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The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth! - Page 3

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by Orpheus

as a consumer, we know that one product is better than another when the manufacturer can provide measurements that show their product is better, and can discuss in scientific terms (as opposed to subjective terms) the merits of their product.
Absolutely not in audio, musical instruments...and some other stuff maybe

Do you think most audiophile ( i hate that word!) or sound engineer buy their gears just reading the spec.

You need to trust your ears Orpheus
post #32 of 66
i only trust my ears to a limited degree. no human is perfect, so that means no hearing is perfect. everyone hears differently.

but think of it this way... how do you make a cable that "sounds" good? what principles do you base your design on, if it's not based on what we know to be fact (science)? if you must make a product based on belief, then you must also sell the product as if sound was religion--beliefs that can never truly be proven to be truth.

i would like to think that there's more to making cables than spending some time making prayers each night. or making sheep sacrifices to your god... or whatever nordost does.
post #33 of 66
I don't know what others think, but cables DO make a big difference IMHO. My wife is a complete equipmentophobe and even she could easily pick out the silver cables from a silver vs. Silver+copper A/B. But if the source and amp are garbage any cable is only a grabage truck. Whether copper or silver they are usually so covered with crud that you can't tell the difference. People with these systems think our cable ideas are bosh because they can't spot the difference.
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by Orpheus
i only trust my ears to a limited degree. no human is perfect, so that means no hearing is perfect. everyone hears differently.

but think of it this way... how do you make a cable that "sounds" good? what principles do you base your design on, if it's not based on what we know to be fact (science)? if you must make a product based on belief, then you must also sell the product as if sound was religion--beliefs that can never truly be proven to be truth.

i would like to think that there's more to making cables than spending some time making prayers each night. or making sheep sacrifices to your god... or whatever nordost does.
Sometimes through just...trial and error. Make a design you hope will work, test it, try again. Many disciplines do that, many sciences including speaker design. IC's are no different - we can't make a perfect design because we just don't know how. So trial and error, and each type of cable sounds different because of that outcome.

(shortened verison)
post #35 of 66

A bull-shitter's lament...

At one point I believed that interconnects actually make a difference, but my recent experiences suggest virtually the opposite. I'm fortunate that I have a system where I can perform a true scientific double-blind test if I want. But that hasn't been necessary.

My system includes a source with dual, unbalanced RCA outputs, and my Gilmore V2 has dual inputs. All I have to do to directly A/B compare interconnects is flip the switch on my amp. I don't have to touch any cables and I don't have to do anything on my source.

And here is my semi-lengthy interconnect testing saga for anyone interested...

I started out with Pure Silver Sound Quartet interconnects ($180 new) and the highly regarded Bogdan Silver Spirit Reference interconnects. I spent a great deal of time trying to hear a difference between the two. There was none. I didn't even need to bother with a double-blind test because I couldn't even hear a difference when I knew which one was playing. But I was not convinced that interconnects don't make a difference. Considering both of these interconnects are close in price and silver, I was willing to blame my ears and/or system.

Then a fellow Head-Fier generously allowed me to borrow a pair of VD Nites. I compared them to my PSS Quartets. Considering the radical differences between these cables, I was expecting to hear a difference. The Nites are enormous copper monsters that cost ~$750 direct from VD. The PSS is a flimsy silver wire with a teflon jacket at 1/4 the price. I tried to hear a difference, as from everything I have read around here, it should be clearly audible. Nada. They sounded exactly the same.

Now I own Eric343's Nitrogen interconnects. I believe that I hear more bass. If I had someone unfamiliar with my system flip the switch, I doubt that I could reliably tell Eric's interconnect from my PSS Quartet, but at last my ears are indicating that there is a difference. Also, the way I understand it, there is a scientific reason why Eric's interconnect would sound a bit different, as I believe it provides a larger load for my source to drive. And Eric's interconnect will probably be the last RCA-RCA interconnect that I will buy. Hopefully he will still be making them if I ever decide to go to a 5.1 system.

As for my conclusions, I admit that there are still (what many would consider to be) weaknesses here. My ears are not golden. I'm not a musician, and I don't have any audiophile aspirations beyond simply enjoying my system. Also, I've been told that my system is probably not revealing enough. My headphones (W1000) aren't electrostatic, and my amp is a Gilmore V2. I find it hilarious to consider upgrading simply to hear a difference between interconnects, but I'll concede that my system might not be good enough to hear a difference. Though I did not upgrade simply to test interconnects, I'll be receiving an upgraded V2-SE in the next couple of weeks, so maybe I'll be able to hear a difference then, but I'm not holding my breath.

There it is, and I doubt anyone will read it, but I've wanted to write that for quite a while. Maybe I'll start a new thread. Or go post on Ars, where I'm a member as well.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
well, you say it sounds better. i say i will not hear a difference. who's right?--exactly. no way to prove anything that way. that's why measurements and technology are important to advertising. and that's why Nordost is a rip-ff.
Orpheus, first of all, I've very interested in what cables and gera you use yourself. Second of all, I would flat out say that Nordost Vahallas flat out sounds better than stock white and red cables that are often included in any audio/video component you buy. But as I said, the focus shouldn't be whether it sounds better but whether the sound has changed at all! IF the sound characteristic (doesn't matter if it actually sounds worse with the Vahallas) has changed then it PROVES that cables DO indeed make a difference! If you don't hear a difference or don't trust your ears then I'm happy for you. You won't have to spend any money on cable upgrades. Additionally, I think everyone is aware there are almost NO COMPANY that doesn't exaggerate in their ads.

As for me personally, if it sounds better I don't care what they claim. Music is art not a science. One thing that makes music so universal is that it connects with people through the soulfullness and the humanity of the performer. No science or engineering can replace or produce that element.

As for musical instruments do you know why every instrument has a "golden era"? Shouldn't companies be able to produce much better musical instruments now that they have improved science and engineering?

Quote:
as a consumer, we know that one product is better than another when the manufacturer can provide measurements that show their product is better, and can discuss in scientific terms (as opposed to subjective terms) the merits of their product.
Try reading some of the ingredients found in facial creams. I bet you that the ingredients are "scientifically proven" to provide this and that for your skin. Yet when you go and use it you might end up with a rash.

I would be very interested to know whether every single audio component you have bought can be verified by science to be better.
post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by Orpheus
i guess it doesn't matter to you, howie, that nordost advertises "propagation speeds" whatever that means.... measured in terms of percentage of speed of light. now that's just bull. any physics 2 student can tell you that.

so, the question is, how can you believe that a cable from such a company is any better than anyone else's when the manufacturer doesn't advertise the whole truth?--when the foundation of their "technology" is based basically on voodoo?

as a consumer, we know that one product is better than another when the manufacturer can provide measurements that show their product is better, and can discuss in scientific terms (as opposed to subjective terms) the merits of their product.

since nordost must rely on big words and grey truth to impress customers, you really cannot trust their product to function correctly.

well, you say it sounds better. i say i will not hear a difference. who's right?--exactly. no way to prove anything that way. that's why measurements and technology are important to advertising. and that's why Nordost is a rip-ff.
I don't think this is necessarily correct, that just because manufacturers lie baldly that their products cannot be trusted. I can almost quote from memory the great Apple ad that claims:

"Thanks to its 7-stage design (versus 20 stages for the Pentium 4 processor) the PowerG4 processor can accomplish a task with 13 fewer steps than the Pentium 4. The time savings add up gratifyingly, any way you do the math."

This is the most retarded tripe I've ever heard any computer company add to the public domain (minus what Larry Ellison said in that one Playboy interview). But I'm still typing this on a Powerbook, because despite their woefully incorrect ads, Apple can still put together a great product. Not to sidetrack the discussion any by reference to another field, but to equate marketing ******** with a poor product is an iffy proposition. Of course, there are a number of differences between my example and the issue being debated currently.

I honestly have no clue about cables, and have spent $50 on ICs and $0 on speaker cable (DIY Cat5) with no desire to spend more, so I suppose it's possible that within the field of high end audio bad marketing means a bad product.
post #38 of 66
One thing is for sure.
Discussions about audio cables can make people crazy.
Here,Diy audio etc cable debates seem to result in anger and locked threads.

I read that when tested cables all measure the same!

Yet I also read reviews of mains cables etc from the likes of nordost costing $$$$$ that apparently improve the sound to
a degree that cannot be achieved by spending the same lot
of $$$$$ on a replacement source etc !!!

The whole thing makes ME crazy

I pace in circles growling to Myself , I have been 'taken' conned .
Am I a victim of self delusion, subconsciously justifying my purchases?

I couple of years ago I spent an awful lot of time and finally money
on selecting a Siltech interconnect for my Stax 4040 rig.

It still worry that the selection process was nothing more than a process of training myself into more $$$ is better than less $$$.


I just recently got back into cable mode after completing my
Pimeta amp.
No way am I going to spend lots of $$$ connecting this alongside
my Stax rig.
So in the spirit of adventure I went of to my local maplin store
and spent a total of £8 on some silver plated copper speaker cable unshielded with low capacitance and a pair of rca plugs.

Now prior to this shopping expedition I had decided what I required from these cables.
That they sound as good as my siltechs
And give a little more lift to the upper midrange. [compared to the
Stax cables I was using and in relation to the buff634 sound]
Etc,etc.

Once assembled and tested some of these requirements were indeed met.
The tonal balance was more to my tastes but they were clearly
less refined than the siltechs.
The differences seem real enough.
For instance.
The frequency spectra that suggest the placement or immediacy
in a single female vocalist [obviously recording dependent]
appears lifted to add a tad more intimacy yet this emphasis
[for want of a better word] seems to be at the expense of
a little illumination of surrounding spectra giving a slight
glare overall in this area.
The siltech by comparison appears to maintain rather than emphasize this area, so the glare is not readily apparent.

I could go on .

What an earth is happening here??

Hallucination? real phenomena?

Seems like filtration [EQ of sorts].

It does seem that merely attaching a cable to some test equipment is not going to provide the whole answer as
cabling as used in league with a whole system.
I would guess such tests are being performed by using a reference system swapping cables around and measuring output??
And still giving a 'no change' ??


Audio insanity....back to the boom box



Cheers


Setmenu
post #39 of 66
I can only offer my opinion, which is this:

It depends on how you want your system to sound. Some people are just not very particular, and really can't tell the difference cables or wire makes. Others have a more critical ear, and can discern slight variations, and want a certain sound. A simple example is me versus my wife. She doesn't pay attention to the music enough to notice or even care how it sounds. She is equally happy with $9.99 Best Buy ear buds as with Senn HD650's. I know because she was listening to music with the cheap buds and I offered the Senn's to her, saying they would sound way better. Her response? "No thanks, these sound fine to me". Now try convincing her that a $300 replacement cable is a worthwhile investment! I for one have not been able to discern any difference a power cord makes. Maybe I just need to spend more

My point, don't waste your time arguing with these people, they don't care.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
I don't think this is necessarily correct, that just because manufacturers lie baldly that their products cannot be trusted. I can almost quote from memory the great Apple ad that claims:
but what if, textual, nordost actually believed what they said!? could you assume they still know what they're doing?
post #41 of 66
Okay take Virtual Dynamics for example. I know a lot of people are fans of their cables here. Ric the owner would tell you that one day when he was down and he was praying, god gave him the ideas for making his cables. He tells a much more elaborate story but the point is that I do think he makes good cables and I'm convinced that they believe what they say.

Nordost's Vahallas have held their own in the market place for quite some time now. The look of their cables are different from anyone else's. There is SOME science and engineering there. You can't possibly make your cables look like Vahalla speaker cables for instance.

I'm not saying I like manufacturers making wild claims and lying. But I'm not stupid. I don't even bother reading their ads or technological explanations much because most of them (based on same technology) same the same thing. If their cables main thing is that they are cyrogenically treated they'll tell you similar things if they're based on single crystal technology they'll tell you similar things. What does come out of these various technology is that they do share similar strength and weaknesses. I however respect individuals who hold strong ethics and will simply not buy from a company whom they believe are lying but for me if their products are good, service is good, reliability is good, that should be what we should be concerned with.

We're audiophiles and headphiles here. We shuld let our ears be the judge.
post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally posted by Textual Intercou
[B]I don't think this is necessarily correct, that just because manufacturers lie baldly that their products cannot be trusted. I can almost quote from memory the great Apple ad that claims:

"Thanks to its 7-stage design (versus 20 stages for the Pentium 4 processor) the PowerG4 processor can accomplish a task with 13 fewer steps than the Pentium 4. The time savings add up gratifyingly, any way you do the math."
Many manufacturers like to leave out info to make themselves seem superior.

That's like comparing a Honda S2000 to a McLaren F1, and saying the S2000 is a better car because it has a more efficient engine, and having more horsepower per cylinder than the F1. But the F1 has nearly three times the horsepower of the S2000, and will kick it's ass in every respect. (well, for it's price, it better)

I suppose this example is backwards when it comes to price. Mac is slower, but costs more.


Er uh, what was this thread about? .....

-Ed
post #43 of 66
my two cents.

i never believed in cable differences until i went to audio upgrades in toronto and heard them switch between my 60 dollar copper cable and their van den hul first ultimate carbon cables.

the difference was unmistakable. it was smoother, clearer, and far less harsh.

i bought those interconnects for my home system and could not find ANY difference between them and ANY other interconnects.

right now, i have to assume that was becuase my system couldn't resolve the differences.

i plan on going back to that shop to hear the difference again. they are very cool about testing out their system and are not in the room for hours on end while i listen and switch stuff around.

honestly, i'm starting to think i imagined the difference but my girlfriend noticed it right away too.

i'm still not sure what to think of IC's. i switch between not believing at all and remembering how much of a difference i heard that day.

im expecting to recieve my silver ICs early this week and i plan on going back and trying them versus others.

i'll keep you posted!
post #44 of 66
Headfellows,

I cannot claim expensive high-end interconnect cables will produce any noticeable sonic difference amongst themselves as I have not had the opportunity to compare them, but I'm absolutely certain that the difference between cheapo cables and better built OFC cables is readily noticeable. When I first heard my AR OFC ICs I could tell a difference immediatelly. The cheapo cables I used previously sounded harsh and grainy, whereas the AR OFC cables sounded much smoother and silkier. I was dumbfounded, really, flabbergasted by the immediatelly noticeable very obvious difference. Now, when comparing two quality cables it becomes way more difficult to tell a difference. I've compared my AR cables with Van Den Hull hybrids (those with copper, silver, and carbon) and I was only able to tell a very small sonic difference. Actually I found the Van Den Hulls a bit brighter, but not harsher. This time the difference was not readily noticeable. In fact it was so small I decided against the cable upgrade at the time. Maybe silver would produce a bigger sonic difference?

Cheers,
Alex
post #45 of 66
There is a huge difference between Arstechnica forum community, and Head-Fi.

As a member of Ars what I can tell you is that people in Ars are generally power-users, and not gear-heads... wtf that means? In Ars the trend is to get max performance with least expensive equipment (overclocking, modding, tweaking). I'm not surprised that you would've got flamed by suggesting to spend $100 on a RCA IC.

OTOH, Head-fi members feel that the most expensive the product the better it will perform. Might be true in Audiophile world, but the Computer based mindset of Ars cannot accept that... So, in this case none of these communities are right or wrong.

As far as IC and sound quality is concerned, personally I will only accept it as a fact when the output level is measured by a high quality mic and data transferred and analyzed in a computer... “Believing” and “not believing” in ICs improving the SQ without scientific results are quite funny to me.

Btw, you were flamed in Ars, wait till you try Hydrogenaudio with a thread like this lol.
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