Now they say differences between interconnect cables are audible in blind listening tests.. :P

Vineethkumar01

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Nikhil

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It is widely accepted in audio circles that cables can be voiced.
You can look up a few "cable recipes" from the discussions on here as well.

Cable design, materials, connectors etc can all affect the sound of the setup.



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mbhangui

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There is no magic, sorcery or effect of exotic material or phenomena here. Cables can sound different not because of the cable per se, but because of the capacitance primarily. A truly neutral cable will have zero capacitance, inductance and resistance. This is impossible because any two metal conductors separated by any medium (known as dielectric) becomes a capacitor. A capacitor acts like a short for high frequency. Higher the capacitance, warmer will be the sound signature. Lower the capacitance, the cable will become neutral. Now a days I don't buy any factory made interconnect. I make my own using twisted pairs from cat6 ethernet cables. Even coaxial cables used for high frequency cat tv, cable reception have very low capacitance per meter, but can be stiff to be used practically. Every cable I make for myself I use a DIY capacitance, inductance, resistance tester using atmega328p microcontroller. Here is a comercial cable showing a capacitance of 82pf for 1 meter length. If you make your own cable you can easily achieve around < 15pF per meter giving a more neutral cable. The cable below will sound warmer to your ears.

atmega2.jpg
 

mbhangui

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Here is a paper that i found which tells about audibility of differences between interconnect cables in an audio system.


This is a JAES journal paper. Ultimately they say it is not the frequency response or the impedance of the cable that causes audible differences but the noise pic up properties :D

Anyway interesting information... :D
The thing that caught my eye is that noise is in MHz region, beyond the audible frequency hearing of human beings. So noise in Mhz does affect your hearing. Digital audio is full of noise in this region btw.
 

Vineethkumar01

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The thing that caught my eye is that noise is in MHz region, beyond the audible frequency hearing of human beings. So noise in Mhz does affect your hearing. Digital audio is full of noise in this region btw.
With digital audio and DACs used for converting digital to analog, wouldn't the dac reconstruction (low pass) filter attenuate things high up in the MHz band?
 

drkrack

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Now a days I don't buy any factory made interconnect. I make my own using twisted pairs from cat6 ethernet cables.
Can you share the pictures, this was discussed in some other thread few years ago AFAIK. Though I didn't get a chance to listen to them personally, would be quite interesting to see how they are designed...

This is a JAES journal paper. Ultimately they say it is not the frequency response or the impedance of the cable that causes audible differences but the noise pic up properties :D

Anyway interesting information...
All Audiophile Veterans are Searching for a "Didn't we Tell You" or "We Already Knew that" Emojis...
:) :) ;)
 

mbhangui

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With digital audio and DACs used for converting digital to analog, wouldn't the dac reconstruction (low pass) filter attenuate things high up in the MHz band?
Sure from the output. But the dac itself must be getting affected by the noise in MHz region and affecting the output in the audible region. Else there wouldn't have been any difference in the hearing. Experiments have shown that people can make out jitter in just few nanoseconds.
 

Hari Iyer

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Other than capacitance there can be some time smear in the frequency arrival time across the length of the interconnect due to conductivity of the metals used. This can cause HF to arrive before the MF & LF causing sibilance. I have used multiple conductors rescently using silver, copper, nichrome and brass with all paper dielectric and without using any twisting or shield. Result is zero sibilance and no time smear. Such cables are always 100% DIY and cannot be commercially or otherwise bought.
 

mbhangui

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Can you share the pictures, this was discussed in some other thread few years ago AFAIK. Though I didn't get a chance to listen to them personally, would be quite interesting to see how they are designed...
Nothing spectacular about my cables. I used good quality RCA plugs (with almost nil capacitance) from soundfoundations and purchased through hifimart. Stripped a good quality Cat6 cable and soldered small lengths of twisted pairs and used a hot glue gun to pour glue inside the RCA plug for strain relief and to prevent the fragile twisted pair from breaking at the soldered points. The picture can be seen here


EDIT: My next version is going to be audio interconnects that can be connected by cat7 ethernet cables. I have purchased few of these connectors and a punch down tool. But hifimart has run out of stock on the RCA plugs that I like.
Each of these connector down will have four wires coming out going to the left and right RCA plugs. And you connect two of this by an ethernet cable with a length of your choice to connect equipments

1641712444768.png

I got this idea from here
 
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raghupb

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Other than capacitance there can be some time smear in the frequency arrival time across the length of the interconnect due to conductivity of the metals used. This can cause HF to arrive before the MF & LF causing sibilance. I have used multiple conductors rescently using silver, copper, nichrome and brass with all paper dielectric and without using any twisting or shield. Result is zero sibilance and no time smear. Such cables are always 100% DIY and cannot be commercially or otherwise bought.
Really!!
Do electrical signals have varying travel velocity in few feet of wire?
Or is it simply different attenuation levels due to conductivity?

Cheers,
Raghu
 

mbhangui

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Really!!
Do electrical signals have varying travel velocity in few feet of wire?
It does depending on the permeability of the material. For 60 Hz, it is approx 3.2 m/s. For higher frequency the speed will be faster.

EDIT: The physics behind this
The speed of electricity is conceptually the speed of the electromagnetic signal in the wire, which is somewhat similar to the concept of the speed of light in a transparent medium. So it is normally lower, but not too much lower than the speed of light in the vacuum. The speed also depends on the cable construction. The cable geometry and the insulation both reduce the speed. Good cables achieve 80% of the speed of light; excellent cables achieve 90%. The speed does not directly depend on the voltage or resistance. However, different frequencies have different attenuation.
 

Hari Iyer

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Really!!
Do electrical signals have varying travel velocity in few feet of wire?
Or is it simply different attenuation levels due to conductivity?

Cheers,
Raghu
The conductivity of aluminium is 71 vs 100 of copper and 105 of silver 10 of nichrome and 28 of brass irrespective of its length. The awg size can be small or large to adjust for loss of conductivity. Also skin depth of frequencies at various awg can be used to your advantage to address the time smear issues.
 

Vineethkumar01

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Sure from the output. But the dac itself must be getting affected by the noise in MHz region and affecting the output in the audible region. Else there wouldn't have been any difference in the hearing. Experiments have shown that people can make out jitter in just few nanoseconds.
I do not understand this clearily. Can you point me to some reference where they say the dac internal components pic up MHz noise in audio. To my understanding (which is limited) the DAC can introduce low level quantization noise which depends on the effective bit depth of the dac. as long as it is sufficient enough, this noise (floor) wont be audible. The dac clock (which determines the sampling frequency) and the DAC output filter as long as it is properly implemented will reject high frequencies due to its low pass nature.The output analog signal if it is a cable that pics up high frequency components (noise) due to RF interference or something, I can understand. Its effect will the same if we had a fully analog signal chain. But dac internally getting affected by MHz npise part, i am confused
 

Vineethkumar01

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Isn't this already shared in this thread?

Yeah. It is the same paper. Sorry I didn't know about this thread earlier.. :D
Anyway, from the same author, here is a newer paper (I am highly skeptical of these kind of journals though) :D
and seems like the prof is famous in some other circles also:
Personally, the more I read about all this, my skepticism regarding all of it is steadily increasing. :(
 
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mbhangui

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Personally, the more I read about all this, my skepticism regarding all of it is steadily increasing. :(
Actual music was never used for the research. A quote from the above link.
I don't think it is fruitful to discuss the paper itself. It requires very high level of knowledge of signal processing and sound which even if one explained, would be lost on the readers.

What we can do is discuss the preface in that link. The paper/research is used as what I call "life west" to try to justify many other experiences. That cannot be done. The research uses special signals (e.g. 7 Khz square wave) to detect certain thresholds. The paper did not, let me repeat, did not use music to demonstrate the same detection thresholds. When we test music, passing such thresholds becomes impossibly hard. That says either music masks such thresholds or that the research's conclusion is wrong.
 

raghupb

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The conductivity of aluminium is 71 vs 100 of copper and 105 of silver 10 of nichrome and 28 of brass irrespective of its length. The awg size can be small or large to adjust for loss of conductivity. Also skin depth of frequencies at various awg can be used to your advantage to address the time smear issues.
Does skin depth matter at audio frequencies?
Cheers,
Raghu
 

mbhangui

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That is rather slow, isn't it?


Cheers,
Raghu
It sure looks very slow. Not sure if it means the speed of the sound.
In copper at 60 Hz, {\displaystyle v\approx }
{\displaystyle v\approx }
3.2 m/s. As a consequence of Snell's Law and the extremely low speed, electromagnetic waves always enter good conductors in a direction that is within a milliradian of normal to the surface, regardless of the angle of incidence. This velocity is the speed with which electromagnetic waves penetrate into the conductor and is not the drift velocity of the conduction electrons.
 
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