Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:11 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 79 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

How would you start or upgrade?
Beginning to End 70%  70%  [ 30 ]
End to Beginning 19%  19%  [ 8 ]
Digital to Analog 9%  9%  [ 4 ]
Analog to Digital 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 43
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:18 am
Posts: 4399
Location: Surrey , BC, CA
no...everybody has different system so it may be impossible to have some kind of reference.....and each of us is more less capable to discern if it(cables) makes it sound better or not....


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13709
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Bumpy wrote:
msommers wrote:
So to conclude, everyone has their own theory about if cables are necessary, what brand to buy, and what components to start with.

Perfect! :lol:


Let's look at this from a purely statistical perspective, and let's assume that people are not mistaken when they hear or do not hear things. Afterall, their hearing is to be trusted right? It follow that:

When listening reports about the sonic benefits of cables are "all over the map" and appear to be random, the conclusion is that cables are not a factor in sonics.

That's it in a nutshell.

No, it means the statistics granularity is not fine enough to merit conclusive analysis. "All over the map" and "appear to be random" are cursory observations only.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:31 pm 
Offline
Dealer/Sponsor

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
Posts: 1044
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
ripblade wrote:
Bumpy wrote:
msommers wrote:
So to conclude, everyone has their own theory about if cables are necessary, what brand to buy, and what components to start with.

Perfect! :lol:


Let's look at this from a purely statistical perspective, and let's assume that people are not mistaken when they hear or do not hear things. Afterall, their hearing is to be trusted right? It follow that:

When listening reports about the sonic benefits of cables are "all over the map" and appear to be random, the conclusion is that cables are not a factor in sonics.

That's it in a nutshell.

No, it means the statistics granularity is not fine enough to merit conclusive analysis. "All over the map" and "appear to be random" are cursory observations only.



Think of it as 20-30-50 dirty windows all stacked up on top of one another.

Each window requires meticulous cleaning, and perfecting, in order to lessen it's effects on the overall image to be perceived through them -as a set piece.

The dirtier the windows, the more vague the image.

Cleaning each, as much as possible... to utter perfection, allows the intrusion of the most dirty to be clearly delineated and noticed/noted. To simplify, even, by entirely removing some given unnecessary windows from the stack. That alone brings one closer to the original image that is to be seen/witnessed.

Since many have not done this before, they have no idea how to clean, how to even see the image, and so on. the trick is prying one's way, mentally and visually, into the problem. To insist there is always another layer of dirty window and to invest the time into figuring out what exactly, it is. And then, to clear the given pane, and then note the subtle differences. Then formulate a new plan on what to do next. Always being ready to reformulate or change one's plan or understanding of what a window is, what the image to be perceived is and how cleaning windows may deal with the scenario at hand. Question everything, always, even when answers are in hand. It is the only real way forward, in this window analogy, or life.

Following that analogy in the world of audio, is one way to get to a better sound. Missteps will be made, but eventually something resolves out of it.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:45 pm
Posts: 17462
Location: Peterborough, ON, CA
libor wrote:
no...everybody has different system so it may be impossible to have some kind of reference.....and each of us is more less capable to discern if it(cables) makes it sound better or not....

...richtig

_________________
“Hey man...thanks.” Gord Downie


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:47 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Leduc, AB, CA
If you don't know whether or not you've accounted for all variations, how do you know if your conclusions are correct? This is the question I ask of all who think their "opinion" should carry any sway. Here, it's all the authoritarian "nay" sayers. Instead, I believe, they should have said that their methods were suspect and that they haven't figured out why they got a negative result, especially in light of the fact that so many others have found positive results. A little imagination here and playing devil's advocate to shoot yourself down has to be part of the process! Then there are those with only the most rudimentary knowledge who quote "scientific" explanations to back up their opinions, but don't really know if they are applying theory correctly. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but, what's the point when you deal only in conjecture? Uninformed opinion is worthless; so why would you want to pass that on and, in the end, embarrass yourself? To be as clear as I possibly can; is there anyone out there who, after studying and not understanding Relativity Theory, would then state that Einstein was wrong? A failed experiment to test power cables that is devoid of all knowledge and application of proper scientific experimentation generates no useful data; here, just misinformation. The closed minded don't get it; the really closed minded don't want to. Be bold; take a chance; jump off the treadmill.

My "power cord" quest started with searching out the "best" brand available and trying their least expensive model between my power line conditioner/surge suppressor and the wall outlet. Immediate and eye-opening improvements all around. I expected some improvements, but never that much. Not as dramatic an effect when only plugged into an individual component.

So, the answer to the question is start with the wall plug, as filtering here, just when matters start to get really important, has, I find, the greatest single effect. Then, in my experience, the pre-amp because everything is routed through it; then the amp, because it plays all of the music. Then, I would try a dedicated digital power cord and if the improvement is much greater than you expected, you might look to get a more competent CD player. Otherwise, the phono stage, depending upon the ratio of CD's to vinyl played in your home. I picked CD first here because those distortions are most often the worst sounding. Most importantly, if you play CD's, is to have a conditioner that provides filtering that stops digital generated distortions from bleeding into analogue devices through the power lines. Here, each outlet pair will be dedicated to either digital OR analogue, and, NEVER plug both into the same pair. If you have more components than outlets, the only safe solution is to unplug something not being used at the moment.

And to answer your next question, the only company that I have found to base their designs and research on proper experimental technique and reporting is Shunyata. Go to the website and do some reading. It's not easy, but thankfully, it's not a bad translation of Jean Paul Sartre!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13709
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Teo Audio wrote:
ripblade wrote:
Bumpy wrote:

Let's look at this from a purely statistical perspective, and let's assume that people are not mistaken when they hear or do not hear things. Afterall, their hearing is to be trusted right? It follow that:

When listening reports about the sonic benefits of cables are "all over the map" and appear to be random, the conclusion is that cables are not a factor in sonics.

That's it in a nutshell.

No, it means the statistics granularity is not fine enough to merit conclusive analysis. "All over the map" and "appear to be random" are cursory observations only.



Think of it as 20-30-50 dirty windows all stacked up on top of one another....

A well reasoned analogy Ken, unfortunately wasted on one who sees only one pane of glass and doesn't believe it needs cleaning.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 206
Location: toronto, ON, CA
You're suggesting that cherry picking responses or discrediting those responses with which one disagrees will support the hypothesis that cables make a real substantive difference. That's a poor analysis. Researchers have done this for years. eg. Pro cigarette lobbyists manage to produce reports that cigarettes don't cause cancer.

If cables do make a difference, then they will make a difference in all situations.

Since reports suggest otherwise, the conclusion is that the cables are not a factor.

That's all I have to say.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:50 am 
Offline
Dealer/Sponsor

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
Posts: 1044
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
Quote:
If cables do make a difference, then they will make a difference in all situations.


conflated conjecture, stated as a definitive/fact.

If seems to indicate that you don't have a grasp of the complexity of the questions and data at hand.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:54 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13709
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Bumpy wrote:
You're suggesting that cherry picking responses or discrediting those responses with which one disagrees will support the hypothesis that cables make a real substantive difference. That's a poor analysis. Researchers have done this for years. eg. Pro cigarette lobbyists manage to produce reports that cigarettes don't cause cancer.

If cables do make a difference, then they will make a difference in all situations.

Since reports suggest otherwise, the conclusion is that the cables are not a factor.

That's all I have to say.
So what you're saying is, if cigs don't cause cancer in some cases, then they don't in all cases?

I'm not the one cherry-picking data here....I never said cables made a difference in all cases. Clearly, they don't in your case.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 206
Location: toronto, ON, CA
I'm saying something that you can cherry pick data to support whatever hypothesis you like. Just like the researchers did when denying the link between cancer and cigs.

ripblade wrote:
I never said cables made a difference in all cases. Clearly, they don't in your case.


Thanks for the proof that the listener is the factor; which is exactly what the wide range of comments re: cables suggest.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13709
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Bumpy wrote:
ripblade wrote:
I never said cables made a difference in all cases. Clearly, they don't in your case.

Thanks for the proof that the listener is the factor; which is exactly what the wide range of comments re: cables suggest.

Of course the listener is a factor....just not the only factor. Well, for most listeners, anyway.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1774
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
Even over a few decades ago when first venturing into the world of quality built audio, I heard differences between cables. It was however sometimes hard to be able to accurately describe in complete detail the differences I heard. I knew there was more detail in the highs with certain cabling and perhaps better bass with others, but...
It wasn't until I purchased some mono block power amps and later a dual mono pre-amp. That I got the idea to experiment with different cabling on each channel and actually hear the variations immediately in real time. This really allowed me to examine and completely understand in great detail, every minute variation, just by balancing back and forth, left to right, in real time, with no delay to swap wires.

Here's what I recommend, if you want to examine the variations in exhaustive detail. Start with identical cabling (power, interconnect, spk. wire), on each channel, and play some music or test sounds that sound exactly the same in both channels. Move from the sweet spot around the room and even right up close to each driver. Make careful note of the sound characteristics.

Next change just one cable on a single channel, and repeat the listening process (balancing back and forth left to right if possible). I think you might be just as shocked and amazed as I was. The difference between most cables is quite astonishing.
This really gives you invaluable insight and perspective for when you eventually swap both cables.
Once you have inserted both new cables, listen for a long period of a week or more to your new cables then swap back to the originals. Again you will likely be shocked and amazed.

Of course this won't work when comparing digital cables. But a d-a with several inputs and a transport with multiple outputs is really handy. Especially if someone else is switching blind with the remote, between cables/inputs, while you listen.

And that, in a couple short paragraphs, is my, 'Systematic approach to cables and wire'.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:47 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Leduc, AB, CA
Bumpy, I have written these comments, which I hope you will come to see as insights, just for you.

Coming back to this discussion, filled with finalized conclusions based mostly on conjecture and, to be kind, stubbornness, I would like to make a comparison to speaker manufacturing to point out the problems regarding cable properties.

About 10 years ago I read somewhere in Stereophile that there were more than 10,000 speaker makers in the world. And I'm sure we would all agree that there are incredible differences among brands and, to a lesser extent, within lines. For example, it would appear that Wharfedale has half a dozen separate series available. We also know that there are a number of companies who only produce drivers and never assemble finished systems. We know that some brands only assemble the finished product, never building any part of the speaker themselves. Some brands handle everything from every aspect of design to final unit, boxed and shipped. Any reader of this blog could order drivers and crossovers and build their own; this blog attests to the fact that many do and make a good job of it. The possible permutations and combinations are almost limitless. I doubt very much that anyone here has taken a new, to them, speaker home and after hooking it up, concluded, after careful and extended listening, that they could not hear any difference between the old and the new.

But, what if, by diverse and uncoordinated means, you ended up with a new speaker whose internal parts had been sourced from the same OEM factories and whose finish and mostly similar outer dimensions were all that enabled you to tell them apart, because two different people in different places, working for completely different companies had the same idea and came up with, basically, the same design, and then placed the orders. Would you be able to tell the difference? I think not, especially because these would not likely be swapped into a high end system.

So now let's turn our gaze towards cables in general. I doubt that there are more than one or two plants in North America, or in Europe, or in the Far East, or in South America that manufacture cable, that is, produce cable from raw materials. These manufacturers generally make everything - every type, size and colour for every application known to the world of power and electronics. They have teams of engineers who design wire and cable and design the machines that produce the end product. This is how most wire and cable is produced in the most cost effective way. This is where the buyer goes to get the best price for their needs. This product is distributed everywhere and is the most popular, by far. Most people needing wire and cable to manufacture their speciality products will deal with this distribution system.

That said, every country has small manufacturers who produce niche or one-off products that the big guys are not prepared to deal with, i.e., small runs. The penalty here, for the buyer, is much increased cost. These smaller manufacturers can help with cable design, but their forte is designing and building the dies and setting up the machinery that actually produces the wire. Essentially, they make the most complicated wire designs and configurations. However, there are designs that most of this group can't or won't touch. Practical considerations such as scheduling and tear-down/build-up time loom large.

A third group are those cutting edge designers who manufacture their own designs and employ master die makers. These people are the real thing when it comes to competence and capability and are few and far between.

So, who would you want to make your system's cabling? And who do you think makes most of the cables in audio? The cables that come with your $80 CD player come from the first group. Some companies include the second group's cables with $300+ players. Some big box stores may sell specially packaged product from the second group for direct sale to the "innocent". To be sure, cable from the first two groups will find its way into audio stores in one form or another. Don't forget that those factories are completely capable of dressing up their product to impress. They might even use slightly more expensive connectors to seal the deal; end of run products that are about to be replaced offer better brand recognition at rock bottom price. Special solder and dedicated packaging. Any takers out there? You wily shop owners? Believability is key here.

I would venture a guess that only the best known and longest lasting companies would team up with the third group. Automatically, they would have to charge much more and profit margins would shrink, but only for some. It would depend on market share, reputation and proven advancement. Those guys who charge $10,000 for a pair of interconnects could not risk anything less than group three because, if they were discovered playing that game, it would be game over for them and anyone associated with them! Of course, their customers are those who don't know the value of a dollar. Likely, somehow feeling special or better or bragging rights drives these customers. Here, I think dedicated designs for specifically mated products often call the shots. My overall problem with group three products is my suspicion that the ideas come mostly from those who tinker, as it were, and have no list of specific and evolving design theory and improvements to their product line. In other words, a series of intermittent, inspired one-offs.

Now I turn to a forth, as far as I know, group of one in power cables, namely, Shunyata. Their owner/designer has a stellar academic background and worked on special design projects at NASA, as I recall. His designs are based upon an evolving and insightful theory of transmission and filtering and he has improved his product lines consistently over time. He produces patents! Read original, fundamental design. And he tries to produce affordable products as well. His biggest customers are those people in the medical imaging industry - hospitals where lives are on the line. Those machines really benefit from clean power! I like where he is coming from and where he is going and I admire his character and credentials. I'm a big fan. Just saying.

So, if most of you are testing cables from the first two groups in your systems at home, which will be the vast majority of readers here, especially the "nay-sayers", guess what; you are not going to hear any differences because you're listening to the same cables over and over. Only the jackets are different! If you venture into the third group, you may hear some differences, in specific situations, and sometimes you will be pleased, and sometimes you will not perceive any real value and you will be correct. Ten people testing the same cable will have different reactions because they will all have different systems. If these ten were to visit one another's homes and audition the same cable in all ten homes, pub-crawl style, there is no telling what conclusions they may come up with, especially if the discussion convenes at the local pub. They would need and deserve the spirits. The next morning, I doubt anyone would buy the cable. A few days later, they would likely decide to get together for more beer to figure out what other ways to save money.

My experience tells me that perceived value and higher prices will keep most from ever purchasing expensive power cables. A well constructed cable made from quality parts, that is shielded to avoid the effects of outside interference, will probably be the goal for most. This is the sensible solution for most. It is only when you have a system of superior components that cannot be really bested reasonably, to your taste, that you will seek out interconnects and power cables to take your system over the top. Has anyone ever seen a manufacturer at an audio show use zip cord? Those in the land of brown-outs will seek out quality filtration sooner. Most will never be able to justify the expense to themselves, even if they are convinced, I'm sad to say.

While I'm at it I will comment only briefly on interconnects and speaker cables. Here, I buy Cardas, because I can make the same statements about them as I made for Shunyata. Evolving theory and patents and continual and significant improvement and value. As with Shunyata, they have lines that are of great value for money. This is where the new-by should start, later augmented by a sprinkling of next-line-up product.

If I won the lottery, I wouldn't rush out and replace what I have. I would still stick to my present plan of carefully auditioning newer cables for the right fit for me. My other components are keepers. Last year I purchased a used Bryston BP.5 and 2B-LP for use in my office at home. I had owned and eventually traded the same models 25 years ago. I tested them out using my best cables and power line conditioners. The results were astounding; they performed so well that I doubt I would have ever replaced them. To be truthful, they are not as good as my Sonic Frontiers components, which I can always upgrade through the Parts Connection. That said, 85% of the improvement is because of cabling. I'm thinking it would be worth the expense to send them back to Bryston for maintenance.

Here's the unexpected conclusion for all of this, and I can understand why you would not agree. My sum of knowledge over a span of 55 years with this hobby tells me that, if for some reason, like fire or flood, I had to start completely over, I would spend the bulk of the insurance money buying one level up of all of my cables and line conditioners first, before anything else. I could easily get along with used components from the few brands I really like. These used components would sound better than their designers had ever imagined. I have the benefit of a university education and credit for 60+ courses in various fields. The most valuable course I took was experimental psychology because it taught me how to question everything scientifically and systematically, no holds barred. The real value is knowing how to design experimental procedures to test the validity of any claims and particularly how to detect flaws in those experimental designs. The first rule is to take no prisoners. No conclusion can be accepted unless every part of the argument is validated and only one parameter can be manipulated to produce variations in outcome. That is, direct cause and effect only. And others must be able to reproduce your results. That last stipulation precludes anyone from ever being able to declare that, in this particular instance, power cables cannot ever influence the sound quality of a sound system. All we can state is what we did and heard and at the same time describe our system and surrounding conditions completely! No easy task! There are never any definitive conclusions here, just overall impressions. After all, this tends to be a mostly solitary hobby. But it can produce joy.

Whenever this kind of discussion comes up I can only finally say that I feel your pain and frustration. I've been through it all and know better than in my youth where to direct my energies. I sincerely hope this posting has been helpful to those who have chosen to slog through it. Cheers!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1774
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
Check out MBL speakers. Yes they are very, very expensive. So obviously not for everyone. But on the back there are three different hookups for each driver, your choice. Each terminal, when connected, will have a distinct sound, from warm to neutral to fast and hyper detailed. There is no difference in the internal crossovers actual parts. The only internal variation being the type of wiring used. The warm connection is wired with smaller stranded copper. The neutral connection is heavier guage solid core copper. And the fast detailed connection is wired internally with pure silver. (if I remember correctly)
Why would a well regarded company like MBL go to all the trouble and expense to do this if all speaker wire sounded the same?


As an aside to the previous post, I could add, have a look at Stealth wiring. His upper level product like Indra retail for in excess of $3k per metre pair. He to has a high tech military background. And for him the best sounding wire was actually manufactured in the 1920's. He has a limited amount of this wire that is used to manufacture his products. According to his research the metallurgy of that time was far superior to anything being made today.
This could also explain why vacuum tubes manufactured in the 30's and 40's sound so much better than the ones made more recently. The fine art of hand building and ancient metallurgy has perhaps been lost with modern automation and other cost saving techniques.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:15 pm
Posts: 206
Location: toronto, ON, CA
ripblade wrote:
Bumpy wrote:
ripblade wrote:
I never said cables made a difference in all cases. Clearly, they don't in your case.

Thanks for the proof that the listener is the factor; which is exactly what the wide range of comments re: cables suggest.

Of course the listener is a factor....just not the only factor. Well, for most listeners, anyway.


Studies have shown that cost, brand and appearance of loudspeakers are more important factors that their sonics.

I don't see why that would not be applicable to all other audio gear.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 79 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ae86, dcrossle, Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group