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Cable Science - Page 8

post #106 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotJeffBuckley View Post

I was thinking this morning that it would be a fun project to make a little box that alters inductance and capacitance and call it the Thousandollarizer because it ought to be able to make pretty much any good (that is, well shielded, sufficient gauge, non-flawed for audio purposes - a nice lamp cord, for example basshead.gif) cable sound like pretty much any other cable after a few measurements.

 

"The Thousandollarizer"
 

Great idea, but why stop there?  Why not include an equalizer and DSP as well?  Now you can make that "nice" lamp cord or cable, sound any way you want it to.

 

The tweakers, tube rollers and opamp rollers are going to love it.

 

Then you could have the Great Cable Challenge. 

 

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Edited by upstateguy - 8/7/11 at 11:49am
post #107 of 122

I think that's pretty much what active digital cables do...they can use a different cable since they can equalize the signal to account for the signal degradation of the thinner and longer cable.

post #108 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotJeffBuckley View Post

I was thinking this morning that it would be a fun project to make a little box that alters inductance and capacitance and call it the Thousandollarizer because it ought to be able to make pretty much any good (that is, well shielded, sufficient gauge, non-flawed for audio purposes - a nice lamp cord, for example basshead.gif) cable sound like pretty much any other cable after a few measurements.


It would be even more fun to alter the capacitance and inductance while someone was listening to see where someone would start noticing a difference.

I suppose you could find a measurable range where people could not tell a difference. That would put believers in an position where they couldn't hear measurable differences while still claiming to hear unmeasurable differences. That would probably be a more convincing way to debunk cables than AB testing. I'd also like some sighted tests where someone has to find a difference between a genuine aftermarket cable and a good counterfeit. Or maybe pick the real one from several counterfeits. That would be fun to see.

Steve, thanks for the link!
post #109 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Steve, thanks for the link!

 

You're welcome.

 

How'd you like JA's summary? biggrin.gif

 

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post #110 of 122

Love the idea of testing the ability to hear measurable differences. That could yield good data. You know, I'm a firm believer that cables can drastically affect the sound - just not good ones, if driven properly to overcome their inherent resistance, capacitance, etc., such that the impedance relationship between the output of the amplifier and the input of the speakers isn't audibly affected (could still be measurably, but on that I'm forced to be agnostic as I haven't tested it!).

 

It would be pretty unscientific to broadly proclaim that no cables make any difference ever, because that ignores improperly constructed cables, or especially long runs of cable, or the myriad other real-world-based variables (wink.gif) that certainly can and do affect the transmission of electrical signal along them... but it's downright pseudoscience to suggest that this or that essentially mystical treatment bestows virtues unmeasurable with any device but the human ear (and for the low, low price of a thousand bucks a yard).

 

I don't think my Thousandollarizer idea would even constitute evidence in this case, at least to the view that there is an undetectable property inherent to really pricey stuff. Although now that I think about it, I do believe in such a property, it's just that my term for it probably shouldn't be repeated in polite company.

post #111 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 


Which particular cables? This is an important question, as, just as people's observations are inconsistent, so too are the electrical measurements of both cables (of which there are numerous models) and equipment they are used with. 

 

Maybe a more practical thought: There are interconnect cables with built-in impedance-matching boxes. Since such a box will change the electrical behaviour of the equipment, then that could very possibly produce measurable and audible results.  My point though is, the question about whether or not cables make a difference tends to be asked for the sake of making a generalisation, which is rather ridiculous considering the huge number of variables possible. 

 

To directly answer that question, I'll bet I could come up with an experiment as you describe, with specifically tailored cables... Seriously though, I'd suggest interconnect cables that have impedance-altering boxes on them (MIT? I'm not sure) or cables that audibly change the tone of the music (Nordost).

 

 




Any cable, IC to HDMI, since claims of cables affecting SQ apply to all.

 

Since this is a cable science thread, lets work out an experiment designed to show that the differences some people experience with different cables is inherantly due to the cable.

 

Would getting two identically made ICs and then altering one to affect one of its its known properties such as capacitance and then a listening test do? How would be do a listening test that is acceptable to cable believers as they tend to hate ABX?

post #112 of 122

The best listening test for the purposes of being acceptable to cable believers (read: the only listening test with a chance in hell of ever being accepted/done/taken seriously by such people) would have to be done in their own homes, with their own equipment, over a period of months. Who's willing to pay for the 24-hour bodyguard that checks they don't peek behind the curtain?

 

post #113 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

Who's willing to pay for the 24-hour bodyguard that checks they don't peek behind the curtain?

 


That's what ABX comparators are for.

 

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post #114 of 122

No, but that's the problem. If you do it on your terms in any way they will claim "stress." You have to leave them alone for days at a time with the equipment so they "can get used to the sound", during which they will probably wonder what is plugged in/what is inside that giant metal box/ect.

I suppose giant-tamper proof boxes might work.

post #115 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

No, but that's the problem. If you do it on your terms in any way they will claim "stress." You have to leave them alone for days at a time with the equipment so they "can get used to the sound", during which they will probably wonder what is plugged in/what is inside that giant metal box/ect.

I suppose giant-tamper proof boxes might work.


ABX comparators have been used in peoples' home systems so they can use their own equipment and take as long as they want to "get used to the sound" and so they can run the trials at their leisure.

 

So far, nothing.

 

And I don't buy the "stress" claim because in every instance I'm aware of, the listeners were confident they were hearing differences while doing the test. If they weren't, you simply couldn't run such a test in the first place.

 

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post #116 of 122
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

I suppose giant-tamper proof boxes might work.


Or supply non-authentic replica cables as UE said. 

post #117 of 122

I suppose if you count the audiophile cable companies as cable believers, they cannot come up with proof. The link to relaible audibility is the big problem.

post #118 of 122


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

And I don't buy the "stress" claim because in every instance I'm aware of, the listeners were confident they were hearing differences while doing the test. If they weren't, you simply couldn't run such a test in the first place.

Nice, that particular invalidation of the stress claim hadn't occurred to me. Yet another strike against them I suppose.

 

 


 

 

post #119 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Any cable, IC to HDMI, since claims of cables affecting SQ apply to all.

 

Since this is a cable science thread, lets work out an experiment designed to show that the differences some people experience with different cables is inherantly due to the cable.

 

Would getting two identically made ICs and then altering one to affect one of its its known properties such as capacitance and then a listening test do? How would be do a listening test that is acceptable to cable believers as they tend to hate ABX?


This is exactly what I was thinking of. First, measure the person's hearing ability with a variety of types of tones (some are easier to pick than others) and note the measured performance of their equipment, such as input and output impedances, then try a variety of experiments where the measured difference between equipment is around their hearing ability.  Short tests, long-term tests (such as was done with un-labelled power cables whose construction was masked).  If people could use their own equipment to try different things at their leisure it would be quite interesting.   The only question I still have is, how does one measure the quality of recordings? What I'm thinking is, if a person only likes music such as highly compressed and distorted modern POP, this would be useless, but if they like well-mastered recordings with no compression, both simple and complex, there would be a better chance at getting useful results.

 

The theory I have is that there is a possibility that even measurably different results in equipment may not be discernably audible to the degree needed to "pass" a DBT in all circumstances.  If cable differences (excluding where fancy electronics are attached to the cable) were quite subtle, ie: greater than nick_charles measured but still close to the limits of audibility, then that may almost always be below the threshold to pass any kind of valid test on those differences.  It would, scary thought, mean that both "sides" to the cable argument are right, except in semantics.

 

I have a ULN-2 arriving day (if the music doesn't drown out the sound of the doorbell), which has a recording noise floor of something like -130dB so I hope to do a little casual experimentation myself.

 

post #120 of 122

Not entirely sure what you're saying about the magnitude of the difference measured by nick_charles. They were generally several magnitudes below established levels of audibility - it seems astoundingly, ludicrously unlikely that they could ever be audible. They are nowhere near the threshold at which you could complain that they could possibly affect the signal audibly, but are difficult to hear with enough consistency to pass a test, unless you had any sort of evidence to suggest such minute changes in level were audible.

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