Observations of a controlled Cable Test - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 384 Old 01-02-2008, 07:18 AM
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Funny how this thread is still going on..

You wonder if you'd redo the test 2-3 more times, with the following changes:

1) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting.
2) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting, but connect the opposite brand instead.
3) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting, but choose either cable at random, so the one that you tell them is connected may not be the one that's in circuit.

The results of the above would be interesting...

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post #332 of 384 Old 01-03-2008, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Funny how this thread is still going on..

You wonder if you'd redo the test 2-3 more times, with the following changes:

1) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting.
2) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting, but connect the opposite brand instead.
3) Tell the audience which cables you're connecting, but choose either cable at random, so the one that you tell them is connected may not be the one that's in circuit.

The results of the above would be interesting...


If you really want highest sensitivity, first you have to train the listeners. Train, train, train, and give them full knowledge.

Then let them try DB trials, with feedback (i.e right vs. wrong ID). Allow them to do open trials for practice (but not for test results, obviously). Always ID the two test conditions even in the blind trials, only blinding the choice of 'X' in the ABX test.

All trials have to be clicklessly switched at the listener's demand with low latency.

This is what test after test has shown to provide the absolute most sensitivity to very small changes in auditory stimulii.

James D. (jj) Johnston
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post #333 of 384 Old 01-04-2008, 12:46 PM
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Well, having read the news on the Randi web site, they have two years now to get with the program.

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post #334 of 384 Old 03-07-2008, 05:40 PM
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Sorry to drag this out of the mud, but one thing I do agree on is this:
"All trials have to be clicklessly switched at the listener's demand with low latency"
I don't know how anyone can remember what something sounded like exactly after a few minutes time. The time delay is the one factor I would like to see eliminated for a more definitive test to put his whole thing to rest, at least for me.
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post #335 of 384 Old 03-07-2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsteves View Post

Sorry to drag this out of the mud, but one thing I do agree on is this:
"All trials have to be clicklessly switched at the listener's demand with low latency"
I don't know how anyone can remember what something sounded like exactly after a few minutes time. The time delay is the one factor I would like to see eliminated for a more definitive test to put his whole thing to rest, at least for me.

If someone can't remember what something sounded like a few minutes ago they're not listening very carefully. Even the best recorded acoustic guitar CD's reproduced on the best systems don't hold a candle to a guy sitting in front of you playing it live. I think you'll realize, even an hour later, that what you're hearing isn't live music.

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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post #336 of 384 Old 03-07-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post

If someone can't remember what something sounded like a few minutes ago they're not listening very carefully. Even the best recorded acoustic guitar CD's reproduced on the best systems don't hold a candle to a guy sitting in front of you playing it live. I think you'll realize, even an hour later, that what you're hearing isn't live music.

When you are comparing small differences in sound, we have fairly short aural memory. However, if your point is that people are conteding they are hearing dramatic differences, then aural memory should last more than a couple of seconds.

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post #337 of 384 Old 03-07-2008, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsteves View Post

Sorry to drag this out of the mud, but one thing I do agree on is this:
"All trials have to be clicklessly switched at the listener's demand with low latency"
I don't know how anyone can remember what something sounded like exactly after a few minutes time. The time delay is the one factor I would like to see eliminated for a more definitive test to put his whole thing to rest, at least for me.

That requires a switcher box. If we assume for the moment that speaker cable has an influence on sound, then surely a switcher box would too.
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post #338 of 384 Old 03-08-2008, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

That requires a switcher box. If we assume for the moment that speaker cable has an influence on sound, then surely a switcher box would too.

That is why a proper blind test would first submit the switcher box to a double blind, if it passes, then one can continue on using the box (or a PC...)

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post #339 of 384 Old 03-08-2008, 05:06 PM
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in the end it showed two things.

1. the dramatic night and day changes, simply were not.
2. nobody on this $%&^*$ forum can just take something as it is. they MUST continue to draw conclusions that are wrong, and state silly thing like "if they used the ___ cables in MY system, it would have truly been verified"

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post #340 of 384 Old 03-08-2008, 06:43 PM
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Come on...... if it's not a significant difference, why would you spend the extra mega-coin?? It's weird, because I believe that if you couldn't here a significant difference in a pre-amp you probably wouldn't switch. I stand by, if you can hear a difference and it's worth it, then spend the money. If you can't hear a difference don't spend the money!!
SIMPLE REALLY
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post #341 of 384 Old 03-08-2008, 07:09 PM
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No, he THOUGHT it was a significant difference. when sighted, he still thought it was significant. When blind... not so much.

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post #342 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 09:28 AM
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FYI, work has been absolutely overwhelming for the last three or four months......so i have pulled back from almost everything audio including e-mails and posting.....for lack of energy to do it.

i plan on re-visiting the whole cable 'thing' sometime in the near future. i need to experiment with different approaches........but my mind is open to any ultimate result. i have learned what does not work.

in my mind nothing is settled one way or another other than the challenge is considerably more difficult than my ego had originally guessed.
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post #343 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 11:19 AM
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You mean to tell me that you have *gasp* a life!? Well, bust my britches!

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post #344 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 03:06 PM
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Quote:


in my mind nothing is settled one way or another other than the challenge is considerably more difficult than my ego had originally guessed.

In the end, this is all that was really determined. And all i would expect is that some hyperbole would be a little tempered in the future.

I would love to hear the system though one day.

Cheers.

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post #345 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 03:17 PM
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On a simlar topic I wonder if some of you had heard about the recent study regarding placebo effect using a ficticious pain medication. In this study subjects were given two different pills and then subjected to various levels of electrical shock and then asked about the pain relief from each of the drugs.

The first was three dollars per pill ,as I recall ,had a nice brochure and even pens with the name of the new drug on the side. The other was said to be a similar drug chemically but cost ten cents per pill. The more expensive drug was said to have a much better effect and ability to relieve the pain than the ten cent version despite the fact that neither had any active ingredient.The results were statistically significant and ,in fact ,were well over a 20% difference.



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post #346 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

On a simlar topic I wonder if some of you had heard about the recent study regarding placebo effect using a ficticious pain medication. In this study subjects were given two different pills and then subjected to various levels of electrical shock and then asked about the pain relief from each of the drugs.

The first was three dollars per pill ,as I recall ,had a nice brochure and even pens with the name of the new drug on the side. The other was said to be a similar drug chemically but cost ten cents per pill. The more expensive drug was said to have a much better effect and ability to relieve the pain than the ten cent version despite the fact that neither had any active ingredient.The results were statistically significant and ,in fact ,were well over a 20% difference.



Art


I guess they left my results out of the study. I told them "I like shocks" and "Daddy's been a bad boy, shock us some more." They didn't give me any medicine though...

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post #347 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 06:28 PM
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SimpleTheater
"If someone can't remember what something sounded like a few minutes ago they're not listening very carefully"
You obviously don't understand the issues with human memory capabilities. Not that I do, but I know memory is hugely fallible.

ChrisWiggles
"That requires a switcher box. If we assume for the moment that speaker cable has an influence on sound, then surely a switcher box would too."
yep, it's a problem, but a really, really good switcher maybe could help remove that argument to a large extent?

I think most cable differences are probably just in the very high frequencies. I don't hear specific tones over 14khz, but I still seem to sense higher frequencies (I'd kind of like to DBT that, since its from self testing). Perhaps our brains use higher frequencies in some way for spatial sensing or something. Other animals seem to have these capabilities, and who knows how conscious they are of audible sound vs other brain uses for sound? It is not silly to think that some animals perceive higher frequencies different than they do lower frequencies. Animal brains are quite strange. Bats use of "hearing" is extremely different than ours, for example.
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post #348 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

On a simlar topic I wonder if some of you had heard about the recent study regarding placebo effect using a ficticious pain medication. In this study subjects were given two different pills and then subjected to various levels of electrical shock and then asked about the pain relief from each of the drugs.

The first was three dollars per pill ,as I recall ,had a nice brochure and even pens with the name of the new drug on the side. The other was said to be a similar drug chemically but cost ten cents per pill. The more expensive drug was said to have a much better effect and ability to relieve the pain than the ten cent version despite the fact that neither had any active ingredient.The results were statistically significant and ,in fact ,were well over a 20% difference.



Art

Yeah, I read that the other day too. Very interesting, I immediately thought of these topics. Not surprising, but certainly interesting.
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post #349 of 384 Old 03-09-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yep, it's a problem, but a really, really good switcher maybe could help remove that argument to a large extent?

I suppose, but for the subjectivist, the presence of a switcher is a very significant obstacle to the test. And further, then we'd have to do A/B testing of switchers to find that "really, really good switcher." That presumes audible differences between switchers, and between the presence and absence of a switcher. At the end of the day, it seems like a wrench thrown into the mix. And really, if we assume that speaker cables make an audible difference, if you can't hear that difference reliably with a short gap between listening to A and B cable and can ONLY hear it with instantaneous changes via a switcher, it seems to me that such a conclusion would in itself be fairly telling as to the minute possible difference in speaker cables.

Again, the above is assuming a whole number of things that are objectively speaking not going to occur, but for the sake of argument. I mean, anytime anyone has done an ABx test via a switch box or the like and fails, every subjectivist from here to tanzania will say "not a valid test, the switch box had an impact." And, in their logic, they absolutely have a point. It isn't a valid test.
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post #350 of 384 Old 03-10-2008, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I suppose, but for the subjectivist, the presence of a switcher is a very significant obstacle to the test. And further, then we'd have to do A/B testing of switchers to find that "really, really good switcher."

I don't think that would be necessary. To first test the switcher, connect one set of cables to the switcher box, but the other set of identical cables should be connected directly to the amplifier - bypassing the switcher. Then do an A/B test to see if the listener can hear the difference between the directly connected cables and the one's going through the switcher box. If they can't, then connect the switcher box and two different sets of cables and begin the real testing.

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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post #351 of 384 Old 03-10-2008, 08:48 AM
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I don't see the need for all of these machiniations, at least not at first. Just do the switcher test non-blinded. If the listener can hear differences between cables in a non-blinded test with the switcher in place, they can't later claim it is the switcher's fault when the blinds are instituted.

Now, if the listener can't hear differences with the switcher in place, then these switchbox testing ideas would be worth considering.

After all, the question is not whether or not the switcher affects the sound; it is whether or not the cables do. So determining the audibility of the switcher is not strictly necessary to start with, unless it is alleged to mask the differences between the cables.

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post #352 of 384 Old 03-10-2008, 09:02 AM
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The switch is a constant, so if that's not valid, what is? It must be more transparent than the speakers!

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post #353 of 384 Old 03-10-2008, 09:16 AM
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Yes it almost certainly is. But remember, distortion is additive, so it's not enough to say that something else in the chain is more distortive. Besides, even though you and I believe it would be audibly transparent, the taker of the test might not believe so. And these tests are, after all, in large measure about belief and its impact on perception.

I remember reading somewhere (and have likely mentioned before) one person's experience with an ABX switchbox. In some cases, switching between A and B yielded obvious differences. But when X was suddenly introduced, the differences disappeared. And this was someone sympathetic to ABX testing!

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post #354 of 384 Old 03-10-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

..in my mind nothing is settled one way or another other than the challenge is considerably more difficult than my ego had originally guessed.

With all due respect Mike, you went into detail regarding the SQ level of your system coupled with your ability to hear subtle room ambience in the recorded content. These two refined ingredients enabled you to resolve said obvious (earlier I incorrectly used the adjective significant) differences before the testing?
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post #355 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycalda View Post

Come on...... if it's not a significant difference, why would you spend the extra mega-coin??

Because just owning the higher priced stuff can bring pleasure of its own. See recent research regarding the price of placebos, and the price of wines, as it relates to report of pleasure with the product.


Quote:
It's weird, because I believe that if you couldn't here a significant difference in a pre-amp you probably wouldn't switch. I stand by, if you can hear a difference and it's worth it, then spend the money. If you can't hear a difference don't spend the money!!
SIMPLE REALLY

No, not really, because if you can 'hear' a difference, it doesn't mean there really was an audible difference. Simply pricing two of the SAME CABLE, with one being priced 10x more than the other, could make that cable 'sound' more pleasant to a listener.
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post #356 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 08:49 AM
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I agree Krab. It can also work the other way. I personally get insane amounts of satisfaction when I see that my $2K CRT bought used and refurbished looks better than the $10K off the shelf digital (or $20K CRT) at someone else's house.

It's like the guy that rebuilds a vintage car that he bought sitting in a barn for $50 over the guy next door that bought a Vette at retail.

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post #357 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 11:42 AM
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Funnily enough Kurt, I get the opposite feeling when I see a high end 9" CRT in a white room projecting onto a small 4:3 screen. So much potential yet the room spoils the image. In comparison a DLP in a dark decored room has better intrascene black levels that don't change color with scene content. Makes you want to shake the CRT owner by the neck and ask them what they are thinking....

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post #358 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

The switch is a constant, so if that's not valid, what is? It must be more transparent than the speakers!

This is unfortunatly a catch 22 in favor of the expensive cable advocates. No it's simply not possible to do a SEAMLESS A/B test without some form of switch box. A non seamless test goes back to the inability (or ability if you are pro expensive cables) to remember extreme aural details. So we have to use this switch and then this comes under scrutiny.

This argument cannot ever be settled. A 50/50 outcome always ends with "Well the dirty switch box is masking all the attributes of the fine cables so of course they sound the same as the Radio Shack cables"

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post #359 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I agree Krab. It can also work the other way. I personally get insane amounts of satisfaction when I see that my $2K CRT bought used and refurbished looks better than the $10K off the shelf digital (or $20K CRT) at someone else's house.


It's like the guy that rebuilds a vintage car that he bought sitting in a barn for $50 over the guy next door that bought a Vette at retail.



But in those cases, it's almost 100% certain that the two differently-priced things truly do perform differently (which one performs 'better' is somethign else again). In the case of audio, we're talking about stuff that isn't significantly different, except in price and appearance.
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post #360 of 384 Old 03-12-2008, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

This is unfortunatly a catch 22 in favor of the expensive cable advocates. No it's simply not possible to do a SEAMLESS A/B test without some form of switch box. A non seamless test goes back to the inability (or ability if you are pro expensive cables) to remember extreme aural details. So we have to use this switch and then this comes under scrutiny.

This argument cannot ever be settled. A 50/50 outcome always ends with "Well the dirty switch box is masking all the attributes of the fine cables so of course they sound the same as the Radio Shack cables"

But the thing is, usually they didn't 'sound the same' to the listener. Usually the listener thought they sounded different during the test too. That they really 'sounded the same' is a conclusion derived from reviewing the listener's performance, after the test -- not something the listener reported himself during the test.

Unless he's insane, the subjectivist can't claim that the switch box masked the differences he reported hearing during the test itself. He can ONLY propose that the differences he hears without the switchbox, are of a different type completely. And are also substantially masked by the switchbox. Occam's Razor, anyone?
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