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rockstar_not
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2010, 01:58:32 PM »

Your signal chain is only as good as the weakest link. Why would you even consider upgrading your signal cables before you have looked after the power side of things?



Power cord
Retail: 3 feet - $199/$20 per additional foot, $100 to upgrade to deluxe version


If this company has sold any of these; it's proof positive that P.T. Barnum was right.  They're even featured in the Ethan Winer Audio Engineering Society post I linked higher in this thread.
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2010, 05:11:48 PM »

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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 04:28:11 AM »

Well, the beauty of it is that you can always be in the running
Amen to that brother! 
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 04:28:03 PM »

The more that I research this subject the "confusier" (my new word) I get. I am by trade a chemist with 35 years in applied and pure research. I know a little about design of experiment, gathering and evaluating data etc. One of the recommended cables from this thread is LAVA. Check out their website and read the multitude of reviews stating the profound difference in sound with  quality cables. Several members of this forum (whose opinions are valuable to me and many others) poo-poo this argument. Several members reacted to Monster Cable as if they are owned by terrorists or child molesters. The Lava site reinforced my "belief" that there is a discernible differance between cheap and quality cables. The difference between brands of high-end cables seems to be much less. Taking into consideration that it is promoting a specific product the LAVA cable site argues rather convincingly that "YA get what ya pay for"
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Dotneck
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2010, 04:52:15 PM »

The more that I research this subject the "confusier" (my new word) I get....... Taking into consideration that it is promoting a specific product the LAVA cable site argues rather convincingly that "YA get what ya pay for"

I think you are on the right track. There are higher quality cables....and when combined with high quality connectors you end up with a superior product.
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 07:43:53 PM »

The more that I research this subject the "confusier" (my new word) I get.

Resist the urge to become overwhelmed. Remind yourself, this is a guitar cable... nothing more... nothing less. The best player with the worst cable still sounds better than the worst player with the best cable.

I am by trade a chemist with 35 years in applied and pure research. I know a little about design of experiment, gathering and evaluating data etc.

This actually may work against you in some respects. I am of the analytical nature myself as well. Deluding yourself with data to try to come to the "perfect" decision can end up taking more time and causing more frustration than it is worth. Remind yourself, this is a guitar cable... nothing more... nothing less.

...and read the multitude of reviews stating the profound difference in sound with  quality cables. Several members of this forum... poo-poo this argument.

You would really need to define "profound difference" to quantify this proposed belief. One of the problems in this arena is that you are dealing with personally subjective experiences of sound. What is good and bad are personal to the listener and subjective to the experience. If you are dealing with a guy in a bar listening to you play over the din of conversation and general hubbub of activity, it will probably make no difference at all. If you are dealing with an audiophile with a highly trained ear in a recording studio atmosphere, he would be more able to tell differences that you might not even have the ability to discern.

The difference between brands of high-end cables seems to be much less.

My opinion would be that this is similar to most things. There is, very much more than likely, an easily obtainable difference between junk and the higher end spectrum of items. However, when comparing several of the highest end items there is very little difference between the items and it comes down to criteria of personal preference, outside recommendation from industry experts, and what company can market and advertise most effectively. Even player endorsements are suspect since many contracts will dictate what the pro's play and use, as well as backdoor financing to make sure that a specific brand is highlighted by particular professionals, but this still creates the influence that may tip the money spending decision to a company because, of course, player XYZ uses it, so it must be better.

Taking into consideration that it is promoting a specific product the LAVA cable site argues rather convincingly that "YA get what ya pay for"

And I think we will all agree that this is true, up to a point. Within a reasonable expense structure there are probably half a dozen name brand companies that offer a very good product and probably a couple boutique independent brands in the running as well.

So... just to muddle up the field... most of the touring players and recording studios in my area use this guy:
http://audiopile.net/

Once you get your decision made and the purchase completed, you can start in on the next worry. Are you using your cable in the right direction? Yep... there is actually a discernible difference in sound depending on the direction of the signal flow. Players the likes of John Mayer used to poo poo this supposed phenomenon until, inside a recording studio environment, they could tell the differences by changing the cable to flow the signal "against" the proper path direction.

Which brings up another question... Could the cable you didn't choose actually be the better cable, but someone had it plugged in backwards?

Remind yourself, this is a guitar cable... nothing more... nothing less.
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2010, 07:53:28 PM »

Just another fly in the soup,I've been using CBI cables for about 20 years now there not pricey at all.Good quility cable with really good quality plugs.I'm not a fan of high end audio cable's when all I'm doing is plugging in a guitar.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2010, 07:56:52 PM »

...and on it goes....

The people who claim wire is directional are really very, very full of it. Period. (Having said that, there are very rare occasions, for grounding reasons, when one end of a cable has a floating shield. In that case, and only that case, does it matter what end of the cable goes where.) Think about it. If a plumber told you that copper pipe needed to go in a certain direction to make sure you got "optimum water flow", what would you think?

Marketing claims are easy, and often go unchallenged. A real pity.
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2010, 08:26:50 PM »

ronmac has illustrated my point perfectly. I can absolutely agree with his point of view.

However... I'm not going to argue with someone like John Mayer if he went from ronmac's point of view to believing there is a difference based on his personal experience. As well, I'm not going to argue with the guy at the recording studio, or a producer, if they request I turn my cable around. They are spending time and money, do this for a living, and who am I to say I'm not going to plug cable end B into my guitar instead of cable end A when asked.

But, this is the world of audiophiles. Where a signal only a dog might be able to hear is used as "proof positive" that brand X is better than both Y and Z. Where spending absurd amounts of money on specialty items made with specialty materials configured in unconventional ways because there may be a theoretical difference can occur.

Remind yourself, this is a guitar cable... nothing more... nothing less. Just buy a good cable and spend the extra money on strings and extra time on practice. You'll be far more ahead.
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2010, 09:09:43 PM »

Dale is right. The Golden Rule "He who has the gold makes the rules" applies in most situations. Making performers comfortable, so that they will give their best performance, is a big part of the work a support person does. If I have a guitarist who wants their amp tilted a certain way and that is the only thing that makes them happy I will find a way to make it work.

I have never had a pro performer ask me for a particular type of guitar cable, or passed one back to me saying what I supply isn't acceptable. I have had several less-than-pro internet forum guitar geeks playing their first open mic insist on using only "their gear, because the forum said it was better". 

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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2010, 01:25:32 AM »

Do a true blind test, same lengths of cable of supposed 'inferior' cable, with 'boutique' cable.  I mean a true blind test.

Repeat the test 6 times.

If you pick the 'boutique' cable over the 'inferior' cable reliably, then there is statistical significance that there is a real difference.  If you can't do this, then sorry - fooling yourself.  If you want to see reasoning behind this, look up B vs. C and the name Dorian Shainin on the internet.

Mr. Shainin is known for making statistically significant test methods easy to accomplish for the regular Joe.  We used his methodologies at a previous employer with great success to keep from fooling ourselves on preconceived notions of outcomes.

BTW, I've a Master's Degree in Engineering, have worked as an engineer in the field of noise & vibration measurement for 20+ years in both the automotive industry as well as in the music products/hearing health care industry.  My specialty involved the conducting of group subjective assessment of sound - always in a blind fashion.  I have a magazine article co-written on this topic from Sound & Vibration magazine.  Here is the article: 

http://www.sandv.com/downloads/0104otto.pdf

Here's what I have seen with cheaper cables:  cold solder joints at the connectors; cable sheathing that is thin and inflexible, etc.  The cold solder joints can have an effect on sound and signal transmission.

If you want to see loads of positive testimonials - try finding one product review on Harmony Central where the overwhelming majority of reviews are negative.  That's a challenge.  Most persons are prone to justifying their own purchase decisions, no matter what - myself included.

Caveat Emptor

-Scott
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2010, 11:52:10 AM »


Resist the urge to become overwhelmed. Remind yourself, this is a guitar cable... nothing more... nothing less. The best player with the worst cable still sounds better than the worst player with the best cable....<snip>>

You would really need to define "profound difference" to quantify this proposed belief. One of the problems in this arena is that you are dealing with personally subjective experiences of sound. What is good and bad are personal to the listener and subjective to the experience. If you are dealing with a guy in a bar listening to you play over the din of conversation and general hubbub of activity, it will probably make no difference at all. If you are dealing with an audiophile with a highly trained ear in a recording studio atmosphere, he would be more able to tell differences that you might not even have the ability to discern.
that may tip the money spending decision to a company because, of course, player XYZ uses it, so it must be better.


I am sure that I could not hear a difference between differnt cables. In my world...a "better" cable would have industrial strength connectors. In my experience trouble with cables comes after using them many times....pluging and unplugging and then plugging and unplugging...over and over and over.

The connectors (or the solder connections)  fail and develop shorts. Which adds noise to the signal or the signal becomes intermittent. So to me a better cable has industrial strength connections and will last a long time through numerous uses.

Which cable offers a 1/2 db more signal at 25hz or one that offers bi-directional electron flow (!!) does not matter too much to me. Give me a cable that works well for a long time and I'm happy!











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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2010, 11:54:45 AM »

BTW, I've a Master's Degree in Engineering, Posted by: rockstar_not
Had I known this I would have ceased any thought of rational discussion. There is a world wide saying on this subject, "Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig, it doesn't take long to realize the pig enjoys it". Seriously, John Mayer is believable that cables have "directionality". What about mic cables with xlr connectors? they can't be reversed. I think you have a tremendous amount of gall and ego to presuppose that you know what I can and cannot hear. I began this thread in search of info from people I considered knowledgable, but I have been attacked and questioned unmercifully! If I am deserving of this please tell me what and to whom I have done wrong and I will most sincerely apologize. If you will objectively read this thread there is much more personal bashing (of me) than there is information offered! This is way below the standards of this forum.
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2010, 01:10:22 PM »

BTW, I've a Master's Degree in Engineering, Posted by: rockstar_not
Had I known this I would have ceased any thought of rational discussion. There is a world wide saying on this subject, "Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig, it doesn't take long to realize the pig enjoys it". Seriously, John Mayer is believable that cables have "directionality". What about mic cables with xlr connectors? they can't be reversed. I think you have a tremendous amount of gall and ego to presuppose that you know what I can and cannot hear. I began this thread in search of info from people I considered knowledgable, but I have been attacked and questioned unmercifully! If I am deserving of this please tell me what and to whom I have done wrong and I will most sincerely apologize. If you will objectively read this thread there is much more personal bashing (of me) than there is information offered! This is way below the standards of this forum.

Glennd,

Please accept my apology for what you have perceived as a personal attack. 

I have been participating in the thread all along.  Based on your earlier post of talking about Design of Experiments, I thought we were of the same mindset.  I merely asked whomever in the thread (after reading your previous post - it didn't even seem like you were the OP of the thread).

Please note that I acknowledge that there can be quality issues with cheaper cables as it pertains to construction. 

Subjective tests of what happens to signal quality should be done blind.  I think you would agree with that.  The B versus C test is a way to do that testing that is a simple way to conduct a Tukey-like design of experiment.

I can't claim to know chemistry like I'm sure you do.  However, one thing I can claim to know is how subjective testing is properly conducted - that I can talk about.  I have not and do not claim that you cannot hear a difference.

I merely ask if you did your evaluation blind.  Monster cable came into existence actually in the speaker cable world many moons ago.  This very similar question that you posed went through the audiophile discussion groups whenever that was - perhaps 15-20 years ago, and there were people saying there was a difference, and people that said there was not.  When truly blind tests were done for  cable lengths typically used in the home, it was found that there was no difference between bulk lamp cord you can buy at Home Depot, with same gauge Monster cable.  However, when the 'brand' was revealed before testing, there was preference for Monster.

You asked for information in the thread - I thought I could share something that might actually convince you of the science behind this kind of question.  Re-reading through the thread, I can see how it could be taken personally with my P.T. Barnum references.  I apologize for that.

-Scott

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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 01:21:17 PM »

I have learned a lot from investigating this subject. Quality os signal is highly dependent on resistance (or lack thereof). Lowered resistance (highly desirable) is acomplished by type and purity of meatl used and by increased guage size. That makes it hard to believe that lamp cord could produce results equal to high quality cables. Note I didn't say Monster cables. The questions about the integrity of Monster cable seems to trace back to some claims made about their HDMI cables for televisions. I am in no way promoting any particular brand name. I am going to take a Monster and a Lava cable to a local open mic night I attend with little regularity and A/B with several differant players and brand of guitars and track audience and player response
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 01:25:05 PM »

It is very likely that you can hear differences between certain cables in some situations. All of the differences should be easily explained by comparing the characteristics of the cable (length, diameter, shielding type, capacitance/m, etc.) and the properties of the load and source (high impedance, low impedance, signal level, etc.). It would be easy to repeatedly demonstrate and reproduce the expected outcome.

Like so many things today, marketing hype routinely convinces normally rational folks that they should suspend their belief in the quantifiable characteristics of a common product and listen to their convincing argument (often made with no substantial proof, or even meaningful data to allow analysis)  that this particular product actually can defy the laws of physics.

As an earlier poster said "...it's only a guitar cable...". Choose the one that makes you happy, and there is no need for anyone to defend their decisions.
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 02:31:41 PM »

I have learned a lot from investigating this subject. Quality os signal is highly dependent on resistance (or lack thereof). Lowered resistance (highly desirable) is acomplished by type and purity of meatl used and by increased guage size. That makes it hard to believe that lamp cord could produce results equal to high quality cables. Note I didn't say Monster cables.

Note that in his response...Rockstar_not said there was no difference between a lamp cord and a Monster cable of the same guage. Resistance is the key here. A higher guage cable will let more electrons flow...like a larger diameter hose will let more water flow...


The questions about the integrity of Monster Cable seems to trace back to some claims made about their HDMI cables for televisions.

I think digital signals (like HDMI) do not suffer the same degradation as do analog signals. The signal is either there or not there. So I don't see the need for hi-fidelity cables in the digital realm. You need good connectors....but the large guage cable is overkill.

This is a fun topic to argue...lets do wireless systems next!
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2010, 04:59:02 PM »



This is a fun topic to argue...lets do wireless systems next!
  This depends on the brand of air.
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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2010, 07:46:59 PM »


Like so many things today, marketing hype routinely convinces normally rational folks that they should suspend their belief in the quantifiable characteristics of a common product and listen to their convincing argument (often made with no substantial proof, or even meaningful data to allow analysis)  that this particular product actually can defy the laws of physics.


Oh, like environmentalists! For instance, the media has been trying to convince me for the last few weeks that oil no longer floats but flows underneath the water in gargantuan globs. IT MUST BE THERE SOMEWHERE!
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