Originally Posted by Martycool007
So just because that particular reviewer claims to hear a difference, holds no weight what so ever, especially considering that he did not do a double blind placebo controlled study, and is going off his already biased "audio" perceptions.
Well, that particular reviewer is Nelson Pass and as such should give one a moment of pause before dismissing the paper out of hand.
IMO, perhaps the biggest shortcoming of the paper was the lack of specificity when it came to tabulating amplifier/cable/speaker combinations WRT subjective listening impressions. But the paper must be looked at in its historical context - published in 1980 with work that was done in the late 70's.
So, what kind of equipment was available back then? For starters, some of the amplifiers had poor phase margins. Give them a capacitive load, which could result from the speaker being driven as well as the cable being used (look at the data for Polk's cable) and the amp could go into oscillation. If its severe enough it'll shut the amp down. Not too long ago, Kal Rubinson in Stereophile found that a multichannel Adcom amp did just that when hooked up to some Alpha Goertz wire which has vanishingly low inductance that comes at the cost of very substantial capacitance. Some may remember that When Naim first introduced their amps they had a proprietary speaker wire connector. That was because some of the cables that were being introduced back then would cause the amp to misbehave. Other old timers may recall Phase Linear's nickname - Flame Linear. Oscillation is never a good thing and doesn't always manifest itself by shutting the amp down. One can most definitely get adverse audible results.
Hate Monster all you want but the success they enjoyed was not lost on the marketplace. Everyone wanted a piece of the financial action and we saw the birth of all kinds of cable lines. Polk was one of those but they didn't stay long in the marketplace because people who bought it found that it trashed their amps. I'm told that Polk was hit by sundry lawsuits and that it affected their speaker sales.
One of the speakers that Pass tested was the Dayton Wright, an electrostatic. That speaker may hold one of the all time records for being exceedingly difficult to drive. It had vanishingly low impedances and very unfavorable phase angles. Many said it was criminal to sell that speaker without including an amplifier that could handle its whacky electrical characteristics.
So, when one looks back 30+ years, what Nelson Pass found was not so surprising and even without a DBT his findings don't strike me as a result of some placebo effect or expectation bias. There was a lot of fvcked up stuff back then,