Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Coathanger vs Monster Cable reports: [edited]

Can you tell the difference between music that passed through a pricey Monster stereo Cable, and a coat hanger? A reader forwarded us a post from the Audioholics Home Theater Forum and its author says no.

He says his brother ran an experiment on him and four other audio aficionados listening to a new CD from a new group blindfolded. Seven different songs were played, each time heard with the speaker hooked up to Monster Cables, and the other time, hooked up to coat hanger wire. Nobody could determine which was the Monster Cable and which was the coat hanger.

The kicker? None of the subjects even knew that coat hangers were going to be used. [They were assuming it was two different high-end makes of speaker cable. Ed]

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Brett's 2p'orth: If you're the least bit curious, it's worth visiting the original Audioholics Forum post to see someone doing their best to be honest about what does and doesn't improve the listening experience.

I'm told I have a 'good ear' for what sounds good, but am also aware, as I get older, there are frequencies and nuances that my organic audio hardware is no longer able to discern (in fact, it's a thing of some wonder that I can hear at all with the volume levels my cochlea have been subjected to).

My basic rule is that if I can't consistently tell the difference between two items in a double-blind test, then (if all other factors are equal) it is pointless paying extra. It is for this reason that I convert all my digital music to 128kbps AAC, anything higher is a waste of storage space (for me).

There is one caveat to this. Any listening test has to be done over an extended period of time. Equipment that sounds superb for a couple of minutes can become 'wearing' after 20 minutes. A good playback system sounds better the longer you listen to it.

But this is becoming an essay. Note to self, 'Must revisit this area some time'.


Mr Bill said...

I guess the coat hanger is a single core of wire - and that the impedance would be low - but I am guessing some form of insulation would be needed, plus the lack of flexibility may cause problems.

Added to this is the fact that longer runs would need welding of coat hangers together, plus the other downside is not having anything to put your shirts on once they have been washed!

brett jordan said...

Thanks Mr Bill, always good to receive some of your salient and sober wisdom.

Coel said...

I was expecting this to be a contest as to which one was best to hang clothes on. Let down yet again I see.

brett jordan said...

The old proverb 'the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree' comes to mind.