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# Audible Differences in Copper vs. Silver Cables? - Page 7

The good thing about silver or gold cables, is when the economy really tanks you can melt em down and live off them for a few weeks.

I found some cable are using pure silver+2% gold.

Alloying gold with silver increases the wire's resistivity. Pure silver has a bit lower resistivity than copper, but adding 2% gold, then the resistivity ends up actually being higher than that of copper.

You can purchase the paper online for \$31.50.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00225088/13/1

se

EDIT: Here's the resistivity curve for silver-gold alloys from the above paper, ranging from 100% silver to 100% gold.

Edited by Steve Eddy - 7/6/13 at 9:07am
Quote:

Good to know thanks for the data. What do you mean by highs specifically, at what frequency?

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.008dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.028dB

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.007dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.026dB
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev13wt

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.008dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.028dB

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.007dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.026dB

What exactly are you basing your numbers on? I know you say 3mm diameter by 6 feet, but what's the 3mm diameter refer to and what's the geometry of the cable?

se

Yes 'ev13wt' you need to describe the entire test setup before those numbers have any meaning.

Source impedance?

Cable construction? (Zip cord, twisted pair, co-ax)

Capacitance?

Self inductance?

Edited by Speedskater - 7/7/13 at 3:24pm

I'm beginning to think he was just pulling yblad's leg.

se

Its an example calculation, not real measurements. I wanted to show the magnitude of how these things translate into real life "levels" aka dB. I don't even want to discuss cables at all, not sure how I got lost in this thread. This info is actually from a loudspeaker cable debate I had over on audiokarma.

For the copper (edit: stranded wire) example, assume 58 (61 for silver) × 107 mhos per meter at 2x3 meters, assume a perfect source of 0 Ohms, and a load of 8Ohms. Dielectric relative permittivity value is 1.5 This can be calculated to power loss in a transmission line vs frequency.

edit: I can't get the 7 up to superscript, read it like "to the powers of"

more edit: Assume the audio frequency range... BTW, I love aftermarket cables.
Edited by ev13wt - 7/7/13 at 7:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev13wt

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.008dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.028dB

At 3mm diameter and 6 feet copper cable:

10Hz to 10KHz 0.007dB. 10kHz 0.016dB At 25kHz 0.026dB

Oh wow. I don't even know if that's audible. I think the threshold is something like .1db

Thanks for the data man. Assuming this is correct I think you just saved some people a lot of money...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflezz

Oh wow. I don't even know if that's audible. I think the threshold is something like .1db

Thanks for the data man. Assuming this is correct I think you just saved some people a lot of money...

It depends how good the data is. Really do need some more info on it. These things are so very complicated. As I mentioned earlier wires are LCR circuits and unless we know information on the inductance and capacitance we can't tell if the data is useful for the types of cables we use. Power loss is actually really very complicated in the real world where we have to take account of electrical resonance effects. Which is why we need the other data. But if it's just an example calculation (read above) then it doesn't really answer the question unless you do factor in inductance and capacitance and calculate the electrical resonance curve. Curves in fact as there are harmonics. you would then need to map those onto the data and see what it does to it. Lots more calculations
So, go do it! Can you give a ballpark figure of the power loss?

I mean, one could go out and measure cables and then set forth some source and headphone impedance and factor in all the data you are calling for and the temperature of the air and what not, but in the end what will happen?

A power loss greater than 0.1? Unless the cable is purposely built incorrectly I doubt it will happen.

But I have tin ears and probably can't hear much above 16KHz anymore so who am I to talk about cables sounding different. If the do to anyone then the upgrade was worth it, unless you sold your car or are hurting yourself or your family to finance the cables.
I'll have a "ballpark" look at it when I get chance. I need to research some data to input into it and then do some calculating. But keep in mind it will be approximate and only be a certain test case. I don't want people shouting at me saying "that's only for one length and thickness" because I am well aware that that's the case. I also can't include cable geometry effects because trust me when I say that is very (read VERY) complicated and I don't have the time. And I don't want people to think, whatever the results, that it answers the question on if cables make a difference. It's too complicated and varied a problem to do that. Unless you guys want to pay my wages for a while and convince the department it's a good spend of resources also I'm not an electrodynamicist or a materials expert, or even in solid state physics for that matter. Hell I'm not even in condensed matter physics. My areas of interest are on a much smaller scale than that but when I have time I'll have a look at it. Can't promise a time scale or that I'll bring results, if I'm not happy with it after the amount of time I'm prepared to invest I'm not posting it just to have it torn apart.
I have no idea if it will push it over 0.1 to be honest. Let's wait and see. I should imagine that if there was something enough to cause differences above a reasonable threshold we would know about it by now. But I'll have a look.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteeleBlayde

If that's the case, then theres no point getting silver cables due to their higher prices...

There are audible characteristics of signals that can not be inferred from an O'scope or a DVM, or can only be guessed at, ex post.  Some cables sound different from one-another; some better, some worse, while others don't sound different whether they "measure" the same or not.  Also these changes are often system dependant.  Since there can be large price differences in cables, this means a person can spend, literally, years, "upgrading" cables and potentially a lot of money before they find the cables that do they want, if they ever do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89

There are audible characteristics of signals that can not be inferred from an O'scope or a DVM, or can only be guessed at, ex post.

Who says oscilloscopes and DVMs are the only measurement tools available?

Unless you're prepared to veer off into the paranormal, an audio signal is really nothing more than a change in voltage and current over time. And it's possible to measure a cable's performance in both the time and frequency domains to levels orders of magnitude lower than any human can ever hope to perceive. Any non-linear characteristic of a cable would manifest itself in distortion analysis which can be measured down to -160db using the proper equipment and test setup.

And to date (and that covers a span of over 30 years), no one has ever demonstrated actual audible differences among cables save for cables which have pathologically high resistance, inductance and/or capacitance. So I'm curious as to just what you base your claim on.

se

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