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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 36

post #526 of 1186

Edited by herbie12389 - 4/17/14 at 10:40pm
post #527 of 1186

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Edited by herbie12389 - 4/18/14 at 1:23pm
post #528 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

For the test:
MBP -> (black cat cable special edition usb) -> gungnir -> 2 sets of interconnects
1.) WireWorld equinox rca
2.) Nordost Blue Heaven LS
-> into a Schiit SYS -> (schitt pyst cable) -> headphone amp -> hd 800

I look forward to your results!

Cheers
Edited by ab initio - 4/17/14 at 11:18pm
post #529 of 1186
controlled test day is rebirth day! it's going to be interesting.
post #530 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Did you see this part? And did you take note of Roger Russell's resume?

 

The Big Picture

There is big money to be made in wire, not only speaker wire but all kinds of exotic wire—hookup wire, audio cables, power cables and a wide variety of speaker wire including the new term of “speaker cables.” The term cable implies more robust and heavy duty qualities than wire.

 

I have learned from one wire company that much of this exotic wire is not manufactured in the USA at all. It comes from places like Taiwan and China. It can be bought in industrial quantities at surprisingly little cost and sold for tremendous profits. Custom runs in large quantities, can be purchased having any number of different features and are not a problem for versatile wire manufacturers. It can even be made with various terminals already installed.

 

The strategy in selling these products is, in part, to appeal to those who are looking to impress others with something unique and expensive. There is also pride of ownership and the belief that if it costs that much it must be good. It reminds me of the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias but for speaker wire it translates to “Look upon my expensive wires ye mighty and despair.” It will always sell to those who want the latest thing and would spend as much for a Rolex watch as they would for wire. Of course, there are ordinary watches that will tell time accurately they but don’t have that name or that price.

 

Another part of the strategy is to capitalize on the lack of truth in advertising, particularly the whole truth. Perhaps the two words “truth” and “advertising” are on opposite extremes but half of the truth can be worse than a lie. I don’t think the average consumer is any match to cope with the persuasive sales “hype” of professional salesmen praising a questionable wire science and doubtful benefits.

 

When confronted with the truth, believers do not want to hear about it. They want to remain in the magical world of fantasy where they think they can hear improvements in their wire, often arrived at by making listening tests without adequate controls or understanding of the problems involved including speaker impedance and amplifier stability. One of the prime tools in creating such a faith for the average consumer is by capitalizing on fear and ignorance as in many other things that aren’t readily apparent. There is fear that the wire currently in use is not good enough. There is ignorance because most people do not have scientific knowledge in this area and lack adequate measuring equipment to prove otherwise.

 

The man has credibility, I don't doubt that for a second. However...

 

Quite a bit of the above extract deals with the wire's origin. Now if we're talking science here, it really should not matter where wires come from. It could come from California or Cambodia for all that matters is the various parameters of the wires. And the bulk price is always a known factor and I have mentioned this also. If you take the proportional costs of say an amplifier, you'd probably find that manny +$1k amps are made from may be $300 in parts at most. Transistors, transformers and all kinds of parts can be purchased in bulk for a very, very low price. But surely that does not discredit the amplifier industry, similarly I don't see the relevance of the whole industrial pricing and origin in this discussion.

 

Of course there are people who want to impress others with how much they have to throw at seemingly senseless pursuits. There are people who buy amplifiers and DACS and record players to impress others. You find people like that in all sorts of hobbies. I also do not see how this has to do with any of the scientific facts regarding this matter.

 

With regards to the truth… I am all for the truth, but for a number of reason which I have already stated, it is my opinion that it may not be so clear-cut. I hope to better form this opinion after my test.

post #531 of 1186
Once you've determined the truth for yourself, the next question is going to be "why do people pay so much more for nothing?" That is one of the most discussed topics around sound science, and it does reflect on science, because the question also infers "why do people trust salesmen more than science?" The science of this is cut and dried and tested a million times already. But still people doubt it and cling to beliefs that there's no scientific basis to back up. I really have no idea why that is, but it involves ego and the issues Roger Russell raises.
post #532 of 1186

I can understand higher cost because of low volume and labor(the cables that are used here are not made in bulk as the market isn't that large and they are hand made which takes time), but there are some blatantly overpriced cables.  I won't comment on sonics, but some pricing is a rip-off.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/18/14 at 12:47am
post #533 of 1186
I even think Blue Jeans cables are overpriced!
post #534 of 1186

I am sure that this has been stated a million times over and I will preface this by saying I am not much of a cable guy. Not much because I would not use winflew to wire up my stereo or headphones. 

 

To a large extent , it is where you find yourself in the hobby. An analogy, something else that relies heavily of sensory interpretation and experience. Wine or single malt whisky. If you take someone who is ignorant of the subtleties or nuances of flavour and present them with a dram of $12 / $60 / $150 / $600 or $1500 flavours from the same district eg Speyside ( we are talking whisky here )  - this would equate to an audio noob being presented with twinflex, monoprice, etc etc to the esoteric world of cables. 

 

For the whisky, it is probably easier to discern the $12 from the $600 but it still requires training your palate , in much the same way it requires tweaking your system to optimize the sound you like. For those who strive for absolute institutionalization, this quest drives them into the depths of insanity ( or at least most people feel this way ) . I have been fortunate in that I managed to get "high end" gear early on in my journey and I can hear things like coupling capacitor changes, and yes, the benefits of wiring. For my own peace of mind I recently lent out my LCD3 with 3 cables, stock and 2 cables made from wire that is deemed "audiophile" and I was able to hear differences between them. The Audeze stock cable is not rubish, in fact it amazes me that people buy a top tier headphone and immediately switch out the cable. The HD800 is probably higher grade than most replacements. 

 

I know I have been rambling on but the message really is that this is your system - when you get to the point that you question or find fault in your system, that is the time to look at the elements of your system, and wiring is not a trivial part of the equation. Don't forget the loaner programs either - Cable Co or a trusting headfier could loan you some cables to try , if you don't hear any benefit or worse yet, perceive a deterioration, don't do it. ( even if the new component is showing up other deficiencies in the system - address that first )

 

 

..dB

post #535 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I even think Blue Jeans cables are overpriced!


A little bit, but I do like to use BJC for cables that will be connected/disconnected frequently.  Their connectors are a little more robust than Monoprice.  No difference in SQ

 

BJC will also custom build cables without ridiculous surcharge if you need something they don't normally have.

post #536 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post
 

I am sure that this has been stated a million times over and I will preface this by saying I am not much of a cable guy. Not much because I would not use winflew to wire up my stereo or headphones. 

 

To a large extent , it is where you find yourself in the hobby. An analogy, something else that relies heavily of sensory interpretation and experience. Wine or single malt whisky. If you take someone who is ignorant of the subtleties or nuances of flavour and present them with a dram of $12 / $60 / $150 / $600 or $1500 flavours from the same district eg Speyside ( we are talking whisky here )  - this would equate to an audio noob being presented with twinflex, monoprice, etc etc to the esoteric world of cables. 

 

For the whisky, it is probably easier to discern the $12 from the $600 but it still requires training your palate , in much the same way it requires tweaking your system to optimize the sound you like. For those who strive for absolute institutionalization, this quest drives them into the depths of insanity ( or at least most people feel this way ) . I have been fortunate in that I managed to get "high end" gear early on in my journey and I can hear things like coupling capacitor changes, and yes, the benefits of wiring. For my own peace of mind I recently lent out my LCD3 with 3 cables, stock and 2 cables made from wire that is deemed "audiophile" and I was able to hear differences between them. The Audeze stock cable is not rubish, in fact it amazes me that people buy a top tier headphone and immediately switch out the cable. The HD800 is probably higher grade than most replacements. 

 

I know I have been rambling on but the message really is that this is your system - when you get to the point that you question or find fault in your system, that is the time to look at the elements of your system, and wiring is not a trivial part of the equation. Don't forget the loaner programs either - Cable Co or a trusting headfier could loan you some cables to try , if you don't hear any benefit or worse yet, perceive a deterioration, don't do it. ( even if the new component is showing up other deficiencies in the system - address that first )

 

 

..dB

 

Er, no.

 

Whiskey is in no way analagous to wires.  We can clearly identify different whiskey in a DBT.  Can't do that with cables.

 

Is this still the science forum?

post #537 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

I am sure that this has been stated a million times over and I will preface this by saying I am not much of a cable guy. Not much because I would not use winflew to wire up my stereo or headphones. 

To a large extent , it is where you find yourself in the hobby. An analogy, something else that relies heavily of sensory interpretation and experience. Wine or single malt whisky

No. Not even close.

There are two tests involved in evaluating cables. The first DBT is to determine whether there is a difference at all. If there is a difference, the second test (whether by listening or measurement) is to determine which of the two different cables is the best quality.

Wine and whiskey would sweep through the first test and proceed on to the second, cables would not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

this is your system - when you get to the point that you question or find fault in your system, that is the time to look at the elements of your system, and wiring is not a trivial part of the equation.

If someone can't even figure out how to plug two components together without causing problems, I shudder to think of the condition of the rest of their system!

For some reason, everyone loves to go to the "fine wine" analogy, as if being an audiophile iinvolves having some sort of refined tastes and sophistication. It doesn't take any sophisticated tastes to put on a set of headphones. Perhaps your choice of music may involve refined tastes, but your choice of wire doesn't.
Edited by bigshot - 4/18/14 at 11:02am
post #538 of 1186

No, anyone can as easily slug down a drink or put on a pair of headphones, recognizing the intended outcome takes talent. The accuracy analogy is a matter of opinion, I have a palate for single malts and an ear for what I like, it thus makes perfect sense. Listening to 50s recordings and expecting to hear the difference ( albeit minor ) in audible nuance is different again from listening to well mastered modern recordings. It is a learning process. You train your ear to hear things ( consciously or not ) . If I listen to certain gear ( regardless of cost ) and it doesn't suite my personal listening preferences, no switching of cables is going to improve my experience, unless I forget to connect it entirely. If you like tubey harmonics, that is a preference, no cable is going to change this for you, a revealing cable may allow you to perceive more noise than you prefer, don't buy the cable. Build a system to suite your own preferences , if that means you want to spend $20K on a cable , so be it. 

post #539 of 1186
You completely missed the point about the first question being "Is there even a difference?" That doesn't take special discernment, just a good direct comparison and human ears.

I think audiophiles can sometimes give themselves too much credit for the importance of what they're doing. Sitting on a couch listening to headphones isn't a skill. In fact, it's a pretty passive act. I'm always amazed that people wrap their ego around something so simple.

Playing the piano is something to be proud of. Learning something about classical music or jazz is something that requires taste. A chimpanzee can wear headphones and listen to sounds on them. Maybe in the future, people will consider watching television to be a skill requiring training and taste too! (shudder!)
post #540 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post
 

No, anyone can as easily slug down a drink or put on a pair of headphones, recognizing the intended outcome takes talent. The accuracy analogy is a matter of opinion, I have a palate for single malts and an ear for what I like, it thus makes perfect sense. Listening to 50s recordings and expecting to hear the difference ( albeit minor ) in audible nuance is different again from listening to well mastered modern recordings. It is a learning process. You train your ear to hear things ( consciously or not ) . If I listen to certain gear ( regardless of cost ) and it doesn't suite my personal listening preferences, no switching of cables is going to improve my experience, unless I forget to connect it entirely. If you like tubey harmonics, that is a preference, no cable is going to change this for you, a revealing cable may allow you to perceive more noise than you prefer, don't buy the cable. Build a system to suite your own preferences , if that means you want to spend $20K on a cable , so be it. 

 

Assessing the differences in single malts and cables are in no way related.  It's an unworkable analogy.

 

I say that as someone with significant investments in headphones and over 300 bottles of high end whiskey, over 80 of which are single malts.

 

I've actually done some testing before - people can tell the difference between single malts the vast majority of the time.  No one has ever passed a cable DBT.

 

Now that that's out of the way, what's your favorite single malt?  I'm a huge fan of the whole Glengoyne line, particularly the 21 year old.  Macallan 25 y/o fine oak is another favorite, though not an every day drink due to cost.

Have you tried many of the Japanese singles?  Some of them give the traditional houses a run for their money.


Edited by bfreedma - 4/18/14 at 1:30pm
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