I know that the source material will dictate the mic used and even, if we want to be pedantic, the pre, mixer et al.
Your world is a little more predictable than mine, then Can you really say you've never put up a mic or selcted a mic pre or compressor that you thought would be ideal, only to find it not quite to your liking and so have had to replace it with something brighter/darker/tighter or whatever? I know I have...
But that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about a cable that performs in certain situations in certain environments
Perhaps we should qualify this a little better. I personally, have found some inconsistency in using these cables for line level connections. However, most other users -- especially those using them for the more carefully defined mic to mic-pre interfaces -- seem to find them completely consistent. So while I remain a little confused about the whole thing, plenty of others find them a reliable and worthwhile improvement. Indeed, Dirk Brauner, who is no fool, believes in their beneficial properties to the extent that he is including them with his mics now... and that adds to his costs rather than improving his profits !
If we have no idea whether RFI or any ther 'anomaly' is directly related to the 'sound/presence' of the cable, then how do we know that using the exact same equipment, mic, pre etc., but in a different environment would yield identical results? That is my problem.
Mine too -- but we are both wearing our cynical engineering hats. And the difference between us is that I have actually heard a distinct difference that seemed to be beneficial when using this cable. So I'm approaching it from the, "I heard a difference and now I'm trying to explain it" while you are doing the entirely sceptical naysaying.
I agree that the apparent inconsistency I have experienced is frustrating and limits the practicality of the cables for some of us until its properties are better defined... but I am reasonably convinced that these cables can 'improve' the perceived sound quality in some situations, and we just need to define what those situations are, rather than poo-pooing the idea out of hand.
The other problem I have is that, for example, you love the 'sound' this cable produces, so you mainline your booth remotely to your control room with 10 metres of this cable, you plug the mic in during a paid session and absolutely nothing magical happens.
Does that really matter? Sometimes I'll put a mic up in front of a vocalist and something 'magical' happens when we record a take. Sometimes that magic simply isn't there. Does that mean I shouldn't have invested in my expensive mics that I know, sometimes -- in the right conditions -- can deliver magical results?
What do you tell the paying band?
'Sorry guys, wrong cable'. (dik looking syndrome)
'Sorry dudes, cable's magic's gone.' (bigger dik syndrome)
'Sorry peeps, hang in there while I change this cable. (total dik syndrome)
The degree of 'dikiness' is only what you perceive it to be. If you can get the results using wax string and paper cups, what does the band care? Most band members wouldn't know what you were changing anyway!
I am not entering a diss debate here, but unless the cable performs universally and identically every damn time with a certain setup, then I am not convinced of it's consistency.
I'll not argue with you -- maybe others who have had more consistent results will. I just think you are placing a little too much emphasis on this supposed sonic consistency. I don't think such a thing exists when we are talking about different musical sources.
The EQ or compression settings you used on a drum track yesterday won't be the same as those settings you use today. The position of a mic in front of a vocalist yesterday may well be different from the optimum position today....
I would love this cable to perform the same every single time, even on specific equipment, but if we do not know what influences it then how can we be certain that the environment itself is not a huge influence?
Sure... but on the other hand, unless we go into this with a completely open mind and try using the cable for ourselves, how will we learn which situations it works well in and those in which it makes little difference? Dissing the whole idea is hardly constructive.
As I've said repeatedly, I'm not trying to be evalgelistic about this. There are a number of issues about it with which I still have problems... but the fact remains that in what appeared to be well controlled and fairly exhaustive experiments, sonic benefits were clearly heard by myself and several other people, and many others have found similar results in completely independent trials and tests... None of us can fully explain it, but we all heard it! That makes me feel uncomfortable, but fascinated and determined to learn more.
before I go spending money on metres of this cable I would like a little insight into what the influences are.
But that's precisely what I'm trying to find out!