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Are expensive speaker cables better than cheap ones? Sorry guys, I’m changing team!
Old 5 days ago
  #811
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
From About QED

"QED is owned and operated by Armour Home Electronics Ltd. a leading supplier of Consumer Electronic and Custom Installation products in the UK."

Attached image: Streetview of (what I assume to be) Armour Home's HQ...
There's one! I can't see if it really has a manufacturing space. It could.

If they do, you can pretty much bet on them using the same materials as whatever cable armour makes.

Monster on street view has a massive facility. Plenty of room for the size machines it takes to make your own cable. A jacketing machine takes up the size of a smaller outfit machine shop floor. And that's just one jacketing machine. Not the inner conductor jacketing process or the sheild wrap or braid machines. Then theres usually a reel department and a lab.

Any audiophile company without a manufacturing facility is contracting its cable from another cable buisness. And you can bet they use whatever materials the other buisness uses. Especially bulk runs.
Old 5 days ago
  #812
qwe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steffo View Post
I'm still pretty sure there is a difference, also when it comes to power Power Conditioners followed by expensive Power Cables

Hmm, what happens if you're using a "wall wart"?

Ah! I have the solution!

Old 5 days ago
  #813
qwe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
There's one! I can't see if it really has a manufacturing space. It could.
The building envelope is about 16,000sq.ft., although it's high enough that there could be a mezzanine floor in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
Monster on street view has a massive facility.
Looks to be about 40,000sq.ft.

There's a very large (200,000sq.ft.) building behind it, but that appears to be occupied by "GreenLeaf."

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
Any audiophile company without a manufacturing facility is contracting its cable from another cable buisness.
I suspect the chances of QED/Armour Home actually manufacturing anything there is slim indeed. UK "audiophile" companies these days typically outsource manufacturing to China.

Among the other brands owned by Armour Home, Goldring makes cartridges for turntables, which I imagine have more reasons to be manufactured in house.

I can see one of their competitors says their cables are "Made in the UK," but their address looks to be much smaller.

Quote:
And you can bet they use whatever materials the other buisness uses. Especially bulk runs.
Exactly. Cables are commodity products.
Old 5 days ago
  #814
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Hmm, what happens if you're using a "wall wart"?

Ah! I have the solution!

I try my best to avoid those cheap switching power supplies for audio gear. My Dangerous Source came with one and getting it replaced with a low noise LPS was a step forward. I think some Mytek equipment also follows that protocol where the user can power their gear with a better external power supply.

(I'm not sure if that was the point of your post, but wanted to mention it others that are using them and were curious.)
Old 5 days ago
  #815
China might have new machines however.

The cable extruders i used were new probably in 1950. And it showed. Getting center on the manual machines was a b#/##
Old 5 days ago
  #816
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom25 View Post
I try my best to avoid those cheap switching power supplies for audio gear. My Dangerous Source came with one and getting it replaced with a low noise LPS was a step forward. I think some Mytek equipment also follows that protocol where the user can power their gear with a better external power supply.

(I'm not sure if that was the point of your post, but wanted to mention it others that are using them and were curious.)
The point of my post was the absurdity of power cables making a difference, by creating the example of an extension lead using an expensive power cable to wall warts that plug directly to the wall socket.

It's also a way of inventing the need for something that wasn't needed in the first place, which can then be reviewed as "amazing improvement... a veil has been lifted..." etc.

(OK, extension leads may actually be needed. But the idea here is that the wall wart could be plugged directly into a wall socket.)

In this context the further absurdity is the design of the PSU is the important bit of engineering, not the cable going from the PSU to the socket!

The possibility that replacing low cost wall wart PSUs with better ones may result in audible improvements is an interesting discussion... :-)
Old 5 days ago
  #817
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
The point of my post was the absurdity of power cables making a difference, by creating the example of an extension lead using an expensive power cable to wall warts that plug directly to the wall socket.

It's also a way of inventing the need for something that wasn't needed in the first place, which can then be reviewed as "amazing improvement... a veil has been lifted..." etc.

(OK, extension leads may actually be needed. But the idea here is that the wall wart could be plugged directly into a wall socket.)

In this context the further absurdity is the design of the PSU is the important bit of engineering, not the cable going from the PSU to the socket!

The possibility that replacing low cost wall wart PSUs with better ones may result in audible improvements is an interesting discussion... :-)
I don't have an opinion on power cables as of yet. I've used stock power cables all my life.

On the other hand, switching out the cheap, stock power outlets that came with the place for a $30 CAD Hubbell HBL 5262 cryo outlet made a far bigger difference than swapping out any speaker, digital, or analog IC...obvious and immediately noticeable.

I don't know how there are so many and frequent cable discussions, including power cables, but yet very little discussion on the outlets themselves. Maybe everyone is already caught up and has moved on, while I'm the last one to find out.
Old 5 days ago
  #818
Lives for gear
 

At first glance, QED appears to be just another audiophile cable company. But their technical papers are real world engineering.

QED Academy
Old 5 days ago
  #819
qwe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
At first glance, QED appears to be just another audiophile cable company. But their technical papers are real world engineering.

QED Academy
Good grief, I remember the "Genesis Report"! I probably have a printed copy floating around somewhere...
Old 5 days ago
  #820
Gear Addict
 
bcwiz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom25 View Post
I don't have an opinion on power cables as of yet. I've used stock power cables all my life.

On the other hand, switching out the cheap, stock power outlets that came with the place for a $30 CAD Hubbell HBL 5262 cryo outlet made a far bigger difference than swapping out any speaker, digital, or analog IC...obvious and immediately noticeable.

I don't know how there are so many and frequent cable discussions, including power cables, but yet very little discussion on the outlets themselves. Maybe everyone is already caught up and has moved on, while I'm the last one to find out.
What is different after swapping outlets?

Last edited by bcwiz; 5 days ago at 06:02 AM.. Reason: clarity
Old 5 days ago
  #821
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwiz View Post
What is different after swapping outlets?
I've only had a week on the outlets. I've been running them with all my gear on 24/7. Apparently, it takes a bit of time for them to fully settle in after the cryo process. I've never messed with outlets before so cannot fully confirm on how it will take and where it will end up. Although, it definitely changed from the moment of installation vs. a week after. For example, the air up top that I am used to has finally come back.

The biggest and consistent observation has been the lack of glare, which is very noticeable in the treble region of both my Amphions and HD 800. Before, even with Sonarworks on 100% was a bit fatiguing. Now I can run them stock. That should speak volume.

On the Amphions, at first it felt like they were completely toed out even though their positioning changed.

Overall, the experience is more engaging. The tonality hasn't settled in so I cannot comment on the rest of the sound. Maybe a touch bit warmer than before. There is other stuff going on as well, such as how micro details are rendered, but I want to wait until things have stabilized.

However, the key message is the lack of glare and fatigue. So far.
Old 5 days ago
  #822
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
If a cable have an effect on sound in the physical world, outside our brains, it has nothing to do with price but all to do with physical properties. Most of that is explained in this thread, but maybe a new thread that focus on that would be in order.
Audiop, may I have your comments on the Genesis Reports?

QED Academy


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 5 days ago
  #823
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
Most of these companies claim "designed in" and manufacture from the same ODM's in Shenzhen China (where 99% of wordwide consumer electronics is being manufactured)
i.e. Audioquest is manufactured there as well. You find off unbranded OEM versions on AlieXpress, Alibaba etc.
Old 4 days ago
  #824
Gear Addict
 
bcwiz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom25 View Post
I've only had a week on the outlets. I've been running them with all my gear on 24/7. Apparently, it takes a bit of time for them to fully settle in after the cryo process. I've never messed with outlets before so cannot fully confirm on how it will take and where it will end up. Although, it definitely changed from the moment of installation vs. a week after. For example, the air up top that I am used to has finally come back.

The biggest and consistent observation has been the lack of glare, which is very noticeable in the treble region of both my Amphions and HD 800. Before, even with Sonarworks on 100% was a bit fatiguing. Now I can run them stock. That should speak volume.

On the Amphions, at first it felt like they were completely toed out even though their positioning changed.

Overall, the experience is more engaging. The tonality hasn't settled in so I cannot comment on the rest of the sound. Maybe a touch bit warmer than before. There is other stuff going on as well, such as how micro details are rendered, but I want to wait until things have stabilized.

However, the key message is the lack of glare and fatigue. So far.
How do you account for this technically?
Old 4 days ago
  #825
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwiz View Post
How do you account for this technically?
Not sure 100%. It isn't something I can keep doing A/B. Except compare it to a sound I was used to for many years.

Here's some info in a long series of investigations. Comes with measurements.

Physical (potential) differences: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TtgjtzQSwY

Studies On Residential Power Line Noise - Part 5: PS Audio Power Port Premier — Polk Audio

At $20 this is something anyone can do if they wanted to know for themselves if it makes a difference or not.
Old 4 days ago
  #826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
Audiop, may I have your comments on the Genesis Reports?

QED Academy


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
One of the better papers - possibly the best - I've seen on the subject from a manufacturer/brand.

I would have liked some more info about the listening tests.. statistics etc. but overall it's a good paper. There are some misunderstandings though which I will adress later.
Old 4 days ago
  #827
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
One of the better papers - possibly the best - I've seen on the subject from a manufacturer/brand.
Agree, and checking the prices QED cables aren't crazy expense either. Their flagship speaker cable QED Supremus costs about $1500 for a pair of 2.5 meter cables - which is peanut money compared to their competitors flagship cables.

Most of their other cables aren't too expensive at all.

More information:

Interview: Jack Fox, brand manager at QED | Son-Vidéo.com: blog

https://www.audiovisualonline.co.uk/...mus-report.pdf


Let's see if I get the chance to try them out in my control room.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 4 days ago
  #828
Gear Addict
 
Darius1's Avatar
 

Man people made loads of hit records with cheap cables. Who cares about that tiny bit extra fairy dust. It's the performance.

My favorite recordings are by Chic. I have both cd's, vinyl, and mp3 versions of the same albums. I couldn't care less about the small sound difference, warmth, more thump in the bass. If I want that I'll just run it through a decent stereo system with EQ or something.

Regular Neutriks are fine. They're not the cheapest or the most expensive, but they are strong, and decent quality to last you a long time. And keep the signal short. The shorter the better.

People don't care man, they don't.

Put those 6000 in great preamps or why the hell not, a tape machine.
Old 4 days ago
  #829
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
and checking the prices QED cables aren't crazy expense either. Their flagship speaker cable QED Supremus costs about $1500 for a pair of 2.5 meter cables - which is peanut money compared to their competitors flagship cables.
Back when I used to buy hi-fi magazines, a reviewer at Hi-Fi Choice magazine (Paul Messenger) would often use the phrase "beer-budget".

In one issue, published on the letters page, was one sent in by a reader querying just how large a "beer-budget" Paul Messenger had?!
Old 4 days ago
  #830
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Back when I used to buy hi-fi magazines, a reviewer at Hi-Fi Choice magazine (Paul Messenger) would often use the phrase "beer-budget".

In one issue, published on the letters page, was one sent in by a reader querying just how large a "beer-budget" Paul Messenger had?!
Only $91.00 per foot is not much, unless you are actually in business to make a profit.
Do these people who buy/use this cable replacing the Internal speaker cable with the SAME cable???
Old 4 days ago
  #831
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The later paper "Supremus" is moving into snake oil land.

In the genesis paper they said skin effect was non issue, in the later supremus paper they make an issue of it with a graph that is highly manipulative but absolutely not supportive of an actual audible/significant effect/end result as such.

They also claim cryo treatment is clearly audible.

Claiming things like this in the name of "science" without support does not impress unless they back up their claims, which they don't.

New marketing department?
Old 4 days ago
  #832
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
The later paper "Supremus" is moving into snake oil land.

In the genesis paper they said skin effect was non issue, in the later supremus paper they make an issue of it with a graph that is highly manipulative but absolutely not supportive of an actual audible/significant effect/end result as such.

They also claim cryo treatment is clearly audible.

Claiming things like this in the name of "science" without support does not impress unless they back up their claims, which they don't.

New marketing department?
Glad IM not the ONLY one that noticed that...
Old 4 days ago
  #833
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Only $91.00 per foot is not much, unless you are actually in business to make a profit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Do these people who buy/use this cable replacing the Internal speaker cable with the SAME cable???
Yeah, because that would just taint everything.

If the idea is to make sure that real parameters (like resistance, inductance, etc.) are under control (unless bell wire or something is used internally) it hardly matters what cable is used for the last bit internally?
Old 4 days ago
  #834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius1 View Post
Man people made loads of hit records with cheap cables. Who cares about that tiny bit extra fairy dust. It's the performance.

My favorite recordings are by Chic. I have both cd's, vinyl, and mp3 versions of the same albums. I couldn't care less about the small sound difference, warmth, more thump in the bass. If I want that I'll just run it through a decent stereo system with EQ or something.

Regular Neutriks are fine. They're not the cheapest or the most expensive, but they are strong, and decent quality to last you a long time. And keep the signal short. The shorter the better.

People don't care man, they don't.

Put those 6000 in great preamps or why the hell not, a tape machine.
Right!

Some of my favorite records and many other peoples were made with limitations of the times equipment and medium. Nobody cared, it was just great music.
Old 3 days ago
  #835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom25 View Post
Not sure 100%. It isn't something I can keep doing A/B. Except compare it to a sound I was used to for many years.
Here's some info in a long series of investigations. Comes with measurements.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Studies On Residential Power Line Noise - Part 5: PS Audio Power Port Premier — Polk Audio
At $20 this is something anyone can do if they wanted to know for themselves if it makes a difference or not.
The DarqueKnight has never done one technical test correctly and that includes this one. His blogs are just as poorly done.
Old 3 days ago
  #836
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
Some of my favorite records and many other peoples were made with limitations of the times equipment and medium. Nobody cared, it was just great music.
I for one would rather that some of my favourite records weren't sound quality restricted by the gear and processes at the time they were recorded. Or by bad engineering decisions for that matter.
Old 3 days ago
  #837
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
I for one would rather that some of my favourite records weren't sound quality restricted by the gear and processes at the time they were recorded. Or by bad engineering decisions for that matter.
But does it actually put you off of buying your favorite music?

Im in a minority, but i love a good trashy, energetic live album. Hell some of those older jazz records cut on suitcase style presto's wouldn't be the same under a microscope.
Old 3 days ago
  #838
qwe
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
But does it actually put you off of buying your favorite music?
Usually not, but if it's so bad as to ruin enjoyment, it might.

Particularly if the music was less than stellar, but still likeable, poor recording could push it into the "don't like that" category.

I had responded to your response to a post about Chic's records. We could(*) do so much better today and the recording quality is frustrating... but... it's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards at the top of their game. The basslines alone are priceless!

(* This doesn't mean that I think the average quality today, taken as a whole, is better. It's inferior!)
Old 3 days ago
  #839
Buy my cables.
Attached Thumbnails
Are expensive speaker cables better than cheap ones? Sorry guys, I’m changing team!-snakeoil-cable.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #840
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwe View Post
Usually not, but if it's so bad as to ruin enjoyment, it might.

Particularly if the music was less than stellar, but still likeable, poor recording could push it into the "don't like that" category.

I had responded to your response to a post about Chic's records. We could(*) do so much better today and the recording quality is frustrating... but... it's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards at the top of their game. The basslines alone are priceless!

(* This doesn't mean that I think the average quality today, taken as a whole, is better. It's inferior!)
Well that's part of the discussion id say. Performance is key. If its not so great music and its crappy quality or even super polished it doesn't matter if you don't like what that artist is doing.

I LOVE early punk rock. A lot of that stuff is recorded pretty bad. There's some gems there, but id almost say more often then not it was recorded or engineered pretty awful. But a lot of it is really great! Same for some jazz and blues records ( im not a huge afficiando on those, i just casually listen and occasionally purchase.)

Hell, through some of those era's they used telephone industry reject cable.

Neumann record lathes are arguably the top tier of record lathes. Scully is up there as well. Great machines. What cables did they use? If i had either of them, it wouldn't concern me very much. Those two are pretty much as good as your going to get cutting to vinyl. The rest is up to the performer and engineer.

In the end i don't care if people buy hifi cables for rediculous prices, but i gaurantee a lot of what you buy with that is not as advertised. It's probably manufactured at a plant that does bulk cable runs with a select amount of materials. The setup time for each machine, throughout the process is enough to make short run, specific cable either not worth it, or extremely expensive. Even then it's gonna have a foot amount order limit. The people running these machines, typically have no idea outside of the machine parameters and plastic extrusion experience what these cables do. They make it to the spec sheet, the lab puts a meter on it, it gets cut up and sold. No hifi listening tests, no lab coats, no listening room. Internal materials are bulk spooled, probably from one or two suppliers.

Hence my saying if they don't have the manufacturing space, they contract a bulk wire company. That wire is made with whatever they make the 30 or so other brands of wire with. They just change the print wheel and maybe the dot matrix printer. The arrows never change.

The cable plant i worked for ran gibson, whirlwind, planet waves and about a thousand other brands both audio and industrial. Same machines, materials and operators until about 2015. Then belden bought them. So now all that cable is probably belden. I don't know, i only pull cable now.
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