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Better cables = better sound? - Page 3

post #31 of 108

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post #32 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post


EDIT: In fact James Randi is offering one-million-dollars to anyone who can hear a difference between cheap and premium cables.

 

Except that Randi lied and weaseled out when Michael Fremer accepted the challenge. I used to have a lot of respect for Randi, but that went out the window when I witnessed first hand what he did to Fremer. Not that I think Frember would have won the challenge, but Randi disingenuously pulled the rug out from under him before he could even try.

 

se

post #33 of 108

And I bet Randi controls the test with his assumed good enough kit and files. There's always a catch or supposition on either side of this argument.

 

I just returned a premium cable I bought because it wasn't as good as the cheap stock cable. I was predisposed to like it as it was a recommended upgrade and one I wanted to happen. It was different but not preferred. I have a bigger issue with assumed better becomes better if it's just different. My view is cables do sound different but it isn't necessarily price related. Good interfacing is always more important than materials or price though quality materials may help at times. Some things make sense like PE insulation and high purity copper. I'm not sold on silver, long crystal or annealed as better but different? To each his own.


Edited by goodvibes - 4/24/13 at 2:38pm
post #34 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

 

I find it kinda peculiar that with all the comments posted in this forum on the differences some cables make, you choose to completely dismiss these as evidence, and only stick to what you know scientifically. if anything these comments should give you some kind of clue, or a hint, that maybe, just maybe what you know is not all there's to know on metal conductivity, etc..

 

have you ever wondered why Toxic's cables are so popular, and selling more cables than you do, and probably all the other cables sellers put together? I know, Frank is nice guy, maybe too nice at times (for me), but surely it cannot be just that! you're a nice fellow yourself, maybe even nicer, afaic. you cannot accuse him of making wild claims about his cables... I don't think I ever saw him making a comment on his cables... every claim on Toxic's cables are made entirely by the users. okay, maybe he has a couple of funboys, but so do you.

 

there have been a few cable sellers before Toxic's , including yours, but none have been so popular. why? you cannot possibly dismiss these facts as mere coincidence, or the result of cognitive biases (or whatever theories are).

 

if this is how the scientific community work, I feel sorry for you, and for us all.

 

Absolutely NOT. This is how the scientific community works, and it is the ONLY way science can work otherwise we'd all still be mired in religious superstition. Science must be independently verifiable and repeatable

 

People's impressions are extremely different, ranging from no difference to extreme differences, and those who make claims to extreme differences often make totally conflicting claims. One person might think it increases the low end and others might think it increases the high end... for the same cable. Who do you believe? How do you reconcile this inherent contradiction? It can't be both.

 

We are not dismissing "these facts as mere coincidence" because they aren't *facts* -- they are subjective observations and opinions. And we are not dismissing them as evidence because they're subjective, these are useful observations too, but when they vary wildly from person to person, are not controlled, and often are totally in conflict with one another... then, yes, you should dismiss them and find new evidence. The problem is these observations are not repeatable, people hear it differently!

 

If I ask two people for the color of a mystery box, and one says it's red, the other says it's blue, who do I believe? In this case, I can believe neither, so I go see for myself or find new evidence for its color. It's the same idea here -- these sighted, subjective "reviews" are providing nothing substantiative or meaningful. 

 

Seriously, what seems more likely to you? That people's cognitive biases are playing a role in their observations, and this is actually known fact, or that the qualitative observations by users are totally real, even though they conflict with one another? This isn't an issue of science, this is common sense.

 

 

EDIT: Also, Toxic cables makes very nice cables in terms of usability and quality, and the owner is a very nice guy. That's what brings customers back. 


Edited by tintin220 - 4/24/13 at 2:50pm
post #35 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

Except that Randi lied and weaseled out when Michael Fremer accepted the challenge. I used to have a lot of respect for Randi, but that went out the window when I witnessed first hand what he did to Fremer. Not that I think Frember would have won the challenge, but Randi disingenuously pulled the rug out from under him before he could even try.

 

se

 

No one lied... Fremer wanted to supply his own cables and Randi wanted to test the $7,250 Pear Anjou speaker cables he purchased and Fremer backed out.

post #36 of 108

Randi has very tight restrictions on his offer.  It is only to compare two specific cables - a good set of Monster and the Pear Anjou cables.  No other cables need apply....

 

From his Website - http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref-news/104-the-latest-on-pear-challenge-refusal.html:  

 

 

"(7) Why is James Randi attempting to limit his thesis regarding audio cables to 2 specific models?

Why? Because those are the cables I’m questioning, dodo! I’ve clearly stated that speaker cables can vary widely due to resistance, impedance, orientation, insulation, spacing, configuration, etc., etc. Are you now suggesting that Pear cables can’t qualify for his golden ears…?"

post #37 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintin220 View Post

 

Absolutely NOT. This is how the scientific community works, and it is the ONLY way science can work otherwise we'd all still be mired in religious superstition. Science must be independently verifiable and repeatable

 

People's impressions are extremely different, ranging from no difference to extreme differences, and those who make claims to extreme differences often make totally conflicting claims. One person might think it increases the low end and others might think it increases the high end... for the same cable. Who do you believe? How do you reconcile this inherent contradiction? It can't be both.

 

We are not dismissing "these facts as mere coincidence" because they aren't *facts* -- they are subjective observations and opinions. And we are not dismissing them as evidence because they're subjective, these are useful observations too, but when they vary wildly from person to person, are not controlled, and often are totally in conflict with one another... then, yes, you should dismiss them and find new evidence. The problem is these observations are not repeatable, people hear it differently!

 

If I ask two people for the color of a mystery box, and one says it's red, the other says it's blue, who do I believe? In this case, I can believe neither, so I go see for myself or find new evidence for its color. It's the same idea here -- these sighted, subjective "reviews" are providing nothing substantiative or meaningful. 

 

Seriously, what seems more likely to you? That people's cognitive biases are playing a role in their observations, and this is actually known fact, or that the qualitative observations by users are totally real, even though they conflict with one another? This isn't an issue of science, this is common sense.

 

 

EDIT: Also, Toxic cables makes very nice cables in terms of usability and quality, and the owner is a very nice guy. That's what brings customers back. 

I think you're overstating different perceived perception. It will vary by device, interface and experience of those auditioning. When 2 things are close folks tend to project more than when there is significance. Experience and familiarity with the audition setup helps here as well. You're also projecting that some or many instances proves all instances. I don't think anyone should worry about proof and just use due diligence and decide for themselves.

post #38 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

 

No one lied... Fremer wanted to supply his own cables and Randi wanted to test the $7,250 Pear Anjou speaker cables he purchased and Fremer backed out.

 

No, you've got all wrong.

 

First, Fremer NEVER backed out. The rug was disingenuously pulled out from under him by Randi.

 

Second, Randi NEVER purchased the Pear Anjou cables.

 

Here's how it went down.

 

Fremer accepted the challenge. Then Pear offered to provide some of their cables. Fremer suggested they use his own Tara Labs cables as he wasn't familiar with Pear's cables. Randi said he would first have to consult his advisers. In addition, there was another brand of cable under consideration (the name escapes me at the moment).

 

That's where things stood when PEAR backed out and rescinded their offer to provide some of their cables. And that's when Randi pulled the rug out from under Fremer, declaring the challenge over. Even though at the time, there were still TWO OTHER CABLES UNDER CONSIDERATION.

 

Randi used Pear's backing out as an excuse to impugn both Pear AND Fremer, claiming that Fremer had also backed out when he had done no such thing.

 

I was there when this all went down. And as I said, prior to that, I had nothing but respect for Randi. But in that incident he made it clear that all he really wanted to do was impugn Fremer and Pear to show off for all his little sycophants. And I found that rather disgusting and lost all respect for Randi that day.

 

se

post #39 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I think you're overstating different perceived perception. It will vary by device, interface and experience of those auditioning. When 2 things are close folks tend to project more than when there is significance. Experience and familiarity with the audition setup helps here as well. You're also projecting that some or many instances proves all instances. I don't think anyone should worry about proof and just use due diligence and decide for themselves.

 

I'm talking about cables, not one's set up or other components or devices, since that's the relevant question in this thread. And I'm actually doing the opposite of " projecting that some or many instances proves all instances". I am criticizing people for projecting that there is a difference in cables based on their singular experience or as the person I quoted above said, "evidence" from reviews and impressions. Rather specifically, since none of the evidence provided corroborates itself nor is repeatable, and is frequently actually contradictory, these anecdotes cannot be taken for facts. 

 

Basically, my point is that there is ZERO consensus on any brand of cable, or cables in general. If the observations, irregardless of the fact that they are subjective, cannot be repeated or verified among different reviewers, the conclusion is that this "evidence" is not robust or verifiable. Ergo, it must be thrown out. In fact, I completely agree that people should "just use due diligence and decide for themselves". That's exactly what I'm saying, but people unfortunately, are not doing this.


Edited by tintin220 - 4/24/13 at 5:58pm
post #40 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

I was there when this all went down. And as I said, prior to that, I had nothing but respect for Randi. But in that incident he made it clear that all he really wanted to do was impugn Fremer and Pear to show off for all his little sycophants. And I found that rather disgusting and lost all respect for Randi that day.

 

And perhaps that is clouding your judgement. James Randi simply wanted to provide the cable and Fremer wanted to supply his own, surely anyone with logical reasoning understands how this wouldn't work.


Edited by Graphicism - 4/24/13 at 5:52pm
post #41 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

 

And perhaps that is clouding your judgement. James Randi simply wanted to provide the cable and Fremer wanted to supply his own, surely anyone with logical reasoning understands how this wouldn't work.

 

Nonsense. And my judgement isn't clouded at all. RANDI DIDN'T HAVE ANY CABLE TO PROVIDE. Nor did he have any interest in paying for an expensive "high-end" cable to use for the challenge. It was intended that the CHALLENGER would provide the "high end" cable for the challenge. Pear stepped in and offered to provide one of their cable for Fremer to use.

 

Further, when Fremer suggested using his own Tara Labs cables because he was unfamiliar with the Pears, Randi explicitly said that he PREFERRED that option. But that he would first have to consult with his advisers.

 

Again, that's where things stood (Randi had not yet consulted with his advisers) when Pear decided to withdraw their offer.

 

And again, when Pear withdrew their offer, Randi used that as an excuse to impugn Pear AND Fremer and pull the rug out from under Fremer, declaring the challenge over and disingenuously claim that Fremer had withdrawn.

 

I think it's your blind hero worship of Randi that's clouding YOUR judgement here.

 

se

post #42 of 108

Here's EXACTLY what was stated by the two parties.

 

First, Randi via JREF:

 

Quote:
We are asking you [Michael Fremer] – and/or Adam Blake – to significantly differentiate between a set of $7,250 Pear Anjou cables and a good set of Monster cables, or between a set of $43,000 Transparent Opus MM SC cables and the same Monster cables – your choice of these two possible scenarios… This would have to be done to a statistically significant degree, that degree to be decided

 

The Transparent Opus was the third cable I couldn't recall previously.

 

Fremer responded, and this is where Fremer suggests using his own TARA Labs cables.

 

Quote:
Since I have not heard either the Pear Anjou or the Transparent Opus, and since I don't necessarily think that "expensive equals better," there are three options:

1) I request a set of Pear Anjou cables to hear what they sound like and then decide whether i can hear the difference between them and whichever set of Monster cables you identify as "good."

2) request a pair of Transparent Orpheus cables to hear what they sound like and then decide whether i can hear the difference between them and whichever set of Monster cables you identify as "good."

3) have you sign off on okaying me to use my reference TARA Labs Omega cables ($16,000 pr.) versus whichever set of Monster cables you identify as "good."

Once this is clarified we will take it the next step and I will state clearly what abilities I intend to demonstrate.

 

Randi responds:

 

Quote:
I think I?d go with option 3, for simplicity, but I?ll have to consult with my advisors, first?

And perhaps the Z2R ML 10/10 ? if a 10? cable is okay with you.

All subject to advisors?


James Randi.

 

And THAT'S where things stood when Pear withdrew their offer upon which Randi disingenuously pulled the rug out from under Fremer, declaring the challenge over and claiming Fremer had withdrawn from the challenge even though as I have said, Fremer never withdrew and there were TWO OTHER CABLES ON THE TABLE AT THE TIME. Three if you count the Monster Z2R that Randi mentions in his response.

 

There's simply no arguing this. It's all right there in the public record of the events.

 

se

post #43 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

Here's EXACTLY what was stated by the two parties.

 

First, Randi via JREF:

 

 

The Transparent Opus was the third cable I couldn't recall previously.

 

Fremer responded, and this is where Fremer suggests using his own TARA Labs cables.

 

 

Randi responds:

 

 

And THAT'S where things stood when Pear withdrew their offer upon which Randi disingenuously pulled the rug out from under Fremer, declaring the challenge over and claiming Fremer had withdrawn from the challenge even though as I have said, Fremer never withdrew and there were TWO OTHER CABLES ON THE TABLE AT THE TIME. Three if you count the Monster Z2R that Randi mentions in his response.

 

There's simply no arguing this. It's all right there in the public record of the events.

 

se

 

This is very interesting and this whole challenge and controversy is new to me. Do you have a link with more details about the incident?

post #44 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintin220 View Post

 

This is very interesting and this whole challenge and controversy is new to me. Do you have a link with more details about the incident?

 

It's all laid out in this thread that I started over on the JREF forum at the time all this happened:

 

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=96913

 

se

post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintin220 View Post

It is rather unfortunate that to avoid fanaticism and confrontation, I have to preface my post by saying this, but I will note that these are my opinions only, backed by what I know about science and my engineering degree, but others may have a different subjective experience

===

That said, no, I do not believe cables make an ounce of difference as far as humanly perceptible sound quality goes. I tend to get premium cables or make my own, but that's only because I prefer the better build quality, a more flexible cable, or because stock cables are often too long (seriously, I'm not in a studio recording my platinum album... I don't need a 10ft+ cable...). Plus, it can be fun to DIY. 

But for SQ? Not a chance. Just think about it -- if cables really made such a great difference, why wouldn't the headphone manufacturers include all these newfangled silver, etc cables of 7N+? Or why wouldn't they make their own and sell it at an aftermarket premium? If it actually mattered, isn't failure to do so negligence on their part by gimping the maximum potential of their own product? In a market where the upper echelon manufacturers are separated by only minute differences, why wouldn't they want to squeeze as much out of their headphones as possible?

Alternately, just think about the actual worth of your entire headphones. If you have, say a (once upon a time high-end) mid-fi phone like the HD650, which is roughly $300-350... how can spending that much, or even half that (or even a quarter), be worth it? Wouldn't it better to, I don't know, get a new pair of headphones with that money than to try to squeeze infinitesimal performance out of the existing one?

Third counter point. All chains are bottlenecked by the weakest link. People who insist cables can be bottlenecking your system fail to realize that cables aren't just the wire that's inside. Cables are composed of interconnects, which probably aren't 9.99999999999999999% pure unobtanium and function by mechanical contact rather than a strong electrical contact bridge like solder. So, even if you got the best cable ever, that's not the bottleneck, the interconnects on the cable and your system are. Let's go a step further. What about the solder that binds your cable to the interconnects. Chances are they're some combination of tin and lead. Let's go even further. Your actual amp, DAC, etc. have all kind of components soldered and if there's point-to-point wiring, those wires are probably not as nice as the cable wire itself. 99 times out of 100, it's going to be OFC copper, or worse. Replacing your cable and hoping to get better sound quality, without realizing that there are other electrical bottlenecks, is like if I upgraded my graphics card from a Radeon 7970 to the latest Radeon 7990 but am still running a Pentium 2. The graphics card isn't the issue, and neither are your cables.

I could go one all day about the science about it too, but since people are touchy on about science here, I'll save that for the sound science forum and just present the three arguments above based on logic, not science. There are reasons to get better cables (again, I do!) but sound quality is not one of them.

This is EXACTLY what I used to think. I didn't understand how a silver, gold ect.. cable could sound better if the insides of the headphones weren't wired with the same material along with its connectors. The headphones will only sound as good as its weakest link. Makes sense right? Only it's not true. We a a HD650 using a $50 cable and a $100 cable, I can't remember the amp we used, hooked up to a laptop running lossless. In a blind test in under 3 secs I could tell which one was the more expensive wire. I would consider buying a $100 cable but only after I had a great pair of headphones paired up with the amp I wanted, all working synergistically together and I knew I was going to have this set up for a long time. Only then would I spend $100 on a cable.
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