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Cable design

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by TheTrace, Apr 12, 2018.
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  1. TheTrace
    Would a really good headphone or earbud as is benefit from a different or "better" cable (like silver)? Or is it more to it than that like the overall design of the earbud? Thanks in advance.
  2. bigshot
    Not unless the cable you are using is defective in some way.
    TheTrace likes this.
  3. TheTrace
    Thank you, was suspecting as much.
    Glmoneydawg likes this.
  4. bigshot
    No problem. Enjoy your music!
    Glmoneydawg and TheTrace like this.
  5. ev13wt
    If you are using very sensitive IEMS... and an improper amplifier for those low Ohm earbuds, there IS or CAN be audible shifts in frequency response. As such, using a higher resistance wire can help balance it out. But its like placing one race tire on a car with 3 normal tires, where one is already flat. It will drive different with that race tire, true...

    Proper amp for the headphones: Cable change will result in 0.001% sound difference. So yes. It changes the sound. :wink:

    Changing pads changes the tonal balance. Changes in dampening materials, or filter material, All those thing make a difference.

    Sticking your earbuds in slightly different, or 32th of an inch different positioning of normal headphones on your head: this changes the sound orders of magnitude higher than any cable ever could.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  6. overgang
    Depends on what you mean by 'benefit'. Better sound, no. Better looks or comfort, maybe.
  7. bigshot
    You're fine, The Trace. Don't worry about it.
    colonelkernel8 likes this.
  8. ev13wt
    Well, if you place some Beyerdynamic T1 pads on a DT-770, you will receive: less bass, less isolation, different distance (driver to ear). Even old, used pads vs. the same model new can be "different". So you can certainly make it worse quite easily. Making it sound "different" isn't very hard. Making it sound better ... that is a challenge best combined with great measuement gear, so one can understand what is going on. edit: repeatability!

    But what bigshot said is true: don't worry about it, you are fine.

    Enjoy the music. Don't chase "perfect sound" as it does not exist.

    If you really want to learn a bit, go get the kindle version of this book and read the first 3 chapters.

    Worth the time as well:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  9. sonitus mirus
    Just for fun. This site is full of audio calculation tools:


    There are tons of methods to calculate wire properties.

    Here is one way that you can play around with the different properties and values to see just how small the changes are in most typical consumer applications.

    Assume we want to look at a 4 meter long, copper, stranded, 16 AWG speaker cable.

    An online calculator is available that automatically converts AWG of solid wire to the diameter in mm. This conversion tool is located near the bottom of the page under the following heading:

    Conversion and calculation of cable diameter to AWG
    and AWG to cable diameter in mm - American Wire Gauge


    AWG Conversion.PNG

    For a stranded wire, we need to convert the wire diameter to cross-sectional area. The same link from above also includes the tool for converting a solid wire diameter to cross-sectional area:

    CS Convert.PNG

    Again, this information can be calculated on many similar sites.

    Here is one example that is very basic and easy for someone like myself to use:



    You can easily change the parameters and see how much of an impact it might create. I only see a few milliohms difference between silver and copper until you start using very long or thick wires. The tiny amount of attenuation from using copper over silver would be minimal and most likely insignificant compared to the room acoustics. It's possible that placing a beer a few inches in one direction or another on a table might impact the sound more than changing from copper to silver wire material. I'd like to state for the record that I would love to volunteer myself for that experiment, provided the beer is fresh. :beerchug:
    ev13wt likes this.
  10. Thenewguy007
    If it isn't occ silver, then it's defective :)
  11. Speedskater
    It's doubtful that you could find a copper and silver wire that were identical in length and cross-section area. But if you did, the difference would be about the same as a 10 foot copper wire compared to a 10 foot 6 inch copper wire.
    sonitus mirus likes this.
  12. Speedskater
    Conveniently electricity doesn't read forums, so it doesn't know that it's supposed to act differently wire silver wire.
    ev13wt likes this.
  13. Thenewguy007
    Well it's a good thing that the conductivity of metals do read forums then :)
    Because they have a measurement for types of metals & silver OCC has the fastest rating on the International Annealed Copper Standard system (IACS).
  14. ev13wt
    But then again, audio signals are veeeerrrry sloooowwww.

  15. colonelkernel8
    If you think you’re going to win this argument with this line of reasoning, I recommend doing some basic research into how electricity travels through materials first. “Speed” in this context makes no sense at all.
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