Hi All, especially Mike L.,
For anyone who hasn't been as subject in, and possibly watched from side a true, double blind test, I strongly suggest you be somewhat respectful of those who have. The way the test is conducted and many seemingly minor factors can make such things VERY difficult. I have sat through blind amplifier comparisions as well as one of Tom Nousaine's cable tests as well as an interesting comparison of a cheap/common op-amp circuit. A few of these used the ABX box that QSC had built. To say that a blind test is a difficult listening condition is a gross understatement.
Harman Motive, even more than the home audio end, has done an amazing amount of testing on trained and untrained listeners. In OEM autosound systems, prooving the money you spent was worth it is even more important as compared to home audio where spending more *must* mean it's better.
Some guys I went to college with have been involved in plenty of this sort of testing, and to say much of it is sobering is a gross understatement.
Practice and gaining some level of comfort with the test is an important factor to consider, both in general terms and for the specific case. Please note I am NOT defending the $25k cables on the market (some of them really muck with the signal!
), but rather intending to add some levity to the discussion. Many objectivists are also guilty of assuming that the speakers many enthusiasts love follow common behavior. Some speakers have wildly varying impedances, some amplifiers actually try and deliver on the DC-Ch5 ideal, and some components and cables have rather peculiar grounding practices. I'm not suggesting that these are competently designed products, but such occurances are more common in exotic hi-fi than many like to acknowledge.