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May Belt
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Some people claim to be able to hear differences in sound between different metals used as a conductor. Some claim to be able to hear the differences in sound when using different insulation materials i.e. PVC sounds different to polythene which sounds different to polyethylene, to polystyrene, to polyurethane, to polypropylene, to polyalkene, to PTFE to Teflon, to acrylic, to nylon, and so on - the list it endless. Some people can hear the differences in the sound when using different AC power cables. A few years back the cable manufacturer Nordost introduced a chemical which, they claim, when applied to the outside of the insulation of a cable (power cables, interconnect cables and loudspeaker cables) will give an improvement in the sound ! When Nordost can hear a chemical change the sound and (quite probably) numerous other people throughout the world could also hear similar improvements in the sound just how do YOU think you are helping explain all of these things when you just keep repeating over and over again the same sentence from the conventional electronic theory text books "In audio land, the frequency and voltages are low, there is no skin effect, there are no other things going on"? Surely you realise that the majority of these people ALSO know conventional electronic and acoustic theories - forwards, backwards, sideways and upside down - they ALSO know that at audio frequencies there is no (effective) skin effect but they also know what they have heard and are reporting such things as information for others !!! And yet you make reference to these people as "extrapolating out to the absurd, is that what audio nudniks are all about."
It is so obvious to many people that there ARE other things going on - things which cannot be explained from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories but yet which will have to be explained eventually.
One other thing which comes to mind is the painting of the edge of a CD with the colour Green. A great number of people, including reviewers in prestigious magazines and, if I might add, John Atkinson also, have heard and reported improvements in the sound of the CD so treated. I agree with their observations - I do not challenge what they have heard. I know that colours can change the 'sound'. The only thing I challenge is the explanation they put forward as to why it happens.
May Belt.

CECE
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Millions also beleive in a boogieman that sees/knows everything one does...from above!!! Don't make it real either. If that where "REAL" why does the boogieman keep asking for money, if this boogieman is so "supreme" why is he always broke, and needs mere mortal's funds? If teh green pen ritual was of any validity, why didn't the CD makers adopt it and look into it's magic abiltys? I don't think i ever heard a word from teh developers of the CD (Philips or sony) that this green pen thing was worthy of anything. How bout freezing that same CD, now wait a minute, wasn't the green ink fixing some fault, what does the freezing fix, the green didn't? Demagnetize any plastic lately? Maybe teh wire color/insulation sound is mass hypnosis. Remember the Kool-Aid clan from some nutjob, down in the jungle, all 900 BELEIVED!!!! an open mind can be a dangerous thing. It will let anythng in, including deadly ideas and concepts. Keeping my mind closed allows me to think logicaly and clearer.

Monty
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

At what point in life does a person know that they have learned everything they will ever learn and that closing one's mind is therefore advised?

Don't get me wrong, I am convinced you have reached that point. I'd just like to learn what signs to look out for from someone who has reached that point.

Costin
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Looks like I'm late to this debate but I would like to emit a second opinion on May's scepticism regarding sound improvement by changing only one set of cables.
I will use the "ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL" coding of information (although I would have preferred a percentual assesment of information loss).
So, suppose your typical audio system with source -> preamp -> power amp -> speakers, using low quality cables. The source outputs information ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL.
The cable between source and preamp "cuts" KL so you have ABC + DEF + GHI + J at the preamp input. The cable between preamp amd amp cuts I + J so you have ABC + DEF + GH at the power amp input.
Finally, the speaker cable cuts GH so you are left with ABC + DEF going into your speakers.
Now, suppose you replace the cable between preamp and amp with a "perfect" cable. The result will be that I + J will no longer be cut so you will get ABC + DEF + I + J going into your speakers.

The water pipe analogy is a little more subtle to explain but this is what can be an explanation: the standard waterpipes dillute the taste of aniseed enough to get it below the treshold of taste for the pipe reviewer. Replacing just one section with a wide-bore pipe does not "restore" any information, it just reduces the loss of taste to a level that allows the aniseed to be sensed by the user.

BTW, there is a bit of salt added to most dessert pastries but I don't think you ever noticed it. However, should the cook make the slightest mistake the resulting pastries would definitely taste salty. Like taste, hearing has a treshold below which no sensation is triggered even if the stimulus is present.

Happy cable swapping,
Costin

Monty
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I was digging through my garage the other day and unearthed some old issues of Stereophile and so I spent a few hours cruising down memory lane. Jonathan Scull has an interview with Roger Skoff of XLO Electric that pretty much covers the topic of cables backwards and forwards with an emphasis from Skoff on well established electrical egineering principles. Skoff even spends a brief time discussing AT&T's contributions from the early days of electricity. Skoff even explains why the Engineering experts are so adamently biased against understanding the principles involved in cable.

A totally bitchin read that would open the mind of anyone who seeks understanding. Stereophile Vol.18 No.9, September, 1995 for those who save their back issues.

bengrbm
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi -

The thing I don't understand (and May, I haven't had time to read your article so I will refrain from responding to it directly) is what other type of electronic theory is there beside the conventional one for audio cables. A 10 ft cable is not that complicated. If the skin effect, a conventional phenomena, is not relevant in audio then why does Audioquest say it is? Conventional engineers aren't biased against the skin effect - they discovered it in the usual conventional, nonmagical way. The people at Audioquest seem to be citing conventional electronic theory, not inventing a new one. They only stop citing it when they are called on their BS, then the say listening is the only test. A wire resonance, which was cited by a manufacturer reviewed in 'phile and started this thread, is not some unconventional thing, its a part of conventional cable theory too and would have measureable consequences, which could bias every speaker review in this magazine. Its seems that many manufacturers, and I know I sound like a broken record, are citing plain old things, but no reviewers ever test them, unlike everything else in stereophile. Electronics is the most well understood physical theory there is, better than gravity, etc.

Do you guys really think that cable manufacturers, some of which are importing Chinese wire, are in the vanguard of all science and electronic understanding? Do you REALLY think Nordost has made some revolutionary discovery that has eluded the rest of the scientific community about the relevance of quantum tunneling to AC signal propagation in audio cables or the effect of sprinkling dust on the OUTSIDE of the cables, which are supposedly super shielded by their amazing dielectrics? Why don't they publish and collect their Nobel Prizes? Do you think you can hear the difference between an air dielectric and a "vacuum" as Tara Labs claims, seriously?

You all seem like very smart, nice people, and I like this magazine and site, but why is all reason suspended by otherwise reasonable people when it comes to cables? Again I'm not claiming no one has heard a difference, but some of these explanations are plainly false. Many of you got worked up about that bogus add in the magazine this month, for the overpriced gear. Why doesn't the questionable advertising and ludcirious prices by the cable people, and the lack of testing by a magazine that tests everything else, bother people nearly as much?

May Belt
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Costin, I have no problems with the way you have reasoned out your vision of the system. i.e. you have started at a different part to the way I started my paper - your started with the information ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL already known to be on the source. So, the way you have reasoned it out fits. That information JLK (and GHI) is lost somewhere along the path (by particular cables) and is recovered again by replacing the rogue cables with different (perfect) cables. So, yes, that reasoning is correct.
However, in my paper I have looked at the problem from the other end entirely - from the end of the audio system - at the information emerging from the loudspeakers - information ABC + DEF when no one is aware that there could be other information (GHI + JK) on the disc (source) because information ABC + DEF is all anyone has ever heard. I have looked at it from the perspective of a reviewer (which is where most people get their information regarding different cables from)
So, using the following example.
YOU have a good audio system with good copper cabling throughout. You have listened to this good system for around the past nine months and you have had good sound coming out of your loudspeakers - information ABC + DEF.
Now, say you are a reviewer and the magazine wants you to review an exotic silver wire cable. Before reviewing the silver wire cable, you listen to your system first, to acclimatise yourself with the sound of your system before making any changes. You confirm that you still have good sound i.e. information ABC + DEF. You now make one change. You replace one of your copper wire cables with the new exotic silver wire cable - let us say it is in the position from the pre-amplifier to amplifier. You listen. You say "Wow, the sound is much better, I can now hear more definition, more separation of instruments, greater depth of music." Meaning that you are now hearing additional information - information we will call information GHI + JKL. You write in your review "That experience was amazing, I have not heard that additional information before." Without saying the actual sentence you are really now inferring that the previous cable, although good copper wire cable, can't have been capable of 'handling' this additional information GHI + JKL - in other words, copper wire cable must be 'garbage'. But, think about this seriously. For you to now be hearing the additional information GHI + JKL coming out of the loudspeakers, this means that this information must have been on the disc all the time and, for you to now hear it coming out of the loudspeakers means that every single inch of all the copper wiring along the pick up arm, through the turntable, along the turntable to pre-amplifier interconnect, through the pre-amplifier, and from the input of the amplifier, through the amplifier, along the metres and metres of speaker wire, along the thin wiring inside the loudspeaker cabinet MUST HAVE 'handled' this additional information equally as well as the metre (or half a metre) of exotic silver wire cable !! So, it would appear, contrary to the presumption that copper wire is garbage - this one experiment shows that copper wire is just as capable of 'handling' the additional information GHI + JKL as the exotic silver wire cable. Which now just leaves the previous (removed) copper cable as the culprit.
Now, the manufacturer of the exotic silver wire cable also claims that you can place the exotic silver wire cable in any position in the audio system and you will still get the improvement in the sound. So, you decide to do that further experiment. You take out the exotic silver cable from between the pre-amplifier and amplifier, replace the previous copper cable back in that position and this time insert the exotic silver wire cable in the position from turntable to pre-amplifier, You listen again. Yes, you can still hear the improvement in the sound, confirming what the manufacturer had claimed. But, think about this seriously. If you can still hear the improvement in the sound i.e. still hear the additional information GHI + JKL coming out of the loudspeakers, then this means that the original copper wire cable (the one thought to be 'garbage' and now back in it's position between pre-amplifier and amplifier) MUST HAVE 'handled' the additional information GHI + JKL perfectly adequately or you would not be able to hear it coming out of the loudspeakers !!!
Which now leaves the question "In that case, with these two experiments, if I have just proved that ALL the copper wire cabling in my audio system is perfectly capable of handling the additional information GHI + JKL , why have I not been able to hear it over the whole nine months I have been listening to the system ?"

I don't know Costin, whether you have understood my paper correctly. I am NOT sceptical about one cable being able to change the sound - I know it CAN. What I am challenging is the explanation usually put forward that if you are 'hearing' additional information, then this means that it is having an effect on the actual audio signal !!

Our concept is extremely challenging. What we believe is, as the two experiments I have described show, that the copper wiring is perfectly capable of 'handling' all the information ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL and presenting it into the room but that we (human beings) cannot resolve it correctly until the conditions have been changed ( using a different metal as the conductor). In other words, we believe that we (human beings) are reacting quite adversely to the presence in the environment of the metal copper and going under some form of tension but that if the sound is perceived as better (i.e. hearing more of the information GHI + JKL) when using the metal silver, then it means that we human beings are reacting less to the metal silver than we were to the metal copper, that is why you could not 'hear' the additional information GHI + JKL which the experiments had shown would be in the room when using fully copper cables but you could hear it when the room conditions were changed (using the metal silver in one position).
That, in our opinion, is why all the things on the list at the beginning of my paper have, over the past 25 years, been claimed as explanations for the improvements in the sound - not because of the explanations given but because they have changed the way the human being reacts.

So, Costin, to recap. Your model is about information known, lost and then recovered by using a 'better' cable. My model is of a wealth of information not known, shown to be there by using a (supposedly) better cable but what the 'better' cable actually showed was that the normal standard cabling was just as capable of 'handling' the wealth of information as the 'better' cable. So, another explanation has to be searched for than the one usually given by the manufacturer.
And, benqrbm, you are absolutely right. From an electronic theory point of view it does not make sense what the manufacturers claim as the reason why their cables improve sound. Conventional electronic theory dictates that any changes which could take place in a cable a metre (or a half metre) long would be so infinitesimal that no human being would be able to 'hear' it, let alone describe any improvements in the sound as 'significant'. So, as I have just said to Costin, another explanation has to be searched for to explain all people's experiences with cables.
That is WHY I wrote my paper "Cable Controversy".
Regards,
May Belt.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

May - I think there may be a fundamental flaw in your reasoning in your model. You keep stressing that if the exotic cable allows you to hear things that you couldn't before, that the copper cabling has been perfectly adequate all along. I understand what you're getting at, but, suppose that with each substitution of copper wire with exotic wire in the tonearm, jumpers on circuit board, amplifier, and speaker cables, you hear more and more information, assuming the source contained more info than the aforementioned ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL info and went all the way to Z? Wouldn't that tell us that the wire we're replacing was not adequate, and that it was masking info?

May Belt
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

If you read my paper "Cable Controversy" carefully, I go through what you are describing very carefully (or I have tried to). I understand what you mean and I understand your reasoning but I would like you to think further.

I start with the existing system, using copper cable throughout and hearing information ABC.
I then introduce one exotic cable in one part of the system and describe hearing additional information + DEF, but I then move the exotic cable into a different position in the system, replacing the previous copper cable back in it's original position and describe still hearing the additional information + DEF. These two experiments show that ALL the original sections of copper cable were perfectly capable of 'handling' information DEF perfectly adequately.

But, I go further than this and show how, using the example you give, that if you have (say) four exotic silver cables in the system, leaving just one copper cable in place and can hear additional information (ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL + MNO), and if you swop and change the cables around whilst still keeping the four exotic silver cables somewhere in the system, you can show that every single piece of the original copper wire, when tried back in it's original position in the system, is perfectly capable of 'handling' all the information ABC through to MNO equally as well as the exotic silver wire.
For example.
After describing the experiment with the one exotic silver wire cable I then introduce TWO exotic cables and describe hearing further additional information + GHI, but I also describe the experiment of re-positioning these two exotic cables in different sections of the system until they have covered every position and also that every piece of copper cable had been back into the system at various times and been shown to 'handle' the same information + GHI.
I then introduce THREE exotic cables and describe hearing yet further information + JKL and do the same thing of moving the three exotic cables around until all the original copper cables, one by one, had been heard back in their original positions and had been shown to 'handle' exactly the same information as the three exotic cables i.e. ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL.
And so on.
The point I have tried to make is that yes, the exotic cables allowed the additional information to be heard where it had not been heard before. But I also tried to make the point that if this additional information could be heard coming out of the speakers, then the original copper cables, after the experiments I describe had been carried out, had been shown to be perfectly capable of 'handling' all that same information !!! But, that with the copper cables ONLY in the audio system, this additional information had not been heard. This leaves the question WHY ? If the copper cables can be shown to be able to 'handle' a wealth of information - far more information than anyone has believed, and equally as well as the exotic silver cables then, with the copper cables used throughout the system, why wasn't all this wealth of information heard coming out of the loudspeakers ?
This is an anomaly which the audio industry is not addressing.
Please read my paper "Cable Controversy". Exploding some audio myths. It can be accessed via our web page http://www.belt.demon.co.uk

Our concept is that the information (say) ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL + MNO is 'handled' (exactly as the experiments show) equally as well by both copper cables and the exotic silver cables and presented into the room by the loudspeakers. And, if any measurements could be taken of the output from the loudspeaker cones, then the measurements would be exactly the same i.e. both showing information ABC through to MNO.
The question again is "In that case, why can't we hear this wealth of information when there is only the copper wire cables in the system ?"

People's observations are correct. You CAN hear more information when using certain different styles of cables (different metals, different insulation materials, different configurations etc) but the different explanations as to why they change the sound do not hold water. I have listed 24 different explanations which have been put forward as to why certain cables gave improvements in the sound !! And, if the explanations no longer hold water, then they cannot be used !! You have to look elsewhere for an explanation. Practically all the explanations centre on the signal being 'handled' better by the different cable structure or metal. But, conventional electronic theory dictates that any effect on the signal, carried along a metre length (or in some cases a half metre) of exotic cable would be so infinitesimal that no one (no human being) would be able to hear it, let alone describe the significant improvements in the sound which some people describe. THAT is why there is such a controversy !! The theorists say that what is being described cannot happen as described and the listeners say that they CAN hear it, so then the theorists say that these people must be imagining it. They are not imagining it - they are describing what they are actually hearing.

To start to get some sort of answer you have to stop looking at the cables and start to look at what people, all over the world, have been reporting for over 25 years. People have been reporting the strangest of things having an effect on the sound. Like suspending their existing cables up from touching the floor or carpet. Like spacing their existing cables away from the floor or carpet with plastic cradles etc. Like applying liquids to the outer insulation of cables and improving the sound (Nordost). We ourselves have had a Cream for the past 25 years which you apply to the outer insulation of existing cables, any cables, to gain an improvement in the sound !! Like using such things as Dr Chows Cable Jackets. Like applying batteries to cables. Like changing AC power cables. Like this, Like that. And so on.

People's experiences have been telling the audio industry something - but the audio industry have not been listening to them closely or carefully enough.
The only concept which fits all these various experiences is that it is the human being who is doing the reacting. That the human being is reacting to all these different things in the modern environment and these reactions are what are changing the way we interpret the information available. That in many cases we (human beings) cannot resolve correctly the information available but, sometimes, changing the conditions, changing what can be adverse conditions into 'friendly, relaxing, reassuring' energy patterns can allow the human being to relax more, to be able to resolve the information already there better.

I have been giving some answers to various questions on the internet site Audio Asylum under the section "Propeller Head Plaza". You might find them interesting. Scroll down the page to about halfway and my postings are under the headings "An answer to three people - Klaus, Pat D, and thetubeguy 1954 at one go 16./05/06" and also under "3 questions".
Regards,
May Belt.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

May - Thanks for the more in-depth explanation of your listening procedure. My comments were based solely on the simplistic waterpipe analogies posted in this thread (I must've missed the link.) I'll read the link on the 1st page when I have some time and possibly comment further then.

bengrbm
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I don't know if its fair to say that people all over the world have been proclaiming the benefits of exotic cables and remidies. This is a very self-selected group within an already niche market and its my personal belief that this conditions the outcome. Many people within the high-end auto circles don't hear differences, and the amount of people willing to spend over, say, $500 on a 3m interconnect is not a large number.

I also wouldn't say that the audio industry hasn't responded. It seems to me that they've overresponded, with many high-end manufacturers filling a small market with various, often contradictory, explanations for why their products are better and their prices are so high. The economics mirror many other high end luxury markets (cars, hand bags, jewelery, etc) that have jacked up their prices over the last 15 years to compete for the growing luxury sector, where people are more willing to spend, say, $5000 on a TV, etc. These brands need to purport their differences and confer their elite status. Some times the differences are real, like speakers, sometime they ain't, and sometimes they are cosmetic...

If there's one thing we do agree on its that its the listener who's responsible for these differences and not the cables...

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

This is where May and I disagree. While I accept that the listener is always part of the equation, in the instance of cables there are things going on that clearly alter the sound. The science isn't 'out there' so to speak; it's very well established, but also difficult for a lot of people to believe results in audible changes.

Now, how much value somebody might place on these audible changes is where the real contention rests.

bengrbm
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I think that's fair. I mean, certainly teflon is a better dielectric that PVC, for example. But I think that only covers some of their claims and varies from company to company. Its one thing to make the teflon v. PVC audible claim, which is suspcious. Its whole another thing to make the air v. vacuum claim (as Tara does), which borders on absurd and only adds fuel to the skeptical fire, let alone almost every Nordost claim, which really seem to be one of the worst offenders. So there seem to be two type of products I question. One, the type you alluded too, where a company offers a real explanation (dielectric, skin effect) and people contend over if it makes a difference, and another where the explanation itself is soooo wacky and off the mark of possibility, that you really have to question what the deal is with the company itself (vacuum cables, Nordost, etc.)

As I've said before, my main beef was with the manufacturers claims and not with whether or not anyone hears a difference. I also don't like the lack of testing and skepticism these claims are greeted with in publications (though different writers and mags offer different degrees). These sorts of claims generate a lot of suspicion and prejudice people like myself into thinking they may be getting conned even before listening, more so than the crazy high prices. I mean, I wouldn't question people buying an expensive amp.

But I appreciate your perspective - you hear a difference, so you upgraded, and you feel the difference is real and should be explanable in a "normal" way. Can I ask, out of curiosity (and this may be in another thread), what cables made the biggest differences as you listened? I just ask in case I am ever in a position to listen, at, say a show or something...

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi, Bengrbm --

Let me throw a penny or two into this pot. When I bought the third-from-the-top-of-the-line Audio Quest interconnects and speaker cables about 8 or 9 years ago, they produced a tremendous (if subtle -- but sometimes tremendous improvements ARE subtle) improvement. I just heard more music, more dramatic contrasts, and less grain. I thought it might be because they were silver, since silver DOES have tremendous conductive properties as part of its elemental make-up, but I didn't really care. These were moderately expensive (around $400/meter for the "Lapis X3" interconnects and $1400 for about 3 meters of double-bi-wire "Argent" speaker cable). Since then, I have tried the top-of-the-line Nordosts, Syngergistic Research, Cardas, and Tara Labs (NOT the newest Tara "vacuum" models) -- all of them AT LEAST 10 times the price of mine -- and I can hear NO improvement. I THINK I hear some DIFFERENCES on some program material (most obviously in the bass characteristics), but nothing that gets me any closer to what I remember from the concert hall. Nothing. Nada. I have to hypothesize "snake oil," based on my experience, but I will keep an open mind. My own opinion on this is that people hear a difference, check the price and hype, and conclude that different is automatically better. Not so, in my experience. "Better," to me, is more music, with veils removed. Period. Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Me again. I forgot to add a question that is on topic. I once bought a few MapleShade CD's a couple of years ago, and I thus receive all their catalogs. I notice they have gone heavily into the tweak business, with all attendant hyperbole. They make outrageous claims for their budget cables, footers, power chords (not to mention all the bug spit for cleaning and re-molecularizing your CD's) and racks. And, of course, they have dutifully come up with their super-deluxe-transcendental-intergalactically superior 10 grand (and UP!) wire. Has anybody out there tried their wire and/or other tweaks? They recommend LONG speaker wire (which I can understand -- it costs by the foot) and short interconnects, by the way. If you have, let us know. Thanks, Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

MapleShadey is a hoot. The last catalog I received a while ago, cracked me up. Love them cellophne clear non UL AC line cords....When playing Cheech and Chong's "Up in Smoke"...And follow their advice, don't be putting them samll bookshelf speakers at ear level, you don't want none of that mid range hig freq getting to your ears, lower them, so it muffles and blurs the high end..A free Tweak and upgrade.......Get some magic maple pieces of wood, from teh enchanted forests of Maple Shadey World of Delight!!! When teh Keebler Elves have a slow day, they make Maple Wood blocks, in the same tree they make the cookies. When you get your Shadey blocks of magic, give them a good sniff, aaaahhhh Chocolate, from the trees of magic elves, makin' sound as sweet as can be. Did you know it was a sound elf, who designed the lasted cookie speaker. When dipped in 2% milk, it's less bloated sounding, if ya dip it in HEAVY CREAM...the sound gets warmer, thicker, seems to add about 23 pounds to the sonic delights. Low Fat soaks, give a very thin, very see through effet. My personal favorite is cookie speakers dipped in Kahlua.....then the sound become meaningless, who cares what it sounds like anymore, keep dipping. Mmmmm tastey!!!

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I now rub audio grade snake oil on all my connections and wires. It works!!!! And is sure do piss off the snake, Do you know from where on the snake, ya takes it's oil? It just ain't a pretty sight.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?
Jeff Wong
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I haven't heard any of the recent incarnations of the Mapleshade cables. About 10 years ago, I did do some listening tests on my friend's system using Mapleshade's thin foil, 9V battery biased interconnects. As I recall, the preamp was a Sonic Frontiers Reference 3 preamp, Krell FPB (300 or 600, not sure) and the four tower Genesis behemoths (don't remember the model number.) The cables had a light, airy, delicate sound... almost phasey. I didn't much care for them. They also seemed impractical to use, being wafer thin and so fragile.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi Clifton -

Thanks for the response. The difference you noticed with silver is interesting and I will certainly look into it when given the opportunity. This is actually one of the claims I have seen looked into the least by people, even though its is one of the more reasonable. That site DUP linked looked into the skin effect and resonance claims, but I haven't seen anyone look into the copper v. silver claim (though I have heard accusations about how pure some silver cables really are), which is suprising. I am certainly open to it, and wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

I think the point you make about different v. better is a good one as well. I am wondering if some of these more "aggressive" cables, (like the one's that attach batteries, etc.) don't run the risk of making things sound worse at the end of the day.

Ben

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Oh yeah, cables can make your system sound less musical. If you have annoying characteristics in your gear, less resolving cables can mask these problems while more revealing cables can pronounce these characteristics to a greater degree. This is why I have said before that the right cable for a system has nothing to do with the price of the cable, but more to do with your components strengths and weaknesses and your personal preferences.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I was actually referring to a fear that introducing a battery could bias a signal (the fear that the some of these gadget cables could be altering things), but I hear your point. I remember, buying some Grados to replace some $10 headphones, and plugging them into my computer to listen to a compressed music file. I quickly switched back to the $15 pair...

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

All I can say is that I have seen at least one who writes for audioholics, dan banquer, who seems to refuse any actual measurements that might disagree with his opinions. And I was kind of a believer till I checked out things.

In one string, I have seen him sidestep the suggestion to contact five BS and three PHDs, in Physics, from MIT, who work with cables. Why would he do that if he was seeking more understanding?

In another string, I saw him refuse evidence and make fun of a simple experiment that clearly showed that signal transmission from one wire to another, at 10khz, was alot more than simple capacitively coupling.

In another string, I saw amplifierguru state:
"Hi Dan,
You're good at skirting questions."

It seems to go on and on. It soured me to the sincerity of them.

If the rest are anything like dan banquer, I wouldn't trust any article they write. I wonder what their agenda really is, and who supports them?

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Thier agenda and who supports them? They're CABLES man, not cigarettes or CIA leaks. What lobby do you think supports them? The all powerful anti-cable lobby? The communists?

That guy isn't their main tester. At least he tries to measure cables at all, unlike, say, some magazines that measure everything BUT cables...

A rational thing would be to judge each article on its own merits. Should I never read stereophile again because they reviewed a cable where the manufacturer cited a previously unknown wire resonance, which could effect all of our listening experiences, and they didn't meansure it, even though they would measure a comparable claim for amps or speakers, etc. Who's preventing them from doing the measurement? The pro-cable lobby? Martians? Snake-oil multinationals?

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Slick reply, but you didn't answer any questions, just poke fun. If they are so orientated to finding the truth, why hasn't ANY of them contact the PHDs from MIT and report back?

Instead, I continue to see explanations of cables/wire without the latest research, which the PHDs might report. Wouldn't the PHDs know?

But the point I was making in my above post is that when dan banquer was confronted with facts/measurements which disagreed with his "truth", he simply ridiculed it. It that what audioholics does? Afterall, he represents them, he writes articles for them.

As another point, no matter what forum I have visited, I see the objectionists asking for proof from the subjectionists. Yet I have never see the objectionists supply one shred of evidence, even a link, to support their position, except an audioholics link (and ridicule). Have the objectionists no other source? I thought discussions were about the sharing of information on both sides, not one sided conversations.

Well, from one on the bubble, I have definitely shifted to believe the subjections side. Ridicule and snide remarks are normally used when one can not provide answers.

I would sure like to know who supports audioholics? They should not need to hide their supporter(s)?

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi, 301 --

You're getting into the area of psychoacoustics. The power of suggestion. Jason's "As We See It" piece in the June Stereophile was flamed a bit for the somewhat contrived situation it invokes (I objected mildly to this), but there is a strong grain of truth underneath its veneer. Listeners who love music and hear a lot of it live have less of a tendency to be fooled by psychoacoustic phenomena. If you have a strong memory of what real music sounds like, you don't fall for pseudo-science for very long. People like this "Dan" character (I don't know any of his writing), if your description of him is accurate, get found out rather quickly and then ignored thereafter. If you make claims based on science AND being a golden ear, you have to be ready to back them up in BOTH areas of experience. Sorry if this seems rather vague and general, but music lovers are firmly grounded in concrete sense experience. Snake oil peddlers can persuade us to try their wares...hell, we'll try anything ONCE to get closer to the life of the music...but once they're put on the clock, they had better produce. Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi,

1) You should post a link if you want a direct response. I have never heard of the reviewer you referred. Most of the cable stuff on that site (including the link which started this thread) is done by someone else, who is an electrical engineer and has had several PhD contributors to his site including actual experts on cable theory (by actual I mean they don't work for a wacky company). He's also referenced when capacitive models do and don't apply on several occasions. You seem to have had a superficial glance at one thread on that site and not their main work on the subject.

2) What PhD's are you referring to? The PhD's I have met and interact with daily have typically laughed off most claims of high end cable manufacturers. Can you be more specific than "the PhDs at MIT"? What cutting edge research are you referring to and what kind of cables does it claim to support? That might make it easier for people to respond.

Are you more comfortable with people posting links to a company's ads as explanations than links to tests on a web site run by an engineer?

The reason I didn't answer your questions is that it was vague. I am under the impression that audioholics, like most internet message boards such as Head-Fi, is supported by advertising, not, say, the Trilateral Commision.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Thanks for your reply. I will try to answer in between your paragraphs, or as convenient.

"Most of the cable stuff on that site (including the link which started this thread) is done by someone else, who is an electrical engineer and has had several PhD contributors to his site including actual experts on cable theory (by actual I mean they don't work for a wacky company)."

Yes, the first requirement is that the PHD have expertise in the subject at hand.
Secondly, even this may not be nearly enough.

I contacted a top, ex, goverment scientist (top secret arena) some years ago who explained "simple" "current flow" to me. As it turns out, it is pretty amazing how much they know and how little the general public knows, and for decades.

I then contacted PHDs EEs, professors etc, and it turns out they knew basically nothing. So will the PHD graduates know more?

Afterall, the goal of EEs and electronic engineers are design/application, not spending time on actual electron flow etc.

"You seem to have had a superficial glance at one thread on that site and not their main work on the subject."

Unfortunately, many threads over an extended period of time.

"What PhD's are you referring to?" The PhD's I have met and interact with daily have typically laughed off most claims of high end cable manufacturers. Can you be more specific than "the PhDs at MIT"?

See above about PHDs.
I don't think any names were given. Just that there are/were, I believe, 5 graduates and 3 PHDs in physics who were dealing with cables/wire. Why don't you simply contact MIT?

"Are you more comfortable with people posting links to a company's ads as explanations than links to tests on a web site run by an engineer?"

Still trying to avoid responsibility? Simply link to actual tests by universities, professors etc.

"I am under the impression that audioholics, like most internet message boards such as Head-Fi, is supported by advertising, not, say, the Trilateral Commision."

So one cannot serve two masters.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

So just to be clear, you believe that there is a secret theory of conduction which is only know by certain top level people in government and, presumably, the cable industry and you? The model even the experts don't know about.

In terms of skirting the issue, why don't you post a link to the article you're referring to, as already suggested? Its hard to know what you're talking about without that reference.

I just want to be clear that, as is often the case in these threads, its hard to tell if you're kidding... But this is the sort of UFO type speculation you get when an issue like these bizarre cable claims goes completely unchecked by journalists who even give their tacit support...

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Back to the old games again are we. I have seen others use the same technique as well. Seems to be an audioholic trait, not just a dan banquer trait.

Let's find out if you understand the "simple" example of current flow through a wire at DC. Explain it to the viewers.

And who said you are experts? Self agrandizing are we. You accuse others of being biased by sight, etc, yet you are not biased for taking money from advertisers?
So who are you going to support, the public, or your advertisers?

"So just to be clear, you believe that there is a secret theory of conduction which is only know by certain top level people in government and, presumably, the cable industry and you? The model even the experts don't know about."

a previous post of mine: "I contacted a top, ex, goverment scientist (top secret arena) some years ago who explained "simple" "current flow" to me. As it turns out, it is pretty amazing how much they know and how little the general public knows, and for decades."

Playing games again? Skewing my comment are we? Try reading it again. The info has been out for decades and is Measureable. I found out about it some years ago myself.

Why don't you know it, so called expert???? It has been around for a long time. But first answer my question at the top.

Who said anything about the cable companies knowing? Trying to confuse things are we?

As we can see, your credibility is one of the very issues we are discussing.

"In terms of skirting the issue, why don't you post a link to the article you're referring to,"

You, yourself, have not posted any links yet. Typical objectionist style I have observed. Do not show any proof while always requiring it from others. Scam artists do the same thing of putting on a facade.

If you have nothing to hide, and you claim to be an expert, as well as your PHDs, then you, or your PHDs, should have plenty of info to share and back up your claims.

"I just want to be clear that, as is often the case in these threads, its hard to tell if you're kidding..."

Another feable attempt at gaining credibility and discrediting me?

"But this is the sort of UFO type speculation you get when an issue like these bizarre cable claims goes completely unchecked by journalists who even give their tacit support..."

The experiment of DC current thru a wire is measureable. and who said anything about me supporting this particular cable claim?

My beef is with your Attitude and actual knowledge you claim to posses.
Again trying to combine them, to deflect yourself from credibility issues is pretty dumb.

You really are not helping yourself with such silly posts.

Gotta go, it is late.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hello again, Ben -- I recently bought another pair of interconnects, Synergistic Research's "Alpha Sterling with Active Shielding, X Series." It was well-reviewed in both Stereophile and TAS, and The Cable Company was selling it for close to half price. I was curious about the effect of current running through it (presumably, for "Active Shielding," not for the other reasons listed by AQ), and The Cable Company has a full refund policy, so I decided, "What can I lose?". After several listening sessions, I decided I could hear NO difference between it and the AQ Lapis X3 I had used for so many years. None. Zip. I don't know if it has silver (the "Sterling") or not. The wall wart that powers the current-providing wire runs quite warm, and it has a blue "working" indicator light constantly on near the RCA termination. I like blue lights, but this need to VISUALLY know whether the current feature is on or off seems kind of stupid -- if it works, you should HEAR it, right? So I unplugged the wall wart. No difference. I kept the cable, because it's the only one I have heard that sounds exactly like the ones I already had.

I don't understand the argument between you and 301. You both seem skeptical of exaggerated claims and the so-called physics behind them.

I know nothing about the science (pseudo or legitimate) behind cables -- I am just a music lover trying to get the most transparency into my system. I don't care how they do it, and I honestly don't know if it's the silver. I'll tell you one thing, the folks who make copper wire (Cardas, MIT, among others) say copper is superior, and the ones who make silver wire claim silver's superior conductivity (a fact, right?) makes it a better raw material around which to build the design. As a layman, I understand the "low capacitance" argument, and it seems to me that this, a proper dialectric to minimize or eliminate RF interference, high conductivity, and proper terminations are the only design variables that really matter. Also, I guess, the way the damned things are twisted. I honestly don't believe ANY advertising claims, knowing the great American tradition that hyperbole and mindless repetition (and third-party endorsements, viz. Alex Smith selling subwoofers) will sell anything to anybody, if you hit 'em over the head often enough. I just go to concerts a lot, play a lot of music at home, and listen for differences. Doesn't everybody, really, with half a brain, take advertising claims with a grain of salt (and some lime and Tequila to wash down the salt)? Cheers and happy listening, Clifton.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

"I honestly don't believe ANY advertising claims, knowing the great American tradition that hyperbole and mindless repetition"

Ok, I am skeptical as well.

Now, what if a group of people, or an organization did the same "advertising" as the company in question. But they also harrassed, demeaned, insulted people and claimed they know everything. Would you believe them, or would you also require proof from them???

What if the organization refused to supply outside sources to support their claim??

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi, 301 --

Two points. I chose the verb "believe" intentionally. When it comes to music enjoyment, I believe only my own ears. If a particular advertisement makes sense to my rational faculties, I will try the product in some way. Then, if it improves my system, I will buy it.

Advertising has one purpose, and one only, to generate sales. Even public service ads try to sell a point of view. I don't care if the copy is written by someone outside the firm or inside the firm. Advertisers don't "prove" anything. They present a pitch, a demand on my time and/or money. The "proving" and "believing" are up to me, based on empirical trial. The hypothetical you set up is somewhat opaque -- if it is some kind of offer of proof (or a rebuttal of a claim), it is no longer an advertisement, but a test. In the area of things audio, I don't believe these, either.

Just what is your point? Do you "believe" in something you're not openly stating? You seem unneccessarily evasive and hypothetical. Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

"When it comes to music enjoyment, I believe only my own ears. If a particular advertisement makes sense to my rational faculties, I will try the product in some way. Then, if it improves my system, I will buy it."

I believe the same, I check out things for myself.

"Just what is your point? Do you "believe" in something you're not openly stating? You seem unneccessarily evasive and hypothetical. Clifton"

My position is that if the subjectionists, like us, are asked to show proof to back up our positions, the "objectionists" also need to show proof as well,to back support their positions. But so far they can't or won't.

So their claims are no more valid than the subjectionist's claims.

(I used to have an association with Zenith, so I have experience with PR people and their tatics.)

Notice, they use insults like (example "UFO") and other intimidating tatics (look at what they do on other forums), trying to put the opposing side on the defensive. A PR guy never brings forth concrete information. That isn't their job. A classic textbook example of a PR.

A PR's "duties" are nothing more than to support their client, in this case, IMO, their advertiser's positions?

If sight and suggestion affect a DBT test, as they claim, how much more will advertiser dollars influence/affect their position. They have already railed on John A and the magazine. Maybe someone should look at the objectionists for a change.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Are you implying I am a PR person for objectivists? I like JA's reviews and have said so in many other posts. I have no advertising affiliation with anyone - so these implications are strange. All audio magazines take advertising $$$ so I'd think that they'd all be open to your criticism. You yourself seem to imply you have some special knowledge of things on the electron level. What are they?

You do seem evasive. Your asking a lot of me in every response, yet your only offering some vague comments yourself. I think I have been pretty straight with my objections and posted links in other threads, and have mentioned my liking of stereophile and that I don't consider myself and objectivist or subjectivist. I feel that using these labels in a debate about audio equip is itself a bit strange...

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?


Quote:
"Are you implying I am a PR person for objectivists? I like JA's reviews and have said so in many other posts."

If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck. And classic textbook style.

I find it interesting that, to a tee, on different forums, the same exact tatics are used. Never provide any info (stonewall), try to get the subjectionist on the defensive, make the subjectionist prove his point (but the objectionist never has to prove his point), bounce questions back, twist comments, bully, intimidate, demean (guess who recently got kicked off Audio Circle for these actions) etc.

"I have no advertising affiliation with anyone - so these implications are strange. All audio magazines take advertising $$$ so I'd think that they'd all be open to your criticism."

Really, no magazines?? And trying to deflect criticism again? The magazines have already taken a pounding. Now it is the "objectionists" turn to be examined.

"You yourself seem to imply you have some special knowledge of things on the electron level. What are they?"

Twisting what I said Again, are we? Just because you don't keep up doesn't mean I have "special" knowledge. It is Not my fault you don't continue to learn.

"You do seem evasive."

Interesting, since you have dodged every question I have asked so far. Isn't that the definition of evasive?

Viewers, look back and see if he has provided any, any information when I have asked him. (He admits, below, that I have asked questions, but he fails to answer a single one.) I asked about electron current through a wire to check him out. Of course he can't answer it, and evades, bounces back etc. Kinda speaks of his credentials.

"Your asking a lot of me in every response, yet your only offering some vague comments yourself."

Well, the DC electron current through a wire isn't vague, is it? Can you answer that one?

I think the viewers have seen enough of the objectionists' tatics here, as well as other sites, to see the patterns of evasive, twisting, bounce back, never provide any info., bullying, intimidating, demeaning actions etc.

You know none of this would have happened if you had not made your first reply a smart ss reply.

Good evening.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

I'm just trying to follow this...WOW!!!! Now what was the original question that started this? My fingers hurt just thinking about typing all this....and another thing....and therefore.....how can you.....and did you realize......the cow jumped over the moon......hickory dickory dock. Oh did I mention some Whisper, VanAlstine? Which wire where you talking about

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Not wire, but evidently he didn't like my criticizing objectionists.

I turned away from "objectionists" when I started seeing their tatics.

Just 2 examples.

One "objectionist" started to attack a manufacturer (after he was getting beaten up pretty good) by claiming the manufacturer didn't list any specs, just fancy rhetoric on his website. Turns out the "objectionist" did not even bother to go to the manufacturer's specification page to look at the specs.. Pretty cheap tatic.

(Later, that objectionist was permanently banned for continuing to insult posters and starting fights.)

Dan banquer has already been banned, for some days, for starting arguments and insulting posters. He has also been chastised by the moderator of the forum.

He has also been guilty of misrepresenting what another poster proved (with actual measurements). It seems dan didn't want factual information (from a simple experiment) to be presented which contradicted his claims. Only present information that jives with dan's views. Isn't that called supression. Yet, dan claims he is scientific.

The list goes on and on at alot of forums. Anyway, I decided I didn't want anything to do with any person or group that supresses information to push their own adgenda.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

My objections have been fairly specific if you look at my posts. I read the product info at Audioquest and Tara and found their claims lacking. I've been very clear about which cites I read and which I did not and I avoided comments which I could not support. Those claims I found most skeptical were for the skin effect by Audioquest and the vacuum cables by Tara. This is far more specific then your mentioning the special DC current theory for speaker cables, which run AC current, and then citing a thread which you don't link (I linked a thread to a McIntosh engineer in a different post) and referencing vague upper level government info.

Do speaker cables resonante (that's the title of the thread)?

I am not an objectivist or subjectivist and some cable manufacturer claims seem reasonable and others don't. I am just someone who likes audio whose trying to sort through this. I am also getting a PhD in physics, so I would be perfectly happy to discuss these conduction theories if you'd ever actually state them. I've made several specific comments in my posts stating which claims seem plausible (silver v copper) and which did not, and I think many of the posters on this thread who don't agree with me would hopefully at least admit that I've been fair and don't have an agenda. Have you offered any such specific content?

You make it sound as if there is an organzied lobby of objectivists. Sorry, but there ain't one I'm aware of, and if there is I'm not a part of it. I also have never heard of Dan Banquer, which is why I asked you to post a link. The only article at audioquest I have read are the ones the engineer who DUP linked.

What information is being suppressed?

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi, Ben -- Do you think 301 means "objectivist" (as in empirical measurements, as opposed to subjective listening impressions) when he writes "objectionist" (someone who always objects, I guess...)?? I'm afraid to ask -- what if I started a fight or insulted someone? Anyway, I didn't know you were completing a degree in Physics. That's a terrific background for a music lover to have. Have you uncovered any "objective" criteria for designing cables that actually affect our "subjective" listening impressions? For instance, could a cable designer argue that all cables should have, say, low capacitance, for scientifically valid reasons? The silver vs. copper question is now starting to bug me: although I made buying decisions to choose silver, I was just going by my listening impressions, not any scientific bias toward silver. It IS more conductive than copper, right? I know that AQ has claimed in the past that it is superior, and their top-of-the-line wire is silver. But I see no mention of this in their recent ads (perhaps it is because silver is now $12-$15 an ounce, rather than the $4-$5 price that prevailed in the '90's). At the time I bought my cables, I talked to the AQ boss (Bill Low) and told him he was going to be paying double, triple, quadruple, and even higher multiples for the silver in his products, as the years passed. He politely ignored that comment, but was very nice, recommending the products I finally bought (which, as I have noted, I still enjoy). So I'll say it again. HEY! ALL YOU GUYS OUT THERE WHO USE SILVER -- IF YOU THINK IT'S HIGH NOW, WAIT A COUPLE MORE YEARS, AND IT'LL TRIPLE AGAIN! I always wanted to do that. Cheers and good luck with your research into cableology -- I am eager to hear about what you come up with. Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi Clifton,

Well, Ben states this: "What information is being suppressed?"

Twice I have corrected his mistake and yet he continues to misrepresent (a third time) what I stated.

So much for trusting what a PHD says.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi, 301 -- please don't take offense. I was just tweaking you a bit over the difference between "objectionist" (someone who always makes objections) and "objectivist" (someone who trusts measurements taken objectively, or empirically, and mistrusts those who rely on subjective impressions gathered during listening sessions). Of course, one can always be both, in the field of audio, without watering down either. I think both Wes and JA do an excellent job, there (Bob Harley, too), which is why I personally (subjectively) enjoy reading Stereophile and Bob's pieces at TAS. I don't care much for anyone else at TAS, but that's just my own bias. Quite honestly, I am lost as to where we are in the argument over cables. It reminds of the old limerick,

A gay young man from Khartoum
Took a Lesbian up to his room.
But they spent half the night
In a horrible fight
Over how to do what
And to whom.

Will somebody please clarify the issues? I got lost somewhere in the cables-made-of-lead part, and remain terribly confused over how to parse the flow of ABC, DEF, GHI, and JKL. I still have bad memories over childhood traumas experienced while staring at alphabet soup, and I remain easily snockered by the presence of more than one variable...imagine them coming at me in Battalions of 3! Hope to meet you all at HE! Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

No offense taken at all Clifton. Glad to read your views.

But I will state that, if I misread Ben's comment, I apologize. He may have meant suppression about an experiment I had read about.

It has been awhile, but in a nutshell, the experiment was simply to check the "coupling" between two wires with about 1pf, if I remember correctly (of course air dielectric) at 1khz and 10khz. The load was approx 10k load on the "receptor" wire. The "source" wire had around 2.2k load, if I remember correctly. (Those figures are not that important as one will see below.)

At 1khz the phase shift was close to 90 degrees, and at 10khz, the phase shift measured close to 0 degrees.
Anyway, he concluded by stating that for a phase shift of 45 degrees, it would require around 1500pf cap (which I remembering checking myself) not 1pf as was measured. (for near 0 degree phase shift, I figure around 10kpf or more.)

His conclusion was that the capacitance, 1pf, increasing to 1500pf was impossible (let alone 10kpf in my calculations). He stated something other than the 1pf air dielectric cap was coupling the two wires.
He is quite correct although he didn't specify what.

Anyway, dbs only reply was, You are saying the capacitance is increasing/changing with frequency? Is that right? or am I missing something?

The experimenter clearly stated the capacitance could not have changed this much with frequency, which is quite correct. Db had stated earlier that capacitive coupling was responsible for the signal transfer. Db gave no other explanation for the measurement, even something as wild as leakage at the termination points etc.

I take that as an attempt to suppress and misinform the viewer, since db never contests the experiment itself, in any way, but just gives a crackpot reply aimed at the experimenter.

Anyway, I am signing off with this post.

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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Hi 301 - Yes, that is what I meant. Thanks for stating it and explaning the exchange, it cleared up where you were coming from.

Hi Clifton -

I have very little experience listening to silver wires, but I feel like its possible it COULD make a difference, unlike some of the far out claims some of us make fun of. It is about about a 5% better conductor in material use than copper, so I wouldn't dismiss its benefit to a sensitive ear out of hand. I will check out the cables you recommended when I get a chance.

I am not a cable expert and am new-ish (by board standards) to the high end audio field, so I have only focused my comments on when a manufactur makes a claim which seems to use clearly false physics applications, rather than comments which would imply I am a cable expert. They cite a lot of physics sounding results like vacuum dielectric, tunneling, etc, which can't be occuring. As for measuring real cables, I'd love to hear about that from the editors. One of my queries, which I've mentioned several times, is why 'phile doesn't measure cables when the manufacturer makes measurable performance claims. If a manufacturer says their cable has really low inductance, shouldn't that me measured just like a speaker crossover frequency? The guy on audioquest who DUP sites, not Dan Banquor who 301 cited, measures cables all the time, so I was wondering if his measurements were good or flawed...

Thanks

CECE
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?
tandy
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

Gosh, I was planning on getting out, but when this link showed up, well......

The info on page 7, cables, may not weigh in as much as one might think.

He is saying that at 20khz, 300 feet of 12 guage wire (150 feet each length) will lower the spl by 3db (half the power) that is all.


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Read page 7 about cables. http://www.legacyaudio.com/manuals/whisper.pdf

ehlarson
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?

One problem I have with a lot of these audiophile debates the seeming love of the non-sequiter. For example, a common remark seems to go like "I can hear a difference between cable A and cable B and thus I can reach the conclusion that science has failed to explain how cable differences affect how cables sound and thus all of science is irrelevant to how my stereo sounds". Well, there is a little problem with that - electrical engineering theory does predict certain cables will sound different, and makes predictions of that based on facts starting with properties like noise rejection, RLC properties and so on. So there is some basis to believe that in fact some cables SHOULD sound different from other cables. If you accept that two particular cables actually do sound different and unless you do a fairly detailed analysis of the signals and the cables you are not going to be able to determine if science has fallen down on the job or not. I just don't see anyone doing this - it is just cables sound different so science has it wrong.

Now a good scientist will look at an established theory and an accepted fact that doesn't agree with the theory and say "Aha - a chance to make some progress" (Paul Dirac would routinely use this as a device in his physics lectures). This progress can take two forms - extension of the theory, or realization that what was thought to be a fact was indeed not a fact.

The fundamental problem that subjectivist audiophiles face in a quest to get science to realize that there is an inadaquacy in the explanation of what they hear is getting the observations they claim established as facts. This is a fairly significant barrier - to be accepted as fact the observation must be not only valid taken per se, but it must also be described well enough to be repeatable by others working in the same field in different locations. It takes quite a commitment and a lot of work to do this. Until this occurs individual anecdotal reports carry the same weight as past life regressions, Loch Ness monster sightings etc.

Now I am not saying that listening to equipment and choosing it based on your personal responses is a bad thing - most people don't have the resources to do the math so to speak and the listening response is probably a reasonable approach lacking the quantitative approach. Unfortunately this subjectivity leaves a lot of opportunity for audio company marketing departments to make claims that are quite unlikely to be true. It also leads to journalistic excess because the current state of mind is that if somebody says they hear something there is no accepted way to prove they are wrong. Unfortunately the hi end audio industry seems to feel this status quo is in its best interest so we see a tendency to shout down purely objective viewpoints. It probably scares away a lot of people who might otherwise like to have a better sound system to the detriment of the hobby.

Ultimately my main message is don't try to repudiate the scientific approach to audio based on non-repeatable anecdotal responses that are quite often the result of subjective views or placebo effects and are thus not the result of natural phenomena. The scientific method can only work with what can be established as actually factual phenomena. If progress is to occur these anecdotes have to be turned into facts.

Monty
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Re: Cables resonant freqs, can it be true Wes?


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One problem I have with a lot of these audiophile debates the seeming love of the non-sequiter. For example, a common remark seems to go like "I can hear a difference between cable A and cable B and thus I can reach the conclusion that science has failed to explain how cable differences affect how cables sound and thus all of science is irrelevant to how my stereo sounds".

I'm sure there might be about 2 people on the planet with that view, but that certainly doesn't reflect the subjectivist point of view. In fact, I suspect that the subjectivist point of view is far more open minded about the science involved than the so-called objectivists who are hung up on things they can't understand and instinctively attribute to placebo and marketing hype.

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