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How can expensive cables perform anything but worse to equal at the most? - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalT View Post


I should not have to pay to see empirical evidence.
 

 

You don't pay to see it, you pay to post it.

 

se

post #17 of 32

that makes no sense to me.

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalT View Post

that makes no sense to me.

 

It's pretty simple. If you're not a paid sponsor here, you have to abide by the rules for members of the trade. If you are a paid sponsor here, you don't. I can see where it might not make sense seeing as there is no mention of this little catch in the rules themselves. Reading the rules would lead you to believe that all members of the trade are subject to the same rules.

 

It's like Animal Farm.

 

All members of the trade are equal. But some are more equal than others.

 

Follow the money.

 

EDIT: Seems the rules were finally re-written to say that paid sponsors are exempt from some of the rules.

 

se


Edited by Steve Eddy - 6/12/13 at 6:08pm
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

@se: So can you at least answer if you think there's a relation between a cable's price and its performance where with performance I simply mean the cable's ability to pass a signal as unaltered as possible?

 

I don't mean on a $1 to $10 scale but more like up to hundreds or thousands of $$$.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

You may incorporate all your scientific knowledge about cables into the answer. I'm certain you had one or the other high-end cable on your desk. I haven't seen any especially well measuring expensive cables so far, but maybe you know more about such cables, if they even exist?

If I may...

The science involved in high-end cables encompasses more diverse disciplines than electrical engineering.  The fact that they may measure electrically better or worse (given the reference is zero resistance, zero capacitance, zero inductance, and zero skin effect, all has zero chance of being achieved) is actually not as important as the impression the product makes on the buyer. It's still loaded with science, just not physics. When all other scientific disciplines are included in the discussion, there are vast differences between cheap and expensive cables, many of which present the impression of higher quality on the buyer.  The impressions are quite strong, and become the buyer's reality. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
Cable manufacturers are also just cooking with water (sorry for the German idiom) even if they claim they make them from Unobtanium. They cannot defy the laws of physics even if they spent years on "research". They cannot reduce resistance, capacitance, inductance to unrealistically low values, etc. That's where I was heading anyway.

 

What would be required to significantly improve on a cheap but properly designed cable in order to cause audible differences?

Audible differences are not the only goals in cable manufacturing, but to answer your question, nothing.  You're correct, once you nail the electrical properties, there's nothing else to be done to real audible differences.  But there's a lot to be done to affect the perceived audible differences, and that actually does include real science...of a different kind.

 

Over 4 decades ago there was a paper published about the electrical parameters of speaker cables.  Real tests were made of common and exotic (for the time) cables, as well as several other cable types not designed for the purpose.  One cable tested with rather impressive electrical properties was RG-8U coax. This is a 50 Ohm RF cable rated something like 1kW at 50MHz.  It has low C, low R, and low L.  What could be better?  Except nobody wants to use it because it's stiff, hard to work with, difficult to terminate, has a boring black jacket with white lettering printed on it and frankly doesn't cost enough to be taken seriously.  

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Over 4 decades ago there was a paper published about the electrical parameters of speaker cables.  Real tests were made of common and exotic (for the time) cables, as well as several other cable types not designed for the purpose.  One cable tested with rather impressive electrical properties was RG-8U coax. This is a 50 Ohm RF cable rated something like 1kW at 50MHz.  It has low C, low R, and low L.  What could be better?  Except nobody wants to use it because it's stiff, hard to work with, difficult to terminate, has a boring black jacket with white lettering printed on it and frankly doesn't cost enough to be taken seriously.  

 

Ahh!  Don't know if it was 4 decades ago, but a number of years back yes.  I have suggested RG-8u plenty of times to no avail.  Here are the details on the Belden version of it.


http://www.contactcables.com/products/Belden/Belden9913datasheet.pdf

 

As to the science of cables, well you actually mean the practicalities of marketing it using psychology do you not?

 

I have suggested RG142u for interconnect usefully a few times.

http://www.belden.com/techdatas/metric/84142.pdf

 

It is silver coated,  with silver shielding and teflon.  Impressive enough looking some are willing to use it.  Not so expensive, and not needed.  But some are convinced enough with this mil-spec silver not to waste hundreds on commercial 'exotic' wire.  I have sometimes stripped the shield leaving only teflon coated silver inner conductor.  Weave it like a hair braid.  Ground, signal and ground floating at the receiving end.  Sounds the same as other interconnect, but looks like something special.  Making use of science you know.  (Shhhhh! Don't mention the silver coated center conductor is a steel alloy.)

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post

 

As to the science of cables, well you actually mean the practicalities of marketing it using psychology do you not?

 

The study of human response to stimuli and suggestion is one of the more fascinating sciences. 

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

 

Ahh!  Don't know if it was 4 decades ago, but a number of years back yes.  I have suggested RG-8u plenty of times to no avail.  Here are the details on the Belden version of it.


http://www.contactcables.com/products/Belden/Belden9913datasheet.pdf

My memory of the specs of RG8 was off a bit.  Should have been about 1kW at 100MHz, not 50.  Yes, it's a great cable.  I can't count the number of PL-259s I've soldered on to that stuff.  I recall there's a precision version of RG8 that has the look of RG142u with the silver plating, but the dimensions of RG8.  Can't find it in the Belden catalog, might be somebody else's product. 

 

Then theres this stuff, if you're really serious: http://www.eriinc.com/Catalog/Transmission-Line/Semi-Flexible-Coaxial-Cable/HJ5.aspx

 

There's also a super flex version, with foam dielectric, just couldn't find it quickly.  Better bend radius, etc.  

 

Note that the dielectric is gas, so you can pressurize it with the gas of your choice.  Nitrogen is typical, but if you like the sound of another gas.... I couldn't find any data about how different gasses affect the velocity of propagation, but that might not be a concern.  And it comes in larger diameters, just harder to bend.  I've installed the 3 1/8" version.  You'll need a couple of gas barriers for each run, and a cylinder of your gas de jure.  Or get the foam dielectric version and forget the gas. 

 

edit: Ah...found the super flex http://www.commscope.com/catalog/andrew/product_details.aspx?id=1327


Edited by jaddie - 6/13/13 at 8:53am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

 

 

Note that the dielectric is gas, so you can pressurize it with the gas of your choice.  Nitrogen is typical, but if you like the sound of another gas.... I couldn't find any data about how different gasses affect the velocity of propagation, but that might not be a concern.  And it comes in larger diameters, just harder to bend.  I've installed the 3 1/8" version.  You'll need a couple of gas barriers for each run, and a cylinder of your gas de jure.  Or get the foam dielectric version and forget the gas. 

 

Hey this would be just the ticket if I could get my hands on the Dayton Wright  XG-10 ESL's that used the sulphur hexaflouride gas around the stators.  I could use the same stuff in the speaker cable.  Saw a pair of the Dayton-Wrights once.  Didn't get to hear them and the guy wasn't willing to part with them.  Just a curiosity it would be nice to have.  Rather big curiosity though. 

 

Anyone interested in these, you can read the owner's manual here:

http://www.dayton-wright.com/LeighXG10sManual.html


Edited by esldude - 6/13/13 at 3:17pm
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

The study of human response to stimuli and suggestion is one of the more fascinating sciences. 


Oh I agree completely.  I think audio reproduction is a solve problem up to the amp (and usually including the amp).  The room/speaker interface is what still needs work. 

 

But the human response to it all is definitely fascinating.  Especially as somehow nearly everyone I run into is immune to human perception foibles when listening to music or so they tell me. 

post #25 of 32

Expensive cables can be purty. They could match your decor.

 

You can buy a set of expensive cables and a dozen ceramic cable elevators to accompany a model train set. Pretend that the cables are these high tech pipelines which run to the speaker monoliths that the little people in the train are heading to.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Expensive cables can be purty. They could match your decor.
They sure can!
http://www.instructables.com/id/LEVEL-HEADED-EL-WIRE-HEADPHONES/

Or for a more commercial version:
http://www.redferret.net/?p=7846

I wonder if it'd be possible to use EL wires as cables without a separate power source...
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 

Heh, fancy. But doesn't improve performance I guess.

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Heh, fancy. But doesn't improve performance I guess.

 

Guess that depends which performance you're referring to. biggrin.gif

 

se

post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 

I'm not talking about attracting girls. tongue.gif

post #30 of 32
I think that would be more of a matter of length...
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