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This audio cable business is getting out of hand...

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Also funny how they all have three or four neatly staggered price tiers.
It's confusing when they use red, blue, black, green, etc as if we should know what that means (and it varies among different manufacturers). I actually just saw the Audioquest Cobalt dac announced today, and I had to look up how it compared to the black and the red because the colors meant nothing to me. The tiers should be split based on the universal Jonnie Walker color scheme. I would love a cable that provides a "full bodied, intense smokey character with layers of spice". Although sometimes I may be in a mood for a "mellow bed of vanilla" and "fresh zestiness" with a "long, lingering smokey finish". If these descriptions don't hint at a color for you, then you may not be drinking enough in your life...
 

jsrtheta

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Amir,I agree with you...the idea of hearing cables 'burn in' and immensely improve in SQ is usually nothing more than a marketing ploy...BUT I don't think we can state with 100% certainty that it is ALWAYS a marketing ploy. There are other variables involved, just as it has been shown that even moving some cables will impact their sound. Now whether this has to do with skin effects or some other type of change is hard to know, but I don't happen to think that all cables are immune to this issue.
One of the reasons that i had suggested the Black Cat cables is that Chris is not one of those people who is trying to 'fleece the sheep'( I think we would agree that the audio hobby is inundated with these type of hucksters). He has told me that his cables are not directional ( doesn't even believe in directionality ---although I differ with him here with certain designs, although not his) and doesn't suggest long burn in times either. That, plus I feel his Coppertone cables are more than fairly priced.
Years ago, before I was awakened from my slumber of irrationality, I bought one of Sommovigo's digital cables, an Illuminati (distributed by Kimber, which I would now recognize as a clue). At the time, It was considered about the best digital cable by Stereophile, who also did much to indoctrinate me in many false ideologies. IIRC, it cost $275 new, but I just had to have it.

Even then, I realized, once I actually plugged the damned thing in, that there was far less there than I had been told. It sure didn't make a difference to the sound. Around this time, I received a lecture on the "genius" that is Sommovigo by someone who knew him. I was told that Sommovigo's "personal" digital cable was 25 feet long, even though the distance between the source and the DAC was about two feet. That was about the time that I began to awaken from my slumber and rejoin the actual physical world.

Do I think Sommovigo is a knowing fraud? Probably not. But I do think he knows nothing about how cables work and convinces himself he can hear a big difference every time he creates a new cable.

Sound familiar?
 
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We need that Audioquest Cobalt thing tested I think. They don't provide performance numbers on their website, only talk about the used DAC chip and the microprocessor, which in no way guarantee it performs well. After all the red version, which I sadly bought long before I discovered this site, can only be classified as mediocre and overpriced. Unless a nice shiny finish and a dragonfly glowing in different colours justifies the price for you.

Someone needs to keep AudioQuest honest with their DACs imo and while ASR can't provide that, it would still be nice having the ASR Thread show up on the first pages of a google search.
 

Hypnotoad

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I was always of the opinion that fancy speaker cables and interconnects were hugely overpriced and smelled like BS. But then again I am a cheap old B and would rather spend that money on better speakers etc.

What keeps the gravy train going is that many audiophiles have too much money and fall for the "these will make you good system great" mantra.
 
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This is some technical jargon quote from Cardas Cable. Can anyone explain how golden ratio of multi sized strands eliminate resonance in the wire and how in the world that translates to "purer" signal transmission? Is there even a capacitance / inductance behavior in a wire? All of those sound like a load of BS to me. I'm pretty sure those who study electronics and electrical engineering would laugh at these claims hysterically.

BTW, I own an 8 wire pure silver IEM cable that actually employs some of the techniques laid out by Cardas Audio such as golden ratio multi sized, individually enameled strands and litz wiring technique, but I bought that cable purely for craftmanship and pleasing aesthetics.

It is said, wire is just wire. In reality, a high-end audio cable must balance resistance, capacitance, inductance, conductance, velocity of propagation, RF radiation and absorption, mechanical resonance, strand interaction, high filtering, reflections, electrical resonance, dissipation factors, envelope delay, phase distortion, harmonic distortion, structural return loss, corrosion, cross-talk, bridge-tap and the interaction of these and a hundred other things. As a high-end cable manufacturer, Cardas Audio strives to address every detail of cable and conductor construction, no matter how small.


An elegant solution deals with quality, not quantity. Cable geometry problems are resolved in the cable’s design, not after the fact with filters. George introduced the concept of Golden Section Constant "Q" Stranding to high-end audio, but Golden Ratio, 1.6180339887... : 1 is as old as nature itself. Golden Ratio is the mathematical proportion of life itself, the heart of musical scales and chords. "Discovered" by the Greeks, but used by the Egyptians in the Great Pyramid centuries before, man has employed Golden Ratio to create his most beautiful and naturally pleasing works of art and architecture.


The signal used by your system, be it digital or analog, through tube or solid state, is always alternating current. The cyclic effect of alternating current vibrates the wire in your system like the strumming of a guitar string. The beating of the capacitive, inductive and mechanical elements in audio cable is set in motion by the transient energy of the audio signal, just as the guitar string is set into motion by the strike of a pick. This form of vibration or resonance distorts the audio signal and produces many sound anomalies, from colored bass to glare. Every interconnect, every speaker cable, every chassis and speaker wire has its own resonant signature. Like the mass, tension and hardness of the guitar string, the mass, tension and hardness of the conductor, coupled with its inductance and resistance, and the capacitance of the cable, determine what sound is made. Each strand in a cable has its own note or beat. Conductor strands interact with other same sized, near unison, and multiplistic sized strands creating beats the same way a cube listening room would, or one with multiplistic dimensions like 8’ x 16’ x 32.


Stereo systems depend on the purity of the audio signal. When the cable linking all components together imparts its own sound, the audio signal is corrupted. Cardas created a conductor that absorbs or cancels the noise released by the current fluxuation, by progressively layering strands that share no common resonant multiple. This conductor uses the same mathematical proportioning seen in the worlds greatest concert halls for essentially the same reasons. The infinite indivisibility of the Fibonacci Sequence or Golden Section is a key to controlling resonance. The ratio of ø (Phi), or 1 to 1.6180339887... to (infinity), is the Golden Mean, called Golden Ratio or Golden Proportion.


In Golden Section Stranding, individual strands are arranged so each strand is coupled to another, whose note or beat is irrational with its own, thus nulling interstrand resonance. This is the famous "Silent Conductor". It is the silence of Cardas conductors that allows them to be so uniquely musical and pure.


At the heart of cable oscillation is delayed or stored energy. This energy results from the lowered internal "Q", or resonant point, of conventional conductors. Cardas cables employ a unique stranding method where strands diminish in size towards the interior of the conductor. This design is called Constant Q Stranding and it allows each strand of the cable to share the load equally. It is a very effective method of reducing the Non-linearity seen in conventional conductors, without compromising the symmetry of the conductor or the capacitance of the cable.


Ordinary Cables are di-pole antennas, both radiating and absorbing RFI/EMI, which sustains system resonance. George’s cable design incorporates Crossfield Construction in its manufacture, which reverses every other stranding layer to defuse the di-pole effect and match conductor propagation to that of surrounding dielectric materials.


Cable resonance is further reduced through the use of ultra pure copper, air dielectrics and state of the art connection techniques. Our ultra pure and homogeneous metals have proven to be the best conductors for audio signals. Cardas uses diamond dies exclusively, drawing the strands in a hydrogen reduction atmosphere. This process reduces the amount of impurities and eliminates the surface contamination that occurs when standard metal dies are used. As each strand is drawn, the resultant ultra pure surface is immediately given a urethane enamel "Litz" coating. This is a continuous process that results in a perfectly insulated strand and ultimate longevity of the conductors. Ordinary uncoated copper stranding corrodes in a relatively short time. Cardas meticulously maintains the purity of the conductor strands until they are sealed at termination.
There is a technical information about electrical resonance on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resonance) but I see that it only applies to RL/RLC circuits rather than a wire.
 

DonH56

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A lot of that stuff matters for RF cables, not so much for audio... Yes, cables are really distributed RLCG circuits, but at audio frequencies transmission line effects, dissipation factor, skin effect, loss tangent etc. do not apply. And audio connections are not matched by any stretch of the imagination.

There is an article or two about transmission line effects in audio cables in the technical area. Bottom line is such effects happen in microseconds, far faster than we can hear.

It reads like the worst of what I see in audio marketing -- throw around real terms and real effects, actual science, in a way totally inapplicable to the application. Why yes, interconnect X exhibits much greater bandwidth than interconnect Y, so that must be audible, right? There's a plot and everything... I keep thinking I am going to resell some 40 GHz RF cables, normally pretty expensive anyway, since I can easily sell for double or more my cost with a few words and plots showing their decades of bandwidth beyond a typical RCA interconnect. Heck, they'll even handle hi-rez! :)
 
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Wombat

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I fed those and a few more into the GPT-2 text generator, and it conjured some more names:

AudioQuest Black Hole
AudioQuest Black Magic
AudioQuest Blue Magic
AudioQuest Blue-Eyed Devil
AudioQuest Fire Dragon (Volt)
AudioQuest Gold Sparkles Diamond
AudioQuest Green Ice Dragon
AudioQuest Red Comet
AudioQuest Red Crown
AudioQuest Silver King
AudioQuest Sky Blue Tribute
AudioQuest Super Star

Nordost Azure Aurora
Nordost Gold Lightning Diamond
Nordost Gold-Tailed Dragon
Nordost Rainbow Dream
Nordost Silver Sky Ebonite
Nordost Star Stalker

Shunyata Lightning Bolts
Shunyata Bronze Lightning Bolts
Shunyata Silver Lightning Bolts
Shunyata Crimson Nightmare
Shunyata Green Dream
Shunyata Purple Flame
Shunyata Purple Lightning
Shunyata Silver Bolts
Shunyata Silver-Eyed Tiger
Shunyata White Sunshade
Shunyata Yellow Star

Siltech Blue Mule of Darkness
Siltech Blue Sunshade
Siltech Crystal Sun
Siltech Firebird Ultra (Diamond)
Siltech Firebird Ultra (Silver)
Siltech Golden Stryker
Siltech Silver Sable
Siltech Silver Star
Siltech White Diamond
Siltech White Sunshade
Siltech Yellow Moon

Wireworld Crystal Light
Wireworld Golden Diamond
Wireworld Green Earth
Wireworld Silver Moon

Kollektronik Blue Thunder
Krampus A.P.C. E.S.H
Morphic Incorporations The Light in the Sky
Sigma Labs Haze
Zealot Black Wind
Zealot Blue Sky
Zealot Gold

........ and certain audio products in general. I tend to ignore silly/wacky named products. :rolleyes:
 
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iMax2000

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I got tired of using my long RCA cables to interconnect small DACs and Amps so decided to get a short one. Saw one on Amazon (by "World's Best Cables') that used Canare Star-Quad cable and Amphenol connectors for just $22 shipped. My time was worth much more than that to make one so I ordered it. It came promptly. When I opened though, I was shocked to see this massive sign in there:

View attachment 27076

Are you kidding me? Even a low-cost cable using proper material spreads such a myth?

It is one thing to see this on multi-thousand dollar cables but on a $22 one?

Inside there is an instruction sheet and it says that again. To their credit they acknowledge that such burn-in will take out of Amazon's 30 day return window so they provide instructions on how to still get a return.

The danger here is that such practices will spread to the general public, not just high-end audiophiles.

Yes, it is also "directional" although here, it is due to the way they utilize the shield at one end so that bit is fine.
I got tired of using my long RCA cables to interconnect small DACs and Amps so decided to get a short one. Saw one on Amazon (by "World's Best Cables') that used Canare Star-Quad cable and Amphenol connectors for just $22 shipped. My time was worth much more than that to make one so I ordered it. It came promptly. When I opened though, I was shocked to see this massive sign in there:

View attachment 27076

Are you kidding me? Even a low-cost cable using proper material spreads such a myth?

It is one thing to see this on multi-thousand dollar cables but on a $22 one?

Inside there is an instruction sheet and it says that again. To their credit they acknowledge that such burn-in will take out of Amazon's 30 day return window so they provide instructions on how to still get a return.

The danger here is that such practices will spread to the general public, not just high-end audiophiles.

Yes, it is also "directional" although here, it is due to the way they utilize the shield at one end so that bit is fine.
Bought a pair of these and they work well. That said I played Barry Ma...ow through them for over 175+ hours and he still sound like sh1t.
 
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I was at magnolia home theater and they told me I needed a larger power cable for my amplifier because my current power cable was not capable of carrying the current required by my amplifier. I asked him what the size of the wires were that are in my walls, he just looked at me funny and said he didn’t understand the question.
 
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I was at magnolia home theater and they told me I needed a larger power cable for my amplifier because my current power cable was not capable of carrying the current required by my amplifier. I asked him what the size of the wires were that are in my walls, he just looked at me funny and said he didn’t understand the question.
I love stuff like this.

Improving anything other than the bottleneck is a futile effort.
 

Wombat

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I love stuff like this.

Improving anything other than the bottleneck is a futile effort.
For many Audiophiles, the 'bottleneck' is somewhere between the shoulders and the brainstem.
 
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Where are these rich, gullible people that buy expensive cables? Even if the buyer himself is retarded, atleast the people surrounding him might question the purchase decision?
 
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This is how I view equipment effects sometimes. The differences are obvious, but they're not... I can't argue against what someone perceives, hehe.
 
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