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Directional cables? - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
Directional cables?
From Chord.co.uk

"Most cables are directional, they sound better when connected in one direction than the other. As yet, we have found no way to establish the direction by measurement. During development of an interconnect or speaker cable, we establish direction through blind listening tests carried out by ourselves, retailers and hi-fi manufacturers. The results are remarkably consistent. "

So what, the electrons move down the bit of wire faster? Slower? Smooooother? And as feanelwa has just reminded me, even in the (unlikely) case that electrons do flow 'better' one direction, speaker signals are AC anyway.

Talk about expensive toys for tossers.

"Oh yah. I must have the soopahest top notch sound, don'tcha know, and so I bought some directional speaker cables. It's absoluuutley necessary, although it does take a very refined sense of hearing to appreciate it."

The Emperor definitely has a new suit.
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Comments
From: erisreg Date: May 10th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

definitely has a new suit.

haha, sounds like he just dusted off one of the old ones,.. audiophiles have been some of the biggest snobs, and the most profound suckers since the advent of the loudspeaker,..o.0
revdj From: revdj Date: May 10th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: definitely has a new suit.

I was reading a friend's audiofile magazine about 10 years ago. They were going on about some solid gold speaker connectors, and did a STUDY to see if you could tell the difference. They had people guess which were the gold connectors, and which were not. They tested about 100 people. 25% of them, they dismissed after, because their negative results showed they did not have sufficiently educated ears. (They had another term for that) And then they did charts and tables for the remaining 75%, and lo and behold, they showed that you could tell which were the gold connectors!
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 10th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: definitely has a new suit.

Do some random samples, discard the lower quartile, and behold, your positive conclusion.

What an excellently devious idea.
From: feanelwa Date: May 10th, 2005 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't the current in a speaker cable AC anyway?

It's so easy to sell bullshit.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 10th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep.

Good isn't it? :)
naranek From: naranek Date: May 10th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most of this stuff is utter bollocks, but you can get issues with impedance mismatches affecting one end of the cable more than the other, since the wires may have all been pulled in the same direction, hence have a slight resistance gradient; since the speaker will generally have a high impedance and the amp a low one, it's vaguely possible you'll get more reflection issues if you connect the thick end of the wire to the speaker. I'd be very very surprised if you could hear them, though (again, possible that someone is using a very very braindead feedback design and they cause rippling in a dodgy capacitor somewhere, but that's definitely a design fault, to my mind ..).
zaitan From: zaitan Date: May 10th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of my old lecturers was visiting an audiophile collegue. He had brought an old LP for him to listen to, while it was playing he asked if they could turn the bass up. Unfortunately the set was so pure and austere that it had a on/off switch, volume control and nothing else.

I also heard a story of someone who was doing a demo of some very expensive speakers at a show. He forgot the cables, so he went to the nearest DIY shop and bought a load of bright orange mains cable. It worked a treat and nobody noticed any difference in the sound quality.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 10th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaker cable, IIRC (from my days at Tandy) are soley influenced by impedance. And maybe dodgy connections at either end.

So a nice bit of 30A mains cable'd work a treat - it has pretty much exactly the same constraints (eg. wanting minimal impedance under AC loads)
gingerboy From: gingerboy Date: May 10th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, I've used spare orange flymo mains lead as speaker cable for powered foldbacks - worked no problems :)
jambon_gris From: jambon_gris Date: May 10th, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
screened interconect cables are directional. This is not because of some mystical varaiation due to cable thickness or impurities in the wire effecting performance. It is due to star earthing, good interconect cables will have two conductors signal and earth, and a screen. The screen is connected to ground at one end this end wants to be at amp rather than the source (cd player or whatever) as this sould be the center point for star earthing so the RF that the screen shields goes to earth directly and not into the cd player and the down the earth conductor producing RF noise (although not as much as if you had no screen)
There is no screen on a speaker cable, because well RFI isnt going to drive a loud speaker. As for impedance matching well you might get some effect on the 300 ohm input on an amp but not much really and impedance matching into 8 ohms, well no i dont thinks so. Speekers are trick buggers because the loudspeakers impedance depends on its mechanical properties which depend upon the speaker cabinet ..... Basicalyy the impedance can vary considerably over the audio range which is rather large 20 Hz - 20 Khz roughly.
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