Very good AES presentation on inter connects and ground loops.

If everyone has not read the papers on Jensen Transformers on interconnects by Bull Whitlock I suggest doing so. An update that makes a lot of things clear was a paper he did for AES in the subject, a bit updated.  Search You-Tube for it. It is an easier presentation than app note 009.

Makes me wonder about the current fad of XLRs on home systems with 1M cables and why folks like Chord have RCA only.  Do you trust China Inc. to do it correctly? Even ASR has identified most of what they measure does not follow IEEE or AES standards let alone understand the details of the architecture. 


Hello tvrgeek,  I see that you just don’t get it.  That’s ok.  Hifi is not for everyone.  If you truly heard a high end system and were not moved, then you are fortunate in that you will not be driven to pursue a similar, expensive system.  On the other hand you are most unfortunate to be unable to experience something more than the mundane.

You know, throughout my long engineering career I got to live and work in a couple of other countries.  I count 42 countries that I have visited- many I spent more than just a few days in.  I can share the experiences with others who have not traveled but they cannot know what it is truly like to visit those places and experience the food, the people and the culture.  Even watching programs showing various places or reading books about them is not the same as a first hand experience.  For example, standing inside the Grand Hall of the Great Pyramid is a great experience that can’t be understood without having been there.  The Grand Canyon is another such place.

You totally miss-understand me. I have heard superb systems. Good music on good systems can truly be moving. In that we agree.  I have even had the privilege of hearing one recording that if you closed your eyes, you could almost believe it was real. It was a 1/2 track to a Revox in the same room as recorded of an upright bass, played back on Levinson and first generation B&W 801's.   No snake oil cables, power regenerators, lifts, or magic bricks. It was just a well set up room. I had two friends, both with Quads, CJ amps, one SOTA, one Linn they would endlessly argue about.  No bass, but oh what fantastic acoustics and vocals.  I have also heard a lot of high priced total crap.  What is in my living room fits as it is a living room, not a "mine is bigger than yours" room. My electronics are hidden as they would not blend with our Asian decor. Fortunately, Vietnamese elephants make pretty good speaker stands. 

I too have traveled a bit. The world is a wondrous place.  Just some folks think they have a better view of it without knowing to whom they are addressing. Everyone in this world knows something and has experienced something neither you nor I have or know. It is wise to listen. That is how you learn. Second lesson in  Freshman Engineering Orientation.  First was "Never memorize what you can look up, learn to understand it instead". 

So, did you install the correct impedance matching resistors?  You claim to also be an engineer, so you should understand the importance. I put my phono stage right under the arm in the base so it followed the best practice of the best part is the part (cable) that is not there.  Simple engineering. I was in the process of building a thin film gain stage on the headshell when the CDs came of age and I switched as I prefer to play music than play with music. 

Any yes, I am only "comfortable" as I chose to serve this great nation in the IC rather than  play the contractor game.  I have no narcissistic need to brag about what my system costs. I just listen to it (them). Being an engineer, I understand enough physics to know where to focus my expenditures.  When I hear something I can't explain, I look for the factual reason. When I discover a problem, I look for a solution, not a band-aid. 

I also enjoy magic. That really up close slight of hand. Blackwood style. Cards, balls, etc.  Skill and training understanding how to fool the audiences' brains.   Not impressed by modern high tech where the entire trick is technical and any idiot can run around the stage pretending to be great. 

So enjoy your cables. I'll keep buying more and more music.  Goodwill sells CDs for 69 cents. I have found a lot of music I never had heard of for less than a cup of coffee. Some of it quite moving even on my own designed and built amplifier and speakers.

I am no where near smart enough to design a DAC and don't see well enough to build SMD any more anyway, so buying my next upgrade. There seems to be three or four companies that do have that expertise.  Also a lot who don't but that has not stopped them form selling $50,000 boxes where my JDS sounds better. 

I understand you.  You employ the term, “snake oil” often and claim cheap cables are sufficient.  Clearly, you are a denier.  You believe that if you can’t hear something then it doesn’t exist- an even better thrill for you is when measurements are unable to pick up differences.  Your assumption is that if someone can hear something you can’t then they must be delusional.  The way you like to slip in insults and digs, making you feel clever and pithy suggests that you cannot or will not buy high end gear and so it bothers you that others do.  How many “delusional” people buying expensive cables would it take for you to believe that they might actually be hearing something?  How about one.  If one person can hear a difference then why can’t you believe them?

Hifi isn’t about how much money you can spend.  Hifi is about great sound reproduction.  Sure, it can get expensive real fast.  For many years I was a DYI’er.  I couldn’t afford the super high end gear.  Like I said before, the room is one of the most critical components.  I had a listening room that I designed and built myself in 1994.  But then I moved out of that house in 1996.  That was the best my system sounded until a couple of years ago.  And that system back then was just some planar speakers, an old heavily modified ARC SP-6b preamp, a couple of different SS amps and Sota Turntable.  I used some KimberCable and Monster Cable back then.  The system rocked.  My system today is on another level entirely.  It took much more than money.  I have spent many hours going through different cables, ethernet configurations and building the room to achieve the sound I have today.  That includes dedicated power lines (something I have had in place in every house since 1989).  I spent months researching streaming and trying different gear that didn’t work out so well- cheap gear actually, until I found the right combination of streamer, power supply and ethernet switch to get streaming  to sound as good as CD.  See, I don’t have to shop for CDs now.  I have millions of songs at my fingertips with Qobuz and it sounds amazing.

Tony, This thread was highlighting a paper describing how balanced interconnects actually work and the many miss-conceptions in the audiophile world. Some well meaning based on intuition but incorrect, some supported by snake oil salesmen and their avid followers.   The goal was to be helpful to those who use both reason within the laws of this universe as well as their ears. Your self-justifications don't hurt me, but may hurt someone who is actually trying to solve real sonic problems and they are spending their money in the wrong place. Glad you had the where-with-all to build a listening room. Money well spend I expect. 

PS: The original Monster cable, generic copper 11 gauge twisted pair, was in fact a very good cable. Marginally better in long runs than lamp cord. Reasonably priced.  Now we can get similar cable certified for in-wall use for only a little more. 

You mean the paper that you misinterpreted- or at least twisted to fit your narrative?  How does that help anyone?