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Why the cable myth won't go away - Page 3  

post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

My question still stands. Why do the last 2m matter so much, in fact, that some people spend hundreds of $$$ on fancy looking power cables?

 

 

They don't matter so much that people should spend big bucks on it.

 

However, it's an inadequate approach to consider the relevance of power cables in terms of the "last two meters". In many cases, the earthing wire of such cables form an unwanted but direct ground path in between audio components (if both components have three wires power cables). Depending on the earthing/grounding scheme of the components, significant signal ground current might circulate through that path and be afffected by noise riding along the power wires.

 

Some power cables might in some cases mitigate the effects of such more or less obvious ground loops and account for some audible differences. However, it would be a very inefficient way to proceed; there are much better and cheaper options to fix such problems.

 

Which is why all my power cables are cheap, ordinary ones, if possible hardwired.

post #32 of 72

I've experienced ground loops in the past. Swapping cables wouldn't have helped a bit. What I needed was a proper ground. Grounding issues are blatant. If you don't hear a hum, you're fine. Most modern electrical work in homes deal with this.

post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I've experienced ground loops in the past. Swapping cables wouldn't have helped a bit. What I needed was a proper ground. Grounding issues are blatant. If you don't hear a hum, you're fine. Most modern electrical work in homes deal with this.

 

I wish grounding issues were always blatant.

I wish they could always be cured by the electrical work of the home.

I wish that, anytime I scope the power line, I wouldn't fin common mode noise from smps.

I wish the houses I've lived in always had modern electrical work, especially the current one.

I wish a religious war wouldn't start on diyaudio.com anytime someone asks how to properly wire an amplifier wrt ground and earth.

 

And while I'm at it, I'd like a pony too.

 


Still, neither would I swap cables in the hope to cure blatant groundloops.

post #34 of 72

Perhaps grounding problems are more of a problem in Europe. Here in the US, electrical codes make it pretty much a non-issue for home stereos. The only time I've experienced a problem was with a turntable, and simply grounding the chassis to the ground screw in my electrical outlet fixed it right up.


Edited by bigshot - 1/9/14 at 3:15pm
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Perhaps grounding problems are more of a problem in Europe. Here in the US, electrical codes make it pretty much a non-issue for home stereos. The only time I've experienced a problem was with a turntable, and simply grounding the chassis to the ground screw in my electrical outlet fixed it right up.

 

 

Funny how diy forums are full of Americans experiencing grounding problems then, or how the specialists on the question are North American... More seriously, you can have the best wiring in your home and still have problems with ground interconnection. This article explains it quite clearly: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/diyaudio-com-articles/163575-audio-component-grounding-interconnection.html  Another reference to go a bit further could be the posts by jneutron on diyaudio (for example in this thread: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/parts/22433-can-power-cord-affect-sound-quality-17.html ).

 

Not all ground problems are as clear cut as your (classical) turntable's one and the question shouldn't be judged from that reference point.

 

 

By itself this discussion answers the OP's question: the cable myth won't go away because there are real technical questions in interfacing audio components. Since manufacturers don't always produce products which are 100% immune to problems, there are plenty of marginal situations out there in the wild suburbian world. In those marginal situations, stuff like cables are more likely to be able to have some (small) effects. And of course, audiophiles are eager to confuse causes, consequences and correlations. So the cable myth is born and can bloom.

post #36 of 72

Can you please link me to a couple of the many people who are having problems with grounding their stereos? What are the symptoms? I'm interested in seeing it in practice, not just theory. Also, I'd be interested in seeing an example of someone with a ground loop problem that solved it with a high end power cable.


Edited by bigshot - 1/9/14 at 4:29pm
post #37 of 72

Do you need to be spoon fed too ?

 

A simple search on "ground loop" on head-fi returns 4052 threads. A waste of time to browse them though. The articles and threads I linked earlier aren't "theory", they're answers to common empirical problems.

post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Also, I'd be interested in seeing an example of someone with a ground loop problem that solved it with a high end power cable.

 

Something I already said was impossible ? I'm not playing games.

post #39 of 72

I just spent fifteen minutes going through threads on ground loop, and it appears that none of them were actually ground loops. Most of it was noisy laptops. Perhaps "ground loop" isn't the best term for finding ground loops. Maybe "hum" would be better?

post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I just spent fifteen minutes going through threads on ground loop, and it appears that none of them were actually ground loops. Most of it was noisy laptops. Perhaps "ground loop" isn't the best term for finding ground loops. Maybe "hum" would be better?

 

A ground loop can only be solved by proper grounding.

 

What does the cable have to do with any of this? A high end cable will provide automatic grounding?

post #41 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I just spent fifteen minutes going through threads on ground loop, and it appears that none of them were actually ground loops. Most of it was noisy laptops. Perhaps "ground loop" isn't the best term for finding ground loops. Maybe "hum" would be better?


From a recent Jim Brown post in a Ham radio E-mail group:

Note that the simple bonding protocol I've outlined requires more and shorter bonding between equipment. This flies in the face of tired, old thinking like "ground loops" as the cause of all ills. Nothing could be farther from the truth -- the whole idea of a "ground loop" is false, and based upon false logic. Loops are NOT the cause of hum and buzz - AC leakage currents and unbalanced wiring are the root cause.

 

The Jim Brown papers:

 

http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/publish.htm

post #42 of 72

I'm searching for an example of ground loop hum that isn't blatant, and isn't solved by simply grounding the device (or arranging for common ground between two devices). I'm coming up dry on cables being an issue at all.

 

I'll tell you one thing I'm learning from going through this threads though... I sure am glad my system is Mac based. It just works and I don't have to fuss with connecting a bunch of partially compatible black boxes, each with its own funky home made design.

post #43 of 72
To the OP, the cable myth is not a myth to me, my ears, and my hearing.

I have tinnitus from a car accident and irresponsible brother (year before he became a felon) when I was 13 and it comes and goes, but has become much less severe from using higher-end audio.

When I received my hd580 high performance cable, the clarity improvement was marginal.

When I received my Ultrasone Pro 2900s it came with 2 stock cables and a toxic cables viper silver-lined copper cable. The stock cables would eventually create tinnitus after listening sessions and the toxic cable made the signal smoother and more resolute, leaving no tinnitus after a listening session. The Ultrasone Pro 2900s are notorious for being too bright, so I am glad that someone bought the toxic cable to go with the cans.
post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
 

From a recent Jim Brown post in a Ham radio E-mail group:

 

Ha! The second you mention ham radio, I have to laugh. My dad was a ham radio operator. When he was on the air, his rig would broadcast a distorted version of his voice through the living room stereo (even when it was turned off!) The TV sets would get static all over the screen and crackle and pop like crazy. No transistor radio in the house would work properly either. You could have had interconnects as big as your arm wrapped in Kryptonite and it still would have sounded like a plane crashing into a freight train.

 

When the neighbors would complain to him about it, he would swear up and down that there was no problem with his rig. It HAD to be a problem with the wiring in the neighbor's house!

 

Believe it or not, he was able to get away with that dodge for many years.

post #45 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbui44 View Post

I have tinnitus from a car accident and irresponsible brother (year before he became a felon) when I was 13 and it comes and goes, but has become much less severe from using higher-end audio.

 

That's a first! High end audio as a medical cure!

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