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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 5:47 pm   #401
russell_w_b
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Originally Posted by barretter View Post
The Czech composer Alois Haba used quarter-tones and sixth-tones ; and the American composer Harry Partch divided the octave into 43 unequal tones.
Maybe you need stretched copper directional speaker leads and gold-plated connectors to appreciate the semitones thereof?
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 5:48 pm   #402
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

a) Rule, a thing for measuring.
b) Ruler, a thing for marking lines.

I always use a slide rule to make at least one calculation in a design (I make it a personal 'rule', near enough for electronics!), my 12" Jakar sits on my desk at work much to the confusion of the youngsters.

This is much more sensible than directional cables
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:04 pm   #403
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
The gadgets are very expensive if you buy them from the manufacturers, but in a lot of cases, you could experiment and make your own much more cheaply. You could do just as well, but you'll lack the cult support.

Whether what you try works or not is your own look-out and subject to your own determination. What you don't get is the warm and fuzzy feeling in the gregarious instinct department.

Overpriced things are open to being undercut.
That was kind of what I was trying to say David, I guess you twigged that much.
In my Younger days I experimented with home made tweaks that cost me nothing more than pocket money sums and a bit of Leisure time. The results were quite educational, and mostly disappointing.
Now I am not saying I didn't get differences with some (and not that much) of my tweakery, but mostly that's all they were, "improvements" are too emotive and subjective for any rational discussion.
Suffice to say I remain a sceptic but try to keep an open mind on things.
And at least when or if someone else tries to convince or persuade me that I really should be using a particular construction of wire or a particular metallurgy etc etc etc, then my own (fortunately inexpensive) empirical findings stand me in good stead and keep both feet firmly planted on the ground.
And here's a thing to ponder and I wonder if it's part of that phenomenon of "Psychoaccoustics", some days I can sit down and the music emanating from the stereo is utterly captivating and immersive and I hear all the little details and other musical clues that put the icing on my auditory cake. Then I can sit down in almost identical conditions, same kit same music, and I'm left feeling flat and cold by it all. So that alone suggests to me that a simple listen just doesn't work. Grim Josef hits it square on with his comment about the music in the listeners head, we all do it and that's why I can listen with pleasure to the old PYE transistor radio when I'm pottering outside just as much as when sitting comfortably with a nice cool beer and some nice music wafting over me indoors.
Just my take on things.

Andy.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:05 pm   #404
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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But high quality audio has always been a hobby of the better heeled. Taking the price of the Quad ESL57 from its introduction price in the late 50's to today price works out at slightly less than 3000 a pair. And similar heady prices for turntables from Garrard and Connoisseur. The Leak TL12 power amp works out as 1200 today.

The prohibitive nature of the prices not long after the end of WWII of course led to many people doing DIY audio. That is certainly how I started in the early 70's - and continue to do so over four decades later.
High prices (plus of course purchase tax) gave many of us the incentive to make our own stuff. Great. There's an implication that those high prices made someone rich. But did you ever know a rich audio company? Most went bust, suggesting that prices weren't actually high enough.

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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:05 pm   #405
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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I looked it out because there was a radio April Fool I recalled regarding the decimalisation of music, but alas I can find no reference to it on the web. But I well remember hearing Beethoven's 5th using ten notes in an octave. Once heard, hard to forget....
Given where this tread is going, shouldn't that be decade, not octave?
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:13 pm   #406
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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That was kind of what I was trying to say David, I guess you twigged that much.
In my Younger days I experimented with home made tweaks that cost me nothing more than pocket money sums and a bit of Leisure time. The results were quite educational, and mostly disappointing.
Now I am not saying I didn't get differences with some (and not that much) of my tweakery, but mostly that's all they were, "improvements" are too emotive and subjective for any rational discussion.
Suffice to say I remain a sceptic but try to keep an open mind on things.
And at least when or if someone else tries to convince or persuade me that I really should be using a particular construction of wire or a particular metallurgy etc etc etc, then my own (fortunately inexpensive) empirical findings stand me in good stead and keep both feet firmly planted on the ground.
And here's a thing to ponder and I wonder if it's part of that phenomenon of "Psychoacoustics", some days I can sit down and the music emanating from the stereo is utterly captivating and immersive and I hear all the little details and other musical clues that put the icing on my auditory cake. Then I can sit down in almost identical conditions, same kit same music, and I'm left feeling flat and cold by it all. So that alone suggests to me that a simple listen just doesn't work. Grim Josef hits it square on with his comment about the music in the listeners head, we all do it and that's why I can listen with pleasure to the old PYE transistor radio when I'm pottering outside just as much as when sitting comfortably with a nice cool beer and some nice music wafting over me indoors.
Just my take on things.
An overwhelming advantage we get from doing a bit of DIY tweaking is that afterwards it encourages more careful listening, so we actually hear more detail. The most likely actual electrical improvement is that the connectors have been re-inserted and cleaned up a bit. Phono connectors are notorious for poor contact and are probably to blame for many audible problems.

Martin
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:30 pm   #407
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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High prices (plus of course purchase tax) gave many of us the incentive to make our own stuff. Great. There's an implication that those high prices made someone rich. But did you ever know a rich audio company? Most went bust, suggesting that prices weren't actually high enough.
Doesn't follow. Company viability and success are inextricably linked to profit; the bottom line. Good profit can be made by selling relatively few products at a high price, or by selling lots of products at a lower price, and a thousand and one iterations between the two. And of course not withstanding that, the products have to be desirable to a (sufficiently sized) 'mass market'. Cos if they're not, the price equation doesn't even come into it. In other words, no matter what the price, if insufficient units are sold, the bottom line, the profit margin, is unsustainable.

No, I think that many of the 'lost' audio companies went to the wall because they were started and run by engineers, not marketeers. All too often, the former think they understand and can do the job of the latter. A big and common mistake amongst engineers...
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 6:41 pm   #408
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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An overwhelming advantage we get from doing a bit of DIY tweaking is that afterwards it encourages more careful listening, so we actually hear more detail. The most likely actual electrical improvement is that the connectors have been re-inserted and cleaned up a bit. Phono connectors are notorious for poor contact and are probably to blame for many audible problems.
Agreed. Gold plated cables are as cheap as chips nowadays, no need to spend a fortune on them. Otherwise, it has been proven that poor contact between connectors can lead to a small diode effect - like a cat's whisker - whereby a degree of rectification is taking place. Old, dirty, corroded, nickel plated phono connectors are a good candidate in that respect. So yes, nice, clean gold connectors are a good thing for sure. But a few pounds will buy you a sufficiently well screened, sufficiently low capacitance, gold plated contacts phono interconnection cable.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 7:01 pm   #409
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Time to terrify the audio freaks with some (possibly) real data:
http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/neuma...?Open&term=TIM

But maybe someone has already designed some cables which eliminates it.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 7:10 pm   #410
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

It's alright, the advantage of three-speaker designs is proven by the graphology, so I infer that my Keesonic KBM's, which are four-speaker designs, are near enough perfect. No need for special cables.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 1:55 am   #411
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Otherwise, it has been proven that poor contact between connectors can lead to a small diode effect - like a cat's whisker - whereby a degree of rectification is taking place. Old, dirty, corroded, nickel plated phono connectors are a good candidate in that respect.
I once built a TV video receiver unit with the audio amplifier & speaker in an enclosure. One day out of the blue the audio became horribly distorted. The low signal level was taken from the main board with a plug connector, a typical pcb type, to the amplifier module.

It sounded so bad that I though there must certainly be an IC or transistor bias failure or component failure. I got the scope on the low level signal, and it appeared exactly as though the audio signal had been half wave rectified. It turned out that oxidation in the pcb plug connector pins was the cause and a diode had created itself there.

Because it was audio though I could hear this anomaly, but it did make me wonder if it had been another type of circuit, like a logic circuit, it still might have kept apparently working and I'd be none the wiser or perhaps an intermittent fault. Now I treat nearly all my pcb connectors with wd40.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 4:56 am   #412
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

We used log tables when I was at school; but my Grandad left me his "NOS" Jakar No. 29 slide rule, and I do use it occasionally for a quick multiplication, division or square root. It has measuring scales down to 1/32 inch, but only whole millimetres.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 9:01 am   #413
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
Maybe you need stretched copper directional speaker leads and gold-plated connectors to appreciate the semitones thereof?
No, just an open mind. The second part of your sentence doesn't make any sense.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 11:41 am   #414
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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It has measuring scales down to 1/32 inch, but only whole millimetres.

Not unreasonable- half a millimeter is about 20 thou. Somewhat less than 1/32" at about 31 thou. Depending on the material and engraving, at some point the designer would need to draw the line
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 11:06 am   #415
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

The 'poor contact' distortion doesn't just affect low level signals.

A few years back I bought a ‘for repair’ amplifier on ebay for peanuts as I wanted something for the workshop. There was a trivial fix in the preamp and all was good! A while later, listening to the radio, I became aware of some quite slight but noticeable ‘distortion’ coming from one speaker - sounding like a little more sibilance from one side. I swapped speakers etc and pinned it down to the power amplifier. With a watt or two of power, I measure something less than 0.3% distortion on the iffy channel (a noisy looking residual and maybe 100x worse than the other channel). It turned out to be a dry joint on the output inductor and had probably been like that from new!

I was surprised both at the cause and the fact that I could hear it straight away on (mono) speech but I could not, in all honesty, say I could hear the distortion on reproduced music …

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Old 31st Oct 2017, 10:30 pm   #416
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Ooooh, we're into the misuse of English language now? Fabulous!
Personally, I'm waiting for the oil turning.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 9:24 am   #417
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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The 'poor contact' distortion doesn't just affect low level signals.
Salt water can form a half-wave detector on sea-borne transmitters. Sometimes, in rough weather, a part of the broadcast programme could be heard, hideously distorted, presumably from resonant parts of the rigging.
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Old 3rd Nov 2017, 7:20 pm   #418
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

We could talk about PIM > BC appearing in Sea Borne RXs...
We could talk about the Hitch Hiker's theme - seem to think that is Bernie Leadon and a Banjo? Going by memory.

We could talk about grammar.
You can decline to give (verb) there is no way to do that with a gift (noun).

All this is a long way from Audiophoolery. But it has parallels.

This thread has become stale IMHO. Sorry
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Old 3rd Nov 2017, 9:16 pm   #419
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Indeed it has.

Everything that could be said, has been said in the thread, but then it had all been said some time ago. Perhaps the interest in the subject parallels how people in the past would go to bedlam to look at the inmates, to make themselves feel better.?

David
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 12:07 am   #420
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

It's been on borrowed time for a while, some would say from the start, as we've had several threads on the same theme, largely covering the same ground. At least it didn't get round to biscuits!
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