Cable fetishists..now face the truth!
Ahhhh sigh.. I sometimes get sick and tired about people asking for cable advise and spending a fortune on some brand blabla cable. I think I made a thread on this before, but I just feel like making one a sticky!
Alright some theory:
The one and only things (let's say obstackles) a signal can encounter on getting from A to B is:
L R and C
NOTHING, no not even a little... NOTHING else will influence the signal! EVERYTHING ELSE YOU CAN IMAGINE WILL ULTIMATELY STILL COME DOWN TO THESE THREE PROPERTIES!!
They stand for:
Now let's first establish a few things. For starters our audio godfathers from the previous century already knew this and made a few precautions to make sure these don't influence our precious audio signal.
Let's pull a little metaphore out of the high hat. We have the signal, which can be a mouse, a dog, a hiker, a Ferrari race car or even a space rocket! Now let's take our cable, which can be a dirt track, a sidewalk, a smooth asphalt motorway or even (in case of a space rocket) the universe!!
Then we have the dreaded dreads the signal can encounter along the way. Which can be induced magnetic fields from humming transformers or other cables with high current signal (mains cables!) bad contact or a broken conductor, just to name a few. Look upon these as a bad road, or an earthquake, a storm or even blazing heat!
Now our source usually has a certain output impedance and our designers have made that as low as possible, why? Well let's just say they sent the Ferrari race car on the road instead of the hiker!
Now how far does the signal have to travel, in some occasions (pro audio) it has to travel several hundred meters. That still pretty much equals a drive from Amsterdam to Brussels, no big deal, even the Ferrari would probably not even have to stop for a fill up at the petrol station.
In our living rooms our audio usually travels only a few meters. That pretty much equals the hiker having just a visit to the neighbours! Maybe even just a walk from the living room to the kitchen!
All this is just to put it all in an understandable perspective....
If you are in posession of an LCR measurement device you can simply make the measurement yourself to put reality to the test. You will notice that you need a pretty good one, even if you take the lowest grade audio cable on a 100 meter spool. The socalled parasitic properties are then still rather insignificant.
So this lowest grade of cable (the little dirt trail) would that do to make your domestic audio equipment signal (the hiker) reach your amp and speakers?? (grab a beer in the fridge)???
The answer is YES
Now the guys asking:"But what if I have a smooth asphalt road paved in my living room? Or would it be even better to have a Star Trek teleporter unit?? Oh and by the way can you build me that delicious Godly villa (41hz amplifier) for 10 bucks?" Are we surprised that makes me a little bit angry, disappointed to say the least?
Usually the discussions are more on about whether it matters to have wood or cotton lining on the walls on the path to the kitchen. Or whether it should be painted red or yellow. Or whether there is a need to have carpet on the floor or wood? Petty and totally uninteresting bullcrap!
Just one piece of advise, keep your money either in your pocket or buy something sensible to enhance your audio experience!! I know exactly how the industry works when it comes down to cables, having worked in a hifi shop and knowing what margins are earned on cables I know it is one big scam! It is making people rich undeserved! People that really don't want to take the trouble to create something beautiful, just let the machines poo out a conductor with a very shiny coat on, something they can barely go wrong with, that can barely be criticised because simple good is good enough, great is still no better than good!
My advise for cable manufacturers, go and do something challenging for a change, like designing an amplifier!
Last edited by V-bro; 18-Apr-12 at 01:17.
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