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Cables It's all about connections. Discuss everything about audio cables ranging from balanced to unbalanced, speaker cables to interconnects and beyond.

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Old 08-03-2009   #145
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

A proper quality terminated connection is nice too. I've had a few "higher-end" cables that failed due to poor connector terminations.
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Old 08-04-2009   #146
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

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Cable is like politics and religion you have to be a believer
Sorry, I just don't drink the kool aid blindly. I am a realist...
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Old 08-04-2009   #147
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

If you spend more than $1/foot for good wire, you are paying too much. Any half-decent 12 gauge copper wire will sound every bit as good (or bad) as the most expensive 12 gauge copper wire. The only difference that could occur is if you have tremdous runs of wire to your speakers--like over 50 feet. I have never understood why people think that their 6-10 foot length of wire is going to be more significant than the hundreds of feet of copper wire already in the speaker.

If you have the money and want to waste it--that is fine. Even if you can afford nice "audio jewelry". Unless there is a significant electrical reason for the wire to have a sonic difference, there won't be any. The only reason people say they hear a difference between different properly made12 gauge wires is because they want to believe there is one. This is particularly true if they spent a lot of money on the wire. There has never been a difference recorded in a double blind test and no one has ever claimed the $1 million that James Randi has offered to anyone that can hear a difference in double blind tests conducted with a sufficient quantity of runs to establish a "true" percentage difference.

Greg
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Old 08-04-2009   #148
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

The subject of wiring brings out strong feelings. It brings up anger, fake science and often unwarranted attacks, from all sides. I wanted to put my opinion down first and then read all the posts (I have read some). Specifically though, let’s stick to the subject and NOT discuss other essential components to a listening system or room.

Scientifically, and this is a little bit of a physics lesson, every component in a reaction changes in reaction. So if you’re changing electrical energy to sound energy anything, everything in the process changes the results a little bit. Therefore all wires act as some sort of filter on your system.

Observation: in my experience, therefore, it is best to use only one brand or type of wire on your system. That is where you will find the biggest differences. Each different set of wiring will filter this sound somewhat and many wires will create many filters. I had often been struck by the amount of people who had several different liars on their system and put it in a new wire and could not hear a difference. When you change your wiring so it is all consistent you may often hear change.

Let us be arbitrary for a moment and assign a 1-10 ratings for home audio. A “ten” would be the system that sounds most like real music, a “one” would be given to system of the lowest quality. Using expensive wires on a 1 through 5 system, no matter how good they are, will probably not give much or any results (standardizing the wires may). Those people will think any talk about better wires is silly.

You begin to hear the differences in better systems. However, a major problem here is that people do not ever think that their system is in the 1 though 5 group. Everyone bought their system because they liked it, now they are used to it. Telling people their system is not great does help.

Good wires need to be broken it. They probably break in the most after 24 hours, but a hundred hours is probably best before critical listening. So people who don’t believe that and when putting new wires in, just to hear the difference, think that they should hear an instant and full change. This is not the case. Again, for people whose systems do not support the difference, or people who cannot hear the difference, the argument about breaking in wires is wasted.

I don’t think I would be good at this anymore as I have gotten older, but I did hear the difference in blind tests between wires. This was not a good thing because I was listening too critically. I love to listen to music, but hate when someone asks me to listen to their “stereo.”

My conclusion is that wires make a huge difference, both interconnects and speaker cables. I also believe that some wires sound better on some systems than others. Again, make sure the wires are broken it and wire you entire system with one type. A real issue to me is why good wires are so expensive. I don’t believe they need to be. (PS Dealers generally pay 50% of the list price for wires. You can negotiate.)
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Old 08-04-2009   #149
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

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Originally Posted by Lefisc View Post
The subject of wiring brings out strong feelings. It brings up anger, fake science and often unwarranted attacks, from all sides. I wanted to put my opinion down first and then read all the posts (I have read some). Specifically though, let’s stick to the subject and NOT discuss other essential components to a listening system or room.

Scientifically, and this is a little bit of a physics lesson, every component in a reaction changes in reaction. So if you’re changing electrical energy to sound energy anything, everything in the process changes the results a little bit. Therefore all wires act as some sort of filter on your system.

Observation: in my experience, therefore, it is best to use only one brand or type of wire on your system. That is where you will find the biggest differences. Each different set of wiring will filter this sound somewhat and many wires will create many filters. I had often been struck by the amount of people who had several different liars on their system and put it in a new wire and could not hear a difference. When you change your wiring so it is all consistent you may often hear change.

Let us be arbitrary for a moment and assign a 1-10 ratings for home audio. A “ten” would be the system that sounds most like real music, a “one” would be given to system of the lowest quality. Using expensive wires on a 1 through 5 system, no matter how good they are, will probably not give much or any results (standardizing the wires may). Those people will think any talk about better wires is silly.

You begin to hear the differences in better systems. However, a major problem here is that people do not ever think that their system is in the 1 though 5 group. Everyone bought their system because they liked it, now they are used to it. Telling people their system is not great does help.

Good wires need to be broken it. They probably break in the most after 24 hours, but a hundred hours is probably best before critical listening. So people who don’t believe that and when putting new wires in, just to hear the difference, think that they should hear an instant and full change. This is not the case. Again, for people whose systems do not support the difference, or people who cannot hear the difference, the argument about breaking in wires is wasted.

I don’t think I would be good at this anymore as I have gotten older, but I did hear the difference in blind tests between wires. This was not a good thing because I was listening too critically. I love to listen to music, but hate when someone asks me to listen to their “stereo.”

My conclusion is that wires make a huge difference, both interconnects and speaker cables. I also believe that some wires sound better on some systems than others. Again, make sure the wires are broken it and wire you entire system with one type. A real issue to me is why good wires are so expensive. I don’t believe they need to be. (PS Dealers generally pay 50% of the list price for wires. You can negotiate.)
Not much physics here.
"Breaking In" wires is audio voodoo.
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Old 08-04-2009   #150
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Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

"Scientifically, and this is a little bit of a physics lesson, every component in a reaction changes in reaction. So if you’re changing electrical energy to sound energy anything, everything in the process changes the results a little bit. Therefore all wires act as some sort of filter on your system."

No doubt, everything makes a difference, but what is important is whether the difference is audible. The tiniest variation in cable resistance, induction, and capacitance can be measured, but this doesn't mean that you will hear a difference, let alone an "improvement".

Look at the cable and wire manufacturer Belden, who makes most domestic wire and cables for other companies. Anyone can buy their best cables and wires--a good spot is Blue Jeans cable. Most other purchases of wire and cable come from China. Belden gives all measurements on their cables and wires, but they don't make outlandish claims, such as "this cable needs to be broken in". Cable 'break-in' is a myth, and is perpetuated by those with something to hide or a belief to keep intact - no-one has ever been able to show that there is any scientific justification to the claim, nor shown that the performance has changed in any way whatsoever. Cable break-in is real, and occurs between the ears of the listener - nowhere else (most certainly not in the cable).




Without exception, the major amplifier, receiver, and A/V surround preamp manufacturers don't rely on their ears as a guide. They measure everything measureable and then they measure more and more before anyone actually gets to hear one. How much of of this research has gone into wires and cables by the sellers of expensive wire and cables? I don't think we even have to answer that question.

So much has been researched into wires and cables decades ago that the major component manufacturers don't bother anymore. How many manufacturers of even the most expensive brands recommend a particular cable or wire? None, except maybe those that sell re-branded cabling--and I doubt even those make any outlandish claims. As long as the wire or cable is of sufficient diameter and designed with proper RF shielding, then all people (except maybe those whose hearing ability is similar to a dog's) will discern any audible difference.


All this wire nonsense can be traceable to the early 70's, when Monster Cable started their marketting blitzes. Other re-branding companies eventually jumped in the fray, as they saw "gold in them thar hills". And the wire retailers often make more money on interconnects and wires then they do on systems. That is a major reason the big manufacturers that sell receivers, pre-amps, and amps keep away from the wire debate and don't recommend any particular wire or interconnect. They don't want to ****-off the retailers.

Greg
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