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Author Topic: Microdiodes in copper conductor  (Read 19847 times)

Sahib

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Microdiodes in copper conductor
« on: December 06, 2007, 05:11:05 PM »

I have just picked up from e-bay what seems to be a 1988 first print of Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook, edited by John Borwick, published by Butterworths ISBN 0-408-01387-7.

Mr Borwick holds BSc in Physics. He taught at the BBC Engineer Training School, He is a fellow of the AES and served as the Vice President Europe Region. He helped set up Bachelor of Music degree course at the University of Surrey in 1971 and was a seniorlecturer. He has been Audio Editor of Gramaphone magazine for more than 20 years. Obviously all of this information about him relates back to 1988 when the book was published.

Below is an extract about speaker cables. The writer of the section is Martin Colloms, whom also has a published book about speakers and seems a credible writer too.

I have been researching this audio cable issue for some time and I am armed with really in depth reference books on conductors and semiconductors and I won't take no mambo jambo. So, it seems a credible book is in my hand, or is that the case?  

Bruno and the rest of the gang I would most welcome your views.



Quote:


.... Microscopy at a moderate x200 magnification reveals the structure of the conductor. Bar-refined copper shows a highly crystalline makeup, of some 150 000 crystalls per metre. An analysis of the structure indicates that the crystals have a pure interior, while the impurities congregate at the crystal boundaries. The oxygen content is present in the reduced form of Cu2O, a semiconductor. Considering te conductive path between crystals, the boundary has the properties of a junction diode, a capacitor and a low shunt resistance, the latter being the dominant feature.



Shocked  


Cemal



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dcollins

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 07:14:27 PM »

Sahib wrote on Thu, 06 December 2007 14:11


.... Microscopy at a moderate x200 magnification reveals the structure of the conductor. Bar-refined copper shows a highly crystalline makeup, of some 150 000 crystalls per metre. An analysis of the structure indicates that the crystals have a pure interior, while the impurities congregate at the crystal boundaries. The oxygen content is present in the reduced form of Cu2O, a semiconductor. Considering te conductive path between crystals, the boundary has the properties of a junction diode, a capacitor and a low shunt resistance, the latter being the dominant feature.



Shouldn't this be trivial to measure electrically?  

Is any other industry aware of this?

DC

bruno putzeys

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 03:48:37 AM »

dcollins wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 01:14

Shouldn't this be trivial to measure electrically?

Spot on.

Talk of microdiodes and other esoteric stuff is a classical attempt to explain a phenomenon (audibility of differences in conductor material) which has not even been proven to exist yet. The reasoning goes that if one can offer some plausibloid sciency sounding explanation (sufficiently convoluted to buy into oneself) this excuses one from doing the groundwork. The #1 hallmark of pseudoscientific "explanations" is that proving the truth of the explanation is invariably harder than proving the truth of the original claim.

The person proffering such an explanation will then go on to say that they themselves don't have the equipment to prove this, or worse that such equipment doesn't yet exist, but that once the equipment and/or exorbitant funding become available their hypothesis will certainly be confirmed. We're lulled into believing that it's all but ready to be written in schoolbooks and that proof is nothing but an expensive formality which it is more economical to forgo.

You can scare these people witless by showing that their explanation makes predictions that are easily testable with the current state of technology. The microdiode hypothesis predicts that the resistance of a piece of copper wire is non-linear. Needless to say, no nonlinearity has been shown so far. That should not be a surprise. For starts I didn't know you could make a diode using intrinsic semiconductor material. Secondly, what current density do we need to get enough voltage across these "microdiodes" for them to start affecting conductivity? Enough to liquefy the copper or will we need do vaporise it? So far for "microdiodes" and their psychological resonance with "microdetail". Maybe the genius who knows something that only the inhabitants of Betelgeuse might have managed to prove might first see if his suggestions are at least consistent with the stuff we know already.

Still, the most important thing is that explanations are only called for inasmuch as the claimed phenomenon is first shown to exist. This is not a principle, it's a matter of economy. Sometimes it makes sense to skip a controlled trial if the explanation is easier to prove than the original observation (e.g. astrophysical phenomena that are observed only once). Even then, the explanation itself should be proven in full.
In this case the claimed phenomenon is:
"Conductor composition in loudspeaker cables makes an audible difference."
Next, it is attempted to prove the truth of this statement by this explanation:
"Copper has a non-linear resistance
AND
non-linearities of this order of magnitude are audible."
Whoa. We've just replaced ONE hard-to-prove claim by TWO hard-to-prove claims. Worse still, the second is of the same nature as the original claim itself. Proving the existence of a non-linearity at -180dB still means nothing if the audibility of this isn't also demonstrated. I can't see how we're making headway like this.

Take by contrast the casual observation that a Cary 300B amplifier sounds different from a Halcro DM58. You can skip the listening test here. Just measure distortion of either. The Cary amp measures THD in whole percents, the Halcro amp does not distort measurably at all. The audibility of 2% of distortion has already been rigorously proven so here a measurement is more economical than a rigourous listening test.

Ah nothing starts the day like trashing some pseudoscience good Smile
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Kees de Visser

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 05:36:02 AM »

Bruno Putzeys wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 09:48

Take by contrast the casual observation that a Cary 300B amplifier sounds different from a Halcro DM58. You can skip the listening test here. Just measure distortion of either. The Cary amp measures THD in whole percents, the Halcro amp does not distort measurably at all. The audibility of 2% of distortion has already been rigorously proven so here a measurement is more economical than a rigourous listening test.
Thanks Bruno for an excellent post (as always). My only reservation is about the audibility. You're assuming that:
- the 2% distortion is in the audible band
- the distortion doesn't create audible artifacts further in the signal chain
- the distortion is insufficiently (psychoacoustically) masked by the source signal.

I've read enough about audibility to know that it's very hard to make predictions about it Wink
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Kees de Visser
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Sahib

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 07:56:44 AM »


May amazement is not on the idea that a diode action will exist between copper cyrstals, it is in a book which is edited by a person in that calibre.

I would like to find out if any of AES members picked up on this and whispered into the vice president's ear when the book came out.
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Larrchild

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 05:26:41 PM »

An outward indication of this diodic activity would probably manifest itself as demodulation of radio frequencies within the wire itself at some frequency range.(as per the claimed non-linear junctions)

Yet, in RF equipment everywhere, I see mere copper wire and copper coaxial cable and copper traces carrying RF with no adverse effect. Conversely, bad RF in audio gear seldom, if ever, gets rectified by wire, but instead, by transistor junctions and the like.

index.php/fa/6905/0/
Here's a copper conductor with about 100,000 watts of RF on it.
That should get those diodes a hopping making some DC on there eh?

Nawwww.
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Larry Janus
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dcollins

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 08:38:38 PM »

Bruno Putzeys wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 00:48

dcollins wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 01:14

Shouldn't this be trivial to measure electrically?

Spot on.


Ah nothing starts the day like trashing some pseudoscience good Smile


Because cables need to break-in.

Just like film/foil capacitors.

"My speaker cables have an impedance of 8 Ohms"

"Silver cables have more harmonics than Copper"

And for my money, the winner:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina41.htm

That should keep us busy for a while.

DC

Bruce

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 02:59:19 PM »

Larrchild wrote on Fri, 07 December 2007 17:26

An outward indication of this diodic activity would probably manifest itself as demodulation of radio frequencies within the wire itself at some frequency range.(as per the claimed non-linear junctions)

Yet, in RF equipment everywhere, I see mere copper wire and copper coaxial cable and copper traces carrying RF with no adverse effect. Conversely, bad RF in audio gear seldom, if ever, gets rectified by wire, but instead, by transistor junctions and the like.

Here's a copper conductor with about 100,000 watts of RF on it.
That should get those diodes a hopping making some DC on there eh?

Nawwww.


Indeed. I work with rf as my profession. Commercial repeaters are allowed up to 350 watts output in the US, which is about +56dBm. At the same time, the receiver is listening for signals as low as -120dBm. If there is any diode action happening (broadband noise) in the feedline, it is more than 176dB down from the transmitter's carrier, which should suffice for audio.

-Bruce

(PS - Amateurs are allowed up to 1500 watts out or +62dBm, which would push the ratio to 182dB, although I don't know of any repeaters actually operating at that power.)
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Larrchild

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 04:18:55 PM »

Yes, another perfect example, Bruce. A coaxial antenna cable (copper) that is both transmitting and receiving into a duplexer for a repeater.
You need to have a noise floor, as you say, near -180dBc for it to work. Cell sites would hear their own transmitters, instead of you.
Now there is "skin effect" at rf, where the center of the conductor is not passing current. But still, with 100,000 watts at 100Mhz on the copper FM antenna, I'd expect some residual DC to be created from this effect. Even with poor conversion-efficiency.
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Larry Janus
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Sahib

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 05:47:59 PM »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 08 December 2007 01:38



the winner:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina41.htm




Hey DC,

That was only the second. I was the winner. That was my entry for Dan Lavry's competition.

Quote:


In the jungle of audio world how can you hack the best speaker wire? You can’t right? Wrong.
Now you can and we bring it right to your door. Free delivery included over purchases of 2 x 6’ at only $2,759.99 per foot. Many long hours, sleepless nights and years of hard work were poured in our R&D department for the discovery of a perfect a speaker cable with a pyramid crystalline structure producing warm lows at which frequencies when your amplifier is sweating most of its power. And our speaker cable takes all that pressure not only from your amplifier but also all the way from your pre-amplifier combating nasty influences of capacitance, inductance and skin effect, while maintaining super-clean upper bandwidth in spite of high frequency transients. Its normalised copper content means that it can handle impulse audio responses at the tiniest signal level to largest with bigger and wider control over audio band and beyond. Built in dual kinematic twisted structure means the directionality of the signal is preserved at the highest with providing equal delay in signals on both channels. Temperature compensated barometric stabilization means that our cable can reduce the jitter level by a factor 1.60773299432111 over 50 bits data. Considering that the most data rate used in digital electronics is 32 bits, a generous head-room of 18 bits is maintained. In the case of non-digital audio applications the logarithmic control is better than the industry standard very analogue to extremely analogue. Finally its superior performance and fast response is sworn by the industry authorities . Just ask Dan Lavry of Lavry Engineering. You will agree that our state of the art speaker wire is the innovation of the millennium.



Cemal
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johnR

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2007, 07:48:15 AM »

I hope they ship that fancy cable in straight lengths. Just bending a piece of copper alters its crystal structure, as is demonstrated by the way a solid copper wire gets more rigid after it's bent a couple of times.
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Sam Lord

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2007, 04:43:11 PM »

Bruce wrote on Sat, 08 December 2007 14:59

Indeed. I work with rf as my profession. Commercial repeaters are allowed up to 350 watts output in the US, which is about +56dBm. At the same time, the receiver is listening for signals as low as -120dBm. If there is any diode action happening (broadband noise) in the feedline, it is more than 176dB down from the transmitter's carrier, which should suffice for audio.

-Bruce...
I wish I could measure that.  I would have expected very much more Johnson noise, which would in turn be swamped by amplifier noise, no?  Unlike yourself, Larry, and others here I have almost no knowledge of rf.  Still, I would expect whatever "microdiodes" to just make noise, not DC, if they were randomly oriented.    

My point is more general.  Why swat flys with a hammer?  If both common and esoteric interconnect cables null below, say, 120dB in easy line level-level work (e.g. short length, low-z out, high-z in), and they shield and balance well, what more is there to say?

Once a cable maker (still going strong!) brought to our main room interconnects and speaker cables with all pure gold conductors.  They didn't sound good.        
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Larrchild

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2007, 04:52:18 PM »

You are right as I thought about it, yesterday. Not DC because they are not oriented in series, but some evidence of detection, nonetheless.
Some guy does have a patent for Gucci wire using unipolar crystals.
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Larry Janus
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johnR

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2007, 03:47:01 PM »

Larrchild wrote on Sun, 09 December 2007 21:52

You are right as I thought about it, yesterday. Not DC because they are not oriented in series, but some evidence of detection, nonetheless.


Random orientation would imply random phase of the detected signals. If they all picked up the same signal, and I'm not sure if that would be the case, I suspect they would sum to zero or close to it.
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Larrchild

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Re: Microdiodes in copper conductor
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2007, 03:58:33 PM »

Right, but in the right piece of wire, lucky coincidences in crystal orientation should make something appear on occasion.
I'm just looking for a way to verify the phenomenon.

Who knows? If you could excite individual crystals by using voltage nodes of rf on the wire, you might have the computer of the future!
Just not better speaker wire, lol.
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Larry Janus
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