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Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

shadders wrote:

I recall at school examining electrostatic charges using a gold leaf electroscope - you could instantly discharge the charge on the plate once it was established - with your finger.

Hence, Cardas use of known phenomena would seem to be miss applied to confuse people into believing that expensive cables are more advanced than standard multistranded cables with equivalent electrical characteristics.

Regards,

Shadders.

Many thanks for your impartial and knowledgeable observations..............I have said all along that I didn't know how much of this was miss applied science. He has spent a lifetime studying, designing and selling cables, and is one of the most respected people in the industry.....which BTW, doesn't mean he is right in what he says.

Quite a lot of what he says is echoed by other brands (like Atlas), and he does show measureable effects on some of the videos.....again, I don't have the knowledge to assess their validity. What I can do is listen to them, and they sound excellent.

It is quite possible if he was here in person to answer the charges, he could elaborate further and in a way that would explain his findings / logic.

beauty, eh

Cno

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Helmut80's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

lindsayt wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

...You asked for reasoning behind cable break-in, and I gave you some:

- "If you measure a new cable with a Voltmeter, you will see a standing voltage, because good dielectrics make poor conductors"...

 

I've just measured a 60 metre reel of new, unused speaker cable with my voltmeter on its most sensitive settings.

 

Guess what my reading was?

 

.000 volts!

 

pics or it didn't happen. 

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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

Bizarre comment. 

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shadders's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

CnoEvil wrote:

shadders wrote:

I recall at school examining electrostatic charges using a gold leaf electroscope - you could instantly discharge the charge on the plate once it was established - with your finger.

Hence, Cardas use of known phenomena would seem to be miss applied to confuse people into believing that expensive cables are more advanced than standard multistranded cables with equivalent electrical characteristics.

Regards,

Shadders.

Many thanks for your impartial and knowledgeable observations..............I have said all along that I didn't know how much of this was miss applied science. He has spent a lifetime studying, designing and selling cables, and is one of the most respected people in the industry.....which BTW, doesn't mean he is right in what he says.

Quite a lot of what he says is echoed by other brands (like Atlas), and he does show measureable effects on some of the videos.....again, I don't have the knowledge to assess their validity. What I can do is listen to them, and they sound excellent.

It is quite possible if he was here in person to answer the charges, he could elaborate further and in a way that would explain his findings / logic.

beauty, eh

Cno

Hi,

I examined two videos - Cable Resonance and Current Through a Cable.

Cable resonance has always been known - this is basic transmission line theory - but what the video does not state is the frequency of that resonance. Given the general properties of cables - this is likely to be very high - MHz and outside the hearing range of people. He also talks of reflections and resonance. Reflections are caused by a mismatch in impedance of a terminating impedance at the end of a transmission line and the transmission line characteristic impedance - assume no break or joints in between. He states he has solved this - but this can only be true for a specific impedance - as soon as the speaker impedance drops or rises above this nominal impedance - reflections will occur.

Cable current - showed flexing of cable with a current passed. Standard operation - interaction of magnetic field between conductors - in a cable the dielectric (cable sheath) will reduce this action - and will be the cause of the measured capacitance, conductance, inductance and resistance per unit length. One can change the dielectric and distance between the conductors in the cable to change these values.

I have not seen any evidence of why cables sound different - is there another video i should be examining ?

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.

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krlock3's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

Never trust someone who cannot spell misapplied poke, prod

I bought Cardas clear light for my system: speaker cables and interconnects.

I havent an ounce of scientific credentials to my name. However, I did spend several weeks listening to a few different cable types and AB'ing. My ears preferred the Cardas by some margin. So I went with that. So applaud me if you think I have discerning ears, or shoot me if you think I am psychoacoustically challenged.

Personally, I equate cable wars with vexing middle eastern political uprisings... very very tough to solve. Someone call Hilary Clinton or Ban Ki Moon!

But seriously, I heard a difference that was meaningful to me, it was enough for me to pony up the cash. I remain a big fan of Cardas products.

__________________

------- HIFI: CDP: Cyrus CD8SE+, Pre: Cyrus PreXpdQx, Powers: Cyrus Mono X200s, Speakers: B&W CM9s, Interconnects & Speaker Cables: Cardas Clear Light, Power conditioner: Running Springs Elgar, Speaker Isolation pads: CRTech, Equipment Isolation: Black Ravioli. -------------------------------AV: AV Receiver: Sony STR-DA5500ES, Fronts: B&W CM9s, Center: B&W CMCentre, Rears: B&W CM1, Sub: B&W ASWCM10, Surround speaker cable by Tara Labs, HDMI by Van Den Hul and Sony, Projector: Sanyo PLV-Z700

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

shadders wrote:

Hi,

I examined two videos - Cable Resonance and Current Through a Cable.

Cable resonance has always been known - this is basic transmission line theory - but what the video does not state is the frequency of that resonance. Given the general properties of cables - this is likely to be very high - MHz and outside the hearing range of people. He also talks of reflections and resonance. Reflections are caused by a mismatch in impedance of a terminating impedance at the end of a transmission line and the transmission line characteristic impedance - assume no break or joints in between. He states he has solved this - but this can only be true for a specific impedance - as soon as the speaker impedance drops or rises above this nominal impedance - reflections will occur.

Cable current - showed flexing of cable with a current passed. Standard operation - interaction of magnetic field between conductors - in a cable the dielectric (cable sheath) will reduce this action - and will be the cause of the measured capacitance, conductance, inductance and resistance per unit length. One can change the dielectric and distance between the conductors in the cable to change these values.

I have not seen any evidence of why cables sound different - is there another video i should be examining ?

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.

Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble.

The only evidence I have for cables sounding different, is I (like many others) have heard them doing so......this got me intrigued enough to try and find out a little more. As it happened, I heard the difference before I read the "explanations", so I wasn't brainwashed before hand.

Cardas make a big deal about their patented "Matched Propagation" as described a bit here (as well as giving a couple of videos): http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CRLGIC

Here is his latest patent (awarded for the Matched Propagation Conductors), which may make more sense to you, than me: http://www.cardas.com/patent/US_Patent_7674973.pdf

His patent for his Golden Ratio is here: http://www.cardas.com/patent/US_Patent_4628151.pdf

Please feel under no obligation to trawl through all this, but it may help explain more about what he is trying to do, than the sanitized website version......or it may not.

If you ever get the chance to hear some expensive cables (from TQ; Siltech; Cardas; Atlas etc), and subsequently notice a profound difference, I would love to get your thoughts.....a (perfectly valid) assumption that cables can make little difference, stops the exploration of the possibility, since a forgone conclusion is quite logically assumed.

Cno

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

krlock3 wrote:

Never trust someone who cannot spell misapplied poke, prod

I bought Cardas clear light for my system: speaker cables and interconnects.

I havent an ounce of scientific credentials to my name. However, I did spend several weeks listening to a few different cable types and AB'ing. My ears preferred the Cardas by some margin. So I went with that. So applaud me if you think I have discerning ears, or shoot me if you think I am psychoacoustically challenged.

Personally, I equate cable wars with vexing middle eastern political uprisings... very very tough to solve. Someone call Hilary Clinton or Ban Ki Moon!

But seriously, I heard a difference that was meaningful to me, it was enough for me to pony up the cash. I remain a big fan of Cardas products.

Good man, and thank you for speaking up.......there are now at least 4 of us (loons), with Singslinger also being very impressed with the Clear Light.

BTW What other cables did you try, as Rob and Alex are deep in the middle of a trial ATM.

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krlock3's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

It came down to a fight between Cardas and Tara Labs, both American.

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------- HIFI: CDP: Cyrus CD8SE+, Pre: Cyrus PreXpdQx, Powers: Cyrus Mono X200s, Speakers: B&W CM9s, Interconnects & Speaker Cables: Cardas Clear Light, Power conditioner: Running Springs Elgar, Speaker Isolation pads: CRTech, Equipment Isolation: Black Ravioli. -------------------------------AV: AV Receiver: Sony STR-DA5500ES, Fronts: B&W CM9s, Center: B&W CMCentre, Rears: B&W CM1, Sub: B&W ASWCM10, Surround speaker cable by Tara Labs, HDMI by Van Den Hul and Sony, Projector: Sanyo PLV-Z700

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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

expat wrote:

i suggest you go to the nordost room at whfi show you will know the difference then i assure you

You mean the Nordost rooms that never sound particularly good?

My guess is that this isn't because of the cables but because of the rubbish source, amp and speakers that they use, compounded by the rubbish room acoustics.

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

krlock3 wrote:

It came down to a fight between Cardas and Tara Labs, both American.

Thank you.

Did you happen to try anything from Telurium Q, Atlas, Siltech or MIT?

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shadders's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

CnoEvil wrote:

shadders wrote:

Hi,

I examined two videos - Cable Resonance and Current Through a Cable.

Cable resonance has always been known - this is basic transmission line theory - but what the video does not state is the frequency of that resonance. Given the general properties of cables - this is likely to be very high - MHz and outside the hearing range of people. He also talks of reflections and resonance. Reflections are caused by a mismatch in impedance of a terminating impedance at the end of a transmission line and the transmission line characteristic impedance - assume no break or joints in between. He states he has solved this - but this can only be true for a specific impedance - as soon as the speaker impedance drops or rises above this nominal impedance - reflections will occur.

Cable current - showed flexing of cable with a current passed. Standard operation - interaction of magnetic field between conductors - in a cable the dielectric (cable sheath) will reduce this action - and will be the cause of the measured capacitance, conductance, inductance and resistance per unit length. One can change the dielectric and distance between the conductors in the cable to change these values.

I have not seen any evidence of why cables sound different - is there another video i should be examining ?

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.

Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble.

The only evidence I have for cables sounding different, is I (like many others) have heard them doing so......this got me intrigued enough to try and find out a little more. As it happened, I heard the difference before I read the "explanations", so I wasn't brainwashed before hand.

Cardas make a big deal about their patented "Matched Propagation" as described a bit here (as well as giving a couple of videos): http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CRLGIC

Here is his latest patent (awarded for the Matched Propagation Conductors), which may make more sense to you, than me: http://www.cardas.com/patent/US_Patent_7674973.pdf

His patent for his Golden Ratio is here: http://www.cardas.com/patent/US_Patent_4628151.pdf

Please feel under no obligation to trawl through all this, but it may help explain more about what he is trying to do, than the sanitized website version......or it may not.

If you ever get the chance to hear some expensive cables (from TQ; Siltech; Cardas; Atlas etc), and subsequently notice a profound difference, I would love to get your thoughts.....a (perfectly valid) assumption that cables can make little difference, stops the exploration of the possibility, since a forgone conclusion is quite logically assumed.

Cno

Hi,

Thanks for the patent links. I examined the patent - briefly - and it seems to refer to a construction of the cable to modify the velocity of propagation of the dielectric. On the web site there are no indications on the benefit of this modification and how the cable improves the signal. Velocity of Propagation from wikipedia is the speed at which the wavefront propagates through the conductor - modifying the cable will change this.

I still see no evidence on why this makes any difference to the signal and impact on audio. There are no graphs, formulae *except in the patent), or experimental data that indicates the beneficial effect for audio.

This would seem more luck rather than reasoned scientific analysis - some people prefer his cables to others that they have listened to, and his web site and patent of a cable construction add weight to his cables beneficial design, yet no evidence.

If you examine the Clear Speaker cable - the capacitance is very high - 278pF per foot - approximately 834pF per metre. For 3 metres this is 2.5nF across the pair - when coupled with the speaker inductive load - may form a resonant circuit that sounds nice to the ear.

Have you ever tried connecting the speakers with a standard 79 strand or better - but separate the cable pair such that they are free from each other - may reduce the capacitance - and should definitely change the sound - if cables are thought to change the sound.

The other link - audioadvisor - read some text - this is worrying - whether the reviewer has repeated verbatim the text on the Cardas web site - not sure - seems to indicate that capacitance is an issue "One problem with standard audio cable designs is that the cable dielectric (also known as cable insulation) produces an electrical effect that interferes with the audio signal." Since the Cardas cable has a lot more of this (pF per metre) than standard cables seen reviewed in Hifi News January 2013 - must mean that Cardas cables must be worse.

The point i am trying to make is that there is a lot of technical talk without scientific evidence, and perhaps by luck people have a design that works - since no supporting formula, analysis, experimental evidence is given - and people are using technical terms to reinforce their product, but that technical evidence is not correct and fools the person into believing that they have a scientifically assured product at great expense.

Regards,

Shadders.

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

shadders wrote:

The point i am trying to make is that there is a lot of technical talk without scientific evidence, and perhaps by luck people have a design that works - since no supporting formula, analysis, experimental evidence is given - and people are using technical terms to reinforce their product, but that technical evidence is not correct and fools the person into believing that they have a scientifically assured product at great expense.

Regards,

Shadders.

Having no engineering background, it is not always easy to tell which of the conflicting info I should listen to.......so I assess cable in exactly the same way that I assess any other component........I compare different brands at different price points, and spend my money accordingly.

Atlas also have their technical section (About Us and Our Technology): http://www.atlascables.com/

Sorry for the homework, but feel free to "pass".

I tend to favour companies that design and make their own cable, rather than buy it off the reel and stick their own sleeve on it......eg Atlas, Cardas, Vertere, Telurium Q etc.

Anyway, thank you for your patience.

 

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Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 1858
RE: Why some speaker cables sound different - in layman's terms

Mates, surprised to find (never look at them) that I have cardas, nordost and QED interconnects, plus a German brand, Oelback and some no-name. They sound pretty much the same to me, in that they didn't sound of anything, last time I checked (well, the only time I checked) some years ago.

Speaker cables are Naim and no-name. The Naim are dreadful because they're b*stards to bend. 

Really, you don't need to spend much time on cables. I did briefly flog them, and followed the salesman's tenet. Can't say whether they (cables, not salesmen) sounded different back then, was more interested in flogging the bits that went with them, i.e the turntables. Now they do make a massive difference!

shadders's picture
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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

CnoEvil wrote:

Having no engineering background, it is not always easy to tell which of the conflicting info I should listen to.......so I assess cable in exactly the same way that I assess any other component........I compare different brands at different price points, and spend my money accordingly.

Atlas also have their technical section (About Us and Our Technology): http://www.atlascables.com/

Sorry for the homework, but feel free to "pass".

I tend to favour companies that design and make their own cable, rather than buy it off the reel and stick their own sleeve on it......eg Atlas, Cardas, Vertere, Telurium Q etc.

Anyway, thank you for your patience.

 

Hi,

No problem - i examined QED web site for their XTC cable :

Capacitance 16.6pF/m. Loop Inductance 0.69uH/m.

Loop resistance 25.0m Dissipation Factor@10kHz: 0.0125

These values are similar to Hifi News January 2013 review - in fact the capacitance is a lot lower than the reviewed cables including the Atlas Hyper 3.0, inductance is similar, and loop resistance seems to be a lot smaller.

This cable costs £6.50 per metre - so a three metre pair will be less than £40.

In the end it is up to the buyer how much they want to spend - but the errors in technical application of science to prove their product is better i think adds to peoples perception that the expensive cables are value for money.

Does a cheap cable from QED sound so much worse than an esoteric cable costing many hundreds for the same length ?, or is it the placebo effect ?

Regards,

Shadders.

 

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RE: Why some speaker cables sound different

shadders wrote:

Does a cheap cable from QED sound so much worse than an esoteric cable costing many hundreds for the same length ?, or is it the placebo effect ?

Regards,

Shadders.

 

IMO. It depends on the system.

Again, thank you for your input.

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