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post #12841 of 27585

Let me preface this post, I honestly don't mean to offend anyone who spends their hard earned money on third party aftermarket HP cables but I don't understand why anyone would want to...

 

I work for the largest media broadcasting company in Canada in the broadcast engineering department and long before that I learned that the most important thing in a signal cable is shielding. Oxygen free copper as as good a conductor as it comes for audio applications. Virtually all aftermarket cables are a placebo for "Audiophiles" and nothing more. All top HP manufactures know this and design their stock cables to match their reference designs for optimum performance.

 

Spending crazy amounts of money on after market HP cables may give buyers the impression (or illusion) of improved SQ but realistically they just paid too much for something they had in the first pace.

 

But I digress, it's your money and if you feel that a $100 or even a $1000 HP cable gives you better SQ then all the power to you. Marketing is a powerful tool and made many a snake oil salesman rich.

 

David Hannum once famously said: "There's a sucker born ever minute".

post #12842 of 27585

A lot of people don't buy cables for SQ improvement. Like me. I buy them for the increased durability, more flexible, custom length for me, and they feel a lot better(stuff like shielding.)

post #12843 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

A lot of people don't buy cables for SQ improvement. Like me. I buy them for the increased durability, more flexible, custom length for me, and they feel a lot better(stuff like shielding.)

The durability argument I can somewhat understand but in a non-professional home environment there is still probably not enough stresses put on HP cables day-to-day to warrant the outlandish cost some third party cable vendors command for their products...


Edited by Ear-Wax - 7/6/13 at 4:06pm
post #12844 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ear-Wax View Post

Let me preface this post, I honestly don't mean to offend anyone who spends their hard earned money on third party aftermarket HP cables but I don't understand why anyone would want to...

 

I work for the largest media broadcasting company in Canada in the broadcast engineering department and long before that I learned that the most important thing in a signal cable is shielding. Oxygen free copper as as good a conductor as it comes for audio applications. Virtually all aftermarket cables are a placebo for "Audiophiles" and nothing more. All top HP manufactures know this and design their stock cables to match their reference designs for optimum performance.

 

Spending crazy amounts of money on after market HP cables may give buyers the impression (or illusion) of improved SQ but realistically they just paid too much for something they had in the first pace.

 

But I digress, it's your money and if you feel that a $100 or even a $1000 HP cable gives you better SQ then all the power to you. Marketing is a powerful tool and made many a snake oil salesman rich.

 

David Hannum once famously said: "There's a sucker born ever minute".

 

I realize your experience is real for you.  But keep in mind we have people, some like me with decades of experience with top cables and equipment in high-end audio as well as degrees such as physics, plus are close to cable manufacturers.  First hand experience, at least with home equipment that has different and perhaps relaxed specs compared to pro gear, has shown significant differences in sound quality.  This isn't the place to debate it further.  Plus, those of us with the experience simply note that you are not exposed to this and so are (in the kindest sense) "ignorant" or perhaps better to say "a beginner" in the domain.  BTW, I know many pro audio folks, whose reputations and profits depend on sound quality for recording, monitoring, mixing and mastering top orchestras and ensembles, that indicate cables as being significant in this respect, even to the point of listing their equipment on the release notes. 

 

Engineers are trained to use "lumped parameters" and break systems and cables down theoretically into separable variables. This by definition means that (a) they assume they are aware of all relevant effects, and (b) they are separable and linear.  Such engineers then latch onto any explanation that allows them to keep their simplistic theories.  Only first-hand experience ever breaks open their view to find the next higher level of complexity that might explain the observations.  I'm trained in engineering, but also physics, and philosophy... and I find one must look at theory, experiment, observer, AND the blindnesses associated with each. Yes, false positive differences do occur, but mostly false negatives occur, if you review the literature on audio difference testing by Floyd Toole, Sean Olive, et al. I've studied under the late Dick Heyser (look up his inventions and industry positions) and others.  I also had a few conversations with this guy, the late Richard Feyman, whose simple video here addresses the method that is forgotten by those who stick to their theoretical training and thus remain closed: 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0


Edited by Stoney - 7/6/13 at 4:43pm
post #12845 of 27585

Somebody needs to go to a Head-Fi meet....

post #12846 of 27585
@butt-ugly - I'm with you regarding cables. Brian @ BTG Audio is as well. He uses good quality parts and does the work for those who don't want to, at a pretty reasonable price. He does offer boutique wire and bits for those who want to pay for it. Ok, back to HD650's...
post #12847 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ear-Wax View Post

Let me preface this post, I honestly don't mean to offend anyone who spends their hard earned money on third party aftermarket HP cables but I don't understand why anyone would want to...

 

I work for the largest media broadcasting company in Canada in the broadcast engineering department and long before that I learned that the most important thing in a signal cable is shielding. Oxygen free copper as as good a conductor as it comes for audio applications. Virtually all aftermarket cables are a placebo for "Audiophiles" and nothing more. All top HP manufactures know this and design their stock cables to match their reference designs for optimum performance.

 

Spending crazy amounts of money on after market HP cables may give buyers the impression (or illusion) of improved SQ but realistically they just paid too much for something they had in the first pace.

 

But I digress, it's your money and if you feel that a $100 or even a $1000 HP cable gives you better SQ then all the power to you. Marketing is a powerful tool and made many a snake oil salesman rich.

 

David Hannum once famously said: "There's a sucker born ever minute".

Watching the Video of Axel, the head Sennheiser at engineer, listen to a pair of HD800's with Toxic Cables at the London meet was really interesting. Even he was convinced...

post #12848 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

 

I realize your experience is real for you.  But keep in mind we have people, some like me with decades of experience with top cables and equipment in high-end audio as well as degrees such as physics, plus are close to cable manufacturers.  First hand experience, at least with home equipment that has different and perhaps relaxed specs compared to pro gear, has shown significant differences in sound quality.  This isn't the place to debate it further.  Plus, those of us with the experience simply note that you are not exposed to this and so are (in the kindest sense) "ignorant" or perhaps better to say "a beginner" in the domain.  BTW, I know many pro audio folks, whose reputations and profits depend on sound quality for recording, monitoring, mixing and mastering top orchestras and ensembles, that indicate cables as being significant in this respect, even to the point of listing their equipment on the release notes. 

Stoney, to assume that I am new or even a beginner in this domain is, well, just "ignorant" if I may quote you.

 

I have been working actively in the professional audio recording business, both live and in-studio in Europe and North America since 1984. It's only since the latter part of of the 1990's that I have branched out to the broadcast video production business.

 

You know what they say about assumptions...

 

Not once did I claim that professional production grade, balanced signal cables are in any way connected to the issue I brought up with HP enthusiasts buying expensive HP cables. Professional grade signal cables have their applications and those costs are justified. It is the perception of $xxx aftermarket HP cables that may provide better dynamics or a wider sound stage is a myth I question.

 

In the end, how people want to spend their money is their business. I personally prefer to invest my money into the companies that supply the materials to said products. I find that far more rewarding.

 

Cheers!

post #12849 of 27585

I'm only saying you are a beginner at what you are trying (fruitlessly) to ridicule, namely, that cables can produce different sonic results when integrated into real-world home and portable audio systems.  Those of us who are experienced have "experiment" to add to your "theory" that they "shouldn't" sound different. I made no assumption about you being a beginner; I deduced it from your dozen statements that show you to be unaware of a huge body of knowledge that was well trodden by thousands before you.

 

e.g., Can you tell me all, or any, of the following?  All of these pertain to whether you can decide in principal (theoretically) if cables make sonic differences or not: 

  • who wrote a paper, any paper, in a peer reviewed journal on "dielectric absorption?"
  • Can you tell me how that affects capacitor—and cable—performance, and
  • how manufacturers work around this?
  • Have you ever heard the before/after experiment?
  • Can you write the equation?  
  • Can you tell me what a grain boundary is, in terms of its effect on conduction and aging?
  • Do you know what triboelectric effect is?  
  • Piezoelectric effect?
  • Skin effect?
  • Shielding of audio cables systems, especially given most equipment is unbalanced and thus differentially susceptible to noise?  
  • How RF in such a shield could affect upstream output amplifiers with local or global feedback?
  • In your field of expertise, which I suspect includes analog video systems, are cables operating in impedance-matched mode, or not matched?  
  • Is Audio matched or not matched? 
  • Why are these different?  Why does audio use what it uses? 

 

If not, then it seems predictable that you would stick to lumped parameter models of V, I, R. 

 

 

PS: please don't think you can sign up here 6 days ago and walk in knowing more about every aspect than this huge user base.  

 

And it is likely to lose you allies to barge in and claim: 

  • "placebo for "Audiophiles" and nothing more"
  • "crazy"
  • "made many a snake oil salesman rich"
  • "sucker"'

 

As for my quote, "(in the kindest sense) 'ignorant'" simply meant "Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular."  I stand by that.  

 

When we talk about broadcast expertise, I'll be all ears and defer willingly to you. I appreciate your experience. Yet one can be wrong about something specific... happens to me all the time!  

 

Mine is: degree in Physics, major in Acoustics, Degree in General Engineering, major in management; 12 years NASA Acoustical physicist, 10 years medical device acoustics, reviewing (including for Stereophile), consulting for audio dealers in acoustics and product lines, consulting for manufacturers and consumers in home audio, development of touch interfaces for smart devices, and too much time to spare now that I'm on disability.... 


Edited by Stoney - 7/6/13 at 6:30pm
post #12850 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

Watching the Video of Axel, the head Sennheiser at engineer, listen to a pair of HD800's with Toxic Cables at the London meet was really interesting. Even he was convinced...


Do you have a link to that video Eric? I would love to see! biggrin.gif

post #12851 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolaiw View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

Watching the Video of Axel, the head Sennheiser at engineer, listen to a pair of HD800's with Toxic Cables at the London meet was really interesting. Even he was convinced...


Do you have a link to that video Eric? I would love to see! biggrin.gif

I just left a PM for GSARider. He organized the London meet and I think he was the one who filmed it. Fun to see Axel sitting next to Frank listening to a pair of HD800's with Toxic cables...biggrin.gif

post #12852 of 27585
Felti m sort of cursed...icould hear difference in all my cheap stockcables...to low endcables ..to midficables..to usbcables..to earpads..to 1/8to1/4adaptors...
And i tote eryoneelse would hear the diff too...but i wasmistaken....
Some honestly cant... either vblessed..or hv equipts tat would negate such variations...or jus earwax.

:==============
post #12853 of 27585

Woah guys... take it easy here with the cable war debate... Don't wanna get the beloved thread shutdown eh? blink.gif

 

@ Stoney - It is clear that Ear-Wax is new to Head-Fi, and as such may indeed not be aware of the constant 'cable-debate wars' that frequent these forums. So even if his post had been a bit blunt with his opinions, those who have been here longer should extend a bit of patience for newer members as they learn the etiquette of the forum. More junior members (me included) have learned much from more experienced members such as yourself and we certainly appreciate it when you guys take the time to share your experiences with us. We definitely value your thoughts and love to discuss these things.

 

@ Ear-Wax - Firstly... WELCOME and indeed a superb choice for your first pair of cans. The HD 650 are simply amazing eek.gif!! However, it would be wise to read around a bit to learn which topics here are 'sensitive' so that in discussing them, we can carefully choose our words to avoid such confrontations. As Stoney had noted... I can see how some of your comments can certainly stir up some members who are a bit more zealous about our hobby/community here.

 

Now in regards to cables... personally, starting up I was quite skeptical about cables too. But when I found a good deal on an 'aftermarket' cable I decided it was a relatively inexpensive option (my black dragon that I'm selling now) for me to test out this claim. Sure enough, actual experience had shown a subtle change in the sound of the HD650. The change was not mindblowing, nor did it change the main sound signature of the HD650s... but certainly discernible with some quick swapping between the stock cable. It provided slight extension to the bass with a bit more impact control and a sweeter treble... kinda like a very small pinch of coarse sea salt on a beautifully seasoned steak to tease out the flavours. wink.gif (hungry yet?)

 

Now, does this mean that I believe that all headphones should get aftermarket cables?? NO, but my ears indicate that the HD650s do indeed benefit from a cable that is better than the stock one. It may not be that you need a super duper space unicorn tears cryo treated unobtanium cables. But rather, it may just be that the stock cable of the HD650 isn't quite up to snuff and the HD650 may be one of the few that do benefit from a different cable. But ultimately, does this justify the cost of some cables? (certainly not exorbitant >$400 prices IMHO).

 

@ Ear-Wax - I currently have a cable I'm selling cause I went balanced. If you're interested in testing this out it is a relatively inexpensive way to do it. Just PM me and we can work something out. If you're in the local Toronto area, then even better... I would be willing to even consider letting you borrow it to try... If at the end of the day you cannot tell a difference... then great biggrin.gif your wallet will be happier for it... if you like it and wanna keep it then you can buy it from me.

post #12854 of 27585
Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonFox View Post


Heck yah!! Buying come away with me from HD tracks in 24/96 was audio crack when played through the HD650's sooooooo sexy


Thanks,


evil_smiley.gif


+++ LOVE that album thru the HD650s. Certainly a must listen combo.

post #12855 of 27585

Well...now that we shall de-escalate that cable conversation, I have a question:

 

I'm not looking for a terribly expensive cable for my HD 650s, but rather one that just looks a bit better.  I mean, I like the stock cable (the thickness is even nice, compared to the HD 600 stock cable), but for instance; I like the red for right indicator on the HD 600 cable, and even braided cables look nice.  Really I'm just looking for an aesthetically pleasing cable for my HD 650s :).  Any recommendations are welcome :).

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