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  1. #1
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    do speaker cables make a difference???

    the answer is a positive YES

    recently i posted how interconnects made a difference. Tara Labs 5500i sounded more mellow and more agreable than monster THX (with music).

    But now ive compared tara labs speaker cables (14awg) with Carol Superflex 12awg bought at home depot. I swear by this, cables make 110% difference for sure. There is no question, i gave them a very fair trial (to the point that i wanted HD to be the same! talk about bias i wanted them so much to be so the same that i went out of my way to do the trade!!) and the are not. As far as i am concerned, i am 110% sure that speaker cables DO make a difference. So, I will now look into higher quality (which of course comes with a bigger pirece tag) speaker cables. After all, i did spend a few grand on my system. Sorry to everyone that really thinks speaker cables make no audible difference - because they do! I swear by this too. So does my girlfriend to the point that not only did both of us say that Tara was better, but we both gave the same sound qualities that were different.

    Again, sorry to all you non-believers because i really wanted to believe that there was no audible difference between speaker cables. Unfortunately (financially), there is.

  2. #2
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    You are 110% sure?!

    Nobody has ever shown that loudspeakercables of reasonable construction is audbile different from 12 AWG cable. From your description there is nothing that support your "110%". To do confidence testing you need to make a blind test. With the help of some friends and random trial. If you can pick correct cable 20/20 then you are close to 100% confidence.

    You have shown nothing of this, and thus you claim that there are audible differences, is just something many claim but nobody has ever been able to prove during ≈ 30 years of cable debate.

    T

  3. #3
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    Another walking talking advertisement for the cottage audio cable industry. How do I know you are not a shill? OK, I'll play your game. Let's assume you're not.

    "do speaker cables make a difference???
    the answer is a positive YES"

    "now ive compared tara labs speaker cables (14awg) with Carol Superflex 12awg bought at home depot. I swear by this, cables make 110% difference for sure. There is no question, i gave them a very fair trial"

    You'd be the first one to ever do that. Did you give them an independently conducted DBT or did you just connect them and decided they sounded better than the other cables. What YOU call fair, people who really want to get at the truth would call a joke.

    "So does my girlfriend to the point that not only did both of us say that Tara was better, but we both gave the same sound qualities that were different."

    If you are telling us the truth about your girlfriend, it is probably what I have concluded all along and that is that women will say ANYTHING and have learned a long time ago to just AGREE with their audio geek boyfriends and husbands to just get them to shut up about this topic which is the ultimately boring subject for them.

    "I will now look into higher quality (which of course comes with a bigger pirece tag) speaker cables. After all, i did spend a few grand on my system. "

    Exactly what the cable industry is hoping for. Once you get caught up in this way of thinking, they've got you. Now there is no limit to what you will ultimately spend on cables because right, wrong, or otherwise, you took the bait and are firmly on their hook.

    So the great cable farce goes on.

  4. #4
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    And the beat goes on.....

    God love people and the web! Two extremes, each shouting past the other, each carrying on a glorious tradition that now spans decades:

    "As far as i am concerned, i am 110% sure that speaker cables DO make a difference."
    _____________________

    "So the great cable farce goes on."
    _____________________

    Only now the whole world gets to "enjoy" this perpetual shouting match.

    Is there anyone out there who just buys things because of the enjoyment he derives from his purchases (or lack thereof) and doesn't need every other human being to act and believe exactly as he does?

    I guess we'd never run across such a person on the Internet. He'd be too busy listening to and enjoying his system to waste his and everyone else's time.

    BTW, does all this "hot air" contribute to global warming?

  5. #5
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    I would think that sitting on a fence would get rather painful after awhile.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I would think that sitting on a fence would get rather painful after awhile.
    Not at all. What's painful is watching so many people make wild and foolish statements.

    I dare say that my platform on the fence that divides the two opposing religious camps in the wire crusades is far cleaner and more solid than the slipery pig slop in which the dogmatists of both persuasions choose to wallow.

  7. #7
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    Everytime you sit on your fence you get shot at from both sides. Each side figures you are really on the other side. You make statements which you think will provoke discussion and it only gets people angry at you. I'd have thought that by now you would have figured that out. Generally, in a war, neutrals have a tendency to duck a lot. It's their way of surviving.

  8. #8
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Everytime you sit on your fence you get shot at from both sides. Each side figures you are really on the other side. You make statements which you think will provoke discussion and it only gets people angry at you. I'd have thought that by now you would have figured that out. Generally, in a war, neutrals have a tendency to duck a lot. It's their way of surviving.
    If you're not on the fence you're wrong. Fact = no one has proven an audible difference with DBT's --- FACT = DBTs are not the answer in psychological testing. Therefore, both sides will never solve the issue because both sides do not understand psychological testing or validity. One side uses no science to back up their claim and the other side uses science ineptly to discredit the other. A DBT in its very definition cannot prove A=B no matter how they want to weasal around it that is a fact.

    Thus you better be on the fence.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    You'd be the first one to ever do that. Did you give them an independently conducted DBT or did you just connect them and decided they sounded better than the other cables.
    Same tired old "we can't tell the difference with the POS equipment we're using" argument. None of you guys has EVER provided test results using anything better than mid-fi gear.

    rw

  10. #10
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    And you have the same tired old "I can hear it but I can't prove it" and "what do you expect from that mid fi junk you listen to?" Seems like you haven't give up either.

  11. #11
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    I worked for an audio shop for a month and I can tell you that the differance between a $15 cable and a $80 is the $15 cable makes about $1 commission and the $80 cable makes $9. Cables are marked up about 50-60%. The cable industry just wants your money, I mean the $80 cable must sound better then the $15 cable, it cost more and looks better, right?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Same tired old "we can't tell the difference with the POS equipment we're using" argument. None of you guys has EVER provided test results using anything better than mid-fi gear.

    rw
    Pure speculation.

    T

  13. #13
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    first of all, my girlfriend is sitting right by my side. she actually likes stereo stuff almost as much as i do. in fact, she was the one that bought the more expensive cables, and i found a way to save her money by going with Home Depot 12awg. Without question, she was delighted at being able to save over $150 (after all, this means more shoes for her! {women have their weak points as well})
    Anyway, i hoocked up the HD cables and i wanted them to work, i was very happy to have saved my girlfriend (which according to all of you should give a rats ass about stereo stuff to begin with) some money. She was very happy to do this. And then i said "honey come listen to the new speaker cable" and she flat out hated them. It made me qustion, bevcause for a moment i was psychologically overwhelnmed with wanting the HD to perform just as equal so that i could save her money which was my personal ultimate goal (wanna talk freudian here? ive read a book or two too). But she didnt like the system anymore. She said it was sounding like a car stereo(hopefully exagerrating) that it lacked soundstage and was very shrill sounding with no depth at all. Words from my girlfriend, words from the one true person that i even thought knew nothing about audiophile lifestyles! She said it, not me. And from under my dark corner i gasped, saying: sweetie, thats what i feel about these cables too! "Cables? cables?" she askied, "i thought you were playing best buy speakers just to trick me".
    Guys, hear me now. there was no trick. all that was done is Home Depot cables were used in place of Tara Labs. Thats it. And she heard a difference so fast that she thought it was an entirely new system...really after this, how can you tell me there is no difference.

    On another side,
    If speaker cables Made No difference, then there would cease to be sooo many succesful speaker cable companys out there. You can use the "marketing" card for so long, but then it becomes mute, because neither I (captain frugal himself) nor a thousand other paying customers would simply succumb to expert marketeering unless they put "magic potion" in our cables so that when i touched them we would feel euphorically happy .
    Come on, give it a rest, no cable companys are drugging us to HAVE to like their cables better. The simple truth is that, well, there are audible differences. So sorry if your ears can not dissiminate between the two. But, my ears work damn fine.

    im not saying cables will make such an apparant difference in your system, what i am saying is that cables made all the difference in a hi-fi system. if you cannot hear this still, no worries, save yourself the extra bucks. be happy- thats what should be learned here. be happy and accept that sometimes, some people will hear a big audible difference between cable manufacturers, perhaps just not you. (dont forget for a moment that i was comparing 35c/foot cables with $10/foot cables.) you wouldnt want to drive a mercedes clk with honda civic tires would you? or do you not think there is a difference?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nusiclover
    first of all, my girlfriend is sitting right by my side. she actually likes stereo stuff almost as much as i do. in fact, she was the one that bought the more expensive cables, and i found a way to save her money by going with Home Depot 12awg. Without question, she was delighted at being able to save over $150 (after all, this means more shoes for her! {women have their weak points as well})
    Anyway, i hoocked up the HD cables and i wanted them to work, i was very happy to have saved my girlfriend (which according to all of you should give a rats ass about stereo stuff to begin with) some money. She was very happy to do this. And then i said "honey come listen to the new speaker cable" and she flat out hated them. It made me qustion, bevcause for a moment i was psychologically overwhelnmed with wanting the HD to perform just as equal so that i could save her money which was my personal ultimate goal (wanna talk freudian here? ive read a book or two too). But she didnt like the system anymore. She said it was sounding like a car stereo(hopefully exagerrating) that it lacked soundstage and was very shrill sounding with no depth at all. Words from my girlfriend, words from the one true person that i even thought knew nothing about audiophile lifestyles! She said it, not me. And from under my dark corner i gasped, saying: sweetie, thats what i feel about these cables too! "Cables? cables?" she askied, "i thought you were playing best buy speakers just to trick me".
    Guys, hear me now. there was no trick. all that was done is Home Depot cables were used in place of Tara Labs. Thats it. And she heard a difference so fast that she thought it was an entirely new system...really after this, how can you tell me there is no difference.

    On another side,
    If speaker cables Made No difference, then there would cease to be sooo many succesful speaker cable companys out there. You can use the "marketing" card for so long, but then it becomes mute, because neither I (captain frugal himself) nor a thousand other paying customers would simply succumb to expert marketeering unless they put "magic potion" in our cables so that when i touched them we would feel euphorically happy .
    Come on, give it a rest, no cable companys are drugging us to HAVE to like their cables better. The simple truth is that, well, there are audible differences. So sorry if your ears can not dissiminate between the two. But, my ears work damn fine.

    im not saying cables will make such an apparant difference in your system, what i am saying is that cables made all the difference in a hi-fi system. if you cannot hear this still, no worries, save yourself the extra bucks. be happy- thats what should be learned here. be happy and accept that sometimes, some people will hear a big audible difference between cable manufacturers, perhaps just not you. (dont forget for a moment that i was comparing 35c/foot cables with $10/foot cables.) you wouldnt want to drive a mercedes clk with honda civic tires would you? or do you not think there is a difference?

    And there has been tests using Transparents top-of-the line cable vs Supra Ply 12 AWG cable with people of the "cable believer" side. No difference.

    There have been tests using a top-notch speaker system, able to reproduce a perfect square-wave, 1 dB at listening position, and extremely low distortion. No audible differences between cables.

    What I can suspect, is that poor HiFi systems might benefit with good cables since poor equipment might be sensitive to cable impedance.

    T

    T

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    And you have the same tired old "I can hear it but I can't prove it" and "what do you expect from that mid fi junk you listen to?" Seems like you haven't give up either.
    The difference is that I qualify my comments with respect to the system involved. You make unsupported blanket claims. Which is indeed valid for the majority of folks asking what cable they should use with their Onkyo receiver.

    rw

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    And there has been tests using Transparents top-of-the line cable vs Supra Ply 12 AWG cable with people of the "cable believer" side. No difference.

    There have been tests using a top-notch speaker system, able to reproduce a perfect square-wave, 1 dB at listening position, and extremely low distortion. No audible differences between cables.
    Please provide details. What is a "top notch" speaker to you? Much less the rest of the reproduction chain.

    rw

  17. #17
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    See

    http://www.jrsaudio.se/dbtoncdplayers.htm

    This is a test which we made on request to show audible difference between CD players, discussion started at Audioreview a few years ago. One person from Audioreview was invited from the US and should have participated in the test, but he did not show up. John Stalberg is no longer working at the Studio.

    It is not a perfect test, but with all blind numerous blind tests with positive outcome made I would say that the data is pretty solid.

    This is for CD players and many other tests have been made with positive outcome. Many tests are made also for power amps. In a later test, the Halcro dm58 showed to be non-transparent using the ordinary inputs of the amp. The NAD208 is transparent up to 250W. The Rotel RB1080/1090 has also been shown to be transparent.

    For cables, there have been no positive outcome (i.e. difference) as long as the cables are reasonably constructed. For poor cables with "built-in" filters, that might be another story, but such cables are not interesting for the Swedish Audio Technical Society.

    Thomas

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    See

    http://www.jrsaudio.se/dbtoncdplayers.htm

    This is a test which we made on request to show audible difference between CD players, discussion started at Audioreview a few years ago. One person from Audioreview was invited from the US and should have participated in the test, but he did not show up. John Stalberg is no longer working at the Studio.

    It is not a perfect test, but with all blind numerous blind tests with positive outcome made I would say that the data is pretty solid.

    This is for CD players and many other tests have been made with positive outcome. Many tests are made also for power amps. In a later test, the Halcro dm58 showed to be non-transparent using the ordinary inputs of the amp. The NAD208 is transparent up to 250W. The Rotel RB1080/1090 has also been shown to be transparent.

    For cables, there have been no positive outcome (i.e. difference) as long as the cables are reasonably constructed. For poor cables with "built-in" filters, that might be another story, but such cables are not interesting for the Swedish Audio Technical Society.

    Thomas
    Very interesting article and unlike most reports here, actually spoke of test procedure and most of the equipment used. I do have a couple of questions. Speaking of wire, what interconnects and speaker wire was used? I don't want to pick on listener 1, but was he familiar with the "drum recording" prior to the test? I have a very nice Sheffield direct to disk drum recording, but I confess my sensitivity to small differences is better revealed with more complex material having voice or symphonic instruments. Were any other recordings used? I guess since two folks were 100% accurate, there was no need to with this CDP audibility test.

    rw

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Everytime you sit on your fence you get shot at from both sides. Each side figures you are really on the other side. You make statements which you think will provoke discussion and it only gets people angry at you. I'd have thought that by now you would have figured that out. Generally, in a war, neutrals have a tendency to duck a lot. It's their way of surviving.
    "You make statements which you think will provoke discussion and it only gets people angry at you. I'd have thought that by now you would have figured that out."

    Just like everyone else, I make statements that describe my position. If people get angry at me, that's their problem. Anger is not healthy.

    That's what I've figured out.

  20. #20
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    Since I was the person with two errors, I would say that I listened so much that I got tired of the sound. It is not easy to conduct an A-B test, I would have preferred an ABX test so that I could have compared the sound more easily. The faulty errors could have been due to mistakes.

    I was neither familiar with the equipment, the drum recording or the sound of the CD player before the test. The other two persons work at this studio, and they have this CD player there as a transport for a DAC. So they have listened much more to this CD player than me.

    The cables in the system is 4x.15 mm2 EKK solid core copper, I believe. The interconnects are RG62 or similar low-capacitance cable.

    Speaking of difference, numerous tests have been made which showed that very sharp transients (like hitting on the "border" of the drum) is very revealing. Also electronic music with low bass content (≈10 Hz).

    We tested several music CDs before we chose the specific drum section. The very big task before every test is to listen and find the part which is most revealing. Complex music should be "music difficult to reproduce by the equipment" which often turns out to be very dynamic, sharp transients and low bass content.

    Thomas

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    Since I was the person with two errors, I would say that I listened so much that I got tired of the sound.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    I was neither familiar with the equipment, the drum recording or the sound of the CD player before the test.
    You might want to try some familiar material next time. Music that you know well enough to play back in your head.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    Speaking of difference, numerous tests have been made which showed that very sharp transients (like hitting on the "border" of the drum) is very revealing.
    I guess it depends upon what music you favor. I, too, would get bored if all I heard repetitively was someone whacking a rim shot. Now I understand your first answer! I would much rather hear the intonation of a female voice or the complex harmonic structure of stringed or woodwind instruments. To hear the instruments reproduced in their space. As for electronic music, there are a couple of pieces I use. The intro to "Dido's" Honestly Ok band on the No Angel album contains a tasty little synthesized water droplet sound starting at 34 seconds repeating about a dozen times every two or three seconds. Or on the Oxygene 8 cut of Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene 7-13 album, there is a percussive "clicking" conterpart to the main melody that contains a rather complex envelope.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 05-03-2004 at 06:40 AM.

  22. #22
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    Comparing it to most other systems, the Ino Audio system is very revealing. Both recording engineers and those music artists that have been working in this teaching studio "Studio Blue" claim it is one of the better sounding studios in the world. So I would say it's a top-notch system. Still, no audible difference between cables have been reported. So, who would I trust? Blind tests made in top-notch systems with very experienced listeners? Or casual reports presented on internet forums made with no internal/external controls, not blinded, no statistics? For me the answer is very easy.

    http://www.studioblue.se/

    It's in Swedish, unfortunately.


    T

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    So, who would I trust? Blind tests made in top-notch systems with very experienced listeners? Or casual reports presented on internet forums made with no internal/external controls, not blinded, no statistics? For me the answer is very easy.
    If the assertions were only made by individuals on internet forums, then I would agree with you. I do trust (and know some of) the audio press and the hearing of manufacturers of components who claim their product sounds more lifelike using other (completely unrelated) company's better cables. They have nothing to prove. Finally, I trust my own hearing in A/B testing. You might match the hearing acuity of your fellow listeners 2 & 3 if you were to use familiar systems and musical content.

    I will agree, however, that I hear more differences among interconnects than speaker cables and the latter are likely far more system dependent. My vacuum tube power amp driving electrostatic speakers situaion is particularly challenging.

    rw

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    Absolutely, positively YES!...

    ...I've tried not using wires and the results were quite disappointing...

    Question: Anybody know the difference between wire and cable?

    Didn't think so...

    A local stereo/HT retailer/system installer, with many locations and many years in business, no longer sells Tara et al...they sell and use Monster exclusively...they used to sell 'em...seems curious to me...

    Contrary to the popular myth propagated by some re: the quality level of any given system required to realize any benefit from use of the more esoteric wiring, Monster(in it's literature) says "...smaller speakers and lower power amplifiers..." will see significant improvement...hmmm...curiouser and curiouser...

    "...110%..."? Not much diff, statistically...and how did you arrive at this number? Slightly wider sound stage? Ten percent more "inner details"? Grand piano sound like it had 8.8 more keys? Could be mood, volume levels, that extra glass of wine...the girlfriend? Have you ever been told what the other person thought you wanted to hear?

    jimHJJ(...more importantly, have you ever told yourself what you wanted to hear?...)

  25. #25
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_A
    See

    http://www.jrsaudio.se/dbtoncdplayers.htm

    This is a test which we made on request to show audible difference between CD players, discussion started at Audioreview a few years ago. One person from Audioreview was invited from the US and should have participated in the test, but he did not show up. John Stalberg is no longer working at the Studio.

    It is not a perfect test, but with all blind numerous blind tests with positive outcome made I would say that the data is pretty solid.

    This is for CD players and many other tests have been made with positive outcome. Many tests are made also for power amps. In a later test, the Halcro dm58 showed to be non-transparent using the ordinary inputs of the amp. The NAD208 is transparent up to 250W. The Rotel RB1080/1090 has also been shown to be transparent.

    For cables, there have been no positive outcome (i.e. difference) as long as the cables are reasonably constructed. For poor cables with "built-in" filters, that might be another story, but such cables are not interesting for the Swedish Audio Technical Society.

    Thomas
    Hi Fi CHoice magazines reviews and has been reviewing for over a decade in a panel of listeners blind and levels matched. It is not a DBT because differences are assumed so the panelists simply sit and review what they like and or dislike about componant A, B, C, D E etc.

    Interestingly Hi-Fi Choice has had owners from companies who were members of the panel and sometimes they didn't even choose their own product as best in the shootouts. Interestingly they manage to rate certain products(CD players cables etc) a 2 star versus others at 5 stars - and they measure the equipment as well. They even comment that some DACs because of their output give them a big advantage in a non level matched situation so be careful.

    Fact = any manufacturer CAN deliberately alter the sound of a cable or cd player to sound different than the rest -- since that is so they can also make it sound more pleasing to the ear(or some people's ears). It is in their best interest to make it sound different so they can stand apart from the rest. Once this is established if a test cannot tell a difference you need another test.

    Cable claims I'm wary of because the mark-up is totally ridiculous. A dealer here makes more profit on a $60.00 cable than a $600.00 Television - which would you rather sell. Cables take up less space in the store. And the difference at best is going to generally be subtle - if it is Night and Day then the cable has altered the frequency to such a degree it would probably be best avoided.

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