Observations of a controlled Cable Test - Page 8 - AVS Forum
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post #211 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 08:00 AM
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The ordeal is far too lengthy to re-cap here. But suffice it to say that since I added the MIT's to my system, my music listening has increased substantially. Listening to music is 'fun' again. Of course I've done quite a few other things to get to this point, but the MIT cables put things over the top.

Just as washing the outside of my car and detailing the inside 'makes' my car stereo actually sound better in my mind, the MIT cables have helped you get a little closer to your own personal 'audio nirvana'. For you, the money spent on the MIT cables was worth it.
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post #212 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 08:33 AM
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You know Rutgar, based at least on Mike L.'s results, I would've thought you'd be particularly keen on doing something similar at your home. As you recall, elsewhere you wrote about the rather striking difference the MIT's made in that demo you'd attended. That generated a lively discussion regarding the patents and the strong possibility that MIT's circuitry also affected the speaker's FR's in some unknown way. Possibly something else too given that we don't know what specific components are in the box and how they're wired.

Mike L.'s results suggest that the effect of the components in the Transparent box have next to a nil effect in the audible range. Your's though, based on that demo, suggest otherwise. Even an abbreviated Blind Test with eight trials as Mike did would provide useful information to you. Consider for a moment. If the trials suggested a difference, then further work using a battery of test tones and a VOM would shed light as to whether the cables acted as an external crossover of sorts. It would enable you to better understand why you preferred what you did and possibly suggest other avenues for you to explore to heighten your personal enjoyment. If the trials didn't suggest a difference, then that might imply that MIT's demo involved some trickery and that biases were at play in your own evaluations. How you handled that would be entirely up to you but in no case would it mandate you discarding your cables.
I simply see it as you'd become a more informed person about your own system.

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post #213 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 09:20 AM
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Chu, as I have stated... several times, I will look into it. I haven't listened to different cables blind. Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult. I don't know. Even when I listen to music, I prefer to do so sighted, and with light. Not overly bright light, but light just the same.

A friend of mine who also uses MIT's believes he can pick out the differences. And he likes to listen to music in the dark, and/or with his eyes closed. I plan on getting with him, and maybe some others here locally and see if we can come up with something. But it's not something I plan on trying to do in the immediate future, if at all.

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post #214 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 09:36 AM
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I missed the several times Rutgar.

"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
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post #215 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 10:43 AM
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I agree with AdrianMills that because of the long switching intervals and the small number of trials, the test was flawed enough that one really couldn't conclude whether the cables sound the same or not.

What the test did reveal in full glory, though, is the uselessness of sighted listening tests for reliably detecting anything but extremely gross and glaring sonic differences. That should be a worthwhile learning point, though, for anyone who confidently believes he or she can tell how cables "sound."

IMHO, "listening" to cables is like drinking wine and trying to "taste" the glass bottle that it was poured from.

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post #216 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 10:50 AM
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The long intervals in switching are also problematic in sighted tests, too.

"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
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post #217 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

The long intervals in switching are also problematic in sighted tests, too.

Exactly. And yet, those who "hear" differences in cables in sighted tests do not seem to find that an insurmountable obstacle.

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post #218 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

Chu, as I have stated... several times, I will look into it. I haven't listened to different cables blind. Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult.


The best evidence from science, in all manner of experiments, is that 'blinding' reveals the true state of affairs, by filtering out very common sources of bias . Yet your first hypothesis is that maybe there's something wrong with blind tests. Clearly the force is strong in you.

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I don't know. Even when I listen to music, I prefer to do so sighted, and with light. Not overly bright light, but light just the same.

Blind doesn't mean no light. Blind doesn't mean you can't have your eyes wide open in a well-lit room when you do the 'blind' test.
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post #219 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 11:23 AM
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Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult.

ROTFL
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post #220 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 11:35 AM
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Daredevil would beg to differ.

"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
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post #221 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

Blind doesn't mean no light. Blind doesn't mean you can't have your eyes wide open in a well-lit room when you do the 'blind' test.

Yea, it seems many are taking the word blind' much too literal here. I don't believe Double Blind' necessitates having both the tester and the testee stumbling around in the dark.

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post #222 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 12:26 PM
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Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult

Ding!

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post #223 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult.

There is--it makes the listener rely only on the sound.

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post #224 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 02:58 PM
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What I'm curious about is if this test has NOT made a died in the wool subjectivist at least pause and think - even if only for a millisecond - then just how much evidence is required before they will have a wonder about the meaning of this.

I mean, what would it take, short of a personal DBT that is- for the blind 'I trust my ears and hearing totally and completely' to be replaced with at least a nod at the possibility that sighted tests can mislead? Out of Mikes earlier post the one line which really stood out for me was along the lines of 'I had no idea just how much a sighted audition can fool us' (or words to that affect). And I can't be too hard on someone who has not realised that yet, after all it is only after having done the test that Mike gained a subjective reality on it.

It reminds me a bit of the old smoking debate, not tooo long ago we could have seen the spectacle of big tobacco execs, hand on heart, testifying before congress that 'I believe smoking does not contribute to cancer'. Maybe they did believe it, or simply refused to acknowledge what they knew to be true, who knows. But the point is, anyone who got up NOWADAYS and made such a statement would be laughed out of court with extreme derision by all!

Why?? Because at some point the line was crossed where the massive weight of evidence was such that it is simply untenable to hole the position that 'smoking does not contribute to cancer'.

Is there a similar line in this debate?? Indeed, is there even a line where fifty Mike L's and ten Rutgars all report similar findings, that the 'unknown subjectivist' would pause and think....

I applaud Mike totally for doing the test and being so honest, and whilst I don't think he should be I can understand how deflated he must feel and understand how he feels he has 'let the side down'.

No, he has contributed to advancing the knowledge, even within whatever limitations the test itself had.

For example, (just for clarity I wouldn't spend more than a dollar/foot on speaker cable) I think Rutgar earlier pointed out he feels that the difference between cables exhibits itself in long term relaxed listening, even if the actual sonic differences are minor (which ALL the tests to date seem to show). After pondering that for only a little while, I can very easily accept that an absolutely minor difference (as shown by the DBT) can in fact make a rather more substantial difference in long term 'lack of fatigue' as an example.

Whether it is actually true is another matter, but I can easily accept it could be that way.

So all that is saying is that a few more (better controlled perhaps) tests by Mike et al may in the end develop into tests that examine the above hypothesis for example (tho that would require that the 'non-DBT' crowd jettison their misheld beliefs about DBT, they are blind (ie I'm not allowed visual sight) or that they must involve raped switching, (and many others I suspect) all of which have been explained ad nauseum before), which IS advancing the state of knowledge.

And who knows, by examining a question such as the one above, the loop could be closed and we will understand the seeming contradiction between the results of DBT's and peoples perceptions.

Although I must confess to feeling the simplest conclusion is the front runner in the race right now, that our listening senses are easily fooled by our sight sense. After all, is not the sense of sight our most prominent sense?? so it stands to reason it will 'overrule' the lesser senses.
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post #225 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 07:19 PM
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What I'm curious about is if this test has NOT made a died in the wool subjectivist at least pause and think - even if only for a millisecond - then just how much evidence is required before they will have a wonder about the meaning of this.


I consider myself a hard-core subjectivist and yes this test has given me pause... It however reinforces my position on the subject of cables.. They definitely do not make the night and day hyperbolic differences we, audiophiles throw around...I am repeating myself here...

Frantz
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post #226 of 384 Old 11-26-2007, 08:01 PM
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Yea, it seems many are taking the word blind' much too literal here. I don't believe Double Blind' necessitates having both the tester and the testee stumbling around in the dark.

Dave

Actually, it's the double blind test that allows one to see the light, while audiophiles who profess to hear vast cable differences actually are stumbling around in the dark .
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post #227 of 384 Old 11-27-2007, 12:29 AM
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I think it would be better put to say that we integrate the inputs from all of our senses at a very, very deep, automatic level, no matter how "trained" someone claims to be.

There really is no question about the difficulties in sighted testing, it's been shown in example after example, in hearing, taste, sight (bearing in mind "sighted testing" means that you don't know the identity of the probe signal, not that you can't see) and so on that we will integrate all the information available to us.

I have to say that the fellow here who took the test has been quite the gentleman compared to most (if not all) subjectivists who have embarked on this route, and deserves praise for both being willing to try as well as being willing to admit that he was at least temporarily stymied.

There are some facts about blind testing that have to be relayed. In blind auditory testing, people with no hearing impairments being tested in quiet rooms can in fact hear very, very close to the level of atmospheric noise in the room, in a blind test. That, by itself, ought to show that blind testing is not flawed. What's more, in many blind tests where there is an audible effect, I've had subjects think they were guessing, when in fact they were not guessing, and were surprised to find consistancy in their answers.

Having said all that, training is essential. Oh, and did I mention, training is absolutely essential, and that's all there is to it? Yes, I guess I did mention that training is essential.

Having said that, I've been pointed by a very gleeful audiophile to a test that shows that there is a measurable difference between two power cords. This seemed odd, until I found out that one of the power cords was #18 AWG, and the other #12 AWG. Sure enough, use a cord that's too small (and I don't want to even speculate on the UL issues around that) and it won't work right. The small cord was "special silver-plated wire", but you know, copper is this ->||<- close to silver in conductivity, and that's not very important in 60Hz applications at this current level.

Finally, among experienced scientific listeners, at least some find that they are more accurate in blind testing, because they are aware of the sensory issues, and they tend to discount their sighted results, even when the differences are obvious.

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post #228 of 384 Old 11-28-2007, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

... Maybe there's something about listening blind that makes telling a difference difficult.

Yes, a closed book test is always more difficult than when the answers are in front of the person.

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... A friend of mine who also uses MIT's believes he can pick out the differences. .


And this is evidence of what, that he is a believer too? Knowing goes further than believing.
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post #229 of 384 Old 11-28-2007, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Lee (QSC) View Post

Exactly. And yet, those who "hear" differences in cables in sighted tests do not seem to find that an insurmountable obstacle.

Yep, that only comes up when it is a DBT. One needs an excuse
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post #230 of 384 Old 11-28-2007, 05:07 PM
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I was strictly talking about the way I prefer to listen to music when mentioning not having my eyes closed. I was NOT talking about any sort of particular DBT. But I guess you guys won't let the facts get in the way of you being jerks.

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post #231 of 384 Old 11-28-2007, 07:49 PM
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I was strictly talking about the way I prefer to listen to music when mentioning not having my eyes closed. I was NOT talking about any sort of particular DBT. But I guess you guys won't let the facts get in the way of you being jerks.


You keep thinking that 'blind' listening somehow refers to having your eyes closed or it being dark. It just means (in this case) that you do not know what speaker cable is connected. Feel free to have the lights on and your eyes wide open--the probability is still very low that you will be able to tell one cable from the next if you can not see the actual cable being used...

Jaime

If you can't say anything kind at least have the decency to be vague...
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post #232 of 384 Old 11-28-2007, 09:14 PM
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actually, for a true dbt, one must have their eyes pecked out by crows at the beginning of the test.

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post #233 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 04:35 AM
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You keep thinking that 'blind' listening somehow refers to having your eyes closed or it being dark. It just means (in this case) that you do not know what speaker cable is connected. Feel free to have the lights on and your eyes wide open--the probability is still very low that you will be able to tell one cable from the next if you can not see the actual cable being used...

No, I don't think that it means " having your eyes closed or it being dark." I'm not stupid. I know what a DBT is. Mike used darkened safety glasses. So my reference was partly to that particular test. The probelm here is, if I make a comment about a specific subject or item, you guys stretch it into meaning something completely unrelated, or something that I didn't mean just to bolster your point of view. And then you're rude about as well.

I feel I have been more than fair in this 'debate'. I have mentioned several times about looking into some sort of testing on my own or with some local people. Here's an idea... why don't some of you 'Objectivist' spend some time and effort on putting together your own test. Come to my house and PROVE to me my cables don't make a difference. I'll even buy the beer. Then you can come here and crow all you like.

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post #234 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

I feel I have been more than fair in this 'debate'. I have mentioned several times about looking into some sort of testing on my own or with some local people. Here's an idea... why don't some of you 'Objectivist' spend some time and effort on putting together your own test. Come to my house and PROVE to me my cables don't make a difference. I'll even buy the beer. Then you can come here and crow all you like.

You can't do it that way. All you need to do is randomly pick if you are biased to believe that there are no differences. You can only do the opposite. A person who believes that they can hear differences needs to show it in a DBT.
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post #235 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 04:54 AM
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actually, for a true dbt, one must have their eyes pecked out by crows at the beginning of the test.

I did that once but . . . "nevermore".
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post #236 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

No, I don't think that it means " having your eyes closed or it being dark." I'm not stupid. I know what a DBT is. Mike used darkened safety glasses. So my reference was partly to that particular test. The probelm here is, if I make a comment about a specific subject or item, you guys stretch it into meaning something completely unrelated, or something that I didn't mean just to bolster your point of view. And then you're rude about as well.

I feel I have been more than fair in this 'debate'. I have mentioned several times about looking into some sort of testing on my own or with some local people. Here's an idea... why don't some of you 'Objectivist' spend some time and effort on putting together your own test. Come to my house and PROVE to me my cables don't make a difference. I'll even buy the beer. Then you can come here and crow all you like.

How can 'we' prove that to you? What would you accept as proof?

You want objectivists to do the proctoring? Chris Wiggles -- an 'objectivist' -- performed this service for Mr. Lavigne.
Tom Nousaine has travelled to test the claims of a cable manufacturer (who chickened out). He arranged to travel to meet Steve Herrala (who posts on AVSf) to test *his* claims of hearing amp differences. SH couldn't ever seem to get his act together to go through with that. The 'Zipser trials' of amps involved objectivists travelling to Florida help a blowhard hi-end dealer compare his favorite amp to a mass market receiver (he failed the DBT). James Randi hosts a $1million challenge that recently included cables. There are other 'audio challenges' out there too, involving $$, from objectivists. So don't whine about how objectivists don't walk the walk.
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post #237 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

You can't do it that way. All you need to do is randomly pick if you are biased to believe that there are no differences. You can only do the opposite. A person who believes that they can hear differences needs to show it in a DBT.

Nonsense.

Ever hear of "controls" in an experiment?

If you're picking randomly, you'll get caught by the controls. End of discussion. Oh, wait, you didn't include any? Tsk!

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post #238 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 11:49 AM
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Nonsense.

Ever hear of "controls" in an experiment?

If you're picking randomly, you'll get caught by the controls. End of discussion. Oh, wait, you didn't include any? Tsk!

Actually, the people who don't hear a difference would be the control group. The experimental arm would be those who claim otherwise.

SM
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post #239 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

actually, for a true dbt, one must have their eyes pecked out by crows at the beginning of the test.

And then? There is a replacement set available after the test?
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post #240 of 384 Old 11-29-2007, 12:14 PM
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...Tom Nousaine has travelled to test the claims of a cable manufacturer (who chickened out)...

You mean the famous Mr. Transparent Audio test? LOL
But back then, he didn't have the $35k cables.
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