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Topic: Super SATA cables for better sound quality? (Read 23569 times) previous topic - next topic
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Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #25
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???

Claims that the SATA cable makes an audible difference must be backed up by appropriate double blind tests or else you are violating TOS #8.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #26
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.


Glad to hear we have a engineer on this case.
The claim is that playing an audio file located on a NAS on a NAIM HDX, the sound quality is affected by the cable connecting the HD to the mobo in the NAS.
Documentation by Steward is almost non existent but this is probably a Linux box connected to a HD player running XP embedded.
Do you as an engineer think it likely that changing a cable in a NAS affects the bits?
If so can you explain how?

The connection between the boxes is Ethernet. The Ethernet standard stipulates that a network card decouples the computer electrically from the network so no stray signals can enter the computer over the network.
Can you explain as an engineer why altering a cable inside one networked box still can have an impact on a other box in the same network given this standard?

Ethernet is a package switched network. As a consequence the protocol is asynchronous. We are not feeding a DAC in real time. All incoming data is buffered at the receiver. Can you as an engineer explain how changing a cable in a NAS can generated input jitter at the DAC while the entire protocol is asynchronous?
etc




TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #27
So in theory the cables can have an audible effect on the sound


Data cables cannot have this effect.

If the bits that go in on one end are different in any way from the ones that come out the other end, then your computer will cease to operate entirely.


Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #28
Defence of the article seems to be that the better cables have less interference, but the context is these cables are used in a NAS, which would be a metal enclosure and hence shielded to electrical interference, magnetic interference is more difficult to stop but I do not think SATA cable would generate much of a field (no current flow), certainly not one which could travel through the metal enclosure and the distance to the device used for playback, magic ears or not, that is why everyone have come down so strongly on this one.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #29
In the Hi-End world everything has a effect on Sound. I wonder why nobody is building and selling rooms with controlled air pressure and chemical composition to that morons! 
.halverhahn

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #30
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.


To quote my own post...I have found the article in question, here is Malcolm Stewards take on CD Ripping:

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-vis...eview?artc_pg=3

A few quotes (I know the article is copyrighted, I know Malcolm has been emailing forums to take down posts, these quotes are within copyright law, they are posted with reference for review and criticism)

Quote from: Malcolm Steward: TechRadar: Hi-Fi Choice Issue 332 link=msg=0 date=
This, however, afforded me the opportunity to compare the quality of rips made by the HDX and those produced by exact Audio copy on my PC, to those of the less expensive RipNAS.


Compare away Malcolm...

Quote from: Malcolm Steward: TechRadar: Hi-Fi Choice Issue 332 link=msg=0 date=
I preferred the first two to the latter. If one were not listening critically then the RipNAS might seem acceptable, although a highly discerning colleague and I both felt that its rips did not appear as involving or exciting: they were just about on a par with those you'd hear through a Mac laptop and an inexpensive DAC, a combination that is fine... for casual listening only.


Ah Ok, if you say so, it must be so, all that bit-perfect ripping (AccurateRip verified) is just window dressing? preach on Malcolm:

Quote from: Malcolm Steward: TechRadar: Hi-Fi Choice Issue 332 link=msg=0 date=
A prime example of this was Academia from the Sia albums. The timing on this track seemed lethargic on the RipNAS rip, while her delivery sounded half-hearted and uninspired. Her phrasing is particularly dextrous on this number, her vocal weaving sinuously around the band's playing to great effect, but this nuance seemed to escape the RipNAS.


<sarcasm>Lathargic?, perhaps the CD drive was not running at full speed?<sigh>

Well Malcolm (I will forward a link to this thread, so he cannot miss it, I also invite him to comment), I have news for you: all CD Ripping programs, all brands of DVD and CD drive will rip bit perfect (drive offset accounted for, BTW the offset is not audible past the first micro-seconds of a track) on the majority (over 95%) of undamaged discs. The differences in CD ripping software: ability to detect errors, potentially correct errors (by re-reading) and eventually report errors if they cannot be corrected.

Having run AccurateRip (www.accuraterip.com) for 8 years and preside over the data from 100 Million accurately ripped tracks from both EAC and dBpoweramp, I hope to counter miss-information with true facts.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #31
Well that's entertaining.

What's the bet that a bit comparison of the ripped files would show they're identical [if offset correct]?

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #32
In the Hi-End world everything has a effect on Sound. I wonder why nobody is building and selling rooms with controlled air pressure and chemical composition to that morons! 


If you have any doubts that this is true, just do a sighted evaluation! ;-)

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #33
Quote
The timing on this track seemed lethargic on the RipNAS rip

Small wonder, that happens when you use the wrong SATA cable in your NAS!
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #34
What's the bet that a bit comparison of the ripped files would show they're identical [if offset correct]?


That is the point, take the thread on HiFi Critic, there are people there asking for the source files so they can be compared, to which it is responded (again cited, referenced & posted for review):

Quote from: Malcolm Steward: HiFi Critic Thread link=msg=0 date=
do the same as I did and buy yourself an HDX/XPS2 and forgive me if I prefer to spend my spare time with my wife and children rather than producing rips to help those who presumably wish to pour scorn on the way I and other subjective reviewers have worked for, in my case, three decades.


The full post was on this page:

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

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #35
To anyone still thinking there is a possible difference that SATA cables can have to audio quality:

It is possible for the bits to change within a cable during transfer.  However, such bit flips are reasonably uncommon.

Data sent over sata cables is also sent with a few extra bits that are used to correct any mistakes in the signal.

If the error correction bits disagree with the signal bits, your computer will just re-request the data until it gets it right.

The possibility exists that both the signal bits and the error correction bits are flipped in such a way that they are different from the intended signal, but still agree.  However this is statistically insignificant and will (extremely extraordinarily amazingly) very likely not happen (AT ALL, let alone) more than once during audio playback.

So in theory the cables can have an audible effect on the sound


Data cables cannot have this effect.

If the bits that go in on one end are different in any way from the ones that come out the other end, then your computer will cease to operate entirely.


Actually, they it will more than likely just force your computer to re-request the data.  Even if the ECC bits do agree with the data bits erroneously, it probably won't bring your computer down, it may just cause errors.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #36
The possibility exists that both the signal bits and the error correction bits are flipped in such a way that they are different from the intended signal, but still agree.  However this is statistically insignificant and will (extremely extraordinarily amazingly) very likely not happen (AT ALL, let alone) more than once during audio playback.

Hence raising the question, why is this extremely, extraordinarily and amazingly unlikely event not also being attributed by you to data that is not audio?

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #37
Even if the ECC bits do agree with the data bits erroneously, it probably won't bring your computer down, it may just cause errors.


Errors may happen at any point in any kind of datastream. It could change a pixel's RGB coordinate by 1, or it could undermine a fundamental OS component.

But none of this is happening, obviously, and we're on the same page about data cables having no influence to speak of on the data transmitted, so

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #38
But none of this is happening, obviously, and we're on the same page about data cables having no influence to speak of on the data transmitted, so


I know...what if Mr Stewards's PC just happened to be fitted with an antenna tuned to receive the emissions from the SATA cables and feed this directly in the output of the DAC on his sound card. Far fetched I know but about as likely as an of the other excrement he was spouting.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #39
So I guess I am not hearing everything my audio has to offer.  I only have a 2TB Western Digital SATA 3.5" hard drive in a dock that goes to eSATA to my desktop (or DVR if I want to free up its paltry 250GB built-in hard drive).  My hard drive isn't even fully enclosed and I am using the eSATA cable that came with the cradle.  It is currently entangled with my desktop's $5 HDMI cable that runs to my Sony receiver where the audio comes out of my system and the video is passed through to my HDTV.

Damn, I guess I will just never know how my music could have been improved if I had simply upgraded to a $500 Monster HDMI cable and an equally priced eSATA cable along with a full 1" thick metal enclosure for my hard drive.  Worse yet, my desktop goes through its 802.11n internal wi-fi card.  I guess I would get the absolute clearest possible audio, when listening to online sources at least, if I were to add a $1000 Ethernet cable in there instead of useless 802.11n wi-fi.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #40
if I were to add a $1000 Ethernet cable in there instead of useless 802.11n wi-fi.


You forgot the mount made of woven unicorn hair washed in the tears of angels.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #41
Even if a cable were to flip a bit or two here and there, how many wrong bits would there have to be before it was audible?  Has anyone tested this?

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #42
Even if the ECC bits do agree with the data bits erroneously, it probably won't bring your computer down, it may just cause errors.


Errors may happen at any point in any kind of datastream. It could change a pixel's RGB coordinate by 1, or it could undermine a fundamental OS component.

But none of this is happening, obviously, and we're on the same page about data cables having no influence to speak of on the data transmitted, so


it does happen to different types of data.  It's just extremely uncommon.  Also, cosmic rays hitting transistors and registers and flipping bits in your processor is not a tremendously uncommon cause of BSODs, and are difficult to fight against at the corporate level of reliability, although i guess that's a bit off topic.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #43
Even if a cable were to flip a bit or two here and there, how many wrong bits would there have to be before it was audible?  Has anyone tested this?

It depends on which bit gets flipped. If it happens to be the MSB of a PCM word, then just one flipped bit is VERY audible - it creates a loud "tick". If it's the LSB of a PCM word, you'd probably never notice on even the finest replay system.

Super SATA cables for better sound quality?

Reply #44
If there were so many errors that these cables corrected them you'd have replaced your cable with another already. If there were so many errors your system would either be very slow or non-functional.