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Different cables, different measurements?

DavyRockstar

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So, I finally have a proof?? I finally have the ultimate answer to the ultimate question?? (Go to bold for the resume)

Hi, everyone, since I'm an engineer i don't really believed how a cable might affect sound, i mean, YES there are all types of cables and some are for specific tasks, such as the Lizt cable which is a type of cable done with the specific task to transmit very high radio frequencies, since regular cable starts to roll off at 50KHz.... and shielded cable, highly used in electronics.... but this is far different to change how a sound signal passes thru whith an objective change.

Sure, test like impedance, capacitance, and inductance are important but most of the time this test does not show if a cable can truly modify a signal that passes thru it.
I was improving my system, I love my pioneer CS-A700, and i did some upgrades with better quality capacitors, cleaning the pots, filling the boxes with glass fiber... you need to make a good pair with the correct amplifier to achieve a good sound thoe, which I don't have, I use a Nakamichi amplifier 1, a very refine unit, but the classic lean in bass Japanese sound, and as my source I use a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital and my computer... using DSP equalizers makes the bass sound the way it should.... just the midrange was a little harsh at mid-high volumes... at this time I used a good quality aluminum cable from a car audio brand (don't remember which) it was copper plated

But I always wandered, how people could be so naive to waste a lot of money in cables if they do not do any improvement?
So, I decided to put my butt to work and do a little research in cable technology.... I used this Gotham cable

With 24 multipair 24AWG cables... so I used 12pair for each channel, virgin copper and really great specs... and well you can see the photos... I end up doing something similar to a Lizt cable, but each conductor being a cable and not a single wire, it is also passively shielded....
I do my test with RTA using a BLUE microphone... I know, I know; it is not a microphone manufactured for this purpose and it may have some strange anomalies in the measurements, but I just wanted to see myself if there was a change, also the mic is good enough for this,

- These results are RAW without any kind of processing or filters....
- I've done each test multiple times to confirm the results using pink noise (the results were exactly the same every time)
- The tests were done using the exact same parameters in all variables
- Since this is not a pro Mic, it is hard to know the real SPL volume in dB, but i think, it is not really meaningful for the test

the test 1 and video 1 shows the measurements and the sound of my Gotham custom cable.... and as you can compare, is very different in bass and in the mid high section (1000 to 5000Hz) responding flatter in that particular section.... the bass sounds somehow "more solid"... you could say that it was better with aluminum because that crest at 40Hz but it was like it bounce way more, with copper sounds faster more articulated, hard to explain I’m not an “audiophile”... and it is easy to confirm the sound differences in the song, when the organ hits, specially. You cannot hear how harsh the organ sounds using aluminum (as you can see the Gain knob of the mic is set low so I was playing kinda high volume...), using frequency generator also confirms how harsh those frequencies sound with aluminum (test not shown)


Lastly, I could get a pair of prosound cable, very good quality pure copper cable and very affordable... i done the test again and well there were differences between them, this time they were so minimum that I can confirm that the frequency response I get was practically the same..... as for the sound, well maybe the fact that I’ve inverted a lot of time doing the Gotham cable, but I think it just sounds smoother and again the bass feels better articulated but it might be a placebo effect, who knows (in this case I could not tell the difference between on cable and the other in a blind test)... as for me, my CS-A700 sounds 10% better, in my opinion using the Gotham cable vs the aluminum one (and I can tell the difference in a blind test, NO MORE HARSHNESS), and 3% better vs the prosound this is just subjective, of course

1705728149707.jpeg

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TEST 1 copper, the graphic in RED show the frequency response
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Video 1 copper

TEST 2 Aluminum

1705728350391.png


Video 2 aluminum
 
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Blumlein 88

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Not interested in wasting time on a video sorry. Why didn't you measure at the speaker terminals? And do you have a multimeter to give us the capacitance, resistance and inductance of each cable? Why compare to aluminum, rather than another pedestrian copper cable?

Sorry, this sounds more harsh than I intended. At the same time, it seems unlikely and I've wasted way too many minutes on such things that always have been wild goose chases. So measure at the speaker terminals if you want to convince anyone at a minimum.
 
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DavyRockstar

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i think those values cannot determinate how something will sound thru the speakers, I'm not interested in other test but in the frequency response coming out of the speakers.
audible evidence is there and is, maybe not night and day, but even i can perceive the difference clearly using regular earphones thru a smarthphone without DAC

of course the difference is, subjectively, almost not existing in a budget speaker that also has rolled off midrage such as the PSB Aplpha p3 that i have.... in a way, i like how the P3 sounds with aluminum so, one more time, is a synergy thing
 

HarmonicTHD

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i think those values cannot determinate how something will sound thru the speakers, I'm not interested in other test but in the frequency response coming out of the speakers.
audible evidence is there and is, maybe not night and day, but even i can perceive the difference clearly using regular earphones thru a smarthphone without DAC

of course the difference is, subjectively, almost not existing in a budget speaker that also has rolled off midrage such as the PSB Aplpha p3 that i have.... in a way, i like how the P3 sounds with aluminum so, one more time, is a synergy thing
How did you ensure minimizing the variance in your measurements? How many did you take? So we can be sure we actually see the difference from the cable and not coming from your measurements / recording / mic. As an engineer I am sure you are familiar with the concept of repeatability and reproducibility of measurements.

As said before, measure the signal at the speaker posts. If the signal going into the speaker is identical (normalized) than the signal coming out is identical (except for the variations in the mic / recording system).
 

solderdude

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i think those values cannot determinate how something will sound thru the speakers, I'm not interested in other test but in the frequency response coming out of the speakers.
audible evidence is there and is, maybe not night and day, but even i can perceive the difference clearly using regular earphones thru a smarthphone without DAC

When you want to measure distance would you use a rubber string or a thin metal strip ?

Measuring speakers is like measuring with a rubber band and highly unscientific.
As Blumlein 88 suggested.
Measure electrically at the input AND output of the speaker cable.
And yes, you will find differences which is well known and documented.
Phase and amplitude differences can be measured with much greater accuracy than a mic in a room ever could.

Have you measured the capacitance of the (misused) multicable you are using ?

even i can perceive the difference clearly using regular earphones thru a smarthphone without DAC
Do you mean a playback of a recording ?

If so post the recordings and also the original.

You are listening to 50 year old speakers. How does the Nakamichi Amplifier 1 handle higher capacitive loads ?

I think it just sounds smoother and again the bass feels better articulated but it might be a placebo effect, who knows (in this case I could not tell the difference between on cable and the other in a blind test).

This is likely.
 
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DavyRockstar

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How did you ensure minimizing the variance in your measurements? How many did you take? So we can be sure we actually see the difference from the cable and not coming from your measurements / recording / mic. As an engineer I am sure you are familiar with the concept of repeatability and reproducibility of measurements.

As said before, measure the signal at the speaker posts. If the signal going into the speaker is identical (normalized) than the signal coming out is identical (except for the variations in the mic / recording system).
i'd done enough
- These results are RAW without any kind of processing or filters....
- I've done each test multiple times to confirm the results using pink noise (the resoults were exactly the same every time)
- The tests were done using the exact same parameters in all variables
- Since this is not a pro Mic, it is hard to know the real SPL volume in dB, but i think, it is not really meaningful for the test


"As said before, measure the signal at the speaker posts...." in theory, but not everybody have the equipment for that, i do have my own workshop but i do not have that type of equipment.... but in my jobs, still there was a change, and was a change for good, and that was the only thing i cared about....

To be honest i thought the differences with this test would be so minimal to conclude that there is no objective difference at all (and it is true when i compare my cable with a regular one made of pure copper)... still i wanted some cool looking cables ;)
 

HarmonicTHD

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i'd done enough
- These results are RAW without any kind of processing or filters....
- I've done each test multiple times to confirm the results using pink noise (the resoults were exactly the same every time)
- The tests were done using the exact same parameters in all variables
- Since this is not a pro Mic, it is hard to know the real SPL volume in dB, but i think, it is not really meaningful for the test

"As said before, measure the signal at the speaker posts...." in theory, but not everybody have the equipment for that, i do have my own workshop but i do not have that type of equipment.... but in my jobs, still there was a change, and was a change for good, and that was the only thing i cared about....

To be honest i thought the differences with this test would be so minimal to conclude that there is no objective difference at all (and it is true when i compare my cable with a regular one made of pure copper)... still i wanted some cool looking cables ;)
Well enjoy the looks. All good.

I just can’t shake the impression that the differences you measured come from the measurement setup and not the cables. To exclude measurement setup influence one usually provides some statistics (at least in a professional environment). If you could do it, it would tell you more about the quality / reliability of your efforts and either strengthen or disprove your results.

As for the equipment. You seem to have an FFT. Edit. Corrected. Just get a load resistor and measure the speaker input. No?
 
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DavyRockstar

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When you want to measure distance would you use a rubber string or a thin metal strip ?

Measuring speakers is like measuring with a rubber band and highly unscientific.
As Blumlein 88 suggested.
Measure electrically at the input AND output of the speaker cable.
And yes, you will find differences which is well known and documented.
Phase and amplitude differences can be measured with much greater accuracy than a mic in a room ever could.

Have you measured the capacitance of the (misused) multicable you are using ?


Do you mean a playback of a recording ?

If so post the recordings and also the original.

You are listening to 50 year old speakers. How does the Nakamichi Amplifier 1 handle higher capacitive loads ?.
hi, the links of the recordings are in the links to google photos "video 1" and "video 2" and well i was playing a flac file of the guitar solo of the song: walking in the air - Nightwish... i use that song because the production is mediocre and so the solos tend to sound harsh (of course i choose that particular song for to be easier to hear the difference)

"Measuring speakers is like measuring with a rubber band and highly unscientific" YES, but what happens if you do the same test 10 times with the exact same results?? i didn't waned to believe it i thought there was something wrong,... of course i don't save every result

"Have you measured the capacitance of the (misused) multicable you are using ?" i don't have a multi meter than can measure those values, but are listed in the link of Gotham audio, i don't know how my design wold might change the values.

in the end, the conclusion is: if you have a harsh sound in mid range, and you are using aluminum cables, you should try to use copper.
 

unpluggged

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DavyRockstar

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Didn't they teach you how to properly take measurements with instruments and how to calculate measurement errors?
- These results are RAW without any kind of processing or filters....
- I've done each test multiple times to confirm the results using pink noise (the results were exactly the same every time)
- The tests were done using the exact same parameters in all variables
- Since this is not a pro Mic, it is hard to know the real SPL volume in dB, but i think, it is not really meaningful for the test
 

solderdude

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As for the equipment. You seem to have an FFT. Just get a load resistor and measure the speaker input. No?

He should test with the actual speaker as a load (which may be part of the reason).
All he needs is an attenuator and a sound card.
Then he can use pink noise (not white noise) and average that pink noise over at least 1 minute and measure at the amp terminals and speaker terminals.

Being already convinced of the perceived differences will make it extremely hard for someone to test any other way so would not hold my breath.
 
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solderdude

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hi, the links of the recordings are in the links to google photos "video 1" and "video 2" and well i was playing a flac file of the guitar solo of the song: walking in the air - Nightwish... i use that song because the production is mediocre and so the solos tend to sound harsh (of course i choose that particular song for to be easier to hear the difference)

"Measuring speakers is like measuring with a rubber band and highly unscientific" YES, but what happens if you do the same test 10 times with the exact same results?? i didn't waned to believe it i thought there was something wrong,... of course i don't save every result

"Have you measured the capacitance of the (misused) multicable you are using ?" i don't have a multi meter than can measure those values, but are listed in the link of Gotham audio, i don't know how my design wold might change the values.

in the end, the conclusion is: if you have a harsh sound in mid range, and you are using aluminum cables, you should try to use copper.

Why would one use aluminium cables other than to save weight and the costs down (think HV cables, voice coils etc ?)

If you want to prove to ASR members that there are differences you should at least come with some evidence that exceeds the rubber band measurement which will also show the same length each time you stretch it the same way.
 

HarmonicTHD

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He should test with the actual speaker as a load (which may be part of the reason).
All he needs is an attenuator and a sound card.
Then he can use pink noise (NOT white noise) and average that pink noise over at least 1 minute and measure at the amp terminals and speaker terminals.

Being already convinced of the perceived differences will make it extremely hard for someone to test any other way so would not hold my breath.
Yes. My bad.

And I am breathing regularly ;-)
 

wwenze

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such as the Lizt cable which is a type of cable done with the specific task to transmit very high radio frequencies

Usage of science terms that sound awesome on Google but have minimal actual practical use in even the context that is being quoted: Check

Find your graphics cable or TV cable or thunderbolt3 or whatever stuff that is capable of 5GHz frequency and cut them and and observe that none of them use Litz wire, for a very simple reason that is mentioned on wikipedia:
Litz wire is very effective below 500 kHz; it is rarely used above 2 MHz as it is much less effective there.[1] At frequencies above about 1 MHz, the benefits become gradually offset by the effect of parasitic capacitance between the strands.[7] At microwave frequencies, the skin depth is much smaller than the diameter of the strands, and the current that is forced through the inner strands induces strong eddy currents in the outer strands, which negates the benefits of litz wire to the point where it performs much worse than solid wire of the same diameter.[8]

Source: People whose knowledge come from actually using stuff at RF frequencies instead of 5 minutes of Googled forum reading

To anyone else reading who is programming your word filter to detect audiophoolery, add this term to the list.
 

HarmonicTHD

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- These results are RAW without any kind of processing or filters....
- I've done each test multiple times to confirm the results using pink noise (the results were exactly the same every time)
- The tests were done using the exact same parameters in all variables
- Since this is not a pro Mic, it is hard to know the real SPL volume in dB, but i think, it is not really meaningful for the test
That still doesn’t show the measurement error any measuring system has. It will show you how “rubbery “ your rubber band actually is.

Again. You are making it unnecessarily complicated. Measure at the speaker inputs.
 

solderdude

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I highly doubt there are 10dB level differences in reality ... in the low bass .... because of cables .... the rubber band is also very thin..
He should at least average noise for 1 minute to get a little bit of accuracy in the lows anyway.
 

HarmonicTHD

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Lastly, I could get a pair of prosound cable, very good quality pure copper cable and very affordable... i done the test again and well there were differences between them, this time they were so minimum that I can confirm that the frequency response I get was practically the same..... as for the sound, well maybe the fact that I’ve inverted a lot of time doing the Gotham cable, but I think it just sounds smoother and again the bass feels better articulated but it might be a placebo effect, who knows (in this case I could not tell the difference between on cable and the other in a blind test)... as for me, my CS-A700 sounds 10% better, in my opinion using the Gotham cable vs the aluminum one (and I can tell the difference in a blind test, NO MORE HARSHNESS), and 3% better vs the prosound this is just subjective, of course
So far I see that your knowledge seems to be lacking significantly, you claim to be an engineer, but seem to have no concept of measurement system capability, let alone the actual difference in cable properties (material, composition etc). And lastly no idea of ABX blind testing otherwise you wouldn’t come up with such ludicrous claims in sound difference as you stated above. I only see Pseudoscience here at best trying to prove a personal misconception.
 
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