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Why I Have Exotic Speaker Cables


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I do not claim to have golden ears. I am a 67 year old Man, who cleaned roofs for most of my life, so I was never exposed to excessive sound levels, and always wore ear protection at Concerts.
I have never heard any differences at all in sound with various speaker cables. Yet I have some really Fat ones from MIT that look like large snakes, on my floor.
I have compared these big ***  MIT Cables with Zip Cord, and never heard any differences.
Then WHY do I have them ?
Because my good friend will flat turn off when listening to my system with Zip Cord!
In fact, though I use a Yamaha Receiver as my preamp to drive whatever amp I am using at the time, if my friend is coming over to listen, I have to put an old 2 channel preamp that does NOT use any OP Amps,, because if I don't, he will refuse to listen to my system with me!

Of course, he does not come over much, and my Cat thanks him! The large thick MIT Speaker Cables have literally scared my poor Cat to death! I have seen her forget the cables are there, see them, then go several feet in the air vertically!
They scare her!

One day, he came over, only to discover the amp I had connected did not have a power card as thick as a fire hose hooked up to it. So yes, I have one of those, I just forgot to hook it up that day! I installed the Huge Power Cord, yet he still refused to listen, saying the power cord needed a few days to "season".

LOL, he lent me some interconnects once that had arrows on them, to tell you the direction of current flow. Just to mess with him, I told him I had the arrows going towards the pre amp, LOL
He told me that I "ruined his interconnects", until I told him I was just messing with him!

He is a good guy, and a longtime friend, and not a stupid person either.
But I almost feel sorry for him ......
 
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Take this to another level. To test your friendship, ask your friend to take a 'blind test'. 

 

But then again, the human brain and the senses are a funny thing. Personally, I was born with 'anosmia', which means I don't have and never have had the sense of smell. Very often,when I tell people about this disability, the first question asked is if I can taste. The answer is, yes, I do... But... my sense of taste is different compared to 'normal' people: some food ingredients for me have no taste at all, eg garlic, while other ingredients are very dominant. I also find it difficult to connect tastes with the correct words for it. Also, for me, visual input is extremely important: for me, a blind taste test for cola and lemonade is extremely difficult, but when I see both drinks, I experience very distinct tastes. 

So, I can empathize with your friend... When he sees snake thick speaker cables, he may actually experience better sound quality... 

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1 hour ago, ka7niq said:

LOL, he lent me some interconnects once that had arrows on them, to tell you the direction of current flow. Just to mess with him, I told him I had the arrows going towards the pre amp, LOL
He told me that I "ruined his interconnects", until I told him I was just messing with him!

 

Funny people get this wrong all the time…. The reason some cables will have a direction indicator is to let you know which end of the cable has the shield connected to signal ground so you know to use that end on the low impedance output source when driving the next components input for best external noise rejection.

 

miketn

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19 minutes ago, MeloManiac said:

Take this to another level. To test your friendship, ask your friend to take a 'blind test'. 

 

 Also, for me, visual input is extremely important: for me, a blind taste test for cola and lemonade is extremely difficult, but when I see both drinks, I experience very distinct tastes. 

So, I can empathize with your friend... When he sees snake thick speaker cables, he may actually experience better sound quality... 

Yes, the Mind is a powerful thing, and many so called "differences" flat disappear in blind listening tests.

Back in the early 80's, I had a very expensive stereo system, all 2 channel. I had QUAD 63 electrostatic speakers, and all Audio Research amp and preamp, all tubes, of course.

I had very expensive speaker and Interconnect Cables.

One of my friends asked me if I thought I could hear the differences the super expensive interconnecting cables made ?

I said "of course I can hear the differences", so he said "let's see" ? He set up a room divider so I could not see when he switched the cables, so he told me "lets listen to the cheap interconnects first" so we did. Then he said he  was gonna switch, and I said" oh yeah, what a freaking difference, these are so much more open and transparent" and he told me to come over to look. He NEVER switched anything, it was always the expensive cables, but when he told me "here are the cheap cables" they sounded like crap!

LOL

 

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33 minutes ago, mikebse2a3 said:

 

Funny people get this wrong all the time…. The reason some cables will have a direction indicator is to let you know which end of the cable has the shield connected to signal ground so you know to use that end on the low impedance output source when driving the next components input for best external noise rejection.

 

miketn

 

I triple dog dare you to post this statement on an Audiogon forum!

 

Sorry for the breech of dog dare etiquette. 

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LOL,, I really have my friend going, now that I showed him my equipment all grounded to an outside 6ft copper ground rod, driven right into the ground!

I went over his house to hear his new Dac, made an ugly face, and told him it sounded like Chit! 

LOL, I told him because his system was not earth grounded, there were all kinds of powerful transmitters in the area, mixing their signals with his audio! 

LOL

 

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The arrows on interconnects don't indicate current flow, they are used when the cables are shielded to prevent noise getting through the cables.  One end is shielded.

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On 6/19/2022 at 9:40 PM, ka7niq said:
I do not claim to have golden ears. I am a 67 year old Man, who cleaned roofs for most of my life, so I was never exposed to excessive sound levels, and always wore ear protection at Concerts.
I have never heard any differences at all in sound with various speaker cables. Yet I have some really Fat ones from MIT that look like large snakes, on my floor.
I have compared these big ***  MIT Cables with Zip Cord, and never heard any differences.
Then WHY do I have them ?
Because my good friend will flat turn off when listening to my system with Zip Cord!
In fact, though I use a Yamaha Receiver as my preamp to drive whatever amp I am using at the time, if my friend is coming over to listen, I have to put an old 2 channel preamp that does NOT use any OP Amps,, because if I don't, he will refuse to listen to my system with me!

Of course, he does not come over much, and my Cat thanks him! The large thick MIT Speaker Cables have literally scared my poor Cat to death! I have seen her forget the cables are there, see them, then go several feet in the air vertically!
They scare her!

One day, he came over, only to discover the amp I had connected did not have a power card as thick as a fire hose hooked up to it. So yes, I have one of those, I just forgot to hook it up that day! I installed the Huge Power Cord, yet he still refused to listen, saying the power cord needed a few days to "season".

LOL, he lent me some interconnects once that had arrows on them, to tell you the direction of current flow. Just to mess with him, I told him I had the arrows going towards the pre amp, LOL
He told me that I "ruined his interconnects", until I told him I was just messing with him!

He is a good guy, and a longtime friend, and not a stupid person either.
But I almost feel sorry for him ......
 
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Do not feel sorry for your friend. You may think he's a fool, which is sad, because he is not. 

Using an AVR as a two channel preamp in what is meant to be a quality two channels stereo system is like putting an old Chevy motor in a Ferrari. It sucks, and it makes no sense. Yes, a discrete 2 channels preamp DOES sound better. If you cannot hear the difference, fine, but then that's you. Not your friend being an idiot.

Speaker cables in my system make a HUGE difference. But, MIT isn't a very good brand (sorry). A high price isn't a guarantee for better sound.

Yes, power cords (just like any cable) need a few days to break in. Why? You may dismiss it as foolishry, again, and decide to mock it and make fun of your friend, or you can google the various explanations. Has to do with the dielectric "charging" or something like that. I have experienced it with all my cables. The more complex the cable, the more obvious. I have found that silver plated, teflon dielectric wires take more time than basic copper wire, and you can hear it much more easily. Go ahead, mock me, make a fool of me, I won't change my mind about it. Brand new cables can sound harsh and congested, while a broken in cable will sound MUCH smoother and open. Again, very easy to hear, if you are a serious listener with a good revealing system. Very easy to verify, as well: put a well used cable on one channel, and a brand new identical cable on the other, I guarantee you will have a hard time getting an even, coherent, well centered stereo image. If you hear what a coherent stereo image is, of course.

Cable directionality? Yes, it has to do initially with the ground end. But then, as you use your brand new cable, it breaks in in THAT position, and using it reverse kinda screws the break in, and it has to be done all over again (not a big deal, and no it won't destroy the cable, obviously, but the cable will not sound at its best for a while. Again, some cables can be more sensitive to this, depending on the geometry and materials used. That's what your friend was scared about. Ask him. Again, if for you cables don't make a difference, you will dismiss this as foolish. Your loss, if you ask me, not your friend being an idiot).

 

I have an actively tri-amped system, home made, kind of LaScala on steroids with 2inch mid drivers and a larger bass horn, with two active subs for the lows. That's three times more cables than your usual system. I can tell you, being active let's you hear more things, and the more cables you have, the more they impact the sound. I didn't spend fortunes, but I would never ever swap my cables for something else. I'm getting a little tired of the constant mockery about people using "fancy" wires or high-end electronics. We aren't idiots. We don't have crazy amounts of money to waste - I certainly don't! Has it ever occurred to you those "fools" might just have better ears? or just listen to their system with more attention to little details? You might just be enjoying the music and that's fine, probably even something one could envy, but does that make all the MANY audiophiles who find differences in the "small" details FOOLS? Have you ever tried to research WHAT could possibly cause those perceived differences under a different bias than "it's all just bullshit"? Because if you do, you might find interesting information, and you might see things differently.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Rolox said:

 Has it ever occurred to you those "fools" might just have better ears? or just listen to their system with more attention to little details? You might just be enjoying the music and that's fine, probably even something one could envy, but does that make all the MANY audiophiles who find differences in the "small" details FOOLS?

 

 I think you hit the nail on the head right here active / critical listening takes practice is a skill and some people are clearly better than others not to say that musical enjoyment is not shared by all.

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40 minutes ago, jjptkd said:

 

 I think you hit the nail on the head right here active / critical listening takes practice is a skill and some people are clearly better than others not to say that musical enjoyment is not shared by all.

Exactly. I do not MEAN to be a jerk or to diminish anybody. But it is a fact, critical listening is a skill and is something one learns and practices. That being said, just enjoying one's system as it is and just enjoying the tunes without caring is absolutely fine, as long as you don't make fun of those who need to go further. We all have different expectations / needs / etc. Keeping an open mind is mandatory.

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3 minutes ago, Rolox said:

Exactly. I do not MEAN to be a jerk or to diminish anybody. But it is a fact, critical listening is a skill and is something one learns and practices. That being said, just enjoying one's system as it is and just enjoying the tunes without caring is absolutely fine, as long as you don't make fun of those who need to go further. We all have different expectations / needs / etc. Keeping an open mind is mandatory.

 

Exactly. I have never berated anyone who says they can't hear a difference in cables. I only take issue with the ones who say no difference exists. If you can't hear the improvement, that's $$ in your pocket and good for you. But don't paint with a broad brush and think everyone should be like you.

 

We have a member here (who will certainly be along shortly) who says all modern amplifiers sound the same. And yet he chooses to own a multi thousand dollar McIntosh amp when a 500.00 receiver should sound the same. It sounds like I'm making that up, but it's true...

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1 minute ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

Exactly. I have never berated anyone who says they can't hear a difference in cables. I only take issue with the ones who say no difference exists. If you can't hear the improvement, that's $$ in your pocket and good for you. But don't paint with a broad brush and think everyone should be like you.

 

We have a member here (who will certainly be along shortly) who says all modern amplifiers sound the same. And yet he chooses to own a multi thousand dollar McIntosh amp when a 500.00 receiver should sound the same. It sounds like I'm making that up, but it's true...

Yeah, modern amplifiers sound the same, and DACs, and CD transports ("it's just 1s and 0s!!!") etc etc. I wonder why we bother buying nice stuff, when we could just go to the electronic store at the corner of the street and buy a 150$ entry level amp with a DAC inside and be done with it. It measures the same, right? 

 

Oh and McIntosh... typical "status symbol, pride of ownership, made in the USA" brand. Not saying it's bad stuff, but when someone has a lot of money and wants a crazy "sound system" to impress guests, that's one of the recurrent brands. Very expensive and very easy to recognize even by non-audiophile people. Just like Rolex is the go-to luxury watch brand for status symbol.

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49 minutes ago, Rolox said:

Oh and McIntosh... typical "status symbol, pride of ownership, made in the USA" brand. Not saying it's bad stuff, but when someone has a lot of money and wants a crazy "sound system" to impress guests, that's one of the recurrent brands. Very expensive and very easy to recognize even by non-audiophile people. Just like Rolex is the go-to luxury watch brand for status symbol.

Sure, keep believing that.  Do I have a lot of money?  No.  Do I want to impress people with my gear?  No.  Do I use it as a "status symbol"?  No.

Only through buying, selling, trading, bartering, etc, etc, etc through many, many years have I been able to acquire amps and preamps that compliment my listening environment and the music I enjoy.

 

So please, continue to mock the Mcintosh brand, and those that appreciate it, while I will continue to listen and laugh.

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