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# Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 8

Hmmm the thing is as you say unkle eric "cables are missunderstood they are definately a con" but how come cable companies still continue to advertise cables for £1000's and sell them without having legal action taken. Because if as you say (I am not disagree just making a point) it is 100% sure that they cannot affect audio quality in any way then surely the marketing companies are actually breaking the law by making outragous claims and chargind ridiculous amounts for cables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaohmz

One example of a difference in some RCAs I had was some Rockford Fosgate RCAs that I replaced in my truck with some Monster RCAs. The Fosgates were special cables in that they were braided so the wires overlapped over and over again. This created a sort of induction in the wire to attenuate automobile noise like from a distributor. But the high freqs were also attenuated a bit and this was not apparent until I switched the cables over. I think If anyone with decent ears did an A to B comparison, they will notice definite changes in the character of the sound, especially in longer lengths of RCA cable.

That post is like so many that helps to prove the objectivist case. Pseudoscience without any any testing is presented to explain why someone can hear a difference between two cables when they know what they are listening to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars

Hmmm the thing is as you say unkle eric "cables are missunderstood they are definately a con" but how come cable companies still continue to advertise cables for £1000's and sell them without having legal action taken. Because if as you say (I am not disagree just making a point) it is 100% sure that they cannot affect audio quality in any way then surely the marketing companies are actually breaking the law by making outragous claims and chargind ridiculous amounts for cables?

The answer to that is that not enough people have challenged the companies who know that so long as they are careful with their wording, they can avoid being challenged. One example of a successful challenge was against Kimber and Russ Andrews over bariding and RFI reduction. The Advertising Standards Agency made them stop making such claims in the UK because they could not provide a link between RFI reduction and improved sound quality.

I am presently working with anothet Head-fi forum member on a similar compaint to the Press Compaints Commission abut HDMI cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik

It's easy to question science. It's something else to overturn a century of hard results, tests and real-world experience. This isn't some theoretical deal. It is hands-on, hardcore reality.
The - literally - billions of electronic tests conducted over 100 years lend credence to known electrical theories. Millions and millions of people have tested equipment with millions of devices. If something as fundamental as RLC had flaws, it probably would have shown up before 1910.
As for the psychological aspect, I could humiliate you with a coat hanger and a blindfold.
I think that, on some level, you know you cannot pass a listening test.
Every believer goes into hiding when pressed to take a test. I've seen a lot of argument, but believers are always afraid to put their belief to the test. No one will listen with their eyes closed. No one will buy a $5 DMM (Harbor Freight has them, cheap) and see what's going on. As far as I can tell, every believer is terrified about confronting the truth. Me? I bought some expensive cables. I actually still use some silly silver thing between my tonearm and phonostage. It came with the SME IV arm. It works. No magic, but it works, so I kept it. I had the others for a few years and listened daily. I also put them on my test gear - I have a nice DMM, LCR meter, oscilloscope, frequency counter, and a few other things. All measurements and tests were the same as other cables. They all sounded the same. I didn't have firm beliefs before I went through the cables. But now I do, especially in light of all the reports and measurements I've seen. My opinion was formed on direct experience, tests and the reports of others who did the same. If you have faith, put it to the test. See what happens. If you turn out to be wrong, why have faith? If you're afraid to test faith, then do you actually have faith in the first place? You just made my point. You've de-crypted what I was saying about faith. There is faith, and then there is knowing. A big difference. I have experimented with safety wire to run speakers, aluminum, aluminum foil and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the changes in sound character are pretty substantial. You can still hear everything, it just sounds different. Why? well this could be an explanation: Skin depth= $\delta=\sqrt{{2\rho }\over{\omega\mu}}$. where ρ = resistivity of the conductor ω = angular frequency of current = 2π × frequency μ = absolute magnetic permeability of the conductor But I think there may be more variables to the sonic changes that occur. Here is pretty much how iron fares in high freq (more than 60Hz): In a good conductor, skin depth varies as the inverse square root of the conductivity. This means that better conductors have a reduced skin depth. The overall resistance of the better conductor remains lower even with the reduced skin depth. However this means that there is less reduction in A.C. resistance when substituting a metal of higher conductivity, compared to the reduction of D.C. resistance, when its diameter is larger than the skin depth for that frequency. Skin depth also varies as the inverse square root of the permeability of the conductor. In the case of iron, its conductivity is about 1/7 that of copper. However being ferromagnetic its permeability is about 10,000 times greater. This reduces the skin depth for iron to about 1/38 that of copper, about 220 micrometers at 60 Hz. Iron wire is thus useless for A.C. power lines. The skin effect also reduces the effective thickness of laminations in power transformers, increasing their losses. Iron rods work well for direct-current (DC) welding but it is impossible to use them at frequencies much higher than 60 Hz. At a few kilohertz, the welding rod will glow red hot as current flows through the greatly increased A.C. resistance resulting from the skin effect, with relatively little power remaining for the arc itself. Only non-magnetic rods can be used for high-frequency welding. If it doesn't matter what type of wire we use on our stereo, then why not just sell coat hangers instead of copper? Coat hangers are mostly iron. I have allot of safety wire laying around and it would be great to put it in a teflon jacket and to use it for speaker wire, but I haven't convinced myself that it would be a better material to use than a good quality copper, or better yet silver, but silver is not worth the extra money since the differences can be attenuated with a good EQ, IMO. Some of the sounds I hear when using poor conductors for wire can be described as very thin and deleted highs, raspy boxy sounding mids. Those sounds are extremely apparent and ever present. But who will use iron or aluminum for wire when a good cheap copper wire can be had at any store. For me it is vastly more important to have a good quality connector that won't corrode, since I am in Hawaii. Here I have even seen plastic "rust". So for me a good "audiophile quality" RCA wire and some good pure copper with tinned terminations are important to me. If someone askes me if I did a blind test on all these wires, I will say I had my eyes wide open the whole time. Quote: Originally Posted by SpaceTimeMorph Sorry to drag up an earlier quote of mine but I felt like I had to reiterate... cables are boring. Nope. I hate to say this, but this is the same form as the anecdote referenced in the earlier video. You are relating an experience without giving enough details for someone to follow along or (if in case it is warranted) to challenge you on this. What kinds of RPM's are you talking about (because this can be related to the frequency induced)? What kind of distributor (if indeed that is what was in your car) did you have? The braiding... I'm assuming you mean in the insulating/shielding portion of the cable?,.. Because if it is in the wire, it should receive no interference from any part of your engine that would cause an audible change (perceptive maybe, but not different at your pinna); and if it is, then it is/was junk cable or all you needed was some$5 ferrite cores and you would have been golden. Were these RCA's supplying any video in the car (because video operates at a much higher frequency, it is more important how the cables are terminated)? EMI has more energy at lower frequencies (from your distributor, not audio here)... how again are you justifying that high audio frequencies were attenuated? If you are saying because inductive reactance is directly proportional to frequency... that is irrelevant because no matter how far off the phase angle is, audio frequencies are too low to be reflected back to the source (and cause 'interference') in time for you to hear voltage variations from this. These are some questions I might be asking myself if I were in your situation there.
I didn't want to call you out, but you are mistaking "personal experience" from "valid scientific evidence." If science had any proof that your personal experience alone were valid, then I wouldn't be pointing this out, but instead the opposite is true and science has continually shown that personal, subjective, sighted experience wrt what is audible cannot be taken as scientifically valid.
For the last part, don't assume that everyone here listens to junk equipment because we can't afford good stuff. And please don't assume that we are trying to rationalize spending less money because we are unfortunate souls who just can't hear well. Every example that I'm aware where someone (from Michael Fremer on down) has attempted to blindly differentiate cables, has failed. Your argument is a last ditch, desperate, empty attempt to justify your position sir.
Hope this helps!

Thanks for putting all those words in my mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaohmz

If someone askes me if I did a blind test on all these wires, I will say I had my eyes wide open the whole time.

So why would you even take the time to write all of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megaohmz

You just made my point. You've de-crypted what I was saying about faith. There is faith, and then there is knowing. A big difference. I have experimented with safety wire to run speakers, aluminum, aluminum foil and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the changes in sound character are pretty substantial. You can still hear everything, it just sounds different. Why? well this could be an explanation:

Skin depth=

$\delta=\sqrt{{2\rho }\over{\omega\mu}}$.

where

ρ = resistivity of the conductor
ω = angular frequency of current = 2π × frequency
μ = absolute magnetic permeability of the conductor

But I think there may be more variables to the sonic changes that occur. Here is pretty much how iron fares in high freq (more than 60Hz):

In a good conductor, skin depth varies as the inverse square root of the conductivity. This means that better conductors have a reduced skin depth. The overall resistance of the better conductor remains lower even with the reduced skin depth. However this means that there is less reduction in A.C. resistance when substituting a metal of higher conductivity, compared to the reduction of D.C. resistance, when its diameter is larger than the skin depth for that frequency.

Skin depth also varies as the inverse square root of the permeability of the conductor. In the case of iron, its conductivity is about 1/7 that of copper. However being ferromagnetic its permeability is about 10,000 times greater. This reduces the skin depth for iron to about 1/38 that of copper, about 220 micrometers at 60 Hz. Iron wire is thus useless for A.C. power lines. The skin effect also reduces the effective thickness of laminations in power transformers, increasing their losses.

Iron rods work well for direct-current (DC) welding but it is impossible to use them at frequencies much higher than 60 Hz. At a few kilohertz, the welding rod will glow red hot as current flows through the greatly increased A.C. resistance resulting from the skin effect, with relatively little power remaining for the arc itself. Only non-magnetic rods can be used for high-frequency welding.

If it doesn't matter what type of wire we use on our stereo, then why not just sell coat hangers instead of copper? Coat hangers are mostly iron. I have allot of safety wire laying around and it would be great to put it in a teflon jacket and to use it for speaker wire, but I haven't convinced myself that it would be a better material to use than a good quality copper, or better yet silver, but silver is not worth the extra money since the differences can be attenuated with a good EQ, IMO.

Some of the sounds I hear when using poor conductors for wire can be described as very thin and deleted highs, raspy boxy sounding mids. Those sounds are extremely apparent and ever present.

But who will use iron or aluminum for wire when a good cheap copper wire can be had at any store. For me it is vastly more important to have a good quality connector that won't corrode, since I am in Hawaii. Here I have even seen plastic "rust". So for me a good "audiophile quality" RCA wire and some good pure copper with tinned terminations are important to me.

If someone askes me if I did a blind test on all these wires, I will say I had my eyes wide open the whole time.

You left out proximity effect.

And FYI, we figured out how to ameliorate both skin and proximity effect without sacrificing DC resistance about a century ago. And it didn't involve coat hangers.

se

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redcarmoose

Basically, I am all done with the back and forth of wearing out my keyboard keys trying to run my findings across someone who believes they are a total expert and gets some kind of gratification by showing the world how totally smart they are. I have to say I'm the worlds best crack-pot science believer. So you could say I'm the perfect one for making my point in colored letters and I really do have a lot of unproven scientific beliefs, cables being one of them. The reason I post is to maybe help others to at least try some different stuff in their system and try new things. Some times things make a difference and sometimes they don't. Science cold and hard has given us many gifts and made a grand improvement in our lives, on this same note having an open mind is the only true way leading to experiment through trial and error. I would feel sad to learn that many folks only read the opinions of some and don't at the least try things with an open mind, as to only believe what we are told to believe is the first step to true enslavement.

You mean like being told what to believe by jargon filled ad copy from marketing hucksters?  Or, believing things for which there is no evidence?  Lysenko anyone?  Bloodletting? Humors? Spontaneous generation? Eugenics? "Trickle-down" economic theory?  Voodoo? Homeopathy?

Having an open mind encourages experimentation, but experimentation demands adherence to scientific principles and it demands that the experimenter defer to cold hard facts, whether he'd prefer otherwise or not.

No thanks. I'll stick to cold, hard facts. There are only two ways to form a belief.  Being told what to believe by someone without evidence, and being told what to believe by someone with evidence. You're free to make up your own mind either way, but it occurs to me that the latter is a far more reliable path to the truth. And truth will set you free (or at least save you a lot of )

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars

Hmmm the thing is as you say unkle eric "cables are missunderstood they are definately a con" but how come cable companies still continue to advertise cables for £1000's and sell them without having legal action taken. Because if as you say (I am not disagree just making a point) it is 100% sure that they cannot affect audio quality in any way then surely the marketing companies are actually breaking the law by making outragous claims and chargind ridiculous amounts for cables?

Because, like all many other articles of faith and psueudo-scientific beliefs, they are pseudo-science precisely because they cannot be falsified. No test can be devised to prove that you are not hearing what you can be persuaded you are hearing.  It can be proven that there is no logical reason for you to hear what you say you hear, but it can't be proven that you don't hear it. If spending \$1,000 on cables makes you hear better mids, no test that would stand up in a court of law can be devised to prove otherwise. Cable companies get away with this deception for the exact same reason that homeopaths, psychics, faith healers, crystal healers, dowsers and astrologists can ply their trades without being prosecuted for malpractice.

Ah, accusing those who place their trust in science as being closed-minded. Oh, the delicious irony.

But there is a logical, reasonable, sensible reason why some cables can sound different to some people, sometimes in some systems, it is in the mind. The very powerful and mysterious human brain, which for goodness knows what reason we often ignore. Which is odd as music is processed in the brain and it is such a subjective matter where people prefer different styles of music and EQ.

We have significant evidence to show it all goes on in the mind. There is the consistent difference between sighted and blind and ABX testing. Then the subjectivity of sound quality and the lack of agreement as to what cable sounds better or even what they sound like. Then there are the people who have good hearing, listen to loads of music and have great systems, who cannot hear a difference.

Finally, as we have ruled out any electrical property of cables as a cause of reported differences in sound quality, we should go by the principle of if you rule out a reason, any other reason, no matter how starnge it initially appears, should be properly investigated.

I find the similarities with the believe in audiophile cables and believe in religion to be both uncanny and humorous.

As a long time atheist I've studied many religions and people of faith, and the aspect of believing in things without sufficient evidence is what I find fascinating.

"If Jesus works for me then why should you care" "If these cables work with my system why should you care"

I feel I don't want to derail the thread here so I just stop exploring this further.

I don't hate cables, I wouldn't be able to connect up my gear without cables, what I hate is overpriced cables with stupid claims that go against basic science.

Quote:

Exactly JadeEast! You don't find wire wrapped in insulation and rubber in nature, therefore a coat hanger must sound more natural

As far as cable sound signature, it is very suspect that the results are almost unanimously positive no matter what headphone is recabled. Surely there's a headphone out there with an expensive stock cable? What would recablers think of it? Is it simply the fact that it's "stock" that makes it bad? Do the manufacturers really not know how to get the best sound out of the drivers they spent months developing?

What's also suspect is the descriptions of the sound signatures. With headphones, you get a lot of descriptions like "lots of mid-bass, rolled off treble, extended sub-bass". All of these descriptions are easy to prove or disprove, just look at a frequency response or waterfall graph. With amps and DACs, you get less of that and more "detailed, full-bodied, smooth", which are harder to quantify. With cables, descriptions are almost exclusively ones like the latter, often even worse ("textured", "etched"). Is it because cables do something beyond alter frequency response? Or can audiophiles not accurately describe what they're hearing because they're hearing their own biases?

I may be one of the few people who recabled my HD650 with cardas cable, and found that the resulting sound was not as good as the stock cable.  Cardas cable sounds thin and lacking in body. Soundstage is improved but the mids lose their magic and the overall impact is gone. I then went back to stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden

I find the similarities with the believe in audiophile cables and believe in religion to be both uncanny and humorous.

As a long time atheist I've studied many religions and people of faith, and the aspect of believing in things without sufficient evidence is what I find fascinating.

"If Jesus works for me then why should you care" "If these cables work with my system why should you care"

I feel I don't want to derail the thread here so I just stop exploring this further.

The Pink Teapot in Orbit theorem comes to mind...

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