Apart from the possibility that the naysayer's systems are not revealing enough or set up poorly, the reason folks do not hear the differences is likely that they have not learned how to listen for sonic nuances as you apparently have. There really is a learning curve which takes some dedication to master.
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DAC sonics can sometimes be particularly susceptible to ground loop effects, which in turn can be dependent on both the designs of the components that are being connected and the characteristics of the interconnecting cables.
An interesting experiment, should you be so inclined, might be to put the power cord of the preamp on a cheater plug (a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter), with the safety ground left unconnected. That would eliminate any possible ground loop effects between the DAC and the preamp (and also between the preamp and the power amp). Then see if the change in interconnect cables still makes a difference, or as much of a difference.
I’m assuming, of course, that the preamp has a 3-prong power plug; if not then never mind. Although if it has a 2-prong plug, and the plug is non-polarized (i.e., if the two prongs have identical width), reversing the orientation with which it is plugged into the outlet may also be a worthwhile experiment.
Now take all that, and imagine what happens when you change the fundamental ’in situ’ physics of electron transfer and flow, with the introduction of a new carrier, like liquid metal alloy.
Where the changes are enormous and in the exact level and way that ’electrons’ in flow...function. At the atomic bonding level of the molecules and atoms, where the electrons are being dealt with in the model and in the reality.
Solids have a lattice structure and a pattern of electron interaction due to such. Electron interaction is entirely different -- in the fluid. energetically it is entirely different. Every parameter you can imagine goes dynamic, even kinetic is added in, all kinds of non repeating directions..all so different and complex, that the experimental model does not yet function in any easily calculable way.
When you add in that the current model of transmission lines and solid lattice of metals... is known to seemingly not correlate very well with what we hear, well...
I said it was the biggest change in transmission lines in 100 years. The patent attorney corrected me. He said 150 years.
I don’t always deny there’s a difference, but I often deny the difference is worth the cost. :)
Instead of swapping out tens of thousands of dollars in gear, room acoustics and tone controls are much more cost effective options. :)
Also, maybe make your own loudspeakers once in your hobby life. You'll learn a great deal and it will probably transform your ideas about where to spend your time and money.
The interconnects were certainly worth the cost to me.
Tone controls would most certainly NOT have made a radical difference in the sound. The parameters were well beyond the capabilities of tone controls.
The wonderful improvement in sound achieved was obtained at a fraction of the cost of new speakers, whether self-made or bought.
erik_squires"I don’t always deny there’s a difference, but I often deny the difference is worth the cost. :)"
The use of a smiley here is apparently intended to suggest that your comment is amusing, entertaining or light hearted in some way when it really just doesn't make any sense at all you can not decide for another individual person whether some upgrade is or is not worth the expense that is a subjective opinion and you can only reliably and meaningfully make that determination for yourself and even under that circumstance the opinion is only relevant at the time that you make it and may change as your Music Reproduction System and even circumstances change.
Those who use punctuation are taken more seriously by me. Especially if you are discounting my argument.
you can not decide for another individual person whether some upgrade is or is not worth the expense
I think it's clear from the context I'm speaking for myself and that I am not speaking in absolutes. The way my sentence is structured leaves plenty of room for personal values and my post was mostly about answering the OP's point:
I can’t understand how any audiophile with ears can deny the differences.
And my point is, there's a difference between whether cables sound different and whether that sound difference is worth the money being asked. So to rephrase it, even if I hear a difference it may not be worth the asking price.
I think this is an important thing for audiophiles to consider, no?
When cables "sound" different it's because they are doing something to the signal. They are altering the signal to give you the perceived illusion of a wider soundstage. They don't "get out of the way of the music" as so many audiophiles claim. This is BS.
Yes cables sound different because they are manipulating the signal and providing their own sonic signature.
A different way of saying the same thing, Devilboy, is that some cables alter the sound in such a way as to make the bass less clear, the timing less precise so that the soundstage isn't as wide, and affect the sound in other ways. Using words such as "BS," "illusion" and putting "sound" in quotes makes your statement rather confrontational and perhaps makes it seem like you're trying to make a point you may not be trying to make.
What you actually said was that cables affect the sound of the system in different ways, and a change in interconnects can have a profound impact on the whole system. The three pairs of interconnects I'm experimenting with on my system do, in fact, sound radically different. I haven't really found a combination that I prefer, yet. I believe I need to put another test cable into the mix before I determine what I like the most. And maybe another amplifier before I'm done.
IMO it comers down to a few things. I have not had a cable "transform" the sound in my system. I do hear differences and have preferences though. But in my reality, the equipment I use typically has a dedicated overbuilt power supply so I think that is a factor in what I hear. My equipment is where I get my sound from and the cables just add a slight flavor to the system. I also can change the sound of my system through my preamp that has 5 difference sets of output resistors so I can change the sound if the recordings are that different so cables make a little less of a difference and by using the resistors I also am able to customize the sound so I don't need different cables for different recordings. That being said, the only cable I use of any value is a digital cable and although it makes my system sound better, I have also used a cheap interconnect for a digital cable that also sounds really good and if it wasn't for a friend lending me the cable. I would not feel that the sound of my system is missing anything. All my power cords are heavy gauge molded ended power cords and I use any interconnects that I have laying around.
No, what @devilboy is saying is that a *cable* (not a signal modification device) transmits the signal from point A to point B without any modification or attenuation. Cables that *sound* a particular way - irrespective of what the particular sound is - are doing more than conducting an unaltered signal from Point A to Point B. This is a simple truism since Cable A cannot, based on physics, sound different (much less "vastly" different) than Cable B unless one, or both, are significantly altering the signal. Altering the signal is a **fault**, not a feature, in a cable. Now if you want to use cabling to alter the presentation, have at it, but realize that they are, intentionally, designed to be tone controls. Nothing wrong with that (well, except for marketing hype) if that's what floats your boat.
I have superb interconnects: 3 separate runs of plutonium tubes filled with cryogenically treated snake oil unshielded of course so I can see the radioactive glow in the dark. They sound out of this world.
Interconnects and speaker cables make a difference. The latter less so, but still, could make the difference in system building. Power cables can make a difference, but this depends on the gear (power supply design of said gear).
One would do very well to pony up a bit and try ANY of the Zenwave Audio line of cables. They are absolutely incredible and the D4 might just be the best interconnect on this planet. What Dave is offering for the money, is understated and goes against the norm for cable cost/performance.
I can't be sure if half of those responding are being sarcastic, but I can tell you this: If what you're saying is true, then my EE degree was a waste!!!! But hey, if you believe it, that's all that matters, after all every thing around us is nothing but electromagnetic waves that our perception turns into matter- including the pressurized air particles that you perceive as sound.
Components do not have $2,000 cabling inside. Adding a $2,000 piece of wire between components is obviously altering the signal in a way which gives the perception of more air, wider soundstage, etc. Some cables do so in different ways from other cables.
We have to use some common sense here.
kzh, Your degree is not a complete waste. You can probably make an ok living with it. In fact you may be able to afford a pair of silver wire interconnects to compare to copper ones, then come back here & let us know if you hear any difference. Or you can just tell us lowly non EE's how mistaken we are.
elizibeth, As far as audio goes, human males mostly.
I believe the Transparent MusicLink interconnect cables incorporate a "network" of some sort, for which no technical definition has ever been made available, as far as I am aware. But I would certainly not find it surprising that changing a networked cable to a non-networked cable (or vice versa) would have dramatic consequences in many systems, for many listeners.
To everyone who claims that a cable is just a cable, then tell us which one, exactly, is the perfect, low cost, supremely performing cable that needn’t be improved.
Also, since all amp outputs are different and all speaker inputs are different, then how can that one perfect, low cost cable perform the same with all the infinite combinations of amps and speakers? Or between preamps, amps and sources?
Do you also believe in unicorns?
All the best,
Yes geoffkait, silly me for suggesting common sense.
For over 20 years I've been buying and selling equipment. Building Systems over, and over, and over. The lunacy of the high-end supported by the claims on forums like this, is what finally made me get out. I have the main system for background music and I'm totally fine with that. In the last year I've switched to headphones (Focal Clear), and I could not be happier. Yes, the headphone forums spit out the same rhetoric but I pay them no mind. I've stopped critiquing and started enjoying and I wish I did it 20 years ago. It would've saved me a s***ton of time, money and headache.
Yes geoffkait, silly me for suggesting common sense.
For over 20 years I’ve been buying and selling equipment. Building Systems over, and over, and over. The lunacy of the high-end supported by the claims on forums like this, is what finally made me get out. I have the main system for background music and I’m totally fine with that. In the last year I’ve switched to headphones (Focal Clear), and I could not be happier. Yes, the headphone forums spit out the same rhetoric but I pay them no mind. I’ve stopped critiquing and started enjoying and I wish I did it 20 years ago. It would’ve saved me a s***ton of time, money and headache.
>>>>You’ll pardon me for saying so but that reminds me of the expression that defines insanity, doing something over and over again and getting the same results. Perhaps if you’d paid attention to the “lunatic fringe” you might have had better luck and not have been quite so frustrated. 😀 I’m a big headphone fan, myself. Naked Grados.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter if it’s $2,000 or $200. I was just using a number to make a point.
According to Nelson Pass, when the given wire piece is less than approx 6", it tends to have little to no noticeable effect.
In this, he was talking about internal wiring of gear.
>>>>Interesting. Can one assume he was also talking about the wire in a fuse or was that exempt? 😀