Originally Posted by audiosavant
As long as you do a DBT using my
stereo with music that I'm very
familiar with, then yes, I'm up for the challenge! I can usually tell when something is "off". Sometimes not right away, but after longer periods of listening I will. Can I be fooled? Probably. But I've still got pretty sharp ears... Of course, it helps when you know what
to listen for.
The other day I had a friend over and I was telling him how much I hate mp3s. He asked me if there was a lot of difference between a 16bit redbook file and a 320kb mp3, I told him to most people no, but I can hear the difference (the high end get's weird and bass become more hollow, soundstage is flatter). He hooked his iPod up to my stereo and we cued up the same track on my CDP, level matched them and played the track. Going back and forth even he
could hear the difference. The mp3 was definitely inferior. Telling the difference between a hi rez file and cd is a bit harder, but it can be done if you know what
to listen for (and if it's music you know like the back of your hand).
I think most people have pretty horrid sound systems, but if you have a system that is very revealing and you know how things are supposed
to sound, I think it's easier to hear differences in components/cables, etc. But it has to be a system (and music!) that you are intimately familiar with
, otherwise, too many random vagaries are introduced and you don't know what
to listen for.
The main thing is, no matter what camp you fall into, always keep an open mind
Psychoacoustics and the various phenomena attendant thereto are fascinating, no?
I'm 100 percent having an open mind. I guess I am just use to hearing a lot of anecdotal subjective information, but whenever I hear of the arguments pro sound differences for things like cables, solid state amps, and other stuff, it's never supported in a true
DBT ABX test. (not one of the nonsense single blind test protcols you hear about here and elsewhere) And you never see the people who make wild claims of "obvious" differences running to shut the "objective" viewpoint down for good. Why is that? If they have golden ears, and these differences are so obvious, then there should never be an argument. They should be easily able to prove those differences (and their flowery language)- right? Not so. At least as of yet.
As an aside, I think it would be wonderful
if someone was actually able to prove that their modern DAC, cable, solid state amp was really different using a true level matched DBT ABX test.
It would put the whole argument to rest. But not even a supposed "golden ear" has done it.