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In no way,do I want this thread to become a battle ground. My statements here are NOT intended as proof of anything definite, nor do I want to try and change anyone's opinion. My ONLY goal for this thread, is nothing more than a desire to share with you my experiments and experiences about this subject :

Can cables make an audible difference ?

9 yrs ago I owned a VERY high end home audio store. When I bought it , it had been struggling aginst the over abundance of local competition. In trying to get my 5 employees to do a 100% change in the way they operated , I tried a number of things to bring in a new and fresh approach. I first gutted the building , and designed MUCH better sound rooms. Acoustically correct , and built with THE BEST construction techniques. Next , I brought in over 30 different lines to audition , and we spent 6 months deciding what lines would be best for us to carry in the store. After placing a STAGGERING opening order , we next decided what rooms would house what equipment. After placing the equipment where it was going to go in those rooms , we then spent weeks moving the speakers around inch by inch in those rooms , always marking the carpet with tape that precisely marked where the speakers were placed , and how exactly they were aimed towards the listening position. When we finally found the very best place for each speaker in each room , the carpet was permanently marked ( almost invisible ) and that speaker was never moved from that spot. When it did need to be removed to place another speaker there for auditioning , we could always place the original speaker back where it was supposed to go , exactly.
Next we started moving different amps , pre-amps , CD players , ect around,to find out what speakers sounded best with what systems or combos.
Now .... By the time this was finally finished , the employees were very excited about all of the new changes , and as a side result , they had REALLY learned how to listen closely for minute changes that changing different things out made in the system.
Often , the guys would stay HOURS after we had closed the store , just to experiment and listen to the systems. So by the time we started to audition different companies cables in the systems , here's some things that we had going for us :

#1 - We had trained ourselves to REALLY listen.
#2 - The rooms were perfectly optimized for the best sound.
#3 - The systems were perfectly optimized for the best sound.
And most importantly : We REALLY knew well just how EVERY different system sounded in every different room ; We were in touch , very well with what was going on.

We had one of our home theater installers work with us for a 4 day weekend in which the store was closed. His his job was to switch out cables in EVERY different system , while we sat and closely listened. We only used ONE musical track for the entire 4 days , and we used sleeping mask blindfolds to keep it truly blind !!
We each had a notebook , and we NEVER shared our thoughts with each other ..... i wanted to KNOW if we were hearing the same basic things or not !
We wrote notes about cable #1 through cable #7 , we did this with speaker cables , and RCA cables. Towards the end , we ranked the cables from first to last in each system.
When we were finsished , we compared notes ......

IT WAS SHOCKING !!!!!

85 % of the time , our individual notes would be in harmony with what each other had heard for a given cable in a given system ... example " Cable #4 sounds strident and harsh , and lost some soundstage compared to cables #1 and #3 "

We had ALL individually AGREED on what cable sounded best in EVERY different system !! We're talking 6 people , 100% agreed !!!!!

In our final ranking , 5 of the 6 chose a particular cable as the best cable in the shop , with the one person who did not choosing the cable we ALL ranked second best.

We ALL chose the two cables we thought sounded the worst , and EVERY ONE of us ranked them in the two last spots.

ALL OF THIS WAS DONE DOUBLE BLIND !!

In the end , the store developed a reputation for having THE BEST sounding systems in that city , and profits went from $386,000 one year , to 1.7 milion the next.

So just like the people who say there is NO audible difference in cables , I will continue to have my own opinion that will NEVER be changed , becaused i took the test , and proved it to myself. However , i will NEVER try again to change anyone's mind that is of the other mind-set ;)

Just my experiences .... Sorry if i bored you , have a great holidays !! :)
 

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Very good read. In my experimentation, the car audio environment is so hostle that I cant tell the difference between Stinger Expert series, and the base Stinger RCAs. Mind you I never listen to my car without me driving in it :) I still dont know that I would personally be able to tell the difference regardless though.

Which RCAs did you find were best?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
toolfan91 said:
Very good read. In my experimentation, the car audio environment is so hostle that I cant tell the difference between Stinger Expert series, and the base Stinger RCAs. Mind you I never listen to my car without me driving in it :) I still dont know that I would personally be able to tell the difference regardless though.

Which RCAs did you find were best?
I don't want to mis-lead anyone .... You are NOT going to hear a night and day difference in a car , but with all else being of VERY high quality , I can hear definite differences.

In our store however , Tara Labs " The One " Cable as well as Tara Labs Air One cables were leaps and bounds above everything else , and on EVERY system in our store too !
 

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I'm with AVI. And not the least bit surprised.
15 years ago I was talked into trying $100 a pair 1 meter MIT ICs. I was thinking BS, this is crap. No way it will make a difference. I didn't want them to make a difference. I was stunned. I called a Friend over. As he listened I went behind the stuff and swapped to the MIT. Started the CD over (Roxy Music Avalon-3rd cut-Avalon). His jaw dropped. "What the Hell did you do?" were the first words out of his mouth. The old cables were cheap gold plated rca end Monsters. My set up at the time was B&W DM7MK2 with Audio Pro B2-50 sub. Carver pre and Adcom amp. Denon CD player.

The next year I tried Kimber 4TC. Again, a rather large (at least VERY noticable) improvement over the 16 gauge zip cord.

A few years ago I gave csuflyboy 3 sets of speaker cable to try on his home rig, a pair of Tara Labs, Audioquest (forget the model, I think midnight-clear, and a PA) (I'm now bi-wired and too lazy to go back to jumpers to test all these myself-I'm now using Eichmann Express6 IC and speaker wire.)
He said an improvement with all 3, especially the thick black ones. (They were old Audio Purist Colossus-something like $1,600 the pair-I had them on loan.)

Then earlier this year I had noise problems in the car. Replaced the ground screw with one that was not zinc coated. Noise 100% gone. All the screw does is pull the ground ring terminals to the shiny sanded metal of the car. Screw should not matter. But it did. And there is probably no measurement for that. But something was going on with that electron flow. Like AVI, not trying to convince anyone of anything. But I will never use "cheap" cables again.

Diminishing returns in a car. Yeah, I'm sure. But if I'm spending 3 g's plus in a car I also think it silly not to spend more than $20 for an IC or speaker wire.

As a foot note: I called Wilson (the speaker (Watt Puppy, X1 fame) and asked them what solder they use or if it matters at all. Was surprised when they said yes. "At the least use some with lead and silver. We use lead-free because of European Union requirements but we think the speakers sound better with the leaded solder." Again, no flamers, not an argument. Just what they told me.
 

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Wow, this was a good read. Had to dredge up this thread after asking about what cables people preferred. It Confirms what I found when listening at my last job for a big home/car audio specialty store.
 

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So what are some cables and wire that have this kind of effect on car audio?
Are there any?
 

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Maybe it just me, but I think it cheaper to EQ back what inferior cable do to a signal or what highend cable can and do add, you are going to have to EQ anyways in a car. If M.I.T. cables puts a EQ circuit in there cables why can't you do it for free in your car and save yourself A TON! of flow.
 

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i didnt read anywhere in the origional post that the cables they liked best, were any more expensive than the worst sounding cables.

maybe the cheapest cables sounded the best?
 

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i didnt read anywhere in the origional post that the cables they liked best, were any more expensive than the worst sounding cables.

maybe the cheapest cables sounded the best?
either way, all 3 of my cables were $30 total and couldn't be happier:blush: :p :D
 

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Maybe it just me, but I think it cheaper to EQ back what inferior cable do to a signal or what highend cable can and do add, you are going to have to EQ anyways in a car. If M.I.T. cables puts a EQ circuit in there cables why can't you do it for free in your car and save yourself A TON! of flow.
Because an EQ doesn't fix what good cables fix. There's certain things that happen in cables, things like the skin effect, timing differences, (hence monsters time correct windings) that all the equalization and processing in the world wont help.
 

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i didnt read anywhere in the origional post that the cables they liked best, were any more expensive than the worst sounding cables.

maybe the cheapest cables sounded the best?
Nobody said $ figure is what makes sound, just that better designed cables can make a difference.
 

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Because an EQ doesn't fix what good cables fix. There's certain things that happen in cables, things like the skin effect, timing differences, (hence monsters time correct windings) that all the equalization and processing in the world wont help.
Well.........we all have our opinions based on what we perceive as facts. So we can say we are both right and both wrong here. :)
 

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I will buy into expensive cables as soon as someone can come up with objective measurements to explain why they are better. ALL cables have measurable properties. The differences between cables are capacitance, Inductance, resistance, and shielding. Capacitance and inductance could change frequency response, but with the frequencies involved it would be a Poorly designed cable that would affect it. and resistance would be a factor of conductor material and cable size.
I tend to agree with the scientific findings of Gordon Gow of Mcintosh.
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#gordongow
 

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Because an EQ doesn't fix what good cables fix. There's certain things that happen in cables, things like the skin effect, timing differences, (hence monsters time correct windings) that all the equalization and processing in the world wont help.
you need to do some searching here for posts by "werewolf" and cabling. 3/4's of what you just posted has no bearing in the 20hz to 20khz region.

-edit- his screen name is still screwed up from the changeover so here's the important thread.

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7517
 

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Q. Do all cables ... THAT MEASURE THE SAME ... sound the same?
A. No known reason to believe otherwise :) If you wish to disprove the hypothesis, though, you must of course establish an experiment where all other possible variables are eliminated.
.....
 

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So the general consensus here is that cabling makes no difference other than guage of copper used in them? Does this go for patch cords as well? I can tell you for certain that at the very least, patch cords and such definately affect noise performance, and how much outside RF and EMI are picked up by the cables. Granted, twisted pairs, regardless of manufacturer seem to help, and lower guage rca's are also said to transmit less noise. Even admitted by Monster, their Micro XLN's are a lower noise cable than all of their higher line cabling simply because there is less copper in them. I'm still waiting for all the scientific theory or fact to change my hearing so that I never heard any difference between wires.
 
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