HUGE cable test - with measurements

Hey Folks,

I didn’t want you to miss the upcoming “HUGE cable test” over at what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite sites, Alpha-Audio:

I’ll definitely be following this one with interest… :popcorn:

Me too. It has made me recall the last comparative test with measurements I read. I think it was in the German “Stereo” magazine. Fewer cables than this Alpha-Audio one but one thing I do remember was the conclusion that they could find no consistent correlation between any measured factor and the resulting subjective sound.

It is going to be fascinating to see what Alpha-Audio discover.

Do you remember what they measured? Was it just LCR or did they go deeper?


It was a few years ago and I don’t think my memory at that level of detail is too reliable. However I think that there was some kind of impulse factor tested. However the kind of information in the new Alpha - Audio video that you kindly posted a link to may be more sophisticated. I am really looking forward to the result of this.

One thing that does strike me is that many cable constructors are concerned with the geometry of the cable. How this affects any electrical characteristics and to what extent remains to be seen. I believe ( I am not a technician) that Faraday’s proof that a conductor shows that it has electrical characteristics of Inductance, capacitance and resistance may be less easily applied to a cable which is a device that contains at least one conductor plus other elements. Can the properties of each simply be lumped together? Just a thought :slightly_smiling_face:.

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I think you are confusing self capacitance and mutual capacitance Pete. A given material (e.g. an individual conductor) has self capacitance which is a property of the material. As almost all audio cables are made of copper, silver, or some mixture of the two the self capacitance of the conductors in most audio cables shouldn’t vary too widely.

What you are describing is mutual capacitance, which is the capacitance between two conductors. This is dependent on a bunch of factors, but primarily the surface area of the conductors and the distance between them which is clearly related to the cable geometry, and to a smaller degree to the permittivity of the dielectric separating them which is related to cable construction.

Bottom line, to the degree capacitance is actually a significant determinant of sound quality in a cable, it likely that the cable geometry has a much greater effect than the conductor material. Hopefully the Alpha-Audio tests will she some light on this!

Thanks for your help. Actually I was thinking more along the lines of dialectric absorption as capacitance and the discarge of stored charge. But I am vulnerable not being a technician in any sense.

Wow… this will be fun. Just love trying out new cables and hearing the differences.
Double batch of popcorn at ready for this one. Bring on the reactance!

A massive lift to measure and subjectively listen to 70+ cables! I can imagine that after cable number 43 they all start to sound the same.

They won‘t only be listening, they will also be looking.

First part of this test has now been published.

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And now the second part:


Alpha has just added a follow-up on the effects of insulation and shielding:

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