Propeller Head Plaza

Technical and scientific discussion of amps, cables and other topics.

Return to Propeller Head Plaza

Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

RE everything positive and rosy?

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 21:37:05
Jon Risch
Bored Member

Posts: 6531
Joined: April 4, 2000
March 1, 1999
RE your post at:

where you state:
"I just read a post where the OP was wondering if replacing the cord on a conditioner would benefit the sound of his system. Since you can't post anything contrary, all the OP is going to hear are positive comments. What good is this?

What would happen if someone with an advanced degree in EE posted results of DBTs to the contrary?"
With regard to your last sentence above, the problem is, DBT results CAN NOT SHOW SUCH A THING.

This is the science of statistics, and I continue to find it amazing, that folks who claim to embrace the mantle of "science", completely ignore the true science they claim to respect and believe in.

It would mean the your "advanced EE" was pretty lame at statistics, and didn't really know his way around DBT's, and therefore, pretty much everything he posted on the subject would automatically be suspect as utterly worthless and useless. Including any sort of "results" from a DBT of questionable value and precision.

I think that most all of the Cable Asylum posters welcome the refuge from objectionists and naysayers who feel compelled to continually try to "save" subjectivists from themselves, and their "faulty" ways of evaluating components. No one needs saving, no one is being harmed, and no one has to post or read content at the Cable Asylum if the fundamental premise of the Cable Asylum bothers them in any way.

The vast and overwhelming majority of folks who object to not being able to denigrate people over DBTs, sighted listening, et al, are merely interested in stirring up some trouble and starting a flame war.
Hence the no-DBT rule at the Cable Asylum
re DBT postings.

The 1% who really don't mean to start trouble, invariably back off and respect the rules and format of the Cable Asylum. Those who don't are quickly determined to be nothing but trouble makers, and are banned.

A few folks seem to be unaware that I myself have conducted a great many blind controlled listening tests, and gotten positive statistical results.

A discussion of selected ABX/DBT issues:


My AES paper is preprint #3178, "A User Friendly Methodology for Subjective Listening Tests", presented at the 91st AES convention, October, 1991.

I also present a copy of my Audio Cable Bibliography in a post down below, it has some interesting links and citations.

Cable Asylum Moderator,
Jon Risch


Hide full thread outline!
 He's right, that's why there's no point to the CA. - jihad 15:29:26 06/16/12 (0)
 Jon, are you OK? (nt) - briggs 17:50:10 05/13/12 (1)
 He's right, that's why there's no point to the CA. - jihad 15:29:26 06/16/12 (0)
 Jon, are you OK? (nt) - briggs 17:50:10 05/13/12 (1)  RE: Audio Cable Bibliography - Jon Risch 21:45:21 05/07/12 (6)
RE: Audio Cable Bibliography , posted on May 7, 2012 at 21:45:21
Jon Risch
Bored Member

Posts: 6531
Joined: April 4, 2000
March 1, 1999
Annotated Cable Bibliography

Hardcopy Books & magazines

Duncan, Ben & Harrison, Andrew; The Great Cable Test (part 1), Hi-Fi News and Record Review, July 1999, p.30-33, Vol. 44, #7

Duncan, Ben & Harrison, Andrew; The Great Cable Test (part 2), Hi-Fi News and Record Review, August 1999, p.32-41, Vol. 44, #8

Duncan, Ben & Harrison, Andrew; The Great Cable Test (part 3), Hi-Fi News and Record Review, September 1999, p.40-53, Vol. 44, #9

The above three part article is a landmark series, as Duncan and Harrison show that Speaker Cables have a dynamic phase shift with a change in signal level. Phase shift is nothing new, and many have supposed that phase shifts might be a portion of the reason cables sound different from one another. However, the measurement results given in these articles is noteworthy because it shows that speaker cables are definitely non-linear components. A given loudspeaker cable's total amount of phase shift changes as the signal level changes.
This means that FM is present, and an effect sonically akin to digital jitter is occuring within speaker cables.

The fact that this is occurring in speaker cables means that it also must occur, albeit at a reduced level, in interconnects as well.

The article also contains listening test of all the cables tested using the new measurements, which also include a high resolution transient test measurement, using the leading edge of a square wave.

Morrison, Ralph: Grounding and Shielding Techniques for Instrumentation, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons
Comments: The definitive tome on grounding and shielding.

Heyser, Richard C.; "A View Through Different Windows", Audio magazine, Feb. 1979
Heyser, Richard C.;"Catastrophe Theory and It's Effect On Audio", Parts 1 thru 3, Audio magazine, March, April, May 1979
Comments: Exploration of how we hear, and when certain thresholds are exceed, and what hysteresis there may be involved.

Lloyd, Jim and Overhauser, David; "Electromigration wreaks havoc on IC design.", EDN magazine (Electroninc Design News), march 25, 1998, p. 145-148
Comment: Electromigration is the mass transportation of a metal resulting from the momentum transfer between conducting electrons and diffusing metal atoms, and exists where ever current flows through metal wires. This provides another scientific and physical basis for cable conductor break-in effects.

Wangsness, Ronald K.; "Electromagnetic Fields", John Wiley & Sons Publisher

Duncan, Ben; "Loudspeaker cables, Case Proven", Proc. The Institute of Acoustics, UK, Nov '95.
Also published in Studio Sound & Broadcast Engineering (UK); and Stereophile (USA) - both Dec 95.

Skoff, Roger; "Wires, Insulators, Conductors,& Audio Signals", Stereophile Sept. 1995, p.96

Duncan, Ben; "Modelling cable", Electronics World (UK), Feb 96.

Duncan, Ben; "Measuring speaker cable differences", Electronics World (UK), June/July '96.

Hawksford, Malcolm Omar; "The Essex Echo", Hi-Fi News, Aug '85; Aug & Oct '86 & Feb '87. reprinted in revised form in Stereophile, Vol.18 No.10, October 1995

Duncan, Ben; Black Box (column), Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK), June & July '96.

McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Physics, often available at local Libraries.
Comment: This is an excellent physics reference and contains information on many of the more esoteric parameters related to cables, as well as the basics.

Deletraz, Herve: "Reflections, Echos & Music", Stereophile magazine, Nov. 2001, p. 59
Comments: While there is much to criticize with this piece, I feel that it has two bits of information that should not go unnoticed, they are: at HF's, impedance matching is very much a requirement, and that the 'echos" of unterminated cable reflections may go on for a lot longer than we ever thought.
Given the unterminated example in his article, we can only see what is occuring for about 40 dB down from nominal level, everything below this is lost in the trace display. If we look at how long the unterminated reflections may continue on down to a -90 dB level, then it become apparent that the window for signal disturbance is much wider than the 5-6uS we can see in the display window he provides in the published article.

C&M Corporation Wire & Cable Enginering Design Guide, c1988

Belden Cable Company Master Catalog

"Cable Design: Theory vs. Empirical Reality, 1998" AudioQuest

Hayward, James H.; "Making The Connection: A Closer Look At The Role Of Interconnect Cables", Audio Ideas Guide, Summer/Fall 1994

Hayward, James H.; "Making The Connection, Part Deux: A Closer Look At The Role Of Loudspeaker Cables", Audio Ideas Guide, Winter 1995

Marsh, Richard N.; "Dielectric Absorption In Capacitors", Audio Amatuer, #4, 1980
Comment: Since audio cables have capacitance, signal distortions due to that capacitance can afect the signal in the cable. This article shows how typical series signal caps can distort due to DA, the shunt capacitance of a cable will have related distortions too.

Otala, Matti & Huttenen, P.; "Peak Current Requirements Of Commercial Loudspeaker Systems"
Comment: Shows how an 8 ohm nominal loudpsekaer load can draw current as if it were a 1.6 ohm load, and in general, that loudspeakers are more difficult loads tha a resistor the same as their rated nominal impedance.

Lipshitz, Stanley P. & Vanderkooey, J.; "Computing Peak Currents Into Loudspeakers", AES preprint #2411, 81st Convention, 1986

Jung, Walt & Marsh, Richard N.; "Picking Capacitors", Audio, Feb./Mar. 1980
Comment: More good info on capacitor related distortions.

Johnson, Howard W., PhD. & Martin, Graham, PhD.;"High-Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic", Prentice Hall

Davis, Fred E.; "Effects of cable, Loudspeaker and Amplifier Interactions", JAES, Vol39, #6 Jun 91

Meyer, E. Brad.; "The Amp/Speaker Interface", Stereo Review, vol. 56, pp. 53-56 (1991, June)
Comment: Shows how the speaker cable impedance interacting with the loudspeaker impedance can cause frequency response variations.

'Fundamentals of energy transfer' by Ivor Catt, Electronics World, Oct 1984, etc.

Greiner, R.A., 'Amplifier-Loudspeaker Interfacing,' JAES vol. 28, no. 5 May 80

Davis, Fred E., 'Effects of cable, Loudspeaker and Amplifier Interactions,' JAES, vol. 39, no. 6 Jun 91

Olsher, D., 'Cable Bound,' Stereophile, Jul 88

Pass, Nelson 'Speaker Cables: Science or Snake Oil,' Speaker Builder, Feb 80

Greenhill, Larry 'Speaker Cables: Can you Hear the Difference?' Stereo Review, Aug 83, pg. 46-51.

Lampen, Stephen 'Does Wire Directionality Exist?' Speaker Builder, 3/98, pg 30, 31.

Butterworth, Brent & Griffin, Al 'String 'em Up!' Home Theater, Oct 98

Butterworth, Brent 'Walking the High Wire,' Home Theater, Nov 98, pg 94-102.

"A Real-Time Signal Test for Capacitor Quality", by John Curl and Walt Jung, The Audio Amatuer, 4/85 pp 22-24
Pertains to DA measurements of caps.

Web References

Pease, Robert A.; "Understand capacitor soakage to optimize analog systems.",1570,28,00.html

Jung, Walt & Marsh, Richard N.; "Picking Capacitors",

Curl, John & Jung, Walt; "A Realtime Signal Test for Capacitor Quality"

Marsh, Richard N., "Considerations for a High Performance Capacitor"

Note on Cap D-E curves, by Steve Bench:

Tests on loudspeaker capacitors (ClarityCaps manufacturer):

Karl A. Weber, "On Capacitor Dielectric Materials - A Chemist's View"

Capacitor Tutorial with excellent parameter explanations:

Lynn Olson on capacitors:

Goudreau, Pete; "JPS Labs Superconductor Interconnects: A Technical Discussion", SoundStage,
Comment: A very interesting article on how chassis potentials affect interconnects.

Hawksford, Malcolm Omar; "The Essex Echo 1995"

Some coverage of cable basic parameters, including diagrams on wire drawing, etc.:
The last page is a review of 10 high end cables:

Cardas, George; "Cable Resonance is Easy to Measure",

Bond, Matthew; "The Science of Cable Design",
(Parts 1-3 of this series appear in Stereophile Vol. 19, Numbers 1, 3 & 5.)
Also at:

Magnan, Jim; Whitepaper on skin effect and time smear:

On skin Effects in cable:
(Section 6.12)

Conductor technology and info ala Van Den Hull:

Whitepapers from Tara labs:

Vandersteen on biwiring:

Q&A on cables from Straightwire:

AudioQuest Cable Theory PDF:

MIT measurements on cables:
must click onto the proper links to papers and tech info.

Nelson Pass on speakercables:

Sullivan, Charles R.; "Optimal Choice for Number of Strands
in a Litz-Wire Transformer Winding", Paper presented at the PESC '97, Technical Program, Plenary Session 1, Monday, June 23, 1997, St. Louis MO
Comments: Has sections on skin effect, proximity effect, etc.

More on Litz wire
On cable resonances.

Tag McLaren on cables:
(It's a huge 4 Meg+ file)

Empirical Audio website:
(has some interesting FAQ's and White Papers)

Copper Crystal Structure microphotos

Details on the processing of ETP copper:

More copper info at:
Copper alloys and metalurgy info:

Visualizing electromagnetic fields:

Computing basic cable parameters, while varying geometry and dielectric and conductor sizes:

Info from Ragnar Holm Conferences on Connector aspects:

On Cable Grounding and Shielding:

*Belden Cable Company*

Cable Part Finder & Number Search

Tech article about Cable Impedance
and an alternate site at:
Belden Cable College:

Recommendations for Home Theater and High-End Audio by Belden/Steve Lampen (note: these recommendations are more casual than my own, and do not take materials issues as seriously. They may not coincide with my own recommendations, and are based more on the old school of cables as mere plumbing and RF carriers.)

Belden Distributor Locator
The Belden distibutor locator is now buried in their web site, see:
then click on "Contact Belden", and then on "Distributor Locator"

Audio/Video Specialists Distributors (NOTE: May not carry 89259, or other coax or CAT5 cables, as these are not considered AV cables.)

Cable Permitivity, Conductivity, and Permeability, from Gore web site:
Good article for cable parameter basics.

Blind tests of Speaker Cables, Home Theater mag.

Web site with lots of info on capacitors.

E-book on Electrolytic capacitors, includes basics of capacitors.

On braiding and how to, for cables:

No good?

Insulation Properties Constants.htm
OR (new alphawire URL)

Wire Gauges

Other Cable Information, including some of the above:

Risch, Jon M.; Assorted Posts and Web Pages, 1997-2009

How to connect a quad CC 89259 speaker cable:
About different CAT-5 recipes:

DIY AC power cord post:
Assembly Info for power cords:

DIY Power Strip post:

DIY Digital Cables:
and for comments on how the three sound:

Assembly of CC89259 Speaker Cables:

Assembly of 89259 stock coax IC:
Assembly of stock coax, and twisted pairs:
Assembly of twisted pair: (chineese, but lots of pictures)
Assembly of balanced twisted pair:
Latest post:

Troubleshooting DIY IC's:

Canare Crimper Info:

Assembly info and comments on IC's, Speaker cables, AC line filter:

NEW! Spring loaded terminal solution:

Cable FAQ's

Cable inductance, and how it is controlled

Cable capacitance and HF roll-off:

Separated speaker cable conductors:

Long Speaker Cables vs. Long Interconnects:

Cable Esoterica
(new address for the Belden URL:

DIY Cables and RFI/IGP

Cable RF Termination and Cable Loading

Everyone Should Get Good Cables:

PsuedoScience from the Naysayers exposed:

A discussion of selected ABX/DBT issues:

Covers some of the relevant EMF aspects of audio cables

Advanced shielding concepts:

Latest on bi-wiring:

How to listen, excerpt from my AES paper:

Getting Used to the Sound:

My AES paper is preprint #3178, "A User Friendly Methodology for Subjective Listening Tests", presented at the 91st AES convention, October, 1991.
Consisting of 33 pages of text, and 19 references, it is too long to try and present here, and I urge anyone interested in the details to get a copy from the AES, it is available for $5, and can be ordered from:

The skinny on RG-6 coaxial cables:

Easy coaxial based speaker cables (Belden 8213):

The hows and whys of shorting plugs in unused inputs/outputs:
On 75 Ohm Loading plugs:

On RCA plugs/Jacks being a "true 75 ohms":

How AC cords can affect the sound:
OR -
Tests of a power cord on a digital recording system:
AC Power artifacts getting past a DVD power supply:
Latest, with all of the above listed:
and Ole's take:
Ground loop issues and interchasis currents:

Minimizing AC Power Leakage Currents, OR How to Orient Your Two-prong Non-polarized AC Plugs:

DIY Inexpensive Power Strip:

How digital audio interconnects can affect the sound:
some more advanced discussion about jitter at:
Latest post with a lot of cited URLs:

for a thread on jitter that gets into the nitty gritty.

How digital cables are different than analog:

Empirical Audio About cable length:

The difference between analog and digital IC's:

Digital Isolation Filter for CDPs:
schematic (top picture)
my additional "tweak" to the iso filter:

Using Up the Error Budget in the Studio:

Zobel for unstable amps used with higher than zip cord capacitance cables:

Balanced to RCA and vice versa.

Cable Break-in:

Skin Effect at Audio Frequencies:

Digital IC's, SP/DIF and AES/EBU:
and for comments on how the three sound:

Why elevating cables off the floor may have an effect.

Balanced IC's vs. Unbalanced (single-ended) IC's:

discussion and comments on the BJC measurements.
of their hum test at:

About cable "ground":

Cable Cooker possible problems:

The Cost of High End Audio Cables:

On copper purity:
see the resulting thread for complete details.

Casual Vs. Analytical Listening:

Eliminating Cable TV Ground Loop Hum:
(simple version)
(the involved version, with SS and grounding info)
digital cable alternative:

Video Cables, Critique of Tech Article:

How To Solder:

Teflon properties:

Teflon Valve stem packing string:

References for the jitter notes at:
(An archived Stereophile review, that shows measured jitter levels.)
PDF of " IS THE AES/EBU/SPDIF DIGITAL AUDIO INTERFACE FLAWED?, Dunn, C. and Hawksford, M.O.J., 93rd AES Convention, San Francisco, preprint 3360, October 1992
(Talks about optical based jitter problems toward the end)
(This site has many links to good references, as well as decent explanations of what jitter is, etc.)

Replication News Article on Jitter:

Roger Nichols Article on CD mastering jitter:

RE CD-R sounding better than the original:

On laser light and jitter:
(Impedance variations of a short cable, note may contain technical errors, graph labeling is not consistent)
(One of the more popular TOSLINK optical components)

Digital Logic chip output waveforms and ground bounce info:
page23-26, waveform views of various devices, shows great shots of non-square square waves

Pages 10-16, digital logic waveforms, showing less than perfect logic signal transmission, ringing, ground bounce, etc. Esp p. 15-16
Shows good waveforms on page 4, also t-line effects for 3 foot cables.
Shows RF output of logic chips.
Shows mis-termination results, and (best case) real world waveforms.
Clearly shows waveform abberations due to the real world.

info on voltage regulator transients, re digital audio and jitter. page5, page 5, page 4
Fig. 12 and Fig. 13

Ground Bounce Info:

Good basic tutorial.

Shows actual measurements, scope pics, etc.

About grounds.


Chris Van Haus's DIY Speaker Cable recipe:

On braiding and how to, for cables:

No good?

QuadCat Recipe by JonB.(lower L than usual braiding, similar C per pair basis)
details at:

Gomer Cable:

Thorsten Loesch's Cable Recipes at:
Note: the TNT Cat5 speaker cable design uses CAT5 part
numbers NOT readily available in the US, and thus,
it will not be a good option for US DIYers.

The Enjoy The Music DIY digital IC recipe:
(hint: use 1506A instead of 1505A for better results)

Greg Weaver's Signal Tape IC's:
Greg Smith's column on the above, and on stock 89259 coax as an IC:

Polypropylene rope IC's:

Copyright Notice
All content Copyright Jon M. Risch, 2000 - 2012

All applicable copyright laws apply, all rights reserved,
except transmission by USENET and like facilities granted.
Any use or inclusion in print or other media are specifically
prohibited. The informational content is not warrantied
in any way or form, and any use of said content are at the
reader's own risk, the author shall not be held responsible
in any way for any damages or injuries arising from the
content of this web site. Common safety practices are
encouraged at all times. Do not fold, spindle or mutilate.

Jon Risch


RE: Audio Cable Bibliography , posted on May 13, 2012 at 16:12:08

Posts: 145
Joined: May 2, 2011
Thanks for alerting me to this. I think the way you have cables is a pretty good idea, really people are going to believe what they want and it cant be changed with a couple of forum posts. After peeling the onion a bit further though, I hafta say I'm rather astonished that a person would actually spend more on a cable connecting speakers and amp than the speakers and amp cost. That one is just beyond me.


Jon, are you OK? (nt), posted on May 13, 2012 at 17:50:10

Posts: 1226
Location: Connecticut
Joined: April 16, 2002


See Mungo Jerry post at cable, posted on May 14, 2012 at 09:32:02

Posts: 21213
Joined: May 12, 2000
April 5, 2002
I suspect it should have been moved here.


Great, posted on May 14, 2012 at 15:00:35

Posts: 5847
Joined: April 13, 2010
December 0, 0000
resource, this bibliography you list.

A heartfelt




Whew! Thanks for all you do Jon., posted on May 15, 2012 at 08:56:36

Posts: 3676
Location: San Jose CA
Joined: April 3, 2002
December 29, 2003
You're an immense contributor.


RE: Audio Cable Bibliography , posted on May 23, 2012 at 05:26:33
Price to performance is not linear, as we all know. Some components play way above their price point. My PM1's provide as thrilling a ride in my sitting room as my Wilson 6's or Dynaudio C4's did in my large family room and my C375BEE with MIT cabling and AC2 PC delivers close to state of the art vs my Krell Evo402 or AR VT200...just to name a very few examples. My Denon Anniversary SACD player rivals my Levinson No. 390s and Krell 505SACD. The room and system synergy and actuall dynamic performance should determine what one spends within any given budget. Bias towards the extremes is ignorant and misguided on both ends, whether it be the "Prop head/DIY it all sounds the same" crowd or the "I've gotta have the most expensive cool looking kit" morons. It's personal, it's a hobby and to each his own. To make a cult out of it is insane. Just enjoy the music your own way and let it be! Of course as I said before, all this pseudo intellectual drivel doled out by ostensibly well meaning people, can be easily avoided if you just "try before you buy" and trust youself. Now go forth and get that $25 ultimate IC you've been saving up for....or maybe the $2000/M one in the window at your local dealer:O)


RE: Audio Cable Bibliography , posted on May 26, 2012 at 08:34:53

Posts: 145
Joined: May 2, 2011
Your argument would almost be compelling if you didnt tout MIT cables in vityually every post you make ;-)

You can believe what you want. I presume at the same time it might be okay for me to believe that anyone who plugs a '$1500' power cord into a $1200 integrated and pronounces it miraculously transformed to state of the art takes in a bit too much caffeine.


RE: Audio Cable Bibliography , posted on May 26, 2012 at 10:47:46
Why thank you finski, I'll consider that a compliment coming from you:O) I do keep an open mind actually, but what I can't relate to you completely is the countless years of system building, cable matching and exhaustive listening sessions comparing said gear. Just because I don't currently sport any one of my Mega systems, should not minimize my findings. Scaling down was a choice I made for my family and for myself in a way. I find it more satisfying listening to gear that has high performance per dollar and is more readily incorporated into my living environment. The 2 way PM1's also bring along a certain purity that is hard to attain from a multi way system. The MIT cables ARE my favorites, but not out of audiophool blindness or hype or advertising. I have owned much of what's available, from the $100/M stuff to the $12K/M wires. I was fortunate to have some of the best gear, but that didn't keep me from experimenting and doing trials, trying to learn first hand about a hobby(equipment)that most people only read and drool over. As I said, I came across the revelation of using High End cabling on my meager setup(still runs around $20K all total)by default, since I owned the wires already from my previous State of the Art kit. Believe me, I would rather sell them off, but they truly raise the level of performance from the mundane to the exhalted! Truth be told, I still use a couple of Audioquest PC's to feed my source and my tube buffer....they just seem to deliver the goods so why screw with it? What I've learned is that everything matters in a system and experimentation is the only true way to happiness. Some gear may be high value....other synergystic enhancements may cost more. Blending them is an art form and will never be correctly determined by any measurements or ideology. Sometimes however, you may find an exceptional group of products that repeatedly outperform the field, and when you tend to gush:O) Happy listening finski and all the best!


He's right, that's why there's no point to the CA. , posted on June 16, 2012 at 15:29:26

Posts: 2342
Location: chain o' lakes
Joined: February 20, 2003
This message has been moved to a more appropriate venue.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.


Page processed in 0.030 seconds.