One thing I can think of it’s you’re hearing the deterioration of the sound due to disturbing the delicate electrical/mechanical interface where the cable connects to the electronic equipment. The best way to proceed when comparing or changing out cables is wait at least a few days until the electrical mechanical interface is established and stable. Obviously if you’re putting new cables the laws of break in apply also.
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What have you learned about all the cable swapping in general in your audiophile journey?
Unlike the other one I actually have a system https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 and have tried a lot of things and always heard a different. What I have learned is on my System page: Everything matters.
I could go on for a long time.
That's the problem. At our present level of understanding we have no really useful set of principles on which to base performance. Maybe some day we figure it out and hey, its electron spin, all these other things are just derivatives or variations on electron spin. Or maybe not. Who knows. All I know is I can't argue with any of the general descriptions in the OP. But neither can I say they really tell us anything. What I mean is the OP knows all this stuff and yet even he can't look at a wire, compare to his list, and know. All that long list, still has to listen. So the list doesn't really tell us anything.
Yet another example, pretty darn fascinating one too I think. Got some Synergistic CTS cables last year. Copper, Tungsten, Silver, and its evident the copper is warm and full bass, tungsten beautiful midrange, silver detailed extension. Okay, fine. Active shielding. What's that? Its not touching the wire, its not in the signal path. Disconnected the sound is flat, dull, lifeless. Plugged in the sound is dynamic, deep, and present. Change a tuning bullet, whatever the heck that is, the whole thing goes super warm, or mega detailed, depending. It gets better. Change caps and diodes in the wall wart power supply and the character does not change like that but it does get a whole lot more detailed, liquid, dynamic, deep, and wide. Just way more of everything. From a cap. And a diode. Nowhere near the signal path.
Everything matters. But I haven't the foggiest idea why.
"That's the problem. At our present level of understanding we have no really useful set of principles on which to base performance”.
I didn't say that I have a problem, nor a clue. I am just sharing some observations and hope other audiophiles share them too.
"What I mean is the OP knows all this stuff and yet even he can't look at a wire, compare to his list, and know. All that long list, still has to listen. So the list doesn't really tell us anything”
Incorrect assumption. My list of observations helps me to filter out the junk. I don't have the money to listen to all the cables in the world.
If everything matters and you don't have the foggiest idea why, you have not learned a lot I think. 😉
Listen and learn is all we have. That is what we can agree on. Nice system btw.
The biggest single thing.. Handle your cables with care. When not in service, protect the ends.
It cuts my settle time by 2/3 when they are already broke in.. Over and over, I use to coil and tie.
I always ground my self out, disconnect from the speaker, and cover the ends. Move to the amp, ground out, disconnect at the amp, and bag.
I coil loosely, CW (with the material I use)
and second bag with 18" antistatics..
Now a few hours, maybe a day, before they settle in.
Before 2-3 days, after a LONG set a week or more..
I cook them to.. Makes all the difference in what I hear.. Especially if I loan out cables, UHHHH!! Recook time..EVERY time now..
cabling takes a lot of effort and time to get synergy. Example, two years ago i would reject Acoustic Revive solid core for sounding little warm, today i want to try again the same set believing that it would offer a little extra in effortless presentation, size and detail. Mad world. Two different things and descriptions of the same cables. We learn and it costs.
Do one at a time or maximum 2, let them settle and let gravity work. Cable management, no stretching no bending no overtightening the rca’s, no moving around. Running in time especially for the power ones. Components have the tedency to learn the cable they are connected with (cannot prove it though). Cleaning speaker/amp posts and spades more often than I/O rca’s or xlr’s. Dust them off. No ferrites.
Do you mean that, for example, a power cable with a silver plating can make the components in your equipment (trafo, diode, transistors, capacitors) adapt to this sound signature because they have been fed with a silver plated sound, and that you get more of this sound?
Very interesting observation. Thank you, and don't mind the naysayers who don't have anything interesting to share. I surely believe that any component on the grid can influence each other. It happened to me that when I changed my power cable for my tv, the sound of my power amp got better because of reduced noise pickup.
I have the observation that solid core gives a more defined and detailed sound in general for low level cabling. For power cords solid core needs to be at least 16 awg per wire and combined with multiple runs to get some bottom end. Flexible power cords on the other hand can sound a bit vague like there is some kind of phase distortion happening and transient smearing.