A true believer

I like to look at the pictures and descriptions of the various systems belonging to our fellow Audiogon members. Personally I admire the most humble system. But some times I see one that just leaves me shaking my head in amusement.

I was looking at the featured systems today and found one that consisted of three components that reproduced music. A cd player ($7700), a integrated amp. ($4000), a pair of speakers ($10,500). Total $22000. A very nice system. But, and I mean BUT, another $71,431 in cables, tweaks, stands. Things that sometimes in the tiniest increments help in the reproduction of music.

Just saying.

If you don't read my posts carefully you would think that my belief is that cables, conditioners, stands, are a bunch of nonesense. A glance at either one of my posted systems show I know each can be helpful.

Wire can, in some systems, make small improvements. RFI aside. But, never the claims you read and most cables don't make the slightest improvement over what you can get at radio shack. The most common analogy that someone that understands electricity and the flow of electrons makes when trying to describe amperage is the flow of water through various diameter water hoses. When you go read the white papers on cable websites you almost always read some "scientific" explanation about the flow of electrons and words like choking, allowing the music to flow like there are musical notes trying to get through the cable. There is no choking of the flow of electrons, a slowing down or stoppage over short wire runs in audio. There is so little amperage relative to the gage wire we use. If not, what you would have is heat but that's another story.

I also believe that some power conditioning can help audio. When it works it is not what you hear it is what you don't hear. You can obtain the proverbially black background. But, it doesn't take expensive electronics in boxes with led lights. Wire windings, lots of windings, in other words isolation transformers make a difference that can be both heard and measured, this is not snake oil or voo doo.

Isolation stands. Grew out of the turntable years. Absolutely scientific and easily demonstrated to anybody. Music through vinyl is based on vibration, external vibration obviously needs to be minimized. But wait, we are solid state and digital now. Oh, s**t, I own a company that makes stuff that decreases vibrations, what will happen? I know, convince people that it never had anything to do with the transfer of sound from a record to a cartridge to a amp. through vibration. That like RFI vibration effects everything audio. Yeah, that's it. Poor electronics, poor speakers just add vibration killers.

very informative post. I tend to agree with everything you said in your reply. I did look at your system pictures and was wondering if your room is an addition to your home. Very cozy and beautiful area. It looks like something I have been planning to do. I was planning to enclose and extend my patio as a listening room. What are the dimensions of the room? A new room is what I really need to improve my system. I hope your medical treatment makes you completely well.
The small sunroom system is a room I added on to our house, the master bedroom.

It isn't designed as a audio room so the furnishings and dimensions came first and the audio came last. It is 14'x23' and I am not sure about the ceiling height.
If I want to listen at night I use headphones. After I took the pictures I added a Woo Audio 6SE amp and some headphones. It is very comfortable to sit in the chair right next to the TT at night, listen to music, and look out into the yard. I made a living for 45 years lighting people and things. You can bet I spent a lot of time designing the lighting in my own back yard.
OK, you true believers; I am impressed by your self-control. You are better men than I. I can't control myself.

***Wire can, in some systems, make small improvements***

No, wire in any and ALL systems, can make small improvements. In some systems it can make very large improvements. There isn't a system that can't benefit, to some degree, by the right choice of wire. The better the system, the more obvious the wire's contribution becomes, and the more potential for improvement.

***But, never the claims you read***

Are you kidding me? "NEVER"? In my experience, the change for the positive that the right cable choice has made, as measured by what is important to me, can be more than what is claimed.

***and most cables don't make the slightest improvement over what you can get at radio shack***

Now you really are kidding; right? So, given that there are so many different cable brands used by so many of the experienced audiophiles on this site, we can extrapolate that most of them are gullible fools. Is that what you are suggesting?

There is no question that there is a lot of bs in the cable industry. No-one knows that better than the good cable manufacturers who make a good product. My ears tell me that good cable choices are just as important as any other choice in assembling a good system. That choice may be a very inexpensive one, determined in part by what sound you are after.

After a lot of years playing around with this stuff, I have come to the conclusion (and I don't mean to offend anyone) that those who diminish the importance of good cable choices are either not experienced enough as listeners, have some limitation (perhaps governed by some sort of bias) in their hearing, or have systems that are not revealing enough to make differences in cables very obvious.