Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,925
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Don_Campbell wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

That great thread ended with Don Campbell's interesting post:

'>

Don, I don't know if you read that entire thread, but some people there spent hundreds of dollars on audio cables.

Do you have any words of advice for people tempted to go down that road and who subscribe to "audio woo"--the various vague and unsupported claims for getting better sound quality most often peddled by hobbyist psuedoscientists?

As a scientist, my advice is to be skeptical to everybody who claims that what you hear and feel is pseudo-science and he can explain to you why is that so. As a former audiophile I can tell you that I have heard difference between cables, confirmed by my wife whose sole purpose in life at that time was to make me spend less. There are other claims in that link which contradict my experience.

As a scientist, my laboratory research was deeply dependent my personal construction and daily use of high gain, ultra-low noise analog electronics and D-to-A and A-to-D instrumentation.

My research was to listen to my system.

You have not said what field of science you are in, but I would suggest that regardless it would probably be useful to know what the underlying physics was in the differences you and your wife found in these cables.

It would be nice to know, indeed. But... we did hear the difference. Those were RCA type interconnects, BTW, not speaker cables.

Starting from what you and your wife say was an inferior cable for the job and going up in quality to one you like can include a huge range of possible costs (and sometimes no added cost, but a different make or design). Without knowing the physical, electronic or optical details that make up the difference in what you hear then you don't really know what you need to buy at what price to get the ideal audio you are looking for. If it was only a few dollars difference it might be irrelevant but if were talking big bucks, a bit of understanding of the underlying physics might be financially rewarding.

If I remember well, the cost we between $30 and $60, and I compared it to the one included in the box when you buy a cheap DVD player, for example.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,925
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

tko wrote:

As a scientist, my advice is to be skeptical to everybody who claims that what you hear and feel is pseudo-science and he can explain to you why is that so. As a former audiophile I can tell you that I have heard difference between cables, confirmed by my wife whose sole purpose in life at that time was to make me spend less. There are other claims in that link which contradict my experience.

You should know better. Would any scientist in the world accept the subjective word of another scientist when, say, doing drug testing? Nope, that's why they invented blind and double blind testing and peer reviews and statistics.

I'm sure you know what the Dunning-Kruger effect is. Linus Pauling was a smart guy, but convinced vitamin-C would cure everything because it made him feel good. Doesn't matter how smart, how trained you are. You can't trust you own senses, because they are filtered through what they want to believe. Like homeopathy and other treatments that cure you because you want to believe.

Yes, what one person subjectively sees and hears is pseudo-science. That's a fundamental principle.

What a nonsense. The first thing you learn as a scientist is that the reality beats your theories, does not matter how smart they may sound, every single time.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Don_Campbell wrote:

In signalling terms, the signals in audio systems are "low frequency" at their highest frequencies. Low frequency signals are pretty undemanding for transmission through reasonable lengths of electrical cables. The exceptions come with cables with conductors that are too small to be low enough in resistance to drive inefficient speakers from a long distance of cable. For normal speaker systems in a normal livingroom or den, even modest two-conductor "speaker cable" is sufficient.

That's not true. We deal with the skin effect even on 60Hz power lines, and the effect is pretty large (see the ACSR cable design for example).  Skin effect can be a major driver in power handling component design (i.e. ribbon window inductors wouldn't exist if not for the importance of skin effect even at just a few kHz).  Even on signal wires there can be a big difference between 2 conductor wires that are parallel, twisted pair or coax which is why those types exist.  As you might know, analog telephone cable is twisted pair. Given the billions of miles of that stuff installed, they wouldn't have gone to the trouble had it not been necessary.  If you still don't believe it, ask yourself why Litz wire exists.

That said, I use Kimber Kable 4pr which is reasonably priced and takes care of both noise and the skin effect on speaker cable adequately. I use Teflon low capacitance coax on analog signal cable and that handles low current signals under 20kHz essentially perfectly since it's fully capable of acceptably handling signals into the hundreds of MHz range.

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Lee Jay

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,049
Re: IMHO

Crash N Burn wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

MediaArchivist wrote:

My experience with audio gear over the years (which is not as extensive), my experience with computer systems (which is extensive), as well as discussions with many, many audio engineers, leads me to conclude that everything in the previous post is 100% correct.

On the other hand, some of those $500 USB cables sure do look pretty!

Some of the audiophile boxes are also gorgeous. My audio stuff is unobtrusive and sounds terrific. I wouldn't pay the extra for a snazzier look. Heck, the snazzy look may go out of fashion tomorrow and who wants to shopping again? I'm pretty certain that the extra cost wouldn't get me much better sound than I can get from my system.

My collector friend who has what seems like a whole houseful of vacuum tube equipment, loves his stuff. I can't say I think his equipment looks gorgeous, but it does look "hot" in a fashion. I'll get my heat as passive solar instead.

I learned electronics on vacuum tubes, I know vacuum tubes, I've fixed my own vacuum tube radios (car radios) and stereos (my first stereo FM set was vacuum tubes). I understand the distortion caused by vacuum tubes that my friend admires. I once paid $2 for a 4.5 foot tall vacuum tube radio that included short wave and I made a high current-low voltage power supply with ultra low ripple to power the filament-based cathodes so it didn't buzz. That saved me from trying to find the old fashioned batteries it was intended to be powered by in the days before rural electrification. I also understand vacuum tube shot noise that is unavoidable at low volume and I know exactly where it comes from and why it's unavoidable or worse, if avoidance is tried, why distortion is increased. I understand why the tubes go out at different rates and how that affects the channels. In spite of all that, I also understand that what I learned about vacuum tube circuits that I built and maintained from the early 60's through the 70's is not useful information to my vacuum tube loving friend. I actually don't think he'll gain much from reading the Audio Woo column either. Attachment has a real meaning.

That is a very interesting post, especially the part about the vacuum tube hiss, distortion and the like.

With all that, your friend's equipment might sound worse than an iPod with low bitrate mp3's.

Then again, there are a few who shoot film, which, with all its grain etc etc, is probably outdone by a bargain-bin Powershot.

If the photograph is meant to give an accurate reproduction of, for instance, an artwork, then digital will be better than film. This is similar to tube versus good transistor amps in an audio setup: the transistor amp is likely to be more accurate.

But if the photo is meant to be expressive, then the faults of film such as grain can be part of the effect. This is comparable to the use of different guitar amps and effects pedals -- accuracy is not the aim.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

tko wrote:

As a scientist, my advice is to be skeptical to everybody who claims that what you hear and feel is pseudo-science and he can explain to you why is that so. As a former audiophile I can tell you that I have heard difference between cables, confirmed by my wife whose sole purpose in life at that time was to make me spend less. There are other claims in that link which contradict my experience.

You should know better. Would any scientist in the world accept the subjective word of another scientist when, say, doing drug testing? Nope, that's why they invented blind and double blind testing and peer reviews and statistics.

It makes me doubt that J A C S is really a scientist. Of course being a scientist or engineer doesn't make anyone immune to conformational bias and being emotionally invested to the extent that they come to wrong conclusions. I'm not a scientist but I do have a science and engineering background. I learned long ago that it's best to eliminate all subjectivity when trying to come to an objective conclusion. It takes a conscious effort to do that.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
1

J A C S wrote:

tko wrote:

Yes, what one person subjectively sees and hears is pseudo-science. That's a fundamental principle.

What a nonsense. The first thing you learn as a scientist is that the reality beats your theories, does not matter how smart they may sound, every single time.

Now I know you're not a scientist and know little to nothing about science. Reality is purely objective. A theory has to be tested through rigid, peer reviewed purely objective testing.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: IMHO

D Cox wrote:

But if the photo is meant to be expressive, then the faults of film such as grain can be part of the effect. This is comparable to the use of different guitar amps and effects pedals -- accuracy is not the aim.

That's a good observation. The reason why most guitar players prefer tube amps is because they impart a warm sound of their own, especially when driven hard.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
1

While what you are saying might be true it would be interesting to see if the effect is audible by running double blind tests.

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Tom

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

tbcass wrote:

While what you are saying might be true it would be interesting to see if the effect is audible by running double blind tests.

I kind of accidently did that in college.  I replaced my 12 gauge monster Cable with the Kimber Kable while my roommate was in class. He had no idea I was even thinking about doing that.  He walked in later and within a few seconds of walking in he said, "what did you do to the stereo"?

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Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
1

J A C S wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

That great thread ended with Don Campbell's interesting post:

'>

Don, I don't know if you read that entire thread, but some people there spent hundreds of dollars on audio cables.

Do you have any words of advice for people tempted to go down that road and who subscribe to "audio woo"--the various vague and unsupported claims for getting better sound quality most often peddled by hobbyist psuedoscientists?

As a scientist, my advice is to be skeptical to everybody who claims that what you hear and feel is pseudo-science and he can explain to you why is that so. As a former audiophile I can tell you that I have heard difference between cables, confirmed by my wife whose sole purpose in life at that time was to make me spend less. There are other claims in that link which contradict my experience.

As a scientist, my laboratory research was deeply dependent my personal construction and daily use of high gain, ultra-low noise analog electronics and D-to-A and A-to-D instrumentation.

My research was to listen to my system.

Sorry, but that's personal perception and not science. That perception is totally useful in the price ranges you compared below and not irrelevant, just not science.

You have not said what field of science you are in, but I would suggest that regardless it would probably be useful to know what the underlying physics was in the differences you and your wife found in these cables.

It would be nice to know, indeed. But... we did hear the difference. Those were RCA type interconnects, BTW, not speaker cables.

Starting from what you and your wife say was an inferior cable for the job and going up in quality to one you like can include a huge range of possible costs (and sometimes no added cost, but a different make or design). Without knowing the physical, electronic or optical details that make up the difference in what you hear then you don't really know what you need to buy at what price to get the ideal audio you are looking for. If it was only a few dollars difference it might be irrelevant but if were talking big bucks, a bit of understanding of the underlying physics might be financially rewarding.

If I remember well, the cost we between $30 and $60, and I compared it to the one included in the box when you buy a cheap DVD player, for example.

$30 would buy reasonable quality interconnects for a reasonable run of distance. That's a far piece different from "Hundreds of dollars...." from an "audiophile's" system.

ZodiacPhoto
ZodiacPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 2,691
How serious audio tests are done...

1. A large sample of target audience is selected. It could be general public, or people who call themselves audiophiles, or professional musicians, etc.

2. Every participant shell go through a basic audiological test - to remove people who have hearing problems (low sensitivity, frequency range restriction, etc.)

3. The audience is randomly divided into two groups, based, for example, on birth date: even and odd. Participants should not know in which group they are, or even that there is another group.

4. The first group goes through listening sessions where the unit under test is compared to the competing or previous generation product.

5. The second group goes through the identical listening sessions. They are told that the signal path is switched between the unit under test and the competing / older product, but no actual switching is done - they don't know that they are listening to the same unit all the time. This is your "control" or "placebo" group - it will hep to determine the likelihood of "false positives" - when people say that new products sounds better when there is actually no difference at all.

6. Statistical analysis is used for results interpretation.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Just disconnecting and connecting the same speaker cable can make a difference. Read my experience.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62950650

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Tom

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

tbcass wrote:

Just disconnecting and connecting the same speaker cable can make a difference. Read my experience.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62950650

I doubt that was it, as I was using plated spades on screw terminals, so it's a really positive connection.

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Lee Jay

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ThrillaMozilla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,038
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

That rationalwiki article is a hoot, and right on the money.  I have my own examples, but can't top any of that.  Thanks for posting.

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Brev00
Brev00 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,712
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
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My only advice is not to read threads where people just want to trash you and your hobby. I am not sure what audiophile hurt you in the past, but time to forgive and forget.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: How serious audio tests are done...

Sounds like a good plan.

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Tom

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Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
3

Lee Jay wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

In signalling terms, the signals in audio systems are "low frequency" at their highest frequencies. Low frequency signals are pretty undemanding for transmission through reasonable lengths of electrical cables. The exceptions come with cables with conductors that are too small to be low enough in resistance to drive inefficient speakers from a long distance of cable. For normal speaker systems in a normal livingroom or den, even modest two-conductor "speaker cable" is sufficient.

That's not true. We deal with the skin effect even on 60Hz power lines, and the effect is pretty large

I have no problem thinking that skin effect is significant on 60Hz power lines considering the current carrying capacities required and the distances involved. I have my doubts about the issue in multistranded speaker wire over the the several foot distances in most listening environments. However, it could be subjected to simple measurement under common listening situations with reasonable choices of amps, speakers and wires.

(see the ACSR cable design for example). Skin effect can be a major driver in power handling component design

Again, high power transmission lines are a different story than the modest signals carried in speaker wire over short distances. I'm a willing student even at my age, but for this discussion it would be nice to have actual measurements of signal loss of various connection wires at audio frequencies over modest distances of several feet when driving 4-8 ohm speaker impedances from a 100 watt per channel amplifier at reasonable audio volumes.

(i.e. ribbon window inductors wouldn't exist if not for the importance of skin effect even at just a few kHz).

I couldn't find a reference to "ribbon window inductors." Without knowing the actual comparisons being claimed it's impossible to judge.

As I said, I'd be more persuaded with a simple set of measurements with audio signals in real world connections between amps and speakers. That would be possible if I still had access to my lab equipment. but unfortunately, I don't. Oh, and I would probably be mostly interested in how the measurement went with my equipment. It's easy enough to do the measurements but I trust myself with such grounded reality and I can already see that there would be a lot of folks not trusting my measurements or anyone else's. So it is with stuff that has such strong opinions and subjective "listening" as the end result in spite of the measurements.

My signals in the lab were infinitesimal and required amplification at the point of measurement, a Faraday cage, and so on. All in an environment that also included microscope power suppies/lamps, D/A generated stimulus voltages and A/D recording to minicomputers. Keeping out digital noise and 120 Hz pickup meant constant attention to stamping out ground loops and stray pickup.

Audio seems so straightforward to me but the discussion would still benefit from direct measurement. BTW, I read something about an issue with early Monster Cables suffering from corrosion caused by outgassing from the insulation. That might have affected your dorm room listening "experiment."

Even on signal wires there can be a big difference between 2 conductor wires that are parallel, twisted pair or coax which is why those types exist. As you might know, analog telephone cable is twisted pair.

Telephone cable travels in large bundles over long distances and individual wires are quite fine in size. That's one reason that audio in telephone copper is generally so deliberately attenuated in frequency. If one is carrying the signal from the source to the speaker over long distances, there are often cost effective and better solutions than wire carrying the audio signal these days.

Given the billions of miles of that stuff installed, they wouldn't have gone to the trouble had it not been necessary. If you still don't believe it, ask yourself why Litz wire exists.

If I understand correctly, Litz wire exists primarily for transmission of much higher than audio frequencies.

That said, I use Kimber Kable 4pr

which is reasonably priced and takes care of both noise and the skin effect on speaker cable adequately. I use Teflon low capacitance coax on analog signal cable and that handles low current signals under 20kHz essentially perfectly since it's fully capable of acceptably handling signals into the hundreds of MHz range.

My system doesn't need wire that is "fully capable of acceptably handling signals to the hundreds of MHz range." The audio performance of HDMI-2 cables supports up to 8 channels of 24-bit/192kHz audio. I don't use 8 channels and only rarely use 5. My HDMI cables have paths that are less than 6 feet. I have 6 ft cables and 3 ft cables that work swell. Of course, the audio that comes as flac from my DLNA server via 5 GHz wifi directly to my AVReceiver requires no interconnect cables.

Crash N Burn
OP Crash N Burn Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

sybersitizen wrote:

I'm pretty sure we also have Photo Woo here, though the term might not yet be officially recognized.

Thankfully, we have only 3D pop and microcontrast to worry about. As zodiac noted, they have all kinds of magic and handwaving to contend with--viz. airy, dark, lush, and other very amusing descriptors.

Crash N Burn
OP Crash N Burn Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Don_Campbell wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

That great thread ended with Don Campbell's interesting post:

'>

Don, I don't know if you read that entire thread, but some people there spent hundreds of dollars on audio cables.

Do you have any words of advice for people tempted to go down that road and who subscribe to "audio woo"--the various vague and unsupported claims for getting better sound quality most often peddled by hobbyist psuedoscientists?

Looks to me like this current thread was hijacked instantly with gibberish. I feel badly that I found the Audio Woo essay too late for it to be discussed seriously.

Generalizing about cables or most other simple technologies including power supplies, speaker drivers, crossovers, amplifiers, vacuum tubes vs transistors vs digital signal processors, digital recordings and their conversion to analog audio for listening, or any other of the audio subjects favored by audio arguments--can be subject to specific listening situations. unfortunately the arguments tend to be co-oped with magical claims made for a single manufacturer's extra special hoo-hah component or design.

In signalling terms, the signals in audio systems are "low frequency" at their highest frequencies. Low frequency signals are pretty undemanding for transmission through reasonable lengths of electrical cables. The exceptions come with cables with conductors that are too small to be low enough in resistance to drive inefficient speakers from a long distance of cable. For normal speaker systems in a normal livingroom or den, even modest two-conductor "speaker cable" is sufficient.

Even robust speaker cable by the 100 foot spool is inexpensive compared to the ridiculously (my bias) expensive speaker cables pitched at "audiophiles." Speaker wire comes in sizes like 16, 14 and 12 gauge. The distances between the conductors do not present a significant capacitance to give "cable property" issues at audio frequencies over distances that are normal.

Big speaker systems with several drivers per box may push someone who is putting down 20 feet of wire to the speaker into buying 12 gauge but I bet they wouldn't experience a real difference with 14 gauge. My main speakers have 3 foot and 8 foot runs of 14 gauge wire that is more than adequate to the task. 16 gauge would be fine but 14 was what I had on hand. Appropriate connectors matching the connector style of the output from the amp and the input to the speakers is highly useful. The cable should be color coded on one of the two wires so that you have no issue in color coding the connectors and therefore connecting them in phase at the speakers.

Coaxial cables for interconnecting components with amps could be an issue except that even modestly priced RCA connector cables come more robust in size as they get longer in length. You'd have to work at it to have source components so far away that you'd need a special level of connector for them to the amp but even so, several hundred dollars is silly.

Optical cables one thread member wanted to argue were actually transmitting the digital data in analog signals. Sort of but highly misleading. The digital codes for 0 and 1 are variable in light levels over the distance of the cable but if they arrive at a value that isn't defined exactly as one or the other then the cable is too long or broken. Similarly, digital codes for 0 and 1 in digital electrical systems and digital coax cables have their 0 and 1 levels defined in a variable set of voltage levels. If the levels don't fit comfortably in the 0 range or 1 range something is wrong and it generally won't be cost that defines that but distance or damage. Again, as distances of these cables increase so does the robustness of the cables. Plastic "conductor" optical cables are limited in distance. The length of the cable should tell you it is getting time to move up to a glass fiber optical cable or some other system for getting the signal that unusual distance. As long as the 0 and 1 levels get to the target the signal is perfectly transmitted -- it doesn't degrade and cause the audio to degrade in the process.

I remember in the late 60's and 70's a large number of high end audio companies were switching to transistorized components. There were steady improvements made in high output power transistors and steady improvements in using modern transistor designs to amplify signals from input to the output stage. Since that time, upselling of audio equipment required ever more bells and whistles on one side and magical claims on the other. If only one company makes the magically-enhanced amplifier or preamp or CD technology

Basically, I once learned by observation that no one (almost no one) throws up their hands and says, "You're right. I was wrong and you have set me straight, thank you." It happens more subtly. I remember being in a "discussion" where I started speaking softer and softer and finally moved on from a person at a party. About a half-hour later I over-heard that person, standing a few feet away, using all my facts and logic, essentially arguing my side of the issue with someone else. I think I'll be recommending Audio Woo to folks who I think could use some facts and logic. Most will argue as long as they draw breath but some might read and realize that there are salient facts and logic that they could incorporate usefully into their audio lives.

Wow, great post, Don! Made it well worth the wait.

Hopefully it will be of use to some open-minded audiophiles, many of whom are the furthest thing from scientists, like try to sound like them by co-opting their technical vocabulary to advance dangerously mythological claims.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Don_Campbell wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

In signalling terms, the signals in audio systems are "low frequency" at their highest frequencies. Low frequency signals are pretty undemanding for transmission through reasonable lengths of electrical cables. The exceptions come with cables with conductors that are too small to be low enough in resistance to drive inefficient speakers from a long distance of cable. For normal speaker systems in a normal livingroom or den, even modest two-conductor "speaker cable" is sufficient.

That's not true. We deal with the skin effect even on 60Hz power lines, and the effect is pretty large

I have no problem thinking that skin effect is significant on 60Hz power lines considering the current carrying capacities required and the distances involved. I have my doubts about the issue in multistranded speaker wire over the the several foot distances in most listening environments.

Well, audio frequencies of interest extend up over 2 orders of magnitude beyond 60Hz, so you don't need as much current density to get skin effect problems compared with power transmission.  In my house, because of the layout, I need 20 foot speaker cables, and switching from single strand 12 gauge to 4 strand (x2) braided 16 gauge made a very noticeable difference.

However, it could be subjected to simple measurement under common listening situations with reasonable choices of amps, speakers and wires.

It's not so simple if you don't own a spectrum analyzer.

(see the ACSR cable design for example). Skin effect can be a major driver in power handling component design

Again, high power transmission lines are a different story than the modest signals carried in speaker wire over short distances.

Well, with 4 ohm speakers, instantaneous currents can exceed 10 amps, which is pretty significant in the small wires.

I couldn't find a reference to "ribbon window inductors."

Sorry, they are a subset of foil inductors using a wide, narrow window in the core.  We use them in power electronics even with 3kHz switching.

Even on signal wires there can be a big difference between 2 conductor wires that are parallel, twisted pair or coax which is why those types exist. As you might know, analog telephone cable is twisted pair.

Telephone cable travels in large bundles over long distances and individual wires are quite fine in size. That's one reason that audio in telephone copper is generally so deliberately attenuated in frequency. If one is carrying the signal from the source to the speaker over long distances, there are often cost effective and better solutions than wire carrying the audio signal these days.

But the point is, all that twisted pair was installed because, even at audio frequencies with 4kHz attenuation, twisted pairs were a huge benefit over single strait strands and common grounds.

Given the billions of miles of that stuff installed, they wouldn't have gone to the trouble had it not been necessary. If you still don't believe it, ask yourself why Litz wire exists.

If I understand correctly, Litz wire exists primarily for transmission of much higher than audio frequencies.

I've seen it used for 3kHz in power electronics.

That said, I use Kimber Kable 4pr

which is reasonably priced and takes care of both noise and the skin effect on speaker cable adequately. I use Teflon low capacitance coax on analog signal cable and that handles low current signals under 20kHz essentially perfectly since it's fully capable of acceptably handling signals into the hundreds of MHz range.

My system doesn't need wire that is "fully capable of acceptably handling signals to the hundreds of MHz range."

But, since that cable is cheap (about a buck a foot), there's no real reason not to use something that's essentially perfect for analog.  It's not a big difference to strait conductors in the cheap interconnects that come with equipment, but it's cheap, easy to build and reliable.  I built all my interconnects (which is a lot) for under $80.

The audio performance of HDMI-2 cables supports up to 8 channels of 24-bit/192kHz audio.

Okay, but I still have and use analog components with standard RCA jacks.  That's what I'm talking about.  HDMI has decent signalling already so no need to worry.

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