You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Old Audiophile
Old Audiophile's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm
Can a Worms!

I know this is opening up a can of worms but sometimes I just can't help myself!

I've been doing a fair amount of reading lately about HDMI, Optical and Digital Coaxial cables. My sources involved, predominantly, electrical engineers to see what a more scientific approach to this might be, as opposed to the more subjective feedback one can usually expect from a bevy of videophiles, audiophiles and cable manufacturers that cater to said crowd. Without boring you all to tears with all the integral details, there seems to be a very clear consensus amongst the science heads, some of whom are audiophiles and videophiles themselves. That clear consensus is that, as long as you are comparing cables of reasonably good manufacturing quality, in controlled circumstances for the applications involved and lengths one would expect audiophiles and videophiles to use in conventional home entertainment systems, the following axioms hold true.

HDMI cables all do the same thing and it makes, effectively, no sense to spend hundreds, much less thousands, of dollars on an HDMI cable when a $10.00 cable will perform virtually the same. A few science heads, however, did offer a small proviso to this axiom, stipulating that it was theoretically possible for some people with the proverbial golden ears to hear or, rather, feel infinitesimally small, negligible measurements in audio transmission from one cable over another. Even so, none of them thought it made any cost-effective sense whatsoever to pay much more than a few extra bucks over a standard HDMI cable for that small of a perceived enhancement.

With regard to Optical or Fiber Optic cables, there was/is the same strong consensus amongst the science heads, including the same small proviso about measurable audio signal transmission differences. Here, my sense, based upon those whom I've read, seemed to insinuate it was/is comparatively more likely for some golden ears to discern such measured audio transmission differences than it would be in HDMI cables but, again, they said such differences would be ever so slight and very likely beyond most people's ability to hear or feel. Regardless, they seemed more willing to accept the rational for spending a few extra bucks above and beyond a basic Optical.

With regard to Digital Coaxial cables, there was, again, clear and strong consensus amongst the science heads. However, unlike that for HDMI and Optical cables, there was quicker willingness to accept the rational for spending more bucks on theoretically "better" cables here but not that much more. Here, too, all things considered (i.e. controlled conditions), the consensus seemed to be that spending hundreds & thousands on cables like this would be foolish. The argument, here, seemed tantamount to the proverbial and perpetual debate over speaker cables.

Have at it, peanut gallery!

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
I had very good results with

I had very good results with Audioquest Carbon HDMI cables for my modest LG HDTV and LG BLU-RAY PLAYER. Audioquest Carbon cables have silver content in the connectors and are - now get this - like most of AudioQuest’s cables and power cords, controlled for directionality. If results are any indication this is the only way to fly. I trust nobody will get an aneurism from my use of the word directionality.

Your friendly aerospace engineer

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Not too chicken to change

Old Audiophile
Old Audiophile's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm
FUNNY!

Aerospace engineer! That's funny! Tell me another one! Let me know when you've invented leashes for positively charged subatomic particles. Gotta admit it! You're a real hoot! Keep the laughs coming!

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Better a hoot than a coot. Ha

Better a hoot than a coot. Ha ha

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
These kinds of discussions

These kinds of discussions oft end tragically, though not without some humor. It’s a little strange that pseudo skeptics and non believers argue so vehemently about cables and fuses and HDMI cables since they never know what the signal in cables is, they can’t identify it or explain how electricity works in cables. So it’s not really surprising when they fold like a cheap suit if anyone attacks their limp proclamations that it disobeys the laws of science, it’s a conspiracy of greedy manufacturers, all cables sound the same, etc.

manunkind
manunkind's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 5 hours ago
Joined: Apr 27 2019 - 7:27am
Not necessarily a can of worms

This type of discussion are really only become a can of worms when are joined by worm-worshippers. Otherwise it rather simple- not different from discussions about homeopathy vs medical science. O e side will provide measurable empirical evidence, another side will offer hysterical dogmatic statements.
Spending obscene amounts of money on cables is silly, so is buying terrible 18-gauge poorly isolated cables.
Just go with the common sense.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
This always happens. Somebody

This always happens. Somebody doesn’t understand what empirical evidence means. Observation, like hearing, is empirical evidence, too. You could also argue that measurements can’t actually tell you very much about sound characteristics audiophiles hold dear, such as transparency, soundstage, air, tonality, naturalness, even distortion. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but I thought THD and clipping are the only audio distortions we can hear.

Old Audiophile
Old Audiophile's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: Jun 15 2017 - 7:34pm
Just Couldn't Hep It!

There are two witticisms that I've come to cherish and live by, over the years, that apply to this discussion. The first is: "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." The other is: "Common sense is the least common of the senses."

I and fellow audiophile friends have done serious seat-time in controlled conditions with speaker cables priced at many thousands of dollars over some priced considerably less. As in all things audiophile, I believe it always comes down to the same thing = what sounds best, to you? The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, or, hearing is believing. If ten thousand dollar speaker cables or similarly expensive connectors of any sort sound best, to you, buy 'em, if you can and think they are truly worth it.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
I bet you a cuppa coffee you

I bet you a cuppa coffee you don’t know how to run a scientifically correct cable test. That’s the trouble with controlled tests, they don’t know how to run a test correctly, the system is often just some generic random system, system errors, listener issues, what have you. That’s why I submit results of controlled tests don’t mean anything. Geez, if we all listened to the pseudo skeptics and naysayers we’d be back in the Stone Age. Gimme a break.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, how hard could it be, you just switch the cables out and listen, right?

  • X