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Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 19:10
by howardpgh
Why do some RCA type interconnect cables have arrows >>> on them and the word signal flow?

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 19:17
by andybeau
To let the electrons know which way to flow :roll:

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 20:39
by dysmike
They're shielded. The source end the shielding is soldered to the ground. It's not on the receiver end. The arrows are there to show you which end to connect where.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 20:59
by JaS
dysmike wrote:
23 Jan 2019 20:39
They're shielded. The source end the shielding is soldered to the ground. It's not on the receiver end. The arrows are there to show you which end to connect where
I've always used with my Audioquest Emerald and Audioquest/Arcam Ruby with the shield connected at the amp end, but not at the source end 8-[

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 23 Jan 2019 21:08
by dysmike
To be honest, it'll work regardless of which way you orient it. In some installations, however, it may(?) make a difference (I've never had such an installation where I was using unbalanced connections anyway). FWIW, when I make interconnects.. this is how I do em, doesn't take a lot of extra work ;)

edit: I pay more attention to how my cabling is working together, no power cables close and parallel with signal cables, etc.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 12:31
by AudioFeline
Picture in your mind the audio signal being like water going down a hose. It starts at the turntable/CD player/tuner/etc, and goes to your preamp. From the preamp it goes to the power amp (assuming you have a pre-power amp setup). It then flows from the amp to the speakers.

When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows). The cable will work when connected the "wrong" way around, and some people will argue that it makes no difference. I try to be particular about my system, so I always follow the arrows on my cables.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 12:46
by JaS
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows)
An audio signal is not water and does not flow one way.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:04
by AudioFeline
JaS wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:46
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows)
An audio signal is not water and does not flow one way.
Yes. I was using an analogy to help the OP understand the direction indicators on his cables. :)
It was not meant to be an accurate technical description of audio electronics (that is beyond my ability).

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:07
by cafe latte
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
Picture in your mind the audio signal being like water going down a hose. It starts at the turntable/CD player/tuner/etc, and goes to your preamp. From the preamp it goes to the power amp (assuming you have a pre-power amp setup). It then flows from the amp to the speakers.

When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows). The cable will work when connected the "wrong" way around, and some people will argue that it makes no difference. I try to be particular about my system, so I always follow the arrows on my cables.
Signal is AC ie it goes all the time in both directions it is went in one direction speakers would not be happy at all!
Chris

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:11
by AudioFeline
cafe latte wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:07
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
Picture in your mind the audio signal being like water going down a hose. It starts at the turntable/CD player/tuner/etc, and goes to your preamp. From the preamp it goes to the power amp (assuming you have a pre-power amp setup). It then flows from the amp to the speakers.

When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows). The cable will work when connected the "wrong" way around, and some people will argue that it makes no difference. I try to be particular about my system, so I always follow the arrows on my cables.
Signal is AC ie it goes all the time in both directions it is went in one direction speakers would not be happy at all!
Chris
Agreed Chris, as stated above I was using an analogy to help the OP understand the cable direction, it was not meant to be a technical description.

BTW, I've recently joined the 12D/3 club! I really appreciated your posts sharing your experiences with your restoration.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:12
by cafe latte
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:04
JaS wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:46
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows)
An audio signal is not water and does not flow one way.
Yes. I was using an analogy to help the OP understand the direction indicators on his cables. :)
It was not meant to be an accurate technical description of audio electronics (that is beyond my ability).
Arrows on cable were originally to say how much cable was left on the roll ie arrow and a number nothing to do with electrons, but they started the directional thing. This is part of the problem with the cable debate ie most people dont know how electricity works so it is an easy sell.
Not getting at anyone this is not studied so no surprise but most people just dont get how this really works and companies cash in.
Chris

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:14
by cafe latte
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:11
cafe latte wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:07
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
Picture in your mind the audio signal being like water going down a hose. It starts at the turntable/CD player/tuner/etc, and goes to your preamp. From the preamp it goes to the power amp (assuming you have a pre-power amp setup). It then flows from the amp to the speakers.

When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows). The cable will work when connected the "wrong" way around, and some people will argue that it makes no difference. I try to be particular about my system, so I always follow the arrows on my cables.
Signal is AC ie it goes all the time in both directions it is went in one direction speakers would not be happy at all!
Chris
Agreed Chris, as stated above I was using an analogy to help the OP understand the cable direction, it was not meant to be a technical description.

BTW, I've recently joined the 12D/3 club! I really appreciated your posts sharing your experiences with your restoration.
Please post on the thread (it keeps it open) and it is good all info is in the same place for others.
Amazing turntable IMO
Chris

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 13:31
by AudioFeline
cafe latte wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:12
Arrows on cable were originally to say how much cable was left on the roll ie arrow and a number nothing to do with electrons, but they started the directional thing. This is part of the problem with the cable debate ie most people don't know how electricity works so it is an easy sell.
Not getting at anyone this is not studied so no surprise but most people just dont get how this really works and companies cash in.
Chris
[/quote]

I've always understood the arrow direction of cables being related to the design of the cable. These cables comprise of a +ve and -ve signal wire, and an added earth/shield which is only connected to the -ve signal at the source end. (indicated in an earlier post). For this cable design, the arrows have a meaning,

I acknowledge that for this design of interconnects (2 signal wires+earth), the utility of this design--and the usefulness of this direction indicators--has been fiercely debated on audio forums (and is probably beyond the scope of the OP's question). I also acknowledge that there are probably many cables which use direction arrows as a marketing ploy.

I've never noticed any difference with my cables being inserted in the "wrong" direction to the arrows. Don't know if that's a reflection on the design/hype or my ears.

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 15:54
by dysmike
cafe latte wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:12

Arrows on cable were originally to say how much cable was left on the roll ie arrow and a number nothing to do with electrons, but they started the directional thing. This is part of the problem with the cable debate ie most people dont know how electricity works so it is an easy sell.
Not getting at anyone this is not studied so no surprise but most people just dont get how this really works and companies cash in.
Chris
Yea, I know those arrows ;) Those are not the ones that I am, at least, referring to. I'm referring to those that are on 'shielded' unbalanced cables. Those generally just indicate the end that has the shielding soldered to the ground. I have a set of 300mm cables that were made this way, and those arrows are actually fabric tags added to the cable bundle.

FWIW, the upcharge on these cables, IMO, is generally significantly higher than the actual work involved in making them. The set I have I bought because they're the same cable and ends I normally use, and for the short run it was surpassingly not much more expensive than had I assembled them, I was just out of supplies at the moment of need...

Re: Really Dumb Cable Question

Posted: 30 Jan 2019 17:45
by Ottermel
cafe latte wrote:
30 Jan 2019 13:07
AudioFeline wrote:
30 Jan 2019 12:31
Picture in your mind the audio signal being like water going down a hose. It starts at the turntable/CD player/tuner/etc, and goes to your preamp. From the preamp it goes to the power amp (assuming you have a pre-power amp setup). It then flows from the amp to the speakers.

When connecting the cables, the arrows show the direction of the audio signal (ie, the direction the water flows). The cable will work when connected the "wrong" way around, and some people will argue that it makes no difference. I try to be particular about my system, so I always follow the arrows on my cables.
Signal is AC ie it goes all the time in both directions it is went in one direction speakers would not be happy at all!
Chris
Past the rectifier the current flow is DC NOT AC it gets converted at later stages . Transisitor and tubes (valves) have flow of current only one way!
This is simplified and it does not mean that there is DC at speaker terminals (it can't be).