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RE: And 80 years later, someone figured out geometry and different materials could affect the sound of wire

"Again, wire, and how the signal travels through and around it, is probably the least understood concept in audio."

Thanks for the interesting thread!

The whole cable thing (thinking they are a big deal) really is interesting historically and from both an engineering and user standpoint.

Why now and not then?

Is it technology, environment, marketing, insight, bullshit, experience, improvements, lasting?

I surely don't know but I suspect all of the above and maybe more. It is the nature of uncontrolled factors to sneak up on you but once they are recognized and brought to rein then they stay largely put because we start controlling for them.

Right now I would say cables, perhaps conductors in general, are very much in the spotlight in audio and that the concept that they can play a significant role is now commonly held. BUT (and it's a big, big but) the cables don't stand alone, they are an inseparable part of a system that has evolved rather than having been designed. At this point that's a killer for predicting which cable is best for what because it is strongly dependent on unknown factors at either end, and even in the middle if you stir in stray coupling.

Since speculations are about all that's left, mine are that cable sensitivity got worse when we...

-Went away from tube rectifiers and choke input power supplies.
We lost a lot of power line isolation incoming and started generating noise on the line along with causing local HF current loops due to stored charge in the diodes.

-Began using PWM motor controls.
Not us audiophiles, us folks in general. Anything (which nowadays is most everything) that sucks it power in short, big gulps is a problem.

-Started using transistors.
Faster switching times and more sensitive to low voltages.

-Began using digital sources.
More generation and susceptibility to out-of-band interference.

-Improved our speakers.
HF problems now come through loud and clear.

That's a short list of electronic sort of things and I'm an electronic sort of guy. For all I know they may not make wire like they used to either. That seems likely since most industries do things differently now than they did 50 years ago.

The only hope for resolving these matter is better systemic controls but neither the governments nor companies seem inclined to address them. Over time they will probably continue to get better however because the semiconductor folks do want to make things generally better as it improves their bottom line and manufacturers will use the parts because they work better and cost less and the government won't get involved because they haven't figured out how to tax enjoyment if it's not a physical addiction.


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  • RE: And 80 years later, someone figured out geometry and different materials could affect the sound of wire - rick_m 11:36:19 06/01/12 (0)


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