Cabling actuality
Mar 21, 2010 at 2:11 PM Post #16 of 47

aimlink

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I replaced a Sony extension cable (the smaller one) with one from ThatCable by Loops and the sound opened up with a greater soundstage and more depth. I was not looking for or expecting any change.


Why did you change the cable in the first place?

The bigger cable should give the bigger sound stage and depth.
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Just playing devil's advocate here. I'm actually a fencer who thinks his mind may be playing games with him.
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Mar 21, 2010 at 2:14 PM Post #17 of 47

haloxt

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Peter Pinna, I've tried several types of cables of varying length on my pro 900 and was able to flip back and forth by using detachable cables. My opinion is that the stock pro 900 cable sounded very "neutral", and that grounded shielding almost always led to the highs sounding attenuated but having a more coherent soundstage that results in a sense of warmth. Since you work in the studio I'm sure you could get your hands on some l-e46s canare microphone cable, which of the several cables I've tried was closest in sound signature to the stock pro 900 cable with good improvements in most areas. However if you hate thick cables, I suggest you take a long look at the thickness of the cable and see if you want such a thing on your headphones
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. It may very well be worth stripping the super-thick plastic sheath and putting nylon techflex over the braided shielding. I used 1/10" diameter silk tubing for my portable cable and know 1/4 nylon techflex is too big with the plastic stripped, 1/8" might work but can't guarantee since it doesn't expand much.

1/8" BRAIDED NYLON SLEEVING audio TECHFLEX 25 ft. : eBay Motors (item 360160226460 end time Mar-30-10 19:55:38 PDT)

Oh and if any anti-cablers tries to get in an argument with me, you won't get a response. I'm only going to respond to people actually staying on topic.
 
Mar 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM Post #18 of 47

fjrabon

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Hasn't this drifted into the banned cable DBT territory?
 
Mar 21, 2010 at 5:34 PM Post #20 of 47

cegras

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Covenant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's just the problem. Physics isn't currently understood.
tongue.gif


Peter, for what it's worth, I would personally recommend either APureSound's V3 cables, or Twisted Cables UPOCC "Vortex". I've reviewed the latter if you're curious, and have owned the former twice, in the form of a HD600 cable and an Edition 9 cable.



Except for things on the quantum mechanical scale (where people like Blackbody take refuge) the macroscale is very well understood and characterized.

Quote:

Originally Posted by t/sound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Probably giving away my age but do you guy's remember when Dire Straits launched " Love over gold " and their slogan was " Good music last longer than 2 minutes ", or something to that effect.

Well, I have found I need quite some time before I can say I like this better than that, to be sure, especially if two components are close. Yes there are black and white cases, but these are no brainers anyway. I really would need lots of time with my music, my gear, my wine and my moods to decide which cable I like, having all else the same.

To cut to the chase, I am human and very flawed in my ablities compared to test benches, ossiloscopes and multimeters. But I am very good at appreciation of music, nuances, light and shade and overall impression according what floates my boat. I place my 13 year old daughter 3 meters away and let her play her concert C flute and as she hits her vibrato my tears just flow, yet there are perfect performers that cant make me cry.

So if you give me 2 different cables, keep all else the same and do a human friendly DBT, I think over time I could correctly name A and B well made silver and copper cables.

Sorry for the detour but I think that is why Currawong could be so confident in his statement in post 2. I just know he took the time, listened to many songs, went back and forth and found what he likes best.

"For the sailor who knows not to which port he sails, no wind will be favourable '

We are human, not machine, and we love music, and... lets take aim, and take time, not take sides.

Shade.



Your day-to-day condition will fluctuate on orders of magnitude more than whatever electrical differences there are in wires.
 
Mar 21, 2010 at 6:25 PM Post #21 of 47

leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I rigged up a nice copper cable with some connectors from APS and the result was a more pleasant sound, with a touch more bass, but the treble still didn't have that magic touch that I got from Stax.


yes, the trebles suck on the TWcu wire, they just do
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If I'm not mistaking I built and sold you that cable, so I guess I'm not talking out of my ***
tongue.gif

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I replaced a Sony extension cable (the smaller one) with one from ThatCable by Loops and the sound opened up with a greater soundstage and more depth. I was not looking for or expecting any change.


I also noticed a much wider SS and smoother trebles by using a Monster extension cord..definitely not psychological
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Mar 21, 2010 at 7:58 PM Post #22 of 47

ben4345

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I tried ALO cable from 32 OHM on my JH5's, I noticed a difference right away. Larger sound stage, more energy (faster sounding) and improved overall clarity.
It's not night and day change, but being really skeptical, it is defiantly worth the extra $$$.
 
Mar 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM Post #23 of 47

JaZZ

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In my experience headphone cables have even greater impact than interconnects (maybe because or their length?). All aftermarket cables for the HD 580/600/650 that I have tried sounded better than the corresponding stock cable. Three of them were on top: Zu Mobius, Silver Dragon and Equinox (the latter was sonically close to the stock cable, but offered better detail and soundstage).

My latest experience is with the HD 800 and the DHC «Clone», also called «Baby Complement». Initially I didn't like it – the provided smoothness sounded mannered and artificial –, but after 10 hours it began to show the stock cable its limits. It's smoother and more detailed at the same time – makes the HD 800 sound like a $2000 headphone, thus well worth its high price.
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Mar 21, 2010 at 9:33 PM Post #24 of 47

leeperry

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the issue is not whether a cable can improve the sound(as it can improve it as much as it can screw it up, it's a major hit & miss here), the issue is the grossly high markups.

copper is just copper, not platinum.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 12:03 AM Post #25 of 47

aimlink

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the issue is not whether a cable can improve the sound


I always thought this was the primary bone of contention that leads to the predictable degeneration of these threads.

I recently, as an experiment, switched back to the stock cable for my K702's. The immediate and obvious difference was in the sound volume. I simply plugged the ALO cable out of my amp, leaving the volume knob undisturbed, switched cables and plugged the stock cable in the amp. I was surprised at how much lower the volume was. The sound was less dynamic too. I assumed this was secondary to the loss of volume so I turned the volume up. It still wasn't the same as with the ALO.
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Count me fooled.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:00 AM Post #26 of 47

Peter Pinna

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SillyHoney /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Peter, I'm a neutral guy in "cable theory". From time to time people go against each other in this forum for whether or not cables make difference.

Can you do me, and for many other people here I believe, a favor? That can you do some blind A/B test? It's not I don't buy your claim but I believe blind test will eliminate the placebo effect.



Thank you for your comment. We need to be careful about going anywhere near the subject of "blind testing" because, from what I've come to understand, there are still great differences of opinion regardless of whether or not a blindfold is used. AND, my understanding is that "discussions" about "blind testing" are prohibited in these forums.
I am involved in listening professionally. What I'd like you to know, SillyHoney, is that when I discovered the difference in sound with the extension cable attached, I really didn't know what to expect exactly. As I wrote in my prior post, I have always had a tendency to purchase what is supposed to be high quality equipment. Given this, it is logical for me to believe (Would "assume" be a better word choice?) that this headphone cable was probably a high quality / relatively expensive one (allowing for the fact that, at that time, I knew nothing of "custom built" headphone cables). The thickness of this extension cable is about 1.5 times the thickness of the stock Pro 750 cable. The idea of different relatively similar headphone cable affecting the sound of headphones is a new one to me. I never thought about this concept before becoming a Head-Fi member. I certainly found years ago that different grades of speaker wire affect the sound coming from speakers but, well, I just never thought about that idea for headphones.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Necrolic /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Not necessary, I don't think there's many people here that will disagree a crappy quality cable will distort sound. What comes into question is that after a certain point can things really be improved upon?

That $5 extension cable likely was poorly built, and therefore has trouble properly transmitting a signal. However, a let's say $20 extension cable is probably at least properly put together, and therefore fully transmits the signal sans-distortion.

The question is, after you pay enough to get a cable that will transmit a signal without distortion, do cables really make a difference?



Thank you for your comment. As I wrote previously, I don't believe this was a "crappy" extension cable. If it was, I doubt I would have started this thread. That's an interesting thought: Look for different grades of extension cables, test the highest grade currently manufactured and see if that affects sound as much as this one does.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd take a test on a copper vs silver HD-800 cable in my rig any day. The copper cable has been disassembled though so I can't readily test it. Someone in PM described similar characteristics to it to me from the DHC copper cables though, so it would be easy to test. The difference in the treble is quite clear to me.

It might be worth adding here that I'm fiddling around with cables after having already fairly settled on my main rig. The cabling is really the finishing touches. With a non-portable rig I'd still recommend buying better components before buying cables of any kind but as you start heading towards four figures it's worth considering for sure. One except I had though was my TF10s. I thought that instruments sounded very harsh, and blamed my iPod. However, after plugging the iPod into my main rig, and finding no harshness, it turned out the TF10 cable was responsible. Replacing it with a Null Audio one fixed that. I wont be buying UEs again, however.



One of the cable makers did a video where he discussed briefly the different sound qualities of copper vs. silver. What I understood him to say was the silver gives more detail and copper gives warmth. I think you are absolutely right about having better components in the audio chain being a priority over the headphone cable. Actually, if anything, a better headphone cable might reveal a bad sounding component more than a stock cable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If there is distortion, you can use a DMM, oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, or other equipment to measure output directly from the amp and also from the cable. With some of the more sophisticated equipment, you can overlay the results and see where they diverge.

If no meaningful difference is found, then you have to assume that there is a force beyond resistance, capacitance and inductance that affects the cable. Further, this mysterious force has effects that do not affect resistance, capacitance or inductance. Moreover, the implication would be that virtually piece of electronic equipment, audio or not, is compromised somehow by its wire composition. Not only that, but no one has ever been able to substantiate these mysterious forces with something like a light bulb or an electric motor. After all, how does electricity know whether it is in an audio cable or in the winding of an AC motor? It doesn't. So the wire in an AC motor should show signs of cable effects just the same as a RCA interconnect.

In other words, something that would fundamentally overturn physics as currently understood.

It is possible, however very unlikely. Given that electricity is involved in a great deal of scientific pursuit, it is remarkable that these differences never turn up anywhere besides audio cables. Even more remarkable that this view of cables is pushed heavily by people who make money from selling them.

I hold a dim view of sighted listening tests. Being able to see the cable introduces a raft of human biases and expectations.

Besides, if you hear the difference, why do you need to see the cable?

If the difference is heard, then vision has nothing to do with it.

So you have to take vision out of the equation if you want to know if you're actually hearing something.

As far as I know, no one has ever identified a cable unsighted.

The reasonable conclusion is that cable differences are psychological.



Thank you for your comment. Your views here are very similar to the views of someone I spoke with several months ago when I first became curious about whether or not different cables affect the sound of headphones. The person of whom I am writing is a tech involved in creating and replacing different types of cable for studios. He told me that he did not believe that different cables cause headphones to sound differently. Actually, what he told me was that it is impossible for two relatively similar cables to cause a difference in sound in headphones. And, he went on to say that any differences heard are totally in the imagination of the listener, further agreeing with your comments.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Graphicism /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm a recable agnostic... I don't know what to think but its cool to hear both sides however contradicting they may be. Anyway I also have a coiled extension cable I purchased a while ago which is mono... ...just checking.
wink.gif


I'd love to see a DBT on different cables, DACs and amps too... I bet most if not all would fail to identify a $200 amp from a $2,000 amp when blindfolded.



The extension cable is a stereo one. Maybe, though, it has "mono"
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and that is why it doesn't sound so good.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Covenant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's just the problem. Physics isn't currently understood.
tongue.gif


Peter, for what it's worth, I would personally recommend either APureSound's V3 cables, or Twisted Cables UPOCC "Vortex". I've reviewed the latter if you're curious, and have owned the former twice, in the form of a HD600 cable and an Edition 9 cable.



I will definitely consider your recommendations, Cov.... Which of these do you think would render a more detailed sound? I think the APS guy is the one who made the video I wrote about in a previous post, if memory serves correctly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernmac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
One of the questions regarding an Ultrasone Pro recable is-Do you replace the screw in cable with an aftermarket one, leaving the existing board and left right earcup cabling intact or do you replace the lot, having a hardwired recable?


Thank you for your comment. I would want to do the "screw in" type but only because I can take it back out if I don't like it. And, because it wouldn't void the warranty on a new pair.

Edit: I somehow became distracted from commenting on a very important part of your post, Kernmac. And, that is your comment regarding either leaving or replacing the stock internal cabling. This is a very valid point regarding re-cabling the Ultrasone Pro series, generally because, seemingly, any external re-cabling would be "invalidated" by the internal cabling because "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link".
I am aware that Moon Audio manufactures a replacement cable for the Pro series. I would be curious to hear their explanation of how this cable could possibly make the Pro series sound better without replacing the internal cabling in the headphone.
I would welcome a response from Moon Audio or any other cable maker regarding this topic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I replaced a Sony extension cable (the smaller one) with one from ThatCable by Loops and the sound opened up with a greater soundstage and more depth. I was not looking for or expecting any change.

4316503262_d6fc9139f0.jpg


The total cost of both cables was less than £10. The only issue I have is that some cables are stupidly expensive. But if purchasers hear a difference, no matter the reason, then so be it.

So what if audiophiles are the only people to report sound and vision differences in cables? Who else uses cabling in such a manner to make a proper comparison?

Other areas where cables are used are also subject to preferences and performance issues. Electricians to electrical engineers have products that they recommend. MK is well regarded in domestic applications. But a socket is a socket, surely? A friend works for a company that makes its own cabling in house to ensure quality and it needs to be to a military spec. They would not dream of using any old cable. But cable is cable, surely?



I agree that it seems as though some cables should be less costly. But then, I think just about everything should be less costly.
It needs to be taken into consideration, the man hours involved in custom building a cable as well as the materials involved.
The tech I spoke of in a prior post could have made a cable for me but he told me to not do it because he didn't want me to waste my money.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:20 AM Post #28 of 47

logwed

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Graphicism /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are you saying it is stereo but could be performing mono?


The way I read it, he's saying that the cable has the virus "Mono" and that's why it isn't at the top of it's game.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:21 AM Post #29 of 47

Peter Pinna

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Graphicism /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are you saying it is stereo but could be performing mono?


No, I was making a joke. Using the word "mono" to refer to the disease "Mononucleosis" which is often abbreviated as "Mono".
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM Post #30 of 47

Peter Pinna

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The more analytical of you may notice that I added something to the original post. What I added was "or so it seems" at the end of the sentence which reads "I have found that the people who believe that different cables cause headphones to sound differently are absolutely correct in their thinking."
When I wrote the original post in this thread, I meant to indicate the idea that there is a possibility that the differences in the sound that I heard are possibly applicable or possibly not applicable to Headphone cables and may only be applicable to headphone extension cables. I somehow didn't quite make that point clear enough in that original post.
 

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