A Audio and hi-fi forum. AudioBanter.com

Go Back   Home » AudioBanter.com forum » rec.audio » High End Audio
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 3rd 20, 12:03 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

I was mucking around with interconnects and built a cable with an increased sized return wire. And i thought that this sounded better not worse than a similar cable without such a return wire. What do i mean by better: the sound seemed fuller and had more weight. This affect could be just an increased noise dimension, a genuine improvement or technically no different but just sounds different. Not wishing to accept this on it’s own i searched to find what might be behind the effect and i came across the Eichmann Ratio™ this specifies that the return pin of an RCA plug should be of a larger cross section than the signal pin.

Eichmann states that "The Ratio forces the return conductor to respond rapidly to signals being transmitted through the signal conductor, at the same time providing a balance of reactance between signal and return. This ensures that all frequencies and their harmonics are transmitted in a more perfect state. The result is cleaner signal transfer. Which translates to better sound quality."

The Eichmann explanation might sound at first a bit doublespeak though this in itself does not invalidate the overall idea and of an impact. Eichmann limited their patent to just the interconnect plug connector. But the ideas’ effect on sound, if true, is likely to be so for the interconnect wire architecture as well. That is having a larger diameter return wire compared to the signal wire results in a so called better sound. one commentator on an interconnect cable that implemented a larger diameter return wire design also noted a better performance saying that “... the return signal is critical to the lower frequencies and he entrusts that to his special cable design” (http://6moons.com/audioreviews/johnblue6/jb4_4..html) - and if i’m reading this correctly the special feature design is a three wire return to a single wire signal.

Why? I suppose we need to consider the whole circuit. That is the signal starting from the source travels to the preamp then the power amp then the speakers then starts a return journey back to the source. any discontinuities to the electrical flow; like changes in wire, RCA termination and connections will have an impedance effect and create opportunities for reflections and noise. Reflections happen because of impedance mismatches and will result in noise and are an insertion loss. This is perhaps not so important in the case of the signal wire as the low output resistance dovetails to a higher input resistance on it’s journey between units. however this is not true of the return “back to the source” wire. and as anything that impedes the current loop, including the return, will impact on the whole circuit including the signal. So the return wire, i’m thinking, is more susceptible to reflections. How large these reflection are? i don’t know, but having a larger diameter return wire and larger contacts will lower impedance and hence result in a so called better sound..

Lots of people and manufacturers use coaxial cable as an interconnect cable wire and swear by the lower noise floor of these cables compared to similar grade/length twisted or untwisted versions. The coaxial cable return with it’s greater area compared to the signal wire will have less resistance. And maybe this has an impact on coaxial interconnect performance. The same argument is true for multi braided interconnects as these usually employ a greater number of strands for the return than for the signal.

this is only a hypothesis - or less: a drift in imagination... sandcastles - and i’m not so sure that the arguments stack up. there are other explanations. That is for the signal wire in an interconnect cable you might want to minimise capacitance while for the return wire you might want to minimise resistance or maximise a velocity factor hence a larger diameter of the return wire.

I suppose my real interest here is should having an interconnect return wire with a larger diameter than the signal wire have theoretically a “better” sound, i.e. less noise, than an interconnect cable with wires of equal diameter - all other things being equal? And why?

Further would there be a “theoretical” benefit in having a separate return wire from just one point on each unit fanning out to a central contact point?

Another thought should there be a continuity between interconnect cables and within units with regard to wire material and fabrication between the source, pre and power amps? Would that reduce reflections?
  #2  
Old December 3rd 20, 03:30 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 126
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

First of all, let's make sure that we agree on terms:

With the mention of signal wires and RCA plugs, am I correct in assuming that you mean what are commonly known as "patch cords" - those typically coaxial cables between one component and another carrying low-level audio information - that is *not* speaker wires? If that is the case, then the condition of the "return" wire being some multiple of the "signal" wire is already accomplished. Typically, the "shield" (return) wire is multi-strand surrounding the signal wire with a significantly larger cross-sectional area in the aggregate. That is the point of departure.

Wire material: Things to consider:
Silver is a better conductor than copper, and its oxides and sulphates are also typically conductive.
Copper is a better conductor than gold, and its oxides and sulphates are also typically conductive.
Gold is a relatively poor conductor of electricity as compared to the above.. Its few virtues are heat resistance and resistance to oxidation.
At audio frequencies and at typical distances between components - say 4hz -40khz and 2 meters - the brute fact of the matter is that all other things being equal - connector quality, build quality, adequate gauge - mild steel and/or aluminum would behave indistinguishably from any of the above.

What really matters: Things to consider:
It is current that matters. The typical patch-cord from an active pre-amp of modern design may carry as much as twenty (20) Volts at some small fraction of an amp, and unless something is very wrong, always AC. So, not many electrons (amps), but those few are moving REALLY fast at higher frequencies.. BUT!! Consider water in a pipe. When one adds water at the one end, it is not the same water that comes out at the other end. And if that water is changing directions 20,000 times a second, those electrons involved are not really going anywhere, but they are doing it really quickly. So, the limiting factor *must* be the size of the conductor (pipe). So why "conductor" and "return"? Here is where the weasel enters to confuse the gullible. On a patch cord, it ain't nohow a "return". It is a SHIELD. Its purpose is to avoid/protect against/shield from extraneous rF & aF signals as may be floating around that may cause distortion if induced into the signal via the patch-cord. Remember - SHIELD. This is most often stray AC voltages from unshielded components and 'hash' on AC lines from such things as dimmer switches and so forth. And by convention, the shield becomes the common/ground within the entire system. Much as the NEUTRAL becomes the common/ground (eventually). But all of this is convention that flies in the face of physics. Because, if one thinks about it, current always flows from the Negative (more electrons) to the Positive (fewer electrons). We think of the Brits as backward as (some of) their vehicles were based on a + Ground. Which for DC current, is actually the true way of it in terms of current flow. There are peripheral considerations that are both real and important. Cable capacitance will affect very-low-voltage sources such as phono cartridges, tape-head leads and so forth.

Bottom Line:
The proper function of any interconnect will be based primarily on purpose, current requirements, length and materials used. Secondarily, on build-quality. Cutting to the chase, rather crudely, standard coat-hanger wire would be more than adequate for speaker wire over a short distance and if properly terminated. Silver plated Oxygen-free copper wire rolled on the thighs of virgins on Walpurgis Night might be nice, but there will be no improvements attached thereto other than a lightening of the wallet and the spirits of the vendor.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #3  
Old December 8th 20, 03:42 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Dick Pierce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

On Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 9:47:46 AM UTC-5, Peter Wieck wrote:
> The typical patch-cord from an active pre-amp of modern design may carry as much as
> twenty (20) Volts at some small fraction of an amp, and unless something is very wrong,
> always AC. So, not many electrons (amps), but those few are moving REALLY fast at higher
> frequencies.


Uh, no, they are not. The movement of the electrons themselves are described by their
"drift velocity", which is dependent upon the conductor material, the cross-section of
the conductor, and the current it is being asked to carry. Frequency plays no role.

Let's take an example: consider a small signal wire, say 24 AWG with a diameter of about
0.5 mm. Let's say it's being asked to carry 0.001 amp (one milliamp, which is HUGE for
a preamp interconnect: your unrealistic example of 20 volts into, say, a 100 k load would
be on the order of 0.0002 amps., but let's go with 1 mA).

The resulting electron drift velocity would be, what?

1000m/s? Nope.

100m/s? No way.

10m/s? Way too much.

Try 0.13 cm/hour. 0.00000082 miles per hour.

Independent of frequency.

Dick Pierce
  #4  
Old December 10th 20, 11:33 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Dick Pierce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

On Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 9:47:46 AM UTC-5, Peter Wieck wrote:
> First of all, let's make sure that we agree on terms:


And, just fo laughs, physical reality...

> It is current that matters.


Well, it is the signal that matters...

> The typical patch-cord from an active pre-amp of modern design may carry
> as much as twenty (20) Volts


really?

REALLY?

Given that the vast majority of power amps have their gain set so that something
like 2 volts result in full power, a voltage of 20 volts would result in the amplifier
attempting (but failing rather miserably) at outputting 100 times its rated power.

So, let's consider the 20 volt numberf to be possibly true but completely irrelevant,
to paraphrase the lawyers.

> at some small fraction of an amp,


Okay, so assume the amp has a 50 kOhm input impedance, and assuming our true
AND relevant voltage of 2 volts, that works out to:

I = E/R

I = 2.0 volts / 50kOhms

I = 0.00004 amperes

or 40 micro amps (a more realistic figure than I cam up with elsewhere.

> So, not many electrons (amps),


Well, since we're piling on, let's, just for entertainment, see how many electrons
that is.

One Ampere is the same as one Coulomb per second.

An electron has a charge of 1.602 x 10^-17 Coulombs.

Thus, a continuous flowing current of 1 Ampere means there are 1.602 x 00^17
electrons (or, more precisely, the equivalent of 1.602 x 10^17) passing a point
each second. That's 6.4 x 10^12 electrons pass a point each second. But, to be
fair, the current is not continuous. So let's assume that we're looking at a small
interval of time, say 1 millisecond. We're down to 6.4 x 10^9 electrons in that
brief interval of time.

Yeah, 6,408,000,000, not a "lot" of electrons. And, in fact, all of them that (virtually)
got sent that way (or ones that are indistiguishable), they's comin' back son anyway.

The poont of this reductio ad absurdum is to show that for the domain of our
problem set (sending audio down a wire), moving electrons is, again as the lawyers
are wont to say, true but irrelevant: it's the aggregate movement of lots of charges,
jiggling about in a not-entirely-random fashion that results in the actual audio
"signal" being sent down the wire.

And when it comes to making our preamp drive our power amp and thence the
speakers, it's not them true but irrelevant electrons that we care about, it's the signal.
Consider, for example, making your cables out of paladium, raise the temperature
to about 300C, and embed it in a hyrdowen atmosphere. At that point, those wires
would work just as well, but instead of electrons being the mobile charges wondering
around a metallic crystal lattice, it would be protons the protons as the mobile
charges wandering around a mettalic crystal lattice.

As to the assertions suggested in the original post of this thread, one of the more
laughable and entertaining collection of pseudo-techno gobbledygook seen in
quite some time.

Dick Pierce
  #5  
Old December 11th 20, 01:29 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 126
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

The Dynaco PAT-5 biFet makes 15V @ 50MA +/- 5%
There is an Aktika (sp?) pre-amp that makes 20V @ 50MA +/- 5%
And there is a mod for the PAT-5 to get it to 42V @ 20MA +/- 5%

The reasoning for those superficially absurd voltages is headroom. And that is a long, difficult, and very nearly futile discussion mostly based on revealed religion.

And, that is AC voltage. Not DC - so those electrons are flying back and forth at whatever the audio frequency might be. Not departing for parts-unknown and in only one direction.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #6  
Old December 12th 20, 12:06 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Trevor Wilson[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 134
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter aFactor?

On 11/12/2020 11:29 pm, Peter Wieck wrote:
> The Dynaco PAT-5 biFet makes 15V @ 50MA +/- 5%


**Umm, not quite. The specs for the LF357 indicates significantly lower
numbers than that. At 25 degrees C:

* Maximum output Voltage (god, I forgot just how primitive that old
things was - zener regulation!?), with a +/- 15 Volt supply - 25 Volts
p-p = 8.8 Volts RMS (theoretically).
* Maximum output current @ 25 V p-p (dunno what the value of the output
series resistor is, as that will change the final figure somewhat) - +ve
20ma and (wait for it) -ve 5ma.

> There is an Aktika (sp?) pre-amp that makes 20V @ 50MA +/- 5%
> And there is a mod for the PAT-5 to get it to 42V @ 20MA +/- 5%
>
> The reasoning for those superficially absurd voltages is headroom. And that is a long, difficult, and very nearly futile discussion mostly based on revealed religion.


**Well, once the input Voltage limits of the power amp are exceeded,
it's all over red rover.

>
> And, that is AC voltage. Not DC - so those electrons are flying back and forth at whatever the audio frequency might be. Not departing for parts-unknown and in only one direction.


**Of course.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

  #7  
Old December 12th 20, 03:26 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Dick Pierce
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 33
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

On Friday, December 11, 2020 at 10:19:54 AM UTC-5, Peter Wieck wrote:
> The Dynaco PAT-5 biFet makes 15V @ 50MA +/- 5%


How is that relevant to the domaine?

> There is an Aktika (sp?) pre-amp that makes 20V @ 50MA +/- 5%


How is that relevant to the domain?

> And there is a mod for the PAT-5 to get it to 42V @ 20MA +/- 5%


How is that relevant to the domain?

> The reasoning for those superficially absurd voltages is headroom.


And that reasoning is itself provably absurd.

> And that is a long, difficult, and very nearly futile discussion mostly
> based on revealed religion.


Sir, it is you spouting religion and absurdity.

Let's go, once again, to the issue of what follows the preamp: a power amp.
Since these preamp do NOT have balanced outputs, we can safely assume
that they are intended for power amps with unbalanced inputs.

And what is the input voltage for these amps required to drive them to
full rated power? Well, it ranges from 0.5V to 2.0V RMS.

So, REGARDLESS of the headroom of the preamp, what is the result of
driving a power amp whose input sensitivity is, say, 2.0V when driven by
20V?

(Subtle hint: the power amp will be driven FAR into clipping).

Can you guess what the result will be?

Do you need another hint?

Let's be generous and assume the amp is very conservatively spec'ed and can
put out TWICE its rated power (and let's, in fact, NOT deal with revealed religion,
like "headroom", let's deal with physicqal facts, like the MAXIMUM instantaneous
output power of an amp is limited by the unloaded rail voltage minus the voltage
drop of the output devices. That's it, regardless of which religion you buy into,
THAT is the limit. Doesn't matter HOW the power supply is design, doesn't matter
if the PS has bazillion microfarad caps in it: what's the maximum rail voltage?
THAT's what defines the maximum output power. Period.

Let's say we got ourselves a power amp nominally ratede at 200 watts continuous
into 8 ohms, that's 40 VRMS, meaning the nominal rail voltage is in the realm of
+-60V. Let's just pretend and say it's +-75V and ther are ginormous capacitors sitting
in it.

And lets say that an input voltage of 2.0V is required to get the amp to put out 200
watts continuous into 8 ohms. At that point, the amp is swinging +-56V peak.

And since our rails are limited, in our example above, to +-75 volts, putting ANY
more than 2.5V into the amp will result in clipping: that +-75 volts DEFINES
the headroom of the power amp under ALL conditions.

Now, stuff in your 20V from your magic preamp. That means the amp will be asked
to swing +-560V peak. And where is that +-560 volts supposed to come from?

Expain to me, now, how that 20V output voltage is in any way relevant to the
domain at hand?

Given the choice between YOUR revealed religion of "headroom" and "20V
preamps) and the like vs physical reality, what do you think my choice would
be?

Need a hint?

> And, that is AC voltage. Not DC - so those electrons are flying back and forth


No, they are NOT "flying back and forth": they are imperceptively jigging about
with a small net movement in one direction than another, with an average net
velocity measured in some small fraction of centimeters per hour.

Dick Pierce
  #8  
Old December 4th 20, 10:48 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Trevor Wilson[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 134
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter aFactor?

On 3/12/2020 10:03 pm, wrote:
> Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?


**Not in the slightest. Impedance levels at line levels are such that
resistance is not an issue.

>
> I was mucking around with interconnects and built a cable with an increased sized return wire. And i thought that this sounded better not worse than a similar cable without such a return wire.


**Humans are VERY easily fooled. You need to perform a proper double
blind test to verify. When you do, you will find that there is no
difference. Assuming, of course, that connectors are clean and tight.


What do i mean by better: the sound seemed fuller and had more weight.
This affect could be just an increased noise dimension, a genuine
improvement or technically no different but just sounds different. Not
wishing to accept this on it’s own i searched to find what might be
behind the effect and i came across the Eichmann Ratio™ this specifies
that the return pin of an RCA plug should be of a larger cross section
than the signal pin.
>
> Eichmann states that "The Ratio forces the return conductor to respond rapidly to signals being transmitted through the signal conductor, at the same time providing a balance of reactance between signal and return. This ensures that all frequencies and their harmonics are transmitted in a more perfect state. The result is cleaner signal transfer. Which translates to better sound quality."


**Yeah, that's complete gobbledegook. Ignore it.

>
> The Eichmann explanation might sound at first a bit doublespeak though this in itself does not invalidate the overall idea and of an impact. Eichmann limited their patent to just the interconnect plug connector. But the ideas’ effect on sound, if true, is likely to be so for the interconnect wire architecture as well. That is having a larger diameter return wire compared to the signal wire results in a so called better sound. one commentator on an interconnect cable that implemented a larger diameter return wire design also noted a better performance saying that “... the return signal is critical to the lower frequencies and he entrusts that to his special cable design” (http://6moons.com/audioreviews/johnblue6/jb4_4.html) - and if i’m reading this correctly the special feature design is a three wire return to a single wire signal.
>
> Why? I suppose we need to consider the whole circuit. That is the signal starting from the source travels to the preamp then the power amp then the speakers then starts a return journey back to the source.


**BZZZTTT! Nope. That is not how an ALTERNATING signal works. Plus, the
whole thing operates at close to c (the speed of light).


any discontinuities to the electrical flow; like changes in wire, RCA
termination and connections will have an impedance effect and create
opportunities for reflections and noise.

**Well, yes, noise can be a problem with poor quality terminations.

Reflections happen because of impedance mismatches and will result in
noise and are an insertion loss.

**No. For all practical length audio cables (say: <1km) reflections are
simply not an issue. Impedance mismatches are not an issue in practical
systems, where source output Z < 100 Ohms.


This is perhaps not so important in the case of the signal wire as the
low output resistance dovetails to a higher input resistance on it’s
journey between units.

**Which is the case with all sensibly designed systems. It is a trivial
exercise to design a source impedance of <10 Ohms.

however this is not true of the return “back to the source” wire. and
as anything that impedes the current loop, including the return, will
impact on the whole circuit including the signal. So the return wire,
i’m thinking, is more susceptible to reflections. How large these
reflection are? i don’t know, but having a larger diameter return wire
and larger contacts will lower impedance and hence result in a so called
better sound.

**There are no reflections. It is an AC signal.

>
> Lots of people and manufacturers use coaxial cable as an interconnect cable wire and swear by the lower noise floor of these cables compared to similar grade/length twisted or untwisted versions. The coaxial cable return with it’s greater area compared to the signal wire will have less resistance. And maybe this has an impact on coaxial interconnect performance. The same argument is true for multi braided interconnects as these usually employ a greater number of strands for the return than for the signal.
>
> this is only a hypothesis - or less: a drift in imagination... sandcastles - and i’m not so sure that the arguments stack up. there are other explanations. That is for the signal wire in an interconnect cable you might want to minimise capacitance while for the return wire you might want to minimise resistance or maximise a velocity factor hence a larger diameter of the return wire.


**Velocity factor is largely determined by the insulation material, not
the size of the conductors.

>
> I suppose my real interest here is should having an interconnect return wire with a larger diameter than the signal wire have theoretically a “better” sound, i.e. less noise, than an interconnect cable with wires of equal diameter - all other things being equal? And why?
>
> Further would there be a “theoretical” benefit in having a separate return wire from just one point on each unit fanning out to a central contact point?


**No.

>
> Another thought should there be a continuity between interconnect cables and within units with regard to wire material and fabrication between the source, pre and power amps? Would that reduce reflections?
>


**What reflections? There are none to start with. Most cables are less
than 3 Metres. Even with cables of 1,000 Metres or so, there will be no
reflections of significance.

Audio is really easy. You need to worry about these sorts of things at
very high radio frequencies.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

  #9  
Old December 6th 20, 01:59 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 126
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diameter a Factor?

Electricity in a wire, AC or DC, moves much faster than the "speed of light" - which is defined by its speed in a vacuum. Pop an electron into the system at one end, and that instant, one pops out at the other. The water that one puts in a pipe is not the same water that comes out the other end (unless the pipe was empty initially - not possible with electrons in a wire). With AC current, it is entirely possible that no individual electron makes it down the entire length of the wire.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #10  
Old December 6th 20, 04:23 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
-dsr-
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14
Default Audio Interconnect cable Performance - is Return Wire Diametera Factor?

On 2020-12-06, Peter Wieck > wrote:
> Electricity in a wire, AC or DC, moves much faster than the "speed of light" - which is defined by its speed in a vacuum. Pop an electron into the system at one end, and that instant, one pops out at the other. The water that one puts in a pipe is not the same water that comes out the other end (unless the pipe was empty initially - not possible with electrons in a wire). With AC current, it is entirely possible that no individual electron makes it down the entire length of the wire.
>


I'm sorry, the first two statements are not true.

'c', the speed of light in a vacuum, is the speed limit for this universe,
and is only reached by massless particles such as photons. No signalling
happens faster than that.

Electrons have mass.

The signal velocity of photons in vacuum is 1.0 (* c).

The signal velocity of photons in most fiber optic cables is around 0.67.

The signal velocity of electricity in cables varies by the composition of
the cable and how it is made, but is typically between 0.58 and 0.78.

Peter is correct that the electrons or water you get out of one end of a pipe
are not the same electrons or water you put in. In a conductive metal, the
electrons are freely shared between neighboring atoms, and applying a voltage
at one end of a wire causes the electrons to jostle each other right on down
the line.

Wikipedia's article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_electricity
is pretty well written.

-dsr-
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FA: Monster Cable Interconnect 250 audio cables - Marketplace 0 November 10th 03 11:01 PM
FA: Monster Cable Interconnect 250 audio cables - Marketplace 0 November 10th 03 11:01 PM
FA: Monster Cable 300 Interconnect audio cables - Marketplace 0 November 10th 03 07:39 PM
FA: Monster Cable 300 Interconnect audio cables - Marketplace 0 November 10th 03 07:39 PM
FA: Monster Interconnect 250 audio cable 1.5m - Marketplace 0 July 2nd 03 02:14 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 AudioBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.