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Dilemma: Should I not believe any reviewers who talk about cables or just ignore that section of... - Page 97

post #1441 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I think we are conflating design, with evaluation. Though honestly, without robust measurements in the evaluation stage as well as listening tests, making design changes in response would be a lot of guesswork. 

I didn't agree with your statement until you added the edit. There's no step in design that isn't accompanied by evaluation -- even without using listening. Every choice, right down to choosing a resistor value, in some way incorporates an evaluation.

post #1442 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

All this talk about microphones and recording philiosophy may be interesting to some people, but it's completely irrelevant to being a consumer of music. All we as passive consumers care about is if we are getting an accurate reproduction of the package that the performers and producers have put together for us.

This is more or less true, although evaluation by listening (i.e. "pattern recognition") applies to choosing playback equipment too (non-controversially to speakers or headphones and room acoustics). If you can detect a pattern, then it becomes part of your evaluation process.

post #1443 of 1790
Quote:

Every choice, right down to choosing a resistor value, in some way incorporates an evaluation.

 

 

With the caveat, that often that evaluation is simply the voltage requirements of a circuit, evaluated via schematic and voltage tests. And so the word "evaluation" should be used cautiously, to avoid confusion (and unnecessary equivocation). Not all choices incorporate listening tests... 

post #1444 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post

 

Trust your instincts and reasoning.

 

If people are writing unsupportable (in evidence terms) stuff about cables, the chances are very high that the rest of what they write is unsupportable (worthless).

 

There are large numbers of essentially meaningless words which are used in audio reviews. A favourite put-down applied when the author can find nothing substantial to criticize in a piece of equipment's performance is to say that it was 'uninvolving'. Another is to say that it was 'fatigueing'.

 

Since the whole point of a review is to nail down specific failings in a piece of equipment, anyone using words like these automatically disqualifies themselves as a credible reviewer.

 

If you find sections in a review that you find hard to attribute a concrete meaning to, this is not a failing on your part, it's just part of an industry and a pastime that generates a lot of copy (written material) that sounds superficially impressive but means very little.

 

Since it usually sounds like it was written with absolute conviction, It's very easy for a person without much exposure to such material to be be misled by it and to question their own judgement.

 

w

 

That seems like a very broad stroke your painting with my friend. While I understand what you are trying to say, and I certainly agree in part with you, in my opinion your are generalizing. What does curry taste like? Describe it for me. Did you use words like spicy, hot, tasty? What do you mean, what does spicy taste like? Describing what we hear, or experience to another is very challenging, we all live in perception isolation from each other. There is not a single human being alive today, or ever has there been, who can experience what another person experiences. Still, we have constructed elaborate rituals and languages in an attempt to bridge this divide. When a reviewer says fatiguing, I understand what they mean because I have a frame of reference that fills in the blanks for me. Others may not have this same frame, but they can certainly work toward interpreting what a person reviewing a headphone means when they say the sound was fatiguing. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it works well enough. Would you not accept somebody telling you Sarah is a very nice person, you'll like her. That description is quite vague and subjective, but in context it is full of meaning, not to mention you can seek clarification can't you?

 

Imagine how dull reviews of equipment would be if all the reviewers were allowed to do was talk about the frequency here, the voltage swing there, endless technical jargon. For some that would be wonderful, but for others it would be a barrier and not provide them any useful information. You may discount the efforts of others who communicate in a style you consider fluff, but that in and of itself does not make your assertion correct. I have read many reviews here at head-fi, taken from them what I could and then purchased the equipment in question. Most of the time these vague and frilly descriptions had substance and my subjective experience of the equipment could find ties into how others attempted to relate their experiences through words. I'm sure you don't think it is easy to review audio experiences. Try this, describe for us your mothers voice without any vague descriptors, use only technically valid language. This should be easy shouldn't it? You have heard your mothers voice all of your life, surely it should be easy to describe. Like most reviewers, you won't have access to the diagnostic equipment required to construct a technical description of your mothers voice, just as most of us only have our ears, our subjective experience, and a language at our disposal. The fact that people bother and try to share in the face of such daunting challenges I applaud. I know I try to review equipment and I find it very difficult, but I will try, and I will try to be more precise and understandable with each new effort. That is the best I can hope for.

post #1445 of 1790
Actually the sense of taste is much more definable than sound. The tongue has been mapped with a limited number of tastes... Sweet, salty, bitter, etc. tastes can be described in those ways, but some people still resort to flowery meaningless words to describe it. Go figure!
post #1446 of 1790

I'm not sure this is right on CURRENT topic, but here is my two cents.

 

I think cables are important in the way that they feel and look (Aesthetics and Ergonomics). So I wouldn't mark off every single aftermarket cables. I also think that aftermarket cables are generally built better, because you've got someone who is dedicated to a cable, and not really thinking about the entire picture (Specialization of labor). Even Sennheiser sends it's Hd800 cable to be manufactured by another company (not sure about the current state, but it's what I saw a while back), to Sennheiser specs, but the other company undoubtedly had SOME input since they specialize in cables.

 

I don't think that SQ is going to change from cable to cable (same elements), and I like how a .00009% improvement on purity (OFC vs. UP-OCC) equates to fundamentally better sound.

 

It's all in your head. I think its the mind trying to justify what we just spent hard earned cash on. I know, I have a cMoy BB and it really doesn't sound much different from stock headphone out, but I remember when I first bought it I thought it just made everything better. Smoother tone, fuller sound, all those lovely poetic words. Now I use it to amp up phones that don't drive well directly from my ipod.

 

Just my two cents...

post #1447 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Actually the sense of taste is much more definable than sound. The tongue has been mapped with a limited number of tastes... Sweet, salty, bitter, etc. tastes can be described in those ways, but some people still resort to flowery meaningless words to describe it. Go figure!

Because you also taste with your sense of smell.

post #1448 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingupenguins View Post

I'm not sure this is right on CURRENT topic, but here is my two cents.

 

I think cables are important in the way that they feel and look (Aesthetics and Ergonomics). So I wouldn't mark off every single aftermarket cables. I also think that aftermarket cables are generally built better, because you've got someone who is dedicated to a cable, and not really thinking about the entire picture (Specialization of labor). Even Sennheiser sends it's Hd800 cable to be manufactured by another company (not sure about the current state, but it's what I saw a while back), to Sennheiser specs, but the other company undoubtedly had SOME input since they specialize in cables.

 

I don't think that SQ is going to change from cable to cable (same elements), and I like how a .00009% improvement on purity (OFC vs. UP-OCC) equates to fundamentally better sound.

 

It's all in your head. I think its the mind trying to justify what we just spent hard earned cash on. I know, I have a cMoy BB and it really doesn't sound much different from stock headphone out, but I remember when I first bought it I thought it just made everything better. Smoother tone, fuller sound, all those lovely poetic words. Now I use it to amp up phones that don't drive well directly from my ipod.

 

Just my two cents...

 

At least OCC copper has durability advantagestongue_smile.gif  As you say though the magnitude of differences is so infinitesimally small that and claims about metallurgy affecting sound are very unlikely.  

post #1449 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

 

At least OCC copper has durability advantagestongue_smile.gif  As you say though the magnitude of differences is so infinitesimally small that and claims about metallurgy affecting sound are very unlikely.  

 

 

Sorry, was that sarcastic or serious? Durability advantages? How so?

post #1450 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingupenguins View Post
Sorry, was that sarcastic or serious? Durability advantages? How so?

 

You took the words right out of my mouth.

 

se

post #1451 of 1790

Closest I could find to a study of OCC copper strength is this article: http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-8984/22/6/065404/

To be honest though I am not basing my opnion on this article - the strength and durability benefits of single crystal and billet milling are used in applications such as high stress engine componenets etc.  My own limited experience working with OCC wire compared to regular copper is that OCC copper seems to be less prone to strand breakage when stripping wire etc.  If one wanted to I'm sure you could stress test some OCC and other wire of comparable gauge to see if there is any difference.  From a theory standpoint the larger crystals of OCC copper should be stronger in a similar way that diamonds are stronger than graphite.

post #1452 of 1790
Bulletproof!
post #1453 of 1790

I can't read all 97 pages of this thread, but I'm interested in knowing if there is a scientific or "expert" consensus on the effect of cable composition (i.e. copper, silver and all of their special variations) on the sound quality or sound signature when using custom cables with headphones.

 

Is there even a miniscule improvement/difference or is it just not possible (electricity passing through a wire is just that, nothing more)?

post #1454 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunninho View Post

I can't read all 97 pages of this thread, but I'm interested in knowing if there is a scientific or "expert" consensus on the effect of cable composition (i.e. copper, silver and all of their special variations) on the sound quality or sound signature when using custom cables with headphones.

 

Is there even a miniscule improvement/difference or is it just not possible (electricity passing through a wire is just that, nothing more)?


 I'm sure there are improvements, but probably not something anyone can here. Like I said, 0.00009% improvement on purity justifies fundamentally better sound? I don't think so.

 

But take a second to think, if there was a definite answer for or against, then why would cables be such a controversy? So the answer is no one knows.

post #1455 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingupenguins View Post

 

But take a second to think, if there was a definite answer for or against, then why would cables be such a controversy? So the answer is no one knows.

 

No. There are "controversies" around creationism versus evolution and that same argument is used by the creationists to justify it. That people do not understand science and perpetuate mythology is not a justification to say we don't know. It just means some people don't accept or understand what is known. 

 

There are good reasons to look further at differences in construction (Resistance/Capacitance/Inductance) but not which metal, or how pure provided that they do at least conduct reasonably well (e.g. Copper/Silver/Aluminum) - there is no reason to think (neither evidence or any theory to support) that cables which measure the same R/L/C but are made of different metals, will sound any different at all. 


Edited by liamstrain - 7/8/12 at 8:02pm
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