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Cardas Audio Introduces The Cardas Clarifier iPhone App - Page 2

post #16 of 32

Subscribed... popcorn.gif

post #17 of 32

Here's my $0.99 worth...

 

Disclosure: I own the Ayre Degaussing CD and use it regularly, and I own some Cardas cable.

 

The setup I tried was an iPhone 4 with a pair of Etymotic HF5 listening to Apple Lossless files.

 

I downloaded the Cardas Clarifier app, and played three pop/rock tracks I know well. Then I ran the short tone, long tone, then short tone again. In the spirit of the Olympics, I was clarifying for gold! I played the same three tracks again. 

 

The result? Well no changes positive or negative that I could hear. Certainly didn't do any harm, but can't honestly say I heard any benefit.

 

Is that a fail? Not to me. For less than a buck, it was a fun exercise, an absolutely justifiable 'risk' and I will try again with the Grados next.

post #18 of 32

Only 1 taker so far? C'mon, prove it works, or, er, lose a buck. rolleyes.gif

post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadiaman View Post

Here's my $0.99 worth...

 

Disclosure: I own the Ayre Degaussing CD and use it regularly, and I own some Cardas cable.

 

The setup I tried was an iPhone 4 with a pair of Etymotic HF5 listening to Apple Lossless files.

 

I downloaded the Cardas Clarifier app, and played three pop/rock tracks I know well. Then I ran the short tone, long tone, then short tone again. In the spirit of the Olympics, I was clarifying for gold! I played the same three tracks again. 

 

The result? Well no changes positive or negative that I could hear. Certainly didn't do any harm, but can't honestly say I heard any benefit.

 

Is that a fail? Not to me. For less than a buck, it was a fun exercise, an absolutely justifiable 'risk' and I will try again with the Grados next.

 

Thank you for your impressions, and sorry to hear that your modest $1 investment did not yield a positive change. Everything I have read about it so far leads me to believe this is to be expected.

post #20 of 32

OK, I took the dive and tested the app.  I did get results, but they were opposite what I was expecting (EG, I heard a difference in the midrange).  At this point in time, I think it's my head playing games with me.  I also do go through and try to explain what and how Cardas plans to degauss a pair of headphones using sound (they actually don't produce any sound in the process).

 

My personal test

 

I bought the app about a week ago after saying I wouldn't.  I was curious to how it worked.  Tested it on a few IEMs and headphones, all dynamics.  Each of the headphones/IEMs have had at least 200+ hours playing time by this point in time:

  • Bowers & Wilkins P3 (250+ hours)
  • V-Moda M80 (250+ hours)
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts (200 hours)
  • Aurisonics ASG-1 (200 hours)

 

I think my heads playing games with me when I say I did hear minor changes in the midrange clarity with tighter bass and less veil.  That's about all I heard though.  These changes were very minuscule, and could be in my head.  Each time I played with the 71 second tone.  I then went to test a few BAs with this app to see if the results could be duplicated with smaller, weaker magnets:

  • Westone 4R (400+ hours)
  • Etymotic HF2 (500+ hours)

 

Once again, I found changes in the midrange clarity with a loss of lushness.  For some odd reason, I heard changes in the upper midrange.  Once again, be weary of results, I am on the verge of believing my head is playing games with me.  

 

How I think the app works

 

Key word here is think.  Essentially, it's a hypothesis.  Many hypothesis do have errors in them, but it does pose a good starting point to see why Cardas thinks the app works.   

 

Cardas goes on the assumption that something in the system needs to get degaussed, so I'm going to go ahead and assume this is true in order to show that if true, there is potential in the app.  However, I am very doubtful myself of this assumption.  Nonetheless, in order to explain how the app works, I do need to make this assumption.  So it is assumed that overtime a system will need to be degaussed -> some magnetic component will build up unwanted magnetic charge.  

 

Now, the system actually only has 1 component in it that can build up any magnetic charge, it's the magnet it self.  I read in another thread someone talked about the coil being the one building up charge.  That's not possible as it is paramagnetic.  It's charged is based up on the charges of other objects around (the magnet or the electric flow).  It's really only the magnet that can build up and hold a magnetic charge, so based on Carda's assumption, this is what will build up unwanted magnetic charge.  

 

This charge will either strengthen or weaken the magnet by adding more negative (or positive) charge to the negative (or positive) pole to strengthen or adding more positive (or negative) charge to the negative (or positive) pole to weaken the magnet.  When I say add, it is changing like charge to weaken or changing opposite charge to strengthen (nothing is added or removed from the magnet).  The natural degrading process of a magnet causes it to become more paramagnetic as the magnet's atoms start unaligning themselves with time.  This unalignment will cause the magnet to weaken (and not be able to move as quickly or freely as it should).  Remember, we are playing with relatively smaller magnets (4 cm radius was the largest), smaller magnets will lose strength quicker in comparison to bigger ones.  

 

OK.  We have Carda's assumption and idea on how it can become placed.  Again, this entire hypothesis depends on this assumption.  If it turns out false, the hypothesis is broken.  This hypothesis assumes that we can degauss a magnet like we degauss any other object (TV, hard drive, etc; don't degauss your hard drive, you'll regret it XD)...  With another magnet to realign the areas that have lost their polarity.  Where can we find another magnet?  It's the coil.

 

When you flow electricity through the coil, it turns into an electromagnet which is actually quite strong, despite being a small electro magnet.  The electro magnet's strength is in proportion to the size of the driver (in order for it to be able to push enough power), so it can slowly degauss a driver.  Since the electro magnet is relatively weak, Cardas elects to use more time rather than more power.  You'll be running the degausser for 71 seconds.  

 

So how does Cardas use this electro magnet to degauss your headphones?  It will turn the electromagnet on using a .007042254 Hz tone for 71 seconds or a .023809524 Hz tone to do this.  This tone is not a sine tone though, it's a square wave.  If you actually play the tone, you shouldn't hear anything (so I have no clue where people came up with the idea of a frequency sweep being used, it's not).  What this does is it turns the driver on, but not off for 21 or 71 seconds.  

 

When I say on, but not off, I mean it by the binary nature of a DAC.  It has two modes, on and off.  When turned on, the coil is pushed out.  When off, the coil is retracted due to the magnet.  By swapping on and off, we can create many frequencies.  So to turn on for 71 seconds is just that, we will push the coil out for 71 seconds (turning on the electro magnet) to realign the field.

 

Remember though, this is all based on that one assumption Cardas makes about the driver, it loses it's polarity over time (which is a pretty big if).  


Edited by tinyman392 - 8/5/12 at 12:27pm
post #21 of 32

700

 

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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

If you actually play the tone, you shouldn't hear anything (so I have no clue where people came up with the idea of a frequency sweep being used, it's not).  

 

confused.gif

 

I can clearly hear it playing, can't you?

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post

 

confused.gif

 

I can clearly hear it playing, can't you?

 

Nope...  It's a silent tone.  

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

Nope...  It's a silent tone.  

Did you push the play button biggrin.gif

 

Seriously, I don't know how anyone could not hear the tone. 

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post

Did you push the play button biggrin.gif

 

Seriously, I don't know how anyone could not hear the tone. 

 

I did...  It played.  It showed that blue bar going around the play button to let you know it's playing.  The only tone that was audible was the 1 kHz test tone to make sure you're at a good volume (you want to barely be able to hear it).  Even when boosting the volume on the long sweep, you don't hear it.  Quick question, do you have the app?

 

EDIT: I did hear a short click when the tone finished (the driver going into a fully off position: no positive or negative flow going through the wires).  


Edited by tinyman392 - 8/5/12 at 5:49pm
post #26 of 32

Hi tinyman392. I very much respect your attempt at making sense out of this.

 

I'm also confused that you did not hear a thing because the App instructions seem to indicate that you should (it says to avoid the high frequencies...) Furthermore, according to the OP, the App is supposed to be based on the "Irrational But Efficacious" CD. The CD contains Long and Short "Glide tones":

https://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AYREDISC

According to the CD description provided by the link above, if the "Glide tones" correspond to the App's tone sweeps, you should hear tone sweeps from 5Hz to 20kHz...

 

Degaussing the permanent magnet explanation (tinyman392 interpretation of the OP claims):

The theory-of-operation seems to be: The App uses the (dynamic) headphone coil to degauss its permanent magnet. Degaussing the permanent magnet does not sound like a good idea to me, because if efficacious, it would render the driver unefficacious... I also don't know how the App would make the speaker coil efficacious at degaussing the speaker permanent magnet in the first place. Would be nice to see some measurements and data...

 

Degaussing the speaker pole piece explanation:

Steve Eddy offered a similar and IMO better explanation of the claim, because the OP post specifically mentioned the speaker pole piece. Here is the related post: http://www.head-fi.org/t/619940/cardas-clarifier-iphone-app/30#post_8564115. We agreed the claim makes no sense so far.

 

Burn-in explanation:

This App and similar products have been a controversial subject in the past here at Head-Fi: 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/284321/1st-review-cardas-ayre-acoustics-ibe-burn-in-cd-has-anyone-tried-this

I believe burn-in is real, but I also believe it's effects are minimal... Furthermore, not sure how this App measurably outperforms regular music and wear in terms of burn-in. Not even sure if burn-in is desirable in all cases. 

 

System charge accumulation explanation:

Here is another theory-of-operation (apparently by Cardas and Hansen):

http://www.stereophile.com/content/cardas-releases-99-cent-clarifier-app

Here, instead of fixing "gaussed up" components, the alternative App explanation is that it removes residual charge from the capacitors of the system... So best not to hear biased and/or complex music to keep your caps clean?!.. First time I hear about this... Would be nice to see some measurements and data...

 

None of these explanations make sense so far. This App does indeed sound "Irrational But" not sure about Efficacious (see http://www.head-fi.org/t/619911/cardas-audio-introduces-the-cardas-clarifier-iphone-app/15#post_8588077 for an Unefficacious subjective experience claim).


Edited by ultrabike - 8/6/12 at 1:04am
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

Thanks Andy. It seems that in war ships, monitors, and tape players a degauss coil is used to deal with unwanted magnetic fields that would trigger mines, degrade video monitor performance, and degrade cassette player pickup head performance.

 

In the case of ships, the measurable magnetic field fluctuation in the hull would trigger mines. In video, measurable magnetic field accumulation would affect video signal integrity once it hits the screen. On cassette player pickup heads, measurable magnetic field accumulation would degrade audio performance (it's magnetic media after all).

 

In speaker applications, how will a magnetic field measurably and consistently accumulate and/or adversely fluctuate, and degrade performance? And do you have evidence (other than listening experience) that shows the effectiveness of a speaker coil in degaussing itself through tone/music playback (and other elements of the audio reproduction system)?

 

No one questions degaussing ships or how it is done. What isn't apparent is the relationship to this app, from what's been said. (In fact ship degausing coils are completely irrelevant - they're electromagnets that are kept permanently on to provide a counter field to the ship's natural one: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/degaussing.htm

 

My guess is that the idea here is

 

- The possible problem is ferric components near the speaker becoming magnetized

 

- Which interferes with the magnetic field created when music is played, taking the edge off the resulting vibration and sound quality

 

- That putting out noisy and varying the amplitude does some sort of reset of this magnetization - it doesn't have to be zeroed, just to be manipulated so that the magnetic pull is in no particular direction

 

This is possibly like the "wiping" method of removing a ship's field: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degaussing#Degaussing_ships.27_hulls

 

Which is not to say that this works, but I don't think the idea should be dismissed instantly - at least not unless anyone here is more familiar than I am the electromagnetic properties of ferric materials. To me this sounds like the magnetic equivalent of heat annealing, so it is *possible* that something might be happening. If so it should be very easy to test - someone takes two identical iems/phones of a good age, confirms that a small group can't tell them apart, then zaps one pair only. If, blind, one pair now sounds better than the other, the app works. Otherwise not. I'd do this myself, but I'm i-allergic.

 

Oh - and Andy deserves BIG kudos for his attitude to open debate!


Edited by scuttle - 2/10/13 at 6:31am
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

Thank you for your impressions, and sorry to hear that your modest $1 investment did not yield a positive change. Everything I have read about it so far leads me to believe this is to be expected.

 

If it can work at all I would expect performance to vary considerably between output devices. At least based on what I think is the only possible model, if a device is really well designed and doesn't have any substantial ferric components on positions where they can cause problems if they do build a field, then what could the app do even if it works extremely well for degaussing?

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

Which is not to say that this works, but I don't think the idea should be dismissed instantly - at least not unless anyone here is more familiar than I am the electromagnetic properties of ferric materials. To me this sounds like the magnetic equivalent of heat annealing, so it is *possible* that something might be happening. If so it should be very easy to test - someone takes two identical iems/phones of a good age, confirms that a small group can't tell them apart, then zaps one pair only. If, blind, one pair now sounds better than the other, the app works. Otherwise not. I'd do this myself, but I'm i-allergic.

 

Alternatively, would it be possible to measure this residual magnetic field present in who knows were in the transducer?

 

Also, I'm still not clear on the theory of operation either: Dunno how effective an iPod attached to a phone is at being a degaussing coil. Is there any literature supporting or explaining this magnetic equivalent of heat annealing?


Edited by ultrabike - 2/10/13 at 10:12pm
post #30 of 32
Hold on a minute, i thought it is believed by many that cables "burn-in" through atoms and whatnot aligning. If I run this app or these sweeps, would that effectively un-burn-in my cables? So does one burn-in or does one degauss?
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