Do good cables make an audible difference in sound? - Page 8 - AVS Forum
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post #211 of 604 Old 07-27-2014, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Lightfoot View Post
Hi Done,

So it is possible.

Though that is a test of amps and not wire isn't it? I guess you were just showing me proof of concept

Cheers.
The output of the amplifier is modeled as a simple RLC network. You could add a cable to it but given the amplifier characteristics it would not matter. Feel free to enhance the simulation by adding a wire model (like a lossy tline), but I have done so in the past and it is swamped by the amplifier and speaker for any reasonable situation. Just too lazy to do it again. I have another thread that compares interconnects but any differences for the cables I simulated are well beyond the audio band. - Don
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post #212 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
No one implies you have to use only one sense listening to music. Nor base your buying decisions solely on that one sense..

I have seen it suggested many times here. in fact, that was what was suggested in the post i answered.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #213 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post
I have seen it suggested many times here. in fact, that was what was suggested in the post i answered.
The problem comes from people thinking that a visually appealing product must have audibly superior audio engineering. Belief and objective reality are two different things.
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post #214 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 02:12 PM
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Yawn. These cable posts really fire people up. Just use common sense and enjoy the music.

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post #215 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
The problem comes from people thinking that a visually appealing product must have audibly superior audio engineering. Belief and objective reality are two different things.
300,000,000 people in the USA alone, i can't be concerned with what each of them thinks.

I sure have no compulsion to read them the Gospel.

but yeah, i pretty much agree with you.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #216 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post
Yawn. These cable posts really fire people up. Just use common sense and enjoy the music.
Problem is that "common sense" is not always sufficient for settling issues. It can have limited applicability to the world around us. And this is one of those situations.

As it applies here, the so-called "common sense approach" could be argued from two opposing standpoints:

COMMON SENSE ANALYSIS A) Lots and lots and lots of people hear differences between cables, well-meaning & honest people, experienced audiophiles, often reasonably intelligent. And we know that not everyone hears the same. Therefore, there's probably something to it and maybe science hasn't figured it out yet. So it warrants trying different cables at varying price points and "deciding for yourself".

COMMON SENSE ANALYSIS B) The measured differences are far below all known human hearing thresholds (established with decades of study), including the most capable among us. Then there are sufficient psychological & physiological factors which can readily account for these perceived, but ultimately invalid, audible differences. And because the measured differences in rooms and of speakers dwarf the minuscule measured differences among cables, it would be pure folly to spend any time worrying about cables until you've perfected your speakers & room. Therefore, don't worry cables whatsoever. Just find one that meets your own size/type requirements as well as your cost and aesthetic preferences and then you're done.
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post #217 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
I have seen it suggested many times here. in fact, that was what was suggested in the post i answered.
Perhaps you may have misunderstood what I tried to explain or what was suggested to you by someone else; or not.
To listen for enjoyment by you and whoever you invite over to listen, you use whatever senses you want to use.

You only need and must use only your hearing when you want to differentiate sonic differences between components but only if you want credible results, or, better results than when you combine other senses.
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post #218 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Perhaps you may have misunderstood what I tried to explain or what was suggested to you by someone else; or not.
To listen for enjoyment by you and whoever you invite over to listen, you use whatever senses you want to use.

You only need and must use only your hearing when you want to differentiate sonic differences between components but only if you want credible results, or, better results than when you combine other senses.
no disagreement

i have spoken to that in this thread

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #219 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post
Problem is that "common sense" is not always sufficient for settling issues. It can have limited applicability to the world around us. And this is one of those situations.

As it applies here, the so-called "common sense approach" could be argued from two opposing standpoints:

COMMON SENSE ANALYSIS A) Lots and lots and lots of people hear differences between cables, well-meaning & honest people, experienced audiophiles, often reasonably intelligent. And we know that not everyone hears the same. Therefore, there's probably something to it and maybe science hasn't figured it out yet. So it warrants trying different cables at varying price points and "deciding for yourself".

COMMON SENSE ANALYSIS B) The measured differences are far below all known human hearing thresholds (established with decades of study), including the most capable among us. Then there are sufficient psychological & physiological factors which can readily account for these perceived, but ultimately invalid, audible differences. And because the measured differences in rooms and of speakers dwarf the minuscule measured differences among cables, it would be pure folly to spend any time worrying about cables until you've perfected your speakers & room. Therefore, don't worry cables whatsoever. Just find one that meets your own size/type requirements as well as your cost and aesthetic preferences and then you're done.
COMMON SENSE ANALYSIS C) Only in the high end CONSUMER audio marketplace are these cables sold and so passionately discussed. In other fields of electronics, many far more strignent than audio, generic application specific cables are used. It's not that specialized cables are not specified and employed, but when they are, the specifications and requirements are based on solid scientific and engineering principles. There is no fashion or drama involved. So for you folks that say something is there and our current measurement technology cannot detect it, explain why this only matters in high end consumer audio and not other much more highly critical areas of electronics?
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post #220 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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someone just suggested to me,


"Power cables that effectively produce an improvement in sonic performance can be doing one or more of the following:

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

can this effect measured responses?

AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE?

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #221 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
someone just suggested to me,


"Power cables that effectively produce an improvement in sonic performance can be doing one or more of the following:

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

can this effect measured responses?

AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE?
Based on my last post above:

What are three of the hottest investment technologies in electronics today?

1) Electric cars. Now don't you think if some garage wire manufacture made a power cord with exotic conductivity properties, wouldn't Tesla or their competitors be all over them? Losses in the high current battery to motor wiring are certainly an area of interest in this technology.

2) How about solar power. Wouldn't such wire be a huge efficiency boost over the life span of the panels?

3) Computer networking, a multibillion dollar industry. Wouldn't these exotic technologies the HDMI cable specialists are touting be of use here? Speed, speed, speed, yet other than predictable advancement in UTP cabling, there is no interest in these small garage audio/video cable companies.

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post #222 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post
Based on my last post above:

What are three of the hottest investment technologies in electronics today?

1) Electric cars. Now don't you think if some garage wire manufacture made a power cord with exotic conductivity properties, wouldn't Tesla or their competitors be all over them? Losses in the high current battery to motor wiring are certainly an area of interest in this technology.

2) How about solar power. Wouldn't such wire be a huge efficiency boost over the life span of the panels?

3) Computer networking, a multibillion dollar industry. Wouldn't these exotic technologies the HDMI cable specialists are touting be of use here? Speed, speed, speed, yet other than predictable advancement in UTP cabling, there is no interest in these small garage audio/video cable companies.

let me ask this a different way

1 is all this true, if not why not

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

2 if the above is true, how can it lend itself to better audio or why can't this improve the sound?

thanks

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #223 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
someone just suggested to me,
"Power cables that effectively produce an improvement in sonic performance can be doing one or more of the following:
More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"
can this effect measured responses?
AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE?
No. Even though there's no benefit to paying high prices for interconnects and speaker cables at least the uninformed can be forgiven for believing that's the case, as at least they pass signal. To think that a power cable can affect response is, in a word, nuts. But there's no shortage of nuts with money, and no shortage of shysters willing to take it from them. And if you ask those shysters how they sleep at night, they'll say very well. Their defense of their indefensible business practices will be "anyone stupid enough to believe me deserves to be fleeced". Not coincidentally that's exactly how Bernie Madoff justified his actions.
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post #224 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
No. Even though there's no benefit to paying high prices for interconnects and speaker cables at least the uninformed can be forgiven for believing that's the case, as at least they pass signal. To think that a power cable can affect response is, in a word, nuts. But there's no shortage of nuts with money, and no shortage of shysters willing to take it from them. And if you ask those shysters how they sleep at night, they'll say very well. Their defense of their indefensible business practices will be "anyone stupid enough to believe me deserves to be fleeced". Not coincidentally that's exactly how Bernie Madoff justified his actions.
thanks bill but i could have come up with that answer. i am looking for a more technical reply as to why what was offered is meaningless .

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #225 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 07:38 PM
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The power cord thing really fires me up. A simple test would be to feel it and if you feel it's getting a little hot, you may need a bigger one. The only way a power cord is gonna help is if it is severely lacking.
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post #226 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 08:02 PM
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I've spent a fair amount on hardware.

I've spent next to nothing on signal/speaker cables, though I have experimented, and "prefer" single solid core.

I bought replacement power cables for custom length (short) and they are all 14awg. Just generic (vendor Americord) Nema 5-15P to C13 in 1-2-3-4 foot lengths.

I bought a used Equitech 1.5RQ as a power and ground "condtioner" - balanced power floating over the rack ground. I like it. It pretty much brickwalls the system from the power outlet. It stopped all the transformers in the rack from making any hum, although it can still be detected with a stethoscope. The loudest sound is a quiet hard drive in the cable box. Nothing audible from the speakers.

Recently some power thing was happening, the Equitech was making some mechanical hum/boing/grumbling noises, the other equipment was not. Intermittent DC on the mains?

None of the cables are shielded, the cables are pretty much a tangle, there is no noise.

Everything runs off one plain 15amp wall socket, through a Kill-A-Watt meter, which makes it terribly overloaded, except that it isn't. 500-600w is the typical high draw for the rack. The computer stuff is on the same circuit, as it the kitchen. Someday I will run a dedicated outlet, the voltage does sag sometimes.

I use contact cleaner/anti-corrosion/enhancer (Caig DeOxit) everywhere I can..

That should pretty well cover my interconnecting situation. No magic. Good sound. No issues.

I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot
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post #227 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post
thanks bill but i could have come up with that answer. i am looking for a more technical reply as to why what was offered is meaningless .
For one thing consider the miles, if not hundreds of miles, of plain aluminum cables between where the AC is generated and where it enters your house, not to mention the tens of feet, if not hundreds of feet, of plain copper wire between your service panel and the outlet where the supply cable plugs in. And then there's the matter of the clown who gave you that advice not knowing that capacitors do not provide a power reserve with AC current.
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post #228 of 604 Old 07-28-2014, 08:52 PM
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Yes, I put no credence into fancy power cables, a tiny bit into signal/speaker cables, since I've "heard" a difference. I'd try to figure it out but it's immeasurable with what I have to measure with, other than my faulty ears and subjective preference neurons.

My experiments with digital/optical cables - they are on/off, in normal home situation, could perhaps make trouble if they were operating at the exact point between on/off. Maybe they can affect jitter if the downstream component isn't good enough at jitter rejection.

Shielding? I don't know, I don't have a problem there to point to.

My dad was an amateur radio operator, with a big amp. He'd garble the TV when transmitting, but that was back 20 years ago.

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post #229 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
someone just suggested to me,

"Power cables that effectively produce an improvement in sonic performance can be doing one or more of the following:

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

can this effect measured responses?
If they happen, and that is a big if all by itself, then they all could affect equipment measured performance. The fact that their proponents aren't running right out and obtaining and advertising evidence of that allegedly improved performance says volumes all by itself.

The other counterpoint is that the stated goals can be easily accomplished by far more economical means.

One can simply be accomplished by using a heavier gauge power cable which are standard electronic parts sold for reasonable prices.

Two can be simply accomplished with an inexpensive line filter, which are again standard electronic parts. Ditto for shielded power cords.

Three is simply very unlikely. If one wants more power supply capacitance, the parts are cheap, fairly small in reasonable sized and easy enough to solder in. Upping power supply capacitance with a power cable is a hard row to hoe because there are too many other components that limit the power supplies' capacity between the power cord and the power amp circuits in the amplifier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post
someone just suggested to me,
AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE?
That is far from being a slam dunk, given that our current measurements are so much more sensitive to small differences than the ear.
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post #230 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Three is simply very unlikely. If one wants more power supply capacitance, the parts are cheap, fairly small in reasonable sized and easy enough to solder in. Upping power supply capacitance with a power cable is a hard row to hoe...
It's so hard that it's impossible. You can stiffen a DC supply with autosound by adding caps paralleled across the power supply cables , but not an AC supply. I know that you know this, so you get a pass for probably not having enough coffee before you posted.

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post #231 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 07:00 AM
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It's so hard that it's impossible.
As a practical matter, I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
You can stiffen a DC supply with autosound by adding caps paralleled across the power supply cables , but not an AC supply.
If one were to take a serious run at doing this, the power cable would have to include some kind of 60 Hz resonant circuit to create a flywheel effect that would end up simulating a thicker power cord. Far easier to just open up a regular electronics supply catalog and order up a thicker IEC cable for about $10 or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
I know that you know this, so you get a pass for probably not having enough coffee before you posted.
Just not expressing my self well. I tried to clarify with the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arny Krueger
Upping power supply capacitance with a power cable is a hard row to hoe because there are too many other components that limit the power supplies' capacity between the power cord and the power amp circuits in the amplifier.
The key point being that overcoming the limits in the amp's power supply from the position of the power cord is just really hard. Yeh, you could say impossible.

There is just no leverage from where the power cord gets to sink its teeth into the problem.

The obvious way to address limitations in the amp's power supply externally would be something with negative resistance, but that would have to be an active circuit, not a passive power cord. Of course negative resistance raises the specter of instability and safety issues.

The core of the problem for the power cord designer is that the power supplies in most amps are already over-designed from the standpoint of what they have to do in order to accomplish their jobs.

I can't claim underdosing with coffee because I had at last 3 cups before I typed that post. Well to tell even more truth, it was restaurant coffee, not the the home made fresh-ground French Press squeezings that I am accustomed to. So maybe caffeine underdosing was the problem ;-)
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post #232 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
My experiments with digital/optical cables - they are on/off, in normal home situation, could perhaps make trouble if they were operating at the exact point between on/off. Maybe they can affect jitter if the downstream component isn't good enough at jitter rejection.
Digital communication problems aren't subtle. It usually sounds like a bad cell phone connection, if the signal is getting through at all. It is "jittery" sounding, but different than "jitter" in D/A conversion. If you don't hear obvious problems, you have a perfect signal.
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post #233 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post
The problem comes from people thinking that a visually appealing product must have audibly superior audio engineering. Belief and objective reality are two different things.
The visuals are part of the experience, too, though.

If you go to a fine restaurant, most of the difference is service, food presentation, and interior design. That stuff will impress your date at least as much as the flavor.

Not really the subject of this thread, though.
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Quote:
1 is all this true, if not why not

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

2 if the above is true, how can it lend itself to better audio or why can't this improve the sound?

It doesn't take an exotic cable to transfer power at 50 or 60 Hz.

Filtering out higher frequency line noise....meaning what? Noise is an AC component, the AC entering your equipment is turned into DC before it can be used. This is effectively filtering out everything above 0Hz.

Capacitors don't store AC, the power flowing through an AC power cord is AC, it cannot be stored in the parasitic capacitance.
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post #235 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
The visuals are part of the experience, too, though.

If you go to a fine restaurant, most of the difference is service, food presentation, and interior design. That stuff will impress your date at least as much as the flavor.

Not really the subject of this thread, though.
True, but there are some very nice looking, visually appealing cables/wires that are also inexpensive. No need to go crazy.

Panasonic TC-P60ST60, Pioneer SC-1523-K, Oppo BDP-103D, Pioneer PL-550 + Cambridge Audio Azur 640P, B&W CM1 (fronts), B&W CM Centre, Athena Point 5 Mk II (rears), Hsu VTF-2
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Sony 34XBR960, Onkyo TX-NR414, Sony PS3, Athena Point 5 Mk II (center and fronts), Wharfedale WH-2 (rears), Polk PSW10
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post #236 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
True, but there are some very nice looking, visually appealing cables/wires that are also inexpensive. No need to go crazy.
Agreed.
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post #237 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 09:49 AM
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i am looking for a more technical reply as to why what was offered is meaningless .
What you should be doing is looking for a technical reply from those that said it was meaningful. Not simply parrot it here and demand others prove it wrong.
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post #238 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
The visuals are part of the experience, too, though.

If you go to a fine restaurant, most of the difference is service, food presentation, and interior design. That stuff will impress your date at least as much as the flavor.

Not really the subject of this thread, though.
Also most good professional reviewers report on these influences separately.
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post #239 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
The visuals are part of the experience, too, though.

If you go to a fine restaurant, most of the difference is service, food presentation, and interior design. That stuff will impress your date at least as much as the flavor.

Not really the subject of this thread, though.
Does the restaurant ambiance enhance the dining experience? Yes. Does it magically change the ingredients of the food, their chemical composition, or the method of preparation? No.

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True, but there are some very nice looking, visually appealing cables/wires that are also inexpensive. No need to go crazy.
I dressed some inexpensive Parts Express wire in some Techflex and heat shrink. Presto! Instant "high end" wire.
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post #240 of 604 Old 07-29-2014, 10:30 AM
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someone just suggested to me,


"Power cables that effectively produce an improvement in sonic performance can be doing one or more of the following:

More efficiently transferring the desired power frequency (i.e. 50 or 60 Hz)
Filtering out undesired higher frequency line noise
Providing additional capacitance which provides a larger power reserve"

can this effect measured responses?

AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE?
OK, I'll answer these specifically:

1) More efficiently transferring the power? OK, purer copper and heavier gauge wire can do this. But what is the percentage of improvement? If I have a generic 12ga power cord and try an audiophile power cord with 0.001% purer copper, how much is the wattage capacity increased? Keep in mind most power cords are only 6 feet long. Moreover when these claims are applied to a CD player that consumes 30 watts of power, it's even more silly. And you still have the 50 to 100 feet of 12 or 14ga wire in the wall back to the breaker panel. The chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.

2) Noise filtration? Yes, some high end power cords do have built in filtering, multiple shielding, made with jackets that reject RFI. But as stated above, most gear already has simple but effective line filtering built in. In fact with switch mode power supplies this is mandatory to keep the power supply noise radiated back into the line suppressed. And if all that's not enough, They, the reputable cable manufactures like Belden, do make shielded power cords that cost up 100% more. So that $2 power cord will now cost you 4-8$ if shielded.

3) Power cord storing energy? As noted above by several folks, that can't happen with AC. And in fact the charging and discharging cable capacitance 60 times a second actually wastes power albeit an infinitesimal amount at 6 feet. And even if you could store AC, well lets assume it's 120v DC, how much capacitance does a power cord have? Even if you made a power with very high capacitance of several thousand pf per foot, how much energy is that going to hold? It would be miniscule!

There is an EE around here, JNeutron, that specializes in EMC theory and practice. He has shown that a power cord may affect the audio performance by altering ground return currents. I agree in principle but these effects are very small and random, most people don't have these issues in a simple system. And he was also careful to point out the differences are merely that. It does not mean the more expensive cord is better, if fact it could easily make a ground loop problem worse. His point is that in some cases a power cord can make a sonic difference. But cost and perceived value if the product are not a factor.
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