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Is it worth investing in decent coax cables

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BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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Philim, the atlas titan does not seem to be available anymore? Do you know where you can buy it in UK?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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BigH said:
Philim, the atlas titan does not seem to be available anymore? Do you know where you can buy it in UK?
I think the Titan was discontinued a year or two ago.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
Just be aware that you are not alone..........it's just that those who believe in cables are inclined to stay clear, rather than be drawn into a fruitless polemic debate.
Not to mention those who think it's silly getting heated up over bits of wire!
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
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abacus said:
Thompsonuxb said:
abacus said:
Thompsonuxb said:
No, I'm being dead serious, Subtle difference affect what is heard in a huge way - frankly I'm suprised you cannot accept how the different properties of cables will not have an effect on an electrical signal and that can be detected by the human brain - try that repeat play test and then think about what I said.
You have obviously never done any music mix or production or you wouldn’t come out with such a ridiculous statement as that. (Can’t wait to show the comment to the studios guys next week, they will be rolling all over the floor)

As to denying that cables sound different, you are denying that they don’t, hence it has no relevance to the post.

Enjoy whatever instrument you play

Bill
Er..yes I have and one thing I know, reverb, echo and doubling of voices happens no where in nature, so I don't know which studio you've been working in no artist , living or dead will sound live they way they'll sound on a recording certainly not as good etheir...well maybe cliff Richard would...but he's the only one!

Instruments sound different too as in a sound treated room/studio - room accoustics are dampend, removed from the final cut you actually get a cleaner sharper sound on a recording...some of you people, I swear.

oh...and me denying...no, I'm telling you a fact and I would be happy to come down your studio with a couple of interconnects and prove it to you and look in your face while you die of embarressment...seriously.
1. Try playing in a cave

2. That sounds change in different acoustic environments, has been known for centuries so I can’t see the relevance. (If cables do as you say then it will apply no matter what the environment)

3. If you can find me a scientific evaluation where users have been able to tell the difference between quality cables in a managed and controlled environment then I may look into it again, (As will all musicians, Studio and Film producers) until then the facts are that they do not make a difference.

Sorry

Bill
What?...playing in a cave?, did you not understand what I said - the point was a band playing in a cave would sound like noise with all sounds bouncing all over the place compared to the same tune mixed in a studio with 'cave reverb' added the live performance would not sound as good.

don't get point 2

I dismiss these scientific test but I am more than willing to come to your studio with a handful of cables (you can bring some too) to prove my point - no science, just straight listening...and if I'm wrong I will apologise to you....provided your studio is not more than a 30min drive...and erm...open on a sunday, when there is'nt a grand prix on and I don't have to be there before 12noon.....I'm serious too.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
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pauln said:
Thompsonuxb said:
Seriously those tests you speak of....prrrft
So why not just dismiss out of hand anything that doesn't support your argument. That's bound to win over anyone sitting on the fence.

:clap:
Pauln....I dismiss these test simply because they don't appear to tell the whole truth.

Saying that depending on if Abacus is willing to invite me up to his studio, I'll put in a word and maybe you could come too and I'll then ether prove to you the differences cables can make to hifi or die a most humiliating death before your eyes... if you do come along remember to bring cables with you.... and some food, maybe a couple of cans too......
 

Philim

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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BigH said:
Philim, the atlas titan does not seem to be available anymore? Do you know where you can buy it in UK?
Clearly you have learnt nothing from this thread and you should go to maplin and buy a £1 set of interconnects. However if you do want some quality interconnects that to my very biased and clearly stupid ears benefit my system then these were recently added to pfm

http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=136938
 

BMFDrums

New member
Dec 15, 2012
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In my final contribution on this subject, I add the following, noting that all of my input stemmed from a simple desire to encourage the OP to experiment and discover whether they could hear any difference when switching (digital) interconnect cables.

pauln said:
Anyone with any knowledge of science would know that different metals have different properties. The measurements in question here are not of the properties of the cable itself but of the difference between what goes in one end and what comes out the other. The electrical signal. Cables do not carry 'sound' or music or anything else that you can hear - they carry an electrical current that is eminently measurable.
I'm not sure whether you are agreeing with me here, although I suspect not. You accept that different materials have different properties and (I assume) that you recognise that different cables are made from different materials that are processed in different ways (e.g. oxygen-free copper, silver alloys, silver coatings, etc.). In the case of analogue interconnects (which is what my original response concerns), they are the only mechanism to transfer the musical infomation (voltages and currents at different frequencies) from the source to the amp. If the cables are fundamentally different, there must therefore be a difference between the two signals recived at the amp, even if it is limited to one being ever-so-slightly 'bigger' than the other due to reduced resistance (although I suggest that it is MUCH more complicated than this, especially regarding the impact on transient signals as opposed to long-duration constant-frequency signals, for example). You say this is "eminently measurable", which I would agree with - there will be a difference in the electrical signal.

pauln said:
I'll finish with a quote from a well known and pretty successful British speaker designer:

It would defy known physics if a length of speaker cable, no matter how short, long or expensive or of special material construction changed the signal passing along it without there being an measurable change. The ear does not have some super acuity beyond the capabilities of fine test equipment; if you know what to measure you can always - yes always - give rational explanation to what you hear. So, the logic is this: cable changes sound > cable must change measurable parameters. There are no exceptions to this. There has to be this logical causality. The sound cannot change without the measurement changing. For there to be an audible change in sound there must be a relatively huge change in measurement, because the ear is such a poor instrument that it needs a really massive change in sensory input for that change to be detectable by the electro/mechanical/chemical processes in the head.
I've highlighted a few bits above (and un-highlighted some of the previous highlights), which I refer to here. A minor point, but if you are going to provide quotes such as this, please provide a proper reference - it diminishes the quality of your input otherwise. The real killer here is that you have provided a quote that quite clearly relates to speaker cable, which is not the same as interconnect (the original subject of the thread, and for which I provided (clearly identified and caveated) additional input on analogue interconnects. The final point here is well made, but only serves to strengthen my argument. The words "relatively huge" are really unhelpful in scientific (or any other) debate, as they are not quantifiable and 'huge' cannot be compared with 'massive' or any other such qualitative 'measure'. However, I am sure that most reasonable people would agree that the difference between the signal entering an (audio) amplifier and the signal leaving that amplifier could be regarded as "relatively huge". Therefore, any differences in the input signal delivered by two different cables will also be "relatively huge" and therefore (possibly) audible (according to your source).

pauln said:
I guess this is a bit like arguing about the existence of God with someone who believes. There is no proof, science tells us it's not possible yet people will not be swayed from their faith.
You are entitled to that view. I suggest that it's more like arguing with someone who believes that the Earth is flat, but I'm sure that we would both claim to be the one that knows the 'real truth'. I haven't spent much time looking for material on 'proving' this one way or the other. I have in the past spent a bit of time looking for a scientific paper on the detailed electrical properties (more than just resistance) of materials manufactured using different processing techniques, but I couldn't find anything at the time. It seems to me that you are suggesting that despite there being a difference in what comes out of the end of two different cables into an amplifier and then from the speakers, that the ear cannot distinguish the difference. Since neither of us appears to be able to offer impartial, scientifically robust, peer-reviewed factual evidence, we are left to dicussing opinion. Since opinion cannot, by its very nature be 'right' or 'wrong', we can only advice and suggestion. Your advice to the OP appears to be, "Don't waste your time - there is no difference, trust me (based on no actual evidence)", whereas my advice is "I don't know about this - try it and see what happens." I respectfully suggest that my advice is more helpful (and could be educational for others).

As I said right at the start of this post, it's my final one on this subject, so I'll finish with a hypothesis in an attempt to explain the differences that I can hear (and that my wife immediately identified, even though she was unaware that a change had been made). I should point out that whilst I am not an expert on audio design or electronic engineering, I do have an 'O' level (A) and 'A' Level (B) in Physics, an Honours Degree (BEng (Hons) 2:1) in Aeromechanical Systems Engineering and a PhD in Combat Aircraft Design, so I am not completely unaware of some of the processes at work here. My theory (in language as simple as I can make it) is this: high-specification interconnects use materials, material processing and manufacturing processes that attempt to make it as easy as possible for electrical signals to move along a length of cable. Since electrical information is conveyed by the movement of electrons, anything that can be done to reduce 'blockers' from the cable can only be a good thing. This includes using low-resistance materials, reducing impurities, minimising sources of interference, ensuring good (long-term) contact with the terminal connections, etc. In doing so, this will allow even the most subtle of sounds (i.e. lowest power signals) to be transmitted faithfully and with minimal interference from the source to the amp. Because of the significant impact of transient signals on perceived sound quality (early edge of plucked strings, the 'thump' of a kick drum, etc.), better quality cables will enhance the quality of the sound arriving at the speakers. That is my theory. The (unscientific) evidence that I have is that I want to buy some new speakers, came home with some new cables, changed the cables and heard a difference. Until someone produces a rigorous, scientifically robust, peer-reviewed published paper that says otherwise, I suggest that my theory stands up to more scrutiny than, "You can't hear any difference - trust me."

With that, I wish you good luck, and hope that the OP has taken something positive from what I have been able to contribute (if he could be bothered to read all this!)
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
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@ BMF Drums - nice post, extremely well written and thought out.

A few answers to points you made, for completeness as much as anything as I did note that it would be your final contribution.

The identity of the speaker manufacturer is easily found by Googling the first sentence - its the first result and it is Alan Shaw, owner of Harbeth. I believe that he knows what he's talking about; if you have the time and the inclination, why not have a look at some of his posts on the HUG.

I too have a BSc Hons 2:1 in ******* engineering but alas do not have a PhD in anything - only 25 years working in what could loosely be called the live entertaiment industry ranging from concerts at the Albert Hall to the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London last year.

I have tried different kit in the past and been puzzled and disappointed that I couldn't hear any improvement, I thought that there might be something wrong with my hearing but it seems it's fine apart from the usual age related loss of the higher frequencies.

To my knowledge there has never been a DBT or ABX test done where anyone has successfully differentiated between different interconnects, even one between freebies and some costing $1000. Speaker cables of different gauge were identifiable. If you could show me one instance of someone passing a test like this...
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
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pauln said:
@ BMF Drums - nice post, extremely well written and thought out.

To my knowledge there has never been a DBT or ABX test done where anyone has successfully differentiated between different interconnects, even one between freebies and some costing $1000. Speaker cables of different gauge were identifiable. If you could show me one instance of someone passing a test like this...
Has any audio DB ABX test ever proved a positive?
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
There are DB tests that prove people can tell the difference between speakers, I assume that's what you mean by a positive?

Edit: answers here, from an esteemed member with a passion on this subject: http://idc1966.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/are-blind-tests-bogus-examples-of-blind.html?m=1
 

Overdose

New member
Feb 8, 2008
279
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abacus said:
Do a blind test with your analogue cables and you will find no difference between them, (The only reason they appear to sound different is because you were expecting a difference, it’s just one of the many failings of the human body) and the same applies to digital.

Hope this helps

Bill
If the OP really does hear a difference, then I'd suggest that something is very wrong with one of the cables.
 

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