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Cable Facts and Fables
February 06, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
A few quick cable tips revealed and some common myths dispelled, courtesy of Straight Wire’s Steven Hill.
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Posted by anonymous  on  02/06  at  10:24 PM

I wrote to AVS Forum and asked them to look at this story they were linking to and the comments it was receiving. They promptly removed it from the AVS Forum home page.

Apparently a largely volunteer Internet forum has higher editorial standards than a professional magazine.

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  02/07  at  09:46 AM

I want to thank all the readers who posted intelligent criticism of this article. One of the ways in which we deliver information to our readers is via Q & A with leading manufacturers in the industry, and unfortunately that’s being construed as marketing material. While you cast doubt on these points, I’m sure Steven Hill and other wire & cable manufacturers stand by their products and opinions.

Posted by slightlyjaded  on  02/07  at  09:58 AM

That’s all well and good, but as editors, there is a responsibility on your end to question patently ridiculous claims—even those delivered in a Q&A—rather than just publish them as fact with no comment.

There is also no indication here that this is a “Q&A” or that the statements being made are solely the opinions of the author and not endorsed by your magazine. Instead, these claims are presented as useful factual information from an expert in the field. Which is a joke.

Whatever, it’s your magazine and your reputation, such as it is. But there’s a reason AVS Forum removed this article from their home page immediately upon reading it.

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  02/07  at  11:39 AM

As the editor I thought it was quite clear that these were the opinions of Mr. Hill. However I will do a better job of expressing that in future articles of this nature. Web sites, newspapers and magazines publish opinions of people of interest (politicians, business owners, celebrities, etc) every day. Taking issue with the opinion makes sense, but criticizing the media outlet for allowing that person to express the opinion, does not.

Posted by Thaddeus Bonk  on  02/07  at  12:04 PM


You did not present it as opinon. The article was presented as fact and “dispelling of fables.”

Hell, if I have a higher end system ($10,000???), you want us to spend $800 to $1400 on cables!

Wow. And the cables on the page shown aren;t even audio cables, Chuckie.

Posted by Michael  on  02/07  at  01:26 PM

AVS advised me that, after discussion with them, you “pulled” this article. But it still seems to be here!?

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  02/07  at  01:40 PM

Editors at EH discussed the merits of the article, and decided to keep it on the site. I’m not sure who you spoke with at AVS.

Posted by Michael  on  02/07  at  04:21 PM

David Bott, AVS Forum Administrator

Posted by steven hill  on  02/07  at  04:31 PM

Thank you to all AVS members and others for the prompt , consistent responses to my cable article. It is refreshing to get your comments and opinions that reflect your passion for the topic of upgrade AV cables.

It would be nice to hear from one or two who have substituted any upgrade cables in their system(s) and appreciated the difference. Feel free to email me directly with comments.

Posted by Fred  on  02/09  at  12:11 PM

I believe that Steven Hill honestly believes his cables make a difference. I also believe he stands to profit greatly by taking that position. After all, a sucker is born every minute.

You are welcome to sell products for any profit you feel like, as nobody is holding a gun to the buyers heads. After all, it is the strategy Bose uses and they are a successful company. Heres a question for anybody that feels like answering it, (but I’ll point it in the general direction of Steven Hill):

Would you ever consider/recommend to someone any of the following products?

Magnetic shoe inserts that claim to offer “great health benefits”
##### enlarging pills.
Actual snake oil (not the metaphorical kind).

If you say no to those, then you are avoiding those products for precisely the same reason that I will never buy your cables.

Posted by Tyler  on  02/16  at  02:34 PM

Chuck, you thought it was clear it was expressed as opinion?  The article title is Cable Facts and Myths. 

And this isn’t a Q&A;, it’s a marketing fluff piece straight from their website.  As far as I can tell, this required zero work or editoralizing on Electronic House’s part whatsoever. 

Basically, it comes off as extremely lazy journalism.  Or worse, but I won’t stoop to further allegations.

You want to publish a REAL article, contact a respected member of AES.  As Fred’s comment above states, if you chose to publish an article on psychics, would you just let a national psychic write a fluff piece with no contrasting opinion or scientific statements?

Posted by Ivan  on  02/16  at  03:25 PM

Its apparent there are plenty of people who don’t “believe” in higher end cables. Too bad the only way they can make their case is by calling Hill a snake oil salesman, repeatedly. These critics are embarssing themselves with these elementary school level retorts. Anyone out there an engineer who can make a valid point? Even worse are the jokers questioning the format/purpose of the article. It’s clear they let Hill sound off…unchallenged. So what? Take it for what its worth. This is Electronic House…not the New York Times.

Posted by Fred  on  02/16  at  03:40 PM

When you understand why you don’t believe in leprachauns, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, green felt tip marked CDs, small wooden platters that you put on top of your CD player and amps, and multi thousand dollar power cables, you’ll understand why I don’t “believe” in speaker cables beyond the going market rate for extruded copper of a given gauge.

Posted by Jeff Kalman  on  02/16  at  03:47 PM

Hey now, you can take all the pot shots you want at Santa Claus and Leprachauns, but let’s leave the Tooth Fairy out of it…

Posted by Michael  on  02/17  at  02:08 PM

To suggest that there was ANY “editorial” oversight is ridiculous.

The only criteria for inclusion of such an article is the purchase by Straight Wire of sufficient advertising space in their publication.

This is an out-and-out INFOMERCIAL. To cloak it in terms of “Editors at EH [discussing] the merits of the article” is absurd.

EH is hardly a “journal” of peer-reviewed technical analysis ... it is equivalent to the advertisement impregnated place-mats found in cheap lunch counters or the bulletin boards located above urinals.

Posted by Fred  on  02/17  at  03:39 PM

I wish EH would advertise on urinal cakes so I could pee on it without being vulgar.

Yes, it IS possible to get advertising on urinal cakes. Google FTW.

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  02/17  at  04:17 PM

Thanks Fred for the insight. How can I compete with this sort of knowledge?

Posted by Fred  on  02/17  at  11:35 PM

Sorry, Michael gave me the idea in the post above mine and I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

Posted by Pete  on  04/15  at  10:38 AM

While silver offers greater theoretical conductivity than copper by about 1 percent, it has a different sonic structure (clearer and faster for highs, not as full for bass).

What a load of crapola that statement is.  This article must have been written by one of their advertisers under the guise of educational.  Sadly AVS Forum parades this content on their homepage.

Posted by Kevin  on  04/15  at  09:48 PM

I’m particularly unimpressed with ‘high-end’ aftermarket power cords… I fail to see any logic in the proposition that an electronics company would spend years developing a new AVR, then pack it with ‘DCDi’ this and ‘Burr-Brown’ that and THX certification, and then completely negate all this hard work by saving $5 with a feeble, inadequate piece of lamp cord that chokes the life out of it. You will not convince me of this. Isn’t it convenient that this detachable cord is also the ONLY user-servicable part of the unit, without obviously voiding the warranty? It’s like the Snake Oil Marketing department asked Engineering “Is there ANYTHING we can tweak on AVR’s without damaging them?”

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