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Directional arrow on cables

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Would this fall in snake oil? I have a number of cables of various types that have directional arrows. I’m calling BS and more snake oil. :smash:

Most cables are bullshit.  I have a close friend, and audiophile, who of course knows everything and is smarter about audio than any of us living persons.  After he gives his opinion on bit rate and htz settings and cables, I ask him to take the Scooter Challenge and tell me if he can identify the different files made with different cables and settings, and of course, he won't take the test.  Because I know there is no audio difference to most human ears

There is a practical reason for directional markings, but it's nothing to do with the cable itself considered in isolation.

An analog audio signal has alternating polarity, so in regards to the behavior of the cable itself, directional signal markers printed on the cable jacket are meaningless.  That is unless the cable was somehow designed to act as a rectifier, which is not what one would want nor how standard audio transmission operates. 

However, in a completed cable assembly such directional markings on the cable jacket can be helpful in indicating the orientation of the terminations, and thus the correct orientation of the cable with regards to the two pieces iof equipment it is connecting.  Consider a microphone cable.  Because microphones generally feature a male XLR output connector while preamplifier/recorder inputs feature a mating female XLR input connection, the directional markings can indicate the practical "directionality" of the cable from microphone to input.  This can be useful in setting things up under pressure.  Such as reducing the likelihood of making a mistake when laying out a long cable run only to discover it when proceeding to hook things up.

Thanks GB. The cables I’m using as an example for this post are speaker cables. The directional marker is therefore meaningless.  :shrug: my thread topic should have been clearer.

The same could apply with regards to different terminations at either end of the speaker cable (amp >>> speaker).  So directional markings in and of themselves on the cable jacket are not necessarily indicative of the tweaky audiophile BS some folks attribute to them.  But in regards to the signal passing through the cable itself, yeah, orientation if the cable itself won't matter.


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