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Why pick on cables ? - Page 5  

post #61 of 403
Happy to help. I get a lot of great info from all of you too. Sound science is the best forum in head fi.
Edited by bigshot - 8/31/12 at 7:44pm
post #62 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

As an engineer who pays attention to measurements, you must realize measurements don't come close to telling the whole story of a sound profile. I'm sure that to all of you consummate engineering types, it would gall you to know how much markup is in a Rembrandt. How about a Rockwell? Eh, just paint your own and be done with it...you could actually even buy better quality paints and copy famous paintings using those better paints! What an improvement!

Who the heck cares if the artist's kids starve? How dare an artist mark up their art more than 35%!

Funny how we all choose different hobby horses to become passionate about. Our individual unique passions are, after all, the only ones that matter, everyone else's are bunk.
The problem with some manufacturers is that all of them make very wild sonic claims on how their cable is rejects evil spirits, is made up of extremely rare metals you only see in the periodic  table and how their 7 or 9N cable processing technique relates to better sound when for most of the part, no listening test of any sort was done. Of course, if they only state how they build their cables it would be totally cool, but wild sonic claims are ridiculous.

Buying for art you say? What is art if its hidden behind your receiver? And with all these claims, it looks like they are selling engineering more than art to me.

Fundamentally, I'm referring to headphone aftermarket cables, which are in constant full view, etc. I tend to buy from manufacturers that do not make wild, unsubstantiated claims for their wares.
post #63 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

As an engineer who pays attention to measurements, you must realize measurements don't come close to telling the whole story of a sound profile. I'm sure that to all of you consummate engineering types, it would gall you to know how much markup is in a Rembrandt. How about a Rockwell? Eh, just paint your own and be done with it...you could actually even buy better quality paints and copy famous paintings using those better paints! What an improvement!

Who the heck cares if the artist's kids starve? How dare an artist mark up their art more than 35%!

Funny how we all choose different hobby horses to become passionate about. Our individual unique passions are, after all, the only ones that matter, everyone else's are bunk.

Are you of the opinion that cable makers are artists? I'm not trying to sound demeaning, I'm just curious. Aesthetics are important certainly, but I don't consider cable design "art" personally.

Some are, many aren't.
post #64 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanaholic View Post

 

Tubes are an active components in an electric circuit - meaning they can inject energy into the circuit (scientific and engineering fact), thus this puts them in a totally different category to passive components like cables.  The possibility that tubes will alter a signal is orders of magnitudes higher than cables.  While I won't go so far as to claim there must be an audible difference in sound between same models of tubes by different manufacturers/time/batch etc, I certainly won't say just because one who claims tubes can be different would lead credibility to that cables will be different by extension.

 

Yes tubes are active components.

Yes cables are passive components.

Tubes are noramlly used as voltage and/or current amplifiers in audio circuits.

But tubes do not inject energy into a circuit.

The energy (or power) is provided to the circuit by the power supply.

The tubes use the energy provided to amplify and/or process the signal. 

 

You could argue that a 6SN7 tube can have wide variances in parameters, but as long as all parameters of the tube are within tolerance, it is still a 6SN7.

If the amplifier circuit is designed properly, then the tube variances form one sample to another should not matter. 

If they do, then it is not a very good design.

 

I would argue that it is all shades of grey:

Stating that tube rolling 6SN7 makes an audible difference is very slightly more plausible than saying swapping equivalent Op Amps which is very slightly more plausible than saying swapping cables of different construction makes an audible difference.

 

In terms of audible difference:

Swapping an equivalent tube is orders of magnitude more audible than swapping an appropriate cable?

If someone wants to show me the calculations or show me a results of a bone fide DBT I'd be glad to see them.

 

So why pick on cables? 

 

Notes:

Power can be expressed in Watts

Energy can be expresses in Joules

time can be expressed in seconds

Power = energy/time

1 Watt = 1 Joule/second

 

We assume that if you are rolling tubes, the tubes all work and have not gone out of spec.

We assume if you are rolling Op Amps you have swapped in an Op Amp which will operate properly in the circuit, i.e. it won't oscillate, have excessive DC offset, etc, etc

We assume that if you are changing cables, then all the cables you are using are appropriate for the task at hand. 

Tubes are normally used in negative feedback curcuits.

Cables (interconnects, speaker cables, headphone cables) are not used in negative feedback circuits.

Rectifier tube rollers:

They may be changing the operating parameters/characteristics of the circuit:  i.e changing the DC power supply voltage 

post #65 of 403

I think we're blurring the distinction here between the fine arts and the applied arts.

 

se

post #66 of 403

many aftermarket, "audiophile" headphone cable "upgrades" require considerable input from non-auditory brain regions to enhance the listening experience in light of nearly no audible change from electrical characteristic changes and real audible/comfort/usability downsides in mechanical microphonics from stiffer, heavier wires, lumpy braid dragging on clothing, added tugging on the headphone cups

 

still agreeing that Bling factor, McGurk, expectation, boosting your self identification as a audio connoisseur do change the neural patterns at higher levels, change the conscious perception - but the practical issues can objectively degrade, contaminate the actual sound reaching your ears in many cases

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Nice post.

 

I generally avoid the 'sound science' forum, and I am unlikely to follow this thread any further. However, another head-fier pointed me to this post. It   reminds me of a few thoughts I have had concerning this topic.

 

Let me preface this by saying although I refer to cognition below - specifically I pursued  cognitive psychology to post-graduate levels (circa late 1990s), I am a social not a cognitive scientist and have not followed the cognitive literature for some years. If any cognitive scientists chance to read this, they may find it necessary to correct certain particulars.

 

More importantly, the idea below is hypothetical, a general and straight-forward deduction from recent (1990s) models of cognition.

 

Science only starts with deduction; it decides whether a hypothesis is a worthwhile contribution to one or other theory with testing. In science, any untested deduction/conclusion is, by itself, worthless.

 

The cable debate, and some others within head-fi,  may relate to some details about how the brain/mind constructs or perceives. The way a cognitive psychologist puts this is that we interpret - subjectively speaking, we see - the world through cognitive 'schemata'. A schema is a framework we have 'learned' that dictates how our sense experience is processed. Specifically, schemata cause us to weight (up or down) different features of our sensory input to arrive - finally - at conscious perception.

 

There are several conditions - all have to be satisfied - in which such a schema might produce the experience of cables sounding different:

(1) First, for such a schema to develop we have either to 'believe' or be receptive to the notion cables could make a difference. 

(2) Next, if we pick up some particular cable and have 'nice' experiences with it, it becomes connected - because that's what our schema does, it connects stored experiences and other elements in long-term memory - with a multitude of other compatible ('nice', if you like) elements within one's private audiophile-schemata. And vice versa.

(3) We need to 'know' which cable is connected.

 

All this being so, we will hear it differently, on account of that first, positive (or negative) experience. Over time, the schema will become elaborated and might intensify or lessen the on-going perception of "good" or "bad". It may alter perceptual filters, so that one literally 'hears' (lets through) details with one cable that one misses with another.

 

Interestingly - according to this model - if condition (3) is not satisfied - i.e., we don't know which cable is connected, it is likely we will no longer hear it differently.

 

The objectivist will say "see, no difference" and back it up with identical measurements. That misses the point.

 

The "better sounding cable" experience is not illusory for those whose schemata have developed in this way. It is an outcome of how we/they decode sense-experience.

 

So, it is subjective, and yet makes a real difference because we are 'subjective' beings. Rather than subjective, I would rather say we are neuro-cognitively complex. This is no different to the way we like some people and dislike others - whereas a close friend or our spouse experiences the 'same' person oppositely.

 

Let me repeat; this is purely hypothetical. Like any model, it attempts to explain particular data. Specifically, it would seem to account for these two data features:

a) some of us hear no cable differences - our audiophile schemata did not develop in this way - whereas others do

b) those who hear cable differences - and where the difference is not backed by objective measurements - do not succeed in picking these cables in  DBT tests, according to frequent assertions on head-fi

 

post #67 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

I think we're blurring the distinction here between the fine arts and the applied arts.

 

se


I think there's some straw-hugging going on !

 

Why pick on cables ?

Because it is BS ..

Ignoring mechanical defects and the like ( to thin wires fex) it makes no difference

if your cable is a 2$ pr foot Mogami-wire or a 2500$ pr foot CryoSilver RattleSnake-Linseed oil silk-insulated 'cable' ..

 

 

Why not pick on valves ?

Because it DOES make a difference .

ESPECIALLY if you just swap them, without proper bias-adjustment .

But even then, a Mullard EL34 does sound and behave differently than a Svetlana in a Marshall-amp .

That's where valves belong : In instrument-amps !

post #68 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKG240mkII View Post


I think there's some straw-hugging going on !

 

Why pick on cables ?

Because it is BS ..

Ignoring mechanical defects and the like ( to thin wires fex) it makes no difference

if your cable is a 2$ pr foot Mogami-wire or a 2500$ pr foot CryoSilver RattleSnake-Linseed oil silk-insulated 'cable' ..

 

 

Why not pick on valves ?

Because it DOES make a difference .

ESPECIALLY if you just swap them, without proper bias-adjustment .

But even then, a Mullard EL34 does sound and behave differently than a Svetlana in a Marshall-amp .

That's where valves belong : In instrument-amps !

 

If both these EL84s are true EL84s and both are within spec. then they should sound the same.

I should have added the assumption that for a fair comparison the tubes are biased properly and applied properly.

Mkaes me wonder if the Svetlanas are true EL84s?

I can't answer that question.

 

May as well just say cables sound different because their construction, geometry, materials are different.

 

And what about Op Amp rolling?

 

BTW, NWAV Guy discourages OP Amp rolling in the O2.

Maybe he think there is something to it?

I suspect the truth is he is concerned that someone may swap in an Op Amp that oscillates, etc. 

post #69 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

I think we're blurring the distinction here between the fine arts and the applied arts.

 

se

What about the Martial Arts?

post #70 of 403
Actually, I think we're talking about craft, not art. Craftsmanship is nicely made things. Art is a personal expression of an idea or feeling.
post #71 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Actually, I think we're talking about craft, not art. Craftsmanship is nicely made things. Art is a personal expression of an idea or feeling.

 

Yes, there is craftsmanship as well. But are you going to argue that industrial design is wholly devoid of anything that can be called art? Were Charles and Ray Eames not artists in any sense of the word? What about Jonathan Ive? Is there absolutely nothing about the design of say, an iPod or the iMac that can be said to be art?

 

se

post #72 of 403
Lowey comes the closest to being art because his designs say a lot about the speed and power of technological culture. The Eames were more decorative and not as expressive. Apple design has great functionality, but after you get used to the feel of the nice materials, there really isn't much to say about the form. It's pretty bald.
post #73 of 403

There are a whole lot of things that share some features and components of art, parts that by themselves are of accepted art forms, which shouldn't themselves be called art.  I don't mean to demean anything's value, but reserve respect and a designation for something with a higher purpose, a stricter intention.


Edited by mikeaj - 9/1/12 at 12:38pm
post #74 of 403
I guess that's the difference between art and artistic.
post #75 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I guess that's the difference between art and artistic.

 

Hm, thanks, that works.

 

Actually, I don't think it's so useful to assign a binary classification of "art" or "not art"—that by itself doesn't tell us anything too much useful.  I mean, it's a kind of arbitrary line you draw on a continuum, or maybe really a boundary surface in a higher-dimensional space.  Maybe I just set the line more stringent than other people.  That said, something like cables would be really, really far from my line...

 

But wherever you draw the line, making a serious comparison to Rembrandt is what I hope to be an extreme position.  I don't think the comparison was that serious though, only in a certain respect.


Edited by mikeaj - 9/1/12 at 12:53pm
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