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Snake Oil Department, Top This

AudioSceptic

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Or rather, if a cable is designed in a stupid enough way it makes a difference to sound, but not the one it claims to do.

No veils lifted or microplankton multiplying. Just a pointless mangling of the frequency response.
And crucially, there's no reason for such a cable to cost more than a few 10s of $, if that.
 

AudioSceptic

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A cable that exhibits a difference from normal wire of sufficient gauge always presents a degradation of the signal.

Let's imagine that you are a cable manufacturer. You need some sales gimmick to boost your sales. So you design a cable that is not equivalent of a standard cable, but a cable that has been deliberately "doctored" (for lack of a better word) to sound different.

Now you have three advantages. 1) You can show your customers that your cable sounds different, claiming that "different" is "better". 2) You can prove to your customers that the so-called "experts" who claim there isn't a difference in cables are wrong. 3) You can now induce your customers to trust what you say rather than what someone else says, since you've proven what you claim.

You've got those customers in the palm of your hand, and all you had to do to lock them in and get their money was construct an inferior cable. Isn't life great? :facepalm: :facepalm:

Jim
Recordings vary in SQ and balance: some are slightly bright, some slightly dull. Wouldn't a "dull" cable make a bright recording sound better and a "bright" cable make a dull recording sound better, all this just by tweaking the LCR of the cable?
 

AudioSceptic

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I think that with the TVs being so flat & thin, it would be difficult to get anything worthy of being called a speaker in there. Best to just go with a separate sound setup.
That's why soundbars exist, isn't it? (Although I've aways fed my TV sound through the hi-fi system, even when TV sound was mono.)
 

AudioSceptic

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Reading above about an audio salesman playing different files to demonstrate "differences" in USB cables reminds me of a scam that I actually fell for a long time ago at a high end audio salon. I was still naive enough to believe that expensive designer interconnects might yield meaningful audible differences. While I sat auditioning a very expensive 2-channel system, the salesman swapped between the interconnects I had brought with me and the ones he was trying to sell me. The difference in soundstaging was profound and undeniable! I mean, there was absolutely no doubt that with my interconnects the soundstage was very narrow and completely between the speakers, while with the expensive wire, it was extending well outside of the speaker boundaries. I bought the expensive interconnects without a second thought. It was a complete no-brainer. Only later did it dawn on me that the salesman had simply crossed the channels (left to right) between DAC and preamp when using my interconnects. Fortunately, this lesson only cost me several hundred dollars (a relative pittance in the realm of audiophile interconnects), and the interconnects I ended up with were excellent in terms of construction and aesthetics.

Amazingly enough, two other audio salesmen have pulled this exact same stunt during subsequent auditions (of other gear). I guess they teach it in Snake Oil 101. Thought I'd share for the benefit of the uninitiated.
How does that work? Surely that would simply reverse the stereo image, left<->right, not narrow it?
 

AudioSceptic

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So this magical $10 DAC sells for $8,000? Holy cow I'm in the wrong business. Well, if I wasn't retired I'd be in the wrong business. Turning $10 plus box and shipping into $8,000 is actually magic. I know see the magic in audio.
That's a bit unfair. The DAC502 does have a lot of functionality and good build, although $8k is far too much, of course. The Matrix Element X would be a fair comparison.
 

Vacceo

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I think that with the TVs being so flat & thin, it would be difficult to get anything worthy of being called a speaker in there. Best to just go with a separate sound setup.
That was exactly my thought when I got an OLED. The sound is there, but quite meeeh.

The LS50 wireless II make it worth, though.
 

Killingbeans

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And crucially, there's no reason for such a cable to cost more than a few 10s of $, if that.

Exactly. Even if a cable actually does something audible because of inductance and/or capacitance, then why spend kilobucks on that "difference", when you can get the same result with cheap zip-cord and a few cents worth of inductors and capacitors? Makes zero sense...

You can even put that homemade "special" cable in good looking sleeve for cheap to get that visual bias going :D
 

FrantzM

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Recordings vary in SQ and balance: some are slightly bright, some slightly dull. Wouldn't a "dull" cable make a bright recording sound better and a "bright" cable make a dull recording sound better, all this just by tweaking the LCR of the cable?
Just trying with this point of view.

You would need 3 sets of cables:
One set of "accurate" cables, to know when a recording is bright, else ...
One set of "dull" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is bright, you use for that kind of recordings...
One set of "bright" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is dull, you use for that kind of recordings..

Of course, you would have taken notes of most or, every recoding, for this to work. Or you could use a switch .. but wait, such switch needs to be transparent , or accurate to not impart its "character" to the recordings... err.. cables.. err.. system...
:rolleyes:
From there, to absurdity...

Peace
 
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Kal Rubinson

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Just trying with this point of view.

You would need 3 sets of cables:
One set of "accurate" cables, to know when a recording is bright, else ...
One set of "dull" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is bright, you use for that kind of recordings...
One set of "bright" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is dull, you use for that kind of recordings..

Of course, you would have taken notes of most of every recoding, for this to work. Or you could use a switch .. but wait, such switch needs to be transparent , or accurate to not impart its "character" to the recordings... err.. cables.. err.. system...
:rolleyes:
From there, to absurdity...

Peace
Madness lies in that direction because not all "dull" recordings are dull in the same way nor are all "bright" recordings bright in the same way. OTOH, all "accurate" recordings are, by definition, accurate in the same way.
 

AudioSceptic

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NORDOST QPOINT SYNCHRONIZER
"…the QPOINT locks down the map of the stage and increases the grip, adding body mass and boosting low frequency response. The sound is more pure and becomes easier to read, as if the signal has been cleaned up and extraneous stuff removed."

– Marshall Nack, Positive Feedback

NORDOST QPOINT HARMONISERS AND QSOURCE POWER SUPPLY
"The music sounds more ‘right’ and musicians sound more like they are playing together...you tend to notice an increased sense of dynamic freedom to the sound...”

– Alan Sircom, Hi-Fi+

NORDOST QRT QPOINT AND QRT QSOURCE — STRANGE BUT TRUE
"With the introduction of the QPOINTS, the orchestra really snapped into place. It was like a photo that went from blurry to sharp in the blink of an eye. It was a sheer pleasure to hear . . . What a revelation!”

– Jacob Heilbrunn, The Absolute Sound

NORDOST QPOINT – RESONANCE SYNCHRONIZER
"These are not “additions”, but as important elements of the audio system as any other ones…I have got used to it and to what it does to the sound of my player so fast and so strongly that I experienced physical pain when I was putting the device back into the box . . .”

– Wojciech Pacuta, High Fidelity
Another jump into a parallel universe. How the f*** is this supposed to work?

Edit: Only ~$800 or ~£700 each. I wonder what's inside.
 
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AudioSceptic

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This is The Subjectivist Swamp. This is what enables con men to grab customers' money and snake oil purveyors to grab attention. How much of this, or how much of that? It's a never-ending dance in quicksand.

The answer is simple; aim for accuracy. If you don't like accuracy, then modify the accurate setup using apps. Moving to a new house? Trust me; you'll want to modify your apps. Same with just changing the room you're in. FAR cheaper than a constant tizzy of "upgrades," and much more versatile.

And later, when you want to know what "accurate" sounds like ..... you're already capable of it!

Subjectivism is like deliberately living an unhealthy life, then taking all sorts of medicines and supplements to stay alive. Objectivism is living a healthy life in the first place; you won't need all the medicines and supplements, and you'll feel much better.

My two cents worth. :)

Jim
Yes, I know. I was trying to think of some broad-brush way cables *might* actually make a positive difference. :)
 

AudioSceptic

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Just trying with this point of view.

You would need 3 sets of cables:
One set of "accurate" cables, to know when a recording is bright, else ...
One set of "dull" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is bright, you use for that kind of recordings...
One set of "bright" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is dull, you use for that kind of recordings..

Of course, you would have taken notes of most or, every recoding, for this to work. Or you could use a switch .. but wait, such switch needs to be transparent , or accurate to not impart its "character" to the recordings... err.. cables.. err.. system...
:rolleyes:
From there, to absurdity...

Peace
Many audiophiles say that digital is "thin" and "bright", so they would use the "dull" cables just for those. Easy!

(Playing devil's advocate here...)
 

AudioSceptic

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Madness lies in that direction because not all "dull" recordings are dull in the same way nor are all "bright" recordings bright in the same way. OTOH, all "accurate" recordings are, by definition, accurate in the same way.
What is an "accurate" recording? How do we know, given all the devices and processes involved before we hear the result?
 

pseudoid

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Be careful. When you play devil's advocate, people can mistake you for the devil! ;)Jim
... or just an advocate!:)
Many audiophiles say that digital is "thin" and "bright", so they would use the "dull" cables just for those. Easy!
(Playing devil's advocate here...)
I would prefer 'bright' cables, as my ears have become so dull from trying to figure out which is the real 'ear-Palmolive' and which is the real 'ear-lotion'...
 

theREALdotnet

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You would need 3 sets of cables:
One set of "accurate" cables, to know when a recording is bright, else ...
One set of "dull" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is bright, you use for that kind of recordings...
One set of "bright" cables, for when after having determined, that the recording is dull, you use for that kind of recordings..

A proper gentleman has a tie, and a cable, for all occasions :)
 
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