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Is it time to boycott cable companies? - Page 28

post #406 of 411
I'm not going to claim to be an expert, but I just finished a course on transmission lines so this seems like an appropriate time to make a comment.

For lengths common in audio (0-3 meters, say) and the relatively low wavelength of the signal (compared to something like a digital line), you aren't going to see much difference in cables, except for the quality in their construction. Factors like the material and geometry of the cable also aren't going to cause much degradation - the difference in characteristic impedance of copper/silver/gold and wound/coax/etc at these lengths is negligible as well. The best quality cable would match the characteristic impedance to the impedance of the load (thereby eliminating reflected waves which cause degradation), but since the load of all speakers/phones is different, the cable would only be best for one set.

So really, the only thing I would worry about in this type of cable is the quality of construction (even the best cables will be killed by a bad solder joint), and maybe to an extent good material (don't need silver, but at least make sure it's good copper, not scrap). Spending hundreds of dollars on a cable is ridiculous. It only costs those companies pennies on the dollar to produce them, and there's almost no "development" costs on something like a cable.
post #407 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I don't see why a cable company doesn't pick one of hundreds of research universities and have the electrical engineering and psychology departments conduct some tests.
This actually sounds like a great idea for an inter-disciplinary research project, thanks. Might have to bring in the bio-engineers as well to have them test (quantitatively) the definition of the human ear. Sorry if this violates the whole "no discussion of methods" thing, I just think it's a good idea for research.
post #408 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarquineous View Post
I agree too that the asking price is simply price gouging.
Many of the high priced cables are very good. The crooks know it, and that's when they raise the price. Then another catches on.... then another. Then they wonder why business is bad.

Let me start by saying that I'm jumping into this thread late. And I dont have the time or inclination to read 41 pages of people arguing in circles.
But, I do have the inclination to throw my own 0.02 in!

The premise of the thread is nonsense to begin with. Boycotting a company based on price? Seriously? Thats just a mental trick to allow one's self to justify not buying something they wouldnt have baught in the first place.
Like it or not, we live in a free market society. (though,for how much longer, nobody knows.) And in a free market society people who manufacture goods are free to set the price anywhere they want. And if some one were inclined to pay that price then, between the two, it was a fair price. Nobody elses opinion matters. It doesnt need have anything to do with parts cost, or R&D, or anything that would seem "fair" to a scientist or engineer. So long as there are people willing to pay the price then the price is "fair" to someone. If no one wants to pay the price then either the price must come down or the nitwhit goes out of business.
This is why the quote I reference above caught my attention. Nobody producing extravagently priced cables are wondering why business is bad because its not bad. And if it were, they're not going to be around long anyway. But look at the ones selling the 5 figure cables for example (Nordost, Tara Labs, MIT, Transparent, Sunny, Audioquest, etc etc.) None of those companies are hurting for sales. I dont know about all of them, but I know that Nordost's silly priced Odin cable is still backordered a year after introduction. For those not up to speed on economics, backordered status equates with high demand. Good luck boycotting that.

Extravagent pricing is nothing exclusive to cables. I personally think Lamm electronics is way overpriced. You look at their ML2 tube amp sitting next to a B.A.T. Vk-150SE and you dont even have to be an electrical engineer to see that based on parts alone the B.A.T. is "worth" far more. And yet the Lamm is more than twice as expensive AND it sells. Dont even get me started on that Shindo crap out of Japan. And I'm sorry if anyone reading this owns or loves Shindo, but there is no way on earth its worth the price tag, especially not based on sound quality. Not to my ear. But it is to my neighbor. And he swears by it. So, Shindo continues to sell to people like him and others. And good for them.

Outside of audio things get even wackier. Heck, my grandparents love antiquing. That's one that really boggles my mind. There isnt even the pretense of new technology or performance. To me, its someone else's old crap and once you have it all its going to do is sit on a shelf and look "pretty". That is, so long as you keep dusting the thing. You dont like the price of cables? Go watch Antiques Roadshow sometime. You may feel better.

Like it or not, the extreme high end of audio has become a hobby of the rich. People who buy Nordost Odin interconnects are the same people who buy a Philippe Dufour watch. It tells time worse than a digital watch from Wallmart, but there is exclusivity to it. This isnt to say that the Nordost sounds worse than Blue Jeans cable. I happen to think it is definitely superior. But not enough for me to spend the $$$ on it. Thought the cables I do own are not cheap in any sense of the word.

I worked in high end retail in my latter college days. And in my estimation fully half of the high end community purchase based solely on bragging rights. To me, these people wouldnt know the sound of true live music if it bit them on the arse. But, like it or not, they help to sustain the drive for better sound. That way those of us who are seeking the absolute sound can continue our quest. I hated to deal with those people because I had to set up their silly priced systems that hurt my ears to listen to. And I had to do it often because they were never saitisfied. (no wonder) Not so long as their neighbor found something newer and cooler. But it kept the doors open. And it led me to products that did sound good to me. And some of that stuff IS very expensive. But, to me, its worth the asking price. I didnt complain about pricing in my poor college days. I found ways to make and save for the stuff I really wanted.

Anyway, back to the premise of the thread. Boycotting is a stupid thing to begin with. Appearantly some 60's leftovers never figured that out. But I think it laughable to even suggest boycotting anything in high end audio. What are you going to do after that, boycott Lamborghini? Good luck.

Bottom line, if you dont first believe that cables make a difference then all you are doing by actively dogging the prices is playing games. And if you are seriously upset that you cant afford the ultra expensive cables that you lust after you actually have greater problems because the cables are the icing on the cake in the audio chain. Your time would be better spent boycotting the electronics that you also cant afford. Thats where the larger differences are anyway.
OR, you can do what I did, and save up for them. Trust me, having to save money for such expensive stuff will weed out the posers. When it really comes down to it, you arent going to spend that hard earned dough on something that doesnt cut it.
post #409 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Champ04 View Post
But look at the ones selling the 5 figure cables for example (Nordost, Tara Labs, MIT, Transparent, Sunny, Audioquest, etc etc.) None of those companies are hurting for sales. I dont know about all of them, but I know that Nordost's silly priced Odin cable is still backordered a year after introduction. For those not up to speed on economics, backordered status equates with high demand. Good luck boycotting that.
First, how do you know the companies aren't hurting for sales? Unless you have access to their books, you don't really know. Neither do companies advertise that they're in poor shape - no one wants to buy from a company in trouble.

Second, being backordered does not necessarily mean strong demand.

You might not know this, but artificial lines and "high demand" are common marketing tools. I think it was in Poland where Apple paid people to wait in line for the 3G iPhone. Why? To make it look like a hotter product. Same reason there are lineups outside the Cheesecake Factory, Outback, and some other restaurants. Most of the time, they could seat and serve everyone as they came in.

But a line intensifies desire and makes it appear to others that they are in high demand.

The marketers know this. They create the lines on purpose. False shortages are a very, very common method of marketing.

Oh, and with the economy the way it is, you're going to see cable sales plummet and many of these companies fail. Cheap cables actually work - there's no denying it.
post #410 of 411
well, to be honest. A lot of restaurants don't seat to capacity due to the amount of staff they have on duty.
I doubt its an image thing.
But I still see your point regarding Apple making people wait for the iphone
post #411 of 411
Um, well, I know because I have many close personal contacts inside all facets of the industry. Does that satisfy your question?

Or maybe you could just look and see that all the companies I named have been around and showed no sign of going anywhere for at least ten years.

And you are dead wrong on the economy effecting anything. Wilson Audio, for example has consistently shown an increase in sales even during economic slow times. And, yes, their books are open to certain people.

I'm guessing you dont have the money to spend on $20k cables. But if you did you would better understand that economics dont effect all income levels equally.

Oh, and you also dont seem to be aware of the fact that Japan (and increasingly Korea and China) buy up a ton of this stuff regardless of the North American economy.
So your fantasy of these companies going under anytime soon is a pipe dream.
Just sayin.
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