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post #61 of 86 Old 08-15-2019, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Paul says the issue is your mood. If you have to judge the sound of X by using your hearing then you are in the wrong mood. I guess when performing an ABX test he is in a bad mood, whereas in other tests then he is in a good mood:

[Jump to 3m25s if my link doesn't take you their directly.]

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post #62 of 86 Old 08-15-2019, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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This is just like Uri Geller. He can bend spoons with his mind but only when in a good mood. [and he has secret access to the spoons, pre-test and off camera, to gimmick them via metal fatigue]

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post #63 of 86 Old 08-15-2019, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
This is just like Uri Geller. He can bend spoons with his mind but only when in a good mood. [and he has secret access to the spoons, pre-test and off camera, to gimmick them via metal fatigue]

Most magical thinking incorporates defense mechanisms against skepticism. Being skeptical becomes a sort of dark-side magical power in of itself that thwarts the power of psychic phenomenon, spiritualism, dowsing, you name it. Prayer only works also if you are in the right state of mind. Spirits and countless other entities and the powers many people claim for themselves just don't like skepticism it seems, and only come out to play when they see a mindset being suitably open (read: credulous).
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post #64 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by IIDexII View Post
Oh jikes was you alive and old in the late old 70s??
Paul McGowan's Youtube video was posted about 9 months ago so when he says he took the ABX test (around) "30 years ago" that brings us to late 1988, closer to the 1990's actually than the 70's. I was an adult working as a high end audio dealer in 1988, yes.


Clark's groundbreaking paper explaining to us how his new ABX comparator box worked [the prototype unit having been physically constructed by former AVS forum member Arny Krueger (RIP), as I understand it] was published in 1982:

High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator - Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, May 1, 1982

It was a vast improvement over earlier attempts at a similar methodology first proposed by Gardner and Munson in 1950, also called ABX, which was much more primitive, awkward, and importantly didn't leave the switching in the control of the listener whenever they wanted, a refinement which greatly improves discrimination. Deceiving consumers into thinking modern-day ABX leaves this direct access switching control out of the listener's hands is another lie spread by people trying to scare users away from ABX.

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post #65 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some red flag words exposing that scaremongering is being attempted, used by marketers, when they attempt to discredit ABX testing: "cognitive load".

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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
The modern day version of the ABX test is open book, i.e. the listener is allowed to know exactly what A and B sound like throughout the entire test, at any time, listening to them freely and with their identity openly labeled. This allows the listener to instantly refresh their memory for the exact sound signatures whenever they choose. Again, this very important fact is purposefully hidden by detractors who do their very best to scare people away from conducting such tests for themselves, even though they are free, by claiming there's a huge "cognitive load" in having to "memorize" and juggle these three sounds [A ,B, and X] at once. Here's is an actual example of this lie:

"An ABX test requires that a listener retains all three sounds in working memory. . . .this results in the cognitive load for an ABX test being high." -Bob Stuart, marketer of MQA

source of quote: https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conventions/?ID=416

When you took True or False tests in school did you find the "cognitive load" was too high? After all, you had to juggle in memory three simultaneous ideas: what is the question at hand?, is it mostly a truthful statement?, or is it mostly false? If your brain can handle the cognitive load of a True or False test it can also handle an ABX test just as easily.
Interestingly some people elect to take ABX tests without even being exposed to "B" during the test at all [they aren't forced to press the button]. They answer each trial as if it were actually "Is this mystery sound labelled X the same as sound A?" Technically you don't even need to hear sound B to answer that question. It allows the listener to optionally treat the ABX test as a "same/difference" test, at their discretion. [I use this method sometimes.]

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post #66 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Some marketers have the audacity to suggest the general public shouldn't even attempt A/B comparisons at all, let alone blind A/B tests, and suggest we should buy their wares based on faith:
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Apparently, according to Bob Stuart [Meridian and MQA developer] and Morten Linberg [2L Records, seller of MQA] A/B comparisons are great for them to carry out, and are done all the time behind the scenes, however for us consumers it should be avoided because we'll get all confused and stuff, and "won't understand the context", so instead we should only listen to what the experts, like them, tell us is the difference.

Here Alan Sircom from HiFi+ Magazine interviews the two of them, identified by their initials:

AS: You rejected the idea of subjecting MQA to A-B testing. Why?

ML: There is one major flaw to A-B tests, and that is the whole setting (which is unavoidable). It makes it a ‘seek and ye shall find’ situation, and that means your listening mode is ‘pushed’ into trying to be analytical, but very few have the linguistic craftsmanship to define music analytically.

Bob and I started working together on this about 18 months ago. It was the ‘origami’ part of MQA that caught my attention, but there were no tools available as a commercial studio at that time – it was all in Bob’s laptop or Bob’s head. Bob provided me with a prototype MQA decoding DAC, I prepared my masters, and sent the files to Bob. He would return three or four different versions, which I would listen to.

I didn’t have a clue what Bob had done – so I tried to describe the sound with emotional words, not engineering words. We don’t have that vocabulary. That’s how I tried to listen to the final result; not with my analytical brain, but instead relying on how it makes me feel.

And that brings me back to the A-B test. That’s why I feel A-B tests don’t work properly, because they don’t allow you to lean back and actually experience what’s happening to you while you listen.

BS: We didn’t want to do public A-B tests, because they are completely uncontrolled. You know what it’s like – you put three audiophiles in a room and you get nine opinions. In fact, we do A-B tests all the time, with people who understand the context. So, for example, whenever we were with someone who had made the recording, we’d do the A-B test on the spot.

But ultimately, we didn’t want the discussion to devolve to A-B testing, when in fact it was about bringing the sound from the studio
Wow, people fall for this?
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post #67 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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I love ABX testing.

I once scored 10/10 on Mr. Zilch's phono stage ABX test.
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post #68 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
I love ABX testing.

I once scored 10/10 on Mr. Zilch's phono stage ABX test.
Good job! Thanks!



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #69 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 07:49 PM
 
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Anyone got a link to a good blind testing center for audio where I can test my gear? I will not be scared away by baby boomers making YouTube videos or posting memes.
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post #70 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Anyone got a link to a good blind testing center for audio where I can test my gear?
You can test it yourself by listening to a song on your preferred system of choice, "A", and testing to see if you can distinguish it from a recording of the same song after it plays through my cheap audio system, "B".

If either my cheap gear and/or my recording process degrades the sound to the point of changing the sound audibly you should be able to hear the distinction using the Foobar ABX test, which we know you already know how to use since you posted your results of having taken one of my other tests using Foobar ABX here, showing you could hear a difference 16 times out of 16 trials.

Details here:
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In my proposed test you would listen to your favorite music file, ripped from a CD by me (or you) using Exact Audio Copy (creating a perfect, bit accurate file just like it appeared on the CD itself) and you listen to it through your best USB cable you think will sound the most different from a freebie USB cable, through whatever audio system you want/have access to.

This, above, is "A" in the Foorbar ABX test.

"B" is my recording of the same file after it has traveled through many stages of (possible) degradation, including a cheapo, freebie USB cable which "colors" the sound according to people who believe they sound different.

Off the top of my head, here are all the degrading stages:


1.
Digital sound file, "A", is played from my laptop's hard drive and exits through a USB port.

2. Digital signal travels through a cheapo, freebie USB cable to my cheapo DAC.

3. Digital signal gets converted to an analog signal with my cheapo ($79.99) DAC [it is actually a combination DAC, ADC, headphone amp, and a stereo XLR mic preamp unit, so I guess the DAC part, by itself, might be $20? ]

4. The analog signal travels out of the DAC through a 6ft (~2 meters) $1 RCA stereo wire.

5. The signal arrives at the analog input of the same $79.99 combo unit so it can be re-digitized by the unit's ADC [analog to digital converter]

6.
The now digital signal travels back to the laptop through the exact same freebie USB cable [i.e. the cable is being used heavily during the test since it is simultaneously sending and receiving data, in both directions]

7.
The raw signal is recorded on my computer's hard drive by me pressing "start recording" and and "stop recording", by hand, and unfortunately humans like me have delay times in our response when we hit buttons [actually clicking a mouse button], plus DACs and ADCs have latency, so the recording of the song will need to have some silence before the music starts and some silence after the music ends, acting as safety buffers, so I don't miss any of the song.

8. The raw signal recording is retrieved from my hard drive in Audacity [DAW] editing software and the silent beginning buffer and silent ending buffer parts are cut off, precisely, so the newly created file will play in sync with the original, untouched file, "A", and the level of the new file is verified/corrected to be the same as the master source file, "A".

This new file created is "B" in the Foobar ABX test and if any of the above eight steps degrades the sound, even just a little, this will make it sound ever so slightly different (or perhaps very different) than file "A", the completely untouched master file. I contend "B" will not sound different than "A".

The two files are uploaded to Dropbox, a cloud based storage company, so you can download them for the test at your leisure. You can practice before the test by listening to the two files by whatever means you want and for however long you want. You can take however long you want to perform the test, too.

The entire creation of the test files will be filmed by me with a video camera to verify the authenticity of the files, proving they are as I claim. I will include their SHA-1 digital fingerprints for authentication purposes so you can verify the files I upload to Dropbox are indeed the ones I show in the video.

You can verify the digital fingerprint identity of the SHA-1 status of the files I upload by checking them with a verification program such as the free one here, or whichever one you prefer.

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post #71 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
You can test it yourself by listening to a song on your preferred system of choice, "Version A", and testing to see if you can distinguish it from a recording of the same song after it plays through my cheap system, "Version B".

If either my cheap gear and/or my recording process degrades the sound to the point of changing the sound audibly you should be able to hear the distinction using the Foobar ABX test, which we know you already know how to use since you posted your results of having taken one of my other tests here.
How does that test if my gear is any good?
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post #72 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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It effectively tests if your system sounds any different than my cheap system.

A: Your song playing through your system.

B: Your song playing through my system, recorded, and then the recording is played back through your system.

Edit to add: If my system (and/or recording process) degrades the sound in any way compared to your system it will make file B sound different. That's the test: Does "A" sound different than "B"?

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post #73 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
I love ABX testing.
Me too.
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post #74 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
It effectively tests if your system sounds any different than my cheap system.

A: Your song playing through your system.

B: Your song playing through my system, recorded and then played back through your system.
How does it do that?
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post #75 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
How does it do that?
Read the "Edit to add" I just now have added to my last post 72.
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post #76 of 86 Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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biggest spec I wish to know beforehand is how loud it can go before clipping.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #77 of 86 Old 08-31-2019, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's another one I stumbled upon on a site I can't tolerate for more than a few post before becoming sick from the lies:

"I am pleased to see you develop this tool further as Foobar ABX plug-in is now quite horrible, designed more to generate negative results than to remove bias. Ironically, that has occurred due to bias of the developers not wanting people getting positive results in what they don't believe in!"

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...e-2#post-25718

Think about it: According to this complete nonsense, the Foobar developers are supposedly "biased" into thinking people can't hear a difference between any two sounds, of any kind, which they have nothing to do with in how you've decided to select these two sounds. A flute vs. a tuba playing the same song? They don't believe you can hear a difference. Beatles vs. Bach? They don't believe you should be able to hear a difference there either! What BS! Foobar is just a computer program and isn't biased. It doesn't know what you are comparing and doesn't care one way of the other.


By not being specific his claims can't be challenged. All he wants to do is plant seeds of doubt in his readers' minds. Backing up his claims with facts isn't necessary because he hasn't made any specific claims! Clever.

P.S. I did a Foobar ABX test and got positive results just yesterday (proof available upon request). It happens all the time but he doesn't want readers to know that.

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post #78 of 86 Old 08-31-2019, 09:41 PM
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Blind testing with a control element is ONLY AS GOOD as the questions being asked of the testees...

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post #79 of 86 Old 08-31-2019, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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It's a really complex question too.

"Is this mystery sound, "X" (you may repeat freely, as much as you'd like, with the click of a button) actually "A", or is it "B"? And since this is an open book test you are free to listen to them as much as you'd like too."
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post #80 of 86 Old 09-01-2019, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Here's another one I stumbled upon on a site I can't tolerate for more than a few post before becoming sick from the lies:

"I am pleased to see you develop this tool further as Foobar ABX plug-in is now quite horrible, designed more to generate negative results than to remove bias. Ironically, that has occurred due to bias of the developers not wanting people getting positive results in what they don't believe in!"

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...e-2#post-25718

Think about it: According to this complete nonsense, the Foobar developers are supposedly "biased" into thinking people can't hear a difference between any two sounds, of any kind, which they have nothing to do with in how you've decided to select these two sounds. A flute vs. a tuba playing the same song? They don't believe you can hear a difference. Beatles vs. Bach? They don't believe you should be able to hear a difference there either! What BS! Foobar is just a computer program and isn't biased. It doesn't know what you are comparing and doesn't care one way of the other.


By not being specific his claims can't be challenged. All he wants to do is plant seeds of doubt in his readers' minds. Backing up his claims with facts isn't necessary because he hasn't made any specific claims! Clever.

P.S. I did a Foobar ABX test and got positive results just yesterday (proof available upon request). It happens all the time but he doesn't want readers to know that.
Ask him how he tested his claim. As you brought up, suggest he compare Beatles to Bach to see if there is a positive outcome. If there is, is he implying the program is self aware?
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post #81 of 86 Old 09-01-2019, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schubeedoobee View Post
Blind testing with a control element is ONLY AS GOOD as the questions being asked of the testees...
Actually, the question is rather simple. Is there a detectable difference of anything that you can get 9 of 10 trials correct?
The person can use whatever criteria they use in a sighted test to judge differences.
This is not a speaker development type of testing, just a difference testing. Rather simple.
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post #82 of 86 Old 09-04-2019, 11:54 PM
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Re: training, yes, we do all that in a basic research paradigm. With listeners intended to represent a sample of the population, testing the hypothesis that an audible difference exists.



But on a thread like this, where we have a golden ear already claiming to hear an audible difference -- to already be 'trained' -- the paradigm is different, the question is different, and the protocol can be too.

It's the difference between exploring whether psychic spoonbending powers might exist, versus whether Uri Geller, specifically, is bending spoons with his mind. For that, we don't need to train Uri to bend things with his mind. He already claims to know very well how to bend spoons with his mind. We just need to apply a few controls and ask Uri to bend a spoon.


If Uri fails, it suggests that his usual spoon bending isn't psychic. It doesn't rule out that someone else can psychically bend spoons; it doesn't even rule out that Uri, with proper training, might be able to do so in the future. So as basic science it's not very useful. For debunking a blowhard's claims in the present, though , it's priceless.
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post #83 of 86 Old 09-05-2019, 09:43 AM
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Hmm, well, I seem to be talking to a ghost up there.
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post #84 of 86 Old 09-05-2019, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Despite the false claim of detractors, who misrepresent double blind testing to scare people away, Foobar ABX does allow test subjects (listeners) to hear the openly identified music, A and B, both during the test (hence why it is deemed an "open book test") but also pre-test in what's called "training mode". Deceptive people often don't even let on that ABX has this mode and act like training is shunned by ABX. Lies.

During training mode the subject is free to take practice runs, for as long as they'd like, with the computer keeping tally and providing instantaneous feedback as to their success. This provides constructive feedback so the listener knows how well they are doing. If they are doing poorly they might consider moving on to a different part of the music, however if they are doing well it suggests they might be on to something so they then might consider hitting the "begin test" button at that point to instantly start a formal test, right then and there. The "pay dirt" part of the song they've elected to loop in their optional "phrase repeat" section is automatically preserved as they then start a formal test!

[More in my next post.]

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post #85 of 86 Old 09-05-2019, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I applaud both of the decisions to insist the listener must commit to a fixed number of trials, of their choice, pre-test (not mid test) as well as the decision to not give instant scoring results after each question (in a formal test) for several reasons, including, very importantly, fraud prevention. It helps prevent a cheater from taking a series of quick, partially completed tests where they simply abandon and discard any test, only partly completed, as soon as they see their current test score won't end up showing the winning results they want. They of course only post the "winning" test, they eventually complete, and pretend it was the only test..

For example, a (theoretical) cheater knowing they can't get any more than one wrong on a test of, let's say ten trials, would simply quit and discard any test, part way through, as soon as they see they've gotten two questions wrong. They of course pretend these failed, partial tests never occurred and only post their first winning-score test. This saves them a ton of time, since they don't have to take complete tests to execute this fraud, just a bunch a partial ones.

Unfortunately there are always going to be ways to cheat a test but eliminating as many ways as possible is a good idea.

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post #86 of 86 Old 09-05-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post
Hmm, well, I seem to be talking to a ghost up there.
Looks like posts were removed by moderators. Perhaps he was AMIRM, a banned past member with a new name.
CharlesJ is offline  
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