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HiFi WigWam Power Cable Test
Axon
post Sep 29 2005, 05:48
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Just spotted this. Results were posted 2 days ago. Posted at http://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum1/1104.html with more commentary at http://www.zerogain.com/forum/showthread.p...20&page=1&pp=15.

The test setup was rather, um, interesting. I definitely don't think it would pass muster around here, but the results still give a lot of people pause for thought apparantly.

QUOTE
Briefly: The testers were asked to listen to pairs of power cables comparing one against the other in a series of successive A-B listening tests; where A was either a standard ‘out of the box’ power cable or an aftermarket power cable (with the same being true for B). Also included was an A-A control test.


Four listeners, four cables tested against one stock cable, one trial per cable.
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krazy
post Sep 29 2005, 07:18
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Heh, 6 standard better vs. 7 aftermarket better. What a suprise! rolleyes.gif

Edit:
OMFG. Just noticed "Shunyata PowerSnakes Black Mamba - Price: circa £700.00"
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?

This post has been edited by krazy: Sep 29 2005, 07:25
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cabbagerat
post Sep 29 2005, 10:12
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QUOTE (krazy @ Sep 28 2005, 10:18 PM)
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?
*

Management? Investment Banking? Estate Agency?

It's the tester's comments that I find interesting. He states:
QUOTE
The attempted objective of the test was to disprove the hypothesis:
“The reason hi-fi power cables work to improve some aspect of subjective hi-fi performance is because of pre-formed opinion or expectancy on the part of the listener that they will rather than the design of the hi-fi power cable itself”
And then
QUOTE
Failure to falsify a hypothesis does not mean it is true. It means the hypothesis has not been falsified.
This is true, and it's not the sort of conclusion you see often in tests of high end hifi gear. The conclusion I was expecting was the "8 points vs 7 - the high end cables win!".


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Gecko
post Sep 29 2005, 14:26
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I liked the first comment by super moderator analoguekid; kinda puts things into perspective:
QUOTE (analoguekid@www.hifiwigwam.com)
Another thing to consider, how much influence on the sound, was 2 chairs a towel and a slighly overweight judge!


Heh, are there any more cables, apart from speaker/power cables, in the reproduction chain, that can easily be replaced with custom ultra expensive ones, so I can make some money?
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krabapple
post Sep 30 2005, 03:31
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Can anyone makes heads or tales of what these people actually did? I've read their method and its still opaque.

*One* trial per pair? With six people responding per trial? That's nuts...at least as far as drawing conclusions about a given pair.

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Pio2001
post Sep 30 2005, 12:20
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As far as I can see, there were three listeners and five cables.
Don't forget that they first tell how many listeners heard a difference, then how many among these ones prefered the audiophile cable.
If A is the standard cable and B, C, D, E, F are the audiophile ones, they listened to :

A/B
A/C
A/D
A/E
A/F
A/A

Each pair played once, in a random order.
Beside their opinion, about which no statistics can be made since there are only two or three answers per parameter tested (and there might have been uncontrolled influence between listeners), the choice given to the listeners was between hearing a difference or not. However, there might have been cables that sound different from the standard one, and some that don't.
And anyway, since the only "right or wrong" choice given to the listeners was not about a random parameter (only the playback order was random), we cannot drive any conclusion from this test. If, for each test, there was exactly one chance out of two to listen to different cables, and one chance out of two to listen to identical ones, a small evaluation of the results could have been made, but they deliberately chose to test all audiophile cables once, and to introduce at least one control pair. That's very far from randomness !

QUOTE
Statistically the control results show an error of 2 in 3 or 67%. Based on this the A-B tests results can be assumed to be 33% reliable.

This logic is flawed. They assume that someone who doesn't hear the difference between two identical stimulus won't be influenced by anything. In this case, why run a blind test at all ? Just eliminate the two listeners who "rated the reference", and run a sighted test with the last one.
We could also have said that 40 % of their results were the same as the control one, thus the cables used in these sessions sounded identical. Flawed logic too.
In order to run a blind test properly, a random variable must be introduced (for example X is A or X is B), and the listeners must identify this variable under blind conditions.
Since they are open to discussions, I will have to register to their forum and discuss it with them... when I have the time.
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Woodinville
post Oct 1 2005, 06:23
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QUOTE (krazy @ Sep 28 2005, 10:18 PM)
Heh, 6 standard better vs. 7 aftermarket better. What a suprise! rolleyes.gif

Edit:
OMFG. Just noticed "Shunyata PowerSnakes Black Mamba - Price: circa £700.00"
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?
*


Duno, go check out the "you thought cables were bad" up in "General Audio".


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davewhit
post Oct 6 2005, 15:24
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as a member of that forum thought I would come and pass a few comments on the thread
Axon said

The test setup was rather, um, interesting. I definitely don't think it would pass muster around here, but the results still give a lot of people pause for thought apparantly.

So what would pass muster around here then how would you carry out tests ?

then was said

Heh, 6 standard better vs. 7 aftermarket better. What a suprise

Why ? on what facts do you base your comments, what was the "SUPRISE"
what did you expect? and how did you come to expect what you expected?

then was said
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?

people save money to spend on hobbies can think of many people I know both sides of the pond that spend much more on kit

as for your comments "brainless" hello you lot have just voted Bush in again ?
not saying that to start a flame war but your comments asked for that one


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Axon
post Oct 6 2005, 17:18
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QUOTE
So what would pass muster around here then how would you carry out tests ?
I'll prefix this by saying I am not a statistician by trade, and do not have much training in statistics, so most of what I know about this is from HA. You can safely call me a Yes Man if you want. wink.gif

The canonical way to do it would be an ABX test, but Pio2001 actually didn't do straight ABX for his test. His comments about cable selection are quite valid - it's very hard to analyze these results to get any sort of statistical meaning out of them, and from what I've read of the discussion, nobody on wigwam/zerogain was able to equate the results to any sort of p-value or any other figure of merit. Even the statistical analysis at the bottom of the article only goes as far as basic means and standard deviations of the measured probabilities, which are wholly inadequate tools for a rigorous analysis. A different testing model would make that analysis much easier.

Rating the stock cable above the aftermarket cable is an interesting result, but again, it's hard to analyze this beyond a strictly polemical context. It could be argued that the stock cable was simply perceived as better than some of the aftermarket cables, and that result could not be told apart from not being able to tell a difference.

I guess it depends on what kind of result you're trying to look for. If you're looking for obvious and clear differences, then any sort of test will work, including this one. If you're looking for a very subtle effect that perhaps is not caught by most of the listeners, you need to be careful with how you do the test, and understand beforehand what results you'd need to justify the conclusion. The impression I got from this test was that it was sort of a dry run of a real test.

QUOTE
Why ? on what facts do you base your comments, what was the "SUPRISE"
what did you expect? and how did you come to expect what you expected?

You do realize you just posted in the leading skeptical audiophile community on the Internet, right? 99.9% of the people here agree that aftermarket cables are snake oil.

QUOTE
people save money to spend on hobbies can think of many people I know both sides of the pond that spend much more on kit

as for your comments "brainless"  hello you lot have just voted Bush in again ?
not saying that to start a flame war but your comments asked for that one
*
I kind of get the feeling you are trying to start one, actually. Replying to this would, in fact, start a discussion that has been done a hundred times before here, and you're free to use the search to find all of them.

I guess the most direct single response I have is that while it is true that many hobbies justify far more than the hundreds of dollars typically asked of aftermarket cables, and many of those justifications are quite silly, none of those justifications seem quite as ineffable and unsupported by sound engineering or rigorous testing. (And no, rattling off all the theoretical ways that a cable could cause distortion is not sound engineering, it's grasping at straws.)

This post has been edited by Axon: Oct 6 2005, 17:19
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davewhit
post Oct 6 2005, 18:01
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QUOTE
And no, rattling off all the theoretical ways that a cable could cause distortion is not sound engineering, it's grasping at straws.)


Yes some of is, in fact many of the ways cable can affect the sound is theoretical


yet some of the affects that can affect sound going down a cable is fact, ie RFI

with some screened cables its not theory its fact, thats why British Land rovers and Humvee both in use by our forces use screened cables to help protect radio signals


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Axon
post Oct 6 2005, 18:41
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QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 6 2005, 12:01 PM)
QUOTE
And no, rattling off all the theoretical ways that a cable could cause distortion is not sound engineering, it's grasping at straws.)


Yes some of is, in fact many of the ways cable can affect the sound is theoretical


yet some of the affects that can affect sound going down a cable is fact, ie RFI

with some screened cables its not theory its fact, thats why British Land rovers and Humvee both in use by our forces use screened cables to help protect radio signals
*


Yeah, RFI is one of the few effects that are really noticable. My headphones buzz whenever my cell phone goes off, in fact. It's a shame there's not a more thorough analysis of how it affects the signal, especially since so much audio equipment seems to be affected by it.

However, RFI is something with effects that, I would expect, are quite obviously justified by the math (having not actually seen them yet though). Most of the engineering justifications made with aftermarket cables involve effects that are not nearly as prominent as simple RFI shielding, or whose effects cannot be extended credibly into the audio domain, or else have no public, mathematical, well-defined theoretical basis at all. ie. - cryo treatment, Bybee filters, silver, characteristic impedance matching, ultra-pure copper, single crystal domain copper, etc. Those were the sorts of things I was getting at rather than RFI.

This is getting off topic btw. You are free to msg me with comments.
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davewhit
post Oct 6 2005, 19:07
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QUOTE
This is getting off topic btw


Bloody hell !!! this is on topic by most uk forum standards, no one has spoken about last trip to loo blink.gif

no one has brought up last mights tv and the topic is still cables biggrin.gif

With regards
QUOTE
engineering justifications


I think the first that will get put to bed...... and just might have some truth in it

is cryo treatment its the snake oil sellers that give this a bad name

but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconductivity gives interesting information on this subject


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alive
post Oct 6 2005, 21:06
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@ Davewhit:

Why ? on what facts do you base your comments, what was the "SUPRISE"
what did you expect? and how did you come to expect what you expected?

The "what a surprise" comment was sarcastic. The correct way of interpreting it was "I do not believe that expensive power cables make any audible difference in terms of my systems transparency level"

Also, please refrain from making ad hominem arguments against people on Hydrogen-Audio. Ad hominem is offtopic when speaking about transparency of audio equipment. This is the reason I dare to keep my signature. Ad homimen is irrelevant.

Also, when you mention "cryo treatment", I suppose you mean "Cryogenic treatment of cables". Not wanting to break your bubble, but any cryogenic treatment any equipment could have undergone, is either reversed or destroyed once the equipment returns to its normal state of temperature.



Let's all just stick to the facts...

This post has been edited by alive: Oct 6 2005, 21:08


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Pio2001
post Oct 6 2005, 21:28
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QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 6 2005, 04:24 PM)
So what would pass muster around here then how would you carry out tests ?
*


Here are guidelines that a blind listening test should comply with : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=16295
And here is an example of such a blind test. The only drawback is that it's not double blind : http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4...ds-12-2004.html

The main problem of the WigWam power cable test is that the objective choice that the listeners had to make (difference or no difference) was not about a random parameter. Thus we can't evaluate their expected rate of success, called "p", if the cables make no sonic differences.

In order to analyze the listeners preference and see if they are significant, I've given a rating for each cable : the standard one is rated 2, the other ones are rated 1 if they are judged inferior, 2 if they sound the same, 3 if they sound better.
Which gives the matrix :

CODE
VDH YEL MAM SOS 25  STD
1   3   3   3   3   2
1   3   1   3   3   2
2   1   1   2   1   2


And I ran a Tukey HSD analysis on it :

CODE
FRIEDMAN version 1.24 (Jan 17, 2002) http://ff123.net/
Tukey HSD analysis

Number of listeners: 3
Critical significance:  0.10
Tukey's HSD:   1.940

Means:

SOS      YEL      25       STD      MAM      VDH      
 2.67     2.33     2.33     2.00     1.67     1.33  

-------------------------- Difference Matrix --------------------------

        YEL      25       STD      MAM      VDH      
SOS        0.333    0.333    0.667    1.000    1.333  
YEL                 0.000    0.333    0.667    1.000  
25                           0.333    0.667    1.000  
STD                                   0.333    0.667  
MAM                                            0.333  
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Even with the loose 0.10 threshold, the data are not significant at all. Answers are just like if they were random.
Otherwise, it would be stated in the report.

This post has been edited by Pio2001: Oct 6 2005, 21:31
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HiFiWigWam
post Oct 6 2005, 22:48
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Good evening chaps.

A quick google search on my own domain name (testing some optimisation) returned this thread.

It looks as though you do a fair bit of testing and on that basis I posted a link back on my forum.

The lads that ran the test are all intelligent chaps that had invested a fair amount of spare time into the test. This is as a result of endless debate on our forum about power cables, we decided to do our best to resolve the issue once and for all..

It is a relatively small forum and wee couldn't muster a big enough test group to do the method justice.

However, many of the chaps that put a fair amount of effort into the test were a bit cheesed at your off hand comments, and rightly bit the bait (you didn't know you were baiting of course but it was there none the less.)

Any constructive comments you have would be genuinely welcome. We are "going again" in a different way. This test is designed to maximise the test group, and any experiences you can share with us would be welcome.

Thanks and all the best,
James (forum owner) hifiwigwam.

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biggrin.gif
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Akid
post Oct 7 2005, 01:08
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QUOTE (alive @ Oct 6 2005, 02:06 PM)
@ Davewhit:

Why ? on what facts do you base your comments, what was the "SUPRISE"
what did you expect? and how did you come to expect what you expected?

The "what a surprise" comment was sarcastic. The correct way of interpreting it was "I do not believe that expensive power cables make any audible difference in terms of my systems transparency level"

Also, please refrain from making ad hominem arguments against people on Hydrogen-Audio. Ad hominem is offtopic when speaking about transparency of audio equipment. This is the reason I dare to keep my signature. Ad homimen is irrelevant.

Also, when you mention "cryo treatment", I suppose you mean "Cryogenic treatment of cables". Not wanting to break your bubble, but any cryogenic treatment any equipment could have undergone, is either reversed or destroyed once the equipment returns to its normal state of temperature.



Let's all just stick to the facts...
*




pinch.gif oooohhh, get her!!!

c'mon dood chill a little, its only hifi, doesn't need to be so serious, some of the conflict here seems to be a cultural difference, we have fun on our fora in the UK, we wander off topic, we het into arguments, but we allways endeavour to have fun whilst doing it, for us discussions on these fora are just like long distance conversations, and as such will wax and wane around the topic, so forgive us if our butt cheeks are not as tightly clenched as yours, we can still get an Amex card between ours. biggrin.gif

Seriously dood, these chaps actually wanted to stir up a serious bit of discussion around the topic, and in that respect they have succeded, and should be applauded, incidentally every one of them was a bona fide audiphool, and had actually quite a lot to loose, the Hifi Dealer is primarily a cable manufacturer, so instead of throwing insults, join in the discussion over there, and suggest a more robust method, within the realms of it being financed by those taking part.

And sometimes someof you guys should put the meters and EAC progs aside, switch off yer sillyscopes, get yer favourite tipple, some romantic comapny, and listen to the Music, hey you may even end up dancing, I know I do.

Whats and SPL meter? tongue.gif


BTW Alive if you really can't tell the difference re your sig, I suggest you look at the replay chain, wires are the least of your problems, but different strokes n'all if yer happy.... rolleyes.gif

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Akid
post Oct 7 2005, 01:18
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QUOTE (alive @ Oct 6 2005, 02:06 PM)
Let's all just stick to the facts...
*



What facts, all I see are statements.
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Akid
post Oct 7 2005, 01:53
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Been asked to post this, by the originator of the test, best let him explain it.

Also to Moderators, I'm not flaming, just trying to provoke debate, best to get an idea of each others perspective, some of the claims on here re lossless encoding etc are as fanciful to us as our ideas are to you. biggrin.gif

QUOTE ("mosfet@hifiwigwm wrote:")
-------------------------------------------------

A few points.

The method used was not designed to deliver definitive conclusion of any sort; to do so was beyond practical means. Indeed the means to deliver such results are beyond the scope of any non-funded group, such as hi-fi fora, irrespective of how well informed some individuals may think themselves.

The method was chosen primarily as one that could be easily identified, recognised and understood by the reader; paired-comparison of standard and aftermarket power cables. This was the guiding tenet.

The purpose of the test hypothesis was to name the salient argument between respective power cable ‘camps’. The second stated objective of the test “to do something the hi-fi press are presently failing to do” was achieved in as much the method was directly comparable (but not the same as) that used frequently in the UK hi-fi press.

Criticism based on statistical argument, while in the most part correctly given, is misplaced. Many have been quick to jump on this bandwagon without understanding the motivation of the test was the wider appreciation of the ‘average’ hi-fi enthusiast; thus a familiar model of comparative testing was employed irrespective of the known (to the author) limitations.

However I do acknowledge the value of statistical analysis and the reason the test results have attached to them a report that gives such analysis, authored by a forum member who has both university qualification and working experience within the field of statistics.

Results are results. The results presented are the opinions of three hi-fi enthusiasts under the explained conditions. Consider them as such and nothing more (for f**ks sake!).

At least one person on this thread has got it; the rest may safely put away their calculators for the time being. But thanks anyway.

“I guess it depends on what kind of result you're trying to look for. If you're looking for obvious and clear differences, then any sort of test will work, including this one.”

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/hificabletest
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indybrett
post Oct 7 2005, 03:33
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QUOTE (krazy @ Sep 29 2005, 01:18 AM)
Heh, 6 standard better vs. 7 aftermarket better. What a suprise! rolleyes.gif

Edit:
OMFG. Just noticed "Shunyata PowerSnakes Black Mamba - Price: circa £700.00"
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?
*

They inherited the money from their parents, who were obviously much smarter than their offspring wacko.gif


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krazy
post Oct 7 2005, 04:12
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QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 6 2005, 10:24 PM)
Heh, 6 standard better vs. 7 aftermarket better. What a suprise

Why ? on what facts do you base your comments, what was the "SUPRISE"
what did you expect? and how did you come to expect what you expected?
*

Sorry, I was a being sarcastic. The surprise for me was that coin flipped 13 times is likely to be as sensitive to differences between the power cables as the testers. biggrin.gif
QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 6 2005, 10:24 PM)
then was said
How the hell can people brainless enough to spend that kind of money on a power cord be making enough money to afford it in the first place?

people save money to spend on hobbies can think of many people I know both sides of the pond that spend much more on kit
*

Maybe being a student gives me a different perspective on money, but seriously, £700.00?
QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 6 2005, 10:24 PM)
as for your comments "brainless"  hello you lot have just voted Bush in again ?
not saying that to start a flame war but your comments asked for that one
*

This is an international forum. I am not from the US. tongue.gif
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Cyaneyes
post Oct 7 2005, 04:58
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QUOTE (Akid @ Oct 6 2005, 08:08 PM)
we have fun on our fora
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Can you find your way back?
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davewhit
post Oct 7 2005, 06:56
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QUOTE
Also, when you mention "cryo treatment", I suppose you mean "Cryogenic treatment of cables". Not wanting to break your bubble, but any cryogenic treatment any equipment could have undergone, is either reversed or destroyed once the equipment returns to its normal state of temperature.



Let's all just stick to the facts...


show me your evidance to prove your statement ?

QUOTE
Maybe being a student gives me a different perspective on money, but seriously, £700.00?

thats not expensive look here now this lot is expensive
http://aca.gr/pop_jyk.htm


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saratoga
post Oct 7 2005, 07:45
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QUOTE (Cyaneyes @ Oct 6 2005, 08:58 PM)
QUOTE (Akid @ Oct 6 2005, 08:08 PM)
we have fun on our fora
*


Can you find your way back?
*



Thats kind of mean spirited.

QUOTE
show me your evidance to prove your statement ?


From an electrical standpoint, the most effect you're going to have from thermal treatment is going to change the resistance of the metal, a property which irrelevent on a properly chosen cable. And to do so in a measureable way is highly unlikely.
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krazy
post Oct 7 2005, 08:39
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Sorry if this is getting completely OT:
QUOTE (davewhit @ Oct 7 2005, 01:56 PM)
QUOTE
Maybe being a student gives me a different perspective on money, but seriously, £700.00?
thats not expensive look here now this lot is expensive
http://aca.gr/pop_jyk.htm
*


The first thing I noticed when I viewed that page was the details for his CD 'transport': "output 88.2 kHz"
I fail to see how resampling CD audio which is at 44.1 kHz could increase quality. If anything, isn't it going to decrease quality? (although I suppose simply doubling sample rate would be negligible in quality loss since adjacent samples would simply have the same value..)
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Akid
post Oct 7 2005, 08:46
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QUOTE (Cyaneyes @ Oct 6 2005, 09:58 PM)
QUOTE (Akid @ Oct 6 2005, 08:08 PM)
we have fun on our fora
*


Can you find your way back?
*



Oh funny witty Mr little know it all, some of you guys on here are a touch arrogant, do you have all the answers, yes you know the elctrical properties of wire, but what IF, thats not what changes the sound some people hear, what if those parameters are yet to be discovered, don't be too quick to pour scorn on others, especially when you don't really understand it.
Just try to live and let live, arrogance (especially blind arrogance) is not a nice quality, so perhaps I'll leave you to your own wee worlds, I'm off to listen to music, do you guys do that on here?, or are you just measurement junkies?
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th November 2014 - 09:24