cable theories?

KazmanN

Standard Member
Has anyone here heard of Roger Russell? I was on audioholics.com starting a thread on there about a new pair of speakers, and mentioned I would do cable upgrades. Thats when it resulted in an arguement. I have a couple of members trying to tell me that cable makes no difference as well as power conditioners. I'd try convincing to try things for themselves, but I think I was just adding fuel to the fire. What do you do with people like this XD
 

KazmanN

Standard Member
I really honestly believe that Roger's claims are pretty much proven false. I've heard differences in sound by changing wires and power conditioners. Yes I'll be honest there were some cases I've demoed things and noticed no difference at all.
 

AdrianMills

Well-known Member
I really honestly believe that Roger's claims are pretty much proven false. I've heard differences in sound by changing wires and power conditioners. Yes I'll be honest there were some cases I've demoed things and noticed no difference at all.
Read up on psychoacoustics, placebo, cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, ABX and double blind testing and you may understand why your experiences of "hearing differences" are, to say the least, not very reliable.
 

KazmanN

Standard Member
I know our memory relating to hearing is pretty poor. However I have demoed some psb speakers at a dealer (can't remeber the exact model) I remember it was a 2ch setup using an electrocompaniet integrated. One speaker was using some basic kimber kable, the other was some generic brand wire. The difference although subtle was most certainly noticeable.
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Thats when it resulted in an arguement. I have a couple of members trying to tell me that cable makes no difference as well as power conditioners.
Well maybe, but that's their point of view.. I have to say I think audio cables make a minor difference, shielding is certainly important but you can get a decent quality pair for not much outlay. When you get to the really expensive stuff it's a completely different case - they are basically luxury goods and the scepticism is probably justified. I don't think you'll be conned by any of the major manufacturers but I would think carefully about what you need. Most will be OK for speaker wire but for phonos and other interconnects I generally use a quality brand such as Techlink, IXOS etc.
 

KazmanN

Standard Member
Well maybe, but that's their point of view.. I have to say I think audio cables make a minor difference, shielding is certainly important but you can get a decent quality pair for not much outlay. When you get to the really expensive stuff it's a completely different case - they are basically luxury goods and the scepticism is probably justified. I don't think you'll be conned by any of the major manufacturers but I would think carefully about what you need. Most will be OK for speaker wire but for phonos and other interconnects I generally use a quality brand such as Techlink, IXOS etc.
I would agree with you bibby. :smashin:
 

Andy8421

Active Member
Kazman,

I think you need to be a little more specific. Speaker cables are mainly resistive, changing cables for different conductor size changes the resistance and depending on relative size of cable and length, the change may be detected by a listener.

So changing cables can make a difference.

What does not make a difference is taking a 50p per metre copper cable with a 2.5mm^2 cross sectional area, and replacing it with a 500p per metre copper cable with a fancy name and a 2.5mm^2 cross sectional area. The only difference there will be the smile on the retailer's face.

Mains conditioners (not mains power leads) could in principle make a difference in an environment with lots of mains interference and a poorly designed amp.
 

Mark Grant

Active Member
What does not make a difference is taking a 50p per metre copper cable with a 2.5mm^2 cross sectional area, and replacing it with a 500p per metre copper cable with a fancy name and a 2.5mm^2 cross sectional area. The only difference there will be the smile on the retailer's face..
Not always true :)

Anyone with lots of experience of copper cable knows that most cheap cable is made from recycled copper in China.

High quality recycled is not a problem but the cheap stuff has cheaper metals thrown in the smelter to keep the price down.
I have heard it called ' re-energised' copper by the factories selling it.:laugh:

It is not possible to buy new high quality 2.5mm copper speaker cable for 50p a metre, even when buying in kilometres, (based on quotes from factories) it is probably recycled if really cheap, even though the ebay and amazon sellers claim it is High Purity OFC etc :thumbsdow

That does not mean that really expensive cable will always be pure copper, retail price gives little indication of quality these days.

There is a thread that mentions cable that has a higher than expected resistance here.
http://www.avforums.com/forums/interconnects-speaker-cables-switches/1355992-why-dont-speaker-cables-have-resistance-figures.html#post13536650

Mark.
 
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Avi

Distinguished Member
For me the answer is easy. With all else being as equal as practical I'd get a friend to help with a basic blind comparison i.e. so I don't know what cable is being used at any given time (even use a blindfold if that helps ;) ) .

If I can reliably and repeatedly identify a preference and that preference coincides with a specific cable then I'd go with that cable.

If the result is inconclusive but I prefer a cable when I "know" the specific cable being used this probably down to preconception affecting my perception i.e. consciously or subconsciously I want it to sound better so it does.

Preconception is part of the human condition and know one is immune. If there is a genuine difference it should still exist even when you don't know what cables in use. :)

Some suppliers will allow sale or return and if it's a standard product bought over the internet/mail order then there should be an option to return within a specific time if the product doesn't meet your expectation (distance selling regs).

Avi
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
It is not possible to buy new high quality 2.5mm copper cable for 50p a metre, even when buying in kilometres
2.5 mm² Twin & Earth mains cable at 43 pence per metre + VAT

6242Y 2.5mm Grey Twin & Earth Cable 100m

High resistance, resulting from an impure copper conductor, would be a rather serious problem for a ring-main cable. So I would have thought this cable should use reasonably pure copper.


Alan
 

Jamie

Well-known Member
2.5 mm² Twin & Earth mains cable at 43 pence per metre + VAT

6242Y 2.5mm Grey Twin & Earth Cable 100m

High resistance, resulting from an impure copper conductor, would be a rather serious problem for a ring-main cable. So I would have thought this cable should use reasonably pure copper.


Alan
Well it certainly sounds OK to my ears. Its a bugger to use in the crappy binding posts on most amps, but fine with decent screw clamp banana plugs
 

Mark Grant

Active Member
I missed the word speaker out :) added it

Try finding new copper 2.5mm speaker cable for 50p metre , you wont as it will most likely contain other metals.

The resistance gives it away usually as in the other thread that has lots of calculations based on copper.

Maybe mains flex is the cheap answer as twin and earth is a bit stiff.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
These threads are starting to get pretty amusing.

Clearly anyone with formal training and education in the relevant subjects, relevant scientific background or, god forbid, years of experience actually implementing relevant technology can't possibly know what they're talking about.

No, lets just take hearsay, un-reproducible and inconsistent subjective testing methods, anecdotal evidence, comments by people with no actual understanding of basic engineering principles and of course the words of cable dealers and manufacturers as being the truth shall we.

Shame on Roger Russell for actually having a clue!

:rotfl:
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
I really honestly believe that Roger's claims are pretty much proven false. I've heard differences in sound by changing wires and power conditioners. Yes I'll be honest there were some cases I've demoed things and noticed no difference at all.
BBC News - The science of optical illusions

click this link, scroll half way down the page to Cube illusion see the 2 brown squares that are exactly the same colour? now click next and see that the 2 brown squares look completly different to each other even though they are the exact same squares and the exact same colour.

This shows how easily the brain can trick you into things that simply arn't there.

Our experiences are coloured by our expectations and this happens with our eyes, our ears and our taste buds.
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
Have you measured it :)
http://www.avforums.com/forums/interconnects-speaker-cables-switches/1303633-really-cheap-speaker-cable-experimentation.html

I measured 13.7 mΩ per loop metre.

The calculated value for pure copper at 293 K is 13.4 mΩ per loop metre.

Admittedly that was measured from a length of 2.5 mm² twin & earth I had in the garage.


Mains cables (unlike loudspeaker cables) are subject to standards.
So their resistance should be predictable.

Unfortunately they do not always meet the standard....

faulty cables, counterfeit cables, non-approved cables


Alan
 

Andy8421

Active Member
I missed the word speaker out :) added it

Try finding new copper 2.5mm speaker cable for 50p metre , you wont as it will most likely contain other metals.

The resistance gives it away usually as in the other thread that has lots of calculations based on copper.

Maybe mains flex is the cheap answer as twin and earth is a bit stiff.
79 Strand Twin Fig 8 Speaker Cable

43p + vat per metre in a 100M roll, or 54p + vat per metre as a cut length. I will follow Alan's example and measure the loop resistance of the roll in my garage when the snow stops.
 

KazmanN

Standard Member
This is good info guys. I'm really not trying to start an argument or anything. I'm just really curious to know why things are the way they are when it comes to wire. I know I'm sure some of you want me to be a little more specific in my claims. The truth is I can't, but that doesn't "I feel" invalidate my opinion or fact "which ever you would call it". I was a huge skeptic about wires and conditioners until I actually tried it for an in home demo. Again I know I can't prove it, but I'll say this. Roger I know has a huge background in engineering, science what have you. Remember this though, science has been wrong so many times. Things can look the same on paper, but for whatever reason be completely different in reality. I'll just leave it at that.

I'm sure there are a few people browsing this that may have read Rogers claims. I still "even though he say's otherwise" encourage everyone that is curious about this topic to go out and try this for yourself. Don't take his word for it. Heck don't even take my word for it. Thank you
 

AdrianMills

Well-known Member
This is good info guys. I'm really not trying to start an argument or anything. I'm just really curious to know why things are the way they are when it comes to wire. I know I'm sure some of you want me to be a little more specific in my claims. The truth is I can't, but that doesn't "I feel" invalidate my opinion or fact "which ever you would call it". I was a huge skeptic about wires and conditioners until I actually tried it for an in home demo. Again I know I can't prove it, but I'll say this. Roger I know has a huge background in engineering, science what have you. Remember this though, science has been wrong so many times. Things can look the same on paper, but for whatever reason be completely different in reality. I'll just leave it at that.

I'm sure there are a few people browsing this that may have read Rogers claims. I still "even though he say's otherwise" encourage everyone that is curious about this topic to go out and try this for yourself. Don't take his word for it. Heck don't even take my word for it. Thank you
Let's get one thing straight; it's not just Roger Russell making up these claims on a whim. He is just one among an enormous number of scientists and engineers backed by a substantial amount of verifiable and reproducible evidence. It's also a known, reproducible and verifiable fact that sighted, subjective "listening tests" such as yours are prone to so many confounding factors as to make any sweeping generalisations and conclusions drawn from them utterly unreliable. What you thought you heard is more than likely just that, a thought, which has no basis in reality whatsoever. It's as simple as that. And even if, by some remarkable quirk, you'd found a magic wire which does what you say, then it could only ever be ascertained by controlled objective testing and measurement because our hearing is so damn poor a judge of things.
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
This is good info guys. I'm really not trying to start an argument or anything. I'm just really curious to know why things are the way they are when it comes to wire. I know I'm sure some of you want me to be a little more specific in my claims. The truth is I can't, but that doesn't "I feel" invalidate my opinion or fact "which ever you would call it". I was a huge skeptic about wires and conditioners until I actually tried it for an in home demo. Again I know I can't prove it, but I'll say this. Roger I know has a huge background in engineering, science what have you. Remember this though, science has been wrong so many times. Things can look the same on paper, but for whatever reason be completely different in reality. I'll just leave it at that.

I'm sure there are a few people browsing this that may have read Rogers claims. I still "even though he say's otherwise" encourage everyone that is curious about this topic to go out and try this for yourself. Don't take his word for it. Heck don't even take my word for it. Thank you
Does my image where you can clearly see something that isn't the case not show you it's a million times more likely than you are not hearing what is reality rather than science being wrong?

Sure tell people to try for themselves but YOU HAVE TO TRY BLIND otherwise don't try at all.

I know you have spent alot of money on your cables etc and that you don't want to belive that you may well have got the same performance for a fraction of the cost but do you have the courage to try a blind trial with a friend helping? It might save you a fortune in the long run and if you do a blind trial and prefer the more expensive stuff then you can come back to the thread with more authority and say it's not in my head it works for me.
 

dwhite

Well-known Member
Remember this though, science has been wrong so many times. Things can look the same on paper, but for whatever reason be completely different in reality. I'll just leave it at that.
Scientific theories are proved wrong, as our understanding improves and new evidence emerges, this then means the theory is modified or replaced with a new one, it does not mean science is proved wrong. The resultant new theory is still based on science, evidence and understanding.
 

BigT

Standard Member
How ironic that at the top of this thread is an advert for a Chord high speed HDMI cable.
 

Andy8421

Active Member
Scientific theories are proved wrong, as our understanding improves and new evidence emerges, this then means the theory is modified or replaced with a new one, it does not mean science is proved wrong. The resultant new theory is still based on science, evidence and understanding.
Dwhite,

That is all true, but the science of conduction of AC signals along a cable is a relatively well understood science, and the current (no pun intended) analysis regime has been in place for well over a century and has yet to be faulted.

It is also a well established fact that human response to stimulus is very subjective, and trials that depend on measuring human reposponse without bias go to extraordinary lengths to remove the subjective component. To put this in perspective, drug companies use 'double blind' tests as it was found that if the physician administering the drug knew which was real and which was placebo, that the unconcious cues that were given to the patient biased the results.

Given the above, it seems reasonable to assume that the listener who knows which is the cheap and expensive cable during the audition is more likely to be biased that the scientist with the ohm meter measuring loop resistance.
 

dwhite

Well-known Member
My post was in response to his science has been wrong in the past quote, not a comment on the particular subject in discussion. I am not claiming the linked cable theories are wrong (quite the opposite in fact), just trying to counter his argument that science has been wrong in the past. Science is always continually refining and improving theory as understanding and new evidence emerges, thats what science is!

Of course extraordinary claims would require extraordinary evidence to overturn the current theory. Subjective non blind hearing tests is not extraordinary evidence.

Human beings are terrible observers, its just hard for some people to accept that what their eyes, ears and other senses are telling them isn't really true.
 
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Alan Mac

Active Member
79 Strand Twin Fig 8 Speaker Cable

43p + vat per metre in a 100M roll, or 54p + vat per metre as a cut length. I will follow Alan's example and measure the loop resistance of the roll in my garage when the snow stops.
I have recently measured a length of the 79 strand 2.5 mm² CSA loudspeaker cable from TLC.

The results I obtained are as follows:

Resistance: 15 mΩ per loop metre (measured at about 293 K)

Inductance: 424 nH per loop metre

Capacitance: 56 pF per metre


The theoretical resistance for a pure copper conductor of this CSA is 13.4 mΩ per loop metre, at 293 K. Which suggests that this cable does not have quite as pure a copper conductor as mains cable of about the same price. Either that or the conductor is not quite 2.5 mm² in CSA.

However, it has nowhere near as high a resistivity as some of the cheap “ebay” sourced loudspeaker cables.


Alan
 

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