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

CDMC

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"After all, if high end cables were all snake oil would so many companies exist?"
That makes as much sense as saying: “After all, if heroin was really bad, people would stop using it” or “A stock price always reflects the underlying value of the stock”. Consumers are more often then not irrational, trying to solve why and predict their behavior is one of the biggest issues in Economics.
 

anmpr1

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If someone claims that Ethernet cable 'A' has 'soft' highs while 'B' provides a more 'liquid' mid-range, then why would anyone believe them when it comes to any other aspect of audio? I mean, at that point they've laid their cards on the table.

The fact that 'reviewers' can spout this stuff, and the fact that some readers (actually, a lot of readers) take it seriously tells you most of what you need to know about the mainstream audio 'press' and the intelligence level of their subscribers. LOL

As far as 'climate change'? I'm holding out for the next Ice Age. I can only imagine what the cold will do for those 'too hot' transistor highs. Or if the ice caps melt? The resulting global infusion of wet H2O is going to work wonders for mid-range 'liquidity'.
 

raistlin65

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If someone claims that Ethernet cable 'A' has 'soft' highs while 'B' provides a more 'liquid' mid-range, then why would anyone believe them when it comes to any other aspect of audio? I mean, at that point they've laid their cards on the table.
Agreed. Once they lay those cards down, it's pretty clear they thought the jack of spades in their hand was a queen, and the five of diamonds a five of hearts. Definitely someone you want to play cards with if you want to take advantage of them...err sell them snake oil audio products. :D
 

mhardy6647

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If someone claims that Ethernet cable 'A' has 'soft' highs while 'B' provides a more 'liquid' mid-range, then why would anyone believe them when it comes to any other aspect of audio? I mean, at that point they've laid their cards on the table.

The fact that 'reviewers' can spout this stuff, and the fact that some readers (actually, a lot of readers) take it seriously tells you most of what you need to know about the mainstream audio 'press' and the intelligence level of their subscribers. LOL

As far as 'climate change'? I'm holding out for the next Ice Age. I can only imagine what the cold will do for those 'too hot' transistor highs. Or if the ice caps melt? The resulting global infusion of wet H2O is going to work wonders for mid-range 'liquidity'.
Yeah, really. I mean, 'cause everyone knows "A" is more liquid than "B"!
:cool:

I'm sorry -- I'll stop. I promise.
I am pretty open minded when it comes to subjectivism -- but I do pretty much draw the line at wires.
(even though I'll admit I use better quality/more 'spensive wires than I used to on the big-boy stereo upstairs)
 

anmpr1

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I'll admit I use better quality/more 'spensive wires than I used to on the big-boy stereo upstairs)
Nothing wrong with quality interconnects. That's what you want. The thing to look for is the termination. Is it beefy enough and are the joints intact? Will they last over the long haul? Or will they short out? You just want to make sure that you are paying for decent construction. I've had more anxiety, more trouble, and more frustration with 'cheap' connections. I'm currently using Benchmark cables for my Benchmark gear, and to the speaker runs. Sure isn't dirt-cheap. Sure isn't expensive. Sure is good.
 

MattHooper

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If someone claims that Ethernet cable 'A' has 'soft' highs while 'B' provides a more 'liquid' mid-range, then why would anyone believe them when it comes to any other aspect of audio?
Because they may be wrong about one thing, but right about another.

We are all subject to error and the fact you or I are wrong about X may not mean we are wrong about Y.

I'm making a bit of a pedantic point, not vouching for any reviewer in particular who makes the above claim. But I think it's a relevant point and one I've actually had to answer before.

We are all moving through a swarm of potential bias all day long, no doubt we often enough have made biased inferences. We can't all scientifically test every inference we want to make; we'd never have time to take an action. The most practical way out of this is to mostly reserve the demand for particularly rigorous evidence for "extraordinary claims." Applied to audio, I would put things like the "sound" of high end AC cables and similar tweaks in to the "extraordinary claim" category, given how out of sync they are with widely accepted knowledge about electrical engineering, combined with the propensity of people to fool themselves.

But I would not put the proposition "speaker A sounded different from speaker B, and in this way..." in the extraordinary claim category. That's an entirely plausible claim. The reason why you or I would agree we cant to control for our sighted bias when testing the claim about an AC cable is because, of course, you, me and everyone here are just about as susceptible to "hearing things that aren't there" as the reviewer who thinks he hears that in a cable. But we don't infer from that susceptibility, that we could not detect REAL sonic differences, whether it's between the voices of people we know, or between two different speaker designs. Being in error in the former case does not necessarily entail being in error in the latter case.

To put a finer point on it: I have read subjective reviewers who think they hear changes in AC cables and the like, just as we would be susceptable without blind testing. But I have found some of those same reviewers to be quite perceptive when describing REAL, PERCEPTABLE sonic differences among speakers. (Because I've heard the speakers in question, and their description seems bang on).

So as I've written before, I certainly understand the impulse of many here would would instantly right-off a purely subjective reviewer especially once they see claims about usb cables and the like. I personally don't automatically write them off, for the reason above, and the fact I have found some of them entertaining and occasionally useful.
 

anmpr1

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We can't all scientifically test every inference we want to make.
While that is true, it is in most cases irrelevant once a principle is established. I recall a point from Peter Aczel (I quote him a lot since I learned a lot from him over the years):

Let's put it this way: If we were trying to determine which is the world's fastest land animal, we'd investigate the cheetah, the Thoroughbred horse, various gazelles and antelopes, some hounds like the greyhoud and the whippet, and so forth. We wouldn't bother with the yak or the baboon unless a very reliable observer assured us that he has seen them traveling at comparable speed...

The idea being that once you know a general rule, then you don't have to investigate each and every instance of a claimed variance unless you have a compelling reason to suspect something elsewise. In this case, once one understands the basics of the OSI model, Ethernet transmission, and DAC fundamentals, there is no reason to investigate anymore, simply because some untutored Tom, Dick or Harry makes a wild statement that challenges known reality.

On the other hand, if, say, Stanley Lipshitz or John Vanderkooy reported that Ethernet cable 'A' presented a wider soundstage than 'B', you'd probably want to investigate the claim.
 

ahofer

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While that is true, it is in most cases irrelevant once a principle is established. I recall a point from Peter Aczel (I quote him a lot since I learned a lot from him over the years):

Let's put it this way: If we were trying to determine which is the world's fastest land animal, we'd investigate the cheetah, the Thoroughbred horse, various gazelles and antelopes, some hounds like the greyhoud and the whippet, and so forth. We wouldn't bother with the yak or the baboon unless a very reliable observer assured us that he has seen them traveling at comparable speed...

The idea being that once you know a general rule, then you don't have to investigate each and every instance of a claimed variance unless you have a compelling reason to suspect something elsewise. In this case, once one understands the basics of the OSI model, Ethernet transmission, and DAC fundamentals, there is no reason to investigate anymore, simply because some untutored Tom, Dick or Harry makes a wild statement that challenges known reality.

On the other hand, if, say, Stanley Lipshitz or John Vanderkooy reported that Ethernet cable 'A' presented a wider soundstage than 'B', you'd probably want to investigate the claim.
In addition, we can use bayesian inference. If a *dealer* is making claims about audio, and he has been making claims about Ethernet cables, we can infer that he Is likely to make more claims designed to sell you high margin snake oil. So we should evaluate the interest of the source before investing a lot of effort in researching new and unlikely claims.

Also, claims similar to discredited claims (this cable is different, this amp/DAC is ‘night and day’ different) are like conspiracy theories, we can infer they are unlikely to be true and conserve our resources accordingly.
 
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The best is when people talk about burning in their Daps and other electronic devices. I guess if I burn-in my Xbox One S it will play games better and smoother also.

I don't buy headphone cables for improved SQ I get them because they tend to be made better and last longer than many stock cables and I can use them with many different headphones. Now I can hear a difference between the cheap $25 cable from Amazon and my good aftermarket ones but that's the only time I could hear any difference and that's because of the cheap copper they use plus they don't use very much at all. Comparing a $60 Periapt to a $300 Moon-Audio cable you're not going to hear a difference imo.
 

L5730

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I got 13 pages in and got a headache.

So we have a fellow here who is a product designer and engineer who claims to hear audible differences, suggesting there is a real cable 'burn-in' phenomenon. They were questioned as to whether they were joking, they replied that they weren't.

We have numerous threads and graphics and numbers telling us there is no such thing as 'burn-in', even with equipment. Proof of cable qualities directly affecting certain things, like FR and noise, but no such thing as 'burn-in'.

Did someone already, or does someone want to actually waste a chunk of their life 'burning in' a cable and measuring the before and after results?
One can't just use test tone sweeps, as an argument that it's not proper music will be levelled against them. It has to be a playlist of various genres and has to be continuous. Heck, if they are feeling really fruity they can try different genres for different 'burn-in' tests. I'd be interested to see the effect of 150+ hrs of Wagner vs. the same time using Mozart on a cable. I dread to think of the results using 150+ hrs of Spice Girls, not so much on the cable but the poor unfortunate who'd have to listen to it.
Does that 'burn-in' have to be done continuously or are breaks allowed, and for how long?
 

muskrat

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I think burn in is bunk but I use different cables for different loading of phono carts. I have a dozen 1 meter cables that measure from 35pF to 600 pF. Old Shures like 500pF, newer AT like 100pF.
 
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The inductor is just 2.5uH and since the speaker is around 8 Ohm nominal that would mean it acts as a 500MHz 6dB/oct 'low pass'.
It thus has absolutely NO influence on the sound.
One may wonder why the hell it is in there.
The reason is simple... to ensure the amplifier will remain stable even with a high capacitance cable connected to it.

Most amplifiers have this inductor already inside (usually about 1uH) it along with a filter similar to what is found on the other side of the cable.
Again this is only needed when the cable is high capacitance.

As for the resistor + series capacitor at the end of the cable. This is NOT a low pass filter but is there to counter the rising impedance dynamic speakers at very high frequencies. It starts do do something from about 5MHz to ensure the impedance of the load (above 5MHz) does not increase above 30 Ohm.

So these parts do not filter anything in the audible range but are there to ensure amplifiers that don't like high capacitance cables remain stable.
I don't know anything about the marketing of this cable (I assume it touted improved sound) but the patent talks about it being a digital signal cable and is not concerned about its influence on (analog) sound. The patent characterizes the problem in the state of the art thusly: "As digital components... have been added to otherwise conventional analog signal audio systems, the cables used for interconnecting the digital components have generally been the same type of cables used for interconnecting the analog signal components. However, the use of analog signal cables for this purpose has been found to be unsatisfactory." [my emphasis]

Its solution is "a digital interface cable for interconnecting digital components in an audio system which is tuned to comprise a predetermined bandwidth of a typical source of audio signals in a digital format or comprises means for tuning the cable to the bandwidth of a signal source of audio signals in a digital format to which it is coupled."

Essentially, they have patented an XLR AES or coax S/PDIF cable because (presumably) only conventional analog XLR and RCA coax cables had previously been used in the digital transport application. The priority date is 1992, mind you, so I'll leave it to others here to play patent examiner and find the prior art.

Now many of you are surely wondering "there's no way something that obvious could get patented!" Well, yes and no. The threshold of obviousness is rather subjective (lol). More importantly, the cited prior art isn't really all that close. I.e., nothing cited dealt with the problem of interconnects for digital audio signals. There's a tendency to overestimate obviousness because everything in hindsight seems at least somewhat obvious. Moreover, it's difficult to cast your mind back to the relevant date (1992) and put yourself in the frame of mind of someone tinkering with cables and digital audio signals. What are they expected to know? What are their motivations? Sometimes, the "invention" is merely recognizing that a problem (however small or tenuous it may be) exists in the first place, despite how naturally the solution arises once the problem is identified.
 

solderdude

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we are not talking about the same cable. You are talking about a digital cable, I was talking about a speaker cable.
 
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we are not talking about the same cable. You are talking about a digital cable, I was talking about a speaker cable.
You were talking about this post, no?
Make sound transparent by......well not being transparent. So it must be undoing something that something does to the sound on the way. Reverse filterfication of bad filtering you know.

I always like showing this when the subject comes up. MIT digital cable with their patented network inside the RCA plug. Consists of a 1 ohm metal film resistor. Patented technology I remind you.

View attachment 27645
EDIT
I see now--there's two different cables mentioned in that post!
 

solderdude

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No, about speaker cables like this from MIT for instance with special 'networks' in it.
Hence the reference to 8 Ohm speakers.
I agree it could look like I was talking about that cable but using a 1Ohm resistor in an RCA cable excludes it from being used as a speaker cable.
Ofcourse you could use 2 of these cables and use the shield only as conductors.
 

mansr

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I don't know anything about the marketing of this cable (I assume it touted improved sound) but the patent talks about it being a digital signal cable and is not concerned about its influence on (analog) sound. The patent characterizes the problem in the state of the art thusly: "As digital components... have been added to otherwise conventional analog signal audio systems, the cables used for interconnecting the digital components have generally been the same type of cables used for interconnecting the analog signal components. However, the use of analog signal cables for this purpose has been found to be unsatisfactory." [my emphasis]

Its solution is "a digital interface cable for interconnecting digital components in an audio system which is tuned to comprise a predetermined bandwidth of a typical source of audio signals in a digital format or comprises means for tuning the cable to the bandwidth of a signal source of audio signals in a digital format to which it is coupled."

Essentially, they have patented an XLR AES or coax S/PDIF cable because (presumably) only conventional analog XLR and RCA coax cables had previously been used in the digital transport application. The priority date is 1992, mind you, so I'll leave it to others here to play patent examiner and find the prior art.

Now many of you are surely wondering "there's no way something that obvious could get patented!" Well, yes and no. The threshold of obviousness is rather subjective (lol). More importantly, the cited prior art isn't really all that close. I.e., nothing cited dealt with the problem of interconnects for digital audio signals. There's a tendency to overestimate obviousness because everything in hindsight seems at least somewhat obvious. Moreover, it's difficult to cast your mind back to the relevant date (1992) and put yourself in the frame of mind of someone tinkering with cables and digital audio signals. What are they expected to know? What are their motivations? Sometimes, the "invention" is merely recognizing that a problem (however small or tenuous it may be) exists in the first place, despite how naturally the solution arises once the problem is identified.
Standard 75 Ω coax such as RG-6 or RG-59 works perfectly for S/PDIF signals. There is no problem that wasn't solved 100 years ago.
 

anmpr1

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The latest 'News from the Moronosphere'

Compared directly with my long-term sample of Chord's SilverPlus, the Epic USB delivered a slightly darker and, on brief audition, fractionally less vibrant sound. Listen longer, however, and it's clear that the Epic USB is marginally more refined, possessed of great control and delivering energy and passion when required as slickly as it will reveal subtle details.

https://www.hifinews.com/content/chord-epic-usb-interconnect-cable

How do you get a 'long term' loan? Can you say, shill? I knew you could.
 
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