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Audiophile Cable
Old 07-23-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Audiophile Cable

A few times questions come up about audio etc cable quality. Some pay insane amounts of $$$$ for speaker cables or for that metter ethenet cables.

AssTechnica dissected a $340.- ethernet audiphile cable for edification.
While nicely made, none of it has anything to do with good quality audio, or for that matter ethernet speeds.

I am a fan of hevy gauge zip cord for speaker wires and whatever I find cheap as ethernet.

There is even a link to what a search for audio porn reveals.

You can click through the pics for the gory details. BTW the comments are priceless.
Gallery: We tear apart a $340 audiophile Ethernet cable and look inside | Ars Technica
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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My ears are not as good as they used to be. Age and tinnitus.

For me, as long as it makes enough sound that it reminds me of what the song sounded like it's good enough. I kind of play the song in my head while the external output sort of prompts me along. Hard with new music though...

Personally, I use lampcord for most of my audio hookups.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:05 AM   #3
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I have experimented with cables. Nothing to outlandish-I think the most I paid for an RCA cable interconnect was $75. I've tried different metals and gauges. I could hear a difference. Subtle but real.


Won't make a poor system sound good. If you have a good system it can subtly improve it.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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The thread title is, well, misleading, but also unhelpful, and likely to invite the wrong type of reader. Any chance we can change it?
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keim View Post
I have experimented with cables. Nothing to outlandish-I think the most I paid for an RCA cable interconnect was $75. I've tried different metals and gauges. I could hear a difference. Subtle but real.


Won't make a poor system sound good. If you have a good system it can subtly improve it.
In some (most?) cases, I think it is more accurate to say that it can subtly change the sound.

Some of the exotic/$$$ cables I've seen have very high capacitance and/or inductance, and/or resistance. So they might change the sound slightly, modifying the frequency response a bit.

This might be perceived by some as an 'improvement', especially if they believe in high $$ cables. And in some cases, you might be able to say they legitimately improved the sound - say your system was a bit 'bright', and the cable attenuated the highs a bit.

But you could probably do the same thing with a 0.1 ohm R and a 20 cent cap.

-ERD50

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Old 07-23-2015, 11:24 AM   #6
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In some (most?) cases, I think it is more accurate to say that it can subtly change the sound.

Some of the exotic/$$$ cables I've seen have very high capacitance and/or inductance, and/or resistance. So they might change the sound slightly, modifying the frequency response a bit.

This might be perceived by some as an 'improvement', especially if they believe in high $$ cables. And in some cases, you might be able to say they legitimately improved the sound - say your system was a bit 'bright', and the cable attenuated the highs a bit.

But you could probably do the same thing with a 0.1 ohm R and a 20 cent cap.

-ERD50

.
I am a fairly knowledgeable consumer. I built (from a kit) my own 2a3 tube based amps, 12au7 (tube) based pre, and speakers. I definitely understand how changing various components can impact sound.

I think change and improve can both be accurate statements.

I've heard cables that basically served as a tone control. Add or subtract a little treble or bass. To me that is a simple change.

The first time I bought "audiophile" cables it was a definite improvement. I tried Dark Side of the Moon. Suddenly I was making out the subtlest whispers and details. Marked improvement.

The above said, I don't think $$$=better. You need to listen for what has synergy. I've made my own, and achieved good results. And I've made my own out of other materials and achieved poor results...

I agree-the title of this thread needs a change.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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Very few double blind test are done by audio companies concerning cable audio effects. As an engineer I can tell you very very little change, if any, can be noticed by the human ear for any reasonable sized cable. Bottom line is I very seriously doubt you could tell the difference between the over priced monster cables and zip cord used for powering your typical table lamp. If you could tell the difference, odds are 50-50 about which one you would choose as better. It's interesting that the sound that tube aficionados rave about is actually a distortion of the original signal.

Connectors can be a different issue. A flashed gold plating on the connector and soldered connections can certainly make a difference--if not immediately, certainly in longevity of a good connection. Thumping bass can make obvious a poor connection to even a tin eared skeptic like me!
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:37 AM   #8
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Very few double blind test are done by audio companies concerning cable audio effects. As an engineer I can tell you very very little change, if any, can be noticed by the human ear for any reasonable sized cable. Bottom line is I very seriously doubt you could tell the difference between the over priced monster cables and zip cord used for powering your typical table lamp. If you could tell the difference, odds are 50-50 about which one you would choose as better. It's interesting that the sound that tube aficionados rave about is actually a distortion of the original signal.

Connectors can be a different issue. A flashed gold plating on the connector and soldered connections can certainly make a difference--if not immediately, certainly in longevity of a good connection. Thumping bass can make obvious a poor connection to even a tin eared skeptic like me!

Out of curiosity, ever give a listen to cable changes yourself, Ark?

Tubes are an interesting beast. Different tubes can sound very different. Differences in imaging, and equalization.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:39 AM   #9
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I wish I could not tell any differences.


But, went into the rabbit hole and had my own NFW WTF experiences.


Contentious issue across the internet...easily explodes...put the cables down and step back slowly please...
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:46 AM   #10
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I wish I could not tell any differences.


But, went into the rabbit hole and had my own NFW WTF experiences.


Contentious issue across the internet...easily explodes...put the cables down and step back slowly please...
NFW WTF What do these mean (I think I know WTF...)
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:50 AM   #11
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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NFW WTF What do these mean (I think I know WTF...)
NFW - no f.... way!
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:01 PM   #13
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NFW - no f.... way!
I suspected a variation. I'm rough like that.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #14
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Tubes are an interesting beast. Different tubes can sound very different. Differences in imaging, and equalization distortion.
Fixed.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:21 PM   #15
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I use pretty cheap speaker cable
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #16
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I remember Best Buy used to sell "Monster" HDMI cables for top dollar. Total scam.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:28 PM   #17
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Fixed.
Could be. Here is what I know-and all that matters to me. I like it.


Most people listening to my system say it is the best sound they have ever heard. I built the amplification and speaker chain for about $1k. Musical. Engaging. Dynamic. Enjoyable.

Had a professional musician over. Multiple albums, and has toured extensively in US and Europe. He planned to stay for a few minutes. Got the stereo going. Pretty soon he was asking "Can you play this... Ooooh nice. How about playing this..." He lost track of time, and stayed playing various songs for 1.5 hours.

If that is the result of distortion-I say BRING IT ON, BABY!
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Got too much money and time on your hands?
Old 07-23-2015, 12:44 PM   #18
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Got too much money and time on your hands?

Ethernet cable for audio purity? Bah.

The real improvements come from proper power connections, using properly 'baked' power cables and outlets. These avoid unpleasant distortions from power 'sag' while playing demanding pieces with high dynamic range. I recommend the Furutech GTX-D Rhodium outlets, vastly superior to that Hubell or Leviton your home builder installed. Don't forget the GTX outlet frame to minimize sonomagnetic flux deformation. If you like a slightly warmer, more laid-back presentation, go with the Furutech GTX-D Gold outlets. I consider both to be superior to the Oyaide R1 outlets.

Either Furutech outlet is a superb match for The Essence Reference-II power cords with Furutech plugs.

If nothing else, make sure all your cables have been cryoed to -300 degrees F or lower. Make sure all exposed screws in all wall plates have their slots properly oriented. When properly aligned, the effect is truly wonderful, as though the veils have been lifted from your ears.

* All language and advice cribbed from actual audiophile web sites
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #19
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:53 PM   #20
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