Doug Sax and the sound of cables

Came across an interesting video on YouTube. It had to do with Acoustic Sounds acquisition of Doug Sax’s Mastering lab. Several of his colleagues were interviewed and one talked about how picky Sax was regarding his equipment. He came across Sax one day comparing the sound of different brands of balanced interconnects trying to find the ones that sounded the best.

Obviously Sax didn’t get the memo saying audio cables sound pretty much the same.


Do you have a link to the video?

Probably too busy testing/listening to cables. :slight_smile:


Sorry, I do not.
It is on an Acoustic Sounds YouTube site though.

It’d be interesting to know what cables he was testing and hearing differences between. How long were those cables? What components were they being used between? Exactly what was the sound difference?

It’s so interesting that hearing differences among cabling or seeing a benefit in using a DAC that’s less than 10-20 years old is just special when heard from professionals but self evident for anyone else having ears to listen :wink:

I agree, more information would be very interesting. However, just knowing he believed different cables may sound differently is noteworthy given that many audiophiles don’t believe that.

I would rather say most audiophiles do and most professionals don’t.

I would not make this assumption.

Ok, this really surprises me as (considering all the exceptions like Kevin Gray upgrading his mastering equipment with “audiophile consumer” grade cabling) the rule I perceived over a long time while reading about it or talking to such engineers was, that quite any kind of audiophile improvement with cabling, accessories or even more expensive equipment is seen as unnecessary by the base of the professional scene. Finding one caring for it on a halfway comparable level like consumer audiophiles do, regularly led to surprised reports in forums or magazines other than considering it as usual.
My perception so far was that if the common professional cares for e.g. cabling, it’s on a comparably much lower level than what even medium serious audiophiles are used to.

I even remember Cookie mentioning a few times how little her “usual” professional colleagues care. Or Paul when mentioning equipment like mic preamps were not designed to a level yet he’d do from an audiophile perspective.

While there are a lot of ignorants of audiophile infrastructure components also among Hi-Fi consumers, my perception there was, that the main reason for this was mostly limited funds for things aside of the anyway expensive components and a resulting decision to ignore and build up a philosophy out of it.

Yes, quite true. I noticed Shunyata has revised their website and included an expanded “professional” commentary section. There are quite a few mastering engineers and recording facilities interspersed among the comments: Professionals Comment - Shunyata Research

Yes, and there is a good deal of discussion among professionals about wires - as well as the sound of ADCs, DACs, mics, etc.

Hobbyists tend to forget that pros have dozens and dozens of cables in use, and they are often long. My shortest mic cables are 25 feet.

A studio simply cannot afford tens of thousands of dollars of fancy cables to use everywhere even though they are well aware cables sound different. But many have favorite cables for specific uses and critical applications.

1 Like