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Cables and Snake Oil - Please read before you are fooled! - Page 7

post #91 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post

Oh, and when I ask for scientific proof of the statement that the differences measured in cables have no audible consequences, it always stays awfully quiet....


No it does not

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

Twenty seven of the 28 test referred to are blind tests, there are no cable tests which result in a pass. Since a large scale test would be very difficult to do, a meta study of lots of smaller tests is the only other way to see which way the evidence leads us.

 

 

post #92 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post

Oh, and when I ask for scientific proof of the statement that the differences measured in cables have no audible consequences, it always stays awfully quiet....


No it does not

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

Twenty seven of the 28 test referred to are blind tests, there are no cable tests which result in a pass. Since a large scale test would be very difficult to do, a meta study of lots of smaller tests is the only other way to see which way the evidence leads us.

 

 

You are wasting your breath... I already told him you posted a link to "proof".
 

post #93 of 170

Yes sokolov91, but you appear to be on his banned list so Kees may not have picked that up. I expect that proof to be criticised but with no detail as to exactly why (typical reaction when I link to it) and then ignored. Meanwhile there will be no proof forthcoming as to how cable construction and audible differences are linked will be shown. All that would take is a study of reviews of cables and a correlation shown between cable type and sound type, but i can say now with full confidence after having read many a cable review thread, people experience so many different sounds with difference cables that there is no consistency. So therefore, the difference is sound cannot be in the cable, as it is the same throughout, the difference must be in the listener, who varies significantly. Add to that blind testing and the solid explanation of placebo, buyer self justification etc as to how the difference can be in the listener and the sceptics have significantly more evidence than the cable believer.

post #94 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Yes sokolov91, but you appear to be on his banned list so Kees may not have picked that up. I expect that proof to be criticised but with no detail as to exactly why (typical reaction when I link to it) and then ignored. Meanwhile there will be no proof forthcoming as to how cable construction and audible differences are linked will be shown. All that would take is a study of reviews of cables and a correlation shown between cable type and sound type, but i can say now with full confidence after having read many a cable review thread, people experience so many different sounds with difference cables that there is no consistency. So therefore, the difference is sound cannot be in the cable, as it is the same throughout, the difference must be in the listener, who varies significantly. Add to that blind testing and the solid explanation of placebo, buyer self justification etc as to how the difference can be in the listener and the sceptics have significantly more evidence than the cable believer.


The logic is simple, and you are absolutely correct... people hear cable differently. If they made a change it would be documented and for example silver would always change a sound a certain way and so would copper, and certain geometries would also always change a sound a certain way... reading reviews of cables is a joke and is just poetic rambling... crazy how cables always fix everything, but never take anything away.

 

The logic is simple, but people make it complicated because they don't want to hear things like "you ears are not sensitive enough" or "you are just experiencing placebo effect" etc etc.

 

The craziest thing is it is in people BEST INTEREST for cables to be formally, and completely debunked... so much money saved... but they like being lost in their lala wonderland and I can't blame them. I do blame them when they get others to waste money as they have.

 

How can you trust peoples reviews, and judgments, when they are a slave to their own mind IE placebo effect? Hard to take people seriously when they can't take something as fundamental as "listening" seriously. DBT should be embraced and a large scale study should be done... but the money lies in cables and far to many peoples toes would be stepped for head-fi to sponsor such a test.

 

I know I have been down this path before... so eager to submit something of value, so in awe of my new headphones... you can write a novel... a few weeks later you realize it is just the romance and high expectation and all to few of it is founded in reality. That is why I haven't bothered to write a review on the LCD-2, or the HD 800, or my DAC and amp for that matter.. I want to give it along time, when the initial romance has worn off, and my ability to produce quality reviews is at its finest. A year a go I would have waited a few days and gone crazy. It was fun, but it was not helping anyone in any way, although it certainly was fun. I certainly enjoyed head-fi a lot more back then but I was just lost in lalaland because I though that was the only way.

 

I am so happy I put all that behind me, sold all my cables and placebo junk, and bout myself a true hi-fi system. It angers me when I see people stuck in mid-fi purgatory because they put their faith in so called "experienced" peoples view and spend tons on cables and fuses. It is ridiculous and should be stopped, everyone, except the sellers of snake oil, would be a winner.

 

Head-fi is supposed to be home to headphone hobbyist that help one another out. Not a place where older members unknowingly trick newbies into wasting their hard earned cash because they did so themselves. It is a damn shame.

 

Enjoying ones beliefs is fine, and silently enjoying placebo should be welcomed, but when it takes its toll on others, it should be stopped. I laugh every time I hear people say "x headphone was unbearable (what a drama queen eh?) but with y cable it is finally to my liking" -as if they were some sort of sultan... you know with ears only 500$ cables can please. Give me a break.

 

One day head-fi , and all of audio will move forward... but it sure doesn't seem to be any time soon.

 

I can understand people being upset, shocked and humiliated when they fail tests, or even at the thought of doing so... but we are all big boys and girls here... shouldn't be so hard to have logical conversations.

 

 

/end rant


Edited by sokolov91 - 1/6/11 at 3:46am
post #95 of 170

Head-fi isn't that bad for people recommending rip off £1000 cables, if you think head-fi is bad you should look at the whathifi forums and there reviews this is from a usb cable review confused_face(1).gif,

 Quote:

 

Wireworld Ultraviolet 5 USB

The gains in low-end body and punch, midrange spaciousness and detail, and high-end smoothness alone are significant.

And, when you take into account the additional scale, superior timing and altogether more vivid presentation, the Ultraviolet 5/2 becomes a compulsory audition, if not an automatic purchase.

 

You should take your ranting over there.

post #96 of 170

Or check out the Peter Belt Red-X-Pen - a fifty cent marker specially "treated" by Belt and resold at a staggering markup.  If you write "(Your name) >OK" on the CD case with the pen, then the CD will sound better.

post #97 of 170


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRG1990 View Post

Head-fi isn't that bad for people recommending rip off £1000 cables, if you think head-fi is bad you should look at the whathifi forums and there reviews this is from a usb cable review confused_face(1).gif,

 Quote:

 

Wireworld Ultraviolet 5 USB

The gains in low-end body and punch, midrange spaciousness and detail, and high-end smoothness alone are significant.

And, when you take into account the additional scale, superior timing and altogether more vivid presentation, the Ultraviolet 5/2 becomes a compulsory audition, if not an automatic purchase.

 

You should take your ranting over there.

 

With the exception of Hydrogenaudio, where posting has to be accompanied by proof, all Hifi forums and magazines get carried away with cable reviews and recommendations. There are a number of posters on the What Hifi forum who debunk and criticise cable myths.

 

On the matter of reviews and recommendations for cables, they are very subjective and vary from person to person and system to system (taking a system as a whole to include room acoustics). That subjectivity in itself is evidence that reported differences and particularly improvements in sound are coming from the listener and not the cable itself.

 

In objective terms resistance and inductance are known to affect cables. That means cables tend to have a maximum length before they start to fail and there are different specs for certain applications such as 75ohms for digital coax and the use of attenuators to give better volume control. They are measurable and repeatable differences which importantly do create audible effects. But those effects are limited to there is a signal or there is not or it is louder or it is not. They do not involve differences in terms of sound quality.

 

Such measurable and repeatable differences are there when it comes to the likes of eddy currents, skin effect, silver/copper, braided, solid core etc but and the but that no cable believer can yet show, there is no link to cable difference in terms of sound quality. Instead they insinuate that a measurable difference causes an audible difference, because then can hear a differences whilst they ignore other potential causes such as placebo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #98 of 170

I concede, somewhat, to either side of this argument.  Frankly, I find 1 meter cables priced at over $10K absurd, pandering to the elitist niche market.  It's like rich people deciding that a toilet seat adorned with yellow ribbon is "art", simply because they can afford to hang such rubbish up in a gallery and call it so.  

 

On the other hand, I have found affordable cables (like Bill LeGall's "Millersound"/JPS clone) that blew away high-priced esoteric types (like some of the megabuck PAD cables) in comparable applications.  

 

Also, I think certain design aspects, like UP-OCC fabrication and cryogenic treatments have scientific merit translatable into audible differences.  : ) 

post #99 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

I concede, somewhat, to either side of this argument.  Frankly, I find 1 meter cables priced at over $10K absurd, pandering to the elitist niche market.  It's like rich people deciding that a toilet seat adorned with yellow ribbon is "art", simply because they can afford to hang such rubbish up in a gallery and call it so.  

 

On the other hand, I have found affordable cables (like Bill LeGall's "Millersound"/JPS clone) that blew away high-priced esoteric types (like some of the megabuck PAD cables) in comparable applications.  

 

 

Well, now.  Don't blame rich people for creating the art market.  They follow, enthusiasts lead, just like in hifi.  And paradoxically I believe the cable market is sustained by (comparatively) poor people.  They're desperate to upgrade, but can't afford the $5,000 amp they want, so they console themselves with a $500 cable.  Their passion and energy is deflected by economics into fruitless avenues, instead of fruitful ones.  You can see it all over this site.

 

And, with sincere respect, to say that one cable "blew away" another cable is the kind of exaggeration that creates the heat in this ongoing argument.  To give you (or anyone) the benefit of the doubt, perhaps after long evaluation you kinda sorta maybe thought there was a difference.  But the blowing away, the night and day, the jaws dropping, the wife coming in from the other room, the amazed looks exchanged ... it's all nonsense, and it doesn't help.
 

post #100 of 170

With reviewers like whathifi, when reviewing a cable i don't think that can be honest and say it sounds like every other cable they would be out of job and no one would read there reviews anymore. I did notice a difference with coax cables in both my music system and tv, the standard cables were awful, the freebie 1 i used to connect my m-audio audiophile usb to my edifer s730 sounded mellow, the freebie 1 on my tele took alot of detail away from the sound and it also sounded muddy and mellow, 1 was a 3c-2v spec 1 was a RG59/u spec i don't even think they had a copper core.

post #101 of 170

Sokolov91, 

 

These are all commendable concerns and hopefully will make a difference with some of the newbies on Head-Fi, and those who are new to the hi-fi hobby.   

 

Re cables sounding similar, e.g. Ag versus Cu, I always had the impression (not my personal experience) from the numerous reviews I've read over the years that silver exhibited a "bright" edgy sound and copper imparted more of a "warmish" character or darker hue to the sound (using subjective language). Of course these are generalizations or stereotypes, but it's interesting to me that there has been an "apparent" shift in perception with the introduction of some of the hyper-pure types of silver and copper. There seems to be a trend, that silver and copper are merging in sonic character. And on some of the ultra high-end stuff, it doesn't seem to matter what the material is (e.g. JPS Labs, an advertiser on Head-Fi). 

 

My personal experience with cables is that some improve sound quality and some don't. There have been several that went back to the vendor. Not all the most expensive cables I have heard met my expectations, and the set I have now are some of the most reasonably priced that I've come across--especially considering the materials--yet bested some of my kilo-buck valued cables (am I moving in the right direction?) I always work from the premise that if I can't return it, it can't be a part of my system. A 30-day return/trial policy and/or a local dealer (fewer and fewer it seems) is always a good idea. 

 

Re the placebo effect, it's of some interest to me that the the opposite argument is also true, that if you believe there is no difference in cables, that too would be the outcome of any casual cable listening experience--i.e. you wouldn't hear a difference due to placebo. I know that several folks on Head-Fi have approached cables as "believers" and through personal experience,  and research, ended up non-believers. Other's started out believing cables CANNOT (NO WAY, IMPOSSIBLE) make a difference, but ended up believers. Some of us in the CANNOT (NO WAY, IMPOSSIBLE) camp, even with an engineering background--like me--ended up a believer.   

 

There seems to be a rallying cry, a social justice imperative, a vociferous argument to formalize the non-believers position as non-negotiable, settled science. It "seems" that non-believers want Head-Fi to make a statement in support of that position. However, Head-Fi is in a precarious position since funding and support of Head-Fi is partially the result of companies that sell cables, including ALO, Kimber, Moon Audio, Whiplash Audio,  CryoParts, and TTVJ to name a few. Some are funding sponsors, participate in forums, and ultimately market their products on Head-Fi to make a profit.

 

Your message (and other's) about "...it is in people BEST INTEREST for cables to be formally, and completely debunked..." is heard loud and clear on the forums. However, it comes across as a value judgement (i.e. good, bad, evil), versus a value criticism (generally accepted as "truth"). For example, I believe that in the grand scheme of things, source, pre-/amp, and speakers (headphones) make the largest differences in a music system. These are fundamental.* We should focus changes on basic system improvements, on fundamental, core components when dealing with sound science. That is a value criticism and is "true" and is generally undeniable and accepted by everyone.

 

(*NOTE: Although, some Head-Fi'ers believe that amps and DACs when level-matched all sound the same too. So, where do we draw the line with marketing hyperbole? Only with cables? What about amplifiers? DACs? Preamps? Who makes that judgement? Maybe we should just all subscribe to "The Audio Critic"--one of my faves--and be done? wink_face.gif )

 

So, where do cables fit? I believe cables (and power conditioning, yes) make a difference when used in a high-end music system. I have also noted differences with cables in lesser systems. I "enjoy" what I hear (the subjective part of our hobby) with high quality cables. However, to recommend cables as a substitute for the more fundamental aspects of putting together a great music system should be tertiary (or the very last). 

 

When to try cables? Certainly AFTER you believe you've "hit the wall" with your core components, and they are long term "keepers." I tend to hang onto my stuff for a long time. (I WISH I still had my Thorens TD-125 MkII TT from the early 1970's. Dang, I really miss that one. I had a full set of Cardas GR series cables including AC, IC's and speakers. They were over a decade old, and I sometimes wish I still had those too.)  

 

Well, here are some ideas about when buying cables makes sense (to me), but not necessarily in any priority, order, or for anyone else:     

  1. system synergy and refinement
  2. freedom from cash restrictions and a desire to test the waters
  3. a priori - i.e. use of theoretical deduction rather than empirical observation (and all of its ramifications)
  4. handmade quality construction, unique formulations and the pursuit of extracting that last "iota" of detail
  5. improved sound quality through personal experience
  6. experimentation in the hobby (What really works? What doesn't work?)
  7. it's fun trying new stuff...  

 

Based on your personal experience and research you can say, "I don't personally hear any differences between cables." "There are several tests that reveal no statistical differences in cables, metals or geometry." "I'm happy with my hi-fi."

 

What I'm not clear about is the innuendo, mocking, sarcasm, resentment, and the part relating to the the social justice imperative, (Italics mine) e.g.:

 

"when they are a slave to their own mind IE placebo effect?"

"I am so happy I put all that behind me."

"sold all my cables and placebo junk

 

"It angers me when I see people stuck in mid-fi purgatory." 

"It is ridiculous and should be stopped..."

"Head-Fi... (is) Not a place where older members unknowingly trick newbies into wasting their hard earned cash because they did so themselves." 

"you know with ears only 500$ cables can please. Give me a break."

"One day head-fi , and all of audio will move forward... but it sure doesn't seem to be any time soon."

 

Sadly, you seem to have lost the joy of the hobby, "I certainly enjoyed head-fi a lot more back then but I was just lost in lalaland because I though that was the only way."

 

You qualified your post as a "rant" (at the end). So, we'll take all of this with a grain of salt. wink_face.gif (Now, I'm just having fun wid' ya!)


Edited by Rdr. Seraphim - 1/6/11 at 4:16pm
post #102 of 170

Now InnerSpace, that one just hurt. I really wish you'd stop it. Your post is dripping with so much sarcasm, I'm having to wipe my screen with a squeegee!  bigsmile_face.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

I concede, somewhat, to either side of this argument.  Frankly, I find 1 meter cables priced at over $10K absurd, pandering to the elitist niche market.  It's like rich people deciding that a toilet seat adorned with yellow ribbon is "art", simply because they can afford to hang such rubbish up in a gallery and call it so.  

 

On the other hand, I have found affordable cables (like Bill LeGall's "Millersound"/JPS clone) that blew away high-priced esoteric types (like some of the megabuck PAD cables) in comparable applications.  

 

 

Well, now.  Don't blame rich people for creating the art market.  They follow, enthusiasts lead, just like in hifi.  And paradoxically I believe the cable market is sustained by (comparatively) poor people.  They're desperate to upgrade, but can't afford the $5,000 amp they want, so they console themselves with a $500 cable.  Their passion and energy is deflected by economics into fruitless avenues, instead of fruitful ones.  You can see it all over this site.

 

And, with sincere respect, to say that one cable "blew away" another cable is the kind of exaggeration that creates the heat in this ongoing argument.  To give you (or anyone) the benefit of the doubt, perhaps after long evaluation you kinda sorta maybe thought there was a difference.  But the blowing away, the night and day, the jaws dropping, the wife coming in from the other room, the amazed looks exchanged ... it's all nonsense, and it doesn't help.
 

post #103 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post

Oh, and when I ask for scientific proof of the statement that the differences measured in cables have no audible consequences, it always stays awfully quiet....


No it does not

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

Twenty seven of the 28 test referred to are blind tests, there are no cable tests which result in a pass. Since a large scale test would be very difficult to do, a meta study of lots of smaller tests is the only other way to see which way the evidence leads us.

 

 



I found nothing relevant to my statement there. I asked for scientific PROOF of the assumption that the measured differences have no audible consequences. This assumption is key to the argument that cables can make no audible difference. You know as well as I do, that the fact that a lot of people are not able to hear the difference (under any circumstance DBT or other) is no proof for that assumption.

 

I don't in any way defend the ridiculously priced cable market that is also out there, but I do advocate to carefully choose the cables you use in your system, because it will make a difference. 

In my personal speaker system (I consider it a world class system) that means I use several different cables. None are more expensive than a few $100 and no ultra expensive cables (many $1000) I tried were any better. 

post #104 of 170
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kees View Post

 

I found nothing relevant to my statement there. I asked for scientific PROOF of the assumption that the measured differences have no audible consequences. This assumption is key to the argument that cables can make no audible difference. You know as well as I do, that the fact that a lot of people are not able to hear the difference (under any circumstance DBT or other) is no proof for that assumption.

 

You could also ask for proof that there are not invisible dragons that run around inside your house when you are away. The complete lack of evidence for them doesn't *prove* they aren't there.

 

So tell us oh reverser-of-burden-of-proof: if we assume for a moment that there actually is no audible difference: how would that be provable?


Edited by JerryLove - 1/6/11 at 6:02pm
post #105 of 170

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rdr. Seraphim View Post
Re cables sounding similar, e.g. Ag versus Cu, I always had the impression (not my personal experience) from the numerous reviews I've read over the years that silver exhibited a "bright" edgy sound and copper imparted more of a "warmish" character or darker hue to the sound (using subjective language). Of course these are generalizations or stereotypes, but it's interesting to me that there has been an "apparent" shift in perception with the introduction of some of the hyper-pure types of silver and copper. There seems to be a trend, that silver and copper are merging in sonic character. And on some of the ultra high-end stuff, it doesn't seem to matter what the material is (e.g. JPS Labs, an advertiser on Head-Fi). 


I painted my cables brown. Now the music sounds "chocolaty"

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