That's right Sander, no need for over-expensive cables, just buy a decent brand without all of the nonsense. There's cables available that cost in excess of $2000 for a stereo set, that's just absurd, a double blind test will indeed show that these cables offer no audible advantage, and I doubt whether it is even measurable.
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If there is one thing that I can assure you it is that there is most definately a difference and as an avid audiophile will contend this till the cows come home - or you listen and actually say yes your right.
Now it may be true that there are many (99.999999%) that are lazy enough not to listen, there are also many that do.
AND LET ME TELL YOU, there is definately a difference in the old sound, before the Kimber and after. The Kimber I have is the mid range select at over US$3,500 for a 2m pair. I am not stupid enough to go one higher (can't afford it).
Now for those that can't be bothered to try it fine your problem, but for those who really want the truth of the matter, simply find your local retailer and ask them if you can listen one day - boy will you be surprised at what you hear....clarity, cleanliness, music!
For those in the UK how about trying a special at home free trail by Russ Andrews (http://www.russandrews.co.uk/) they can start you with the "low" level of cable called yello, then only if you want try the real stuff...
There are several well written articles about sound, from the mains, thru vibrations etc. Look in the Downloads section - you have to register which I think is wrong but there you go...I also do not work or am in any way affiliated with Russ Andrews apart from being a customer.
More interesting though is the affect of a change to your mains cable to your music system, try a decent cable and you will be amazed....go on if your in the UK try it....dare you....
As for Monster Cable - your right it is cr@p, but that is a commercial product you buy at wallMart and simply cannot be considered to be hiFi.
Transparent, Kimber and Nordquest are the true hi fi cables and believe me - once heard in a proper system boy you will NEVER go back.
My first post (and you go and pick something I really enjoy!)
You posted,"up to 10-feet a 2x1.5mm^2 cable will do just fine, up to 50-feet 2x2.5mm^2 is sufficient, and for longer runs 2x4.0mm^2 is required". How does this translate in terms of AWG for us in the U.S.? I've always been under the impression that anything over 10-12 AWG is a waste of $$ while some say 14 AWG. TIA
Oh yeah, I can't believe some of the battles I've read at other sites regarding optical/coaxial digital cable and what's allegedly better. Hopefully people will take your advice and realize it is all just 1's & 0's when it comes to digital and neither is superior (at least for short runs).
Expensive cables are a definite no-no on low end systems, as they tend to reveal just how bad the system is. I normally spend around 5% of my system cost on cables, but at the moment I'm using cables I've made myself.
cheap cable is as good as expensive cable eh???.... BULL... it may be that u have a degree in engineering bu that has nothing to do with true life SOUND... and whoever said digital was the best sounding audio... in fact there have been many studies that prove that vinyl is still the best sounding audio on the market and that is an analog signal.... dont believe me do some research.... who cares about the sciences behind it in the end what it really comes down to is the end product... and let me tell u i went from some generic(paramount) cable to a thx Ultra (Monster cables's best) and ohhh boy did that really "warm" up the sound in the audio output of my audio system... like its been previously stated im not talking about Kmart special systems im talking about systems for people who really sit down and "LISTEN" to their music
and i mean LISTEN not just playing it as backrouind music.... i do sales and i would love for someone so ignorant as to believe that there is no difference in audio signals to come and "try" me see if i can hear the differences in music..... I WOULD LOVE TO PROVE THEM WRONG............ thats my own personal professional opinion......
You can set in my living room right between the speakers, & I can play some "close miked" material that makes ppl hair stand up on the back of their neck brcause it is like a GHOST stepped into the room , & started singing
How many times have i listened to so called amazing audiophile class equipment and never hear a difference? i hear 22 hkz easily and find it real annoying (i have sensitive ears.....21 db from my comp kills me i have it at 16 db and i call that 'bearable' ) i hear noise from everything i got....speakers earphones headphones....they all got so much noise it drives me nuts.....then again i got no dough to fix all that....if i could id remove the integraded audio...replace the coaxial cabling and get a proper set of speakers....(not these budget gamer's ones)....but if you ask me...if its digital...then it aint worth it....sure ive noticed slight differences with shielded cables and better quality metals but it is by far not worth what some people spend...by all means get decent cables but.....quickly it becomes stupid....and theres alot of stuff out there that seems to be more brand and more placebo than actual product....
An xbox360 and a 12" iBook....
And a kawasaki er-6n to mod instead
I have a fairly decent system: Vandersteen 2Cs, NAD 272 power, Cambridge Audio Pre and CD player (Music Hall CD Player and Pioneer Elite SCAD/DVD/DVD-Audio) on order. I use a high quality low oxygen copper bi-wire speaker wire that cost about $1.50 a foot. I use AR and Monster Cable interconnects (they look nice and aren't that expensive) but I am not going to spend $1,000 or even $100 of dollars on inter-connects. Read what the man who invented McIntosh speakers and designed some of the McIntosh amps has to say about this issue at:
Good vinyl on an expensive turntable with a good cartridge may sound better than most CD players (at least for the first few playings of the LP and if you don't play the LP without giving the groove a break). From what I can gather, it is the DAC that is vital and the digital to analog converters are improving on even moderately priced players (ROTEL, Music Hall, and Cambridge Audio). I am even considering buying a separate DAC and using the player as a transport. I think this has some logic.
Go to Audio Asylum and read the comments about inter-connects and speaker wire! They have banned discussions in the cable section about blind trials or A-B comparisons. Folks who have spent $1000's on cables will start threads about the benefits of Home Depot's cheap speaker wire (in the Halloween colors) or talk about being sure to hook the speaker wire up in the right direction (because of magnetic effects!).
But really, this thread has no purpose. We are talking about those who have the faith and those who don't and if I had big bucks I probably would buy some fancier cables but today I spent my extra money ($600) for some B&W 602S3 speakers for my computer/exercise/bonus room so I can listen to music while I try to row away some fat (another myth that exercise burns calories).
yo' George King, I reread your post, which guy w/ the engineering degree were you talking to (you didn't mean me, right?, I have a degree in engineering also, but I didn't advocate cheap cable, I am on your side, I just can't afford $2000 wires
I am not saying you can't hear a difference, but you may exceed the point of diminishing returns, & I didn't say digital was better, I said I use Monster cable on my digital connects too (in response to Brian Stewarts remark about using digital)
Personally, I upgraded from a (from a "normal" standpoint) excellent set of dual 4mm^2 Monster Cables in bi-wiring, which cost me $50 or so, to a set of M1.4 in the same setup. They retail at $225 a pair. And the difference was astonishing! Crisper, cleaner mid range and a previously unheard-of quick and solid bass. I'm sure better cables would sound even better, even if my sound setup doesn't break the $10k mark, but my current budget won't allow it.
But why did they sound better? I'm not going to go all technical, 'cause I have no education to do so, but there is a lot more to speaker cables than the three aspects Sander mentioned, because sound is a complex mix of frequencies. Remember that any and all AC current going through an electrical conductor produces a magnetic field, which in turn may interact with the other cords in the cable, and in that way distort the signal. This magnetic field differs between cables of different size, shape and material. There is a reason why thicker leads are often used in the bass area, where as high frequencies benefit from thinner leads.
When it comes to optical vs. coax cable for digital transfer, the main reason for optical being "worse", is the potential need for extra signal converting, from electrical to optical and vice versa. However, on longer lengths, the electrical and magnetic influence from external apparatus may distort the signal enough to make optical the better option.
One would think that Sander Sassen, as a qualified engineer and computer geek, has heard of error correction circuts. They are present in audio electronics as well. How else could a scratched CD still play perfectly? The more this circuit has to "fix" the signal, the higher the chance of getting sound degradation. Thus, digital cables has something to say, but - as Sander quite truly states - in a far lesser degree than analog cables.
If you still don't think cables have anything to say on digital signals, you probably don't think ATA-66 and above would need those extra 40 cable leads. Oh, and don't forget to untwist your TP cables
When all this is said, and it may seem I try to disrespect you, Sander, I don't. You've just been unnecessarily bombastic on a complex subject you don't have the necessary experience to "conclude", but so has uncountable others. Apart from that, Sander, you have a site sporting more experience and insight into the computer industry than most, and are a valuable source of such information for me.
It is good to see that there are many people out there who have an understanding of the real audio issues. This argument has waxed and waned over the years here in Australia. Just some points and an anecdote
While Sasser is essentially correct about digital there is top end rolloff that eventually rounds the digital pulses off as the high frequencies get attenuated usually this is down to stray capacitance and to some extent series impedance. twisting is to reduce interference. We also need to distinguish between the analogue and digital domains. Also between high and low power levels
capacitance can be reduced by increased seperation. The more important characteristic at lower frequencies is the series impedance and the resistance. At DC (0Hz none of this GHz stuff) except at a startup the whole of the core carries current. As frequencies increase the change in direction creates a changing magnetic field and this gradually moves curent flow towards the surface and less and les is carried in the centre of the core. High performance/power handling coax cables reflect this with some having steel strength core or larger one a tube for the centre conductors. The changes start in the audio spectrum (analogue not digital) and effectively increases the series inductance and increases the effective resistance. This inserts a non linear efect into the audio chain. At low powers a simple tristed pair is satisfactory. at higher powers there is now two options. the elegant solution is to have the final power amplifier in close proximity either in or immediatly next to the loudspeakers. Larger cables are the other wayto go
origins of the oxygen free claims. In Australia we used to get almost pure copper cored cables not so sure now that we import more goods. Yes 99.9% pure almost the 100% expected conduction. back in the 70's Oz purchased some US frigates and part of the deal was offset sales we supply stuf to the US military. Whyto I raise this well we supplied cables but we had to get a special release to supply cables that did not meet the US MIL STD on cables, why you may ask? the US standard permited a range of impurities of not less than 2% and not greater than 4%. since we had almost zero impurities we need a special clearnce to supply. I believe that this is the area that the oxygen free got its toe hold that they were supplying zero impurities and put it in a fancy almost litz wire style core at an exhorbitant cost. In Oz we could do better by purchasing large core power cable. The missus may not appreciate the utilitarian sheath applied to the outside clashing with the furnishings. The clear expensive cable is pretty but as Sasser point out functional is minimal