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The Cable Factor - Page 3  

post #31 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch

This is of course a simplistic assumption, and assumes that you know what to measure, which would be a very arrogant and likely false assumption for any scientist.
Ok, about measuring, let's apply a little bit of logic here. If a cable makes a difference in sound, it must be because it's altering or distorting the signal that passes through it in some way, right? The signal that passes through it is an electrical signal, right? So the cable must be altering the electrical signal. If there is an alteration, it can be measured, right? Don't you think that it is arrogant for audiophiles to think that decades of research and experience in transmission of signals (some of them much more demanding than audio signals), electronics, linear systems, etc, are not enough to know in which ways any signal (including electrical) can be altered, and how to measure it? It is a false myth supported by high-end manufacturers, magazines that live from their advertisements, people who like to think they have expensive superior audio gear, etc, that there are some mysteries about transmission of audio signals that have not still been discovered by science.

And, human ear is far from being accurate compared with today's measurement equipment and techniques, the same way sight is less accurate than microscopes or telescopes. And it has been quite well established by many years of research which are the limits of audibility of the human ear, which are at any case below the limits of today's measurement technology.

It is arrogant too that audiophiles that don't know much about audio from a scientifical or engineering point of view, think that they know more than people that has in fact studied and worked in these fields for many years. And some of these people are audiophiles too, but I guess a different type of audiophiles.

Only because most people at these forums think the same way about the importance of cables, it doesn't mean that is the truth. If you go to Usenet newsgroups such as rec.audio.high-end, rec.audio.tech or rec.audio.pro, you will find that most people, many of them (as opposite of most of you) with wide knowledge of engineering and science in the audio fields, audio professionals, etc, have different opinions than you. Please go to any recording studios, or ask any recording audio engineer at any of these studios about what type of cables they use. Won't find silver or strange hyper-expensive cables there...

Quote:
... is to look at the anecdotal data, determine if there is merit in the number of people who claim to hear differences, and then try to find out why.
...
adverse side effect reports to FDA. Eventually, there's enough anecdotal evidence that it becomes apparent that a controlled study is needed, and one is done.


There's no controlled test that I (or many people that know much more and has much more experience than me, and is on the real world of audio engineering and research) know that shows any difference in "how it sounds" in gear that doesn't show significant measured differences. Maybe a serious study over many people should be done to definitively disprove that this cable effect is happening. If this was disproved, there still would be many people that would say that they do hear a difference, so they don't want need to know anything else.

And for those that say that nobody has interest in studying the elusive properties of special cables, this is an example of what do people research on nowadays at the real world of audio and acoustics:

http://ojps.aip.org/journal_cgi/dbt?...=CURISS#MAJOR6

These guys must know a little about these things, don't you think so?

Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
To pretend differences we have not yet been able to measure do not exist even though we perceive them is to bury our heads in the sand and fall victim to the religion of science rather than using science.
First we should make sure that these differences are real, through
a controlled test, using the adecuate (and banned at this forum) metodology. Sometimes our perceptions are not very reliable, and can be altered by many other factors aside from the real sound coming to our ears. Same thing happens with, for example, sight, see:

http://www.portalmix.com/english/illusions/i03.htm

http://www.portalmix.com/english/illusions/i13.htm


But if you're happy buying megabuck cables because they sound better to you, go ahead, it's your money and your enjoyment. But don't try to convince everybody that they DO sound different. They sound different to YOU for whatever reasons (placebo effect most probabily), but it's not because they are objetively better.
post #32 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
I love when Hirsch and I agree. It's so rare and yet so rewarding.
Rare? Kelly, we agree on lots of things. For example, I think we both agree that Dallas is located in Texas. I'm almost sure of that.
post #33 of 211
Quote:
Ricky said...

But don't try to convince everybody that they DO sound different.
Only if you don't try to convince everybody that they DON'T sound different.
post #34 of 211
There's really only one sentence in here that's worth looking at:

Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Maybe a serious study over many people should be done to definitively disprove that this cable effect is happening. .
That says it all. A properly done study to determine whether or not cable differences are perceivable might be interesting. A study to "disprove that this cable effect is happening" is biased from the start. If the experimental hypothesis is flawed, the rest of the study isn't going to be worth the effort. (Note that "no difference" is very likely to be the null hypothesis of the analysis, but that's a very different thing.) No point in even attempting a study without an open mind going in.

The one thing I miss about web-based forums, as opposed to Usenet, is a good killfile... This would be an appropriate time for a <plonk>
post #35 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch
There's really only one sentence in here that's worth looking at:
That says it all. A properly done study to determine whether or not cable differences are perceivable might be interesting. A study to "disprove that this cable effect is happening" is biased from the start.
Well, I didn't mean such study should be formulated with the idea of disproving or proving anything. I meant that if that study was done, it would definitively disprove that this effect is happening.

Quote:
The one thing I miss about web-based forums, as opposed to Usenet, is a good killfile... This would be an appropriate time for a <plonk>
Good arguments from your part. I'd suggest that if you don't like this kind of discussions in a thread, please don't read or write in them. If you have anything more constructive or some other real arguments against my previous post, I'd be glad to read them.
post #36 of 211
Hey Ricky,
Since you are so well informed and scientifically disciplined how about enlightening us poor audiophiles. Perhaps I can learn something from you.

Please tell us what cables you use in your system and why. Also a description of your system would be helpful.
post #37 of 211
Posted by Ricky:
Quote:
And for those that say that nobody has interest in studying the elusive properties of special cables, this is an example of what do people research on nowadays at the real world of audio and acoustics:

http://ojps.aip.org/journal_cgi/dbt...e=CURISS#MAJOR6

These guys must know a little about these things, don't you think so?
I am sure these guys know a lot, but you give a list of some hundreds of articles, not referring the content of any article and not even telling which of these references are adequate.
Should I be so impressed that I agree with you? Or should I spend some hours just to read through the list of references, and weeks to read maybe relevant articles?
I made a search on cable and there was no hit!
So it is very appropriate that you specify those references that support your claims, and at least shortly explain how. If you want to be scientific and one should take you seriously.
post #38 of 211
Where to start, where to start...
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Ok, about measuring, let's apply a little bit of logic here. If a cable makes a difference in sound, it must be because it's altering or distorting the signal that passes through it in some way, right?
Absolutely.
Quote:
The signal that passes through it is an electrical signal, right? So the cable must be altering the electrical signal. If there is an alteration, it can be measured, right?
Absolutely.
Quote:
Don't you think that it is arrogant for audiophiles to think that decades of research and experience in transmission of signals (some of them much more demanding than audio signals), electronics, linear systems, etc, are not enough to know in which ways any signal (including electrical) can be altered, and how to measure it?
Yes, it is. Doesn't make us wrong, just arrogant.
Quote:
It is a false myth supported by high-end manufacturers, magazines that live from their advertisements, people who like to think they have expensive superior audio gear, etc, that there are some mysteries about transmission of audio signals that have not still been discovered by science.
This is a bit of an overstatement. People in these fields know all about impedance matching, inductance, resistance, capacitance, etc. But what they don't know is the relative importance of all of these things, their interaction, etc., and ultimately the effect of it on enjoyable listening. For example, many of them swear by Fourier's analysis. But they completely abuse it. They pay no attention to phase smearing, they figure as long as it has the exact same frequencies, then it is going to be heard the exact same way. This is simply not true. You could certainly devise a D*T (censored) test using stationary tones, and I would certainly fail it. But I could also probably devise a test with transients and the like that I could pass with ease. I'm not doing this because it's not my job, but this "placebo effect" of which you repeatedly refer to can also screw up the creation of an otherwise perfectly valid test.

It's not just that they measure different. You're backpedaling a bit when you say that. Previously you said that they can measure different, as long as it wasn't within appreciable amounts of capacitance, resistance, etc., and that most cables didn't vary (as compared to, for example, rs cables) enough to be perceivably different. Now you're saying, well, if you can tell the difference, then they should measure different.

Fine, then they measure different. I'll go along with that. No, I don't believe the measurements that are crucial to audiophile listening are being taken. I'm arrogant. Feel free to call me arrogant again. Doesn't make me any less right or wrong.
Quote:
And, human ear is far from being accurate compared with today's measurement equipment and techniques, the same way sight is less accurate than microscopes or telescopes.
That may be, but these sceptic scientists of yours had better be using their equipment correctly. I distinctly remember my physics lab professor showing me the impedance setting on the oscilloscope. He had it set ridiculously high, because, he said, most measurements, you want the circuit to be relatively unaffected. You want the path of least resistance to not be your oscilloscope. Are you measuring these cables without loads? That would be wrong. Are you measuring their DC resistance, capacitance, and inductance? I have never, other than on sites like Audioquest's, seen frequency values alongside these measurements. That, too, would be wrong.
Quote:
And it has been quite well established by many years of research which are the limits of audibility of the human ear, which are at any case below the limits of today's measurement technology.
Again with the Fourier's analysis.
Quote:
It is arrogant too that audiophiles that don't know much about audio from a scientifical or engineering point of view, think that they know more than people that has in fact studied and worked in these fields for many years.
No, wrong, in this I will disagree with you. It's not that we know more. We don't know. But we're not the ones trying to explain it. All we know are the results. We don't know what measurements need to be taken to explain these phenomenon.
Quote:
Only because most people at these forums think the same way about the importance of cables, it doesn't mean that is the truth. If you go to Usenet newsgroups such as rec.audio.high-end, rec.audio.tech or rec.audio.pro, you will find that most people, many of them (as opposite of most of you) with wide knowledge of engineering and science in the audio fields, audio professionals, etc, have different opinions than you.
That's fine. Most places get taken over by people who can outlast or outshout another person. I always lose to those people because I have a job to go to during the week, and they seem to have infinite resources. Fortunately, this place is moderated.
Quote:
Please go to any recording studios, or ask any recording audio engineer at any of these studios about what type of cables they use. Won't find silver or strange hyper-expensive cables there...
Not true. I ran into a guy at a music store about two years ago that re-wired his entire studio with silver cable.
Quote:
First we should make sure that these differences are real, through a controlled test, using the adecuate (and banned at this forum) metodology.
As someone previously mentioned in this thread, the only thing that would test is our memory. It sometimes takes me a long time to realize that my enjoyment has deteriorated by doing something as subtle as leaving the upsampling switch in the disengaged position. But I do eventually figure it out.
Quote:
But if you're happy buying megabuck cables because they sound better to you, go ahead, it's your money and your enjoyment. But don't try to convince everybody that they DO sound different. They sound different to YOU for whatever reasons (placebo effect most probabily), but it's not because they are objetively better.
No, if you will accept that cables can sound different (you have, under the conditions that they measure considerably different), then one can extrapolate that they will sound marginally different if they measure marginally different.

"Objectively better" is an oxymoron -- "better" in the world of audio is entirely subjective. On that, I think we can agree. Better to stick with "different". But now you're contradicting yourself -- do they sound different, or don't they?

Look at that self-same review of Jude's. He likes the Cardas Neutral Reference because it's revealing as all heck -- for the purposes of reviews. But for pure enjoyment, he prefers other cables. So this is one person, that does not hold one cable as superior to all others.

You're also mixing arguments. We argue about the value of diminishing returns here all the time. That is a perfectly valid criticism. Where to draw the line is an individual decision. You just draw the line way too early for our tastes.
post #39 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky


Well, I didn't mean such study should be formulated with the idea of disproving or proving anything. I meant that if that study was done, it would definitively disprove that this effect is happening.
If you know what a study will show before you do it, there's little point in performing the study. If you make broad statements about what a study will show before you run it, you're opening yourself up to allegations of scientific fraud even if you obtain those results legitimately. Got to drop that bias before you can even pretend you're talking about science.

Quote:

If you have anything more constructive or some other real arguments against my previous post, I'd be glad to read them.


Unfortunately, your other post didn't say anything substantive, except that you believe that there are no audible differences between properly constructed cables. We knew that. I can't speak for anyone else, but it doesn't really matter to me that you believe that. I'm prefectly willing to engage in scientific debate, but I try not to argue with people about their religion, as they're not going to let anything as trivial as scientific methodology change their mind.
post #40 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Ok, about measuring, let's apply a little bit of logic here. If a cable makes a difference in sound, it must be because it's altering or distorting the signal that passes through it in some way, right?
That appears to makes sense; however, since we (human beings) don't understand everything about such signals or how they end up reprocuding audio, it's more of a working hypothesis than a fact.


Quote:
If there is an alteration, it can be measured, right?
Again, that's the assumption, but it's not necesarily a fact. And even if we assume this is true, the even BIGGER assumption you're making is that we possess the technology to measure such changes. It's quite possible that the changes that affect sound are not measurable by current technology.

Now you might say that this is just all BS people are making up to support their placebo-induced belief that cables sound different. However, anyone with even a modicum of education in science and research methodology realizes that, regardless of your view on cables, the above two caveats are the first two questions any decent scientists would ask.


Quote:
Don't you think that it is arrogant for audiophiles to think that decades of research and experience in transmission of signals (some of them much more demanding than audio signals), electronics, linear systems, etc, are not enough to know in which ways any signal (including electrical) can be altered, and how to measure it?
Not at all, given the history of science. To the contrary, it is arrogant for anyone to think that we know everything there is to know about audio and electrical signals, and possess the end-all be-all in measurement technologies.


Quote:
It is a false myth... that there are some mysteries about transmission of audio signals that have not still been discovered by science.
Really? So you know for sure, eh?


Quote:
And, human ear is far from being accurate compared with today's measurement equipment and techniques, the same way sight is less accurate than microscopes or telescopes.
Again, you're making statements that simply aren't supportable. There have been many cases where the human eyes can see something or some difference, the human ears can hear things, human tongues can taste things... things that instruments cannot measure.


Quote:
And it has been quite well established by many years of research which are the limits of audibility of the human ear, which are at any case below the limits of today's measurement technology.
And yet, even though the human ear cannot "hear" above 15,000 - 25,000 Hz, depending on the person, other studies have shown that the harmonics that occur at MUCH higher frequencies are somehow detectable by some people...

Quote:
It is arrogant too that audiophiles that don't know much about audio from a scientifical or engineering point of view, think that they know more than people that has in fact studied and worked in these fields for many years.
It's arrogant to question whether we possess the technology to measure differences when double-blind tests clearly show that people can reliably hear the difference???

I call it healthy skepticism... and a skepticism that's more valuable that one that says "if we can't measure it, it cannot exist."


Quote:
If you go to Usenet newsgroups such as rec.audio.high-end, rec.audio.tech or rec.audio.pro, you will find that most people, many of them (as opposite of most of you) with wide knowledge of engineering and science in the audio fields, audio professionals, etc,
What a rude and insulting thing to say, Ricky -- what makes you so sure that some of the people you're talking to in these threads don't have backgrounds just as "qualified" as those of the people you appear to worship in the newsgroups? We have many people with backgrounds in science, engineering, recording, production, etc. here on Head-Fi, some of whom have been participating in these "cable" threads.

For all the times you throw the word "arrogant" around, you might do well to take a look in the mirrir


Quote:
First we should make sure that these differences are real, through
a controlled test, using the adecuate (and banned at this forum) metodology.
I already explained how I did just this.

Quote:
But if you're happy buying megabuck cables because they sound better to you, go ahead, it's your money and your enjoyment. But don't try to convince everybody that they DO sound different.
How about not trying to convince everyone that they don't?

Quote:
They sound different to YOU for whatever reasons (placebo effect most probabily), but it's not because they are objetively better.
I think you mean to say that in your opinion, since it's clearly not been proven.
post #41 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
By the way, the beloved by many Sennheiser HD600 (I believe a very good headphone), has aluminium cable coils, because aluminium is even lighter than copper. You know what? Aluminium is worse conductor than copper.
HD600 mod plans...
1. Cardas cable
2. Bybee filters
3. replace stock aluminum wiring with copper wiring

Thanks!
post #42 of 211
I need to get on my soapbox again. I'm really sorry guys.

This is the first post on HeadFi that has legitimately offended me. Sure, I get irked regularly and I'm pretty contrary on a regular basis, but I'm outright offended by some of the content in this thread.

Let me explain...

I value science a lot. I have a great deal of respect for the great physicists of history and of those today who have helped shape our understanding of the world around us. My philosophy of life is grounded in this appreciation.

What Ricky portrays is NOT science. This is a perversion and a corruption of science. This is a religion. This is a preceonceived belief system that Ricky is trying to justify by haphazardly borrowing the conclusions of others.

Through much of my existence, I keep hoping people will grow to abandon tradition and prejudice in favor of logic and reason. It is this thought that drives my hope that the human race can ever become worthy of our position on this planet. In my lifetime, I have on occasion seen unreasonable men lead to reason. I've seen wars end and I've seen hatred replaced with understanding. As rare as it may seem, it happens and it gives me hope.

What offends me is knowing that some of the people who read this thread will think that what Ricky represents is science and divorce themselves from it. After all, if you're going to have preconceived notions and beliefs, you may as well stick with the ones you already have instead of bending over to the religion of science.

If anyone has bothered to read this overly dramatic piece of rhetoric and was effected in this way, please look beyond this idiotic misrepresentation of science and find that science can be valid and useful. Audio engineers are not magicians and voodoo doctors. They apply science in their daily lives to produce better audio equipment. All of them at some point hear something they at first cannot explain and then strive to explain it so they can apply the discovery to their products' designs.

I am interested in discussing topics like this but I see Ricky's ongoing comments to serve no purpose other than to convince people that Ricky represents a "side" and that that side is the side of science. Please do not be taken in by this. What Ricky represents has no basis in science.
post #43 of 211
Still think Ricky should tell us what cables he uses in his system

Lay your cards on the table, nothing to hide right?
post #44 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Still think Ricky should tell us what cables he uses in his system

Lay your cards on the table, nothing to hide right?
I am curious: what difference could this possibly make?


Regards,

L.
post #45 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF


It's arrogant to question whether we possess the technology to measure differences when double-blind tests clearly show that people can reliably hear the difference???

Mac Def, could you please give us a more detailed description of your DBTs (level-matching, how many trials, how many scores/errors, perhaps measurements of the cables etc.).

That someone has been able to detect differences in cables in a properly conducted DBT is truly sensational news. It definitely deserves wider audience.


Regards,

L.
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