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Our perception of audio

andreasmaaan

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Similarly with cables. Cables do need to be an appropriate gauge for the application and I have no issue with paying a little more for a cable which is well made, with good quality connectors etc because I do think a good, tight connection with untarnished connectors is important and if you're going to pay for something you may as well buy quality. However the price uplift to get such cables is trivial and can't be compared to audiophile cables.
I've been using Blue Jeans cables for a while as they are the cheapest cables I know of that I can rely on to be properly made. Are there other manufacturers you'd recommend for cheaper?
 

JJB70

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I tend to just buy cables that look to be well made and good connectors and which don't cost a lot from local hifi or electrical hardware shops when I need new ones. So far they have all been fine and long lasting.
 

SIY

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Most of my wires came from either Home Depot or Guitar Center. The latter has particularly nice low noise balanced cables intended for performance microphones.

The wires I have that have failed are some moderately expensive Monster interconnects that were given to me as a gift- really shoddy construction. I also have some interconnects from another high end company whose name escapes me at the moment. The worst shielding I've ever encountered. So all wires indeed do not sound the same!

edit: the company whose name I couldn't remember was Morrow, for what it's worth. Apparently, mine are no longer any good because their latest products have upgraded to cotton insulation ("Cotton has the lowest reflectivity of all dielectrics which reduces the "smearing" distortion found in others") and solid copper instead of plated ("The presentation is now smoother and more musical"). No mention of any improvements on such mundane things as shielding. And of course, no actual data on their website, but lots of testimonials.
 
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Theo

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I buy my cables for their reliability and sturdiness. So, maybe not the cheapest ones.
I used to practice my soldiering "talent" to put the connectors (RCA or XLR usually, or DIN - that was a long time ago...) on the raw cable. I was once checking on a RCA connector which seemed loose - but was not sounding "different" to my ears in my system - only to find out that there was only one strand of the signal wire still attached to the connector! And it was still passing the signal, including the low end part of the spectrum... Speaking of cable sonic influence...
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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I do check the sound of cables by ear against alternatives. It is tiring and I may even delude myself about the mostly tiny sonic differences that I think I hear. But, I have tried a few that just did not sound to my ears as good as others, independent of price, metallurgy, geometry, reputation, etc. Yet, I probably could have lived with them unquestioningly if I had not heard something else I thought sounded somewhat better.

So, last time I did this was over 10 years ago when I upgraded from stereo to Mch, and I needed many new cables, including some long runs. The cables I chose were relatively inexpensive, though not dirt cheap. I liked them a little better sonically than an expensive, top hi end brand I had been using for years, so I rewired my whole system with the new, much cheaper ones. I have felt no need whatsoever to revisit the issue. And, I learned a lesson about fancy, expensive cables.

Adequate build quality is always a fundamental consideration, but is is so simple to get very robustly made cables and connectors, even among cheap ones, by routine visual inspection. I don't see any major advantage of expensive cables in construction quality as it will affect day-in, day-out use. And, indeed, no cable has failed me, once I stopped trying to DIY them, sometimes ineptly.

I am also much happier with construction quality of XLR terminated interconnects vs. RCAs. The XLRs seem to have better strain relief than many RCAs, as I also noticed in my DIY days. So, it's been XLRs and their many other advantages all around for me ever since.
 
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listening perspective (Critical Listening)
I've always liked the Rolling Stones and have/had a lot of lp's and CD's. So I had just picked up my latest CL speaker find. Set them up and decided to play the Stones, Exile on Main Street. By the end of a couple of songs I was ready to toss the speakers into the dumpster. I had listened to that CD a number of times before but never "critically" and I didn't know the backstory about how this album came to be. The Stones were a mess. They were recording in a villa somewhere in France, and using a new mobile recording studio. It may be great raw Stones but it is not for critical listening.
 

Wombat

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listening perspective (Critical Listening)
I've always liked the Rolling Stones and have/had a lot of lp's and CD's. So I had just picked up my latest CL speaker find. Set them up and decided to play the Stones, Exile on Main Street. By the end of a couple of songs I was ready to toss the speakers into the dumpster. I had listened to that CD a number of times before but never "critically" and I didn't know the backstory about how this album came to be. The Stones were a mess. They were recording in a villa somewhere in France, and using a new mobile recording studio. It may be great raw Stones but it is not for critical listening.
Perfection is beyond criticism. ;)

1A95E1DE000005DC-2910149-image-a-32_1421261168545.jpg
 
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NorthSky

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I'm a big Led Zeppelin and AC⚡DC fan. I need a new iPod.
Is there one with visceral impact, bass that eject you from your bicycle onto upcoming traffic, or is it better live? Can we compress the live music experience with 140 decibels inside an iPod? What is a reasonable audio perception for people like us...between 16 and 89?

Are two people, say in a classic music hall, hearing the same orchestra on a same psychologic neurologic emotional level? ...Exact no, some similarities yes, @ the same position no but for a certain group close enough.
Where we sit, where we stand will determine how we perceive the sounds of music we hear.

Our ears have different geometry, designs from each other. Our brains have been through different life's experiences. No two brains are alike.

It's a complex science the one of audio perception and how each individual hear and react to the music playing. And we have valves and we have transistors, analog and digital, music recording venues. ...
 

BE718

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I've been using Blue Jeans cables for a while as they are the cheapest cables I know of that I can rely on to be properly made. Are there other manufacturers you'd recommend for cheaper?
I have always recommended blue jeans because they are no nonsense value for money technically correct cables, belden or can are underneath, which is all that you require.
 
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Where we sit, where we stand will determine how we perceive the sounds of music we hear.
As you note, the "sound" we perceive would differs... I agree, I can perceive and discriminate it (till some point, of course).
But what when you enter in the domain of "music"? Does it really makes any difference?
I'm not quite sure...

As @Phelonious Ponk correctly state, we are not able (or at least, I can't) to analyse "audio (sound)" source while listening to "music".
They are separate things I believe, right?

The fact is: my target is listening to "Music", not "Audio" :D

Do I really need advanced stuff?
Are they really related?
Do we need great audio for enjoying Music?

Hehe... this topic send me to hell since years o_O
 

RayDunzl

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we are not able (or at least, I can't) to analyse "audio (sound)" source while listening to "music".
They are separate things I believe, right?
Uh, I pick "wrong".
 
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Uh, I pick "wrong".
I'm not talking about mental "switch" to analyse audio and listening music, but evalutate mp3 compression while enjoying a melody progression (for example). The first part is not "part of music" I think...
 

RayDunzl

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You're listening to music via audio.
I think Music is somethings which will be extrapolated from the (physical) source (which is elaborated by brain).
Its somethings way abstract, placed at higher level.

If I read a book with sunlight or under artificial light, the story doesn't change, as well the melody/harmony playing an mp3 with my earbuds or a flac with a 10k system.

Probably will change my mental "illusion": read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with sun rather than neon light of course will bring to me optimism, living the whole experience in a better cheerful way.
But that's another thing...

P.S. I'd like to reiterate it: I believe so.
 

Soniclife

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I'm not talking about mental "switch" to analyse audio and listening music, but evalutate mp3 compression while enjoying a melody progression (for example). The first part is not "part of music" I think...
When blind testing an AAC encoder a long time ago I picked it out from the flac because it sounded 'slow', and the reason I did the comparison was when just listening to the lossy version it struck me as slow sounding, I did the blind ABX test to prove I was imagining it, but I wasn't.
 

NorthSky

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I think Music is somethings which will be extrapolated from the (physical) source (which is elaborated by brain).
Its somethings way abstract, placed at higher level.

If I read a book with sunlight or under artificial light, the story doesn't change, as well the melody/harmony playing an mp3 with my earbuds or a flac with a 10k system.

Probably will change my mental "illusion": read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with sun rather than neon light of course will bring to me optimism, living the whole experience in a better cheerful way.
But that's another thing...

P.S. I'd like to reiterate it: I believe so.
The books we read, how we perceive the writings, the stories, etc.
It is our brain, it is the words written we all interpret to our own emotional intellectual values.
When I read that you mentioned "book" I knew right away that it was the right way to describe how we perceive audio.

A book with a hardcover encrusted of gold letters and sparkled with diamonds won't make a difference about the story.

Music is different though: Some recordings of the same music are not all created equal.
Say Black Sabbath for example; some CDs from the eighties are not the best sounding ones, some LPs from the eighties have a more emotional impact...I don't know why it is just the way it is with my listening, my perception of audio.
I recorded several guitars on open-reel tapes, tape cassettes, VHS tapes and CDs (digital), I like R2R tapes best and CDs second.

Some gear we like more than others. Sometimes I prefer small speakers and a clean integrated amp for some type, other times full range speakers with synchronised subwoofers for some music genre.

Each listening room can accommodate various speakers and amplifiers and turntables and music servers that we perceive well. Some preamps are cleaner for some well recorded music by quality music recording engineers. Some high-end speakers suit us better for the type of music we love listening to of quality recordings. The prices are relative, it can vary between say $1,000 (or less) to $100,000 (or more).
The way we perceive audio is a personal musical journey; the highest reward is the sharing and understanding and high respect we all have for each other. Appreciation of other's activities with the gear they use is a token of life evolution. ...It's a nice way to put it positively. We give freely without expecting anything in return, we love everything that is good and true to the heart of man, woman and child...and pet too.

Some of my best friends are . . . the Bose radio wave system owners.
Some of my best friends are . . . the ultra high-end hi-fi stereo system owners (turntable people).

The way we perceive audio depends of the quality of the music recordings of the music we love listening to best (classical music, jazz, blues and tango).
I love Beethoven, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Mozart, Coltrane, Munk, Deep Purple, Chopin, Simone, Bob Dylan, Ozzy, Miles, Rollins, Holiday (Billie) and Cash (Johnny).q
Among all I love operas, tango, calypso and gypsy music.
Some of my favorite musical instruments are . . . the human voice, the analog piano, the saxophone, the acoustic bass guitar, the cello and the Hammond organ.

The way we perceive audio is not inside a book, it is inside the soul of a music lover and listener. The audio gear we purchase to the highest goal of music reproduction pleasure with an acuity syndrome is proportional to the size of our room, heart, brain and soul.
The bigger our heart the better our audio perception, the larger our bank accounts the more the possibilities to explore more, here and there.

We love when we play ...

 
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Great words, but they still trigger to me the unanswered paradox :p

If Music is really based on Audio (i.e. its based/depends of it), this means that YOU (as listener), having the ability to playback records as you want, you have the ability to change the Music itself, simply adopting different gears/speakers/rooms (as said many times, don't think to this about melody or harmony which will be kept almost everytime, but to timbre or things like dynamics).

This make me thing really hard about this topic, because it seems really weird!
Really: its a sort of deceitful reinterpretation.
Nothing you can do about this: you will always affect audio!! Are you really affecting Music so? Are you saying this? :eek:
 

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