9 hi-fi tricks you might not believe affect sound quality (but they do)

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Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
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'No you won't' 🤣
(Who needs TV when you've got top entertainment on this forum?)
Exactly! :LOL:
Although I do like to keep an open mind, so if someone, anyone can point me to a peer reviewed paper with an in-depth explanation as to why these speaker cable elevators work, backed up by actual science...?
Forgive me if I don't hold my breath, but do feel free to search Google for "Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil"
 

Gray

Well-known member
Exactly! :LOL:
Although I do like to keep an open mind, so if someone, anyone can point me to a peer reviewed paper with an in-depth explanation as to why these speaker cable elevators work, backed up by actual science...?
Forgive me if I don't hold my breath, but do feel free to search Google for "Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil"
I'm on your side Mike (I saw a Mike Litoris the other day by the way).
Apart from directional mains fuses!!!! FFS, Cable lifters / Risers / Elevators must take the prize.
I like the way people try to explain the theory, as if to justify their existence.
Even the theory is ***locks. Surely a suspended cable could vibrate more than one laid on a soft carpet, fully dampening any 'problematic' vibrations.
 
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Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
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I'm on your side Mike (I saw a Mike Litoris the other day by the way).
Apart from directional mains fuses!!!! FFS, Cable lifters / Risers / Elevators must take the prize.
I like the way people try to explain the theory, as if to justify their existence.
Even the theory is ***locks. Surely a suspended cable could vibrate more than one laid on a soft carpet, fully dampening any 'problematic' vibrations.
What's even more hilarious is that the more expensive your cables, the more they seem to need protecting from environmental forces! Has nobody stopped to ask why their £20K cables need these ridiculously expensive suspenders, when my £20 speaker cables perform equally as well without suspenders? Maybe these people need to contact whoever manufactured their cables and ask why they're incapable of manufacturing the simplest of components without adding obvious flaws that aren't present in cheaper cables! Surely a simple RLC lumped element analysis would highlight these serious design flaws at R&D stage, negating the need for the subsequent purchase of woo-woo-suspenders?
A cynical person might wonder if the engineers designing these cables were deliberately designing faults into their cables, in order to sell their own-brand suspenders, whilst a realist might simply call absolute BS on the whole idea of ridiculously priced cables and suspenders, because simple scientific tests can easily prove that it is just that, complete BS.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
What's even more hilarious is that the more expensive your cables, the more they seem to need protecting from environmental forces! Has nobody stopped to ask why their £20K cables need these ridiculously expensive suspenders, when my £20 speaker cables perform equally as well without suspenders? Maybe these people need to contact whoever manufactured their cables and ask why they're incapable of manufacturing the simplest of components without adding obvious flaws that aren't present in cheaper cables! Surely a simple RLC lumped element analysis would highlight these serious design flaws at R&D stage, negating the need for the subsequent purchase of woo-woo-suspenders?
A cynical person might wonder if the engineers designing these cables were deliberately designing faults into their cables, in order to sell their own-brand suspenders, whilst a realist might simply call absolute BS on the whole idea of ridiculously priced cables and suspenders, because simple scientific tests can easily prove that it is just that, complete BS.
You know you want some - less than £70 gets you 8 bits of wood.
 
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Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
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You know you want some - less than £70 gets you 8 bits of wood.
Whereas, if I believed a fraction of this cable nonsense, simply looking at pictures of £20k cables would cause me to get wood, for free!

And, just in case any of the exotic cable manufacturers are reading this, here's a little reading on sound system engineering, from a professor of physics. Maybe this will help you design better cables, because, from what I've gathered from what I've read, any negative affect from a badly designed speaker cable would only be perceptible at a couple of orders of magnitude higher than the human ear could possibly perceive, unless, that is, someone can cite peer-reviewed papers that prove the professor to be wrong?


But what actually happens is that these exotic cable manufacturers take snippets of reality and spin them into golden goose cables, when, in reality, their nonsense has zero base in reality, and absolutely deserves the 'Snake Oil' moniker.
 
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velocitymj

Member
Feb 22, 2020
3
3
20
It took more effort to denigrate the suggestion than to try it out. Hardly seems sporting.
I've been an audiophile for 30 years.
None of the suggestions that they have listed work. And I have tried them all; from green paint on the edge of my CDs, to 40 hour burn ins on my stereo gear, to leaving the equipment on 24/7, to side by side, blind testing comparisons of interconnect and power cables (I haven't checked my speaker cables, because I don't want to find out that I'm an idiot for spending $6K on one pair of them) to isolation platforms.
I have numerous friends that are professional recording engineers (one who worked on Pink Floyd's "The Wall") and they all shake their heads at the audiophile wire claims.
The most expensive interconnects that they use are Mogami Gold.
Which I tested against $7K Taralab interconnects that I have and there is no difference.
So, after spending a lot of money and time on these bogus tweaks and then trying an actual blind listening test and discovering that I've been hoodwinked, I'm incensed whenever I read an audiophile or stereo publication promoting these false claims (lies).
While a speaker might benefit from a 40 hour burn in, because it's a "moving part", an electronic component won't and while this writer tries to make it sound like he's conveying facts, the reality is that there isn't any scientific evidence to support his claims.
I suggest you get a friend and actually try a blind listening test on all of these suggestions instead of compulsively making a denigratory comment about someone's honest assessment.
 
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velocitymj

Member
Feb 22, 2020
3
3
20
There was once CD players which reset their buffers only after a stop and hence performed better afterwards. Very simple matter to research, but you didn’t bother did you....? Oh dear..
I can't find any evidence of any kind to support this statement of yours.
Perhaps you can do so.... and not from a reviewer, but from a objective, electronics engineer who works in the manufacturing end of the audio industry.
thank you.
 

velocitymj

Member
Feb 22, 2020
3
3
20
It took more effort to denigrate the suggestion than to try it out. Hardly seems sporting.
We're not looking for "sporting" here, we're looking for facts, which equates to honesty.
Nothing that has been stated in this op-ed is grounded in scientific facts or even surmised from an objective, blind listening test.
 
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Nik

Member
Feb 26, 2020
6
0
20
Agree with all the points... and I want to add one: demagnetizer your CD before listening !!!
 

Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
165
103
770
Agree with all the points... and I want to add one: demagnetizer your CD before listening !!!
I'd also like to add...
Always degauss yourself before entering your HiFi room (this can be achieved in an industrial microwave oven), then sit in a Faraday cage whilst grounding yourself to the nearest power outlet.
 

Nik

Member
Feb 26, 2020
6
0
20
I'm sorry, it means that your setup do not have highest grade resolution, or may be your ears...
Not for all !!!
 

pjr801

Active member
Feb 27, 2020
3
1
25
Most of the suggestions have merit, the reasons why a little less .Strangly enough I have noticed when pausing a digital file (in this case a movie)there is a change in the audio and video replay. I have an Oppo DVD player which apart from this quirk I am extremely happy with. My amp takes 20 minutes before its sound has reached its full potential and it is a sudden change in sound quality.The levels of said amp a Krell is possibly right as other amps I have owned have nowhere near the ability to drive speakers as the Krell.Its not an exact science (I don't have cable lifters)but sooner or later a explanation may be found which gives reason to what our ears actually hear
 
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pjr801

Active member
Feb 27, 2020
3
1
25
I'd also like to add...
Always degauss yourself before entering your HiFi room (this can be achieved in an industrial microwave oven), then sit in a Faraday cage whilst grounding yourself to the nearest power outlet.
I prefer a coil rather than a microwave
 
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Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
165
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770
Most of the suggestions have merit, the reasons why a little less .Strangly enough I have noticed when pausing a digital file (in this case a movie)there is a change in the audio and video replay. I have an Oppo DVD player which apart from this quirk I am extremely happy with. My amp takes 20 minutes before its sound has reached its full potential and it is a sudden change in sound quality.The levels of said amp a Krell is possibly right as other amps I have owned have nowhere near the ability to drive speakers as the Krell.Its not an exact science (I don't have cable lifters)but sooner or later a explanation may be found which gives reason to what our ears actually hear
We already have an explanation. It's called the human ear, and it's the most unreliable method of measuring anything to do with audio, because the way we interpret everything that goes in is dependent upon loads of external factors, not least the cost of the speaker cables, interconnects, etc.
We've understood confirmation bias for a long time, and it's the reason why double blind tests are absolutely necessary, because the human ear can't be trusted when the brain already knows that something sounds better because it's more expensive, and it's the reason why people refuse to do double blind tests, because deep down they know they're going to embarrass themselves, and nobody likes to admit they were wrong, and the more expensive the purchase, the more right they 'know' they are.
 

Nik

Member
Feb 26, 2020
6
0
20
You are right but my test on my setup, are always done with at least 3 guys ... so I just tell what all the guys say...
 

Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
165
103
770
You are right but my test on my setup, are always done with at least 3 guys ... so I just tell what all the guys say...
Are they individual blind tests, or are these three guys all listening at the same time in the same room?
You know that if one person in a group says something sounds better, then others tend to agree? It's a well known phenomenon, and it happens because everybody wants to feel included in the group. Nobody wants to be the odd one out, so they all agree that something sounds better if someone who purports to know the difference says so, and it's one of the reasons why snake oil salesmen get away with their lies, because nobody wants to be the guy who can't hear a difference, so people lie to themselves to remain in with the in crowd, thereby perpetuating these nonsense myths.
 

Nik

Member
Feb 26, 2020
6
0
20
Nobody knows what the other guys write in the paper... I put the CD play, than I stop it with pause, or with stop and play, nobody see the display, so they don't know how the music start, and all can ear the different result in sound...
 

robdean

Member
Feb 27, 2020
1
0
20
Is this journalism now? To simply assert implausible 'facts' with no supporting data and scant attribution?
To those who say 'Try it' I say this: the placebo effect is such that in medical testing up to 30% reporting of subjective 'improvement' is expected from the control group (those given simulated deliberately fake treatment). That is why the only accepted measure of effectiveness is blind testing between real treatment and fake treatment (or between different treatments which are experienced similarly by the patient, such as pills containing different formulations). As a psychology graduate I learned that similar procedures have to be followed in all subjective testing: you will *always* have a significant proportion of test subjects who swear that the placebo worked for them. The amazing thing is that often, as an effective placebo, it genuinely left them happy: however that was the miracle of the human mind, not of the sugar pill you just gave them.
 

Nik

Member
Feb 26, 2020
6
0
20
Bla, bla, bla...
Too much words ... it is so simple... I can't understand...
All the people coming here have the same experience... So if you don't believe without listening here follow telling things with no sense!!!
 

pjr801

Active member
Feb 27, 2020
3
1
25
We already have an explanation. It's called the human ear, and it's the most unreliable method of measuring anything to do with audio, because the way we interpret everything that goes in is dependent upon loads of external factors, not least the cost of the speaker cables, interconnects, etc.
We've understood confirmation bias for a long time, and it's the reason why double blind tests are absolutely necessary, because the human ear can't be trusted when the brain already knows that something sounds better because it's more expensive, and it's the reason why people refuse to do double blind tests, because deep down they know they're going to embarrass themselves, and nobody likes to admit they were wrong, and the more expensive the purchase, the more right they 'know' they are.
Double-blind tests are fine and I agree with most of what you are saying although it's your ears that are deciphering the double-blind tests. The ears aren't the problem it's our other senses and input from other sources that can deceive us.It's not always cost that plays tricks with our mind, The Pioneer A 400 a cheap amp at the time but really sounded great despite its cost.The other problem with cost is that it is a field of diminishing returns-paying twice as much may not mean twice as good
 

Mike Hunt

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
165
103
770
Double-blind tests are fine and I agree with most of what you are saying although it's your ears that are deciphering the double-blind tests. The ears aren't the problem it's our other senses and input from other sources that can deceive us.It's not always cost that plays tricks with our mind, The Pioneer A 400 a cheap amp at the time but really sounded great despite its cost.The other problem with cost is that it is a field of diminishing returns-paying twice as much may not mean twice as good
You seem to be agreeing with my point. But it isn't our ears that are doing the decyphering, it's our brain. Our ears are just the microphone that sends the signal to our brain, where it's subsequently processed, and that processing can be influenced by so many factors, which is why we can't be trusted.
The irony is that confirmation bias will actually make something sound better... to the person who just spent £10k on a cable. It won't actually sound any different to a £20 cable but to the person who spent £10k on it, the difference will be night and day.

An acid test to see if a cable manufacturer is selling snake oil... Do they sell expensive power leads, and USB and Ethernet cables, and try to convince people that these will make your audio sound better? If they do they're snake oil bullsh1tters. Don't anyone try to tell me that ridiculously priced power leads, and USB and Ethernet cables make the slightest difference to what goes into your ears, because they dont, and it's so simple to debunk that anyone with half a brain cell can see that it's utter BS. Nordost are a perfect example. Apparently, their 1.5m £16500 power lead will transform your system, and I'm sure that spending another few thousand on their USB and Ethernet cables will clean up all of those dirty zeros and ones...
 
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Leon Martin

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2020
35
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No. 6...... One of my friends ran a research project at Mcr University researching wind flow patterns in urban areas for the MOD ( in case of a nuclear strike ). Anyhow, the equipment was so sensitive that vibrations or even tiny movements in certain cables altered the signals in the measuring equipment. I'm not sure that any HiFi equipment would be remotely as sensitive but the possibility is certainly there
 

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