Videos about Audiophile Cable

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mlundy57

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #20 on: 19 Feb 2021, 05:54 pm »
I've been engaging in a back and forth on Danny's YouTube channel of this video. An interesting theme is to insist people who say they can hear differences under some conditions provide data to prove that differences exist while those demanding said proof never provide the same type of proof showing that differences do not exist under any type of circumstances. They insist that something is a "well established fact" or similar assertion without providing any of their illustrious proof themselves. When called out on it they insist they don't need to provide proof for a "well established fact", pivot/redirect to a point that wasn't actually made by the person they are responding to, or a combination of both.

I don't think it is ethical for me to re-post the conversations here but if anyone is interested go to Danny's YouTube channel to read the conversations. I have posted and replied to more than one post so you will need to do some scrolling to see all my comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrjstmjROW8&t=328s

Danny Richie

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #21 on: 19 Feb 2021, 06:21 pm »
You guys can discuss the cable topic here, but don't bring drama from other places here. This isn't the place for a back and forth that gets disrespectful.   

DS-21

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #22 on: 26 Feb 2021, 07:39 am »
The reason that the label fits is really ironic. It fits the guys that think they are scientist because they measure everything.

If by "measure" you mean "actually listen with two-ears-and-brain instead of with involving the eyes, mediated by pecuniary interest," then sure.

theater_lover

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #23 on: 26 Feb 2021, 04:20 pm »
Danny's basic take is that if you aren't taking into account how things "sound", then it isn't science... but it is impossible to measure how things "sound".
Hearing is partially subjective, and like all things human, can be influenced by many factors.

Well done science takes into account why different observers may observe different things.  Why does the pitch of a car horn sound different to the driver of the moving car, versus someone standing on the side of the road?  A "flat earther" car driver argument would be that the horn always makes the same sound, it outputs the same dB and frequencies every time it is turned on.  Danny's "side of the road" take would be "but I hear the pitch going up and down".  Both are correct, but both are incomplete evaluations.

What is missing?  The science explaining why you hear a difference (in this example the pitch shift is explained with the Doppler Effect), is not explained in Danny's videos.  There are explanations as to what it might be, but nothing demonstrating the difference that Danny is saying is ignored by the "flat earthers"... the actual sound.

Why not get a super high quality recorder, high quality microphone(s), and simply play a variety of music samples through your best system in your best room and swap the cables out?  Show how the waveform compare?  Subtract one recording from the other... any difference?  Is it audible?  Post the samples online for people to hear themselves.

If there is a difference, most observers should be able to detect something, but as it is subjective, that difference may not be the same.
If your argument is that the differences you are hearing can't be tested with the technology of 2021, then that isn't science in any form.  That is faith, or the science of psychoacoustics.... and is seemingly a deviation from Danny's approach to all other matters of speaker building.

Early B.

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #24 on: 26 Feb 2021, 06:23 pm »
Danny's basic take is that if you aren't taking into account how things "sound", then it isn't science... but it is impossible to measure how things "sound".

You started with the wrong premise. It is NOT impossible to measure how things sound. The measurement instrument is your ears. Yes, it's subjective, but much of science is subjective. There's many different types of social sciences that rely heavily or solely on subjectivity. (Good luck trying to convince an economist that he/she isn't a scientist.) In fact, measuring subjective data is the domain of science!! 

You can easily conduct an experiment with 100 people to measure how things sound, and the results would be considered scientific so long as you approach the process in a scientific manner. BUT....that's not necessary because in audio, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about how something sounds. You don't need a scientific explanation for why you hear a difference.

You will NEVER know if something sounds better if you insist on objective data for a subjective experience without relying on your own ears. Of course, no one functions like that in reality. Everyone on the planet makes judgments about music based on what they hear, not based on what they can prove via objective science.

 

 

sarora9

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #25 on: 26 Feb 2021, 06:48 pm »
Theater-lover your premise is actually incorrect.

Music played over your system in a room (or headphone) has huge distortions compared to what is on the recording. Room effects are orders of magnitude higher than any measured distortion differences of 0.01% or whatever in the amplifier/dac etc.

I don't believe anybody on this forum says that all dacs/amplifiers sound the same. So somehow our ears are picking up miniscule differences (below 0.01% or whatever) that are orders of magnitude smaller than distortions introduced by the speaker and room. They are somehow important to our ears.

Wouldn't that suggest (but not prove obviously) that the miniscule differences in cables can also be heard, despite not showing up on experiments?

I did a careful comparison of three speaker cables in last couple months to pick one. The winner (Furutech alpha 36) was clearly superior to the runner up (Kimber 8tc). Different enough that if I stopped a Louis Armstrong recording in the middle, and switched cables, my wife (who didn't know which cable was being used, and didn't care either) said within 15 seconds "suddenly the trumpet sounds incredibly real." I was doing a blind A/B test with both cables lying in position and was quickly switching the connection in 30 sec without toggling power at the amp.

I have been down this audiophile rabbit hole for a couple decades now and have finally entered the final hole: cables matter! Before this I felt "a competently made $50 cable like Blue Jeans is good enough." Now I realize cable differences have  big effects similar to component upgrades!

I have a computer science PhD and  am just flabbergasted that even power cables can change the sound so much. Again, I have the blind A/B to prove this with my loving and patient wife...

Tyson

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #26 on: 26 Feb 2021, 07:43 pm »
If you read many comments, you will see that real scientists (like physicists) don't have a problem with the statement that cables sound different.  That's because they understand that we don't know everything about electricity if you go down far enough. 

On the other hand, if you see comments from engineers, and in particular EE's, THOSE are the people that tend to be in the "if it can't be measured, then there's no difference". 

Just an interesting correlation that I've noticed.  I think it's because EE's are focused on solving problems using existing scientific discoveries, while scientists are focused more on solving mysteries and are more comfortable with the idea of ambiguity.   

jn316

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #27 on: 26 Feb 2021, 08:37 pm »
Totally agree, Tyson. The title "engineer" gets thrown around a lot too. In my aerospace days, guys with tech degrees would use the title engineer. I wonder if some of the "engineers" commenting, have EE degrees or some other engineering degree.
I have an MSEE and I would be the first to admit that there are all kinds of things that I don't know about audio and other fields in the electrical sphere. Your education, unless you specialize in that one particular area in grad school, doesn't begin to cover all the nuances that someone working in that field would know.

sarora9

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #28 on: 26 Feb 2021, 08:43 pm »
LoL tyson. I've been in academia v. long and can vouch that utter confidence in face of uncertainty is not limited to any particular discipline.

(Though possibly an electrical engineer may exhibit this more with respect to cables.)

Early B.

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #29 on: 26 Feb 2021, 09:03 pm »
I'll go even further -- education doesn't mean a damn thing in audio. Experience is what matters. Rarely do you run across a naysayer who's had a lot of experience with testing cables. They typically have shitty systems where cables don't matter anyway. And they're not audiophiles.

I'm not trying to be disparaging, just stating the obvious. Audiophiles are interested in how every component in their system affects the sound, including cables, which implies they can hear differences. So what's happening here is that audiophiles and non-audiophiles are trying to convince each other to be what they're not. There's nothing wrong with pitching your tent in either camp.   

mlundy57

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #30 on: 26 Feb 2021, 09:14 pm »
Is learning how to listen/training our ears important or valid? After all, if differences are real you shouldn't have to learn how to spot them, right? It should be instinctive, shouldn't it.

To address this I'm going to step back 45 years, leave the field of music reproduction, and take a look at hearing from a different viewpoint. Back then I was an Army ROTC cadet in a Ranger training company with two senior NCO Green Berets (Special Forces) with a minimum of 5 combat tours on A teams in Vietnam each. On the first field training exercise, they took us out in the woods, sat us down and told us to close our eyes and listen. They then had us describe what we heard. Then they brought our attention to things they heard but we didn't. Like the episode in the TV series Cung Fu. They then told us the first thing you did when getting to a new area was sit down and diligently listen to the sounds around you. The reasoning was that by learning what the surroundings sounded like in a normal situation, you would be able to notice when something changed. This is important because when the normal sounds change, something new has been introduced into the are and this could mean danger.

Once you learned this skill, you would realize something had changed in the environment around you even if you weren't consciously aware of what it was. Which is a survival mechanism. These two Green Berets were exceptionally good at it. When I ask one of them how he did it, he replied that when your life depended on it, you learned.

The point is that while the ability to hear differences can be improved and refined through practice. It has nothing to do with "golden ears" (used in derision when subjective attributes are discussed). Just attention to detail.

Back to music reproduction and science.

A scientific experiment is very limited in scope and as such, the conclusions drawn from that experiment are not generalizeable beyond the parameters of that experiment. This means no single experiment can provide definitive answers across a wide range of applications. It takes many experiments, each looking at different parts of the larger question, and even more seeing if previous results can be replicated, before widely generalizeable conclusions can be drawn. One double blind experiment conducted under one set of circumstances is not capable of providing a definitive answer. Especially if people thing they will be able to draw accurate conclusions from a recording of the experiment, transmitted via YouTube and played back on their equipment in their room.

Whether a double blind experiment is the most appropriate design to address the question of perception is another topic altogether. Before anybody starts hollering about a gold standard, while a double blind placebo controlled trial is considered the gold standard for determining cause and effect, it is not the most appropriate design for every type of question.


Early B.

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #31 on: 26 Feb 2021, 09:22 pm »
Great points, Mike.

When I first started on my audiophile journey, I heeded the words of the "old heads" on this forum, nearly all of whom said, "cables matter." I began the process of learning to listen. It didn't take long to realize that cables mattered. The first step, however, was listening to people who knew more than me. 

mlundy57

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #32 on: 26 Feb 2021, 09:25 pm »
Totally agree, Tyson. The title "engineer" gets thrown around a lot too. In my aerospace days, guys with tech degrees would use the title engineer. I wonder if some of the "engineers" commenting, have EE degrees or some other engineering degree.
I have an MSEE and I would be the first to admit that there are all kinds of things that I don't know about audio and other fields in the electrical sphere. Your education, unless you specialize in that one particular area in grad school, doesn't begin to cover all the nuances that someone working in that field would know.

Also, experimental design, application, statistical analysis, interpretation, and evaluation are not taught in every discipline, even in grad school. I used to think it was, after all, it was taught to me in both undergraduate and graduate school. However, I found out differently when working in industry and would find myself teaching experimental design and analysis to engineers so they could determine answers to vexing problems.

Never knock somebody for not knowing something you do. I'm sure they know things you don't. You likely have different backgrounds. That's why broad questions/applications are addressed by teams of people from many different backgrounds. But be open minded about it and realize when you are talking apples and oranges (measurements and perception). Then stop arguing about whether an apple can tell you what an orange tastes like.

Both measurements and listening are necessary in achieving a pleasurable music experience. Relying on either without the other is folly.

77SunsetStrip

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #33 on: 26 Feb 2021, 09:29 pm »
Danny's latest video was a sorely needed dose of common sense.

Be careful what you say about EE's, I are one and a musician and music lover.  The EE loves measurements and technical stuff.  The musician loves the creative and subjective stuff.  Never been all objective or subjective when it comes to audio equipment.  My ears are the final judge after measurements narrow the number of choices for audio equipment. 

On the subject of measurements, I learned a great deal when involved in Military grade signal processing projects.  Some of the best work done in audio research provided a basic starting point, i.e. grade school level.  When all said and done, unlimited funds, extremely complex math combined with extremely accurate frequency and time domain measurement techniques.  The "science" lauded by audio objectivists is stone age by comparison. 

Edgar77

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #34 on: 27 Feb 2021, 01:01 am »
I am a newbie with some electronic knowledge. What I find strange in these discussions is that it seems people are strictly on one side.
Some say that if you can't measure a difference then you can't possibly hear it.
And others say "listen" and ignore the measurements.
Can't we work on this together? Personally first I look at the measurements. And if I see no difference in, let's say, 5 different measurements, what does that mean? That means there is no difference in 5 measurements. But there could be 1 or many other measurements which nobody did or which nobody invented until now which could make a difference.
For me that means: Keep an open mind. If the current common measurements don't show a difference does not mean there isn't one.

What confuses me is that Danny in all his videos about the cables measures something, but not an amp with speaker cables and speakers. He shows that cables can be antennas. Yes, sure, nobody will argue with that. He also shows that coils do what coils do and you can transfer audio signals with two coils without contact. Yes, sure, that is also no surprise for anybody with at least a little electronic knowledge. What does he prove with these tests regarding speaker cables? Nothing!

What would it take to convince people that expensive speaker cables make a difference? I think it's obvious: A sound test. Danny has everything in his shop. Amps, various cables, and lots of speakers. And I guess he has enough friends and customers who are proud of their listening skills.

So invite those friends and do the blind tests. Use maybe 3 or 5 different cables and do maybe 10 or 20 listening test. Let someone change the cables, or don't change them, and let the listeners write down what they hear. Test 1: sounds good, Test 2: sounds better, more clarity, Test 3: sounds warmer, Test 4: sounds exactly like Test 1.
Ask the listeners what music or test signals they want to hear. Don't show them the cables. Don't show them in any way if a cable was switched or not. And maybe just for fun use for one speaker an expensive cable and for the 2nd speaker at the same time a "normal" cable. And be fair. Compare the couple of hundred dollar cables with something like 12AWG copper cables with standard gold plated contacts - I guess that is called "nothing fancy" in audiophile terms.

And after all those test compare the notes. Did all listeners think Test 3 was the best? And did Test 3 use those super cables? Or did some think test 4 was so much better which were the cheapest cables? And did all those expert listeners recognize when nothing was changed? I.e. Test 5 and Test 6 without any changes. Did they all write: "it's exactly the same" or did some or all listeners hear lots of differences?

Personally I don't know what the result of those listening tests would be. Maybe some experts would hear consistently a difference and maybe they could clearly point out when the super duper cable was used and when the normal cable was used.

Let's do that test! Then all of us should be happy and see results from human listeners. That would be a way to convince the EE engineers that there is a difference. And maybe that will motivate those EE engineers to develop new tests so that they can measure what the experts hear. Wouldn't that be great?

I don't see any reason against such a blind test, except maybe Covid. I guess all those people who swear they can hear the differences will be delighted to show off their golden ears. And just in case they are not able to show that then I am sure they will have some interesting explanations why in this specific case they couldn't do what they can easily do at home with their system.

Just do it!


sarora9

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #35 on: 27 Feb 2021, 01:23 am »
Edgar, I did do such tests with my wife who is not an audio geek by any means but has good ears. She was able to consistently spot the better cable. It was not subtle at all; the trumpet sounded way more real with one compared to the other. I could too. (The worse one was Kimber 8tc.)

That's what the other people on the thread are saying: once your equipment is good enough you hear such differences.

Also helps to have a reference for how live music sounds, ideally unamplified music.   Choirs or symphony orchestras are great. There are 50-100 sources of sound on the stage and you actually hear different parts because they are spatially separated.

Edgar77

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #36 on: 27 Feb 2021, 01:54 am »
@sarora9: Great that you and your wife are able to hear the difference. How long did it take? 10 minutes? An hour?
So why does Danny not exactly that? Listen to speakers with different cables and describe the differences.
And is it possible to hear that 100 USD cable with < 1000 USD speakers? And does that 500 USD cable let the 3000 USD speaker sound as good as a 10k USD speaker?

Most of us have limited resources. So if we buy a new system or new component then obviously it makes sense to think about if we should spend those extra dollars maybe on cables, connectors, or maybe amps and speakers?

I will soon buy brand new everything and until now Danny's NX-Oticas and the subs are on my wanted list. I haven't made up my mind about cables. Until now I think about something "simple". Maybe 12AWG copper cables with gold plated connectors. But I have an open mind. If I am convinced 500 USD extra for the cable makes a considerable difference then I will spend that money. But I have to be convinced. Antenna and coil tests don't do that.
And that lots of people think their new expensive gadget makes things so much better is also a well known effect. That is until they find another expensive gadget which makes their perfect system even better.

theater_lover

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #37 on: 27 Feb 2021, 03:19 am »
My issue isn't whether different cables can influence the sound... my issue is these bizarre arguments over science and tests.

This isn't string theory... if we just find the right "test" we will demonstrate the existence of a tachyon particle.

Why is it that the difference can not be measured by the exact same tools that determine design for all other aspects of audio design?

Why does this issue only occur in audiophile land?

Someone earlier made the analogy to tasting a difference between bourbons... chemically, those bourbons are not the same... a chemical analysis would show that.

I work in computer graphics.  Between my eyes and my training, I can "see" colors better than 99.99% of the population.  You know what "sees" better than me or any human?  High quality color sensors.

NASA just landed a rover on Mars that cost nearly 3 Billion dollars.  It has a microphone on it.  Do you think some of the best engineers and scientists in the world looked to audiophile speaker cable "tech" to make sure the signals were captured and transmitted accurately?

Sound is simply pressure changes.  Do you really think we don't have recording technology that is far more sensitive and accurate than the human ear?

The tweeter, the woofer, the cabinet, resonance, decay, sensitivity, resistance, on and on and on... all tested with common and trusted tools... but somehow speaker cables are a different animal.

The logic makes no sense to me.



sarora9

Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #38 on: 27 Feb 2021, 03:28 am »
Edgar, the difference is apparent within seconds.  As I said, it is not subtle.

Change from stock power cords to DIY VH Audio power cord (total cost under $200) on the Dac, same thing. The difference is immediately clear.

Buying good speakers would be a great start indeed. 

Most cable manufacturers offer 30 day return privilege (you pay return shipping).  So it is $25-30 for a 30-day "rental." Just trust your own ears. Danny can't decide what is "good enough" for you.

System: Bricasti M1SE Dac + streamer ->Folsom 7293 Amp -> Spatial X3.




mlundy57

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Re: Videos about Audiophile Cable
« Reply #39 on: 27 Feb 2021, 03:51 am »
Why does this issue only occur in audiophile land?

It doesn't just occur in audiophile land. It occurs with all types of sensory perception for example it occurs in food science & technology and research published in journals such as the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Maybe some of the differences stem from a lack of knowledge that the field of sensory research exists, a lack of understanding about the field of sensory research, a bias against "soft" sciences like psychology, or some combination of these.