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copper vs silver digital interconnect

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
quick comparison of both materials - had to set some base factors constant to make it apples for apples:

same length - half meter

same impedance - 75 ohms end to end (not just cable, but RCA connectors as well)

same equipment - zero HDAM -> digital S/PDIF -> woo 3+ -> HD650

same tracks played


when I put the pure solid core silver interconnect (Homegrown Veritas) and played "Spanish Harlem", I was taken aback by the additional clarity and layering. Then played BB King's "You don't know me" and confirmed the same. However, I felt something was missing and could not quite pinpoint it.

So I went back to put my copper interconnect (Canare LV-77S). I played BB King again and immediately found what was missing - the BASS!

So here is question to all you UBER ODIOFILES:

it's been said that silver makes things brighter - is it because there is less lower octave harmonics feeding the tube amp resulting in less bass?

I want to know if the gain in clarity and layering is a result of this.

At this point, I kept the Canare because of its fuller sound

Please advise
post #2 of 32
Quote:
it's been said that silver makes things brighter - is it because there is less lower octave harmonics feeding the tube amp resulting in less bass?
Maybe it is because silver is more shiny and more expensive than copper. It has never been proven that silver sounds brighter. Silver is ~7% more conductive than copper. That is all.

The rest of the signal path still has all kinds of materials in it (lead, steel, copper, etc..). So 1 meter of silver makes everything sound better, even if there is still 5+ meters of copper?

No one really knows why people prefer silver to copper. I don't think there is a scientific explanation, but people do prefer it and that is fine .
post #3 of 32
It shouldn't make any difference at all in a digital cable. It's just ones and zeros. If it's the same ones and zeros in both ends of the cable, then it's as good as it gets, and this can be accomplished with pretty much any wire.
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It shouldn't make any difference at all in a digital cable. It's just ones and zeros. If it's the same ones and zeros in both ends of the cable, then it's as good as it gets, and this can be accomplished with pretty much any wire.
Exactly what I thought as well. Being an engineer, I know what's fluff and what's not. But my ears can tell the difference, hence my inquiry to the board experts
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by th0m View Post
It shouldn't make any difference at all in a digital cable. It's just ones and zeros. If it's the same ones and zeros in both ends of the cable, then it's as good as it gets, and this can be accomplished with pretty much any wire.
This is key. Maybe its psychosomatic, because a digital signal will not produce ANY difference in sound from material to material, as long as the digital signal can actually reach the source undegraded. For analog equipment, I could see the argument being made, maybe...
post #6 of 32
I use a $150 coax cable myself (mostly for looks and less risk of breakage), so I'm not bashing anyone for buying expensive cables. It's just that purely scientifically speaking, it really shouldn't make any difference. I've never done any blind testing when it comes to digital cables though.
post #7 of 32
I once read digital ic's can sound different because the bits are pulses; it is interpreted as 'on' above a certain voltage, and 'off' below a certain voltage.
Now if the shape of the pulse alters, f.i. the ideal blockform gets more smoothed and trianglelike it goes 'on' later because the voltage needed is reached later.
All this should be irrelevant if reclocking is done after receiving, but if not, I can imagine digital cables having an influence in the timedomain. If and how this is audible I've no idea.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post
I once read digital ic's can sound different because the bits are pulses; it is interpreted as 'on' above a certain voltage, and 'off' below a certain voltage.
If a cable can't conduct well enough to prevent errors, it's defective. I doubt that you would be able to find a cable so poorly designed and manufactured that it does what you describe.

See ya
Steve
post #9 of 32
A-ha!!! NOW I know your user ID, Robert!
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
post #11 of 32
Do you want me to bring my Silver Res interconnects for you tomorrow?
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have found my optimum setup.

Solid core coax is what I have now - CANARE L-5CFB for the digital and audio interconnects

stiff in setting up but if you plan the bends well, it's not an issue. I thought cables should not matter esp with the short runs, but it does!

I think it's because cables are now the weak link in my audio chain

So I think I'm settled for now.
post #13 of 32
Try copying a file with lan cable/ usb cable of wutever material it is, if it doesnt result in error on copying, the file is essentially identical to the previous copy. Same thing applies to digital IC imo. My experience with cheap lan cable... no loss packet ever except when using wireless bluetooth or wifi. In conclusion, digital data is less susceptible to corruption than analog.
post #14 of 32
I thought it was all 0 and 1 too until I heard it myself.
Used a top end denon transport outputting to my dacmagic and then to a levinson system therefore making my dac the weakest link. I could easily spot the differences between digital cables in the music. Granted I was listening to high quality recordings too.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cLy_eVo View Post
Try copying a file with lan cable/ usb cable of wutever material it is, if it doesnt result in error on copying, the file is essentially identical to the previous copy. Same thing applies to digital IC imo.
The difference between copying data files vs. digital audio transmission is that the latter has the clock component to complicate matters. There's a pretty good explanation here:
(quote)
The Clock is Analog

While the clock may look like a digital signal (it comes, after all, from digital circuitry and has only two levels), it is in fact an analog signal.

A digital signal is defined as a signal whose meaning comes from its state (0 or 1) at a particular time (say, when it is latched in a circuit). Digital signals are very noise-proof because it takes a lot of noise to fake a digital level (change a 1 into a 0 for instance).

An analog signal is defined as a signal whose meaning comes from its amplitude and/or the variation of such amplitude over time. Depending on how the valuable information they carry is encoded, analog signals can be anything from relatively imune to noise (think about an FM radio signal) to extremely sensitive (think about an analog audio signal).

The clock signal carries its information not in the logic levels but in the precise timing of their transitions (aka. "significant instants"). In this sense, it is an analog signal, as the timing information is defined by comparing the analog value of the clock signal with a fixed threshold and marking a clock tick every time the value crosses the threshold. Hence, it is very sensitive to noise and other alterations :

* Noise added to the clock will shift the transitions.
* Low-pass action by cables and other circuitry will soften the edges and render them more vulnerable to noise.
* Low-pass filtering will allow other signals (like data) to contaminate the clock.

Thus, if it is to respect the extremely strict requirements we must put on it regarding Jitter, the clock becomes a very fragile signal indeed. It must be handled with a lot of care.

Enter SPDIF. (unquote)
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