Jump to content

Yesterday a mains cable sceptic had to revise his thoughts.


Fourlegs

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, John (big) said:

...it appears to me the naysayers in particular are the ones who exhibit hostility indeed trying to disrupt the thread...

They are part of Extension Rebellion! :geek:

:minikev:

Edited by CnoEvil
  • Haha 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Audinista said:

My sources are Innuos ZEN Mk 3 server, Aqua La Voce S3 DAC and an ancient Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player modded by GNSC, still going strong. 

The amp is Lavardin IT. 

Speakers are Zingali Overture 2, and prior to that Living Voice OBX R2 for about 12-15 years. Both are quite sensitive and resolving. 

I am also using quite heavy filtering: a big Isol-8 LC Substation for my sources and an AudioPlan FineFilter for the amp. Plus an isolation transformer for the server. Tried filters throughout the years with no success and came to a conclusion that any filter is detrimental to the sound, but was eventually proven wrong.

I tried to upgrade the Lavardin mains cable but it always worked best with its own kettle cord. 

You may find it weird but I am also using a pair of self-made grounding boxes. It took some time to believe that it might work, some time experiment as well, but these boxes lowered the background noise to virtually inaudible level, you can hardly hear anything with your ear against the tweeter. And mind you, it is a horn loaded compression driver. 

RE mains cables I think it is way more complicated than just simple RFI filtering. RFI filtering alone doesn't explain the way mains cables affect the sound. In my experience RFI starts to really affect the sound when you get some hidden ground loop fractionally related to the RF wavelength and it starts tuning-in the RF signal. That develops some nasty voltage on top of the signal that goes to the speakers.  Otherwise quality hi-fi is pretty immune to RFI. 

Thanks for this. That should be a relatively neutral system, no obvious nasties.

I'd be grateful if you could point to any explanation of the mechanisms by which a mains cable can affect sound quality other than RFI. RFI affects mainly analogue components producing/processing digital or analogue signals and/or the signal when it's travelling (technical term!) along signal cables. I think I understand the mechanism which may be to do with (1) the cables's proximity to sensitive circuits (or signal cables) regardless of what device it is actually powering, and/or (2) some sort of transfer of noise (RFI/EMI) via the cable itself to the device it is powering.

What am I missing? If I can understand what it is, I  might be willing to try another mains cable or three. I'm not going to "just use my ears" until I have some idea what might be going on. Thanks for humouring me.

Flashie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, andrew s said:

Hum is a more likely noise component from a linear supply than an an smps given the way they work.

Regards Andrew 

Have you heard hum from a linear power supply? I've heard hash from an SMPS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, dave said:

I am un happy with this statement. To qualify, The recording engineer starts with a file in their computer / DAW, adds some reverb to the vocal and then saves a new file. That is absolutely changing the bits, the two files will be different.  What am I missing? :D

As an old-ish person if I use a smiley it means my post should be taken in a light hearted and cheerfully way :D.  I am not cross or fed up, even if my post's tone comes across that way, :)

Do you know what a blue halibut is? Or maybe better a Red Herring? 

The digital file size may or may not change if I reduce the amount of reverb on a track. What does not change is the bit depth of the track. Frankly it was complete nonsense for Shadders to introduce this into the conversation as it has absolutely nothing to do with what we are talking about. Please choose an appropriate smiley to add to this post. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, DomT said:

What does not change is the bit depth of the track. Frankly it was complete nonsense for Shadders to introduce this into the conversation

Hi,

I said nothing about bit depth. I stated that the bits change, hence listening is valid.

For mains cables, the bits don't change, hence blind testing is required to reliably report a change.

Regards,

Shadders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

Every engineering profession of products publish the measurements of their products. Even paint manufacturers publish technical details of their product.

Regards,

Shadders.

Except that they don’t in hifi. Just look at the websites of leading hifi manufacturers of amps and speakers. Even celebrated brands don’t publish although Benchmark does. 

Edited by DomT
Typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

I said nothing about bit depth. I stated that the bits change, hence listening is valid.

For mains cables, the bits don't change, hence blind testing is required to reliably report a change.

Regards,

Shadders.

The change in the size of the file of the track in no way affects how it sounds. The more tracks you add the bigger the file size. You are completely confused.  You have absolutely no idea what you are taking about when it comes to studios and recording - says me the studio owner. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, DomT said:

The change in the size of the file of the track in no way affects how it sounds. The more tracks you add the bigger the file size. You are completely confused.  You have absolutely no idea what you are taking about when it comes to studios and recording - says me the studio owner. 

Hi,

I said nothing about file size changes. I will repeat, i said nothing about file size changes.

I stated that the bits change, and hence listening is valid.

Regards,

Shadders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

Hi,

22 minutes ago, Shadders said:

I said nothing about bit depth. I stated that the bits change, hence listening is valid.

For mains cables, the bits don't change, hence blind testing is required to reliably report a change.

Is this the Shadders First Law of Critical Listening?

If the bits in a digital audio signal change then sighted test listening is valid but if the bits in a digital audio signal don’t change then blind test listening is required.

If so then this Law rules out sighted listening comparison for speakers, external PSUs, etc etc including a vast swathe of hifi equipment which is blatantly and easily compared in a sighted listening session.

I suspect you are just arguing for the sake of it.

34 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Regards,

Shadders.

Regards,

Nick 😀 (ironic)

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

Have you heard hum from a linear power supply? I've heard hash from an SMPS!

Not since my home grown efforts years ago. However, if you look at the noise spectrum of an LPS you will most likely see component at the mains frequency and its harmonics. They may well be too low to be audible.

I have not heard hash from an SMPS but I know they can produce noise at their switching frequency and its harmonics. Certainly with my Benchmark DAC and power amp I don't hear any nor see any issues in the audible from the published data. 

I have seen examples of different powere supplies having a measurable impact on audio output.

I am agnostic on LPS and SMPS both can be good or bad.

Regards Andrew 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

Thanks for this. That should be a relatively neutral system, no obvious nasties.

I'd be grateful if you could point to any explanation of the mechanisms by which a mains cable can affect sound quality other than RFI. RFI affects mainly analogue components producing/processing digital or analogue signals and/or the signal when it's travelling (technical term!) along signal cables. I think I understand the mechanism which may be to do with (1) the cables's proximity to sensitive circuits (or signal cables) regardless of what device it is actually powering, and/or (2) some sort of transfer of noise (RFI/EMI) via the cable itself to the device it is powering.

What am I missing? If I can understand what it is, I  might be willing to try another mains cable or three. I'm not going to "just use my ears" until I have some idea what might be going on. Thanks for humouring me.

Flashie

Thanks Flashie, the system is indeed quite balanced, there is some small room-induced hump in 100-150 Hz region in my listening position and the upper midrange is slightly lit with Zingalis, but nothing dramatic. It works well with some music and I mostly listen low level.

I'm afraid I can't help you with the explanations Flashie. I tried to get to the mechanisms of it, but my now practically redundant engineering degree with one-year course in electronics many and many a year ago were clearly not enough. I think for most manufacturers it is still guesses, tries and errors dressed in pseudoscientific gibberish they feel necessary for marketing reasons. 

But by the end of the day we are not manufacturers, we are music lovers, so I find it to be much more productive to try and educate my tastes and understanding of music and learn to trust my ears (or rather my brain) rather that searching for scientific confirmations. If I suddenly got the meaning of the interaction in a string quartet playing Beethoven, do I really need to worry what causes it on molecular level?

This way it becomes very simple. Just forget about science and hire some reputable aftermarket cables that don't cost you an arm and a leg and listen to the music. You may well feel there is no improvement and no difference, or the difference is insignificant and musically meaningless, it often happens when changing cables. Then great, you saved yourself some dosh. If you feel that the enhancement is worth it, then prepare to spend some O.o. You may imagine the taste of a Marmite for as long as you wish but isn't it much easier to just take a bite? 

Naysayers will tell you it is all psychoacoustics and you need to be double blind to hear things clearly.  In my humble opinion this is not entirely correct even though we all know we do adjust to the sound. But even if it's (highly unlikely) the case, if psychoacoustics plays major part in it, do we need to worry as long as it lasts? If psychoacoustics brings tears to my eyes when listening to Elgar or Simone, so be it.:D  But it's not, the effect is real. 

Peace, A.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Nopiano said:

I inadvertently misled you, because rechecking the review it’s actually distortion that’s slightly higher, rather than noise.  I’ve corrected my earlier post, but my point was principally that listening and measurements didn’t align. 

It is well known that different people prefer some distortion and there is even a term for it "euphoric distortion". I am not aware of any research that shows that absolutely accuracy has ever been correlated to prefered presentation.😉

Regards Andrew 

Edited by andrew s
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Blzebub said:

I think it's very useful to avoid wasting money on aftermarket mains cables.

The level of hostility expressed towards sceptics must have an explanation. It often seems to originate within the aftermarket cable vendor community. I was recently accused of lying about it.

I am sure that you dont know what camp I fall in ? I wouldnt pay more than 50 quid for a good mains cable & I wouldnt buy Chord products either if I thought they were comfortable with mugging customers.  Sincerity in the industry is indeed rare.  It is imo,  mainly a mixture of good & poorly told stories...a bit like Chinese whispers.  Being a discriminative buyer is a difficult task these days but is a reflection of the society we live in.                         * Am not hostile but good humoured generally. When the thread becomes like top trumps (continually) it pisses me off :) ...hence my comment.  Why bother ?  This isnt what hifi is about...only maybe in the mind of the obsessively contentious.  M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

I said nothing about file size changes. I will repeat, i said nothing about file size changes.

I stated that the bits change, and hence listening is valid.

Regards,

Shadders.

What ‘bits’ do you think are changing in multitrack recording when reducing the reverb send to a vocal track?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Bokke said:

This is actually quite a helpful review from ASR for once!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...