Have You Heard Exotic Audio Cables Improve Sound Quality? - Page 19 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Have You Heard Exotic Audio Cables Improve Sound Quality?
Yes, and it was a big improvement 48 8.57%
Yes, but it was only a slight improvement 62 11.07%
No, I did not hear any improvement 310 55.36%
I don't have enough experience to say 140 25.00%
Voters: 560. You may not vote on this poll

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post #541 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Careful there just may be someone out there laughing at you guys eek.gifbiggrin.gif

They are free to come out of the only forum they seem to participate in and interact here. A few have tried (directly gunning for me btw) and it didn't quite pan out for them the way they thought it would. They certainly displayed their ignorance and gave people here a pretty good laugh. If one is laughed at by a person that is afraid of a blinded testing, were you really laughed at at all?
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An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #542 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 08:04 AM
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Anyone that pays more for cables than what Monoprice charges payed too much.

Course I always wanted Vacuum sealed optical cables because well we all know light travels 'better' in a vacuum =P
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post #543 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by RafaelSmith View Post

Anyone that pays more for cables than what Monoprice charges payed too much.

I wouldn't go quite that far. I do find their bulk mic cable a really good value however.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #544 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 08:52 AM
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reading what cable users describe how a pc or sc or ic has made a huge difference in their system and they obviously hear it.
Words such as more slam,huge sound stage ect,if our ears can obviously hear it then I imagine a good digital recorder can pick up the difference if any.
Perhaps the Zoom H-2 handheld portable recorder would do the trick,after all some acoustic companies use them to hear the difference with and without panels.
If cables are obvious to our ears,I'm sure a sensitive recorder would pick the same or not.
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post #545 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 12:49 PM
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I don't think you realized that when a 'blind fold' is mentioned it is in the metaphorical sense. You could see both the A and B cables but you simply wouldn't know which are connected.

I'm personally not getting into the difference so much as the claims that I have seen made. I think, and to a prudent person, that when the term night and day are brought out that a blind evaluation should be a no brainer. That's not an equivocating term of description. It is a plant the flag, draw a line in the sand statement.

I've done your metaphorical DBT as well, even my wife can discern which cable and or which dac is in or out of the mix tongue.gif and sometimes we have disagreed on the results and sometimes fully agree, now having said that when comes down to just what those changes were to the sound it takes critical listening and a little know how . Perhaps one day we'll have some idea of what's going on but for now my friend its not my gut or any placebo its just the old addage a wise man once told me " believe half what hear and half what you see" in the middle there may be some truth wink.gif
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post #546 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

I've done your metaphorical DBT as well, even my wife can discern which cable...

That's great. What was the protocol for evaluation?

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #547 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

Yeah I saw some of that hdmi thread over there....those guys are a barrel of laughs. Good to see you chime in round these parts once in a while.
Something I discovered very early on in my audio journey/hobby. I am no longer a member over there. Every once in a while I check their forums for information, most recently I was looking for any info on the new tsx series speakers and I ran across a multitude of threads that were good for a laugh. Those guys, especially the core 6 or 8 guys or so are so lost its laughable. They hold up DK's writting high on a pedestal to affirm their beliefs. Don't ever mention DBT's, placebo effect, expectation bias, pro amps or emotiva over there or they will bully you to no end with stupendous arguments.....and they wonder why most newbies to their site don't stick around long.

Careful there just may be someone out there laughing at you guys eek.gifbiggrin.gif

I laugh at almost every post you make! smile.gif

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post #548 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 01:58 PM
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One other note.

Real world tests show that differences in audio levels as small as 0.25db can be differentiated by the human ear.

When doing a proper double-blind test, the SPL levels are set to within this parameter.

Unless someone is doing the non blind comparison and has the equipment and ability to set things within the proper parameters, how can you justify your conclusions.

Old high-end audio store trick. Adjust the amplitude on the speakers you are pushing just one or two db higher than the others. Barring some horrible sonic anomoly, if someone pushes the A/B/C connector to switch between various speakers, they will consistently come back to the higher SPL unit as being more alive and the lower SPL unit as flat and lifeless. Same true for the unrealistic brightness levels of HDTV's in most retail environments. Your eyes will like the bright unit.

When it comes to cables, if you have an adequate cable for the job, scientifically, there should be zero difference between the high priced stuff and 8/10/12/16 gauge electrical cord. The electrons honestly don't care. The higher gauge cable really only comes into play on longer runs. If your amplifier is between two speakers placed 12' apart, a not uncommon set up, you would not hear any difference between the 16 and 8 gauge wire. Too short a run to affect the damping factor.

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post #549 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 02:22 PM
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I did a blind test with 3 of my friends, the equipment used was McIntosh MC 501 Monoblocks and B&W 802D speakers. We first connected Transparent MM2 IC between the Monoblocks and MX-136 using Transparent speaker wire. We listened to 1 track of music, I then switched the speaker wire to a basic 10g copper and played the same track, I then switched to 10g silver speaker wire and back to the Transparent speaker wire. I did this a total of 3 times for each wire. They heard ZERO change, they could not guess between the very expensive Transparent or the cheap 10g speaker wire.
I then tried swapping the interconnects for fun. I switched the Transparent MM2 with brand A XLR interconnects. NO change was noticed. I then switched the XLR with RCA, again no change was noticed. (fyi, I was using 1 meter cable length) We then switched copper IC with Silver IC. They were able to determine every time between copper and silver IC but NOT copper and silver speaker wire.
This was done just for fun, I thought for certain they would differentiate between copper and silver speaker wire but could not. However between copper and silver IC was quite easy to hear a difference. It noticeably brighter.
The tested wires were Transparent MM2 copper IC
Audioquest XLR copper IC
Monster RCA copper IC
WireWorld Siver IC

Transparent copper speaker wire (borrowed)
Monoprice copper speaker wire
DH labs 10g silver speaker wire



* we are not professionals * this was done as a fun test. I was surprised the only difference was the silver IC. I will NOT be spending $3,000 on IC in the future, especially when there was ZERO difference between those and $100 monster RCA. Grrr and I will use standard 10 or 12g speaker wire in the future. (speaker wire was over $1,000 for 8 ft) I could buy another amp for the money I spent on cables. These reviews were only our opinions as your experience may differ.

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post #550 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 02:30 PM
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Have I heard exotic audio cables improve sound quality? No.
Have I heard exotic audio cables sound different from cheaper cables? Yes.
Is this difference worth the extra money they are charging for exotic cables? No.
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post #551 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 03:50 PM
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I laugh at almost every post you make! smile.gif

I shake my head at yours tongue.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #552 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

Have I heard exotic audio cables improve sound quality? No.
Have I heard exotic audio cables sound different from cheaper cables? Yes.
Is this difference worth the extra money they are charging for exotic cables? No.

Some people like jewelry others don't how ever you want to spend your money, Crystal cables look like Van Cleef and Arpel http://www.vancleefarpels.com/us/en/
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post #553 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I laugh at almost every post you make! smile.gif

I shake my head at yours tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

Does that mean we're bi-polar? For me it's a sanity check...

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post #554 of 655 Old 08-14-2013, 10:58 PM
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Does that mean we're bi-polar? For me it's a sanity check...

Same here ! what dosage you at? my doctor said I'm almost off mine biggrin.gif
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post #555 of 655 Old 08-16-2013, 12:00 PM
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biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

Have I heard exotic audio cables improve sound quality? No.
Have I heard exotic audio cables sound different from cheaper cables? Yes.
Is this difference worth the extra money they are charging for exotic cables? No.

They sound worse or is it that they cost and arm and a lag and there for sound worse even if the sound the same.biggrin.gif
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post #556 of 655 Old 08-19-2013, 09:06 PM
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Has anyone seen this? are you f***ing kidding me?

http://www.psaudio.com/shop/power-port-classic-5-pack/
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post #557 of 655 Old 08-19-2013, 09:13 PM
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I have to buy a few of those.. I bet my system would sound soooo much better. Even with my 1940 electrical running through my home and my squirrel chewed line running from the exterior of my home to the pole.. lol Some people are soo gullible. smile.gif

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post #558 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 09:38 AM
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Different cables will only sound different in a system capable of producing the resolution needed to hear those (small) differences. Most people do not own such equipment. It's usually damn expensive, and for most people, the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it is simply not worth the extra cost to get that extra resolution.

In a high-quality two-channel system, one can easily hear the difference between interconnect cables (copper vs silver, for example). I used to have such a system, and yes, I heard the difference. Of course, priorities change, and now my system is built around an AV receiver, and now I cannot hear any difference.

I never tried to swap out speaker cables, but I would guess the same principles apply.
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post #559 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 10:31 AM
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Poll is worthless without specifying whether it is referring to speaker cable, digital cable, or analog interconnect.

Digital cable => If the signal arrives with all bits intact, it's good, and cannot be made better. Select the least expensive product that will do this reliably. For long runs, that may mean spending a bit more (pun intended).

Speaker cable => Ohm's law and Faraday's laws apply, so we are looking for the lowest possible inductive and capacitive impedance components possible, then low resistance. In most cases, this means using the highest-gauge low-resistance cable you can find, then using the straightest, shortest path available from the amp to the speaker. Extra credit given to those who run the same exact length and geometry for symmetric channels. Exotic designs in this realm often underperform plain old heavy-gauge zip cord. Sorry guys, but this is basic physics.

Analog interconnect => Again, it's all about minimizing the total impedance, inductive/capacitive impedance components, and phase shift, but there are so many variables involving the source and load that there is no one right answer as to what cable design will be best suited to any given application. The basics are good shielding, build techniques that reduce parasitic/microphonic noise, solid connections, and low resistance. In my experience, it's best to try several options to see what works best between any given pair of components. Sometimes more $$$ = better sound, sometimes not.

YMMV.
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post #560 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 10:46 AM
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This debate over pricey cables reminds me of when I used to work at Frank's Highland Park Camera in Los Angeles back in the late 70's early 80's when folks at the cash register were checking out with $500 to $1,000 worth of Nikon camera and lenses and were trying to get Frank to come down even further on his already rock bottom price; Frank in his Czech broken English accent would say very loudly so everyone in the store could hear,

"Don't worry, the more you pay the more you'll like it!!!" eek.gif

How sweet it was then and how applicable the same psychology is today when it comes to paying lots of money for just about anything!!

David Ferebee
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post #561 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi404 View Post

Has anyone seen this? are you f***ing kidding me?

http://www.psaudio.com/shop/power-port-classic-5-pack/

Home Depot has these in Orange or White for $5
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post #562 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

Poll is worthless without specifying whether it is referring to speaker cable, digital cable, or analog interconnect.

Digital cable => If the signal arrives with all bits intact, it's good, and cannot be made better. Select the least expensive product that will do this reliably. For long runs, that may mean spending a bit more (pun intended).

Speaker cable => Ohm's law and Faraday's laws apply, so we are looking for the lowest possible inductive and capacitive impedance components possible, then low resistance. In most cases, this means using the highest-gauge low-resistance cable you can find, then using the straightest, shortest path available from the amp to the speaker. Extra credit given to those who run the same exact length and geometry for symmetric channels. Exotic designs in this realm often underperform plain old heavy-gauge zip cord. Sorry guys, but this is basic physics.

Analog interconnect => Again, it's all about minimizing the total impedance, inductive/capacitive impedance components, and phase shift, but there are so many variables involving the source and load that there is no one right answer as to what cable design will be best suited to any given application. The basics are good shielding, build techniques that reduce parasitic/microphonic noise, solid connections, and low resistance. In my experience, it's best to try several options to see what works best between any given pair of components. Sometimes more $$$ = better sound, sometimes not.

YMMV.

I assume for interconnect that the shorter the better as well yes!

You used physics whoa in HiFi world that is contrary to good standards. In HiFi they use voodoo $2,500 for 3 feet of coper! http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Air-Dragon

Enjoy smile.gif
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post #563 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 11:22 AM
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Where do I start?... the guy who says it does not make a difference either owns junk and wouldn't know if it made a improvement or not... or he is an idiot. But also the guy who says choosing cables is more important than the quality of equipment is also an idiot. Build your system, buy the best quality you can afford on each type of component, hook it up with whatever is reasonable. Once you are used to the sound of the system, then someday play around with changing out a few cables with some nice ones you can afford... and see if you can get an improvement in sound and picture. IMHO most cable companies are selling snake oil... or just redressed cablew with nicer connections... there are only 10 or so companies out there that are passionate about cable design... out of what, 100? available wire companies?... and not all of those companies have great product at every price level. I don't advocate $1000 cables either... but something appropriate to your level of equipment, or pick what is most important to you and focus on that, i.e. home theater, but 2 channel is important to you? Focus on front speaker wire and the connection between your music and amp/receiver, and don't worry about the rest, etc. IMHOand experience, Audioquest, Kimber, Cardas, MIT, all make product that I have seen make tremendous changes in system sound at many price levels.

Oh, yeah, no difference in HDMI cables? idiot statement... dgital connections have always had problems with timing, jitter, and the need for error correction... what makes you think they fixed that with HDMI? Talk to an engineer who develops error correction circuits, he will tell you. Ever watched a left to right pan on a DVD and saw the screen judder across instead of being smooth?... swap out a $100 Audioquest 2 meter for the $30 junko you had in place and the pan suddenly was smooth?... what do you think caused that? it had all the same ones and zeros...

Some of the cable arguement is class based (poorish vs. rich) talk... some people live in the "if I cannot afford it, I wouldn't want it anyway" attitude. I will never let that get in my way... I may have to save longer, research better, and delay my purchases, but I will always have quality, not quantity, and I will never diss a product just 'cause I cannot afford it... or even if I know I will never be able to afford it....

By the way, the Bugatti Veyron sucks, gets bad gas mileage and my civic drives better.

Just my rant for the day.
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post #564 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djlackey5 View Post

Different cables will only sound different in a system capable of producing the resolution needed to hear those (small) differences. Most people do not own such equipment. It's usually damn expensive, and for most people, the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it is simply not worth the extra cost to get that extra resolution.

In a high-quality two-channel system, one can easily hear the difference between interconnect cables (copper vs silver, for example). I used to have such a system, and yes, I heard the difference. Of course, priorities change, and now my system is built around an AV receiver, and now I cannot hear any difference.

I never tried to swap out speaker cables, but I would guess the same principles apply.

Problem here is that theory suggests there will be no audible difference due to the extremely small measurement/performance variations between cables which all fall under well understood human hearing thresholds. This even applies to the best human ears under the best of equipment quality circumstances. And all impartial, non-sighted testing of wires have borne this out.

But more interestingly and specifically to your post, here is the problem I see with your statements. If these audible differences only become evident with systems, "capable of producing the resolution needed to hear those small differences" and, "usually damn expensive" as you say, what then do you make of all the claims of perceived difference coming from folks with all types of systems, even those with seemingly moderate or average systems, by your definition?

Are only those people imagining things? But when a person has a system which reaches the "high quality enough" threshold you speak of, then these particular people are actually hearing a real legitimate audible difference where the others are not?
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post #565 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 12:36 PM
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I would only pay a higher than average price for an audio cable if it is likely to last longer. A better built cable will handle flexing, bending and some abuse much better than the lowest cost cables.
If I'm hanging the cable behind my stereo system only to be touched occasionally (like most of us) then low cost is OK for me.

On the other hand, I used to work for a audio engineer that would test surface mount resistors by placing them in the high impedance audio path in a very high end audio system, he would then select the best sounding resistor to use in newly designed equipment, I told him that he had "Golden Ears" as I could never hear any difference.
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post #566 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

Poll is worthless without specifying whether it is referring to speaker cable, digital cable, or analog interconnect.

Digital cable => If the signal arrives with all bits intact, it's good, and cannot be made better. Select the least expensive product that will do this reliably. For long runs, that may mean spending a bit more (pun intended).

Speaker cable => Ohm's law and Faraday's laws apply, so we are looking for the lowest possible inductive and capacitive impedance components possible, then low resistance. In most cases, this means using the highest-gauge low-resistance cable you can find, then using the straightest, shortest path available from the amp to the speaker. Extra credit given to those who run the same exact length and geometry for symmetric channels. Exotic designs in this realm often underperform plain old heavy-gauge zip cord. Sorry guys, but this is basic physics.

Analog interconnect => Again, it's all about minimizing the total impedance, inductive/capacitive impedance components, and phase shift, but there are so many variables involving the source and load that there is no one right answer as to what cable design will be best suited to any given application. The basics are good shielding, build techniques that reduce parasitic/microphonic noise, solid connections, and low resistance. In my experience, it's best to try several options to see what works best between any given pair of components. Sometimes more $$$ = better sound, sometimes not.

YMMV.

Thank you for an intelligent post. I really don't know why I even still look back at this forum. The people who believe there are audible differences in wire, when all other factors are equal, will never be convinced otherwise. Those who wish to be shown the differences in a real world test will believe that the other side does not wish to concede that something with a cost 1/100th of another item could possibly sound the same even though in a controlled test, none that I have ever heard of could consistently select the components accurately in a meaningful, measureable way. And I am not speaking of electronic measurements but of simply relying on your ears to tell you which is which. I have never seen results from a double blind test where anyone could select correctly more than 60% of the time which is as accurate as a coin flip.
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post #567 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 01:31 PM
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The audio signal coming out of the equipment is like the gold standard for that equipment. An ideal cable would not change the signal at all, but real world cables can and do change the signal. Normally any change would be considered detrimental so any cable that doesn't change the signal to any audible degree is great. Any cable that audibly changes the signal is crappy. However if the gold standard signal coming out of the equipment is crappy, too much treble for instance, then maybe a crappy cable that attenuates treble could actually improve the sound. This should be a rare case though. The crappiness of the cable is totally independent of price. All one needs is a cable with minimum capacitance and minimum resistance and good shielding and you have a good cable that will not affect the signal in an audibly detrimental way. Such a cable does not have to be expensive at all.
The absolute best cable would be no cable at all and that would be really cheap. Unfortunately we do need to move the signal from the source to the amplifier and on to the speaker so we have to have cables but it sure doesn't mean we have to buy snake oil.
On the other hand some people really like snake oil. They do not get better sound out of the deal but the snakes get employment making snake oil for them.
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post #568 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 01:47 PM
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Whoever thinks a Honda Civic drives better than a Bugatti Veyron is incorrect biggrin.gif
It gets about15 MPG on the highway which might be better than my Dodge Ram.
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post #569 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsalling View Post

Where do I start?... the guy who says it does not make a difference either owns junk and wouldn't know if it made a improvement or not... or he is an idiot. But also the guy who says choosing cables is more important than the quality of equipment is also an idiot. Build your system, buy the best quality you can afford on each type of component, hook it up with whatever is reasonable. Once you are used to the sound of the system, then someday play around with changing out a few cables with some nice ones you can afford... and see if you can get an improvement in sound and picture. IMHO most cable companies are selling snake oil... or just redressed cablew with nicer connections... there are only 10 or so companies out there that are passionate about cable design... out of what, 100? available wire companies?... and not all of those companies have great product at every price level. I don't advocate $1000 cables either... but something appropriate to your level of equipment, or pick what is most important to you and focus on that, i.e. home theater, but 2 channel is important to you? Focus on front speaker wire and the connection between your music and amp/receiver, and don't worry about the rest, etc. IMHOand experience, Audioquest, Kimber, Cardas, MIT, all make product that I have seen make tremendous changes in system sound at many price levels.

Oh, yeah, no difference in HDMI cables? idiot statement... dgital connections have always had problems with timing, jitter, and the need for error correction... what makes you think they fixed that with HDMI? Talk to an engineer who develops error correction circuits, he will tell you. Ever watched a left to right pan on a DVD and saw the screen judder across instead of being smooth?... swap out a $100 Audioquest 2 meter for the $30 junko you had in place and the pan suddenly was smooth?... what do you think caused that? it had all the same ones and zeros...

Some of the cable arguement is class based (poorish vs. rich) talk... some people live in the "if I cannot afford it, I wouldn't want it anyway" attitude. I will never let that get in my way... I may have to save longer, research better, and delay my purchases, but I will always have quality, not quantity, and I will never diss a product just 'cause I cannot afford it... or even if I know I will never be able to afford it....

By the way, the Bugatti Veyron sucks, gets bad gas mileage and my civic drives better.

Just my rant for the day.

Whoa " Poorish vs Rich" , you forget one major thing and that is the room counts for more than 50% of what you hear! In addition all the recording you buy are made using decent quality cables but not f them cost more than a $1 a foot! Mogami, Canaree, Belden all the rest are just a way for snake oil sales men to make money on the masses who care more about look and are subject to snake oil sales men......
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post #570 of 655 Old 08-20-2013, 05:48 PM
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Since a really well designed crossover network is tweaked to give the response the designer intends, I would not mess around with changing caps, resistors or wire. All components have resistive, capacitive and inductive values associated with the actual parts selected. Changing to a "better" capacitor or inductor can make unintended changes. Switch out an inductor and maybe really alter resistance and you have made a change to the crossover network. Go to an overly conductive long run wire and you may change the bass damping factor from that which the speaker designer intended yielding a different bass response from the cabinet. Just check the resistance of the wire (you will need a good instrument) and plug the change into the damping factor and the speaker cabinet tuning and volume equations and you might just get enough to hear a difference. A long run should be 12 or maybe even 10 gage wire. Run a hundred ft of 18 or 20 gage wire and you will run into bass problems.
As for power cords, hope the guy who got the super high priced power wire changed his house wiring also. If not, he had better have a great power supply filter between his electric company's line and his fancy wiring . The power from the electric company is probably traveling a few hundred ft as 110 volts from the transformer to the meter. Then thru some solid romex thru the walls. If his preamp and amp have decent power design and supply caps with sufficient capacity to supply clean sine waves, forget the AC line quality. Put your money into well designed equipment and not magic wires.

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