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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 22

post #316 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

Before people take my posts the wrong way, what I meant by "threshold" in the context of my post was not the auditory threshold. Well, not exactly.

 

What I meant is this:

 

If there's a specification to which a cable must conform (say have a certain value of LCR at a particular frequency and voltage input and a bunch of other parameters) what most seem to suggest is that if a reasonably made cable can adhere to these specifications at the stated conditions, the cable is deemed to be functional. If the specification calls for a particular tolerance, say X +/- Y microH for example, as long as a cable can keep within these limits, it is functional. Let's call this cable "A".

 

At the same time, what most seem to be saying also is that if another cable (let's call it "B" since I have lots of imagination) can perform to within X +/-G microH, it will sound identical to cable "A" as long as G < or = to Y.

 

In effect, the spec +/- Y is like a threshold beyond which no audible difference will result at the ears of the listener. Effectively that the cable spec tolerances for a threshold below the human auditory threshold. Perhaps I used the same word too many times and I must apologize for any confusion.

 

What I question (foolishly according to most of you guys) and it's really the essence of all that I've been blabbing about is whether or not the difference between G and Y matters in ways that produce audible results. I propose that it does. Perhaps as a result of the design choices of input/output stages or s/pdif implementation and so on and so forth. A lot of people it seems are of the view that the specifications are suitable and the differences between wires cause inconsequential changes to their variations from the spec. Or something like that.

 

*Please note that I am simply clarifying what I'm saying and not dragging up anything in an attempt to troll.

 

It's been a few days now and no response from manufacturers. Some of you might enjoy this fact.

Freedom of speech...........

 

SM


Edited by SircussMouse - 4/13/14 at 9:17am
post #317 of 1186
Audibility depends a lot more on human ears than it does specifications of wires. Do you *know* how the specs you're looking at compare to human audible thresholds? If you don't, you can't say one way or the other whether something is audible or not. Just because there is a measurable difference, it doesn't mean it's audible.

The reason we are dismissing your stuff is because we know how ridiculously small the differences you are pointing to are compared to our ability to hear them.

Go find a solid specification on a difference in sound between cables. It's probably going to be measured in dB and frequencies, maybe a distortion level. See if you can fiind one and we'll compare it to human thresholds.
Edited by bigshot - 4/10/14 at 12:03pm
post #318 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

Before people take my posts the wrong way, what I meant by "threshold" in the context of my post was not the auditory threshold. Well, not exactly.

 

What I meant is this:

 

If there's a specification to which a cable must conform (say have a certain value of LCR at a particular frequency and voltage input and a bunch of other parameters) what most seem to suggest is that if a reasonably made cable can adhere to these specifications at the stated conditions, the cable is deemed to be functional. If the specification calls for a particular tolerance, say X +/- Y microH for example, as long as a cable can keep within these limits, it is functional. Let's call this cable "A".

 

At the same time, what most seem to be saying also is that if another cable (let's call it "B" since I have lots of imagination) can perform to within X +/-G microH, it will sound identical to cable "A" as long as G < or = to Y.

 

In effect, the spec +/- Y is like a threshold beyond which no audible difference will result at the ears of the listener. Effectively that the cable spec tolerances for a threshold below the human auditory threshold. Perhaps I used the same word too many times and I must apologize for any confusion.

 

What I question (foolishly according to most of you guys) and it's really the essence of all that I've been blabbing about is whether or not the difference between G and Y matters in ways that produce audible results. I propose that it does. Perhaps as a result of the design choices of input/output stages or s/pdif implementation and so on and so forth. A lot of people it seems are of the view that the specifications are suitable and the differences between wires cause inconsequential changes to their variations from the spec. Or something like that.

 

*Please note that I am simply clarifying what I'm saying and not dragging up anything in an attempt to troll.

 

It's been a few days now and no response from manufacturers. Some of you might enjoy this fact.

 

we all agree here that different kind of cable will make "some" differences, we just don't care because we put it into perspective. look how many times the signal had to go from one metallic component to another one, do you think those components are able to treat all frequencies equally when a wire can't? why is nobody asking about silver integrated circuit and circuit board? why not bigger paths on the board to reduce skin effect? don't you think about all the very little changes you could get with that? and the soldering material, what a shame, not even copper. it must really mess up the sound.

all this to say that the quest for perfection is nice as an idea, but slightly silly at this level when you consider the bigger picture and the entire signal path.

 

you're looking at differences smaller than the differences between 2headphones of the same model. smaller than the differences of left and right drivers. and sometimes smaller than the balance precision of the amp. it's just not worth it.

post #319 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

 

we all agree here that different kind of cable will make "some" differences, we just don't care because we put it into perspective. look how many times the signal had to go from one metallic component to another one, do you think those components are able to treat all frequencies equally when a wire can't? why is nobody asking about silver integrated circuit and circuit board? why not bigger paths on the board to reduce skin effect? don't you think about all the very little changes you could get with that? and the soldering material, what a shame, not even copper. it must really mess up the sound.

all this to say that the quest for perfection is nice as an idea, but slightly silly at this level when you consider the bigger picture and the entire signal path.

 

you're looking at differences smaller than the differences between 2headphones of the same model. smaller than the differences of left and right drivers. and sometimes smaller than the balance precision of the amp. it's just not worth it.

Well said.

post #320 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post

we all agree here that different kind of cable will make "some" differences, we just don't care because we put it into perspective. look how many times the signal had to go from one metallic component to another one, do you think those components are able to treat all frequencies equally when a wire can't? why is nobody asking about silver integrated circuit and circuit board? why not bigger paths on the board to reduce skin effect? don't you think about all the very little changes you could get with that? and the soldering material, what a shame, not even copper. it must really mess up the sound.
all this to say that the quest for perfection is nice as an idea, but slightly silly at this level when you consider the bigger picture and the entire signal path.

you're looking at differences smaller than the differences between 2headphones of the same model. smaller than the differences of left and right drivers. and sometimes smaller than the balance precision of the amp. it's just not worth it.
This is very well said. Yes, better cables will offer improvements from an academic perspective, but the changes are so small that, as you point out, the improvement would be lost in practical applications. And that's not even getting into the value perspective...
post #321 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

Before people take my posts the wrong way, what I meant by "threshold" in the context of my post was not the auditory threshold. Well, not exactly.

 

What I meant is this:

 

If there's a specification to which a cable must conform (say have a certain value of LCR at a particular frequency and voltage input and a bunch of other parameters) what most seem to suggest is that if a reasonably made cable can adhere to these specifications at the stated conditions, the cable is deemed to be functional. If the specification calls for a particular tolerance, say X +/- Y microH for example, as long as a cable can keep within these limits, it is functional. Let's call this cable "A".

 

At the same time, what most seem to be saying also is that if another cable (let's call it "B" since I have lots of imagination) can perform to within X +/-G microH, it will sound identical to cable "A" as long as G < or = to Y.

 

In effect, the spec +/- Y is like a threshold beyond which no audible difference will result at the ears of the listener. Effectively that the cable spec tolerances for a threshold below the human auditory threshold. Perhaps I used the same word too many times and I must apologize for any confusion.

 

What I question (foolishly according to most of you guys) and it's really the essence of all that I've been blabbing about is whether or not the difference between G and Y matters in ways that produce audible results. I propose that it does. Perhaps as a result of the design choices of input/output stages or s/pdif implementation and so on and so forth. A lot of people it seems are of the view that the specifications are suitable and the differences between wires cause inconsequential changes to their variations from the spec. Or something like that.

 

*Please note that I am simply clarifying what I'm saying and not dragging up anything in an attempt to troll.

 

It's been a few days now and no response from manufacturers. Some of you might enjoy this fact.


You do realize you are contradicting even yourself.  You have the paragraph about specs of inductance and within certain parameters differences are inaudible.  Okay, and that part is fine.  Then you have the part where you go ahead and say such differences you propose do cause audible results.  Sorry, but no they don't.  Such effects are way far below audibility thresholds.  When cable A has a response roll off at 3 megahertz and cable B at 1 megahertz yes that is a difference.  One you will never come close to hearing with your hearing limited to 20 khz or so.  Both cables are completely flat for all audible purposes.  Ditto for most any other measure you can come up with.  Give it a rest.  You don't have anything to back up what you propose other than you think you need to propose it. 

 

As for hearing back from cable makers.......you are having the same experience I have.  They pretend to be all happy you asked questions until you ask the wrong one, and you will get excuses or nothing.  Usually nothing from them.  The reason being they have nothing to stand upon.  It isn't that I enjoy this fact.  It is one of those simple facts. 

post #322 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post


You do realize you are contradicting even yourself.  You have the paragraph about specs of inductance and within certain parameters differences are inaudible.  Okay, and that part is fine.  Then you have the part where you go ahead and say such differences you propose do cause audible results.  Sorry, but no they don't.  Such effects are way far below audibility thresholds.  When cable A has a response roll off at 3 megahertz and cable B at 1 megahertz yes that is a difference.  One you will never come close to hearing with your hearing limited to 20 khz or so.  Both cables are completely flat for all audible purposes.  Ditto for most any other measure you can come up with.  Give it a rest.  You don't have anything to back up what you propose other than you think you need to propose it. 

As for hearing back from cable makers.......you are having the same experience I have.  They pretend to be all happy you asked questions until you ask the wrong one, and you will get excuses or nothing.  Usually nothing from them.  The reason being they have nothing to stand upon.  It isn't that I enjoy this fact.  It is one of those simple facts. 

No self-contradiction here. I'm paraphrasing what others said, then saying what i think/propose. Read it again. And we are talking about cables of all types including s/pdif and aes/ebu and so on, right. So not a max 20kHz then.

As for me proposing anything, well thank you. Putting forwars an idea followed up be reasoning is quite literally reasonable. And since someone mentioned it, there are many instances where people notice differences between pairs of headphones of the same model (T1, LCD's, and HD800's). Two of the three i used as examples are made by big names with presumably quality control rigs costing millions of dollars and made with sota machines to ensure total consistency. I'm quite sure their drivers are made to tolerances which only result in differences that are inaudible by the human ear. But yet people reliably notice variations.

Actually, i have given my ideas a rest until i get any actual data and i've said that i am waiting. I sadly have neither the measuring equipment nor the expertise to use the necessary gear so i cannot post any more than logical thoughts and experiences of my own. So i must rely on figures from elsewhere which have yet to arrive.

Can someone please send me a link to details of a really good cable dbx, please. Thank you.

C
post #323 of 1186
Why don't you do a DBX yourself? I get the impression that finding out for yourself is the only way that you won't be tempted to pick and choose results.

A real simple test would be to just run a fancy cable into the left channel of your headphone amp and a cheap one into the right. Hide it from your view. Then close your eyes and have someone put your headphones on your head. Try to guess which ear is the fancy cable. Then have your friend swap the cables on the amp randomly to left and right a bunch of times and do it again. See if you can discern a pattern in 50 or 60 randomized trials.

Good luck!!!
post #324 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


No self-contradiction here. I'm paraphrasing what others said, then saying what i think/propose. Read it again. And we are talking about cables of all types including s/pdif and aes/ebu and so on, right. So not a max 20kHz then.

As for me proposing anything, well thank you. Putting forwars an idea followed up be reasoning is quite literally reasonable. And since someone mentioned it, there are many instances where people notice differences between pairs of headphones of the same model (T1, LCD's, and HD800's). Two of the three i used as examples are made by big names with presumably quality control rigs costing millions of dollars and made with sota machines to ensure total consistency. I'm quite sure their drivers are made to tolerances which only result in differences that are inaudible by the human ear. But yet people reliably notice variations.

Actually, i have given my ideas a rest until i get any actual data and i've said that i am waiting. I sadly have neither the measuring equipment nor the expertise to use the necessary gear so i cannot post any more than logical thoughts and experiences of my own. So i must rely on figures from elsewhere which have yet to arrive.

Can someone please send me a link to details of a really good cable dbx, please. Thank you.

C


What would convince you that cables are a non-issue?  Until you can answer that question you will, as you have done in this forum, infinitely regress to some other position without accepting what others are telling you here.

 

Perhaps it is worth parsing out which wire/cable you are talking about in each instance.

 

Interconnects.....barring strange impedance values it all sounds the same.   And when it doesn't the way to deal with it is simply paying attention to impedance interactions with LCR.  This does not cost lots of money. 

 

Speaker cable......there are some usually minor effects from gauge and other LCR effects reacting with uneven speaker impedance values.   Some may be audible.

 

SPDIF/AES/EBU .........all the same for any competently designed cable.  Competent design does not cost lots of money.  Literally cables for a handful of dollars.

 

USB...................same as above, any good decent cable meeting USB 2.0 specs will do the job. 

 

As Bigshot has said, go convince yourself.  With the proper methodology see if you can hear differences or not.  If you find you cannot, then you know what you need to know. 

post #325 of 1186

Logical thought and reasoning 2000+ years ago led the Ancient Greeks to conclude that the world was made up out of admixtures of 4 elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

 

20 centuries or so later a few of us have come to the realization that logical thought and reasoning alone are insufficient tools with which to examine some issues.

 

This is, however, still news to some people.

 

w

 
post #326 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Why don't you do a DBX yourself? I get the impression that finding out for yourself is the only way that you won't be tempted to pick and choose results.

A real simple test would be to just run a fancy cable into the left channel of your headphone amp and a cheap one into the right. Hide it from your view. Then close your eyes and have someone put your headphones on your head. Try to guess which ear is the fancy cable. Then have your friend swap the cables on the amp randomly to left and right a bunch of times and do it again. See if you can discern a pattern in 50 or 60 randomized trials.

Good luck!!!

Funny you should mention this. I was designing this yesterday evening. I don't think using different ears would produce a meaningful result - my hearing could be different between the two and i'll be working with/against the stereo mix and whatever else is going on. I think i'll stick with changing both cables.

I have a pair of Nordost Blue Heaven 1m RCA just arrived from an ebay seller yesterday. They're the same length as my wireworld equinox 7 (a quick word to say that wireworld's rca plugs are really nice and smooth. Really well designed and won't mark your terminals. Good design and not crazy expensive too.)

For simplicity, i'll use a mini to rca adaptor and go from geek out -> lehman linear then to a pair of k702 annies.

Will use the long stock cable for the annies so i won't see the set up. Will cover it up also with a blanket. Player will be jRiver from my mbp controlled through my iphone.

A couple question:
what would be a significant number of tests?
I assume i'm allowed a break in between tests?
Will you guys believe my results?
Can someone good at stats let me know what percentage of correct identification is significant? (I mean, if i can tell there's a difference like 55% of the time does that say anything? What about 53%?) actually tell me later after results come in.
I am thinking that would it be more meaningful if the test is whether i can correctly tell if there's been a change of cables. Not identifying cable A or B but if there's been a change. Everytime the music stops, cables will be unplugged and plugged back in. I identify whether the dude used a different set or not. Are we all cool with this?
Any other suggestions?

I will get round to doing this on the 16th. The gear is at my office and we're on holiday till then. If i can do it earlier, i'll let you guys know.
post #327 of 1186
And if we all play nice (and i know you know the difference between concise and obtuse) i'll even put cable directionality into play too. So we'll have 4 virtual cables.

And even I don't believe they have directions.
post #328 of 1186

Your challenge is going to be overcoming auditory memory. You need to be able to do direct A/B comparisons to detect small differences. Anything over a second or two between samples will kill your test. The more cables you test, the more inputs you are going to need into your preamp switcher.

 

I find it is always best to test in mono rather than stereo.

 

ALWAYS use a second person to switch and keep score so you yourself are totally blind. (It also helps keep you 

 

Whether or not we are convinced by your test doesn't matter. You are finding out for yourself. If you care to know, you'll do what it takes to find out. If you don't, you'll just fudge it and not tell us. Either way, we don't matter.


Edited by bigshot - 4/11/14 at 6:00pm
post #329 of 1186
Very good points.
The most i can do with auditory memory is choosing a dac with a mini jack output and a proper line out so my assistant can change quickly. But yes, i take your point. The problem i see is taking enough time to actually notice any change but still retain what i heard last.

Finally, I won't fudge the results, i promise biggrin.gif
post #330 of 1186
I look forward to the results! I always have fun testing things out, I hope you do too. Happy experimenting!

Cheers
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