Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1776
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  2. #1777
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    But of course, Mr. Poo Poo will tell you otherwise.
    Actually, I believe I said rather clearly that crystal therapy is real to those who believe in it.

    "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" - absolutely agree!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    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 -- -- 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.
    I have been reading posts like this for 20 years or more. I appreciate the arguments, but it took you longer to write all that up than it would take to try it for yourself.

    Maybe some people just won't try it because they are concerned that they might hear a difference and it would go against their belief system and cause too much internal conflict.

    I would also be interested in your gear list to see if you have anything that might benefit from a better shielded PC, after you have run a dedicated line to remove other circuit noise.

    I am enjoying the hell out of my system again instead of wanting to upgrade components, and it is far from imagined, or my hearing just all of a sudden got better as I get older, which is never how it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post

    "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" - absolutely agree!
    If you do agree, why are you trying so hard to convince some of us that we really didn't hear anything at all?

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm sure you did! Re-read my post again.

  6. #1781
    Don't worry guys, I'm up for the challenge, no matter what anyone says! This year brings a new turntable, and with that a drive to tweak out the system in the man cave. Bi-wiring my PSB speakers? Replacing some cheap cables with Bluejeans? I have an electrician friend so gonna work on the dedicated line too!

    BTW, just got a UK Plum pressing of Yes' Fragile last night... minty mint condition! Found it on discogs, but ends up a very local shop had it.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  7. #1782
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post

    That was a great read, thanks for sharing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Don't worry guys, I'm up for the challenge, no matter what anyone says! This year brings a new turntable, and with that a drive to tweak out the system in the man cave. Bi-wiring my PSB speakers? Replacing some cheap cables with Bluejeans? I have an electrician friend so gonna work on the dedicated line too!

    BTW, just got a UK Plum pressing of Yes' Fragile last night... minty mint condition! Found it on discogs, but ends up a very local shop had it.
    Looking forward to hearing your results. I have not had great success with bi-wiring but the theory I used which came from an EE, was that I used heavier gauge solid core for the low end, and smaller gauge twisted pairs for the upper. I tried bi-amping once but used 2 totally different types of amps which gave me an odd sound so I just use good jumpers now.

    I have a pair of Tara Labs Prism Biwire cables I had made years ago, but at the moment they are just doubled up on my Dynaudio 82s, which are no bi-wireable.

  9. #1784
    Yeah, the PSB site is pretty funny, because they mostly don't recommend bi-wiring. -- but most ALL there speakers are bi-wire-able!!! Anyway, I love their sound (Synchrony series bookshelf) and they are very well matched for my man cave. I will leave no stone unturned!
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Yeah, the PSB site is pretty funny, because they mostly don't recommend bi-wiring. -- but most ALL there speakers are bi-wire-able!!! Anyway, I love their sound (Synchrony series bookshelf) and they are very well matched for my man cave. I will leave no stone unturned!

    They appear to be bi-wireable, but it is the same configuration for Bi-Amping. But then there is also the internal crossovers that effect bi-amping.

    Check out this link, which I found helpful

    http://www.nordost.com/downloads/Nor...structions.pdf

  11. #1786
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Actually, I believe I said rather clearly that crystal therapy is real to those who believe in it.

    "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" - absolutely agree!
    One thing science still cannot measure is belief...
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  12. #1787
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    After procrastinating a bit before ordering any more Pangea cables, someone pointed me to these American made cables by Maze Audio.


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Maze-Audio-...8AAOSweuxWR6VS

    I just ordered one in Black/Blue directly from the Maze Audio site where the same cable is $59.95. I should get it in a week and will update my findings.

    http://www.mazeaudio.com/power-cables.html

  13. #1788
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Here's a nice sober article about power cords.
    http://www.audioholics.com/audio-vid...s/power-cables
    All of the audio and video cables we sell have one thing in common, whether they are made for audio or for video, digital or analog: they're all in the signal chain, carrying actual audio and video signals from device to device. Too much is often made of the impact of cable attributes upon video and audio quality, but it's fair to say that any cable in the signal chain, carrying signals, has at least the potential to have an impact upon the quality of your system's audio or video output.

    Power cables are a different matter. At no point in use do they carry signals--they simply convey power from your home's main supply to your devices' power supplies. This is important, to be sure, and without a power cable your system isn't going to do very much at all, but the question of course is not whether the cable is essential but whether there are differences in performance between reasonably-well-constructed power cords, and on that question we have to say that the answer is simply "NO."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Here's a nice sober article about power cords.
    http://www.audioholics.com/audio-vid...s/power-cables
    I read that article earlier this morning. Note that is says " reasonably-well-constructed power cords", which I take to include proper shielding and Plug Ends which almost every stock cord lacks.

    The first picture in post#1763 is NOT a Reasonably Well Constructed Power Cord, it is only adequate enough to be able to use the pc of gear, but far from it's optimal performance. That said, if the MFGs didn't think different cords were worth the trouble, they would just hard wire an 18g lamp cord in place like most Vintage Gear has.

    Maybe you are still missing the point about PCs. They don't change the music, they get the noise and interference out of the way so the music sounds better.

    What PCs have you tried in your system and decided to go back to 16 or 18g stock cords?

  15. #1790
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Good luck with your new power cord. When it arrives, please report back on the improvements it brings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Good luck with your new power cord. When it arrives, please report back on the improvements it brings.
    Of course I will.

  17. #1792
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Curious: which component(s) will you connect it to? Or does it work to run this cord from the wall to a 6-socket power splitter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Curious: which component(s) will you connect it to? Or does it work to run this cord from the wall to a 6-socket power splitter?
    Since this is a 10g cord, I will most likely place it on my APC. That will free up a PS Audio AC3 that I will place on my Pre Amp, which frees up a Pangea AC14SE MKII that will go on my OPPO.

    I will try it out in different spots, but the above is my intent.

    I have been watching some movies and with the cord from the APC on my Integra, I am definitely getting better sound for movies and with one on the OPPO it should get even better.

  19. #1794
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Curious: Have you thought about trying one of these?
    https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/pow...ioner-reviews/

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Curious: Have you thought about trying one of these?
    https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/pow...ioner-reviews/
    Furman makes nice stuff, but I went with the APC due to features vs cost.

    http://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/produc...rrentSite=true

  21. #1796
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    That's what I thought -- but I wasn't sure I had this right. You're buying a $60 power-conditioning power cord not for an audio component, but for your APC Power Conditioner? The Conditioner unit already provides surge protection and EMI/RFI noise filtering. What do you hope the power cord will do?

    Have you looked at your incoming AC mains on an oscilloscope to see exactly what kind of hash is coming in?
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-22-2018 at 04:24 PM.

  22. #1797
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    For those looking into bi-wireable speaker cables, I can't say why this works in some places and doesn't produce much of a change in others. Perhaps it's just a factor of larger gauge. Technically it makes no sense at all but I have heard small improvement in some systems doing this, but not all.

    One thing that I did hear is in how you wire your bi-wireable speaker using a single speaker cable. Most will tell you to connect the cable to either the tweeter binding posts and jump to the bass binding posts, or exactly the opposite, like this.

    Wiring_normal.jpg

    But try this instead >>>

    Wire the + leg of the cable to the tweeter + binding post, and the - leg of the cable to the woofer - binding post. Then jump to the other + and - binding posts. No idea why this works either but it seems to make a hearable difference. Of course, you should experiment and see if you hear anything at all. This costs you nothing so why not have some fun and try it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    For those looking into bi-wireable speaker cables, I can't say why this works in some places and doesn't produce much of a change in others. Perhaps it's just a factor of larger gauge. Technically it makes no sense at all but I have heard small improvement in some systems doing this, but not all.

    One thing that I did hear is in how you wire your bi-wireable speaker using a single speaker cable. Most will tell you to connect the cable to either the tweeter binding posts and jump to the bass binding posts, or exactly the opposite, like this.

    Wiring_normal.jpg

    But try this instead >>>

    Wire the + leg of the cable to the tweeter + binding post, and the - leg of the cable to the woofer - binding post. Then jump to the other + and - binding posts. No idea why this works either but it seems to make a hearable difference. Of course, you should experiment and see if you hear anything at all. This costs you nothing so why not have some fun and try it.
    I do that now and it is one of the suggestions from the Nordost link above
    http://www.nordost.com/downloads/Nor...structions.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    That's what I thought -- but I wasn't sure I had this right. You're buying a $60 power-conditioning power cord not for an audio component, but for your APC Power Conditioner? The Conditioner unit already provides surge protection and EMI/RFI noise filtering. What do you hope the power cord will do?

    Have you looked at your incoming AC mains on an oscilloscope to see exactly what kind of hash is coming in?
    I have not looked with a scope but I know I have low incoming voltage, generally 112 to 114. The APC takes that and sends out 120.

    The APC also came with a more robust and heavier gauge cord than any pc of Audio gear I own. 12g and heavily shielded. Are you saying that they should have just provided a $4 cord because all the work is done inside the unit?

    I plan to swap the cords around to see which ones work better in certain spots. It was suggested by folks with very high end systems using higher priced cabling to put your best Power Cord at the Outlet, so the cord that hits the outlet is from the APC. I tried the Amp direct to outlet and APC and could not tell much difference, and since I use the 1 button on/off, the APC is the most logical spot.

    Of course it is all personal taste and evolving as I get better cords along the way.

    rcarlberg, you still have not stated what your gear is and what PCs you have tried.

    Check out this video

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    Todd, I am truly blessed and lucky to have the gear I have in my main system. I would never have purchased this gear as new or even in the normal used market. I lucked into it when a neighbor wanted to get rid of it all but some needed repair. I got and repaired everything for less than my Odyssey Stratos amp cost. Swapping out these PCs are just icing on the cake.

    I recently went out to demo some new gear and was unable to find anything under $30K to better my 90s era TOL gear. The rest of my systems are pretty modest overall.

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