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post #61 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spec1alk View Post
I typically do. My speaker wires I bought and ran the cable myself in the walls and then installed the banana plug ends myself. I also make my own RG6 cables and such. I suppose I should look into making my own RCA cables. I just didn't think about that. Will look into it and let you know how it goes.
Good for you! It gets very expensive to buy cables, I have saved lots of money just buying in bulk and installing the connectors myself but the cable companies, have the machine and technics that fit them perfectly and look much better than mine.
Audioquest would charge me $50 per banana connector if I want to install new banana connectors to my Audioquest Audiotruth old speaker cable. That would be 8x $50 = $400 plus tax plus shipping
Guess what? I installed the banana connectors my self.
I hope you get very good results.

Jolida Fusion 801 70 watt tube Integrated amp, Nakamichi PA-7 Stasis 200 watt amp, Nakamichi CA-5 preamp, California Audio Labs Alpha DAC & Delta CD Transport, 20 TB PC computer for 24/96 files, Rega Planar 3 Turntable, Sennheiser HD650 headphones, Schiit Valhalla tube headphone amp, Audioquest speaker cables & interconnects, Cardas interconnects and speakers cable and speakers Kimber 4VS cable.

Last edited by isai95; 11-25-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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post #62 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Interestingly by my read the manufacturer's ad makes no claims regarding superior sound, just high quality parts/construction and very pure signal transfer (the latter nearly all cables provide assuming they meet certain, easy to attain electrical properties).
That's the point, they cannot guaranty that you would listen to the properties of the cable. If you cannot hear or perceive sound stage, depth, space, brightness, balance, etc. you are correct, better get the $10 lamp wire, that cable is not for you. But me, just by looking a the cable and the description of the cable I can have an idea of how that cable sounds in comparison with other cables. It is really what you are capable of discern with your own ears.
That's why there are many engineers who say that all cables sound the same and many others that say that all cables sound different. How could this be? It really makes sense! If you cannot hear it, it does not exists for you, plain and simple! There is nothing wrong with that though.
Both positions are correct.

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post #63 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by isai95 View Post
If you cannot hear or perceive sound stage, depth, space, brightness, balance, etc. you are correct, better get the $10 lamp wire, that cable is not for you. But me, just by looking a the cable and the description of the cable I can have an idea of how that cable sounds in comparison with other cables.
Tell us, how is the sound of this cable's sound stage?
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post #64 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by spec1alk View Post
I am curious what represents the best value for speaker cable and interconnects?
A great question. It's a difficult field to navigate for new people in audio. I can tell you in my decades working professionally as a high end audio dealer I saw so much deception and snake oil it was hard to sort out what's real and what's not.

This HAA and ISF certified electrical engineer, who works specifically in professionally testing audio gear, gives his "ten top signs" in this article:

- Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil

Excerpt from it:

"The audio industry is full of hype with the most nonsense surrounding the simplest component of the A/V chain - interconnects and speaker cables. Because there are often very little measurable and audible differences between cables, many of the exotic cable vendors use psuedo junk science to differentiate their products from their competitors. These vendors often prey upon the suggestible audiophile giving them reasons why these products must be utilized in their precious systems in order to achieve the best performance possible to reach the true path of audio nirvana."

I don't always agree with everything this guy says but he often makes some good points.
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post #65 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Tell us, how is the sound of this cable's sound stage?
I'd guess it is much narrower or none existing at all compared to a more high performance cable. The sound stage must have width, depth and height. I have not auditioned this cable.

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post #66 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 12:17 PM
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Read about the terminology how to describe sound here:
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/des...lossary.12328/

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post #67 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by isai95 View Post
Read about the terminology how to describe sound here:
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/des...lossary.12328/

Reads like a marketer's bible.
(I was going to type "sounds", but changed to "reads". I didn't want to joke or pun)


EDIT:
This one should be taken seriously:
"Wet - A reverberant sound, something with decay. Opposite of Dry."
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post #68 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 01:46 PM
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If you guys have really high end resolving and revealing audio components, I challenge you to listen to a high end performance speaker cable for a couple of weeks and then switch back to your $10 lamp wire and I'll bet you would not want to go back to that crappy sound of the $10 lamp wire horrible sound. Unless you cannot tell a part a fly from a mosquito noise, or a violin from a viola. If you still did not find any difference at all, return the high performance speaker cable and keep your $10 lamp wire. My guess is that you have to be deaf or you don't have any sense of awareness of things going on around you or in front of you.
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post #69 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 01:54 PM
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Here is a recent article that discusses speaker cables and includes some blind testing:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/th...speaker-cable/

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post #70 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
... Is there some mechanism which might make people think they hear things which their ears actually don't?
Yes, of course.
Subconscious bias and placebo effects.
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post #71 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:06 PM
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Unless you cannot tell a part a fly from a mosquito noise, or a violin from a viola.
Funny you should bring this up. I know I was skeptical at first but later discovered I have a good enough ear to distinguish a Stradivarius violin from a $15K modern design made by a world class luthier, under double blind conditions.
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post #72 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
Here is a recent article that discusses speaker cables and includes some blind testing:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/th...speaker-cable/
Thanks for the link.
Yes, it seems it was a single blind test. No stats were given. Wonder what outcome a real DBT would show.
Fred Davis has an AES Journal paper, 1991, that shows capacitance doesn't seem to affect frequency response at all, or hardly and the listed value in the link are very close to matter.
Yes, I am familiar with Butterworth. He has written a number of articles in the past.

Here is that paper in a magazine a few years later:
https://acmebass.com/archive_files/m...ty_07-1993.pdf
page 4 under Capacitance. Least effect.

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post #73 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by isai95 View Post
I challenge you to listen to a high end performance speaker cable for a couple of weeks and then switch back to your $10 lamp wire and I'll bet you would not want to go back to that crappy sound of the $10 lamp wire horrible sound.
I did... no difference. Got a refund.



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post #74 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Funny you should bring this up. I know I was skeptical at first but later discovered I have a good enough ear to distinguish a Stradivarius violin from a $15K modern design made by a world class luthier, under double blind conditions.
Well, professional violinists cannot tell the difference:

https://www.discovermagazine.com/the...s#.WtO3BYjwZhE

And then we worry about speaker cables?
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post #75 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:25 PM
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Funny you should bring this up. I know I was skeptical at first but later discovered I have a good enough ear to distinguish a Stradivarius violin from a $15K modern design made by a world class luthier, under double blind conditions.
Well, this is the whole point that you amazed yourself of the things that you were not aware exited. A good recording has lots of stuff that gets easily overseen but if you have a way to extract those sounds to a discerning level of awareness, then it is a very nice experience.

Just the fact that now you may realize that with better performance speakers cables you can listen for hours without getting irritated, neck muscle pain, head age, you can listen to better volumes without being offended or pushed away, or simply getting fatigue or anxious due to brightness of the music.

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post #76 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by isai95 View Post
... I challenge you to listen to a high end performance speaker cable for a couple of weeks and then switch back to your $10 lamp wire and I'll bet you would not want to go back to that crappy sound of the $10 lamp wire horrible sound. ....
Well, that shows how worthless long term listening is from experts.
Memory for small differences is gone in a few second, shown by researchers.
You should dwell into the science of psychoacoustics instead of just guessing about things and be fooled by subconscious bias, placebo and the brains need to show differences.
Oh well.
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post #77 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:31 PM
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An expensive, good looking speaker wire can perform aural miracles as long as one has good speakers, amps and good hearing.

(so they say)
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #78 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:33 PM
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I did... no difference. Got a refund.
Were you listening to mp3 @ 128kb, 24/96 Wave files, LP or R2R original tapes?
If you cannot tell any difference, is like eating without being hungry, anything tastes the same.

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post #79 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:41 PM
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If you cannot tell any difference, is like eating without being hungry.
What?
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Save your money.
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post #80 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:46 PM
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Were you listening to mp3 @ 128kb, 24/96 Wave files, LP or R2R original tapes?
If you cannot tell any difference, is like eating without being hungry, anything tastes the same.
No,
CD/LP/DVD primarily.



Speaker wires don't make or create sound.



If YOU can hear a difference. Enjoy.

Dinner time!
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post #81 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:47 PM
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I did... no difference. Got a refund.
Same result. I owned a recording studio and cables were costing me an arm and leg. However, I was told I "needed" to get certain brands as it would give me superior audio quality throughout my chains. Went from multi channel snakes costing $400 to $40 and audio quality remained the same! I know this is about 2 channel audio but the concept is the same.

However, there is a difference in build quality where some cables are not as durable. There is also a difference between gauge size, digital cables, shielded, non-shielded, conductor material, etc. But an expensive cable vs a cheap cable with the same specs=same results.

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post #82 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:48 PM
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Well, professional violinists cannot tell the difference.
That's because their switching methodology put a gigantic pause between exposures. As you know echoic memory fades tremendously after just 4 seconds.

I wrote the researcher Claudia Fritz about this but she never wrote me back. C'est la vie.
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post #83 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 02:57 PM
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Well, this is the whole point that you amazed yourself of the things that you were not aware exited. A good recording has lots of stuff that gets easily overseen but if you have a way to extract those sounds to a discerning level of awareness, then it is a very nice experience.

Just the fact that now you may realize that with better performance speakers cables you can listen for hours without getting irritated, neck muscle pain, head age, you can listen to better volumes without being offended or pushed away, or simply getting fatigue or anxious due to brightness of the music.
I disagree that there will be audible distinctions using adequate gauge wires under controlled conditions. I've tested this on people including an audiophile recording engineer, who was confident he could hear a difference pre-test, but my testing found he couldn't, so it would seem to me it was all just his imagination.
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post #84 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
But an expensive cable vs a cheap cable with the same specs=same results.
Just to clarify:
expensive vs. inexpensive (not cheap)
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post #85 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by isai95 View Post
The sound stage must have width, depth and height.
Your requirement is only for three dimensions!



You obviously haven't tried STC cables, they provide sound in all four dimensions. Only those with a discerning ear can tell the difference, transcendent!
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post #86 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 07:50 PM
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I found a paper written by Nelson Pass back in 1980 on speaker cables. He talked about the SERIES IMPEDANCE of the cable and show how the series impedance rise with frequency. He also talk about damping factor. These are things I have been talking about and people hear laughed it off.
https://www.passlabs.com/press/speak...e-or-snake-oil


What he said was Low inductance speaker cable matter if
1) Amps have very low output impedance at higher frequency. That is high damping factor at say 20KHz.
2) That the amps has to be stable driving the low inductance cable that have high capacitance.
2) Speakers that presents low impedance at higher frequency.

Problem using Low Inductance cable is Most amps are NOT stable using low inductance cable because they are very high capacitance. His Threshold amps are NOT stable and blew fuses, singing wild, sound change due to instability of the amp. The way he used is from Polk that use a capacitor resistor network terminate at the speaker end.

Problem with his paper is their amps are not stable with low inductance cable, they had to use termination network on the speaker end to tame the amp. This is a bandage fix and can affect the sound. I design ( I am sure other people also) amps that are STABLE with high capacitance load to 20,000pF without any help. I design ( again other people also) amps with damping factor over 1000 at 20KHz. With stable amp and high damping factor at high frequency, the low inductance speaker cables really shine.

I have been talking about my Nakamichi PA-7 is not stable and sound strange with my low inductance cable, Nelson Pass admitted that in his paper. I understand that was 40 years ago, electronics has gone through quantum leaps, we know things he had no idea. Taming amps with high capacitance load is NOT that hard. Also, he went into RF termination........ Let's just say, he did NOT know RF.

In his conclusion, he said he could hear the difference. But you have to take into consideration that he used band-aid to tame the amps and that will change the sound and it's not a fair comparison. The low inductance cable was not being judge fairly. I am using amps that are designed to be stable with those cables and with very high damping factor at 20KHz, it's a totally different story from him and the low inductance speaker cables shine. What I have been doing and talking is really a continuation of what he said with the benefit of 40 years of modern knowledge. But I am still surprised how many amp designers have NO KNOWLEDGE in designing and taming their amps..........It's NOT that hard!!!


I will post excerpts of his papers with my comments. This is long enough already. Also, that gets very technical. So I just keep this post as comments and in English.

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post #87 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 07:57 PM
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He talked about the SERIES IMPEDANCE of the cable and show how the series impedance rise with frequency. He also talk about damping factor. These are things I have been talking about and people hear laughed it off.
I must have missed them. Please quote what posts laughed off impedance and/or damping factor. Thanks.
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post #88 of 349 Old 11-25-2019, 08:05 PM
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These are excerpts of Nelson Pass's paper. I made my comments in BLUE color. This gets very technical, that's the reason I put it in separate post.

PAGE 2....................I tested a 10 foot sample of each cable type using the Fig. 3 setup. I drove the cable by a high source impedance and measured the voltage across it, showing its series impedance. This voltage, referenced to a 0.1 ohm non-inductive resistor and measured from DC to 100kHz, clearly shows the cable impedance's resistive and inductive components (Fig. 4). For the twin lead types, inductive and "skin effect" (an additional high frequency resistance effect) components begin to show up at about 1kHz; they increase the impedance, causing high frequency loss in addition to the cable's resistive losses. Interestingly, all the twin lead types have similar cable inductance values, approximately 2uH per 10 feet, and in the region just above the audio spectrum they are nearly identical. Fig.4 shows below 20kHz they fan out to their respective resistance values. The lightest wire, #24, clearly has the most loss, while Fulton cable has the least...........................

PAGE 3............The existing literature covers the subject quite well. However, I think you will find it useful if I briefly touch on the effects of this series impedance as it relates to frequency response and damping factor 4, 5, and 6.The performance context lies also in the amplifier's source impedance and the loudspeaker's load impedance. The system's performance will depend on the complex sum of the impedances involved:

Z source + Z connections + Z cable + Z load
I have been talking about these impedance forms a voltage divider effect that cause not only amplitude change, also phase change due to the complex impedance.

The speaker has generally been designed to be driven by a voltage source, so our ideal premise requires source and cable impedance to be very small compared to speaker impedance. In this case, the speaker's design dominates the performance as intended so the variations in the loudspeaker's impedance do not interact to produce frequency response deviations. Fig. 5 gives an example of such a case, where the aberration is relatively minor; however, Fig. 6 shows the effects with one particular loudspeaker (which really exists) where the deviation is dramatic.
Just as the cables have an inductive element, so do the amplifiers which drive them.

In tube amplifiers the output transformers provide the inductance whereas in most solid state designs the designer has deliberately provided inductance in the form of a coil for added circuit frequency stability. The reason that damping factor (8ohm/output Z) has been traditionally quoted at low frequencies is not only because much of our interest in damping centers on the woofer, but also because this coil destroys the damping factor at high frequencies. In fact, examples exist of solid state amplifiers which quote damping factors of 500 or greater at 20Hz but which have damping factors on the order of 15 at 20kHz. More recently a few designs (Threshold, Audio Research, Yamaha) have dispensed with output coils, giving them more constant damping factors across the audio band. The new IHF test standards call for measurement of damping factor at all audio frequencies.
This explain low inductance cable does not help the sound as the output inductance of the amps are very high and damping factor at high frequency is very low even they spec high damping factor.

PAGE 4..................... the advent of wide bandwidth power amplifiers has demonstrated other new effects; several amplifier designs (stable with reactive loads such as capacitors) oscillate into low inductance cables with a variety of results. Threshold Stax, and Electro- Research designs behave violently, while others acquire oscillation-caused colorations, usually either a hard, etched, high end or warmth and thickness in the vocal range (due to low order intermodulation sidebands and harmonics)..................
He talked about how they had problem keeping their amps stable. They just don't know how to tame their amps. You'd be surprised how many of those amp designers don't really know electronics. They just pick a circuit, change a little here and there and call it their own. There are only very few topology used in all the amps, you read enough circuit diagrams, you can tell right away what topology. My suspicion is they blind copy and don't really know the circuit.

PAGE 4.......................... as amplifier output stages increased in bandwidth beyond 5MHz, the two effects met and resulted in various forms of sonic problems, fuse blowing, and worse. At Threshold we first ran across the problem with the mating of our 400A and Polk sound cables which caused fuse blowing (due to oscillatory cross-current conduction) with great regularity.
He talked about their amps have sonic problem with those low inductance cables when their amps are at the edge of instability.

After a period of confusion, Matt Polk and I realized independently that the lack of a characteristic termination was causing the problem. Polk developed and patented a "damper" consisting of a .047uF capacitor and 6 ohm resistor in series placed across the loudspeaker, while I used the same network but with .1uF and 5 ohms. The results of this network are seen in Fig. 8 where the resonance in the pulsed waveform is damped out, restoring stability to an otherwise oscillating amplifier. .....................
Here they use band-aid to fix the problem, The right way to do is to design the amp to be stable without external help.

PAGE 5..............Frankly, I found it difficult to assess the results except at the extremes of performance. For 10 foot lengths with properly terminated cables and speakers with inductive high frequency characteristics, the differences between low inductance cable and twin conductor are extremely subtle and subject to question. With a low output inductance amplifier and a Heil tweeter (whose impedance is a nearly perfect 6ohm resistive) the difference was discernible as a slightly but not unpleasant softening of the highest frequencies
His judgement on the sound. But as I said, if the amp is designed to be stable from ground up, result is going to be a lot better as I have experience. It's quite a big difference.

Speaker cables matter when you have the right amp and speakers. You just have to know what you are doing. It will not help if the amp is just not up to par or the speaker is easy to drive. But this is a given, if you don't have good component, you might as well use lamp cord.

If you have a high end amp with a lot of big output transistors ( key to have high damping factor at high frequency), and you drive a hard to drive speaker, then the low inductance cable really shines.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.

Last edited by alan0354; 11-26-2019 at 03:29 AM.
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post #89 of 349 Old 11-26-2019, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
Same result.
I agree 100% with you! I just saw the components on your signature and honestly, those components are not that revealing at all. I wondered why you did not hear, feel or perceived any difference at all. Even the ones that I have, that I consider better sound quality than those on your signature are not that revealing. Video gear are not the same as pure audio only gear unless they are very expensive and refined components costing thousands of dollars and again video recordings are not that good in sound, no point of making really high end video sound gear.

When I say that I can hear "big differences" in speakers cables I'm talking about really expensive gear in the $5K ~ $10K or more per unit, say a $7K turntable, a $7K ~ $10K amp, a $7K DAC, a $5K ~ $10K pair of speakers, etc.

Only then, we can start discussing how a $15K speaker cable may sound, even then I think it will be a waste of money, because the components still may not be on pair with the speaker cable quality, that will be more suitable for a $150K audio setup.

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I owned a recording studio and cables were costing me an arm and leg. However, I was told I "needed" to get certain brands as it would give me superior audio quality throughout my chains. Went from multi channel snakes costing $400 to $40 and audio quality remained the same! I know this is about 2 channel audio but the concept is the same.
I really perceive even small differences from a $400 vs a $40 speaker cable, like brightness and balance.

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However, there is a difference in build quality where some cables are not as durable. There is also a difference between gauge size, digital cables, shielded, non-shielded, conductor material, etc. But an expensive cable vs a cheap cable with the same specs=same results.
Materials are the ones that make a whole world of difference!

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YMMV...Your Pockets May Too
I don't care about the money as long as I'm pleased with the sound quality.
I pay $50 ~ $100 for a tube in a sec. I don't have a wife to ask for her OK.

Jolida Fusion 801 70 watt tube Integrated amp, Nakamichi PA-7 Stasis 200 watt amp, Nakamichi CA-5 preamp, California Audio Labs Alpha DAC & Delta CD Transport, 20 TB PC computer for 24/96 files, Rega Planar 3 Turntable, Sennheiser HD650 headphones, Schiit Valhalla tube headphone amp, Audioquest speaker cables & interconnects, Cardas interconnects and speakers cable and speakers Kimber 4VS cable.

Last edited by isai95; 11-26-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
That's because their switching methodology put a gigantic pause between exposures. As you know echoic memory fades tremendously after just 4 seconds.
I still remember back in the 90s the wonderful experience of auditioning the B&W 805 Matrix powered by a Threshold Stasis SA/12e 250 watt class A mono block. Particularly the sound of the drums were very impressive. I have never heard again such a beautiful sound presentation.

Jolida Fusion 801 70 watt tube Integrated amp, Nakamichi PA-7 Stasis 200 watt amp, Nakamichi CA-5 preamp, California Audio Labs Alpha DAC & Delta CD Transport, 20 TB PC computer for 24/96 files, Rega Planar 3 Turntable, Sennheiser HD650 headphones, Schiit Valhalla tube headphone amp, Audioquest speaker cables & interconnects, Cardas interconnects and speakers cable and speakers Kimber 4VS cable.
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