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  • Test Results: Chicago Cable Testing

    The comments in this post are solely my own and are based on my observations only. Others that were present may see things differently.

    We chose to take the least expensive cable in the test (15' Whirlwind Leader - ~$15) and put it up against the most expensive (12' van den Hul Integration Hybrid - ~$180) to begin with.

    T. Alan was the designated player using his MarkBass/Bergantino combo. I was the initial cable switcher. Kindness relieved me after numerous cable changes.

    We did an A/B/X test. Listeners were told what Cable A was. A bassline was played. Listeners were told what Cable B was. The same bassline was played. I then randomly swapped the cables and asked those present if Cable X was Cable A or Cable B when the bassline was repeated for a third time. We did five plus iterations with only one person being able to tell the difference with better than guessing (50%) accuracy. That person was Sarabella. She was perfect all day. When asked which cable she preferred out of the Whirlwind and the van den Hul, her choice was the Whirlwind.

    T. Alan thought he could tell the difference, but when having to choose blind could not tell the difference.

    We tried the speaker cables as well. We only tested two while I was there: 18" Cardas Crosslink and an 18" EWI. I'm not sure of the cost difference since neither Lavaman's site nor Audiopile's site list the prices for an 18" cable. The shortest Crosslink cable on the Lavaman site is ~$33 for 1 foot. Audiopile's site lists a 5ft for $12.50. The consensus was that there was no difference between the cables.

    There was some other testing of cables while I was there (including the Zaolla, the Tweed Lava, EWI, and Bayou), but I heard no difference from any of them. To me, quality of construction, price, and cable flexibility are the important factors for me as I heard no audible difference between any of these cables.

    I wanted to hear a difference but just didn't. I wasn't certain about the "snake oil" comments that I read in the other thread here. I'm certain now. Having heard the cables, I'll give my money to Bayou, Audiopile and even the "cheap" lifetime warranty Monster cables (S-100 I think they're called). The van den Hul was way too stuff for me and would drive me crazy on stage.

    If folks want to drop $100 - $200 for instrument cables, that's their business. I think most people that spend that kind of money hear differences because they think they should. If they did an A/B/X test, my guess is that they couldn't tell the difference.

    Many thanks to Lavaman, Bayou, Audiopile, Burdizzos and others for supplying the cables. I give Lavaman much credit for putting his money where his mouth is. While I now don't agree that there's a difference in sound quality, I give him credit for sending us the cables to test. Kindness will be sending your cables back to you.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

  • #2
    great test guys+gals!!!! i often wundered about the cheapie wal-mart cables compared to the high enders...piece!!!!!!!!! lumpy!!!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      No monster cable?
      I had to buy a Peavey cable to practice with since the Monster cable was in my gig box which is in the trailer. I can tell no difference between the two even though the Monster is twice the price. But the monster has lasted me 3 years so far and it does have that lifetime thing. I won't buy another one if I lose this one.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Ty<br />
      <br />
      Looking for a set of Dimarzio model J's.<br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <br />
      Good Judgement comes from experience,<br />
      Experience comes from bad judgement.<br />
      <br />
      Yep. He's the anti-puss. Bnyswonger<br />
      I vote for you having the best avatar! STFF</div>

      Comment


      • #4
        Very good!

        I have purchased the last dozen or so mic cables, the last four instrument cables, the last several patch cables, and the last several speaker cables from Mark at Audiopile. Very good quality for little money. I have also purchased one of his mixer/power amps and at least eight microphones and stands from him for the school. Every piece I have bought from him still works (some going on three years).
        <div class="signaturecontainer">I'm keeping in mind that that another term for scoring a lug song to sheet music is &quot;staff infection&quot;.............<br />
        the artist formerly known as DRF</div>

        Comment


        • #5
          The comments in this post are solely my own and are based on my observations only. Others that were present may see things differently.

          We chose to take the least expensive cable in the test (15' Whirlwind Leader - ~$15) and put it up against the most expensive (12' van den Hul Integration Hybrid - ~$180) to begin with.

          T. Alan was the designated player using his MarkBass/Bergantino combo. I was the initial cable switcher. Kindness relieved me after numerous cable changes.

          We did an A/B/X test. Listeners were told what Cable A was. A bassline was played. Listeners were told what Cable B was. The same bassline was played. I then randomly swapped the cables and asked those present if Cable X was Cable A or Cable B when the bassline was repeated for a third time. We did five plus iterations with only one person being able to tell the difference with better than guessing (50%) accuracy. That person was Sarabella. She was perfect all day. When asked which cable she preferred out of the Whirlwind and the van den Hul, her choice was the Whirlwind.

          T. Alan thought he could tell the difference, but when having to choose blind could not tell the difference.

          We tried the speaker cables as well. We only tested two while I was there: 18" Cardas Crosslink and an 18" EWI. I'm not sure of the cost difference since neither Lavaman's site nor Audiopile's site list the prices for an 18" cable. The shortest Crosslink cable on the Lavaman site is ~$33 for 1 foot. Audiopile's site lists a 5ft for $12.50. The consensus was that there was no difference between the cables.

          There was some other testing of cables while I was there (including the Zaolla, the Tweed Lava, EWI, and Bayou), but I heard no difference from any of them. To me, quality of construction, price, and cable flexibility are the important factors for me as I heard no audible difference between any of these cables.

          I wanted to hear a difference but just didn't. I wasn't certain about the "snake oil" comments that I read in the other thread here. I'm certain now. Having heard the cables, I'll give my money to Bayou, Audiopile and even the "cheap" lifetime warranty Monster cables (S-100 I think they're called). The van den Hul was way too stuff for me and would drive me crazy on stage.

          If folks want to drop $100 - $200 for instrument cables, that's their business. I think most people that spend that kind of money hear differences because they think they should. If they did an A/B/X test, my guess is that they couldn't tell the difference.

          Many thanks to Lavaman, Bayou, Audiopile, Burdizzos and others for supplying the cables. I give Lavaman much credit for putting his money where his mouth is. While I now don't agree that there's a difference in sound quality, I give him credit for sending us the cables to test. Kindness will be sending your cables back to you.


          Thanks for your test. I will tell you though, that this is first time that I have sent multiple cables to anyone and they have not heard a difference, so I question your testing methods and bias prior to testing (you were all clearly biased against hearing a difference and your results are no surprise to me). As I have had a an informal loaner program for a couple of years now and have sent sets of of 3-5 cables to numerous guitarists and bass players and they ALWAYS had a preference and returned the cable they did not like as much...

          But there's a reason why I offer commodity cables such as Canare, Mogami, and Gepco at low prices was well...

          And there's a reason why the Bass Player of the Black Crowes is using my Lava ELC Tweed cable....
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Lava Man<br />
          <a href="http://www.lavacable.com" target="_blank">Lava Cable</a> <br />
          Your One-Stop High End Custom Cable Shop<br />
          <br />
          </div>

          Comment


          • #6
            so I question your testing methods and bias prior to testing (you were all clearly biased against hearing a difference and your results are no surprise to me).


            What about the testing methods do you question exactly?

            Also, DO NOT assume you know what my thoughts were before we tested because you have NO IDEA. You're speculating at best.

            We were nothing but fair with the cables that were tested.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

            Comment


            • #7
              We had a good group today. It was nice to meet little Maggie and see her parents, SA Rios and MrsSvi again. We also had bpocall, Brother Mango, catphish, citizenralph, rummy, sarabella, T. Alan Smith and his wife. It was a nice day, thanks to everyone for coming.

              As far as the tests, Tbroom does a good job describing what we did. I heard no differences. I mean, even when I thought I could figure out which was which, I always got it wrong. Comically wrong. T. Alan thought he heard differences, but couldn't identify the cables when asked blindly. I'll let the other guys give their impressions, but other than sarabella, no one was able to correctly identify the cables blindly and I don't believe anyone other than T. Alan thought there were differences. T. Alan was really good at describing the differences he heard in sighted tests, but once he was asked blindly, he couldn't pick out which cable was which.

              Are there differences? Maybe or else sarabella is the world's luckiest guesser. If you ask me, I wouldn't bet a nickel on being able to correctly identify a cable by sound. I hope sarabella jumps on to give her impressions as well though. It was interesting to note that between any of the pairs of cables tested, she always liked the cheaper of the two, Whirlwind and Bayou cables being the the ones I remember her stating a preference for.

              After seeing and hearing and using and playing all of the cables with my rigs, with other people's rigs, hearing other people play through their rigs, the only thing that matters to me is the construction of the cable. My personal preference was the Canare cable provided by Butch. However, other than some of the really stiff and heavy gauge cables provided by LavaMan, any of the cables we used today could be a permanent part of my rig. Let me also say I absolutely love the look of the tweed cable LavaMan sent. Love it.

              Thanks to everyone for coming, thanks to everyone that supplied cables, thanks for everyone reading along and taking interest in our testing.
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2445028" target="_blank">HCBF Amp Build: Kindness's Links</a><br />
              <br />
              More about me:<br />
              <a href="http://www.richardspatentlaw.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Patent Attorney</a></font></div>

              Comment


              • #8
                And there's a reason why the Bass Player of the Black Crowes is using my Lava ELC Tweed cable....


                I'll tell you why I'd use it, it's dead sexy.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2445028" target="_blank">HCBF Amp Build: Kindness's Links</a><br />
                <br />
                More about me:<br />
                <a href="http://www.richardspatentlaw.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Patent Attorney</a></font></div>

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll tell you why I'd use it, it's dead sexy.


                  I agree; however, it doesn't sound any different than the cable from Bayou or Audiopile.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I question your testing methods and bias prior to testing (you were all clearly biased against hearing a difference and your results are no surprise to me).


                    Our testing methods were rock solid.

                    Bias is bias and it exists in everyone that was there today. I know I was biased towards not hearing differences and my biases were supported. I know others were biased the other direction and even thought they were hearing differences, but their biases were not supported. Even when he failed to correctly identify cables blindly, T. Alan still talked about them as being different. That's a real strong bias towards hearing differences. I don't know what sarabella thought coming in, but she heard a difference and correctly identified every single cable. I can't argue with that. It confuses the hell out of me and if she is good natured enough to put up with some more testing, I'd love to replicate the test and watch her do it again. It is amazing to me based on what I was and wasn't hearing. However, I have given sarabella a number of lessons and I can confirm her ear for pitch is incredible, well developed beyond her experience. It wouldn't surprise me if she hears things most people don't.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2445028" target="_blank">HCBF Amp Build: Kindness's Links</a><br />
                    <br />
                    More about me:<br />
                    <a href="http://www.richardspatentlaw.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Patent Attorney</a></font></div>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe a double-blind test next time?
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">I'm keeping in mind that that another term for scoring a lug song to sheet music is &quot;staff infection&quot;.............<br />
                      the artist formerly known as DRF</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe a double-blind test next time?


                        Maybe.

                        If you can't tell in an A/B/X test, I'm not sure how a double-blind test will improve upon the results though.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As I have had a an informal loaner program for a couple of years now and have sent sets of of 3-5 cables to numerous guitarists and bass players and they ALWAYS had a preference and returned the cable they did not like as much...


                          I'm sure they do always have a preference as they likely feel they have to. I'm not so sure they'd choose the more expensive cables if they participated in a test such as we did today.

                          I think folks hear a difference because they think they should. It's much like wine-tasting (as was pointed out after the testing today). Folks tend to think that more expensive wines should taste better when in fact they may not. Our wallet tells us different though.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All I remember is that I liked the VHD? VDH? the best.

                            Good times as always! I was hoping to see Oz in a kilt.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="0">Daaaaa Bearrrrrssssss </font> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" /></div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lavaman...would you be opposed to us forwarding your cables to another group of forumites (provided such a group exists). We'd send the Whirlwind Leader, the EWI and the Bayou as well. They can conduct their own testing and see if they get similar or different results.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font color="Black"><font size="1"><a href="http://www.yardfullacars.com/" target="_blank">I used to play with</a> | <a href="http://www.katiequick.com/" target="_blank">I occasionally play with</a></font></font></b><br ><br><br ><br><font size="1"><br ><br><u>My Main Gigging Gear:</u><br ><br>Musicman Dargie Delight 5HS Bongo with rounds<br ><br>G&amp;L L-2500 Tribute with flats<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0 112 combo<br ><br>GenzBenz Shuttle 9.0 &amp; GenzBenz Neo 212T<br ><br>Peterson Strobostomp<br ><br>Sennheiser EW172 Wireless</font></div>

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