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Another shot across the bow of AV wiring making a difference.


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#1 of 16 Chris

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Posted March 05 2008 - 03:03 AM

Audiophiles can't tell the difference between Monster Cable and coat hangers - Engadget

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Still, our belief is one thing -- cold hard proof is another, and it looks like a group of 12 self-professed "audiophiles" recently couldn't tell the difference between Monster 1000 speaker cables and plain old coat hangers. Yeah, coat hangers. The group was A-Bing different cables, and unbeknownst to them, the engineer running the test swapped out a set of cables for coat hangers with soldered-on speaker connections. Not a single one was then able to tell the difference between the Monster Cable and the hangers, and all agreed that the hangers sounded excellent.

So, is part of everything the "perception" that something is better?
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#2 of 16 Paul Padilla

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Posted March 05 2008 - 03:31 AM

Most reasonable HT enthusiasts tend to agree that differences in speaker cabling are dubious. Analog interconnects including sub cables are another matter.
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#3 of 16 chuckg

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Posted March 05 2008 - 04:50 AM

It can be clearly shown that when a person spends more money on something, they percieve it as better.

That is great news for folks who make stuff and slap fancy labels on it, then sell it in boutiques for ungodly amounts of money. (oh, the names I could mention....)

But, the plain simple truth is that physics doesn't give a rat patootie how much you spent on your wiring.


SO--- if you want your stuff to sound better, just send me $1000 and I will burn incense and chant over the ashes for you. smirk.
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#4 of 16 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 05 2008 - 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Padilla
Most reasonable HT enthusiasts tend to agree that differences in speaker cabling are dubious. Analog interconnects including sub cables are another matter.

Funny, I've heard plenty of (self-described) "reasonable HT enthusiasts" argue (and argue, and argue, etc.) that speaker cables make an astronomical difference. They just don't happen to post in threads like this. They tend to post in the threads that feature the results from the latest double blind test on analog interconnects. Posted Image

#5 of 16 KurtEP

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Posted March 05 2008 - 08:17 AM

They get nine out of ten possible style points for using coat hangers. I would have given them ten out of ten had they used drain pipe.

Honestly, though, I think if wires and such could withstand actual blind testing, the dealers would do it without hesitation, since it would be so simple to actually do the tests in most cases.
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#6 of 16 Chris

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Posted March 05 2008 - 11:40 AM

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Funny, I've heard plenty of (self-described) "reasonable HT enthusiasts" argue (and argue, and argue, etc.) that speaker cables make an astronomical difference. They just don't happen to post in threads like this. They tend to

God bless Mike Knapp, but YEARS ago, about a decade plus, we had a fight on the Delphi forum that went so bad (before HTF moved to the web) that he called me at my house on a Sunday offering to send me some cables to prove me wrong Posted Image

So yes, I completely respect people who believe.. and I buy into the argument that it's a lot of style points above, because unshielded wire is not a good idea, but I also think spending tons on wiring is bunk Posted Image
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#7 of 16 RobertR

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Posted March 06 2008 - 07:22 AM

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God bless Mike Knapp, but YEARS ago, about a decade plus, we had a fight on the Delphi forum that went so bad (before HTF moved to the web) that he called me at my house on a Sunday offering to send me some cables to prove me wrong
I debated Mike, and finally got him to admit it's all in his head. Posted Image

#8 of 16 chuckg

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Posted March 07 2008 - 02:27 AM

psychoacoustics....not to be confused with psycho acoustics!
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#9 of 16 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 07 2008 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
I debated Mike, and finally got him to admit it's all in his head. Posted Image

Was it Mike who dipped his toe into the scientific pool by mentioning the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, saying that the mere presence of the double-blind test made the test inapplicable because the change in listening technique automatically changed the results? I seem to remember some sort of BS like that. I admit it's high quality BS; applying subatomic quantum mechanics principals to the audio cable war, but BS just the same. Posted Image

#10 of 16 Mike Knapp

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Posted March 07 2008 - 05:43 AM

Hi guys, not interested in another cable war but....

My belief is that the placebo effect has a great influence in this matter. In fact, it even satisfies several scientific criteria, including the ability to be predicted and to be reproduced.

If the argument were about whether wires have any physical property differences, then those can likely be measured. But that has never been the argument. The "war" (if you will) was always about whether the wires could alter the sound. (i.e. sound different).

Electrical property measuring tests that remove the actual hearing participant (the human) seem like they would be useless in an attempt to discover this answer. By removing the human from the equation, you remove half of the information needed to form a conclusion I would think.

We all know that merely showing the audiophile the type of wire being used will alter the sound to them, and so the question really has but one logical answer in my opinion. Wires can alter the sound unless you skew the test by eliminating an important constant...the ability of the audiophile to know which cable is in use.

Just because I admit that the sound variance may be influenced by properties other than those that are physical in nature does not mean that I think the sound (or perception) has not changed for the listener. There have been experiments with green ketchup that demonstrate it tastes different than the red variety (according to the participants who could see the ketchup), when there was actually no chemical difference between the two other than the tastless food coloring.

The human psyche has a very powerful influence on our reaction and indeed our physical being, and I believe it works in both directions. I think that those that claim the wire can make no difference in the sound are just as influenced by the placebo effect as those of the opposing view. In other words, it is my opinion that if you believe it cant, then it wont...If you believe it can, then it will.

If you are of the belief that your mind does not, or can not influence your perception and even your senses, then this is where we will just need to agree to disagree. My stereo sounds better (to me) in the dark. Why? Because I can focus on it better without that one sense (vision) being as active as it would be in a lighted room. Nothing physically changes except the light being on or off...but my perception of the sound changes.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe that it is neither all physical nor all psychological, but rather a combination of the two, and in varying proportions depending on the predisposition of the individual. But, I guess that could be said for most anything really. Posted Image

As for me, I use a good quality cable. You wont find any really cheap stuff in my rig, nor will you find any that costs more than the gear it is hooking together.

Everyone should buy whatever brings them the most listening pleasure, for whatever reason that may be. No justification needed.

Happy listening everyone.

Mike

#11 of 16 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:03 AM

Mike, if your music sounds better in the dark, isn't that negated by the benefits you lose from not being able to see the wires? Posted Image

#12 of 16 Mike Knapp

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:20 AM

Hahaha, I will do some experimenting and get back to you. Posted Image

By the way...

Quote:
the ability of the audiophile to know which cable is in use.

I never said they had to "see" the wires. Posted Image

Mike

#13 of 16 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Knapp
Hahaha, I will do some experimenting and get back to you. Posted Image

By the way...



I never said they had to "see" the wires. Posted Image

Mike

True. But if I were you, I'd take a quick glance before I turned off the lights, just to be sure. Posted Image

#14 of 16 Mike Knapp

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:31 AM

I might do that for a quick listening session, but for a really serious listening session I usually touch the wires for about 5 minutes prior to turning the lights off. Posted Image

Thanks for the laughs, I needed some today.!

Have a great weekend.

Mike

#15 of 16 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Knapp
I might do that for a quick listening session, but for a really serious listening session I usually touch the wires for about 5 minutes prior to turning the lights off. Posted Image

Thanks for the laughs, I needed some today.!

Have a great weekend.

Mike

You too Mike. Good to see you back every once in a while. We missed ya!

#16 of 16 DMD123

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Posted March 07 2008 - 07:36 AM

I use plastic coat hangers so the Monster worked better!


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