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Thread: Snakes! & Light

  1. #1

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    Cool Snakes! & Light

    Yo - good Polk Folk - I am today playing with new CD-to-Receiver cables - and need some help.
    Have borrowed one of the "Silver Serpent" digital coax cables from a friend - and am comparing that with a Blue Jeans Cable coax and my trusty mid-level Acoustic Research digital Optical cable - to see which, if any, gives me the best sound from CDs.
    My question to y'all is: What should I expect to hear, and what's the best way to switch cables? Guess that's really two questions, but what the heck - you know what I'm driving at.
    I'll be doing the testing later today and into the evening - though I really don't expect any sonic fireworks - or should I?
    As always - thanks for the help/advice. Larry R.

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    The best way is blind. Recruit another person to swap the cables, pick a couple selections per cable, and write down your thoughts. Use the same selections on each cable, and note the changes, if any.

    The acoustic memory is small, so just do quick demo's on each cable.

    If you are swapping the cables yourself, don't expect it to be very objective....unless the cable is extraordinary.

    I think you will like the coaxial over the optical, but that's just my preference bias.

    That's just a simple quick way to demo the cables, others may have different procedures.

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    First, I would suggest you also include in your test the analog R&L output from the CD player. True, it isn't digital like the rest of the test options, but it is another option.

    As far as what to expect, don't expect anything, just listen. If you go into the test expecting one particular cable to sound leaps & bounds better than the others, most likely you will "hear" something to that effect. As always, let your ears be the judge.

    You could try blind testing. Let your wife switch the cables without you knowing which ones you are listening to. This will eliminate any preconceived notions.

    Here is a link to a review of some digital cables, for reference: http://www.goodsound.com/equipment/dhlabs_d75_d110.htm
    Bob Mayo, on the keyboards. Bob Mayo.

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    Nannney nanney, boo boo. We won't tell you. :D
    Consider it tough love, but if you go into a demo with a preformed opinion it kinda invalidates the point of the demo in the first place. The power of suggestion is mighty strong.
    Make it Funky! :)

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    Default Blind it is

    Yo - thanks for the good points to all of you. But I (again) wonder why so many of you audiophiles prefer coax to optical digital cables? Seems to me (an electronic klutz) that ones and zeros go just as well in either format? Then, again, you'll tell me about jitter and the like. Sigh. Maybe NEXT year I'll unnerstand what that's all about? Thanks again. Will be testing in about three hours, and will post intermediate results by supper time, Eastern Time. Larry R.

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    Default What I'm testing

    FYI, good folk: I'm testing the connections between my new Onkyo 701 receiver (love it!) and a new JVC mid-line DVD/CD player that would seem to give great results - excellent TV picture, and seemingly "pure" CD sound. Oh, yes, I've got Polk RTi6 mains and some (believe it or not) Radio Shack Optimus speakers as surrounds - to me, they sound just fine back there.
    No subwoofer (yet ) but coming this fall, along with a new SACD player. Thanks again. LR

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    Unhappy Prelim. Results -

    Well, my wife and I are done with the first round of tests - and here's what we did. We put on alternate CDs of a Beethoven symphony that has very complex musical patterns - and a Renee Fleming opera album. Used the same symphony movements (Sym. #2, 1st mv.) and opera album cuts (#3 on "Bel Canto") then I did the "cable waltz" whilst my wife sat and listened very carefully. I also went back to my chair, and tried to forget which cable was in place. After nearly an hour and a half of this madness here's what we/she determined.
    We heard NO difference between the BetterCables Silver Serpent for $85 - and the Blue Jeans coax using Belden 1694A wire and Canare RCA connectors. We DID, however, hear major differences in both clarity and depth between my AR OPTICAL cable and either the Blue Jeans or the Silver Serpent.
    Thus - for us - the Blue Jeans cable, at $11.50 - is the clear winner. My friend gets back his Serpent, and the AR optical cable gets coiled up and put away for another day, or other gear.
    Anyway - that's our take on it, and I'd be very interested in hearing your reactions to the test, and our conclusions.
    Oh, BTW, did I say we listened in stereo, not surround, so only the RTi6s were hot - and they're connected to the receiver with Blue Jeans cable - which is 10-gauge Belden 5T00UP with gold bananas. The bridge between woofer and tweeteron the RTi6s is also the 10-gauge wire.
    Thanks in advance - Larry R.

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    Your findings are along the lines of many members. For shorter runs you would be hard pressed to hear a difference between coax cables that meet a minimum standard, of which, yours obviously do.

    The difference you are hearing between the optical anc coax cables is mostly attributed to converting the electrical pulses to light and then back to electrical.

    Great post by the way.
    Make it Funky! :)

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    Default Thanx

    Thanks for the get-back - I always thought there'd be NO difference between optical and coax - obviously I was (again) RONG!! Appreciate the comments. Larry R.

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    Default Re: Blind it is

    Originally posted by Oldwriter
    But I (again) wonder why so many of you audiophiles prefer coax to optical digital cables?
    Actually, most audiophiles prefer analog cables.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Default Really?

    Welllll - how interesting! Guess I'm so far "out of it" that I didn't realize that. Why? is my question, of course! Still learning. . .
    With thanks - Larry R.

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    Why? They tend to sound better.

    Beg, borrow or steal some, then do your blind test and see what you think. Of course, you can always sign up for the "wire demo" here on the forum.

    Here's the link, http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/forum/...threadid=14424
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Default OK, but. . .

    Yo - thanks for the reply. Sigh. I've got very good cables sitting around, so will, indeed try some analog hook-ups. But I've determined that, with the level of my equipment (read it, less than wunnerful) that I may have reached the end of my quest for "good, natural sound." Maybe not, however. Have an open mind, if not an open wallet! GRIN
    I'd just like to be able to sit back, relax, and hear sound that approximates concert hall sound. Don't want to squander my life's savings, as many audiophiles do. With what I've got - and a SACD player and probably a subwoofer, I've about "done it." Then, I'll add SACDs and enjoy life.
    At my age (68) I'd just as soon leave the tweaking-till-U-drop to you younger fellas. Give me great music, peace, and a nice bottle of good rum. Ah, yes - life's good if you're healthy.
    Thanks - again - and I'm always ready for new input! Larry R.

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