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gmgraves

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  1. gmgraves

    The flaws of blind listening tests

    I suspect (in fact I KNOW), that if one has just spent heavy pocket lettuce on a pair of Nordost (or equivalent) interconnects, one is going to hear a difference between those new cables and the old ones whether that difference exists or not. That's Expectational Bias. Usually the new, expensive component will sound better than the old one (that's our egos getting involved, and again, whether it's really better or not), because that's human nature. We need a mechanism to remove that type of self delusion from the process, and so far DBTs of one style or another are the only sure-fire way of doing that as far as I know.
  2. gmgraves

    Self introduction

    Well, they are that! I have been frequenting a "French" restaurant run by Vietnamese for many years. The food is very classical French and beyond reproach. I'd say that they are very good at French Haute Cuisine.
  3. None of the above. If you want a 90Ω USB cable, buy a 90Ω USB cable. You can't get there with resistors.
  4. gmgraves

    Self introduction

    Generally speaking, "budget" $7500/year for upkeep on one's Ferrari! Pretty stiff. That's why many used Ferraris are studies in deferred maintenance. Having spent a lot of time in both countries, I would say that they are pretty much neck-and-neck with regard to food and wine, generally speaking. I know that France has a Haute Cuisine that that is considered by experts to be the best in the world, but very few Frenchmen eat that way. OTOH, I'd put Chinese cooking against the best and fanciest French cooking any day of the week!
  5. If it's an analog audio cable, any circuitry in such a cable would, by definition, be passive (no power). It's most likely some external capacitance, Inductance, and/or resistance. This makes for a filter and is used to attenuate dome portion of the audio spectrum in order to make another portion sound more prominent. Often it's just a dB or two, just enough for "their" cables to sound different from other cables. IOW, it's no longer a cable it's a fixed tone control -one over which you, the listener, has no control. You're better off buying an active equalizer. At least then YOU will have control over which frequencies are being altered and by how much!
  6. MIT speaker cables have an aluminum box built into their length. That box has switches and knobs on it. Clearly there are components in that box. I wouldn't trust such cables one iota. Luckily, they cost many thousands of dollars, so I probably wouldn't be in a position to be tempted to buy such cables in the first place. Remember: just because some device changes the sound of one's system, doesn't always mean that the change is needed, warranted or even for the better.
  7. Why would it? It's an answer to a problem that doesn't exist. If you go into an auto-parts store, you will find a section of the store that sells what my father used to call "mouse milk". These are fluids (and hardware) of dubious worth. Various mystery oils and gasoline additives, devices said to turbo-charge your car by changing the way that air enters your carburetor or FI system, and dubious spark plugs called "Fire Injectors" promising to increase power while giving better fuel economy. A company named J.C. Whitney used to have a catalog full of this automotive nonsense (and some useful parts too). The audiophile world has the same thing for the same reason. While AQ makes some real products, they are selling "mouse milk" along with it and I'm afraid that the hype accompanying their cables is in that category. Buy AQ analog and digital interconnects because they are well made and look good, but any claims made about their sonic performance or any gimmicks they employ that aren't general practice among all cable manufacturers (like "bias batteries" for the cable shield) take with a grain of salt. There is no real science or engineering behind the claims and they do nothing. AQ is counting of expectational bias to sell this crap. ("Gee, I paid a lot of money for these AQ cables with the battery in them, they had better give me the sonic improvement I'm looking for!") And so they do...
  8. Correct. I wasn't thinking when I wrote that. This is what happens when I try to listen to the live concert of the BSO on the radio and contribute to CA at the same time (they're playing Stravinsky's Firebird at the moment)!
  9. DUH! Stupid me! Of course. The USB cable carries 5 volts. What could I have been thinking? Nothing of course! That's why I'm in this factual pickle! Thanks, esldude, for the correction. Are they gonna take my degree away from me now? They should!
  10. Which is exactly what I would predict. It's a gimmick. Again, all of this interconnect and audio cable theory, may have some effect on the cable's performance at some frequencies, but audio ain't among those frequencies!
  11. Good question. Glad somebody thought of it. Another thing just occurred to me as well. If the AQ cable did have circuitry in it that re-clocked the digital bit stream to boot the level by 2 dB, what powers it? That 72 Volt battery? Digital circuits don't need, (nor can they abide) 72 volt power supplies. Even if they did "siphon off" a few vilts to power some digital circuitry, while the rest was shield "bias", that battery couldn't and wouldn't possibly last as long as AQ says it will (according to the "bias" theory, the battery is not actually being drained it just provides a static field on the shield (permit me to be skeptical here) and therefore will last for the shelf-life of the battery). That can't be if there is active circuitry on board. ???!!!!
  12. I dunno. Seems to me that if the check-sums are identical, the volume of the converted audio signal would have no choice but to be identical too. If you have some other info that would make my conclusion incorrect, please post it. Like most humans, I don't like to be wrong and would benefit from the facts.
  13. Nothing wrong with Behringer mikes. I have a number of them that come in-handy for vocals, choruses, spot mikes and the like.
  14. Their "theory" (used as a noun) is spot-on. However these well known phenomena only occur at VHF and UHF frequencies (like so much cable marketing nonsense masquerading as electronic theory). Of course, audio falls into neither VHF nor UHF territory, and this cable is carrying data not an audio-frequency signal!
  15. When the first players came on the market, I listened to the original Sony CDP-101 with several CDs I brought back from a business trip to Japan. It had just been released here in the USA. I thought the Sony sounded very "rough" and unmusical. I remember saying to myself that CD will never take off if this is the level of sonic performance that we can suspect! Then, at a Bay Area Audio Society meeting (I wasn't a member, but I had a friend who was. I used to tag along with him when they did something that I found interesting), Someone had brought a little Philips CD-100 to the meeting that he had apparently picked-up in Europe (I don't know how he powered it. he must have had 120 to 220 transformer someplace or perhaps the European version had a voltage switch on the back like so many European electronic products do - Revox A77, for instance). One listen to that little player made a convert out of me. Where the Sony sounded crude and harsh, the little Philips unit was smooth and extended with a very analog-like upper register (when playing the same CD that I had auditioned the Sony with: Japanese mastered Beethoven 6th Symphony with Bruno Walter and the New York Phiharmonic.) Early CDs were extremely variable; some sounded fine, others sounded like home-made excrement! The Beethoven 6th was one of the better ones. Anyway, I was so impressed with the little player that I searched for several months to find somewhere in the greater San Francisco Bay Area that sold the Philips deck. I never did find the Philips unit, but I did find a dealer (and only one in the fall of 1985) that sold the Magnavox FD-1000, which is the same unit. I wanted it so bad that I drove (on my "lunch hour") more than 50 miles each way, south to Salinas California, to plunk down almost $600 for the little "Maggy". I never regretted it and kept is for a good 6 or 7 years. When I replaced it with a California Audio Systems player, I passed the Magnavox unit on to a friend of mine who lives in Seattle. He still uses it to this day! IOW, after more than 30 years, it still works and still gives it's owner listening pleasure!
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