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Author Topic: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout  (Read 14369 times)

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Offline datbrad

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http://www.stereophile.com/content/funk-audio-and-friends

Not an actual product review, just a mention about the use of Luminous Audio Technology cables, but we'll take it.

AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Beyer M201>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD561 (Oade CMOD)

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 04:36:50 PM »
care to provide a sample rca>rca pair for a ABX type comp?

I suspect noone could here could demonstrate that they can hear a difference.

Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline datbrad

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 05:41:32 PM »
care to provide a sample rca>rca pair for a ABX type comp?

I suspect noone could here could demonstrate that they can hear a difference.

Anyone here that when shopping stereo components typically considers brands like Canary Audio, Conrad-Johnson, Audio Note, Mark Levinson, etc., will tell you cables make a difference. I expect better cables rarely are able to make an inexpensive stereo sound good, however.

Hi-Fi AV Supplies in Brooklyn is our authorized dealer for the City, but they usually only special order. You can give them a call and check, they may use some of our cables in their showroom systems that you can audition. (212)-219-3352
AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Beyer M201>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD561 (Oade CMOD)

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 05:57:42 PM »
care to provide a sample rca>rca pair for a ABX type comp?

I suspect noone could here could demonstrate that they can hear a difference.

Anyone here that when shopping stereo components typically considers brands like Canary Audio, Conrad-Johnson, Audio Note, Mark Levinson, etc., will tell you cables make a difference. I expect better cables rarely are able to make an inexpensive stereo sound good, however.

[/quote

So anyone here that typically considers overpriced cables will tell you that cables make a difference. Wow.

While admittedly there are bad cable companies. (Monster, Hosa) once you get into Canare, Belden, Gepco, Mogami levels I doubt if you can find a measurable difference.

Show me spec sheets, show me blind ABX comparisons.

You know, science and engineering.
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »
I have a fancy stereo. Eminant Fidelity loudspeakers, Marantz Monoblocks, Musical Fidelity Dac and headphone amp, akg k701 headphones, etc.

I'm an audiophile who cares about sound quality. If you want to sell people like me cables (and this thread likely belongs in "retail space") you should be willing to demonstrate, through science, that your product sounds better than standard quality cable.

Show me the ABX results.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 09:17:52 PM »
I edited my post and will only say one thing do your research  before spending money on a cable and ask about a money back guarentee if you are not happy.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 12:50:33 AM by Church-Audio »
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Offline Numpy

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 09:42:19 PM »
Bwah-hah-hah-hah !

My 1/4 inch annealed copper tubing filled with internal-damping clam juice speaker cables will out perform anything out there.


Stereophile lost so very much when Julian Hirsch passed.


Please consider that more than one brand of very expensive cables introduces artifacts into otherwise wonderful systems by relying on the skin effect, thus driving the desired audio signal closer to external noise sources on the conductor's outer edge.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 09:53:47 PM by Sharknado »
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 10:53:20 PM »
Julian Hirsch was Stereo Review.

Perhaps you mean J. Gordon Holt?

now, the passive preamps sound like a good idea for a reasonable price: http://www.luminousaudio.com/axiom2.html
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 10:56:49 PM by noahbickart »
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 12:14:59 AM »

I would have agreed with you 100% and been the first to call bullshit on aftermarket power cables.

Then I tried one and it made a dramatic difference in my system.  I used to have a low level hum/hiss in my system that a power conditioner reduced but could not get rid of.  A friend offered me his Sablon Audio Uber Robusto power cable to try for a week.

It completely removed the hum and hiss to the point that I couldn't even tell my amp was on or off if I wasn't looking at it.  Dead quiet.

So power cables can help in ways you may not have thought of
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 06:24:57 AM by scb »

Offline datbrad

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2013, 12:44:58 AM »
I'm one of the biggest cynics here, hell I still think Schoeps are over priced... ;)

I am not nearly as qualified as the folks that write up audiophile products, so if you want, check the links I added at the bottom of this thread: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=164818.0
AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Beyer M201>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD561 (Oade CMOD)

Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2013, 09:26:31 AM »
I'll also add this:

A few years ago, I switched speaker cables but said nothing at all to my girlfriend about it (she was at work when I did it so she had no idea).

Within minutes of turning on the stereo, she asked "why does the music sound clearer?"

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 10:53:58 AM »
The question isn't whether you can hear the difference between product a and product b, but why you hear the difference.

1. Power. If a cable has a short, or bad ground it can cause an issue. A new 10 dollar cable will sound much better.

2. Speaker cable. The primary difference with speaker cables is gauge. A 14 gauge cable will sound better than a 20 AWG cable. You get the advantage spending less than $1 a foot.

My basic question is this. "Can you measure any difference between a $500 well built power cable and a $15 well built power cable"

independent double blind testing and bench testing has consistently said no.

The same goes for speaker cable. Given the same gauge speaker cable, can you measure a difference?

All of the reviews listed above use subjective reviews, on sites that sell advertising to the same companies that are selling overpriced gear.

This thread collects many different audio comparisons discussing methodology.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths
Busman BSC1, AT853 (O,C),KAM i2 Chuck Mod (C), Nak 300 (C),
M10, UA-5, US-1800, Presonus Firepod

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Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 11:00:20 AM »
1. Power. If a cable has a short, or bad ground it can cause an issue. A new 10 dollar cable will sound much better.

I tried many "new 10 dollar power cables" that did not get rid of the low level noise in my system.

I never in a million years thought the Sablon cable would be any different. I was wrong. I have no idea why or how, but frankly I don't care. All I know is that it was an obvious improvement that I could have easily measured if I had wanted to by simply putting my microphones in front of the speakers and recording the old hum.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 01:09:19 PM »
Buyer and listener psychological arguments aside, to my way of thinking everyone engaged in cable arguments are usually right, but for the wrong reasons drawing incorrect conclusions.  I'm talking in generalities here, and not specifically about anyone posting in these threads.  No offense meant.

The need for something more exotic than well-constructed cables (power, interconnect, speaker, whatever) with acceptable measurable attributes of resistance, capacitance, inductance, and interference rejection for the intended application is undoubtedly real and differences audible.  However, what that really indicates to me is not some magical, immeasurable quality imparted by what should be a character-less piece of wire doing a simple job of transferring signal, power or both, but either a defect or design failure of the equipment to which it is connected.  It's 2013 and there is no longer any excuse not to get the damn electrical engineering right so that exotic cables won't matter anymore! (except for the important social/psychological/marketing/branding aspects, which will always matter for reasons other than audibility of course)
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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 04:38:14 PM »
Ideally, the DAC is located within a few inches of the speaker.

The logical conclusion.

[partly related off topic aside]
Why do none of the pro-quality active monitor systems include wireless or even wired ethernet signal routing (at least those more serious than small ipod life-style speakers, outdoor background sound, and surround speakers) when they often are digitally linked via ethernet for control?  Unsynced packet timing?  One can buy a fancy ethernet controlled set of professional monitors and subwoofer which comunicate with each other over ethernet, but all of them I'm aware of lack the ability to distrubute the audio over the same network. They all require either analog routing or a seperate AES/SPDIF cable run to each speaker.  Applies to all the current pro 'digitally linked' active monitor solutions I'm aware of- JBL, Genelec, Dynaudio, what have you.  Cobranet and other large format systems can do it over an ethernet link, why not any of these small sytems?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 05:12:53 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline DigiGal

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2013, 05:08:10 PM »
1. Power. If a cable has a short, or bad ground it can cause an issue. A new 10 dollar cable will sound much better.

I tried many "new 10 dollar power cables" that did not get rid of the low level noise in my system.

I never in a million years thought the Sablon cable would be any different. I was wrong. I have no idea why or how, but frankly I don't care. All I know is that it was an obvious improvement that I could have easily measured if I had wanted to by simply putting my microphones in front of the speakers and recording the old hum.

GOOD GRIEF - exotic $675.00 power cables are not necessary to achieve clean audio, no matter what the claims or testimonials would have you believe so buyer beware!  :facepalm:

I'll recommend seeking out a excellent technical reference paper titled, "Noise Susceptibility in Analog and Digital Signal Processing Systems" by Neil A. Muncy.  It is available from the AES E-Library and was originally presented at the 97th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, San Francisco, CA, 1994 November 10-13; revised 1995 April 13.  http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=7945
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 05:11:17 PM by DigiGal »
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Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 05:24:28 PM »
1. I never said I spent $675 on anything
2. You can tell me you think I'm lying all you want, but it's not going to change the fact that a power cable made a dramatic effect on my system

Offline DigiGal

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2013, 05:46:04 PM »
1. I never said I spent $675 on anything
2. You can tell me you think I'm lying all you want, but it's not going to change the fact that a power cable made a dramatic effect on my system

No offense intended to you and my apologies if that is how I came across to you.  I am not implying that you are lying or stating that changing a power cable did not make a dramatic difference for your system.  I am presenting a counter point that achieving clean audio does not require exotic power cables.  Of course quality cables are important but there is a point of diminished return(s) and there are a lot of overpriced cables out there. 

You never stated what was spent on the cable, I am specifically referencing a price taken from here http://sablonaudio.com/index.php/robusto "Pricing Model  In the best interests of transparency and providing value to end users, we have adopted an internet direct sales model, with pricing being inclusive of expedited worldwide shipping by UPS and paypal commission. Robusto is priced at $675 per 5ft length with USA plug / 15amp IEC. We offer a further 10% discount for multiple / subsequent purchases. Please contact us for pricing on different lengths / terminations."



I would have agreed with you 100% and been the first to call bullshit on aftermarket power cables.

Then I tried one and it made a dramatic difference in my system.  I used to have a low level hum/hiss in my system that a power conditioner reduced but could not get rid of.  A friend offered me his Sablon Audio Uber Robusto power cable to try for a week.

It completely removed the hum and hiss to the point that I couldn't even tell my amp was on or off if I wasn't looking at it.  Dead quiet.

So power cables can help in ways you may not have thought of
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 06:21:11 PM by DigiGal »
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2013, 07:41:25 PM »
No offense intended to you and my apologies if that is how I came across to you.  I am not implying that you are lying or stating that changing a power cable did not make a dramatic difference for your system.  I am presenting a counter point that achieving clean audio does not require exotic power cables.  Of course quality cables are important but there is a point of diminished return(s) and there are a lot of overpriced cables out there. 

I should have added a :) to my post

Offline anr

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2013, 03:33:40 AM »
I had to smile at this;

Quote
The very flexible, hand-assembled Synchestra Silver Reference interconnect is made up of high quality/purity 22-gauge solid-core five 9s silver conductors coated with military specification virgin Teflon to prevent oxidization of the conductors.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/luminous2/synchestra.html


In the 70s, repairing Main Servos in our helicopters was a routine job (still is).  You'd order up the individual servos from stores, made by Honeywell, and they'd have four 50 foot lengths of teflon coated silver cable attached.  Our Main Servos only needed about 18", so 4 x 48 foot was going spare, on a regular basis.  The queues of audio buffs lurking around the avionics workshop waste bins was a sight to behold!


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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2013, 06:30:45 AM »
No offense intended to you and my apologies if that is how I came across to you.  I am not implying that you are lying or stating that changing a power cable did not make a dramatic difference for your system.  I am presenting a counter point that achieving clean audio does not require exotic power cables.  Of course quality cables are important but there is a point of diminished return(s) and there are a lot of overpriced cables out there. 

I should have added a :) to my post
The reason why most people are having a hard time believing some of the claims your making about your power cable is pretty simple. Some of what your saying about a power cable just can't be true. for example a reduced hiss. It's impossible for a cable to do that. Now if your other cheaper euro cables had a weak ground connection and because of that you had a weak signal ground from component to component maybe. but you certainly don't need to spend big bucks to fix that problem you simply need a low resistance cable and connectors. I suspect that is the real issue especially with an unbalanced audio system. the other issue is how does one compare the before and after? in a studio when sounds are way to much alike it's very hard almost impossible never mine the subtle differences if any that a power cable could bring. And there is the rub to all audiophile products when it comes to wire. perceived changes when you can't directly and instantaneously compare  are bound to flawed to one degree or another. I call this the Jesus injust spent $1000 on a pair of speaker cables they better dam wel sound better syndrome ;) this is exactly what some of these companies Not all rely on to sell product and I am not saying the company in question is one of them. but I am saying that any company that does sell expensive cable should dam well be able to demonstrate  the differences.  Plain and simple and having a demo room does not cut it when you can't instantaneously com pair between plain copper and the product being demonstrated don't you think? 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 06:34:58 AM by Church-Audio »
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Offline scb

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2013, 08:19:27 AM »
the other issue is how does one compare the before and after?

Before: if you walked into the room and the amp was on with no signal going to it, you'd know it because you could hear a hum (amp at the time was a 7 channel Arcam P7). I could never leave my amp on by accident because I could always hear that it was on and would remember to turn it off when done.

After: the hum was gone.

This is not anything where I was biased because I spent x amount of dollars on a cable and wanted to convince myself that it was worth it. This was a friend saying "I know you don't believe any of this bullshit, but plug this in for a week and give it a shot. If you can't notice a difference, give it back. But I think don't think you'll want to give it back."

I ended up buying it from him. I didn't want to hear a difference because I didn't see how it was possible and thought it would be a waste of money. But it was an obvious difference. I hooked the cable up between my power conditioner and the wall and the hum was gone the minute I turned everything on. The previous cables I had used (thinking maybe the hum was from a bad cable) were a bunch of plain old 15A power cables of various gauges and an Audio Magic x-stream cable that came with the conditioner.

I can't tell you why and frankly I don't care. I just know it made a difference, I'm not imagining anything, and I'm not the only one who compared the before and after in my system.


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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2013, 11:21:32 AM »
the other issue is how does one compare the before and after?

Before: if you walked into the room and the amp was on with no signal going to it, you'd know it because you could hear a hum (amp at the time was a 7 channel Arcam P7). I could never leave my amp on by accident because I could always hear that it was on and would remember to turn it off when done.

After: the hum was gone.

This is not anything where I was biased because I spent x amount of dollars on a cable and wanted to convince myself that it was worth it. This was a friend saying "I know you don't believe any of this bullshit, but plug this in for a week and give it a shot. If you can't notice a difference, give it back. But I think don't think you'll want to give it back."

I ended up buying it from him. I didn't want to hear a difference because I didn't see how it was possible and thought it would be a waste of money. But it was an obvious difference. I hooked the cable up between my power conditioner and the wall and the hum was gone the minute I turned everything on. The previous cables I had used (thinking maybe the hum was from a bad cable) were a bunch of plain old 15A power cables of various gauges and an Audio Magic x-stream cable that came with the conditioner.

I can't tell you why and frankly I don't care. I just know it made a difference, I'm not imagining anything, and I'm not the only one who compared the before and after in my system.
You had a better ground plain and simple no magic mojo going on. just a better ground. Other possibility is they rf  shielded the hot and neutral from the ground.   that just means you have a poorly designed power supply in your power amp. My point is before anyone spends this kind of money on cables you have to ask your self is there something that is cheaper that will produce the same results chances are there is. One last thing sometimes moving power cables away from unbalanced signal lines will also achieve the same result ;) much cheaper than spending $$$ on fancy power cables!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 11:23:39 AM by Church-Audio »
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Offline datbrad

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2013, 02:55:59 PM »
You guys are actually making a great point about cost, but if you knew the range of audiophile cables available and at what price points, you would see why Luminous is so well regarded. Tim learned a great deal from Bill Low and Bob Crump in the early days of Luminous Audio, a company he started while a dealer in audiophile components. Tim realized that he could make cables using all the same level of materials for a fraction of the price. Take Audioquest products, for example. Tim built his top line speaker cable, the Synchestra Signature, as a direct answer to the Audioquest Everest that sells for $8,000 for a 6ft pair. A $300 version of an $8000 speaker cable I would not call "overpriced", any more than I would call an Acura overpriced that's sitting next to a Porsche.

 
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2013, 03:14:46 PM »
Brad,

What we are saying is, cheap compared to other even more overpriced cables can still be overpriced.

People on this forum are more than willing to spend money where it counts. Quality mics and preamps. Reliable recorders. Accurate speakers, etc...

We also tend to be engineering oriented and skeptical of the claims of audiophile products. The science and engineering of audio reproduction is well understood.

Unless you can link to quality science to back your claims you'll keep running into the same questions.

Proper shielding, proper grounding, well built connectors are important. However quality cable runs no more than $5 a foot, well made low impedence connectors run less than $10 a piece for audio, under $20 a piece for electrical connectors.

I would challenge you to compare in an ABX test a cable built by Bluejeanscable.com, who use Canare and Neutrik connectors with high quality Belden cables with your "audiophile" cables.

In fact, I'll go a step further and suggest you contact the James Randi foundation. They are offering a million dollar prize to any audiophile cable company that can prove that their speaker cables are better than Monster Cables (which are also overpriced) http://randi.org. Good luck.

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2013, 04:14:28 PM »
It is well worth the time to absorb the material presented here...

Audio Myths Workshop (Abridged Video) from AES Show #127, October 2009

AES Audio Myths Video - Support Files
The above was really enjoyable! Thanks!
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2013, 10:09:31 AM »
IMO, cables can have an effect on the sound for a number of reasons and some come with a cost........but $6,000 for 6 feet of cable is money not wisely spent. That being said, although I use Canare mic cables for live sound........they are built well.......my Audio Quest out performs them in my playback system, as well as my DIY cables of teflon, silver plated copper.

The measurement crowd should be careful of saying show me the measurement that proves there is a difference. Observation often comes before measured proof. Not until we know what we need to measure and have the tools to do so can we then have scientific proof, which supports, or doesn't support, the observation. Think "round vs. flat earth" and "digital jitter".


Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2013, 10:46:47 AM »
IMO, cables can have an effect on the sound for a number of reasons and some come with a cost........but $6,000 for 6 feet of cable is money not wisely spent. That being said, although I use Canare mic cables for live sound........they are built well.......my Audio Quest out performs them in my playback system, as well as my DIY cables of teflon, silver plated copper.

The measurement crowd should be careful of saying show me the measurement that proves there is a difference. Observation often comes before measured proof. Not until we know what we need to measure and have the tools to do so can we then have scientific proof, which supports, or doesn't support, the observation. Think "round vs. flat earth" and "digital jitter".
We have the technology now, that if there is a difference it can be measured. When you are selling a product and saying its so much better than a standard available product you should be able to say more than "just because I said so" If you cant then something is wrong.
You should also be able to pass standard blind tests.

But so far most of these companies are fine with taking your money but don't seem to want to "bother" to do any real blind listening tests..... Funny how that works? Am I saying quality cables don't make a difference in the way a system performs.. NO what I am saying is you don't need to spend $6k to get a quality cable no where near that.

That's the bottom line. Some of these companies are selling snake oil some are selling a quality product but without doing measurements and blind listening tests how can we be sure what we are hearing?? By the time you switch out a pair of speaker cables you are really going to tell me you remember exactly what you old system sounded like and thus can compare the two ? maybe major differences but not minor ones that's for sure especially after all that time elapses. And major differences would and should be absolutely expected with a quality cable vs a crappy quality speaker cable that has high resistance. 

Again am I saying that there wont be a difference between a crap cable and a quality one no. But how many degrees of change would be noticeable after spending 6k I don't think much and certainly not enough to justify spending that kind of money. I think if you cant find a good pair of speaker cables 10 foot pair for under $250 something is really wrong. And I don't think to many people here would disagree with me.

I am sure you did not spend 6k on cables and you seem to be like me willing to spend a few bucks for cables because you realize like I do that they are not all equal my problem is with the companies charging so much for cables and willing or able to prove nothing in exchange except look at my shiny cables!! Thats b.s Its better because I said it is now pay me $6k for these cables lol really? Reminds me of the guy selling "Rolex" watches on a street corner.

Chris


Chris
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 01:13:55 PM »
IMO, cables can have an effect on the sound for a number of reasons and some come with a cost........but $6,000 for 6 feet of cable is money not wisely spent. That being said, although I use Canare mic cables for live sound........they are built well.......my Audio Quest out performs them in my playback system, as well as my DIY cables of teflon, silver plated copper.

The measurement crowd should be careful of saying show me the measurement that proves there is a difference. Observation often comes before measured proof. Not until we know what we need to measure and have the tools to do so can we then have scientific proof, which supports, or doesn't support, the observation. Think "round vs. flat earth" and "digital jitter".
We have the technology now, that if there is a difference it can be measured. When you are selling a product and saying its so much better than a standard available product you should be able to say more than "just because I said so" If you cant then something is wrong.
You should also be able to pass standard blind tests.

But so far most of these companies are fine with taking your money but don't seem to want to "bother" to do any real blind listening tests..... Funny how that works? Am I saying quality cables don't make a difference in the way a system performs.. NO what I am saying is you don't need to spend $6k to get a quality cable no where near that.

That's the bottom line. Some of these companies are selling snake oil some are selling a quality product but without doing measurements and blind listening tests how can we be sure what we are hearing?? By the time you switch out a pair of speaker cables you are really going to tell me you remember exactly what you old system sounded like and thus can compare the two ? maybe major differences but not minor ones that's for sure especially after all that time elapses. And major differences would and should be absolutely expected with a quality cable vs a crappy quality speaker cable that has high resistance. 

Again am I saying that there wont be a difference between a crap cable and a quality one no. But how many degrees of change would be noticeable after spending 6k I don't think much and certainly not enough to justify spending that kind of money. I think if you cant find a good pair of speaker cables 10 foot pair for under $250 something is really wrong. And I don't think to many people here would disagree with me.

I am sure you did not spend 6k on cables and you seem to be like me willing to spend a few bucks for cables because you realize like I do that they are not all equal my problem is with the companies charging so much for cables and willing or able to prove nothing in exchange except look at my shiny cables!! Thats b.s Its better because I said it is now pay me $6k for these cables lol really? Reminds me of the guy selling "Rolex" watches on a street corner.

Chris


Chris

Seems like a lot of repetition of statements already made. Most people agree on what has been presented and would agree that there is a lot of "snake oil" salesmen in all aspects of audio beyond cables. How about a $150,000 amp that uses $700.00 worth of parts and engineering that was designed 75 years ago. How about those inexpensive mic clips and accessories that cost $1.25 to make and they charge $75.00 to $200.00 to their customers. How about using 50 year old mic technology and $50.00 worth of parts and charge $5,000 to customers for the end product.


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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2013, 01:15:16 PM »
Ok folks- I've changed my mind. Cables really do make a difference. I experienced this today!

I have a usb keyboard. I used to connect it to my computer with a stock usb cable. On a whim I decided to use this cable instead:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQMUSBDIA%20.75
 
It costs a mere $548 dollars, which, given that I have about $2000 in my computer, seemed like a good deal. Now I know that they'll measure the same. But clearly we aren't measuring the right things because:
 
Wow! The difference in my typing is amazing with this cable!
My nouns and adjectives agree with more precision!
My verbs stand out with greater action, and my nouns are free from hash and jitter.
The words I write have better flow and pace.
 
Anyone who can't tell the difference must not have golden ears. A better usb cable makes *anyone* a better writer.

I experience this as a direct result of the USB cable. No one can ever tell me otherwise. My feelings teach me all I need to know about everything!
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2013, 01:24:16 PM »
Ok folks- I've changed my mind. Cables really do make a difference. I experienced this today!

I have a usb keyboard. I used to connect it to my computer with a stock usb cable. On a whim I decided to use this cable instead:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQMUSBDIA%20.75
 
It costs a mere $548 dollars, which, given that I have about $2000 in my computer, seemed like a good deal. Now I know that they'll measure the same. But clearly we aren't measuring the right things because:
 
Wow! The difference in my typing is amazing with this cable!
My nouns and adjectives agree with more precision!
My verbs stand out with greater action, and my nouns are free from hash and jitter.
The words I write have better flow and pace.
 
Anyone who can't tell the difference must not have golden ears. A better usb cable makes *anyone* a better writer.

I experience this as a direct result of the USB cable. No one can ever tell me otherwise. My feelings teach me all I need to know about everything!
Dude you missed the part where they said they will give you a blow job with this cable as well. Thats where the other $547 comes in to play. Grant it thats a very expensive blow job but its worth it just to say you have the best right! ;D
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2013, 03:00:57 PM »
Seems like a lot of repetition of statements already made. Most people agree on what has been presented and would agree that there is a lot of "snake oil" salesmen in all aspects of audio beyond cables. How about a $150,000 amp that uses $700.00 worth of parts and engineering that was designed 75 years ago. How about those inexpensive mic clips and accessories that cost $1.25 to make and they charge $75.00 to $200.00 to their customers. How about using 50 year old mic technology and $50.00 worth of parts and charge $5,000 to customers for the end product.

Price increase for professional gear (which includes Rycote, Neumann, Schoeps, Sound Devices) is only partially due to parts.

1. Support. Expensive companies tend to have higher level staff dealing with customer issues.
2. Scale. The customer pool for pro gear is smaller, so all business overhead has to be shared by less customers.
3. Quality control. Again testing, measuring and qa of each product is more expensive than randomly testing 1 in 1000 coming off the production line.

My favorite professional vendor AJA makes and sells broadcast video converters and recorders. They are more expensive than similar products from BlackMagic Design and Gefen. What we get for the money is the best warranty in the business. (3 year)

1. If under warranty they FedEx a new unit to you when you file an RMA. Overnight. You then return the bad unit. Done.
2. If not under warranty, they have you ship the unit to them. They fix it for free, then ship it back on your dime. Done.

This level of service is worth the price bump.

However with the audiophile gear and cables, science and their product claims do not match up, so any increase in price to meet those claims is a bad investment.
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Offline dnsacks

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2013, 06:23:20 PM »
page -- your old usb cable was clearly lossy -- amazing what a good lossless computer cable can do -- You gotta try out the $12k upsampling usb cable I just bought, turns my inane babbling into Shakespearean prose . . .

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2013, 08:34:31 PM »
page -- your old usb cable was clearly lossy -- amazing what a good lossless computer cable can do -- You gotta try out the $12k upsampling usb cable I just bought, turns my inane babbling into Shakespearean prose . . .

. . . or magic pebbles taped to the cable at both ends. ;)
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2013, 09:55:34 PM »
I've had converters with a noise floor of -115dBFS and frequency response to 40kHz (my current converters are only -99dBFS, although I'll be getting better ones again soon); I have a brand-new oscilloscope with bandwidth of 60MHz and dynamic range of 40dB.  So I can measure sounds that on playback you cannot hear, and frequencies that you are also incapable of perceiving at any volume (I've never seen anyone argue for MHz hearing).  I am very experienced in measuring many different audio parameters, including harmonic distortion, noise, IMD, transient behavior (rise/fall time, ringing, overshoot), jitter, crosstalk, phase, frequency response, quantization distortion, and aliasing.

Exactly what it is you think can't be measured?  Keep in mind that every recording, by definition, is a measurement of voltage over time.  If you can't measure it, you can't record it; and if it can't be recorded, then it can't be observed on playback.

You mentioned digital jitter in the context of ancient geology and astronomy.  Of course, it was commonly known among educated persons since Pythagoras than the Earth is round; the belief that the Earth was thought to be flat until recent times is erroneous.  See the wikipedia entry here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth

As for digital jitter, in any modern reasonable quality system the artifacts of jitter are typically -100dBFS.  That's not perfect, and high-quality systems can push jitter below the converter noise floor (perhaps 40dB lower).  However, even a modest system will have jitter a couple of orders of magnitude below the wow & flutter of any analog magnetic tape recorder, and the effect on an audio signal is of the same nature (though not degree): sideband modulations that are a product of the signal and jitter frequency, and are thus inharmonic.  Cassette tapes are often especially poor.

All of that is simply measured.
Your wasting your time trying to convert people that insist on spending money on expensive cables. We are in the wrong business we should get into selling fancy cables. I can get some fancy heatshrink and some welding wire and make me some $8k cables! For $50 Now that's a much better margin that I have now I dont know about you.
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Offline raymonda

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2013, 12:56:50 AM »
I think everyone here is in agreement. So, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say don't waste your time trying to convince the true believers.

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2013, 08:46:00 AM »
I am not in agreement with this statement:

Quote
The measurement crowd should be careful of saying show me the measurement that proves there is a difference. Observation often comes before measured proof. Not until we know what we need to measure and have the tools to do so can we then have scientific proof, which supports, or doesn't support, the observation.

Really? So, everything that is possible to know, or be measured has been done and the tools to measure already exist?

Here is a more recent example of how science is not static. There once was a time that science thought there were 4 dimensions, however, today scientists have identified 12-16 different types of dimensions. Or, how about the development of string theory.

I've always been taught that science is not dogma but rather the search for truth. Any how, I'm still in 99% agreement with you. I just reserve the 1% for the fact that we don't know everything and there may be more going on than we currently understand. That's not to say that the overly priced cable manufacturers understand either, or that there aren't "snake oil" salesmen that exploit the 1%.

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2013, 10:08:30 AM »
I am not in agreement with this statement:

Quote
The measurement crowd should be careful of saying show me the measurement that proves there is a difference. Observation often comes before measured proof. Not until we know what we need to measure and have the tools to do so can we then have scientific proof, which supports, or doesn't support, the observation.

Really? So, everything that is possible to know, or be measured has been done and the tools to measure already exist?

Here is a more recent example of how science is not static. There once was a time that science thought there were 4 dimensions, however, today scientists have identified 12-16 different types of dimensions. Or, how about the development of string theory.

I've always been taught that science is not dogma but rather the search for truth. Any how, I'm still in 99% agreement with you. I just reserve the 1% for the fact that we don't know everything and there may be more going on than we currently understand. That's not to say that the overly priced cable manufacturers understand either, or that there aren't "snake oil" salesmen that exploit the 1%.
I think we should call it Star Trek cables "in a galaxy far away exists a tool willing to pay 6k for a cable that has mojo magic that can't be demonstrated   by science a place where you just have to take our word for it" dam that's call planet stupid right?
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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2013, 10:19:59 AM »
Chris,

To whom are you talking to and about? Are your comments aimed at me? If so, I guess I'll just check out on any further dialog. Or maybe it is humor that gets lost through this form of communication.

Ray

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2013, 10:46:57 AM »
Chris,

To whom are you talking to and about? Are your comments aimed at me? If so, I guess I'll just check out on any further dialog. Or maybe it is humor that gets lost through this form of communication.

Ray
its directed at anyone that spends money on magic wall plates and 6k speaker cables actually ;)
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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2013, 11:00:32 AM »
Sidestepping the question of cost/performance value..

In this day and age there can be no rational doubt about our capability of taking measurements which far exceed all thresholds of human sense perception.  That may have once been true, but no longer.  Audiophile arguments which hinge around "no instrument is as precise as human hearing" are archaic and more akin to political rhetoric, reinforcing an erroneous idea held sacred by believers.  It's simply telling people things they want to believe, drawing social/tribal lines for profit or identity or whatever.  I tend to immediately dismiss companies who make those claims as having suspect engineering practices.  They are making the wrong argument. 

Here's what they should be arguing, in which case I'd be more open to entertaining their claims-
Although scientific method narrows this down increasingly over time, the still somewhat open question in some cases (and the more interesting one to my mind) is correlating perception to specific measurable phenomena-  What to measure and how to go about measuring it, so that the measurement correlates with the perception.  Those things are not unanswerable by nature, but there is still wiggle room there.

The social and testing methodologies involved with perception are more complicated and error prone than taking physical bench measurements of equipment, and that's where complications arise..  which can be leveraged as marketing/profit opportunities. 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 12:09:11 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2013, 11:43:05 AM »
I liken this stuff to religion.

Some folks say they see angels and have witnessed miracles.

So far I have not seen any angels or miracles nor have I seen or heard any valid tests that show an expensive cable made with exotic materials and connectors can sound better than a properly made and designed cable using off the shelf wire and materials.

I am open to the possibility of both existing. I just have not seen or heard the evidence yet.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
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Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2013, 01:11:10 PM »
Entirely separate forms of truth are all too often mistakenly intermixed causing all manor of strife in human life.

Empiricism for engineers, subjectivity for poets. 

At best we wear both hats and switch between those modes of thinking as appropriate.
At worst we ignore the dualistic nature of them, and dual over inevitable, ultimately irreconcilable clashes.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Chuck

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2013, 01:23:03 PM »
Gutbucket, you are on a roll today!  :clapping:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlebox, Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
Recorders: Sound Devices MixPre-6, iRiver iHP-120 (Rockboxed & RTC mod)

Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2013, 03:12:27 PM »
I got a good night's sleep for a change.  ;)
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2013, 04:21:23 PM »
Spoken eloquently by a gear manufacturer highly adept at selecting appropriate headwear.

You've got your tri-corner pirate hat on today don't you?

If someone claimed that their cables were miraculous, I'd be much more likely to believe them.  Miracles are by definition a nonrepeatable, unpredictable supernatural occurence.  Science relies on repeatability; if your cables are miraculous, I cannot test that.

By consequence, it would be extremely difficult to manufacture miraculous cables.

Not difficult at all.  No one could disprove the miraculous qualities which lie beyond the reach of test verification.  And not difficult to sell either, although quite impossible to get repeatable miraculous results!  Wherein lies the dichotomy.

Thanks for the thread, the clear explanations of the testing methodology and the all too easily overlooked truth that all audio recording more advanced than a mechanically recorded and reproduced gramophone 78 is essentially nothing more than a measurement of voltage fluctuation over time.  Which is reason enough on its own for this thread.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline dlh

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2013, 09:16:00 AM »
Best thread here in a long time.  Reassures me that there are people who still trust science.
Thanks to Jon and Gutbucket.

Made me think of "If the facts don't conform to the theory, they must be disposed of." :)
Dave
480b, 460b, Line Audio CM3, SP LSD2, AT BP4025, SP C4,
MiniMe, MiniMP, AND ANNOUNCING the recent adoption of a Mini-Dac. The little bro's are SO excited  :yahoo:

DR-680, DR-100 MKII, PMD671, fr2LE, MTII

De gustibus non est disputandum.
"It's just this little chromium switch here.  You people are soo superstitious."

Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2013, 09:41:52 AM »
All of this hand waving has failed to account for the quantum cable behaviors that promulgate the time signatures of a fully cohesive soundstage.

New product - Get your NEUMANN active mounting bars
Active microphone mounting bars for Schoeps and AKG, and Naiant AKG, ready to ship

Offline SparkE!

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2013, 10:03:52 AM »
Ok folks- I've changed my mind. Cables really do make a difference. I experienced this today!
 
Wow! The difference in my typing is amazing with this cable!
My nouns and adjectives agree with more precision!
My verbs stand out with greater action, and my nouns are free from hash and jitter.
The words I write have better flow and pace.
 
Anyone who can't tell the difference must not have golden ears. A better usb cable makes *anyone* a better writer.

Wow! For the first time ever, I can actually understand what you are saying.

You should have done this long ago.  The improvement in your soundstage is stunning!
How'm I supposed to read your lips when you're talkin' out your ass? - Lern Tilton

Ignorance in audio is exceeded only by our collective willingness to embrace and foster it. -  Srajan Ebaen

Offline Church-Audio

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #50 on: October 25, 2013, 10:56:57 AM »
All of this hand waving has failed to account for the quantum cable behaviors that promulgate the time signatures of a fully cohesive soundstage.
I like to call it "clown stage" because most people that use that term are clowns ;) also you forgot about my all time favorite "blackness" or is it "darkness" I can't keep up with all these fancy audio terms!
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Offline datbrad

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Re: Stereophile article - $60K system using Luminous Audio Cables throughout
« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2013, 05:22:35 AM »
 
Best thread here in a long time.  Reassures me that there are people who still trust science.
Thanks to Jon and Gutbucket.

Made me think of "If the facts don't conform to the theory, they must be disposed of." :)
Dave

Wow, haven't looked at this thread in a while.

So, one take away from everything I read is a consensus that any quality of audio observed through human sensory perception that can not be proven in physical, quantitative, scientific terms is invalid. Problem is that science cannot explain why a musical note in the same key, at the same pitch and loudness, looking identical on a scope or waveform measurement device, can be distinguished by it's timbre. Now I agree human sensory perception is not always great, for example the singer who thinks she has perfect pitch but to outside listeners it sounds like a cat being beaten. Compare to Victor Wooten who is well known for having perfect ptich perception and can hear the smallest tick of a note towards being flat or sharp. Science cannot account for this, but we know it's true.

AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Beyer M201>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD561 (Oade CMOD)

 

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