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Author Topic: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables  (Read 11073 times)

carlsaff

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2006, 09:22:38 am »

I hesitate to add to this discussion, but...

I once wired one speaker with expensive audiophile cable and the other regular, old (literally, very old and beat-up) Radio Shack speaker wire. I put on some great sounding, well-known mono material and listened for a long, long time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't my ear be "pulled" to one side or the other were there any differences being caused by the speaker wire? Wouldn't the mono material appear to take on a slightly stereo or a "phasey" aspect if the signals were different in any appreciable way?

I was told by a friend that this test is no good, and that you must use matched cables and stereo program material... but I figured he suggested that because the test revealed there to be no discernable difference between the wires, when he assured me that it would be obvious.  Very Happy

zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #91 on: January 16, 2006, 04:07:05 pm »

carlsaff wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 15:22

I hesitate to add to this discussion, but...

I once wired one speaker with expensive audiophile cable and the other regular, old (literally, very old and beat-up) Radio Shack speaker wire. I put on some great sounding, well-known mono material and listened for a long, long time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't my ear be "pulled" to one side or the other were there any differences being caused by the speaker wire?
no.... unless the cable would attenuate the signal by several dB's
Quote:

Wouldn't the mono material appear to take on a slightly stereo or a "phasey" aspect if the signals were different in any appreciable way?
your ears are probably a bit different from eachother... and so are the speakers..... even if the crossover components are tightly matched they are placed differently and thereby measuring differently...

Quote:

I was told by a friend that this test is no good, and that you must use matched cables and stereo program material...
sorry.... he's right
Quote:

but I figured he suggested that because the test revealed there to be no discernable difference between the wires, when he assured me that it would be obvious.  Very Happy
.... i can't say if there's any differences in your setup but.... you proved absolutely nothing...
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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2006, 04:50:39 pm »

zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 16:07

carlsaff wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 15:22

I hesitate to add to this discussion, but...

I once wired one speaker with expensive audiophile cable and the other regular, old (literally, very old and beat-up) Radio Shack speaker wire. I put on some great sounding, well-known mono material and listened for a long, long time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't my ear be "pulled" to one side or the other were there any differences being caused by the speaker wire?
no.... unless the cable would attenuate the signal by several dB's
Quote:

Wouldn't the mono material appear to take on a slightly stereo or a "phasey" aspect if the signals were different in any appreciable way?
your ears are probably a bit different from eachother... and so are the speakers..... even if the crossover components are tightly matched they are placed differently and thereby measuring differently...

Quote:

I was told by a friend that this test is no good, and that you must use matched cables and stereo program material...
sorry.... he's right
Quote:

but I figured he suggested that because the test revealed there to be no discernable difference between the wires, when he assured me that it would be obvious.  Very Happy
.... i can't say if there's any differences in your setup but.... you proved absolutely nothing...




1. Yes, if there were significant differences you would have heard them. Lack of dB's on one side is only one element, zetter, and he'd likely only hear a gain change from one side to the next, not necessarily a frequency degradation in one range. If the phase was inverted on one side, he'd hear more of a sonic degradation, than a broadband gain change. If the gauges of the wire relative to length of run were mismatched enough and one didn't mean specs, he'd hear differences. Although they weren't made of the same construction materials and would indeed measure different, he didn't hear any differences because they both met the specifications that are required of them, as I mentioned, once you meet the requirement, the rest is overkill.  

2. The speaker cabs would have to be significantly off to hear differences in a blind test, if they were material to the result.

3. The test is good, your friend is not correct. You can test speaker cables using one wire on an L send and one wire on an R send. Any electronic differences that may occur between one speaker cab and the other or one side of a stereo amp over the other side, or one mono block amp that is same brand and matched with the other mono amp would be insignificant in most cases, "providing" they are all working properly and all gear is matched, except of course the cables. If there were differences in wire, you'd be able to hear them immediately, you would not have to wait for a cable to warm up, or break in.  

4. Your test proved that the other guy was incorrect. Why? Because you didn't hear any differences. The burden of proof is on the person that makes the ear claim, to show scientifically why there is a difference.

Let's get something straight, the person that makes the claim when someone else doesn't hear it, is doing absolutely nothing. You've got that bassackwards zetter. The person that isn't hearing any differences is obviously not being fooled. Opinions  don't win court cases, it takes corroborative evidence. ANYONE, can say ANYTHING, but saying it doesn't mean jack when you are dealing with sensisthesia and the idiosyncratic memory recall of the human mind. Savvy engineers know that the ear is not perfect, know it is influenced minute to minute by other sensory factors and compensate their views accordingly.    
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carlsaff

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2006, 05:25:16 pm »

zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 15:07

you proved absolutely nothing...



Then the simple question, and the same one I posed to my friend, is this: why did the left and right channels appear to be producing identical audio?

If it is, as I suspect, that the differences brought by the cable are so slight as to be indistinguishable... then I'll look for my signal path upgrades elsewhere.

max cooper

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2006, 05:36:24 pm »

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 10:11

able, 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 have a good friend in the home audio business, and he swears that burn-in periods are all about getting the buyer to reserve judgement until their perceptions change.

It is sometimes necessary for new speakers to burn in.

Ever hear a pair of Tannoy dual-concentric drivers straight out of the box?  You'd think you were losing your mind if you didn't know what was up.
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #95 on: January 16, 2006, 06:35:43 pm »

carlsaff wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 15:25




If it is, as I suspect, that the differences brought by the cable are so slight as to be indistinguishable... then I'll look for my signal path upgrades elsewhere.



 BINGO ! !

bab

barefoot

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #96 on: January 16, 2006, 06:36:46 pm »

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 08:11


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

In the case of speakers at least, there is a very real "burn in" period.  The driver suspension components, especially the spider (that yellow accordion looking thing behind the cone) become more flexible over time.   This primarily occurs within the first few hours of use.    The resonance frequency and compliance (springiness) can often change by more than 20%.   I burn in all my drivers before I make any final adjustments.  

Thomas
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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #97 on: January 16, 2006, 11:47:00 pm »

max cooper wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 17:36

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 10:11

able, 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 have a good friend in the home audio business, and he swears that burn-in periods are all about getting the buyer to reserve judgement until their perceptions change.

It is sometimes necessary for new speakers to burn in.

Ever hear a pair of Tannoy dual-concentric drivers straight out of the box?  You'd think you were losing your mind if you didn't know what was up.




If you were a speaker manufacturer and your speakers had to be burned in, why wouldn't you burn them in before you sent them out?

How effective would your QC be if the speakers weren't burned in before you performed the checks?
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barefoot

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #98 on: January 17, 2006, 02:20:20 am »

Ronny wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 20:47


If you were a speaker manufacturer and your speakers had to be burned in, why wouldn't you burn them in before you sent them out?

Because it's time consuming and therefore more expensive.  

Ronny wrote


How effective would your QC be if the speakers weren't burned in before you performed the checks?

Not very, unless perhaps you use drivers that have very tight QC and burn in to very predictable tolerances.  

Thomas
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zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #99 on: January 17, 2006, 02:53:14 am »

Ronny wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 22:50



Quote:

1. Yes, if there were significant differences you would have heard them. Lack of dB's on one side is only one element, zetter, and he'd likely only hear a gain change from one side to the next, not necessarily a frequency degradation in one range. If the phase was inverted on one side, he'd hear more of a sonic degradation, than a broadband gain change. If the gauges of the wire relative to length of run were mismatched enough and one didn't mean specs, he'd hear differences.  
all i meant was that the differences h ewould hear could just as easily be speaker placement.... ecxept if it was down by several dB's on one side.... sorry for being unclear.
Quote:

Although they weren't made of the same construction materials and would indeed measure different, he didn't hear any differences because they both met the specifications that are required of them,
that's is why i think the auditory cortex is in play here... if i place identical  speakers one meter apart playing the same signal they sound different!!
Quote:

as I mentioned, once you meet the requirement, the rest is overkill.


Quote:

2. The speaker cabs would have to be significantly off to hear differences in a blind test,
in a word... no.... eg. if one is placed in a null and the other isn't..for a rough test it's ok but not critical testing...

Quote:

3. The test is good, your friend is not correct. You can test speaker cables using one wire on an L send and one wire on an R send. Any electronic differences that may occur between one speaker cab and the other or one side of a stereo amp over the other side, or one mono block amp that is same brand and matched with the other mono amp would be insignificant in most cases,
ronny.... can you safely say that one speaker won't be off 0.3 dB?? or that the frequency range is not off in one speaker.... it may be that your speakers is perfect but most aren't

Quote:

4. Your test proved that the other guy was incorrect. Why? Because you didn't hear any differences. The burden of proof is on the person that makes the ear claim, to show scientifically why there is a difference.
funny.... i think it's the other way around..... the only thing proved here is that the test is insanely unscientific and that he cannot hear differences that should be there when testing like this...... i think he fooled himself into thinking nothing is different influenced by people like you.... and don't forget.... as you always say ronny... THE TEST HAS TO BE BLIND ABX!!

Quote:

Let's get something straight, the person that makes the claim when someone else doesn't hear it, is doing absolutely nothing. You've got that bassackwards zetter. The person that isn't hearing any differences is obviously not being fooled.
so..... the auditory cortex works only one way??? fooling people into buying expensive cable they do not need...... it can NEVER fool anyone into thinking nothing is different??? come on....  Rolling Eyes
Quote:

Opinions  don't win court cases, it takes corroborative evidence. ANYONE, can say ANYTHING, but saying it doesn't mean jack when you are dealing with sensisthesia and the idiosyncratic memory recall of the human mind. Savvy engineers know that the ear is not perfect,
i KNOW my ears aren't perfect..... but current measurement isn't either... and ears can reveal some of that....
Quote:

know it is influenced minute to minute by other sensory factors and compensate their views accordingly.
true..... but i still think proper listening test are more revealing  


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zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #100 on: January 17, 2006, 02:56:19 am »

Ronny wrote on Tue, 17 January 2006 05:47

max cooper wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 17:36

jtr wrote on Thu, 05 January 2006 10:11

able, 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 have a good friend in the home audio business, and he swears that burn-in periods are all about getting the buyer to reserve judgement until their perceptions change.

It is sometimes necessary for new speakers to burn in.

Ever hear a pair of Tannoy dual-concentric drivers straight out of the box?  You'd think you were losing your mind if you didn't know what was up.




If you were a speaker manufacturer and your speakers had to be burned in, why wouldn't you burn them in before you sent them out?

How effective would your QC be if the speakers weren't burned in before you performed the checks?


true.... all speaker manufacturers should do that..... most don't.... qc is worthless without burn-in time
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barefoot

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #101 on: January 17, 2006, 01:21:36 pm »

zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 16 January 2006 23:56


true.... all speaker manufacturers should do that..... most don't.... qc is worthless without burn-in time


Not necessarily worthless.  As I alluded to above, you can load the QC into the front end by using more reliable driver materials and higher manufacturing tolerances.   This way the driver performance characteristics fall into a narrow, predicable window after burn-in.   Then you design the system to work optimally after the customer does the burn-in.  And drivers with tight post burn-in characteristics usually also have tight pre burn-in characteristics.  So you can still do reliable pass/fail type testing.  This all saves assembly and test time, but the front end QC is still costly.  

With my high-end speakers I actually take both approaches.  The drivers are designed and manufactured with tight properties.   Then I "bin split" them after burn-in into usually 3 even narrower parametric categories, typically based on their SPL curves.    I optimize filters for each bin split so that the final responses match a single target response.   Each speaker's preamp corresponds to a particular bin A, B or C.   If you order a replacement driver, not only do you receive the same model; you receive the same bin split.   This ensures that the monitors remain tightly matched to the benchmark as well as each other.  

Thomas
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Ronny

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #102 on: January 17, 2006, 08:04:30 pm »




1. Understood

2.  Turning the head will typically have more effect than matched monitor cabinet differences in level.

3. If you turn your head 45 degrees the sound will be different, due to shadow effect, it can be more than a .3dB difference, that yes can be the difference that two speaker cabs can be outputting. The ear that is farthest from source naturally attenuates the signal, but if the speakers weren't measuring within a dB at the sweet spot this can sway a listening evaluation. Measuring the test equipment to make sure that everything is on an even keel is crucial .  

4. I've never said that the tests always have to be ABX in the blind. I've been saying that you must confirm your sighted evaluations with the scientific test, while eliminating as much of the human element as possible on the science part of the test. I don't think that one test fits all parameters, it is the combination of tests that give the most valid results.

5. The auditory cortex can fool people into hearing differences when there are none and by the same token can keep people from hearing things that are there. So can mood, temperature of components, environmental acoustics, how much caffeine you had that day, the level of the audio that the ear was used to before an evaluation and a host of other factors that may not have anything to do with electronic differences.


I agree proper listening tests are essential.
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zetterstroem

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #103 on: January 18, 2006, 03:00:34 am »

ronny.... the day has come

i'm afraid to say this..... i think i AGREE with you  Shocked  Very Happy  Very Happy

(don't tell ammitsb
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aivoryuk

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Re: upgrading interconnects and speaker cables
« Reply #104 on: January 18, 2006, 03:06:07 pm »

Well when i wrote the original post I did not think it was going to provoke such a discussion.  Smile


But anyway I have now just purchased some connection cables/interconnects (or whatever you want to call them) I shall look forward to connecting them to my system (not that i think they will make a big difference but we shall see. which should be next week once I have finally moved to my new residence, (only been waiting for 4 months)

thanks to all for their recommendations and such

Alex
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