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Interconnect Article

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I don't want to start a war here, but here's an interesting article about interconnects that I'm sure many people may have already seen:

http://sound.westhost.com/cables-p3.htm#interconnects
post #2 of 36
I don't want a war here either. But here's some more info. Read only if you're interested. This could be offensive to some.

http://2eyespy.tripod.com/myaudioand...epage/id3.html
post #3 of 36
more information for those reading that post and want to learn the counterviews:

Jon Risch's independent theories and tests of cable design:
http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/cables.htm

Tara Labs' white papers, specifically in regards to conductor properties in regards to geometry:
http://taralabs.com/tech_science.htm

Dick Diamond from KimberKable sent me their white papers and test results, ph# there is 801-621-5530, or you can pick it up in their brochure at any authorized dealer.

Steve Nugent's white papers for Empirical Audio:
http://www.empiricalaudio.com/ (under technical papers)

Cardas' "insights" page (they will send you pure white papers on request):
http://cardas.com/insights/index.html

every legit manufacturer not only has white papers and test results available free of charge for anyone who asks, but also a technical department that will take the time to speak to those who have questions on their design methodology and philosophy.

regards,
carlo.
post #4 of 36
Lousy ears and a loud mouth are a bad match.

Interconnects do sound different. You can't hear it? too bad, but that's not our concern! (I'm not referring to you two here.) I've heard cable differences myself, so I'm not about to fall for this stuff. They're hard to hear sometimes, but the differences are there.
post #5 of 36
Well, I still have to agree with the first guy that digital interconnects make no difference... in my experience they do not. Analog sure as hell make a difference, no doubt.

The articles are more of an opinion written as to be fact, they are simply sharing their experiences and are declaring them as truth. Well that is simply an opinion, not necessarily true. If I hear a digital interconnect that made a difference, then I would believe they make a difference, but so far I have not.
post #6 of 36
It makes perfect logical sense for analog ICs to make a huge difference. Shielding, impedance, etc...
post #7 of 36
Digital cable should not make a difference as long as they are of sufficient quality (correct impedance, not excessive length).

I worked on Fast Ethernet transceiver (100 Mbit/s) with Cat 5 cable. There is a lot of high frequency attenuation with these cable (max distance 100m). The transceiver compensate for these loss with an equalizer. However, at 10 meter the loss is aceptable even without an equalizer, the BER is better than 10^-9.

Analog cable is a different story. I keep my IC as short as possible (< 1 ft). The theory being if RLC is the determing factor. With a short cable, I will have the lowest loss with signal quality.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
It makes perfect logical sense for analog ICs to make a huge difference. Shielding, impedance, etc...
not to mention materials used; crappy copper will not carry a signal the same way that high quality copper will.
post #9 of 36
I will add some fuel to the fire.

Optical digital cables 'sound' different from one another.

I listened to 4 brands of cable in the search for an interlink
in my portable setup.

Optical finish on the cable termination was an obvious physical
difference between some cables was probably one factor,amongst
others.

Setmen
post #10 of 36
In reference to the 'special configuration' speaker cable, John Dunlavy says: "The real truth is that this special configuration contains nothing more than a simple, inexpensive network intended to prevent poorly-designed amplifiers, with a too-high slew-rate (obtained at the expense of instability caused by too much inverse-feedback) from oscillating when connected to a loudspeaker through a low-loss, low-impedance cable. "

This I think is the key point. Components that go well together and are high quality will not need esoteric cables to get great sound. A teflon dielectric, high quality copper, gold or nickel plated connectors and a short length are all one needs to get the best out of their equipment. To get the MOST out of your equipment, an esoteric cable or speaker wire may help one to get that extra drop of clarity or a few extra inches of soundstage. For audiophiles, that extra drop or inch make the real difference.

No one questions gearheads when they spend thousands of dollars to get that extra 2-3 horsepower out of their engines. Why beat on us? Because audio isn't as sexy?
post #11 of 36
Jeff,
what been left out is that Dunlavy then designed his own loudspeaker cable ($400/8ft) and interconnects ($125/.5m) a few years later and claimed his speakers sounded superior with those cables. I believe they were discontinued about 6 months ago.

the guy is a great designer, but that little tidbit seems to always be overlooked.

best,
carlo.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Guidry
Components that go well together and are high quality will not need esoteric cables to get great sound. A teflon dielectric, high quality copper, gold or nickel plated connectors and a short length are all one needs to get the best out of their equipment. To get the MOST out of your equipment, an esoteric cable or speaker wire may help one to get that extra drop of clarity or a few extra inches of soundstage. For audiophiles, that extra drop or inch make the real difference
You say you only need a standard cable to get the best out of your equipment but you might need an esoteric cable to get the most out of it. The way it is worded is like a quality/quantity kind of thing, but do you mean to say it's like a similar difference in octane levels of gasoline with respect to car performance?
post #13 of 36
Optical cable in theory should have a better quality than coax. There is no optical disturber. They have a BER of 10^-12 (glass fiber). ALL communication traffic goes through fiber in their path.

Costwise, fiber is almost the same as coax.

However, the key of good fiber is really in the termination. With glass, the end has to be polished and glue to a connector. A poorly terminated end will have high loss and poor distribution of light (reflection and refraction).

Audio optical fiber are usually made out of plastic. While it is fine for most application, the quality can varied at the termination. There could be a variation even with the same manufacturer.

This is also true with coax cable although to a lesser extent. Coax termination is easier than fiber ( you can't terminate your own fiber without special tool).

I have poor quality coming out my cable TV. The TV guy came in and all he did was cut the connector off and reconnect it with another connector and the problem went away.

BTW, lots of so called digital cable are not 75 ohm and very few connector are true 75 ohm. I think it's important to get a good cable from a reputable manufacturer.
post #14 of 36
beagle,

not to put words in jeff's mouth, but i think he means a very short run of a good pure cable with a very good dielectric and good (or no) termination should be "adequate" (fyi most cheap commercial cabling lacks those three).

esoteric design and materials will hopefully result in less loss of the source signal than the cable above.

your octane analogy sorta fits, but i also fear it's more confusing to the casual reader.

regards,
carlo.
post #15 of 36
I agree that cabling can make a difference, but I think that beyond a certain point, placebo takes over.. I'm not going to say where that point is, because I don't know for sure.

The thing that bothers me when I read about cables, is when they use additive terminology to describe cabling. The perfect cable would do nothing at all to the sound. It wouldn't add imaging and sweetness. It wouldn't add musicality, or whatever. Cables should be described in terms of what they don't remove. An honest cable manufacture wouldn't use all sorts of technobabble and eloquent audiophile terms to describe their cable's sound, they would just tell you what it doesn't do. It doesn't introduce crosstalk. It doesn't destabilize sensitive amps. It doesn't accept RFI and EMI. Nots, not Dos.

I'm willing to pay for good cable, but there is a point where its just not worth it to me. In fact, buying cables is something I'm not too fond of anyway, I'd rather make the cable. That way any placebo affect that causes me to think they sound wonderful translates into pride in my craftsmanship abilities, and not a sense of self importance at having 10,000$ to blow on cables.

peace,
phidauex
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