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Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #2
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/08/18/ca...c-sound-better/

Unfortunately Malcolm Steward has removed his blog post.

Slashdot picked up the story too:
http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/10...Audio-Qualities



The origional story is in google's cache:
Quote
Super SATA Cables on Sale Soon
Posted by Malcolm Steward on 8/17/10 • Categorized as Audio


Critical SATA

The Super SATA cables I recently tested proved to be real shockers. Every logical thought was telling me that the wires that transmit the raw digital data between a hard disk and the motherboard in a NAS simply could not influence the sound that emerged from the player – after the music has already subsequently passed through metres of CAT5.

But they do.

I listened to the cables in my NAS feeding my Naim HDX/DAC/XPS and clearly identified easily perceptible improvements through my highly revealing active Naim DBL system. Quite what it is that wrought these improvements I do not know. My only guess is that the Super SATAs reject interference significantly better than the standard cables and in so doing lower the noise floor revealing greater low-level musical detail and presentational improvements in the soundstage and the ‘air’ around instruments.

The most marked and worthwhile difference, I felt, was in the increased naturalness in both the sound of instruments and voices, which seemed more organic, human and less ‘electronic’, and in the music’s rhythmical progression, which was also more natural and had the realistic ebb and flow that musicians exhibit when playing live. In short, recordings sounded more like musical performances then recordings.

As you can see the cables do not look anything special even though they are far more robust than the standard issue flat cables, and they are are irradiated, I am told, to vapourise any moisture that has found its way into the molecular structure of the conductors.

The photo here shows the original, Generation 1 cable but there is now a more advanced, wider bandwidth Generation 2 version that is soon going to be available from the same American manufacturer. They will, of course, be more expensive than ‘ordinary’ SATA cables – the red and grey insulated flat cables that come free with hard disks or sell for around £2.99. But their superior performance easily justifies the extra expense.

When I have a definite price on the new cables and the URL from which they will be able to be purchased, I will post the information here. I cannot wait: I only have one of the generation 1 cables and wanted a dozen more for other hard disks and SATA peripherals. Now there is a supposedly ‘better’ version I cannot wait to evaluate it and if it is, as I am told, substantially superior, get my order in for a dozen of those.

I have disabled Comments on this post so that respectable visitors do not have to read the remarks made by a small number of extremely ignorant, rude, malicious and disingenuous  individuals who cannot tolerate people expressing opinions that do not concur with their own.


I find the last paragraph to be an amazing demonstration of the author's lack of introspection. 




Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #3
Quote
My only guess is that the Super SATAs reject interference significantly better than the standard cables and in so doing lower the noise floor revealing greater low-level musical detail and presentational improvements in the soundstage and the ‘air’ around instruments.

That's his only guess? By now anyone that knows a thing about audio should know better, or is plainly lying to sell something (or getting paid to).

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #4
Further ideas for these people:
- sound quality differences between firewire/USB/IDE/SATA mass storage interfaces as well as different controller chips.
- sound quality differences from copying music to portable players over different USB cables.
- picture quality differences when using different flashcard brands with your camera as well as different flashcard types.
Etc.

The possibilities are endless.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #5
What's next, audiophile power cables?

Oh, wait...

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #6
Thanks for my morning laugh
"You can fight without ever winning, but never win without a fight."  Neil Peart  'Resist'

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #7
I wonder if these cables will also improve the quality of movies and photos I transmit through them. Also maybe my programs will run better, and my games will have more FPS.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #8
Quote
My only guess is that the Super SATAs reject interference significantly better than the standard cables and in so doing lower the noise floor revealing greater low-level musical detail and presentational improvements in the soundstage and the ‘air’ around instruments.

That's his only guess? By now anyone that knows a thing about audio should know better, or is plainly lying to sell something (or getting paid to).

If he had said that he believes he heard a difference but has no explanation as to why, that would have been one thing. No one can prove that he didn't hear a difference, we can only challenge him to do a proper DBT to prove it.

But then to propose a possible cause, opens him up to arguments as to why his theory makes no sense and is easily disprovable, that's something else.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #9
Guy is obviously a victim of the placebo effect.

Some people seem more susceptible to this than others. It seems to happen to Malcolm a lot though.

Remember that the placebo effect is real, it causes changes in the way the brain and body functions. Patients have been cured of pain and other issues by doctors using it. Both he and anyone he shared his enthusiasm with had a better listening experience because of it. Apparently placebo victims are contagious as well. Which when combined with massive greed pretty much explains modern audio marketing.

Now if only we could all convince ourselves that the CHEAPER a piece of gear is, the better it sounds!

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #10
Come on guys, CLEARLY these cables just reduce the number of digital errors that are transmitted.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN BOTH THE DATA AND THE ECC WILL FAIL... the same way... every time...

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #11
Come on guys, CLEARLY these cables just reduce the number of digital errors that are transmitted.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN BOTH THE DATA AND THE ECC WILL FAIL... the same way... every time...


You always know when both Data and ECC transmissions fail.. your computer quits working. Silly thing to say.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #12
[...] YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN BOTH THE DATA AND THE ECC WILL FAIL... the same way... every time...

You always know when both Data and ECC transmissions fail.. [...] Silly thing to say.

There probably was some irony hidden in scotu's last four words.

Has anyone yet tested the different RAID modes for audible differences? There must be room for acoustic improvements and tweaking.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #13
Looks like the s*** is catching up with Malcolm Steward, for years he has been propagating this and that:

http://community.whathifi.com/forums/2/411...ShowThread.aspx

He has written articles on CD ripping, on how the sound quality varies between offerings (EAC and my Ripper were mentioned), the winner happens to be a £4K audio device, and more here:

http://www.hificritic.com/forum/default.as...p;t=207&p=2

Now these two threads are peoples questioning of the article, the actual articles are in audio publications so cannot be linked.

I feel sorry for the high-end audio business, there is a place for luxurious goods, a 10K watch, a 100K car, beautiful crafted speakers, etc. It is a shame that snake oil is used to fool people into believing what is not possible.

>- sound quality differences from copying music to portable players over different USB cables.

I am not BS you, it has already been discussed by other people, how different USB drives sound better, how two bit compared identical files sound different, how different USB cables sound different ( to outboard dacs ). Now computers and audio are merging, finally the absurdity of it all is being exposed.

The final link for illuminated reading (the HDX happens to be the 4K device):

http://forums.naimaudio.com/eve/forums/a/t.../8132986817/p/1

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #14
  I must be in a foul mood today...  Usually I get a chuckle out of this stuff.  Today it just seems sad that this guy doesn't have a clue what "digital" means.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #15
Why is it that every time I see the word Naim on this forum it is coupled with unsubstantiated nonsense from audiophile fantasy land?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #16
HiFi journalist, isn't that an oxymoron? Just asking.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #17
...
and in so doing lower the noise floor revealing greater low-level musical detail and presentational improvements in the soundstage and the 'air' around instruments.
...
The most marked and worthwhile difference, I felt, was in the increased naturalness in both the sound of instruments and voices, which seemed more organic, human and less 'electronic', and in the music's rhythmical progression, which was also more natural and had the realistic ebb and flow that musicians exhibit when playing live. In short, recordings sounded more like musical performances then recordings.
...


More of this damned audiophile highfalutin language.  I've been reading this same junk for 20 years.

Do these audiophile guys cut & paste from the same source?  At least they could invent some new cliches.

"because of the embedded dilithium crystals in these $8000 cables, the saxophone had a greater flow of tachyons"

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #18
Further ideas for these people:
- sound quality differences between firewire/USB/IDE/SATA mass storage interfaces as well as different controller chips.
- sound quality differences from copying music to portable players over different USB cables.
- picture quality differences when using different flashcard brands with your camera as well as different flashcard types.
Etc.

The possibilities are endless.
Ooooh... don´t create new ideas for them. Could be dangerous. 


Why is it that every time I see the word Naim on this forum it is coupled with unsubstantiated nonsense from audiophile fantasy land?
It´s because you are biased  Kidding. Truth to be told, some other companies were mentioned also even in connection to that wonderful audiophile land of Oz: AYRE, Linn, Denon (the network cable, anyone?) and some others whose names I just can´t seem to remember.

BTW, I actually have second market SATA cables. I own the Silverstone CP04 - purely out of practical reasons. It looks fancy, is very sturdy and well built. It connects very firm - I had the problem with the normal cables that they disattached themselves after some time (maybe because of vibration). It also has some shielding which I thought was a nice bonus (I don´t even know if that differentiates them from the usual cables). You know, to make sure. Hey, two cost only 10,- Euros. But I´ve never even considered testing the sound of these... would be impossible to do a DBT anyway. This journalist obviously is a bit... well, strange. But I shouldn´t talk because I actually bought an expensive USB cable from Oehlbach for my external E-MU. 
marlene-d.blogspot.com

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #19
Quote
The Super SATA cables I recently tested proved to be real shockers. Every logical thought was telling me that the wires that transmit the raw digital data between a hard disk and the motherboard in a NAS simply could not influence the sound that emerged from the player – after the music has already subsequently passed through metres of CAT5.

But they do.


Well of course they do. They affect all data that passes through them.

For instance, today I was running a short program I wrote to do a multidimensional numerical integral. Ran from my macbook's internal hard drive, it took 125s and produced results accurate to 8 significant digits. But ran from an external hard disk with a high-quality interconnect, a steal at 250 euro, it finished in just 80s and produced results accurate to 12 significant digits.

Clearly the same effect is at play.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #20
For instance, today I was running a short program I wrote to do a multidimensional numerical integral. Ran from my macbook's internal hard drive, it took 125s and produced results accurate to 8 significant digits. But ran from an external hard disk with a high-quality interconnect, a steal at 250 euro, it finished in just 80s and produced results accurate to 12 significant digits.
You would get higher precision with a proper PC. The Apple Reality Distortion Field causes loss of accuracy.


Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #22
Well the technology behind the cables do matter. Everything is matter and the Sun turbulence especially. It is not like bits changing on data transferring but unshielded circuits transmitting the electro magnetic interferense on sensitive audio amplifier circuits. The common power lines is also can be considered dirty under heavy load. The power distribution network without nice grounding is a perfect start point for audio degradation. The harddrive spinning parts also producing the parasite vibrations so the certain system parts can resonate at audible level. The powerfull emitter in cellphone on your table can interfere the weird loops while seeking the network. The countless factors combined all together pushing up the noise level.

Back in time i wrote the program for intel celeron that played tunes losely by main processor chip resonation effect. The transistor state change is sounding pretty distinctly depending on cycles for a certain mass repeating for a chosen instructions aliases. Make sure it's a complex heavy procedure that requiring a millions of transistor keys to switch simultaneously. You just need to repeat the chosen instruction block millions and billions times to make the chip structure to resonate at high audible pitch. By making a little adjustments you changing the pitch. Not a Hi-Fi audio emitter, but hey, the pitch is a bit regulated so a hissing high tone tune can be played.
Too bad it's a completely unportable player, some processors have low resonating package, they all have different clocks and different circuits so the tunes can be barely audible or messed up.

Flash disks is a big no-no in noisy computer building, they are too silent.
maiko.elementfx.com

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #23
Oh well... about computer cables @ audio, cat5 *are* in many "esoteric" HIFI DIY projects:

DIY: HiFi cables
Forward Agency NPO

In progress we (always) trust.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #24
Ok, first off I have to admit I am an audio nutcase. That being said, I also am an engineer, and try to look to they whys and whats a bit more than most do. In electrical engineering we know Ohm's law as a given and go from there. In audio engineering, Ohm's law seems to work for some of the circuit's functions but for other functions of the circuit- making noise we perceive as sound- it leaves us less than happy. I have found that top notch audio is the sum of all the little bits- and in the case of digital sound- bytes as well. So in theory the cables can have an audible effect on the sound, and often times our ears can hear a difference. Now here is the biggest issue we have as humans discussing sound- and that is we all hear something a bit differently than the person over there or that other fellow there. Not that that is bad- its just nature- just like we each have our own genetic "brand" that makes each individual unique. Our ears are different from that fellow's or the other guy. That being said, there are some general rules of thumb as to what does sound good on average. And the averages says most aren't gonna hear a single bit or byte of difference in whatever cable was used on the SATA drive in the computer. But a small handful can and do- so don't put those delusional fools down ok??? We are really kinda sensitive about it- and my ears will thank you for using those overpriced cables to hook up your MP3 player. Oh much better, I can just hear the angels sing now! Dennis

 
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