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Btyreman2013



Joined: 28/04/13
Posts: 65
Loc: Manchester, U.K.
what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring?
      #1045517 - 28/04/13 04:54 PM
Hi there this my first post,

I build all my own cables and am pretty good with a soldering iron, I've been looking at van damme cable and have noticed there are two types, the 'blue' series studio grade speaker cable and then there's the UP-LCOFC Hi-Fi Interconnect & speaker series, my main concern is whether a neutrik mono jack with fit with the UP-LCOFC cable, also isn't it better to get the blue series because of the extra shielding?

I'm hoping someone can give some advice on the matter,

regards,

Ben.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5869
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1045525 - 28/04/13 05:49 PM
Quote Btyreman2013:

Hi there this my first post,

I build all my own cables and am pretty good with a soldering iron, I've been looking at van damme cable and have noticed there are two types, the 'blue' series studio grade speaker cable and then there's the UP-LCOFC Hi-Fi Interconnect & speaker series, my main concern is whether a neutrik mono jack with fit with the UP-LCOFC cable, also isn't it better to get the blue series because of the extra shielding?





The blue stuff is fine. Your local electrical shop may have the same stuff cheaper, twin 2.5mm cable is a utility product. As a general rule, avoid anything tagged as an "interconnect" or "hi-fi". Why would speaker cable need a screen?


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1045542 - 28/04/13 08:47 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:


The blue stuff is fine. Your local electrical shop may have the same stuff cheaper, twin 2.5mm cable is a utility product. As a general rule, avoid anything tagged as an "interconnect" or "hi-fi". Why would speaker cable need a screen?




So you go for the "Studio" tagged cable with the screen you dont want? You could always put your biases away get get the best most appropriate cable for your set up. Could you tell us what system is this fitting in to? The Van Damme should be fine. Equally Sommer cable will have some suitable speaker cable too. Depending on your set up you could make your own, twisting a pair of wires and threading through a sheath. Here you can pick the sort of conductors and dielectric you want. I have done this with silver coated copper and teflon cable from Alpha, BICC do something similar. Currently these are only twisted and, living in line of site of the Crystal Palace transmitters, I have no interference problems.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Btyreman2013



Joined: 28/04/13
Posts: 65
Loc: Manchester, U.K.
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1045571 - 29/04/13 12:29 AM
My system is using the 'control room output' @300ohms of my mackie desk which is currently TRS going into a male XLR @10Kohm input, the monitors are KRK V6 series II. I use the desk to control the level.

I'm not interested in making my own cable using twisting e.t.c even if it's cheaper, so what do you think would it even improve my system by using the unbalanced blue speaker cable made by van damme?

Edited by Btyreman2013 (29/04/13 12:33 AM)


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Mike Stranks
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1045586 - 29/04/13 06:48 AM
Before this goes any further, some clarification of terms is needed...

'Speaker Cable' is generally reckoned to be unscreened two-core cable used to connect an amplifier's outputs to an unpowered speaker. Some will maintain that 'special' cables will improve the signal-flow in all sorts of ways whereas the majority here will state that simple two-core mains cable - provided it is adequately rated - will do the job fine.

What the O/P seems to be asking about is cables to take the line-level signal into his powered monitors. The cable referred to in the previous paragraph is not suitable for that. Many here will say that any decent 'two-core plus screen' cable such as Van Damme with connectors made by Neutrik, REAN, Switchcraft etc is what's required. They would also say that cables branded as 'hi-fi', 'digital quality' and other similar terms are merely marketing terms and make no discernible difference to the quality of the sound.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #1045598 - 29/04/13 08:14 AM
+1 on what Mike has said. Assuming you are already using balanced interconnects, the cabling is so far from being the weakest link in your audio chain as to be utterly irrelevant. You'd be far better off investing in improving the room's acoustics if you want audible benefits.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1045605 - 29/04/13 08:46 AM
Quote:

I build all my own cables and am pretty good with a soldering iron,




Quote:

I'm not interested in making my own cable using twisting e.t.c even if it's cheaper




It doesnt matter but it made me smile.

As the other posters say, you only need line level cable- balanced type connections. I like Klotz. It is easy to work with, it has a nice handle, is reasonably priced and it sounds good. You can get it from Studiospares and the like. Your Mackie's manual will have the appropriate wiring diagrams, if not a trawl on the net will help. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs but you appeared unsure about the correct terms for various types of cable.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Javan Green



Joined: 04/04/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Nottingham
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1045704 - 29/04/13 05:07 PM
I've not really had much experience with VDC's cable range but I've been extremely happy with my Mogami W3080 AES/EBU cable.

Partnered with some standard Neutrik NC3FXX / NC3MXX connectors they work a treat. Due to the lower capacitance of the AES/EBU cable more detail is retained throughout the higher frequencies and the overall stereo impression.

If you're feeling flush (like I was ) then you could even opt for some WBT Silver-Bearing Solder for improving the signal integrity.

All-in-all I think this relatively low-cost concoction delivers a solid audio cable perfect for monitoring purposes, the only downside being that you have to keep lengths pretty short. I've even sold a few on previously and I've not had any complaints.

Some may say that it's slightly exotic but seeing as a ready-made pair of 3M XLR cables made to the above spec costs around the same as a set of Vibropads then I think it's a viable upgrade worth trying.


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 953
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1045738 - 29/04/13 06:52 PM
If you're so flush, and really care about signal integrity, then splurge on some liquid helium!


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James PerrettModerator



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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1045873 - 30/04/13 12:48 PM
Quote Javan Green:

I've not really had much experience with VDC's cable range but I've been extremely happy with my Mogami W3080 AES/EBU cable.





Quite a few commercial studios are wired with the Belden equivalent (1800F I think) which means that the cables can be used for both analogue and digital signals.

Quote Javan Green:


Due to the lower capacitance of the AES/EBU cable more detail is retained throughout the higher frequencies and the overall stereo impression.





Hmmm - if you are really hearing a difference it says more about the poor quality of the gear sending the signal rather than the quality of the cable. I've had one particular domestic recorder with a high output impedance give similar problems but any competently engineered piece of gear won't be affected by the capacitance of any sensible cable.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Javan Green



Joined: 04/04/13
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Loc: Nottingham
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Goddard]
      #1046104 - 01/05/13 12:12 PM
If I was really freakin' flush, and perhaps a little sillier, then I might opt for Monster cables


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Javan Green



Joined: 04/04/13
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Loc: Nottingham
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1046106 - 01/05/13 12:21 PM
You're quite right, the equipment I've got is by no means 'pro' standard but nonetheless these cables have helped to ensure that I get the very best out of them.

Plus you'll generally find that most consumers of music tech gear surprisingly overlook the quality of their cables so it doesn't take too high a spec of cable to trump what most people already have. One of the folks I sold a pair of these AES/EBU cables to had a pair of Sonodyne SM100s, but had only wired them in with a naff set of Adam Hall no-frill cables so was able to hear an immediate improvement.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1046112 - 01/05/13 12:52 PM
I'm glad I don't have his ears...

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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The Elf
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1046128 - 01/05/13 03:02 PM
Clinton Baptiste

He now sells digital hi-fi cable, I'm told...

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: The Elf]
      #1046133 - 01/05/13 03:35 PM
Hands up if you can't hear the difference...

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Javan Green



Joined: 04/04/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Nottingham
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046152 - 01/05/13 05:03 PM
It's nice to know that friendly advice just gets you shot down with mockery, I'll keep my lips sealed next time and just let the usual suspects do all the talking...

Perhaps I've sold them to myself a little too well and have convinced myself that I can hear a difference, but there are a good number of folk who stand by them (Bob Katz being one of them) so I'm still happy!



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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6891
Loc: northampton uk
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1046164 - 01/05/13 06:44 PM
Quote Javan Green:

It's nice to know that friendly advice just gets you shot down with mockery, I'll keep my lips sealed next time and just let the usual suspects do all the talking...

Perhaps I've sold them to myself a little too well and have convinced myself that I can hear a difference, but there are a good number of folk who stand by them (Bob Katz being one of them) so I'm still happy!






Good! Be happy, no one here wishes you otherwise. But you WILL get shot at here when you ignore (or cannot be bothered to learn?) the basic principles of constant voltage signal transfer.

Dave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1046171 - 01/05/13 07:48 PM
Quote Javan Green:

It's nice to know that friendly advice just gets you shot down with mockery




Mocked, maybe, but not shot down. This isn't a hifi forum. Many here are experienced and knowledgable engineers who understand the physics of electronics and interfacing.

There's nothing wrong with low capacitance cable for line level interconnects between analogue equipment. And it makes sense for many to use it routinely as it works for both analogue and digital connections -- I do myself a lot of the time.

But it is a fact that with properly designed equipment the difference in frequency and phase response between standard cable and low capacitance cable interconnects, while measurable, cannot be audible as the changes are way above the hearing range of humans.

Poorly designed equipment with high source impedances or poor rf screening might exhibit audible differences, but then you're hearing the equipment defects rather than the cable 'improvements'...

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1046173 - 01/05/13 08:02 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote Javan Green:

It's nice to know that friendly advice just gets you shot down with mockery




Mocked, maybe, but not shot down...




I'd rate the above as at least a mercy killing. :-)


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Javan Green]
      #1046323 - 02/05/13 05:51 PM
Quote Javan Green:

It's nice to know that friendly advice just gets you shot down with mockery, I'll keep my lips sealed next time and just let the usual suspects do all the talking...

Perhaps I've sold them to myself a little too well and have convinced myself that I can hear a difference, but there are a good number of folk who stand by them (Bob Katz being one of them) so I'm still happy!






I am happy to hear you can hear a difference. You have passed on your own experience and I appreciate that. One way for people to comment on your cable is to do what you did and compare them with the Adam Hall cables. You can measure with instruments or use your ears, I dont mind. I did notice that no one has offered to take/borrow/buy some of your cables and I am sure they will say why bother or something similar!!

It is important to help and correct people when they are factually wrong. It gets trickier when someone like yourself is experimenting, perhaps quoting from a website, and hearing a difference when I am sure you dont really mind why there is a difference just that there is a difference. People arent there hearing what you're hearing. Are you hearing what you think you are hearing? Probably and I am sure I could borrow to cables to check but I dont need or use that type so I won't.

Lots of other things will effect the sound of the cable; how well you have soldered, how good the join was before soldering, how clean your contacts are, the make up of the connector- metal wise eg silver or gold over what etc, dielectric, cable geometry, conductor purity etc etc. How much difference each of these make will depend on how far "off correct" they are and also how high resolution your system is. Which expands to getting suitable cable for your studio, spend in the right proportion, if you are spending £1000 per cable with £100 monitors- you get the picture? But running up a cable or two to experiment has a lot of benefits, you might find a cable you like more than others and you learn to solder. For those who say why bother thats up to you but if you mix in the box and only need to run up 2 cables for your monitors and its your time and hobby I say CRACK ON

(Dont forget Hugh gets his mains cables custom hand made, check an older thread about mains cables......tongue a little in my cheek.......)

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Trevor Johnson



Joined: 15/05/10
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046331 - 02/05/13 06:42 PM
Doug Self has written extensively about Science and Subjectivism over many decades - Science and Subjectivism in Audio

From memory, when he tested cables for connecting power amplifiers to passive speakers, (may have been a blinded comparison), in Wireless World or E&WW, he found that the best rated cables were RG58/U (50ohm), or, three core 13Amp mains cable, with two of the cables joined together.

Trev


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Trevor Johnson



Joined: 15/05/10
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Trevor Johnson]
      #1046342 - 02/05/13 07:59 PM
Sorry, I should have said 'compared cables', not 'tested cables'.

Trevor


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
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Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046344 - 02/05/13 08:23 PM
Long ago in a distant lan.. {oops sorry, got carried away} a company then called Radiospares used to sell 'instrument cable' that was quite thick, very flexible and remarkably cheap.

The sad news is that they eventually discovered it was being used for speaker cables and the price trebled overnight

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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DGL.



Joined: 28/10/11
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Folderol]
      #1046351 - 02/05/13 09:22 PM
Quote Folderol:

Long ago in a distant lan.. {oops sorry, got carried away} a company then called Radiospares used to sell 'instrument cable' that was quite thick, very flexible and remarkably cheap.

The sad news is that they eventually discovered it was being used for speaker cables and the price trebled overnight




Might actually have some of that stuff and might have used it for speakers. (grey shielded with string inside the cable).
School got a load of stuff off auction cheap from one of the local prisons, loads of cable, about 10 scopes, countless weller TCP's, variable PSU's, Chips, and every value (and type) of resistor and capacitor you could ever need!
Needed some cable for something and asked if I could have the reel (25m)
teacher kindly obliged and made some speaker cables with it (jacks also provided).
(Also managed to bag a Rapid variable psu and two weller tcp's!)


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Folderol]
      #1046355 - 02/05/13 09:38 PM
Quote Folderol:

Long ago in a distant lan.. {oops sorry, got carried away} a company then called Radiospares used to sell 'instrument cable' that was quite thick, very flexible and remarkably cheap.

The sad news is that they eventually discovered it was being used for speaker cables and the price trebled overnight




Their 56 strand was the first non bellwire proper cable I remember. That was before QED 79 strand (before Monster cable) and the terrible Monitor Audio Litz cable.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Javan Green



Joined: 04/04/13
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046552 - 04/05/13 11:31 AM
Thanks for being merciful folks, it's all one big learning curve!


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046560 - 04/05/13 12:27 PM
Quote fay spook:


Lots of other things will effect the sound of the cable; how well you have soldered, how good the join was before soldering, how clean your contacts are, the make up of the connector- metal wise eg silver or gold over what etc, dielectric, cable geometry, conductor purity etc etc. How much difference each of these make will depend on how far "off correct" they are and also how high resolution your system is. Which expands to getting suitable cable for your studio, spend in the right proportion, if you are spending £1000 per cable with £100 monitors- you get the picture?




Why not come right out and affirm that "good enough is good enough", particularly with digital connections?


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
Posts: 315
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1046648 - 04/05/13 10:06 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:


Why not come right out and affirm that "good enough is good enough", particularly with digital connections?




I think we needed quote that for our future Olympic stars.

The trouble is we all have a different definition of good enough. I really dont mind what cable people use, I like to remind people there is a choice and often a fairly inexpensive choice. You might have seen my suggestions elsewhere, it doesnt matter if you havent. I think it is good for people to try a range of options and considering demos (speakers in recent threads) are free it seems like a lost opportunity to try something off piste. Also I would hope we all like to see a broad spectrum of views here? I know I do.

If you are making the comment about digital cables in particular then you will get the 1s and 0s down almost any bits of wire so you could have reliability as your judge of good enough. But some people might want to get the best possible sound quality so for them "the best is good enough". Others might want the best value. The OP is asking about cable for critical listening so I struggle to see the harm in recommending £1.50/m cable over £1/m cable especially if its based on personal experience and only about 6m in total is required.

Where I work good enough is not the first option.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046652 - 04/05/13 10:55 PM
Quote fay spook:

Quote Exalted Wombat:


Why not come right out and affirm that "good enough is good enough", particularly with digital connections?




I think we needed quote that for our future Olympic stars.

The trouble is we all have a different definition of good enough. I really dont mind what cable people use, I like to remind people there is a choice and often a fairly inexpensive choice. You might have seen my suggestions elsewhere, it doesnt matter if you havent. I think it is good for people to try a range of options and considering demos (speakers in recent threads) are free it seems like a lost opportunity to try something off piste. Also I would hope we all like to see a broad spectrum of views here? I know I do.

If you are making the comment about digital cables in particular then you will get the 1s and 0s down almost any bits of wire so you could have reliability as your judge of good enough. But some people might want to get the best possible sound quality so for them "the best is good enough". Others might want the best value. The OP is asking about cable for critical listening so I struggle to see the harm in recommending £1.50/m cable over £1/m cable especially if its based on personal experience and only about 6m in total is required.

Where I work good enough is not the first option.




So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1046653 - 04/05/13 10:59 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:



So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?




Cleaner 1s as 0s don't exist.

--------------------
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http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1046654 - 04/05/13 11:01 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?




Perhaps "distinctly" matters more than "efficiently"?

(Because if efficiency improvement is requisite, then it's definitely liquid helium time!)


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046657 - 05/05/13 12:04 AM
I saw this coming........

My post says any bits of wire. Not digital cable. So do I have to answer your question still?

I made a few other points in this thread and by not questioning them I'm glad you agree with them. At least we share a lot of common ground.

Think of s/pdif and AES cables. Cable won't affect the digital signal so why were 2 standards developed? You only need the cheapest surely? Or can you explain why the 2 standards have developed?

If I could ask you a question, how many clients do you tell that the job you've done for them is good enough and not the best? Now do you see that the good enough expression is interesting.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/for-mash-get-ash


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fay spook



Joined: 09/09/09
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1046665 - 05/05/13 08:08 AM
Quote Exalted Wombat:




So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?




Having refreshed myself with a morning run I will try and answer your question.

It will be tricky. Have you listened to different digital cables, S/PDIF, AES, Toslink, USB or whatever? Did you hear a difference? If yes then can you explain how this has occurred?

If no, then it will be tricky for me to convince you otherwise. Could you be convinced that there are audible differences without being told how they have happened based only on listening tests? If I say all the things I mentioned earlier such as dielectric etc could be the cause I am sure you will answer how but as I dont have a test rig where does that leave me? if I suggest a more closely matched characteristic impedance to the devices either end, you will say how much more and I cant tell you because I dont have access to the equipment to test this outside my ears. it is very easy to hear "no difference" in listening tests and you can do this pretty quickly. if you are happy with this then please carry on. When I have used the best tools I have for the job I have heard differences.

--------------------
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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
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Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1046668 - 05/05/13 08:48 AM
Quote Richie Royale:

Quote Exalted Wombat:



So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?




Cleaner 1s as 0s don't exist.




What? I've just spent good money on a job lot of 0s off eBay. I thought the free postage was too good to be true.

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Onward and outward


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5869
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046674 - 05/05/13 09:52 AM
Quote fay spook:

Think of s/pdif and AES cables. Cable won't affect the digital signal so why were 2 standards developed? You only need the cheapest surely? Or can you explain why the 2 standards have developed?




Yes, there are two standards. Different connectors, different cable specifications, different subcode possibilities (though few devices take much notice of extended subcode data). But one isn't "better" than the other, when working within its design parameters. If the 1s and 0s get there, they get there. End of story.

After questioning a national newspaper for advising "40% of your budget on cables" I actually attended a demonstration at the premises of a hi-fi magazine. Trouble is, that's all it was - a demonstration. They had no interest in setting up blind, level-matched comparisons, we were just meant to listen to the expensive power cable, interconnect, speaker wire... and salivate. Most disappointing. The only difference any of us heard was between 40' of bell wire and 10' of adequate-gauge speaker cable. The second was a bit louder!

What we DID discover once in analytical-listening mode, were notable differences from small changes in speaker positioning or our own seating position. But that's another story.


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The Elf
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046676 - 05/05/13 10:00 AM
"Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid." Richard and Kahlan frowned even more. "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."

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An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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tacitus



Joined: 04/02/08
Posts: 964
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Btyreman2013]
      #1046686 - 05/05/13 11:40 AM
For me, the issue is the mechanical integrity of connector/cable/connector, not forgetting the equipment you plug 'em in to. I'm not hung up on exotic cables: as long as there's enough copper to carry the signal, and for mikes, enough screening to keep it quiet, I'm OK with that. But I do like to have cable you can tread on without them giving way and I do like connectors to last a good while before they fall apart. Most adapters, moulded cables and super-cheap anything s fail on the durability front. FOr a lead that sits behind your telly and isn't unplugged until you upgrade your TV, cheap is fine. On stage, it has to be strong enough, but let's face it, for live sound there's not a lot of point in having mega-expensive cables, even if you do sincerely believe they sound better, simply because everything else will conspire to make that difference inaudible. You do need them to stay in one piece, though. Beyond that, it's a case of not using longer cables if they're not designed for long runs. Even the best cable isn't going to work outside its design parameters.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 22131
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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1046695 - 05/05/13 02:36 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

So you're still convinced that the cheapest digital connection that transmits the 1s and 0s efficiently can be improved upon? How?




You risk shooting big holes in your feet with this kind of line. The 'digital connection' of which you speak is, in fact, transferring an analogue signal voltage ... In the case of transferring digits between one digital device and another, the cable isn't that critical, but in the case of a self-clocking digital interface (as most audio-related ones are) feeding a converter that relies on extracting that clock for the decoder, then the 'quality' of the cable can play a very significant role in the accuracy of the decoded output. (cable-induced jitter...)

The properties of cables are well understood, and properly designed and implemented interfaces ensure that expected cable issues are 'engineered out' of the equation. Without exception, if changing a cable causes a change in sound quality then only two possibilities exist. 1) the cable is substandard and below the minimum technical specification required for the connection, or 2) the interface electronics are badly designed and not performing adequately -- perhaps being susceptible to RF interference etc. This applies equally in both analogue and digital systems.

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046696 - 05/05/13 02:39 PM
Quote fay spook:

Or can you explain why the 2 standards have developed?




Yes.

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 22131
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: what cable is correct to use for critical listening/monitoring? new [Re: fay spook]
      #1046697 - 05/05/13 02:46 PM
Quote fay Spook:

Have you listened to different digital cables, S/PDIF, AES, Toslink, USB or whatever? Did you hear a difference? If yes then can you explain how this has occurred?




Yes. Cable-induced jitter causing degraded conversion. Impedance matching, dielectric, capacitance and all the rest will affect the amount of induced jitter, to which a poor receiver is very susceptible. But a properly engineered receiver is not...

And that's why all of my converters (bar one) are now SRC-based designs that employ a stable local clock -- different cables no longer cause audible differences because the interface is now properly engineered...

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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