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Cables with the greatest impact in your system
Analog Interconnect 20%  20%  [ 47 ]
Phono cable 10%  10%  [ 24 ]
Digital 3%  3%  [ 7 ]
Speaker 22%  22%  [ 51 ]
Power 19%  19%  [ 44 ]
None 26%  26%  [ 61 ]
Total votes : 234
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:52 pm 
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You know - a couple of you have come down on those who say "none". Like it is some big attempt to create chaos. If the OP did not want to hear from any of those people - there would not have been a option to pick none.

Second, there is absolutely no proof that those who discretain a difference are correct and those who don't are wrong. It has absolutely nothing to do with "differently built ears" - that's "hog-wash". The majority of adults have reportedly similar physiology in respect to hearing. It has nothing to do with education - that's a plain insult. It has nothing to do with not caring for the hobby, not appreciative of good sound, or inability to ascertain because lesser gifts - the fact that those members are here, on Canuck, means they give a sh#t about the hobby.

So, why then do certain folks not get on the cable band wagon...Simply stated, they don't believe they hear a difference. Typically, these same folks claim to hear differences between gear, good copied recordings, room acoustics - so, it's (AGAIN) simply that cables don't seem to make a difference to them, or they see greater difference in other things hobby related.

So, here is my suggestion.
Don't knock the group that says "ney".
Appreciate the fact that each is entitled to opinion, this goes both ways.
And, most importantly, have an open mind.

Cables seems to be in the same league as religion. I'm telling you, the believers seem to be more critical of the non believers, like we are going to "Audio Hell".

For many (my last point), the subtle difference and effort required to A/B accurately {how do you even do that without losing a reference} is not worth the effort. I would hazard a guess, even the non-believers have a decent interconnect for belief in other matters. I.E, reducing interference through proper shielding, good connection (from quality ends), as well as the fact that it seems to make sense if your investing in quality gear you step up from the dollar store wires...How high you go up the ladder? That's your decision.

Do I personally think they make a big difference - not really, well - at least to a point.
I do have decent Ultra-link & Tributaries RCA's ($50-100 type), I do have decent PS Audio power cables ($100 -200 type), and I do use a pair of Wired World speaker cables with silver ends ($400'ish), but I'd never invest more than this myself. I just don't see a return past a point nor agree that what your getting could possibly demand the retail asking. I have a personal problem with what the industry believes a consumer should pay for wires and cables - the manufacturing process and material cost does not provide me with reasonable justification, especially when the price of wires can cost more than the front-end, amp, or speakers. For me, that is part of why I've not jumped on the wagon.

Each to their own.


Last edited by JGP on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Bumpy wrote:
Double D wrote:
At the risk of igniting a can of napalm.. I voted "digital".. however, I will explain.
I wholeheartedly believe that a system approach is the most balanced approach to cables, ergo.. follow the signal, if you don't get it at the start, no amount of loving is going to coax it downstream.
So, if you are running a digital centric system, then putting your best cables up front is valid (PC to DAC, Transport to DAC --> DAC to PRE.. etc.)
I think this is why most that are vinyl centric voted for "phono cables" .. and rightfully so, the signals coming off a phono cartridge are so tiny and fragile.
I always consider it a follow the water process... if it's not pure from the source. it's Toxic downstream.


Double D, it's a digital signal. You cannot lose bits.


People who claim that digital cables don't make a difference are not correct.
It's NOT about "losing bits". It's about noise.
Unless you're using an optical cable with no metal in it, you're using a coax type cable with metal conductors. Therefore, depending on how well the cable is shielded RFI can penetrate the cable and inject noise into your system.
As far as that goes, optical cables can have their problems too. If they do not have a perfect surface inside, the light signal can hit imperfections inside the cable and scatter/refract the light and interfere with the coherency of the signal.....that can be heard.


Last edited by AVguy on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:04 pm 
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@Bumpy, could you please explain?

Bumpy wrote:
it's a digital signal. You cannot lose bits.


Is this because of error correction?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:08 pm 
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I have upgraded all the cables in my system, and every one improved the sound quality. I changed out the stock Linn power mains cables for Shunyata Venoms, and there was an improvement in sound. I changed the stock LP12 T-cable for a Linn Silver T-cable, and there was a great improvement. I changed the interconnects to a combination of Marc Stager silver interconnects for the bass lines, and Linn silvers for the mids and upper ranges, and each made a significant improvement. The one change that was quantifiable with visual data was changing Linn k20 speaker cable for Linn K600 speaker cable. My system had been adjusted using the Linn Space Optimisation; when the cables were changed, new sonic dips were measured, and significant and problematic ones that were in the K20 set up disappeared with the K600 cable set up.

While spending huge amounts for cables of all sorts is madness [SILTECH Empress Crown 1.5M XLR Interconnects @ $28,000 for example] (and each to their own wallets), upgraded cables across the board do improve the sound of a system: it is up to the listener to decide how much to spend and whether it works on their system. There is no doubt, however, that the sound improvements are most noticeable on high end equipment, so a $500 system may not convey the improvements in a noticeable manner.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:28 pm 
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IME this is true.

Eldarboy wrote:
the sound improvements are most noticeable on high end equipment, so a $500 system may not convey the improvements in a noticeable manner.


A related point is that available money may be better spent on other system improvements than cables, especially at entry level. If you have an entry level system and are using freebie cables, however, I take that back.

What has really surprised me is how components which are not seen as major, such as power strips and cabling, can make a musical difference. By which I mean, not a difference I hear in sonic features like frequency range and noise floor, but a difference in the musical info I can hear — rubato, tonguing and embouchure, diminuendo, pedal and so forth.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:42 pm 
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I like to look at like this. As a consumer we have a choice. Out side marketing, subjective views and or objective measurements (or lack of) one can not debate that choice. It’s a matter of acceptance.

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Bumpy wrote:

Double D, it's a digital signal. You cannot lose bits.


Bumpy – digital transmission is performed in an analog forum similar to a square wave. And just like an analog signal, it is also susceptive to being influenced. In the case of SPDIF which includes TOSLINK and AES/EBU, this signal must also carry the clocking information which despite the advances with relocking technology within newer DAC’s, this is still critical. A DAC will employ a PLL circuit (Phase Lock Loop) that will make an attempt at reclocking the information but is still reliant on a steady clock from the source. A cable can induce clocking errors to which a PLL circuit may not be able to recover.

Modern DAC’s in the form of Asynchronous USB and SPDIF cannot recover lost bits. The technology is impossible with SPDIF and not present with USB.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:47 pm 
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I am fascinated by threads where people can hear an obvious and major difference in certain cables. Now 'obvious' and 'major' differences in this hobby are probably pretty slight by general standards but they should be pretty noticeable to those that are constantly tweaking their system and already believe they can pick up on many slight differences.

Perhaps there are many like me that have never heard a $2000 cable swapped into their system, but I would personally love to try to hear what some feel so strongly they are hearing (without paying for the $2000 cable). But swapping various 'average' cables, I don't hear differences and certainly not anything jaw dropping. Obviously, in this hobby you have to pay to play and that ultimately is the only way to find out for sure. But there are probably others like me that would just rather pay for something other than 'wire'.

Personally, I can hear (or believe I can hear) the difference between some capacitors in various places in my audio system. I do see people replying to some threads on the topic that state rather strongly that this is not possible even though I can clearly hear what others describe they hear in terms of sonic characteristics of various capacitors. I would not say these characteristics are always major but they seem rather significant in audiophile terms. I wonder if there is an equivalency with regard to me and the sonic attributes of capacitors and others with cables?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:05 pm 
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msommers wrote:
Should specify interconnects to be either RCA or XLR. Changes in the latter have a significantly smaller delta than single-ended cables.

For me, it was surprisingly the power cable on both a tube Jolida amp and also the latest Hegel H360. I was honestly shocked and couldn't explain it, and I'm not one to pump up the cable hype.

I think it's very gear dependant.


Agree with the statement on XLR balanced interconnects. I find their cancellation characteristics remove a lot of the differences that are noted in single ended cables

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:07 pm 
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It wouldn't be surprising if there were such an equivalency.

RandyB wrote:
I wonder if there is an equivalency with regard to me and the sonic attributes of capacitors and others with cables?


As support for this view, I offer Paul Bergman's article in the latest UHF Magazine (Number 98). He describes a cable as a resistor-capacitor-inductor network.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:11 pm 
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spinaker01 wrote:
msommers wrote:
Should specify interconnects to be either RCA or XLR. Changes in the latter have a significantly smaller delta than single-ended cables.

For me, it was surprisingly the power cable on both a tube Jolida amp and also the latest Hegel H360. I was honestly shocked and couldn't explain it, and I'm not one to pump up the cable hype.

I think it's very gear dependant.


Agree with the statement on XLR balanced interconnects. I find their cancellation characteristics remove a lot of the differences that are noted in single ended cables


Fair point but is it the cable or the balanced circuitry that you feel is beneficial? Keep in mind that many manufactures share the same cable between their XLR and RCA counterparts. I would think this poll includes both XLR and RCA as a interconnect.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:13 pm 
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JGP wrote:
You know - a couple of you have come down on those who say "none". Like it is some big attempt to create chaos. If the OP did not want to hear from any of those people - there would not have been a option to pick none.

Second, there is absolutely no proof that those who discretain a difference are correct and those who don't are wrong. It has absolutely nothing to do with "differently built ears" - that's "hog-wash". The majority of adults have reportedly similar physiology in respect to hearing. It has nothing to do with education - that's a plain insult. It has nothing to do with not caring for the hobby, not appreciative of good sound, or inability to ascertain because lesser gifts - the fact that those members are here, on Canuck, means they give a sh#t about the hobby.

So, why then do certain folks not get on the cable band wagon...Simply stated, they don't believe they hear a difference. Typically, these same folks claim to hear differences between gear, good copied recordings, room acoustics - so, it's (AGAIN) simply that cables don't seem to make a difference to them, or they see greater difference in other things hobby related.

So, here is my suggestion.
Don't knock the group that says "ney".
Appreciate the fact that each is entitled to opinion, this goes both ways.
And, most importantly, have an open mind.

Cables seems to be in the same league as religion. I'm telling you, the believers seem to be more critical of the non believers, like we are going to "Audio Hell".

For many (my last point), the subtle difference and effort required to A/B accurately {how do you even do that without losing a reference} is not worth the effort. I would hazard a guess, even the non-believers have a decent interconnect for belief in other matters. I.E, reducing interference through proper shielding, good connection (from quality ends), as well as the fact that it seems to make sense if your investing in quality gear you step up from the dollar store wires...How high you go up the ladder? That's your decision.

Do I personally think they make a big difference - not really, well - at least to a point.
I do have decent Ultra-link & Tributaries RCA's ($50-100 type), I do have decent PS Audio power cables ($100 -200 type), and I do use a pair of Wired World speaker cables with silver ends ($400'ish), but I'd never invest more than this myself. I just don't see a return past a point nor agree that what your getting could possibly demand the retail asking. I have a personal problem with what the industry believes a consumer should pay for wires and cables - the manufacturing process and material cost does not provide me with reasonable justification, especially when the price of wires can cost more than the front-end, amp, or speakers. For me, that is part of why I've not jumped on the wagon.

Each to their own.



JGP, my man! I agree with everything you say and it mirrors my own experience and personal philosophy. Once a cable price approaches a component’s price... put the money in anew component.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:06 pm 
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spinaker01 wrote:
JGP wrote:
You know - a couple of you have come down on those who say "none". Like it is some big attempt to create chaos. If the OP did not want to hear from any of those people - there would not have been a option to pick none.

Second, there is absolutely no proof that those who discretain a difference are correct and those who don't are wrong. It has absolutely nothing to do with "differently built ears" - that's "hog-wash". The majority of adults have reportedly similar physiology in respect to hearing. It has nothing to do with education - that's a plain insult. It has nothing to do with not caring for the hobby, not appreciative of good sound, or inability to ascertain because lesser gifts - the fact that those members are here, on Canuck, means they give a sh#t about the hobby.

So, why then do certain folks not get on the cable band wagon...Simply stated, they don't believe they hear a difference. Typically, these same folks claim to hear differences between gear, good copied recordings, room acoustics - so, it's (AGAIN) simply that cables don't seem to make a difference to them, or they see greater difference in other things hobby related.

So, here is my suggestion.
Don't knock the group that says "ney".
Appreciate the fact that each is entitled to opinion, this goes both ways.
And, most importantly, have an open mind.

Cables seems to be in the same league as religion. I'm telling you, the believers seem to be more critical of the non believers, like we are going to "Audio Hell".

For many (my last point), the subtle difference and effort required to A/B accurately {how do you even do that without losing a reference} is not worth the effort. I would hazard a guess, even the non-believers have a decent interconnect for belief in other matters. I.E, reducing interference through proper shielding, good connection (from quality ends), as well as the fact that it seems to make sense if your investing in quality gear you step up from the dollar store wires...How high you go up the ladder? That's your decision.

Do I personally think they make a big difference - not really, well - at least to a point.
I do have decent Ultra-link & Tributaries RCA's ($50-100 type), I do have decent PS Audio power cables ($100 -200 type), and I do use a pair of Wired World speaker cables with silver ends ($400'ish), but I'd never invest more than this myself. I just don't see a return past a point nor agree that what your getting could possibly demand the retail asking. I have a personal problem with what the industry believes a consumer should pay for wires and cables - the manufacturing process and material cost does not provide me with reasonable justification, especially when the price of wires can cost more than the front-end, amp, or speakers. For me, that is part of why I've not jumped on the wagon.

Each to their own.



JGP, my man! I agree with everything you say and it mirrors my own experience and personal philosophy. Once a cable price approaches a component’s price... put the money in anew component.
\

Don't drag religion into this discussion. That's ridiculous. This NOT about "beliefs". Differences ARE there; either you hear it or you don't.
If you don't, it's either because your system isn't good enough, or because you don't know what to listen-for.
And that is where education comes in. It's not an "insult"; it means that someone can be taught what to listen-for. I have had that happen right here in my home and seen/heard it happen elsewhere. I have had people tell me that they don't "believe" in cables :roll: or that they didn't hear a difference. I play a song with a particular cable, telling them to listen to the sounds of the strings being plucked, or the sounds of the cymbals, or the bass, or the instrument in the background. Then I switch cables and they listen again. I see the light go on in their eyes :idea: as they realize that there is a difference. More experienced listeners are better at this than others.

Price, well sure. There are ridiculously high priced cables out there. Some aren't as good as the cheaper ones and some the high-priced ones are noticeably better. But that doesn't always add-up to "snake oil'" or "cables don't make a difference".


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:06 pm 
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The comment of religion is not to be taken literally. Nobody is here to discuss that, it is merely a point of belief and the strength of one's beliefs.

Again, your comments of system quality is to assume that those who don't agree with you have lessor systems, or poor systems.

As for me, my current system is in the neighborhood of 10k. I feel that is more than enough, quality speaking, to be a contender to "see the light".

I am a not only a avid hobbyist, collector, aficionado of fine equipment as well as recordings but a accomplished musician. I not only come from a family of musicians, but I have (perhaps like you) formal training in music - and no, I am not tone deaf. I "know" how things should sound musically speaking.

Again, insults to many of us here. Currently, 1/4 of members disagree with you. Perhaps we are all tone deaf with poor fisher price systems and never had the privileged of having training like you. In the nuances and "plucking of strings"...God knows I've never plucked a string in all my musical years. "Wait, perhaps that was a G chord and not C chord that I just played..."

I'd love to see you properly AB without bias, without introducing "the mystic". In fact, I'd love to place you in-front of a black curtain and test your abilities to do such, but - judging by your response, I don't think your beliefs can be swayed. YES, I DID SAY BELIEFS. We all have them, that's what it is to be human. If this was indeed a clear cut science, not only would everyone forget about arguing it, but there were be no professionally written articles arguing the implausibility of it, and every manufacturer would clearly recommend it. There would be no grey.

Man, this is a hobby full of grey.


Last edited by JGP on Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:14 pm 
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My friend, reference is just that. A point of reference to measure against - for good or bad.

Next, I never said "I have the reference system"...

I said, I feel a 10K system is more than enough to reproduce music accurately.

If you don't believe that - and all of us "Cammers" buying and selling front ends less than 20K are beneath you - you have bigger problems than I thought.

By the way, a system worth 10K used on CAM (today's value) is not to say it did not retail for more.

This discussion is getting stupid. You should be ashamed of yourself. Good for you and your 20K pre.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Voodoo Funk wrote:
10K and you think you have a reference system? :roll:

My preamp is $20.000 and considered 'mid fi' at best by many of my friends!!!! :lol:

You asked why a hostile tone the deleted the question by the looks of it.
Probably he is a bit put off by your suggestion that the price tag of your equipment implies his must be crap by comparison and therefore his opinion and/or perception is skewed.
The other thing Is, what satisfies you most regarding that purchase? The product, or telling people the price tag?

PS- although some might be envious, I wouldn't ever blow that amount on a preamp no matter what unless it somehow solved gravity or something. I have some quite wealthy family, my sister and her husand have a significant art collection. They will also lend pieces to gallery'sand exhibitions for others to appreciate. But, despite some astronomical values, price is NEVER discussed, at least not with non-collectors. The art itself is what impresses them and some of the people they share with. Ibelieve at that level an audio component is similar, an art form that is more than the sum of its tangible parts.

I like good stuff but frankly I am not impressed for example with all the extravagance in Dubai. It's just a waste and a bragging rights contest. The people with all that conspicuous wealth could show off better if they were putting their wealth towards making the world a better place, THAT is a lot more impressive. Id be much more proud if I was from a tiny country that hit above its weight in science, medicine, society.vs an artificial ski hill, biggest designer mall and man made islands.

If I did drop tons of cash on frivolous stuff I'd try to be low key about it, but perhaps I've been exposed to a few too many people who clearly derive satisfaction by declaring how expensive their stuff is.

Carry on.

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