Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Of course, it is necessary for all parties to approve these ancillaries before the test so that they do not engage in post hoc
arguments about them.
You mean, lessen the possibility that they engage in post hoc arguments. There is certainly a possibility that one person can distinguish no difference and the other does. In a common cable test referred to hear on AVS, this was left there without the option of a second listen and a barrage of audio tests in unfamiliar surroundings, and reported no better than a 50/50 outcome and therefore concluded as cables making no difference. That test is flawed in more than one way.
With this much smaller environment, and less time constraint, there should be time to listen intently to a SHORT movie scene over and over again on the same system with describable sounds in effect familiarizing themselves with the subtle nuances of the audio system and the test material. Engraining the sample as much as possible into their memories. Then do the ABX test. And do it again. Give the listeners the option to hear the sample again if requested. There will be new variables in the room with people there and some will not be familiar with the system. Don't change the people in the room, or their positions. Keep the mood steady for the tests.
There still may be a mix of people who can hear a difference and others that can't. But for the one(s) who can determine the correct processor repeatedly, then that would suggests there is a difference, but not necessarily everyone has the capabilities of hearing it. Re: varying human abilities. But still a difference. In that case.
Do it like that. Do it repeatedly. Do it with and without the switcher and compare results. Then you can be fair about it, and put to bed whether there is a discernible difference. If there is a difference, we can argue about how much of a difference it made later. Maybe if they determine they hear a difference then they can try listening to new material only once and see if they can detect the processors.
If it was me, Nature, I'd want to use standard cables for the test. If in fact your upgraded cables are reducing static noise and lowering some of the noise floor, then I would think it would lessen the difference the upgraded processor would noticeably make since from what I understand, it's supposed to do the same thing. Diminishing returns. Just a thought. Maybe my logic is flawed here.