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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1751
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Those Elacs might be somewhat like my Meadowlarks. I'll have to hunt down a dealer sometime and give them a listen.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  2. #1752
    New Stereophile has a pretty good (if rambling) review of the Mofi Ultradeck. I'll be in the market for a new turntable with MC cartridge this spring, and between the...
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    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  3. #1753
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    Short update on my Power Cable Adventure.

    The results are hard to describe. I really don't think the actual music has changed, but more that all the noise and interference is eliminated so all you hear are the notes and individual instruments. I purchased a second PS Audio AC# that I placed between my dedicated line and the APC H15 that all my 2ch gear plugs into. More of the same results.

    In my setup, this has been one of the most cost to results upgrade I have done other than Tube Rolling. I added about $450 worth of PCs and got way more than that in return and enjoyment. I can now turn the volume up several notches and not want to turn it down due to fatigue and it just keeps sounding better. I can now run my Pre closer to 11 o'clock which usually yields better results than lower volumes. Lower volume listening also sounds better.

    For the price of entry level PCs, and the fact you can return them if not happy, I suggest others with revealing gear give it a try. When my available cash flow changes, I plan to upgrade them all to Cullen or Shunyata.

    Cheers and Happy Listening!

    Brian

  4. #1754
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I think eliminating noise and interference makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of factors making noise in many home audio systems. I've had trouble with grounding loops, cable TV boxes, etc.

    Here's a video from Paul McGowan's YouTube Channel on whether expensive cables matter.

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  5. #1755
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    Paul McGowan
    CEO and co-founder
    PS Audio
    PS Audio sells, among other things, cables.

    That's as far as I got in the video. Tells me all I need to know.

  6. #1756
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Robert, don't you have to go chase those kids off your lawn again?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  7. #1757
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Robert, don't you have to go chase those kids off your lawn again?
    That's the cat's job.

  8. #1758
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    So being sceptical of woo somehow makes me Clint Eastwood?

  9. #1759
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    PS Audio sells, among other things, cables.


    That's as far as I got in the video. Tells me all I need to know.
    Don't you want to learn about the 'skin effect' of different types of conductors?

  10. #1760
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    So being sceptical of woo somehow makes me Clint Eastwood?
    Nope, just the predictable curmudgeon shtick in this thread
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #1761
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Don't you want to learn about the 'skin effect' of different types of conductors?
    The skin effect has been well-known and studied for years. It is not a factor in audio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Skin effect is a significant problem at radio frequencies or over long distances such as miles and kilometers worth of high-tension electrical transmission lines, but not at audio frequencies carried over short distances measured in feet and meters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo
    Nope, just the predictable curmudgeon shtick in this thread
    If a "curmudgeon" is someone who throws cold water on pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo then I accept your approbation.

  12. #1762
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The skin effect has been well-known and studied for years. It is not a factor in audio.
    What about the skin on skin effect?

  13. #1763
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    PS Audio sells, among other things, cables.

    That's as far as I got in the video. Tells me all I need to know.
    You should have watched it further. The question posed was whether a $300 PC would help the sound of a $500 Sprout. His answer was No, don't waste your money. And for that component, it was the right answer. He goes on to say that you first need a higher resolving setup before you bother with PCs.

    I guess what most people are missing is the fact that the Power Cord does not make the music sound better, they reduce the noise and interference allowing you to hear more of the music without the noise in between everything else.

    In the right system, you only need a few $50 PCs to hear it and then some cords are better at the shielding than others. I am still skeptical of the $12K Pcs, but convinced in the right setup with resolving gear, Aftermarket PCs do something, and if reducing noise is all they do, then I am happy with the outcome in my setup.

    The most interesting thing I have noticed is that I can now up my volume knob several more clicks than with stock PCs and not want to turn it down. Most Pres want to run at more than 9 o'clock for best sound anyway.

    I can't argue about all the electrical properties and I don't need 2x Tests and white papers to convince me that something changed dramatically when I replaced all the PCs in my main system.

    If you don't believe, thats fine, nobody is forcing you to. I debated on trying it for 10 years but kept my eyes and ears open to what everyone who tried it was saying. If it didn't work out, I would have sent them back for my money back, but they are all keepers until my budget changes and then I will upgrade them to Cullen or Shunyata.

    This does not provide optimal performance


    But starting here for $45, they do

  14. #1764
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    The simplest and easiest way to "see" that a better power cord makes a difference is to try it on your TV set. You will immediately see the picture become clearer and sharper and less grainy. This is so obvious that I don;t know how people can say it won;t also make a difference on your stereo.

    But then again, some people will refuse to try it for them selves and just rely on rote repetition that it's can't be true. So be it.
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  15. #1765
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    "Power supply filter capacitors." You can look them up.

  16. #1766
    Why not run the copper straight from the electrical panel, out the wall and directly into the system?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  17. #1767
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Why not run the copper straight from the electrical panel, out the wall and directly into the system?
    Maybe because it lacks shielding that is required to block things out that make a decent system sound better?

  18. #1768
    But it doesn't have shielding in the wall... it's only the last few feet...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  19. #1769
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    But it doesn't have shielding in the wall... it's only the last few feet...
    Believe me, I was skeptical about it for many years. My biggest concern is that everything terminates back to a $7 Circuit Breaker.

    But, I overcame my fears and decided to try it for myself instead of joining the Never Try Anything Poo Poo Gang.

    I was totally surprised at the results and ordered more cables.

    How about you try your suggestion and report back to us, at least you would have tried something

  20. #1770
    LOL. Believe me, I'm all for trying. Think I'm going to start with that $2 outlet. BTW, what's the recommendation for plugging in everything? Everything into the same power strip, same outlet?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  21. #1771
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    My recommendation is to run a Dedicated line for your audio gear first.
    Use at least the Hospital Grade Outlets, but both Pangea and PS Audio have better ones.

    For my 2ch system, I run Pre-Amp, Amp, and CDP thru an APC H15. Some folks claim you should run the Amp straight to the outlet but I tried it both ways and did not see any difference. I use the APC for conditioning, protection, and 1 button On/Off of the whole system.

    I run my HT, TV, and other gear in main room into a decent Monster strip, then into the dedicated line. My HT uses my 2CH system for front L&R.

    I replaced the cords on Pre, Amp, CDP and the APC. The APC cable was pretty robust so I put it on my Integra HT and swear movies are now sounding better.

    Next up will be the cords on my OPPO and TV.

  22. #1772
    Parrots Ripped My Flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax View Post
    the Never Try Anything Poo Poo Gang.
    I can't imagine ever wanting to try anything Poo Poo.

  23. #1773
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    Wind power is warmer.

  24. #1774
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax View Post
    Believe me, I was skeptical about it for many years. My biggest concern is that everything terminates back to a $7 Circuit Breaker.
    But, I overcame my fears and decided to try it for myself instead of joining the Never Try Anything Poo Poo Gang.
    I was totally surprised at the results and ordered more cables.
    How about you try your suggestion and report back to us, at least you would have tried something
    On the surface your request sounds reasonable, so any kind of snarky reply would tend to sound UNreasonable. In fact, perhaps I SHOULD try some expensive power conditioners in my system....

    But that assumes that it's not all just observer bias. That'd be hard to prove, since the improvements you're citing --
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax
    I can now turn the volume up several notches and not want to turn it down due to fatigue and it just keeps sounding better. I can now run my Pre closer to 11 o'clock which usually yields better results than lower volumes. Lower volume listening also sounds better.
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM
    try it on your TV set. You will immediately see the picture become clearer and sharper and less grainy
    -- these improvements, unfortunately, are not measurable. They're entirely subjective judgments -- which is the very definition of "observer bias."

    Listen, in order to approach a subject like this with any kind of intelligence, one would have to articulate a MECHANISM by which the perceived improvements could be happening.

    Take the case of "healing crystals." Yes, certainly, people who lay on bamboo mats with healing crystals on their chakra points undoubtedly feel the power of the crystals flowing through them. From a purely experiential viewpoint I'm sure devotees of crystal therapy DO experience greater calm, less pain, more focus, whatever it is that crystals are supposed to do for you. Does this make the power of healing crystals "real"? Well, it certainly feels "real" to the patients who experience these subjective, observer-bias, benefits.

    But drill down a level, and science will tell you that it's all placebo effect. There is no scientific mechanism by which rocks of a crystalline structure can affect bloodflow, nerve impulse propagation, or any other bodily function. The body simply does not run on "crystal vibration frequencies."

    That does not mean the effects of crystal therapy are any less real. Practitioners can point to dozens, hundreds, thousands of testimonials from patients citing increased energy, stamina, sex drive, concentration, feelings of peacefulness. But because these results cannot be scientifically measured -- and also because there is no scientific basis for explaining the results -- the field of crystallography remains a "pseudoscience."

    It's the same with a lot of audio woo, including elaborate PCs.

    The concept is based on some real observations: yes, the AC mains coming into your house are polluted with lots of UHF noise in addition to the 60Hz alternating current. But here's where science comes in -- your audio equipment does not run on 60Hz 120 volt AC. All audio equipment steps this line voltage down, through a series of transistors, ICs, capacitors and resistors to provide the +5 volts DC, or +17 VDC, or 50v tube grid voltage, or whatever it is that your equipment runs on. Running the source voltage through all these step-down processes filters out all the UHF hash that was present at the plug. If it didn't the results would be obvious and measurable -- not just observer bias.

    But let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that component power supplies didn't do a good job of filtering the AC power. Let's say some UHF hash made it through to the final audio (or video) circuits.

    Would this result in the symptoms people claim to experience?

    Take Bob's video example. "Greater picture clarity, sharpness and lack of grain." Are these characteristics that would be affected by noise in the power supply? All three are functions of pixel size, pixel density, pixel dynamic range, and response to changes in the incoming picture signal. The design of the screen determines the pixel density and size. The dynamic range is a function of the voltage swing available to the pixels. The amount of grain is a result of the resolution of the incoming picture signal (horizontal lines, vertical lines and refresh rate, to greatly oversimplify). If noise in the power supply were present, it would manifest itself as high frequency humming, hash on the TV screen, unwanted lines, random dots, snow. These may be present on an unfiltered TV -- but the effect apparently isn't severe enough to be noticeable before you put the PC on the line. Therefore, the effect -- if any -- is entirely subjective.

    Besides which, distortion in picture quality derives almost entirely from the picture signal, not the AC mains coming in. In other words, the "healing crystals" aren't even connected to the bloodstream. AC filtering addresses the wrong system.

    Theoretically maybe you could get a cleaner signal from your cable provider or your Blu-ray player -- and certainly HD and 4K signal sources do this -- but filtering the AC mains is pseudoscience.

    It's the same with audio. "Listener fatigue" and "better sound" (by which I assume you mean greater detail, higher resolution, less noise) is a function of the signal path -- not the power supply. If you have a problem with noise coming through the power supply it's going to be audible in the output. If you don't hear it until you filter the AC mains, then the difference you're hearing is perceptual, or subjective only.

    Placebo effect.

    Observer bias.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-17-2018 at 06:19 PM.

  25. #1775
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Once again, not everything we hear or see is measurable, either because what we use to measure isn't sensitive enough or because we are measuring the wrong thing, or because we don't completely understand what needs to be measured. It's like applying large scale physics theories to a quantum level object. You just aren't look at it the way you should.

    That being said, Mr. Poo Poo is never going to be convinced and is never going to actually try it for himself. Don't let him suck the life out of you and don't let that stop you others from experimenting. That's the nature of the hobby and part of the fun.

    Subjective Blowjective - if you see or hear a difference that is worth the extra expense to you then you don't have to justify anything to anyone else. But of course, Mr. Poo Poo will tell you otherwise.
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