Originally Posted by EdanT
To keep balance I think it's important to also reference this link wihch gives a different perspective: http://www.avguide.com/forums/the-di...and-audio-dbts
. While it may not find favour with the objectivists, it is extremely well written and essential to read for another scientific viewpoint.
The problem with the above paper is that it is very one-sided.
For example it says:
"As pointed out in another post by Jonathan Valin - medical DBT's are massive. They involve thousands of patients with strict entry criteria (the disease being studied is strictly defined, you can not have other medical conditions which may interfere with data interpretation, you must be of a certain age, etc etc). These studies are carefully designed, take months or years to complete, months to analyze, and then months for the peer review process and finally publication.
Audio DBT's are not."
First off, medical DBTs don't always involve thousands of patients. I know about medical DBTs - I have two children with PhDs who are medical researchers.
As pointed out in another post by Jonathan Valin - medical DBT's are massive. They involve thousands of patients with strict entry criteria (the disease being studied is strictly defined, you can not have other medical conditions which may interfere with data interpretation, you must be of a certain age, etc etc). These studies are carefully designed, take months or years to complete, months to analyze, and then months for the peer review process and finally publication.
All true in a tiny minority of cases, namely the megabuck, bet-your-company tests that this MD's drug salesmen tell him about. Of course that's not all there is.
Audio DBT's are not.
Of course not. We're talking CD players, not megabuck pharmaceuticals. ;-)
We never know how sophisticated the listening panel are,
The guy never asked. The contacts for the audio DBTs he's complaining about have been out on the web for years.
whether they know what to look for,
The guy is presuming the worst (in a state of self-imposed ignorance), which speaks to his state of mind, not that of the people who did the tests.
and whether individual variations in hearing, perception, chronic diseases which may affect hearing - have been identified and controlled for.
Again, the guy never asked. The authors of the tests he's complaining about are as acessible as he wants them to be. I know these people - they answer their phones and emails. Google searches come up with their names and numbers.
We do not know if the test material (music) being played is familiar to the listener.
If he this guy did his reasearch, he'd know that many of the musical pieces used were pieces that most audiophiles were intimately familiar with. Besides, he's made an assumption - that people can't hear differences in how equipment works unless they are intimately familiar with the music. Trust me, if you do ABX tests, by the end of the test you're familiar with the music! ;-).
We don't know if non-verbal cues (which can be used to lead AND mislead) are present.
Again, speaks the writers nbon-existent research and near-paranoid presumptions about the people who did the tests.
And finally, the evaluation period is all too brief.
The author demands iron-clad scientific evidence from the people he's criticizing, and then he does his little proof-by-assertion thing.
We all know that it can sometimes take weeks of listening to material we are familiar with, on systems we are familiar with, before we get to know the effect of a particular change. How are we expected to identify the changes in such a short period of time, and in an unfamiliar system?
We don't all know that - some of us have done careful reasearch, and others just mouth urban legends like they were written on stone.