$1 Million if You Can Prove $7250 Speaker Cables Are Any Better Than $80 Speaker Cables

from the $302-per-foot-of-cable dept

There's just something about extreme audiophiles that is either amusing or depressing, depending on your point of view. Now, as a music fan, I've got nothing against trying to make things sound better -- but there are serious diminishing marginal returns after a certain point (and, of course, there are some really fantastic musical compositions that were recorded on such crappy equipment that it's never going to matter). However, there is a group of audiophiles who really seem to stick up their nose at anyone who dares to suggest they've taken things too far. Professional skeptic James Randi apparently wants to put them in their place -- and is offering up $1 million to make his case. As pointed out by Slashdot, Randi is now offering $1 million to anyone who can prove that there's any real difference in performance between a pair of $80 Monster HDMI cables (which many will claim is already overpriced) and the astoundingly priced $7,250 12-foot "Anjou" audio cables from Pear Cable. As Randi notes, the key is in the actual performance -- not in "qualities that can only be perceived by attentive dogs or by hi-tech instrumentation."

Filed Under: audiophiles, skeptics, speaker cable

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  1. identicon
    Paul Reid, 10 Oct 2007 @ 11:12am

    Simply amazing

    The only thing that's amazing about the Amazing Randi is that anyone still listens to this guy. He is constantly coming up with ridiculous challenges in which he can weasel out when he loses and gets in the press by offering $1 million.

    One time he offered $1 million for documented proof of miraculous healing. When presented with literally thousands of cases, did he ever pay out? Of course not. He used the presented evidence to "prove" that sometimes tumors completely disappear overnight, etc. This in spite of seasoned medical professionals saying there was no scientific way for these things to happen.

    In this case, he is comparing HDMI (digital) cable to analog speaker cable. For proof, he gives a weasel-like statement that is not even scientific, as usual.

    He is right in this case, though. There will be no difference between an $80 HDMI cable and any other HDMI cable on earth. Both will successfully get all 1s and 0s to their destination.

    A more interesting test would be to find a $15 Acoustic Research or Blue Jeans Cable that successfully gets all the 1s and 0s to their destination and then challenge anyone to find a cable that costs more and "performs better", with the test being a reading of the 1s and 0s on the other side.

    But of course, as all semi-technical people know, a digital signal either gets there or it doesn't.

    Oh, and as far as the unshielded lamp cord goes, you can always tell when a church used one on the platform, because you can quietly hear radio stations in the background or police radio suddenly interrupting the sermon as a police car drives by. The sound board guy will always swear that his lamp cord is a great idea and saved the church a bundle and that it has nothing to do with the problem.

    Of course, replacing the lamp cord with a quality shielded cable always fixes the problem.

    I assume the Physics lab was very well-shielded, so your friend didn't notice this phenomenon.

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