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Old 24th July 2011, 12:49 PM   #21
SY is offline SY  United States
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Incontrovertible facts:

1. The integrity of connections is vitally important. So is prevention of corrosion.
2. Some poorly designed amps oscillate with certain wires. Stable, competent amplifiers (the vast majority) do not.
3. The impedance of cables (generally dominated by DCR) will interact with the impedance of a speaker to produce alterations in the frequency response. High source Z amplifiers reduce response variation from that specific cause (while introducing new ones).
4. In certain very specific and atypical conditions, generally involving high RF environments like radio stations or houses situated next to broadcast antennas, cables need to be shielded.
5. Most speakers are designed to be driven from a low source impedance, so short runs of low impedance cable are preferred. Some speakers benefit from some series resistance, which can be accomplished (albeit inefficiently) by using high DCR cables.
6. Actual data regarding audibility of exotic parameters (metallurgy, insulation type, biwiring, solid vs stranded) are sorely lacking. Strenuous claims are not.
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Old 24th July 2011, 12:59 PM   #22
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Speakon connectors suffer from oxidisation like any other connector. I have also recieved amps for servicing because the user reports no output from one channel only to find the speakon contacts have bent back over time and fail to make any contact whatsoever. A quick adjustment with a fine screwdriver fixes the issue. Speakon is convienient, but I prefer screw terminals to speakon connectors. The only issue I can see with screw terminals is that they are often not made with copper, but brass, but you can get copper ones.
Anyone who is really pedantic about the whole connector issue should just solder their wires direct from amplifier PCB to the speaker crossover, and from CD player, DAC etc. direct to amp PCB. Looks like garbage, but surely, no one would argue, it will sound better.
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:00 PM   #23
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I cannot think of any other component of an audio system which is as well studied, understood, and easily measured for every parameter than wire. Wild theories about how and why some wires cause sound systems to appear to perform differently are never backed up with cold hard facts or proof. The explanations invariably resort to qualitative explanations, not to quantitative changes in performance parameters that are calculated, measured, and judged against the threshold of audibility for such changes unless they are simple well understood circuit parameters L, C, and R. On other message boards where some of the sponsors are in the business of manufacturing or selling these cables for profit, dissent from their religion extolling the virtues of this nonsense is forbidden.

Another thing about wire is that its electrical function is clearly defined. It is intended to connect two circuit nodes with as little change to voltage and current waveforms between them as possible. It is not intended as a control element. Those who try to use it that way are making a very costly error. As a control device for altering waveforms, it plain and simple stinks.
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:28 PM   #24
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundminded View Post
I cannot think of any other component of an audio system which is as well studied, understood, and easily measured for every parameter than wire.
Up to a point at least.

What few seem to understand is that wires rarely if ever only are exposed to the intended signals in a controlled environment in which they are simply tested in loopback.

OF COURSE, all the interesting stuff that happens in real world systems at least on first and second order effects (which cover IME most of the audible differences claimed) are easily understood by anyone who passed EE101, as Ohm, Kirchoff, Thévenin, Farraday and Lentz (plus the others thought there) generally cover it, but only if we take the full spectrum of issues in REAL systems into account.

If we do not account for the real problems in real systems it is easy to com e to the conclusion that wires cannot make differences, while if the basic electronic circuit theory is understood it is absolutely clear that differences in wire MUST make observable changes in the system under test/investigation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundminded View Post
Wild theories about how and why some wires cause sound systems to appear to perform differently are never backed up with cold hard facts or proof.
The problem is that those who should know and understand (e.g. those who have passed EE101 and beyond) generally in wilful disbelief and supposed scepticism and deliberately ignore the very basic and simple issues at hand and generally try to talk them away so those who remain rarely actually understand.

Further, many such claims may be deliberately misleading. For example, I know precisely why certain types of mains cables make a measurable and audible difference and I have it on good authority that the cables designer knows the same things, however you will not find anything about this in the marketing material for these cables...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundminded View Post
Another thing about wire is that its electrical function is clearly defined. It is intended to connect two circuit nodes with as little change to voltage and current waveforms between them as possible.
This is a very simplified view. It is true only on a highly abstract level. In reality cables end up doing more than this, as they rarely if ever only deal with intended signals.

I would suggest that the real definition for cables interconnecting multiple independent devices requires more than what is stated.

They also need to make sure that any possible sources of interference (be they circulating ground currents, RFI injected due to the aerial action of the various loops in the system and so on) have a minimised effect on the signal.

A cable that fulfils your definition can still easily fail mine, unless your statement was intended taking into account all unintended but present sources of interference. And when we do this, throw connectors into the mix as well something apparently very simple can become very interesting.

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:47 PM   #25
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Speakon connectors suffer from oxidisation like any other connector.
Yes, the surface is silver. However the rotary action of making contact if repeated a few times makes the connections self cleaning. In road use Speakons plastic construction may be a little unreliable, however in home use this is not much of an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Speakon is convienient, but I prefer screw terminals to speakon connectors.
Different strokes for different blokes. I see it the opposite way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Anyone who is really pedantic about the whole connector issue should just solder their wires direct from amplifier PCB to the speaker crossover, and from CD player, DAC etc. direct to amp PCB. Looks like garbage, but surely, no one would argue, it will sound better.
It is very inconvenient.

And I am sure loads will argue that there is no evidence that it makes anything sound better, because if it did than there would be an argument that connectors may may a difference in sound, which would open the door to all sorts of real things they prefer to ignore.

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:50 PM   #26
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
It is very inconvenient.
Yes, but far cheaper than investing in snake oil connectors at ferocious prices.
And better sound every time
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:54 PM   #27
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Yes, but far cheaper than investing in snake oil connectors at ferocious prices.
And better sound every time
The fun thing is that my favoured "snake oil connectors" do not demand ferocious prices at all.

Just wire everything using Cliff plastic XLR's and Neutrik Speakon/Powercon and you have some of the best connectors available at any price.

The only price paid a lack of compatibility with standard HiFi that insists on using fancy and high price RCA's, Banana/Spade and IEC/normal mains connectors.

And it is not dramatically worse than direct soldering and MUCH, MUCH more convenient should ever decide to move the system or replace one piece...

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:59 PM   #28
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I think me and thorsten got off on the wrong track.
During this whole time im talking about buying stuff, not diy. No diy amps/preamps nor making your own cable.

For power cables, i was talking about replacing the 2 prong (here i have yet to find 3 prong equipment in my $1500 and below price range) with a $100-500 premade unit that people sell.

For interconnects i was comparing $150 2meter cables to the $30 canare rg59/rg6 stuff that i can buy locally at a shop that sells commercial equipment.

Also i believe the rohs ENIG - Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold is only for the solder mask, not for the entire trace, and the amount of gold used is so little its not even funny. The gold is designed to be blown away during reflow. Gold in a solder joint is a very brittle solder joint.


As far as using network cable, my last purchase from mono price for plenum cat6 was $275 for 1000ft plus $40 shipping.


As far as bananaers, i still need to find some good one as spades do not place nicely with my receiver. All my speakers are diy (diy dts head unit???) and i added a speakon to each terminal cup after having 4 different kinds of bananas fall apart after pulling out of socket.


As far as people preferring copper lugs to high copper brass, dont they turn green pretty quick?
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:00 PM   #29
erin is offline erin  Australia
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I agree with you about the Neutrik connectors, but if a person was after "the ultimate connector" surely it would be direct soldering.
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:05 PM   #30
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post

For power cables, i was talking about replacing the 2 prong (here i have yet to find 3 prong equipment in my $1500 and below price range) with a $100-500 premade unit that people sell.

Oh goodness me, I wouldn't spend my money on anything more than $5 power cable. Try some ferrites on your power cables. It would be a lot less money better spent IMO.

Last edited by erin; 24th July 2011 at 02:08 PM.
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