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Audiophiles cannot tell the difference between high end cables and coathangers.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Mon Rominee, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Trigged by this thread, I decided to do an a/b comparison between a cheap RCA cable and a relatively cheap optical cable, connecting my CD/DVD player (Harman Kardon DVD 22) with my receiver (Harman Kardon AVR 130). I have cheap but rather thick speaker cables and a pair of average quality Jamo speakers that I, TBH, have never been very fond of.

    There was a slight difference between the two. Much smaller than I believed it to be, but a difference anyway, to the favor of the optical cable. Maybe it would have been bigger with a better pair of speakers. I think you need to have really high-end equipment to have any concrete use of more expensive cables. But $500 cables? :rollno:
  2. And metals don't differ substantially from one another? Do we even know what kind of metal (or metals) are in a coat hanger?

    I'm not arguing for Monster Cable necessarily, I'm mainly just disappointed that so many people are accepting this story on blind faith.
  3. Yes, of course that rule applies to basses and to anything else that causes sound. Perception is much mightier than fact. If you put $2000 into a new bass, you are likely (not sure, but likely) to perceive it as sounding "better" than a $150 bass.

    That may indeed be the case, and probably is - but what if an observer standing next to you can't tell the difference?

    It is especially true as one moves from gross differences (one vs. two pickups, active vs. passive) to more subtle differences (woods, bridge swaps, changing caps or pots).

    I'm not saying that anyone's perception in any specific case is necessarily inaccurate. However, I am asserting that human beings ARE capable of perceiving whatever they want to perceive.

    If that wasn't the case, it is my personal opinion that Monster Cable wouldn't still be in business.

    I understand - and I'm also trying to get at a broader concept than the rather questionable test originally cited.
  4. oh crap! what am I gonna do with my $9000 bubinga volume control knob now?!?!
  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    So who's ready to do the Blind Test and document it here? Who's got enough music junkies and audio egghead friends, to set this experiment up as the article described? AND DOCUMENT IT? This is most certainly a fun experiment, and an excuse to have friends over to polish off a case of beer once the experiment is concluded.

    Go buy the Monster cable, a Hosa cable, and some coat hangers. Especially the Hosa cable, cuz so many people I know rag on Hosa for being cheap and wimpy, in THEIR opinions.

    Someone here is brave enough to undertake this experiment.
  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Metals differ in resistivity. Coat hangers are probably a low-grade steel.

    I haven't read the Monster Cables versus coat hangers story.
  7. With respect to transmitting a signal - as long as they aren't too resistive, the differences are irrelevant.

    I'm not accepting it on blind faith - it just agrees with physics and the years of electrical engineering education I wasted my youth on.
  8. Make sure to level match your sources, and use the following to make it a blind test:

  9. There have been side-by-side tests. Web surfing will probably turn them up.
  10. halvey

    halvey Banned

    Jan 31, 2008
    Or, if you read my previous post in this thread, I did test them years ago.
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I didn't see any mention of a test.
  12. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    Hehe, those folks are rightfully called audiofools :D
  13. halvey

    halvey Banned

    Jan 31, 2008
    Call it what you want - test or experience.
    I concur with the findings: Monster cable between components (say CD player to receiver) is a waste of money.

    However, VHS to VHS recording the difference is pretty clear.

    And for receiver to decent speakers: it depends. On a professionally recorded big label CD, it's minimal at best.

    On an audience recording of a live show that's mid heavy, there's definately a difference.
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    What difference would there be that can be attributed to the cables?
  15. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    The fact that discussion of and reference to double blind testing is banned on a lot of audiophile forums tells you all you need to know.
  16. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I can't seem to hear a difference between Monster Cables and coat hangars either, but I have noticed the the hangars I get from the Glo-Tone cleaners produce a brighter sound than the ones I get from the Spic-n-Span cleaners across town.

  17. Ah, "experience"...the buzzword of validation for audiophiles, along with "discrete" and others.

    How so? I mean I remember buying a "VHS booster" that supposedly would increase gain, waaaay back when, and that really didn't improve much in VHS-to VHS transfer, so how exactly is a cable gonna improve it?

    I'm with Bobqsc on this one.
  18. halvey

    halvey Banned

    Jan 31, 2008
    Hey guys, I could care less if you want to listen to my experience or not. Besides, I'm not an audiofile by any means. Just telling you what I found.

    For CD listening, which is what 99% is all we do, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.

    On VHS to VHS (yeah, besides the point in 2008) there was less "bleed out" on the dubbed copy. Those boxes to increase "gain" are crap.

    On recordings like I mentioned, there is more bass and "smoothness" with the better cables. If I remember right, it was an Aerosmith show he taped using a pretty low end tape recorder.

    That's it.

    And again, for CD listening of professional recordings, I can NOT hear a difference.
  19. Dude, no sweat, I was just curious as to your reasonnings for your claims, whatever works for ya man. :cool:
  20. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    This is kinda like engineers battling the Plane on a Conveyor Belt scenario. Heh heh heh.

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