Marvey's Cable Rolling Adventures

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by Marvey, May 7, 2016.

  1. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

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    One aspect that I have learned is to make the contact patch between the binding post (or screw head etc.) and the wire as large as possible.
    This usually entails either flattening the wire where it contacts the binding post's pinch zones, or using a spade lug, or ring connector to increase the size of the contact patch.

    Just a thought or two.

    JJ
     

  2. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Facebook Friend

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    All the duplex receptacle shootouts I read said rhodium plated is always brighter than silver. I'm surprised you are saying rhodium is better with the 800. I would have thought it would be overkill.
     
  3. johnjen

    johnjen Friend

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    I suppose you could say rhodium is brighter, but I wouldn't use that term, or only so in conjunction with other more important and reflective terms.
    Like I stated above "Certain mixes of metals work well together while others don't."

    In my experience it adds inner detail and bass extension and overall focus and presentation refinements and enhancements, this is what I notice, and these SQ changes are what has repeatedly been the change in the sonic signature every time I have used rhodium.

    And of course my 800's aren't stock anymore as they have been heavily modded, as has the rest of my system.
    So, I long ago dealt with the 'stock' 800 quirks.

    JJ
     
  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Are you sure that a year is enough? Maybe make it 10 years, to really make sure you know. :p

    On a more serious note I don't dispute that cables make a difference, I myself prefer not to have silver anywhere near my HD800's. Where I perhaps differ from some is that I'm not convinced that there's a correlation between price and audio performance. The cable industry would love to convince us that there's a linear y=x relationship between price and audio quality.

    However - if you do a blind test of 10 cables with everything from wallmart mains cable to silk covered graphite wrapped in gold and sprinkled with fairy dust I'm pretty damn sure that the most expensive cable won't come out on top. And rather than a linear y=x relationship you'll have a price-performance graph looking something like The Rockies. The name of the game is synergy and more expensive is not necessarily the same as better.

    In your case I'm not saying that your new cable didn't improve anything, might very well be the case. However - are you sure it's really "better" and not just "different". When people spend money on something there's a very strong psychological bias to equate "different" with "better". Again - not saying that your new fancy cable isn't actually "better". Just stating some things I believe in when comes to cables and psychological bias etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  5. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    I've had this idea for a while, which emerged from the days when I was listening to a lot of audio samples for guitar gear (speakers, pickups, necks and bodies (wood types) mostly. Always wanted something with this kind of functionality as a majority of info I had found posted were mostly qualitative or personal preference (nothing wrong with that!).

    How about a simple program (or app??) where we can switch back and forth quickly from different audio streams (playing simultaneously) with a click/selection through our own systems with our own individual computers/players?

    1. Would have to use a reference amp/dac (doesn't have to be familiar to everyone) since they would be a constant, but something of good enough capacity/ability to show the differences.
    2. Use the same song or sound sample/sequence that covers the full frequency ranges.
    3. Let the only variable be the cables.
    4. People could send (or upload somewhere) their recordings for each other (with the name/specs/pertinent info) using their setup, so people could hear for the changes (if perceivable) for themselves.
    5. This could work for any part of the signal chain I'm thinking too (amp/dac/tubes,opamps, et al).

    I know this idea isn't as fleshed out as much as I would like but the general idea is there. It would also take some generosity and time from folks who do have multiple bits of gear, but it could really help the community out in the future I think.
    If the input/database was built up with enough contributions from folks, it could prove invaluable for people to hear for themselves on their own kit to help decide if they want to try something new without having to buy and try all the time. Some folks just don't have that luxury.

    I would make it myself but I gave up programming about 20 years ago. Just not an office guy I guess.
    I did try to look this up, but didn't find much online. There is something called Audio DiffMaker that seems to say it does this but not quite in the way I meant from what I understood.

    There may be something out there already that does this, I just am not aware of one personally right now; I know there are programs that show this visually, but I'm a wee noob on this kind of stuff. Something that let's you actually listen to the differences in real time would be a big help for me personally. Just wanted to throw it out there as an idea. I thought it might be appropriate for these types of threads in general, don't flame me for trying :)
     
  6. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I'm confused by your idea. The only way you can "imprint" sonic changes from gear to an audio file would be to make a loop back system where the audio is played through said gear and then reconverted back to digital. This presents a ton of other variables because different equupment would be used ie cables, ADCs, capturing softare. This is done all the time in recording studios when they want to add effects from an analog piece of gear such as a compressor, reverb, delay etc.

    If you don't record the output, then you can't capture any changes from swapping different pieces of gear.
     
  7. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    Of course one would have to record the samples, with each sample changing only by the single variable (amp, cable, dac, player, file quality, speaker, mic, program, whathaveyou); Everything else would have to remain exactly the same in the signal chain to make it apples to apples. The program would then have to be "playing" all the recordings at the same time internally, but only audibly outputting the stream selected. It would let you switch on the fly between the different recordings, so one could hear the effect the specific component has on the overall sound signature.

    Example: To find the differences in a cable's effect.

    Recording 1
    Song: Maria Callas - Dinorah - Ombra Leggiera
    Amp: Gustard H10
    Dac: Schiit Bifrost
    Cable: Moon Audio Silver Dragon (spec noted in recording title)

    Recording 2
    Song: Maria Callas - Dinorah - Ombra Leggiera
    Amp: Schiit Jonada
    Dac: MHDT Atlantis
    Cable: Cardas Audio Clear

    Recording 3
    Song: Maria Callas - Dinorah - Ombra Leggiera
    Amp: Schiit Jonada
    Dac: MHDT Atlantis
    Cable: Moon Audio Black Dragon

    Recording 4
    Song: Maria Callas - Dinorah - Ombra Leggiera
    Amp: Schiit Jonada
    Dac: MHDT Atlantis
    Cable: Nordost Red Dawn

    It wouldn't really matter if one has/owns the particular song, amp, or dac, etc used, since the isolated factor is the cable itself.
    Some people can listen to whole passages sequentially, and discern for themselves, what the changes are, but not all ears are the made the same... This would be beneficial to all, regardless of experience or capacity, since it would be an instantaneous change to one's OWN ears.

    If someone is interested in comparing what 2 different Dacs sound like, they could look it up and (hopefully) find someone who recorded them, and listen for themselves. The person who made the source could also add their own impressions, so it would also give one an idea how personal impressions/preferences also play a part in listening or communication of said. Not everyone means the same thing when they say, "warm", "soundstage", "PRAT", etc. One could download the recordings from the site itself. By actually hearing the samples, one could have a better understanding of how and/or what the poster is talking about as well.

    Of course a database/repository/site would have to be built up through contributions by members, but I feel in due time, it could be a fairly useful resource for anyone new, or well versed, wanting to try something different, but not having to buy it or source it directly, to do so. Especially, knowing the dedication, willingness, and expertise being freely shared, by people I have ran across in in my short time, to helping others, this IMO could become a tangible reality. Just look at this forum and how much folks contribute already!

    It might preempt a lot of questions like "Are the highs rolled off?","Is the bass punchy or gutsy?" or "Do Cheetos tips affect the assuaged dynamics negatively?", and so on...which will usually beget qualitative answers. In the end most people suggest that you get actual hands on experience with the piece in question, since that's not a viable option for everyone all the time, I think this would be the next best thing.

    Like I said, there could be something like this that already exits, I just don't know of it atm.
    I wish I had this type of option when I was trying out various speakers for my cabs years ago. It could have saved me a lot of time and money from buying, swapping, reselling. There are a lot of A vs B threads in audio oriented sites, but relatively few of them end up having actual audio samples.

    Knowing that some people have a good bit of equipment around, they probably could make and upload recordings easily enough. They would also benefit from someone else's files if they don't happen to have that specific piece they might be interested in, and want to get a better idea of what to expect than just reading about it. The written word has it's catch 22s. Just like this post, but I hope the idea has come through unscathed enough.

    It's more of a mission statement than an action plan (for me at least, because I'm not going in this particular direction right now). Given the type of information dissemination tech (read internet) available to us these days, I think it's definitely doable, especially with audio related stuff. I think the program itself would be easy enough to create, but the recordings from folks would be the real value to get from this. I'm sure it's been done inter personally before, but an overall database would be beneficial to all.

    Sorry if this is too astray from the OP's goal, I'm not trying to high jack the thread, just though it was pertinent to the nature of the topic. Please move (or delete) if it is not appropriate, it was not my intention to derail this in any way. Maybe I should have started a separate thread?

    Man, my "clarification" ended up being long winded too...but a gestalt of the inherent paradox I'm trying to point out.
    Wherefore art thou semantics?
     
  8. Serious

    Serious Friend

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    Actually, this does work, even with cheap ADCs. The problem is if you don't have a really good ADC then you will hear the ADC just as much as the rest of the chain. Of course it would have to go through another chain again which further reduces transparency. You could listen to such samples with the knowledge that the differences will be much bigger when listening to the actual components itself instead of a recording.
    Anyway, yes, I think I've tried to record cable changes before and you can still hear a change in a recording. The loss in dynamics, clarity, imaging, resolution, etc. with the recording will be much bigger than different cables used though. There are recordings of DAC-ADC loops with expensive MSB components. The recorded version sucks ass compared to the original.

    Still, I think this is a good idea, but people shouldn't expect that because the differences are small in the recorded files that they will be just as small in reality.
     
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  9. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    Yeah, the caveat is that is it NOT going to be perfect, but might help bridge the gap between just reading and direct hands-on experience. To be honest, I don't even know what an "ADC" is (I'm a noob like I said for this end of the chain, only played basically and left the rest to the studio minded folk), just thought since some of the foundational elements are already around, it could be possible in the future (with availability of more cost accessible equipment for more lay people, or might have to be invented/workaround for the purpose). Thanks!
     
  10. bumrush101

    bumrush101 Acquaintance

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    One simple thing this maybe useful for, might be for tube rolling. Just record on a fairly neutral DAC/amp, swaps tubes, record again. Keep doing so until the options are exhausted. Upload the files and run through the (as of now uninvented?) program.Obviously better quality equipment will help show the nuances more clearly.
     
  11. murray

    murray Friend

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    I think I have seen where others have used Rightmark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) software with a high quality soundcard for this type of comparative analysis. It was a while ago, but the accounts I had seen involved measuring the relative differences of inserting devices in the loopback chain. Theoretically a perfect device would show no measured difference when inserted (in comparison to the baseline loopback).
     
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  12. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    So I just swapped out my venerable XLR cables between Yggy and monitors for a new pair. Old set are rather suss "Koenig" brand, 5m long (bought from Digital Village in the UK about 10 years ago). New set are Mogami 3080, 2m long

    My considered opinion is: Holy crap! My old cables were rolled off to shit! Suddenly I have about 3db extra above 10khz. I was slightly confused before that everyone states that Yggy is dead neutral when I heard it as somewhat warm. Well, now it isn't any more, it's dead neutral.

    I did quite like the slightly warm sound before, but I think I prefer dead neutral. The tonality seems slightly more realistic and detail retrieval is better. Mogami 3080 gets a thumbs up from me.
     
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  13. crazychile

    crazychile Friend

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    If you're up for it, try switching back to your old cables and see if the performance between the two are much closer now. Sometimes just reconnecting cables "cleans" the contact areas and somewhat restores the sound. Although I would think with XLR this wouldn't be as dramatic as RCA, so maybe not.
     
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  14. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I had a similar experience to Garns. My previous cables were .5 meter Canare Star Quad XLR cables from BJC. They were my first balanced cables so I didn't have any comparison. I then got 10ft Belden 1800F and the sound was so much more detailed. High frequencies were no longer rolled off. My most recent purchase were .5 meter Pangea XLR cables and like the Belden 1800F sounded great and presented all of the detail that Gumby could offer.

    TL;DR get cables with low capacitance.
     
  15. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Thanks for sharing @cskippy. Those were a few options I was thinking about when I pick up a Freya next year.

    Couple follow-up questions:
    1. Does the Pangea cable packaging list the cable specs, e.g. capacitance? Didn't see them on the product page.
    2. Did you notice any difference in interference or noise levels switching from the Star Quad to the other designs?
     
  16. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I got the Pangea cables based on Marv's recommendation in this thread. I didn't see anything about low capacitance or other specs except their use of OFC? copper for the wires.

    I don't have any interference with any of the cables and they actually go under my computer case. I think the balanced nature inherently addresses this. Either the Belden or Pangea cables would get my vote.
     
  17. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    There's a bunch of discussion and subjective impressions over on Gearslutz forum about different pro cable types. Broad opinion seems to be:

    - Avoid quad conductor for line level unless you live in a substation or next to a pirate radio transmitter, due to (subtle) HF roll-off.
    - AES/EBU spec cable may be slightly preferable (Bob Katz among others has said this)

    So for Mogami that means: avoid 2534, prefer 2549, and 3080/3173 may be a bit better still.

    FWIW my XLR interconnects run next to 4-5 power cords under the skirting board and I detect no effect.
     
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  18. PaperStar

    PaperStar Rando

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    Hello People,
    I have a general question about balanced IC cables - if they are balanced and reject noise - what's the point of posh cables?

    I have heard the difference between power and speaker cables, but not sure if balanced ICs are worth it? What do you think? thanks
     
  19. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    I would say cable should be last piece of puzzle to look at with your system,
    But I have noted differences with "headphone cables".

    I believe the difference in the usage of a cable also is a variable..

    Edit:
    But electrically , everything and every component has all three reactions R/C/L (resistive/capacitive/Inductive) inherently included in various small amounts, so this also applies to wire.
    Even if on a microscopic level.

    So,
    What if the issue is our test measurements being are too static?

    What if we need some realtime capturing algorithm to take into account conductivity and time constant and varying RCL at the speed of electrons?

    Do you think we have all the measurements to decipher wire behavior?

    I am thinking of a varying RCL along the cable, with micro deviations and thus "filtering" & conductivity with impurities at every spot,
    and the fact that these electrons are bouncing/pushing/ flying around in real time along the wire...
    Maybe an analogy is to think of the surface of the ocean's ripples..

    The real question is why would things in the atomic level on a wire,
    affect your mind's perception of the image of the music.
    :confused:
    :eek:
    :rolleyes:
    :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  20. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy Almost "Made"

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    TL;DR—there's not much difference in most decent (read: Mogami, Neutik, etc.) balanced ICs.

    If you're feeling fancy, check out the cable lending library at thecableco.com and see if silly-expensive balanced ICs make a difference in your system. You're only out 5% of the retail price of the cables to borrow them.
     

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