A New Believer

I have listened to many systems over the years, and have never appreciated the difference speaker cables can make to a sound. In fact, I was so skeptical of the sound changes they can make that I have always not bothered with any special type of cables, generally going for generic (and dare I say it) roughly made ANY copper wire plugged in to amp and speaker. Well, imagine my surprise when I decided to do a blind test and listen to what difference cabling can make. Wow, my Vand 3A Sig's had been getting strangled! (some of you guys may want to strangle me if I told you what connects I had been using). So I am now a firm believer, cables DO make a difference.
04-12-11: Antipodes_audio
If the time relationships in a sound are unnatural then the brain is quickly fatigued trying to make sense of what it hears, and the music sounds confused. If the time relationships are accurate then the brain can make complete sense of what it hears, with singers/players/instruments occupying distinct and real spaces. These time-domain issues are two-fold; signal-smearing, and phase distortions...Unlike equipment design, cable design to get accurate timbre is not tough, but time-domain accuracy is hard, and every design is a trade-off.

Antipodes audio - I agree with you about the importance of time domain performance. You may be aware of this already, but there is a significant amount of science confirming that human hearing has very sensitive temporal resolution. Many estimates place the limits of human temporal resolution on the order of microseconds, and some estimates place it as low as 5 μs. That is a remarkable level of sensitivity.

Of course, it does not necessarily follow that our extreme sensitivity to temporal differences is a significant psychoacoustic factor in audio. But like you, I believe that it is.

Having said all that, I am still unclear about what design choices in cables influence their time domain behavior. Is it the materials? The geometry? The dielectric?

I'm not asking you to give up your "secret recipe," but can you share any generalizations about the virtues and vices of various design approaches?

I am not used to the level of rudeness and anger I am encountering here, and since anger comes from fear, it makes me wonder what it is that you guys are afraid of. Or maybe you are just angry people and this is a safe place for you to vent some of it without getting a bloody nose. It seems an odd way to enjoy a hobby and the company of others.

To Audiofeil, sorry the point wasn't obvious enough for you. I can see why politics wouldn't be a career choice for you.

To Bryoncunningham. We can only experiment using listening tests, as there is no easy way to know whether measured differences will be musically meaningful or not. It may surprise some here that we do use blind tests at certain stages during the development process, but that is a long topic in itself and lengthy posts are clearly not welcomed. The main design characteristics we focus on to reduce time-domain errors are the conductor purity, dielectric, resonance control and geometry.

We make our wire ourselves and believe that certain characteristics of the finished wire are important. After making the silver wire we have a method by which we apply gold and platinum to the wire to break up the resonance of silver. The wire is coated in a natural oil and dried. We use four different gauges in a semi-litz arrangement. We use natural unbleached cotton insulation, no plastics. And our geometries are very different - particularly, we avoid twisting, braiding and screening as each of those have phase impacts we have little problem hearing.

To Rok2id, you appear to have lost it some time ago on this thread. Are you sure this is doing you any good? Anything I or anyone else says that doesn't fit with your model of cable performance is just labelled bs, so what are you achieving? If all that disagree with you leave this thread, have you won?
The main design characteristics we focus on to reduce time-domain errors are the conductor purity, dielectric, resonance control and geometry.

Antipodes - Thank you for addressing my question. FWIW, I am not one of the angry ones. I am just curious to learn more about cable design. I have always found the process of selecting cables a bit frustrating, because unlike other components in the audio chain, I have very little understanding of the ways in which cable design affects the resulting sound. Hence the question in my previous post.

If you are willing to elaborate further, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how each of the design parameters you mentioned can affect the audible characteristics of a cable. For example...

It sounds like you are saying that time domain errors can be created by impure conductors, plastic dielectrics, and braided geometries. I gather that these observations are based on listening tests, which personally I have no problem with. My question is:

Do you have any hypotheses about why impure conductors, plastic dielectrics, or braided geometries would result in the time domain problems you mentioned, naming smearing and phase distortion?

It also sounds like you are saying that mixing two materials, e.g. gold and silver, helps reduce the resonance of each material, resulting in fewer time domain problems. Again, do you have any hypothesis about why that is the case?

To Antipodes_audio

I think you need to reread my posts. I used the word BS once, and that was not directed at you. I am not here to do myself 'any good'. I am not trying to win anything. As far as I know there is nothing to win. I am certainly not angry. Angry at who and for what? ALL my comments are actually directed at the young guys just starting out. Economic times are tough and money is tight. Families are involved. This is No time to be WASTING money on NONSENSE, such as wire and power cords. And EVERYONE on this site knows it's nonsense. It's sad the more well known and respected guys won't speak out. BTW your little fear/anger psycho-babble is wrong!