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Interesting question for people who believe cables make a big difference in SQ - Page 2

post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post
However, let me make one point. Some people have this rough model of cables and wire that goes like this: as the signal travels through wire, it degrades. Kind of like a car traveling a road, and wearing out. The further it travels, the more it degrades.

I don't think that's the right model.
It is a physically correct model, the losses may be minimal and differences difficult to measure when short lengths are involved but the longer an analog interconnect cable of a given gauge is the more signal loss there will be, this is not open to debate. The only circumstance where a longer cable (as above) could improve anything is where the cable has some pathological behavior or interaction and attenuation due to length diminishes this behavior, though it is hard to see what kind of cable manufacturer would create a cable thusly and such behavior would suggest that something in the chain was seriously knackered...
post #17 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
It is a physically correct model, the losses may be minimal and differences difficult to measure when short lengths are involved but the longer an analog interconnect cable of a given gauge is the more signal loss there will be, this is not open to debate. The only circumstance where a longer cable (as above) could improve anything is where the cable has some pathological behavior or interaction and attenuation due to length diminishes this behavior, though it is hard to see what kind of cable manufacturer would create a cable thusly and such behavior would suggest that something in the chain was seriously knackered...
THANK YOU!!!

The sound quality must be best at the LINE OUT on the amplifier. It doesn't make any sense that the sound would IMPROVE as it travels down a wire. And if you don't agree, ask yourself what would sound better: a 1 kilometer length or a 1 meter length of the same cable.

This begs the question, what length of cheapo Radio Shack interconnect is comparable in sound quality to what length of XYZ super-expensive interconnect. Certainly 1 meter of Radio Shack interconnect will sound better than 1 kilometer of XYZ expensive stuff.
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmellyGas View Post
Say you have a 1 meter of your favorite high-end cable hooked up to your system.

1) How would it sound if you cut it perfectly and made it a 0.5 meter cable? Better? How much better? Same?

2) How would it sound if you cut it perfectly and made it a 0.02 meter (2cm cable)? Better? than the 1 meter? Better than the 0.5 meter? How much better? Same?

3) How would it it sound if you just soldered one end of the cable to the other with copious amounts of silver solder, effectively eliminating the cable? How would everything sound now? Better? Same?

Thanks! I'm curious what people think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmellyGas View Post
THANK YOU!!!

The sound quality must be best at the LINE OUT on the amplifier. It doesn't make any sense that the sound would IMPROVE as it travels down a wire. And if you don't agree, ask yourself what would sound better: a 1 kilometer length or a 1 meter length of the same cable.

This begs the question, what length of cheapo Radio Shack interconnect is comparable in sound quality to what length of XYZ super-expensive interconnect. Certainly 1 meter of Radio Shack interconnect will sound better than 1 kilometer of XYZ expensive stuff.
Troll....................So your whole intent was to start a flame war
post #19 of 71
Starting flame wars is one of the fundamental goals of probably 25% of the people who actively participate on the Sound Science Forum. (At least another 25% have a deep seated need to demonstrate their brilliance.) It's ok. Some people have a tough time at work, or a tough time at home, some people have "issues," etc., so it's sort of therapy for them to come on the Sound Science forum and act out. You just have to let them do their thing. Eventually, they get bored, or maybe they feel better, and then they go away.

BTW, starting a thread like you are interested in a particular issue and then just using it as for bait is a pretty common tactic here. See, e.g., the thread from a few months ago on cables being "squiggly snakes."
post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
Troll....................So your whole intent was to start a flame war
His intent aside, it's true that no cable will improve the sound. It will only end up being reduced levels of degradation. So then the only question is what is the negative impact on the sound for any given cable. For short runs, the difference would almost certainly be inaudible, and probably effectively unmeasurable, unless the cable is of the very worst variety (and even then an audible difference is far from likely). With very long runs quality starts having an impact. But most people seem to claim all kinds of strange things on even short runs.
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speederlander View Post
. . . it's true that no cable will improve the sound. It will only end up being reduced levels of degradation. So then the only question is what is the negative impact on the sound for any given cable.
But everything's relative, so to speak. Assuming for the sake of argument that different cables sound different under certain circumstances, cable B can indeed improve the sound over cable A, relatively speaking, if cable B has less "degradation" (assuming also that "degradation" is the only issue). But in terms of whether a cable results in a absolute "improvement" of sound, I don't think most people, for practical reasons, compare a cable with no cable at all.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speederlander View Post
His intent aside, it's true that no cable will improve the sound. It will only end up being reduced levels of degradation. So then the only question is what is the negative impact on the sound for any given cable. For short runs, the difference would almost certainly be inaudible, and probably effectively unmeasurable, unless the cable is of the very worst variety (and even then an audible difference is far from likely). With very long runs quality starts having an impact. But most people seem to claim all kinds of strange things on even short runs.
If you compare copper with silver? What would the differences be? Silver is faster than copper (better conductor). The degrade in sound is obviously noticeable? What about a cable that is like 32 AWG compared to another that is 16 AWG? In the lengths specified, the easy way to find the answer is to call a few manufacturers like Nordost, Kimber Cable, and Cardas. Because more likely they have done the experiment already in their R and D.
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post
If you compare copper with silver? What would the differences be? Silver is faster than copper (better conductor). The degrade in sound is obviously noticeable? What about a cable that is like 32 AWG compared to another that is 16 AWG? In the lengths specified, the easy way to find the answer is to call a few manufacturers like Nordost, Kimber Cable, and Cardas. Because more likely they have done the experiment already in their R and D.
You do not need to do this. You can easily test the differences between cables yourself and in an objective way, this is the science forum after all, I have tested some silver and copper cables and found the tonal differences as measured electrically to be too small to be audible, I also did blind tests to confirm this and posted samples for others to test this themselves, to date not one person has informed me that they have reliably detected a difference.

I have asked big cable manufacturers for proof of their claims, their test protocols and raw data and asked to test their cables, without exception I have been greeted with stony silence.

Not once on any cable manufacturer site have I ever seen a meaningful and reliable FR test or noise test for any interconnect cable, yet for these chaps this would be trivial, hey I did it myself with a PC , some Freeware recording software and a USB sound card, it aint rocket science, yet look for one out there that shows any difference between stock interconnects and their exotic cables and you just will not find them, now why could this be ?
post #24 of 71
Nordost gives specs on their cables Odin Supreme Reference Speaker Cable from Nordost And MIT has Technical/white papers section on their site http://www.mitcables.com/pdf/energy_...y_noise_wp.pdf. Or go to your local Hi-Fi shop and find out when the Rep of the company is looking for is going to visit is going to be there. I'm lucky to live in a big city where there is always something going on in the Local HI-FI shops. Like this one this Thursday Definitive Audio custom home theater, high-end audio, video and systems integration for the Seattle Tacoma area. When I was looking for a CD player I ran into the VTL rep. These guys are always happy to answer questions. Never had a problem with questions from these guys. If you seem invasive from the beginning, you may have a tough time getting the answers to your questions?
post #25 of 71
I said...

Quote:
Not once on any cable manufacturer site have I ever seen a meaningful and reliable FR test or noise test for any interconnect cable, yet for these chaps this would be trivial, hey I did it myself with a PC , some Freeware recording software and a USB sound card, it aint rocket science, yet look for one out there that shows any difference between stock interconnects and their exotic cables and you just will not find them, now why could this be ?
You said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post
Nordost gives specs on their cables Odin Supreme Reference Speaker Cable from Nordost
No FR information is presented here...

Quote:
And MIT has Technical/white papers section on their site http://www.mitcables.com/pdf/energy_...y_noise_wp.pdf.
I am afraid that this is vague pseudo-science with no empirical backup, no graphs no measurements just wild assertions, where is the evidence to back any of this stuff up ? Where are the listening tests and the FR graphs?.

What are the units of measurement, what are the differences between MIT cables and other cables in the specified units of measurement ?. How do these measured differences correlate with audible differences ?

Pio2001 did a load of RMAA measurements on cables

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f133/m...5/#post5271863

he did not find

Quote:
the audible emphasis caused by the frequency-dependent, non-linear energy storage characteristics found in ordinary cables
nor frankly did I, all the cables I tested from cheap to expensive were FLAT in their FRs.

I read some more of their white papers , this one

http://www.mitcables.com/pdf/output_term_series2_wp.pdf

is especially notable, here they discuss energy storage and efficiency in interconnect cables, implying that the FR of a bog-standard cable will be massively attenuated below 300Hz, this is just plain misleading, I have tested 77c cables there is no notable difference from 6hz to 20khz, their graphs are wholly misleading and use wholly inappropriate measures. Why did they not just measure the FRs of different cables, shall I tell you why ?

Their cable scores 723 joules in their made up term "energy component" against 1 joule for ordinary cable and they show a flatter "FR" for their cable based on this 723 joules, sorry but look at their "FR" this is just a joke and far inferior to the real FR I got with my 77c cable.
post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
Starting flame wars is one of the fundamental goals of probably 25% of the people who actively participate on the Sound Science Forum. (At least another 25% have a deep seated need to demonstrate their brilliance.) It's ok. Some people have a tough time at work, or a tough time at home, some people have "issues," etc., so it's sort of therapy for them to come on the Sound Science forum and act out. You just have to let them do their thing. Eventually, they get bored, or maybe they feel better, and then they go away.

BTW, starting a thread like you are interested in a particular issue and then just using it as for bait is a pretty common tactic here. See, e.g., the thread from a few months ago on cables being "squiggly snakes."
I don't think most people here have any intention of starting flame wars. I do think that people here are convinced that they're right (and I don't think it's crazy to believe science rather than subjective opinion) so they want to reach out and help the rest of the community by encouraging them to not waste money on cables. However, some people interpret this as an attack and respond, and then the skeptics respond, and so on, often in a very circular manner.

I don't think there's anything wrong with asking a pointed question to psychoanalyze the logic (or lack thereof) behind buying expensive cabling.

Regarding people who want to sound smart, well that's probably true, but I certainly don't mind reading well-constructed, intelligent analysis. Sometimes subjective reviews can be great and I have a lot of respect for some of the reviewers on Head-Fi, but some audio reviews (e.g. stereophile) in the audio community can be a bit too much.
post #27 of 71
These questions are so elementary. Looking on the web you should be able to find the answers like with the Belden Cable people? They got specs on a ton of stuff. But the reasoning to buy expensive cables comes first with the gear you have and how to maximize the performance and or sound? If you have very entry level gear, what is the point? You probably won't get the benefit you are looking for? If you are not familiar with the properties with the metals that are used, you may get lost trying to match a cable with your gear. Copper cables work better for this, Silver works better gor that, Rhodium connectors with silver plated copper works better for....and so on. If you you are fortunate to spend a few thousand on a piece of gear, it would be a big disservice with the Hi-fi shop not to recommend cables that compliment your gear. But to speculate why expensive cables are bad is not a nice road to travel (not all are bad). You will be missing a lot in this hobby.
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomikPi View Post
I don't think most people here have any intention of starting flame wars.
Agreed. There's many good people who participate in the Sound Forum, and many of the discussions are interesting and productive (to some extent). But there are quite a few "problem children" -- on both sides of the issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomikPi View Post
I do think that people here are convinced that they're right (and I don't think it's crazy to believe science rather than subjective opinion) so they want to reach out and help the rest of the community by encouraging them to not waste money on cables.
Yeah, you often hear about this paternalistic motivation. I think it is somewhat offensive and arrogant for anyone to assume that they know what is best for someone they don't even really know, but as long as people discuss things in a polite manner, I suppose it's ok if they are motivated by their belief that they are saving others from themselves. Lots of people think that they know what's best for everyone, and it's up to them to "save the world."
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomikPi View Post
However, some people interpret this as an attack and respond . . . .
Perhaps, but that's often because people often frame their opinion as an attack. It's often a matter of how things are said, as opposed to what is said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomikPi View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with asking a pointed question to psychoanalyze the logic (or lack thereof) behind buying expensive cabling.
I'll have to disagree with you here (sort of). I find it annoying that we have posts where the main purpose is to "bait" the other side. I'm not saying this thread is one of those or not, but you see it fairly often, and IMO it's childish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomikPi View Post
. . . . I certainly don't mind reading well-constructed, intelligent analysis.
Me too. I'd like to see more of it, addressed in a polite and respectful manner, and less arrogance and immaturity.
post #29 of 71
Well, I have a question of my own. Can someone link or post a study or direct measurements correlating measured values for cables, and especially power cords, with audible characteristic changes (again, with audible being measured and not someone's subjective opinion)? I for one would simply like to know if the difference between a $50 cable and a $1000 cable even crosses the line into the audible range at all. There must be direct published numbers on this, yes?
post #30 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 883dave View Post
Troll....................So your whole intent was to start a flame war
Absolutely not. And if your intent is to start one, then please leave NOW. If you're not interested in the topic or this discussion, then please leave NOW. Thanks.
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