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[#] Mon Jan 04 2016 00:40:38 EST from vince-q <>

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For digital connections I completely agree with IG - other than "obvious cheap junk" (can you say Walmart) all digital cables are essentially equal as long as you stay wtihin their length limitations.

I have yet to see a means of connecting speakers to amplifiers other than copper. And no, IG, all copper cables are ABSOLUTELY NOT created equally. I absolutely guarantee you that there is a definite audible improvement over a speaker cable made of heavy gauge wire and the equivalent gauge of Monstercable. I've done the A/B test many times for doubters and every one has come away agreeing with me. Every single time.

[#] Mon Jan 04 2016 08:53:23 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Ok, well please explain the physics of it then, because I've never met an electron that cared about the cost of the copper it was jumping through.

[#] Mon Jan 04 2016 11:27:44 EST from dothebart

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there are several.

There is something called the 'skin effect' which makes higher frequencies only use the outer side of the wire.

Therefore (not just for flexibility) cables are made of many thin lines.

You may also have differences in the material itself, cheap ones may have cheap aloy or iron cores that are galvanized with copper for a nicer look.

There also may be differences in which way the lines are woven into each other, and last but not least the way plugs are crimped / connected on.

[#] Mon Jan 04 2016 12:04:08 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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The "skin effect" is only relevant when cable length is measured in miles/kilometers and dealing with frequencies not used for audio. And of course there is probably a point of diminishing returns, and I'll bet the cost/performance curve is very steep. Here [ ] are some audiophiles who, in a blind A/B test, could not tell the difference between "Monster" cable and coathangers.

[#] Mon Jan 04 2016 22:18:31 EST from vince-q <>

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Back in the day (1984 or so) I was visiting Bryn Mawr Stereo in Cherry Hill NJ and the sales person was "pitching" Monstercable to me. I was then using home-made 12-gauge wire for my speaker cabling and was very satisfied.

I made all the arguments to him, IG, that you have already stated.

He said he would give me a 12' pair of Monsters to take home and try, the understanding being that I'd either return them or pay for them. Being a "regular" at was (for that time) the only high-end store within less than an hour driving time, they had no problem doing this.

I brought the Monster pair home, and hooked it up.
That pair is still in my system today - 3 houses and thirty years later.
The audible difference absolutely floored me.

IG - don't believe me. Try it yourself. Go to BestBuy, buy a pair on your credit card, try the swap test yourself, and if not immediately impressed, just bring them back within 15 days of purchase (their 'no questions asked' return period).

If perchance you fail to agree after that test, you will be the first to so state. Ever. At least in "my universe."

[#] Tue Jan 05 2016 09:39:53 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Ok, I know you've got more high end equipment than I do, and you probably have a better "ear" than I do, but what I really want to understand is *why* do high-cost speaker cables allegedly sound better? What are the physics and material science behind it?

[#] Tue Jan 05 2016 13:35:13 EST from LoanShark

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I've been assured that they don't. Gauge is important, and that's about it.

I think it's absurd that Monster is still in business, and now they're making their money selling ridiculously over-engineered *HDMI* cables, claiming that you need their fat crap to get 1080p.

You don't. It's *digital*, folks. It either transmits all those bits, or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, *you will know.*

[#] Tue Jan 05 2016 13:36:55 EST from LoanShark

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equivalent gauge of Monstercable. I've done the A/B test many times for

doubters and every one has come away agreeing with me. Every single

Properly double-blinded, one hopes...

[#] Tue Jan 05 2016 19:04:21 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Regarding digital, we did cover that, and Vince agreed; any money spent on digital cables beyond paying for sufficient quality to get an error-free connection is wasted.

So we are really just talking about speaker cables here.

Wire gauge is obviously important.  Too small a wire adds resistance; too large a wire adds capacitance.  That either one of those would have a negative impact on the overall sound is obvious.

That's why I'm interested in understanding the science behind premium speaker cables.  Even if I tested them myself and found them to be subjectively better sounding, I would still want to know why.

[#] Tue Jan 05 2016 20:16:28 EST from LoanShark

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You want a cable that gets electrons moving faster, so that that big woofer driver will move quicker ;)

[#] Fri Jan 08 2016 14:41:09 EST from LoanShark

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Oh, or one of these....

[#] Sat Jan 09 2016 07:42:34 EST from dothebart

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that can handle more pressure.

[#] Sun Jan 10 2016 14:33:01 EST from vince-q <>

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2016-01-08 11:41 from LoanShark @uncnsrd (Uncensored)

Oh, or one of these....

THAT is too funny for words!!!

[#] Sun Jan 10 2016 14:41:19 EST from vince-q <>

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On a more serious note...

Velodyne, in their more expensive subwoofers, does not use amplifiers, per se. They use what they call "servo controllers" with a control head type unit that actually controls the servos that are in the subwoofer box. Yes, it sounds the same as "amplifier controlling speaker cone" but it's not.

The point?

There's a rumor floating around in the high-end world that Velodyne's new high-end subwoofer design is going to employ fiber optic cable from the controller to the subwoofer box, and allow for a variety of digital connections to the main "theater controller" (in my case the Yamaha Avantage A1000). If they are truly doing this, it will be the first - as far as I know - case of "digital from the pre-amp all the way to the speaker." And in THIS case, IG, you will be right. The cheapest digital cable that gets an error-free signal from the pre-amp's suwoofer-out to the subwoofer-controller will be all that's needed. Unfortunately (for me) there's no digital out for the subwoofers on my MagicYamahaBox. But who knows what's down the road...

[#] Mon Jan 11 2016 12:54:07 EST from LoanShark

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Right, the difference between a passive amp and the servo controller is the servo controller uses realtime position feedback and error correction. It's a closed loop.

Apparently those subs are used quite a bit professionally - nightclubs, concert venues, etc.

For home use, they're also sold by Rhythmik Audio.

Me, I have a pair of BIC Acoustech. Got them at 50% off, so I could afford two, which deals with room modes better.

[#] Mon Jan 11 2016 14:16:57 EST from vince-q <>

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Me, I have a pair of BIC Acoustech. Got them at 50% off, so I could
afford two, which deals with room modes better.

I've been using 2 subs for roughly 20 years now. When the Velo ULD-12 died, about 8 yrs back, I hunted for a year to find a ULD-15. Found it on craigslist, visited the guy, and paid him cash before he realized what he had <evil grin> !! Cost me $300, which was roughly $2,200 less than it cost when new, and about a grand less than anyone has ever gotten on eBay. It's been flawlessly performing (behind the couch in the listening room) ever since, and the fact that it is ***down***firing makes ALL the difference, particularly in such things as the Saint Saens 3rd Symphony (Organ Symphony) where the pedal Eb notes on the 128' pipes at the Philly Academy of Music, start quietly - you don't really *hear* that note, you *feel* it, as it grows and grows and grows. Just sitting here writing about it sends chills!!

I conducted that piece, in the Academy, many years ago. And the listening experience in my room is as close to "on the podium" as I've ever heard.

The same with the Mahler 8th (which I've also conducted several times). At the end of the two movements, there is a huge organ entrance, with off-stage brass. It scares the hell out of the dog!! And sounds as close to "being there" as you can get without hiring about 150 musicians and 500 singers and building a pipe organ!!

Great stuff.

[#] Mon Jan 11 2016 16:05:00 EST from LoanShark

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Ah yes - if you're really into pipe organs, 20Hz is not low enough! But there is little content below 30hz in the majority of recordings. Even for movie special effects on the LFE channel, the majority of the energy is up a bit higher.

One day this November I woke up and, apropos of about nothing, reaized I can afford this now, and I have the space to put it, so I'm just moving up from a decade of PC speaker usage. Very happy with the 3.2-channel system I've built so far - crisp and airy highs, deeeep lows. Might add some rear surrounds later. Or I might not.

[#] Tue Jan 12 2016 01:14:03 EST from vince-q <>

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Adding L/R rear channels will *astound* you when watching movies.
And if you are really into concert-hall realism, you really *do* need them for classical music.

Nothing comes close to the finale of either movement of the Mahler 8th where I can hear the rear-center brass choir (in addition to the two brass choirs left and right front balconies). Amazing! Oh - I very strongly recommend the Bernstein recording from roughly 1967 done in Royal Albert Hall. This is *the* definitive Mahler 8th in my opinion. Yes, I'm prejudiced. Yes, I knew Dr. Bernstein personally. And when it comes to Mahler, he was The Master's Master.

[#] Tue Jan 12 2016 08:27:14 EST from fleeb

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Huh, that's something I hadn't seriously considered.

If you want a proper experience, you should have a stand-by orchestra and Foley artists.

[#] Tue Jan 12 2016 13:23:32 EST from vince-q <>

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If you want a proper experience, you should have a stand-by orchestra

and Foley artists.

Hmmmm.... today a "stand-by orchestra" would necessarily involve paying union scale. You do not want to *think* about that!

But yes - that is the Proper Experience.

Back in the day, I've conducted numerous Broadway musicals, including West Side Story (NEVER again - it's a BITCH of a score - thanks Lenny!), La Mancha, and a whole host of operas including the Ring, Otello, Aida, and the Verdi Requiem.

Yup - nothing beats the Live Orchestra (and more) for realism.
But my home theater comes frighteningly close!! <evil grin>

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