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My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning..

87.126.170.39

Posted on September 13, 2015 at 12:53:04
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015


Hello guys,

Since the year of 2012, I started with the DIY hi-fi audio new hobby of mine. After listening to some amplifiers, I fell in love with tubes and especially with single ended amplifiers, because of the "magic" sound they delivered to me.
The amplifier I've listened to wasn't my property, so I had to give it back to its master. However. I was already infected from the SET virus and it was too late for me to be saved, so I wanted to build myself a good SET amplifier, together with a high-end system from scratch. I had almost zero knowledge of amplifiers, I hadn't the slightest idea how tubes worked.
With time, I found myself a well-paid job and I started reading and educating myself with bloody thirst for the hi-fi tube sound.

My first single ended amplifier consisted a scrap MDF board with the parts on it, a 3 stage capacitor coupled stage with 6N8S and 6B4G tubes and a good custom interleaved transformer. Nothing fancy, scrap wire and cheapest parts.
I got sound and I was very happy it was my first tube power amplifier outputting sound. Although it wasn't very magical, it sounded a bit sterile and boring. And from them, I started to get familiar how difficult is to get yourself close to the SET magic.

I've been building only this amplifier as my only non-compromise standard. I've changed different tubes, capacitors, power supply topologies, wires, chassis, bias methods, stages - a huge trial and error. It was done only by ear, because during these years I've also found that simple measurements weren't a SQ factor.


By trial and error, I've come to the following personal conclusions, to get the ultimate sound from a SET amplifier:

1. Power supply
-good low induction low Lp and Cp power transformer with split bobbin for minimal capacitive coupling from the mains and low Lp for less stray magnetic fields.
-separate high quality heater transformer
-separate power supplies with separate secondaries for the driver and the output stage
-tube rectification with low Rp tubes for the output stage
-choke input power supplies work for me the best
-simple LC filtering networks ; better one LC with big values than multiple LCs
-highest quality chokes and capacitors as possible ; and chokes matter as much as caps.
-high quality IEC, power cord, fuse and hook-up wire
-mains plug polarity ; it's even audible on the heater power supply with indirect heating tubes.
-good passive power supplies are much more predictable ; regulated power supplies with feedback can give bass, authority and soundstage, but can sound nervous and unnatural, they are harder to build.

2. Amplification stages
-in terms of simplicity, less is more, so less stages result in a better sound, BUT only if the driver can satisfy the driving needs for the output tube ; the driver must always have more headroom than the output tube
-different bias techniques can act differently on different tubes in different loading modes ; cathode bias can be very good for example, but needs a very high quality cap and resistor ; battery bias can sound good or mediocre and is also dependent of the battery brand and holder
-if using fixed bias for the power stage, the later must have a very high quality power supply with a separate transformer choke input and tube rectifier ; otherwise I prefer the sound with a cathode bias output tube with good capacitor
-Interstage transfomer coupling delivers the best for me and of course, it's quality must be very high
-any signal transformers IT and OPT must be of very high quality, wound on a low hysteresis core, interleaved with a good balance of Cp and Lp to deliver a -3dB point well above the audio band (my OPT does it at 100KHz) and a good low frequency -3dB point at 10Hz
-no loading resistor on the secondary of the IT gives the best sound, if the IT is good enough
-grid resistors on high gm tubes steal from the sound, but sometimes they are needed.

3.Chassis, accessories and misc.
-chassis material influences the sound ; metals, woods ; if wood, the grain direction is very important. I found that it sounds more natural if the grain is perpendicular to the listener.
-make sure to use good vibration treatment feet
-high quality output terminals and RCAs are very important ; they influence the sound so much and many builders underestimate them.
-the less connections and solderings, the better sound ; think twice before cutting that wire!
-solder IS important ; solderless can be even better
-the hook-up wire makes as much difference as a speaker or interconnect wire ; the same goes for its direction ; every wire I use is first listened on a hi-end system and I find its direction by ear, then I use it on my projects.
-directionality goes even to resistors and non-polar caps ; they just sound better in one way and worse in the other
-grounding, of course - I favor star ground.
-bundling wires is a no-no, especially with cables ties.
-the sound can be further tweaked with wooden discs on transformers or tweaks as battery grounds.
-and last but not least, wait for components BURN IN

OF COURSE, the most of these tweaks are true for any kind of amplifier or audio device.



So

 

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    ...
Priorities...., posted on September 13, 2015 at 13:23:00
andy evans
Audiophile

Posts: 2936
Joined: October 20, 2000
Wonderful build quality, and some deep thought behind construction.

I have different priorities.

1. Only use DHTs
2. Use higher gain DHTs (4P1L PSE) so you only have 2 stages.
3. Use DHTs in filament bias so there are no cathode bypass caps.
4. Avoid all coupling caps - use transformers.
5. Only polypropylene caps in the PSU.

Basically just DHTs and transformers for the ultimate in clarity. I avoid capacitors like the plague except where they are unavoidable, and I haven't used an indirectly heated tube for years.

 

RE: Priorities...., posted on September 13, 2015 at 13:29:07
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Andy, my next dream amplifier will be a 100% DHT tube and 4P1L is a wonderful magic tube.
I've heard the magic that a DHT delivers. Although there are IDHT tubes that are better than some DHTs. In my case, I liked the 6P45S better than 6B4G.
Another tube that is a IDHT and is magically sounding is the EL36 and it's the poor's man 2A3.

About paragraph 5 you mentioned ; in my experience, not all polypropylenes are better. For example these RIFAs PEH169 destroy the myth that electrolytics are slow and veiled - these are very fast and transparent and for me, the sound better than cheap polyprops.

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 13, 2015 at 15:10:31
FlyCast
Audiophile

Posts: 65
Location: New Haven
Joined: September 5, 2015
aknaydenov I really like that organic look of the amplifier. CAn you share more photos?

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 13, 2015 at 19:13:09
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
Thanks for the opinions.

You had me interested up until part 3, then, sigh, it all fell apart for me with the directional wires etc.
You should feel at home around here!

Nonetheless, looks like a nice build.

Cheers.
△This message will self destruct in 10 seconds△

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 01:34:11
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015

Of course. But I have trouble posting with multiple links or photos, maybe it's a forum protection going on:





Garg0yle, of course. I'm sharing the walking experience of my own paths. Everyone has its own that leads to perfection.

Regards,
Alexander.


 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 04:04:35
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
I like the aesthetics of your chassis. Nice.

several quick questions...

Q1. the "wood" pucks on top of the ironware...are they just wood?


Q2. your transformers (specifically the two twin coil single C core)
are the two halves of the c-cores banded together? From the photos I could not "see" the banding (if they are banded).

Did you wind the coils yourself? The coils (from afar) look like they were wound very well. I noticed that they appear to be good rectangular shape (not distorted dimensionally (elliptical).

Q3. the green guy... is that a conformal "envirnmental" coating on it?


MSL









Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 04:42:22
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Of course mq, I will answer your questions:

Q1. The wood pucks are made from spruce. They are sold in our local hardware stores as plugs for chipboard holes and they come in various sizes. They are the cheapest room tuning accessory around here.

Q2. The transformers you mention are the interstage and the output. They are wound by a colleague who is our national pride in signal transformer winding. He sacrificed years from his life, lots of copper wire in the thrash and lots of trial and error to get ultimate transformer performance and his stuff is really good. All of my audiophile DIYers order from him. The problem is, he is currently too busy right now to do private orders. The transformer are wound with an interleaved pattern I prefer not to go into details He also uses impregnated paper as dielectric between layers because it sounds the most natural and the bobbin wire is listened to to find out its direction before winding the transformer.

Q3. The green guy is a heater transformer. The green color is characteristic for russian military stuff. The transformer is totally impregnated with some kind of epoxy. It will be changed soon with a better transformer with split bobbins.

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 12:51:11
Iain42
Audiophile

Posts: 785
Location: Arcansaw
Joined: February 10, 2004
Q1. The wood pucks are made from spruce. They are sold in our local hardware stores as plugs for chipboard holes and they come in various sizes. They are the cheapest room tuning accessory around here.


How does a wooden puck tune the room?

Beautiful build quality.





High sensitivity, wide dynamic range, low distortion, and smooth frequency response. Pwk

http://www.itishifi.com

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 13:00:46
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Iain42, It does somehow like Mpingo's from Shunmook do. I don't have the deep knowledge of the mechanics how exactly it works, but it has to do with resonance/vibration control. I have also no idea why the direction of the wood fibers tunes the sound, but it works.

 

Am reminded of VPI bricks, I was smirking and sneering; until the change ...~, posted on September 15, 2015 at 13:21:52
Cleantimestream
Audiophile

Posts: 6576
Location: Kentucky
Joined: June 30, 2005
~!
The Mind has No Firewall~ U.S. Army War College.

 

Would love to read more about the colleague., posted on September 15, 2015 at 16:51:10
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5005
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
Does he have a website?

Am always deeply interested in artisans who are prepared to explore the boundaries of what 'we know' - especially in audio.

Perhaps folk around here could give him enough new business to help him focus back on audio or hire more staff...
Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 21:39:14
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 462
Joined: December 25, 2014
Nice looking amps! It reads like you have done a lot of experimentation - where do you find the time?!

Under the hood shots would be interesting - can you provide images of the internals?

Thanks for posting,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 15, 2015 at 23:13:02
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Thanks. I found my spare time, because of my freelance style job and yet the lack of wife and family to care about.

Of course, I have under-the-hood shots, although they are not very recent. I have the first one when I built this chassis for the first time and a second photo, where I was doing some upgrades in progress.
On the shots it isn't yet, but now the chassis is kind of dirty on the edges, because of so many lifts, holds and turns.










Now the chassis looks like the last photo on the right, but without the black PCB regulator and the white cathode capacitor at the far top.
Later I will add my new power supply choke and fixed bias power supply maybe.



 

This post requires a huge dose of skepticism, posted on September 16, 2015 at 12:15:20
Triode_Kingdom
Audiophile

Posts: 5804
Location: Texas
Joined: September 24, 2006
"grid resistors on high gm tubes steal from the sound...

if wood, the grain direction is very important. I found that it sounds more natural if the grain is perpendicular to the listener....

directionality goes even to resistors ... they just sound better in one way and worse in the other..."

Sorry, but comments like these are clearly the result of an overactive imagination.






--------------------------
Buy Chinese. Bury freedom.

 

RE: This post requires a huge dose of skepticism, posted on September 16, 2015 at 13:03:00
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
If you wish to think so. These are my experiences. and I'm also used to other people's points of view.

 

+1 NT, posted on September 16, 2015 at 18:47:44
Alpha Al
Industry Professional

Posts: 2430
Location: N. Carolina
Joined: February 16, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
December 3, 2015
/

 

"every wire I use is first listened on a hi-end system and I find its direction by ear", posted on September 16, 2015 at 19:23:55
Chip647
Audiophile

Posts: 1653
Location: The South
Joined: December 24, 2012
Ouch. I feel for people like this. But is self delusion worse than the disillusionment from society.

 

+2 nt, posted on September 16, 2015 at 20:32:23
Caucasian Blackplate
Industry Professional

Posts: 6675
Location: Seattle
Joined: June 18, 2004
nt

 

Thanks for posting! nt., posted on September 17, 2015 at 00:00:39
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 462
Joined: December 25, 2014
.
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: Priorities...., posted on September 17, 2015 at 04:37:06
I have had a SE 4P1L breadboard under development for the last five years . Currently I'm running the HT from a Morgan Jones 'statistical' shunt regulator bypassed by a 50uF film cap . Driver again uses stacked statistical regulators and is 7N7 with DC coupled 7N7 cathode follower to the 4P1L . I am soon to implement 3A/108A DHT input stage . Avoid cap coupling . Compared to direct coupling or an interstage transformer , it's heaven and hell with 4P1L

No matter what IDHT you try triode strapped , it comes no-where near a directly heated tube

Al

 

RE: Priorities...., posted on September 17, 2015 at 05:35:52
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
I'm not going into this kind of debate, I've done so enough times to come to the conclusion that it's pointless.

"Alternate current" is just a technical term that tries to simplify phenomenons that are too complicated and have to be seen from a different point of view, not just from a basic electronics book view.

Al, I am already dreaming about a 4P1L and a GM70 amplifier SETs. One day, I will build them.

Regards,
Alexander

 

RE: Priorities...., posted on September 17, 2015 at 05:55:28
FlyCast
Audiophile

Posts: 65
Location: New Haven
Joined: September 5, 2015
My suggestion if you go that route is stick with 2 stage and use a high quality amorphous input step up transformer. I don't know why more people don't use this option, it is way better than 3 stage and good (but expensive) input transformers are pretty much transparent.

 

confirmation bias , posted on September 17, 2015 at 06:51:11
Easy to fall for it while DIY.

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 17, 2015 at 06:52:39
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
thank you for your response...

but you did not answer my query about banding of the two halves of the c core...

see my Question #2.


MSL





Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

Did you try multiple loudspeakers?, posted on September 17, 2015 at 06:54:13
I do run into many amp builders who forget to do so.

 

which amorphous material do you prefer?, posted on September 17, 2015 at 06:59:42
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
amorphous iron

amorphous nickel

amorphous cobalt






Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 17, 2015 at 09:54:04
LinuxGuru
Audiophile

Posts: 534
Location: European Union
Joined: November 11, 2008
> Q2. your transformers (specifically the two twin coil single
> C core) are the two halves of the c-cores banded together?
> From the photos I could not "see" the banding (if they are banded).

There are 2 clamps (yellow-green thick FR4 top and bottom plates), with long bolts, which keep two core halves together.

 

RE: which amorphous material do you prefer?, posted on September 17, 2015 at 10:13:50
FlyCast
Audiophile

Posts: 65
Location: New Haven
Joined: September 5, 2015
Sorry I am not sure the answer to that. My SET amps use Lundahl input transformers, with and without not much difference besides more gain.

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 17, 2015 at 10:54:36
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
mqracing,

I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. By "banding together", you mean connected, right? Yes, both halves are functioning together and the transformer can be used in 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1 configurations.
If you mean the steel strip that bands many C core transformers - no, they aren't banded. They are tightened with non-magnetic rods (brass) and thick fiberglass panels.
The panels only tighten the cores together, but do not touch the coils, so there is no damage to worry about.


jusbe, sorry for my late reply, somehow I forgot to answer you in the previous posts.

My colleague wounds only on single C cores with double bobbins and uses his own special "asymmetric" interleaving from which he has achieved in one of his best projects 15 Hz at -1dB and 160KHz at -1dB. He prefers square shaped C-cores and has wound projects even on amorphs like AMCC500 from Hitachi. He has wound tubes for tubes like 300B, 2A3, GM70, 4P1L, EL34, 6P45S, 6S33S.
He doesn't have a website, but he records data of his projects on his PC. Unfortunately, many of his measurement data were lots because of a HDD crash. He told me he had some on his new computer scattered and I will do my best to find some and post here.
He is kind of very busy right now, but he told me he plans to increase production soon. Our local audiophile community really hopes he does.
He also winds chokes with split bobbins (6,8) on single C cores. The purpose is to get low stray capacitance, which passes less noise through the choke.

Kloss, yes I had. Currently the fifth pair of speakers I've listened to these amps. No complains. Only fullrangers and 2-ways though, never tried "more-way".

 

Thanks for Posting!, posted on September 17, 2015 at 11:04:24
Sebrof
Audiophile

Posts: 567
Location: AusTX
Joined: July 12, 2002
Very cool amp
Beautiful workmanship
Nice pictures
Good history and background
Interesting conclusions
Schematic

Thanks for keeping things fresh.

Bravo and carry on!!

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 17, 2015 at 12:30:24
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
Yes...

"If you mean the steel strip that bands many C core transformers - no, they aren't banded. They are tightened with non-magnetic rods (brass) and thick fiberglass panels.
The panels only tighten the cores together, but do not touch the coils, so there is no damage to worry about."

That is what I was asking about. Thank you for your response.

A quick note... many builders I know (including myself) prefer to use non-magnetic phospher bronze bands as opposed to steel material.

As opposed the the panels being made from FR4 board material I would look at using brass due to it's superior rigidity.

Hey, you've shared some good ideas... which I've enjoyed thinking about... and like I said in my first reply, I like your chassis aesthetics (wood with metal sub-plates)... and I suspect that your combo MAY have some sonic benefit in terms of damping and resonance control (behaviour).

That said I am from Missouri (skeptical) of the efficacy of the wood pucks but appreciative that you've not been evangelical about this or any other points you've presented.

MSL





Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 17, 2015 at 12:42:17
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
The top and bottom plates are for mounting the transformers to the chassis. Usually in addtion to a chassis mounting arrangement the c-cores themselves will be banded together. Look at, for examples, audio note or Lundahls.





Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

Thanks, posted on September 17, 2015 at 13:37:58
Salectric
Audiophile

Posts: 997
Location: East Coast
Joined: February 23, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
November 13, 2015
Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences and recommendations. This kind of sharing of information can be very helpful for others. And don't be put off by the negative comments in this thread. There is clearly a variety of perspectives among AA members, but in the long run that is a healthy thing.

 

Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 08:04:05
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
And I might even be one on some of your points, so ignore me too!

Some will say some of this isn't "scientific," but scientists do experiments and that's what you did.

You are the one who gets to decide.

Nobody can read a basic electronics book or collected audio forum wisdom and KNOW what sounds good, from a distant location with zero experience of the system in question.

I get in huge battles often because people who think they are big scientists don't know much about how science works, especially when human perception and aesthetics come into the picture.

Keep up the good work and maintain your direction. Hands and ears on work will get you where you want to go.


------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 09:27:18
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
Mr. Roberts, you are not doing us any favors.

It is not right to take a jab at people who rely on physics while at the same time not state what it is your doubt about this amplifier.

This is coming from a person who really respects you.

I have read basic electronics, collected audio forum wisdom (some of which you have written) and have been able to predict, with reasonable accuracy improvements in sound before breaking out the soldering iron.

Also in fairness before typing this, I placed three poker chips on one amplifier and three Popsicle sticks on the other.
Lo and behold they sound exactly the same, I even rotated them 90 degrees.
So where does this leave us now?

I understand you had a battle at DIYAudio that got moved to the lounge. We are not DIYAudio, I like to think that this forum is more evolved and sophisticated despite the eccentricities of some members.

"Some will say some of this isn't "scientific," but scientists do experiments and that's what you did."

-Generally scientists don't falsify their observations to gain some sort of mystic street credit, as most would expect that their peers are going to try and reproduce their claims.
There isn't a person alive who can hear the difference in the direction of such a simple wire passing alternating current.

Nice to see you posting here again, I wish you would post more often.
I haven't seen Nanana around for a while either, he is also interesting individual.

△This message will self destruct in 10 seconds△

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 20, 2015 at 10:14:57
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
I understand. I wonder though, if the banding is really necessary? What are its advantages compared to "tightening" panels only?

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 10:16:26
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Thanks! I try not to be put off and I also try not to go into a debate, because I've done so in the past so much times, to find out the hard way its pointless to do so.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 10:23:09
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
I am not simply rabble rousing, although I may belong in the lounge at DiyA on the subject of science! There is some crazy thuggish groupthink on some forums, although AA is more open minded as are many on DiyA, which is why I occasionally pop in.

This is an area I have spent my life studying. Tens of thousands of hours, 35 semesters in university, 100s of books, tons of audio gear, and more interaction with working audio people worldwide than most can claim.

So if you want to believe in trendy in-group buzzwords from an audio forum over me, go ahead. No skin off my nose.

Ask Dave Slagle to tell you the story where he intentionally reversed the direction of one wire in a batch of coils he made for Pierre Sprey at Mapleshade, without telling them...and they caught it!

I first heard about directionality of wires from Pierre 20 years ago. I have no doubt that the worked hard to develop this acuity and he seems to be consistent in his ability to identify it.

Pierre's design partner was/is? an actual working physicist in a top government research facility, by the way,

Personally, I don't worry about this and I will never put a wood chip on a transformer. I have bigger problems than these.

When I discuss science and its role in knowledge systems, I am speaking from a position of a reasonable level of education and understanding. And decades of fieldwork observing audiophiles and their work.

Empirically-based, experimental studies such as that undertaken by the OP can yield a useful body of practical knowledge. Moreso than abstract physics discussions in absence of any direct experience, I would venture.

It's a complicated world out there, especially when music listening is the subject and goal.

We can "know that" something works without "knowing how" something works. Most of our knowledge is like that.

When I read the OPs post, it seems he came a long way from zero, with a lot of work and found out a lot of very useful and valid ideas.

So, I think I'm doing y'all a favor by cautioning against sweeping generalizations to specific cases built on words on a page or screen.

You just don't appreciate it yet.

Listen, the role of a "model." which is what the textbook case is, is to compare it to reality and look for differences and gaps...and, if found, you adjust the model! Not the other way around.

In this case, music amplification, I think it is reasonable that listening experience should be included.

Why do you think I am on audio forums talking about this? If I want to fight, I can go have it out with my insane neighbor.

PS--And I would exercise double caution in making "scientific" claims about human music listening, because this isn't a science and never will be. Electronics is a science, if far more complex than electronics 101 would have one believe, but what people do with it is not.

What I react to is using bogus notions like "expectation bias" as a priori shoot-downs. This is something that needs to be proven in specific cases, even if you buy the theoretical reasoning, which I do not in the form it is given.

Isn't it the case that a generalized belief in expectation bias is itself an expectation bias? Think about it.

Anyway, I'm happy to share some of my hard-earned academic knowledge and save y'all $250k in Ivy League tuition.

I support what the OP is doing and congratulate him on his work, even if, as I plainly stated, I personally don't buy some of it. How can I say he is "wrong" if it is right for him. I'll bet that system sounds really good!

BTW, my good friend Nanana has also studied philosophy of science and the human sciences so he would be generally in agreement with me.

I'm just trying to hip you all to major trends in 20th century intellectual history that are being completely bypassed in most audio discussions I encounter, especially the ones that purport to be "serious."

Read my sig and have a nice day.

------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 10:32:09
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
"There isn't a person alive who can hear the difference in the direction of such a simple wire passing alternating current"

Yet I've noticed that even non-audiophile persons have noticed and have explained in great precise detail what they hear from a wire reversal passing AC current - if the system is transparent enough. People who aren't technically educated hear it the easiest - and even as a background listening music from another room.

To listen to a wire's direction, you're best going to listen in MONO mode. Take your wire and put a piece of tape at one random end. Then disconnect the positive cable going from the speaker to the amplifier and connect the "test wire".
Listen to the first direction for some time, half a minute
Swap the cable
Listen again
Swap the cable
Listen again
Swap
Listen

On the wrong direction, there is a certain "dispute" with the sounds, lack of harmony and order, something like phase distortion. This is why to listen to vocals high harmonic instruments as piano, sax, violin.
On the right direction, the sounds blend together to make a harmony, a beautiful picture and you get the impression of a soundstage and depth, even despite it's mono mode.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 10:57:11
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
"Ask Dave Slagle to tell you the story where he intentionally reversed the direction of one wire in a batch of coils he made for Pierre Sprey at Mapleshade, without telling them...and they caught it!"

-Great, so you guys can tell us how Dave Slagle knew which wire was the "right way" to begin with?
I'm all ears.

For the record, the directional flow of electrons through some materials is not a mystery, it is called a junction diode.
If something like that did in fact happen, the folks doing the observation failed to look at the big picture, it could just just have easily been a poorly soldered connection.

"So if you want to believe in trendy in-group buzzwords from an audio forum over me, go ahead. No skin off my nose."

-What are you talking about? What trendy buzzwords am I using?

"Personally, I don't worry about this and I will never put a wood chip on a transformer. I have bigger problems than these."

-Thank you, the wasn't so bad, was it?

"Empirically-based, experimental studies such as that undertaken by the OP can yield a useful body of practical knowledge. Moreso than abstract physics discussions in absence of any direct experience, I would venture."

-No it doesn't, he built something based on previously known abstract physics then added a bit of his own JuJu.

"It's a complicated world out there, especially when music listening is the subject and goal."

-It's not that complicated. Music makes the microphone vibrate, make the speaker vibrate to create music.

"Anyway, I'm happy to share some of my hard-earned academic knowledge and save y'all $250k in Ivy League tuition."

-Unless you spend 250K on electrical engineering, I'm not interested.

"BTW, my good friend Nanana has also studied philosophy of science and the human sciences so he would be generally in agreement with me."

-That is so vague and awkward it is virtually meaningless.

"I'm just trying to hip you all to major trends in 20th century intellectual history that are being completely bypassed in most audio discussions I encounter, especially the ones that purport to be "serious." "

-How about those old Western Electric speakers that you make your living off selling, do you think those engineers subscribed to this same bullshit?

"What I react to is using bogus notions like "expectation bias" as a priori shoot-downs. This is something that needs to be proven in specific cases, even if you buy the theoretical reasoning, which I do not in the form it is given."

-I told you I tried the poker chips and Popsicle sticks, nothing happened.
Perhaps you fell victim to "reverse expectation bias." ;)

Read MY sig and have a nice day.

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RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:00:01
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Sir Roberts, thank you for this post.

I must admit I've also learned from great people who helped me be on the path.

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:03:28
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
aknaydenov you seem like a nice guy, so I will take you up on this.

If I hear a difference, I promise I will tell you and this forum.

Now the phase distortion could be measured, but I might have an issue with discerning "dispute" and "lack of harmony".
Can I use sinusoidal waves instead, or do I need music?
If I need music, can you recommend a specific track to use?

What about the other wires in the system, would they counter-act the wire being tested?
Is there a way I could test a single wire without using any other wires that might interfere with the test?

Thanks for your civility.

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RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:12:30
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Garg0yle

If you wish to do a test, you are most welcome.
You do need music for a test.

The best kind of cable to make a test from my experience is an unshielded RCA cable. Next comes the speaker wire.
You do not have to worry about the other cables in the system, of course if you are listening in mono mode.
I can recommend a well-recorded track with vocals and instruments that is familiar to you. The last time I listened to bobbin wire for my future PSU choke projects, I listened to John Lee Hooker - My Father Was A Jockey.
Classical music, especially operas are also a good choice.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:19:13
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
>>How about those old Western Electric speakers that you make your living off selling, do you think those engineers subscribed to this same bullshit?

Never sell, only buy.

I only point out some widely-recognized lacunae in trying to apply ill-formed notions of physical science to human sciences in hopes that some will see the light.

This is one of the principal topics in 20th century thinking...hardly vague or awkward.

The subject here is knowledge conditions, not forum political jive.

Just don't be so sure I am wrong if you have no instinctual understanding of what I am getting at. Like I said, I am well-trained and well-read in the field of human research and scientific thinking and I might know a few things that you and almost all engineers don't.

If you don't think the interface between electronics technology and music listening is extraordinary complex, well then I rest my case.

I agree the OP mixes physics and some weird juju, but I think it's working out for him.






------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:23:27
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
OK I will get back to you.

I will probably make a jig and cut a length of wire in half, reverse one and have them connected to a switch so that I can quickly compare them.

I hope the switch is not going to cause a problem, in which case I may have to repeat the test with the switch reversed.

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RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:29:44
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
Geez Louise sum it up for us with out trying to sound so sophisticated.

Are you saying it is OK to have the JuJu because of some "I think therefor I am" type thing?

In other words, the pucks actually do sound better because he believes they sound better?

Spit it out Joe.

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RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:34:53
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
I don't believe only that "the pucks sound better", but I do believe they are a tuning accessory, as I wrote at the start of this topic:

"-the sound can be further tweaked with wooden discs on transformers or tweaks as battery grounds."

And from my experience too much of any tuning accessory can be harmful and this also applies to these discs as well.

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:36:12
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
Although the switch is going to degrade the sound a bit, I think it's still okay to do the test with it.

Good luck with the test!

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:45:16
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
Thanks, I will get back to you.
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RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 12:31:34
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Listen, Garg0yle, nothing personal. I am sure you are a nice and sincere guy.

This subject is in fact very sophisticated. Big words and mostly non-obvious thinking. Most people don't have a clue that it even exists, but there are vast libraries of thought out there on these very questions.

I'm just pointing out for those who have ears to hear what I'm saying, that scholars who specialize in trying to understand how people "know" their world have a much more comprehensive view of the matter than civilians.

WHY do people who never studied this material think they are natural-born experts in it? I can only think, "One doesn't know what they don't know."

This extends to understanding how "Science" as a logical system and human social enterprise works. Most audio forum science is pretty close to trash, not so much in the realm of electronics where high-school lab conceptions are reasonably useful, but when EEs and guys who learned electronics in the Navy start talking anthropology and human research, it gets pretty silly.

This subject is neither easy nor obvious.

Big Science, modern physics works in a universe that is probabilistic and perspectival, whereas the EE lab is neither. It works on convenient fiction, a simplification that is good enough.

One of my engineering partners in Silbatone has a PhD in Solid State Physics and Material Science. He doesn't think all this wire stuff is absurd, even if he doesn't have a ready explanation. As I was saying, a REAL scientist will test his model against reality/experience and if they don't map each other, adjust the model.

I am pretty sure that when Dr. Bae things of current through a wire, he is on a totally different plane from myself and most DMM owners.

This is the key gesture in science, testing models vs.reality. Making top-down pronouncements from general law is a tiny part of it, cause there aren't that many laws.

Even major forces such as gravitation are poorly understood, except that we know "what" it does.

JUJU

I am saying that the "juju" might add something valuable to the important process of hands-one/ears-on experimentation, without in itself having much physical/physics grounding. Maybe it makes him feel good and inspires a deeper connection with what he is doing. I'm looking at the whole project and thinking...good work!

A bit flaky here and there but so what? Nice system!

I am a Virgo and basically a nerdy analytical person. I sometimes wish I had more juju and mambo in the mix, but I go with experience, observations, and my naturally questioning attitude and trust in that.

I really can't "explain" why people go for some of the crazy audio tweaks out there and to do so without trying it myself, I would feel like I am not checking my suspicions. But I really can't get interested in some of this microlevel tweaking when I have much bigger issues to deal with first.

More to the point, I also really catch a bad vibe off snake oil peddlers, and that is something else I'm interested in anthropologically. I'm from South Philly not Missouri, but I think some people out there want a wizard at the controls. I hear Shun Mook and I think they are trying to mook me.

Hey, what are we doing on SET forum. SE amps should blow compared to low distortion SS an PP amps, right?

How did we find out that they aren't so bad? Experimentation in the face of received wisdom.

Let's do more.

Don't throw out a chance to grow and expand understanding because of some wacko trying to sell seemingly bogus pucks. That is my message.

Don't buy the pucks. I know I wont.





------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 16:43:25
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
"Big Science, modern physics works in a universe that is probabilistic and perspectival, whereas the EE lab is neither. It works on convenient fiction, a simplification that is good enough."

-Well sure, much of what is used was discovered empirically, nothing wrong with that, it avoids a lot of smoke! lol


"JUJU

I am saying that the "juju" might add something valuable to the important process of hands-one/ears-on experimentation, without in itself having much physical/physics grounding. Maybe it makes him feel good and inspires a deeper connection with what he is doing. I'm looking at the whole project and thinking...good work!"

-That is fine.

"WHY do people who never studied this material think they are natural-born experts in it? I can only think, "One doesn't know what they don't know."

This extends to understanding how "Science" as a logical system and human social enterprise works. Most audio forum science is pretty close to trash, not so much in the realm of electronics where high-school lab conceptions are reasonably useful, but when EEs and guys who learned electronics in the Navy start talking anthropology and human research, it gets pretty silly."

-I don't think you are giving some enough credit, after all you don't know what they don't know. ;)

"I am a Virgo and basically a nerdy analytical person. I sometimes wish I had more juju and mambo in the mix, but I go with experience, observations, and my naturally questioning attitude and trust in that."

-Now don't go dragging astrology into this Joe! lol.

"Hey, what are we doing on SET forum. SE amps should blow compared to low distortion SS an PP amps, right?"

-Not at all, I fully understand that all distortion is not created equal, nor is everything linear.
One doesn't have to look too hard, the first control on most stereos is the volume. Like a lot of things in audio, it is logarithmic.

In earlier times, yes I was naive, I thought 5 on the volume dial meant 50 percent power and that "low THD" amps couldn't possibly be the cause for bad sound.

Fortunately, I was able to learn this from others work in physics.
It was there the whole time, I just needed to be able to see it.

"How did we find out that they aren't so bad? Experimentation in the face of received wisdom."

-I get what you are saying...



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RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 16:53:38
cpotl
Audiophile

Posts: 695
Location: Texas
Joined: December 6, 2009
Joe, you sound like someone with whom it is possible to have a rational discussion. What would your response be to the following?

It is clear that at some level, if one is not going to be a gullible simpleton who believes everything he is told, one must make some sort of a judgement call about whether a reported effect even deserves any serious consideration or not. For example, if I report that by burying a teapot at the bottom of my garden I get a much improved soundstage in my living-room stereo system you would not (I hope!) give any credence whatsoever to the claim. You would be able to make an assessment, based on known and well-established understanding of how the physical world works, that the claim was simply ludicrous; it does not need to be tested before being dismissed.

So, what is one to make of somebody's claim that reversing the direction of a piece of signal wire changes the sound? There are (at least) two possible explanations for the reported effect. One of these is that there really is a genuinely verifiable effect on the sound. (And to me, the only way it could be genuinely verifiable is if the person reporting it could reliably demonstrate the ability to hear the difference in rigorous double-blind tests.) Another possible explanation is that the person has imagined the effect, with their expectation of a difference leading them to "hear" it when they make experiments reversing the wire.

To me, the possibility that the direction of the wire actually makes a verifiable difference is about as likely (that is to say, very very unlikely!) as that burying the teapot in the garden would make a difference. As gargoyle emphasised, one is talking about alternating currents here. Why on earth should there be a difference based on the direction the wire is connected? On the other hand, it is very well documented in countless experiments that people may "see" things that are not real, or fail to see things that are real. There are huge numbers of examples of optical illusions. I'm not so familiar with experiments concerning aural illusions, but it does seems to be the case that the brain is easily fooled into perceiving what it expects to perceive.

Given this situation, surely the overwhelmingly more plausible explanation for the alleged effect of reversing the direction of the wire is that it is entirely in the imagination of the listener? Why should it be given any more credence than the claim that burying a teapot will affect the sound?

Of course, there is in principle another conceivable explanation for a genuine effect, as has already been mentioned, namely, that because of some badly soldered joint, for example, there is some sort of crude diode rectification involved. That could be much better settled by making measurements with test equipment, not by delving into obscure corners of human psychology. And in any case, it would not be providing any sort of general principle about the direction of wires mattering. Rather, it would just be a lesson that shoddy soldered joints should be avoided.

Chris

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 21:33:43
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 4751
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
-Great, so you guys can tell us how Dave Slagle knew which wire was the "right way" to begin with?
I'm all ears.


I didn't know the direction but I did know that one of the samples was inverted in direction from the two other ones.

I was asked to supply a few 3 meter pieces of the wire I could wind with so they could check the directionality and instruct me which end to place at ground potential.

I sent
-#31 cardas
three samples of #34 formvar all from the same spool with one marked the opposite of the other two and said they came off three different spools. (wire coming off the spool is not always the same since one never knows how many times it has been respooled)
-#42 plain enamel (the stuff the guitar pickup guys love)

The #42 was best, the formvars were all rated the same and the inversion of direction was noted. and the #31 was last. All five samples were labeled with a direction and I ended up winding with the #42 plain enamel.

Sure it could have been chance to pick the inverted wire and I later apologized for trying to trick them only to find out I wasn't the first.

For the folks below saying a bad solder connection could be the cause, I believe the connections used were all mechanical.

dave

 

Drawing the line, posted on September 20, 2015 at 21:56:43
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Good question.

I don't think there is a one size fits all answer, however.

The question of directionality is a good example. Do I believe it? No, frankly. Sounds like total hogwash based on my limited knowledge of the subject.

But look at Slagle's story about Mapleshade. He was unrolling wire off of a spool and was supposed to label start and finish so they would know the "direction" of the wire for future testing. Then Dave intentionally swapped one around and labeled it backwards.

Pierre called Dave and said he thinks Dave labeled one of the wires wrong. In other words, he got caught.

Not sure if I am supposed to tell that story or not!

I don't know, Bro.

It seems Pierre has some way to know. Pierre is what I would call an intense auditioner and a hardcore experimenter. I first met him about 30 years ago and he was doing wacky experiments even back then. What can certain people learn to distinguish? I'm not sure.

Learning is routinely ignored in a lot of the forum discussion. Somebody who works with audio gear all day for decades learns things average folks don't know about sound, including highly developed sonic memory. I don't think it is pure memory, more like developing a framework to categorize sound differences that don't make much difference to average folks.

I routinely ignore even things I know matter, i.e. could make a positive or negative difference. I use speaker wire I bought USED from an installer in Vegas on ebay. It is used Belden 4 conductor. Sounds OK to me, but I think the kinds of speakers I use are somewhat less sensitive to wire choice than modern speakers even though I totally believe wire sounds different, but I don't get involved too heavily anymore. I make my interconnects and most wires myself out of stuff I selected though evaluation.

I think it is also hard to separate the device from the sales pitch. As soon as I hear a super wizard sales pitch about how this genius dude discover a new physics, I shut it off. For some reason this works on otherwise seemingly rational people, many with excess money.

But I have heard items like the Tice clock of the late 80s make a distinct difference, when it "shouldn't" have. This was a digital clock that you plug into an outlet near the system and it cleans up the sound. $15 at WalMart, a couple hundred $ from Tice or something like that. Basically an unexplained phenomenon with chicanery and snake oil drizzled on top, at a price.

This comes back to the difference between "knowing that" and "knowing how." Just because there is no handy explanation or a totally farfetched 'new physics' explanation is offered doesn't effect whether it works or not.

I guess I would say you can't _know_ until you try it, but something has to motivate people to try things. Intellectual curiosity might be enough in some cases, but personally I'm getting lazier by the day.

In all honesty, my main filter on this stuff is how much time do I have to expend. I have amps to build. Shopping to do, etc. To me, the magic puck thing is operating on a level of tweakery I haven't gotten to lately.

When I was younger I would build circuits just to hear what they sounded like, which is how I first got into SE amps and triode amps. I was just experimenting and keeping what I liked. I was more high energy and I suppose more fascinated in those days. I worked on audio and studied old electronics books and magazines around the clock.

However, I know that there are some things I am purposefully ignoring that might be major learning experiences but gotta make cuts somewhere.

Perhaps it comes down to personal style. Some people are magic puck and crystal people and some aren't. Nobody can do it all. Pick what lures you in. For me it might be a tube, circuit, or new transformer concept, but it won't be a magic crystal.











------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 20, 2015 at 21:58:27
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
Hi Dave, nice to hear from you.

Any recommendations for my little experiment?

I was thinking of arbitrarily marking one end of the wires with a silver sharpie, then covering the wire with a sleeve of some sort. I would then place them in a box and shake it up.

If I am able to discern a difference, I will then mark the sleeve with a sharpie to distinguish the better sounding direction.

If I do think I hear a better direction, when I un-sleeve the wires, most should have the original marks on the same ends.

At first I was just going to use some pre terminated RCA cables for convenience, but I think I should have a larger group to sample from, say at least 10 samples.

Any issues performing this experiment at the large signal level? I'm thinking I could avoid potential interference that I may encounter testing un-shielded small signal wires.
(I MIGHT have a long enough length of shielded cable to cut into samples, I won't know for sure until tomorrow)

I also changed my mind about testing phase at this stage in the game, I will see how this first part goes first before proceeding.

Cheers



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Confirmation biases should be acknowledged when ever we design., posted on September 21, 2015 at 05:44:22
Its just the basics of design we are easily fooled. If human perception wasn't easily fooled stereo video wouldn't function. When one invests much time money into end result they will have a bias towards it being a improvement because its human nature to do so. To me designing tweaking a amplifier and not running on different loads does not teach you anything except how that particular amplifier drives that particular loudspeaker. Maybe that's enough for you but its not for me thus why I helpfully posted a comment about confirmation bias.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 06:14:10
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
This extends to understanding how "Science" as a logical system and human social enterprise works. Most audio forum science is pretty close to trash, not so much in the realm of electronics where high-school lab conceptions are reasonably useful, but when EEs and guys who learned electronics in the Navy start talking anthropology and human research, it gets pretty silly."

-I don't think you are giving some enough credit, after all you don't know what they don't know. ;)
-----------------------------

In human research areas such as audio testing and evaluation, I see a lot of the same approach taken in the EE lab, which doesn't work!

This "scientific" approach to DBT and ABX and all that is based on totally discredited paradigms in social science. The basic notion is that people, or rather their behavior, can be studied in the lab similar to physics experiments. Control the "experiment" and good solid insights come out the other end.

I can tell what people don't know about this subject by what they write. This is bad science and really bad human research. Why? Because it doesn't recognize how people relate to the world and doesn't recognize and control many relevant variables. The result is that the test has little relevance outside the unique conditions of the test.

Where I get upset is not seeing that forum guys don't understand human research, this is a very specialized and complicated field. It is when these highly questionable notions are weaponized and used to shut down discourse, using the holy mantle of Science. I see it all the time.

Did you blind test that opinion? Sighted listening! Expectation bias!

I can understand when tech people get peeved at hearing about bogus new electronics phenomena invented out of thin air. Well, that's how I feel about this audio forum evaluation science. It is extremely dubious and certainly no basis for feeling superior and in control of listening evaluations (especially other peoples') the way we are in control of circuits.

It is not a science in the sense it is being framed and can not be.

I realize that many, perhaps most, have no idea what I am talking about sometimes and that the idea of scientific listening testing seems totally reasonable on the face of things, but it is not that simple, really not.

My main interest in pointing out things like this is to remove blockages to advancement and useful experimentation in audio. This is what I have been trying to do my whole audio career.

The tip off for me that I am on to something is how ferociously people defend their turf. When I first started writing and publishing articles about horns, an extremely unpopular subject at the time, I had drunk old geezers calling me up late at night, "Roberts, you bastard, you're putting audio back 30 years!" Numerous "pros" ridiculed me to my face, including one who had a complete horn system within two years.

Look at how people defend audio testing, when 99% of the defenders have no training in or understanding of the field whatsoever, and how strongly they defend Science when they don't have much insight into the profound intellectual complexities of their claims, and it appears that there are some really deep-seated understandings about the world and their place in it riding on those topics.

I get it that some personalities do not like to feel adrift and want to pin everything down with scientific certainty. Well, we are in fact more adrift than many would like and I think that is a good thing. It is what makes us interesting.

One important insight that I have gained in 30 years as an anthropologist in audio is that we modern first-world humans are not that far from our primitive ancestors. Science is another of many cultural activities that shares a lot with religion and politics. People are people and science does not offer an exit route.

Incidentally, I was a declared Physics major at U.Penn. That lasted exactly two classes. They put me in a class in Elementary Mechanics that consisted of me and 5 guys selected by the Chinese government to come to Penn to study Physics. After getting all As in AP Physics in high school, I thought I knew this stuff cold. Well, I felt like I was surrounded by Enrico Fermi, Walter Heisenberg, and Nikolai Tesla. Maybe I was. I swiftly dropped the class and took "Intro to Film Making" instead.

In retrospect, I think the Physics department was testing me in a "sink or swim" environment and I definitely saw some vivid underwater phenomena!

Sure, Physics has its place but it is not the universal key to understanding human existence. I'm glad I took the anthropology and philosophy of science/social theory route. These perspectives have been very useful in the audio world.







------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 07:26:02
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 4751
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
I am a big fan of raw data collection and feel anecdotes (like the pierre sprey wire direction test) are very important to remember. The thing I don't like (and most people take issue with) is the assigning of merit (good or bad) to a particular data set.

It typically goes like this. I listen to some vintage WE transformers and am amazed by the wonderful sound. Some of the claims mad as to why are:

-Age annealed laminations
-Age annealed wire

To me (assuming the transformers really contain magic) those just focus on the obvious... old wire old core but discussion rarely goes beyond that into something that seems a bit more plausible. As the laminations go it is reported that WE used "power supply" iron in many of their coveted designs. The key factor for me in this is WE (allegedly) used EI laminations and PS lams are a non-oriented material. The supporters of C-cores claim their superiority because the grain is always in line with the core material in a wound tape core but in a Stamped lamination the uptight of the "E" is always cross grain. The thing to note here is if you use a non-oriented material (like PS iron) the claim of superiority of C-cores by optimized grain direction goes away. (the one thing C-cores allow you to do is very thin laminations but that is for another day)

As for the wire. With the increasing popularity of recycling of copper the thing I wonder is if older wire is simply of better "quality" It seems entirely possible that wire that was mined and refined 50 years ago has a consistent nature whereas the recycled copper of today comes from a questionable pedigree. Sure recycled copper can be refined to the utmost of purity but at what cost and is it ever done in todays money driven economy?

Anyways.... got a bot off topic there.... As for your silver experiment, I say give it a try and send it around as a blind test to see what happens. In other words collect the data then have a statistics guy crunch the numbers. I think raw data and statistics can be both powerful and honest and I was shocked how increasing the sample size cahnges things. 6 out of 10 pretty much makes it a coin toss, 58 out of 100 is similar but by the time you get to 550 out of 1000 it starts to become meaningful even thought the difference in percentage has gotten smaller.

dave

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 07:53:54
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 4751
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
Pierre called Dave and said he thinks Dave labeled one of the wires wrong. In other words, he got caught.

Indeed I was caught but the comment was that the "spool" from the reversed wire must have gone through an extra de-reeling procedure.

I do know that pierre and ron (bauman) have a series of very specific test tracks they use to listen for direction and iirc the differences they hear is all in the attack of the notes. Sure some will argue that a real engineer should be able to measure this and it is important to note that both Pierre and Ron are top level real engineers.

I have another friend Johannes who could nail the relative phase of a SE amp to a speaker. This doesn't have anything to do with absolute phase but rather the idea that air is harder to compress than it is to rarify which sets up a situation to create an even order distortion. When you combine this even order distortion generator with another (a SE tube output stage) suddenly you get very different distortion spectra based on phase. Johannes would simply instruct me to listen to the bass and it was easy to hear. I admit I heard differences but in no way could I ever nail it like Johannes could.

(important thing to note for all you absolute phase junkies is simply swappping speaker cables polarity is not a fair way to reverse phase)

dave

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 21, 2015 at 08:11:26
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 12012
Location: So. Cal.
Joined: February 9, 2002
"Take your wire and put a piece of tape at one random end. Then disconnect the positive cable going from the speaker to the amplifier and connect the "test wire". "

That part confuses me a little.


Do you mean that I don't use the positive wire of my speaker wire pair, I instead use a different single wire leaving the positive wire of my existing speaker wire pair disconneccted?

How do I make sure that the physical relationship between the single wire (that I'm reversing as I test and listen) and my existing speaker wire pair (of which I am now only using the negative conductor) doesn't change each time I conduct the test?

If the spacing and general physical orientation between my existing speaker wire pair and the single wire changes, that would cause changes to the capacitance and inductance between the two for each listening test and invalidate the test, no?



Thanks

Tre'
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 08:49:45
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Indeed I was caught but the comment was that the "spool" from the reversed
wire must have gone through an extra de-reeling procedure.

============

Slick footwork, Slagle!

But obviously they did not need your silly labels anyway.

JR
------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 09:00:18
megasat16
Audiophile

Posts: 196
Location: SoCal
Joined: April 15, 2015
Silly wabbits...It would never happen with the UPOCC copper or silver wires. Less Grainy so it solved the directional issues.




.
.
.Thou shall not stand where I type for I carry a bottle of Certified Audiophile Air and a Pure Silver Whip.

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 09:04:08
cpotl
Audiophile

Posts: 695
Location: Texas
Joined: December 6, 2009
"I have another friend Johannes who could nail the relative phase of a SE amp to a speaker. This doesn't have anything to do with absolute phase but rather the idea that air is harder to compress than it is to rarify which sets up a situation to create an even order distortion. When you combine this even order distortion generator with another (a SE tube output stage) suddenly you get very different distortion spectra based on phase. Johannes would simply instruct me to listen to the bass and it was easy to hear."

This is an interesting point, since indeed there must be some degree of asymmetry in a sound wave, since air pressures can increase arbitrarily high, but they cannot decrease below zero. On the other hand, as I learned from a Wiki page, a sound level of 94dB corresponds to a fluctuation of about 1 part in 100,000 around atmospheric pressure, so one would have thought any non-linearities associated with this effect would be really tiny; at something like the 0.001% level or so. This looks as if it could be rather negligible in comparison to the order of magnitude of distortions from the amplifier, and from the speaker itself.

In fact, I think I have seen astonishingly large distortion figures quoted for loudspeakers. Isn't it possible that, if there is some audible effect associated with the phase choice for the connection of the amplifier to the speaker, it is much more likely to be associated with asymmetries in the way the loudspeaker itself responds to being driven outwards, as opposed to being driven inwards? I would have thought that such kinds of mechanical asymmetries in the behaviour of the loudspeaker cone would be overwhelmingly more important than non-linearities in the way the acoustic wave propagates in the air.

I was a bit puzzled by you final remark: "important thing to note for all you absolute phase junkies is simply swappping speaker cables polarity is not a fair way to reverse phase". Until I reached that point in your message, I thought that you precisely were talking about what happens if you reverse the two speaker wires? What did you mean, if not that?

Just to make sure we don't go off on a complete tangent, this discussion has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion of the phase of one speaker relative to the other in a stereo system! The effect you are wanting to talk about is, I believe, what is normally called "absolute phase," and could be discussed purely in a mono audio system. It is concerned with the issue of whether a transient attack at the beginning of an impulsive sound will drive the speaker cone forwards, towards the listener, or instead drive the cone backwards, away from the listener. This effect would precisely be reversed if one switched over the two wires going to the speaker. Thus I am puzzled by your sentence apparently saying that that is not what you were talking about.

Anyway, in summary, I could believe that absolute phase has a chance to be an audible phenomenon, because of non-linearities and asymmetries in the system. But I would have thought non-linearities and asymmetries in the mechanical response of the speaker cone would be far more likely to be at play here than non-linearities in the propagation of sound waves in air.

Chris

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 09:26:44
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 4751
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
By absolute phase I indeed meant swapping polarity of both channels at the same time and not one channel in relation to the other.

The air thing was under the assumption of mainly bass (due to the large amounts of air movement) and an asymmetrical design (not an open baffle) where there is a pressure build up in a back chamber. I was using lowthers in rear loaded horn at the time.

dave

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 09:41:29
cpotl
Audiophile

Posts: 695
Location: Texas
Joined: December 6, 2009
"By absolute phase I indeed meant swapping polarity of both channels at the same time and not one channel in relation to the other."

OK, good...we are on the same wavelength (so to speak)!

I think, though, that the percentage change in air pressure around the quiescent 1 atmosphere is still absolutely tiny, even for loud low-frequency sounds.

But the asymmetry of the loudspeaker response, together with the asymmetry of the SET amplifier response (because of its predominant 2nd harmonic distortion) would certainly, I imagine, lead to the possibility of either addition, or subtraction, of the two asymmetries, depending on the polarity of the connection to the speaker. I'd put my money on that, rather than asymmetry in the acoustic propagation of the air wave itself.

Chris

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 09:52:16
dave slagle
Manufacturer

Posts: 4751
Location: NYC
Joined: April 27, 2001
It was presented to me as the non-linearity of air as being the cause. What other aspect of a speaker design could generate even distortion?

A slightly off center voice coil in the gap?
suspension / spider?

dave

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 11:20:43
cpotl
Audiophile

Posts: 695
Location: Texas
Joined: December 6, 2009
"It was presented to me as the non-linearity of air as being the cause. What other aspect of a speaker design could generate even distortion?
A slightly off center voice coil in the gap? suspension / spider?"

Quite possibly.

I tried quickly googling around a bit, and distortion figures for loudspeakers seem to be commonly up to the order of several percent, especially at low frequencies (presumably because the amplitude of the cone movement gets larger at low frequencies). These distortions include substantial second harmonic, which implies asymmetry.

So if the second harmonic distortion of the speaker were comparable with the second harmonic distortion of the amplifier, then I suppose there could be a significant and audible difference if the two asymmetries were combining on the one hand in unison, versus on the other hand in opposition.

By contrast, I think the non-linearities in the acoustic propagation in air will be way down, for any kind of realistic sound pressure level. (The "maximum possible" sound level in air at standard ambient pressure, based on supposing the pressure reaches down to zero in the troughs, is about 194 dB. which is pretty loud!!!. A loudspeaker, on the other hand, will be hitting one or other of its end-of-range mechanical movement limitations at hugely lower sound levels. Thus asymmetries at normal listening levels will be likely to be much bigger for speakers than for air, since the ratio of typical cone movement over maximum possible cone movement is a much bigger fraction than the ratio of air pressure change over ambient air pressure.)

Chris

 

RE: Thanks, posted on September 21, 2015 at 11:38:20
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
"Do you mean that I don't use the positive wire of my speaker wire pair, I instead use a different single wire leaving the positive wire of my existing speaker wire pair disconneccted?"

-Yes, exactly.

"How do I make sure that the physical relationship between the single wire (that I'm reversing as I test and listen) and my existing speaker wire pair (of which I am now only using the negative conductor) doesn't change each time I conduct the test? "

-Because you don't change anything at the existing speaker wire pair, you only handle the test wire. If the wire pair makes changes to the sound, they are static, because they shouldn't change together with the direction of the test wire.
I'm giving the advice of keeping the speaker pair, because this is the easiest way to listen to a cable's direction. You need only one piece to make the test and it's quick and simple.

"If the spacing and general physical orientation between my existing speaker wire pair and the single wire changes, that would cause changes to the capacitance and inductance between the two for each listening test and invalidate the test, no?"

-Maybe yes, so just make sure your wire positioning is similar to the previous one.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 12:46:46
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
Hi Dave:

What would (or should) the transformer winder do if the coil is designed to have reversed windings?

You mentioned spools that may have been respooled... consider also that magnet wire starts out it's life as 3/16th inch rod and then is drawn to it's finish guage through multiple dies and could be respooled how many times?

MSL




Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 12:57:21
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
"I first heard about directionality of wires from Pierre 20 years ago. I have no doubt that the worked hard to develop this acuity and he seems to be consistent in his ability to identify it.

Pierre's design partner was/is? an actual working physicist in a top government research facility, by the way"

This is hardly the first or last time someone with impressive academic credentials has endorsed implausible audiophile theories.

But the fact remains none of these theories have ever seen commercial application nor are they ever proven by fellow engineers or research scientists.

IMO, all this audiophile snake oil started about in the early 1980s. That's 35 years ago and yet nothing has ever been proven in commercial applications. Surely in 35 years of electronic and scientific progress just one of these outlandish theories should have been replicated and the causes found?

Furthermore this stuff seems to be without exception entirely based in high end consumer audio. No where else that I know of in the electronics industry as a whole do we hear about these strange theories that defy practiced electrical engineering knowledge of the past 100 years. Again what is so specialized about base-band audio electronics?

Over on the tube DIY forum I posted a link to the first commercial broadcast VTR in the late 1950s as an example of tube electronics of the day. If you bother to look, the video signal path takes up over 5 11x17 pages of dense circuitry. And that doesn't count the servo systems to control the mechanical tape to rotating heads interface. Now look at the audio electronics. One page of a fairly simple circuit! So much for all this "ultra wide bandwidth audio requirements" we often hear on this forum.

If these audio voodoo theories like "wire direction and sound" apply to base-band audio, that is 20-20,000hz, then shouldn't they be immensely more critical at DC to 5mhz? Yet none of this voodoo was ever applied to analog video circuit design - I know, I started in that sector of electronics.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 13:14:52
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Gusser, we have met here before.

One important difference is the two separate senses required to consume the products of the two media.

Maybe there is less inborn variability in sight than hearing? Or more depth of "trainability" where people can develop certain acuities.

Tough to say, but it seems caution is advised in equating two entirely different sensory systems.

Anyway, I think the resolution of that VTR was probably pretty low, as was the color fidelity. At the same time as that, hifi systems were already pretty high rez, no?

Agreed that there was no market for some genres of tweak junk prior to the 80s and the advent of "high end" audio. There is definitely a cultural shift and coeval economic dimensions at play.

Work for an anthopologist, not an EE, once again.






------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

OK, forget video (TV)!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 13:28:37
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
But if there were some credible science to wire direction and it's effects on low level electrical signal distribution, how about the front ends of Cell phone tower receivers and signal processing?

Now don't you all agree if there was any substance to the idea of wire directionality improving performance wouldn't the cell phone industry for just one example be all over it? Just squeezing in a few more data channels would be worth millions yearly.

Don't like cell phones? How about other areas of electronics that deal with sensitive electrical signals?


P.S.
"Anyway, I think the resolution of that VTR was probably pretty low, as was the color fidelity. At the same time as that, hifi systems were already pretty high rez, no?"

Even in 1959, the absolute minimum HF limit for broadcast quality was about 3.5mhz. Still a far cry for 20,000hz! So no, still no contest between audio and video bandwidth.

They didn't go to all the trouble of high speed rotating heads to get to 1500ips relative tape speed just for fun. The physics of magnetic tape recording required it - and still does!

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:00:40
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Seems to me that Joe is giving us a university level description of well known placebo effect. That being "the complex music to electronics interface". (note you have to include the science of acoustics in there as well).

Yes, the person who claims it most likely hears it, monetary gains aside. I certianly agree that happens to all of us at some point or another.

But the question on an electronics forum should be about technical proof of the phenomenon and that certianly requires repeatable and quantifiable evidence.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:06:42
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
many of the "coveted" WE audio transformers such as the 171A output trans the core was a C and I configuration (both the C and I being stamped from 26 guage (.0185") M19 material. The two c's are closed around the I which is located in the middle.

The C and I arrangement is not very efficient from the vantage point of having many gaps of high reluctance.

M19 has triple the core losses than M6 and just a fraction of M6's superior (i.e., greter) permeability. And has less power handling capacity to boot.

That same 171A coil wrapped in a modern core (such as M6 or better) will have much better performance specs.

Two other quick thoughts. You mentioned "thin" lams... you can get M6 stamped from. 006" material... though as with all of the thinner core materials the penalty is having a poorer stacking factor... so that, in practice, you've reduced the core cross section area... which raises the flux density (and by extension reduces power handling). I don't see it as being advantageous in audio transformer designs.

A point to consider as regards c cores is that they tend to have large (uninterrupted) air gaps versus an interleaved EI core. Take the same transformer and build one with EI's and one with c-cores (using the same grade of lam)... then measure the no load exciting current for each... and tell me what you've discovered.

I fail to see any magic in c-cores and whenever possible will build with an EI (or other stamped lam shape) which can be assembled and fitted by hand stacking for an optimum fit with the wound coil.

MSL






Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

MapleShade?, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:30:47
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Are you kidding me?

Look at their BiWire jumpers. Those are hand cut copper scraps with labels hand drawn by a Sharpie pen. Are they serious? Is that the best they can do in terms of professional product manufacturing?

Next look at their interconnects. Hand made RCA connectors? No, I don't mean hand soldering OEM RCA connectors, I mean making RCA connectors from scraps of brass sheet!

And how about those AC cords. Do they have any clue of minimal acceptable electrical safety standards? AC plugs made from butcher block stock?

This is a joke! How can anybody take such products seriously. Yeah, I know, "well did you try them?"

This is exactly why these high end audiophile vendors are the laughing stock of the IEEE!

 

RE: OK, forget video (TV)!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:34:03
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Valid question, but musical audio listening is in the realm of aesthetics, and not evaluated by listeners in direct technical terms. The goal structures are entirely different.

Let's remember that some trick wire has been developed for commercial applications such as oxygen free copper for power distribution, litz for VLF, silver wire for high Q coils, etc. etc.

There is very little wire in a cell phone. Not a good market. Wire is becoming as obsolete as the knob and toggle switch.

I know a couple Korean PhD physicists who are extruding plates made out of monocrystal silver which they then laser cut into wire for audio.

We tried it. It was OK but not mind bending.

The grant supporting the research is a Korean govt technology incubator foundation.

In any event, I'd want to talk to guys like that to see what I can learn about materials in wire and their potential effects on signal transmission. I suspect that deep down at micro levels there is all sorts of stuff going on--boundary effects, magnetic properties, who knows what-- and some things might only appear at super macro levels like cross continental transmission.

You and I, we're just guessing. For this job, you would need materials scientists and actual physicists whio specialize in this field. Not a job for the anthropologist, this one.

As for the musical "sound" of wire, can you think of any commercial application outside of specialist audio where anybody would care let alone pay extra??




------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: MapleShade?, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:35:48
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
MapleShade?
------------------------------
Are you kidding me?



Gusser, is it safe to say that you are not a buyer?




------------------------------

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: My 3 years to the goal of the non-compromise SET and still learning.., posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:37:28
mqracing
Manufacturer

Posts: 4299
Joined: June 29, 2000
I'm not an expert on c-cores and prefer not to use them whenever possible...
currently I think we only have one product that is built on a c-core and that is because it was originally built on stamped laminations--- of an odd shape which was known back in the day as Westinghouse lams--- they have been obsolete for many years--- so in this case we use a core core which can replicate the shape and dimensions of the original Westinghouse lams.

And our TL-404's are banded by a friend of mine in NJ who has a mil spec transformer manufacturing facility.

As I understand it--- when you assemble c-cores there is an optimum amount of pressure that should be used to close the air gap as much as is practical as well as to keep the cores physically stable--- varying the amount of the "closing force" can be illustrated by measuring the inductance of the trans--- you want the force necessary to maximize the L.

And usually (again, as I understand best practices to bee) it is preferable to use two bands side by side (i.e., symmetrically placed along the D dimension of the c-core) to equalize the compression wrought by tightening the bands.

The method your tranneys use... two fiberglass pc boards... with bolts on all four corners... my first thoughts were can you get the optimum clamping pressure without the boards first bending... and my second thought was that you'd want to probably use a "torque wrench" so that you could have equal pressure on all four bolts.

My hunch is... but it is only a gut level intuition... that the bands are better in the respect also of "squaring" the c-cores... that is making sure that the two halves are properly seated squarely over each other...

your tranneys looked like (from a distant photo) they were assembled well...

I am always surprised at how many c-cores I see that fail this basic performance and quality construction step...

MSL





Builder of MagneQuest & Peerless transformers since 1989

 

RE: MapleShade?, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:41:37
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
I don't see why they deserve any praise here. I dislike all audiophile snake oil but at least some vendors do produce high quality craftsman ship with their products to spite their technical uselessness.

This stuff however is junk and the AC power products are downright dangerous!

 

Hello Joe!... always a distinct pleasure when you stop by~nT, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:44:28
Cleantimestream
Audiophile

Posts: 6576
Location: Kentucky
Joined: June 30, 2005
~!
The Mind has No Firewall~ U.S. Army War College.

 

RE: OK, forget video (TV)!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 14:51:19
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
I'm talking about cell towers and the associated equipment shack, not your Iphone. There is plenty of wire in those. And believe me, telecommunications equipment companies can afford the cream of the crop when it comes to top materials scientists.

Again where is the published research and patents?

Of course Litz wire exists as well as many other specialized wire and cables. And they are also represented by solid science as well as full technical specifications exploiting their special attributes. We have none of that with magic audio wires!

Face it, magic audio wire is pure junk science in the professional electronics industry. Unless you or someone can provide accredited documentation, that fact will remain mainstream. If your high end materials scientists and physicists have discovered proof, where are the papers for peer review?

"As for the musical "sound" of wire, can you think of any commercial application outside of specialist audio where anybody would care let alone pay extra??"

I still don't think you get it. IT'S NOT AUDIO, IT'S ELECTRICAL ENERGY. 'Audio' merely represents the bandwidth, which by the way is a the ass end of the EM spectrum. Anything that can influence audio signals will certianly have greater effects on more sensitive electrical applications.

 

Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 16:31:32
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Somebody is going to get hurt. Making AC power cords from what looks like loose 22ga hookup wire. Altering UL listed power strips for resale. Making AC line plugs out of wood.

It's one thing when some charlatan cable shop buys standard electrical parts at Home Depot or a supply house and builds an AC cord with some nylon flex over it. At least if competently assembled it's more than likely safe. Still not approved though. But this MapleShade stuff is over the top in terms of safety hazards.

Yeah, the CPSC may just laugh it off or they may seek a court injunction to stop sales at the other extreme.

At least I will have tried to prevent a serious accident.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 17:39:11
FlyCast
Audiophile

Posts: 65
Location: New Haven
Joined: September 5, 2015
Hi Joe

First off, thank you for all the wonderful articles from Sound Practices. My amp builder and I came up with a 300B design based off numerous articles from your pub.

As a retired pharmaceutical scientist we are still very much using double blind testing to remove ANY bias in our drug trials. The medical community also compiles its meta-analysis for evidence based medicine off double blind (or at the very least single blind) studies.

When it comes to audio I do this stuff all for fun, so it's my ears that I gotta please. I just started using forums in the last year, but after seeing some of the cowboy remarks I personally plan to be extra vigilant about what I say lest I be ridiculed. With the anonymity the internet grants anyone can hide behind a pseudoname.

Retirement has been great. Thinking about putting together a 45 SET for active drive of a compression driver/horn.

-Brent

 

RE: Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 19:57:39
danlaudionut
Audiophile

Posts: 5452
Location: Schenectady
Joined: June 6, 2002
Since when do people think they have the right
to "protect" people from themselves?
It is a free country which means people have
the right to do what you think is stupid.
You have the right to call them on it
BUT not the right to force them into
what you consider "correct" behavior!
Please, I plead with you, stop the police state
that you wish to impose because it offends you.
You do not have the right to not to be offended.

DanL



 

RE: Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 20:29:47
Garg0yle
Audiophile

Posts: 859
Joined: December 1, 2014
It's more of a moral and legal matter, rather then a "right".
△This message will self destruct in 10 seconds△

 

RE: Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 21:02:58
danlaudionut
Audiophile

Posts: 5452
Location: Schenectady
Joined: June 6, 2002
Moral
In whose eyes - not mine for sure.
It does not claim UL certification.
It's obvious that it will not stand abuse.
Somebody MIGHT get hurt is a red herring.
People get hurt stepping off the sidewalk.
The same reason is used to get swings, kickball,
monkey bars, jungle gyms etc out of playgrounds.
It is a very stupid argument in a "FREE" society.

Legal
Again do you want the government involved in deciding
what can and cannot be sold in the audio realm
because once you invite them in ...
They see No boundries !!!
They crush the whole business with regulations.
They love to make laws and even more laws.
I have seen it happen in many venues.
The whole section of business crushed by regulation.
GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT = POLICE STATE
Then let lawyers involved in this - Bad Idea.

Nowhere is it written that the government has the power
to protect people from bad decisions.
You can warn them but the choice is theirs.
In a free society that is.

DanL



 

Totally Agree, posted on September 21, 2015 at 21:13:58
MannyE
Audiophile

Posts: 1778
Location: Miami Beach
Joined: March 4, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
September 22, 2014
Nice to see a post that's both respectful and constructive.

My Bottlehead Paramours and Hornshoppe Horn combo was a match made in heaven. Hook up the horns to my Outlaw 2150 and you kind of wonder what happened.

 

Beautiful!! , posted on September 21, 2015 at 21:16:41
MannyE
Audiophile

Posts: 1778
Location: Miami Beach
Joined: March 4, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
September 22, 2014
I don't agree with a lot of what you are observing, but YOU are observing it and until I personally listen, I have to respect what you're saying.

What I can tell you is that the workmanship is top notch and you have a right to be proud of those! Great job!

 

You are free to:, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:16:49
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
You are free too build whatever unsafe electrical devices you see fit in your own home. But when you offer them for sale to the general public at large, well thankfully we have laws and standards that must be adhered to for the protection of others.

Are you honestly suggesting we abolish building codes and product safety standards?

Based on your recent posts belittling formal engineering education and study, In can see the logic in this idea as well.

And since I made that post I did some research and found it quite easy to file a complaint - which I am going to do, like it or not.

Yes good people do have a moral responsibility to report crimes to the relevant authority. And those AC power products as displayed are a crime when it comes to basic electrical safety.

 

RE: Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:35:56
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
No, we are not trying to outlaw monkey bars in playgrounds.

But what's wrong with imposing minimum standards of weld quality or steel grades?

Is the problem for you that the inexperienced, unlicensed hacks can't participate in the industry?

 

RE: You are free to:, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:37:18
danlaudionut
Audiophile

Posts: 5452
Location: Schenectady
Joined: June 6, 2002
That in a nut shell is what
is wrong with this country.
You never bought the product
but you want to make sure
no one else can.
I will never understand
the hubris of that position.

DanL




 

RE: Im going to report this to the CPSC!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:44:35
danlaudionut
Audiophile

Posts: 5452
Location: Schenectady
Joined: June 6, 2002
They are selling things that people want.
You don't want it fine.
But to make sure that others can't ...
Once you get the gov't involved then
they can and will destroy the industry.
Feet under the component makes
the whole stereo unstable.
Cable elevators cause a tripping hazard.
Tubes must have cages or
someone might burn themselves.
You can easily see where this can go.
You want BIG BROTHER in this ???
Think a little before you do this.
You may say that is not what you want
but it is a very slippery slope.

DanL



 

RE: You are free to:, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:45:55
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Any experienced electronics or electrical person can easily see those products are not safe under established safety standards of the past 40 years or more.

And you know it!

Defending this is silly.

 

So I'll ask again:, posted on September 21, 2015 at 22:51:45
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
You think it's ok for some firm to sell playground equipment with shoddy welds or inferior steel where a child falls and seriously injured?

We should not have product safety standards?

P.S. I would be honored to destroy the snake oil audio accessories industry. About time these people make an honest living.

 

RE: You are free to:, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:01:22
danlaudionut
Audiophile

Posts: 5452
Location: Schenectady
Joined: June 6, 2002
So are feet under the component.
So are cable elevators.
So are tubes without cages.

Also for 50 years before that wood insulted
most electrical wiring with porcelain help.
Wood is a good electrical insulator.
It isn't going to cause a fire.
It just doesn't take abuse well.
Joe Public does not shop at Mapleshade.
Audiophiles do.
You are supposedly trying to save Joe Public
but he is not involved at all.

DanL

It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.
--- Jeremy Bentham



 

I don't see any porcelain around those prongs!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:05:31
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
Typical audiophile analysis. You pick an example such as knob and tube wiring but overlook the details.

 

RE: Drawing the line, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:21:30
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
megasat16

It is the Neotech UP-OCC hook-up wire I use the most in my projects and it's highly directional.

 

RE: I don't see any porcelain around those prongs!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:23:35
aknaydenov
Audiophile

Posts: 106
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: September 13, 2015
gusser,

I've already put ceramic hoods on top of the anode caps, if this is what you worry about. These are a bit old photos.

 

This is not about your amp!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:28:30
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2371
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
This is about the Mapleshade power products.

Your amp is a good example of Dans point in ths issue. It's yours, in your home, it's not being sold to the general public.

 

RE: Ignore the doubters!, posted on September 21, 2015 at 23:51:58
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 7075
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
one of the basic tenets of science is that of repeatability.
If YOU do something and get a given result, than I should, under the same conditions with the same materials get the SAME result.

While you must support the 'experimenters' results, you must take it all with a little grain of salt until verified.
I don't know what it is but it's not science that I see here. While the OP does list some general principles, which is good, others do not agree with them, so back to square 1.
Too much is never enough

 

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