Can you hear the "directionality" of interconnects and speaker wire? Kevin LaTour can.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    Consider this:
    A cable pair would need each wire oriented opposite since current flow is opposite.

    Also, it appears that we are discussing a property of the material, Cu, specifically the deformities due to its manufacturing method.

    Consider this:
    An isolated single conductor. Low V, low I.
    The return conductor is not a factor since it's distance, geometry etc., determine L and C, not R. R is a property of the material, independent of geometry other than length and area.
    The property of Cu concerned is resistivity p (no L or C).
    R = p x L/A

    If we take these 2 isolated wires and connect them to a resistor (no reactive load) and apply a V we get an I in phase. They can be AC or DC in this case since the load is resistive or power factor = 1.
    V/I = R
    That will be the same regardless if we swap ends.
    This only involves R, so it must be the same in both directions.
     
  2. Nah, if they’re knowingly selling something that they are fully aware doesn’t do what they proclaim it is contempt. Driven by greed of course. But still contempt.

    To be clear, I’m referring specifically to the example of the directional arrows I quoted above.
     
  3. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    Chances are Belden (or Anixter) made those cables too. Very few boutique cable outfits (if any) have furnaces, extruders, wrapping/twisting, insulation pots, etc.
    These are typically huge factories, the one in my town must be 2-3 acres under roof.

    They buy cable and have it rebranded (no problem with that), they may have a custom product made for them but for Belden (or others) to tool up it will need to be a large run, 10,000's of feet. I work with this companies a lot.

    Not saying you aren't hearing something, but imho extremely unlikely it's the direction the conducting Cu is oriented.
     
    timind likes this.
  4. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Location:
    USA
    People agreeing or disagreeing has no bearing on fact. This is the reason why so many rely on measurements (objective) where opinions (subjective) differ.

    Psychology is a thing. Psychoacoustics is a field of study which is super interesting and helps explain these phenomena. But it’s nascent and we need more controlled studies to assess the validity of claims in the audio industry.
     
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  5. tryitfirst

    tryitfirst Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Here are some possible alternative explanations:
    1) Kevin could hear slightly more background buzz when the shielding was connected to ground on the downstream box than the upstream one, or vice versa.
    2) Kevin could hear or see in a reflection or discern by time spent or the look on Steve's face whether Steve had reversed the cables or not.
    3) A diode-effect in the cable was combining with driver non-linearity (see this interesting article: Absolute Phase: Fact or Fallacy? ) to alter signal level and possibly add distortion.

    Since the Stereophile article states that they could only detect changes in the absolute phase of the signal on cheap speakers, the answer to (3) is get some better speakers and then your cable direction won't matter.

    An interesting test would have been to reverse one channel only and see if Kevin could spot that.

    Music is AC. This should alert us to the possibility that what many report as 'directionality' is imagined.
     
  6. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    argue with audioquest.
     
  7. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    reprinted from audioquest.
     
  8. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Not too difficult, their site is looooaded with BS. :drool::blah::drool::blah::drool::blah::drool:
     
  9. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Post #319 (copied from AQs directionality page) is total BS/not applicable.

    Etcetcetcetc...
     
  10. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Location:
    USA
    I don’t have to argue with anyone about facts.

    Skin effect - Wikipedia
     
  11. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Maybe someone can tally the number of analog (or digital) interconnects AQ offers. :crazy: One for every situation/all your needs, and they tend to be differentiated by "materials science features" (like "perfect surfaces" and "perfect surface + surfaces").

    My Vegas over/under is 27...

    Biggest Shmarketing company in all of Stereoland.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  12. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Then there are reviews like this for audiophiles to read and absorb. :biglaugh:

    The Entry Level #34 Page 2

    I believe this is their BOTL "series" and a 1 m Tower (their cheapest interconnect) retails for about $30 and their second cheapest (Evergreen) $50 for 1 m.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  13. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    MI
    The cable passes AC thus the music alternates in both directions in the cable being AC from 20Hz to 20kHz. The cable resistance is the same regardless of the direction. Cables do not change over time either. Thus, it is impossible for a cable to sound different in one direction. If you hear a difference, it is a placebo effect in your brain, not a difference in the cable.
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Didn't you read my first post, dude?
     
    4-2-7 likes this.
  15. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Location:
    USA
    The example of shielded interconnects is one where cable directionality could be perceived, due to the termination of the shielding on one side. Makes perfect sense (to me anyways).
     
    elvisizer and Ingenieur like this.
  16. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    MI
    Shielded RCA cables are grounded both sides. Never heard of a shielded speaker wire.
     
  17. guestuser

    guestuser My hifi’s name is Teddy

    Location:
    Puget Sound
    I’ve seen many variations of this comment across this forum and I really don’t understand it. The planets existed before the telescope was invented and we could actually see them. Lighting arced across the sky long before electricity was harnessed and we were able to put a voltmeter to a wire. The idea that there are audio phenomenon for which we don’t yet have an instrument should be a given.
     
    MGW likes this.
  18. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Location:
    USA
    Nope, not all of them.
     
  19. big_pink_floyd_toole

    big_pink_floyd_toole I am not a bat

    Location:
    USA
    Short answer is we have our measuring tools already. But you should start a new thread if you want an in depth answer to this question.
     
  20. guestuser

    guestuser My hifi’s name is Teddy

    Location:
    Puget Sound
    We don’t have instruments to measure every audio phenomenon and I don’t need a new thread to tell me that.
     
    MGW likes this.
  21. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Motown Legend

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    The real problem is figuring out how and what to measure. That's an expensive proposition in time and expertise that has little practical value when simple listening works. Here's an interesting talk about transformers.
     
  22. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    MI
    Non shielded at one end could cause hum issues and signal loss. Who would buy that?
     
  23. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    MI
    But, a wire is a wire and it uses both directions in the cable. What is left to cause a phenomenon? Magic? Or, because I say so?
     
  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    First try I could not tell a difference. The male pins of my XLR interconnect cable would not connect to the male pins on the back of my preamp. Calling this one a draw....
     
  25. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    To clarify, I meant to say shield connected on one end and floating on the other.

    Blue Jeans appears to attach their shield on the source side for unbalanced cables, which appears the most common way.

    From:

    Hum Rejection in Unbalanced Audio Cables -- Blue Jeans Cable

    "We wired it in what seems to be the most common configuration used in audiophile circles--one wire of the twisted pair to the center of the RCA plug, one to the outer ring, and the shield attached to the outer ring but only at the "source" end of the cable."

    Im thinking the cables Steve tested Kevin with were wired like this and this is what was responsible for the differences in sound that Kevin was able to detect.
     

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