I can measurably show there is a differences between speaker cables

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insider9

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andyjm said:
Ok, just so I have got this right, you ran 20 sweeps for each cable, and performed an arithmetic average of the 20 sweeps to come up with the 'average sweep'. You then compared the 'average sweep' of each cable with each of the other cables, producing a difference graph.

Two things have happened, please bear with me.

Info presented in this thread wasn't from averages. I've not compared measurements. I produced a difference graph by overlaying measurement 1 vs other measuremnt. I've done it repeatedly until I could happily conclude that they are repeatable and average is representable. This was done manually for the data I've shared.

Around midnight that day I've produce averages for each cable. These were averages of difference graphs. They don't look too dissimilar to what was posted. When comparing these graphs results were very similar.

REW is very difficult to work with when you deal with 40 measurements per window (thata's 20 measurements and 19 difference graphs) Particularly as it only allows 30 to be opened at a time.

andyjm said:
If so, I stand by my earlier comments, the spiky + -1 dB difference plots don't look real. I don't know what artifact is causing this, but it is extremely unlikely that changing the LCR parameters of the cable would lead to that sort of difference. As I posted earlier, (understanding that you didn't use LF yourself), cable effects are LF slope, HF slope and possibly a hump or dip in midrange. To all intents and purposes, your cables are identical apart from this 'noise'.

I'm not trying to convince you. I'm happy for you to dismiss it completetly. I've presented my findings. I've posted asking for advice before doing of what's the best way to do it acoutically. There was no objections on either forum (also posted on the Wam). It's done. I have data which I analysed.

As to spikes you're referring to. Once more this is how every measurement look. What is usually presented is the smoothed version which applies averages. I see an issue with averaging averages. Don't you?

Depending on the smoothing, which usually is applied to read the plots with more ease, you will see 1dB 0.1dB or few dB differences. I'll post some graphs to present this.

andyjm said:
If you have the time, you could start the whole process from scratch and see if the difference graphs are similar.

My mates was so excited that I was willing to talk cables that he borrowed the lot (bar one I'm using). If I do it again, it won't be for a while. I'm not a zealot if you don't believe my findings that's fine by me.

andyjm said:
Didi you move around the room when you were doing these tests, or did you always stand in the same spot?

Mic was about 0.5m from speakers. I was not directly in the way and neither of 60 measurements was affected by this as IR is clear.
 

insider9

Well-known member
All of these are the same measurements with different smoothing applied to them. First two use the same scale on the Y axis.

This is a measurement with no smoothing

41867373610_d8b8f9fb50_o.jpg


This is the same measurement with 1/3 octave smoothing (industry standard to show speaker response)

43675493001_5ff447156c_o.jpg


This is still the same measurement

This is how most manfacturers present their speakers 1/3 octave smoothing but Y scale changed

41867373420_ce5a6783b7_o.jpg
 

andyjm

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Insider, I applaud you for your work here, but my earlier comment about not measuring what you think are measuring still stands.

I dont deny the graphs, but simple changes to inductance, capacitance and resistance (the only changes possible in a cable) won't produce the types of differences your graphs show.

The only possible conclusion is that something else is going on in the measurement or analysis process.
 

insider9

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The point is difference graphs of the same cable show smaller variation whether you smooth them or not. Difference graphs of two different cables show up as more significant variations. I've done my best to account for environmental factors and equipment sensitivity. Since there is a larger variation when comparing any two cable measurements I conclude that this is caused by cables used and no other factors.
 

andyjm

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- to be clear smoothing is different to averaging. Vlad's comments about the issues in mechanical systems can be overcome by running multiple sweeps of the same set up then averaging the results.

Running an averaging window through a single sweep is very different.
 

insider9

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andyjm said:
Insider, I applaud you for your work here, but my earlier comment about not measuring what you think are measuring still stands.

I dont deny the graphs, but simple changes to inductance, capacitance and resistance (the only changes possible in a cable) won't produce the types of differences your graphs show.

The only possible conclusion is that something else is going on in the measurement or analysis process.

Thanks Andy. If it is I can't see it. I'm not saying it's impossible, just can't think of what it could be. I only set out to see if it was possible to measure differences. Consider it akin to a blind test but with a mic. Differences are tiny though.

What you're looking at at 1/48 octave smoothing (spike of 1 dB). Could as well be represented as 0.1 dB on 1/3 octave smooted graph. Could everyone hear it is an entirely different matter :)
 

insider9

Well-known member
andyjm said:
- to be clear smoothing is different to averaging. Vlad's comments about the issues in mechanical systems can be overcome by running multiple sweeps of the same set up then averaging the results.

Running an averaging window through a single sweep is very different.

You're right
thumbs_up.png
 

Blacksabbath25

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So what’s your conclusion then insider do you believe that there are differences between speaker cables ?

If it’s that easy to test speaker cables then way can’t the company’s that make cables give us the proof because when buying cables your basically buying on fath that they all sound different and this cable will give you this kind of sound so you kind of taken there word and there advertising what that cable will do for you .

So that’s way I set on the fence still because I do not want to wast money on a cable that might give me an improvement that a cheaper one might give me the same effect .

A lot of me wants to believe but the other half of me says it’s just snake oil it’s very frustrating that we do not get the proof instead we have to try theses things at our own risk .
 
Blacksabbath25 said:
So what’s your conclusion then insider do you believe that there are differences between speaker cables ?

If it’s that easy to test speaker cables then way can’t the company’s that make cables give us the proof because when buying cables your basically buying on fath that they all sound different and this cable will give you this kind of sound so you kind of taken there word and there advertising what that cable will do for you .

So that’s way I set on the fence still because I do not want to wast money on a cable that might give me an improvement that a cheaper one might give me the same effect .

A lot of me wants to believe but the other half of me says it’s just snake oil it’s very frustrating that we do not get the proof instead we have to try theses things at our own risk .
Hi BS, if I may add something here. I grew up with Hi-Fi in the 70’s and we all used cartridges. These were regularly reviewed, and seeep graphs similar to insider’s were commonplace. I should add that these were done by playing a supposedly flat response test disc, but at least one cartridge was comparable to another. My experience was similar to what you’re saying, in that each maker claimed various benefits, and each measurement was quite different, yet one never really knew what they sounded like until listening to them.

Being cartridges, they performed differently in each arm, and to a lesser extent with each turntable. You’ll appreciate therefore that the variables were much greater than with a cable! But we still couldn’t really rely on regular measurements, even though they gave some clues.

I think it’s much the same even now, which is why measurements are less often done and rarely sought. Listening has taken precedent, rightly or wrongly. At least most cables can be auditioned on a trial basis, which seems the best solution. Personally, I think any system wired throughout with swanky looking wires from a fashionable brand will seem better than a motley old collection, but I’m in the motley camp these days and it still sounds pretty darn good!
 

ellisdj

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Blacksabbath25 said:
So what’s your conclusion then insider do you believe that there are differences between speaker cables ?

If it’s that easy to test speaker cables then way can’t the company’s that make cables give us the proof because when buying cables your basically buying on fath that they all sound different and this cable will give you this kind of sound so you kind of taken there word and there advertising what that cable will do for you .

So that’s way I set on the fence still because I do not want to wast money on a cable that might give me an improvement that a cheaper one might give me the same effect .

A lot of me wants to believe but the other half of me says it’s just snake oil it’s very frustrating that we do not get the proof instead we have to try theses things at our own risk .
Sabbath - why are you buying on faith? your buying on end results surely
 

andyjm

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insider9 said:
andyjm said:
- to be clear smoothing is different to averaging. Vlad's comments about the issues in mechanical systems can be overcome by running multiple sweeps of the same set up then averaging the results.

Running an averaging window through a single sweep is very different.

You're right

Insider,

Have you tried 'audiodiffmaker'? Free download - just google it.

The argument has always been a frequency sweep doesn't capture the totality of the music, and that systems that sweep the same sound different. Audiodiffmaker just looks for differences, irrespective of the cause. No need to eyeball graphs, it produces an audio file of any differences that you can listen to.

Only caveat (and I should have suggested this earlier in your testing) to get a decent comparison you need to record the signal at the speaker terminals, rather than use a mic. There are so many mechanical variables in a real life system you will never get a null if you record the speaker output. You might try doing the same (direct connection rather than mic / speaker) with your own comparisons (and /or use diffmaker).

The argument is that if the signal at the speaker terminals is identical, then the sound out the speaker will be identical - this approach takes all the mechanical / environmental variables out of the equation.

Keep up the good work. Once you have everything set up, it is easy to substitute components in the chain and run before and after comparisons.

How about trying mains cables next.......
 

Vladimir

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In an osciloscope the load is a simple resistor, not a complicated variable reactive load like a network of speaker drivers + crossover. Arguably the cables show their true nature when used under such complex loads.
 

Blacksabbath25

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ellisdj said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
So what’s your conclusion then insider do you believe that there are differences between speaker cables ?

If it’s that easy to test speaker cables then way can’t the company’s that make cables give us the proof because when buying cables your basically buying on fath that they all sound different and this cable will give you this kind of sound so you kind of taken there word and there advertising what that cable will do for you .

So that’s way I set on the fence still because I do not want to wast money on a cable that might give me an improvement that a cheaper one might give me the same effect .

A lot of me wants to believe but the other half of me says it’s just snake oil it’s very frustrating that we do not get the proof instead we have to try theses things at our own risk .
Sabbath - why are you buying on faith? your buying on end results surely
well I am not in the habit of buying cables all of the time I kind of buy around a budget of £250 and that’s it as spending anymore to me is a risk that I would get an improvement or not it’s trial and error because I do not have hands on trial cables to try for free like you do .

most of the hifi shops around my way say you have to pay the full price of the cables before taking away or they simply do not stock the more expensive cables to try so it’s a special order so it’s fath to trust what a company says about a cable to me .

They do not come up with the proof that a cable can change the sound for the better so I am meant to trust what they say about a cable unless I spend the money and send it back if I feel it’s not changed anything .

Take your latest video when you had that guy who owns a company that makes cables ... Why did you not ask him what proof he had that cables can change the sound for the better ? Because I would of thought he would try and justify for his own benefit and his company that he has the proof and spec sheet to show this surly but he never .

its ok that he has loads of customers that really love his cables but that’s it no proof really and I get it that you have to listen to make your own mind up but when spending big money on cables you need to no for sure your getting what your paying for .
 

MajorFubar

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I can't make my mind up whether i'm in awe that you're doing all this to prove...well i'm not sure what, or whether I'm more like dude, the summer's here and it'll be snowing in 16 weeks, go outside and make some memories with your family and kids and quit measuring speaker cables lol.
 

insider9

Well-known member
MajorFubar said:
I can't make my mind up whether i'm in awe that you're doing all this to prove...well i'm not sure what, or whether I'm more like dude, the summer's here and it'll be snowing in 16 weeks, go outside and make some memories with your family and kids and quit measuring speaker cables lol.

Major, I was working from home and getting paid for the time I was taking measurements. As I was also (apparently) working at the same time *secret*
 

insider9

Well-known member
andyjm said:
Insider,

Have you tried 'audiodiffmaker'? Free download - just google it.

The argument has always been a frequency sweep doesn't capture the totality of the music, and that systems that sweep the same sound different. Audiodiffmaker just looks for differences, irrespective of the cause. No need to eyeball graphs, it produces an audio file of any differences that you can listen to.

Only caveat (and I should have suggested this earlier in your testing) to get a decent comparison you need to record the signal at the speaker terminals, rather than use a mic. There are so many mechanical variables in a real life system you will never get a null if you record the speaker output. You might try doing the same (direct connection rather than mic / speaker) with your own comparisons (and /or use diffmaker).

The argument is that if the signal at the speaker terminals is identical, then the sound out the speaker will be identical - this approach takes all the mechanical / environmental variables out of the equation.

Keep up the good work. Once you have everything set up, it is easy to substitute components in the chain and run before and after comparisons.

How about trying mains cables next.......

I'll have a look at it. The problem is most of the speakers I know don't represent a linear load so that's not really representative.

As to future experimets, I don't rule out anything. I've tested speaker isolation (acoustically) with big differences present. Speaker cables (very little difference). Mains? Hmmm... If people claim they hear differences then mic should pick them up... I'm yet to hear a difference when using different mains cables. It all depends on how bored I will be and whether I will have access to a selection of cables :)
 

andyjm

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insider9 said:
andyjm said:
Insider,

Have you tried 'audiodiffmaker'? Free download - just google it.

The argument has always been a frequency sweep doesn't capture the totality of the music, and that systems that sweep the same sound different. Audiodiffmaker just looks for differences, irrespective of the cause. No need to eyeball graphs, it produces an audio file of any differences that you can listen to.

Only caveat (and I should have suggested this earlier in your testing) to get a decent comparison you need to record the signal at the speaker terminals, rather than use a mic. There are so many mechanical variables in a real life system you will never get a null if you record the speaker output. You might try doing the same (direct connection rather than mic / speaker) with your own comparisons (and /or use diffmaker).

The argument is that if the signal at the speaker terminals is identical, then the sound out the speaker will be identical - this approach takes all the mechanical / environmental variables out of the equation.

Keep up the good work. Once you have everything set up, it is easy to substitute components in the chain and run before and after comparisons.

How about trying mains cables next.......

I'll have a look at it. The problem is most of the speakers I know don't represent a linear load so that's not really representative.

Ahh. I wasn't clear again. You are quite correct about the speakers, it is the complex low impedance load that they present that complicates the whole thing. You need them to stay in the circuit while you are testing.

When I suggested monitoring the voltage at the speaker terminals rather than using a mic, I meant leave the speakers connected - so exactly the setup you have at the moment, but ditch the mic and connect directly to the terminals on the speaker. You may some form of attenuation (a simple voltage divider with a couple of resistors would do it) to drop the levels for the input of your PC might be needed.
 

Samd

Well-known member
if such simple tests show a difference, why have not manufacturers had this sort of data flooding their adverts as 'proof' of their (bogus?) claims? Makes me wonder what's missing.
 

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