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What do some audio professionals say about wires ?

Fantastic

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Audio interconnect and power cables have drawn a lot of attention from consumers especially as the manufacturers claim all kinds of sonic improvements and the price differences are sometimes mind boggling ! Among users the opinions also vary enormously ! Listening to cables by physically switching takes too much time during which the brain could obfuscate the differences due to the time delay. Ethan Winer has made a box which can switch between cables and listen to the null between them to see if the cables connected do really sound different. This has been done by others too but he has put up a video on this !
We need to remember that in a real world scenario the cable could sound very different in different systems because the " real load " at the end of the cable would be different in different systems and that would make a difference to the signal arriving at the input of the amp etc. The equipment input resistance ( dc ) and capacitance (ac) is normally not exactly identical in different equipment. So lots of variables are there.
BUT testing them in one location with a null detector should produce interesting results . Watch this interesting video :
But as usual , you should believe what you want to believe. It hurts no one else , except possibly your own pocket.
If I had Rs 70K ( about $ 1,000/- ) to spare I'd buy more music with all of it !
 
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sandeepss

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Good one :D. Thanks for sharing. The action starts at 20 mins!

Ethan Winer has been quite vocal about busting myths in his blog on isolators, decoupling etc and is not exactly loved in audiophile groups (for obvious reasons :)). By quoting him, now you stand a chance to face the music!
 

Fantastic

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So that clarifies that the load makes a lot of difference ! Especially loudspeaker loads. I could put up some graphs showing how much the signal varies at different loudspeakers terminals using a total speaker wire resistance of as low as 0.1 ohm which is pretty low and often very much higher in practice ! Add a poor or oxidized connector and it goes wild ! Its fascinating to see how much we tolerate sometimes !

RF ingress is a different matter altogether because our whole system and the room is immersed in it all the time. Including ourselves ! Any part of the system which is RF sensitive would pick up the signals and mess with the audio signals altering the signals to make subtle changes in sound or cause gross interference. RF that comes down the power cable however is due to something else. It's the transients caused by other gadgets connected to the mains power system like switching devices , motors coming on and off , tubelights etc. Anything that generates transients. For this they use RFI filters on cables and surely inside the ( well designed !) electronic device itself.

Since we know the implications now, it's a good thing to minimise the possibility of RF ingress into your system. As far as load matching is concerned, Lower impedance line level loads like 2K ohms etc are less affected by the capacitance at the input since the capacitance is not too high. So HF ( audio ) roll off there would be very high in frequency and not cause any problem.
For speakers its always best to keep a mono power amp right next to the speaker with very short low resistance leads. That way you don't need expensive cables ! You will however need good line level cables that feed the power amp the audio signal. One way to reduce problems there is to use balanced cables if the lines are long , but you need to have a balanced input on the power amp. Having multiple layers of shielding on the cables does reduce ingress into the cable. Each extra layer increasing the resistance to external RFI. But do you really need it ? Depends on how bad the RFI in your locality / home is . If you have radio transmitters near you ( mobile phone transmitters ?) that cause problems then more shielding can help. If your system is well designed it might not be affected at all.

If your system sounds good as it is and you get goose pimples when playing your favourite music, don't change anything ! Go out and buy more music and possibly hooch ! :)

All these variables makes the hobby very interesting and can gobble up vast amounts of time and money and possibly hooch ! :)
Have a great weekend !
 
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arj

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Both sides are technically beyond me so have decided not to mess around with cables since they make so many variables in sound and with no logic to show why. I guess we have not yet figured what needs to be measured yet since each music signals have so many vairations and the load itself so variable.
 

newlash09

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All this nonsense about wires, beyond the actual kit is all bollocks. I must admit that my speakers are triwired...with just the speaker cables costing 2.5L . That's just the speaker cables, and Iam not even taking interconnects. Now add power conditioning and power cables to it...thats another 3L of it. 5.5lL to try to optimise a system which still sounds crap to my ears.

So get the basic synergy between source, pre amp, power amp and speakers right first. All these fancy wires and power treatment is just Trying to smoothen out the rough edges on the sound that your kit makes. It is never going to change "the sound" if you don't like it to start with.

So spend money on these at the end, when you are wholly happy with your system, and have no plans of a upgrade for the foreseeable future, and just want to optimize what you already have. And I still can't promise beneficial results.

If I said I was a cable non believer straight away, I would have been scoffed at. Now my speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioning and vibration control alone account for almost 8L. And I still say cables don't matter a donkeys ass..
Correct me
 

Fantastic

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All this nonsense about wires, beyond the actual kit is all bollocks. I must admit that my speakers are triwired...with just the speaker cables costing 2.5L . That's just the speaker cables, and Iam not even taking interconnects. Now add power conditioning and power cables to it...thats another 3L of it. 5.5lL to try to optimise a system which still sounds crap to my ears.

So get the basic synergy between source, pre amp, power amp and speakers right first. All these fancy wires and power treatment is just Trying to smoothen out the rough edges on the sound that your kit makes. It is never going to change "the sound" if you don't like it to start with.

So spend money on these at the end, when you are wholly happy with your system, and have no plans of a upgrade for the foreseeable future, and just want to optimize what you already have. And I still can't promise beneficial results.

If I said I was a cable non believer straight away, I would have been scoffed at. Now my speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioning and vibration control alone account for almost 8L. And I still say cables don't matter a donkeys ass..
Correct me
Wow that's some statement ! Wires do make a difference but not for reasons they attribute to it. They don't make sound 'better' they make them different from what it was before. IF you like the change then it's " good wire", if its otherwise then its worthless ! The cable resistance and capacitance and inductance causes alterations in the signal going to the amp input or loudspeaker. So it has a good chance of it being audible BUT that doesn't necessarily mean better sound. IF one 'likes' the alteration then it's called good ! If you see the spectrum of the signal at the amp input or speaker terminals, it looks like we have used a parametric equaliser ! The effect can be terrible with speaker loads.
The best wire is 'no wire'! But that's not possible. Closest being having the amp inside the speaker enclosure ! The next best is to make the wires " as short as possible ". Power amp right next to the speakers with low dc resistance wires with reasonably fine strands is a good place to start with. A bunch of enameled wire will have low dc resistance and no interaction along the wire with each other. Pick a size that has a roll off frequency beyond the audible range. You could look at the web site located at http://www.nessengr.com/technical-data/skin-depth/ .
So basically the wire's skin depth must be greater than the radius of the wire to make the wire appear as a solid conductor at the frequency of interest.
Copper wire guage calculations at https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wire/wire-gauge-chart.html

Looks like 26 SWG will be suitable. Now determine how long the cable should be and you can determine its dc resistance. 26 guage being 134 ohms per Km or 0.134 ohms per meter . Pick the target dc resistance like say 0.025 ohms ( it's eventually double this ( 0.05 ohms) because there is a signal wire and a return line making double the length of the nominal cable length ).
So if you use 3 meters its 3 x 0.134x 2 ohms per strand = 0.804 ohms ( dc). So the number of strands required is 0.804/0.05 = 16 strands in parallel to get 0.05 ohms for the full length of the wire. Actual wire length is half this ( + and - wire ) .You will need an outer sleeve to cover all the strands for each half ( + and - wire). Remember that 'how' you hold the strands together also affects the inductance of the assembly. You can strand it like hair with individual wires or bunches of wires . Too much inductance can cause softening of the HF. But try it out. I've used 26 swg enameled wire loosely held and it was good. It's messy making it !

Remember to solder the ends together after removing the enamel. Best way to do that is to use an enamel removing solvent. Very corrosive and can damage the eyes so one has to be very careful. But it removes the enamel without damaging the copper which happens if you scrape the enamel away. Another weekend project. The enamel removing liquid is usually stocked by shops selling enameled wires and transformer parts. It's very volatile so keeps evaporating pretty fast even with a sealed cap ! Burns your skin too. So handle the liquid with a brush directly from the bottle. Don't pry out the cap of the bottle with bare fingers. Use a cloth ! If you are prone to being careless or forgetful then better to avoid using the solvent. Not worth the trouble you could have.

Can also use enamel wire with RCA cables. Here one could use thinner wire but a ready made shield is also required to prevent hum pickup. There are many solutions to this some not being very pretty. But as usual keep all cable lengths short for best performance.

But as mentioned by newlash09 , if it doesn't sound good to start with it might not help changing cables ! Very expensive doesn't necessarily mean good sound. Also, if one keeps asking friends if they like the sound or what they think about the quality of one's system, it means one doesn't know what one wants ! It's what one likes that matters, no matter what others think about it !
 
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Nikhili

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All this nonsense about wires, beyond the actual kit is all bollocks. I must admit that my speakers are triwired...with just the speaker cables costing 2.5L . That's just the speaker cables, and Iam not even taking interconnects. Now add power conditioning and power cables to it...thats another 3L of it. 5.5lL to try to optimise a system which still sounds crap to my ears.

So get the basic synergy between source, pre amp, power amp and speakers right first. All these fancy wires and power treatment is just Trying to smoothen out the rough edges on the sound that your kit makes. It is never going to change "the sound" if you don't like it to start with.

So spend money on these at the end, when you are wholly happy with your system, and have no plans of a upgrade for the foreseeable future, and just want to optimize what you already have. And I still can't promise beneficial results.

If I said I was a cable non believer straight away, I would have been scoffed at. Now my speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioning and vibration control alone account for almost 8L. And I still say cables don't matter a donkeys ass..
Correct me
I am a believer in cables and ideally look for ones, I believe, do not color.
Specific to your setup - I feel it’s the room and synergy apart from the speakers being big for the room. The listening position is close as well and this perhaps is impacting the coherence as well.
Probably synergy of the cables also is not working out. I could be wrong though :)
Let’s hope things improve for the better after you are done with your room treatment very soon!!
 

Fantastic

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Do we need to 'believe' in audio components ? Basically that's pre-programming one's mind. Then all other opinions on various components would be coloured by those programmed lines ! The ideal situation is one where EVERY audio component is viewed with an open and unbiased mind. It could end up with very strange results ! :) Like for example liking the sound of a chip amp over something priced a 100 times more with ordinary ( Finolex ?) cables . The mind is far more potent than one imagines.....for most people, I think !
The mind affects every facet of our lives and programming starts with the parents and then the environment around us. Its often hard to take control of it consciously and reprogram it. Affects the way we hear and generally our health too....in a very big way !
For those who are interested in understanding this try reading " You are the Placebo" by Dr.Joe Dispenza . This one is about the mind controlling our health ( and curing oneself ... basically reprogramming !) but it applies to our audio sensitivities too ! Worth reading, no matter what one's interest is.
Cheers .
 

arj

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For those who are interested in understanding this try reading " You are the Placebo" by Dr.Joe Dispenza . This one is about the mind controlling our health ( and curing oneself ... basically reprogramming !) but it applies to our audio sensitivities too ! Worth reading, no matter what one's interest is.
Cheers .
and ruin the fun in audio ? ;)
 
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Fantastic

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Arj, you miss the point. You can program yourself to enjoy everything !

Would that ruin the fun in audio ? :)

But then, maybe I get your point ! If everyone enjoyed everything then the 'fun' factor might be reduced or worse , ceases to exist ! :oops:

Gosh.....where is that hooch bottle.....................
 

rksingh1

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We should simply read the wiki page for speaker cables and lot of our myths will be busted:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_wire

There are many companies who come up with fancy little terms for users to spend money on expensive wires. Most of which is a scam and doesn't help at all with quality of music.

Putting a quote from the article which summarizes everything:

Roger Russell – a former engineer and speaker designer for McIntosh Labs – details how expensive speaker wire brand marketing misinforms consumers in his online essay called Speaker Wire – A History. He writes, "The industry has now reached the point where [wire] resistance and listening quality are not the issues any more, although listening claims may still be made...The strategy in selling these products is, in part, to appeal to those who are looking to impress others with something unique and expensive
 
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sandeepss

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Another audio professionals view
Though Paul McGowan uploads some very good videos, since he's a salesman you need to take his advice with a pinch of salt. And both Ethan Winer and Paul are at loggerheads too :)
 

arj

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i know..two sides of the same coin !

Arj, you miss the point. You can program yourself to enjoy everything !

Would that ruin the fun in audio ? :)

But then, maybe I get your point ! If everyone enjoyed everything then the 'fun' factor might be reduced or worse , ceases to exist ! :oops:

Gosh.....where is that hooch bottle.....................
Not really, I love listening to music on my headphones and car stereo as well But on "the" system the whole process of tweaking is something extra special..playing around and researching with acoustics, cables, vibration control, power etc has a certain charm and due to which have spent a lot of time reading and researching how other folks have done it...this has helped me bring about so many changes in my turntable the last few years
 

Fantastic

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I did a simulation using a simple two way speaker and cable resistance of zero ( actually 0.0001 ohms) and 0.05 ohms and 0.1 ohms. All other reasons for increasing the effective resistance which the speaker sees are ignored ( amp output impedance and contact resistances ).
The variations are small but could colour the sound . I'll make a test on a real speaker in a few days. Meantime you can see that the response is no longer flat at the speaker terminals. Of course some speakers have a very resistive impedance and they fare very well. Like Magnepans etc.
The flat red line is with a cable resistance of 0.0001 ohms. The next one ( blue ) is with a cable resistance of 0.05 ohms and the green curve with cable resistance of 0.10 ohms.
 

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drkrack

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All this nonsense about wires, beyond the actual kit is all bollocks. I must admit that my speakers are triwired...with just the speaker cables costing 2.5L . That's just the speaker cables, and Iam not even taking interconnects. Now add power conditioning and power cables to it...thats another 3L of it. 5.5lL to try to optimise a system which still sounds crap to my ears.

So get the basic synergy between source, pre amp, power amp and speakers right first. All these fancy wires and power treatment is just Trying to smoothen out the rough edges on the sound that your kit makes. It is never going to change "the sound" if you don't like it to start with.

So spend money on these at the end, when you are wholly happy with your system, and have no plans of a upgrade for the foreseeable future, and just want to optimize what you already have. And I still can't promise beneficial results.

If I said I was a cable non believer straight away, I would have been scoffed at. Now my speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioning and vibration control alone account for almost 8L. And I still say cables don't matter a donkeys ass..
Correct me
Well that's quite a statement, couldn't agree more ; I'm a convert from Cable Non Believer to Believer in Recent years ; and have been impressed by the influence of power cables more than other cables. I have witnessed a small change in interconnect, a DAC power cable changing the SQ signature to more desirable level by few notches than I thought it was possible. I have witnessed the other side of the coin as well, wherein a pricey cable ruining the fun or bringing down the SQ to a less desirable level. In my experience, Price per performance has to be the worst as far as cables go. You may never know, a cable costing fraction may give you the SQ difference you are looking for.

The lesser tweaks like Cables, isolation work wonders only if that's the weakest link in your audio chain. That's why I'm least surprised to hear amazing improvement with X cable change Y tweak etc, I firmly believe that the same change in SQ is may not be reproducible by the same component change in a different setup. It always helps to see what's the most problematic issue in current setup and what will be the likely remedies. Starting with basic physics, researching and expert opinion helps a lot in almost every case. Zeroing on the problem requires some experience which a person acquires over period of time.

I completely agree with @newlash09 in saying that getting the matching major components first, to get an optimum baseline SQ And building the smaller tweaks over the period to get the incremental SQ as desired ( which is mostly subjective) is the best way forward.
So no amount of Cable Change is going to Rectify your issues with Horrible Room Acoustics, Wrong Speakers for the Individual Taste of Music/room, Mismatched Amplifier & Speakers combo, Mismatched DAC vs personal Taste etc. Instead of investing in Cables, saving up to Investing in major components is always a safer bet in my opinion, trying out different DACs if your speaker Amp combo is set, or having different setup for tube and SS is more worthwhile in my opinion. ( I personally don't like to invest more than 10-15% of the total budget allocated for major components on cables or tweaks etc )

Finally, the current parameters we use to measure sound quality may not be complete, and we're not able to measure what actually counts in the final audio output. The subjective nature of audio perception is quite evident in the fact that we have more than a thousand speaker / amp/ DAC brands in the market, each catering to different audiophile needs ( for example though transport is more essential than audio , we don't have that many car brands ).
 
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reachkalyan.kr

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All this nonsense about wires, beyond the actual kit is all bollocks. I must admit that my speakers are triwired...with just the speaker cables costing 2.5L . That's just the speaker cables, and Iam not even taking interconnects. Now add power conditioning and power cables to it...thats another 3L of it. 5.5lL to try to optimise a system which still sounds crap to my ears.

So get the basic synergy between source, pre amp, power amp and speakers right first. All these fancy wires and power treatment is just Trying to smoothen out the rough edges on the sound that your kit makes. It is never going to change "the sound" if you don't like it to start with.

So spend money on these at the end, when you are wholly happy with your system, and have no plans of a upgrade for the foreseeable future, and just want to optimize what you already have. And I still can't promise beneficial results.

If I said I was a cable non believer straight away, I would have been scoffed at. Now my speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioning and vibration control alone account for almost 8L. And I still say cables don't matter a donkeys ass..
Correct me
Hi
@newlash09 iam searching for unlike( Thumbs down) button for ur comments.
But by mistake I clicked on like (Thumbs up ) button.

;):D:D
 

Kannan

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I don't believe but for a fact do experience cables making a difference, especially on the audio signal path. I don't define it in ascending or descending in terms of pricing.
I have never had the luxury though to try any of the very high priced cables in my setup, so cannot comment on that end of the segment.

How different can the cables sound:
Change in tonality (especially in the mids), congested, narrow, bright, suppressed in highs or lows, diffused
In some cables the variances can be quite pronounced, and in some the differences can be subtle

12awg is the good wire gauge to use though scientifically 16awg is considered enough for up to 50 feet. I keep the cables as short as possible.
Pure OFC copper cables sound the most balanced and have a short break-in time, I prefer tinned copper as I live in coastal area. Tinned copper cables take a longer break-in period for the highs to open up. I prefer banana contacts though many recommend going bare (possibly due to any kind of resistance added by the bananas). But I could not hear much difference.
I have not had good luck with silver cables (both pure and silver plated copper as well). I always found them sounding edgy. Silver plated copper is however better than pure silver. (This to my ears holds true with both speaker and interconnects).

For low level signals (RCAs), good quality and solid connectors make a difference. Good shielding helps in keeping interference out. Low capacitance has a better high frequency bandwidth.
I have finally settled on Beldens in my entire chain as they are affordable and also sound balanced to my ears. Planning to switch to tinned copper Belden with interconnect as well.

Some varieties of cables that can also sound different due to the design
Thick core, low count
Thin core high count
Twisted pair (Single braid)
Straight cables
Multi braided
Single core communication cables like ethernet cables

Bring on the Bricks and Bouquet :)
 

firearm12

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I am hearing difference between differnet coax cables connected between digione spdif out and dac. The difference is quite staggering to me. No two cables sound same. How does one explain sound of cables carrying digital signals only. There is definetely more to cables and how they affect sound. If one tries to listen i think anyone can hear differences between cables.
 

superczar

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I am hearing difference between differnet coax cables connected between digione spdif out and dac. The difference is quite staggering to me. No two cables sound same. How does one explain sound of cables carrying digital signals only. There is definetely more to cables and how they affect sound. If one tries to listen i think anyone can hear differences between cables.
Placebo effect maybe?
The only true way to tell is by getting someone else to do a blind test for you..
Or get someone else to randomly swap cables without telling you which one is connected.
Run a random test of say 10 samples and see if you get it right
 
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