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Re: Cable Con?
Dan Turner:

I'll add my perspective.

I think that cables can make a difference. From a rational perspective because different cables have different properties and characteristics and so it's not hard to believe that can influence a musical signal, and from an experience perspective, because I've experimented with different cables and some of them have made a difference.

I do think that not all differences amount to one being better than the other except in the ear of the beholder based on personal preferences and partnering kit, and I do think that the based on the prices of cables that professional musicians and recording engineers pay that the cables for the consumer 'hi-fi' market are way overpriced.  Part of it is also that in the quest to eek the last ounce of (often theoretical) performance out of a cable and to create a unique selling point manufacturers are employing ever more exotic materials and production techniques, which lead to an extremely diminished return for the consumer.

2 experiences of mine to highlight the fact that a) differences do exist *sometimes* and b) expensive doesn't always mean better are:

1) traying out Atlas Hyper 2.0 (£15/m) as an upgrade from Van Damme (£4/m) - the Atlas had noticeably better mid-range detail and tighter bass

2) Comparing a £250 Chord Chorus 2 i/c to one hand made by some guy selling on ebay - he was using high quality materials, and the total cost was £30 - thought I'd give it a bash and I could not tell the slightest difference.


But which properties and characteristics make for a better sound? Resistance causes volume differences by attenuation, but that is of no great consequence in terms of sound quality. Capacitance, inductance how do they affect sound quality? It does not appear to matter what a cable is made with, its maker will claim better sound. 

Please blind test the Atlas, Van Damme, Chord and ebay cables and post the results back. Yes

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Re: Cable Con?

To add another perspective:

When talking about cables, people often refer to the electronics themselves as boxes.  Remember, these boxes also contain wiring.

If using cables in the following configuration...

CDP > XYZ interconnect (£500) > Amp > XYZ speaker cable (£1500) > Speakers

... then the signal is still passing through lengths of relatively inexpensive wire.  Now if the claims of company XYZ are correct, in that their cables are superior in extracting information, then surely those benefits are negated as the signal passes through the electronics.

If the relatively ordinary cable really is inferior, then the second you place a CD in the CDP, all benefits of expensive cables further down the chain are lost - unless you open up the CDP, Amp and Speakers and rewire them with the cable from XYZ.

I think a lot of argument could be avoided if the cable companys stopped claiming "better sound" and instead offered customers "their sound". 

In other words, make it clear that (according to them) their cables are changing the sound whilst it travels from CDP to Amp, and again from Amp to Speakers.  If the consumer can hear, prefer and afford the change, then that is their prerogotive.

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Cable con with a twist

I think it's worth investing in good quality copper cable for speakers due to lower resistance with copper wire.

However, the current big con is copper coated aluminium wire - much of the budget speaker wire being sold on ebay and amazon being CCA. It looks great, and is described as high quality, multi-strand, etc, but not worth the budget price it often comes at.

If you've purchased what you thought was some bargain speaker wire, try scaping it with a blade, if it's genuine copper wire the colour won't change.

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Its been a touch embarrassing

Its been a touch embarrassing reading through this. I shall have to learn to chill, and I apologise for being so abrupt.

As I am still unable to post new threads I thought this was ideal to mention that I have found some very interesting graphs on the internet done by cable sceptics :
3 tests on 3 different types of speaker cable into an 8 ohm load and out of the amplifier terminals

They were all pretty much exactly the same

Then they used a loudspeaker with a passive crossover and did the same : but measuring from the amplifier terminals and the louspeaker terminals. The results were  different for each cable at both the amp end whilst at the loudspeaker end they were markedly different : easily over 5 db in some areas!
Finally they did the same experiment into a subwoofer with what I would describe as even greater differences.

This is well within the realms of being to hear differences.
Id post a link if the team are happy for me to do so?

 

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There are no restrictions on

There are no restrictions on the links you post anymore, unless they contain profanities or abuse to WHF staff.

So yes,you can post it.

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bigboss wrote:

bigboss wrote:

There are no restrictions on the links you post anymore, unless they contain profanities or abuse to WHF staff.

So yes,you can post it.

 

Cheers

Linky
It would take something quite a bit more accurate to measure, but I would love to see the differences between various passages of music

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I've not read all through

I've not read all through this old thread again but I'm not sure if anyone with half a brain has said that different cables can't effect the sound of analogue audio. That's implying all cables have the same electrical properties. But I think what most people agree is that if you take into consideration all the known variables, as acknowleged by 150+ year old physics theorems, there's no reason why two cables which meet the same electrical specification, one costing £3.69* a meter and the other costing a magnutude of 10x or 100x more, are going to sound different. The alleged con is not that all analogue cables sound the same. The alleged con is that more expensive cables which to all intents and purposes measure the same as cheaper ones (and hence would pass the test you've linked to) still sound better because they're expensive and have been breathed on by some pseudo-scientist with cotton gloves and a white coat.

*random figure pulled out of thin air but you catch my drift.

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MajorFubar wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

I've not read all through this old thread again but I'm not sure if anyone with half a brain has said that different cables can't effect the sound of analogue audio. That's implying all cables have the same electrical properties. But I think what most people agree is that if you take into consideration all the known variables, as acknowleged by 150+ year old physics theorems, there's no reason why two cables which meet the same electrical specification, one costing £3.69* a meter and the other costing a magnutude of 10x or 100x more, are going to sound different. The alleged con is not that all analogue cables sound the same. The alleged con is that more expensive cables which to all intents and purposes measure the same as cheaper ones (and hence would pass the test you've linked to) still sound better because they're expensive and have been breathed on by some pseudo-scientist with cotton gloves and a white coat.

*random figure pulled out of thin air but you catch my drift.

The point of the post was also to show that they did in fact measure pretty much exactly the same 'until' they were connected to the loudspeaker.
I will quote from it : "They were all very much sceptics with regard to significant loudspeaker cable differences - at least between adequately rated cables'
Which suggests to me that the cables measured quite similarly, well within the realms of what sceptics believe is a perfectly adequate cable in that one will perform pretty much the same as another (And looked to be exactly that from the 1st test).
But tests seem to show that one cable 'may' subjectively sound better in one system but worse in another. To say the expensive cables dont subjectively sound any better isnt particularly scientific, but measurements, as I have provided, can at least show there are measureable differences. However,  as you say, if two cables are 'exactly' the same in every concievable way, then theyre exactly the same regardless of cost. I will point out something you wrote though : all 'known' variables. I know from reading science magazines that scientists are finding more and more out about life, the universe and everything in it every day. (And I am talking about far wider reaching subjects than what differences a cable makes in a hifi system) : Imagine looking at a cable at the atomic level to see what the electrons are really doing? The possibilities of quantum cables? We are a very very long way off the 'perfect; hifi system (One that recreates sound perfectly), but as the years roll by, we get ever closer.
Just because people haven't accurately measured something, or measured something the correct way, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Can you please also apologise for the 'half a brain' comment? Im an aerospace engineer with quite a breadth of far reaching information.
Im not pointing fingers or saying 'this is right or this is wrong', im presenting measured facts to people.
I am not trying to start an argument, just healthy debate. Name calling is a pretty poor start if I am honest.
 

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You can be employed in any

You can be employed in any profession you like doesn't mean in the context of the discussion you're protected from being called an idiot.

Audiophooles are always chasing that sweet foo.

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Anderson wrote:

Anderson wrote:

You can be employed in any profession you like doesn't mean in the context of the discussion you're protected from being called an idiot.

Time will tell who the fool is
Do you refute the findings of the post I linked to?

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"In science, ideas can never be completely proved or completely disproved. Instead, science accepts or rejects ideas based on supporting and refuting evidence, and may revise those conclusions if warranted by new evidence or perspectives."

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I'll humour you.

I'll humour you.

Tell us how their findings relate to audiobility?

 

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Anderson wrote:

Anderson wrote:

Tell us how their findings relate to audiobility?

Anything over 3db in change from one cable to another will definitely be audible to anyone who has 'adequate working' ears. Its believed some 'golden eared' people can even tell 0.1db changes as everyones ears are different

I think you may have accidentally missed my question though : do you refute their measurements?

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aliEnRIK wrote:

aliEnRIK wrote:

Anderson wrote:

Tell us how their findings relate to audiobility?

Anything over 3db in change from one cable to another will definitely be audible to anyone who has 'adequate working' ears. Its believed some 'golden eared' people can even tell 0.1db changes as everyones ears are different

I think you may have accidentally missed my question though : do you refute their measurements?

Sorry I did miss that.

No I don't dispute the measurements, I'm disputing the relevance. Are you saying that those with "golden ears" are able to discern 3db difference of intermodulation distortion, that's what they're measuring btw.

For further reading you may wish to read the original authers paper..

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Anderson wrote:

Anderson wrote:

Sorry I did miss that.

No I don't dispute the measurements, I'm disputing the relevance. Are you saying that those with "golden ears" are able to discern 3db difference of intermodulation distortion, that's what they're measuring btw.

For further reading you may wish to read the original authers paper..

 

Please do explain in as much detail as you can. I am fascinated by what you have to say

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