Originally Posted by Stereodude
Unless, you're trying to argue that all 4 speakers sound identical and a proper ABX test is necessary to first determine if the listener can ID which is which before attempting to express a preference or note audible differences. Was that your point?
No I'm not implying that they are identical, but rather: if a person can't hear a difference under ABX conditions. Then there is no foundation on which an opinion of differences is valid. (i.e. one speaker sounding a particular way over the other.)
They'd be able to pass the ABX with flying colors if they were found to be able to hear valid differences.
It just helps cut down on the noise.
ABX only ensures that you can hear a difference of some sort. It doesn't confirm that the difference is better or worse.
Then the trained-listener part comes in, to help figure out the better or worse part.
When repeated with multiple different people enough times, the chance of them ALL getting it wrong is less and less probable.
During the course of doing all that. One might conclude that there was no detectable difference in any of the speakers. (At least for that GEAR, in that ROOM, for THOSE listeners.)
But chances are, there WILL be a (huge) sonic difference between each...
One trick that is often done by the experimenter, is to play speaker A and then speaker B, but have both be the same speaker.
Although that isn't necessary to pass an ABX at all, it is fun to look at the results for a laugh to see how many people can have their ears be tricked on them.
My bet would be that everyone would fall victim to it, especially after a long battery of tests.