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TARA Labs cable challenge!!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Dec 11, 2003.

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  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm sure most of you happened upon the thread in amps, concerning the TARA labs power cables, and their abilities. If not, the thread is located here.

    I, like am sure many others, would of liked to see some conclusion on these claims, so I have sent a PM with a "test challenge". I will await their reply, and post updates on the test, subject to their approval. Feel free to discuss this, but I will be watching this thread closely.

    Here is a copy of the PM "challenge"

    The cable challenge
    Hi, first off, let me introduce myself, I am Tim Cole, gigging bassist, talkbass member, and moderator of the recording gear forum. I consider myself a knowledgeable, and respected member of the forums. I'd also like to mention that I am sending this PM to both the cable guy, and prockenclang. I have read all 9 pages of the thread in amps on your cables, and I will admit, I too am a bit skeptical, yet open minded. It is sad that this thread went so far without any concrete evidence either way on the subject, therefore the point of this PM.

    What I propose is an "on the road" test, at the end of which, your supplied materials will be returned to you, and I will personally guarantee their safe return. If you would like to send me one of the cables, I will evaluate it, and also pick 5-10 other respected members to forward the product to, once my testing is done. If you approve this idea, I will contact the moderator of the amps forum, and ask him to sticky a post for me at the top of his forum, with an announcement of the testing being done. I will then make a thread in my forum (recording gear), giving updates on it's travel, and thoughts along the way. I'd like to have this in my forum, as I would be willing to do the moderating this thread apparently needs, and don't want to burden others that don't want to deal with it. In the end, I will write a collective review to be published on talkbass, complete with user comments, and average ratings in several categories.

    This is a good opportunity for you to prove to the nay-sayers that you do indeed sell a quality product, and can stand behind your claims. I look forward to working with you, and hope that you find this opportunity to be "your big break".

    If I do see a significant difference in the cable, I will commit to buying one myself, as I am sure others will follow. Please contact me ASAP, so I can get you my address out to get this dog underway.

    Tim Cole
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Good news, I got a response, and they are more than willing to step up to the plate! Anyone interested in trying these out, please post here, or send me a PM on it......not everyone will be able to participate, but I will accomodate as many as I can.
  3. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I'd be interested in trying it. I have a multitude of equipment I could try it on (I work at a music shop in Santa Cruz). I'd mainly like to do a test through a really high power amp (like my PLX 3402) to see how it goes.

    I am one of the very skepticle ones as you may have noticed by my jest on the original thread. I am however a serious musician and I'm interested in whether or not this would have an effect on my tone.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Tim, your new sig. line doesn't make it sound like you'd be an impartial tester. :)

    I look forward to hearing people's responses. Please consider doing home ABX tests in addition to gig/rehearsal tests. A rough home ABX test is relatively easy, all you need is a blindfold and a buddy who can swap (and/or pretend to swap) the cables quickly.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    If space permits, I would like to participate.

  6. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    No doubt, I am skeptical as is most everyone else, but hey.....let's give it a try!

    I did find that line (my sig) to be hilarious though :D
  7. kmacleish


    Nov 19, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    I would be delighted to participate in this test, and would be able to try it out with several different venues, amplifier types and "guest ears".
  8. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I'd like to get in on the action too. I'd be happy to record clips and post them on the basstasters.com site as well. Currently I have:

    Aguilar DB680
    EA iAMP 800
    Avalon U5

    Those three should provide a durn good comparison...
  9. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    No, all you really need is a spectrum analyzer or a recorder to A/B tracks with.

    Of course, common-sense would suffice as well. I'm a little put off by the language in the original email that states nothing concrete was presented on either side. The naysayers have presented no end of physical and common-sense evidence against these preposterous claims.

    The burden of proof rests squarely on the advocates who buy into this. Same as UFO believers, etc.

    That said, despite my asking repeatedly if they offered a money-back satisfaction guarantee and never receiving a response (I was planning to test but didn't wish to get stuck as a bagholder), if you lack testers I'll volunteer. I already have everything set up from my pickups testing extravaganza and can also provide recorded clips - perhaps even a spectral graph.

    I'll even state here and now that if there is ANY appreciable positive difference I'll buy the cable and eat a giant helping of crow. Maybe 2+2 really does = 5.78 but I doubt it.

    By the way - VERY IMPORTANT POINT - anyone performing these tests that is using human playing rather than standard fixed (recorded) sound(s) is performing the test very incorrectly.

    I could test 3 Ashdowns (two tube-pre ABM and one SS practice combo), a Yorkville with tube-pre, a Mesa Boogie, and a fancy "high end" tube home stereo amp which is the kind of thing that is supposedly very affected by this voodoo. Heck, I'll even try them on my TV, computer, and lighting.

    And guys, maybe ask your ladies to charge their toys with these cables? ;)
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    <b>Very true.

    I am new around Talkbass, so I doubt that I would be a good candidate for a tester. I have worked for the last few years in the fisheries research arena, as a tech dealing with SONAR equipment and other ultrasonic technologies. I do have access to some test and analysis equipment that might be considered "high end", but that should not be required to confirm the claims being made. If someone cannot record a few samples at 24/96, and reliably choose the expensive cable in an ABX test (readily available as freeware), game over, in my opinion. No need for microphones, esoteric gear, any of that stuff. If a difference is observed, then we can move on to whether it's an "improvement", no?

    Surely there are folks on this recording forum who possess a high end soundcard, monitoring system, and so on? I'm still at a loss as to why the manufacturer cannot provide a simple A/B comparison CD, or spectral graphs.
  11. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    Hey Smash,as I recall if you look on, I believe page 14 of the power cable thread,you would see that Long from Tara Labs does offer a money back guarantee and lifetime warranty!

    I would also like to say that I think that it is very cool of Long to agree to send the cables out for people to try that he doesn't even know! Would you trust someone that you might have met only on a message board enough to let them try-out your Avalon U-5? I doubt it.
  12. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Again I ask, warranty against WHAT? Is it, or not, an unconditional warranty on sonic satisfaction? If so, for how long?
  13. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I suggested a "rough" test that would cost no money and would introduce more objectivity than just trying it out at rehearsal or a gig. That bench equipment will obviously provide a more precise test. Tim issued an "on the road" test challenge; I was just trying to suggest that the road also include ABX tests that are not dependent on additional equipment.
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have scads of gear and would be happy to participate as well. As for testing, my criteria would be that if I can hear an improvement, with my ears, while playing my instrument with my hands, then I'd say that it can have a beneficial impact. If I don't hear a difference under those circumstances, then it won't do me much good. I have read plenty of bench tests and detailed analyses of bass gear, recording gear, and home audio gear. Ultimately, it is your ears that matter, IMHO.

    Now, the real challenge is dealing with the placebo effect, so making sure that you are truly "blind testing" is very important. When I'm doing the switching, I like to throw in a couple of "swap out A", move things around, "swap A back in" kind of kinks into the process, just so that the subject doesn't think they know which is which and try (consciously or not) to pick what they think will sound better. Did that make any sense?

    At any rate, I'd be happy to lend an ear, if you're still looking.

    Later, Tom.

    I have some "high end" AC cables of my own (custom made from Belden cable) that I could throw into the mix as well.
  15. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
  16. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Tim this is all well and good but does this mean Tara will now pull out of the prpopsed testing at the QSC factory? I hope not, I'm looking forward to that test.
  17. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm still compiling the list of testers, and testing procedures.

    SMASH, I didn't mean to put you off by the "unresolved" comments, the matter is, one side is claiming a superior product that improves your existing gear on many fronts, and a large group of people saying it isn't possible. I proposed this test to get to the skinny on this, and prove it one way or another. I'd like to include you in this testing, but am unsure on the import/export duties for out of states.....of course we will need to insure the goods for full value, that way if something were to happen in transit, long and the guys are covered on their gear they are graciously allowing us all to test. If you can figure out the duties, and feel it is worthwhile, send me a PM.

    I also plan to contact QSC Bob for his testing as well, I am sure Long and the guys will have no problem with it.

    This ought to be fun!
  18. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I agree, this is very cool of Long to participate in this! It also shows great confidence in his product. If the results are favorable, this should be a great free advertisement for your gear.

    Just to let you know, any, and all of the gius that will be taking part in this, I wouldn't blink an eye about sending them my gear across country, these are all great people!!!!
  19. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Tombowlus, this sounds do-able. I plan on getting together with Cheezewiz on this, he is a local TB'er, and we are both very close to Fremont. Maybe we could all make a date of it? Mini-TB get together?
  20. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have nothing against Long - I've talked on the phone with him, and bought gear from him in the past - he's a great and trustworthy person. However, there are a number of other discussion forums that I participate in, and they all have rules and guidelines about the level at which any dealer is allowed to participate. That's something that's missing here at TalkBass. There are a number of dealers that subtly promote their products here, and it shouldn't be allowed. Again, they are all great guys, but they use this forum for a business advantage.

    I'm all in favor of the intent of these tests, but I think it should be done with randomly-chosen cords whose names are kept secret. It would still answer the big question, without promoting one company's product.

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