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Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by John Meringolo, Feb 22, 2003.
Do you believe it's possible that B&K builds electronics to specific price point's? If you feel the they build their products with a *cost no object* design philosophy, you may be mistaken. Its all about economics. If you don't have the scratch to lay down for the good stuff, enjoy what you have. But don't scream and yell that your Onkyo didn't sound any better with your friends $99.00 power cord in your mom's apartment.
Correct Shane. I just want to add one thing to the discussion. It's not only our gear, but also your surroundings that differ. In my case I suffered from a large amount of RF interference. After I installed my DIY shielded Lapp cables the difference was day and night. It's possible that another person in a completely different situation isn't able to hear the difference because: - His hearing isn't trained to pick up the differences - He is using low end electronics where differences are much harder to hear. - His situation is ideal: there is for instance no RF interference whatsoever. To the people who are sceptical I just want to say. Just try it. Ask your dealer to loan you a power cable for instance. If you can't hear/or don't find the improvement worth the money return the cable. Finally it's common knowledge that higher quality electronics are more critical and therefore will show the most improvement. Best regards, Armand
Shane: Regarding your statement...If I owned a sub $1k home theater system, I wouldn't buy aftermarket powercords either...as you were responding to my post, for the record, my main HT system set me back $20,000 and is comprised of: B&K Reference 50 pre/peo, Sherbourn 7/2100 amplifier, Mitsubishi WS65907 RPTV, IScan Pro line doubler, Dish network DSS system, Yamaha DVD player, Mitsubishi SVHS recorder, Dunlavy SC-1AV speakers across the front, Axiom QS8's for the rear, and thats not counting the outfitting of my dedicated HT room that with treatments and decor set me back thousands more. Also, as I mentioned I did purchase upgraded, high cost cables, for all components. And I really don't see myself as a HI FI person but a midfi person. Also, my Peavey tube amp with speaker cabinet set me back about $1K, my Fender BassMan head with 4x12 cabinet easily over $1,500, my amps for my acoustic insturments a few thousand more, so I believe that I have, at least, made a modest investment in amps and electronic equipment. And let's not forget my NAD T-752 that is the heart of my dedicated music room and my Yamaha RX-V2095 that powers my HT in my bedroom complete with Infinity Overture 2's for mains, Axiom VP-150 center channel and Infinity RS3's for the rear effects. Then there's the old Technics amp that powers the Infinity RS4's that is in my wife's office and then the Mitsubishi 50" NTSC set thats in the spare bedroom and the Toshiba 36" set that is in the HT bedroom I mentioned earlier. You might also include the 8 channel mixer I use for my music recording and while not really HT, my investment in my 6 guitars, led by my Gibson Les Paul 56 flametop set me back about $20K just for them. And every piece of this equipment has had some sort of major upgrade to its cables. No difference. And responding to Armand's quote of... - His hearing isn't trained to pick up the differences I respond with my earlier post: Some would say that there is something wrong with my ears. Maybe there is. I won't rule out the possibility. But I can pick out each individual instrument in any piece of work, regardless of the genre, and tell you the pitch, key, parameter, and clearly define its timber and what it brings to the whole composition. Also, if it is a guitar, keyboard, flute, or harp, I can play the piece with very little practice time. I have been playing for 34+ years and despite studying music composition in the last few years, played the greater part of those 34+ years completly by "ear". So I trust my ears - He is using low end electronics where differences are much harder to hear. See this post. - His situation is ideal: there is for instance no RF interference whatsoever. I have had most of this equipment in 2 seperate homes. I am not saying that upgraded cables do not make a difference. I am only saying that they did not make a difference to ME. But saying that this is because my system is sub $1K or that my ears aren't trained is just not an accurate statement.
Albert, I wasn't saying that in your situation the points I mentioned are the case. I was talking in general. I am very curious to get to the truth why some people don't and others like myself do experience improvements.
Armand: I understood that! I was just trying to provide some specific information as to what equipment I have and what I have tried, while forming my opinion. By the way, you might find this curious. Over the years I upgraded my cables and cords every time I purchased a new piece of electronic equipment and believed it made a difference (except for the infamous 60 cycle hum associated with the single pole pickups in my Fender strat and the lipstick pickups on my old Danelectro) I was a believer that my investment was sound and I was the receipient of a much better sound. Well, I moved a few years ago from Colorado to NC and the movers lost my box of cables, which I packed seperatly so they would all be together in one place. I knew they would find them, eventually, but as I wanted to use my systems in the meantime, I went to radio shack and Sears a purchased some inexpensive cables as something to get me by while Graebal looked for the lost ones. I couldn't tell the difference. I was astounded. When they finally found them, I switched them back and forth to see if I could tell the difference, and found that I could not. I had my wife do it and not tell me which ones she was changing, same thing. I know this is not scientific, but it was a test, and I failed. To this date I now make sure that the quality of construction is OK, but as far as buying expensive, boutique, cables, I just don't believe it makes any difference. But thats just to ME. I can not speak for anybody else. I believe that when I upgraded to those cables, I heard a difference because I expected to. But when I got the chance to actually hear them compared to inexpensive AR cables, in reality there was none. My ears? Perhaps, but given my "ear" for music and my musical ability to hear music differently than all my friends, I just don't think that's the issue. Again this is just my opinion and my own conclusions as they related to me and my experiences. But IMO my inability to hear the difference is not with my equipment or my ears!
That's strange. I even did some a/b-ing with a Harman Kardon Dvd player. A friend of mine and I have the same model. His at the time had the standard PC and mine a DIY powercord installed. He could hear the difference immediately. I double checked it with my mother who is far from experienced in listening and she also immediately preffered the player with the DIY PC. They also came to the same conclusions. The soundstage, detail, lowlevel improved. Also they found the upgraded player to be smoother sounding. For the record this was a blind test with both players running the same cd's and dvd's at once.
level matched at the speaker terminals?
No not level matched at the speaker terminals. Though using the exact cables of course. Calibrated with an SPL meter.
well I'm sure you're generally familiar with the importance of level matching accurately and while the attempts using an SPL are admirable, it's just not accurate. the idea of course, is to ensure that the reason for a preference aren't solely due to a volume mismatch, and that means using a test tone and ensuring both channels are balanced.
I know. But this is the same with DD vs. DTS. You don't get more details, smoother sound, better highs etc. by differences in level only. I agree with you that it is not as accurate as it can be, but it's good enough to hear differences. Further I have had this player for two years now and know the software by heart. I have a good memory how my system sounded before. The improvement was not small but huge in my case.
your approach is good enough to create differences not to resolve them. as to how people perceive differences in level when they're unaware that's what it is, you'd be surprised at the things people come up with. look at it this way, your approach is like taking a thermometer with 10 degree divisions and trying to determine if someone has a slightly elevated temperature. as to what any circuitry modifications may've done to your unit, I've no idea. I don't recall seeing any before/after measurements involving things like FR, distortion, etc. in any link. what you can do is download either a test tone or pink noise and burn a few minutes worth on a CD. Then simply take a multimeter and check the signals at the speaker terminals while the CD is being played through each CD. i am assuming that the only thing different is the CD player and the rest of the equipment hasn't changed. If the differences are as substantial as you say, then this approach should allow you to reliably determine which player is playing. So enlist the aid of some friends, get some beer, and have some fun. Make sure though, that the person whose making the judgement calls doesn't know which CD player is in fact playing. Blindfolds work pretty good if you can't block off the CD players.
Thanks for your insight. I already did a blind test with two exactly the same players. I blindfolded the panel on my denon AVC-A1SR to be sure my friend and mother couldn't see what input source had been selected. I will take your advice and test again in future.
Here is my input, my background is I'm an electrical engineer and I deal with power distribution in data centers. Changing the power cord on your equipment shouldn't affect the performance of the equipment unless there is some extreme circumstance. If the power cord heats up from pulling excessive current it could contribute to extra heat around the equipment, thus a heavier gauge cord would help. If there is excessive noise the power cord can act as an antenna, therefore shortening the cord would help as well as a shielded power cord. Under normal circumstances the power cord will not affect the performance of any given equipment given quality connections. A better investment would be a line conditioner and surge protector. The conditioner filters any noise in the power line from other equipment and the surge protector levels off the surges in the power line, also extending the life of your equipment. As for hospital grade receptacles, you won’t find them cheap, we pay over $10 per and we are an OEM. Again your not going to see better performance to the connected equipment, but it will be safer in a high oxygen enviroment.
Agreed. In my case PC are very close to interlinks and ls cables. This very likely has a negative effect on the total soundquality. There are several steps to be made in future. Be it filtering, line conditioning or even replacing al the cables in my electrical system and perhaps adding two new groups (video and audio). Replacing the total electrical system is quite expensive. Maybe I will start with filtering or even better line conditioning.
You've a healthy curiousity Armand and I respect the fact that you'll be looking at the whole thing critically. I trust you understand that I was simply pointing out some deficiencies in the procedure and not outright dismissing your findings. The pursuit of legitimate knowledge is one of thoroughness and rigorousness. After all, our conclusions are dependent upon how soundly we build our foundations. If you do have some friends though, it'd be interesting to have them also participate in the process. Best wishes