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Cable Skeptics, Tubes and Opamps - Page 3

post #31 of 105



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

DAMN, Isn't "IT" all about the music?? I can be dazzled by a AM station, or a 78 lacquer played on a rebuilt transcription table! I shouldn't have to mention going to a live show..........What's all the debating about????  Let people believe in whatever they want, be it anything in the "Sound Science" field...JMO.....


Of course it's about the music.  But you'd still be using 78s and AM if it wasn't for sound science.  You want to close it down now?  You think we've arrived at the top of the mountain?  But OK, I'll let people believe what they want.  Like recording engineers walk about with multimeter's in their pockets, LOL.

Please Tell me How we'd still be listening to AM and 78's If it wasn't for S.S.      I just don't get everyone "one -upping" one another with their thoughts and theories...PS, I'm not trying to be a smart ass....

 


Edited by 9pintube - 11/27/10 at 7:12pm
post #32 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

Please Tell me How we'd still be listening to AM and 78's If it wasn't for S.S.      I just don't get everyone "one -upping" one another with their thoughts and theories...PS, I'm not trying to be a smart ass....


 

 

I'm not trying to be a smartass either ... but what, you think vinyl and FM and digital were invented by amateur pundits on audio forums?  No, scientists and engineers did that.  And it's a good job they did "one-up" each other with their thoughts and theories, otherwise no progress would have been made.  "Sound science" has brought us great things, and I don't think we should stop now.
 

post #33 of 105

 Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post

 I'm not trying to be a smartass either ... but what, you think vinyl and FM and digital were invented by amateur pundits on audio forums?  No, scientists and engineers did that.  And it's a good job they did "one-up" each other with their thoughts and theories, otherwise no progress would have been made.  "Sound science" has brought us great things, and I don't think we should stop now.
 

Innerspace, I guess I thought that was a Given!......or maybe I read something into the OP that through me off track....I do believe we the buying people should have somewhat of a voice in the decisions that these huge companies capitalize on, especially if "It's" not up to Our standards, as in lets say MP3 quality music......etc.etc.... Thanks for explaining the S.S. effect to me as the OP originally questioned...... 

 

post #34 of 105

Maybe I'm wrong about recording engineers, but they don't design equipment anyway so it's kind of irrelevant. Electrical engineers would never accept sighted listening as evidence of anything, they'd depend solely on objective measurements and dbt to determine the response of a product. I highly doubt that this will change, given that dbt is fundamental the objectivity of the listener.

 

Regardless, I'm sure there will be new discoveries in audio, but I doubt they'll lead to vast audible improvements, considering that even current equipment extends far beyond the human frequency range. In all studies done on the subject, participants couldn't even distinguish betwen redbook and SACD.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post


Not really, recording engineers receive formal training, as do the engineers that design our audio equipment.

 

Why do you assume they've gotten it wrong, your personal experience with sighted (ie non-dbt listening)? If you want to prove that they've gotten it wrong, do some dbts and see if you can even distinguish a difference. Right now though, your making claims with zero evidence.

 

 

Zero evidence?  I have 18 years in that biz as evidence.  I said "very few" and I stand by it.  Almost none of the many hundreds of recording engineers I have worked with have formal qualifications.  Electronics designers, yes.  And I didn't say they have gotten anything wrong.  On the contrary, they usually get it right - using practical hard-won experience.  I love 'em.  This has got nothing to do with DBTs ... which are an audio forum obsession, anyway.  Recording engineers have never heard of them.  It's trial and error for those guys.
 


Edited by Antony6555 - 11/28/10 at 1:23am
post #35 of 105

Antony6555 writes:

Maybe I'm wrong about recording engineers, but they don't design equipment anyway so it's kind of irrelevant. Electrical engineers would never accept sighted listening as evidence of anything, they'd depend solely on objective measurements and dbt to determine the response of a product. I highly doubt that this will change, given that dbt is fundamental the objectivity of the listener.

I think the good engineers depend on objective measurements and good blind ABX listening tests.

We have seen massive improvements in the recording medium in terms of convenience, obviously with the digital format and the coming of wonders such as the iPod. All of this is due to the application of "sound science". It is the product of honest scientific endeavour.

We have also seen improvements in manufacturing of audio components.

I don't think there has been an actual improvement in the sound quality of amplification or loudspeakers for decades. In fact I think that on average the "hi fi" amplifiers of today might well be less good than those of the 80s or 70s.

All this rubbish about cables that we have seen for years now has brought not one iota of improvement to hi fi. Instead it is simply the crassest form of consumerism. Simply to instil belief in the buyer that a product will improve sound quality is all that is required, many buyers waste such a lot of money on this nonsense, they do "hear" improvements but it is auto-suggestion.

We are also now seeing very bad amplifiers being praised as "good" and good amplifiers dismissed as bad. Amplifiers that produce appalling levels of harmonic distortion are being seen as good, whereas amplifiers that do the right thing and try to have as little influence on the music are seen as bad.

post #36 of 105

Yeah exactly. I think that a lot of younger audiophiles don't realise that hi-fi once had a much more objective emphasis than it does today. I think one of the reasons things like cables are so successful these days is that the younger generation tends to view everything a simply a matter of personal opinion.

 

This holds some truth when dealing with intangibles like morality or political views, but audio reproduction is a hard science. Accuracy can be measured objectively, it's not just a matter of personal opinion.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

I don't think there has been an actual improvement in the sound quality of amplification or loudspeakers for decades. In fact I think that on average the "hi fi" amplifiers of today might well be less good than those of the 80s or 70s.

All this rubbish about cables that we have seen for years now has brought not one iota of improvement to hi fi. Instead it is simply the crassest form of consumerism. Simply to instil belief in the buyer that a product will improve sound quality is all that is required, many buyers waste such a lot of money on this nonsense, they do "hear" improvements but it is auto-suggestion.

We are also now seeing very bad amplifiers being praised as "good" and good amplifiers dismissed as bad. Amplifiers that produce appalling levels of harmonic distortion are being seen as good, whereas amplifiers that do the right thing and try to have as little influence on the music are seen as bad.

post #37 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post

 

Engineering principles can be used to predict some dimensions of "difference" from data sheet specs of differing op amps or tubes - in the case of op amps there are many that should give indistinguishable performance by known psychoacoustic thresholds - I heavily discount the op amp rolling subjective difference reports - most are given in the relative frequency response terminology that strongly suggests lack of level matching - "identical" systems heard at slightly different volumes sound different due to Fletcher-Munson loudness curves - way below the differences that are clearly perceived as loudness changes


I agree that opamps should all sound the same, but dont agree that they do.

 

I think that this is because very few people use inverting topologies. The good lord came down and told us that non-inverting was the way to do it so that the signal remains in polarity because thats another thing people can hear (not really, but its a common audiophile belief)

 

Anyways, unless the non-inverting opamp is driven from a 0-ohm source impedance imagineering is about as good as the datasheet the MFR published for various specs. The volume control screws it all up. 

 

Inverting topologies have to deal with the fact that they are inverting (and that matters rolleyes.gif ) before people will start to look at the (generally) superior performance.

 

On the OP's other q, regarding tubes: several people have tested a wide selection of tubes for THD, noise, etc. Assuming you have the same buffer you could plug that into there... Try diyaudio for sources.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Interestingly, a client at the office is a cable manufacturer. Not audio stuff, but high power transmission lines and industrial applications. I've had an opportunity to look through some of their work. They very much do use measurements and science to develop cables. All the stuff tha skeptics call for here. Their work is legitimate and they seem to make an excellent product. I can't say more because it's privileged, but it is a good company.

Which leads to an interesting question. If cables can be measured and scientifically developed for certain applications, why do those same methods fail miserably for audio cables?
 

Audio cables dont behave as transmission lines at the lengths commonly used. the number I have heard is ~4000ft for an audio cable to start to act like a T-line. Good T-line design is extremely important in RF and long distance power transmission lines, where it can mean HUGE differences in system efficiency, but means very little in audio.

 

The reasons that measurements fail for audio cables is that the start of every cable DBT is an electronic (call it the machine) test to verify similarity without the use of a human.

 

As has been mentioned elsewhere the threshold of human hearing is only so high, and within certain tolerances the ear is not able to distinguish 2 pieces of gear. 

 

If anyone were foolish enough to run a DBT without the preceding control it would be quite easy to pass using several methods. 

 

Here is a recipe for an easy cable to make that will DBT differently from your standard straight wire:

VERY high capacitance cable (200pf/ft, 6ft long... This would be very easy to make with off-the-shelf starquad) with a 100Kohm source resistor in the "upstream" plug.

 

If you want to go all technical on me and argue against the 100Kohm resistor, I'l cede defeat on the condition that the cables be driven from the plate of a 12AX7. Some audiophiles consider that appropriate... so lets do it!

 

Is the cable I described "better"? maybe some will prefer it (I might even prefer it based on my EQ settings!) , but 2 seconds with a resistance meter or oscilloscope and a function generator will identify it as reallllllly obviously different.


Edited by nikongod - 11/28/10 at 9:24am
post #38 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

... I think that a lot of younger audiophiles don't realise that hi-fi once had a much more objective emphasis than it does today. I think one of the reasons things like cables are so successful these days is that the younger generation tends to view everything a simply a matter of personal opinion.

 


I have no argument with that, but I might argue the nuances a little.  My original point upthread was that the old-style objective criteria (the "low hanging fruit") have all been understood and accepted and satisfied long ago, but very few new objective criteria have emerged, and in their absence opinion and subjectivity have run riot.  I wish we had relentlessly expanded our palette of objective criteria, so that we now had a large and sophisticated range of objective inquiry, instead of the same few basic tests.  No doubt much - almost all - of today's subjectivity is baseless, but some small part of it might lead somewhere, and I wish we knew which small part was worth pursuing.

post #39 of 105

^

 

I think this is mainstream opinion from a pro cable view. We know we hear differences that aren't being identified by current accepted measurements being used in discussions. How would a consumer know those answers? But the anti cable view won't accept experiences (to the point of being called a liar).

 

The only way to know is to experience it for yourself.

post #40 of 105

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I think this is mainstream opinion from a pro cable view. We know we hear differences that aren't being identified by current accepted measurements being used in discussions. How would a consumer know those answers? But the anti cable view won't accept experiences (to the point of being called a liar).

 

The only way to know is to experience it for yourself.


You could also DBT.

post #41 of 105

I'm a non-believer when it comes to audio cables, but when I read this post:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/219202/it-s-done-power-cord-shoot-out-22-power-cords-reviewed#post_2649695

I had to be impressed by the level of detail in the writer's exotic description of the effects of different power cables. He's clearly convinced he can hear differences.  I'm guessing a qualified EE could tell us that the effects of components in the power supply of top-end audio gear would vastly outweigh any effects of the power cable. I think the post illustrates the level to which people can be convinced that they hear effects that almost certainly don't exist. Power cables?

 

Of course I enjoy reading all this stuff from all sides.

post #42 of 105


Agreed 100%
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

^

 

I think this is mainstream opinion from a pro cable view. We know we hear differences that aren't being identified by current accepted measurements being used in discussions. How would a consumer know those answers? But the anti cable view won't accept experiences (to the point of being called a liar).

 

The only way to know is to experience it for yourself.

post #43 of 105
 


 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post


 

The only way to know is to experience it for yourself.

A few hundred years ago, everybody in certain villages would state as 'known' that they'd seen the local witch flying around on her broom at night. They'd experienced it themselves, so they knew it was true.

 

I'm 'so twentieth century' - I believe in science and logic. Old-fashioned, I guess.

 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."
  --  Richard P. Feynman
 

But, this stuff is a heck of a lot of fun to read!wink_face.gif

 

John

post #44 of 105

popcorn.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaGuy View Post

 


 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post


 

The only way to know is to experience it for yourself.

A few hundred years ago, everybody in certain villages would state as 'known' that they'd seen the local witch flying around on her broom at night. They'd experienced it themselves, so they knew it was true.

 

I'm 'so twentieth century' - I believe in science and logic. Old-fashioned, I guess.

 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."
  --  Richard P. Feynman
 

But, this stuff is a heck of a lot of fun to read!wink_face.gif

 

John

post #45 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

So we know the cable debate will go on forever. Sorry if this has been posted already, but has anyone tested an amp's output to see if there is a measurable difference between different tubes or opamps? I hear a difference between an OPA2132 and OPA2107 and a GE 5963 and a Sylvania 5963. I am guessing they wouldn't measure any different at the output, but I could be wrong. But if they don't measure any different, doesn't that mean there are things that test equipment can't account for? Just a thought. If I had the equipment and know how, I would gladly do the tests myself.


Well, certainly for tubes it is easy to measure differences with a tube tester. Even new tubes test as 'different' in most cases, and 'old' tubes certainly test as different. And anybody who has actually built and listened to tube gear knows that tubes change over time, and that even 'out of the box' some tubes are noisier than others, more microphonic, for example. All those things are easily measured, I think. (Unlike the 'PRAT' of a piece of wire.....)

 

John

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