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Another little cable comparision  

post #1 of 458
Thread Starter 
On a separate note, Mikeyc and I get together on the weekend at my place and we did the following:
I swapped all my voodoo cables to the generic cables that comes with the equipment. All power cords are 16 and 14 gauges, speaker cable is some $2 a foot Monster cable (good gauge and they are 8' length.) Interconnects are $30 pair (I forgot the name) but nicely built.
I asked Mikeyc to listen to 4 tracks (Fanfare for the Common Man, a bass solo track, A song for you by Jacintha, and a violin track from the Oh ! That Stradivarius cd) and take mental note.
Then I asked him to leave the room and I swapped all the cables back to my regular voodoo cables.
He listened to the Fafare (1st track) again and immediately mentioned the bass improved a lot (much deeper and tighter). The other 3 test track show definite improvement in all areas according to him and he is 100% sure. To him my system sounds nice with the generic cords/cables but the $$$ cords/cables takes it to a much higher level and its not mistaken the cables make a big difference.
He did not expect me to change all my cables to generic in the first listening session and he does not whether he is supposed to hear better or worse in the second session after the cables are swapped.

The best part however is when we compare the Shunyata Anaconda to the Dh Labs power cord. All the exotic cables are back in place and we swap the Anaconda to feed the pre-pro. The first time I put it in, Mikeyc mention it sounds better but not as dramatic as all-generic vs all-exotic. I then remove the Anaconda and put the Dh Labs back in. Mikeyc's jaw drop to the floor and you should see his eyes. He asked me what happen there and describe the change which is exactly what I heard as well. He said "the soundstage just shrink considerably." Think the change is much greater than he would expect that its almost a little spooky.
I describe it as if the music just got "suck back". Imagine you are blowing air into a balloon and you just stop and let it deflate quickly. Its a weird feeling.

Next we compare between a Shunyata Taipan and Anaconda feeding the pre-pro. I thought the Anaconda sounds better than the Taipan but I cant pick it out when I do a very brief A/B test blind. We do agree either Shun is better than the Dh Labs.

We also swap a Dh Labs power cord that was feeding my power amp and replace it with a Shunyata Taipan. Mikeyc definitely like the Taipan better.

We know this is not a real test but given Mikeyc is slowly converted to a non-believer after being brain-washed here by the objectivist , think this listening session move him once again to the subjectivist side.

Before we call it the day, I swap the Isoclean fuse in the cdp back to the regular fuse. Mikeyc does not think there is a difference and I thought its slightly higher resolution but the highs actually exhibit a very slight sibilance. I am not sure if I heard it right though or just psychoacoustic and fatique playing a part.
post #2 of 458
If the bass is deeper then this would be easily verified on an SPL meter. Gonna give it a shot? You'll need to place it so it doesn't move.
post #3 of 458
Wouldn't you have to calibrate your system after you swapped out cables? If the cables make that much of a difference in sound quality then certainly your system operation changed when changing out cables. So, to make it a fair blind test, you would have to swap out the cables and then calibrate your system accordingly. Then see what it sounds like. I may be wrong on this but I'm just throwing it out there.
post #4 of 458
Yes I was really impressed by the increased bass as a result of using the Shunyata cables. We did it a few times (3-4) and it was definitely noticeable, deeper and tighter. The diff with the mids and highs were not as noticeable however.

Chu: I recall reading somewhere on AVS that calibrating your sub with an SPL Meter is not accurate b/c the Rat Shack meter is not accurate for lower frequencies. Perhaps we need more sophisticated equipment?

Wongmb has a Velo DD12 with the calibrating mic, perhaps this could illustrate the increased bass?
post #5 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indil377
Wouldn't you have to calibrate your system after you swapped out cables? If the cables make that much of a difference in sound quality then certainly your system operation changed when changing out cables. So, to make it a fair blind test, you would have to swap out the cables and then calibrate your system accordingly. Then see what it sounds like. I may be wrong on this but I'm just throwing it out there.
We only do it to see if there is any audible difference when swapping cables. I agree we do it very unscientifically, which is just to leave the volume knob at the same level (My pre-pro has 0.5db increment)

Also we test it on 2-channel only. When you mention calibrating, do you mean level matched ? If it does require calibration to level match when using different cable, isnt that a clear indication the cable interact with the equipment differently. Thus "the system operation changed" and cable can make an audible difference ?
post #6 of 458
I'm not sure either mic rises to the level of high quality, but you ought to see a fairly substantial relative difference under both scenarios. Just leave it in place like on a tripod both times and make sure you don't move any equipment and that you yourself are sitting in the same place.
post #7 of 458
And it also sounds as if he knew what was being swapped and when, not a real test. If he had left the room the first time and you really didnt swap something then you might be on to a real test. Anyway you guys buy all the snake oil stuff you want, I will never convince you and you will not convince me, at least until someone does real tests anyway.
post #8 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003
And it also sounds as if he knew what was being swapped and when, not a real test. If he had left the room the first time and you really didnt swap something then you might be on to a real test. Anyway you guys buy all the snake oil stuff you want, I will never convince you and you will not convince me, at least until someone does real tests anyway.
I agree it wasn't a truly scientific test, not enuf to satisfy you guys at least.

It was just a casual get together, I had no idea what he was going to do with his system. When I arrived all he said was listen to these 4 tracks, he then kicked me out of the room for about 10 minutes and when I returned he said give it another listen and then he asked me for my impression. So to answer your question, no I didn't know what was being swapped.
post #9 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003
And it also sounds as if he knew what was being swapped and when, not a real test. If he had left the room the first time and you really didnt swap something then you might be on to a real test. Anyway you guys buy all the snake oil stuff you want, I will never convince you and you will not convince me, at least until someone does real tests anyway.
I decide to have a little fun and swap all my cables out and see how my system sounds like with all generic cables (honestly from day 1, I have been using half decent cable and generic never see the light of day in my house, so I have no idea what all generic connections would sound like either)

It was never intended as a real test and certainly not trying to convince those who relies on engineering principle only.

I do convince myself that the difference between Taipan and Anaconda is smaller than I thought given one costs 3 times more. Mikeyc points out I may have tweaked my system to the max and I agree. Prob need a better system to further "hear" the difference.

I do believe firmly that if you dont own equipment of a certain caliber and dont have a dedicated listening environment, you dont need to spend $$$ on cables/tweaks. Even isolation device, which can be explained scientifically, may not benefit ones system the one it should.

Blue Jeans is all you need if you never attend a formal party.


P/S
It would be interesting if we can source some BJ cables and do a similar test again. I am not going to buy any given I already own better ones. :D But if someone in Toronto neighborhood is willing to "loan" some for testing purpose, it will be interesting. We can have a all BJ vs all Voodoo test session.
post #10 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
Prob need a better system to further "hear" the difference.
LOL... I agree. Spend an additional $20,000 on gear to make the cables sound better! :D
post #11 of 458
"Cocaine addiction is God's way of saying you make too much money."
-Robin Williams

"Expensive audio cable addiction is God's way of saying you make too much money."
-Whoaru99

Chorus
We been dancin' with Mr. Brownstone (substitute "expensive cables")
He's been knockin'
He won't leave me alone
No, no ,no, he won't leave me alone
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said the little better than before
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said the little better than before


- Song: Mr. Brownstone by Guns N' Roses.
post #12 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb

Next we compare between a Shunyata Taipan and Anaconda feeding the pre-pro. I thought the Anaconda sounds better than the Taipan but I cant pick it out when I do a very brief A/B test blind. We do agree either Shun is better than the Dh Labs.

If you cannot pick it out during a blind test, it is because the difference is not as profound as your brain is thinking it should be.
post #13 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
Also we test it on 2-channel only. When you mention calibrating, do you mean level matched ? If it does require calibration to level match when using different cable, isnt that a clear indication the cable interact with the equipment differently?
I guess I could agree with that to some extent. It would have to be something like using 2 pieces of solder compared to a piece of Gepco 61801ez.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
Thus "the system operation changed" and cable can make an audible difference ?
I think a better way of putting this is the system setup in general makes an audible difference. A well sounding system is more than just the cable used. Having expensive cables alone won't solve any acoustical problems or problems caused by poor setup. Also I may hear things differently that you or a third person. Using a persons ear as a measurement tool really isn't accurate. Not even close in my opinion. You would have to find 2 people with the exact same hearing ability to create somewhat of a good argument. Good luck with that.

I'm not arguing that you don't hear a difference. I just don't think you are stating anything that would remotely convince me of you point.
post #14 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davdev
If you cannot pick it out during a blind test, it is because the difference is not as profound as your brain is thinking it should be.
Agree and we address that issue. Thats why no jaw-dropping on that test.

But the difference between the Anaconda and Dh Labs is quite "dramatic".
Or its more like after switching the Ana back to the Dh that both Mikeyc and myself realize how much better it is with the Anaconda in place.

Also during the entire test, Jacintha's voice sound the best when both the Taipan and Anaconda is used to replace two Dh Labs.

The Dh Labs is a $200 cable ($100 if DIY). Its definitely an improvement over generic cord that comes with the $3k equipment (i.e decent gauge and no lamp cord) But the Shunyata are that much better (and more expensive unfortunately).
post #15 of 458
I see Blue Jeans has a new cable offering. It's a custom job from Belden....
post #16 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
Agree and we address that issue. Thats why no jaw-dropping on that test.

But the difference between the Anaconda and Dh Labs is quite "dramatic".
Or its more like after switching the Ana back to the Dh that both Mikeyc and myself realize how much better it is with the Anaconda in place.

Also during the entire test, Jacintha's voice sound the best when both the Taipan and Anaconda is used to replace two Dh Labs.

The Dh Labs is a $200 cable ($100 if DIY). Its definitely an improvement over generic cord that comes with the $3k equipment (i.e decent gauge and no lamp cord) But the Shunyata are that much better (and more expensive unfortunately).
What do these power cables do thatis different from a regular powercable?
post #17 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by indil377
What do these power cables do thatis different from a regular powercable?
Absolutely nothing, of course. All these tests are examples of the placebo effect. It is amazing what the brain is capable of convincing itself it "hears" when we tell ourselves to expect a difference.
post #18 of 458
post #19 of 458
Saying that changing the power cord will improve the quality of the electricity used by a component is like saying that using a better garden hose will improve the water. It is only possible if there is active filtering involved.
post #20 of 458
If a power cord filters AC and improves the DC output of the amp's power supply, then there is a problem with the amp's power supply. A better amp has a better power supply (or I wouldn't consider it better); therefore, expensive power cords with "filtering" etc. should show more improvement with cheap electronics that have poor power supplies.
post #21 of 458
I thought as much. Well, if anyone is interested I have beach front property in central Illinois for sale.
post #22 of 458
Thread Starter 
According to the Shunyata link above,

"Countless studios, from Pink Floyd's Astoria to James Guthrie, from Sony to Rick Rubin, have purchased the Anacondas in bunches. "

All these studios that bought Shunyata cable must either receive hugh kickback from Shunyata or they do believe/hear a difference in the Shunyata power cords.

Hmmm, so the argument that "Why NO pro-audio uses exotic cables" is no longer a valid argument.

Or maybe Shunyata sells it at cost ?? :)
post #23 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
According to the Shunyata link above,

"Countless studios, from Pink Floyd's Astoria to James Guthrie, from Sony to Rick Rubin, have purchased the Anacondas in bunches. "

All these studios that bought Shunyata cable must either receive hugh kickback from Shunyata or they do believe/hear a difference in the Shunyata power cords.

Hmmm, so the argument that "Why NO pro-audio uses exotic cables" is no longer a valid argument.

Or maybe Shunyata sells it at cost ?? :)
Or they got it for free? Or maybe they are sponsored by Shunyata?
post #24 of 458
Or maybe they just have several of everything out there. Or maybe they bought it and then returned it. Or maybe it's for show. We'll never know.
post #25 of 458
Thread Starter 
:)
Quote:
Originally Posted by indil377
Or they got it for free? Or maybe they are sponsored by Shunyata?
Read it again. It says "purchased". Its a straight quote from the Shunyata web site.

I can see your mind biased and think/suggest in the way to suit your belief. :)
post #26 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Or maybe they just have several of everything out there. Or maybe they bought it and then returned it. Or maybe it's for show. We'll never know.
Or Maybe they do believe/hear the difference and pay full retail since they can expense it. :D

Like you said, we'll never know. One can twist the story to suit whatever one wants to believe it.
post #27 of 458
LOL... and if 50Cent was shot with an AK47. So what? I gues that's the best automatic weapon. :)

They can afford whatever they want with their unlimited/expedible budget just like you.

Maybe you should change your username to "Pink Wongmb". ;)
post #28 of 458
And I've tried contacting people in those places but never get a reply. Might be easier for an insider.
post #29 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by wongmb
:)

Read it again. It says "purchased". Its a straight quote from the Shunyata web site.

I can see your mind biased and think/suggest in the way to suit your belief. :)
I did miss that but I don't think I'm biased at all. I could care less what power cables you want to use. It's your system so you're the one who it needs to please. I just wouldn't be convinced unless there was hard proof of performace. It would take more than a buddy's ears and someone famous using them.
post #30 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indil377
I did miss that but I don't think I'm biased at all. I could care less what power cables you want to use. It's your system so you're the one who it needs to please. I just wouldn't be convinced unless there was hard proof of performace. It would take more than a buddy's ears and someone famous using them.
Thats where the difference in the two camp comes from. I choose to believe my ears while some choose to rely on hard proof to tell them whats good or not.
Like you said, its "ME" that I need to please, not the guys who can/cannot proof it.
The hell with them. :)
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