Bryston vs Axiom Amps

Posted by: Mr.ktm

Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 01:10 PM

I've been doing some searching but not really getting the answers I need. I'm very seriously considering taking the plunge and purchasing a 5.1 system ( or just 5.0 ) with the M80 v3 as the foundation.

I was settled on Bryston amplification wether it be 4Bsst + 9B or 6B. Keep in mind price is not the issue since I'll be buying recently used amps. But since it's pretty much accepted that the Brystons are very revealing in top end and can sound bright, I"m not sure wether this is and ideal setup with the M80 with it's forward sounding top end. This sounds like a poor match.

I've searched as much as I can on the A1400-8. Sonically it may be a better match ( key word "may" ) but I've been reading snippits about the reliability of this unit and the fact that it does not deliver the stated rated power in all channels across the full bandwidth. Now, that rarely happens but it can and is a concern to me.

So, I'd like to read your thoughts on both amps if you have heard them with the M80 or even M60 which I'm told may be better suited to Bryston amplification.

Cheers!
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 02:06 PM

All I can help you with is that Bryston's plant is located 10 minutes from my house, which is pretty neat.

I would search online for used Bryston amps if you decide on that brand, as I've come across many in the past. They also have a transferable warranty, which is very appealing.
Posted by: jakeman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 02:40 PM

I've enjoyed the A-1400-8, A-1400-2, 4BSST, 9BSST, and 14BSST over the last several years. Sound quality on all those amps are excellent and any one of them will extract all the resolution and nuances out of your M80s.

Yes there was a relay problem in the early Axiom amps which has been addressed in the latest versions. As for the Brystons I had a main switch repair in the 4BSST and all three Bryston amps eventually had their caps replaced. All pretty minor maintenance IMO and not worth worrying about.

Among that fine lineup of amps, I'd suggest looking for the best deal.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 05:07 PM

I've had the pleasure of hearing my M80 run by the A1400(out of my price range) and it is indeed a treat. I have not heard any Bryston amps but I am also in the used amp market(savings here) or otherwise. Santa may be very good to me this year smile
Posted by: Mr.ktm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 05:55 PM

The A1400-8 would be purchased new. Bryston amps will be used unless. 4Bsst's can be had for less than the 3Bsst online however the price will easily be more than one A1400-8. And like I say the money part is not an issue - I'll find a way lol. ( one slightly used teenager for sale lmao ). It comes down the best match for the M80's. I fatigue rather easily to bright, aggressive highs and to forward a midrange.
I'd also entertain ideas of other moderately high end amps. Anthem comes to mind.
Posted by: Worfzara

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 07:17 PM

I would be amazed in a blind listening test that you could hear the difference between the A1400-8 and the Brytson or Anthem, or Emotiva, or ... There are advantages to the A1400-8, but I don't think sound quality would be one of them.

Bryston is a great Canadian success story, like Axiom, and are regarded around the world for their stability and quality (Bryston stands behind their product with incredible warranties).

There are lots to worry about when putting together an audio system, a Bryston amp usually isnít one of them.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 07:20 PM

The Bryston warranty is reflected in the price.
Posted by: Worfzara

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 07:46 PM

I agree, no different than Honda.
Posted by: Mr.ktm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 09:47 PM

.... and Iv'e owned 3 Honda's lol.

Well, the thing about amps and not hearing differences is a personal thing. Some can some can't . Not saying I have golden ears. But just to put things into perspective.... about 15 years ago, I was in a shop in Edmonton while on vacation from northern BC. I was very interested in a certain B&W speaker. Electronics were moderately esoteric. At first listen, with my demo CD's I was not impressed and actually uninterested.. The salesman's suggested he switch speaker cables.. He went from an inexpensive Audioquest to something I can't recall.. The "immediate" difference was astonishing to say the least and thats what we chatted about for the next hour as I forgot about the speakers lol. Sooo, to say no one can hear differences between all amps or all cables or all whatever is just being well for lack of a more polite way putting it - closed minded. I use to have some pretty decent gear years ago ( YBA, Focal, Totom, Roksan, etc etc.) No, I couldn't always hear the changes I made ... but, mabye, just maybe.... the next guy could.......sorry for the rant.
Posted by: CV

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 09:59 PM

Why do you remember the name of the cheap cable but not the expensive cable? It sounded like his upsell was effective.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 09:59 PM

Rick, welcome. You should be very pleased with the results you'd get from a system including M80s and QS8s. You seem to be spending needless time(and money?)worrying over amplification, however. The M80s are fairly easy to drive and typical receivers anywhere in the 100-150 watt area are plenty for all safe listening levels.

As to the Bryston, it certainly isn't "pretty much accepted", at least by those knowledgeable in audio amplifier design technology, that they "can sound bright". Such a basic flaw in frequency response would indicate grossly incompetent engineering by Bryston, and this certainly isn't the case. Bryston units have flat response to well beyond audibility and there's no need to be worrying about how they do as a "match".

The M80s don't need "high end"(i.e., high priced) amplification, but if you choose to spend your money on such equipment any of those under serious consideration would be satisfactory.
Posted by: grunt

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/25/10 10:57 PM

I canít comment on the AVR vs AMP debate but can say that my Onkyo plays either my M80s or my whole system so loud w/o distortion that getting amps for my M80s dropped way down on my bucket list.
Posted by: Dundas

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 11/29/10 01:13 AM

One of your considerations may be that each of these high power amplifiers (Axiom or Bryston) should have its own dedicated AC power circuit. One circuit is enough for the more electrically efficient Axiom A1400-8 to provide 7 (or 8) channels of amplification while the multiple amp Bryston configurations would require at least another dedicated AC circuit to achieve optimum performance.

I had an A1400-8 that eventually succumbed to the relay problem but Axiom replaced it with one that has improved relays. No further issues after 11 months.
Posted by: Mr.ktm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 12:14 AM

cv-- why do you automatically say it was an "upsell"?? I just don't recall what it was. It was white. The Audioquest cable was inexpensive to me but maybe not to the next person. The discussion was about cable and interactions not wether I needed it in order to enjoy the B&W's. LIke I say some can tell the difference and some can't and some don't want to and some refuse to. To say I'm being "sold" on "the price"or "the name" is rather insulting to say the least. This type of topic has been beat to death over and over as far back as I can remember. Really, I don't care. I go by what I hear and my taste for my situation.
Iv'e heard differences between custom made tube gear from the likes of Space-Tech Labs in Vancouver and some name brand gear advertised in all the high end mags. The next guy might not. So what? Kinda like saying I can't taste the difference between an average amber and a bottle of Appleton Legacy. Why pay $15,000 for a custom cut Polar Bear diamond when you can get one twice the weight for much less? I can tell the difference. Others don't care. Why pay big bucks for an English type show Labrador Retriever when the farmers $300 pup will still be a lab and still be black and still have an awesome temperament. I enjoy Labs and am willing to pay the bucks for something that is important to me and makes me happy. Would I pay more than $15 for a bottle of Merlot? Not on your life! It's all grape juice to me.
To each is own, but I never, ever presume that someone else can or cannot tell the difference in whatever the subject is..... However, is someone can and has heard the two amps in question, I'd like to hear their thoughts.
Posted by: Mr.ktm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 12:29 AM

I guess I should have worded my query differently. lol . It's not that the Bryston itself sounds bright but more likely it is so neutral that it will bring out the worst of associated gear.. I've researched enough to come to the conclusion that this can be a problem in some systems. I'm not into high spl levels. To the contrary... for example one of the most enjoyable setups I had was Roksan Xerxes/Rega/Blue Point, YBA Integre' and Totem 1 speakers. 50watts/ch was plenty for me. Not to say I don't enjoy Metallica at high spl's but Buddy Guy at moderate levels is more my thing. I'm about quality not quantity. But to get some of that quality requires the right amp - for me.
Posted by: CV

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 12:35 AM

I didn't say it automatically. It was based on the details provided, that being that the expensive cables sounded better. You're right that I sounded insulting, though. I didn't mean it to come across that harshly. The main issue is that it's mentioned time and again here that these stark differences seem to disappear in proper double-blind listening tests, so it would take more than one anecdote to shift the generally accepted view on this message board. That being said, I've also never participated in a listening test. I think the experience would humble me as far as things that I think I can hear the difference in, like the new lossless HD audio codecs versus the old lossy ones.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 01:12 AM

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I can hear the difference at 9000 rpm.



Mapleshade Clearview Double Golden Helix speaker cable. I can hear the difference.

Mr. ktm, well said.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Mr.ktm
The Audioquest cable was inexpensive to me but maybe not to the next person. The discussion was about cable and interactions not wether I needed it in order to enjoy the B&W's. LIke I say some can tell the difference and some can't and some don't want to and some refuse to.


I think that there is probably an audible difference in some of these more expensive cables or else there wouldn't be people buying them in the first place. They are most likely altering the frequency response somewhere almost like an EQ would do. I just seems to me to be an expensive way to EQ your system. One can purchase a separate EQ or even a receiver/preamp with Audyssey in it an probably create the same effect. The scary thing is that many of these high priced cables cost nearly as much as a good AVR.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 10:23 AM

Originally Posted By: nickboros
Originally Posted By: Mr.ktm
The Audioquest cable was inexpensive to me but maybe not to the next person. The discussion was about cable and interactions not wether I needed it in order to enjoy the B&W's. LIke I say some can tell the difference and some can't and some don't want to and some refuse to.


I think that there is probably an audible difference in some of these more expensive cables or else there wouldn't be people buying them in the first place. They are most likely altering the frequency response somewhere almost like an EQ would do. I just seems to me to be an expensive way to EQ your system. One can purchase a separate EQ or even a receiver/preamp with Audyssey in it an probably create the same effect. The scary thing is that many of these high priced cables cost nearly as much as a good AVR.


I wouldn't discount the placebo effect and the owners own cognitive dissonance in examples of expensive cables making a substantial audible difference either.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 11:46 AM

I agree with Dr. House.

Some of the cables, like 2x6's Mapleshades, are thin enough that that would be causing some roll off on the highs, but I think most are just snake oil.
Posted by: Nick B

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I agree with Dr. House.

Some of the cables, like 2x6's Mapleshades, are thin enough that that would be causing some roll off on the highs, but I think most are just snake oil.


So, if someone has some bright speakers then these are the cables for them. An easier (and much cheaper!) fix would be to get an EQ and just trim the high frequencies slightly.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 12:54 PM

Well.... and more accurate.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I agree with Dr. House.

Some of the cables, like 2x6's Mapleshades, are thin enough that that would be causing some roll off on the highs, but I think most are just snake oil.


You'd think so, because for some, theory trumps experience. However, I can attest that the Mapleshades do not suffer from high end roll off. Au contrere ma amie, the highs are crystal-like in their purity. Bass is pure and strong. Mids? Love 'em.

Mapleshade Clearview Golden Double Helix, a wonderful mouthful, great cables, try 'em.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 10:21 PM

A very thin speaker wire might indeed demonstrate an audible "difference", but if so, it'd be a bad one. As discussed some time ago, it wouldn't necessarily involve a roll-off in the highs. There are two effects when a very thin speaker wire is used; the more obvious is that its higher resistance leads to more of the power being used in the connecting wire rather than being delivered to the speaker. This is because two resistances in series(e.g., the connecting wire and the wire in the speaker driver)form a "voltage divider", and the voltage leaving the receiver is used up in proportion to the speaker wire resistance as compared to the driver wire resistance, i.e, if the speaker wire was so thin and long that its resistance(e.g., 4 ohms)actually equalled the impedance of the speaker at a particular frequency, half the voltage(and resulting power)would be lost on the way to the speaker. Usually it's much less than this, of course, and typical receivers have plenty of power to spare, so this is the less significant effect.

The other, more significant effect is that since the speaker impedance usually varies widely at different frequencies, while the resistance of the speaker wire stays the same, the proportion of the total voltage and power used by the speaker driver likewise varies with frequency. This results in the frequency response fluctuating up and down with impedance and less accurate sound.

This is all a result of the well-understood voltage divider effect and no amount of reliance on a simplistic "Just trust your ears" mantra can change the facts.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 10:32 PM

Well, there's theory, and there's practice. I picked up both my M3s and the Mapleshades after reading on-line reviews. Enjoy the Music, the very site which introduced me to Axiom speakers had a wonderful review of the Mapleshades.

They tried them, rather than theorized about them. I suppose theorizing about the cables is OK, but it would be better to apply theory to explain the experience rather than attempting to predict the experience on the basis of theory.

So, now that you have announced your theoretical conclusions, why don't you put them to the test?

Anyway, the effect is subtle and pleasant. Mapleshades, my personal favorite speaker cables.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/03/10 11:40 PM

My personal opinion: if you believe the cables will help, you might ear a difference even if there is none. If you don't, you probably won't even if there is. The brain is a very tricky device...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 12:25 AM

The brain is a very tricky device.

Ain't that just the bleeping truth.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 01:32 AM

Unfortunately none of what JohnK has said is theory, it is solid physic/elctromecahnical laws, what we hear is in fact practice or theorectical as it can never really be proven nor disproven, since we all hear and like different things and it is a ll VERY subjective.

What I know is that if the wiring has an affect on the SQ when using the same amp/speakers/inputs etc. then you can be rest assured it is changing the sound from what it is supposed to be, whether that be bad or good is in the ear of the listener.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 01:34 AM

You're using the word theory when you should be using hypothesis, 2x6. John, coming from a scientific background, used it correctly. The two are not interchangeable. Please read at least the first sentence at the link below to better understand why I found it important to pick nits here.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-theory-and-a-hypothesis.htm
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 01:55 AM

Well, there's hypothesis, and there's practice. I picked up both my M3s and the Mapleshades after reading on-line reviews. Enjoy the Music, the very site which introduced me to Axiom speakers had a wonderful review of the Mapleshades.

They tried them, rather than hypothesizing about them. I suppose hypothesizing about the cables is OK, but it would be better to hypothesize in order to explain the experience rather than attempting to predict the experience on the basis of an hypothesis.

So, now that you have announced your hypothesis, why don't you test it?

Anyway, the effect is subtle and pleasant. Mapleshades, my personal favorite speaker cables.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 02:14 PM

I have been gone for a while - great to see the same...um...discussion is raging. JohnK knows his stuff but I can't pass up the opportunity to compare the scientific fact of speaker sound, wire effect, amp power etc, with the recent discovery of a new form of life. No biologist worth his degree would ever let you debate that a life form could exist without phosphorus. I'm sure there is forum somewhere where the young student is ridiculed for even suggesting such a thing - no matter what he say in his microscope. yet, here were are:

"A new life form has been discovered. What makes is unique is that arsenic is one of its core elements. Six elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus) are normally essential in all living organisms. Recently a bacteria (strain GFAJ-1 of Halomonadaceae) was discovered at Mono Lake by Sandy Steinman Mono Lake and was found to grow using arsenic instead of phosphorus."

Maybe NASA is holding out on the whole "more power is better, and even better through crazy expensive cables publication"...maybe not.
Posted by: CV

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 02:21 PM

Organic cables based on the new life form?
Posted by: Zimm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 02:32 PM

Hell yes. Apparently the arsenic really let's the mids of male vocals shine, but gets a tad tinny at 165 db.

and they emit a poisonous gas, but as long as DMB sounds his best, I'll wear a gas mask.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 02:41 PM

After one year of high school chemistry a person would guess that it might be possible to substitute arsenic for phosphorus.

After one year of high school physics a person would also know the properties of a passive conductor like a wire. Without supplying outside energy the only thing a wire can do is remove parts of the signal. There's no way at all for a wire to "improve" sound.

It's beyond high school physics, more like first year college, but the physics governing alternating current with frequencies below 20kHz is really well known. The only thing working on the signal is resistance, capacitance, and inductance. Keep those to relatively low levels per foot of cable, and you've got a conductor that will remove very little from the signal. Inflate those using unusual geometries, and you've got something that will act as a volume or tone control, diminishing parts of the signal.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Zimm
I have been gone for a while - great to see the same...um...discussion is raging. JohnK knows his stuff but I can't pass up the opportunity to compare the scientific fact of speaker sound, wire effect, amp power etc, with the recent discovery of a new form of life. No biologist worth his degree would ever let you debate that a life form could exist without phosphorus. I'm sure there is forum somewhere where the young student is ridiculed for even suggesting such a thing - no matter what he say in his microscope. yet, here were are:

"A new life form has been discovered. What makes is unique is that arsenic is one of its core elements. Six elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus) are normally essential in all living organisms. Recently a bacteria (strain GFAJ-1 of Halomonadaceae) was discovered at Mono Lake by Sandy Steinman Mono Lake and was found to grow using arsenic instead of phosphorus."

Maybe NASA is holding out on the whole "more power is better, and even better through crazy expensive cables publication"...maybe not.


Yes Zimm, the origins of life and the theory of evolution is a pretty complex topic and not even the greatest minds in the world have come up with a definitive answer presently and probably will not happen even in our lifetime. However, the element(s) copper (silver, gold etc) and its electrical properties which determine performance in speakers cables such as resistance, capacitance and inductance are basic concepts in the world of electrical engineering that are fully understood. And with the correct equipment easily measured.
Posted by: jakeman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 03:51 PM

For the longest time I too thought of cables as conductors whose 3 electrical properties could affect the signal. I was always puzzled however how one set of cables in one system could audibly alter the signal but not in another. When that occurred I always attributed it to high inductance or RF. So I dismissed cable differences as being more psycho-acoustic than physical. Still it bothered me.

It was only after I read "Effects of Cable, Loudspeaker,and Amplifier Interactions* by Fred Davis in AudioEng.Soc.,Vol.39, No.6, 1991 June that things jelled for me. In it Davis explains how not only the electrical properties but the electrical interaction between the amp and speakers varied depending on the cables used. He concluded:

"If loudspeakers were only simple resistance, then large, low-resistance cables would not be a bad idea. However, loudspeaker systems exhibit a frequency-dependent complex impedance that can interact with the reactive components of amplifier and cable, The best response was obtained with low-inductance cables and an amplifier with low-inductance output and a high, frequency-independent damping factor.

These tests have shown that the best way to achieve adequately low resistance and inductance in a cable is by using many independently insulated wires per conductor than one large wire. "

I was then less dismissive of reports that cables could improve the quality of sound in one system and not in another.




Posted by: Dduval

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 04:20 PM

So Jakeman,

What cables did you then go with? just curious...

Dana
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 04:24 PM

[quote=Dr.House]

Yes Zimm, the origins of life and the theory fact of evolution is a pretty complex topicTrue that, Dr. grin
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 04:33 PM

I can't argue with you there wheelz. There is definitely overwhelming factual evidence supporting the theory, but still not a fully understood concept unlike the basic electrical properties of wire.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
After one year of high school chemistry a person would guess that it might be possible to substitute arsenic for phosphorus.

After one year of high school physics a person would also know the properties of a passive conductor like a wire. Without supplying outside energy the only thing a wire can do is remove parts of the signal. There's no way at all for a wire to "improve" sound.

It's beyond high school physics, more like first year college, but the physics governing alternating current with frequencies below 20kHz is really well known. The only thing working on the signal is resistance, capacitance, and inductance. Keep those to relatively low levels per foot of cable, and you've got a conductor that will remove very little from the signal. Inflate those using unusual geometries, and you've got something that will act as a volume or tone control, diminishing parts of the signal.


OK Chris, your name is now Sheldon. (Big Bang Theory sitcom character)
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 05:02 PM

As long as we're talking about arsenic-based life :


Posted by: jakeman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 05:22 PM

Well Dana I continued to experiment and fill 3 boxes with expensive and el cheapos with no satisfaction either way.

Then came this article 6 years ago on these outstanding DIY twisted pairs and they've been in all my systems since. For the reasons why read down to Colin Millers essay. They are easy to make, inexpensive and as good as anything I have tried on different systems. Highly recommend them over the luxury brands and the zip cord.

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_2/ultralink-CL414-cable-5-2003.html
Posted by: Dduval

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: jakeman
Well Dana I continued to experiment and fill 3 boxes with expensive and el cheapos with no satisfaction either way.

Then came this article 6 years ago on these outstanding DIY twisted pairs and they've been in all my systems since. For the reasons why read down to Colin Millers essay. They are easy to make, inexpensive and as good as anything I have tried on different systems. Highly recommend them over the luxury brands and the zip cord.

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_2/ultralink-CL414-cable-5-2003.html



Thanks for the link!

I currently use Axiom speaker cable, but that article is very interesting. I just may have to try these... smile

Dana
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 06:23 PM

I built some of those after reading about them. They definitely changed the sound of my speakers...for the worse.

I now use Canare 4S11 with both pairs connected to the binding posts at each end for the main channels, and Belden 12 gauge everywhere else.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
I can't argue with you there wheelz. There is definitely overwhelming factual evidence supporting the theory, but still not a fully understood concept unlike the basic electrical properties of wire.

Evolution is a fact, it has been observed.

Natural selection is a theory to explain evolution.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 06:37 PM

Natural selection is just one theory.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 08:34 PM

I want people to enjoy their music. If you *think* it sounds better and enjoy it, bully for you.

My problem with Mapleshade is them extolling the virtues of cable break-in and crystal treatment. I just haven't heard ANY compelling evidence that either of those things could possibly make a difference. Consequently, the credibility of the other properties of the product become suspect to me.

Chris, I don't understand why/how those Brian Florian cables the John linked could be "worse" than regular 12 gauge. Can you simple it down for me?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 10:01 PM

Charles, good to hear from you again! When you didn't reply to your birthday wishes, we thought that we might have lost you for good. Yeah, that arsenic is great stuff.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 10:56 PM

These speaker cable articles have been well-known for as long as 19 years and there's certainly no startling info that would indicate that there's audible benefits to be found. I first read of the Davis work in the July, 1994 issue of Audio where he wrote a similar but not entirely identical article as his 1991 AES paper(I wasn't an AES member at that time). One new point was that he emphasized "There are real, measurable differences among speaker cables. However, for average systems and short cables, these differences are at the threshold of audibility"(p.42). Then in the July, 1995 Audio, Villchur(developer of the acoustic suspension AR speaker)wrote "Speaker Cables, Measurements vs Psycho-Acoustic Data" , testing the Davis "threshold of audibility" and found that applying data on just noticeable differences to those very high frequencies in the Davis measurements indicated that they were "almost always below the threshold of audibility"(P.37).

As to the DIY cable article, it's generally well-written, but there's nothing to show that the procedure there results in anything other that creating the equivalent of an 11ga cable. Inductance of a parallel set of conductors is directly proportionate to the distance between their centers and inversely proportionate to the radius of each conductor. So, the lowest inductance is a result of a very closely spaced pair of thick wires. You'd think, therefore, that no one would be silly enough to sell a cable composed of very thin, but widely separated conductors, but at least one supplier(which won't be identified, but whose initials are Mapleshade)offers a very thin "Double" pair which it recommends be separated a foot or two on the way to the speaker.

The way to get low resistance is an adequately thick conductor for the distance involved, with the two conductors very closely spaced to allow inductance to cause no audible effects. Standard lamp cord of an appropriate gauge(I use 16ga)does this job as well as anything.
Posted by: CV

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Evolution is a fact, it has been observed.


If facts are based on observations, we're screwed.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Chris, I don't understand why/how those Brian Florian cables the John linked could be "worse" than regular 12 gauge. Can you simple it down for me?

I don't think I had 12 gauge worth of wire, more like 20 (or thinner). I think that was the only reason things sounded worse.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 11:06 PM


I use wires (14/4) like in the article Jakeman posted. The main reason for buying them was the wire was cheaper than regular 12/2 inwall. I paid a whole $.25 per foot for it.
Posted by: jakeman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 11:43 PM

If you got those followup articles in pdf format John I would like to read them.

Actually one of the main physical differences over 11awg cable, which I've found to be important for speaker cabling, is the use of twisted pairs found in 14/4 inwall wire. Its a feature which distinguishes it from a straight pair of parallel conductors and or course sets it apart from plain zip cord. The conductor pair reduced inductance while twisting the pair cancels out radiation from external sources such as EMF and also minimizes RF. I laugh to myself about the $700 which a pal of mine recently paid for a pair of 8ft Auditorium 23 speaker cables. Once you pull back the covering all they are are 16/4 twisted pairs with one solid conductor and one stranded conductor. Davis would not have approved of the solid conductor. The only other difference, as Rick suggested, is mine cost $675 less.

The connector can also have an electrical impact. The Ultralink connectors mentioned do the job though there are many other well constructed connectors available. I currently use Nakamichi connectors because they are relatively inexpensive and well made. All in, the DIY 14/4 twisted pairs plus connectors are very close and often less than the cost of zip cord so why not enjoy the extra potential benefits.

On the Canare wire, I like them as well because their construction is like the 14/4 inwall with more shielding. However I don't like that they are alot more expensive and offer no sonic improvement over the 14/4 in-wall in my systems.

Zip cord perform well, though I find the DIY twisted pairs tend to adapt better to more systems especially in downtown cities, condos or apartment buildings.
How much of the attributes mentioned above can be heard is very much speaker/amp dependent and environment dependent so don't be surprised if YMV.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/04/10 11:57 PM

No, John; I have the magazines. Again, all my studies and personal experience over the years indicate that the small measurable differences which instruments far more sensitive than our ears can detect have no audible significance. Reports of contrary listening results abound, of course, but attempts to provide credible evidence of this by way of properly controlled double blind tests have failed.
Posted by: jakeman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/05/10 12:11 AM

Understood John which is why I'm not a fan of paying up for audio jewllery like expensive cables.

On the other hand it is possible that a cable with a certain combination of electrical properties can interact with varying speakers and amps in a way such that sound changes in a room either through phase shift or amplitude response. Whether that difference is an improvement or not is a different story. My approach like Colin Miller's in the article is to keep the signal as neutral as possible and not worry about it.

I'll try and dig up those old articles elsewhere.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/05/10 03:44 PM

Just for the record, those arsenic based bacteria still make some use of phosphates, so their effect on speaker cable will be minimal. Just an observational factoid...
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/05/10 04:49 PM

It's a fact that this thread has been evolving far and wide from the original topic... naturally smile
Posted by: mpyw

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 04:46 AM

what's the topic all about, again?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 08:51 AM

Speaker cables and arsenic-based life. And something about amplifiers.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 10:02 AM

I know all the headlines have been saying it, but the bacteria discovered in Mono lake are not "arsenic-based" life forms. It's just that they can use arsenic in place of phosphorus when the latter element is scarce. The reason this is possible is that arsenic is chemically similar to phosphorus -- this is why it's located in the same column, one row down in the periodic table. The differences between the two are enough to make it toxic to every other life form known.

If you remember your high school biology, cells on Earth use a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to transport energy. This bacteria can substitute arsenic for the phosphate in this molecule, which results in adenosine triarsenate (ATA), and it can also use arsenic in its DNA.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 10:10 AM

There's some questioning of the testing method:
http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.html
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 11:17 AM

Thanks for the link. You have to admire those ever-doubtful scientists and their search for truth. smile
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 11:43 AM

I was going to mention (and now I wish I had, because it would make me look even smarter) that while arsenic has similar chemical properties as phosphorous the bonds that it forms are weaker. Being that it's valence shell is farther out, but that goes without saying. smile
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 03:10 PM

Naturally.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 04:31 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Charles, good to hear from you again! When you didn't reply to your birthday wishes, we thought that we might have lost you for good. Yeah, that arsenic is great stuff.


Been real busy, but glad you guys are still here. Love that I can still hear this discussion. It's fun cause I don't know crap about this stuff, so I can easily dismiss your scientific fact with the fact the basis for live can even change,ipso facto, my levitating speaker wire can sound better! makes perfect sense really. laugh
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: Bryston vs Axiom Amps - 12/06/10 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Zimm
fact the basis for live can even change,ipso facto, my levitating speaker wire can sound better! makes perfect sense really. laugh


James that, 10-5.