Expensive interconnects, spkr wire, etc.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by TenSteel, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. TenSteel

    TenSteel Ted Cruz suicide hotline OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    13,837
    Likes Received:
    499
    Location:
    San Diego
    After looking at virtual systems on Audiogon, I'm amazed at how much people plan on spending on "audiophile quality" cables. One person was even getting $200+ speaker wire to hook up his JBL S38's! :rofl: IMO, it makes more sense to invest all that money into some better speakers. It seems the only time it makes sense to spend a few hundred dollars in cables (and that's all I'd ever spend, no matter what my system), is if you have some rather high-end speakers and preamp/amplifiers. Spending more than $350 on wires IMO is a total waste.

    Has anyone upgraded to premium cables and noticed a huge difference? Was it really worth the money?
     
  2. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stealing your internetz
  3. GoGophers

    GoGophers New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lots-o-Lakes, USA
    The only cables I'm willing to spend a lot for are digital, optical or component video cables. All of my other cabling is basic (not crappy) Monster cable.
     
  4. 04

    04 Guest

    Halliugja (sp)!!!!!!!!! Someone has seen the light!!! Yes cables are cables, copper is copper, the only thing that expensive ones are good for is rejecting noise. Even cheap ones can do a decent job at that. What I cannot believe is when people say they hear a difference between two high end cables. Id like to see them pick out the cables in a blind test.....
     
  5. 04

    04 Guest

    Um digital and optical cables should be the ones you do not need to spend a high amount of money on. You dont see expensive IDE cables being sold for computers do you? How would a cheap cable interfere with a digital signal unless it was so poorly constructed that it blocked it? Some people say that expensive optical cables are needed to reduce jitter due to the fact that their is no clock governing the PCM or DD/DTS signal. They say that certain parts can get there too fast or too slow. I personally do not believe that. As for the component video cable, try using the cheapest set that you can find and compare it with the monster stuff, see if you can see a difference.

    Wayne Parham of www.pispeakers.com uses 18awg cheap wire in his 10pi speakers. Guess how much he sells them for? Over 3000 dollars per pair. He wrote a BOOK!!! http://www.pispeakers.com/Speaker_Crossover.doc on sound reproduciton using prosound woofers and compresson drivers. He is even running 1200w to the pair from a crown macrotech amplifier. His son was wiring some crossovers and I saw the roll of wire. It was good old supioror wire sold by Partsexpress. The same wire I am using right now. You would probably consider it "crappy".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2002
  6. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stealing your internetz
    Congratulations! You've just been had, hook, line and sinker by the placebo effect! Fret not, you're far from being the only one unfortunately. Hey it's your money, spend it as you like.
     
  7. 04

    04 Guest

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    :bigthumb:
     
  8. 04

    04 Guest

    Grumpy, that information is biased! If you were selling something, don't you think that you would have a preference towards it? Do you have any articles that are not biased? The MIT stuff talk about how capacitance and inductance become factors in cable design, but they do not specify how much.

    "Most audio cables have problems in this area between zero Hertz (DC) and 1 kHz. It is not uncommon for audio cable with poor inductive characteristics to lose nearly all of the inductive phase angle at low frequencies (<100 Hz). Such a deviation from the ideal is shown in the non-ideal phasor diagram in Appendix B, Figure 3. This loss of inductive phase angle has tremendous implications on audio quality."

    They say tremendous implications, but what does that mean? Can it be measured, or is it all up to the user to "hear" it. Also, what is the result of losing the phase angle below 100hz? bass is rather nondirectional anyways, and your going to get reflections from your room. Who cares if its only 1% out phase at 50hz (just an example) if you cant hear it?

    You give the human ear too much credit. Perhaps if we were Mr. Data on ST:TNG, then we would need all this. But our hearing just isnt that good. Its easy to trick it. Just look at MP3. 256kbit encoded with LAME or another high quality compressor shows almost NO evidence of being compressed. A magazine, c't did a blind test with some HIGH end equipment. No one could tell the difference between redbook and mp3. www.r3mix.net click quality.
     
  9. 04

    04 Guest

    Were both cables "high end"? What kinds of differences did you hear? Was it noise, like a hum? Or did it have a lower noise floor? Or did it just "sound better"?? :confused: I find it hard to believe there was such a big difference? Also, are we talking about line level only, or also speaker wire as well?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2002
  10. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    There is a HUDGE difference between your average audio listener, who thinks anything with the word "BOSE" on it is the greatest shit ever made, and a true audiophile.

    The majority of ALL components sold over the counter at your local Best Buy or Circuit City, etc. are pieces of crap, with terrible THD at anything less then 8ohm load, crappy preamps, small caps, cheap IC chips, and general poor construction. In that case, buying hundreds of dollars of monster cable is a waste. Becuase the equipment itself generates more noise polution then the wireing or speaker itself.

    Now, anyone her know what a monoblock is? Or what 90db sensitivity mean? Or what benefits a tube amp has over a solid state amp, in technicle tearms? Or a D/A converters real purpose? Im willing to bet not (unless you name is grumpybb).

    True audio phile is all about removing sound impurity. And making the sound rich an natural. SOme people even go as far as to have turn tables for their vinyl records that float on air, with direct drive motor, and a counter rotating balancing weigh, all made out of granite, with a needle that cost upwards of $25,000. Think its bullshit? Go to the Analog Store. Fact is, true audiophile equipment doesnt generate foriegn sounds, or allow outside interference to hamper their performance. And when the equipment is that sensitive, small imperfections in the cable will be noticable. PERIOD! Becuase it will be the weakest sheilded part of the system.

    Especially in home theater environment where there are alot of electrical systems, interferance is common. And good sheilded cable on your speakers is a must. Does it need to be $300 a foot wire? Hell no. But sheilded none the less. And in a good neutral listening environment it will be plenty noticable. And there are plenty of THD sound graphs to back it up.

    So, in closing, if your an average dumb ass that sits at home and watches movies in "the surround sound", then chances are shitty cable is right for you. Becuase your ear is so used to noisy sound, that it can accept is harshness, and never notice it. And for those people, spending $500 on monster cable is a joke.
    On the other hand, if you are in a controled room, with a superb set of speakers, in a vast expansive sound stage (which im sure again none of you know about, unless your name is grumpybb), nothing but the best quality metals, in vacume seal insulation will do. Becuase the imprefections in teh sound will shine through like the sun on a rainy day.

    So untill youve sat infront of a half million dollars od stereo equipment, and heard what REAL sound is all about, and heard what a differnce small signal interfearance can cause. You have no room to tell people they have been fooled. Ive heard some audio phile systems get "noisy" from somthing as simple as a TV creating a ground loop hum through the electrical system of a house.

    Cables make a differnce...provided your equipment doesnt have a major brand name on it.
     
  11. GoGophers

    GoGophers New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lots-o-Lakes, USA
    When I said I spend a lot of those speakers I meant like 40-50 bucks.
     
  12. 04

    04 Guest

    I take it you listen to your movies in stereo?

    Yeah, my ear is used to noisy sound, but that is because I cannot afford expensive room treatments, thousand dollars speakers, and multi kilowatt amps. I am in college right now, I dont have a lot of extra spending money. I heard the Martin Logan electrostats at Ultimate Electronics one time. They sounded quite nice. I believe they were either 8K a pair or each. Cant remember but they were hooked up to krell amps/preamp/DVD.

    Since you seem to want to get hostile, so will I. YOU HAVE BEEN FOOLED BY EXPENSIVE CABLES! I didnt really want to say that before, because, its pretty freakin rude, because grumpyBB and others have their feelings on the situation and I have mine.

    In closing, please dont think us "unbelievers" as uneducated on the subject. If I had no fucking clue what I was talking about, why would I bother to post my feelings on the matter? Unless of course I like making myself look like a dumbass. :o
     
  13. 04

    04 Guest

    Yeah, those Cat5 cables are pretty cool. I have Cat5 cable as my rear speaker wire, simply cause I had a 100' spool of it around. Mine are no where near as thick or nice, or cool looking as yours are tho. I dont have terminatiors on them either.
     
  14. 04

    04 Guest

    You mean 40 to 50 bux for the cable, your not talking about 40 to 50 bux spent on the speakers, right????? :ugh:

    What speakers are you using? Amp too?
     
  15. 04

    04 Guest

    Hmm, well you could make your own cat5 network patch cables!!! :bigthumb: You could get the crimper and stripper, I dont think they cost too much money. Thats enough for a TON of network cables.
     
  16. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    042801, thank you for passing the test.
    Particularly the Bose buzz phrases, and the missuse of commonly thrown around tearms.

    Now ill get serious.

    Wiring is a big deal. Most importantly is interconnectors, IMHO. And as grumpybb said, imaging is the biggest factor. I personally dont like Monstar cables. I find that they are usually WORSE in sound reproduction then RadioShaks $9.99 budget wire. They simply arent all they are cracked up to be. I also find they they are very suseptable to electrical interfearance. If they happen to run by a power supply in another device, there will be a hiss, or a waveyness if its video. I dont personally think they are insulated well enough to really offer any sort of advantage over standared wire. And their power transfer isnt that efficient either (ive seen as much as 2db from one end to the other on <1m monster interconects).
    I , personally, get all of my cables from www.bettercables.com i really like their product, and i stand by them. And ive been greatly please with them. Plus they sponser one of the forums i frequent, so i help them out where i can.

    Currently my setup is a Denon AVR-2802, and 4 Adire Audio KIT81V's, and a KIT81S with the center channel XO mod. All of which sound absolutly sweet, and match perfectly to a ported Shiva tuned to 20Hrz.

    I used to have some monster cable in the system, hooked up for small things like the GCN, VCR, etc. And the monster cables simply where shit. My DPLII off of the VCR sounded like ass, likewise for the GCN. It just didnt have that "5.1 feel" it was supposed to. So i finally just splurged and spent the extra on some bettercables, and instant change. The sound actually sounds full now, and i can actually hear descrete channels now. Not just muddled stereo like before. And while im sure the db levels are the same, becuase things sound so much more livlier, i find myself turning the amp down a bit every time. So there was indeed a definate improvement in sound, without a doubt.

    With everything else on my system i started with better cables, and havent switched since. So i have no control to test it off of.

    Right now there is only one set of monster cables left in my HT setup, and thats my X-Box monster cables. And i have them simply becuase they are less cumbersom then the Advanced AV Pack from MS, and makes it easier to pull the system out onto the floor for 4 player games of Fusion Frenzy, and they also had the cheapest, longest TOSLINK i could find, and it matched, so why the fuck not? Plus the image quality looks just as good as with the other output devices ive seen for the X-Box...so im not going to complain.

    I frequent plenty of home theater sights, mostly for the DIY audio projects, and the cables discussion is a common topic in most of them. Personally ive heard a dramatic difference in the way my reciever can decode DPLII, and it was a definate improvement, not just a mental fluke. Becuase friends have asked if i recalibrated my system, becuase the DPLII sounds so much more full, and descrete. So i figure if an outside friend can notice a difference, not knowing the cables had changed, then there is probibly a difference.

    Sorry for the deception, but i wanted to see who here was serious, and who here was blowing smoke up peoples skirts.

    Laters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2002
  17. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stealing your internetz
    I read just fine. Perhaps you're the one who needs to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. One word....P L A C E B O

    That's how you "heard" these "differences".
     
  18. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stealing your internetz
    042801 summed it up nicely. No need to type it all out again.

    Have I listened to hundreds of systems? You see my signature? I judge sound quality systems. So yeah, I guess you can say I've heard a few. :slap:

    Like I said, spend your money as you like. I'll be over here listening to my "shitty cables" :rolleyes:
     
  19. caddymac

    caddymac Guest

    Crap, not this arguement again.
     
  20. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    You guys keep on talking about this being a mental thing. And i call bullshit.
    When the metal in the wire conducts electricity better, they will sound better. Period.
    Easy visual experiment.
    Take a 20ft. piece of shitty wire, and a 20ft. piece of high grade electrical wireing. On on end hook up a light bulb, and on the other hook up a 9v battery. Now...are you going to tell me that the lightbulb on the higher quality wire is brighter becuase of "P L A C E B O". I think not.

    What do you think those sound waves traveling through the wire are? They are electrical impulses just like anything else that travels through a wire. And the less resistance on the electrons, the better the signal. Period. You can ask any telephone engineer, electrical engineer, networking engineer, anyone in a field of wire bassed transfer, and they will tell you better wire = better signal.

    So pleae take you sugar pills, and shove them up your ass with a physics book...maybe you will learn through osmosis.
     
  21. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stealing your internetz
    I never once said there were NO differences in wire. However, any differences simply are NOT audible. Your ears (unless you're a friggin dog or a rodent) cannot sense differences that subtle.

    Your pathetic visual experiment is apples to oranges. We're talking about HEARING. Not sight. Two totally different senses with totally different levels of acuity.

    Now to say that one wire will shield the signal from noise better. Sure I'll buy that. But more accurate placement of the soundstage??? Jesus Quincy Adams... what are you smoking????

    And I never said the experiments were performed in a car. I just said I've heard quite a few systems. Guess I should have said car AND home. My bad. I've sat in listening rooms with some of the most critical ears in the business. Steven Head, Tom Nousaine, Dale Fontenot, Bryan Wilkerson....the list goes on and on. I know what to listen for. While switching the wires in a controlled listening environment did make a difference in noise reduction, it had NO effect on the the placement of the instruments. None whatsoever. Wires affect soundstage placement...LOL. What next? I suppose you're going to try and tell me that shielded cables are a must in the automotive environment?
     
  22. 04

    04 Guest

    It is a mental thing, because conductivity is not really an issue. Dont interconnects have about a 75ohm impedence? If so, you are going to have a VERY VERY long cable length before the signal starts degrading. About speaker wire, cheap 18awg wire is just fine for relativly short lengths. I know a guy who has a Crown macrotech amp rated at 600w rms x 2channels. He has 2 10 foot 18awg cable runs. He has no problems. I would trust him too since he is infact an electrical engineer. Not to mention he has written a 70+ page paper on electrical filters and their relationships to electrodynamic speakers.

    As for your stupid lightbulb trick, that is irellevent. Your voltage drop is dependant on the diameter of the wire, length of the wire and resistivity of the connectors to the bulb. In a real life situation, you are talking about 120vac which can pass over 100w over a really small wire. Higher quality has nothing to do with it in this case, it is the diameter, length, and resistivity. Perhaps if you were using a "crappy steel" wire compared to an extravagant copper wire, yes your test would be valid, but who is dumb enough to use steel as a conductor in that case.

    On the regards of engineers telling you what wires are better. What network engineer is going to buy 2 dollar a foot UTP cat5 cable? Will it flow the electrons faster? Maybe. Enough to make a difference at 100mbit? NO NO NO :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Once again you give the human ear too much credit. I ripped a bunch of my cds to my computer and compressed them with Lame MP3 encoder at 256kbits. I could not tell a difference between the master wav file and the mp3. At times I feel, well it just doesnt sound right. Guess what is really happening? My overactive imagination.

    Why dont you hook up your best quality wires to your stereo or tv. Invite some friends over. Ask them to watch or listen for a bit. Then go to the back and swap out your high end interconnects with some cheap 2 dollar cables. Dont tell them what you are doing. See what they say.....
     
  23. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    Actually, i give my ears alot of credit. Ive worked as a studio technician, and sound technician for about 10 years now. I hear feedback and correct before most people even hear it coming. And i can EQ quite well simply by ear. So much so that usually doing a whitenoise flush doesnt offer that much improvment over my initial settings. So i give my ears alot of credit for beiung able to hear subtleties.
    As for the MP3 thing...i can actually hear the compresion degradation in an MP3 so clearly on my system at home, that i can actually tell you what encoder its encoded with. And ive had people do blind tests to try and fool me. I can tell if its joint or true stereo, the bit rate, and the encoder. No shit. When it comes to MP3's i can tell a vast difference in quality.

    Been there, and done that.
    On the video end, a friend of mine, (another HT buff), said "dude, you colors look muddy, cable loose?"
    And on sound, ive had dozens of people do blind tests with cabling. And most can actually tell a difference. And I mean COMPLETELY blind. They have no clue ive done anything different, and still they say things like "this doesnt sound as sharp as it usually does". Or "your system just doesnt have much presence today". I even had someone say that my system wasnt as "brite" as i normally is. Which is odd, cause ithink its far from brite. But still, it gets said alot, becuase i do try different wiring regularly just to see of there is a difference in sound here and there.
    Now my cable tests are usually on more then just interconnects. And usually all at the same time.

    I, and others, can hear a definate difference TOTALLY BLIND, in my soundstage, and the clarity of sound.

    I will be honest though, my surrounds, are run with RadioShak 18aug wire. ;)
     
  24. 04

    04 Guest

    I thought about it, and perhaps the reason that the DIY cat5 speaker cables changed the treble output so much is because they are more inductive than the Kimber. That would explain why the highs were more rolled off. The impedence at higher frequencies would be increased, causing less output. Or, the Kimber's could have been rather capacitive, which would have made an increase in impedence in lower frequencies compared to higher ones. I dunno how it could have caused such a huge difference tho. :confused:
     
  25. 04

    04 Guest

    Yeah, but did you know that the DD 5.1 soundtrack on almost all DVD's uses the same kind of compression as mp3, pychoacoustic lossy compression. If you can hear mp3's then you SURELY can hear ac3, as it is encoded at lower than 128kbits per channel.

    Also, what is a whitenoise "flush"? What does the flush stand for? Are you a tech for a recording studio? If so, are you settings flat from 20hz to 20khz +/- 1dB or so? Most pop albums are rather poorly regarded in the sound quality department, as they are mastered with almost no dynamic range, and are meant to sound good on cheap boomboxes. This is the whole reason why formats such as superaudio cd and others are becoming popular. Not because they really need 20bits of resolution, but because the current 16bit of normal redbook usually isnt utilized to its full potential. Perhaps you work for a label such as Telarc?

    Oh yeah: "Especially in home theater environment where there are alot of electrical systems, interferance is common. And good sheilded cable on your speakers is a must. Does it need to be $300 a foot wire? Hell no. But sheilded none the less. And in a good neutral listening environment it will be plenty noticable. And there are plenty of THD sound graphs to back it up."

    Please show me a THD sound graph that shows how speaker cable affects thd! :rofl:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2002

Share This Page