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Interconnect Article - Page 2

post #16 of 36
phidauex,

nice post. it is important to note that cables can only pass the signal fed to them, however human nature in the description of cables is to note what sounds emphasized - it's simply the easiest way to describe their impressions on a system.

there is certainly a point of diminishing returns, as there is with anything. people resort to the point of $10k speaker cables a hell of a lot for some reason... it sould be noted that the existence of a company's statement product is basically for press (and r&d, if you want to believe that). it's been done with b&w and dynaudio speakers for some time, a ridiculously high priced component that gets press. this, along with the marketing hyperbole, is to be expected in the industry. no one actually buys it (figuratively or literally).

personally, i think diy is the only sane approach. i do have some pricey interconnects that are very good, but i also don't have the time or energy to recreate their design (mostly tara labs, who i think with conductor shape and the use of pseudo air dielectrics is one of the few cable innovators out there, along with cardas and kimber), and $300 is my personal max i'd spend on an ic. i have heard many cables that cost more, and a handfull that "sounded" better, but their asking price wasn't worth the oportunity cost of newer software. i also hate soldering rcas, call me crazy. speaker cables are much easier for me to diy.

the psychoacoustics aspect cannot be ignored, but i also don't quite understand why it's such a major issue in the hobby. if ferrari claimed that people who drive their cars are happier (which they may, i don't know), who cares? it may very well be true. the point of this hobby is for personal enjoyment, there are many means to that end.

best,
carlo.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
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.
Really? I've read many of the discussions over at AudioAsylum with Dunlavy as a participant, and I don't think he says anywhere that his speaker cables sounded better than cheap but well-designed cable.

What he does say is: if you think you're a golden ear and you are persuaded that you can hear cable differences, you might as well buy my cable, which is, if overkill, at least scientifically-designed overkill, in contrast to the just plain blatant snake oil out there.

From http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/gen...ages/9682.html :

Quote:
A complete set of accurate measurements of loudspeaker cables, from quality 12 AWG to those costing $10,000/pr (or more) reveal no differences that could be audibly detected if used within a properly-operating audiophile system of the highest quality, using loudspeakers (with a decent input impedance) that exhibit time-coherent performance and a plus/minus 1 dB on axis "frequency response".
And from http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/gen...ges/11067.html :

Quote:
And, once again, for those who may have missed earlier comments regarding why we designed and sell our own cable, we did so largely as an engineering exercise. What resulted was a cable with measurable properties clearly superior to any othe audiophile cable we have measured. Can the Z-6 cable make an audible difference compared to other cables, including 12-AWG? Probably not! But as an engineer with competent credentials, I believe it worthwhile to design a cable with unsurpassed measurable performance, with the hope that it might make an audible improvement when used within some systems.
Of course there are many respected people who have disagreed with him on AudioAsylum (John Curl, Jon Risch, et al.).
post #18 of 36
shivohum,

when the cables were listed on his site (dunlavyaudio.com) they included a description that they were audibly superior to other cables in tests with dunlavy speakers. i didn't take into account that could be marketing hyperbole not associated with dunlavy himself... thanks for the correction.

best,
carlo.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Beagle
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?
The octane analogy doesn't work. Car engines are designed to work with a specific octane fuel (low compression vehicles = low octane, high compression vehicles = high octane). I know of no component manufacturer that has ever recommended a specific type of cable to connect their equipment to other components.

When I used the gear head analogy, I'm talking more about larger mufflers, rebreathers, things like that that squeeze that extra bit of performance out of a car. Compared to a stock vehicle, a fully modified engine may only have an additional 20 horsepower, but in competition, that makes the difference between a winner and a loser.

For audio enthusiasts, being able to hear the squeak of a violinists fingers on the strings of their instrument makes the difference between an adequate listening experience and a great experience. A good standard cable will let most detail through unblemished. An esoteric, high priced design may be even less obtrusive, letting more subtle detail through.

Remember, anything you add to the signal path ALWAYS degrades the signal. The difference between one cable and the next is how much or how little it takes away.
post #20 of 36
This argument is as old as the hills, the person that needs scientific proof/data and blind tests before they will ever buy any audio product vs the empirical audiophile who listens to many products in his system and makes his own evaluation based on what he hears.

What the scientific audiophile fails to grasp is you can never measure all the factors that contribute to high end sound. Paradoxically some items that measure the worst, are preferred by some people such as various tube based gear.

BTW I am an empirical audiophile. My test is simple I add to my system, then remove whichever sounds best is the way I go. If I don't hear any improvement I don't buy. You just must keep cable expenses in line with overall system value, better sound may be had by upgrading components at a certain point.

I wouldn't worry too much about John Dunleavy's opinion, show me another highend speaker manufactuer that says speaker cables don't make any difference, go to any CES show and see what they are using.
post #21 of 36
I see your point, DarkAngel, and I definately don't agree with 'spec hunters' who just go looking for the numbers. But deep down inside, I'm still a physicist. If something sounds good, thats just a property of the physical materials involved. There has to be a measurable reason why one thing sounds different than another. 'Good' or 'Bad' may not be measurable persay, but you should be able to identify the physical properties of each item that lead to their difference. We can measure energy from sub-atomic particles falling through our atmosphere, and individually seperate molecules into their constituent quarks, we should be able to properly analyze a few cables

Now, I'm not saying that we KNOW all the properties of cable that attribute to the sound! I'm just saying that, with research, we CAN know what properties are affecting the sound. But even then, I'd still try not to be a spec hunter. I do trust my ears to steer me in the right direction.

I think DIY cables are the way to fly. They are important, but they are also quite simple. Just wires, in a row. Nothing exeptionally complex. Most people should be able to make up their own cables quite easily. Also, I get a feeling of satisfaction with things I built. I know its good, because its got a piece of me in it.

Gear Head analogies are pretty interesting.. I'm not a full on gearhead, so to speak, but I do performance tune my italian scooter (aprilia!). Octane is a wierd analogy, because the octane you use is related to the compression of your engine, and how hot you want it to run. Some racers use 110 octane, because they have hot, high comp engines. Some racers use 87 octane, because they have engines intended to run cooler. Some racers use 110, despite the fact that they have a lower compression engine, then they don't do very well

The analogy I like best is simply that of part synergy. A motorcycle racer is proud of themselves if they figure out a way to take 5 ounces off the weight of their bike. 5 ounces, we say? What difference does THAT make? well, not much! You probably won't even notice it. But when you make 100 tiny changes, it adds up to a big change! When people see me all proud of myself because I totally cleaned up a volume pot, and i turn it up and down and say, "listen to that! doesn't that sound way better than before!?!" and they look at me like i'm crazy, its just because while i'm fired up about my tiny change, I am actually listening to the cumulative of all my changes, while they are only seeing the most recent. To a certain degree, cables are like that. If you switch out cables, and say "Wow!! those sound great!" people look at you like you are nuts. But YOU remember back when your system was unrefined and beastly, and while the new cable is the newest refinement, you are really listening to ALL your changes, synergizing, finally.

And lastly (this post is getting long) i do see the business interest in having one 'mega flagship' product, that no one buys, but everyone lusts after. Maybe I'll market a cable called the "Quantum Field Orgasm Transmission Device" and it will have ultra low resistance, no phase distortion, no signal loss, no inductance, each strand would be a single crystal of the purest metals known to man kind, the cables would have to be installed in your system by a team of trained technicians in hazmat suits, or you might kink it just too far, and it would lose its sonic qualities. But it would cost 100,000$ a meter. "Wow" people would say.. aren't those amazing? Too bad I can't afford it.. But they say this 100$ a meter cable is ALMOST as good as the QFOTD cable, and a lot cheaper.. I suppose I'll just get that.. Maybe someday I'll get its big brother, the real QFOTD cable.... sigh!

Its kind of like the Orpheus, "wow, thats a great headphone! too bad I don't have 14,000$ dollars! well, at least I can have sennheisers second best phone, the hd600! And what a value it is too, ALMOST as good, and so much cheaper! What a thrifty buyer i am!"

There are a million examples.

Oh, one more thing, someone mentioned that they didn't know of a component manufacture suggesting certain cables. Well, just as an example, Decware recommends silver interconnects for all their Zen amps. So there is a manufacture that recommends a certain octane for their amps and i know i've seen others, decware is just the one that comes to mind.

Peace,
Phidauex
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by phidauex
...If something sounds good, thats just a property of the physical materials involved. There has to be a measurable reason why one thing sounds different than another. 'Good' or 'Bad' may not be measurable persay, but you should be able to identify the physical properties of each item that lead to their difference. We can measure energy from sub-atomic particles falling through our atmosphere, and individually seperate molecules into their constituent quarks, we should be able to properly analyze a few cables
Now, I'm not saying that we KNOW all the properties of cable that attribute to the sound! I'm just saying that, with research, we CAN know what properties are affecting the sound. But even then, I'd still try not to be a spec hunter. I do trust my ears to steer me in the right direction.
Phidauex,
I absolutely agree with your statement above man, but...not necessarily down below...
Quote:

I think DIY cables are the way to fly. They are important, but they are also quite simple. Just wires, in a row. Nothing exeptionally complex. Most people should be able to make up their own cables quite easily.
Many cable manufacturers go to extroardinary lengths (no pun intended) in the manufacture of their product. Those extroardinary measures/techniques that they employ produce measureable as well as audible differences in their product. The home DIY'er does not even begin to have the facility to produce product in the same league. I wish I did have the ability to weld my connectors rather than solder them, because I believe metalurgically, it's a superior interface, but alas, not for this DIY'er. Likewise, the construction techniques that Cardas employ in their cables... Way too much stuff going on for the DIY'er to attempt, but what they do makes a measurable and audible difference. As much as I like to save bucks and enjoy the work of my own hands, there are practical limitations to what a DIY'er can do.
post #23 of 36

analogy

The analogy I like to use with current and cable is water and pipe.

If you use plastic pipe/tubing, intially there is a different taste and eventually that taste will go away. Steel pipe that have some rust will have a different taste. So listening to cable will be sort of like drinking water from different pipe. The taste difference might be subtle or might be big.

As far as scentific/objective spec is concerned. I do think you'll need some sort of correlation. without such engineering work can not be done. What if I claimed aluminun wire with silk insulation in a temperature control casing will sound better than copper wire. Or why can't I used gold wire instead of silver wire.

However, as a consumer, why should you care how the cable thingy is designed as long as you think it sound good. As long as you have some common sense to discriminate the hype , you won't be cheated out of your hard earned money.

Ever heard of the _ice (sounds like dice) clock, for $300 you plug this clock into your amp and you'll get better sound. Or the rainbow strip, just stick some this strip on your CD, amp, player or what ever, you'll get better bass and more detail. I've never try these, because it doesn't make sense to me and I don't have money to burn.
post #24 of 36
I know that i am going to get flamed to no end for this, but i am going to step out from the crowd and say that i agree with the review.

The power of suggestion really works well with audiofiles.
post #25 of 36
have you tried it? There are measurable and repeatable differences in frequency response when going from stock ics and stock senn cable to silver ICs and clou cable. SPLs don't lie.
post #26 of 36
"Or why can't I used gold wire instead of silver wire."

They are. behold, interconnects made of GOLD:

http://interlinkhouse.com/PGS3D/

It's $1800 retail.

markl
post #27 of 36
I'm sure you're aware of this, but gold is not near as good a conductor as copper or silver.
post #28 of 36
That's OK. I'm waiting for the diamond interconnect cable with platinum RCA's.

markl
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
That's OK. I'm waiting for the diamond interconnect cable with platinum RCA's.

markl
Now you're talkin!!
post #30 of 36
If you check Audiogon occasionally the will see used AQ Diamond ICs for sale, this used to be top of the AQ line till current line was released.

Mark
If I was to spend $1800 on gold ICs like Stealth I don't want plain looking black cable jacket, I want to see my gold glitter like this:

http://www.analysis-plus.com/Pages/g...erconnects.jpg

Guess I'm an audio pimp but I like flashy things, especially if I am spending a small fortune on them.
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