It's not what I would call a proper test, shame, I thought something really unusual had happened. Is it an old review? I ask because I thought R.G. was now head of marketing (or similar) at Nordost, and not allowed to review/test any Nordost products for the mag anymore. I haven't read Plush for a long time, so could be out of date with what's happening there.
Very valid point...........Best I can make out, it was Sept 04.
I think you will find cable believers see it (ie. as a significantly valid test) differently to the sceptics......so no change there then!
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It is a shame because if they were to run a proper test nobody would have any complaints. If such a thing were to show that expensive cables produced a significantly better sound I'd have to revise my views. As it is I remain highly sceptical and the failure to run proper tests indicates to me that they have something to hide. After all, if their cables are so great what have they got to lose?
It's a pity that there is no trade body or magazine with sufficient integrity to organise such a test!
CnoEvil, maybe it's time to let the matter rest. I for one really appreciate your efforts to explain how better ( usually more expensive but not necessarily always so ) cables can help improve a system and the importance of auditioning for oneself before buying. Being a cable believer I share your views - but if others don't, that's fine too. Not everyone thinks or hears sounds or music identically and we all ultimately vote with our wallets. The discussion now is in danger of descending ( if it hasn't already) into a never- ending circular argument with no resolution. There's another thread on this forum about the new Benchmark DAC which is headed that way so maybe it's time to quit rather than drag it on.
Shadders - I think you are a brilliant sceptic and that the hifi world needs a lot more people like you. I don't necessarily agree with all your views but since you put them forth in a logical, measured, non-confrontational manner (much like CnoEvil) they are not a turn-off and I've actually read and enjoyed every word. I've learnt quite a bit from you I'm grateful for that. I hope my observations haven't offended either side of the cable divide. Best wishes to all.
I had bowed out, 'cause I'm warn out............and if I start taking offence from polite observations from people on my side of the fence........I'm truly lost!
I had a read through this test
It is a blind comparison test and so the differences that were found are subjective assessments which had no bearing on the objective qualities of the cables such as construction or price. That is standard for all cable tests. Sighted tests find the biggests differences in reported sound quality, blind comparison still fiund differences, but price and make have nothing to do with the differences and ABX find no differences at all.
That test breaks no new ground, it just confirms what we already know.
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These test confirm that people hear differences but these can not be explained
If you simply focus on the cable it is difficult to understand where the differences in cables come from. If you think about the effect the cable has on the operation of what it is plugged into then understanding why sound can change can be more easily explained. Consider an amplifier. All amplifiers have feedback loops, comparing the output signal to the input signal. Plugging different cables in with wildly difference capacitance, resistance and impedance characteristics will have a dramatic effect on the way the feedback circuit operates. While feedback operates at a frequency well outside the audio band it has a direct effect on sound quality. Many people think that feedback stops at the amplifiers binding posts! This is clearly incorrect and once you understand the effect that feedback has on sound quality it is quite easy to understand that changing cables will change the sound. Whether it improves or degrades the sound is another can of worms
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Apologies for this. Thank you for pointing this out.
While feedback operates at a frequency well outside the audio band it has a direct effect on sound quality.
Of course feedback occurs within the audio band - what would be the point of it otherwise?
This makes perfect sense to me and may even be the answer to the never ending question
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That's the point that I picked up. The exception being with class D amps where feedback could be applied to the modulation but exactly how, I'm not sure. That's one aspect of the technology I understand the least. Feedback in class D maybe purely in-band & summed with the analogue input.
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Can you clarify your statements with regards to wildly different cable specifications ?
Cable tests i have seen show the capacitance per metre to be of the order of 295pF (A) and 30pF (B) (2 selected) - in the audio range, and inductance per metre 0.36uH and 0.84uH per metre respectively.
Assume 20kHz, and 3metre cables - cable A has capacitive reactance of approximately 9kohms, inductive reactance 0.135ohms.
Assume 20kHz, and 3metre cables - cable B has capacitive reactance of approximately 88kohms, inductive reactance 0.316ohms.
The speaker will be primarily inductive (assumed) and 8ohms and may drop to 2ohms and rise to 30ohms across the frequency range 20Hz to 20kHz.
Feedback in a standard 3 stage amplifier (assumed - long tailed pair input, VAS stage, current gain stage) operates at all frequencies. If we assume the classic 3 stage amplifier design, and assume global feedback is employed, then this will be taken from the output devices summing junction. From this junction there is usually a "parallel inductor/resistor" in series with the output before the speaker binding posts - value assumed to be 1uH to 7uH. The global feedback will usually be a resistive network with capacitors to implement the relevant amount of feedback at the frequencies desired.
Can you explain how the cable can affect the feedback in an amplifier ?.
The cable may affect the voltage and current phase relationship output from the amplifier - but this will be dominated by the loud speaker load since the values of inductance and capacitance for speakers will be in the region of 1,000 times greater than the cable, and the internal amplifier resistor/inductor will be 10 to 100 times greater too.
The speaker impedance will vary greatly across the audio band.
If the feedback circuit was to be affected by wildly differing capacitance, resistance, and inductance of different cables, then for each cable connected we would not see a flat frequency response in the audio band or further. Since the speaker varies in impedance by a magnitude of 1,000 more than a cable, and does change greatly across the audio band significantly - again - if the feedback circuit was affected - we would not see the flat frequency response that you would hope, would be prevalent in the majority of amplifiers.
Would you agree ?
So, after having read much in this thread and reading and watching videos that comments in this thread link too, I think it is safe to assume that cables are a very personal thing subject to the equipment already in use. A more expensive cable isn't necassarily going to get you a better sounding system - it depends on the system. Correct?
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I'd say that's a pretty good summary of what has passed before.
Mind you, this being a very touchy subject with some forum members, I can only speak for myself.
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