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Audio absurdities
thesurfingalien
post Mar 26 2011, 05:25
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Hi All,

I have been active in the (high end) audio world for about 25 years. My main interest has always been loudspeakers and design. As such, together with a friend of mine, we have created some pretty decent loudspeakers. We did this just for fun.

Contrary of what you might expect, I have not invested in expensive equipment myself, mainly because there is only so much money I am willing (or able for that matter) to spend on it , and I like to listen to the music and not to the equipment.

However, during this time I have run into what I would like to call "Audio Absurdities". By that I mean things that people do (usually this involves spending a lot of money) to make their setup sound better.

One thing you should know of me is that over the years I have become a very skeptical person with regards to audio. But that does not mean I have lost my sense of humor. Hence this tread...

I would like to invite you to post your experience with this type of things. Be it for either generate a good laugh, or warn other readers for costly "audio improvements" that can be categorized being scams.

Have fun or be warned :-)



My first contribution: The Magic Woodblocks

About four years ago I heard from a to remain unnamed person that he had obtained little pieces of wood, about 2" square, varying in thickness depending on application, that should be placed under the equipment's feet. According to the vendor, the wood was from a rare species of trees only to be found in the Amazon. The audible results were claimed to be like "upgrading your equipment to a model twice the price". And that for only US$250 to US$375 per set of three...




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thesurfingalien
post Mar 27 2011, 23:21
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@dv1989:

Thanks for your compliment!


@All - Another one...

Some 10 years ago I visited an audio store in town I had never been before. I got into a conversation with one of the owners. After a little while, he introduced me to the Nordhorst brand they were dealers of. He apparently was very taken with a digital interconnect he had bought (at a discount) to connect his CD-player and external DAC, replacing the AudioQuest interconnect. According to him, the results were astonishing: lower & tighter bass, deeper and wider soundstage / imaging, you name it. And even his wife and kid could easily hear the difference.

I asked him what possibly could cause this result. He pointed out a Nordhorst poster that explained that the cable in question was capable of transporting electrical signals at 98 percent (or something like that) of the speed of light, while competing cables only could go up to 83 percent (or something like that). I replied that this information still did not tell me the WHY. His answer was: "Jitter, man, jitter. This cable eliminates jitter because it is so fast!".

I tried to explain to him that the electrical pulses still arrived in the same order, and with the same time interval, regardless of the speed they were transported, but I was unable to communicate that to him.

When I asked him if he would submit his findings to a blind test, he refused and basically accused me of calling him a liar.





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WonderSlug
post Mar 29 2011, 10:48
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QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 15:21) *
I asked him what possibly could cause this result. He pointed out a Nordhorst poster that explained that the cable in question was capable of transporting electrical signals at 98 percent (or something like that) of the speed of light, while competing cables only could go up to 83 percent (or something like that). I replied that this information still did not tell me the WHY. His answer was: "Jitter, man, jitter. This cable eliminates jitter because it is so fast!".



What I'd like to know is how they actually arrived at those 98% speed-of-light and 83% speed-of-light figures.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Mar 30 2011, 01:27
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QUOTE (WonderSlug @ Mar 29 2011, 05:48) *
QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 15:21) *
I asked him what possibly could cause this result. He pointed out a Nordhorst poster that explained that the cable in question was capable of transporting electrical signals at 98 percent (or something like that) of the speed of light, while competing cables only could go up to 83 percent (or something like that). I replied that this information still did not tell me the WHY. His answer was: "Jitter, man, jitter. This cable eliminates jitter because it is so fast!".



What I'd like to know is how they actually arrived at those 98% speed-of-light and 83% speed-of-light figures.


The speed of an electrical signal in a cable is usually in the 70-80% range.

How they got theirs up to 98% - I don't know. The claim that it necessarily reduces jitter is very questionable. In fact almost all arguments involving claims about audible jitter in the digital domain are false.

Of course the spped of signals in a cable matters not for the kinds of distances you find in a listening room.
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Posts in this topic
- thesurfingalien   Audio absurdities   Mar 26 2011, 05:25
- - hlloyge   http://www.shunmook.com/text1.htm QUOTE The Mping...   Mar 26 2011, 09:47
- - thesurfingalien   Hi All, To make sure everybody understands correc...   Mar 26 2011, 14:14
- - thesurfingalien   Second contribution... I was informed of a produc...   Mar 26 2011, 14:39
- - SpiderJon   Anything by Peter Belt. The free ideas are stagge...   Mar 26 2011, 20:25
- - dv1989   Two words: Brilliant Pebbles. Insert anti-marketin...   Mar 26 2011, 21:38
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (dv1989 @ Mar 26 2011, 17:38) Two w...   Mar 27 2011, 01:20
|- - SpiderJon   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 00...   Mar 27 2011, 01:28
- - Wombat   With digital audio coming to streaming devices lik...   Mar 26 2011, 22:23
- - dv1989   No, but my friend Google would! Alright, it...   Mar 27 2011, 01:30
- - thesurfingalien   @dv1989 I thought I missed something language wis...   Mar 27 2011, 02:02
- - dv1989   QUOTE language wiseWell, I read earlier that Engli...   Mar 27 2011, 02:07
- - thesurfingalien   @dv1989: Thanks for your compliment! @All -...   Mar 27 2011, 23:21
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 27 2011, 15...   Mar 29 2011, 10:48
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (WonderSlug @ Mar 29 2011, 05:48) Q...   Mar 30 2011, 01:27
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Mar 29 2011, 17...   Mar 30 2011, 04:20
- - thesurfingalien   And yet another one: I can not recall when I hear...   Mar 28 2011, 23:35
- - thesurfingalien   And another... After I got my Naim setup, I decid...   Mar 29 2011, 00:30
- - thesurfingalien   @WonderSlug: I did a Google "http://www.goog...   Mar 29 2011, 12:46
- - thesurfingalien   While this is probably funny for most people, it i...   Mar 29 2011, 22:42
|- - DonP   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 29 2011, 16...   Apr 7 2011, 21:32
- - pdq   At 300 million meters per second, that is just 3.3...   Mar 30 2011, 12:37
- - thesurfingalien   About the cable speed... If I understand correctl...   Mar 30 2011, 12:54
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 07...   Mar 30 2011, 13:46
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 09:46) If diffe...   Mar 30 2011, 14:56
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 09...   Mar 30 2011, 15:33
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 11:33) A pulse ...   Mar 30 2011, 16:00
- - Andavari   CD rings/guards which were thin round rings either...   Mar 30 2011, 13:10
|- - probedb   QUOTE (Andavari @ Mar 30 2011, 13:10) CD ...   Mar 30 2011, 13:44
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (probedb @ Mar 30 2011, 13:44) QUOT...   Apr 5 2011, 22:11
|- - probedb   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 5 2011, 22:11) On som...   Apr 6 2011, 10:07
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 03:07) QUOTE...   Apr 7 2011, 19:23
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 10:07) QUOTE...   Apr 8 2011, 07:59
|- - tropicalfish   QUOTE (probedb @ Apr 6 2011, 04:07) QUOTE...   Apr 9 2011, 05:58
- - thesurfingalien   I can not remember when, but at some time one coul...   Mar 30 2011, 13:36
|- - WonderSlug   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 05...   Mar 30 2011, 16:50
- - thesurfingalien   This is hear-say, and I have some serious doubts i...   Mar 30 2011, 14:29
- - pdq   I hope this won't be considered too far off-to...   Mar 30 2011, 16:20
- - Roseval   QUOTE The Blackbody is a high-tech audio accessory...   Mar 30 2011, 16:55
|- - ron mexico   QUOTE (Roseval @ Mar 30 2011, 16:55) QUOT...   Mar 30 2011, 23:25
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (Roseval @ Mar 30 2011, 09:55) QUOT...   Apr 7 2011, 19:10
|- - antz   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Apr 7 2011, 18:10)...   Apr 7 2011, 20:07
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (antz @ Apr 7 2011, 13:07) QUOTE (B...   Apr 7 2011, 21:53
- - pdq   Years ago a friend of mine was working at Radio Sh...   Mar 30 2011, 17:01
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 30 2011, 13:01) Years ag...   Mar 30 2011, 17:08
|- - pdq   QUOTE (thesurfingalien @ Mar 30 2011, 12...   Mar 30 2011, 17:31
- - thesurfingalien   @pdg: That is a very clear explanation... Thanks...   Mar 30 2011, 17:05
- - thesurfingalien   In Holland there is a pretty "famous" lo...   Mar 30 2011, 18:14
- - PoisonDan   This is a nice site, collecting all kinds of audio...   Mar 30 2011, 20:41
- - DVDdoug   "Audio Absurdities" would be a great tit...   Mar 31 2011, 00:25
- - Speedskater   "The Audio Critic" magazine when it was ...   Mar 31 2011, 15:30
- - BearcatSandor   Um.... magic dots which can be covered by white pa...   Mar 31 2011, 17:21
- - Speedskater   I was just reminded of this one on another forum: ...   Mar 31 2011, 17:45
- - antz   Please close this thread before I die laughing. I ...   Apr 5 2011, 14:27
|- - thesurfingalien   QUOTE (antz @ Apr 5 2011, 10:27) Please c...   Apr 5 2011, 22:09
- - andy o   "Quantum" is one of the words up there w...   Apr 5 2011, 17:56
- - flaminio   No thread of this sort would be complete without t...   Apr 5 2011, 20:27
- - BearcatSandor   That's not quite a Cat-5 is it? If you look t...   Apr 5 2011, 21:12
- - Cavaille   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 8 2011, 07:59) QUOTE ...   Apr 8 2011, 13:03
- - Porcus   QUOTE (Cavaille @ Apr 8 2011, 13:03) The ...   Apr 9 2011, 08:47


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