The site looked interesting and the speakers are beautiful. I read eagerly, hoping for some revelation in audio cables for my ESL's. The disappointment came when I read the part where they said that all good interconnect cables sound the same. That was my first clue that they did not know what they were talking about.
To make matters worse, they suggested that to prove their cable theory, just purchase a Radio Shack "Y" adaptor and use it to connect two different brands of interconnects to your preamp and then switch between them in an AB test, preferably with a remote control. Sorry, but they completely lost me on that one.
Sfrounds, this is not meant to come down on you, I disagree with the engineers at the site, not your enthusiasm about the well designed site and the information posted there.
Albert...did you try to hear a difference between "well designed" interconnects?...I think Roger is saying that all well designed interconnects should sound the same...I personally tend to agree with him...I have in my system Tara Labs Master Gen.II and when I replaced them with van den Hull cables or Acoustic Zen I didn't hear any difference...maybe Roger is right...maybe not...
Now, the website is great...I own pre, amp, speakers and speaker cables from InnerSound and the system is at its best!
Below excerpt is from this link. It has a scientific explanation on how cables can benefit in some speaker designs, in this case the Quad ESL.
"From a reader, I get dissent ...
I take issue with the statement that cables with a low (8 ohm) characteristic impedance offer no benefit they do. While it is true that twin cables, figure eight, are adequate for nominal 8 ohm loads over short distances there are a number of popular loudspeakers that are anything but nominal at high frequencies.
Two I have had dealings with are the AR11 and the Quad ESL (old model). Both of these drop below 2 ohms in the treble frequencies. The AR bottoming out at 5kHz and the Quad at 18Khz. The dips are fairly sharp and so the load impedance is highly capacitive on the way down and inductive on the way up. The frequencies are high enough to not worry good amplifiers but what about the response at these dip frequencies?
Twin wire cables all have significant inductance which increases in proportion to length. Their characteristic impedance is somewhere around 100 ohms. This means that response will only be flat over longer distances if the speaker is that impedance too a bit unlikely. I am not concerned with standing wave issues, they are not relevant.
With 10 amp rated twin flex over only 5 metres the response was down by 2.5 dB into one Quad ESL at 18 Khz, and 3.5 dB into the other speaker which had 8 metres. This was audible and unacceptable.
The only way to reduce cable linear inductance is to make the two wires talk to each other. Running in close parallel is a start, tight twisting is better but only by using multiple wires for each and interweaving can you really get the inductance down. Several cable makers have done this and sell them as low impedance cables, which is exactly what they are. The one I used was called Brand X, I know there are others.
Brand X uses two goups of 72 strands of enamelled wire plaited around a solid plastic core. The wires are coloured green and copper. It is a real chore to terminate needing a gutsy soldering iron to burn off the enamel.
Using Brand X the droop at either 5 or 18 kHz disappeared and the sound was distinctly better. There would be virtually no other way to solve the problem short of mono amplifiers sited next to each loudspeaker.
I am aware of only one drawback if you own certain amplifiers that are unstable with capacitive loads. The cable has about 9nF per metre of capacitance with little resistance or inductance which causes these amps to go into parasitic oscillation. The fix is simple, wind twelve turns of wire around a pen and put it in series with the beginning of the cable problem over. This tiny coil has far less inductance than even one metre of twin flex.
Author: It goes without saying that "Brand X" is not actually the name of these cables, but I am not about to give free advertising. This description of the possible issues with speaker cables is the first I have seen that makes some sense from a technical perspective, hence its inclusion. Although I have not measured the linear inductance of standard twin flex, there is sufficient evidence from many writers that there are indeed some detectable (and measurable) differences. With this in mind, and wanting to provide all the information I can, I have included this update. If you own speakers that present a highly capacitive load, or have deep "notches" in the impedance curve, I would take this information seriously.
"Author:" is not me; I wrote the first three lines and I just made that distinction so you would know when the reader writing-in stopped and the author began writing. Its a good article, even though others who "read" it on another thread got upset with what he said.
Albert, The information that I thought would be helpful and interesting, was about the differences or suggested characteristics that speaker cables should have when driving ESL's. I thought this may be interesting or helpful to others as well. My post also said you may be interested in what they had to say about interconnects, I did not mention that I was in agreement with anything! But come on now, admit it, it was interesting! maybe not what we want to hear but certainly interesting.
Their comments on speaker cables for ESL's to me, sounds credible. I have been searching for an answer to that exact question for several months. To date, I have received views from members of Audiogon, read cable testing reports, have spoken to ESL manufacturers, and several cable manufacturers, and dealers. Not anyone had given me an accurate understanding of the differences until I stumbled into the Innersound web site.
I do not own any of Innersound's equipment. I do feel however that if they are manufacturers of ESL's, and amps designed specifically to drive ESL's, and cables as well, then they must be doing their homework.
There is alot of controversey about interconnects and cables. My feelings are, that even if I didn't agree with one opinion by someone, that shouldn't mean that I should discount everything they believe or have an opinion on.
As far as their statement about interconnects, I dont know if their opinions are true or not. I have not yet prooved to myself whether there are actually differences in high quality interconnects or not. I just plain - don't know!! (does anyone know for absolute fact) I do know this however, I have a system i'm not all that happy with, which includes some ESL's. A friend of a friend was kind enough to dismantle his system cables (speaker & interconnects)and come to my house to help me.
We took his high dollar reference MIT interconnects and my $69.00 IXOS interconnects, put them to common outputs of my cd player and two separate inputs of my preamp. We played several songs, switching with my remote between preamp inputs, which transfers in less than a nano second (practically switched on the same note) and the both of us concluded that there was no question, they sounded absolutely identical!! On the other hand, we took a typical 99 cent interconnect and compared it also. They were so different that it was kind of comical. Hell at this time, we needed to laugh and smile anyway.
Albert, I was just trying to be helpful to anyone who was seeking the same type of information. It was truly a sincere post. I didn't mean to offend or upset anyone in any way. My apologies, and thanks for ending your post by leaving me with some dignity.
Sfrounds. Agree with you on most points, except that in my system there is absolutely no problem in hearing the difference between high end interconnects. I can put Audioquest, Cardas and Purist in my system between the turntable and phono stage, or between the phono stage and preamp and hear distinct differences.
That being said, an engineer that claims there is no difference in interconnects, leads me to believe he has not pushed the performance of the system he designs with. I would hope that every high end manufacturer would have a system at least as good as the posters at Audiogon.
As far as your comments about the information being useful as applied to electrostatics, I agree. There are different requirements for electrostatic speakers, and the choices in interconnect, speaker wire, and the power cable to the speakers all matter a great deal.
Thanks for sharing the site address, I will look for these people at the next CES, it will be interesting to see how their speakers perform.
I suggest that if you connect two interconnects at the same time to the CD output, it should not be a surprise if they sound similar when switching between them at the preamp. You just need to think about the circuit you have created. Secondly, short term switching has never convinced me of anything. I am with Albert.
Innersound's thoughts on speaker cable are indeed interesting, but like Albert, I reckon the credibility has been dented.
Ultimately, the proof is in the product and the Innersound speaker is an excellent product. The fact that their thoughts on cabling may be outside of the standard audiophile orthodoxy does not detract from the magnitude of their success in speaker production. As with nearly all manufacturers of high quality audio equipment, they have well defined recommendations on how to maximize the performance of their products. As audiophiles we are under no obligation to follow the manufacturers guidelines.
If you get a chance, I strongly recommend you give the Innersound ESL a listen.
I write/talk with Roger fairly often, we own a pair of EROS and a pair of ISIS and have a new center channel for the HT on the way.
He is a speaker genius, in my opinion and I have learned a lot about the design of his speakers, especially about transmission lines.
I found out in one of the first conversations with him, that he is of the EE "camp" that cables are cables.
I personally don't hold that belief, but I know him to be really serious about great sound.
So....I am a little dumbfounded by it. I am tempted to buy a set of cables for our surround speakers in the HT and compare them to the Goertz MI2's we are using now and really like.
...and hey, Albert, I seem to remember from an older post that your system is worth more than California's energy debt!
I would hope that you could tell significant differences by say....even dusting! :-)
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