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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 20

post #286 of 1186
I prefer to think of them as sleep walkers, not zombies. You can't wake up a zombie, and I have actually seen a few sleep walkers wake up if you ask them just the right question.

Zombies just eat my brains when I try to wake them up.
post #287 of 1186

I see x838nwy as doing the same old thing we have seen before.  Some think A, some think B, everyone's opinion is valid, go try it for yourself.  Sorry, no everyone's opinion is not valid.  I am with Wakibaki on this one.  Time for a reality check.  If you insist your opinion is so clever you can bypass or ignore the reality check then you are better served  posting in other forums than sound science.

 

Cable as generally used is nowhere near being audible.  DBT's show that, measurements using scientific principles show nothing that should be audible going on, knowledge of the human hearing mechanism show the same.  Knowledge of human perception show one is highly likely when just trying to see for themselves to perceive a difference which actually isn't there. 

 

So x838nwy do you have any evidence contradicting that audiophile cables sound the same as non-audiophile cables?  Saying I listened and heard different or some people think they are different is not acceptable evidence in this forum.  You said you think cables contribute, why do you think that?  If the answer is I tried a few and some sound different, you need to just learn why that was accidental self deception.

post #288 of 1186
Actually, saying "I listened and heard a difference." is allowed in Sound Science. The thing is though, that here that is the first thing said, and it's posed as a question. It's not the last thing said intended as a conclusion.

One of the truest things I've ever heard said....

"The truth rarely lies halfway between two completely opposite opinions."
Edited by bigshot - 4/7/14 at 7:44pm
post #289 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Actually, saying "I listened and heard a difference." is allowed in Sound Science. The thing is though, that here that is the first thing said, and it's posed as a question. It's not the last thing said intended as a conclusion.

One of the truest things I've ever heard said....

"The truth rarely lies halfway between two completely opposite opinions."


I should have been more explicit I suppose.  Of course you can say I listened and heard a difference.  In regard to cables, saying that I heard cables sound different contradicts plenty of evidence to the contrary.  So in that context, ignoring all testing and other knowledge about how wire works at audio frequencies to proceed with the idea cables contribute because you thought you heard a difference doesn't fit in with a rational approach to the subject at hand.

post #290 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post

Last thing I need on my side in a zombie apocalypse is another wishful-thinker.

w

Okay. Here's the thing. There are elements to a double blind tests and their results that perhaps require more than people in rooms. What i've been saying is that may be there are factors that influence their results, time and bias being a few the important ones i can think of. Last night i tried a 3D function on my pre-amp and heard no appreciable difference through my speakers at all for the first hour or so. Then then i noticed that a particular song had a more spacious sound to it (at the expense of a tight solid soundstage). Knowing what to look for, i found that it did indeed have an effect. Had i been asked what the toggle switch does earlier, i would have said it does nothing. Had i been asked to identify on/off state of the 3D thingy, i would not have been able to do so reliably up to that point. Now we're talking an actual circuit, put in place to actually do stuff to the signal. I was even biased that it must do something (there's a switch, darm it!). So no, i don't think everything that is set up to look like a double blind test is one or at least one that will give a meaningful answer.

So we're back to your demand for evidence. Sadly the only ones you will accept are double blind test results. At this point i'd go back to reading what i posted earlier once again. It's incredible how so much of your science adheres you to the name of the tests. Because it is a double blind test its results must be somehow holy or something.

And thank you for letting me know that i cannot hold an opinion. The fact that i have an opinion and am willing to discuss it seems to cause you problems. Perhaps we should do a double blind test on whether or not i really do have one.

I am in the process of writing to the site to which steve referred to ask for details of their tests. Will post replies also.

To be honest, there are many cons in the hifi industry. One only needs to look through hifishock.org for some of them. But at this point, i still feel there is some substance on cables. I am open to facts on either side as i am sure most are. But people being rude just drives the wedge between reason and belief that gives even more room for people who are actually trying to sell standard belden cables for thousands.
post #291 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

I see x838nwy as doing the same old thing we have seen before.  Some think A, some think B, everyone's opinion is valid, go try it for yourself.  Sorry, no everyone's opinion is not valid.  I am with Wakibaki on this one.  Time for a reality check.  If you insist your opinion is so clever you can bypass or ignore the reality check then you are better served  posting in other forums than sound science.

 

Cable as generally used is nowhere near being audible.  DBT's show that, measurements using scientific principles show nothing that should be audible going on, knowledge of the human hearing mechanism show the same.  Knowledge of human perception show one is highly likely when just trying to see for themselves to perceive a difference which actually isn't there. 

 

So x838nwy do you have any evidence contradicting that audiophile cables sound the same as non-audiophile cables?  Saying I listened and heard different or some people think they are different is not acceptable evidence in this forum.  You said you think cables contribute, why do you think that?  If the answer is I tried a few and some sound different, you need to just learn why that was accidental self deception.

 

I think cables make a difference because they have electrical properties. Measurements for example of a square wave someone posted earlier showed a difference. A step response is indicative of its frequency response and therefore the difference exist in the frequency response curves of the two situations. Whether or not that difference is audible is debatable. Let's not forget that there really is not a lot of data for going 32 bit in dynamic range but a lot of folks seem to find it helps so audibility is may be not as solid a thing as it should be.

 

I don't know what you mean by audiophile and non-audiophile cables. All I am saying is that different cables can sound different. I don't care if it's a coat hanger or a $5k cable wrapped in angel's pubic hairs. If that fact is so, I'd guess people who make audio cables will use or enhance that difference in the way that gets the best results.

 

Again, I cannot prove anything I experienced is not self deception. Not any more than anyone, may be including yourself can prove that what they/you DIDN'T experience wasn't down to self deception. Going into these things believing that there is no difference is just as dangerous as going into them with the opposite view, surely.

 

I think A but I am willing to look into the possibility of B. Sadly those who believe B seems to only want things wrapped in a 'double blind' wrapping. So my suggestion would be for them to try for themselves seeing that they won't accept reasonable alternatives.

 

Checking things out for one self is still considered science, right?

 

When you say "contradicts plenty of evidence" you are really talking about only the stuff that you'd consider evidence but dismissing what others would. If all one must go on are these results I quote from a thread on head-fi:

 

Quote:
 

2 - Effects of Cable, Loudspeaker and amplifier interactions, an engineering paper from 1991.

http://www.apiguide.net/04actu/04mus...teractions.pdf

Twelve cables are tested from Levinson to Kimber and including car jump leads and lamp cable, from $2 to $419 per metre. The results are based on the theory that loudspeaker cable should transmit all frequencies, unscathed to any speaker from any amplifier and loss is due to resistance. There is an assumption that letting through more frequencies with less distortion will sound better. But that seems reasonable to me.


The best performance was with multi core cables. The car jump leads did not do well and cable intended for digital transmission did! The most expensive cable does not get a mention in the conclusions, but the cheapest is praised for its performance and Kimber does well. Sadly there is not a definitive list of the cost of the cables and their performance, so it is not clear as to whether cost equals performance, but the suggestion is that construction equals performance.


3 - Do all amplifiers sound the same? Original Stereo Review blind test.

 

(The original Bruce Coppola link is broken, this link is the best descriptive of the test with soem of the original images, I can find)

http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/receivers/amplifier-sound-quality.aspx

A number of amplifiers across various price points and types are tested. The listeners are self declared believers and sceptics as to whether audiophile claims are true or not.

There were 13 sessions with different numbers of listeners each time. The difference between sceptic and believer performance was small, with 2 sceptics getting the highest correct score and 1 believer getting the lowest. The overall average was 50.5% getting it right, so that is the same as you would expect from a random guess result. The cheapest Pioneer amp was perfectly capable of outperforming the more expensive amps and it was ‘striking similar to the Levinson‘.

 

As an extra to this and for an explanation of how amps can all sound the same, here is a Wikipedia entry on Bob Carver and his blind test amp challenges

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver#Amplifier_modeling

 

So, do you mean to say it's all bs? If one takes these results as gospel, then cables DO sound different.

 

And the Pioneer is a bargain of the century.

post #292 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


snippage..........

To be honest, there are many cons in the hifi industry. One only needs to look through hifishock.org for some of them. But at this point, i still feel there is some substance on cables. I am open to facts on either side as i am sure most are. But people being rude just drives the wedge between reason and belief that gives even more room for people who are actually trying to sell standard belden cables for thousands.

You feel there is substance to cables.  Why do you feel this?  If it is only feeling, then you need something more to be sound science.  It might even be a correct feeling, but feeling only isn't science.

 

What gets called rude is often people telling someone they are barking up the wrong tree.  What is the nice way to tell someone they are wrong or mistaken, or lack some useful understanding? 

 

In this case of cables, beyond LCR effects, there is nothing else going on at audio frequencies.  So if you are open to to facts then good.  The finest measurements with the finest equipment which are far more sensitive in most ways than human ears find nothing in cables to be heard.  Difference testing cables shows nothing to be heard.  There don't seem to be DBT's confirming differences being audible.  Science is always open ended to knew information or contradictory results.  Feeling something is not new information without more confirmation.  Known aspects of human perception explain how that works. 

 

DBT cannot prove the negative.  The notable result with DBT's is finding a non-null result, a result indicating something was perceived.  Those seem hard to come by for cable.  DBT is really the last resort in some ways.  You measure and find nothing to differ.  Yet someone says they perceive a difference.  With DBT you don't need to know why or how or anything.  One either gets positive results indicating something is audibly real or not.  Getting 'not' doesn't disprove something entirely (but enough negatives get highly suggestive).  Often when the result is negative the tendency is to say DBT isn't discriminating enough or corrupts the results.  But DBT do find differences when they are known to exist above certain levels (often surprisingly small levels of difference).  These DBT's also work quite well in other fields.  Seems unlikely they work just fine except for the human sense of hearing. 

post #293 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

 

I think cables make a difference because they have electrical properties. Measurements for example of a square wave someone posted earlier showed a difference. A step response is indicative of its frequency response and therefore the difference exist in the frequency response curves of the two situations. Whether or not that difference is audible is debatable. Let's not forget that there really is not a lot of data for going 32 bit in dynamic range but a lot of folks seem to find it helps so audibility is may be not as solid a thing as it should be.

 

I don't know what you mean by audiophile and non-audiophile cables. All I am saying is that different cables can sound different. I don't care if it's a coat hanger or a $5k cable wrapped in angel's pubic hairs. If that fact is so, I'd guess people who make audio cables will use or enhance that difference in the way that gets the best results.

 

Again, I cannot prove anything I experienced is not self deception. Not any more than anyone, may be including yourself can prove that what they/you DIDN'T experience wasn't down to self deception. Going into these things believing that there is no difference is just as dangerous as going into them with the opposite view, surely.

 

I think A but I am willing to look into the possibility of B. Sadly those who believe B seems to only want things wrapped in a 'double blind' wrapping. So my suggestion would be for them to try for themselves seeing that they won't accept reasonable alternatives.

 

Checking things out for one self is still considered science, right?

 

When you say "contradicts plenty of evidence" you are really talking about only the stuff that you'd consider evidence but dismissing what others would. If all one must go on are these results I quote from a thread on head-fi:

 

 

So, do you mean to say it's all bs? If one takes these results as gospel, then cables DO sound different.

 

And the Pioneer is a bargain of the century.

 

A step response will indicate a difference in frequency response.  But that difference might be at several hundred thousand hertz.  Both could still be completely flat to 20 khz.  Meaning they differ at some frequency far above what can be heard, and they are not audibly different to human listeners in terms of frequency response.  And that is what you will find with audio interconnects.  Speaker cables can exhibit a little bit of response variation in the audible range, but nothing that requires thousands of dollars to design around.  The fact about those who make audio cables is they will use whatever spiel and suggestion mechanism sells their expensive products the best.  Most would appear to know more about human psychology than they do human hearing.

 

What I consider evidence, what is acceptable evidence on the Sound Science forum is reality based, objective evidence.  Not feelings, not that a million people have some opinion, or buy some product based upon some idea.  Contradicting plenty of evidence is just that contradicting plenty of objective physical repeatable evidence.  Things like frequency response measurements that are indistinguishably flat past 20 khz, or measured distortion of all known types that is a percentage with a decimal and several zeroes following it over the range up to 20 khz., the models based upon physics which work at predicting results into the gigahertz range that also accurately predict signal propagation at audio frequencies that predict wire doing nothing that is audible for most purposes.  All those things are solid evidence. 

 

Can you try things out for yourself?  Sure.  If you hear something different it contradicts all that evidence in the previous paragraph and more.  Plus it fits in exactly with knowledge of the science of human perception which has shown repeatedly that humans are highly prone to perceive differences even when nothing has changed. 


Edited by esldude - 4/7/14 at 9:37pm
post #294 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

You feel there is substance to cables.  Why do you feel this?  If it is only feeling, then you need something more to be sound science.  It might even be a correct feeling, but feeling only isn't science.

 

What gets called rude is often people telling someone they are barking up the wrong tree.  What is the nice way to tell someone they are wrong or mistaken, or lack some useful understanding? 

 

In this case of cables, beyond LCR effects, there is nothing else going on at audio frequencies.  So if you are open to to facts then good.  The finest measurements with the finest equipment which are far more sensitive in most ways than human ears find nothing in cables to be heard.  Difference testing cables shows nothing to be heard.  There don't seem to be DBT's confirming differences being audible.  Science is always open ended to knew information or contradictory results.  Feeling something is not new information without more confirmation.  Known aspects of human perception explain how that works. 

 

DBT cannot prove the negative.  The notable result with DBT's is finding a non-null result, a result indicating something was perceived.  Those seem hard to come by for cable.  DBT is really the last resort in some ways.  You measure and find nothing to differ.  Yet someone says they perceive a difference.  With DBT you don't need to know why or how or anything.  One either gets positive results indicating something is audibly real or not.  Getting 'not' doesn't disprove something entirely (but enough negatives get highly suggestive).  Often when the result is negative the tendency is to say DBT isn't discriminating enough or corrupts the results.  But DBT do find differences when they are known to exist above certain levels (often surprisingly small levels of difference).  These DBT's also work quite well in other fields.  Seems unlikely they work just fine except for the human sense of hearing. 

 

Wrong wording. I have found articles and literature supporting claims that cable construction and make-up affects the sound quality produced by audio equipment.

 

I didn't call you rude. I called wackybacky rude.

 

DBT's showing audible differences are on the thread I quoted. Search for audiophile myths or something on head-fi.

post #295 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

 

Wrong wording. I have found articles and literature supporting claims that cable construction and make-up affects the sound quality produced by audio equipment.

 

I didn't call you rude. I called wackybacky rude.

 

DBT's showing audible differences are on the thread I quoted. Search for audiophile myths or something on head-fi.


Yes, I understood you were speaking to Wakibaki.  He wasn't being rude.  He was being direct.  They guy knows what he is talking about.

 

Loudspeaker cables can cause frequency response and damping variations in speakers.  Not news, and you don't need expensive cables to fix.  Not mysterious.  LCR, inductance, capacitance and resistance is the cause.

 

Bob Carver simply showed that a  flat, wide bandwidth, low distortion amp is capable of having its output impedance, frequency response and a few other factors altered (degraded actually) to sound like a lower fidelity amplifier.  Yes, despite the Conrad Johnson he duplicated the sound of costing several times more it was higher in distortion, output impedance, lower in max power and had a non-flat frequency response.  Again not mysterious or unexpected in a scientific way. 

post #296 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 


Yes, I understood you were speaking to Wakibaki.  He wasn't being rude.  He was being direct.  They guy knows what he is talking about.

 

Loudspeaker cables can cause frequency response and damping variations in speakers.  Not news, and you don't need expensive cables to fix.  Not mysterious.  LCR, inductance, capacitance and resistance is the cause.

 

Bob Carver simply showed that a  flat, wide bandwidth, low distortion amp is capable of having its output impedance, frequency response and a few other factors altered (degraded actually) to sound like a lower fidelity amplifier.  Yes, despite the Conrad Johnson he duplicated the sound of costing several times more it was higher in distortion, output impedance, lower in max power and had a non-flat frequency response.  Again not mysterious or unexpected in a scientific way. 

 

Wakibaki was being rude in my view. I sort of felt that saying I am not entitled to an opinion is rude, regardless of what he knows or doesn't know.

 

I'm not really into looking at things as being mysterious or newly discovered. I too think the important parameters are LCR, but there may be others. Or perhaps same parameters measured at different points or something (like impulse response etc.). Kubala Sosna claims their cables behave differently to others in terms of LCR, so if theirs do, others may also. How these parameters affect the input/output stages I am not clued up enough to know, but as I said, an amount of information have led me to think they do and in some cases audibly.

 

http://www.kubala-sosna.com/news/technology/technology.htm <- nothing to prove or disprove anything, just interesting reading.

 

If these parameters have an affect to the magnitude that the connected equipment behaves differently, then there is a change. I guess it depends on the system as to how audible it is. Again, we're back to not whether or not cables cause a change in signal transfer, but the audibility of the result of the change. I think this is reasonable enough a place to arrive at and no voodoo.

 

BTW, in many DBT's subjects were asked to pick a "better sounding" system. Who is to say that folks prefer the sound of the same systems audiophiles prefer?

post #297 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

Okay. Here's the thing. There are elements to a double blind tests and their results that perhaps require more than people in rooms. What i've been saying is that may be there are factors that influence their results, time and bias being a few the important ones i can think of.

Sorry, you're dead wrong. If you won't accept double blind listening tests, then you won't accept the scientific method when it comes to research into human perception. It's established in the scientific method and it works.

If you won't accept the scientific method, you're wasting your time in this forum, I'm afraid. I must have missed the post where you dismissed double blind testing. I'm wasting my time trying to help you. Looks like you're just like the rest... trying to think up excuses to prove your preconcieved conclusion.
Edited by bigshot - 4/7/14 at 10:45pm
post #298 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

 

Wakibaki was being rude in my view. I sort of felt that saying I am not entitled to an opinion is rude, regardless of what he knows or doesn't know.

 

I'm not really into looking at things as being mysterious or newly discovered. I too think the important parameters are LCR, but there may be others. Or perhaps same parameters measured at different points or something (like impulse response etc.). Kubala Sosna claims their cables behave differently to others in terms of LCR, so if theirs do, others may also. How these parameters affect the input/output stages I am not clued up enough to know, but as I said, an amount of information have led me to think they do and in some cases audibly.

 

http://www.kubala-sosna.com/news/technology/technology.htm <- nothing to prove or disprove anything, just interesting reading.

 

If these parameters have an affect to the magnitude that the connected equipment behaves differently, then there is a change. I guess it depends on the system as to how audible it is. Again, we're back to not whether or not cables cause a change in signal transfer, but the audibility of the result of the change. I think this is reasonable enough a place to arrive at and no voodoo.

 

BTW, in many DBT's subjects were asked to pick a "better sounding" system. Who is to say that folks prefer the sound of the same systems audiophiles prefer?

Don't know which DBTs asked for subjects to pick better though there may be some.  Typically, overwhelming when done by people researching and not selling, you hear A, you hear B, you hear an unknown to see if you can tell whether A or  B. 

 

You are entitled to an opinion.  Your opinion just by having one is not automatically informed by reality. 

 

Try avoiding those with gobbledygook papers trying to look technical and scientific and yet posting graphs with the axis obscured so you can't even read what it is supposed to be.  Try avoiding throwing up as evidence things from people trying to separate you from your money when you don't even know what it is about.  Yes, clearly you don't (you may take it as rude, but it is just the case) or you wouldn't have linked to such non-sense as the kubala-sosna advertising. 

post #299 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Sorry, you're dead wrong. If you won't accept double blind listening tests, then you won't accept the scientific method when it comes to research into human perception. It's established in the scientific method and it works.

If you won't accept the scientific method, you're wasting your time in this forum, I'm afraid. I must have missed the post where you dismissed double blind testing. I'm wasting my time trying to help you. Looks like you're just like the rest... trying to think up excuses to prove your preconcieved conclusion.

My reference was towards the head-fi thread (audiophile myth or something). There double blind tests seem to cover some odd meanings and strange conclusions. One seems to ask participants to choose a "better sounding" system (the one with the system covered by a red piece of cloth) which seems strange as better is different to various folks.

I'm not against them (dbt's) as a whole, but some seem more valid than others. So not all dbt's are worthy of the name or at least the scientific credibility their names suggest.

As for the K-S stuff, i'm looking at it in a qualitative manner. Just to support that their cables are different. Certainly i do not know the scale used and i don't know what the other cables are that they're measuring. But it's just to say that theirs are different. Not in heebie geebie different but lcr-characteristic different. My point? I don't know if it makes it sound better, but not all differences are made-up voodoo crap.

As for graphs and stuff, i know what you mean and it's frustrating for me also. I know a scientific paper when i see one, and clearly those i have linked to are nothing close. But neither are those dbt results to which i've been referred. Kindda goes both ways...
post #300 of 1186
To test cables, the first thing to do would be to do a double blind test to determine whether there is a difference between them at all. Two cables, randomly sampled, as long a listening period as the test subject wants, on their own home equipment if they want, enough trials to eliminate chance.

This has been done many times. The result is always the same. You won't want to hear the result.
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