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Why do/don't "audiophile" cables improve sound?

post #1 of 293
Thread Starter 
Title says it all. I only want friendly discussion/debate. No nonsense posts. No "I don't know, it just sounds better to me" posts. Only facts please (marketing mumbo-jumbo does not qualify, cite your references). Data and tables/graphs are encouraged.

Focus should probably remain on the more controversial cables like power cords and digital cables. But analog signal cables are alright as well.

Trolling is really pointless in this thread, so don't bother, especially if you already know my position on cables.
post #2 of 293
Capacitance and inductance.
post #3 of 293
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
Capacitance and inductance.
I can't really tell what you are getting at? Is that a for or against argument? Be a little more specific and informative. That isn't really a reason "why" either.
post #4 of 293
post #5 of 293
For me I believe that it is all placebo effect and at the end of the day I am perfectly happy with that. I figure as long as you have a good connection life is peachy.

Honest opinion - This is going to spark the objective vs subjective debate which :yawn: has been done to the nth degree. As I am sure you are all acutely aware, some people believe results can be measured by machines (yielding tables and graphs) and others believe that the human ear can detect differences that machines cannot. I personally fall into the latter.

Since you're interested in objective data, perhaps you should revise the thread title to "An objective approach: Why do/don't "audiophile" cables improve sound?"

I say this not to troll. I am genuinely interested in the objective viewpoint but as the question is currently posed it is bound to start an unfriendly debate. I've fallen into this trap when asking honest questions myself.

Just a suggestion. Lookin' forward to some informed responses!
post #6 of 293
In digital cables, at least with S/PDIF standard, the signal also carries timing information to the DAC. Thus noise and reflections in the cable do affect the waveform and thus the recovered clock.

However, a proper DAC should be immune to the incoming jitter and use "average" timing to reclock the DAC. Unfortunately most still are not and could be affected by the cable.

Thus, IMHO, if a digital cable changes the sound, get a proper DAC instead of an expensive cable.
post #7 of 293
shielding
post #8 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
Capacitance and inductance.
don't forget impedance!
post #9 of 293
clock skew, charge deposition, skin effects, lattice interactions, dielectric isolator; mostly these plus the ones mentioned before. oh and don't forget my fav set of formulas lumped wire model (actually my fav are the maxwell equations...pure genius)
post #10 of 293
Thread Starter 
Im sorry, these ridiculous one word answers aren't going to cut it. And just listing off a bunch of so-called effects aren't helping either. How about describing each effect and what it has to do with the cable's performance. Again, cited references are a plus.
post #11 of 293
Skin effect... or the lack thereof.
post #12 of 293
No nonsense information about cables.

Besides, I think resistance has not been mentioned yet.
post #13 of 293
I think the words mentioned are general concepts that influence performance of any interconnect; without understanding of what those are, one cannot appreciate further discussions based on those fundamental principles .

This cable discussion should really be relegated to ppl with EE, Material E, and Physics backgrounds; I am trying not to be snobby about all this, but its really fundamentally an engineering and science problem; and without the prerequisite courses/background, you wouldn't understand or appreciate the discussion.
post #14 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by tot View Post
No nonsense information about cables.

Besides, I think resistance has not been mentioned yet.
R was mentioned as part of the lumped wire model.
post #15 of 293
doing a quick search on the keywords

shielding stops stray signals from nearby devices or even stuff like radio signals from infecting your signal

edit: here's some good reading Blue Jeans Cable--Index of Informational Articles no marketing there
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