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

JJB70

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I love the video, but I have to take them to task on their comments that materials return back to the way they were after being heated. I don't know about electrical properties, but heat treatment is an essential technique in controlling the physical properties of materials to get the desired hardness, strength, toughness etc and the changes induced are permanent unless a similar heating is applied. If welding metals together, pre and post weld heat treatment is essential for getting a good joint and avoiding high thermal stresses. Stress relief is an important use of controlled heat. I'm not saying any of this is relevant for audio cables, but it is worth pointing out that heat treatment is not just some sort of voodoo at least in terms of a materials mechanical properties.
 

VintageFlanker

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Don't believe in power chords at all. Tested a Kimber Hero versus a "Balanced Cable" once - between the preamp and the amp - heard NO DIFFERENCE IN REPEATED TRIALS. NO DIFFERENCE. Used my preamp remote to switch between outputs - so there was no break in the sound. NO DIFFERENCE.

But - and I mean this - I have a stretch of KCAG - Kimber pure silver IC - and I really believe that I hear a "sharper, brighter" sound when the KCAG is used in the system - which is NOT always a good thing.

I had a PS Audio Class D amp - and it was splashy and gritty sounding on my Maggie 20s. Put some Cardas TOTL speaker cable in between the amp and the speaker - problem gone. But when I got a decent amp, after the trash from PS Audio "auto ignited", I noticed that with the Cardas wire there was a since of sludge and slowness overlaying the music. Removed the Cardas and installed Kimber 8TC - and the music seemed "more open and flowing". Odd that.

So - there seems to be something to some of the cable claims - but not exactly the overwhelming differences that are marketed to us. Certainly NO CABLE IS WORTH THE RIDICULOUS PRICES BEING ASKED.
 

FrantzM

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Don't believe in power chords at all. Tested a Kimber Hero versus a "Balanced Cable" once - between the preamp and the amp - heard NO DIFFERENCE IN REPEATED TRIALS. NO DIFFERENCE. Used my preamp remote to switch between outputs - so there was no break in the sound. NO DIFFERENCE.

But - and I mean this - I have a stretch of KCAG - Kimber pure silver IC - and I really believe that I hear a "sharper, brighter" sound when the KCAG is used in the system - which is NOT always a good thing.

I had a PS Audio Class D amp - and it was splashy and gritty sounding on my Maggie 20s. Put some Cardas TOTL speaker cable in between the amp and the speaker - problem gone. But when I got a decent amp, after the trash from PS Audio "auto ignited", I noticed that with the Cardas wire there was a since of sludge and slowness overlaying the music. Removed the Cardas and installed Kimber 8TC - and the music seemed "more open and flowing". Odd that.

So - there seems to be something to some of the cable claims - but not exactly the overwhelming differences that are marketed to us. Certainly NO CABLE IS WORTH THE RIDICULOUS PRICES BEING ASKED.
Have you tried this experience with knowledge removed ?
 

Eirikur

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Don't believe in power chords at all.
I do, try these and play them loud:
Code:
e|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
B|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
G|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|
D|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|
A|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|
E|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|
 
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Have you tried this experience with knowledge removed ?
No - all testing was sighted with listener knowledge. That may very well invalidate my observations. BUT - I am no fan of cable baloney - in fact the "sighted" test wherein I flipped between two very different cables going from preamp to amp seemed to indicate NO AUDIBLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CABLES.

Interestingly a "conventional audiophile" was present during the flip test - and he heard no difference either. But has since come up with some good excuses for why he did not. There alone is proof positive of bias - denial and delusion.

Though I really do "think" I hear a difference between Cardas and Kimber - beside the fact that the Cardas was 15x as expensive as the Kimber - the Kimber to my ears sounded "better" - I had already paid for both.

The KCAG - that stuff does seem rather "zippy" - but maybe that is delusional on my part.
 

ajawamnet

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my rant on cable bullshit - this has been on my marketturd for years: http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/Audio_Voodoo_and_Stuff.html

Here's a letter I sent to an editor of Tape Op after hearing about AC power cords that make a difference:

Uh.. dude, you really don't want to get into the whole cable esoteric crap that the consumer audio guys do. In fact a few years back AES sponsored a blind test that a bunch of audiophiles failed discerning (10) 741 opamps (one of the lowest-fi opamps out there, typ. used for DC servos) chained together vs. their "golden-ears" Litz (sp?) cable.

A few things; one I worked in a hifi golden ears (GE) shop. As a test , we took an Advent tweeter, placed it on the used shelf with a tone generator/amp, starting at 19kHz...94dB @ 1M; every few days we'd drop it by 1kHz.

Now the GE's, sitting there telling people how good that $130.00 3' pair of Litz cables would sound didn't hear a thing.

The only guy that noticed was the hippie dude, he mentioned (at around 13K) that he'd shut off all the old Advent and Novabeam projector TV's we also sold but could still hear the Horiz squeel... Hmmmm

OK... LISTEN - MAJOR POINT HERE:

Interconnect cables are not arbitrarily selected. A certain cable with a certain characteristic impedance is used to connect inputs and outputs with a certain (and hopefully matched) impedance and required transfer function. This is basic math...basic physics.

For instance, imagine a coax cable (similar to the BNC stuff you just bought for your PT rig) except that it's 3" in diameter, the connector weighs about 30 pounds and is as big as your head, hollow with nylon spacers placing the center at the exact distance for 50ohms, and you have to gas it with anhydrous nitrogen to keep it from flashing over and so you can push 40,000 watts with an 8,000 volt plate voltage thru it at 100Mhz. This is what I dealt with designing FM radio transmission facilities.

Here's a great photo:



That ain't me by the way; no association, just a cool pic - it's the guy from the radio station on Mt Wilson
BTW: see those "pipes" in the background - they ain't no pipes, that's 3" rigid transmission line.
Now tell me about your uper expensive BNC cable for your PT rig...

Just imagine how fucked something can get if it's just slightly off in matching the load?

It's happened to me on multiple occasions, due to a lame-ass tower guy slightly screwing up the connection to the antenna/transformer (you can see a CAD drawing at http://www.ajawamnet.com/ajawamnet/page4/towers.jpg - the top right-hand drawing). Or, a hell of a lot of ice accumulates on the antennas ( those things in the aforementioned CAD drawing that look like convoluted arms - those are CP 40kW ERI FM bays) due to a nasty winter storm..

There's a property known as VSWR (ask any ham dude or even a trucker with a CB, or any cable plant guy that installs CAT5 cable/fiber - why they use a Time Domain Reflectometer) this is what contributes to the power that's reflected back to the source from the load. It's always there and is expressed as a ratio - usually something like 1:1.18 is tolerable by a transmitter; which is a 10-40kW power amp that typically has a tube in it that's the size of a large coffee can.

Another great image:


That's a lot o' power. That tube goes in these:

Those are two Continental FM transmitters - I used to work on those.

Now image the aforementioned bad connection, ice, god knows what. What happens when there's a slight mismatch is that MOLTEN BRASS/COPPER falls about 400' on to peoples heads.

We actually had a mismatched 4 bay ERI (what's shown on my website mentioned above) that went FLAMING and dropping molten metal onto a senior citizens home that was co-located under the tower farm.

So AGAIN I STATE:

YOU DO NOT ARBITRARILY SELECT A CABLE BASED ON THE TYPICAL "VOODOO SHIT" PROPAGATED BY VENDORS THAT ARE NOTHING MORE THAN MR. HANEY FROM GREEN ACRES. (Yea, Mr Douglas, gots me some o' dat der cable for yer stereo ... http://www.maggiore.net/greenacres/gacast.asp )

Here's the thing, ask any pro that's working with processors running in the Ghz range and any guy that designs RF stuff, and he'll tell you that all the crap about this cable and that cable is usually pure BS.

PLEASE NOTE: there are differences in cables - these are calculable parameters that are used by actual engineers with the equations to back it up for use in specific circuit topologies that require the most efficient and coherent transfer of energy.

As to the guy from Requisite that states "equipment break-in.." what you're hearing is actually components aging. For instance, electrolytic caps exhibit a change as they age; in fact, if you look at any of the catalog pages of electrolytic caps on Digikey.com you'll see a rating for expected life at the Absolute Maximum thermal condition. See here:

http://www.digikey.com - just type/paste ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR into the search box

OK, let's deal with a tuned circuit, running at 2.4 GHz, well beyond the paltry 20-20K audio guys deal with. This is what's in your 802.11 card on your laptop.

Now, most vendors try to eliminate manual tuning tweeks. They try to go with fixed values for resistors, capacitors, inductors. This gets the cost down in mfg; that's why it's $40 for B/G wifi card.

Now let's say this "breaks in". OK. Because of the tight tolerances and tuning of the RF circuits, the peak drive current to the final amp will be affected, causing as much as a 45dBv reduction to the input of the final.

EFFECT: NO MORE ONLINE PORN FOR YOU...

If you really want to know what's up call me (yea, I know you're too busy) but hey here's the chance to actually learn a bit about the underlying crap you so duly use in your day-to-day stuff.

>>>>NOTE: So I get a response from one of the editors at mediabase - asks if I got a response I reply:

Thanks... Naw, I didn't think he would. My guess is he's going thru the "rock star" mentality with his mag. Typical .... give'em a few years to temper his 'tude and he'll be OK...

I've been thinking of expanding it and publishing somewhere, have to do a bit more "research" ("I'll have the roast duck and mango salsa..."); get some screenshots off of my lab equipment. It's part of my theory that audio "pro's" that carry the title "engineer" have a long way to go. I remember about 15 years ago AES papers were actual studies with actual peer-reviewed dissertations and real math in them. I was hoping that a consumer protection unit would take the lead on some of the wildass claims these consumer audio companies make. "He who waits for legislation waits for no one" I guess...

I was speaking with Rupert Neve a few years ago, we were trying to get him to do a DSP card that would emulate his comps/limiters/etc... and with a real nice front end. I asked him how he liked Texas vs England (he and his wife recently got US citizenship). He was still encumbered with the whole AMEK- Harmon thing and IC's were about the only thing he could do.

So I asked him what he was doing and mentioned something like, " ... so I guess you spend a lot of time fixing the old modules people pull from your old consoles and are so enamored with..." and his response was that he couldn't understand why audio "engineers" were so into those things..."they sound God-awful..." was his response. He mentioned something on the order of, " Wayne, you know how far along semi and passive technology has come? Why would anyone use that stuff?"

And it wasn't a marketing ploy to sell Harmon stuff (believe me - I got the impression that he was about fed up with that whole affair). It's true; 'cause right after I spoke with him, I benched a few of his old micpre/EQ's some studio ripped from an old NYC studio's console. Man, they sucked. Massive noise, pure sine waves turned into funky waveforms well into the audible range, THD out the ass. I blamed it (reason for my question to him) on the dried-out coupling caps and aging transformers (delamination is a primary cause of transformers sounding weird after a while).

But hey, that's what sells - pure hype... shame he doesn't make any $$$$ from the old stuff. I wonder how well his new Portico (he's free from Harmon) stuff is selling?

And in the long run, I've never heard a 14yr girl say, "did you hear all the transient intermodulation distortion in that last Black Eyed Peas single? I'm not downloading it!!"

"I don't have much of an appetite..."
 
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ajawamnet

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Also note - I used to make those Litz cables - we'd sell them for $130.00 for a 3' pair.

So...

The 500' reel of litz wire
- $75.00

The gold RCA's - which had to be tinned since the gold at the solder connection could cause embrittlement (See J-STD-001 section 4.5)
- $5 for the four...

Learning how to solder the litz wire (melting thru the individual lacquered strands) and selling assclowns silly wire that most probably was WORSE for their application (due to the characteristic impedance of the cable being incorrect) ?
- Priceless...
 

ajawamnet

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I just got off on a tangent on another thread concerning the def. of SOL... the slang is obvious, but to me it means Short - Open - Load (or SOLT if you also do a thru cal...

But I recalled this cable topic and had to at least give some insight into my long winded rant on cables.

Back in the day Agilent made some kick ass gear test gear. They were the spinoff of the medical and test gear group of HP; when HP decided to get heavily into computers, printers, etc... Agilent got out of test gear (due to companies like Rigol and Siglent that actually made Agilent's low end getting into the market themselves) and went after the big bucks - medical).

But they used to provide a lot of free info and little software applications ( I refuse to use the man-bun, Java-jockey word "apps") such as this app note, which concerns using Vector Network Analyzers:

ewh.ieee.org/r5/denver/sscs/Presentations/2012_10_Agilent3.pdf

This is really the crux of the stoopid that occurs with all the voodoo BS ... the lack of understanding of what a transmission line is. Mainly due to the fact that transmission line theory is not easy - lots 'o math, well beyond what I can fully understand. Starts with Faraday and Maxwell then continues thru Heaviside, who did a lot of the practical applications of TL -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Heaviside

Here's a link to one of the bibles on transmission line theory... I have a printed copy that smells like an old library:
https://archive.org/details/TheoryAndProblemsOfTransmissionLines/page/n141

https://archive.org/download/TheoryAndProblemsOfTransmissionLines/Chipman-TransmissionLines.pdf

So when I hear of this cable and that cable making some audible difference, I usually point to a lack of matching - from that Agilent thing


S-parameters.png


As to what I do for a living, HP, then Agilent,and now Avago released a great program that dumbs down the selection of choices I have to make concerning transmission lines on PCB's - http://www.hp.woodshot.com/

I have and use a few different VNA's in my lab. You should see what a simple mis-match can do.

As to low freq, audio impedance measurement - there's a guy that used to be the head dude at Carvin. He makes a thing called DATs - they're getting ready to release V3 which is in a nice case and all:

https://www.trueaudio.com/dats/

Note he does a lot of other dev:
https://www.trueaudio.com/

Sold by Dayton Audio:
https://www.parts-express.com/dayto...er-based-audio-component-test-system--390-806

I use it for a lot of stuff that's too low for typical VNA - things like passives for audio filters, etc.. But you'd be surprised how the impedance of a speaker varies with frequency. As does a lot of the audio stuff I do

So you can imagine what some of these people maybe hearing and how these charlatans try to take advantage of ignorant people like me...
 
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jtwrace

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All jokes aside though, Starquads have been demonstrated to show some serious EMI reductions by Benchmark. They also hold to their integrity at the same time by telling people sonic qualities do not improve the music, nor do things like “directional” or “burn in” actually exist.

I would some day like to try my hand at making cables (though trying to get situated here in apartments in NYC is a nightmare, folks here pay people to come change light bulbs or put down mouse traps.. that’s how lacking we are in terms of things many people have learned in adolescence).

Also haven’t done much soldering outside of dental prosthetics, and getting that setup especially seems impossible in this setting. Ugh..
It's certainly not impossible and quite easy actually. My sis lives on the UWS so I'm quite aware of small spaces as hers is 585 sq ft. Good news is it really doesn't take much space. :)
 

Rufus

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I do, try these and play them loud:
Code:
e|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
B|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
G|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|----------------3-3-0-|----------------6-6-6-|
D|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-3-3-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-6-6-6-|
A|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|-3--3-3-x-x-x-x-1-1-0-|-6--6-6-x-x-x-x-4-4-4-|
E|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|-1--1-1-x-x-x-x-------|-4--4-4-x-x-x-x-------|
That smells like teen spirit to me!
 

ajawamnet

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It's certainly not impossible and quite easy actually. My sis lives on the UWS so I'm quite aware of small spaces as hers is 585 sq ft. Good news is it really doesn't take much space. :)
True - they have a rework station on the ISS
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120003735.pdf

You'll note the tents - one issue they have is the obvious crap and fumes floating around. But note that most space gear that's outside pressurized compartments has to be rated for low mass loss - a term called TML. NASA has some standards on that.

When I did some work on satellite gear - no use of Loctite, typical adhesives - even low VOC RTV (never use typical Home Fleepot stuff on electronics - even on earth; they (Dow for one) make a specific RTV for that).

Also note, most stuff needs to be conformally coated. In space applications it seems that only stuff like arathane (https://www.jarocorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Arathane-5750.pdf) or uralane (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=19920069306 )is acceptable. Problem is that urethane based coatings will exude isocyanate when heated:

from Rabbit Semi app note TN303:

"Polyurethanes (type UR) are fairly easy to apply, but very difficult to remove. Spot repairability by
thermal means (i.e., a soldering iron) is not recommended because toxic gasses (isocyanate) will be
produced. UR coatings offer excellent protection against the effects of humidity, chemicals, and
abrasion."
solderinginspace.png

And of course the client had me add parts to I designed that they arathaned ... smells like almonds.

So that's another reason they have the tent...

Good thing to have a fume extractor yourself...

also note that any connectors plated with hard gold on the solder terminals has to be removed via tinning - see this vid from IPC:
 
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ajawamnet

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I hope this article can help Amirm in his search for the right AC cable. This gentleman has done the service of listening to and reviewing 27 of them:

https://audiobacon.net/2019/08/17/27-audiophile-power-cables-reviewed/

He's an electrical engineer, remember.

I think he needs to go back to software... The world needs more man-bun, Java jockeys...

He can even buy a man-bun on amazon... along with his power cables.

And he did quit his dayjob:
https://audiobacon.net/2019/08/17/27-audiophile-power-cables-reviewed/29/

"
Until now, Audio Bacon has been personally funded. I’ve quit my job to follow my passion – and have been doing this full-time for about 5 years. Writing these in-depth reviews, going to the shows, editing video & photos, and evaluating gear is what I love to do. But the costs are adding up.

I’m excited to announce I’ve finally opened up ad space on Audio Bacon. If you have something you think Audio Bacon readers will be interested in, please send your inquiries to [email protected].

"

Hmmm... I have a product that I'd like to market - been on my marketturd page for a while:
cluex4lg.jpg
 

ahofer

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I think he needs to go back to software... The world needs more man-bun, Java jockeys...

He can even buy a man-bun on amazon... along with his power cables.

And he did quit his dayjob:
https://audiobacon.net/2019/08/17/27-audiophile-power-cables-reviewed/29/

"
Until now, Audio Bacon has been personally funded. I’ve quit my job to follow my passion – and have been doing this full-time for about 5 years. Writing these in-depth reviews, going to the shows, editing video & photos, and evaluating gear is what I love to do. But the costs are adding up.

I’m excited to announce I’ve finally opened up ad space on Audio Bacon. If you have something you think Audio Bacon readers will be interested in, please send your inquiries to [email protected].

"

Hmmm... I have a product that I'd like to market - been on my marketturd page for a while:
View attachment 31679
Did you see the comments? "You aren't an audiophile". So there!
 
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