An interesting read

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dvdmk

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Hi Muthusamy

Read the article , but i couldnt agree with most of the points , the guy who has written the article should be a novice in the audio field , Many people here will agree that their system sounds great after the burn in time , and after good quality cables etc etc., i dont know how the author of this article is making such a comment.,

thanks for the article.

david.
 

reignofchaos

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I choose to ignore any such articles. Anyone who can't hear the difference between tubes and solid state is either tone deaf or has a gun pointed at his forehead.

About cables... if anyone doubts that cables make a difference, please come visit my place sometime and I'll give you a demo :p.
 

dinyaar

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HAHAHA MUthuswamy these kind of articles generally lead to some fireworks!!

Sadly most of the fiery delhi guys are no longer active else we would have had some explosive arguments about cables, power cords, conditioners, biwiring ............ etc.

Interesting read though.
Regards
 

ajinkya

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My first post on this forum, so hello to all as a starting line....

Actually, I found most of the article quite practical. The language was harsh at times but I certainly would not call the author deaf. I think he comes across more as someone frustrated with the state of things in audio, rather than someone not well-informed.
It would be informative (if we're interested) to go through each of his sections one by one and see where all our opinions differ. For e.g. Section 9 on CD treatment makes sense to me. Digital information needs a simple RC filter to decipher the 0's and 1's. Cleaning a very dirty CD surface may help the lens pick out the dents better. But there is no effect on a clean, pristine CD that has been cared for well.
I also think that us listeners get used to the sound of our equipment, rather than the equipment 'breaking in' and we mistake that for improvement in quality. However, as the author points out, loudspeaker drivers do sound different, since mechanical parameters change over use considerably more than electrical ones.
The section on biwiring is something I can comment on after analysing a typical crossover network later. However, no RLC network is truly linear (even in its operating conditions) so effects of biwiring have to be seen in that light as well...
 

reignofchaos

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Hi Ajinkya
First welcome to the forum. You have put across a few valid points about the author such as break in and CD media which I partially agree to. Break in can make a bad speaker good but the effect is much more subtle on other equipment. I also agree to his point that CDs are better than analog atleast in the low-mid end of the market. I'm not sure of 10000$+ cd players or record players as I haven't heard any.

Coming to the point of biwiring - most people notice a difference not because of any special magic of two pairs of wires. The basic reason is the poor quality of the connector between the binding posts. This can cause a negative effect to the sound.

Cables do make a difference to the sound and changing the interconnect between the CD Player/DAC and the preamplifier makes a dramatic difference. This is so large on a revealing system that even some of my non audiophile friends were absolutely convinced by what they heard. A cheap interconnect caused hard clipping of the signal that was completely absent in a high end interconnect.

Finally I was laughing my guts out at the logic the writer presented on the tube vs solid state argument. Anyone who's heard tube electronics will know that tubes sound different from solid state. What someone likes is personal preference though 9 out of 10 people would prefer tube over solid state especially at the preamplifier stage.

Again the reason to tubes sounding better is simple. Surely tubes have way higher distortion figures than solid state electronics. However the thing to note is that almost all of tube distortion is second order while solid state electronics typically have larger higher order distortion. The human ear can't distinguish second order distortion over the actual signal while it is very very sensitive to higher order distortion. This is the basic reason that atleast the low distortion tubes such as 12AX7, 12AU7, 6SN7 are better preamplifier components than solid state. As a power amp, I'd prefer solid state over tube any day as I'm still to hear a tube power amp that I like. The distortion figures of a tube power amp are way higher compared to a solid state power amp. The above theory doesn't hold true.
 

Colecutter

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Hmm...I still dont know what to believe and what to reject; maybe some of them are true lies!

BTW ReignofC -- How are the Ushers doing in your system? I've been on the lookout for monitors with better bass (like the Totem Mani 2 signature) without a compromise on the quality and detail of midrange and treble. Do the Ushers handle all kinds of music well ?
 

Muthusami S

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Dear Friends,

I understand most of your points are valid. Since I am a novice to the audio concepts, I was confused after reading that article. That's why shared the link and wanted to know your view points. No offense meant. Thank you very much.

Regards,
Muthusami. S
Hi All,

I have come across an interesting article in Audio Critic magazine and sharing the link for you.

Article Name: The 10 biggest lies in Audio

Regards,
Muthusami. S
 

reignofchaos

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Hmm...I still dont know what to believe and what to reject; maybe some of them are true lies!

BTW ReignofC -- How are the Ushers doing in your system? I've been on the lookout for monitors with better bass (like the Totem Mani 2 signature) without a compromise on the quality and detail of midrange and treble. Do the Ushers handle all kinds of music well ?

The Ushers are brilliant all rounders. They play well in just about any genre of music. The high frequency is very nicely extended but doesn't sound peaky or harsh like many other tweeters. The bass is nice and full for a small standmount and finally the midrange and tweeter blends excellently. If you are in bangalore, I suggest you do an audition asap :).
 

venkatcr

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I would not write off Peter Aczel (Editor of The Audio Critic) completely. His magazine was very popular and avidly read by audio enthusiasts in the US and Europe. He was initially the first one to scientifically prove some of the points he talks about, and if I remember right, also the first to introduce the concept of a blind test.

Unfortunately, he did a couple of things wrong. He shied away from pleasing his advertisers, and fought a long and expensive battle with Stereophile.

There was also an article I read somewhere in this forum about McIntosh's initial days when they used to use ordinary wires to connect their expensive amps to speakers for demonstration. Prospective clients used to walk away, and they were forced to adopt 'expensive' cables to save their name !!! Strangely, internally, they could not find any difference between ordinary cables and the 'expensive' ones.

How many of us would give a second look to a CAT 6 cable? But today, it is the backbone of the computer industry carrying trillion of bytes of data across the world day after day after day. Such a CAT 6 cable modified to suit the audio industry, believe me, will effortlessly carry digital data without losing a single byte.

Analogue signals moving from one point to another are just electrical signals. it should be easy to prove the capability of a cable without getting into emotional tangles. There is no way that the human ear can hear something that cannot be measured by a high end oscilloscope.
 

reignofchaos

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How many of us would give a second look to a CAT 6 cable? But today, it is the backbone of the computer industry carrying trillion of bytes of data across the world day after day after day. Such a CAT 6 cable modified to suit the audio industry, believe me, will effortlessly carry digital data without losing a single byte.

This unfortunately is half information. The reason CAT6 can carry ethernet data is not because each bit reaches its destination but the fact that there are many many layers of error correction built into TCP/IP. Infact TCP/IP is a stateful protocol and will keep retransmitting lost data ad infinitum until the receiver sends an acknowledgement stating it has received the information without errors or collisions.

Compared to this the SPDIF interface does not retransmit nor does it have very robust error correction. Neither does it remember state of the receiver. Once data has been transmitted, it has been transmitted. Any transmission losses are not accounted for. The other issue is clock synchronization which is based on a clock signal that is embedded in the transmitted data. It is not all that easy as you might think.

Frankly speaking SPDIF is a terrible protocol for audio transmission. Its a pity that we've had to endure it for ages now. A google search will yield lots of interesting information about the pitfalls of SPDIF.

Analogue signals moving from one point to another are just electrical signals. it should be easy to prove the capability of a cable without getting into emotional tangles. There is no way that the human ear can hear something that cannot be measured by a high end oscilloscope.

Yes they are electrical signals and there are always problems associated with transmitting analog signals and they can get attenuated. Why it happens and how it happens no one is aware of but simply dismissing something without going to the root of the problem is stupid IMHO. Making a claim that the human ear can't hear something that can't be measured by an oscilloscope is a childish argument. No one knows how exactly sound waves are interpreted by the brain in the first place.

I can agree that one person is making a mistake or maybe two. But the number is not insignificant and I know of very many highly qualified, accomplished people who believe the same after experiencing it themselves under no pressure from anyone else. Its possible to fool someone once or twice but fooling thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of people for decades is something that sounds a bit far fetched.
 

venkatcr

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ReignOfChaos:

Regarding the CAT 6 cable if you had noticed, I had written, 'Such a CAT 6 cable modified to suit the audio industry, believe me, will effortlessly carry digital data without losing a single byte.'

I am aware of the need for error correction in Ethernet circuits. At the same time, digital circuits have reached a level where error correction chips can be integrated into two ends of a cable, through something like an USB port. I know of a company in the US that has already created intelligent cables and end points that do away with the need for error corrections at least for the computer industry. One of the uses for this end pint/cable set is in Banks and security agencies to identify who is plugging into an Ethernet Port, which laptop he/she is using, and even denying access to the network without any action from the server.

Regarding the second point, I am firm believer in scientific rationale. Yes, once the sound has entered one's ears, and travelled to his/her brain, what it does to that person is something only that person will know. But sound created by equipment made by man, can, without doubt, be measured scientifically. In my mind, phrases such as 'warm woozy feeling', 'tingling of my skin', 'make my skin glow' are all acceptable as one's own perception of the sound he/she hears. Many times when I listen to a music I like, I do feel good. But that is only after the sound has entered my ears. Till them it is all within the realm of scientific reasoning and measurement. It would be foolish to deny this simply because instruments can measure frequencies way above and below what the human ear can 'read' so to say. Again, not to argue a point, how your perceive a sound or frequency is something individual and personal.

If somebody comes to me and says I will hear better If I use a pure silver cable or a pure gold cable, I am certainly going to look at that option with a large pinch of salt. Every person has a limited budget, and in my mind, it does not make sense to chase a mirage many of us do not even understand how to even recognise.

Yesterday while auditioning a number of equipment at a manufacturer, I was getting very confused with a combination where the music was not sounding right to me. I tried a number of my own CDs, and I could not hear notes that I was damn sure were there in the music. I could not even explain it properly. I told the manufacturer that I felt as if I was listening to music that was coming through a ''veil' or some form of a 'mist'. He stared at me for some time, changed the speakers, and viola, I could hear all the instruments clearly. What had happened? Simply this. The first set of speakers had a cross over that was allowing the midrange to move untethered to the upper end of the low frequency and the lower end of the high frequency. His design has three independent crossovers circuits for the low, mid, and high frequencies. .

He replaced this with a pair of speakers that, according to him had 'compressed' mid-range. I pestered him till he told me that here were some minor issues with the way he designs his crossovers for various speakers, and that he knew how to rectify the problem.

BTW, one his speakers (a 5 way set) has a driver that he has designed to render 44 KHz !! I am writing a detailed review of his equipment in a few days.

Just goes to show you learn something everyday.

Cheers.
 

kaushik

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well , i dont believe i am a expert in audio , but being a guitar player and from my past experience in audio...
i will comment as ..

"one can measure the physical quantities like voltages , wave form parameters with what soever equipments but
the musicality /tonality /the characteristics of sound still [will be possible...:)] remains to be discovered ,
here we are dealing with a complex set of waveforms .... these needs hi-end DSP processing and standardization of the
parameters that constitute the overall output wave ,what adds to this complexity is that the parameters are interrelated "


here i will elaborate with example ,

i have a YAMAHA Rxv361 , [ is not a pro audio system ] i used to connect the speakers with some ordinary wire ..the unit has a stereo ption that i use for music listening with two speakers

one day i thought of giving a try with OFC cables ..so i purchased some 6 meters cable fron SPROAD ,bangalore

i was very surprised by the difference the cables made ...
bass was 30% more and many other previously unnoticed sounds came alive

. i tested the unit in 2 speaker mode while using front L R out puts ....i changed the
different DSP modes ..n felt each mode added some distictive characteristics to the output

Also the how good cables will sound is matter of matching with the system

another example ,

i have a small taiwan made stereo micro DVD system with inbuilt amp ,
with custom fitted crossover added by me to the small speakers , the unit had ordinary wires to connect the speakers

here i tried the OFC cables, they did not made any big difference :( :( "



finally to conclude my comments ....
yes, the marketing people exploit the cable and interconnects with
some virtual terminology

but "The cable matters !"

tests done by forum member soundsgreat [shreekanth] ..shows how the cables can contribute to the final output..
 

Colecutter

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Thanks ReignofC. I'm not in Bangalore nowadays but just might be, soon. A couple of Ushers have come up on Audiogon; let's see. Surfing their forums for views on the Be718 I found that youve joined recently so welcome to the A'gon community. I also read that they need solid power to be driven so my CJ tube amp probably wont do it. I have a Plinius SS which is 175W rms into 8 ohms - will that be good enough or will I need to invest in a power amp putting out 500W+ ?
 

reignofchaos

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Thanks ReignofC. I'm not in Bangalore nowadays but just might be, soon. A couple of Ushers have come up on Audiogon; let's see. Surfing their forums for views on the Be718 I found that youve joined recently so welcome to the A'gon community. I also read that they need solid power to be driven so my CJ tube amp probably wont do it. I have a Plinius SS which is 175W rms into 8 ohms - will that be good enough or will I need to invest in a power amp putting out 500W+ ?

Is this an 8200 MKII? If so it should do pretty well. We tried one and the speaker was singing beautifully to it.
 

saikat

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It is not true that just because the cable is a 'CAT 6', there will be no loss of data. The x value in CAT 'x' just talks about the quality of the cable with respect to crosstalk and noise, hence CAT 6 is better than CAT 5 at handling signals.

Note: Better has nothing to do with it being completely loss-less. As part of my work, we work with these cables all the time and let me assure you that data packets get lost all the time. As pointed out earlier, its the job of the higher level to understand this loss and re-transmit the lost/damaged data (use of any error correction IC's etc indicates the usage of a higher level protocol). Again, the physical medium, ie. the cable is not loss-less.

About the ''audio grade" CAT 6, i believe some marketing is at work... :D If such a cable was indeed to be discovered/ invented, the communication industry would be very very happy (more jobs to cut).

My two bits..
 

dinyaar

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Hi Guys,
Firstly let me clarify that i believe that cables make a difference.( will be a hippocrite to say otherwise after the amount of hours / money i have spent experimenting with various cables in the last decade)

I cant quantify the difference with a figure or a percentage as it varies in different set ups. IMO it does fine tune the system and get the optimum performance from the set up. Problems start when people proclaim cables can achieve similar to tone controls!!!!!!!!!!! or describe cables with words which are better used to describe the weather!!!

I use mid level transparent ICS now in my set up and my old kimber 8TC speaker cables and see no reason to upgrade. I have not followed the standard 5- 10 % of total system cost on cables as i dont feel the need to.

Power cords i am still to figure out!!!!! My amplifier manual suggests i stick to the stock power cords and not use any power conditioner as in their opinion it will add nothing instead a conditioner may adversely affect the performance of the amp when its draws higher current. Now the supplied lead is a 3 core 1.5 sq.mm cable for an amp capable of delivering 300WPC into 8 ohms and 500WPC into a 4 ohm load!

Regards
 
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