How Hi-Fi Magazines Write about Cables, Part 23: Playing CDs

It’s been more than a year since I published the last article in this series. I reached the point where so much of what I was seeing was just repeats of topics I had already covered that it didn’t seem worthwhile to post anything new.

Until today.

In an article on the illustrious Wut Hi-Fi? site, we are informed of 9 hi-fi tricks you might not believe affect sound quality (but they do). There is actually one good idea in the article, and that is to listen in the dark. Light, and even color, can affect what you hear. Your hearing is more acute in a dark or low-light environment. And this one even gets some scientific backing, from “chief scientist for Dolby Laboratories, Dr. Poppy Crum.”

But the last idea in the article, for those who have made it past the first eight, which are mostly bogus, is about “Playing CDs from the beginning.”

So, how come a CD sounds better if you stop it and then press play, rather than playing it from pause? Because, dear readers, we can assure you they do.

We haven’t heard a definitive explanation. Nevertheless, in our experience doing things this way just sounds that bit better.

Try it out for yourself with a favourite album on CD. You’ll soon see that we’re not crazy. We just love bicycle inner tubes, little stands for our cables, pitch black rooms and very, very late nights…

And, it bears repeating: what matters is what you hear, so if you can’t hear the difference, save yourself a whole load of trouble and money. But if you do find yourself with some tinkering time, why not give the above a try.

I don’t even know where to begin. How about with that bit where the journalist hasn’t “heard a definitive explanation?” Or, “we assure you they do?”

Thanks, Wut Hi-Fi? Onward and upward.