• 06-14-2009, 10:48 AM
    JoeE SP9
    I agree with Mr. Peabody. At one time I too thought all wires sounded the same. Having a brand new BS EE only gave me more courage to push that idea. In the last 30+ years as my gear got better and my reliance on textbooks grew less my own hearing made me realize that all wires and cables are not equal.
    For those that can't hear the differences different wires and cables make, that's good for you. It means more money to spend on CD's and LP's. If you can hear the difference I'm not going to preach to the converted.
    If you are ambivalent, borrow from a local retailer or try some from an online resource with 30 day return privileges. If you hear no difference return them and you've lost nothing. If you do hear a difference, have fun. You can now spend time, money and effort finding the ones that sound best in your system to your ears.
    BTW:
    Equalizers, expanders, companders and other "gadgets" can and often do mask the differences that cables and wires can exhibit.
    IOW:
    The simpler the system the more audible small differences become.
  • 06-14-2009, 10:56 AM
    Mr Peabody
    Good point about the EQ, I didn't even think about that.
  • 06-14-2009, 11:22 AM
    mlsstl
    Quote:

    JoeE SP9 said: "Equalizers, expanders, companders and other "gadgets" can and often do mask the differences that cables and wires can exhibit."
    That also gets back to the fact that most things in engineering (and life in general) are compromises. If one is having a speaker/room interaction that is solved by a parametric equalizer, that could easily be an improvement that is vastly more desirable than any change offered by a speaker wire.

    Some systems are also more sensitive to differences in RCL, even to the point of instability. One should point out that having a system that is more sensitive to those factors does not automatically translate to "better." Having a high-strung system is not a guarantee of performance.

    There is also the issue, in some cases, that fine-tuning a system's frequency response with expensive cables on a trial & error basis can be a rather back-assward way of essentially installing tone controls.

    My experience has been that speaker wire and interconnect differences are usually fairly subtle when one does hear them. I do tend to find the hyperbole some write with rather over-the-top. I think they do a disservice to the hobby of high fidelity when the language gets too grandiose in describing differences.

    Of course, balanced perspective is often the hardest thing for a human to possess!
  • 06-14-2009, 11:44 AM
    Mr Peabody
    I would agree that the differences between good cables can sometimes be subtle but the differences in a typical cable like come in the box and a quality cable are significant. You are welcome to come over to do some listening and cable comparisons if you wish. Or, if you wish, your place, then you can do the switching and i can see if I can still hear the difference. I traded my Transparent to IBStormin but I have my Siltech and can get some Transparent from MFP. I also have some BJC now.
  • 06-14-2009, 12:35 PM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drmorgan
    Hi Rudy,
    By the way, wire is wire: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
    Russell does a great job explaining how and why wire became a marketing gimmick. An ohms meter will validate any you select. The laws of physics still applies.

    That's a pretty amazing unilateral statement to make in an audio forum.
  • 06-14-2009, 01:39 PM
    hifitommy
    wire is......
    "By the way, wire is wire: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
    Russell does a great job explaining how and why wire became a marketing gimmick. An ohms meter will validate any you select. The laws of physics still applies."

    that is until you clean out your ears with q-tips and get some real equipment. i dont know what equip you have but with decent separates one should be able to discern cable diffs either speaker or interconnects.

    whether the diffs are from bing 'better' sounding or different sounding is another story. you must make up your own mind here. naturally the diffs are quite subtle but are assuredly there. and its not that i am advocating high priced wires, just affordable alternatives.

    there is a myriad of affordable wire that sounds good-AQ type 4 speaker cable, and many others. aq, cardas, kimber, blue jeans, etc all make various priced wire. or you can just ust what come free or cheeeeep. home depot extension cord for speakers is reputed to be purty good. i use malibu lighting wire for my rear channels because it is big enough and durable.

    wire however is not just wire, it has its own sound.
  • 06-14-2009, 02:09 PM
    mlsstl
    Quote:

    Mr Peabody said: "...but the differences in a typical cable like come in the box and a quality cable are significant."
    Since there is a subjective value attached to the differences between things, it is only natural that people will each place a different weight on the significance of what they hear.

    To me, a "significant" difference falls in the category of how a Klipshorn sounds compared to a Quad 57, for example. There are unquestioned major differences that affect which is better suited for a particular listener. Those two products are in major-league contrast to each other and few people would be unable to tell the difference.

    Short of just using absolutely the wrong cable in a situation (e.g., unshielded telephone wire from a turntable to phono input where the sound is plagued by hum and buzzing) I've never heard any comparison between wires that I would put in the dramatic category.

    I think we just need to be careful about the language used. It is just my observation that audiophiles often seem to have a flair for the dramatic when describing things. This can be so overboard that it ultimately damages their case, especially when non-audio enthusiasts are listening to the conversation.

    Just my two cents. ;-)
  • 06-14-2009, 02:17 PM
    hifitommy
    careful enough?
    just checking-i wrote:"naturally the diffs are quite subtle but are assuredly there"
  • 06-14-2009, 04:27 PM
    mlsstl
    Quote:

    hifitommy wrote: 'just checking-i wrote:"naturally the diffs are quite subtle but are assuredly there'"
    My apologies if you took my comment about overboard language as a reference to you. Nope, didn't mean you.

    However, anyone who has read any of the online audio forums knows there is no shortage of people who do get a bit carried away. ;-)
  • 06-14-2009, 05:19 PM
    hifitommy
    nope, no hurt feelings
    it was a backhanded way of showing others it can be done without being a fanatic. ohhhhh, i remember mtrycrafts and the chihuahuas, they were death on this kind of thing. and receivers were good enough for him too.
  • 06-14-2009, 05:24 PM
    02audionoob
    In the context of this thread, it seems like the question would not be whether you argue there is a difference with expensive cables but whether you would have them in your own ideal system.
  • 06-14-2009, 05:35 PM
    hifitommy
    do you think that if i had MBL101s----
    and the rest of the necessary equipment that i would buy low end wire?? nope. THEN i would be ev aluating the $1K and up wire. i wouldnt go to marc c bloome for tires if i had a bentley now would i?

    the more refined the system, the more you will notice differences like big buck aftermarket power cables and the like. but no sense in $1k cables in my system as of now. BUT i DO have a pair of acoustic zen silver interconnects that i won in the raffle at the LA/OC Audio Society meeting. and of course they occupy the preamp to amp spot.

    and NO, i havent done a rabid comparison to the aq ruby cables that were there before. maybe someday.
  • 06-14-2009, 10:45 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    That's a pretty amazing unilateral statement to make in an audio forum.


    The truth is "amazing"?
    I have a somewhat unique perspective on this subject, having been in law enforcement
    for some years.
    And hearing two "witnesses" argue about weather or not a perp is white or black(or, quote,,
    a "mexican") pretty much shakes up your world view about what people perceive.
    There is NO electronic difference between cables once you get to a certain q level.
    the rest is between the ears, not in them, and a lot of cable makers make great scratch off of this self delusion.
    I dont beleive in Santa clause, the easter bunny, or man loving lesbians either, BTW.:1:
  • 06-14-2009, 11:50 PM
    JoeE SP9
    I will stand by what I posted earlier. There are small differences in cables. The average receiver is not transparent enough to hear these differences. If someone does not hear those differences so be it. I can and people that visit can.I fail to see/hear what law enforcement or identifying "perps" has to do with the subject. Nobody here is attempting to identify a criminal. I'm reasonably sure those of us who hear differences in cables did not always think there were differences.
    Only after being dragged kicking and screaming did I come to believe and hear these small differences. My first wife was (she had extraordinary hearing) the first person to make me believe. I ran some single blind tests with her and she could reliably hear different cables. After she began describing what she heard and didn't hear I began to hear and understand what she was describing. This took a little time because her descriptive vocabulary was different from "audio speak".
    There is a lot more going on in wires and cables than you can measure with a meter whether it be a VTVM or DVM. Please don't regale me with links to web sites or textbooks. I have a BS EE and know all the technical reasons why wires are the same. In my system in my room there are audible differences. I invite anyone close to come over and we'll do some listening and comparing. No matter what the results it should be a fun time.
  • 06-15-2009, 04:31 AM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    The truth is "amazing"?
    I have a somewhat unique perspective on this subject, having been in law enforcement
    for some years.
    And hearing two "witnesses" argue about weather or not a perp is white or black(or, quote,,
    a "mexican") pretty much shakes up your world view about what people perceive.
    There is NO electronic difference between cables once you get to a certain q level.
    the rest is between the ears, not in them, and a lot of cable makers make great scratch off of this self delusion.
    I dont beleive in Santa clause, the easter bunny, or man loving lesbians either, BTW.:1:

    The unilateral comment is amazing. To make a comment with such simple assumption of correctness without acknowledging that there is a debate to be had on the topic is amazing.

    And...If there's a difference up to a certain q level, it's debatable where that q level is. Some people seem to think there's a difference between the free interconnects and the inexpensive ones, but not a difference between the inexpensive interconnects and the expensive ones. That sounds like a rationalization to me.

    By the way...Just exactly what do you mean by (or, quote,,a "mexican")?
  • 06-15-2009, 04:41 AM
    Mr Peabody
    Pix, you could have tried responding to the original post on this thread instead of fueling a flame war that has plenty of individual threads you could have gone to and drug back out. At this time both sides have made our point.

    I'm guilty, it's hard to let statements go unchecked we feel strongly are not so but let's get this thread back on track.
  • 06-15-2009, 04:48 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    RGA, you should price out a starter AN system. Do they still offer the single box CD player at $2500.00? It's not easy to find a place to audition AN though or even dealers in the states. It would seem if any where though possibly LA.

    I don't really want to just recommend an AN system because for example the old AN Zero system while terrifically musical and the whole system under $5k there are various limitations that other systems would do quite a bit better and if you value those aspects then the Zero system would come up significantly short.

    A few things
    1) There are several Audio Note dealers in Los Angeles but the place to audition the best stuff is in Colorado - audiofederation.com

    Three in California I know of are:

    Deetes Sound Room
    Audio Image Ltd.
    True Sound

    2) They have a new Absolute Zero system (more than $5k now though) and is their entry level - I have requested the system for review. http://audiofederation.com/blog/cate...io/audio-note/

    3) They have a new sub $3k cd player - it uses the solid transport that is being used in the top Sim Audio and Bryston machines. The reports from my dealer and a Bryston customer when I was in the store was that the AN one box was considerably better. Pretty tough to impressive the vocal Bryston guru's - they're nearly as bad as me.:yikes:

    I am trying to get in some ARC, McIntosh, Shindo systems as well. The Shindo Field coil loudspeakers have been called some of the best available by ears I trust. But way way beyond most people's budget including way beyond mine.
  • 06-15-2009, 06:51 PM
    Rudy Gireyev
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Pix, you could have tried responding to the original post on this thread instead of fueling a flame war that has plenty of individual threads you could have gone to and drug back out. At this time both sides have made our point.

    I'm guilty, it's hard to let statements go unchecked we feel strongly are not so but let's get this thread back on track.

    Amen to that Mr. P. With the permission from the rest of you I'd like to forward the wire discussion to the wire forum, from this particular thread. :) ;) Not that the discussion has not been useful, rather because whatever needed to be said, has been. At this point we can simply state that the wiring calls for auditioning and leave it at that. Thanks to all of you for understanding.
    If you feel you simply have to discuss something additional, keep in mind that neither headphones nor power conditioners have yet to make an appearance.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    This sounds like fun. I'm always up to day-dream about my ideal system.

    I'll go for it right now. The following list observes some contraints:
    • Stereo, not multi-channel
    • Must fit in my current listening room; (I'm building a system, not a house).
    • US$ prices, new, in the mid-range: see the total price tag.

    Wow, thank you Bill. That looks great. Some follow up questions.
    1. What were the components that this gear beat out? Why? Was it the sound quality, the price, something else?
    2. Does the gear indicated have a characteristic? Especially considering you are a classical music buff. Example: Amp warm whereas speakers have very bright highs, or the opposite, and so on for the rest of the gear.
    3. Now onto the computer stuff. I'm a computer programmer by trade, so this option is particular attractive to me, but it is difficult for me to imagine ( or dream if you will) of a possibility that a computer based system as a source will match a stand alone audio component. Anything you can offer to dispel my fears is most welcome hear.
    4. Staying with the computer setup. We definitely need to mention the CODECs that are known to work in our audiophile world. Same would be true for the programs doing the encoding. Rippers is it? You've already mentioned the player so thank you for that.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    I would listen to completel systems - components change with what they're connected to.

    My bias is to HE / Single Ended tube amplifiers.

    Thank you being up front about that.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    But listing components as if a given preamp will always be better in every system is IMO a "lie" .......

    Definitely agree with that particular sentence. One of my hopes for this thread was to find "Golden Pairs" components that are known to go together very well and complement each other perfectly.


    Huge thanks to all who have replied and followed up so far.:thumbsup:
    Rudy
  • 06-15-2009, 07:34 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Those of us who have been involved in this obsession for a long time have developed tastes, likes and dislikes. The gear we select is based upon those tastes. Some of the preferences we have may not seem rational to someone else.
    For instance, I want nothing but tubes in a preamp. Speakers that are in boxes don't interest me at all. Equalizers and tone controls I can do without. Tube driven Eletrostatic speakers are something I can live with. Actually, I do and have for the last 10 years with my current speakers. What I'm trying to say is, you will develop your own likes and dislikes, form your own opinions and ultimately put together a system that satisfies you. It's getting to that point that's a large part of the fun in this hobby.

    IMO:
    For computer audio your best bet is to forget about CODECS. Store your music as wav files with no compression. If HDD space is a problem get bigger drives. Use drive mirroring to protect your music. As a programmer you know how unreliable HDD's are. I'm a soon to be retired Network Engineer (MCSE, CNE, Cisco, A+ etc) so I have lots of experience replacing HDD's. Sometimes I think HDD means "happy destroying data".
    For ripping CD's EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is widely considered to be one of the best around. It does bit for bit ripping.
    For computer based audio playback get a good (higher end) sound card and use an external DAC running off the SP/DIF interface. Then you can use your 2 channel system for everything with the DAC's analog outputs going into your preamp or integrated amp. Most of the players are pretty good as long as ASIO is used to bypass the Windows mixer. I've been trying them all and I may stick with Songbird (open source freeware). I've also been using Open Office as a replacement for Microsoft Office and am quite satisfied.
  • 06-15-2009, 07:59 PM
    02audionoob
    Back to the original topic - I think I might include a Squeezebox in my ideal system. I can't help it. I've got to have more stuff to tinker with than just a CD player.
  • 06-15-2009, 08:37 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Power conditioning is almost like cables, people are divided. I did not think switching a power cord would do anything. One day I borrowed some products to try and one was a Transparent power cord. It did make a pretty good difference. Enough I feel others could easily hear the difference. I kept the one I borrowed and replaced every one in my system that could be replaced. The most gain was noticed in my phono preamp and CD player. Power amps it helped some but the difference was more subtle. The effect was a much quieter background. It's not like you hear noise before adding the cord, it's what you notice not there after the cord. It's something you will probably have to hear to understand. The background is blacker and the sound is less restrained. The presentation has a more pristine quality. The other product I tried which I did think might help was a 6 outlet power conditioner. This went back. I suspect it didn't allow enough current to my Krell amp. The effect, it made the Krell's presentation softer, in a bad way, it decreased the attack or slam. Some years later I saw the PS Audio Quintessence and it mentioned outlets that did not limit current. I gave it a try and it helped my system. In much the same way as the power cords but more subtle, maybe because the cords were in place. I can see these types of products having a varied effect as every one has different electric items plugged into the lines and the service varies from one area to another.

    In headphone there's only one word, Sennheiser. It seems here you are either a Senn or Grado person. I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD-600's and was blown away. I didn't know headphones sounded that good. Before buying I did audition some Grado models and they weren't my cup of tea. I found them exagerated in the bass with an overall warmth. I preferred the AKG's I was trying to replace. The HD-600's have a tight bass like I've not heard in phones before, the higher frequencies were extended without being harsh. I've purchased some 580's and a couple portable pair since, as well as a wireless pair for my daughter.
  • 06-15-2009, 10:49 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    The unilateral comment is amazing. To make a comment with such simple assumption of correctness without acknowledging that there is a debate to be had on the topic is amazing.

    And...If there's a difference up to a certain q level, it's debatable where that q level is. Some people seem to think there's a difference between the free interconnects and the inexpensive ones, but not a difference between the inexpensive interconnects and the expensive ones. That sounds like a rationalization to me.

    By the way...Just exactly what do you mean by (or, quote,,a "mexican")?

    One guy insisted the perp was black or "maybe a mexican".
    Notice the quotes around it.
    AND MY SCIENCE IS SOUND, but I really don't know why I should come up with
    my own argument when there is such a well researched and put together web site already out there.

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

    You can chase shadows if you want, I prefer to spend my few bucks on stuff that actually matters, instead of an imported industrial grade item that is made to look like a "specialty"
    product.
    My favorite wire experience, I was in Walmart buying a battery, in the "car audio"
    section they had some pinkish looking 12 guage wire meant for car installs.
    It looked suspicuosly like monster cable so I bought a couple of rolls, it was cheap.
    Some of the best speaker cable I ever had.:1:
  • 06-15-2009, 11:01 PM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Those of us who have been involved in this obsession for a long time have developed tastes, likes and dislikes. The gear we select is based upon those tastes. Some of the preferences we have may not seem rational to someone else.
    For instance, I want nothing but tubes in a preamp. Speakers that are in boxes don't interest me at all. Equalizers and tone controls I can do without. Tube driven Eletrostatic speakers are something I can live with. Actually, I do and have for the last 10 years with my current speakers. What I'm trying to say is, you will develop your own likes and dislikes, form your own opinions and ultimately put together a system that satisfies you. It's getting to that point that's a large part of the fun in this hobby.

    IMO:
    For computer audio your best bet is to forget about CODECS. Store your music as wav files with no compression. If HDD space is a problem get bigger drives. Use drive mirroring to protect your music. As a programmer you know how unreliable HDD's are. I'm a soon to be retired Network Engineer (MCSE, CNE, Cisco, A+ etc) so I have lots of experience replacing HDD's. Sometimes I think HDD means "happy destroying data".
    For ripping CD's EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is widely considered to be one of the best around. It does bit for bit ripping.
    For computer based audio playback get a good (higher end) sound card and use an external DAC running off the SP/DIF interface. Then you can use your 2 channel system for everything with the DAC's analog outputs going into your preamp or integrated amp. Most of the players are pretty good as long as ASIO is used to bypass the Windows mixer. I've been trying them all and I may stick with Songbird (open source freeware). I've also been using Open Office as a replacement for Microsoft Office and am quite satisfied.

    A FEW POINTS.
    One, you dont need a soundcard with a usb dac.
    Codecs are fine, especially Flac or windows lossless, if you can tell any difference you are a German shepard.
    And external HD'S are one of the best inventions ever
    Everything I have is on at least two drives, except the CD collection, which is on the CD collection.
    One thing I don't understand, who is buying these "media servers" for hundreds, or thousands when a three hundred dollar E-MACHINE computer will do the same thing?
    Or any old computer, or a home built one?
  • 06-15-2009, 11:19 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rudy Gireyev
    Definitely agree with that particular sentence. One of my hopes for this thread was to find "Golden Pairs" components that are known to go together very well and complement each other perfectly.

    People often get on my case for suggesting system approaches but usually they follow similar logic only to a lesser degree.

    Take the integrated amplifier - the best ones it is said have an advantage over separates because the two parts, Preamp/power amp are designed by the same manufacturer with short signal paths and are "perfectly tuned" to operate together. Makes lots of sense.

    Then you have the makers that make great preamps and power amps - so you buy the matched pair and off you go. Makes sense.

    But then you have the consumer who believes he/she knows more than the manufacturers. They buy a tube preamp from a maker who believes in tube superiority and that SS is to be shunned - shun the non believer - Charlie!! Then the consumer buys the preamp and then goes and drops large coin on a big SS power amp - the SS maker believes tubes should have died out decades ago and believes SS is technically superior and therefore is superior. I have seen people spend tens of thousands of dollars mixing such dissimilar designs and do what the makers themselves would be and are dead set against (not including the hybrid makers - personally have not heard a great one at any price).

    But even those who do believe in the notion of system matching and synergy seem to always stop at the amplifier, when in reality the entire audio system needs to be viewed as ONE machine. From source to speakers in a 2 source system with preamp, power amp transport and dac - there could be more than 10 different cables in the system. Buy a new speaker cable or interconnect is pure luck if it works better or worse. Having the same wire from cartridge to speaker voice coil and every single wire inside the amplifiers and cd players and all the cabling connecting them would be more of a match if they were all exactly the same - I know of only a few companies that even think about this stuff because they have actual metallurgical engineering science behind them.

    The system approach is starting to become more popular - and it makes sense for the consumer to actually hear the designer's intent. Krell now has speakers - so they have a complete system, and many others at entry prices like Rega are doing the same.

    This is not to say that you won't prefer something else - say a different speaker or a different sounding CD player - but at least with the system approach you have an idea about the sonic aesthetic or sonic "goals" of the company. Of course there are system approaches that involve a mix and match of companies where both companies like to "show" together and you see this at the big trade shows. Wilson Loudspeakers are the choice of speaker for ARC amplifiers for instance so it makes a lot of sense that if you want to audition ARC why not audition them with what ARC believes is the best speaker - Wilson. Of course it backfires if you go and listen and you don't like it then you could conceivably cross both ARC and Wilson off your "to buy" lists. But makers like Shindo and AN have the same issue. If you don't like the system's sound then you may never buy anything from either of them. But these designers can live with that. Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note hates having his components auditioned out of system because if the sound is poor and his speaker is used with a SS amp the auditioner may blame the speaker even though he expressly states that they're designed for his amps. And if designing this is as much art as it is electronics engineering I have no doubt that they can be more than a little upset when in their view the poor sound was because of the SS amp.

    Two recent system reviews - at stupid prices but it's important to hear this stuff at very high levels to see what is truly possible - and then work down to your budget

    Shindo's crazy expensive system http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/m.../roadtour.html

    Audio Note's crazy expensive system http://www.audionote.co.uk/articles/..._Note_engl.pdf
  • 06-15-2009, 11:23 PM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Wire is not wire, no matter what articles you pull off the internet. The Mac guy went against the grain to make publicity for himself and his company. Like any product there's bound to be one that doesn't do what it says but for the most part people will notice gain from better cabling. This is something one just has to try for themselves with an objective mind. You have to have gear that is good enough to reflect the difference and as any other component in the audio chain performance can vary with synergy of the system. To say you can measure sound with a volt meter is ridiculous, if that was so most all components would sound the same whether it's an amp or what ever. Sound of cables is a hotly debated topic and I'd urge any one not to take any one's word at this but definitely try for yourself. The naysayers could keep you from a valid gain in performance while if you are one that doesn't hear enough gain to warrant the expense then you wasted money. Any shop that sells higher end components has loaner cables or online dealer will allow 30 day trial. So nothing is lost by trying and then you will know which camp you will be in.

    If one has been reading this site I'm sure you've read one of the many prior debates on this site that have been about cables

    Wire is wire.
    Simple as that.:1: