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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 04-17-2009   #31
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Default Re: What cables do you use?

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Originally Posted by DaveLadely View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by the placebo effect in my case; it certainly is fully operational and irrationally and hotly supported and defended by those who do pay insane prices for cables. Did you see the double blind testing on vodka; the guy who says he hates Schmirnoff and that Grey Goose is his favorite for certain wound up choosing Schmirnoff and listed Grey Goose at the bottom in the test. Pretty embarrassing for him, but illustrative of the syndrome of justifying snootiness and paying for the most expensive version of a product.
I have always purchased well made, but economical cables as I have always known about the hype, from the time it began as a marketing ploy. I majored in physics in college, as did Bob Carver, and I worked in the high end audio/video field for 40 years, since college.
I use a lot of cables because I have an extensive audio/video system, including a 12[ front projection HDTV, an LCD HDTV, 7.2 system with biamped speakers, two big subwoofers ( I have speakers for a 10.2 system which Tomlinson Holman has developed ), using a Rane electronic crossover, several separate Sunfire Signature amplifiers, a Sunfire Theater Grand V preamp signed by Bob, a Sony PS3, a Wii, latest blue ray separate player, three Denon multi disk professional CD changers, Tivo HD XL, a DVD recorder with component inputs, a Sony Hi 8 recorder/player for my old Hi 8 travel tapes, a Sony SHVS recorder/player for my old SVHS tapes, a straight line tracking turntable, provision for my Mac computer, etc, so you can imagine what my system looked like from the back when I was using the economical cables!

And maybe you can see why I was daunted whenever I had to move things around or troubleshoot something and you may see why I finally decided on the colored, custom length cables, some with 90 degree connectors even if I had to pay a bit more for them than for good, but economical cables. Since I bought so many and have worked in the audio video industry, Blue Jeans gave me a substantial discount. Now, when I look behind my system, it looks very neat and organized, and I can trace each cable very easily, almost a pleasure rather than a hair pulling event! That is worth something to me. Otherwise I would still be buying economical cables, as you mention.

For the record, since I owned a audio/video business and purchased a lot of cables, I get a significant discount from Blue Jeans Cables. Furthermore, they offer various colors. Ever try to troubleshoot or follow all black cables? As I am a person with little patience I am willing to pay a bit more for cables of different colors. How about custom lengths? I don't like drooping cables, I like a very neat, organized cable installation. I am willing to pay a bit more for custom length cables for no extra cost of labor. How about 90 degree connectors at one end, straight at the other, again, for neater installation. I am willing to pay a bit more than I would for bargain cables when I can get those connectors for no extra charge for the cost of the cables. Otherwise, I would be a fool not to continue to buy economical, but well made cables.
So far, no one has taken my up on my dare to do an honest double blind test on a collection of various cables, maybe even include the coat hangers.
Cheers
Dave Ladely in Snohomish, WA
I personally HAVE done many double blind tests as well as testing cables with professional testing equipment hence my previous statement "Anyone who spends more for cables than you can get from www.monoprice.com is simply fooling themselves."
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Old 06-30-2009   #32
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Thumbs down Re: What cables do you use?

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I'm glad the placebo effect of pricey cables satisfies you.
Signal transfer at video, and especially audio, frequencies is quite a simple matter, since signals of those frequencies are not affected by factors which can affect signals in cables at much higher frequencies, and this is is known to engineers. To imply that "signal transfer" of differing cables varies among the cables has never been proven or demonstrated to be true except under subjective conditions usually compounded by the power of suggestion. I have difficulty in respecting subjective opinions masquerading as truely objective opinions, however well intentioned. All it really does is perpetuate ignorance and line the pockets of those promoting super expensive cables.

This method of promoting has been with humans from the era of witch doctors, to those who said the sun orbited the earth, to patent medicines, and today's fad diets and fake health claims. Subjective opinion were the bulwark of the Dark Ages, and the opinions and utterances of those that claimed the sun orbited the earth were respected and generally believed. Anyone who contradicted such opinions were, in the Dark Ages, were few and were considered heretics. In the high end audio world, those who cast doubt upon the claims about high end cables are similarly viewed as heretics, since the promotion has near religious overtones.
Only very careful observation and experimentation was eventually able to prove that the earth orbited the sun. Only true and rigorous observation, experimentation, and, perhaps the most important, double blind testing, can yield factual truth about such devices as cables. Everytime there has been a doiuble blind test of a variety of high end cables, including moderate priced cables in the test, the results of the test demonstated that those who listened could not reliably hear any diference in sound of the cables.
However, that does not mean this will have any effect on true believers, anymore than Muslims can be convinced that there are not 67 virgins in heaven waiting for each man who dies. In fact, these Muslims demand respect of this belief and spread it to others of their faith. Sound familiar?
I viewed a double blind test of vodkas not long ago, which included some super expensive vodkas. One man asserted that Grey Goose was the best and that he would not drink lesser brands. After the testing was done, it turned out that he had actually placed Grey Goose at the very bottom during the test! So much for subjective thinkiing and opinions. People who relied on and adopted subjective opinions were instrumental in preserving and extending the Dark Ages.

In a recent double blind test of speaker wires, a set comprised of coat hangers welded together did just as well among the test group as did expensive speaker cables.
So, as I did before, I double dare any proponent of very expensive cables to undergo double blind testing with an array of diferent cables, including moderate priced cables. Double blind testing separates the "men from the boys" and those spreading ignorant opinions and subjective thinking, including notriously non credible testimonials from those who are actually interested in objective means of learning the truth rather than go the easy way of asking self appointed "authorities".

I have discussed this with my old friend, Bob Carver, founder of Sunfire, Carver Corp, and Phase Linear, a graduat in physics, who has some insight and knowledge of this matter, and he also supports the results of the numeroous double blind testing
which has univerally exposed the cable mythology. I would like to hear that another scientifically controlled double blind test has been conducted by some of those who subscribe to this forum. Enough of Dick Cheney type thinking and opinions. The Dark Ages should stay dead, not be resuscitated by emotional, subjective opinions!
cheers
Dave Ladely
DaveLadely@aol.com
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Old 06-30-2009   #33
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Default Re: What cables do you use?

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Originally Posted by DaveLadely View Post
Signal transfer at video, and especially audio, frequencies is quite a simple matter, since signals of those frequencies are not affected by factors which can affect signals in cables at much higher frequencies, and this is is known to engineers. To imply that "signal transfer" of differing cables varies among the cables has never been proven or demonstrated to be true except under subjective conditions usually compounded by the power of suggestion. I have difficulty in respecting subjective opinions masquerading as truely objective opinions, however well intentioned. All it really does is perpetuate ignorance and line the pockets of those promoting super expensive cables.

This method of promoting has been with humans from the era of witch doctors, to those who said the sun orbited the earth, to patent medicines, and today's fad diets and fake health claims. Subjective opinion were the bulwark of the Dark Ages, and the opinions and utterances of those that claimed the sun orbited the earth were respected and generally believed. Anyone who contradicted such opinions were, in the Dark Ages, were few and were considered heretics. In the high end audio world, those who cast doubt upon the claims about high end cables are similarly viewed as heretics, since the promotion has near religious overtones.
Only very careful observation and experimentation was eventually able to prove that the earth orbited the sun. Only true and rigorous observation, experimentation, and, perhaps the most important, double blind testing, can yield factual truth about such devices as cables. Everytime there has been a doiuble blind test of a variety of high end cables, including moderate priced cables in the test, the results of the test demonstated that those who listened could not reliably hear any diference in sound of the cables.
However, that does not mean this will have any effect on true believers, anymore than Muslims can be convinced that there are not 67 virgins in heaven waiting for each man who dies. In fact, these Muslims demand respect of this belief and spread it to others of their faith. Sound familiar?
I viewed a double blind test of vodkas not long ago, which included some super expensive vodkas. One man asserted that Grey Goose was the best and that he would not drink lesser brands. After the testing was done, it turned out that he had actually placed Grey Goose at the very bottom during the test! So much for subjective thinkiing and opinions. People who relied on and adopted subjective opinions were instrumental in preserving and extending the Dark Ages.

In a recent double blind test of speaker wires, a set comprised of coat hangers welded together did just as well among the test group as did expensive speaker cables.
So, as I did before, I double dare any proponent of very expensive cables to undergo double blind testing with an array of diferent cables, including moderate priced cables. Double blind testing separates the "men from the boys" and those spreading ignorant opinions and subjective thinking, including notriously non credible testimonials from those who are actually interested in objective means of learning the truth rather than go the easy way of asking self appointed "authorities".

I have discussed this with my old friend, Bob Carver, founder of Sunfire, Carver Corp, and Phase Linear, a graduat in physics, who has some insight and knowledge of this matter, and he also supports the results of the numeroous double blind testing
which has univerally exposed the cable mythology. I would like to hear that another scientifically controlled double blind test has been conducted by some of those who subscribe to this forum. Enough of Dick Cheney type thinking and opinions. The Dark Ages should stay dead, not be resuscitated by emotional, subjective opinions!
cheers
Dave Ladely
DaveLadely@aol.com
Well said!
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Old 07-03-2009   #34
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Default Re: What cables do you use?

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Originally Posted by DaveLadely View Post
Snipped...I viewed a double blind test of vodkas not long ago, which included some super expensive vodkas. One man asserted that Grey Goose was the best and that he would not drink lesser brands. After the testing was done, it turned out that he had actually placed Grey Goose at the very bottom during the test! So much for subjective thinkiing and opinions. People who relied on and adopted subjective opinions were instrumental in preserving and extending the Dark Ages....
Dave Ladely
DaveLadely@aol.com
While I totally agree with Dave's sentiments (I have Blue Jean and Belkin cables, as well as no-name heavy-guage speaker wiring because I'm more concerned with durability than signal accuracy; any wire I have has more than enough bandwidth and accuracy for the specs of my output equipment), I don't believe a vodka-tasting test is an appropriate analogy for scientific testing of frequency response and accurate pass-through of audio information. Asking a bunch of people to taste vodka and arbitrarily decide which one they LIKE THE BEST obviously has nothing more than personal preference as the primary criteria. Further, cherry-picking the most embarrassing result proves nothing about the test as a whole. Nonetheless, best in food and drink depends entirely on who's doing the tasting and what they are grading on.

On the other end of the testing spectrum, if you have various types of wire connected to standardized input and output devices, with a measuring device placed inline, you can see if there's a difference in what comes out the end. If your criteria for winning this test is that there's as little change between the ends as possible, then you can study any combination of interconnects and get a scientific answer. If not, you're deciding which is subjectively better, and you are no better than a guy pulled in off the street and asked, "hey buddy, which vodka tastes best to you?" I'm sure Dave will agree.

EricO

NAD, Denon and Harman Kardon sources, NHT and Panasonic audio and video output
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Old 07-04-2009   #35
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Talking Re: What cables do you use?

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While I totally agree with Dave's sentiments (I have Blue Jean and Belkin cables, as well as no-name heavy-guage speaker wiring because I'm more concerned with durability than signal accuracy; any wire I have has more than enough bandwidth and accuracy for the specs of my output equipment), I don't believe a vodka-tasting test is an appropriate analogy for scientific testing of frequency response and accurate pass-through of audio information. Asking a bunch of people to taste vodka and arbitrarily decide which one they LIKE THE BEST obviously has nothing more than personal preference as the primary criteria. Further, cherry-picking the most embarrassing result proves nothing about the test as a whole. Nonetheless, best in food and drink depends entirely on who's doing the tasting and what they are grading on.

On the other end of the testing spectrum, if you have various types of wire connected to standardized input and output devices, with a measuring device placed inline, you can see if there's a difference in what comes out the end. If your criteria for winning this test is that there's as little change between the ends as possible, then you can study any combination of interconnects and get a scientific answer. If not, you're deciding which is subjectively better, and you are no better than a guy pulled in off the street and asked, "hey buddy, which vodka tastes best to you?" I'm sure Dave will agree.

EricO

NAD, Denon and Harman Kardon sources, NHT and Panasonic audio and video output
Actually, I think the vodka analogy isn't that bad an analogy, since the dignity is about the same when it turns out that test subjects in a double blind test can't tell any audible difference in speaker cables than expensive cables, some with etherial names, and coat hangers welded together.
Remember, this discussion is whether anyone can REALLY HEAR the difference between interconnects, or whether they are fooling themselves, talking themselves into opinions and conclusions, injecting bias and affected by the power of suggestion, and other aspects of subjective conclusions. There are many, many examples of people having and expressing very strong beliefs that, when tested reliably in a controlled, scientific double blind test, turn out to be wrong, and are sometimes embarrassed. Like the guy who claimed only the most expensive vodka was the best.
This discussion has never included any claims about actual scientific tests with sensitive instruments, and used such tests to back up their opinions about interconnects. The opinions have always been well within the methods used to arrive at subjective conclusions. In fact, the arguments I have heard involve only hearing the comparisions and, if they were told that scientific tests proved a different interconnect proved to be better, the "true believers", like most "true believers", likely would stubbornly insist that scientific testing was inadequate for testing the 'etherial' nuances that their ears were hearing.
While I agree that rigorous scientific tests would likely show some differences between the interconnects, the differences would likely be in such things as capacitance and inductance (thick cables vs. thin cables) and/or resistance (thin wire vs. thicker wire, copper vs silver). However, these slight differences are operative only at MUCH higher frequencies than audio frequencies.
So, what I have been addressing has been the claims by those who say they can HEAR an audible difference between interconnects, and especially when they and the marketers of interconnects further claim that expensive cables sound better than less expensive interconnects. As Bob Carver and I chuckled about the more ethereal the name, the better the cable.
I have heard professionals mention that internet site that sells fairly inexpensive cables and praised them highly. Personally, I have purchased Belden cables and also Blue Jeans cables as they will provide me with custom length cables in a variety of colors, making tracing of cables much easier, and without the mess of standard length cables.
While I do respect opinions relating to taste, I cannot respect the spread of subjective opinions as they tend to spread ignorance at a high cost to consumers and high profit to promoters. In marketing, it is a well known rule that perception is everything. Its not a perfect world and I believe the customers/victims of this clever way to obtain excess profits mean well, not everyone can be a physicist. But I don't like to be misled or conned, whether by con artists, marketing schemes, or profiteers.
cheers
dave
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Old 07-06-2009   #36
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Lightbulb Re: What cables do you use?

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I personally HAVE done many double blind tests as well as testing cables with professional testing equipment hence my previous statement "Anyone who spends more for cables than you can get from www.monoprice.com is simply fooling themselves."
The history of man and woman is rife with far more examples of people being able to fool themselves, and others, than examples of people making use of their mind's abilities to separate truth from fable, much less searches for truth. Searches for truth involve more than just listening to self appointed authorities, and that is one of the problems, and was the major reason that the Dark Ages lasted so long. Only when a few people decided to "go against the flow" of the prevailing beliefs and methods of arriving at these beliefs, which they evidently sincerely believe, did the Dark Ages begin to see the light, later called the "Enlightenment". But we see here that the Dark Age methods of arriving at conclusions persist to this day, and are even espoused by "true believers" who, like those Dark Age "thinkers" before them, feel threatened by contradiction and doubly threatened by scientific analysis, including double blind testing. As in the Dark Ages, some even attack scientific methods because they felt comfortable with their myths and fallacies and want the cloak themselves with them. They feel they are accumulating knowledge by listening to fools and self appointed authorities, but how can one claim they have learned and gained knowledge when what they really have learned is the opinions of others? And by their reliance on subjective thinking and being influenced, however consciously or subconsciously or subliminally, by the well known power of suggestion, they have successfully deluded themselves and then proceed to spread the ignorance while claiming to spread knowledge.

This so-called "difference of opinion" among those who espouse expensive cables (including those with mythological names, how apt!) over reasonably price cables, is, again, the war against the using reliable methods for determining truth and facts vs. time honored Dark Ages methodology of relying entirely upon opinions derived from other opinions, from subjective thinking, from bias, from myths, trust of self appointed authorities, mentors, all of which provide a conclusion which may feel satisfying, but which lacks the foundation of truth.

I see no one has taken me up on my dare to conduct a simple double blind test of their assumptions and true beliefs, though one person says he actually did in the past and, after listening under double blind controls, wound up buying very reasonably priced cables. From monoprice, the very source the professonals referred me to as their favored supplier for even multimillion dollar installations. Smart audiophile, and wise, too for not falling for the promotional tricks.

By the way, www.monoprice.dot com is the choice of supply of cables and related items by several professionals I have spoken with. So, that makes it very simple to conduct a double blind test, merely buy a couple of monoprice's cables, gather a few of those fancy, expensive cables, maybe even one or two that the promoters and marketers have attached cool sounding mythological names to, and arrange a simple double blind test, perhaps similar to that conducted on the expensive vodkas, including a couple with cool sounding names vs. reasonably priced vodkas. Hey, I have done half the work for you already!
Cheers,
Dave Ladely, heretic

Last edited by DaveLadely; 07-08-2009 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: add into
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