The debate over audio is a tiring and confusing mess at times, with hotly contested internet shouting matches over quality and format being the norm. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t see someone say that vinyl is the only true musical media warmth while sh*tting all over digital as nothing but numbers.
And I don’t know who is right. I’m just a bystander who enjoys trying to make out his music through one broken speaker in his classic Ford Tempo via a Discman. But I do like some good schadenfreude and trickery and today that comes in the form of coat hangers being used as audio connections. From Gizmodo:
A poster at Audioholics was put in a room with five fellow audiophiles, and a Martin Logan SL-3 speaker set at 75Db at 1000KHz playing a mix of “smooth, trio, easy listening jazz” that no one had heard before. In one corner, Monster 1000 speaker cables. In the other, four coat hangers twisted and soldered into a speaker cable.
Seven songs were played while the group was blindfolded and the cables swapped back and forth. Not only “after 5 tests, none could determine which was the Monster 1000 cable or the coat hanger wire,” but no one knew a coat hanger was used in the first place.
And there we go. I instantly want to go find a Radioshack employee and punch them in the liver, mostly out of spite but also because they are always trying to push these expensive cords onto you. Gold plated, silver coated, ionized, galvanized, magnetically charged wires that work just as well as the “free” cords a DirecTV tech might throw at you.
But let’s stick with audio here. I’m not doubting that quality can change according to the equipment you use, but it’s always more than just one component that will affect your experience. It could all go to hell directly from the production where songs are being pushed to be louder all the time. What can you do about that as an audiophile? And the debate will rage no matter what because there is no true way to prove who is correct.
I don’t think coat hangers are going to replace traditional cables anytime soon, but it does raise a fine point about shelling out for the expensive cables that are shilled by places like Best Buy and Radioshack. I feel the same way about Beats headphones. You’re paying for looks and a name, something that happens all the time in plenty of industries. This is why I almost bought a pair of JNCO jeans in high school.
But still, coat hangers. Playing music, unlocking doors and keeping clothes looking civilized since the Revolutionary War. They are the Macguyver of household devices.