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Questions about how cables are made and how do different cables sound different?

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 

What are the reasons why two different cables will sound different from each other?

 

Is capacitance, inductance or resistance the main reason? Is it the way that the cable is made, silver/copper, solid core/litz?

 

Then, can those differences be correlated, e.g silver has more bass than copper, litz sounds more neutral than solid core?

 

Then can the way expensive cables are made be repeated with cheaper cables which will make the same sound?

post #2 of 121
Thread Starter 

Considering the amount of cable makers, both professional and DIY on this forum and the numerous claims that cables sound different, I am surprised that this thread is not being inundated with answers. 

post #3 of 121
Thread Starter 

New question. If I wanted to make a cable that made treble clearer and I was not worried about the bass, what would I make it with?

post #4 of 121
Thread Starter 

Taken from the Chord website and 'What should I listen for?' advice on getting cables

 

http://www.chord.co.uk/news2.php?id=3&phpMyAdmin=H%2CKFxwyL5UycE7miJqts4M28nF4&phpMyAdmin=1f49bfd3cbdaa53c1e4262029d36fe8d

 

Mention is made of how they make many different cables and the importance of fitting the right cables to get better detail, dynamics and tone. But the advice is very general and has nothing specific like for 'more bass use...' or to 'tame treble use...', 'for a Naim system use....'. Why is it with all the work Chord do, do they not know how their own cables actually affect sound apart from to make them better than 'poor quality' cables? Surely if you actually follow Chords first advice, all you need to do is buy a decent quality cable.

 


Edited by Prog Rock Man - 1/13/11 at 10:39am
post #5 of 121

No bites???

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post #6 of 121

deadhorse.gif

 

Bite this

 

tongue.gif

 

beerchug.gif

post #7 of 121
Thread Starter 

Well, since Russ Andrews are not able to imply improved sound by their mains cables rejecting RFI after an ASA ruling, then what about the others who do exactly the same thing?

 

Yes, this is a fishing expedition, but no I am not flogging a dead horse. I cannot find any other post that actually asks directly, what is it in the making of cables that improves sound quality? (Proof, not implication required!)

post #8 of 121

I believe this may be a more adequate description of what's going on here:

 

trolling%20setup.jpg

 

But I would seriously like to see some responses here.

post #9 of 121

To be honest, I have NEVER been able to hear an actual difference in any cables unless there was an issue with the cable design, a break in the cable, cable did not have proper shielding for the environment or the plug itself was seriously damaged and not making proper contact. To me, if I cannot hear a difference when doing back to back a/b comparisons during critical listening then it is just snake oil. I do however have zero issue paying for a well made cable "within reason" as build quality is important to me. For me, unless someone can show scientifically why a cable of equal length made from copper, silver or gold, making proper contact would physically sound different to the human ear then it is all crap and marketing to me. Most would be better plucking a few ear hairs "which is a DIY mod haha" to achieve a different or better sound.

post #10 of 121

It's true, build quality is worth paying for...

 

A crappy pair of banana plugs caused a short at one of my speakers, damaging one of my amps.  I'll be using locking banana plugs from now on.

post #11 of 121

Funny story.. I come home and start watching a movie. After 5 minutes the receiver goes into protect. I reset it and watch again for 5 minutes and poof, she shuts down. So I unplug all 22,000 cables from the back of my old school receiver... take it to the shop, blow it out.. test the fan... Make a mini test setup testing each channel and all was good (an hour and a half later). So I put it all back in, plug it in and in 5 minutes it goes into protect. I start troubleshooting each component and then isolated it to one of the speaker channels after another hour... Then the wife walks in the door and says "oh, by the way, I think I knocked one of those gold connector thingies out of the back of that speaker but I put it back in, pointing to the front right. I look behind and she plugged the one banana plugs into the other causing a direct short haha. Lucky no damage to the receiver. Was a fantastic night.

post #12 of 121
Thread Starter 

No argument about build quality. That is a reason why I tend to use ThatCable as I have taken one of their cables apart and opened another up to see how they are made for my own DIY. I also showed a friend whose company make their own cables (not hifi) and he was impressed by how ell they are made.

post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

No argument about build quality. That is a reason why I tend to use ThatCable as I have taken one of their cables apart and opened another up to see how they are made for my own DIY. I also showed a friend whose company make their own cables (not hifi) and he was impressed by how ell they are made.



I buy mostly from Monoprice myself (I see ThatCable is a UK operation), although their banana plugs are poor and the ones that caused my short (of course, on an amp without a protection circuit).  Their RCA cables also have connectors that are sub-par for good cables (poor QC, too soft an alloy, and cheapish plastic base), but at under $3 for a 6' coaxial interconnect you can't really complain too much.

 

The rest of their products are of much higher quality - although be weary of the reviews on their site, as they prevent most poor reviews from being posted.  Despite that, their USB, DVI, VGA, etc. cables and adapters are excellent, as is the speaker wire they sell (the cheapest 12 Ga wire I found, although I didn't try Home Depot).

 

I think I'm going to try the GLS locking banana plugs: http://www.speakerrepair.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BL20

No worrying about the springs plasticly deforming, which is what happened to the poor Monoprice ones.

post #14 of 121
Thread Starter 

I am always wary of plugging in anything for the first time, just in case of faults. Now I have some knowledge of soldering, if I can I will unscrew the connector to have a look, but many cables come with shrink or sheathing that stops that. 

 

Having spent time reading various makers websites, Nordost, JPS Labs, Russ Andrews/Kimber what does stand out is that there is no connection between how and with what a cable is made, they all improve sound. That is brilliant news for any budding cable maker. It does not matter what you do, you can claim it sounds better and imply that is down to using whatever it is you can get your hands on to make the cable.

 

post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

I am always wary of plugging in anything for the first time, just in case of faults. Now I have some knowledge of soldering, if I can I will unscrew the connector to have a look, but many cables come with shrink or sheathing that stops that. 

 

Having spent time reading various makers websites, Nordost, JPS Labs, Russ Andrews/Kimber what does stand out is that there is no connection between how and with what a cable is made, they all improve sound. That is brilliant news for any budding cable maker. It does not matter what you do, you can claim it sounds better and imply that is down to using whatever it is you can get your hands on to make the cable.

 



What really interests me is finding out how many of them honestly believe their own marketing and how many are just trying to make a buck...

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