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post #361 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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Okay ABX advocates, here is some good reading material for you!

http://blog.szynalski.com/2009/07/27/should-we-care-about-abx-test-results/

and this is a even better read:

Robert Harley -- Wed, 05/28/2008 - 15:18
The following is my editorial from The Absolute Sound Issue 183 (not yet published) on blind listening tests.

The Blind (Mis-) Leading the Blind

Every few years, the results of some blind listening test are announced that purportedly “prove” an absurd conclusion. These tests, ironically, say more about the flaws inherent in blind listening tests than about the phenomena in question.

The latest in this long history is a double-blind test that, the authors conclude, demonstrates that 44.1kHz/16-bit digital audio is indistinguishable from high-resolution digital. Note the word “indistinguishable.” The authors aren’t saying that high-res digital might sound a little different from Red Book CD but is no better. Or that high-res digital is only slightly better and not worth the additional cost. Rather, they reached the rather startling conclusion that CD-quality audio sounds exactly the same as 96kHz/24-bit PCM and DSD, the encoding scheme used in SACD. That is, under double-blind test conditions, 60 expert listeners over 554 trials couldn’t hear any differences between CD, SACD, and 96/24. The study was published in the September, 2007 Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.

I contend that such tests are an indictment of blind listening tests in general because of the patently absurd conclusions to which they lead. A notable example is the blind listening test conducted by Stereo Review that concluded that a pair of Mark Levinson monoblocks, an output-transformerless tubed amplifier, and a $220 Pioneer receiver were all sonically identical. (“Do All Amplifiers Sound the Same?” published in the January, 1987 issue.)

Most such tests, including this new CD vs. high-res comparison, are performed not by disinterested experimenters on a quest for the truth but by partisan hacks on a mission to discredit audiophiles. But blind listening tests lead to the wrong conclusions even when the experimenters’ motives are pure. A good example is the listening tests conducted by Swedish Radio (analogous to the BBC) to decide whether one of the low-bit-rate codecs under consideration by the European Broadcast Union was good enough to replace FM broadcasting in Europe.

Swedish Radio developed an elaborate listening methodology called “double-blind, triple-stimulus, hidden-reference.” A “subject” (listener) would hear three “objects” (musical presentations); presentation A was always the unprocessed signal, with the listener required to identify if presentation B or C had been processed through the codec.

The test involved 60 “expert” listeners spanning 20,000 evaluations over a period of two years. Swedish Radio announced in 1991 that it had narrowed the field to two codecs, and that “both codecs have now reached a level of performance where they fulfill the EBU requirements for a distribution codec.” In other words, Swedish Radio said the codec was good enough to replace analog FM broadcasts in Europe. This decision was based on data gathered during the 20,000 “double-blind, triple-stimulus, hidden-reference” listening trials. (The listening-test methodology and statistical analysis are documented in detail in “Subjective Assessments on Low Bit-Rate Audio Codecs,” by C. Grewin and T. Rydén, published in the proceedings of the 10th International Audio Engineering Society Conference, “Images of Audio.”)

After announcing its decision, Swedish Radio sent a tape of music processed by the selected codec to the late Bart Locanthi, an acknowledged expert in digital audio and chairman of an ad hoc committee formed to independently evaluate low-bit rate codecs. Using the same non-blind observational-listening techniques that audiophiles routinely use to evaluate sound quality, Locanthi instantly identified an artifact of the codec. After Locanthi informed Swedish Radio of the artifact (an idle tone at 1.5kHz), listeners at Swedish Radio also instantly heard the distortion. (Locanthi’s account of the episode is documented in an audio recording played at workshop on low-bit-rate codecs at the 91st AES convention.)

How is it possible that a single listener, using non-blind observational listening techniques, was able to discover—in less than ten minutes—a distortion that escaped the scrutiny of 60 expert listeners, 20,000 trials conducted over a two-year period, and elaborate “double-blind, triple-stimulus, hidden-reference” methodology, and sophisticated statistical analysis?

The answer is that blind listening tests fundamentally distort the listening process and are worthless in determining the audibility of a certain phenomenon.

As exemplified by yet another reader letter published in this issue, many people naively assume that blind listening tests are somehow more rigorous and honest than the “single-presentation” observational listening protocols practiced in product reviewing. There’s a common misperception that the undeniable value of blind studies of new drugs, for example, automatically confers utility on blind listening tests.

I’ve thought quite a bit about this subject, and written what I hope is a fairly reasoned and in-depth analysis of why blind listening tests are flawed. This analysis is part of a larger statement on critical listening and the conflict between audio “subjectivists” and “objectivists,” which I presented in a paper to the Audio Engineering Society entitled “The Role of Critical Listening in Evaluating Audio Equipment Quality.” You can read the entire paper here http://www.avguide.com/news/2008/05/28/the-role-of-critical-listening-in-evaluating-audio-equipment-quality/. I invite readers to comment on the paper, and discuss blind listening tests, on a special new Forum on AVguide.com. The Forum, called “Evaluation, Testing, Measurement, and Perception,” will explore how to evaluate products, how to report on that evaluation, and link that evaluation to real experience/value. I look forward to hearing your opinions and ideas.

Robert Harley

(My, it got awfully quiet in here) *Crickets*
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post #362 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 08:15 PM
 
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IMO there are some faults in ABX testing. 1. There is some mental pressure (stress) for participants as there is for most any testing. 2. I have not found mention of in room FR measurements. Supporter of the ABX method accept that not identifying differences by ear is acceptable. The reverse is true when one claims that their ears hear differences. They are lashed for failure to show charts to prove that their ears are not lying. OTOH, what I consider a fault is likely just my subjective opinion.

Now to answer your response. These tests have been performed for years with probably thousands of participants. Do you really think most participants are hearing impaired to the extent you mention? One would have to be practically deaf to be unable to distinguish a Harley exhaust from a Honda whereas slight sound variances may be impossible to hear. Many music professionals have taken these tests. Read this link for a questionable finding in one of these tests--http://www.avguide.com/forums/blind-listening-tests-are-flawed-editorial?page=2

PS I am not stalking you.smile.gif

No. What I am describing is not hearing impaired at all. Normal hearing. Passed as perfect by testing and yet tone deaf. Also, have you ever stared at something off in the distance, and you can't tell what it is, but your buddy can? You both have perfect sight, but because of his line of work he's adept at recognizing small shapes and you are not, he can recognize it when you can't. Same with hearing, some who use their ears for critical purposes become trained at processing what their ears are giving them at a higher level than somebody who listens to rock music all day. Which also touches on what goes on in the brain. Is all brain function exactly the same when processing hearing data?

But there is no use in discussing this with the science crowd because it doesn't fit their world view, which they love to cram down other's throats. So I usually don't bother.

And you can't stalk me because I'm wearing my tinfoil hat! cool.gif
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post #363 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ricsim78 View Post

ABX test: Level matching, using expensive equipment, participants vary, receiver differences negated
Real life: Setup receiver, do room correction, tweak, listen, tweak more, use it.
My test: More realistic and using equipment most use.

You can argue the method, you cannot argue the issues of your argument without opinion.

Our hobby is littered with internet reviewers talking about how much more inner detail they get with a $1000 speaker cable or how much more authority the bass has with a $300 power cable. I understand that you don't agree with the findings of ABX tests and, although I find that position unfathomable, it's hard to argue that staunch, ABX Is The Last Word people don't play a very important role: A counter balance, based in scientific methods, that is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from the average audiophile snake-oil reviewer/salesman. If it weren't for people vehemently arguing what the ABX tests show, we'd all be sitting around lamenting that we couldn't afford the $5000 banana plugs to get that sound that the internet reviewer says we are missing out on.

I agree that for an AVR, your "Real life" scenario is what almost everyone does. But, without people debunking things with ABX tests, instead of choosing an AVR based on feature set for price (GOOD), they are more likely to choose them based on the price the snake-oil style reviews say they need for good sound (BAD).
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post #364 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ricsim78 View Post

and this is a even better read:

Robert Harley -- Wed, 05/28/2008 - 15:18

Is this the same Robert Harley who touts thousand dollar Shunyata power cables and interconnects?

******************

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, except not while driving a school bus.
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post #365 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

I will be one of the first to agree that all receivers do not sound the same. I do not believe the amps are responsible for the difference.

When you performed your comparison of receivers you used an analog input. Does either or both of those receivers route analog input to an ADC? If so, then I am not certain that you bypassed all DSP in the AVR.
Someone with more knowledge can tell me if I am correct or talking out my arse.

For your first sentence, in real life amps DO have different abilities and tonal quality. There is tube, solid state, digital, A, A/B, G, etc.. Another difference is power supplies. A D3 amp, like used in my Pioneer Elite, requires less power than a comparative A/B to get to the same volume level. A lot of people did not like how the first "D" class amps sounded that Pioneer put in some of it's models. The D3 is a better sounding version of the same amp. If they all sound the same, why would it be a D3 when they would just keep calling it a D? That is another big different in different receivers and amps alike; power supply quality. Manufactures usually like to say the amp is rated at "120 watts x " yet if the power supply is drawing less than 300 watts, how much power do you think it is really outputting? This is one reason my Denon will never be able to keep up with my Pioneer Elite. And a receiver IS an amp, it just happens to have a preamp in the same box.

For your second question, hooking up the sound card through analog takes away another possible difference, it uses the DAC (and OPAMP) of the sound card and not the receivers. In other words, it levels the playing field a little more,
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post #366 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 09:12 PM
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ABX tests don’t measure what really matters to us. ABX tests tell us whether we can hear a difference between Amp A and Amp B. What we really want to know, however, is whether Amp A is as good as Amp B. Therefore, relying on them to make purchase decisions is naive.

Kudos to Kbarnes too, he also changed his opinion to now all "AMPS" sound the same. I thought a receiver was basically an amp and Preamp in one box? When you speak of science, you can talk big words and question methods used for conclusions, something the biggest supporters of DBT and such are missing is sticking to one theme and proving me (and others who agree they sound the different) that we are wrong. Not with ABX tests results, not with "unless your test is basically an ABX test, it does not count!" Which is pretty much the theme here, except your science is also missing because science is not absolute.

I did the best of my ability to control my test results, level match the receivers, account for variables, and even shut down what would have been an easy "gimmie" (the speaker setup). My test method is not perfect, but how is a ABX test either? I apologize for not having $25,000.00 worth of equipment to tell differences in sound. I guess I will stick to what hears sound, MY EARS.

WHAT!!! Use you EARS, You kidding me!? Everyone knows that ears are only good for listening or listening enjoyment. You need test equipment and "certain" scientific test procedures too prove your ears are lousy tools for hearing!

Happy listening!
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post #367 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 09:26 PM
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Cricket, here.

Can you explain exactly what point you're making with these citations? I get that they both don't believe in ABX tests, but I don't see much offered in the way of supporting evidence from either.

The blog post seems to be indicating that ABX is irrelevant to preference. which assumes an ability to tell a difference. Not only does he not demonstrate that, he goes on to suggest that any other significance might be related to something we haven't yet discovered? He appears to make a bunch of declarative statements, provide no evidence beyond referencing an unrelated study, and then claim "I have proved . . . "

Harley, to my eye, seems to have proved a point opposite to the one he intended.
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That is, under double-blind test conditions, 60 expert listeners over 554 trials couldn’t hear any differences between CD, SACD, and 96/24. The study was published in the September, 2007 Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.

I contend that such tests are an indictment of blind listening tests in general because of the patently absurd conclusions to which they lead.

He quotes a study that directly disproves his position, but finds the conclusion "patently absurd" because it doesn't match what he believed to be the case beforehand?
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How is it possible that a single listener, using non-blind observational listening techniques, was able to discover—in less than ten minutes—a distortion that escaped the scrutiny of 60 expert listeners, 20,000 trials conducted over a two-year period, and elaborate “double-blind, triple-stimulus, hidden-reference” methodology, and sophisticated statistical analysis?

The response to study evidence that does not fit his prior belief, is to quote a different conclusion from a sighted evaluation?

Other than "We don't like this kind of testing," I don't see any point being made.
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post #368 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post

Cricket, here.

Can you explain exactly what point you're making with these citations? I get that they both don't believe in ABX tests, but I don't see much offered in the way of supporting evidence from either.

The blog post seems to be indicating that ABX is irrelevant to preference. which assumes an ability to tell a difference. Not only does he not demonstrate that, he goes on to suggest that any other significance might be related to something we haven't yet discovered? He appears to make a bunch of declarative statements, provide no evidence beyond referencing an unrelated study, and then claim "I have proved . . . "

Harley, to my eye, seems to have proved a point opposite to the one he intended.
He quotes a study that directly disproves his position, but finds the conclusion "patently absurd" because it doesn't match what he believed to be the case beforehand?
The response to study evidence that does not fit his prior belief, is to quote a different conclusion from a sighted evaluation?

Other than "We don't like this kind of testing," I don't see any point being made.

Is that really the best you can do? His opinions and comments are one thing, but congrats on missing the point of the entire argument! Where is YOUR supporting evidence? The story he tells of the double blind test you seem to blindly accept as gospel, how come one person detected a problem that 60 "professionals" and 20,000 hours of tests (for heaven sakes, they were doing a test for a codec that was going to be used in the entire UK!), so they did extensive testing and they all MISSED the distortion that was easily picked up by a person not "hampered" by useless tests! How can a test which is "so effective" miss a very important detail like that? Stir the excuse pot and let the excuses come like you have been doing this whole time.

How effective is double blind testing when they all missed something that would have caused many, many problems down the line. And you expect that same test that missed DISTORTION to show you how good a component sounds? Good luck with that! That shows me that ABX tests are ineffective in doing the very thing they supposedly exist for. A woman saw a picture of two houses, one of them on fire. Asked which house she would rather have, she chose the one on fire 14 out of 17 times and claimed to see no difference and she would, "live in either one". Just because you do not perceive something with conscious thought does not always mean there are not differences.

People like you who propagate these ABX tests like to switch your facts and miss entire points out of convenience, but explain to me why your "awesome and final word" ABX tests missed the anomaly that took one guy less than 10 minutes to hear? Pay more attention next time rather than try and go around the issue. If anything, ABX supporters are the biggest hypocrits and I agree with the hack statement because that is truly what it is, a hack used to prove a point. In real world listening, ABX = pure fails.

Your not only missing the whole point, your doing the same thing you are taking issue with the author about. Convenient but your not doing much for what is becoming a weaker cause by the minute. cool.gif
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post #369 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:08 PM
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For your first sentence, in real life amps DO have different abilities and tonal quality. There is tube, solid state, digital, A, A/B, G, etc.. Another difference is power supplies. A D3 amp, like used in my Pioneer Elite, requires less power than a comparative A/B to get to the same volume level. A lot of people did not like how the first "D" class amps sounded that Pioneer put in some of it's models. The D3 is a better sounding version of the same amp. If they all sound the same, why would it be a D3 when they would just keep calling it a D? That is another big different in different receivers and amps alike; power supply quality. Manufactures usually like to say the amp is rated at "120 watts x " yet if the power supply is drawing less than 300 watts, how much power do you think it is really outputting? This is one reason my Denon will never be able to keep up with my Pioneer Elite. And a receiver IS an amp, it just happens to have a preamp in the same box.

For your second question, hooking up the sound card through analog takes away another possible difference, it uses the DAC (and OPAMP) of the sound card and not the receivers. In other words, it levels the playing field a little more,

Tube amps generally excluded from SS amps in ABX tests. I have a limited knowledge about power achievement, however I believe the formula for achieving power/watts is the same for any class amp. Class D operates more efficiently only due switching on/off as power demands change. If memory serves me correctly early class D amps were best used for bass/sub due to high frequencies generated in the audio signal. IMO this may be discerned when compared to amps with better specs. Could we agree that this was a flaw in the D amp? If the flaw was corrected with D3 then you no longer have 2 amps with the same specs. This should create audible differences.
You can not compare power simply because you have to tune one volume control to a higher numerical scale than the other. It is unlikely that two different brands would have identical gain structure. The brand that has more output when showing a lower numerical volume could easily be perceived to be more powerful. As the volume scale is increased the amp may fail to actually produce a proportionately higher volume level. All being equal the amp with lower gain could still produce the same volume of db. although the volume display would be higher.
And the most influential sound variance is from the preamp, not the amp.

Why does the analog source matter if the analog signal is being routed through an ADC in the AVR? At that point the preamp is becoming the variable for any sound difference.
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post #370 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:29 PM
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That article was something...I'm from a science background with some understanding of statistics and DBT were always the best in my grad school experiments at scripps. I don't see how the fundamental concepts of a DBT don't relate to a DBT for audio?

While 1 guy was able to tell the difference, 60 others couldn't. Not bad once again, it's just like loseless vs lossy biggrin.gif The article doesn't state the background of the 60 experts which is very important if it was a scientific paper. I'll look up on it later.

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post #371 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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Challenge: Ok "DBT" or ABX supporters. here is a challenge for you. No excuses, no bickering back and forth and doing what you can to discredit information.

Can you show me where ABX tests scientifically helped or furthered a cause? Can you show me scientific data that ABX has helped people make audio decisions? Or that it is even useful for comparison purposes?

No linking biased articles, no excuses, just the facts! Show me the scientific data and how it has helped the audio community. Other than making people blindly believe in results, I see none of that. I just see desperate attempts to cling to a belief. I called your bluff, as did others. Now show me how ABX can help me choose an amplifier or receiver. To me, it does the exact opposite and I bet that very same person who supports the ABX or DBT is also biased towards certain products and will believe he/she is getting a better product than if/she bought another brand. Therefore, what are the point of ABX tests to begin with? They do not help narrow things down and they sure seem to be ineffective at some pretty crucial things!

The claims:
  • ABX shows you differences in products are inaudible (FAIL! Real life tests have proven time and time again to be more "definitive". I am sure discovering that codec flaw (the ABX test missed, and it was probably one of the most extensive ever done) saved them a ton of money! And funny how once one guy said it, everyone else "heard it" suddenly! That is the kind of test I want to put MY faith in!
  • ABX shows you that product A is the same performance as product B (FAIL! Results conflict with real world experience and they fail to show sound quality or sound anomalies).
  • ABX is industry standard (so are a lot of other things largely being neglected by supporters of such double blind tests)
  • ABX is industry standard (so is crash testing, do you choose a car just based off that parameter?)
  • ABX is proof of something (proof that people are less perceptive than we would like to believe?)
  • ABX has proven time and time again to show that people just "guessed" if they were not 100% right (FAIL! If that is the case the test is useless because it is biased. So they would have had to guess 100% right in order to prove the ABX test "wrong'?)

The excuses:
  • Author has no idea what he is talking about
  • Everyone against DBT have no idea about audio, science, or testing.
  • You must have expensive testing equipment to do a true test (yes, because we all have a sound analysis studio in our garage!)
  • If you do not agree with DBT, you are wrong and need to go back to "audio school"


So we have the claims, and the tons of excuses and "put downs" and especially the "you don't know what you are talking about" argument. Arny, ABX people, come on I am waiting as i am sure others are. Show me unbiased arguments that show me that ABX is "science" or "be all, end all". If not, I think more than the tests are double blind.
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post #372 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:38 PM
 
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That article was something...I'm from a science background with some understanding of statistics and DBT were always the best in my grad school experiments at scripps. I don't see how the fundamental concepts of a DBT don't relate to a DBT for audio?

While 1 guy was able to tell the difference, 60 others couldn't. Not bad once again, it's just like loseless vs lossy biggrin.gif The article doesn't state the background of the 60 experts which is very important if it was a scientific paper. I'll look up on it later.

It is interesting, but the 1 guy that detected it was not in a DBT and used his ears to pick it up(and that is the point!) He was the only one who heard the Codec in action and in less than 10 minutes he heard the distortion that 60 experts and 20,000 hours of ABX testing failed to find! If a ABX fails to pick up distortion, which was obviously quite audible, how come in all that testing and with extensive equipment, and sophisticated analysis, completely missed the distortion and dubbed it "ready for action"?

The fact everyone of those people suddenly "heard it" once he did, that in itself shows it is present but somehow the ABX test was unable to show it. It took a guy doing normal listening to pick it up and spread the word. If the testers missed the distortion, how the heck would they tell the difference in audio equipment?

Who cares who these "experts" were? Even if they were average Joe's and Jane's they missed a very important thing (proving just how effective double blind tests are!). You would assume at least some had very good ears and if they were dubbed "experts", I am sure most were at least knowledgeable about audio.
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post #373 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:48 PM
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It is interesting, but the 1 guy that detected it was not in a DBT and used his ears to pick it up(and that is the point!) He was the only one who heard the Codec in action and in less than 10 minutes he heard the distortion that 60 experts and 20,000 hours of ABX testing failed to find! If a ABX fails to pick up distortion, which was obviously quite audible, how come in all that testing and with extensive equipment, and sophisticated analysis, completely missed the distortion and dubbed it "ready for action"?

The fact everyone of those people suddenly "heard it" once he did, that in itself shows it is present but somehow the ABX test was unable to show it. It took a guy doing normal listening to pick it up and spread the word. If the testers missed the distortion, how the heck would they tell the difference in audio equipment?

Who cares who these "experts" were? Even if they were average Joe's and Jane's they missed a very important thing (proving just how effective double blind tests are!). You would assume at least some had very good ears and if they were dubbed "experts", I am sure most were at least knowledgeable about audio.

Last time I met an expert in audio he tried to sell me an HDMI cable for $125. Yes it matters to me lol.

I'm curious to see if this one guy would've noticed the difference if he were subjected to the DBT itself.

In stats wise, 60 is still a very small number. 1500 is the magic number biggrin.gif Either way the null hypo would still be correct in that case.

The guy who wrote the article though is false.

"I'd like to add that in medical DBT, the subject isn't asked to perform any tasks; he just goes about his daily life. In audio DBT, the subject must perform a task under conditions that are very different from what he's used to."

I showed this to my girlfriend who is doing research right now at UCI.
Her response while simple: "that is clearly false. We ask patients to do things in a medical dbt"
Makes me wonder if this guy really understands what a DBT is.

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post #374 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 10:54 PM
 
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Well, the line has been drawn in the sand, I gave my challenge. Now, anyone care to accept and show me conclusive evidence?

I bet there will in place of "challengers" there will be more hyperbole, excuses, and fact avoidance.

This is getting good smile.gif
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post #375 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 11:02 PM
 
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Last time I met an expert in audio he tried to sell me an HDMI cable for $125. Yes it matters to me lol.

I'm curious to see if this one guy would've noticed the difference if he were subjected to the DBT itself.

In stats wise, 60 is still a very small number. 1500 is the magic number biggrin.gif Either way the null hypo would still be correct in that case.

The guy who wrote the article though is false.

"I'd like to add that in medical DBT, the subject isn't asked to perform any tasks; he just goes about his daily life. In audio DBT, the subject must perform a task under conditions that are very different from what he's used to."

I showed this to my girlfriend who is doing research right now at UCI.
Her response while simple: "that is clearly false. We ask patients to do things in a medical dbt"
Makes me wonder if this guy really understands what a DBT is.

Yes, but if you are an audio salesman/woman you NEED to push the $125 HDMI cable, because even if you are "non-commission", you still want to be the best salesman/woman on the floor! At least the expensive cables "look" better rolleyes.gif

I wish he had participated too, but once he did mention his findings, even the DBT participants heard it in the DBT.

As I said, his opinions and such are not a factor, it is the fact 20,000 hours of testing and 60 people missed something that was obvious enough to hear. Once pointed out, it seemed to "awaken" them and suddenly, "Yeah, I hear it!" It's odd actually, makes you wonder if ABX tests are doing something else to the audio being output like cleaning up the signal or lowering certain parts to the point where they are less noticeable? You can likely said they used very, very good equipment and sophisticated methods...especially if it was for all of the FM radio in the UK. How much money was used in this ABX test and yet it failed to do what it was set out to do. People said, "Yep, sounds good to me." and they accepted the Codec.

Missing distortion is bad, distortion is very bad and makes audio quality go right out the window. So if distortion is missed, what else are the ABX test participants missing? How can you rely on such a thing for component comparisons?
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post #376 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 11:19 PM
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The article never makes it clear that the 60 heard it after he did. Seems to be on the edge there with some tricky wording. With that said, 60 to 1 isn't bad at all. The DBT's test was to determine if people could tell if the audio was "processed". I believe it did that with its group which also don't know the background of. How do we know they aren't the experts you mentioned IE salesmen?

The DBT would have a lot more credibility if it described its testing population better. It's like saying I'm going to do a bunch of tests on aged 45-50 males. From a medical stand point thats like...eh. Ethnicity? Previous illnesses? Family history? blah blah.

In the end, I'm not saying ABX DBT whatever testing is the final word in audio. I support them though because in my experience, they take out almost of possible bias and other factors that could skew the results. Yea sometimes they aren't real world but hey they are a lot better than tests that involve potential bias biggrin.gif. Lesser of the two evils I'd say

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post #377 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 11:22 PM
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Yes, but if you are an audio salesman/woman you NEED to push the $125 HDMI cable, because even if you are "non-commission", you still want to be the best salesman/woman on the floor! At least the expensive cables "look" better rolleyes.gif

I wish he had participated too, but once he did mention his findings, even the DBT participants heard it in the DBT.

As I said, his opinions and such are not a factor, it is the fact 20,000 hours of testing and 60 people missed something that was obvious enough to hear. Once pointed out, it seemed to "awaken" them and suddenly, "Yeah, I hear it!" It's odd actually, makes you wonder if ABX tests are doing something else to the audio being output like cleaning up the signal or lowering certain parts to the point where they are less noticeable? You can likely said they used very, very good equipment and sophisticated methods...especially if it was for all of the FM radio in the UK. How much money was used in this ABX test and yet it failed to do what it was set out to do. People said, "Yep, sounds good to me." and they accepted the Codec.

Missing distortion is bad, distortion is very bad and makes audio quality go right out the window. So if distortion is missed, what else are the ABX test participants missing? How can you rely on such a thing for component comparisons?

I think with this example, you have a good argument against the value of the tests. The excuses to why this example doesn't matter should be interesting!
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post #378 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 11:28 PM
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As I said, his opinions and such are not a factor, it is the fact 20,000 hours of testing and 60 people missed something that was obvious enough to hear. Once pointed out, it seemed to "awaken" them and suddenly, "Yeah, I hear it!" It's odd actually, makes you wonder if ABX tests are doing something else to the audio being output like cleaning up the signal or lowering certain parts to the point where they are less noticeable? You can likely said they used very, very good equipment and sophisticated methods...especially if it was for all of the FM radio in the UK. How much money was used in this ABX test and yet it failed to do what it was set out to do. People said, "Yep, sounds good to me." and they accepted the Codec.

I didn't google this very hard but, from what I can tell, all the information relating to this comes from Robert Harleys anecdote. Most of the hits on google are almost word for word reproductions of what he wrote. It's an interesting story but, I'd like to see something more definitive than one mans anecdote 17 years after the events are said to have taken place.
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The article never makes it clear that the 60 heard it after he did. Seems to be on the edge there with some tricky wording. With that said, 60 to 1 isn't bad at all. The DBT's test was to determine if people could tell if the audio was "processed". I believe it did that with its group which also don't know the background of. How do we know they aren't the experts you mentioned IE salesmen?

The DBT would have a lot more credibility if it described its testing population better. It's like saying I'm going to do a bunch of tests on aged 45-50 males. From a medical stand point thats like...eh. Ethnicity? Previous illnesses? Family history? blah blah.

In the end, I'm not saying ABX DBT whatever testing is the final word in audio. I support them though because in my experience, they take out almost of possible bias and other factors that could skew the results. Yea sometimes they aren't real world but hey they are a lot better than tests that involve potential bias biggrin.gif. Less of the two evils I'd say
I can deal with that, but the fact remains the ABX test "accepted" the Codec and was "approved" for audio quality. It was set to go. Then a guy using good old playback equipment heard it almost right away. Out of 60 people and 20,000 hours (that is a LOT of hours) they completely missed it. That is 100% fail rate. Even if they were half brain dead, everyone heard it after he pointed it out.

But I disagree they take away bias; you are still going to buy the product you like best, which will likely be a product you used and had success with. Even me, I would consider a Denon, Marantz, or Pioneer before I look at a Yamaha, Onkyo, HK, etc. I have no experience with some brands and I have liked and enjoyed Pioneer and Denon/Marantz products. In fact, I don't see they prove anything other than we as humans are more flawed than we often think we are.

I have no problem with your take on things because you are open minded enough and your views are valid in my admittedly different view. You have demonstrated how to handle this correctly, now if only others would follow suit this thread would grow up a lot!
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post #380 of 540 Old 02-11-2013, 11:40 PM
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I can deal with that, but the fact remains the ABX test "accepted" the Codec and was "approved" for audio quality. It was set to go. Then a guy using good old playback equipment heard it almost right away. Out of 60 people and 20,000 hours (that is a LOT of hours) they completely missed it. That is 100% fail rate. Even if they were half brain dead, everyone heard it after he pointed it out.

But I disagree they take away bias; you are still going to buy the product you like best, which will likely be a product you used and had success with. Even me, I would consider a Denon, Marantz, or Pioneer before I look at a Yamaha, Onkyo, HK, etc. I have no experience with some brands and I have liked and enjoyed Pioneer and Denon/Marantz products. In fact, I don't see they prove anything other than we as humans are more flawed than we often think we are.

I have no problem with your take on things because you are open minded enough and your views are valid in my admittedly different view. You have demonstrated how to handle this correctly, now if only others would follow suit this thread would grow up a lot!

The DBT will "prove" what it proves. IE "No" bias in the test. STRICTLY speaking again JUST the test lol.

Regardless of what, I still buy Denon over Onkyo because I think Denon is a cooler name. biggrin.gif Yes the truth comes out lol

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post #381 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 03:34 AM
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Ok, I give up. Enjoy your ABX tests and your own personal fails. ABX tests are fails because they are totally unrealistic and rely on audio memory.

95% of all users would be using SPL meters, like the one I have. In fact, most probably run the auto setup and leave it at that .
 

 

Auditory memory lasts for a few seconds.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echoic_memory) In an ABX test, the units under test are switched electronically which is all but instantaneous. They do that precisely so that they do NOT rely on auditory memory. You have it the wrong way around. If there is a readily audible difference between the two units, it will be immediately apparent when they are switched.

 

95% of people using SPL meters doesn't mean that that is the right way to do it. They just aren’t accurate enough. It has been shown repeatedly that you need to level match to at least +/- 0.5dB (some say +/- 0.1dB) in order to eliminate the effect where the human brain perceives 'louder' as 'better'. A SPL meter can't do that, but a voltmeter attached across the outputs of the amp in question can. That is the only way to ensure you are properly level-matched. Any test conducted without this vital level matching step is automatically invalid.

 

There is much to learn from these threads here on AVS - all of it free. But in order to learn, one does have to be ready to discard previously held, and erroneous, concepts when presented with concepts which can be proven to be a closer match to reality. All human progress can be attributed to that. People have sacrificed their freedom and even their lives to make their point, that what you see (or hear) with your own senses is not necessarily the actual reality of what is happening (eg the sun revolving around the earth every day, as was believed for centuries).

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post #382 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 03:59 AM
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If all amps sounded the same, which is the title of the thread, with the test I did they would have sounded the exact same. They did not. You can tell me over and over again my testing methods are wrong, but you fail to tell me how all 3 of us heard an immediate difference. You are mentioning my method and in your imaginary little worlds it is not "right", yet you fail to explain to me how we all heard a difference. I am still waiting for that.

Saying I imagined it and such is just heresay and stupid (not to mention, assuming) You talk about "valid test parameters" when you seem to try and come up with easy answers to dismiss my results. I think the naysayers are trying to act like there is no other way and obviously there is.
 

 

You heard a difference because there WAS a difference. Your testing methods guaranteed it. Do you really not see that using two sets of speakers, in two different places in the room (as just one example) would invalidate a test designed to show any differences between amplifiers?

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post #383 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 04:03 AM
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IMO there are some faults in ABX testing. 1. There is some mental pressure (stress) for participants as there is for most any testing. 

 

But there is no 'stress' involved when taking the 'audiophile' kind of test that just involves listening??  If being tested induces stress which is then able to invalidate the results, this will presumably apply to ANY kind of test. If that is so, then no tests of any sort will ever produce a reliable result. That does seem to me to be stretching credulity somewhat.

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post #384 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 04:08 AM
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Gee, I just tuned into these last thread posts and looked at the title, which says all receivers sound the same, not amps. Big difference. That each receiver's dsp will be different isn't an earthshaking concept, but rather that the relatively similar amps are the issue in different sound is another. Use the right terminology, it really helps. Science and all that.

LOL the problem is, both Kbarnes and Arny have one thing in common, what they says changes. The thread title is far gone, read a page back and you will see to where "receivers" and "amps" are different.

 

What I say doesn’t change (Arny will speak for himself). Modern SS amps, working within their design parameters and not clipping, sound indistinguishable one from another, and this has been proved many times. I must have typed something along those lines hundreds and hundreds of times - if you are so inclined an advanced search will find them all I guess.

 

Receivers of course contain many features specifically designed to change their sound, so it is not surprising that, with those features enabled, they all sound different to each other!  If you disable all those features, then the receivers are effectively amplifiers and so they will then all sound the same as each other. Hope that has clarified my position for you.

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post #385 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 04:20 AM
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What I say doesn’t change (Arny will speak for himself). Modern SS amps, working within their design parameters and not clipping, sound indistinguishable one from another, and this has been proved many times. I must have typed something along those lines hundreds and hundreds of times - if you are so inclined an advanced search will find them all I guess.

Receivers of course contain many features specifically designed to change their sound, so it is not surprising that, with those features enabled, they all sound different to each other!  If you disable all those features, then the receivers are effectively amplifiers and so they will then all sound the same as each other. Hope that has clarified my position for you.

"Working properly" could also be added to the disclaimers. I have read where a Behringer EP4000 has been tested and found to have it's bias mis-set resulting in significant distortion above 10k. I wouldn't be surprised if the cheapest "pro" amps have this sort of problem more often than more expensive audiophile amplifiers such as the Emotiva's which have always tested well. Also this was just one that could have been an exception. This doesn't take away from what you said.
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post #386 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 04:34 AM
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What I say doesn’t change (Arny will speak for himself). Modern SS amps, working within their design parameters and not clipping, sound indistinguishable one from another, and this has been proved many times. I must have typed something along those lines hundreds and hundreds of times - if you are so inclined an advanced search will find them all I guess.

Receivers of course contain many features specifically designed to change their sound, so it is not surprising that, with those features enabled, they all sound different to each other!  If you disable all those features, then the receivers are effectively amplifiers and so they will then all sound the same as each other. Hope that has clarified my position for you.

"Working properly" could also be added to the disclaimers. I have read where a Behringer EP4000 has been tested and found to have it's bias mis-set resulting in significant distortion above 10k. I wouldn't be surprised if the cheapest "pro" amps have this sort of problem more often than more expensive audiophile amplifiers such as the Emotiva's which have always tested well. Also this was just one that could have been an exception. This doesn't take away from what you said.

 

Yes, I agree - the amp in question must be working properly, not broken etc. Also, 'working according to the maker's spec'. I wish there was a shorthand way to say it - I may have to put it on a macro ;)

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post #387 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 AM
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Yes, but if you are an audio salesman/woman you NEED to push the $125 HDMI cable, because even if you are "non-commission", you still want to be the best salesman/woman on the floor! At least the expensive cables "look" better rolleyes.gif







Zoom Zoom

I agree 100%. Now how about the person who buys that $125 cable, You can bet your last dollar that they will be praising the sound of their $125 cable. And all the science and tests in the world will not change their mind. The human brain is wired for emotional satisfaction first, before science.



even in your statement you acknowledge the emotional satisfaction of being a sales person. "being the best on the floor."

IMO Bruce

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post #388 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 06:27 AM
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Receivers of course contain many features specifically designed to change their sound, so it is not surprising that, with those features enabled, they all sound different to each other!  If you disable all those features, then the receivers are effectively amplifiers and so they will then all sound the same as each other. Hope that has clarified my position for you.


+1

If you take the Denon AVR-4520CI, and let it run Audyssey EQ XT32, than compare it to an older AVR of 8 years ago running its internal software, than yes you should hear a night and day difference.

IMO

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post #389 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 06:30 AM
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Is this the same Robert Harley who touts thousand dollar Shunyata power cables and interconnects?

It is much easier to switch power cables and interconnects to get a different sound than lugging a monster amp in and out of the rack. although some amps are less expensive than those items. smile.gifsmile.gif

Either way a canary or two is sacrificed when Keith switches equipment. smile.gif
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post #390 of 540 Old 02-12-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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Yup, its like post 326 doesn't exist. I think there was one like it before that, but given that he already blew it off twice, why bother finding it?

Think we should tell him about the post delete function so he won't be troubled by his posts calling him a liar? ;-)
Suddenly you want me out of here, haha (wonder why?). I am still waiting for your scientific explanation, Arnold. Can we have it? Since no one but you knows what they are doing and you are an electrical engineer for 40 years, can I have an explanation how your testing method (which brought common sense to audio testing) failed to detect distortion?

Never act like the smartest guy in the room and have nothing to show for it but hyperbole and skewed facts. I am not even an electrical engineer and you have failed to shut me down, so where is the science you claim to advocate?

We are waiting...
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