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Is it time to boycott cable companies? - Page 8

post #106 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
Now, based on that, tell me how they sound.
A frequency response rated to +/-10dB could sound like just about anything. Get me a response for +/-3dB and let me know how it fits over the ears, and I'll tell you.

See ya
Steve
post #107 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
My point is that you can take a second pair of headphones and measure them, as well. Then you can compare those data and conclude that the two sets are, in fact, different.

What I want to see is two data sets for two cables showing a difference. Unless I can see that, I have to conclude that they sound the same. The data cannot tell me how something sounds, but they absolutely can show that a difference exists.
Different cables measure different as well. The same applies to amps. Nevertheless you can't tell which criteria are responsible for which sonic characteristic.
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post #108 of 411
The thing is, the very fact that this is such an inconclusive argument insinuates to me that cable differences are minimal at best. People rarely quesition whether different headphones, speakers, amps, or sources make a noticeable difference to sound. This is because the differences are very apparent. Cable differences, not so much so. And this is from my experience with them.

I believe that cables can make sonic improvements, but the improvements are usually very subtle at best, unless you are coming from a very, very poor cable(i.e. senn hd650). Thus, these cables are horribly overpriced when taking into consideration performance to price ratio. However, they are not nearly as overpriced as they seem when you take into consideration the time and effort put into building them.
post #109 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Yeah, but maybe respect isn't the first goal of an audiophile music lover, but rather to enjoy the music in even better quality. So why the tests which prove nothing anyway? The best test you can do to find out if a component makes a difference to your ears is to audition it. That's valid for any sort of equipment for me. I don't need proof that this and that amp or source is technically better (how would you measure that, BTW?), it suffices that it is better to my ears. Of course technical justifications would be nice and make a lot of fruitless discussions superfluous, but that's of second or third priority.
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I'm not looking for technically better. I'm looking for proof that there is any difference at all between cables.

You could use the free cables that came with your CD player, or you could spend more than $10,000 on aftermarket cables.

Is there a difference?

Test equipment can show this. The data will not show how something sounds and will not prove one better than the other. That's not the point, anyway.

What should be proven is that there is, in fact, a difference between the $5 cable and the $10,000 one. Put them both on a spectrum analyzer and see what comes up.

If you get two different data sets, then I will change my mind about cables. It's that simple.
post #110 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Here's the deal.

I've been involved in audio long enough to have worked with some of the people who established the business. I spent countless hours recording and mixing in the studio of the man who is such a legend in Hollywood, he has a sound effect and a Star Trek monster named after him. I assisted the sound mixer and transferred dailies on the very first television program that was recorded 100% digital. I've worked with every possible format from 78rpm acoustic recordings to 15 ips 24 track to 35mm fullcoat mag to a full ProTools workstation. I've operated mag readers, Nagras, moviolas and flatbeds. I was a hifi nut back when sources really DID make a difference... a cassette sounded nothing like an LP which sounded nothing like a R2R. I navigated my way through the tangle of generation loss, and I know how many times you can bounce down comp tracks on 24 track before you start losing quality. If you can get ahold of the masters to the Everest recordings, I have three 35mm mag readers sitting in the back room at my office we can play them on. So I think I know a thing or two about what makes sound sound good.

Here's what I know... Redbook sounds perfect right out of the box. Cables don't matter. Speakers and an amp capable of pushing them DO matter. So does a listening environment that acoustically complements your equipment. Equalize your response to get it as flat as humanly possible. And most of all, keep your focus on the music, because that is the reason we go to all this hassle to achieve great sound.

If that's the lunatic fringe to you, there's nothing I can say to you that would help.

See ya
Steve
Darn, if you were british....and I had the clout......there would be an honour on its way to you Sir.
post #111 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Different cables measure different as well. The same applies to amps. Nevertheless you can't tell which criteria are responsible for which sonic characteristic.
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If cables measure differently, please show us. I've seen plenty of analysis of amps, speakers, CD players, even capacitors. But not for cables.

I think you could use measurements to nail down what you like. If you keep seeing the same signature for what you like, you can empirically determine what is responsible. From there, you can develop things that sound even more like what you want. Amp and speaker designers do this all the time.
post #112 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I'm not looking for technically better. I'm looking for proof that there is any difference at all between cables. ... If you get two different data sets, then I will change my mind about cables. It's that simple.
We effectively have a different approach. I use my ears to hear if there's an audible difference -- I don't need the proof. The latter approach may even be in the way of openmindedness.

BTW, there are clear measurable differences with cables, as in every other component. The question is: are they audible? No measuring equipment can tell you that. Moreover, it's officially certified that different (headphone) amps sound different. Based on which measuring data? The main criterion where they indeed show somewhat significant differences is harmonic distortion. But then again, on an extremely low level (0.01% and lower) that's not considered audible by classic electrical engineering and psychoacoustics. None of the perceived characteristics in modern (solid-state) amps could have been predicted by means of measuring data.
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post #113 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
If cables measure differently, please show us.
Stereoplay has extensively measured cable characteristics on a regular basis in earlier editions. I don't have access to their archives, though. I could search if I have some of the corresponding editions around and take some pictures. But I'm sure there's enough examples on the net.
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post #114 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
This is generalizing, but I've found that the truth almost never lies halfway between two opposing viewpoints. Mankind is too emotional. Emotion can make someone totally throw out logic and reason without realizing it. Usually, one side has right on their side and the other has a passionate emotional investment in being wrong.

See ya
Steve
This is almost the exact response I expected from one who is far on one side.

I have heard cables and sources make a difference in my systems.
To date I have not heard the night and day difference...
Always somewhere down the middle
post #115 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I think you could use measurements to nail down what you like.
Not in the case of cable data. There's no clear correlation between measurements and perception.

Quote:
If you keep seeing the same signature for what you like, you can empirically determine what is responsible. From there, you can develop things that sound even more like what you want. Amp and speaker designers do this all the time.
So please tell us what measuring criteria amp designers use as a basis for their sound-tayloring!
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post #116 of 411
What people seem to be forgetting is that it would appear to be possible to design a proper protocol that would take into account both the technical specs of the cables and the sensory perception of the listener. Power it right, pick a proper endpoint and control, and you'd have yourself a study. Then see if there is separation from control with any statistical significance. I would think that both sides of the argument would like to see this done.

EDIT: I mention this because I'm not a big fan of manufacturers touting their wares without any substantiation whatsoever, regardless of the industry.
post #117 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
BTW, there are clear measurable differences with cables, as in every other component. The question is: are they audible? No measuring equipment can tell you that.
That's where threshold of audibility testing comes in. Numbers are useless without a context that puts them into human terms. I know what 6kHz sounds like. I know what 10dB sounds like. I know jitter is inaudible just by looking at the numbers. I don't have to NOT hear it to know I can't hear it! Next time you get in a car accident and the air bag deploys or when your breaker pops instead of burning down your house, you better be thankful that someone out there is paying attention to the numbers and doing the scientific testing for you.

People are free to think they hear things they physiologically just can't hear. They're free to believe that they were abducted by UFOs and ghosts talk to them too. They don't need to provide evidence other than their own perceptions. They can vehemently argue about the validity of science when it comes to the paranormal or extra terrestrial life. But if they want to tell me that there is something wrong with my perceptual abilities because I don't share their unsubstantiated delusions, I should be free to tell them what's wrong with their world view too, right?

See ya
Steve
post #118 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
What people seem to be forgetting is that it would appear to be possible to design a proper protocol that would take into account both the technical specs of the cables and the sensory perception of the listener. Power it right, pick a proper endpoint and control, and you'd have yourself a study. Then see if there is separation from control with any statistical significance. I would think that both sides of the argument would like to see this done.
No, both sides wouldn't. The reason that they resist testing is because all those tests have been done, and the results are that the differences between cables are so miniscule, they are totally inaudible. The cable fanciers react to these tests with disdain and go off on tangents picking at the testing protocol or quoting numbers out of context to muddy the waters and divert attention away from the obvious.

The fact that cables make very little if any difference is self evident, even to cable fanciers. They admit that the cables represent "the last 1% of refinement in their system". When you point out that 1% is certainly small enough to be accounted for by simple perceptual error, they get insulted and start getting mad. This has nothing to do with what someone hears or doesn't hear. It's an ego thing crossed with a status thing (hence the repeated irrelevent references to being the audio equivalent of wine connoisseurs). They've wrapped their self worth up in wires. Reason has nothing to do with this. It's pure emotion. That's why they always get mad and we don't.

See ya
Steve
post #119 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
That's where threshold of audibility testing comes in. Numbers are useless without a context that puts them into human terms. I know what 6kHz sounds like. I know what 10dB sounds like. I know jitter is inaudible just by looking at the numbers. I don't have to NOT hear it to know I can't hear it! Next time you get in a car accident and the air bag deploys or when your breaker pops instead of burning down your house, you better be thankful that someone out there is paying attention to the numbers and doing the scientific testing for you.

People are free to think they hear things they physiologically just can't hear. They're free to believe that they were abducted by UFOs and ghosts talk to them too. They don't need to provide evidence other than their own perceptions. They can vehemently argue about the validity of science when it comes to the paranormal or extra terrestrial life. But if they want to tell me that there is something wrong with my perceptual abilities because I don't share their unsubstantiated delusions, I should be free to tell them what's wrong with their world view too, right?
You «know» quite a lot. But in the end it's just belief. Your technical knowledge is by no means superior to mine.
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post #120 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Not in the case of cable data. There's no clear correlation between measurements and perception.
You got perception and measurement backwards there.

I'm in no contest with you over superiority. Where did you get that red herring from?

See ya
Steve
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