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Mike

Speakercable you use on Palladiums

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I use Mogati 8700 S Turbo Galaxy inter cables.  Speaker wire was so 1970s. Mine have a cool name, costs more money, really cool coating on I can only assume are gold strands and seems to improve my sound.  I should also mention I have fern pots on my speakers, lots of reflective decorative plates on the wall, and improper set up of the speakers to listening position (dern wife), but dang, those wires..!!!!  Top Notch.  I also listen to scratchy records with a .10 watt amp and $80,000 custom speakers.  The first .00000000001 watt is the most important.  Also I live on a busy street and the ambient noise level is 60 dB. 

Edited by jacksonbart

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Also I live on a busy street and the ambient noise level is 60 dB.

So it IS noisy on Pluto. I'll alert NASA.

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You should call Richard Clark and James Randi, get some of that cash.

 

 

I know you aren't saying all amplifiers sound the same? Was your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

 

 

So it like plugged into the wall and connected your amp? No batteries or power conditioning? Just a wire? Why not just hardwire the romex directly to the back of the amp if a better wire alone could do such things?

 

 

 

Like I said, it's expected of you to say these things. I would be bewlidered if you said anything different.

 

Most people who share your sentiment have never seriously listened to better stuff. You guys just dismiss it out of hand with no real world experience. That's ok, you don't know any better.......

 

 

Shakey

 

Here's the issue from a technical standpoint with power cords. The only way that a power cable can improve anything is by:

 

1. Filtering extraneous gunk (which they don't)

2. Having lower contact resistance

3. Having lower overall impedance

 

The point really is this: if changing a power cable drastically altered the pressure waves coming from your drivers, then the cable you swapped out was not doing its job in the first place. When you think about it, that is what's happening: you've somehow managed to get a significantly different signal to the drivers' VCs simply by changing a cord to the mains power. If that's happening, then you didn't really upgrade. You simply fixed a problem.

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You should call Richard Clark and James Randi, get some of that cash.

I know you aren't saying all amplifiers sound the same? Was your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

You do know who these guys are and why I mentioned them right? With amps specifically, Richard Clark has been running a challenge since maybe the early 90's where he gives you $10,000 if you can reliably tell the difference between two amps, assuming each are set up to not clip, set up with the same gain, and no DSP or other internal signal processing is used. Nobody has claimed it yet.

 

Like I said, it's expected of you to say these things. I would be bewlidered if you said anything different. Most people who share your sentiment have never seriously listened to better stuff. You guys just dismiss it out of hand with no real world experience. That's ok, you don't know any better..

That's great if it works but don't expect anybody to not be genuinely curious about such claims. If it somehow works like a power conditioner yeah I could see it and I'm asking if that's the case. If it simply hooks your amp to the wall by using different metal or something, why wouldn't just bypassing it altogether be superior? If it doesn't act like a conditioner, why wouldn't hardwiring your amp straight to romex be better than going through an outlet and a power cord, no matter how nice it is? Or do you not know the answer to this yourself?

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters

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You should call Richard Clark and James Randi, get some of that cash.

I know you aren't saying all amplifiers sound the same? Was your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

 

You do know who these guys are and why I mentioned them right? With amps specifically, Richard Clark has been running a challenge since maybe the early 90's where he gives you $10,000 if you can reliably tell the difference between two amps, assuming each are set up to not clip, set up with the same gain, and no DSP or other internal signal processing is used. Nobody has claimed it yet.

 

Like I said, it's expected of you to say these things. I would be bewlidered if you said anything different. Most people who share your sentiment have never seriously listened to better stuff. You guys just dismiss it out of hand with no real world experience. That's ok, you don't know any better..

That's great if it works but don't expect anybody to not be genuinely curious about such claims. If it somehow works like a power conditioner yeah I could see it and I'm asking if that's the case. If it simply hooks your amp to the wall by using different metal or something, why wouldn't just bypassing it altogether be superior? If it doesn't act like a conditioner, why wouldn't hardwiring your amp straight to romex be better than going through an outlet and a power cord, no matter how nice it is? Or do you not know the answer to this yourself?

 

Although I'm not a techie, I would tend to think that filtration is the key. Maybe not, but I don't really care. I just listen. If it sounds better, then it's an improvement. If it's an improvement worth the cash outlay, I'll bite. And before the placebo card gets played, I will say that sometimes the cheaper component wins. I don't measure performance in $$$.

 

Shakey

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Here's the issue from a technical standpoint with power cords. The only way that a power cable can improve anything is by:

 

 

1. Filtering extraneous gunk (which they don't)

2. Having lower contact resistance

3. Having lower overall impedance

 

The point really is this: if changing a power cable drastically altered the pressure waves coming from your drivers, then the cable you swapped out was not doing its job in the first place. When you think about it, that is what's happening: you've somehow managed to get a significantly different signal to the drivers' VCs simply by changing a cord to the mains power. If that's happening, then you didn't really upgrade. You simply fixed a problem.

 

 

 

I have a similar experience where in my circumstances I find that the sound changes that are discernable from swapping the power cord seems to be traceable, and typically attributed to poorly designed power supplies that are not up to the task requested of the amplifier.  Certain power cords are better than others in masking the power supply issues.

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You should call Richard Clark and James Randi, get some of that cash.

I know you aren't saying all amplifiers sound the same? Was your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

 

You do know who these guys are and why I mentioned them right? With amps specifically, Richard Clark has been running a challenge since maybe the early 90's where he gives you $10,000 if you can reliably tell the difference between two amps, assuming each are set up to not clip, set up with the same gain, and no DSP or other internal signal processing is used. Nobody has claimed it yet.

 

 

 

 

Who actually listens to music in such a benign setting?   I would think we would want gear that is sufficient to drive our desired listening experience.

When I get a chance I may have to study the testing criteria and evaluation procedures.

 

Here is a link to part of “The Science of Audio” lecture series during 2002 given by Floyd E. Toole, although I would highly recommend buying the book.  There are a couple of references to the double blind testing and analysis of speakers done by Harman International and documentation that in a properly controlled test, people can hear differences and have preferences.

 

 

http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/LoudspeakersandRoomsPt2.pdf

 

 

Regarding amplifiers and the desired listening experience, I’m not sure how many times the conversation goes something like this.

 

A: "My amp has no balls and has no bass"

 

B: "I’m not surprised.  To start, just look at that undersized transformer in the power supply and you are trying to drive 4 ohm speakers that dip down to 2 ohms."

 

A: "Look at the specs, it measures flat down to 10 Hz ….. So it should be vibrating walls with bass."

 

B: "Sure it does, at 2.83 volts into 8 ohms, yep, just like you read in the specs, it measures flat to 10 Hz." :rolleyes:

 

 

Now in the Clark test you reference there may not be a difference between the amp described above and an amp that is actually capable of driving a 2 ohm load, how reliable is that test for selecting the appropriate amp to drive the 2 ohm speaker load in the example above? :o

 

 

 

 

_ audio industry circle of confusion 1.jpg

 

 

_ audio industry circle of confusion 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

.

post-36163-0-54460000-1437764367_thumb.j

post-36163-0-60820000-1437764376_thumb.j

Edited by Fjd

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I knew when I first saw this thread that the haters would be out in full force. And I have not been disappointed. Even though this runs contrary to what most here believe, (or want to believe): audible difference in cables do exist

 

I dunno Shaky. First you presume we are all haters and then you presume we haven't heard nor tried this stuff.  Then you assume that we claim that we can't hear any differences.  Kinda dismissive of a Forum full of gear nuts.

 

Yes I have tried many cables, and I have heard them in other peoples system, at shows etc.  Yes on some cables I can hear a difference and that is precisely the point. 

 

Speaker wires are supposed to carry a signal. Period. Anything else makes them  an attenuator. If you want to buy an attenuator go right ahead.  Me I want the signal that has been generated through hundreds of feet of various wires, resistors, various attenuators, capacitors  and other stuff to then make a simple a journey of five or six feet needed to get it to the speakers where the signal will undergo another journey through dozens of feet of wires, real attenuators, resistors, caps etc. until it excites a piece of rubber and a paper back and forth until a sound comes flying at my ears at hundreds of feet per second.

 

And I dunno about you, I expect my system to sound slightly different every time I fire it up, because that's the nature of music, the cosmos and the variation our own perceptions.  In the endless permutations of things that can affect a system that I would consider worthy of experimentation, fancy zipcord is far, far down the list.

 

There is no science behind, nor, as far as I can tell, no engineering beyond simple speaker wire.  It is, however, a moneysink whose ethereal benefits pale in respect to other tangible results that can be achieved elsewhere.

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Who actually listens to music in such a benign setting?

The point is to get two possibly drastically different amps to the point where you can study the differences in the supposed sonic signature that its signal path produces. Otherwise you are just picking the one with some DSP magic or maybe simply the bigger one because the smaller one is clipping, which isn't a fair comparison. People claim there would still be differences yet apparently nobody can tell the difference when you do this. Nobody has even scored a 65% on it.

 

When I get a chance I may have to study the testing criteria and evaluation procedures.

The rules started out as car audio only but then he started allowing home and pro amps using the same criteria.

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/rcrules.htm

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/

1. Amplifier gain controls - of both channels - are matched to within +- .05 dB.

2. Speaker wires on both amps are properly wired with respect to polarity. (+ and -)

3. That neither amp has signal phase inversion. If so correction will be made in #2 above.

4. That neither amp is loaded beyond its rated impedance.

5. That all amplifiers with signal processors have those features turned off. This includes bass boost circuits, filters, etc. If frequency tailoring circuits cannot be completely bypassed an equalizer will be inserted in the signal path of one of the amps (only one and the listener can decide which) to compensate for the difference. Compensation will also be made for input and output loading that affects frequency response. Since we are only listening for differences in the sonic signature of circuit topology, the addition of an EQ in only one amps signal path should make the test even easier.

6. That neither amp exhibits excessive noise (including RFI).

7. That each amp can be properly driven by the test setup. Not normally a problem but it is theoretically a problem.

8. That the L and R channels are not reversed in one amp.

9. That neither amp has excessive physical noise or other indicators that can be observed by the listener.

10. That neither amp has DC OFFSET that causes audible pops when its output is switched.

11. That the channel separation of all amps in the test is at least 30 dB from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Summarizing the rest of the rules, basically double-blind, use good commercially available speakers, listen to any volume as long as neither amp is clipping, turn-on noise doesn't count, etc.

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters

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Speaker wires are supposed to carry a signal. Period. Anything else makes them  an attenuator. If you want to buy an attenuator go right ahead.  Me I want the signal that has been generated through hundreds of feet of various wires, resistors, various attenuators, capacitors  and other stuff to then make a simple a journey of five or six feet needed to get it to the speakers where the signal will undergo another journey through dozens of feet of wires, real attenuators, resistors, caps etc. until it excites a piece of rubber and a paper back and forth until a sound comes flying at my ears at hundreds of feet per second.

 

 

This was my thought. What's the use of expensive fancy cables if as soon as you connect to the speaker you go straight to plain ole copper? Unless you rewire the speaker itself I don't see how it would help.

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Who actually listens to music in such a benign setting?

The point is to get two possibly drastically different amps to the point where you can study the differences in the supposed sonic signature that its signal path produces. Otherwise you are just picking the one with some DSP magic or maybe simply the bigger one because the smaller one is clipping, which isn't a fair comparison. People claim there would still be differences yet apparently nobody can tell the difference when you do this. Nobody has even scored a 65% on it.

 

 

I actually do understand what they are trying to do, but just wanted to show how it is not an "end all, be all" solution to amp selection.  I'm not sure how much my Floyd E Toole link goes into it (I had more references but can't seem to find them when I want to use them), but if you get a chance you should read up on the Harman double blind listening testing and the considerations given around listener experience level (the book covers this aspect in fairly good detail).

 

 

I find the fact pattern below very common among people I work with that have limited knowledge of audio equipment but want to buy something.  I still do not believe the Clark test is valid in trying to understand various aspects in how to select an amplifier with the situations I encounter.

 

Essentially, I'm looking at the amplifier and loudspeaker as gear that should be chosen to complement each other in order to create a certain type of subjective listening experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should call Richard Clark and James Randi, get some of that cash.

I know you aren't saying all amplifiers sound the same? Was your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

 

You do know who these guys are and why I mentioned them right? With amps specifically, Richard Clark has been running a challenge since maybe the early 90's where he gives you $10,000 if you can reliably tell the difference between two amps, assuming each are set up to not clip, set up with the same gain, and no DSP or other internal signal processing is used. Nobody has claimed it yet.

 

 

 

 

Who actually listens to music in such a benign setting?   I would think we would want gear that is sufficient to drive our desired listening experience.

When I get a chance I may have to study the testing criteria and evaluation procedures.

 

Here is a link to part of “The Science of Audio” lecture series during 2002 given by Floyd E. Toole, although I would highly recommend buying the book.  There are a couple of references to the double blind testing and analysis of speakers done by Harman International and documentation that in a properly controlled test, people can hear differences and have preferences.

 

 

http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/LoudspeakersandRoomsPt2.pdf

 

 

Regarding amplifiers and the desired listening experience, I’m not sure how many times the conversation goes something like this.

 

A: "My amp has no balls and has no bass"

 

B: "I’m not surprised.  To start, just look at that undersized transformer in the power supply and you are trying to drive 4 ohm speakers that dip down to 2 ohms."

 

A: "Look at the specs, it measures flat down to 10 Hz ….. So it should be vibrating walls with bass."

 

B: "Sure it does, at 2.83 volts into 8 ohms, yep, just like you read in the specs, it measures flat to 10 Hz." :rolleyes:

 

 

Now in the Clark test you reference there may not be a difference between the amp described above and an amp that is actually capable of driving a 2 ohm load, how reliable is that test for selecting the appropriate amp to drive the 2 ohm speaker load in the example above? :o

 

 

Edited by Fjd
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Speaker wires are supposed to carry a signal. Period. Anything else makes them  an attenuator. If you want to buy an attenuator go right ahead.  Me I want the signal that has been generated through hundreds of feet of various wires, resistors, various attenuators, capacitors  and other stuff to then make a simple a journey of five or six feet needed to get it to the speakers where the signal will undergo another journey through dozens of feet of wires, real attenuators, resistors, caps etc. until it excites a piece of rubber and a paper back and forth until a sound comes flying at my ears at hundreds of feet per second.

 

 

This was my thought. What's the use of expensive fancy cables if as soon as you connect to the speaker you go straight to plain ole copper? Unless you rewire the speaker itself I don't see how it would help.

 

Since you agree with me you are obviously a discerning, intelligent individual.

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Who actually listens to music in such a benign setting?

The point is to get two possibly drastically different amps to the point where you can study the differences in the supposed sonic signature that its signal path produces. Otherwise you are just picking the one with some DSP magic or maybe simply the bigger one because the smaller one is clipping, which isn't a fair comparison. People claim there would still be differences yet apparently nobody can tell the difference when you do this. Nobody has even scored a 65% on it.

 

When I get a chance I may have to study the testing criteria and evaluation procedures.

The rules started out as car audio only but then he started allowing home and pro amps using the same criteria.

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/rcrules.htm

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/

1. Amplifier gain controls - of both channels - are matched to within +- .05 dB.

2. Speaker wires on both amps are properly wired with respect to polarity. (+ and -)

3. That neither amp has signal phase inversion. If so correction will be made in #2 above.

4. That neither amp is loaded beyond its rated impedance.

5. That all amplifiers with signal processors have those features turned off. This includes bass boost circuits, filters, etc. If frequency tailoring circuits cannot be completely bypassed an equalizer will be inserted in the signal path of one of the amps (only one and the listener can decide which) to compensate for the difference. Compensation will also be made for input and output loading that affects frequency response. Since we are only listening for differences in the sonic signature of circuit topology, the addition of an EQ in only one amps signal path should make the test even easier.

6. That neither amp exhibits excessive noise (including RFI).

7. That each amp can be properly driven by the test setup. Not normally a problem but it is theoretically a problem.

8. That the L and R channels are not reversed in one amp.

9. That neither amp has excessive physical noise or other indicators that can be observed by the listener.

10. That neither amp has DC OFFSET that causes audible pops when its output is switched.

11. That the channel separation of all amps in the test is at least 30 dB from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Summarizing the rest of the rules, basically double-blind, use good commercially available speakers, listen to any volume as long as neither amp is clipping, turn-on noise doesn't count, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker wires are supposed to carry a signal. Period. Anything else makes them  an attenuator. If you want to buy an attenuator go right ahead.  Me I want the signal that has been generated through hundreds of feet of various wires, resistors, various attenuators, capacitors  and other stuff to then make a simple a journey of five or six feet needed to get it to the speakers where the signal will undergo another journey through dozens of feet of wires, real attenuators, resistors, caps etc. until it excites a piece of rubber and a paper back and forth until a sound comes flying at my ears at hundreds of feet per second.

 

 

This was my thought. What's the use of expensive fancy cables if as soon as you connect to the speaker you go straight to plain ole copper? Unless you rewire the speaker itself I don't see how it would help.

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that one of the problems is that we often do not have much insight into the engineering of the equipment that we buy, along with truly useful measurements.  Therefore, it may not necessarily be as straight forward as inserting copper and proving no difference under double blind testing as one would tend to believe.

 

For example, many mass produced items often are underbuilt to a price point with many corners cut from a design and engineering standpoint and the given measurements can be very misleading. 

 

On the flip side, in some instances the builders of the high-dollar boutique amps may not necessarily have the testing capabilities to fully test and understand how an amplifier design will react under the extreme complex load conditions (e.g., they test 2.83 volts into 8 ohms and they are done). 

 

In some respects, on the surface, the Clark test appears to claim that amplifiers that are set to very “similar parameters / measurement criteria” will sound the same under narrow, somewhat benign, conditions.  

 

Essentially, the conclusion appears to be that between different amplifiers the “differences in the supposed sonic signature that its signal path produces” does not impact the sound or music listening experience because all participants taking part in the challenge fail the $10,000 double blind test.

 

Does this actually mean that all amplifiers “sound the same”?

 

It sure seems like a reasonable statement and conclusion that all amplifiers sound the same without giving the statement some further thought; however, what is "measure the same" and how does it correlate to the amplifier/speaker combination that should be complementary in dynamic conditions?

 

I believe that we have to look at what measurements are being evaluated and under what conditions. I do not necessarily think the Clark test could provide much useful insight; however, since I read the forums and talk to people a lot about “low level inner detail” (a noted strong point with various First Watt amplifiers and many single-ended tube amplifiers) I have been curious if there is a reliable way to measure “low level inner detail” in order to better understand the impact on the listening experience?  Even if a measure of low level inner detail could be done, how should the results be interpreted?  Can any discernable difference in low level inner detail be evaluated through double blind testing?  If not evident in a double blind test, does that mean that low level inner detail provides no discernable difference in the music listening experience?

 

The issue that I believe develops would become one of isolating a small variable and determining through a double blind listening test that “this aspect in isolation” is not necessarily that audible to people (validated by the double blind listening test) and then extrapolating that conclusion over the entire dynamic listening experience using a complementary amplifier/speaker set up. 

 

However, we now tend to somewhat discard many aspects of poor amplifier design and good amplifier design such as; power supply, amplifier output impedance or stability, how an amplifier's parameters will react to complex loads, and how an amplifier will react when plotted over a frequency range and various output levels, among other complex conditions.

 

From a more general level, in many situations, if an amplifier sounds discernably different or better with a cable swap, I suspect that is a strong indicator of potentially poorly designed aspects of an amplifier showing RFI sensitivity issues and transient instability in the upper frequency ranges.

 

Overall, I do not see anything wrong with correcting that type of issue through cables; however, I personally try to look for more stable designs up front where cables will have a minimal impact, if any.

 

I suspect that there is a “breaking point” in all of this as I realized that I find that some cables demonstrate amazing financial properties that substantially exceed their electrical properties. These extraordinary cables can filter out money from an audiophile's bank account and deposit it in the seller's account; while leaving the audiophile happy and even boasting about how effective the cable is at doing this.

 

Given all of the rambling above, a while back I found this quote that was attributed to Bob Katz, engineer of the Chesky recordings:

 

"It is important to realize that ABX tests and psychoacoustic studies and FFT measurements and subjective listening tests are each one-dimensional attempts to describe or analyze our experience of music listening. But music listening is a holistic, multidimensional experience that includes emotions, reactions, and involvement in the music. As scientists, it is important for us to remain cognizant of the fact that we are always looking through a small window on a very complex experience and to remain forever skeptical of our own conclusions and methods and as well as remain open-minded about the conclusions of others."

Edited by Fjd
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The only way that a power cable can improve anything is by:

 

1. Filtering extraneous gunk (which they don't)

What I don't understand is that the same people who are fans of $2,000 power cords would probably scoff at a $2,000 double-conversion online UPS that actually DOES filter extra junk. Those things make the power as clean and as steady as it's going to get, yet for some reason I highly doubt they are used much in the audiophile world, as apparently cables can do a better job.

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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The only way that a power cable can improve anything is by:

 

1. Filtering extraneous gunk (which they don't)

What I don't understand is that the same people who are fans of $2,000 power cords would probably scoff at a $2,000 double-conversion online UPS that actually DOES filter extra junk. Those things make the power as clean and as steady as it's going to get, yet for some reason I highly doubt they are used much in the audiophile world, as apparently cables can do a better job.

 

APS industrials is what i use, available on the Bay for cheap, Used i run them on the two ways system as well as the CCTV system.

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Speaker wire I can't tell the difference in sound.  Now with TP, I can tell the difference in feel for sure.  Just saying

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