Originally Posted by iankim
Originally Posted by JWolf
Sorry, but you people are wrong. Different types of cables can sound different. You may not be able to measure this, but you can hear it.
Agree. I have heared the difference. And that is probably also the reason why others also pay that much to buy those good expensive cables, otherwise a decent looking, robust, ergonomic cheaper one should be fine already.
if you look at the scientific theory, empty claims and vague hypothesis aren't even close to drawing a conclusion.
you observed a difference in sound using different cables and what I assume to be an uncontrolled sighted test, that's step 1. now you're supposed to guess something, the more precise and clear the guess, the more precise and clear the experiment and the better the conclusion.
if the hypothesis is something useless like "can different cables sound different", I can develop a test where I use a cable, and then I use another cable with a plug where ground and left are soldered together. bingo! I've proved that 2 cables could sound different. it was easy, but the conclusion is really of no value to anybody. we've learned nothing and proved close to nothing.
that's why a more specific guess needs to form the hypothesis. if I interpret your post I would formulate something like:
people heard a difference that's why they buy expensive cables.
I've heard differences in sound caused by cables, but I buy cheap cables. I just disproved the hypothesis, so we need to come up with a new one that factors my situation. people heard a difference and that's why some of them will pay a lot of money for expensive cables. still way too vague but we're going somewhere with proper reasoning method as we now factor my purchasing habits. that's pretty much how it goes, we make a guess, test for it and try to disprove the guess, if we can the guess is wrong and we need to adapt and make a new guess. and we go on and on until the real world seems to agree with our model and we know what we wished to know.
right now even the second hypothesis is flawed, here is why:
- did people hear a difference or did they believe they heard a difference? we haven't demonstrated that yet, and neither you or JWolf cared to talk about how you made your observation of hearing a difference. so the axiom people heard a difference in cables, well it's not an axiom at all. it needs to be properly tested first.
- does a lot of money translate in more change in sound? or in better sound? I don't think that has been demonstrated and if it has been, I'd like to see the work done to reach the conclusion. the idea of throwing money at cable sellers without a clue as to why we do it, it doesn't feel like a very rational behaviour. maybe there is something to gain from some expensive cables, but don't you wish to know why before spending money?
instead, asking more specific questions, experimenting with better controls, those are the ways to find out if something is false or not. here is an hypothesis based on Brooko's anecdote:
if a cable has higher impedance, it might lead to an audible difference.
loudness is directly proportional to the voltage amplitude of the signal. and voltage will change if the impedance in the circuit changes. it's a consensus based on ohm's law so we don't really have to bother proving that part.
therefore change in the cable's impedance will alter the loudness of the music. this is a fact. so what's left to determine is to find out if the variations in impedance usually found in cables can make a loudness change big enough to be above the threshold of audibility.
here are some stuff I tried with 2 IEMs where such influence would be great(again it's something I could anticipate because I have ohm's law and I had previously measured the impedance curve of those IEMs(low and chaotic):
and another IEM
ok so because I'm not really able to get 2000 people to blind test my cables, I take a roundabout way to try and demonstrate something. here I show that in some cases with some IEMs, an increase in impedance from the cable or anything between the amp and the IEM can result in those massive variations of frequency response.
now this in itself brings up 2 questions:
-can a human notice 94.9-86.7= 8.2db variation at 100hz? that one should be a consensus, right? I'd expect anybody to be able to notice that in a blind test.
-can 2 cables have as much as 8ohm difference? of course they can, an er4s has one 75ohm resistor on each channel on purpose. it's enough to demonstrate that such cables exist.
so I believe I can have confidence in the fact that cables of different impedance can under proper conditions, result in audible difference.
here I have made a complete reasoning. I can now use that information to make a new hypothesis and test new things to reach new conclusions and know more about cables, but I started with an observation, I made a guess, tested that guess not very well but IMO well enough to answer my question using an objective test where only 1 variable was changing. and then I reached a conclusion. I didn't just feel something, and decided to comes claims random stuff on the web without a shred of evidence. and that's all the difference. conclusions come at the end of a reasoning after we have obtained enough evidence for a good level of confidence. a random dude thinking he's right and claiming he is, that's not a reasoning and it means nothing.
now about the topic, OFC vs OCC, has anybody tested the same cable (same length, insulation, diameter...) with only that variable being different? has anything been measured to be of significance for audibility? or was a blind test organized with those cables? those are the kind of questions one would need to answer before making "courageous" empty claims on the subject.
I have 30meters of very basic dead cheap cable that still measures a little under 1ohm, so even if the same thing in OCC resulted in the impedance going down to 0.1ohm(and it wouldn't of course), it would still be a very small variation for typical headphone cable length, and most of the time with most IEMs the specific stuff I tested about impedance would not be audible.
so we'd need to actually do a blind test with the 2 kinds of cable, or change our hypothesis to explore other possible causes of audible change, to try and narrow down the possibilities and causes.
doing things right isn't easy, and it's not very fun either, but we avoid all the typical nonsense and empty claims from people who don't know anything and still want to pretend like they do.
PS: some may notice that for one of the IEMs, higher impedance cable actually makes the IEM brighter. for that IEM using a silver cable so stupidly famous for giving lower impedance, more "hair" and not rolling off the trebles as much as copper, would in this specific case make the IEM measurably warmer than basic copper of the same gauge. it's another case of people drawing false conclusion after some anecdotal observation without reasoning or testing. and each time, there is one variable that we cannot dismiss, the human. I don't beleive I need to prove that a human can be fooled and can fool himself, so why do people dismiss that possibility and rush to make empty claims all year long? IMO it's fine to simply say "I don't know" from time to time.