If I had Brad's bucks,I'd get gold/then silver so I could switch back and forth.
31 responses Add your response
look, i've admitted, reluctantly, to being one of the "guys," so i don't appreciate being picked on. yeah, yeah, "the mexican" ain't gonna win any of your major awards but i still got paid plenty. good thing. i use 40 ft. triple runs of 8 ga. pure platinum, ironstone coated. doesn't scratch like teflon.
Silver if your components are laid back, polite, soft and you want a seat in row "D". Copper if you want a a fuller richer sound from leaner solid state or bright-lean tubes(some KT88 amps). Copper has more weight in the bass, fuller midrange and slightly slower pitchin general. Also puts in row "M". Silver is faster, tighter-leaner bass, can tip up in the upper midrange and lean out the voices too much. These are gross generalizations, and some copper designs can sound a lot like silver in the bass and in speed of pitch. Listen to mellow copper like MIT, Monster, neutral copper like Cardas(one of my favorites) and various silver designs. The one that makes your foot tap on a wide range of music is the one. Perhaps Brad will tap a little too. The bottom line is there are a lot of good designs in both copper and silver. Listen before you buy... Jeff
ALL CABLES AND AMPS SOUND THE SAME DEKAY!!!! Well as long as you don't turn them on they do....Or mabe they sound the same when dropped from 5 feet? No wait if it is a flat cable the thud wouldn't have as much weight would it? I do find that if I swing my Transparent cable wildly above my head it does sound a lot like zip cord though. ( of course hold on the the networked end. )
So, now there's a qualifier in "adequate size", huh? Next thing it'll be copper, single-stranded, shielded cables with spade connectors of "adequate size". Sarcasm aside, Steve has actually begun to answer his own question.
There's more to some cables than just a length of wire and some connectors. The design and materials used, including gauge, quality and combination, all matter. Known issues like skin effect also have to be considered. Differences in equipment insert variances like impedence which also make a difference. Let's throw in quality of workmanship just to confuse things a little more, too. I'm also not convinced that "science" has it all figured out, either; new things are being discovered much to often to fall into that trap. All of these know and unknown variables contribute to the end product and how it performs, and not just with cables. Some exhibit minor differences, some more pronounced changes. Ultimately, it's a summ of the whole, not just one specific thing.
Depending on one's combination of system and desires zip cord *may* actually be adequate. So, while it would seem silly to spend $2,000 on cables for a $1,000 system, it's even more silly to buy a $20,000 system and only spend $50 on cables IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS BETTER.
To use an auto analogy, a Yugo will get you from Point A to Point B. A Mercedes Benz does the same thing, just differently. The question one has to ask themself is at what point does a better car become overkill? Same thing applies to cables.
Finding what works best requires experimentation. Because personal taste and system synergy are such key elements in this matching the truth is in the hearing. This is one case where meters lie because they can't measure what my brain hears. so, if zip cord works, use it. I personally found it to be too limiting in my system (a fact that was verified by to other's) and opted for something better.
Stevemj- There are many theories put forth by manufacturers, though few have adequate analysis to convince someone such as yourself (I've seen a couple of your posts). In the end, it's only relevant to YOU as to which magazine or accepted scientific proof meets your needs. If you don't hear a difference in cables and you have no desire to improve the sound of your system, be happy. Otherwise, spend many years in high-end like mosty of us on this forum, listening with all kinds of cables from pennies/ft to many $100s/ft, and then you'll have some basis of experience. As it stands now, you neither have scientific proof nor offered extensive personal experience that different, adequately sized, cables sound identical. Without either, your responses on this topic can't be taken seriously (if they were actually meant to be). Just my .02
After doing countless tests on hundreds of different cables(with both test epuipment and the best meter of all, my ears) I would beg to differ that cables make no difference. Common sence would tell you that the guage of wire and the material it is made (as well as hundreds of others) of would effect the sound. You can't argue with the laws of physics.
What's up Stevemj? This is at least the second post I've come across where you're cuttin it up. Do you really believe your utterances or are you just looking to spice up what you see as being a dull forum?
Jcbtubes - You are essentually saying that even the manufactures have no explanation for the difference in sound quality of cables. I'm not suprised. These are probably some of the same manufactures that put arrows on their cables. By the way, you are the one making the amazing claim that wire has sound. It is therefore, incumbent upon you to provide the evidence.
Wasn't this thread about Silver vs. Copper?
Stevemj Why not start a new thread? I'm certain that many folks would be interested in indulging you on the subject.
FYI there are many things that effect the sound of a wire. One could categorize these as factors that increase or decrease accurate transference of the original signal (and moderate distortion of the original signal). One of the most significant “contributors” to the sound of any given cable is the dielectric (its application and composition). Shielding can also improve or detract from a cable’s ability to maintain the accuracy of the information carried. This isn’t even taking into consideration the metal(s) used, purity, resistance to magnetic information, geometry/configuration and how well the finished cable rejects RFI/EMI. There are also legitimate arguments as to conductor depth and vs. signal. Cable construction (resistance, capacitance, inductance and impedance) will effect the relationship between speaker & amp. Accurate (less distorted) transfer of signal is highly dependant on the length of cable run, spacing of conductors (in relation to one another) etc. The considerations your question presents could be taken to extremes. In the end its all dependant on your listening preferences and equipment, and whether or not YOU value the differences and are willing to pay for them.
Stevemj, get a clue,
There is scientific data as to why different cables can sound significantly different, the skin effect for one is a well documented issue in electrical engineering.
If you're happy using rip cord, so be it, one day perhaps you'll see the light.....and use something other than light cord!
hey, i think i figured it out. stevemj is justa another whore for star sounds (sistrum/acoustic points). perhaps they're about ("aboot" in canadian) to announce a "wireless" connection system that'll outdo zipcord to a scientifically significant degree. boy, i don't know about the rest of you but i can hardly wait.
stevemj: gee, thanx for your recocognition of the importance of manners. sorry, but it is you who have nothing valid to say. and, gosh, if i called you a whore inappropriately, i do, i do, most sincerely apologize. guess i shoulda said you're a pimp. and, yeah, i can prove that scientifically but i'll need to see all of your bank statements for the past 5 years. please send me a private email to obtain the address to which to send them.
As usual with audio a shortage of opinions and emotions is not a problem. Back to the discussion about silver and copper. I didn't mention earlier that I talked with a transformer manufacturer in Las Vegas at the CES and he builds silver and copper transformers. I asked him about his opinion on the matter we are attempting to discuss . He personally didn't think that he could hear a difference, but there were scientific reasons for some to hear a difference. He said his hearing was not very good so that may be the reason for not hearing a difference, but that silver does contain one more free electron in the structure compared to copper. He explained further details I don't recall, but felt there could be REAL reasons for difference. Listen to Kimber PBJ and KCAG. Vast difference in sound. Which is better? Only your ears know. Cables all come in varying capacitance, inductance, and resistance. Like it or not, they change the flavor of music and add, subtract, or change little of the signal. I have built countless speaker cables, and interconnects from silver, copper, stranded and solid. I can make a cable sound sweet and tube like or thin, bright and agressive just by the design and material choice. Pick your flavor...Jeff
Jandi - You fail to mention why one wire sounds better than another. Is it the unmeasurable difference in harmonic distortion? Is it the umeasurable difference in frequency response? Is it the unmeasurable difference in IM distortion? If I were to use tubes of salt water for my speaker wires, would it give the sound a a watery wavy quality?
Given that you're correct, Steve, and others would readily believe you about how a conductor performs, why are you so adamant about disagreeing with their reports? Don't you believe that respect deserves respect in return? Do you really care about sharing perspectives or are you just trolling? If it's the former, you'll certainly have to be more open minded to get anything out of the exchange. If it's the latter, which more and more seems to be the popular notion, then you've come to the wrong place.
Don't get me wrong. My beliefs include the notion that a certain amount of snake oil is sold under the guise of cables. I'm a salesman by trade and know most of the tricks, thus am *very* resistant to marketing and sales pitches. Also, there is merit to measuring that which is pertinent and measureable. But being a realist I draw the line at believing everything has to have a scientific explaination before it can be considered. It is just as important, if not more so, to be aware of what hands-on experience teaches us.
Regardless of how much theory one absorbs, first-hand experience simply cannot be replaced. No engineer designs a high-end audio amp on paper and sends the schematic to manufacturing without first building a prototype to test and voice the final the design. He can torture numbers all day, run simulations 'til he's cross-eyed, but until he's actually done it, actually built the amp and heard it, the job's not done. The proof is ultimately in the hearing.
This is similar to another of my hobbies. In hang gliding the rules of physics always apply. The gliders are all made of almost identical cloth and aluminum tubing and are limited by design constraints such as weight and size. But as with high-performance amps, high-performance gliders have differences. While performance is surprisingly similar, *how* they perform is quite another thing. Some have light handling which limits tactile feedback. Others provide lots of feedback, but that negatively effects their handling. All gliders are compromises and giving up some of one thing gets more of another. Kind of like audio gear.
The same thing applies with measurements. Almost everyone flies with instruments because the basic elements of flight can be measured. Altitude and rate of ascent/descent are commonly monitored as they're useful references. Some guys fly around staring at their instruments, but the best pilots rarely do more than glance at theirs. Instead, they reach beyond what can be read on a display. A change in the air's texture, a bit of straw blowing by and, most importantly of all, what other people are experiencing are all indicators that when combined suggest a certain course of action. Everyone that launches gets a flight. A minor adjustment here and a tweak there be may be all the difference between getting the most out of a flight and not having much of flight at all. Those that do so consistently do more than stare at their instruments. Beginning to see the parallel? Yeah, it's a lot like audio.
At the risk of sounding preachy, remember that enlightenment is something that an individual must seek to achieve; it is not something someone else can or will just hand them. Others have offered their real world experience based on years of trial and error. The only response they received from you thus far has been nay-saying with nothing of substance to back it up. It's a conundrum given your immoveable position.
In response to your last comments to me, that you've not (at least that I've seen) admitted to having tried anything besides zip cord, you experimenting with *anything* else should be enlightening. So do enlighten yourself. But if it's meter readings you're after call the power company. That's their job, not ours.
PS - You also either missed or chose to ignore the obvious tongue in cheek sarcasm of my previous entry, neither of which scores you many intelligence points. For what that's worth (which admittedly ain't much).
Fpeel - I'm sorry that what I am saying sounds so inflexible. I'm really not just trying to aggravate people. I like audiophiles and spent 10 years manufacturing products for them. I came here to buy some B&W speakers and just had to jump into this cable business.
Perhaps I should simply state what I am trying to say. There are lots of people here reporting hearing differences to changes in gear which are not even in the signal path. People report hearing dramatic changes after their cables are "broken in". An idea that is so outlandish it is difficult to ridicule.
Now, I don't think these people are dumb or defective in some way. In fact, I'm sure the folks around here are at least a cut about the average Joe. And I'm sure their systems are topnotch. Because differences are reported, by thoughtful people, where there is genuinely no possibility of difference, I say there is a treacherous trap that we can fall into when comparing gear. We, and I don't consider myself any better at avoiding this, will almost always hear a difference when making a comparison.
Gents, I think this is being overcomplicated. For cables, silver would be a better choice simply because it has less resistance. This winds up to be a simple cost issue. Copper is an excellent conductor and less expensive while silver is a better conductor than copper but more expensive. It's as simple as that.
I recently upgraded from Kimber KS-1120 to KS-1130 (the same interconnect with high-purity silver instead of high purity copper). I wasn't blown away by the difference, but it does seem to be better. The sound is a little more finely "etched" now. I'm not sure whether there is actually more detail, or a slightly more distinct presentation of it. I can't say absolutely that the difference is worth it at retail prices, but I got a good price on a used pair and have no regrets.