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steve u

Power Cables a "blind" test

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24 minutes ago, steve u said:

My abbreviated results were 1 and 3 were the same cable and 2 was the other cable. 

I may have missed something here . 

How you scored the cables would suggest this to you but what cable was actually first ,second and third?

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3 minutes ago, EV Cali said:

I may have missed something here . 

How you scored the cables would suggest this to you but what cable was actually first ,second and third?

I think you have to send off a donation to SNA before the results can be sent to you. :) 

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Well, the results. And let me say, I am trying as hard as I can to be at least objective, if not scientific. And I found it bloody hard work.

But first, I learnt a bit from this first foray of only 2 cables and have a question about the process and it has to do with settling time of the cable. The assistant chose to leave the cable in place for one change, but removed it from the CD player and then put it back in. So it was the same cable, but pulled out and pushed back in.

 

Which is a hint for the results.

Change 1 was the lorad cable and probably should be noted had the longest time in the setup.

Change 2 was the lorad, it was pulled out and put back in again.

Change 3 was the Odin.

 

I actually wrote more notes about Change 2, than the other 2. I said it seemed a little coagulated or congested and not as resolved as Change 1, even though it was the same cable. And Change 3 with the Odin, I didn't like initially but after 30 minutes, was noting the speed and attack and that it seemed as though the volume had actually increased. But I scored it lower than Change 1, which was the most settled of all the cables.

 

I am going to hone the testing procedure a bit and try some other cables.

So far I have found out this is a time consuming, tough test and my notes about the same cable change dramatically if compared at the 3 minute and 33 minute marks.

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12 minutes ago, steve u said:

I originally was going to try and evaluate 4-5 cables.

The feedback and suggestions from the start of the thread, primarily ZB was to trial "best" cable against "entry level" cable, this was basically decided on price. If I could hear any difference continue on.

The assistant was asked to start with any cable and make changes after 30-40 minutes of playing. I sat there and made notes that only I would probably understand. This was done mainly because I thought it would be difficult to have an objective reference point and that is the problem with this kind of test. My ears are going to focus on things that I might have an issue with.

 

My abbreviated results were 1 and 3 were the same cable and 2 was the other cable. 

 

This took about 2 hours of focused listening and for me, wasn't easy. I wasn't drinking, I was tired and was taking notes.

Hi Steve,

 

That's how I started my "shoot out". I had a music mate swap out between a "standard" cable and a Furutech cable without me knowing which was which. That I easily picked the differences on every occassion (9 swaps between the two cables) allowed me to go into my "shoot out" with full confidence of evaluation. I'm personally happy that I think a few people gained something from my test and hope they do from yours. I've just done a quick comparo between a "standard" cable and the KLEI cable on one of my Phono stages and the differences seem to be even more pronounced than on the CD Player.

 

Can I ask are you using some sort of conditioning? I've found the results are more pronounced through a conditioner than just plugging into the wall.

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I think it should be easy to pick between a standard cord $2-$5 vs an Nordost Odin.

 

In my case I focus on the mid to high frequency, listen out for changes to details of strings being plucked and singer's breath as well as changes to sound stage.

 

If you just focus on one aspect, I'm sure you should will be able to pick it consistently every time.

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41 minutes ago, steve u said:

Well, the results. And let me say, I am trying as hard as I can to be at least objective, if not scientific. And I found it bloody hard work.

But first, I learnt a bit from this first foray of only 2 cables and have a question about the process and it has to do with settling time of the cable. The assistant chose to leave the cable in place for one change, but removed it from the CD player and then put it back in. So it was the same cable, but pulled out and pushed back in.

 

Which is a hint for the results.

Change 1 was the lorad cable and probably should be noted had the longest time in the setup.

Change 2 was the lorad, it was pulled out and put back in again.

Change 3 was the Odin.

 

I actually wrote more notes about Change 2, than the other 2. I said it seemed a little coagulated or congested and not as resolved as Change 1, even though it was the same cable. And Change 3 with the Odin, I didn't like initially but after 30 minutes, was noting the speed and attack and that it seemed as though the volume had actually increased. But I scored it lower than Change 1, which was the most settled of all the cables.

 

I am going to hone the testing procedure a bit and try some other cables.

So far I have found out this is a time consuming, tough test and my notes about the same cable change dramatically if compared at the 3 minute and 33 minute marks.

 

Good stuff Steve, not quite the result you expected.  Of course with such a small sample set the results are less than clear and a number of conclusions could be drawn:  don't change cables cause the sound gets messed up; the Odin sounds better from a fresh plug-in that the Lorad; the Lorad and the Odin sound more or less the same; you may have been thinking that #3 was the same as #1 so expectation bias kicked in and you heard similar things.  Everyone can take something from this I think...just depends on your perspective on the issue.

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1 hour ago, steve u said:

My abbreviated results were 1 and 3 were the same cable and 2 was the other cable. 

Your score 

Change 1 -cable scored well, good resolution, large stage, 53/70

Change 2 -not as good as the first one less resolved, bit more glare, smaller stage 43/70

Change 3 -a little harsh at first, but after 30 minutes attack and decay was improved, almost seemed to be playing louder than other cables, soundstage large 51/70

And the actual results 

Change 1 was the lorad cable and probably should be noted had the longest time in the setup.

Change 2 was the lorad, it was pulled out and put back in again.

Change 3 was the Odin.

 

May suggest you could not actually tell the difference between the cables.Plus it could be noted the cheapest cable scored highest with the shortest time in use.   

Perhaps if you had used a $5 cable and the $1200 Odin and got the same results you could now stop.

 

But as mention this is based on a small sample.

Edited by EV Cali

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23 minutes ago, EV Cali said:

May suggest you could not actually tell the difference between the cables.Plus it could be noted the cheapest cable scored highest with the shortest time in use.   

Perhaps if you had used a $5 cable and the $1200 Odin and got the same results you could now stop.

 

But as mention this is based on a small sample.

 

Here is what I found on the net from 2015, I think it's also in USD.

 

The Odin 2 Power Cord is constructed with seven silver-plated, close tolerance, 14 AWG 99.999999% oxygen free copper conductors. Nordost’s patented Dual Mono-Filament technology creates a virtual air dielectric between the extruded FEP insulation and each individual conductor. Nordost’s TSC technology is then carried throughout the cable and into its purpose-built, 100% shielded, HOLO:PLUG® connector. Odin 2 Power Cords are available with HOLO:PLUG® US (Nema), EU (Schuko), AUS or UK to Odin 2 HOLO:PLUG® IEC-C15 or IEC-C19 terminations. The retail price is $16,999.99 for a 1.25 meter length; additional 1.25 meter increments are $4,999.99.

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5 minutes ago, Soundwise said:

he retail price is $16,999.99 for a 1.25 meter length; additional 1.25 meter increments are $4,999.99.

Thanks for the correct retail price information.

I thought I was quoting the thread starter  "Nordost Odin series 1 $12000- second hand price".

Although I was actually incorrect on that. 

Edited by EV Cali

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What's $2,999.99 between friends?

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35 minutes ago, EV Cali said:

Your score 

Change 1 -cable scored well, good resolution, large stage, 53/70

Change 2 -not as good as the first one less resolved, bit more glare, smaller stage 43/70

Change 3 -a little harsh at first, but after 30 minutes attack and decay was improved, almost seemed to be playing louder than other cables, soundstage large 51/70

And the actual results 

Change 1 was the lorad cable and probably should be noted had the longest time in the setup.

Change 2 was the lorad, it was pulled out and put back in again.

Change 3 was the Odin.

 

May suggest you could not actually tell the difference between the cables.Plus it could be noted the cheapest cable scored highest with the shortest time in use.   

Perhaps if you had used a $5 cable and the $1200 Odin and got the same results you could now stop.

 

But as mention this is based on a small sample.

 

I reckon the test needs to be repeated a few times before anyone can say anything about the results

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2 minutes ago, scumbag said:

What's $2,999.99 between friends?

Actual difference between what I thought I was quoting $1,200 and $16,999.99 is $15,799.99

 

Perhaps we are getting confused as we find it hard to believe  a cable could cost $16,999.99

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5 minutes ago, Soundwise said:

The retail price is $16,999.99 for a 1.25 meter length; additional 1.25 meter increments are $4,999.99.

 

That is completely ludicrous and I would love to know what the margins are on such a product.  I'm thinking well over 1000%. That thought gives me a "I'm in the wrong business" moment, but then I remember that I have integrity and could never be involved in selling such a noxious rip-off.

 

 It will be interesting to see what folks think if/when Steve cannot detect a difference reliably between this cable and the <$200 RK cable, let alone a standard IEC lead. 

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@steve u Great work, so far. However, some suggestions:

 

1) Use a cheap, generic cable, as per my original suggestion, as your control.

2) You need to do A LOT more testing, for the result to be statistically significant. 

3) The fact that you mis-identified one cable should tell you a great deal. That said, you need to do many more tests.

4) Keep it simple. Two cables. One cheap, one expensive. And, by cheap, I mean 5 Bucks. 

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[mention=142611]steve u[/mention] Great work, so far. However, some suggestions:
 
1) Use a cheap, generic cable, as per my original suggestion, as your control.
2) You need to do A LOT more testing, for the result to be statistically significant. 
3) The fact that you mis-identified one cable should tell you a great deal. That said, you need to do many more tests.
4) Keep it simple. Two cables. One cheap, one expensive. And, by cheap, I mean 5 Bucks. 

Yes, this!

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

@steve u Great work, so far. However, some suggestions:

 

1) Use a cheap, generic cable, as per my original suggestion, as your control.

2) You need to do A LOT more testing, for the result to be statistically significant. 

3) The fact that you mis-identified one cable should tell you a great deal. That said, you need to do many more tests.

4) Keep it simple. Two cables. One cheap, one expensive. And, by cheap, I mean 5 Bucks. 

hmmm, I'm not having any fun yet.

But I do intend to do a bit more testing.

Blind tasting wine is a lot more fun that testing cables.

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