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Audiophile cables, an interesting question.

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by viralrazor, Sep 20, 2011.
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  1. Baxide
    Every time I read remarks like that, I have to smile. If only what you claim was true. But real life experiments conducted through the ages by many folks has produced a different outcome than you would have expected. Some of these multi strand cables with certain types of  insulation act as a significant capacitor. In RF coax cable they use teflon and airspacing to reduce these effects at RF. But at audio frequency it just gets accepted as irrelevant by many cable designers.
  2. arnyk
    I don't think my Fields and Waves Textbook from 1966 is still in print. :wink:
    You are changing the subject. Of course audio cables have capacitance and inductance but that was not the topic. The topic is when a cable starts behaving like a transmission line.
    The usual rule of thumb is a cable has to be at least 1/4 wave long at the highest frequency of interest, which is 20 KHz for audio cables, but you can pick a higher frequency as it won't really matter.
    The speed of propagation of electrical signals in cables is at least 0.6 the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second. Divide the speed of propagation by the frequency. There's your wavelength.
    When a cable is too short to be properly analyzed as a transmission line, then the issues you raised can at least possibly be issues.
    But, for regular audio gear (other than phono moving magnet phono cartridges) the capacitance and inductance of interconnects is too low to matter, and ditto for speaker cables attached to ordinary speakers. 
    StanD likes this.
  3. StanD
    I haven't ever measured any significant capacitance in any of my cables and I don't purchase expensive cables. Do not onfuse the needs of RF vs. audio. So give us an example of such an audio cable that can be purchased?
  4. nick_charles Contributor
    The "box" in the MIT cables really stops the cables fitting in with the normal definition of a cable...
  5. arnyk
    You can find many relevant documents on the web. Google & Wikipedia are your friends. People haven't written scientific papers about this topic for maybe 100 years - it is a settled issue and thus it is just textbook fodder.
    The assertion that "Capacitance and inductance on a 1 meter length of cable can create quite a big shift in frequency within the audio band." is utterly false if we are talking about regular audio cables, even those in large HT systems.
    For example, most audio gear drives interconnects with line drivers that provide a source impedance of 75 ohms. Most audio cable has a capacitance of 20-30 pF a foot. A 20 foot audio cable therefore provides a load capacitance that maxes out at 600 pF, The frequency for a 3 dB loss and 45 degree phase shift is 4 MHZ, so the losses and phase shift in the audio band running up to 20 KHz or 100 Khz are negligible.
  6. mikoss
    This was actually never the topic I was trying to bring up with this debate. Somebody else misinterpreted what I mentioned and included this. I agree 100% that distance is a huge factor wrt transmission line issues.
  7. kimosabe
    Cables are like nutritional supplement beverages and defense attorneys - never ask a question if you risk an adverse answer.
    Let us remember that Monster began selling snake-oil cables and is now a multi-national conglomerate of epic proportions.
    In fact, they manufacture Beats (regardless of what we may think of them, proving that Uncle Erik's Theorem of Snake Oil is quite apropos.
  8. Steve Eddy

    No, it doesn't.

    EDIT: Damn, didn't realize that was such an old post.

  9. Steve Eddy

    No, they don't. Dr. Dre and his partner wrangled Beats from Monster some years ago and sold it all to Apple for $3 billion earlier this year. I can't tell you how happy this made me, knowing that Noel Lee won't get a penny of that.

    I was at Starbucks the other day. Three people in there were wearing headphones. Not one of them were a Monster product. They were all Beats. :D

    Reminds me of a "letter" from Google to Yahoo I saw some years back.

    "Dear Yahoo.

    We've never heard anyone say "Gee, I don't know, Bob. Let's Yahoo it."

    Just sayin'.



  10. arnyk
    Since all you have to back up your assertions seems to be your say-so, my evidence need be no better than that.
    However, you seem to be so badly mislead, here's a life line: http://www.isu.edu.tw/upload/52/35/files/dept_35_lv_2_4168.pdf
  11. StanD
    Even though this is rudimentary EE, most audiophiles will not understand how to apply this knowledge. In the case of cable lovers and believers of anecdotal information, nothing will help.
  12. kimosabe
    Yes, funny letter from Google.
    I may be a bit more complicated..
    According to Crunchbase, Monster still manufactures these headphones;
    "Monster engineered and brought the Beats® headphones to market, and has since become the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance headphones. - See more at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/monster-cable-products-inc#x
    Is it not possible that the manufacture is in the same factory(s)? under license from Dr. Dre et. al by Monster Cables (wherever in the world that is being done - they can assemble just the left headband hinge in the US and it can be marked Made in USA) ? This SOP, where product is made by company A, whose name never appears anywhere on product, website or legal declarations is commonly known as White Labeling, as I realize you are probably aware.
    Is it possible that Dr. Dre --> Apple was a transfer of the business end of contract transfers [including guaranteed Cost of Goods Sold from Monster for X years], marketing, labeling and whatever sizzle Apple wishes wherein Dr. Dr et. al. relinquish said rights for the extra-value price of a mere $3B? 
    Would be interesting to confirm all this conjecture from the inside.
    Just sayin':
    I think the three Beats headphones you saw were still, and always were manufactured - but not necessarily marketed, branded or priced - by Monster Cables, Inc.
    That being perhaps the case, rumors of Noel Lee's demise or even loss of any income from the brand may be  a bit premature. Advertising don't come cheap, but it is squarely in the Apple wheelhouse. 
    PS: let us agree to strike the phrase, "high performance" from the quote within the quote!
    PPS: get ready to a whole lot more of sheeple wearing Beats in the not too distant future, IMHO
  13. Steve Eddy
    Give this a read.


  14. dvw
    Monster does not own the actual factory that manufacture Beats. It is owned by a third party OEM/ODM which also manufactures many other brands including some of the very highly touted headphones. Monster headphones and Beats are manufactured in the same factory though.
  15. Steve Eddy

    From my read of the Gizmodo article, Dre an Iovine went with a different OEM/ODM than Monster was using.

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