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The Great Cable and Interconnect Swindle: An Etiology

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17 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

Popper's falsifiability does work and serve well in many situations but may not be one size fits all. It has its limitations and indeed its criticisms. There are things that by nature cannot be falsified and things that can be falsified but still not advance truth - it depends on how you frame the hypothesis. I don't want to argue about it, it is not a contest, but just be careful of generalizations.

Nice! 

 

The joke is that Quine was so good he could falsify even Popper ;) 

 


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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2 hours ago, sandyk said:

 You could always ask Martin this question directly as Eloise did.

In the meantime, I have made available more recent examples where you don't even need to use your ears.

 

 BTW, this is mainly an Audiophile based forum where we shouldn't need to provide the standards of proof that you demand, as the majority of members are not suitably qualified in these areas, although I do come from a basic Technical background due to 43 years with Telstra where I was a Principal Telecommunications Technical Officer.

 

.

Perhaps I should ask Martin or Eloise, but they are not writing in threads I read about data that has been "scrupulously validated by way of the " Gold Standard" DBTs when correctly performed". So I asked the person who is. It's not such an urgent issue that I lose sleep...

 

This is the Objective sub-forum of said forum. I never demand proof, unless my acceptance of data/claims is the issue. I feel it quite appropriate when lack of acceptance of "mystery" data is brought up by others.

50 minutes ago, jabbr said:


This isn’t intended to be a trick question. I am offering that no electrically measurable difference exists. 
 

Previously I have discussed possible electrical differences eg EMI etc and suggested that a good isolation transformer would be a much better filter. Additional  physics hypotheses could be developed. I’ve said that for a physics hypothesis I want a measurement to confirm — electromagnetic physics is well established. 
 

The premise/assumption that there is no electrically measurable difference at the output of the DAC or amp, is to allow the assumption that the audio signal traveling to the ears is identical. Yet there is a perceptual difference. So yes!

 

I get exactly what you are saying. You're either 2 steps ahead of me or 2 behind. I love what-if-ing about possible physical causes and how to measure/confirm them. But right now, my simple-mindedness can't get past the easier question of whether perceived differences actually exist. I don't mean reported; I mean tested with standard methods.

10 minutes ago, sandyk said:

Your argument here is with M.C, NOT me,

[snip]

 

 Yes, this is the Objective forum , so PROVE that the DBT sessions performed in the U.K. were flawed !!!!

M.C. is not here touting his data, but you are.

 

That's not how it usually works. People doing tests describe in detail what they have done, so others can discuss the validity of the methods. "Prove" or "proof" don't really apply here, but only with the methods can meaningful discussion occur.

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21 minutes ago, SoundAndMotion said:

But right now, my simple-mindedness can't get past the easier question of whether perceived differences actually exist.....I don't mean reported; I mean tested with standard methods.

 

Hi my kinky titled friend S&M (yeh its an old joke)

 

Jonathan's thought experiment established that there was a difference heard (as I understand it)

 

I presume you are talking about response bias in assessment of perceptions ? It is often cited in placebo studies as I am sure you know. Are you neuroscientist or neuropsychologist?

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10 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Hi my kinky titled friend S&M (yeh its an old joke)

 

Jonathan's thought experiment established that there was a difference heard (as I understand it)

 

I presume you are talking about response bias in assessment of perceptions ? It is often cited in placebo studies as I am sure you know. Are you neuroscientist or neuropsychologist?

I assumed a perceived difference was reported in jabbr’s TE. Yes, I would want to see biases addressed.

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1 hour ago, SoundAndMotion said:

I assumed a perceived difference was reported in jabbr’s TE. Yes, I would want to see biases addressed.


Well yes, but I was not addressing a particular experiment, rather a report of a get together in which sound perceptions were reported as different. I extended that from perhaps 4 people to 1000. 
 

Previously I used the term “placebo effect” but that was met with hostility from some parts. People also don’t react well to the term “expectation bias”.

 

I would like to use the general term “bias” like the electrical bias applied to a transistor, to mean a force that pushes, in this case perception, in one direction or another. 
 

Has anyone met someone or had personal experience with synesthesia? In that case a color may evoke or modulate a sound as might touch, likewise a sound might evoke a color. 
 

Id say that all perceptions are real (ala Descartes) If we are interested in explaining perceptions then yes you want to identify the force pushing the perception in one direction or the other. 


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2 minutes ago, jabbr said:


Well yes, but I was not addressing a particular experiment, rather a report of a get together in which sound perceptions were reported as different. I extended that from perhaps 4 people to 1000. 
 

Previously I used the term “placebo effect” but that was met with hostility from some parts. People also don’t react well to the term “expectation bias”.

 

I would like to use the general term “bias” like the electrical bias applied to a transistor, to mean a force that pushes, in this case perception, in one direction or another. 
 

Has anyone met someone or had personal experience with synesthesia? In that case a color may evoke or modulate a sound as might touch, likewise a sound might evoke a color. 
 

Id say that all perceptions are real. If we are interested in explaining perceptions then yes you want to identify the force pushing the perception in one direction or the other. 

I do have a bias towards using/assuming 'normal' settings on the decoder, where they are sometimes wrong.  (I mean, when I write 'normal', I intend to imply the 'most commonly correct'.)  After listening with 'bad' settings, my hearing accomodates the error, then results end up  with what seems to me -- a PERFECT result that actually sounds like hell.  (More often than not, my taste preference is towards extreme brightness, which further dulls my hearing.)   Hearing appears to have a variant of 'AGC', which does have both advantages and disadvantages when working with recordings.

 

SO, the bias that recently affects me is two layered, that is a normally correct setting, which happens to be wrong, creating some kind of 'bad sound'.  Then, my hearing accomodates the 'bad sound', therefore I end up seeming to be the fool or crackpot when I demo the result.

 

IF there was a good way of objectively measuring 'accuracy' of the decode, without having a good, but still defective, reference, I would use it.   Useful objective measurements result in a lot less wasted effort than trying to make a subjective determination or even direct comparison.  Biases and accomodation encourage all kinds of mistakes.  I have to continually remind myself of this error source.  I just got burnt yesterday by the syndrome of accomodation (a kind of AGC inside in human hearing.)

 

John

 

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9 hours ago, gmgraves said:

 I’d love for you to hear my setup. I’d be willing to wager that if you heard my system playing one or more of my own recordings, your jaw would drop at the reality I’ve achieved and have done so without soldering interconnects to components and without using boutique cables.

 

Please describe your system components.  Thanks.  Helps to understand how you are approaching the great sound you have achieved.


Roon / Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

+ essentials:  UpTone JS-2 LPS >> Sonore Optical Module > UpTone EtherREGEN

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19 hours ago, gmgraves said:

It’s such a crap shoot. An acquaintance of mine is very wealthy. He fell for the hype and bought a pair of Nordost Valhalla Two interconnects to go between his Audio Research preamp and his Audio Research power amplifier. Now, you know how much those puppies cost. They day he got them, he called me to tell me how disappointed he was. The Nordost cables sounded really dark, and he hated them.
When he tried to return them, the dealer wouldn’t take them back under the pretext that he could no longer sell them as new, and he couldn’t afford to take that loss on cables that expensive! Now what is there to make a pair of interconnects “used”. Wire isn’t like a car, you know! It’s not like they are going to wear out. After talking to the manufacturer and even threatening legal action (the answer there, of course is Caveat Emptor). He ended-up chalking it up to experience and selling the cables online at a considerable loss. 

 

That the manufacturer allowed this to end as it did, tells me everything I need to know about them.  I've never heard AR or Valhalla, but the usual critique is that they are on the bright side.  Using both and getting a dark sound is surprising (although confirms you point about crap shoot).   Clearly, a free demo is the only way to try cables.  


Roon / Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

+ essentials:  UpTone JS-2 LPS >> Sonore Optical Module > UpTone EtherREGEN

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12 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Nothin' elementary about it, strictly advanced🤣

 

 

I disagree here. Respectfully to Frank, putting aside the good natured humor, Frank is invested in his method. From the bad recordings sound good thread some interesting perspectives came across, in some ways reinforcing Frank's method.

 

I think much of it boils down to sounding less bad, hearing past the flaws, enjoying the music and then calling that "good". And it is except you and I would still identify that bad sound cant be turned into good sound even if colored - maybe enjoyable sound nonetheless.

 

That said, my prediction is that Frank would not like your or my "rig" as it would go against his credo and expectation bias. I have little doubt if we heard Frank's system we would not be in agreement with Frank's assessment of good sound. You might call that expectation bias also but I wager most audiophiles, not knowing about Frank or his method, would have the same view.

You could be right.


George

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3 hours ago, PYP said:

 

That the manufacturer allowed this to end as it did, tells me everything I need to know about them.  I've never heard AR or Valhalla, but the usual critique is that they are on the bright side.  Using both and getting a dark sound is surprising (although confirms you point about crap shoot).   Clearly, a free demo is the only way to try cables.  

Well, I think the only way to try cables is to not go down that particular rabbit hole.


George

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15 hours ago, gmgraves said:

Frank, do you teach elementary conclusion jumping? You assume that your system, put together and “tweaked” using your “method” sounds “better” than anyone else’s.

 

No ... I have commented, many times, that a rig I read about is ticking the boxes - the owner is finding the same qualities about the SQ he's getting, that I look for. The difference with me is that this happened over 3 decades ago, and I have had plenty of time in between to explore various aspects of what's going on, 🙂.

 

Quote

 

You don’t, and you can’t know that. I wish we lived close to each other. I’d love to hear what you’ve done, and even more, I’d love for you to hear my setup. I’d be willing to wager that if you heard my system playing one or more of my own recordings, your jaw would drop at the reality I’ve achieved and have done so without soldering interconnects to components and without using boutique cables.

 

I spent a lot of time over the years listening to various system ...surely someone else is on the same wavelength as myself ?! There were encouraging signs, but i didn't find a single setup that didn't have obvious issues - this has now changed, because more and more people are pushing to find what's possible, and the components are getting better, in raw form ... I'm sure there quite a decent number out there now that do the lot, or almost so.

 

Yes, I'd like to hear your setup, George - because you spent a lot of time fine tuning all your ideas, both in recording and playback, I'm sure that your own recordings would come across extremely well ... where I differ is that I want any recording that happens to be playing to deliver a satisfying experience; that's a different "challenge", and one I enjoy working at.

 

Note, I have never used boutique cables, except for the first system 35 years ago; and the soldering interconnects, etc, is merely fixing stuff that wouldn't have been a problem, if done properly ... the current active speakers solved all of that in the factory, as one would expect it to be.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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14 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

That said, my prediction is that Frank would not like your or my "rig" as it would go against his credo and expectation bias. I have little doubt if we heard Frank's system we would not be in agreement with Frank's assessment of good sound. You might call that expectation bias also but I wager most audiophiles, not knowing about Frank or his method, would have the same view.

 

Very likely to be true ... audiophiles IME have different expectations about what their systems should deliver - this was very strikingly demonstrated at a high end demo years ago when their show off track of various percussion instruments going for it sounded very spectacular - trouble was, a classic Sinatra CD I asked them to put on after that was, to be blunt, pretty mediocre - subjectively, only about 20% of what could be enjoyed in the track was audible.

 

What I'm after is that the qualities of real life sounds are accurately reproduced, if that is what is part of the recording - that's something that I find is always available from the playback, if I make the right efforts. The plus is that all the recordings I own, and may possibly own, will always be capable of delivering an emotionally satisfying journey - which I reckon is a worthwhile situation, 😉.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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11 hours ago, Summit said:

 

Far from all EMI/RFI that affect an audio system is traveling by the cables and therefore can be stopped by isolation transformers or optical cables, even if they would isolat/insulate 100%.

 

A transformer always generates EMI, the bigger and the lousier the more the transformer will generally radiate. Isolation transformers can be one step forward and two step back in some systems.

 

The answer is, there is never a "magic pill" ... ever. Slavishly following a set of steps one's worked out may give you better sound ... or it may not. Every rig will be different, with a different set of weaknesses ... all that really counts is that one is prepared to "try everything", and not be certain that one "knows everything", 😉.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, PYP said:

 

Understood.  And that is why I would appreciate it if everyone listed their systems.  My interest is not to compare gear/cost/etc, but to see the different system approaches to good sound.  In other threads where this information is posted (or in one's profile), one sees a very wide variety of approaches resulting in excellent sound (the owner's opinion, naturally).  

 

Of course, this is all about personal preferences.  I have heard excellent, musical systems that would not make me happy in the long term.  Seems to me that in an imperfect world with imperfect gear (and all the unknown - unquantifiable? - interactions), we are all "tuning" our systems (some do it with measurements and some not).  That is why I have asked about the total cost of power filtration (isolation transformers and the like + power cords) to ascertain some kind of average outlay.  How one spends those funds (more on cords and less expensive isolation, as one example) would then seem to me to be less relevant than total cost.  Of course I know some will say cords can't do anything, but that seems to be besides the point if one gets great sound (to them) with their particular approach.  

 

Not trying to justify my own approach, since convincing others (of just about anything) isn't my gig.  

Go to my profile for a system rundown of my current equipment.


George

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55 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Yes, I'd like to hear your setup, George - because you spent a lot of time fine tuning all your ideas, both in recording and playback, I'm sure that your own recordings would come across extremely well ... where I differ is that I want any recording that happens to be playing to deliver a satisfying experience; that's a different "challenge", and one I enjoy working at.

Good luck with that. Personally I think that goal is as impossible as perfect reproduction! Don’t blame you for wanting to try, though.😉

 


George

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8 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

Go to my profile for a system rundown of my current equipment.

 

Thank you.  I like those speakers.  

 

Just curious:  do you tend to listen more to the speakers than the headphones (everyday use)?  Any room treatments in the main system?  


Roon / Mola Mola Tambaqui / Kubala-Sosna XLR / Mola Mola Kaluga / KS biwire / B&W 803 D3

+ essentials:  UpTone JS-2 LPS >> Sonore Optical Module > UpTone EtherREGEN

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1 hour ago, Allan F said:

 

I suspect it had more to do with the dealer than the manufacturer as Nordost is not know to sell direct. The time to be assured that a dealer will take back cables if you are not satisfied is before you buy them. George will disagree, but most people who believe cables make a difference also believe that cables must be burned in for at least 100 hrs or more to reveal how they sound. Making a judgment on how a new cable sounds fresh out of the box is not recommended. Ironically, a used cable in very good condition actually provides the advantage of already having gone through the process.

The guy I’m talking about is too EE savvy to buy The preposterous idea of “burning-in“ wire. 
“...Gone through the process”! Think about that for a while. What “process”, passing an AC signal of roughly 2 volts PP? What could it possibly change except that the owner gets used to the differences between that portion of the spectrum that his new cables attenuates when compared to the portion of the spectrum his old cables surppressed. The only thing “burning-in” is the owner/listener!


George

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19 hours ago, PYP said:

 

You had posited that this key part of your system made power cords unimportant (as long as structurally sound).  I understand your thoughts about expensive power cables.  Do you mind telling us the total cost of the Equipment-tech and Topaz (or what you consider to be a reasonable investment for these parts)?  


 

 

The Equi-tech “Q” is great but not cheap ... The Topaz low interwinding capacitance units (there are a few different names for these as the company was acquired) are cheap on the used market — I have a number if the really good ones (low interwinding capacitance) that I sniped off eBay over several years for prob <$200 each. 
 

Quote

I'm wondering what kind investment folks have made in these parts of the (let's call it) power filtration system.  Total cost (including what for you are perhaps free/nominal fee cables) seems the best indicator, not just comparing the cost of generic and boutique cables.  

 

Thanks. 

 

You can’t compare these to the cost of an AC power cable because they are known to actually do something ie drastically diminish leakage currents etc. 
 

@The Computer Audiophile is reviewing what sounds like a great heavy and pricey model — I forget the name — these puppies are very heavy!

 

So hmm I haven’t compared SQ let’s say between an iso transformer and an AC cable because I tend to design according to what makes sense to me ;) 


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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4 minutes ago, jabbr said:

 

The Equi-tech “Q” is great but not cheap ... The Topaz low interwinding capacitance units (there are a few different names for these as the company was acquired) are cheap on the used market — I have a number if the really good ones (low interwinding capacitance) that I sniped off eBay over several years for prob <$200 each. 
 

 

You can’t compare these to the cost of an AC power cable because they are known to actually do something ie drastically diminish leakage currents etc. 
 

@The Computer Audiophile is reviewing what sounds like a great heavy and pricey model — I forget the name — these puppies are very heavy!

 

So hmm I haven’t compared SQ let’s say between an iso transformer and an AC cable because I tend to design according to what makes sense to me ;) 

Yes, from 512 Engineering http://512engineering.com/


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