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Thread: The truth about speaker cables?

  1. #21
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    Jan 2012
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    Default $$$

    Based on a number of comments I'm reading concerning the silly notion that we can actually hear differences in amps, cdp's etc., should I have selected my gear from the "Hello Kitty" line and saved myself about 8 grand?

  2. #22
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    Default Blind test? Letting your heart decide

    I still read about "the blind test"... Who's trying this kind of torture do not understand... something. You can feel the differences, even for cables, mostly when you don't try to find some. For example every piece of electronics from an audio system create a sensation, a feeling. So a good or bad audio system create sensations and you can feel different sensations once in time but you become confused if the sensations (also read part from audio system) are changing too often.

    Is more appropriate to let the sensations to come at you in time. I mean you can change a cable or pre-amp but live with that at least a week and after that, take an conclusion based on living sensations.

    And don't mix different things, like an 30000$ speaker cable...with an 200$ cd player, thinking it would sound better...like one of 5000$.
    Cheers

  3. #23
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    Default Comparing A and B on a level playing field

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    Based on a number of comments I'm reading concerning the silly notion that we can actually hear differences in amps, cdp's etc., should I have selected my gear from the "Hello Kitty" line and saved myself about 8 grand?
    No, that would be the opposite extreme and no one is actually saying that.

    However, I think what is true is that you cannot really make a reliable comparison between components unless you've very carefully matched levels - even a small difference in level may lead to a perceived difference in sound quality, even if the only real difference is quantitative.

    If you can reliably hear differences between electronic components after proper level matching, well then, you can. I'm not opining one way or the other, because I haven't done it myself and I really don't know. However, I am prepared to believe that if you haven't taken the preliminary step of careful level matching first, any conclusions about comparitive sound quality are suspect and unreliable.

  4. #24
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Finally just wanted to listen to music ....

    Maybe a little polemic, but not completely wrong.

    If you look at audio from a more realistic point of view it seems that (to say a number), maybe 95% of the result come from the speaker and the rooms acoustics.
    The other 5% are from source, amp, cables and such. But only a few bucks seem to be enough to get decent (near-perfect) results. My long-time-audio journey made me believe that this is true.

    I also spent far too much money for my audio stuff (Quad, Atmosphere OTL Tube amp, Sonus Faber, Musical Fidelity, Mission Cyrus, T+A to name a few), and still I do not regret it. It was fun all they way.

    But in the end I want to listen to my music. And I do as much as I never did.

  5. #25
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    Default My foolish years ....

    Quote Originally Posted by thurston View Post
    Maybe a little polemic, but not completely wrong.

    If you look at audio from a more realistic point of view it seems that (to say a number), maybe 95% of the result come from the speaker and the rooms acoustics.
    The other 5% are from source, amp, cables and such. But only a few bucks seem to be enough to get decent (near-perfect) results. My long-time-audio journey made me believe that this is true....
    I am not sure I would go as low as your 5%:-), but I agree with you 100% on everything else, having done and enjoyed similar foolish things.

  6. #26
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    Default The room influence

    Just wanted to stress how much bigger the room/speaker-influence is.
    You could also say 7,8 % exactly...

    ;-)

  7. #27
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    Default Harbeth unfussy about rooms

    Base on my experience, dealing with own or friends setup in room treatment in the past, Harbeth speaker is far less fussy than majority bands in room treatment.
    "Bath in Music"

  8. #28
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    May 2008
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    uk
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    Default Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    Based on a number of comments I'm reading concerning the silly notion that we can actually hear differences in amps, cdp's etc., should I have selected my gear from the "Hello Kitty" line and saved myself about 8 grand?
    I would say that all cd players sound similar having used various Sony models since the 90's and then a Marantz cd6000ki. I couldn't hear any difference between them or the mnidisc player used in conjunction. The only players I heard that were slightly different were the ultrabudget Eclipse mk1 which really projected and the Rega Saturn which was a lot warmer.

    In fact I think that most of the differences are those of a tonal nature. Some cables and amps are obviously brighter and sound more detailed initially but then you realise they are just irritating.

    My 28 inch Sony crt tv actually has a lovely balanced tone which a lot of products out there don't. Domestic audio products moved away from the warm sound of previous decades towards a more thinner sharper sound which is easier to sell. Apart from the high end of course where anything goes. Tube amps sound lovely and smooth and dominate the high end scene. If they are more distorted then maybe it's because we like the distortion they present.

    The main problem is that the biggest variable is the attitude of the listener. More than even the quality of the original recording. On a bad day nothing will sound great. Also there is no accounting for taste, some people prefer brunettes and some prefer blondes, and just like you can't choose who you marry objectively....

  9. #29
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    Oct 2010
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    Default What comes out of the speaker may/will excite the room

    I suspect that room modes will be stimulated simply if the speaker emits the frequencies.

    So, if a room has a room resonance at for example 60 Hz, then a speaker that is able to produce that frequency at reasonable level has no possibilty to NOT activate that room-mode. No matter what stands, cables or amps are used.

    Therefore a speaker with wide frequency response has no ability to be unfussy by itself.
    It can only produce a better original signal and therefore sound better than a lesser speaker in the same room with its intrinsic acoustic drawbacks.

    {Moderator's comment: this is completely correct. If the speaker generates sound energy which the room cannot absorb (fast enough) then you have 'room issues'. It is extremely unlikely that cables, stand filling etc. will be energy absorbing substitutes for the basic problem which is ..... the room is inadequately absorptive (at low frequencies)}.

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