Cabling actuality
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:37 AM Post #31 of 47

leeperry

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aimlink /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I always thought this was the primary bone of contention that leads to the predictable degeneration of these threads.


funnily enough, it's always the same ppl who like to always tell us about their undeniable truth on how all the cables sound the same...and that if you don't agree, you're a poor victim of placebo(and a fool too). it's called being narrow-minded, it's well documented: narrow minded - Google Search
Quote:

nar·row-mind·ed (n r -m n d d). adj. Lacking tolerance, breadth of view


IME(and friends too), some cables can change the sound far more than opamp rolling ever would.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 1:42 AM Post #32 of 47
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Pinna /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No, I was making a joke. Using the word "mono" to refer to the disease "Mononucleosis" which is often abbreviated as "Mono".


Hah I get ya now, I really had no idea at first.

Well I've heard enough... I'd like to see some DBT of cables, the listener is blindfolded and their assistant switches out the cable sometimes using the cheap extension and other-times not. Simply video it, uncut, and get it right say half a dozen times without fault.

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
funnily enough, it's always the same ppl who like to always tell us about their undeniable truth on how all the cables sound the same...and that if you don't agree, you're a poor victim of placebo(and a fool too).


Or not human, a bat, defying physics and so on.
 
Mar 22, 2010 at 4:23 AM Post #33 of 47
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Something I forgot to add: A component that changes the tonal balance of the sound will be more easily heard than one that increases detail. However, if the tonal change involves an increase in treble, then people tend to feel that there is more detail.

I have encountered a few cables that distinctly altered the tonal balance of the sound. Now if we can't hear tonal changes and it's all just a placebo, then I don't know What we are doing talking about headphones of music at all, as we must all be tone-deaf!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 7:16 PM Post #34 of 47

Peter Pinna

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Earlier in this thread, Kernmac made a comment questioning the idea of whether or not it would be necessary to also change the internal cabling of the Ultrasone Pro series headphones when an aftermarket cable is plugged into the left side ear cup portal. What I surmised from Kernmac's question was that he was implying that because the internal headphone cabling is not the same and possibly inferior to the external after market cable (plugged into the left cup portal) that the positive effects (improvements) on the potential sound as a result of utilizing the plugged in after market cable would be negated either completely or to a significant extent. (Kernmac, please correct me if this is wrong and not what you were implying.) I wrote to Dru of Moon Audio about this. Below is a copy of Kernmac's comment and my response within this thread (so you don't have to look for it) and then a copy of my correspondence with Dru of Moon Audio:

Originally Posted by Kernmac

"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?"

My Response to Kernmac (Of particular significance is the Edit):

"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."


I wrote to Dru of Moon Audio asking him to comment about the above question. The following is his response:

"We can offer multiple options to the consumer depending on how far they want to take a recabling mod. For the Ultrasone the following options are available. And they are listed in the order they will improve the sound.
1) We offer either a simple replacement cable retaining all the original internal wire or we can also replace the internal wire.
2) We can do a single entry hardwire mod. removing the screw connection and internal PC board. With or without retaining the headband wire to the right driver. I personally don't like the single entry mod from a comfort stand point. I always feel there is an unbalance from a comfort stand point with cable on just one side of my head. After market cables are bulkier than stock and can cause this.
3) We can offer a full fledged split mod entry with detachable connectors. This offers a lot of flexibility. You can change out your cable depending on your set up. You can use a short cable with mini plug for portable use. You can use a longer cable with 1/4" plug for your single ended headphone amp and then another cable with XLRs for your balanced set up. This makes for the most flexible situation.
4) We can offer a full fledged split mod entry with the aftermarket cable hardwire directly to each driver. The best connector is no connector the less stuff you can put in the signal path the less possibility for signal contamination. This is the best sounding option but not the most flexible if you have multiple systems with different connections. But it is the best sounding.
Now I don't want to really get into the great cable debate as I have tried to put those days behind me. Nobody wins in those arguments. I know what I believe. The bottom line is you as an individual have to make your own decision based on your own experiences. We all hear differently. Just like all headphones having there own signature, so do our eardrums. No eardrum is built alike. Some are sensitive to high frequencies, some are not, some cant handle eardrum sound pressure, some can. I believe the less changes to the signal path the better. The more we can keep materials similar from the signals origination the better. So the more we remove connectors, internal wire etc the better. The smaller the connector mass the better. Such as I would prefer to use a single 4 pin or 3 pin XLR over a bulky 1/4" plug with a bunch of mass for the signal the travel over. I find the quality of the plating very important as most the signal in low voltage applications will travel on the plating vs saturating the connectors body. Unlike say a Power Plug or Speaker Connector whereas the base material is as important as the plating due to signal saturation. And I can go on and on. But like I said you should do your own experimenting and not others influence your decision making. If cables make a difference for you, then wonderful. If they don't, that's wonderful too."


Thank you very much, Dru, for your excellent response.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 7:59 PM Post #35 of 47

SillyHoney

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Maybe it's because I'm so new to Head-Fi (and so poor) so I don't know/understand much about the legendary "recable war" but IM-very-HO, I'm wondering why you guys, who have muuuch better ears than me, know a lot mooore about music than me, have a lot mooore quality components than me, do a test at a meet, say, Can Jam 2010?

With one or two top of the line headphone that are widely known to highly benefit from cable, one stock detachable cables, one or two high-end after market cables which are, also, known to make the most difference and one or two best AMP/DAC out there, you guys sit down together, spend enough time to do both normal A/B and blind A/B test then let's see what the result is.

I have no idea about cable stuff and I'm not in either side so I don't intend to offense anyone here. What I said above is what popped up in my mind when I see you guys, here and around the world, are spending decades to argue about "cables make difference" topic. Is it difficult to setup a meet like I said? Or does it cost too much time and money? Or you just simply don't care? I honestly don't know and don't understand.

Best regards!

Edit: I have just read the "Do not discuss cable DBT" thread. So sorry!

But honestly it makes me even more confused.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 7:59 PM Post #36 of 47

Prog Rock Man

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aimlink /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why did you change the cable in the first place?

The bigger cable should give the bigger sound stage and depth.
tongue.gif
Just playing devil's advocate here. I'm actually a fencer who thinks his mind may be playing games with him.
smily_headphones1.gif



I needed an extension cable for my Goldrings as they only have a 1 meter cable, which is not long enough.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 8:46 PM Post #38 of 47

Kernmac

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Exactly Peter. People get so focussed on stating their opinion/belief that it becomes almost a team/riot behaviour. If we assume for the minute that cable changes do effect sound, then by replacing only the cable leading to the left earcup, wouldn't this logically only change the sound to that earcup? This would logically create an imbalance as the cabling from left to right remians unchanged. If the cable that screws into the left earcup changes the sound coming out of the right earcup to the exact same extent (without changing the internal wiring) then the internal wiring makes no difference. If the internal wiring makes no difference, how can changing the external cabling make a difference? Logical? Having said all this, I am one person who purchased a screw in replacement cable for my Pro900 (Moon Audio Blue Dragon -very good quality cable), go figure. And the result-Let me just say I didn't notice any imbalance, left to right.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 9:58 PM Post #40 of 47

SillyHoney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernmac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Exactly Peter. People get so focussed on stating their opinion/belief that it becomes almost a team/riot behaviour. If we assume for the minute that cable changes do effect sound, then by replacing only the cable leading to the left earcup, wouldn't this logically only change the sound to that earcup? This would logically create an imbalance as the cabling from left to right remians unchanged. If the cable that screws into the left earcup changes the sound coming out of the right earcup to the exact same extent (without changing the internal wiring) then the internal wiring makes no difference. If the internal wiring makes no difference, how can changing the external cabling make a difference? Logical? Having said all this, I am one person who purchased a screw in replacement cable for my Pro900 (Moon Audio Blue Dragon -very good quality cable), go figure. And the result-Let me just say I didn't notice any imbalance, left to right.


I don't know what you guys think but this guy made up a very good point
biggrin.gif
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 10:38 PM Post #41 of 47

n3rdling

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If your goal is to get closer to what was mastered, Peter, have you considered going to a less colored headphone instead of changing a piece of wire?
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 10:45 PM Post #42 of 47

Peter Pinna

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernmac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Exactly Peter. People get so focussed on stating their opinion/belief that it becomes almost a team/riot behaviour. If we assume for the minute that cable changes do effect sound, then by replacing only the cable leading to the left earcup, wouldn't this logically only change the sound to that earcup? This would logically create an imbalance as the cabling from left to right remians unchanged. If the cable that screws into the left earcup changes the sound coming out of the right earcup to the exact same extent (without changing the internal wiring) then the internal wiring makes no difference. If the internal wiring makes no difference, how can changing the external cabling make a difference? Logical? Having said all this, I am one person who purchased a screw in replacement cable for my Pro900 (Moon Audio Blue Dragon -very good quality cable), go figure. And the result-Let me just say I didn't notice any imbalance, left to right.


Kernmac,
Did you notice any difference in the sound of your headphones with the Blue Dragon screw in cable? If so, was that difference an improvement?
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 10:49 PM Post #43 of 47

Peter Pinna

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Quote:

Originally Posted by n3rdling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If your goal is to get closer to what was mastered, Peter, have you considered going to a less colored headphone instead of changing a piece of wire?


Thank you for your question which I won't answer here because the subject of your question is not at all what this thread is about. I would be happy to answer your question if you send me a PM.
 
Mar 25, 2010 at 7:30 AM Post #44 of 47

Kernmac

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Pinna /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Kernmac,
Did you notice any difference in the sound of your headphones with the Blue Dragon screw in cable? If so, was that difference an improvement?



To be totally honest, I don't know. Even with the ability to screw in a comparrison cable, I couldn't tell. Therefore I concluded that the sound difference (if any) is not significant to justify change. That is not to say that there might be greater change between other stock headphone cables and/or other aftermarket replacement cables. I simply haven't experienced a difference that would warrant a cable change based entirely on the quest for "better" sound. For me I would look at investing my money in other componets, if not a headphone upgrade. I leave this thread with a cut and paste from one of my previous posts on this very subject.

The people that hear a difference are obviously right as there are too many people that have re-cabled their headphones that have found there is a difference; sometimes significant, sometimes subtle. What do you say to all the people that don’t hear a difference-“you don’t know what you are missing out on.”

The people that don’t hear a difference are obviously right as there has never been any objective evidence, apparently not a single successful, repeatable blind test and if you can’t measure the difference then it isn’t different. And to those that believe they have done a blind test successfully and repeatedly, you will fail with a double blind test. How do you explain all the other people that hear a difference-wishful thinking, psychoacoustics and liars.

And me, well I purchased a blue dragon cable (fine craftsmanship) for my Pro900 and found audio bliss, problem is I still don’t know if the stock cables that came with the Ultrasone sound any different. I use the blue dragon all the time now and it sounds great, so why bother trying to do testing to determine if it is better or not? I have nothing to prove and I don’t care. Will I purchase another re-cable in the future, not purely for sonic improvement I won’t. If there is a difference, then investing the money in better source or amp components, or simply buying another headphone will give more significant results IMO of course.
If the cable is damaged, too short/long, has microphonic issues, then re-cable.
If you are a believer, then re-cable. If you are a handy person and like re-cabling, then re-cable. If you do not need to re-cable, are not a handy person who likes to re-cable, and you are a non-believer, then don’t re-cable and stop trying to convince the believers they are wasting their money. They already know you are wrong.
 
Mar 25, 2010 at 8:32 PM Post #45 of 47

upstateguy

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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.



As usual, very nicely said Uncle Erik.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernmac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
To be totally honest, I don't know. Even with the ability to screw in a comparrison cable, I couldn't tell. Therefore I concluded that the sound difference (if any) is not significant to justify change. That is not to say that there might be greater change between other stock headphone cables and/or other aftermarket replacement cables. I simply haven't experienced a difference that would warrant a cable change based entirely on the quest for "better" sound. For me I would look at investing my money in other componets, if not a headphone upgrade. I leave this thread with a cut and paste from one of my previous posts on this very subject.

The people that hear a difference are obviously right as there are too many people that have re-cabled their headphones that have found there is a difference; sometimes significant, sometimes subtle. What do you say to all the people that don’t hear a difference-“you don’t know what you are missing out on.”

The people that don’t hear a difference are obviously right as there has never been any objective evidence, apparently not a single successful, repeatable blind test and if you can’t measure the difference then it isn’t different. And to those that believe they have done a blind test successfully and repeatedly, you will fail with a double blind test. How do you explain all the other people that hear a difference-wishful thinking, psychoacoustics and liars.

And me, well I purchased a blue dragon cable (fine craftsmanship) for my Pro900 and found audio bliss, problem is I still don’t know if the stock cables that came with the Ultrasone sound any different. I use the blue dragon all the time now and it sounds great, so why bother trying to do testing to determine if it is better or not? I have nothing to prove and I don’t care. Will I purchase another re-cable in the future, not purely for sonic improvement I won’t. If there is a difference, then investing the money in better source or amp components, or simply buying another headphone will give more significant results IMO of course.
If the cable is damaged, too short/long, has microphonic issues, then re-cable.
If you are a believer, then re-cable. If you are a handy person and like re-cabling, then re-cable. If you do not need to re-cable, are not a handy person who likes to re-cable, and you are a non-believer, then don’t re-cable and stop trying to convince the believers they are wasting their money. They already know you are wrong.



Also very nicely said Kernmac.

I'll add to that that I've been listening to headphones and speakers for a long time. Probably longer than a lot of you have been alive. The salient thing that I have noticed is that a persons hearing changes almost on a day to day basis. Whether or this is due to somatic factors, atmospheric conditions, electrical conditions or something else is irrelevant. Variations in sound perceptions, subtle as they might be, occur regularly. I've found this to be true across all the equipment I've ever had. This is one of the reasons I have 650s, 880s and 701s, multiple amps and DACs.... And when I was into speakers, more than one system.

USG
 

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