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does a transport need a fancy power cable? - Page 5

post #61 of 83
Thread Starter 
i guess a lot of people have this backwards. i always hear shielded for digital and unshielded for analog/amps! figures.

music_man
post #62 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
TheAttorney, the conclusion is not tha poor power supplies benefit from conditioning. It's that pretty much all power supplies don't need conditioning in the first place.
As for that list of manufacturers, are you sure you actually heard a difference? Or is this like when people rate the same unknown wine differently based on what the researcher told the subject it cost? If you truly have an open mind, you must consider that it is possible that you are imagining the difference.
I do consider that possibility all the time. In fact, some decision points for me can get quite stressful if I’m not sure. For those times, I walk away as I can’t be sure if I’m imagining it or not – which is much more frequently than when I hear obvious differences.
Quote:
What's more likely:
There are mysterious, unknown and unknowable forces in the universe that somehow only arise in audio cables.
Or
Someone is bending you over for a quickie while lifting your wallet at the same time and whispering in your ear that this is the best thing that will ever happen to you.
Wow, I’ve now got an image in my head that I can’t shake off!

An alternative explanation that I subscribe to is (pause for breath)…

The differences in SQ between all ENCs (Essentially Neutral Components like transports, DACs, amps, cables ) are objectively tiny, but subjectively important because the extra tiny bits of information on transients, ambience, etc, can turn a good “hifi” sound into a “live event” which absolutely thrills me to hear.

I’m convinced that the differences can be explained by known science, but that the true scientists have better things to do than to investigate this to required level of detail. In the meantime, I’ve found that, above a base level of ENC, the simple measurements of THD, frequency response, etc, show absolutely no correlation to the sound differences I hear. So I have no option but to trust my ears. I recognise it’s not ideal and that I might sometimes get it wrong, but I love music too much to wait for an ideal that may never happen in my lifetime.
post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
because the extra tiny bits of information on transients, ambience, etc, can turn a good “hifi” sound into a “live event” which absolutely thrills me to hear.
maybe I have hearing problems; but I've NEVER had the impression that I was really 'there' when listening to playback system based audio. I have not spent time in $100k setups (etc) but for things that normal people can afford, I have NEVER been fooled into thinking there was a guy with a guitar sitting over there in the corner or some band other there. never happened.

music *reproduction* is just that; always an approximation.

because of that simple fact, I gave up searching for holy grails long time ago and I realize that electronics is not magic and the $100k systems don't have any special physics that the more modest systems don't also have. you can tweak until the cows come home but I'll always be able to tell live from memorex (remember those commercials, lol)

when I was young, I didn't 'get' this. I do now. I stopped chasing rainbows and now live in the real world
post #64 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
i guess a lot of people have this backwards. i always hear shielded for digital and unshielded for analog/amps! figures.
any generization like that is probably worthless (sorry). wouldn't you agree that it depends entirely on HOW the box was implemented and not based on its broad-brushstroke category?
post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxworks View Post
I've NEVER had the impression that I was really 'there' when listening to playback system based audio.
That’s because you didn’t have a fancy cable and a power conditioner, Ba-BOOM!

No really, based purely on SQ alone, I rate my current system as good as live. Not the same as, but as good as on a balance of strengths and weaknesses. This is partly because the mind is a wonderful thing and can make up the difference as long as two things are in place:

1.There is sufficient natural recorded detail for the mind to effortlessly make up the difference
2.Very importantly, there are minimal glare/brightness/hardness artifacts to interrupt the illusion

When I’m listening to a new ENC, then BOTH these things have to be improved, and it’s not easy to increase detail AND decrease brightness at the same time. But when that happens, I know that the ENC is a quality component that will push more of my CD collection from “hifi” into the “live” camp.

Now we all know that the “headstage” in headphone listening can’t reproduce a normal 3-D soundstage. But I’ve got used to that and I get other benefits instead. When I can “see” the singer mouthing the song and “see” the wood on the guitar, then that thrill to me is the equivalent of being at the live event. This of course is keeping crowd atmosphere, etc, out of the equation.

Quote:
when I was young, I didn't 'get' this. I do now. I stopped chasing rainbows and now live in the real world
Yeah, I worry about this – will I ever stop upgrading? I hope so. The Nagra is definitely my last CDP; I’m done with cable upgrades now; got my power conditioner. The only big thing left on my wish list is a BHSE or WES to keep my Omega happy. Oh and a better equipment support stand. And something for the HiRes downloads when they become mainstream…

Music-man, just shout if this is too much a diversion from your thread. But I think I'm done now.
post #66 of 83
Thread Starter 
no problem. i have two very high end speaker systems and multiple high end headphone systems by most accounts. they do not sound like live music to me at all. since live music sounds different depending on who is playing,what equipment they are using,what venue they are in and where i am sitting in said venue. the only way to account for all those parameters is with dsp. which is an audiophile no-no, so i hear.

my systems can playback an approximation of what was recorded at the live event based on what recording equipment was used and where the mics where. this is also based on my equipment and room. it may sound different on a different system in a different room. you cannot duplicate a live recording from any playback device. especially not repeatedly.

you can have a nice sounding system though.

power cables and such are like the people that have 1500rwp and try to get 5 more for $2,000 in a race car. i guess it is up to each individual, on an individual basis if it is worth it.

i think i might hear slight differences but there are two many varibles involved with changing cables to even be sure there is -any- real difference as far as i am concerned. i just like the looks of the cords mostly. i am not really going after the sound. i don't think that is any more absurd than people that think a $1,000 pc makes a $2,000 cdp into a $3,000+ cdp.

music_man
post #67 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxworks View Post
any generization like that is probably worthless (sorry). wouldn't you agree that it depends entirely on HOW the box was implemented and not based on its broad-brushstroke category?
yes, i agree. i was saying a lot of people have the wrong information about this.

music_man
post #68 of 83
No, the scientific tools needed to investigate cables are available secondhand for a few hundred bucks. High quality gear, too - instruments that originally cost thousands and is still highly sensitive. Anyone can buy them and learn to use them.

It stands to reason that - if such measurements were possible - then manufacturers would be using them to better the competetion. It doesn't need to be argued that a cable manufacturer would love to steal the business from competitors, right?

So why not spend maybe a thousand bucks on test gear, nail down the differences, optimize the product, then use that data to beat the crap out of the competition?

This research doesn't have to be done in a university or private lab, does it? A business could - with a modest investment - give themselves the ultimate competitive advantage. Look at the contests between AMD and Intel. They certainly publish facts and figures to gain a sales advantage. So do all car manufacturers, you
find the same with washing machines and microwaves.

But never with cables.

In addition to besting the other manufacturers (with a potential payoff in the millions), wouldn't a manufacturer want to silence the critics? I would. If people were calling me a fraud, I'd pick up some gear and shut them up.

So why hasn't this happened? Cables are not new - the fight has been brewing for over 30 years. In all those decades, not one manufacturer has taken these steps to silence critics, beat the competition and rule the market.

Why not? Aren't millions of dollars sufficient motivation? Don't people like to prove themselves right? Doesn't every business want to crush the competition?

The only reasonable conclusion is that there isn't a scientific basic whatsoever for cables. This is an eight or nine figure industry. With that kind money at stake, it doesn't make sense not to test and analyze. This happens in every legitimate field - there is a lot of money at stake.

If you contend that there is a manufacturer that actually tests their cables and has solid research, please let me know. I would be happy to contact them and sign a lifetime NDA and noncompete agreement to see their research. I'd be happy to eat crow and tell everyone that the product is legit. I will buy their product, as well, to show good faith.

Backing this up, you won't find any serious hobbyist research into cables. Look at pretty much everything else. You can find DIY amps and speakers backed up with measurements and data. Stuff anyone can reproduce at home, too. Audio aside, you will find serious amateur bodies of work for astronomy, radio, steam engines, lasers, and much else. People take hobbies seriously and a lot of pros do side projects to satisfy their own interests, then publish that. Look at Pete Millett. He works at TI, but does terrific hobbyist work that he gives away for free.

So, why isn't there someone like that for cables? How come there aren't cable designers working, for example, in sensitive data transmission cables, who dabble in audio cables on the side? Maybe someone who has access to a top flight lab and tests his cables after hours to fine tune them. It stands to reason this sort of thing would go on. That it doesn't should tell you a lot about the cable industry.

About the unknown forces, if they're real, they would show up in all electronic applications, not just audio.

If materials, dielectric, cryo, the tears of a virgin Tibetan monk, etc. actually made a difference, you'd find mysterious little differences in microprocessors, electric motors, electronic sensors, and so on. Performance would be slightly different from what was expected. And someone would have nailed down those differences by now. Or probably 60 or 70 years ago. Radio and TV circuits are a fair bit more delicate than audio, and someone seeking a competetive advantage would have noticed and applied it as a blunt weapon in the marketplace. But that didn't happen.

What really bothers me is this quasi-argument that because science doesn't know everything, then cables must fall into the unknown category. Another way to put that argument is that if we don't know everything then what we do know is not true.

That's bullcrap. It is another way of saying that everything is true because nothing is knowable. There's been something like 130 years of scientific research into electricity. Those at the beginning had no idea what they were dealing with. They developed their understanding and built tools and theory from direct experimentation.

Today, there is a very good understanding of what happens. To say that it should all be disregarded because not everything is known is intellectually dishonest.

Further, to make that claim because someone wants to sell a $15 bit of wire for $300 is nothing less than fraud.
post #69 of 83
Really great posts, Erik and linux; I wish every person who registered here would be forced to read them.
post #70 of 83
Thread Starter 
uncle erik, you should be "the attorney"! that was the greatest truth i have ever seen written about cables! what would happen if that was the leading story in the next edition of stereophile? yeah.

ok, that is all that can be said to mark them as bs. now of course 50 folks will come in and defend this voodoo business.

before that happens, help me lay this thread to rest!
i have two cables i would like to use on my transport.
a tara labs rsc prime(which i did not understand it's design but it was explained to me in another thread i started)
a cardas golded reference.
the tara is a sum of 14awg solid conductors. the cardas is a sum of 6awg stranded condcutors.
as you guessed i cannot hear a difference! duh!
just pick one for me! you do not have to explain why even! just pick one already! lol.

thanks,
and great post uncle erik!
music_man
post #71 of 83
UNCLE ERIK is on Fire again.....No snake oil in his words of advice, and great advice it is..For me, I just build the cables with 3 legs of 9gauge SCC each in its teflon dielectrics, braid them shield them (sometimes) and sleeve them with some mesh or cloth outer skins topped off with heat shrink over each Hubbel end. They Do the job and "Look" Good $$$$$ also.......But, I have elect. Eng. Audiophiles who don't even think I should be wasting my time doing that!! Which brings us back to UNCLE ERIK and others "Theory".........Cables HAVE YET TO BE PROVED! I know I've been Placebo'ed!!!
post #72 of 83
Thread Starter 
in fact i do have a used agilent "cable" tester. it was indeed once a expensive machine. however, i don't think it tells us what we want to know lol. it does hi-pot,capacitance,resistance etc.

if you play with capacitance and resistance of a power cord a properly designed psu will output the exact same thing with all of them anyways. maybe that is why people say they work on cheap equipment? i wouldn't know haha. cheap equipment tend to have captive cords anyhow! of course this is why md sells a "cut off your own cord kit",well they used to at least. it didn't go over too big with ul or something.

if you could manage to have a cable throw the ac completely out of spec then maybe it would make some difference. i doubt good! this is against the law for obvious reasons, like "i doubt good"!

ps, please read my post above and pick my cable for me! we should have a lottery on it. seriously, i don't care which $500 cable or $6 cable it is i just want someone else to pick it for some reason. it has to be one of the two i stated though

music_man
post #73 of 83
Well said, Uncle Erik..one of the best posts here at head-fi
post #74 of 83
UE = that was gold.
post #75 of 83
Thread Starter 
i just wanted to thank you again uncle erik. that was the classic! they should sticky that! of course they wouldn't for obvious reasons haha.

music_man
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