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Mastering Engineers Discus Cables
weitrhinoOffline
#12 Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:27:55 PM(UTC)
 
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weitrhino

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These comments by engineer 'Stereociti' caught my attention, among others.
 
"An important consideration when choosing [a cable] was how much noise each model added." 
 
Surely this is more a factor of connection methods than the actual cable materials. The thermal noise of a conductor is infinitesimally small, below -124dBm to -154dBm in the 20Hz-20kHz range, the ear cannot possibly hear it under any purposefully modulated signal. Stereociti could be much clearer about this.
 
 
Regarding choices aside from really poorly constructed cables "……I've come to believe that, in the end, it really doesn't matter. "
 
Go on...
 
"Of course, with affordably priced cables, there can be a tendency for things to sound harsh or soft depending on the model….." 
 
Oh hang on! I thought you said it doesn't really matter! My credibility meter is pinging especially when his comments devolve into a plug for his own cable business.
 
 
"…..it is rare that noise generated by a cable's poor signal-to-noise ratio leads to positive results" 
 
Piffle.
 
Granted a noisy cable won't yield positive results but again Stereociti does not address the actual cause of the noise. Earlier he suggests inherent noise differences between cables, such as thermal noise, but fails to mention connection methods. After two decades in broadband I can tell you the problem is always at a connection point, either where the internal conductor attaches to the connector or where the connector fits to the equipment.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Chops on 4/19/2017(UTC)
DaveStLOffline
#10 Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 6:23:07 PM(UTC)
 
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Originally Posted by: weitrhino Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: weitrhino Go to Quoted Post

"Even if we were to measure the traits of a cable using waveforms and the like, we probably would not find much difference." Yet we seem to notice audible differences when swapping cables. The reason, he points out, is due to a difference in transmission speeds. "A cable that sounds strong in the low frequencies is simply slowing the high range a little bit so that it can transmit low frequencies quickly. This is the same as when you have a kick, bass and snare playing at exactly the same time in a DAW but nudging one of them ahead by just one millisecond can vastly change how it sounds overall. This analogy might be the best way to grasp the differences between cables."


The above by engineer "Miyoshi" I find the most troubling of his statements.

The audio spectrum, say 20Hz-20kHz, is a very, very small slice of spectrum either audible or electromagnetic. When I was in broadband we frequently had the need to sweep test spools of coaxial cable from 500'-1000' at a time. These were cables intended to pass up to 1gHz in various gauges and we could easily predict signal loss based on the factors of gauge, frequency, and length. What I find to be hogwash with Miyoshi is the comparably very short cable distances of a meter or two at best coupled with the comparably low freqencies of audible sound limited to a very low amount of bandwidth. What Miyoshi is talking about is a concept called 'velocity of propagation' when he claims a cable that sounds "strong in the low frequencies" is actually slowing the transmission of higher frequencies. I'm calling BS. VOP is a characteristic of a cable that doesn't vary by frequency. It is not the same thing as signal loss. VOP is expressed as a (signal transmission speed) percentage as compared to the speed of light in a vacuum. At these speeds, in this short bandwith, constrained to such short distances......you ain't gonna hear that.

If the higher frequencies are being &#8220;slowed&#8221; as Miyoshi claims then we could easily construct a test of two tones, one high, one low, and assign them to be interrupted at precise short duration intervals. Then simply extend the playing time to several days and observe any variation in discontinuity between the intervals. Ain&#8217;t gonna be none. Miyoshi's analogy to adjusting an instrument to play just ahead of or behind the beat does not apply.


I thought he might be giving a corrupted description of group delay, which can be calculated vs. frequency based on the electrical properties.


Dave

--it's close enough for jazz....
oldtexasdogOffline
#13 Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:45:31 PM(UTC)
 
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There was an articule somewhere I read where Bob was listening to a system and found that even tough it was SS it had a very "tube" like sound. Then he fouund where there was like a maybe 100' run of thin guage speaker cable behind the couch!
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weitrhino on 4/20/2017(UTC)
weitrhinoOffline
#14 Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 3:35:01 PM(UTC)
 
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Originally Posted by: oldtexasdog Go to Quoted Post
There was an articule somewhere I read where Bob was listening to a system and found that even tough it was SS it had a very "tube" like sound. Then he fouund where there was like a maybe 100' run of thin guage speaker cable behind the couch!
 
That would be the result of DC resistance proportionate to the length of the cable. 
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4krowOffline
#15 Posted: Friday, April 21, 2017 8:44:36 PM(UTC)
 
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   I just go for a standard of quality that holds together, yet doesn't have a death grip on the ground connection. It is the center signal connection that I pay attention to. I have become more lax with speaker cables in past years. The $85 per set for the Mapleshade single twisted pair works just fine. I also have some old Kimber kable that is easier to manipulate. Again, as long as there aren't oxidation issues, and De-oxit has been applied to the connectors, I am good to go.
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