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Speaker Cables Really Don't Make Much of a Difference?

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  • #16
    I know a fair bit about broadcast electronics (aviation engineer) and very little about expensive wire. Do they try to sell phased wire (as in heliax cut to precise lengths for waveform phasing as in broadcast antennas) or stuff like vacuum waveguides (like found in radar systems) for audio systems? Or is this a "don't given them any ideas" type thing.

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    • #17
      You name it, they sell it. Skin effect gets a lot of attention, even though it doesn't matter at audio frequencies. So does Litz wire, which reduces skin effect at radio frequencies, but doesn't do diddly in speaker cables. Silver plating, solid silver, whatever. A good indication of how silly it gets can be found at thecableco.com . It's bad enough when you see what they want for wire, but when you look at the rest of the junk they sell, like $99 buss fuses, it's obvious what they're up to. And they're not the only ones.
      www.billfitzmaurice.com
      www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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      • #18
        I went to Abbey Road Studio 2 some years ago. Acoustic treatment is made up of old, ragged curtains. Wiring is no brand name.

        It ift's good enough for Abbey Road, it's good enough for me."boutique", mega kilobuck cables are a way to separate those with lots of extra income from their hard earned money.
        Line Array: IDS-25 Clone, FE-83.
        2-2.5 Way:
        Zaph Audio's winning entry: ZA5+SB29. - Microliths: RS125+RS28. - Small Bangs: TB W4-1658SB+SEAS 27TBFC/G. - Monoliths: Peerless 830884+SEAS 27TBFC/G.
        3-3.5 Way:Miniliths: SEAS P21/CA21REX+Neo8 PDR+Neo3 PDR. - Megaliths: 2xDayton RS270+2xT-B W4-1337SB+SB29. - ZDT3.5 +: 2xDayton RS180+Dayton RS52+Vifa DQ25. Reflexos: OB 4xDayton RS150 + Neo3 PDR.

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        • #19
          I was surprised that there are even 'speaker cable accessories' (?!). There are expensive things to lift cables off the floor to reduce carpet interference, even more expensive 'speaker bullets' to reduce noise from the signal and even RCA 'connector enhancers'.

          There's also a $2500 ultrasonic rat deterrent sine wave generator to eliminate the possibility of your expensive cable being chewed through: I made that one up but there's a gap in the market somewhere!

          Geoff

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          • #20
            Cable lifts? Kid stuff as far as audio grifters are concerned. My favorite is Brilliant Pebbles, literally jars or bags of small quartz pebbles placed around the room, or taped to interconnects to provide all sorts of magical results. Really. And only $29 a bag!

            Click image for larger version

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            www.billfitzmaurice.com
            www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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            • Geoff Millar
              Geoff Millar commented
              Editing a comment
              I just looked that up, I can't believe that people fall for that stuff; there are also the even more expensive 'room corner pebbles' for a mere $129. What would be the profit margin on a bag of rocks?

              Unless of course the whole thing was written on 1 April.

              Geoff

          • #21
            Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
            Cable lifts? Kid stuff as far as audio grifters are concerned. My favorite is Brilliant Pebbles, literally jars or bags of small quartz pebbles placed around the room, or taped to interconnects to provide all sorts of magical results. Really. And only $29 a bag!

            Click image for larger version

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            The best radio crystals are made from quartz. Coincidence? I think not!
            Francis

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            • #22
              Some of these conversations remind me of an interesting experiment in the power of persuasion from DIY New England some number of years ago. I think we were at Dave Ralph's house. Somebody wanted to A/B his fancy speaker wires with the regular PE stuff. We went back and forth a few times, and predictably, nobody heard a difference. The fella that built the cables really seemed to want us to hear a difference, so he asked us "if" there was a difference, what would it be? I decided to have some fun and made up some crap about more transparent midrange, blah, blah, blah. As soon as I said that, apparently everyone else heard it too!

              It's the oldest trick in the book. Tell someone what they're supposed to hear, and they'll hear it.

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              • #23
                Some hear what they think they're supposed to hear. Watch this starting at the 3:20 mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYTlN6wjcvQ

                www.billfitzmaurice.com
                www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

                Comment


                • #24
                  Originally posted by fjhuerta View Post
                  I went to Abbey Road Studio 2 some years ago. Acoustic treatment is made up of old, ragged curtains. Wiring is no brand name.

                  It ift's good enough for Abbey Road, it's good enough for me."boutique", mega kilobuck cables are a way to separate those with lots of extra income from their hard earned money.
                  That sounds like a fantastic time!

                  I remember reading a few years back that good old fashioned terry cloth was determined to be one of the most effective treatments. Fold a bunch up, frame them, hang them.
                  Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                  • #25
                    Originally posted by fjhuerta View Post
                    I went to Abbey Road Studio 2 some years ago. Acoustic treatment is made up of old, ragged curtains. Wiring is no brand name.
                    I am not advocating the use of expensive esoteric cables.

                    That said, some studios are not using garage band cables. For example, Bob Ludwig didn't use low budget cables in his studios at Gateway Mastering in Portland Maine.

                    http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/mus...bob_ludwig.htm

                    In a 1999 interview, Bob Ludwig mentioned, "I monitor with two EgglestonWorks Ivy loudspeakers in stereo, and five EgglestonWorks Andra loudspeakers for 5.1 surround. The Ivys (serial numbers 1 and 2) retail for $100,000. They have 23 drivers in each cabinet operating in an isobaric mode. They are powered by two bridged Cello Performance Mark II amplifiers (6000-watt peaks!), and I use the top-of-the-line Transparent Audio speaker cable. I use Transparent Audio cable throughout the studio; we probably have a few kilometers of it installed in my one mastering room, three production rooms and DVD-authoring room."

                    "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                    of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                    - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                    A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                    (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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                    • #26
                      At one point in the past, I believe in the early 2000s, Abbey Rd used B&W 800Ds I believe. No idea if they retained the Transparent Audio cables or replaced them with something else.

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                      • #27
                        Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post

                        That sounds like a fantastic time!

                        I remember reading a few years back that good old fashioned terry cloth was determined to be one of the most effective treatments. Fold a bunch up, frame them, hang them.
                        It was one of the top 3 experiences I've had in my lifetime. There are too many stories to tell, but got to hear the three original pianos playing the ending chord of "A Day in the Life" on Studio 2, and I basically teared up.
                        Line Array: IDS-25 Clone, FE-83.
                        2-2.5 Way:
                        Zaph Audio's winning entry: ZA5+SB29. - Microliths: RS125+RS28. - Small Bangs: TB W4-1658SB+SEAS 27TBFC/G. - Monoliths: Peerless 830884+SEAS 27TBFC/G.
                        3-3.5 Way:Miniliths: SEAS P21/CA21REX+Neo8 PDR+Neo3 PDR. - Megaliths: 2xDayton RS270+2xT-B W4-1337SB+SB29. - ZDT3.5 +: 2xDayton RS180+Dayton RS52+Vifa DQ25. Reflexos: OB 4xDayton RS150 + Neo3 PDR.

                        Comment


                        • #28
                          Originally posted by Unbiasedsound View Post
                          So there are differences in cables and caps. hmmmm lol
                          Of course cables can and do sound different - as discussed many times, it isn't due to magic it is due to reactance. Some cables are deliberately (poorly) constructed to roll of the top or bottom end. The "improvements" are due to linear distortion. There are three measurable attributes in a cable - inductance, capacitance, resistance. All will affect what happens at the terminus, sometimes audibly. The error is when people make statements like "more bass" - what that should read is "something is killing the mids and treble".

                          Some caps sound different, some do not. Generally speaking, you should be able to measure why - provided you properly controlled your experiment. Most experiments are not. Wine aficionados are notoriously easy to fool with price-tag swapping. Pastries tasting better out of a pink box is another great example of sighted bias. We are probably no different - except we tend to focus on branding/materials, not necessarily pricing. Phase can be affected by as little as .1uF, and some people are pretty good at picking up on that.
                          Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                          Comment


                          • Unbiasedsound
                            Unbiasedsound commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I dont think anybody said its due to magic. LOL I do agree that cables and caps can sound different as I've experienced it first hand myself as well as many other people.

                            Most wine aficionados are easy to fool because most of them are just pretenders. A "TITLE", does not automatically give anyone better senses. lol

                            I have never judged the taste of a pastry based on the color of a box as that has never crossed my mind. The pastry shop I usually shop at has a greyish box with some type of triangle decorations maybe that color is influencing me? lol

                            We are living in a world now were people almost completely ignore there 5 senses and 6 sense if you are special. lol

                        • #29
                          Originally posted by JRT View Post

                          I am not advocating the use of expensive esoteric cables.

                          That said, some studios are not using garage band cables. For example, Bob Ludwig didn't use low budget cables in his studios at Gateway Mastering in Portland Maine.

                          http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/mus...bob_ludwig.htm

                          In a 1999 interview, Bob Ludwig mentioned, "I monitor with two EgglestonWorks Ivy loudspeakers in stereo, and five EgglestonWorks Andra loudspeakers for 5.1 surround. The Ivys (serial numbers 1 and 2) retail for $100,000. They have 23 drivers in each cabinet operating in an isobaric mode. They are powered by two bridged Cello Performance Mark II amplifiers (6000-watt peaks!), and I use the top-of-the-line Transparent Audio speaker cable. I use Transparent Audio cable throughout the studio; we probably have a few kilometers of it installed in my one mastering room, three production rooms and DVD-authoring room."
                          EDIT_ Misread your post and the one below it. Yeah, I saw the wiring and asked about it. No surprises there... and that's the moment I was convinced that if albums aren't recorded with those types of wiring, I didn't need it either in my poor man's system, anyway.



                          Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 12.21.48.png Views:	0 Size:	1.01 MB ID:	1467399
                          Line Array: IDS-25 Clone, FE-83.
                          2-2.5 Way:
                          Zaph Audio's winning entry: ZA5+SB29. - Microliths: RS125+RS28. - Small Bangs: TB W4-1658SB+SEAS 27TBFC/G. - Monoliths: Peerless 830884+SEAS 27TBFC/G.
                          3-3.5 Way:Miniliths: SEAS P21/CA21REX+Neo8 PDR+Neo3 PDR. - Megaliths: 2xDayton RS270+2xT-B W4-1337SB+SB29. - ZDT3.5 +: 2xDayton RS180+Dayton RS52+Vifa DQ25. Reflexos: OB 4xDayton RS150 + Neo3 PDR.

                          Comment


                          • #30
                            Originally posted by JRT View Post

                            I am not advocating the use of expensive esoteric cables.

                            That said, some studios are not using garage band cables. For example, Bob Ludwig didn't use low budget cables in his studios at Gateway Mastering in Portland Maine.

                            http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/mus...bob_ludwig.htm

                            In a 1999 interview, Bob Ludwig mentioned, "I monitor with two EgglestonWorks Ivy loudspeakers in stereo, and five EgglestonWorks Andra loudspeakers for 5.1 surround. The Ivys (serial numbers 1 and 2) retail for $100,000. They have 23 drivers in each cabinet operating in an isobaric mode. They are powered by two bridged Cello Performance Mark II amplifiers (6000-watt peaks!), and I use the top-of-the-line Transparent Audio speaker cable. I use Transparent Audio cable throughout the studio; we probably have a few kilometers of it installed in my one mastering room, three production rooms and DVD-authoring room."
                            Bob is probably playing to his market.... just guessing. For example, there's no mention of cabling other than avoiding analog patch bays on Bob Katz's Studio A description.

                            I doubt they use anything budget, but I also doubt they're going beyond standard tech decent shielded balanced wire everywhere with quality termination. That's all you need... pretty much as everyone has stated already.
                            Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                            Wogg Music
                            Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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