogoncom.cmail1.com/t/View...8C96E86323F7F9

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Last edited by cavchameleon; 08-07-2014 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Addition
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post #277 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 12:47 AM
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Good Lord, idiocy has no boundaries...at all!

It seemed it was going to end bad at first, but a mere additional $700 saved the day!

Well, I did have my fridge's power cable replaced with an audiophile approved one, and even schitty Miller High Life tastes like exotic micro brewed beer now...so I guess I shouldn't doubt anyone.
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post #278 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post
Here you go (was 'worse' until they were 'calibrated'). Makes you wonder why someone would want a transmission line that actually as EQ built in... I had a good laugh after reading this (check out the price for the 'calibration').

http://transparentcable.com/special/

Excerpt (click on the link to read the full story): " Brian found an almost new pair of 1-meter Transparent Balanced Reference Interconnects listed on Audiogon at a great price. He jumped at the chance.

When he hooked them up to his Krell system, though, they just didn't sound right. He was almost ready to send them back when his friend asked him if he had the cables calibrated for his system.

“Calibrated? What?!”

“Call Transparent, and tell them your serial number. They’ll know what components were intended to be used with your cable.”"

Forgot to add - this was from an Audiogon email...
http://audiogoncom.cmail1.com/t/View...8C96E86323F7F9


I got that same email
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post #279 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 01:46 AM
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Um, well, wow, I don't think I want to even say anything.

You know, if you have speakers with weirdo requirements like "total amplifier output impedance plus cable resistance must be less than .1 ohm", well, um, yeah, you might need welding cable and a massive brick of an amplifier.

If you have a speaker with a design that doesn't have wild input impedance, maybe not so much at all.

So there is some chance for issues with speaker cables. I might hesitate to blame the speaker, though.

Interconnects should only make a difference if they're broken (or intended to have unusual properties that are more than mere wire).

What happens in the real world may vary. People do many strange things.

James D. (jj) Johnston
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post #280 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
The 'DarqueKnight' does in fact have a PhD and he is a collage professor. But how and why it's a EE degree is a mystery. Nether the courses he teach nor his areas of knowledge have anything to do with electricity.
Last time I looked him up, he was involved with computer networking. That is IMO 21st century electrical engineering, but clearly not anything like my ca. 60s electrical circuits classes that covered AC power, tubes, and that dramatic new innovation, transistors.
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post #281 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
What's taught is what there's a job market for. For every job that comes open at a place like JBL there are hundreds at places like HP, so audio sciences aren't high up on the list of subjects taught. Google 'electrical engineering degree programs' and you'll get hundreds of hits. Google 'acoustical engineering degree programs' and you'll get maybe a dozen, and those are for post-grad degrees. There are more for audio engineering, but that tends to be oriented towards using gear, not designing it.
And that my friend is pretty close to the story of my life. I've always loved audio, built my first amp and speaker by the time I was 13 and worked in an electronics store for most of my teeenaged years. My choice of engineering was spurred by my interest in audio. By the time I graduated from University with that BSE I knew the fire drill - audio jobs were rare, often demanded relocation, tended to be unstable and often demanded taking a vow of poverty. I had a solid background in IT and systems engineering, and that was where the grass was greener. Looking back at almost 50 years, my few friends who stuck closer to audio did well enough, but often at a price. They were also exceptionally good engineers. The situation with finding audio jobs in the US has only diminished along the way.
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post #282 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post
Here you go (was 'worse' until they were 'calibrated'). Makes you wonder why someone would want a transmission line that actually as EQ built in... I had a good laugh after reading this (check out the price for the 'calibration').

http://transparentcable.com/special/

Excerpt (click on the link to read the full story): " Brian found an almost new pair of 1-meter Transparent Balanced Reference Interconnects listed on Audiogon at a great price. He jumped at the chance.

When he hooked them up to his Krell system, though, they just didn't sound right. He was almost ready to send them back when his friend asked him if he had the cables calibrated for his system.

“Calibrated? What?!”

“Call Transparent, and tell them your serial number. They’ll know what components were intended to be used with your cable.”"

Forgot to add - this was from an Audiogon email...
http://audiogoncom.cmail1.com/t/View...8C96E86323F7F9
I have a few transparent cables that I got for free. I measured the interconnects and these are the results:



The comparison is against a generic "$1" coax interconnect. The measurements are done two ways. 1) with the output of my audio precision generator set to 20 ohms and the other, with its output set to 600 ohms. For the 20 ohm case, the response of the two cables are identical and overlap as seen by the yellow line.

For the 600 ohm case, there is good bit of difference. The standard coax is down 2 db by 200 Khz and the transparent is down a little more than 5 db. So the transparent cable is acting like a low pass filter. At 20 Khz, it has little to no attenuation just like the standard coax. Above that, it is attenuating the ultrasonics more than the generic cable.

I just picked a random ARC pre-amp and it says its output impedance is 500 ohms balanced, and 1000 ohms for the record out. At 500 ohms, it is pretty close to my measurements above.

Other pre-amps have different output impedances. Here is a random selection from Krell: http://www.krellonline.com/preamplifiers.html. It shows an output impedance of 250 ohms. So it will have less attenuation.

I suspect then what their calibration does is change the internal components in their filter to match whatever reference attenuation they have set for ultrasonics. So it reasons that they would have optimized the cable for one pre-amp (ARC) and would need to change it for another brand.

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post #283 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 08:41 AM
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Other pre-amps have different output impedances. Here is a random selection from Krell: http://www.krellonline.com/preamplifiers.html. It shows an output impedance of 250 ohms. So it will have less attenuation.
Perhaps, perhaps not. The impedance of the load is just as significant as the impedance of the source. In any event what happens above 20kHz is moot, although the types who haven't sense enough not to buy high end cables would never be convinced of that, not even if someone was blowing a dog whistle six inches from their right ear.
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post #284 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
In any event what happens above 20kHz is moot, although the types who haven't sense enough not to buy high end cables would never be convinced of that, not even if someone was blowing a dog whistle six inches from their right ear.
You need to have this discussion with Arny. He is saying the reason some people can tell the difference between high-res music and CD sampling in double blind ABX tests is due to "intermodulation distortion" caused ultrasonic content reflecting to the audio band:

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
BTW here is the ABX log for me running an ABX test on just the keys jangling portion of the file:

--------------------------------
*Note - levels and passage selection fudged for best false positives


foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.3.2
2014/07/28 07:53:00

File A: C:\Users\client64\Music\AVS\Keys jangling\keys jangling full band 2496 test tones f3 4416.wav
File B: C:\Users\client64\Music\AVS\Keys jangling\keys jangling full band 2496 test tones f3.wav

07:53:00 : Test started.
07:54:38 : Trial reset.
07:56:40 : 01/01 50.0%
07:56:55 : 02/02 25.0%
07:57:15 : 03/03 12.5%
07:57:21 : 04/04 6.3%
07:57:27 : 05/05 3.1%
07:57:35 : 06/06 1.6%
07:57:42 : 06/07 6.3%
07:57:55 : 07/08 3.5%
07:58:10 : 08/09 2.0%
07:58:27 : 09/10 1.1%
07:58:35 : 10/11 0.6%
07:58:52 : 11/12 0.3%
07:59:09 : 12/13 0.2%
07:59:15 : 13/14 0.1%
07:59:22 : 14/15 0.0%
07:59:52 : 15/16 0.0%
07:59:59 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 15/16 (0.0%)
--------------------------------

Obviously, I'm not going to BS anybody, this was a bogus test. I selected the level and the portion of the track that I actually listened to to maximize the audible difference based on nonlinear distortion in the crappy monitoring system in this PC producing more audible IM with the 2496 test file than with the 4416 file.
So perhaps Transparent Audio people discovered the same years before Arny and thought of filtering the ultrasonics out. You are welcome to challenge Arny on this theory because I have passed the same test but without any intermodulation distortion in my system .

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post #285 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
Just once...ONCE, I'd like to read a review of expensive cables or any other asinine "tweak", and read that the sound actually got worse. It's extremely odd it's ALWAYS an improvement. I also really love the ludicrous "break in" periods of these voodoo items. 250 hours for stupid wires? At 200 they sound "meh", but at exactly 250 the whole universe changes.

I need to get into this business, just use some basic wire, cover it in something pretty, charge an absurd amount of money for it and then make utterly impossible claims, and some will line up for the financial raping.
Utterly impossible claims is what gets me more than the lack of bad reviews.
Don't see many bad reviews in audio in general. I think there's two reasons, one is kissing advertisers butts, but second (and most likely reason) is that there's less and less differences between components now than there ever was.
That's just the way technology works, there always comes a point where the R&D has been recouped and economies of scale come into play.
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post #286 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 05:23 PM
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Reviewers probably don't want to waste time reviewing bad-sounding equipment, and magazines probably don't get as much distribution from negative reviews. I suspect a lot of the lack of bad reviews is the former.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #287 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Reviewers probably don't want to waste time reviewing bad-sounding equipment, and magazines probably don't get as much distribution from negative reviews. I suspect a lot of the lack of bad reviews is the former.
I'm not even talking about "professional" reviews, since I know they won't, but just any random person that bought something expensive. There just isn't any way that every single time there is an improvement. I mean obviously they are claiming it alters the signal, so surely sometimes it alters it in a negative way.

I read a review, not from a magazine, somewhere a website like this, can't remember now, where the author actually had the audacity to claim an equipment rack was breaking in and the sound was changing by the day, some days it got a little worse, then it would get better again, and of course magically by the manufacturers random break in hours it sounded excellent. Yes, an equipment rack changed the sound system. I almost threw up when I read that one.

I think these snake oil companies pay people to claim this crap...At least I hope so and that there really aren't that many gullible people on this earth.
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post #288 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Reviewers probably don't want to waste time reviewing bad-sounding equipment, and magazines probably don't get as much distribution from negative reviews. I suspect a lot of the lack of bad reviews is the former.
Reviewers don't want to waste time reviewing equipment that is inexpensive or unknown. Those two categories include manufacturers who are unlikely to buy advertising in the reviewer's publications.

An exception can/will often be made for the unknown brand that seeks to become known and has effectively lobbied/schmoozed the mag with samples and a flirtational scent of future advertising placement. (But, hey...isn't that the American way?)
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post #289 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post
Here you go (was 'worse' until they were 'calibrated'). Makes you wonder why someone would want a transmission line that actually as EQ built in... I had a good laugh after reading this (check out the price for the 'calibration').

http://transparentcable.com/special/

Excerpt (click on the link to read the full story): " Brian found an almost new pair of 1-meter Transparent Balanced Reference Interconnects listed on Audiogon at a great price. He jumped at the chance.

When he hooked them up to his Krell system, though, they just didn't sound right. He was almost ready to send them back when his friend asked him if he had the cables calibrated for his system.

“Calibrated? What?!”

“Call Transparent, and tell them your serial number. They’ll know what components were intended to be used with your cable.”"

Forgot to add - this was from an Audiogon email...
http://audiogoncom.cmail1.com/t/View...8C96E86323F7F9
This post is a good contrast to what many talk about when they say "I want to upgrade my cables," then the anti-cable brigade swings into action and talks about stuff like this.

As I've said before, there's a gap between getting voodoo tweaky-cableitis and simply matching the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system. Very different concepts that get lost with red herring stories like this, many of which I wonder are even real.
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post #290 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Diggles View Post
This post is a good contrast to what many talk about when they say "I want to upgrade my cables," then the anti-cable brigade swings into action and talks about stuff like this.

As I've said before, there's a gap between getting voodoo tweaky-cableitis and simply matching the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system. Very different concepts that get lost with red herring stories like this, many of which I wonder are even real.
How does one "match the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system"?

If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
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post #291 of 604 Old 08-07-2014, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggles
This post is a good contrast to what many talk about when they say "I want to upgrade my cables," then the anti-cable brigade swings into action and talks about stuff like this.

As I've said before, there's a gap between getting voodoo tweaky-cableitis and simply matching the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system. Very different concepts that get lost with red herring stories like this, many of which I wonder are even real.


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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
How does one "match the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system"?

If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
What I took from his comments, is that he doesn't perceive the truth to likely be found at either extreme, but somewhere in the vast middle, which he further intimates allows a little wiggle room for purely emotional input, into the over all buying decision.

From my discernment, there was no need to task him with answering opened questions, with the central theme of the questioning adding up to: 'prove it by means of sharing your equations, algorithms and biorhythms, etc..'.

Honestly, in the absence of irrefutable proof from either side; I to, rather enjoy diddling for the middle! I cannot prove that there's any more or less truth to be found in this divide, either; but now that it's two against one: how does one, quantify a position such as yours, exactly?
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post #292 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
How does one "match the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system"?

If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
Sure is! Any experienced stereo store salesman will tell you cables should be 10% of your total system budget. It's just that simple. Why can't some people understand this?
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post #293 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post
Sure is! Any experienced stereo store salesman will tell you cables should be 10% of your total system budget. It's just that simple. Why can't some people understand this?

I understand that they will tell me that. Why does this mean anything to me? Stereo salesmen have told me many, many things in my life, and many were just plain wrong.

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post #294 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 02:33 AM
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Honestly, in the absence of irrefutable proof from either side; I to, rather enjoy diddling for the middle! I cannot prove that there's any more or less truth to be found in this divide, either; but now that it's two against one: how does one, quantify a position such as yours, exactly?
The irrefutable truth exists. It is very clear on many levels. It does take a certain amount of correct understanding of science and technology to properly perceive it.
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post #295 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
How does one "Match the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system"?
You use social means rather than technical means to reach your decision.

We see this happening around here all the time. If you are technically well-informed then cable decisions are very simple.

However, people who are not technically well-informed turn a technical question into a social question and solve it by asking for other people's opinions.

Solve the problem democratically, as it were.

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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
It is a problem to the sales/merchandising/marketing machine, since due to competitive pressures, all or most of the profit in selling that system might be in the cables.
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post #296 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
If you drive a $100k car is it a problem that you use the same gasoline as a $500 jalopy?
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post #297 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Diggles View Post
This post is a good contrast to what many talk about when they say "I want to upgrade my cables," then the anti-cable brigade swings into action and talks about stuff like this.

As I've said before, there's a gap between getting voodoo tweaky-cableitis and simply matching the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system. Very different concepts that get lost with red herring stories like this, many of which I wonder are even real.
If the concept is that it is "correct" or "comforting" or "satisfying" to buy expensive cables if the rest of the system has expensive components, then I don't think the "anti cable brigade" would have a problem with that. The problem occurs when cables are given sonic characteristics that are proven not to exist.
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post #298 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
You use social means rather than technical means to reach your decision.

We see this happening around here all the time. If you are technically well-informed then cable decisions are very simple.

However, people who are not technically well-informed turn a technical question into a social question and solve it by asking for other people's opinions.

Solve the problem democratically, as it were.
Like Yahoo Answers!

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...3195220AABxT9G
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post #299 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
If you drive a $100k car is it a problem that you use the same gasoline as a $500 jalopy?
That depends on which individuals you admire and want to emulate on a given forum.
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post #300 of 604 Old 08-08-2014, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by koturban View Post
How does one "match the level of cable quality/cache/brand appeal to a system"?

If I have a system approaching the 100k dollar level, and I'm using Monoprice 12 ga cable and interconnects, is this a problem?
It's not a problem if you're happy with that. I wonder through if you've ever experimented with anything better. If you hang around here too often, I would suspect your inclination would lean toward "no."

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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
If you drive a $100k car is it a problem that you use the same gasoline as a $500 jalopy?
Poor example. You only have one choice. Health freaks buy the same bottled water as obese people also.

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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
That depends on which individuals you admire and want to emulate on a given forum.
You joke about this, but there's more truth to your statement than you're willing to assign credit to.

Last edited by Diggles; 08-08-2014 at 08:26 AM. Reason: multiple target acquisition
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