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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby baekgaard » 16 Jul 2020, 15:37

JohnT wrote:
baekgaard wrote:I don't think that is a proper test.

There will potentially be minute difference in the note onset caused by differences in the midi timing and maybe also in the response from the keyboard. Effects like chorus etc will also sound different, as they run independently of the notes. You need this to be repeatable to one sample, i.e. around 20 us.

So my guess is you will hear phasing errors also if you do the experiment suggested with the same high quality cable both times ...

It will be better then to record the exact same signal at the same time via two cables and then carefully balance out the levels after switching phase on one. A splitter would work at the instrument end, or maybe play in mono using both outputs but avoiding stereo effects...

Would be interesting to hear an example if you tried this yourself?

Sent from my phone in brevity


The test should not include effects which are not in the original sample. No reverb, chorus, tremolo, phasing, leslie, just a clean simple pattern, not an entire opus.
Before you "think" this is not a proper test. You should try it yourself. It was enough to convince me I was loosing frequencies.
Most of my Nord use is in the studio so it mattered to me.

The bottom line is if you are going to spend $3000 on your board, you don't have to buy Mogami, just don't buy the cheapest cables. There IS a difference.
I don't have any cheap cables to test with, so I cannot do what you suggest. That's why I asked if you could share your recordings for us to compare?

Sent from my phone in brevity
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3


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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby Mr_-G- » 16 Jul 2020, 19:15

I find this is an interesting discussion. Please take what follows in a friendly discussion sort of way. I think it is very difficult to find the truth in this problem.

Being picky about it, no, I do not think it was a proper test. Even if the recordings were done simultaneously in 2 channels from the 2 cables so no difference is due to MIDI timing.

Issue #1. Recorded differences can be due to a variety of factors that do not seem to have been considered: attenuation at the connectors, channel level at the recorder end, preamp difference at the audio interface, cable length, channel leakage, etc.

Issue #2. Finding a statistical difference means just that: they are different, not that one is better than the other. In the reported test n=1 so one cannot make any statistical claims. To claim that one cable is "better", one needs a more precise definition of what is the test trying to describe as better and what is the "ideal" (for example, how close one gets to the "ideal" cable).

Issue #3. It is unclear what one is testing. "Expensive cable" vs a "cheap cable" are not categories that lead to meaningful generalisations. At the moment the independent variable is "price". It would be silly for me to assume that if I resell the expensive cable at a lower price it somehow changes quality. Therefore price cannot be a good indicator of quality. It might be a consequence of it, but that has to proved. Sure many things might matter: copper purity, insulator quality, pattern of the shield, double insulation, etc. Obviously good products tend to cost more to design or to produce, ending up more expensive, but I am not convinced that the opposite necessarily follows. Remember the ridiculous prices of HDMI cables?

Issue #4. (I think this is more pertinent for the current discussion and related to #2) A 'statistical difference' does not imply a significant 'perceptual difference' either. Those two are very different things. It was mentioned that some might not notice the difference, but the argument was about the result of the phase inverted mix, not the sound itself. So we still do not know if it makes a perceptual difference.
One would need to test cohort of individuals in a double-blind manner. And if the individuals notice a difference, then one has a further question that has been already assumed here, but I am not convinced it necessarily holds: which one do they prefer?

So I do not think we are anywhere near knowing if it is worth spending that kind of money in a cable.
In a way, I would not buy the expensive one, so I can save to buy this other cable :facepalm: :
https://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-NRG-T ... 0006DPOM0/
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby JayDee » 16 Jul 2020, 20:12

To me, Fieldflower hit it on the nose about capacitance being audible in passive instruments (guitar etc) and not being as critical in a active instrument like a keyboard. Buy a good, but not really expensive cables, bottom line. Maybe your German Shepard could hear a difference between $100 per cable V. $40 one, you likely won't.
Last edited by JayDee on 16 Jul 2020, 20:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby JohnT » 16 Jul 2020, 23:55

baekgaard wrote:I don't have any cheap cables to test with, so I cannot do what you suggest. That's why I asked if you could share your recordings for us to compare?

Sent from my phone in brevity



I did it 12 years ago when I was redoing my studio. I'll look for that project.
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby JohnT » 16 Jul 2020, 23:57

JayDee wrote:To me, Fieldflower hit it on the nose about capacitance being audible in passive instruments (guitar etc) and not being as critical in a active instrument like a keyboard. Buy a good, but not really expensive cables, bottom line. Maybe your German Shepard could hear a difference between $100 per cable V. $40 one, you likely won't.


The cables I linked to are $100 for a stereo pair. $50 a piece. Monsters are just a few bucks cheaper.
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby JohnT » 17 Jul 2020, 03:34

I'll "play", Mr. G in the spirit of active dialog. Please don't take anything I say as insulting, condescending, or argumentative. We're just having a discussion.

Issue #1 The same keyboard, cable length, interface, channel, and DAW. Created a track, set levels, cloned track. No differences anywhere in the signal chain EXCEPT the cables.

Issue #2 Not looking for a "statistical difference". When comparing the summed phase shifted tracks there is still audio coming through. Although EXTREMELY out of phase. Mostly just overtones/harmonics. Those are the frequencies lost with the inferior cable.

Issue #3 " "Expensive cable" vs a "cheap cable" are not categories that lead to meaningful generalisations" All of us that have been in audio know exactly what is meant by "Expensive/Cheap" cables. You will not get any type of quality cable (not just audio), for less than 60 cents a foot plus ends. Copper is not cheap. Ridiculous HDMI cable prices were a factor of the newness, unbalanced cables have been here for, oh, I don't know 80-90 years now.

Issue #4 I made it clear no one could tell the difference in a live performance setting. When I record, I want minimal to no signal loss. I want the best sounding board, that's why I have a Nord and a Kurzweil. Why would I scrimp on the cables?

"Quality" cables will cost $3-$5 a foot for the wire alone. So paying $100 for a pair of 10' unbalanced cables with high quality connectors is not unreasonable. IMHO
Hey, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby cgrafx » 17 Jul 2020, 06:09

Quality cable doesn't cost $3-$5/ft for the cable, the most expensive cable is just barely over $1.00/ft and thats not in bulk.

Instrument Cable
----------------------------
Mogami W2524 $0.84/ft
Mogami W2319 $0.49/ft
Mogami W2314 Miniature Instrument Cable $0.39/ft
Gepco XB20UB Dual Shield Instrument Cable $1.09/ft
Canare GS-4 $0.48/ft
Canare GS-6 $0.84/ft

Mic cable but can also be used for instrument cable
----------------------------
Mogami W2534 Standard Quad Mic Cable $1.12/ft
Canare L-4E6S Quad mic Cable $0.50/ft

Connectors
----------------------------
Amphenol ACPM-GB-AU (Cable Mount Male TS, Black/Gold) $2.28/ea
Neutrik NP2C-B (Cable Mount Male TS, Black/Gold) $4.11/ea

So the component cost for a quality low capacitance 10ft instrument cable is about $12-$20 depending on the specific cable and connectors.

Could easily be well under $10 if your buying bulk cable and connectors.
Last edited by cgrafx on 17 Jul 2020, 06:11, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Stereo cables to use for Nord Stage 3

Postby Mr_-G- » 17 Jul 2020, 11:57

Hi JohnT, sure happy to discuss in a constructive way.
JohnT wrote:Issue #1 The same keyboard, cable length, interface, channel, and DAW. Created a track, set levels, cloned track. No differences anywhere in the signal chain EXCEPT the cables.


So it was "one recording" (midi file played only once and recorded simultaneously in 2 tracks? (the original message said that "then record a second track" which seemed to imply that it was recorded again (?).
The issue that baekgaard raised of MIDI timing affecting two recordings is relevant if the MIDI track was recorded twice as different instances. I also was confused by the "no chorus", etc. observation which would not make any difference if there was only one recording into 2 tracks in the same take.

JohnT wrote:Issue #2 Not looking for a "statistical difference". When comparing the summed phase shifted tracks there is still audio coming through. Although EXTREMELY out of phase. Mostly just overtones/harmonics. Those are the frequencies lost with the inferior cable.


I propose that we do not know whether it is inferior cable. I would also try with two good cables and two inferior cables as well. There could be a phase issue in between the output and the recording (I seem to recall that one of those nice zoom digital recorders had some leakage between channels fixed in a firmware update).
[/quote]

JohnT wrote:Issue #3 All of us that have been in audio know exactly what is meant by "Expensive/Cheap" cables. You will not get any type of quality cable (not just audio), for less than 60 cents a foot plus ends. Copper is not cheap. Ridiculous HDMI cable prices were a factor of the newness, unbalanced cables have been here for, oh, I don't know 80-90 years now.


But how does price imply quality? We see overpriced items everywhere.
There are all sort of factors in deciding a selling price, from attempting to recoup investment, to actual cost of the manufacturing, exploiting a brand name or just "pulling a fast one" to take the money from the clueless.
In many cases, cost is negligible, yet items are priced around what people are prepared to pay.

JohnT wrote:Issue #4 I made it clear no one could tell the difference in a live performance setting. When I record, I want minimal to no signal loss. I want the best sounding board, that's why I have a Nord and a Kurzweil. Why would I scrimp on the cables?


Sure, there is nothing wrong in buying those, but if the loss is not perceptually significant then the difference in price is not a factor in the kind of sound one gets (and so a bit of a waste of money). I insist the test did not demonstrate that the fault was with the cheap cable, only that those two cables tested are different.
To conclude that the cheap cable is the culprit needs to be validated in a different way. Why? because it could well be that the cheap loses nothing and the expensive does, or equally that both cables deteriorate the signal to some extent and the inverted mix is therefore non-silent. All the three scenarios lead to he same result. That is what I meant with "they just are different".
What one needs is a set of standard signals to compare what happens when they are fed through the cables. That would tell how the two products perform (oscilloscope anyone?).
I concede that it might sound like "overthinking" the whole problem, but testing these scenarios invariably involve statistics.

Cheers

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