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post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Cables, Interconnects and Other Stuff - The Truth

Speaker Wire

No Stupid Questions… Part 4: Myths and Legends — Reviews and News from Audioholics


I am one of the people thinking that the effect of cable is extremely small enough to be ignored (well, further we are talking about headphones, not speakers.... even less demanding load we are speaking about,)


We also have some good amount of cables inside of amplifiers and inside of headphones (Internal connection; if you see K701 manual, you will find out that the cable is connected via molex connector and very tiny cable) and they are not made of silver (or more expensive and exotic) cable for most of case. They are all use plain copper (or even cheaper materials)


So, what's the point of using cables with exotic materials with such existing bottleneck?



I had chance to compare Cardas cable and normal stock cable for HD650, and I was unable to hear any slight difference (listening environment was very quiet.) The amplifier and the source were not ordinary as well, so they are not the weakest links.



Lastly, for all about power cables.... I just say it is nothing more than pure madness. It is just nonsensual to buy 1000$+ power cables.




So, what do you guys think?
post #2 of 61
Did you pay for the cardas?. Because this is the key point. Once you've lost hundreds-thousands to the cabling company you (sincerely, don't get me wrong, the placebo effect is no lie, is a true, sincere belief) tend to find a great improvement. And after the cable has a resistance low enough, the differences are inaudible. If you don't pay for the silver, that is. If you do, then emotions take command.

The point of exotic materials (for the buyer) is ignoring the Kirchoff's Laws. I'm old enough and I had to learn them in high school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
Cables, Interconnects and Other Stuff - The Truth

Speaker Wire

No Stupid Questions… Part 4: Myths and Legends — Reviews and News from Audioholics


So, what's the point of using cables with exotic materials with such existing bottleneck?



I had chance to compare Cardas cable and normal stock cable for HD650, and I was unable to hear any slight difference (listening environment was very quiet.) The amplifier and the source were not ordinary as well, so they are not the weakest links.

So, what do you guys think?
post #3 of 61
I caught differences between a stock cabled pair of Edition 9s and APS V3 recabled Edition 9s with ease

And this was using an iMod

I'm not going to go against what I hear - these changes reached out and slapped me in the face

I feel like my case could/would be argued and done simply by putting both pairs of cans on your head
post #4 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
Cables, Interconnects and Other Stuff - The Truth

Speaker Wire

No Stupid Questions… Part 4: Myths and Legends — Reviews and News from Audioholics


I am one of people think that the effect of cable is extremely small enough to be ignored (well, further we are talking about headphones, not speakers.... even less demanding load we are speaking about,)


We also have some good amount of cables inside of amplifiers and inside of headphones (Internal connection; if you see K701 manual, you will find out that the cable is connected via molex connector and very tiny cable) and they are not made of silver (or more expensive and exotic) cable for most of case. They are all use plain copper (or even cheaper materials)


So, what's the point of using cables with exotic materials with such existing bottleneck?



I had chance to compare Cardas cable and normal stock cable for HD650, and I was unable to hear any slight difference (listening environment was very quiet.) The amplifier and the source were not ordinary as well, so they are not the weakest links.



Lastly, for all about power cables.... I just say it is nothing more than pure madness. It is just nonsensual to buy 1000$+ power cables.




So, what do you guys think?
I believe that you are correct. However, since this is a science forum, I'd be interested in seeing links to blind test studies.
post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post
I believe that you are correct. However, since this is a science forum, I'd be interested in seeing links to blind test studies.
so would I, but the problem is that who would do the blind tests. to give them any credibility a large, and to some extent random, sample will be needed. nevermind the expenses needed for the equipment. nobody would sponsor it, as nobody is going to gain.*

the only place that it could be relatively easily done is at some sort of meet, be it canjam or something else. but then most "audiophiles" would not go along with it, purely because they believe, and want to continue believing (I can name a few on this forum easily ).

as such, the only discussion we could have is on personal experiences, but then you know as well as I, that that brings about some obvious credibility issues, no matter who had the experience.

*In fact, i had this argument with someone, and one of my supporters made an extremely good point. It is not true that there is nothing to gain. if the tests prove that cables, or any other debatable component or phenomena, do infact make a difference the the companies would have a field day. the mere fact that they are afraid to do so is self revealing.
post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-man View Post
so would I, but the problem is that who would do the blind tests. to give them any credibility a large, and to some extent random, sample will be needed. nevermind the expenses needed for the equipment. nobody would sponsor it, as nobody is going to gain.*
Tests certainly have been conducted already by others, and I expect that some of them have been conducted in a rigourous manner. You are right; in order to give them any credibility, we need to know their methods, sample size, etc. I don't think a fully random sample would be needed. If a gear comparison were carried out with people who self-identified as having 'golden ears', I think it could be just as valid as if it were carried out with randomly selected people - perhaps even more so. I'm not sure why such tests would require a sponsor - we collectively have a lot of gear already.

But I digress. I was inviting people to post links to blind cable comparison studies. I've 'heard' a lot of people on the forums spouting off about what DBTs have shown, without providing any references to the DBT studies in question, and that takes away from their credibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-man View Post
the only place that it could be relatively easily done is at some sort of meet, be it canjam or something else. but then most "audiophiles" would not go along with it, purely because they believe, and want to continue believing (I can name a few on this forum easily ).
We've discussed doing this in other threads. I'm quite sure it will happen, and the creation of this forum will enable communication and planning - should be pretty cool.
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post
But I digress. I was inviting people to post links to blind cable comparison studies. I've 'heard' a lot of people on the forums spouting off about what DBTs have shown, without providing any references to the DBT studies in question, and that takes away from their credibility.
fair enough, i too would like to see some, even though i havent seen anybody talk about them (but then maybe i havent been looking )

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post
We've discussed doing this in other threads. I'm quite sure it will happen, and the creation of this forum will enable communication and planning - should be pretty cool.
If it happens, it should be indeed be pretty good. maybe someone who is attending canjam 09 should start a thread. I wouldn't mind in helping make sure that the set up ideas are good, but then i am sure there are people who know more about such studies than me.
post #8 of 61
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am planning a test.... probably with my head-fi friend.

Since I have my beta22 (sig below,) it is possible to do single blinded AB test with the help of the friend.

Only thing I need is another set of HD650 (or two sets of decent Senn cans which can use these cables) and Cardas cable. I will post more details in future (not soon, though.)

I believe, there are already many ABX test results around the web that there is really no difference among cables.
post #9 of 61
I tend to agree with fjf. It's pretty hard to argue with physics.

However, getting into psychoacoustics here, and the strength of the placebo effect among humans, if it sounds better to you, despite any scientific explanation to prove it, does it matter?

I mean, it may sound distasteful to pay to trick your brain into thinking something sounds better, but then again why do women buy $800 Fendi bags when a $20 purse from Target will accomplish the same goal?

It's the same thing. If it's better to you, despite no empirical evidence to prove that it's better for everyone, does it really matter?

Moreover, when you've reached the point where you have found your "perfect" headphone, "perfect" source and "perfect" amp, what else is there to upgrade but your cables? =D

I don't completely disagree with the premium-cable argument, but I will DIY or purchase nice cables for reasons not associated with sound quality or character. When I look for an aftermarket cable I look at durability, build quality and looks. I'm not afraid to pay a premium for something I think looks stunning.
post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 
I believe, that the main problem is that all of cable companies' claims make you are losing the money in the most ineffective way.

I'd say, instead of investing a lot of money for cables, you can invest on balanced amp system (like I did) or biamping (as Rod mentioned on above link) to get much better improvement with same money.

Or even better, as we all probably aware, transducers are the one make the most different. Why not invest on better speakers and headphones?
post #11 of 61
I've seen or been involved with scientific research that involves recording very weak or very small signals. You'd think that if cables actually made a significant difference in signal transfer over wires, these types of high-sensitivity applications would also have use for high-end silver or cryo treated or whatever special treated cables too. Yet I have never seen any scientific lab using anything other than plain old copper wire. Often cheap, poorly soldered, and connected using alligator clips. But yet there has never been any problem using that stuff. Durable construction, quality leads, and good shielding are probably worth investing in, but cryo treated? I'm not all that enthusiastic. Silver also seems like a poor choice for wire material too because it will corrode. And unless you plan on replacing corroded silver wire every time it tarnishes, your corroded silver wire probably sounds worse than plain copper.

Ruahrc
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
I believe, that the main problem is that all of cable companies' claims make you are losing the money in the most ineffective way.

I'd say, instead of investing a lot of money for cables, you can invest on balanced amp system (like I did) or biamping (as Rod mentioned on above link) to get much better improvement with same money.

Or even better, as we all probably aware, transducers are the one make the most different. Why not invest on better speakers and headphones?
my thoughts exactly. cables, or any other such "tweaks" should be the last resort. the "upgrade path" is well known, but it really bothers me when people believe that spending xx on cables will improve the sound more than say spending xx on headphones/speakers. even if cable do improve sound, it is most likely minimal. i mean studies have shown that even amps barely improve sound, if at all.
post #13 of 61
Having never personally listened to any recabled headphones or speakers my comments are only my personal view and arent based on any actually experience.

With that said some cables cost upwards of $100+ and when they use those kind of cables on $200 headphones surely if they invested that money in the headphones itself they would notice a more significant increase in sound quality. Also if you do recable your headphones surely without recabling every other cable in the sequence (cables within the amp, source etc) any possible benefits would be bottlenecked by the "substandard" cables within the sequence.

With all that said I will refuse to believe in any significant benefit of pure silver, oxygen free etc cable which is justified by the price paid without any extensive blind or scientific unbiased tests.
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
Cables, Interconnects and Other Stuff - The Truth

Speaker Wire

No Stupid Questions… Part 4: Myths and Legends — Reviews and News from Audioholics


I am one of the people thinking that the effect of cable is extremely small enough to be ignored (well, further we are talking about headphones, not speakers.... even less demanding load we are speaking about,)


We also have some good amount of cables inside of amplifiers and inside of headphones (Internal connection; if you see K701 manual, you will find out that the cable is connected via molex connector and very tiny cable) and they are not made of silver (or more expensive and exotic) cable for most of case. They are all use plain copper (or even cheaper materials)


So, what's the point of using cables with exotic materials with such existing bottleneck?



I had chance to compare Cardas cable and normal stock cable for HD650, and I was unable to hear any slight difference (listening environment was very quiet.) The amplifier and the source were not ordinary as well, so they are not the weakest links.



Lastly, for all about power cables.... I just say it is nothing more than pure madness. It is just nonsensual to buy 1000$+ power cables.




So, what do you guys think?
Welcome to the forum wnmnkh...

Keep up the good work.

Some tests that are being discussed in the Placebo thread:

Masters and Clark Study

Richard Clark says over a couple thousand people have taken the test, and nobody has passed

One might think that if you can't tell amps apart, wires are a non issue.....

There's always coat hangers.......

USG
post #15 of 61
I've tried 3 wiring upgrades (power cable, rewired DAC w/ silver cable, and optical cables) and they've never made a difference, just as I expected. The "upgraded" digital cables are the most ridiculous to me, it's a binary system so it either works or it doesn't!

The big problem with evaluating recabled headphones, in my experience to date, is that there has always been another mod that accompanied the recable. They may have been converted to balanced, had a resistor mod, added damping, changed the housing, etc... so it's impossible to isolate the effect of the cable mod alone. I always try to keep an open mind, but my past cabling experience doesn't inspire much confidence in recabled headphones either.

At this point, I think cables are the chrome rims of the audio world- they just make your gear a little more flashy and personalized, which is fine, but I'm sick of people trying to convince me their $1000 power cable makes a huge difference when it sounds exactly the same to me.
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