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Author Topic: The old thread was locked this one will not be. Audiophile cable discussion.  (Read 13623 times)

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Offline Church-Audio

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I am continuing the thread that was locked out because I think its very important to show all points of view on cables. And If I can convince one person to not spend $6k on a freaking cable It will make me very happy.


Thie thread was locked....http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=164940.msg2063446#msg2063446

This new thread will not be.
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Offline Church-Audio

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Here is the latest and greatest Audiophile nonsense "THE MAGIC USB CABLE" discus.

Its only $585 a real bargan if you ask me for a USB cable! 

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQMUSBDIA+.75

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Offline capnhook

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Here is the latest and greatest Audiophile nonsense "THE MAGIC USB CABLE" discus.

Its only $585 a real bargan if you ask me for a USB cable! 

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQMUSBDIA+.75

I had to send mine back, I needed a different end...... ;D ::) ::) ::) :facepalm:
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Offline DigiGal

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Thanks Chris, reposted here are the AES Workshop links from the other thread:

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

AES Audio Myths Video - Support Files

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 Church-Audio

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I think it's funny someone would lock a thread. it's sad that some, well actually most of these cable companies do not have any real facts to back up the claims of miraculous audio improvements. I don't know would you not sell more cables of you could prove your theory's ? I guess not or they would have done it right?
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Offline ero3030

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Every system is diff and everyone's needs should be diff.  I like HQ. connectors and used eichmann plugs  on everything I built.  Also pure silver solid wire   (30 gage).  From Tempo electric I think, great prices!!!   But went that way because of my very low power tube amp.  But that's me, I'm all for good things, hope the smart peeps around here read up on what they really need.  I read just alittle of the last thread, that's all I needed too.  Hope everyone can make or buy what they need.  U have to have a good play back system, or y record  or play music in the first place?  Ed
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Offline Church-Audio

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Every system is diff and everyone's needs should be diff.  I like HQ. connectors and used eichmann plugs  on everything I built.  Also pure silver solid wire   (30 gage).  From Tempo electric I think, great prices!!!   But went that way because of my very low power tube amp.  But that's me, I'm all for good things, hope the smart peeps around here read up on what they really need.  I read just alittle of the last thread, that's all I needed too.  Hope everyone can make or buy what they need.  U have to have a good play back system, or y record  or play music in the first place?  Ed
I agree 100% and my problem is not with people that want very good quality cable in a system because that makes sense to me. but we all know you don't need to spend $1000 on a freaking speaker cable to get a good speaker cable. And for install I like the silver Teflon cable if it has a braid shield and a foil shield it can be good stuff it would not be my first choice for an unbalanced interconnect but for balanced it's good. So is star quad for balanced and Mogami wire is very good for unbalanced connections. capacitance and resistance and the quality of the shield are really important factors. as far as interconnects neutrik make good ones so does switchcraft.
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Offline dlh

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I agree on quality components and robust construction.  That's why I build my own cables.
I'm ready to accept claims of improved sound.  All I need is some true (blind or even double-blind) test results.
Don't know why that is so hard to come by.  (or maybe I do know) ;)

Dave

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 10:14:21 AM by dlh »
480b, 460b, Line Audio CM3, SP LSD2, AT BP4025, SP C4,
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Offline hoppedup

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Gotta get this for my playback system: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CRCLEBESP&variation=6PSPSP

"If I had to provide one sentence to describe the Clear Beyond, it would state the greatest attribute was its clear, enveloping, natural musical presentation. Very impressive results indeed," notes Brian Boehler at StereoMojo.com, which honored Clear Beyond its Maximum Mojo Award. While not inexpensive, it represents a 'clear' value among state-of-the-art speaker cables."


Clear technology is scientifically demonstrable. It presents a 'clear' technical solution to a core problem that is intrinsic to signal-carrying cables (speaker cables, interconnects, etc.) and will quite 'clearly' improve the sound of connected hi-fi and home theater components.


There you have it. Scientifically demonstrable. Without any "science" to back it up. Sold.
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Offline capnhook

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Gotta get this for my playback system: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CRCLEBESP&variation=6PSPSP

"If I had to provide one sentence to describe the Clear Beyond, it would state the greatest attribute was its clear, enveloping, natural musical presentation. Very impressive results indeed," notes Brian Boehler at StereoMojo.com, which honored Clear Beyond its Maximum Mojo Award. While not inexpensive, it represents a 'clear' value among state-of-the-art speaker cables."


Clear technology is scientifically demonstrable. It presents a 'clear' technical solution to a core problem that is intrinsic to signal-carrying cables (speaker cables, interconnects, etc.) and will quite 'clearly' improve the sound of connected hi-fi and home theater components.


There you have it. Scientifically demonstrable. Without any "science" to back it up. Sold.

Hmmmm, 6m pair, $17,180.......that's only $36/inch......niiiiice  ::) ::) :o ::) ::)
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Offline Gutbucket

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I'm interested in seeing evidence of the "core problem intrinsic to signal-carrying cables" as well as the scientifically demonstrable test results indicating how the technical solution addresses it.

Inverse polarity loopback null tests will work very well for detecting differences between the signal prior to, and after transmission through the device under test- in this case a piece of cable.

That is the statement of someone with no experience with either signal analysis or synthesis.

Thanks Jon, I've been meaning to post the same observation. 

In regards to the other statements made in that post, I've recently heard several interesting reports of current fMRI research which shed insight into the neurological basis for absolute pitch (commonly referred to as "perfect pitch"), which go a long way towards demystifying that particular skill.  In addition to that cutting edge technical understanding of how our brains actually function when generate that type of tone recognition, there is the simple cultural observation that although absolute pitch is quite a rare trait in the West, it has an astoundingly higher frequency of occurrence in cultures which have 'tone' based languages such as the various Chinese languages. Presumably that’s due to mastering the necessary skills for an innate command of those languages at an early, still very plastic brain development stage, when brain structure and function develops in response to the need for fine tonal discernment in those languages. Relatedly, when recorded speaking the same word or phrase at different times, tonal language speakers will apparently pronounce the tones at almost always the same absolute pitch, not simply the correct relative pitch for that particular speech session.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 08:57:25 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Offline jagraham

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LOL at people spending 600+ on the "Magic" USB cable. I thought that USB 2.0 and on was pretty much universal, the cable either connects and works or it doesn't. They spend that and it works the same as the free one did that came with my recorder... Is the sound quality going to be magically better because you transfer it with this cable?
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Offline voltronic

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I'm interested in seeing evidence of the "core problem intrinsic to signal-carrying cables" as well as the scientifically demonstrable test results indicating how the technical solution addresses it.

-snip-

In regards to the other statements made in that post, I've recently heard several interesting reports of current fMRI research which shed insight into the neurological basis for absolute pitch (commonly referred to as "perfect pitch"), which go a long way towards demystifying that particular skill.  In addition to that cutting edge technical understanding of how our brains actually function when generate that type of tone recognition, there is the simple cultural observation that although absolute pitch is quite a rare trait in the West, it has an astoundingly higher frequency of occurrence in cultures which have 'tone' based languages such as the various Chinese languages. Presumably that’s due to mastering the necessary skills for an innate command of those languages at an early, still very plastic brain development stage, when brain structure and function develops in response to the need for fine tonal discernment in those languages.


There are some great articles on Blue Jeans Cable related to the topic being discussed here.  Blue Jeans makes great cable, BTW.  They were my go-to when I wanted the highest quality cable with the least amount of BS, at least until I discovered the great folks here at TS.  ;D
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/index.htm

Some of the most pertinent ones:
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/doeswirematter.htm
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/do-you-get-what-you-pay-for.htm
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/exoticmaterials.htm

I would love to see the reports you mentioned on fMRI and absolute pitch.  If it indeed ocurrs in higher rates in non-Western cultures, it would be interesting to study how those people discerned pitch in Western vs. non-Western musical scales. 
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Offline Gutbucket

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I would love to see the reports you mentioned on fMRI and absolute pitch.  If it indeed ocurrs in higher rates in non-Western cultures, it would be interesting to study how those people discerned pitch in Western vs. non-Western musical scales.

I heard about the relationship between tonal languages and absolute pitch on Radiolab.  A search there for Absolute Pitch turns up a number of relavant podcasts, not sure which it was but they are most likely all worthwhile (IMO).

The fMRI research I heard about attending a lecture by David Eagleman last year.  He directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine and I've read a few of his books, which I can also recommended highly.
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 voltronic

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I would love to see the reports you mentioned on fMRI and absolute pitch.  If it indeed ocurrs in higher rates in non-Western cultures, it would be interesting to study how those people discerned pitch in Western vs. non-Western musical scales.

I heard about the relationship between tonal languages and absolute pitch on Radiolab.  A search there for Absolute Pitch turns up a number of relavant podcasts, not sure which it was but they are most likely all worthwhile (IMO).

The fMRI research I heard about attending a lecture by David Eagleman last year.  He directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine and I've read a few of his books, which I can also recommended highly.

Thank you, I will check those out.  On a related topic, I just posted some really great neuroscience-based listening tests. 
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=165115.0

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Offline Church-Audio

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You know there are some great cable companies out there making great products at reasonable prices it's the snake oil companies that spoil it for everyone.
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Offline voltronic

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You know there are some great cable companies out there making great products at reasonable prices it's the snake oil companies that spoil it for everyone.

I give equal blame to the wealthy yet guillible people who actually buy these things, otherwise said snake oil companies would be out of business.  Confirmation bias, I say.  Here's some entertaining reading, and keep in mind the prices quoted are from 2006:
http://www.stereophile.com/cables/1206tara/index.html
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Offline scb

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I am continuing the thread that was locked out because I think its very important to show all points of view on cables. And If I can convince one person to not spend $6k on a freaking cable It will make me very happy.

Is there anyone here who is actually spending $6k on a cable?

I agree 100% and my problem is not with people that want very good quality cable in a system because that makes sense to me. but we all know you don't need to spend $1000 on a freaking speaker cable to get a good speaker cable. And for install I like the silver Teflon cable if it has a braid shield and a foil shield it can be good stuff it would not be my first choice for an unbalanced interconnect but for balanced it's good. So is star quad for balanced and Mogami wire is very good for unbalanced connections. capacitance and resistance and the quality of the shield are really important factors. as far as interconnects neutrik make good ones so does switchcraft.

Just to play devil's advocate, you just listed things you like. Why? Can you scientifically prove that these are better than others?

Offline Church-Audio

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I am continuing the thread that was locked out because I think its very important to show all points of view on cables. And If I can convince one person to not spend $6k on a freaking cable It will make me very happy.

Is there anyone here who is actually spending $6k on a cable?

I agree 100% and my problem is not with people that want very good quality cable in a system because that makes sense to me. but we all know you don't need to spend $1000 on a freaking speaker cable to get a good speaker cable. And for install I like the silver Teflon cable if it has a braid shield and a foil shield it can be good stuff it would not be my first choice for an unbalanced interconnect but for balanced it's good. So is star quad for balanced and Mogami wire is very good for unbalanced connections. capacitance and resistance and the quality of the shield are really important factors. as far as interconnects neutrik make good ones so does switchcraft.

Just to play devil's advocate, you just listed things you like. Why? Can you scientifically prove that these are better than others?

Are there people who have paid $6k for a cable? I would assume so because there are no shortage of snake oil salesman selling them. So unless they never sell them and they like to keep around cables in inventory in the case that they do.. Not a very sound business practice. Or they are selling them. Whats that saying? Oh yeah a sucker born every minute comes to mind.


Can I scientifically prove that star quad is good cable sure.. The specs are available from Canare :) Can I prove mogami is good cable well the 3000 + microphones I have sold over the last 7 years tell me that. And so does the physical construction of the cable the number of strands ect. And again the tech specs are available for these cables. Unlike the special "magic cables" that dont seem to have any real specs listed.

So yeah I can prove that the cables mentioned are of high quality. And more than that so can the tens of thousands of engineers and technicians using them. They are a good quality cable. My point is that a "good" quality cable does not need to cost thousands of dollars.

My point is not directed at any one vendor but at all vendors selling cables for way more than anyone should have to pay for it. Just because they say its amazing. We all know mogami is better than radio shack for many reasons. None of them have to do with magic mojo. They have to do with quality construction and design intelligence. Not with flashy heatshrink or cheap chinese gold plated ends with fancy logos.
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Offline ScoobieKW

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I am continuing the thread that was locked out because I think its very important to show all points of view on cables. And If I can convince one person to not spend $6k on a freaking cable It will make me very happy.

Is there anyone here who is actually spending $6k on a cable?

I agree 100% and my problem is not with people that want very good quality cable in a system because that makes sense to me. but we all know you don't need to spend $1000 on a freaking speaker cable to get a good speaker cable. And for install I like the silver Teflon cable if it has a braid shield and a foil shield it can be good stuff it would not be my first choice for an unbalanced interconnect but for balanced it's good. So is star quad for balanced and Mogami wire is very good for unbalanced connections. capacitance and resistance and the quality of the shield are really important factors. as far as interconnects neutrik make good ones so does switchcraft.

Just to play devil's advocate, you just listed things you like. Why? Can you scientifically prove that these are better than others?

The science on the Canare Star Quad and Mogami cable is well documented. Read their engineering specifications. For me, the advantage between one interconnect and another comes down to physical properties. Does it make solid contact. Does it's latching system work well with other cables? How good is the strain relief?

I work for a Production company, in my repair shop, we build our XLR cables with Neutrik XLR connectors and Belden 8412 cable. The cable is almost bulletproof. Roadcase rolls over your cable run? No problem. When there is a failure it's usually a 10+ year old Switchcraft connector with a strain relief issue. The Neutrik strain relief is so well designed that I rarely see one fail.
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Offline scb

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Are there people who have paid $6k for a cable? I would assume so because there are no shortage of snake oil salesman selling them. So unless they never sell them and they like to keep around cables in inventory in the case that they do.. Not a very sound business practice. Or they are selling them. Whats that saying? Oh yeah a sucker born every minute comes to mind.

I was saying specifically on taperssection.com.

Offline scb

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Can I scientifically prove that star quad is good cable sure.. The specs are available from Canare :)

Ok. What specifically about the specs proves it's better than other cables? Also, how do these specs scientifically translate to mean "sounds better?"

Can I prove mogami is good cable well the 3000 + microphones I have sold over the last 7 years tell me that.


But that's no different then the $6k manufacturer saying "people are buying them, so they must be good"


So yeah I can prove that the cables mentioned are of high quality.

How?


Offline Church-Audio

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Are there people who have paid $6k for a cable? I would assume so because there are no shortage of snake oil salesman selling them. So unless they never sell them and they like to keep around cables in inventory in the case that they do.. Not a very sound business practice. Or they are selling them. Whats that saying? Oh yeah a sucker born every minute comes to mind.

I was saying specifically on taperssection.com.
I dont know who has a 6k cable on T.S why does that matter? my hope is that other people will see this post and they will get steered away from buying a 6k cable. I think most of the people here have more common sense than God gave a goat. So they will probably stay away from 6k cables.
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Offline Church-Audio

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Can I scientifically prove that star quad is good cable sure.. The specs are available from Canare :)

Ok. What specifically about the specs proves it's better than other cables? Also, how do these specs scientifically translate to mean "sounds better?"

Can I prove mogami is good cable well the 3000 + microphones I have sold over the last 7 years tell me that.


But that's no different then the $6k manufacturer saying "people are buying them, so they must be good"


So yeah I can prove that the cables mentioned are of high quality.

How?
Really you have to even ask this question? Ok I will bite.

Mogami has been considered one of the best audio cables around for many years. Why the quality of the cable the capacitance per meter / the quality of the copper they use. The quality of the shielding the imploy. The actual design work that goes into make the cable.

My point is and I guess your not seeing it.. Is simple.. I dont believe that cables make that big of a difference once you get to a certain quality standard. So I would say mogami will be a better cable then say a radio shack cable simply because of better quality construction. Better quality materials better design. I feel that once you get to a certain level of quality you should notice very little difference between two cables constructed in a similar way with similar electrical characteristics. Unless you can find the little "happy sound atom" hidden in the magic cable that is not in the magami or Canare cable :)

For speaker cables you want lots of copper or similar metal with extremely low resistance. And a large gauge to handle the current.

For signal you want a great shield and quality parts and low capacitance and inductance. And extremely low resistance.

Thats it its not rocket science. Its plan and simple. The magic mojo people would have you believe its more complicated then that. Its simply not.
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Offline scb

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Really you have to even ask this question? Ok I will bite.

Mogami has been considered one of the best audio cables around for many years. Why the quality of the cable the capacitance per meter / the quality of the copper they use. The quality of the shielding the imploy. The actual design work that goes into make the cable.

My point is and I guess your not seeing it.. Is simple.. I dont believe that cables make that big of a difference once you get to a certain quality standard. So I would say mogami will be a better cable then say a radio shack cable simply because of better quality construction. Better quality materials better design. I feel that once you get to a certain level of quality you should notice very little difference between two cables constructed in a similar way with similar electrical characteristics. Unless you can find the little "happy sound atom" hidden in the magic cable that is not in the magami or Canare cable :)

For speaker cables you want lots of copper or similar metal with extremely low resistance. And a large gauge to handle the current.

For signal you want a great shield and quality parts and low capacitance and inductance. And extremely low resistance.

Thats it its not rocket science. Its plan and simple. The magic mojo people would have you believe its more complicated then that. Its simply not.

I'm not trying to argue with you or anyone. I'm just saying that for all the "specs" you want to know from the expensive cable companies to "prove" their stuff sounds better, I haven't seen you or anyone else post any specs proving why what you claim are good cables are scientifically better than cheaper cables.

If you ask for specs, I am curious what specs you want and how you use these specs to "prove" one "sounds" better than another

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LOL at people spending 600+ on the "Magic" USB cable. I thought that USB 2.0 and on was pretty much universal, the cable either connects and works or it doesn't. They spend that and it works the same as the free one did that came with my recorder... Is the sound quality going to be magically better because you transfer it with this cable?

Yes, you can save a lot of money! $150 for mics + $600 for USB cable = Schoeps quality.  8)
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Really you have to even ask this question? Ok I will bite.

Mogami has been considered one of the best audio cables around for many years. Why the quality of the cable the capacitance per meter / the quality of the copper they use. The quality of the shielding the imploy. The actual design work that goes into make the cable.

My point is and I guess your not seeing it.. Is simple.. I dont believe that cables make that big of a difference once you get to a certain quality standard. So I would say mogami will be a better cable then say a radio shack cable simply because of better quality construction. Better quality materials better design. I feel that once you get to a certain level of quality you should notice very little difference between two cables constructed in a similar way with similar electrical characteristics. Unless you can find the little "happy sound atom" hidden in the magic cable that is not in the magami or Canare cable :)

For speaker cables you want lots of copper or similar metal with extremely low resistance. And a large gauge to handle the current.

For signal you want a great shield and quality parts and low capacitance and inductance. And extremely low resistance.

Thats it its not rocket science. Its plan and simple. The magic mojo people would have you believe its more complicated then that. Its simply not.

I'm not trying to argue with you or anyone. I'm just saying that for all the "specs" you want to know from the expensive cable companies to "prove" their stuff sounds better, I haven't seen you or anyone else post any specs proving why what you claim are good cables are scientifically better than cheaper cables.

If you ask for specs, I am curious what specs you want and how you use these specs to "prove" one "sounds" better than another
I dont think one quality cable sounds better than another quality cable. Actually I guess thats where we differ. So thats why I feel its not necessary to spend so much money on cables. Cheaper cables have issues with reliability thats a proven fact. They also tend to have less conductor in the shield to shield out RF thats a well known fact. Cheaper cables also have issues with microphonics ( in unbalanced low signal applications ) Thats also a well documented fact. So if we just look at the quality of the construction the names I mention are much better than cheaper cables. The quality of the jacket material for example is something you can see with your own eyes.
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Offline scb

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I dont think one quality cable sounds better than another quality cable. Actually I guess thats where we differ.

Huh?

So thats why I feel its not necessary to spend so much money on cables. Cheaper cables have issues with reliability thats a proven fact. They also tend to have less conductor in the shield to shield out RF thats a well known fact. Cheaper cables also have issues with microphonics ( in unbalanced low signal applications ) Thats also a well documented fact. So if we just look at the quality of the construction the names I mention are much better than cheaper cables. The quality of the jacket material for example is something you can see with your own eyes.

Again, I have not said anything in this thread about spending money on cables. I just asked you to scientifically say why the cables you say are "cheaper" aren't as good. Are there specs stating that one has "less conductor" or "less shield?" Are there specs that prove these cables have issues with micophones in unbalanced low signal applications? What specifically about the "quality of the construction" of the names you mentioned makes them scientifically better than the "cheaper cables?" You mention "proven facts." What are these?

That's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to argue that ridiculously priced cables sound better. I'm just saying that you and others were very quick to say "prove it," and then said your cables from "brand [insert whatever brand here]" were just as good, or "good enough" when compared to cheaper options. So if you want someone to prove that the more expensive cables are better, I'm just curious if you can prove your statements.


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Offline Church-Audio

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I dont think one quality cable sounds better than another quality cable. Actually I guess thats where we differ.

Huh?

So thats why I feel its not necessary to spend so much money on cables. Cheaper cables have issues with reliability thats a proven fact. They also tend to have less conductor in the shield to shield out RF thats a well known fact. Cheaper cables also have issues with microphonics ( in unbalanced low signal applications ) Thats also a well documented fact. So if we just look at the quality of the construction the names I mention are much better than cheaper cables. The quality of the jacket material for example is something you can see with your own eyes.

Again, I have not said anything in this thread about spending money on cables. I just asked you to scientifically say why the cables you say are "cheaper" aren't as good. Are there specs stating that one has "less conductor" or "less shield?" Are there specs that prove these cables have issues with micophones in unbalanced low signal applications? What specifically about the "quality of the construction" of the names you mentioned makes them scientifically better than the "cheaper cables?" You mention "proven facts." What are these?

That's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to argue that ridiculously priced cables sound better. I'm just saying that you and others were very quick to say "prove it," and then said your cables from "brand [insert whatever brand here]" were just as good, or "good enough" when compared to cheaper options. So if you want someone to prove that the more expensive cables are better, I'm just curious if you can prove your statements.
Can I prove my statement? Well let me see yeah from personal experience. I can say that cheaper cables tend to not be reliable. No science there. I can say that you don't have to spend lots of money to get good cables. The specs of the cables are listed on the websites for the respective brands I have mentioned. I dont feel like educating you on why I consider these cables to be of good quality. I just know they are from years of using them in the field and in real world conditions. I have vast experience with cables and connecting equipment both in a live audio setting and in the studio. I have rewired 100's of sound systems and atleast 20 recording studios in the 20 + years as a sound engineer. You are totally missing my point. I will reiterate it again. YOU DONT HAVE TO SPEND A TON OF CASH to get good quality cables. I dont know what the argument is.

And I have said it before and I will say it again.. I don't think there is a difference between one quality cable and another. If both cables have the same electrical properties and construction. I dont know what you don't understand about that. Again nothing personal but you just seem to be looking for an argument. And to be honest I am a very busy guy. I started this thread because I dont believe you need to spend mega bucks on cables and nobody has ever been able to demonstrate the differences between these high end cables and the brands I have mentioned. And you know why? because there is NO difference.

As long as the cable is of a good design using good materials it will allow for the signal to flow. Now you want to talk about what power amp sounds best or what preamp sounds best or what speakers sound best well thats a totally different issue. But good wire / cable is GOOD wire / cable :) The snake oil guys would have you believe otherwise.
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Offline scb

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And I have said it before and I will say it again.. I don't think there is a difference between one quality cable and another. If both cables have the same electrical properties and construction. I dont know what you don't understand about that. Again nothing personal but you just seem to be looking for an argument.

You completely missed the point of everything I've said in this thread.

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And I have said it before and I will say it again.. I don't think there is a difference between one quality cable and another. If both cables have the same electrical properties and construction. I dont know what you don't understand about that. Again nothing personal but you just seem to be looking for an argument.

You completely missed the point of everything I've said in this thread.
OK 
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Offline Gutbucket

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If you ask for specs, I am curious what specs you want and how you use these specs to "prove" one "sounds" better than another

If both cables have the same electrical properties and construction.

The basic measurable electrical specifications which are available for any wire from reputable manufacturers are resistance, capacitance, inductance, signal cross-talk, common mode rejection, etc., specified per foot or per meter - preferably specified with a tolerance range which the actual production product is guaranteed to fall within. 

Beyond those basic measurements I imagine there may be other measurements such as bandwidth, frequency response, etc.  (I’m not a super familiar with the additional data provided by reputable manufacturers)

That is in addition to the specifications describing the materials used, the cable geometry, the type of shielding, reinforcements, cable flexibility, environment constraints of the jacket, conductor color codes, conductor and overall cable dimensions, etc.

Reputable manufacturers provide data sheets describing all those things in an easy to read clear format, as opposed to a sales brochure full of marketing speak.

None of those specifications proves that one cable will sounds better than another.  It provides the buyer with information required to make certain the cables will behave predictably and reliably in the intended application.  Without those specifications, there is no way to know.
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Offline DigiGal

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Here is the science in additional recommended material pertinent to this discussion from this years AES Convention, you can find recordings of these sessions available now LINK HERE

13AES-T05 An Overview of Audio System Grounding and Signal Interfacing

13AES-W21 Lies, Damn Lies, and Audio Gear Specs



edit to add

Still recommend seeking out the excellent technical reference paper I linked in the other thread, it's 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

Other tutorials located from this link --> http://www.aes.org/tutorials/

If people are spending ridiculous amounts of dollars on exotic cables made from UN-obtainium etc. they've got more money than smarts.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 05:07:48 PM by DigiGal »
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Offline ScoobieKW

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And I have said it before and I will say it again.. I don't think there is a difference between one quality cable and another. If both cables have the same electrical properties and construction. I dont know what you don't understand about that. Again nothing personal but you just seem to be looking for an argument.

You completely missed the point of everything I've said in this thread.

To your question SCB. As Chris just replied while I was typing this. We don't need to do scientific testing, it's been done. The specifications published by the major cable manufacturers, Canare, Belden, Mogami, Gepco are available. The science is understood. A good cable for audio has certain electrical characteristics. These can and have been measured for what we consider "quality cables". Beyond those characteristics it gets into physical construction. At this point, experience comes in. Brand X cable fails more often. Brand Y cables have a shield that doesn't hold up when coiled repeatedly. Brand MONSTER cables have an RCA connector that when mated with a female connector stretch the contacts and makes the female connector unusable with other RCA cables.

So what we do is make a price/performance decision, and for most professionals that make a living using cables it comes down to the manufacturers I've listed using connectors built by Neutrik, Canare and Switchcraft. Cheaper cable will often do the job, but often the specs are not available, the build quality is lower, and they work until they don't. (which tends to be sooner)

Note: What Jon, Chris and I consider "Quality Cable" tends to cost 1-2 dollars US a foot, with the connectors in the 3-5 dollar range. Considering we are connecting microphones worth $500-$5000 to preamps and recorders that will run another $300 - $5000, going cheaper on cable just doesn't make sense, if for no other reason than we are capturing one-of-a kind performances where we don't get to ask the band to start again because we had to swap a bad cable.

That said, there is not a need to spend more on "Audiophool Super High Quality Cables" until we've seen specifications that show how these cables are superior on the things that matter. So far, there has not been an "Audiophool" grade cable that has been able to provide solid engineering data to back their claims.

Now I'm off to order 4000' of Belden Cable along with Neutrik and Canare crimpers for new HD switching systems  we are building.
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Offline scb

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Thanks. These last few posts were more along the lines of what I was looking for (at least mentioning things that you would measure if you actually were trying to examine the wires)

Again, I'm not trying to argue with anyone. It just seemed like there was a little "those ridiculously expensive cables can't be any better than the ones I use, but I can't really tell you why the ones I use are better than ones that cost less." So I was wondering what you guys think shows that the ones you use are actually better than ones that cost less.


Offline Church-Audio

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Thanks. These last few posts were more along the lines of what I was looking for (at least mentioning things that you would measure if you actually were trying to examine the wires)

Again, I'm not trying to argue with anyone. It just seemed like there was a little "those ridiculously expensive cables can't be any better than the ones I use, but I can't really tell you why the ones I use are better than ones that cost less." So I was wondering what you guys think shows that the ones you use are actually better than ones that cost less.
I guess I should have said the reason why I go for cable x over something else is specifications. They Audiophool cables tend to not have any real specs. like capacitance per foot. Inductance, resistance per foot ect. And From the 1000's of cables I have made over my life with 100's of different cables.. I know from experience that even the cheapest mogami and canare and belden is better than cheap radio shack cables for example. Making a good quality cable is not rocket science. We know all we need to know about specs of a cable. And the Audiophool companies for the most part leave these out. So doing a direct comparison is impossible based on specs alone. However doing a comparison with real cable companies like the ones I mention is quite easy due to the fact that All of these companies publish specs for the cables they sell. Allowing guys like me to design electronics around a certain cable. Like Jon and his Active mic adapters. That requires a certain type of cable to work properly.

Chris
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Offline dnsacks

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good point -- Seems to me that this thread has drifted a bit too far to the other side of the issue the OP of the old thread raised -- As I see it, there's likely quite a bit we don't KNOW about what's involved in the end-to-end process of making>recording>storing>playing back a sound.  What we can do, however, is apply evidence-based methodologies to determine what does and doesn't work/change.  SCB's prior point was that an esoteric power cable significantly changed his playback system's sound by eliminating a buzz.  Seems easy to confirm this observation through blind testing -- switch out cables without letting SCB see which cable is being used and see how accurately SCB can identify when the esoteric cable's being used.  If SCB can consistently identify the improvements made by the esoteric one, it would seem to prove that the esoteric cable does, in fact improve the sound of his system.

Similarly, while I'm skeptical of many of the snake oil claims being made, shouldn't the same blind testing be applied to these products?  If, say, Victor Wooten (of perfect pitch fame) could consistently identify and describe the changes made by a particular cable/component during blind testing (i.e. listening to the same music under otherwise identical circumstances without knowing which cable was being used), wouldn't such blind testing help validate the esoteric component manufacturer's claims?  Simply stating that since its not supported by current science without testing/validation, seems comparable to taking what the flat-earth folks told Columbus at face value .  . . That said, if I recall correctly, the OP of the old thread was asked if samples could be provided for just such blind tests and came up with a reason not to do so  . ...


Offline ScoobieKW

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We covered the power cable issue in the other thread. The problem he mentioned was 60 hz hum, a symptom of bad grounding. This could be because his original cable was bad. It could also be that before when he changed cables he changed outlets. It could also be that a component in his system had a ground issue. The high grade power cable was doing one of two things.

a. had a working ground
b. Had an unconnected ground.

Without troubleshooting his whole setup, I can't say for certain what the issue was. What I can say, is that eliminating ground noise from an stereo system does not require expensive audiophile grade cables. It either requires making sure all of your grounds are solid and connected at a single point or lifting the grounds on items that aren't sharing a common ground.

Either his expensive cable lifted the ground and didn't connect it, or it replaced a cable with a bad ground.

Again, this is decades old engineering knowledge. No mystical new science foo involved. Tesla, or even Edison could troubleshoot a ground hum.
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Offline scb

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We covered the power cable issue in the other thread. The problem he mentioned was 60 hz hum, a symptom of bad grounding. This could be because his original cable was bad.

Nope, that original cable is not bad.
Neither were the 3 or 4 others I also tried. They're still in my system in other places.


It could also be that before when he changed cables he changed outlets.

Nope.

Without troubleshooting his whole setup, I can't say for certain what the issue was. What I can say, is that eliminating ground noise from an stereo system does not require expensive audiophile grade cables.

I didn't say it required an expensive cable. I simply said that this specific power cable was the only thing that cut it down significantly.

Either his expensive cable lifted the ground and didn't connect it, or it replaced a cable with a bad ground.

It doesn't lift the ground. The other cables also have no grounding issues.

I never said there was anything "magical" about this cable. I don't really know what makes this cable different (all I know is it's huge, with 4awg copper per phase). I never said it had to be good because I paid $300 for it. All I said was it solved my problem in a way nothing else did, so I was willing to pay to keep the cable after I borrowed it.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 08:13:31 PM by scb »

Offline DigiGal

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SCB - Out of curiosity would you be able to measure the ground connector resistance from the plug's ground lug to the IEC socket on that?

The power cable has likely changed the ground connection which cleared up your problem.  If it simply used a lower resistance ground wire than  other cables you used then great that's a good thing. However, if they for instance inserted diodes in the ground path then that would be a bad thing.  Such practices are unsafe and potentially deadly but not beyond sleazy overpriced cable manufacturers and they wouldn't admit to it in order to cover there arses.
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Offline Church-Audio

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SCB - Out of curiosity would you be able to measure the ground connector resistance from the plug's ground lug to the IEC socket on that?

The power cable has likely changed the ground connection which cleared up your problem.  If it simply used a lower resistance ground wire than  other cables you used then great that's a good thing. However, if they for instance inserted diodes in the ground path then that would be a bad thing.  Such practices are unsafe and potentially deadly but not beyond sleazy overpriced cable manufacturers and they wouldn't admit to it in order to cover there arses.
What she said  ;D
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Offline scb

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how do I do that?

and no, no diodes in there

Offline DigiGal

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how do I do that?

and no, no diodes in there

You will need a multimeter to measure resistance and preferably one with a diode check too, doesn't have to be an expensive Fluke though for this simple check.  You don't know that the manufacturer didn't put diodes in the ground line of the cable or its plug if you haven't made the measurements to check (diodes are easily concealed).  I'm not stating that's what Sablon Audio did but it is possible and they certainly wouldn't tell you if they did.  Like I pointed out if they lowered the resistance of the wire used for safety ground connection then great that's the right thing to do.

DIODES --> For example, the Ebtech HumX does not advertise the diodes but that is precisely what they are doing and the reason the device doesn't carry a UL approval and never will.  The diodes are encased/molded within so you'll never see them but a multimeter will tell you that's what Ebtech is doing.  Such practices are not safe and potentially LETHAL!!! :yikes:  While yes they will get rid of a hum it is accomplished by Smoke and Mirrors, the mirrors don't tell you how they did it and the smoke when the thing fails.

Using a plug adapter to eliminate ground is not safe either and those adapters state right on them their proper and intended use, if people use them improperly the manufacturer is covered.  The HumX or a cable with diodes will pass a simple continuity test but NEC does not allow anything to be inserted in the safety ground path because it is unsafe.  Doesn't stop dubious manufacturers from finding a way around the practice though.  Something like this could help explain high prices, where they may incur high legal fees employing more attorneys than engineers.  Very sorry to see these Ebtech HumX's are made in the USA.

DO NOT USE THESE ! ! !
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 01:37:44 PM by DigiGal »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Picking a few nits- I’m no EE, or even very circuit-wise so please correct any of my errors here.

Any analog signal passing device, in this case a piece of cable, which has measurable inductance, capacitance, and impedance will form a filter that determines the bandwidth and frequency response through the device (which are closely related but not identical measures).  A length of cable will have a bandwidth limit, which can be described more precisely as a frequency response measurement, as determined by those charateristics.  It’s interaction with the other devices before and after it forms other filters.

That the bandwidths of those filters are orders of magnitude larger and frequency responses orders of magnitude flatter than what is necessary for essentially completely unaffected analog audio signal transmission in competently designed equipment is a critically important point to make in this thread.  Yet that does not change the fact that these phenomena are real, measureable, and predictable.  That they are measurable to tolerances so far beyond any reasonable influence on human audibility bolsters the argument for scientific objectivity.  It does the argument no good to dismiss those charateristics as non-existant when they are simply inconsequential to the intended application in well designed equipment.

The important points in favor of your position (which I agree with) are that those characteristics are real, measurable, and inconsequential to audio transmission except in the specific cases you mention and in improperly designed and/or implemented equipment.

Would you say that's a correct assement?
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Offline Church-Audio

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Picking a few nits- I’m no EE, or even very circuit-wise so please correct any of my errors here.

Any analog signal passing device, in this case a piece of cable, which has measurable inductance, capacitance, and impedance will form a filter that determines the bandwidth and frequency response through the device (which are closely related but not identical measures).  A length of cable will have a bandwidth limit, which can be described more precisely as a frequency response measurement, as determined by those charateristics.  It’s interaction with the other devices before and after it forms other filters.

That the bandwidths of those filters are orders of magnitude larger and frequency responses orders of magnitude flatter than what is necessary for essentially completely unaffected analog audio signal transmission in competently designed equipment is a critically important point to make in this thread.  Yet that does not change the fact that these phenomena are real, measureable, and predictable.  That they are measurable to tolerances so far beyond any reasonable influence on human audibility bolsters the argument for scientific objectivity.  It does the argument no good to dismiss those charateristics as non-existant when they are simply inconsequential to the intended application in well designed equipment.

The important points in favor of your position (which I agree with) are that those characteristics are real, measurable, and inconsequential to audio transmission except in the specific cases you mention and in improperly designed and/or implemented equipment.

Would you say that's a correct assement?
Yes and it should be noted amplitude can also be effected by resistance of the cable IE signal loss. We can also get inducted noise that can play around with introducing distortion. But this would only be in an extreme case. IE feedback loop caused by a powerful signal that is the same as the signal present in the cable. This can cause problems in phase of the signal. Again most cables with a quality shield will not have this issue. And in speaker wires we do not have to worry about inducted signals at all obviously. Generally speaking capacitance in relation to the circuits the cable is being connected to can change or alter the frequency response by creating a simple filter. This would happen in the high frequency area not generally in the low frequency area.
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Offline Gutbucket

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No, because you need to know the source impedance to calculate the bandwidth.  Therefore the cable itself cannot have a bandwidth (within reason, say into the GHz range). 

The part I've bolded is one source of my confusion I think.  Doesn't that mean the cable itself is ultimately limited to a GHz range bandwidth that is so wide that it isn't significant for the application ("within reason")?   I'm attempting to drill down to basic principles here, rather than practical audio implementations.

That one needs to know the source impedance to determine bandwidth...  OK, that is determining the characteristics of the filters described by the interaction between the cable and the devices before and after it. I think I get that part.

[partly off-topic aside-]
Can a device have absolutely zero measurable source impedance?  Although I may be mistaken, I think I’ve read about amp designers playing with designs which achieve negative impedance, although not necessarily useful.  If so, wouldn’t that create runaway oscillation? I don’t think that would imply infinite bandwidth however.

Quote
However, when we get to digital/RF signal transmission there is usually a defined impedance, so for those cables (which also have to be designed with matching characteristic impedance) there is a given signal loss per length of cable.  Still not quite a bandwidth because it's dependent upon cable length.

I understand how signal loss is not the same as bandwidth.  Signal measured at two locations can have the same bandwidth but different levels. Conversely they could have the same level but different bandwidths (dependant on how level is measured, it would have to be a narrow bandwidth measure, well within the corner frequency limits of both).  What I don't get is why transmittable frequency range limits that are dependant on cable length (or not) would not be described as ‘bandwidth’.

Thanks for your help in understanding this.
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Offline raymonda

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Mogami advertises their platinum cable as having more frequency extension than any other cable before it. I guess according to what is being expressed here they are selling snake oil.

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Mogami advertises their platinum cable as having more frequency extension than any other cable before it. I guess according to what is being expressed here they are selling snake oil.
LOL no they are just saying its very low pf per foot in a way that most consumers can understand including idiotphiles.
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Thank you very much for those clarifications, Jon.
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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)

 

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