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I have a REAL one I'll give you if you pay shipping. It needs some TLC, It's a 1/4" 2 track and I believe it runs 15IPS at the fastest, I'll need to check. :)

Chad
 

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fej said:
I would love to know why .. we are all enthusiasts here, but look at the RCA thread (which happens at EVERY audio board at some point, and then usually yearly). What you hear is just not the same as what I hear ... and no science can explain that, well at least at this point. I would love to know why DDD recorded material is usually crystal clear but just seems to lack true warmth (at least IMO) I think it may just be too clean heh. I would like to know why someone listening to their $1500 ipod cable through their $2000 mini amp feels it is better than their $12 cable and $65 amp. Same source material ... what science can you put behind it?

There are facts that werewolf is presenting, there are experiences that AVI and many others are presenting, but at the end of the day we only know for sure what WE like and hear. Nothing science can do about it

That's where I'd say your wrong. All your senses work due to your body physically interacting with something. Taste and smell use small particles of the object in question to create 2 different senses, depending on what nerves are touched (nose or tongue). Sight uses light. After all if I see a light with a wavelength of 700nm, according to your beliefs it'd be pretty hard to predict what color I'd see. After all, you see what you see, we can't argue that, what science can we put behind it? ( answer is red ;) )

Sound is nothing more than pressure variations in the air, something that with todays technology is TRIVIAL to measure. Before the signal hits the speaker, it's electricity through a circuit, which honestly, couldn't be any more predicable if it tried. The equipment exists to measure all the parameters of sound, and if every parameter is the same between 2 sources, you body has NOTHING it can base the sounds on to make them sound any different, except personal bias and other distortions of the human mind. Then again, that's what marketing is for. If the 2 waves in question measure identical, or close enough to be within the known limits of human hearing (yes, believe it or not, human hearing doesn't have infinite resolution, it gives up LONG before equipment) they will sound the same to the ear.
 

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I don't know, the other night I was hanging out with my nephew and we found shape could have an impact on the sound. We had two mic's built of similar materials but in different shapes. With a GENUINE Dupont Micro-fiber interconnect we found a Campbell mic did provide descent results, but we preferred the more authoritative tone of the larger Progresso. How do you explain that with RLC? :rolleyes:
 

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Autiophile said:
I don't mean to jump into any argument that can't be resolved on the forum, however, my feeling is that higher end cables simply make me feel like I know where the weak link is in my system. Coming from home audio my goal has always been to know (think) that my components were performing in their intended fasion. I have rewired rooms, used PS audio or Hospital grade outlets, driven grounding poles out in the yard, and spent a decent amount of money on cables.

The net benefit in all of this was confidence. I am confident that my home system is appropriately wired and I feel like it sounds better (even though it may be a placebo effect). In the past year I have started making my own cables for my headphone setup as well as my car. Although they may not be as nice as my MIT or Tara Labs cables, I still have confidence because I know that I made them correctly and they are dependable.

My point is this: Even though the effects of all of this may be in my mind, I perceive a difference. It doesn't have to be expensive or from a well known brand. All the cables need to do is give me confidence that they are not my weak link.
Well said. Let's face it, a lot of us buy audio equipment for reasons other than pure sound output. Don't deny it folks, you've probably bought stuff based on looks before. If the cables make you feel better about your system for whatever reason (confidence, looks, organization, and so forth) then who's to say whether or not it's worth the extra money to you?

Having said that, it still seems as if a lot of people are insisting that RCA cables color the sound in the real sense. And I think that's what the thread is mostly focusing on.
 

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MIAaron said:
I don't know, the other night I was hanging out with my nephew and we found shape could have an impact on the sound. We had two mic's built of similar materials but in different shapes. With a GENUINE Dupont Micro-fiber interconnect we found a Campbell mic did provide descent results, but we preferred the more authoritative tone of the larger Progresso. How do you explain that with RLC? :rolleyes:
are you taling about microphone shapes? That's not an electrical component, it's physical, which can affect the sound... like the shape of a speaker.
 

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I apologize Thor, I failed to get my point across. Please dont read any more into my post as it was a bad joke. I gotta say you gave a good answer though, cuz in the context of my post physical traits are the only ones that matter.
 

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MIAaron said:
I apologize Thor, I failed to get my point across. Please dont read any more into my post as it was a bad joke. I gotta say you gave a good answer though, cuz in the context of my post physical traits are the only ones that matter.

I got it..... but it took me a second of going.... Hu, um... Oh hell, he's pulling my leg :D

Chad
 

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Thoraudio said:
there is something to be said for perception.
There is also something to be said for efficient allocation of resources. If people who obsess about wires channeled that energy and cash into fine-tuning speaker placement by measurement and ear, optimizing their listening rooms, etc., the bottom line is that they would have objectively more accurate (not necessarily better-sounding, of course, but probably so) systems.

It's an upside-down hobby indeed when people whine about wires whilst listening to speakers that are so poorly engineered that their designers did not even bother to maintain smooth and relatively constant directivity over the midrange and treble.
 

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chad said:
I got it..... but it took me a second of going.... Hu, um... Oh hell, he's pulling my leg :D

Chad
Is Mr. Sound Engineer baggin' on my Campbell mic? :D ;) We had'em networked man, from one couch cushion fort to the next. :)
 
W

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Discussion Starter #33
Man these threads always go the same way ... the only mystery in the realm of cables may just be, why i never seem to learn :(

But I will respond to the comments and questions posted by Wes :)

Yes, it's funny to me to think that the three (3) great mysteries of modern science are :

1. A unified field theory that accurately explains gravity, electromagnetism, strong & weak nuclear forces ... thereby unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity.

2. The existence of dark matter and dark energy, which seem to cause to rate of expansion of the universe to be increasing ... beyond all expectation.

3. How the hell to get a 20kHz electrical signal down a few feet of wire.

But anyway ... let's take a moment to address the question about how the cable may impact electrical, and therefore ultimately acoustic, phase. The first, and only, rule in "cable engineering" is : how do any claimed or advertised "properties" impact RLC? Resistance, Inductance and Capacitance are ALL you need to be concerned with (putting aside, for the moment, contact metallurgy and noise immunity). These well-established electrical properties are the "filter" (if i may) through which any crazy geometry or elixir claims should be passed. Why? Very simple : if something doesn't impact RLC, it won't impact the transmission of a 20kHz signal through a cable less than about a mile long. This is, unfortunately for some, not subject to opinion or experience. If your subjective experience suggests otherwise, you have been fooled (fret not, though, it happens all the time). Ignoring this simple fact, demonstrates a fundamental ignorance about electrical engineering and the work done by brilliant minds for centuries concerning electrical theory. RLC concepts have become SO powerful in modelling, explaining and predicting the universe around us, that they are also used in mechanical and acoustical sytems as well. Don't believe me? Too bad.

Once again ... I am NOT suggesting that all cables sound the same. That's an hypothesis that would be ridiculously easy to disprove. I am, however, suggesting ... or rather, stating as factual with the same confidence that the earth will continue to rotate tomorrow ... that any sonic differences are attributable to RLC analysis (contact metallurgy and noise immunity aside).

OK ... so let's look at an exaggerated, but not outside-the-realm-of-possibility, example. Say we've got an RCA cable with a (high) capacitance of 40pF per foot. And we are driving 50 feet of that cable from a (high) source impedance of 1kohm. Let's ignore any series resistance (R) in the cable (it will be much less than the 1kohm source), and we'll also put aside any series inductance (L) for now. We'll just concern ourselves with C. We'll also assume that the amplifier on the receiving end has a very high input impedance, much higher than the 1kohm source, so we can ignore that as well.

In this case, it's very easy to show that the source resistance and cable capacitance form a simple, first-order RC low-pass filter. This does NOT mean that anytime a resistor and capcitor are in a circuit, that a simple first order low-pass is formed. It is so in this case, because the source resitance is a series resistor and the cable capacitance is a shunt capacitor, and the output is observed across the shunt capacitor.

The cutoff or -3dB frequency of this low-pass filter is :

f3db = 1/(2*pi*R*C) = 1/(2pi*1kohm*40pf/ft*50ft) = 80kHz

Next post we'll show how an 80kHz low-pass filter impacts magnitude ... and phase ... of a 20kHz signal. What other "electrical properties" of the 20kHz signal might be impacted? That's simple : NONE. Why? Because there AREN'T any ... not in a linear system. And it's a no-brainer to consider a cable to be a linear system ... by far, wire is the most linear of electrical components we have to worry about in storing, transmitting and reproducing acoustical information.

What about time-domain properties like transient response? Isn't that something to worry about? Why yes it is (or may be) ... glad you asked :) But we've already got you covered ... completely, in fact. ANY and ALL time domain properties are UNIQUELY linked to frequency domain MAGNITUDE and PHASE. ALL time domain properties are uniquely and completely dependent on what happens in the frequency domain (considering both magnitude and phase). This means that ALL time domain behavior is 100% accurately predictable if you know the frequency domain behvior. And it also means that you can't have two circuits which behave identically in the frequency domain, but differently in the time domain. Never gonna happen ... it's been proven, with the certainty of a theorem ... and there is no stronger PROOF in all of human experience. Yeah ... it a was french dude who did it (Fourier), but he was right nonetheless ;)
 

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Excluding the connectors, if all of the properties of cables actually do have an affect on sound, wouldn't that mean that the internal amplifier wires and circuit board material would also have an affect on sound? Do amplifier manufacturers pay the same close attention to the materials they use as the cable manufacturers?

Or does the length of the cable affect the sound and that is why the materials used matter so much?
 
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Discussion Starter #35
quick answer ... look how long the above cable had to be (and at a rather high capacitance per foot, too), in order to get a -3dB cutoff frequency as low as 80kHz :)

So, no ... amplifier manufacturers don't really need to worry about what type of wire they use :) except, of course, heavy enough gauge for the current and power delivery.

They have other things to worry about, however. Stability concerns certainly force one to look into the several hundred kilohertz, or even megahertz range, for interesting signal dynamics, for example. But all that is a topic for another thread :)
 

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Autiophile said:
You're right, this is a thread about the science of cables. There have been several of these threads over the past few days and it seems to me that the whole argument is an issue of perception vs. scientific measurement. By simply focusing on RLC or measurable audible differences we leave out the most complex part of the system, our minds.

Over on Headfi.com we have gotten into discussions about the differences in the shapes of peoples ear canals and how they impact sound, to the point where many individuals have seperate level controls for Left and Right channels to provide compensation. Before I digress too far, my point is simply to remind everyone of the complex, multivariate, nature of perception.
But you also have to keep in mind (no pun intended) that the brain makes an attempt to compensate for the early transduction mechanisms that may give rise to odd FR/phase behaviors. So ear issues, as long as they're not rapidly dynamic (eg. ear wax, eustachian tube dysfunction, sudden hearing loss, etc), are for the most part taken care of by the brain. That is, the shape of the ear canal and the pinna and the significant variation in the bones that underlie the transduction don't play much of a role in the end, because the brain has already addressed it.

So that no confusion arises, I should qualify that statement with this -- the brain can only process that information that's available to it. So when werewolf talks about the shape of the pinnae impacting vertical cues, it's something that the brain CAN'T compensate for because those cues are not physically present otherwise. It's not information that a simple gain control mechanism (something the brain is very good at) can account for.
 

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Just a few more questions.

Wasn't there some rumblings this past year about the upper limit for supernova energy expulsion (the chandra sakkar or something)? Wasn't that fundamentally questioned and doesn't that affect the dark matter and dark energy theories?

and in a DS-21 like turn.... doesn't Dark matter/energy prove that there may be something goin on in wires and amps? we don't know what it is, but we know it's there ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #38
Wes = smartipants :p

I'll answer a question with another question : when we discovered that the orbit of the planet Mercury simply did not seem to follow that predicted by Newtonian Dynamics, were we all afraid that our bridges would start collapsing?

:)
 

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werewolf said:
Man these threads always go the same way ... the only mystery in the realm of cables may just be, why i never seem to learn :(
Difficult to resist, huh?

2. The existence of dark matter and dark energy, which seem to cause to rate of expansion of the universe to be increasing ... beyond all expectation.
You know there's a problem when physicists have resorted to create names for ficticious "stuff" in an attempt to explain away nonlinearities that really shouldn't be all that unexpected in a nonlinear universe. That A+B don't equal C does not necessarily mean that there's a missing term on the left side of the equation. It could simply mean that the operator is wrong. Basically, I consider the whole thing to be a problem that only points out that we don't know everything there is to know about how the universe operates, rather than the notion that we're missing components. Which is why the whole notion of "dark matter" and "dark energy" are terribly misleading.

Once again ... I am NOT suggesting that all cables sound the same. That's an hypothesis that would be ridiculously easy to disprove. I am, however, suggesting ... or rather, stating as factual with the same confidence that the earth will continue to rotate tomorrow ... that any sonic differences are attributable to RLC analysis (contact metallurgy and noise immunity aside).
I think you're giving in too much, werewolf. All but the most esoteric designs (which are probably also the most expensive) will provide virtually zero perceptible effects by virtue of the sound alone. And when you take into account the imperfections inherent in a car, any measurable effects will be completely swamped.
 

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no, but I'd say our grasp on dark energy, dark matter, strings and such, is much less concrete than the formative grasp on newtonian physics.

But I digress.... back to wire bashing.

On the subject of speaker wires and weak links.... what's the purpose of silver wires when (for home speakers), the binding posts, the internal wires, coils in xovers, crossover circuit boards, and VC's are copper. And the solder is made from tin/lead....

what if *gasp* the vc is made out of aluminum.... (((shudder)))
 
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