Originally Posted by kucharsk
See, and that's just it.
I don't need DBT test results to validate what I hear occurring in my own system.
I still say that iwere it merely psychology I wouldn't hear improvements I don't actively want to hear, and I would always be inclined to choose the most expensive or best reviewed cable I test.
None of those are true; in fact most often when I audition a new component and there's a positive improvement, my reaction is "Awww, #$@!" as I realize I'm going to need to purchase it or plan to someday purchase it or something else. But the sheer number of components I've returned to dealers stating "nope, I like what I have" is upward of 90%.
For example, when I borrowed one particular CD player that I wanted to like as it had been very well reviewed and I was a big fan of the brand, I found that my current player had a wider soundstage and better positioning of the instruments in the soundstage.
I wanted to buy it, had the money to buy it and had all but told the dealer "I'll take it" but ultimately not only was it not worth the upgrade, it would have been a drop in performance compared to what I currently own.
It gave me a good entry for the list of "what to buy if my current player" fails, but I actually ended up disappointed that I couldn't get the product I had so wanted to purchase based on all factors (engineering, design, brand, etc.) other than its sound.
You are neglecting the following confounding factors:
1) In addition to conscious biases, eg, this thing got a great review so it should sound good, there are also unconscious biases that impact your impressions when you try out gear
2) Your mood and your hearing change from minute to minute and day to day. Maybe you tried out gear X on a lower humidity day. Or maybe it was later in the evening and your hearing was more acute. Or maybe you had been exposed to some pollen earlier one day and your eustachian tubes were slightly congested. Or maybe you were thinking about some project at work and were stressed. Or maybe a window was open or an A/C compressor was running and there was a tiny bit of background noise or air motion.
It's things like that that make YOU (and me and all of us) unreliable as testers when we do sighted, uncontrolled testing/comparisons of gear. You're testing yourself and your mood as much as, if not moreso, than the gear you wish to be evaluating.
Proof of this is simple: Without changing a single piece of gear, it's entirely normal for people to feel sometimes like their system sounds phenomenal, and other times to be dissatisfied with it. Is the system changing from day to day? No, the person is.