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  1. #26
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Yes, they are sitting, in the package in my TV/Audio room. 'Been there for two weeks. Aside from watching 24 last night, I hadn't been in there for a week. It's just too busy this time of year.

    K, let us know how they work for ya. Are you going to be comparing them to other cables?
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  2. #27
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    'Flier, as I recall I got the Belden 1800F with Neutrix connectors.

    Yes, I'll be interested to hear you opinion about sound differences from AudioQuest. I'd say you won't hear a difference nor that the diff is just your imagination. After all, I just admitted to hearing differences in speaker fuses, generic @ $0.20 versus HiFi-Tuning @ $60.00.
    I compared the Belden from BJC with Canare Quads from Cablesolutions.com and I think the Belden are slightly more revealing. BJC actually sells both and recommends the Beldens. I only have 2' cables and both use the same end so it's very slight. Might hear more of a difference on longer runs.

  3. #28
    nightflier
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    IB,

    How do the BJC & CableSolutions cables compare on price? Do the Beldens really sound better, or just different? Of course, being only 2' cables makes the comparing a little harder than if the cables were 20'.

    Feanor,

    I've read a lot of stuff about those fuses, but let's be honest, there is no way in heck that a fuse could possibly cost $60 to produce - there's a little too much greed in that formula. I realize that $60 is still not much for many of us, but I still have to believe that they are a rip-off. A fuse is about as cheap a component as there is. Couldn't it just as well be that the HFT fuse sits just slightly tighter in its socket and thus improves connectivity enough to be audible?

    Sorry to be so cup-is-half-full about it, but I really think there's way too much snake oil in the whole cable argument. I've been using Mapleshade speaker cables of late, expecting to hear at least something different, but there is no audible difference. I'm sorry to say this Mr. Sprey, but I'm not hearing that "everything improved, [or that] the music seemed to be a lot closer to my ears and my heart." I happen to own DSOTM, as you recommended, on CD, SACD, as well as LP, and I still can't say that "the opening heartbeat sounds [more] supernatural" than with my other speaker cables. I'm going to keep the cables, but only because I need them and I like the fact they are thin and hardly visible, but they are just cables to me.

  4. #29
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Well, yeah

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    ...

    Feanor,

    I've read a lot of stuff about those fuses, but let's be honest, there is no way in heck that a fuse could possibly cost $60 to produce - there's a little too much greed in that formula. I realize that $60 is still not much for many of us, but I still have to believe that they are a rip-off. A fuse is about as cheap a component as there is. Couldn't it just as well be that the HFT fuse sits just slightly tighter in its socket and thus improves connectivity enough to be audible?
    ....
    It could just be that. Or it could be just my imagination or my mood at time of listening. For me the difference, such as it actually was, was very slight, akin to wiping a light layer of dust off you monitor.

    On the other hand, emaidel as quite adamant that the Hi-fy Tuing fuses made as substantial difference for his Dalquist speakers.

  5. #30
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    IB,

    How do the BJC & CableSolutions cables compare on price? Do the Beldens really sound better, or just different? Of course, being only 2' cables makes the comparing a little harder than if the cables were 20'.
    The 2 foot Belden pair cost me $55 shipped. BJC sells XLR with the same Neutronic ends on Belden or Canare and the Canare were $5 more each for a 2 foot length. Prices subject to change. (LOL) BJC says the Canare has higher capacitance but better shielding. I asked them which sounded cleaner and they couldn't tell me their opinion. I already had a pair of the Canares and seeing as I need 7 total for my new H/T amp figured I'd just compare a few and keep the ones I liked the best in my stereo setup, put the rest in the H/T.

    Definitely different. I went down and listened again tonight before I answered to see if it was my mood, thanks Bill, or a reality. The bass is more prevalent on the Canare and the Belden just seem slightly more detailed, cymbals sound crisper to my ear and I prefer them with my equipment. My Preludes have a silk tweeter. On speakers with a hard dome tweeter it might be too bright but sounds smoother/cleaner on mine than the Canares. It seems that with each upgrade the bass gets tighter and less prevalent. Just for fun last night I put on a CD I hadn't listened to in years and changed my cables back to the Fusion RCA Radio Shack used to carry. Funny how everything sounded more like I was used to hearing it! Kinda liked it! I switched back to my DB-25 cable from DVD to PRE/PRO and XLR from PRE to AMP and could hear what I had been missing, but it didn't sound like I was used to. Funny how at times we want to hear it the way it sounded in the old days instead of how it was recorded!

  6. #31
    nightflier
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    Ah, the old days!

    Quote Originally Posted by IBSTORMIN
    Funny how at times we want to hear it the way it sounded in the old days instead of how it was recorded!
    'Must be why I always go back to LPs, despite all the pops and the extra "work" involved....

    Regarding the XLRs, I finally got a chance to set up the Odyssey Candela preamp with the right gear so that I can do some A/B testing between it and the Plinius CD-LAD. The last time I did this I was using strictly RCA cables, but this time I'll have a few more XLR cables on hand. The Candela isn't truly balanced, since the jacks are connected to the same outputs as the RCA jacks. But Klaus at Odyssey said that this should not be audible on cables that are short (1M). Does that sound right to you guys? I'm not an engineer, but I guess the logic is probably correct.

  7. #32
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    'Must be why I always go back to LPs, despite all the pops and the extra "work" involved.....
    I'm thinking this is why some people prefer "warm" sounding systems. Because it sounds more like what we heard back in the day. Thoughts??

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Regarding the XLRs, I finally got a chance to set up the Odyssey Candela preamp with the right gear so that I can do some A/B testing between it and the Plinius CD-LAD. The last time I did this I was using strictly RCA cables, but this time I'll have a few more XLR cables on hand. The Candela isn't truly balanced, since the jacks are connected to the same outputs as the RCA jacks. But Klaus at Odyssey said that this should not be audible on cables that are short (1M). Does that sound right to you guys? I'm not an engineer, but I guess the logic is probably correct.
    As I learned in another thread, fully balanced gives you a 6dB gain and through design a cleaner signal. Here is what I found on the subject:

    http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/ba...-balanced.html

    From what people say it is more noticable on long runs. I am interested in your thoughts with your cables. Let us know!

    Along this line, what can people tell me about BAT?

  8. #33
    nightflier
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    Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.

  9. #34
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.
    So whats ya going to use on the new DAC??
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  10. #35
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.
    It might only make a difference on truly balanced systems. Do you hear a difference with RCA cables?

  11. #36
    nightflier
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    Round 2

    Still no difference. I've had time to try all sorts of different combinations, different amps, premaps, sources, and it's all a wash. Maybe these cables are just that similar? If so, then they should cost the same, too. Well the Canares do look a lot nicer, maybe that's where the 300% markup comes from?

    No difference with RCA cables either. Aside from the increase in volume (which really makes comparing a PITA) it's the same all around. So my conclusion is: buy the cheapest XLR cables you can find, provided they are well built. And if you care about impressing your friends, buy thick, colorfully-jacketed ones.

  12. #37
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    No difference with RCA cables either. Aside from the increase in volume (which really makes comparing a PITA) it's the same all around. So my conclusion is: buy the cheapest XLR cables you can find, provided they are well built. And if you care about impressing your friends, buy thick, colorfully-jacketed ones.
    If you can't hear the diffference......I'm jealous. Seriously. You can go out and buy any cables and BE HAPPY!!!!!............

    Dam jealous!

  13. #38
    nightflier
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    Either that, or my system isn't up to snuff (at least I'm sure that's what the audiosnobs at Stereophile would say).

  14. #39
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Either that, or my system isn't up to snuff (at least I'm sure that's what the audiosnobs at Stereophile would say).
    Your equipment looks much better than mine. Your RCA's might just be of a quality equal to XLR's and that's why you don't hear a difference. I'm comparing BJC Belden XLR to their RCA and there is definitely a difference. But then I heard a difference in 2 foot XLR's. I'll have to do another a-b comparison and see if I'm imagining things on the XLR's.

  15. #40
    nightflier
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    Also check volume levels, XLR connectors are typically louder.

  16. #41
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    I like this explanation....

    "Balanced Audio Cables

    Balanced Sound CableBalanced audio cables use an extra line, and consist of a hot line (positive), cold line (negative) and earth. The audio signal is transmitted on both the hot and cold lines, but the voltage in the cold line is inverted (i.e. the polarity is changed) so it is negative when the hot signal is positive. These two signals are often referred to as being 180 degrees out of phase with each other but this is technically incorrect — the signals are not actually out of phase, they are opposite polarities, i.e. one signal is effectively flipped upside down rather than being delayed 180. This confusion could be due to the fact that in a graphical representation of a sine wave the effect of changing polarity and changing the phase 180 looks the same.

    When the cable is plugged into an input (on a mixer or other equipment) the hot and cold signals are combined. Normally you would expect these two signals to cancel each other out, but at the input stage the inversion is reversed before being merged together, so they actually combine to form a stronger signal.

    Along the length of the cable, noise can be introduced from external sources such as power cables, RF interference, etc. This noise will be identical on both hot and cold lines. This is known as a common mode signal - a signal which appears equally on both conductors of a two wire line.

    So the hot and cold lines carry two signals: A desirable audio signal which has an opposite voltage on each line, and unwanted noise which is the same on both lines.

    This is where the trick of balanced audio kicks in. At the input stage when the inverted audio signal is re-inverted to make both desirable audio signals the same, the unwanted noise is inverted. Viola - all the unwanted noise is cancelled out, leaving only the combined original signal."
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  17. #42
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Also check volume levels, XLR connectors are typically louder.
    I know, my system is fully balanced and it gives a 6dB gain.

  18. #43
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    I like this explanation....

    "Balanced Audio Cables
    I do too. I posted it in another discussion a while back.

  19. #44
    nightflier
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    Just out of curiosity, how do others do A/B testing between XLR and RCA cables? I use a volume control box which adds another obstacle to one of the two sets of cables, and so I hardly consider my testing conclusive. Unless I had one of those preamps that can actually set volume presets independently for each input (I don't), or use two identical preamps (I've done this in the past when I had the equipment), I really don't see how to fairly do an A/B test between the two cable types.

    Fortunately I do have components with multiple XLR inputs and outputs (also rare, BTW), so testing between different XLR cables is possible for me. Of course, like many of you, my XLR cables are of different lengths which aslo poses a problem. I know A/B testing has it's share of issues as well, so I'm only asking about the practical side of this.

    ...maybe it's a good thing I can't hear any differences.

  20. #45
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Just out of curiosity, how do others do A/B testing between XLR and RCA cables? I use a volume control box which adds another obstacle to one of the two sets of cables, and so I hardly consider my testing conclusive. Unless I had one of those preamps that can actually set volume presets independently for each input (I don't), or use two identical preamps (I've done this in the past when I had the equipment), I really don't see how to fairly do an A/B test between the two cable types.

    Fortunately I do have components with multiple XLR inputs and outputs (also rare, BTW), so testing between different XLR cables is possible for me. Of course, like many of you, my XLR cables are of different lengths which aslo poses a problem. I know A/B testing has it's share of issues as well, so I'm only asking about the practical side of this.

    ...maybe it's a good thing I can't hear any differences.
    My amp has a switch on the back that I can switch from balanced to unbalanced. It's just a case of getting out the chair, running around in back of the amp, flipping the switches and running around in front, adjust the volume and listen again. NOT the easiest to do I will admit. Maybe mine is more like A................... / .................. B testing!

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