Why the audio cable discussion is outdated.

 



Much is known about the physical properties of audio cables and related matters such as transmission lines, etc. Read about it on the internet.
 

 

The internet fora are loaded with threads about audio cables and the "cable-fights" on the fora are notorious and the misconceptions plenty.

 

Many people involved in these discussions on ie. FB, do not even know the correct names and expressions used in the technical domain concerning interconnects & cables. They twaddle about skin-effect and litze as if its a common issue in audio, while its definitely not.
 

But a power cable of 1000 or Ethernet cable of 2000 ?
Have you ever wondered why they cost so much?  Do you still think that an ethernet cable is a simple copper wire with 2 plugs?

No, that is no longer the case, today there is much more than a wire and 2 plugs. Are you aware of the fast changing digital times we live in?
Today an audio cable has become part of a concept. When you buy a dac or streamer or switch or router etc,  you also buy a connection cable and then you think you are done?

Yes, that's right for the simple among us (like me).

But that is no longer the case if you buy a dac of 8000$ with a cable of 1000$ in combination with other equipment, software, and an internet service: then you buy a "concept" and that often becomes or is inextricable.

These dacs, streamers, etc (black-box) contain chips and software that interfere with what you connect to it, which cable, which HD, which phone..... etc. etc. Think of a smartphone: that is exactly a similar concept: hardware, software and internet connection that constantly communicates with all kinds of gear and sources to exchange data for optimal use and update the status etc. it is an inextricable whole. The days of the old rotary dial telephone are over.

So today you buy such a concept all together, without realizing it or being told about it.

This revolving software and possible extra chips are able to communicate with other devices in which the appropriate chips are also built.

Cables are increasingly also containing chips, but maybe you already know that.

This incorporated additional revolving software is regularly updated as it requires you to be connected to the internet from time to time. Data is also downloaded when a new unknown previously unconnected device is detected. So that communication can take place with the chips in the new device or cable. All this to allow the data stream and other important matters to take place optimally.

What is also possible, and is done, is that your offered data stream, for example let's stick to music, is accompanied by other data by the provider or supplier of your product, to make the sound optimal for the playback product you use . Data can also be sent to optimize the cable you use for the music service you use. etc. etc.

However, what you might not expect is that there are big players in this market, who sign contracts with music service companies to ensure that their music sounds best when streaming through their streaming service with their equipment and their cables and peripherals.

In fact, there are companies that have developed software that ensures that the music sounds best with a combination of a number of products together: the "concept".

This can even go as far as being offered a stream that sounds best with a cable from company X and less with other cables from other manufacturers: because custom data has been sent that deliberately and intentionally achieves this. So if you buy a cable of 1000 and compare it with another brand of cable and you hear a big difference, then the question is why this is due to the physical properties of the wire or the software. You think Quobuz, Spotify, Tidal, Roon, etc. and many others do not do this?

You think: nonsense? I don't have a cable like that? Open your hdmi or dvi cable, good chance that you will find a foil with chips, that is an example from 10 or 20 years ago, how you think its today?

Take a look at the car industry, the VW-gate cheat software, is it still nonsense?

Don't confuse this story with conspiracy theories, it has nothing to do with that.

The future still has a lot in store for us with regard to cables & interconnects, the intelligent power cable is closer than you think, you may have already one at your home.......

So think twice when you get involved in a cable discussion again.

 

 

Have a nice day,

ON9MMK