The Great Cable Debate

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Full details of test and background at

Start date of test - 29/10/2005

Test package contents :

  • One ordinary kettle lead labelled "D"

  • 3 masked mains cables randomly labelled A,B and C which include an ordinary kettle lead, an aftermarket mains lead and one of my own designs of mains lead built on widely accepted principles of construction of audiophile mains leads

  • Test CD with 5 different tracks of music of different genre

  • Folder containing test instructions, volunteer list and order of posting and a sample test form

  • Folder containing surplus test forms for rough use

What to do on recieving the parcel ?

  • Check contents

  • Check integrity of masking

  • Contact next recipient by PM and acquire address for postage(alternatively you can contact me)

  • Proceed with test(sorry no time for drooling over the cables or the great job at masking)

Play test CD on your existing system - familiarise with the music, sort out optimal volume etc for the various tracks

Plug lead "D" - familiarise yourself with the character of this lead and then try out the other leads with the aim being to find out which of the three masked leads resembled the unmasked kettle lead in character.

The second part of the test is to identify the best of the lot and grade the cables if possible - The form is self explanatory, do not answer any more than requested.

Keep responses simple and unambigous.

You are recommended to use the test CD only atleast to start off with, however you may use your own preferred music to arrive at the conclusion.

If other members in the household wish to take part - most welcome , but fill out another form on their behalf as well.

Date and your name to be put at the top of the form - this will remain confidential

On completion of test post the package onto the next via courier or convenient secure/insured method. Do the checklist before sealing the parcel.

While you are waiting to post you can play the lead of your choice to your hearts content or even compare it with any other mains leads you possess.

Record this info for discussion later but not on the test form.

Forms can be posted to me or downloaded from here and mailed to me after completion on microsoft word.Keep a copy with you for discussion purposes later.

Do not discuss your findings on the forums in any way that might impart bias to the next tester. If in doubt do not discuss it.

Other aspects of the test may ofcourse be discussed.

you are welcome to PM me if in doubt about anything.

Once the last tester ? Still tones has completed his test,he will unmask the identity of the cables. This keeps me the datacollector out of the process hence avoiding bias.

More volunteers can continue to enroll until the last tester has recieved the cables.

Here is a link to the form for download

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Having completed the test a few comments...

Firstly the masking is excellent and it really isnt possible to tell the leads apart, but one word of caution is that as a result they are not very flexible. I actually placed my chosen source component on the floor for the duration of the test.

I actually have an isotec minisub and and a source with a separate power supply, but for the purpose of the test i plugged directly into the mains and i chose to use another source that didnt have a power supply in case either of those components could effect the result.

Once i had dealt with the above the test was a breeze, the instructions are clear and the whole process is easy to follow. The test disc supplied is fine, but i was more comfortable with my own music.

Thanks to Kiang for the obvious effort he has put into the whole process.

The leads are now on their way to Jasper as i type...


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The test is very easy to complete, the instructions are very clear and the whole test is straightforward. The cables are impossible to identify other than by the letter marked on the plug.

Hopefully not everyone will take as long as I did. I would say that if you wanted to, you could easily finish the test in an hour. Clearly the longer time you take the more differences you'll hear (or think you'll hear:shock::shock::shock:).

Big thanks to Kiang for a very well thought out and organised test.

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No one should rush. This test is important, because it is the first blind test to my knowledge that allow the listener to listen for several days. And most blind tests are criticized because a cable "only reveals itself in the long run, listening for the pleasure. Not stressing oneself to give an answer in two minutes in a laboratory".

Here's what happens when people perform fast listening tests :

They hear a difference, then give wrong answers.

Manypeople think that the problem should be solved if people can listen to the cables for several days (or weeks).

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Guest purplepleaser

Pio2001 wrote:

About 4 monthes to go, then.



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Guest purplepleaser

Hi Kiang, I am not bothered with how long it takes. Pio2001 will argue that the result will have degraded over time. He's put a damper on it from the start .


P.s how's the amp doing

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Pio2001 is alright really - the key to a good test is patience, a lot of effort has gone into the test and volunteers have given their valuable time. The result should be credible.

For a test to be performed to satisfaction a few days is realistically required plus postage etc and I suspect this will take us to mid January at least.

The amp by the way is doing well. Very pleased with it , particularly when driving my horn speakers. You are welcome for a listen if ever in the leeds area. You know the class A sound of the sugdens and you have heard them on the emotions as well - just have a listen to this setup when you get the chance.

I will post a review at some point but will say no more for now;)

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