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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 2

post #16 of 999

I'm pretty sure the only time a "better" cable will make a difference is if you're running it from a mic or guitar to a preamp.  Other than that there's no evidence to show a normal interconnect or speaker cables will make any measurable difference above like...a few microvolts over the course of a few nanoseconds.

post #17 of 999

I believe cables can change the sound. It is most obvious between various low end cables. I know I'm not a placebo effect victim because of my recent experience buying a new interconnect cable. I was convinced that the new cable would be an upgrade, but it was worse. They are both low end cables with a relatively high end system: Foobar, meticulously equalized with Electri-Q > USB > Fiio E7 > Fiio L7 line out dock > random Philips cable (I tried a Belkin cable here) > La Figaro 339 > stock HD 650 cable > Sennheiser HD650.

post #18 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumify View Post

I know I'm not a placebo effect victim because of my recent experience buying a new interconnect cable. I was convinced that the new cable would be an upgrade, but it was worse.


That means nothing. There's many different kinds of bias. Expectation bias is only one of them. Here's the rest. Bookmark that, it comes in handy around here.

post #19 of 999
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumify View Post

I believe cables can change the sound. It is most obvious between various low end cables. I know I'm not a placebo effect victim because of my recent experience buying a new interconnect cable. I was convinced that the new cable would be an upgrade, but it was worse. They are both low end cables with a relatively high end system: Foobar, meticulously equalized with Electri-Q > USB > Fiio E7 > Fiio L7 line out dock > random Philips cable (I tried a Belkin cable here) > La Figaro 339 > stock HD 650 cable > Sennheiser HD650.



 

I was just thinking, would you have said the same if you believed you were buying a high end cable, say the belkin cable was rebranded and sold for $500. You specifically said they were low end.

 

The simple issue I have with this  is that, assuming what cable manafacturers claim is true, buying a cable would then change the sound signature. What if the lower quality stock  cable, assuming that cables actually affect sound, is responsible for the sound you like. Shouldn't you then feel your change to a (expensive, "high end") cable be a disappointment?


Edited by ViralRazor - 9/22/11 at 6:32pm
post #20 of 999

uh, I have a question not about differences between cables but something far more elementary (but not to me duh).

 

Say the length of cable between source and amp or amp and speaker/headphone is a few meters or feet. Assume that we are talking analog signal not digital. What if the length of the same cable was now 100 feet or meters. Would that additional physical length of the cable pose a problem for the sound reproduction that we hear from the speaker or headphone?

 

If so, why?

post #21 of 999
Yes a longer run would be more susceptible to interferences for example, that's why balanced cables are used (and I've seen runs of 100m for a line level signal). But in a normal home, there would be no difference.
post #22 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkteo View Post

uh, I have a question not about differences between cables but something far more elementary (but not to me duh).

 

Say the length of cable between source and amp or amp and speaker/headphone is a few meters or feet. Assume that we are talking analog signal not digital. What if the length of the same cable was now 100 feet or meters. Would that additional physical length of the cable pose a problem for the sound reproduction that we hear from the speaker or headphone?

 

If so, why?



It can, yes, as the resistance, capacitance, and inductance of the cable increases proportionately with increasing length.  The difference is not only possible to model accurately, it is relatively easy to verify with measurements as well.  Increasing capacitance enough in relation to the damping factor can cause high frequency rolloff, for example.  Similar effects on frequency response from highly resistive cables based on the impedance curve of a transducer can be observed as well.  Someone else with more knowledge in the matter can explain more thoroughly - HOWEVER - when we're talking about reasonable cables for the application, there should never be an audible difference.  If there is, the cables are either defective or the wrong ones for the job (often too thin/long for low impedance speakers, for example).

 

 

 

That brings me to the subject of the capacitance having an effect on system performance...  Again, those with more knowledge can follow up with more comprehensive explanations - but the fact of the matter is that the differences in cable capacitance are small enough that it is more or less a non-issue.  Perhaps if you use CAT-5 cable for speakers, or some similar esoteric audiophool design, you will find a cable with significantly high capacitance to have enough high-end rolloff to be plausibly audible.  Again, it wouldn't be that hard to calculate just how much capacitance you would need for an audible difference in any given situation (based on the damping factor of said system).  I don't have the skills to do so myself, but again some of our esteemed members are likely more than capable.

 

Just for an example of typical interconnect cable impedances (because that's what I found first) and other measurements:
http://sound.westhost.com/cables-p3.htm

 

So we're talking differences that are less than an order of magnitude different, and at an astonishingly low level to begin with.  Make a 1000 foot cable and things are a bit different.

post #23 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Yea, that was not the best example but example nonetheless. My intention was to show that most opamps, which are often the heart of most headphone amps, distort when driving capacitive loads, the difference is presented in % of overshoot. Square wave is just a way to clearly show this overshoot, and while opa227 is not the most vulnerable opamp in this respect it does show some differences. Now, even though we know that there is some difference since we measured it, as we all hear differently, it can not be said that if something is measured to have x or y of something then it is audible. Some poeple have bat-ears and some have impaired hearing, some use equipment that is poorly designed and distorts heavily when presented with even small amounts of x or y, and finally some use well designed equipment that is not very cable reliant. This is what I meant by writing that it's subjective.


Of course, some people do not have bat ears but even if they did, the highest a bat can hear is about 120kHz which is still miles away from 5mHz! The simple fact is, there is no amplifier, no speaker and certainly no ear (on any creature ever to have existed) which can respond to a signal difference of a few thousandths of a volt with a duration of a few 10s of billionths of a second. I don't think you fully appreciate the scale of measurement accuracy relative to sensory perception. As I stated before, we can measure voltage differences accurately enough to construct an image of an atom, this level of measurement resolution is simply so far beyond limits of anything that consumer electronics or sensory perception is capable of resolving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Consider this: how often is the stock cable the correct type for that specific circuit it used in, or how often has it better construction quality than an aftermarket cable? Maybe this is why recablers hear differences. As I wrote in my previous post, headphone manufacturers do not supply their low-mid tier equipment with very high quality cables since these are costier than medium quality cables, which should do the job more or less.


Cable construction quality is irrelevant to operation once we reach the level of sufficient. In other words, it does not matter if an after market cable is of better construction quality than a stock cable, provided the stock cable is good enough not to malfunction. Also, if a piece of equipment is incapable of performing to it's peak design specifications with the supplied cable, that would be a faulty design and/or an incompetent manufacturer. There is no "more or less" about it.

As Uncle Eric has already stated near the beginning of this thread "No one has ever passed a blind listening test for cables". In conjunction with the measurable differences in cables being orders of magnitude lower than the limits of human audibility, this leaves the only reasonable explanation for recablers to hear a difference being a bias effect.

G
Edited by gregorio - 9/23/11 at 12:35am
post #24 of 999

Gregorio, you yourself posted that there can be differences between cables if one is not really suited for the cuircit it operates in. How can then "no one" pass a blind a test for cables? If you are so picky about my posts then please do not repeat this generalisation or write the same thought in a full sentence, for the sake of those who are following this thread who would repeat later "no one has ever passed... ". I, for one, did pass few such tests. And as for my example of an opamp driving a capacitive load, I would love to post a graph with proper units that would be within range of frequency and time typical for music, yet there are none in datasheets of numerous opamps I've read (and no, this doesn't meant that they operate perfectly within audio band). But if you know of any such measurements that show general indifference of opamps towards their cable loads do post it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

I'm pretty sure the only time a "better" cable will make a difference is if you're running it from a mic or guitar to a preamp.  Other than that there's no evidence to show a normal interconnect or speaker cables will make any measurable difference above like...a few microvolts over the course of a few nanoseconds.


 

DaBomb77766, what is a "normal" cable to you?

post #25 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Gregorio, you yourself posted that there can be differences between cables if one is not really suited for the cuircit it operates in. How can then "no one" pass a blind a test for cables?


I laid out the conditions quite clearly in my earlier post. We are talking about after market replacements, same type, length, etc. Under these conditions, no one has passed a double blind test.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

And as for my example of an opamp driving a capacitive load, I would love to post a graph with proper units that would be within range of frequency and time typical for music, yet there are none in datasheets of numerous opamps I've read (and no, this doesn't meant that they operate perfectly within audio band).

If differences are so minute using extreme square waves, I don't see how there could be anything even vaguely within the range of human hearing for the relatively straight forward sine waves which make up music. But I've said what needed to be said about how far outside the limits of human hearing the differences are, if you want to believe you have the hearing of a high grade oscilloscope or the vision of a Scanning Tunnelling Electron Microscope, that's up to you.

G
post #26 of 999

Please support your claim that capacitive loads make no real difference in performance of most audio opamps in audio band, graphs would be most welcome.

post #27 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Please support your claim that capacitive loads make no real difference in performance of most audio opamps in audio band, graphs would be most welcome.


Please support your claim that capacitive loads do make a real difference in performance. You're the one making the claim that goes against all previous studies.

post #28 of 999

Please post at least a link to those previous studies, because as far as I remember opamps can be compsated for capacitive loads to minimise or eliminate infulence of this facotr, few do not need compesation and those aren't considered to be the highest grate in sound quality. Otherwise there can be peaking and overshoots, it's written in nearly every opmamp datasheet.

post #29 of 999
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Please post at least a link to those previous studies, because as far as I remember opamps can be compsated for capacitive loads to minimise or eliminate infulence of this facotr, few do not need compesation and those aren't considered to be the highest grate in sound quality. Otherwise there can be peaking and overshoots, it's written in nearly every opmamp datasheet.


Peaks and overshoots that the data you already posted suggests wouldn't be in the same galaxy as audible.

 

nick_charles didn't test loads between different opamps, but varying cables had no varying audible effect on the equipment he used. This suggests that, with his gear, the cables' capacitance (or anything else) didn't matter. Now it's up to you to prove that varying opamps will be affected in different, more extreme ways.

post #30 of 999
Are you talking about opamps or cables?

They're not exactly interchangeable.

It can be demonstrated that a room changes the way a loudspeaker sounds. But you cannot say that the same room would change the way a cable "sounds."

Also, I'm very interested in the listening tests you took and passed. Please tell us more. Because if you can truly hear the difference, blind, you would be unique among six billion humans.

I imagine you could land a healthy six-figure income testing cables for manufacturers. You could probably consult with major studios, as well.

So go for it. It'd be great if you could pull down huge money from your special hearing ability. Whatever you're doing for a living now is a waste of your talents. You could make a lot more money and get to listen to music all day.

Even better, you could rub your money in the faces of skeptics and humiliate all of us.

Isn't that reason enough?
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