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-   -   The Audiophoolery Thread. (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=140332)

David G4EBT 5th Oct 2017 8:01 am

The Audiophoolery Thread.
 
Scroll down the page:

http://www.auralthrillsaudio.com/

So that's where I've been going wrong then.

Silly me.

Now I've solved that problem, there'll be no looking back! :-)

Boater Sam 5th Oct 2017 8:12 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
You can Phool some of the people all of the time.
I'm going to start selling virgin clean electrons in packets to go with the burnt in cables and cryo treated 'tubes'. Do you think HP2 or C size would be best?
Now I know where some of the idiots get it from.
Sam.

Andrewausfa 5th Oct 2017 8:20 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
That surprises me David, you should have known :)

I remove the wires connecting speaker to output transformer in all my valve radios, then beat them with a hammer made from finest Persimmon on an anvil orientated to magnetic North until all the crystals are re-aligned. The resulting crisp highs beyond the range of human hearing are a joy to listen to.

Andrew

camtechman 5th Oct 2017 8:30 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Every kink in the cable causes the slowing down of atoms.

Then if you stretch the cable it organises the atoms into a stream vortex.

True, yes true, my parrot told me whilst singing "Stairway To Heaven"

Nurse, can I have some more white powdered crystals for my pipe ?

Remember, whaky backy is for pimps....oops sorry whimps.

MrBungle 5th Oct 2017 8:34 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
That’s nothing. Check this one out: http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

(I’m sure these guys are just trolling but you just don’t know)

camtechman 5th Oct 2017 8:37 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I bought some of them, the middle packet taste the best !

My labrador liked the right hand packet, helped him work Pi out to 10/148 !

David G4EBT 5th Oct 2017 9:03 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Oh well, it's good to have a laugh in a troubled world!

Pebbles indeed!

There are lots more stupid things in the world in which people have the utmost faith.

(The definition of 'faith' is 'a strong and unshakeable belief in something without proof or evidence').

Thought for the day:

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

MrBungle 5th Oct 2017 9:08 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Well said

ms660 5th Oct 2017 9:11 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Gosh, at first I thought someone had nicked Vince's hifi :):)

Lawrence.

RogerEvans 5th Oct 2017 9:43 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I notice that he had his amps on the floor, below the level of the speaker drive units. Surely it is better to have the amps mounted higher so that the electrons go downhill on the way to the speaker, it doesn't matter so much that they have to go uphill on the way back since they have done their useful work by then. Oh drat!!! I have just remembered that the audio is AC, there is another money making opportunity gone down the drain.

Roger

Refugee 5th Oct 2017 10:12 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
2 Attachment(s)
It is easy.
You first need a dummy load that has an odd number of corners on the former to burn it in and while you do that you must put the earth wire in a coal bunker.

'LIVEWIRE?' 5th Oct 2017 10:21 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I note that, amongst the other statements on the Aural Thrills Audio site, is one which says that signal currents travel along the surface of a wire (or words to that effect) There is surely some basis in fact for that, as I recall being taught many years ago that interference currents travel along the surface of a wire, rather than inside it. As for the rest of that article, no doubt it does enter the realm of 'audiophoolery', although I'm not qualified to comment knowkledgeably about loudspeaker & speaker cabinet design.

MrBungle 5th Oct 2017 10:27 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
This is correct. It's called the skin effect and is dependent on the material and frequency.

Skin depth of copper at about 100KHz (way above audio spectrum) is around 0.2mm which makes the whole problem rather insignificant compared to conductor sizes.

At RF things are different which is why you end up with litz wire etc.

ms660 5th Oct 2017 10:29 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
He was probably thinking of skin effect, Litz cables, all suitably broken in of course..

Lawrence.

dave walsh 5th Oct 2017 10:35 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
It is all very funny David-thanks! I don't get hostile towards the audio community [as some do] myself [a fool and his money are easily parted and all that] and I don't mock the afflicted. Let's face it, this tendency is not restricted to the audio equipment world alone8-\ You may not feel highly qualified on the subject [Livewire] but you have the appropriate title:D].

When I was at the Audio Jumble on Sunday a chap selling some high end and expensive gear was also giving away copies of an excellent Pink Floyd magazine. When I said it seems impertinent to accept one and not buy anything he said "Oh you do have to purchase an amp" I responded saying "That is a shame" as he tried to keep his face straight but of course, he didn't mean it. He even gave me one for my friend who is delighted with it. I call that "audiogenerous" not such a rare species.

Dave W

MrBungle 5th Oct 2017 10:36 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Another favourite of mine:

https://www.audiosanctuary.co.uk/ver...usb-cable.html

Note: the USB cable is directional.

crackle 5th Oct 2017 10:38 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I am surprised they don't use copper tube if the core of the wire discolours the sound.
Mike

turretslug 5th Oct 2017 11:37 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
There's some truly risible stuff out there, frequently associated with price tags that are also risible, too but it's a question of degree, proportion, relative sanity.... Many folk here (including me) will wax lyrical about a well-put together piece of vintage kit, even if it has little material effect on the basic functionality. Those who have worked with professional/military kit probably get quite a liking for aerospace/PTFE-type wiring neatly loomed up, expensive and quality connectors, sturdy machined fittings with stainless fasteners and so on- Argus 25's recent post about a beautifully made monochrome monitor provoked the comment that it would likely have worked as well if it had a single SRBP circuit board and a plastic case. Ampex-Kudelski's VPR-5 was a feast in exotic CNC-ery- but the Japanese outsold and eclipsed it with professional developments of video cassette formats using transports made of folded mild steel rather than expensively machined aviation alloy- but it was very precisely folded mild steel and was good enough nearly all the time for a lot less money. Appreciating quality is a Good Thing, but perfectionism is a slippery slope, as some of the audiophool excess proves.

It's a case of staying grounded (!) and learning to apply appropriate value judgement for return on investment- or creeping madness....

Boater Sam 5th Oct 2017 11:49 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
The problem with electricity is that it is noisy.
Stand next to a sub station or under a super grid pylon and you can hear it.
The electricity distribution folks know this and take every precaution to prevent the noise entering our houses by the audio system.
They use very large copper busbars wherever possible.
Audiophiles should do the same, 200mm X 20mm pure drawn and annealed mirror polished copper bar is the minimum size to be used, of course you need 3, one each for live, neutral and earth. They should be fitter with a 13A plug fitted with a crystalline 1 Amp Krypton fuse eutectic alloy welded on with pure silver tails and run below the level of the audio system without insulation as that disturbs the outer atoms and destroys the skin effect.
That should reduce the number of false claims for a while.

bluepilot 5th Oct 2017 11:55 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RogerEvans (Post 980632)
Oh drat!!! I have just remembered that the audio is AC, there is another money making opportunity gone down the drain.

The problem is that if everything isn't at the same height then the electrons will run faster down hill on one half of the cycle but slow down trying to get back up on the other half. This will obviously introduce distortion into the audio signal. Therefore all components of a proper audio system should be at exactly the same height. There is money to be made from audio spirit levels I'm sure.

turretslug 5th Oct 2017 12:00 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Trouble with this sort of thing is that no matter how much we think we are taking the wotsit, there are those who will have actually gone and done it and more.... Some hate the thought that there are fuses and breakers between their kit and the incomer, I hope that folk like that aren't burdening my house insurance. Some consider mains filtering to be akin to satanism, others talk of coils of high-purity copper tube akin to micro-bore pipe in place of meter tails, with huge MOVs! Best not to dig too far, I think- like a lot of news stories, it'll make you wonder about humanity if you pursue it too far for too long.

LeakyGrid 5th Oct 2017 12:12 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boater Sam (Post 980609)
cryo treated 'tubes'.

This is not dead. The Quad VA-One is available with “audiophile-grade” valves treated by freezing at -300ºF for 48 hours.

Roger

mjddewet 5th Oct 2017 12:21 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Oh yes!!!
Sounds very similar to the "do I add 2-stroke oil to the diesel in my diesel car to help with injector lubricity" argument.

Snake oil... The stuff that emanates from the mouths of slippery mouthed salesmen...
Buy one now, and get the next bottle for free...

merlinmaxwell 5th Oct 2017 1:32 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I was said that Quad had a sign in their lab saying "Here we believe in ohms law" sad to say even Quad are now pushing "posh" cables.

It is a load of round objects (to quote from Yes Minister, the reply was "Who is Round and why does he object").

And I have noticed all improvements are expensive!

nutteronthebus 5th Oct 2017 1:47 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
1 Attachment(s)
this reminds me of the Simsons, Young lady, in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.

David G4EBT 5th Oct 2017 2:26 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quite apart from the capabilities of even the most expensive equipment, the one component that money can't buy is a new set of ears. With age, the ability to hear higher frequencies tails off and that begins in our teens. Anyone considering parting with serious amounts of money would be well advised to have a hearing test first.

I'm in my 79th year and have worked with power tools all my life and still do - routers, table saws, bandsaws, drills, chainsaw. I've always worn ear defenders even to cut a couple of pieces of wood on a bandsaw or use the dust extractor in my workshop. Likewise, when I rode a motorbike I wore ear defenders.

Many of my friends now have to wear hearing aids and or suffer from tinnitus - an affliction that mercifully, I don't suffer from. I've just checked my hearing at the link below - not very scientific, it's true, but a reasonable guide. I'm can't hear below 30Hz and I'm OK up to 13 kHz. Interesting to note that though the amplitude is constant, some frequencies - in the speech range, 300 - 600Hz sound much louder, as I guess they should do:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...cies-hear.html

But of course, high end hi-fi equipment isn't about discernable differences between one set of equipment and another, any more than buying a Merc 'C Class' at £29k in preference to a Skoda Superb at £20k, which is more highly ranked in reviews, and overall, is the top brand for reliability based on post-purchase customer surveys. These are aspirational products and buying decisions are largely emotional rather than rational and objective.

If buyers of any goods and services are happy with the outcome and consider it money well spent, the happiness they derive is a just reward for their expenditure, and that goes for audio equipment just as much as any other equipment. I recently noted that a Mullard OC81 used but tested 'white jacketed' transistor sold for £41.00 on an auction site. I don't know what the 'white jacket' signifies, but it clearly meant something to the bidders.

ukcol 5th Oct 2017 4:08 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David G4EBT (Post 980622)
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Or perhaps in this case...

"Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by commercial gain"

turretslug 5th Oct 2017 4:11 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Two paintings placed side-by-side might be judged to be similarly appealing by the layman or of similar artistic merit by the cognoscenti, but if one is discovered to have the right signature on it, its value could escalate through the roof. Similarly, valves with "WE" or "Telefunken" on them could attract interest quite out of proportion to their actual functionality. There's undoubtedly a big emotional and "feelgood" factor associated with many human decisions and most of us will be guilty of letting heart lead head to a greater or lesser extent in some aspect of our pursuits. It's when it leads to impoverishment and/or ridicule and/or removal to the Gaussian fringe of existence that it's a serious problem.

The General 5th Oct 2017 7:36 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I used to work in a radio studio environment & my colleagues & I always had a chuckle at some of the more oulandish ideas in some of the hifi mags. Things like bricks to put on top of your CD player to 'stabilise' them & gold plated mains plugs (in 13A & 15A versions) were common but the one that got me was a suggestion - in all seriousness - that the fuses in your amp were detrimental to the sound quality. The article suggested removing them all & soldering lengths of speaker cable - a type was suggested - across the fuse holders..... 8-o
So, when your amp develops a fault & burns up because it has no protection.... well, it's not going to sound very good then, is it? :dunce:
Mark

deliverance 5th Oct 2017 7:53 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I can't believe the price of the usb cable ! £5000 interconnects for hi fi what next .

MrBungle 5th Oct 2017 8:01 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Replying to #29, I had a CD player that only worked if you put a yellow pages on top of it. The improvement delta was worth at least £1350 :)

Radio Wrangler 5th Oct 2017 8:05 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
There sees to be an endless amount of this stuff.

But what elevates it to hilarity is when they wheel out the pseudo-science to back up their assertions.

"Stranded wire has many places where the strands touch together and this smears the sound" - priceless!

Adding a screen reduces the openness and spatiality or words to that effect.... Oh boy.

David

emeritus 5th Oct 2017 10:24 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
The only type of cable I have come across where it actually is advantageous to break it in before use, is the coax cables employed for long distance HVDC power transmission. Subjecting the cable to what is conceptually a very low frequency indeed AC (periodic smooth polarity reversals of voltage taking what from memory was hours per cycle) was found to be beneficial by conditioning the insulation to relieve dielectric stress at any voids or imperfections so that insulation breakdown was less likely to occur. No personal experience, but I did read some technical papers on the topic in the 1980's in connection with a project at work.

russell_w_b 5th Oct 2017 10:39 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

'...Subjecting the cable to what is conceptually a very low frequency indeed AC (periodic smooth polarity reversals of voltage taking what from memory was hours per cycle) was found to be beneficial by conditioning the insulation to relieve dielectric stress at any voids or imperfections so that insulation breakdown was less likely to occur.'
That's how you're meant to pressure-test XLPE (cross-layered polyethylene) high-voltage cable, and for similar reason (0.1Hz or something like) Although I was told on a HV SAP refresher course once that it was only because of imperfections in manufacturing that this was the case.

D.C. pressure-testing is good to a point but not recommended.

Argus25 5th Oct 2017 11:38 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by turretslug (Post 980665)
Those who have worked with professional/military kit probably get quite a liking for aerospace/PTFE-type wiring neatly loomed up, expensive and quality connectors, sturdy machined fittings with stainless fasteners and so on- Argus 25's recent post about a beautifully made monochrome monitor provoked the comment that it would likely have worked as well if it had a single SRBP circuit board and a plastic case......

Thing, but perfectionism is a slippery slope, as some of the audiophool excess proves.

To some limited extent, I agree with these remarks.

However the counter argument is that if the perfectionism is based in Science and not a delusional (fixed false belief system) or a Faith based (proof absent system) then the attempts at perfection seen in the construction of some apparatus gives us all a "quality reference" to aspire to, when we design and build our own equipment.

To inspect the insides of something like like that Avionics monitor I cited, or the build quality of items like vintage Tek scopes, not just the mechanical engineering, but the electronic design and the whole combination of "form and function" is an educational experience.

Any Engineer would be a fool to ignore this and not take the opportunity to learn from it and aspire to its standards.

To think that a low quality pcb & components with probably equally uninspiring circuit design stuck in plastic box could be anywhere near as good or reliable as properly constructed apparatus, might be even more delusional and foolish than thinking crystals are going to help your audio system.

emeritus 5th Oct 2017 11:55 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
At Plessey we were taught that Avionics stuff was generally built in hermetically sealed boxes to ensure reliable operation in a non-pressurised environment at high altitudes where the low pressure would give rise to flashover of high voltage circuits. PTFE wire was essential in hermetically sealed containers as the Chlorine/Hydrochloric vapours given off by PVC will build up and eventually attack and dissolve plastics such as polystyrene, with deadly effects on capacitors etc. In non-pressurised equipment, these corrosive vapours can safely disperse without causing damage.

dave walsh 6th Oct 2017 12:00 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
i think I agree with your "form and function" comments Argus which overlap with aesthetic "arty" ideas. In the nineteenth century [or earlier] books often describe engineering as [the] ART-meaning the art of creating something that had a value of itself. I polished up one or two radio chassis in the sixties that it was then a shame to put back in the cabinet-probaly still is! i really thought that I might be on the wrong track there until adverts for the John Lennon Plastic Ono Band featuring TV's chassis etc enclosed in clear perspex boxes appeared around 1969..... celebrating the quality/mystery of their construction!

Dave W

Horris 6th Oct 2017 7:57 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I am in hospital at the moment having a new knee.
Thank you David for this post it has really cheered me up.
There is no substitute for stupidity.

Dave

russell_w_b 6th Oct 2017 8:04 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David G4EBT (Post 980622)
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

That's a variation on 'conspiracy or cock-up' when grossly stupid things happen instigated by those who should know better and those who suffer start to question why.

Two things to bear in mind re: audio cables:

* Emperor's New Clothes.

* Blind Listening Test.

The Philpott 6th Oct 2017 9:19 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
My favourite terminology in the subject website is 'bright, edgy, distorted and closed in'-
The presumable inference being that if you don't know what words 1,2 and 4 mean, you are not a real enthusiast- and must find out without delay.

This general arena of silliness reminds me of the film where Christopher Lee stars as a modern art critic, giving 5 stars to a painting that turns out to have been executed by a chimp.

MrBungle 6th Oct 2017 9:42 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Been thinking about this thread and it spans other things as well: wine, audio equipment, musical instruments, art, food. Anything based on interpretation of the senses seems to drive conspicuous consumption because it's easy to use it to leverage other people's ignorance to inflate their outwardly perception.

The moment you apply science it devalues it which is why non-scientific words with no quantifiable meaning are used. It's protecting the idea and some ego.

I'm a cheapskate and science tends to keep the prices down ;)

Heatercathodeshort 6th Oct 2017 11:34 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Thankfully I read this before my pet Orangutan 'Interlace' did. He has been burning in cables for years and almost burnt the workshop down fiddling with an old mains transformer out of a telly.

I can't admit to him that I was wrong! :thumbsup: John

Dual Standard 6th Oct 2017 11:51 am

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrBungle (Post 980648)
This is correct. It's called the skin effect and is dependent on the material and frequency.

QED (who manufacture speaker cable) did some research into this as part of their Genesis project & cable design, their conclusion was that skin effect in speaker cables is not an issue and may even be beneficial.
A good summary of their research can be found at http://www.qed.co.uk/qed-academy/reports/the-genesis-report.htm?lang=de

Mike

mole42uk 6th Oct 2017 2:39 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

QED (who manufacture speaker cable) did some research into this as part of their Genesis project & cable design
A good summary of their research can be found at http://www.qed.co.uk/qed-academy/reports/the-genesis-report.htm?lang=de
I did look to see if the report was dated anywhere between March 31st and April 2nd but couldn't find any evidence.

G8HQP Dave 6th Oct 2017 3:09 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Most of that QED report is sensible, and simply replicates what normal circuit theory says. The part I doubt is when they say that speaker cable insulation quality matters.

Bazz4CQJ 6th Oct 2017 3:56 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
I've definitely seen cable where the copper was "blackened" and seemed as though there might have been chemical interaction between insulation and conductor. PVC, in particular, with its high chloride content, might be a problem if it had been processed poorly?

B

G8HQP Dave 6th Oct 2017 4:26 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
They were talking about sound quality.

Skywave 6th Oct 2017 5:07 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler (Post 980773)
"Stranded wire has many places where the strands touch together and this smears the sound" - priceless!
Adding a screen reduces the openness and spatiality - or words to that effect....

To give any quantitative meaning to "smeariness" and "spatiality", the author should have added a few appropriate remarks as to what units are used to determine those phenomena - such as "smears per mm." and "spats per cc." :-)

Years ago, when I was employed by a derivative of Eddystone Radio, in the test dep't. were the customary Raaco racks holding spare parts. One such drawer was labelled "Spare electrons". However, when you withdrew the drawer, on a piece of paper was the message: "Oh come, come! You didn't really expect to find electrons in here, did you?" :laugh1:

Quote:

Originally Posted by David G4EBT (Post 980622)
Thought for the day:
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

And my contribution:
"The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and human stupidity, although not necessarily in that order". :-)

Al.

stevehertz 6th Oct 2017 7:59 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
The problem (?) with this type of thread/post is that they always seem to degenerate (?) into a collection of spoof comments regarding the subject matter. That's just an observation; not a criticism, not an affirmation. But in truth it is a sad indictment that there are still many people who - either in order to make money or (so they blindly think) - to improve their hifi system who will, pretty much, believe anything that is wrapped up in prose in which a sprinkling of pseudo technical terms such as 'energy', 'alignment', and 'atoms' are used.

The General 6th Oct 2017 8:20 pm

Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!
 
A couple of colleagues who worked in the aformentioned radio studios & I used to occasionally go for a mooch at lunchtime in the hifi stores in Tottenham Court Road in London. I got talking to another customer there once who told me that he'd spent £10,000 on his hifi & still wasn't satisfied with the sound (this was in the mid 80s).
Wow.
To be fair, he didn't mention any of the 'snake oil' stuff discussed in this thread but I did think that if he'd spent that much & was still dissatisfied, he would probably spend more & never find a point at which he was truly happy.
Mark


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