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Is It Really Worth 'Upgrading' Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 Cables? - Page 8

post #106 of 326

Just on a whim, I switched from my Silver Dragon back to the stock cable for my HD650.  Difference heard - more high end extension with the Silver Dragons.  Hmmm.  I'd really love to do a blind test to see where it takes me.

 

I had tried switching back to the stock because I was getting annoyed with the stiffness of the Silver Dragons.  Ah well....

post #107 of 326



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by logwed View Post




So, you could basically drop the price of a T1 on your HD650s+cable, OR you could just get the T1.


Absolutely perfect definition!

post #108 of 326

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by momomo6789 View Post

for what people charge to build a cable there's pretty much zero over head a corner in a house can do every thing you need a $80 soldering iron gets the job done for anything, $15 for third hand buy a few parts from anywhere solder them together and your done ohh yes and a dmm that makes a beeping noise is always sweet. copper costs 3.xx per pound cable makers charge 1xxx per pound. all i can say is most people who make cables cant solder for sh$t look at warren audio guy runed $120 xlrs like nothing that's was probably the saddest thing i have ever seen well besides buying a $120 set of xlrs that cant be any better then a $5 one. and then the guarantee that some day your $400 cable WILL turn Green if its not already green under all the pounds of sleeve they put on the cable that DOES nothing but weigh down your head. this coming from someone who builds cables i only build cables for fun and cute little low profile lods that dont get in the way b/c i felt there was a lack of them around and hated the bulky one i had made my self :P

 

if anyone needs help building a cable send me a pm and i can point you in the correct way. where to buy and pinouts.


That's not true for all cable manufacturers. There is a small minority of us who actually design, engineer, and contract a reputable manufacturing facility to professionally fabricate our products, and top them off with soft, flexible, extruded cable jacket. I will agree with you that hand made cables are inconsistent as far as dielectric constant, and capacitance goes, as well as the fact that "techflex" is not appealing, and nylon multifilament is a dust collector and frays from everyday normal use. 

 

And so what? I'm the worlds worst with a soldering iron? I might as well be putting the iron to a stack of hundred dollar bills were I to ever pick one up again, haha. Hence why all of my products are assembled and terminated out of house by a team of professionals now. 

 

Anyways, not all cable companies sell products that could be made by hand, was my only point.

post #109 of 326

Belden make cables for other companies to brand as their own and will incorporate 'directionality' into those cables, even though there own tests have found that there is such thing as 'directionality'. (Fourth paragraph down)

 

http://www.aes.org/sections/pnw/pnwrecaps/2000/lampen/

 

It is only the audiophile part of the cable industry that makes certain claims for its cables. The pro-audio, industrial etc side of the industry know that a cable will work for them or not based on known properties. Belden are happy to go along with that, even though their own test failed to establish any truth in one of those claims.

 

Rick, how do you design a new cable? Your site states that vibration is an issue for SQ and you have insulation that stops such, so improving low frequency and extended highs. How do you measure that?  Do you do use blind testing in the design process?

 

post #110 of 326


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post
Your site states that vibration is an issue for SQ and you have insulation that stops such, so improving low frequency and extended highs. How do you measure that?

 


How do you measure nonsense?

 

The "vibrations" referred to are phonons. Phonons are the quanta of the vibration of the crystal lattice of the conductors. Virtually all of the phonon activity in a conductor is due to the thermal energy in the conductor and that's what causes virtually all of the resistance in the conductor, i.e. the lattice vibrations reduce the mean free path of the electrons increasing resistance.

 

Any possible effect of external acoustic vibration on phonon activity would be buried well below the thermal noise of the conductors which unless you're talking about some really high resistance conductors in the cables, will be buried well below the other broadband noise produced by the electronics.

 

se

 

post #111 of 326

It does appear that Warren Audio are just another company who take pot shots at others -

 

"There is a small minority of us who actually design, engineer, and contract a reputable manufacturing facility to professionally fabricate our products..."

 

and make their own claims how their cable is better, but when asked a simple question........disappear......

post #112 of 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

Just on a whim, I switched from my Silver Dragon back to the stock cable for my HD650.  Difference heard - more high end extension with the Silver Dragons.  Hmmm.  I'd really love to do a blind test to see where it takes me.

 

I had tried switching back to the stock because I was getting annoyed with the stiffness of the Silver Dragons.  Ah well....

 

I'd be curious if you are still able to hear the same difference if you were to swap back and forth between these cables, in quick succession, say 50 to 100 times.

 

I make this suggestion based on personal experience.  When I first read about Cplay, and claims that it was superior to Foobar and/or Winamp via ASIO and/or kernal streaming, I tried it (notwithstanding its god awful interface) and was immediately convinced that Cplay really was better.  Then I started to second guess myself.  To test my initial optimistic impression, I picked one acoustic song, and listened to the first 30 seconds over and over and over again, switching back and forth between Cplay and Foobar to see if I could really detect a difference.  The more times I went back and forth, the more convinced I became that I could not, in fact, distinguish any aspects of the playback, in stark contrast to my initial conclusion - and that both programs were, in fact, transporting the same unaltered bit-stream to my DAC (as they should be).

 

I suspect the same is ultimately true of aftermarket cables.  People will hear what they want to hear unless and until they honestly take the time to question their perceptions, compare and contrast them at length, and then reevaluate their initial conclusions.  However, this raises an interesting question as to whether objective results are really that important to begin with.  Ultimately, if fancy looking, expensive aftermarket cables bring some users subjective, or even imaginary joy, in the listening process, isn't this analogous to people putting rims on their cars that in no way enhance performance, or purchasing fancy name-brand purses that have no greater utility than their generic counter-parts.  Concerns about false advertising remain relevant, but I imagine most people derive happiness from wanting and then obtaining "luxury" items that have no real objective benefit.   

post #113 of 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

I'd be curious if you are still able to hear the same difference if you were to swap back and forth between these cables, in quick succession, say 50 to 100 times.

 

I make this suggestion based on personal experience.  When I first read about Cplay, and claims that it was superior to Foobar and/or Winamp via ASIO and/or kernal streaming, I tried it (notwithstanding its god awful interface) and was immediately convinced that Cplay really was better.  Then I started to second guess myself.  To test my initial optimistic impression, I picked one acoustic song, and listened to the first 30 seconds over and over and over again, switching back and forth between Cplay and Foobar to see if I could really detect a difference.  The more times I went back and forth, the more convinced I became that I could not, in fact, distinguish any aspects of the playback, in stark contrast to my initial conclusion - and that both programs were, in fact, transporting the same unaltered bit-stream to my DAC (as they should be).

 

I suspect the same is ultimately true of aftermarket cables.  People will hear what they want to hear unless and until they honestly take the time to question their perceptions, compare and contrast them at length, and then reevaluate their initial conclusions.  However, this raises an interesting question as to whether objective results are really that important to begin with.  Ultimately, if fancy looking, expensive aftermarket cables bring some users subjective, or even imaginary joy, in the listening process, isn't this analogous to people putting rims on their cars that in no way enhance performance, or purchasing fancy name-brand purses that have no greater utility than their generic counter-parts.  Concerns about false advertising remain relevant, but I imagine most people derive happiness from wanting and then obtaining "luxury" items that have no real objective benefit.   


I was switching back and forth between my HD650 and Ed8s and the more I did so while comparing, the less different they sounded.  They sounded most different when I initially switched from one to the other.  This happens to me all the time and I put this one down to another effect of expectation and my mind filling in the blanks.  I'm very concerned about this phenomenon and what it would do when endlessly switching back and forth between the same track playing through two slightly different chains.

 

A similar thing occurs when listening to my HD800's vs HD650.  I listen to the HD800's and hear a piece of detail in the bass that just hits me.  Never heard that before when listening with the HD650's, I think.  So I put on the HD650's and this time, I'm listening for it.  It's soft, but it's there.  There's a difference between detail that jumps at you and detail that you have to be listening out for since you expect it to be there.  Or worse, detail is inserted where you expect and it's not there.  It's like when you hear your phone ringing (usually when you're expecting a call) when no such thing happened.

 

Hearing is a funny thing and though blinded testing does take away the influence of expectations and bias when one knows what he's hearing, there are still other phenomena to consider as one switchings back and forth between the two tracks trying to confirm that they've heard small differences between tonality and such... not even the presence or absence of specific sounds.... just subtle differences.

 

I know what you mean though, but I'd be careful.  It would be better if you listened to one for a while so you get accustomed to it and then switched to the other.  This isn't about cables, but about the two players.  Again, I'm aware of blinded tests that have been done where the subject is given the cables to play with over an extended period to prevent the problems I'm relating and that still, they were unable to differentiate the cables used.

 

Usually, when I can't hear a difference, this is immediate for me.  This has occurred for me when comparing iTunes' Player with Pure Music (simply can't hear a difference there though there are so many testimonies to the contrary), when comparing the Cardas and stock cables for the HD650, when comparing optical out to a HiFace USB to S/PDIF out, when comparing a lot of 320Kbps files to their lossless counterparts, when comparing wav to ALAC, when comparing CD rippers.  Some of these comparisons have been at significant expense to my pocket and it would have been nice to hear a difference.  It would seem that this bias isn't consistent and I do wonder why?  I'd definitely not be so firmly on the fence if things were more consistent.  I genuinely have no agenda here and wish the cables didn't make a difference at times.  It would make the whole deal a lot cheaper and less of a hassle to try and err.


Edited by aimlink - 10/1/10 at 12:54pm
post #114 of 326

Aimlink - thank you for the thoughtful and gracious reply!  I can see that you have certainly have engaged in the sort of testing I was thinking about (albeit, not with such a short sample), and I may well give your suggestion a try by comparing and contrasting a longer cut of some appropriate song, as between the two media players I was discussing.  I don't imagine it will change my conclusion, but it will be interesting to give it a go.

 

Do you have any theories, from a hardware perspective, as to why you would perceive a difference between the stock cable and the moon audio cable, but not between stock and cardas?  I have only skimmed the surface of the great cable debate, but it seems like these sorts of differences really should be measurable through tests like those conducted by Donald North in the DT880 thread.

post #115 of 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

Do you have any theories, from a hardware perspective, as to why you would perceive a difference between the stock cable and the moon audio cable, but not between stock and cardas?  I have only skimmed the surface of the great cable debate, but it seems like these sorts of differences really should be measurable through tests like those conducted by Donald North in the DT880 thread.


I don't know really.  It doesn't make sense discussing materials though the Moon Audio is the Silver Dragon, while the Cardas is pure copper.  I'm wondering if it could have something to do with the connector, i.e., the plug.  I don't know.  Most here would think it's just me and who knows, it probably is, since doing a blind test with headphone cables is a finicky thing.

post #116 of 326


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post



 

I'd be curious if you are still able to hear the same difference if you were to swap back and forth between these cables, in quick succession, say 50 to 100 times.

 

I make this suggestion based on personal experience.  When I first read about Cplay, and claims that it was superior to Foobar and/or Winamp via ASIO and/or kernal streaming, I tried it (notwithstanding its god awful interface) and was immediately convinced that Cplay really was better.  Then I started to second guess myself.  To test my initial optimistic impression, I picked one acoustic song, and listened to the first 30 seconds over and over and over again, switching back and forth between Cplay and Foobar to see if I could really detect a difference.  The more times I went back and forth, the more convinced I became that I could not, in fact, distinguish any aspects of the playback, in stark contrast to my initial conclusion - and that both programs were, in fact, transporting the same unaltered bit-stream to my DAC (as they should be).

 

I suspect the same is ultimately true of aftermarket cables.  People will hear what they want to hear unless and until they honestly take the time to question their perceptions, compare and contrast them at length, and then reevaluate their initial conclusions.  However, this raises an interesting question as to whether objective results are really that important to begin with.  Ultimately, if fancy looking, expensive aftermarket cables bring some users subjective, or even imaginary joy, in the listening process, isn't this analogous to people putting rims on their cars that in no way enhance performance, or purchasing fancy name-brand purses that have no greater utility than their generic counter-parts.  Concerns about false advertising remain relevant, but I imagine most people derive happiness from wanting and then obtaining "luxury" items that have no real objective benefit.   


Well put. My only issue with audiophile cables is the claim that there is something in the cables that makes the difference. Everything else is fine.

post #117 of 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Belden make cables for other companies to brand as their own and will incorporate 'directionality' into those cables, even though there own tests have found that there is such thing as 'directionality'.

 



"Incorporating directionality" means putting arrows on them smily_headphones1.gif

post #118 of 326

I see that one of the cable manufacturers has participated in the thread.

 

On this web page:

 

Warren Audio Catalog

 

Several cables are described as being the product of "exhaustive research".

 

I would like to know what the "exhaustive research" consisted of.

 

I would also like to know what the results of the "exhaustive research" are.

post #119 of 326

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post


 

 

That's perfectly ok with me if you don't believe me.  Whether or not you believe what I say, has no effect upon my enjoyment of the music I listen to, and my enjoyment of the equipment I use to bring that music to my ears.  I am secure in what I believe and perceive, you should be secure in your belief and perception as well.

 

If either you or I were to begin to denigrate one another's perceptions, that would be unacceptable.
 

 

However, true to form for the golden ears you report the fantastic and then denigrate those who question your supposed magical hearing capabilities.

 

You say:

 

Quote:
 
I can say without a doubt, that cables do make a substantial difference in sound as long as the rest of one's system, including the source, is resolving enough in the first place, and even silly stuff like the solder used, can make subtle differences.  If, on the other hand, you can't hear any differences between one cable and another, don't worry about it.  Save your money and enjoy the music, but don't disparage those who pursue that last few percent of sonic improvement, and deem it worthwhile.
 

 

So, those who question your experience are dismissed as being unable to hear any differences.

 

They just don't have your superhuman powers...

 

Let us look at what you claim:

 

 

 

Quote:
 
The two cables were identical except one had been made with a new, high zoot, lead free solder that contained gold, silver, and the usual complement of other stuff.  The other cable was built using a more popular, lower cost, lead free solder.
 

 

Any you say that you are able to hear this difference, the difference in the solder used.

 

I think to make such a fantastic claim you should surely submit yourself to a properly conducted blind ABX test first?

 

To say that you can "without doubt" hear this difference and to denigrate those who question this as "unable to hear the differences" is total humbug.

 

If you want to live in a fantasy that is fine by me, but please don't claim it is a reality.

post #120 of 326

 

 

Quote:
 
I suspect the same is ultimately true of aftermarket cables.  People will hear what they want to hear unless and until they honestly take the time to question their perceptions, compare and contrast them at length, and then reevaluate their initial conclusions.
 

 

Yes I do agree skeptic, this is true of all audio stuff smily_headphones1.gif

 

This applies to all people. We are all hugely open to auto-suggestion. Those of us who are skeptical, like myself, of the fantastic claims for some hi fi stuff are also prone to auto-suggestion.

 

However the problem I see often is that the "golden ears" claim their hearing experiences are immutable!

 

They genuinely believe that other people just can't hear what they are hearing because those poor souls just don't have the magical hearing that they have.

 

If golden ears are to make fantastic claims and then diss those who question them then I think they should do submit themselves to blind ABX tests.

 

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