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The Great Cable and Interconnect Swindle: An Etiology


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On 6/23/2012 at 6:10 AM, RobbieC said:

Very philosophical all this talk.

Philosophy is good..

there are signs of a new philosophical/cultural movement - metamodenism which potentially can take us beyond the circuitous stalemate of these kinds of internet conversations and the corresponding political implications... just saying

ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > EtherRegen switch powered with Ciunas Supercaps 7.5v LPS > Antipodes DXe roon core> EC Designs U192 USB Transport plus Fractal DAC & PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom'> Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > TNT UBYTE-2 Speaker cables > Omega Super Alnico Monitors. PH SR4 power supplies.

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  • 1 month later...

cable manufacturer answers the question - Why don't reviews include measurements of the cables.  

 

 

 

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

 

Ethernet:  iMac/Roon/Qobuz > ... in-wall 5e ... > Sonore opticalModule [Sonore 5V LPS] > UpTone EtherREGEN #1 [smps] > eR #2 [LPS 1.2] + Cybershaft OP13 [UpTone JS-2 LPS] > Tambaqui ( = DAC/Roon endpoint/volume control)

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On 8/2/2020 at 10:48 AM, PYP said:

cable manufacturer answers the question - Why don't reviews include measurements of the cables. 

 

Pardon my French, but a lot of what he says strikes me as bullshit. For example, he goes on and on about "the recipe" and won't answer the question of whether his cables are silver or copper. He can say that they made of silver, copper, or a combination of metals, and add that he views the metal used as not being determinative of the sound. However, IMO, that is not a reason to avoid the question entirely. At the price he charges for his cables, he can at least tell you what metal(s) they are made of if you want to know.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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19 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

 he goes on and on about "the recipe" and won't answer the question of whether his cables are silver or copper. 

 

interesting because I didn't notice that, probably because I've read previously in several reviews that they are 100% copper.  I do like their approach that their cables measure differently but that only you can decide if those distinctions mean anything by listening to the cables.     

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

 

Ethernet:  iMac/Roon/Qobuz > ... in-wall 5e ... > Sonore opticalModule [Sonore 5V LPS] > UpTone EtherREGEN #1 [smps] > eR #2 [LPS 1.2] + Cybershaft OP13 [UpTone JS-2 LPS] > Tambaqui ( = DAC/Roon endpoint/volume control)

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  • 1 month later...

Here is my take on cables...  

 

Just like with just about anything, there is a diminishing return for the money spent on anything...   I mean a $1000 amp, isn't 1/10th as good as a $10000 amp, nor is a $100,000 amp 100 times better...   but it's more of a exponential / logarithmic type curve that defines the quality of an item...

 

This applies to watches, cars, cameras, furniture, musical instruments and...... cables.

 

I mean would you use lamp chord to connect all of your components?  Speakers, AC Power, digital signals (coaxial lamp chord 😂 )...?

 

On the other hand, does a $75000 power chord, and $50,000 speaker cables make that much of a difference from $500 cables?  

 

It's common sense people...  I have all "nice" cables on my system, mostly in the sub $300-500 range though, nothing in the $1000+, some are branded by McIntosh (But made by a company in Florida) some Gutwire in Canada, and some from an obscure maker in Japan whom I cannot pronounce... but it's partly for aesthetic reasons too..  the audiophile is unique in that he's also visual as well audio driven, which is why the legendary Alan Parsons made the famous quote "Audiophiles don’t use their equipment to listen to music. Audiophiles use your music to listen to their equipment”

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57 minutes ago, 992Sam said:

Just like with just about anything, there is a diminishing return for the money spent on anything...   I mean a $1000 amp, isn't 1/10th as good as a $10000 amp, nor is a $100,000 amp 100 times better...   but it's more of a exponential / logarithmic type curve that defines the quality of an item...

The issue I take with your scaling is not the curve but whether there is a real correlation that can be generalized.  9_9

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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12 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

The issue I take with your scaling is not the curve but whether there is a real correlation that can be generalized.  9_9

 

Well then, we must respectfully disagree...  As a consumer of high end items from all corners of the "boy toy" world (hifi, photography, guitars, tobacco pipes, motorcycles, cars, watches, luxury goods, etc)... I have observed this enough that I'm compelled to coin a name for it, something like "Sam's Law" rings nicely 😂 .. or is that just known as the "law of diminishing returns" ?? 

 

That said, I am a bit puzzled at the total lack of measurement science out there with regards to different cables.  Side by side comparisons, measurement of RF interference, electrical conductivity, impedance, etc..  

 

Heck, right mow I can't even get a good answer from anyone regarding whether I should run a 10' length of speaker cable or 6' (what I actually want to do) with the Naim cable product on non-Naim speakers/amps  because nobody actually "knows" the numbers  .. they just theorize what will happen if I do/don't. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

At least, we can agree on that!

 

I'd be curious to know what you specifically disagree with... maybe cite an example? 

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49 minutes ago, 992Sam said:

 

I'd be curious to know what you specifically disagree with... maybe cite an example? 

No single example.   Assuming that you could somehow reasonably quantify good/better (which I doubt) and graph its value against cost/price in a scatter plot, I predict a cloud without a visually discernible trend.  It may be possible to derive a statistically defined trend line but its usefulness would be minimal.  Just look at the wildly different choices that individuals make in building a system and how many of those choices would be antithetical to others because they are based on different criteria and value systems.

 

Vivent les différences. 😎

 

 

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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13 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

No single example.   Assuming that you could somehow reasonably quantify good/better (which I doubt) and graph its value against cost/price in a scatter plot, I predict a cloud without a visually discernible trend.  It may be possible to derive a statistically defined trend line but its usefulness would be minimal.  Just look at the wildly different choices that individuals make in building a system and how many of those choices would be antithetical to others because they are based on different criteria and value systems.

 

Vivent les différences. 😎

 

 

Hi Kal,

agreement (concordance) between choices is not necessary to establish a correlation between variables. In statistical terms correlation and concordance (magnitude of agreement) both indicate strength of association between variables but are conceptually distinct.

 

correlation of variables can be assessed for variables that look at completely different constructs. "wildly different choices that individuals make in building a system"  and non agreement due to "different criteria and value systems" does not exclude a possible correlation of say price and desired outcome.

 

Strictly speaking it is not sensible to speak of agreement (concordance) between variables that measure different constructs eg weight and height - one can assess correlation but not agreement.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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4 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

Hi Kal,

agreement (concordance) between choices is not necessary to establish a correlation between variables. In statistical terms correlation and concordance (magnitude of agreement) both indicate strength of association between variables but are conceptually distinct.

 

correlation of variables can be assessed for variables that look at completely different constructs. "wildly different choices that individuals make in building a system"  and non agreement due to "different criteria and value systems" does not exclude a possible correlation of say price and desired outcome.

 

Strictly speaking it is not sensible to speak of agreement (concordance) between variables that measure different constructs eg weight and height - one can assess correlation but not agreement.

Thanks.  Perhaps I should have separated the two thoughts into separate paragraphs.  The "wildly different choices that individuals make in building a system" due to "different criteria and value systems" also biases the variable of "good/better" because  the majority of people make their assessments with full knowledge of the identity and cost of the product.  

 

So, ideally, how would one gather valid information to do this?  One variable, price/cost is objective while the other is a mixed bag.  I, for one, do not see a pressing need to do this anyway.  It was just an expression of my view of the issue.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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  • 6 months later...

Haven't finished watching this, yet,

 

, but have noted on the ASR forum the reaction to it, by many, https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/is-iconoclast-cable-a-better-cable.21453/.

 

Which is as good an example as any as to why the audio industry is pretty hopeless at the job of advancing the SOTA - someone who really, really, really knows cables explains very carefully what's going on, and what may be relevant considerations; without any BS or snake oil talk ... yet at ASR the members can't wait to rev up a froth about "this nonsense!" 🙄. The cockiness of those who have a half knowledge of things, and declare that such and such is sufficient, is driven by ego, and a desire to simplify that which they don't understand, and don't want to understand ... the end result: poor understanding of the subtleties, and very slow progress towards higher, and reliably so, standards of SQ.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

The cockiness of those who have a half knowledge of things, and declare that such and such is sufficient, is driven by ego, and a desire to simplify that which they don't understand, and don't want to understand ... the end result: poor understanding of the subtleties, and very slow progress towards higher, and reliably so, standards of SQ.

Frank,

 

You got up and looked in the mirror. Bravo for you! ☺️

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Yes, one of these days perhaps I'll acquire the knowledge that expensive things; things designed by 'famous' people; and things that nearly everyone believes in, are what really matters - maybe I should look forward to the day when that light of the heavens descends upon me ... whaddya reckon? 😉

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Just found a good bit, starting from a question at 29:00, in that video  - where Galen talks of people wanting to remain locked into a rut of thinking ... boy, have I come across a lot of that in the audiophile world !!! ... Not mentioning any names, of course ... 😄

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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12 hours ago, fas42 said:

Just found a good bit, starting from a question at 29:00, in that video  - where Galen talks of people wanting to remain locked into a rut of thinking ... boy, have I come across a lot of that in the audiophile world !!! ... Not mentioning any names, of course ... 😄

Frank,

 

Are you swapping out optical cables for your Edifiers? Does the perceived sound change with optical? How do you know which one is correct? What's the proper length to reduce reflections? How much jitter does your low end DVD player introduce to the playback stream? Did Edifier use the best quality cables within the system? Per the above video, maybe the Edifiers are lacking? Those question don't seem like someone is locked into a rut by any means.. Go ahead and name names.

 

What we can all gather from this is to (per Frank):

A. Go buy a Edifier S2000Pro system

B. Purchase a long extension cord to filter the power source.

C. Get a stack of newspapers and load them on the top of the speaker cabinet. Roll the edges back of course!!

D. Get a cheap Kmart or Walmart DVD player and plug it in with a optical cable. (Could be mistaken, but Frank uses this)

E. Optical cable does not matter with galvanic isolation. (Frank can comment)

F. Get the worst sounding CD's and be in bliss with the playback. 

 

We can surmise the tweaks as:

 

Newspapers loading a cheap cabinet.

Extension cords to filter the power delivery.

Forget about the room, it does not matter.  

DSP does not matter, though the Edifiers use DSP ??? 

Cherry pick information which leads one to believe (you name it)... (Not a tweak)

Repeat the belief until kicked off of forums. (Not a tweak)

 

 

As a self contained unit, there is not much else to do with the Edifier internally unless butchered.   

 

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6 minutes ago, Racerxnet said:

Frank,

 

Are you swapping out optical cables for your Edifiers? Does the perceived sound change with optical? How do you know which one is correct? What's the proper length to reduce reflections? How much jitter does your low end DVD player introduce to the playback stream? Did Edifier use the best quality cables within the system? Per the above video, maybe the Edifiers are lacking? Those question don't seem like someone is locked into a rut by any means.. Go ahead and name names.

 

Frank must be glueing the optical cable in, to make sure it makes the best possible contact. Right Frank? That would make it difficult to swap ;)

 

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9 hours ago, Racerxnet said:

Frank,

 

Are you swapping out optical cables for your Edifiers? Does the perceived sound change with optical? How do you know which one is correct? What's the proper length to reduce reflections? How much jitter does your low end DVD player introduce to the playback stream? Did Edifier use the best quality cables within the system? Per the above video, maybe the Edifiers are lacking? Those question don't seem like someone is locked into a rut by any means.. Go ahead and name names.

 

Okay, will answer this post carefully ...

 

Optical cable is that that came with the units - just the usual cheap stuff that gets thrown into the box. Note, this is the first time I've ever had the DAC separated from the source - in this day and age that sounds crazy; but that's just how it's worked out, 🙂.

 

I've only tried optical, so far. It worked well straight away - and my philosophy is that once something is promising that one should just keep on refining that method until nothing more can be gained. Then, and only then, try a completely different method, to see if the end point of this new approach will yield more.

 

How do I know it's correct? The setup is producing the sound from the CDs that I have heard 100's of time before - better in some ways; not quite as good in others ... IOW, I'm largely hearing the recording, not the playback signature.

 

Proper length? No idea ... if I think at some stage that a benefit could occur from experimenting here, I'll try it - but I'm dealing with other things at the moment.

 

Jitter from the DVD player? As stated in the Edifying thread, there's a warm up period for both the player, and the speakers - about 3 hours of continual running to get them to stabilise. Luckily, these characteristics largely balance - the DVD player puts out less detail when cold; the speaker are too upfront - these subtract subjectively fairly well, on most recordings. When both units are stable, the combination is producing very satisfying SQ - so far, the CDs that catch it out, then, are low in number.

 

No idea what's inside the Edifiers ... haven't touched a screw yet. But it is extremely likely that they can be improved when I do get there, 😉.

 

Quote

What we can all gather from this is to (per Frank):

A. Go buy a Edifier S2000Pro system

B. Purchase a long extension cord to filter the power source.

C. Get a stack of newspapers and load them on the top of the speaker cabinet. Roll the edges back of course!!

D. Get a cheap Kmart or Walmart DVD player and plug it in with a optical cable. (Could be mistaken, but Frank uses this)

E. Optical cable does not matter with galvanic isolation. (Frank can comment)

F. Get the worst sounding CD's and be in bliss with the playback. 

 

Yes, optical gets rid of galvanic issues - which is why I went with it first. This interference transfer via any conducting cable is a nightmare, by all accounts - so, why give myself more issues to deal with?

 

My goal is make any recording work - the playback system is a means to an end; and should never be the primary focus.

 

Quote

 

We can surmise the tweaks as:

 

Newspapers loading a cheap cabinet.

Extension cords to filter the power delivery.

Forget about the room, it does not matter.  

DSP does not matter, though the Edifiers use DSP ??? 

Cherry pick information which leads one to believe (you name it)... (Not a tweak)

Repeat the belief until kicked off of forums. (Not a tweak)

 

DSP is used inside to shape the driver outputs - all modern active speakers will be doing this. A test a couple of days ago showed that the quality is good enough now that deliberately switching in consumer style DSP curves did nothing for the subjective listening - which is how it should be.

 

Okay, I've been using the same approach for over 30 years now. Because it works. Fortunately, the latest, cost effective gear has been sorted out enough in the design, to get most things right - you don't 'fix' what doesn't need to be fixed ... you focus in on the last bottlenecks, and get them under control - hence, all the playing with mains filtering ideas.

 

Quote

 

As a self contained unit, there is not much else to do with the Edifier internally unless butchered.   

 

 

I want to keep away from internal mods, if I can - there are so many obvious reasons for doing things this way, 🙂

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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9 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

 

Frank must be glueing the optical cable in, to make sure it makes the best possible contact. Right Frank? That would make it difficult to swap ;)

 

 

No, use Blu-Tack to stabilise the plug into the socket. It's cheap and nasty, ill fitting plastic bits that are used, because in theory, 🙃, it shouldn't matter - but my philosophy is that anything that is sloppy, poor fitting, or doesn't use some sort of damping or stabilising materials could be a source of SQ problems ... so I automatically make these areas more stable. Does it help? Don't know - when I've got the quality to a peak level, I will deliberately undo the Blu-Tack treatment - one day - and see if I can hear that ... 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Well - haven't checked to forum for a long time... First of all, lemme take the opportunity, RIP @sandyk ; he certainly made the forum better and obviously, IRL an outstanding person. Condolences to his family. Cannot say anything but that I hope that time brings healing - the memories will remain.

 

 

OK

 

So apologies is this has been posted before - did a quick search and could not find... as usual, this is interesting... I am specially interested in his comments re: build of Audioquest. As I confessed on previous posts,  in the past I "treated" myself to a couple of Audioquest cables, one RCA pair interconnect and a Y RCA to 3.5 - yes, as jewelry but also with the hope of superior construction.  Well - both have broken down.  Monoprice cables bought at the same time?... still going...  I know, sample of 1... or 2 counting below... not statistically significant... but somewhat significant still...

 

 v

 

 

 

 

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