The blind test is quite informal - I just sit there on the sofa and listen to the music (which is quite new to me), while Kajak swap cables... We only did this 5 times.
I can honestly say I did not try to look what he was doing. He also cursed when he swapped cables, I guess as a distraction for me?
The power is swapped at the KDac.
The track was #8.
Anyway, listened once, listened twice... No difference... Forgot to check but I'm thinking they're the same cable...
The third time, it became very apparent something was different... The thing that strikes me most is that I can't hear the person breathing anymore... It is very easy to pick, despite I am totally unfamiliar with the music...Repeated the test 2 more times and the differences are easy to pick... Forgot what cables was used for the 4th and 5th time, but I walked up to confirm I was right.
Now comes the noob part... I actually kind of prefer the normal power cable , because I couldn't hear the breathing, it became easier for me not to get distracted. But I know it's a normal cable. more on this later..
After 5 tests... I find that it is easy enough for me to pick (i.e. I don't even have to guess) so I did not go further to 10. I expect people to cry foul over this.
Later on POV and Kajak told me the sound stage is wider with the audiophile cable... And it's rather hard for me to hear that from the sofa. However, standing back behind it is indeed the case it is very obvious. Using normal cables, the sound is narrower. Using audiophile cable, and the sound is wider, in such a way the speakers sort of disappears.. Just close your eyes and try to use your hands to find the boundary of the sound, with the normal cable, the V shape you make will be smaller.
Listened to the same track a few more times to get more used to the sound. With the audiophile cable, the breathing is very clear,the back up instrument (piano?) is beautiful and everything is fluid, the sound is wider and seems to fill the room better...
With the normal cable, the breathing isn't very obvious at all, the piano sounds kind of horrible.
Interestingly I am able to listen to the cello with the normal cable, but I can't really remember how the cello sound like on the audiophile cable because I'm sort of waiting for the breathing..
One other interesting aspect I find, is that with a normal cable, it seems there are 3 speakers - left right centre. But with the audiophile cable, there are no "gaps". It forms a inverted U shape, with heights as well.. Can't explain this properly, you have to hear it yourself.
I'm using the breathing and the piano to pick the diffrence. While I think POV and kajak uses the wide/deep sound stage and the notes to pick the difference... There are probably a lot more audio cues you can listen to... It's just that easy.
Basically overall the cable change brings more life to the music. For a lack of description - fludity.. The music is very smooth, and you can sort of feel the pace of the music in your body better... It just feels natural...
Not sure why but my brain is wired to zoom in to the breathing. This is something I hope to overcome, and blind testing unfortunately will not remove this bias.
Brought 4 CDs from my collection that don't sound that bad at home, but when I play it at his place it's quite obvious some processing is done on the BGM, the vocals... Except for genius loves comapny (his recommendation), my other CDs sound like crap tbh... One even has a clear distortion I didn't hear before (will confirm that later).
Will try and see if I get the same benefits for my setup. My room is small so I don't get the width, and the depth.. Will also try POV and compare to my commerically made ones.
1/ I can see people crying foul that I've only do this 5 times. I'm prepared to do more a second time, but anyone want to bet I can at least get 8 out of 10 right or more with a very good chance of 10 out of 10? If no, how much are you willing to pay up?
2/ I have freaking no idea now why power cables work. No idea at all. But they work... Caveat is they work much better on his system than on mine. Will try POV's cables soon and compare that against my commerically made ones. More to come on this I guess. Now I know better what to listen for...
3/ Need good quality CD material. Without good material you cannot bring out the best in your system
4/ Turns out you aren't really disadvantaged when you listen to things you're unfamilar with.. And audio fatigue may be a non issue if the differences are this easy to pick..
5/ Although I can pick the differences quite easily. I still cannot filter out the breathing. As such I don't think I'm qualified to go to level 1. So I'm staying at level 0...
6/ This is not to prove to the people out that audiophile cables are right or wrong. You be the judge yourself.. Hopefully this post will give you what to listen for (from a noob like me, and from more experienced folks like POV and Kajak).. It's a worthwhile upgrade over normal cables... What cable to use, please ask the others as they're more experienced than me. I'd hope to try theirs in time soon.
Also tried the TeraDAC with resister mods and dueland caps... While I like it, it just lacks the "fludity" somehow... It is very good value though and engaging... Once one forget how fludity is like (or never heard it before), you'd enjoy this dac (disclaimer: I'm a noob so don't take my recommendations as advice)...
All in all a very good day, and I have learn quite a bit.. Actually bought my camera over hoping to document all this.. But ends up enjoying it too much I don't feel like working.. Maybe when there's a second time...
Bless this thread to exceed 2000 posts ... Typed this in a hurry, so there may be errors here and there. Might as well, now i wait the flame that follows... Living in Perth, I can take the heat...
BTW, not so sure if power cables apply to multi channel, hence posted in this section.
Edited by treblid, 13 February 2011 - 09:52 AM.