How Hi-Fi Magazines Write about Cables, Part 10: Digital Cables

It’s time for another installment in my popular series of articles highlighting the balderdash used to describe audio equipment, especially cables. I wrote a short article this morning (The Audiophile Fallacy), and a link on the Wikipedia page for “audiophile” let me to a website called Audiophilia. I figured that this site would have some good examples of audiophile gobbledygook; I was not wrong.

Here’s one for the Acoustic Zen Absolute Digital 75 Digital Cable:

“I would say the AZ had the slightest of edges when it came to initial attack and ultimate extension in the frequency extremes. Images were very well defined and solid. This was perceivable but repertoire dependent. The Antipodes Kokiri possessed a sense of fullness that resulted in an ever so slightly warmer presentation. The AZ was not cool or analytical, but it possibly was a hair more transparent.”

It’s interesting to note that this review points out how important burn-in is; and it seems that most audiophiles get it wrong. (Burn-in is the supposed need to play components for a certain amount of time to get them broken in.) The article states (in brackets are an addition from the editor):

“As a general rule, at least a hundred hours of continuous burn-in [the word ‘continuous’ is very important and often missed by audiophiles – Ed] is required prior to any serious evaluation of a cable’s characteristics.”

Aha! So that’s why I never hear the difference. Because I don’t burn in my cables for 100 hours continuously. I wonder what they do about pauses in the CDs they play; doesn’t that violate the “continuous” rule?

I love one of the comments to this review:

“It’s remarkable at any price. What a steal at $500.”


Read more articles in this series. They’re funny; sad, but funny.