Directional cables - what does that really mean?


Some (most) cables do sound differently depending on which end is connected to which component. It is asserted that the conductor grain orientation is determining the preferential current flow. That might well be, but in most (all) cases the audio signal is AC (electrons going back and forth in the cable), without a DC component to justify a directional flow. Wouldn't that mean that in the 1st order, a phase change should give the same effect as a cable flip?

I'm curious whether there is a different view on this that I have not considered yet.
cbozdog
mitch2
Wire is cast and then drawn through a die, which creates a pattern in the grain structure and a non-symmetrical pattern at the surface of the wire, affecting high frequencies and causing the sound to be comparatively flat and grainy in one direction and more relaxed and natural sounding in the other.....so they say

>>>>>>That all might be true. But it doesn’t explain how the signal is changed by differences in the surface pattern. Or how that change to the signal translates to differences in sound heard by the listener. For example, very slight differences in resistance would not entirely explain the relatively large differences in sound, as I and others have pointed out. Your explanation also fails to explain why low audio frequencies are also better when the wire is in the proper direction.
You think a lot Geoffkait, but it is very interesting and I think true....The human apparatus it seems is also the key to anything in perceived phenomena, not only  electricity "per se"  and other materials factors that are necessary but not sufficient...

mahgister
You think a lot Geoffkait, but it is very interesting and I think true....The human apparatus it seems is also the key to anything in perceived phenomena, not only electricity "per se" and other materials factors that are necessary but not sufficient...

>>>>I would like to keep the two categories separate.

One category is for tweaks that operate by standard physics, which includes those affecting the electrical or audio signal anywhere in the system, acoustic waves in the room, vibration, RFI/EMI, even quantum mechanics devices like WA Quantum Chips I include here.

The second category I reserve for everything that affects the sound indirectly, usually by affecting the subconscious one way or the other. And by affecting our sensory perception of sound. When I use the term sensory perception of sound I equate that to hearing. There is no difference. This category includes most PWB Electronics products like Silver Rainbow Foil, the Red X Pen, Morphic Message Foils, etc. I also put in this category the Photos in the Freezer Tweak, my Clever Little Clock, my Teleportation Tweak, and the Black Cable Tie Tweak for Drain Pipes.

While some folks have insisted these tweaks in the second category MUST work by some known, conventional method, I assure you, gentle readers, they don’t. By the same token, and ironically, a lot of folks like to claim the tweaks in the first category, the relatively conventional tweaks, operate by psychology such as placebo effect or expectation bias. 
I understand why you want to keep these categories separate, it is not only legitimate but necessary to an analysis...

What about the type of dielectric, insulating material, used to cover the wire?
What happens to the sound of an audio system if cables that have been installed in an audio system for 100s, 1000s, of hours are flipped end for end?

With cheap cables that use stranded conductors and PVC insulation there’s a good chance you will not hear any differences. But how about good quality audio grade cables that use better dielectric insulating materials?

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