Observations of a controlled Cable Test - Page 3 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #61 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 02:35 PM
Advanced Member
 
gotchaforce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
What sucks is Mike L still wins no matter what considering he has the best listening room on all of AVS!

If i was in the same position, i probably wouldnt have done it. It requires quite a bit of will power and stamina to do these blind tests especially when you probably have better things to do (like listen to music).

The writeup was really good and this is a nice eye opener of sorts...
gotchaforce is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #62 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 03:23 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Michael Grant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 10,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:


Mike's result wasn't unlikely or mysterious,

That's what you and I believe to be true, but it wasn't what Mike believed. You can't place our assumptions onto his process, even if we believe our assumptions are the right ones (which I genuinely believe they are.)
Quote:


I hope he knows when to stop.

Fair enough; I think a couple more good tests ought to do it.

Michael
Michael Grant is offline  
post #63 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 03:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

i want to thank my friends Joe and Ted for all their help yesterday; .

Hats off to you for attempting this and going through it. Wish more would stand up to the plate as you have. Thanks.
CharlesJ is offline  
post #64 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 03:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

(not fox news of course) .


Of course not. That is yet another claim, unsupported
CharlesJ is offline  
post #65 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 03:40 PM
Advanced Member
 
Bhagi Katbamna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Missouri
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post

Mike,

You have my utmost respect and admiration for being willing to do this test, and for the way you've conducted yourself following the posting of the results. You really had nothing to win and a lot to lose, and certainly get my vote for the biggest balls on AVS. Chin up and enjoy your wonderful system !!!

No kidding. You've handled yourself with grace without a hint of defensiveness.

Give me ten men like Clouseau, and I could destroy the world.
Bhagi Katbamna is offline  
post #66 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 04:07 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Bob Lee (QSC)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 1,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Good work to all involved: Mike L, Chris, et al.

The real thing this test reveals is the huge stealthy difference between sighted and blind tests. Going from sighted to blind listening tests is, ironically, a real eye opener.

Mike, you didn't "fail" the test.

Bob Lee
Applications Engineer
QSC Audio Products, LLC
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Secretary,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bob Lee (QSC) is offline  
post #67 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 04:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
krabapple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in a state bordered by Kentucky and Maine
Posts: 5,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

That's what you and I believe to be true, but it wasn't what Mike believed. You can't place our assumptions onto his process, even if we believe our assumptions are the right ones (which I genuinely believe they are.)Fair enough; I think a couple more good tests ought to do it.

It's not just that I believe it to be true , it's that we're talking about scientific data, protocols and practice...which is what Mike was attempting to follow in this instance. Based on the extant science, a 'no difference' result in a controlled listening test of two loudspeaker cables is neither unlikely nor hard to explain.
krabapple is offline  
post #68 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 04:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
joeycalda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I think that there is a parameter that has not been considered. I recently did some testing of a new transport in my system which is comprised of well regarded audio components and I noticed that I enjoy the sound best when my eyes are open, but looking into a black area between my speakers rather than having my eyes closed.

I usually turn off all the light and just have the Glow from the amps and the equipment used for lighting. I gives me a better sense of depth and placement to the recordings and I somehow lose some of that with my eyes closed. Now this could have been done at Mikes test by just shutting off the lights rather than the blindfold. Our senses act independently of each other , but combining them does add something that may not be measurable. Smell and taste are obviously connected, maybe sight and sound are as well. As this may have been already stated, but I would also like to add that this really only means that transparent cabling and monster cabling are similar.
joeycalda is offline  
post #69 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 05:42 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Michael Grant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 10,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:


Based on the extant science, a 'no difference' result in a controlled listening test of two loudspeaker cables is neither unlikely nor hard to explain.

I don't mean to pick nits but if Mike were working in the realm of extant science, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. This really isn't about science, specifically; rather, it is about education, about knowledge aquisition. Thus it really doesn't matter what the extant science says; what matters is what Mike L. believes, and the evolution of that belief. What matters is that it was a surprising result to him.

Michael
Michael Grant is offline  
post #70 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
ChrisWiggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 20,730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeycalda View Post

I think that there is a parameter that has not been considered. I recently did some testing of a new transport in my system which is comprised of well regarded audio components and I noticed that I enjoy the sound best when my eyes are open, but looking into a black area between my speakers rather than having my eyes closed.

I usually turn off all the light and just have the Glow from the amps and the equipment used for lighting. I gives me a better sense of depth and placement to the recordings and I somehow lose some of that with my eyes closed. Now this could have been done at Mikes test by just shutting off the lights rather than the blindfold. Our senses act independently of each other , but combining them does add something that may not be measurable. Smell and taste are obviously connected, maybe sight and sound are as well. As this may have been already stated, but I would also like to add that this really only means that transparent cabling and monster cabling are similar.


They certainly are connected, and what we see seriously affects our perception of what we hear. It's part of the reason having speakers perfectly placed behind the screen isn't hugely necessary. Our brain is very adept at re-locating sounds to where our eyes tell us they should be. This is why I hold the exact opposite opinion as the one you forward. When you see the speakers and the room, you expect all the sounds to be coming from the plane and location of your two speakers, and between them. It is far less likely under those circumstances to perceive soundstage depth both behind and in front of the speakers, outside the width of the speakers, and occassionally height as well. But that's only my personal listening experience. Others may prefer seeing the speakers for totally different reasons.
ChrisWiggles is offline  
post #71 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 07:09 PM
Member
 
becketma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tucson, part of Old Mexico.
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Been quite a few years since I sat in a Stat. class.

I seem to remember the assertion is that "cable A is greater than cable B".

Null hypothesis is than cable B is equal to or less than B.

As a result, a one tailed test.

Perform the test, and either accept or reject the null hypothesis.

I have a poor memory and haven't spent any time, other than decades old class time with the math and testing procedures.

Its great to see people taking a practical approach to solving the question of "is cable A better than cable B". Its even better to see someone looking to math for help.

If I remember correctly, the result must be stated that with the given test procedures the null hypothesis was either accepted or rejected. I've been told, one of the reasons for peer-review journals is that the readers are confident the reviewers have checked the methodology.

Its interesting to hear others debate if the mathematics captured a "real" result or the mathematics was unable to capture the "real" result.

If we accept or reject the null hypothesis, well then? was the test condition generalizable to "the real world"?

I seem to remember a professor point out that if you ask a question in a survey the result should be an actionable result (weather it is A or B). If the result is A then this action can be taken; if the result is B then another action can be taken. If no action can be taken, then what?

My hats off to all of those that endured the test conditions, and to those who gave their time to this noble pursuit. What a breath of fresh air after streams of pyramid power cleaning up audio signals.

Again, many thanks.

Best Regards

Bob
becketma is offline  
post #72 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 07:23 PM
QQQ
AVS Addicted Member
 
QQQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 10,998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
The only surprising result of this test is Mike's gentlemanly reaction to it.
QQQ is offline  
post #73 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 09:08 PM
Member
 
Jon Risch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Mike,

Kudos for doing the hard work of attempting a formal listening test, they can be a LOT of work, and lot of effort.

Don't be discouraged by the results, many of these kinds of listening tests are amazingly INSENSITIVE to subtle sonic differences, and the fact that you thought that you were hearing things under the sighted informal sessions before the formal session really doesn't mean much, the formal portion literally changes the way your brain works and 'analyzes' the music. Thus, you may have been hearing what you thought you heard during the initial sighted sessions, and then later, you literally could no longer do so, your brain was running in a different mode than it was at first!

It is also likely, that being inexperienced with participating in a formal listening test, that listening fatigue set in early, even with trained and experienced listeners, there are only so many sessions that can be done before your ears and brain are toast, and the rest of the trials are just adding random results.

If you really want to do some more listening tests, you will probably want to read some comments I have made, as well as get a look at my AES preprint on DIY subjective listening tests, and I provide much of the main concepts and ideas in the last URL I provide here below. The first two are comments on common problems and issues with amateur DBT's, some of which probably apply to your own recent experience.

DBT's are HARD work, and a failure to end up with a positive result does not mean that there wasn't a sonic difference to be heard, just that the test you participated in may not have been capable of revealing it.

URL's for info on DIY DBT's:
http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pr...ages/2190.html
http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pr...ages/2579.html
http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pr...ages/2580.html

Jon Risch
Jon Risch is offline  
post #74 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 09:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
FrantzM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southeast FL, USA
Posts: 2,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

The only surprising result of this test is Mike's gentlemanly reaction to it.

Surprising ? No.. Remarkable? Certainly.. From the start MikeL has been a gentlemen even in he face of ad hominem posts...

Frantz
FrantzM is offline  
post #75 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 09:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Jonomega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 3,518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
great read, i look forward to reading more about this.
Jonomega is offline  
post #76 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 09:30 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Chu Gai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NYC area
Posts: 14,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 160 Post(s)
Liked: 464
Mike L., have you given any thought to repeating the test that Stereo Review did a number of years ago with speaker wire? If you want the details, I can provide them. The idea is to replicate earlier work where the wires are quite dissimilar. Call it 'easy' if you will. Once you've gotten that down, and therefore gained some experience and confidence, you can progress to more 'difficult' scenarios. Kind of like learning how to play catch. Start out slow...easy...and work your way up.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
Chu Gai is online now  
post #77 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 10:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
krabapple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in a state bordered by Kentucky and Maine
Posts: 5,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Risch View Post

Mike,

Kudos for doing the hard work of attempting a formal listening test, they can be a LOT of work, and lot of effort.

Don't be discouraged by the results, many of these kinds of listening tests are amazingly INSENSITIVE to subtle sonic differences,

And away we go!

Woo woo! (or should I say 'quack quack')

Tell us again why skin effect matters in audio cables, Mr. Risch. And why putting a sandbag on a CD player reduces jitter. And why DBT discussion is not allowed in your 'Cable Asylum' over on AA. Is it so folks like jneutron, Stewart Pinkerton, jj, Dick Pierce, mtrycrafts et al. can't take your theories apart in full view of the assembled flock?

Btw, one of my favorite posts involving you is this one - where you contorted yourself trying to explain away *YET ANOTHER* honest, and arguably even more thorough, blind cable comparison that came up negative.

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...fde0362?hl=en&
krabapple is offline  
post #78 of 384 Old 11-19-2007, 11:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
joeycalda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:


They certainly are connected, and what we see seriously affects our perception of what we hear. It's part of the reason having speakers perfectly placed behind the screen isn't hugely necessary. Our brain is very adept at re-locating sounds to where our eyes tell us they should be. This is why I hold the exact opposite opinion as the one you forward. When you see the speakers and the room, you expect all the sounds to be coming from the plane and location of your two speakers, and between them. It is far less likely under those circumstances to perceive soundstage depth both behind and in front of the speakers, outside the width of the speakers, and occassionally height as well.

So you disagree with the way I like to listen to my system??

Just to better explain my first post....I like it it dark ...so dark that I cannot even see my speakers just the glow from my amps. Not everyone would enjoy it this way, but I love it. I have incredible depth to my soundsystem light on or off I just prefer the latter

Joey
joeycalda is offline  
post #79 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 04:12 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NIN74's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Skoghall, va, Sweden
Posts: 3,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Risch View Post

Don't be discouraged by the results, many of these kinds of listening tests are amazingly INSENSITIVE to subtle sonic differences,


What?

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
NIN74 is offline  
post #80 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 06:39 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,978
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked: 321
I've done enough blind and double-blind testing of cables and other audio gear (and read enough about it) to be unsurprised at this result. In fact, I wish there had been betting opened upon the result so I could have won some money.

To those who poo-poo these tests let's keep these things in mind:

What kind of claims are made by manufacturers, and often by reviewers and
many audiophiles about boutique cables? Very often the top-rated cables are said to transform a system's sound in a significant, easily discernible and subjectively quantifiable manner. Changes in depth, focus, clarity, timbre, "pacing," bass etc. These changes are purportedly so major that sited reviewers actually recommend cables at jaw-dropping price points, and people actually believe they hear differences warranting these amazing costs.

But suddenly when blind testing rears it's head these "amazing differences" start shrinking to teeny, tiny differences that, as some will complain, one becomes insensitive to during a test. That issue in of itself should be sobering, in terms of the levels of sonic difference we are really looking at. (Reminds me very much of all those PSI people who can easily read minds on their own time, but when put to test start complaining of everything under the sun in how difficult it became...as the poor test results flowed in).

There is just a ton of scientific research detailing how people are fooled by their subjective biases. It also shows that you don't even have to go into a
test of A and B thinking either will be different. You may think you are neutral on A and B. But that's not how our brains work. Our brains are always trying to discern differences, (especially if we are trying to discern differences). And you will tend to think you are hearing/seeing differences between A and B as a matter of course. People under testing will think they perceive a difference between A and A, even when A has not been switched at all.

These are issues that any truth-seeking, or care-minded person ought to take into account if they really want to get to the bottom of whether A is reliably sonically discernible from B. If not, then you just aren't accounting in your methodology for variable well-known to influence test results.

I'm not saying that any particular blind/double-blind test puts a nail into the coffin of subjective claims about a cable or whatever. A good scientists or researcher is (or should be) cautious about results even of tests that seem well controlled, because there could always have been an X factor unaccounted for that influenced the test (which is why repeatability of test results by other parties is such a big part of the scientific method).

BUT...to those who want to say that blind tests are not reliable for discerning sonic differences the question arises: then what type of tests ARE better for determining if you really are able to reliably distinguish a cable on sonic differences alone?"

I mean, if taking into account plenty of scientific research showing the issues of sighted bias, and trying to reduce those variables unrelated to the actual sonic differences via blind testing isn't the way to be more sure of a test result...what in the world is? A group of audiophiles reclining in front of 6K cables, wine glasses in hand?

Also, the "it's too stressful" line of thinking as an excuse against null results doesn't do much to account for the many positive results that occur during blind testing. I've had a number of positive results (e.g. comparing DACs)...and didn't feel any of this terrible strain. Also, research into all manner of things sonic, e.g. tests for audio codecs and compression schemes, yield reliable positive test results for sonic differences, using blind testing.

As an audiophile myself I understand the allure of cables and tweaks: it gives you the promise of pushing your system's performance beyond what is just handed to you at the store. It plays into that audiophile quest to get the system better...better...better... and we leap on anything that seems to do this.

But, I just can't ignore the results I've found in being involved in blind/double-blind tests, nor can I ignore the many results found by others, and all the research on human perception and behaviour in these issues.

Now...time to go fire up my tube-amp, which no one will pry from my dead hands....

Rich H


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #81 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 06:45 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Curt Palme's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 18,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Now THAT was a good post Rich!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- CRT tech info


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-pro audio website
Curt Palme is offline  
post #82 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 06:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Swampfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Risch View Post

Mike,

Don't be discouraged by the results, many of these kinds of listening tests are amazingly INSENSITIVE to subtle sonic differences, and the fact that you thought that you were hearing things under the sighted informal sessions before the formal session really doesn't mean much, the formal portion literally changes the way your brain works and 'analyzes' the music. Thus, you may have been hearing what you thought you heard during the initial sighted sessions, and then later, you literally could no longer do so, your brain was running in a different mode than it was at first!


Jon Risch

To restate your hypothesis . . . you are saying that:
DBT tests introduce bias that invalidate the results. Only sighted, informal testing can reveal subtle differences between cables.

Swampfox is offline  
post #83 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 07:05 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:


DBT's are HARD work, and a failure to end up with a positive result does not mean that there wasn't a sonic difference to be heard, just that the test you participated in may not have been capable of revealing it.


Im all for BETTER TESTING METHODS that are less stressful....

please post one method better then DBTs?

But please remember that you must REMOVE any bias during the testing. If I know a product costs $X my brain automatically places a "value" and "performance" to that product therefore its impossible for ANYONE to not have a BIAS opinion even before the testing starts.

Remove the BIAS and then we have REAL results.

The stress is actually in the fact that we are TRYING to find the differences, its hard mentality to go through this sort of testing for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours. If we just site back and listen without the stress of trying to spot the difference the test simply show little or no differences.

I had to endure 4 years of living with Engineers during my school days, talk about the mythbusters of the 80s

Actually DBTs isnt even needed, we once switched out the cables of a friends system. They were not $7K cables at all but they were "Student Expensive" 10 AWG cables. We switched them with lamp cord since the distances were only 10 feet anyways, he never noticed for weeks and only when he saw them did he start to think he heard a difference.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #84 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 07:39 AM
 
Gordon Shumway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,459
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I've done enough blind and double-blind testing of cables and other audio gear (and read enough about it) to be unsurprised at this result. In fact, I wish there had been betting opened upon the result so I could have won some money.

To those who poo-poo these tests let's keep these things in mind:

What kind of claims are made by manufacturers, and often by reviewers and
many audiophiles about boutique cables? Very often the top-rated cables are said to transform a system's sound in a significant, easily discernible and subjectively quantifiable manner. Changes in depth, focus, clarity, timbre, "pacing," bass etc. These changes are purportedly so major that sited reviewers actually recommend cables at jaw-dropping price points, and people actually believe they hear differences warranting these amazing costs.

But suddenly when blind testing rears it's head these "amazing differences" start shrinking to teeny, tiny differences that, as some will complain, one becomes insensitive to during a test. That issue in of itself should be sobering, in terms of the levels of sonic difference we are really looking at. (Reminds me very much of all those PSI people who can easily read minds on their own time, but when put to test start complaining of everything under the sun in how difficult it became...as the poor test results flowed in).

There is just a ton of scientific research detailing how people are fooled by their subjective biases. It also shows that you don't even have to go into a
test of A and B thinking either will be different. You may think you are neutral on A and B. But that's not how our brains work. Our brains are always trying to discern differences, (especially if we are trying to discern differences). And you will tend to think you are hearing/seeing differences between A and B as a matter of course. People under testing will think they perceive a difference between A and A, even when A has not been switched at all.

These are issues that any truth-seeking, or care-minded person ought to take into account if they really want to get to the bottom of whether A is reliably sonically discernible from B. If not, then you just aren't accounting in your methodology for variable well-known to influence test results.

I'm not saying that any particular blind/double-blind test puts a nail into the coffin of subjective claims about a cable or whatever. A good scientists or researcher is (or should be) cautious about results even of tests that seem well controlled, because there could always have been an X factor unaccounted for that influenced the test (which is why repeatability of test results by other parties is such a big part of the scientific method).

BUT...to those who want to say that blind tests are not reliable for discerning sonic differences the question arises: then what type of tests ARE better for determining if you really are able to reliably distinguish a cable on sonic differences alone?"

I mean, if taking into account plenty of scientific research showing the issues of sited bias, and trying to reduce those variables unrelated to the actual sonic differences via blind testing isn't the way to be more sure of a test result...what in the world is? A group of audiophiles reclining in front of
6K cables, wine glasses in hand?

Also, the "it's too stressful" line of thinking as an excuse against null results doesn't do much to account for the many positive results that occur during blind testing. I've had a number of positive results (e.g. comparing DACs)...and didn't feel any of this terrible strain. Also, research into all manner of things sonic, e.g. tests for audio codecs and compression schemes, yield reliable positive test results for sonic differences, using blind testing.

As an audiophile myself I understand the allure of cables and tweaks: it gives you the promise of pushing your system's performance beyond what is just handed to you at the store. It plays into that audiophile quest to get the system better...better...better... and we leap on anything that seems to do this.

But, I just can't ignore the results I've found in being involved in blind/double-blind tests, nor can I ignore the many results found by others, and all the research on human perception and behaviour in these issues.

Now...time to go fire up my tube-amp, which no one will pry from my dead hands....


+1 Well said.
Gordon Shumway is offline  
post #85 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 08:48 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bob Lee (QSC)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 1,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Risch View Post

Don't be discouraged by the results, many of these kinds of listening tests are amazingly INSENSITIVE to subtle sonic differences,

They are no more insensitive to subtle sonic differences than sighted tests are. They are, however, amazingly insensitive to imagined sonic differences, which is why they are far more valuable than sighted tests.

Bob Lee
Applications Engineer
QSC Audio Products, LLC
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Secretary,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bob Lee (QSC) is offline  
post #86 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 08:57 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Michael Grant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 10,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
In a sense Jon Risch is absolutely right. The brain really is working differently in a blind test compared to a non-blind one! Specifically there is a marked reduction in activity in the part of the brain associated with imagination.

Seriously though penngray also has a point. Mike L.'s tests are more stressful than they could be precisely because of the mental investment he has in his position. It is not just a casual audition but an attempt to prove something. If DBT were a regular feature of one's auditioning practice the stress factor would be greatly reduced. (easier said than done I admit)

Improvements in the testing method and further practice should certainly help in that regard.

Michael
Michael Grant is offline  
post #87 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 08:58 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Michael Grant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 10,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Oops Bob beat me to the punch

Michael
Michael Grant is offline  
post #88 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 09:08 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bob Lee (QSC)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 1,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
It seems to me the only thing stressful about a good DBT would be if the listener feels he or she has to "prove" something, like "I just have to hear a difference between these cables otherwise, what will people think of me?"

The listener would presumably feel that same urgency in a sighted test, too, and that would certainly induce a huge bias toward a positive result, resulting overwhelmingly in false positives.

Bob Lee
Applications Engineer
QSC Audio Products, LLC
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Secretary,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bob Lee (QSC) is offline  
post #89 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 09:09 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bob Lee (QSC)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 1,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

Oops Bob beat me to the punch

Ha!! And vice-versa.

Bob Lee
Applications Engineer
QSC Audio Products, LLC
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Secretary,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bob Lee (QSC) is offline  
post #90 of 384 Old 11-20-2007, 09:28 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mike lavigne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Redmond, Wa.
Posts: 1,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
a few comments;

the many nice comments are appreciated; i feel encouraged to continue to pursue whatever ultimate truth may be discovered. this is a learning experience and as i read the comments i can see how to do a better job next time....even though i am considerably less confident of the result.

these next two weeks are going to be busy for me;

today my 'like new' Ampex ATR-102 RTR tape machine will finally arrive. last week i recieved the first of my 'The Tape Project' 15ips master tapes. i can't wait to listen to it.

my daughter and son-in-law arrive tomorrow for a week's stay. my son-in-law is in the middle of his post-doc work as a Phd in Physics and i may have him assist me with process design for the next blind test.

then next week-end i'm off to Florida for a business trip for a week.

so it might be three weeks or so before i have anything more to report.

thanks again for the 'positive vibe' i am feeling. any negative feelings i might have had been replaced by an even greater desire for discovery.
mike lavigne is offline  
Reply Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off