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Buddha
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Re: I'm still around


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I'm not sure what it did, but, I believe that cord (at the time) employed ribbon conductors of roughly 10 gauge with a very thin dielectric. The conductors were very close together, and I suspect this resulted in a high capacitance design. I wonder if this would be enough to alter the performance of the power supply in the amps, or if the high capacitance provided a bit of a boost of stored energy if needed, like a battery*... I don't know. But, your question did prompt me to dig out some power cords on hand. I did some quick measuring of the capacitance across the 2 prongs of the following 2 meter power cords:

PS Audio xStream Statement (6 gauge with 15 amp IEC) - 1.795 nf

ESP Essence (maybe 10 gauge? with 15 amp IEC) - .684 nf

12 gauge generic (from Audio Power with 20 amp IEC) - .400 nf

18 gauge generic (from VPI motor with 15 amp IEC) - .314

I'm not sure how capacitance might affect the sound, but, there's clearly a difference in the properties of these cords. It would be interesting to compare several gauges of a cord with the exact materials and construction to cut down on variables to see/hear if there is a significant difference.

I would think your idea of hardwiring the gear would be best, but, impractical in terms of flexibility.

*I wonder if this added capacitance could act like a smoothing or bypass cap and filter out some ripple or noise on the line.

That is exceedingly interesting!

Thanks for doing it.

If you've used those cords on the same equipment, any observations as to sound?

Totally, highly cool.

Killer info.

(It's tempting to buy a little capacitor and try it with a cheap cord...but I'm afraid I'd blow something up.)

gkc
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Re: I'm still around

Buddha, when I had the McCormack DNA-1 a few years back, I took it down to Steve McCormack (the amplifier's designer) for what he called an "A" modification -- he lives in nearby San Diego, so I had a chance to drop the piece off and chat with Steve in person. Somehow, we got around to power cords, and he opined that the DNA-1's power supply was set up to run out of the wall, via his stock power cord. Still, he said he had been auditioning several different custom models and had been quite amazed at the differences each made in the amplifier's sound. All ears, since I was talking to a bit of an electronics-design genius (who also just happens to be a music lover), I pressed him on the brands he would recommend. He said the Audio Quest (a $70 cord, at that time -- they only made one) seemed the most tonally neutral, but somehow not as transparent. He liked the Synergistics Research model the best, even though he felt it brightened the sound a tad (again, Synergistic Research only made the one model, a $250 number). He liked the Cardas Golden Reference (then, a $500 number), but felt it darkened the timbres of the amplifier somewhat. He talked about numerous other brands, finding all of those unsatisfactory and inferior to the one he boxed with each amp. I bought the Synergistics, and have never felt dissatisfied. It increased the transparency of my system (more "see-through" detail and more of a sense of open space between the instruments), so I bought one for each of my other components, and noticed further increases in transparency, silence, and definition. When I sold my McCormack DNA-1, I kept the Synergistics -- by that time, they had increased the number of cords in their line, including their top model, a $2,000 number. I tried it and hated it. It sounded artificial and overcooked in the upper mids, although the bass was superb.

Main points. Steve McCormack does not buy snake oil. He is a serious designer, and he acknowledges the audible differences among different power cords. Also, amplifier designers DO take the question of power cords and their abilities to alter the sounds of their amplifiers seriously.

Cheers, Clifton

Jeff Wong
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Re: I'm still around

Buddha - I have used several of the cords in the same applications over time. Generally speaking, any time I upgraded the cords, I've gotten blacker backgrounds where I can better make out rear wall reflections and the decay of notes, less grainy highs with better articulation of harmonic overtones (usually on acoustic stringed instruments) and better pitch definition in the bass. With vocals, I can often hear subtle changes in inflection of words, or when a singer elides, or when notes bend. But, bear in mind, these are qualities I've opted for and chose cords that delivered these properties.

At one time, I changed the API 12 gauge cord and used an ESP with 20 amp IEC in its place. The ESP allowed the Power Wedge to perform better. I no longer use the API Power Wedge in my main rig, but, now use it with my headphone rigs (which I am less prone to tweaking or AB-ing: they get the hand me downs from the big brother, as it were, with very little testing.)

I usually make my power cord (and interconnect and speaker cable) changes system wide (turntable motor excepted), so everything gets swapped (power conditioner, amp, preamp, transport, DAC.) I tend to treat the system as a whole and stick with design philosophies that make sense and sound good to me. I find reducing the variables allows me to get a better grasp on what my system is doing. I'm not fond of trying to use one colouration to counter another. I'm not sure if power cords vary in how they affect phase -- I recall a reviewer of ESP cords marveling at how the phase integrity of his system was maintained with their use and that soundstaging and 3 dimensionality benefited as a result. I've no idea if the technical aspects back this up, but, I'm got recordings of Sonny Rollins twisting and swaying, and you can track him easily and "see" how he is moving.

The differences the cord upgrades make at the level my system has achieved are less dramatic on certain products (I may also just be more jaded or experienced and less prone to "wow factor"), but, the cumulative effect seems worthwhile. I also feel, at a certain point, you probably reach a level of diminishing returns... but, sometimes that subtle last bit of nuance makes for magic and lets you know it was worth it.

I use several DIY filters in parallel with my AC line (which wouldn't be any different than attaching a cap to your cord.) They really improve the sound of my main rig. Just be sure you use polypropylene caps (not electrolytic) that are rated at 400 or 600 volts and put in a 100K (1/2 watt resistor minimum, also in parallel) for safety to help with discharge when you unplug the filter.

Clifton - Years ago, I tried a Synergistic Reference cord. It was the one I mentioned previously that had great PRaT, but, shrank the soundstage (which led to me to choose a different cord, ultimately.)

JasonVSerinus
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Re: I'm still around

I have two friends who own upgraded McCormack DNA-1s. Both benefit from the use of aftermarket power cables. Those that have worked best, at least in their systems, are cords that tend to darken the top somewhat (minimizing the amp's solid-state glare) while bringing out midrange and bass. The old Shunyata black mamba does this, but it tends to darken everything too much. An Elrod EPS-Signature 2 works far better (and costs more). I would not, for example, use a $2500 Nordost Valhalla on the McCormack, simply because its absolute neutrality and transparency will not mask glare. I can't use the Valhalla on my cheapo Pioneer VCR for the same reason. But the Nordost Valhalla sounds fabulous on my Jadis amp, Theta Gen. VIII, and any other component I've tried it on that in and of itself does not emphasize the top at the expense of midrange warmth.

Caveat. I have not listened to the McCormack in my system for a long, long time. Perhaps, with all the changes I've made in the last few years, my opinion of it would be different now.

jason victor serinus

gkc
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Re: I'm still around

This is indeed curious. When I switched to the Synergistics power cables, the soundstage opened up, in depth and width, helping the speakers disappear. On full orchestral recordings, I got (and still get) massed violins well beyond the outside speaker boundaries, and tympani from beyond the back wall, or so the illusion goes.

I always forget to say this. When I go to live concerts, no matter what the venue, there is no exact precision in the correlation of the sound of a specific instrument with its exact location, especially during tutti passages. Of course, brief solos within the orchestral fabric are precisely placed, but the main reason tubes (in general -- not ALL tubes, of course) sound more realistic in my home has precisely to do with this sense of an orchestral whole, rather than individual instruments jumping out from specific locations in the soundstage, an effect even the best solid state gear will tend to exaggerate.

When I attended Blomstedt's performance of the Schubert 9th a couple of weeks ago, I was struck with an antiphonal effect, where much of the string music left a distinct hole in the middle. Left and right, with little center. Of course, in that symphony, the oboe plays a huge part, and emerges almost solo from the center of the soundstage. And my seat is perfect, dead center, 10 rows back. I also noted that, even though the string bass players were arrayed stage left (from my perspective), their plucked bass clearly emerged from behind the 2nd violins, stage right center, and right. This is what you hear in recordings, so it is not just a hall quirk. Cheers, Clifton

gkc
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Re: I'm still around

This gets curiouser and curiouser. When I have heard the Jadis (at Brooks-Berdan, which is only a few miles further up the road from Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, enabling me to visit that fine place often), it has shown more glare than my McCormack ever did. Of course, I heard the Jadis through, first, the "Yosemite Sam" horn speakers, which seemed to exaggerate the glare region (4-6 kHz). But I also heard them often through the Vandersteen 5's (which I also find a bit splashy in that region, on full symphonic music). I found the stock McCormack laid back, if anything, and even moreso after the "A" mod. It could sound somewhat THIN and over-delicate, but there was never any sense of the glare that I associate with, say, EL-34 tubed amplifiers, or the big Jadis I heard (I can't remember the model #, but it was 2 warehouse-sized monoblocks, and the cost was well into 5-figures). Of course, the effect may have been exaggerated by the speakers. I could never understand the raves for the Vandersteen 5's; although I certainly appreciate their OTHER virtues (tremendous, well-defined bass, HUGE soundstaging, excellent portrayal of the delicate micro-details), I couldn't get past the upper midrange glare that, for me, distracted from the sense of tonal realism I associate with other $15,000+ speakers, when playing the same software. But, no, the McCormack had no glare. It was very sweet and laid back, when compared with other solid-state amps I have spent time with.

gkc
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Re: I'm still around

Jeff, I just checked my power cords. They are the "A/C Master Coupler" model, not the Reference. The "Reference" was the $2000 model that I didn't like, more for its peakiness in the highs than for its imaging, as I recall. Mine cost $250 and were clearly the more neutral...and they soundstage beautifully.

clarkjohnsen
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

May wrote


Quote:
The answer then would have to have been "We just don't know."


Which makes certain types of people very unhappy. Some there are who cannot live with ambiguity, with uncertainty. They demand PROOF!

Chances too are that 90% of them (a number!), in their rejecting "tweaks", have no idea how to make an audio system sound great.

clark

May Belt
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

More of my explanation to Ethan.
Chapter Three. - Consolidation.

Could we (human beings) have inherited (via millions of years evolution) the ability to - correction - the NECESSITY to read/sense our environment every second of every minute of every hour of our lives - in order to detect any danger/intruder/predator ?

The earliest of creatures must have had this ability because they had to survive in order to replicate - and survive and replicate many of them did because we are here now - millions of years later !! But, they must have had this ability to read/sense their environment, searching for signs of danger long before the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell evolved. So, how did they do it, what did they sense, and what did they sense it with ? To be able to detect changes in their environment they must have been reading/sensing a set of co-ordinates - every second, of every minute of every hour of their lives. But, to be able to detect and make sense of any changes in any of these co-ordinates, they must have had some sort of primitive memory. They had to be able to read/sense one set of co-ordinates, submit those to some primitive memory and then, on reading/sensing the same co-ordinates a second later, to be able to compare the second reading with the first reading and so on and, in that way, detect when any changes occur. As soon as any changes were detected, they were immediately 'put on the alert' (under tension) prepared to take whatever action was necessary, to survive, in order to replicate. And, to remain under tension (on the alert) until they were able to resolve the situation. So, whatever method it was - for a great number of the earliest creatures - it was successful.

How did they do it ? What did they sense and what did they sense it with ?

Gradually, when the various senses evolved, then this 'reading/sensing of the environment' merely became more sophisticated and more successful - the newly developed senses taking more and more of the responsibility. But, Nature just replicates what was successful - Nature does not do an inventory every 10,000 years or so - if this ability is there, somewhere in the DNA/genetic coding, then it is there and not necessarily dormant !!

When the early creatures evolved further they must have also developed some method of communication. And, much later, used this communication to further survival - sometimes taking the form of shoals, flocks, herds, groups.
You only have to see a shoal of fish turn 'as one', 'instantaneously', to ask the question "How did they communicate ?" It cannot have been by the Leader fish shouting "Turn left, turn right", because by the time the fish at the back heard these instructions, it would be too late for them !! Similarly with any instructions using sight. So, how do they do it ? How do they communicate ?

It is known that plants can communicate with each other It is known that when (say) some of the tobacco plants are affected with the tobacco leaf virus, they can communicate with the other (healthy) tobacco plants and warn them of the danger, giving the healthy plants prior warning to try to develop some form of defence. How do they do that ? How do they communicate ? It cannot be by sounds, it cannot be by vision, it cannot be by taste, it cannot be by smell, it cannot be by touch. How ?

Could the whole thing - from the earliest of creatures, be by being able to read/sense chemical concentrations and dilutions ? Both for reading/sensing the environment and for communication ?
When you get to the subject of communication, you begin to realise that as well as having to have the ability to read/sense the environment for signs of danger/intruder/predator, and to communicate that, the creatures must also have been searching the environment for signs of reassurance. Because Nature cannot have the creatures constantly under tension, on the alert, unnecessarily - it is too costly in terms of energy. So, the creatures must have also been reading/sensing the environment, looking for signs of reassurance - "It's OK, the danger has gone away, you can relax now !!"

Somewhat simplistic I know - but putting a complicated subject into a few paragraphs - is nearly impossible without being simplistic.

Which brings me to human beings.
In the span of evolution, the modern environment is a blink of an eyelid. And, the modern environment has really only been with us for less than 200 years - particularly the part played by electricity. Electricity has only been in the environment for over 100 years and man made plastics (mixtures of different chemicals) have only been with us since the 1930s !!

Just looking at one thing in the modern environment. The electricity is pulsing away, constantly, going from positive to negative and back to positive again 50 or 60 times PER SECOND !! Are we attempting to read/sense our environment, searching for signs of danger/intruder/predator, making sure that no changes are occurring, whilst all this is going on - confusing matters ?

Are we alerted, are we under tension because of all the things which are happening in the modern environment ? If we cannot resolve the situation, are we therefore remaining under some sort of tension ?

Let me now return to one item which was mentioned in an earlier posting as an example of what I mean.
The effect of the Shakti Stone.
If people have been able to perceive an improvement in the sound after placing a Shakti Stone on a piece of equipment, then this means that the Shakti device must be 'reducing an adverse effect' - an adverse effect which was caused by and surrounded the piece of equipment. This is what Shakti claim, that their device reduces the adverse effect caused by the equipment.
Let us look at it differently. Remove the Shakti Stone and back would come the adverse energy around the equipment. Are we (human beings) reading/sensing that adverse energy and interpreting (and this is the key word - interpreting) it as danger/intruder/predator and therefore going under tension - and staying under tension because of not being able to resolve the situation. Do we have one primitive part of the brain put on the alert because of supposed danger and another part of the brain (say from information from the eyes) saying "What's the problem - I can't see any danger." In such conflict, the survival mechanism will have priority - it has to have - that is what it was programmed to do !!

Is placing the Shakti on the equipment altering the adverse energy around the equipment sufficiently for the brain to stop interpreting it as danger - thereby allowing the person listening to the music to relax more - thereby allowing the working memory to better identify the information contained in the music ? In other words - the sound is perceived as better. Exactly the same piece of equipment, exactly the same music being played, exactly the same Shakti Stone, exactly the same result as before - but a different explanation !!!!!

Our work over these past 20 years has confirmed over and over again that if you superimpose, on objects in the environment, a relaxing, reassuring energy pattern, the sound will be perceived as having improved. You can have the (previously mentioned) piece of equipment in the environment, producing it's adverse energy pattern, you can place a Shakti Stone on it, you can gain an improvement in the sound, you can remove the Shakti Stone, have the adverse energy pattern return and the sound worse again BUT, you can apply some of our 'friendly, relaxing, reassuring' cream to the outer case of that equipment and BACK WILL COME THE GOOD SOUND !! Without having the Shakti Stone in place !!!
If the piece of equipment had an electromagnetic field around it and this electro-magnetic field was 'measured', the measurements would still be exactly the same - before AND after applying the 'friendly, relaxing, reassuring' cream. Exactly the same applies when applying the 'reassuring' cream to other objects in the environment. Any measurements of either an electronic nature or an acoustic nature would still be exactly the same. THAT is why you cannot have 'measurement' proof that anything has changed. It is the human being who is doing the changing !!

You only have to alter the adverse energy pattern in some way, by providing an alternative 'relaxing, reassuring' energy pattern, to stop it being interpreted as danger/intruder/predator, we ( human beings) will relax more, be under less tension, therefore allowing the working memory to better resolve the information.

And, the environment which the human being is reading/sensing extends from the room they are actually in, to other rooms in their property - all the way to the boundary of their territory. That is why you can 'treat' things in other rooms and improve the sound in the listening room. The human being is sensitive to what is going on in their entire territory.
Regards,
May Belt.

May Belt
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

More of my explanation for Ethan.
Chapter Four - Looking at the hearing mechanism.

If we have been taught anything regarding the hearing mechanism and audio it is that the speaker cone presents acoustic information (sound air pressure waves) into the room, which then reaches our ears. Yes, these sound air pressure waves ARE also reflected from rear walls, side walls, floors and ceilings and are therefore presenting additional delayed information and yes, there ARE peaks and nulls associated with these reflected air pressure waves. But, the belief structure is that when the sound air pressure waves reach the ear, then that is it - that is the sound !!

From time to time, in Hi Fi magazines, there will be an article describing the actual hearing mechanism. Such articles present information as though all is known regarding the hearing mechanism. But, if one reads the actual text books on hearing, the sentences in such books are what I call 'hedging sentences'. Sentences beginning "It is thought that....", "It has been presumed that...", Such and such a person has proposed that...", "It is now being suggested that..."

In the Hi Fi magazine articles on the hearing mechanism you have pages and pages (I am exaggerating here, but only to make a point) describing the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear and then, the last sentence says something like "And, then, at the base of the rows of outer and inner hair cells, the information is transformed into electrical signals for it's journey along the auditory nerve." That is it. One sentence, at the end of the article, describing an extremely complex procedure !!

In such an article on the hearing mechanism (stretching over three issues) in Hi Fi Choice this year, it says "the hair cells send electrical impulses back to the brain in response to vibrations...... The role of the brain is considerably more complex. How the electrical stimulus leads to awareness is still an enigma." And this is in a 2006 magazine !!

The electrical impulses referred to which are carrying the information along the auditory nerve are actually electro-chemicals - positive and negative ions. It is thought that the chemicals involved are potassium, sodium and calcium. If, as the scientists believe, that information is conveyed across a cell and through the cell membrane to the next cell, across that cell and through the cell membrane to the next cell by concentrations and dilutions of chemicals, then the procedure is more complex than being described merely as 'electrical impulses'. What I ask is "Could there be more intense chemical activity happening elsewhere in the brain, caused by us being more 'tense', under more 'stress' and could this greater chemical activity somehow interfere with the concentrations and dilutions of the chemicals travelling along the auditory nerve ? So changing the information (of the music) which started it's journey at the beginning of the auditory nerve perfectly OK but which arrives at the end of the auditory nerve to the working memory changed in some way ? Changed sufficiently that although the working memory receives enough information to identify the information as Tosca but with the instruments in a jumbled mess ? If the brain is allowed to respond to the environment with less tension, create less 'stress' chemicals, which in turn will have less interference on the chemicals travelling along the auditory nerve, which will allow more of the correct information to reach the working memory ? So that the working memory can create a better 'sound picture' of Tosca with the instruments separated, playing with and against each other, better height, better depth, better width ?

I am aware that the thinking regarding the hearing process has gone from a single, one way system, i.e. The information travelling along the auditory nerve to the brain. To, a two way system being proposed. i.e. Information going to the working memory from the ear and instructions going back in the opposite direction from the brain to the ear - instructing the hair cells to become erect (to tune in) or to lay flat (to de-tune). And, now, within the last few years the people involved with studying the hearing are carrying that concept even further, to the concept that there are 'relay stations' along the auditory nerve - and that these 'relay stations' are communicating with each other constantly, backwards and forwards !! And, that this mechanism may explain Tinnitus. That, in the case of Tinnitus, these relay stations are continuing to communicate backwards and forwards with each other LONG AFTER the original external (sound) stimulus has finished !!!
Regards,
May Belt.

gkc
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Yes, Clark, I agree. May's "path" seems to originate 'way up in the clouds, and then spiral higher, into what Hulme called the "circumambient gas."

Tweaks have a real effect on a system's sound, an effect that can be negative or positive. This means, unfortunately, that a lot of fussing around is necessary. Many of them attack spurious vibrations, and these are real enough phenomena, although I don't know how one would go about measuring such things.

clarkjohnsen
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Re: I'm still around


Quote:
...the high costs of these tweaks... like a 2000 dollar power cord.


Always with the two grand figure! There are specialty cords as low as $59, but never mind that (the writer says). And there are other great tweaks beginning at $15 and on through the $50 range and the $100 even, but again, to make his case, the writer keeps harping on the two grand:


Quote:
What I don't get is why so many are willing to fork over 2 grand for a power cord.


Occasionally however he does make some sense:


Quote:
I happen to think that our power supplies should be able to cope with whatever power is supplied at the wall outlet.


Would it were so, would it were so! But it isn't. So what can a fellow do at home, in the aftermarket, to adjust for the sadly apparent fact that no audio designer seems to understand the electrical feed? One solution (of many): A specialty power cord.

But, again back to the writer's favorite theme:


Quote:
Maybe those 2000 dollar power cords are just Art that you hang on the Stereo instead of a wall.


The fellow isn't even mildly amusing in his mockery.


Quote:
Then there are all the claims made by the manufacturers of these tweaks. Can we really believe them? I don't think so.


Scooter, what's belief got to do with audio? This is not religion! And lacking experience, belief is all you have.

clark

gkc
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Ethan, wherever you are, are you getting all of this? Four chapters already. Say, how long is this tome?

May, just a note from down here, in one of the cells of the grammar police station. "Its" is the possessive, as in "the cat licked its paw, disturbing the ionic balance of the entire listening room." "It's" is the contraction form of "it is," as in, "it's a long way back to Kansas from wherever we are." "Realise" is okay, as long as you're really a Brit -- otherwise it's an affectation.

Excuse me. I have to pour another cup of coffee. But the FM is playing. Do I dare disturb the universe?

clarkjohnsen
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

May wrote


Quote:
Quite often it IS the case that some people will use such questions as distractionary (if there is such a word) questions. Meaning that they find it less fearful to concentrate on such as the price of things rather than be forced to confront something they do not understand or be forced to confront something which is perceived as too challenging for them to think about.


BRAVO! BRAVO!! Sez it all.

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
May wrote


Quote:
The answer then would have to have been "We just don't know."


Which makes certain types of people very unhappy. Some there are who cannot live with ambiguity, with uncertainty. They demand PROOF!

Chances too are that 90% of them (a number!), in their rejecting "tweaks", have no idea how to make an audio system sound great.

clark

So, if we don't buy into a tweak, no matter how crazy, you validate it by pointing out that things like radio waves were not known by cavemen, but they existed nonetheless.

Then you extrapolate that fact as validation of pretty much any crap you'd like to foist on audiophiles through this faulty logic.

Then I should be able to claim that by failing math I am Einsteinian, and by falling English, I am Churchillian. It's no lose. Any old shit I pull is just beyond the grasp on feeble non-Einsteininan minds.

In all seriousness, finding a phenomenon that was not previously understood and then hitching your credibility to the fact that since it happened with one thing in the past, you are therefore allowed to "credibly" spew audio manure is without merit.

Then, you take the time to add that a non-believer in one of your tweaks is somehow unable to "live with ambiguity, with uncertainty."

In your world, there is no such thing as a tweak that won't work!

So, who's closed minded here?

I say some work and some don't, you claim they all do.

Strong work, very discerning of you.

Life is full of ambiguity and uncertainty, it's not that fact that many audiophiles have a problem with. It's the flat out PT Barnum bullshit that gets our dander up.

I mean bullshit as in a "critic" who has never heard/reviewed a tweak that didn't work, or a "sales-person" who tells us that a picture of ourselves with the number 26 written on it in special (for sale at a nice mark-up) red ink will affect our systems, but that pictures on a Swanson's TV dinner in that same freezer do not have the same effect on our systems.

.........

Then you go the extra mile, claiming that 90% of those who reject a certain tweak are somehow not accepting of "tweaks" and have no ability to improve the sound of their room/systems.

You, sir, are full of shit.

The generalization from an audiophile rejecting a piece of your BS into us being rejectors of all tweaks is beneath even your flimsy grasp of audio ethics.

Again, like in your "reviews," you do not take the time to discern. Just like you lump all tweaks into "good," you lump all those who disagree with any tweak as being "incapable of setting up a system."

Yuor zealot's security that all those who do not worship at your altar are audio Luddites is telling.

Cut the crap and start walking the walk.

Show at least a hint of inbtellectual curiousity as you proclaim this month's latest and greatest tweak from the vapors.

Aren't you the least bit interested in how these things work, or the implications that some of these tweaks carry with them?

"All I know is that a little bottle with aquarium pebbles in it sounds magnificent" is the starting point of a discussion, not the end.

Try asking yourself a few "why" questions along the way.

Open your ears.

Those of us you call closed minded are just probably much more discerning than you are. We can hear what works and what doesn't.

That seems to threaten you. Why is that?

Why can't you hear ANYTHING that doesn't work? Doesn't that strike you as odd?

To use a food metaphor: It's the guy with no taste who thinks EVERYTHING tastes great.

Some of us can tell the difference between a tweak that works and one that is imagined. Some things don't taste great. Which, I guess, is not on your agenda.

Try taking a bite of reality some time, it can taste good or bad, which actually makes it better than everything tasting the same.

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Re: I'm still around

Buddha in his wisdom writes:


Quote:
I am still waiting for Mr. Johnsen to come back and tell us of his experiences with tweaks that don't work and how they have been incorporated into his "reviews" and publication history.


This has been explained to you already. Stop contemplating that navel!

Several times I have done a "vertical" of tweaks of similar nature, where some rank low, others high. They all "work" but with varying efficacy; evidently shades of gray are unacceptable to the golden Buddha.

Moreover I have often reported instances where a particular otherwise-worthy tweak doesn't seem to be happening. One example would be my Intelligent Chip report, where three such occurrances arose (two of which I subsequently figured out).

But here is Buddha in high ridicule mode, to the estimable May Belt:


Quote:
Please also compare and contrast these types of statements with things like the things we hear from Scientology or the "logic" of other "infallible" sources.

I better stop, I'm starting to feel a tense atmosphere in a room 4,000 miles away.


Really, no further time need be wasted on scornful Buddha. And so I shan't.

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
May, until you can define terms such as "dreadful"... and "correct"...


Then how about you define your terms too? Like:


Quote:
Pain... the Great Abstract Ether... hackneyed metaphors... pointy hat... wand... gossamer gown... novitiates... hogwash... concrete... pleasure... drivel.

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Glad to see you back in the fray, Buddha. I remember it being suggested you just "forgettaboutit", which you seemingly politely did, but we can only take so much of this endless nonstop advertisement, and bullbutter. Perhaps it's time for you to take a step back and give us some of your delightful musings on this whole topic.

If someone doesn't put a stop to this I swear we're going to see the "Order Form" in subsequent chapters.

Getting hard to keep up with this thread, now that the subject line has been changed, as if it wasn't hard enough with the original subject line.

Scooter, how the hell do you know how many people have forked over 2K for a power cord? How the hell do you know how much research and development went in to designing and bringing to market, and advertising a 2K power cord? And anyhow, why the hell should you care? After all, aren't you the individual who just gave us a glowing review of a $100.00 DVD player? Sheesh, to think this guy started all this!

Shame we can't have this discussion without slander, but BS is BS.

I'll get myself in trouble if I continue on.

I'm out.

RG

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Re: I'm still around


Quote:
Buddha in his wisdom writes:


Quote:
I am still waiting for Mr. Johnsen to come back and tell us of his experiences with tweaks that don't work and how they have been incorporated into his "reviews" and publication history.


This has been explained to you already. Stop contemplating that navel!

Several times I have done a "vertical" of tweaks of similar nature, where some rank low, others high. They all "work" but with varying efficacy; evidently shades of gray are unacceptable to the golden Buddha.

Moreover I have often reported instances where a particular otherwise-worthy tweak doesn't seem to be happening. One example would be my Intelligent Chip report, where three such occurrances arose (two of which I subsequently figured out).

But here is Buddha in high ridicule mode, to the estimable May Belt:


Quote:
Please also compare and contrast these types of statements with things like the things we hear from Scientology or the "logic" of other "infallible" sources.

I better stop, I'm starting to feel a tense atmosphere in a room 4,000 miles away.


Really, no further time need be wasted on scornful Buddha. And so I shan't.

clark

Hey, thanks for that! I hope it's true.

I'll save time for you whenever you pop in with some more condescending bullshit about how anyone who disagrees with you is scornful or incapable of hearing what Clark's Golden ear deigns to unerringly declare.

If you wanna be the high priest of something, save it for your own church. This is an audiophile forum, "scorn" for false gods is still allowed.

ethanwiner
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Clifton,


Quote:
Ethan, wherever you are, are you getting all of this? Four chapters already. Say, how long is this tome?

ROFL. Yes, I've been reading. I considered listing all the logical arguments I've seen, but there are so many I wouldn't know where to start. So I continue to read anecdotes about how changing power cables influences loudspeaker imaging, and can only repeat my original premise: comb filtering. And of course self-delusion.

I'm sure y'all are nice people with only the best intentions. I really mean that. But contrary to Clark's claim that this stuff is not belief-based religion, I submit that is exactly what it is. Why else would obviously intelligent folks prefer to believe things that fly in the face of all that is known about the science of audio?

--Ethan

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Ethan - I'm intrigued by your comb filtering theory.

"I am convinced that comb filtering is at the root of people reporting a change in the sound of cables and electronics even when no significant change is likely. If someone listens to their system using one pair of cables, then gets up and switches cables and sits down again, the frequency response heard is sure to be very different because it's impossible to sit down again in exactly the same place. So the sound really did change, but probably not because the cables sound different!"

I'd like to think I'm not delusional (at least not all the time), but, have trouble accepting your explanation of movement and the inability to sit in the same position again, simply because the changes in sound I've heard with power cords have been repeatable and consistent over time. I do wonder if you're onto to something where a power cord might change phase integrity in some way that could produce phase shifts in the music to support your comb filtering theory. If you have some info on how this might occur, I'd be interested; as I've stated before, some power cord manufacturers cite phase integrity as a selling point.

I use time aligned 1st order crossover speakers and can usually hear things like changes in absolute polarity pretty easily (my system soundstages like a mofo.) I wonder if some people don't hear changes because they have drivers wired out of phase or something.

Clark - Someday, I'd love for you to inscribe my copy of The Wood Effect. Pages 63-65 of your book might actually address what I'm wondering about the power cords.

ethanwiner
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Jeff,

> I'd like to think I'm not delusional <

Well, not intentionally anyway!

> the changes in sound I've heard with power cords have been repeatable and consistent over time. <

I'm sure you think that, but it's in your imagination. It has to be. By definition. This is incredibly simple to settle for once and for all, and here's all you or anyone else has to do:

Measure the amplifier's frequency response, residual noise level, and distortion with and without the replacement power cable. That's it! If the amp measures the same, then you'll know for sure that the sound really did not change and it's all due to the normal variability of human perception and maybe a touch of "expectation bias." And if the amp does not measure the same, then you (or an audio engineer) can follow the usual steps to figure out what caused the measurements to change. But I've got $100 here that says the amp will in fact measure the same.

> I do wonder if you're onto to something where a power cord might change phase integrity in some way that could produce phase shifts in the music to support your comb filtering theory. <

If so then it could be measured. But my comb filter explanation is acoustical in nature, not electrical. Also, it's not a theory because I proved it with hard data! The sound really does change significantly over spans as small as an inch or less.

> some power cord manufacturers cite phase integrity as a selling point. <

Anyone can cite anything. That doesn't mean it's true. Every day I get a dozen emails promising that I'll be able to "last longer" if I buy some stupid pills. Just because a vendor claims something doesn't mean it's true. But you already knew that, right?

--Ethan

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Okay.
Pain: Whatever hurts -- sonically, physically, metaphysically, or otherwise. Within certain matrices, it is often considered an opposite of pleasure, even though the two can meet in sexual dalliance and bowel evacuation.

Great Abstract Ether: The location of May's listening room. I don't know if there is an exact address.

Hackneyed metaphors: Trite, overused conceits. As in Johnny Cash's "I bin fluuushed down the toilet in the bathroom of yore heeeaaart."

Pointy hat: The headgear of your typical wizard, often festooned with stars, and even the occasional crescent moon that used to decorate outhouses.

Wand: The primary tool used by wizards to divine and control extrasensory phenomena. Also, a conductor's baton. Also (slang), one's dick, as in, "don't interrupt me -- I'm waving my magic wand."

Gossamer gown: An item of clothing often worn by wizards, when appearing before the spirits. See "pointy hat" and "wand." Under the right, er, conditions, gossamer gowns have been responsible for uncontrollable wands.

Novitiates: Hierophants, apprentices to masters of the unseen, holy intitiates into acrcane mysteries, aspirants to the priesthood.

Hogwash: Bullshit.

Concrete: A building material not found in the Great Abstract Ether (see, above).

Pleasure: What feels good. See "pain," above.

Drivel: Meaningless blather -- four chapters of it, so far, and still counting.

Always glad to be of help.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Ethan - I wasn't suggesting the comb filtering wasn't acoustical, but, that an electrical change might be occurring due to the power cord which resulted in a phase change in the output/waveform which might then support your hard data. I'm just trying to explore possibilities other than delusion for what I consistently hear, despite your suggestions.

My rudimentary measurements of the capacitance in the various power cords clearly shows there are differences in the electrical properties. Whether or not these differences explain a change in sound is unclear. But, perhaps, this is worth exploring?

gkc
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

From The Proverbs of Hell, I bring you ancient wisdom.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd.

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.

Bring out number, weight, & measure in a year of dearth.

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

The crow wish'd every thing was black, the *owl, that every thing was white. *(Note that this is the Great Snowy Owl, not one of your garden-variety gray or brown ones)

The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

This should explain most things nicely. No applause, please -- always glad to help.

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"Why else would obviously intelligent folks prefer to believe things that fly in the face of all that is known about the science of audio?" (In reference to cables sounding different.)

Well, if you actually learned what college textbooks and other info state, you would realize how wrong that comment is.

But it is hard to change preconceived ideas.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

That was Ethan, not me.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Jeff,

> My rudimentary measurements of the capacitance in the various power cords clearly shows there are differences in the electrical properties. Whether or not these differences explain a change in sound is unclear. <

No, that won't change the sound because the capacitance is extremely small in relation to the power line's source impedance. It's sort of like Scotch taping a tooth pick to the hood of your car and wondering if that will affect your gas mileage. In this case you're measuring the wrong thing. I have no doubt that capacitance can vary from one power cord to another. But what you really need to measure is the power amp's performance. That takes you directly to the answer of whether or not changing the power cord affects the sound.

--Ethan

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

I suspected the capacitance by itself might be negligible, but, was just thinking that because there are measurable differences, something might be affected in the power supply that we could measure; I don't think I have the tools or know how to measure what you suggest.

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Darn right I reviewed a 100 dollar DVD player

Your tone seemed to imply that only an Audio Moron would review an item like this. Be assured that I posted my impression simply because that very cheap player sounds very very good. So I'll ask you this question. If you had to choose between 2 CD players that you could NOT distinguish between no matter how hard you tried, which would you choose? The 100 dollar consumer cheapy or the 1000 dollar Audiophile grade player?

This could be considered a "sidebar" for this thread. With the Viperwire interconnects that CAL CD player set me back about 800 dollars. At the time of my purchase of this unit, it was quite well rated by the Audio press, thus my reason for making the purchase.

So fast forward to 2006 and a 100 dollar DVD player sounds IDENTICAL in A/B testing. Even though the Audiophile rated CD player is playing an Ultradisc and using a 200 dollar set of interconnects that were very strongly recomended by the shop where I bought it.

What I listened for and my impression. BTW, I only have 3 CD's that are duplicates. The Simon and Garfunkel, Emerson Lake and Palmer Brain Salad Surgery, and Mozart Piano Concerto's K453 and K467. The latter 2 are straight dupes, not a Gold vs. Standard matchup.

Staging - Identical.
Tonal balance - Identical.
Transient response - Identical.
Vocal reproduction - Identical.
Instrumental reproduction - Identical.

It was tricky getting the 2 players synched up and the sync was not exact. However, I did get them within 2 or 3 notes and it allowed me to directly compare the 2 sources note by note and passage by passage. The result was that I could not hear one single difference, no matter how hard I tried.

My conclusion. Well, one conclusion might be that a 10 year old CD player is out of date and no longer of Audiophile grade. Which would then lead me to the conlusion that all those "raves" 10 years ago were wrong. Or, I could conclude that because Philips made my DVD player, and wrote the red book standard, they can now put out an Audiophile grade CD player disguised as a consumer level DVD player. If that's the case, perhaps Stereophile should start reviewing DVD players for their CD playback abilities. What I am sure of is that if I ever buy another high end CD player it will get compared to that 100 dollar Philips as soon as it's hooked up. If I can't hear any difference, it's going straight back to the store where I bought it. I work to hard for my money to hang on to any component simply because someone else heard something that I can't.

gkc
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"It's all in your imagination. It has to be. By definition." Whose definition of WHAT?. Again, "What is now prov'd was once only imagin'd."

"Measure the amp's frequency response..." etc. Again, "Bring out number, weight, and measure in a year of dearth."

Ethan, all of these fallacies were exposed as too narrow for reality 30 years ago, with Julian Hirsch's comment that any two amplifiers that measure the same must sound the same. We now know (yes, from science) the absurdity of that statement. What, pray, are the "usual steps" that everyone follows to track down what is happening to account for differences? In my experience, following "usual steps" keeps you squarely in the rut of mere rote repetition.

Your "comb filter" is either just a catch phrase to explain what you do not understand, or a commercial gimmick. Hear differences that shouldn't be there? Comb filter. Want higher highs and lower lows? Comb filter. Why does a bassoon sound different from an English Horn? Comb filter. Can't put your head in the same place two times in a row? Comb filter. And on and on.

Come on, Ethan. Cut the abstract bullshit and tell us what you're selling. How big is it, where do you put it, what does it do, and how much does it cost?

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

My apologies Jeff, I meant Ethan.

----------------

I agree Clifton. It always seems to me that those who think they are so scientific and dogmatic are the least educated and refuse to learn. Or, like you indicated, is it because of an agenda?

Over the years, I have heard the same old broken record over and over again. Same approach, same attitude from the objectionists.

Ehtan's explanation, comb filtering, does not solve the problem because reports consistently, over and over, come to the same conclusions.

Try using different solders in components and hear what happens.

Does rectification effects ring a bell? That is scientifically based.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
I don't know how one would go about measuring such things.


No one does!

Yet there are those who run around saying that if it hasn't been measured it doesn't exist, because (presumably) we can measure everything!

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

Quote:
I don't know how one would go about measuring such things.


No one does!

Yet there are those who run around saying that if it hasn't been measured it doesn't exist, because (presumably) we can measure everything!

clark

Has one person here or in this fine hobby said either of those things?

I'm looking for this apparent dogma, but can't find anybody in the camp of "if it hasn't been measured it doesn't exist" or "we can measure everything."

Any references, please?

Is something wrong with discussing how we may approach trying to measure these phenomena?

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
But contrary to Clark's claim that this stuff is not belief-based religion, I submit that is exactly what it is. Why else would obviously intelligent folks prefer to believe things that fly in the face of all that is known about the science of audio?

--Ethan

OK, some examples from history (a great teacher, by the way). Pasteur's claim that living organisms created alcohol flew in the face of all that was known about science. Koch's idea that "germs" were associated with diseases flew in the face of all that was known about science. Semmelweis's theory that dirty hands spread disease flew in the face of all that was known about science. Ronald Ross's discovery that malaria could be transmitted by mosquitoes flew in the face of all that was known about science.

The fact is, in science (perhaps a misnomer) the new stuff always has to do combat with entrenched reactionary forces, who never welcome the news. In audio one sees the same kneejerk reactions in operation -- if it wasn't taught in engineering courses then it doesn't exist.

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

Quote:
But contrary to Clark's claim that this stuff is not belief-based religion, I submit that is exactly what it is. Why else would obviously intelligent folks prefer to believe things that fly in the face of all that is known about the science of audio?

--Ethan

OK, some examples from history (a great teacher, by the way). Pasteur's claim that living organisms created alcohol flew in the face of all that was known about science. Koch's idea that "germs" were associated with diseases flew in the face of all that was known about science. Semmelweis's theory that dirty hands spread disease flew in the face of all that was known about science. Ronald Ross's discovery that malaria could be transmitted by mosquitoes flew in the face of all that was known about science.

The fact is, in science (perhaps a misnomer) the new stuff always has to do combat with entrenched reactionary forces, who never welcome the news. In audio one sees the same kneejerk reactions in operation -- if it wasn't taught in engineering courses then it doesn't exist.

clark

Partly true. But mostly not true.

The notion of lumps on the head indicating personality traits flew in the face of established beliefs when it was introduced, too.

Lamarck's theory if inheriting acquired traits flew in the face of the notion of inheritance via the "blending" of traits.

Flying in the face of accepted thinking does not make something true. Most of the time, it's just the opposite!

When we pick historical events as validation of a current "new paradigm," pointing out that there was past resistance to ideas that were true does not make one's current new assertion de facto "true."

History is also full of dumbass ideas meeting resistance because they were, in fact, dumbass ideas.

If a self-appointed Hi Fi "guru" comes up with some idea, and relates the validity of his idea to the fact that Pasteur, Koch, Semmelweis, or Ross turned out to be correct, those facts DO NOT validate his idea by way of his obtuse reference to previous science.

Example:

I assert that your Hi Fi will sound better if you give me 1,800 dollars for a recycled beer bottle full of my own urine - that was produced after I drank a really expensive wine - and place it behind each of your speakers.

You, rightly, say that I'm full of crap (or urine, as the case may be.)

I reply, "Yeah, well they laughed at Semmelweis, too, and look how THAT turned out!"

Faulty appeals to unrelated historical developments are a classic misuse of logic.

Clark's references and implications are relatively standard examples of fallacies of "relevance" (irrelevancies) and the fallacy of false cause.

No flame intended, just mentioning a certain marketing lies that pop up almost everywhere.

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"Flying in the face of accepted thinking does not make something true. Most of the time, it's just the opposite!"

But there is a problem Budda. Just what do you mean "accepted thinking"?? By whom? Name these so called "accepted authorities".

Obviously they do not believe what the accepted college textbooks believe. So I have to really question their credibility.

There has been information known for decades from accepted mainstream college textbooks etc if you do some research, but you guys just keep sidestepping the suggestions. So where did your so called authorities come from??

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Quote:
"Flying in the face of accepted thinking does not make something true. Most of the time, it's just the opposite!"

But there is a problem Budda. Just what do you mean "accepted thinking"?? By whom? Name these so called "accepted authorities".

Obviously they do not believe what the accepted college textbooks believe. So I have to really question their credibility.

There has been information known for decades from accepted mainstream college textbooks etc if you do some research, but you guys just keep sidestepping the suggestions. So where did your so called authorities come from??

I'm not sure I get your question.

What have I "sidestepped."

Which suggestions from college textbooks have I chosen to ignore?

Apologies, but I'm not sure what you're asking here.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha - 301 is referring to some suggested reading from the summer:

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...=true#Post11811

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
Buddha - 301 is referring to some suggested reading from the summer:

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...=true#Post11811

Thanks, Jeff.

Actually, like you, I am in the camp that believes different cables can exhibit different properties.

I found your cord measurement experiment fascinating. It makes me want to try building some cables/cords to try tweaking with different capacitance and see if I can hear differences.

I was thinking about putting capacitors in parallel to the power cord and seeing what happens.

Time to play!

Are there any manufacturers who do that now?

Anyway, you think 301 is upset that I don't believe in the photo tweak? The "26" tweak?

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

I got the impression you were an objectionists, but not true? Anyway, if you are not, my apologies Budda. Some here have been sidestepping suggesting reading, yet claim they know it all.

No I do not believe in "26" and all that crap. But there seems to be a mixing of this kind of crap and actual high end equipment/cables/ICs etc being discussed. It can get confusing who is talking about what.

We should probably sift through and distinguish, but there will probably be some gray areas.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha - I've thought of doing what you suggest, and it should make a difference, if you use several values in parallel (like bypass caps.) But, you're better off just building some parallel filters and plugging them into the outlet next to the gear. Transports seem to benefit from the filtering quite a bit... in actuality, the system probably benefits because the digital noise from the transport is filtered and not allowed to pollute other gear. Years ago, I burned out the isolation transformers in my API Power Wedge because I exceeded the amperage with my filters... but, my transport and DAC never sounded more grain free than that night before. It was a costly mistake, but, I found more capacitance next to digital gear made for less grain in the music. Now I use bigger filters in outlets without isolation transfomers and it works well.

Try these. You won't regret it.


Quote:
Anyway, you think 301 is upset that I don't believe in the photo tweak? The "26" tweak?

You mean that pic in my freezer isn't making your system sound better?

301 - I've meant to mention this previously, but, thought it was due to a typo, but, now see it is not. I believe the terms you mean are "objectivist" and "subjectivist", not "objectionist" and "subjectionist".

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Hi Jeff,

Who, me make a mistake???

Thanks for the correction Jeff.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Ethan pleaded twice that if anyone had an explanation to offer would they please give it. That is what I decided to do.

I had two sensible responses to my Chapter One reply to Ethan

>>> "So yeah, when your blood pressure's elevated and your pulse is racing because some nut case is waving a gun around you might perceive the finest audio system as sounding just horrible." <<< from Scooter123.
>>>> May - It's no surprise that humans are a greater variable than gear and that chemicals alter our perception of sound. This is why some people get high, or have a single malt scotch when listening to music. <<< from Jeff.

These are 'common sense' replies which I am sure most people would give - that you could imagine a situation where, under frightening circumstances, the sound of an audio system could be perceived as 'horrible'.

I know this, they know this but, in general, the world of audio will not accept this !!! And, the same thing applies to your sentence Jeff, "that chemicals alter our perception of sound" as it does when I use similar sentences - we have to explain exactly HOW the chemicals can alter our perception of sound i.e how relaxing with a scotch could give a perceived improvement in the sound - when the SOUND is supposed to be the acoustic information in the room reaching the outer ears !! And, with both your's Jeff and Scooter123's replies, you have left out any explanation YOU might have to give !!

So, I will start with Scooter123's "So yeah, when your blood pressure's elevated and your pulse is racing because some nut case is waving a gun around you might perceive the finest audio system as sounding just horrible."

Within the world of audio, what you have to do Scooter123 is to try to explain HOW and WHY, in the circumstances of a 'nut case waving a gun in the room', the 'sound' from the audio system would be perceived as 'horrible'.

Because this very suggestion challenges the belief structure of the audio world.
The belief structure of the world of audio dictates that there are only two ways to affect sound
1) For something to affect the audio signal travelling through the equipment.
2) For something to affect the acoustic air pressure waves in the room.

That when the acoustic information in the room reaches our ears, then that is THE SOUND and that, providing there are no physical (medical) impediments within the hearing mechanism, then that is THE SOUND information which will reach the working memory. And, if anything else is claimed as 'changing the sound', then it must be 'imagination'.

So, within the constraints of this belief structure you, Scooter123, have to ask the question "How is the presence of the 'nut case waving a gun in the room' having any effect on the signal travelling through the audio system ? The answer has to be "It isn't".
So, the next question is "How is the presence of the 'nut case waving a gun in the room' affecting the acoustic air pressures in the room ?" The answer is, of course, the presence of the nut case (an actual physical person) could affect the air pressure waves - except that if it was a different person, standing in exactly the same position, of exactly the same build, wearing exactly the same clothes but NOT waving a gun - in fact was a friend - your best friend - then the sound would not be perceived as 'horrible' !!!

So, if the sound IS perceived as 'horrible' then that means that there is a Third way of affecting the sound. What therefore is this Third way ?

If Jeff's phrase "that chemicals alter our perception of sound" and Scooter123's phrase about the 'nut case waving a gun in the room' would make the sound 'horrible', then exactly how is that happening ? If you Jeff, are meaning that other chemicals in the brain can affect the 'sound information' and if Scooter123 is meaning that the presence of the 'nut case waving a gun' is creating 'fright' chemicals in the brain then I would like you both to explain HOW that can affect the 'sound' information ? If Scooter123's 'fright' chemicals, present in the brain, can cause the sound to be 'horrible', i.e. can affect brain activity, then why, if the TV was on at the same time, would not the TV picture be perceived as 'horrible' also ? If the 'fright' chemicals, present in the brain, can affect the hearing mechanism, then why are they not affecting the sight (the TV picture) in a similar way ?
The SOUND from the TV would be perceived as 'horrible' but the TV picture would not. Why not ? The SAME brain, the SAME 'fright' chemicals !!
Let us also look at the other audio presumption. That of Physical Real versus Psychological Real.
The presence of the 'nut case waving a gun' is, obviously, Physical Real. The human being's reaction (producing a 'fright chemical') would, obviously again, be regarded as Physical Real.
And, therefore any effect, by these 'fright' chemicals on the sound information, should also be regarded as Physical Real.
Supposing you don't actually need a 'nut case waving a gun' in the room to activate 'fright' chemicals ? Supposing other things, present in the room (in the modern environment), could be activating these same 'fright' chemicals without us realising that is what is happening.?
I come back to the earlier example I have used - that of the piece of equipment having an adverse energy pattern around it (which motivated Shakti to produce their Shakti Stone to alleviate this problem).
Supposing we (human beings) are sensing this adverse energy pattern and (quite subconsciously) 'interpreting' it as danger/predator/intruder - in other words are interpreting it as the 'nut case waving a gun in the room'. Does this still come under the Physical Real banner? If this interpretation 'that it is a nut case waving a gun' i.e. Danger/predator/intruder causes the brain to produce the 'fright' chemical, does this still come under the Physical Real banner ? So, do we have a Physical thing happening in the room, causing a Physical 'fright' chemical to be produced in the brain, causing a Physical change to the 'sound information' ?

The majority of members of the audio world the 'professionals in audio' will not have this !!! Because considering matters such as this takes them out of their comfort zone. For them to venture into this area means that they lose their 'Expert status' and can no longer claim specific expertise. If it is not physically changing the signal or physically changing the acoustic air pressure waves in the room, then any thing such as I have described is only allowed under the Psychological banner and is then dismissed as 'suggestion'., 'the placebo effect'., 'imagination'., 'mood changes'., 'delusional'., or 'effective marketing'. In other words, not needing to be taken seriously by the audio ENGINEERS. So, one Tweak after another after another can so easily be dismissed as psychological in nature !!!
Regards,
May Belt

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

May - What explanation do I need to give? One's life cannot be anything but subjective as much as we might attempt to be objective. Only I can see the tip of my nose from my point of view. Emotional and environmental variables will always affect my perception in some way. This is why it's important to consider tweaks/changes to a system over time, to get a greater sampling of experiences to ensure something isn't a fluke. This is why I ABA tweaks multiple times over the course of auditioning the said tweak, to make sure the results are consistent and repeatable. I'm more interested in things that will remove distortion through electrical and mechanical means for the sake of consistency. Altering body chemistry with creams and such just introduces another variable in something that changes with every meal I eat.

martin_n
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Just a word of warning at this point!
I

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

martin_n - Thanks for the warning and info. The filters I've built are considerably smaller... I should've mentioned that when posting. Insert *disclaimer about safety and doing stuff at your own risk* here. Buddha, be careful!

Buddha
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

OK, discretion being the better part of valor, maybe I'll just play with some cords.

Martin n, if I wired a capacitor in parallel on a power cord or interconnect, could I blow anything up?

I ask that in the way of "blowing something up" being bad in this context.

RGibran
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha,

I believe, if I interpret from Art Dudleys' Stereophile April 2003 "Listening" column that the JPS Labs Digital AC power cord does employ some capacitors in its design.


Quote:
Then come those filters at the AC and IEC ends. Joe says these are specially tuned for the capacitance and inductance of The Digital AC's unvarying 2m length, in order for them to act as part of a complete and holistic filtration system. These pi networks are "mutual inductance to eliminate common-mode noise, as well as high-frequency capacitors to shunt higher frequencies and 'smooth' the AC as it enters the cord from the wall." The conductors are then encased in a nonreactive aluminum-Teflon shield.

Unfortunatly, this cable had dramatic adverse effects on my CDP, completly collapsing the soundstage rendering my system one dimensional with the sound seemingly traped in the speaker boxes.

Another case of some tweaks work, some don't...in different systems.

RG

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

I may have been a little vague in my response Martin.

Electronics/electrical engineering is not designed to delve deeply into physics and chemistry, but only partially overlap those disciplines. Engineering concentrates much more on designing. As such, engineers, such as myself, only get a "glimpse" of what is happening at the molecular levels.

In fact, from my conversations, even physics and chemistry professors don't seem to keep up. How could one, the fields are almost as broad as medicine, one needs to specialize.

Thanks for bringing that point to my attention Martin.

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