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The Cable Factor - Page 4  

post #46 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Leporello
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.).
Yet another example of how the anti-cable people simply aren't reading the posts in this thread... or that they are selectively ignoring certain ones

What I didn't include in the earlier post:
- Level-matching: there's no need to in my setup -- using the same CPD with identical outputs into identical inputs on the same amp. In addition, swapping the cables between inputs/outputs in various combinations provides the same exact results, indicating that there are no level matching issues.
- Trials: I didn't set it up with a set # of trials, but I have done this experiment *many* times for myself, for friends, skeptics, etc., and the results are quite repeatable.
- Measurements: the comparisons I've done have always been between stock RCAs or RatShack $.99 alternatives vs. some more expensive aftermarket cables (AudioQuest, Kimber, StraightWire, etc.). Unless there is a distinct pattern in "measurements" that would consistently affect these tests in *exactly* the same manner each time, I think asking for "measurements" is a red herring.


Quote:
That someone has been able to detect differences in cables in a properly conducted DBT is truly sensational news. It definitely deserves wider audience.
Again Double-blind tests that show a difference in cables have been done over and over and over. It's just that the Church of Cables Can't Make a Difference refuses to acknowledge these tests, and always seems to find some way of weaseling out of accepting their results.
post #47 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF


- Measurements: the comparisons I've done have always been between stock RCAs or RatShack $.99 alternatives vs. some more expensive aftermarket cables (AudioQuest, Kimber, StraightWire, etc.). Unless there is a distinct pattern in "measurements" that would consistently affect these tests in *exactly* the same manner each time, I think asking for "measurements" is a red herring.

Again Double-blind tests that show a difference in cables have been done over and over and over. It's just that the Church of Cables Can't Make a Difference refuses to acknowledge these tests, and always seems to find some way of weaseling out of accepting their results.
Thank you, MacDEF.

I mentioned measurements only because it could be argued, that the perceived differences were actually caused by very ordinary aberrations in frequency response, for example. But that obviously was not the case here.

Could you give me any further references of the positive DBTs you mentioned? I am especially interested in tests with statistically significant results (that is why I inquired about the amount of trials).

Regards,

L.
post #48 of 211
Quote:
Could you give me any further references of the positive DBTs you mentioned? I am especially interested in tests with statistically significant results (that is why I inquired about the amount of trials).
I don't have any handy; however, I've read quite a few articles over the years. As someone with a very strong background in scientific research methodology and statistics, I'm generally a pretty harsh critic of the types of "experiments" you see in audio. Some of the test were not what I would call methodologically sound, but a number of them were solid, using similar methodology to my own (identical outputs/inputs, double-blind switching, etc.).

In terms of statistical significance, you're generally not going to find too many results that demonstrate it with any high level of confidence. Not because it can't be done, but rather because getting a big enough sample size is an obstacle: who's going to pay a few hundred people to come in for multiple sessions of A/B testing, and most people don't have the patience or ears to sit through many, many rounds of it However, given how easy it is for people using my setup to differentiate between cables (nearly or at 100% for some cables), I'm not too concerned about developing statistical significance at a level that would satisfy reviewers of statistical journal articles
post #49 of 211
Frankly, I haven't been following this thread or any other "cables make no difference" threads because they are a total waste of my time.

The ONLY people who make this argument are people who have never heard better quality cables. My suspicion is that they don't have enough money for them, so in order to feel better about the situation, they try to believe that people who CAN afford these cables are fools or morons. Also, they likely don't have equipment nearly good enough to enable something like a cable swap to make a difference in the first place.

I just want to really upset this Ricky character by giving him the conclusion of my power cord-rolling experience. No doubt he thinks power cord rolling is even more foolish than IC rolling. This should really piss him off:

Adding better quality power cords makes even MORE of a difference in improving sound quality than merely swapping ICs. You know how I know this? Get this--- I TRIED it!!!! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

markl
post #50 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly

HD600 mod plans...
1. Cardas cable
2. Bybee filters
3. replace stock aluminum wiring with copper wiring
Are you joking???

Cardas cables: no comments, I guess I've talked about cables quite clear so far.

Bybee filters: I've done a bit of research about those Bybee filters, and they seem to be another magic device explained in pseudo-science terms. I found a thread in sci.physics with real physicists making a good laugh at them. So, another "green pen"-"cable lifter"- style fraud.

Replace stock aluminum wiring with copper wiring: so, the very experienced engineers at Sennheiser use light aluminium coils in their expensive top-of-the-range dynamic headphone in order to improve transient response, and you go and replace it with copper just because "it must be better". Makes a lot of sense...
post #51 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Cardas cables: no comments, I guess I've talked about cables quite clear so far.
You probably shouldn't comment about things you don't understand; especially things in audio you've never heard.

Those of us who have auditioned the Cardas cables, even in blind tests, know that they do indeed sound different than the stock cables. If you've never heard them, you really aren't in any position to comment on them.


Quote:
Bybee filters: I've done a bit of research about those Bybee filters, and they seem to be another magic device explained in pseudo-science terms. I found a thread in sci.physics with real physicists making a good laugh at them. So, another "green pen"-"cable lifter"- style fraud.
Hmmm... odd how so many people who have them hear a difference. I've never heard them myself, so I won't comment on them (hint, hint).
post #52 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
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?
No, it was only intended to show that people who do research, do research in a vast amount of themes related to audio and acoustics, trying to explain the tinniest phenomena at this field.

Quote:
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.
I did a bit of research, knowing where to, and found some of these at:

http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_peri.htm

and

http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_book.htm

Some of those study the phenomena of subjective perception. Don't know if any of these refer specifically to cables, though, but the matter is the same. By the way, this web page is a good recopilation of information about blind tests and their utility.


Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF
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...
...
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???
...
Again Double-blind tests that show a difference in cables have been done over and over and over.
I'd like to see any references to controlled tests, and/or scientific or at least technically riguous references that actually support those claims, aside from your personal possibly non-rigorous, uncontrolled tests. I'll go over these further.


Quote:

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.
...
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.
...
...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.
If all these you say are true, why is it impossible to find any scientific ot technical literature that supports it? Or at least that tries to explain or research into that "unknown" or "unmeasurable" things?

As other person, electronic engineer, much more audio technically informed than me, who has done theorical and practical research for years over the issues discussed here, said at another forum:

"Audio ain't nuclear physics and it ain't rocket science.
...
There are differences between cables but they always have causes that are well-understood.
...
In fact, no new forms of distortion or new measurable whatsis have been discovered in audio for decades and
decades and decades.
...
...its because the science of cables is well-understood, and learnable and we learned it and we understand it.
"

This seems to be widely accepted by audio professionals all over the world. Again, if you have any serious reference or technical literature that contradicts this, I'd like to know it.


Quote:

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.
I said "most" of the people, not all. I'd like to know how many of these have a minimal scientific or technical background aside from what they read at audiophile magazines. I'd say not many, reading what I've read about Bybee filters, people being in effect "blind" to anything other than their own perception and whatever stupidity they read from advertisers, and not interested at all in knowing the real working of things.

Quote:

For all the times you throw the word "arrogant" around, you might do well to take a look in the mirrir
Yeah, but I was not the first one that used the "arrogant" word here. In fact, I used "arrogant" as a reply to other poster that first called me "arrogant".

Some points about your blind tests:

Quote:

- Measurements: the comparisons I've done have always been between stock RCAs or RatShack $.99 alternatives vs. some more expensive aftermarket cables (AudioQuest, Kimber, StraightWire, etc.). Unless there is a distinct pattern in "measurements" that would consistently affect these tests in *exactly* the same manner each time, I think asking for "measurements" is a red herring.
So you are saying that measurements by itself would be useless? I thought you agreed that if there's a difference, it should be measurable somehow, even if it's not possible to do it right now, as you seemed to say. If there's a difference but there's no way to measure it even if we had the neccesary technology, then it must be some sort of paranormal phenomena.

Over the rest of the explanations, I DO believe that some measurements should be done in order to effectively prove that your equipment's outputs, inputs and cables, wether cheap or expensive ones, don't have gross measurable differences. That should be a controlled test.

Over this issue, I'm planning something for all of you having a cd burner, so that your can do your own blind tests at your homes, to test how good are you telling a piece of music not altered, from a played through a cheap cable and then recorded again, same piece of music.


More issues...

Quote:
Originally posted by Dusty Chalk

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.
Wow! If so, what is audio and acoustics engineering about ??? Are audio engineers and researchers just playing with their toys because it is funny, or what?

Quote:

For example, many of them swear by Fourier's analysis. But they completely abuse it.
Fourier analysys is just another mode of viewing signals. It's maths, no more, no less.

Quote:

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.
What a gratuituous claim!! Easy to talk, isn't it?

Quote:

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.
?? Don't see the contradiction. If it sounds different, it measures different. If it measures different, I may not sound different if the differences are small enough. And all regular non-faulty, non-special-sound-coloring design I/C cables, measure pretty much alike.

Quote:

That may be, but these sceptic scientists of yours had better be using their equipment correctly.
...
Are you measuring these cables without loads? That would be wrong.
And YOU are the one going to teach them how to use their equipment? I see you really believe scientists and engineers are sort of stupids playing with their expensive toys. That's what I mean when I say that some audiophiles are arrogant.

Quote:

Not true. I ran into a guy at a music store about two years ago that re-wired his entire studio with silver cable.
What a big proof. I could say that thay I knew a guy 5 years ago that put a cup of water on top of his DAC at his home studio because it sounds better. Please go to any real professional big (or small) studio, and see what they use.

Quote:

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.
True. But for a cable to measure marginally different, must have a very weird or crappy design.

Quote:

"Objectively better" is an oxymoron
Ok, I should have said "different".

Quote:

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.
I'd say that diminishing returns here have not much sense, as a decent industrial, not expensive cable, as the ones used at recording studios, is as good as any other cable no matter its price.

By the way, in recording studios they care about what is really important. In a quick manner, they are, more or less in this order: acoustics, transducers (microphones/speakers/headphones), electronics, and finally cables.

Long post...
post #53 of 211
Now you're just getting sarcastic. What cables have you heard? Have you ever done a DBT? Or do you just listen to two different cables with the preconception that they won't sound different? You know, preconception can really detrimentally affect the outcome of an experiment...
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
If all these you say are true, why is it impossible to find any scientific ot technical literature that supports it? Or at least that tries to explain or research into that "unknown" or "unmeasurable" things?
Perhaps because you're not looking and you don't want to find it?
Quote:
As other person, electronic engineer, much more audio technically informed than me...
Quit thumping your freakin' bible. This is not religion. This is audio. We want to know what you have heard with your own ears. Your lack of answer tells us exactly that -- nothing. The exact same accusation can be thrown at you that you are throwing at us -- just as you would accuse us of mentally defending our purchases, you are mentally defending your lack of purchase. Go do a search on "Jon Risch".
Quote:
There are differences between cables but they always have causes that are well-understood.
...
In fact, no new forms of distortion or new measurable whatsis have been discovered in audio for decades and
decades and decades.
Again, with the preconceptions. You, yourself, have told us how bad preconceptions are.
Quote:
...
...its because the science of cables is well-understood, and learnable and we learned it and we understand it.
"
Please state your sources. I want to make sure I never buy anything from someone who would make such an idiotic statement.
Quote:
Wow! If so, what is audio and acoustics engineering about ??? Are audio engineers and researchers just playing with their toys because it is funny, or what?
The ones that you listen to, yes.
Quote:
Fourier analysys is just another mode of viewing signals. It's maths, no more, no less.
No. All models of the universe take into account some generalization. Cartesian coordinates do not take into account the effects of relativity. Most of these are fair. Fourier analysis -- from the perspective of audio and enjoyable listening -- is inadequate in most of the ways in which it is used.
Quote:
?? Don't see the contradiction.
Of course you don't.
Quote:
And YOU are the one going to teach them how to use their equipment? I see you really believe scientists and engineers are sort of stupids playing with their expensive toys. That's what I mean when I say that some audiophiles are arrogant.
I didn't say all of them -- just the ones that you incorrectly and very hand-wavingly quote. I don't think these scientists and engineers you keep pseudo-quoting exist. I think you made them up. I think you hear voices. I think you see little green men. I think you are quoting little green men. You should stay away from that stuff.
Quote:
What a big proof. I could say that thay I knew a guy 5 years ago that put a cup of water on top of his DAC at his home studio because it sounds better. Please go to any real professional big (or small) studio, and see what they use.
You've obviously never heard of Abbey Road. Or been there. I read trade journals all the time. I read them more than this forum. The best ones do use upgrade cables. I just saw something that said Steven Spielberg (you've heard of him?) uses XLO cables.
Quote:
True. But for a cable to measure marginally different, must have a very weird or crappy design.
Why? I say, marginally different (sounds) == marginally different (measures).
Quote:
I'd say that diminishing returns here have not much sense, as a decent industrial, not expensive cable, as the ones used at recording studios, is as good as any other cable no matter its price.
So you mean stuff like they sell at Markertek? There are many people here who love Markertek. These are upgrade cables. You just endorsed upgrade cables. Ha-ha.
Quote:
By the way, in recording studios they care about what is really important. In a quick manner, they are, more or less in this order: acoustics, transducers (microphones/speakers/headphones), electronics, and finally cables.
So you do endorse upgrading cables somewhat? Again, define your stance. How much is too much? US$100/m? US$500/m? US$50/m?

Do yourself a favour, do your research before you answer that question. You specifically said "...in recording studios..." You're basically saying that whatever recording studios upgrade to, you're okay with.

I'm outta here...
post #54 of 211
Good Grief!!
This thread is somewhat cyclic isn,t it?
So if I have missed something in one of the posts ....sorry!

Ricky I still cannot work out if you have done any comparitive
cable auditioning here,[again if I have missed that critical statement:"when I listenened to cable A comared to Cable B I observerd......", I am sorry]
surely listening is a good first step?

Most of us are very sensitive to the slightest change in intonation
in the spoken word and can percieve a great deal of change in
meaning at the smallest change in pitch or emphasis on a word
or a component of that word.
But the conversants do really have to share that language/culture
to pick up on those subtleties.
Not forgetting that this sensitivity also grows with familiarity,as in
say a Husband and Wifes level of subtle comunication.

So I do feel personal preferances and familiarity with ones own
audio equipment chioces will make one far more sensitive to the
minute changes those exotic cables [components] can make to
our chosen equipment but not so noticable to the unfamiliar casual listener.

I would be curious to see graphs of the feguency range etc of
a single word /sentence spoken by the same individual with different emphasis etc.
How subtle would the measurements be compared to what was
heard?
Probabaly not a practical experiment to perform [too many variables] but you get the picture.

I think yes with the right measurements measuring the correct paremeters it is possible to have comparitive data from most
things.

But audio component designers are human with all that implys and some of those designers may well follow their audio philosophys with religeous zeal irrespective of whether their sonic
nirvana is based on an Ideal scientific goal.
[Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note springs to mind here]


MM...Ricky no doubt if you hang out here long enough you too will also end up chanting mantras and placing weird bits of wood infront of your hifi like the rest of us......


Setmenu

Team fun
post #55 of 211
Hey Everyone,

Let's relax and stop trying to "prove" things. We are all different people with different tastes, likes,dislikes and beleifs. No one is right or wrong here.

Buy the cables that you want and that appeal to you the most, no matter what the price.
post #56 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Replace stock aluminum wiring with copper wiring: so, the very experienced engineers at Sennheiser use light aluminium coils in their expensive top-of-the-range dynamic headphone in order to improve transient response, and you go and replace it with copper just because "it must be better". Makes a lot of sense...
Actually, you were the one who implied that copper was better than aluminum. You used it to try to prove there was no substantial difference.

Yes, I was joking. I am not an engineer and I only understand the very high level of how audio electronics work. I wish you could admit the same since you're clearly about fifteen leagues over your head.
post #57 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

No, it was only intended to show that people who do research, do research in a vast amount of themes related to audio and acoustics, trying to explain the tinniest phenomena at this field.
If they know all of the phenomena involved in signal transmission, why are they still doing research. They should quit and do something productive if they already know the answers.

Quote:
I did a bit of research, knowing where to, and found some of these at:

http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_peri.htm

and

http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_book.htm

Some of those study the phenomena of subjective perception. Don't know if any of these refer specifically to cables, though, but the matter is the same. By the way, this web page is a good recopilation of information about blind tests and their utility.


Generally speaking, in science it's considered good form to have read papers you're citing. Just out of curiousity, have you read ANY of them?

I'd hardly call a commercial web site for a failed ABX comparator an unbiased source of information.

Quote:


As other person, electronic engineer, much more audio technically informed than me, who has done theorical and practical research for years over the issues discussed here, said at another forum:

"Audio ain't nuclear physics and it ain't rocket science.
...
There are differences between cables but they always have causes that are well-understood.
...
In fact, no new forms of distortion or new measurable whatsis have been discovered in audio for decades and
decades and decades.
...
...its because the science of cables is well-understood, and learnable and we learned it and we understand it.
"

This seems to be widely accepted by audio professionals all over the world. Again, if you have any serious reference or technical literature that contradicts this, I'd like to know it.
The Church was able to get enough experts to testify that the sun revolved around the earth to convict Galileo of heresy. That didn't change the reality.

Quote:

Yeah, but I was not the first one that used the "arrogant" word here. In fact, I used "arrogant" as a reply to other poster that first called me "arrogant".
That was me, and I was being very purposeful, and probably overgenerous. I'm a scientist, and as such find a "know it all" attitude particularly offensive. Science is about discovery. You'll never hear a good scientist claim that he knows everything there is to know about anything. The mark of a good scientist is trying to understand where the limits of his knowledge are, and trying to expand them.

Quote:

I see you really believe scientists and engineers are sort of stupids playing with their expensive toys. That's what I mean when I say that some audiophiles are arrogant.
Why? Because we believe our senses over what someone tells us our senses are capable of? I'm a scientist who happens to be an audiophile.

Someone who posts that he listened to cables X and Y and heard (or didn't hear) effect Z is presenting a data point. You're presenting nothing. No science. No information about what you have or have not listened to, and differences you have and have not heard. Nothing. Nada. So far, just a parrot repeating things you've read or been told. If you're that easily influenced that it offends you that some people can listen and make judgements for themselves, go join a cult where all your thinking will be done for you. Hmmm...maybe you already have....
post #58 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch
Someone who posts that he listened to cables X and Y and heard (or didn't hear) effect Z is presenting a data point. You're presenting nothing. No science. No information about what you have or have not listened to, and differences you have and have not heard. Nothing. Nada. So far, just a parrot repeating things you've read or been told. If you're that easily influenced that it offends you that some people can listen and make judgements for themselves, go join a cult where all your thinking will be done for you. Hmmm...maybe you already have....
Agree Hirsch, I will now ask Ricky for the 3rd time to lay his cards on the table:
-what cables do you own now
-what cables have you prevously owned
-what cables have you compared in your system
-what cables have you tested DBT, and what were your results
post #59 of 211
When I got the equniox replacenent cable for my 580s at 185.00 the mids were no longer laid back. The mid was equal with the highs and the lows. The sound stage became wider, The highs were higher but soft and the lows were tighter.
When I bought the Di Mazio ics 4 of them for 200.00 the sound was more pure and more dynamic just more sound comming out of them. I put 2 of them to my cd deck to my stereo amp and 2 of them from my amp tape out to my supreme amp and have a better signal all around. Is it 200.00 worth I dont know and is my equinox worth 185.00 I dont know. But what I do know is that my main rig sounds better that befor I bought this stuff. Ant this called audio file? Than if so any improvement that one makes is on that course to quality sound even if the money dont give the actual moneys worth but still improves the sound ant that some of our goalds? To achive better quality sound with upgrading. Maby I am wrong and can accept that but at least I try to give what I have all the upgrade that goes with what I got and if I am wrong so what. Its only money.
post #60 of 211
Ricky ought to be banned for wasting so much of our time and bandwidth.

So what if you say that all audible differences must be measurable? Let's say we grant you that--then can't you accept that high-end cables sound different from cheap cables because they actually measure different? And can it be that it's actually the high end cables that are measuring more correctly than the cheap cables?

Sure, a cheap shiedless cable will probably do better than a high end twisted + shielded + whatever cable in RLC characteristics, but what about noise rejection??

I haven't studied cables for long but it's already obvious to me that there is a crapload of design compromises to be made for cheap cables all over the place.

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