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Is it time to boycott cable companies? - Page 7

post #91 of 411
Cable arguments come down to elitism and superiority. "You can't afford the best, so what do you know?" "There must be something wrong with your hearing, or your equipment sucks."

The truth is a cable either works properly or it doesn't. The same sound comes out of a properly made $4 cable at an electronics supply store as a properly made Blue Jeans cable or a properly made high end cable.

The trick to great sound isn't "the best of everything". It's knowing what matters and what doesn't, and focusing on things that really do make a difference. Cables are dead last in importance. If you are worrying about that, odds are there are plenty of really important things that you're overlooking.

Don't waste time or money, and don't fall into the audiophile snob trap. Buy a cable that works, or use the one that came with your equipment if it's good and move on to more important things. It's amazing how much money and time people waste on trivia.

See ya
Steve
post #92 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
That said, you should agree there is a general trend of cable skeptics being young people new to the audio hobby.
That is totally wrong. Monster cable isn't designed to fleece experienced audiophiles. "You aren't getting the best sound if you don't have Monster cables!" It's designed to make beginners worry and spend too much on wires. Then the high end cable companies try to convince you that Monster Cables aren't good enough. "YOU need better than that to get the best sound!"

It's plain old American upsell aimed at folks who don't have a grasp of what's important and what isn't, so they spend money on whatever the salesman tells them will make a difference.

I think the term "skeptic" isn't a good description of me. I am practical. I want to expend my efforts on things that matter, and not waste energy on things that don't. Science helps me figure out which is which, and my ears help me figure out when I've reached the limits of human hearing, so I don't chase down specs that only bats can hear.

See ya
Steve
post #93 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Cable arguments come down to elitism and superiority. "You can't afford the best, so what do you know?" "There must be something wrong with your hearing, or your equipment sucks."

The truth is a cable either works properly or it doesn't. The same sound comes out of a properly made $4 cable at an electronics supply store as a properly made Blue Jeans cable or a properly made high end cable.

The trick to great sound isn't "the best of everything". It's knowing what matters and what doesn't, and focusing on things that really do make a difference. Cables are dead last in importance. If you are worrying about that, odds are there are plenty of really important things that you're overlooking.

Don't waste time or money, and don't fall into the audiophile snob trap. Buy a cable that works, or use the one that came with your equipment if it's good and move on to more important things. It's amazing how much money and time people waste on trivia.

See ya
Steve
Also this is a hobby, when on forums you have to dissern what is true and what is opinion. In the case of extremes, generally the truth is down the middle.

Play, experiment, have fun, listen to music....This is a very personal hobby, as very few people sound the same, do we hear the same.

I agree with Steve, get wire to connect your equipment. Focus your time and resources on transducers, (room if applicable) music, sources, amplification...then tweaks

How many here have more $$ invested in gear than they do musical source?
post #94 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
Also this is a hobby, when on forums you have to dissern what is true and what is opinion. In the case of extremes, generally the truth is down the middle.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
How many here have more $$ invested in gear than they do musical source?
Oh Lord! I've spent an awful lot of money on equipment, but nothing like what I've spent on music.

See ya
Steve
post #95 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
That is totally wrong. Monster cable isn't designed to fleece experienced audiophiles. "You aren't getting the best sound if you don't have Monster cables!" It's designed to make beginners worry and spend too much on wires. Then the high end cable companies try to convince you that Monster Cables aren't good enough. "YOU need better than that to get the best sound!"

It's plain old American upsell aimed at folks who don't have a grasp of what's important and what isn't, so they spend money on whatever the salesman tells them will make a difference.

I think the term "skeptic" isn't a good description of me. I am practical. I want to expend my efforts on things that matter, and not waste energy on things that don't. Science helps me figure out which is which, and my ears help me figure out when I've reached the limits of human hearing, so I don't chase down specs that only bats can hear.

See ya
Steve
Steve...it seems that BJC or "????" is the new Monster. Someone always finds that incremental step.

Yes Steve you are practical, however, look on this sub-forum, the general skeptic or "practical" person is on the South side of twenty, and most of them are already on their way to utopia.
How many actually use "$4 cable at an electronics supply store", a practical or "thrifty" person would use these cables instead of paying 8x more to get a name brand.
post #96 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.



Oh Lord! I've spent an awful lot of money on equipment, but nothing like what I've spent on music.

See ya
Steve
The secret is discerning which side is which.

Music is the Nirvana

Equipment is the conveyor.
post #97 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The truth is a cable either works properly or it doesn't. The same sound comes out of a properly made $4 cable at an electronics supply store as a properly made Blue Jeans cable or a properly made high end cable.
Aren't religious statements prohibited on Head-Fi?
.
post #98 of 411
Quote:
The trick to great sound isn't "the best of everything". It's knowing what matters and what doesn't, and focusing on things that really do make a difference. Cables are dead last in importance.
100% agree. Bigshot, I think sometimes in your mind you are always arguing with someone like Patrick, who is hardly representative of 99.999999999999999999% of audiophiles. That guy just doesn't "get it", and I half suspect that he is a put on and not at all for real. Outside of a miniscule lunatic fringe (made up possibly of only Patrick himself), there aren't a lot of people arguing you should stick a $5000 cable on a $200 source.

That said, you don't seem to believe in superior sources or ampage. IMO, that puts you on a sort of lunatic fringe at the other end. Forget about cables, you don't want people putting there money anywhere in the signal path it seems to me.

Quote:
Oh Lord! I've spent an awful lot of money on equipment, but nothing like what I've spent on music.
Me too.
post #99 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
Steve...it seems that BJC or "????" is the new Monster. Someone always finds that incremental step.
Exactly. I'm not saying that Blue Jeans cables are any better sounding than any other properly made cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
Yes Steve you are practical, however, look on this sub-forum, the general skeptic or "practical" person is on the South side of twenty, and most of them are already on their way to utopia.
I don't really care how old or young anyone is. We're all on a journey in the same direction. What counts isn't where you are in the journey... what matters is that you are headed in a logical direction. If someone is trying to figure out how things work and apply that to their decision-making process, they have my respect. That is infinitely preferable to randomly trying out every option in the world to find out the best path. Randomness is totally inefficient and impractical. We have a brain for a purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
How many actually use "$4 cable at an electronics supply store", a practical or "thrifty" person would use these cables instead of paying 8x more to get a name brand.
I have a lot of cables that I bought at Electronics City in Burbank for very little money. Some cables I bought at Radio Shack for about double the price because Electronics City wasn't open nights or Sundays. The cables that I paid more for because of convenience don't sound any different from the inexpensive ones.

I don't listen to brand names. I buy what works at the best price. I learned that very early. When I was a kid, Sanyo had these commercials on TV with a disco queen singing, "SANNN-YOOOOOO!" Everyone made fun of it. Apparently the engineers who worked for Sanyo in Japan were embarrassed, and decided to put out a high end line to show that they weren't just a cheapjack brand. I was shopping for an amp at the time, and after looking over all of the amps to choose from, I picked one of these Sanyos. My friends thought it was hilarious... until the glowing reviews in the stereo magazines started coming out.

Brand means nothing. Some brands represent quality that used to be there and doesn't exist any more. Others are the same only reversed. Better to judge by the equipment that is sitting in front of you, not reputation.

See ya
Steve
post #100 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
I think the term "skeptic" isn't a good description of me. I am practical. I want to expend my efforts on things that matter, and not waste energy on things that don't. Science helps me figure out which is which, and my ears help me figure out when I've reached the limits of human hearing, so I don't chase down specs that only bats can hear.

See ya
Steve
I think we think VERY alike....

Nice post.
post #101 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
...being that they are not well-heeled enough to afford the more expensive boutique stuff (they secretly lust after-- shhhhhhh), can be convinced that it's all bunk and that only the most plain vanilla cable is all they will ever need. It's natural for them to want to believe that it's only silly audiofools with more money than brains that buy the expensive stuff, so we'll take advantage of that and claim our cables function just as well for a lot less money--- a price even they could afford. See, they aren't economically disadvantaged or cheap, they're merely thrifty people who see through all the snake oil that more expensive brands use. Oh, those dumb, rich audiophiles. They'll buy anything. But not our customers, they want a low-key pitch, where we subtly take digs at audiophiles too, so we'll use that to our advantage.

BJC is not some bastion of common-sense, cable skeptics. They are a business who have identified you as apotential customer and tailored their product (and message) to fit.
Secret lust? Markl, if I want something I buy it. I've spent money on fashion items and probably too much on clothes. The difference is that I know they won't keep me any warmer or work better than clothes at Target or the Salvation Army. Clothes are clothes. I'll buy for style, but style doesn't mean a whole lot.

If someone wants to buy cables for style and fashion, fine. I understand. But if there are claims that go beyond that, I want proof. Would you buy a pair of jeans that, somehow, promised to make you taller and better looking? Probably not, unless they could show you how they do that. Don't you think that's fair?

For the record, I bought the Blue Jeans cables for, admittedly, fashion. I had a mix of different cables and wanted a matching set. Also, I like the build quality. I've seen plenty of extension cords and guitar cables short from poor construction and know that spending for durability is worth it. So I went with ones that will hold up to being stepped on or kicked around. They do. I don't make claims about the sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
That said, you should agree there is a general trend of cable skeptics being young people new to the audio hobby. I think that's a very fair assessment based on what we've see here over the last years since that wave of folks came in.

Now, when I was in college eating Ramen every day to survive, I couldn't have afforded fancy aftermarket cables either. But as an adult, things change.
Young and new to the hobby? Not me. I've been an audio and amateur radio enthusiast for ten years, have restored over 100 tube radios (I especially like the multiband sets and even restored an all-tube TV from 1955), build hi-fi gear, and am working on a commercial radio license. Just for fun. I'm 35, a lawyer (and have been since I was 25) and money isn't a problem. There's a family business and trust, as well, but I just reinvest that income. I have another year before I'm fully vested in the retirement program, and I'll re-evaluate things at that point.

Now that you can afford to spend several thousand on cables, why don't you buy an oscilloscope? How about a spectrum analyzer? Maybe you could take a few electrical engineering classes to learn more. Even better, if you were enrolled, you could get access to several hundred thousand dollars worth of test equipment. You could have a few Ph.D.s lend a hand, even.

If you found some difference, some physical basis, you'd be worth millions. Aftermarket cables are a huge business. If you could prove cables to work or understand the science behind them, you'd rake in millions in consulting fees. Instead of writing reviews for free, you could get $700 an hour or more for consulting. Fly around the world, get put up in nice hotels, expense dinners, all the good stuff.

And once you figure out how cables work, you could use that data to make even better ones. You'd have cables that sounded even better than the ones you have now. You'd also prove the skeptics wrong once and for all.

Would you consider renting some test equipment for your next round of cable tests? The prices aren't bad. Think of it this way: even if the tests aren't conclusive, you'd at least be able to say that you tested them and offer results. While it may not prove anything, you'd gain a lot of respect for simply trying.
post #102 of 411
Quote:
Would you consider renting some test equipment for your next round of cable tests? The prices aren't bad. Think of it this way: even if the tests aren't conclusive, you'd at least be able to say that you tested them and offer results. While it may not prove anything, you'd gain a lot of respect for simply trying.
Uncle Erik, I think you operate under the misconception that like you, measurements by machines that go "ping" means anything to me. It doesn't tell me a damn thing, except it works or it doesn't work. I always will fully concede that using today's equipment, one can't conclude anything about one cable's performance vs. another and two well-made cables will likely measure nearly the same. That ain't the point.


Here are some specs for a popular hi-end headphone:

Quote:
Frequency Response 10 - 39,500 Hz (-10dB)
Nominal Impedance 300ohms
Weight 260g
Contact Pressure approx. 3.4N( ±0.3N)
Transducer Principle Dynamic, open

Now, based on that, tell me how they sound.
post #103 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
While it may not prove anything, you'd gain a lot of respect for simply trying.
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.
.
post #104 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
That said, you don't seem to believe in superior sources or ampage. IMO, that puts you on a sort of lunatic fringe at the other end.
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
post #105 of 411
Markl, you are right. I can't tell you how those headphones sound.

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. Modern test equipment is extremely sensitive. All I ask is that two or more cables be analyzed and compared. That will tell you nothing about how they sound. However, it will give you a wealth of information as to why they sound different and actually establish that they are different.

I don't agree with everyone's interpretation of the way a headphone sounds, but no one ever argues that there's no difference between them.
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