Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,951
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
1

tbcass wrote:

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.

You do not even know what you do not know.

Reality is purely objective. A theory has to be tested through rigid, peer reviewed purely objective testing.

You have no clue as the other poster. What I am saying goes over your head. What theory? I am saying that I hear differences. This is not a theory. Whatever, this is too subtle for you.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,951
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Don_Campbell wrote:

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.

Warm...

That perception is totally useful in the price ranges you compared below and not irrelevant, just not science.

Who said that it had to be science? On the other hand, at least it is not junk science...

$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.

Who said that?

Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
References on "skin effect," speaker wires, 12 gauge is not always 12
1

I welcome Lee Jay's comments. They presented me with a learning opportunity I wasn't expecting. In looking for more information I found an interesting audio site that goes into the issue of skin effect and about issues concerning 12 gauge speaker wires:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/technical-article-does-audio-cable-skin-effect-matter.7157/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

The second link is about tests of various commercially available, alleged 12 gauge wires that demonstrate that a lot of what is sold as 12 gauge copper wire is not. So, what folks conclude about 12 gauge wire will be subject to just what they actually used.

Google searches on "skin effect speaker wires" will get you more and less about the issue. There's a fairly large interest in deciding but also arguments about the conclusions.

I will start with a summary: skin effect has a relatively significant effect on resistance at higher audio frequencies in dual conductor 12 gauge speaker wire. However, some obviously advanced analog signal engineers argue that a relatively large effect in resistance at higher audio frequencies is a small absolute effect on the already quite low resistance of 12 gauge wire. This small absolute effect has a small effect on speaker signals over modest distances of wire and with respect to the larger impedance of the speakers.

I

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,794
Re: References on "skin effect," speaker wires, 12 gauge is not always 12

Don_Campbell wrote:

I welcome Lee Jay's comments. They presented me with a learning opportunity I wasn't expecting. In looking for more information I found an interesting audio site that goes into the issue of skin effect and about issues concerning 12 gauge speaker wires:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/technical-article-does-audio-cable-skin-effect-matter.7157/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

The second link is about tests of various commercially available, alleged 12 gauge wires that demonstrate that a lot of what is sold as 12 gauge copper wire is not. So, what folks conclude about 12 gauge wire will be subject to just what they actually used.

Google searches on "skin effect speaker wires" will get you more and less about the issue. There's a fairly large interest in deciding but also arguments about the conclusions.

I will start with a summary: skin effect has a relatively significant effect on resistance at higher audio frequencies in dual conductor 12 gauge speaker wire. However, some obviously advanced analog signal engineers argue that a relatively large effect in resistance at higher audio frequencies is a small absolute effect on the already quite low resistance of 12 gauge wire. This small absolute effect has a small effect on speaker signals over modest distances of wire and with respect to the larger impedance of the speakers.

I

And since I use relatively low impedance speakers with relatively long runs, it has more of an effect for me.

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Lee Jay

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Brev00
Brev00 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,718
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Why get involved with a thread in which your point of view is condemned at the start?

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,794
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Crash N Burn wrote:

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.

FYI, I'm an MSEE at a national lab and one of the things I do at work is data acquisition on signals up to 400 kHz that have to be sent as far as 150 meters (we use coax for that).

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,951
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Brev00 wrote:

Why get involved with a thread in which your point of view is condemned at the start?

Exactly for that reason.

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,108
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Crash N Burn wrote:

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.

I agree.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
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

remember the good old 2n3055 do they still make them today ? and the np 401 drivers

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.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Lee Jay wrote:

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.

what ,in the way they laid on the floor

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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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Donald B wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

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.

what ,in the way they laid on the floor

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.

be a bit more specific I want to hear this.

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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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
Re: References on "skin effect," speaker wires, 12 gauge is not always 12

Don_Campbell wrote:

I welcome Lee Jay's comments. They presented me with a learning opportunity I wasn't expecting. In looking for more information I found an interesting audio site that goes into the issue of skin effect and about issues concerning 12 gauge speaker wires:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/technical-article-does-audio-cable-skin-effect-matter.7157/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

The second link is about tests of various commercially available, alleged 12 gauge wires that demonstrate that a lot of what is sold as 12 gauge copper wire is not. So, what folks conclude about 12 gauge wire will be subject to just what they actually used.

Google searches on "skin effect speaker wires" will get you more and less about the issue. There's a fairly large interest in deciding but also arguments about the conclusions.

I will start with a summary: skin effect has a relatively significant effect on resistance at higher audio frequencies in dual conductor 12 gauge speaker wire. However, some obviously advanced analog signal engineers argue that a relatively large effect in resistance at higher audio frequencies is a small absolute effect on the already quite low resistance of 12 gauge wire. This small absolute effect has a small effect on speaker signals over modest distances of wire and with respect to the larger impedance of the speakers.

I

but dos'nt higher frequency allow for higher watts to be carried on thinner wire ?

Don

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Lee Jay wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

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.

FYI, I'm an MSEE at a national lab and one of the things I do at work is data acquisition on signals up to 400 kHz that have to be sent as far as 150 meters (we use coax for that).

wasnt the discussing the out put stage not the input stage.

Don

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,349
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

I design test equipment for automated and manual testing / measurement of high-end audio gear.

I am not allowed to name the companies I am working with, or voice my opinion about their products and performance. Therefore, I do not participate in any high-end / hi-fi audio forums.

You often hear from audiophiles that there are characteristics that "cannot be measured instrumentally". As an engineer designing the equipment that does just that, I can tell that these people don't know what exactly they need to measure or how to measure it correctly. Try to imagine what is involved in reproducing "solidity, transparency of soundstage, spatial and textural tangibility, the sense of air around the acoustic image outline, wide spatial perspective, lack of sonic grain and glare," etc., etc. Just read The Absolute Sound and similar publications.

And we are arguing about microcontrast and 3-d pop!

I loved the late 70s electronics , i remember a local DJ kept blowing the finals in his high end player. i was at the time running a electronics repair business at 17 years old. I figured out that the bias voltage on the pre drivers were to blame and lowered the voltage so they wouldnt turn the final output transistors on so hard. solved the problem for him couple of 5 cent resistors saved $120 finals.

Don

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,084
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Lee Jay wrote:

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.

The problem is to find an amplifier that can deliver enough current for these difficult loads.

I suspect that those who can hear differences with speaker cables of differing resistance and inductance are using amplifiers with marginal specifications.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,586
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo
1

J A C S wrote:

tbcass wrote:

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.

You do not even know what you do not know.

Reality is purely objective. A theory has to be tested through rigid, peer reviewed purely objective testing.

You have no clue as the other poster. What I am saying goes over your head. What theory? I am saying that I hear differences. This is not a theory. Whatever, this is too subtle for you.

You mentioned that reality beats theories. There are mountains of studies that back up the power of the placebo effect. Unless you can back up what you are saying with tests that prove your subjective opinion the difference you hear is in no way factual to anybody but you. That my friend is something that goes right over your head.

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Tom

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,951
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

tbcass wrote:

J A C S wrote:

tbcass wrote:

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.

You do not even know what you do not know.

Reality is purely objective. A theory has to be tested through rigid, peer reviewed purely objective testing.

You have no clue as the other poster. What I am saying goes over your head. What theory? I am saying that I hear differences. This is not a theory. Whatever, this is too subtle for you.

You mentioned that reality beats theories. There are mountains of studies that back up the power of the placebo effect. Unless you can back up what you are saying with tests that prove your subjective opinion the difference you hear is in no way factual to anybody but you. That my friend is something that goes right over your head.

My subjective opinion perception might be factual to me only. Google the meaning of "subjective".

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,794
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

D Cox wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

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.

The problem is to find an amplifier that can deliver enough current for these difficult loads.

I suspect that those who can hear differences with speaker cables of differing resistance and inductance are using amplifiers with marginal specifications.

I use two amps because my mains are biamped - one amp for tweeter and midwoof one for the two subs.

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Lee Jay

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,794
Re: References on "skin effect," speaker wires, 12 gauge is not always 12

Donald B wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

I welcome Lee Jay's comments. They presented me with a learning opportunity I wasn't expecting. In looking for more information I found an interesting audio site that goes into the issue of skin effect and about issues concerning 12 gauge speaker wires:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/technical-article-does-audio-cable-skin-effect-matter.7157/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

The second link is about tests of various commercially available, alleged 12 gauge wires that demonstrate that a lot of what is sold as 12 gauge copper wire is not. So, what folks conclude about 12 gauge wire will be subject to just what they actually used.

Google searches on "skin effect speaker wires" will get you more and less about the issue. There's a fairly large interest in deciding but also arguments about the conclusions.

I will start with a summary: skin effect has a relatively significant effect on resistance at higher audio frequencies in dual conductor 12 gauge speaker wire. However, some obviously advanced analog signal engineers argue that a relatively large effect in resistance at higher audio frequencies is a small absolute effect on the already quite low resistance of 12 gauge wire. This small absolute effect has a small effect on speaker signals over modest distances of wire and with respect to the larger impedance of the speakers.

I

but dos'nt higher frequency allow for higher watts to be carried on thinner wire ?

Other way around.  Higher frequencies see the higher effective resistance of the transmission line's impedance and are thus attenuated.

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Lee Jay

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Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: References on "skin effect," speaker wires, 12 gauge is not always 12

Lee Jay wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

I welcome Lee Jay's comments. They presented me with a learning opportunity I wasn't expecting. In looking for more information I found an interesting audio site that goes into the issue of skin effect and about issues concerning 12 gauge speaker wires:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/technical-article-does-audio-cable-skin-effect-matter.7157/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

The second link is about tests of various commercially available, alleged 12 gauge wires that demonstrate that a lot of what is sold as 12 gauge copper wire is not. So, what folks conclude about 12 gauge wire will be subject to just what they actually used.

Google searches on "skin effect speaker wires" will get you more and less about the issue. There's a fairly large interest in deciding but also arguments about the conclusions.

I will start with a summary: skin effect has a relatively significant effect on resistance at higher audio frequencies in dual conductor 12 gauge speaker wire. However, some obviously advanced analog signal engineers argue that a relatively large effect in resistance at higher audio frequencies is a small absolute effect on the already quite low resistance of 12 gauge wire. This small absolute effect has a small effect on speaker signals over modest distances of wire and with respect to the larger impedance of the speakers.

I

And since I use relatively low impedance speakers with relatively long runs, it has more of an effect for me.

Right.

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