Do Expensive Cables make a difference or is it just Snakeoil.......
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Sinue

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How that affects audio quality is the question my friend.  Care to explain?

 
Quote:
Doesn't the Goertz have a lot of capacitance. An solid state amp without some inductance already at it's output is likely to ring. I'm sure it's great for some but probably not all that may actually prefer some inductance. I actually think inductance is actually freindlier overall and don't understand why you think it equates to cheap. I'm sure that the goertz is great as you use it, as speaker wire for some amps and probably probably great with tube amps. When it comes to interconnect, most are unaware of how poor most RCA connectors are compared to impedance matched BNC, XLR or even DIN when it comes to reflections and impedance.


 
 
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post-7596883
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goodvibes

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I probably should have omitted that last bit. Don't want to start this up again. Sorry as I don't have measurements but it's been done. The question then becomes if there's enough there to hear which is just another endless debate and saying if I have or haven't heard the same cable with different ends would be inappropriate at this point. I will limit myself to the amplifier wire/load discussion.
 
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post-7596908
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Quote:
Hi there, for portability I own an iBasso D6 and D10 and Ipod Touch which power my JH16's, and a Burson Audio HA-160 for home use, after doing some reading, I was wondering, do these more "crazy" expensive headphone cable really make that much of a difference for the money they are charging, in particular these two companies, ALO and Elite TWag, I mean my JH16 sound great now, what kind of improvement should I expect, and is that improvement worth the money. I mean it's only a cable, how deep can one really go with this anyways.

cybertec69, I have a pair of Westone ES5s and use them with my Cowon J3 for portable use and a iBasso D6 as a DAC at home.
 
At first I was a non believer in aftermarket cables but I decided to give them a try since there were available at local stores for audition.
I have gone through and demoed a fair share of cables for my ES5s.
ALO SXC 24awg, ALO 22awg Cu OCC, Mingo cables (Hong Kong based)...
 
Rather than writing all of my opinions again, here is a link to a few impressions of certain cables:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/495931/westone-es5/2715#post_7550779
These are merely my opinions.
Compared all these cables to the standard Westone cable.
 
Since that post, I have actually purchased a couple cables:
1. Double Helix Cables OCC Copper 24awg
http://doublehelixcables.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=39
- I managed to get the last pre-production model, doesn't have the memory wire but is still OM (overmolded), very good price thanks to Peter at DHC.
- This cable basically sounds very similar to the ALO 22awg Copper OCC cable imo.
- Only difference is, it more flexible/thinner than the ALO so I can actually use everywhere I go without the wire becoming unsettled from behind my ears.
 
2. Twisted Cables TWspc 26awg
- "Qusp" (Jeremy) on head-fi is who you should contact for Twisted Cables.
- Still waiting for this to arrive, but I am expecting it to sound similar to the ALO SXC cable because material composition is similar.
- I can post impressions later
 
 
Lastly, I believe there is quite the aesthetic value for cables, they look great.
But it is great when you receive a good looking product that also performs.
Here's a photo!
 

 
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post-7597165
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mrspeakers

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^post your measurements.  I want to see results on differences as you say.
  Please do expand on how complex impedance is affected.  how significant it is compared to complex impedance of the load and the source.


My research was about 10 years ago, so no data now.  I based it on some early work Nelson Pass did, and you can easily google for it, there's a PDF floating around with the original results.  I did a variant on his work using different speakers as loads and found the results varied by speaker, as well as by cable.
 
The key thing is there's no perfect cable for all applications.  Some have great results through good luck, some through careful tests, occasionally through deliberate design.  Price isn't an indicator of quality, and it's important to listen because cables will vary.  
 
I don't really want to get into the math on complex impedances, but the simple fact is all cables are a RLC circuit, as are the loads, and as the parameters change, you can get quite measurable effects in transient response, frequency response, etc.  
 
Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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post-7597166
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calipilot227

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Quote:
Thanks Roy, the only thing stopping me is cables that cost more that the components themselves
 
This is a good place to draw the line 
 You might notice an improvement if you were using really crappy cables before (e.g. paper clips and coat hangers), but otherwise the difference will be almost negligible.
 
Quote:
I just received a 15' Norse Audio Cable for my LCD-2's. Sonically I cannot tell any difference from the stock cable. However:
 
- It's 15' long. so I can sit on my couch instead of sitting on my floor.
- It's half the weight of the stock cable
- It looks fantastic.
 
Buy cables for the right reasons.......looks and function. Any other expectation is unrealistic.
 
 

Enough said 
 When I owned the Triple.fi 10, I was contemplating swapping out the stiff, microphonic stock cable for a Westone ES cable, simply to get rid of the microphonics, not to improve the sound quality. I ended up selling the IEMs before I ever got around to ordering the cable, however.
 
 
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post-7597181
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mrspeakers

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Quote:
Doesn't the Goertz have a lot of capacitance. A solid state amp without some inductance already at it's output is likely to ring. I'm sure it's great for some but probably not all that may actually prefer some inductance. I actually think inductance is generally freindlier overall and don't understand why you think it equates to cheap. It just needs to be correct for the purpose. I'm sure that the goertz is great as you use it, as speaker wire for some amps and probably very nice with tube amps. When it comes to interconnect, most are unaware of how poor most RCA connectors are compared to impedance matched BNC, XLR or even DIN when it comes to reflections and impedance. I'm back as this is a different discussion.
Many commercial amps have a small inductor on the output...  If they don't, it's often because there is a wide phase margin, or they don't use global feedback so it's not so much of a concern.  
 
The Goertz does have a lot of capacitance, but no inductance, so it's possible an amp without an inductor on the output could oscillate if it had global feedback.  I have never seen it happen in practice, but it's a big planet and it probably has somewhere for some more marginally stable amps.
 
Thanks for the good comment!.
 
 
Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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post-7597748
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I apologize if I misunderstood you then.
 
Relating to the first paragraph, I'd say that a subjective observation is what should prompt investigation and experimentation but if after extensive work has been done on the issue there still isn't any evidence then you should assume that your subjective observation is in error.
 
I almost completely agree with the second paragraph though.

"you should assume that your subjective observation is in error"
 
The purposes of headphones as I understand them are
1) Analysing music for production/assessment/modification, assuming that all listeners will hear something different for obvious reasons
2) Listening to music for pleasure
 
It follows that subjective observations are all that matter with headphones.
 
 
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post-7598171
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High_Q

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Question for anybody that can answer this.
 
If the signal gets reflected back, does it sum with the signal being sent out?  Which would create a type of distortion to the signal being sent out to the headphones from the source.  If this is the case, how significant is the reflected signal?  According to wiki, there is 180 phase shift to the reflected portion.  That means the refection will be subtracted from the signal being sent out.  I personally believe that cable impedance adds to source impedance, but it's probably negligable(that's why engineers don't think much of it), and Amp's output and load's are more significan't than cable. It's best to match output impedance to load impedance to have 0 reflection.  I would think reflection will create distortion.  Am I correct on this?

 
Anybody want to do some interesting reading. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflection_coefficient  It has nice animation of a signal being reflected on the page.
 
I have an interesting question now.  Is damping factor more important or impedance matching?
 
Quote:
Doesn't the Goertz have a lot of capacitance. A solid state amp without some inductance already at it's output is likely to ring. I'm sure it's great for some but probably not all that may actually prefer some inductance. I actually think inductance is generally freindlier overall and don't understand why you think it equates to cheap. It just needs to be correct for the purpose. I'm sure that the goertz is great as you use it, as speaker wire for some amps and probably very nice with tube amps. When it comes to interconnect, most are unaware of how poor most RCA connectors are compared to impedance matched BNC, XLR or even DIN when it comes to reflections and impedance. I'm back as this is a different discussion.


 
 
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post-7598217
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goodvibes

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Yes and no and why I dropped it. It's much more of a problem in RF and the small % of reflection artifacts in audio apps from improper impedance connections etc. would just start another debate about what is actually audible.
 
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^I care less about what is audible to some Joe Smoe with golden ears.  I'm just curious about if there is evidence that the reflected signal could change the signal that is sent out to the load if there is significant mismatch,thus creating distortions.  Is it apparent and measureable?
 
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post-7598324
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Quote:
So, because no one can isolate how gravity happens must mean we're all floating into space? The idea that we know how to measure everything is a more seriously flawed argument. Doesn't mean someone needs to believe or not but experience counts and 'no you didn't' and demanding proof of experience by measurement is over the top. You can't prove a negative by lack of physical evidence. Look at the correct Casey Anthony verdict for an example. She's not guilty but hardly innocent.



We have more to learn about gravity, we have more to learn about cables as well. I disagree that what we know about the measurements of cabling, which have been around for over a century and that we have not found anything that measures which correlates to changes in sound quality is seriously flawed. It is more flawed to assume that there is something there, despite all the evidence that there is not, particularly when that involves ignoring a whacking great big elephant in the room reason that provides us with a very good reason as to why cables can sound different.
 
Your legal analogy does not work for me. A better one would be I show you into an empty room, one where you say that there is something there and despite all your efforts you cannot find it. That is because there is nothing there. So in effect I have proved a negative.
 
 
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post-7598361
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tinyman392

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Even better analogy is a needle in a haystack.  Just because you can't find it doesn't mean it's not there.  You always have to keep an open mind both ways (There is a needle, there isn't a needle) until an answer is found (IE finding the needle or not finding it by destroying the haystack and going through every millimeter of fragmented hay).
 
Numbers aren't everything.  YOu have to get general observations before numbers can be added to the equation. 
 
Same really goes for cable and burn-in arguments.  There are supporting facts both ways, you just have to test, and test again.  And you are absolutely correct, we don't know enough about gravity, we are still finding out more.
 
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post-7598376
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To extend the needle in a haystack analogy, cable believers say that needle is there and has a profound and clear affect on the haystack. Cable non believers say that it may not be there, it does not have any significant affect and in any case, should we not concentrate on all of the hay?
 
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