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For those who endorse high priced tweaks

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jaybird100

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Life is too short; I just enjoy what I have put together and occasionally improve on.
Remember the "placebo effect"; if you expect to hear a difference, you will, whether or not it's real. I worked in high-end audio for a few years, and some of the "tweaks" that were being offered bounded on the absurd. They were intended to do no more than to separate a sucker from his money.
 

Kal Rubinson

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BOYZ, AREN'T YOU JUST A TEENSY WEENSY BIT TEMPTED?
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No. Somewhat intimidated, though.
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It's a FACT: Your System Sounds Better When It's STONED!
I have one that was given to me decades ago and I find it useful for one purpose: It is effective as a damper when placed on a component with a loose or unattached top plate. Not that it changes the reproduced sound at all but it does eliminate the tinny noises if I touch or manipulate the device. Handy for that.[/QUOTE]
 

J. PUPSTER

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I remember years ago reading a "wireless world " test on a bunch of high end speaker cables- some around $1000 per meter. The winner was Woolworths lawn mower cable at around $3 per meter!!
Probably a thicker gage wire; but the high end wire gave you a hair cut instead of a grass cut.
 

jimfisheye

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I remember years ago reading a "wireless world " test on a bunch of high end speaker cables- some around $1000 per meter. The winner was Woolworths lawn mower cable at around $3 per meter!!
I'm telling you, this is the best deal for speaker cable. Copper is what you want. The price is right because they sell lots of extension cords every day everywhere.
 

fthesoundguy

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I'm telling you, this is the best deal for speaker cable. Copper is what you want. The price is right because they sell lots of extension cords every day everywhere.
I was told this long ago and I laughed it off as a nice joke. One day I was wiring up a pair of garage speakers and had run out of speaker wire. I didn't want to wait or go out to get some more so I found some old, long extention cords that had been sitting for years. They worked great and are still in use today. `As long as you have the proper shielding, copper is copper.
 

LuvMyQuad

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The biggest problem with speaker cable I've ever run into is oxidation of the copper where it connects to the posts on amps and speakers. I solved that problem years ago by using marine grade wire. With marine grade cable, each copper strand is tinned before the cable is woven. The tinning prevents oxidation, which is why its used in damp environments like boats. The insulation also tends to be a tougher vinyl material that is more tolerant of UV rays, ozone, chemicals, etc. It does cost a bit more, but its not excessive. And you can choose to use 16, 14, 12, even 10 gauge if you want. It can be purchased as a roll of single conductor cable or as 2, 3, or 4 conductor cable all in a single sheath.
 

DuncanS

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I was told this long ago and I laughed it off as a nice joke. One day I was wiring up a pair of garage speakers and had run out of speaker wire. I didn't want to wait or go out to get some more so I found some old, long extention cords that had been sitting for years. They worked great and are still in use today. `As long as you have the proper shielding, copper is copper.
I did as well, for around 30 years I used 13A mains power cable for my speakers, available in whatever length you want, and cheap, but it doesn't come in a sleeve with sprinkling of magic super-sounded pixie dust in it. I now use some off the shelf PA cables with Speakeron connectors as they were cheap, I could make connections easier, and strangely they don't seem to get as grimey on the floor! Oh, and there is no change in sound quality over 13A mains cable. As for oxygen free, well a metallurgist friend said without oxygen copper cable is brittle so the strands will snap more easily!

Like Soundfield I'm an Electronic Engineer and I have to measure, prove and justify my circuitry and systems, just saying it sounds/looks/it is better would get me fired! Whereas for a cable manufacturer they say its better and people pay a stupendous amount for what is simply very clever marketing, no physics or science involved.
 

gene_stl

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At Axpona 2019 I was invited to a high end dinner get together. I didn't really want to go but there wasn't any way to escape it.
I sat next to a Chinese guy whose training was in architecture and was seriously involved in several Chinese audio ventures including Lumin. They also had some cable venture. He was telling me that they had had to compound some special insulating material for speaker cables because there was a certain "sound" to teflon insulation , or PVC insulation. I had not immediately recognized that I was sitting next a charlatan so I just said "Fascinating!"

The sad thing about this topic is that subjectivist nonsense creeps in at ASR too, pretty much every single day.
I have no objection to people squandering their own money on whatever they want. I do object to fraudulent advertising and a whole industry based on nonsense.

If we compiled a list of things that are not really audible, or would not pass blinded testing as performed by Toole and Olive there would be a lot of very surprised audiophools and people who like to brag about their supposed golden ears. There ain't no Golden Ears. The list would be surprisingly long.

Nelson Pass has built a multi million dollar company based on the fact that many people PREFER the sound of even harmonic distortion. Absent this fact there would be no reason nor sales of tube amps. nor overpriced Pass amps.

Even at ASR when they test speakers there are all these wonderful graphs of directivity, and impulse response and god knows what else. But a simple fact is that any decently set up three way system will sound good. Add a sub or make it four way and multi amp it (which many expensive systems are these days or active) and it will sound GREAT. An engineer would have to be TRYING to make it sound bad.

Just today I saw an otherwise knowledgeable appearing fellow post (about DSP and active crossovers) that although DSP was wonderful and a boon to hobbyists "it is hard for the hobbyist to get control of directivity the way a manufacturer can" This is the modern corollary to the myth of magic crossovers. I have had audiophiles tell me that manufactured high level crossovers are better than anything you can do with an electronic crossover
because they include equalization for the drivers. If the drivers need EQ I probably don't really want to use them (since gyrated frequency response also convolves to distortion) I hear this over and over often from people that should know better.
 
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fthesoundguy

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The biggest problem with speaker cable I've ever run into is oxidation of the copper where it connects to the posts on amps and speakers. I solved that problem years ago by using marine grade wire. With marine grade cable, each copper strand is tinned before the cable is woven. The tinning prevents oxidation, which is why its used in damp environments like boats. The insulation also tends to be a tougher vinyl material that is more tolerant of UV rays, ozone, chemicals, etc. It does cost a bit more, but its not excessive. And you can choose to use 16, 14, 12, even 10 gauge if you want. It can be purchased as a roll of single conductor cable or as 2, 3, or 4 conductor cable all in a single sheath.
Learned something new today. Going down this rabbit hole at the moment. Thanks for this!
 

jimfisheye

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I've heard microphonic effects from signal cables before. When the insulation between the signal wire and the shield ends up having some piezo qualities. So the insulation used is not simply trivial! That would be in a signal cable and after a decent level of amplification though. eg. Really low mic signal needing a lot of gain to get up to line level.

I'm thinking no way in hell with speaker cables with voltage in the signal!
 

atrocity

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I think the only time I ever noticed a difference with a new cable was when I replaced a fairly long run of cheap analog composite video (!!!) cable with something from Monster. The picture seemed cleaner. Not hard to believe given all that could go wrong with analog video.

I can remember when I first got a device with coaxial digital out and all I had was a composite video cable. I used that initially, but dutifully went out and bought a Monster cable allegedly made just for coax digital. I never noticed the slightest difference.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I can remember when I first got a device with coaxial digital out and all I had was a composite video cable. I used that initially, but dutifully went out and bought a Monster cable allegedly made just for coax digital. I never noticed the slightest difference.
I did the same thing. Never noticed a change.
 

DuncanS

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I've heard microphonic effects from signal cables before. When the insulation between the signal wire and the shield ends up having some piezo qualities. So the insulation used is not simply trivial! That would be in a signal cable and after a decent level of amplification though. eg. Really low mic signal needing a lot of gain to get up to line level.

I'm thinking no way in hell with speaker cables with voltage in the signal!
Its the Triboelectric effect, basically the same principal as in a Ceramic Cartridge, the insulator gets 'compressed/expands' due to vibration and produces a voltage. On mic cable it will be of the order of nV/uV so under some circumstances it will produce a noticeable signal when amplified.

Not on speaker cable though, and I have come across rubber mounts sold for speaker cable to rest on, madness! I have seen it occur on down-hole geophysics equipment when it can generate quite a 'reasonable' voltage.
 

Marcsten

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I'm telling you, this is the best deal for speaker cable. Copper is what you want. The price is right because they sell lots of extension cords every day everywhere.
My rear speakers, since the cable has a lot further to go, are 16 gauge lamp cord. The fronts are a little 'fancier' since they are shorter. But I don't hear any difference.
 

Sal1950

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I read Audio Science Review regularly because the objective testing agrees with my Engineering mindset, and the fact that I pretty much fall on the objective side of the fence anyway. The most recent review tests Audioquest wind cables ($2300/pair). I thought many might find it interesting.

See here

and here for a cheaper set of Audioquest cables.

Your thoughts?
I find it inspiring that websites such as AudioScienceResearch , Archimago's Blogspot and a few others are once more introducing some sanity into a hobby that has become the laughing stock of other science minded people on the internet. The things that the snakeoil hucksters push to audiophools and they buy up to the tune of hundred-millions of dollars in worthless junk is an embarrassment to us all. Powercords. digital cables, cable lifters, magic dots and all the rest, really, are you freaking kidding me? 🤮
 
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