cable dielectric cause of artificial sound

Hi folks, I would like to know what your opinion is about the following issue. About 90% of high-end cable manufacturers use PTFE as dielectric. Many of their cables sound much alike and they have a few of these characteristics in common: clean, relaxed and laid back sound but at the same time very dynamic (though a bit artificially), very quiet ("black background"), very good (also artificially) left/right separation. But I think albeit these traits, they tend to sound "technicolored", "sterile" and unengaging (lacking PRaT also). Some cable manufacturers are using bleached cotton as dielectric. These cables sound different: they have more natural dynamics, a mellower sound, more intimate soundstage, more tonal colors and so on. Are these differences mainly due to the dielectric material used? Why is for so many manufacturers PTFE still the ultimate dielectric for the use in audio cables?

If the issue is that the dialectric potentially changes the sound, and oxidation of copper potentially changes the sound, wouldn't pure copper wire covered in something to prevent shorting, and oxidation, be ideal? Where do the Speltz anti-cables fit into this discussion?

The dielectric becomes more conductive / lossy over a period of time. As such, the electrons DO interact with the dielectric, both in terms of conductivity and magnetic field. The measurements that i mentioned above pertain directly to this subject.

Well, since you didn't provide any information whatsoever about your measurements, there's no way to evaluate your claim.


It seems our point of view is different, you're looking at it from the technical side, mine is from an audiophile talking about audiophile cable.
Some of you sound like many of the electrical types I've talked to where everything has to be proven with numbers and measurements. These people will never believe two audio cable can sound different because it can't be measured. Audio cable is NOT and never an exact science, I repeat NOT. While skin affect does occur at frequencies above 20khz, differences can still be heard.
High End cable designers don't come up with a design so that their cable will only sound as they intend after oxidation has occured, they do their best to limit oxidation with the use of Teflon & PE, this is why we don't see many exposed copper in high end cable design.
Many cable brand has it's signature sound, for example the consistent smoothness of Cardas cables, if they don't limit oxidation after a short period of time highs will be affected and the sound is not as George Cardas intended to be.
My point of all this rambling is, oxidation has to be taken seriously in a high end cable because the signature sound that the designer intended will be no longer be after corrosion occurs. I don't think audiophiles want to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a corroded cable anyway.

Sorry we hijacked your thread with all this rambling.
It's what makes discussion fun!



If the issue is that the dialectric potentially changes the sound, and oxidation of copper potentially changes the sound, wouldn't pure copper wire covered in something to prevent shorting, and oxidation, be ideal?

Ideal? I dunno. That rather presupposes that if the sound is in fact to be changed, it must be a change for the worse.

Is this all really just a numbers game when you get to the bottom of it?

I've always found it curious that often the same people who think that a SET tube amp, with horrendous amounts of distortion, high output impedance, limited frequency response, etc. sounds absolutely fantastic, but when it comes to something like wire, everything changes. The wire needs to be the most conductive. It must be of the highest purity. The dielectric constant of the insulation must be as close to 1 as possible.

Just seems a bit schizophrenic to me.

I can't help but laugh at all the measurement techno-jumbo talk and electrical training with facts to back it up talk going on in an audiophile forum, this hobby is the farest thing from best measurement equal best product. Why do we even talk about spending hundreds of dollars on an audio cable when a $10 interconnect from Wal-Mart measure much better. The capacitance, resistant, inductance numbers of the most respected audiophile cable brands out there such as Kimber, Cardas, XLO, etc. consistently measured worse than some .25ยข coaxial found at the local hardware store. How can an audiophile spend hundred of dollars on a wire and corrosion is not even important? hope someone here agrees with me...
Why do so many love tube amps when a solid state has much less measured distortion? it's never been about the technical side people.
Cardas and Kimber cable measurements are in the same ballpark, why do they sound so different?

Audiophiles are the ones who hear the difference and believe, engineers are the ones who believe the numbers and never hears.