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How much of an impact does the ground cable make / Why are some Interconnects and HP cables made...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

So i've been taking a full plunge into DIY audio, and have been reading, and looking at anything I can get my hands on. Unfortunately I don't have a place to solder until school it out.

 

My real question:

 

I've seen a lot of cables that use a copper ground with a silver lead, and so far i've only been able to gather very little information about it. I read somewhere it creates a good synergy.  I'm not an electrical engineer, but it seems like that ground shouldn't matter too much, in terms of quality. 

 

Thanks for the help. I've been searching everywhere, but my searches for "copper ground" provides a lot of reading, and I stopped around page 10/200.

post #2 of 12

Some people may believe in the 'synergy' thing, though that's a big, prickly debate.

 

The other angle is, maybe some people agree with you - the ground shouldn't matter, so why spend the extra $ to use silver there?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpogo View Post

Some people may believe in the 'synergy' thing, though that's a big, prickly debate.

 

The other angle is, maybe some people agree with you - the ground shouldn't matter, so why spend the extra $ to use silver there?


uh oh....  are you suggesting it's one of those things that I need to test for myself.  Grr time to make a bunch of interconnects.  Guess it's better to do that, then to make headphone cables out of 4x6ft  pure silver runs.


Edited by elwappo99 - 5/6/10 at 10:07pm
post #4 of 12

I'm just saying there are different schools of thought about this topic...how you handle that is up to you ;)

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpogo View Post

I'm just saying there are different schools of thought about this topic...how you handle that is up to you ;)


Any personal opinions?

post #6 of 12

I guess this recent post of mine sums up my thoughts:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/485706/where-does-quality-change-to-snake-oil/30#post_6613978

 

As far as the cable itself, I choose copper for the ground for both reasons.  For one, although I think the ground wire material does affect the sound, its impact is minimal - probably only with the highest-end equipment (like B22) will it become important.  So it seems a little excessive to me to use silver there.  And secondly, silver wire - even Jupiter wire, which I like the best - has a lot of clarity and air but can sound a bit glassy in the upper frequencies.  Copper tends to have a more even, robust sound to me, so using it in the ground can balance things a little bit.

 

This is just my opinion, which is fairly middle of the road.  Some people will tell you the ground wire is 100% as important as the signal wire and prefer all-silver.  Others may think that, but prefer copper all the same.  And then there are those who think that all wire is simply moving electrons from A to B and it doesn't matter at all what kind you use (apart from shielding concerns maybe).

 

I guess experimenting on your own is the only way to find out where you fall in this debate...still, I wouldn't make a bunch of cables all at once unless you have time and money to burn.  Just make something that's good, as you currently understand things.  At some point in the future you will have reason, or at least an excuse ;) to make another one, and then you can try something new.  That's how I learned...through making several cables over the last 3 years.


Edited by slowpogo - 5/7/10 at 4:17am
post #7 of 12

don't know about the balancing of sound. but for the electrons both wires matter equally.

transducers are current driven. and current always has to travel through both wires. With audio signals it's also safe to assume, that half the current goes through the ground wire first.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 


thanks to both of you for sending me in the right direction! 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifthanger View Post

don't know about the balancing of sound. but for the electrons both wires matter equally.

transducers are current driven. and current always has to travel through both wires. With audio signals it's also safe to assume, that half the current goes through the ground wire first.


Maybe the silver is balanced by the copper and creates a medium?  A possibility.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpogo View Post

 

I guess experimenting on your own is the only way to find out where you fall in this debate...still, I wouldn't make a bunch of cables all at once unless you have time and money to burn.  Just make something that's good, as you currently understand things.  At some point in the future you will have reason, or at least an excuse ;) to make another one, and then you can try something new.  That's how I learned...through making several cables over the last 3 years.


By a lot I was only thinking like 2 or three in actuality. A silver silver, a copper copper and a silver copper.  And then try to ABC them and see where i end up.

 

Thanks!!!!

post #9 of 12

there actually aren't that many "Schools of Thought" about metallic conductors in cables - if you look at what's taught at accredited engineering and physics degree issuing institutions


there are of course other “Schools”: http://www.alltm.org/yogic-flying.php


if you don't use controls and blinding in your "experiment" - you Will perceive differences with just about anything in audio


if you really want to pursue cable “audiophile issues” your time would be well spent learning some of the basics of psychoacoustics and electrical engineering/physics  - and comparing engineering estimates of "audiophile" cable signal transfer characteristics to the thresholds that have been measured and presented in peer reviewed journals


your time would be even better spent by accepting that cables make such little difference, if any, that time and money spent on learning "mainstream" audio basics, perceptual psychology, commercial recording mastering/production technology, experiencing live music or just about anywhere else on your system will give much greater returns
 


Edited by jcx - 5/7/10 at 4:32pm
post #10 of 12

Oh god...I won't challenge anything you say about the audio stuff jcx.  We don't need any more of 'those' threads.

 

But on a side note..check out this story of a 'real' flying yogi.  He did it in 1936, he was photographed doing it while surrounded by people.  I don't know how to explain it, and I welcome anyone else to try.  We might have the technology for someone to 'fake' this today but certainly not in 1936.  People checked for props/platforms/strings in any case.

 

http://socioparivar.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/indian-yogi-subbayah-pullavar%E2%80%99s-levitation-act/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogi_pullavar


Edited by slowpogo - 5/7/10 at 5:57pm
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post

there are of course other “Schools”: http://www.alltm.org/yogic-flying.php
 


Do you do this while you are listening with headphones?  I think I may try to give this a shot.  Maybe I'll need a slightly longer headphone cable, but a bet the transcendental bliss is amazing.

post #12 of 12


Yes, I didn't want to discard that. Just wanted to prevent someone from using a really bad wire for ground and 99999 silver for signal :).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

Maybe the silver is balanced by the copper and creates a medium?  A possibility.

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