Cables ... no longer opinion


PS Audio has already did the research. The answers are available forevermore.
The testing is sound, and not flawed. Their test results find exactly the same results my cable manufacturer found and preached. Josh from Downsize Audio Cables also found two strips of foils, stacked on top of each other and secured together made the best sounding speaker cables. I've tried all kinds of hyper expensive cables to dethrone the Downsize Audio foils ... NOTHING comes close at any price.
      Downsize used a genuine teflon backed adhesive tape, double sided too, and custom rolled, extra thin foil of 6N purity. BUT he told me a person can get 90% of the same sound quality, using off the shelf inductor foils and standard thin packing tape. Try it and save tens of thousands of dollars.
https://www.psaudio.com/copper/article/the-sound-of-speaker-cables-an-analysis/
flaxxer
The only difference that speaker cables - (or any cable for that matter) can make is negative. Cables are not supposed to be filters for how your music sounds.

I’ve seen studio monitors hooked up with thinner speaker cable - the brand was Furutech. The sound was amazing.It looks just like any regular speaker cable...but I only trust this brand because of Japanese quality control.
Is there a website for Downsize cables? Because I couldn't find one.

ozzy
PS Audio- hilarious!

Look at it again- it clearly says
Max Townshend is the CEO of UK-based Townshend Audio, manufacturer of isolation devices, electronics and cables since 1975. The idea that different cables can sound different in an audio system has been a source of debate and controversy for a long time. Many audiophiles, and yes, manufacturers including Townshend, insist that different cables can make a difference in an audio system. Others dismiss this as marketing hype or snake oil. Here, Max Townshend describes an experiment for identifying differences between speaker cables.

Max Townshend. Not PS Audio! Also at the end it says,
"This article is printed with permission of Townshend Audio."  

This article by Max Townshend is very old, like ten years at least. Max himself posted the whole thing here last year. There's nothing in it about "Downsize" whatever that is. The way the OP tries to link them is deceptive and misleading.

The underlying technology is solid, which makes it a real shame the OP has to come along and sort of discredit it with this deception. The last time this was posted Max got nothing but grief from posers and wanna-bee engineers.  

As for me, I do not pretend to understand the engineering anywhere near well enough to know whether it works or not. My approach is always "the proof is in the pudding". I am working on getting some of these to find out for myself. Only way to know for sure.

Meantime, if the OP made an honest mistake, fine. Let us know. It sure sounds to me though like a deliberate attempt to go for a free ride on Max Townshend's coat tails.  

What say you, flaxxer?
@mastering92 ... ALL cables are filters. And all cables can be used to tailor sound to a system. In the 80s and 90s, high-end equipment was not so neutral. We depended on cables to bring them into neutrality. The Stacked foil cables are simply LESS of a filter. PS audio test results prove this. I I have played with all of the Furutech cable, Oyaide, etc .... they are all just simple plain cables. They follow 50 years of audio cables design. They have the same flaws other similar cables have. The PS audio article we'll also show you this. It's all about the geometry. Once again it is all about the geometry. No cable of any kind can sound extremely good with the wrong geometry. This is due to simple LC and R measurements. Stack foils I have the best LC and R measurements
If I ever have a need for speaker cables again I'll keep geometry in mind.
@millercarbon ... yes, I have an agenda against Max, LOL. I simply was trying to link the article PS audio provided. I was not trying to discredit Max for God's sakes. I own quite a bit of Townshend Audio products. I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm not trying to prove or discredit anything. I'm trying to show there is a test where this has been proven out. Regardless of who the original author is. Please do not try to make it out like I'm trying to start problems. I was trying to help. Anyone who doesn't subscribe to this chain of thoughts can go along listening to inferior sound as long as they want. I did for 33 years. I probably spent $300,000 cables over that time. At one time in the 90s oh, I had over $100,000 worth of Tara labs RSC cable. I had 12 ft quad wired full range speakers. This alone was $70,000. I wish I had that money back. I posted this hoping someone else may not have to spend that much money to find out what I did. Max , may you get all the glory and praise! I'm not looking for any! I'm just trying to post something helpful.
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@djones51 .... you can make a set of foil cables for under $50. I would definitely try it, if you're ever looking for different speakers cables.
Just for the record, Max Townshend is a hero to me. I used his seismic sinks in the early 90s with great results, under a Linn lp12. In my opinion, his speaker isolation platforms are the best product ever designed as an accessory. Accelerometers do not lie. The difference a speaker makes on one of these platforms is astounding! Anytime you can take the resonant frequency  of a vibrating loudspeaker, and take the vibrations to zero, you have changed the game for the better! Does anyone still believe I have anything against Max, or want to ride his coattails? I kind of doubt it, since I spent many thousands of dollars with his company. Some of you guys need something to do. The pandemic has definitely brought out your conspiracy theory mindset!

Hi Flaxxer, interesting post re the foil cables. It appears Downsize Cables have downsized to zero, there’s no active website or useful info that I can find out on the net. That being the case and my desire to read up on foil cables who is your cable supplier as you mentioned they were also advocates of the foil designs. Thanks in advance Paul
Post removed 
Downsized to zero. Good one. 

flaxxer, So we can chalk it all up to sloppy writing then ;) lol! excellent! Sorry, but you would not believe the number of people who do come along and, well nevermind it is clear now that is not you.    

When it comes to Max you are preaching to the choir here. With me anyway. Have only had Pods and Podiums a fairly short time but that is enough to be sure Max is the real deal.  

Max has posted his article before but the first I learned of it was when he posted it here fairly recently. Seemed clear enough to me but like I said we have all kinds and the kind we have the most of is armchair electronics engineers. We had one at one point, he was so advanced he had designed interstellar propulsion systems for starships. I know. But no. Seriously. Not making this up. Designs warp drives, teleportation devices. In his mind. Same as the ones who know more EE than Max Townshend.  

So anyway like I said Max's paper got me interested. But there is only so much a guy can do, and only so fast. Been going through a number of things the last few years. Most recently Pods and Podiums. Now working on getting some F1. Or Isolda. Would be nice to have both to compare. Working on it.

Right now I have Synergistic Research Element Copper Tungsten Silver, not stock either they started with Tesla and have been modified a lot. Way better now than stock. Way better. Just really good speaker cables. Supposedly F1 are even better still.

We will see. That is why I went off. Was already looking into this pretty good, and then along comes this which seemed at first to be another one messing around where he shouldn't. Good to know we are on the same page. Not a lot of us here have this stuff. Are you UK or US or??
@Paul and Ozzy. Josh closed Downsize, because he made the funds he needed to accomplish a financial goal. He also used to send out cables for testing. After losing a pair of very special silver/gold foil speaker cables to a well respected speaker builder/company. That brought his losses to almost $4000 in loaner cables that never came back. Lastly, he was getting so many orders, he could not get any sleep even. It was all more than he wanted. Josh still makes cables. But only on a referral type basis. Existing customers ... their friends ... and people who contact him with simple orders. No entire theater's wiring type sales. He enjoys doing it to help people. But not as a full time business.
     As far as his suppliers, I can  easily ask him. I know he bought the 97/3 silver gold from a European company that makes cables for anyone who pays them. He has a cousin that works there. Moved there after his service in the Air force was up, to marry and stayed there. He is a metallurgist by trade. He bought the Teflon adhesive tape from a US company that specializes in tapes only. He had round conductors pressed to foil by an American company too. I can find out the businesses I'm sure. I do know he used Wireworld connectors exclusively in the end. I remember him testing a Dingo boot box FULL of expensive RCA connectors on the same pair of interconnect cables for weeks and weeks. There were probably 60 or more pairs he was testing. I also remember the day I visited, to find he had made a pair of interconnect cables using only solder as conductors. He had them hanging in mid air between CD player and preamp, and preamp to amplifiers. No insulation at all, and Wireworld RCA connectors. I asked what in hell he was doing .... listening to different solders to see if one sounded better !! Crazy levels of experimentation of every small detail .... Cardas quad eutetic won, and is all he uses fyi.
I can put anyone in contact with Josh. But I don't think he wants public advertising anymore at all. He had a bad car accident, and was laid up for two years. He spent the entire time testing every facet of different cable designs and materials. His goal was to find out WHAT made cables sound differently from each other, and more importantly why. His main finding? Geometry. Cable geometry changes LCR more than anything else, according to his research.
No prob, millercarbon. I'm in California. In the 90s, I sold high end audio for years. Suits and ties.
We stocked Townshend products after a Rep tried to sell us on the newest snake oil ... until he left a seismic sink for us to play with. I threw it under the LP12 I kept in the store's front listening room. ALL the employees, and the owner stopped dead in their tracks when coming through the room. "What did you do to the big Vandetsteen system to make it sound so much better"? Was the question everyone inevitably asked, lol. We ordered a dozen of them for the store, and a dozen for inventory! So I've owned Max's products since 95 ish.

As far as my sloppy writing style ... did I mention I used to listen to music really loudly? LOL
Probably scrambled my memory of writing classes. Yes, we had those 45 years ago, lol.
My lord .... I just did a Google search on foil speaker cables. At one time, only Magnan made them while Downsize did. Now there are a slew of foil cables, including DIY websites. 
Word MUST have got out. I read a few articles and reviews .... almost all of the foil cables which are stacked tightly together, positive and negative runs that is, get rave reviews. Claims are more coherence, and clarity. With astonishing Dynamics, and almost perfect highs. This is the general sound advantages of foil cables. Beware though, all of them seem to use a heavy protective outer jacket. I remember Josh saying he ended up getting his tape made special, to keep it thinner than a human hair. This was one of the things that made downside cables better than the competitors. Josh believes in almost zero insulation, and came up with Brilliant Solutions for this build technique. He also used one of two connectors only. Zplug type hollow bananas, and Wireworld silver spades. He prefers Hollow bananas for everything. Claiming their low mass blows away WBT, Eichmann, and other low mass offerings in the industry. When I finally went with all downsize cables oh, I got rid of my nordost Valhalla cables throughout my whole system. I made a ton of money selling those used!
Good stuff. PM coming.
Ed Shilling of Hornshoppe Horns used copper foil ribbon speaker cables that he made for himself. Back when I had his speaker, I noticed them on a photo on his site and asked about them. He said they were better than any cable he tried and were cheap and easy to make. I never did take him up on his offer and maybe should have. That was about 25 years ago. (maybe even 30)

All the best,
Nonoise
Foils have been used by others as well such as goertz and audio magic and mapleshade and i agree they can sound amazing in the right system but i have also noticed that in some systems they can sound off putting they only seem to function with the best gear around them.
...welcome, my friends, to the debate that never ends.....
...we're so glad you subscribed, step inside, step in( and take a )side....

"Cable Wars, take 2,041...*clack* "sound of popcorn*
Nope. The science is solid as it gets. No opinions necessary either way. Just the science. Goertz is NOT foil. It is very thick conductors in loose sleeves. Not a good example. Goertz is what has caused a lot of system mis matches. 
@speakermaster, I agree. Goertz was not good in my systems. But Goertz is not foil either. I somewhat agree about foils working best with really good systems. But it’s not because they are difficult. They are so neutral they tell on upstream issues. And people mistakenly believe it is a bad match, or bad sounding cable. It will NOT hide any flaws or shortcomings.
Are you kidding?
Did you read?
Did you join the discussion when this was posted directly here about a year ago?
This is a manufacturer "white paper" - aka infomercial.
Is Downsize Audio Cables still in business?  They don't seem to have a website anymore?
Thanks for the post. I use thin UPOCC PTFE wire and it's excellent. The tape idea is welcomed and my next mini project.
Haven't heard Ed Schilling mentioned in a while. I used to follow his breadboard tube amp building years ago. Guy is a genius!
@itsjustme.... no, I am not kidding. It's just you, LOL. The measurements were real. Arguing against scientific measurements is fruitless.
There are people here so whack that if you say the sun rises in the east they will say you use tanning lotion therefore you lie. This is for them irrefutable logic, which if you argue makes you a shill. I wouldn't mind so much, as this kind of "thinking" means they wind up with exactly the crap level sound they deserve. But their ignorant comments may be misinterpreted by some innocent young audiophile who then winds up building their own crap system, and this perpetuates the audiophile crap cycle. 

Call out the crap. Break the cycle. Science is science, no matter the source. Attack the science if you must. That is after all the way it works. Attack the man though, only shows how pathetically little and weak your argument is. If you have nothing, itsjustme, move along please. 
"I had over $100,000 worth of Tara labs RSC cable......I wish I had that money back."

You should have asked first.
"Same as the ones who know more EE than Max Townshend."


...who is famous for electric engineering of.....seismic isolation podium.
I just wasted some time reading that PS Audio/Max T. link. Attempt at science, for sure, credible statements, surely not.

Any deviation from “flat” should be measurable and will most likely be audible as a tonal change in the audio signal.
No, most likely not. Do not assume.

"The experimental method has been described in detail, to enable researchers to repeat the tests in order to verify the conclusions."

Where has it been described? Not in the video link provided. At least not a comprehensive method.

"There is little doubt that speaker cables affect the sound of audio systems. Audiophiles have known this since the 1970s and there has been an ongoing debate ever since."


How come there is an ongoing debate when there is little doubt? Even "little doubt" is an exaggerated assumption.

"This analysis clearly describes the cause of audible differences between a range of cables, and the examples included demonstrate this effect."

If anything, it describes oscilloscope readings and not audible differences.

"This is analogous to the chaos in speaker cables where there is a mismatch between the cable and the speaker. This chaos is the main reason for the all-so-common brightness and hardness heard in audio systems."

Says who? Based on what? In whole test, nobody listened to anything.

It goes on and on with some marketing quasi-scientific mumbo-jumbo. It would not be accepted at the middle-school science fair.
Isn’t Tellurium using ribbons? Silversmith doesn’t stack their’s together but very very popular now.
Siltech used ribbon technology back in the early 90's with FT spc and FTM ic's.

G
Anticables are a reasonably priced option I've enjoyed for years.   I've bought more expensive but have always gone back Anticables.  Their power cords were the first game changer for me as to my opinion about cables in general. 
I know early Naim and some other British amps could get very tetchy with high cap cables, with dire warnings of incendiary consequences for the unwary.

Things now appear somewhat more sensible, but I still wonder whether moderate-longish runs of ribbons may prove problematic for some amps on the market. Can you identify any that you personally know that may potentially run into difficulties?


Humans vary tremendously in their ability to resolve musical details. It is not a bell shaped curve. No device can provide an absolutely accurate measure of what will work for all listeners. There is no single audio component solution, including cables, that will work for everyone. Learn something about the human auditory system and stop focusing on hardware that is distal to the PNS and CNS.
Humans vary tremendously in their ability to resolve musical details. It is not a bell shaped curve. No device can provide an absolutely accurate measure of what will work for all listeners. There is no single audio component solution, including cables, that will work for everyone. Learn something about the human auditory system and stop focusing on hardware that is distal to the PNS and CNS.
You are right....

My best and thanks...
Humans vary tremendously in their ability to resolve musical details. It is not a bell shaped curve.

Actually it is. But where any given individual happens to be on that curve is by no means cast in stone. Listening is a learned behavior, a skill, and skills can be improved. 
Learn something about the human auditory system and stop focusing on hardware that is distal to the PNS and CNS.

You know the problem with using techno-babble like "distal to the PNS and CNS"? Every once in a while you run into someone who actually knows the terms, and knowing this knows word salad when he sees it.
gerryah930,

"Humans vary tremendously in their ability to resolve musical details. It is not a bell shaped curve."

Why do you think it is not a bell-shaped curve? In particular after stating tremendous variation.
Maybe his cables are good. Maybe they are not. These are like the old Goertz cables, what from the 80's? Good idea, but watch the capacitance. Many a hobbyist has made these with double sided tape.

The article, which is by Max, not PS Audio. Frankly I am embarrassed for the author. I feel bad that he obviously spent so much time on a topic he does not understand in order to reach conclusions that are wrong. I assume his expertise is mechanical. I do like his platforms. Best to leave the electrical to those who understand it.
Don't be embarrassed for Max. He is a genius inventor and engineer, that designs other things like space propulsion systems for NASA. He knows more about technology than the entire forum's experience combined.
Don't knock him, just because his products DO work extremely, extremely well. He may have the single most researched and soundly engineered products offered to the hifi community. 
And you are dead wrong about foils and Goertz speaker cables being the same ... not at all.
Goertz conductors are the thickness of a penny! There is your biggest problem. The two conductors are loosely stacked inside a sheath of thick plastic. Meaning they shift and move around against each other.
Proper foils are NOTHING like Goertz, and will not have the same tendency to create amplifier oscillation. They sound NOTHING alike either. You should really have some first hand experience before posting false information.
flaxxer
Thank You for starting this thread. The best aspect of Cabling, in that, there is a budget for every Audiophile.
Happy Listening!
flaxxer,

Thank you seriously for the dose of humor. It is quite obvious that Max has forgotten a lot about engineering. Some would say, evident by his paper, that he has forgotten everything about electrical engineering. Given Max is from the UK, I expect he involvement with Nasa is non existent, but selling a screw to Nasa does not make you a rocket scientist. I would expect there are many on this forum, that have far more experience and knowledge than Max in many areas of audio, likely not limited to electrical engineering where his weakness is substantial.


The Goertz cables were based on the conductors from their Alpha Core inductors is my understanding and they are not a penny thick. If they were, that would be a benefit, though difficult to handle. They introduced the concept of low characteristic impedance cables 30 years before Max stumbled on this idea. Max even makes the same mistakes in his claims of impedance they do. In this case, two wrongs, do not make a right.

I found this on a website. It matches almost very closely the specifications I have found for the Townsend cables. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:

The configuration places the heavy, solid conductors only 0.003 inches apart. The cables are 0.4 or 0.8 inches wide, and only 0.04 inches thick. As thin as a penny.


I will assume you have no personal relationship with this company. There is no point getting riled up. I am not making up my statements. They are simple, but true.

See a picture of the Isolda cable at this link:  https://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/townshend-audio-isolda-edct-speaker-cable-speaker-cable
Simple wrap around one conductor, loosely in the sheath.  I will point out one item.  The wires on both ends are about 25mm apart. If the goal was an impedance matched cables, the two ends will cause a failure. A similar failure would occur inside the speaker, typically wired willy-nilly.  The result may be effective, the reason appears beyond Max's understanding.
😂😂 None so blind as will not see! 😂
Thanks for the link. I read the review. Did you???!😂

I choose to review equipment and listen to music with them because they are consistently more revealing of space within a recording and produce extraordinarily good stereo imaging, Take my word for it, you have not heard truly 3D holographic imaging if you are not using a cable with this geometry. But that’s not all, this is also the best cable for bass that I have ever encountered, it can produce genuinely bone crunching lows when connected to amps and speakers that are up to the job. It won’t make your compact stand mount shake the furniture but it will let you hear just how low any speaker will go in a superbly controlled and highly entertaining fashion. This applies whether it’s a kick drum, an organ or a synthesiser, often it’s the latter that deliver the lowest notes. If you enjoy electronic, orchestral or rock music the bottom end is crucial to the full visceral experience. I’d say it is crucial whatever the music, even chamber orchestras or folk bands need to have headroom in the bass if they are to sound real, if the acoustic character of the venue is to be reproduced.

This cable is not only about bass however, I wouldn’t have been using it to review amps and speakers for over ten years if that was the case. It is also extremely revealing in an even handed way, there does not appear to be an emphasis on a particular part of the audio band, which is what a lot of supposedly detailed cables do to give the impression of transparency. There are plenty of cables that emphasize leading edges to give a strong sense of pace and many others that have a prominent midband which brings out fine detail, but it’s always at the expense of other aspects of the sound. This is fine if you want to use cables as a tone control but less so if you want to hear all of the music. The character will eventually become audible and result in a preference for particular recordings or music types because others don’t sound so good. Then the tail is wagging the dog and you lose sight of what this pursuit should be all about.

Isolda EDCT is very revealing of detail, tone colour, timing and soundstaging, you can clearly hear what a change in hardware or software is doing to the sound whether it be lowering the noise floor, improving the dynamics or making you jump about with excitement. In many ways its surprising that so few cable companies opt for this geometry, one reason is that it’s not available off the reel from an industrial cable company, Townshend has to build Isolda from the ground up and that’s very rare. It’s also not as robust as conventional stranded cables, if you bend it too much or tread on folds it will eventually die. I did abuse one cable enough to do this once, the constant equipment change of reviewing and the fact that the cables crossed a walkway was the problem, I’ve since figured out how to protect them

If you find yourself going round in circles trying to find a speaker cable that’s perfect for your system this should knock that habit on the head. If you want a filter/tone control in the form of a cable this however is not for you. Townshend Audio Isolda EDCT will show you what your system is capable of doing to an extent that might well come as a surprise. The first thing that hits you is the sense of calm that is presumably brought about by the reduction in RFI, then when the music gets going bass extension and power make themselves known, eventually however it will become apparent that you are getting more music from the system and that is easily worth the asking price. Isolda EDCT is sold in terminated pairs, below are the current prices for common lengths but pretty well any length can be supplied. Controversially Townshend also claims that uneven pairs work as well as those of equal length which will represent a saving in most systems.

This is the cable you are talking about. Someone clearly has their engineering down. I know who my money's on.
That has the ribbons running side by side. That is missing the whole point of Townshend's design, which is to have the ribbon conductors extremely close together. Finding a thin enough tape, with desirable dielectric properties, and placing the ribbons the correct distance apart is the difference. All the difference, apparently, at least according to the people I talk to. Which btw, thanks for that, flaxxer
This video demonstrates it is the geometry. The ribbons that aren't close have the spike distortion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9HrYAyVItY
"He is a genius inventor and engineer..."

He may as well be, but he is surely lacking ability to show it in writing. Like in that article quoted in the original post. It is really embarassing to put one’s name under/above those statements and explanations. He is not lacking ability to pull people to believe everything he says.

"He knows more about technology than the entire forum’s experience combined."

That is not saying much. Aside of that, technology is a very broad term. Propulsion of spaceships may have very little to do with minutia of chocolate production, or speaker design.

"He may have the single most researched and soundly engineered products offered to the hifi community."

Who is researching them?