Effect of speaker cable on THD

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Alan0354, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    These are kind of niche field, only very few people even interested in it, but when they are interested, they really get into it. The mass majority either don't care or can't tell. Like in guitar, there are so many pickup makers that make really unique pickups and they are much better than the stock common Fender pickups. But they all barely survive. Majority of people keep buying Fender stuffs. This is like how many of the Monster cable got sold before one of these exotic cable got sold?

    As I said, I invent and patented a noise cancelling concept for the famous Stratocaster that is better than all the other existent design. It was proven that it does not change the sound of the guitar, just reduce the hum. I did demo in the biggest Fender forum and people want to buy it. BUT there is just not enough money. Only thing I did to market this is an email to Fender, Gibson and Paul Reed Smith. When they don't show interest, I just dropped it. It's not even worth my time to pursue it as I earn so so much more doing contract work if I even want to. It's easy to dream about going into business, the harsh reality that most people never even think about are all the marketing, accounting, booking and sales that are so painful to deal with. My main business is real estate and rental. People think you just sit and collect rent............I don't even want to bore you with all the detail. Believe me, it's not like obama said " you didn't earn it". You really EARN IT.

    It is so nice to fantasize to make money because you have a superior product, but reality is people go with name brand and most don't know the difference. This is like in music electronics, there are so many starving dreamers trying to make some money and make a name for themselves. But there is just so many out there. Go to any of the conventions, there are so many innovative products and most barely keep their heads above water...............most can't.

    That's the main reason I go into hifi, I don't please nobody, only one customer I need to please is ME and myself. No money involve.................hell, I spent over $3 to 4K and I don't even have an amp to show!!!! I designed two guitar amps with channel switching and power scaling, it's inside my closet collecting dust. I was a seasoned guitarist, my amps kick the butt of all the Mesa, PRS, Marshall and Fenders. BUT there are so many of the garage designer making the best amps in the world.

    As famous as Nelson Pass and his Threshold, how many you think he sold in the whole life span of Threshold? 10,000 or 20,000, or say 50.000. Say the price is $1200 each. Say the total gross income is $60million in the span of 10 years. $6millions per years of sales for a company!!!! Only $6 million per year. You have to buy material, hire people, rent the space, marketing..............That's why Pass is still on the DIYaudio forum helping people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017 at 9:44 PM
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  2. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Fwiw, I dug out the cat 5 office phone trunk cabling I mentioned previously and measured length and capacitance. They are ca 15ft each and measured ca 6477 and 6560 pF on an AAD LC meter. Cap loss showed 1% on another device.
    IMG_20170420_214345430.jpg IMG_20170420_214422960.jpg
     
  3. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    6000pF sounds very high, but I went and measure my 10ft 10 X 20gauge twisted cable with my meter ( with capacitance measurement), it's 2200pF!!! They are seems higher than I expect. I don't know what to say, I'll let Conrad think about it.

    I measure some RG58 cables, they seem to agree about 33pF/ft.
     
  4. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    The point remains; the doors are still open and the lights are still on for companies selling cables and high end audio gear so there is a business for it.

    If you think it's not worth pursuing that's totally your call, but there is a fair list of companies that think it is. In my opinion/speculation, with some cables especially, it's not necessarily huge volume, it's big, really big, margin.

    Mentioning Monster earlier was helpful to my example. Many people despise them because of their business practice. Whether the cables are good or bad or indifferent, is immaterial to this point. They made an assload of money selling cables.

    About Pass on DIY forum, I'm not sure of your point. Are you suggesting he's there helping people for free because he doesn't make enough money in his business?

    BTW, I have a patent too...well, my employer I suppose actually has the patent/IP, but as an inventor thereof. The company has never built the device. Don't know if we ever will. So, in this regard I know what you mean just because you can, you don't necessarily "do" for any number of reasons.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 6:40 AM
  5. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    The capacitance of the cat 5 config didn't surprise me a lot, as someone familiar with these as short twisted pair 'gimmick' trimmer/ padder/ stabilizer caps in electronic circuits. Essentially lengthy paralleled terminated gimmicks in parallel with a reactive load.
    I mentioned delay line effect earlier, but that is less likely afaik with low resistance/ inductance runs.
    Nonetheless, consider the damping factor in feedback having some effect on the amp if a phase shift occurs and how the amp deals with it. Such a shift already occurs in the room with sound reflected back thru the speaker into the fb loop.
    Looking at the amp/ cabling/ speaker/ room globally as a closed system might be an interesting approach.
     
  6. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    To be able to succeed, you have to be an idealist, you have to have the passion and tenacity....Which......I don't have at this point. Far as the cable, it's not even about whether it's worthy for me to pursue, I think it's been discovered as you see there are quite a few similar ideas. I am 64, I had my career and I paid my dues. I am still doing contract on and off when the company needs me.

    As for pursuing my patent, it is a good valid patent, not just playing with words. There are only 3 patent like this till 2014, one from Fender in the early 80s by Neo Fender, the second is by Dudley Gimpel of Musicman in 1995, the third one is mine. If you are interested, this is the patent: https://www.google.com/patents/US8704074
    I just calculated, even if I can sell each for say $80 to $100, I sell say 100 a month. That is $10,000 a month. The cost is say $15 each, then you have to add labor. The most expensive is marketing. I was talking to a pickup maker called D Allen of D Allen pickup a little, he has to go to NAM, pay a lot of money to join the show. He has to travel around talking to musician to try to get endorsements.............. If you check on D Allen pickups, he has a pretty good name and I know as a guitarist that his pickups are very good, the whole line of pickups that sound very different and unique and have the character. He is already quite well known. But guess what, he is still winding his own pickup, I don't think he is making a living with that. He is quite well to do not from the pickup business, this is his hobby...................If you calculate the realistic cost, you are working less than minimum wages and is slave labor. At this point, I am not that eager in my contracting work that they let me work at home so I can work at any odd hours like 3am in the morning!!! They pay me very good money and I don't have to worry about anything. They are pursuing a patent on their instrument with my name in part of the design. I am happy camper.The 3 years dues on my patent is up, I am not even sure I want to pay for it. I got my fun, I wrote and published my patent, it's time to move on.

    Problem is only the big established company make a boat load of money, companies like Monster Cable, Pioneer, Onkyo, Adcom etc. that established their name, people just keep buying them regardless. Making the name is the single most important thing, and it is very hard to make a name. Fender make lousy pickups, but they sell a boatload of them because it's Fender!!!

    A lot of people got their patent from working for companies, you are the inventor, the company is the assignee. You don't get to keep any money from the patent. They always have a claus in your contract that any invention of yours relate to the job belongs to the employer. I have another patent like yours also.You got the fame, they got the money!!!

    I talked about Nelson Pass on the forum. You see Bill Gates on any forum? The ones that making big money are too busy in their business to even think about talking on the forum. You have to make an appointment to even talk to them. The fact that Pass talking on the forum implies he is not making a boat load of money!!!
     
  7. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    I am actually surprised how high the capacitance is. But if you do calculation

    For wire diameter of 1mm ( 18 gauge), spacing from center to center of parallel wires of 4mm ( like the red/black cable), the inductance is 0.25uH/ft. Let's just assume the characteristic impedance is 100ohm.

    Characteristic impedance Zo=sqrt(L/C). Put in the numbers of Zo=100, L=0.25EE-6 to find C. L/C=10000, C=L/10000=25pF/ft.

    I guess if I have 10pairs, it is in line with my measurement of 2200pF for 14ft cable.

    But you have 6000pF, that's still sounds high to me. It's only a twisted pair right? I cannot see 6000pF on yours.


    I think the open loop output impedance of the amp is very important to tame the capacitance load. The oscillation is usually in much higher frequency than 20KHz and feedback gain is below unity. You have only the output transistors to keep the output impedance low.

    Electrical delay is not important as even the wavelength of 20KHz is thousands of meters long. Acoustic delay from reflection of the room back to the speaker is another story. They are point to you need cable that has very low series impedance and very low output impedance of the amp to tame all that.

    I think that's the reason there are two schools of thoughts in amp design. One is with very high damping factor, low distortion, big wires to tame all the distortion of the speakers. The other one is low loop gain or no GNFB, lower damping factor like tube amps that "WORKS" with the speakers to create the sweet sound. We are talking about THD, which is theoretical discussion, it's not even well established that no distortion is the best sounding amp. The other school of thoughts are like tube amps particular the SE tube amps that cannot be low THD, or even Nelson Pass's Aleph and the like that has low loop gain, low frequency response. Those "works" with the speakers rather than clobber the speakers. That you have to tell me which school of thoughts is better, I have no idea.
     
  8. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    In answer to the bolded, I think these type cables have multiple twisted pairs. This config puts them all paralleled, so capacitance would be length of single pair X # of pairs, plus proximity contribution of closely bundled total, but you already know this.
     
  9. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    No I don't know this!!! That sounds like a very good speaker cable!!!:thumbsup:

    Ha ha, I better start working on my amp, I have not been in the mood of working on it for the last two days and been on here talking and talking. Time to shut up now and back to the amp!!!!
     
  10. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    OK then, happy to contribute something useful. Please continue.
     
  11. ConradH

    ConradH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    When thinking about the capacitance (of anything), don't forget the dielectric constant. Polypropylene is abou 2.3 and PVC can be over 3. Watch out if you ever use Kynar insulated wire, often fancy wire-wrap wire. That stuff is 8.4! Tough as nails though. Teflon, my personal favorite, is down around 2. I don't have quick info on enameled wire and there are a large number of different insulation types used, but it's worth looking up what you might be using.
     
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  12. Northwinds

    Northwinds Huh? Turn what down? Subscriber

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  13. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Indeed.

    But, fact is, they paid me to invent on company time, they paid to have the patent researched, they paid to have specialists do and file all the paperwork. Then, above and beyond my salary, they paid me a healthy bonus when the patent was granted and it cost me not one thin dime for any of it.


    Nope, I dont see Bill Gates on any forums. But, comparing his actions as the richest man in the world to 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of other people is laughable at best.
     
  14. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    I don't even get bonus for my patent, and they are using it big time. It solved a lot of their problems.

    Point is anyone that make a lot of money in their business is very likely don't have the time to yap on the forum.
     
  15. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    No, the point is that Pass has a successful company and chats on the forums.
     
  16. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    I changed in the two cables I made with the red/black 20 gauge pairs. At the process, I discovered I did my original cables wrong. Yes I use 2 pairs of monster 12 gauge for the mid and tweeter, but before this thread, I did not know the two wires of the cable has to go in pair close together. I use one pair of cable and parallel both conductors together as the red wire and the other cable as the black wire. This result in big loop between the two wires.

    I was kind of expect all the talks here in THD might be hot air and it won't make a damn of a difference. Now this is non scientific, just my impression. It sounded very different with the new cable. It's a lot brighter, attack is a lot more apparent, seems to have more air. BUT, I can't say it's better or not, the main reason is I am missing the bottom, it doesn't seems to be balance, it's like I turned the bass down. But I don't have tone control, everything is straight through. Note that I DID NOT change the cable for the woofers, they are still like one cable for red, one cable for black that have bigger area between the two wires. But this is woofer, it shouldn't make much difference.

    I can't crank it up as big boss is sleeping already, but it's just lack bottom. I would have to change the preamp a little to make up for the bottom. But to me, it is pretty obvious that the sound is different, more forward, in your face, more attack. The drum comes out more.

    I did not expect this, last time when I compare amps, it did not make a damn of a difference, maybe it's because of the cable as it was the same cable. I was expecting no difference, but quite a bit difference.
     
  17. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    That's your opinion.
     
  18. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    No doubt there could be a few outliers, but I think most people would agree that Pass has been successful.
     
  19. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Well-Known Member

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    Successful, innovative in his own right. But the whole point is I don't think he is making a lot of money as in line with the subject we have been talking about. You can design the best amp, have very innovative ideas, but still not being widely accepted and making the big sell. How many of his Pass Lab amps he is selling a year? Yes, they cost over $10K each, but how many he really sell? 300/yr? That's 3millions a year, to support a company. I doubt he has more than 10 people in the company to survive this kind of sale.

    There is ideal, dreams, innovation, but there is the harsh realistic of business. It's not easy to do business, for small business, he is very successful already.
     
  20. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I doubt Gates is particularly gregarious outside his circle. Pass, otoh, seems comfortable out in the world.
     
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