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Old 16th Mar 2019, 12:11 am   #421
Silvered_Mica
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Default Audiophoolery?

I was just looking up some leads and I came across this page-
https://www.masterbuiltaudio.com/ref...e-audio-cables

It makes for an amusing read but my amusement turned to
shock when I looked at the prices

Is this a joke or am I seeing to many zero's?
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:08 am   #422
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

They are made in a snake oil factory and are offered for sale to the gullible.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:12 am   #423
emeritus
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

At those prices I would have expected pure silver conductors! It's.not 1st April yet, is it?
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:30 am   #424
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

It's always April 1st where those "exotic" items are concerned.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 4:41 am   #425
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

I once suggested that the non-tarnishing silver alloy, Mithril, might make the best-sounding 'interconnects'. Unfortunately supply is a bit limited, but that only pushes the prices up and thereby adds to the reassurance of their sonic performance. Moria Mining and Metals are no longer in business, but there are hordes of stashed raw material around.

I like the bit about the mains cable being the first part of any system and that it's important that it does not introduce distortion. That can only have been written bt someone who has never seen the waveform of typical mains coming out of walls today, and has no clue about the current waveforms created in rectifier circuits even if fed from a perfect sine wave.

Maybe 3-phase, full-wave rectification is the way to go? PFC is too complicated and involves feedback loops (Boo! Hiss!) so it must sound bad.

I work in the radio frequency side of the aerospace industry, and the only 'aerospace cable technologies' I've come across relate to security of connection, resistance to cuts and fireproofness. RG400 made with run of the mill purity copper is fine for getting your passengers safely to their destination. Maybe if we switched to audiophile stuff, all the passengers would feel a lot more arrived, and would be driven to re-visit all their previous destinations using the new, improved plane?

Maybe audiophile grade fuel pipes to the engines will improve the aircraft's sonic signature to something more euphonious and stop residents near airports complaining?

These people provide us with free entertainment. Most comedians you have to buy a ticket to see, or buy a TV licence.

David
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 5:59 am   #426
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

Although not life-critical (such as aircraft), I have worked with (but alas don't own) very good RF electronic test instruments from the likes of HP, Tektronix, LeCroy, etc. Yes, they used gold plated connectors in some cases (oxidation causing non-linear junctions is a measurable effect). Yes they used cables of the right characteristic impedance for RF connections (transmission line theory is also 'proper' science and can be measured). But not one instrument ever used 'exotic' cables.

I'll start believing in this audio snake oil when it's used in 8 digit DMM's, 'DC to Daylight' spectrum analysers, and the like.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 6:40 am   #427
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Default Re: connectors made from exotic materials

My last job before I retired was as Technical and Quality manager at a contract electronics assembly company. One day we had a potential new customer come in to talk about a new add on his company had designed to reduce the noise floor in top end (most expensive) audio systems. I won't give further details for fear of being sued but it was just total bs and was not supported by any known law of science. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was to keep a straight face as he explained it.
Remarkably it had been reviewed by a reputable Hi-Fi magazine and given rave reviews.
As one of my old work colleagues used to say "Bull baffles Brains"

Peter
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 9:30 am   #428
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Just a thought, if I were to completely rewire my whole car in higher grade, directional cables, would the light output from the headlamps be improved with a cleaner output, better light pattern?

I can only begin to imagine the interior light delay would be guaranteed to fade out more accurately, to say nothing of the obvious gains with regards to in-car entertainment!

I can only presume better cabling to the injection system would improve 'drivability' since the injectors themselves will 'see' a cleaner pulse. Though I fear with directional cabling, reverse gear could become a distant memory.

I dare say, any performance gains and fuel savings will be clobbered by the sheer amount of heatshrink I'd get through!

That said, the ABS/Traction control system should 'sharpen' up, along with smoother seat adjustments, and a more graceful mirror folding 'action'.

Would better cabling improve the sound of the airbags going off? Need someone far braver than myself who's really into 'audio' to decipher that.

Mark
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 9:32 am   #429
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Doing measurements at RF shows you that cable losses, matching effects etc get progressively worse with increasing frequency.

Doing intermodulation tests, looking for products peeping above noise floors around -145dBm showed that cables were fine, but you could spot grotty connections and cheapo connectors.

Measuring the noise figures of low noise (NF<1dB) RF systems is dramatically more sensitive to RF ingress than audio circuitry is to RF ingress.

So, take all these frequency dependent effects and extrapolate their curves down to audible frequencies and they were lost in noise long before you got there.

The non-linearity/intermod effacts aren't really frequency dependent, but they can easily be made very small and don't get worse at lower frequencies.

The problem with believing that your ears have limitless acuity is that there is therefore nothing so small that you don't have to believe you can hear. Even imaginary things.

History is rife with famously shouty dictators, loud bombs, meteor strikes etc. and as soundwaves decay asymptotically, some of the energy is still there, reflecting around, circling the Earth and suffering severe attenuation and multipath. I'm surprised people don't complain about the echoes of nuke testing, dinosaur fights and Henry VIII.

David
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 10:29 am   #430
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Purely for entertainment value in work we had a look at some interconnects.
we used a R&S ESU26 26GHz EMI reciever and a R&S SMC100B signal generator.
EMC32 cable loss calibration routine. we also used a VNA on the cables.

I cant remember the exact results, but the expensive cables we tested were no better than the cheap ones, infact at high frequency they were worse.

The best bandwidth cable was my home made interconnect using some rosenberger silver cored double screened extra low loss RF cable, where the loss was neglible up to 1GHz where there wers some anomalies due to RCA connector mismatch. The cable would be good up to 20GHz

The second best was a twisted pair made of AC power cord.

even the cheap argos lead was only -1db at 500MHz


None had any measureable insertion loss at any frequency that you would hear. infact the lowest capacitance and resistance was the twisted pair.
we tested 9kHz to 6GHz


I wont be spending my hard earned on posh cable!
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 11:17 am   #431
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

The FAQ page in particular, made my jaw hit the floor !
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 11:32 am   #432
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Break-in period is clever. It allows the purchaser to notice that there doesn't seem to be any difference at first, and then to progressively forget what the previous setup sounded like, so the descriptions in the bumf can become his new truth.

Brilliant marketing

David
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 12:14 pm   #433
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Audio is full of snake oil for sure, and cables being a particularly fertile ground for this.

But you have to be a bit careful about saying that rf ingress has no impact on audio.

One particularly audible example is the zzt-zzt... sound from your speakers when your mobile phone does a station seek.

Now sure the RF level in those circumstances is pretty high, but nevertheless that is 800MHz or thereabout being picked up in cables and then demodulated by semiconductor junctions in the audio amp.

There are other examples, but that is the most obvious and immediately audible. Even the BBC is not immune to this, with the characteristic sound from an interviewee's mobile phone in a R4 studio on occasion.

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Old 16th Mar 2019, 12:19 pm   #434
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

The most daft idea I have seen is putting cables on little pylons to raise them off the floor.
I can't remember what was supposed to be coming out of the floor but it sure does get the signal closer to mobile phone signals.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 12:48 pm   #435
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
But you have to be a bit careful about saying that rf ingress has no impact on audio.

One particularly audible example is the zzt-zzt... sound from your speakers when your mobile phone does a station seek.

Now sure the RF level in those circumstances is pretty high, but nevertheless that is 800MHz or thereabout being picked up in cables and then demodulated by semiconductor junctions in the audio amp.
Craig
The effects of RF ingress are highly non-linear. With a watt or two from a nearby cellphone there is enough RF to turn on semiconductor junctions and to demodulate the amplitude of the pulsed cellphone transmission. The sound of GSM is familiar to most people.

However, lower levels produce disproportionately lower levels of effect once they fail to drive semiconductors into nonlinearity.

Meaning you get either a fairly obvious sound or essentially nothing.

The right fix is to have equipment with filtered ports which only allow what should be going in (remembering RF can enter via output connections.

There's my hifi in the lounge and a 200 Watt shortwave transmitter in the next room, and other transmitters up to 1296MHz, all at a lot more power than a phone. No discernible effects. No fancy cables. Just sensible design.

David
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:04 pm   #436
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

what about ground boxes........
a little box of dirt to grount your hifi to

Brilliant!! i am going to manufacture a special one with dirt from a coal tip, to give my system the timbre of a welsh choir
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:08 pm   #437
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Yeah, one is tempted to say here we go again, and - hands up - I'm normally sucked into these threads (what's new then? I hear you say!). And yes, I think it is the normal hifi rip-off, let's prise money out of these rich hifi mad executives who have more money than sense. Any arguments put forwards as to why that is not the case are usually based on things that - at best - affect the sound coming out of one's speakers so little as to be totally a waste of time and money. Like a grain of sand on a beach. If people spent all the extra money they have on smoke and mirrors components like exotic cables on buying really good, accurate, true monitor quality speakers - not "hand polished" ones made by 'someone who lives alone in the desert' (another smoke and mirrors situation, the go it alone 'guru') - then their system would sound so much better. And the final frightener.. ABX TESTING!!!!!!!
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:21 pm   #438
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
what about ground boxes........
a little box of dirt to grount your hifi to

Brilliant!! i am going to manufacture a special one with dirt from a coal tip, to give my system the timbre of a welsh choir
The first thing I thought of was a coal bunker when I first spotted a photo of one of those boxes.

There is no need for one here anyway as there is a redundant coal mine in our village anyway.
We have 2-core power and an earth spike in the ground at the meter.
No need for me to buy a coal bunker to connect my earth lead to coal.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:40 pm   #439
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Default Re: Connectors made from exotic materials.

Won't work mate.....not welsh coal
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 1:55 pm   #440
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Default Re: Audiophoolery?

We are close to the rhubarb triangle so the earth has bright tang to it.
We get a "tangy" sound stage with our earthing scheme.
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