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Why do the 'pro-cable' side refuse to accept the science and do blind tests?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by prog rock man, Aug 12, 2010.
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  1. TigzStudio
    Ok one more post....I lied....last one I promise....:p
    Why do a lot of the anti-cable people feel the need to be cable truth tellers and cable crusaders, why do you care if some people feel cables make a difference?  I mean ultimately these cable companies are creating jobs for people are they not?  
    In other words, no matter how much the anti-cable people painstakingly try to push their view.... in the end it doesn't matter, and I don't think it ever will.  I get the feeling that a lot of anti-cable people think they are high and mighty or somehow feel they are some superior intellect because they "see the truth" about cables not making a difference....
    My ultimate question is:  why do anticable people push their views on the forums?  What is the motivating factor?  What are you trying to achieve exactly?  What is the benefit to you by shooting down people that like the way their new cable is in their system?
  2. Uncle Erik Contributor
    TigzStudio, an interesting comparison are the various theories of cables out there. In these discussions, the argument is usually whether or not cables make a difference in principle. However, if you take a closer look, each manufacturer has their own design philosophy about what "works" and what doesn't. Some say a certain design works while others don't and no two manufacturers seem to agree on design. If two designs use conflicting designs, surely both of them can't be right. You'll see this with other tweaks, like vibration control. Some use rigid spikes and others cut rubber balls in half for a soft, absorbent approach. So which is it? If the spikes are correct, the rubber balls are wrong, and vice versa. If you look at cable claims individually, you have to conclude that if some are right, others are wrong. Yet people find results with all of them.

    I've often wondered what would happen if, by some leap of science, a cable design was found that improved sound. It would show some cables to work while, most likely, showing the majority of the market to be frauds. What then? Would people still believe in cables that could be demonstrated - with the new science - not to work?
  3. Bricolage


    Nice one bro, I can ABX V1 and FLAC but can't tell the difference between cables.
  4. TigzStudio
    I agree that some of the claims of companies out there are pretty ridiculous, don't get me wrong.  

    Behind all my statements is if cables "in the most general of terms" make a difference.  In my mind I am thinking different metal (silver/copper/occ/gold) and different gauges, and that is all.  All that other voodoo, insane braided cables, putting it inside coconuts for shielding ....wearing your tin hat while listening....that is all crap to me.  I am looking at just the fundamental makeup of the cable itself.  

  5. tmars78


    I know, I was being light-hearted. These cable discussions can get heated, someone needs to keep it light and friendly. [​IMG]
  6. Happy Camper
    Kill them all, let God separate em.
  7. Prog Rock Man


    Why do a lot of the pro-cable side feel the need to crusade about the merits of aftermarket cables? I get the feeling that some pro-cable people feel that they are high and mighty and they push their views with a lot of freedom on this forum. They certainly behave as if they have superior hearing. But what are they trying to achieve exactly, what is their benefit?
    Sorry, but it rubs both ways. [​IMG]
    What am I trying to achieve? Well......
    I changed my mind over cables when presented with the evidence of measurements, blind testing, placebo effect and psychoacoustics. Maybe that will happen to others when presented with both sides of the argument. The advantage of that is.......
    As a result of that I have saved money and do not worry about the sound of my system and is it being let down by my cheap cables. I am sure that in itself has improved my listening experience. People do buy cables and that improves their listening experience. Fine, but the anti-cable side is cheaper and should be an option for people. But people will still need to buy cables and whilst some bespoke companies may need to reduce their prices, I doubt that the effect on employment will be that significant.
    Then, as I have read more on bogus science and particularly listening to the despair of my parents who are both PhD research scientists over the stuff that is passed of as science, I think it is right to challenge potentially bogus science. I work in the legal system and am evidence based, so also have my own reason to want to go with the evidence.
    Then the final point is that cables do make a difference. As I said above a lovely new cable can and does improve peoples listening experience. All I object to is the bogus science part where that improvement is attributed to the cable.
    So what do the pro-cablers hope to achieve?
  8. K.I. Unlimited
    Why not actually have more links and "personal DBT's" and the like instead of random exchange of opinions.
    People here thumbs up opinions they like, and shoot those they don't.
    Reading one post about somebody A/B-ing FLAC and 320kbps and being able to d/dx them when I sometimes cannot d/dx them myself (and countless other people) makes me wonder if the human placebo effect can effectively, cancel out measurable differences (like between lossless and mp3). Or maybe some genetic or environmental factor lets people be able to d/dx between lossless and lossy, and some crystal cable compared to clothes hanger wire. It can't mean just because there is a measurable difference, and people like me cannot hear an "audible difference", means we're wrong or anything, right? It just means that - some people can d/dx higher bit rates, many people cannot.
    I would like to propose something regarding the many "cable theories" pushed by manufacturers. Something like impurities, and some 'magical method' used to reduce impurities or get around the problem they cause.
    Let me get some elementary chemistry knowledge out first. Impurities in chemistry are essentially regarded as "something which does not consider wholly of the element, mixture, or compound". So in a copper or silver wire, this would mean perhaps, some minute grains of oxidised copper/silver within the marketed "99.999% pure material". Or maybe let's make it worse, 99%. Or the grains maybe don't even consist of the material, perhaps it could be silicon compounds stuck in between, unable to be extracted by the methods used to purify the cable material. Like how CryoParts talk about how cryotreatment make the grains larger and reducing the microcracks in between, to improve conductivity.
    The differences in properties of impurities from pure compounds, elements or mixture are very very measurable, is it not? Take for example distilled water at 99%, the rest would perhaps be purities which cannot be gotten rid of (like air), but let's assume it satisfies criteria for 100% purity. Then salt water, which has a higher boiling point, and lower melting/freezing point than pure water.
    Now perhaps, the 1% impurities mentioned earlier may in fact, affect the way electrons travel through the cable material. Let's say, one of the simplest of physics - electrons come into contact with the impurities like a barrier and deflect away, or take a slower time to move through, or to excite the nearest electron.
    I would like to pose a question. Suppose we first use chemical properties to compare whether it affects any other measurable properties in sound. And measure the chemical properties of the wires used first - who knows if the cable doesn't actually hit the melting point of copper?
    I mean, has any audiophile here actually have some first-hand experience with how all the RCA's, interconnects are made in the factory or such? Since we've brought up all the science, perhaps it's time to see whether all the "99.999% pure OFC copper" is actually that, pure. And questions like, whether the purity or grain of the conducting material affects conductivity significantly?
    In my school's chemistry lab, the melting point of compounds like salicylic acid is easily measured enough. Maybe if we had some kind of researcher here, or w/e who could do the honours...?
  9. leeperry

    It's indeed evident that they don't measure the right stuff, and last time I checked ppl were not listening to diagrams[​IMG]
  10. K.I. Unlimited


    I would also like to raise a question regarding "measurement of sound properties". Let's bring up measurement of earphone's frequency curve, which is much more easily measurable.
    Why is it that measurement diagrams conflict with the majority's views? For example, many people praise the Grado SR60's. Yet the few "review websites" wholly dependent on a machine's measurements write its soundstaging off as trash, its frequency curve far from good, etc...?
    Does this mean,
    1)the measurement is a falsehood, or not presenting the full picture of the story, or
    2)the people happy with the earphones are liars?
    While this may first seen by some as a straw man argument, I propose it may actually lead to a paradigm shift. If concrete measurements are contradicted by listeners' ears, does this mean many people are lying?
    Since many measurements out there by "state-of-the-art machine ears" write off nearly everything except ER6i's as having a lousy frequency response and such, and many measurements have proven expensive "crystal cables" to have no measurable (measurable, NOT audible) differences from clothes hanger wire, what does this all mean?
    Quoted website with measurements: 
    and overall comparisons done with zero human listening tests but with a toted Heads and Torso Simulator http://www.headphoneinfo.com/content/How-We-Test-149.htm
  11. Prog Rock Man


    Lots of links here
    and when faced with so much evidence as opposed to theory the pro-cable side melt away, preferring instead to counter the anti-cable side on threads like this where they can theorise to their hearts content.
    You kidding right? Thread Ninja at its best! [​IMG] If you don't actually try some different cables, how are you helping? Either side? Just searching for threads to support you claim, is that really beneficial compared to getting people together to listen to cables? How can you learn to listen just searching on the net.[​IMG]

  13. Prog Rock Man


    BIG POPPA, for a start you have got this the wrong way round. I was not just searching for threads that support my claim. I was searching for evidence in relation to blind tests. On having found the evidence I then went from pro to anti-cable. If there had been a load of blind tests which supported the pro-cable side, I would still be pro-cable.
    I did try different cables and found no difference. However, my blind test was not as rigorous as the ones I found in the thread, so I have not added it into the thread. (I stopped to after only three switches after it became apparent that the tight fit of the phonos on the inputs was risking damage to them).
    So people have tried different cables and other audio equipment and their findings are helping.
  14. Steve Eddy


    They don't cause any problems even in plain Jane ETP copper wire.
    Pretty much the only property it effects is resistance. And yes, that can be measured, but any difference in resistance due to impurities would be swamped by the difference in resistance resulting from using a cable that's an inch shorter. And any effects beyond simple resistance would be buried in the thermal noise of the wire.
    It's perhaps worth noting that the vast majority of a wire's resistance is due to thermal energy which causes the lattice to vibrate and scatter electrons reducing their mean free path.
    Hey PRG it is all good. In one of my projects I thought of a good way to try a simple doable blind testing. Have a itch to build some speakers. Nothing fancy. I would wire each speaker internally with 2 different wires both the same gauge but different. Give an audition with a few peeps and not a word with the wiring. See if someone could tell a difference? Would use a mono recording so the music would be the same.

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