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    Balanced and unbalanced connections

    There are two basic ways to carry an electrical audio signal.


    • The first one is unbalanced. The signal is carried on a two-conductor cable. Unbalanced signal connectors have two pins, such as the RCA (also called Phono and Cinch, commonly used by home hi-fi equipment) and the unbalanced 1/4" (used in musical instruments and semi-professional audio). Multi-pin connectors can also carry
    ... Read more

    Choosing loudspeaker cable

    The importance of cables for the connection between the amplifier and the speaker is often controversial. Hi-fi aficionados spend fortunes on cables that promise spectacular results, and our short auditory memory and subjectivity lead many to confirm these improvements in their systems.

    The truth is that there are very few serious studies on the importance of the cable in relation to the perceived sound quality. A cable has impedance (opposition to electric current as a function of frequency), capacitance (behaves to some extent like a capacitor) and inductance (behaves like a coil). However, a few years ago an AES article concluded that the differences between cables were very small in terms of capacitance and inductance, and only recognized the importance of impedance.

    Therefore I invite you to leave aside any cable with such an exaggerated price as its promises, and look only at the gauge (thickness, cross-sectional area) of the cable, as far as the electrical characteristics are concerned (then there are important... Read more

    Intelligibility and its measurement

    1. What is intelligibility?

    The state or quality of being understood. It can apply to an idea or a writing, but in our context it relates to the spoken word and, less commonly, to music.... Read more
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