Can you hear the difference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chu Gai, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I ran across this from Usenet and offer it for your consideration. Perhaps you will dismiss it, perhaps it will cause you to think. I'm sure the conditions of the test weren't ideal, but perhaps they're much like our own listening environments in that we too have limitations.
     
  2. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Chu,
    One day you are going to make me regret my Kimber Kable.
    Did I ever mention they are a pretty blue![​IMG]
     
  3. Jay_Leonard

    Jay_Leonard Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool,

    Just one more example of... no matter who you are or what you like to listen to, trust your own ears if you cannot hear the difference don't spend the money...


    Next year they should try some 22 Guage zip running under a carpet with a couch leg sitting on it.

    Just for my own edification do you know what the sample size was?

    J
     
  4. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    yes, absolutely without doubt, blidly, unequavocally, yes.

    can only prove it so many times to myself by trying out different cables and getting quite different sound. hard to pick better/worse, but for sure different. the better/worse scenario for me involves some tradeoffs between the cables.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I can tell the difference between your blue Kimber and my clear Sound King...also that funny braided one using Cat5...I know there are differences [​IMG] But you know Phil, there's no reason a mass produced wire can't be made that measures better electrically and at price points that make their purchase a no brainer. To me, what i see are attempts at product differentiation using 'perceived' value. It's like that ridiculously priced oxygenated water that doesn't do squat for you but its perceived as being better. No doubt there'll be similar camps set up with this water but a little basic chemistry and some common sense will indicate just what's going on there.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    John, if you tell me a little about your present setup, I'll give you my 'opinion' as to what's going on. If I'm correct your running something like Martin Logans with soemthing or other. If so I've some thoughts that I'd like to bounce off of you and it may well lead to something good on your end. Your call. PM if you'd like.
    Jay, I'm not sure as to the sample size of the rooms but I'm sure it could be found out. These are I believe small conference rooms that are set up so I'd hazzard to say it was probably around 50 or so people per room. The tape I think is still available. Don't know the cost.
    In such an environment of course that means there were issues with most not sitting in the sweet spot. But the cable companies don't tell you that there is only one optimum spot nor do they give a rat's ass about your room and any acoustic deficiencies it may have. I've found, rather informally, that they'll quote you a wire that runs about 10-25% of the cost of your speakers+amplification. There also seems to be no particular rhyme nor reason when does something like substitute one speaker (say conventional drivers) with an approximately monetary equivalent in say electrostatics although to my mind, it seems the cost of the cable goes up. My hypothesis on that is they make an assumption that people who spend on electrostatics and similar brands are more prone to buy into hype. Only a hypothesis though, nothing more. Don't you think putting speaker wire under carpeting would make it sound muffled? [​IMG]
     
  7. Jay_Leonard

    Jay_Leonard Stunt Coordinator

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    I have some quality "reference" speaker wire in my basement left over from my dorm room days. It has been "enhanced" and "impregnated" with sound enhanceing emolients including but not limited too THC, Pizza grease, Fermented Hops, and Burned tobbaco, the Idea is to place resistance on the amplifier much like back pressure from a muffler, this wire will make the best speakers sound just like the ones you had in 78'!

    By sample size I was just wondering how many people were involved so that the difference would in fact be statistically relevant.

    One other note... When we talk about differences in amplifiers, wire, and to a lesser extent speakers, most of the time the differences are below the audible threashold created by environmental conditions. eg traffic, house noise, bad accoustics, poor set up, bad input (poorly mixed albums or tv, old recordings, tape eek,)

    Cool thread,

    Peace,

    J
     
  8. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Chu,

    Not only do I bi-wire, I am also starting to Bi-amp. What guage wire would you reccomend to send to the tweeter section and what to the woofer section of the speakers. As you know I do like Kimber products. The cost however is quite high to accomplish what I am thinking I want too, which is to release any muffled or hidden signals to the speakers
    from the amps.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'd suggest you contact your speaker manufacturer Mr. Mays as they, having manufactured whatever it is that you own, would be in a position to offer you a suggestion that has no doubt been tested, seeing that they've outfitted your speaker with the ability to be biamped/biwired. In lieu of that I'd use 12 gauge for biamping however if you're actively biamping, the gauge of the wire will be the least of your concerns. Seeing as you've those Kimbers though, I'd use those so as not to put them to waste.
     
  10. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay,
     
  11. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    I think that article just goes to prove my point further. DBT is not an effective tool to determine subtle differences in audio components. The test is being used out of context. And while many like to flaunt the results of these so called tests as some sort of proof, what's really being offered up, is nothing.
     
  12. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Chu,

    My speakers are Martin Logan reQuest (4' panel, 12" woofer), 100 watt HK amp, adcom GCD700 player, 3802 as pre-amp. I'd love to hear any ideas you have about speaker wire for these picky beasts.

    Heck just last night I move the speakers about one inch and it changed the soundstage.
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Chu,

    I can definitely hear differences between cables.

    We have conducted so many tests in the studio that the question literally seems absurd. We can hear differences between members of the same family and can hear various differences in soundstaging, dynamics, highs, mids, lows, tonality.

    Every component in the recording chain simply matters.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you're confusing recording in the studio with listening in the home and extrapolating experiences from one and applying it somewhere else. nonetheless Lee, I didn't fabricate what I posted above, and you could probably get a hold of the tape if you want. so what happened back at this AES meeting? a conspiracy? Noel seemed to be pretty good at ducking stuff. Were the listeners not skilled enough or did they probably represent most people who owned systems of one sort or another? Something that many thought was going to happen didn't.

    John...give me a bit of time to think about it, in the meantime i'll be looking for an online manual and other information...what kind of lengths are you running for wire and out of curiousity, what's behind the speakers?
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You're quite right Lee, there's a dearth of information missing. I most certainly would've wanted to know the identity of the wires. As you're well aware, I would want to investigate wires that spanned the LCR, phase angle, etc. limits. Now that's wires, and not circuits, right?
    I think they threw Crown in because of people's perceptions of Crown's as being not audiophile. As you and I, and anyone else who's ever attended any sort of conference room presentation on anything, conditions are highly variable. Nonetheless, it 'appears' from the recount of the events, that three things were going to be happening.
    1) level matching
    2) listener was unaware of the item being played
    3) switching was done manually.
    The removal of biases, and of subtle cues is not always such an easy thing to do. This is why, when testing people for alleged paranormal ability, it is prudent to bring in a person who's had experience in magic so as to ensure there really is a level playing field. Scientists can be duped just like any other person.
    I don't share Mark's view of DBT's and suspect it's based upon a minunderstanding. My way of using DBT's is to implement it in a 'triangle test'. The tests are of course randomized and there will always be one cable that is different from the other two. The objective is quite simple: pick the different one. Not looking for preferences, just different. One could always incorporate a 2nd question where the listener could state better/worse in addition to their pick. I encourage the concept of listener training, of being familiar with the music source...all that. Yes wires are being made differently 14 years later and it would be good to revisit and I dare say if we're both alive 15 years from now, people will still say...wires have evolved a lot.
    In the course of our discussions, head butting, mutual digs I can only hope that when/if our cable evaluation comes to pass you and I will have tried together to come up with something that covers as many bases as we could. BTW, if it turned out we found no differences, I would expect the two of us to sit down over a very frosty microbrew and figure out what we could do differently to make the test more discriminating.
    If you have a link or two regarding the context of Vanderkooy's position, I'd be most inclined to read it.
    Mark: I'm still waiting for that Doctor you mentioned some time back that thought DBT's were suspect.
     
  17. Jay_Leonard

    Jay_Leonard Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu, Lee,

    My only plea here is that for the VAST majority of installations the difference is . . .

    1 Uncontrollable in nature; meaning that, acknowledging that there is a difference between cords/wires only gets you to the point of deciding which is better for the appropriate application. And there is little in the way of arguable conventional wisdom to that end.

    2, Even if you could show benefit that was controllable the difference would still fall below the noise (other affect) threshold for most applications. Heating systems, planes, A/C,Dishwashers, kids, dogs, transformers, wind, rain,

    3, The difference is much smaller than many other controllable factors that often times are not taken advantage of. Speaker position, choice of speaker, room configuration/ acoustics, Source material (tape cd vinyl)

    So IF we rebuild the house with an acoustic engineer/architect and eliminate all of these other factors. We might gain some benefit from different wires. but we would still want to listen to that old ELO album, and the radio.
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I like the quaintness of albums, the little ticks and pops, they comfort me...the glow of tubes in the evening on a cold night. Nostalgia is sweet, truly [​IMG]
     
  19. Jay_Leonard

    Jay_Leonard Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you have any marshmellows?

    A number of years ago I went to a mans home. He had a TV room with a large direct view TV and a professionally installed Bose (eek)surround system. He was very excited to show all of this off to me, and I was impressed in general with the installation. UNTIL he turned it on.

    He was playing a CD and the sound was all out of phase, I waited for him to leave the room and looked at the back of the amplifier. Both the fronts and the rears were hooked up to the same speaker outputs.

    I never said a thing, He was thrilled with what he had and there was no purpose served in my changing any of that.


    J
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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