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  1. #1
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    Talking Is a cable "Fence-sitter" always a Fence-sitter?

    I believe this subject need more exploring since there are few out there that fit that profile.

    The extreme views on both side of cable debate seem to have created a phenomena knows as Fence sitters. A person who does not agree completely with yeasayer, nor with naysayers. Fence sitter-or better known as devil advocate-can take any side, and rally against the other depending on how the conversation or argument is going.

    Now the question is what does it takes to pull them off the fence? Steve Eddy might be a good example of such a person (PCTower also, but with lesser degree). SE has been rallying against both sides for years, yet his position on the fence has remained the same. Will he be a fence sitter for ever?

    Will PCTower be a fence sitter for ever
    "Say Hello To My Little Friend."

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    Aaahhh........ Mr. Montana throws another turd into the meaingless cable-punchbowl to provoke another useless catfight. I suppose this IS a form of entertainment.....?

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    DMK
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    Maybe, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Montana
    I believe this subject need more exploring since there are few out there that fit that profile.

    The extreme views on both side of cable debate seem to have created a phenomena knows as Fence sitters. A person who does not agree completely with yeasayer, nor with naysayers. Fence sitter-or better known as devil advocate-can take any side, and rally against the other depending on how the conversation or argument is going.

    Now the question is what does it takes to pull them off the fence? Steve Eddy might be a good example of such a person (PCTower also, but with lesser degree). SE has been rallying against both sides for years, yet his position on the fence has remained the same. Will he be a fence sitter for ever?

    Will PCTower be a fence sitter for ever
    ...a yeasayer isn't always a yeasayer forever. I can think of one person I know quite well that was a longtime yeasayer but now is a naysayer. He came to this board and read the posts from famous naysayers, past and present. He read and he pondered. The posts made quite a bit of sense to him but since he was not engineerically inclined and since he felt that possibly the anonymous nature of the posters might lead him astray, he did his own testing which proved to him that cables made for audio that are of sufficient guage and reasonable length did not impart any kind of sound, nor did they impede the sound of the rest of the stereo - no confused electrons, no carpet dielectric, no hi-yo silver brightness, no nada. This person is at the time of this writing quite pleased with himself. He has decided to pursue other, more meaningful hobbies such as nursing Bigfoot back to homeopathic health after his flying saucer excursion...and he'd like to thank Mtrycrafts for giving him the replacement obsession. So to Mr Mash I say, this may be a place for entertainment but it can also be a place where profound philosophical changes occur within those that are willing to take notice of the signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMK
    ...a yeasayer isn't always a yeasayer forever. I can think of one person I know quite well that was a longtime yeasayer but now is a naysayer. He came to this board and read the posts from famous naysayers, past and present. He read and he pondered. The posts made quite a bit of sense to him but since he was not engineerically inclined and since he felt that possibly the anonymous nature of the posters might lead him astray, he did his own testing which proved to him that cables made for audio that are of sufficient guage and reasonable length did not impart any kind of sound, nor did they impede the sound of the rest of the stereo - no confused electrons, no carpet dielectric, no hi-yo silver brightness, no nada. This person is at the time of this writing quite pleased with himself. He has decided to pursue other, more meaningful hobbies such as nursing Bigfoot back to homeopathic health after his flying saucer excursion...and he'd like to thank Mtrycrafts for giving him the replacement obsession. So to Mr Mash I say, this may be a place for entertainment but it can also be a place where profound philosophical changes occur within those that are willing to take notice of the signs.

    It was and is my profound pleasure that I had such an impact
    But, you need to stop chasing Bigfoot The man behind or rather under the suit confessed his involvment in the hoax
    Good oluck with the flying saucers. Make sure you get a two way ticket We'd miss you otherwise. But, if that is not possible, don't forget to write
    mtrycrafts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Montana
    I believe this subject need more exploring since there are few out there that fit that profile.

    The extreme views on both side of cable debate seem to have created a phenomena knows as Fence sitters. A person who does not agree completely with yeasayer, nor with naysayers. Fence sitter-or better known as devil advocate-can take any side, and rally against the other depending on how the conversation or argument is going.

    Now the question is what does it takes to pull them off the fence? Steve Eddy might be a good example of such a person (PCTower also, but with lesser degree). SE has been rallying against both sides for years, yet his position on the fence has remained the same. Will he be a fence sitter for ever?

    Will PCTower be a fence sitter for ever
    Tony:

    I challenge you to point out where Steve or I have ever taken both sides of a substantive issue relating to cables. I'll let Steve speak for himself. As for me, I have spelled out a clear, precise, internally consistent position in far more detail than just about anyone. On the intellectual side my position demands strict, unwavering adherence to and compliance with scientific method - PERIOD - no if, ands or FENCES!

    For my personal pleasure, I'll choose STRICTLY according to what brings me pleasure - PERIOD - no ifs, ands or FENCES!

    It's just that people are intellectually lazy and they are looking for the "quick fix", which comes when you adopt the approach that Jon Risch has taken to heights never imagined by simply creating two opposing camps of naysayers and yeasayers and insisting on placing every last person on earth into one or the other.

    SO COME ON TONY! THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE A HERO.

    MAKE ME EAT HAY (OR MY LAW BOOKS - WHICHEVER YOU PREFER).

    MAKE SKEPTIC'S DAY.

    SHAME ME BEYOND RECOVERY.

    SHOW ME WHERE I HAVE EVER TAKEN BOTH SIDES OF A SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE DEALING WITH CABLES.

    Oh yes. And while you're at it, please state every single claim you can think of relating to audio cables that you are willing to stand by and defend with solid scientific emprical evidence and sound reasoning.

    And, since it's been a while, and to give you some fertile fields to romp around in finding my inconsistencies, here's a little of what I've posted in the past:

    WAVEFORMS:

    Just as the laws of nature (physics) govern how the cannonball and the feather will fall in a vacuum, the laws of nature (the laws that govern the physical universe) ultimately govern every process involved in the electronic reproduction of music including how we perceive that reproduction. Accordingly, at least theoretically, there is nothing involved in that process that should be beyond the ability of science to measure and explain.

    Letís take a look at what we are talking about here. I assume we all can agree that sound travels in waves, and that the electronic reproduction of sound is explained by the processes that occurs at the microphone where sound waves are translated into electronic signal, at the point where that signal is somehow stored, and later at the point where that signal (in the form of waveforms that can be measured) are retrieved to be amplified and sent on to the speaker, where a process occurs which is essentially the opposite of what occurred at the microphone.

    Ideally the sound waves emitted by the speaker would be identical to those that hit the microphone. Of course, everyone recognizes that with our current technology that is not possible. However, at each stage from microphone to speaker we have the technology to measure alterations that occur to the waveform of the electronic signal from the point it enters the given stage to the point it leaves that same stage, including temporal relationships. Thus, with respect to cables, if we look at the waveform, including temporal relationships, both at the input and output of the cable and find no difference, then, assuming we have measured the waveform going in to the cable and waveform going out, including temporal relationships, to a point of sensitivity greater than what is known regarding the sensitivity of human hearing (which isnít particularly good), and we see no measurable change caused by the cable, then I can see no way to conclude that the cable is affecting the wave form in its long journey from microphone to speaker.

    Moreover, if we make those measurements on cable X and cable Y and neither shows any effect on the waveform, but in sighted auditions people claim they hear clear differences between the two cables, I can see no possible way that one could come to any other conclusion than that the differences are due to factors such as the attitude, beliefs and expectations of the people who perceive differences, rather than to anything the cables are actually doing or not doing to be responsible for such differences in perception. I would really like someone to explain how we could come to any other conclusion under such circumstances.

    If the waveforms coming out of the speakers are identical as cable X and cable Y are switched in and out of the system, and assuming no other changes such as moving the speakers, then the waveforms hitting the listeners ear will not be changed by a switching of these two cables (because remember I am assuming the waveforms were shown in measurements to be identical using instruments capable of greater sensitivity than human hearing), and yet people claim to hear differences between cables X and cable Y, then the only explanation for such differences has to be what happens inside the heads of the listeners once the sound waves hit their ear drum.

    So, the processes involved in electronic reproduction of music, and the laws of nature that govern these processes are well known. Moreover, from what I understand we have instruments that can measure the effect these processes have on the shape and temporal relationship of the waveforms as they travel from microphone to speaker and on to ear drum. If no change can be found in the waveforms as they are emitted by the speaker, or even as they come out of the cable, regardless of whether cable X or cable Y is used, then we either have to conclude that differences have been perceived by the listeners because of (A) the placebo effect, or (B) because of some supernatural force that has never been documented in anything other than audio cables.

    Now of course, if the measurements were to show that switching cables X and Y in and out of the system did cause a difference in the signal coming out of each cable significant enough to ultimately cause a difference in the waveforms emitted by the speakers, then one could properly conclude that at least some of the differences perceived by the listeners between the two cables is due to an actual, measurable physical phenomenon occurring within the cable. However, to the best of my knowledge, such measured differences have never been made between two similar cables of similar length and gauge.

    In short, the laws that govern the physical universe dictate both how the cannonball and the feather fall in a vacuum and how cables affect the waveforms. There is no room for subjectivity in any of this if the physical phenomenon going on between the input and output of the cables donít show some effect on the waveforms and/or their temporal relationships that is significant enough to cause an actual audible effect. In such a case, the subjectivity, of necessity, becomes solely a factor of what happens once the ear drum sends the nerve signals on the way to the brain.

    If anyone can show me where I am wrong in any of this, Iím all ears, so to speak.

    LIMITATION OF SENSES

    Iíve been using after-market cables for over 20 years. About 2 years ago, as I was in the process of making some major changes to my system and setting up a dedicated listening room, I auditioned at great length in my system in excess of 20 different brands of cables before I chose the combination of power cords, interconnects, speaker cables, digital cable and phono cable that works for me. However, all of my auditions were sighted and in light of what scientific research has shown as to how unreliable hearing and our other senses can be, there is no way I could claim, from a scientific viewpoint, that any of the cables actually were responsible for audible sonic differences. I am extremely happy with my choices, but I really donít know what is truly responsible for my perceptions, and when I sit down to listen to music I donít care nor even think about it.

    However, from a purely scientific viewpoint, sighted auditions are completely unreliable because, as I said, there is a great deal of scientific research that shows how unreliable our senses can be and how easily they can be affected by attitudes, beliefs and expectations, as opposed to the actual stimuli our senses are attempting to detect and differentiate.

    Our brains are far more complex than any machine, but our evolutionary history has caused our senses to excel in areas that were important to our survival as a race and be far less reliable in areas that were not essential to survival. Accordingly, there are distinct limitations to the sensitivity of our senses and there is an extremely complex process that occurs in the brain as it receives and interprets nerve signals from our sensory organs. These brain processing functions also developed primarily to enable and enhance our survivability, and these brain processing functions, while probably extremely good at those things required for survival, may very well be woefully inadequate in enabling us to distinguish between actual audible sonic differences and those perceptions resulting from our attitudes, beliefs and expectations.

    I have lost the link, but a report was published several months ago in which psychologists were able to imprint in the memories of approximately one-third of the participants vivid memories of having seen Bugs Bunny at Disneyland. Well, we all know that Bugs Bunny never appears at Disneyland, and yet the implanted memories were as real to these people as any memory.

    Our evolution has imbued our senses with marvelous capabilities, but it, as I say, has also resulted in some clear limitations both in sensitivity and how our brain processes nerve signals. Fortunately, our intellect has allowed us to analyze and understand much about how our senses and our brains interact and also to develop incredible technology to fill in the gaps where our senses and brain processing functions are unreliable.

    It actually is a little sad to me when I see how many people seem to want to reject the understanding, knowledge and instruments for measurements that our intellect has blessed us with, simply because at times the conclusions to which all of these wonderful tools may lead are at variance with what our unaided, and often unreliable, senses and brain processing functions seem to be telling us at an experiential level.

    With regard specifically to AudioQuest, I have never seen any scientific tests that demonstrate that any AudioQuest model differs sonically from any other model, or for that matter, from any other cable. Of course, I can say the same thing for ever other brand on the market, including the brands I shelled out good, hard money to buy. In no way am I suggesting you not enjoy your cables. I certainly enjoy my system, and for my personal purposes, I consider my cables to be an important part of my system. But that all has to do with personal choice and enjoyment. When it comes to a purely hard-nosed, scientific look at the subject of cables, I want to see actual, valid test results that demonstrate that any of the cables we audiophiles love to play with can actually be responsible for a true, audible sonic difference or improvement. So far I havenít seen any such test results, but that, of course, in no way means that such valid test results donít exist.

    Your view seem to lead us to believe that objectivists have somehow managed to adjust the results of testing over the last 20 years.

    My view in no way suggests that, and you know it. My main point with regards to cable DBTs is to ask those who claim that cable DBTs have repeatedly shown null results is to ask those who make such claims to direct my attention to those tests that have been conducted under circumstances that would pass muster in a college level science class, could be accepted for publication is a recognized science journal, or comport with the standards of a recognized science lab. That is the type of question that is routinely asked in court of those experts who express opinions based on the outcome of scientific testing. I would assume, based on numerous discussions I have had with scientists (including my nephewís wife who is working on her PhD in physics at Lawrence Livermore through Berkley and who has already received several awards in her area of research) that scientists also routinely ask themselves.

    In fact, several months ago I related a story here that she shared with me of how her team had lost almost 9 months worth of time by relying, at the insistence of senior scientists, upon published studies that were widely accepted as correct, only to find out that these studies were flat out wrong and led them down the wrong path. So even when people attempt to follow careful protocol (and Iím assuming here that the people that published those earlier studies werenít intentionally trying to come up with the wrong result) it is certainly possible that invalid results can occur. I would assume that this is one reason why Carl Sagan, suggested the following tools for critical thinking (which I was directed to thanks to Monstrous Mike):

    Tools for skeptical thinking by Carl Sagan
    What skeptical thinking boils down to is the means to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument and -- especially important -- to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument. The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premise or starting point and whether that premise is true.

    Among the tools:

    1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the "facts."

    2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

    3. Arguments from authority carry little weight -- "authorities" have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.

    4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there's something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among "multiple working hypotheses," has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.*

    * NOTE: This is a problem that affects jury trials. Retrospective studies show that some jurors make up their minds very early -- perhaps during opening arguments -- and then retain the evidence that seems to support their initial impressions and reject the contrary evidence. The method of alternative working hypotheses is not running in their heads.

    5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours. It's only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don't, others will.

    6. Quantify. If whatever it is you're explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you'll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.

    7. If there's a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) -- not just most of them.

    8. Occam's Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.

    9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle -- an electron, say -- in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof?

    10. You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

    11. The reliance on carefully designed and controlled experiments is key, as I tried to stress earlier. We will not learn much from mere contemplation. It is tempting to rest content with the first candidate explanation we can think of. One is much better than none. But what happens if we can invent several? How do we decide among them? We don't. We let experiment do it.

    A POST OF MINE AT PROPHEAD: In a response to one of my posts in the thread it cited above, Rod M, the owner of AA, made the following comment:

    THE WORDS OF ROD M: I hear plenty of accusations, but what I don't see are the facts to back up the argument. You might disagree with Jon's position on some issues. Others might disagree as well. What I find intellectually dishonest is that while these other "scientists" poke holes in these theories, they fail completely in being real scientists. If they want to be taken seriously, then duplicate the experiment and publish the results. This is a beef that I have with all too many of these so called scientific discussions of products like Bybee. Everyone's got a pet theory, but no one is doing any valid scientific work on the subject. Conjecture and theory is not science. Yet, that does not stop plenty of them from claiming their opinion is scientifically justified. I'm tired of it.

    MY RESPONSE TO ROD: In essence, what I hear Rod saying is that it is fine for people like Curl and Risch to propagate their own controversial theories, without any test data support whatsoever, but it is not acceptable for someone like Steve Eddy to point out that these theories have no empirical support, nor is it acceptable for Steve to point out that these theories fly in the face of well-established electronic principles, unless and until Steve makes some ill-defined, yet obligatory, trip to the lab to do some ďtestingĒ.

    I must confess that Iím a little surprised at Rodís response. I thought he knew better. However, it is obvious to me now that he fully supports Jon and his antics, and that the Cable Asylum and Tweaks Asylum (the two Jon moderates) will continue to serve as platforms for the dissemination of Jonís own pet, unsubstantiated theories, and that any serious challenge to these theories, even if such challenges do not in any way violate the CA anti-DBT rule (something which Steve Eddy was always careful to avoid), will simply not be permitted.

    Rod is correct when elsewhere he pointed out that there are many other boards at AA that Jon does not moderate. However, the Cable Asylum, in particular, is a high visibility board and I think it is unfortunate that there will be no limit placed upon Jonís ability to use it as a propaganda base for his own purposes. Moreover, now that Rod has expressly shown his true colors in writing (at least for the first time that Iím aware of), I have concern even for the Prop Head forum that is suppose to be wide open. Even there, Curl has put a real damper on discussion, and although Curl occupies no official position at AA, it seems obvious to me now that Rod and the Bored will let him have full reign at stifling legitimate technical debates.

    BTW, with regard to Rodís comments about the challengers being required to ďtestĒ before speaking, I find it ironic that the only person Iím aware of who is reporting any serious efforts to test various theories relating to cables currently on the web is John Escallier, and yet neither Risch nor Curl will carry on a civil conversation with John E. That fact apparently doesnít bother Rod.

    One other point I would like to make. In the past I have been criticized on this board for attempting to explain what I believe the purpose of the CA anti-DBT rule to be Ė that being it is designed to enable the Cable Asylum to be a place that serves those audiophiles who wish to exchange their subjective opinions of cables without constant demands for ďproofĒ. I still stand by what I have said about that rule in the past. However, I am coming to realize that if what I have described is really the purpose of the rule, then it seems to me the rule should also prohibit people like Jon from advancing controversial theories that simply beg for someone to point out that these theories are unverified from an empirical standpoint.

    I say, let the subjectivists be free to share their experience free of interference at the Cable Asylum. But, if you are going to ban any discussion of empirical testing of theories or claims, then donít permit the promulgation of untested theories on that forum. Rather, require that they be discussed at places like the Prop Head forum where legitimate questions can be raised about the empirical basis upon which any given theory may or may not be based.

    BTW, I know Iím misusing the term ďtheoryĒ. I really should be saying in this context ďhypothesisĒ. Theory is just easier to type.

    And finally, what perhaps bothers me most of all is that I would not be permitted to post the foregoing at the General Asylum or on any other mainstream AA board. The post would either be deleted, or more likely, banished to AA Siberia, either at the Whinerís Woad, or even worst, the Outside board, whatever the hell that is. So I am relegated to making my point here at AR. As I said at the end of the Whinerís Woad post, in the greater realm of things, I really donít particularly care what they do at AA. I know itís a private board and legally they are entitled to run it however they choose. But I am bothered by the anti-intellectual, anti-reason, anti-truth, anti-fair, book-burning mentality reflected by this incident all the other incidents leading up to it, and for that reason I felt compelled to set out my views over here.

    SO COME ON TONY. HAVE AT ME.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Montana
    I believe this subject need more exploring since there are few out there that fit that profile.

    The extreme views on both side of cable debate seem to have created a phenomena knows as Fence sitters. A person who does not agree completely with yeasayer, nor with naysayers. Fence sitter-or better known as devil advocate-can take any side, and rally against the other depending on how the conversation or argument is going.

    Now the question is what does it takes to pull them off the fence? Steve Eddy might be a good example of such a person (PCTower also, but with lesser degree). SE has been rallying against both sides for years, yet his position on the fence has remained the same. Will he be a fence sitter for ever?

    Will PCTower be a fence sitter for ever
    I am not sure if SE is a real fence sitter. He does like to experiment with wires for a perceived self awareness of its charachter. That cannot be tested. and he does accept real DBT comparisons. So, for him as it was for eyespy, well before your time, wire is a personal preference.

    Apparently some fence sitters do change whether they admit it in public or not as I have a number of personal responses over the years falling off.

    PC has changed profoundly over the years. He has accepted the value and merit of DBT listening. So, he has changed more so, ready to fall
    mtrycrafts

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    What's come over you? Reading too many jr posts where he has verbal runaways? I think he really wanted to be a writer. You too?
    Way too long of a post, couldn't finish it.
    mtrycrafts

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    What's come over you? Reading too many jr posts where he has verbal runaways? I think he really wanted to be a writer. You too?
    Way too long of a post, couldn't finish it.
    Way too long of a post, couldn't finish it.

    I couldn't either.

    All of that stuff was from prior posts. I just wanted to give Tony a fighting chance to trip me up, so I just cut and pasted with abandoned and hoped for the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Montana
    I believe this subject need more exploring since there are few out there that fit that profile.

    The extreme views on both side of cable debate seem to have created a phenomena knows as Fence sitters. A person who does not agree completely with yeasayer, nor with naysayers. Fence sitter-or better known as devil advocate-can take any side, and rally against the other depending on how the conversation or argument is going.

    Now the question is what does it takes to pull them off the fence? Steve Eddy might be a good example of such a person (PCTower also, but with lesser degree). SE has been rallying against both sides for years, yet his position on the fence has remained the same. Will he be a fence sitter for ever?

    Will PCTower be a fence sitter for ever
    I associate extreme views with being bigoted. The Merriam-Websters online Dictionary defines "bigot" as "a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices." I find that commitment to opinions and prejudices on both far sides of the cable fence. The naysayer extremism, however, seems more evangelistic, and their "I'm right, you need to be like me" message would be enough to make me want to lean to the yeasayer side, even if I had no intereset in hifi.

    My sighted listening for differences in cables has been mixed in that I have had both yeasayer and naysayer results. I did not verify positive results with objective testing, but the differences were not so subtle as to raise questions in my mind about the validty of the sighted listening. I realize sighted listening can be unreliable, but then I'm not convinced blinded listening is reliable. Is it unscientific to challenge the validity of blinded listening tests?

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    Many so called naysayers have had extensive scientific training learning to rely solely on objective evidence from reliable and respected sources which can be independently confirmed. To equate that with the testimonials of hobbyists or the advertising garbage we are bombarded with by the purveyers of these unproven products is nonsense.

    It is people who demand objective proof of claims before accepting their validity who are openminded while it is those who demand that we take what they say on face value because THEY say it and for no other reason who are the "extreme close minded bigots."

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    Quite a logical if somewhat long winded arguement and impressive...... for a dilettante. At least the rational part of it. But for a scientist it would only scratch the surface. And for an engineer, it would not answer any of the most critical questions.

    It should never be assumed that the infinitely inventive mind of man couldn't come up with a recipe for wire which would make a sound system audibly different from using other wire and that some people would say it made an improvement. The scientist who deals in discovering physical truths would ask follow on questions about what is it that makes the sound different from an electrical standpoint and what is it about the recipe for constructing the wire that creates the electrical difference in the first place.

    The engineer would ask, what is the significance of this difference? What is its nature and magnitude? Is using a particular wire the most controllable, predictable, cost effective, efficient way to achieving the desired results. Based on what has been observed so far about the changes different wires make which are very minor alterations to system frequency response, the answers an engineer gets shows wire selection to be the least desirable engineering solution to effecting these changes. How do I know? Professional audio engineers not only don't use them, they sneer and laugh at them.

    What would constitute a real demonstration of value and worth as well as a contribution of knowledge to the engineering community. Let's suppose (hypothetically) that scientists proved that a previously unmeasured form of transient intermodulation distortion and phase shifting was audible in some speaker wires, less audible or not audible at all in others and was directly related to cable capacitance and nothing else, not purity of copper, geomentry of conductors, or metalurgy of conductors. Then they would test all low capacitance cables, rate them for their improvements, publish their results in AES, and engineers worldwide would begin selecting wire based on cable capacitance. Manufactures of wire like Belden would develop and market special low capacitance wire specifically for use with loudspeakers and that would become the accepted way to install sound systems. What do we get instead. Just look at the ads the manufacturers give hobbyists and then listen to the hype and lies at the retail level. Who with a brain in his head wouldn't throw up his hands eventually and say "enough, you guys are full of it." So now I'm saying it. I've heard enough to be convinced to no longer sit on the fence. I've joined the naysayer camp. Phil, you and those who also buy aftermarket cables have had at least two years to convince my that you buy your cables based on rational reasoning but now it appears that even you would say otherwise. I hope you like the way they look. As for me, I'm doing everything I can to hide mine, there are so many of them. And no matter what color or how well disguised, they have no place in the decor of my home.

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    Does anyone really...

    ...and I mean really give a flyin' fiddler's f@rt about this cr@p?...

    Simple logic and reasoning indicates all the wire/cable/burn-in/etc. is just so much twaddle...

    Some of us use wires(which can sound "DIFFERENT") as tone controls...and try as they might to pooh-pooh it, FR plays the biggest part in what we hear or what we think we hear. I'm quite convinced of that. Sit down with an equalizer in your lap, in your fave listening position and fiddle about...talk about an epiphany...

    Now, if you want to spend the time and money to experiment with every possible wire/equipment combo to find the "synergy" that sounds "right" to you, knock yerself out. I prefer some judicious application of electronic means. Far simpler.

    That being said, I am open to possibilities, but that's all I have ever been made aware of, possibilities. As a naysayer I am firmly entrenched in logic and reason, which dictate my philosophy. On one hand: numbers, charts and graphs and experience. On the other, and there is no kind way to say it, hype and anecdotes, further complicated by the regular use of "factoids" which, while ostensibly based in "science", tend to extrapolate meanings and conclusions that are far beyond what is actually indicated. That of and by itself is off-putting; the BS dectector is locked-in and ready.

    Does that make me a fence sitter? It would be nice, I guess, if wire made some real improvement as opposed to just a difference. Until there is bona fide reasons to do so, I have no intention of any further investigation into ICs and speaker wire.

    jimHJJ(...bass and treble controls are quite satisfactory, thank you...)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Many so called naysayers have had extensive scientific training learning to rely solely on objective evidence from reliable and respected sources which can be independently confirmed. To equate that with the testimonials of hobbyists or the advertising garbage we are bombarded with by the purveyers of these unproven products is nonsense.

    It is people who demand objective proof of claims before accepting their validity who are openminded while it is those who demand that we take what they say on face value because THEY say it and for no other reason who are the "extreme close minded bigots."
    I think you are saying the cable hobbyists or yeasayers haven't provided evidence useful to professionals who want to apply their scientific training, and that this somehow invalidates their claims and puts them on a lower level than the professionals("to equate .... is nonsense"). This might be cause for frustration, but I don't see the logic in concluding that all the claims are wrong. Fence straddling would seem more reasonable.

    I see little evidence yeasayers "demand that we take what they say on face value because THEY say it." You will not find such a demand by me on this Forum or elsewhere. There may be a few overly defensive cable enthusiasts here, but most have a "take it or leave it" attitude about their claims.
    Last edited by okiemax; 06-24-2004 at 07:38 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Quite a logical if somewhat long winded arguement and impressive...... for a dilettante. At least the rational part of it. But for a scientist it would only scratch the surface. And for an engineer, it would not answer any of the most critical questions.

    It should never be assumed that the infinitely inventive mind of man couldn't come up with a recipe for wire which would make a sound system audibly different from using other wire and that some people would say it made an improvement. The scientist who deals in discovering physical truths would ask follow on questions about what is it that makes the sound different from an electrical standpoint and what is it about the recipe for constructing the wire that creates the electrical difference in the first place.

    The engineer would ask, what is the significance of this difference? What is its nature and magnitude? Is using a particular wire the most controllable, predictable, cost effective, efficient way to achieving the desired results. Based on what has been observed so far about the changes different wires make which are very minor alterations to system frequency response, the answers an engineer gets shows wire selection to be the least desirable engineering solution to effecting these changes. How do I know? Professional audio engineers not only don't use them, they sneer and laugh at them.

    What would constitute a real demonstration of value and worth as well as a contribution of knowledge to the engineering community. Let's suppose (hypothetically) that scientists proved that a previously unmeasured form of transient intermodulation distortion and phase shifting was audible in some speaker wires, less audible or not audible at all in others and was directly related to cable capacitance and nothing else, not purity of copper, geomentry of conductors, or metalurgy of conductors. Then they would test all low capacitance cables, rate them for their improvements, publish their results in AES, and engineers worldwide would begin selecting wire based on cable capacitance. Manufactures of wire like Belden would develop and market special low capacitance wire specifically for use with loudspeakers and that would become the accepted way to install sound systems. What do we get instead. Just look at the ads the manufacturers give hobbyists and then listen to the hype and lies at the retail level. Who with a brain in his head wouldn't throw up his hands eventually and say "enough, you guys are full of it." So now I'm saying it. I've heard enough to be convinced to no longer sit on the fence. I've joined the naysayer camp. Phil, you and those who also buy aftermarket cables have had at least two years to convince my that you buy your cables based on rational reasoning but now it appears that even you would say otherwise. I hope you like the way they look. As for me, I'm doing everything I can to hide mine, there are so many of them. And no matter what color or how well disguised, they have no place in the decor of my home.
    But for a scientist it would only scratch the surface. And for an engineer, it would not answer any of the most critical questions.

    I'm well aware of that. I go only as far as I feel comfortable. I've never claimed any particular technical expertise. I simply try as best I can to apply logic to what I read on these boards and comment accordingly.

    Phil, you and those who also buy aftermarket cables have had at least two years to convince my that you buy your cables based on rational reasoning but now it appears that even you would say otherwise.

    I have never tried to convince you or anyone else that I buy aftermarket cables based on rational reasoning. In fact, I have gone to great extremes to explain that my purchasing decisions are in no way based on reason - merely on what stimulates my pleasure center.

    Most of the stuff in that post is fairly old lifted our of several of my prior posts here and at AA and represents my consistent thinking on the subjects covered.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    ...and I mean really give a flyin' fiddler's f@rt about this cr@p?...

    Simple logic and reasoning indicates all the wire/cable/burn-in/etc. is just so much twaddle...

    Some of us use wires(which can sound "DIFFERENT") as tone controls...and try as they might to pooh-pooh it, FR plays the biggest part in what we hear or what we think we hear. I'm quite convinced of that. Sit down with an equalizer in your lap, in your fave listening position and fiddle about...talk about an epiphany...

    Now, if you want to spend the time and money to experiment with every possible wire/equipment combo to find the "synergy" that sounds "right" to you, knock yerself out. I prefer some judicious application of electronic means. Far simpler.

    That being said, I am open to possibilities, but that's all I have ever been made aware of, possibilities. As a naysayer I am firmly entrenched in logic and reason, which dictate my philosophy. On one hand: numbers, charts and graphs and experience. On the other, and there is no kind way to say it, hype and anecdotes, further complicated by the regular use of "factoids" which, while ostensibly based in "science", tend to extrapolate meanings and conclusions that are far beyond what is actually indicated. That of and by itself is off-putting; the BS dectector is locked-in and ready.

    Does that make me a fence sitter? It would be nice, I guess, if wire made some real improvement as opposed to just a difference. Until there is bona fide reasons to do so, I have no intention of any further investigation into ICs and speaker wire.

    jimHJJ(...bass and treble controls are quite satisfactory, thank you...)
    You may be falling behind developments in wire. According to some cable makers' web sites, the more expensive cables are supposed to be neutral rather than act like tone controls. So the best wire would be the wire that comes closest to being no wire at all. Of course, they still make the other kind too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by okiemax
    You may be falling behind developments in wire. According to some cable makers' web sites, the more expensive cables are supposed to be neutral rather than act like tone controls. So the best wire would be the wire that comes closest to being no wire at all. Of course, they still make the other kind too.
    You are onto the crux of the matter. A perfect cable would be 100% neutral and pass the signal from A to B along its length without any alteration of the signal whatsover.

    The problem is that it is proposed that wire like 12 gauge zip cord can also do this or at least to a degree that any change to the signal would not be audible. When people claim that 12 gauge zip cord is inferior to one of those more expensive cables, then it has to be shown that the zip cord is altering the signal in an audible manner. I suppose this can be shown in rediculous circumstances like a thousand foot long cable or some extreme amplifier output impedences or weird speakers. But for most of us with mid or even hi fi amps and speakers with magnetic voice coils and 8, 6 or 4 ohm impendences, the math doesn't support it and there certainly have been no demonstrations to support it either.
    Friends help friends move,
    Good friends help friends move bodies....

  17. #17
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    "I think you are saying the cable hobbyists or yeasayers haven't provided evidence useful to professionals who want to apply their scientific training, and that this somehow invalidates their claims and puts them on a lower level than the professionals("to equate .... is nonsense"). This might be cause for frustration, but I don't see the logic in concluding that all the claims are wrong. Fence straddling would seem more reasonable."

    Actually, they are on a lower level. A much lower level. Can you imagine if people in other professions were operating under the same standards of equivalence you imply. Testimonial evidence for snake oil would be taken just as seriously as billion dollar cancer remedies that took scientists decades to develop. Around 1980, the University of the Trees, a cult in Holister California claimed that they could tune your car by praying and reciting chants to pyramids. How much more absurd does your line of reasoning get? Ask the people who believe in alien abductions if they hold much faith in what astronomers tell them. Then ask the psychiatrists in the nut houses they live in what they think.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    "I think you are saying the cable hobbyists or yeasayers haven't provided evidence useful to professionals who want to apply their scientific training, and that this somehow invalidates their claims and puts them on a lower level than the professionals("to equate .... is nonsense"). This might be cause for frustration, but I don't see the logic in concluding that all the claims are wrong. Fence straddling would seem more reasonable."

    Actually, they are on a lower level. A much lower level. Can you imagine if people in other professions were operating under the same standards of equivalence you imply. Testimonial evidence for snake oil would be taken just as seriously as billion dollar cancer remedies that took scientists decades to develop. Around 1980, the University of the Trees, a cult in Holister California claimed that they could tune your car by praying and reciting chants to pyramids. How much more absurd does your line of reasoning get? Ask the people who believe in alien abductions if they hold much faith in what astronomers tell them. Then ask the psychiatrists in the nut houses they live in what they think.
    If thousands of cancer patients claimed some folk remedy was curing them, you would be crazy not to take it seriously. Going into denial because somerthing conflicts with your preconceived notions is human nature, but it ain't scientific. If it were we probably still would be attributing impotence and peptic ulcers mostly to emotional causes.

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    Fence sitters are people that have purchased expensive cables and want to justify their purchases, even though deep down inside they know high end cables don't improve sound. One way of getting them off the fense is by shaking the fence they are sitting on like we are doing rate now.

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    "If thousands of cancer patients claimed some folk remedy was curing them, you would be crazy not to take it seriously."

    They did! In the 1960s it was a drug called Crebiacin.
    It happened again in the 1980s with a drug called Laetrile.
    (these may not have been spelled correctly)

    Not only didn't they work on the people who swore they had been saved but many thousands of other people who might have otherwise been saved lost their lives or additional time that they might have had with their families because they didn't seek whatever real help there was. Neither drug was ever FDA approved and both times there was a loud public outcry that "the medical establishment" was withholding valuable cures from the public. Some people who were desparate smuggled them into the US illegally while others left for foreign countries to get them. Just more hoaxes and scams preying on the hopes and fears of people who have no real knowledge and will believe whatever someone convincing enough can sell them. If the government couldn't or wouldn't shut those people down immediately, they aren't going to be wasting much time, effort and money on audiophile cables unless and until they decide its time to get around to it. A very low priority for them.

    BTW, you can easily track down hundreds if not thousands of current medical and other porduct hoaxes on the internet by doing a google search.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beckman
    Fence sitters are people that have purchased expensive cables and want to justify their purchases, even though deep down inside they know high end cables don't improve sound.
    Hmmm..

    I haven't purchased expensive cables..unless you consider 17 dollars for a 90 foot 12/2 speaker wire expensive.

    I was taught to model systems using wires that had zero resistance, zero inductance, no capacitance to ground..back in '73. And that understanding fully supports the sound the same camp...

    Then, as analog and digital progressed, that model was inadequate..millisecond tubes to attosecond x-ray pulses..

    As we learn more about human hearing capabilities and lateralization/soundstage perception, we see that the 20 to 20K model is starting to feel antiquated.

    As I learn more, I see more of what I don't know..

    I have no proof either way regarding cables..I learned well what I was taught, when core memory was all the vogue..and I have learned a bit more since that time.

    Guess I'm a fence sitter..and, trust me, you won't be able to shake that fence adequately to topple me..I have seen zero arguments in any of the forums that have swayed my understanding of the topic towards cables sound the same...and I also have bupkis in the way of science to show otherwise..just the remnants of what I was taught that agrees with your arguments..but, I remember that I also learned at that time that a capacitor was a capacitor, and an inductor was an inductor..boy, has that changed....

    But the good news is...I saved a lot on my car insurance.......

    Cheers, John

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    It may be like proving god doesn't exist. Or Santa Claus. It may be next to impossible to prove that it doesn't. But it would be possible to prove that it does. If it did. If in no other way, then by the people who claim that they hear a difference demonstrating it in a fair test of their hearing accuity. If they could show that they could pick out one from another in any test they could devise themselves, they could at least lend some credibility to their claim and provide a starting point for further investigation. After more than twenty years of marketing and selling this idea and the products which express it, they haven't done it even once as far as I can tell. I am sure you have read more of their stories and ads than I have. How long will it be before you throw up your hands and just say; you know what, it's worn so thin that I can't even pretend to have an open mind anymore until someone brings me something I can look at without laughing? That's the point I've reached. But then I may not have as much patience as you. Then again, I had about a 5 to 10 year headstart over you from what I read into your posting so you just may have a few more years before you reach that point too.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    until someone brings me something I can look at without laughing? That's the point I've reached. But then I may not have as much patience as you. Then again, I had about a 5 to 10 year headstart over you from what I read into your posting so you just may have a few more years before you reach that point too.
    Yah, some of the stuff being spouted is really funny...2 ps jitter, motor generator and piezo in speaker runs...

    But, the enviro I work in allows me the luxury of thinking about the esoteric e/m stuff, it actually coincides with a lot I do.

    Your enviro doesn't allow the luxury of speculation...If one of your customers does that, people can get hurt..at my place, if a magnet blowed up, it's a data point..never life threatening..career threatening maybe, but not life..

    Reach my point? maybe, but only if I had a vested interest in the outcome..

    So far, my only vested interest is in the discovery and the process..

    Geeze, again..you post at 5:00..till tomorrow

    Cheers, John

  24. #24
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    Sorry, I wasn't clear

    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    It was and is my profound pleasure that I had such an impact
    But, you need to stop chasing Bigfoot The man behind or rather under the suit confessed his involvment in the hoax
    Good oluck with the flying saucers. Make sure you get a two way ticket We'd miss you otherwise. But, if that is not possible, don't forget to write
    BIGFOOT was in the flying saucer, not me. Those extra-terrestrials kidnapped him so he could show them the secret of cold fusion. Talented guy, that bigfoot fella. He chanted a few lines and I'll be dogged if my stereo didn't sound better! My car didn't get tuned up, though.

    BTW, my post proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bigfoot exists. He uses Transparent cabling, in case you were wondering.

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    How do you know which one is neutral.....unless you rely on measurements.

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