How do I convince people that audio cables DO NOT make a difference
Nov 17, 2018 at 1:01 AM Post #1,336 of 2,686

Steve999

smooth, DARK
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Posts
2,481
Likes
304
I have those 1" jds labs portable interconnects, the stock ones that came with the topping NX1s', and some 7 dollar silver plated copper ones from ebay. The silver plated copper is a little too bright, but the copper ones sound good, the stock one a bit better than the jds labs. Unfortunate becuase the jds labs are so slim. I think it's helpful you can tune the sound with a 3" interconnect between the DAP and amp.

Would it be possible for you to provide some measurements or some double-blind listening test results to make sure they sound different? I don’t expect you to have done so already but it might be an informative exercise for you.
 
Nov 17, 2018 at 3:07 AM Post #1,338 of 2,686

Steve999

smooth, DARK
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Posts
2,481
Likes
304
What would you suggest needs to be measured, steve999?

Capacitance, resistance, and inductance.

Here’s some discussion that seems reasonable based on my limited knowlege:

http://www.tonestack.net/articles/speaker-building/audio-interconnect-cables.html

And here’s a meter I just ordered for myself as part of the learning process:

https://www.amazon.com/Proster-Capacitance-Inductance-Resistance-Self-discharge/

I do not claim to be an expert, I find electricity to be a very complex subject.
 
Last edited:
Nov 17, 2018 at 5:02 AM Post #1,339 of 2,686

tansand

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Posts
428
Likes
67
I was thinking it might take a high speed waterfall plot of some kind, but I don't know. All I can think of is that differences in frequency response are being created somehow, or maybe some phase effect.
 
Nov 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM Post #1,340 of 2,686

Steve999

smooth, DARK
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Posts
2,481
Likes
304
I was thinking it might take a high speed waterfall plot of some kind, but I don't know. All I can think of is that differences in frequency response are being created somehow, or maybe some phase effect.

Read diligently through the first post of the first thread in this sub-forum. That’s more than I could ever do for you. Other than to tell you to put all of that effort into the music instead of trying to differentiate between the sounds of wires. I still am amazed by a light switch and by alternating current. I still find the mere fact of electricity to be jaw-dropping. The document I linked to tells you all I know and more, and reflects my editorial tilt. It sounds to me like you have high quality functioning wires of short length. That should be electrical performance well in excess of what is needed to be audibly optimal. If you doubt it get the meter and measure capacitance, resistance, and inductance. Or have you and a friend set up a DBT. That’s all I’ve got, that’s all my cards on the table. Based on what you are saying I honestly think gear wise you are good to go and then some. Unless you want to start thinking about speakers and headphones and if what you have there is doing what you want. Even then I think listening to a track a few times may get you more enjoyment. I’ve hit “good enough for me” in speakers. Headphone and speaker technology coupled with DSP has hit an exciting time and great headphones for cheap has hit an exciting time. So gear wise that’s where my mind is at. But still I’m about the music. We now have access to a huge percentage of the world’s music library for $10 a month. It’s amazing. I’d say take that ball and run with it and have fun. And so ends my meanderings.
 
Last edited:
Nov 17, 2018 at 10:08 PM Post #1,341 of 2,686

tansand

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Posts
428
Likes
67
It does sound pretty good. It's a colorfly C3 with the output capacitors removed and replaced with wires, and the zobels on the outputs open circuited. This puts 1.6v on the output, so I need to use an amp with an input capacitor, but it sounds really good. I'm pretty happy! Have fun!
 
Nov 18, 2018 at 4:03 PM Post #1,342 of 2,686

castleofargh

Sound Science Forum Moderator
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Posts
9,512
Likes
4,907
Capacitance, resistance, and inductance.

Here’s some discussion that seems reasonable based on my limited knowlege:

http://www.tonestack.net/articles/speaker-building/audio-interconnect-cables.html

And here’s a meter I just ordered for myself as part of the learning process:

https://www.amazon.com/Proster-Capacitance-Inductance-Resistance-Self-discharge/

I do not claim to be an expert, I find electricity to be a very complex subject.
trying to measure those can be interesting(although not always as easy/precise as one would like), to try and get a proper "view" of what the cable is bringing to the circuit and most of all when it's plain weird compared to the standard. but as almost all possible effects will depend on what is plugged on both ends, I'd always suggest trying to measure the signal coming out of the device after the cable. that way we can really find out how it's affecting the sound instead of trying to fit some subjective impressions into some cherry picked variables that happen to look like they correlate and would justify our own feelings.
or record a song at the same output, time sync both, check for level difference, save the compensated files and ABX them in foobar like a boss. if it doesn't do much for the user, it sure would help fellow members accept that something is going on with certain cables(whatever the actual reason is).
 
Last edited:
Nov 19, 2018 at 1:04 AM Post #1,343 of 2,686

Elecroestatico

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Posts
142
Likes
20
Location
USA
I have those 1" jds labs portable interconnects, the stock ones that came with the topping NX1s', and some 7 dollar silver plated copper ones from ebay. The silver plated copper is a little too bright, but the copper ones sound good, the stock one a bit better than the jds labs. Unfortunate becuase the jds labs are so slim. I think it's helpful you can tune the sound with a 3" interconnect between the DAP and amp.

Yeah it's cool to be able to tune the sound with the cables, and sometimes the brightness of silver is adequate for other devices, specially if your transducers are warm or slow, but all depends on the rest of the chain, remember its all about synergy. Gold is usually smoother but with luscious dynamics. The connectors also play an important role in how the cable will sound. The technique used to weld/solder the terminals, even the amount of oxygen that will enter as the cable as it ages, the impedance of the cable its dampening factor get affected by all these examples among many others.
 
Last edited:
Nov 19, 2018 at 5:46 AM Post #1,344 of 2,686

TheSonicTruth

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Posts
1,018
Likes
126
Yeah it's cool to be able to tune the sound with the cables, and sometimes the brightness of silver is adequate for other devices, specially if your transducers are warm or slow, but all depends on the rest of the chain, remember its all about synergy. Gold is usually smoother but with luscious dynamics. The connectors also play an important role in how the cable will sound. The technique used to weld/solder the terminals, even the amount of oxygen that will enter as the cable as it ages, the impedance of the cable its dampening factor get affected by all these examples among many others.

I hope by the above you're being facetious. Because all it does is makes me want to go down to the hardware store and buy 10m of ordinary 16AWG zipcord, which has satisfied the ears of me, my wife, my parents, and our guests for decades. Seriously.
 
Nov 19, 2018 at 11:23 AM Post #1,345 of 2,686

JaeYoon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Posts
2,415
Likes
1,897
Location
Singapore
I hope by the above you're being facetious. Because all it does is makes me want to go down to the hardware store and buy 10m of ordinary 16AWG zipcord, which has satisfied the ears of me, my wife, my parents, and our guests for decades. Seriously.
Same here!

If someone managed to get gold cables with smooth and luscious dynamics, and all these other variables that change the sound and successfully perform multiple tests via an ABX switcher, foobar and produce abx test logs documenting the differences between silver, copper, gold, standard clothanger, show samples and examples that could be reproduced, we might have someone that should head to hydrogenaudio right away and let everyone there know there is a audio breakthrough!
 
Nov 19, 2018 at 1:01 PM Post #1,346 of 2,686

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
23,236
Likes
4,844
Location
Forests of the Pacific Northwest
He's not being facetious. I doubt he really believes it either. He's trolling. He replies to people he thinks he can troll and he ignores the ones that he knows won't do a silly angry dance for him. Best ignored.
 
Nov 19, 2018 at 2:09 PM Post #1,347 of 2,686

JaeYoon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Posts
2,415
Likes
1,897
Location
Singapore
Yeah it's cool to be able to tune the sound with the cables, and sometimes the brightness of silver is adequate for other devices, specially if your transducers are warm or slow, but all depends on the rest of the chain, remember its all about synergy. Gold is usually smoother but with luscious dynamics. The connectors also play an important role in how the cable will sound. The technique used to weld/solder the terminals, even the amount of oxygen that will enter as the cable as it ages, the impedance of the cable its dampening factor get affected by all these examples among many others.
Hi there! Welcome back!
So I recommend you install foobar and then install the abx switcher.
Our friend brooko will assist you,
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/set...ping-tagging-transcoding.655879/#post-9268096
And a cheap ABX switcher you can buy on Amazon so you don't have to unplug cables.
With that done! You should be able to
- Document the differences between your DACs that are constructed with different materials. Show us ABX test logs that show the difference that you can hear on what time in the song and pass it. Do around 15 trials to confirm it is consistent.
- you should be able to document and consistently pass a double blind trial documenting you can tell the difference between a well welded soldered terminal.
- you should able be able provide test logs on how oxygen affects the cable by providing a oxygen free cable test logs compared to a cable that has oxygen in it
- so gold can cause the electrical signal to have luscious Dynamics! Great! That's fantastic! I eagerly await your double blind test logs documenting the exact time and place in the song that you heard this difference between that cable and a copper or silver cable and have a consistent pass rate on the trials.

I will patiently await your ABX test logs and photos of the equipment being tested in your environment.
 
Nov 19, 2018 at 8:45 PM Post #1,348 of 2,686

castleofargh

Sound Science Forum Moderator
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Posts
9,512
Likes
4,907
a switch is not an abx box. :wink:

GALA's opinion on cables:
"And they say silver, I choose gold
I'm not afraid to be alone
Someone will judge his gentle soul
Let the boy cry and he will know"

as the potential changes in signature have a lot to do with the various impedances involved in the circuit and not just the cable, directly correlating silver with brighter(compared to copper) is wrong, pure and simple, oxygen free. it's a possibility, but only one among many, and that's what makes the correlation nonexistent. it's trivial to think of a setup where a silver cable will end up being the "warmer" one, measurably so and on occasion audibly so(again usually depends on the specs of the rest of the circuit).
 
Nov 20, 2018 at 12:02 AM Post #1,350 of 2,686

castleofargh

Sound Science Forum Moderator
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Posts
9,512
Likes
4,907
Ah, I'm assuming you've ABX tested that, castleofargh? Have you heard examples of the silver plated cable being less bright than the copper?
there is no need to blind test that when ohm's law tell us that much. let's take the most obvious hypothetical example for me, 2 cables as identical as can be, in gauge, length, braiding, shielding, etc. but one made of silver and one made of copper. so we can confidently assume that the silver one will at least have lower impedance than the copper one. are we in agreement with that?
now let's plug each cable in turn into, well really most single BA driver IEMs. then we'd measure or sometimes listen to the difference when it's big enough. a BA driver often has its impedance rising massively in the trebles, like these 3 guys:
osefff.jpg
it's an impedance graph, with an er4sr, an old sony XBA-c10, and I don't remember what I picked for the thrid one(lol, sorry. I just opened randomly some single BA files I have, but all impedance graphs are named "impedance" because I'm a genius, s once open I don't have a clue where I picked it). anyway it's not hard to see a trend in the upper range, based on my own experience this is fairly typical.

now we have basic electricity telling us that for the load(IEM), the source impedance is amplifier output impedance+cable impedance. and that means two things:
1/ if the amp's impedance isn't very small, the difference in cables is not going to matter much when added to the amp.
2/ that the amp+silver cable are going to have lower total impedance.(as we keep the same amp)

now we deduce that the frequency response will be more attenuated in the low and mid range in reaction to the IEM's own impedance response. and when using the copper cable that behavior will be bigger than with the silver cable. meaning that once you match the volume to align at 1khz, the frequency response graph will show a boost in the trebles for the copper cable compared to the FR when using the silver cable. in simple terms, the copper cable would be "brighter" in this example. it's really just good old ohm's law, except that it must be calculated for each frequency as the variables involved keep changing for at least the IEM.

for an example with sources of different impedance changing the FR, https://www.head-fi.org/threads/feedback-about-gears-stop-doing-it-wrong-impedance.866714/ (self advertising, yeah!!!) I've been told that aside from me whining, the impedance part was easy to understand. or you have the sticky topic about impedance in the main page of the section.
clearly here I'm only paying attention to impedance variations, and FR changing as a result. that doesn't mean it's the only variable capable of affecting the output sound of course. but it's often what's causing the most obvious changes. at least based on my own attempts at measuring stuff when they sounded different to me.
I haven't had a silver cable for years and really don't plan on investing in one anymore, so I can't offer to measure the actual case I was presenting. but I've done a lot of measurements adding resistors of different values between the amp and various IEMs. so I can show some exaggerated examples of how the low impedance "cable"(anything between the amp and the IEM), doesn't always sound "brighter".
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top