News Chi-Fi: The Harbinger of Doom, or Bringing High-End Sound to the Masses?

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Revolutions

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Only a tiny minority of people will have done.
I’ve always got tonnes of kettle leads, until I don’t.

It’s just like tennis balls for the dog. When I’ve got too many I get complacent, then before I know it we’ve lost them all.

The perils of playing in bands: perennially losing kettle leads. Maybe if I paid more money for them I might guard them with more vigilance.
 
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DougK1

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Personally my jury is out on chi-fi as it's emergence in the marketplace is still relatively new. Ask me in a few years time when we have results on product longevity, etc. There is an awful lot of Chinese electrical tat being churned out and dumped on the market where regulations are not being adhered to, eg, false CE markings, etc. Think I saw a programme on the box about this quite recently.

Sure we get cheap gear but if this results in a lifespan of a few years then it just becomes landfill, or a door-stop, what's the point? I want my gear to last at least a decade or more.
 

DougK1

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Cables again! I have said this countless times on here but when it comes to power leads does anyone really think that any manufacturer would purposely include a power lead with their product which either wasn't up to spec, and/or, made their product sound worse than one of these aftermarket cables? It's ridiculous!
 

A-Line

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Cables again! I have said this countless times on here but when it comes to power leads does anyone really think that any manufacturer would purposely include a power lead with their product which either wasn't up to spec, and/or, made their product sound worse than one of these aftermarket cables? It's ridiculous!
Those who purchase power conditioners are mostly likely also using aftermarket power cords.
Glossy mag reviews of components generally include power conditioners in the chain of components as well as use of aftermarket power cords.
 

A-Line

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Then they are fools on both counts...my opinion :)
Those reviewers have alligator skin and are not phased in the least of any criticism by their own subscribers. Meanwhile they get to test/review, and often times get to actually keep the components being reviewed in exchange for a positive review, ultra high end components that the average music lover will never be able to afford in their lifetimes.
 
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podknocker

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Cables again! I have said this countless times on here but when it comes to power leads does anyone really think that any manufacturer would purposely include a power lead with their product which either wasn't up to spec, and/or, made their product sound worse than one of these aftermarket cables? It's ridiculous!
Indeed. All leads supplied with devices, mains cords, or interconnects, will be good enough to carry power and signals. I would love people to explain how expensive power cords and interconnects can make a difference. Interconnects have copper inside and this is soldered to the plugs at the end. It's just solder and not made from the expensive materials in the rest of the product. There's no point buying expensive leads when they also contain basic materials. It's a similar thing with speaker leads. I mentioned this earlier. People pay a fortune for these things and then the signal arrives at the speaker binding posts. Behind these, the crossovers and voice coil windings are basic copper. People need to have a really good think about this. Bragging about your expensive speaker leads sounding fantastic doesn't impress anyone.
 
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Indeed. All leads supplied with devices, mains cords, or interconnects, will be good enough to carry power and signals.
Playing Devil's advocate here...

Most cable debates centre around cables improving things. They don't improve anything. They can't. Whatever comes out of the CD player/streamer/TT etc is what it is, you cannot make that sound better. The alternative way to look at it is that all cables of any type will potentially degrade the quality of what it is receiving. This may happen to a different degree depending on design, materials, etc etc.
So, using a better cable may preserve more of the original signal, which may come across as a perceived improvement.

Cables are, after all, a passive, physical technology....
 
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Gray

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So, using a better cable may preserve more of the original signal, which may come across as a perceived improvement.
And crucially, better does not necessarily mean it has to be more expensive:
There was the poster with hum - replaced his fancy, expensive TT to phono amp cable with the type of bootlace-quality, freebie interconnect that people love to mock.
Hum cured.
In that case, an expensive cable had audibly inferior performance to a free one.
 

podknocker

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If a cheap or free interconnect transfers all of the signal, a more expensive one can't transfer more. I suppose interconnect 'believers' will always be convinced expensive leads make a difference, even though there is zero reason it could.
 
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podknocker

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How do you know it transfers the signal as is without any influence at all?
Electricity behaves the same way in cheap and expensive cables. The propagation speed between normal copper and the purest silver will be too small to perceive. Proving there is a difference in sound quality is up to the believers. The onus is on them. If you post a comment on this forum which suggests an expensive bit of wire can somehow sound better than a cheaper bit of wire, we need measurements and proof, with blind listening tests, backed up by scientific reasons as to how these things can sound better. There has never been proof on this forum, only conjecture and it's about time people explained how their fancy interconnect, or £3k per metre speaker wiring actually pulls off this magic trick. There's a huge part of the HIFI sector dedicated to brainwashing the unwary and gullible into parting with vasts amounts of money, without any evidence at all to show these products do actually make a difference. It's snake oil.
 
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Electricity behaves the same way in cheap and expensive cables. The propagation speed between normal copper and the purest silver will be too small to perceive. Proving there is a difference in sound quality is up to the believers. The onus is on them. If you post a comment on this forum which suggests an expensive bit of wire can somehow sound better than a cheaper bit of wire, we need measurements and proof, with blind listening tests, backed up by scientific reasons as to how these things can sound better. There has never been proof on this forum, only conjecture and it's about time people explained how their fancy interconnect, or £3k per metre speaker wiring actually pulls off this magic trick. There's a huge part of the HIFI sector dedicated to brainwashing the unwary and gullible into parting with vasts amounts of money, without any evidence at all to show these products do actually make a difference. It's snake oil.
But placing the onus onto those who believe they make a difference is just a cop out argument that non believers use to also not have to produce evidence. How can you make someone prove something exists when it's not necessarily measureable? If the non believers could prove they don't make a difference, they could just step forward and give their evidence.

The debate rages on.... :)
 
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podknocker

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IF a speaker lead or interconnect sounds better, there must be a real, physical reason, governed by the laws of the universe to allow this. This should be there for everyone to measure. I don't believe in god so I don't need to prove it exists. If you do believe in god and want to convince me it exists, again, please provide evidence. The 'cop out' as you suggest, is on all of the believers. IF it's there, you need to prove it.
 

Gray

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I've said it before but believers are the type of person stage hypnotists are looking for before they start their act.
They weed out those unable to be persuaded by words (the majority of the audience).

The minority remaining can be told an onion is an apple - when they eat the onion it tastes like an apple to them.
If they were told a cable will sound better, the cable will sound better to them.
They are effectively hypnotized by the very persuasive, persistent theories around the benefits of materials and construction.
But they do truly believe.
 

Gray

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If a difference cannot be measured, it seems reasonable to assume there is no difference.
Very reasonable - to logical minds.

In making the point that not everything can be measured, someone used the example of depth perception between stereo speakers - just being an illusion created by the brain.

If course it is - an illusion created by the brain because of small, but measurable, differences between the two speakers.
 
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Rodolfo

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IF a speaker lead or interconnect sounds better, there must be a real, physical reason, governed by the laws of the universe to allow this. This should be there for everyone to measure. I don't believe in god so I don't need to prove it exists. If you do believe in god and want to convince me it exists, again, please provide evidence. The 'cop out' as you suggest, is on all of the believers. IF it's there, you need to prove it.
The two funniest audio "beliefs" or faiths I read about so often -here and elsewhere- are, first, the idea or claims for "matching" of equipment or components, particularly where the arguments are for a best or at most a few combos that are appropriate, that can "faithfully" render the correct or best sound.

The other one is that the often-claimed belief that there is a "truth" or knowledge of "what the artist intended": AS IF ...so many unknowns, variables, and complexities!

Just funny... ;)
 
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A-Line

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And crucially, better does not necessarily mean it has to be more expensive:
There was the poster with hum - replaced his fancy, expensive TT to phono amp cable with the type of bootlace-quality, freebie interconnect that people love to mock.
Hum cured.
In that case, an expensive cable had audibly inferior performance to a free one.
My findings is that most people who purchase expensive cables use them as some sort of tone control.
My cables aren't terribly expensive but they at least allow the signal from point A to point B to remain original thereby revealing more information than say something like Crystal Cables at £10,000.00 for a set of 1.5m interconnects. There remains a fair amount of voodoo science amoung the ultra expensive hifi components, not so much amoung the mid-fi or low end priced for hifi components.

Just my opinion.
 
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A-Line

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I've said it before but believers are the type of person stage hypnotists are looking for before they start their act.
They weed out those unable to be persuaded by words (the majority of the audience).

The minority remaining can be told an onion is an apple - when they eat the onion it tastes like an apple to them.
If they were told a cable will sound better, the cable will sound better to them.
They are effectively hypnotized by the very persuasive, persistent theories around the benefits of materials and construction.
But they do truly believe.
This is why double blind controlled studies are so unpopular amoung certain audiophiles. Audiophiles with a 6 figure amp don't want to discover that some ChiFi amp, or some lesser priced amp, with the same specs sound the same, or worse sounded better, than their FM Acoustics, Accuphase, Burmister, DartZeel, or Soulution amp at 1/40th the price.

This sort of A/B comparison can be done with any audio component.
Everyone has their own ideas as to what sounds best and best fits their budgets.
 
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