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Audio Component Interconnect Cables: Can you really "Hear" a difference?
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nvlddmkm
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Default Audio Component Interconnect Cables: Can you really "Hear" a difference? - 05-14-2011, 06:14 | posts: 4,191 | Location: Indiana

Or is is psycho-acoustical phenomena? Can you really hear the difference between OFC cables, Monster Cable, etc? Or do you just buy over rated stuff to impress people who simply will never know any better?
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 06:40 | posts: 516 | Location: U.S.

Personally, I can hear a difference. And I know there are others who swear by them. If you ever read some of those audiophile magazines, they do plenty of reviews of cables and it's almost always a positive review.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 12:12 | posts: 695 | Location: Canada

there IS a difference.but only up to a POINT. It gets to the point where you have to be a dog to hear the difference..or a woman...yes..women can hear better than men, its genetic. physically. Better range I think or something along that line?


and NO, im not inferring that women are dogs. or anything close.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 12:23 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

lol, i'm neither a dog or a woman but i've heard differences between different interconnects and headphone cables.

no point in getting magic golden cables forged by elves that cost the same as a house though.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 12:30 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Depends on your hearing/mental ability/expectation, the equipment you have (as well as the quality of the material played) and how bad or good the cables are that you are comparing.
On a decent system, almost anyone can tell the difference between a bad example and good example of cables.
Whether its enough for you to care about is a different matter completely, and this is where the crux of the argument lies.

Most people are happy to have something that produces an intelligible version of a song, and they really dont care to have it sound any better.
Some dont have the hearing or mental ability to separate out the differences.

So if you dont care, it doesnt matter
If you do care, there are lots of decent options.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 18:14 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

I don't believe in ultra high end nuclear infused dyridium wound ultra cables but I do like quality over $1 store patch cables and have been using JPS cables for awhile now.
When you get into high end audio systems every link in the chain can make a difference although some are more subtle then others.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 05-14-2011 at 18:26.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 19:06 | posts: 1,178 | Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Also the length of the cable is important. The longer the cable the worse the quality of the signal.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 19:46 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandrende Pind View Post
Also the length of the cable is important. The longer the cable the worse the quality of the signal.
It is not quite that simple. There is internal resitance and possible inductance but it is all dependant on the material used and the sheilding.
That being said, I would suggest using the shorted cables possible when connecting components though.
   
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Default 05-14-2011, 23:57 | posts: 2,760 | Location: Belgium

Here's an interesting article I found:

http://www.laventure.net/tourist/cables.htm
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 01:25 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Silver cables are popular among many in the audio community.
I have considered making some but just haven't gotten around to it.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 17:08 | posts: 4,191 | Location: Indiana

Of course $2.50 "el-cheapo" cables will perform like junk. I use pretty decent cables as to ensure a well shielded and noise free (as possible) connection. But buying $250 "Super blah blah blah nuclear rectified cobalt infused blah blah blah" cables to gain some theoretic non-plausible-in-the-real-word derivative is rather dumb. That is why I ask if people can actually "hear" what only an oscilloscope can reveal or if is a psycho-acoustical byproduct.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 17:16 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Well price is relative. I am talking about cables worth $1000 per .5 meter or more. Those seem a bit much to me but maybe not to others.

A person that has alot of money invested in his system might think $250 is not such a bad price. It really depends on you, what you consider quality and what you are willing to pay for it. Very personal thing.

It is really up to you, do some experimenting with cables and see what you find. This is one of those debates that will never ever, ever end.
Some people swear by high end cables and some do not.

To note, some peopls suggest that $2.50 cheap-o cables are just as good as high end sheilded types. Ofcourse this is usually suggested by people with the cheap-o cables. Most of the subjects surrounding audio are subjective and personal and your opinion is really the main one to consider.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 05-15-2011 at 17:48.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 17:56 | posts: 1,073 | Location: Dallas texas

This debate has been going on since the 50,s lol

I think allot of these uber High priced speakers cables are nothing but snake oil and the shops that push them are doing it for the profits alone , Cables have a huge markup ,
I imagine they make a bigger profits on cable than they do with the rest of the component in a system

With that being said , you do get what you pay for too a point , I wouldn't put a pair of $5 cables from a hardware store on a $20.000+ speakers setup or would i spend $10.000 on a pair either , There has to be a happy medium in between


Heres a few links that talk about cabling

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm


http://www.audioholics.com/education/cables/

http://www.audioholics.com/education...b_start:int=30

Last edited by nOv1c3; 05-15-2011 at 21:50.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 18:02 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Agreed, you are right if you dont have a hifi that can show you the differences.
Most expensive cables are a waste as you can get practically the same performance as most of them by choosing wisely in much lower price brackets.
But some cables do make a good difference.

I'm eager to try silver, I saw another article that showed how to make your own braided wire setup, reducing EMI substantially.
Although you could just shield the wire pairs with some braid sleeving instead and then shrink wrap the whole length, I'm sure that would be just as good or very close.

Last edited by Mufflore; 05-15-2011 at 18:05.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 18:35 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

The mid point is what most of us look for which to me is quality at a good price.

I am considering making some silver cables, if anybody is intersted in the idea drop me an email.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 19:00 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Maaan, I've got some Van Damme UP OFC cable for the rears that I havent even tried yet!
I reckon I'm a good 3 months away from being ready to make new silver cables.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 20:20 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

I might make some in the next couple weeks here.

I always read that people say they sound "bright' However, a cable cannot change your sound aside from a negative affect. So, if people say their silver cables sound bright in comparison that must indicate their other cables were producing a negative affect that made them sound dull in comparison. I have not tested any silver cables so I cannot suggest anything like that. Just what I have read.
I like to test and build audio gear so...Silver cables are on my list.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 20:42 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Its possible that mid and bass are attenuated.
I cant imagine thats true though.

Silver is a better conductor.
The signal has slightly smaller electric and magnetic fields due to this.
This will mean it is less influenced by external EM interference like crosstalk and it wont give its energy as easily to other conductors.
Double benefit.

This "appears" to come out as a better response (less frequency dependent attenuation and maybe phase too) at higher frequency.
Perhaps it does just as much for bass and mid but isnt as apparent as the high frequencies.

I'm very interested to see what you think of home made silver cables!
What kit will you be trying them on?

Last edited by Mufflore; 05-15-2011 at 20:46.
   
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Default 05-15-2011, 21:12 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
Its possible that mid and bass are attenuated.
I cant imagine thats true though.

Silver is a better conductor.
The signal has slightly smaller electric and magnetic fields due to this.
This will mean it is less influenced by external EM interference like crosstalk and it wont give its energy as easily to other conductors.
Double benefit.

This "appears" to come out as a better response (less frequency dependent attenuation and maybe phase too) at higher frequency.
Perhaps it does just as much for bass and mid but isnt as apparent as the high frequencies.

I'm very interested to see what you think of home made silver cables!
What kit will you be trying them on?
I can't really say either way as I have never tested any silver cables. I was just relaying what I have read on a few occasions. I have some really good design ideas.
   
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Tom F
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Default 05-16-2011, 10:30 | posts: 2,753 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

I could see that being the case for transmitting huge power at high frequencies due to skin depth, but IMO it doesn't make sense at audio frequencies/power.

Metals behave as metals up to huge frequencies, into the GHz range.

Obviously you wouldn't hook up your system with deliberately crap cable - but after a point it's all marketing.

Generally I make my own, that way I know they're using decent wire and haven't been put together wrong - although I buy digital cables. Making proper impedance matched connections isn't something I feel I have the expertise to do.
   
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heymian
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Default 05-20-2011, 23:48 | posts: 516 | Location: U.S.

This article was posted today about "Audio Component Interconnect Cables", I found it to be a good read:

http://www.maximumtech.com/audio-cab...r-flimflammery
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 05-21-2011, 02:41 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

You can find many articles on both sides of the debate. You just have to do your own testing and go with your findings.
   
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Default 05-21-2011, 02:59 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by heymian View Post
This article was posted today about "Audio Component Interconnect Cables", I found it to be a good read:

http://www.maximumtech.com/audio-cab...r-flimflammery
He makes some good points but is missing an important one in the Oxygen Free section.

Copper is made of grains, the grains are separated by boundaries.
These boundaries contain impurities that isolate the grains causing changes in current flow that has a frequency component (attentuation changes between frequencies) and refraction adds very mild distortion.

Oxygen Free Copper by nature has less impurities, less boundaries and larger grains and thus interferes with the signal less.
There are even single grain cables, laws of diminishing returns apply unless you have a sublime hifi and bat senses

So OFC is a win imo.
As long as you really do have OFC, careful of rip offs!
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 05-21-2011, 17:45 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

What?
There is no such thing as rip offs in the audio world!
   
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