Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 24, 2004.
Too bad that the Amazing Randi's Million Dollar offer doesn't pertain here!
Put me in the never bothered to find out category as well. I can fairly easily distinguish differences between tonality and dynamics of any cables or masterings, but this is another level I've yet to discover so far. With any luck January will be a boring month and I'll give this a try just to see if I can readily hear any difference. Seems to me it might be very cable and equipment brand dependent.
Anyone have any new thoughts about this?
I've only tried this with one system and only the interconnects. in my system I have some Kimber Kable PBJ's and Vampire Wire SC's between the components and my preamp, and then a long of of home-made CAT 5 interconnects between the preamp and my amps. The Vampire and Kimber cables are all marked directionally and I really didn't notice any difference swapping them around. I did hear a small difference though when I tried it on the long run of CAT 5 between my pre and amps though.
About 2 years ago I had a place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cryo treat all of my interconnects, speaker cables and power cords. That made a much bigger difference in sound and was noticeable right away. I tried switching the cables around again a few weeks later but that time I didn't notice any difference in sound whichever way they were running. It seems that the cryo treatment must have removed whatever made the long set of interconnects between my pre and amps sound better one way than the other.
If your ears are good enough to hear this difference they need to be broken in.
I thought that wire only became directional after a signal had passed through? I think it was Nordost that said this although I'm certain they were speaking of their wire only. And yes Nordost cables have arrows for convenience. My PSAudio ICs have arrows, the matching speaker cables do not. What the heck does that mean?
Although I haven't heard the difference I admit to fretting over directionality with my unmarked Stereovox coaxial and launching a full scale air, land and sea search of the internet to learn which was the source end.
I find it reassuring that even though one pair of golden ears could hear the difference, Steve could not, which may speak of more meaningful musical values.
I can't speak for wire being cryogenically treated, but I have heard BIG differences between two sets of tubes (same brand). The cryo treated tubes were sweeter and smoother.
I have to admit, I never tried it. I'm not even sure mine are hooked up right. I think my interconnects are all bi-directional (don't think there are little arrows), but I can't be entirely sure.
That depends on how good your instrumentation and processing is, that is not a correct statement.
My question is what are the physical differences that lead to the arrow designation in the first place? Someone mentioned sheilding connections only at one end, but many ICs are not shielded.
Personally I never tested this, I just hook up the arrows like they want me to. I have too many other things to test as it is. However, the Kevin story is pretty amazing.
My friend worked one Summer, a while ago, at Belden, the guys who sell the wire to many vendors. I worked in a lab next door, for a vendor who supplied them with materials. When we read of these claims about copper oxide impurities, etc., from Monster and others their lab guys, PhD's in the metal sciences, fell on the floor holding their sides. There may be something to directional claims, and I wish I still had access to those lab guys to ask about this again. But all I can say is that I don't even hear what others report about so called audiophile interconnects.
Here's a new thought: Speakers are like puppets on a string, the thicker the wire the better control the puppeteer has.
I voted no but I have to admit, I never really tried it. I'm from the old school of thought where only R, C & L matter. I also agree with earlier posts that point out the AC nature of the signal making the point mute.
I've never been sure I heard it but my friends who do tell me that some products aren't directional and some become directional after they've been used a while. I've always found connectors to be more audible than wire. I've also heard tightening all of the AC connectors including the service entrance make a lot of wire differences go away.
As for jitter, the installation of digital video production facilities forced a lot of people to get their act together because they couldn't tell a director pointing at a screen and demanding to know "what the f!@# is THAT?" to go take an ABX test!
I have never tried, and I doubt that I could hear a difference. I can accept the fact that others can hear something different.
The Grovers are far thinner than a lot of high end cable manufacturers, but absolutely topple them in sound quality IMO. Nice theory though and one I believed as well...until Grover.
I used to work in a studio that had these short, itty bitty patch cables for their patch bay. Most of the time they weren't even long enough to reach from one side of the bay to the other. Finally, after being completely fed up with the situation I asked the studio owner why he bought such short patch cables. He said he could hear the difference between the lengths of cable. I wanted to see this for myself so I copied a track and patched them in with different length cords and asked him to identify them. He got 12 out of 20 correct... just slightly above guessing.
I wanted to ask if the blue colored cables sounded any different from the yellow but I didn't.
I hear the differences in cables. Years ago I re-wired my home stereo with Mogami cable and heard a significant improvement. Now I have Grovers everywhere. But directionality of the same good quality cable? Hmmm, I just don't get it. Re-reading the thread has made me curious though. I think I'll try it out one day.
BTW, what makes one cable directional and another non-directional? Is it marketing? A manufacturing process? Anyone know?
I believe it's a deliberate design parameter. Grover wire is non-directional for example..
What about something like Audio Quest or Monster? Are they truly directional or is it an attempt to make their products appear more "high tech"?
I have a lot of respect for Ray Kimber who's cables I use. I have never tried to see if I can hear the difference in direction, however, my Kimber Select's come with very well marked arrows so they are clearly designed with a direction intended. I also use Kimber Hero's in my system. They do not come marked with direction but Kimber tells people they will take a "set" after they are used for a while and then should always be used in that direction for best results. The plot thickens.
I suggest you stop fretting and sleep well!!
Yes, that and the structure of metals such as copper are the clincher for me. Unfortunately, it would not be wise to say more.
One person I trust in cables is George Cardas whom I have worked with in the studio. He believes in directionality. Ray Kimber is another friend who believes this also.
All of the electrons used in my system go through weeks of rigorous training to learn how to travel in the correct direction.
JackHammr1 <jackham...@aol.com> wrote:
>Ok, this may sound a little off, but this is the story given to me by Tom
>Woodbury of Sonoran Audio Designs, manufacturer of the Desert Cable.
Now, first we must take into consideration that Mr. Woodbury arguably has
a vested self-interest in any explanation he proffers, so that should
lead us to carefully view his theory.
>When the copper, or any conductor for that matter is drawn into cable,
>micro crystals form which increase impedance. In one direction, that is.
Now, Mr. Woodbury makes NO claim here about sound. He merely makes a
claim about a well defined, well understood, completely and objectively
verifiable parameter: impedance. His claim is VERY simple and
straightforward: The impedance with the current going in one direction IS
different than the impedance with the current going in the other
direction. THere is no ambiguity to his claim, and thus we can test it.
Is Mr. Woodbury now willing to show us that his objectively varifiable
claim is provably correct? It's a VERY simple matter to do: impedance
measurement is a technique that is extremely well refined and accurate.
His claim MUST result in a measurably different impedance in one
direction or the other. Show us, Mr. Woodbury, that this is true.
Because is is NOT true of any wire that I or anyone else has measured. If
it IS true of Mr. Woodbury's wire, then I mighht suggest that his
manufacturing technique is VERY faulty.
Now, to the inevitable analogy.
>It's kinda like driving your boat with the back or wide end in front and
>the pointed end in back. In other words, you're going against the laws of
Mr Woodbury COMPLETELY ignores the fact that the current DOES NOT FLOW
UNIDIRECTIONALLY. It is an AC signal that is sent down the cables, so if
HIS claim about the difference in the directional impedance of the wire
is true, then even HIS wire MUST suffer from the same phenomenon, because
the current MUST flow both ways. If he was honest in his boat analogy, he
MUST say that many times a second, the current in the river COMPLETELY
reverses itself as a characteristic of the river flow itself, and now,
how does he explain the value of putting a "One Way" sign on the banks of
his river? The river flows both ways, sorry, Mr. Woodbury, the analogy
Mr. Woodbury's boat analogy is further hopelessly flawed further because
it rests on a hydrodynamic model that is completely untenable when it
comes to the flow of electrons through a conductive metallic matrix. His
boat analogy depends upon the difference between a primarily laminar fluid
flow in one direction and a primarily turnbulent flow in another, and
neither conductrive mechanism exists in the flow of electrical current in
a conductor at the frequencies we are discussing.
>So, most manufacturers of high end cable label their cables in one
>direction, or better yet, specify the speaker or amplifier terminus on the
But how do they do that in light of the fact that it is an AC current
which flows through the cables, and the current is continuously reversing
itself. This explicitly means that such directional cables MUST BE WRONG
1/2 THE TIME. This is the inevitable consequence of this sort of flawed
argument. Sorry, Mr. Woodbury, you loose.
>Of course, I haven't detected an audible difference either way. So
>experiment for yourself and decide which way sounds good to you.
Well, maybe there's a good reason for this.
>Hope this helps,
As a basis for debunking a manufacturer's myth and hype, thanks, it is a
If Mr. Woodbury believes this tale, then I feel for him, for he has
swallowed a load of tripe. If he KNOWS better, than I loath him for the
smake oil salesman he is, because every part of his analogy is provably
wrong, both theoretically and practically.
Now, never once did either Mr. Woodbury, in this relating of his rather
fantastical tale, seem to make a claim about sound. What he DID do was
make a claim about HOW something works, and that's a very different
thing. His explanation is pure bunk, based either on a complete
misunderstanding of the physics of conduction or on pure dishonesty, I
know not which.
But, there seems to be a curious lack of claims about outstanding sonic
superiority, and Mr. Hammer's experience would tend to suggest that his
explanation lacks credibility.
Of course, Mr. Woodbury may now claim that Mr. Hammer is deaf or his
system has not the prerequisite resolution, or that the material is
wrong, or whatever.
Regardless, Mr. Woodbury, in his representing Sonoran Sound's Desert
Cable, and his explanation of Desert Cable and conduction phenomenon
general is bunk, and to that end he and his organization should be held
accountable and responsible, regardless of how the cable may or may not
sound in reality.-
Separate names with a comma.