Originally Posted by tyree91
James Randi was challenged in this by Michael Fremer of Sterophile, and bowed out under pressure, not willing to risk his cash to an expert listener.
The manufacturer, Pear, apparently felt nobody from their own organization could hear a difference their $7K cable made so instead they decided to enlist the help of Fremer, a magazine writer at Stereophile, to represent them as an expert listener in Randi's million dollar challenge. [Which begs the question: if nobody who works at Pear can reliably hear the difference with their +$7K cable, how can they justify it is "worth it" if it isn't worth it to anyone who works there?
Pear then got cold feet and refused to either donate, or loan, a Pear Anjou cable for the listening test:
Pear Cable Withdraws from James Randi's $1M Challenge
"According to the James Randi foundation, Pear Cable's (chickens!) CEO Adam Blake (chicken!) has withdrawn his help to Michael Fremer, the Stereophile Magazine writer who accepted Randi's $1,000,000 challenge, and was ready to prove that he can blindly detect the difference between $7,250 Pear (chickens!) Anjou cables and their Monster Cable equivalent:
At the request of Michael Fremer, with whom we have been communicating regarding his challenging of your assertions regarding high-end audio cables, we would like to inform you directly of Pear Cable's [chickens!] decision to not participate in your claimed challenge. While we support Mr. Fremer's efforts, and believe firmly in the performance of our products, we [chickens!] prefer that he simply use his own reference cables in his proposed test.
That email was received by the James Randi Educational Foundation and basically says that Pear Cables (chickens!) is not going to provide a set of $7,250 Pear (chickens!) Anjou cables:
While we [chickens!] had initially planned to loan cable to Mr. Fremer for the test, upon consideration of your communications with him, as well as our doubts about the legitimacy of your misleading challenge (including the fact that you now personally claim that almost anyone can tell the difference between Monster cables and zip-cord), we [chickens!] do not wish to be involved. We [chickens!] do not expect this to hamper Mr. Fremer's efforts in any way
The foundation's reply is that they are not going to provide with a set of cables for the test themselves, so Fremer will have to come with his own set for test. According to Randi's organization, there are "others who have expressed interest in taking the challenge in regard to regular-vs-ridiculous speaker cables" and they will be taking those in chronological order. [James Randi Educational Foundation - Thanks Benito]" -GIZMODO
Pear Cable Chickens Out of $1,000,000 Challenge, We Search For Answers
[click for link]
Conclusion: "We're left to think the following: If Pear Cable was so sure that Pear Anjou cables were as good as the company claims, and if those pieces of copper wire were truly worth $7250, the company would have stood behind that product, offering it up for any test, by anyone, any time."
It is important to note Randi never
cables under the sun are the same and therefore may participate in the offer so each challenger is taken on a case by case basis [so he can consult his technically more savvy experts elsewhere in the country, if said cable is dubious. Purposeful manipulations of a cable's resistance, capacitance, and inductance, after all, can invoke filtration characteristics to give the cable a "tell" and make it audibly stand out to a keen listener. That is, the cable could be gimmick-ed.
Randi's is now retired, in his 90's, I believe, and in frail shape. The Million Dollar Challenge is no longer offered, at least in its original form, and the million dollars is now being distributed as annual grants to worthy causes promoting evidence based science.
More on the email exchange between Randi and Fremer here:
[Note: the commenter going by "grooves" is Fremer]
[update: sorry I think that last link is now dead]