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Can you hear a difference between audio cables? ABX test

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krabapple

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Some people are trained not to hear a difference. They have been told and so believe all cables sound the same, in all situations.

Only a person who carelessly ignored that claim's wording, could think that.


They are not trained to listen for noise in the chain or harmonic differences in sound. Our brain can easily ignore these cues. Others simply can't hear the difference due to the constant ringing/noise in their ears that they fight with each day. The definition of sound you hear may not be the same as your neighbor or your wife. I find it amazing in the rare case were everyone hears the same exact thing. It's quite rare except when the person is being told what they should hear before responding.

Do blind comparisons mean anything to you?
 

krabapple

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Its good that we now can say, thanks to pma, that different RCA cables CAN sound different without being called an idiot and that we now can say this without the risk of being suspended . ASR is moving forward :)
This is good for the forum.

It's wholly disingenous of you to imply that 'we' couldn't 'say' that here before.

And it would be wholly wrong to imply that pma's particular case -- a highly 'trained' listener using a setup where there is an actual, measurble flaw , and auditioning a 'revealing' low level segment of the signal -- means that anyone who claims to hear difference between RCa cables, must be hearing real difference. Any more than Amir's aceing a high bitrate lossy vs lossless under highly optimized conditions, means that any rando's claim of "lossy sounds bad!" must be given the same credence.
 
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krabapple

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That strawman is a fire hazard. No one, NO ONE. NO ONE ever claimed that unshielded single ended cables didn't cause noise pickup. That's all there is here.

Stop whining that when you throw bullshit, you're called on it.

He'll be blaming it on religious worship of Floyd Toole any minute now, watch.

Then there shouldn't be any problems with RCA cables.But okay, the opposite exists.My example in #66 is extreme where I add one bad thing to another, unnecessarily long (those were the ones I had at the time hence I used them),poorly shielded RCA cables in a stupid configuration.


One can, of course, construct a speaker cable comparison the same way, if one wants to prove the commonplace that speaker cables CAN be different enough to sound different.
 
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BDWoody

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Its good that we now can say, thanks to pma, that different RCA cables CAN sound different without being called an idiot and that we now can say this without the risk of being suspended . ASR is moving forward :)
This is good for the forum.

Disingenuous much?

That's enough for your contribution to this thread.
 

Tangband

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Disingenuous much?

That's enough for your contribution to this thread.
This gives ASR a bad reputation on other forums
 

BDWoody

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DanielT

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One can, of course, construct a speaker cable comparison the same way, if one wants to prove the commonplace that speaker cables CAN be different enough to sound different.
Okay, maybe I was over-damatic. It was hardly the end of the world. I just plugged in with what I had. A few days later with different and shorter cables, a little tinkering with gain settings, plus changing an amp, it worked as it should.:)

I can't specifically point to the exact cause or source of the clearly audible improvement because I changed various things at the same time.
 
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solderdude

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that different RCA cables CAN sound different
The test was not about different RCA cables it is a comparison between a balanced and unbalanced connection where the unbalanced connection has a deliberate continuous very low level ground-loop signal added to the music.
So it is not a validation for cables 'sounding' different but rather that when ground-loops can occur the balanced connection is superior.

The good thing about this test is that this is just barely audible (in a specific part) and this is not tested for by Amir nor other reviewers.

Besides.... is adding a ground-loop signal really making the music sound different or is in a specific quiet part of a song the 'ground-loop' audible ?
 
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DLS79

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This gives ASR a bad reputation on other forums

I personally don't care because the people who complain about ASR are the type who love to argue from the ambiguity the internet provides them!

When someone here says you can't tell the difference between cables, they assume the person on the other side of the argument is arguing in good faith and has some common sense.
In other You don't compare a brand new cable from a reputable brand to any of the following.
  • A cable that be used and abused, for god knows how long
  • A cable from a very questionable company that doesn't use proper gauge wiring for the task at hand, has cheap/questionable insulation, has improper strain relief et etc
  • A cable that's designed for a completely different task
 
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pma

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The test was not about different RCA cables it is a comparison between a balanced and unbalanced connection where the unbalanced connection has a deliberate continuous very low level ground-loop signal added to the music
You probably missed the post #67 and #61.


The RCA cable with S/N 71dB (post #61) file cable3 is audibly distinguishable from both cable1 (XLR) and cable2 (RCA) with 16/16 ABX result, due to error voltage across the signal ground wire due to error loop current. I understand that you and several other members do not want to admit this fact, but you should be able to do so. It is easily explainable by basic laws of electrical engineering. You guys debate too much and do a little of real measuring and experiment job.
Cables are not any forbidden topic. They behave according to laws of physics, they may become an issue in certain system configurations and thus their exchange may bring audible difference. This is the fact and is easily proven.

See the post #61 for differences in error voltages with RCA cables and these differences between the worst and best cables re error voltage are audible even with music files at low level passages.
 
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pma

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One more remark, in the test that I have shown the exchange of RCA cables with different shield impedance makes bigger difference than the exchange of DACs like DacMagicPlus x Topping DX5. And no comparison chart shows this.
 

Sokel

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As with pretty much everything else in this world the problem with some people is theory without considering certain conditions which is pretty much common amongst most people.
We say all nice DACs sound the same,right?
And they do,at isolated conditions with their VC at 0db or so,etc.
Now put it in a chain,attenuate it at -40db,measure two of them and let chaos enter.
Measure these two with different formats and mayhem adds to chaos.
Cross their attached cables (unbal AND bal) with the spaghetti behind the rack and mayhem and chaos welcomes randomness also.
Etc,etc...
I hate these cheap RCAs so much I laugh when I see them,I can make them have different patterns of distortion depending where I measure them.

Conditions are always the key.
 

Ken Tajalli

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A bit late to the party, but I picked cable 1 as the cleaner sounding, but by only a hair!
Hardly audible though. Perhaps long term listening could make the sound fatiguing, but with only a few seconds, barely.
Frankly, I was not expecting to hear any differences.
Another unfair issue was the fact that the recording itself had a bit of distortion (harshness) in upper treble anyways. To try and hear a difference in all that mess, was difficult. Still not sure, if I could repeatedly pick cable 1.
 

SIY

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A bit late to the party, but I picked cable 1 as the cleaner sounding, but by only a hair!
Hardly audible though. Perhaps long term listening could make the sound fatiguing, but with only a few seconds, barely.
Frankly, I was not expecting to hear any differences.
Another unfair issue was the fact that the recording itself had a bit of distortion (harshness) in upper treble anyways. To try and hear a difference in all that mess, was difficult. Still not sure, if I could repeatedly pick cable 1.
But you didn't do the test.
 

Ken Tajalli

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But you didn't do the test.
I did, it was almost 50/50.
I thought I did say that I couldn't consistently (repeatedly) pick cable 1.
To try and pick out minor distortion/noise in an already distorted, noisy recording is nigh impossible.
But yet . . . . I thought cable 1 was better, and no I did not peek, at the time I didn't know which was which.
Now let's see if Abacab sounds punchier with my silver headphone cable.
 

Ken Tajalli

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OK, thanks. So completely random. You needed to twiddle the volume control to bring up the noise in the quietest spot.
No?
Random is exactly 50/50. 70/30 is success, in-between those figures makes you wonder! am I hearing something?
Volume control to bring up noise? ? I am not an APX555 :).
 
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