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AudioQuest Wind High-end Cable Review

RayDunzl

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Emlin

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I wonder if perhaps we can have some folks try the cable flip experiment on their own HiFi systems and see if I am just full of beans or that there is really something to this.
Just a friendly encouragement.
I will see if I can arrange this experiment with some of my friends on their HiFi systems as well. Gotta have a clean head and no distractions I suppose too.:)

This truly will be interesting.[/QUOTE

It's an AC signal, so directionality would make no difference, even if it existed.
 

RayDunzl

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Killingbeans

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I wonder if perhaps we can have some folks try the cable flip experiment on their own HiFi systems and see if I am just full of beans or that there is really something to this.
Just a friendly encouragement.
Thanks, but no thanks. I don't need to confirm how much my biases mess with me :D

People, who sell magic crystals/rocks/beer coasters/whatever to put on top of your gear, give exactly the same friendly encouragement ;)

I will see if I can arrange this experiment with some of my friends on their HiFi systems as well. Gotta have a clean head and no distractions I suppose too.:)

This truly will be interesting.
Please, please, PLEASE! do it blind.

Here's a counter experiment:

Take 10 random cables/wires with unknown resistance. Mark one end 'A' and the other 'B' before doing any measurements. Measure the cables/wires and note whether A->B or B->A gives least resistance. Get hold of one or more people, who don't care about neither audio/HiFi nor electronics, and instruct them on how to do the measurements the way you think is foolproof (use an 11'th cable/wire for teaching and exclude it from the experiment), but don't tell them what it's about or what they should expect. Leave the room and let one person do the measurements on their own. Do the same with the next person and so on. Compare the results to your own.

Not a perfect experiment by any means, but I think it would be more interesting.
(Well... not really interesting. But hopefully a wake up call of some sort)
 
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Doodski

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@WRWSTD that cable, meter and test leads are messing with your head. When I first became a electronic tech I experienced a similar thing as you but that was soon replaced by tight fitting spring loaded connections for measurement repeatability. That and you should have a proper Ohm meter for measuring short pieces of wire. Those do-it-all multimeters don't have the range for low resistance measurements. As @SIY advised you need a proper 4 wire Ohm meter with low ranges and high quality test leads and connections. That alone could run in the thousands of dollars for a proper meter. They are not inexpensive.

@mansr are you warming your new Keithley bench meter for some resistance measurements?
 

mansr

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@mansr are you warming your new Keithley bench meter for some resistance measurements?
I am, indeed. In fact, I think it's warm enough now.

The meter I'm using (Keithley DMM6500) supports 4-wire resistance measurements. For this test, I'm using regular leads with stackable banana plugs connected to a pair of crocodile clips. These are clamped to the centre pins of a cheap 3 m RCA interconnect. Taking 100 consecutive measurements, the average is 494.7 mΩ (random fluctuations make any further digits meaningless). Briefly releasing and reattaching the crocodile clips to the cable and repeating the measurement yields 496.9 mΩ. Swapping the test leads at the meter, the reading (still average of 100) is 496.4 mΩ. Putting the leads back to the original position gives a value of 496.1 mΩ. For some reason, the measured resistance is dropping slowly regardless of the direction. Maybe the meter is still warming up, or maybe the connections are slowly settling due to contact pressure. I'll leave it running for a while and see what happens.
 

SIY

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I am, indeed. In fact, I think it's warm enough now.

The meter I'm using (Keithley DMM6500) supports 4-wire resistance measurements. For this test, I'm using regular leads with stackable banana plugs connected to a pair of crocodile clips. These are clamped to the centre pins of a cheap 3 m RCA interconnect. Taking 100 consecutive measurements, the average is 494.7 mΩ (random fluctuations make any further digits meaningless). Briefly releasing and reattaching the crocodile clips to the cable and repeating the measurement yields 496.9 mΩ. Swapping the test leads at the meter, the reading (still average of 100) is 496.4 mΩ. Putting the leads back to the original position gives a value of 496.1 mΩ. For some reason, the measured resistance is dropping slowly regardless of the direction. Maybe the meter is still warming up, or maybe the connections are slowly settling due to contact pressure. I'll leave it running for a while and see what happens.
If you're doing a 4 wire, the contact resistance won't matter much, which is the beauty of that kind of setup.
 

mansr

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If you're doing a 4 wire, the contact resistance won't matter much, which is the beauty of that kind of setup.
I don't have any of those fancy crocodile clips with separate connections to the jaws, and the RCA connectors are too small to allow attaching more than one of the regular kind. Consequently, the resistance between the cable and the clips is included in the measurement. It's the best I can do with the parts I have at hand.
 

Unclevanya

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I see. I will set this measurement instrumentation up at some point soon and see what results I get. Thank you all very much.

Just one thing though, Why did it seem to subtly change the sound presentation on my HiFi when the cables were flipped end for end?
Again I ask in a sincere way.

Again, Thank You all for your information.
The first step is to try repeating the audio testing in a true double blind method. If that's too hard to pull off get a friend to help and at a minimum keep the cable direction hidden from you. Ideally you would randomly label them (end a, b, c. d) and hide any markings. Then have the friend use a random generator to swap the cables various ways recording the numbers of the connections and your impressions. Then see if you can reliably pick out the golden pairing. Some of the trails would be oriented with the cables in opposite alignment some will be in the "correct" alignment etc. Then change the labels on one cable randomly without telling the friend and repeat the experiment with new random arrangements. Also note that the random assignment should permit subsequent listening checks back to back where nothing was changed. So cable end a stays put and so does c... But you think they were swapped.

Pay particular attention to the agreement/differences between the two data sets. I will bet that your results won't align except by random chance. Unconscious bias in listening is powerful. The only way to lay this demon to rest is to test.
 
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I am, indeed. In fact, I think it's warm enough now.

The meter I'm using (Keithley DMM6500) supports 4-wire resistance measurements. For this test, I'm using regular leads with stackable banana plugs connected to a pair of crocodile clips. These are clamped to the centre pins of a cheap 3 m RCA interconnect. Taking 100 consecutive measurements, the average is 494.7 mΩ (random fluctuations make any further digits meaningless). Briefly releasing and reattaching the crocodile clips to the cable and repeating the measurement yields 496.9 mΩ. Swapping the test leads at the meter, the reading (still average of 100) is 496.4 mΩ. Putting the leads back to the original position gives a value of 496.1 mΩ. For some reason, the measured resistance is dropping slowly regardless of the direction. Maybe the meter is still warming up, or maybe the connections are slowly settling due to contact pressure. I'll leave it running for a while and see what happens.
Thank You for taking the time to set up a test rig. If you are still testing, may I ask, for the sake of consistency and for at least one constant value in the chain of wires, that the meter leads stay in the same meter hole at all times? Is this possible with your set-up? I am just looking to null out any effect of the meter leads own characteristics. Just a thought.
 

mansr

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Thank You for taking the time to set up a test rig. If you are still testing, may I ask, for the sake of consistency and for at least one constant value in the chain of wires, that the meter leads stay in the same meter hole at all times? Is this possible with your set-up? I am just looking to null out any effect of the meter leads own characteristics. Just a thought.
The advantage of 4-wire resistance measurement is that the test leads have very little effect on the result. Disturbing the connection to the RCA cable makes a much bigger difference than swapping the leads at the meter. Bear in mind, we're talking about differences of a few milliohms. Interconnects like this are typically used between a DAC or preamp with an output impedance of 100 Ω or so and a (pre)amp with input impedance in the 10 kΩ vicinity (or more). A few mΩ this way or that in between those makes no difference to the end result.
 
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I've been lurking on this site for about a year and this thread finally made me create an account.
It's dumbfounding the levels to which this asshattery keeps expanding. The copy on the AQ site made me throw-up in my mouth a bit:

In the simplest sense, wind is air in motion produced by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. Because our planet is made of various land and water formations, from the severe heights of K2 to the placid Chicago River, it absorbs the sun’s radiation unevenly, creating differences in air pressure and the ensuing movement of air from high-pressure areas to lower ones. Wind is also one of our most valuable natural resources: As an alternative to fossil fuels, wind is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions, and uses little land. While wind power may be more important today than ever before, it is by no means a new concept. Representations of ships under sail date as far back as 5500 B.C., while windmills may have been first used in Persia in 200 B.C. Among the classical elements, wind’s close relative, air, is pure, powerful, and fundamentally important to life. In Japanese philosophy, wind is a symbol of all things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement, in some ways best represented by the human mind. People born under the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are thought to have dominant air personalities, marked by kindness and social grace. Of course, wind itself may be the most graceful of all elements. It fans the flames of our deepest passions, dances atop the surfaces of our longest rivers, sings in the rustling of the largest leaves, and carves its initials into our mightiest rocks. The physical effect is often astounding: From the forever-swirling formations of Coyote Buttes in Utah, to the sculpted cypress trees seemingly frozen in time along California’s coast, wind holds a place as one of nature’s most masterful artists.
Thanks be for establishing this site, Amir. Finally had to login and say as much.
 

NTomokawa

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I've been lurking on this site for about a year and this thread finally made me create an account.
Another comrade joins us! Welcome!

And yes, like you, I am utterly disgusted by this shameless and unabashed BS used to peddle snake oil.
 
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Another comrade joins us! Welcome!

And yes, like you, I am utterly disgusted by this shameless and unabashed BS used to peddle snake oil.
I have never subscribed to cable-theory, as it were, and as such I've never found myself on a site page like the AQ one I quoted from. Beyond decent shielding for RF and decent inductance i don't give a rat's. (Radio shack is something I lament the loss of.) Just a few nights ago I was raging at wife (she loves me) about a $50 high(er)-end phono earth/ground lead wire (I just add spades to leftover speaker wire, if I even bother to add a spade). Then after reading a portion of this thread I perused the ground wire offerings from AQ and a few others and I wanted to throw my laptop.
 

scott wurcer

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There was a link posted here to some measurements on cable lifters, well I repeated this test on a 20' length of Monster #10 zip cord. The capacitance measured 430pF on the floor (usual oak/ underlayment) and 423pF in free air. The difference was repeatable but trivial no basis for any "dramatic" audible difference. Wood actually has a high dielectric constant so the fringing field on zip cord would have an expected increase but as measured it's almost in the noise.
 

mansr

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There was a link posted here to some measurements on cable lifters, well I repeated this test on a 20' length of Monster #10 zip cord. The capacitance measured 430pF on the floor (usual oak/ underlayment) and 423pF in free air. The difference was repeatable but trivial no basis for any "dramatic" audible difference. Wood actually has a high dielectric constant so the fringing field on zip cord would have an expected increase but as measured it's almost in the noise.
So about the same difference as 4" of cable. Does it make a (measurable) difference whether zip cord is lying flat on the floor or on its edge with one conductor above the other?
 

Mnyb

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They have the guts to to call it "The Wind" rather "breaking Wind" imo ;) ,given to much money to this scam company during my "audiophool days" been there done that.

Proponents better better come with an actual cause and effect. please present a plausible mechanism that introduces these night and day differences ,doing so consider the accepted human threshold's of hearing .

Cables are a bit of red herring , you can measure them and find "differences" ,but that does not mean they introduce audible levels of FR deviation or distortion or pick up disturbances , probably not over 1 meter or so .
Moving your head 1 millimeter during listening session presents bigger differences .

We don't even need a blind test until some novel hitherto unknown mechanism for introducing audible differences is presented.
If the cable in circuit does not make any or almost any difference in FR SINAD etc.
You can measure and find that nothings changed as expected . A blind test would ofcourse serve an educational purpose , to show people not knowledgable in EE what's what.

There is always the possibility that audiophile cables are so badly designed that they actually and sadly do make difference , probably not for the benefit of the customer . Have it not been "novel" designs by some cable makers that disregard proper impedance for the application , for example in spdiff cables or remove screening like some kimber cables ?
 
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