The Science of Cables


It seems to me that there is too little scientific, objective evidence for why cables sound the way they do. When I see discussions on cables, physical attributes are discussed; things like shielding, gauge, material, geometry, etc. and rarely are things like resistance, impedance, inductance, capacitance, etc. Why is this? Why aren’t cables discussed in terms of physical measurements very often?

Seems to me like that would increase the customer base. I know several “objectivist” that won’t accept any of your claims unless you have measurements and blind tests. If there were measurements that correlated to what you hear, I think more people would be interested in cables. 

I know cables are often system dependent but there are still many generalizations that can be made.
mkgus
Can we please have a little consensus here? What’s the hold up? There doesn’t seem to be consensus on ANYTHING. 😳
Alrighty then...IMHO and substantial experience, I have achieved my best results with either Transparent Cables or MIT.  Their superiority really becomes apparent when you compare them to other various cable manufacturers offerings in your own system.  It can be quite dramatic and ear opening as to the full potential that can be unleashed from your gear with these cables.  Currently I have found that Transparent has taken the lead with the Generation 5 designs....I can only give them praise as I’d be hard pressed to hear any weaknesses.  Everything comes through in full measure and in correct proportions.  Music just sounds stunningly realistic!  
I mentioned it before, silver is a lot more difficult to use than copper is. Most people will always refer to cables. When it does not work, the cable is the one to blame. But when you do audio by Tru-Fi, it often shows that there is a different reason for the fact that silver does not work in that particular system.

Most audio products can only create a limited level in layering in sound. When you use silver in these systems it will make the end result rather clean in sound. When you use copper instead it will make the sound more diverse and pleasant. But when you use products like amps and sources who are exceptional in diversity in sound silver will not show the clean and harsh sound anymore. And will give you still a high level in diversity with even more details in the high frequencies.

The other problem can be found in tweeters. Older loudspeakers have a lot more difficulties with silver compared to newer tweeters. There are many dome tweeters who are not that found of silver. The other thing is the big differences in the quality of silver. Even with AudioQuest cables, these differences are more than clear. You cannot compare the WEL Signature and Wild Blue Yonder with the Fire and Wind. Both the WEL as the Wild are a lot more easy to use. The Fire and Wind can sound in some situations a bit more clean and harsh.

But using silver in power cables is even more difficult and complex. I’ve done a lot of research between power cables sinch 2002. Silver works well with subwoofers, but for amps, sources, and pre-amps I prefer copper. The most impressive step AudioQuest made with their new loudspeaker cables is that some new copper reveals more details in the high freq. than the older ones with silver. Some people believe that silver will give them more resolution compared to copper. But that is not true either.

Brands as Transparent, MIT and Tara Labs only use copper. But when your systems own amps, sources, power supplies who can create a stunning level in diversity silver can bring you further than copper can create. This is why it is so important to understand an be aware of the DNA of every single part within your system. This is the only way to understand what can be used and what will not work based on its DNA (aspects/properties of sound it owns and misses)


I’d have to disagree Bo, based on owning a tremendous amount of equipment from many different manufacturers...from all tube designs to all SS with many different cable designs.  Silver just doesn’t sound as natural.  It can artificially add accentuation to highs and leading edge of the sound, but overall it sounds less like music TME!

geoffkait
"Can we please have a little consensus here? What’s the hold up?"

I am pleased to respond but I ask you’re indulgence for my response. I have been threatened within the Audiogon messaging system (I have reported this to the Audiogon authorities) and this person has also had almost all of my recent posts deleted with immunity so I must be cautious in how I "frame" my response to this fair, legitimate, and thoughtful question.

There are certain people who believe that they have invented, devised, and implemented a method, technique, and protocol for specifying, designing, and building Music Reproduction Systems. They believe that this "technique" that they give a impressive sounding name two is infallible, unequalled, and beyond reproach. They then state that a specific cable or type of cable or few select manufacturers of cable, are the only one’s capable of valid, verified, authentic high end performance because of special "properties" that they have identified and only this person knows how this is done.

But most users, audiophiles, and dealers know that not only audio but most things in life are not that simple, basic, and certain so they also know that there is no one cable or amplifier or speaker or anything else that is guaranteed and assured to invariably deliver the "best" result because of course there is no "best" even though this person may claim that there is. so there can be no concensus.

I wish I could provide more specific detail but the rules of this forum and my personal safety forbid it.