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fr0g's picture
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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

mikefarrow wrote:

benlaw thanks for your input.

does this mean that a cable with a ferrite bead will sound different to a cable without ?

can the people who believe cables all sound the same reply to this ?

the difference is not in nuances. I added ferrite cores to my speaker cables because the internal amp was reacting to my mobile phone.

ie ... it stopped the occaisional crackle. It makes no difference to bass, treble, soundstage etc

 

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

Tear Drop wrote:

Broner wrote:

ask yourself again what the value is your personal experience.

 

Wow, you're right, personal experiences mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Thanks.

 

I appreciate the sarcasm. I really do. But to give you a very direct reply: personal experiences on cables while knowing which cable is connected to the system do not mean nothing, but neither give any conclusive evidence on what exactly the source is of what you are hearing. Are you hearing a different cable or are you hearing the expectation of hearing a different cable? Tests all prove that the latter is the case. You may hink that although hundreds of cables have been tested in a scientific way with all the same result (they all sound the same) that your cable is somehow special, or that in the great lottery of organs upon birth you were awarded with much better ears than the people that actually participate in proper tests. For all I know you might as well disagree with the entire idea of proper empirical investigation. To me, and to anyone who respects the principles of scientific research, this all sounds just plain silly. Yes, you know what you hear, but you have no idea if what you hear is actually identical to the sound that is being emitted by the system.  More than 200 years after Kant has written The Critique of Pure Reason it still pains me to notice that so many people fail to appreciate how the mind mediates experiences.

 

I still have some members in my family who think they are able to find water with a wooden y-shaped stick. Nevermind that the practice of dowsing had never produced better results than what is statistically to be expected, they have experienced for themselves that it works. People are excellent at fooling themselves and that is what this little topic on cables is all about.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

Broner wrote:

Tear Drop wrote:

Broner wrote:

ask yourself again what the value is your personal experience.

 

Wow, you're right, personal experiences mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Thanks.

 

I appreciate the sarcasm. I really do. But to give you a very direct reply: personal experiences on cables while knowing which cable is connected to the system do not mean nothing, but neither give any conclusive evidence on what exactly the source is of what you are hearing. Are you hearing a different cable or are you hearing the expectation of hearing a different cable? Tests all prove that the latter is the case. You may hink that although hundreds of cables have been tested in a scientific way with all the same result (they all sound the same) that your cable is somehow special, or that in the great lottery of organs upon birth you were awarded with much better ears than the people that actually participate in proper tests. For all I know you might as well disagree with the entire idea of proper empirical investigation. To me, and to anyone who respects the principles of scientific research, this all sounds just plain silly. Yes, you know what you hear, but you have no idea if what you hear is actually identical to the sound that is being emitted by the system.  More than 200 years after Kant has written The Critique of Pure Reason it still pains me to notice that so many people fail to appreciate how the mind mediates experiences.

 

I still have some members in my family who think they are able to find water with a wooden y-shaped stick. Nevermind that the practice of dowsing had never produced better results than what is statistically to be expected, they have experienced for themselves that it works. People are excellent at fooling themselves and that is what this little topic on cables is all about.

I like this post very much.

 

I can't be bothered to document all my cable experiences but started off a bit sceptical, then was curious so tried some cables (different and more expensive than the already very expensive cables I had that the shop gave me a large discount on when I bought my system), was shocked and suprised that they made a difference, got curious again so decided to blind test them, was shocked and suprised again when it turned out they 'sounded' identical to the ones I already had.  Have since blind tested speaker cables/interconnects/power leads a few times, and in a few different systems, always with the same result - no difference.  I'm quite happy that the science is right.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

andyjm wrote:

mikefarrow wrote:

thanks for your input trevc !

when i swapped the free "kettle lead" cable on my intergrated amp for a much thicker russ andrews signature cable the sound improved in all areas but mainly in the bass output of my system which became louder/fuller (?)

this is apparently due to the lower resistance that this thicker cable has hence it supplies the amp with power more easily.

wether this is true/the actual reason, i wouldnt know - i just know that this mains cable performs better than the free one !

Mike,

You are of course free to believe what you like, but that mains cable isn't impacting the bass response of your amp in any way. 

At a stretch, under very contrived circumstances, changing a mains cable MAY make a difference to the the pickup of stray RF (it can act as an aeriel), and if the amp has been designed very badly, this may eventually find its way to the output and possibly increase background noise. Nothing you are going to do to your mains cable (apart from disconnect it) will impact the bass response of your amp.

The technical explanation:

Mains is AC, your amp runs on DC.  The mains waveform is a sine wave, 50 complete waves per second. This is useless to power an amp, it is the wrong voltage, and needs to be rectified and smoothed.

The power supply in your amp first reduces the AC voltage through a transformer. This is then rectified through a bridge rectifier.  Instead of an AC waveform going positive and negative, the rectified signal now only has positive going pulses, 100 per second. This is still useless to power an amp, and has to be smoothed by a storage capacitor to fill in the gaps between the pulses.  The following link has a good explanation of this and diagrams of the waveforms.  Scroll down to "Full Wave Rectifier Waveforms":

  http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/blog/unregulated-power-supply.html

So, lets imagine that a bass drum kick comes along to be amplified, and it just happens to coincide with the point that the mains AC waveform is zero.  What happens?  The amp can't draw power from the AC supply, at this instant, there isn't any to be had. It draws power from the storage capacitor. The best analogy is to think of the storage capacitor as a bucket, the amp is fed from a hole in the bottom of the bucket by a steady stream, the AC waveform comes along from time to time to slosh some more water in the top of the bucket.

The point is that instantaneous power demands are met by the storage capacitiors in the power supply, not the mains AC waveform (how could it if it is zero?). The AC waveform supplies the AVERAGE power used by the amp, not the instantaneous peaks. The average power demand from an amp is very low, just a few 100's of watts at the most - even with very inefficent designs (most of the supply gets given off as heat, and doesn't find its way to the speakers) - your wife's hairdryer will draw many, many times the power of your amp.

So, how can changing the mains cable make any difference to the instantaneous power available in the amp to improve bass response?

It can't. 

 

 

Bravo. Now let's have no more of this nonsense.

Andyjm's explanation would be rather more convincing if he did not gloss over the one aspect of this debate that is known to make an audible difference, ie Radio Frequency Interference.

I have owned, in recent years, a Plasma TV and two dacs that have an effect on the sound of my system when plugged in and switched on, they do not even have to be connected to the system for this to occur. 

Whilst not formally qualified in this area I have hunted down RF problems in many studios, theaters and homes and radiated RF around a sysyem can be considerable, dropping off with distance. My plasma for example, in it's normal position on top of the equipment cabinet, was quite clearly audible as an increase in the noise floor on my system, quite obvious.

This is an area that has had very little attention, Paul Miller, did some work on this in the 90's, showing how equipment reacted in different ways to the presence of RFI, it was not at all complimentary to some products but has been somewhat swept under the carpet since.

If the RFI is airborn rather than being transmitted through the mains then it is possible that, in the critical area around the equipment, different mains cables could react differently in their susceptibility to RFI and this could be audible.

 

Erm, he was talking about bass response. Red herring.

 

The bass response was an example chosen to explain why the mains cable should have no effect an the sound of an amplifier.

The RFI issue is another example, in this case chosen to illustrate how, by rejecting high levels of RFI in the environment close to the equipment, a different mains lead might have an effect on the sound of an amplifier.

 

Which if it is a problem can be dealt with with a cheap ferrite core:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrite_bead

Which does not alter the conclusion, that a different, shielded perhaps, mains cable might have an effect on the SQ. That the same effect may be obtained by other means is not the point.

I never suggested that after market mains leads were cost effective.

 

No mention was made by the OP of any sound interference  getting into the amplifier, so it's still a red herring. 

The thread is about whether or not a cable, in this case a mains cable, can effect the SQ of the component.

RFI getting into your equiment can do exactly that. Some mains cables may minimise this and reduce the effect of RFI on SQ.

If you think that is a red herring, fair enough, I'm not interested in an argument of this type.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

Broner wrote:

personal experiences on cables while knowing which cable is connected to the system do not mean nothing

 

The whole 'knowing, not knowing', 'blind testing' and 'ABX' shenanigans makes me chuckle.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

Tear Drop wrote:

The whole 'knowing, not knowing', 'blind testing' and 'ABX' shenanigans makes me chuckle.

It's the "unknown unknowns" that cause all the trouble!  :shifty:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

BenLaw wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

andyjm wrote:

mikefarrow wrote:

thanks for your input trevc !

when i swapped the free "kettle lead" cable on my intergrated amp for a much thicker russ andrews signature cable the sound improved in all areas but mainly in the bass output of my system which became louder/fuller (?)

this is apparently due to the lower resistance that this thicker cable has hence it supplies the amp with power more easily.

wether this is true/the actual reason, i wouldnt know - i just know that this mains cable performs better than the free one !

Mike,

You are of course free to believe what you like, but that mains cable isn't impacting the bass response of your amp in any way. 

At a stretch, under very contrived circumstances, changing a mains cable MAY make a difference to the the pickup of stray RF (it can act as an aeriel), and if the amp has been designed very badly, this may eventually find its way to the output and possibly increase background noise. Nothing you are going to do to your mains cable (apart from disconnect it) will impact the bass response of your amp.

The technical explanation:

Mains is AC, your amp runs on DC.  The mains waveform is a sine wave, 50 complete waves per second. This is useless to power an amp, it is the wrong voltage, and needs to be rectified and smoothed.

The power supply in your amp first reduces the AC voltage through a transformer. This is then rectified through a bridge rectifier.  Instead of an AC waveform going positive and negative, the rectified signal now only has positive going pulses, 100 per second. This is still useless to power an amp, and has to be smoothed by a storage capacitor to fill in the gaps between the pulses.  The following link has a good explanation of this and diagrams of the waveforms.  Scroll down to "Full Wave Rectifier Waveforms":

  http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/blog/unregulated-power-supply.html

So, lets imagine that a bass drum kick comes along to be amplified, and it just happens to coincide with the point that the mains AC waveform is zero.  What happens?  The amp can't draw power from the AC supply, at this instant, there isn't any to be had. It draws power from the storage capacitor. The best analogy is to think of the storage capacitor as a bucket, the amp is fed from a hole in the bottom of the bucket by a steady stream, the AC waveform comes along from time to time to slosh some more water in the top of the bucket.

The point is that instantaneous power demands are met by the storage capacitiors in the power supply, not the mains AC waveform (how could it if it is zero?). The AC waveform supplies the AVERAGE power used by the amp, not the instantaneous peaks. The average power demand from an amp is very low, just a few 100's of watts at the most - even with very inefficent designs (most of the supply gets given off as heat, and doesn't find its way to the speakers) - your wife's hairdryer will draw many, many times the power of your amp.

So, how can changing the mains cable make any difference to the instantaneous power available in the amp to improve bass response?

It can't. 

 

 

Bravo. Now let's have no more of this nonsense.

Andyjm's explanation would be rather more convincing if he did not gloss over the one aspect of this debate that is known to make an audible difference, ie Radio Frequency Interference.

I have owned, in recent years, a Plasma TV and two dacs that have an effect on the sound of my system when plugged in and switched on, they do not even have to be connected to the system for this to occur. 

Whilst not formally qualified in this area I have hunted down RF problems in many studios, theaters and homes and radiated RF around a sysyem can be considerable, dropping off with distance. My plasma for example, in it's normal position on top of the equipment cabinet, was quite clearly audible as an increase in the noise floor on my system, quite obvious.

This is an area that has had very little attention, Paul Miller, did some work on this in the 90's, showing how equipment reacted in different ways to the presence of RFI, it was not at all complimentary to some products but has been somewhat swept under the carpet since.

If the RFI is airborn rather than being transmitted through the mains then it is possible that, in the critical area around the equipment, different mains cables could react differently in their susceptibility to RFI and this could be audible.

 

Erm, he was talking about bass response. Red herring.

 

The bass response was an example chosen to explain why the mains cable should have no effect an the sound of an amplifier.

The RFI issue is another example, in this case chosen to illustrate how, by rejecting high levels of RFI in the environment close to the equipment, a different mains lead might have an effect on the sound of an amplifier.

 

Which if it is a problem can be dealt with with a cheap ferrite core:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrite_bead

Which does not alter the conclusion, that a different, shielded perhaps, mains cable might have an effect on the SQ. That the same effect may be obtained by other means is not the point.

I never suggested that after market mains leads were cost effective.

 

No mention was made by the OP of any sound interference  getting into the amplifier, so it's still a red herring. 

The thread is about whether or not a cable, in this case a mains cable, can effect the SQ of the component.

RFI getting into your equiment can do exactly that. Some mains cables may minimise this and reduce the effect of RFI on SQ.

If you think that is a red herring, fair enough, I'm not interested in an argument of this type.

 

Just putting you straight. Sorry if you don't like it. Interference doesn't cause a sound quality deterioration per se, and there is no evidence that any mains lead will fix it anyway.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

thanks for your post davedotco - well said

can all future posters read my original question ?

if you are a cable sceptic please state what expensive cables you have tested ,and the results obtained (or lack of) which have shaped your views

if you have not tried any expensive cables please dont post !

your experiences of expensive cables are what this topic is about !

 

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

mikefarrow wrote:

thanks for your post davedotco - well said

can all future posters read my original question ?

if you are a cable sceptic please state what expensive cables you have tested ,and the results obtained (or lack of) which have shaped your views

if you have not tried any expensive cables please dont post !

your experiences of expensive cables are what this topic is about !

 

 

I have a question. If someone knows that buying expensive cables is pointless why would they try them? 

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

trevc my opening post/question was aimed at people who have tried expensive cables (with an open mind) and have experienced mixed or bad results eg the more expensive cables made their system sound "different" but not "better". (eg deeper bass output but less tuneful)

i believe you can not be a sceptic untill you have tried something first otherwise you opinion is worthless - understand ?

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

mikefarrow wrote:

 

i believe you can not be a sceptic untill you have tried something first otherwise you opinion is worthless - understand ?

 

I'm sceptical about life after death.

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

MakkaPakka wrote:

mikefarrow wrote:

 

i believe you can not be a sceptic untill you have tried something first otherwise you opinion is worthless - understand ?

 

I'm sceptical about life after death.

 

:grin:

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

makkapakka/benlaw - were descussing hi fi cables !

 

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RE: Mike, you are a brave fellow.

I'm really trying not to. How's the weather where you are? Didn't rain much today, though it is cold. I made a nice stew which warmed us up. 

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RE: cable sceptics give us your experiences !

You walked into it.

 

What exactly is an 'expensive' cable?

 

I would say a £49 cable is quite expensive (given that the one that came in the box is probably 99p) but apparently if I spend £49 I'm going to lose about 60% of the detail! See here:

 

http://www.chord.co.uk/product/chord-crimson-vee-3-stereo-rca-interconnect/

 

Even if I spend £1,600 I still don't quite get all the detail:

 

http://www.chord.co.uk/product/chord-sarum-tuned-aray-stereo-rca-pair/

 

If my CD player cost £300 then that's quite a lot of expense just to get all the detail to my amp!

 

 

 

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