Marvey's Cable Rolling Adventures

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

  1. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Unpaid LH Labs volunteer - Admin

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    Super fucking stiff and a pain in the butt to work with. I have some three strand to make XLR cables and have just failed to even start due to how much of a pain it is to work with.
     

  2. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    I have an old pair of XLR Cardas Neutral Reference from my Yggy to integrated amp (the LC-1 is RCA from Yggy to headphone amp). But again that wasn't from any real preference other than it was the only half-meter pair I had around at the time.
     
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  3. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I still want a set of these.
     
  4. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Guess im guilty, since his was the only explanation that made sense. I do buy my cables with that as a criteria,and often, very large difference can give a noticeable difference in sound. I cant really hear a difference otherwise.

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". If you're going to tell me that a cable worth 10k-50k is going to change everything, you better have the most extraordinary proof behind it. Especially since i know that the cable itself is made in taiwan and all you did was give some fancy coating/cover/weaving. Me hearing the difference is not enough, since they are usually too slight, you need to measure it.

    Part of my previous job was at a company involved in the laying of gigantic undersea cables. enormous buggers 40-50 cm in diameter. And these are supposed to carry the world's internet traffic in them, while being placed in the worst environments possible, and they do their work very very well.

    If you think that the usb cable that you use or the interconnects you use to connect your cd player to your pre-amp changes the nature of the data all that much, id suggest you get your own cardas golden ratio undersea cable, since the music file must have crossed these cables at least once and be completely damaged at by the non-audiophile nature of them.

    Or you could drop by the studio and have them burn the songs into special audiophile cd's, with special audiophile cd burners, connected to special audiophile computers. Or just go vinyl or tape =)

    Undersea cables that handle the world's internet traffic go cheaper than many audiophile cables per per foot btw.
     
  5. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Explanation that made sense based on what? It's easy to dismiss cable impedance matching for analog audio gear as totally irrelevant given a BASIC knowledge of transmission lines theory (i.e. wavelengths are simply too long at audio frequencies for impedance matching to come into play).

    Not saying that cable impedance doesn't correlate with any perceived sonic attributes (I've never tried to control that variable in my own listening tests tbh) but on paper, it doesn't really make any more "sense" than looking at conductor purity or contact quality for sonic differences.

    It would seem as if you have been bamboozled by KG misinformation again.
     
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  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I like KG's approach to DIY. He definitively tries stuff and has fun with it. He is a do-er. A bit of an opinionated one, but indeed, a do-er.

    But if he was to stand in-front of a bunch of real EE PhDs and jabber about about this impedance matching stuff for audio frequencies on cables in the 1 meter range, he would be crucified.

    I don't know if he still works at Northwestern University as Facility Support: https://imserc.facilities.northwestern.edu/contact/
    But if so, all he has to do is talk to any of the professors there (EE ones). Anyone that teaches Networks, or Electromagnetic Fields. I'm sure they would set him straight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
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  7. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    My understanding is that many of such cables, the high speed ones, are now single mode optical fiber bundles. Correct?

    Single mode fiber is not cheap (and it's driven by lasers instead of this or that random amp - I mean there are laser drivers, but they are different beasts). But probably way cheaper than the bullshit cryogenic silvery/copper kilo-buck stuff out there.
     
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  8. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    The priority chain* I'd suggest is in line with OJ + some of my own fantasy and experience for interconnects:

    Connection quality (materials, geometry, shielding to a lesser extent) > overall length >>> conductor purity >> capacitance/ wave impedance possibly > shielding and shielding coverage and conductivity** > non-ideal capacitance caused of insulator material > conductor crystalline structure, perhaps >> skin effect, lol

    * Assuming negligible dc res
    ** For some this becomes nr 1 or 2 priority where em field contamination is a problem

    The grain boundaries physics might indeed have some effect, why does Cardas hp cable indeed sound so warm and dull?
    It is their trademark buzz.

    I have found that I don't care enough when I have a mil spec oscilloscope coax or shielded mogami with quality Rean connectors. Too little difference there. Shitty Proel rca though was bad enough that it motivated me to make few sets of replacements.

    edit: I think annealed copper also sounds worse, the cat5 I have used has been un-annealed type
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
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  9. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    Ooohhh the pretty colours!
     
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  10. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    There is a good chance you are right, cable technology is not something i'm very well versed in or have gone in depth into.

    As per my previous statement "Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary proofs", it makes logical sense to match impedance and it often does not cost more, or when it does, its very minimal. I'm willing to take it as it is.

    When we go into metal purity, mineral structure, wrapping the cable in highly expensive insulation, putting little footers that cost 100 buck a pop on the ground to make sure they don't touch the floor. People may argue, that their logic is no worse than impedance matching. However, these solutions often increase prices exponentially and in some cases a hundred to a thousandfold. You better give me some unbelievable proof for it, beyond it sounds different-ish.

    In addition super high purity silver and copper is cheap as hell. I don't see how on earth can people like audioquest, nordost, skogrand or cardas can charge that much.

    Tbf, marvs recommendation is pretty cheap, so i dont mind trying them out if i ever need to buy new cables.

    Just my 2cents.
     
  11. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I think it generally goes something like this:

    1) They look nice
    2) The buyer has money
    3) They don't sound bad

    I remember reading an interview with a somewhat local manufacturer of high-end cables. He was basically just one guy who had started doing it at home for fun, but people took a liking to his work and he made a company out of it. Then one day a Taiwanese businessman got in contact with him because he had somehow heard about him through the grapevine, which was somewhat of a miracle in itself beacuse this really was a very small one-man company. But the cable guy ended up building the businessman a couple of special one-off interconnects and speaker cables with silk and gold and God knows what. Probably $100.000 in cables easily. Then it was shipped to Taiwan and the businessman was super happy, and the cable maker was also super happy and they lived happily ever after. The end.

    Don't get me wrong, I think there's a market for high-end cables. I'm just not sure it's meant for "ordinary" people.
     
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  12. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    I completely agree with you on that bit.

    I buy furniture, stools etc from japan that are insanely priced when compared to their chinese counterpart. Why? Because its made of a very special wood (Katsura wood). In addition, i love the workmanship, quality, and thought put into crafting them as well as the fact that they're joint together using old Japanese wood joint techniques. They cost close to 1 grand a piece.

    The problem arises when the manufacturers try to justify these cost "scientifically" and claim that they are much better than the normal stuff and thus essentially con people into buying them as they think that its genuinely better stuff that will not only sound different, but much better.

    The chair i bought is in no way a better chair functionally compared to something from ikea. And the person that made them make no claim that sitting on that chair will prolong my life. Its just a darn well made chair that is also a piece of art.

    This however, is not the case for cable manufacturers. I remember reading a piece on how the copper used in them were close to 60 year old, sourced from some shack in the soviet union and thus its better. Seriously?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  13. jelt2359

    jelt2359 Friend

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    If you can't hear a difference, consider yourself lucky, and don't spend on cables. Most cable sellers have a free-to-try return policy exactly for this reason. When did this thread become a philosophical treatise, vs people who report based on what they hear?

    Personally I'm cursed. I hate messing around with cables because it's so much hassle, but forget audio cables and USB cables. I even hear an obvious difference between power cables. In my setup at least- and it's not subtle, either. I live in a high-rise located in a highly built area, though. Power probably as dirty as can be.

    I agree with DrFindley though that price does not always equal quality, which is another reason I hate the cable game so much. Too random. I *have* come across people who hear a system and suggest cable changes, btw. I don't agree with it especially when the rationale is "cable tweaks are cheap" (I know people who ended up spending more on their cables than their dacs and amps) but when you otherwise already love the sound of a system and are looking to finish the last mile of the journey, then I think there's a place for this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  14. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Cold war era soviet military shit is very nice. Everything was 120% over-engineered just in case, at the expense of people's well being. These are the russian super set-s, uber high quality precision resistors (I secured a stash, hehe). Lab equipment, wire used back then and even bnc connectors were of very high quality, sadly incompatible to western ones.
    One should stay away from things that deteriorate over time, like caps and some of the crappy insulator materials they used back then.
     
  15. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Im wondering, are they still over-engineered in view of the better processes and QC of today?

    I can see that being true for tubes etc. But resistors and wires shouldn't be the case no? If its cables, i can point you to a supplier who suppliers cables to NASA. If its good enough to go to space, it should be good enough for transporting music signals 1-2 meters.

    For my power cables, my sister works in a hospital, so i use hospital grade power cables, the ones used to power the MRI machine. If its good enough for a highly sensitive machine costing 2-3mil, its good enough for me.
     
  16. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    The advances in QC and manufacturing process means that everything is 100% as shitty and cheap as possible for profit. 6 sigma level of control means your product lasts exactly 2 years worth of warranty period, as designed.

    Back then stuff was made better simply to be on the safe side.
    Military has never been good at counting money. I bet military equipment is still good, but there is no access to it. CCCP shit is all over the place, because there is no CCCP any more.

    High quality stuff that has passed my fingers tend to be manufactured by my grandfathers generation. There is simply so much more crap these days.
     
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  17. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Facebook Friend

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    That's simply a case of functionality vs aesthetics. You want your furniture to look good. But who in their right mind would pay a massive premium for a cables looks, especially since they are hidden & always rucked away.
     
  18. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    So I picked up some XLR Y-splitters to feed Yggy output into a Jotunheim and powered monitors simultaneously. Mogami 3106 cable, Neutrik connectors, 15cm. They kinda sound like crap and I don't exactly know why.

    Comparing Yggy -> monitors with Yggy -> Y-splitter -> monitors, the splitters add a borderline unlistenable amount of sibilance plus slight haze and hollowness. This is with the second output of the splitter disconnected (as Joti is currently out of commission). Any ideas what's going on?
     
  19. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Friend

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    Minor test, but have you tried both of the outs from the splitter?
     
  20. tdockweiler

    tdockweiler Rando

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    I'm one of those who also believe in paying a little extra for cables. I also do hear minor differences, but not like night and day obviously.
    I actually dislike anything Canare and think silver or even silver-plated copper is a very bad choice for the AKG Q701. It also makes me dislike the HD-650.

    You can say i'm hearing things, but silver cables seem to make the Q701 sound too thin and more analytical or whatever. Even more distant sounding. No clue how this is possible.

    I'm not a fan of very low capacitance wire and some Starquad cables. The Canare cables were too warm and muffled sounding. It's OK to laugh at that comment. Maybe I wouldn't think that now.

    Most cheap store bought stuff is junk. Recently I was using some Monoprice interconnects and I actually swear they were degrading the sound of my Little Dot 1+.
    I know that size doesn't always matter, but have you seen the insides of those cables? It's like thinner than a thread. Those massively thick cables are all plastic. Monoprice cables are not "good and cheap" IMO.

    I usually prefer to make DIY cables using Mogami. I'm not very good at building cables and actually detest making them.
    Store bought Mogami cables are a big rip off. I've seen some at Guitar Center for around $75 or something.

    A lot of companies online now will sell you custom built cables with the wire of your choice. I think I used Redco in the past.

    I'm a fan of Double Helix brand OCC wire (DIY only). I destroyed an HD-650 cable made out of that and just made some interconnects instead.
    Mogami and Canare wire for an HD-650 cable is strangely worse sounding than the stock HD-650 cable. I think the stock HD-650 has a much lower capacitance.
    I also destroyed a Q701 silver plated copper cable (ALO brand wire) someone made for me. I made some interconnects with it and they will never be used. Hate them!
    Funny to think that this same Q701 cable would probably cost $500 retail. Insane!


    One mistake I made though back in the day is using cheap connectors. I had to replace a lot of them because they started crackling when I connected them.

    The thing that's like torture to me is making a Q701 cable. I just cannot deal with soldering all those wires onto those tiny "posts".
    I made one out of Mogami and still prefer the stock cable. I do have a pair of "Helping Hands" but really need a vise.

    So anyway, right now I just prefer Mogami whenever possible. Not sure which type I used, but in general it's good and not too expensive.
     

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