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

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    All the little live things

    I know from personal experience that most audio gear out there doesn't have enough resolution for a lot of these effects to be audible. There is also the issue of the resolution of the hearing of auditors who make claims of the audibility of things like interconnect direction and just as important [and far more likely] some auditor's claims that these effects don't exist. I'm lucky in that I've heard audio gear far above my station and that I have regular exposure to un-amplified music. I'm just as lucky in that I haven't been overexposed to really loud amplified music so my hearing isn't completely shot just quite yet.

    The audio systems that really blow me away all pay attention to the details. Having the right cable and the right interconnect installed properly is one of those details. The greater the cost, complexity & quality of these audio systems, the more important the low-level details become. No matter how fine these audio systems are, they never get the sound of live, unamplified music exactly right. But the ones that get the closest pay attention to all the details of proper system matching, room acoustics and wiring.
  2. donunus

    donunus Cheapskate Audiophile and Massive Music Lover

    I never knew there was really anything to be heard by reversing the cables. Wow, and I thought I had great skills :D
  3. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    Yes, I can hear a difference.
  4. konut

    konut Prodigious Member. Thank you.

    Whatcom County, WA

    Well said! A lot of forum members just don't "get" these 2 simple truths. The attention to detail is cumulative and seemingly minor improvements can have major audible benefits in total. One does not have to spend crazy money at the majority of system building to realize these benefits either.
  5. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    Ya but do you have a "Resolution meter"......:eek:
  6. FatElvisForever

    FatElvisForever Member

    New York City
    So when the big spool of solid copper wire rolls into Cardas... how do *they* know? When the spool of nonwoven shows up... again... same question.
  7. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I voted, never bothered, since electricity flows both ways. Cant think of any way it would matter, or any way one could ever determine which way is which.

    How is a "Directional wire" different that a non-directional wire?
  8. My thoughts exactly. Since the electricity in speakers is AC it indeed runs both ways. Can somebody explain to me how AC and therefore magnetic induction can occur if electricity only runs one way or at least better in one way than in the other?
  9. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    * also because it isn't true, but that's another thread

    By possessing low-level effects we haven't figured out how to correlate to hearing.


    And a few—shields that have the ground on the output side but not on the input side to reduce ground-loop hum.

    Whatever it is that is going on, you don't have to worry about it because you can't hear it.

    And you can safely assume that those that do are insane just as long as you don't say that they're insane in every post you choose to jump into.

    I already figured out that I'm not going to say that Heavy Metal fans are musical ignoramuses even if that's what I'm thinking because it's impolite.*
  10. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    The OC
    I mentioned the telescopoing shields in post #9, but I noted more difference than just the hum levels. As you pointed out, the ears hear it all regardless of whether we understand why. Maybe some day we'll know more about some of these things, but until that day we'll just have to agree to disagree.
  11. Baron Von Talbot

    Baron Von Talbot Well-Known Member

    Sure he does . his ears, brains and the experience how to listen to a source in order to notice fine differences, nuances without forgetting what the whole audio brimborium is made for - to sound as close to the sound of music as it was recorded/mixed or performed in a live context with room acoustics etc.

    That is where good systems begin..

    Instead of wasting your and our time defending a close minded opinion you carry in front of you - "all your experiences don't mean a thing vs my opinion that everything beyond md-fi is a waste of time and money" you should try and improve your Stereo and start to LEARN something - just a little bit for a start - about, what a fascinating hobby High Resolvong audio can be - From recordings, performances to playback.
    Like this it gets tiresome to see your avatar pooping up ONLY on these kinds of topics.

    I never see it in the music section or when it comes to PRACTICAL questions what gear to choose or how to help somebody with a problem with his gear or roonm acoustics...

    You are like a pest really, always lurking for another topic you can repeat your not even very original or enlightening preconceptions.

    We Got them by now..

    'All what we hear is just an illusion, analogue (Vinyl) has such drastic flaws, that it is nonsense to buy a turn Table, the cheapest gear is always best.."

    bla bla bla

    Thank you but no one wants to hear that OVER and OVER again.

  12. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    My point was, no 2 people even vaguely agree on what constitutes "Good resolution". Hence the "Meter" comment. Ive listened to systems touted as highly revealing only to be sadly let down. Ive had people say my system was very detailed and resolving and I know its somewhat not, its mediocre compared to better stuff ive heard.

    What I notice is very few really agree on this elusive term called "Resolution". I know that a $10.00 transistor radio has almost none, and that some great speakers ive heard have a lot, but in the typical mid to moderately high priced stuff, everyone ive listened with has wildly varying ideas of what speakers have or dont have such things as, Detail, resolution, clarity etc. Its extremely subjective and hard to quantify was all I meant.

    Many confuse forward treble as more revealing or better resolution, when in fact its not more detailed, just more in your face. Some systems lacking bass are seen as more resolving, when in fact its just an illusion.

    As to your second part I bolded. Ive never said anything quite like that.We all hear with our built in human perceptions. Ive always said I love vinyl despite its many flaws. Its amazing how great it sounds when it has no right to!!
    Have some humor when you read my posts. Ive said a million times, im being humorous, sarcastic and simply poking fun at our hobby we all love. :cheers:
  13. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident

    East Bay, CA
    To be honest, I've never done this test for directlonality, but I can tell if the tires on my motorcycles are 2 PSI low...
  14. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I could almost do that on some dirt bikes ive owned, and shock adjustments. But that was only after riding some of the same exact trails almost a hundred times, and knowing it so well I could almost ride with my eyes closed:shh:
  15. Rock Klammer

    Rock Klammer Formerly pompatusoflove

    Clarkesville, Ga.
  16. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    But we are not talking polarity, simply reversing the wire, end to end.

    As far as wires having personalities....:angel:
  17. Speaker cables don't carry DC, they carry AC. As far as I know magnetic induction only exists with AC signals.
  18. Rock Klammer

    Rock Klammer Formerly pompatusoflove

    Clarkesville, Ga.
    It's actually a varying D.C..
  19. CoolJazz

    CoolJazz Forum Resident

    Eastern Tennessee
    That's DC with personality!!! :D
  20. e630940

    e630940 Well-Known Member

    No I do not hear 'directionality' but for FWIW - quote from NAIM Audio founder -the late Julian Vereker (quote from the Naim forums)

    "Date: April 17, 1999 05:33 AM
    Author: julian vereker
    Subject: direction

    Here follows a cut & paste from an earlier post of mine. "I can't tell
    you why cables sound different one way round to the other, but I do
    know when the 'directionality' happens in manufacture.

    It doesn't seem to matter how the bundle (of copper) is drawn, single
    direction or mixed direction, but as soon as the insulation is
    extruded onto the bundle, the directionality is established. This
    means that one can mark the insulation and it will always be the right
    way round.

    I suspect that the hot plastic insulation anneals the copper in some
    way, and this affects the crystaline structure.

    But all our attempts, over many years, have failed to find any
    measurement to show the directionality or indeed whether one cable
    will sound better than another (other than the obvious - resistance,
    capacitance and inductance)

    Maybe someone out there knows?"

    I am not sure about being an ex Physicist, I would have thought 'Once
    a Physicist always a Physicist'. However one thing that is often
    missed by the 'profesionals' is that audio electronics design is the
    most difficult discipline of all - one has to design for 10 octaves
    and 130dB at the same time - a huge envelope, and much larger than any
    other area of electronics endeavor.

  21. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    hmm....not so sure about that comment. Any audio signal sent through an electrical conductor can be quite easily summed up as only a few variations in the X-Y coordinates between level and frequency. Add in phase as a variable and its quite easy to show any audio signal. His comment makes sense if he were refering to human hearing or sound "reproduction" from a loudspeaker perhaps, but not in the context of a conductor. Its quite easy to convey an audio signal. Now video is something somewhat difficult to design and measure.
  22. e630940

    e630940 Well-Known Member

    its all about human hearing + IMO 'videophiles' overall might be more forgiving than 'audiophiles'
  23. So if one is holding in his hand a set of speaker wires that have a source and sink direction indicator printed on them it's either crap or someone with the magic hearing or, in the case of Hovland, magic dousing has anointed then with a direction. There has got to be a better way.:sigh:

    BTW: I can't hear speaker wire directionality but I have not really put effort in to it either.
  24. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    It's too bad these threads always devolve into, "I can hear it" vs. "No you can't, and here's the science to prove it". Seems to me in the old days science would take an observed phenomenon and test various hypotheses in an attempt try to understand if there was a concrete, definable cause for it, but it appears these days much easier to dismiss than investigate.

    John K.
  25. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Berkeley, CA
    The important thing was that Naim had a reliable way of making the cable so the directionality was consistent. That's all they wanted. You were always free to change them round yourself. Naim were only making the speaker cable at the time.

    Julian really wasn't into all the audio hype - he put the system up and you listened to it.

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