Originally Posted by Mukha
Your last sentence is curious. You were an "unbeliever" until you conducted the tests yourself? What was it about the tests conducted by the AES etc, or the scientific literature on the capability of human hearing and electrical conductors that left you unconvinced (but perhaps with doubts enough to do the testing yourself)? I see myself in a very similar position, I've just yet to conduct the tests for myself. I dislike having to have this personal view of the science of the matter as science is universal and not a question of personal belief.
Many years ago I worked in a high-end audio store. As I started to work there I was introduced to all of the beliefs that are rampant in most high-end audio stores and of course one of them was that cables sounded different. I was skeptical but like to be open minded, was excited to work there, and of course wanted to be able to genuinely believe that cables made a difference if I was going to be encouraging people to buy them.
I would do comparisons and at times I would very much think I heard a difference. More detail etc. At other times I did not. The skeptic in me continued to want to know the truth so I started doing tests, both on myself and on others in the store. At that point the little man behind the curtain pretending to be the wizard was very clearly revealed. The fact was I, nor ANY of the golden ears in the store could EVER hear a difference the moment they were blinded.
I can remember many instances with great humor. One particularly devoted audiophile who spoke like Mike could hear changes between ANYTHING. No matter what cable you compared he'd give you his analysis - better bass, more open, blah blah blah. Blinded he couldn't tell the difference between a $400 preamp and a $4000 preamp. And as is always the case, if you let them think they were listening to the component they insisted was better, but hadn't actually swapped the cables, they would still comment on how much better the sound had gotten.
I also discovered that people absolutely positively did not want to know the truth. The moment I would have someone do a comparison and they couldn't hear the difference between the $200 CD player and the $20,000 CD player that would jump up in exasperation and leave the room. Under no circumstances did people want their belief system challenged. These were the same people that would talk about night and day differences when the comparisons were sighted.
And while I do not mean to be demeaning, most of them had 0 understanding of electronics or audio. Their beliefs had far more to do with superstition than anything. For instance, if you put felt under a component, it "softened the sound", if you put lead under a component, it made it "more detailed". I came to see that EVERYTHING they heard usually tied into a belief system. Analog was good. Digital was bad. 2-channel is good. Multi-channel is bad. Never mind the absurdity of such beliefs - for instance if multi-channel is bad than logic would dictate that mono would be better than stereo. High powered amps lacked "delicacy". After all, how could something be "high powered" and also "delicate"
. And on and on and on.
Also, let's just say that when we were able to get the cable companies to sell us 10s of thousands of dollars worth of demo cable for pennies on the dollar, that I suspected there might be some extreme markups taking place. No that there is anything wrong with profit, far from it. But I've never had a video projector company sell me a 50K video projector for $500 "because you're a good dealer".
I could go on and on but I'll only say this. I am still a music lover and still love high performance audio reproduction. Music in fact is a major part of my life. Being able to pursue my hobby without tons of superstition IMO actually HELPS me to know better how to achieve very high performance, as well as to just enjoy music, as opposed to endless tweaks and dollars wasted so I can enjoy nothing more than a placebo effect.