Large cable test in the making – (blind) listening and measuring

We don’t often announce a story. But this time we do, since there’s been quite a stir, we’ve noticed. In short: we are going to explain to you what we are going to do and how we are going to do it

Recently we published a very short piece on measurements on some coaxial cables. That article triggered us to do more research. That was the reason we purchased two new analyzers: a Sourcetronic LCR meter (20 Hz – 300 kHz) and a Function generator (up to 60 Mhz). With the LCR-meter we are able to measure cable properties very accurately. Think of conductance, resistance, impedance, capacity and induction. With the function generator we can send all kinds of signals through a cable. With this model up to 60 GHz. Combine it with our digital scope, and we can check whether a signal remains intact.

Listening and measuring

What is very important to us is that we will both listen ánd meaure in this test. We value objective data very highly at Alpha Audio. But we have to remember that sometimes we don’t know what to measure. We’ll eventually know that, but for now we believe that we still just don’t know everything. We’re simply not there yet. And that’s why we keep looking…

The idea is that we will set up a controlled blind test for the listening part. Possibly with Yung and Martijn together on the bench. Your author (Jaap) will do changes (and the measurements). After the controlled blind test we are going to put the objective data next to it to see if there is a relationship between the measurements and the listening test.

Contact with manufacturers

Due to the compact – and last minute – set-up of part one, the feedback to and the reply of the manufacturer were missing. We are going to do that differently in part 2. All the data we collect will go to the participating parties. They will then be able to respond to it. We also want to see how this fits in with their design philosophy. This is not only fair to the companies, but very often also provides the necessary insights. In short: we can only learn from this.

For your information: we are now in contact with (among others): Audioquest (Benelux and USA), Van den Hul, Art Speak and AAI. We will expand this to more manufacturers of course. We already asked twelve brands for speaker cables (maybe even more).

It is finished when it is finished…

This is a very extensive story in which we have to set a lot in motion. We have to request cables, measure, ask for feedback, set up a blind test and process the data. In short: this will take a while. This is really a case of: it’s finished when it’s finished… :-).

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