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Thread: Using Cables as Tone Controls

  1. #51
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    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


    So has McDonald's.
    Pithy and sarcastic...a double threat guy!!!
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
    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.
    May be some truth in that?

    It is an accurate statement with respect to IC's and PC's.

    Where was this article, I'd like to peruse it.

    j

    ps..my goodness, I've been a member on this site longer than everyone else in the thread..you guys are all newbies!!!

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron View Post
    j

    ps..my goodness, I've been a member on this site longer than everyone else in the thread..you guys are all newbies!!!
    No, the dates were reset at some point. I am close to 15 years now

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    No, the dates were reset at some point. I am close to 15 years now
    Nope, nope, nope...not buyin it...can't hear ya.

    I'm oldest...I know that for a fact...read it on a forum..

    Very odd, why was my date not reset?

    j

  5. #55
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron View Post
    Nope, nope, nope...not buyin it...can't hear ya.

    I'm oldest...I know that for a fact...read it on a forum..

    Very odd, why was my date not reset?

    j
    You're a newbie compared to me. -Bruce

  6. #56
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLZapped View Post
    You're a newbie compared to me. -Bruce

    Bumping an almost two year old thread. Nothing new to talk about.
    JohnMichael
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  7. #57
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Bumping an almost two year old thread. Nothing new to talk about.

    This is a bump:

    ...



    I replied. Besides, I haven't been here in that long. Sheesh.....

  8. #58
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Smokey...answer me this question please. I have a Marantz AVR. When I use silver interconnects, the sound becomes brighter with more extended high frequencies and less bottom end . When I use copper on that same AVR, the sound is more neutral. The same happens with those same cables on my Musical Fidelity CDP. Would you say the interconnects changed the sound? OR am I just imagining things?
    Could someone say Placebo effect, and/or just getting used to a different effect that cable "could" place on the sound?

    Here is the problem I have with this whole argument. In order to hear the effects of cabling, one has to completely eliminate the problems with the room, overall system synergy - and/or have signal chain that can reveal the minute difference in the presence of room nodes and modes. 95% percent of the rooms in normal homes(when the background/ambient noise is included) don't have the resolution to do this. So, at this level of detail, we are arguing majors versus minors. For most, it is all theory, but no achievable performance at that level.

    In most rooms there is a 12-48db difference in signal levels in the room at certain frequencies. Can cabling introduce that kind of discrepancy? No. So what do you tackle? New cables, or addressing room acoustics?

    The answer is what is most audible - and that is not the cable.
    Sir Terrence

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  9. #59
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLZapped View Post
    This is a bump:

    ...



    I replied. Besides, I haven't been here in that long. Sheesh.....

    I understand but since you were back I wondered if anything was new?
    JohnMichael
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  10. #60
    Charm Thai™
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    I tend not to get too concerned with cabling as I primarily look for sturdy construction and low noise. I don't have the patience to really audition and compare a bunch of different interconnects but i do like reading about others' experiences. During my limited experiments i haven't heard too much difference between similarly priced cables but I don't doubt they can make an audible difference in some cases.

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    Nothing has changed for me, I still use the Groneberg ICs between my OPPO93 and Rotel Receiver. I have since changed out the speakers in this system, except for my outdoor speakers which is about all this gets used for. I swapped out my known bright JM Labs with a crappy little pair of Polk speakers. The JMs are now in a much better setup and getting used along with a Hafler945 pre and Stratos Amp with another OPPO93 doing double duty for HT and CD playback.

    Aside from cable theory, just like how MFGs have a House Sound for Amps, Speakers, or whatever they sell, Cable MFGs do the same thing.

  12. #62
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I am enjoying my Cardas Parsec IC's. They have broken in and are sounding great after 50-60 hours of use. It could be that I am just getting use to them but they do have a slightly warmer edge to them and have cut down on some sibilance compared to my BJC's. I may drop in the BJC's back in just to see if there really is a difference.
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    I am enjoying my Cardas Parsec IC's. They have broken in and are sounding great after 50-60 hours of use. It could be that I am just getting use to them but they do have a slightly warmer edge to them and have cut down on some sibilance compared to my BJC's. I may drop in the BJC's back in just to see if there really is a difference.
    My uneducated bet is that a Cardas cable will sound different than a BJ cable.

  14. #64
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    My uneducated bet is that a Cardas cable will sound different than a BJ cable.
    The BJC's seem to have a little deeper bass but the Cardas has a little more detail and a more pleasing sound.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    The BJC's seem to have a little deeper bass but the Cardas has a little more detail and a more pleasing sound.
    Ahhhh, it's all in your head

  16. #66
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Could someone say Placebo effect, and/or just getting used to a different effect that cable "could" place on the sound?

    Here is the problem I have with this whole argument. In order to hear the effects of cabling, one has to completely eliminate the problems with the room, overall system synergy - and/or have signal chain that can reveal the minute difference in the presence of room nodes and modes. 95% percent of the rooms in normal homes(when the background/ambient noise is included) don't have the resolution to do this. So, at this level of detail, we are arguing majors versus minors. For most, it is all theory, but no achievable performance at that level.

    In most rooms there is a 12-48db difference in signal levels in the room at certain frequencies. Can cabling introduce that kind of discrepancy? No. So what do you tackle? New cables, or addressing room acoustics?

    The answer is what is most audible - and that is not the cable.

    I have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless what your room is doing to the sound if you are very familiar with the sound it is easy to discern the differences in cables. Two sets of IC's that emphasized the upper frequencies were silver and copper plated with silver. At first I thought how open and extended only to become irritating.

    I have always wondered if a two channel system with no sound processing will enable someone to hear the differences in cables easier than in a multichannel system. Of course I also prefer solid core cables over stranded wires.
    JohnMichael
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  17. #67
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    I have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless what your room is doing to the sound if you are very familiar with the sound it is easy to discern the differences in cables. Two sets of IC's that emphasized the upper frequencies were silver and copper plated with silver. At first I thought how open and extended only to become irritating.

    I have always wondered if a two channel system with no sound processing will enable someone to hear the differences in cables easier than in a multichannel system. Of course I also prefer solid core cables over stranded wires.
    Sorry JM, don't buy your statement at all. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has been able to identify the difference between two cables in un-sited listening test. NOBODY!! They have done demo's many times at AES. Most listening tests up to this point have been sited, and the measured difference so small that room resonances, reflection patterns, Reverberation times, and various other acoustical issues would far dominate our listening than the cables themselves. How do you separate the room, the cable, the recording, and the characteristics of the speakers themselves when the room is the loudest component in the system? You can't. It is well known that a great recording can be neutered by poor room/speaker interaction, and that makes your statement rather subjective than objective.

    I know how strong the Placebo effect is, and apparently so do many researchers as well. If you WANT it to sound different, it usually will.

    Lastly, the object of IC's is to pass the signal with little or no damage. If a cable is emphasizing anything and it is audible, then the cable is not going to meet that objective. It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are. If I move a reflective or absorptive piece of furniture in the room, that will obviously change our perception of sound quality more than cable will both measurably, and audibly.
    Sir Terrence

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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post

    It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are.
    Wow, after all this time, we finally agree on something. Did ya happen to notice the Title of this thread?

    Thread: Using Cables as Tone Controls

  19. #69
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Sorry JM, don't buy your statement at all. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has been able to identify the difference between two cables in un-sited listening test. NOBODY!! They have done demo's many times at AES. Most listening tests up to this point have been sited, and the measured difference so small that room resonances, reflection patterns, Reverberation times, and various other acoustical issues would far dominate our listening than the cables themselves. How do you separate the room, the cable, the recording, and the characteristics of the speakers themselves when the room is the loudest component in the system? You can't.
    Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

    The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid

  20. #70
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    ...
    I know how strong the Placebo effect is, and apparently so do many researchers as well. If you WANT it to sound different, it usually will.

    Lastly, the object of IC's is to pass the signal with little or no damage. If a cable is emphasizing anything and it is audible, then the cable is not going to meet that objective. It is nothing more than a tone control, much like tube amps and preamps are. If I move a reflective or absorptive piece of furniture in the room, that will obviously change our perception of sound quality more than cable will both measurably, and audibly.
    Well some would say (and have said) that it's fine to use i/cs for tone control. For my part, I use a digital equalizer plug-in in my computer music player; it works brilliantly and it's free.

    I've tried to maintain an open mind on cables for many years and have occasionally tried different makes. However none have made any noticeable difference for me. Believers take note: I don't say that cables can't sound different, only that I haven't hear significant differences among those I've tried.

    Some makes of cable incorporate filter networks, e.g. MIT, Transparent, Siltech, (which aren't among those I've tried). It makes sense that they might sound different. A member here has graciously offered to lend me a pair; I'm enthusiastic to listen and I'll keep an open mind.

    But as for placebo effect, hell yes! If it weren't for all the earnest testimonials for 'Brilliant Pebbles', 'Clever Little Clocks', etc., Machina Dynamica would have been run out of business years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

    The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid
    I was just in another conversation about that Smokey.

    I was thinking, why cannot one setup a recording device and two mics and play a song with cable A. Switch to cable B and play/record again.

    Then take the two recordings and sync the playback with a switching device as you suggested. I also thought about doing 4 recordings, 2 with A and 2 with B.

    Then someone else would keep hitting the switch and see if the listener can just hear any differences. It just doesn't sound like it should be that hard of a test.

  22. #72
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Also add to the mix that memory will be our reference point when comparing cables as to what we heared and currently comparing to. That unperdictable variable (our memory) alone make test result questionable.

    The only way to eliminate memory variable in the test would be to do instantaneous switching between cables so listener don't have rely on their memory to compare cables. The test results would be more valid
    This has already been done using a ABX switching device at AES. Nobody could guess which cable was which using that device.

    I am going to tell you why using IC as a tone control is just plain dumb(even mentioning it is as well).

    Your tone control cable may sound good with one recording, and lousy with another. Since there is no way to control the effect of the cable(look ma, no knobs), it is not something that is compatible with all recordings. A cable that is bright(defective) will make recordings that are bright, brighter thereby making it unlistenable rather than just noticeably altered. Cables that are dark sounding will do the same thing to darker more diffused recordings.

    Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.
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  23. #73
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post

    Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.

    When posts are becoming more insulting than valuable not visiting would be a good thing. When your insults far outweigh contributions it is time to bid ado.
    JohnMichael
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  24. #74
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Note to moderators. When you start erasing or editing comments, don't be surprised when people stop posting and visiting the site.
    And if we allow members to insult or attack other members it has the same effect.

    I think that personal attacks are far more dangerous to the future of this site than a few edits to keep things cordial.

  25. #75
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I was just in another conversation about that Smokey.

    I was thinking, why cannot one setup a recording device and two mics and play a song with cable A. Switch to cable B and play/record again.

    Then take the two recordings and sync the playback with a switching device as you suggested. I also thought about doing 4 recordings, 2 with A and 2 with B.

    Then someone else would keep hitting the switch and see if the listener can just hear any differences. It just doesn't sound like it should be that hard of a test.
    That would certainly eliminate the memory factor. Another method might be to use two high quality switches at each end of components to switch between cables

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