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#77163 - 01/15/05 04:19 PM You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Here's a controversial (yet undeniable) statement. I added after market power cords to my reciever, subwoofer, and DVD player and each and every one of them made a difference in sound. In a nutshell I now have added bass (on sub and all speakers). And the other biggest thing was the sound tightened up. I got a second, third and fourth opinion on this...and all agreed when I did an A/B. For goodness sakes people...even MY MOTHER noticed a difference!

I just wanted to post this as a note to all who have the ability to upgrade their power cord to highly consider it. It's a cheap way to make a big sound difference. All three cost under $300...and one of them was 20 feet long (subwoofer).

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77164 - 01/15/05 04:42 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Twirly22 Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 70
How long did it take for them to break in?

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#77165 - 01/15/05 04:47 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
He recommended 50-100 hours, and that's what I have on them.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77166 - 01/15/05 05:00 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
That is an affordable upgrade..parts express maybe? I am all for tweeking and have had positive undeniable results too. Cheaper than buying all new equipment and keeps me busy.
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Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77167 - 01/15/05 05:55 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I don't think you're crazy.

I have 3 Yamaha M80 2 channel amps and have replaced the OEM power cord on one with a heavy duty power cord and hospital grade plug (the rest to follow), same for the Ah! tube output CDP which now has a HD power cord hot rodded from the manufacturer. Folks who have bought the Panasonic XR series digitally amplified receivers have noted the improvement in sound quality from adding an HD power cord.

If your mom has heard the difference, who could argue with you?
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#77168 - 01/15/05 08:54 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
KC_Mike Offline
local

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 209
Loc: KS
I am not surprised. My friend recommended one for my Mits RPTV and the difference was immediately noticeable.

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#77169 - 01/15/05 09:46 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
BlueStater Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 173
Loc: Portland, OR
Anyone have an idea why this may be? Same principles as cables and interconnects? I've seen this type of statement in a few forums, and many have said they heard no difference between generic 12ga wire and $50/ft 12ga wire, but heard an immediate diffence after upgrading the power cords. I would like to hear more on the subject, if anyone cares to throw their 2 bits in.

Mark
_________________________
"There's too many notes!" M22ti VP150 EP350 QS8 AVR-2805 SCD595 Panasonic DVD-S35

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#77170 - 01/15/05 09:57 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
whered you guys buy your power cords from?

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#77171 - 01/15/05 10:15 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10362
Mark, the power cord replacement thing is still another audio myth which has no factual basis. The power has traveled miles from where it was generated and possibly a hundred feet through house wiring before it has run the gauntlet of the last 5-6 feet between the wall and the component. Standard power cords are ample to deliver over a thousand watts AC to more demanding devices(e.g hair dryers, hotplates)than audio components. The transformer, rectifier and filter capacitors in the power supply section of receivers then deliver clean DC to the amplifier section.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#77172 - 01/15/05 10:54 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2840
Loc: Rochester, NY
John, I absolutely agree with you. Having said that, I'm crawling into my foxhole. We haven't had a good "my copper is better than your copper" food fight for quite awhile.

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#77173 - 01/15/05 11:41 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Remember everyone, it's perfectly possible to have a civil discussion about this. That being said, I find it extrememely difficult to wrap my brain around the idea that a fatter power cable can make your system sound better. It screams of self-fulfufilling marketing BS.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying those who did hear differences are deaf and dumb. I'm just saying it makes no sense to me whatsoever. And the differences you've heard should easily show up in tests where equipment is connected to measuring devices.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77174 - 01/15/05 11:49 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Try it. Start with phenomena not with theory. Your ears are the product of 4.5 billion years of evolution. Our efforts to understand our environment is about 50,000 years old. Trust your ears, let your ability to model the universe follow.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#77175 - 01/15/05 11:58 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Karp Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 13
Loc: Mechanicsburg, PA
Are the power cords shielded? There is absolutely no way the cords themselves can add any audible benefit because they can draw more power. The only possible explanation (besides mass delusion) is that they are shielding the power from some near-field interference.
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[blue]No matter where you go, there you are [/blue]

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#77176 - 01/16/05 12:04 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5279
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Maybe it's the same deal as with speaker wire. If the wire is too thin for the distance it can make a difference, but once you have "good enough" you can't get any better.

Have to admit, though, I can see a big honkin' power cord making a difference with a big power amp but not with a player.

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#77177 - 01/16/05 06:55 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
This phenomenon goes beyond theory into the gray areas concerned with human perception. As we know, perception is not tied directly to reality, but is wholly influenced by the constructs of the human mind. To me, the phenomenon behind speaker/power wires making an actual noticeable difference in the performance of an audio system works in the same way homeopathy does. First of all, you absolutely CANNOT convince believers, regardless of the evidence to the contrary, that it makes no difference. Second, since perception is entirely subjective, if you think it works, then that perception provides self-reinforcing comfort.

It has nothing to do with how evolved our ears are. Compared to a dog's, our ears are mediocre at best. What matters is perception and how much the human mind can influence true objective reality -- which really doesn't exist in the first place.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77178 - 01/16/05 07:11 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5279
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>It has nothing to do with how evolved our ears are. Compared to a dog's, our ears are mediocre at best.

Oh yeah ? Well, my dogs don't care WHAT kind of power cord I use. So there !!

I did read your post, in spite of what my response might indicate

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#77179 - 01/16/05 10:30 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
I'm just glad to not be a tweaker.

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#77180 - 01/16/05 10:42 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
EllisU Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 27
Loc: Tallahassee, FL
The phenomenon explaining this is “cognitive dissonance.” In an effort to reduce dissonance in the brain after a purchase, especially a purchase others may consider unneeded, the brain attempts to justify the purchase by creating an environment that supports the decision.

If you spend a bit too much money on a new car that others feel is overpriced, you will spend the entire drive from the dealership “justifying” the purchase by enhancing all of the good qualities of the car, even subjective qualities such as comfort, appearance and prestige. Additionally, cognitive dissonance causes the brain to amplify problems with your previous car (or speakers or cables or sources), further reducing dissonance.

To agree with a previous post, this is not a bad thing. In fact, there was probably a bit of dissonance reduction going on when I recently wired up my new Axioms. I wanted them to sound better. In fact, my Klipsch speakers never sounded as bad as they did right after I hooked up my Axioms. Of course, speakers have more “verifiable” qualities than larger gauge power cables, but dissonance reduction factors in to every decision we make.

That said, am I going to pack up my new speakers, chalk up their superior performance to cognitive dissonance, and send them back to Axiom? Absolutely not. Reduction of cognitive dissonance can alter perception, and as we all know, perception is reality.


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#77181 - 01/16/05 11:14 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Time to get out the hip waders.
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77182 - 01/16/05 11:22 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
EllisU, well said. Cognitive dissonance is everywhere. It figured prominently (on both sides) in the now thankfully long-dead politics thread. We do so much to justify our own choices to ourselves.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77183 - 01/17/05 12:21 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Occam's razor. Trust your ears before you misapply a theory like "cognitive dissonance."

Respectfully, I think we must use this theory to 'shoe the other foot.' Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them.

Trust your ears before you trust theory that says you shouldn't. The music comes first, theory much behind it.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#77184 - 01/17/05 01:02 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
joema Offline
local

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Nashville, TN
In double-blind controlled tests people cannot tell any difference in AC power cables. That has been tested many times.

However if it sounds better to you, then I say go for it.

There are many things we do which make no measurable performance difference but make us feel better. Some people swear their cars run better after cleaning out the interior or changing the oil. How much faster does chrome trim make your car?

If changing your power cable or putting stabilizing pads under your amplifier improves the sound (to you), then don't worry about it and enjoy.

Just keep track of the money you're spending and always compare that to alternatives, such as buying more discs, upgrading some other component, etc.

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#77185 - 01/17/05 09:15 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Well...a lot has happened whilst I've been off the forum.

I can see how you would be skeptical of something like this. Heck, I was. It came with a 30 day money back guarantee, so I thought I had nothing to lose. And I didn't. But just as others have brought out the theory of "I'm trying to justify my purchase" I also have a theory. "Don't knock it till you try it". Which seems to be one that many people on forums these days suffer from.

Though I must say that many of you have been very open minded. I heard what I heard, others heard it. What can I say. It's my ears, and their ears having actually done A/B against people saying "theorhetically it doesn't make sense." Maybe not, but it works. What else can I say. Science isn't the answer to everything.

Try it or not, I just thought I'd offer up an option to those who are curious about trying to make improvements in their sound.

So once again, because I am very forgetful on how to do the quicklink, here is the site to which I owe my thanks http://www.signalcable.com.

Thanks to all for listening...
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77186 - 01/18/05 02:30 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Occam's Razor actually works against you here. Given that measurements taken during controlled scientific tests indicate that using differnet speaker wires or power cables of at least adequate construction do not result in perceptible differences, which is more likely the case:

a. that any differences perceived by the human ear actually do not exist and are a result of other factors.

or

b. that any differences perceived by the human ear do exist, meaning that the human ear is some sensitive than scientific measuring devices.

Since it can easily be proven that scientific measuring devices (waveform analyzers, current/voltmeters, decibel meters) are MUCH more sensitive than the human ear, this is also why cognitive dissonance (CD) plays a role. CD is a given since you to continue to assert that your ears are far superior to said tools for the purpose of detecting differences.


Edited by pmbuko (01/18/05 02:32 PM)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77187 - 01/18/05 04:28 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Ahh...scientific equipment. I have countless times run across things that sound different but someone will tell me because you can't measure it with these tools it's wrong. It's like in Star Wars II. "Master Kenobi, if it is not it our records it does not exist!" ...and how wrong she was.

All I can say is, to all the people who are on the fence listening between people who have clearly found their place on one side or the other. Keep an open mind and see for yourself. Go to a high end store that carries multiple products such as after market cords for interconnects and power cables and take a listen. It's free, and you can hear for yourself what you think.

...and for those who don't want to. More power to you. You'll spend less money than me

I look at home theater like a car hobby. I'm modding my system to get a different (and hopefully better) performance. It's the hobby that never sleeps.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77188 - 01/18/05 08:28 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I just want to make it clear that, despite my penchant for espousing upon the scientific merits of various "audio improvement techniques," I'm definitely not arguing against listening for yourself. Ears are attached to the brain, and your brain is the final judge of all things personal.

That being said, I think it's important to hear both sides of the debate. Even if you leave scientific measuring equipment out of it altogether and perform a double-blind experiment that makes use of human ears alone, results of listening tests indicate the inability to distinguish between cables and wires. Use of the force is optional, of course.


Edited by pmbuko (01/18/05 08:33 PM)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77189 - 01/18/05 08:46 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Debate......uuuhh yea right. Just something else to drive people away from this place.
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77190 - 01/18/05 09:41 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1032
Loc: Canada
If the debate remains civil, it can add credibility to this place.

Having spent several decades engineering electronic/electrical devices, I have yet to see a scientific device that can measure things like -sibilance, gleem, sparkle, neutrality, impact, brightness, forwardness, and many other terms that are commonplace on this board. You can relate measurements to ideas, that is not in debate here.

Having said that, as I have said many times, you should listen, utiltize any measurements that exist, read reviews from "experts" and non experts - then make your decision.
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#77191 - 01/18/05 10:41 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
Ok... I think we're dismissing this far too quickly.

The aftermarket power cords have MUCH better connectors on each end than the "let's toss something in the box that gets the AC from the wall to the power supply" that the manufacturers use. No matter how you slice it, a better ground connection in and of itself is better for the entire signal path. Everything in the system from wall outlet to speaker connection is referenced to ground. It could make an audible difference.

Secondly, the new power cords have larger gauge conductors in them. Larger = less resistance, so (theoretically at least), the amps can get more current on demand when the need arises. There is also a basic electronic principle taught in every basic to advanced electronic course that I have ever attended, called "The Maximum Power Transfer Theory", which I have copied here: "The Maximum Power Transfer Theory states that the maximum amount of power that can be withdrawn from a battery or a source of voltage is directly dependent on the resistance of the external load and the internal resistance existing within the voltage source.". Adding larger wires with less resistance changes the source (AC at wall) to external load (AVR power supply) impedance ratio which again, could be audible. Alan Lofft himself has said many times on this very board that "the louder speaker tends to sound better". More power to the amp probably results in a louder output. (This is also my vote as to why he perceives anj audible difference.)

Finally, the difference between ordinary phone wire, and cat 5 network cable is that cat 5 is carefully manufactured with a certain number of twists per foot. The conductors in cat 5 wire are much more tightly twisted. Typically, 3 to 4 twists per inch compared to 3 to 4 twists per foot for category 3. The web site Misfit pointed to mentions that the conductors are twisted, which is proven to induce less unwanted noise. The magnetic fields created by the changing voltages and currents in the wire "slice" through at various points along the conductors in different directions and at different angles. The induced currents tend to cancel each other out because they are being induced in different directions at different strengths as opposed to all "pulling or pushing" in the same direction. Noise on the line, neutral, and/or ground conductors will most likely get filtered by the power supply, but some portion could make it's way to the signal path, and become audible.

My point is that there are plenty of sound, scientific principles behind the product. If Misfit says he can hear the difference, then we have no choice but to believe him. Personally, even knowing the science behind it I would have a hard time spending $300 to find out.

I am glad to hear that Misfit is happy with his purchase, and we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. After all, we aren't in his living room listening for ourselves. He went out on a limb by exposing himself to the criticism that he apparently knew would be coming his way. I thank him for giving us his honest opinion.
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M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77192 - 01/18/05 11:43 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Thanks Michael_A for your words of encouragment. And thank you also for the science lesson. I for one appreciate the time you've taken to explain this. Fascinating to say the least.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77193 - 01/19/05 01:32 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
I also appreciate that. I never thought that a power cord upgrade would make an audible difference, but now in the future (far future as I have several things to upgrade before power cords) I will consider "auditioning" power cords to see I can hear a difference. The problem is that I too would have a problem with dropping 300 dollars on a simple cord.

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#77194 - 01/19/05 02:33 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
{Finally}....I "was" missing the credibility part all this time...thank you Michael A
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77195 - 01/19/05 02:52 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
joema, every fool knows you have to wax your car before you feel any measurable improvement in performance from cleaning the interior.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#77196 - 01/19/05 10:18 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Hey player8, fear not. For less than $300 I got three cords. A 6' for the receiver, a 5' for the DVD player, and a 20' for the subwoofer. If you were to just buy a simple 3' cord for your receiver it would run you about $66 to your door.
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77197 - 01/19/05 11:07 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
There was a guy here a year or so ago who had a background in psychology. He spoke very well about the flaws of double blind testing. He obviously had an extensive knowledge of scientific testing/experiments, in particular, ones that involve humans. I wish I could remember his name and/or find his posts.

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#77198 - 01/19/05 11:18 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Oh,, thought I met him earlier in this one
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77199 - 01/19/05 11:34 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
Thanks toy, thats nice to know.

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#77200 - 01/19/05 11:38 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Anybody have any links to frequency response graphs for power cords? That would be interesting to see.

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#77201 - 01/19/05 11:41 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
In reply to:

He spoke very well about the flaws of double blind testing.




That would be interesting. I thought the benefit of double-blind was removing the psychology and human element.

Please post a link if you find one.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#77202 - 01/19/05 12:16 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
haanhvu Offline
buff

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 53
Loc: New Brighton, Minnesota
Have you thought about a power line conditioner? I've heard sales pitches about how it improves video quality, especially HDTV.


_________________________
M60 + QS8 + SVS PB10 + Yamaha HTR-5640 + Pioneer 578a

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#77203 - 01/19/05 12:23 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
sorry Ned, I only glanced at the earlier pages in the thread.

Mark, I'm looking. I read it in the archives a few days ago in some huge thread debating the eternally debatable: differences in receivers or something like that.

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#77204 - 01/19/05 12:32 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
ok, here's the thread (I enjoyed reading this one):

hear no evil

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#77205 - 01/19/05 12:34 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
sidvicious02 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 973
Loc: Brandon, Manitoba
i generally like to avoid these types of threads because I often find that they are not helpful to anyone, though this one has remained fairly civil (I also believe there are others whose knowledge or experience make them more qualified to answer these types of questions). So this post, if you can bear the length, is just my personal opinion on the topic. I do feel it is important that newbies have the opportunity to see all sides of a discussion and make their decision from the information provided. That's why this forum is so great because there is normally a pretty balanced discussion on different issues.

The biggest problem I see is the people who shoot-down posters stating Axiom speakers didn't sound as good as another speaker but did not properly arrange the test, ie - level balancing, similar components, smililar positioning, even as far as double-blind, and in my opinion, these complaints are valid.

However, it seems that many of these same people that extoll the virtues of proper scientific comparison when Axiom speakers are involved, don't seem to believe in these principles when testing other audio material. I've heard so many times that receivers sound different but few of these posters take the time to ensure it is a proper side by side comparison (as they state is necessary for speakers). I have yet to hear one poster say he performed a blind side-by-side comparison of receivers, cd players, power cords, etc and was able to tell the difference. That is why i'm skeptical of there actually being a difference.

In my own personal experience I have never heard a difference between any similar components I've owned or listened to. While I can honestly say I have not listened to anywhere near as many different brands or models of amps some others, my experiences with the dozen or so I have listened to has led me to believe there isn't a difference and it isn't worth spending much more time on. I also realise I am slightly hypocritical myself as I have never performed a double-blind listening test myself. Again though, when listening and comparing, IMO, I heard no difference.

So to summarize all this incoherent babbling, all I want to see is someone, anyone, perform a double-blind test to compare different audio components and be able to tell the difference. I'm willing to accept there could be sonic differences, I just want someone to prove to me they can tell the difference in controlled testing. Is that too much to ask?

(hope I did not offend anyone with this post as that was never my intention - also why I purposely left names or references to anyone specific out of the post. Like everyone else, I'm trying to answer these types of questions for myself)


_________________________
"Chickens don't clap."

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#77206 - 01/19/05 02:23 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Riff,
That article was an easy read... not someone preaching to me like someone near the beginning of this thread. Nothing I dislike more than someone who comes across as the one who knows everything.
Earlier today I tried to push this thing off the front page but I see it returned
Out of the thousands of threads I have read here and at other forums, my learning did not come from a few people arguing/debating who is right about one certain topic. Nope, I would move on to the many other threads where I did not get a sense it was stringing out and maybe even going to crash and burn. Maybe thats just me ...I do not watch world wrestling federation either, even though I have worked in the home of Dick the Bruisers ring announcer???name??? Gee, maybe now we will debate who is the best wrestler of all time
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77207 - 01/19/05 02:46 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Riffman

Thank you for your link to Cblake's wonderful post. I liked it so much, I read much of the thread. Here' another I thought was interesting ... oooh, it's mine

Cblake

I think your meditation is profound. I particularly like your analogy of drawing a perfect circle with pebbles with the relationship between theory and reality.

I'm not a scientist but have faith in reason, if that doesn't strike those without a poetic organ as too funny.

I have no idea what an individual electron, if there is such a thing, or a gaggle of them, 'experience' as they pass through wires of different properties. If a 'scientist' can say, with confidence, that every factor bearing on such a flow can me objectified, identified, and measured, then what's left but measurement of all relevant factors? But, our day to day perception is on a different level of magnitude than the phenomenon under inspection - the flow of electrons through power Cord A and B, or the modulated output from an amplifier through speaker wires A and B.

Seems to me that a scientist can say, that as to those factors which we can identify and measure, we find there are or are not significant differences between the flow in wire A or B.

However, it may be, that if a scientist could 'ride' an electon, his/her point of view would be substantially different. In particular, the resolution of detail would open a potential universe of variables which are not perceivable from our point of view, or maybe just not obvious, or discovered yet.

What if a scientist could only measure the voltage of the signal entering the wire and the voltage of the signal leaving the wire? Armed with his single variable, but confident that it is sufficient to discern any difference in performance of various test wires, such a scientist would have all the data he would need for his tests and conclusions.

Such a flatlander could announce with certainty, that there is no difference between wire A and wire B in terms of the voltage entering and leaving the subject wires.

More than resistance and impedence, etc., what other variables do we really need to quantify in order to characterize the performance of wire? Ask a quantum audio scientist from the late 22nd century, there may be more variables under heaven than Horatio's fine science can discern ...

Which leaves the subjective observer. Who could put confidence in such a wet and messy piece of equipment? Why would anyone think that such a lump of protoplasm could possibly discern differences in the effect of various speaker wires on the flow of electrons, 'things' we understand so well, when our sophisticated multimeters indicate no discernable difference in what these devices can measure?

I don't use megabuck cables. I use Bob Crump design power cords and like the modestly priced but weirdly thin Mapleshade Double Golden Helix Plus speaker wires for my tube amp driven stereo system. Can I hear a difference between the lamp cord I used before? I think so. Can you?

I can hear a difference between different amps and processors. Can you?

I can hear differences between different speakers. Can you?

Edited by 2x6spds (08/09/03 12:46 AM)


_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#77208 - 01/19/05 03:08 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
Thanks 2X6spds. Nice comments from you as well. I really don't understand the position that receivers and cd players sound alike. I mean, I really don't! I also don't understand the relevance of double blind testing in the first place. We don't live in a double blind testing world *all* of the time.

If a person can hear a difference and it is only because of their perception, then why should that person not buy the equipment they perceive to be better? Perception is reality isn't it and over and over again I've seen people recommending other people to "save their money" or "don't, you won't be buying a different sound".

Its so easy to tell the differences in cd players or receivers that for the "science position" to hold weight for the person, it would seem a fair assumption that these folks cannot hear any differences. Were this not the case, why would they recommend keeping a piece of equipment they or someone else believes (perceives) sounds inferior? Or, why would they recommend not adding a better power cord even if they could hear (perceive) an improvement in sound?

I guess what I am saying is that if you want to enjoy your sound, the whole point is moot. To give you an example, I can hear differences between Onkyo receivers and NAD receivers. I prefer NAD. It would be awfully stupid of me to stick with the Onkyo even if I know the science is true.

Regarding cables and power chords I haven't listened to anything but the stock provided with the equipment, so I have no idea. ;-) I use cheap radio shack RCAs.



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#77209 - 01/19/05 03:20 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
In reply to:

I use cheap radio shack RCAs



i use the Fusion Gold Plated series from rat-shack.. and , i was gonna post a link, but after going to the rat-shack website, i cant find one.. but, they have tons of monster stuff.. so, i am guessing they have quit making the Fusion series, and just sell the monsters now? who knows.. but, mine work great, at about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the high-end cables.

bigjohn
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#77210 - 01/19/05 03:40 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
EllisU Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 27
Loc: Tallahassee, FL
As 2x6spds would say, time to get out the hip waders.

If we want to debate what would happen if we actually saddled up an electron and galloped through the wire, we might as well start debating reality itself.

Misapplied cognitive dissonance theory aside, I have major issues with 4 feet of power cord making a difference. Sure, if the 4 feet of power cable connects the space shuttle’s launching systems to an unlimited power source, it is very important to have a wire that does not inhibit the flow of current. That is simply not the case with HT. There are many other weaker links between the power substation and your amp. If your amp is not receiving adequate power, it is not the fault of the cable – it is the fault of the source.

This entire thread is overlooking one key point; if the engineers at (insert company) thought they were crippling their product with an inadequate power cable, they would certainly make a change. Major manufacturers could buy or manufacture “improved” power cables for a negligible amount. I don’t see Denon giving HK product superiority for a few extra bucks on a power cable.

Power transmission has been studied since the key on Franklin’s kite lit up. “Double Helix” terms aside, powering equipment is not a new science.

But then, I have never ridden an electron.


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#77211 - 01/19/05 03:53 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
EllisU Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 27
Loc: Tallahassee, FL
By the way, I am running damp dental floss between my components. The mint flavored floss reduces break-in time.-- Andy

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#77212 - 01/19/05 03:57 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Misfit,

I'm glad it worked out for you ........I will be doing the same as time permits...
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77213 - 01/19/05 04:00 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Riffman Offline
local

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
Big John, I actually have both the ultra cheap and a couple of those gold plated ones. never really tested for a difference.

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#77214 - 01/19/05 04:06 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Not RCA's but I tried a couple of Axioms locking banana plugs on the back of the reciever and you really need to be careful not to touch them together once installed...lot's of bare metal back there.
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77215 - 01/19/05 04:08 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
LT61 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 836
Loc: Illinois.
I don't know if the power cables WORK, or not....but you would be surprised to see how MANY companies, and mfgs. "shoot themselves in the foot" trying to cut corners, for price points, the bottom line, and for the company "bean counters".
It flies in the face of all logic to me.
_________________________
LIFE: "Choices, balance, and timing"

(Larryism)

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#77216 - 01/19/05 04:37 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
They do seem to cut corners a lot....When you are out shopping for cabinets, take a look at the back of it and unless it is really high dollar it will be particle board. P.S. when moisture hits it...PooF its done for.
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77217 - 01/19/05 04:40 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
LT61 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 836
Loc: Illinois.
You are right...Remember this: sooner, or later...particle board turns back into particles.
_________________________
LIFE: "Choices, balance, and timing"

(Larryism)

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#77218 - 01/19/05 04:49 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN




_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77219 - 01/19/05 07:22 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
In reply to:

but you would be surprised to see how MANY companies, and mfgs. "shoot themselves in the foot" trying to cut corners, for price points, the bottom line, and for the company "bean counters".




Larry,

You beat me to the punch. It's not the engineers that make the final decision. It's up to the product manager, who is neither an engineer, or a bean counter. He's the poor slob in the middle that has to take all of the scientific mumbo jumbo coming from the engineers, and go to the bean counters to justify WHY they must use the .22 cent capacitors in the power supply vs. the .10 cent ones that the bean counters found in some catalog with similar specs. One side wants to make the best quality piece of equipment that he can - his "opus", and the other side just wants to shave a few pennies per unit in production costs. So it's not the engineers "shooting themselves in the foot", they just lose the occassional business battle. Corporate life, you gotta love it. (Well, OK. You don't "gotta".)
_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77220 - 01/19/05 08:07 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
haanhvu Offline
buff

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 53
Loc: New Brighton, Minnesota
So is it safe to assume that a high end, cost-is-not-an-issue, multi-thousand bucks piece of equipment like the Denon 5805 would have better power cord compared to my lowly $200 Yammie HTR-5640? Or even the Denon's cord can be improved with an after-market one?

My cord is fine. It would be funny to pair my Yammie with a $100 cord. Besides, my ears are not very picky

Just curious.
_________________________
M60 + QS8 + SVS PB10 + Yamaha HTR-5640 + Pioneer 578a

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#77221 - 01/19/05 08:48 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
I guess it depends on their accountants.

Don't get me wrong. Any old power cord will do the job just fine. I was just pointing out that:

A better ground can NOT be bad on any piece of electronic gear.

Lower resistance MIGHT change the impedance ratios (ever so slightly, if at all)

Twisted conductors in any wire running AC voltages will reduce induced currents.

I'd almost bet that the 2 cords are very similar in quality because quite frankly, the engineers probably just specified the voltage and current ratings, and left the decision as to which actual cord ended up in the box to the procurement guys. They probably decided based on the lowest cost for a cord that meets the specs that they were given. I doubt that either would be "better" simply because it came with the more expensive piece of equipment. The one with the bigger amplifiers probably just has a thicker one. I don't think it is "safe" to assume anything.
_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77222 - 01/19/05 09:12 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Is induced currents a bad thing concerning speaker cables?

Lately I have been seeing new speaker cables on the market that are twisted together. A few years ago I never saw them twisted together.
Just curious
_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77223 - 01/19/05 09:27 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10362
No, Pat, speaker cables serve as a guide(i.e. more like a monorail than a hose)for the electromagnetic field transmitting the power. It's a relatively high current into a relatively low speaker impedance and it's essentially immune to interference in the home. Shielding, twisting, etc. may be helpful in preventing the very weak signals carried by interconnects from being affected by interference, but are unnecessary for speaker wires and are yet another marketing ploy.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#77224 - 01/20/05 08:07 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
If you're going to go for aftermarket power cords, at least consider this

And, this

Can We Hear Differences Between AC Power Cords? - An ABX Blind Test. December, 2004


The Results

The complete Excel spreadsheet with all test results and participant comments can be accessed herein. After the test, Manny spent quite some time analyzing the results and responses to a post-session questionnaire he composed. I owe much of the following analysis to him.

The total number of correct answers was 73 out of 149, which amounts to 49% accuracy. That is no more accurate than flipping a coin, and therefore, no statistically significant detection of power cable differences.


In the spirit of fairness, this was also stated.

Conclusions

To many in the engineering community, blind ABX is an accepted experimental design. Using the blind ABX protocol, we failed to hear any differences between an assortment of generic power cords and Nordost Valhalla. Therefore, we cannot conclude that different power cords produce a difference using the blind ABX protocol. However, we also cannot conclude that there are no differences. We simply failed to prove that differences can be detected to a statistically significant degree using a blind ABX protocol.


John Johnson, who comes from a scientific background, suggests that if there are differences between cords, they appear to be so subtle that a blind ABX test cannot discern them with small numbers of participants. Failure to discern them could be due in part to the time it took for cable changes, and the possibility that accurate auditory memory is shorter than that. It may be necessary to switch between cords in a much shorter time.

Unfortunately, as John notes, we don't know of a way of accomplishing fast power cable changes, since, unlike interconnects which can be simply switched between A and B with the equipment all still powered on and playing music, changing AC power cords requires turning the equipment off, switching the cords, and then powering them back on.


_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#77225 - 01/20/05 11:14 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
LT61 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 836
Loc: Illinois.
MIKE,

For the record, I never said...."engineers shoot themselves in the foot"
My main point was this: It's too bad for every step forward in improving technology, products , etc., MOST companies take a couple steps, back when they see how cheaply they can produce their products, cutting too many corners, often times negating the leaps forward.

LT
_________________________
LIFE: "Choices, balance, and timing"

(Larryism)

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#77226 - 01/20/05 12:24 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Yes, this goes along with the unfortunate truth of whenever I've "dug" for information from a company be it Harman Kardon, Yamaha or whoever they always tell me that they'll need to get that information to a technician. And guess what...you never hear back from them. Apparently it's all a big secret...the less we know the happier they seem to be.

I'm still waiting to hear from H/K...that was about a year ago
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77227 - 01/20/05 12:36 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks for pointing out the Article Ajax...there is all kinds of that stuff over at Audioholics Forum.

John K ...I have heard the same about electricity flowing around the conductor like a monorail not through it like water flowing through a garden hose

_________________________
Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#77228 - 01/20/05 02:30 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
biggsly5000 Offline
local

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 205
Loc: Atascocita, TX
I have asked Harman Kardon several questions and they did reply, in about a week. After a couple of days I had given up on them.

I worry more about having so many amplifiers connected to the same circuit than I do about the quality of my power chord. I have the receiver with its built in amps (although it is not connected to the speakers, so its current draw should be minimum), the seperate 5 channel 150 watts per channel power amplifier, and the SVS sub with 900 Watts. I realize they are not always putting out those peak numbers and that they do store some power internally for louder passages in movies/music, but still seems like a lot to me. There is also the 32" TV, the DVD player and th Cable box connected as well. I think dedicated circuits/outlets for the amplifiers would be a better upgrade than power chords.

In some passages of movies ie, LOTR the first one, when they are showing the battle scene in the beginning, and they cut the ring from whats his name's (Mordor?) finger the lights do dim in the living room. I still have not watched that movie all the way through yet and I have tried 3 times. I have not even tried to watch the other 2 yet. Seems like the sub is asking for a little too much power. I sometimes wonder if this could damage the amplifier. Or maybe the low bass is just vibrating the light bulb and making it a little dimmer? Who knows.

All of this equipment is on the same outlet, except for the sub, but I believe they are still on the same circuit anyway.

Some day I am just going to have to build a new house with a real dedicated HT room. I am thinking dedicated circuits/outlets, beefy wiring, surge protection at the fuse box, soundproofing etc. Only 29 more years to pay off the house I am in now....
_________________________
M80ti's, VP150, QS8's

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#77229 - 01/21/05 12:07 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
In reply to:

Is induced currents a bad thing concerning speaker cables?



Yes. It is unwanted current flow that will go through your speakers, and come out as noise, and NO speaker wires (and the signals inside of them) are rarely, if ever the CAUSE of induced voltage.

I think you asked something other than you meant, though.

The audio signals flowing through the speaker wires are very small. They also do not repeat the same cycles over and over again, so any magnetic fields and the voltage created by them created by them will be very random, very small, and will not result in a steady flow.

A 120 volt AC signal is really 169 volts when you measure the sine wave from peak to peak. The 120 volts is RMS, or Root Mean Square. This is the measurement used for any time varying signal's effective value: It is not an "Average" voltage and its mathematical relationship to peak voltage varies depending on the type of waveform. By definition, RMS Value, also called the effective or "heating" value of AC, is equivalent to a DC voltage that would provide the same amount of heat generation in a resistor as the AC voltage would if applied to that same resistor.

This 169 volt AC signal goes from 0 volts to just about 85 volts and back to 0 volts in the first 1/2 cycle, and then it goes down to -85 volts and back up to 0 volts in the next 1/2 cycle. It does this 60 times per second. Each time the voltage goes up, a small magnetic field builds up around the power cord. As the voltage goes down, the magnetic field collapses again. Then the signal goes to the negative side, and a magnetic field builds up with the lines of force going around the power cord in the opposite direction. As the voltage goes back up to 0 volts again, that field collapses, and the cycle repeats. Inside of that power cord, there is NO induced voltage. The up and down swing of the voltage matches the polarity swing of the magnetic fields building up and collapsing ( "fluxing" for you "Back To The Future" fans ). They tend to cancel each other out.

So how does this affect audio? It doesn't. UNLESS you lay your speaker wire inside of the magnetic field that is always building up and collapsing around the power cord. Why? That speaker wire is supposed to contain 100% pure audio signal. If you lay the speaker wire ALONG SIDE OF your power cord, those magnetic fields also surround the speaker wire. As those fields build up and collapse, they move the electrons in the speaker wire causing the unwanted current to show up as a 60HZ buzz coming out of your speakers when no music is playing. When music IS playing, these voltages can just plain out mess with the audio signals in the speaker wires by adding and subtracting voltage from the audio signal.

There are 3 ways to avoid this.

#1 - always run you speaker wires across, but not next to your power cords. This way, the magnetic lines only "cut" into the speaker wire at a very small section, and they also do it perpedicular to the wire instead of parallel to it so no current is induced. (Any car buffs out there know that this also applies to spark plug wires as well for the exact same reason.)

#2 - Twist up the wire inside of the power cord, which "randomizes" the directions at which the fields are created (think helix). Doing so creates many small fields in many directions, and prevents them from causing any induced voltages large enough to matter.

#3 - Keep the speaker wires and power cords at least 6" apart - far enough to keep the magnetic fields away from the speaker wires altogether.

Oddly enough, it is the exact opposite use of magnetic fields that make the speakers work in the fist place, so go figure... Too much of a good thing, no?

_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77230 - 01/21/05 12:10 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
I apologize Larry. I must have quoted someone else and gave you credit by mistake.
_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77231 - 01/21/05 07:28 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
Wow. This guy is smart.

I'm standing next to him.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#77232 - 01/21/05 09:40 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Misfit_Toy Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 346
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Hilarious.

Yes...a credit to you Michael_A. I've learning more now then I ever did in school
_________________________
"We're on the island of Misfit Toys"

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#77233 - 01/21/05 06:18 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
My parents and I worked our butts off so I could spend 4 years of my life learning how those electrons gallop through various materials and do different things. There's a veritable playground of galloping electrons in there... Why not share the wealth? Watching them is much momre fun than watching Lemmings on your computer.

The relationship between magnets and AC current has always fascinated me. There are probably 15-30 devices that use these basic principles within 30 feet of every person who reads this post.

Clocks, speaker drivers, microphones, telephones, anything that plugs in and spins - like a hair dryer, blenders, the blower in your heating/AC system, electric pumps, the hard drive in your computer (in more than one way - to spin the platters AND to read the data), the alternator in your car...

Think about all of the things that we wouldn't have without ac voltage, wire, and magnets. It's also cool because both ends can be exactly the same. Something (air, water, steam) spins a device with a bunch of wire wrapped around it inside of a magnet. The magnetic fields "create" the power as the wire passes through them. The power is then wired to something that creates a changing magnetic field. The changing magnetic field causes something with wire wrapped around it to start spinning so that you can use it to do some kind of work. Transmitting circular motion through copper using the same components on each end...

Then you have transmitting pressure. Sound pressure waves from a singer press on a microphone pickup membrane, and it moves a tiny magnet inside of a coil of wire with some voltage running through it. The fluctuations in the "nomal" voltage travel through a wire into another coil, that moves another magnet that has another membrane attached to it that creates sound pressure waves that hit your ears and allow you to hear the singer. Pressure on one end transmitted to something that creates pressure on the other end. Again, with exactly the same components on each end (just different sizes).

Best Spock voice...
Fascinating.


Oh.. And Mark - Don't stand next to me. I'm copying off of the girl sitting in front of me.

_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77234 - 01/21/05 08:18 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10362
Some good points, Michael, but a couple of them need further discussion. The peak-to-peak voltage of the nominal 120V AC waveform is actually about 340V, rather than 169V; the peak voltage is +170V rather than +85V and drops to -170V. As you point out, the nominal 120V figure refers to RMS(root mean square) voltage, not peak voltage. The relationship between them on the AC waveform is that peak voltage is 1.414(square root of 2)times the RMS voltage, which is a type of average voltage, but calculated in a special way: the values of the voltages are squared and then added and averaged, with the square root of that average then being used as the RMS value. Seems like a lot of work, but the computer doesn't mind, and the RMS voltage is generally accepted as a more effective measure for use in power calculations than either peak voltage or a simple average.

As I previously commented, speaker wires are essentially immune from interference in home usage and no special shielding or precautions are necessary. For example, Blue Jeans Cable points this out at the beginning of their speaker cable discussion . What has to be taken into account is that the current in a speaker wire is on the order of a thousand times stronger than that in an interconnecting cable operating at low voltage into a much higher impedance than the speaker impedance. It would take an extremely strong electromagnetic or radio frequency interference field to cause a problem with speaker wire, and these almost never would exist in the home. So, the precautions listed, which are often suggested for protecting interconnecting cables, especially if they're not well-
shielded, aren't necessary for speaker wire.
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#77235 - 01/21/05 10:28 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
Right now I'm watching Modern Marvels on the History channel and the subject is magnetism. Very interesting stuff. I did feel smart when they mentioned how magnets are used in every piece of your home entertainment system, clock, computer, telephone, DVD cover...

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#77236 - 01/22/05 04:21 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
I always wonder what we don't yet know about magnets and magnetism. At some point down the road scientists might discover that they cure diseases, provide unlimted power, nullify gravity, or something else really cool like that. And I'll be dead and won't get to see it.

JohnK, Yep, good catch. I was writing, and thinking about the signal as a positive half and a negative half. I plopped .707 into equasion to calculate peak voltage instead of 1.414 to get peak to to peak for the whole cycle. I plead "guilty with an excuse" - It was after midnight, and there were a few containment errors with some of the beer bottles around here earlier that night.

The article that you mention is correct, but it really has nothing in common with what I am talking about. It states "The low impedance of the circuit also tips the balance of concern from capacitance, which is important in interconnect use, to inductance, which, while a concern, can be controlled only to a limited degree. "

The "inductance" that the article is talking about is the electrical behavior of a coil of wire in resisting any change of electric current through the coil. A capacitor has "capacitance" which is the behavior of a capacitor in resisting any change in voltage. All cable, wire, etc. has some of each because they are unwanted properties that are unfortunately, laws of nature. They simply can't be removed. Mother Nature won't let them.

An inductor is a coil of wire (some wound around tubular cores, others around donut shaped cores depending on the inductance rating).

What I was referring to was "induced voltage". Whenever any piece of held stationary inside of a changing magnetic field, some voltage will be induced into that wire. It is another one of those laws of nature.
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M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77237 - 01/22/05 05:03 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
Actually, magnetism can nullify gravity. On Modern Marvels there was this experiment in which a frog was placed in a container and some magnetic field (I didn't really pay attention to the science jargon) disabled gravity and the frog was weightless in this mini-chamber. I'm not sure how advanced this gravity nullifying magnetism is but I bet it wouldn't be too far into the future. Magnets are truly amazing.

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#77238 - 01/22/05 09:18 PM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Nullifying gravity with magnets is actually quite easy if you're taking about an isolated area. Nullifying gravity over a large area is quite a bit more difficult. The catch is that whatever you're trying to negate the gravity of HAS to be affected by magnetic fields. So, for example, you couldn't negate the effects of gravity on a rubber ball or brick but you could negate the effects of gravity on a lump of iron.
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#77239 - 01/23/05 01:50 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10362
Right, Michael; when I referred to the "beginning" of the Blue Jeans discussion, that meant just the first two sentences where they comment on the practical immunity of speaker wire from interference. The rest of the paragraph goes on to discuss inductance, capacitance, resistance, etc. in, as you say, a context that has nothing to do with the speaker wire interference point at the beginning.
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#77240 - 01/23/05 09:42 AM Re: You might think I'm crazy, but I'm not...
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
I saw that John, but since it was speaking about EMI and RFI I just didn't make the connection. I tend to categorize EMI (electro magnetic interference for everyone else) into 2 categories: EMI that you would EXPECT to have in a certain location, and random EMI that just seems to show up unexpectedly. I would never intentionally run any data or audio cable over a flourescent light fixture. (They need to change the name of those from "light fixture" to "bad electrical noise generator that can be used to light up a room when you install the optional light tube".) They generate huge quantities of both EMI and RFI (radio frequency interference). I'm pretty sure that they are also known to cause cancer in the state of California as well. If you live anywhere else in the world, you are safe.

I agree with the article to a certain extent, but I would like to see "practically immune" changed to something like "substantially resistant". I find it funny that their description of the Canare 4S11 conflicts to a small degree with the first 2 sentences on the same page. "When conventionally wired, star quad speaker cable has the advantage of reducing the EM field around the cable, which will tend to diminish the effect of the signal in the speaker cable upon nearby interconnects--though this is not, in most applications, a significant concern.". Uh Oh... Here we go again. Now they are saying that the speaker wire is the source of the EMI, and that the interconnects are the things that you need to worry about in terms of getting interferred with. I give up. So should they. It's pretty hard to diffrentiate your product from the other guys' product when neither one of you can improve it beyond the limitations set by mother nature and the laws of physics. Why do I keep referring to mother nature? Because we (humanity) have only been able to study the laws of physics HERE. Just one environment. The "rules" could change substantially elsewhere, like outside of the Milky Way galaxy. Call Leonard Nimoy. We need him to take it from here...

The bottom line is that we live in an imperfect world. Interference is a fact of life, and due to certain laws of nature, we just have to live with it. We can eliminate some of it and deal with the rest of it. Speaker wire companies (and power cord companies) have to stretch the general population's understanding of science and the English language to the hilt in an attempt to convince you that they have the better product. Copper is copper. The copper in your water pipes will conduct an audio signal just as well as the most expensive speaker wire on the planet. Period. (I would recommend melting it down to an easier to work with form before testing - like wire.). What are they going to say? "We use the same damn copper as everybody else. Our wire bends just like everybody else's. If you put our wire in a bad place, it might just decide to act like an antenna, just like everybody else's. Ours has a coating on the outside, just like everybody else's.". The only real differences between speaker wire is found in the construction. Bare wire on each end is the "best" you can get from a strictly technical perspective (physically connected permanenty - soldered to the post would be "the best" with zero connections). If you are buying wire with connectors, pay more for wire with better connectors. If you are buying wire to pull through walls, pay more for the teflon coated stuff that makes it slide more easily. If they will be exposed, buy pretty ones. If you have to run them in parallel with your power cords, buy twisted ones, or go get a fancy, twisted, power cord and use regular speaker wire.

Uh... I'll stop there. Seems to back OT. This was a fun thread. Hey misfit, I hope your system souds nice!
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M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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