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My cable test enterprise - Page 2

post #16 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenkelby View Post
Is frequency response the only factor you're measuring, and do you think that will tell you enough about how they sound?

Well done for doing the experiment by they way, good man, you deserve respect for that.
FR is the only thing I really have the kit to measure, I cannot measure noise or distortion only how much the FR differs between cables. I am going to do listening tests as well but these will take some considerable time.
post #17 of 438
Could you measure impedance/resistance/capacitance etc?

It would be great if it was possible to do waterfall plots and things with headphones. Would not be easy though!

Looking forward to the listening tests!
post #18 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Good work. I'd love to see this test done on some seriously expensive ICs though. Personally I've never heard a cheap Audioquest IC that was worth bothering with, but at least it shows there IS a difference, even if a tiny and arguably insignificant one.
I am reluctant to spend any more money on this exercise and while I would be happy to borrow ( a few anyway as I want to get back to listening to music) expensive cables to test and would send stuff back ***insured for the stated value*** with postage and insurance receipts supplied on demand **I will take no responsiblity at all for the postal services of any country. ***

I have had stuff lost in the mail systems of both the US and UK before.

As for the Audioquest cables one was measurably the best and the other was measurably the worst beaten by a 77c cable.

Certainly the claims of directionality while true in the aboslute statistical sense if you use over 900 samples are utterly unimportant. To put this in context if the undirectional signal was 2.0000V and the improvement was 0.002db (as in the Sidewinder case) then the directional signal would have a level of 2.0004V. To say this difference is inaudible in normal listening would be an understatement.
post #19 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by craiglester View Post
Interesting, I like the thoroughness. I've never heard any difference between IC's so I'll be interested to see just how big a difference there really is. I wonder what the audible threshold is.. I'm guessing .05 of a db is pretty much insignificant.
From what I've read, for the most part a "perceived" change in volume usually occurs when the volume changes by 3 db. In a very quiet environment where a person is specifically listening for volume changes, a 1db change can be heard (by some people).

The drivers of the HD650 are matched to 1db. By what has been discussed on this board, the HD800 is matched to 3db (+-1.5 db). I assume Sennheiser takes the stance that drivers matched to that tolerance will basically be perceived as having equal volumes.

Keeping that in mind, .05 db is minuscule. I'd be very surprised if anybody could hear that small of a difference and would not believe such a claim unless there was a solid double blind test supporting such a statement.
post #20 of 438
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Looking forward to your listening tests. I always think about the coat hanger test.
post #21 of 438
Thread Starter 

Listening test plans

The only way to do a fair test will be unsighted. Being human I am prone to bias, for instance I really really hate the construction of the Blue Jeans cable, the plugs are big and unwieldy, and frankly ugly , and I do not like the way the metal parts come so close to touching. Now I know rationally that this makes no difference but it gives the BJC a disadvantage. Similarly the other cables look nicer.

I will still do sighted listening but I have reservations.

In addition I plan therefore to make test recordings from each cable, this time of musical samples and with the same rigour, i.e aligning and trimming to the same length +/- 1/1000th of a second.

Then I will load the files into FooBar and choose two at a time for an ABX, not to test my ABXing as such, but so that I do not know which one I am listening to at any time , thus if I express a preference it is not based on my biases.

I have plenty of memory (3GB) and hard drive space so I can do this with very large samples. I just tried it with two complete CDs and it worked perfectly.
post #22 of 438
I actually dont think this tells us anything about the way that complex variables interact with each other to form 'character' and also since you havent actually tested a cable that I would even consider buying, it doesnt really mean a great deal to me. thumbs up for the thoroughness with which you tested one variable among a range of fairly average interconnects really i'm serious, but I have my doubts as to whether you can actually put together anything meaningful, that can illustrate how we as humans may interoperate a change in dynamics, or PRAT. perhaps you should extend this testing to amplifiers, caps, resistors etc. if this test truly tells you something, then your logic should be able to be applied to those too; since all amplifiers at or above a certain pricerange or quality of construction should all sound the same too; since they all operate above the range of human hearing
post #23 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
I actually dont think this tells us anything about the way that complex variables interact with each other to form 'character'
What do you mean by character and complex variables ?. My tests are of course limited to relative signal attenuation at different freqency ranges. I chose this because this is something that I cannot be biased about. As long as I follow the same protocol (which I do very rigorously) then I can make direct comparisons within a limited set of parameters. If somebody claims that such and such a cable has more of a roll-off or suck-out at some freqency range that can be tested compared to other cables.


Quote:
and also since you havent actually tested a cable that I would even consider buying, it doesnt really mean a great deal to me.
I have already ponied up what for me is a considerable sum of money I am not prepared to spend more.

However I will happily test any cable that anyone is prepared to lend me with the proviso that I while I wll return all cables insured for the stated value I will assume no responsibility whatsoever for the actions of any postal service. I have lost too many things in the US and UK postal systems.


Quote:
thumbs up for the thoroughness with which you tested one variable among a range of fairly average interconnects really i'm serious,
Thanks.

Quote:
but I have my doubts as to whether you can actually put together anything meaningful, that can illustrate how we as humans may interoperate a change in dynamics, or PRAT.
Actually I can test dynamics - I can determine the dynamic range of each sample and thus whether any cable compressed the dynamic range more than any other cable. Also it would be possible to repeat my tests with a set of short transients or with a set of 1k to 10K square waves, this would indicate if any cable had inferior transient handling capacity. Might take a few weeks though.

What is PRAT and can you operationalize it for me, thanks ?
post #24 of 438
Well done! Thanks for your efforts.

Everytime I have "heard" a difference in cables, I swapped back and forth a few times and discovered I had fooled myself. The cable money now buys me music, instead.
post #25 of 438
Those complaining that the tests don't prove anything because he isn't using cables you would buy anyways should be the first ones to offer them up for testing.

Unless you wish to possibly remain blissfully ignorant (and poorer) you should be jumping at the chance for him to get a true sample of high end cables. He's doing a lot of legwork I doubt many people on this forum would even consider, let alone do.
post #26 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
Those complaining that the tests don't prove anything because he isn't using cables you would buy anyways should be the first ones to offer them up for testing.

Unless you wish to possibly remain blissfully ignorant (and poorer) you should be jumping at the chance for him to get a true sample of high end cables. He's doing a lot of legwork I doubt many people on this forum would even consider, let alone do.
He chose to get a few mediocre cables instead of one high end cable and comparing that to his own cables. You also forget one thing, it doesn't benefit me or anyone else who know what cables can do to the SQ, the only positive thing that could come from all this is some of the people with their heads buried in the sand might realize they are wrong and get some enjoyment from a good cable. We are talking about people who spend hundreds or thousands on headphones and amps and sources right? I hope he does hear a difference between the AQ Sidewinder and a Rat-Shack cable so he doesn't create an even bigger bunch of mis-informed people than we already have. The proponents of using high end cables to enhance sound quality are fighting this because we want to share a discovery, if you choose to stick your head in the sand then so be it. You guys don't really think for one second that I care if you purposely limit your audio system so you can run around telling others that the world is flat do you?

Will I send my 240 dollar IC's across the pond for something like this? Nah, if something happened to them in getting there or comming back then what? Take advantage of our experience or dont. Send all the current test subjects back and get one high end cable (Silver if you REALLY want to hear a difference) and see how that goes.

Flame On
post #27 of 438
Since when did I state my position in that post? I responded to those who are ignoring his test simply because he can't afford to test high end cables. If they want to know results they will need to have their cables tested. It has nothing to do with my personal beliefs.

I personally haven't heard a high end cable yet, nor has my system stabilized to the point where I would actually be able to tell a difference. Once I can spend 6+ months with the SAME gear I'll be able to tell. Actually, looking at my setup presently I'll have solid silver xlr ICs ($100ish) made by mmwwhats that Headphoneaddict suggested to me that closely compare in his opinion to some custom ALO XLR cables ($600) he got made for him. I'll also have an APS V3 headphone cable ($230) so I will already have fairly premium cables as it is. The headphone cable was one I had to have since there is no stock XLR 4 pin to Sennheiser jack cable I could buy. The XLR cable was bought on a whim just because it wasn't too expensive and it was recommended so I went for it.

So don't bring your argument to bear against me. You won't see any radio shack cables on my gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Will I send my 240 dollar IC's across the pond for something like this? Nah, if something happened to them in getting there or comming back then what? Take advantage of our experience or dont. Send all the current test subjects back and get one high end cable (Silver if you REALLY want to hear a difference) and see how that goes.
If you can do it with insurance what is the risk? (Though I don't know if insurance is available internationally)

edit: On a side note: It seems like the proponents of high end cables are intentionally against testing. Believe what you wish about your cables, but what is wrong with testing them? You guys (I am neither for nor against) remind me of Patrick82 and his $25,000 power cables to his $200 DAC. If Patrick says it makes a difference what is there to distinguish your views on cables making a difference from his? With no hard evidence it becomes nearly impossible to discuss on a broad cable-market wide platform. You limit yourself to specific cables and situations making it damn near impossible for anyone else to have a clue what you are talking about.
post #28 of 438
I am pretty new to the "high end" cable thing. I used alien DAC+pimeta+K701 once to test two silver cables I have. One was a fully burned in signal silver cable, the other was a new DIY solid pure silver cable. The signal cable sounds much warmer than the new DIY silver cable. I don't want to argue with anyone by saying one IC sounded better. just like I am able to tell my DV336i sounds warmer than pimeta with K701, I was able to tell signal cable was warmer. Since that comparison, I started to believe in burn in and cable effect on SQ.
post #29 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
Since when did I state my position in that post? I responded to those who are ignoring his test simply because he can't afford to test high end cables. If they want to know results they will need to have their cables tested. It has nothing to do with my personal beliefs.

I personally haven't heard a high end cable yet, nor has my system stabilized to the point where I would actually be able to tell a difference. Once I can spend 6+ months with the SAME gear I'll be able to tell. Actually, looking at my setup presently I'll have solid silver xlr ICs ($100ish) made by mmwwhats that Headphoneaddict suggested to me that closely compare in his opinion to some custom ALO XLR cables ($600) he got made for him. I'll also have an APS V3 headphone cable ($230) so I will already have fairly premium cables as it is. The headphone cable was one I had to have since there is no stock XLR 4 pin to Sennheiser jack cable I could buy. The XLR cable was bought on a whim just because it wasn't too expensive and it was recommended so I went for it.

So don't bring your argument to bear against me. You won't see any radio shack cables on my gear.



If you can do it with insurance what is the risk? (Though I don't know if insurance is available internationally)

edit: On a side note: It seems like the proponents of high end cables are intentionally against testing. Believe what you wish about your cables, but what is wrong with testing them? You guys (I am neither for nor against) remind me of Patrick82 and his $25,000 power cables to his $200 DAC. If Patrick says it makes a difference what is there to distinguish your views on cables making a difference from his? With no hard evidence it becomes nearly impossible to discuss on a broad cable-market wide platform. You limit yourself to specific cables and situations making it damn near impossible for anyone else to have a clue what you are talking about.
Sorry if I was jumping your case. Im not against testing, I just want everyone to know this isnt about winning an argument and that I hope he finds differences because my experience has shown me that they can improve or change the sound quality. Were you able to listen to the 650 single ended with the OEM cable and then with the V3? If you did then were you able to notice a change in tone? I had the V3 and for me it made the entire mid section come forward.
post #30 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
He chose to get a few mediocre cables instead of one high end cable and comparing that to his own cables.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Send all the current test subjects back and get one high end cable (Silver if you REALLY want to hear a difference) and see how that goes.
Cough


Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
A low end unit from Audioquest will do the job. They are shielded solid copper conductor COAX. It will sound more dynamic and eliminate distortion from EMI and RF.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
As for cable choices I think you have enough, I would have combined my money for a single higher end cable but what you have should work nicer than the Rat-Shack cable pictured. I was looking at the cables you picked out and apparently people who bought them from Amazon and wrote in to review the cables seemed to like them and hear a difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Its ok, you have shielded solid core copper cables (AudioQuest) as apposed to the non shielded stranded copper Rat-shack, I think that should work.
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