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  • Pio2001
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CINCH cables blind test
In the homecinema-fr.com forums, I organized a listening test of CINCH audio cables (the ones between CD player and amplifier, asymetric).

We were 5 people trying to show an audible difference between such cables in a blind setup.

Protocol

The protocol was this one :

Phase 1 : we listen to the system, we listen to the CDs, we listen to the cables, and look for the differences that they can bring. This phase ends as soon as we have chosen a system and a musical sample with which two cables show plainly they difference.

Phase 2 : we listen in a simple blind setup in the following way. Among the chosen cables, a drawing of lots is performed twice. The first result is plugged in, and the musical sample is played. The same is done with the second drawing. The listeners must tell if the cables were different or the same. When one listener at least has given 7 right answers in a row, phase 3 begins.

Phase 3 : The listeners who managed to identify the cables in phase 2 go on with the trials begun in phase 2. The total number of trials depends on the number of listeners in such a way that the probability that one listener at least finds all the right answers is less than 1/100000. The success condition is then "one listener at least gets a score superior or equal to R right answers for S trials". The validity of this success is given by the probability that one listener at least gets this score or a superior score.


Listening setup

The system was composed of an SA15 Marantz CD/SACD player (1,500 €), an RCD02 Rotel CD Player (600 €), a 530 Acuphase integrated amplifier (8,000 €), Prism RC500 Taralabls speaker cable, and Magellan Concerto Triangle speakers (15,000 €).

Here are some of the cables that we listened to (click to zoom in) :



From left to right :
Taralabs RCS Reference generation 2 (560 € for 1 meter).
DIY ACR (4.5 € per meter)
DIY RG179 silvered copper + golden / Teflon plugs (4.5 € per meter)
DIY by Ogobert
DIY by Ogobert (unshielded)
2.30 € standard cable, with an optional 5 meters extention (between 4.50 and 8 €)
Audioquest Diamondback (137 € for 1 meter).
There was also a Van Den Hul Ultimate the first.

The tests didn't pass phase 2. No one managed to identify reliably if the cables were changed or not between two listening sessions.

Here is a full account in French with pictures, and many instructive details about the listeners answers : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29781210

The protocol and the probabilities were discussed in this thread : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29770792
  • Last Edit: 10 May, 2005, 05:51:46 PM by Pio2001

  • boojum
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #1
Quote
The tests didn't pass phase 2. No one managed to identify reliably if the cables were changed or not between two listening sessions.


Copain -  I am so happy to see the results of your tests.  They seem to support what common wisdom, physics and engineering indicate: wire is wire is wire.  Those high-end salemen are selling snake oil.  Chapeau!
Nov schmoz kapop.

  • ChristianHJW
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #2
I'd be more than interested to see a CINCH vs. SPDIF comparison, with same prepositions. Needless to say, i expect CINCH to perform better  .,...
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  • Rotareneg
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #3
Clearly your skepticism interfered with the harmonious transfer of the higher order musical energy signatures within the audiophile cables. Also it's rather obvious your listeners didn't have golden ears and were unable to appreciate the significant improvements to the synergy that is present when using high-end audio cables.

And the scary thing is, there are some hard-core "audiophiles" out there who would probably think that and be serious about it... 
  • Last Edit: 13 May, 2005, 12:37:17 AM by Rotareneg

  • HbG
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #4
Nice test, i love it.

You could argue the listeners were not trained well enough or had bad ears, but it certainly proves that any difference, if present, is not at all clear for everyone to hear. A nice additional test might be to setup a high end mic & recording system and analyse the data, it'd be interesting to see if there are inaudible differences between cables. And if so how cheap a cable can be and still perform exactly like the expensive ones.

With a €25k audio setup it doesn't hurt to spend more than €2,30 on audio cables though as you'll want some physical durability and the cost will still be a tiny fraction of the total setup.
Veni Vidi Vorbis.

CINCH cables blind test
Reply #5
Quote
The tests didn't pass phase 2. No one managed to identify reliably if the cables were changed or not between two listening sessions.

For me is very pleasant to confirm (with your test) that many years of electronic engineering were not wrong. 

Many electronic engineers (including me) knew this, but a proper listening tests confirms it.

Thanks for so interesting report.

  • Pio2001
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #6
Quote
I'd be more than interested to see a CINCH vs. SPDIF comparison, with same prepositions. Needless to say, i expect CINCH to perform better  .,...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297082"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


SPDIF uses CINCH plugs !

Quote
Clearly your skepticism interfered with the harmonious transfer of the higher order musical energy signatures within the audiophile cables.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297093"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


But we heard the differences ! Better bass handling, better decay, better stereo image, clearer harmonics, less bass...
The only problem is that we also heard the differences when the cables were the same 

Quote
A nice additional test might be to setup a high end mic & recording system and analyse the data, it'd be interesting to see if there are inaudible differences between cables. [a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297099"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I've added the RMAA results of most cables.

  • Latexxx
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #7
Anything which is magnetically shielded should be enough IMHO.

  • JeanLuc
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #8
Quote
Quote
I'd be more than interested to see a CINCH vs. SPDIF comparison, with same prepositions. Needless to say, i expect CINCH to perform better  .,...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297082"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


SPDIF uses CINCH plugs !
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297191"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I guess he was talking TOSLINK vs. Cinch ... or bit-true against bit-true ...
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

  • Latexxx
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #9
Why not glass vs. plastic optical s/pdif?  Some people really believe they can hear the difference.

CINCH cables blind test
Reply #10
Nice test. What a pity I can't read the links!
A team of German magazine ct once performed a test high end chinch vs. simple wire (both as digital electrical cables) and couldn't tell the difference...
Would be interesting to do the same for analog. How cheap can the cable be then ?
I know that I know nothing. But how can I then know that ?

  • JeanLuc
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #11
Quote
How cheap can the cable be then ?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297208"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Obviously, it can be cheap enough to still offer proper electrical and mechanical (plugs are most important IMO) abilities.
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

  • Latexxx
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #12
The only problem is that non-shielded cable can be interfered by surrounding cables and magnetic fields.

  • CiTay
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #13
Interesting test indeed. Some crude Babelfish translation of the french thread: "Results of the test as a blind man".

  • ChristianHJW
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #14
Quote
Quote
Quote
I'd be more than interested to see a CINCH vs. SPDIF comparison, with same prepositions. Needless to say, i expect CINCH to perform better  .,...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297082"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

SPDIF uses CINCH plugs !
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297191"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I guess he was talking TOSLINK vs. Cinch ... or bit-true against bit-true ...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297202"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


    ......

/me goes to hide in the cellar ......
Support matroska - the bestest vapourware project ! http://www.matroska.org

CINCH cables blind test
Reply #15
Quote
Interesting test indeed. Some crude Babelfish translation of the french thread: "Results of the test as a blind man".
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297232"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The link doesn't work for me:
Code: [Select]
phpBB: Critical Error

Could not connect to the database
I know that I know nothing. But how can I then know that ?

  • Pio2001
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #16
Quote
The link doesn't work for me:
Code: [Select]
phpBB: Critical Error

Could not connect to the database

[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297247"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is because the homecinema-fr.com website is down for the time being.
Quote
Anything which is magnetically shielded should be enough IMHO.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297201"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why do you need a magnetic shield ? Only esoteric cables include magnetic shield in addition to the conventional shield. None of the tested cables was magnetically shielded.

Quote
The only problem is that non-shielded cable can be interfered by surrounding cables and magnetic fields.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297218"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


One of the tested cables was not shielded, and didn't perform worse than the others. Though we did not listen to it much.
The original RMAA results showed a stronger 50 Hz component with it, in the background noise, but the new results that I posted after the test didn't show it. The devices had been moved between the tests, and the cables position was not the same. I think that this is why the DAT deck did't pickup the 50 Hz hum the second time.

CINCH cables blind test
Reply #17
Quote
Quote
Anything which is magnetically shielded should be enough IMHO.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297201"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why do you need a magnetic shield ? Only esoteric cables include magnetic shield in addition to the conventional shield. None of the tested cables was magnetically shielded.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=297250"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The agressor signals are electric-magnetic waves. Waves with only a magnetic or only an electric field don't exist. Kill the electric part, kill all.
I know that I know nothing. But how can I then know that ?

  • Kenno
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #18
Quote
Would be interesting to do the same for analog. How cheap can the cable be then ?
Wait... in this test, the analog signal was run over the CINCH cables, right? (else it wouldn't even be worth the trouble)

  • Pio2001
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #19
Yes.

  • deaf
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #20
I think you were under pressure and that made you confused.
I am sure there is a difference, even if I can't hear it eiter.
Was not the color of the cables different?
That alone should have made enough difference to SEE!

  • Kenno
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #21
Oh c'mon, this test is clearly corrupt! I bet these homecinema-fr.com people are heavily sponsored by the producers of ... euhm ... cheap cables, yes, that must be it!

  • Rotareneg
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #22
LoL, someone made the horrible mistake of trying to post this over at Head-Fi in the cable forum. 

  • Nero
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #23
Evidence of what I've always suspected...the only appreciable difference between cables is how they look.

Personally, I'll pay extra for pretty blue cables. 
Sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.

  • cabbagerat
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CINCH cables blind test
Reply #24
Great post, Pio2001. It's always nice to have a good test confirm that interconnect cables don't make a big difference, as many have suspected for a while. I think the take home lesson is that, when buying interconnects, go for a decent quality shielded cable with good plugs - anything more than that and you are wasting your money.

It would be nice to see a similar test with speaker cables. I suspect that the vast differences in measured parameters (R, L and C) between different cables will have audible effects. It would also be interesting to measure speaker cable parameters, use transmission line theory to calculate the effect they will have on the signal, and see whether listeners report these same differences.
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