The Care and Design of High End Cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Friends,
    There has been much debate on the quality and value add of high end cables. I strongly believe that many members of the forum underestimate the care and design of what goes into the manufacture of good high end cable. I found a link to an interesting interview with George Cardas I would like to share that will help illuminate some of how different designs and manufacture can help improve how one's stereo system sounds...
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...&threadid=9240
    [​IMG] Enjoy!
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Yes, I'm sure Cardas puts out a fine cable and unless he has his own wire weaving machine may very well have had to pay a premium to have the cable constructed. You and I have already been through much of what's said in there. His 'fibonnaci' series of combining cable diameters, what he calls Golden Q, I've already shown deviate from being a true series, suggesting his wire is obtained from one of the players in this industry such as Madison or NE Wire (last I heard NE Wire makes Transparent's stuff). Frankly I'm not surprised that George isn't a proponent of silver seeing as how he can charge what he does for copper but perhaps his manufacturing costs are high. Haven't seen his books so I don't know.
    My impression of the interview was that it was a fluff piece extraordinaire with jude literally fawning. Kind of like seeing Clinton being interviewed after the Monica thing and the interviewer asking tough questions like, "so how's Chelsea doing in college" or "so what does your dog like to eat?" I'd like to think the questions weren't already handed to jude, but its hard not to. Rather apropos that its in a place where DBT is verbotten. God forbid that should ever happen.
    I certainly hope that George lends you some cables so that we can put them up against Soundking. BTW, in the thread I had called "can you hear it", please pass it on to Cardas. Perhaps when there's another one of those listening sessions, george can provide the cables and assist in optimizing the overall setup prior to a blind setup.
     
  3. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Let me first say I have ALWAYS [​IMG] enjoyed reading both Lee and Chu's posts. I find them both entertaining and educational from what a "layman" can pick up. Sometimes the source material is so complicated for me that I end up "skimming" and not catching everything.
    I thought it was interesting that Mr. Cardas does not find silver cables a better conductor than copper.
    This question is for both Lee & Chu (and whoever else). What is your opinion on silver. I have STONGLY considered getting some from Homegrown Audio to try with speakers on the high range side.
    Perhaps I'm a fool with a little money to play with (until the wife catches on [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] )
    Please try to "enlighten" me. [​IMG]
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well it's not that he doesn't find silver a better conductor, it is that he attributes certain characteristics to silver. As a conductor silver is ~6% better than copper, and from strictly a cross sectional area point of view, that improvement in conductivity is more than negated by going up one gauge.
    Phil I never put one off when they want to experiment, its just that my means of experimentation differ from many. Now I take it you're looking at biwiring and are looking to play around with top end. I'm a bit leery of Homegrown's statement that they're actually buying raw refined silver and doing what they say, but that's another story. Don't forget you can only return Homegrown's stuff if it has been terminated by them. The precut wire, well you bought it. I don't know what their return policy is and if there's any restocking fees. Need to check on that so that you can properly assess the financial impact. It's no surprise that they've invested in braiding machines for wires considering what it costs to have a custom braid done and the quantities needed in order to have a place set up to do it. Someday, if you've nothing to do, check out Madison and come up with something arbitrary (or just copy a braid like Cardas' for example) and ask for an RFQ.
    You may want to compare their prices and return policies to this place
    If instead, you'd like to experiment with silver coated copper, then this place may provide some choices at reasonable prices. Keep in mind as you're running a gauge that's only made up of one single wire, you give up quite a bit in flexibility.
    I'm sure there are other places you can search for wire. Ebay also comes to mind.
    As far as what do I think about what you're doing? Knock yourself out and do a good thorough evaluation. Apply a little statistics. See what you get.
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I have come to appreciate silver interconnects having done numerous listening tests between my copper cats and silver cats which use the same connectors but different wire. IMO I prefer silver but to each his own. Cardas has made some interesting developments in the audio world and his golden ratio paper on HT room design was well worth reading.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    yes, i enjoyed the room paper also.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I showed you the numbers for the gauges used previously and contrasted that with what a fibonacci series would be. They were different. I'm sure George would say they're close enough. I guess if we round off enough then we can say 1.00=1.49 ... fuzzy math does seem to be popular.
    Perhaps our mutual interpretation of manufactured differs. If you're thinking he's got some factory that processes copper ingot and has it extruded, i seriously doubt it. If you're thinking that he spec's out his wire needs and has spools sent to him where it's then woven and further processed in the way of covering shielding, all that...well maybe we sort of agree. Or maybe he just has most of the work subcontracted out and spools sent to him where people slap on terminations (a reaonably likely scenario...cost effective and all that). Hey look, would you call the guy who slaps siding on a house a builder? Take a look at this link and examine the pictures...doesn't look to me like those spools were all made there does it.
    I believe it was in the July, 1999 Stereophile that Cardas said he can identify a cd with green paint on the edges through his TV speakers no less.
    Now I understand that you're a proponent of Cardas'. You've likely met him and found him to be charming...down home, folksy. You use his products, they work, you may even use the some of the same components that he does and wire them with the same stuff George does. You say good things about him, George knows it, you enjoy the relationship...maybe even exchange cards around the holidays.
    My take, and in the spirit of political correctness, I'll offer it up as IMHO, is the following. Cardas tells the truth up to a point. The casual reader may well be aware of these truths. They coincide with his/her own actual knowledge and experiences. Now that the hook is set, the reeling in starts and George moves off into the region of outer space. Starts talking about things that likely have no bearing or a trivial one as applied to audio...skin effects, stranding methodology, what the materials are made from, special connectors, teeny tiny resonances. Cardas, again IMHO, is thinking out loud and sharing these thoughts with you, with me, and most certainly with the press. He's sharing these thoughts, these amazing theories, for fun and for profit and bamboozling the public. He's moved from the realm of science into pseudo science. Now if one made a serious attempt at quantify, put a number on these claims he purports to be audible they turn out to have such vanishingly low levels of energy that they are less, way less, than the Brownian movement of the air around us. To me, these techniques are found in a variety of 'technical presentations' used by con-artists: copper bracelets, homeopathic preparations involving infinite dilution, sucking energy from the air, razor blades that last forever in special pyramidal structures, unique water that does amazing things, spoon bending, etc. Tell a little bit of truth and then blast off. Show the people how far ahead you are of everyone...of every scientist, beyond the AES, beyond Nobel winners in every field, and throw in the usual...well science can't measure everything.
    IMHO George Cardas is intelligent. He has wide knowledge in several area often intertwined with something to do with the area of sound reproduction. However if you contrast what I've just said, with what's on his website, the Clintonesque type stories, with what he's said in Stereophile and in other publications I can only come to one of two possible conclusions.
    He really believes what he's saying, the practical reduction of which is Cardas believes in magic.
    He knows what the real deal is and is selling quite creatively.
    Now for my John Edwardian look into the future of Cardas...George will find that this single crystal phenomena is being talked about with increasing regularity to the detriment of his profits. He will incorporate this type of wire in a more novel stranding arrangement but state his has been specially formulated to render in lower overall single crystals than anything out there. Perhaps he will invoke fractal geometry. Alas this is not enough and likely he will look to reduce the roughness of the cable in a way yet not clear. I'm seeing various things...I'm seeing a D...possibly Drawing the cable against a Diamond to reduce surface imperfections and make it smoother. There will be claims that cannot be verified about the importance of the surface of the wire. I also see new connectors likely also made of single crystal copper with either an improved rhodium plating or a method to actually use gold.
    It's all about product differentiation and in his case one must suspend many of one's beliefs and start believing that the dog really ate the homework.
    This is my take on the company Lee, not upon you. I truly look forward one day to meeting you where we can talk about things that really matter with maybe a slight digression into audio. Over several very very cold beers on tap though [​IMG]
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  11. Jay_Leonard

    Jay_Leonard Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Chu,

    You may be right about the cable but I have not had to switch razor blades since we remodeleld the house in the shape of a piramid.

    you can't just go around trashin peoples beliefs like that.

    :)

    J
     

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