Yes. http://www.lastfactory.com/audiophile_cables/audiophile_cables.html [Broken].
I have no appreciation for the claims being made here, and certainly don't have the highly sensitive hearing of an audiophile to tell one speaker or cable from another. The only thing I'm trying to figure out is what is the competing, " most expensive cables" that these are supposed to be as good as? The "cheap" one of the two on the site is listed as $650...that IS the most expensive cable I've ever seen in my life other than the OTHER one in the site listed for $1950 , so how expensive are the ones they are trying to compete with?
I've seen 10-foot speaker cables go as high as $21,000.
It's all crap and the claims are bogus. If you're spending more than $50 for ANY cable, you've been ripped off (specialized custom-manufactured cables possibly excepted).
Incidentally, by-and-large even the audiophiles don't have the ears they seem to believe themselves to have. Put to the test against spectrum analyzers and oscilloscopes, they invariably fail to consistently pick out the most accurate sound reproductions.
Thanks. Do you have a reference on hand for that last bit about testing the audiophiles? I occasionally run into one that seems excessively snobby about it, and would love to have that reference to toss into discussion.
The "audiophiles" are true believers who are reliant on their "golden" ears to select components based on their ability to drain their bank accounts. Double-blind tests conducted by enthusiast magazines have failed to show that listeners have the ability to discern when individual components in the reproduction chain, including preamplifier and power amplifier, have been switched. Such studies do not deter folks in the marketing business who stand to make fortunes selling overpriced gear.
Think of it this way - signal processing, shaping of the tone stack, and the function of the power amplifier are all intended to produce neutral, accurate sound reproduction. At the very end of the signal chain are speakers, the listening room, and human ears, all of which color the sound. Speakers are essentially motors attached to thin membranes, and the resonances of those membranes, the geometry of the drivers, the impedances set up in the voice coils all add more distortion to the output than well-designed (even if cheap!) electronic components up-stream in the signal path. Add in resonances and standing waves in the listening area, and the sensitivity of the listener's hearing over the range of performance frequencies, and you've got a pretty subjective test of "accuracy".
I'm not suggesting that there are no audible differences between amplifiers that are built quite differently. For instance, if you drive a solid-state amplifier into clipping, you end up with sine waves that are very flat on the top and bottom, with sharp transitions from the sine wave to the clipped plateau. That can sound harsh and grating. Normally people don't drive their stereo amps to clipping, but it is very common for guitar-players to do so. The reason that so many pro guitarists use tube-driven amplifiers is that when you overdrive tubes, they do not clip sharply. The output, as seen on an oscilloscope, shows that when the tubes have reached their limit, they clip more gently than transistors do, with a rounder transition between sine wave and plateau. There are a few pros that use transistor-based amps a lot (like BB King and his Gibson Lab Series amps), but when he's touring "light" my understanding is that he asks for Fender Twin Reverb amps (50-watt tube amps with solid-state rectification) to be ready at the venue.
I read an article the other day about expensive cables. Some guy is currently offering 1 million dollars to anyone who can tell the difference. No winners yet!
James Randi and the http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html" [Broken].
It is mostly to test paranormal claims, but Randi has issued a number of challenges to speaker cable makers to test their excessively expensive product against Monster Cables (which are also relatively expensive, with dubious actual audio value)
Monster cables are a decent value if two conditions are met
a) they have the ability to be traded in for new ones no questions asked
b) you live near somewhere to trade them in
like guitar cable if you live near a guitar center.
If any of these arent met they are a ripoff despite being sturdy.
When it comes to instrument cables you really want sheilded cables. Also, you are paying a lot for durability. I know people who have went through hundreds of instrument cables. I bought one for $50 about 10 years ago and the thing works perfect still. But I would say anything over $50 and you are paying for too much.
I have paid a lot of $$ over the years for instrument cables, including some with very nice braided nylon or monofilament jackets. Guess what? Some of the more expensive ones are crap, except as interconnects in a multiple-amp set up, etc, because they are microphonic, and they produce noise as they hit the stage if you move around. When I want to play clean, I want clean, not clean with clicks and hiss.
That said, I never paid the price for Monster cables because they are 'way over-priced for a working musician. I do own one Monster because when bought a nice Sennheiser mic the vendor gave me a free upgrade to a heavy Monster cable. That's a nice flexible cable that lays out well even in cold temperatures. Sennheiser cables are OK, but not really much of an upgrade over Shure, et al. Had I been a vocalist (only) given to dancing around and other stage histrionics, I would gladly have paid for a Monster mic cable for its durability and flexibility.
In a static environment, in which one can arrange and route interconnects, and they are not being disconnected and reconnected, paying big bucks for cables is pretty dumb. Make sure that the conductors are big enough to handle the length of run with little resistance, and be happy. I have got what most folks would consider a high-end stereo, and my speaker cables are 10-gauge zip-cord.
I never used a Monster instrument cable. The one I'm referring to is Dimarzio I think. I couldn't tell you it has been so long.
It's only $500 for their audiophile ethernet cables.
Not a joke - see http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3429.asp [Broken]
I'm not a musical expert but I feel the 1s have a much deeper more involved quality and the 0s are altogether fuller and more rounded character on my itunes downloads when compared to cheaper ethernet cables.
It's not just music either - PF gets more vivid vibrant and intelligent posts when read through these cables.
OMG! I thought you were kidding. If I buy these will I automatically upgrade my 1.5 mbps DSL connection to maybe 4-6 mbps? And make youtube videos sound like vinyl records played through single-ended tube amps? :rofl: The ignorance of the dilettantes truly cannot be underestimated.
With the speaker cables, at least the marketing makes a little bit of physical sense (you get less resistance with smaller gauge wires and possibly less distortion with better shielded cables), but for digital?
With the way digital formats work, you pretty much either have a good connection or a lousy one. Within the "good" threshold, I doubt any human being could tell the difference is sound and/or video quality. Once you get bellow that threshold, you have audio and video dropouts, and clipping or fidelity loss that almost anyone could spot. So I hardly see the point in buying a $300 HDMI cable that delivers less loss of digital information if you can buy a $35 cable that still gets you into that "good" range.
Companies like Monster counter this by claiming that their digital cables, because they deliver a better signal and less loss of information are ready for "upgraded" future standards, but they of course do not mention that when those future standards are created, someone is going to make a $35 cable that works just fine with them, and replacing a $35 cable at some point in the future is a lot better value.
Another important point is the actual cost of manufacturing. At brick and mortar retailers like Radio Shack and Best Buy, it is not uncommon to see 1000% or more markup on the actual cost of the product. A five dollar HDMI cable might be sold for fifty or sixty dollars.
Of course the reason you can't detect any difference in the digital cable is that you didn't have them the correct way around, they are aligned for the direction of the data.
Really fancy systems are bi-wired, they have separate cables for the 1 and 0s.
I want my 1s and 0s separated until they get to the analog motors that make the sound. That's the way REAL digital stereo should work! Of course all of those 1s and 0s should be carefully extracted from phase-aligned inputs so that 2 speakers can accurately reproduce the "sound-stage" acoustics and give me the "live" listening experience.
At some point with audiophile gear you aren't sure who is taking the **** out of who !
Most decent cables are shielded so there is no point in worrying about it.
18inch Dimarzio is 16.95
standard Monster 18inch 12.95
Not what I think of when I think way overpriced.
I dont understand the logic of paying for tons of guitar cables which you dont use because some break or are crap when you can pay a few dollars more for a good cable that is durable and if anything happens you could take your [profanity deleted by Ivan ] broken (for whatever reason) Monster cable to guitar center and trade it for a new one no questions asked or you could sell it on eBay for pretty close to the price you paid or more since those people would just buy your garbagety broken Monster cable and take it to Guitar center to turn it in for a new cable no questions asked.
Pear's audio cables started the whole thing with JREF. They actually had a pretty amusing back and forth for a while but eventually told Randi that they would never agree on a format for the testing. What a crock.
I have since decided that Pear is right and I am changing all of my 110V wiring in my house to the Anjou line of cabling. I just need to find the aisle that Home Depot keeps the gold plated outlet plugs in.
There is indeed a sucker born every minute and most of them call themselves "audiophiles."
The actual reasoning behind the cable engineering is not always absurd. In some cases, these cables might actually deliver results that are measurably better. The problem is that good engineers should know the proper amount to over-engineer something.
If the purpose of the cable is to pass the voltage between an amplifier and a speaker, the good engineer needs to consider what the threshold of the absolutely best human ear can detect, and then over-engineer a reasonable amount.
From what I have seen, these cables, when they are actually engineered on sound principles (some of them seem like pure pseudoscience) are engineered far past any reasonable threshold necessary to meet their requirement (pass a signal between the amplifier and the speaker with a distortion level below what a human can detect). In fact, I am not convinced that a human is capable of detecting the difference between a $5 wholesale cable and these ones.
It isn't. This has been demonstrated in controlled experiments time and time again.
I know a lot of times when I record and do any sort of post-processing any distortion that was preexisting in the clean signal gets amplified. While I could not have distinguished the difference clean, after adding effects there is a noticeable difference between my cheap cables and my more expensive ones.
On the opposing view though, this could be explained by the differences in quality of the shielding in the cables and not the metal itself. I'm sure my cheaper cables can't handle the wear and tear of bends, people stepping on them, etc. as well as heavier-duty quality cables. (nothing like these crazy ones though, just more durable, shielded, etc.)
So I wonder if there IS a difference. I know when you record a signal, even a guitar or vocals, there is sound all throughout and beyond the audible spectrum. But nearly 100% of the time, you don't attempt to RECREATE the input sound exactly. You post-process it. And things below audible get shifted up, and things above get shifted down and small blips of distortion from a cable moving get magnified and such.
While I don't defend this exactly, I will argue that there MAY be a NOTICEABLE difference after processing effects have been added. Whether or not its BENEFICIAL is still to be determined.
But these are speaker cables. There is no processing. All they are doing is serving as a conductor between the amplifier and the speakers. Even if there is a difference that can be measured with sophisticated equipment, the relevant question is, can it be detected by a human ear? If not, then what is the point of spending the extra money? It would be like a movie camera that can record a million frames a second for $1 million versus one that can record 60 frames a second for $1000; if the most sophisticated moviegoer cannot distinguish the two, why pay for the better camera?
Thats the funny bit, they argue about the difference in speaker cable geometry that contribute 0.01% differences in THD and then feed it to speakers that give 30% THD if your lucky!
It's like an audiophile MP3 player !
Then why can I notice a difference when I set the screen's refresh rate up from 60?
Separate names with a comma.