Audioquest HDMI cables

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
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As we all know from Amir's postings, HDMI cables have a set standard that they must attain. Either they work... or they don't. Here is an interesting article that I came across saying that Audioquest bends the rules a little. Just another cable debate?

Audioquest HDMI cables
 

amirm

Banned
Apr 3, 2010
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Hmmm.... Here is the video they are talking about:


Will try to repeat Mark's analysis when I have time later tonight.
 

RayDunzl

New Member
Jun 26, 2014
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So I read (skimmed) the article, then the punchline caught my eye:

"This is fraud."
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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Hi

The unfortunate thing is that this won't change the opinion of those who are truly convinced. There was in this very WBF a thread about a "superior" HDMI from Transparent IIRC and in spite of Amir explaining the binary nature of HDMI (they work or they don't ..nothing in between) the OP was adamant that he saw better picture, no need to even test... Sad perhaps but this is the state of affair in our hobbies...
 

spazmatron

Banned
Dec 4, 2015
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I use super cheap hdmi cables but I have to say I have a better quality one, can't remember the make. It's too short for me to use now but did give a better picture. More vibrant colours and better details.


Don't know why, alas I have not gone out and bought the longer version.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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I use super cheap hdmi cables but I have to say I have a better quality one, can't remember the make. It's too short for me to use now but did give a better picture. More vibrant colours and better details.


Don't know why, alas I have not gone out and bought the longer version.

Spaz.. You know you could simply pause the video and swap the cables.. You can still do it right now.. Would you tell us then?
 

spazmatron

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Dec 4, 2015
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Spaz.. You know you could simply pause the video and swap the cables.. You can still do it right now.. Would you tell us then?
It's too short now, to be honest I was pissed off when I went from my £60 hdmi to my £5 one. It was not a case where I was upgrading and expecting to see something. I was very much expecting no difference, I a/b them it was clear.

I only care about music these days and can't afford another irrational obsession.

Happy with my cheap hdmi cables, I got over the initial disappointment a long time ago.

And yes I had my eyes tested 20/20.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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It's too short now, to be honest I was pissed off when I went from my £60 hdmi to my £5 one. It was not a case where I was upgrading and expecting to see something. I was very much expecting no difference, I a/b them it was clear.

I only care about music these days and can't afford another irrational obsession.

Happy with my cheap hdmi cables, I got over the initial disappointment a long time ago.

lol

:)

Still love movies. Back in the days I had two separate system a purist 2-Chanel and a very good HT... Still want to do that with Video quality improving by leaps and bounds while prices are plummeting... wish it were the same with Audio which is definitely moving in the opposite direction :(
 

Jinjuku

New Member
Apr 18, 2011
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Does anyone know a person at AudioQuest that I could call to arrange an Ethernet cable blind evaluation?

I could either use LACP in a LAG or use SMB 3.02 multi-channel with transparent fail-over. This would allow the switching of cables in situ with no break in the audio playback and then on a DAC,AMP, Pre, Source, Speakers all provided by AQ at their HQ.

I would provide the Client, Server, Switches and BJC cabling. Their cabling would have to be also tossed on a Fluke or other like certification device.

Either do a single round of 15 possible (correctly hit 14/15) random changes OR three cycles of 10 repeated tracks where the cable is only changed once. That is for each round it is randomly determined:

1. Which cable is going to be in for 9 of the 10 repeated tracks.

2. Which of the 10 tracks in each round will a cable be swapped in for the duration of one track and then back to the original cable

They would have to state which cable was in for the round and which track a cable was changed out on.
 

Jinjuku

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Apr 18, 2011
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I use super cheap hdmi cables but I have to say I have a better quality one, can't remember the make. It's too short for me to use now but did give a better picture. More vibrant colours and better details.


Don't know why, alas I have not gone out and bought the longer version.

Could you send it to Amir for testing since it's not being used?
 

spazmatron

Banned
Dec 4, 2015
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lol

:)

Still love movies. Back in the days I had two separate system a purist 2-Chanel and a very good HT... Still want to do that with Video quality improving by leaps and bounds while prices are plummeting... wish it were the same with Audio which is definitely moving in the opposite direction :(

Yea every one has TVs but few hifi so we will always be on the crapy end of the stick price wise. Some surprising sounds to be had with AV ordinated gear though, even at the cheap end of the market.

It's weird most people I know, or most households I go into have very little music of any interest, compilation albums and bland over produced and dynamically squashed crap is thier preference. You don't need hifi for that, infact it's often better on cheap systems.

I used to love film but have drifted out of that into music, I have always loved sounds but in more of a abstract sense. Now though with my system the way it's been for last two years my discovery and appreciation of music has exploded. I am lucky as I have plenty free time to listen too:)
 

spazmatron

Banned
Dec 4, 2015
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Could you send it to Amir for testing since it's not being used?
Honestly it's not worth worrying about, non of it is. These things don't seem to show up in measurements, in the end of the day if you plug a cable in of any type and think it's good buy it, if not dont!

Having to prove your right either way is a waste of time and a bit silly imo (unless your looking to manufacture cables or gear). Having said that it would be nice to know why but if you don't believe in something in the first place disproving it seems the height of silliness to me as you will only be talking to those who agree with you in the first place.

I don't mind you disagreeing, I like it in fact. It makes life a lot more interesting.
 

rbbert

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2010
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There has been discussion in a number of places about differences in video quality using different HDMI cables, but IIRC it was directly related to the cable connectors; there are some connectors which "lock" on, and this was said to be correlated with better picture quality. I don't know if that was ever subjected to scientific testing. I do know that HDMI cables which make a tight connection are a little (not a lot) more expensive than your typical generic.
 

Jinjuku

New Member
Apr 18, 2011
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Honestly it's not worth worrying about, non of it is. These things don't seem to show up in measurements, in the end of the day if you plug a cable in of any type and think it's good buy it, if not dont!

Having to prove your right either way is a waste of time and a bit silly imo (unless your looking to manufacture cables or gear). Having said that it would be nice to know why but if you don't believe in something in the first place disproving it seems the height of silliness to me as you will only be talking to those who agree with you in the first place.

I don't mind you disagreeing, I like it in fact. It makes life a lot more interesting.

Where am I making a political stand? I'm after data.

You admittedly have a cable you no longer use. That you provide in thread as an example of a cable that makes an appreciable difference. I think it's a very normal to take this to it's conclusion and ask if you would be willing to send it out for evaluation to someone that has the equipment and credentials to evaluation both subjectively and objectively.

I'll even pay for the post round trip from the UK to Amir.
 

spazmatron

Banned
Dec 4, 2015
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Where am I making a political stand? I'm after data.

You admittedly have a cable you no longer use. That you provide in thread as an example of a cable that makes an appreciable difference. I think it's a very normal to take this to it's conclusion and ask if you would be willing to send it out for evaluation to someone that has the equipment and credentials to evaluation both subjectively and objectively.

I'll even pay for the post round trip from the UK to Amir.

Nothing political going on :rolleyes: but I knew what you were after and sensed your keen undertones of wanting to disprove my claim and I have no interest in this hence the length and comprehensive nature of the post. ( not comprehensive enough though lol despite your protestations)

The hdmi cable I have or had was nothing magic so no need to fly it round the world. I am sure amir has tested hdmi cables, why would he need mine?

I don't really hold my opinion about cables as a bastion of my sense of self so have no motivation to test or seek a test for this device.
 

Jinjuku

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Apr 18, 2011
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Nothing political going on :rolleyes: but I knew what you were after and sensed your keen undertones of wanting to disprove my claim and I have no interest in this hence the length and comprehensive nature of the post.

I'm taking you at your word: You have an HDMI cable that indeed makes a difference. I think it's a great starting point to get some data. What protestations? Could you please provide the relevant post or recant the slight?



The hdmi cable I have or had was nothing magic so no need to fly it round the world. I am sure amir has tested hdmi cables, why would he need mine?

Because your cable in particular exhibits characteristics that are beneficial and I would like to know what makes your particular cable tick.


I don't really hold my opinion about cables as a bastion of my sense of self so have no motivation to test or seek a test for this device.

You opinion has as much gravitas as the next persons and deserves contemplation. I think all intelligent beings strive for understanding the hereto's and what there fore's. You have device that improves the experience over other devices that appear to also function to a spec.

We are after all on a forum to talk about these items and spurious errata. The human condition tends to like their opinions validated.
 

amirm

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Apr 3, 2010
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OK, back from dinner and analysis of the youtube video. Let's recall Mark's spectrum analysis of the youtube A/B clips:



We see that the level and high frequency content of the "generic" cable is much lower. No doubt this leads to dull and more quiet sound that I think everyone hears in even cheap speakers. I heard them in my tablet.

I went ahead and analyzed just the first instance: generic cable against AudioQuestion Pearl HDMI cable. Here are the results (note that i am using Log X axis so the scale is different from Mark's):



The conclusions sadly are the same as Mark's. Someone applied a heavy handed filter to the standard cable, or alternatively boosted the same in the Pearl cable example. There is just no ambiguity here. No HDMI cable provides analog filtering/boosting of audio this way. The digital audio samples in HDMI are carried in between lines of video and cannot be filtered in any way by the cable selectively in this manner. The cable either puts out the digital samples or you get glitches and failures.

Now a cable can in some manner influence jitter in HDMI links but that impact can never be measured as having a low-pass filter/high-boost as seen here. You may get some tiny amount of high frequency impact but it would not at all be visible in such a spectrum display.

But hey, maybe there is some principal here we don't understand. So I welcome AudioQuest to come and comment on how they managed to conduct this test and way for us to repeat it.

I can also buy one of these cables and attempt to repeat the test as the cables don't seem that expensive. Let me know (membership) if you are interested.

Tonight, my head is down on behalf the industry I am part of :(.
 

esldude

New Member
From an AQ ad for USB cable:

Forest is a directional cable, AQ listens to every primary signal conductor used in Forest to determine proper conductor orientation, this simple test yields a surprising improvement to sonic performance. Digital Audio over USB There are significant, audible differences between USB cables. We're not sure how this is possible, since USB is purported to be a purely digital interface, however, the sonic differences are repeatable and consistent from system to system.

Amazing is it not? Analog interconnect, speaker cable, USB or HDMI, and all the same listening for directionality comes out clearly as having a preferred direction. The same idea they have used since the inception of Audioquest. Also the same trend going from copper to silver etc. etc. no matter what the characteristics of the signal are. Truly amazing in its consistency and yet other cable companies have altogether different ideas.

In the interest of full disclosure I do own some Auidoquest products. So my opinion they are committing fraud in the PR video is not uninformed. I have this sneaky intuition they aren't the only one.
 
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Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,860
269
520
Snohomish, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
Does anyone know a person at AudioQuest that I could call to arrange an Ethernet cable blind evaluation?.

I've already done this with their Diamond cable. No audible or measurable difference from my $7 cable!! The Audioquest Diamond cable is for sale... guess I didn't make a good sales pitch!!
 

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