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angelgz
04-26-2009, 06:03 PM
Hi Guys,

First of all, thanks to all of your inputs!! I've been using this site for 5 years now and finally built myself a complete system based on the reviews / comments posted here!

As you can see I don't have the greatest setup yet, so apparently, I don't have much money to squander. I have heard mixed debates about cables. I am currently using these not-so-great monster cable THX wires for both analog interconnect and speaker wires. Can any of your give me some suggestions as to if I should replace these to hear a difference? According to someone, when he replaced his cables on the Krell system, it made a huge difference just night and day. However, I find this hard to believe because a change of medium improves the transfer of electrons by so little that's almost neglectable over short distance. Even if you take resistance and interference into consideration, I find it hard to believe that going through 10 feet of copper wires from radioshack for $3 vs going through 10 feet of silver cable for $2,000 would result in a noticable difference. I say this mainly because my wires are so short. I mean if you have a room with 50 feet of wiring, sure, better medium will definitely help

Lastly, I heard psychological reason is also part of the equation. If I spent $2,000 on a cable, it would be more like a "make-believe" that I am hearing better music because my brain is telling me, "you spent $2000 so it must sound super good."

I hope you guys can give me some insights, if I should get rid of my monster cables. I am a very practical guy so my brain, unfortunately, doesn't tell me "I am hearing better music" even though I am not. : )

Thank you all.

angelgz
04-26-2009, 06:06 PM
Sorry, forgot to list my system details:

Equipment List:
Rotel RSP 1570 Preamp
Parasound Halo A53 5 - Channel Amp
Parasound New Classic - 5 Channel Amp
Dynaudio - Customized Fronts 5 Drives each
B&W Nautilus HTM1 Center
Dynaudio Contour 1.1 Surround Backs
Vienna Acoustics Schonberg Surround Sides.
Vienna Acoustics Subson Subwoofer.

Main usage: Classical orchestra, operas and symphonies.

markw
04-26-2009, 06:19 PM
Monster cables are decent, like most other cables, but grossly over-advertised and overpriced. Their advertising is akin to hiring Billy Mays to sell something. They work, but not to the level at which it's advertised. But hey, the expectations sometimes satisfy some people.

And, the point of diminishing returns is lower than advertisers might have you believe. I seriously question the veracity or critical listening abilities of anyone who claims a "night and day" difference between two cables of similar construction. Subtle, perhaps under some ideal conditions, but how closely must one listen to realize it. Is it sustainable in real-world conditions?

And, I never could understand what a "THX Certified" cable implies.

Mr Peabody
04-26-2009, 08:43 PM
This is probably one of the hottest debated topics ever. The only way you will know is to try for yourself. Personally, my system has benefited from better cables and the difference was noticeable. Comparing cables is something I've done quite a bit and there is differences. Some subtle some pretty obvious. I guarantee you put some Transparent cables between an amp like the Parasound and Dynaudio speakers you will hear a difference. You say you are budget minded yet have put together a good system so if you want to get the most out of it you should at least try some better cables. Most any hi fi shop worth their salt will lend you some to try.

That phsycological nonsense you've read irritates me to no end. Didn't you hear the difference in your amps or speakers when you evaluated them? Then, why would cables be any different? Besides that you don't buy them up front, you either borrow them or buy under a 30 day return. I'm not shooting the messenger, I've heard that crap before. That is an insult to you, me, or anyone who takes this hobby seriously. If we aren't competent enough to hear differences then why do we have the gear we do? Just because you can't explain why it happens doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It wasn't until recent years that anyone claimed to know how a bee flies but it didn't keep all of them on the ground.

I'd be interested to know what you meant buy "custom" on your main speakers. Dynaudio builds all their speakers by hand including the drivers and coils. It would have cost a fortune to have custom drivers built.
At some point your system would benefit from a matching, or close to matching, center channel speaker. To my ears there's a pretty good difference between the presentation of Dyn's and B&W.

angelgz
04-26-2009, 09:49 PM
Thank you guys for replying. I know Audioquest is a good brand but their mid-low level cables don't really have good reviews. I checked out the Gibraltars but they are REALLY expensive. Tara labs, for some reasons, I think they are phasing themselves out. I don't see many dealers carry this brand anymore, and there aren't as many on ebay as Audioquest. So which brand is good for an entry level guy like me?

Mr Peabody,
My fronts used to be an incomplete Finale kit from dynaudio (missing the D260 tweeters). I ordered that about 4 or 5 years ago from someone in Denmark plus 2 x D21 tweeters. I built it myself to the best of my skills using MDF from homedepot, but I felt it's lacking the highs and too much base (due to the double 12"s). Plus, I was never a big fan of square boxes because according to a good friend of mine, square boxes result in more resonance. I've done some research and found that pyramid boxes are most ideal so this time I had my carpenter friend build a pyramid box for me 6ft tall, using 3/4 inch high density fiber boards plus a 1/8 inch layer of rubber on top of the wood and finally apply the vinyl. I also replaced the d21 tweeters, one of the 30w100 woofers with Morel ST1088 and Dynaudio Esotec MD172. I also added some xovers to make the new drives function correctly. They actually sound really good I have to say. Honestly these speakers can just run by themselves since I designed them to be tri-amped.

Thanks Again,
Angelgz.

Mr Peabody
04-27-2009, 05:19 AM
Did you use Dynaudio's measurements for cubic feet and port? With two of their 12's I bet you do have some bass.

As in my earlier post I would recommend some Transparent cables. Their entry RCA's I believe are $80.00 give or take. Not sure any more on price of speaker connects. With Transparent I would recommend spades if you think you might be unplugging them much.

If you want to try lesser expensive the Blue Jeans are good. The Blue Jeans have a balanced sound with more emphasis in the midrange. Transparent will have the midrange detail but emphasize a stronger bass and more extended highs compared to the Blue Jean. It sounds like you have bass covered but the improvement Transparent makes in that region is tightening it up and giving more of a punch.

A few of us here use the Siltech, New Yorker from the MXT Pro series. These are very good cables but you are looking at maybe $300.00 for RCA cables.

angelgz
04-27-2009, 07:20 AM
Mr Peabody,

When I put together the Finale the first time, I just followed the blue print came with the box. The box was ported and the base was muddy. However, the second time, since I changed it to a pyramid design, I took down the specifications, e.g. Vas, Q mechanical, electrical...etc, of the drives and made a closed box accordingly. I read many reviews online and also based on personal experience, a closed box produces more clean base. I also designed the box in a way that i would accept an external xover system. My next project is going to be that and I'll build my own tube amps ha~.

Have you heard of Kimber Kable? It's got some good reviews here but they are very very expensive. I found a few on eBay going for around $250. Are they worth it?

Thanks,
Angelgz.

angelgz
04-27-2009, 08:12 AM
One more dumb question from me:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170324859561&_trksid=p2759.l1259

This is perfect for me in terms of price and length. Can I slice it make my own terminals? Or will that drastically damage the performance of the cable?

Thanks.

Kevio
04-27-2009, 01:26 PM
That phsycological nonsense you've read irritates me to no end. Didn't you hear the difference in your amps or speakers when you evaluated them? Then, why would cables be any different? Besides that you don't buy them up front, you either borrow them or buy under a 30 day return. I'm not shooting the messenger, I've heard that crap before. That is an insult to you, me, or anyone who takes this hobby seriously.The psychological nonsense annoyed the crap out of doctors too. But in the name of better medicine, they've managed to accept things like the placebo effect and observer bias gracefully. I guess it helps that all doctors study psychology in medical school.

E-Stat
04-27-2009, 06:22 PM
Can any of your give me some suggestions as to if I should replace these to hear a difference? According to someone, when he replaced his cables on the Krell system, it made a huge difference just night and day.
Night and day you will not find even if you bought Nordost Odins for your system. There are degrees of improvement, but they are incremental. While I particularly like JPS Labs stuff, you might try out some relative inexpensive, but good value Belden cable found in the Blue Jeans Cable line. I use some of their digital ICs from transport to DAC and a set of BC-1 ICs from DAC to power amp. BTW, what is (are) your source(s)? Shielded low capacitance cables can really improve the run from CDP to preamp. I would also recommend looking into some power conditioning. Especially since you are a classical music fancier, I've found that such can lower the noise floor which is more apparent on wide dynamic range acoustical content.

I've always listened to relatively expensive stuff at home in my system on a trial basis. That's really the only way to determine whether or not a given higher priced spread can offer real benefits to your system.

Good luck!

rw

Mr Peabody
04-27-2009, 08:06 PM
Kevio, If some one gave me liver and told me it was steak it would still taste like liver. If they give me a Radio Shack cable to compare to my cables with no label and told me it was the greatest cable ever it would still sound like a Radio Shack cable. The placebo effect has no bearing on electronics, either there is a change or not and if some one can't tell for themselves they need another hobby or just buy what ever gear gets the job done and not worry about sound quality. Doctors study what ever it takes to get their diploma, it has no relevance to anything here.

I've tried power conditioning products that have promised to do things great for my system that went back because I detected more of an adverse effect. I bought a pair of very expensive speaker connects that were supposed to be better than the New Yorker and was a deal because of being closed out. That cable went back and I bought the New Yorker. This is just to illustrate that not everything I've tried has worked out.

"Night & Day" is a subjective term but there have been at least two occasions I can recall that I thought came pretty close because the difference should have been heard by a deaf monk. I'm sounding like Pix here.:) The Krell reference might have even been mine because when I first went from some bare ended Audioquest speaker wire to my first set of Transparent speaker cables the improvement was incredible, huge. The second time is when I was using a 3 meter pair of some type Monster from my CJ preamp to power amp until my Siltech arrived, switching to the Siltech sounded practically like a whole new system.

Angelgz, I prefer sealed enclosures as well. I'd love to hear those. I heard a pair of Dyn's with a single 12 driven by a huge Krell amp, those things shook the building. If the parasound has the juice I'd imagine you get some serious low end.

A word of advice on cables, I'd recommend paying the money and buying from an authorized dealer. There is a lot of counterfit stuff sold on Ebay and similar sites. Which is a real shame. Besides, why spend money if you don't know what if anything the cable will do. Try before you buy. I'm not asking you to take my word there is a difference, I'm asking you to trust enough to try for yourself. Before trying to do DIY cables just get some Blue Jeans and call it a day. From the little bit you've discussed I believe you would be able to tell if you were getting an improvement or not. It's really not that hard. I have not heard any Kimber. Hermanv, here on the board has built and experimented with cables before. He came to the conclusion to do a high end cable yourself after buying the parts it's just as cheap to buy them already built. He uses a series of Cardas. I can't remember the one but it is costly.

Kevio
04-28-2009, 06:30 AM
I am not disputing the fact that there are audible differences between different cables. The point I'm trying to make is that in addition to that, there are psychological effects in play.

Doctors proved this to themselves with the discovery that they got starkly different results in sighted vs. blind trials of the same experiment.

I don't know that liver tastes like beef but, yes, food tastes markedly different when you eat it blindfolded. Try it!

Welcome to the strange world of the mind.

RoadRunner6
04-29-2009, 03:53 AM
Mr. Peabody, we already know that we are on opposite sides of this controversy but you say:

"..........Didn't you hear the difference in your amps or speakers when you evaluated them? Then, why would cables be any different? .........."

You don't know why you would at least tend to hear more differences between speakers than cables (if any)? McIntosh used to used plain inexpensive cable inside their speakers (becasue their was no difference) until many of their golden eared customers pressured them to use the latest boutique brand wire.

I'm not trying to be a smarty here but are you in this business in any form? Just curious.

I agree with Kevio that psychological factors might clearly come into play when people compare two or more products when they in fact know the identity of the products. This has been shown in monitored product evaluations. When listening to products that the listener has a pre-conceived opinion of superiority he tends to hear a difference. When listening under blind conditions he cannot identify that same difference.

RR6

Mr Peabody
04-29-2009, 05:09 AM
I'm not in the business and the point being if one is capable of telling whether one amp or any audio component sounds better or different than the other then they should certainly be competent enough to tell whether a cable has made a difference or not. If your argument against cables holds water then it has to hold water for ALL audio components.

Kevio
04-29-2009, 05:48 AM
I agree with Kevio that psychological factors might clearly come into play when people compare two or more products when they in fact know the identity of the products.A little hedging there? Is anyone immune to these effects? I know I'm not but I really don't know the general answer. I'm sure there's some variation in susceptibility but does Mr./Ms. Sighted Objectivity exist?

The results I've seen for sighted vs. blind testing have been presented in statistical format - no breakdown for individual participants.

I've also heard anecdotes of people who were so confident they were unaffected by this psychological crap that they agree to do a sighted vs blind trial. I've yet to hear of a case where objecivity prevailed over psychology. But perhaps that's selective listening on my part.

Auricauricle
04-29-2009, 06:54 AM
Mr. P: I think your statement, "The placebo effect has no bearing on electronics, either there is a change or not and if some one can't tell for themselves they need another hobby or just buy what ever gear gets the job done and not worry about sound quality" is a pretty bold one, in consideration of the very good possibility that many here--myself included--don't have much experience listening to very high-end equipment or the ability to distinguish those nuances of performance that only those whose lineage can be charted on the American Kennel Club have.

For folks who have the benefit of those things, maybe there is a difference. To the rest of us, the ability to do so takes time, effort and a whole lot of pizza. I don't think that prospect is an appealing one for most folks, who simply want something that sounds very nice and not break their hearts, heads or wallets to do so.

Maybe they should not worry so much, but telling folks to simply buy whatever is out there and not worry about it is a disservice to those earnest people who want to pursue this passion and to those of us who have some duty in sharing what we have learned to the teeming throng.

RoadRunner6
04-29-2009, 07:06 AM
If your argument against cables holds water then it has to hold water for ALL audio components.

Sorry, but I don't know how to respond to that statement any way but directly. Your logic is very flawed. You can't make a distinction between a cable and a speaker with enclosure, driver, voice coil, wires, crossover, etc.?

Kevio
04-29-2009, 10:18 AM
I'm following Mr. P's logic. You can clearly affect performance of your system by swapping out your source, amp or speakers. Cables are a system component too so it stands to reason that changing those would affect system performance as well.

I think the logic is solid. Why the hostility?

Auricauricle
04-29-2009, 10:34 AM
My hostility comes, in part, from dismissal of the placebo effect, a matter that--in my mind--has profound implications to many things medical and psychological up to, and including, musical experience. I happen to agree that with cables (etc.), appreciable differences can be found and articulated in cogent terms. I temper this with caution that consumers should be ever vigilant that they aren't taken by cosmetics or other devices that distract them from their ability to make those decisions when their digging into their wallets to buy "the next best thing"*.

*Take it from one who knows all too well.

Kevio
04-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Here's another angle: People who buy expensive cables clearly derive enjoyment from them. Whether that's from better sound or better psychology, what does it matter?

Auricauricle
04-29-2009, 01:04 PM
Hey, I was havin' a sensitive moment, all right?? Sheesh!

Clearly. What, indeed, does it matter?

What matters?

What's the matter?

(Grumble!*)

RoadRunner6
04-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Cables are a system component..........Why the hostility?

Am I the only one here who would not consider wire and cables a system component.

Hostility? Sorry, but I had no idea I was being hostile. The argument that one can hear differences in speakers and therefore should hear differences in wire is very flawed. Fuzzy Logic. That to me is a huge stretch and I simply said so. I really don't know how to sugar coat it any other way.

Does it follow that since I can hear huge differences in speakers I can therefore should be able to hear huge differences in Y splitters?

Mr Peabody
04-29-2009, 05:06 PM
Mr. P: I think your statement, "The placebo effect has no bearing on electronics, either there is a change or not and if some one can't tell for themselves they need another hobby or just buy what ever gear gets the job done and not worry about sound quality" is a pretty bold one, in consideration of the very good possibility that many here--myself included--don't have much experience listening to very high-end equipment or the ability to distinguish those nuances of performance that only those whose lineage can be charted on the American Kennel Club have.

For folks who have the benefit of those things, maybe there is a difference. To the rest of us, the ability to do so takes time, effort and a whole lot of pizza. I don't think that prospect is an appealing one for most folks, who simply want something that sounds very nice and not break their hearts, heads or wallets to do so.

Maybe they should not worry so much, but telling folks to simply buy whatever is out there and not worry about it is a disservice to those earnest people who want to pursue this passion and to those of us who have some duty in sharing what we have learned to the teeming throng.

If some one was "ernest" and had any passion for the hobby they wouldn't be making the argument that cables make no difference without trying for themselves. It seems to me to be ernest in something would require an open mind.

Kevio, thanks for understanding what i was saying.

OK, RR6, once again I will try. Because there is a difference in speakers don't mean there is in cables, BUT, if some one had the ability to hear any difference in speakers they surely should be able to hear whether a cable made any difference or not when injected into the system. If the placebo skews ones ability to judge cables then it skews that person's judgment across the board for any and every product.

How about your Emotiva is a piece of crap and didn't make any difference from your receiver's internal amp you just imagined it because you paid $600.00 for it? Why pay more for just an amp than your entire receiver. There's no difference in sound your just too stupid to know the difference. You been plceboed and so willing to throw your money around you will buy anything. This is what your argument against cables sounds like.

Smokey
04-29-2009, 08:01 PM
Am I the only one here who would not consider wire and cables a system component.

No, you are not the only one. Apparently the meaning of differences between an active component and a passive component is lost here.

Mr Peabody
04-29-2009, 08:39 PM
Apparently, so is reading comprehension. At least you acknowledge the common thing about active and passive components is that they both are components.

Would you consider a speaker active or passive? What about a phono cartridge? Just curious.

Auricauricle
04-29-2009, 09:03 PM
Mea maxima culpa...

And now, for my next trick, I will remove my head from an all too familiar place....

Having been embroiled in this pursuit for quite a while, I have bought a number of cables and doo-dads to see if doing so would bring me closer to Seventh Heaven. My cables are by no means super-duper, but are an odd assortment of AT, Monster Cable, Audio Quest and others that have performed with varying results. So far, the sound I hear is good, especially when the shileding is intact and they don't lay down together in an buzzing orgy of serpentine dimensions.

I respect that our heads are funny things that conspire to trick us to such extent that we will pretty much believe anything as long as we are compelled by the forces or greed, desire or whatever we are prey to in the right circumstances. Companies like MC and Bose know how to cater to his need, and markets goods to folks who are so dazzled by the pitch that they snap 'em up like herons on a mullet.

I would like to see a demo of various cables for myself, sometimes. Perhaps someone blessed with a good vidcam can record the proceedings as the various wires are trotted out, For control purposes, the cables will be disguised and the listening will be performed double blind. Scores will be applied and the tally counted.

I am sure some here will astutely make the correct choices while this is done.

Me, nah. I got my Exorcist.

Sorry about my blunder, folks. Next drink on me. Soy milk, anyone?

Mr Peabody
04-29-2009, 09:09 PM
Aw Auric, don't go all passive aggressive on us :)

Auricauricle
04-29-2009, 09:12 PM
Huh??

markw
04-30-2009, 06:13 AM
Apparently, so is reading comprehension. At least you acknowledge the common thing about active and passive components is that they both are components.

Would you consider a speaker active or passive? What about a phono cartridge? Just curious.They are "transducers". They change energy from one form to another and are considered by all to be the most euphonic components. of the system by intent. They are shaped by their designers desire to manipulate sound to what they want it to be.

As many here state, aren't cables and interconnects supposed to be as neutral as possible?

Be careful, Mr.P. When even acknowledged subjectivists take issue with your grandiose statements, you've got a problem. You're starting to sound a lot like Melvin Walker did before he went super nova on us...

Auricauricle
04-30-2009, 07:06 AM
"Acknowledged subjectivists..."? Are you implying that we can do all of this objectively?

Whatever floats your soap....

(We need some more fluid on that charcoal!)

markw
04-30-2009, 07:14 AM
"Acknowledged subjectivists..."? Are you implying that we can do all of this objectively?

Whatever floats your soap....

(We need some more fluid on that charcoal!)Hey, this is what happens when the only real test of true objectivity is removed from the discussion. It's like an asylum that is run by the inmates. (Hmmm.. .to what could he be referring?)

Mr Peabody
04-30-2009, 06:42 PM
The goal of all audio components are to supposedly be neutral, not just cables. It's interesting how you all try to segregate cables to promote your own agenda.

markw
05-01-2009, 01:58 AM
The goal of all audio components are to supposedly be neutral, not just cables. It's interesting how you all try to segregate cables to promote your own agenda.Something by which others are judged.

The next question is "what is neutral" and who can claim to judge that with objectivity, which IS a requirement, isn't it?

Are you saying that's you? Your ears, without the benefit of any accurate scientific measurements, can proclaim when something meets or does not meet your subjective standards.

Isn't that the very definition of hubris?

markw
05-01-2009, 03:20 AM
"Acknowledged subjectivists..."? Are you implying that we can do all of this objectively?Not really. Personal preference plays a great part in this hobby, but for a more concrete picture of what's really going on and if what are hearing is real as opposed to imagined, measurements are a real boon.

Mr Peabody
05-01-2009, 05:42 AM
Something by which others are judged.

The next question is "what is neutral" and who can claim to judge that with objectivity, which IS a requirement, isn't it?

Are you saying that's you? Your ears, without the benefit of any accurate scientific measurements, can proclaim when something meets or does not meet your subjective standards.

* There is no reference for neutral. Maybe a flat line on an oscilloscope but most people really don't enjoy that although it's the sold standard. I can absolutely tell what meets my subjective standard. If not me then who? It would be sad if everyone was floundering around with test equipment because they didn't have a clue what they enjoyed. If this is you seek therapy. I don't need any test equipment to tell me if I am enjoying my hi fi system or whether or not I hear an improvement in any component switched out. Some do and some have not. If I could not make that judgment I would not have a system.

Isn't that the very definition of hubris?

* I'll look it up and get back with you.

markw
05-01-2009, 07:11 AM
It's the old "because I say so" gambit. That sure takes the worry out of ever wondering if you could have made a mistake, doesn't it?

Auricauricle
05-01-2009, 09:41 AM
Hey, this is what happens when the only real test of true objectivity is removed from the discussion. It's like an asylum that is run by the inmates. (Hmmm.. .to what could he be referring?)

Who said, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King?"

markw
05-01-2009, 09:46 AM
Who said, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King?"Jon only has one working eye?

Actually, Erasmus said this.

But, holding ones hand over ones eyes to prevent seeing the truth is not the same as being blind. Although the person doing so might be comforted, it does not alter reality.

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:16 PM
Are you saying that's you? Your ears, without the benefit of any accurate scientific measurements, can proclaim when something meets or does not meet your subjective standards.

Isn't that the very definition of hubris?

WOW! Just let me ask: Whose ears should Mr P use to decide what sounds best to him?


Personal preference plays a great part in this hobby, but for a more concrete picture of what's really going on and if what are hearing is real as opposed to imagined, measurements are a real boon.

Scientific measurements are great but if you cannot hear a difference, what good are they to you? EVERYONE hears differently and if you really want to talk "real world", all you really have to please is yourself. PLACEBO is the word all that can't HEAR a difference like to throw around and it pisses off those of us that can hear a difference. It still comes down to: If YOU can't hear a difference, don't spend the extra money on ANY upgrade because nothing else matters but what you CAN hear.

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:22 PM
It's the old "because I say so" gambit. That sure takes the worry out of ever wondering if you could have made a mistake, doesn't it?

I didn't know what Hubris meant, but this statement lets me know why you are familiar with it.

markw
05-01-2009, 05:26 PM
I guess you buy a lot from Machina Dynamica.

I know you won't believe this, but we humans are susceptible to suggestion. Unless you're an alien of some superior physiology and psychological make up, so are you.

Ever try to guess the color/flavor of a life saver candy without seeing it?

Try it. You might be surprised.

But, hey, if it feels good to you, do it. Reality matters not.

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:41 PM
Am I the only one here who would not consider wire and cables a system component.

Can your system work without it? NO? Can it change the sound? Yes! Then it is a system component.

Does it make as big a difference as speakers? It is all relative. Cables are more of a tweak. Do you use the skinny little cables that came with your components? I doubt it. If there was no difference we would all be using them and be happy.

I think that is what Mr P was trying to say is that there is a difference and no-one can truly believe there isn't. From that point on it all depends on you and your ears as to what you should spend your money on.

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:43 PM
I guess you buy a lot from Machina Dynamica.

I know you won't believe this, but we humans are susceptible to suggestion. Unless you're an alien of some superior physiology and psychological make up, so are you.

Ever try to guess the color/flavor of a life saver candy without seeing it?

Try it. You might be surprised.

But, hey, if it feels good to you, do it. Reality matters not.

Your arrogance is incredible.

markw
05-01-2009, 05:45 PM
Your arrogance is incredible.Really? I admit to my limitations. Some refuse to. ...and I'm the arrogant one?

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:46 PM
Ever try to guess the color/flavor of a life saver candy without seeing it?

If you can pick out which one you like best and didn't know what the color or flavor was, would it matter as long as you could get more to enjoy it?

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 05:49 PM
Reality matters not. Really? I admit to my limitations. Some refuse to. ...and I'm the arrogant one?

As long as it matches YOUR reality.

markw
05-01-2009, 05:56 PM
My reality can be verified as fact.

But, enjoy your perceptions.

Many people are happier in their own personal world. Sometimes, imagined events can be better then the real thing.

Mr Peabody
05-01-2009, 06:29 PM
Markw, you should seriously get a check up if you need to see a Lifesaver is red to taste the charry, or can't discern wintergreen from spearmint. This is something "normal" people can do. Or, if not. I'm an abnormal being. I have no problem taking a Jolly Rancher from my pocket and eating it with out looking and knowing very well whether I got watermelon vs cherry vs grape or whatever. Sometimes I do this while watching a movie and never see the candy. Is this really difficult for any one?

IBSTORMIN
05-01-2009, 06:33 PM
WOW! Just let me ask: Whose ears should Mr P use to decide what sounds best to him?



Scientific measurements are great but if you cannot hear a difference, what good are they to you? EVERYONE hears differently and if you really want to talk "real world", all you really have to please is yourself. PLACEBO is the word all that can't HEAR a difference like to throw around and it pisses off those of us that can hear a difference. It still comes down to: If YOU can't hear a difference, don't spend the extra money on ANY upgrade because nothing else matters but what you CAN hear.

MARKW:
You ignored this question/comment and went right on the attack. Why?
Can't deal with the real world???

RoadRunner6
05-01-2009, 07:57 PM
Well, I guess it's time to haul Mr. Roger Russell out again and then get another lesson in illogical reasoning and debating from our resident Golden Eared Audiophiles.

(Quoted from Mr. Roger Russell's website)

Gordon Gow's Speaker Wire Listening Test

I have read several magazine articles and papers expressing the findings and opinions about the various kinds of speaker wire. Some engineers have applied their expertise to make measurements to prove conclusively that there ARE differences between wires. A few authors have devoted their entire paper to the measurements and never mention whether they have actually made any listening tests or if they could hear any difference. Despite all the measurements and opinions, the final test is whether you can hear any difference or not. Obviously, this must be done under controlled conditions where you don't know which wire is connected and there is no delay in switching.

In the early 1980's, special speaker wires were beginning to appear on the market. Some of the claims were totally unbelievable and had prices to match. Realizing that wire resistance was the critical factor in speaker wire, Gordon Gow, President of McIntosh Laboratory, used a speaker cable demonstration to show there was no listening difference between these wires and plain line cord. He delivered his presentation about the truth in speaker wire using a reel of Monster cable to stand on. Fifty-foot lengths of wire were used in the comparison. The setup consisted of a master control relay box and two slave relay boxes. A three-position switch was used to select one of three different speaker wires of equal length. One was line cord. The other two wires were from popular manufacturers. 8-ohm speakers were selected to be used in the test. The two other brand name wires were heavier than the line cord.

The boxes now show some signs of wear. This is from being handled and traveling around in a large fiberglass case along with all of the speaker wires and connecting cables.

A slave box was positioned at each speaker. Power to drive the relays in each slave box was provided with separate cables. The speaker wires were switched at both the power amplifier and the speaker so that only one kind of wire was connected at a time. Short pieces of heavy wire were run from the speakers and amplifier to the relay boxes. No other devices were used in the speaker line. The relay contact resistance was measured to be less than 0.1 ohms. No consistent listening differences were heard by customers or dealers.

The test proved his point. When I took the test, I was unable to hear any differences using several different 8-ohm speaker systems. BUT, when I deliberately played one particular 4-ohm speaker and I switched to the line cord position, I could hear differences. I knew this system dipped down to 2.6 ohms in one frequency range, and 3 ohms in another. It verified that differences can be heard if the wire is too light for a lower impedance system. A system this low in impedance requires heavier wire. After replacing the line cord with a heavier line cord of equal length, differences could no longer be heard.


THE KIND OF WIRE MADE NO DIFFERENCE

It can be solid, stranded, copper, oxygen free copper, silver, etc.--or even "magic" wire--as long as the resistance is kept to be less than 5% of the speaker impedance. There is no listening difference as long as the wire is of adequate size.

Of course, we are not personally able to establish the truth of everything for ourselves and it's not easy to set up a similar wire listening test. Very few people are able to make speaker impedance measurements or wire resistance measurements down to 0.1 ohms. Like many other things in life, we rely on indirect sources of information, such as sales literature, reviews and opinions. This is called Authority Belief, which is part of our belief system. An interesting article about the belief system is described in ETC: A Review Of General Semantics Sept. 1964 titled Images Of the Consumer's Mind by Milton Rokeach.

Gordon Gow's cable demonstration provided a personal experience for customers that could replace the Authority Beliefs they had relied on earlier. The demonstration was controlled. It was an instant comparison and the listeners did not know the wire identification. Gordon held many such demonstrations in dealer showrooms and at shows.


The Truth about Speaker Wire

Despite the effectiveness of Gordon's cable demonstration and the truth about speaker wire, people visiting the McIntosh room at the shows, who had not experienced the cable demonstration, were disturbed that we were using ordinary heavy zip cord instead of one of the popular brands of speaker wire. Instead of listening to the McIntosh speakers and electronics, they recalled "bad" things they had been told about "common" speaker wire and this promoted questions about the "inferior" wire being used. When we changed the wire to a popular brand of wire, customers were happy with the setup, and directed their attention to the McIntosh equipment.

The demand for high quality speaker wire was increasing and appeared to be a new marketing area for several companies. McIntosh did not make or sell speaker wire. The solution seemed very obvious--rather than spend time and effort to create negative sales for McIntosh dealers who were beginning to sell speaker wire, it seemed best to encourage the speaker owner/customer to consult with the dealer about what speaker wire to use. Consequently, I no longer recommended the kind of wire or wire sizes in the speaker manuals.

By 1988, McIntosh no longer supplied audio interconnects with the electronics. Again, many kinds of special audio cables were available to the customer/owner. The dealer could also be consulted about what cables to use.

I credit the success of the speaker wire industry to their expert sales and marketing ability. However, it is my experience that ordinary copper wire, as long as it's heavy enough, is just as good as name brands.

Looking at this from a different perspective, there will always be those who will want expensive wire, not because there is an audible difference, but because they may value pride of ownership and prestige in a similar way to that of owning a Tiffany lamp or a Rolex watch.


Cardas Wire and the IDS-25

If I donít believe that expensive speaker wire makes an audible difference, why is it used inside the IDS-25 speaker system? The answer is very simple. IDS is out to sell speakers and not everyone believes in ordinary wire. The explanation is the same as what McIntosh found at shows and is described in the section above. Cardas wire does not sound any better but it may help to sell speakers to those who are concerned about wire and are not convinced that ordinary wire is just as good. The increase in cost is negligible compared to the drivers, enclosures and equalizer.


Stereo Review Dares to Tell the Truth (1983)

A 6-page article by Laurence Greenhill titled "Speaker Cables: Can You Hear the Difference?" was published in Stereo Review magazine on August 1983. It compared Monster cable, 16-gauge wire and 24-gauge wire. The price at that time for a pair of 30-foot lengths of monster cables was $55.00. The cost for 16 gauge heavy lamp cord was $.30/foot or $18.00 and the 24 gauge "speaker wire" was $.03/foot or $1.80

"...So what do our fifty hours of testing, scoring and listening to speaker cables amount to? Only that 16-gauge lamp cord and Monster cable are indistinguishable from each other with music and seem to be superior to the 24 gauge wire commonly sold or given away as 'speaker cable.' Remember, however, that it was a measurable characteristic--higher resistance per foot--that made 24 gauge sound different from the other cables. If the cable runs were only 6 instead of 30 feet, the overall cable resistances would have been lower and our tests would probably have found no audible differences between the three cables. This project was unable to validate the sonic benefits claimed for exotic speaker cables over common 16-gauge zip cord. We can only conclude, therefore, that there is little advantage besides pride of ownership in using these thick, expensive wires"

Needless to say there was a strong letter to the editor in the October Stereo Review from Noel Lee, President of Monster Cable. "...was not the conclusion of nearly three thousand Monster Cable purchasers who participated in a warranty/response card survey in 1981-1982. Among those responding, 56 per cent indicated 'an overall significant improvement, '42 per cent attested to a 'noticeable improvement,' and only 2 per cent wrote back that they heard no difference in system performance."...

Yes, some of this claim is believable but for the wrong reasons. If the wire used previously had resistance that was too high, there would be an audible difference. If the wire connections at the amplifier or speaker were loose or corroded, installing the new cable tightly would make an audible difference.

Then we get into the more subjective evaluation. Suppose you're already using adequate size wire and have good connections at the speaker and amplifier. If you're then told the new wire will make an improvement, you will be looking for it and truly believe that you hear an improvement. Some people might go as far as saying "If I spent all that money for these cables, you can be sure I'm going to hear a difference." (rather than admit I wasted my money or have bad hearing).

There are other factors as well. If you listen to the system with the old wires and then replace them with the new ones, it could take 5 or 10 minutes to do this. By then you will have forgotten what the old sound was like. How many of the customers made an instant and more reliable comparison like what was done in Gordon Gow's demonstration or in the Stereo Review test? I wonder how these customers would fare in a test where they didn't know which wire was being used.

Stereo Review Gets More Conservative (1990)

A 5 page article by Rich Warren titled "Getting Wired" was published in Stereo Review in June 1990. It devotes 4 and a half pages to the creative claims and descriptions by the various wire manufacturers. Near the end of the article reference is made to an Audio Engineering Society paper by R. A. Greiner published in the JAES in May 1980 and titled "Amplifier-Loudspeaker Interfacing." The conclusion is that speaker cables do not behave as transmission lines despite the theory subscribed to by many, if not most, esoteric cable designers.

This time the conclusion in Stereo Review was extremely conservative. Perhaps this was due to the influence of speaker wire advertisers who pay for their magazine ads. As in Gordon Gow's wire demonstration, wire sales, advertising and dealer profits were hurt by the truth about speaker wire.

"Are there real sonic differences between audio cables? We leave that up to each individual to decide. What we can say is that there are some valid reasons, described in the box on the facing page (cable pictures and manufacturer descriptions), to use good cables in your hi-fi system. Which theory you choose to subscribe to and how high a price you're willing to pay for cable comfort is up to you."

An Honest Answer from Sound & Vision (2001)

Here's an answer by Ian Masters in the May 2001 issue of Sound & Vision, page 36 Q&A.
Note: I saw no speaker wire advertisements in this issue!

"Cheap Wire
Q. Would it be okay for me to use single conductor wire as speaker cables running through the attic or under the house? Does stranded wire provide some sonic benefit? It would be far cheaper and easier for me to run 12-gauge wire to a plate with banana receptacles and then use specialty cable at each end to patch to the amplifier and speakers. Jon Schwendig, Santa Clara, CA

A. There are a lot of myths about speaker wires, but in the end it's thickness that counts, and 12 gauge should be heavy enough for any reasonable domestic application. I've taken several comparative listening sessions over the years, and the sort of wire you want to use involves no sonic degradation that I (or anybody else in the tests) could hear. You could even wire the whole distance from amp to speakers using 12-gauge, but it would probably be more convenient to use something more flexible for the actual connection to components. Specialty audiophile cables would serve that purpose nicely, although more modest cables would work just as well."

(Roger Russell,
Author, Artist, Engineer, Inventor, Photographer, Collector, and formerly
Director of Acoustic Research
at McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. and the originator of
McIntosh Loudspeakers)

02audionoob
05-01-2009, 08:26 PM
The thing I don't think I understand about the Roger Russell story, which of course many of us have read before, is that it seems to imply that cable in the range of $0.92 per foot somehow qualifies as an over-hyped specialty cable. There's wire on the bulk rolls at Home Depot that costs almost that much. Every day on Audiogon you can find speaker wire for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Mr Peabody
05-01-2009, 09:23 PM
As admitted by the author the only thing they proved is the test group couldn't hear the difference between Monster and zip. Two or three samples is a poor test to make a stance on.

Stereo Review, namely Julian Hirsch, also wrote and held the platform there weren't any differences between amps of good quality. Controversy sells magazines. Hmmm.... just as it might draw attention to a certain brand of hi fi gear.

In 1983 there weren't that many cable companies around. I did work for an audio store in late 80's and early 90's and that was around the time we first toyed with Audioquest. Cable companies for the most part have flurrished. You can't believe that entire industry has grown to what it is based on nothing but imagination. If that works so well why do other products and companies come and go. Despite your position no one but a fool just wants to throw money away. There has to be some value of product to the purchaser.

The article also says people want to think there's a difference because they don't want to feel they threw their money away. As I stated before, that part of the equation is easily removed by simply borrowing or buying with return policy. There is absolutely nothing to lose.

I really don't understand the resistance or fear of cables. People want to attack cables like no other tweak. And, I really have to wonder why Gowan would care less whether another company sold or people used boutique cables any way. The whole thing seems rather strange. He don't seem to mind when people spend ridiculous money on his product. Is he a consumer advocate against anything else?

I wonder what makes us think we hear any difference between two boutique cables when trying to decide which to go with...... I guess then it comes down to which looks best in our room or the coolest in our mind. Blue is peaceful, that one must be warmer, red insights rage and a power color that's the one I want, it will make my bass really slam.

markw
05-02-2009, 03:52 AM
MARKW:
You ignored this question/comment and went right on the attack. Why?
Can't deal with the real world???It's funny how "you guys" stoop to that when the facts don't bolster your side. Seems like you're due for a breakdown and perhaps an extended stay at an asylum might be in order.

As for the answer, i don't really care what Mr P (or you) hear, or think you hear. It's your little world and your money. Whatever makes your pointed little head happy. It's just that I feel a duty to offer a more balanced side of the situation for any who might be listening.

i.e. it's no skin off my teeth if you believe you can fly like superman off the side of a building. Go right ahead. But, when you tell others that it's a jolly good idea, well then, I feel compelled to step in.

That's pretty much the same as saying there are "night and day" differences between cables of similar length and construction, which is a given in these discussions, at least with rational people.

And, hoccum you fine it necessary to post two posts in a row directed towards me instead of putting it in one post? Lack of an attention span? Can't figure out the edit function? That might have a bearing on why we're having this discussion.

If you can't keep a simple thought in your head for more than a few seconds, or comprehend and use a simple tool, do you really expect me to believe you can comprehend and remember what you hear from one minute to the next?

FWIW, I do find it curious that no cable manufacturer, or even a consortium, has ever taken it upon themselves to actually prove (and you know what I'm talking about) that the claimed superiority of their product is clearly audible to the bulk of the population* instead of depending on the religious fervor of it's sycophants. Think of what a boon it would be to their business! And, it would end this petty bickering.

Now, to pour salt on your ADD driven rants, pleast not ethat I nevenrsaid all cables are the same.

Go ahead, check it out. It's in my first post here I believe.

I'll wait.... (dah te dum dum de da de de doo)

OK, are you back now? Did you see where I said they are subtle? Do you disagree?

And, being subtle, that mean that most people would want to be danged sure that it's really really there and it's worth the price differential, no? The greater the price difference the more sure I would want to be unless, of course, money is no object.

So, unless you want to take the "night and day difference" side of this discussion, perhaps you should cut your losses.

And, being subtle

Mr Peabody
05-02-2009, 05:30 AM
Markw, choose one position and stick with it. So which is it, all cables are the same or they aren't but it's subtle? First you want to claim no difference, now it has to be night and day. The term "night and day" is as subjective as neutral or any other adjective used to try and describe sound.

RoadRunner6
05-02-2009, 05:59 AM
The term "night and day" is as subjective as neutral or any other adjective used to try and describe sound.

Correction: The term neutral does not describe sound (as in a sound of its own) but a lack of sound, implying that there is no affect on the sound by the cable.

markw
05-02-2009, 06:12 AM
Markw, choose one position and stick with it. So which is it, all cables are the same or they aren't but it's subtle? First you want to claim no difference, now it has to be night and day. The term "night and day" is as subjective as neutral or any other adjective used to try and describe sound.I can't recall ever saying something as simplistic and absolute as "all cables sound the same". Can you show me where i said that, or are you simply contructing a straw man here.

Allow me to enter into evidence some text from my first post in this thread.


And, the point of diminishing returns is lower than advertisers might have you believe. I seriously question the veracity or critical listening abilities of anyone who claims a "night and day" difference between two cables of similar construction. Subtle, perhaps under some ideal conditions, but how closely must one listen to realize it. Is it sustainable in real-world conditions?
I believe it was post number three. I don't believe I've said anything to contradict that here, do yo?

Now, granted, the term "night and day" was originated by the OP, and my initial response was to him.

But, here's your input from post 11 in this thread.


"Night & Day" is a subjective term but there have been at least two occasions I can recall that I thought came pretty close because the difference should have been heard by a deaf monk.Dunno, but that pretty much sounds to me like an endorsement for "night and day" differences.

IBSTORMIN
05-02-2009, 08:44 AM
It's funny how "you guys" stoop to that when the facts don't bolster your side. Seems like you're due for a breakdown and perhaps an extended stay at an asylum might be in order.

As for the answer, i don't really care what Mr P (or you) hear, or think you hear. It's your little world and your money. Whatever makes your pointed little head happy. It's just that I feel a duty to offer a more balanced side of the situation for any who might be listening.

i.e. it's no skin off my teeth if you believe you can fly like superman off the side of a building. Go right ahead. But, when you tell others that it's a jolly good idea, well then, I feel compelled to step in.

That's pretty much the same as saying there are "night and day" differences between cables of similar length and construction, which is a given in these discussions, at least with rational people.

And, hoccum you fine it necessary to post two posts in a row directed towards me instead of putting it in one post? Lack of an attention span? Can't figure out the edit function? That might have a bearing on why we're having this discussion.

If you can't keep a simple thought in your head for more than a few seconds, or comprehend and use a simple tool, do you really expect me to believe you can comprehend and remember what you hear from one minute to the next?

FWIW, I do find it curious that no cable manufacturer, or even a consortium, has ever taken it upon themselves to actually prove (and you know what I'm talking about) that the claimed superiority of their product is clearly audible to the bulk of the population* instead of depending on the religious fervor of it's sycophants. Think of what a boon it would be to their business! And, it would end this petty bickering.

Now, to pour salt on your ADD driven rants, pleast not ethat I nevenrsaid all cables are the same.

Go ahead, check it out. It's in my first post here I believe.

I'll wait.... (dah te dum dum de da de de doo)

OK, are you back now? Did you see where I said they are subtle? Do you disagree?

And, being subtle, that mean that most people would want to be danged sure that it's really really there and it's worth the price differential, no? The greater the price difference the more sure I would want to be unless, of course, money is no object.

So, unless you want to take the "night and day difference" side of this discussion, perhaps you should cut your losses.

And, being subtle

I have a life besides this forum so no, I haven't figured out the edit functions yet.

YOU can't seem to answer them when I ask them, so who is lacking in attention?

You started and continue the insults. YOU aren't worth my time.

E-Stat
05-02-2009, 09:14 AM
Well, I guess it's time to haul Mr. Roger Russell out again and then get another lesson in illogical reasoning and debating from our resident Golden Eared Audiophiles.
Speaking of illogical reasoning, the *tests* (such as they are - the 5% resistance notion is an assumption) prove what they prove only on that which was used. Which, by the way, is never stated. Components, content, etc. So much for applying the scientific method. Oops. Science also dictates that extrapolation of test results from decades ago to a completely different environment with every variable having been changed is wholly without merit. Oops again. If you wish to invoke the mantle of science, then perhaps you might find another instance where it is relevant to this discussion.

BTW, I trust you got permission before reprinting the article. Otherwise, you are willfully violating copyright.

rw

markw
05-02-2009, 09:34 AM
I have a life besides this forum so no, I haven't figured out the edit functions yet.

YOU can't seem to answer them when I ask them, so who is lacking in attention?

You started and continue the insults. YOU aren't worth my time.Actually, I believe I've covered all the bases. I'd say you either didn't understand the answers, or they simply didn't suit you.

Remember, you jumped in the water feet first flinging insults.

Auricauricle
05-02-2009, 10:49 AM
Who wants a beer?

E-Stat
05-02-2009, 11:04 AM
Who wants a beer?
Thanks for the offer, but I'm enjoying a G&T at the moment. Its a rainy, rainy day here in central AR. A perfect day for listening. :)

rw

markw
05-02-2009, 01:28 PM
Who wants a beer?Thanks. Got a cold Killian's Irish Red? Just got back from walking around an Arboretum with the Mrs W and that would taste real nice.

Normally I'm a T & T man myself, but somehow Killian's has been tickling my taste buds. Mebbe I'm gettin' old.

RoadRunner6
05-02-2009, 10:43 PM
BTW, I trust you got permission before reprinting the article. Otherwise, you are willfully violating copyright.

Thanks for the warning E-Stat. I have no idea what the rules are about posting quotes that one finds on the web at a forum like this. I see links and quotes posted all the time so I guess I figured once it is published on the web it is OK to reference it unless you would be slandering, etc. I did reference Mr. Russell but I didn't think he would object to using his findings.

Please set me straight on this if you or anyone is absolutley sure on this as I do not want to get into trouble with Mr. Russell or anyone else.

Thanks,
RR6

PS: "..........Science also dictates that extrapolation of test results from decades ago to a completely different environment with every variable having been changed is wholly without merit..........." Sure, OK.

E-Stat
05-03-2009, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the warning E-Stat. I have no idea what the rules are about posting quotes that one finds on the web at a forum like this.
My comments have nothing to do with this forum. Read the clear verbiage at the top of R-Rs page here. (http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm)


Please set me straight on this if you or anyone is absolutley sure on this as I do not want to get into trouble with Mr. Russell or anyone else.
Follow his instructions. Presumably, he wouldn't mind but I will not attempt to speak for him.

rw

RoadRunner6
05-03-2009, 07:02 PM
I had presumed the copyright laws would only prevent me from using his material in my own book, article, etc. as if it were my own ideas. I said: "I have no idea what the rules are about posting quotes that one finds on the web at a forum like this" because I figured either the copyright protection would not apply here as I was posting in an online forum or that they just would not bother since this was not in fact the purpose of the copyright laws.

I might be way off base here and that is why I was asking. Yes, I now did read the copyright statement you linked but there are lots of simialar legal statements that don't hold any water in certain circumstances. A good example is everytime I go skiing I see a sign that the ski area is not responsible for any injury I might experience. (of course in many cases that statement is nonsnense)

Your comment: " I trust you got permission before reprinting the article. Otherwise, you are willfully violating copyright." sounded rather definitive and I was in immediate danger of being sued. My purpose here in trying to clafiy this is not to argue or to not sound appreciative that you brought this up.

Again, I see many quotes in posts on online forums that are probably technically covered by copyright laws. The practical question from me would be, is this something that we actually need to avoid doing on any forum?

Thanks for any more comments. I didn't mean to get off track here. Maybe a thread on this would be a good idea.

RR6

moves
06-02-2009, 12:39 PM
what about canare cables? any good?