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The "truth" about different speaker cables

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by bullseye, Mar 1, 2009.
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  1. Prog Rock Man


    Quote:

    The Advertising Standards Agency in the UK did uphold a complaint against Russ Andrews for claims over Kimber cables. But then a slight change in the wording and off Russ Andrews go again with their claims. It is the same with cosmetics in particular. They make up a psudoscienctific language based on the absolute minimum of testing and have loads of riders. Hence us anti-cablers are reduced to trying to put forward the alternative viewpoint and criticism on forums.
     
    I have no issue with you enjoying your twag cable. I only have an issue with claims it is better than other cables for unprovable and spurious reasons.
     
  2. nick_charles Contributor


     
    Quote:


    Keeping to audible differences, the problem is the way that the claims are phrased, if a manufacturer just said Cable Z has a flatter frequency response than all other cables that would be easy to test. but when they say, this cable produces a rounder, fuller sound or a sound with greater articulation (MIT) how do you test this, what is the SI unit for articulation ?. I have tested loads of cables and have never found a cable with a significantly flatter frequency response than any other, I have found small differences in noise levels, Moreover the manufacturers never claim that you will be able to hear the differences in a blind test, as this could be challenged, never, nor do they ever back up their claims with their own blind tests.
     
    Some of these chaps have $M R and D budgets. Why cannot Monster or Audioquest or MIT devote $10K to a set of blind listening tests that would prove that there are differences between their cables and their competitors' ?
     
     
  3. Uncle Erik Contributor


    Quote:

    There's a concept in the law called "puffery" where certain claims are immunized when they're seen as subjective opinions rather than statements of fact.
     
    If you read most cable advertisements and literature, you'll see that they are very, very careful to stay on the side of puffery.  That, and technical descriptions, like eight strands of copper wrapped around silver.  But all the claims are puffery.  All of the testimonials are puffery, too.
     
    Most cable ads are so carefully worded that they were most likely vetted by lawyers to carefully sidestep anything that would lead to a false advertising lawsuit.
     
    It leads one to think that the manufacturers are quite aware that their products do nothing.
     
  4. Prog Rock Man

     
    Quote:

    Do they? If so, how do they do their own testing to establish their cable is better? Maybe they could share such test procedures and results with the rest of us.
     
  5. Steve Eddy

     
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    Simple.
     
    They don't have to.
     
    se
     

     
     
  6. Prog Rock Man

     
    Quote:

    Simple.
     
    They can't afford to. (Have the results published that is!)
     
    PRM
     
  7. nick_charles Contributor


    Quote:


    I'll rephrase it. These companies make sufficient profits that they could devote decent budgets to R and D if they chose to do so, whether they do so and how (if they do so) they spend it are different matters. They only big company I know for a fact do extensively perform blind tests is Harman.
     
  8. nick_charles Contributor


    Quote:


    Indeed, because they are not held to stronger standards of evidence and are not motivated to do what would be very risky.
     
  9. Prog Rock Man
    The only cable company that I know of who have admitted to performing blind tests are Belkin. They did so to see if there was such a thing as directionality, but found that there was not. However, that has not stopped them from selling directional cables.
     
    I wonder what the R&D department at Belkin is like [​IMG]
     
  10. Bullseye
    [​IMG]
     
    I think my post was a good answer to the "placebo is real" argument. Lets see how they rebate that [​IMG]
     
    Quote:


     
  11. mike1127


    Quote:


    That's an interesting legal fact.
     
    Re the bolded statement, I'm sympathetic to the idea that we don't know what the right measurements are, or how to conduct DBT's under the right conditions (so listeners are sensitive to the right things), in order to demonstrate cable differences.
     
    This being the reason cable companies stay with puffery.
     
    I'm already aware that most people on this forum disagree with me, so please take it easy on the replies. :)
     
     
  12. lazard
    While experts agree that most cables make exaggerated and unfounded claims about improving sound, they cannot agree on which cables actually do improve sound and which do not.  The scientific record is unclear. So far no research paper contending to prove or disprove the value of fancy wires has been accepted by the leading industry publication, The Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, said Patricia M. MacDonald, its executive editor.
     
    Some scientists say it would be difficult to prove one way or another. Changing cables leaves a time lapse that makes comparison difficult. Putting several stereos side by side with the different wires would mean that the speakers would be different distances from the ear, which could have an effect. And while a switch could be made that would send a signal through each of several cables to a speaker from a single sound system, cable makers say the switch itself might spoil the advantages of their wires.
     
    Part of the difficulty is that there are still unexplained acoustic phenomena. William Morris Hartmann, a professor of physics at Michigan State University in East Lansing, works on psycho-acoustic projects, which investigate the way sound is perceived, rather than the way it is produced. There are examples, he said, of sounds that measure beyond the range of human hearing, and yet some people seem to perceive them. That means the market is left open to wild claims and psuedoscience. "It's annoying, but it's hard to disprove," Professor Hartmann said.
     
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/12/circuits/articles/23down.html
     
  13. mikeaj
    Do people that replace cables--for SQ and not durability concerns--also replace the wires inside their amps/DACs/headphones/etc., redo PCB traces, and reseat components with gold solder?  After all, the audio signal passes through many connections and lines other than the interconnect cables.
     
     
    I hope I haven't just given somebody funny ideas to try.  That would be naughty of me.  [​IMG]
     
  14. BIG POPPA
    I replace mine for the sound. Some are better than others.
     
  15. Lil' Knight


    Quote:
    Remember the replace all the connectors with rhodium-plated stuffs. Would make the soundstage taller...
     
     
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