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Author Topic: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables  (Read 10901 times)

jtr

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2006, 11:11:48 am »

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:36


David Glasser wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 14:27

Is it just me, or does the audiophile term 'interconnect' drive anyone else nuts?


You mean like linestage (for preamp), analogue (for record player), or my pet peeve passive preamp (for switcher), soundstage (for image), transport (for CD player), monoblock (mono power amp), horn loaded (speakers with horns) ?

If I ever read a review in Mix or Tape Op that claims a given device has more "there there"  ... well I just dont know what I'll do.

Why yes, now that you mention it, 'interconnect' does drive me a little nuts, and I thought it was just me.

bab


My personal favorite is "burning in" components.  I've read various
reviews where the item (cable, line cord, outlet, amp, etc) " sounded less strident after a 24 hour burn-in period".  This means the reviewer kept it turned on till his or her perceptions changed.....

I've been thinking about asking my clients to not make any rash decisions about refs I've sent until after a suitable burn-in period.Smile
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Viitalahde

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2006, 01:28:57 pm »

This topic is going way off-topic, but Steve & Bob bring out very good points.

It's fun to just look at the pictures of audiophile rooms where the cables have their own stands and cost 1/4th of the speakers. Then the listening position is a couch at the other end of the tiny room with a (carpeted) wall right behind the ears.

Sure, speaker cables have their filters blocks that change the sound. But I am convinced that a huge part of the heard differences come simply from the different position of the listeners head. They listen, change the cables and listen again at a slightly different position..  Rolling Eyes Comb-filtering, anyone?
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aivoryuk

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2006, 01:35:01 pm »

David Glasser wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 21:27

Is it just me, or does the audiophile term 'interconnect' drive anyone else nuts?



sorry i've been spending far too much time with my father in law. (well i actually live with the in laws at the mo so its kinda hard to avoid)  Smile

i don't want to spend a lot but just want something a bit better than the standard stuff at the mo.

i would assume with you guys that have thousand of dollars worth of equipment (speakers and stuff) that you wouldn't use $3's worth of cable. Or maybe you would thats why I'm asking

many regards

Alex
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2006, 02:11:18 pm »

Quote:

i would assume with you guys that have thousand of dollars worth of equipment (speakers and stuff) that you wouldn't use $3's worth of cable. Or maybe you would thats why I'm asking

many regards

Alex


At home I have some $3500 speakers and they are currently connected with about $4 worth of cable, 12 guage lamp cord from Home Depot. Sounds okay to me. Soon I will "upgrade" to something like Canare 4S6 when I get a day off midweek to get over to Pacific Radio in West Hollwood. I think that should take the cost of speaker interconnect up to about $20. I'll post results if I hear an improvement in "soundstage" or if theres more "there there" "blacker blacks" etc. but I doubt it. Which begs the question, why bother? We'll see.

bab

TotalSonic

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2006, 04:29:25 pm »

thermionic wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 14:19

For 1/4" or XLR, I'd go for Switchcraft, as has been suggested.



guess everyone's taste is different - I like Switchcraft's 1/4" plugs but I much much prefer the Neutrik XLR's over Switchcraft's.

regarding speaker cables:
I have some expensive fancy schmancy ones by Analysis Plus - and also some 10gauge lampcord by ProSound with some Monster ends that I stuck on it - and darn if I can hear a single difference between the 2.

Thing is that the differences in response a cable will give you is something like a .01dB change if even that - while the room can easily change things +/- 6dB.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2006, 06:44:18 pm »

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 17:11

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:36


David Glasser wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 14:27

Is it just me, or does the audiophile term 'interconnect' drive anyone else nuts?


You mean like linestage (for preamp), analogue (for record player), or my pet peeve passive preamp (for switcher), soundstage (for image), transport (for CD player), monoblock (mono power amp), horn loaded (speakers with horns) ?

If I ever read a review in Mix or Tape Op that claims a given device has more "there there"  ... well I just dont know what I'll do.

Why yes, now that you mention it, 'interconnect' does drive me a little nuts, and I thought it was just me.

bab


My personal favorite is "burning in" components.  I've read various
reviews where the item (cable, line cord, outlet, amp, etc) " sounded less strident after a 24 hour burn-in period".  This means the reviewer kept it turned on till his or her perceptions changed.....

I've been thinking about asking my clients to not make any rash decisions about refs I've sent until after a suitable burn-in period.Smile


i too had a hard time believing that anything should be burned in.... but now i'm wiser...

i changed the electrolytics in my amp to blackgate's.... and it sounded horrible....

it took a week with noise on the input before it sounded remotely ok...... after a week the tonal balance shifted and my transients came back.... and i'm not talking minor details here...... try and you will know.....

never had the problem with wires though.....

i think there's three kinds of people....

1. those who are fooled (by their auditory cortex?) into believing that they need stands for their cables

2. those who are fooled (by their auditory cortex?) into believing that lamp cord and 30 year old cables sound ok

3. the rest of us using common sense and a pair of ears... and an open mind

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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2006, 11:24:24 pm »

zetterstroem wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 18:44

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 17:11

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:36


David Glasser wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 14:27

Is it just me, or does the audiophile term 'interconnect' drive anyone else nuts?


You mean like linestage (for preamp), analogue (for record player), or my pet peeve passive preamp (for switcher), soundstage (for image), transport (for CD player), monoblock (mono power amp), horn loaded (speakers with horns) ?

If I ever read a review in Mix or Tape Op that claims a given device has more "there there"  ... well I just dont know what I'll do.

Why yes, now that you mention it, 'interconnect' does drive me a little nuts, and I thought it was just me.

bab


My personal favorite is "burning in" components.  I've read various
reviews where the item (cable, line cord, outlet, amp, etc) " sounded less strident after a 24 hour burn-in period".  This means the reviewer kept it turned on till his or her perceptions changed.....

I've been thinking about asking my clients to not make any rash decisions about refs I've sent until after a suitable burn-in period.Smile


i too had a hard time believing that anything should be burned in.... but now i'm wiser...

i changed the electrolytics in my amp to blackgate's.... and it sounded horrible....

it took a week with noise on the input before it sounded remotely ok...... after a week the tonal balance shifted and my transients came back.... and i'm not talking minor details here...... try and you will know.....

never had the problem with wires though.....

i think there's three kinds of people....

1. those who are fooled (by their auditory cortex?) into believing that they need stands for their cables

2. those who are fooled (by their auditory cortex?) into believing that lamp cord and 30 year old cables sound ok

3. the rest of us using common sense and a pair of ears... and an open mind





I guess you think that 30 year old guitars and 30 year old amplifiers sound like shit too don't you zetter? What you don't understand is, we've already been there, done that. They don't call it "wet behind the ears" for nothing. Vintage sounds better, but old sounds worse, great phylosophy.    

Now let's hear you give a scientific explanation that doesn't involve your golden ear opinion on why a 30 year old quality cable is going to lose sonics and sound worse than a new one?


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dcollins

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2006, 11:44:40 pm »

Ronny wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 20:24


Now let's hear you give a scientific explanation that doesn't involve your golden ear opinion on why a 30 year old quality cable is going to lose sonics and sound worse than a new one?



Corrosion/oxidation, UV breakdown of the dielectric, voids in the screening?

But nothing to do with "break-in" as known in Stereophile, etc....


DC

zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2006, 12:49:53 am »

"I guess you think that 30 year old guitars and 30 year old amplifiers sound like shit too don't you zetter?"

are we comparing apples to camels now...  Rolling Eyes

just to clarify: i divide sound into two categories: production and reproduction/monitoring

in production coloring is more than acceptable.... i would go so far as to say that production is coloring..... and for that nothing beats eg. a 30 year old guitar and amp...

in reproduction a far smaller degree of coloring is acceptable imo... to make it easier to color or appreciate the colors in music.... and for that i would personally prefer good sounding non corroded cables

"They don't call it "wet behind the ears" for nothing." how long does it in your opinion take to "dry out behind the ears"?? .... just curious

as far as the scientific explanation i think dc and vdh said it.... i don't think i will paste the same text as you did already...

(and i don't really need an explanation anyway..... knowing how gravity works hasn't changed my view on life on earth.... all i need to know is that it's there...... but if you can explain why women work the way they do i'm all ears Smile )

sorry for provoking you all the time.... Smile we're just from different worlds

respect
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dwoz

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2006, 12:54:17 pm »

Ronny wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 17:45

zetterstroem wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:43

btw these are some lovely interconnects : http://www.vandenhul.com/cable/integration-h.htm

no voodoo here....



Part 2: Fusion Technology; An extended explanation:
Resulting from several years of research, our new Fusion Technology is a breakthrough in metal conductor technology.
Our research led us to the conclusion that a number of important steps in the production process of metal conductors can be improved.

We found that:

The purity of the basic metals is essential. Any uncontrolled or unwanted impurity changes the signal transmission properties, such as the direction and/or speed of the information flow in the final conductor.
Impurities also create undesired metal structures which interfere with specific properties of the pure metal.


The speed of the temperature reduction during the last step of the wire manufacturing (i.e. when the final conductor including its silver coating passes the last dye) has a high influence on the final audio properties.
The steeper this temperature decay, the better: Too high temperatures for too long dramatically worsen the sonic result afterwards.




Actually, the only "breakthrough" they've achieved here, is that at some point some idiot on the production floor forgot to turn on the annealing torches/oven after the final extrusion die.

In the production of metal wire, a large diameter "rod" of metal is drawn through a succession of dies, that gradually reduce the diameter until its down to the point that we'd call it a "wire" instead of calling it a "rod"  The original rod, as supplied by metal foundries such as Alcoa, is typically something like 3/8" diameter, wound on a big spool.  After passing through a number of extrusion dies (perhaps 6 or Cool, it is down to the desired gauge.

Now, when you extrude wire, it heats up tremendously at the spot of the deformation, and cools suddenly, resulting in a hardening of the metal.

So you end up with hardened copper.  That's no big deal, except that it is brittle, and snaps very easily.  The annealing process that follows softens the metal somewhat, so that the ductile properties of the metal improve (it gets more bendable).

If you're only worried about 10 foot lengths, that don't have to be coiled, you can leave off the annealing, but that REALLY DOESN'T do too much to improve the electrical characteristics.  The conductivity is all about the purity, not the hardness!

So the gimmick here is that the wire doesn't bend, (and thus is much easier to break inadvertently).  

In carbon steel, the hardening/tempering/annealing situation can result in a metal that changes its magnetic qualities, which would certainly change its electrical qualities!!!  but in pure copper, which is not a compound element, no amount of futzing around with the crystalline structure will have an effect on the conductivity/signal transmission properties (unless, of course, you're adding lots of oxygen to the copper, by annealing in a high-oxygen atmosphere.  Most wire extrusion/annealing equipment today uses a high-nitrogen "blanket" in the annealing ovens.






Wire...its not just for breakfast anymore.



dwoz


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Phil Demetro

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2006, 02:45:35 pm »

Mr. Zetterstroem,

funny that you mention the  "black gate" capacitors.

I wanted to recap everything in my sontec eq about a year and a half ago. I always spend way too much on stuff like this but I wanted the best and after some research was really curious about the black gates.

Really cleaned up the eq... much cleaner and sweeter now. Softer.
I would probably do it again, too.

I don't think I'll be putting the BG cap on anything else (it really was expensive and they're no longer made) but it was a fun project. Now I use the panasonic cap for most stuff.

I haven't been in the mastering business all that long but cleaning up my power, swapping out a few PSU's and upgrading my wire - esp. the speaker cable  (Acoustic Zen and Shunyata Research) has sure improved the overall sound of my masters..

Going "balanced power" in the next couple of weeks, as well

Phil
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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2006, 06:43:33 pm »

dcollins wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 23:44

Ronny wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 20:24


Now let's hear you give a scientific explanation that doesn't involve your golden ear opinion on why a 30 year old quality cable is going to lose sonics and sound worse than a new one?



Corrosion/oxidation, UV breakdown of the dielectric, voids in the screening?

But nothing to do with "break-in" as known in Stereophile, etc....


DC





I said quality cable, DC. Like I mentioned, I've only had one cable go out by construction deficiency in less than 30 years and it was a Chinese coil type guitar cable. It couldn't have been any thicker than 24 gauge, real thin and when I took it apart the sheild mesh just disintegrated, but I've cables that I bought and made 40 years ago that are still working fine. Some that I rent out with stage gear. I've resoldered the connectors on some 10 to 15 times over the years, due to user abuse, but the cables are sonically as good as the day I bought them.

Zetters statement implies that just because a cable is 30 years old, it's automatically lost sonic quality. That's a complete misinformed view and exactly one that an unscrupulous cable manufacturer would try to pass on to consumers to hype a cable that has no more shit on it than a Belden. Just like the cable company that he thinks isn't passing any voodoo off on him, I already forgot the name.
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Barry Hufker

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2006, 07:09:01 pm »

You don't need all that hi-fi voodoo crap.  Now you can sound like Abbey Road!

An excerpt from the website: http://www.movingairproducts.com/

Science is one thing, listening is another. We held our breath. After double blind testing the cable in various environments including, of course Abbey Road Studios, we were happy to find we got our maths right. Abbey Road Cable has a beautiful fullness and rounded warm quality especially in the bottom end. It has excellent imagery and a natural clarity across a wide range of production styles thus giving a sense of truth to the sound. We could breath again!

This should void any previous discussion here because  --  the Beatles recorded at Abbey Road!

Barry

D'oh
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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2006, 07:13:53 pm »

dwoz wrote on Fri, 06 January 2006 12:54

Ronny wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 17:45

zetterstroem wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:43

btw these are some lovely interconnects : http://www.vandenhul.com/cable/integration-h.htm

no voodoo here....



Part 2: Fusion Technology; An extended explanation:
Resulting from several years of research, our new Fusion Technology is a breakthrough in metal conductor technology.
Our research led us to the conclusion that a number of important steps in the production process of metal conductors can be improved.

We found that:

The purity of the basic metals is essential. Any uncontrolled or unwanted impurity changes the signal transmission properties, such as the direction and/or speed of the information flow in the final conductor.
Impurities also create undesired metal structures which interfere with specific properties of the pure metal.


The speed of the temperature reduction during the last step of the wire manufacturing (i.e. when the final conductor including its silver coating passes the last dye) has a high influence on the final audio properties.
The steeper this temperature decay, the better: Too high temperatures for too long dramatically worsen the sonic result afterwards.




Actually, the only "breakthrough" they've achieved here, is that at some point some idiot on the production floor forgot to turn on the annealing torches/oven after the final extrusion die.

In the production of metal wire, a large diameter "rod" of metal is drawn through a succession of dies, that gradually reduce the diameter until its down to the point that we'd call it a "wire" instead of calling it a "rod"  The original rod, as supplied by metal foundries such as Alcoa, is typically something like 3/8" diameter, wound on a big spool.  After passing through a number of extrusion dies (perhaps 6 or Cool, it is down to the desired gauge.

Now, when you extrude wire, it heats up tremendously at the spot of the deformation, and cools suddenly, resulting in a hardening of the metal.

So you end up with hardened copper.  That's no big deal, except that it is brittle, and snaps very easily.  The annealing process that follows softens the metal somewhat, so that the ductile properties of the metal improve (it gets more bendable).

If you're only worried about 10 foot lengths, that don't have to be coiled, you can leave off the annealing, but that REALLY DOESN'T do too much to improve the electrical characteristics.  The conductivity is all about the purity, not the hardness!

So the gimmick here is that the wire doesn't bend, (and thus is much easier to break inadvertently).  

In carbon steel, the hardening/tempering/annealing situation can result in a metal that changes its magnetic qualities, which would certainly change its electrical qualities!!!  but in pure copper, which is not a compound element, no amount of futzing around with the crystalline structure will have an effect on the conductivity/signal transmission properties (unless, of course, you're adding lots of oxygen to the copper, by annealing in a high-oxygen atmosphere.  Most wire extrusion/annealing equipment today uses a high-nitrogen "blanket" in the annealing ovens.






Wire...its not just for breakfast anymore.



dwoz






Annealed copper has lower conductivity than hard drawn copper, dwoz. However, it's so minute that you wouldn't hear it even if you were born on Krypton like zetter. Annealed alumininum alloys typically have less conductivity than hard treated aluminum, as well. These minute issues are of no real concern in the sonic department, it's as simple as getting the flexibility that you need for the job. If it's a stationary run and you want to go with Romex no problem, but I wouldn't expect any sonic improvements to jump out at you.  
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dcollins

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2006, 12:13:24 am »

zetterstroem wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 05:43


no voodoo here....

We found that:

The purity of the basic metals is essential. Any uncontrolled or unwanted impurity changes the signal transmission properties, such as the direction and/or speed of the information flow in the final conductor.



It controls the speed and direction!  Love it.

Actually the speed is controlled by the insulation. The direction, man can only stand by and watch.

Quote:


Impurities also create undesired metal structures which interfere with specific properties of the pure metal.



Duh. No effect on audio, though.

What is it with these cable "designers" anyway?

Always amusing. Like how the Zaolla cable helps with your workstation's latency........


DC
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