Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
LET'S GET THIS THREAD ABOUT CABLES BACK ON TRACK !
Do we have to? This horse is already dead. The postmortem beatings may have set some kind of record, but they accomplish little. This thread has gone on for 12 pages. If new people have questions about cables (and they will ;)), they are not likely to read this to learn what should be a very simple answer.

High-price audio cables are a lot like those extra cost warranties the big box stores try to sell after you've already decided on audio gear or a TV. They're little more than profit for the retailer. Most of those cables may work just fine, but they are no better than nearly all inexpensive cables that sell at a fraction of the price. Why say anything more?

Our departed visitor clung to the belief that his opinions were no better or worse than ours. I actually don't have a problem with that per se. But this is a public forum, and one of its functions is to educate and inform new people entering audio for the first time. Choosing new receivers and speakers can be difficult enough. If we can simplify their shopping by eliminating cables as something else to be concerned over, then we do significant good.

His stubborn refusal to admit that his opinions might be misguided could only confuse people new to audio. As such, it became necessary to challenge him.

Now let’s leave the subject. Those audio cable companies (who shall remain unnamed) probably employ some kind of bot that counts every internet forum mention of their company. Why give them fodder?
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
:):):)

...aaaaaaahaa... I see where you're getting with this. Some might consider this to be just a tad of a foul play, he, he. You're saying it's THEIR method, but the result would be accepted HERE on AH?? You dirty rat (as Don Corrado Prizzi would say:))
killdozzer
I was actually considering not posting it at all since sometimes folks have visceral reactions to things like this. I was hoping folks would enjoy it as a lighthearted piece. So far, so good. But its early. Sometimes the trolls come out at night !
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
what I like about their methodology is they took the same route the audiophools take: listening tests.
If they took the lab measurement tests route, the audiophools would just react with the same reaction they do today: you have to hear the difference. The listening test route is subjective as it can get to be sure.
But if you do it honestly, I would expect a result similar to what they came up with.

The other thing that's noteworthy is that this comes from a "high end audio" forum. The guy who sent this to me said the folks on this forum loves the expensive stuff and the exotic stuff. He thought the authors would get blowback for sure. Or crickets.

One of the things I wondered about was the anonymity of the 8 cable vendors, with the exception of the winner. I think that's due to the risk of getting kicked off a forum for publishing a test or review where a vendor gets low marks. I don't know that, but, I've heard members here on the AH telling me their story of getting booted from another forum by spelling out unpopular things about a favored forum vendor.

I just thought it was a fun piece to read. Definitely not audio science. Subjective as it gets.
I thought it was fun though
People who tell me "it's experiential' when we get onto the topic of cables, cable supports, record cleaners that lift a veil from the album are bad enough but when they have no clue about the technical aspects behind all of this, I want to run face first into a concrete wall. One person who says these things has been an AV equipment rep for a long time and before that, he sold audio in a Chicago store and his opinions change with his employer. He has big cables with plastic boxes on them, supported by what looks almost like the glass insulators from the poles near railroad tracks. His record cleaner was made by Nitty Gritty and it looks nice from the outside, but the inside looks like some kind of science fair project from a 6th grader. Says it does a great job. While I had it (to replace the rubber drive wheel and the velvet "lips" for the vacuum slot, he had a different cleaner, borrowed from a friend. It has two fluffy, rotating rollers that help to hold it vertical and dry some of the liquid while the vacuum is operating. They look like the small fluffy pain rollers from any hardware store. He cleaned a few of my albums and I swear they have a bunch of crap in the grooves, a mix of whatever dust was there and the liquid. I did not take any new vinyl because I have never been a fan of using any kind of liquid, unless it was clean alcohol- I don't like the idea of putting water on them and hoping it all evaporates without leaving any residue (it doesn't, even if it has alcohol in it). He thinks mold release is a bad thing for the vinyl and stylus, that it attracts dirt and increases friction. He didn't have much to say when I told him that the mold release is silicone spray. More friction? Not a chance! Only if it has been removed.

I like to listen to my system- the sound makes me happy, unless the recording is sub-par. My albums have only been cleaned without liquids, using an Audio-Technica record cleaner. I clean the stylus with a brush dipped in alcohol because that does clean better but the background is clean when I play them. Batteries on cables, special liquids that make things sound better and cable supports annoy me slightly less than the people who sell them and I do people who do. I don't bother to argue about it- life is too short. I like the people, I just don't like what they sell.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Do we have to? This horse is already dead. The postmortem beatings may have set some kind of record, but they accomplish little. This thread has gone on for 12 pages. If new people have questions about cables (and they will ;)), they are not likely to read this to learn what should be a very simple answer.

High-price audio cables are a lot like those extra cost warranties the big box stores try to sell after you've already decided on audio gear or a TV. They're little more than profit for the retailer. Most of those cables may work just fine, but they are no better than nearly all inexpensive cables that sell at a fraction of the price. Why say anything more?

Our departed visitor clung to the belief that his opinions were no better or worse than ours. I actually don't have a problem with that per se. But this is a public forum, and one of its functions is to educate and inform new people entering audio for the first time. Choosing new receivers and speakers can be difficult enough. If we can simplify their shopping by eliminating cables as something else to be concerned over, then we do significant good.

His stubborn refusal to admit that his opinions might be misguided could only confuse people new to audio. As such, it became necessary to challenge him.

Now let’s leave the subject. Those audio cable companies (who shall remain unnamed) probably employ some kind of bot that counts every internet forum mention of their company. Why give them fodder?
What, you don't like mashed horsie?

I'm a bit of a fan of extended warranties, but only in some cases. If the equipment is used in some kind of harsh environment, like a car stereo, and the warranty covers removal and re-installation for service for the life of the extension, it can pay for itself unless the item never needs to be repaired. TVs break all the time, so it's not a bad idea if the plan's cost isn't too high (when the seller and buyer know each other, to make the sale, etc) but otherwise, it is a source of profit unless they sell crap that breaks frequently.

As much as I disagree that cables make a big difference, I did have some with the pre-molded ends that seemed to work fine when they were connected to my VCR, but when that was being serviced and I connected them to my first DVD player, I thought it sounded like crap. I even thought about returning it because it sounded so bad. I decided to try the cables I had used for my CD player, which I had made when I was still doing car audio, made from SoundQuest cable and plugs. HUGE difference! I didn't run off to find the Kool Aid aisle at my local grocery store, but I did decide to never sell that kind of crap again. I do use pre-made cables, but not those- they had the black vinyl covering, molded plugs and they're wrapped in an oval loop. I returned the new ones to my supplier and any old ones were recycled. As time passed and I worked on any systems where I had used them, I replaced that kind with something better but still reasonably priced. I like the SnapAV pre-made cables not too bulky, very flexible and they don't screw up the sound.

I have decided to listen to AV gear differently, with different expectations- I expect run of the mill AVRs to sound very similar because few really do anything different from the others, regardless of what their marketing departments tell us (dealers). Speakers sound different from brand to brand, so I critically listen to those. BluRay/DVD/CD players and many other sources sound very similar when they aren't more than about $200 but I haven't listened to any high-priced ones in an A:B comparison. Separates, I have found, DO sound different from most AVRs and I think it's due to their ability to drive low Z speakers without falling on their face. When I started selling Parasound, I heard a big difference between that and the Denon AVR-2313CI I had been using, but that isn't as powerful as the Parasound, so there is that. Digital sources- I have listened to Sonos and Yamaha's MusicCast on the same system and I prefer the Yamaha- seems better, but it could be my bias against companies that don't include features and benefits that I find useful- the Yamaha's amplifiers are better when it comes to the speaker load and output not staying the same when 4 and 8 Ohm speakers are used.

I have yet to hear a difference between two HDMI cables or Digital Coax/Optical connections.

I prefer to listen to the music more than the equipment.
 
Johnny2Bad

Johnny2Bad

Audioholic Chief
The fact is, there are self inductance and mutual inductance. A single conductor all by itself in fact is subject to the self inductance effect as long it carries a.c. current. If the conductors are long enough, you have to consider both self inductance and mutual inductance. For audio cables, the runs are typically too short to worry about either, practically speaking.
Well, I thought it was common knowledge, but if you're worried about self inductance, don't coil your cables.
 
Johnny2Bad

Johnny2Bad

Audioholic Chief
You are mingling the ideas of wires and cables.

wire = one conductor/core.
Cable = two or more conductors/cores.

What you are correctly thinking of is wires.
Actually, I was thinking of exactly what I wrote ... conductors ... which you apparently prefer to call "wires", and cables, a term we apparently agree as to it's definition. Now, Class, let's define "pedantic".
 
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S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
Well, I thought it was common knowledge, but if you're worried about self inductance, don't coil your cables.
This is true for all wires. But most cables can be coiled. Because the field of one conductor is canceled by the opposite field of the other conductor. There are some exceptions to this rule.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Well, I thought it was common knowledge, but if you're worried about self inductance, don't coil your cables.
No I don't worry about any or this at all, and am not the one who brought up the inductance topic. As an EE, I am just doing my part to help clarify technical terms brought up by others when I sensed misconceptions. Oh, I do try to keep all my wires straight, that's just good practice.:D

Again, just fyi,

- One single straight wire/conductor has self inductance.
- Two parallel wires will have mutual inductance, when the current flows in one is in opposite polarity to the that in the other (such as in a current loop), the total inductance could actually be less due to cancellation effects.

To calculate the values involves knowledge in electromagnetic theory and advance maths, but there are no shortages on online calculators for those interested.

All these are mostly academic, nothing that we need to worry about in relatively short runs of audio cables. It becomes a major factor in power and/or communication line applications, obviously.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
This is true for all wires. But most cables can be coiled. Because the field of one conductor is canceled by the opposite field of the other conductor. There are some exceptions to this rule.
It is unlikely that they get cancelled 100%, so I do agree with Johnny that in theory it is better to keep things straight. Again, it is academic, as long as we use large enough gauge and keep the lengths short. Who the heck brought this up in the first place? I only read the last couple pages of this super long thread.:D
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
How often would you cut the tip of your cables if ever? I'm using non-terminated cables and they get pretty dark and gray over time. This coating insulates if I understand correctly, but it happens very gradually, so you won't notice the exact moment it weakens the conductance. Do you cut it and go to a fresh shiny bit of copper every now and then?
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
How often would you cut the tip of your cables if ever? I'm using non-terminated cables and they get pretty dark and gray over time. This coating insulates if I understand correctly, but it happens very gradually, so you won't notice the exact moment it weakens the conductance. Do you cat it and go to a fresh shiny bit of copper every now and then?
I have never experienced such issue but for peace of mind you should cut off enough length until you see the original copper color, otherwise replace the cable. If you have a good multi-meter, next time you notice the discoloration, please measure the resistance of the wire from end to end, and let us know the value.
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
It is unlikely that they get cancelled 100%,....
True there are some situations where they don't come close to 100 %. But hen you can coil a Cat5 cable and it works just fine. For a speaker cable, it would take a lot of cable coiling to make a significant dent even at 20 kHz.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
I recently coiled my speaker cable after I removed my in wall rack (wife wanted to expand a bathroom on the other side :rolleyes:) with no discernable difference. Always have coiled cat5/6.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I recently coiled my speaker cable after I removed my in wall rack (wife wanted to expand a bathroom on the other side :rolleyes:) with no discernable difference. Always have coiled cat5/6.
As I said, it's most academic, you just proved it to yourself.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
just picked up a nice pair of Audioquest 'King Cobra' IC's, 1/2 meter pair to go from my disc player to my Woo WA6 ........only ten bucks !
 
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
just picked up a nice pair of Audioquest 'King Cobra' IC's, 1/2 meter pair to go from my disc player to my Woo WA6 ........only ten bucks !
Great. You can connect things to other things now. Congrats.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
Just wondering, have you read this thread?
OMG ............like you can't recognize an ounce or two of levity ?? !!

Of course I know what started the thread, regardless I bought a pair of IC's for ten bucks, that's supposed to make you jump for joy !
 
R

roadwarrior

Audioholic
really ?? ........wow !!
I believe his point was getting cables named somewhat after the mean dojo in The Karate Kid for only $10 shouldn't be looked on as a big deal lest newer hobbyists see how excited we get over a simple interconnect and assign a higher priority to perceived cable quality than necessary thus possibly draining their wallets most unnecessarily.

I am glad you got it for $10 though. I use KnuKonceptz myself and have no complaints so far. Good customer service at fair prices for well built cables. Nothing wrong with that or yours.
 
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