Arguments - Bleeding edge technological advance or Audiophool snake oil ? Just for fun !

Baron Mole

Active Member
There is a video on YouTube where Gene from audioholics talks about super, super expensive AQ speaker cables.
Having mentioned sources - audioholics is a good example of folk who understand audio theory and practice. It is very techy - hurrah - but that means it can be hard going for people without a good basic knowledge of theory.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Speakers, room, cartridge. These are the only things that make a big difference to the sound that you're getting, in my experience.
Amps (assuming powerful enough for the speakers) and DACs have a marginal impact, overstated by many.
The rest just needs to be put together correctly and definitely doesn't need to cost a lot.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Having mentioned sources - audioholics is a good example of folk who understand audio theory and practice. It is very techy - hurrah - but that means it can be hard going for people without a good basic knowledge of theory.
I see your point. From my understanding he talks about skin effect, resistance, capacitance.

Skin effect only affect radio station where cables runs tens of miles...

Capacitance is when the conductors are too close to each other, then you’ll get high roll off.

Resistance is of course how much current cables can deliver to the speakers.

Not to be a smart head, just read a lot online.
 

oscroft

Member
My favourite there is one of the cheapest, a 1.5ml bottle of "Three Dimensionality Enhancer" fluid for $349.

"Through magnetic conduction", apparently, it "works on a micro-level to bind the electrons in your connectors, improve their transfer of energy, and direct the current more fluidly."

The spirit of Peter Belt lives on.

 

Baron Mole

Active Member
Speakers, room, cartridge. These are the only things that make a big difference to the sound that you're getting, in my experience.
Amps (assuming powerful enough for the speakers) and DACs have a marginal impact, overstated by many.
The rest just needs to be put together correctly and definitely doesn't need to cost a lot.
I very much agree.

I don't think it's an overstatement to say that choosing the right system and getting the best sound out of it is one of the most difficult tasks to do in life.

There are many more variables involved than most people realise. And no two people hear the same thing from the same system. The only person who can decide what sounds 'better' is you and that can't be done from magazines or specifications but only by actual listening and comparison.

The big problem is that whilst technical knowledge on electronics is quite advanced and many parameters can be measured - it doesn't necessarily relate to how something sounds.

But the Really BIG problem is the mechanical side of sound reproduction i.e. speakers and cartridges for example. The technical knowledge is no where near complete and very few parameters can be measured. Good measurements don't equal good speakers. The ONLY measuring instrument that works is someone's ears - preferably yours.

The REALLY REALLY BIG problem is the room - even if it's a custom designed dedicated space with no compromises required for using as a daily living area. Speaker positioning is critical. However room correction technology has come a long way in the last two decades, so there are now better ways to deal with the issues than just the classic bass traps and acoustic panels.
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
My favourite there is one of the cheapest, a 1.5ml bottle of "Three Dimensionality Enhancer" fluid for $349.
Yes one of my faves too - $232,667 a litre. :rotfl::rotfl:
See also Chord Ohmic Fluid
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
"Audiophile" fuses.
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
"Audiophile" fuses.
Yes only Β£65 each - see post 10.

I was around when Russ Andrews started up and began to create the whole purity of power supply area which is now very big business.

It's like a lot of stuff - some based in fact - RF and EM exist. And some people do have real issues with their mains voltage. So there are genuine cases where these products will make a difference.

Where it all goes wrong is that it's only a tiny number of people who have a "real" problem.

A belief has grown up that these products will make a difference to everyone (unless you're a tin eared fool - emperors new clothes psychology - and true audiophiles have golden ears so can hear the benefit whilst we ordinary mortals can't).

Much of advertising (not just in hifi) is for products that invent an issue you didn't even know you had - because you haven't - and then offer a solution.
 

coruja

Active Member
I found this spoof Audiophile review for banana plugs.

It almost had me with "audiophile grade goldplated teflon wrapped flathead screwdriver set" .. I was thinking, OK there might be even stuff like that, but I was Rick Rolled!


But I read some reviews of wires, connectors and other 'accoutrements' on industry recognized and respected website, and the joke never comes.
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
I found this spoof Audiophile review for banana plugs.

It almost had me with "audiophile grade goldplated teflon wrapped flathead screwdriver set" .. I was thinking, OK there might be even stuff like that, but I was Rick Rolled!


But I read some reviews of wires, connectors and other 'accoutrements' on industry recognized and respected website, and the joke never comes.
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: Thanks for the laugh. Great review fairly subtle so might be accepted by those who's BS detector is less practiced than my own or yours. Ah Rick - still has a quite sucessful career.

Teflon is one of the latest fads - so manufacturers are pushed into using it so customers don't reject their products due to not incorporating the latest (bogus) technology. AND SO IT BEGINS - Quote from Babylon 5.

Could you share the 'well respected' sites you visited ?
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I was around when Russ Andrews started up and began to create the whole purity of power supply area which is now very big business.

It's like a lot of stuff - some based in fact - RF and EM exist. And some people do have real issues with their mains voltage. So there are genuine cases where these products will make a difference.
The issue is that when RF & EM exist and cause problems, Russ Andrews product don't actually solve them. Fortunately, there are real solutions to such real problems. I speak from experience, having suffered from RF & EM (inserting an RF choke into the signal path often works wonders).

To take an example, Russ Andrews sells his HD-29 HDMI cable for Β£177. I have an HDMI cable problem - I need 7.5m UHD - solved by a member here whose company sold me a Rui Pro hybrid fibre cable for €182. To be fair, Russ Andrews doesn't claim UHD up to 20m (only 1080p), but I rather doubt that he can reliably do 20m at 1080p. His cables themselves max out at 3m, which is probably a realistic maximum. But why spend Β£177 on a cable when for the same outlay you can actually solve a real problem?
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
@Baron Mole Nordost and even Naim's directional wiring is something that comes to mind.
Ah yes. Manufacturer's websites. And truth and nonsense.

Ignoring the typos (which I can't - one of my many pet hates - is no-one capable of proof reading anymore?) I've spotted cases where they've got specs wrong and contradicted themselves :rotfl:

I've attached a pdf of the contents pages - only 7 - taken from the Hifi "Bible" by Floyd Toole to illustrate how incredibly complex audio reproduction is.

Amazon product
So the first things to consider are competence and knowledge.

There's an incredible amount to know - see pdf.

Old established companies will have R&D staffed by hopefully enough sufficiently knowledgeable staff, engineers, designer's, researchers etc to be capable of competent product design.

Small companies may be relying on just one genius - or loony :rotfl:. They may lack knowledge in many areas for example design of component layout on the pcb is it's own specialism and can make an audible diference.

Between these extremes sit probably the bulk of current manufacturers. As customers we just don't know how competent and knowledgeable a particular company is.

Audible differences between competently designed electronic products let's say amps at a similar price tier should be very small. But we know by listening that isn't the case - why ?

Need to sign off to get on with my day now. Cheers
 

Attachments

  • Toole Contents.pdf
    2.8 MB · Views: 38

oscroft

Member
It's like a lot of stuff - some based in fact - RF and EM exist. And some people do have real issues with their mains voltage. So there are genuine cases where these products will make a difference.
Very much so, yes. And it's coupled with the problem, as Mark.Yudkin points out, that very often the product doesn't actually solve the problem anyway. As long as they sell a product that's claimed to fix the problem, where the problem is hard to diagnose, they'll get away with it.

I think it's an extension of a basic issue. Whenever you have a complex technology, as audio reproduction undoubtedly is, there are many technical problems - and that gives shysters an excuse to sell ever more dubious and ever more expensive "solutions".

Take cables. I was around when fancy RCA interconnects were just becoming popular - before then, we just used whatever came in the box. I still remember being introduced to a Monster Cable interconnect - a friend did a comparison, without telling me what he'd changed in his system.

The improvement was clear. But it wasn't because the Monster interconnect was anything special... it was because the in-the-box interconnect he'd previously had was inadequate*. I have a few ultra-cheap interconnects (the kind that sell for around Β£3 on eBay), and I occasionally try one just to check my sanity - and yes, it's immediately clear that they degrade the sound.

But the difference I hear is the difference between "good enough" and "not good enough". The "good enough" interconnects are nothing special, but they are good enough. And whenever I've tried fancier interconnects, I've never heard a difference.

(*I bought a reasonably expensive, and very nice, Denon CD player around the time. It came with the same kind of thin, cheap, interconnect that you got with the very cheapest components).
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
But the difference I hear is the difference between "good enough" and "not good enough". The "good enough" interconnects are nothing special, but they are good enough. And whenever I've tried fancier interconnects, I've never heard a difference.
Yes I agree with all your post. Exactly my experience. Get a properly specified and constructed cable and that's all that's needed.

Once you've achieved good enough - which you can easily do with cables, because surprise surprise, it's a simple case of electronic engineering and we know the science - and if you can't hear the difference with more "exotic' cables then you know you're there.

I'm astonished how little the question 'But is it audible?' seems to be asked. Smoke and mirrors and belief in magic and advertising and pychological manipulation.

BTW I looked at a Denon CD player advert recently - it claimed to retrieve the information lost during the recording - what a pile of πŸ’© :rotfl:

I must be simple if it's lost it's lost otherwise it's mislaid.
But I've still called Denon to put my name at top of the list to buy one of their audio recording engineer equiped time machines :laugh:
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
I see your point. From my understanding he talks about skin effect, resistance, capacitance.

Skin effect only affect radio station where cables runs tens of miles...

Capacitance is when the conductors are too close to each other, then you’ll get high roll off.

Resistance is of course how much current cables can deliver to the speakers.

Not to be a smart head, just read a lot online.
He talks about a heck of a lot more.
You are on the right track but not quite correct. You need proper academic scientific sources.

Very few people understand how very very very complex audio reproduction is.

To get an understanding of how complex click Arguments - Bleeding edge technological advance or Audiophool snake oil ? Just for fun !

And open the pdf at the end - also read that thread where I include a link to the book the pdf comes from.
 
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Baron Mole

Active Member
Another entry from our friend with the magnets - I must say they are well named...

Bafflex Speakers​

High Fidelity Cables uses Magnetic Conduction technology to enhance audio signals and ensure the highest quality sound in audio reproduction..

Magnetic Conduction is a new and unique technology that preserves signal inegrity by utilizing magnetism to enhance signal transfer. Magnetic Conduction consists of using magnetic fields with the precise strength, orientation, and dimensions as to concentrate electron flow inside the conductor.

The magnetic fields guide the electrons through the conductor in a more efficient manner than with standard electrical conduction, creating less distortion and interference. This new magnetic type of conduction lends itself to high-end audio reproduction, where you can hear massive improvements in clarity and experience the music the way it was meant to be heard.

HighFidelityCables Bafflex Speakers (Demo Model)
Sale price$120,000.00

system_400x.jpg
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
More magnet looniness. I've given the link to give access the insights in the huge write up on the LHS. Try to guess the price - ok don't bother it's $120,000 - see any pattern here ? And it reminds me of the malevolent robot dog in the Sherlock, Hound of the Baskervilles, Cucumberpatch version.

MA-70 Monoblock Amplifiers

MA70_2_800x.jpg
 

Baron Mole

Active Member

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Exactly what are those magnets? Those speakers looks like robots. Give me some Harbeth M40, 1. Instead.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
He talks about a heck of a lot more.
You are on the right track but not quite correct. You need proper academic scientific sources.

Very few people understand how very very very complex audio reproduction is.

To get an understanding of how complex click Arguments - Bleeding edge technological advance or Audiophool snake oil ? Just for fun !

And open the pdf at the end - also read that thread where I include a link to the book the pdf comes from.
Thanks for the link,
 

SP00KY

Active Member
And todays entrant from the Audio-T newsletter.

Warning ! Take care ! RFI is getting in ! Only Β£550 each. Get them quick before they sell out ! The Chord Groundaray - ta da !

Chord GroundARAY

chordco-GA-7-row-001-1080px.jpg
This sort of thing is not a new idea but they can apparently make a difference in some systems. Everything on the circuit forms part of the circuit and there can be all sorts of things that put interference into your system. Removal of such 'noise' can improve the sound quality.

I use a distributor and power cables that are not particularly cheap but did very noticeably improve the sound quality, although the improvement made by changing the power cable to my DAC was significant but for my streamer it made no difference that I could hear.

I had also been of the opinion that it's all ones and zeros but I kept an open mind and tried an upgraded ethernet cable and it made an obvious difference to the sound. There are a lot of people who will make a lot of noise stating that it cannot possibly make any difference, or that it actually made things worse and the improvement is just personal preference for something that is worse. The people who shout the loudest about this topic very often seem to be those who have not tried it.

As always, YMMV and I wouldn't say these sorts of things will make a difference in all systems, in all rooms and to all ears. They are also the icing on the cake (or the glaze on the icing on the cake, as someone once said). I know someone who lives in a remote location with very few people in sight and no industrial power use nearby. The power generator for that area is nearby and he has tried a number of different options related to the power supply and none make any difference for him. In my location and in my system it made a significant difference. I would say that neither of us are wrong.

Whether or not these sorts of things and any potential improvements are worth the money is an entirely subjective matter.

Unfortunately these sorts of discussions usually end up in the same place.

As for the product in the OP's first post... I'd be spending £100K on something else. 🀣
 

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