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Where does quality change to snake oil? - Page 3

post #31 of 39
As DIY'ers I feel its an unfair criticism based upon a hobbyist perspective.

Cable companies run a business and not a charity.
In some sense, without them development in cables will be stagnant and we will be stuck with just a small handful of cables to choose from.

Though there are some noise and most need a huge sackful of salt to shift through the market BS and noise, but there are some gems.
post #32 of 39
I would say that regular snake-oil starts at $30 pr meter, less plugs .
Linseed snake-oil starts at +22 carat for Au-cables and +850 Sterling for Ag,
again minus Eichmann plastic-plugs !! .. Sorry, I mean "polymeric thermo-active compound"
You know why you never see any blind-tests of cables ?
Because you can't hear any difference if you can't see the cable,
not being able to see a cable prevents your eyes from telling your ears what to expect ..
"Oh it's silver, sounds kinda cold and over-smooth, don't it ?
Gold sounds MUCH warmer ...." Well not if you cryo-freeze it in outer space it don't !
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by weibby View Post
As DIY'ers I feel its an unfair criticism based upon a hobbyist perspective.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weibby View Post
Cable companies run a business and not a charity.
In some sense, without them development in cables will be stagnant and we will be stuck with just a small handful of cables to choose from.
We have a winner! Without all the big, bad cable makers underwriting the cost of connectors, we'd all have the same run of the mill Switchcraft, and hopefully Neutrik connectors. We are rather fortunate to have the availability we do in connectors and wire, but, simply along for the ride as no one could make any money providing only boutique cable materials.

I'll also go out on a limb and say 'snake oil' does not apply to cables only. Amps, tubes, speakers, headphones, sources (of all kind) and all manner of tweaks are all susceptible, which is why I suspect most of us reside in this forum.
post #34 of 39
To add on, most of us diy'ers say - "whats so hard just terminating 2 wires together?"
Like wise, a geek will ask.."whats so hard, slotting pci cards into the slots and connecting molex together?"

Well the truth is not many people know how to do it, if not cable companies won't exist or tech support.

Well not many ppl have that skill and knowledge..because people want to enjoy the product and worry less about the technical stuff or wouldn't take the time to pick up a soldering iron.
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKG240mkII View Post
...You know why you never see any blind-tests of cables ?
Because you can't hear any difference if you can't see the cable,
not being able to see a cable prevents your eyes from telling your ears what to expect ..
"Oh it's silver, sounds kinda cold and over-smooth, don't it ?
Gold sounds MUCH warmer ...." Well not if you cryo-freeze it in outer space it don't !
He he, I must admit I agree. Using your common sense is pretty essential. I'm not saying that there is no difference at all from cable to cable, but a lot of it is just feel, looks and perhaps durability - not sound.

I think the 10% rule is okay, as a rule of thumb or an upper limit. It would feel wrong to put cheap cables on an expensive system, if not for anything else but the looks.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by weibby View Post
Well not many ppl have that skill and knowledge..because people want to enjoy the product and worry less about the technical stuff or wouldn't take the time to pick up a soldering iron.
That is all well and good - right up until those people try and tell the more knowledgeable people that their expensive commercial cables are way better, blacker background, improved dynamics, insert more audiophool BS here.

But it happens AAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the time.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
That is all well and good - right up until those people try and tell the more knowledgeable people that their expensive commercial cables are way better, blacker background, improved dynamics, insert more audiophool BS here.

But it happens AAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the time.
Totally, and that’s because the whole business is based on falsity. Even a trader that does not exploit, is governed by treads set higher up the food chain by clever marketing.
post #38 of 39

IRT to snake oil and cables the best advice I have ever read was here...

 

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

 

....after that it's going to a hypothetical formula ratio that I believe is unique to each individual and is something along the lines of sum = critical monetary impact to wallet : equipment quality : what your ear can discern.
 

post #39 of 39

IMO different wire may sound different.  I usually hear a difference between solid silver and copper, for instance.  I also hear a difference between cotton and teflon dielectrics.

 

This makes it worthwhile for me to build my own cables.  My main RCA at the moment is 28AWG Jupiter silver wire for signal, Neotech 24AWG copper for ground, woven in a loose 4-strand litz braid.  With some decent connectors (Vampire) it cost me about $60 to make. 

 

It sounds really good to my ears.  As far as commercially available cables, I really cannot see how their wire can be any higher quality than the Jupiter or Neotech; with the exception of Eichmann connectors, I cannot see how more expensive RCA plugs would make any difference.  With markup and labor costs included, the cable I built might cost $100-150 commercially (a guess, maybe more).

 

So from my point of view, I can't see what benefit there would be to a cable costing $1000.  Yes, wire material matters, and maybe purity matters too.  But really high quality wire is just not that expensive.  The extra cost is just going to be snake oil-tax.  In other recent threads, it seems that people assume that if you think wire and connector types make a difference in the sound, then you must be a sucker willing to pay $1000 for a cable.  I am proof that's not the case.  I really believe cables matter, but only to a point that is reached relatively quickly (in terms of cost).

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