Bunker bulldust day 65


Kyoto, Sanno-machi area.  © PJ Croft

Oh, the Centrelink insanity continues. This morning I was still curious about the Customer Access Number that I was asked for yesterday, when I didn’t know what it was.

OK, just now I Googled it. One of the results was:

Aha. So I click on this, expecting to get the explanation and I get this:

Screenshot_2020-05-21 Centrelink Online Account

So in order to get the explanation of what my Customer Access Number is, I have to supply my Customer Access Number. Brilliant.

I’ve never read Franz Kafka, but I believe this is what they call Kafkaesque.


I’ve also just been reading a long piece by my favourite photography blogger, Mike Johnson, about hi-fi speaker cables and whether they make any difference to the sound of speakers. He’s a believer, that despite cables being quite simple things made of stranded copper wire that has a resistance in ohms and a very small inductance and self capacitance, they can make an audible difference.

My opinion is it’s self delusion. Provided the cable is of a diameter enough to make the cable’s resistance negligible compared to the speaker and amplifier, (which it is), there can not be any serious difference in the sound between a cheap cable and an expensive one. Unless of course, the expensive cables have markedly different resistance, inductance and capacitance to straight wires, in which case they should change the sound! People who think there’s a difference seem to also believe that wire must be expensive to sound better, and the more expensive it is, the better it sounds.

The other point is, although I can’t quote references for this, it’s accepted that when comparing sound sources in a blind test, the louder one will almost always sound better. The matching has to be better than 1dB, a very small difference.

So how do people compare loudspeaker cables? Do they have two identical speakers, matched to very fine tolerances, connected to identical amplifiers again matched to very small tolerances, with a switch which will change between them inaudibly (i.e. with no switch noise, either electrical or mechanical) and hidden behind a curtain so that the listener can’t see which amp is in action?

I very much doubt it. No-one is going to do this at home. They will have to physically stop the sound and turn the amp off, get behind the speaker and unscrew the terminals and swap the wires, then turn the amp back on and resume the music. And at this point, remember exactly what the sound was like before the swap. Bunkum.

Last week I paid $90 for two 10m lengths of figure 8 cable, the thickest I could afford. I don’t know the rating but it’s very low resistance. I’m not going to pay hundreds of dollars for “hi-fi nut case” speaker cables.

By nut case, I tender this as an example:

Screenshot_2020-05-21 Cable burn-in -

It’s a Canadian company. They claim that cables have to be “burnt in” before use and will sell you this box – they don’t say a price but offer to burn-in your cables for an average of C$15-25 each, “…translating into more transparency and dimensionality, a deeper/wider soundstage, and deeper/tighter bass information.” Telling someone who is susceptible is as good as making them believe it.

They also say that you need to redo it if your cables aren’t used for a week or more! And that you need to do it for your turntable-to-amp cables because “…phono cables will never completely burn in with the small signal from a phono cartridge. The CABLE COOKER produces a signal approximately 2000 times higher than the average MC cartridge!”

Since the output from a MC cartridge is about 1mV, then 2000 times that is 2V! Wow! That’s really cooking.

I’ve been in electronics for more than 40 years and I have a Diploma in Electronic Engineering. This is pure bulldust, horse shit, designed to transfer dollars from your bank to theirs. It’s laughable but people believe it. They also think donald trump (I don’t capitalise his name any more) is a genius. He says America has a high Covid infection rate because they do more testing. So if they didn’t test, they wouldn’t have a virus problem. Miraculous! He’s an imbecile.