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Thread: The Cable Dialectic

  1. #21
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] FrantzM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    I will be able to show you that you can measure the difference when direction is reversed. These stranded, twisted pair cables are twisted in a certain direction, and following the right hand rule, when you put two wires in close proximity, when the twist is in opposite direction, you can change the balance of inductance and capacitance. Also, you will notice when you take these cables apart that the orange, green, brown, blue wires inside have different twists.......
    Gary

    Is that a solid argument? I am not too sure. in my line of work, I deal with Cat 5, 6, etc and the likes cables and indeed the twist have a direction ... I would however say that if you put reverse the direction of a known cable, the measurements will not change. Of that I am certain. I used to believe in cables ..not anymore: I strongly believe, no I know that the human perceptual appartus has threshold and that beyond those threshold signals are no longer perceived. e.g we don't "see" infrared or UV ... Nor are we able to hear differences between 2 signals that are ..05db apart , I am not even sure we perceive 0.1 dB apart ...
    Back in the 80's when I was still in college, I remember how during the week end I would change the oil (Oil was cheap then) and the filters of my car, clean the engine and feel that the car performed so much better ... Such seems to exist inthe world of high End cables ... It remains for example interesting that the most expensive cables are always superior to the least expensive while the objective reasons why these more expensive cables work "better" fall well below human perceptive threshold ...(Nordost Propagation delay figures of 96% of the speed of light for the Valahalla and 98% for the Odin In Physics the propagation delay is the time it takes a signal to travel from one end of a conductor to the another so that would not matter at all .. you would simply hear the music the same since all the music would have been delayed only by 2% of .000000001 sec !!!!)
    I am also certain the debate will continue for a while .. There is too much invested in cables from the manufacturers and the Audiophiles alike.. Audiophiles usually prefer to err in the sense of more and this is used by cables manufacturers ... to sell their ware .. .. I suspect that from the audiophiles side it is an emotional issue.. People usually cling to beliefs, beliefs are emotional investments ... And the cable is much an issue of belief and in no small amount of insecurity .. Many have been exposed to the inability to hear differences between cables.. Most haven't rejected the belief ... They have rather chosen to dismiss science of more conveniently the validity of the tests they were subjected to . Believe me, it truly bothers one to discover that one's hearing abilities is not as good as one would like to think .. as I have said somewhere else in this forum or others ... The experience can be humbling, sometime humiliating and over all upsetting .. So beliefs are safer .. And if one can afford it ..really ..Why not play it safe? mmmmhhh? .. After that 100K speaker in my 200 K system a few more dollars in "great" cables here and there make the system more ..organic ..... Right? ....?

    On the Pro side using cables, if I were a cable manufacturer and considering the margin on cables, that would have been one of my favorite marketing outlet ... The Pro gets to project more mystique for nothing: a simple endorsement and the cable manufacturer? You already knew ...
    Last edited by FrantzM; 03-13-2011 at 02:30 PM.
    Frantz
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  2. #22
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Food for thought Frantz my good friend.
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  3. #23
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Gary,

    Can I re-post these two tests in your dialectic?

    I would suggest that those who do not believe in cables do an experiment - make a DBT with your cables versus 9 AWG ones. If you do not distinguish, compare the 9 with 12 , 12 with 15 and so on until you hear a difference. Please tell us at what gauge you heard a difference.

    When I have the time I will set an experiment - I have some meters of rusti AWG 4 iron wire . I will clean the extremities to bright metal and compare them with AWG 12 copper - same resistance. Do you think they will sound the same?

  4. #24
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    I've just been inspired to throw in a big hint, sorry about that, Gary ...

    The cable thing is not about R, L and C. It's all about second order effects, that effectively the R, L and C values of the cable are not static but vary, are dynamic, while the music is playing, for all sorts of reasons. These things can be extremely hard to measure, so typically are ignored. The sort of things that COULD come into the mix, for starters, are stray magnetic fields, thermoelectric, electrochemical, piezoelectric, triboelectric, pyroelectric and antenna behaviour.

    A nice little bundle of things to worry about ...

    Frank

  5. #25
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] FrantzM's Avatar
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    Hi

    Since the thread subject invite so, I would add that there ARE differences between cables. Heck! There are differences between two pieces of wires of metal from different mills. The crux of the matter is not so much that there are measurable differences , there are. No! The crux of the matter is IF these differences can be heard and there ... Cables tend to grind to halt why? Because under strict , bias reducing conditions, and once a threshold of electrical adequacy is met differences between cables become insignificant and can't be reliably perceived... IOW under blind conditions people are not able to even recognize their own "familar" cables.. Under sighted these differences are described with qualifiers from the seemingly never-ending trove of audiophile hyperboles ("Night and Day", "more Organic", "transparent", "speed", etc)...

    Pragmatism rules Scientific experiments as it does life.. One does not measure people height to the nanometer or people weight to the nanogram .. It simply doesn't make sense. Losing a nanogram of fat is not relevant to our silhouette ... It is the same for cables .... 0.01 dB variances at 100 KHz doesn't, cannot make a "vast" difference
    Frantz
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    "For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
    —Carl Sagan
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
    — E. F. Schumacher
    (mis-attributed to A. Einstein)

  6. #26
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post
    (...)
    Pragmatism rules Scientific experiments as it does life.. One does not measure people height to the nanometer or people weight to the nanogram .. It simply doesn't make sense. Losing a nanogram of fat is not relevant to our silhouette ... It is the same for cables .... 0.01 dB variances at 100 KHz doesn't, cannot make a "vast" difference
    Frantz,
    Your position is clear and I understand it, but it as badly supported as the one of those who say the opposite.

    The two sentences I have quoted do not add nothing to the cable debate. Weight and height are simple, single defined variables, perceptual results of an electrical signal transfer with a 20-20000 Hz bandwidth is a very complex problem.

    Plenty of people refer to individual blind tests sourced from the net, that are of almost zero value, pointing in both directions. When people highlight the humiliating aspect of audiophiles that can not under stress conditions distinguish their cables they are just exploring their ignorance about these type of tests - any reasonable audiophile with a minimum of scientific knowledge would refuse to carry them in those conditions. But it is defined in war manuals - an humiliated adversary is half of the victory, and in the war cable everything counts.

    I have asked several times - if anyone has references to this type of tests, accessible to everyone and validated in a scientific way, please post them here. Otherwise we should debate our own experiences, knowing that they only express our humble opinions, surely biased by our convictions.

  7. #27
    [WBF Founding Member] Ron Party's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    When people highlight the humiliating aspect of audiophiles that can not under stress conditions distinguish their cables they are just exploring their ignorance about these type of tests - any reasonable audiophile with a minimum of scientific knowledge would refuse to carry them in those conditions.
    Apparently there are an awful lot of ignorant, unreasonable audiophiles, including me.
    Peace.

    Ron Party

  8. #28
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    Of course, the other aspect is that cables are really part of the amplifier, in the sense of being part of a music making machine. People agonise over whether to use a certain type of silver wire yea long in the amp, carefully soldered at both ends with Wondersolder or whatever, then cheerfully whack a great length of some cable on the carpet on the floor, outside the case of the amp, exposed to all the elements so to speak, attaching it at either end under a plastic screw down, and tightening using just finger pressure.

    This is where Tim's active setups are way in front ...

    Frank
    Last edited by fas42; 03-13-2011 at 08:48 PM.

  9. #29
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Party View Post
    Apparently there are an awful lot of ignorant, unreasonable audiophiles, including me.
    Ron,

    Surely - a reasonable audiophile should use audiophile hyperboles such as ("Night and Day", "more Organic", "transparent", "speed", etc). As far as I know, you never used them in this forum .

    More seriously, I consider that most of us (including me) are ignorant in statistical analysis of perceptual experiments or methods of DBTs. Surely we are able to learn, but just it is not our main interest.

  10. #30
    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    More curious to me is why the same cables will sound sharp (doesn't transmit everything else as well as highs) and the opposite depending on speakers while maintaining the same front end and amplification, while some cables are consistent with the same two loudspeakers. I hope there is an explanation somewhere that makes sense. Oh wait. There's a network in the cable I mentioned (Townshend Isolda). Still, I don't understand the possible interactions.

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