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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 112

post #1666 of 3125

This is non-BS hi-fi system:

 

 

 

This is a system where each component was chosen carefully to "complement" each other. In other words, each randomly sized stone (vs standard sized brick) fills a different gap, i.e. synergy:


Edited by xnor - 12/6/12 at 7:58am
post #1667 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

Does such a thing as "synergy" exist or is that another audiophile myth? What are your thought on this? I must say, all this discussion is really interesting.

 

Well - yes, ish, but not the way that most audiophiles mean it. There are total system considerations to think about - but they are predictable and measurable. There is no magic here. 

 

Some headphones/speakers will sound better with some amplifiers, the reasons are usually pretty straightforward (impedance issues, or high freq rolloff which prevents otherwise hot speakers from burning off your ears with bright/tizzy sound). 

 

There is little reason to worry about "synergy" as some mystical reason to keep upgrading every possible component (especially interconnects and power cables) - just pay attention and don't buy poorly designed equipment and you'll be fine. 

 

It should be noted that generally speaking, all this stuff is only dealing with the last 1% of sound quality. If you have not dealt with room treatments, better speakers, equalization, good source recordings, etc - worrying about any of this rather like polishing the rims to a perfect finish on a POS rusted out 80's Buick. 

post #1668 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

But I have seen, for example, speaker cables acting like tone controls. Surely in those cases it can be audible? Cables with grotesquely high inductance or capacitance? Audioholics measured some in their cable reports.

 

A defective and poorly designed cable is still defective and poorly designed even if the manufacturer intended it to be that way. A cable can pass signals along cleanly. Knowing that, why would anyone want to use one that didn't?

post #1669 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

Found this :

http://www.silveraudio.com/papers1.html

 

Exactly what one degree of phase shift and perhaps one tenth of a dB of attenuation may sound like is not known and is probably very unpredictable and extremely dependant on the particular source material.

 

Complete hogwash. And they misspelled "dependent".

post #1670 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

Does such a thing as "synergy" exist or is that another audiophile myth? What are your thought on this? I must say, all this discussion is really interesting.

 

Synergy is an audiophile excuse for having specs that shift all over the place. It's perfectly possible to make inexpensive cables and electronics that are perfectly transparent... meaning they take the original signal and pass it along cleanly and accurately.

 

If you can buy cheap equipment that is clean and accurate, why would you ever want to buy equipment that is expensive and inaccurate? That is the "duh!" question that all the reams and reams of audiophile techno-blather is meant to answer. Throw out a few technical concepts, some buzzwords, a little bit of fear that your existing equipment "isn't quite good enough" and VOUILA! You're spending too much on equipment that performs poorly!

 

Or you can learn for yourself what the measurements mean, understand what those numbers sound like in practice, and make informed decisions.

post #1671 of 3125

So basically in general audio cables lack sufficient reactance to create an audible difference?

post #1672 of 3125
In my experience, definitely. The only real distinction being if one cable is bad, which is to say oxidized, aluminum, or made wrong.

The monoprice cables are more than sufficient at about $2
post #1673 of 3125

If audio cables have a "sound" they are by definition not doing their job properly, and there's either something wrong with the cable or the run is WAY too long (meaning hundreds of yards). You can go to monoprice or Radio Shack and buy inexpensive speaker cable and interconnects that do the job.

post #1674 of 3125
Quote:
A difference that is not quantifiable - just like every speaker , not matter how expensive or "reference", each has its own unique personality or coloration. And due to the reactance of any audio system a cable that colors the sound one way in my system could very easily sound quite different in your system , also the reason why some cables that may not be very expensive at all just work supremely well because by fluke they react favorably (to the listener) with the make up of the system they are installed in.

 

 

 

Quote:
If the effects cables made were a quantified science that made a really noticeable difference you would be able to buy them based on how they were tuned - ie sold on the basis of their clearly defined frequency filtering characteristics , notch , comb , wide band etc and at the specific frequencies they filtered at.

Remembering that if you passively filter a signal it will not amplify anything but will make certain frequencies "sound" more prominent in the mix after filtering. And thats what cables do. They are very tiny teeny passive filters , whether they cost R12/m or R10,000/m.

And whether you like the results is really up to you and no one else.

 

How would you guys deconstruct this? To my knowledge speaker performance is quantifiable and I mean every part of speaker performance. Same with cable differences, if it exists, we can quantify it. If it doesn't exist, then there is nothing to quantify. Pretty simple.


The above quotes are from an audiophile I had a discussion with concerning cables.

post #1675 of 3125

"A difference that is not quantifiable" and "coloration" in the same sentence .. it's too nonsensical to deserve a reply.

post #1676 of 3125
Audio specs are intended to quantify all of the aspects of sound. Response involves the balance of different frequencies of sound, distortion involves the difference between the input signal and the output signal, dynamics involve the level of the volume. All of these specs have thresholds of audibility- a point beyond which you can't hear a difference any more.

Electronic transmission of audio has been seriously studied for nearly a century. We've done a darn good job working out the bugs, at least with electronics. It's gotten to the point where most things either work or they don't. The exception is the mechanical end. It's always hard to control flapping transducers. That's the area of focus for folks who who want great sound. But that can be a lot of work doing room treatments and equalizing.

Audio salesmen don't want you to focus on that, because there isn't much they can sell you on that end. So they inflate the importance of expensive wires, glowing tubes and CD players that weigh as much as a small car. It's hooey designed to part you from your money.

Specs are a tool for judging how well equipment will work for you. If they're measured and reported fairly, and you understand what they mean, you don't need salesmen.
post #1677 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

 

How would you guys deconstruct this? To my knowledge speaker performance is quantifiable and I mean every part of speaker performance. Same with cable differences, if it exists, we can quantify it. If it doesn't exist, then there is nothing to quantify. Pretty simple.

 

 

I agree with this, though we may not always know how to interpret the data we have, we can measure better than we can hear. If there is a change, we can measure it. Your audiophile friend is talking nonsense. But that's hardly new. Many propose that our ears do some magic that makes them able to detect things no instrument can...that it cannot measure "soul" or "musicality" - nonsense. 

post #1678 of 3125
No one seems to publish their specs on TBS distortion... Total Bull Sheist
post #1679 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

So basically in general audio cables lack sufficient reactance to create an audible difference?

 

I've measured the FR of many interconnect cables  (using very different designs and materials (copper/SPC/Silver)) in circuit- none from 77c to $135 had any significant effect on the FR though some (unshielded ones) did give rise to a bit more noise but the noisiest had average backgroud noise at about -97db !

post #1680 of 3125
It seems every day there is some audiophile nonsense being spread around. From this thread : http://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,21095.15.html "In an ideal world there should not be an improvement of analogue over hdmi on a receiver. Reason is that the receiver takes the analogue signal and converts it into digital so that the internal DAC can do volume control (with 1's and 0's) on the outgoing analogue signal. (DAC's tend to colour their output signal) This seems to be true for lower end receivers when paired with an external DAC on the analogue input. But for higher end receivers this is not always the case as I see the same thing noted on other forums. Maybe they are less digitized on the analogue side."
Edited by Yahzi - 12/9/12 at 6:04am
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