Audiophile cables - brain science...or not?

Discussion in 'AV Accessories' started by Grayson Dere, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
    Staff Member

    Oct 18, 2017
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    I honestly would like to see some direct proof of this claim though. It doesn’t matter in the sense that cables can be a problem. But everything I’ve seen has shown that even the cheapest cables are often a perfect conductor within the audioband. In fact I helped conduct a test of a bunch of cables and the best performing was the 99 cent molded rca that comes with a lot of equipment. The same was true or the digital and usb cables.

    Now I broke that cable disconnecting it which is precisely why I don’t use such cables, but not because I think better cables conduct better. It’s a durability issue.

    Even when people talk about joe cables can cause distortion, oscillation, or phase shifts, that’s true of exotic cables. The cheap run of the mill stuff doesn’t do that.

    There are certainly little things that arise here or there around cables making a measurable difference but those problems and the solutions are cheap. In measuring distortion on the THX AAA based Benchmark amplifier, John Atkinson has measured higher levels of distortion than were correct due to the cable. The fix was a speakon connector based speaker wire that anyone can buy for quite cheap. The problem wasn’t the wire or geometry, it was the connector.

    I found the same thing with an older exotic cable I had. It measured very poorly and I couldn’t figure out why. I cut the ends off and re-terminates them and the problem went away.

    I like making cables, I like audio jewelry as much as anyone, and I have no ill-will towards people who buy and use high dollar cables, but I don’t believe we have objective evidence to suggest that cables can make an audible difference or that any measured differences are meaningfully in the audio range.
  2. ddude003

    ddude003 Active Member

    Aug 13, 2017
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    Somewhere Northeast of Kansas City Missouri
    It seems that we are at cross purposes here... I have never said that price is an indicator of value or that price is an indicator of performance... Hence, I have never said that a more expensive cable is better than a less expensive cable, what ever those price points may be... I have however said that there are differences in cables and those differences can be measured... And in many cases can be heard in stereo system... A Variac, Signal Generator and Oscilloscope will show that power, interconnect and speaker cables all measure and perform differently... Even a decent DVOM will show voltage drop aka resistance in ohms...

    Ask your self why do amplifier/speaker manufactures suggest various cable wire lengths verses wire gauge verses amplifier/speaker ohm connections... Think basic Ohm's Law...

    A rough example would be to attach a right speaker to an amplifier with a 3 foot silver cable of 10 AWG and a left speaker to a 25 foot long copper lamp cord of 18 AWG... There are three reasons these cables would measure and sound different... A forth reason would also be the Amplifier's feedback design...
    #52 ddude003, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019

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