# Loudspeaker cable test and comparison

#### NYfan2

##### Active Member
Forum Donor
Dutch online audio site Alpha-audio did an extensive test of loudspeaker cables in the price range around € 900,- (1 cable was more expensive).
First they tested all cables and after that a blind listening test was done by 2 other people who didn't see the test results.
The one who did the testing made a top 3 according to the test results and the 2 people who did the blind test also made a top 3, interesting is that they all choose the same cable as the best and that there are some differences but the 3 best tested cables are also at least 1 time in a top 3 of the people who did the blind test.

Only fault I can see is that they use a 0,75mm2 generic cable as reference to show the difference to the expensive cables and I think they should at least have used a 1,5 or 2,5 mm2 generic cable as reference.

It's an elaborate test so a long read but for me it is interesting because I still doubt the use of expensive loudspeaker cables and according to the test there is a difference.

So I like to hear other peoples opinion about the test and the results.

https://alpha-audio.net/review/megatest-speaker-cables-real-measurements-samples-and-blind-test/

#### Blumlein 88

##### Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Just getting into the article. But the test of response on the speaker tells you why they might be discernible. The difference in loudness is near the point where it might effect perceived quality without being heard as louder or quieter. And response variation is also near the threshold of it being audible. Haven't gotten to seeing if their top three also measure the same on response. Or other details of the test yet. I've not gotten into the details of the results, but on first blush they don't sound statistically robust. Too few samples. Also it would have made the most sense to test cable response on the speakers used. It is probably in the article, but I've not seen that was the case yet. Okay looks like they did test with the speakers they listened to.

So 3 guys listened blind picking their top three. So six total choices. They agreed upon 1, and otherwise had 4 unique choices. That isn't very convincing.

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#### DanielT

##### Major Contributor
..... but on first blush they don't sound statistically robust. Too few samples. .......
Exactly, it is important to statically ensure the result, via:

In statistical hypothesis testing,[1][2] a result has statistical significance when it is very unlikely to have occurred given the null hypothesis.[clarification needed][3] More precisely, a study's defined significance level, denoted by {\displaystyle \alpha }
, is the probability of the study rejecting the null hypothesis, given that the null hypothesis is true;[4] and the p-value of a result, {\displaystyle p}
, is the probability of obtaining a result at least as extreme, given that the null hypothesis is true.[5] The result is statistically significant, by the standards of the study, when {\displaystyle p\leq \alpha }
.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] The significance level for a study is chosen before data collection, and is typically set to 5%[13] or much lower—depending on the field of study.
[14]

#### Blumlein 88

##### Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Okay no exact description of how the test was done. There is a video of it. Almost 4 and half hours of it.

The guy doing the switching is there. The two listeners discuss their findings which isn't good methodology during the test. The switcher also had done the measurements. This isn't even good single blind. Plus they discuss things for several minutes as cables are switched. They can see the cables being pulled out as switching is done. The first one was a white thin little cable, the next one is a big black fancy looking cable which they might have noticed even though not scrutinizing the cable as this happens. The switcher even gets involved in the discussions of what some of the cables sounds like with the test listeners. At one point even discussing what the measurements of the cable currently listened to was. This is a preposterous test. They are listening to not quite 10 minutes of music once, then talk amongst themselves for 7 to 8 minutes while cables are swapped (again in their view) before listening to the next one. And the results are random even though the author tries to spin it as meaningful.

They spent a ton of time and effort which is a shame. This is useful for showing nothing. I applaud the attempt and transparency.

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#### Alpha Audio

##### Member
Reviewer
Thanks for picking up our test. Appreciate it.

We did the best we can. The point of the livestream was to show 100% transparency. The listeners don't look during swapping (you can see that on camera). Measurements are all described in the article.

The whole point of this test is check if there is actually a difference in speaker cables. Is it audible (samples / listening) and can it be measured? (with the LCR and speaker response). Well... we tried. You can decide on the results.

Can we improve? Sure... No doubt. We don't claim that we are the best scientific instutute in the world. But at least we try to test stuff in a decent way.

#### Doodski

##### Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
@Alpha Audio on your webpage it says regarding a switch.

"That a switch optimized specifically for audio applications can have a positive impact on streamed audio is a fact. Of course that intended effect depends on a range of other factors: cabling, quality of the other equipment in the chain and so on."

#### Blumlein 88

##### Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Thanks for picking up our test. Appreciate it.

We did the best we can. The point of the livestream was to show 100% transparency. The listeners don't look during swapping (you can see that on camera). Measurements are all described in the article.

The whole point of this test is check if there is actually a difference in speaker cables. Is it audible (samples / listening) and can it be measured? (with the LCR and speaker response). Well... we tried. You can decide on the results.

Can we improve? Sure... No doubt. We don't claim that we are the best scientific instutute in the world. But at least we try to test stuff in a decent way.
Thank you for posting this here and discussing this with us. I've already been a harsh critic as you can see. I do appreciate the effort and time involved. It is considerable. We could give tips on improving what you are doing.

#### Alpha Audio

##### Member
Reviewer
Thank you for posting this here and discussing this with us. I've already been a harsh critic as you can see. I do appreciate the effort and time involved. It is considerable.
Thanks man! We do use reader- / viewer feedback. We try to improve every test. Tests like these are very expensive (we actually bought extra equipment) and take a LOT of time. So, next time - probably interlinks - we will see where we can improve.

#### Alpha Audio

##### Member
Reviewer
@Alpha Audio on your webpage it says regarding a switch.

"That a switch optimized specifically for audio applications can have a positive impact on streamed audio is a fact. Of course that intended effect depends on a range of other factors: cabling, quality of the other equipment in the chain and so on."
View attachment 218232

No idea how this post is relevant. But hey... we actually did measure switches and there is a difference in common mode noise:

#### delta76

##### Major Contributor
I'm sorry, but each cable is test with different music, what?
also, at least use the 1.5mm2 standard cable.
From a purely physical level, I fail to understand why a much more expensive cable sounds better than a much cheaper (yet decent) one. For $2000 you can bet your ass that a$1990 speaker + $10 wire beats your$1000 speaker + $1000 cable #### Alpha Audio ##### Member Reviewer I'm sorry, but each cable is test with different music, what? also, at least use the 1.5mm2 standard cable. From a purely physical level, I fail to understand why a much more expensive cable sounds better than a much cheaper (yet decent) one. For$2000 you can bet your ass that a $1990 speaker +$10 wire beats your $1000 speaker +$1000 cable

Each cable is tested with the same tracks. I'm not sure why you think that we use different tracks. The speakers we used are TAD E2... those are not 1000 Euro.

#### delta76

##### Major Contributor
Each cable is tested with the same tracks. I'm not sure why you think that we use different tracks. The speakers we used are TAD E2... those are not 1000 Euro.
It's in the streaming above. If you used same tracks, it was not clear.

I did not mean in your specific case, but for average music listener out there - spend money on the speakers, not the cables.

#### Blumlein 88

##### Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Thanks man! We do use reader- / viewer feedback. We try to improve every test. Tests like these are very expensive (we actually bought extra equipment) and take a LOT of time. So, next time - probably interlinks - we will see where we can improve.
Please take this as what I hope is helpful criticism.

Among many problems you (assuming your were the author of the article and doing the switching) cannot be involved discussing matters and knowing which cable is which. Also you laughed once during music, and other times appear to have reactions like inhaling or exhaling. This is more than enough to be picked up by the listeners cuing them to what you think is a good or bad cable. You need a 4th person who does the switching. He should do it on a pre-determined random order which you do not know if you are going to be handling the playing of the music. The ability to view which cable is being swapped must be covered up. Too easy to see without trying to the cables being swapped. This puts you in the dark so to speak so you cannot tip them off.

Switching time was over 5 minutes for each cable. Quick switching has been determined to be far more discriminating. Either some electro-mechanical switching box or something needs setting up so this can be done quickly. Maybe do pairs of cables. Switching between a reference and a test cable. Do the switching back and forth for each musical track. Also I wouldn't allow discussion between the listeners.

This is just a start to clean up the process.

#### Alpha Audio

##### Member
Reviewer
Thanks. I will look into that.

#### tomtoo

##### Major Contributor
Thanks. I will look into that.
Whats you reason to use a .75 cable and not a 2.5 what i would say is a standart speaker cable.
And what should your 20khz square wave test show?

#### delta76

##### Major Contributor
Whats you reason to use a .75 cable and not a 2.5 what i would say is a standart speaker cable.
And what should your 20khz square wave test show?
exactly my point. 2.5 is not needed for short cables, but at least 1.5mm of good quality. 1 eur/m will do just fine. Better cables will yield better results if your original one is crappy, but only to a point. after that, the diminishing returns apply sharply.

#### Katji

##### Major Contributor
@Alpha Audio on your webpage it says regarding a switch.

"That a switch optimized specifically for audio applications can have a positive impact on streamed audio is a fact. Of course that intended effect depends on a range of other factors: cabling, quality of the other equipment in the chain and so on."

That's all i needed to know. Thanks.

OP

#### NYfan2

##### Active Member
Forum Donor
Thanks for picking up our test. Appreciate it.

We did the best we can. The point of the livestream was to show 100% transparency. The listeners don't look during swapping (you can see that on camera). Measurements are all described in the article.

The whole point of this test is check if there is actually a difference in speaker cables. Is it audible (samples / listening) and can it be measured? (with the LCR and speaker response). Well... we tried. You can decide on the results.

Can we improve? Sure... No doubt. We don't claim that we are the best scientific instutute in the world. But at least we try to test stuff in a decent way.
Hi Jaap, thanks for tuning in on the discussion.
Hope the guys are not too harsh on you this time while discussing the test and results.

I like the effort that you make to keep alpha-audio as neutral as possible and that you invest all this time and money to provide good information.

#### Alpha Audio

##### Member
Reviewer
Hi Jaap, thanks for tuning in on the discussion.
Hope the guys are not too harsh on you this time while discussing the test and results.

I like the effort that you make to keep alpha-audio as neutral as possible and that you invest all this time and money to provide good information.
I will survive ;-). But thanks! We do the best we can.

#### mansr

##### Major Contributor
No idea how this post is relevant.
It's relevant in that it lets me know that I can safely ignore anything you might have to say.

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