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A Couple of questions on audioquest power cords and CD-Rs

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Anonymous
July 11, 2004 3:24:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Hi,


My system is as follows:
Densen beat b100 mk5 amp
Cambridge audio azur 640c cd player
Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano speaks
QED xtube 300 speaker wire + banana plugs

Anyways, recently a freind of mine was selling a pair of audioquest
power cords (their best) with "rf stoppers".. Being a sceptic of "power
cords" making a difference, etc, I still wanted to try it out so he gave
htem to me for an audition... So I tried them out, thinking what could
it possibley hurt?

I don't if the following effects I've experienced are "placebo" or not:
increase and more control in the bass, sweeter more extended treble,
more discernable and detailed micro dynamics. It was as if it was a REAL
upgrade of some sorts, a new cd player, a better amp ??

It was a pretty good system in the first place, but now the thing sounds
like a $30000 setup!

I am just thinking that "it's just freakin power, how could this be?"

But here comes the most curious part.. The azur cd player made "tak tak
tak" mechanical noise on some cd's, very AUDIBLE for instance with the
philip glass "koyaanisqatsi" cd, so much that it distracted from the
music on quiter passages. But with the audioquest used as power cord on
the azur even this mechanical noise disappeared!! ... Now asking you
guys (and why not gals?), any educated opinions as to how this is possible??

One last question: taking backup from my old CD's (notibly charlie haden
"ballad of the fallen") I've encountered a very annoying problem that
make these backups practically useless: On continuous pieces with track
numbers changing in the middle my CD player plays the tracks normally,
there is no cut off between tracks, the music does not cut, with the
original. But with the CD-r versions the player cuts the music to give a
two second in-between tracks silence which needles to say divides the
music and spoils the whole experience, the whole concept of the CD. Not
only the azur, but also a very expensice naim cd5 is doing the same
thing with the cd-r? Any ideas as to how I can overcome this problem?
SOme software (better then HP record now) or some special tye of cdr
made for audio specifically??

Any help much apreeciated, much obliged, happy listening.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 3:24:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

The cd bust be burned as "disc-at-once". Don't know what software you're
using. Might have to just specify zero spacing between songs. It certainly
can be done.

The power cord, on the other hand...

I think you realize the power cord on your amp cannot make a mechanical
difference in the operation of your cd player. Once in a while one sees a
problem like this which is somewhat intermittent or just stops on it's own.
I would suggest this is probably what happened.

Most of us tech types would not accept any power cord as being able to make
a sonic difference under any normal circumstances.


Mark Z.

--
Please reply only to Group. I regret this is necessary. Viruses and spam
have rendered my regular e-mail address useless.


"Fella" <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote in message
news:fP6Ic.2872$lg5.290@reader1.news.jippii.net...
>
> Hi,
>
>
> My system is as follows:
> Densen beat b100 mk5 amp
> Cambridge audio azur 640c cd player
> Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano speaks
> QED xtube 300 speaker wire + banana plugs
>
> Anyways, recently a freind of mine was selling a pair of audioquest
> power cords (their best) with "rf stoppers".. Being a sceptic of "power
> cords" making a difference, etc, I still wanted to try it out so he gave
> htem to me for an audition... So I tried them out, thinking what could
> it possibley hurt?
>
> I don't if the following effects I've experienced are "placebo" or not:
> increase and more control in the bass, sweeter more extended treble,
> more discernable and detailed micro dynamics. It was as if it was a REAL
> upgrade of some sorts, a new cd player, a better amp ??
>
> It was a pretty good system in the first place, but now the thing sounds
> like a $30000 setup!
>
> I am just thinking that "it's just freakin power, how could this be?"
>
> But here comes the most curious part.. The azur cd player made "tak tak
> tak" mechanical noise on some cd's, very AUDIBLE for instance with the
> philip glass "koyaanisqatsi" cd, so much that it distracted from the
> music on quiter passages. But with the audioquest used as power cord on
> the azur even this mechanical noise disappeared!! ... Now asking you
> guys (and why not gals?), any educated opinions as to how this is
possible??
>
> One last question: taking backup from my old CD's (notibly charlie haden
> "ballad of the fallen") I've encountered a very annoying problem that
> make these backups practically useless: On continuous pieces with track
> numbers changing in the middle my CD player plays the tracks normally,
> there is no cut off between tracks, the music does not cut, with the
> original. But with the CD-r versions the player cuts the music to give a
> two second in-between tracks silence which needles to say divides the
> music and spoils the whole experience, the whole concept of the CD. Not
> only the azur, but also a very expensice naim cd5 is doing the same
> thing with the cd-r? Any ideas as to how I can overcome this problem?
> SOme software (better then HP record now) or some special tye of cdr
> made for audio specifically??
>
> Any help much apreeciated, much obliged, happy listening.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 4:54:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Mark D. Zacharias wrote:

> The cd bust be burned as "disc-at-once".


Thanks Mark for the answer. I am using "make an exact copy" option on
the hp record now software. I could not see any option to "zero space"
on that sofware. The manual does not help either. I guess I need to buy
some software that specifically addresses that prob, though I need to
find it first.



> I think you realize the power cord on your amp cannot make a mechanical
> difference in the operation of your cd player.


I have *two* power cords with rf stoppers, one for the amp, the other
for the CD player.

The CD player is now dead quite mechanically on ALL problematic disks
previously. I myself find this hard to beleive..

> Most of us tech types would not accept any power cord as being able to make
> a sonic difference under any normal circumstances.

Yes I was very much sceptical also of a power cord making a difference.
But they are there. There is no mistaking it. I asked a freind to help
me in on this. We did a blind test where the audioquest cords were
applied (or not) and every time I knew the difference linstening
blinfolded. The reason is that the differences are just huge, like I
said, it's like having bought a new amp or some such. Even the presence
is smoothed out (which is not all that a positive thing, mind you)...
Related resources
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 4:54:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Fella" wrote ...
> Thanks Mark for the answer. I am using "make an exact copy"
> option on the hp record now software. I could not see any option
> to "zero space" on that sofware. The manual does not help either.
> I guess I need to buy some software that specifically addresses
> that prob, though I need to find it first.

Be aware that many mass-market applications (like the one you
seem to be using) do NOT handle this properly (or allow you to
manually fix it). There are commercial and shareware apps,
however that likely handle it just fine.

> Yes I was very much sceptical also of a power cord making a
> difference. But they are there. There is no mistaking it. I asked
> a freind to help me in on this. We did a blind test where the
> audioquest cords were applied (or not) and every time I knew
> the difference linstening blinfolded. The reason is that the
> differences are just huge, like I said, it's like having bought a
> new amp or some such. Even the presence is smoothed out
> (which is not all that a positive thing, mind you)...

Did you test the cords on the different componenets independently,
CD player vs. power amp, etc.? I find the whole scenario quite
preposterous myself unless your original cords are wimpy and/or
loose, etc.

It is not possible to do a real, valid double-blind a/b (or a/b/x)
test with power cords because of the logistics involved. I still
believe the effect is psychological. I loved Laurence Payne's
statement: "Remembering that the prime objective of audiophile-
level sound equipment is not to be good but to be expensive..."
Perhaps real engineers are too practical to be willing to spend
4x, 8x, 16x the $$$ for the last 1-2% of improvement.

Of course you realize that the equipment that was used to MAKE
those recordings didn't include any power cords that cost more
than $5. Or any "boutique" massive, gold-plated audio inter-
connects either. Hope that doesn't spoil your quest.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 8:51:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <fP6Ic.2872$lg5.290@reader1.news.jippii.net>,

>I don't if the following effects I've experienced are "placebo" or not:
>increase and more control in the bass, sweeter more extended treble,
>more discernable and detailed micro dynamics. It was as if it was a REAL
>upgrade of some sorts, a new cd player, a better amp ??

>It was a pretty good system in the first place, but now the thing sounds
>like a $30000 setup!

>I am just thinking that "it's just freakin power, how could this be?"

Unless there's something very odd (broken) about your system, I'd
expect that a power-cord upgrade alone could not create any real
changes of this sort, and I'd strongly favor the placebo /
anticipation effect.

It's possible that your system is subject to high levels of RF
interference from a nearby transmitter, that the new power cable's "RF
stopper" (very probably a $.25 ferrite or two) is helping keep the RF
out of the electronics, that the electronics had poor RF rejection
capability, and that you're hearing sonic changes which result from a
reduction in noise and interference (intermodulation?) in your circuits.

If you had disconnected and reconnected any of the interconnect cables
when you replaced the power cables, you might be hearing some
improvement as a result of the "wiping" of oxides off of the plugs and
jacks.

Overall, though, I think "placebo effect" is the most likely suspect.

>But here comes the most curious part.. The azur cd player made "tak tak
>tak" mechanical noise on some cd's, very AUDIBLE for instance with the
>philip glass "koyaanisqatsi" cd, so much that it distracted from the
>music on quiter passages. But with the audioquest used as power cord on
>the azur even this mechanical noise disappeared!! ... Now asking you
>guys (and why not gals?), any educated opinions as to how this is possible??

I've observed the tak-tak effect on one or two other players. It
occured when the player was on a non-flat surface... the flexing of
the chassis due to the player's weight put some twisting stress on the
transport mechanism, and the upper portion of the magnetic clamp which
holds the CD to the drive spindle was scraping against its retainer.
When I moved the CD to a flat-and-level platform, the problem went
away - the clamp "floated" far enough above its retainer that it was
no longer scraping.

I'd guess that your CD player may have a similar issue, and that by
moving it (when you swapped cords) you shifted its position,
levelling, or flexure enough to eliminate the unwanted contact between
some moving and stationary parts.

>One last question: taking backup from my old CD's (notibly charlie haden
>"ballad of the fallen") I've encountered a very annoying problem that
>make these backups practically useless: On continuous pieces with track
>numbers changing in the middle my CD player plays the tracks normally,
>there is no cut off between tracks, the music does not cut, with the
>original. But with the CD-r versions the player cuts the music to give a
>two second in-between tracks silence which needles to say divides the
>music and spoils the whole experience, the whole concept of the CD. Not
>only the azur, but also a very expensice naim cd5 is doing the same
>thing with the cd-r? Any ideas as to how I can overcome this problem?
>SOme software (better then HP record now) or some special tye of cdr
>made for audio specifically??

Better software. You're burning the backup in "track at a time" mode.
You need to rip and burn it in "disc at once" mode.

--
Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO
Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:53:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Richard Crowley wrote:

> I find the whole scenario quite
> preposterous myself unless your original cords are wimpy and/or
> loose, etc.

No they my original cords are perfectly OK, normal stock cords. But
with power I was under the imression that either it is there or not.
Even if they were "wimpy" isn't it so that they just convey the power,
that's it.. ?


>
> It is not possible to do a real, valid double-blind a/b (or a/b/x)
> test with power cords because of the logistics involved.

Well actulay a freind of mine helped on this. I was away from the
lsitening room and he switched (or not, I didn't know) the audiophile
power cords with the original stock ones. Then I came in and listened
the same samples, blindfolded of course. And every time I knew which
types of cords were being used. We did this some 10 times. Then we got
tired of it.

> "Remembering that the prime objective of audiophile-
> level sound equipment is not to be good but to be expensive..."

I can't speak for all audiophile equipment out there obviously, but for
instance my sonus fabers costing around 3000 bucks are worth every
penny, and I know just exactly what makes them expensive. If they were
to be replaced by some, dunno, cervin wegas, perhaps, I would notice the
difference from around the block.

There were those days when some people claimed that all CD players
sounded the same since it was a stream of ones and zeros in question,
data, they said, it's the same thing from every player. Then came the
concept of "jitter", something to measure the difference with. Most
still would ask "what's jitter", and we're already moving ahead with the
traditional CD format.

But I digress.

> Of course you realize that the equipment that was used to MAKE
> those recordings didn't include any power cords that cost more
> than $5. Or any "boutique" massive, gold-plated audio inter-
> connects either.

Well I know for a fact that studios, etc, use those b&w nautilus
speakers for monitoring, etc, so I wouldn't bet on that.

> Hope that doesn't spoil your quest.

I am not on a quest. Actualy quite distrubed by this audible difference,
somewhat big difference this power cord makes.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:53:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Fella" wrote ...
> > It is not possible to do a real, valid double-blind a/b (or a/b/x)
> > test with power cords because of the logistics involved.
>
> Well actulay a freind of mine helped on this.

Double-blind means that neither you nor your friend
know which example you are listening to.

> I was away from the
> lsitening room and he switched (or not, I didn't know) the audiophile
> power cords with the original stock ones. Then I came in and listened
> the same samples, blindfolded of course.

If you can't switch back and forth within a few seconds
the ability to compare is very questionable. This is the
kind of protocol (or lack of it) that makes the claims of
the "golden ears" seem so questionable to scientific and
engineering types.

> > Of course you realize that the equipment that was used to MAKE
> > those recordings didn't include any power cords that cost more
> > than $5. Or any "boutique" massive, gold-plated audio inter-
> > connects either.
>
> Well I know for a fact that studios, etc, use those b&w nautilus
> speakers for monitoring, etc, so I wouldn't bet on that.

Exactly the point. The money is spent where it has the most
benefit, on the transducers (microphones and speakers.) NOT
on snake-oil boutique cables, etc.

> > Hope that doesn't spoil your quest.
>
> I am not on a quest. Actualy quite distrubed by this audible
> difference, somewhat big difference this power cord makes.

Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
beliefs find it more hospitable?
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:56:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 17:53:39 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>Well actulay a freind of mine helped on this. I was away from the
>lsitening room and he switched (or not, I didn't know) the audiophile
>power cords with the original stock ones. Then I came in and listened
>the same samples, blindfolded of course. And every time I knew which
>types of cords were being used. We did this some 10 times. Then we got
>tired of it.


Well OK. Repeat the test with ferrite rings, or with a simple
capacitor circuit across the power input (can someone point us to a
suitable spec?). Then, if the super-leads really still make a
difference, buy and enjoy.
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 10:26:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella wrote:
<<stuff deleted>>
> I am not on a quest. Actualy quite distrubed by this audible difference,
> somewhat big difference this power cord makes.

The "difference (a) power cord makes" may be a bit of a red
herring but I always say that if you are skeptical and seem to be
hearing significant differences, then there has to be a reason
whatever it may be. I suspect though that in your case, it may
have nothing to do with "power" but rather with broadband noise
travelling along the power cord and/or its shield.

If what you have discribed is really true (and I have no doubt
that you are relating your personal experience accurately), it
sounds as though you may have a significant ground loop noise
problem. I would presume that the so-called "RF stopper" part of
the power cord is some kind of ferrite core or set of beads.
There is a possibility that simply putting a ferrite clamp on
your original power cord may have resulted in similar effects.

Here is a possible scenario that you may be experiencing. Imagine
a RF loop antenna. It starts in the power supply area of your amp
or ground for the power cord, travels to the wall socket, through
the wall or that same socket to the power cord of another
component (say, your CD player), up the power cord to the
component, through the component's ground to its interconnect
shields, to the preamp's inputs, through the preamp's grounds to
the preamp's output IC shields, and back to the main amp's signal
inputs on the shield.

Noise on the signal shield can transfer in part to the signal
itself. More on this below.

The sensitivity of a loop antenna is directly proportional to the
area inside the loop. If you have 20 foot ICs going to an amp
plugged in on the other side of the room resulting in the power
line leg of the loop returning all the way to the service
entrance and then back on a different line, it is obviously going
to have far more noise levels than if all your components are
plugged into the same outlet using short ICs.

Anyway, somewhere there is a noise source. It may be external to
the loop or it may be internal (CD players are notorious for
emitting all kinds of digital/RF noise both directly to the air
and through their signal grounds), or even due to inter-chassis
potentials. The noise may be getting picked up from the air or is
being inserted directly onto the power ground connection in a
component supply, etc.. In any event, that noise has a complete
loop (i.e., circuit) to follow along the ground loop and is
managing to couple to your signal somewhere along that loop. By
installing the ferrite RF block, you have basically opened that
leg of the loop reducing the noise currents in the signal shields
and grounds of your system.

If the noise was being picked up in the air, the use of
telescoping shields on your ICs or power cords would reduce this
as well. Most commercial power cords are not shielded, and the
ones that are have the shield connected at both ends. Many high
end audio power cords use a telescoping shield that is only
grounded at one end which is likely the case with your new one.
Most low-end ICs do not use telescoping shields so again, noise
picked up on the shield can travel off of both ends of the cable
supporting the loop. You may not have telescoping shields on your
ICs which would exacerbate the problem if the noise source is airborn.

Although in theory, the currents in the shield of a coax due to
noise are kept separate from those due to signal, it can be shown
that it doesn't take a high amount of ground loop current with
even a very low resistance where the RCA plug shell connects to
the component's RCA jack, for minute amounts of the RF noise
current to couple to the signal. Most audio inputs are not going
to be linear up in the MHz region and the potential of
Intermodulation distortion producing minute signal in the audible
region is possible depending on the design of the component
(e.g., 1MHz and 1.001MHz components of an RF hash will produce a
1KHz difference component). Many audio components are not
designed to deal with this since, in theory, "there is no RF
signal there to worry about" (i.e., everything is shielded).

Anyway, the bottom line is that when you add the ferrite in one
leg of the loop, you effectively open the loop and reduce the
noise current.

BTW, this is a systemic thing. It has a lot to do with how all of
your components and accessories work together. The signal
corruption may not be occuring at the amp although that may be
one of the best places to block the RF loop. Also note that even
though that cord improves things, if it were moved to another
system, under certain circumstances it could actually make things
worse since adding inductance to the cord can produce system and
loop resonances. Even though the ferrite is eliminating many RF
frequencies, if it happens to be that a resonance is close to a
noise spectrum that one of your components is suceptable to, you
may actually have the effect of increasing the problem.

Anyway, I,ve seen some good papers showing the math on these
issues (i.e., how a "poor" connection of only fractions of an ohm
can still allow a significant amount of ground loop signal to
couple to the main audio signal in a coax connection, the affects
of ferrite resonances in an audio system power line loop, etc.)
although I don't have any online references. An audiophile friend
of mine who is also a high-speed digital engineer produced the
following report that refers to some of these issues if you are interested:

http://www.soundstage.com/articles/pete01.htm

I have talked to some audiophile cable DIY types that claim that
you can take a standard large guage Belkin shielded cable,
disconnect the shield at one end and add a ferrite clamp and it
can have effects similar (i.e., significant in many cases on high
resolution systems) to some $2K-$3K cables which, to me anyway,
makes a lot of sense.

Changing cables can make a difference on high resolution systems
depending on a lot of items but the biggest effects seem to come
from larger guage cables, shielding (any type although
telescoping is preferred), and RF blocking of some sort. However,
if your cables are already big enough and you don't have ground
loop problems, you may not see much (or any) difference.

Although I may not have described things as accurately as I would
like, I hope this gives you some ideas of what kinds of things
might be contributing to the effects that you are hearing. All of
this is only IMHO of course :-)

- Jeff
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 1:48:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

> Richard Crowley wrote:
> > Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
> > mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
> > beliefs find it more hospitable?

"Fella" wrote ...
> "my kind of beliefs" ?? What's with the hostility?

Not trying to be hostile. Perhaps you didn't notice the
word "tech" in the name of this newsgroup. Just
suggesting that you are more likely to find people who
share your beliefs in botique power cables over in
news:rec.audio.high-end or news:rec.audio.opinion
etc.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 3:04:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:24:43 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>But here comes the most curious part.. The azur cd player made "tak tak
>tak" mechanical noise on some cd's, very AUDIBLE for instance with the
>philip glass "koyaanisqatsi" cd, so much that it distracted from the
>music on quiter passages.

My Denon CD player comes up with that noise from time to time too. It
mechanics of that player (CD tray, platter, motors, optics) are made
by Sony and a couple of CD players having other brand names will use
that too. It is a simple mechanical problem that boils down on a
spring that opens the CD clamp when the drawer moves out.
Changing the tension of the clamp is one way to cure the problem.

>But with the audioquest used as power cord on
>the azur even this mechanical noise disappeared!! ... Now asking you
>guys (and why not gals?), any educated opinions as to how this is possible??

What happens when you go back to the old cable?

Norbert
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 3:30:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:24:43 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>... But with the CD-r versions the player cuts the music to give a
>two second in-between tracks silence which needles to say divides the
>music and spoils the whole experience, the whole concept of the CD.

That's a problem with the software you used to copy or create the CD.
I use Exact Audio Copy (EAC) for copying a CD and for extracting a CD
to disk, (www.exactaudiocopy.org). It's freeware!

Norbert
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 3:31:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Jeff Wiseman wrote:

>
> Changing cables can make a difference on high resolution systems
> depending on a lot of items but the biggest effects seem to come
> from larger guage cables, shielding (any type although
> telescoping is preferred), and RF blocking of some sort.

Thank you Jeff. I've read your article (well, why not? ;)  and it seems
it will eventually save me all that money. I will respond with more
detail and update later. But for now, thanks again.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 5:15:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Norbert Hahn wrote:

> On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:24:43 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:
>
>
>
> What happens when you go back to the old cable?
>

As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests. My freind
changed the cables 7 times and left the audioquests where they were 3
times. He didin't say anything just started the sample songs with my
que. All other variables were the same (volume, speaker placement, etc).
I was able differentiatewhich cords were being used each time without
*any* hesitation.

It seems I really do have a problem with the mains outlets in my living
room (they do not have ground, for instance). THough they work perfectly
OK for the TV, etc, and they do work for the intial system also.

Jeff Wisemann had some sound ideas and I will be implementing them.

Anyways, the phenomenon is so disturbing that I am seriously considering
selling the "high end" stuff I have (though I like the way sonus fabers
look) altogether and getting some off the shelf sony cd casette recorder
with "detachable" speakers and mp3 compatibility, whatever, and get on
with life.

Amongst others the idea of putting a couple thousand dollars to some
equipment that do not contains proper power cords with the package is
disturbing. That these equipment are so sensitive that changing power
cords alters their performance this much is also unnerving.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 5:15:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 01:15:44 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
>songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
>audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
>contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
>everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests. My freind
>changed the cables 7 times and left the audioquests where they were 3
>times. He didin't say anything just started the sample songs with my
>que. All other variables were the same (volume, speaker placement, etc).
>I was able differentiatewhich cords were being used each time without
>*any* hesitation.

You obviously have Golden Ears. Have you considered a career writing
for "Hi-Fi News" or whatever the favourite audiophile comic is called?
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 7:25:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella wrote:

><snip>
> It seems I really do have a problem with the mains outlets in my living
> room (they do not have ground, for instance). THough they work perfectly
> OK for the TV, etc, and they do work for the intial system also.
>
><snip>

That should wave a red flag. Do you have three prong sockets or two
prong? Are your cords three prong or two? If two prong, are they
polarized (one prong large)?

There is the possibility for some really bad ground loops in a worst
case situation with very unpredictable results.

You ought to get the grounding straightened out and then repeat the
listening tests. Could be all power cords will then have the equipment
sounding the same; as they should.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 11:45:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote in message news:<k_iIc.2982$7M3.930@reader1.news.jippii.net>...
> As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
> songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
> audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
> contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
> everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests.

Really?

So, you should be able to, using a good digital stopwatch with
a 1/100th second resolution, precisely time the length of songs
and show how, with one power cord, a song took, oh, 04:29.67,
and that same song with a different power cord took maybe 04:15.83?

This seems to be a rather extraordinary claim. I am wondering if
you would not mind, in fact, doing these timings and posting the
results for us to see. At the same time, if you would also not mind
listing the specific pieces of music you used to do the timing.

It just so happens that I have several different power cords here
as well, and I am fortunate enough to have been lended a high-priced
audiophile cable to evaluate. I have also done timings of this sort
and have the data in hand and would be happy to present them.

However, since you've already hinted that a power cord can make
a difference in, to use your words, the timing and the beat, I am
more than happy to wait until you post your results, because I
don't want to seem like I'm trying to upstage you with my data
when, certainly, you can provide good timing data of your own that
would support these extraordinary claims. Most assuredly, we can say
with great certainty that if the timing and beat changes, then the
duration MUST change as well. Presenting clear timing differences
like this will certainly lend enormous credence to these claims.

We look forward to your timing measurements. What marvelous times we
live in when just a power cable can change how fast something plays!
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 2:15:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:24:43 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>
>Hi,
>
>
>My system is as follows:
>Densen beat b100 mk5 amp
>Cambridge audio azur 640c cd player
>Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano speaks
>QED xtube 300 speaker wire + banana plugs
>
>Anyways, recently a freind of mine was selling a pair of audioquest
>power cords (their best) with "rf stoppers".. Being a sceptic of "power
>cords" making a difference, etc, I still wanted to try it out so he gave
>htem to me for an audition... So I tried them out, thinking what could
>it possibley hurt?
>
>I don't if the following effects I've experienced are "placebo" or not:
>increase and more control in the bass, sweeter more extended treble,
>more discernable and detailed micro dynamics. It was as if it was a REAL
>upgrade of some sorts, a new cd player, a better amp ??
>
>It was a pretty good system in the first place, but now the thing sounds
>like a $30000 setup!
>
>I am just thinking that "it's just freakin power, how could this be?"
>
>But here comes the most curious part.. The azur cd player made "tak tak
>tak" mechanical noise on some cd's, very AUDIBLE for instance with the
>philip glass "koyaanisqatsi" cd, so much that it distracted from the
>music on quiter passages. But with the audioquest used as power cord on
>the azur even this mechanical noise disappeared!! ... Now asking you
>guys (and why not gals?), any educated opinions as to how this is possible??
>
>One last question: taking backup from my old CD's (notibly charlie haden
>"ballad of the fallen") I've encountered a very annoying problem that
>make these backups practically useless: On continuous pieces with track
>numbers changing in the middle my CD player plays the tracks normally,
>there is no cut off between tracks, the music does not cut, with the
>original. But with the CD-r versions the player cuts the music to give a
>two second in-between tracks silence which needles to say divides the
>music and spoils the whole experience, the whole concept of the CD. Not
>only the azur, but also a very expensice naim cd5 is doing the same
>thing with the cd-r? Any ideas as to how I can overcome this problem?
>SOme software (better then HP record now) or some special tye of cdr
>made for audio specifically??
>
>Any help much apreeciated, much obliged, happy listening.

Q1. If you want to test the effect of the RF stoppers on the power
cables, turn the volume up and listen with no music playing. That is
where the difference will lie - anything you hear in the music itself
is you fooling yourself, I'm afraid.

As to the question of the gaps between tracks on your CDR, when you
record a CDR, inter-track gap is one of the parameters you specify -
you must set it to zero, or this is what will happen. I don't know
what software you are using, and whether it offers this facility - if
it doesn't, you must find some that does.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 2:53:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:
> As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
> songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
> audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up.

I'm sure you verified this with a metrognome. (sic)
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 4:09:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Richard Crowley wrote:
>>Richard Crowley wrote:
>>
>>>Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
>>>mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
>>>beliefs find it more hospitable?
>
>
> "Fella" wrote ...
>
>>"my kind of beliefs" ?? What's with the hostility?
>
>
> Not trying to be hostile. Perhaps you didn't notice the
> word "tech" in the name of this newsgroup. Just
> suggesting that you are more likely to find people who
> share your beliefs in botique power cables over in
> news:rec.audio.high-end or news:rec.audio.opinion
> etc.
>
>

I don't beleive in "botique" power cables. That's exactly why I am here
to ask these questions. Learn to *read* or better just put me on
killfile, OK?
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 4:58:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 01:15:44 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>It seems I really do have a problem with the mains outlets in my living
>room (they do not have ground, for instance). THough they work perfectly
>OK for the TV, etc, and they do work for the intial system also.

Ah. Now, here in the UK we would never DREAM of using a power
connection without a separate ground. In fact, there aren't any :-)

Maybe the US system is different. But maybe it isn't THAT
different. A properly organised grounding system is a
first-resource weapon against the sort of noise that "veils" the
sound.

I wonder how many people who claim results from magic power cables are
plugging into ungrounded power outlets? This is one area where some
simple circuitry might actually make a notable difference.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 5:01:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 12:09:24 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>
>I don't beleive in "botique" power cables. That's exactly why I am here
>to ask these questions. Learn to *read* or better just put me on
>killfile, OK?

It's OK. Mention "magic" audiophile items, some people here just
switch into attack mode. They don't listen long enough to discover
what you're actually SAYING about the gear :-)
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 5:24:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Don Pearce wrote:
>
> Q1. If you want to test the effect of the RF stoppers on the power
> cables, turn the volume up and listen with no music playing.


With our without the audiophile cables there is dead, complete silence.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 5:24:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 13:24:33 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>Don Pearce wrote:
>>
>> Q1. If you want to test the effect of the RF stoppers on the power
>> cables, turn the volume up and listen with no music playing.
>
>
>With our without the audiophile cables there is dead, complete silence.

Then with or without the audiophile cables, you have no problem. So
the choice boils down to the way you see the world. Do you like value
for money, or do you like to gaze fondly at an expensive purchase and
bask?

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 6:49:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Don Pearce wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 13:24:33 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:
>
>
>>Don Pearce wrote:
>>
>>>Q1. If you want to test the effect of the RF stoppers on the power
>>>cables, turn the volume up and listen with no music playing.
>>
>>
>>With our without the audiophile cables there is dead, complete silence.
>
> Do you like value
> for money, or do you like to gaze fondly at an expensive purchase and
> bask?

If I did I wouldn't be asking these questions here. I hear a difference,
though *I do not want* to hear it, even my freind (the one helped me do
the blind tests) which thinks his ghettoblaster is "just fine" says I
have a point.

In anycase, thanks to everyone answering both the questions, both I deem
as having been answered. Thanks for all the help.
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 9:41:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Richard Crowley wrote:
>
> "Fella" wrote ...
> > > It is not possible to do a real, valid double-blind a/b (or a/b/x)
> > > test with power cords because of the logistics involved.
> >
> > Well actulay a freind of mine helped on this.
>
> Double-blind means that neither you nor your friend
> know which example you are listening to.


That's true, I believe the OP had performed what would be called
a simple "blind test".


> > I was away from the
> > lsitening room and he switched (or not, I didn't know) the audiophile
> > power cords with the original stock ones. Then I came in and listened
> > the same samples, blindfolded of course.
>
> If you can't switch back and forth within a few seconds
> the ability to compare is very questionable. This is the
> kind of protocol (or lack of it) that makes the claims of
> the "golden ears" seem so questionable to scientific and
> engineering types.


I respectfully disagree. The longer the time between tests with a
100% match rate INCREASES the reliability. You want the high
success rate with as much handicap added as possible. You add the
blindfold as a handicap. You increase the time between tests as a
handicap. For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.

If one day you were to hook up a set of 3way floor standing
speakers and listen to them blind, and then the next day replace
them with 2inch speakers out of an old transistor radio, most
people would immediately tell the difference. Saying that the
ability to compare the 2 inch speakers with the 3way systems is
"very questionable" because "you couldn't switch back and forth
within a few seconds" doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The fact
is that the difference would be so noticable that it didn't
matter how long between tests, you could still tell.


<<stuff deleted>>
> > > Hope that doesn't spoil your quest.
> >
> > I am not on a quest. Actualy quite distrubed by this audible
> > difference, somewhat big difference this power cord makes.
>
> Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
> mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
> beliefs find it more hospitable?


The issue of hospitality on this group unfortunately appears to
be a regular issue here :-S however, his choice to come here with
the question would make sense. He has experienced a significant
effect on his system when he changes out a cord. The effect is
stiking enough to him, and so far has been 100% repeatable under
a simple blind test for him where he seems to recognize that
there must be a physical reason for it. Since he himself was
skeptical to start with, he has come to a tech group where other
skeptics would exist in the hopes of finding some physical clues
as to why this "thing" really happens.

Unfortunately, many critics who have never experienced some of
these "effects" and have chosen not to believe that they can
exist in any way, shape, or form, can only surmise that it is all
a phsychologic preconception in the head of the listener--even
when that listener was a skeptic himself to start with! To me,
that seems quite unscientific. With extrememly small and subtle
differences, yes, you need to deal with the phsychoacoustics of
the situation. That just doesn't seem to be the experience of the OP

To imply that the only reason he can correctly guess the cord in
use 100% of the time in a blind test (even if it is not an
ultra-controlled one) is totally due to his "beliefs" or some
phsychological misdirection also doesn't seem to address any of
his experiences very well--at least not as he described them.

The real issue so often doesn't seem to be the OP "beliefs" but
rather others who believe their theory-based knowledge totally
compensates for their lack of experience in a given situation (or
that their given experience can be extrapolated to ALL other
experiences). I have yet to see a skeptic who hasn't had a major
change in attitude when sat down in front of a significantly high
resolving and well balanced audio system and given the
opportunity to experience comparing different components that
"shouldn't" affect the sound.

Also, there is a lot of "snake-oil" components in the industry
and many charlitans. This ticks off a lot of people
understandibly and I expect that is what may drive some of the
hostility when certain "magic" components are discussed. But when
a person with an $80K system decides to add a $3K power cord,
just because someone thinks that it is a total extravegance and
waste of money does NOT mean that cord won't enhance or change
the sound of that system in a desirable way. It can (and does) in
many cases make a difference.

The original poster's belief has nothing to do with the original
questions. He came to this forum to find some clues as to why he
got a particular effect on his system. A lot of what he is being
told is, in so many words, "you imagined it". From my personal
experience with high-end systems, I doubt that very much.

- Jeff
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 9:59:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella wrote:
>
> Norbert Hahn wrote:
>
> > On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 11:24:43 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:
> >
> > What happens when you go back to the old cable?
>
> As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
> songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
> audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
> contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
> everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests. My freind
> changed the cables 7 times and left the audioquests where they were 3
> times. He didin't say anything just started the sample songs with my
> que. All other variables were the same (volume, speaker placement, etc).
> I was able differentiatewhich cords were being used each time without
> *any* hesitation.


As has been asked already, have you actually measured the timing
issues? Timing is something that is easy to mistake without some
kind of reference to measure from.

There seems to be a bunch of possible noise sensitive attributes
of your CD player. Borrow a different type from someone else and
try it in your system. See if you get similar results. A flakey
supply might be exacerbating other issues. Just a guess though.


> It seems I really do have a problem with the mains outlets in my living
> room (they do not have ground, for instance). THough they work perfectly
> OK for the TV, etc, and they do work for the intial system also.


This does lend some fuel to the ground loop theories.


> Anyways, the phenomenon is so disturbing that I am seriously considering
> selling the "high end" stuff I have (though I like the way sonus fabers
> look) altogether and getting some off the shelf sony cd casette recorder
> with "detachable" speakers and mp3 compatibility, whatever, and get on
> with life.


The sonus fabers, in a way, may be part of your "problem" as they
are excellant (and fairly revealing) speakers. If you had far
lesser speakers, you might not be hearing the audible
differences. But if you like their sound, giving them up would be
a shame. If you can live with the sound of MP3 though, that could
same you some grief (and a lot of $$ too)


> Amongst others the idea of putting a couple thousand dollars to some
> equipment that do not contains proper power cords with the package is
> disturbing. That these equipment are so sensitive that changing power
> cords alters their performance this much is also unnerving.


Remember, if it is a noise loop problem (possibly RF in nature),
it's not so much changing the cord as adding some RF protection.
How many components come with surge supressors built in? A lot of
audio stuff isn't set up to handle large amounts of ground loop noise.

- Jeff
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 10:13:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Jeff Wiseman <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote:


> Richard Crowley wrote:
> >
> > "Fella" wrote ...
> > > > It is not possible to do a real, valid double-blind a/b (or a/b/x)
> > > > test with power cords because of the logistics involved.
> > >
> > > Well actulay a freind of mine helped on this.
> >
> > Double-blind means that neither you nor your friend
> > know which example you are listening to.


> That's true, I believe the OP had performed what would be called
> a simple "blind test".


It is possible to do a real, valid DBT with power cords.


> > > I was away from the
> > > lsitening room and he switched (or not, I didn't know) the audiophile
> > > power cords with the original stock ones. Then I came in and listened
> > > the same samples, blindfolded of course.
> >
> > If you can't switch back and forth within a few seconds
> > the ability to compare is very questionable. This is the
> > kind of protocol (or lack of it) that makes the claims of
> > the "golden ears" seem so questionable to scientific and
> > engineering types.


> I respectfully disagree. The longer the time between tests with a
> 100% match rate INCREASES the reliability. You want the high
> success rate with as much handicap added as possible. You add the
> blindfold as a handicap. You increase the time between tests as a
> handicap. For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
> day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
> used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
> time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
> difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.

> If one day you were to hook up a set of 3way floor standing
> speakers and listen to them blind, and then the next day replace
> them with 2inch speakers out of an old transistor radio, most
> people would immediately tell the difference. Saying that the
> ability to compare the 2 inch speakers with the 3way systems is
> "very questionable" because "you couldn't switch back and forth
> within a few seconds" doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The fact
> is that the difference would be so noticable that it didn't
> matter how long between tests, you could still tell.

'Quick switching' means that the time it takes to do the switch
from A to B, is very short. It does not refer to the amount of time one
listens to A or B. Quick switching has been shown to be a more
sensitive means for detecting subtle differences, as it maximizes
the power of audio memory. Similarly, short listening times,
using the same material for A and B, are usually used in
studies of audio perception. But there is no 'rule' that
says you can't use a listening session (A) that is hours or days long,
before switching to the second listening session (B). Nor does the
switching have to be quick.

Speakers can be expected to sound different; blind comparison is
used by Harman-Kardon/JBL in speaker development, to
sidestep the effects of appearance and foreknowledge on perception of
*quality* as well as difference. H-K has a rather elaborate
facility for doing such comparisons, involving relatively
'quick' switching, where speakers meachanically swapped into
the listening positoin.



> <<stuff deleted>>
> > > > Hope that doesn't spoil your quest.
> > >
> > > I am not on a quest. Actualy quite distrubed by this audible
> > > difference, somewhat big difference this power cord makes.
> >
> > Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
> > mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
> > beliefs find it more hospitable?


> The issue of hospitality on this group unfortunately appears to
> be a regular issue here :-S however, his choice to come here with
> the question would make sense. He has experienced a significant
> effect on his system when he changes out a cord. The effect is
> stiking enough to him, and so far has been 100% repeatable under
> a simple blind test for him where he seems to recognize that
> there must be a physical reason for it. Since he himself was
> skeptical to start with, he has come to a tech group where other
> skeptics would exist in the hopes of finding some physical clues
> as to why this "thing" really happens.

INdeed, and if he is skeptical, he will remain skeptical that a 'simple
blind test' is sufficient to settle the matter. 100% repeatable
ID could be a real, obvious difference -- or it could be a real bias.
Both could easily render 100% repeatability.

Two avenues of further investigation would be

1) make the test more stringent (double blind)
2) measure the characterstics of the cords. A real, obvious
difference should have a real, obvious measurable effect. It's not
rocket science, it's a power cord.


> Unfortunately, many critics who have never experienced some of
> these "effects" and have chosen not to believe that they can
> exist in any way, shape, or form, can only surmise that it is all
> a phsychologic preconception in the head of the listener--even
> when that listener was a skeptic himself to start with! To me,
> that seems quite unscientific.

If so, then you don't understand the nature of perceptual biases.
THey need not be conscious, and usually aren't.

> With extrememly small and subtle
> differences, yes, you need to deal with the phsychoacoustics of
> the situation. That just doesn't seem to be the experience of the OP


Competent power cords are not expected from basic acoustic/electical
principles to sound different; speakers are.



> To imply that the only reason he can correctly guess the cord in
> use 100% of the time in a blind test (even if it is not an
> ultra-controlled one) is totally due to his "beliefs" or some
> phsychological misdirection also doesn't seem to address any of
> his experiences very well--at least not as he described them.

To imply that that's the *only* reason is incorrect; to imply
that it is a reason that hasn't yet been adequately ruled out,
is correct.


As for the rest, the vast majority of audiophile forums,
led by the mainstream high-end press, are *hostile* to
the idea of controlled comparison...they consider a protocol
which has been scientifically vetted for decades in the field
of psychoacoustics, to be *suspect*.




--

-S.
"We started to see evidence of the professional groupie in the early 80's.
Alarmingly, these girls bore a striking resemblance to Motley Crue." --
David Lee Roth
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 10:18:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Richard Crowley <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote:
> > Richard Crowley wrote:
> > > Are you aware that there are other forums (newsgroups,
> > > mailing-lists, blogs, etc.) where people with your kind of
> > > beliefs find it more hospitable?

> "Fella" wrote ...
> > "my kind of beliefs" ?? What's with the hostility?

> Not trying to be hostile. Perhaps you didn't notice the
> word "tech" in the name of this newsgroup. Just
> suggesting that you are more likely to find people who
> share your beliefs in botique power cables over in
> news:rec.audio.high-end

I can assure you that such beleifs would not go unchallenged
on rec.audio.high-end, which hosts a vigorous skeptical
subcommmunity.

> or news:rec.audio.opinion

A completely different kettle of kooks from r.a.h-e ;>




--

-S.
"We started to see evidence of the professional groupie in the early 80's.
Alarmingly, these girls bore a striking resemblance to Motley Crue." --
David Lee Roth
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 12:54:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Jeff Wiseman" wrote ...
> The issue of hospitality on this group unfortunately appears to
> be a regular issue here :-S however, his choice to come here with
> the question would make sense. He has experienced a significant
> effect on his system when he changes out a cord.

Unless you believe his posting from this morning in r.a.p where
he appears to reveal himself as a troll by saying "Naa, I was just
kidding you guys...."
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 3:38:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

> As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
> songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
> audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up.

I need to slow down some banjo pieces so I can transcribe them. What
power cord would result in a 50% speed decrease?

- Village Idiot
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 3:38:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

minabel@innercite.com wrote:

>Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:
>
>> As curious as it may seem, the problem reappears. The timing of the
>> songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
>> audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up.
>
>I need to slow down some banjo pieces so I can transcribe them. What
>power cord would result in a 50% speed decrease?
>
>- Village Idiot

This is one of the most common questions we get at the Electrical Institution.
It's in the Electrical Institution FAQ (http://powertothepeople.com/FAQ), but
I'll repeat it here:

Q10.15: Why do I need two wires to only carry one voltage?

A10.15: You don't - each wire only carries 1/2 the required voltage. That way,
we at the electric company can sell you twice the wire you'd need if it all came
thru one bigger wire.

Just use one of the two wires in the power cord (that go to the flat blade
thingies). Leave the one going to the round thingy alone, since it's a ground
wire for your safety and protection. Only the two wires going to the flat blades
carry the electricity - all 120 volts of it.

If you only use one wire instead of two, simple math says you will only get half
the electricity, therby decreasing the speed of the music. Make sure you
disconnect the wire from the wall socket BEFORE attempting this modification.

If the wire only has two flat blades of equal size, it's called a balanced
system, and either blade may be safely cut, which will indeed result in a
noticable difference to your sound, improving much of the music being offered
these days.

If one blade is noticably bigger than the other, it's an unbalanced system; the
big blade puts out 70 volts and the little blade puts out 50 volts, so you'll
hafta retune your banjo. Most hardware stores sell a little balanced to
unbalanced orange or gray converter for about 79 cents. The Audioquest version
is black and sells for $899 and is a much better value than the cheapie 79 cent
unit.

(I tried to be the Village Idiot, but the test was too hard.)









Finally, before you all jump my ass, this is supposed to humor. If you took me
seriously, you have no business being around electricity of any type. The only
thing that wasn't nonsense was about not cutting the wire going to the round
thingy; that was serious.

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://www.ITRstudio.com/
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 12:58:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Jeff Wiseman" <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:40F2CCC8.3120FCDC@earthlink.net

> That's true, I believe the OP had performed what would be called
> a simple "blind test".

Agreed. Therefore the so-called test was critically flawed and its results
are irrelevant to a discussion of improvements in sound quality.

Richard Crowley wrote:

>> If you can't switch back and forth within a few seconds
>> the ability to compare is very questionable. This is the
>> kind of protocol (or lack of it) that makes the claims of
>> the "golden ears" seem so questionable to scientific and
>> engineering types.

Agreed. It is well known that amazingly-large differences can go undetected
when the time between presentation of alternatives is more than a few
seconds.

> I respectfully disagree.

The following pargraph is just a straw man argument, and shows zero respect
for anybody's viewpoint:

> If one day you were to hook up a set of 3way floor standing
> speakers and listen to them blind, and then the next day replace
> them with 2inch speakers out of an old transistor radio, most
> people would immediately tell the difference. Saying that the
> ability to compare the 2 inch speakers with the 3way systems is
> "very questionable" because "you couldn't switch back and forth
> within a few seconds" doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The fact
> is that the difference would be so noticable that it didn't
> matter how long between tests, you could still tell.

Please let me *respectfully* point out that this thread started out as
discussion of power cords, not transistor radio speakers versus good speaker
systems.

> The longer the time between tests with a
> 100% match rate INCREASES the reliability.

Say what?

> You want the high success rate with as much handicap added as possible.

I think that first we'd like to see *any* success rate at all, in a power
cord comparison.

> You add the blindfold as a handicap.

What blindfold?

>You increase the time between tests as a handicap.

Since when are we trying to get a negative result by bogus means?

>For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
> day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
> used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
> time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
> difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.

But that's irrelevant to the problem at hand. The discussion at hand is
about power cords, and it is well known that if you do a proper listening
test, power cords comparisions yield negative results.

> The issue of hospitality on this group unfortunately appears to
> be a regular issue here

That might be because some people have an odd idea of hospitality. They
equate hospitality with going out of your way to convince someone of a false
fact.

>:-S however, his choice to come here with
> the question would make sense. He has experienced a significant
> effect on his system when he changes out a cord.

Wrong. He did a bogus listening test and is no doubt deceiving himself as a
result.

>The effect is
> stiking enough to him, and so far has been 100% repeatable under
> a simple blind test for him where he seems to recognize that
> there must be a physical reason for it.

But, as a rule, single blind tests aren't blind tests at all. They have a
built-in defect.

> Since he himself was
> skeptical to start with, he has come to a tech group where other
> skeptics would exist in the hopes of finding some physical clues
> as to why this "thing" really happens.

The most likely explanation has been given. He did not do a proper listening
test.

> Unfortunately, many critics who have never experienced some of
> these "effects" and have chosen not to believe that they can
> exist in any way, shape, or form, can only surmise that it is all
> a phsychologic preconception in the head of the listener--even
> when that listener was a skeptic himself to start with!

One major reason why many critics have not heard these effects is that they
did proper listening tests. Remember, the OP was talking about power cords,
not comparing transistor radio speakers to proper high fidelity speakers.

> To me, that seems quite unscientific.

To me, equating a comparison of power cords to a comparison of transistor
radio speakers to proper high fidelity speakers is worse than unscientific -
it's just a word game that wastes our time and efforts.

> With extrememly small and subtle
> differences, yes, you need to deal with the psychoacoustics of
> the situation.

We're not really talking about psychoacoustics here, we're talking about
experimental design. Therefore, introduction of a widely-divergent topic
such as psychoacoustics would appear to be a red herring.

>That just doesn't seem to be the experience of the OP

The experience of the OP was based on a grossly flawed listening test. 'Nuff
said.

> To imply that the only reason he can correctly guess the cord in
> use 100% of the time in a blind test (even if it is not an
> ultra-controlled one) is totally due to his "beliefs" or some
> phsychological misdirection also doesn't seem to address any of
> his experiences very well--at least not as he described them.

Wrong. The OP did not have the reliable experience that he seems to have
thought he did, because he did an inherently-flawed listening test.

> The real issue so often doesn't seem to be the OP "beliefs" but
> rather others who believe their theory-based knowledge totally
> compensates for their lack of experience in a given situation (or
> that their given experience can be extrapolated to ALL other
> experiences).

I've done so-called listening tests that produced positive outcomes that
disagreed with established audio theories as I understood them at the time.
Then I realized that the listening test in question was not a proper
listening test. When I repeated the exprience under proper, relevant test
conditions the outcome changed dramatically. When I improved my
understanding of audio theory by independent means, the theory and my
observations agreed.

>I have yet to see a skeptic who hasn't had a major
> change in attitude when sat down in front of a significantly high
> resolving and well balanced audio system and given the
> opportunity to experience comparing different components that
> "shouldn't" affect the sound.

You've obviously been dealing with the wrong people.

> Also, there is a lot of "snake-oil" components in the industry
> and many charlitans. This ticks off a lot of people
> understandibly and I expect that is what may drive some of the
> hostility when certain "magic" components are discussed. But when
> a person with an $80K system decides to add a $3K power cord,
> just because someone thinks that it is a total extravegance and
> waste of money does NOT mean that cord won't enhance or change
> the sound of that system in a desirable way.

Now that's true. What is relevant is the fact that power cords are rarely a
source of audible problems in audio systems.

>It can (and does) in many cases make a difference.

Not at all. In a few rare circumstances it might make a difference. However,
in those cases there can be serious questions about system design and setup.

> The original poster's belief has nothing to do with the original
> questions.

Sure it does. It biased him towards perceiving a postive outcome in a
defective listening test. The nature of the listening test defect is that it
is prone to be affected by the beliefs of the people performing it.

>He came to this forum to find some clues as to why he
> got a particular effect on his system.

The most likely reason is the obvious defect in the so-called listening
test.

> A lot of what he is being told is, in so many words, "you imagined it".

No, its more like "you did a listening test that is prone to tell you that
your pre-existing beliefs are correct".

>From my personal experience with high-end systems, I doubt that very much.

Jeff, you've already admitted to your lack of experience to high end systems
doing proper listening tests, so your experience is irrelevant to a
discussion of sound quality.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 1:11:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 17:41:14 GMT, Jeff Wiseman
<wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote:

>I respectfully disagree. The longer the time between tests with a
>100% match rate INCREASES the reliability. You want the high
>success rate with as much handicap added as possible. You add the
>blindfold as a handicap. You increase the time between tests as a
>handicap. For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
>day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
>used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
>time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
>difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.

You have misunderstood the function of double blind testing. A
properly run double blind test is set up to make hearing a difference
as *easy* as possible. If that means rapid switching, then so be it.
If you deliberately introduce impediments like delays, then you can't
be sure if a null result is real, or due to interfering factors. Your
reference to a blindfold above is *not* the same handicap as
increasing the time between tests.

All you are trying to prevent in a double blind test is sighted bias,
either from the subject or the proctor.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:05:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Steven Sullivan wrote:

<<lotsa good points deleted>>

> > With extrememly small and subtle
> > differences, yes, you need to deal with the phsychoacoustics of
> > the situation. That just doesn't seem to be the experience of the OP
>
> Competent power cords are not expected from basic acoustic/electical
> principles to sound different; speakers are.


I understand your point. Actually, part of my intent was to point
out that the weakness was not so much a power cord issue as a
SYSTEM weakness that (coincidentally) could be improved with a
power cord that had ferrite clamps and/or a better shielding type
on it.


> As for the rest, the vast majority of audiophile forums,
> led by the mainstream high-end press, are *hostile* to
> the idea of controlled comparison...they consider a protocol
> which has been scientifically vetted for decades in the field
> of psychoacoustics, to be *suspect*.


This is also (unfortunately) true. I suppose it could be due in
part to the fact that many of those experienced in listening to
many high resolution systems do not have the technical background
to explain why they hear differences in areas where "basic
theory" says it shouldn't be happening. For that reason, they
just avoid the question--understandable but unfortunate.

On the other hand, the folks who have the technical background to
actually explain some of these differences won't even take the
opportunity to listen to some comparisons of components (on
systems that are actually capable of revealing differences)
simply because they have already convinced themselves that those
differences can't (and therefore don't) exist.

In the same sense that the technical person considers his
knowledge of theory in audio as absolute, the high-end audiophile
press reviewer considers his extensive experience with various
systems as absolute. The technical person won't try to figure out
how these things might exist and how to measure them so the
audiophile leans towards believing the ear is more sensitive than
any test instrument. The only argument for the technical folks is
then that the differences probably don't really exist and it is
all just a perceptual problem in the minds of the audiophile
(i.e., "you're crazy") which insults the audiophiles. The
audiophile argues that the techno guys sit out there without ever
having heard what the audio guys have experienced and are
"understanding" things using simplistic applications of BASIC
theory in an area that is inherently complicated.

Stalemate. It's no wonder there are continuous wars on these subjects.

It's too bad because as an engineer, I would love to understand
why changing a cord on a given high-end system can make a
difference where my own understanding of the theory says it
probably shouldn't. As an audiophile, I've heard these changes
that many times have been far too distinct (and have run contrary
to what I desired at that time) for me to accept an explanation
that it was "all in my head", especially by some tech who may
have never even sat down in front of such a system, let alone
have hours of listening and familiarity experience with them.

Audiophiles need to realize that many subtle differences may be
only perceptual, and real differences (even subtle ones) must be
based on some principle that should be measureable in some way.
Technophobs need to realize that although there may be a lot of
snake oil in the audio industry, many differences heard between
high end system components are NOT just perceptual and they need
to have personal experience listening to such comparisons so that
ultimately, we can have more technical people that understand
(and can measure) the physical properties that are contributing
to the audible differences.

Engineering types should always consider one of my favorite
quotes. I believe it was Einstien who said something like "Every
problem should be reduced to its simplest form, but NOT simpler".
Don't oversimplify an inherently complex problem, you will tend
to make mistakes.


- Jeff
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:05:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Jeff Wiseman" <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:40F407BE.14D83848@earthlink.net

> This is also (unfortunately) true. I suppose it could be due in
> part to the fact that many of those experienced in listening to
> many high resolution systems do not have the technical background
> to explain why they hear differences in areas where "basic
> theory" says it shouldn't be happening. For that reason, they
> just avoid the question--understandable but unfortunate.

The results of close examination of situations where differences are heard
"where basic theory says it shouldn't be happening", is that they aren't
hearing differences, they just think they are.

> On the other hand, the folks who have the technical background to
> actually explain some of these differences won't even take the
> opportunity to listen to some comparisons of components (on
> systems that are actually capable of revealing differences)
> simply because they have already convinced themselves that those
> differences can't (and therefore don't) exist.

How many times does one need to waste time with situations where differences
are heard "where basic theory says it shouldn't be happening", and it turns
out to be that they aren't hearing differences?

> In the same sense that the technical person considers his
> knowledge of theory in audio as absolute, the high-end audiophile
> press reviewer considers his extensive experience with various
> systems as absolute.

The difference is that true scientific knowledge is reliable, while so many
of the wild perceptions of high end audio fail any and all tests for
reliability.

> The technical person won't try to figure out
> how these things might exist and how to measure them so the
> audiophile leans towards believing the ear is more sensitive than
> any test instrument.

In my case the technical people first put the audiophile's perceptions to a
reasonable simple test of reliability, and that was that.

> The only argument for the technical folks is
> then that the differences probably don't really exist and it is
> all just a perceptual problem in the minds of the audiophile
> (i.e., "you're crazy") which insults the audiophiles.

Not at all. Placebo effects aren't a perceptual problem when properly
managed, they are just one aspect of how human perception works. People who
are distracted by placebo effects aren't crazy, they are just poorly
informed.

> The audiophile argues that the techno guys sit out there without ever
> having heard what the audio guys have experienced and are
> "understanding" things using simplistic applications of BASIC
> theory in an area that is inherently complicated.

I can experience placebo effects and be distracted by them whenever I want
to. I don't need any high end snake oil merchants to help me. All I have to
do is listen to two things that I think should sound different, but don't.

> Stalemate. It's no wonder there are continuous wars on these subjects.

The war was settled, everybody won. Knowing that placebo effects and
learning how to manage them without all the emotional baggage is the key.

> It's too bad because as an engineer, I would love to understand
> why changing a cord on a given high-end system can make a
> difference where my own understanding of the theory says it
> probably shouldn't.

First, understand how human perception works.

> As an audiophile, I've heard these changes
> that many times have been far too distinct (and have run contrary
> to what I desired at that time) for me to accept an explanation
> that it was "all in my head", especially by some tech who may
> have never even sat down in front of such a system, let alone
> have hours of listening and familiarity experience with them.

Jeff, this sort of drivel-talk, and all the self-pity that preceded it,
just shows that you need to understand how human perception works.

> Audiophiles need to realize that many subtle differences may be
> only perceptual, and real differences (even subtle ones) must be
> based on some principle that should be measurable in some way.

Actually, all that audiophiles need to admit is that the world isn't always
exactly as they perceive it. They need to realize that there are such things
as audible illusions. They need to understand that the eye is connected to
the brain, and the brain as the most powerful organ in the body can
subordinate the ear.

> Technophobs need to realize that although there may be a lot of
> snake oil in the audio industry, many differences heard between
> high end system components are NOT just perceptual and they need
> to have personal experience listening to such comparisons so that
> ultimately, we can have more technical people that understand
> (and can measure) the physical properties that are contributing
> to the audible differences.

Trouble is, perceptions of audible differences in areas where "basic
theory" says it shouldn't be happening, are usually illusions.

This thread is a good example. The basic problem was a ground loop, which
has a well-known audible consequence. Nevertheless, our naive audiophile
inflated this problem to the degree where he wrote:

"The timing of the
songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests. My freind
changed the cables 7 times and left the audioquests where they were 3
times. He didn't say anything just started the sample songs with my
que. All other variables were the same (volume, speaker placement, etc).
I was able differentiate which cords were being used each time without
*any* hesitation."

Trust me, I can hear the difference between a good solid ground loop and no
ground loop without any hesitation, as well. I don't even need any high end
audio components be present in the system when I accomplish this feat of
auditory legerdemain.

;-)

> Engineering types should always consider one of my favorite
> quotes. I believe it was Einstein who said something like "Every
> problem should be reduced to its simplest form, but NOT simpler".

Agreed, and other the simplest form of the alleged problem is that as
perceived, its largely the creation of the naive listener.

> Don't oversimplify an inherently complex problem, you will tend
> to make mistakes.

The human brain is the most powerful organ in the body. In these matters of
audiophilia and cable magic, further searching is unnecessary.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:19:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Fella wrote:

> I am in the process of
> implementing a grounded extension (from the kitchen) to the living room
> exclusively for the stereo system.

Remember in part that the issue has to do with ground loops.
plugging all of your components into the same outlet/power strip
so all of their gnds and neutrals are short will help. Keeping
wires close together might help eliminate antenna effect (i.e.,
"squash" the loop closed to reduce its inside areas).

And don't forget that loop currents can also be generated by
interchassis potentials due to slight imbalances in the power
supply transformers (a hard one to fix). Also, if your TV is tied
to your audio system and you have something like a cable or other
antenna lead that is grounded outside, be aware that it can also
form a large loop on your system and may need a ground isolator.

And if you are adding a power ground, make sure it is up to code
which means it needs to be grounded at the service entrance and
not somewhere else, etc.

- Jeff
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:32:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Don Pearce wrote:


> I think it would probably better...if you steered clear of ec.audio.tech.


Wow! We agree on something.


> This is
> clearly a forum in which you are way out of your depth,

Well obviously I am not an electrical engineer and that was the *reason*
in the first place why I came to ask these questions. Being a cross
bunch of insincere never-will-be's *of course* my sincerity was
questioned and agnry retaliations, ridicule, whatever was spewn forth.

In matters of "self esteem" I suggest that you guys take a long hard
look in the mirror before tending to your ribs, since I somehow sense an
unhealthy amount of "envy" (more or less) behind the ridicule and anger
that my "trolling" provoked.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:32:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 16:32:23 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>Don Pearce wrote:
>
>
>> I think it would probably better...if you steered clear of ec.audio.tech.
>
>
>Wow! We agree on something.
>
>
>> This is
>> clearly a forum in which you are way out of your depth,
>
>Well obviously I am not an electrical engineer and that was the *reason*
>in the first place why I came to ask these questions. Being a cross
>bunch of insincere never-will-be's *of course* my sincerity was
>questioned and agnry retaliations, ridicule, whatever was spewn forth.
>
>In matters of "self esteem" I suggest that you guys take a long hard
>look in the mirror before tending to your ribs, since I somehow sense an
>unhealthy amount of "envy" (more or less) behind the ridicule and anger
>that my "trolling" provoked.

No, I don't think so. The point is that it should have been clear to
you within a very few posts that you wee suggesting things that were
patently ridiculous. At that point, a sensible person would have
stepped back and gone to do some homework. Instead you persisted and
peopled got pissed off with you. Quite some time ago I gave you a
sensible answer to your power cord question, and suggested a test that
would establish whether it made things better. You did it (well done)
and reported back that there was no difference with or without the AQ
power cord. This was as everybody here would have predicted. But you
couldn't let it go at that and persisted with semi-mystical claims of
effects that could never be attributable to the cord and were clearly
a figment of your imagination; and I'm not being insulting - I
guarantee that everybody here has fallen victim to this at some time
or other. It is just that as your technical knowledge grows, you
understand better what can cause which effect and you know when to
doubt your sensual interpretations.

So consider this a lesson learned - boutique power cords do nothing.
Everybody here knows they do nothing. Everybody who makes them knows
they do nothing. We here get annoyed with the vendors of such things,
and we get annoyed with the victims of such vendors when they appear
here extolling the virtues of these cords. When you persist in the
face of the evidence, and assurances of the experts here (and there
are a few) then yes, you can expect ultimately to have ridicule heaped
on you. There are two ways you can deal with it. Unfortunately you
appear to be adopting plan B.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:32:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Fella" <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote in message
news:F7TIc.3359$kN4.1482@reader1.news.jippii.net

> I ALREADY got the answer from Jeff. I implemented it. I also put a
> "galvanic separator" (direct translation from the language used in
> these parts) on the TV antenna, (since the amp is taking an input
> also from the TV) and yes I am hearing the difference, so there, eat
> your rotten little inhuman heart out.

Which has exactly what to do with Audioquest cables?
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:32:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote in message
news:tsv7f05tsmufnujr0qh2omsubalijbsmcl@4ax.com

> And do you know what the size of your killfile says about you?

Obviously, it says that he is very broad minded and tolerant of a variety
of viewpoints.

NOT!!!!!

> Mine has nobody in it.

As does mine. Life's more interesting that way!
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 8:54:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 15:49:36 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>In anycase, I am happy to report that a heavy-duty, well shielded and
>*grounded* extension cord strecthed in from a grounded outlet in kitchen
>has made all the difference. I know the audiophile cord was not
>mysteriously adding grounding to the equation but it no longer has an
>audible effect on the system.

An excellent result!

Now, it would be fascinating to discover just WHAT the magic cable was
doing that had the same effect.

And I'm intrigued by your improved "timing". I see this mentioned
in hi-fi reviews. Is this increased audio clarity being perceived as
tighter rhythms? Or are you really hearing uneven rhythm (as in
analogue wow)?
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 9:25:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Don Pearce wrote:
>
> On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 17:41:14 GMT, Jeff Wiseman
> <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> >I respectfully disagree. The longer the time between tests with a
> >100% match rate INCREASES the reliability. You want the high
> >success rate with as much handicap added as possible. You add the
> >blindfold as a handicap. You increase the time between tests as a
> >handicap. For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
> >day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
> >used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
> >time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
> >difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.
>
> You have misunderstood the function of double blind testing. A
> properly run double blind test is set up to make hearing a difference
> as *easy* as possible. If that means rapid switching, then so be it.
> If you deliberately introduce impediments like delays, then you can't
> be sure if a null result is real, or due to interfering factors. Your
> reference to a blindfold above is *not* the same handicap as
> increasing the time between tests.
>
> All you are trying to prevent in a double blind test is sighted bias,
> either from the subject or the proctor.


Thanks for the comments Don. I looked at my text again and can
see where it didn't really say what I meant to convey. It implies
that adding handicap increases reliability which, as you've
pointed out, is totally wrong. A good test is intended to be as
sensitive as possible so that regardless of how subtle a
difference is, if it is a real difference at all, the
repeatability of the results will continue to be there.

I guess that the issue I was trying to convey is that some actual
differences are so blatant (e.g., my previous extreme speaker
compare analogy) that it really doesn't take a double-blind test
with all the controls to determine which is better. If the
repeatability of the test is there then that can be enough
"practically" for a normal, non-phsychotic individual :-)

All differences exist on a scale of extremely small (where things
like double-blind are essential) to massive (i.e., comparing two
power cords, one good one and one with an open hot connection).
What I frequently see happening is when someone presents an
experience where a difference was experienced as "significant"
for a traditional "magic" item (e.g., boutique power cord), it
seems to be automatically presumed that since such a difference
shouldn't exist, it must be very tiny and therfore anything less
than a double blind test is inadequate.

An example: I had a friend who complained of a significant noise
on his home theather system. I replace the power cord on his amp
with a different one I had and the obnoxious "noise" went away.
He was thrilled and wanted to buy the cable from me but I needed
to keep it for testing. You see, my cable had the wire removed
from the gnd plug. He had a ground loop going through his TV
cable that his amp was sensitive to. Once we got the proper fix
(a Jensen ground isolation transformer for his coax), I put his
original cable back.

The point was that anyone actually present at the time could see
without fancy comparisons that one cable "worked" much better
than the other in the system. If my friend (who didn't understand
ground loops) were to have posted to this group that he had
discovered changing power cords on his amp with a different one
given to him by a friend had made a "significant" difference to
the noise he had on his system, and then asked "why did this
happen", he likely would have been chewed up very much like the
OP on these threads who's original post was similar except it had
the high-end power cord smell of snake oil. Although the OP's
problem wasn't the power cord per-se, changing it to something
different had produced a change, i.e. reveled a weakness in the
system that he corrected by cleaning up his power and ground
system. Instead of getting what he wanted (info on why the change
occured) he got lectured on how he didn't do his testing right
because it would seem that no one believe that here really heard something.

Anyway, I appreciate the courteous correction to my poorly worded
post. I would really like to see more folks taking posts here (at
least initially) at face value though, and then explore from there.

- Jeff
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 9:25:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Jeff Wiseman" <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:40F41AA9.45B06424@earthlink.net

> Thanks for the comments Don. I looked at my text again and can
> see where it didn't really say what I meant to convey. It implies
> that adding handicap increases reliability which, as you've
> pointed out, is totally wrong. A good test is intended to be as
> sensitive as possible so that regardless of how subtle a
> difference is, if it is a real difference at all, the
> repeatability of the results will continue to be there.

Of course.

> I guess that the issue I was trying to convey is that some actual
> differences are so blatant (e.g., my previous extreme speaker
> compare analogy) that it really doesn't take a double-blind test
> with all the controls to determine which is better.

Those sort of differences aren't the usual area of controversy.

However, just because the difference is obvious doesn't mean that it is
going to be easy to tell which is better. The difference many be easy to
hear, but yet there may be no consensus on which is better.

> If the repeatability of the test is there then that can be enough
> "practically" for a normal, non-phsychotic individual :-)

Trouble is, false perceived differences can be very compelling.

> All differences exist on a scale of extremely small (where things
> like double-blind are essential) to massive (i.e., comparing two
> power cords, one good one and one with an open hot connection).

In this case the difference may have been almost like that open hot
connection, (i.e., an open ground connection), but yet the listener was
apparently well down the snake oil road. All it took is a friend with some
snake oil boutique cable...

> What I frequently see happening is when someone presents an
> experience where a difference was experienced as "significant"
> for a traditional "magic" item (e.g., boutique power cord), it
> seems to be automatically presumed that since such a difference
> shouldn't exist, it must be very tiny and therfore anything less
> than a double blind test is inadequate.

That would be a presumption on your part, Jeff. The actual presumption is
that things aren't necessarily as they seem.

> An example: I had a friend who complained of a significant noise
> on his home theather system. I replace the power cord on his amp
> with a different one I had and the obnoxious "noise" went away.
> He was thrilled and wanted to buy the cable from me but I needed
> to keep it for testing. You see, my cable had the wire removed
> from the gnd plug. He had a ground loop going through his TV
> cable that his amp was sensitive to. Once we got the proper fix
> (a Jensen ground isolation transformer for his coax), I put his
> original cable back.

Case in point. However, there's nothing non-traditional about ground loops.
So this is a bad example because conventional simplistic engineering
knowlege would yield the right answer.

> The point was that anyone actually present at the time could see
> without fancy comparisons that one cable "worked" much better
> than the other in the system.

Those sort of differences aren't the usual area of controversy.

> If my friend (who didn't understand
> ground loops) were to have posted to this group that he had
> discovered changing power cords on his amp with a different one
> given to him by a friend had made a "significant" difference to
> the noise he had on his system, and then asked "why did this
> happen", he likely would have been chewed up very much like the
> OP on these threads who's original post was similar except it had
> the high-end power cord smell of snake oil.

Blame the true culpret - the artifically imposed lack of knowlege. OTOH, had
the report been factual and to the point, we would have been presented with
the usual symptoms of a ground loop. And, odds are good that the person with
the question would have walked away with a highly useful, factual answer. It
happens all the time.

>Although the OP's
> problem wasn't the power cord per-se, changing it to something
> different had produced a change, i.e. reveled a weakness in the
> system that he corrected by cleaning up his power and ground
> system.

Jeff, you've got to admit that the following is one of the most unhh,
colorful and imaginative descriptions of the effects of a ground loop we've
had on any of the audio groups in ages:

"The timing of the
songs change also from cable to cable, the beat changes, with the
audioquest some songs slow down, others fasten up. This was one of the
contributing reasons why I was able to discern with 100 certainty
everytime which cable was being used in the blind tests. My freind
changed the cables 7 times and left the audioquests where they were 3
times. He didin't say anything just started the sample songs with my
que. All other variables were the same (volume, speaker placement, etc).
I was able differentiatewhich cords were being used each time without
*any* hesitation."


>Instead of getting what he wanted (info on why the change
> occured) he got lectured on how he didn't do his testing right
> because it would seem that no one believe that here really heard
> something.

The problem was how he articulated his problem. It was a very colorful and
imaginative piece of prose, was it not?

> Anyway, I appreciate the courteous correction to my poorly worded
> post. I would really like to see more folks taking posts here (at
> least initially) at face value though, and then explore from there.

Things work a lot better when people don't try to sound like one of the
flakier writers in Stereophile.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 10:35:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 18:35:35 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>Don Pearce wrote:
>
>> What does "propeller head quacks" mean? You appear to be typing words
>> at random here.
>>
>
>
>Here you are:
>
>http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/flam...
>
>you wee-bit schmuck.

Those long winter evenings must be a riot at your house.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 10:41:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Don Pearce wrote:
>
> So you don't know what "propeller head quacks" means, then. I guessed
> as much.



http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/flam...

for the propeller head bit, "quack" ... well, buy a dictionary.



>
> And do you know what the size of your killfile says about you?

No. But I am sure if I "persist" you'll tell me. Make sure you write it
out in the format of some LAW as patronizing as you can muster it to be.


> Mine
> has nobody in it.
>

Well I killfile spam spewers, bigots, and all such whatnot. Now tell me,
o master, what-does-this-tell-me-about-me .. :)  Jeesus, I should come
over there tell you a thing or two in person.
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 10:41:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 18:41:51 +0300, Fella <Nosp@mhe.re> wrote:

>Don Pearce wrote:
>>
>> So you don't know what "propeller head quacks" means, then. I guessed
>> as much.
>
>
>
>http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/flam...
>
>for the propeller head bit, "quack" ... well, buy a dictionary.
>
>
>
>>
>> And do you know what the size of your killfile says about you?
>
>No. But I am sure if I "persist" you'll tell me. Make sure you write it
>out in the format of some LAW as patronizing as you can muster it to be.
>
>
>> Mine
>> has nobody in it.
>>
>
>Well I killfile spam spewers, bigots, and all such whatnot. Now tell me,
>o master, what-does-this-tell-me-about-me .. :)  Jeesus, I should come
>over there tell you a thing or two in person.

My my, we are a crosspatch, aren't we.

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 10:43:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 17:25:57 GMT, Jeff Wiseman
<wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote:

>
>
>Don Pearce wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 17:41:14 GMT, Jeff Wiseman
>> <wisemanja@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>> >I respectfully disagree. The longer the time between tests with a
>> >100% match rate INCREASES the reliability. You want the high
>> >success rate with as much handicap added as possible. You add the
>> >blindfold as a handicap. You increase the time between tests as a
>> >handicap. For example, if you only sat down for 2 minutes each
>> >day and listened to the system not knowing which item was being
>> >used and could still identify what was being used 100% of the
>> >time, this would be a good indication that there was in fact a
>> >difference and it could be easily heard IMHO.
>>
>> You have misunderstood the function of double blind testing. A
>> properly run double blind test is set up to make hearing a difference
>> as *easy* as possible. If that means rapid switching, then so be it.
>> If you deliberately introduce impediments like delays, then you can't
>> be sure if a null result is real, or due to interfering factors. Your
>> reference to a blindfold above is *not* the same handicap as
>> increasing the time between tests.
>>
>> All you are trying to prevent in a double blind test is sighted bias,
>> either from the subject or the proctor.
>
>
>Thanks for the comments Don. I looked at my text again and can
>see where it didn't really say what I meant to convey. It implies
>that adding handicap increases reliability which, as you've
>pointed out, is totally wrong. A good test is intended to be as
>sensitive as possible so that regardless of how subtle a
>difference is, if it is a real difference at all, the
>repeatability of the results will continue to be there.
>
>I guess that the issue I was trying to convey is that some actual
>differences are so blatant (e.g., my previous extreme speaker
>compare analogy) that it really doesn't take a double-blind test
>with all the controls to determine which is better. If the
>repeatability of the test is there then that can be enough
>"practically" for a normal, non-phsychotic individual :-)
>
>All differences exist on a scale of extremely small (where things
>like double-blind are essential) to massive (i.e., comparing two
>power cords, one good one and one with an open hot connection).
>What I frequently see happening is when someone presents an
>experience where a difference was experienced as "significant"
>for a traditional "magic" item (e.g., boutique power cord), it
>seems to be automatically presumed that since such a difference
>shouldn't exist, it must be very tiny and therfore anything less
>than a double blind test is inadequate.
>
>An example: I had a friend who complained of a significant noise
>on his home theather system. I replace the power cord on his amp
>with a different one I had and the obnoxious "noise" went away.
>He was thrilled and wanted to buy the cable from me but I needed
>to keep it for testing. You see, my cable had the wire removed
>from the gnd plug. He had a ground loop going through his TV
>cable that his amp was sensitive to. Once we got the proper fix
>(a Jensen ground isolation transformer for his coax), I put his
>original cable back.
>
Of course extraneous noises are an area where you really don't need
any kind of test involving listening to music. You turn the music off,
turn the volume up and try to get rid of the hum. Nine times out of
ten in a complex setup involving a TV, a ground loop is the culprit,
and it is easily fixed.

>The point was that anyone actually present at the time could see
>without fancy comparisons that one cable "worked" much better
>than the other in the system. If my friend (who didn't understand
>ground loops) were to have posted to this group that he had
>discovered changing power cords on his amp with a different one
>given to him by a friend had made a "significant" difference to
>the noise he had on his system, and then asked "why did this
>happen", he likely would have been chewed up very much like the
>OP on these threads who's original post was similar except it had
>the high-end power cord smell of snake oil. Although the OP's
>problem wasn't the power cord per-se, changing it to something
>different had produced a change, i.e. reveled a weakness in the
>system that he corrected by cleaning up his power and ground
>system. Instead of getting what he wanted (info on why the change
>occured) he got lectured on how he didn't do his testing right
>because it would seem that no one believe that here really heard something.
>
I'ne never come across a piece of equipment that responded to
"cleaning up" power, other than removing the pathological case of a
ground loop. If I had such an item, it would be back down to the shop
that same day for my money back. I've designed plenty of measuring
equipment vastly more sensitive and discerning than audio, and it all
operated to spec with the dirtiest mains I could throw at it.

>Anyway, I appreciate the courteous correction to my poorly worded
>post. I would really like to see more folks taking posts here (at
>least initially) at face value though, and then explore from there.
>
>- Jeff


Welcome,

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
July 13, 2004 10:43:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote in message
news:D f78f0habq8mcluqfp7ja47cic41f536b2@4ax.com

> I've never come across a piece of equipment that responded to
> "cleaning up" power, other than removing the pathological case of a
> ground loop.

Agreed, and I've probably seen more audio gear than a lot of folks.

> If I had such an item, it would be back down to the shop
> that same day for my money back.

A piece of equipment that responds to "cleaning up" the power is a strong
symptom of a substandard design.

For example given how much musican's hardware is badly designed, having
"Balanced Power" available in the studios is not necessarily a concession to
snake oil, its a concession to the realities of that marketplace.

The high end has a long track record of having overly-enthusiastic revewers
foisting equipment with interface defects as having higher-than-average
resolution. DACs and speakers are two equipment categories where this sort
of thing has shown up the most often and the most pathologically.

>I've designed plenty of measuring
> equipment vastly more sensitive and discerning than audio, and it all
> operated to spec with the dirtiest mains I could throw at it.

That's how its supposed to be! Measurement gear is supposed to be highly
responsive to the signal at the input terminals not the power cord.
!