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Using multimeter to compare interconnects (Read 56117 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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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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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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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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Matchstikman
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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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Lon
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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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Lon
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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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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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Matchstikman
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #50 - 02/08/17 at 14:58:28
 
I've read in Get Better Sound book that a real ficus tree or an artificial one that is tall enough to have leaves at your ear level do a great job as diffusers or wife-acceptable bass traps.  A few rugs here and there, and maybe a panel with some kind of art can do the job.  I've seen room with so much treatment that they resemble churches and are very cold in appearance.  I would never do that no matter how good the sound.

You just have to find the line.

I once had a bass trap that doubled as a lamp stand.  I wish I would have kept it.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #51 - 02/08/17 at 14:59:04
 
Everything matters but not equally to all. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but so is music. Please do not disparage or disregard if you haven't heard. Try some silver cabling then make a comparison/judgement. A good start might be to compare some Decware IC's with silver Xhadow terminations vs regular.
Just try to keep an open mind.

JD
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #52 - 02/08/17 at 19:03:16
 
I don't see why there is even any argument on this "silver vs copper" issue.  There can be an audible difference and to some it's much more than obvious.  I don't think this Forum is populated by liars.  If you can't hear a difference between cables then great!  Save money and get the least expensive cables available.  If you can hear it -- "I pity the fool!"   Cheesy  Down the rabbit hole you go.

Most manufactures build to a price point and LR's point is well taken.  Even with Steve's "cost no object design" he makes cost concessions.  I don't think anyone here is saying that silver is better than copper; just that it can offer a different sound signature and is more expensive.

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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #53 - 02/08/17 at 22:48:58
 
Flargosa

I started this post a few days ago, leaving it with some redundancy that is also agreement!

Wire - Do the research...many kinds of copper…different purities, crystal structure, dielectrics, stranded, litz, or solid. Also, lots of kinds of silver, and also all sounding different. Hard annealed silver can be hard sounding, while pure and soft, with good structure, can be pleasantly warm, but also with characteristic, uncolored clarity. 1% gold in silver is coming up, great to me...I like to blend wire types. Saying “copper” is copper, or “silver” is silver, is just not true.

Cables - With your revealing source, power not too bad, vibration relatively controlled, your Decware, a well implemented speaker/room setup, and decent cables...there is no doubt that different cables that measure well will sound different, and that some will make your music better.

Alternately, with notable weak links anywhere in the system/room, or with unfortunate limitations in perception and/or discernment, as stated, it is possible not hear a difference.

Sounds like your source, amp, speakers are good, leaving potential impediments to noise from power, cables, vibration, room and body/mind.

To get the most from a system, everything has to be as revealing and musical as everything else. Even the amp is not up to itself without a good power cable, fine-tuning tubes, likely some vibration control, and though not mandatory, a decent audio fuse.

This is not conceptual, or about belief. It is true that conceptual belief without experience is belief, not real. But for those of us who have revealing systems, personal experience proves cable quality effects the music. What we hear in experience is not conceptual belief.

If some of us can hear things more fully, the difference is that our system/room and body/mind will let us hear things.

Transparent neutrality is a big deal for a lot of us on this forum. Reading through this thread with an open mind shows this.

It is also a fact that every part of system and room contributes its "signature" to the whole, making system/rooms very complex and variable.

A system based entirely on measurement can easily miss what makes music...the right balance and complexity to begin with, and then correct reflections/absorption allowing detail complexity, harmonics, timbre...things that make recordings into authentic feeling music. Though you can do a lot to understand with measurements, for ultimate refinement we need the perception and discernment of the human body/mind.

Below is some of my story toward “neutrality” that is like music:

Always able to hear cables, wires, caps, resistors clearly in this room, it seems I have an exceptionally revealing room.

When I first got Decware, a SE342 and 944s, I went from hearing a lot to hearing a lot more, especially nuance, fine detail, liquidity, harmonics, spaciousness... But I had a good source, decent cables, and a decent room. The SE34 was not a bass powerhouse like the Torii though.

My room has great natural reflection dispersion, irregular plastered adobe walls that slope outward as they rise with virtually no plumb wall surfaces. Also there are angle and space changes, walls, alcoves, segues to other spaces; irregular round log beams; ceiling shifts; an irregular brick floor on sand, all helping reflection issues. Also lots of African sculptures all around; throw rugs in good places; rough wood herringbone ceilings with overlapped tar paper, loads of insulation, and fairly air-tight air space above. Lucky room in many ways.

The unconventional way I set my speakers also helps here, about 5 feet apart tweeter center to tweeter center, and toed out slightly.

Early on, the room being connected living/dining/kitchen areas, and because of design, not allowing much wall treatment, I got a Kemp Schumann Resonator and a used set of Synergistic Research Art Basik. Not night and day in some ways, but very helpful here. Adjusting the resonator changes spaciousness and clarity, one way, more tonal density, and one, more spacious, the middle best for refining music and sound stage here. It cleans up congestion, clarifying timbre, space and stage. Now with two, one on each side of my cabinet, I can fine-tune the soundstage some right to left.

Don’t know how Art Basik works either, but called resonators, I am guessing they reduce reflections and buildup by specific frequency area energy being absorbed and drained into the vibration of the bells. Sound-wise, they open and clarify the sound stage in my super wide living room, while refining authentic tone and resolving some bass resonance. Even now, after more conventional absorption and bass trap work, I can move the little Art Basik bells, finding the right location for solving whatever they solve best. Moving the bass unit slightly, helps resolve thickness, making low mids in particular more rich. Another bell, more for midrange, between the speakers near driver level, up or down a little can tune the mids to clearer or richer/deeper. Like the Schumann resonators, they help clear up congestion, thus consolidating and refining the player’s expression and stage. This is ancient stuff now, but helped complete the better parts of this space.

Then the Torii MKIII, things changed! Much more power, and the bass went from very occasional boom, to too often overwhelming, a serious problem with this room set up. So I built more serious bass traps, and put specifically arranged dense fiberglass and bubble wrap where I could in alcoves and corners; tuned the speakers to be tighter and less bassy; lots of tube refinement; and slowly integrated more and more relatively subtle EQ for the most part, except deeper cuts low down, toward a beautiful, revealing and balanced sound.

Though conceptually and effectively, in most areas a good natural room, and with good everything else, I had to adjust and tune a lot to get neutral sound.

Not perfect, but very beautiful, and beginning from an easier place in many ways than square/plumb sheetrock rooms with more intense tendencies to combing, buildup, and confusion.

This story is one example that great sound is not just about putting good gear in a room. And that tuning is inevitable, whether you measure or not. Interestingly, after I started rudimentary measurement, my EQ adjustments made by ear fit quite closely with the measurements.

But it is fragile. Anything can throw it off. Even with everything sounding great, with excess bass and mid bass, there could easily be masking of important fine detail and associated spacial cues, timbre, nuance, detail….etc limiting ability to hear subtle realities from recordings.

That said, with the gear you have, I have no doubt that if your power, vibration, and room are up to the rest, reflection/room-modes relatively controlled, you can get really good sound from this gear with less-than great cables.

The other side though...why continue the signal path from source to speakers in a potentially amazing 5K system with poor sounding cables? Even your 1000 figure for all your cables, not just one, with the right choices and care in shopping, this could at least approach the quality of the rest. At 15% of the total system, that is not bad economics to me. I think you could get really decent “starter” cable sound cheaper though, bought used, or if you are “handy!” Jeez, I could likely set you up with quite nice used ICs and speaker cables that were bought at good values.

Speaker cables and ICs are the signal path, and they are much longer than the wires inside the amp. So their qualities are that much more important relative to the quality of the wires in the amp if you hope not to degrade the amp, and associated, source and speakers. The longer the wires, the more electronic noise can effect them, as well as progressive and cumulative impact from lower quality metals, dielectrics, shielding, coverings, geometry, degrading the signal as it makes its way from source to speakers.

Power cables are equally important, potentially clarifying current to the amp power supply. If the power supply is receiving weak flow and noise, it will pass that to the signal path in most Decware amps. Bypassing caps in my Torii power supply was crazy good for reducing subtle noise, and thus leaving the signal more intact...less damaged.

For me the last 5-10 percent is worth as much or more than first 90-95. Solving the last impediments to beauty allows an already resolved signal/sound to blossom. The other side of the same coin, reduction of subtle distortions clarifies and empowers the signal, letting us hear what was masked by distortions.

You can work the more obvious percentages and get great sound, but it is very unlikely that it will be a truly “white sheet” without doing a lot with the last 5-10 percent. For me, the last bits bring it closer to sublime, magical, consuming etc.

These things are what better cables are about to me, as are cleaner power and vibration control...better signal integrity. Resolving slurring and distortion (ones you may not discern until they are gone), lessens damage to the signal, leaving more density without thickness, more clarity, more subtle detail and speed, better timbre, ambience...This is the big stuff to me, though not as obvious in measure of percentage.

Effective room and room treatment will definitely help us hear these things if they exist, but not create them. If it is not coming out of the speaker, the best treatment can't bring it out.

And everything has sonic tendencies! So we have subtle to not-so-subtle choices from relatively equal quality parts that solve signal transmission issues and noise. All good cables will present sound more clearly, but with various degrees of detail, neutrality, warmth, smoothness, complexity, richness, bassier, leaner….etc.

If the system/room is revealing, every thing we put in will adjust the whole. So not recognizing and utilizing “tuning,” be it room treatment or cables, is simply unrealistic. Balancing, if done carefully can “make the sheet whiter” in the most pleasant ways.

Like most here, the gradual path is easier, and can be better, learning as we go, our system/rooms improving at a pace we can absorb, helping us make better decisions as we improve our musical experience.

But, very important if solutions are the goal, if the system is hobbled to begin with, we may not hear cables or tubes much, causing us to believe they can’t be heard. So decent cables are a must if you want neutrality that sounds like recordings were intended.

As other have said, if you want to test beliefs, there are a number of good cable makers who are selling what they make at reasonable prices for the quality, including Decware. Most of the small operations allow a decent trial and return period. Or for big company cables, something I have never tried, there are many small and large sellers with good return policies.

Why not try some variety and see, or make some. But remember, it is definitely not all equal….some talked up stuff is not really that good...I for one can’t use the Pangea AC9 SE power cable...too colored for my setup...but that notable color could help some systems to be more neutral!@#$

Doing all we can in room is critical to real sound, potentially solving issues more difficult to solve with alternative treatments, gear, cables, tubes etc. If you can't use obvious tools, like LR said, speaker placement and toe arrangement is huge, speaker placement seriously effecting reflection/modes for better or worse.

With creative thought, often you can hide/integrate some traditional room treatment pretty well, and if that is not enough, there are alternatives to traditional absorption and diffusion, some of which helped here.

Finally, there are a lot of one-bone dogs out there...likely some of the ones who believe different wires don't matter, caught enough by ideology to rule out even listening to other options.

Probably will always be folks who dis things based on conceptual ideology, contempt, bias, etc, and their passion can make them convincing. But in denying effective things they don't get, often with no personal experience, this is self limiting, and also delusion making for those who believe them.

Remember the stories about Columbus being thought mad thinking the earth was round. If good reviews make something compelling, it fits budget, and can be tried cheaply or for free, in my experience, there are things that are hard to understand that really work...the bottom line for me.

Putting all the stories together we can create a more complete picture with general agreement...room is big, setup is big, source is big, amp is big, speakers are big, cables are big, power is big, vibration is big….everything effects everything.

OK...enough.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #54 - 02/11/17 at 00:07:12
 
I think there is common ground that can be reached between the objective and subjective camps on the “sound” of wire.  There are just some known aspects that are not being taken into account.  A wire's performance is governed by resistance, capacitance and inductance which define its impedance.  And potentially its susceptibility to EMI and RFI noise can affect the signal passing through it.  These are well understood parameters and accepted among the electrical engineering profession.  Nordost has another “spec” it throws around part of the time they call “Velocity of Propagation” which they express as a percent relative to the speed of light.  Do with this spec what you will – we are talking about an electrical signal traveling extremely short distances here – relative to the speed of light.
I think, perhaps, what at least contributes to a given cables ability to sound differently when used between different components, is the “reaction” of the cables impedance with the output impedance of the source and the input impedance of the target.  If you put a signal of a given frequency, of a given amplitude and a given phase into one end of a cable and get the same exact signal out the other end, you can sleep well at night knowing the cable is “accurate”.  It does not costs shameful amounts of $$ to get “accurate”, well made, cables.  If you will do a little studying, I think you will find/discover as you look at esoteric, boutique cables… they never publish any specs for them – because they are “passive” equalizers in a sense and they absolutely have “inaccurate” performance from an electrical engineering perspective.  And because of this, they absolutely do “flavor” the sound.  The degree of their sonic effect is dependent on their impedance characteristics and how they interact with the input and output impedances of the components “interconnected”.  You may “like” or not like the sonic effect they impart to the sound of your system.  This explains why there are so many people in the cable business, why all audiophiles differ in their opinions as to how a given “cable” sounds, and why everybody has their own preferences.  
Just my .02 cents on perspective and approach, but I “prefer” well made, accurate cables (which BTW do not  require second mortgages) and choose to spend my audio dollars on the components themselves.  It’s just not logical to me, to spend more money on a piece of insulated wire with a connector on each end that costs more than the components it’s connecting.  If you don’t like the sound of your components when connected with “accurate” wire, then get different components that you do like the sound of.

Take a look inside a Decware component… I have seen with my own eyes – Mogami shielded microphone cable in use.  This is an industry standard wire used throughout the recording industry for not only mics, but also patch cords and everything else.  So… it’s highly likely that the recorded music you listen to – passed through quite a bit of Mogami mic cable before it got to you.

Now… having said all this.  Over my last 35-40 years of chasing the audio holy grail, simply by experience(I have no formal electrical engineering education), I have come to discover that wire possessing similar physical and thus likely similar electrical characteristics if one were to measure, regardless of the “brand”, tend to have similar sonic personalities, connecting “most” components.  There are exceptions… there are always exceptions.  I have amassed a collection of cables based on their differing sonic personalities that I use “fine tune” with.  Some sound warmer, more relaxed.  Some sound brighter, more vivid, more forward.  Some tend to give a farther away presentation, etc.  I suspect… if I had the tools and the knowledge to fully measure each one and could then figure in the interaction of each with input/output impedances of connected components, that a “pattern” would reveal itself that would demonstrate why/how a given wire sounds the way it does.  
And let’s not forget the connectors..  I have been told, by people in the industry who are likely to know, that the connectors are more important than the wire itself.  And that this is especially true with RCA connectors, for which there is no industry standard governing their electrical parameters, and only "loosely defined" standards for their physical dimensions......  
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flargosa
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #55 - 02/11/17 at 16:41:52
 
Thanks for the detailed reply guys.  Yes, different materials no doubt change the sound signature.  What I am looking for is true transparency, meaning no sound signature changes from DAC to speaker or at least as little deviation from the original signal.  Honest to the source.

maybe a cheaper way of testing is using a rca extension adapter and extending my interconnect with more  expensive cables in my baseline system.  A transparent cable will keep the current sound signature and colored cable will change the baseline system's sound signature. This test should work because nothing in the control(baseline system) is changed, only one cable is added.

What I have found out so far is there is no difference between my LC-1($30) blue jeans cable and Black Dragon Moon audio cable($200), both sound equally excellent. One of these days I'll buy something more expensive and see if it adds coloration or keeps the sound signature.  

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will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #56 - 02/12/17 at 18:28:43
 
If one or both cables are new, you are not hearing them fully yet. Variable, but roughly it takes 100-200 hours for most ICs I have tried to begin to show their subtler qualities. With burnin, the dielectric/cable interaction sorts out, and associated, the wire signal path, and same with RCA ends. Before burnin in finished, they will be more rigid and less complex sounding, this part showing more obviously in the mids to highs. The bass also will become more complex, but more noticeable, focus, depth and clarity will refine with burnin.

Without burnin, you will not get the finer qualities the cable is capable of.

I don't doubt the possibility of cables sounding the same in a transparent and revealing system/room, but I have heard lots of ICs, (I think most 200 or less in cost or parts) and never heard two that sound alike. If they are burned in, and these two test cables sound the same to you, that is interesting.

As I mentioned earlier, I have done extensive IC testing lately using two different silver/gold signal wires and Absolute KLE RCA ends, considered by many to be the most transparent and revealing RCAs made (especially of the money...lately $100 on sale). I burned in all my stuff for quite a while (as well as burnin rigs can do it) before starting, and then gave them at least many days in the system before adjusting things.

The Neotech 24 gauge silver/gold and 24 Mundorf silver/gold sound quite different to begin with. And experimenting with different ground wires, both materials and gauge, both of these cables changed notably. And different geometries can be subtler in the big sound ways, but equally influence the ultimate sound of the cables. To get neutral transparency and beauty, and to best utilize the sounds from the different Silver/gold wires, I ended up with different ground wires, and different geometries for each of these cable pairs. And of course they sound different after completion, but are the best I could get from each. Part of the reason these changes were so clear, is that the wires and RCAs I used are some of the most transparent and revealing materials made for ICs. Bought with good prices on materials, each pair ended up costing less than your Moon cables and are world class.

I don't understand the extension idea. If you get things sorted out in your room and system, you should be able to hear RCA ends and different wires and geometries. In your pursuit of "transparency," an extension will impart its own "signature," altering to various degrees the transparency, color, quality of detail, etc of the signal beyond the extension.

At best, a seriously transparent and neutral extension adds parts for the signal to pass through, effecting it, influencing different cables beyond it. At worst, it will color and limit signal traits from the source to a greater degree, and you will not be able to hear all the new ICs have to offer. Whatever the extension imparts, whether shifting neutrality, transparency, masking or coloring, those qualities will change your test cables. Why not just try cables direct...hearing only the difference in ICs.

Also, if your speaker cables are limiting and colored, as well as potential power, vibration and room issues, if they don't mask things too much to hear changes, collectively these will influence your decisions as to how a cable adjusts your system to be more or less "transparent."

Wink
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #57 - 02/12/17 at 19:41:23
 
A truly transparent cable should not change the current sound signature of my system.  That is what I'm testing, that is why I'm not replacing one cable for another but rather adding to it. This keeps the controls the same and any changes to the sound can be attributed to one variable change, the cable.

What’s the idea behind cable burn-in?  Is there some scientific explanation behind it?  I read some discussions about it.

I can understand speakers needing break-in to loosen the spider and surrounding rubber.  Tubes needing some burn-in to get to a stable state.  How does a cable get better with use?  Does prolong  exposure to electrical signal change the conductive properties of copper or silver?
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Matchstikman
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #58 - 02/12/17 at 23:46:41
 
flagorsa, after reading about this for over a decade and possibly much more than that, and after using several, several cables I can tell you that cable burn-in is valid and cable burn-in is a myth.  Take a side and enjoy the music.  I've picked my side and I'm happy with it.  You'll be happy, too.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #59 - 02/12/17 at 23:49:46
 
Quote:
This keeps the controls the same and any changes to the sound can be attributed to one variable change, the cable.


And not the resistance or capacitance issues of adding unnecessary length or added connections? I'm getting the idea you're working on incorrect premises (again).
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #60 - 02/13/17 at 01:53:14
 
Quote:
A truly transparent cable should not change the current sound signature of my system.


This is true if a truly transparent cable actually existed. This statement proves that you either have not read posts on this thread with an open mind, or that those of us who's experience is different than the conclusions you have adopted (based on limited theory and experience) are delusional and/or liars.

Quote:
That is what I'm testing, that is why I'm not replacing one cable for another but rather adding to it. This keeps the controls the same and any changes to the sound can be attributed to one variable change, the cable.


If you want the most transparent test, with no extension the controls would also be the same, but more accurate....Eliminating the variable of the extra extension, the only variable would be different cables. Your DAC with nothing after it will definitely give the most transparent signal to whatever you test.

As I have said, there are no wires or cables that are purely transparent that I have heard, though there are many that approximate it. All wires and cables are influenced by the many flavors of metals, configurations of the metals, wire sizes, dielectrics, geometry, shielding, techflex on not, construction and materials of ends.....etc. That all the cables aspiring to being transparent sound different indicates that even subtle variations and combinations of what signals pass through have effects. And there are a lot of conceptual and scientific reasons for this, also pointed to in this thread.

Same with burnin. You can find explanations out there for burnin, so I am not going to use more of my time trying to explain another area you are likely not to believe.

But you could check it out. If your system/room is not hobbled with weak links, all you have to do is listen to a new amp, or DAC, or cable carefully over a couple hundred hours. If you don't hear a difference, you may as well stay with as cheap a cable as you believe fits your technical criteria, and not be concerned over getting the best sound you can get from your system.

So have fun! For those who are interested, collectively, a lot of us have already said much of what can be said about understanding, finding and hearing good cables. For many that will stimulate exploration. That is the cool thing about these discussions. Even resistance to the many subtle possibilities of experiential and scientific complexities can stimulate conversation that can be useful to others.

Good luck!

Will
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #61 - 02/13/17 at 02:48:27
 
These threads always amuse me as the debate over what is or is not better sound and how to achieve it.  It often gets stated to ask yourself what sounds good to you and go with that.  That is probably the best advice and the rest of what I contend may be way out of the ballpark.  

The basic thing is people hear differently.  I have not followed much on this forum in some time so maybe this topic has been covered but I will go forth anyway.  Some people have hearing impairments and some have hearing advantages.  Some prefer higher frequencies and some don't.  The subjective perception of sound may also be culturally, gender, and biologically influenced.  Without some baseline of personal preference to sound frequency and actual ability to perceive varying frequency and amplitude most of this debate is a mute point to me.

This cable discussion roughly parallels the talk about what speakers sound best. I have read where someone will say that speaker sounds tinny don't buy it.  Well that might be perfect for me because I cannot hear worth a damn about 9k and maybe this guy has dog ears.  So I say go with what sounds good to you with what you can afford which is usually the most common advice anyway.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #62 - 02/14/17 at 00:07:19
 
Lets end this thread with a quote from Roger Russell, Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh Laboratory.

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#bigpicture

"When confronted with the truth, believers do not want to hear about it. They want to remain in the magical world of fantasy where they think they can hear improvements in their wire, often arrived at by making listening tests without adequate controls or understanding of the problems involved including speaker impedance and amplifier stability. One of the prime tools in creating such a faith for the average consumer is by capitalizing on fear and ignorance as in many other things that aren’t readily apparent. There is fear that the wire currently in use is not good enough. There is ignorance because most people do not have scientific knowledge in this area and lack adequate measuring equipment to prove otherwise."



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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #63 - 02/14/17 at 00:30:47
 
As someone with an engineering/science background, I find that quote smug and arrogant in the extreme.  How many times has the end of knowledge been declared to be reached by experts?  Our science is fundamentally missing how the universe really works.  My sense is that about 99% of Decware gear wouldn't pass "measurement" standards for high fidelity status.   Huh

All I can say to those who think that only what we can measure exists -- Hold on to your hats because what's coming will blow your mind!   Cheesy
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #64 - 02/14/17 at 00:35:53
 
LOL Archie. I'm with you.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #65 - 02/14/17 at 01:27:00
 
Archie, that is interesting; a scientist that believes that there is more out there beyond what can be measured?  Do I have that right?

Me, I'm hoping that I'm long gone by that time that which will blow my mind shows up.  And, it will.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #66 - 02/14/17 at 02:02:40
 

Quote:
Archie, that is interesting; a scientist that believes that there is more out there beyond what can be measured?  Do I have that right?


No, I believe what he's saying is we still have a lot to learn about the universe - chances are, we don't know all the things to measure that matter!

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Matchstikman
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #67 - 02/14/17 at 02:23:48
 
Wow, deep sh*t.  I just want to listen to a few tunes in a nice way that creeps into the soul.  That's if we don't find out souls are non-existent.  Man, maybe I don't want to know.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #68 - 02/14/17 at 03:08:01
 
Another quote from a respectable company.

"Many high-priced cables are made with materials for which special claims of high performance are made. The most common among these are silver instead of or in addition to copper, "oxygen-free" copper, and Teflon.

it's perhaps helpful to point out that professional cables of the highest quality are routinely made without resort to any strange, exotic or expensive materials. If you look inside a typical audio or video production facility, you won't find it wired with silver-plated cables, oxygen-free copper cables, or (except, as we'll explain, in limited circumstances) Teflon-insulated cables. Broadcast studio engineers--people whose livelihood depends on the signal getting through with the lowest possible distortion and losses--rely on cables from companies like Belden and Canare, made with ordinary high-quality materials. People who spend millions of dollars on high-definition studio gear rely on these cables not because they're out to save a buck at the cost of quality, but because they are looking for the best possible product.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #69 - 02/14/17 at 03:36:23
 

Of course that makes sense - studios are in the business of making money. If a perfectly functional$20 copper cable get's you 95% (just random example/number - I'm not even saying silver is "better") of what a solid silver cable does; just using the cost of raw materials today (copper $2.79oz silver $17.84oz).  That same $20 cable in silver would be $120 X the hundreds of cables they use? That wouldn't make financial sense.

Being an audiophile is a recreational expense using disposable income, not a business.  So I'm sorry, that example is just another logical fallacy.

Again, I'm not even saying silver *is* better, I'm just calling bullshit on your logic.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #70 - 02/14/17 at 12:57:29
 
"People who spend millions of dollars on high-definition studio gear rely on these cables not because they're out to save a buck at the cost of quality, but because they are looking for the best possible product."

I am sure these cable decision were made based on product availability and interchangeability, workplace ruggedness, typical industry practices, and  budget constraints versus any kind of thought to non-production exotic materials that would drive up costs beyond recovery.  So no I don't buy that contention.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #71 - 02/14/17 at 14:16:06
 
Here is what I'm finding guys and I don't want to offend anyone.  I don't think copper is being used for cost savings. It is being used because it is as good as it gets.  Even the most expensive and one of the best sounding speakers use copper in it's voice coil.   I don't think the argument that silver is too costly for studios or highend audio devices is true.  Here is a pair of speakers costing $269,000 a pair.  Focal Grand Utopia EM.  They put in the best materials they know, and it's still copper.

Product Description:
“The Focal EM Electro-Magnet is made of a 15.4lb (7kg) copper coil. The motor including the coil weighs 48.5lb (22kg). The 16” reaches a total weight of 52.9lb (24kg).”

Source:
http://www.grande-utopia-em.com/en/technologies/em.php.

Here is what we can agree on. Various materials and geometries change the sound signature, that's a fact.  What we do not agree on is that plain copper is as transparent as it gets. So yes, lets end this discussion.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #72 - 02/14/17 at 14:18:10
 
Edited. I decided not to feed this argument.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #73 - 02/14/17 at 14:59:18
 
I now understand what an internet troll is, thank you flargosa.

JD
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #74 - 02/14/17 at 15:42:15
 
Good movie.

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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #75 - 02/14/17 at 17:35:47
 
Sorry, I've lost track of what exactly the question in this thread is.  I think it started out asking about cable measurements and hearing differences based on them.  The debate now seems to be either; whether or not different cable materials affect sound OR whether it makes sense to buy "boutique" cables at all?

If it is the former (Do materials affect sound?), than it's not a productive argument since, how can someone who hears something be convinced that they don't hear it and visa versa?  

The need to have everything quantifiable is a weakness since that will never be the case.  Imagine all our daily experiences that would be pure magic to even an 18th Century mind.  It's not much of a stretch to see that what would be magic to us will be commonplace to a 22nd Century person.

I've always thought that this Forum was about expanding our thoughts and ideas as opposed to being "frogs in wells" and thinking that all we see is the whole universe.  Prejudice is poison to investigative thought.  We all have underlying assumptions (prejudices) to everything we think and how we interpret experience.  The challenge is to not let our prejudices stand in the way of new understanding.

I'm being kind of preachy   Lips Sealed  but it is important to continue to question what we "know."
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #76 - 02/14/17 at 17:48:10
 
Well said Archie. And thanks for the saying.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #77 - 02/14/17 at 18:00:53
 
Archie & Lon,

Couldn't agree more!  That's why I stopped feeding this monster early on.  There's simply no point in doing this, I find that it just improves the bottom line of Advil or Tylenol, money that is better spent on... cables???
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #78 - 02/14/17 at 18:05:03
 
We have no need to prove to each other what is or isn't.
Audio is a personal experience and everyone has the right to pursue it in there way. I am older and have had several different systems and rooms and homes and all of them factored into what I noticed and what worked and did not. I have had several set ups that cables interconnects and other tweaks did not make much of a noticeable difference to me. My current system reveals everything I change. So I now can tell very easily, when I change tubes interconnects cables capacitors etc., what it does to my system. Music is organic and to me a living entity and responds to everything introduced. Lets remember that we love music that is why we are here and science is a tool to help but so are my ears and my emotional connection to how music makes me feel. Sometimes I change something and can't really explain it but it connects me to the music in a better way and I don't really care for an explanation and don't need to prove it to anyone. Now back to listening to the music not the equipment.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #79 - 02/14/17 at 18:24:45
 
(shrug) I just don't like logical fallacies.  But I'm being ignored, or thought to be proven incorrect with more logical fallacies based on assumed premises. Such as, because an expensive speaker uses copper voice coils, it's the *best*.

Completely not taking into account the science and engineering...like the fact that voice coils get hot and silver has a higher impedance rise than copper does when it gets hot, only making it suitable in certain situations. But what the hell does science matter, right?
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #80 - 02/14/17 at 18:28:10
 
SonicSeeker,

See my earlier post concerning just what you are talking about.  Since that post I've been listening to live music.

I've had the privilege of listening live to a number of Cuban groups.  WOW! Full of heart and soul.  Besides the beaches these were the highlight of the trip.  When you see people spontaneously and with gusto get up and dance you just know it's music.  I saw one lady pick up her infant son and just heartily danced with him, both with large smiles.

The brand of instruments never was a consideration.  No one cared - they were too engaged in the music.

Getting back I decided to see what was happening with this "discussion".  Popped a couple of Advil, responded, and now I'm going to enjoy 6 CD's I've picked up - Bolero, Salsa, Interpretive and Cuban Traditional.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #81 - 02/14/17 at 18:30:55
 

That sounds wonderful. I love live music, I just hate big crowds - so I usually catch artists at small venues. Hell, I'll stop and gawk at street performers and throw them a few duckets for their efforts.

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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #82 - 02/14/17 at 19:24:17
 
Sorry, I got going again in the midst of a number of good posts. But it is written, so here it is, a sort of summary of how I see this thread.

Flargosa. Intellectually acquired assumptions and theories are not true Knowledge. Anything approaching truth must be tested in experience. If it is learned "knowledge," it is not necessarily real, but rather "belief" in the observations and opinions of others.

True scientists knows there will always be more to learn. One "known" in science, is that as we develop knowledge, we only know what we know to date, each discovery widening the foundation from which to explore deeper information ...This in turn implies that absolute truth is suspect.

Alternately, if the parameters of the theory or testing are too narrow and biased, the information to begin to test is flawed, invalidating the test.

I don't think any references to wires and cables (except yours) in this thread were about what is best, more references that there are a lot of choices based upon differences defined by materials and designs. This gives body to the primary discussion, the question of science being up to human perception and analysis in defining subtleties of sound and how and why wires/cables effect it.

Your need to prove "copper" to be as good as it gets seems to be one driving force for your assumptions. I don't think this has been disputed per se, rather it is not necessarily the best depending on many variables, including the quality of the copper. That silver can be useful in many ways was presented mainly due to denial of its usefulness, not as better or worse.

Related, the stories on specific wires illustrate that all wires of any one metal type are not the same in sound, and that there are many variations in sound character from different metal types.

Another thread is that economics define much of what small developers and industries use, and that this can be different for audio lovers.

Another is that theory and biases expressed in the past, especially ones that are clearly stated by absolutists, are suspect for many reasons.

Alternately, beyond measurement and ideology, experiential knowledge, in concert with empirical theory, have defined most deep refinements in quality of audio revelation, especially over the last 30 years. The "information age" has vastly broadened the knowledge, and also allowed very small companies to find clients....Decware fits in both ways.

As a personal example, the cable making and mods I am doing have foundation in my experience and thoughts, with substantial help from experienced designers, and from searching the web, finding useful and innovative information from folks around the world.

Another example. The DAC I am modding has a strong foundation of information and methods for improvements from "lay" folk's with a deep thirst for beauty, and with experiential knowledge about the parts that are proving best to create beauty.

Refining what works best, it appears the DAC makers are likely taking advantage of this too. Apparently, this DAC is in a steady state of build change as better parts and design become apparent...probably based in part on what modders are finding and posting on the net.

This illustrates a different world than the relatively ancient and hyper-narrow views of absolutists of a few decades ago.

The fact is: Amps, DACs, cables, speakers, etc that truly excel, are all seriously listened to in their creation, taking innovative development beyond science.

This "fringe" development leads to profound potential in home audio less expensively... And many refinements have come pretty recently, taking forever to move out of tape and vinyl and into utilizing digital better. It is finally getting really good, and in the process, other parts, components, cables, etc, were refined to help solve digital issues, and later to help meet the demands of more affordable, excellent and revealing sources. Every year there are more revealing and real sound possibilities for more people.

Then, we all get to play with this amazing sound, and to learn and talk about what we learn, feeding the knowledge for home listeners and developers alike.

Most of this refined development is from innovative people who are on a personal quest for beautiful music. For guys like Steve, it is not just a job, but an artistic vocation. Like true scientists, these folks know from experience and exploration that there is always more to learn, and the primary way to get somewhere exceptional is to learn more broadly...to go beyond what is "known." And listening and experimenting is at the core.

Experiential awareness of wire, dielectric, shielding, noise etc... and how to work best with these various qualities and characters in amps, transformers, caps, resistors, tubes, etc, is more a result of creative process than science at this point.

The knowledge of the character of different materials is so widespread now, among those who care, that you don't really need to test good wire except by sound. Experienced people know what tends to do what. Then it is choices of economy and sound much more than science.

It is a different day than when the absolute statements and biases you have adopted were written. And of course we can stick with disbelief and mistrust as long as we choose, but in the end, not opening to new truths is self-defeating.

In this thread, no one said you have to have 1000 dollar ICs to sound good. No one said you have to have silver to sound good.

All but one have tried to help you look into a wider field of knowledge that could provide greater possibilities for your musical enjoyment.

So for the most part, this is your fight...no one else is trying to win as far as I can read, but rather trying to help open the doors to greater possibilities for beauty.

When most posters on the thread, through broad experience and personal knowledge, don't agree with the limitations of your assertions, does this not cause questions about these assertions to come up?

Absolute assertions based on the thoughts and words of others are not convincing anyone here, just frustrating those who are trying to help present the broader world of wire and cables.


If nothing else, trying to force these assertions on this forum makes little sense. If you are looking for people to support similar beliefs, they are out there....just look around.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #83 - 02/14/17 at 19:31:23
 
Lonely Raven,

Not much for crowds either.  Fortunately the crowds were made up of largely "mature" people and families.

I spoke with some of the musicians as well - icing on the cake.  I noticed that their instruments weren't the best of the best.  But it didn't stop them from making incredibly engaging music.

I didn't feel the need to question their credentials on the basis of the technology.  In view of the obvious that would have been incredibly ignorant on my part.

I do understand and see the intention in your responses, but sometimes it's best to walk away - live and let live, to each his own.  Fortunately the majority of the forum members seem to have the same end goal.

By the way, I didn't really pop a couple of Advil, just "tongue in cheek".
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #84 - 02/15/17 at 00:14:42
 
Will,

With respect to your points about keeping an open mind and the importance of not letting prejudice and bias get in the way...

I consider myself to be a open minded un-biased type person, that is until my recent experience with my own biases made me feel like a complete ass.

In my recent posts I made mention of the great experience I had in being able to enjoy live music while in Cuba.  As a result I picked up several CD's from one of the souvenir shops.  While trying to decide which discs to get, in the back of my mind was this nagging feeling of "the live music is great but how good could they be at recording, after all this is Cuba, after all this is a souvenir shop".  Open minded, ya right.

I did get past myself though, bought 7 discs and played them today and now I feel like I owe all Cubans an apology.

Is the recording ever good!  Turns out that Engram is one of Cubas' oldest recording studios and the results show that they care as much about their recording as they do about their music.

Fortunately I didn't let my bias get in the way and seriously limit my exposure to other... "possibilities".

Bias limits one in all aspects of life not just the technical aspect of reproducing music.  After this I don't know that I want to be referred to as an Audiophile - much too limiting.

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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #85 - 02/15/17 at 18:05:13
 

Quote:
I do understand and see the intention in your responses, but sometimes it's best to walk away - live and let live, to each his own.  Fortunately the majority of the forum members seem to have the same end goal.


Yeah, I know...I guess a flat-earther combined with me being a little ornery lately compelled me to spout off a bit much.  I don't have the temperment, nor eloquence of words that Will does (hat-tip my friend).


For the longest time I had the bits-is-bits mentality, because people I really respected, really smart MIT types said it was so. But the more I researched, the more I realized that they were right, just not in this realm of audio that we live.  The point had been driven home when Palomino, and my friend Jester (one of those MIT types) swapped digital interconnects on my system, and we clearly heard not only a timing improvement, but what we could only describe as a apparent volume increase!!

Now, the science/logic side of me says a volume increase is impossible - any bits-is-bits guy or math guy would shut down right there and say it's not possible it's all in your head.  Well, yes, that's actually true - a volume increase probably isn't possible, and it *is* in your head, because note; I said apparent volume increase. The only thing I can figure, is that the DAC had an easier time processing that stream of bits, and the improvement in timing *appeared* to sound like a volume increase.  If I didn't have an open mind, trusted my ears, and compared notes with others who had the same experience.... Well, again, everything matters.
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #86 - 02/15/17 at 18:37:59
 
Not sure this relates but it popped into my mind. I used to work at Harvard (sounds prestigious but wasn't) in charge of Helen Keller's garden at Radcliffe.
We used to make a joke when we were driving by MIT because some students are so focused on thinking, reading etc they often will walk right into Mass Ave. without looking. These are some of the "smartest" people in the world but forgot they were walking into the street.
Combining knowledge is better than standing alone.

JD
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #87 - 02/15/17 at 18:48:03
 
Interesting JD. Lots to "mind" that culture does not look at with our bias toward thinking only!

Raven,

I am so with you on trusting the ears...our body/mind is our music "receiver" after all! This ties in with some thoughts Joman's experience with Cuban recording suspicion inspired for me.

Good story Joman.

It is impressive how cultured conditioning can be so tricky, hard to identify, even brutal!

I look at biases a lot, trying to uncover what is real and what is not, in hopes of solving learned self-destructive habits. Without recognizing energetic drains that are habitual rather than functionally necessary, it is hard to learn that the same energy can be shifted to useful things. Looking at how tired and defeated we become after getting really fearful and angry is a good pointer to how much energy these things can cost us.

Not to mention the joy we can miss from holding on to conditioning like: "I don't trust my own perception."

But the bigger stuff is getting trapped into wasting energy we really don't have to waste. If fear and anger arise as conditioned ideological responses, rather than something real, like escaping a tiger...the energy spent on them is the same as losing some of the life we have left.

And with our cultures becoming progressively more reactive, fight-or-flight ubiquitous, we all tend to "catch" it. Making it worse, in reaction, we have difficulty utilizing our intelligence to discern reality.

So "realities" easily get corrupted becoming conditioned beliefs, rules and habits. And once integrated, they are hard to notice, in turn, too easy to support by being reactive....

Like our biases "against" cultures or sub cultures, be they Cuban, republican or democrats, young or old, black or white....corporatists or humanists...environmentalist or polluters...givers or takers....Habits of suspicion and fear are too easy to learn, hold and inadvertently propagate.

Finally rules and habits become "normal" whether self destructive or not, things we just do. So I figure it is worth it to "question reality."

Not different than "audiophiles" aggressively dissing things we do not understand. Mixed with broad cultured suspicion, fear, hatred, and mistrust "the beat goes on," our feelings of lack of time, understanding, and mistrust creating and reenforcing our self-destructive cultural habits.

Without careful observation and effort, "The Box" remains fully intact.

And those who step outside "the box" are typically held as suspect without considering why!

I just bought a DAC from China, with no US supplier or support. I was intrigued by reports last year, almost buying one. Then, concerned over potential complications if something went wrong I forgot about it.

Recently Raven linked threads I had forgotten about, praising the sound, quality and value of the DAC. Contributing to this, conversations with Palomino about the amazing quality of resampling 16/44.1 to DSD in-computer, the DAC now having easy work, further sparked my interest.

Then reading up rekindled my interest even more. In theory, a powerful computer is better able to perform the complex PCM to DSD resampling task, and DSD is inherently quieter, supposedly more than compensating for the noise from the computer having to work harder.

Inspired to try to beat my beloved NOS Tranquility DAC again...And "needing" a DAC in my workspace, I figured I could use it there if it were not better.

Consideration for potentially negative consequences now background, at well under 1000, and apparently improved from last year's, I ordered the Gustard x20 pro.

So far so good, some basic mods others have sorted out working really well. With only 50 hours or so of burnin, running 16/44.1 Redbook to DSD 256, it is quite good. Since a lot of DACs take 200-300 hours to burn in fully, and seeming a bit better than the Tranquility in some ways now, I am very hopeful...especially since the Tranquility is masterful at Redbook.

So....do I mistrust "the Chinese" because culture is suspicious of them and their products...Not lately! Wink
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #88 - 02/16/17 at 16:14:00
 
Quote:
So far so good, some basic mods others have sorted out working really well. With only 50 hours or so of burnin, running 16/44.1 Redbook to DSD 256, it is quite good. Since a lot of DACs take 200-300 hours to burn in fully, and seeming a bit better than the Tranquility in some ways now, I am very hopeful...especially since the Tranquility is masterful at Redbook.


Any chance you can elaborate on this adventure and the mods in the digital section? I'd like to know more!
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #89 - 02/17/17 at 01:58:00
 
I should probably start a thread about recent adjustments...mostly in the CSP3 and Torii so far. In the Gustard, pretty basic but effective...removed magnetic metal bolts, metal caps and rubber seats from transformer setups. So far, I am just resting them on thick cardboard donuts, probably putting in some nylon bolts one day. Twisted all the AC wire bundles, and used Deoxit Gold on the connectors...both really good, the latter surprisingly good for all it was. Pretty extensive exploration of optimal cap damping, trying different materials and caps. Seems to sound best with some undamped and others damped. A better fuse. A little exploration using Stillpoints ERS cloth to reduce EMFs, also good for the fine detail. Good power cord, ICs and feet!@#$%^ More to go...but not ready to leave warranty status yet. These were quite transformative though. There are several good threads on the DAC and mods, especially Ric Schultz, and a couple guys named Quadman and SimonBromley doing some pretty intersting stuff.

I see no need to do anything digital at this point, though some have, especially with earlier versions. I am using a really good DIY USB cable and a Curious link, a Jitterbug, and Regen into the DAC's XMOS usb card. I started with DSD256, then after messing around with OS changes, the computer stopped keeping up. It was new/used, and having some weird problems OS-wise. So I ran the best disk repair and optimizing program I have (Disk Warrior) and back to 256 no problem...Interesting!

256 is notably more refined than 128, though 128 is really good. Seems good!
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Re: Using multimeter to compare interconnects
Reply #90 - 02/19/17 at 01:51:46
 
I prefer 256 as well - it's just more analog.
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Reply #91 - 03/07/17 at 00:38:25
 
Just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

All cables- hell all electrical circuits- are dominated by their LCR properties. You can make an interconnect or speaker cable a passive EQ by varying these properties, or you can make a cable that is transparent because their LCR properities do not effect the signal.

The other things that are debatable are wire material (aluminum, copper, silver, gold), thickness or gauge,dielectric material, skin effect, and geometry.

Here is my opinion- aluminum is alright, but copper isn't much more expensive and a much better conductor. Copper's oxides are actually a semiconductor and any signal traveling through these may be effected like a diode. Silver is much more expensive than copper, and is only about 5% better at conducting all else being equal, but it's oxides are conductive. Gold is mega expensive and has conductivity between aluminum and copper- but does not oxidize.

Skin effect is determined by material, frequency, and conductor gauge. Here is the important information: an 18 gauge copper wire will begin to have frequencies travel along it's skin at 17khz. This is above my hearing range- and probably yours too unless you're under 20. So it does not concern me that frequencies greater than I can hear are traveling along the skin, or that the oxides on the skin may effect the frequencies I can not hear. 18 gauge is also more than conductive enough to use as speaker wire unless you're using an unusually long connection. You can look up charts online. So I recommend 18 gauge copper wire for speaker wire, and 18 gauge or above copper wire for interconnects.

Geometry effects a conductors LCR properties. My opinion is unless you want your cable to be a passive EQ, make sure the cables LCR properties do not effect frequency response.

Lastly we come to dielectric absorption. If you look up a chart online you'll find that air and a vacuum are the gold standard, followed by PTFE, Polypropolene (which is 99% as good as PTFE), cotton, and silk are superior materials. What is not often mentioned is that the thickness or mass of the insulator also effects the amount of dielectric absorption. For safety I don't recommend uninsulsted wires. Military grade PTFE silver-plated copper wire is readily available, so it's what I recommend, in 18 gauge or higher ofcourse.  ;D

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