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Old 05-16-2008   #29
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 19
Default Re: Dispelling audio myths, the cable lie

Well, fitzcaraldo215...I guess we'll have to "kind of" agree to disagree. But this is what I love about audio or even home theater for that matter how good the equipment, we all hear something different.

As long as there is a conversion process from digital back to analog, vinyl will always have the upper hand regardless of format. SACD and DVD-A made great strides to capturing that full analog experience but fell fairly short I'm afraid. That's what my ears tell me anyway. Actually, I'm going to throw DVD-A right out of the conversation as it doesn't even really belong there. Never sounded as good as SACD. Sure, one needs a pretty decent analog rig to get the best of what the format has to offer and yes, alot of LP's don't sound better than their "redbook" counterparts but alot of that is in the mastering. All I'm saying is that properly mastered and recorded...the best I have heard SACD offer multichannel or otherwise, just doesn't capture the full experience that vinyl has to offer. My ears tell me that.

I have a two-channel system approaching $40,000 and yes, I have heard the best multichannel SACD on rigs as much as $340,000 and I hate to say it...good vinyl wins every time. The simplicity is all there. Even as resolute as SACD can be there is still a conversion process of digital to analog and that is where information is lost. Vinyl rigs and good analog just don't need to deal with that. Am I saying that vinyl is as good as the pure source in 30ips master tape and such? Well, no, but I am saying (to my ears) that it is still the closest available.

I also have been attending the symphony about 12 times a year since 1995 and I do know how acoustic instruments need to sound in any given acoustic space. SACD to me has never achieved (very close though) that and even vinyl falls short of the source of the live event but the classical vinyl audiophile repressings I have purchased sound noticeably better than their SACD counterparts. Proof is in the pudding for me. Vinyl, for the most part, puts me in the seat of that concert hall. SACD, while real close...does not.

Multichannel SACD is a pretty big disappointment actually, especially on the classical labels that have "embraced" the format. So much potential and they just can't agree on a standard of recording and I believe the SACD recordings are starting to suffer for it. Don't even get me started on rock SACD recordings but the classical labels have basically just turned the format into a marketing ploy. I'm just saying that all those engineers doing SACD recordings today, multichannel or otherwise can't agree an how to record properly and I believe the consumer has suffered for it. Man, I have JVC XRCD's that sound WAY better than some of the same recordings on SACD and that just isn't right. And XRCD is "redbook". And now with the advent of Blu Ray winning the war and all they'll want to sell us all the music catalog all over again and pick up where SACD failed monumentally. No thanks...not for this kid. No more double-dipping. SACD had the full potential to give us all vinyl did and more and they brilliantly screwed that up. The only advantage BR would have over SACD is data storage. I highly doubt there will be an increase in fidelity at all.

But weren't we talking about cables? Yipes...

Bettercables wire better than Cardas Golden Cross? THAT... I would have to hear with my own ears.

I'd like to say something about Cardas that is going to be construed as bias (I have it throughout my own system) but it is the honest truth. I recently chatted with a rep from one of the "big 5" North American audio manufacturers at an RSVP night I was attending at a high end shop. I asked him outright what kid of cables they used for their in-house R&D and he told me flat out...Cardas Neutral Ref. He had said they use some "wow" cable at CES and stuff to impress the crowd and all but when it comes right down to allowing the components to "speak"...Cardas. I thought to myself, here is a top 5 manufacturer which has access to any cable at any price...interesting. I tried Cardas NR in my own system and at first I thought, hmmmm, not sure. Maybe "too" neutral?? But after a month of break-in man...I have never heard a better cable. And I have had Nordost, Van Den Hul, MIT, Monster, Shunyata, Gutwire, pass through this system. I'm not sure I could ever replace it...

Actually, the rep wen't on to boldly say that he knows of close to 12 out of the top 20 North American manufacturers that use Cardas for their in-house R&D. THAT, to me anyway, says something. Is what you need to spend on cable relative? Well...sure. But that is for the end user to decide. I have had cable in my own system that has costed 3-4 times as much as the Cardas but I made a decision on what my ears had told me...regardless of price.
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