Originally Posted by imagic
But that's not how it works. You can't just assume what the results will be. Subtle cues do affect the results of blind tests. With audio, program material that is a mere .2db louder is enough to reliably get audience members to choose one system over another even though the difference is not obvious.
Not quite.. *Some* listeners (and I doubt it would in a room where there's typically an 'audience' ) could reliably do it -- and that's why the .2dB limit is there. It applies especially in the midrange (vocal) frequencies were we are most sensitive.
Also, properly executed double-blind tests are not "easily set-up" but flawed ones certainly are. I'm not even sure what an "average" person is, in this context. Most people have the ability to concentrate, and if given a primer on a topic they can think critically as well. Basically, most people have the ability to "rise above average" when a situation demands it.
DBTs are indeed rigorous -- far, far more rigorous than the procedure a typical 'audiophile' undergoes to decide that some exotic cable 'sounds better'. You want the listeners to be trained beforehand to hear various kinds of difference, you want program material and a signal chain that is likely to reveal the putative difference, you want positive controls, you want negative controls, you want randomized order, you want instant switching between A and B and X, you want synchronization of playback , and of course you want double-blinding. In short, you want to give every chance to Nature to reveal this supposed difference.
That said, typical audiophiles saying "i hear this difference between cheap and expensive speaker cables' are saying 'my ears are already trained enough to hear this difference'. OK,then let's test that
proposition. Show me the DBT results. Until then, the more *reasonable* assumption, based on established engineering and psychoacoustic principles
, is: expect no real audible difference between competently made & gauged & connected speaker cables. It's not
like we have to start at ground zero, with all propositions being equally likely to be true.Edited by krabapple - 3/7/13 at 11:31am