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. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    How about

    "I can't hear the difference" vs. "Yes you must be able to, and here's the science to prove it. This amplifier has lower distortion, higher damping factor, better slew rate and a lot more power than the other."

    "Nope, I can't hear the difference".
  2. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    The problem with simulacra is that reality is always better

    How About:

  3. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Berkeley, CA
    The funny thing is, where I've heard a difference, it's nearly always a BIG OBVIOUS difference. Going right back to the 1976 Linn/Naim 'system A or system B' comparisons.

    I also learned, right then, that others not only don't hear that difference but they're prepared to stand up and fight everyone about it. The room almost had to be cleared at least twice while I was sitting at the back shaking with laughter (at both the antics, and that what Linn/Naim had shown was clearly impossible - that a $1300 system with a $800 turntable outperformed a $6000 system with a $500 turntable).

    Those were the days.
  4. Steve, I wonder what has become of boy wonder Kevin, is he still in audio and can he still "perform" ? I can't help but wonder if this was a result of fresh ears or trained ears. Personally, I've never A/B'd and just obey the rules of the road.
  5. preferred user

    preferred user Member

    no. calif.
    Maybe UL and CEC or perhaps THX and Dolby or other underwriting or approval entities
    should make direction labeling of cables required for approval. Those of us that can't hear it would at least hooked up correctly. How about point to point wiring and circuit traces are they audible?
    anyone want to invest in directional Romex?
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Read my first post again, carefully. It tells exactly what Kevin is up to these days.
  7. preferred user

    preferred user Member

    no. calif.
    instrument vs speaker

    a speaker is made of paper ,plastic ,foil or whatever a viola is made of. wood
    they are going to sound different albeit maybe similar under ideal situations
    but exactly the same doubtful.
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    So 188 of you CAN hear the difference? I find that very hard to believe!
  9. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    I can hear the difference between the directions on interconnect under certain conditions. One direction will have more hum than others. Using Stax headphones is helpful for that. I cannot hear it with speaker wire but I follow the arrows anyway.
  10. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    And for that, you must pay

    And some get much closer than others.
  11. ktc1

    ktc1 New Member

    Dundee, IL, USA
    I've learned over the years that I in fact do not have golden ears; and have also learned that it is a gift to not have them!
  12. And I've learned over the years that many who profess to have golden ears do not.
  13. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
    Most cables are marked for correct direction by the manufacturer. Just follow the recommended orientation.
  14. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Hampton, VA
    Never bothered. Like many others, I just connect as recommended.
  15. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    What were your expectations when you started the thread? 5%, 10%?
    I'm surprised only 21% said they could tell. I don't experiment with cable directionality myself.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    My expectation was that no one would be able to tell or very few.
  17. krlpuretone

    krlpuretone Forum Resident

    Grantham, NH
    To tell, or not to tell, that is the question.
  18. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I get the feeling there is a big difference between those that say they can tell a difference, and those that can "show" they hear a difference.
  19. coffeecupman

    coffeecupman Forum Resident

    Caterham, UK
    I can hear lots of differences, but I'm not sure I could do wire directionality.

    I certainly couldn't do it cold, sitting down in an unfamiliar system and call it out.

    I know a guy with golden ears. I have him over when I want to try new stuff. He has shown me what to listen for in some cases, which has been of real benefit.

  20. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    The OC
    I'm pretty sure I can show a difference.

    I was one who said I can hear directional differences because of shielding and grounding techniques. I'm sure I can prove that by measuring system noise. It may not be much but you can surely measure small differences in noise levels even when you're 60db or more down.

    Can that make a difference in how we percieve sound? Why not? The higher the noise floor the more likely that low level cues can be masked.
  21. Don't forget noise spectrum. A lot of 1/f noise can be tolerated
  22. on7green

    on7green Bionic Man

    NY & TN
    Can't hear but can see the directionality.
  23. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Nope but I always make sure I hook it up correctly just in case. :laugh:
  24. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Yes, once I hooked them up the "other way" and the music came out of the speakers backwards ...
  25. 3db

    3db New Member

    Ontario Canada
    I never bothered to find out.. still trying to puzzle together how in earth you can define direction of a metal conductor.

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