Let's agree on an approach to cable sonics... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Monstrous Mike
09-02-2004, 09:10 AM
The first step in this process is to describe the ideal or perfect cable, whether speaker wire, digital coaxial or analog audio. I believe the goal of the audiophile is to find such a cable and then cabling will no longer be an issue.

My proposal is that the perfect audio cable is one which transfers the signal from the source to the destination without any change in the signal (of course this also includes the connectors). There would be no additions from things like external interference and there would be no losses due to cable electrical characteristics, connectors, etc. That is, the cable should be 100% neutral. (Actually, the cable company Transparent has one of the most clever names out there.)

If we take the current set of anecdotal reports of cable differences by various audiophiles, we must assume that currently, cables are not transporteingthe signal with 100% transparency. Further, it appears that different cables affect the sound to different degrees. Thus, I would have to conclude that something in the electrical characteristics of the cable is causing distortion or there is outside interference adding to the signal.

At this time, I do think there has been any satisfactory explanation as to what is causing these differences. All explanations put forth so far can be dissected and shown to be incomplete or incorrect. As well, the conditions in which these claims have been made are also scientifically suspect.

Any effort put forth to discover the reality of cable sonics also has to include listening. And this listening must be carefully controlled. I realize there has been much discussion on this subject and usually double blind testing comes out as the only really useful approach. I hope we can agree that any type of sighted testing is non-scientific and not really helpful

And along with controlled listening, we would also have to measure the properties on cables very carefully. The goal would be to link a cable characteristic to an audible degradation.

So there is my first take the Great Cable Debate. I invite other opinions.

09-02-2004, 11:22 AM
Hasn't S.E. actually done most of these measurements already?