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Why pick on cables ? - Page 25  

post #361 of 403

I think when you answer a question with a comment that is so complete it invites more confusion it isn't helpful. Read the question and just answer it.

post #362 of 403

Yes, but on the other hand, if he had just said that 'no, gold plating makes no difference', he would be lying. 

post #363 of 403
And if I'd said "gold makes a difference" I'd be full of crap too. You can't win in the grouchy old men's club, and I'm not joining them in the balcony.

Look, you can buy gold connectors at Radio Shack, you can buy gold connectored cables at Monoprice, they barely cost more than nickel. If you'd rather clean your oxidation off with alcohol, knock thyself out.

Personally I'd rather have my alcohol in a glass with a couple other kinds of alcohol and a olive. I know, not the same stuff.

I try to write posts deeply rooted in scientific reality in hopes of dispelling myth, and maximizing audio enjoyment, and saving money. Sorry if science exceeds your minds maximum bit rate, I don't invent this stuff, and oversimplification results in inaccuracy. Pretty sure you don't want that either.

Edited for typos
Edited by jaddie - 2/3/13 at 8:10am
post #364 of 403

Supposedly a reason why (generally, speaker) cable swaps sometimes result in improved perceived sound quality is that the old cable connections were oxidized and into the gray area of operation.  New cable has no such problems and sounds better, but the sound quality could have also been fixed just as well by treating the contact surface on the old one.

 

I'm not sure how often that situation arises or if anybody actually follows up rigorously on those results and confirms that definitively as the key difference.  Probably not.  After all, there are a number of other reasons why the new cable could be thought to sound better—most of which don't require the actual sound produced to be meaningfully different.

post #365 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

It is probably more obvious to see for most people that a piece of wire does not magically improve the sound quality, than a complex device like a DAC or amplifier. However, you are right that the importance of the latter is commonly overrated, and the point of diminishing returns can be reached at a fairly low price.

An HD800 is probably not as much better than an HD600 as the price tags suggest, but at least it makes some real difference.

Like this post and agree. You must get to the point where the price to performance ratio diminishes but if it costs a lot of money to hear little difference then you will until the point when no difference is audible.

I think the holy grail is performance to signature and that is a massive can of worms with endless permutations, imo.

 

Edit: I wonder what ever happened to the person who found their perfection....


Edited by Sinth - 2/3/13 at 10:30am
post #366 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Supposedly a reason why (generally, speaker) cable swaps sometimes result in improved perceived sound quality is that the old cable connections were oxidized and into the gray area of operation.  New cable has no such problems and sounds better, but the sound quality could have also been fixed just as well by treating the contact surface on the old one.

I'm not sure how often that situation arises or if anybody actually follows up rigorously on those results and confirms that definitively as the key difference.  Probably not.  After all, there are a number of other reasons why the new cable could be thought to sound better—most of which don't require the actual sound produced to be meaningfully different.

Unfortunately, speaker circuits are one situation where oxidation problems are least likely because the higher voltages and currents handled by connectors tends to burn through it rather than operate in the grey area (which is my name for the degree of oxidation that still permits enough current flow for partial operation, the name is not official). Certain combinations of metals with oxidation between them form a nonlinear junction with the characteristics of a diode, which causes distortion and can even create an RF detector. But that junction is fragile and easily "welded" closed by voltages and currents found in speaker circuits. It would be very unusual for speakers to operate more than a few milliseconds that way. However, the cheap common banana connectors often have very low contact pressure, and usually aren't plated with anything very special. Good cleaning, Deoxit, etc. removes the issue completely at least for a while.

IMHO, most improvemts heard by swapping speaker cables fall into the area of "expected and therefore audible", or "audible because I paid for it".
post #367 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinth View Post

Like this post and agree. You must get to the point where the price to performance ratio diminishes but if it costs a lot of money to hear little difference then you will until the point when no difference is audible.

I think the holy grail is performance to signature and that is a massive can of worms with endless permutations, imo.

 

Edit: I wonder what ever happened to the person who found their perfection....

Very true. Also, I think this hobby like many others "a perfection" is always temporary. By that I mean we all must have had moments when we've said to ourselves "thats it! it sounds effing marvelous!" but the nature of perfection is on- going and when we have nothing to fault, we will look for faults.. Quite literally kidding ourselves that this area can be improved. I'm constantly changing my equipment because I admittedly get a buzz out of doing it. There can't be an end game rig for me because the excitment of change is bigger than a so called 'perfect' end result. The amount of times I've read peeps on here claiming this is my endgame rig. And then a month later they've sold the whole lot for something completely different.

I've recently had a spell of buying a few 2nd hand amps and dacs and I've had a lot of fun doing this and if I hadn't listnened back to my original set up I would have been happy to keep me new stuff. But my original rig sounds the best. So what was the point? It was fun to change and have expectations, excitment in a possible perfection. A perfection that does exist.. But only in your mind, at a certain time depending on mood etc. I've learned that I'm never going to get to and endgame in this hobby, and quite frankly I wouldn't want it!

post #368 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Look, you can buy gold connectors at Radio Shack

 

The RCA cables with gold ends ar Radio Shack cost several times as much as their standard cable and have a connector that grabs on so tight you have to remove it with plyers or risk shorting out the wires from tugging on it. The regular Radio Shack cables are cheaper, don't short out from normal use and in the decade and a half I've used them, they have never corroded.

 

Corrosion may be an issue if you live on a boat at the ocean, but it isn't one in most cases.

post #369 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The RCA cables with gold ends ar Radio Shack cost several times as much as their standard cable and have a connector that grabs on so tight you have to remove it with plyers or risk shorting out the wires from tugging on it. The regular Radio Shack cables are cheaper, don't short out from normal use and in the decade and a half I've used them, they have never corroded.

Corrosion may be an issue if you live on a boat at the ocean, but it isn't one in most cases.

If you read my post carefully you will find no mention of Radio Shack cables with gold connectors, just Radio Shack connectors.
post #370 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

Corrosion may be an issue if you live on a boat at the ocean, but it isn't one in most cases.

 

The advice I was given was gold connecters are used between two separate devices connecting together as it’s known to have more resistance to outside interference.

 

I don’t really have any belief in that I just took it that gold was preferred for those instances.

post #371 of 403

Shielding is what prevents RF interference. I don't think gold has any effect on that at all.

post #372 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Very true. Also, I think this hobby like many others "a perfection" is always temporary. By that I mean we all must have had moments when we've said to ourselves "thats it! it sounds effing marvelous!" but the nature of perfection is on- going and when we have nothing to fault, we will look for faults.. Quite literally kidding ourselves that this area can be improved. I'm constantly changing my equipment because I admittedly get a buzz out of doing it. There can't be an end game rig for me because the excitment of change is bigger than a so called 'perfect' end result. The amount of times I've read peeps on here claiming this is my endgame rig. And then a month later they've sold the whole lot for something completely different.

I've recently had a spell of buying a few 2nd hand amps and dacs and I've had a lot of fun doing this and if I hadn't listnened back to my original set up I would have been happy to keep me new stuff. But my original rig sounds the best. So what was the point? It was fun to change and have expectations, excitment in a possible perfection. A perfection that does exist.. But only in your mind, at a certain time depending on mood etc. I've learned that I'm never going to get to and endgame in this hobby, and quite frankly I wouldn't want it!

 Very true.

 

I suppose it isn`t all about really finding perfection but trying to find fault with whatever is put in front of you. Heck this is a hobby, in the back of your mind you maybe do not want to find perfection otherwise you`ll end up trying to name a bird that flashes past your window....

post #373 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Shielding is what prevents RF interference. I don't think gold has any effect on that at all.
Correct, gold doesn't shield or prevent RF. But as I mentioned before, oxidized connections can behave like partial diodes, which can rectify (detect) RF, and recover the modulation on it. Since gold contacts don't oxidize, that condition is less likely with it.

The reality is, if you have enough RF for that to be a problem, you probably have other issues like shielding and grounding to solve.
post #374 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Shielding is what prevents RF interference. I don't think gold has any effect on that at all.

 

so are gold and silver coatings used to protect the shielding from normal physical abuse or just a finishing product use for its conductive properties?

post #375 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake120 View Post

so are gold and silver coatings used to protect the shielding from normal physical abuse or just a finishing product use for its conductive properties?

Gold and silver plating is used on connectors contact surfaces for increased reliability. Gold or silver plating a conductor or shield is used for increased marketing. The platings are far too thin to have an affect on the audio performance of large conductors. Precious metal platings are mostly more fragile than the copper conductor itself, so they provide no protection. Copper wire that appears silver in color is tin plated because copper oxidizes very quickly and severely, tin quite slowly by comparison.
Edited by jaddie - 2/3/13 at 2:25pm
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