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Old 17th Oct 2017, 11:25 pm   #241
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Unrectifiers are unrequired. AC power flow has direction. It is given by the phase relationship of the voltage and current waveforms.

The voltage on the mains swings positive and negative, the current goes one way then the other, but the power station is driving your electric fire, not the other way round. At RF we have directional couplers to resolve forwards and backwards power flows on a line. In this way we can measure the reflectivity of a load or its VSWR without slotted lines and probes.

David
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 11:31 pm   #242
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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That's a quote I never made, it belongs to someone else, I don't sell cable either !
It was extracted from one of your posts using the forum quotation button and removing the rest of your post, hence it got the word 'quote' attached, but I understand that it is not anything you personally have said or necessarily believe, but you placed those words in a post as an illustration of a point.

I merely happened to think it was a very good point.

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Old 17th Oct 2017, 11:39 pm   #243
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

It was actually mine, RW! See post 228. My post started with a quote by Argus, then I went on by myself. Somehow, when pruning my last sentences, you deleted one of the closing quote fields!

I don't sell audiophool cable either, but if I did, this is how I would like to sell it.

Last edited by kalee20; 17th Oct 2017 at 11:40 pm. Reason: Added a sentence
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 11:50 pm   #244
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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This has to be one of the most impressive posts on this entire thread. joebog1 could have sold his white jacketed OC81's to audiophiles for 40 GBP along with colorful descriptions of how they amplify audio, but he knows they are not worth nearly that, so he offers them for free. Now there is a Engineer who inspires honor, dignity & trust.
Seconded. Joe has been very generous with his time, advice, and some very expensive and high quality parts. And not only to me, I know that to be true.

A.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:17 am   #245
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Ah, thanks, Kalee. So that's what happened!

I liked the openness and honesty of the fictional seller.

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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:27 am   #246
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Of course we have strayed off the topic of cable burn-in. Now some years ago I was keeping an open mind about this, and bought a kit of bits from Hagermann in the US for not a great amount, and built it into a box. I've done AB testing of identical cables of various constructions (BNC-BNC for SPDIF, balanced and unbalanced signal cable and speaker cables).

I am happy to report that I could discern absolutely no difference whatever between burnt in and virgin cables. The burn in device collects dust.
I've got the ultimate burned in (out?) cables. I needed some long lengths of speaker wire ( oh how I hate the word "cable", a cable is what you hang an anchor off..............). So i dug around the shed and found a length of that orange coloured double insulated lawnmower 2 core mains flex. Cut it in half for 2 15 foot lengths. connected it up to the hifi using my usual gold plated hand turned 4mm plugs (and here you know why it sounds so good). Well i was gobsmacked! it sounds better than the 2 x 1.5m lengths of fancy chord co speaker wire i used when the amps were behind the speakers. Actually i can't really hear a difference but I have been trying a lot of different things out as part of a room rearrangement................ but so what? The point I am making really is that if you use wire of a sufficient cross sectional area, made from ordinary reasonably pure copper, then you'll get a good result.
Can I respectfully suggest that the mods close this thread on Craig Sawyers last post as it says it all for me.

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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:43 am   #247
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

It woud perhaps be a shame to stop now Andy. Who knew that so much surety would ever be involved with a joke I'm a bit fascinated-especially by the bits I don't really understand. It just seemed amusing at first but people believe all sorts of things-medicine is still largely predicated on this despite all the technical advances! At the end of the day a lot of it's in the head, even though scientific method suggests there's an absolute truth. You could prove to me that Dylan can't sing by audio analysis. Would I believe it

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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:48 am   #248
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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I've got the ultimate burned in (out?) cables. I needed some long lengths of speaker wire ( oh how I hate the word "cable", a cable is what you hang an anchor off..............). So i dug around the shed and found a length of that orange coloured double insulated lawnmower 2 core mains flex. Cut it in half for 2 15 foot lengths. connected it up to the hifi using my usual gold plated hand turned 4mm plugs (and here you know why it sounds so good). Well i was gobsmacked! it sounds better than the 2 x 1.5m lengths of fancy chord co speaker wire i used when the amps were behind the speakers. Actually i can't really hear a difference but I have been trying a lot of different things out as part of a room rearrangement................ but so what? The point I am making really is that if you use wire of a sufficient cross sectional area, made from ordinary reasonably pure copper, then you'll get a good result.
Well that proves it.
The cable was "broken in" using a lawn mower as a load
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 1:10 am   #249
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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It woud perhaps be a shame to stop now Andy. Who knew that so much surety would ever be involved with a joke I'm a bit fascinated-especially by the bits I don't really understand. It just seemed amusing at first but people believe all sorts of things-medicine is still largely predicated on this despite all the technical advances! At the end of the day a lot of it's in the head, even though scientific method suggests there's an absolute truth. You could prove to me that Dylan can't sing by audio analysis. Would I believe it
I was happy with the burn in of cables discussion, it's an old chestnut but some still haven't heard of it. I got peed off when it drifted into a general "lets slag off Audio Enthusiasts" jamboree, along with a general poke at the Audio manufacturing industry, when what little is left of the mainstream British audio industry makes its impact based on good sound design, engineering, and constructional quality.

A.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 7:46 am   #250
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

This thread has acted as a relief-valve and has probably improved the quality of the rest of the forum by mopping up comments on audio tomphoolery. I don't suppose anyone would get upset if it got deleted and put out with the toxic waste. Preserving this thread isn't going to help anyone at some future time fix a vintage radio or amplifier. Posterity will get along just fine without it. Perhaps future anthropologists would be interested?

Audiophoolery is not a harmless foible, though. It has distorted the prices of what should otherwise simply be spare parts for classic equipment. It has polluted general knowledge with all sorts of unsubstantiated beliefs. If you go into a mass market electronics shop they'll try to 'upsell' silly wires. Their motive is simple profit and bonus schemes, of course, just as with pushing extended warranties.

What I find scariest is the suspension of curiosity. I'm in a tiny minority in wondering just how directional wire is made directional. I use electrical conductors from DC to microwave frequencies where most imperfections and stray effects are greatly magnified, yet I've not seen the effects that are claimed to exist at audio.

If I had personally experienced some of the effects I've seen described, I'd dig and dig until I'd found what the mechanism was and understood it. I'm disappointed in people who are convinced they can hear something very special but aren't driven to investigate it

David
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 8:32 am   #251
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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If I had personally experienced some of the effects I've seen described, I'd dig and dig until I'd found what the mechanism was and understood it. I'm disappointed in people who are convinced they can hear something very special but aren't driven to investigate it

David
And that just about sums up the audiophool.

Time and time again audiophools bite back at techies saying, "it doesn't matter how much you techies understand or can make nonsense of things, but I CAN hear the difference." And with that attitude, we, the techies will never change the mindset of the audiophool. What audiophools lack in technical knowledge, they make up for with blind belief.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 8:44 am   #252
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
but the power station is driving your electric fire, not the other way round
That isn't the point, it is the cable directionality that does not exist.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 9:26 am   #253
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I'm sure that one of the things that arouses most ridicule, even bordering on offence with folk here about the extreme 'phool scene is the disdain/abandonment of the concept of scale and significance. Part of the bread-and-butter basics in any field of engineering is being able to know whether the number that's been quickly approximated in the head or spat out to several decimal places from a calculator is in ohms, kilohms or megohms (or whatever) and why it's of that order. Reading through some stuff that the 'phools fret about, I think, this person would be quite unable to differentiate between picofarads and terafarads.....

Another aspect that causes offence is the snake-oil salesmanship. Someone might decide, off their own back, that they want a line-up of the same print style Mullards, all with logo at the same height and orientation for a classic amp. It'll cost them time and money, it's departed technical necessity for the realm of jewellery but it's their decision. It's when there's an unpalatable cabal of hi-fi journalists and copywriters that intimidates the uninformed into thinking that only huge and utterly unnecessary expenditure on items that have negligible (in the literal, scientific sense) effect will bring satisfaction and avoid intimidatory sneers from the cognoscenti that ire is aroused.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 9:38 am   #254
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Quote:
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I'm disappointed in people who are convinced they can hear something very special but aren't driven to investigate it

David
And that just about sums up the audiophool.
It is perhaps unfortunate that, because most products that are in use by the general public are 'sealed for life' with 'no user-serviceable parts inside', and that we have abandoned in-depth education of the sort that, I suspect, most of us enjoyed, there is a wide-spread lack of understanding or curiosity about the basics of the world.

A friend, teaching medical students at the local hospital, often is asked "teach us what we need to know to pass the exams". This attitude exists also amongst electricians when I used to teach City& Guilds - "what's the least we have to do to pass?". I'm happy to infer that this expectation will prevail in other disciplines.

Given that lack of curiosity and a belief that everything can be had without effort, the marketing 'executives' have an easy target, whether it's cars, carpets or ready-meals that they are selling. On this forum we are, by nature, more curious and perhaps rather older than the average which changes our perception of the curious behaviours we see around us.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 9:45 am   #255
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

The Not The Nine O'ClockNews sketch posted earlier is all about the sneering. They could see it quite clearly in the 80's and felt it offensive enough to lampoon it very powerfully.

Even Flanders and Swan were aware of the attitude many years before that... "Who made this circuit up for you? You bought it in a SHOP?"

Yes, a piece of wire is not directional and has to carry currents in each direction, it is only when you account for the voltage to the companion wire that the power flow of the signal acquires direction.

I still wonder if they do anything to those cables before they print the little arrows on them. Technically it is of no consequence, morally it is quite important.

David
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 9:51 am   #256
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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... Audiophoolery is not a harmless foible, though. It has distorted the prices of what should otherwise simply be spare parts for classic equipment ...
If we include guitarphoolery as well then it has also kept the valve manufacturing industry in business and it means that we can go to Hammond and buy transformers suitable for valve equipment off the shelf. The fact that valve gear has some value over a relatively wide customer base has, I suspect, kept quite a lot of vintage items from going straight to the WEEE recyclers. If we want an example of where we'd be without the audiophools we might consider the CRT supply/regunning industry.

To be honest I also find I have to take a step back once in a while and remind myself that the purpose of the rest of the world is not to act as a support mechanism for my hobby. Other people have hobbies too. I get pleasure from my tidily restored pair of Leak TL/12 Point Ones. I meet people who get just as much pleasure - more perhaps - from listening to music played through their new valve amplifier, be it a Chinese production one which they've fitted with Mullard E88CCs or a hand-built British single-ended triode one which they normally run with new Czech PX25s but into which they occasionally drop a pair of much-loved pre-war MO valves. Should they not have access to those because I want to put them into my wireless ?

Quote:
What I find scariest is the suspension of curiosity. I'm in a tiny minority in wondering just how directional wire is made directional ... If I had personally experienced some of the effects I've seen described, I'd dig and dig until I'd found what the mechanism was and understood it. I'm disappointed in people who are convinced they can hear something very special but aren't driven to investigate it.
You and I are techies, David. We are interested in tech. Quite a lot of audio people are interested in listening to music (I grew up listening to my mother grumbling about the way my father constantly tinkered with the TV that he built instead of letting her watch programmes on it). It's not that they are not curious. But given their limited time their curiosity turns to trying different combinations of sources and cables and amplifier and (perhaps most of all) speakers and room treatment and listening position. They're quite serious about this. This weekend there are two different two-day hi-fi shows on.

But they're no more inclined to understand underlying mechanism than I am to study the biochemistry of the begonias in my front garden. It's enough for me that I try them out and they either come up looking beautiful (which eventually they have done this year) or they just don't do well in the complex combination of shade/soil-type/wind/temperature and neighbouring plants there. Sometimes just doing the experiment is quicker than designing from first principles. And folks are different. If the audiophiles are happy we could just let them be.

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 10:50 am   #257
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

As I've tried to point out before, audiophoolery and gutarphooloery are different things. A hi-fi system is designed to reproduce an existing signal as faithfully as possible and thus is (or should be) always operating within its linear region. A guitar/amplifier system is creating a sound for performance purposes, musical or otherwise, interacting with a human operator. It is frequently operated beyond linearity (all those references to "creamy valve distortion"!) and that alone implies that different valves (samples, never mind brands) will give different results. Add to that the influence of cables of indeterminate length, designed for robustness over other properties, connected to high impedance outputs, and you have a veritable soup of possibilities. It is the general failure to grasp this essential difference which gives the whole cable B thing traction in hi-fi circles.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 11:28 am   #258
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Not sure this is entirely true as hi-fi enthusiasts have been lead to believe they are seeking faithful reproduction but are in reality looking for a 'sound' that is appealing. My old NAD amplifier frequency response was very far from flat presumably chosen to sound better than the competition in listening tests.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 11:30 am   #259
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

My point about audio folks and guitar folks was simply that they have to share the credit for the survival of valve manufacturing. No more than that.

That said, not all audiophiles would agree that a hi-fi system should be designed to reproduce the signal as faithfully as possible. If that was universally accepted then everyone would be listening via high-quality solid-state amps. Instead there is a real market for single-ended triode amps which commonly have distortion levels (albeit low order) reaching several percent as the signal level rises. Their fans would argue that however they might measure, they create a more convincing and/or pleasurable sound.

I think "the whole cable ... thing" as far as audiophiles are concerned is not based on the experience of guitarists. Some part of it might be, but most audiophiles have never played an electric guitar or stood by while a guitarist swaps cables demonstrating the real differences between them. Most audiophiles who try different cables (and there is a very heated debate between those who believe they make a difference and those who absolutely don't) do so because they're available, advertised, reviewed and recommended (or not).

Cheers,

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Old 18th Oct 2017, 11:31 am   #260
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People used to think the world was flat and you could fall off the edge. For the sake of our reputation we should probably delete this thread in case it turns out that wires are directional and break-in does make a difference.
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