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Using multimeter to compare interconnects (Read 56048 times)
flargosa
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Using multimeter to compare interconnects
01/30/17 at 23:05:40
 
I decided to compare my two interconnects using a multimeter. One was $31(Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 ) the other was $200( product description says 99.9998% high quality low crystalline structure pure copper...with special stranded geometry).  Impedance for both measured about .2 ohms and to my ears it seems to sound identical.  Can you guys hear audible differences between your cheaper($30 - $50) and expensive wires($100 <)? Or do more expensive wires just provide better construction?
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Archie
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #1 - 01/31/17 at 00:02:30
 
You're opening a dangerous can of worms my friend!   Grin
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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JOMAN
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #2 - 01/31/17 at 01:19:48
 
Have to agree with Archie, but I can't resist...

I recently compared Decware Studio Grade IC's to the Silver Reference, I have both, could I hear a difference?  Absolutely, thats why I didn't return the Silver Ref. IC's.

I asked my wife if she could hear a difference, just to make sure that the Scotch was not affecting my hearing at the moment... and...

Yes, she could hear a difference, quite readily in fact.  She's not an audiophile, and unlike me, she's a rational down to earth person.

Hopefully the worms are still in the can.

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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #3 - 01/31/17 at 03:31:25
 
I think it's possible that our ears and brain are more sensitive than our current equipment used to measure audio and electricity.  That is why it's possible we hear what cannot be measured?

I don't want to open a can of worms either, I found this article about audio wires, still reading through it, maybe it's worth sharing.  It's by Roger Russel. Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh Labs, and the originator of
McIntosh Loudspeakers.  

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#introduction
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Jasondw1971
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #4 - 01/31/17 at 05:05:56
 
Every wire has its own signature sound to it.  There is a point of diminishing returns.  Would buying a $3000 pair of Cardas interconnects make my system sound amazing?  Absolutely not.  I use to use a lot of AQ wires, and could not really tell a difference between any of them.  It was only when I switched to Mapleshade wires and interconnects that I heard a noticeable difference.  I tried there digital interconnect and didn't like it.  Was it better than an AQ costing double, yes.  I liked the Kimber D60 better though.

Just because one wire has more or less resistance doesn't mean one is going to sound better than the other.  Same with power cords.  When I was low low-fi, I didn't hear any difference with power cords.  Not till I moved up to low/mid-fi was I able to hear the benefits of a decent power cord.

It all boils down to this, regardless of price.....how does it sound?  I don't care if this wire or that wire can transfer more signal/elec.......how does it sound.

My 2 cent's. Wink
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Archie
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #5 - 01/31/17 at 16:46:40
 
Quote:
I think it's possible that our ears and brain are more sensitive than our current equipment used to measure audio and electricity.  That is why it's possible we hear what cannot be measured?


The real issue about measurements may be whether a particular measurement is even relevant to what we are trying to establish.  There is an underlying assumption that a measurement is giving us relevant information.  You know what they say about assumptions?   Smiley  If what we hear is not born out by measurements or goes counter, than I would question the measurement and NOT what I hear.  THD assumptions are a good example of wrong use or mistaken use of "measurements."  (For those following the recent thread on that subject.)  That said, understanding the theory (assuming the theory is correct!) is important, as a foundation, when it comes to building a system.  But open mindedness and thinking outside of the box can be even more important.  There is nothing worse than being blinded by theory!  

Back to the point, although I heard a difference when I switched to the Decware silver interconnects from my Cu interconnects, I didn't' measure anything to see if the electrical properties were the same between the cables I was comparing.  I don't always hear a difference when I switch interconnects though.  Cost is generally NOT a good metric with which to make comparisons.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and I may say exactly the opposite some other time.   Cheesy
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #6 - 01/31/17 at 21:20:55
 
How many ways can audio cables cables be measured though?  What else can be measured besides impedance?  I think the article measured capacitance, but I don't know what that means, maybe stored energy causing coloration?  From that article, it is possible to measure impedance by frequency response.  So a colored cable will vary impedance when frequency is changed while a neutral cable will give a constant impedance, resulting in same volume regardless of the frequency.  The coloration characteristic is determine by a combination of material and physical geometry according to the article.  Ideally, I would guess most want uncolored cables meaning flat impedance from 20 hz to 20 khz, unless you want to EQ using cables then you want varying impedance throughout the frequency range.  
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Archie
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #7 - 02/01/17 at 01:14:43
 
I guess a possible experiment would be to get a bunch of same measuring cables together and listen to them.  If they all sound the same then measurements might work as a filtering tool.  I suspect that they wont though which makes measurements only a first pass tool.

I gather from what I read on this Forum that many or most are tuning with cables.  So, neutral is not always the goal.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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JOMAN
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #8 - 02/01/17 at 03:54:31
 
I think that is a very important thing to keep in mind... What is the goal?

It may be different for different individuals.  For many it's about reproducing music in ones own space.  Music is much more than sound, as important as sound is.

While we try to explain it in terms of sound, pitch, pace, rhythm, timing etc., to me music is an art form.  There are musicians/artists that are skilled, some very much so and then there are those that are gifted.

There are cables and components that sound very similar but the feeling is very different.  Both may be very pleasant to listen to but one is engaging the other is not.  Some cables/components can let the art through others cannot.  How does one measure for that?  

With all our senses.  

Recently I tried a Mullard CV593/GZ2 in place of my Philips 5R4GYS.  The biggest difference was in what I refer to as the "goose bump factor".  With the Mullard in place that factor increased to the point where it was starting to p@*s me off.  Kind of liked it, if that makes sense (no pun intended).

I may be wrong, but I doubt that there exists a device that can do what our bodies do.  So as Archie pointed out, "measurements are only a first pass tool".  
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #9 - 02/02/17 at 01:14:42
 
I can understand how some prefer to listen to music and EQ it the way they want it to sound a little more treble, bass, etc...  I try to get neutral equipment and hope the artist and sound engineer recorded it to sound engaging. This is how I ran into audio cables, lots of options out there, my question was what's the cheapest most transparent and uncolored cable there is.  Then I ran into Roger Russel's article.
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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JOMAN
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #10 - 02/02/17 at 02:57:16
 
I think that we're on the same page.  I also try for linearity and neutrality thinking that this is what is the key to getting music in my space.

However, the given is that the source and amplification equipment are also transparent or resolving otherwise a transparent cable will reveal what is upstream and then we are faced with figuring out is it the components or the cable.  That could lead to further needless buying of cables when the money should be spent on components.

Recently I changed my Dac to a ZDSD and also bought a CSP3.  I then added the Silver Reference IC's.  I did not change the amp, and yet the amp performed to a level that I did not think it was cable of.  The amp always was capable it's just that I did not give it what it needed to be at it's best.

Having said all that, like you, the less money I spend on cables the better.  So how much does one have to spend to be satisfied with the end result?

I tried the Studio Grade IC's.  These performed exactly as described.  IMO, a great deal for the money and for some all they will need.  But for me, not quite the ticket.  Not "exciting" enough.  Then tried the Silver Ref IC's - BINGO!

So for me, the cheapest most transparent IC is the Decware Silver Reference.  Is there better?  Don't know.  Maybe, probably.  But why should I pay more when I am this satisfied.  So for me all I need to spend is the price of the Silver Ref. IC's.

On the basis of the results of the Silver Refs, I now had enough information and confidence to try the Decware STYX speaker cables.  I keep an eye on the classified section and when a pair of STYX came up - no brainer.  Paid about half of new and they are probably burned in.  Super Forum Member to deal with.

So for one pair of Silver Ref. IC's (new) and one pair of STYX (pre owned) less than a grand!  In fact I have two pair of Silver Ref. IC's.  Some will spend many, many times more.  Is it necessary??  For me, NO, even if I had money to burn I would not spend more.

Hope this helps somewhat.




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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #11 - 02/02/17 at 05:26:54
 
I’m going by Roger Russel’s suggestion because I don't know any better and he was the Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh and also developed speakers for them.  From what he says, when it comes to sonic degredation all that matters is cable resistance.  Materials don’t make a difference as long as minimum resistance is meet, silver is only 5% more conductive than copper, so a copper cable would just have to increase it’s diameter a bit to equal silvers resistance.  Below is quote from Sound and Vision.  From what I have learnt, you can get to at least 99% transparency for $5 or less per ft of audio cable, add to that connectors and cost of labor.  So maybe $20 to $50 for a pair of 2 ft long rca cable.  It is probably all you need for zero sonic degradation or very close to it.  

Now if you want cable with built in EQ that will probably be more expensive, I would guess due to the right mix of materials needed to adjust impedance for targeted frequencies plus various other costly techniques.



 Sound & Vision (2001)

"Cheap Wire

Q. Would it be okay for me to use single conductor wire as speaker cables running through the attic or under the house? Does stranded wire provide some sonic benefit? It would be far cheaper and easier for me to run 12-gauge wire to a plate with banana receptacles and then use specialty cable at each end to patch to the amplifier and speakers. Jon Schwendig, Santa Clara, CA

A. There are a lot of myths about speaker wires, but in the end it's thickness that counts, and 12 gauge should be heavy enough for any reasonable domestic application. I've taken several comparative listening sessions over the years, and the sort of wire you want to use involves no sonic degradation that I (or anybody else in the tests) could hear. You could even wire the whole distance from amp to speakers using 12-gauge, but it would probably be more convenient to use something more flexible for the actual connection to components. Specialty audiophile cables would serve that purpose nicely, although more modest cables would work just as well."
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Palomino
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #12 - 02/03/17 at 15:05:02
 
Here is my .02 on the subject.  Maybe it will contribute to the development of your opinion.

I am one of the resident cheapskates here on the forum.  I make a lot of stuff (speaker wires, ICs, room treatments) for that reason.  I also make power cords but have found that at least in terms of "from the wall/power supply" to the amp, store-bought cords (PS Audio) are just better performing.

As I progressed in refining my system, I have reached the point where I can tell the difference between ICs, speaker cables, and digital coax cables.

Better/worse are relative terms but I can definitely hear differences.  I have done multiple A/B comparisons with others as they have come over and typically sonic differences between wires are easily heard.

Except for my PS Audio power cords and a Curious USB cable, I don't have any cable in my main system that cost more than $100.   But I can say that my system is relatively well tuned and achieves some synergy resulting in a pleasant musical experience.  The only high end cable that I lust for is a coax that ProggRob brought over one time.  That was over a grand and out of my budget.

In the end, for me, its all about experimenting with different cables and tuning with them to try and achieve synergy.  

My first set of ICs were Decware Silver reference and it is pretty hard to go wrong with those as a starting point.  I still have two pair and use them exclusively in one system and occasionally swap them into my main system - again as a tuning tool.  If I want detail, I go with the silver reference.  My DIY are more forgiving and musical with my current "bright" set of speakers.

I also have clones of Decware Styx that I made.  Again, hard to go wrong here as a starter set of cables.  I still use them in my system, but not going to my full range drivers.  They were a bit too bright for those drivers.  I found them to delivers punchiest clear bass going to my bass drivers in a bi-amp situation.

I prefer my Western Electric NOS 16g speaker wire for the full rangers as it is both forgiving and musical.  Used to be cheap and easy to find but not any longer.  Now Duelund has come out with a relatively inexpensive clone.

So my position on wires is this:  experiment to get the sound you want/like and you don't have to break the bank to do so.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Ann. Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, GR Research Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speakers
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #13 - 02/03/17 at 21:20:49
 

Quote:
The only high end cable that I lust for is a coax that ProggRob brought over one time.  That was over a grand and out of my budget.


IMHO - going through a network connection like the PS Audio Bridge, or network to USB via something like the MicroRendu pretty much eliminates the need for a $1000 coax or USB cable.  Granted, the MicroRendu also costs $700 new, and are so good they are unicorns on the used market...but my point is that I feel that network isolation really helps for all but that last link to your device. And we already know the Curious cable works well enough.  ;)
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Matchstikman
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #14 - 02/03/17 at 21:36:23
 
The MicroRendu is expensive.
Have you tried the Wyrd from SCHIIT?
http://schiit.com/products/wyrd
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #15 - 02/04/17 at 02:33:03
 
I can see how the Schitt Wyrd can help, but what does a $1k usb cable have over a $20 usb cable? As long as the 1's and 0's are transmitted isn't that all that matters with usb cables?
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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ProggRob
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #16 - 02/04/17 at 03:18:24
 
Microrendus are made even more expensive by the $1k+ power supplies recommended, though iFi makes one for $50.  Personally I'd love to hear one.  My Baetis server was way more than a gold plated Microrendu solution 3 years ago but now fetch under $1k on the used market...  digital moves so fast.  I'd  be willing to bet differences between USB cables are easily heard with a rendu, but it is a question of value.  If there are setups that have rendered expensive USB or coax obsolete, as Raven mentions, that would be special.  Hell, I'd be first in line.  But if you follow conventional wisdom, the better your stuff, the bigger difference cables make.  I think that is mostly true.
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Baetis Revolution II -> HFC CT-1E Digital Cable -> Denefrips Terminator -> Black Cat Setsuna XLR -> LTA Ultralinear Integrated -> Black Cat Setsuna SC -> Betsy Alnicos
Bass: 4x Hawthorne Augies w/ 2 Rythmik amps
Power: TWL 7+ and Digital, UberBUSS, Furutech Outl
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Jasondw1971
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #17 - 02/04/17 at 04:15:10
 
WOW!  Iv been busy this week and haven't had a chance to check some trends out.  This is not my trend, but thank you.  A lot of good info was posted.  It gave me some different ideas of looking at wires.  Thinks I was thinking/hearing but couldn't put a word/idea to.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #18 - 02/05/17 at 00:44:12
 

Quote:
I can see how the Schitt Wyrd can help, but what does a $1k usb cable have over a $20 usb cable? As long as the 1's and 0's are transmitted isn't that all that matters with usb cables?


That would be correct if you were sending data to a printer - but this is music, and with that you have no error correction, noise sensitivity, and timing of the bits (aka jitter or distortion).

I could go into that further, but I've hashed through it all before here and on other forums - and I barely understand the technical, but the concepts are easy enough.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #19 - 02/05/17 at 00:50:16
 
Quote:
But if you follow conventional wisdom, the better your stuff, the bigger difference cables make.  I think that is mostly true.


Agreed - which is why I try to mitigate that as best as possible. Using network to stream/buffer because data coming over the network does have error correction, and can isolate one device from another (or complete isolation via WiFi). Use Balanced cables since balanced rejects noise and irregularities better making the cable less important (and again can be galvonically isolated) , and dedicated power with good (low resistance) ground lines so the noise has someplace to go.
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #20 - 02/05/17 at 12:34:48
 
From my computer networks class I took a few years back.  We studied the usb protocol and from what I remember it has error correction.  That is why you will never get an off pixel when printing images via usb and that is why your external hard drive will always have a bit perfect copy of your computer files, unless of course your external drive is damage.  If you unplug your usb cable in the middle of a data transmission you will immediately get an error and the files interrupted are marked as damage or unreadable.  The only transfer protocols without error correction are non error sensitive transmissions like broadcast data or certain types of streaming formats.

About jitter, what I have read is that many of the newer dacs have some sort of jitter correction, for example some dacs reclock the data stream so jitter is not a problem.  Most articles say the issue with usb is power noise pollution and that is not something a usb cable can correct since it originates from the host controller.  It is still my understanding that a well made and properly shielded $20 usb cable should be identical to a $1k cable regardless of equipment.  If you guys have links to articles supporting advantages of more expensive($100<) usb/digital cable please post.  the more we know the better.
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #21 - 02/06/17 at 02:02:36
 
Really, beautiful musical presentation at home is about what we hear/feel from the technology, right? And what we "understand," and feel/perceive are typically quite different. So I would suggest the possibility of expanding your study with experiential explanations music and wire design, taking the scope of exploration beyond the limitations of ideas of "scientific" understanding...and of biased thought presented as static truth.

Measurement and theory are useful, capacitance and impedance, etc, useful for development, but our standard forms of measurement can't  touch the vast complexity of realistic music, live, or in the home!

Also, measurement of what natural music is made of tends to use borrowed technology created for other reasons, and tends to define relatively crude values of music.

Then these limited values can be used to create static beliefs, or as pointers to creative development. The good designers, like Decware and others, know that human perception is as much, or more important than limited tech, and have proven the faults of using tech alone. Consider the industry attachment to reducing measured distortion resulting in other unnatural, but less obvious obstructions to presentation of natural music...presenting a foundation for good tube amp development, the possibility for harmonic content similar to sound in life.

So good designers go further, using theory and measurement, but basing designs, as much or more, on what we hear. As a group, they have collectively taken audio beyond habitual measurement and technological biases. They agree that the human body, perception, and analytical function is potentially vastly more complex, fine-tuned, and able than our affordable corporate/economic-based measurement technology. The best designers can be technically intelligent AND feel/hear what can't be easily measured, while comparing real references of real sound as a foundation for developing perception skills and design.

Then, it requires a system/room using gear, treatments, etc, based on innovative musical design, to be revealing enough for us to hear subtle information. And equally, the one assembling the system/room (us) must be able to feel/hear subtle information, enabling us to figure out how to isolate and adjust impediment areas in order for the whole to be revealing and to convey natural sound more fully.  

In this context, assumptions that capacitance and impedance describes sound potential of cables is true, but are also highly limiting.

Also, there are many more areas of accepted tech to look at that contribute to cable sound, like the computer noise noise you point to passed through USB cables to the DAC, noise/distortions that can also corrupt data.

But the big one is the vast "yet to be known!" As I explore cables, it helps me to look at the reality of what electric energy is….Energy... fundamentally composed of sub atomic particles. And flows of sub-atomic particles, like a music signal, are are innately complex, and can be fragile. This presents lots of possibilities for distortions and truncations of natural energetic flows and associated effects.

Add to that the very real complexity as we put together all that we have discovered, creating potential issues beyond our current understanding. From years of exploring cable listening and making, I have experienced the following: signal/current pressure effects how a cable conveys sound, defining different needs for different flows of energy; vibration effects particle flow, as does damping or not; insulation/dialectics modify particle flow, imparting characteristic sound qualities; hard annealed and soft annealed wire of the same high purity metal, convey the particle flow and therefore sound differently; different metals, metal purities, methods of making it and resulting internal structure....all create sound differences; the size of the exact same wire effects signal density and power, bigger power and signal wires letting through more density, body and bass, over smaller ones; skin effect and smearing are factors in individual wires that are too big...One 10 gauge wire versus a cable of the same type and quality made of 6-18 gauge wires will sound different. And one 10 gauge cable made of the same wire with a blend of 20, 18, 16 and 14 will sound different from the 6-18# cable; the many varied frequencies of noise in the power lines and the atmosphere….RFI and EMF effect cable sound to various degrees, imposing noise/distortion into the flow of particles. These can be mitigated with different styles of twisting/geometry, by placement, shielding, filtering, grounding, each effecting the sound of the same cable differently; associated, different numbers of twists per foot changes the sound, and this changes with different wire types, wire size, and dielectric used. All different geometries can be heard in my experience.... parallel together or with space...or more often used, various twisting or helix patterns; air dialectic versus cotton, teflon and others all effect sound; damping with teflon tube or cotton....etc; my experience with ICs and power cables showed that ground wires bigger than the other wires can effect noise/distortion, density, warmth, power, and revelation; Cable ends and how they connect, along with resonance/vibration create differences; in my recent IC experiments, using different ground wires than signal wires, the different wires all can be heard, good or bad. And once the wires are established, many variations of cable geometry using the same wires can be heard; the same wire stranded versus solid, or litz configured create different sound; metal used on ends...bronze, pure copper, gold plated copper, Rhodium plated copper, they all create different sound, presenting very real and valid choices for cable sound, be it power, speaker, or ICs.…

It goes on, the point being, cable making by technological theory, AND empirical data (based on careful discernment of sound) is really the only way I know of to make the best cables for natural music.

We must be able to differentiate the subtleties of sound as it compares to real music in the air if we want our cables to help convey sound in a natural way that our "subconscious" can accept as real. It can seem real, but if it does not feel real on "subconscious," intuitive levels, it puts a tension in the experience...disturbing the possibility for a beautiful musical experience.

This is refined human perception and analysis, measuring aspects of sound beyond machines. As with the measurable distortion model making amps that appear right, but that feel wrong, excellent presentation of music is well beyond technical measurement.

After years of trying to get the better cables for the money, and beginning to need to move into more expensive territory, I gradually proved to myself that I can make cables as good or better than the great cables out there, and at a fraction of the cost. I learned from tech, and experiential research, and from personal experience.

I really liked MAC cables, Decware Sticks and Silver ICs, Grover and Reality ICs, Morrow and Synergistic Research speaker cables, Wireworld, DbAudioLabs, and Curious USB cables, PIAudio power cables, a PSAudio AC12....All really good for what they are and cost when bought wisely (some used). But I noticed my DIY cables competed well, so gradually dug deeper.

Now, after lots of experimentation, the only ready-made cables that are still in my systems, are the PSAudio AC12 in my second system, and the PiAudio power cables (modded with ends I liked better, and grounding the one that was made for my Tranquility DAC, repurposing it for my CSP3) and a Curious USB Regen connect in my main system.

Here are some examples of the learning: I got really lucky using good ideas of others, and adding common sense to make a great sounding USB cable, with separate ground and power wires, and the signal wires being twisted pure/soft silver in cotton, the ends gold plated... it is better sounding...quieter, more solid, more revealing than my other very good cables, including the Curious cable I use…I don't know all of the why, but I know what I hear.

My most recent speaker cables started with a single strand of WE 16 gauge wire sounding quite interesting, but too small here for a full and rich signal. From prior experience, this was not a surprise, the opposite being a single 8 gauge Decware wire being quite nice, but too big/bassy for me, always a challenge to balance in my system/room.

Also feeling lack of articulation in areas that were not uniform, wanting to check out the theory of skin effect and smearing, I tried a cheap but well thought out pure copper, multi-stranded 8 gauge cable. Everything was more solid and articulate, the bass tighter and better to me, but still too strong.

Later, exploring what smaller gauge cables would do, I got a Morrow SP4 on sale and on trial. I don’t recall the gauge, but it was visually much smaller than 8 gauge. After very long burnin (with the dielectric from 48 very small silver on copper wires) the amazing accuracy was compelling, no discernible smearing, but the cable was too lean. Talking with Mike Morrow, he offered me a pair of SP6, having 96 wires rather than 48, and the larger conglomerate gauge cable solved the problem...plenty of bass here without smearing, and small enough not to present the bass as too dominant. Same materials and method, but bigger gauge.

Some time later, the silver on copper hardness ended up being a little too challenging, so I started digging more, and ended up with a used pair of Synergistic Research Copper Elements. It sounded more real, clear, deep, revealing, textured, airy, and warmish/friendly than anything I had yet heard, but lacked a little bass bite in my system/room! It was time to make my own again.

Looking at Synergistic Research, PS Audio, Pangea, cables I had experienced, all used multiple wire types, sizes, and/or air dielectric. Wanting to use my under-sized WE wires took a direction.

Days and weeks of trying different wire combinations, including up to 3 strands of the NOS WE 16# together, the WE with silver on copper, and finally taking a cue from Synergistic Research, arriving at pure/soft silver and pure/soft copper, and tungston on copper, all three in over-sized teflon (air)...and after exploring many twisting configurations, my speaker cables sound notably better to me than the SR Elements they replaced.

Meanwhile, I could not get my new/demo PSAudio P5 regenerator to sound transparent enough. Needing voltage regulation, so unable to go with a more transparent conditioner, after trying a lot of things, in desperation I bought PSAudio AC12 cable at very good price. It helped, good, but not good enough. The P5 was still too colored for me.

So I used my experience from trying different wire types and cable ends over the years to make a power cable that would allow more transparency. I chose multi-strand/multi-gauge of silver-plated copper teflon wires, knowing this wire to be perhaps too revealing and open for speaker cables, but needing this openness for the P5 in theory; and experimenting for some time with wires of different gauges, finally, the 8 gauge conductor conglomerates twisted just so; with the ground conglomerates helixed around each conductor group; and well damped with cotton cloth; using Rhodium plated ends (also known to be very open/clean, sometimes to an extreme)….I got lucky, with much improved sound from the P5. I had made a power cable for that application better than one reported by many to be one of the best...

Later, I made copy of that power cord, wanting to explore using some MadScientist filtering pieces, more-or-less as he instructed me to do it from his experiments. I had to change the filter parts geometry a little, not having enough wire, but it worked well! Using the same wires and configuration used on the previous cable (other than the Madscientist parts) the difference between the two cables was notable. Similar in flavor, but the new cable was more powerful and clear in every respect….too much so in bass. So I pulled a 20 and a 16# wire from each group, reducing its gauge from 8 to 9. Now the bass was just "right" from how my P5 regenerator passed power to the rest! The previous cable was 8 gauge and good with the P5, indicated the effect of this filter setup increasing bass power.

Final example: My primary 3 IC pairs, after months of trying different configurations and wires, I use 2 types of 24# silver/gold teflon wire, and one of super pure silver/cotton for signal wires, with KLE silver ends. Having tried lots of wire types and sizes for grounds, two cables are ending up with very pure litz copper, and one with very pure stranded copper. With different gauges and geometry as determined by much trial and error, in order to best pull the best sound from the different signal wires, the finished ICs sound individually great, and notably different, each better in its own way. Amazing cables.

All the above explorations proved it is possible to get the best of many worlds in one cable with care and determination, and that (in a revealing system) everything…. the wires, gauges, ends, geometry, etc matters….

It also proved that good cables can appear esoteric if we want to try and understand the nuances of why this or that works. But practically speaking, using empirical data, with careful concept, quality materials, experimentation, and very careful listening, we can end up with world class cables that allow the music to sound real and beautiful.

Measurements, theory, conventional thought….these can all be useful. But with assumptions and biases based on them alone, the limitations can become chains, holding us back. Though perhaps believable, “proven” science is born of the past, and in an ever transformative universe, our understanding of complex systems is clearly less-than complete. Luckily, those who remain creative discover new territory... new areas to understand.

Finally, all the belief in the world in static theory cannot change the Reality of what we can hear. And if we can get there in ways that science may not have caught up with yet, we have at least remained true to the nature of creative reality. True science is a study of Reality, not the determinant of it.

At the moment, for sophisticated musical presentation....representing real music in as real a way as possible, as perceived from all levels of perception and consciousness, it clearly takes more than science and theory...It also takes advanced human perception and analysis, driven by intelligent, confident exploration.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #22 - 02/06/17 at 03:52:32
 
I nominate Will as the Bill Bellichick of the Decware forum.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #23 - 02/06/17 at 03:53:55
 
Except more verbose.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #24 - 02/06/17 at 04:46:55
 
Quote:
The only transfer protocols without error correction are non error sensitive transmissions like broadcast data or certain types of streaming formats.


You mean like....USB Audio which uses isochronous mode without data correction?  Again, this isn't a printer.

Quote:
About jitter, what I have read is that many of the newer dacs have some sort of jitter correction, for example some dacs reclock the data stream so jitter is not a problem.


"Jitter is not a problem" -   So these reclockers make jitter 100% perfect? That would mean a $20 Chinese jitter corrector makes perfect square waves, just like the $1000 ones?

Quote:
It is still my understanding that a well made and properly shielded $20 usb cable should be identical to a $1k cable regardless of equipment.


Again, if we were talking about printing, I'd agree with that 100%. In fact, those decent $20 cables are often closer to the true USB spec than most fancy $100+ cables! (which is disheartening).

See, because we're dealing with timing along with those bits, then the accuracy of the start of that square wave is important. If you can make a higher end cable that is impedance perfect (high speed USB spec is only +/- 10% !!), well shielded, better separates the data from the power, all that results in less reflections/ghosting, bending of the square waves leading edge, and less noise...all that translates into less work for the USB receiver IC (or regenerator/reclocker). No matter how good your receiver IC or regenerator is, if the timing of the square waves are off, then the reclocker is just going to go with what it thinks is right and reclock the bit accordingly...basically baking that distortion (jitter) into the reclocking and passing it on.

What people keep forgetting, is that we're dealing with timing of the bits. It's not just if the bit is on or off, it's *when* it's on that makes the music sound like music (or more analog).  

So while I'm skeptical of $1000 cables, I do see why there is a need for cables that meet and exceed USB spec.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #25 - 02/06/17 at 05:06:02
 
Id like to make one comment that I feel is relevant, and will be my final 2 cents worth...

At one point, as I was auditioning a stereo system, the sales representative offered this advice, "John, stop listening to the sound and start listening to the music".

The real importance of this hit home, rather hard, as I was watching Dame Evelyn Glennie perform - She was incredible, she was and is DEAF!  It was then that I fully realized that music was about much more than sound.

Dame Evelyn Glennie is not alone.  How about Ludwig van Beethoven. Bob Hilterman, Ed Chevy and Steve Lango - the first all deaf band - Beethoven's Nightmare.

Then there's Janine Roebuck who, as she was losing her ability to hear was, reportedly told, by a professional in his or her field, "Sing while you can because you'll never have a career in music".  She ignored that advice and became an inspiration to others around her.

Music comes from the heart and soul and it does not come in the form of 1's and 0's or in the form inductance, capacitance and resistance.  It's not about CU or Ag cables. It's not about $$$.   All of the afore mentioned are a clumsy attempt to bring the heart and soul of gifted persons into our spaces.

Yes, measurements can be of some use.  But they are not the final determining factor, regardless of who may claim they are.  To accept measurements as the final determining factor is to trivialize the gift of music, in my opinion.  Hence "the dangerous can of worms".

As a someone who knew once said to me "stop listening to sound and start listening to music".
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #26 - 02/06/17 at 05:29:20
 
Awesome, and well said!
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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #27 - 02/06/17 at 13:29:38
 
Rob said: Quote:
I nominate Will as the Bill Bellichick of the Decware forum.


Maybe just as well, but I have no idea who this is. Thinking a little about that, I had to laugh. I realized the last time I had lived with a TV was in 1973 when I left my parents house. Then, in the early 90s, we found bringing NPR news into our workshop daily was debilitating. Taking in the most spectacular woes of the whole world daily wore us down, making us less effective activists toward a safer, more humane world.

It is interesting how much we know, not listening to news regularly though...the word on the street and net if we need it, though we have never had good enough net to watch video. Bill Bellichick though...got me! Smiley
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #28 - 02/06/17 at 13:54:03
 
Will, you may not have a TV, but you do have the internet.  It is right there.  You do know about the Zombie apocalypse, right?  If not, I'd be careful when I step out the door.  Just sayin'...
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #29 - 02/06/17 at 13:56:56
 
Well, as I was watching the Super Bowl last night I felt it was a relatively common and timely reference, but nevertheless, he is the head coach of the New England Patriots and I feel (many would agree) that he is the greatest NFL coach of all time.  I went for it  ;)
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #30 - 02/06/17 at 15:46:06
 
JOMAN, it has been my experience and it is my opinion that most audiophiles are into the tech more than they are into the music.  Just my opinion.  At least it seems that way to me.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #31 - 02/06/17 at 16:11:36
 
Will,

Always enjoy reading your posts, as I read I was reminded of the modern philosopher Slavoj Zizek and his writings, paragraphs 4-6 of yours specifically.
He writes a lot of the relationship to the machine/mechanisms that form/deform how we see and understand/make sense of the world around us. I find his ideologies/philosophies or the relationships within them similar to how an individual hears/perceives music.

JD
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #32 - 02/06/17 at 16:22:31
 
Rob,

That is funny...I figured I was probably outrageously out of it relative to Bill Bellichick!

But it makes some sense I guess. Over time, my wife and I have focussed on learning to choose more and more what we use our limited energy on, and naturally, areas of concentration and priorities seem to have winnowed down more and more as we go.

What unnecessarily wastes life-force, what cultivates it, and what are effective areas to use it?

And life is wild and wooly at times, which can really help in this education of prioritizing energy use! About 20 years ago, I was severely altered in a car wreck, the neurological and stretched connective tissue/muscle issues remaining a pretty big impediment. Associated, many years of severe pain led to other health problems.

Up to that point, my life had developed in a way that required a strong, agile body...we lived in an inholding in the middle of a 6000 acre refuge of wilderness for 28 years, a mile from the closest neighbor, and an hour and twenty minutes from our main town.

We became so much a part of wild place, the local "wildlife" came around us pretty freely. Our "job" was making and teaching pottery, wood firing, kiln design and kiln making. Also serious Zen practice, running and helping run some Zendos. Playing music a lot; gardening; wood cutting; making and refining a micro-hydro power system when we wanted electricity...decent carpenters and plumbers not very accessible, we did all that... etc. It was an engulfing life that was all about creative practice....the cycle of exploration and discovery.

Not being able to do most of that anymore, after decades of pretty much everything in our life being interactive creative practices, the interesting thing to me was how creativity had even become cellular.

Moving out of relatively pure wilderness to get close to a town for easier quality food and healthcare, and pretty disabled, healing support became my life for the most part for several years, and necessarily remains a big deal.

The weird thing was, every morning in particular, I felt a sort of gnawing craving I could not identify at first. It felt similar to the cellular craving during the first several weeks after quitting tobacco. I finally figured out that even though I was still doing some creative things, the gnawing was a craving for more complete creative activity and involvement...it remained for several years as I recovered enough to begin to fill that need in new areas.

Now a healthcare practitioner myself, working mainly to help folks solve "incurable" problems, creativity is full again.

In the meantime, more fully activating my interest in realistic and beautiful music in the home was a brilliant salve...so Steve's saying about Decware being medicine for music lovers (can't remember the exact quote) this has been quite real for me.

Refining ways of hearing, feeling and interrelating in musical expression, it is just a really compelling area for creative practice for me. The more the musical experience becomes real, the more it can be used as a teacher. Simultaneously, the more the musical experience becomes real, if we are watching what does what and exploring, the better we can help it become realer!

After my last post, I had a look at Google and Bill Bellichick, and what a great story of creative dedication, focus and drive...Beautiful. Football has never been much of an interest to me, but I get why it can be, especially with games like yesterday! Amazing! What a nice reference!

Really nice. Thanks,

Will
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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #33 - 02/06/17 at 19:12:48
 
Thanks JD.

I guess I am on one of those thought rolls.

Seems to me music can be particularly pure reflection of the complex that makes up life. All things fundamentally composed of interrelating sub atomic particles, if music is not corrupted by bad electronics, instead, supported by electronics that are more harmonious with the real nature of music, it also can effectively be vibrational medicine...

And being an "accepted" place in culture for personal/individual exploration, it can be a great teacher, a vehicle for refining discernment and creative practice.

When we started to teach pottery workshops, we realized we had to learn to translate creative expression and activity from gut and heart, bringing subconscious and cellular experiential knowledge into words. And in doing so, we learned a lot about pots and firing ourselves...refining everything we perceived and expressed with deeper, more complete awareness.

This was a real eye opener for me, pointing to how easy it is to inadvertently miss out on our fuller potential.

But the crux is this: whether it is making pots, solving physics problems, walking the dog, cable design, system/room development... I have no doubt that creativity is a reflection of healthy nature.

Since transformative process is a primary activity of all things related to our Earth, and creation is an aspect of transformation, everything we are...our cells, organs, consciousness, are in a state of transformation/creation. Taken a little further, by consciously joining in healthy creative processes and practices, we can more closely align with natural rhythms of life, the process the old Taoist masters called Harmonizing.

But the coolest tool to me is practicing allowing creativity into everyday life...walking down the hall, washing the dishes, driving the car, writing a post...in creativity, we get more captivated by the activity we are doing, more a part of the moment.

And in the moment, our minds are not elsewhere...they are here, doing whatever we are doing as fully as we can. The thinking mind is settled enough to be helping with whatever we are doing, transforming conditioned lack of comfort with place and time into supporting the effort at hand. Finally this practice is just logical...little by little, by effectively learning to be comfortable with our nature, we can can enhance all our native abilities... intuition, wisdom, thinking, focus. More comfortable and awake, we do whatever we are doing better, making our lives more interesting, and effective.

I think originally, scientific process and tools are the same, springing from creative exploration, the thirst to explore and discover. With luck, this begins a cycle, that in a healthy state, is ever-developing in unfolding new information, each discovery adding to the known complex and creating a new place to begin exploration.

Whether it remains healthy or stagnates, seems pretty much dependent on whether we can accept innate transformative nature, or whether we resist it. Resistance to natural flows of nature, first of all is pretty futile. Literally, it is like trying to stop the sun from rising. But for some odd reason, we can resist in our body/minds.

In resistance though, we are out of balance. And out of balance, we tend to crave something to hold onto. This natural impulse is unfortunately easily corrupted in culture, mistaking resisting natural patterns with a delusional ability to control them. Then beliefs develop to support the delusion that we can control that which is in a constant state of change. Reality over-ruled, in attaching to ideas and beliefs, rather than exploring them, we believe we can make static that which can’t be made static.

This in my view illustrates why it is dangerous to development to attach too fully to what can be thought of as end-all static truths.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #34 - 02/06/17 at 23:42:53
 
I get what you’re saying.  Music is an art that probably should not be approached scientifically but rather with feeling and emotion.  Violin makers through experience past down from generation to generation picks the right spruce tree, dried and aged at the right season of the year, using layers upon layers of thousand year old varnish recipe or Piano makers harvesting wood at the right time of the year from one area of the country, aging the wood at exactly the right time and using only one guy to tune all their pianos.  That approach works great, if you are making musical instrument and this is probably were I differ in view from you guys.  Musical instruments should have its own musical character to convey emotionality, but audio equipment should not have a character, but rather must honestly reproduce music as accuracy as possible.  I want the musicians emotions and the musical instruments timbre to come through uncolored.

When I print a photo or painting, I want to use the whitest paper. Papers with shades of pink, blue, yellow are out.  I want the printout to be exactly what the artist painted.  Three years ago some pro calibrated my tv for neutral grey. He told me its color accuracy measures very well.  I remember  when my brother-in-law looked at my newly calibrated TV, he said the colors looked too dull and it wasn’t bright enough.  He uses his emotion to calibrate his TV, a little blue here, a little red there, brighter here, darker there, until he gets what he thinks is right.  Doesn't believe in the scientific approach of colorimiters.

For me, I want my audio system to be a white piece of paper.  It’s the musicians job to put his/her artistic vision and emotion into the music not my equipment.  I want to hear exactly what the musician intends. I don't want to hear my equipment. So anyway, that’s my view and I want it reasonably priced with decent science behind it.  Reason why I use Decware speakers and amps.  
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
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Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #35 - 02/07/17 at 01:05:19
 
I suspect most of us here are after revealing, transparent sound, sound not made harsh by bad parts, sound that reveals the intentions of the musician...your theoretically constructed white sheet. And it is all too complex to do anything like calibrating a monitor, so we mix and match the best we can to get what sounds and feels like music. Many of us measure our rooms and adjust accordingly, yet our complex systems will inevitably sound different anyway.

The fact is that nothing is perfectly transparent in audio. Everything worth trying is a talented designer's interpretation of the best representation of music within defined economic parameters. The proof is that every good designer's gear sounds different from everyone else's. Decware "voicing" is not a "white sheet," it is Steve's interpretation of the best balance of transparency and musicality. Taking this further, every amp Steve makes sounds different, as do all the Decware speakers, so can yours be truly "white sheets?"

Put a system in one room, then another, you change the sound. In any room, even with careful setup and room treatment, reflections and room modes change the sound. Use untreated, dirty power with a voltage that is variable (about all commercial power as far as I know) and the sound changes. One volt up of down changes Decware amp sound. Noise from the air, house lines, transformers, neighbors house effecting transformer noise, the variable distortions change sound differently. Then you change the tubes a little to solve unnatural sound issues, you changed the sound. Change the cables, change the sound.

I built my cables to sound the most like real music as I could, with accurate frequency balance, and transparency without color or noise, and without harshness from bad materials and design.

But like amps and speakers, all good cables sound different, being different interpretations of what reality sounds like...and most makers try hard to create a true and uncolored sound for the most part. Again, that they all sound different, including each one of lines of cables built by the same maker, this is the proof that science, human interpretation, and economic considerations cannot represent reality consistently in the same way in audio.

Most forum members are after reasonable prices, and most, if not all, who have tried a standard USB cable, and compared them to ones made specifically to solve issues for audio, will tell you the standard one is no good. And if they have tried several made for audio, they will have a preference.

With computers and most DACs, the USB protocol (including shielding) is simply not enough for transparent audio. And all attempts to solve the problems are interpretations of transparency. USB noise cleaning and regeneration devices designed to solve computer noise before the DAC are many, most seemingly heavily tested with measurement, and they all sound different. And with the ones I have, different USB cables still effect the sound!

You can believe whatever you want, but you will never get the best, most accurate sound from your system by limiting your cables with rationales that naysayers proselytize. A power cable effects the power supply, which effects the signal path in Decware amps. And ICS and speaker cables are signal paths, and no different than wires, transformers, caps, connections, etc in your amp...all chosen for sound. Sound choices define "voicing."

Your Decware can only sound sound as good as the worst parts of the system/room allow it to. And the truth cannot be measured with the gear we have so far Wink
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #36 - 02/07/17 at 01:44:32
 
It seems like a lot of audio cable design is shrouded in mystery, high price and hard to follow science.  Maybe $1k audio cables does sound much much better than a well designed $30 cable and maybe Roger Russel is wrong.

How much overall improvement in transparency and detail would an average audio guy with $5k worth of audio equipment hear upgrading from a $30 cable(blue jean cable LC-1) to a $1k rca cable?  5%, 10%, 15%?
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Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #37 - 02/07/17 at 17:30:05
 
Flargosa,

I have some thoughts and ideas that could help...one being that there is a lot of potential in cables between 30 and 1000 dollars. Quite decent cables, especially used (and already burnt in!), could be gotten closer to the low end of that range than the high. But I can't write now. I will try to get back later today.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #38 - 02/07/17 at 18:39:59
 
Quote:
It seems like a lot of audio cable design is shrouded in mystery, high price and hard to follow science.  Maybe $1k audio cables does sound much much better than a well designed $30 cable and maybe Roger Russel is wrong.


There is so much BS and pseudo-science out there it's painful. And many of the skeptics are measuring the wrong things and damning good cables, which only muddies the waters.

Quote:
How much overall improvement in transparency and detail would an average audio guy with $5k worth of audio equipment hear upgrading from a $30 cable(blue jean cable LC-1) to a $1k rca cable?  5%, 10%, 15%?


I'm betting if people put $1000 towards *real* sound treatment, their existing gear would sound 50+% better (no hyperbole - I'm happy to prove it to people in the Chicagoland area). Once you sort out some direct-reflection and comb filtering issues, suddenly you can *really* hear your system and better hear differences in tubes and cables.

More and more I'm a student of *everything* matters.  Hell, I was skeptical of guitar amp builders who said they had to stop using typical 18awg wire they had been using for years because the manufacturer changed the insulation from one type of PVC to another type of insulation (all things being equal). They basically had to find different wire and re-voice the amps!  And when the math guys measure everything they can think of, the two wires measure the same, but sure enough, the amps sound slightly different, and the result is repeatable.

I read this story a long time ago about one of Eric Claptons favorite amps - he took it into a Fender custom shop to have it cloned by the experts so he wouldn't have to take his original vintage out on the road with him. They sourced exact NOS parts and built a perfect clone, but it just didn't sound right. Tried a few times from what I understand as everyone could hear it wasn't right. Finally they sourced some old pine from an old church, and built a new cabinet and suddenly they had the missing piece and the clone sounded right.

Everything matters - I think the key at our level is to figure out what is going to make the biggest impact and make that change. I would drop $200-$400 on diffusers in a hartbeat before I'd drop it on any cable.  To me that's a no-brainer. There are several free or inexpensive things you can do to your existing system to improve the sound long before you throw big money at cables and tubes. (assuming you aren't running radio shack RCAs and zipcord speaker wire and everything in your system is at least in spec and running properly)

Like what you ask?  I'd say #1 and #2 and #3 (again, assuming your system has no really weak links, but even with handycaps...).  #1 placement in your room. Location of Speakers and Seating position in the length and width of the room is HUGE.  #2 noise floor - the quieter you can get your listening environment the more detail and deeper you can here into your recordings #3 buy an $80 measurement microphone and download the free REW software and *measure* what your speakers and room are doing, and go back to #1 and #2 and tweak better.  

Oh yeah, and I'd easily add #4 and #5:  #4 find an impartial listening buddy and compare notes   #5 learn to listen and trust what your impressions are.
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maddog07
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #39 - 02/07/17 at 21:00:07
 
#6 don't over analyze everything - you'll drive yourself insane....
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #40 - 02/07/17 at 21:33:46
 
#7, wacky-tabacky does wonders.  Just sayin'....
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #41 - 02/07/17 at 22:46:00
 
Guys think about it.  Why do the top of the line speaker still use copper wires on its voicecoils? Speaker drivers have 30 to 120 ft of copper wire. That's a lot of copper to pollute the signal. Why do top of the line headphones ($4k to $20k+) still use copper wires on their voice coils? Why do really fancy crossovers still use plain copper wires?  What are the leads of audiophile resistors, capacitors made of? How about the electrical board traces on your fancy audio board? It’s all copper some are even aluminum.  What I think it says is copper is as good as it gets, otherwise PSB, Focal, Sennheiser and other companies would use something else.  If you look at the wirings used, there is no fancy geometry or hybrid mix of materials, it’s just plain copper.  From what I have read so far copper does not hold anything back if it is the right gauge.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #42 - 02/07/17 at 22:56:23
 
To be honest. lots of other metals are used. Silver is often used, it's costly, but it has characteristics that may make it better in an application than copper. For example. .. lots of silver wire in DECWARE items. Wink
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #43 - 02/07/17 at 23:14:10
 
I was reading up on parts materials for resistors and capacitors and I didn't see silver and from what I read, board electrical traces are plain copper.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #44 - 02/07/17 at 23:15:47
 
I have resistors with silver leads in use every day, and there's a lot more out there, and other uses of silver. Also lots of uses of copper with silver plating, gold, and other metals. I think your copper conclusion is not really supported sufficiently.
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Dave1210
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #45 - 02/08/17 at 01:07:37
 
Flargosa…

-Auditioning is imperative.

-Borrow cables from your friends, local audio shop, The Cable Co, TweekGeek (just a few options that come to mind, but there are many others)

-You could also make your own cables to try, as Will has done.

-Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone can tell you the % improvement you
are going to hear, in your room, with your system.

-With experimentation you will be able to form your own opinions through your own experiences.  Isn’t the journey half the fun with this hobby?

-I don’t necessarily think higher price equals better performance.  Even within the same price point, cables can sound very different.  

-I suggest picking a price point you are comfortable with and try to find cables that have very different design philosophies.  For example, Litz vs. Solid Core vs. Ribbon as a starting point.  

-But as Will eluded to, everything is important in cable design (just like it is in amp design or any other piece of equipment in the chain for that matter), so wire geometry is just one element of the holistic design of the product.

-Many of the folks on this forum have experience trying different cables.  Hearing and experiencing with your own ears trumps theory in this hobby any day.  It's good to be skeptical, but this is a fairly open minded forum, so...

-Go get some cables to try and Have Fun!  

I'll share a story of my own...

In my system, I have noticed big differences between Audience and JPS Lab cables.  They take very different design approaches.  

For example, Audience uses OHNO continuous cast copper. They don’t talk too much about the geometry, but they have gone on record saying that they are trying to reduce eddy currents as a key aspect of their cable design.  The Audience cables are very flexible.  

The 5 gauge JPS Lab cables on the other hand, were huge in comparison to the Audience cables, were extremely stiff, non-flexible, and made of Alumiloy (your guess is as good as mine as to what that is).

In my system, my room, my ears, the tonality, soundstage, bass/treble extension, pacing and detail, were very different between these cables. This is just one extreme example.  Both cables were are also noticeably different vs. the Anti-Cables I have and the Monster cables I started with...

There are many that were non-believers until they actually heard for themselves...I can think of a few stories with the Decware speaker cables...
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #46 - 02/08/17 at 08:42:14
 

Quote:
I was reading up on parts materials for resistors and capacitors and I didn't see silver and from what I read, board electrical traces are plain copper.


You seem pretty sure of yourself, but your vision is very narrowed.
If you did real, open minded research, you might find something.

Silver is the best conductive metal on Earth. This is because it has a single valence electron that has little resistance to move around.  

Unlike copper, the oxidization on silver is actually very conductive.

Silver is used in all sorts of higher end audiophile parts:

Binding Posts

http://www.cardas.com/parts_binding_posts.php


Speaker Wire

http://www.stereophile.com/cables/1006nordost/

Interconnects

https://www.decware.com/newsite/newdsr.htm  <--- Oh!

Power Cords

http://www.cabledyne.com/silver-power-cable.html

USB Cable

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGUSBAG

Speakers voice coils!!

http://www.lowtherloudspeakers.com/specfeat.html
http://www.velvetaudiohiend.com/page2.htm
http://www.audionote.co.uk/products/speakers/an-e_01.shtml
http://www.stereophile.com/reference/1106hot/



Let's talk parts.

Capacitors.

https://audio.jensencapacitors.com/products/cappatube/cap-pa-ag/

Resistors

http://www.hificollective.co.uk/components/audionote-2w-silver-tantalum-resistor...

Chassis Wire

http://www.cardas.com/chassis_wire.php

Fuses

http://www.stereophile.com/content/hifi-tuning-fuses

Hell, even silver solder.

http://www.wbt.de/english/products/a/Detailansicht/Artikel/silberloetzinn-1.html...

Here is one stop shopping for silver interconnects.

https://www.thecableco.com/category.aspx?cid=-1&mid=-1&criteria=silver



I'm betting your about to ask me...why isn't silver used *everywhere* if it's so damn good??

Well, I don't know...maybe because silver is $17.62 an oz and copper is only $2.66 an oz.

http://www.icmj.com/current-metal-prices.php


I'm not saying silver is a magical metal of audio - I'm just saying keep an open mind and do your research.

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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #47 - 02/08/17 at 13:53:28
 
I had to open my Schiit Bifrost to upgrade one of its plug in modules, all copper traces inside.  My current Dac, Chord 2Qute, no silver.  My current headphone Focal Elear, there are photos of its voice coil online, all copper, and it’s sold for $1k. My current speaker Decware ERRx, I had to replace the driver.  Copper wire inside. I’m certain its 30 to 100 ft of voice coil is all copper as well.  My current amp, Odyssey Startos Extreme all parts soldered to a board with copper electrical traces.  My tube amp SE84UFO2, well I don’t have a reason to open it, I would guess it will probably be mostly copper electrical traces and cables inside.  If it had silver it would probably make up a small percentage of its circuitry.  Try opening your current speakers, amp or dac, its electrical pathways will be 95% to 100% copper.  

There is certainly a market for Silver, but its customers are not your typical manufacturers who does a lot of testing, research and development.  To be honest I don’t know if there is truth to silver being superior to copper or special geometry letting more of the signal go through the cables.  I just don’t read enough supporting evidence out there and those who support expensive cables, I don’t understand their explanations.  I’m not looking for equipment which sounds good, I’m looking for equipment which is neutral. Without equipment to test the cables, I will never know if expensive cables lets more of the signal go through or simply adds its own coloration.  

What I understand is that copper is good enough for 99% of the companies out there and adding 2 ft of $1k silver cables will probably not do much to my mostly copper audio equipment with probably 50 to 100 ft of plain copper inside between the dac, amp and speakers.

This sounds like a Trump vs Clinton discussion. Both sides have opinions set in stone, no one moves. Probably best we move on to a different topic.
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Matchstikman
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #48 - 02/08/17 at 14:30:14
 
flargosa, I'm one of those guys that doesn't believe in the power of cables.  I have a bunch of higher end power cords, some Cardas and PS Audio cables, Signal cables, Pangea stuff, Audioquest, Blue Jean, and some Kimber loudspeaker cables.   Hoenstly, I can't tell the difference.  I've used cable from Radio Shack and it sounds as good to me as all the other stuff.

I've been told that it is the room or the power that keeps me from hearing the differences in cables.  Maybe that's where I'm at.  On my short list is a PS Audio P3.  However, I can almost predict, almost, that the P3 won't make a difference.

For me, different amps make a difference.  Different loudspeakers make a difference.  Proper placement makes a difference.  Good recordings make a difference.  I do believe in room treatments.  I've used Home Depot insulation bags that I covered in burlap for appearances, and threw in the corners, and they did tame the overblown bass.  I believe in that.

But cables, I'm not there.
Don't get me started on tubes.
Just 2 cents from a guy with tin ears.
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #49 - 02/08/17 at 14:52:43
 
Yes, room treatments is something I believe in as well.  Steve Deckert suggested some treatments for my living room, but when I brought it up to my wife she said NO!  Isolation transformers also seem to make sense and good value for the money so I'll probably be looking at that for my next upgrade.
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