It seems non-audiophiles never tire of proving that everything sounds the same.

jaxwired

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Just read another blog about how nobody could tell moster cable from coat hangers. There's just a never ending stream of people that love to prove that:

All amps sound the same.

All dacs sound the same.

All cd players sound the same.

All cable sounds the same.

All electricity sounds the same.

All digital compression sounds the same.

Only speakers sound different. So, you could buy the cheapest electronics available and hook it up with the cheapest cable and it would sound identical to a $20k system as long as the speakers were the same.
 

Paul.

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Frank Harvey

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I get tired of it too Jax, and I'm not saying that because I'm a retailer (removes retailer hat).

As many will know, I've always been an advocate of driving speakers properly (even if some others round here aren't), and I've heard the differences that an amp that's not up to the job can make. If people are trying to tell me that a Pioneer A109 and a Bryston BP26/4Bsst2 sound the same, I'll laugh at them.

DACs. Maybe the actual chip incorporating the gubbins that changes digital to analogue sound similar, but there's many other parts of a DAC that will change the sound, like the transformer, circuit layout, and the analogue output. Early Naim CD players always taught me that it almost doesn't matter what chip is being used, it's how you use it that makes the biggest difference.

I think with cables, some just see a lucrative market that's making millionaires out of those feeding off weak people duped into thinking that cables don't make a difference. But, those that have witnessed a cable making a difference know better. See yourself as blessed - some people can't tell the difference. Although, I appreciate that some just refuse to believe they can make a difference just on principle - I can dig that, that's their choice. Whether you do or don't, it's no skin off anyone's nose.

Electricity! I'm no electrician, but I can see the difference between a projector at home and at work. How is that? It's the same Bluray player. It's the same cable. It's the same PJ. So why does it judder at work and not at home? Why is there a grain in the picture at work that doesn't show up at home? Only one answer there.

I think some look at the basics - or the numbers - and say, "nope, that's not possible. There's no logical way there can be a difference". But they don't bother listening. They're too tied up in the basics that tell them there can be no difference. If there was no difference between a cheap amp and an expensive amp, why would I pretend there was? There will be some now saying that I will because I'm a retailer. That's not a good enough reason. If I tell you that this £5k amp is better than this £200 amp, what happens if you come along for a demo and you think there is no difference? :)

Maybe WHF can do a TBQ and have a cheap system and a much more expensive system, and the panel could hear both through the same, high quality speakers, and see if they can pick out which system is which. It should be a foregone conclusion, but maybe we'll be surprised. I'll sit in on that one :)
 

Thaiman

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jaxwired said:
Just read another blog about how nobody could tell moster cable from coat hangers. There's just a never ending stream of people that love to prove that:

All amps sound the same.

All dacs sound the same.

All cd players sound the same.

All cable sounds the same.

All electricity sounds the same.

All digital compression sounds the same.

Only speakers sound different. So, you could buy the cheapest electronics available and hook it up with the cheapest cable and it would sound identical to a $20k system as long as the speakers were the same.

Why not try it for yourself? Replace your Bryston with Sanyo midi system and see if you could hear any different.

ps If the answer is yes, hifi forum may be not the best place for you to visit ;)
 
T

the record spot

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jaxwired said:
Just read another blog about how nobody could tell moster cable from coat hangers. There's just a never ending stream of people that love to prove that:

All amps sound the same.

All dacs sound the same.

All cd players sound the same.

All cable sounds the same.

All electricity sounds the same.

All digital compression sounds the same.

Only speakers sound different. So, you could buy the cheapest electronics available and hook it up with the cheapest cable and it would sound identical to a $20k system as long as the speakers were the same.

If that was Roger Russell's website, then I'd be incline dto lean towards his view than in the other direction. As a McIntosh engineer, I'd like to think he knows what he's talking about.
 
T

the record spot

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I think with cables, some just see a lucrative market that's making millionaires out of those feeding off weak people duped into thinking that cables don't make a difference. But, those that have witnessed a cable making a difference know better. See yourself as blessed - some people can't tell the difference. Although, I appreciate that some just refuse to believe they can make a difference just on principle - I can dig that, that's their choice. Whether you do or don't, it's no skin off anyone's nose.

So it's no skin off anyone's nose if they do or don't see a difference, but see yourself as blessed if you can? Oh please...

I guess the difference I didn't get from the many I've tried, contrary to the write-ups, put me in the less than blessed category. What, pray, am I missing? That my ears don't work as well as some? That my system wasn't revealing enough? Hardly...

I've been through enough that when I read comments like yours suggest that dealers, or some dealers, ARE in it for the money. Those that have witnessed a cable making a difference know better? Oh really? Which cables, what differences? Hang on, the old "more air" perchance? Meh...

I've been round a few cables; Monster, Audioquest, Atlas and more...from £8 to £200-odd. Apparently, according to another post on another thread, I should be looking at spending about £500 to really notice the difference when you unplug them and put in a different cable of "lesser" quality. Me? I'm nearer than ever to that line of thought that's up there with others who view the whol ecable thing with appropriate scepticism. If you can point out where I'm going "wrong" with my Atlas Navigators, I'll be interested to hear your views.
 
T

the record spot

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Live and let live indeed, but better without statements about who is "blessed" and who isn't...
 

FennerMachine

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Science gives you chaos theory.

You know how it happens but you don't know exactly what will happen at that precise given time.

I'm not a theoretical scientist so PLEASE don't ask me to explain what I just typed!

I for one have found a mahoosive difference between something seemingly simple such as pre amps but only minor differences in cables. Its worth getting better than the freebie cables.

A well built insulated cable will sound better than a cheapo flimsy cable, but when you get to the realms of £100.00 per meter of cable in a sub £10,000 system, why? The extra money can potentially make a bigger difference elsewhere

If you have millions to spend, then why not? Get the best you can!
 

lindsayt

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OK, I will take a DAC that I can buy new for £250 with my old laptop PC and an amp that I bought new 30 years ago for £99 and can be bought 2nd hand now for £30 with my favourite speakers that I have in my house. I will plonk them all on the floor. Use a power cable that I got off a redundant piece of computer equipment for the DAC, plus the standard leads that came with the laptop and amp. Use £3.49 interconnects and some spare Cat 5 networking cable for speaker cables.

Would anyone here like to come up with a $20k or $50k system - one that uses a state of the art digital source, the most expensive amplifiers, the swankiest speakers, the worlds most expensive power, interconnect and speaker cables, the snaziest equipment supports, the most expensive mains conditioner to compare against my system? Just to see if there's a pareto or not? Whether 80% of the sound quality in a digital source system comes from 20% of the components - that 20% being the speakers.
 

Frank Harvey

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the record spot said:
I guess the difference I didn't get from the many I've tried, contrary to the write-ups, put me in the less than blessed category. What, pray, am I missing? That my ears don't work as well as some? That my system wasn't revealing enough? Hardly...

I've been through enough that when I read comments like yours suggest that dealers, or some dealers, ARE in it for the money. Those that have witnessed a cable making a difference know better? Oh really? Which cables, what differences? Hang on, the old "more air" perchance? Meh...

I've been round a few cables; Monster, Audioquest, Atlas and more...from £8 to £200-odd. Apparently, according to another post on another thread, I should be looking at spending about £500 to really notice the difference when you unplug them and put in a different cable of "lesser" quality. Me? I'm nearer than ever to that line of thought that's up there with others who view the whol ecable thing with appropriate scepticism. If you can point out where I'm going "wrong" with my Atlas Navigators, I'll be interested to hear your views.

Those that know me know that I never force cables on anyone. If they ask, I'll give my opinion, and I'm sure those that do ask are intelligent enough to make up their own mind. I gain nowt out of it.

Im surprised you didn't notice some difference between those you've listed. I find Monster cables dull, and VDH not much better. Never heard Atlas, but I've always liked Audioquest cables (well, I did in the 90's, not sure what they do now). I always found I liked what solid core cables did. Weird how you just don't see many of them around nowadays. I found the Cyrus solid core cable was the only thing that ever sounded good back when I worked at Sevenoaks, nothing else had the same grip and speed. Always seemed to lack a sort of 'fuzziness' that multi stranded cables had, producing a cleaner top end.

As I said, I'm not familiar with Atlas, so I can't really comment. But if you've found something that works in your system, regardless of price, that's great. That's what it's all about. It doesn't matter what it costs, as long as it works.
 

Frank Harvey

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lindsayt said:
OK, I will take a DAC that I can buy new for £250 with my old laptop PC and an amp that I bought new 30 years ago for £99 and can be bought 2nd hand now for £30 with my favourite speakers that I have in my house. I will plonk them all on the floor. Use a power cable that I got off a redundant piece of computer equipment for the DAC, plus the standard leads that came with the laptop and amp. Use £3.49 interconnects and some spare Cat 5 networking cable for speaker cables.

Would anyone here like to come up with a $20k or $50k system - one that uses a state of the art digital source, the most expensive amplifiers, the swankiest speakers, the worlds most expensive power, interconnect and speaker cables, the snaziest equipment supports, the most expensive mains conditioner to compare against my system? Just to see if there's a pareto or not? Whether 80% of the sound quality in a digital source system comes from 20% of the components - that 20% being the speakers.

Thats a joke, right? Reminds me of a system comparison I saw recently that really was a joke.

Of course, the system I'd put together would be based on a streamer of some sort. Mine would have standard mains cables, but would use a conditioner.
 

noogle

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lindsayt said:
Would anyone here like to come up with a $20k or $50k system - one that uses a state of the art digital source, the most expensive amplifiers, the swankiest speakers, the worlds most expensive power, interconnect and speaker cables, the snaziest equipment supports, the most expensive mains conditioner to compare against my system?

Yep - I'm up for it! Bring it on! :)
 

caesar44

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Thats a joke, right? Reminds me of a system comparison I saw recently that really was a joke.

I've seen a couple of unfair comparisons recently. It seems like its something common to find people with untrained ears.
 

Trefor Patten

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It is sad but true that there are some people out there selling snake oil. There are also some people who cannot hear a difference which is immediately apparent to others (blessed or otherwise >) ). I am currently attending the Bristol show where, among other things, I listened to a very expensive pair of headphones which sounded great, until I listened to an extremely expensive pair of headphones which sounded even better. The idea that equipment sounds the same is fatuous in the extreme. The thing to remember, I feel is that well-chosen components can produce a system which sounds remarkably good for not too much money, while huge sums spent on ill-matched components will produce disappointing results. Years ago, I discovered an Apple Mac, connected to an amplifier made better music than my CD player. It makes even better music connect to a good DAC. Yesterday I heard a tri-amped everything-that-could-be-done-to-improve the sound system from Naim, total cost £45,000. Yes it sounded fantastic but NOT ten times as good as a£4,500 system and definitely not 45 times better than a £1,000 system.

One more thing - none of it is more exciting than listening to a live performance 8)
 

mattmeer

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My personal view on this: The more money you spend on your hifi, the more critical/analytical you become. I am not very critical about a hifi costing 250 in total and can ignore it's flaws because of the cheap price. It's when you start spending more that you can no longer ignore its flaws and be happy with it.

I would choose a set of speakers first, that would suit my "taste" and then choose an amp to drive those well, and cables, source to tweak that "taste" a little bit further. Also no matter how much money you spend, different brands still have a different "taste" no matter the price, it's also a matter of finding your taste.
 

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