Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

At audio frequencies (and well beyond), you won't be able to measure any meaningful differences: https://www.lifewire.com/speaker-cables-make-a-difference-31...

And the absurdity becomes much more obvious when contrasting with the differences in speakers and speaker crossovers...

That depends on impedance behaviors between components, too.

As a guitarist, I did guitar cable listening tests. With passive guitar pickups (high impedance, low output devices), different cables have easily audible fingerprints. With active pickups, there's no difference at all. The difference between cables is no longer enough to audibly affect the signal.

And within this realm, more expensive doesn't always mean better. I've had cheap cables sound better than expensive cables.

That's a point, I was assuming low impedance output stages as would be standard for any ordinary hifi equipment these days (but not necessarily for the really expensive stuff of course...).

Some of the expensive cables are over-dimensioned or crazily constructed leading to excess capacitance and/or impedance which would lead to terrible performance with a high impedance driver.

Impedance is a difficult and complex thing (which is why failure mode #1 for dudes on the internet being all "objective" and "scientific" is failing to grok the difference between impedance and resistance). So how an output stage is constructed (or an input stage, for that matter) has a lot to do with its behavior in the face of 10 octaves of frequency range and 50+ decibels of real-world dynamics.

Is it transformer-coupled? (Rare in hi-fi, common in pro audio) Capacitor coupled? Direct coupled? Differential? All of these have different and frequency-dependent capacitative, inductive, and resistive behaviors. Put in those terms, it's kind of a no-brainer that cables would matter.

But in "objective" internet-land, it's all straight wire with gain, perfect flat resistance. Which is fine on paper...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact