Author Topic: Copper versus silver what to use  (Read 11872 times)

Offline ozmillsy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Liked: 245
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2014, 07:51:19 AM »
          So  the only real option to test the wire with different insulation is to strip it .
It is what I do, but is a royal pain. I'd only do it for one offs.
 
Quote
          Zen,you are closer than you think with your comments .I use a treatment to impregnate the silk or cotton which I don't want to  divulge ,as I have sunk a lot  of time and money into this .Wax or paraffin would work well also in my opinion .Wire resonates ,and really needs some resonance control .
I hadnt thought of resonance, maybe the vibrancy I hear is artificial? Hmmm, thats got me thinking.  Lets say you use a wax,  is this enough to seal the material?  I never used cotton for copper because I was worried about oxidisation.  With the tubing, I seal either end.

So for me I'm moving toward cotton type insulation. There are a few variations, one is impregnation with various wax or paraffin products.
Can I ask which ones you are trying?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 09:37:07 AM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline ozmillsy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Liked: 245
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2014, 08:55:14 AM »
Wait a minute, maybe this is why my 20awg neotech is working better than I expected?

Normally I would use 24awg wire for IC signal wire, especially short ICs.

But I needed whip up a pair of ICs, and I didnt have any 24awg neotech on hand.  I did have some 20awg, so I used it.

  Maybe I am getting the body I need with the thicker gauge wire,  while getting the extended detail and speed by stripping it?

Just thinking out loud.   I'll get some thinner gauge and test.    I'll also play with copper inside cotton without wax,  just as a test.  Oxidisation aside, I wanna hear what it sounds like.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 10:17:29 AM by ozmillsy »
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline zenelectro

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
  • Liked: 145
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2014, 04:01:03 PM »
Wait a minute, maybe this is why my 20awg neotech is working better than I expected?

Normally I would use 24awg wire for IC signal wire, especially short ICs.

But I needed whip up a pair of ICs, and I didnt have any 24awg neotech on hand.  I did have some 20awg, so I used it.

  Maybe I am getting the body I need with the thicker gauge wire,  while getting the extended detail and speed by stripping it?

Just thinking out loud.   I'll get some thinner gauge and test.    I'll also play with copper inside cotton without wax,  just as a test.  Oxidisation aside, I wanna hear what it sounds like.

Oz,

The cotton insulation is from old guitar amp wire. It's cotton outer / celanese (whatever that is) inner. The Celanese looks pretty much like cotton but must be some woven
synthetic stuff - I don't know.

Yes oxidisation is a concern and I was wondering if it's worth trying Neotech OCC magnet wire which has a very thin layer of insulation. Then cotton. The other option is to impregnate
the inner layer with wax or parrifin, however I like the dry cotton idea as it is much closer to 'air' dielectric. Mind you dielectric properties of parrifin are very good... but air is better.

Beware - All this wire stuff sends you crazy.

cheers

Z

Offline ozmillsy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Liked: 245
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #63 on: June 02, 2014, 05:11:21 PM »
Lol, wire stuff??   The whole audio caper sends you crazy. It never freaking ends.  :P  8)
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline Tuyen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Liked: 211
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #64 on: June 02, 2014, 06:15:14 PM »
I seriously think you guys are crazy!  Spending so much time/effort on something that can so easily go 'off'!

Say you spend months finding the perfect gauge wire so that a few reference tracks you have chosen have perfect tonal balance. Then you discover a new track that you really like and decide to add it to your reference collection. Thing is, this new track is mastered to sound more 'full' and 'weighty' and than your previous tracks and blows the tonal balance of your system all out wack.  What do you do then?   Go through the whole gauge/insulation/length/plug cycle again?

Or am I incorrect in my example above and in fact there no such thing as being too tonally 'full' or 'weighty'?  (If you know what I mean)

Sorry to interrupt the program. Just Curious!   :-*

Offline ozmillsy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Liked: 245
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #65 on: June 02, 2014, 06:54:53 PM »
Yes T, running in circles chasing your tail is a concern.

Tuning your system does get to that point. Where we are now debating different source music.

If thats where you are, you know you're pretty close.

An important thing to note, is the choice of reference tracks is critical.    Too many people tune their systems around freaking sh1t recordings.    [Note: I know this first hand, because alot of the music I like is sonic sh1te, haha]  :P
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline Tuyen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Liked: 211
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #66 on: June 02, 2014, 09:06:24 PM »
Me too.  But I just love lots of shxt mastered music.  Lol

It prob explains why I haven't fussed too much with the idea of cable tuning in the past.  No point with crap reference recordings!   :'(

Offline brenden

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
  • Liked: 52
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #67 on: June 03, 2014, 02:51:14 AM »
I joined up here because you are all crazy . ;D 
     Anyway , not much different to obsessing over a capacitor or resistor ,eh.
   

   Every  tiny part that makes up a stereo system adds its own distortion. To achieve the  ultimate in musical enjoyment, each and every source of distortion has to be reduced to its bare minimum .

       Knowing the relationship of the strand diameters to the overall sound gives you the ability to optimise the frequency balance   .Most audiophiles would likely voice their cables in the neutral range anyway .The trick is knowing how to do it .Through many observations years ago I began to notice a   subjective relationship with diameters to frequency .
      Getting the right  tonal balance through  the frequencies is only one of many parameters you have to get right to make a great cable .Purity ,fluidity, soundstage, presence  ,solidity of image, detail ,depth and probably many more .These can only be  optimised  by reducing distortion from the transmission through the wire .
    Capacitance from the dielectric is a major contributor ,static electricity from plastics  ,dielectric absorption ,resonance in wires ,the crystal boundaries in the wire ,the surface finnish of the wire ,the hardness  of the metal ,etc. all add some form of distortion.

     If you reduce all distortions from each part in the audio  chain ,you should be able to enjoy  more albums rather than less .If not you might be doing something wrong .The wire is just one part of the chain .

  I have had many occasions where I came to  like a track that used to annoy me ,after I reduced some objectional distortion in the chain .

    Much of the music I listen to isn't "audiophile recorded"  music ,as I find a lot of it bland and  soulless .I certainly wouldn't tune my system around a small group of audiophile CDs at the expense of the rest of my collection . My goal is to make all of my music sound as good as it possibly can .

 Cheers ,B
       
     

Offline stevenvalve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1489
  • Liked: 259
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #68 on: June 03, 2014, 03:26:56 AM »
I joined up here because you are all crazy . ;D 
     Anyway , not much different to obsessing over a capacitor or resistor ,eh.
   

   Every  tiny part that makes up a stereo system adds its own distortion. To achieve the  ultimate in musical enjoyment, each and every source of distortion has to be reduced to its bare minimum .

       Knowing the relationship of the strand diameters to the overall sound gives you the ability to optimise the frequency balance   .Most audiophiles would likely voice their cables in the neutral range anyway .The trick is knowing how to do it .Through many observations years ago I began to notice a   subjective relationship with diameters to frequency .
      Getting the right  tonal balance through  the frequencies is only one of many parameters you have to get right to make a great cable .Purity ,fluidity, soundstage, presence  ,solidity of image, detail ,depth and probably many more .These can only be  optimised  by reducing distortion from the transmission through the wire .
    Capacitance from the dielectric is a major contributor ,static electricity from plastics  ,dielectric absorption ,resonance in wires ,the crystal boundaries in the wire ,the surface finnish of the wire ,the hardness  of the metal ,etc. all add some form of distortion.

     If you reduce all distortions from each part in the audio  chain ,you should be able to enjoy  more albums rather than less .If not you might be doing something wrong .The wire is just one part of the chain .

  I have had many occasions where I came to  like a track that used to annoy me ,after I reduced some objectional distortion in the chain .

    Much of the music I listen to isn't "audiophile recorded"  music ,as I find a lot of it bland and  soulless .I certainly wouldn't tune my system around a small group of audiophile CDs at the expense of the rest of my collection . My goal is to make all of my music sound as good as it possibly can .

 Cheers ,B
       
   
You are certainly one of us Brenden. Some would think we are crazy, well that's what most women think about us. They really do think we are insane and after talking to them about our hobby, I can see there point of view. I even know male audiophiles who think, how can a different type of wire really make any difference.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 03:13:38 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline Tuyen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Liked: 211
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #69 on: June 03, 2014, 06:58:53 AM »
Nice brenden!   I like your explanation.  ;D

Have you found if using the shortest possible length of wire in every case to be the best for minimising these distortions?   Or has there been cases where actually adding to the length of a particular wire helped?

Offline rawl99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 2
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #70 on: June 03, 2014, 08:06:28 PM »
Tuyen,

Here's one in response to that question.
I got  a 2.0 m length of some power cable to experiment with on my dac and transport.
I put approx500 hours on the cable ( as it sounded like crap when brand spnrky new) and ran it on my transport.
It worked superbly!!
As I only need a 1m power cable I cut it in half and plonked the plug back on the end and put it back in.
Dropped its guts.
Let it run for a while with no change.

SO... Got some more of the cable and made another longer cable and lo and behold.... Back to what I first heard.

So the moral for me was that shorter, whilst in theory should be better, is not necessarily so.

As Brenden commented ( same thoughts exactly as Steve and me), an audio is just the whole of a bunch of individually flavored/coloured parts.
Ideally, try and keep all items as neutral as possible, then add a pinch of salt and a shake of pepper to suit.

Cheers

Offline ozmillsy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Liked: 245
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #71 on: June 03, 2014, 09:16:23 PM »
SO... Got some more of the cable and made another longer cable and lo and behold.... Back to what I first heard.

So the moral for me was that shorter, whilst in theory should be better, is not necessarily so.
Hey Rawl, have you had the same experience with interconnects?  Is it predictable, the change?    Genuine questions.     I'd hate to think we cant predict what the sound will be, and every spot in the system is subject to endless experimenting on length.   What a nightmare.     ???
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline brenden

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
  • Liked: 52
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #72 on: June 04, 2014, 01:34:18 AM »
I was going to make exactly  the same comment as Rawl , and specifically on power cable .
   Many power cables are designed to  filter rf  and possibly magnetic fields  .If you take a kimber power cable and shorten  it it actually reduces the effectiveness.
        With interconnects I feel that the quality of the conductors and dielectric has more affect than the  ultimate length of the cable , within reason .I like to keep interconnects below 1.5m and normally use 1m .

Offline Tuyen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Liked: 211
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #73 on: June 04, 2014, 09:02:52 AM »
Interesting..  (and quite scary at the same time!)

'Neutral' as in subjectively neutral I'm guessing? Or can it be quantitised somehow?  How do you guys determine what is 'neutral' when every thing in the chain has its own 'flavour'?   

Are the tonal balance/'flavour' of the reference tracks usually used when doing comparisons considered in the overall conclusion?

Offline Tuyen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • Liked: 211
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #74 on: June 04, 2014, 11:43:11 AM »
Anyone kind enough to lend me a few high quality power cables (of different lengths) so I am able to test on my system?  Curious to find out if my hearing, system and/or musical preferences are good enough to show worthwhile differences.    Not keen to spend $$$ on high-end power cords then chop them up to find out they sound worse than before.   lol




Offline hedalfa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Liked: 326
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #75 on: June 04, 2014, 12:11:17 PM »
Anyone kind enough to lend me a few high quality power cables (of different lengths) so I am able to test on my system?  Curious to find out if my hearing, system and/or musical preferences are good enough to show worthwhile differences.    Not keen to spend $$$ on high-end power cords then chop them up to find out they sound worse than before.   lol

Its not a reason not to get silver but I know from RCA sockets that the coating is thin. One amp I bought the owner had fitting silver sockets at great expense, the platting was stuffed, so I replaced with wbt copper. You dont get much silver and if your pluging things in and out then silver may not be such a good idea.

Offline rawl99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 2
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #76 on: June 06, 2014, 11:39:59 AM »
Hey Rawl, have you had the same experience with interconnects?  Is it predictable, the change?    Genuine questions.     I'd hate to think we cant predict what the sound will be, and every spot in the system is subject to endless experimenting on length.   What a nightmare.     ???

Millsy,

No I have not. 
As long as the construction of the I/c gives decent immunity to noise interference then the smallish change in length from, say 1/2 to 11/2 m seems to be of little relevance.
It ten comes down to intelligent routing to keep them away from noise sources as much as is possible.

Offline rawl99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 2
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #77 on: June 06, 2014, 11:52:37 AM »
I was going to make exactly  the same comment as Rawl , and specifically on power cable .
   Many power cables are designed to  filter rf  and possibly magnetic fields  .If you take a kimber power cable and shorten  it it actually reduces the effectiveness.
        With interconnects I feel that the quality of the conductors and dielectric has more affect than the  ultimate length of the cable , within reason .I like to keep interconnects below 1.5m and normally use 1m .

Brenden,
Agree on both points.
Re the power cable, it is off-the-roll so not a completed cable of a given length.
Hence my reason for sharing the experience.
So the experimentation can be interesting.... and a little hair-depleting perhaps?

Re interconnects I agree that conductor, dielectric, and geometric factors seem to be more significant than the actual length.
The factors that affect what is  "within reason" could get a little interesting.
Source and target Impedances, ambient electrical noise,  effective shielding of cable construction, per-unit length impedance factors etc etc

You have obviously done some decent experimenting in this area.

Need the number for a shrink??

Offline zenelectro

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
  • Liked: 145
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2014, 07:45:24 PM »
Brenden,
Agree on both points.
Re the power cable, it is off-the-roll so not a completed cable of a given length.
Hence my reason for sharing the experience.
So the experimentation can be interesting.... and a little hair-depleting perhaps?

Re interconnects I agree that conductor, dielectric, and geometric factors seem to be more significant than the actual length.
The factors that affect what is  "within reason" could get a little interesting.
Source and target Impedances, ambient electrical noise,  effective shielding of cable construction, per-unit length impedance factors etc etc

You have obviously done some decent experimenting in this area.

Need the number for a shrink??

Heat shrink :)

WRT shielding, many hi end cables I have seen are actually unshielded.
In fact most hi enders seem to have a fear of shielding.

One solution is run a shield and 2 conductors, earth the shield at 1 end only so it carries
no signal return current, use the conductors for hot / cold.

WRT shielding that carbon loaded nylon sheath looks pretty good.

Z

Offline rawl99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 2
Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #79 on: June 06, 2014, 11:17:29 PM »
Heat shrink :)

WRT shielding, many hi end cables I have seen are actually unshielded.
In fact most hi enders seem to have a fear of shielding.

One solution is run a shield and 2 conductors, earth the shield at 1 end only so it carries
no signal return current, use the conductors for hot / cold.

WRT shielding that carbon loaded nylon sheath looks pretty good.

Z

Z,

My experiences with building cables suggest that unshielded is sonically superior as long as you do not ntroduction a noise induction issue as a consequence.
Shielded cables I have found to sound slower on transient attack, and have reduced decay characteristics.
Unshielded sound less dynamically constrained I have found.

C