Using Cables as Tone Controls [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : Using Cables as Tone Controls



Hyfi
05-14-2012, 07:27 AM
Using Cables as Tone Controls

In some discussions over at AK, one member has repeatedly discussed his use of various cables as Tone Controls. After reading his posts and results, and coming accross a pair of ICs that I have had for some time now, I was able to tame a particular setup by using this set of cables between my OPPO93, which I think lacks bass output in Analog mode, and my Rotel 1052 Integrated.

When I first got the OPPO, I posted my impressions here as well as in the Official thread at AVS. I got various responses around break-in and related gear, but nothing about cabling.

Secondly, this setup using the OPPO for CD playback driven by the Rotel feeds a pair of JM Labs Tantal 509s, which like most lower level JMs or Focals lack deep bass. Distinct and detailed yes, just no extension.

A few weeks ago I had to re-arrange a few components in my rack due to the Integra 30.3 giving off lots of heat with no room above it in the 7" shelf. While re cabling everything back up, and not even remembering where this set of ICs were, I decided to put them in the main setup between Pre and Amp in place of the regularly used Synergistic Research ICs. I did not like the sound compared to the Synergistic cables. Dark and bassey and lacking a little of the detail I was used to. I removed the ICs and put the SRs back to regain my expected sound.

Next, since I got my Hafler Pre-Amp repaired and back in place in the gym along with it's 9180 amp driving a pair of Polk Monitor 30s, I tried the cables there again between pre and amp. Way too much base output and I ended up using the tone controls, Bass all the way down and Treble all the way up to compensate.

So after my discussions over at AK, I decided to try the cables in my OPPO Rotel setup. All I can say is WOW, they solved 2 problems. The OPPO is no longer shy on bass and neither are the JMs. I put a pair of Tara Labs Quantum CX ICs in the Hafler setup and ended up with a much mellower sound without too much bass.

So what are the cables that did so much magic in my system? A pair of Groneberg Series 3 ICs made in Germany and purchased through Odyssey way back when I bought my Stratos Amp. By the way, they use the same cable for the internal wiring of all Odyssey amps which may contribute to the bass output they give, who knows.

Anyway, I just decided to look at the Odyssey page and found an interesting blurb;

""As a matter of fact, these cables, and especially the Quattro Reference cables for their specific price/performance ratio is so good that we decided to use only Groneberg cables in our Stratos amplifiers exclusively. Klaus Bunge

Designed and manufactured in Germany, this cable offers a very high value and performance. No need to use different cables for different signals. Patented Groneberg design (DE 43 36 230 C1) in TS Premium and Quattro Reference models solves the problem and cable can be configured for different purposes: IC, Idigital cooax, loudspeaker cable and power cord. One cable to rule them all.

Do not be reluctant to give this cable a try, maybe there are better ones, but they are much more expensive, and cheaper competitors stay far behind from the performance Groneberg cable achieves. Several reviews in Germany and Europe have rated this cable over products from other famous brands, you'll be surprised.

Groneberg Quattro Reference: Patented design for optimized and constant electron flow Four conductor lines Stabilizing inner core Shielding braid Excellent soundstage, detail and deep bass reproduction Harmonics coherent delicate and revealing mids & highs Excellent voice reproduction 530 pF/m Propietary jacket formulation.

Groneberg Serie 3: Stripped version of Quattro Reference Shielding braid Open and detailed sound Good bass extension Slightly warm sound 240 pF/m Propietary jacket formulation. ""

Anyone here have a similar experience? Speaker cable or ICs? I don't notice as much of a drastic change in speaker cables between two quality constructed similar pairs as I do between various ICs.

JohnMichael
05-14-2012, 08:13 AM
I think cables can make a difference in your system. I once purchased a pair of IC's that were made from silver coated copper. At first I was pleased with the midrange and female vocalists. In two weeks I could not stand to listen to my stereo. Recently using my AntiCables I loved them when I first received them. Later when I twisted them I began to miss instrumental textures and the cables gave a glassy sound. Now that they are untwisted I am very happy with them again.

Cables can be used as tone controls and sometimes add tones you did not want.

E-Stat
05-14-2012, 02:02 PM
Using Cables as Tone Controls
Strictly speaking, I think that is a bad idea. Having said that, there certainly is great variance in the perceived sound of all sorts of cabling. I think the most important aspect is matching. Evaluating a cable by itself it virtually useless. A cable becomes part of the system between the two attached devices and affects both. One of the reasons basic red and white cabling sounds poor is because it has high capacitance. I've measured some at around 250pf / meter! Depending on the interaction, a high value can cause dullness or with others it can cause HF ringing.

The best cabling I've heard has a very low dielectric constant (capacitance x inductance), good shielding and solid connectors. Speaker cabling is fundamentally no different and depends upon the speaker and what's driving it.

frenchmon
05-14-2012, 03:31 PM
Strictly speaking, I think that is a bad idea. Having said that, there certainly is great variance in the perceived sound of all sorts of cabling. I think the most important aspect is matching. Evaluating a cable by itself it virtually useless. A cable becomes part of the system between the two attached devices and affects both. One of the reasons basic red and white cabling sounds poor is because it has high capacitance. I've measured some at around 250pf / meter! Depending on the interaction, a high value can cause dullness or with others it can cause HF ringing.

The best cabling I've heard has a very low dielectric constant (capacitance x inductance), good shielding and solid connectors. Speaker cabling is fundamentally no different and depends upon the speaker and what's driving it.


E-Stat... after reading much of you keen insightful postings over at Audioasylum I know you certainly know more about our hobby than I, but I don't think its altogether a bad idea.

One can certainly use cables to tone his system weather it be too bright or too boring. I've certainly found cable and speaker wire that I find does a fine job letting all the detail through and giving me a tone I love.

I too have discovered that cabling and speaker wire is just like the many components that make up our system. That is why I use the same speaker wire and interconnects as well as phono cabling from the same series and manufacturer. It acts as one single component.

Smokey
05-14-2012, 06:24 PM
E-Stat... after reading much of you keen insightful postings over at Audioasylum I know you certainly know more about our hobby than I, but I don't think its altogether a bad idea.

One can certainly use cables to tone his system weather it be too bright or too boring.

I agree with E-Stat. It is a bad idea :)

Considering that job of a cable is to transfer signal from point A to point B with minimum loss and attenuation, then it is not doing its job if in any way effect the signal it is carrying...even if it is for better.

Cable signature is undesirable effect in electronic world and cable will be labeled defective if have any type of signature (good or bad).

E-Stat
05-14-2012, 06:59 PM
...use cables to tone his system weather it be too bright or too boring.
I'm not sure how any cable can "fix" a boring system. Sure, you can rob the top end (along with resolution) with cheap cables for sure. I just think there are better ways to handle brightness.


I too have discovered that cabling and speaker wire is just like the many components that make up our system. That is why I use the same speaker wire and interconnects as well as phono cabling from the same series and manufacturer. It acts as one single component.
There's certainly nothing wrong with that approach.

blackraven
05-14-2012, 09:23 PM
After recently purchasing a few different pairs of IC's, I can see how you can make changes in your system's sound with cables. The Audio Nirvana cables have rolled off highs and a warmer sound. The Tara Lab cables that I have produce deeper bass and extended highs and are more musical. The top end is too hot for my system though. My reference cable are my Blue Jean Cables which have the most even sound. My favorite cable is my AudioQuest Corals from HCM audio. They lean on the warmer side and have a smoother high end than the BJC's. These changes are not subtle and are readily apparent.

Hyfi
05-15-2012, 03:00 AM
I agree with E-Stat. It is a bad idea :)

Considering that job of a cable is to transfer signal from point A to point B with minimum loss and attenuation, then it is not doing its job if in any way effect the signal it is carrying...even if it is for better.

Cable signature is undesirable effect in electronic world and cable will be labeled defective if have any type of signature (good or bad).

And you have experience with cables now or just what you have read?

A cable with a signature sound is no different than a brand of receivers or amps with a "House Sound" such as Rotel gear.

A cable that seriously degrades the sound would be defective. I don't think my Synergistic cables are defective and I love what they do for the sound of my main system. When you save up enough to get some higher end gear you can then see for yourself that everything you read and all the DBT Naysayer camp stances may not always be the gospel.

blackraven
05-15-2012, 09:12 AM
Here's a question for thought. How do you know if a cable or piece of equipment is giving the right sonic signature? There is no right answer! Every piece of gear does impart some sonic signature. When music is recorded and mixed, it is on different gear and tuned to a particular sound on that gear.

Hyfi
05-15-2012, 09:30 AM
Here's a question for thought. How do you know if a cable or piece of equipment is giving the right sonic signature? There is no right answer! Every piece of gear does impart some sonic signature. When music is recorded and mixed, it is on different gear and tuned to a particular sound on that gear.

That is exactly why we have so many options and cables and tweaks to get the sound to just as each of us like it.

E-Stat
05-15-2012, 09:44 AM
Here's a question for thought. How do you know if a cable or piece of equipment is giving the right sonic signature?
The way my reviewer friends attack this question for really any component under review is to use it with different systems to get a better feel for what that component's signature is.

JohnMichael
05-15-2012, 09:58 AM
I certainly choose cables based on how my system sounds when they are in use. I have a pair of AlphaCore speaker cables that I love in the bass and mids but where are the highs? If I had bright electronics I might need them. Thinking about this topic I do think I use cables as tone controls but like tone controls I used them sparingly.

TheHills44060
05-15-2012, 11:40 AM
I think cables can make a difference in your system...


I certainly choose cables based on how my system sounds when they are in use.
How do you like the CAST cabling system on your Krell gear? Have you had the chance to compare it to standard analog interconnect L/R cables? Just curious because I always wondered if they delivered any sonic benefits other than plain convenience. Never had any experience with them myself.

JohnMichael
05-15-2012, 05:11 PM
How do you like the CAST cabling system on your Krell gear? Have you had the chance to compare it to standard analog interconnect L/R cables? Just curious because I always wondered if they delivered any sonic benefits other than plain convenience. Never had any experience with them myself.



I only have a Krell integrated amp so no need for the CAST IC between the pre-amp and power-amp. I have the Marantz SA 8001 so no balanced IC's are needed.

Smokey
05-15-2012, 06:56 PM
And you have experience with cables now or just what you have read?

Well Hyfi, that is just common knowledge. Cable signature is a no-no and quality cable makers such as Belden strive to minimize that effect. However some audio cable companies seem to ignor that fact and concentrate on cable signature and sound and charge premium for it.


A cable with a signature sound is no different than a brand of receivers or amps with a "House Sound" such as Rotel gear.

This is where most poeple faulter as there is s a difference between cables and components. Cables are passiive and their job is to transfer signal. While components are active and their job is to amplify the signal. The latter might add its own signature when amplifying the signal, while the former should transfer the signal without any alterations.


Here's a question for thought. How do you know if a cable or piece of equipment is giving the right sonic signature?

To achieve right sonic signature (or transparency) in your system, your approach should be objectively rather than subjectively.

Hyfi
05-16-2012, 04:38 AM
Well Hyfi, that is just common knowledge. Cable signature is a no-no and quality cable makers such as Belden strive to minimize that effect. However some audio cable companies seem to ignor that fact and concentrate on cable signature and sound and charge premium for it.



This is where most poeple faulter as there is s a difference between cables and components. Cables are passiive and their job is to transfer signal. While components are active and their job is to amplify the signal. The latter might add its own signature when amplifying the signal, while the former should transfer the signal without any alterations.



To achieve right sonic signature (or transparency) in your system, your approach should be objectively rather than subjectively.

Great in theory but in today's real world, Cables are now a Component and can be worked with as such. There have been some good discussions on the topic at AK recently.

Here is a set of questions posed and one person's answers.
<<<
Originally Posted by robgmn
CAN a difference in cables exist? Yes, better question is, can two different cables be the same?

SHOULD a difference in cables exist? Absolutely.

If differences exist, WHY do they exist? Different cable topologies and materials.

CAN differences be measured? Yah shore, yew becha!

CAN we hear things that cannot be measured? Highly doubtful, if you know what to measure.

CAN things be measured that we cannot hear or sense? Yah shore, yew betcha!

CAN two things that are measured to be identical be proven to be perceived as different? Yes, if your measurements aren't extensive enough.

Can perception be verified with scientific testing (NOT belief; actual perception)? Yes, but it is rather painful (you must be conscious while the anal plug is inserted and removed).

- Have you ever tried different cables in your system? Yes, I have.

- Please describe cables (make/model or if DIY how constructed). You're kidding, right? Way too many to list.

- Did you hear a difference? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
- What are your reference components? Lots of stuff.

- Do you have any hearing issues that may impact your ability to detect differences. Age, and it isn't getting any better. Albeit, this is only a minor handicap.>>>

I suggest that when you score some gear capable of letting these differences show you do some experimenting on your own.

The whole premise of my post was that one CAN use cables to tame or enhance a system's lacking or overbearing characteristics. NOT should it or shouldn't it because the facts are, it does.

With your thinking, nobody should need an Equalizer either and while many use them for room correction, just as many or more know nothing about room correction and they use them to boost or cut the treble or bass.

Let me complete the sentence

To achieve right sonic signature (or transparency) in your system, you need to have highly transparent and resolving gear along with the right match of cables to suit ones own tastes in the sound of their setup.

This can rarely be done with a computer, TV, and $50 DVD players using Black & Reds.

blackraven
05-16-2012, 07:51 AM
Smokey, my question for you is how do you know which cable has the right sound as it was intended to be at the time of the recording. Cables and equipment sound different and we all have a personal likes and dislikes. What sounds good to me may sound like crap to you. For example, I love the Magenapan sound and RGA does not.

As for you comment about transparency, all the cables that I have convey transparency but the differences have mainly to do with warmth, general tone, high frequency extension, sibilance and bass.

Hyfi
05-16-2012, 07:56 AM
Smokey, my question for you is how do you know which cable has the right sound as it was intended to be at the time of the recording. Cables and equipment sound different and we all have a personal likes and dislikes. What sounds good to me may sound like crap to you. For example, I love the Magenapan sound and RGA does not.

His comments were typical Nay Sayer with no real world experience comments. All theory and no practical experience. Anyone can repeat that stuff like a parrot but only those who choose to experiment will know the real answers.

JohnMichael
05-16-2012, 09:08 AM
I agree it would be nice to test cables in multiple systems to find a neutral cable. Of course at the end of the day it is still about how the cables interacts with your system. A cable that sounds neutral in several systems could be less than neutral between your amp and speakers.

My Krell S-300i is more neutral than other int. amps I have owned. When I had the original Cambridge Audio 640A I tried different cables trying to improve the sound. I almost wonder if like electronics, cables become more neutral as you step up a cable makers line?

I do find it interesting that when I read cable reviews they do mention when a cable would work better in a bright system or better in a warm system.

LeRoy
05-16-2012, 07:08 PM
@Hyfi, thanks for sharing your cable experience with Odyssey products. As I am looking to do something different with a power cable I will have to check out Odyssey.

Smokey
05-16-2012, 09:19 PM
Great in theory but in today's real world, Cables are now a Component and can be worked with as such.

Premisses of cable has not changed over a century. Although we have better material to build a cable, but functionality of cable has not changed. The concept here is that best cables are "soundless". Treated any other way and we are led into slippery slope...such as using an extension cord for speaker cable :)


Smokey, my question for you is how do you know which cable has the right sound as it was intended to be at the time of the recording.

To hear the intended sound of recording, your cable should be "soundless". Since every record sound differenet and your system might have its own signature, then the best approach to cable would be to choose the ones that are most transparent. And as it was said before, that can be better achived objectively rather than subjectively.

frenchmon
05-17-2012, 02:09 AM
Smokey...answer me this question please. I have a Marantz AVR. When I use silver interconnects, the sound becomes brighter with more extended high frequencies and less bottom end . When I use copper on that same AVR, the sound is more neutral. The same happens with those same cables on my Musical Fidelity CDP. Would you say the interconnects changed the sound? OR am I just imagining things?

Also, smokey...what soundless cable do you use in your system. I may want to try it myself.

Hyfi
05-17-2012, 03:00 AM
Smokey...answer me this question please. I have a Marantz AVR. When I use silver interconnects, the sound becomes brighter with more extended high frequencies and less bottom end . When I use copper on that same AVR, the sound is more neutral. The same happens with those same cables on my Musical Fidelity CDP. Would you say the interconnects changed the sound? OR am I just imagining things?

Also, smokey...what soundless cable do you use in your system. I may want to try it myself.

Oh but it's just common knowledge that Silver is brighter than Copper, I'm sure he read that too.

Smokey
05-18-2012, 07:54 PM
Smokey...answer me this question please. I have a Marantz AVR. When I use silver interconnects, the sound becomes brighter with more extended high frequencies and less bottom end . When I use copper on that same AVR, the sound is more neutral. The same happens with those same cables on my Musical Fidelity CDP. Would you say the interconnects changed the sound? OR am I just imagining things?

First you have to tell me if both silver and copper ICs are made same wire guage, with same material and geometry? Some sliver ICs are made thiner with no sheild vs their copper IC counterpart.


Also, smokey...what soundless cable do you use in your system. I may want to try it myself.

Although I use ordinary Radioshack speaker wire, my first choice for quality speaker cable would be 14 AWG Canare 4S11 (Star Quad) speaker cable. They are good for noisey enviroment due to its unique geometry, and use poly dielectric.

http://www.cs1.net/pic/canare/4S11_construction_detail.jpg

Hyfi
05-19-2012, 03:29 AM
Premisses of cable has not changed over a century. Although we have better material to build a cable, but functionality of cable has not changed. The concept here is that best cables are "soundless". Treated any other way and we are led into slippery slope...such as using an extension cord for speaker cable :)



To hear the intended sound of recording, your cable should be "soundless". Since every record sound differenet and your system might have its own signature, then the best approach to cable would be to choose the ones that are most transparent. And as it was said before, that can be better achived objectively rather than subjectively.

That extension cord would be way better than the little wires all connected over a 70 foot run I have.

Happy Camper
05-19-2012, 08:32 AM
I give the same advice to those doubting the impact a cable will have on the sound. It is a tone control but only in the sense that one end or the other of the audio spectrum will be affected. They can bottleneck a signal to impede the PrAT of a sound as well. (ICs)

Most every audio forum will have scientific "experts" ridicule anyone commenting on differences in sound based on a cable. DBT and pre-conceived expectations are the biggest "lie" induced into the result. To the point that they will embarrass those claiming a difference as shills trying to market a cable to the new and impressionable hobbyist. They will double talk the person with scientific jargon and tell them they are delusional or a liar. For one to have such a high level of education, they can be very biased and ignorant.

Hyfi
05-19-2012, 10:25 AM
I give the same advice to those doubting the impact a cable will have on the sound. It is a tone control but only in the sense that one end or the other of the audio spectrum will be affected. They can bottleneck a signal to impede the PrAT of a sound as well. (ICs)

Most every audio forum will have scientific "experts" ridicule anyone commenting on differences in sound based on a cable. DBT and pre-conceived expectations are the biggest "lie" induced into the result. To the point that they will embarrass those claiming a difference as shills trying to market a cable to the new and impressionable hobbyist. They will double talk the person with scientific jargon and tell them they are delusional or a liar. For one to have such a high level of education, they can be very biased and ignorant.

And one has never taken up my offers to come hear for themselves in my system in 15 years.

LeRoy
05-19-2012, 07:54 PM
I think the most important aspect is matching. Evaluating a cable by itself it virtually useless. A cable becomes part of the system between the two attached devices and affects both.

Yes, I agree with your position on the importance of matching to a system. I loved my Blue Marble Audio IC's and Digital Coax. The BMA had been in use strictly with solid state gear. Once I got the tube amps (Rogue and MiniWatt) it was like the BMA cables made each amp nosedive off a cliff. What at one time was a very integral component when connected to my former Rega and Belles gear then became basically unwanted and unneeded with the tube amps.

So, I concur with what you said ..."evaluating cable by itself is virtually useless"...

Happy Camper
05-20-2012, 12:13 PM
And one has never taken up my offers to come hear for themselves in my system in 15 years.

It's the debate that's more important than the discovery. Arrogance wallowing in ignorance = bliss by ignoring the journey to avoid being proved wrong. I find it comical that all the naysayers will use DBT results as proof when we know human accuracy in audio is far from reliable.

When I first started listening to cables for a difference, I would listen to the main sound of the music. As I started listening to the fringes around the main music, I started noticing how the ambient sounds were being impacted. Then the acoustic responses in natural instruments, the decay of tones, a muffling of the delicate instruments. An analogy would be putting on a new set of windshield wipers. It clears up the sound and you can hear all that was intended.

A question was brought up in a recent article that maybe it's the component that's defective for a cable to have an impact on it's performance. There may be some truth to that. Since it's much more expensive to change components, a cable can transform the performance to hit that sweet spot.

Smokey
05-20-2012, 09:37 PM
Most every audio forum will have scientific "experts" ridicule anyone commenting on differences in sound based on a cable. DBT and pre-conceived expectations are the biggest "lie" induced into the result. To the point that they will embarrass those claiming a difference as shills trying to market a cable to the new and impressionable hobbyist. They will double talk the person with scientific jargon and tell them they are delusional or a liar. For one to have such a high level of education, they can be very biased and ignorant.

Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality :)

Hyfi
05-21-2012, 02:55 AM
Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality :)

And sometimes, repeating everything you read as opposed to actually trying things for yourself becomes meaningless. Reading for education is great but real world practical experience counts just as much if not more.

Sometimes "you can't hear it because I read you can't" will not cut it either.

Hyfi
05-21-2012, 02:56 AM
CAN a difference in cables exist?

SHOULD a difference in cables exist?

If differences exist, WHY do they exist?

CAN differences be measured?

CAN we hear things that cannot be measured?

CAN things be measured that we cannot hear or sense?

CAN two things that are measured to be identical be proven to be perceived as different?

Can perception be verified with scientific testing (NOT belief; actual perception)?

- Have you ever tried different cables in your system?

- Please describe cables (make/model or if DIY how constructed).

- Did you hear a difference?

- What are your reference components?

- Do you have any hearing issues that may impact your ability to detect differences?

JohnMichael
05-21-2012, 05:24 AM
My recent experience with AntiCables has been interesting. When the cables were not twisted in my system they are neutral. When twisted they brightened up and I lost instrumental textures and everything had a glassy sound. Twisted they are tone controls and non twisted and they are neutral.

Hyfi
05-21-2012, 05:32 AM
My recent experience with AntiCables has been interesting. When the cables were not twisted in my system they are neutral. When twisted they brightened up and I lost instrumental textures and everything had a glassy sound. Twisted they are tone controls and non twisted and they are neutral.

No they didn't, you are just deaf and delusional. They sounded the same both ways or they are defective. I'm sure I read that somewhere.....:out:

JohnMichael
05-21-2012, 05:59 AM
No they didn't, you are just deaf and delusional. They sounded the same both ways or they are defective. I'm sure I read that somewhere.....:out:


I have been told that before by someone who has never heard the cables. Just thinking a cable bad does not make it so.

Happy Camper
05-21-2012, 03:04 PM
Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality :)

Yes sir. Their education wasn't in the hobby but in their profession. The problem with this topic is that there are no documents supporting a change of cables in a formula that we are used to for scientific study. I was disappointed to find cables are pretty much "learn as you go" and there is no way of calculating what a cable will have on any two components. I've had similar issues with this synergy statement with components. How can one piece together a decent sounding rig without spending a lot of money.

Piecing a system together is a lesson in gear. For that, you can spend and learn yourself or you can trust a professional merchant to help. Thankfully I found a merchant willing to let me take home some stuff to learn. If one doesn't experience, they won't learn. Being loud and ignorant doesn't help anybody.

Hyfi
05-22-2012, 09:07 AM
CAN a difference in cables exist? Yes

SHOULD a difference in cables exist? Yes if not built with exactly the same materials and specs. No if they are 2 identicle cables

If differences exist, WHY do they exist? Materials, build quality, design

CAN differences be measured? If measured properly yes, if just looking at 2 cables not hooked up to anything, maybe not

CAN we hear things that cannot be measured? Probably

CAN things be measured that we cannot hear or sense? Probably

CAN two things that are measured to be identical be proven to be perceived as different? Perception is hard to prove but to each individual it is real

Can perception be verified with scientific testing (NOT belief; actual perception)? Probably with the right conditions

- Have you ever tried different cables in your system? Yes

- Please describe cables (make/model or if DIY how constructed).
Too many to list but all from well known MFGs and price ranges from $5 to $350 per pair of ICs, Audioquest, XLO, Tara Labs, Synergistic, Radio Shack, Groneberg

- Did you hear a difference? Yes in some, not in all

- What are your reference components? see signature

- Do you have any hearing issues that may impact your ability to detect differences? what? None that I know of

Your turn, Smokey

Smokey
05-23-2012, 07:13 PM
Ok Hyfi I bite, but you probably already know what my answers going to be :)

-CAN a difference in cables exist?

Yes it can as not all cables are created equal.

-SHOULD a difference in cables exist?

That is a loaded question as even cable lenght will make a difference.

-If differences exist, WHY do they exist?

Materials, build quality, design, cable geometry and shielding.

-CAN differences be measured?

In most cases with proper instruments yes it can.

-CAN we hear things that cannot be measured?

From cables, I would say no. Cable technology as is as old as light bulb and we would have documented cases by now if things we hear can not be measured.

-CAN things be measured that we cannot hear or sense?

Most definitey. Harmonics are good example.

-CAN two things that are measured to be identical be proven to be perceived as different?

Sure. Good example would be when music sound different in the mornings than at nights, or depending on our moods.

-Can perception be verified with scientific testing (NOT belief; actual perception)?

Probably not. There is nothing as complex as human mind.

- Have you ever tried different cables in your system?

Not for sound, but for better specifications.

- Please describe cables (make/model or if DIY how constructed).

Bluejean aka Belden cables.

- Did you hear a difference?

Maybe I could if comparison was instantaneous. But going by memery, I would say no.

- What are your reference components?

That is an irrelevant question as cables sould be chosen independent of system cost.

- Do you have any hearing issues that may impact your ability to detect differences?

None that I am aware of.

Hyfi
05-24-2012, 03:00 AM
- What are your reference components?

That is an irrelevant question as cables sould be chosen independent of system cost.


Nobody said anything about cost. Many lower priced gear is as revealing as high end gear. Just not all low priced gear. I have some that will show differences in cables and others not really.

The question was posed because cables react differently to the mating components. Thats why this argument is useless because measuring cables that are not connected to components means nothing. It is how they react with them that makes the difference.

Smokey
05-24-2012, 10:26 PM
The question was posed because cables react differently to the mating components. Thats why this argument is useless because measuring cables that are not connected to components means nothing. It is how they react with them that makes the difference.

Ok. I go along with that statement :)

And on the same note, wouldn't you also agree that to keep differences to minimum, we should choose a cable with good specifications (regardless of listening to it) to achieve transparency?

Hyfi
05-25-2012, 04:04 AM
Ok. I go along with that statement :)

And on the same note, wouldn't you also agree that to keep differences to minimum, we should choose a cable with good specifications (regardless of listening to it) to achieve transparency?

And that is why all my cables are from well known reputable high quality MFGs.

And yours are????

E-Stat
05-25-2012, 05:27 AM
And yours are????
Actually, he answered that question earlier - Belden labeled as Blue Jeans. I, too have used Belden for decades. I bought some bulk 1505F for use in my office since I needed a particularly long run and use 1694A in the digital connection between Squeezebox and Manley DAC in the garage. Belden is good, but not exceptional.

He did not, however, answer your question concerning a system point of reference. Without one, he is unable to make any real comparisons. While my main system is nice, the system I use for reference is much better. :)

His assertion that cable technology is as old as the light bulb is pretty funny. Apparently, Smoke has absolutely no awareness of modern materials technology or advanced RF shielding techniques. He is falling back to the days of clueless non-experiential guys like Mtrycraft.

Hyfi
05-25-2012, 06:26 AM
He did not, however, answer your question concerning a system point of reference. Without one, he is unable to make any real comparisons.

His assertion that cable technology is as old as the light bulb is pretty funny. Apparently, Smoke has absolutely no awareness of modern materials technology or advanced RF shielding techniques. He is falling back to the days of clueless non-experiential guys like Mtrycraft.

That is the exact points I have been trying to make since he has decided to throw his Hat into that ring and be the Official AR Naysayer. I have no problem with someone jumping in who has actually experimented some, with gear that would resolve the differences, and saying that they could not hear a difference. It's the bookworm with absolutely NO practical experience or first hand knowledge starts telling us that the cables we purchased for specific reasons are defective.

RGA
05-26-2012, 06:19 PM
You won't see me reviewing cables much if at all. Largely because they're system dependent so a cable or conditioner may do more or less for me than it would for you. So it's a bit of a pointless exercise. I have Tara Labs Prism 11 IC cables that were well reviewed back in the day. They really don't improve the sound over the cheap cable that came with my CD player. The Cambridge Audio CD 6 may not be the greatest but it was arguably the class leader in its day (or right there). If it is "better" it isn't better enough to pay 60 times the price for it over the $1 variety.

I heard an expensive MIT speaker cables versus cheap runs - the MIT sounded much different - much worse than than the cheap cable - but it did sound different!

MY AN J/Spe is a silver wired version where I had opportunity to directly compare to the lower priced copper version. The Silver version sounded much better in direct comparison especially in the upper mids and treble.

I liked Peter's idea (even if you don't like AN or Peter Q) the notion of wiring the entire audio chain with the same wire structure makes a lot of sense.

Logically - it doesn't make sense to have a system wired with many different cables trying to find some sort of match. In a mix and matched stereo with turntable, transport, DAC, preamp, power amp and loudspeakers - if all were from completely different makers you would have

turntable (internally wired with cable A and possibly the RCA cable to preamp being different - cable B)
Preamp is internally wired with cable C
You buy IC to power amp - Cable D
Power amp is internally wired with a different cable again - Cable E

You buy speaker cables - Cable F
They are connected to different cables in the speakers Cable G.
Transport has different cables again - Cable H
DAC had different cables - Cable I
Then you buy cables from transport to Dac (and the same ones going from DAC to preamp (2 sets of cable J)

That's 10 entirely different wires - theoretically with 10 different "sounds"

To me it's absurd - if we are going to believe that each cable sounds different then finding sonic bliss in that mess is not going to happen - unless of course we're going to say that the wires at best offer subtle differences. Changing out the speaker cable for Nordost might make it sound better but to me it's a band-aid.

What I liked about Peter's upper rig is that the entire chain from tone arm to speaker voice coil was silver wired with the same wires (smaller strands for the smaller components but the same material throughout. Including the windings on the transformers to the silver soldering material on the point to point wiring.

His top speakers are hard wired with his cable directly coupled (you can't change the speaker cables). You essentially go from the 10 different wires to 1 wire.

No one else does this.

What I have seen people do is re-wire their speakers to match their speaker cables and get a partnering IC from the same company with the same material.

IMV if the whole chain isn't one wire type then it's a matter of tone controls for cables trying to figure out which IC or speaker cable works best with the other TEN wires in the system. One expensive wire no matter how expensive I don't see being a panacea.

E-Stat
05-27-2012, 08:29 AM
No one else does this.
Except of course for Sound Lab. While Dr. West doesn't market cabling himself, the backplates can be cabled with whatever cable you choose:

"The customer is invited to assist in choosing some of the critical parts, such as the type of internal conductors and speaker posts. The color of the framework and the type of grille treatment are other areas in which the customer may participate. "

Smokey
05-27-2012, 12:58 PM
His assertion that cable technology is as old as the light bulb is pretty funny. Apparently, Smoke has absolutely no awareness of modern materials technology or advanced RF shielding techniques.

Yes, advanced RF shielding techniques using 150 year old Maxwell's equation laws :D

E-Stat
05-28-2012, 12:46 PM
Yes, advanced RF shielding techniques using 150 year old Maxwell's equation laws :D
Despite that, the industry has no qualitative metric for this important quality. I had a really funny exchange with Montrous Mike and Zapped by Jitter on this topic:

Funny thread (http://forums.audioreview.com/cables/great-article-cables-11903-2.html)


Belden's technology has been greatly improved upon elsewhere.
So has McDonald's.

jneutron
05-31-2012, 05:07 AM
Funny? Shirley you jest..

j

E-Stat
05-31-2012, 05:16 AM
Funny?
I always find the speculations of non-experiential theorists funny. :)



Shirley you jest.
And...

<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0A5t5_O8hdA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0A5t5_O8hdA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

jneutron
05-31-2012, 06:02 AM
I always find the speculations of non-experiential theorists funny. :)

Uh oh...polysyllabic..I'm in trouble now..

btw...I am experienced..got the bandaids ta prove it..

j

bobsticks
05-31-2012, 09:49 AM
Despite that, the industry has no qualitative metric for this important quality. I had a really funny exchange with Montrous Mike and Zapped by Jitter on this topic:

Funny thread (http://forums.audioreview.com/cables/great-article-cables-11903-2.html)


So has McDonald's.

Pithy and sarcastic...a double threat guy!!! :biggrin5:

jneutron
05-31-2012, 10:46 AM
A question was brought up in a recent article that maybe it's the component that's defective for a cable to have an impact on it's performance. There may be some truth to that.
May be some truth in that?

It is an accurate statement with respect to IC's and PC's.

Where was this article, I'd like to peruse it.

j

ps..my goodness, I've been a member on this site longer than everyone else in the thread..you guys are all newbies!!!

Hyfi
05-31-2012, 11:01 AM
j

ps..my goodness, I've been a member on this site longer than everyone else in the thread..you guys are all newbies!!!

No, the dates were reset at some point. I am close to 15 years now

jneutron
05-31-2012, 11:06 AM
No, the dates were reset at some point. I am close to 15 years now

Nope, nope, nope...not buyin it...can't hear ya.

I'm oldest...I know that for a fact...read it on a forum..:biggrin5:

Very odd, why was my date not reset?

j

FLZapped
05-03-2014, 08:51 AM
Nope, nope, nope...not buyin it...can't hear ya.

I'm oldest...I know that for a fact...read it on a forum..:biggrin5:

Very odd, why was my date not reset?

j

You're a newbie compared to me. -Bruce

JohnMichael
05-03-2014, 09:01 AM
You're a newbie compared to me. -Bruce


Bumping an almost two year old thread. Nothing new to talk about.

FLZapped
05-03-2014, 02:43 PM
Bumping an almost two year old thread. Nothing new to talk about.


This is a bump:

...



I replied. Besides, I haven't been here in that long. Sheesh.....

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-03-2014, 02:53 PM
Smokey...answer me this question please. I have a Marantz AVR. When I use silver interconnects, the sound becomes brighter with more extended high frequencies and less bottom end . When I use copper on that same AVR, the sound is more neutral. The same happens with those same cables on my Musical Fidelity CDP. Would you say the interconnects changed the sound? OR am I just imagining things?



Could someone say Placebo effect, and/or just getting used to a different effect that cable "could" place on the sound?

Here is the problem I have with this whole argument. In order to hear the effects of cabling, one has to completely eliminate the problems with the room, overall system synergy - and/or have signal chain that can reveal the minute difference in the presence of room nodes and modes. 95% percent of the rooms in normal homes(when the background/ambient noise is included) don't have the resolution to do this. So, at this level of detail, we are arguing majors versus minors. For most, it is all theory, but no achievable performance at that level.

In most rooms there is a 12-48db difference in signal levels in the room at certain frequencies. Can cabling introduce that kind of discrepancy? No. So what do you tackle? New cables, or addressing room acoustics?

The answer is what is most audible - and that is not the cable.

JohnMichael
05-03-2014, 03:18 PM
This is a bump:

...



I replied. Besides, I haven't been here in that long. Sheesh.....


I understand but since you were back I wondered if anything was new?

TheHills44060
05-06-2014, 04:20 AM
I tend not to get too concerned with cabling as I primarily look for sturdy construction and low noise. I don't have the patience to really audition and compare a bunch of different interconnects but i do like reading about others' experiences. During my limited experiments i haven't heard too much difference between similarly priced cables but I don't doubt they can make an audible difference in some cases.

Hyfi
05-06-2014, 05:48 AM
Nothing has changed for me, I still use the Groneberg ICs between my OPPO93 and Rotel Receiver. I have since changed out the speakers in this system, except for my outdoor speakers which is about all this gets used for. I swapped out my known bright JM Labs with a crappy little pair of Polk speakers. The JMs are now in a much better setup and getting used along with a Hafler945 pre and Stratos Amp with another OPPO93 doing double duty for HT and CD playback.

Aside from cable theory, just like how MFGs have a House Sound for Amps, Speakers, or whatever they sell, Cable MFGs do the same thing.

blackraven
05-06-2014, 08:16 AM
I am enjoying my Cardas Parsec IC's. They have broken in and are sounding great after 50-60 hours of use. It could be that I am just getting use to them but they do have a slightly warmer edge to them and have cut down on some sibilance compared to my BJC's. I may drop in the BJC's back in just to see if there really is a difference.

Hyfi
05-06-2014, 08:26 AM
I am enjoying my Cardas Parsec IC's. They have broken in and are sounding great after 50-60 hours of use. It could be that I am just getting use to them but they do have a slightly warmer edge to them and have cut down on some sibilance compared to my BJC's. I may drop in the BJC's back in just to see if there really is a difference.

My uneducated bet is that a Cardas cable will sound different than a BJ cable.

blackraven
05-06-2014, 09:13 AM
My uneducated bet is that a Cardas cable will sound different than a BJ cable.

The BJC's seem to have a little deeper bass but the Cardas has a little more detail and a more pleasing sound.

Hyfi
05-06-2014, 09:14 AM
The BJC's seem to have a little deeper bass but the Cardas has a little more detail and a more pleasing sound.

Ahhhh, it's all in your head :)

JohnMichael
05-06-2014, 12:13 PM
Could someone say Placebo effect, and/or just getting used to a different effect that cable "could" place on the sound?

Here is the problem I have with this whole argument. In order to hear the effects of cabling, one has to completely eliminate the problems with the room, overall system synergy - and/or have signal chain that can reveal the minute difference in the presence of room nodes and modes. 95% percent of the rooms in normal homes(when the background/ambient noise is included) don't have the resolution to do this. So, at this level of detail, we are arguing majors versus minors. For most, it is all theory, but no achievable performance at that level.

In most rooms there is a 12-48db difference in signal levels in the room at certain frequencies. Can cabling introduce that kind of discrepancy? No. So what do you tackle? New cables, or addressing room acoustics?

The answer is what is most audible - and that is not the cable.


I have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless what your room is doing to the sound if you are very familiar with the sound it is easy to discern the differences in cables. Two sets of IC's that emphasized the upper frequencies were silver and copper plated with silver. At first I thought how open and extended only to become irritating.

I have always wondered if a two channel system with no sound processing will enable someone to hear the differences in cables easier than in a multichannel system. Of course I also prefer solid core cables over stranded wires.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-06-2014, 03:21 PM
I have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless what your room is doing to the sound if you are very familiar with the sound it is easy to discern the differences in cables. Two sets of IC's that emphasized the upper frequencies were silver and copper plated with silver. At first I thought how open and extended only to become irritating.

I have always wondered if a two channel system with no sound processing will enable someone to hear the differences in cables easier than in a multichannel system. Of course I also prefer solid core cables over stranded wires.

Sorry JM, don't buy your statement at all. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has been able to identify the difference between two cables in un-sited listening test. NOBODY!! They have done demo's many times at AES. Most listening tests up to this point have been sited, and the measured difference so small that room resonances, reflection patterns, Reverberation times, and various other acoustical issues would far dominate our listening than the cables themselves. How do you separate the room, the cable, the recording, and the characteristics of the speakers themselves when the room is the loudest component in the system? You can't. It is well known that a great recording can be neutered by poor room/speaker interaction, and that makes your statement rather subjective than objective.

I know how strong the Placebo effect is, and apparently so do many researchers as well. If you WANT it to sound different, it usually will.

Lastly, the object of IC's is to pass the signal with little or no damage. If a cable is emphasizing anything and it is audible, then the cable is not going to meet that objective. It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are. If I move a reflective or absorptive piece of furniture in the room, that will obviously change our perception of sound quality more than cable will both measurably, and audibly.

Hyfi
05-06-2014, 04:29 PM
It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are.

Wow, after all this time, we finally agree on something. Did ya happen to notice the Title of this thread?

Thread: Using Cables as Tone Controls

Smokey
05-08-2014, 07:51 PM
Sorry JM, don't buy your statement at all. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has been able to identify the difference between two cables in un-sited listening test. NOBODY!! They have done demo's many times at AES. Most listening tests up to this point have been sited, and the measured difference so small that room resonances, reflection patterns, Reverberation times, and various other acoustical issues would far dominate our listening than the cables themselves. How do you separate the room, the cable, the recording, and the characteristics of the speakers themselves when the room is the loudest component in the system? You can't.

Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid :)

Feanor
05-09-2014, 03:54 AM
...
I know how strong the Placebo effect is, and apparently so do many researchers as well. If you WANT it to sound different, it usually will.

Lastly, the object of IC's is to pass the signal with little or no damage. If a cable is emphasizing anything and it is audible, then the cable is not going to meet that objective. It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are. If I move a reflective or absorptive piece of furniture in the room, that will obviously change our perception of sound quality more than cable will both measurably, and audibly.

Well some would say (and have said) that it's fine to use i/cs for tone control. For my part, I use a digital equalizer plug-in in my computer music player; it works brilliantly and it's free.

I've tried to maintain an open mind on cables for many years and have occasionally tried different makes. However none have made any noticeable difference for me. Believers take note: I don't say that cables can't sound different, only that I haven't hear significant differences among those I've tried.

Some makes of cable incorporate filter networks, e.g. MIT, Transparent, Siltech, (which aren't among those I've tried). It makes sense that they might sound different. A member here has graciously offered to lend me a pair; I'm enthusiastic to listen and I'll keep an open mind.

But as for placebo effect, hell yes! If it weren't for all the earnest testimonials for 'Brilliant Pebbles', 'Clever Little Clocks', etc., Machina Dynamica (http://www.machinadynamica.com/) would have been run out of business years ago.

Hyfi
05-09-2014, 06:01 AM
Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid :)I was just in another conversation about that Smokey.

I was thinking, why cannot one setup a recording device and two mics and play a song with cable A. Switch to cable B and play/record again.

Then take the two recordings and sync the playback with a switching device as you suggested. I also thought about doing 4 recordings, 2 with A and 2 with B.

Then someone else would keep hitting the switch and see if the listener can just hear any differences. It just doesn't sound like it should be that hard of a test.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-09-2014, 04:08 PM
Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid :)

This has already been done using a ABX switching device at AES. Nobody could guess which cable was which using that device.

I am going to tell you why using IC as a tone control is just plain dumb(even mentioning it is as well).

Your tone control cable may sound good with one recording, and lousy with another. Since there is no way to control the effect of the cable(look ma, no knobs), it is not something that is compatible with all recordings. A cable that is bright(defective) will make recordings that are bright, brighter thereby making it unlistenable rather than just noticeably altered. Cables that are dark sounding will do the same thing to darker more diffused recordings.

Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.

JohnMichael
05-09-2014, 04:25 PM
Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.


When posts are becoming more insulting than valuable not visiting would be a good thing. When your insults far outweigh contributions it is time to bid ado.

ForeverAutumn
05-09-2014, 08:16 PM
Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.

And if we allow members to insult or attack other members it has the same effect.

I think that personal attacks are far more dangerous to the future of this site than a few edits to keep things cordial.

Smokey
05-09-2014, 08:41 PM
I was just in another conversation about that Smokey.

I was thinking, why cannot one setup a recording device and two mics and play a song with cable A. Switch to cable B and play/record again.

Then take the two recordings and sync the playback with a switching device as you suggested. I also thought about doing 4 recordings, 2 with A and 2 with B.

Then someone else would keep hitting the switch and see if the listener can just hear any differences. It just doesn't sound like it should be that hard of a test.

That would certainly eliminate the memory factor. Another method might be to use two high quality switches at each end of components to switch between cables :)

Smokey
05-09-2014, 08:56 PM
Your tone control cable may sound good with one recording, and lousy with another. Since there is no way to control the effect of the cable(look ma, no knobs), it is not something that is compatible with all recordings. A cable that is bright(defective) will make recordings that are bright, brighter thereby making it unlistenable rather than just noticeably altered. Cables that are dark sounding will do the same thing to darker more diffused recordings.

I agree :)

As long as the concept of "best cables are soundless" is not undrestood, we will be on slippery slopes.

Feanor
05-10-2014, 03:38 AM
And if we allow members to insult or attack other members it has the same effect.

I think that personal attacks are far more dangerous to the future of this site than a few edits to keep things cordial.

i agree entirely with this policy. This better than deleting entire posts or banning people who do make really contributions.

It might be a good idea if the editing moderator were to insert an indicator where an edit was made e.g. <... mod edit ...>.

ForeverAutumn
05-10-2014, 04:22 AM
i agree entirely with this policy. This better than deleting entire posts or banning people who do make really contributions.

It might be a good idea if the editing moderator were to insert an indicator where an edit was made e.g. <... mod edit ...>.

If we delete or edit a post, the system automatically leaves a note on the post saying that it was Deleted by or Edited by the name of the Mod.

Hyfi
05-10-2014, 05:32 AM
That would certainly eliminate the memory factor. Another method might be to use two high quality switches at each end of components to switch between cables :)

I am not as worried about which cable is which, just if there are differences that can be detected. That is usually the root of the argument, that there is no difference between cables (that do not include active parts).

Feanor
05-10-2014, 06:58 AM
If we delete or edit a post, the system automatically leaves a note on the post saying that it was Deleted by or Edited by the name of the Mod.
Oh sorry. Good to know; hadn't noticed.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-10-2014, 09:52 PM
When posts are becoming more insulting than valuable not visiting would be a good thing. When your insults far outweigh contributions it is time to bid ado.

You cannot argue for an unbiased view, and then present a biased view - and respond to it with your powers. I found a certain poster views a bit insulting from a audio knowledge and education point of view, and then you decided that this point of view was insulting to someone else.

What is valuable is context and a matter of perspective. If you have Hitler's power to decide what is a good thing, and what is not, don't be surprised if you are criticized(and quite frankly rightly so) from a person who has done your job here, and come to a different conclusion than your air tight mindset.

From a 18 year perspective, I have come to a firm and educated understanding of why this site has become largely irrelevant.

FA, the danger to this site is it has become largely irrelevant on the internet largely because the moderators want a country club mentality, and relevance and education cannot survive and thrive is this narrow minded atmosphere.

Hitler thought that any attack on his philosophy was was instantly grounds for death. Your ideology on this site unfortunately is similar.

JM, if your comments state that you don't want me here, then I am gone.

No loss for me.......

ForeverAutumn
05-11-2014, 05:08 AM
...relevance and education cannot survive and thrive is this narrow minded atmosphere...

I might agree with you except that the post that I deleted was neither relevant nor educational. It wasn't the point of view that I found insulting, it was your choice of words to express that view. I know that you are an intelligent man and you certainly could have made your point with better words. Instead you chose to use derogatory words that were insulting to both the topic and the OP.

Had someone said to you what you said to someone else, you would have gone on the defensive and you would have attacked back. I'm not new here, I've seen it happen. I was just stopping things before they could escalate.

I try my best to be fair. I'm not going to apologize for deleting the post. I believe it was the right thing to do.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-11-2014, 04:55 PM
I might agree with you except that the post that I deleted was neither relevant nor educational. It wasn't the point of view that I found insulting, it was your choice of words to express that view. I know that you are an intelligent man and you certainly could have made your point with better words. Instead you chose to use derogatory words that were insulting to both the topic and the OP.

This comment tells me that you want to control what I say, and how I say it. Anyone with one third of a brain will take offense to this. You may not because you have the control of the edit button, and quite frankly a set agenda. Unfortunately a set agenda by a moderator chased more than half of the regular posters off on this site long ago, and it seems apparent that some folks have learned nothing from that history.


Had someone said to you what you said to someone else, you would have gone on the defensive and you would have attacked back. I'm not new here, I've seen it happen. I was just stopping things before they could escalate.

You don't know me as well as you think you do. I may have gone on the OFFENSIVE(not the defensive as you wrongfully state), or I may ignore the post because I have other things to do. Some people are worth responding to, others, not so much because they are obviously to stupid to respond to. If you think I have responded 100% in the way you have stated, then you don't know my posts (or who I am) nearly as well as you think you do. Over my history here, I have ignored far more stupid posts than I have responded to, and that is a fact.


I try my best to be fair. I'm not going to apologize for deleting the post. I believe it was the right thing to do.

Hitler thought it was the right thing to kill jews, so please forgive me if I believe the "right" thing is so highly subjective, that there is sometimes no fairness at all. Our best may not be good enough to some.....

Smokey
05-11-2014, 11:29 PM
I am not as worried about which cable is which, just if there are differences that can be detected. That is usually the root of the argument, that there is no difference between cables (that do not include active parts).

I don't think that was the root of the argument as there are differences between cables as not all cables are created equal.

I think the root of argument is whether one should choose cables subjectively (listening), or objectively (specifications) as your approach will determine which side of the fence you are on :)

Hyfi
05-12-2014, 03:12 AM
I don't think that was the root of the argument as there are differences between cables as not all cables are created equal.

I think the root of argument is whether one should choose cables subjectively (listening), or objectively (specifications) as your approach will determine which side of the fence you are on :)

There are plenty of cables that are made "Theoretically" the same, but still have been said to have differences in sound. I know that the 3 pcs of gear I run in my main setup were put together by the original shop for synergy. He also originally had the buyer wire it all up with Kimber PBJs and 8TC. Sound was thin and not in control at all. He went beck and rewired everything with Synergistic Research and there was a huge difference.

My cable swapping experiences are not huge, but I did put the PBJs up against my similarly priced Tara Labs at that time in my old setup and again found the Kimber to be a weak link. I have also swapped out any one of my different Tara and Audioquest cables for the Synergistic, only to put them back pretty quick.

So I guess you could say that I choose Subjectively. What side of the fence are you on?

Smokey
05-12-2014, 07:55 PM
There are plenty of cables that are made "Theoretically" the same, but still have been said to have differences in sound. I know that the 3 pcs of gear I run in my main setup were put together by the original shop for synergy. He also originally had the buyer wire it all up with Kimber PBJs and 8TC. Sound was thin and not in control at all. He went beck and rewired everything with Synergistic Research and there was a huge difference.

I am really not surprise. I looked at Kimber PBJs IC and 8TC speaker cables, and from its geometry and bundling toghether - and + conductors I can tell you it probably have excessive capacitance due to individual wraped conductors.

The Ic ia also unshielded which mean it have high noise to signal ratio. So no surprises when it makes system sound thin. If dealer approach was more objective, he probaly would not pick this cable as its transparency is questionable.


So I guess you could say that I choose Subjectively. What side of the fence are you on?

I am on the right side of the fence :D

But seriously, my approach would be that cables should not have any "signature" sound (even if its for better), so I guess that makes it objectively :)

Hyfi
05-13-2014, 03:03 AM
I am really not surprise. I looked at Kimber PBJs IC and 8TC speaker cables, and from its geometry and bundling toghether - and + conductors I can tell you it probably have excessive capacitance due to individual wraped conductors.

And there are countless users of Kimber products that claim these exact cables are the best they have heard in their systems. So component synergy must have something to do with it or we would all say they are great, or we all would say they are not.

So it really comes down to what each individual set of ears (and coupled brain) thinks it likes better.

I starter this thread off talking about an overly bright combination of gear that I was able to tame with a specific set of cables touted to do exactly what they did. Whether they should or should not impart their own signature to the mix, it made my specific setup sound better and much more tolerable.




I am on the right side of the fence :D

But seriously, my approach would be that cables should not have any "signature" sound (even if its for better), so I guess that makes it objectively :)

That's fair enough. But the whole premise of this thread was about using cables that DO have a signature to alter the sound of a system in a particular way.

Smokey
05-14-2014, 08:02 PM
I starter this thread off talking about an overly bright combination of gear that I was able to tame with a specific set of cables touted to do exactly what they did. Whether they should or should not impart their own signature to the mix, it made my specific setup sound better and much more tolerable.

My approach would have been different if have bright system. Assuming using quality cables to begin with, I would investigate as to why system sound bright. Starting with room accoustic and speakers placement first, then speakers and then components.

Down side of taming a system's brightness with cables would be that now cables will add its own signature (toning down brightness) to the mix. Now any time you play a record or from source that is not not so bright, the cables will make it sound even darker. So by solving a system sonic problem with cable, you are creating another sonic problem :)

Hyfi
05-15-2014, 03:13 AM
I know why the system is bright, and you only theoretically would have done something differently.

I can't change much about the room. I have changed the whole setup of gear around since this thread started. The other thing you don't get, since you have no first hand real world experience, is that some people like more bass than others and if a cable tames a known bright speaker and I like it, you can throw all your non-tested theory out the window.

Sure I could have sold my speakers and bought different ones.
Sure, I could have given away a nice $800 receiver that I got for $100.
Sure, I could buy yet another good CD player instead of using my OPPO93 for both CD and Movie playback.

But I was able to solve my own problem by experimenting with a set of ICs that were sitting idle but known to be more on the bass side.

Since this thread was started, I took the JM Labs speakers out of the setup that I started talking about and now instead of a Receiver driving them from 2 rooms away, they are being driven by a quality amplifier and pre-amp, using only 8foot speaker cables of thick gauge (instead of 50feet of zip cord) and quality ICs. The speakers are setup in a different spot and I removed an unused sub that was near the speakers.

Results? One wonderful sounding setup that I have about $2500 into that I have been enjoying more lately than my main setup that cost close to $20,000 back in the 90s.

I still have the Groneberg cables between the OPPO and the Rotel driving my outdoor speakers and a cheap set of Polks in another room and I really don't think about or care if there is a sonic signature anymore. But I do know that because cables can and do cause differences in sound, I was able to make a setup sound better to me with the simple swapping of a set of ICs.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-16-2014, 04:47 PM
I know why the system is bright, and you only theoretically would have done something differently.

You cannot make such a statement unless you think exactly like Smoke. A person who does not think like I do, who does not have the same priorities as I do, cannot tell what I will do in any given situation.


I can't change much about the room. I have changed the whole setup of gear around since this thread started. The other thing you don't get, since you have no first hand real world experience, is that some people like more bass than others and if a cable tames a known bright speaker and I like it, you can throw all your non-tested theory out the window.

One can say your views theories are non-tested as well. Liking more bass is a subjective preference that should not be based on transfer devices(cables), but those devices that can be adjusted based on the recording itself. Using a IC as a tone control subjects all sources to the same treatment, which can make one piece of software sound right, and another sound overly heavy and veiled. A tone control is crude in its control of adjustments, and a EQ is much better.

Stereophile did some measurements on a wide variety of cables, and these test where published in a AES white paper in 2004. When it came to frequency response(how we perceive the amplitude of individual signal of various tones mashed together in time), this testing only noted variables in frequencies above 18khz, and near 25-20hz. The poorly made ones did alter the timbre and texture audibly, and the better made ones had no difference that would be audible. These measurements were done in a laboratory with no speakers involved. When these cables were used in actual systems in actual rooms, listeners were unable to detect any differences in DB testing. The acoustics of the room were swamping listeners ears ability to detect these minute differences. What does this tell us? That any differences between cables in sighted listening test introduced biases that are not born out with objective cable measurements. If you really want to hear what a cable is doing, then you have to damp and neutralize the effect of the speaker/room interaction. Anything less, is just sighted bias or the placebo effect.


Sure I could have sold my speakers and bought different ones.
Sure, I could have given away a nice $800 receiver that I got for $100.
Sure, I could buy yet another good CD player instead of using my OPPO93 for both CD and Movie playback.

Yes you could have made all of these changes, but they would not have the effect of just treating your rooms modes and nodes. This would be majoring in minors.


But I was able to solve my own problem by experimenting with a set of ICs that were sitting idle but known to be more on the bass side.

Known how, by measurements or by subjective biased listening? Did you place your head in exactly the same place when changing these cables? Probably not. Ethan Winer was able to demonstrate that small changes in head placement relative to the sources(in this case speakers) in a non treated or under treated room can have a significant impact on what we hear. Moving our heads one inch can have a 6db impact on what we hear, as we move in and out of room modes and nodes. Unless you keep your head in exactly the same place each time you listen, what you hear may be different from one time to the next. If a cable introduces a 6db difference in what you hear, then the cable is not suitable as a transfer device.


Since this thread was started, I took the JM Labs speakers out of the setup that I started talking about and now instead of a Receiver driving them from 2 rooms away, they are being driven by a quality amplifier and pre-amp, using only 8foot speaker cables of thick gauge (instead of 50feet of zip cord) and quality ICs. The speakers are setup in a different spot and I removed an unused sub that was near the speakers.

Results? One wonderful sounding setup that I have about $2500 into that I have been enjoying more lately than my main setup that cost close to $20,000 back in the 90s.

I would suspect(based on measurements and listening test) the movement of the speakers would have FAR more effect on your subjective opinion than changes in sources you put in front of them. Unless you parse the effect of every piece in the listening chain, you cannot know how they affect what you hear. Was it the wire, the amp, the preamp, or the changes on how the speakers are interacting with the room with their new placement? Objective science would lean towards the room more than anything else, and the speakers themselves coming in second.


I still have the Groneberg cables between the OPPO and the Rotel driving my outdoor speakers and a cheap set of Polks in another room and I really don't think about or care if there is a sonic signature anymore. But I do know that because cables can and do cause differences in sound, I was able to make a setup sound better to me with the simple swapping of a set of ICs.

Your statement here cannot be quantified by actual listening test. If we know we are changing cables, our minds can easily be fooled into detecting a difference - even if that difference is unmeasurable. In DB testing biases are removed, which makes it very difficult to tell any difference in cables. Since all humans move their heads slightly when listening to sources(which is known to have detectable differences in frequency response) can you really attribute a difference in the sound of different cables to the cable, or small changes second by second in head placement?

You cannot know this with subjective biases present.

Smokey
05-16-2014, 08:41 PM
Liking more bass is a subjective preference that should not be based on transfer devices(cables), but those devices that can be adjusted based on the recording itself. Using a IC as a tone control subjects all sources to the same treatment, which can make one piece of software sound right, and another sound overly heavy and veiled

That is very much true as there is no two way about it. If one believe the positives of cable in their system, they should also believe the negative side effects of cable signature.


Known how, by measurements or by subjective biased listening? Did you place your head in exactly the same place when changing these cables? Probably not. Ethan Winer was able to demonstrate that small changes in head placement relative to the sources(in this case speakers) in a non treated or under treated room can have a significant impact on what we hear. Moving our heads one inch can have a 6db impact on what we hear, as we move in and out of room modes and nodes. Unless you keep your head in exactly the same place each time you listen, what you hear may be different from one time to the next.

I experience that every night :)

I have a clock radio that have a slight buzz about 4 feet from my head. When I sleep when the room is quiet, if I turn my head slightly to sides I can tone out the buzz or tone in the buzz depending on my head angle. That just show how our ears interact with its enviroment.

Hyfi
05-18-2014, 04:40 AM
Down side of taming a system's brightness with cables would be that now cables will add its own signature (toning down brightness) to the mix. Now any time you play a record or from source that is not not so bright, the cables will make it sound even darker. So by solving a system sonic problem with cable, you are creating another sonic problem :)

Anyone can Copy-Paste, Paraphrase, or Plagiarize what they read on the internet, even if it was just said a few posts above. But at the end of the day, that's all you have. Until you tell us what you tried and with what gear, you have no real world first hand experience. Even if you did not hear anything different, at least you could say you tried. The only thing we know about your setup, is that you have tiny Athena speakers that cannot playback bass. I can only guess that you drive them with a mass market HT Receiver that barely resolves silence.

Part of the fun of this hobby is trying things for yourself. But for some, reading and using the Black & Reds that came with the Best Buy gear is good enough. That's just fine but regurgitating everything you read without ever actually doing any of it yourself gives one no credibility on the subject. Just says they can read and repost.

JohnMichael
05-18-2014, 05:06 AM
Let us debate the topic but do not bait an argument.

We really do not know each other's experience in this hobby. As far as cables go I have tried many brands both stranded and solid core in the under $400 range for speaker cables and $250 for a pair of IC's. Some have made my system sound brighter and some have rolled off the treble. If IC's can brighten a system or darken a system that sounds like a tone control to me.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-18-2014, 09:28 AM
Let us debate the topic but do not bait an argument.

We really do not know each other's experience in this hobby. As far as cables go I have tried many brands both stranded and solid core in the under $400 range for speaker cables and $250 for a pair of IC's. Some have made my system sound brighter and some have rolled off the treble. If IC's can brighten a system or darken a system that sounds like a tone control to me.

If a IC is brightening or darkening the sound, it is defective PERIOD. An IC job is to transport a signal from one component to another - adding little to nothing of a sonic signature to the process as possible.

Also a tone controls are adjustable, not static like IC's. You can reduce the effect of a tone control, but you cannot do that to a IC. So in reality an IC is not a tone control, as it CONTROLS(key here) nothing.

JM, can you be positively sure that when auditioning these cables that you sat with your head exactly in the same place each time? I would think not. You may have sat in the same place, but your head was most likely not in the same place every single time. Even the smallest changes in head position can change the sound pretty drastically in a untreated or underdamped room. Ethan Winer demonstrated this, and I did this simple experiment in my music room. I removed all of the bass traps and the two acoustical panels in the room, set up 6 microphones and a dummy head with a multiplexer and a laptop with Audyssey Multi EQ PRO software. I measured six points in the room, and all of them had different measured results. I took the dummy head and put it in the primary listening seat. Measure that response, and then pushed the dummy head backwards only two inches. I got a completely different measured response. I then pushed it over to the left and right three inches. All of these points measured differently. This proves Ethan Winer is correct. Unless you measured where your head is every time you sit down, you are not likely to be in the same place every single time. Unless the IC is really in poor condition or very poorly made, you will not be able to compete with sonic signature of the room. IC sound signature differences are much too subtle.

When you make comparisons on IC's, you have to eliminate ALL variables than can exist or you don't know exactly what is affecting the sound. You have to analyze the effects(if any) in the entire signal chain. Keep this in mind, once you have sat in a particular position while listening to the sound, the impression of what it sounds like is established. Since you have introduced that bias on first impression, that bias will continue each time you try and evaluate that wire. This is why biases must be eliminated when evaluating any component. This is why sighted evaluations are pretty useless, and why DBT is so effective. Since you don't know what cable is being used, it is pretty difficult to pick out differences attributable to a specific IC. It is a fact that nobody has been to detect differences under DBT conditions, but can come to hard fast conclusions with sighted evaluations. The power of bias is undeniable.

When you actually have knowledge of something, there is no need to cut, paste, or plagiarize anything. If somebody is going to make this accusation, prove it. When you don't know much of anything, you just make things up in the vacuum of your own head. I trust my ears, but I also have to verify what I hear. Our ears can easily be fooled, and a simple test can verify this. I can record a simple C scale and play it back multiple times introducing extremely subtle pitch changes each time. Our ears will think it is hearing the same scale, but we have actually gone up a C# scale. I have fooled numerous folks with this test including musicians(though the ones with perfect pitch were not fooled).

Another example of bias is when somebody makes a comment, and somebody else deletes it for lacking(what they perceive) educational value. Then another person comes along and post a comment that also lacks educational value, and it is not deleted.

If a cable darkens or lighten the sound, that cable must be measured. If measurements don't show a gradual roll off in the bass or treble, then something else is going on. That something is usually what is most audible - the speaker/room interaction. If you just trust your ears, then your opinion is useless.

JohnMichael
05-18-2014, 09:58 AM
If you just trust your ears, then your opinion is useless.

My ears are the only things I use to listen to music. I hear the changes. As far as opinions it is based on my experience. It is very insulting to say someone's opinion is useless. Oh and I am bored with your opinions.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-18-2014, 11:29 AM
My ears are the only things I use to listen to music.

Now you are changing gears here. We are not talking about the music, we are talking about the IC's that transport that music from component to component. If it was about the music, then what wire you use wouldn't make a damn bit of difference. This is why music lovers(as opposed to audiophiles) can listen to music on a clock radio system. They love the music no matter what source it is coming from.


I hear the changes.

We all hear changes, that is not what we are debating here. What we are debating is what is causing the changes.


As far as opinions it is based on my experience.

And your experience and perspective are quite different than mine. I come from both a recording, listening, and measuring perspective. You come from a listener perspective only. I have both listened to IC's, and then measured them. You only listening them. If I find that I cannot quantify my listening to my measurements, then there is something else at play here. You don't go that far. This is why we don't see eye to eye on this subject.


It is very insulting to say someone's opinion is useless.

If a person cannot quantify their opinion with some facts, then that opinion is pretty useless to me. If an opinion is formed by myths and misinformation, then it is useless as well. I don't think that is insulting at all.


Oh and I am bored with your opinions.

Hmmmm, a note of hostility. At one time we got along so well........

Are you bored with my opinions, or are they just too complicated to grasp?

Feanor
05-18-2014, 12:09 PM
If a IC is brightening or darkening the sound, it is defective PERIOD. An IC job is to transport a signal from one component to another - adding little to nothing of a sonic signature to the process as possible.

The exception would be cables that include a Zobel filter network. I believe examples includes made by MIT, Transparent, and Siltech. These are designed to modify the signal, and it shouldn't surprise that they will sound different from "straight wire".

JohnMichael
05-18-2014, 12:33 PM
Hmmmm, a note of hostility. At one time we got along so well........

Are you bored with my opinions, or are they just too complicated to grasp?


Oh yes but you do wear people out being the audio bully. Oh and you are not too complicated to grasp since your opinions are not as important as my experiences.

JohnMichael
05-18-2014, 01:17 PM
This is much like the arguments between those who can hear differences in cables and those who cannot. An IC using solid core wire will sound different to one constructed of stranded wire. Both conduct the signal so neither is defective nor improperly designed. Of course if you are not able to hear the difference buy what you will. Some of us who are able to hear the difference spend time and money to find cables that best present the music to our ears. I often see posts on other sites where people are looking for lush sounding IC's and speaker cables. I wonder how so many cable manufactures can survive and have dedicated customers if they all sound the same?

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-18-2014, 06:39 PM
The exception would be cables that include a Zobel filter network. I believe examples includes made by MIT, Transparent, and Siltech. These are designed to modify the signal, and it shouldn't surprise that they will sound different from "straight wire".

Actually those cables are not made to transparently transfer a signal from one component to another. They were made to sonically change the sound, and claim it is better than straight wire. Vinyl records are essentially the same in that regard.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-18-2014, 06:44 PM
Oh yes but you do wear people out being the audio bully.

But can't it be said that you wear people out being the audio ignoramus?


Oh and you are not too complicated to grasp since your opinions are not as important as my experiences.

Apparently my opinions(which are based in facts science, AND experience) are too complicated for you since you are willing to trust your one dimensional experience against science based facts.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-18-2014, 07:16 PM
This is much like the arguments between those who can hear differences in cables and those who cannot.

The problem here is that you have to prove those differences exist, not just say they do. Give me a measurement to collaborate what you hear, and I am sold. The placebo effect, and personal biases are too strong to take the word at face value.


An IC using solid core wire will sound different to one constructed of stranded wire.

The question here is can that difference be measured, or does it sound different because you think it does based on the different design? Please prove this point, or the comment is as irrelevant as subjective bias.


Both conduct the signal so neither is defective nor improperly designed.

I call BS on this statement. Both can be defective and/or improperly designed even if they are conducting the signal. I can conduct the signal, and damage and degrade it at the same time.


Of course if you are not able to hear the difference buy what you will. Some of us who are able to hear the difference spend time and money to find cables that best present the music to our ears.

I would offer that those who THINK they hear a difference cannot prove it with measurements or DBT. Sighted opinions are useless in evaluations because we can make ourselves believe just about anything. Remember, at one time people thought the world was flat. When people came along to challenge that opinion, and had facts to prove it, others wanted to shut them up, or they increased the signal(truth) to noise ratio(BS) to swamp the facts out.


I often see posts on other sites where people are looking for lush sounding IC's and speaker cables.

Those same folks are not looking for the "truth" or accuracy of the recording, they are euphoric listeners. They would rather "season" the truth(the recording itself) with too much salt and pepper - to the point they never know what the recording was actually supposed to sound like. They are usually trying to hide or counter deficiencies in other parts of their system.

I wonder how so many cable manufactures can survive and have dedicated customers if they all sound the same?[/QUOTE]

Maybe because there is a fool that believes in snake oil born every minute. Maybe it is because rather than testing the hype, people just believe it. Maybe it is because some people are more susceptible to suggestion, hype and marketing tricks, and others are "show me" people. I believe it is all of the above. It is easy to hypnotize a person who wants to be hypnotized than it is somebody who does not want to be.

Smokey
05-18-2014, 10:14 PM
Anyone can Copy-Paste, Paraphrase, or Plagiarize what they read on the internet, even if it was just said a few posts above.

So I guess nobody knew nothing before the Internet. May I remind you that there is such a thing as books :)


Until you tell us what you tried and with what gear, you have no real world first hand experience.

Cables are not as complicated as you make it out to be. They are most low tech and primitive part of a system, and easiest to figure out. The trick here is not pick a cable based on what gear you have. You pick a cable based on its quality regardless of system cost, and you don't need first world experience to pick a winner.

Smokey
05-18-2014, 10:54 PM
An IC using solid core wire will sound different to one constructed of stranded wire.

Sorry JM, but have to agree with Sir TT that there are no facts to support that notion. Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century with no noticable difference. So I would add "IMO" to that sentence :)


I wonder how so many cable manufactures can survive and have dedicated customers if they all sound the same?

Because customers pick cables based on sound rather than what the cable is actually doing.

For example, look at this cable manufacture Aural Thrills Audio where they make tube power IC:

Aural Thrills Audio Tube Powered Active 1m celebrating 10 years with Audiogon | Interconnects | Garland, Texas 75042 | AudiogoN - The High-end Audio Community (http://app.audiogon.com/listings/interconnects-aural-thrills-audio-tube-powered-active-1m-celebrating-10-years-with-audiogon-2014-03-01-cables-75042)

Their IC design would not survive a minute in any other branchs of electronic for being too subseptible to noise. But in audio world I guess they are making money becuase they claim and I quote:

"This is among the world's finest cables! How can I make such a claim? One listen and you will know why". When "listen" appear in the description of cable, be wary :)

JohnMichael
05-19-2014, 06:02 AM
Sorry JM, but have to agree with Sir TT that there are no facts to support that notion. Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century with no noticable difference. So I would add "IMO" to that sentence :)



Because customers pick cables based on sound rather than what the cable is actually doing.

For example, look at this cable manufacture Aural Thrills Audio where they make tube power IC:

Aural Thrills Audio Tube Powered Active 1m celebrating 10 years with Audiogon | Interconnects | Garland, Texas 75042 | AudiogoN - The High-end Audio Community (http://app.audiogon.com/listings/interconnects-aural-thrills-audio-tube-powered-active-1m-celebrating-10-years-with-audiogon-2014-03-01-cables-75042)

Their IC design would not survive a minute in any other branchs of electronic for being too subseptible to noise. But in audio world I guess they are making money becuase they claim and I quote:

"This is among the world's finest cables! How can I make such a claim? One listen and you will know why". When "listen" appear in the description of cable, be wary :)


Again I say it depends on what you are able to hear. Solid core cables sound more focused to me. Stranded cables for lack of better description makes the imaging and sound fuzzy. I have no interest in convincing anyone about cables nor will my mind be changed by someone who is unable to hear the difference. I am only sharing what I hear and have experienced. As far as measurements are concerned not everything can be determined by testing. I read often about amps and speakers that while they measure poorly sound quite good to the reviewer. Zu loudspeaker come to mind. Their frequency response graphs look bad but many love them. Measure all you want I am too busy listening.

blackraven
05-19-2014, 06:49 AM
I use to be a skeptic about cables but have found that some do sound different. But not all cables sound different to me.

Hyfi
05-19-2014, 06:58 AM
I use to be a skeptic about cables but have found that some do sound different. But not all cables sound different to me.

Well that there is real world first hand knowledge. Thanks for sharing. If others read the whole OP and then the last lines where I asked the question,

'Anyone here have a similar experience? Speaker cable or ICs?'

I don't recall asking if people believed one way or another, or could read white papers, books or other peoples posts and then repost what they have read. I asked who has experience altering the sound of their system by swapping cables. Good, Bad, or otherwise. I was looking for people who could say Yes I have tried it and A- For me, I noticed a difference, or B- For me I did not notice a difference.

Not sure why the thread got railroaded into a Naysayer Thread Crap.

Feanor
05-19-2014, 07:09 AM
Actually those cables {MIT, Transparent, and Siltech} are not made to transparently transfer a signal from one component to another. They were made to sonically change the sound, and claim it is better than straight wire. Vinyl records are essentially the same in that regard.

At least these cable makers are forthright that their designs modify the signal although of course they all insist it's for the better.

It's been perfectly clear to me for long time that vinyl's virtue is to filter the sound in a pleasant manner. It's true, OTOH, that a well-mastered and pressed LP will sound better than a poorly mastered CD. I haven't bought an LP in almost 20 years but that's propably because there is virtually no selection on the medium for the classical music I mostly listen to.

I suspect it's the same sort euphonic preference that sustains the popularity of tube equipment.

Hyfi
05-20-2014, 04:28 AM
Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century with no noticable difference.

No noticeable difference to Who?

This part of the sentence I would say is true "Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century" But then that begs the question, Are they both 100% the best selection for ALL Audio Applications?

Another statement that could be true is "Forks and Spoons have been used interchangeably since they were invented" True statement, and they both will get the food from your plate to your mouth. But are both the 100% best selection for all food?

One more, "Since HE Audio is such a small part of the overall market, there are more $1.99 Black & Reds used worldwide than any other IC" Most likely true, but is it the absolute 100% best selection for EVERY stereo out there?

Now back to Solid vs Stranded. Answer me this....If you are going to bi-wire a speaker, why do most EEs with Audio cabling and gear knowledge, suggest that you use a larger gauge solid core cable for the lows, and a lighter gauge stranded twisted pair for the highs?

And Copper vs Silver....Why do more than half of those who have actually tried Silver cabling claim that they prefer copper because the Silver made their system appear brighter than Copper did? Do you really think they all claim that because they read that someone else felt that way?

I frequent HE sites where acknowledging cable differences is the norm. I also frequent AK where 1970s Sansui Receivers are the norm with speaker cable connectors that consist of a screw for tiny bare wire is the norm. I continue to read about more and more individuals like yourself that go out and actually try something and then report back. Many of them are changing their minds as they get better and more resolving gear.

blackraven
05-20-2014, 06:47 AM
'Anyone here have a similar experience? Speaker cable or ICs?'



My experience with speaker cables is limited. I have BJC 10g wire and a pair of Monster Cable Z4's that retailed for $600. They are as thick as a garden hose. I paid $120 for them on an Ebay bid. I can't say that I can tell a difference. Same goes for an after market AQ power cord which came with my Music Hall CDP for free and it was supposed to improve the sound. Even the professional reviews of the MH with the Audio Quest cord said the upgraded cord improved the sound. I could not tell any difference between it and the stock cord.

I am not saying that speaker cables and power cords don't make a difference, but in my limited experience, they have not with one exception. When I first got my MMG speakers years ago, my 16g speaker wires were too short and all I had was 18 zip cord in the house. The MMG's sounded dreadful with the 18g wire so the next day I went out and bought some new heavy gauge wire and all was right.

Getting back to the original thread topic. I am happy with my choice of wires which seems to have helped give me the sound that I am looking for. The Cardas Parsecs are a smidgen warmer than the BJC's with a little better resolution and detail. My Silnote cables sound about the same as the BJC's, so they were a waste of money.

Feanor
05-20-2014, 07:07 AM
I frequent HE sites where acknowledging cable differences is the norm. I also frequent AK where 1970s Sansui Receivers are the norm with speaker cable connectors that consist of a screw for tiny bare wire is the norm. I continue to read about more and more individuals like yourself that go out and actually try something and then report back. Many of them are changing their minds as they get better and more resolving gear.
For the umteenth time, I'm NOT one of those people who insist the cables cannot make difference ...

Something I've learned in my 43 years as a hi-fi enthusiast is that random testimonials are useless. A person might be quite sincere, (most are), but people tend to hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. Or differences might be due to things other than the actual component that is being audition, e.g. everything sounds less good to me when I'm tired or stressed.

Gross difference might cause people to change their minds, but in fact the differences among certain components is typically quite small, among cables and certain other things, e.g. vacuum tubes, opamps, and capacitors. From time to time I've thought I've heard differences among these things, BUT to be quite honest I wasn't entirely sure.

Hyfi
05-20-2014, 07:16 AM
For the umteenth time, I'm NOT one of those people who insist the cables cannot make difference ...

Something I've learned in my 43 years as a hi-fi enthusiast is that random testimonials are useless. A person might be quite sincere, (most are), but people tend to hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. Or differences might be due to things other than the actual component that is being audition, e.g. everything sounds less good to me when I'm tired or stressed.

Gross difference might cause people to change their minds, but in fact the differences among certain components is typically quite small, among cables and certain other things, e.g. vacuum tubes, opamps, and capacitors. From time to time I've thought I've heard differences among these things, BUT to be quite honest I wasn't entirely sure.

I know you are not a full blooded Naysayer and nothing was directed your way, but towards those who never try anything and then jump on the Naysayer Bandwagon.

Now as per the differences of Tubes being quite small, I have to totally disagree with that finding. Maybe you have not rolled enough tubes but I have found huge differences between tubes in my VAC pre amp and the input tubes of my Counterpoint Hybrid amp.

And differences, no matter how small or if they were positive or negative was all this thread was supposed to cover. Not anyone's specific belief systems.

Thanks for chiming back in on topic.

blackraven
05-20-2014, 07:50 AM
There can be vast differences in sound in tubes. All of my dozen or so pairs of 6CG7's and several 6DJ8 tubes sound vastly different.

Op amps also make a difference. I just rolled new op amps in my AVA DAC. I bought a pair of Sparko op amps to replace my BB 0627's and the sound was noticeably different. The BB 0627's were a previous recommended factory upgrade and mod over the standard ADL? Op amps that came with the original unit. The BB's made a huge difference at the time.

Here is my review of the Sparko op amps-

New Discrete Op Amps From Sparkos Labs (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=125684.msg1329527#msg1329527)

JohnMichael
05-20-2014, 08:42 AM
One of the points Adam was trying to make before he left was that your posts are more valuable when you have actually heard the products being discussed. Audio judgment by speculation does not help anyone. This happens mostly in cable discussions. If you have not heard a particular product you really have no opinion on it. You are only speculating.

Hyfi
05-20-2014, 08:57 AM
One of the points Adam was trying to make before he left was that your posts are more valuable when you have actually heard the products being discussed. Audio judgment by speculation does not help anyone. This happens mostly in cable discussions. If you have not heard a particular product you really have no opinion on it. You are only speculating.

Thank you!

That is exactly why I ended the original post with the following....

Anyone here have a similar experience? Speaker cable or ICs?

I do not recall asking the question "Do you believe from what you read somewhere whether cables sound different?" Or anything else that got this thread sidetracked. I asked for responses from those who actually tried something and had a personal opinion on what they tested, nothing else.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-20-2014, 07:06 PM
Again I say it depends on what you are able to hear. Solid core cables sound more focused to me. Stranded cables for lack of better description makes the imaging and sound fuzzy.

Can you demonstrate this in a DBT test? Nobody has so far, and you would be considered a "golden eared" individual if you could guess which is a solid core and which is a stranded cable under non sighted conditions.


I have no interest in convincing anyone about cables nor will my mind be changed by someone who is unable to hear the difference.

How does one come to this conclusion without level matching your sources, eliminating the room signature, not eliminating background noise(most homes and apartments have loads of background noise), without analyzing the sources for their measured characteristics, and without having your hearing checked?


I am only sharing what I hear and have experienced. As far as measurements are concerned not everything can be determined by testing.

You are right. Only subjective sound quality cannot be tested because it is full of pre-set biases based on individual taste. Everything else CAN be measured, and that is why you have to trust your ears, but collaborate it with measurements.

People can say they hear any and everything, but the proof is in the measurements. Our ears are not foolproof, and if you understand how the ear/eye/brain mechanism works, you would know this. I was on a jury panel that heard a violent dispute between two parties. One witness said she heard two women yelling at each other, but unfortunately two men were on trial. There were no women involved at all. In experimenting with implementing one or two loudspeakers for my rear surrounds, I panned a signal all around the room to see which is smoother. My sons, my core of friends, audio mixers from the studio where I work all made spatial mistakes(as a result of HRT effects) when I panned a signal to a single rear speaker - they thought it was coming from the center speaker in the front. Ears fooled. I remember one audio friend of mine commenting on the air around instruments. The problem with this is his hearing petered out at 8khz. There no air there, just harmonics. Air in any recording or playback system lies above 10khz, so he could not possibly have heard it.

Cables are much like watches. There is no proof that an uber expensive watch keeps better time than a cheap one. Analog watches are no better than digital ones in this regard. The difference is subjective purpose. Do you want a watch that looks good, or one that just tells you the time. Cables are made to "faithfully" pass signals from one component to another. As long as they can do this job(ugly or fancy) there will be no audible differences between them(except what people invent in their heads).


I read often about amps and speakers that while they measure poorly sound quite good to the reviewer. Zu loudspeaker come to mind. Their frequency response graphs look bad but many love them. Measure all you want I am too busy listening.

Now you are skipping to something that is purely subjective. I have heard Zu speakers(I think it was their entire line spread over two rooms), and they sound like crap to me. Highly colored, far from accurate, shouty at peak volumes, and a little grainy. Some people like a euphoric listening experience, and some of us just want to clearly hear the music without all of the sonic interference.

I have been subscribing to Stereophile for more than 6 years now. I have not seen a cable reviewed in years. Why? I would imagine that their current policy of measuring everything they review would make it very difficult for a reviewer to collaborate the results of their opinion versus the measurements themselves. The last time I saw a cable test in their pages, all of the ten cables measured exactly the same(including the red and white Radio Shack cables) in the critical area our ears are most sensitive. Above and below that threshold it would be impossible for anyone to hear any differences because our ears gradually become less sensitive to frequency response deviations and amplitude. Oh, and let's not mention the masking of low level signal because the rooms high ambient levels.

There are far more deviances between the amp + speaker wire + speaker + room than there are in a pair of 3ft interconnects, and that is a fact.

This is not about what we are hearing, but about what some people are imaging in their heads(placebo folks).

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-20-2014, 07:10 PM
One of the points Adam was trying to make before he left was that your posts are more valuable when you have actually heard the products being discussed. Audio judgment by speculation does not help anyone. This happens mostly in cable discussions. If you have not heard a particular product you really have no opinion on it. You are only speculating.

The problem with this comment is we are not supposed to hear the cable, we are supposed to clearly and faithfully hear the music that passes through it.

So you cannot take Adam's comments out of context, he was speaking about sources, amps, and speakers, not cable. I read it myself.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-20-2014, 07:49 PM
No noticeable difference to Who?

To the people who are not led by the nose with marketing hype and snake oil. That is who.


This part of the sentence I would say is true "Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century" But then that begs the question, Are they both 100% the best selection for ALL Audio Applications?

Just like there is no "best" water, there is no best cable. Either the cable can accurately transfer the signal, or it degrades it PERIOD. Water is made to hydrate the body, and even if it taste bad it will still hydrate the body. A well made wire regardless of cost will accurately transfer the signal without adding a single thing to it. A cheap watch can be just as accurate as an uber expensive one. A Honda Civic will get you from point A to point B just like a Mercedes will. And some are more vulnerable to the placebo effect than others.


Another statement that could be true is "Forks and Spoons have been used interchangeably since they were invented" True statement, and they both will get the food from your plate to your mouth. But are both the 100% best selection for all food?

LOLOLOLOL, now this is hilarious. What else are we going to use to get soup and food in our mouths - a pitchfork and a shovel? The spoon and the fork has one purpose with food....getting in our mouths. So are you going to tell me that my Gucci spoon will make my Gazpacho taste better than my generic spoon now?


One more, "Since HE Audio is such a small part of the overall market, there are more $1.99 Black & Reds used worldwide than any other IC" Most likely true, but is it the absolute 100% best selection for EVERY stereo out there?

As long as it can faithfully transfer the signal between components with little or no degradation...yes it is. Stereophile measurements showed a Radio Shack red and whites measure just the same as Kimber cables. Guess what, nobody could hear any difference between them in a DB test as well.


Now back to Solid vs Stranded. Answer me this....If you are going to bi-wire a speaker, why do most EEs with Audio cabling and gear knowledge, suggest that you use a larger gauge solid core cable for the lows, and a lighter gauge stranded twisted pair for the highs?

Because instead of just accurately reproducing the sound, they are trying to shape the sound. Fail. As long as the speaker wires are the same length, there is no difference. Nobody has been able to hear the difference between two identical length wire with difference gauges.


And Copper vs Silver....Why do more than half of those who have actually tried Silver cabling claim that they prefer copper because the Silver made their system appear brighter than Copper did? Do you really think they all claim that because they read that someone else felt that way?

A better explanation and one that is more plausible is they are not sitting exactly in the same spot(moving in and out of modes and nodes), and subjective sighted testing(which introduces pre-built in biases). If they could get the same result under DB testing, then they have won me over. Nobody has published a single DB test that concluded anyone could hear any difference between copper and silver. It all marketing hype, and you fell for it.


I frequent HE sites where acknowledging cable differences is the norm. I also frequent AK where 1970s Sansui Receivers are the norm with speaker cable connectors that consist of a screw for tiny bare wire is the norm. I continue to read about more and more individuals like yourself that go out and actually try something and then report back. Many of them are changing their minds as they get better and more resolving gear.

I have participated in 15 DB tests while attending AES. 3 of those tests were on IC, and another two were on speaker wire. Out of 1,000 people(that is how many they tested over 5 days), nobody was able to hear any differences between the 5 IC's, and only two people could hear differences between the speaker wire(all wires were well made. One of those two people who could hear differences in the speaker wire was me and I cheated. I could hear the comparator click when it changed between samples. I found out later the other guy could too.

Some people can be led by the nose by others so easily. I find no value in sitting in a room where everyone agrees with everyone else's subjective opinions.

Have you ever measured an IC? Nope. Until you do, and be able to correlate what you hear with that measurement, you are throwing a deliciously nutritious air sandwich on a plate and feeding it to us.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
05-20-2014, 08:02 PM
At least these cable makers are forthright that their designs modify the signal although of course they all insist it's for the better.

The funny thing is, almost all cable makers say their design makes the audio better. And when they suggest this to the public, some gullible people will actually believe them. We have seen examples of this right here.

A simple null test can tell you if there is any audible differences between IC. Simply put signal in opposite polarity going through each cable. If there is sound coming out, the cables are audibly different and measurements will tell where. If there is no sound at all, then there is no difference between the cables. I have done this test a least two dozen times. The only time I heard a difference between two IC was when one was WAY longer than the other. Signal losses based on distance is a well known phenom.

Feanor
05-21-2014, 04:17 AM
...
Cables are much like watches. There is no proof that an uber expensive watch keeps better time than a cheap one. Analog watches are no better than digital ones in this regard. The difference is subjective purpose. Do you want a watch that looks good, or one that just tells you the time. Cables are made to "faithfully" pass signals from one component to another. As long as they can do this job(ugly or fancy) there will be no audible differences between them(except what people invent in their heads). ...


Yes, watches are more jewellery than anything else; beautiful to look at. Also beautifully made; admirable as piece of workmanship. But does the top-of-the-line Omega Co-Axial actually keep better time than my $50 Casio Wave Ceptor'? No, it does not.

The only person around hear who actually admitted that he kept some high-end cables around because they looked good and impressed people was your some-time member, Florian. Even with his ultra-resolving Apogee Grand system, he said he couldn't hear any real differences.

JohnMichael
05-21-2014, 05:06 AM
Years ago in the pages of Stereophile a writer by the name of Dick Olsher did a review on a number of cables. Tara Labs was brand new and their cables were simple twisted solid core wires. He felt they were better than some of the much more expensive cables.

I enjoy reading the cable reviews in Stereophile and Absolute Sound. The reviews of the AU 24, MIT, and young Stephen writing about budget cables in his column. I find it interesting what the reviewers use. I am unable to afford them but I would like to hear the difference a top line Nordost or Cardas might sound in my system. I also would like to try some AQ cables that have the bias system.

Hyfi
05-21-2014, 05:51 AM
Years ago in the pages of Stereophile a writer by the name of Dick Olsher did a review on a number of cables. Tara Labs was brand new and their cables were simple twisted solid core wires. He felt they were better than some of the much more expensive cables.

I enjoy reading the cable reviews in Stereophile and Absolute Sound. The reviews of the AU 24, MIT, and young Stephen writing about budget cables in his column. I find it interesting what the reviewers use. I am unable to afford them but I would like to hear the difference a top line Nordost or Cardas might sound in my system. I also would like to try some AQ cables that have the bias system.

I am using some very good Synergistic cables from the 90s but would love to see and hear a setup using the new Galileo System or the Element Series. Several guys over at AudioShark use them as well as several of the other similar designs.

Smokey
05-22-2014, 08:20 PM
This part of the sentence I would say is true "Solidcore and stranded cable wires has been used interchangeably for last century" But then that begs the question, Are they both 100% the best selection for ALL Audio Applications?

If you think about it, the argument of stranded vs solidcore goes way back and was more based on theory than 'known' facts. The argument against stranded was that due to its stranded form, electrons tend to jump from one strand to another as they are flowing from negateive to positive side.

The audiophiles argued that electron's jump will create noise in stranded, so they prefer solidcore for that reason. Of course that argument only exist in theory since no confirmations has been made for stranded conductor drawbacks.


One more, "Since HE Audio is such a small part of the overall market, there are more $1.99 Black & Reds used worldwide than any other IC" Most likely true, but is it the absolute 100% best selection for EVERY stereo out there?

Definitely not. I seen some of those Black&Reds that comes with components, and should be thrown in the garbage :)


Now back to Solid vs Stranded. Answer me this....If you are going to bi-wire a speaker, why do most EEs with Audio cabling and gear knowledge, suggest that you use a larger gauge solid core cable for the lows, and a lighter gauge stranded twisted pair for the highs?

That got nothing to do with stranded vs solid core. It got to do with gauage of cable and phenomena known as Skin Effect.

This topic can get rather complicated but simply it mean that lower frequecy will see less DC resistance in the wire than higher audio frequency. By increasing the guage for highs, we even out wire resistence high frequency see vs lower frequency. So both high and low frequecys see the same DC resistance in the wire.

Of course as I said, above explanation is in its simplest form.