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Author Topic: Audio Snake Oil  (Read 11842 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Audio Snake Oil
« on: August 01, 2015, 09:04:28 PM »
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/gallery-we-tear-apart-a-340-audiophile-ethernet-cable-and-look-inside/

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/340-audiophile-ethernet-cable-gets-a-marginal-pass-on-the-test-bench/

My favorite quote from the manufacturer:
Quote
DIRECTIONALITY: All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable. Arrows are clearly marked on the connectors to ensure superior sound quality. For best results have the arrow pointing in the direction of the flow of music. For example, NAS to Router, Router to Network Player.

 :facepalm:
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 10:26:30 AM by voltronic »
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Offline 108Ω

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 08:09:00 AM »
So, you say that if my vanity was driving me to spend $350 on an Ethernet cable for my digital audio gear, I could instead purchase a high quality cable for about $15 - $20 and donate the remaining $330 to Special Olympics or American Cancer Society?
I'd ultimately be a better person, and music will sound better because when you feel better about yourself, everything becomes more enjoyable.

It makes perfect sense to me.
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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 03:39:18 PM »
If you paid $350 for an ethernet cable for your high end rig, then your family should be allowed, by law, to give you a beat down.   :P

Offline voltronic

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 04:22:56 PM »
If you paid $350 for an ethernet cable for your high end rig, then your family should be allowed, by law, to give you a beat down.   :P

... Preferably using said cable.  Or you up the ante and use the pure-silver-conductor Diamond version which starts at ~$700 for 0.75m.
http://www.audioquest.com/ethernet/diamond
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Offline voltronic

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 04:49:21 PM »
It could be worse than an expensive cable.  I challenge you to make it all the way through this without screaming:
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/acousticsystem/resonators.html
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I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline voltronic

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 10:26:30 PM »
Yes I understand that principle, but you're talking about resonances that those instruments are capable of actually producing and / or influencing in your room.  For high frequencies, I could see this product having some kind of effect.  But the article would have us believe it can also violate the laws of physics.  Did you read the part that claimed those tiny resonators somehow were able to absorb / cancel the subwoofers' output?  There's no way those things with relatively very high resonant frequency can influence such comparatively huge wavelengths and low frequencies in any significant way.  The simple explanation for what was heard in that part of the rest is that someone swapped the polarity on one speaker.  Or the little cups are magical.
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I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 10:36:56 PM »
Yes I understand that principle, but you're talking about resonances that those instruments are capable of actually producing and / or influencing in your room.  For high frequencies, I could see this product having some kind of effect.  But the article would have us believe it can also violate the laws of physics.  Did you read the part that claimed those tiny resonators somehow were able to absorb / cancel the subwoofers' output?  There's no way those things with relatively very high resonant frequency can influence such comparatively huge wavelengths and low frequencies in any significant way.  The simple explanation for what was heard in that part of the rest is that someone swapped the polarity on one speaker.  Or the little cups are magical.

I love the resonator in the car...  Like its going to make a difference when your car produces a ton of road-noise!  I think my pine tree smelly thing does an equally good of a job making the music sound better!  LOL!

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2015, 09:49:00 AM »
Placing a properly tuned resonant system in a room can counteract a resonant acoustic energy mode, making the room response flatter and more accurate.  That's how Helmholtz cavity resonators and resonant panel bass traps function.  But those kinds of devices are built to work at specific frequency ranges with rather narrow bandwidths and only work properly when tailored to suit the specific resonant problem.   Measurements are required and well understood acoustic engineering principles apply.  Of course no one is even attempting to measure those silly little magic cups or use them in any kind of reputable way, although they could be measured to determine their actual acoustic behavior. Like voltronic notes, those tiny cups will be physically incapable of having any affect below a very high frequency range due to the length of the wavelengths involved.

There are two small helmholtz chamber resonators molded into the plastic intake system of my Mazda which aren't that much larger than that little trophy-cup thing pictured on the dash.  Of course they are accurately sized and placed in the intake to counter buzzy acoustic intake resonances (or alternately, the Mazda design engineers may have placed them there to enhance certain cool-sounding 'vroom-vroom' resonances).

Terry, those pine-tree air fresheners make the RepoMan soundtrack sound incredible!
Just ask Miller- "There's one in every car, you'll see"
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2015, 10:00:41 AM »
How 'bout some magic pebbles to go with yer fancy ethernet cables and resonators? (No affiliation!) > http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

If you like those, there's also a bridge I can sell you. ;)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2015, 10:08:21 AM »
If you like those, there's also a bridge I can sell you. ;)

Tacoma narrows?  That was an unfortunately well-tuned sympathetic resonant system.. obviously suffering from the lack of a few well-tweaked tiny metal cups and pine-tree air-fresheners.
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Offline jlykos

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 10:31:38 AM »
I'm more of a believer in fancy cabling than most in this forum, but even I draw the line at a $350 ethernet cable. As long as the connectors are secure and the cable is rated highly enough to do the job, it's good with me.

If you really want a hoot, check out the Synergistic Research website. How that company remains profitable is a direct testament to the immense purchasing power of gullible audiophiles who seek solutions for problems that do not exist.
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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2015, 08:30:52 AM »
Shun Mook


This is "messy" by design, ^^.  All of the paper, and boxes, everything, are all forms of room tunings.



These is not enough money in the world that would have me put my turntables in front of the speakers. But, they've got some gigantically intense gear; so who am I to question.

A lot of followers use bird nesting boxes, instead of fiddles.


And round mpingo (ebony) discs are really popular; the essence of Shun Mook.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=shun+mook&go=Submit&qs=n&form=QBILPG&pq=shun+mook&sc=8-9&sp=-1&sk=
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 08:48:37 AM by m0k3 »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2015, 08:59:14 AM »
There are actual resonant acoustic principles at play.  But as usual, without really understanding how those principles function and applying them correctly (which requires accurate measurement beforehand to design them correctly, and confirmation measurements afterwards), its mostly a bunch of woo woo.  Here's some helmholtz resonators, and the following post will show some panel resonators..







« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 04:58:10 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2015, 08:59:48 AM »
Counter-example of a truly useful, well-engineered, understood, intelligently applied "resonant panel audio enhancement device"-

« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 04:58:48 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: $350 ethernet cable - teardown and bench test
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 09:01:40 AM »
:o

I thought Shun Mook just made the little magic discs; I had no idea the craziness went this far.

Check out this quote from their website:
Quote
A simple test by yourself or your clients is to hold the disc with the Chinese logo up or down in one’s palm and feel the weight. Flip the disc over and weigh it the other way, you will feel the logo side down is heavier then the other way.  Why?
This is crazy, nothing is added, same disc.  There is an energy flowing through the disc to your palm that is enhanced within the ebony.  The energy from your palm is the aura of your body that is reacting to the disc energy.

For a male human the aura flows out of your left hand and flow towards your right hand, while for a female its the other way around.  The disc is not as simple as it looks and there is a complex process involved in the making of it.

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- Gustav Mahler

 

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