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Ten Biggest Audio Lies: Agree or Disagree (If you disagree, you must explain why!) Votes are public!

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A bit more on topic - with cables and such, I'm a bit of a skeptic. They do matter up to a point. After that point, it's either a difference when using a spectrum analyzer or psychological (I WANT to hear a difference, but is there really a difference?).
Psychological expectations work both ways. Sometimes I don't expect to hear a difference and then I do. Sometimes I want whatever I just tried to do what I expected and it doesn't. I am always a little skeptical about some tweaks but try to remain open minded. Sometimes I am surprised.

So, as it's my system, if I can't hear a noticeable difference, I may not go for it. Other people might hear a difference, but they aren't in my room listening to my system. I want the best, but eventually I'll hit the point of diminishing returns. Whether that is at a 14 gauge gold plated, twisted pair cable or a $20 vs $200 HDMI cable, I'm not sure.
Hey man, we are all like that. Sometimes the gain just isn't worth the cost.
 

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Spoiler


I guess we don't know what we are talking about and we are wrong even this guys are wrong ... go figure :unbelievable:
I don't even have to play it. I know who they are and what stance they take. They don't get it. And there are people like that. Sadly, they may cause many to never explore areas that will yield great improvements.
 

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I don't even have to play it. I know who they are and what stance they take. They don't get it. And there are people like that. Sadly, they may cause many to never explore areas that will yield great improvements.
this one is always brought up, Danny. When you devise a test to fail and go into it with the expectation that what you are testing is hogwash and then perform the test with questionable equipment, what results can one expect?

Duh.
 

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So how about a DBT with additional conditions where the cables are also compared when the listeners are told which cables are being used, with conditions of random presentation that is true and false with respect to which cables are being played. This would inform the question of expectation bias.

Another testing pathway would be to sample runs of the same music played with different two different conditions that are being questioned for differences. Using an extremely high sample rate and a variety of analysis let's determine what the differences are that people are hearing, if any, and try to identify the nature of the difference, starting with the assumption that their is some difference. Once the data is collected at some sufficiently ridiculously high sample rate we can throw a variety of tools at it until we find differences. Wavelet analysis, autocorrelation, etc...we have tools and pervasive computing power now that we could not dream of a couple of decades ago. If we really try to find differences and there are none, this is very different than what has been done to date.
 

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So how about a DBT with additional conditions where the cables are also compared when the listeners are told which cables are being used, with conditions of random presentation that is true and false with respect to which cables are being played. This would inform the question of expectation bias.

Another testing pathway would be to sample runs of the same music played with different two different conditions that are being questioned for differences. Using an extremely high sample rate and a variety of analysis let's determine what the differences are that people are hearing, if any, and try to identify the nature of the difference, starting with the assumption that their is some difference. Once the data is collected at some sufficiently ridiculously high sample rate we can throw a variety of tools at it until we find differences. Wavelet analysis, autocorrelation, etc...we have tools and pervasive computing power now that we could not dream of a couple of decades ago. If we really try to find differences and there are none, this is very different than what has been done to date.
How about just keeping it simple and setting up a valid DBT without added complexity using good gear with the appropriate time slices and source material appropriate to the test? Like I said: it is easy and typical to set up bad regimen.

I'm just sayin'.
 

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How rude. The green smiley doesn't make up for your implication.
The implied part is all in your interpretation. It was meant as a joke.

Unless you can mathematically model all the various components that make up a power cable, interconnect, or speaker wire, and tweek them, then all I see is a bunch of alchemy used to achieve some audio nirvana. Better time is spent in fixing the acoustic environment and selecting the proper speaker for the intended room then it is to play with power cable, interconnect, or speaker wire.


Not one arguement which favors cables, power chords, and interconnects have any supporting documented evidence that would indicate why. All I have seen in this thread is "subjective" opinions. Well intentioned opinions but opinions nevertheless.

We have sent man to the moon, have elaborate communication systems whose physics and scientific principles far exceed HIFI and audio. Please don't use the "golden ear" approach to validate a subjective result that cannot be documented. I'm so thankful that Dr Floyd Tool took the time to dispell audio myths and to validate blind listening tests.
 

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Power Chords as Filters

Danny,

In one of your arguements, you stated that power chords can act as filters and that it has an ability to clean up the miles of noise found in the miles of wires in which the chord plugs into the wall. I can understand if the power cable was enveloped in a conductive shroud which would bleed of induced EMI and RFI fields to ground. I also understand how common mode rejection works in differential inputs/outputs. But how exactly does it filter the noise it conducts on the hot and neutral lines?
 

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The implied part is all in your interpretation. It was meant as a joke.

Unless you can mathematically model all the various components that make up a power cable, interconnect, or speaker wire, and tweak them, then all I see is a bunch of alchemy used to achieve some audio nirvana. Better time is spent in fixing the acoustic environment and selecting the proper speaker for the intended room then it is to play with power cable, interconnect, or speaker wire.


Not one argument which favors cables, power chords, and interconnects have any supporting documented evidence that would indicate why. All I have seen in this thread is "subjective" opinions. Well intentioned opinions but opinions nevertheless.

We have sent man to the moon, have elaborate communication systems whose physics and scientific principles far exceed HIFI and audio. Please don't use the "golden ear" approach to validate a subjective result that cannot be documented. I'm so thankful that Dr Floyd Tool took the time to dispell audio myths and to validate blind listening tests.
OK. Haha.

The key word here is "argument". The scientist will follow the math. The researcher will do the empirical testing. It is the difference between "I read it in a book somewhere" and "I did it myself". One cannot argue with reality. One can argue that the math is incomplete. Great sounding audio is not rocket science, it is real world application of clearly defined techniques that work. There is no snake oil or opinion involved here. What is involved is the part that of scientific practice that is most often overlooked by the math guys: observation: I did 'A'; I did 'B'; I added 'C'; I observed the results. There is no golden ear approach. There is trained observation. Golden ears are like the golden cow - False. There are ear training courses available. You can find them online. Education comes in many ways. The best education is the 'cut and try' or as the Aussies say: 'suck it and see'. People argue about concepts. It is part of the Arrogance of Man to think we "Know" everything. We don't.

I agree with you in that the most important interconnect in an audio system is the room. Without an optimally treated room that balances absorption and diffusion to the listening area everything else is throwing good money after bad. Fix the room first. Gotta do that. Then you start picking off all of the impediments between - the Band is over 'there' > the Band is 'RIGHT HERE'. It is a process. Everything effects everything else. Sometimes introducing a new component means you have to reposition the speakers to get the image back. Recovering objectivists such as I are inveterate tweakers. That is a fact. Call me OCD, but don't call me Golden Eared. I ain't.

There is a great saying: Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach.

<><

Dave
 

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this one is always brought up, Danny. When you devise a test to fail and go into it with the expectation that what you are testing is hogwash and then perform the test with questionable equipment, what results can one expect?

Duh.
This is what i don't get , well me and others , so basically and quote you " Without an optimally treated room that balances absorption and diffusion to the listening area everything else is throwing good money after bad. Fix the room first " but before you dish one of the guys that is on the video and people really listen to him regarding acoustics you say " perform the test with questionable equipment " ??? So what is it ???

This is also the other lie regarding cables " You only hear the improvement if you have some high end gear " If there's a improvement it doesn't matter if you have a $100 dollars speakers or a $10 000 ones since you are looking and expecting a audible improvement ... no ????
 

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This is what i don't get , well me and others , so basically and quote you " Without an optimally treated room that balances absorption and diffusion to the listening area everything else is throwing good money after bad. Fix the room first " but before you dish one of the guys that is on the video and people really listen to him regarding acoustics you say " perform the test with questionable equipment " ??? So what is it ???

This is also the other lie regarding cables " You only hear the improvement if you have some high end gear " If there's a improvement it doesn't matter if you have a $100 dollars speakers or a $10 000 ones since you are looking and expecting a audible improvement ... no ????
Yes, there are some systems that resolve more than other systems.. No, you don't have to have one of the high rez systems to hear 'some' changes. When it comes down to hearing the ant fart in the corner in the Cowboy Junkies original release, well you figure that one out. An MP3 through an iPod or a 352.8Khz/32bit recording through a 96dB sensitivity system with a minimalist signal path and battery powered tube monoblocks with good cabling... pick yer poison, kiddo.

Circular discussions lead nowhere. We are in a continuous loop and I am opting out. Objectiveists that are not willing to do the work to see... or rather, hear the differences hold nothing but their (i guess 'your') belief systems. I'm good with that. I don't care what you think. I just don't like being called, or inferred to as, a liar. You know what you think and I know what I know. Let's just leave it at that. You can'y even accept an agreemnent from me without a slam.

Buh-bye.
 

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And you debunked another big lie in audio - people will show off stuff in their own environment to con you into paying a fortune for something that you don't need. A lot of us (most?) love to show things and get excited over those things. It's not work - it's fun. For me, it's with computers. I love showing off computer stuff and graphics and cool things. I also do computer work for a living. It's fun, and I don't consider it work. That's how you guys sound - enjoy the hobby so much and you get to work with it for a living. After some big-box stores, and some smaller shops, I get the impression that most people are in it for the $$, not because they love doing what they do. Thanks for showing that not everyone is like that.

I always like the guys that say "Come check this out. It's new and awesome!" and never ask for the sale. They are showing how cool the new toys are... I guess a better word would be sharing. We're all in this hobby because we love it. We love talking about it (or arguing!), checking out the new stuff, and watching movies and listening to music. If I had the newest, coolest thing, or just something awesome, I'd definitely share it with anyone remotely interested!

A bit more on topic - with cables and such, I'm a bit of a skeptic. They do matter up to a point. After that point, it's either a difference when using a spectrum analyzer or psychological (I WANT to hear a difference, but is there really a difference?). So, as it's my system, if I can't hear a noticeable difference, I may not go for it. Other people might hear a difference, but they aren't in my room listening to my system. I want the best, but eventually I'll hit the point of diminishing returns. Whether that is at a 14 gauge gold plated, twisted pair cable or a $20 vs $200 HDMI cable, I'm not sure.
You would love our room at RMAF. Normally it is GR Research (Danny), Dodd Audio (Gary Dodd - the wizard of battery powered tube amps), dB Audio Labs (Eric Hider), and Triode Wire Labs (Pete Gryzbowski) because there are no "one size fits all" power cables or speaker cables. Every year we have killer sound. This year will be no different. There will be new gear from all of us. Come and enjoy yourself. No high pressuer "YOU GOTTA!!!" stuff there. We all love music and it is a fun time. Lots of friends come to hang out. You are all welcome.
 

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Yes, there are some systems that resolve more than other systems.. No, you don't have to have one of the high rez systems to hear 'some' changes. When it comes down to hearing the ant fart in the corner in the Cowboy Junkies original release, well you figure that one out. An MP3 through an iPod or a 352.8Khz/32bit recording through a 96dB sensitivity system with a minimalist signal path and battery powered tube monoblocks with good cabling... pick yer poison, kiddo.

Circular discussions lead nowhere. We are in a continuous loop and I am opting out. Objectiveists that are not willing to do the work to see... or rather, hear the differences hold nothing but their (i guess 'your') belief systems. I'm good with that. I don't care what you think. I just don't like being called, or inferred to as, a liar. You know what you think and I know what I know. Let's just leave it at that. You can'y even accept an agreemnent from me without a slam.

Buh-bye.
Do i have to agree with you because you say so .... sorry buddy but society doesn't agree with you . What your computer says is correct but what others computers say is .... incorrect ?????? And i am sorry since you can call other's liars but if the coin flips to your side it's wrong ????

Have a good one and good luck with your product .
 

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OK. Haha.

The key word here is "argument". The scientist will follow the math. The researcher will do the empirical testing. It is the difference between "I read it in a book somewhere" and "I did it myself". One cannot argue with reality. One can argue that the math is incomplete. Great sounding audio is not rocket science, it is real world application of clearly defined techniques that work.
Scientists will conduct emprical experiments to validate the math. Take a look a hard look at Paul Barton's work at PSB. Total science with subjective listening groups involved. Where improvements can be made, he makes them based on the math. However, unlike some, he's able to do the math and come out with stellar products again and again. Everything in his designs are accounted for and modelled. None of this black hole stuff. People who can do and with repeatable predictable results time and time again.

Do you apply testing procedures to your end products? What do the tests consist of? Do they meet spec? How do you make up for variances in your supply chain?
 

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Scientists will conduct empirical experiments to validate the math. Take a look a hard look at Paul Barton's work at PSB. Total science with subjective listening groups involved. Where improvements can be made, he makes them based on the math. However, unlike some, he's able to do the math and come out with stellar products again and again. Everything in his designs are accounted for and modelled. None of this black hole stuff. People who can do and with repeatable predictable results time and time again.

Do you apply testing procedures to your end products? What do the tests consist of? Do they meet spec? How do you make up for variances in your supply chain?
Somehow you have the idea that all I do is shoot from the hip in product design. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Product design always begins with the math. to do it any other way would be foolish. I have design parameters that serve as the basis for each product. When they are completed I qual test each one to make sure they fall into the range of design target. Standard deviation must be less than +/- 2%. For testing I use a Techtronix scope and various and sundry Fluke and B&K meters. Testing begins with visual inspection of all of the solder connections, a strain test on cables to insure structural integrity (on the cables) LCR measurements, bandwidth, etc. etc, etc. Then everything is given a short burn-in and retested for qual validation. There are a couple of other tests that are proprietary and are no one's business, but mine. Then cables are cryogenically treated (yeah, I know) and finally retested to check for drift and to insure that they are still within spec. Just FYI, LC remains the same, but R decreases by ~.8% - 1% after cryo in power cables, a tad less in interconnects.

My supply chain is a consistent one and chosen for that consistency. All of my components are mil spec or better and testing is done on individual wire batches to insure consistency. Besides that, I know the guy and he tells me of any changes. There have been none in 5 years.

My soldering station is a Hakko and my reflow iron is a Chinese cheaper because I seldom use one. Solder is an SnAgCu alloy.

I hope that satisfies you, I'm getting weary about now of this whole topic.

In closing let me relate an experience. I built 3 cables that had LCR within .5% of each other. We had a listening session using a switch box that I build with identical runs, components, yada yada.... Testing was DB. see, even us tweaks use it. This one is set up not to fail but yield usable results because I haven't got the time to waste.

Over three successive sessions results were unanimous (5 participants to eliminate a tie) and repeatable. Each cable was chosen from the other two as having specific sonics unique from the others. The difference between the cables was simply insulation type.

THAT is why we do empirical (subjective listening) testing.
 

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What is the mechanism that explains the difference in the cables? What mathematical model do you have for the differences in the sound?
 

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Re: Power Chords as Filters

Sorry fellows. I have been a little busy and haven't been able to reply for a few days.

Danny,

In one of your arguements, you stated that power chords can act as filters and that it has an ability to clean up the miles of noise found in the miles of wires in which the chord plugs into the wall. I can understand if the power cable was enveloped in a conductive shroud which would bleed of induced EMI and RFI fields to ground. I also understand how common mode rejection works in differential inputs/outputs. But how exactly does it filter the noise it conducts on the hot and neutral lines?
There are a lot of ways the cable can become a filter.

Let's say for instance that we did add a conductive shroud around the wiring to act as a shield since you say that you can understand this working or having some effect. Did or does the shielding change LCR? It might be implemented in a way that has no effect on LCR yet it is shielded and sounds different. Why?

Braiding can also cause a cancellation effect that becomes a filter. This can be seen though in capacitance. Some might not see this added capacitance if they don't measure up high enough to see it. Works great though.

ERS cloth is like a RFI and EMI sponge. It not only has a filtering effect but can have an over filtering effect. One has to be very careful not to use too much of this stuff in some applications or it can have some adverse effect. You'd have to hear it to know how much is too much. It can suck the life out of the music if you are not careful.

I have some power cables with small capacitors built into the ends themselves. That one should be easy to grasp. It is an added filter. One cap goes from hot to neutral and another from neutral to ground. It makes a path of least resistance to ground for high frequency ranges.

Most people are aware of surge suppressors. Miles and miles of cable bring power to the home, then there is a bunch of cable in the home, and then a little piece of four foot cable with a little power strip on it will filter out a voltage spike. And everyone accepts that.

Power cables often work the same way. Miles and miles of cables bring power to the home carrying with it RFI. All the cabling in the house does the same. Then in that last four feet of cable the power cable can be configured to filter some of that out. That's not so hard to understand.
 

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This is also the other lie regarding cables " You only hear the improvement if you have some high end gear " If there's a improvement it doesn't matter if you have a $100 dollars speakers or a $10 000 ones since you are looking and expecting a audible improvement ... no ????
Please let me illustrate this effect.

Here are some speakers that I sent around for a free demo. Read the thread. http://www.hometheatershack.com/for...ire-capacitors-resistors-make-difference.html This was done for educational purposes.

In the speakers there is the stock crossover and an identical higher quality crossover. It allows anyone to A/B or blind A/B (with the help of a friend) the two crossovers. So one can hear the differences the higher quality components make. With both networks the two speakers measure exactly the same. But they sound quite different. The stock crossover uses parts that cause a smearing effect. Music sounds more blurred together. The higher quality parts allow more space between the notes. It is cleaner and easy to hear greater levels of detail. And the higher quality parts allow one to hear the differences in imaging and sound stage. Layering of instruments in the sound stage are much more apparent, and the sound stage is deeper. The stock crossover creates a more two dimensional effect of everything being in the plane of the speakers.

This is the effect of cheaper parts used in budget systems. The same holds true for electronics. And it is a cumulative effect. You can have a LOT of adverse things effecting the sound. So improvements made in cleaner power are less noticed. This is especially true for cheap gear using somewhat noisy power supplies to begin with.

Strip away all of that with higher quality gear and differences between anything become much easier to hear and discern between.

The same is true regarding the speakers. On budget system the differences are less apparent. On a really high end system the differences are very apparent and noticed very quickly.

I can still send those Behringer speakers around for you guys if you want to learn for yourselves the differences higher quality crossover parts can have. Another funny thing is that I sent those speakers around with some really good speaker cables. Many that have demo'ed the speakers tried the speaker cables in their system with their current speakers. And many are stunned at the difference the speaker cables make. You can get two A/B comparisons in from one demo. And it is free. Well, almost free. You have to cover the shipping to the next guy in line.
 

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What is the mechanism that explains the difference in the cables? What mathematical model do you have for the differences in the sound?
That is exactly the point. There is none. They simply sound different. That is what Danny and I are trying to convey. The math falls apart when faced with the reality of perception. There are some things That either can't be measured or are poopooed as insignificant by the math. Dielectric absorption of the insulator is just one example. Quite frankly speaking, I don't care about the math involved much any more. Certainly it is the starting point from which a good cable is designed. It is the foundation upon which the cable voice is built. Yes there is a process there, too. Some things sound bad, some things sound good, others fall somewhere in between. Building a "good sounding" cable is a cut and try process. Basically it comes down to whether we believe our ears or not. I do. I am a certified trained listener because I took the course in ear training and I passed the tests. I even have a certificate around here somewhere stating that I did. That is unless Gayle threw it away in one of her "cleaning and clearing" binges. Don't care much about the awards. I just do what I do. I'm not out to try to impress anyone. I do what I do for the love of the music. I had a career in the semiconductor industry ended when Philips Semiconductor pulled up shop in the USA. As an Implant Technician I worked on what we call the death ray and I learned a lot about how things really do work down to an atomic scale. I know materials, material purity, cryogenics and changes of energy states very well. I am not an electrical engineer. I build things that work. I know how they work, why they work and can predict what the effects of a particular cable will be on a given piece of gear because I have done the work to find out the hows', whys' and wherefores' of my gig. My son in law Brian is a lead engineer for ASM. They provide tools and services for the semiconductor industry, primarily Intel. He calls me a Mad Scientist. Maybe so. Call me crazy. Maybe so.
 

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Do i have to agree with you because you say so .... sorry buddy but society doesn't agree with you . What your computer says is correct but what others computers say is .... incorrect ?????? And i am sorry since you can call other's liars but if the coin flips to your side it's wrong ????

Have a good one and good luck with your product .

I am not Dave but I'd really like to take this one.

Please don't believe me. Please don't take my word for it. Please allow me to show you that differences and cables and conditioners are easily heard and make a positive difference in your listening experience.

Yes guys like Peter Aczel and Ethan Winer can tell you whatever they want. And I can tell you without question that they don't know what I know. They don't have the experiences that I have. They don't have the type of system that I have. And what they have said is very much untrue. They may not think they are lying when they say what they do, but it is out of ignorance. And I don't say that to be mean or take a shot at them. I say that because it is true. And I know it to be true.

So don't believe those guys. Hey don't believe me either. Find out for yourself. I'll help you!

And if one guys hears no difference then he can say he hears no difference. No problem. But he cannot conclude there is no difference because he doesn't hear one.

To go back to humorous illustration, that would be like going out to look for Bigfoot, not finding one, and declaring there is no Bigfoot.
 

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There continues to be the perception that electrical engineering as an industry has not given much thought to how wire, interconnects, insulation / dielectric materials, and transmission line design and how discontinuities in materials or the transmission line design affects the propagation of electrical signals.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.

If anyone is interested in this sort of thing here is some real information.
http://www.simberian.com/AppNotes/ModelingConductorLoss_2007_02.pdf

You also cannot simply ignore orders of magnitude when you want to debate this topic.
The smallest valued component in a speaker, power supply, amplifier output....absolutely dwarfs the largest electrical parameter of a power cord, interconnect wire, or speaker cable.
I am not an acoustics guy so sound may be magic (probably not though), I am an electrical guy and I know that when the audio frequency signal is still electricity it is not magic.

I love "HiFi" and home theater, if people want power line conditioners, fancy power cords, cryogenic treated speaker wires, I say get them....but these are the play things of the well heeled audiophile.

Here is a article that will appeal to a cable salesman or audiophile.
http://www.lessloss.com/docs/high-end-audio-interconnect-cable.pdf
While the author is mostly correct with the presentation, 75 MHz and 20 KHz have little in common as far as the lumped element components of a 1 meter transmission line.
See for yourself the electrical wavelength of different frequencies, http://www.csgnetwork.com/freqwavelengthcalc.html

Dog-gone-it I promised myself I would not post in this thread.
 
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