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How do I convince people that audio cables DO NOT make a difference

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by 3602, Apr 4, 2010.
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  1. castleofargh Contributor
    I have a few ideas:
    - not wanting this hobby that we love to remain the go to example of human gullibility for everybody around the world.
    - trying to help someone when you see him ready to make a mistake.
    - just having some basic interest in the truth.

    then what is your alternative? when we read something false, should we grab some popcorn and just enjoy the show? is that what anybody with some understanding of a topic should do in your opinion? because people in general don't like being told that they're wrong or ignorant on a topic, we must be careful not to cause any discomfort?
    if I'm wrong about something and someone who knows it doesn't warn me, I might remain wrong about that for a long time. I might drag other people into believing me on this because they like me or whatever. what I can tell you is that I do not wish for this to happen to me. if one day I get to learn the truth, that you knew all along and didn't bother trying to convince me that I was wrong, I'll hate your guts for the rest of my life. I couldn't forgive someone who knew and left me in my own crap anyway.
    that's just me and sure enough, other people will have other views on this. as a counter example, I know several people IRL who are deflecting masters. everything is someone else's fault, they're never wrong will never consider or admit being wrong no matter the circumstances. such people do not want others to point out when they're wrong on a subject. of course they do not care to see a solid demonstration of the facts. IRL I just limit my interactions with them. on a forum, I will from time to time react to their posts because I'm thinking about everybody else on the forum who doesn't deserve to get dragged into myths and legends by some guy who can't handle cognitive dissonance but loves to make claims anyway.

    it's fine to value self experience, but as far as audio technology and understanding of audio, electricity, acoustic, or humans goes, if you didn't have the knowledge from previous generations to help you skip discovering it all on your own, right now your total understanding would be barely above that of a monkey. I don't need to try hundreds of audio cables to accept that the electrical rules as defined over the last century will apply to the circuit. making some things possible and other impossible. when someone claims that the impossible stuff is happening with his cable, I don't need to go purchase a ludicrous "audiophile" cable to try for myself before posting that he's wrong.
    you're giving way too much value to personal subjective experience here. even if all of that personal listening experience was acquired through well setup and well controlled experiments, you would still be wrong to assume that it's your best source of knowledge. it is one source, one with pretty poor value if you don't bother controlling anything.

    you're wrong and what's sloppiest here is your reasoning. but instead of trying to convince you as you clearly do not care for it, or proper demonstration, or truth. I'll simply ask, why do you feel the need to try and convince people that they shouldn't try to convince people? :imp:
    SilentNote likes this.
  2. gregorio
    No it's not. It might be a hobby to you but for others it's a profession and/or a business. You think maybe Sennheiser make audiophile headphones for a hobby? Whether you like it or not, it's all based on science.
    1. Yes, one person was but if you actually read the thread, you'll see the OP was quickly told that you can't convince someone who doesn't want to be convinced, so there's no point trying anyway.

    2. But the fact is, all chocolate bars taste good. You see, it's easy to just make up a false and/or completely unrelated "fact"! Firstly, you don't seem to understand that the whole point of a DBT is to remove bias. There can be no "for" or "against" bias if you don't know when/if there is a change. With a half decent DBT both those "for" and those "against" perform the same! Secondly, your false "fact" is irrelevant anyway because...

    3. This too is false. We have actual objective measurements!

    4. That might be as good you as you expect but it's absolutely no where near as good as we or science expects. This is the "sound science" forum, not the "what jarcher (falsely) contents or expects" forum!

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  3. baskingshark
    Hi I'm not very experienced with cables and measurements, but would like to ask a few questions:

    1) Does the number of cores of a cable make a difference eg 4, 8, 16? I know it affects impedence but is it that significant in real life to cause a perceivable difference in sound?

    2) Why do some audiophiles buy cables that cost $1000+? One of my audiophile friends was showing me his $1K cable a few days ago and I was stunned (of course his IEM cost $2K). Personally, I won't spend more than $20 USD on cables. I know the look and feel are different but $1K?? I could get some TOTL IEMs/headphones with that amount of cash.

  4. jarcher
    Woah : didn't know I had walked into the hornets nest of the empiricist wing of audiophiledom!

    Look - neither I nor anyone else should be expected to wade through over 100 pages to this thread and "lurk" for however long for the "privilege" of responding to a thread title that makes the arrogant and moronic assertion "how do I convince people that audio cables do not make a difference". Understand that If something like that is up : it's click bait, particularly for a newbie. And it's going to attract dissent, not just people who want to join in the circle jerk.

    I've already spent too much time and effort providing detailed and scientifically valid reasons why cables can and do make an audible difference - and even beyond the usual LCR reasons. I even offered to put those doubters directly into contact with cable designers so they can raise their doubts and questions DIRECTLY to the people they are questioning. I've yet to have any of those people taken me up on that offer.

    Usually the responses devolve instead into ad hominen attacks, straw "snake oil" merchant claims and / or shifting goal posts of what is considered sufficient proof to "satisfy" the "prosecution", and from the same people who claim to be motivated by the pursuit of "truth" and "science" as they narrowly understand it. I'm not interested anymore in engaging the armchair junior electrical engineer who thinks they understand all the principles and what's relevant or not to understanding what real "audio science" or not.

    All of which is reason why I"m not going to try and start down that road again here and now.

    Frankly with very rare exceptions hardly anyone in the hifi business is trying to make a living actively peddling lies and deceptions. If you really want to make a living doing that or get rich, there are frankly a thousand easier tried and true ways to do that than "audiophile snake oil merchant". So many "audio science truth warriors" simply slashing their swords around at straw men.

    Which is why the point of my first post was to say : we don't need "convincing" from "audio truth saviors". We are adults and are allowed to spend our money how we like - and yes - even to make mistakes. And better yet - to share those subjective experiences, positive and negative. THAT'S why we go on forums such as this one. Ie to share experiences about what we are interested in. NOT to have someone so called "expert" try to convince me in the name of holy science that I or others cant possibly be experiencing what we have and need to be brought to "truth" PARTICULARLY by many people who actually have very limited understanding of the science they think they understand fully.

    My suggestion: if you don't want to invite discussion and dissension on the ridiculous premise of this thread, then this whole thread should be binned permanently. Otherwise don't be surprised if I and others again in the future do walk in and call out the BS.
  5. old tech
    Somewhere a village is missing the idiot.
  6. Davesrose
    So in your opinion, is there an audible difference between a $1,000 power cable vs $10 one?
  7. SilentNote
    That is not a well designed study. That is deliberately introducing bias into the study. The only conclusion you can draw from that study is that bias affects people's perception.

    Double blinded ABX conducted by yourself is mostly for YOURSELF to learn about what you can and cannot appreciate.

    If you're proving for the general public, a proper study is required with control group and other considerstions - I'm no audio scientist so I don't know how to design one but I know that a simple self administered ABX won't bring about a conclusion for the general public.
  8. SilentNote
    No you have not. You did not even leave a link for us to follow where you have placed these efforts of yours. You can't expect us to be able to find that ourselves, or expect us to believe you have did such things by just stating them.

    You are doing exactly just that, devolving into ad hominem and straw man arguments here.

    You are entitled to your opinion. There's no "audio science truth warriors" here, so another straw man.

    Sure, just keep that idiocy loving attitude to yourself and not rub off someone else. We certainly don't need you "convincing" people to be ignorant. We have enough idiophiles as it stands and could use more audiophiles. Seeing that this is an audiophile forum.

    And by the way, another straw man, and perhaps some ad-hominem here.

    My suggestion: if you don't want to be open and receptive of other's perspectives, and just want to shove down ridiculous ideas you have preconceived, don't expect people to be "agreeable" and just accept what you say; and when people don't, accusing them of not listening when you are the one who is so held on to your own beliefs, is not going to go anywhere.

    In my humble opinion, you are ridiculous and hypocritical. When you say we should not be convincing people, here you are doing the exact same thing to convince us of your opinion, and not even doing it nicely.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    sonitus mirus likes this.
  9. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I think we should crowd fund enough money to fly some of these cable believers somewhere to have proper blind listening tests done. Sorry, I love this hobby, but if any of you think that your hearing brain is sensitive enough to tell the difference between cables, well, you are quite deluded. Seriously people, blind listening, multiple trials, level matched volume, you couldn't tell the difference between a $1000 cable and a properly constructed $30 cable. Not a chance, not ever. Additionally, in order to have any confidence in the results, subjects would need to correctly identify the "special" cables with at least 90% accuracy over many trials.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  10. LaughMoreDaily
    So you are saying all audio cables make recorded music sound the same? The different metals, varying amounts of quality, different lengths, etc?
  11. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Yes, there is ABSOLUTELY NO audible difference made by the metal type. Length of cable? Do you mean like the long runs in a studio setting? You really can't be suggesting that your hearing brain is so incredibly sensitive to the point that these infinitesimally small measurable differences that can be seen (seen not heard) somehow become suddenly audible just because of the length of the wire? All of these notions of audible differences seem to suggest that you could possibly discern the inaudible while your brain is engage with decoding the actual signal, the music.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  12. Sgt. Ear Ache
    Hey we're here to learn. Point us to a study somewhere (other than a sales pitch by a cable manufacturer) that shows the merit of boutique cables over standard (non-defective of course) cables.
  13. bigshot
    I take it you are a high end audio salesman of some sort? You seem to have knowledge of how high end audio salesmen think and operate. And you're in direct contact with high end cable manufacturers?
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  14. SpeakerBox
    Waiting for the next flogging. Great entertainment. Get some popcorn and make a day of it!
    Maxx134 likes this.
  15. castleofargh Contributor
    that's incorrect. you can find many instances where we'll be able to perceive a difference. of course it will depend on many variables and those variables will usually have no reason to be significantly different in the first place. like if 2 devices are 800m away from one another, the conversation about how a 1m cable might result in audible differences compared to the 900m cable is pointless. same with how a given interconnect has no reason to be vastly different from the standard of that particular type of cable(unless done wrong on purpose), so wondering if a 6000ohm USB cable would affect the sound is also irrelevant in practice because a USB cable should not have that impedance.
    this makes for a sort of self prophecy where cables within the standard will not significantly affect the sound compared to other similar cables for the very simple reason that they will have similar electrical specs. in that respect, I'm with you that worrying about cables is often a waste of time, and spending big money on cable is almost always a waste of money.
    but I've had IEM cables causing clearly audible differences, starting by the most obvious, a difference in overall loudness, or if the IEM has a chaotic impedance curve, a difference in the FR. that is helped by how little standards we have for such cables, and how we have even fewer standards for DAP outputs and IEM specs. the bigger the mess, the more likely we are to end up with something acting up in a more significant way. it can and does happen. it probably shouldn't and will usually not amount to anything more than inserting my IEM slightly deeper or changing the tips, but audibility is not out of the picture all the time.

    about all the nonsensical claims of causality between the metal and a certain way the sound is going to be affected, I'm fed up with it. although it's certainly a very good example of a popular logical fallacy where a vague sense of correlation suddenly implies causation.
    Maxx134 and Hifiearspeakers like this.
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