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about cables - Page 2  

post #16 of 81
Ricky,

I've been in the hobby for a long time now (and used to work hi-fi retail way back in college), so you can probably imagine that, by now, I've seen, and been involved in, many debates about this. I've seen the debate, from either side, attacked from pretty much all possible angles. And when it comes to audio, there are debates aplenty. Interconnects. Power cables. DBT is/isn't effective. CD players (fancy units versus less expensive gear that seem to measure as well). CD vs. SACD. Analog vs. digital. Tweaks. Tubes vs. solid state. Amplifiers sound/don't sound different. I've seen it argued both ways by engineers and science-minded folks (we have engineers and people who make their living in science in our member base here too); and what it almost always amounts to is that very little convincing is done either way. What you usually end up with are 300-post threads with a lot of insults and vitriol -- I'll pass, thank you.

I've read your arguments, and the arguments of those who feel the same as you over the years, yet I continue to listen to relatively expensive headphone amps, relatively expensive headphones, relatively expensive interconnects, SACD, expensive headphone cables, all hooked up to power conditioners through not-very-inexpensive power cables. And there's little you're going to say that can convince me that it wasn't worthwhile, because (A) I listened to all the pieces of gear (and other equipment in their classes) before I bought them, and (B) I felt it was worth spending my money on this stuff based on how it all sounded to me.

So participating in that thread on Usenet would likely not result in any change in either of our positions. I'll pass on a likely flame war and fruitless debate. We are where we are.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
What I'd like to know is what are the real scientifical basis that explain the advantages of these cables, what makes them superior to a normal cable.
So would I. So would any intelligent individual. The bottom line is that we don't know what makes them better. Some people may have a pretty good idea, as they are able to construct a better cable.

Aerodynamic theory used to predict that a bumblebee couldn't fly. Simply wouldn't work. The bumblebees didn't care, and kept on buzzing about until theory caught up with them not all that long ago.

I don't need a scientific reason why something works to hear that it indeed does work. If an engineer can't measure what I'm hearing, then the engineer is measuring the wrong thing. Empirical realities are not going to change. The cable used can make big sonic differences in a system, be it interconnect, speaker cable, or power cord. The engineers who interest me are the ones trying to understand why this is so, not the ones trying to prove that the bumblebee is still on the ground.
post #18 of 81
Hey Everyone,

My opinion on all this is: It dosen't matter how much money you spend on cables, power cords, CD players, Headphones.....etc. As long as you are happy and enjoying your music. If you think a $3 cable sounds as good as a $500 cable that's fine, as long as you are enjoying the music that enters your ears. Then again, if you buy the $500 cable and think it makes a hell of a difference, then that's great too, because you are happy and enjoying your music.

As long as you feel you weren't ripped-off, what does it matter?

Personally, I would love to be able to buy all the super expensive equipment. But, I can still find quality equipment, cables and headphones that are good quality within my budget.
post #19 of 81
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hirsch

Empirical realities are not going to change. The cable used can make big sonic differences in a system, be it interconnect, speaker cable, or power cord. The engineers who interest me are the ones trying to understand why this is so, not the ones trying to prove that the bumblebee is still on the ground.


Well, do you really believe that in the XXI century there's still anything to discover about cables? Cables that are used to carry much more demanding signals than audio?

I'm one of these persons interested in knowing that reasons.

The reason is expectation effect, placebo, pre-bias, call it how you want.

Try that in a truly blind test, assisted by anyone else, and see how many times you can tell a cheap cable (I mean cheap, not the worst) from a megabuck cable. Anyone can be influenced by this placebo effect, I have been too, but I proved to myself that the difference was just in my head.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
I felt it was worth spending my money on this stuff based on how it all sounded to me.
Quote:
The engineers who interest me are the ones trying to understand why this is so, not the ones trying to prove that the bumblebee is still on the ground.
Well put guys!


Ricky, I would like to hear your opinion on the test that Nezer has proposed. An alternative to this would be to ask for a demo from a manufacturer and compare an "expensive" cable to the interconnects that are supplied with any component.

If you really don't hear a difference then you're saving yourself a good chunk of change!!

By the way...welcome to Head-Fi I suppose ferrite clamps and Vibrapods are out of the question


post #21 of 81
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ricky
[B]
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch
The reason is expectation effect, placebo, pre-bias, call it how you want.

Try that in a truly blind test, assisted by anyone else, and see how many times you can tell a cheap cable (I mean cheap, not the worst) from a megabuck cable. Anyone can be influenced by this placebo effect, I have been too, but I proved to myself that the difference was just in my head.

At first, I wasn't sure why Audio Asylum made some of their forums "DBT-Free Zones". Now I know. As the admin of Head-Fi, I now declare the "Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories" Forum a DBT-Free Zone for all the same rules Audio Asylum does.

That means, no discussion of DBT (or ABX) from the standpoint of either pro-DBT or anti-DBT. For the reasons why, simply visit Audio Asylum's DBT-Free Zone Posting Rules by clicking on the following link:

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/dbt.html

I'll draft some rules along those lines for Head-Fi, but, for now, we'll go with what they say on that page.

Before you ask why, read that entire page (at that above link) at Audio Asylum. If you still have questions after that, go ahead and ask.

On that page, it says this:
Quote:
Many people feel that the true character of individual components is only realized after long term listening and living with the component in question. These people would argue that it takes time to fully appreciate or understand certain subtle differences that exist in various audio components.
I'm of that camp. But that I'm of that camp is not why I'm making this place a DBT-Free Zone. The reason is that I have yet to see one like thread in any forum (including Usenet) where both sides of this participate, and where anything but flames and insults was accomplished -- in fact, if you read this thread again, it's sorta what's already happening here.
post #22 of 81
I wish that all that **** on that forum was the truth. It would have saved me a bunch of money for table dances. This is why I stopped buying magazines like The Sensible Sound. Those guys are in the business of comparing audio equipment and then they would say stuff like there is no need for more expensive cables because they didn't hear any difference. Not that all the hype is the truth, but you really need to sit down and compare for yourself.
post #23 of 81
There is a lot of BS in audiophile products. I agree that sales pitches can sound ridiculous. I also agree that changing cables is one of the more subtle changes in a system; there is definitely a difference, but I would not call it earth-shattering. What I disagree with is the idea that cables cannot sound different. I do feel that there is a definite upper limit to cabling and a steep drop in the price/performance ratio at a certain point... but no difference? c'mon...
post #24 of 81
Since I am new to this I'm trying to understand this better.

Is DBT acceptable for components but not as much so for cables, power supplies etc. I do believe it does take time to understand the differences between components that aren't seperated by much, hell it took me hours(days) to really appreciate the difference between using an amp and not using an amp with my RS-2s. But now I can tell the differences even blindly.

Also what does ABX stand for?
post #25 of 81
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ricky
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch

The reason is expectation effect, placebo, pre-bias, call it how you want.

Try that in a truly blind test, assisted by anyone else, and see how many times you can tell a cheap cable (I mean cheap, not the worst) from a megabuck cable. Anyone can be influenced by this placebo effect, I have been too, but I proved to myself that the difference was just in my head.
Your ears are in your head, too.

I'm a research psychologist, and have taught courses in both perceptual psychophysics and experimental design. "expectation", "placebo" or whatever you want to call it does exist, but in audio parlance it means that "you don't hear what I expect you to hear, so your experience is not valid." I don't use engineering terms lightly, since I don't always know their proper use. I wish engineers would do the same with psychological terminology.

Don't get me started on blind testing. Unless properly done, it's meaningless.

I'm glad you were able to convince yourself that cable differences are meaningless. This is going to save you a lot of money in the long run. OTOH, you'll likely never hear what your audio equipment is capable of doing, either. And with that, I'm out of this thread. Have fun!
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Well, do you really believe that in the XXI century there's still anything to discover about cables?
I, and anyone with any scientific background whatsoever, believe it. There's lots to discover about pretty much every thing ever studied (or not yet studied). We don't know anything with 100% certainty, and the very nature of science is to keep asking, keep testing, keep learning.


Quote:
The reason is expectation effect, placebo, pre-bias, call it how you want.
That may be what you, personally, think is the reason, but that isn't empirically the reason.

Quote:
Try that in a truly blind test, assisted by anyone else, and see how many times you can tell a cheap cable (I mean cheap, not the worst) from a megabuck cable.
While I know we're not supposed to talk about DBT, I'll tell you right now that I've done double-blind tests between a $50 cable and a $100 cable and could tell the difference 100% of the time.

I always find it interesting that the people who are the MOST adamantly against things like cables have never even done any scientific testing of their own. Or else they just assume that if they can't hear a difference, no one else in the world can, either.


Quote:
Anyone can be influenced by this placebo effect, I have been too, but I proved to myself that the difference was just in my head.
Chances are that you were just as, if not more, guilty of being influenced by your own "reasons" as anyone else. You refuse to believe that cables can sound different, so you end up hearing no difference.
post #27 of 81
It seems to me that this thread has been beaten to death as it is, but I must say that it all boils down to this; it is all a matter of opinion. You are right that it is all in your head Ricky, in the respect that a pair of Radio Snack cables my sound fine to you, Monster cable may sound great to some other guy, and I may think that some expensive cable sounds by far better. It is all a matter of opinion. I personally use Monster cable right now because I cannot afford the cables that I do want, because I have heard them and they sound better to me. That is my opinion. If you don't agree that is fine, but just remember it is just that, and opinion.
post #28 of 81

opinion

that's an opinion!!
post #29 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jude

At first, I wasn't sure why Audio Asylum made some of their forums "DBT-Free Zones". Now I know. As the admin of Head-Fi, I now declare the "Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories" Forum a DBT-Free Zone for all the same rules Audio Asylum does.
Ok, you're on your right to do so. It makes sense to me to make a cables section DBT-free. I only wanted to show to the people at this forums another point of view. I also admit that maybe my first post was a bit "noisy".

Quote:

For the reasons why, simply visit Audio Asylum's DBT-Free Zone Posting Rules by clicking on the following link:

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/dbt.html
I pretty much agree with all that is said at that page.
post #30 of 81
Ricky sez:
Quote:
What I'd like to know is what are the real scientifical basis that explain the advantages of these cables, what makes them superior to a normal cable?
I'd be happy to show you the measurements, but since the laboratory is inside of my skull you may not be able to see the readings...

The placebo effect is important to keep at bay. It's all too easy to worship expensive components. Blind testing helps keep the BS away. I personally found the $89 Clou cable to sound better than the $150 Cardas, despite knowing that the Cardas was more expensive. I'll be giving it another go in the future just to make sure.

I think we should do a little blind testing at the next Head-Fi meeting. That would be fun.
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