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My dialouge with a Stereophile editor, real e-mail:


kenratboy
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PWK had this to say:

"Modulation distortion is proprtional to the amplitude of motion of the driving diaphragm. Frequency modulation distortion (FMD) resulting from the Doppler effect is dirctly proportional to the amplitude of diaphragm motion. Amplitude modulation distortion is approximately proportional to amplitude of motion. Total modulation distortion (TMD) is the sum of these two forms of modulation distortion.

"AMD tends to dominate in direct radiator loudspeakers, and FMD tends to predominate in horn type loudspeakers. The ratio of TMD to total output is lowest in horns, intermediate in ported-box direct radiator loudspeakers, and highest in total enclosures." ©1976 IEEE, Inc. _Loudspeaker Distortion_ by Paul W. Klipsch

I will note that because he said FMD dominates a horn's TMD does not mean a horn's FMD is worse than a direct radiator's FMD. The article goes on to show data from the three aforementioned speaker types:

closed box 12" @ 100dB SPL -- f1=42Hz, f2=350Hz, TMD=8%

ported box 15" -- TMD=0.8%

horn 15" -- TMD=0.3%

Regarding the power cable stuff:

If you can't measure this "pshycoacoustic" stuff how does an engineer design a power cable that elimiates it? Where does he/she begin? What electronic theory does he apply to get rid of the phenomenon? How does he know if he succeeded? A listening test? Is the background "blacker"? What is blacker sound? A lower noise floor? I can measure a lower noise floor.

This power cable purpotedly reduces EMI. Ok fine. Can EMI produce audible artifacts? You bet. Can you design a power cord to filter EMI? Sure. Can you measure lower EMI? Yup.

So I ask, what is this unmeasureable entity that you can hear, but an Audio Precision can't?

Mr. Golden Ears Equipment Reveiwer can supposedly hear something the AP can't measure between a $1,000 amplifier and a $10,000 with identical specs. And a power cable can produce an audible benefit to the $10,000 amp that can't be detected when used on a $1,000 amp because "high-end equipment can benefit from this type of upgrade, while the shortcomings of the $1,000 amp mask the psychoacoustic phenomenon in question." How loud does a psychoacoustic phenomenon have to be in order to mask another one? 20dB? 40? And you have to spend another $9,000 to remove the one in order to hear the other? Then I have to buy $1000 speaker cables to reveal another layer of murk that only a $1150 power cable can remove? At this point I have to agree with PWK -- "Reviewers of equipment who report 0.01% amplitude modulation distortion in amplifiers and ignore 10% or more amplitude and frequency modulation distortion in loudspeakers might well revise their prejudices."

If I'm buying a $10,000 amplifier, why didn't the designer add circuitry to remove this line cord induced pshychoacoustic veiling that's 100dB below the distortion level of my favorite loudspeakers?

mode>

-Andy W (donning flame retardant Jockeys)

quote:

Originally posted by John Albright:

There is one thing a 3-way Klipsch horn-loaded system CANNOT suffer from and it's Doppler distortion. Horn loading and small diaphragm movements prevent it.

A 2-way monitor with a 6-inch "woofer" crossed at 2k is the prescription for doppler distortion.

Credibility blown.

John

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No $hit, 9.9999 - .9999 is going to = 9 (or any whole #), and from that, you can turn it into anything.

Well, I am glad I didn't pay for the Stereophile, I found it at the hospital (it was a doctor's)

------------------

Receiver: Sony STR-DE675

CD player: Sony CDP-CX300

Turntable: Technics SL-J3 with Audio-Technica TR485U

Speakers: JBL HLS-610

Subwoofer: JBL 4648A-8

Sub amp: Parts Express 180 watt

Center/surrounds: Teac 3-way bookshelfs

Yes, it sucks, but better to come. KLIPSCH soon! My computer is better than my stereo!

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Powercords and cables N gizmos.

While I am quite sure beak cones,magic CD mats and super spike feet are a joke I do know quality wiring and AC conditioning works.

All my amplifiers use power cords from the inexpensive UltraLink($150)up to Cardas powercords($500).I still think a power cord over $1000 is too much unless you have at least a $20000 amp.

For instance with the Cradas power cords I have almost no audible buzz from the Klipsch speakers when using the ATI power amps.WIth the $5 cords that came with the ATI's I have static and buzz(audible with speakers like the RF-7's).

AC conditioners are very important,as clean power is a must if you want to get the most out of the system.I use two Monster PB2100,AVS2000 and two PS Audio P300's.Snobish NO it works ,I dont buy unless I can hear an improvement.

Speaker wire too,I use Monster M2.4B on the RF-7's,RC-7 and Monster Z on sourrounds.I use Moster Sigma on my Spendors and Cardas Golden Cross on my Dynes.Skinping on wiring,not a chance.Using zip cord...NEVER.Zip cord is good for boomboxes and ghetto blasters with HYPER WOFFAZ.

Even my computer's Supermicro triple redundant PSU uses three UltraLink power cords! LOL All the subs with detachable power cords(all besides the KSW Klipsches)are outfitted with UltraLink power cords.And all(again besides the KSW's)get the signal thru Monster Z Bass subwoofer interconects!

Zip cord is good for lamps

TheEAR(s) Now theears

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oh how I would like to be TheEars' habitual salesman...

you are making people rich, Ears!

the markup on Monster (or any other cable manufacturer) is HUGE. like, a lot more than the markup on anything else in audio, which is already huge. therefore, it prompts me to aks myself: how much of the money I pay towards Monster cable goes to cover the actual costs of making the wire (actual sound/quality benefits) vs. how much goes towards advertising, hype, and good plain ol' pocket money for the guys at Monster...

I'm not saying there aren't benefits to using expensiver/high-quality speaker wire. I'm just debating whether those benefits are justified considering the HUGE premium you'll pay for them.

when you buy a TV, you buy mostly a TV, you don't pay a lot for hype and marketing chain enrichment. when you buy cable, you buy mostly hype, the costs of making the cable are infinitely small compared to what it costs YOU. each time sombody buys Monster Sigma Whatever cable, the salesman, dealer, and Monster people are laughing all the way to the bank. there is no way the additional improvements of buying very expensive cable are worth the atrociously high additional premiums. and that goes for power bars, power cords, and all that stuff.

bu hey, keep it to yourself guys, wouldn't want to kill one of the highest-profit industries around, would you?

BTW, I have talked to a couple of sound designers/producers. They all, without exceptions, use big-gauge generic speaker wire. They spend a lot less on wiring than what most audio customers spend for their living-room systems. And yet some of the ones I've talked to produce very good sounding records.

Big-gauge rules, high-end hyped-up cable... rules when you're on the correct side of the cash register. Which is not the majority's side.

------------------

http://members.fortunecity.com/sebdavid - go laugh at my crappy website/equipment

http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mc.asp?alias=Sebdavid - go laugh at my puny little DVD collection

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What a losing battle this is...

Mike Masztal and Allan Songer made some good responses along with a few others.

As I said elsewhere, the measurement brigade is always one step behind when there is a significant advance beyond the testing.

As always, the true lemmings are the ones that cant see where the numbers dont always tell the whole story.

kh

------------------

Phono Linn Sondek LP-12 Valhalla / Linn Basic Plus / Sumiko Blue Point

CD Player Rega Planet

Preamp Cary Audio SLP-70 w/Phono Modified

Amplifier Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

Cable DIYCable Superlative / Twisted Cross Connect

Speaker 1977 Klipsch Cornwall I w/Alnico & Type B Crossover

Links system one online / alternate components / Asylum Listing f>s>

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I just have to wonder....WHY????:

Why, if one is paying 20,000 bucks for an amp...WHY DOESN'T IT ALREADY COME WITH ONE OF THOSE FANCY HIGH-DOLLAR POWER CORDS WITH ALL THE FANCY DOO-DADS, COFFEEMAKERS, ETC...???

Excuse me for being consumer-oriented, BUT...If one is gonna pay THAT MUCH for a system component it HAD BETTER HAVE THE VERY BEST OF EVERYTHING ALREADY ON IT!! OR....I would have to consider the purchaser to have MUCH MORE MONEY THAN COMMON SENSE!!!

Another thing....A year or so ago I was over at a guy's home. He had just invested the price of a new Corvette into his preamp/amp, etc. He had his LaScalas cranking and he wanted me to tell him how wonderful it all sounded...when, in fact, my old 1975 H/K 900+ sounded much better to my ears...and I told him so...Needless to say, he was NOT a happy camper!!

His response was "NO WAY, MAN...that old receiver can't POSSIBLY outperform all of this new S/S high dollar stuff!!"

I simply replied: "That old H/K 900+ listed for 1,000 bucks in 1975...now...you just sit there for a minute and figure out how much it would cost TODAY if still being made the same way!!"

We did the math...and basing today's cost on a variety of things ended up with something like 7500 bucks as a minimum...up to over 15,000 bucks. Then he asked me to bring it over so he could have a listen on his LaScalas.

We did a side-by-side comparison, and even though the old H/K was only pushing 32 watts, it blew away his 150 watt per channel megabuck new stuff!! He never admitted it, but the look on his face when he heard it was enough to tell me he definitely saw the difference...but was just too filled with pride to admit it!

An interesting note, though...about 7 months ago he called me up and told me he had picked up an old H/K 900+ in perfect condition on eBay for 150 bucks...I wonder why he did that? Smile.gif

Bye the way...the old STEREO H/K 430 is quite a performer, too! But shy away from the H/K 330 series...it is nowhere as good a piece of equipment!! And the other H/K stereo receivers ...630, 930, etc...even though they have more power...are not as good performers as the 430 is!!...just MHO!

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Money is not necessarily the indicator of sound quality. I hope no one is coming away with that. And there is the law of diminishing returns as well. Yet, expensive gear can sound amazing. Indeed, just because serious ducats are involved, does not make it patently absurd (although the 1k Power Cord stretches the imagination a bit and is the perfect foil for a thread such as this).

Just curious. I have heard stories like the above often. Although it seems highly improbable to me, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Most of the solid state from that era is actually not exactly the most spellbinding gear in the world. Ironically enough, I found solid state to actually take a big step up in improvement in the late 80s - 90s (and I'm sure no solid state fan).

Curious. What exactly was the preamp/amp combo you were comparing with your HK that cost the price of a Corvette?

kh

This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 07-06-2002 at 01:00 PM

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mobile homeless said:

Money is not necessarily the indicator of sound quality.

Can we say "Bose"? Enough said. Smile.gif

This does bring up an interesting questions, though. Just how much better does a $25,000+ preamp/amp really sound then the say $3000 or so worth of B&K seperates (don't remember the model numbers off the top of my head) I was looking at over at Tweeter just last week?

I don't find it hard to believe that an old 1970's vintage H/K amp could sound better than $30,000+ worth of electronics, but than again, this is coming from somebody that thinks that the Denon 3802 I only paid about $800 for sounds plenty good enough.

------------------

Steven Konopa

Fredericksburg, VA

Denon AVR3802 (Receiver)

RF-7 (Fronts)

RC-7 (Center)

RC-7 (Rear)

RS-7 (A Surrounds)

Infinity RS2000.5 (B Surrounds - recycled)

REL Storm III (Subwoofer 1)

Yamaha YST-SW40 (Subwoofer 2 - Recycled)

JVC XV-S65GD (DVD)

Sharp DX-200 (CD - ancient)

RCA DWD490RE (DirecTV/Ultimate TV receiver)

Sharp 32 inch (TV)

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quote:

Originally posted by HDBRbuilder:

I just have to wonder....WHY????:

Why, if one is paying 20,000 bucks for an amp...WHY DOESN'T IT ALREADY COME WITH ONE OF THOSE FANCY HIGH-DOLLAR POWER CORDS WITH ALL THE FANCY DOO-DADS, COFFEEMAKERS, ETC...???

Excuse me for being consumer-oriented, BUT...If one is gonna pay THAT MUCH for a system component it HAD BETTER HAVE THE VERY BEST OF EVERYTHING ALREADY ON IT!! OR....I would have to consider the purchaser to have MUCH MORE MONEY THAN COMMON SENSE!!!


My guess would be 1 of two things:

1. If a manufacturer doesn't think power cords sound different why wouldn't they still make them captive?

2. If the manufacturer does think power cords sound different how could they choose which one would sound best to everone?

Many people use stock power cords, the people who don't use stock power cords hear differences between various manufacturers and even between models within a manufacturers' line.

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Seb and Co.

Well surprise surprise I not only dont pay retail but I pay about half the acatual reatil!I dont remember paying over 50% for any interconect I purchased.

Hmmmm

Its called dealing and being a good customer,only the crazy pay reatil.I pay 50% for cables as I know even at 50% "OFF" the store makes a few points. Wink.gif

Even my Klipsch speakers,my Dynes I paid a good deal less.If a store refuses to give me a good deal I boycott them let them rott.Simple and it works Smile.gif

Seriously more peeps should deal and be firm,this way more stores would either give good deals or DIE.

Smile.gif

When dealing be without mercy,each cent counts.If you dont buy(and you dont have to)they will flex sonner or later(as they HAVE to sell).

Again ZIP CORD IS FOR LAMPS

TheEAR(s) Now theears

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MH,

I can't offhand remember the brands or models of his high-dollar components...it was a tuner, pre-amp, CD player and amp, though....and a turntable...various brands and models...about the price of a new vette all together. He made a point of noting that much, anyway.

The sound through his LaScalas was good, but not great. It seemed to lack the clarity I like so much...seemed to be leaning way too much toward the bass end of things, with the highs kinda muffled and not as crisp as I like to hear them. Vinyl was better than CD on his system...but the lacking crispness of the highs was still readily apparent. He had everything set to "flat" response...and it just seemed to my ears as though there was a high-cut filter kicked in or something. I don't know...like, everybody, I have my own set of expectations from equipment...but it seemed to be lacking in the clarity portion of things. His stuff DID have black background though...I asked him to play something acoustically on the system, instead of what he was playing (rock)...and it still seemed to be lacking in the clarity and crispness he should have been getting through those LaScalas. Know what I mean?

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Strangely enough, this is the exact opposite of most high-end solid state, which is VERY extended and amazingly detailed, many times in an overly analytical fashion. I have to believe something was up with his system or perhaps he had matching problems.

The main fault I find with good solid state these days is hardly in the Audiophile arena where it excels; it is mainly a question of the ability to capture the emotional essence of the performance, or, in other words, the important ability to move you from within. Even good solid state seems to lack some of the midrange harmonic richness of a fine tube offering as well as the sublime top end that avoids the sometimes overly crisp and etched nature of even quality solid state.

Personally, I fine most of the solid state amps from the 70s to actually be rather coarse (relatively speaking)and not especially transparent, especially when compared to better SS offerings of today. If you really listen to live music, you will notice the amazing purity of treble with no sense of grain, something the finest tube amps (which dont always have to be the most expensive) come closer to than even the best solid state amps.

Yet most later quality solid state really is an amazing improvement over 60s and 70s options, especially when comparing amplifiers to the receiver/integrated options. Amps by the likes of Bryston, Classe, Naim, Chord, Exposure, Boulder, Linn, Mark Levinson, Krell etc make even the best 70s solid state sound positively pedestrian.

That is why the comparison really surprised me. Still, you never know how his system was implemented. Also, no one knows exactly what he was using; one can drop an amazing amount of ducats on JUNK; in addition, I have not found too many high-end freaks opting for LaScalas as most are very prejudiced against even the better Klipsch offereings. Personally speaking, however, I dont like hardly ANY solid state on horns, although many here would depart from this standpoint.

kh

Phono Linn Sondek LP-12 Valhalla / Linn Basic Plus / Sumiko Blue Point

CD Player Rega Planet

Preamp Cary Audio SLP-70 w/Phono Modified

Amplifier Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

Cable DIYCable Superlative / Twisted Cross Connect

Speaker 1977 Klipsch Cornwall I w/Alnico & Type B Crossover

Links system one online / alternate components / Asylum Listing f>s>

This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 07-07-2002 at 11:12 AM

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Ears,

yay!! you cut most of the dealer's markup... which leaves you with paying for the markups of the other components pf the marketing chain! I would be very curious to see even at 50% off what portion of you money goes to pay for marketing and pure profit, and what portion goes to pay for the materials and construction of the item...

again, when you buy a TV, or a box of cereals, most of what you pay goes to buy the actaul product, with a small margin going to marketing and profit. because of the huge sums of money involved, manufacturers are still able to run profitable operations in most cases. not so with wires, or other high-profit items like fashion garments or "shop time" for cars (the mechanic is being paid 15$ on the 55$ you get charged for an hour of his time... the rest of the money goes in the owner's pockets, with money from the gas paying for the exploitation costs; plus there is an abut 50% markup on the price of parts).

sure there's a difference, but is it worth the additional money. not in my opinion, but then again I'm not swimming around in a pool of money. maybe my perspective would change then. face it guys, this is the area of audio where we reach the point of diminishing returns to investment the quickest, and Lord knows how quickly it's reached on the rest! big-gauge standard-type wire will give you about 90% of the performance and 95% of the satisfaction for 1/100th of the price. I'd say that qualifies as a think-it-through "investment".

------------------

http://members.fortunecity.com/sebdavid - go laugh at my crappy website/equipment

http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mc.asp?alias=Sebdavid - go laugh at my puny little DVD collection

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Well, the Law of Diminishing Returns is quite the valuable point, on this we totally agree. But Seb, I dont think you have reached that law yet within your own setup.

htfront.jpg

One of the problems is that if you changed a pair of interconnects, swapped a power cord, or perhaps added some decoupling devices to your current system, I dont think it would be too easy to ascertain the differences, mainly because inorder to get to this point, you have to have really worked on the quality of source, amplification, speakers, placement, component matching, system setup, room interaction, etc to a point where these subtle, yet still relatively important, distinctions can be realized.

With this current setup above, the level of resolution and detail just simply will not reveal these differences to the point where it becomes relevant. On the other hand, you would get some improvement by paying more attention to the details of setup and room interaction. And this would practically be free. Indeed, just by glancing at this layout, I can see a number of ways you could improve things without touching thy wallet. On the other hand, I really think you would have to make a change in component choice before delving into the more esoteric areas.

When your system and components reach a certain level of resolution, things like interconnects, speaker wire, decoupling devices, and even power cords start to weigh in the picture, and even make IMPORTANT contributions. In your instance, just by changing your speaker selection, you would suddenly hear more problems upstream, from the quality of amplification down to your source components, such as the turntable (great you still listen to vinyl), which would improve dramatically just be moving it from the top of that stack on to its own dedicated support.

However, I think it is important to understand that one can enjoy and love their music without doing ANY of the above. Driving down the highway at top speed in a 60s sled with the AM radio blaring "Can't Explain" out the single mono speaker can bring the chills just as fast, if not faster, than any audiophallic home setup, regardless of price or attention to detail. In many ways, the quest for better sound make enjoying your music that much more problematic, as your focus moves to the "sound" of the system vs the direct communication with the music itself. In this way, the so-called "audiophile" is actually more the blind hobbiest, further distancing himself from what is really important.

But there is something to be said about having an amazingly musical, open, revealing, life-like system, capabable of standing the hair on the back of your neck while listening to the human voice, the tenor sax, or the Fender Jaguar... And yes, inserting a pair of power cords to your monoblocks in an optimized system CAN bring this aspect closer to fruition, despite what many on here say. But, it can also muck up your system just as easily, or make little difference at all. The amount of variables you are dealing with is huge, and the gains can be quite small.

But inorder to make value judgements or distinctions regarding the validity of these matters, I do think it important to have at least experienced these distinctions to a certain extent. I find many drawing hard and fast conclusions without experience here. Still, it's an open forum with room for all debate.

On the wire front, a debate that is endless, I have generally found that big gauge, standard wire to actually reduce my system's ability to do the above. I actually find Radio Shack solid core copper to better larger gauge standard wire in multistrand form. Then again, I find Belden 89259 in certain designs to outperform many esotic and costly cables. (You dont necessarily need to walk into some HIFI hell hole and hand them a bank draft to achieve the desired results.

kh

Phono Linn Sondek LP-12 Valhalla / Linn Basic Plus / Sumiko Blue Point

CD Player Rega Planet

Preamp Cary Audio SLP-70 w/Phono Modified

Amplifier Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

Cable DIYCable Superlative / Twisted Cross Connect

Speaker 1977 Klipsch Cornwall I w/Alnico & Type B Crossover

Links system one online / alternate components / Asylum Listing f>s>

This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 07-08-2002 at 08:12 AM

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1. So they can certify one product and sell it to the whole world. IEC AC inlets, ya know.

2. If they did think it made a difference they would a) hype it up in the sales literature as to why they chose a particular cable B) also sell "upgrades" or c) make specific recommendations for companies that they have an alliance with.

-Andy W

quote:

Originally posted by edster00:

My guess would be 1 of two things:

1. If a manufacturer
doesn't
think power cords sound different why wouldn't they still make them captive?

2. If the manufacturer
does
think power cords sound different how could they choose which one would sound best to everone?

Many people use stock power cords, the people who don't use stock power cords hear differences between various manufacturers and even between models within a manufacturers' line.

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Ya, and all that harmonic distortion you enjoy so

much.

All in good fun.

-Andy W

quote:

Originally posted by mobile homeless:

Even good solid state seems to lack some of the midrange harmonic richness of a fine tube offering as well as the sublime top end that avoids the sometimes overly crisp and etched nature of even quality solid state.


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It just boils down to priorities...If you had an additional $1000 on home theater, how would YOU spend it..In my case -- a power cord NOT.

Also, my system sounds different to me, ABSOLUTELY EVERY TIME I LISTEN, without changing ANYTHING! A different day, a different nuance, a different mood, a different perception. Somedays the bass is boring and the treble is screeching, and on other days...it's nirvana...the perfection of sound and mind coming together.

Just goes to show you, psychosis is a "Happy Thing", everyday I wakeup to a whole new world....

Just a stupid little ditty, on how perspective is everything. This goes along with Zeno's paradox.

3 guys check into a hotel, and split the $30 bill,three ways, $10 each. Later the manager realizes, he has overcharged the guys, and sends the bell boy upstairs with $5. The bell boy pockets $2 and gives each of the guys back $1.

So now each guy has spent $9, times 3 is 27, and the bell boy has $2, making $29..where is the other dollar?

Well, not buying into the roller ball concept (yet). Never say Never.

Clu and Less

This message has been edited by cluless on 07-08-2002 at 07:31 PM

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I'll take a slightly different view on this power cable thing. If one hears a difference in cables, I would not want that piece of equipment it's supplying power. I would be concerned that it has a very poor power supply design and/or has some susceptibility to emi. I guess in a way what I'm really getting at is the power cord thing is just more snake oil.

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