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Thread: Using Cables as Tone Controls

  1. #26
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    I give the same advice to those doubting the impact a cable will have on the sound. It is a tone control but only in the sense that one end or the other of the audio spectrum will be affected. They can bottleneck a signal to impede the PrAT of a sound as well. (ICs)

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

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
    I give the same advice to those doubting the impact a cable will have on the sound. It is a tone control but only in the sense that one end or the other of the audio spectrum will be affected. They can bottleneck a signal to impede the PrAT of a sound as well. (ICs)

    Most every audio forum will have scientific "experts" ridicule anyone commenting on differences in sound based on a cable. DBT and pre-conceived expectations are the biggest "lie" induced into the result. To the point that they will embarrass those claiming a difference as shills trying to market a cable to the new and impressionable hobbyist. They will double talk the person with scientific jargon and tell them they are delusional or a liar. For one to have such a high level of education, they can be very biased and ignorant.
    And one has never taken up my offers to come hear for themselves in my system in 15 years.

  3. #28
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    Matching cables to a system.....

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    I think the most important aspect is matching. Evaluating a cable by itself it virtually useless. A cable becomes part of the system between the two attached devices and affects both.
    Yes, I agree with your position on the importance of matching to a system. I loved my Blue Marble Audio IC's and Digital Coax. The BMA had been in use strictly with solid state gear. Once I got the tube amps (Rogue and MiniWatt) it was like the BMA cables made each amp nosedive off a cliff. What at one time was a very integral component when connected to my former Rega and Belles gear then became basically unwanted and unneeded with the tube amps.

    So, I concur with what you said ..."evaluating cable by itself is virtually useless"...
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

  4. #29
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    And one has never taken up my offers to come hear for themselves in my system in 15 years.
    It's the debate that's more important than the discovery. Arrogance wallowing in ignorance = bliss by ignoring the journey to avoid being proved wrong. I find it comical that all the naysayers will use DBT results as proof when we know human accuracy in audio is far from reliable.

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

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

  5. #30
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
    Most every audio forum will have scientific "experts" ridicule anyone commenting on differences in sound based on a cable. DBT and pre-conceived expectations are the biggest "lie" induced into the result. To the point that they will embarrass those claiming a difference as shills trying to market a cable to the new and impressionable hobbyist. They will double talk the person with scientific jargon and tell them they are delusional or a liar. For one to have such a high level of education, they can be very biased and ignorant.
    Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality
    And sometimes, repeating everything you read as opposed to actually trying things for yourself becomes meaningless. Reading for education is great but real world practical experience counts just as much if not more.

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

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    Answer the questions Smokey

    CAN a difference in cables exist?

    SHOULD a difference in cables exist?

    If differences exist, WHY do they exist?

    CAN differences be measured?

    CAN we hear things that cannot be measured?

    CAN things be measured that we cannot hear or sense?

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

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

    - Have you ever tried different cables in your system?

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

    - Did you hear a difference?

    - What are your reference components?

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

  8. #33
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    My recent experience with AntiCables has been interesting. When the cables were not twisted in my system they are neutral. When twisted they brightened up and I lost instrumental textures and everything had a glassy sound. Twisted they are tone controls and non twisted and they are neutral.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
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    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    My recent experience with AntiCables has been interesting. When the cables were not twisted in my system they are neutral. When twisted they brightened up and I lost instrumental textures and everything had a glassy sound. Twisted they are tone controls and non twisted and they are neutral.
    No they didn't, you are just deaf and delusional. They sounded the same both ways or they are defective. I'm sure I read that somewhere.....

  10. #35
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    No they didn't, you are just deaf and delusional. They sounded the same both ways or they are defective. I'm sure I read that somewhere.....

    I have been told that before by someone who has never heard the cables. Just thinking a cable bad does not make it so.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  11. #36
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Have you ever thought the opposite may also be true whene one might seek higher education so they won't be bias and ignorant about cables. Some times "I can hear it" will not cut it in the real world where cables are not magical and out of realms of cable functionality
    Yes sir. Their education wasn't in the hobby but in their profession. The problem with this topic is that there are no documents supporting a change of cables in a formula that we are used to for scientific study. I was disappointed to find cables are pretty much "learn as you go" and there is no way of calculating what a cable will have on any two components. I've had similar issues with this synergy statement with components. How can one piece together a decent sounding rig without spending a lot of money.

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

  12. #37
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    CAN a difference in cables exist? Yes

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

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

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

    CAN we hear things that cannot be measured? Probably

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

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

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

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

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

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

    - What are your reference components? see signature

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

    Your turn, Smokey

  13. #38
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Ok Hyfi I bite, but you probably already know what my answers going to be

    -CAN a difference in cables exist?

    Yes it can as not all cables are created equal.

    -SHOULD a difference in cables exist?

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

    -If differences exist, WHY do they exist?

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

    -CAN differences be measured?

    In most cases with proper instruments yes it can.

    -CAN we hear things that cannot be measured?

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

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

    Most definitey. Harmonics are good example.

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

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

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

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

    - Have you ever tried different cables in your system?

    Not for sound, but for better specifications.

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

    Bluejean aka Belden cables.

    - Did you hear a difference?

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

    - What are your reference components?

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

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

    None that I am aware of.

  14. #39
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    - What are your reference components?

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


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

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

  15. #40
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    The question was posed because cables react differently to the mating components. Thats why this argument is useless because measuring cables that are not connected to components means nothing. It is how they react with them that makes the difference.
    Ok. I go along with that statement

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Ok. I go along with that statement

    And on the same note, wouldn't you also agree that to keep differences to minimum, we should choose a cable with good specifications (regardless of listening to it) to achieve transparency?
    And that is why all my cables are from well known reputable high quality MFGs.

    And yours are????

  17. #42
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    And yours are????
    Actually, he answered that question earlier - Belden labeled as Blue Jeans. I, too have used Belden for decades. I bought some bulk 1505F for use in my office since I needed a particularly long run and use 1694A in the digital connection between Squeezebox and Manley DAC in the garage. Belden is good, but not exceptional.

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    He did not, however, answer your question concerning a system point of reference. Without one, he is unable to make any real comparisons.

    His assertion that cable technology is as old as the light bulb is pretty funny. Apparently, Smoke has absolutely no awareness of modern materials technology or advanced RF shielding techniques. He is falling back to the days of clueless non-experiential guys like Mtrycraft.
    That is the exact points I have been trying to make since he has decided to throw his Hat into that ring and be the Official AR Naysayer. I have no problem with someone jumping in who has actually experimented some, with gear that would resolve the differences, and saying that they could not hear a difference. It's the bookworm with absolutely NO practical experience or first hand knowledge starts telling us that the cables we purchased for specific reasons are defective.
    Last edited by Hyfi; 05-25-2012 at 06:37 AM.

  19. #44
    RGA
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    You won't see me reviewing cables much if at all. Largely because they're system dependent so a cable or conditioner may do more or less for me than it would for you. So it's a bit of a pointless exercise. I have Tara Labs Prism 11 IC cables that were well reviewed back in the day. They really don't improve the sound over the cheap cable that came with my CD player. The Cambridge Audio CD 6 may not be the greatest but it was arguably the class leader in its day (or right there). If it is "better" it isn't better enough to pay 60 times the price for it over the $1 variety.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No one else does this.

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

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

  20. #45
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    No one else does this.
    Except of course for Sound Lab. While Dr. West doesn't market cabling himself, the backplates can be cabled with whatever cable you choose:

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

  21. #46
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    His assertion that cable technology is as old as the light bulb is pretty funny. Apparently, Smoke has absolutely no awareness of modern materials technology or advanced RF shielding techniques.
    Yes, advanced RF shielding techniques using 150 year old Maxwell's equation laws

  22. #47
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Yes, advanced RF shielding techniques using 150 year old Maxwell's equation laws
    Despite that, the industry has no qualitative metric for this important quality. I had a really funny exchange with Montrous Mike and Zapped by Jitter on this topic:

    Funny thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Belden's technology has been greatly improved upon elsewhere.
    So has McDonald's.

  23. #48
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    Funny? Shirley you jest..

    j

  24. #49
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron View Post
    Funny?
    I always find the speculations of non-experiential theorists funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron View Post
    Shirley you jest.
    And...


  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    I always find the speculations of non-experiential theorists funny.
    Uh oh...polysyllabic..I'm in trouble now..

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

    j

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