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Digital cables shootout - myths and facts
Old 16th May 2012
  #61
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Yes. If you don't believe me, drop $2k on one and report back.

Let the doubting Thoms begin, especially those that have never tried nor heard one. It's always amusing to hear testamonials from those with an imagination larger than their experience.
Can we get our 2K BACK IF we can NOT hear a 2K difference?
If Not...

IM getting ready to send a $1850.00 Mic pre out, IF the guy does NOT like it..He sends it Back...
There is A BOAT Load More REAL stuff ($$$$) in a 2 channel Mic pre With power supply than a couple of Mic cables...

And I have seen the Mic and Mic pre has 99.99% more control over the sound & Noise ect than a Good mic cable....
Old 16th May 2012
  #62
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
If you contact Ray Kimber, I'm sure he would work something out for you.

I don't expect that to happen. I don't believe there are any of you here willing to do that. You would rather argue about cables you haven't heard than take the time and actually listen to them. BTW, those mic cables are made with real stuff, like pure silver. Ray is a very smart fellow with one of the best R+D labs I've seen, full of $50k spectrum analyzers etc. I would not dismiss his work and products so quickly.
You missed my main point Jim..
Also, Did YOU buy one of those 2K Cables???
If NOT, WHY???
I Did NOT say they make NO difference, is it a 2K Difference???
I also see No dealers listed on their site..
Old 16th May 2012
  #63
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Magucci's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Also, Did YOU buy one of those 2K Cables???
If NOT, WHY???
I Did NOT say they make NO difference, is it a 2K Difference???
The main reason people don't buy these 2K cables because they can't afford them. For a stereo xlr I/O you need then 4K at least. That's expensive!!!

Another reason is if you use stock cables and make a living of them and you and your clients are happy with the results then there's no reason to make a change for sure.

I heard a XLR cable shootout made by a big mastering studio and the Kimber Select XLR cable impressed me very much. It sounded like a 2K cable without a doubt.

A big reason why people don't hear a difference in those 2K cables is maybe they don't have an accurate monitoring environment or they just don't want to hear the difference.

On a Westlake Audio BBSM-12 pair powered with very good mono tube amps and Lavry Blue DA the difference between 10$, 50$, 100$, 500$, 1000$ and 2K$ cable was very well audible.

Old 16th May 2012
  #64
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
You missed my main point Jim..
Also, Did YOU buy one of those 2K Cables???
If NOT, WHY???
I Did NOT say they make NO difference, is it a 2K Difference???
I also see No dealers listed on their site..
If anyone is actually interested in testing these expensive cables on their own, The Cable Company has a large library of cables of different brands and price ranges that you can try and see if it is worth the money to you or if you hear any difference at all. . . Of course it helps if the rest of your system is up to snuff before you try cable upgrades. . .
Old 16th May 2012
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Yes. If you don't believe me, drop $2k on one and report back.

Let the doubting Thoms begin, especially those that have never tried nor heard one. It's always amusing to hear testamonials from those with an imagination larger than their experience.
Did I make a testimonial? No. I'm not knocking the cables until I actually do a valid test. I'm willing to test them out but there's no way I'm dropping $2K on them. And by valid, I mean a scientific double-blind test. Otherwise, you will literally hear things you're not actually hearing. People can say they hear an audible difference all day long and they may actually believe this, but it doesn't mean what they are hearing is at the aural-only level. What they are "hearing" is a product of many other things beside their ears.

It's funny that you mention imagination because that's exactly what it is when you don't do a proper test on equipment where the differences are very fine, and cables are definitely no exception to this rule.

If I can get hold of these cables and others like them, I will set up a scientific test that will allow users to hear the truth for themselves. And the results of such a test will be significantly relevant and reliable. But of course, arguments will ensue against science when the results don't come out the way some people want. Others just will not take the test due to denial and other factors. And so it goes....
Old 16th May 2012
  #66
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Cost vs. benefit is what most studio purchases boil down to and given the amount of cable needed in a studio (especially with a large frame analog desk and outboard) spending $2k per cable is INSANE no matter how good it may actually be. With some smart shopping you can find good low capacitence (12 pF per foot) copper install cable for less than 10 cents a foot (in fact I've bought some in bulk for 3 cents a foot). Cost vs. benefit you will be hard pressed to beat that. You can even find silver coated copper at reasonable prices if you want to do some experimenting and not break the bank.

Given even just the scrap costs of precious metals (with no additional markup from a maker or retailer) it makes no economic sense to ever use them. Why stop at silver, why not a pure gold or pure platinum cable? Why just precious metal cables, why not have every every circuit trace and electronic component upgraded to keep the entire signal chain in precious metals? The why is cost vs. benefit as money spent on a silver circuit trace would be better spent on better components.

Unfortunately there are buyers for $2k cables or there would not be people making and selling them. Just like the news story of the guy stealing from his company and spending the money on things like a $5k shower curtain a while back, all we can do is shake our heads and wonder why instead of helping others, people choose to spend on items like this. While I'm not trying to personally attack Ray Kimber because he seems to have done some valid experimentation and testing plus he can sell his product to whomever he wants and at whatever price he wants, I still have to wonder that if his method of loose braiding is so effective why have others not used it with standard low cap copper conductors and published their audio gains? It seems to me that the big gains made in cables in recent history came from shielding and using better insulators (teflon (TFP/FEP/TEF) and polyethylene), R&D done by the big manufacturers spured on by the computer industry needs that the audio industry benefited from. None of that came from exotic cable sellers who buy bulk cable from the few manufacturers (the same bulk cable available to you), dress it up, put some fancy connectors on it, do a sh*tload of marketing, then proceed to charge and arm and a leg for the end product.

Just buy a decent speced low cap copper cable and call it a day. The money you just saved can be better spent improving other gear or aspects of the studio for a net result of more benefit for the same cash outlay. In fact sending some gear to Jim Williams to upgrade is so much more beneficial and cost effect than buying a $2k cable it's not a contest.
Old 19th May 2012
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Cost vs. benefit is what most studio purchases boil down to and given the amount of cable needed in a studio (especially with a large frame analog desk and outboard) spending $2k per cable is INSANE no matter how good it may actually be. With some smart shopping you can find good low capacitence (12 pF per foot) copper install cable for less than 10 cents a foot (in fact I've bought some in bulk for 3 cents a foot). Cost vs. benefit you will be hard pressed to beat that. You can even find silver coated copper at reasonable prices if you want to do some experimenting and not break the bank.

Given even just the scrap costs of precious metals (with no additional markup from a maker or retailer) it makes no economic sense to ever use them. Why stop at silver, why not a pure gold or pure platinum cable? Why just precious metal cables, why not have every every circuit trace and electronic component upgraded to keep the entire signal chain in precious metals? The why is cost vs. benefit as money spent on a silver circuit trace would be better spent on better components.

Unfortunately there are buyers for $2k cables or there would not be people making and selling them. Just like the news story of the guy stealing from his company and spending the money on things like a $5k shower curtain a while back, all we can do is shake our heads and wonder why instead of helping others, people choose to spend on items like this. While I'm not trying to personally attack Ray Kimber because he seems to have done some valid experimentation and testing plus he can sell his product to whomever he wants and at whatever price he wants, I still have to wonder that if his method of loose braiding is so effective why have others not used it with standard low cap copper conductors and published their audio gains? It seems to me that the big gains made in cables in recent history came from shielding and using better insulators (teflon (TFP/FEP/TEF) and polyethylene), R&D done by the big manufacturers spured on by the computer industry needs that the audio industry benefited from. None of that came from exotic cable sellers who buy bulk cable from the few manufacturers (the same bulk cable available to you), dress it up, put some fancy connectors on it, do a sh*tload of marketing, then proceed to charge and arm and a leg for the end product.

Just buy a decent speced low cap copper cable and call it a day. The money you just saved can be better spent improving other gear or aspects of the studio for a net result of more benefit for the same cash outlay. In fact sending some gear to Jim Williams to upgrade is so much more beneficial and cost effect than buying a $2k cable it's not a contest.
Great post. Very true!
Old 23rd May 2012
  #68
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
Roger Russell on speaker cable. some usefull tips in there.

Speaker Wire
Old 23rd May 2012
  #69
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Great link above for everyone to read. As I've been saying for years here, if you are using passive speakers go to your own local big box home center store for one of the best values in speaker wire. Look at their "Outdoor Lighting" wire (sometimes refered to as low voltage outdoor wire). It's just a heavier guage lamp zip wire typically used for garden lights. Grab the 12 gauge stuff and move on to the other things in life knowing you knocked something off your list and spent the least amount of money to do it right. You would probably even be fine with the cheaper/thinner 14 gauge too if you kept the run short. Even the above link mentions "Outdoor Lighting" wire for use as passive speaker wire. For the guys with active speakers you are just running balanced line level to them (the amp is IN the speaker) and should use the same low capacitence copper balanced line level cable you are using in the rest of the studio. Spend your studio dollars where it will make the most difference.
Old 1st June 2012
  #70
But the point is I do agree there can be a difference especially in cables for passive speakers.. but is there any difference in digital domain? I think digital cable for clocking is only thing we should be aimed on (if needed) but otherwise there is no audible difference IMHO.
Old 1st June 2012
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anghello View Post
But the point is I do agree there can be a difference especially in cables for passive speakers.. but is there any difference in digital domain? I think digital cable for clocking is only thing we should be aimed on (if needed) but otherwise there is no audible difference IMHO.
Placebo, unless the guage is too small for the length. Why not prove it to yourself by recording a repeatable high resoloution source using the same high quality mics/preamps, then do it again with different speaker cables. Make sure the cables are the same length though. If both are relatively low guage, then the length won't matter unless running really long distances.

Do a double blind test with the files using an AB comparator doing at least ten trials. If you can pick a cable consistently with a 95% confidence level (9/10 trials, for example), then you can hear the difference. Otherwise, you can't and you're dreaming if you think you can.

Better yet, try to null them out first so you don't waste time trying to hear the difference. If they don't null, then do the above test.

The digital cables I've compared (wired vs optical vs other wired, etc.), all nulled out each other. And these were using differing lengths. Translation: They sound the same.
Old 4th June 2012
  #72
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You could take the audio file and write the zeros and ones on piece of paper and then type them back into a file and the sound would remain identical. Try doing this on 80g/m2 printing paper and on a memo pad, will they sound different?
Old 4th June 2012
  #73
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

It's a false equivalency because digital cables also transmit a very much analog clock and are subject to grounding issues. Only the data is digital. Everything that handles it is good old analog.
Old 4th June 2012
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It's a false equivalency because digital cables also transmit a very much analog clock and are subject to grounding issues. Only the data is digital. Everything that handles it is good old analog.
Very good.

I'd like to add the following analogy: A laser printed text on a cheap paper looks frayed. On a high quality paper the same text looks clear and sharp. Though the information stays the same.

heh
Old 4th June 2012
  #75
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synthoid's Avatar
 

I got $100 says none of you can come up with an in-spec AES/EBU cable that will result in receiver errors with a properly working AES/EBU transmitter and receiver. Receiver errors means you get different data at the receiver than the data you sent. To test for this, you compare the contents of the transmitted and received digital files bitwise. In-spec means that it conforms to the published specifications for AES/EBU cabling and it is properly wired at both ends. First person who does it gets $100 bucks from me -- provided that they are willing to confirm their name and other information publicly here on gearslutz.

-synthoid
Old 4th June 2012
  #76
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
...none of you can come up with an in-spec AES/EBU cable that will result in receiver errors with a properly working AES/EBU transmitter and receiver. ..
There weren't a whole lot of properly working AES/EBU transmitters and receivers prior to ten years ago and some manufacturers still use the crappy ones. When audio equipment and the building's AC system has been properly designed and executed, cable won't make much, if any difference.

The real world problem is lots of gear and buildings that were not properly designed and/or built.

Audio gear hasn't been designed by the best and brightest since the early 1950s and by the 1960s most of the audio know-how had been purged from the electrical engineering textbooks. We are left with a lot of bozos thumping their chests about a degree that taught them absolutely nothing about audio.
Old 4th June 2012
  #77
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synthoid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Audio gear hasn't been designed by the best and brightest since the early 1950s and by the 1960s most of the audio know-how had been purged from the electrical engineering textbooks. We are left with a lot of bozos thumping their chests about a degree that taught them absolutely nothing about audio.
The AES/EBU standard (Tech 3250-E) from the European Broadcasting Union is perfectly competent and legible. It's also easy to implement. But above all, it has next to nothing to do with audio. It's just a framed digital transmission format; the actual payloads could be any kind of digital stuff -- bits. Even the consumer version of this stuff (SP/DIF) works fine, let alone the pro version. Audio designers would normally not be involved in this at all -- it's a task for a digital designer, like the guy who builds a USB transceiver or that kind of thing (only 1000x easier).

Anyway, peeing on audio designers as a class has nothing to do with this. I'm saying that I don't think anyone here can produce an in-spec AES/EBU cable that will cause an AES/EBU transmitter/receiver pair to fail -- i.e., because of the cable.

-synthoid
Old 4th June 2012
  #78
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How many guys with expensive vintage equipment, big budgets, and recording stars buy the super expensive cable to begin with? Even at those facilities $2k going instead to some customer amenity would be more apreciated and garner more repeat biz (hookers and blow LOL). Besides many clueless audiophiles, the expensive cable companies doing all that marketing and psudo science target as their main studio customer the guy we see posting tons of pics here of their setups with cheap nearfield moniters on a desk pushed up against the wall with a laptop or desktop computer right at that desk with no acoustic treatment in a small bedroom or maybe acoustically bad low ceiling basement. Those guys don't tend to spent their money where it will do the most good (or even spend the few dollars its costs for longer computer cables to move that computer to another room or closet where it belongs) but if they have an extra $100 they might splurge on a "miracle" mic cable thinking they have improved their audio. Hopefully those in that group reading this will ignore the confusing marketing and learn that you can buy very good cable for next to no cost at all. Spending money on other things in the recording chain and acoustics will garner them far more improvement and those improvements should be at the top of their "next to buy list". These cable sellers know that cables at certain price points with a ton of marketing is like the items next to the checkout at a store, an impulse item. It's up to the individual to show self control and figure out what they really need vs. what marketing tells them they want. It's up to the individual to read and digest the multitude of free studio information here all repeating the same info over and over showing how to get the most audio benifit and where money should be spent first.
Old 5th June 2012
  #79
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
I got $100 says none of you can come up with an in-spec AES/EBU cable that will result in receiver errors with a properly working AES/EBU transmitter and receiver. Receiver errors means you get different data at the receiver than the data you sent. To test for this, you compare the contents of the transmitted and received digital files bitwise. In-spec means that it conforms to the published specifications for AES/EBU cabling and it is properly wired at both ends. First person who does it gets $100 bucks from me -- provided that they are willing to confirm their name and other information publicly here on gearslutz.
It's a shame no-one will have the balls to take you up on this! I had a play with a Prism analyser (you know, the piece of equipment manufacturers use to test their products), and it was quite illuminating to see how unimportant the cable was to get a valid AES connection with no errors/increased jitter.
Old 5th June 2012
  #80
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synthoid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by londonengineer View Post
It's a shame no-one will have the balls to take you up on this! I had a play with a Prism analyser (you know, the piece of equipment manufacturers use to test their products), and it was quite illuminating to see how unimportant the cable was to get a valid AES connection with no errors/increased jitter.
of course, haha. These days we all have digital connections running in the 100s of MHz and even GHz range (e.g., USB). We use them with sh*tty cables that come as throwaways with the cellphones and cameras we buy. AES/EBU is operating down in the low MHz region -- two orders of magnitude lower bandwidth -- with a dedicated, balanced, shielded and terminated electrical connection designed by the ITU (international telephone union)! haha. Shoot, the cabling that many people still use for ISDN connections to the internet (including me) is unshielded single-ended copper wire (i.e., bell wire like you used when you were a kid).

-synthoid
Old 25th June 2017
  #81
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ComposerMK's Avatar
 

So what were the results to the cables? Which cable is 1.wav, 2.wav, and 3.wav?

I think the first one sounds the best, has the best high end transient response. Maksim.

" This is the most controversial thread on Gearslutz. I strongly recommend not to compare those files if you don’t have at least Lavry, Crane Song, Forssell, Benchmark Prism and so on DA converter plus reference monitoring system and threated room for any judgment.

Belkin PureAV™ Digital Optical Audio Cable – 23 usd
Custom-made SPDIF Cinch-Cinch (Tasker gold and selected antenna cable) – 25 usd
Oehlbach Hyper Profi Opto – 45 usd


Samples are random. Made from the same source.

Attached Files

1.wav (4.82 MB, 271 views)

2.wav (5.16 MB, 235 views)

3.wav (5.16 MB, 222 views) "
Old 26th June 2017
  #82
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bigbaby987's Avatar
This is funny. 90+% of the listening public will never hear the few millimeters of audio you're arguing about. I know we're slutz, but this is funny. How many listeners of our work use lavrey and so on to decide what type of digital cable you used to primarily monitor "your" signal with.

You honestly are fighting for millimeters here and not even feet.

Peace and love baby!!! Get you some solid cables and make excellent music.
Old 26th June 2017
  #83
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
...I'm saying that I don't think anyone here can produce an in-spec AES/EBU cable that will cause an AES/EBU transmitter/receiver pair to fail -- i.e., because of the cable.
Incompetently designed transmitter and receiver chips cause different cables to sound different because they carry the clock in addition to the data. People give manufacturers a pass way too often. AES/EBU calls for transformers on each end but few manufacturers are willing to go to the expense.
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