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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:45 am
Posts: 29
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Over the past two years I've quickly fallen down the rabbit hole of headphone audiophilia. I went from having one pair of headphones to probably about 8 or 9 (for different set ups, contexts, etc.).

I recently bought a Burson Conductor off another CAM member, and holy cow, my cans are singing! My top pairs are Hifiman HE400i and the recent Sennheiser HD6XX (Massdrop's HD650), but I have some AKG K702 and Shure SE535 as well. With the Shures, I bought replacement cables for relatively cheap because I didn't like the stiffness of the stock cable. I did some tests, and I don't know if I hear a sonic difference, but there was definitely a comfort value add from the replacement cable.

I know that replacing Sennheiser cables is quite common, and I'd be willing to spend money if I knew it was worth it, but my question is, are there any places in Canada, or stores in Toronto, that would allow for me to trial a cable, whether borrowing for a few weeks or coming into a store? If I knew a $150 cable made a difference, I would pay, but if I couldn't hear a significant difference, I'd be much more hesitant.

Thoughts about this? I'd love to hear about experiences with change in cable and whether you've found it makes a difference.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:33 am
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Location: Kingston, ON, CA
I just posted this in another thread and it may help you understand this thing of cables making or not making a difference:

Teo Audio wrote:
OBI56 wrote:
Teo Audio wrote:
About that dynamics thing:

I remember an article mentioning a scientist that was using two bridged amps, as a bridged pair. This was in the 70's. 2000 watts, and some very efficient speakers, etc. Best microphone amps and so on.

He was recording a set of large scissors being snapped shut, and looking at the resultant waveform.

He was trying to record it and play it back and pick that up with the microphone. Everything he could try and the 2000 watts, and he simply could not get that original waveform back, as a reproduced item.

That live, or recorded, no power and no efficiency he could find, could reproduce the snap of the scissors properly. When I say live, I mean the sound of the shears snapping directly, or 'live' through the amplification and speaker systems. That he could not equal the original waveform seen when the shears were directly miked.


That "scientist" was not actually a scientist, but a physicist who goes by the name of Bob Carver. The initial statement he made on the subject was that even with his most powerful amplifiers bridged driving some of the most sensitive (efficient for those of you still using the wrong term) speakers available at the time, he was still well short on the power needed to accurately reproduce the initial sound of scissors snipping live (something in the region of well over the 100dB range above ambient noise levels). Forget about even recording it due to the limitations of the recording equipment of the day.

This statement is credited as being what started/triggered the race to the megawatt amp and receiver craze back in the day.


Ah, so someone else remembered the whole story, OB! I'd forgotten most of the details, as I caught it as a simple mention in another written source.

Of course they were going to fail, as the live dynamic has been found to not be recordable or reproducible in any form of perfection.

The other end of that scenario, is that the human brain ear is good enough at decoding, that we can reliably eke out discernible, repeatable data at the 4-bit level of digital encoding. A 4-bit encoded voice is good enough for us to make out what is being said. (from extensive early digital encode-decode [A/D to D/A] research in the telecommunications industry)

We only hear those positive peaks and their differentials, we work on 10% of the signal. The rest is very largely not heard by the brain-ear system.

Essentially, we fill in and guesstimate. Kinda reminds me of that issue of 90% of the communications in written works being missing, as compared to what we communicate in face to face conversation. We fill in and misunderstand.

There is a comparable, parallel, similar mechanism alive in audio, if we are not careful with our unpacking of what we think we hear. We have to challenge our very individualized built up internal models of sounds and their shapes, in order to hear the new.

This is tied to speech recognition which has a virtual library of prior sonic images it uses in order to speed up the decoding process for the ear-brain mechanism. Our brain speed pastes parts of an organized library of sound bites, on top of the beginnings of what is heard, in order to facilitate timely decoding of sound shapes. The human eye-brain system operates in a similar manner.

Which is part of the ego-projection system that overlies and speaks for the inner real & actual mind.... Why the Buddhists tell you to shut that ego **** down (learn to silence it), otherwise you will literally be full of projected unreal emotionalized crap for your entire life.

In high end audio, the trick is to catch ourselves filling in with this trap of mental fakery, and work on filling in with properly reproduced data. The data is there, we just have to learn anew. To not just to project into that new, but hear it for what it is. Relaxation is key, with the mind in a near meditative state of exploration.

This is tied to how our specific personal system is built and handles itself in operation and execution, compared to the next person.

This is largely the source of the 'did you hear that?', vs the 'I didn't hear any change at all' scenarios we constantly run into.

The abx tester camp types... are seemingly perennially unaware of these complex mechanisms that underlie the entire scenario they try to push as being real. They don't even understand what they are testing, so it's hard to validate their premise, in the real world. Yet they feel it is validated --but they operate in a half data environment, so the entire testing regimen is invalidated by the conditions they operate under. Since they don't operate with the whole package, you can't explain it to them. On multiple real levels, they are not listening.

The next domino to fall, is that an accomplished audiophile is partially a multi-linguist, with regard to how they use their biological tool kit.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:18 am
Posts: 14
Location: Yellowknife, NT, CA
Teo Audio:

That would maybe account for me hearing things from music that I had heard before on nice headphones, but listened later on lousy computer speakers? Of course the crappy speakers didn't reproduce what I previously heard.

Very interesting write-up...thanks very much for sharing!

OP: I too would like to trial some cables myself, but your idea of going with less expensive sets is a good one - I think I'll follow that line of thought. (My trip down the rabbit hole took about 7 months....and still falling. A little bit lol). My top two include that 400i and Nighthawks....very impressed with the 400i!


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