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    Moderated By: Maxxwire
    Agoraquest Forum Index Ľ Ľ Amp/Receiver/Speakers/Connections/Cables
      
    21st century sound quailty of home audio. Why isn't better? Dashboard
    Replies: 374 | Views: 140,416
    Last Reply: August 23, 2012, 3:16 am

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    Author 21st century sound quailty of home audio. Why isn't better?
    Danglerb

    Rank: Sony Addict


    Joined: May 04, 2006
    Posts: 193
    From: Socal

      Posted: 2011-09-03 13:54

    All grades of copper wire in the same gauge have essentially the same resistance per foot, so I doubt the wire resistance was a factor, but if I were to investigate I would rule out nothing.

    It reminds me of a conversation with some friends that from time to time liked to try things. One a lifetime audiophile, and the other a scopes and meters engineer who would build various things to the formers specification and hang around to hear what the results might be.

    One experiment was to improve the capacitors in a power supply for a low power preamp stage. Various better grade caps were tried, and then larger sizes of capacitors. What surprised them both was that the improved sound didn't appear to have an upper limit, each time the capacitance was doubled the sound got better., until it just wasn't practical to hook up more or larger capacitors than the outboard chassis that was used to mod the old Stereo 400 amps with something like a dozen big computer grade caps in each box.

    Again what exactly was going on was hard to say, but everything they built after that got the biggest PS that was practical to use.


       


    Maxxwire
    Moderator
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    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
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    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2011-09-03 17:00

    • Member Quote

    On 2011-09-03 13:54, Danglerb wrote:
    All grades of copper wire in the same gauge have essentially the same resistance per foot.




    I have spent many hours hanging around my Audio Tech's shop where I have seen examples of the countless makes and models of high end Audio gear that he has been making a living repairing over the last 35+ years plus a collection of the ModWight gear that he built from scratch and although he had never heard of OCC Single Crystal Copper before he is the one who first told me about the ultra low measured resistance of the Furutech Alpha 3 power cord and that he expected that measurement would translate into better performance and sound quality for my DB 930 Receiver.

    Since then I have heard the improvements in sound quality that my Audio tech predicted so I feel that I will trust his prediction based on his direct measurement and my subsequent listening evaluations over the last 3 months which are indirect contradiction of your theory which may be correct concerning traditional cold mold cast conductor power cords and their similar resistance to wires of the same gauge, but as my Audio tech was shocked to find out that his measurement the OCC Single Crystal Copper conductor in the Furutech Alpha 3 power cord was 250% lower than he had ever measured in any other power cord over his 35+year career in Audio electronics.

    There is a whole new generation of OCC Single Crystal Copper Copper wires out there that shatter those 20th century parameters of measurement and as curiosity led my Audio tech to measure the resistance of the Furutech Alpha 3 power cord just before he installed it on my DB 930 and as a result he got an instant update as to just how much lower resistance measurements 21st century State of the Art hot mold continuous cast Single Crystal Copper conductor power cords can achieve compared to the 250% higher resistance measurements of same gauge traditional 20th Century cold mold cast conductor power cords.

    ~Maxx~

    Sony H-9 MaxxPix


         
    Danglerb

    Rank: Sony Addict


    Joined: May 04, 2006
    Posts: 193
    From: Socal

      Posted: 2011-09-04 00:14

    I have no idea regarding your tech and his comments. 10 feet of normal buy it at Home Depot 12 gauge wire has 0.016 ohms of resistance. 10 gauge is about half that.

    OCC wire is classed as between 102% and 103% of ASTM (standard for conductivity in 99.9% copper wire). Good copper wire for electrical use is typically better than 101% ASTM.

    That isn't why I doubt the issue is resistance, its that the effect isn't just small, its kind of static and linear, and dynamic nonlinear things usually cause more trouble.


       
    Maxxwire
    Moderator
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    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
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    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2011-09-04 03:25

      

    These are the specs that Furutech gives for their bulk FP Alpha 3 Single Crystal Copper power cord that I used to build the DB 930's new power cord.  

    Thank you for offering up that information about the known resistance value of other wire. I had been wondering about the absolute value of my Tech's measurement because at the time my Tech took his measurement of the DB 930's Single Crystal Coper power cord I already knew the above information and that the Furutech's specs called for a 6' length of this power cord to have 0.0097 ohms of resistance, but he must measure resistance in a consistently different manner because the .02 ohms he measured at was 2.5 times less than all of the other power cords he measured at .05 ohms. It has occurred to me that he may be measuring the total resistance of the hot and the return wire. The next time I see him I will make sure to ask about that I'm sure that he will have an explanation that none of us have even considered.

    There is a much more influential dimension to explaining the enhanced performance of modern high efficiency Single Crystal Copper wire that differentiates it from traditional cold mold cast wire and that is the new techniques of hot mold continuous casting which was invented in Japan about 25 years ago and offers a different explanation for the superior performance of Single Crystal Copper in terms of the linearity of its crystalline structure...







    This information about the very refined crystalline structure of hot mold continuous cast Single Crystal Copper goes a long way to explaining the vastly superior performance of the Furutech FP Alpha 3 Single Crystal Copper power cord where the Ohno Continuous Casting method has provided very highly efficient conductors for the improved flow of electricity compared to the high grain boundary count of traditional cold mold cast Copper.




    Modern Hot Mold Ohno Continuous Casting Equipment

    ~Maxx~

    Sony H-9 MaxxPix


    [ This message was edited by: Maxxwire on 2011-09-07 16:00 ]


         
    mykyll2727

    Rank: Sony Pro


    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas

      Posted: 2011-09-04 14:47

    This post from Paul McGowen came today and I felt really touched on my original questions. I'm looking forward to his future posts on this subject.



    Push, pull or drag

    When it comes to implementing or even inventing new technology how does the High-End industry react? Are we pushed, pulled or dragged?

    It is different for each company.

    For example, pushing the latest technology is something PS Audio and a few other forward thinking companies do Ė we are in the minority. The mainstream high-end companies implement new technology only when thereís enough customer demand to pull it through the system; they represent the majority. Traditionalist companies add technology only when forced into it by lagging sales and are dragged along Ė they too are in the minority. So we have a nice bell curve that represents the tech implementation trend with the majority in the ďwait and seeĒ camp.

    I bring this up not to pass judgment, but to point out there are both benefits and pitfalls to each companyís strategy for implementing new technology. Being first isnít always a good idea, nor is being one of many making the same product Ė but sometimes itís exactly what you want. So this begs the question for both customers and manufacturers alike: whatís your strategy and why?

    As a customer, whatís your buying strategy? Do you always go to the latest greatest, wait for everyone else to buy in, or go into something only after being dragged by circumstances?

    And the the same question applies to manufacturers: do you create new, go along with new only after itís safe, or wait till thereís no other choice?

    These questions are not new, they actually describe a well known curve about early adopters, but I do think this is a subject not explored enough in high-end audio circles.

    I certainly donít have any magic answers but I do think this is a topic worthy of further discussion. In the next few posts, weíll take a look at some of the history and perhaps a few case studies to get you thinking.


       
    Danglerb

    Rank: Sony Addict


    Joined: May 04, 2006
    Posts: 193
    From: Socal

      Posted: 2011-09-04 16:49

    What I find curiously missing in Paul McGowen's message is that its about technology without any reference to the sound.

    Seems pretty simple to me, listen to the new technology and decide how you like the sound, then consider where the technology is going and whether or not its something you want to or can buy now versus waiting until the technology is a bit more mature.

    Lack of consensus among manufacturers regarding the value of various technologies is part of their reluctance to adopt new technology, but I suspect the driving factor is that what the buying public will prefer can't be predicted until some magazines tell them what sounds good. If a speaker maker uses some special wire, and it gets poor reviews or just not as good of reviews as others.

    There is also a clear effort in the high end industry to "leave room" for the specialists, so speakers don't ship with cables, etc.

    A final point is that many audio products are like a stew, where the designer combines the various parts available to him to achieve a desired character. Changing one part could require reconsideration of many parts to compensate or accommodate for the new part and keep the desired character.



       
    mykyll2727

    Rank: Sony Pro


    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas

      Posted: 2011-09-05 00:16

    As a consumer I've been guilty of using all of the push, pull, drag, strategies at various times when it comes to audio. I most often fall into the wait and see camp. Because I don't have a lot of bucks I tend to wait and see how something has succeeded before taking the plunge. Recently my decision for processing upgrade is a result of being dragged. But my decision to go with my S-Master pro receivers was in the push camp. If I had waited to see I would've never tried them as they didn't "catch on". In that instance I'm glad I took the plunge._mykl


       
    Danglerb

    Rank: Sony Addict


    Joined: May 04, 2006
    Posts: 193
    From: Socal

      Posted: 2011-09-05 01:17

    I didn't think of it until after I hit return, but high end is a mix of business and personality. Nobody in the trade can really afford to offend or too openly support anybody else. If a store sells brand A, that may open the door to them selling brand B, and close the door to C and D. Many ideas have patents, or trademarks associated, so its not just a question of is the new idea good, but can I get a license to use it and what will that license cost. Thats the main issue with HDMI, DTS, etc.


       
    mykyll2727

    Rank: Sony Pro


    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas

      Posted: 2011-09-15 18:06

    I found Paul mcGowen's latest post very appropriate. Personally I'm in agreement. I also concur with Steve Hoffman and feel that if we can hear it but can't measure it then we need to find better means of measure.


    Just because

    Just because you canít measure something doesnít mean it doesnít exist.

    Just because you observe something doesnít mean you understand how to measure and repeat it.

    We get confused a lot between the observations we make, the measurements we use to try and quantify those observations and the conclusions we draw from it all.

    For example, when a listener observes a change in sound they can conclude it sounds better or worse based on those observations but not much more.

    When a measurement based objectivist canít measure anything that supports the listenerís observations, all that can be concluded is the measurements arenít complete enough to do the job.

    Neither can legitimately draw an accurate conclusion that explains the results.

    In Brad Paulsonís insightful article Simple is better, he observes that simple crossovers in loudspeakers sound more musical than complex ones; despite the measurements that support the latter. What can we conclude from this?

    I think the only meaningful conclusions are that our observations are not supported by the measurements so we need to change the measurements.

    Observations almost always trump measurements.

    Just ask any physicist.


       
    Maxxwire
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    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 26074
    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2011-09-15 18:37

    _mykl- Thank you for sharing another one of Paul's very useful messages with us! Over the years I have come to the same conclusion about the supreme value that observation plays in finding ways of improving the performance and sound quality of Audio Systems.

    I did want to repost my statement that was taken from the Steve Hoffman Forums...

    • Member Quote

    On 2011-09-02 17:39, Maxxwire wrote:

    On the subject which you brought up concerning measurements here's something I picked up over at Mastering Engineer Steve Hoffman's website years ago...

    "...if we can hear it but we canít measure it, then we should be thinking about getting some better measurements..."



    It was not Steve Hoffman himself, but a member at his website who made this comment which very well may have been tongue-in-cheek .  I'm not sure whether they ever found those measurements or not because there are many sonic manifestations within the excellently recorded Music that Steve Hoffman Masters that can be observed like the recreation of the ambiance of the original recording venue which infers the physical parameters of that venue, but no to equipment yet exists to make measurements from a recording.

    ~Maxx~

    Sony H-9 MaxxPix


         
    mykyll2727

    Rank: Sony Pro


    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas

      Posted: 2011-09-15 18:53

    Whether it was tongue in cheek or not I'm in absolute agreement. "Out of the mouths of fools". I went to college to study physics and I'm still fascinated by it. They're discovering new "things" all the time and in alot of these circumstances new methods of detecting them were needed. With everything being discovered (in particular with regard to energy) advancements and greater understanding can't be made by relying on methods or thinking of the past. To truly understand the "going ons" of the world around us new methods and thinking are required. Great advancements are being made with regard to innate human awareness of our surroundings. Alot of these new findings have to do with our aural perceptions. If we accept the "status quo" with regard to measurements we will be stuck in a quagmire of ignorance._mykl


       
    Maxxwire
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    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
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    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2011-09-15 19:45

    Yes, just like Paul McGowen said in this last message you shared with us entitled Just Because...


    "Just because you canít measure something doesnít mean it doesnít exist. Observations almost always trump measurements. Just ask any physicist."

    You said "If we accept the "status quo" with regard to measurements we will be stuck in a quagmire of ignorance"


    I agree . The advancements in Digital electronics are rocketing us into the future of Computer Audio and I'm sure that there were many new measurements involved in the development of it. I'm just agreeing with Paul that the ramifications of that progress in terms of each individual who would wish to evaluate the sound quality of these profound new breakthroughs in Digital Audio may find themselves hearing things that science has not yet created a way to measure as accurately as a keen observation by a trained pair of human ears as Paul alluded to in his message.  
    ~Maxx~

    Sony H-9 MaxxPix


         
    mykyll2727

    Rank: Sony Pro


    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 4171
    From: Las Vegas

      Posted: 2011-09-15 20:42

    I think that eventually science will prove that many things audio enthusiasts claim to hear are not simply figments of their imaginations but do indeed actually exist. My feeling is what's needed are curious and open minds._mykl


       
    Danglerb

    Rank: Sony Addict


    Joined: May 04, 2006
    Posts: 193
    From: Socal

      Posted: 2011-09-15 21:54

    • Member Quote

    On 2011-09-15 20:42, mykyll2727 wrote:
    I think that eventually science will prove that many things audio enthusiasts claim to hear are not simply figments of their imaginations but do indeed actually exist. My feeling is what's needed are curious and open minds._mykl


    I totally agree, and you can thank Ben Franklin for the science used to prove such claims, but the chances of opening the minds of most audiophiles to the accepted methods of comparison for the last two centuries does not seem promising.

    "The first recorded blind experiments were performed in 1784 by the French Academy of Sciences, which set up a commission to investigate the claims of animal magnetism proposed by Franz Mesmer. Headed by Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier, the commission carried out experiments asking mesmerists to identify objects that had previously been filled with "vital fluid", including trees and flasks of water. The subjects were unable to do so."

    Progress depends on the speed and reliability of comparisons. If I design a new amplifier there might be hundreds of steps where choices need to be made between components or configuration before I have a product ready for market. Assuming I bumble my way to a prototype how do I know if I should mortgage the house and go into production? There currently is NO reliable way to access quality in audiophile products, you submit for review and let the dice roll.


    -----------------
    If you can't hear the difference without seeing the difference, you can't hear the difference.

    [ This message was edited by: Danglerb on 2011-09-15 21:55 ]


       
    Maxxwire
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    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
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    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2011-09-15 23:45

    • Member Quote

    On 2011-09-15 20:42, mykyll2727 wrote:
    I think that eventually science will prove that many things audio enthusiasts claim to hear are not simply figments of their imaginations but do indeed actually exist. My feeling is what's needed are curious and open minds.



    I also have hope that science will someday be able to prove that the many amazing things that we have discussed having heard from the Audio Systems that we have each so carefully built over these many years are not after all simply figments of our imaginations but do indeed actually exist. Not to prove listeners right, but in hope that scientists may discover ever expanding manifestations of aural phenomenon.  

    I also agree that we need to stay curious and keep an open mind because after having not upgraded my Audio equipment in several years over just the last year I have upgraded almost every piece of equipment in my Audio System with innovations that were not available in the past, but made available just this year and at some amazingly low prices. Fortunately after so many years of building my Audio System and and being able to carefully listening to it in my listening room which has been carefully treated with professional grade Auralex Pyramid Studioam to evaluate the results of the changes that were made and since I know exactly what I am currently looking for in the way of improved sound quality my Audio System now sounds incredibly better than it ever did since 1980 with the 2011 upgraded equipment purchased at a small fraction of the cost of the equipment it replaced! I can't wait to see all of the new forward thinking Audio technology that will be released in 2012!



    ~Maxx~

    Sony H-9 MaxxPix

    [ This message was edited by: Maxxwire on 2011-09-15 23:49 ]


         
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