Interconnects Signal Path


What is the rationale for interconnect cable manufactures to indicate the �signal path� direction on their cables? What happens if the cables are installed in the opposite direction? Would that affect the sound quality, and if so, when the direction is corrected, how long would it take for the interconnects to �recover� from the improper installation and produce good sound?
kisawyer
There is not a direction to the sound as music is more of a push pull kind of thing.

The arrows usually indicate what side the independent shield is grounded to. The reasoning is that the shields should all end up at the same ground which in most cases would be your preamp.
All I can say is I have thought the very same questions but was afraid to ask. Whatever answer you get will likely be unsatifactory nonesense but let's see if a wire maker attempts an answer!
Manufacture?
Audioquest
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Just a few cable directionality threads from the Agon archives.

2001

2005

2013
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I've read where some makes ground at one end so direction is needed.

All the best,
Nonoise
Actually, music is not a push pull thing, not where interconnects are concerned. You know, what with DC and all. With my Analysis Plus interconnects, for example, the best sound is obtained when the cables are connected in the opposite direction from that recommended by Analysis Plus which is based on how the shield is attached.
There is not a direction to the sound as music is more of a push pull kind of thing.

The arrows usually indicate what side the independent shield is grounded to. The reasoning is that the shields should all end up at the same ground which in most cases would be your preamp.
04-11-13: Jjrenman

Is that the only reason?

If yes, from personal listening experience?

From what you have read on audio forums?

Are you a cable designer?
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I did not say that was the only reason. Just that, IME, it was usually an indication as to which side the separate shield wire was grounded to.

In my designs I have stayed away from a separate shield or drain.

Lastly I'd not be at all surprised if it does make a difference for some little known reason. If you have a favorite "directional" cable what is it, for I am always willing to try new things.
Jea48's suggested prior posts on this subject are a must read and answers my question. Thanks. Final analysis...listen to your ears.
Actually, music is not a push pull thing, not where interconnects are concerned. You know, what with DC and all.
04-12-13: Geoffkait
DC?

Deep!
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?fcabl&1274104190&openusid&zz
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I say you never know what makes a differnce so give it a try.

Even after reading all of the suggested threads I am sticking with my understanding that music is an A/C signal
which is a push than pull (both charge and current) event. I base the statement on many things but if the charge and current only traveled in one direction "D/C" than the woofers on your speakers would go to max excursion and stay there. Try tesing a raw driver with a battery which is D/C and you will see what I mean. Also if IC's have some D/C I'd like to know how it made it through the various coupling caps inside most electronics that are there on purpose to block the DC from getting to the next stage.

I do not dispute those who have a heard a difference when a wire sounds different in one direction or the other. It could have something to do with the grain of the wire. Maybe that's why there has been so much talk about OCC wire. Unless the wire is near absolute zero there is actually a lot of chaos going on in the wire as the electrons jump from ring to ring, it's my understanding that's where the heat comes from. I can imagine that in a drawn wire the chaos may be less in one direction than another, being effected by the aberations in the crystaline structure. Don't know. But I appreciate all the debate as it has opened up another area for me to pay attention to in the quest to get the most realistic music in my listening room.

Thanks, it's been enlightening.
Even after reading all of the suggested threads I am sticking with my understanding that music is an A/C signal

Yes it is. No disputing that.
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Jjrenman,

Here is a response from Charles Hansen to a question I asked him on wire directionality. Note he really didn't have a finite opinion on cable direction but note what he said about the proper orientation of axial-leaded plastic film capacitors in his Ayre audio equipment. Yes that ac signal........

Thought it might be of interest to you.

Quote from Link below.

Question:

Charles, in the manufacture of your Hi-End equipment do you pay any attention to the directionality of hook-up wire be it signal or power wiring? Disregarding any shielding of the wire, just the wire itself.....
Do you believe wire is directional?
Thanks,
Jim

RE: Ping, Charles Hansen
Posted by Charles Hansen (M) on January 16, 2010 at 17:26:35
In Reply to: Ping, Charles Hansen posted by jea48 on January 16, 2010 at 15:32:09:

Every time that I have decided a priori that something can't *possibly* have any effect, I have always been proven wrong by listening tests at a later date. So I end up deliberately not listening to some things because I'm not sure if I want to know the answer...

I have never listened for wire directionality. I have talked with enough people I trust to believe that it is real. Some of them think that it is part of the wire itself and is created as the wire is drawn to smaller gauges through the dies. Others think that it acquires its directionality by being played in the system.

I don't really know. I'm not sure that I want to know. We don't really want to get into some strange position of trying to make products that aren't really manufacturable or would end up costing twice as much to make as they do now.

~~~~~~~~~~

Please note that this is a completely different topic than RCA interconnect cables that are directional due to the way they are manufactured. In the old days everyone just used coax and one end was the same as the other. Now most companies use a twin-ax conductor that is the same that they use for a balanced XLR cable. Then there are *two* grounds. One is the shield and one is the internal ground wire right next to the hot wire.

Typically the internal ground wire is connected at both ends, but the shield is only connected at one end. Reversing the direction of these cables will determine to which component the shield is connected and will certainly make an audible (and possibly measurable) difference.

~~~~~~~~~

Finally, it should be noted that we *do* orient all of our axial-leaded plastic film capacitors. When the capacitor is wound, one of the leads will be connected to the outside conductor and the other lead will be connected to the inside conductor. Orienting the capacitor in the circuit properly makes a difference in the sound quality.

It took us a while to figure out how, but we built a machine that allows us to tell which end of the capacitor is which. It is a pain, but we sort every single capacitor and mark it for the correct orientation at each point in the circuit. If we had to *listen* to every capacitor to determine the correct polarity, I don't think anybody could afford to buy our products...

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/general/messages/55/558658.html
One pattern I am beginning to notice in this whole episode of wondering why after the 500 hour burn in of the Morrow cables, the sound varies from one listening session to the next. On four occasions now, the sound starts out not sounding very good, but almost exactly at 2 1/2 hours of continuous listening, the sound stage suddenly "blooms" and I hear what I have identified as the beauty of the Morrow interconnects. When it happens, it gets my attention. To confirm this and to convince myself that it's not my imagination, I will monitor this for another week. Any thoughts?
On four occasions now, the sound starts out not sounding very good, but almost exactly at 2 1/2 hours of continuous listening, the sound stage suddenly "blooms" and I hear what I have identified as the beauty of the Morrow interconnects. When it happens, it gets my attention.
04-14-13: Kisawyer
Kisawyer,

JMO, the differences you are hearing 2 1/2 hrs later after you turn on your equipment is not due to the ICs but rather because of your equipment and speakers.

LOL, how do you sound and feel when you first wake up in the morning?

I am not familiar with your KLH speaker but they look like Planners. I owned a pair of Maggies many years ago, loved the speakers, but it took at least an hour for those speakers to stretch and wake up from a cold start. Sounded even better after a couple of hrs.

Tube equipment takes a while to warm up and reach its optimal listening potential as well.
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I believe I have identified the problem. In various readings of posts on Audiogon regarding interconnects, someone mentioned that the equipment or speakers need time to warm up. I had noticed a pattern in the past few weeks that the sound was not good when I began listening, but improved after about 2 1/2 hours of continuous listening. Jea48 pointed out that it takes planar speakers (also electrostatics)? time to "stretch" and tubes to warm up. So today I turned on the system and played music. At first, it did not sound very good, so I left it on for over three hours playing various musical selections. When I sat down to listen three-four hours later...WOW. The Morrow sound I had briefly heard had returned. So my belief is that I simply have to let the tubes and speaker "warm up."
I never experienced this before and I believe it took the Morrows to bring this to light. I now do not think that the Morrow interconnects were the problem, but the components and speakers needing time to "stretch and wake up" as pointed out by Jea48.
As far as van del hul cables are concerned the "directionality" indicates at which end the screen is attached to the phono connector

This only applies to their interconnects with two internal conductors + a shield like their D102 mk III

This type of interconnect is "effective" only if the source component is grounded. The connector that has the shield connected to it should be connected to the source component

The theory is that any rf induced into the shield is diverted to ground at the source and never being transferred to the next component in the audio chain.

I have used this particular architecture and found it very effective

As far as the other "directional" cables are concerned - I have tried an Audioquest cable which had the arrows but only used a coax cable architecture and did not witness any difference in audio quality regardless of the direction they were connected.

Having said that, I do not dispute the claims others have witnessed

Try them and see what you think :-)