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AKG K702 sound degradation from plug + internal wiring?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I used to have a pair of AKG K701's with a black dragon cable on them. I thought they sound excellent. Then one day out of curiosity, or rather I think a hair got stuck in the driver, I opened them up to look inside. I noticed that the drivers had two rather large mental poles sticking out of them as the solder points. And onto these two poles was soldered a really thin wire, then onto that wire was soldered the black dragon cable. I wondered, could the sound running through that little bit of thin wire degrade the sound quality? 

 

So I unsoldered the cables, then soldered the black dragon cable directly to the metal pole contacts sticking out of the drivers, removing the little thing wire from the loop. 

 

Now I do not know if this was just audiophile placebo or what, but I really thought that this made an noticeable improvement and that the signal running through that little piece of thing stock wire did actually inhibit the sound quality.

 

So I am thinking about getting K702's for the easier cable upgrading. But this past little bit of experience I had with the K701's and rewiring them makes me wonder if I should get the K702's, because I wonder, on the k702 does the plug that the detachable cable plugs into, and the stock wiring internal to the k702, do those things degrade sound quality? Has anyone expirimented with this? Wouldn't soldering an upgraded cable directly to the drivers contacts result in superior quality than running the signal through an upgraded cable, then through a plug, then through the stock internal wiring of the k702?

post #2 of 32

The effects cable upgrades have been argued over a lot. Although I believe you need to use the new cable by itself, not connected to the original cable. Since you'll still be using the original cable if its there.

post #3 of 32

There is no reason why the cable "upgrade" should result in superior sound from an electrical perspective.

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

There is no reason why the cable "upgrade" should result in superior sound from an electrical perspective.



Listen to your headphones through some silver cable and listen to them through some pencil lead. I guarantee you will notice a difference.

 

From an 'electrical perspective' quality of the conductor does impact resulting signal.

post #5 of 32

From my understanding a thin cable such as what you described would definately have many losses if it were over quite a length which would then effect sound quality, but such a tiny piece like that is highly unlikely to have any noticeable loss in quality, I would say its a placebo in this case but who cares, even if it is a placebo effect so long as your happier now then it was worth doing right? k701smile.gif

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_goody View Post
because I wonder, on the k702 does the plug that the detachable cable plugs into, and the stock wiring internal to the k702, do those things degrade sound quality? Has anyone expirimented with this? Wouldn't soldering an upgraded cable directly to the drivers contacts result in superior quality than running the signal through an upgraded cable, then through a plug, then through the stock internal wiring of the k702?


Whether it has a plug like the one on the K702 or a direct connection is highly doubtful anyone would hear the difference between the two, remember there is a plug at the other end, the one that goes into your amp, some people can argue the toss over cable differences but plug or no plug that would really be pushing it.

 

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_goody View Post

Listen to your headphones through some silver cable and listen to them through some pencil lead. I guarantee you will notice a difference.

 

From an 'electrical perspective' quality of the conductor does impact resulting signal.


The wire in the cups was made from lead? That's not a good idea.

post #8 of 32

I think he means pencil lead in terms of being very thin, not lead as in a actual pencil.

post #9 of 32

I took it as an exaggeration to prove his point, if you replace the cable with pencil lead the difference in signal integrity between the two conductors is very large than the quality of the wire must matter, so even if the difference between silver plated copper and bare copper wire is less of an effect than copper and pencil lead (or graphite) it is still a difference that exists, even if imperceptible. 


Edited by sexiewasd - 9/19/11 at 5:37pm
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

yes, what sexiewasd said. Just an example using a radical extreme.

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

There is no reason why the cable "upgrade" should result in superior sound from an electrical perspective.



Yet, it does.  Thus we must conclude that the "electrical perspective" we have is imperfect and consequently does not fully explain our real world experience and perception.  "Scientific" knowledge is at all times imperfect and is often just plain incorrect, only to be eventually replaced by new and improved Scientific Knowledge v2.0 (inclusive of bug fixes and upgrades).  

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAKGGuy View Post

Yet, it does.  Thus we must conclude that the "electrical perspective" we have is imperfect and consequently does not fully explain our real world experience and perception.  "Scientific" knowledge is at all times imperfect and is often just plain incorrect, only to be eventually replaced by new and improved Scientific Knowledge v2.0 (inclusive of bug fixes and upgrades).  


No. We should not conclude that because of anecdotal evidence. There is no evidence that these perceptions hold up under scrutiny (blind tests for example), and there is no evidence that anything audibly changes from one cable to the next. So there is no evidence that electricity is not behaving as expected.

 

We can conclude that our perceptions are not correlational to the behavior of electricity in cables. Hence, placebo.

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


No. We should not conclude that because of anecdotal evidence. There is no evidence that these perceptions hold up under scrutiny (blind tests for example), and there is no evidence that anything audibly changes from one cable to the next. So there is no evidence that electricity is not behaving as expected.

 

We can conclude that our perceptions are not correlational to the behavior of electricity in cables. Hence, placebo.



Fancy copper cables to cheap copper cables I do not believe there is a difference. I bit the bullet once just to test this and bought a $200 interconnect :O I know. In my blind tests I could not tell the difference between the $200 super fancy copper interconnect and the $20 copper interconnect I got from guitar center.

 

However I could blind test out all pure silver cables. The difference in sound if you switch all your cabling to pure solid silver is actually fairly noticable. Is it better ? Not necessarily, but it is noticable.

 

Also it actually is in the current "electrical perspective" that conductivity of a material affects resulting signal through a material... There is a reason we run copper power lines everywhere instead of lead or alluminumum.... This isn't just 'placebo' on the part of the electrical companies. There is a measurable variation in the how well a material can transport an electrical signal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resistivity_and_conductivity . Whether or not a resulting variation improves perceptive audio quality is of course subjective.


Edited by ry_goody - 9/20/11 at 3:03pm
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_goody View Post

However I could blind test out all pure silver cables. The difference in sound if you switch all your cabling to pure solid silver is actually fairly noticable. Is it better ? Not necessarily, but it is noticable.

 

Also it actually is in the current "electrical perspective" that conductivity of a material affects resulting signal through a material... There is a reason we run copper power lines everywhere instead of lead or alluminumum.... This isn't just 'placebo' on the part of the electrical companies. There is a measurable variation in the how well a material can transport an electrical signal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resistivity_and_conductivity . Whether or not a resulting variation improves perceptive audio quality is of course subjective.


Well! If you can blind test silver cables, the Sound Science forum would be very interested in your results and methodology.

 

They'd also be interested in any information you have as to the audible effect of resistivity and conductivity between a copper and silver cable over as short a run as we're talking here. Linking a Wikipedia article isn't proof that the effect is audible, I hope you know. Resistivity and conductivity are common knowledge, and they've never once been proven to affect cables audibly at these lengths. Hence the coat hanger test.

 

nick_charles measured quite a few cables of various prices, designs, and materials, and the differences between them were on the order of 0.01dB if I'm not mistaken. There's a test somewhere online that compares two tracks of slightly different volumes, and I believe most people can't hear the difference below 0.5dB. I don't know if anyone has ever detected a 0.1dB difference, and even that is an order of magnitude greater than the difference between cables.

 

Obviously if you have some proof to the contrary, that would be very useful information.

 

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Well! If you can blind test silver cables, the Sound Science forum would be very interested in your results and methodology.

 

They'd also be interested in any information you have as to the audible effect of resistivity and conductivity between a copper and silver cable over as short a run as we're talking here. Linking a Wikipedia article isn't proof that the effect is audible, I hope you know. Resistivity and conductivity are common knowledge, and they've never once been proven to affect cables audibly at these lengths. Hence the coat hanger test.

 

nick_charles measured quite a few cables of various prices, designs, and materials, and the differences between them were on the order of 0.01dB if I'm not mistaken. There's a test somewhere online that compares two tracks of slightly different volumes, and I believe most people can't hear the difference below 0.5dB. I don't know if anyone has ever detected a 0.1dB difference, and even that is an order of magnitude greater than the difference between cables.

 

Obviously if you have some proof to the contrary, that would be very useful information.

 


The difference between silver and copper is not purely in decibel level, it is in sound signature and detail.

 

If you would like a quick easy, extreme, test to relate conductivity to sound difference. Run your signal through a glass of water! You will notice a difference. The statement that conductivity affects resulting audio quality is not something that needs testing, it is fairly obvious that it does...

 

Now, copper to water is a huge difference, and you can argue the difference between silver and copper is too small to tell. But some people will be able to tell.

 

And I do not think you could construct a test, or some apparatus, sensitive enough to be able to discern the differences between copper and silver fully. Perhaps if you mapped the entire frequency response with a very sensitive device you might see the frequency rise or dip more in certain spots with different cable materials. But still, how much is that going to tell you about the actual, resulting, subjectively percieved difference? Only a human ear can discern that.


Edited by ry_goody - 9/20/11 at 5:46pm
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