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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 119

post #1771 of 3264

Alright, second round of "cabling testing" :

 

"I NEEDED to learn something here so I indulged myself!

Here goes:

System: Krell/Tannoy Kingdom/Hovland/Wadia

Listening room - Yeah olde living room, 6m x 5m.

Cables:

1) Transparent Reference Ultra XL ($12000) - Dont ask how much I paid for it.... a bargain of a lifetime!
2) Van Den Hul Revelations - $2400 new, terminated
3) QED Anniversary Silver XT - R80/m ($9/m on internet)

Picked 4 songs I believe to be very well recorded.

The suspects:

A lady that has NO hi-fi, iPod and MP3 is life - my daughter (25) - and NO she NEVER agrees with me (A)
A friend that has very decisive opinions about sounds/music he likes (B) and unbeliever (in cables)
And me....curious to find something new and that I like! (C)  :drool: - NOT part of the test

1st test. Does swapping the cables make an audible difference ? (Im excluded here, and I swap/or don't swap and walk out of the room - some members believe I INFLUENCE the listeners  :angrywife: )....

Result:

6/7 times (B) heard a difference,
5/8 times (A) heard a difference between the Transparent and QED

2nd test. Can you identify your preferred cable ?

Result:

3/3 times (B) did pick up his preferred sound, 3/4 times he identified the crap cable (his words) and did not like it!.  (once I kept the QED and ACTED like swapping them - he commented it sounded the same). (7 tests)
3/5 times (A) did pick a cable she preferred, she admitted once the sound was the same but liked it (I once faked the swapping of her preferred cable). She also 2/3 times didnt like the sound (8 tests)

3rd test: Was there a preference ? YES BOTH liked the Transparent Reference.

Now I know the transparent reference has all kinds of networks in its black box, maybe that helps a lot.

The next rant is MY experience. I'm NOT Stereophile, AVSA etc.
(If you have your own opinion and don't care what others say/think, please skip this part  :blah: )

The QED on its own is a fine cable. But none of us liked it. It didn't excite. BUT this is the thing. If the other two cables weren't used you will NOT find something amiss!
Yello - Of course I/m lying - is ultra fast and open. The bass incredibly - The VdH more sweeter. The QED sounds incomplete, not dull, but...damn for lack of word like old, tired speakers
Flykiller - Yeah the 18" now kicks you off the couch. Kick, not rumble or push. The Krell sings. The VdH is definitely less sharp in sub/bass/lower mids
Elisiane - The way this woman sings - WOW! "Lean down on me".... you have to hear it. Strange all 3 sounds ok here....
Janis Ian - Breaking Silence - The Transparent is way better here... the QED again bit dull
Three Blind Mice - Midnight Sugar - You want to hear a piano in FORCE ? Amazing
Vinyl - Richie Valens - BETTER than CD - O sh..it Im going to be  :angrywife:  :whip:

I have a nice thick 5mm+ twinflex here. I will put on connectors... and test.... and if anyone cares post a little feedback

WHAT DID I(ME) LEARN ?

It is NOT night and day - except for two songs that were quite surprising.
Is the most expensive one always the best ? No I think the VdH sounds excellent... but here the Transparent was the best
One song was almost the same through all 3 ?! Recording bandwidth ? CD ? Less instruments ?

Is the $12000 cable 6x better than the $2000 cable ? NEVER!!
Is the $12k worth it ? NO - unless you swim in $$
Should the QED cost $9/m ? Yes... its not worth more. I will use it in my HC or old retro hifi stuff
I paid R2000 for the VdH quite a while ago- its WORTH every cent.... you never have to worry about this cable

Does speaker cable make the same difference than interconnects ? Yes about the same  :thinking:
Does system synergy/resolution make it easier the differentiate ? I think so, Jazzy agrees? Some cable in transit to be tested in other systems... lets hear

Did the people convince THEMSELVES that cables made a difference ? YES but I will let them speak for themselves
"

 

What do you guys think of this evidence? Surely it's concrete?  ; - )


Edited by Yahzi - 12/29/12 at 11:08pm
post #1772 of 3264
THE SETUP

Sitting crosslegged on a pillow in my living room. The pillow is Persian and retails for $600, but I got the deal of a lifetime on it! (Don't ask!)

THE RESULTS

I can fly if I really concentrate hard on it. I can't fly very high, just a foot or so off the ground, and it's more like hovering than flying. I find that three times out of ten, I am not able to fly. I just get a headache.

CONCLUSION

Although I can fly most of the time, birds are much better at it than I am.

CREDIBLE?
Edited by bigshot - 12/29/12 at 11:41pm
post #1773 of 3264

LOL. I really wish a member here could participate on our local forums. It really would be entertaining and enlightening.

post #1774 of 3264

It is true that we don't listen using our ears, but rather with our brains, right?

post #1775 of 3264
Quote:
Cables:

1) Transparent Reference Ultra XL ($12000) - Dont ask how much I paid for it.... a bargain of a lifetime!

That IS '12' and THREE zeroes, right ?

 

When you switched cables, how long time did the subjects get to look at the downpayment for a nice house in silence ??

post #1776 of 3264

My comments in bold. Please do not take them as confrontational, I deal with undergraduates a lot !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post

Cables:


1) Transparent Reference Ultra XL ($12000) - Dont ask how much I paid for it.... a bargain of a lifetime!
2) Van Den Hul Revelations - $2400 new, terminated
3) QED Anniversary Silver XT - R80/m ($9/m on internet)

Picked 4 songs I believe to be very well recorded.

The suspects:

A lady that has NO hi-fi, iPod and MP3 is life - my daughter (25) - and NO she NEVER agrees with me (A)
A friend that has very decisive opinions about sounds/music he likes (B) and unbeliever (in cables)

1st test. Does swapping the cables make an audible difference ? (Im excluded here, and I swap/or don't swap and walk out of the room - some members believe I INFLUENCE the listeners  :angrywife: )....
see Clever Hans

Result:

6/7 times (B) heard a difference,
How many times was there a difference. Did they correctly identify the cables 

 

How many "swaps" in total did you do. How many fake swaps were incorrectly identified. How many real swaps were misidentified as fake swaps. Were the listeners aware that there could be fake swaps. How long did the real swaps take, how long did fake swaps take. How did you level match the setups  (you did level match them right ?). What are the RLC values for the cables. What are the effective gauges for the cables (a difference in gauge can cause an audible difference in output level).  

 


5/8 times (A) heard a difference between the Transparent and QED 5/8 is not statistically significant

2nd test. Can you identify your preferred cable ? Are these new tests or are you re-using the same data

Result:

3/3 times (B) (not statistically significant) did pick up his preferred sound, 3/4 times  (not statistically significant) he identified the crap cable (his words) and did not like it!.  (once I kept the QED and ACTED like swapping them - he commented it sounded the same). (7 tests)

3/5 times (A) did pick a cable she preferred  (not statistically significant), she admitted once the sound was the same but liked it (I once faked the swapping of her preferred cable). She also 2/3 times didnt like the sound (8 tests)


3rd test: Was there a preference ? YES BOTH liked the Transparent Reference.

Now I know the transparent reference has all kinds of networks in its black box, maybe that helps a lot.

 

-  see http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Transparent-Audio-Reference-XL-Speak/ last pages for description of electronic components 
 

What do you guys think of this evidence? Surely it's concrete?  ; - )

 

You made a genuine attempt and I applaud that - sadly your methods (setup, number of trials, blinding, level matching and so on)  were a bit inadequate and with such a small sample and unclear results I'd at least want to see the raw data.

 

The good news is that having done it once you could redo it better a second time. At the least get a DMM and examine the voltage at the speaker terminals for the different cables.

 

The Transparent frankly does not qualify as a simple "cable" as such due to all the extra plumbing which is almost certainly going to cause FR deviations, signal attenuation and possibly even audible phase shifts. Audioholics did objective measurements between speaker cables and of the  manufacturers they approached only Zu, Audioquest and Transparent declined to lend them samples but some exotic cables tested had potentially audible differences due to "strange" construction.

 

The thing to remember is that if there are audible differences between speakers cables it is not that one is improving the signal it is that one is degrading it more than the other. Sadly exotic designs are often just plain bad such as Goetz specifying the wrong resistance for their optional add-on zobel network (geez !) 

 

post #1777 of 3264

It should be noted that (I believe) Yahzi is sharing amusing (or incredible) posts from other members on other forums - not his own posts.

post #1778 of 3264

Correct, I had no involvement in the test. Just thought I would share this concrete example with all of you. :D

post #1779 of 3264
Another myth... at least I think you could call it a myth, is the whole "quality over quantity" of wattage. I would rather have quality power over quantity. Thing is I don't know what quality power is these days. Is a Crown pro-amp quality power? Or is a Classe power amp quality power?
post #1780 of 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post
I don't know what quality power is these days. Is a Crown pro-amp quality power? Or is a Classe power amp quality power?


"Quality power" is simply sufficient power with a flat response, with low distortion and noise. Yes, Crown amps are a good value, and I have two of them in my home studio.

 

--Ethan

post #1781 of 3264
For home listening all you have to do is throw a rock over your shoulder and see what it hits. There's no lack of quality amps. At this point the only spec that means anything any more is the rated power.
post #1782 of 3264

very interesting material you have here.
I suppose this explains why I never really noticed a difference between regular and more expensive cables of the same material.

post #1783 of 3264
Great thread, I have learned a lot from reading this posts.

My question is about LODs. Are they also in the same "audiophile myths" area? I use a cheap Fiio L1 with my setup (Fiio E6, iPod Nano and either Se215 or Westone 4R). Should I really believe I am missing something by not using a copper/silver/whatever they put on those 150 dollar cables I see people using here?

Sincerely,
Leo
post #1784 of 3264

A line out dock is a line out dock.

post #1785 of 3264

I mean, copper is a good idea. You should probably avoid any made of aluminum or well, anything less conductive. The Fiio L3/L5/L9, and that new one are probably all on par sonically with anything audiophile costing $150. The Fiio ones are really well made and can be had on amazon for under $10. Just take a look because not all of the Fiio LOD cables lock into the iPod, others just sort of sit there. I prefer the ones that lock.

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