Adventures In Audio

Would you listen to $1000 interconnects? Will you hear any difference?

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@kgspollux6998:  Ja, ich habe es getan. Meine neuen 1300€ Lautsprecherkabel in Bi-wiring-multiple-solid-core sind ein echter Schritt nach vorn in meiner Wiedergabe. Höhere Präzision, straffer Tiefton, unaufdringlichere Höhen, großzügigere Räumlichkeit.
Die Frage sollte somit lauten: Verderben billige Kabel den Gesamtklang mehr as teurere (besser durchdachte und konstruierte) Kabel?
Ich meine aus Erfahrung: Ja.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @kgspollux6998: From Google translate: Yes, I did it. My new 1300€ speaker cables in bi-wiring multiple solid core are a real step forward in my reproduction. Higher precision, tighter bass, more unobtrusive highs, more spacious.
The question should therefore be: Do cheap cables spoil the overall sound more than more expensive (better thought out and constructed) cables?
I mean from experience: yes.

@hansfijlstra5932:  Actually, you don’t need double blind testing, most audiophiles are already double blind 😂

@Maver1ck911:  Having the ability to enjoy $1,000 interconnects isn't the ability to discern audible differences, it's the ability to piss away 1K USD on interconnects thus enjoying them.

@johnbravo7542:  I had a work mate that spent $2K AU about same as $1.6K US and I asked him if I could borrow them for a night,not a weekend,just one night,and he refused,I think he thought I would make fun of him,if I hadn't heard a difference,compared to my own DIY cables,amps and speakers,In Australia finding a good tube tech is quite diificult,and I had to learn how to bias my own amps,when he bought new tubes for his original Dynaco ST70 and needed the tubes biased correctly he didn't have a problem asking me to do it for him. 😆

@aeyb701:  Please do a video on the best sounding record sleeves. Tonality, pace, air, timing; all that.

@jenskmigselv:  Cables have always been snakeoil, but to see them carry it over to digital cables is just hilarious.

@JohnNayelDRios:  I am currently utilizing approximately 10,000 interconnects/cables, which provides a noticeably superior auditory experience for me. I am able to discern the difference in sound quality. Moreover, I have the advantage of being able to test various types of equipment cables within my own residence. Consequently, my purchasing decisions are primarily determined by my personal experiences and the performance of these equipment in my system.

@gwine9087:  I would be happy to listen to them but there is no way I would hear a 10 times better sound than my $100 cables that are not 10 times better than $10 cables.

@xxxYYZxxx:  When people hear great audio for the first time they're primed to believe the audiophile myths. I once thought speaker wires needed lugs or plugs on the ends, that spikes were required on stands, and ditto for similar features which were actually just mounting or installation techniques.

@rebeccaschade3987:  I believe it was Tom's Hardware Guide that once did a comparison of a DAC that was integrated onto a motherboard vs. an expensive external DAC. They had invited an audiophile to join them for the testing. He refused to take part in most of it. The results they did collect (it was an abx test as far as I recall) showed that they couldn't tell the difference. Honestly, I think that deep down, the audiophile knew what the outcome would be, and refused to take part to protect his own reputation and ego.

@davidfromamerica1871:  No, I never listen to wires of any kind. Especially high voltage electrical wires. 🙄

@QOTSAPT:  Yes, anyone should be able to abx pepsi and coke.

@danmarjenka6361:  If a person spends a considerable amount of money on any part of their audio system (or even on the whole system) and spending more made them feel more confident in their purchase, then they have gotten their money's worth.

@BostonMike68:  I really like your videos. It makes me think

@willb1157:  “If the opportunity came up?” Yes I would. I would love to. Just for my own sake. Ive heard quite an obvious differences in instrument cables of various kinds - so would it apply here? No point in saying “no” (kneejerk kneejerk): because I have never listened to them. But I want to!😂

@jackallen6261:  I have to say...the Morrisey bit about we all want to be loved just like everybody else does...well that had me rolling on the floor! Great video! And yes...Wire is wire...Sorry to piss on anyone's cheerios but it is a fact! I have worked not in the audio field but as an Industrial Maint Tech for years...yep! It's wire, it moved electrons! End of story! Just subbed!

@Bob.martens:  Audiofrequencies are easy for cables. Really, really easy. Something has to be actually wrong to hear cables.

@thetapeshack2595:  Something we've both got in common, we hate "Audiophiles". I know you are just pretending when you say you respect their name. C'mon be truthful you can't stand them? LMAO

@AudioMasterclass replies to @thetapeshack2595: I respect people who have an intense interest in audio. I respect people who can, or believe they can, hear differences in cables. I do not respect people who peddle snake oil and know that they’re doing it. DM

@thetapeshack2595 replies to @thetapeshack2595: @@AudioMasterclass most audiophiles peddle or drink snake oil!

@hiresaudiocosta873:  What a bunch of rubbish. Full of word salad, an no real world examples of an actual experiment. DO the damn experiment instead of theorizing. Then you will know.

@robertthurston6858:  Yeah sure but I’m I allowed to listen for myself and then decide ? I beginning to see a trait in comments sections that there is need for agreement or one is Ostracized.

@MikeGervasi:  No. You have to separate fact from fiction/hype. THEN once you have fact, weigh up the price against return of "improvement". 90% of the time it will not pass either of those.

@louskimming4371:  Danny explains why your wrong were physics are concerned very well. As for cost, spending a billion dollars on a cable doesn't effect physics. Money doesn't guarantee that cable X is better than cable Y. Furthermore are phase shifts may happen in your equipment and crossovers, a much less costly, poorer cable may be just what you need to address other system issues. Nothing is easy IF perfection, or as close as one can come to it, is involved. Furthermore, perfection for you is a system I couldn't stand to listen to, and I suspect that the details heard in mine would deter you from long term listening as well. Music is personal, there are no rights, or wrongs, and what little you pay is none of my business is it. That battery operated 1960's hand held transistor radio you love is exactly what you should listen to, you love it. That's a true masterclass, grow up!

https://youtu.be/mh1EWGu7Te8

https://youtu.be/mh1EWGu7Te8

@louskimming4371:  That's your problem, you don't understand that it is exactly because of physics that cables do make a difference. If you understand physics, you would understand the relationships between inductance, capacitance, and resistance, and that this LRC relationship alters waveforms. The cables sheathing as compared to air holds a charge. Teflon I holds little charge as compared to most plastics. That's why capacitors with Teflon a dielectric is a more perfect capacitor than a poly cap, and why poly caps are less compromised than electrolytic capacitors. So, Teflon sheathing will smear the sound less than a polyester sheathing. Denying this is like denying the effect of rubbing a balloon against a polyester carpet and finding that it will now stick to a wall. Trons moving through a dialectic will be impacted by it. The weave of the wire, the amount of current flow, and other factors will impact the amount of the effect, but physics can not be cheated. Now if you are using electronics and speakers using electrolytic capacitors throughout the signal path, the difference may well be unnoticeable. The purer the signal, the more noticeable the effect. To deny the physics involved in the electronic/electrical delivery shows great ignorance. Ignorance is man's natural state, it's certainly not an insult. Only God lacks ignorance.

@mortenjohansen4120:  Why not make a video on «bi-wiring» of speakers. I think it is a stupid ting.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @mortenjohansen4120: I might do that. I remember reading that there is a justification for it but I’d have to go back and research. DM

@factorylad5071:  Wilkos used to sell a good quality speaker wire but it sold so slowly they didnt bother reordering it and the cable drum has been sitting
empty for 3 years , which has brought an end to my speaker projects as you dont see many washing machines in skkips these days.

@vijayhifijourney1515:  I already spend some serious money. Moving forward, will Not. Thanks for the enlightment.

@PimpinBassie2:  I sacrificed food for some expensive interconnects

@ronaldmcdonald2456:  Whenever my Smile/Giggle Index sinks below a certain level, I come to your channel for a TUNEup. Thanks much.

@artysanmobile:  Life is far too precious to waste any of it on audiophile nonsense.

@stevenewtube:  Imho, a listening test is very subjective. A technical test with a cro and signal gen could show measurable differences of band width, resistance, capacitance, noise etc. To me, this is a proper test and would likely show, given clean termination, the truth.

@kobiljaglava3138:  Cables do make a difference as well as type of caps and coil in speaker crossover. 2nd thing that makes difference even on the same type of cable is geometry. I have been trying interconnects from $10 to $10000. Expensive cables are not necessary better. For example, $10 Klotz MC5000 with $5 Neutrik connectors smoked out most of expensive audiophile cables. Go with decent studio cables (Klotz, Roland, Canare) and forget that everything else exist. Not gonna go into discussions with anyone. I have just wrote this comment here in case someone find it helpful and may save time and money. Cheers!

@jfphotography69:  Blue Jeans Cable for me.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @jfphotography69: Their prices seem quite reasonable compared to some https://www.bluejeanscable.co.uk DM

@sidesup8286:  You can look up participation bias and confirmation bias on the net, but it doesn't mean you are suffering from it. You can look up cancer on the net but it doesn't mean you're suffering from that either. This self proclaimed "psychiatrist" has you evaluated before you even lie down on the couch. Don't forget to check for your loose change under the cushions before you leave. Wealthier people who can afford and have tried expensive cables, know there's a nice improvement. Well worth it and then some (if well chosen). The less well to do would rather make a joke of it and make statements against something they have no experience with. Their opinions are useless. Take their opinions for what they are; an uneducated guess. People don't like to think they're missing out. They believe what's more comfortable to believe. That's confirmation bias to. Only about 3% on here believe in the improvement that expensive cables can make. That seems to be the exact same percentage of people who've actually lived with expensive cables. Go figure!

@markg4331:  I agree completely. If a number of "good ears" cannot reliably detect a favorable difference in double blind testing, there is no "cash worthy" difference. Manufacturers and reviewers make many claims (anyone can claim anything), but rarely is there any proper evidence. Much of this phenomena (paying big $ for audio illusions) reflects that audiophilia has little to do with reason.

@Douglas_Blake_579:  Here's a very simple test anyone can do right now, with almost no effort...

Relax, let your face to limp ... now listen to the sound of your room. Got it?
Now, using your fingers, gently pull your ears back and up a little bit...
Hear the sound change?

Relax again.
Then without touching your ears concentrate full hard on the sound of the room...

Uh-huh...

This is actually a normal reflex when paying close attention.

Now you can ask "what changed" and answer "my hearing changed."

@Crumbleofborg:  Obviously you won't hear a difference unless you also use the correct cable risers.

@DaskaiserreichNet78:  I once saw a $1000 power cable that goes from the socket to your amplifier. I couldn’t belief anyone would invest in this. After all the power travels for kilometres tough the power grid in to a transformer and along standard power cables in to the house to your socket. Somehow that final bit of cable from the socket to the amplifier is magically going to make a difference, I don't think so.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @DaskaiserreichNet78: I can only imagine that such a wonderful power cable will transmit whatever interference there is on the mains much more accurately. DM

@DaskaiserreichNet78:  I think of it that way. Imagine how much your sound will be improved when played trough a $1000 cable. Now imagine how much your sound will be improved if you put an extra $1000 towards your amplifier and speakers.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @DaskaiserreichNet78: Agreed. Speakers in particular. DM

@christofferjonsson replies to @DaskaiserreichNet78: But what about 50k cables? I am assuming that is only for billionaires like jewellery and money no object, and is a couple of hours interest on the money? I feel very sorry for "normal" people that buy that kind of snake oil cables, by that time i belive it is an addiction as serious and economical devastating as gambling.

@DK640OBrianYT:  Question: Did you find someone in your circle who could confirm, that CD's get a bit wobbly and therefore present the laser/lens-servo with challenges.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @DK640OBrianYT: CDs can indeed be wobbly. I once had a disc that rattled in the player but the audio seemed OK. Certainly not ideal though. Early car CD players had problems. My first was a Sony which was good. That got stolen and I replaced it with some other well-known brand but I can't remember which. Any bump in the road wouldn't make it skip but it would mute for a moment with a slight chirping nose. Irritating. DM

@rogermuggleton8127:  I've just spent the first week at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. 7 or 8 concerts of various kinds. I heard Benjamin Grosvenor playing the piano and will go the 250 miles down to London again later on to hear Yuja Wang. Anyway for these first concerts I stood slightly left of centre in the front of the arena. Now if I'd have stood 10 metres either side, it would have sounded different. If I had sat in the stalls, or in the gods, or the gallery it would also have sounded different. From the front some of the violins are just 3 or 4 metres from my ears. The trumpets are probably 10 times this distance. So I hear the trumpets some time after I hear the violins. But they are all (more or less) in front of me, unless I turn my head a bit. Sometimes there are instruments up in the gallery. My room is not as high as the Albert Hall and my speakers struggle to make sounds appear to come from so high above me.

When I listen at home, I am aware that there are numerous microphones connected by numerous cables of various lengths. The sound goes along these to a big mixing desk in a van outside the hall. I guess the phase and time delay between these various cables makes a difference to the sound which eventually gets to me, 250 miles away, via various cables, air of various densities and temperatures, and even via satellites. I often record the broadcasts on, horror of horrors, a DAB radio with an SD Card slot.

But it generally sounds musically satisfying because it is the music I listen to through my 76 year old ears, and I grew out of the search for perfection 50 years ago.

@1974UTuber:  What I dont understand is how ANYONE could believe that a $1000 cable at home would somehow give them better reults than the $30-$150 microphone cable the studio used to record the audio in the first place. Or even worse, the cable they had to bodge together after the drummer tripped over the cbles while setting up his kit. And we all know that kind of thing happens

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @1974UTuber: Not to mention the number of times the pro-cables get stepped on.

@Mikexception:  . No compatibility of sonic quality with sophisticated technical achevements and technologies have done damage in audiophile confidence and lead them to trust to specialists. On other hand specialists get incentives from sales and keep playing double role.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @Mikexception: "Specialists" is a bit of a stretch for commissioned salesmakers.

@martinsmith1573:  HiFi is to real life as fish fingers are to fish.

@robertquinn9490:  The science of manipulation. Clever monkey's these, but monkey's still.

@user-or1ql3hj8k:  At least I didn't hear any different on speaker, and on headphone. But I can hear the different in IEM. It is not an illusion or psychology feeling. It may depends on how sensitive is your gear.

Is it worth to spend 1000 dollar is another issue. But I can hear it 😂

@DK640OBrianYT:  I'm using ordinary but well made solid core aerial/antenna cable from NKT covered in a snakeskin like sock and with RCA/Phono plugs soldered on, using a larger than average solder joint to compensate for the higher restistance in the solder itself.
Works absolutely perfect. And they're dirt cheap.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @DK640OBrianYT: Wow... What is it RG-58u? RG-59u?

That's RF transmitter coax and it has a fairly high capacitance. Generally, given the low power levels in interconnects (it's in microwatts) you will do best with ordinary microphone cable which is more than adequate for runs up to 50 feet or so.

This is one case where lighter wire is actually better.

@DK640OBrianYT replies to @DK640OBrianYT: Well, you know what. Losses in RF (which is still nothing more than plain old AC) coax is measured in dB per 100m (In Europe). The higher the frequency, the higher the loss in dB. That may very well be due to capitance, seems plausible, but that's all levels of MHz and GHz going though 100 meters of coax.

So instead of tripping over all of this, how about just looking at my fine little interconnection here, transferring 20-20KHz AC through 60-80 centimeters coax and tell me if capitance influencing MHz and GHz with a number of dB over hundreds of meters, have any impact at all here. No. Zero.

All this theory you go through in order to be right. It doesn't really matter at all.
I don't need 50 feet of cable. I need two and a half. So come on, okay.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @DK640OBrianYT: @@DK640OBrianYT
RG-59 has a capacitance of about 20pf per foot. At the impedances in the receiving end you would probably be down about 3 or 4 db at 20khz in a 6 foot cable. (120pf and 100k == 13khz corner frequency)

There are other reasons not to use heavy and stiff wire for interconnects. You probably won't believe how often I've replaced the female connectors on the back of some very expensive gear after a cable broke them.

But, it's okay, you do you.... I remain unimpressed.

@DK640OBrianYT replies to @DK640OBrianYT: @@Douglas_Blake_579
Listen to me
I'm telling You
You can't do that

I'm doing it. Therefore I can.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @DK640OBrianYT: @@DK640OBrianYT
Whatever

@alphaniner3770:  glad to hear about the corrosion. I had a heated discussion a few years ago with someone that really didn't believe that I could hear a difference when I stripped off a bit of my (pretty budget) silver plated copper speaker cables.

@pompeymonkey3271:  $1000 will get you a good used slate-bed pool table in the UK.
I know what gives me value for money. :)

@worthingtonmodelrailway8628:  I was a cable sceptic for many years. I took the “blind” interconnect test between $20 and $100 cables. I preferred the sound of the $100 cables. However I’m not going to spend $1000 on an interconnect even if a blind (or double blind) test confirms a difference! Oh and I will say I did also note a difference with $150 power cables. But again it’s unlikely I would go to $1000 ones?

@Douglas_Blake_579:  There is one thing to notice here, that is almost never discussed...

ALL of these fancy cables and doodads audiophiles love so much are external to the active equipment in their systems ... and... they are replaceable without the use of tools

They know their audience well.
This actually points out a very interesting divide in the hobby ...

Those with technical skills are not, by and large, cable enthusiasts. They tend to use well made but relatively inexpensive cables because they know, from training and experience, the expensive ones are simply a waste of money.
These same people, informed by technical skills, are also prone to point out the lies and misinformation in the advertising of these products.

Those with almost no technical knowledge are the ones playing with fancy cables, all wrapped up in the garbage handed out by audio reviewers and manufacturer's advertising sites. They claim magnificent change and improvement in ways that are generally known to be impossible while relying on their ears without ever looking beyond their own subjective experiences. Heaven forbid they should explore WHY they heard what they did!
This group will decry the use of skills they don't have and equipment they don't understand, rather than admitting they have no real clue what's going on inside the boxes.

The snake oil guys cater to this second group for two pirmary reasons:
1) Being the most ignorant person in the room also makes you the easiest person to lie to.
2) Easy changes sell better than those requiring skills.

It's sad, but in the 6 or so years since I rejoined this hobby, the only real observation I can make is that a once enjoyable hobby has reduced itself to a childish pissing contest between smart and stupid.

If either side of the problem had even the first lick of common sense, they would be helping eachother.

@keithneal5369:  I have an example of where expectations influence opinions. I owned a barber shop and one of my elderly customers had recently been in hospital for a few days . This stay was in Stamford hospital. He said he preferred Stamford for hospitalization as the food was better than that in Peterborough's hospital. The fact was , the food served in Stamford was prepared in Peterborough's hospital kitchen and delivered by van to Stamford. This I knew as true as the van driver was also a customer of mine. Human beings are easily influenced by what they expect.

@christofferjonsson replies to @keithneal5369: This example is not that good, because a lot of food taste better if not eaten "direct". Stewz, Lasagne, Carbonara is a few examples that will tatse better if you wait a day before eating it. Expensive cable though is a total scam. There is powercables for 50k that even measure more poorly then the standard 10$ one. And HDMI cable, and even ethernet cables for many thousands of dollars.

@nelsonnichols922:  I would listen to $1000 interconnects, but only if somebody else paid for them, I would listen to $10 interconnects. Also, I have used many different kinds of cables over the years and I can’t say that I can tell a huge difference between any of them.

@edwardbit8225:  "Tests by Stereo Review Magazine in 1983 concluded that Monster cables did not make a difference in the sound and were "indistinguishable" from 16-gauge lamp cord. Whether someone claims they can hear the difference varies from person to person.[47] Many reporters and audiophiles have done double-blind A/B listening tests and are unable to hear the difference.[48] According to PC Magazine, Monster is "often accused of selling over-priced cables that you can buy elsewhere for a fraction of the price".[35]@ Wikipedia

@edwardbit8225:  Well said...No difference to sound,this craze started in 1980s when Monster cottoned on to producing fancy cables and has go on ever since.......sadly.

@duncan-rmi:  I've had all the air in my lounge pumped out & replaced with genuine silent air from the purcell room. I'm saving up for RAH silence. my neighbours think I'm mad BUT THEY JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.

@smallspendor:  Made the mistake of going to a Hifi show, a long time ago. Did learn something. In the cable room the only thing that changed, to my ear, was the smile on the demonstrator’s face when he connected hosepipe sized examples.
However, in an awkward corner elsewhere, a German chap was playing some industrial metal, if that is a genre, through a small floor standing loudspeaker and removing and replacing one part of a two piece “cone” beneath. He would raise and lower his eyebrows. The improvement to the sound’s definition was unmistakeable. His unforgettable comment on the music in accented English was, “ Is not nice, but is good”

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @smallspendor: Many moons ago I went to an audio show in Canada. The guy from that AQ cable company was there with his own little demonstration area.
So, we all situated ourselves in the chairs provided, with music playing, waiting for the sales pitch to start.
The guy came out and pitched his new cables, saying how they opened the sound, improved definition and soundstage... you know the usual spiel.
Then he ducked down out of sight for a moment to plug in his marvelous new cable and Son-Of-A-Gun if there wasn't a very noticeable improvement in the sound! Everyone heard it.
A couple of minutes later the display is unattended as the salesmaker is over talking with a couple of customers. So I went behind it for a look...
The entire place nearly burst into a riot when I pulled out an equalizer, connected into the system and placed it on the display for all to see.
The salesmaker made a mad bolt out a side door.
Security showed up and calmed the fracas then escorted my friends and I out of the hall with instructions never to return.

I didn't need to go back... I knew in that moment the whole game is fake.

@user-ux5go7gv6d:  You can rely on measurements. They are objetive if done properly. And, in fact, they usually show no audible diference between 1000£ and 10£ cables. But like anything else, due to participation and confirmation bias, or even the placebo effect, what matters is that, at least for the listener who bought the cables (or someone who knows how much they cost), the music sounds better. Just like buying a beautifully designed tube amp or pair of speakers. The way they look and feel makes them sound better to your ears... Great video as usual!!!

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @user-ux5go7gv6d: It's the "Timex Conundrum" ... You go out and buy a very beautiful luxury watch made by a world famous craftsman... but you end up constantly asking your friends what time it is so you can adjust your high end watch to the right time.

@edverbeek6292:  I have the bad luck to clearly hear a significant difference between cables (a.o.) on my system.

I have the good luck to make the cables myself, so I did not exceed 70 euro for a rca-interlink.

@paulinboston:  Here I am, I own a pair of 6-foot speaker cables that cost more than a thousand dollars. I also spent more than a thousand dollars on several xlr cables. I am happy with my purchases.

@pablohrrg8677:  I'd better invest those $1000 on decent speakers or to improve my room acoustics.

@bvankalker:  Spot on! 😊

@michaelb9664:  My comments on this video seem to be deleted 🤷‍♂️

@AudioMasterclass replies to @michaelb9664: Not by me. Please post them again. DM

@michaelb9664 replies to @michaelb9664: @@AudioMasterclass ok I’ll try again.

What I originally said was there is a video on you tube showing a null tester in which various cables were tested at varying price points and the differences between cables could be heard via the null tester by subtracting the differences between the two signals.

The results were always conclusive in that there were never any differences, no matter what price the cables were. Completely putting to bed any of the myths surrounding cables.

IMO there is a difference between an educated audiophile and an audio fool. Sadly the later seem to dominate the audiophile circles on social media.

@JJ-no2ob:  Is that why cable manufacturers are called imagineers instead of engineers ? 😂

@rstknives2423:  Blind tests are rules. Double-blind tests are rules twice. But $10 000 car tuning not always makes the car move faster - it just enhances the experience of driving this car. Worth it, nothing to regret ))

@DeanGroovy:  I wish I could afford $1000 cables - ahem, "interconnects." I especially love the folks who buy gold-plated connection cables for a digital signal. It's two signals people! 1 or 0. High or low. It works, or it doesn't, there is no "good, better, best!" Do or do not, there is no try!

@walthaus replies to @DeanGroovy: This is certainly not correct. Digital audio signals are subject to degradation if the wrong cable is used. wrong impedances can lead to return loss/ reflection in cables as short as 10 feet and the results can be timing problems when signal transitions ( edges) are slowed and jitter occurs.

@DeanGroovy replies to @DeanGroovy: @@walthaus Nope. Computer engineer here, the cables either work or they don't.

@walthaus replies to @DeanGroovy: @@DeanGroovy since we're apparently comparing resumes now, I'm a broadcast audio-engineer with 3 decades in the industry and I have experienced digital signal degradation due to improper cabling in large broadcast facilities many times. All this can be measured, BTW.
The "it either works or it doesn't" analogy does not apply here.

@Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials:  Just make a null test, as I suggested to a customer that wanted to test any difference. Same cable length. Needless to say that the Null was perfect.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials: Easily enough done ...
Signal generator feeds 2 cables ... one a control the other under test... exactly the same signal.
Oscilloscope monitors the far end of the two cables, which are loaded with identical impedances, and does your null test between them.

The really neat thing about null tests is that they show any and all differences, without discrimination or filtering ... Channel 1 shows the control cable. Channel 2 shows the cable under test. The third "null" trace shows the difference. It does not matter what you feed in... sine waves, square waves, music, your uncles bathroom habits... displayed right down to microvolts.
If you get a flat line... no difference... easy peesy, mystery solved.

@Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials replies to @Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials: @@Douglas_Blake_579 I do know. That's why I suggested him to do it :-) He have made it with white noise.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials: @@Not-Only-Reaper-Tutorials
My explanation was mostly for readers who might not know how to set it up...

The idea that you might not know how was running a rather distant second. Note that I never said you didn't know.

@walthaus:  I remember being shown 2 concepts about mic preamps back in the day, one was " adding color" the other was "wire plus gain", hinting at the "fact" that wire tends to be transparent, so "wire plus gain" stood for a transparent gain stage. The other thing that comes to mind is that far more important than participation bias and confirmation bias is the so-called "belief perseverance" and the "backfire effect", meaning that the more one is confronted with actual scientific facts contradicting ones' core beliefs (such as that cables do make a difference) the more he/she will defend his/ her core beliefs. That response closely mimics the 'fight or flight" response and originates in the same part of the brain. It's base programming and people fall into these patterns, regardless whether the topic is politics, religion or the audiophile hobby. It's human nature.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @walthaus: Exactly so on the preamps. A transistor preamp will normally be designed for accuracy because when transistors sound bad they sound very bad indeed. A tube preamp on the other hand will often have both gain and output controls so you can set the gain to get the required amount of tube warmth, then set the correct level with the output control. DM

@walthaus replies to @walthaus: @@AudioMasterclass Thanks, my point being that there was a time when cable (wire) was considered transparent by professional for all practical purpose, hence the expression "wire plus gain" for a transparent gain stage. I do adhere to that belief with the caveat that cable impedance does matter in digital connections.

@imqqmi:  It's a generaly known fact audiophiles have sixth sense hearing if not radio frequency or subsonic hearing.

It's easy to test though, run an audio signal through 30 and 1000 (your currency here) cable, sample the result with a dac at 24 bits 96khz, invert one signal, time align them and add them up. The result is the difference between cables. Listen to the difference at the same volume as you listen to the audio signal. Can't hear a thing? Boost the signal and if you just hear the noise floor, there's no difference that you'll hear when listening normally, unless yoe have 6th sense hearing. Then you don't need cables at all.

@imqqmi replies to @imqqmi: Dac should be adc

@AudioMasterclass replies to @imqqmi: Audiophiles might say that something was lost in the digitising process and that would be whatever adds the value to a $1000 cable. I wouldn't say that of course but someone will. DM

@ac81017:  I use a cheap contact clear the doesn't corrode the metal contacts and costs a couple of quid from any DIY store. have tried a 5ml bottle of nanofluid for £150, even I draw the line there. 90% of the hifi sales people don't even own a system, it's just a job. I've spent over 30 years in hifi, buying, testing and selling so I know a thing or two.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @ac81017: Aspiring audiophiles might want to explore further https://www.google.com/search?q=nanofluid+audiophile DM

@ac81017 replies to @ac81017: @AudioMasterclass  Incase you blow a fuse there's a replacement QSA Gold extreme level at futureshop for a bargin £8000!!

@lazgrillo6982:  I have most definately heard a cable. I recently replaced a 25yr old amp with a new one. It was a huge improvement. Then on a whim I replaced the old originally provided interconnect between it and my CD player with a £27 half meter mid range one. It was another clear improvement. That'll do me now though.

@corcaightowner8881:  I would listen if someone else had bought and installed them. I would NEVER spend that kind of money on cables. I doubt they actually hear any difference. It more of bragging than anything else. Don't drink soda pop, especially energy drinks.

@nunofernandes4501:  My experience has to do with personal taste and my own, flawed human ears. I have a Marantz CD 6006 connected to a Rega Elex-R driving a pair of Dali Oberon 5 speakers. When I bought these components, I used a €10 Mitsai (generic brand) rca interconnect and was quite happy with the sound coming out of the stereo. A few months down the road I was browsing Amazon and came across the Audioquest Tower interconnect cable which cost me €30 shipping included, so I went for it.
To my ears it did give a bit more detail in the highs, cymbals and guitar string harmonics are slightly "richer" and the bass guitars got also slightly tighter and punchier.
It's not a huge difference but for €30 it was worth it for me. I wouldn't even think about buying a €60 or €80 cable to get 1% more than what I already have.
Mind you, I could go out and buy a €1000 cable right now if I wanted to but I'd rather spend it on CDs.

@polarbear3427:  You are absolutely right. It is a pitty that a lot of other science is not based on double blind testing results either.

@canonwright8397:  Thanks for helping me become a more discerning shopper in audio equipment. I've learned that I don't have to pay thousands of dollars to have a great sound system. Please, keep up the good work.

@jagmarc:  I worked in a HiFi shop briefly and I realised some customers' opinions were coming directly from something they'd read (I used to read them all for free) and I heard them talk to eachother with these opinions, including some the sales floor people too. The way it came out wasn't always the usual "being as percentage of budget should be interconnect" to kick off discussion. One time there was this speaker and interconnect combination that supposed to have some subtle sound quirk, I heard two customers and one sales guy listening test and discussing hearing it whatever it was supposed to be, while I'm hearing something else.... and I'm thinking "can't ANY of you hear that? ??"

@curtiscroulet8715 replies to @jagmarc: 5 mos. ago, I know. You may not see this comment. But I'm reminded of an experience I had a a hi-end audio shop in San Diego in the 1980s. The staff and customers were comparing two bits of gear -- whether amps, speakers, turntables, or phono cartridges, I don't remember. It was a very expensive system for the day, well beyond my means. So there was all of this discussion about which was "better." Meanwhile, what I heard was a badly off-center record. To me the music was excruciating. I had to leave the room. Nobody else seemed to notice! They continued to debate the gear while I left the room.

@jagmarc replies to @jagmarc: I reached to the conclusion it's all in the mind @@curtiscroulet8715

@Anybloke:  Most of it down to marketing. In particular, the technique of FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Call something an "upgrade" and Mr / Ms Muggins are bound to but into it.

@xanataph:  Many musicians can hear the difference between different guitar cables. Mainly when it's a radical difference between them such as a very cheap one versus a reasonably decent one. Or a normal length versus a significantly shorter one. But the reason for this is cable capacitance and the way it affects a high impedance signal. HiFi equipment line outputs are low impedance so this cable capacitance has far less (practically zero) effect. That's the guts of it really.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @xanataph: Absolutely correct. DM

@nitromcclean:  Audiophile is a belief, a philosophy of life. It has nothing to do with physics or facts. But never say this to an audiophile. That is telling a believer that God does not exist.

@Douglas_Blake_579 replies to @nitromcclean: Even though you would be correct both times.

@connorduke4619:  It partly depends on how resolving your system and is and how sensitive your ears are. I spent $US800 in total for three cables, all tested and highly rated by either Alpha Audio and/or Pursuit Perfect Sound here on youtube. Tubulus digital RCA added body, Tellurium XLRs added transient attack (and thus instrument separation) and Tellurium speaker cables added note decay. End result of this investment is highly significant in my system, to my ears. Bass is tighter, piano is more full, treble sounds linger longer. These are fantastic cables! The various psychological arguments you mention all can lead to possible outcomes, but are not definitive. I am a very objective thinking sigma male with zero interest in group think and these cables made a significant difference to my system.

@the_overflow:  While I mostly agree, what is the point. if 1000€ cables makes someone happy, why not, unless they need to be protected of making such purchase :) The biggest reason however that a cable just one link on the chain, so how ever good they are, the recoding is not that good, make hundreds of maters of far "inferior" cable.

@geoff37s38:  Very true. Many Audiophiles obsess over trivia. Loudfpeakers and room acoustics have by far the biggest influence on audio quality. Moving a pot plant in the listening room will have more effect than using $1000 Magic Cables that defy the laws of physics.

@RowanTasmanian replies to @geoff37s38: Spot on Geoff. 100 percent agree.

@louskimming4371 replies to @geoff37s38: That's your problem, you don't understand that it is exactly because of physics that cables do make a difference. If you understand physics, you would understand the relationships between inductance, capacitance, and resistance, and that this LRC relationship alters waveforms. The cables sheathing as compared to air holds a charge. Teflon I holds little charge as compared to most plastics. That's why capacitors with Teflon a dielectric is a more perfect capacitor than a poly cap, and why poly caps are less compromised than electrolytic capacitors. So, Teflon sheathing will smear the sound less than a polyester sheathing. Denying this is like denying the effect of rubbing a balloon against a polyester carpet and finding that it will now stick to a wall. Trons moving through a dialectic will be impacted by it. The weave of the wire, the amount of current flow, and other factors will impact the amount of the effect, but physics can not be cheated. Now if you are using electronics and speakers using electrolytic capacitors throughout the signal path, the difference may well be unnoticeable. The purer the signal, the more noticeable the effect. You are quite right to bring up room acoustics, they to have physics related impacts upon what you eventually hear. But to deny the physics involved in the electronic/electrical delivery shows great ignorance. Ignorance is man's natural state, it's certainly not an insult. Only God lacks ignorance.

@RowanTasmanian replies to @geoff37s38: @@louskimming4371 When you consider EVERY other factor involved in sound, ALL the experts in the field Dr Sean Olive , Dr Floyd Toole etc state cables make probably 1 percent difference.
Room acoustics account for 50 percent of the sound you are hearing. That's the Physics.
I would love scientists using pure physics to test your little snake oil theory.
Cables make a difference, but it's so minor compared to all the other factors.
Acousticians and people in the industry who have real tests and use real science and have real qualifications laugh at your snake oil importance of cables.

@geoff37s38 replies to @geoff37s38: @@louskimming4371 I have qualifications in Radio Frequency Engineering. The effects you describe are not relevant at audio frequencies.

@christofferjonsson replies to @geoff37s38:
But why does it matter if the recording of what you listen to, did not get recorded on any special cable. Then the information "waves" should not have been recorded aswell? And you can not measure it at all, so there can not be any difference. Belive it or not but electricity, and how to transfer it, is well known and there is no more to understand.

@EnricoAnsaloni:  I'd rather spend $1000 on acoustic treatment for my room than on cables... I did a blind test once on a hi-end store, we were 4 people listening. The test system was extremely high-end. I could hear the difference between $0.5/m cables and $100/m cables but I didn't hear any difference above that price point, nor did the other 3 people... And all this despite the store owner trying to sway us toward the most expensive stuff

@sparky60ful:  4 of these $1000 "interconnects" would buy you a Nagra IV-S. Sounds great and look at the fabulous engineering! Most $1000 cable live their lives behind the couch. Not to be seen. I make my own cables, buy the plugs and use Gotham's cables (Swiss made) and solder them. Be proud and live happily ever after. I am biased! Keep up these video's. Such an enjoyment!

@jonnybhoy7098:  I would if I wasn't paying for it 😂

@mystif1976:  I just noticed from your thumbnail today how much you look like Paul McCartney I know this is older but had to mention

@michaelwright1602:  I own some $400+ ea. interconnects... And no, I could not hear any difference. My system now, consists of a vintage Sansui 4000 receiver, a WiiM Pro and a pair of Zu speakers, $1300 all in. I use pennies a foot Mogami cables from Worlds Best Cables via Amazon. From tens of thousands in gear, to this, by choice. It simply sounds better to my ear. I am listening to my local FM station on the tuner right now, and damn does it sound good! I am looking at four Oyaide XLR cables right now, laying across the arm rest on the couch that cost more than this entire system.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @michaelwright1602: It sounds like things are working for you. I said in the video 'worrying about the wrong things'. Hi-fi enthusiasts with an FM tuner will get a far better improvement by aligning their antenna properly than spending $$$ on cables. And it's free. DM

@michaelwright1602 replies to @michaelwright1602: @@AudioMasterclass And I could not agree more... Been down that path. Cheers!

@gracenotes5379:  The best way to listen to $1000 interconnects is to apply increasing amounts tensile stress to them while plucking them until they become clearly audible.

@brucenicoll4373:  I would pay more for cables only if they were made by small children I think they sound better if they’re made from small children even better

@donaldbundy3499:  Way way back I used two stage monitors for a stereo in my living room. That isn't the point. I also used the bands speaker cables. It wasn't the best sound. So one day I heard about oxygen free cable and picked some up, monster cable, and switchcraft phone plugs. Yes that's what we used 40 years ago. Anyway I made two OFC speaker cables and swapped them with the band's cables and there was a noticeable difference, in my living room. I found the OFC weren't better. It's just that the bands cables were crap. Or more politely, they were of poor quality and poorly made. So I saved my money and made OFC speaker cables for all the monitors and PA cabinets. The result, any improvement of the band's sound wasn't noticeable. What can I say.

@adam872:  I can't believe how much some people self-deceive when it comes to stuff like cables. So long as they are mechanically sound and are properly shielded there is no hearable difference beyond a low price point.

@jimbillh:  I find it funny that on Audio Asylum Forums the only discussion forum that requires you to be a registered member is the Cable Forum. I'm betting they got tired of the negative entrees.

@ricktotty2283:  No!

@brikaf6001:  a lot of speculation, I have 1000.00 XLR cables but I make the more critical digital cable myself for about 26.00, thanks!

@rabit818:  Maybe my dog can tell the difference between a freebie cable and $1,000 wire. Well... I have a variety of AudioQuest and Monster cables.

@phillipkelly736:  NO its a waste of money. But silver plated copper can help. Here's why. Silver will cut high frequency extention which helps in my sercomstance. The two metals help with timing

@markmwj:  Have we not been through this before? No. I have just bought myself a pair of Bowers & Wilkins PX8's and they are only a little better than my old Sennheiser Momentums. However, as previously mentioned we have a historical family connection with John Bowers and Mr. Wilkins and I needed a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I'm glad to see that you own Bowers and Wilkins speakers. As with all things, there is a price to quality ratio (or bang for the buck) that I'm not prepared to go beyond. Ugly over priced speakers are a bridge too far. The problem I have is a short attention span. That's why I stopped listening to this blog part way through. I'm sure that you are trying to sell something... That's probably why have never bought anything that I wish that I hadn't.

@TheErador replies to @markmwj: He wasn't. It was mostly about testing methodologies and not being subject to bias. Tl;dr double blind and a,b,x testing is the most fair assuming all other things are equal and some shyster isn't tricking you by altering one of the other variables.

@jimc9823:  I know I'm going to get MUCH more pleasure out of 4 new tires for my SUV, just priced them at $250 each.. lol

@teashea1:  There are some good mrasurement reports on Audio Science Review. Pure snake oil.

@howardskeivys4184:  Yes, I would listen to a hifi system that utilised a £1000 cable. I think I would be extremely unlikely to be persuaded to buy a £1000 cable.

The first ever hifi system I put together, included a CD player I purchased for £2200. I’ve never been a TV addict, a video or film enthusiast. I’ve never invested heavily in viewing equipment. For years, I never had a DVD player, until a friend bought me one for £18 from Tesco. I plumbed it into my hifi system. I’ve a number of duplicate copies of CDs. Birthday presents Etc. I put a copy of the same CD, one in my £2200 CD layer the other in my. £18 DVD player. After volume compensation, it was extremely difficult to tell them apart. I think that speaks volumes.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @howardskeivys4184: The fact my blu-ray player cost £50 compared to the Goldmund Eidos at $135,000 has never prevented me enjoying a good movie. DM

@flipsarrow4211:  Audio comparisons are always one of the hardest to perform. Unlike an image comparison that can be displayed side by side, audio comparisons have to be made serially with some time gap in between. Audio comparisons realizes on one to remember the quality of the the last audio segment that has been played and compare it the present audio segment. I'm guessing a persons ability to remember audio quality can be problematic and subjective.

@christofferjonsson replies to @flipsarrow4211: Critical listening on audio, is done on repeat of very small and specific parts, and you will only remember it for a very short time. So anyone telling you need to listen to the cable for a long time (burn in) already then you know it is bs. If someone says a cable is directional run and never look back.

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Sunday July 23, 2023

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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