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Do you really hear differences in cables? - Page 54

post #796 of 810
I havent read the whole thread ( its really long ) so dont mind me if i repeat anything or am off topic. In replying with the orginal question.

I at first though that a cable is a cable no matter if its cheap speaker cable or something really nice.

I know I bought some nice audio quest cables for my home theatre/ living room stereo because I didnt want to test on it wether cables make a difference or not. I assume that nicer more expensive cables sound better so im going with that. ( I hope I am right ).

for my stereo upstairs in my computer/recording room I just had cheap speaker wire hooked up to my cheap aiwa amp and used it with my Boston Acoustis A100s. It sounded pretty ok so I went with it.

I ended up making a set of braided Cat5 cables to see if its any better. And to me it actually sounded worse. I lost alot of top end but picked up some bottom end. Not what I wanted.

Just to make sure this was not a plecebo effect I had a friend listen to the speaker. ( left - old speaker wire right - cat5 )
He to could also tell a difference and he did not know what speaker was wired with what.

So I think it does make a difference. Wether its worth it to spend hundreds on cable probably not.

Just my .02
post #797 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFerrier
Well, $400 cables won't make them sound any better.


JF

*EDIT* Reworded.
That's not germane to the point under discussion, but that's ok.
post #798 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFerrier
Phil,

Would it stand up in a court of law for someone to say they hear differences in wires, in light of technical evidence that indicates that it is not remotely possible?

Wouldn't the jury desire more evidence that it was possible to hear differences in wires? An independent study?


JF
Who knows, and who cares. One jury might believe the technical evidence, another might believe the testimony of those who claim to hear a difference. I bet most juries would like to hear both sides, however, and wouldn't say, "Well, we've heard the technical evidence and we're not interested in hearing the experiences of persons who have actually tried cables, as what they say they heard can't possibly be relevant." And I bet if they were allowed to, they might like to listen to the cables themselves and see what their own senses reveal.
post #799 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by KZEE
Originally Posted by JohnFerrier
JaZZ,I actually conducted a ABX test with my wife and was shocked that she didn't detect the "audiophile" configuration. (This was when my mind was more open minded about this. Like others, I *want* to believe; however, conclude that a person can *only imagine the difference*.)JF

What was your listening rig made up of? Did it possess the resolution necessary to resolve the differences that some say exist in wiring and cables?
Have you noticed that the members of the measurement crowd, when asked to share with us the stereo equipment that they use to not hear differences in cabling, absolutley refuse to do so? (Mr. Ferrier has gone so far as to not even dignify my inquiry with a response... perhaps he thinks if he ignores me I'll just go away.) Why would that be, I wonder? Why the secrecy? What are they trying to hide? Wouldn't somebody that claims to be so objective and scientific want to, in the interest of science, have all variables out in the open?
It's kind of tough to have a good-faithed debate with those that hide things and won't let all sides of their position be examined.
post #800 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS
Who knows, and who cares. One jury might believe the technical evidence, another might believe the testimony of those who claim to hear a difference. I bet most juries would like to hear both sides, however, and wouldn't say, "Well, we've heard the technical evidence and we're not interested in hearing the experiences of persons who have actually tried cables, as what they say they heard can't possibly be relevant." And I bet if they were allowed to, they might like to listen to the cables themselves and see what their own senses reveal.
Cool Phil,

I look forward to seeing more of your guys posts and thoughts.


JF
post #801 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS
Surely you jest. I thought your position was that such cables could not possibly make any difference? Isn't your position that if Sennheiser did endorse that view that they would be wrong? Are you now suggesting that, while there is no reason for you to try aftermarket cables and evaluate the issue for yourself with your own ears, if Sennheiser merely says it, you will now believe it? Who are you and what have you done with JF?

Good one Phil,

I guess I'm confident that Sennheiser is more interested in developing the 700s for JaZZ, et al.


JF
post #802 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS
I would venture that perhaps one of the problems with this assumption is that it might be predicated on the further assumption that a cable company would benefit by proving that aftermarket cables in general make a difference. It seems to me, however, that a particular cable company really only benefits from such a study if they prove that THEIR cables sound better than all the rest, and I think this will be very difficult to establish (as cables invariably are system dependant - note that even with the Senn phones, some prefer the Zu, some the Silver Dragon, etc.), and the results are likely to be subject to interpretation. I would suspect that the cost of such a study outweighs the risks, and also there is little need in any event, since (1) thousands and thousands of potential customers don't need a study to consider their products, and (2) the return policies offered by these vendors allows every consumer to do their own study.

Also, why don't speaker companies do studies that show that their speakers sound better than all the rest?
A decent study can be conducted in a short amount of time (a day, a weekend, a week...anything). My experience with listening tests is that as my mind loses track of what the configuration is, I get confused about which way sounds best. Beyond myself, I notice that a lot of people have strong aversions to listening tests. So far, this thread has only produced one report of a listening test. There are boundaries to what is audible or not.

If anyone has purchased aftermarket cables and the build quality is good (because I expect that the connections to perturb the signal more than the wires), they are the equal of the stock cables.

One interesting thing about the time and money that people invest in audio is that it seems that the equipment falls short of what people desire in an listening experience. For a long time, it's been almost a maxim that the transducers are where one ought to invest a significant amount of his/her money. It appears that will remain true for some time.


JF
post #803 of 810
Thread Starter 

Have aftermarket something in common?

Have aftermarket cables something in common with the exception of higher price? If you knew what they have in common, then you also could predict what is wrong with cheaper standard cables.
If they have nothing in common but higher price, then I am getting more suspicious.

Georg
post #804 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
I have measured L and C with stock and Zu Mobius cable:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
Stock (1.15 meter) ~290 pF
Zu Mobius (1.0 meter) ~175 pF
The stock HD650 cable is only 1.15 m long? I thought it was 10 ft (3.3 m). Well, my HD600 is 10 ft, and I assumed the 650 would be the same thing, although a little thicker.

Anyways, my point is that the difference in capacitance is measurable and significant and could be responsible for the different sonic signature of the two cables.

jeffreyj discusses capacitance of the stock HD600 cable and the stability of op-amps in another thread:
Quote:
"The loop gain is an important factor for ensuring stability, but not
the only one.

I just measured the C and L characteristics of the detachable cord on
my Senn's and got 470pF and 5.5uH per channel. Most high-speed op-amps
will become great oscillators with so much capacitance and so little
inductance in the line."
to which ppl replies:
Quote:
"This would be true if the op amp is directly
connected to the Headphones however in the instant cases the cans are
connected to the Buffers."
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=38061

I don't think it is wrong to say that an unbuffered op-amp will behave quite differently with a higher capacitance load than it would with a low capacitance load. Or that even buffers could be affected without proper circuit design (input resistance or cap coupling??).

In other words, the capacitance of the cable not only acts as a high-pass filter and could be indicative of dielectric effect, but perhaps more significantly, the capacitive loading could induce undesirable effects in the amp itself.

I am not sure how amps with buffers and circuit designs (e.g., PPA?) that are more tolerant of capacitance would be affected when faced with a high capacitance load.
post #805 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Langrath
Have aftermarket cables something in common with the exception of higher price? If you knew what they have in common, then you also could predict what is wrong with cheaper standard cables.
If they have nothing in common but higher price, then I am getting more suspicious.

Georg
I would think all aftermarket cables have lower capacitance and better shielding / geometry (e.g., twisted pair) than stock cables.

Come to think of it, can people who have aftermarket cables measure its capacitance and state the length?

So far, we have:

Zu Mobius: 175 pF, 1 m
Stock HD600: 470 pF, 3.3 m
Stock HD650: 290 pF, 1.15 m ??
Equinox:
Cardas:
Headphile:
post #806 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by e_dawg
The stock HD650 cable is only 1.15 m long? I thought it was 10 ft (3.3 m).
I've shortened mine to this length.

Quote:
In other words, the capacitance of the cable not only acts as a high-pass filter...
Keep in mind that the capacitance is parallel to the headphone drivers, thus it has no high-pass filter effect -- in contrast to inductance, which is in series.

post #807 of 810
Interesting e_dawg. At 30khz (the high frequency -3dB point), 470pF will have an impedance of ~8500 ohms. As JaZZ indicates, this is in parallel with the inductance of the transducer (which has an impedance of ~300 ohms). I don't see an issue.

This in itself was not enough to post, however, I notice that Sennheiser's latest PDF for the 650 indicates a SPL of 115dB. This is contrast with the prior PDF and the user manual. Both state 103dB. Twelve dB is a large difference. Is this an error, or has the 650 changed? (Sent Sennheiser email about this.)


JF
post #808 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFerrier
At 30khz (the high frequency -3dB point), 470pF will have an impedance of ~8500 ohms. As JaZZ indicates, this is in parallel with the inductance of the transducer (which has an impedance of ~300 ohms). I don't see an issue.
Interestingly my own cable designs show a pronounced (and rather sleek and glaring) treble with higher capacitance.

post #809 of 810
If the inductance is in series and the capacitance is in parallel, well then maybe it creates a 2nd order low-pass filter and increasing the capacitance will lower the Fc of the circuit. If you roll off the highest frequencies, all you will be left with is the lower/middle treble frequencies, which can make the treble glaring... just a guess.
post #810 of 810
Looks like my inkling was right... higher capacitance cables can form a low-pass filter and can roll off the high frequencies.

Some excerpts from the Bryston(*) newsletter:
Quote:
...The cable capacitance is charged and discharged by the signal through the output impedance of the source...This characteristic makes the cable behave like a low-pass filter so the output impedance and input load impedance is very important when connecting your equipment... This is why it is critical when using tube equipment (which generally has high output impedance) to keep interconnects as short as possible.
http://www.bryston.ca/newsletters/82_files/vol8is2.html

The corollary to the above is that if your ouptut impedance is low (e.g., PPA with quad output buffers, Gilmore amps, etc.) then headphone cables won't make that much of a difference.

* - (Bryston is a Canadian manufacturer of home and professional amplifiers. I have the 3B and .3B power and pre-amps and would say they are a little better than most Adcom/Rotel/NAD mid-level gear.)
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