The Sound of Pause is Silence

Unlike pausing a video where the image lingers, or turning off the lights where all remains unseen but still touchable, pausing sound leaves us with silence. Unlike physical entities that can be examined and measured and then documented, drawn and shared with other physical entities, the measurements and of non visible, non feel-able, energies like sound proves defyingly challenging to represent using physical objects like paper and spec sheets.

Pondering this concept led me to decipher some test methods for hearing sound loss in speaker cables. I’ve recently started up doing some YouTube videos again and several that focus on these test methods.

Basically it is using a loudspeaker to directly listen to the losses in speaker cables and a second test unit that allows us to hear losses in mic and line level cables. The wiring is simple and easily something you can do at home with some bits of sound gear and a basic knowledge of wiring.

Here is a simplified schematic of the speaker cable test method

An amp drives signal down the input, through a speaker cable and there is a load on the other end. A loudspeaker, I use a home HiFi speaker, is connected such that one terminal is attached to the same wire cable we are testing at the amp end and load end. In effect, the cable we are testing is shorting directly across the speaker we are listening to. Any losses in the cable will manifest as audible sound from the speaker.

This test works surprisingly well and unlike a null test that requires one to tune the null, this outputs the speaker cable loss without any specialized gear or delicate tuning.

For more info and to hear results from various cables, check out my YouTube channel.

speaker cable test part 1

Cool cool and curious if anyone is still out there connected to this blog.




Author: Dave Rat

Sound consultant, sound system designer, curious human