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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 2:22 pm   #1101
knobtwiddler
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
... Computers aren't hifi amplifiers. Does hifi need fancy cables or external filters? ...
These days almost everything seems to have a microprocessor or three in it and there can be boxes in a hi-fi rack which are more 'computer' than anything else. I've been to hi-fi events where there are no musical sources in the room at all. Everything that's been played has been streamed from a cloud server somewhere.

Cheers,

GJ
And the irony about this is that it puts more emphasis on the OEM's EMC understanding than at any point in history. We have all these sources of RF hash inside the box, and Russ and his pals want us to worry about a few pV of EMI around the IEC lead!
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 2:31 pm   #1102
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

There is a difference between a con (such as the ADE 651) and parting fools with their money through pseudo-science and psycho-babble. In the latter case the purchaser does not get an empty box, but there is no possibility of an effect.

In none of the discussions I've read about Mr Andrews's and others' products in a similar vein over the years have I heard of an ABX test. Just acolytes praising with adjectives and engineers pooh-poohing. Personally, I put all perceived effects down to confirmation bias. Who wants to say their new £3k cable risers didn't make a difference? Or their Jensen capacitors were not worth it?

When I'm not clutching my pearls, I enjoy the witticisms here! Some right wags on.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 5:01 pm   #1103
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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There is a difference between a con (such as the ADE 651) and parting fools with their money through pseudo-science and psycho-babble. In the latter case the purchaser does not get an empty box, but there is no possibility of an effect.
The difference here is very subtle but in my book they are both tricks of confidence. Such subtleties are meat and gravy to those engaged in the legal profession.

Alan
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 6:16 pm   #1104
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Default Re: Quality fuses ?

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Towards the bottom of the page is this:
--------
Frequently asked questions.

Q: Are fuses directional?

A: Yes, fuses are directional. Electricity should flow from the left to the right when you view the fuse. If you do not know

the direction of flow you should listen to the fuse inserted in both directions. One direction will sound more detailed. This is the correct way.

--------

I wonder if that entire website (there isn't much of it anyway) is a spoof?
I read that question and answer and it made me wonder; if you stood on the other side of the fuse so the AC electricity was flowing the other way, your right to left, would it effect the sound.
I suppose it would be difficult to prove as you may have your back to the speakers by then, or you may even be standing the other side of the wall in your neighbours living room.

Audiophoolery is like a religion and those who believe are best left alone to their beliefs. I don't wish to be accused of religious racism.

Mike
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 6:24 pm   #1105
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Sadly (or, perhaps, fortunately given how many businesses are thereby kept afloat) not only is daft stuff believed by some audio enthusiasts, but different, even opposing, daft stuff is believed by different groups - "Silver is the be all and end all !" vs "Oh no it isn't, it makes the music sound metallic and taste funny !" So the chances of getting half a dozen people to agree on what their supply cable should be made of are probably small.

Cheers,

GJ
I wonder if these folk have seen a piece of silverware that has been left to patinate for a while? It goes brown and eventually black, so any contacts must surely be compromised? Watching TV programmes like "Downton Abbey" illustrate that you need an army of servants to keep the silverware nice and shiny. If you have any pieces of eraser anywhere in the vicinity, double the number of times that the silverware needs polishing (it's the sulphur vapour).
Oh, I see, it's the cable itself that is silver, not the connectors....

Colin.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 6:36 pm   #1106
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Yes, the tarnishing of silver is actually the formation of silver sulphide and the rate at which it happens depends on how much reactive sulphur there is in the local air and how often the air is changed in the vicinity of the metal. As far as wire is concerned, therein lies a trick. I have seen silver wire used in equipment and it's commonly clad over almost its entire length in fine transparent heatshrink. This reduces the air-changing to a very slow rate indeed, so the wire remains nice and bright except for the millimetre or two which is exposed between the end of the heatshrink and the solder joint. Of course at audio frequencies for pure silver wire none of this matters as the skin depth is larger than the wire diameter and the great bulk of the current flows in the wire's untarnished core. For plated wire it's more of an issue, depending on the plating thickness. But assuming the core is copper it still won't matter much as, despite the slightly lower conductivity of copper, its large cross-section compared with the silver will mean that it will still carry almost all the current (the customers will be upset if they find out though).

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 6:54 pm   #1107
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

>Audiophoolery is like a religion and those who believe are best left alone to their beliefs. >I don't wish to be accused of religious racism

This is indeed the case for some of its proponents, and nothing you say will deter them. However, there are definitely some people who buy into it simply because they are not qualified in electronics and haven't thought through what's being told to them. In the case of the latter group, I have found that 2 minutes of basic theory can completely change their mindset.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 7:06 pm   #1108
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

The only thing to watch with silver plated copper is red plague.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...0100009723.pdf
https://www.cirris.com/learning-cent...osion-in-wires

So, you either make your cables out of pure copper (tinned copper is prone to tin whisker formation) or pure silver. Or if silver plating has to be used, it should be thick enough to prevent porosity (which provides red plague formation sites) - 1 to 2 microns is the recommendation.

Of course, why is red plague a big problem with the space industry? Well, even if handling and assembly environments are highly controlled, all the launch pads are near tropical coasts - and salt spray can drive both red plague and stress corrosion cracking. Neither of which you want in a launch vehicle.

So what is the relevance to audio? Well it is not down to bulk conductivity; although silver is higher than copper, it is only by 7%. Also for audio, skin effect is not an issue either. Silver is about 15x the price of copper of similar purity.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:01 pm   #1109
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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The only thing to watch with silver plated copper is red plague.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...0100009723.pdf
https://www.cirris.com/learning-cent...osion-in-wires

So, you either make your cables out of pure copper (tinned copper is prone to tin whisker formation) or pure silver. Or if silver plating has to be used, it should be thick enough to prevent porosity (which provides red plague formation sites) - 1 to 2 microns is the recommendation.

Of course, why is red plague a big problem with the space industry? Well, even if handling and assembly environments are highly controlled, all the launch pads are near tropical coasts - and salt spray can drive both red plague and stress corrosion cracking. Neither of which you want in a launch vehicle.

So what is the relevance to audio? Well it is not down to bulk conductivity; although silver is higher than copper, it is only by 7%. Also for audio, skin effect is not an issue either. Silver is about 15x the price of copper of similar purity.
So why do audioPHILES use it? (it's obvious why people sell it).
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:10 pm   #1110
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Well, I'm not sure. I currently use bog standard professional (ie as used during live recordings and mixing desks by the km) balanced or star quad.

Now I have used ridiculously expensive silver cables in the dim and distant. And they were exceptionally fickle beasts. For some reason I do not understand, if you moved them around (ie bent the cable a few times) the sound quality would change noticeably. That drove me so nuts I have ended up where I have been for several years with high quality Belden studio grade balanced cables, which are a quid or two per metre. And it is no nonsense plug and play.

Craig
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:21 pm   #1111
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Well, I'm not sure. I currently use bog standard professional (ie as used during live recordings and mixing desks by the km) balanced or star quad.

Now I have used ridiculously expensive silver cables in the dim and distant. And they were exceptionally fickle beasts. For some reason I do not understand, if you moved them around (ie bent the cable a few times) the sound quality would change noticeably. That drove me so nuts I have ended up where I have been for several years with high quality Belden studio grade balanced cables, which are a quid or two per metre. And it is no nonsense plug and play.

Craig

So for hifi use expensive silver cables are poorer performers than good quality copper ones costing a couple of quid per metre?
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:26 pm   #1112
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Well, I'm not sure. I currently use bog standard professional (ie as used during live recordings and mixing desks by the km) balanced or star quad.

Now I have used ridiculously expensive silver cables in the dim and distant. And they were exceptionally fickle beasts. For some reason I do not understand, if you moved them around (ie bent the cable a few times) the sound quality would change noticeably. That drove me so nuts I have ended up where I have been for several years with high quality Belden studio grade balanced cables, which are a quid or two per metre. And it is no nonsense plug and play.

Craig

So for hifi use expensive silver cables are poorer performers than good quality copper ones costing a couple of quid per metre?
It was probably the lack of the rosewood audiophile cable supports that would have been the problem, EVERYONE who uses silver cables know that
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:29 pm   #1113
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

I dunno - it seems to me that if hi fi kit is improved by exotic cables, that is a reflection on the design of the kit, not the virtues of the cable.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 8:39 pm   #1114
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

The RF world, silver plating of wire for inductors, of connectors, cavity filters and even some screening housings has been done for a long time. Inductor Q and cavity Q benefit enough to be worthwhile when you need every advantage you can get. Rather surprisingly, black silver tarnish doesn't spoil things other than switch contacts, which need to be designed to wipe themselves clean.

Maybe the hifi lot picked up on high quality RF stuff being silver plated, and stirred in their own belief that no difference can be beneath their notice?

David
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 9:02 pm   #1115
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

A few years ago there was a piece in a power journal about how, because of war-time copper shortage, the US Federal Reserve allowed a quantity of its stock of Silver to be turned into wire for the manufacture of some high voltage power transformers required for a new factory producing goods for the war effort. The transformers were reported to have had excellent regulation and low losses. After cessation of hostilities, the transformers were re-wound using copper, and the silver was returned to the Federal Reserve.

AFAIR the PTFE equipment wire we used for aerospace stuff at Plessey in the 1970's was silver-plated copper. It was mainly for use in hermetically-sealed equipment, so I guess atmospheric pollution would not have been a problem.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 10:15 pm   #1116
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Personally, I put all perceived effects down to confirmation bias. Who wants to say their new £3k cable risers didn't make a difference? Or their Jensen capacitors were not worth it?
It is interesting that very similar methods have been used in the field of animal psychiatry.

The owner is told there is a problem with how their dog perceives them. So the therapy involves getting the owner to crawl on their hands and knees, down the front garden path, to greet the dog, always being below the physical level of the dog to guarantee the correct relationship.

Once the owner has submitted to doing this and paid the many $ for the treatment sessions, it becomes almost impossible for them to admit they were duped and accept the humiliation and ridicule from their friends and they can spare themselves the self doubt, only if they continue to believe.

It is very hard for people to admit they made a really foolish decision. It is a lot like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes.

So all audio products, fuses, cables etc should have to pass the "Schoolboy Test" in case he says; that just looks (& sounds) like an ordinary fuse to me.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 11:57 pm   #1117
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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AFAIR the PTFE equipment wire we used for aerospace stuff at Plessey in the 1970's was silver-plated copper. It was mainly for use in hermetically-sealed equipment, so I guess atmospheric pollution would not have been a problem.
Having worked at Oxford Instruments, we used that same sort of wire for connections from superconducting magnets to the quench protection circuits. The silver plating made for easy solderability, and PTFE is just about the only dielectric that is usable at liquid helium temperature. We buried the cable bundles in machined channels using plasticene - which bizarrely also works perfectly well at cryogenic temperature.

Going much further back, working on high power lasers, a perfectly good temporary lens mount was to stick it onto a pile of plasticene - AKA "a variable height device"

The audio industry has not yet cottoned on to the damping properties of plasticene.
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Old 24th Dec 2019, 12:35 am   #1118
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

One nice aspect to PTFE insulation is the lack of strip-back when you apply heat. It makes everything feel more rugged. I use it daily and would use it for everything if I could. In fact, RS have their own range of Ag-plated PTFE wire - and the price is a lot less than the branded types. You do need the right tool to strip it.

NB - I have seen claims that PTFE-insulated cable is microphonic when used in high-gain / high-Z circuits. Haven't had the time to test the theory for myself, but be warned. I use the stuff for low-Z / medium gain applications, and it gives stellar measured performance.
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Old 24th Dec 2019, 12:40 am   #1119
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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A few years ago there was a piece in a power journal about how, because of war-time copper shortage, the US Federal Reserve allowed a quantity of its stock of Silver to be turned into wire for the manufacture of some high voltage power transformers required for a new factory producing goods for the war effort. The transformers were reported to have had excellent regulation and low losses. After cessation of hostilities, the transformers were re-wound using copper, and the silver was returned to the Federal Reserve.

AFAIR the PTFE equipment wire we used for aerospace stuff at Plessey in the 1970's was silver-plated copper. It was mainly for use in hermetically-sealed equipment, so I guess atmospheric pollution would not have been a problem.
I think that that was for enrichment plants associated with the Manhattan Project- the epitome of a "just get it done, here's a blank cheque" programme (maybe that should be program...), not to mention users of vast amounts of electricity, also that something like 15,000 tonnes of silver were involved. Though it wouldn't surprise me if power transformers for other war factories also were involved as big HV transformers are well sealed, highly dangerous and enormously heavy, thus unlikely to go walkies!

I'm sure I had heard that silver plating was necessary with PTFE-insulated wire to prevent it reacting with the copper when undergoing extrusion and subsequently in use if hot- it's bad enough having the corrosive chlorine compounds, such as HCl, associated with hot PVC-insulated copper wire, some of the fluorine compounds are rather evil in nature.
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Old 24th Dec 2019, 1:00 am   #1120
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
AFAIR the PTFE equipment wire we used for aerospace stuff at Plessey in the 1970's was silver-plated copper. It was mainly for use in hermetically-sealed equipment, so I guess atmospheric pollution would not have been a problem.
Having worked at Oxford Instruments, we used that same sort of wire for connections from superconducting magnets to the quench protection circuits. The silver plating made for easy solderability, and PTFE is just about the only dielectric that is usable at liquid helium temperature. We buried the cable bundles in machined channels using plasticene - which bizarrely also works perfectly well at cryogenic temperature.

Going much further back, working on high power lasers, a perfectly good temporary lens mount was to stick it onto a pile of plasticene - AKA "a variable height device"

The audio industry has not yet cottoned on to the damping properties of plasticene.
Does Blu Tack count Craig?
I've used it for donkey's years to stop speakers sliding off stands as a less damaging solution than sharp spikes sticking up into the expensive wood veneer.
Not a clue as whether it enhances anything though although I imagine it may have a limited amount of vibration damping?

Andy.
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