Originally Posted by smitty
Let me try to clarify the point (or one of them) I was making at the beginning, as I'm not sure you're hearing what I am saying. In my mind having a bunch of folks gather in a room and listen blindly in a testing environment to two CD players they have never heard before (or at least listened to extensively) and switching back and forth every thirty seconds between players is not the same as a person who has listened to one player for 6 months and has become very accustomed to the sound of that player who then switches out the player and listens to the new player over an period of time to determine if the new player sounds different in certain respects. It sounds to me that drecar's determination of an audible difference was closer to the second scenario rather than the first. Maybe it wasn't, but that's what it sounded like to me.
You're right, it isn't 'the same', but then again, a bunch of folks in a room listening to two CD player ALSO OFTEN report hearing a difference during the 'sighted' portion of their test. People report hearing difference more often than not, actually, whenever they're presented two seemingly 'different' sound-producing things.
In fact, if a subject doesn't hear any difference during the sighted portion of an ABX, there's little reason to continue the test, unless you want to do training for detecting difference.
I would also say that I am sure that many, many people have claimed to hear differences over short term listening to a lot of things, players, cables, etc., and they may indeed be full of it. People who claim to hear differences under longer term listening may also have not really heard such differences. That doesn't mean, as you acknowledge, that some can't hear differences under certain circumstances.
And to you, this is the big deal. To me, it's not. To me, the big deal is whether specific claims were arrived at by a means that controlled for typical sensory confounders. Very, very often, they aren't. And this can be grounds for a large dose of skepticism, depending on the gear being compared.
Personally, I find it very difficult to hear differences between players in short term listening sessions. My personal experience has been that long term listening to player A, using that as the baseline, makes it easier to discern if there is a difference between player A and player B when you switch to player B. However, that type of comparative listening is hard to do blind.
No, it isn't. Do the 'long term' comparison until you are sure you can hear the difference 'sighted'. THEN do blind comparison. The familiar difference, if real, shouldn't suddenly become elusive.
Now if person X says that they can tell the difference between player A and player B just switching back and forth, does that mean that their claim should be questioned if they can't pass a DBT? I suppose so.
You 'suppose' so?
Is their claim absolutely refuted by such a test? Arguably no, as you have to consider all aspects of the testing methodology and make sure it does not introduce extraneous influences that affect the outcome.
So, you're proposing an 'aspect' that would suddenly mask all the real, audible markers of difference the listener had become so familiar with...while not introducing any new 'obvious' differences.
In any event, I'm not saying that DBT's aren't instructive, or that people who claim to hear differences may be fooling themselves on many occasions. I'm just trying to keep an open mind and offer some suggestions as to why many of us who are certain that they have heard differences between certain players or DAC's may actually have heard such differences, notwithstanding the results of certain DBT's.
There's a fallacy, perhaps more endemic to democracies like ours than other societies, that all sides deserve a 'fair' hearing, with the implication that all sides are equally well-supported by the facts, going into an argument.