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News WireDream claims audio boost with silver SATA cable

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 26 Mar 2012.

  1. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    Sure, we can talk about that when we will talk about 15 meter HDMI cables, long USB ethernet cables.

    But this is a SATA cable connecting the hard drive to the motherboard. It has ZERO impact on audio quality.
     
  2. gagaga

    gagaga Minimodder

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    Mostly

    Actually, error correction is where the claims for higher quality cabling affecting digital come from.

    Error correction can cause noise (from the chips making the calculations) and jitter (from delays caused by the calculations, or a request to re-send).

    Better digital cables where the transmission is one-way will generally improve things to a point (eg SPDIF or try getting a decent freeview signal 30 miles from the transmitter using chewed up cables).

    But, i'll be taking these claims with a pinch of the white stuff ... the SATA connections are likely far enough removed down the chain not to have an affect.

    However, if the manufacturers will send me 15 of them, i'll happiliy replace all the sata cables in my file server and conduct some double blind testing.... before sending them off to we buy any gold (dot com)
     
  3. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc What's a Dremel?

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    So the cables have properties where they replace the missing frequencies in lossy compressed formats? What about FLAC encoded files? What about audio sources that don't originate from the storage device connected to the SATA cable? What about the contacts for the SATA header -- wouldn't they need to be replaced with sterling silver?

    I wonder how products like this even get to market -- are there people that actually believe these claims?
     
  4. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    @digitaldunc: Yes, there are people who believe stuff like that, it is a subculture of audiophiles.

    http://www.monstercable.com/digital_life/categories/usb.asp

    Description of one of their USB cables :

    No comment.
     
  5. digitaldunc

    digitaldunc What's a Dremel?

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    I note you've said "subculture", but I just wanted to point out that some audiophile gear can be empirically proven to provide better quality sound (Whether it can actually be perceived or is at all worthwhile is another matter)

    Monster cables and similar offspring obviously do not -- binary is binary.
     
  6. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    That is the reason i said subculture - i mean the ones who probably even hear the difference between the music data coming from the hard drive versus the SSD :).
     
  7. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Hey, I can hear that difference as well - or rather I can't, because there is no whine and access noise when a new track is loaded from an SSD.

    For a computer dedicated to audio playback an SSD is a sensible investment. (And usually rather cheap compared to some of the other components of your hifi setup.)
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag What's a Dremel?

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    this has got to be of the most ridiculous claims i've ever heard in computing. even if this were somehow possible, it wouldn't matter at all because cables like this are pretty much non-existent in nearly any media production computer. hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the majority of digitally recorded songs were done over ATA or SCSI. what that means is the recorded audio track would be saved using a "lower quality" SATA cable than these. its the same exact idea as recording an analog microphone using a really crappy quality mic and sound card while playing the same track on professional quality hardware.
     
  9. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    As I understand it, none of that matters - not flaming though, just so you know ^^

    The timing of the signal is irrelevant because everything is buffered. Devices that can't use large buffers (such as sound cards for recording music where round-trip latency has to be low for monitoring purposes) have their own internal clock gen anyway.

    The squareness is irrelevant because all that is required for perfect playback is for each 1 or 0 to make it across the cable intact. There needs to be some heavy corruption of the signal for this not to happen and it will be obviously broken if it does (see UK digital TV for an example).

    The reason people keep buying into all this nonsense is that if you WANT music to sound better it DOES sound better, because your brain has the power to alter the way you experience the world around you - the same way food tastes better if you're sat outside in the sunshine :D

    Still, companies like this are good for a laugh.
     
  10. MiNiMaL_FuSS

    MiNiMaL_FuSS ƬӇЄƦЄ ƁЄ ƇƠƜƧ ӇЄƦЄ.

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    Cables for analogue sound make a difference.
    Cables for digital sound do not - it's digital signal, it just has to arrived.

    I understand spending a lot of Hi-Fi and speaker cables.
    I do not understand spending a lot on AV and computer cables.
     
  11. Farting Bob

    Farting Bob What's a Dremel?

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    I bought one of these and i must say its totally worth it. 60kbps mp3's sound better than the CD it was ripped from, you can hear an extra verse in "stairway to heaven" and high school musical's version of "Dont stop believin" becomes indistinguishable from the original.
     
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  12. Ficky Pucker

    Ficky Pucker I

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  13. TheCherub

    TheCherub Minimodder

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    Expensive cables give an audible difference for exactly the same reason that homeopathy works; placebo effect.

    The only difference is, because some people have spent ball-crushingly large amounts on cables that they try and justify it with crappy attempts at pseudo-technical explanations, willingly helped on by the companies that make them. This applies to both digital and analogue cables as well, they're just as bad. Given that monitoring equipment far more sensitive that the human ear cannot tell the difference, there's really nothing to it. Arrange a blind ABX test and it becomes very clear that there's nothing in it.
     
  14. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    ...after we've picked ourselves up from the floor in disbelief that someone is actually stupid enough to pay £21k for 10ft of wire...

    :sigh: Some people will believe anything as long as you pretty up the description in pseudo-science speak.
    Except that most hifi "buffs" and "experts" won't take part in double-blind studies and, just like many homoeopaths, will give a bunch of spurious reasons as to why double blind studies won't work on true hifi experts...
     
  15. sdc395

    sdc395 What's a Dremel?

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    In this case (fancy SATA cables), I agree completely. I was just pointing out the fallacy of the "digital is digital" argument presented by MiNiMaL_FuSS and others. With current technology, digital is actually analogue and at the moment it enters a typical DAC circuit, the quality of the "digital" input affects the quality of the analogue output.
     
  16. mi1ez

    mi1ez Minimodder

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    While I agree that these cables are a scam, speaker cables can make a difference to a certain degree. The difference between those skinny cables, like the ones cheap systems come with, and decent speaker cable is noticable. I would never go beyond about £5/m though as improvements become questionable.
     
  17. kylew

    kylew What's a Dremel?

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    This kind of comment is what often lends credibility to the claims people make about their magic pixie dust audio cables. Fancy magic pixie dust cables are all a terrible lie. The sound quality of an audio system can't improved with "high quality" cables so these cables don't change the sound or make a difference.

    The confusion often comes from people using cables are are completely inadequate that are degrading the sound quality, which, if replaced with a set of cables of a sufficient gauge will sound fine. Beyond the sufficient gauge the sound quality isn't "improved" upon at all because it's simply not possible. It's not a case of the difference being questionable, the difference is simply not there in the real world, whether some chump who's just spent thousands on them hears a difference though is another matter, but that's their issue. But because of this, I don't count cables that are below spec, because they shouldn't be used at all and therefore shouldn't be referenced against for "sound quality".

    Or in other words cables that aren't fit for purpose will degrade sound quality, but it's not the same as high quality cables increasing sound quality, because it simply doesn't work like that. £5 per metre is still way too much and completely unnecessary. You could wire your hi-fi up with coat hangers and the sound quality would be as it should be.

    The above also applies to digital cables too, a poor cable (poor means below spec) will degrade audio and image quality to a point where it's clear there's something wrong. We all know the "it's digital, it's either on or off" is used a lot, and it's not true but generally speaking it may as well be true. With digital, the image is either fine, problem free, or it's clearly degraded in some way. Be that artefacts, corruption or any other visual disturbance that indicates there's a problem.

    Eurogamer did a test with some HMDI cables which involved hash checks of images going in and out of HDMI cables and guess what? They were the same through cheapo but in spec cables, and expensive magic pixie dust cables too.
     
  18. fluxtatic

    fluxtatic What's a Dremel?

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    Meh, lamp cord for $1/ft or less. Once it's thick enough to carry an adequate signal (and unless you're pushing several hundred watts, it's likely already fine), it matters not at all.

    Gotta admire the balls here, though. I mean, well over $200 for a 40cm cable? I think they've stolen Monster's game right from under them!

    Even if they made a difference (in signal transfer, if not in audio), would the oxidization that will start nearly immediately make a difference down the road? Silver isn't magic like alu, where the oxidization protects the metal from further oxidization, so won't these break down, given how reactive silver is to oxygen?
     
  19. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    I'm torn. On the one hand, I think these charlatans should be ashamed of themselves for marketing snake oil. On the other, I believe in a free capitalist society, and if there are people who are ignorant enough and/or so wealthy and detached from the value of money that dropping £190+ on a SATA cable seems acceptable to them, I sort of have to take my hat off to the manufacturer for exploiting that market.

    I do think hi-fi sites / magazines have a lot to answer for, extolling the virtues of overpriced magic cables. This goes for analogue cables to an extent, but especially for digital. Like the other commentators, I use the most basic acceptable quality digital interconnects I can (so not the dodgy 99p eBay HDMI cables, but the £3-10 (depending on length) ones). I do think proper speaker cable makes a difference as it is a powered analogue signal, but I'm talking about switching bell wire for basic oxygen free copper speaker cable at £5 a metre, not crazy money silver cable at hundreds of pounds a metre.
     
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  20. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Question: what does anyone think about video and audio quality difference between Blu-Ray players? TrustedReviews keeps reviewing expensive (£600-1000) decks and going on about amazing picture quality etc., but they always ignore my suggestion for a double blind test against a PS3 and a cheapie no name Chinese Blu-Ray deck from Tesco. My view is that the disc contains compressed digital video and audio, the algorithm for decompressing it shouldn't allow for any discrepancies in the output, and the signal is carried to the AV receiver or TV by HDMI in uncompressed digital form. As such I don't believe there is any difference.

    Note I'm not saying expensive Blu-Ray decks aren't worthwhile - they certainly tend to offer considerably better build quality and may offer better features. The remote is likely to be a lot nicer. The interface is likely to be nicer. They may last longer and look better in your equipment rack. But on pure sound and image quality I am unconvinced.

    Thoughts?
     
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