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digital
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Stereo System Power-cables

Last time

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

I'm not trying to be rude but how much time have you spent on this venture? What else could you have been doing of real value? Why is this so important to you that you would spend all this time trying to prove the unprovable? If someone wants to buy a more expensive cable than you think they should, why not just let them and go on down the road to something productive?

tom collins
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

i'll play. i downloaded and listened back and forth a few times, but, these are just little built in computer speakers with no real range to speak of. that said, i could not tell any difference. comments: loved the frankencable. also, who is that singing, what is the cd, loved the voice and the spare recording.
thanks

tom

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Jan,

The evaluation was conducted in my office. I was formatting / reloading a PC on an adjacent bench (on a separate power-lead to the box), while recording the files / writing up the process and procedures for this

Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Love the "tree treatment". That'll teach that power cord!

PS Audio is a great company. Since you were not impressed with their cord - send it back. They will return your money (within 30 days I think).

The recording was mastered by Bob Katz. It's a great track for testing the evenness of the bass response and/or sub integration of your system. The singing performance does nothing for me - but the recorded sound is exquisite.

I am not clear on what you are recording. What is the output (CDP? Preamp?) and how are you recording it?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
Jan,

The evaluation was conducted in my office. I was formatting / reloading a PC on an adjacent bench (on a separate power-lead to the box), while recording the files / writing up the process and procedures for this

digital
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Jan,

I see what you're driving at, but...

Let me put it into perspective: This issue of power-cables is far from "un-provable". If everyone that owned 'special-cable' would run off evaluations along the lines of what I've done here, they would all come to the same conclusion

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
What else would you have me do? Attain a degree in sciences, prepare for the monastery, perhaps a life in politics?

Politics?! No, sir, you've already chosen a political stance. What more could I ask of you in this arena? I would suggest the monastic life, however. You could pray for these people who have strayed from the annointed life you seek for them. Possibly a little self flagellation with the oxidized end of a frayed power cable might help you help them to se the error of their ways.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
I think I do quite well as-is, and don
Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Thanks for the recording explanation, Sam. A bit more digging on your site and I would have found it.

I note that you are using a Toshiba "pure-glass TOSLink Cable". Did you find that this made any difference over a plastic cable?

I bet that Kingston memory sounds great!

digital
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Jan,

Me, subscribe to Stereophile!? Not for many years now in fact. I would rather give my five bucks a month to the crazy alcoholic dude on Main St. than throw it to the fellows that own said publication.

The constant point you purposely choose to ignore in all of my posts is that I am making an obvious effort to get readers to try this simple evaluation on their own systems, on their own time, with their own equipment, with their own favourite recordings.

As I

Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
Elk: Its funny that you should ask about the Glass Toslink cable
KBK
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

The ear hears via transients, the differences in level between them. The cascade in thought that produces shows that such would define harmonics, tonal, and note structure... and thus sibilance, rhythm, timing, slam,etc.

A power supply is rated on it's ability to hand over a given amount of current on a continual basis,and also on transient demand. A very high level of high speed current demand (huge bass note (WITH it's associated high frequency and highly harmonic leading edge! - yes...the timing considerations for a floor tom actually emit from your tweeter/mid) will stress a power supply so it begins to reach it's limit of being able to deliver a high current pulse that is in relative 'size' to it's smaller signals.

To be more correct, in micro to macro dynamics, with specific regards to whether a given complex signal (music signal) is played at a high volume or a low volume..the delta or speed or 'rate of change' of current delivery in the complex signal remains unchanged and does stress the PS and the rest of the system identically as it does in a high powered signal. It is just that the 'limit' of current delivery is reached on the higher level (high power) signal demands..more often.

What I'm attempting to say..is that the high speed current demand of the power supply under the amplifier's attempt to deliver current, will stress a power cable or a given power rail right to it's linear limit, and then the power rail, internal wire, transformer, or power cord will begin to limit current microscopically..and this will affect the leading edge formation of the transient..and thus affect the very mechanism which the human ear hears by.

This tiny leading edge that is affected..will not generally show up in linear measurement systems, except as a ridiculously small side note (0.01%) of distortion.

Too bad, this is one of the fundamental points the ear is hearing.

This is why measurements don't tend to correlate to what the ear hears.

Once again, for the hundredth time at the least, until people actually understand what I'm trying to say....

You will not get the measurements to correlate to what the ear says it is hearing..until you weight the measurement system in a non-linear way, so it looks at the signal components that the ear hears. The ear is not an oscilloscope, and it is not a sine wave.

It is a complex transient level and timing recognition device.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Sam, it is surprising how wrong all of your assumptions are. I have no humble pie of which to partake and I doubt anyone on this forum would consider me "sheepish". If you hadn't just arrived here with your poorly thought out "demonstration", you would have known both those facts.

However,

Quote:
(t)he constant point you purposely choose to ignore in all of my posts is that I am making an obvious effort to get readers to try this simple evaluation on their own systems, on their own time, with their own equipment, with their own favourite recordings.

I am a staunch advocate of letting others make up their own minds when they find themself curious about power cables or any other item or thought concerning audio. I choose not to judge what others do or think unless it affects me in some manner and I find the number of people who wish to call someone out for not agreeing with their own views regarding cables to be a display of bombastic audacity at its worst.

I strongly encourage anyone to compare products, tweaks, set ups. etc, in as many relevant ways as they can imagine. I don't know of a dealer or manufacturer of merit who doesn't encourage exactly the same approach. But I find the number of people involved in this hobby who would prefer to tell me something cannot happen to be disturbing when compared to the number of peple who prefer to think we don't yet understand everything and new discoveries are always possible - sometimes even by looking at what has preceded our understanding of the possible and the impossible. My points, I hope you understand, are not constricted to comparing power cables against one another. The point you constantly miss is I suggest they do this on their on systems and in their own installations, not on yours. You, sir, happen to be on a crusade and we all know they seldom end well.

I spoke to a friend just last night and when I described a particular aspect of what I hear to him, he said a year ago he would not have understood the concept. Now he has learned to hear differently and in better ways and he knows there is quite a bit more he needs to learn about hearing and understanding and correlating the two. He has not been blinded by anyone who says "it cannot happen" but has instead been convinced everything is possible. He is smart enough to know what to accept and what to reject as he learns about the hobby he appreciates. I don't have to lead him by the hand to my way of thinking but merely keep him pointed in the right direction every now and again when he is ready to take another step. If he finally decides he just must hear Klipschorns in his room, I will not stop him since there have been days when I enjoyed the horns for what they are.

What is it about that concept you do not understand? It seems so simple even a caveman could do it.

You have proven to yourself you cannot hear something. OK. So? I readily admit I don't listen for all the things others do and I know I hear things others don't listen for. So I am ready to accept the idea you might not hear something I consider important. It astounds me that you can't grasp that idea and let others hear what they may on their own time. No one needs to be grabbed by the hair and dragged to your or my conclusion about cables, amplifiers, speakers or anything else unless they first ask for my thoughts. That is my opinion. Maybe it's selfish but I do wish others would leave me the hell alone when I am listening for the qualities I enjoy in my system.

This is a suck it and see hobby and there is no reason that I can rationalize away for the constant attempts by others to prove anything impossible. The desire to convince others that things are not possible or that there is only one way to go about this hobby so we all achieve identical results takes tremendous amounts of time on this forum and serves no purpose that I can see other than to feed the egos of those attempting to score points.

Now, please, while we welcome all contributors to the Stereophile forums, what you are doing is fairly rude IMO. I consider you to be no more than a troll with a job that pays him to mentally disengage.

Let us all make up our own minds, at our own time and with our own equipment. OK, Friendo?

digital
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Jan,

You are absolutely unbelievable! I'm not telling you specifically what to hear or how to hear it. I am supplying sample .wav files and asking you what you hear.

Its simple, but I see that I'll have to break this down into simple sentences...

Download and listen to the lossless .wav files

Form an opinion

If you feel so inclined, post your opinion

If you're daring enough to hear audio-reality; record a few files on your own kit and try this form of auditioning yourself, on your own equipment, in your own room, with your own tunes.

Its really that simple, four short lines... Oh, and insulting me via childish name-calling doesn't help your position... By the way, which file do (you) think is which (Frankencable vs. PSAudio).

Elk,

I'll be recording various other bits of audio kit over time, posting as I go along. Most extremist audiophiles, will of course discount and attempt to discredit the whole thing, but at least the vast majority will learn something about truth in the hobby. Again, I hope to incite others to conduct similar experiments with their own equipment - (thats a big part of this entire process, one I very strongly encourage). Its unbelievably easy and ultimately enlightening.

Andrew D.
www.cdnav.com

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

I agree, this conversation is unbelievable.


Quote:

Oh, and insulting me via childish name-calling doesn't help your position...

Why? Because I called you a troll? Sorry, the truth hurts. I find you in no position to castigate anyone for perceived insults when you've made numerous errors trying to insinuate I should be eating crow. You have five posts on this forum and so far I find them all offensive. I don't speak for the other forum members and I will extend a courteous request that you remain and make positive contributions to our discussions. This thread is not, IMO, a positive contribution.


Quote:
By the way, which file do (you) think is which (Frankencable vs. PSAudio).

Oh! Sorry again! I don't engage in silly games and I listen to music not cables.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

This seems like a worthy endeavor to me; however, I would prefer the reference be something we could all go buy on the market and try for ourselves. How 'bout the free cable that comes with a Dell computer for instance, or the free cable with a Sony Bravia tv or some basic reference that we can "audit" you with? Most of us have no desire to construct an Frankencable and if ten of us did do it we'd get ten results.

So, I love the direction you're going and intend to do some similar things with my Korg DSD recorder at 5.6mHz, but I think your results are only valid when your have a known reference for us to compare.

Dave

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:

Me, subscribe to Stereophile!? Not for many years now in fact. I would rather give my five bucks a month to the crazy alcoholic dude on Main St. than throw it to the fellows that own said publication.

If that's the way you feel, why are you posting here? Did the Amazing Randi shut down his ministry? This is what's meant by "trolling" and why you were called one.

And how do you treat a cable "cytogenically?" Obviously, you meant "cryo"- but if you're going to pull big words out of your ass you should get the right one while you're in there.

pleeson
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Methinks Jan sells cables

Jan Vigne
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Meknow you be wrong.

dbowker
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

I think the test is valid up to a point, but the fact that you come at it with your own pre-conclusion seriously skews the whole thing. Anyway- I'm going to listen to your files just for the fun of it, but the main thing that concerns me is HOW you recorded these files. "Decent" and sound-card is kind of an oxymoron in my opinion. They all are pretty cheap, share a power supply with the rest of the noisy PC and are not at all made for high end recording or output (despite what the box they come in says).

So correct me if I'm wrong- these are files recorded off a CD into a wave file via the inputs from your sound card. And if it's just a straight rip, well, that's a different thing altogether. That's just data transfer, not comparable to any regular audio playback. Anyway- I don't have much hope that this a fair test, but I'll do it for kicks as I said and report back. I'd really rather just have a test of two identical DACs going into two aux inputs of a high-end system and play them back to back a bunch of times.

In my experience, my own DAC benefited greatly from a $150 cord upgrade, and I heard it before I even got back to my chair. Was it "Night and Day"? No, it maybe was subjectively 15% better, which was worth it for me, even though it amounted to about a 25% cost ratio to my DAC setup.

Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Good points.

The Asus card is a gaming card at the SoundBlaster level, with emphasis on playback. I have no clue how well it records, probably not very.

While this is a point that anyone who does recording quickly and readily understands, this is often lost on geeks who tend to conclude that if the claimed specs are good it is good.

I previously raised concern with respect to the transparency of the recording chain, but was not explicit - I should have been. This is going to matter when one is attempting to get a handle on the differences, if any, between two given power cords. This type of difference is subtle.

I do like the concept of trying to accurately record the output of a good DAC when fed by various types of equipment. Conceptually this should work as long as the quality of the recording process is high.

dcstep
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

I think that the test has two BIG problems, one is the lack of a known reference. Rather than using a DIY, homemade reference he should have used something readily available, but inexpensive to compare to the expensive cable. Otherwise, no one can replicate his experiment. Two, the recording chain is very suspect. This could be solved by using a hi rez consumer recording device like the Korg MR1000, hard drive, DSD recorder, using battery power. You could switch out the power cords on a hi rez player, playing an SACD or DVD-A with quality interconnects from the player to the recorder.

DUP, are you up for this?

Dave

Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Good plan. Your test would be simple and straight forward. The Korg would be perfect for the job and with battery operation doesn't even share a ground with the tested equipment.

Is there any consensus as to where power cords make the biggest difference, BTW? Amps? Preamps? Source?

dbowker
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

OK smart guy- if I guessed right, do I get something out of this process? At least a drink if we ever meet up, OK?

I burned your two files onto a CD-ROM to create a standard Redbook audio CD. I played it on my Rega Apollo CDP, Krell integrated amp and custom ProAc Response 2.5s (which are true full range down all the way to 25hz). All the hardware has upgraded power cords, heheh, and I have a dedicated power line to the whole system, moderately fancy ICs and speaker wire. It's pretty revealing if you haven't figured that out.

Like a number of people here, I still think it's not a good test- better to do straight double blind directly through the CD player and switch cords only, but whatever. I also think although the track is good for some evaluation, it keeps things so spare I wonder what a more complex passage would do? Anyway- I heard SOMETHING that leads me to believe the better cable was used for your second track: "Left." To me, there was something in the transients missing in the first track, maybe less air? Bass a liitle slower? I dunno, it's only one minute of music, but after about 5 consecutive plays, and then a few key parts re-played, I felt something "more" was there in Second Track: Left.

I loaded the files into Adobe Premiere Pro 2 and I also saw there were definitely variation in the wave forms (and I lined up the identical passages). No nothing huge, but enough to let me know I wasn't just imagining what I heard. Of course, I could be wrong in my cable guess and it was added colorations that I was hearing, but either way, there WAS something there in Left that I did not get in Right. So what is it? Franken cable or PS Audio for Left?

Honestly, it'd all be so much more clear just set up a good system, and have someone plug in two different cords into the wall (or strip etc.) and switch them back and forth esp. since you can't see behind the player or DAC anyway. It'd be a lot more accurate a test, IF that what you REALLY want! It didn't prove anything to me exactly, other than that there was a variation happening. I already know upgraded cables had a positive effect on MY system so I'm good to go. I am not surpised a computer based system does not benefit much, so I would not argue there.

Cheers---------------------

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

dbowker,
If you think a blind test would be more conclusive (it would), and think you can tell the two burned tracks apart 'sighted', as you claim to, then why not just verify that by ABXing them yourself? Then at least you've shown you are really hearing a difference, regardless of which one you think represents which cable. A waveform difference is necessary, but not sufficient, to prove that something was audible. Tiny visible differences aren't necessarily audible at all.

The ABX I propose is most easily done on computer, with a good set of headphones and a software ABX comparator (e.g., WinABX). 16-20 trials should be enough. The idea that all sound cards are cheap and noisy is not supported in reality, btw. High-quality ADC, and noise levels well below 90dB are not uncommon. And you can test your own soundcard's performance in situ using Rightmark software, to ensure it's not degrading the sound.

digital
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Will let this one run a little longer so more folks might attempt a 'guess'.

One point I would very much like to make here is: each and every one of you reading this has the option of reproducing this stunningly simple little project. Hell, its easier than any grade-school project we

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:

One point I would very much like to make here is: each and every one of you reading this has the option of reproducing this stunningly simple little project. Hell, its easier than any grade-school project we

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
A waveform difference is necessary, but not sufficient, to prove that something was audible.


Perhaps not, but this sentence illustrates the unfortunate attitude of the audio skeptic.

The waveforms are different. We can measure it. Therefore there is a difference between the power cords.

This is objective, measurable proof as defined and routinely demanded by audio skeptics.

But, as is usually objectively observed by those of us with more open minds, the audio skeptics now change their argument:

"Well, now that a measurement difference can be shown, this is not enough. Now you have to pass our additional test. By the way, we have a third test if you succeed in passing the second test also."

Please

According to the rules established by the objectivists, this test proves there is a difference between cables - improbable as this may seem.

Frankly, I now expect the objectivists to now agree with me and dcstep that the test itself is flawed.

dbowker
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

"Tiny visible differences aren't necessarily audible at all."

Well maybe, maybe not. I just brought it up for added info. That's not what I based my conclusions on. I HEARD something different too. I only checked out the wave form after.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:

Quote:
A waveform difference is necessary, but not sufficient, to prove that something was audible.


Perhaps not, but this sentence illustrates the unfortunate attitude of the audio skeptic.

The waveforms are different. We can measure it. Therefore there is a difference between the power cords.

This is objective, measurable proof as defined and routinely demanded by audio skeptics.

Every 'audio skeptic' with even half a brain cell knows that we can routinely measure differences smaller than ones can be heard. That was very POINT of the line of mine that you quoted above. Every 'heard' difference must be measureable, but the reverse is not true.


Quote:
But, as is usually objectively observed by those of us with more open minds, the audio skeptics now change their argument:

"Well, now that a measurement difference can be shown, this is not enough. Now you have to pass our additional test. By the way, we have a third test if you succeed in passing the second test also."

You're conveniently ignoring context. Some differences can reasonably be proposed to be likely audible, or not, based on measurements. They're also easier to come by than listening tests. So that's why measurements are requested.
But the full monty of verifying audible difference is evidence from measurements AND *controlled* listening tests.


Quote:

Please

According to the rules established by the objectivists, this test proves there is a difference between cables - improbable as this may seem.

Please indeed. Stop with the straw man argument (an unfortunate habit of subjectivists). Yes, there is a measurable difference -- but objectivists don't merely demand a measurable difference to conclude audible difference, they demand that the measurable difference be of a magnitude likely to be audible.
There is nothing remotely hypocritical or weaselly about this, as you imply. It is why objectivists rarely question that two loudspeaker systems sound different, for example.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
Every 'heard' difference must be measureable, but the reverse is not true.


If, and only if, we know what to measure and have done so properly.

Additionally, we need to experience a phenomenon first to realize there is something to explain, to explore, to quantify. Consider the 1970's spec wars when the amplifiers measured wonderfully, but the better the measurements of IM and THD the worse they sounded. According to the measurements we should have been happy, but our ears bled. Sadly, we didn't know what to measure.


Quote:
...they demand that the measurable difference be of a magnitude likely to be audible.


In this context, how precisely is this magnitude defined? How have you determined that the observable differences are inaudible? Consider, for example, we can hear incredibly small differences in harmonic balance as changes in timbre. This differences are minute when looked at as a waveform, but are readily apparent to the listener.

Additionally, how do you explain the measurable differences in the waveforms that does exist in this case? Were they caused by the different power cables?

And sorry, but I ma not a subjectivist or objectivist by your definitions. Rather I am an independent, part of that large group of us in the middle that finds both extremes quite silly.

On the other hand, when the objectivists can prove that we know all there is to know, that we know how to measure everything and how to correlate it to human experience, and that all further research and questioning is fruitless - I'll become an unshakable objectivist.

dcstep
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Why are these guys here???

I suspect it's not for the love of music.

Dave

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
Last time
dbowker
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

OK Sam I Am- 'nuff time has gone by. This isn't going to get droves of takers anyway. Just let me know how my results compared to what you provided if you please. I did my part, now let's have you do yours. Thanks!

digital
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Hold onto your shorts DW, I'll get there...

With regards to the cables showing differently in graphs: try it yourself with two identical cables - oddly, the identical cable will show variances between two test runs. I didn

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:

With regards to the cables showing differently in graphs: try it yourself with two identical cables - oddly, the identical cable will show variances between two test runs. I didn

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
...oddly, the identical cable will show variances between two test runs. I didn
dbowker
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

OK- Here's the thing. You can spin this whatever way you want, but in your original post you said: "Hey I made two different recordings using a high-end PS Audio cable and this old computer cable I degraded for good measure. See if you can hear any difference." End of post. So I DID try out your test and I DID hear differences that I clearly and coherently presented. I also visually analyzed the files afterwords to verify my findings, thus fulfilling the test both subjectively and objectively.

So your lack of owning up to what I heard (and telling me/us which file was produced by which cable) can only lead me to one conclusion: You BELIEVED no-one would hear anything; I did, and in fact got it right, and you don't want to admit it. I'm afraid to say the Jan was probably right in saying that your post and it's "test" were both made in bad faith. If you're going to ask people to take a blind test, or whatever, you need to be able to allow for answers you don't want to hear.

So... time to step up, strap on a pair, and post my results in relation to your own stated criteria.

'Nuff said.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
As to why there isn't the drive to perform similar tests, I believe there are two camps:

1) Forum members (such as yourself) that have already convinced themselves there cannot possibly be a difference. Thus, why bother to perform a test? - differences are impossible.

2) Forum members who have repeatedly heard a difference in cables and, in fact, hear different characteristics of different cables. Thus, why bother to perform a test? - the differences clearly exist.

I'm in the second camp EXCEPT that I'm convinced that I can demonstrate the differences with my Korg MR1000. I've been holding off because I want Ric Schultz to mod it a little more to improve the input and output connections, add some additional internal shield, etc. all in hopes of reducing the analog noise level. (It's a consumer product, not a pro product, so some corners were cut to keep the price low and still meet it's intended market for self-recording musicians. We want to use it as a test tool, and it's not up to that. Still, it's better than some crappy-assed soundcard). Hopefully I'll get this work done and be ready by the summer.

BTW, I can already hear differences in cables through the Korg, but each down-conversion adds noise. If I can eliminate or minimize the origination noise, then maybe it'll be resolving enough at 24/96 so that you guys can hear it also in a second-generation disc.

This Sam guy wasn't the first to dream this up, he was just the first to go off half-cocked, slam together a crappy comparision the criticize us for suggesting improvements.

Dave

Elk
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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

The Korg will do it now, I'm sure, and 24/96 is more than enough resolution.

I haven't had the inclination as I have too many fun things to do right now - like finishing writing music for a Brass and Organ extravaganza coming up in May.

(Silly to write and perform music when you could be listening to reproduced sound and measuring power cords, right? )

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Have you got a link to your Brass and Organ event?

Dave

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

No, but this would be neat. It's just a fun noisy concert at a local university where my quintet is artist in residence.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
No, but this would be neat. It's just a fun noisy concert at a local university where my quintet is artist in residence.

Well then, I'll settle for a snippet of recording.

Dave

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Ok, will post the 'answers' on Cdnav.com April 4th . In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate you fellows explaining / articulating exactly what it is that you feel you are hearing between each of the two sets of cable comparisons.

Additionally, it would be really great if at least one of you fellows would step up and create your own set of .wav files.

Finally; since none of you actually own, never mind even actually seen, any of the components employed in the evaluations, you have no way of saying that

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables


Quote:
Ok, will post the 'answers' on Cdnav.com April 4th . In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate you fellows explaining / articulating exactly what it is that you feel you are hearing between each of the two sets of cable comparisons.

Additionally, it would be really great if at least one of you fellows would step up and create your own set of .wav files.

Finally; since none of you actually own, never mind even actually seen, any of the components employed in the evaluations, you have no way of saying that

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

A pro-level, external sound card would be an improvement, but if you're really serious about this get a hi rez DSD recorder, then downconvert to 24/96 or higher WAV files for comparison. Use a high quality universal player and swap either the PC or ICs and you'll easily hear the difference. Keep it simple (universal player into recorder, with no other elements) otherwise you increase the chance of clouding your results.

Your current recording chain has resolution way below the systems we're using. Like any chain, the weakest link determines the strength of the chain. Your process is full of weak links.

Except for using a DIY cable as a reference, I applaud you effort and plan to do something similar later this year. However, good intentions (some would question your intentions, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt) don't result in a valid test.

Dave

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Well I finally had a chance to download the files. There is some interesting things going on here.

First, both of the Spanish Harlem (it's not "Harlum") samples waves sound dreadful if you know the sound of the original version. What happened to this poor, undeserving recording to take so much out of it? Ouch.

Perhaps the DAC is poor. Perhaps the recording sound of the sound card is poor (it's in a noisy environment - see below). Whatever the case, the samples files are quite low in fidelity in reference to the original.

So, let's take a look.

First, the levels are very low - oddly so - a good 12dB lower than the original recording so we need to turn the

volume up a good deal to listen. The low signal/noise I otherwise found may have something to do with the low recording level.

Next, the sound file "left" is almost exactly .3dB louder than "right", a borderline audibility difference but any

perceived difference would favor "left" to sound better - one of the reasons I carefully adjusted the files' volume before listening.

Now, let's dive in to the files for some critical listening.

It is easy to hear the difference between the "left" and "right" wav files.

The "left" sound file sounds substantially better than the "right". In comparison, the "right" file sounds fuzzy,

almost distorted - almost as if there is an extra hard reflective surface such as a window placed in the room.

So, let's open them up and see what's up.

First, I loaded the track in from the original CD. I then loaded the "left' and "right" sound files. I then carefully trimed the CD track to the same section as the two samples files, and adjusted the volume so that they were equal. Than I performed spectrum analysis on each.

Here is where things get very interesting.

First while the "left" file's spectrum tracks the original more or less, there is a good deal of added and subtracted frquencies, together with a lot if "noise" in the form of extra jaggies in the mid highs on up.

Second, to no great surprise, there is power supply noise at 60Hz, 120Hz, 240Hz (and intervening harmonics such as 90Hz and 180Hz).

The "right" file is more interesting. There all all sorts of extra jaggies and other goodies, especially from 4kHz to 10kHz.

Note there are two variables in this test (two power cords are changed). So who knows what is causing the differences?

I have no clue. As I prefer the sound of the "left" file I like to think that it includes the PS Audio entry level cord as one of the changes, but I can only guess this is the case.

I also acknowledge that a spectrum analysis performed on roughly a minute and 15 seconds of a sound file at the same time is a bit crude. This is because the longer the file the more homogeneous the sample becomes, but this gives us some idea. Plus, I treated all of the files identically.

One conclusion is that this recording set up sucks turtle toes, especially the recording side of the card. The DAC may be lousy also.

Fascinatingly if this test set-up is at all legitimate I may start to accept that power cords do in fact make a considerable difference, certainly not the result the author intended.

(As a side note, having done some research in radiation biology I am really terrified with the concept of a "power cable with cytogenetically treated,

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

Elk- Interesting we both thought the "Left" track sounded better, and came to a number of the same conclusions. Definitely this is pointing to obvious and predictable difference in the cables. Glad you visually inspected the files as I did as well.

Ditto all your thoughts about the whole affair being thrown off by the DAC and Sound Card issues, but for all that mess to STILL be affected by the cables swap, it actually makes the conclusions that much stronger! It's like I always said, when in a very good system you swap out better cables the differences are pronounced and easy to spot.

Our "scientist" Sam needs to re-adjust his forgone conclusions, I think.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

I am certainly intrigued.

If nothing else, I find it interesting that the two files are different.

The unfortunate part is that both are so inferior to the original for me to feel comfortable that the test itself is valid in any fashion. Both recordings should sound excellent as the source recording is superb. But they both are closed in and hashy in comparison to the original.

Additionally, Sam has admitted that there are differences in the recordings when recording the same input twice! Unreal. One cannot reasonably expect to run a "scientific" test when your equipment does not allow repeatable tests. I strongly suspect the card and the environment in which it is operating.

Additionally, I have always found that tweaks have their greatest influences on subtleties - the sense of air, note decay , soundstage depth, etc. I wish the recorded sections included the later portion of the track which adds a couple strings, a shaker, piano to the mix. This rich, but still sparse, section would make a better test bed.

I have no problem accepting that the majority of people will not hear a difference between the recordings, nor even between the tracks and the original, on most equipment. The headphone out on a computer is not going to disclose these differences, nor are computer speakers.

As to analysis, the most interesting is comparing short, discreet portions of the files. The differences become more pronounced. Also interesting is looking at a frequency spectrum with time as the X-axis (Y-axis is frequencies.) One can see differences throughout the files.

Of course, the response will again be that the observed measurable differences are not meaningful.

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Re: Stereo System Power-cables

From our, ahem, "friend" Sam on his audiophile hating web site: http://www.cdnav.com/

"The March 12th

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