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Monty
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If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Here are what I think to be the sites with more information than anybody has a right to expect...and probably a lot more than anybody (except me) cares to know.

Audioquest
Cardas
A good overview from the experts

You could easily spend several hours at the Cardas site. The best also has the best site.

The Audioquest site is almost as good, but not quite.

I could have included Tara Labs and Kimber to round out the top guys in the field, but their sites are not as user friendly and the Cardas and Audioquest will probably keep you busy if you have even the slightest interest in understanding cable.

The last link is a good starter and should probably be read first.

Matthew Bond of Tara has one of the best white papers on cabling if you want to suffer through their site to find it.

Monty
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Holy Cow , I don't know how I missed this one. If you can read this without getting a blank look on your face, you qualify as a cable junkie.

Jeff, if you haven't read this, it's right down your alley.

Jeff Wong
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Monty, thanks. I read it years ago (or perhaps, more accurately, attempted to read it) and I'm sure the math would still sail way over my head. I do remember grasping several of the concepts. I'd need to read it again and might at some point (it's still on my shelf.)

Monty
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Yes, I was referring to the concepts...there are probably two people on the Planet that understand the math. I specialize in filtering out math. The last page sums up the conclusions and speculations and the first 4 simply lay the foundation for those conclusions.

JoeE SP9
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Maxwells equations are difficult for a lot of engineers!

CECE
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Which company got in trouble with the FTC? Something about changing the labels from Made in China, to Made in U.S.A.? Would any of that information be included in a companies "white paper" of cable magic information? Perhaps different labels make them sound different? Just curious. Curious to, what could classify as a "lab". Are there certain requirements to be met? Any industry standards, inspections, certifications? Has anyone from a reviwers position visted any of these "labs" checked out the faciltys, taken real life pictures of the "research" going on. I've been to many many "LABS", in major companies, some are truly impressive. Just wondering how a wire lab would compare. What goes on at a wire research "lab". Especially an audio based "lab".

bengrbm
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

I think this thread only enhances a lot of people's skepticism towards this whole cable business, rather than aiding in our "understanding". The last article, does not have a rigorous result that can be tested and, if it did, then why didn't stereophile include that test when reviewing cables? It serves as a so-so written qualitative sketch of how EM waves propagate, with a chunk of speculation at the end.

However that article is a gem compared to some of the others. The review from the experts is filled with pseudoscientifc mumbo, save the guy from Belden, that most colleagues laughed at when I described it too them (I am getting a PhD in physics). There seems to be a typical strategy: cite a real physics effect (skin effect, tunneling), claim your wires fix it but offer no evidence, if someone challenges you imply that listening is the only real test, have a high end magazine review it with no tests either.

The paper from audioquest is the worst of the lot. They cite the skin effect, for example, which is a well understood, testable effect, but they do not show a single test that their cable minimizes it or that it is relevant in standard cable at audio frequencies, which, to my knowledge, it isn't.

You can't have it both ways. If you are claiming an obscure scientific reason for a benefit, show actual evidence. Merely stating what a scientific effect is is not evidence that it is relevant to your products performance. If you are claiming listening is the real test, that's fine, but these companies are not doing that - they are claiming they have scientific validity supporting their product. Some of these websites are worse than sites on intelligent design....

nrchy
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Is there really any point to these comments? People who use expensive cables are not going to be dissuaded, and people who use the cheapest ones they can justify (which is everyone) are convinced that anyone who spent more money than them is an idiot.

The gentleman who started the thread was trying to offer some useful information, but from the responses it seems like everyone after is preaching to their own choir.

Has anyones mind been changed? and people call conservative Christian dogmatic?!?!?!?

Yiangos
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Hiya nrchy

This time,you're wrong.Last month,i replaced my pre-to-power ic ($13,800)with one costing $620 and not only its still there,i doubt the more expensive one will come back.

nrchy
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Yiangos, I'm usually wrong! What cables did you put in and take out??? I have all Purist cables in my system because they have sounded better than anything else I've heard, if I could replace them with something that cost less and sounded better, I'd do it today.

Monty
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

This doesn't surprise me at all. I have often preferred less expensive components to the more pricey offerings. There certainly isn't always a direct correlation between price and sound. Toss in personal preference and taste (not to mention accoustic environment) and there are few components that offer universal appeal.

bengrbm
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Yes, there is a point to these posts. This is a board in which people share consumer information about audio products. If a company posts claims under the guise of a technical paper, and various readers who have some knowledge about the field find those claims questionable, I would find their concerns to be a useful post. I like to know when companies are dishonest as a consumer. That's called being skeptical, which, last time I checked is actually the opposite of being dogmatic.

I think a good example of being dogmatic would be if someone posted a link to a website where an audio engineer has the audacity to be skeptical about a manufacturers claims by wondering if speaker cable actually supports a kilohertz resonance, and another person responded by quoting the Bible or misinterpreting the history of physics, rather than responding to the post itself. Now that would be an example of a dogmatic person...

Yiangos
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Hi Nrchy , Monty

Aren't we all wrong? We're into the wrong hobby anyway ! lol
Okay,let's begin with ic.I am not going to tell you how many or which brands and if they are se or balanced,because we'll need a database here lol.Insteaf,i will just stay on the ic i connect my pre and power amplifier and on speaker cables.For ic,i have 6 meter pair of VanDenHul mc-silver and a 6 meter pair of Nirvana sl , both balanced.Speaker cables a pair of VanDenHul Revelations and a pair of XLO Signatures both 2.5 meter (in bi-wire form).Both VDH cables, i mean the ic and speaker cables are great sounding just a tad on the bright side and slighlty forward sounding for my tastes.The Nirvanas have excellent spatial abilities back lack a certain sweetness i grave for.The XLOs are,compared with the "reveletions",less bright,sweeter but more "forward sounding".
Anyway,a couple of months ago,i began reading reviews online to find out if there was any "bargain" cables i might try.I found out a company called "Element cables" and ordered a few cables from them.By coincidence,element cables are designed by a guy a know personally,Jon Risch,we used to "chat" and he is the moderator in "That other site" lol Anyway,going deeper and deeper into reviews,i've discovered another company,named "My Audio Cables" which judging from the review,better suited my tastes and since my budged allowed me,i ordered some cables from them as well. Both companies have excellent service/response.
I tested both brands and ended having the "MAC" cables in my system.The sound? Think of them as going from a Lyra Titan to a Koetsu Urushi.Warm,ciddly without losing anything in resolution,attack,or speed.The Element cables on the other hand,have greater extension but are a bit too forward sound and just a tad bright for my tastes. Mind you , i do and can appreciate a good cable but it is the configuration of my equipment that prevents me from using one.Let me explain,i am using ProAc response Four loudspeakers and not only i am forced to listen alsmost nearfield (almost 3 meters from the speakers) but my room has serious problems regarding standing waves.
Believe-it-or-not up until lately (now i moved the proacs to a different location) i was using with them a pair of velodyne HGS-18 subs together with a sms-1 controller to listen to music! What i am trying to say here is,this mini review of the above cables is only valid to me due to my speaker/room interaction.others might find the xlo excellent cables although i can still detect a slight hardness in their sound,in all xlo singatures for that matter,and believe me,the ic (xlo) are much worse than the speaker cables.
Anyway,IMHO,even though i use the MAC cables,i find the Element cables a true high-end cables at a bargain price !

nrchy
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

The entire issue is that you are not skeptical, you have made up your mind and don't care how things sound. You follow the Darwin method of science which says something has to be seen to be real. My point is there are too many unknowns. Only arrogance would contend with that. There is no point in responding to you which is why I have not responded till now.

I have determined there is no such thing as love because it could not be quantified by any measuring device available, and since I have never seen you, I don't believe you exist.

bengrbm
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, seriously. The Darwin method of science, what is that exactly? The scientific method I was referring to is the same one used by the founders of modern physics you referenced (you know, the field I am paid to do research in), the ones who "measured" alpha and beta decay, the charge/mass ratio of an electron, etc.

This thread was started by someone who claimed that they had an explanation for why cables do what they do. Sorry I had the nerve to actually read them. I started looking at it because I wanted to find out what that explanation was (that skepticism thing again) and found it lacking, particularly since many of the companies sited things which I am an actual bonafide expert on.

I chimed in on another thread about whether cables resonate. What on Earth does whether or not a cable has a kHz resonance have to do with whether or not I believe in love?
If someone told you a car was 100 horsepower and someone else measured it at 70 what would this have to do with love or Darwin?

There are not too many unknowns to measure if a wire has a kHz resonace or to find out if tunneling is relevant in cables. These are well understood physical phenomena that have noting to do with evolution or religion, which you seem to want to obliquely reference at every possible opportunity. Obviously I can't know what you heard in your system, I'm not questioning that and there are certainly many unknowns in a listening room, again, not questioning that either. But were not arguing about that - I just want to know if cables have kHz resonance (do they?) or if these technical papers are technically accurate. I also don't have my mind made up about whether or not cables can make a difference, as I've admitted elsewhere I haven't listened to every cable in the world.

The main point of this thread is whether or not the technical papers cited are offering technically correct explanations. Some of them are citing measureable things, some aren't. It seems you are willing to swallow them without any skepticism whatsoever, and then want to jump on anyone who doesn't for not being skeptical...

Monty
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Hey Ben, my intention by posting this thread was to offer a few specific sites that actually discussed the theory behind cabling and offered measurements that they think correlate with the audible results. If you actually explored the Cardas site you should have noted the measurements. I thought the Audioquest site covered just about every theory behind their cables and what each offers by way of a difference in construction. The last 'overview' article was provided to demonstrate where the experts agree and disagree on cable theory and design.

In another thread, I posted one of Matthew Bond's white papers that not only gives measurements, but also discusses how to build a very inexpensive tool to do your own measuring. Bond actually offers to provide the schematics to those who request them.

In any event, I think the links provide more than enough information to digest and allows for a good launching pad for those interested in further reading. The web is loaded with interesting information on cable design for those interested and capable of effectively using a browser.

Unlike you, this is not a field that I "get paid to do research in."

bengrbm
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

Thanks - I will check them out at some point. The skin effect is a real thing but I didn't feel the audioquest site showed its relevance in audio frequencies. My understanding is that it is relevant only far above them in a standard cable. The Cardas site is the one I looked into the least, mostly because of time constraints (its big), though, from what I did read, I found the golden mean stuff to be odd. That doesn't the cables aren't doing mean its not anything per se (haven't heard them myself), I'm just skeptical of the explanation. I fumbled around the TARA site a bit. I don't think their cables can possibly be supporting a true vacuum (or anything near it) in that configuration...

At some point I'll look into this more if I have the time. I just happened to have a few hours free last weekend and thought the topic was interesting. Regardless of our opinions on the topic, I should thank you for posting the links. - Ben

Monty
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

I would be genuinely interested in your thoughts on some of these cable theories and experiments when you get a chance to sort through some of this stuff. I'm certainly not down with the 'golden ratio' thing myself. But, that doesn't discount Cardas' cable designs and results to the extent that I can't appreciate his study and devotion to the subject. In fact, this reminds me of the program I once watched on one of the learning channels where fruit placed in a pyramid shaped enclosure remained fresh longer than the other fruit in the test. My eyes narrowed and an eyebrow raised and I left it at that.

JoeE SP9
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

I have heard that a dull razor blade placed in the same enclosure will re-sharpen itself. This caused me to close my eyes and raise both eyebrows.

CECE
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Re: If you REALLY want to learn about cables

And you thought is WASN'T magic? http://www.voodoo-cable.de/

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