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Tony_Montana
06-15-2004, 07:54 PM
We all know how controversial DBT protocol has become, and it is even banned for discussion in some audio groups (guess which one :D). So lets say we come up with a new method of cable evaluation that does not involve any type of DBT, and it can be done sighted. And to make things simple, this method will be used to see if two cables of similar length, gauge and construction sound different.

This method would be to setup a room with a good audio system, and then invite few cable savvies and give each participant some times (this can be couple of hours or days) to spend alone in that room evaluating couple of cables and make note of each cable signature (ie..whether it improve the bass, treble, soundstage, etc).

The main objective here will be to see how different each participant's notes are on each cables. If the notes and comments taken from each participant are all different and don't match up, then we will all know that palacebo effect is definitely at work here since the system and room acoustic has remained the same. If a cable DOES sound different, then the notes and comments taken from each person should match up.

I believe this method of testing will be good way to find out if two cables do indeed sound different. If each person take on cables are different -for example one person said that it improved the bass and another said the treble-then we will know for sure that there are other factors involved such as own perception when evaluating cables.

mtrycraft
06-15-2004, 08:45 PM
The main objective here will be to see how different each participant's notes are on each cables. If the notes and comments taken from each participant are all different and don't match up, then we will all know that palacebo effect is definitely at work here since the system and room acoustic has remained the same. If a cable DOES sound different, then the notes and comments taken from each person should match up.

How are you going to mathe them up? Word for word? Subjectively meaning what they intended to imply? Too much variability in the grading process.


[b]I believe this method of testing will be good way to find out if two cables do indeed sound different. If each person take on cables are different -for example one person said that it improved the bass and another said the treble-then we will know for sure that there are other factors involved such as own perception when evaluating cables.[/QUOTE]

Dr. Floyd Toole has al;ready demonstrated in a peer paper this idea is unreliable and bias will enter the evaluation. He used speakers though. Subjects evaluated a number in writing, sighted and DBT. Totally different scores on some and somewhat overall.

No matter how hard you are trying to justify sighted listening, you just cannot succeed without bias control implementation. That is indisputable.

Swerd
06-16-2004, 06:35 AM
setup a room with a good audio system, and then invite few cable savvies and give each participant some times (this can be couple of hours or days) to spend alone in that room evaluating couple of cables and make note of each cable signature (ie..whether it improve the bass, treble, soundstage, etc).

The main objective here will be to see how different each participant's notes are on each cables. If the notes and comments taken from each participant are all different and don't match up, then we will all know that placebo effect is definitely at work here since the system and room acoustic has remained the same. If a cable DOES sound different, then the notes and comments taken from each person should match up.
What you describe has more or less already been done. Go see http://www.sonic.net/soundscape/wire_rev.html. While the details were not exactly what you describe, their main objective was the same.

The reviewers had widely varying opinions, and my overall impression from reading this were that there were no universal favorites or losers common among all the reviewers. Combined with their common observation that trying to compare speaker wires was at best very difficult, a fair interpretation of all this would be that the reviewers were reaching too far to come up with descriptive differences among the wires. Were they hearing real differences, or were they trying too hard to write something for their magazine to print?

Read the whole article, but here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Note that our panelists disagreed on some of the cables. In a couple of cases, one panelist's least favorite was another pnaelist's favorite; this from a panel compsoed entirely of longtime serious music listeners.

This was possibly the most difficult Face Off I've participated in at HT, because the differences between the competing products were so minute and elusive.

Comparing 10 speaker cables is a lot like listening to the grass grow; what you hear is more psychological than acoustic, especially after the eighth set when you start to suspect that your powers of discernment are getting duller. This is hands-down the most difficult listening comparison I've ever experienced.

Here's a list of our favorite and least-favorite cables, as ranked by our Face off panelists after auditions with two different amp/ speaker combinations. The panelists ranked the cables in three classes; the overall favorites we called "pythons," the other impressive cables we called "rattlers," and the cables that met with lukewarm response we called "garters." Note that our panelists disagreed on some of the cables. In a couple of cases, one panelist's least-favorite was another panelist's favorite, this from a panel composed entirely of longtime serious music listeners.

This Face Off indicates that the same [as is true for cigars] is pretty much true with audio cables. Sure there some absolute truths here. Just as a Cohiba is a better cigar than a Swisher Seet, Wireworld Orbit is better than Tributaries' one third-as-expensive SP2. But just because I like Monster MCX-2s better than XLO ER-16 doesn't mean you will. I see speaker cable as tone controls, and everyone likes to set their tone controls differently.

skeptic
06-16-2004, 07:12 AM
This is a good way to taste wine, not evaluate speaker cables. In wine as in art, there are no absolutes. Anyone's opinion is as valid as anyone elses. As for professional wine reviewers, you try to find one whose palate and preferences are as close to your own as possible and hope that his advice will result in buying more wines you like than you don't like. This has nothing to do with cable testing.

Audio cables are a physical entity which perform a very specific and limited function that is well understood. Far better understood for example than loudspeakers or even amplifiers, there is little about the physical or electrical properties and behavior of cables that isn't known or can't be found out with bench testing. As for any kind of listening tests, that's an accomodation to those whose absurd claim is that they can hear differences which are beyond the ability of engineers to test for. The fact that they can't pick out their own cables in fair Double Blind Tests and some of them won't even discuss them demonstrates that they are full of it.

pctower
06-16-2004, 11:52 AM
This is a good way to taste wine, not evaluate speaker cables. In wine as in art, there are no absolutes. Anyone's opinion is as valid as anyone elses. As for professional wine reviewers, you try to find one whose palate and preferences are as close to your own as possible and hope that his advice will result in buying more wines you like than you don't like. This has nothing to do with cable testing.

Audio cables are a physical entity which perform a very specific and limited function that is well understood. Far better understood for example than loudspeakers or even amplifiers, there is little about the physical or electrical properties and behavior of cables that isn't known or can't be found out with bench testing. As for any kind of listening tests, that's an accomodation to those whose absurd claim is that they can hear differences which are beyond the ability of engineers to test for. The fact that they can't pick out their own cables in fair Double Blind Tests and some of them won't even discuss them demonstrates that they are full of it.
"which are beyond the ability of engineers to test for"

What particular type of engineer is qualified to conduct audio DBTs? What particular aspect of such an engineer's qualifications, education or background renders him qualified to conduct such tests?

Seems to me that other disciplines that deal with human testing are much better qualifed to conduct such tests than are engineers.

I think that's part of the problem with determining the reliability of blind tests that have been reported to date. The people conducting them in the main did not have the necessary knowledge and experience to establish proper test protocol and statistical analysis.

skeptic
06-16-2004, 01:36 PM
"Far better understood for example than loudspeakers or even amplifiers, there is little about the physical or electrical properties and behavior of cables that isn't known or can't be found out with bench testing."

These are the tests I was referring to when I said that cable proponents claim that their ability to hear differences goes beyond what can be tested for...in a lab...on a test bench.

As for engineers being qualified to set up and execute double blind tests, engineers in general and electrical engineers in particular are highly qualified to set up and conduct such tests. They understand the parameters to be tested, the the equipment to be used and calibrated, the flaws in test procedures that would render the tests unfair, and they even get (believe it or not), rudimentary training in statistics and probability to be able to evaluate the data. At the very least, when psychologists set up and conduct such tests, they often get the assistance of engineers or technicians who can help with the equipment. Contrary to popular belief especially among audiophiles, not all engineers are babbling dummies. Inherent in their training is not rote memorization of what to think but in fact mastering the technique of how to think. And believe it or not, some engineers who graduated many years ago and have been in the working world actually remember how to think independently and critically, sadly a skill not necessary in some other professions...like lawyering.

Tony_Montana
06-16-2004, 03:01 PM
How are you going to mathe them up? Word for word? Subjectively meaning what they intended to imply? Too much variability in the grading process.

We already have eliminated system and room acoustic variability, so the only variable is left is the listener and notes he/she takes. And we could reduce that variability by imposing some guidelines such as emphasizing that only couple of strong point of a cable be noted.


No matter how hard you are trying to justify sighted listening, you just cannot succeed without bias control implementation. That is indisputable.

Like the James Bond movie title said:"Never Say Never" :D. I don't know where the notion that [all] sighted testing are unreliable came from, but it have to revised if we want to make progress in evaluating cables. The word "biased" get thrown alot around here, but the fact is that some listeners are not biased toward any cables (at least those who want the truth about cables). All they want to find out is if a cable makes a difference or not. That is all.

You yourself is always advising others not to take advice from others since they might be unreliable, and then you turn around and treat whatever Dr Toole have to say about cable as bible that is written on stone. What make you sure that DR Toole is not biased either? :)


What you describe has more or less already been done. Go see http://www.sonic.net/soundscape/wire_rev.html. While the details were not exactly what you describe, their main objective was the same.

I just looked at that link briefly, and it seem that they were trying to evaluating too many cables at once (I thin it was ten). And that might a an impossible task to accomplish.
In the method I described, we are only interested to find out if two cables of same construction and length sound different or not. For example, one $10 Radioshack cable and $999 cable from Tara. We just want to know how each listener evaluate each cables :)


Audio cables are a physical entity which perform a very specific and limited function that is well understood. Far better understood for example than loudspeakers or even amplifiers, there is little about the physical or electrical properties and behavior of cables that isn't known or can't be found out with bench testing.

I agree with that statement. but what about those who do not agree? Shouldn't we create a protocol for testing cables that naysayes and yeasayes could agree on since DBT discussion seem to end up in the gutter anytime it is brought up?


What particular type of engineer is qualified to conduct audio DBTs? What particular aspect of such an engineer's qualifications, education or background renders him qualified to conduct such tests?

There you go again PC, making rocket science out simple testing of cables :D

Even ordinary persons can setup a cable testing protocol, as long as variables are reduces to give an accurate result. As you said, human nature does play a role when doing such a test, but as long as that factor eliminated (such as memory factor), then the testing can be done almost by any one and doesn't require a specialist :)

skeptic
06-16-2004, 03:59 PM
Let's suppose everyone agreed that one cable sounded different from another and for the same reason, it had more high end. That would not come as a shock since we know that there are differences in shunt capacitance and series inductance among cables. So what would it mean. Is the one with the hotter high end right or better and the other one wrong or worse? What if the same effect could be obtained with the cable with the cooler high end and an equalizer with a 1 db boost at 20khz. If that arrangement was indistinguishable from the hot high end cable without the equalizer would it prove anything of value? What if the speaker was designed using the cable with the cooler high end and the designer had rejected the same sound as you get with a 1 db boost at 20khz because it was too shrill? Then what? What is the purpose of this test anyway?

mtrycraft
06-16-2004, 08:47 PM
We already have eliminated system and room acoustic variability, so the only variable is left is the listener and notes he/she takes.

That is usually the case if the listeing is done in one room as is the case when 'golden ears' are brave enough to participate in a DBT :)

And we could reduce that variability by imposing some guidelines such as emphasizing that only couple of strong point of a cable be noted.

Then you also need to standardize the words and phrases or else you will impose the subjectivity of the interprter of the test results. And, how many such written trials will you do? Sufficient for a statistical evaluation? If not, then it is very chance based proposition.



Like the James Bond movie title said:"Never Say Never" :D.


I am not Bond :)

I don't know where the notion that [all] sighted testing are unreliable came from, but it have to revised if we want to make progress in evaluating cables.


Why? That is just your belief that a revision or even this will make a difference. The protocol is in concrete, DBT is a must. You need extraordinary proof that your method is better. I seriously doubt you can meet that burden of demonstration.

The word "biased" get thrown alot around here, but the fact is that some listeners are not biased toward any cables (at least those who want the truth about cables). All they want to find out is if a cable makes a difference or not. That is all.

How do you know this? Who is the guarantor of these truths? How do you know it can be turend on or off at will? It cannot be, exactely why sighted listening to establish small differences is unreliable. You just don't know when it is or is not reliable. Under DBT you don't have that. You may question the statistics, set up, etc, but not the bias aspect unless htere is a flaw and wasn't really DBT.



You yourself is always advising others not to take advice from others since they might be unreliable, and then you turn around and treat whatever Dr Toole have to say about cable as bible that is written on stone. What make you sure that DR Toole is not biased either? :)

He wasn't when he came to these conclusions at NRC in Canada over his career there. I think he knows how to do DBT:D

Mirage has a good story about NRC with no mention of Tooles tenure :(

Monstrous Mike
06-17-2004, 06:16 AM
The word "biased" get thrown alot around here, but the fact is that some listeners are not biased toward any cables (at least those who want the truth about cables). All they want to find out is if a cable makes a difference or not. That is all.
:)
I would consider myself as one who is seeking the truth about cables. But I certainly would never state that I am not biased about cables. I did a cable comparison of my own and found no differences. But I acknowledge that there may have been some subtle differences but since my expectation was that there wouldn't be, therefore I may have missed them. So my home test was unreliable and has no basis in fact. Why did I do it then? I needed to examine the possibility that I could distinctly hear a cable difference. The only chance I had was if the difference was large.

I would say only robots are totally free of bias. One cannot sit down and assess if he is free from bias of any kind since a lot of bias is subconcious. I know people that say they are not racist or homophobic but every once and awhile they will say something (without being aware of it) that shows otherwise. Some people are overtly racist, some are covertly racist and some are subconciously racist.

Therefore, I would have to agree with pctower that for DBTs there should be a psychologist or someone similar to analyse the listeners and the subjective results.

markw
06-17-2004, 07:02 AM
... why the participant's knowledge of what item is being tested should make any difference when it comes to describing it's nature?

If differences actually exist, wouldn't they be heard without knowing what item was under test?

If the identity of the item under test must be known before an evaluation can be made, it seems to me that the test would be invalid. One just might hear what one expects to hear.

Now, after sighted listening to their hearts content, if the identities of the items under test were then concealed from their knowledge, and they then were able to, indepentent from each other, come up with enough similar descriptions, then you might be on to something.

...but that leaves a little too much to chance, doesn't it?

Swerd
06-17-2004, 07:12 AM
I would say only robots are totally free of bias. One cannot sit down and assess if he is free from bias of any kind since a lot of bias is subconcious. I know people that say they are not racist or homophobic but every once and awhile they will say something (without being aware of it) that shows otherwise. Some people are overtly racist, some are covertly racist and some are subconciously racist.

I think there is some confusion over the use of the word bias. It has more than one meaning. Bias, as we speak of it in cable listening tests, has a statistical definition. See The Online Medical Dictionary's entry for bias.
http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?query=bias&action=Search+OMD

Bias is any deviation of results or inferences from the truth, or the processes leading to such deviation.

In a clinical trial, bias refers to effects that may cause a conclusion to be incorrect, for example, when a researcher or patient knows what treatment is being given. To avoid bias, a blinded study may be done.

Bias can result from several sources: one-sided or systematic variations in measurement from the true value (systematic error); flaws in study design; deviation of inferences, interpretations, or analyses based on flawed data or data collection; etc.

There is no sense of prejudice or subjectivity implied in the assessment of bias under these conditions.

I'm not picking on you Mike, I actually agree with your views on cables. I only selected a quote from your post to illustrate my point about the word bias. Maybe we should use a different word, for example: sighted cable tests have been shown to skew the results.

Monstrous Mike
06-17-2004, 07:56 AM
There is no sense of prejudice or subjectivity implied in the assessment of bias under these conditions.
Using the reference you gave I quote: "Bias can result from several sources: one-sided or systematic variations in measurement from the true value (systematic error); " where one-sided is defined as: "Having one side only, or one side prominent; hence, limited to one side; partial; unjust; unfair; as, a one-sided view or statement. "

I believe this applies directly to our cable situation. Our source of bias over cables is that we have already chosen a side before any testing begins. I know people would like to think that they can enter any cable test with a complete, unbiased view point but I think this is not possible. And the real point is that since we really don't know what our biases are, they have to be controlled before we can make any valued judgements on comparisons.

So I personally think it is very logical and reasonable to associate knowledge of the component under test with some sort of bias in addition to any preconceived knowledge like an engineering degree, past experiences, word of mouth, cost of components, etc.



I'm not picking on you Mike, I actually agree with your views on cables.
Since I am never 100% correct in my views, I invite criticism. If I don't feel such criticism is useful or is unecessarily nasty, I will simply move on. I found you and others on both sides of the fence to be particularly civil. And if dare say, this site has become more civil than AA.

So keep up the good work, don't bring my mother into this and we'll all be just fine.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 09:34 AM
"... why the participant's knowledge of what item is being tested should make any difference when it comes to describing it's nature?"

There is something unique about wire that is different from other elements in an electronic sound system. While other elements are intended to generate or alter an electrical signal in some way and its location is unimportant, wire is intended for exactly the opposite purpose, namely to move it from one location to another without changing it. Therefore, it is an element whose ability to fulfill its function can be assessed by shunting it out. In the evaluation of wire, rather than comparing one real world element which is imperfect with another real world element, I would prefer to compare it to its theoretical ideal or at least very nearly so. Then rather than see its flaws in relative terms, we can see them in absolute terms.

Swerd
06-17-2004, 09:35 AM
Let's get back to Tony Montana's original question about whether there is an alternative to DBT.

It seems like it is really two different questions that often appear in great cable debates.

Blind vs. sighted testing

Short term vs. long term testing

There is a simple answer for the blind vs. sighted question. Numerous studies in medical clinical trials and in the psychology of human perception have clearly demonstrated that when a subject can visually identify the item being tested (sighted testing) the results of the test are skewed (aka biased). How do we know that? It's very simple to run the same test under blinded and sighted conditions and compare the results. They are almost always significantly different. That's what Floyd Toole did with speakers a number of years ago. He showed that listeners' selections of speakers they preferred varied when they could hear and see them compared to when they could only hear them. There is no reason to believe that peoples perception of the effects of cables would be any different. So to answer Tony, I think that blinded testing is the preferred method. It matters much less whether it is single or double blind. If the testing is not blinded, the tester has to go to great lengths to show that his method does not introduce the sources of bias known to accompany sighted testing. This is very hard to do.

The other question of short- vs. long-term testing has no simple answer that I know of. I've heard yeasayers who claim that long-term listening is necessary to hear the differences due to cables. Short-term A/B type tests do not allow them the time to hear all the subtle nuances.

My problem with this is how do you do long-term testing (say one month in one's own home) while maintaining blinded conditions? If there is some way to guarantee that listeners never know the identity of the test cables while they are unsupervised in their homes, then there might be a way to settle this question. Until then, I maintian that it is far more important to have blinded tests than it is to have long-term tests.

pctower
06-17-2004, 09:40 AM
Let's get back to Tony Montana's original question about whether there is an alternative to DBT.

It seems like it is really two different questions that often appear in great cable debates.

Blind vs. sighted testing

Short term vs. long term testing

There is a simple answer for the blind vs. sighted question. Numerous studies in medical clinical trials and in the psychology of human perception have clearly demonstrated that when a subject can visually identify the item being tested (sighted testing) the results of the test are skewed (aka biased). How do we know that? It's very simple to run the same test under blinded and sighted conditions and compare the results. They are almost always significantly different. That's what Floyd Toole did with speakers a number of years ago. He showed that listeners' selections of speakers they preferred varied when they could hear and see them compared to when they could only hear them. There is no reason to believe that peoples perception of the effects of cables would be any different. So to answer Tony, I think that blinded testing is the preferred method. It matters much less whether it is single or double blind. If the testing is not blinded, the tester has to go to great lengths to show that his method does not introduce the sources of bias known to accompany sighted testing. This is very hard to do.

The other question of short- vs. long-term testing has no simple answer that I know of. I've heard yeasayers who claim that long-term listening is necessary to hear the differences due to cables. Short-term A/B type tests do not allow them the time to hear all the subtle nuances.

My problem with this is how do you do long-term testing (say one month in one's own home) while maintaining blinded conditions? If there is some way to guarantee that listeners never know the identity of the test cables while they are unsupervised in their homes, then there might be a way to settle this question. Until then, I maintian that it is far more important to have blinded tests than it is to have long-term tests.
Hey!

Who allowed someone like you who makes a lot of sense to get onto this board?

Resident Loser
06-17-2004, 10:09 AM
...I don't see much difference from that position in overall terms and generally speaking, to the usual banter around these parts.

Any subjective long-term analysis first requires that there is viable, repeatable evidence that there is actually being something worthy of analysis. My mother-in-law's ability to detect the clarity of a rim-shot while tooling down the driveway does not qualify.

jimHJJ(...at least not IMO...)

Swerd
06-17-2004, 10:33 AM
Hey!

Who allowed someone like you who makes a lot of sense to get onto this board?
I'm really Jon Risch's evil twin, but our medication is working much better now.

PCT, I think we both appear to be sitting on the same fence, but we face in different directions. I face the naysayer side and you face the yeasayer side. I'm unwilling to say the naysayers are 100% right untill there is some unimpeachable listening test evidence that they are. At the same time, I'm strongly inclined to believe that the yeasayers are imagining things.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 11:11 AM
"My problem with this is how do you do long-term testing (say one month in one's own home) while maintaining blinded conditions?"

Only allow blind people to participate in the test.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 11:12 AM
"Hey!

Who allowed someone like you who makes a lot of sense to get onto this board?"

I think I am going to throw up!

okiemax
06-17-2004, 02:07 PM
Let's get back to Tony Montana's original question about whether there is an alternative to DBT.

It seems like it is really two different questions that often appear in great cable debates.

Blind vs. sighted testing

Short term vs. long term testing

There is a simple answer for the blind vs. sighted question. Numerous studies in medical clinical trials and in the psychology of human perception have clearly demonstrated that when a subject can visually identify the item being tested (sighted testing) the results of the test are skewed (aka biased). How do we know that? It's very simple to run the same test under blinded and sighted conditions and compare the results. They are almost always significantly different. That's what Floyd Toole did with speakers a number of years ago. He showed that listeners' selections of speakers they preferred varied when they could hear and see them compared to when they could only hear them. There is no reason to believe that peoples perception of the effects of cables would be any different. So to answer Tony, I think that blinded testing is the preferred method. It matters much less whether it is single or double blind. If the testing is not blinded, the tester has to go to great lengths to show that his method does not introduce the sources of bias known to accompany sighted testing. This is very hard to do.

The other question of short- vs. long-term testing has no simple answer that I know of. I've heard yeasayers who claim that long-term listening is necessary to hear the differences due to cables. Short-term A/B type tests do not allow them the time to hear all the subtle nuances.

My problem with this is how do you do long-term testing (say one month in one's own home) while maintaining blinded conditions? If there is some way to guarantee that listeners never know the identity of the test cables while they are unsupervised in their homes, then there might be a way to settle this question. Until then, I maintian that it is far more important to have blinded tests than it is to have long-term tests.

Yes, maintaining blinded conditions in a long-term test could be a problem. However, couldn't you get around that with long-term sighted listening of the cables being tested, followed by short-term blinded testing, or am I missing something? I think it is difficult for listeners to detect subtle differences in blinded short-term tests unless they already know
what to listen for in the music selected.

On a different subject, I believe Dr. Toole's study showed his test subjects(not everyone) could be biased by the appearance of some speakers, but the study didn't go as far as it could in testing the strength of their bias. Would the subjects have changed their preference again, for example, if a sighted test had followed the blinded test. And if so, what might that mean?

skeptic
06-17-2004, 02:53 PM
It must have been in the early 70s when this happened at a trade show in New York City probably at the Statler Hilton. I entered a huge triple room with fold away walls that had been opened to accomodate a large number of people. Two monster speakers almost as tall as the room were playing jazz quite loud and it was very impressive. After a large crowd had entered, an emcee came in to talk about Philips' new loudspeaker system. After a short while a very strange thing happened. Lights went on inside the huge speaker enclosures and revealed that they were completely empty. They were nothing more than huge frames with cloth around them. Inside each one on the floor was a small speaker system, the tri amplified "Little David." It was an incredibly surprising and dramatic presentation. I have a friend who acquired and still owns the originals used for the demo.

Talk about sighted bias.

pctower
06-17-2004, 02:59 PM
...I don't see much difference from that position in overall terms and generally speaking, to the usual banter around these parts.

Any subjective long-term analysis first requires that there is viable, repeatable evidence that there is actually being something worthy of analysis. My mother-in-law's ability to detect the clarity of a rim-shot while tooling down the driveway does not qualify.

jimHJJ(...at least not IMO...)
I didn't read him as advocating long-term subjective listening. I thought he was suggesting that the objection often heard from the golden ears about test pressure could be countered if a way could be found to conduct "blind" tests under long-term listening conditions where someone could change cables back and forth but wouldn't know if they were all the same, all different or some combination.

Perhaps I read too much into what he was saying.

pctower
06-17-2004, 03:00 PM
"Hey!

Who allowed someone like you who makes a lot of sense to get onto this board?"

I think I am going to throw up!
What's new. You throw up daily - all over this board.

pctower
06-17-2004, 03:28 PM
I'm really Jon Risch's evil twin, but our medication is working much better now.

PCT, I think we both appear to be sitting on the same fence, but we face in different directions. I face the naysayer side and you face the yeasayer side. I'm unwilling to say the naysayers are 100% right untill there is some unimpeachable listening test evidence that they are. At the same time, I'm strongly inclined to believe that the yeasayers are imagining things.
Intellectually, I think I actually lean pretty heavily to the naysayer side. I certainly accept that anything short of valid control testing is unreliable. I merely attack test results that are often reported without the type of support required to determine if valid protocol and statistical analysis was applied. I believe I am actually MORE demanding of good science than most people on this board.

I also raise the question of whether anyone ever has established a solid basis for concluding that the typical rapid-switching, blind test is a valid method for determing if the differences people experience at home during long-term sighted listening are the result solely of bias or reflect some degree of actual audible differences. This may be just the flip side of raising the question of whether there is something inherrent such as pressure or lack of familiarity in the typical reported blind cable test that skews the results.

In addition, I refuse to allow that to control personal choices I make when my intellect isn't in control - choices such as the cables I use. If a particular cable improves my listening enjoyment I'll go with what improves my enjoyment - not what my intellect is telling me.

What I find interesting is how few people can grasp that distinction. Steve Eddy is the only person I know who really has a handle on the difference between what one

skeptic
06-17-2004, 03:32 PM
If you wouldn't post so frequently Phil, perhaps I could keep a meal down once in awhile.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 03:34 PM
Steve Eddy posted here only once as I recall and that time was to insult people on this message board and tell us he didn't have the time of day to participate here. I think he is a horse's rear end.

pctower
06-17-2004, 05:06 PM
Steve Eddy posted here only once as I recall and that time was to insult people on this message board and tell us he didn't have the time of day to participate here. I think he is a horse's rear end.
Do you mean the Steve Eddy who posts under his real name, rather than shooting off his big horse-breath mouth constantly while hiding behind his moniker like the true coward that he is?

Of yea, sure that's who you mean. I know Steve Eddy. Steve Eddy is a friend of mine. I also happen to know you. And believe me, you're no Steve Eddy. Steve is gentleman with class who with less than a 10th grade education could run circles around your engineering rear end.

Tony_Montana
06-17-2004, 05:17 PM
How do you know this? Who is the guarantor of these truths? How do you know [bias] can be turend on or off at will? It cannot be, exactely why sighted listening to establish small differences is unreliable. You just don't know when it is or is not reliable. Under DBT you don't have that.

My question is if DBT is such a perfect and flawless protocol, then why this method have not put an end to cable arguments for once an all? The arguments over DBT been going on for over last decade and nobody see an end to it pretty soon. So it is obvious some other type of testing protocol have to be created since we are not getting any where with DBT despite how perfect it is :)


What I don't understand is why the participant's knowledge of what item is being tested should make any difference when it comes to describing it's nature?


My point exactly. There is too much weight given as to flaws of the test if participant know about the identity of cable before hand.


PCT, I think we both appear to be sitting on the same fence, but we face in different directions. I face the naysayer side and you face the yeasayer side.

I hope the weight of both of you on the fence don't tip over the fence. Then we will not know where naysayer and yeasayer territory begin and ends :D


I think it is difficult for listeners to detect subtle differences in blinded short-term tests unless they already know what to listen for in the music selected.

If you do a rapid switching, even subtle difference can be detected. The only problem here is that nobody seem to agree how to implement rapid switching testing.


I know Steve Eddy. Steve Eddy is a friend of mine. I also happen to know you. And believe me, you're no Steve Eddy. Steve is gentleman with class who with less than a 10th grade education could run circles around your engineering rear end.

Do I detect some type of idol worshiping :D

skeptic
06-17-2004, 06:22 PM
Don't you like my moniker PC? Maybe I'll just change it...to something like.. "shyster lawyer." hehehehehehe...of the firm Harem, Scarem, Hookem, and Screwem. Formerly of the firm ...Dewy, Cheatem and Howe.

What's the difference between a lady lawyer and a pit bull??? Lipstick!

JoeW2
06-17-2004, 06:35 PM
As for any kind of listening tests, that's an accomodation to those whose absurd claim is that they can hear differences which are beyond the ability of engineers to test for. The fact that they can't pick out their own cables in fair Double Blind Tests and some of them won't even discuss them demonstrates that they are full of it.

This is the same tired argument which I just knew I would find here. It's a load of scientific mumbo-jumbo designed more for the purposes of politic than understanding. It's 1/2 baked science, as it purports that science is a record of things known, and never an exploration of things unknown.

Lets be very clear:
If you reject the silly notion that all cables must sound the same, it does not mean you think that more expensive = better. Some of us get (or build) a nice cable and move on.

Music is simply not an objective realm. While it would be very interesting to read some objective liturature about, say, why people fall in love - only a fool would use that liturature as a model, or shopping list. What sounds good to one, sounds bad to another. This is as true of love as it is of bands as it is of equipment. To argue that such perceptions are somehow invented, or victimized by advertising, is to announce your own inability to form a perception.

Trust your ears and what you hear. Our ears are incredible organs which have served us well since we crawled out of the seas. If you cannot hear a difference - TRUST YOUR EARS!!!
If you build your system to please your own ears, you'll do fine. If you build your system to conform to reviews and/or the opinions of others, you will never get anywhere - and give up in disgust.
And avoid ideologues (like the cable nazis) at all cost.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 06:43 PM
"Music is simply not an objective realm."

But the study of how wires conduct electricity is. And so is the study of determining the threshold of the human perception of differences. That's the distinction between art and science. Denying science for profit treads a fine line between exploiting ignorance and hope on one side and fraud on the other. Lawyers who review advertising claims for snake oil salesmen tell them when they've strayed too far.

skeptic
06-17-2004, 07:09 PM
"My question is if DBT is such a perfect and flawless protocol, then why this method have not put an end to cable arguments for once an all? The arguments over DBT been going on for over last decade and nobody see an end to it pretty soon. So it is obvious some other type of testing protocol have to be created since we are not getting any where with DBT despite how perfect it is "

Blind tests in general and double blind tests in particular when performed enough times is a fair way to tell with good confidence that a result is not the consequence of random chance and that all factors which might prejudice the result have been eliminated. Cable Asylum acknowledges that this is the only method which can prove whether small audible differences between audio components actually exists even though they don't allow discussion of them ostensibly because that results in flame wars. If someone else can devise a different kind of test that objective analytical people would say is fair and yields results which also give a high degree of confidence in the results, they should publish it and win a medal for the method.

The only people who should have any real interest in a DBT proving that audible differences exist and that that special cables could improve the performance of a sound system are the people who make and sell them. You would think that if they had such results, they would be only too ready to publish them to prove the worth of their products. There are only two possible explanations of why they don't. One is that they can't. At least some of them almost certainly must have tried at one time or another but unless the results proved a point that was in their best business interest, they do well to keep their mouths shut about it. Second is that they don't have to. Even without such results, they apparantly are able to sell their products to a gullable segment of the market.

"Do I detect some type of idol worshiping "

Steve Eddy is PC Tower's idol, his alter ego. He wishes he could confront Jon Risch and John Curl on their own terms and go mano a mano the way Steve Eddy does. It is not unknown for highly competent people to have been self taught even without much formal education. Therefore in one narrow area of a vast discipline, it is entirely plausible that Steve Eddy has the intellectual equipment to challenge Risch and Curl. This is especially true when you see that although these people may have intimidated most of the others who post at cable asylum, their credentials and their display of real technical knowledge at least in the realm specific to audio cables is quite unimpressive.

mtrycraft
06-17-2004, 08:05 PM
[QUOTE=markwIf the identity of the item under test must be known before an evaluation can be made, it seems to me that the test would be invalid. One just might hear what one expects to hear.

Now, after sighted listening to their hearts content, if the identities of the items under test were then concealed from their knowledge, and they then were able to, indepentent from each other, come up with enough similar descriptions, then you might be on to something.

...but that leaves a little too much to chance, doesn't it?[/QUOTE]

One woul dbe able to repeat the stated evaluation for the same product if they know every time what they listen to. How can you miss?

As to the descriptions, that still becomes very subjective what words or phrases are similar enough, or different, to judge same/differences. Too subjective. Harman and NRC grades certain parameters and the grades get the stat treatment. Most likely others as well.

mtrycraft
06-17-2004, 08:33 PM
My question is if DBT is such a perfect and flawless protocol, then why this method have not put an end to cable arguments for once an all? The arguments over DBT been going on for over last decade and nobody see an end to it pretty soon. So it is obvious some other type of testing protocol have to be created since we are not getting any where with DBT despite how perfect it is :)

Well, any excuse to save their belief system, right? Is it any different from other areas such as creation/ intelligent design and evolution? Moon landing hoax? UFO?
Audio is the same. New believers come on sceene and continue the belief system. Humans are too gullible; the marketeers have conditioned the population for centuries.
Some do change though and rarely cause a ripple.

mtrycraft
06-17-2004, 08:51 PM
I thought he was suggesting that the objection often heard from the golden ears about test pressure could be countered if a way could be found to conduct "blind" tests under long-term listening conditions where someone could change cables back and forth but wouldn't know if they were all the same, all different or some combination.

Perhaps I read too much into what he was saying.


I am sure I have cited one such experiment published, long term listening with amps using a ABX box that randomizes.
I wonder why anyone under pressure performs as well as they do except audiophiles. Why is that? I wonder how well audiophiles perform on closed book exams? Or in athletic events?

mtrycraft
06-17-2004, 09:06 PM
Only allow blind people to participate in the test.

They were used in other listeing test. Didn't do any better thgough :)

mtrycraft
06-17-2004, 09:23 PM
If you reject the silly notion that all cables must sound the same,


This must be your unfounded conclusion from who know what and where.
All cables do not sound the same. That has been demonstrated.


it does not mean you think that more expensive = better. Some of us get (or build) a nice cable and move on.

Some audiophiles do though, maybe not you.

Music is simply not an objective realm.

You are right. It is an art. But then, you may be confused about the evaluation of two components for audible differences that is not an art and can be done in an objective manner.

While it would be very interesting to read some objective liturature about, say, why people fall in love - only a fool would use that liturature as a model, or shopping list.


Oh, it is somewhat known why. Evolution, chemistry, etc. Some just blow it up too much. After all, there are many people one can fall in love with. Just depends who is there first. Nothing magical.

What sounds good to one, sounds bad to another.


Really? Would you have real evidence for this? If this were the case, audio could not exist as it woul dbe a horrendous job to find a component you like due to itsa audible issues. Really. Actuall, psychoacoustic reseach indicates that most o fus like the same sound. That doesn't mean the same music though. Don't confuse it.

Just read some of the research into this issue. Not my idea.


To argue that such perceptions are somehow invented, or victimized by advertising, is to announce your own inability to form a perception.

You are confused on this issue but understandable.


Trust your ears and what you hear.


Now we know where you come from, lack of knowledge of the known science. That is also understandable. You are comfortable in your belief system and are afraid of reality as you may have to abandon your belief system. Horrors. No different from most anything in life based on beliefs only.


Our ears are incredible organs which have served us well since we crawled out of the seas.


And, it is highly limited in what it can and cannot do. But your lack of understanding that is understandable as well. One must be interested in reality, the real science of audio and acoustics, not just falsly accepting what others may imply.



And avoid ideologues (like the cable nazis) at all cost.

Oh, would that be those who preach cables are a miracle component with magic?

Beckman
06-17-2004, 09:49 PM
This is the same tired argument which I just knew I would find here. It's a load of scientific mumbo-jumbo designed more for the purposes of politic than understanding. It's 1/2 baked science, as it purports that science is a record of things known, and never an exploration of things unknown.

Transmitting a 20 - 20 kHz electric signal 5 feet without audibly effecting the signal is not difficult. Stop trying to make it sound difficult. It is not 1/2 baked science it is reallity

skeptic
06-18-2004, 04:45 AM
Beleive it or not, at one time before our advanced equipment was available, it was widely believed that the best piano tuners were blind. They were even referred to as "blind tuners." I guess the theory was that if you lost one of your senses, the others would become more accute.

Resident Loser
06-18-2004, 05:08 AM
...now THAT really blew me away(sorry for the hype). It was the same show and room where the Philips guys were being run ragged for having the gall to use nylon bearings in the tonearm gimbals on their 212 Electronic belt-drive turntable...

If I recall correctly, the "Davids" were not only self powered but, EQd and had servo-controlled woofers...HERESY!!!

jimHJJ(...I'm still using my 212 AND the purchased-at-the-show B*I*C Beam box...)

pctower
06-18-2004, 06:30 AM
If you wouldn't post so frequently Phil, perhaps I could keep a meal down once in awhile.
I wish you could appreciate the degree of joy I derive from knowing how much power I possess to make you miserable.

Resident Loser
06-18-2004, 06:42 AM
...I fear JoKeW2 is the newest incarnation of JoKeW...series two?..new and improved?...or SOS?...

Even I, Resident Loser, must be careful not to incurr his wrath by being obtuse and sarcastic between parentheses!

jimHJJ(...he knowest what he hears!...oops...)

pctower
06-18-2004, 06:51 AM
My question is if DBT is such a perfect and flawless protocol, then why this method have not put an end to cable arguments for once an all? The arguments over DBT been going on for over last decade and nobody see an end to it pretty soon. So it is obvious some other type of testing protocol have to be created since we are not getting any where with DBT despite how perfect it is :)



My point exactly. There is too much weight given as to flaws of the test if participant know about the identity of cable before hand.



I hope the weight of both of you on the fence don't tip over the fence. Then we will not know where naysayer and yeasayer territory begin and ends :D



If you do a rapid switching, even subtle difference can be detected. The only problem here is that nobody seem to agree how to implement rapid switching testing.



Do I detect some type of idol worshiping :D
My question is if DBT is such a perfect and flawless protocol, then why this method have not put an end to cable arguments for once an all?

DBT is a very broad term. It really can describe any particular method of ensuring the removal of all bias. The devil is in the details. There are any number of ways a double blind test of audio cables could be conducted.

The problem is not with trying to conduct double blind tests on audio cables. The problem is that very few have ever been reported, and most if not all of those have been conducted by amateurs or don't include sufficient information to determine if they were properly conducted.

But let's assume for a moment that we could all agree on the scientific validity of 100 specific, separate double blind audio cable tests that produced null results. I am quite certain the debate would rage on. What drives the cable market has nothing to do with scientific tests. Only a few anal engineers really care about that.

The market is driven by advertising and what people experience at home (from whatever cause). The industry seems to have an enviable record of almost 100% customer satisfaction. The people who demand DBTs and grouse about the cable industry either openly proclaim they have never tried after-market cables or won't even say whether they have a systems or have ever heard one (Richard Greene being a refreshing exception).

As long as people buy cables and seem to enjoy the fruits of their purchases the industry will continue to thrive. I know of no market that is more competitive than the audio cable market. Yet I can not think of a single cable company that has ever gone out of business. This is a remarkable situation. Very few industries enjoy this kind of persistent consumer support.

The naysayers lost the battle in the marketplace of products before the battle was even joined. They are relegated to competing only in the marketplace of ideas. Because of the lack of evidence of cable differences they thrive in that marketplace. But only a small gaggle of nerds and geeks care about that marketplace.

In high end audio the consumer has spoken loud and clear - they say to the naysayers: "Go back home, close yourself in your bedroom, whip out your sliderule and start playing with it. Just leave us alone."

Do I detect some type of idol worshiping

I'm not much into worship, but I have no problem saying that I have tremendous respect for Steve's intellect, knowledge and reasoning abilities - and I can count on one hand the number of people I know personally who I would say that about.

skeptic
06-18-2004, 07:11 AM
At least you always give me a laugh.

skeptic
06-18-2004, 07:30 AM
"What drives the cable market has nothing to do with scientific tests. Only a few anal engineers really care about that."

Maybe that's true of the consumer audiophile cable market. But that is just a tiny fraction of the overall market for wire and cable. In the real world, virtually every engineer who is confronted with getting signals or power from one point to another has the scientifically proven suitability of the wire he selects for his application as his number one concern. His second concern is his client's money. His job depends on it.

"The naysayers lost the battle in the marketplace of products before the battle was even joined."

As far as "naysayers" are concerned, as long as 16 gage zip cord and $1 RS interconnects are available for them to buy, they haven't lost anything. They are not forced to buy any of the more expensive alternatives no matter how hard the salesmen try to twist their arms. As far as beginners are concerned, they will be left to the mercy of their own ignorance until the FTC steps in which just might be never. As far as convinced audiophiles are concerned, they will recklessly throw their money in any direction that flashes the brightest light at that moment, whether it's fancy cables, 8 watt per channel vacuum tube amplifiers, $5000 phonograph cartridges carved out of wood in Japan, or two way eight inch speaker systems for $10,000 a pair. I don't care what other people do with their money. I just come here to stick my two cents in like everybody else.

Richard Greene
06-18-2004, 09:28 AM
DEAF = what Golden Ear's think of you if you are unable to hear a difference between two components or are not sure you hear a difference

DUMB = what Wire Police think of you if you think listening to wires in an audio store will provide objective information for a purchase decision

BLIND = Those pesky tests that PC thinks are never good enough because the person running the test is incompetent, and couldn't be trusted unless his name was PC Tower
... which brings us back to incompetent to run a test

The belief that one's ears are so good that sound quality differences among audio components are virtually always audible has never been supported by data.

Not even one person has been located whose hearing ability was proven to be much better than the average audiophile.

So the belief in one's Golden Ears is nothing more than a fantasy primarily used to differentiate onself from the "mid-fi masses", increase self-esteem among the believers and mainly to justify spending large quantities of money on audio equipment ...
without getting hollered at for wasting money by the wife.

PC: That Dumbocracy you predicted for Iraq is less than two weeks away !
How foolish I was to argue with you over that issue.
heh heh

pctower
06-18-2004, 11:55 AM
DEAF = what Golden Ear's think of you if you are unable to hear a difference between two components or are not sure you hear a difference

DUMB = what Wire Police think of you if you think listening to wires in an audio store will provide objective information for a purchase decision

BLIND = Those pesky tests that PC thinks are never good enough because the person running the test is incompetent, and couldn't be trusted unless his name was PC Tower
... which brings us back to incompetent to run a test

The belief that one's ears are so good that sound quality differences among audio components are virtually always audible has never been supported by data.

Not even one person has been located whose hearing ability was proven to be much better than the average audiophile.

So the belief in one's Golden Ears is nothing more than a fantasy primarily used to differentiate onself from the "mid-fi masses", increase self-esteem among the believers and mainly to justify spending large quantities of money on audio equipment ...
without getting hollered at for wasting money by the wife.

PC: That Dumbocracy you predicted for Iraq is less than two weeks away !
How foolish I was to argue with you over that issue.
heh heh
And just exactly why is it that we can expect Iraq to establish democracy over night when it took us and every other democracy just a little longer?

As far as your pointless ramblings about what Golden Ears believe and don't believe - I'll just have to let you meander about on your own. I don't recall ever meeting a person who fit your description of a Golden Ear.

Most people I know who use after-market cables aren't really concerned about their cable beliefs. They simply want something that improves their perceived quality of enjoyment of their listening. It's only you eggheads that get all huffy and concerned about "beliefs".

pctower
06-18-2004, 12:02 PM
I am sure I have cited one such experiment published, long term listening with amps using a ABX box that randomizes.
I wonder why anyone under pressure performs as well as they do except audiophiles. Why is that? I wonder how well audiophiles perform on closed book exams? Or in athletic events?
I wonder why anyone under pressure performs as well as they do except audiophiles.

I can't answer that. I'm not as up to date on the most recent scholarship dealing with performance under pressure as you apparently are.

I have never made the claim that performance under pressure is an established defect in the cable DBTs that have been reported to date, nor do I recall anyone else making that claim. I have simply asked whether such pressure could be a limiting factor and if someone claims it could not I would ask on what evidence they base such a claim.

okiemax
06-18-2004, 12:40 PM
It must have been in the early 70s when this happened at a trade show in New York City probably at the Statler Hilton. I entered a huge triple room with fold away walls that had been opened to accomodate a large number of people. Two monster speakers almost as tall as the room were playing jazz quite loud and it was very impressive. After a large crowd had entered, an emcee came in to talk about Philips' new loudspeaker system. After a short while a very strange thing happened. Lights went on inside the huge speaker enclosures and revealed that they were completely empty. They were nothing more than huge frames with cloth around them. Inside each one on the floor was a small speaker system, the tri amplified "Little David." It was an incredibly surprising and dramatic presentation. I have a friend who acquired and still owns the originals used for the demo.

Talk about sighted bias.

You must have left something out of the story. Otherwise, it seems like you are suggesting Phillips' disguise biased everyone who walked into the room. But how could you know what everyone there was thinking?

skeptic
06-18-2004, 01:26 PM
I'm telling you what I,I,I, yes me, myself, EYE was thinking. I don't know what anybody else thought. I never have and I never will. Even if they tell me what they are thinking, I can never be sure. Until I saw them for myself, I thought they were huge horn speakers. If you want to know what RL was thinking, ask him yourself. Sheeesh.

Did I leave something out of the story? OK, here's the whole story;

I was born a long long time ago at a very early age........

skeptic
06-18-2004, 01:29 PM
It seems to me that the only one who actually would be under pressure is someone who makes or sells one of the products being tested. Or who has already paid for it. To prove that they have the better product. Otherwise, why would anyone care which was which.

skeptic
06-18-2004, 01:40 PM
Well if that doesn't prove that a lawyer can argue both sides of an arguement, I don't know what does. It seems to me it was just a few postings ago you were lauding the praises of Richard Greene as a fair open minded person willing to try out cables before making a judgement and being a nice fair all around guy. Now its insults. Love affair over so soon? Well, on the bright side, there's still Steve Eddy. I don't think he'll insult you. At least not here. He won't give this message board the time of day. Better try over at Cable Asylum, or should I say one of the other asylum boards since Der Furher threw him off CA for his blasphemy challenging the party line. Yavol.

Richard Greene
06-18-2004, 03:49 PM
All you can conclude about blind cable comparisons, assuming you believe the methodology was good, is that certain people listening to a certain system and certain music were unable to hear differences ... on ... that ... day.

That's the science.

The psychology is that some of the same people who couldn't hear differences under blind conditions claimed to hear differences minutes earlier during a sighted warm-up audition.

After you witness that behavior repeatedly, you get the impression people are biased toward hearing differences whether they exist or not.

Deception tests where audiophiles are tricked into believing there are two components being compared when there is only one component show that 70-75% of the time an audiophile will prefer either A or B when in fact there is no B.

That's up to 25 points better than the 50%/50% split you might expect and represents a "hearing differences" bias.

Any audiophile who declares a wire makes no audible difference without listening to it
("all wires sound the same") is just guessing based on incomplete evidence or baiting Golden Ears into internet argument, which I would NEVER do.***

Of course listening to a wire could lead to the belief differences were heard when they were merely imagined (expected).

All wires do not sound the same.

I have heard differences several times in speaker wires over 50 feet long.

I have heard differences between clean and corroded wire terminations,
and loose versus tight connections.

However I have not yet heard differences among 10 foot speaker wires
(double-blind) or 3 foot interconnects (single-blind) when listening to music,
so I don't give wires that much thought anymore.

I am, however, willing to try dozens of speaker/listener positions within the same room to find the optimum positions.

__________________________________________________ ________

*** More than several times a day, that is.

markw
06-18-2004, 04:53 PM
Most people I know who use after-market cables aren't really concerned about their cable beliefs. They simply want something that improves their perceived quality of enjoyment of their listening.

A little Cardinal Mendoza works for me. That, and a caipirinha or two and perhaps some Bustello coffee. ... and my comfy slippers.

Doesn't do squat for the sound, but it sure improves the percieved quality of my listening enjoyment.

skeptic
06-18-2004, 05:35 PM
"What drives the cable market has nothing to do with scientific tests. Only a few anal engineers really care about that."

I guess that's me. After a few years of listening to what both sides have to say, and keeping in mind my own training and experience, I have decided that this debate has ended for me. I've given proponents of various alternative audio cables and power cords about 3 or more years to convince me that they have something worth pursuing. And in all that time, not once has any one of them even raised my eyebrow. I am now convinced that whatever the preferences or rationale there is behind one cable or another, more than any audio component by far, only the electrical performance of cables in a laboratory matters. And what's more, even if one cable is marginally better than another by say being a few tenths of a decibel flatter at 20 khz, it doesn't matter. Trying to find cables that will negate one shortcoming of a sound system by introducing another complimentary shortcoming is a fool's game. So after all these years, I'll stick with my Radio Shack interconnects, my Home Depot Speaker wire, and my factory supplied power cords. I think I've heard enough.

okiemax
06-18-2004, 06:05 PM
I'm telling you what I,I,I, yes me, myself, EYE was thinking. I don't know what anybody else thought. I never have and I never will. Even if they tell me what they are thinking, I can never be sure. Until I saw them for myself, I thought they were huge horn speakers. If you want to know what RL was thinking, ask him yourself. Sheeesh.

Did I leave something out of the story? OK, here's the whole story;

I was born a long long time ago at a very early age........

Silly me. Do I ever feel dumb for thinking you were trying to reply to what I said in my post. Nevertheless, thanks for the clarification, and I do find your experience with the Philips demo interesting. Do you think that could happen to you with wine(being fooled by the wrong label)?

skeptic
06-18-2004, 06:17 PM
I make no prejudgements about wine especially based on reputation of the producer or the vintage or the price. After reading a lot of reviews and tasting a fair amount of wine, I have discovered that wine is a crap shoot. At best under the right conditions, in the right mood, with the right food, wine can sometimes be a very pleasurable experience for me. But many times a particular wine is overhyped. And vastly overpriced. I listen to professional recommendations, try to select from only their best choices, and throw the dice. Many times it comes up snake-eyes. Disappointing to say the least. Fortunately, much of the wine I bought was purchased a long time ago at what seems today like giveaway prices. Frankly, because of the insanity of the wine market, the best advice anyone could get today is that if you aren't made out of money, don't get started. It's a financial bottomless pit and you are bidding against a world of millionaires, multi millionaires, and even billionaires for a limited supply of the finest wines.

pctower
06-19-2004, 07:48 AM
Well if that doesn't prove that a lawyer can argue both sides of an arguement, I don't know what does. It seems to me it was just a few postings ago you were lauding the praises of Richard Greene as a fair open minded person willing to try out cables before making a judgement and being a nice fair all around guy. Now its insults. Love affair over so soon? Well, on the bright side, there's still Steve Eddy. I don't think he'll insult you. At least not here. He won't give this message board the time of day. Better try over at Cable Asylum, or should I say one of the other asylum boards since Der Furher threw him off CA for his blasphemy challenging the party line. Yavol.
Are you really as dense as you appear, or just plain dishonest? I praised Richard for being one of the few naysayer-types who had at least at one time actually listened to after-market cables. He and I have had an ongoing debate over Iraq for a year, which has nothing to do with whether he has ever even seen a cable.

I also question the assumptions he makes about people he labels as "golden ears". That has nothing to do with whether he himself has ever actually listened to an after-market cables (which is what I praised him for).

I know those distinctions and nuances are far beyond the capacity of a pinhead to grasp.

I'll tell you something else. To run a phrase into the ground: I know Richard Greene. Richard Greene is a friend of mine. And skeptic, you're no Richard Greene.

Richard has far more class and intellectually honesty in his right (sorry Richard - I guess I should make that your "left") pinky than you could even possibly grasp.

E-Stat
06-19-2004, 08:11 AM
Therefore, it is an element whose ability to fulfill its function can be assessed by shunting it out.
While I agree to your earlier comments, "shunting out" a cable with a test load does not necessarily reflect the real world of dynamic signals getting passed through cables between devices presenting a complex and changing load to them in a field with varying levels of RFI. Works just fine if you enjoy watching test tones on a 'scope'.

rw

skeptic
06-19-2004, 09:11 AM
I know Jon Risch. Jon Risch is a friend of mine. PC Tower, you're no Jon Risch.

Jon Risch knows more about audio equipment and audio cables in his little pinky then you will ever know.

Richard Greene
06-19-2004, 12:47 PM
I was really PO'd when you called me a "refreshing exception", not that I know what that means. But "exception" didn't seem good.

The "all wires sound the same" claim reminds me of an old post where I tried out a $50 RCA CD player at home and found I could enjoy music when listening to such a cheap CD player (suggesting differences among CD players were not all that great). I hadn't mentioned it was a "remanufactured" CD player that normally sold for about $80 at the time ... but that didn't matter to Risch who blathered in response that one needed to spend at least $300 to get a decent CD player. Of course I went on the counterattack telling Risch he had just "evaluated" a CD player without ever hearing it based solely on the price and then came up with some arbitrary $300 limit as if he'd listened to every CD player under $300 and found all of them to be unsatisfactory. My point, and I do have one, is that conclusions that are not based on auditions are embarassing ... sometimes conclusions based on sighted auditions are embarassing too (deception tests) but at least one has heard a component before commenting on it.

In my opinion, some percentage of differences heard among wires, especially speaker wires, are due to thin wire / thick wire SPL differences and/or loose connections ... and some percentage of differences among speaker wires and interconnects are due to corrosion and/or oxidation on the terminations.

Add in the percentage of imagined differences among wires, and then subtract from
100%, and what's left are real, meaningful sound quality differences ... assuming we hadn't reached 0% after subtracting ... or became confused by all the math as I was ...
heh heh

I'm sure a speaker cable that drove an amplifier into oscillation when connecting a difficult load such as some planar speakers would be audible. Or at least mistaken for new electronic "music" one hears when walking past night clubs these days.

Politics:
Before you call me a "left pinky" please be aware that my last vote for a Dumbocrap president was George McGovern in 1972. You could just as well call me a "right pinky" as I voted for Reagan in 1980. That was my last vote for a Repooplican president.
Libertarian since then.

skeptic
06-19-2004, 12:56 PM
"I'll tell you something else. To run a phrase into the ground: I know Richard Greene. Richard Greene is a friend of mine. And skeptic, you're no Richard Greene."

PC Tower, if that's what your friends have to say about you, I'd hate to run into your enemies.

skeptic
06-20-2004, 04:01 AM
You don't shunt a cable with a test load, you shunt it with a shunt. This can be as simple as a switch. Shunting a cable just means bypassing it. It means that you test its audible character by alternately inserting it in the circuit and then bypassing it. If there is no audible change, then the wire is performing its function perfectly IN THAT SOUND SYSTEM only. It does not follow that the same wire would perform as well in other sound systems.

I have noticed that wire advocates always fall back on the arguement about rf noise when they are losing the arguement about tonal balance and accuracy. Why is that? This bogus arguement applies in only the rarest of cases and there is usually no claim for better shielding when audiophile wire is involved.

What do you mean by varying load? In a given sound system, the load on the circuit between the amplifier and the loudspeaker is the speaker. The load for a circuit where there is an interconnect is the next preamplifier stage or amplifier input stage. The load for the circuit using a power cord is the primary winding of the power transformer. It only varies when you change equipment it is connected to. As for being complex, sometimes it is as in the case of a loudspeaker, and sometimes it isn't as in the case of a preamplifier. BTW, complex in electrical terms means it has components along both the real and imaginary axes which are mathematical definitions of the phase angle between the current and voltage. Again so what?

Shunting audio cables to see what audible changes or contributions it makes in a sound system is by far the most logical way to evaluate them because it compares them to the ideal case, not to another imperfect wire. As I posted elsewhere, this demonstrates that accurate electrical performance is the sole logical criteria for evaluating cables, not personal preferences as it is ludicrous to try to correct the shortcomings of one audio component by selecting another with a complimentary shortcoming.

When you hear an audiophile cable you like and buy or borrow in a store in a sound system not identical to your own, what makes you conclude that it will perform as well at home in your own equipment? You said yourself that the load changes.

E-Stat
06-20-2004, 05:51 AM
It means that you test its audible character by alternately inserting it in the circuit and then bypassing it.
Ah, doubling the cable. That will work in those situations that are not affected by capacitance or inductance as the case may be.



If there is no audible change, then the wire is performing its function perfectly IN THAT SOUND SYSTEM only.
I'm glad we agree on the role of the system environment.


have noticed that wire advocates always fall back on the arguement about rf noise when they are losing the arguement about tonal balance and accuracy.
Losing what argument? Tonal accuracy is the objective. Along with insuring that local RF does not mask musical detail.


What do you mean by varying load?
You later answered your own question.



When you hear an audiophile cable you like and buy or borrow in a store in a sound system not identical to your own, what makes you conclude that it will perform as well at home in your own equipment?
Nothing other than to narrow down the field of choices for in-system trials.

rw

skeptic
06-20-2004, 06:59 AM
"Ah, doubling the cable. That will work in those situations that are not affected by capacitance or inductance as the case may be."

I'm not sure what you are saying here. It is prudent to make the shunt as short and perfect as possible. In the case of a speaker cable, I'd place the amplifier right next to the speaker, use a very short length of heavy gage wire, and devise a heavy duty relay to switch it with. In the case of interconects, the tape monitor switch will do just fine. The length and type of wire between the tape out and monitor input is very short and comparable to the input and outputs of the devices it will ultimately be connected to. In the case of a power cord, that can be done the same way as a speaker cable. However, you must know exactly what you are doing or you risk damaging your equipment and in the case of a power cord, you risk injury as well. I don't see where you double anything. Only the electrical properties of the shunt are in question and if you are skillful, that will be minimal. In addition, a duplicate shunt can be inserted in the test wire circuit so that it plays the same role in both the circuit with the test wire and the shunted circuit.

"Losing what argument? Tonal accuracy is the objective. Along with insuring that local RF does not mask musical detail."

Except for the time when I lived on the infield of WTFM 6 blocks from the transmitting tower where their RF came through channel 6 on my tv set, the high gain section of my preamp, and through the amalgam fillings in someone's teeth, I think I can count the number of times I've experienced rf noise as an issue in a sound system on the fingers of one hand.

"You later answered your own question."

Your previous statement implied that the load varies with the same equipment in the same sound system. I'm glad you agree with me on this point.

"Nothing other than to narrow down the field of choices for in-system trials."

How do you know that the cables you rejected in the store won't perform more accurately in your sound system? I don't see how you've narrowed down anything. And narrowed it down from what? A million choices out there? They come out with new versions faster than you can try the existing ones.

I would remind anyone reading this post that the issue we are discussing has to do with the best method for objectively testing cables. If what I have described seems too difficult or complicated for a project at home, I'd bet that for the overwhelming majority of audiophiles it is. However, for engineers and psychologists to set up equipment for such a test in a laboratory is another matter altogether.

E-Stat
06-20-2004, 07:25 AM
In the case of interconects, the tape monitor switch will do just fine.
Except of course for either (a) you do not use a preamp or (b) the tape outputs are buffered as they are in better preamps.



How do you know that the cables you rejected in the store won't perform more accurately in your sound system?
I rely on the experience of trusted reviewers, audio designers, and audio shop owners who do use similar componentry to narrow the field from hundreds to a handful. As for me, I'm not on a quest to compare every single cable option available. I wish to find the best within reasonable time and expense parameters. Don't plan to change what I have anytime soon.

rw

skeptic
06-20-2004, 07:43 AM
"Except of course for either (a) you do not use a preamp or (b) the tape outputs are buffered as they are in better preamps."

Agreed! In this case, you would have to build your own outboard shunt.

"I rely on the experience of trusted reviewers, audio designers, and audio shop owners who do use similar componentry to narrow the field from hundreds to a handful. As for me, I'm not on a quest to compare every single cable option available. I wish to find the best within reasonable time and expense parameters. Don't plan to change what I have anytime soon."

I rely on the advice I got from Belden....before they went into the consumer audiophile cable business. That's why I buy the wire I need at Home Depot and Radio Shack. I am hardly what you would call a trusting soul. I'm more of a.......skeptic.

E-Stat
06-20-2004, 08:06 AM
I rely on the advice I got from Belden....before they went into the consumer audiophile cable business.
To each his own. Similarly, I more highly value the opinion of automotive journalists who have experienced the complex results of many automobile designs rather than say that of a shock or fuel pump engineer, much less one from any single company.

rw

skeptic
06-20-2004, 08:20 AM
How do you know which one to trust? All I ever heard about Julian Hirsch, CBS Laboratories, and Audio Magazine was how they never met a component they didn't like. Compared to their elaborate lab setups and thorough careful measurements, what I saw in Stereophile Magazine was a joke. Most people don't put much credibility in what they read in the magazines or what the salespeople in the stores tell them (an obvious conflict of interest) until they hear something they like. That's why I would take advice from Belden's reps of 20 years ago over what they would tell me today.

As for Automotive testing, I stick with Consumer's Report. They not only tell you what's good, they tell you what's bad, something I never saw in magazines like Road and Track. They also have an extensive data base of user reliability complaints to make statistical observations about reliability on.

E-Stat
06-20-2004, 11:25 AM
How do you know which one to trust?
Very good question. And my response is extremely biased. I have known both John Cooledge and Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound for more than 25 years. JWC has been an active participant (singing bass) and board member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus for as many years and has an enormous library of classical music. I thoroughly enjoyed a recent concert at the ASO of music from Lord of the Rings conducted by the composer, Howard Shore, and featuring both the symphony and the 200 voice ASO Chorus. The row "B" dynamics were incredible and the emotion of that music got to me. It was through his mentorship (while I was in my late teens/early twenties) that I now have a deep love for classical music. It was he who got me involved with the making of Telarc's recording of The Firebird back in '78. HP likewise shares a passion for the pursuit of musical recording excellence. As a Long Island resident, he has spent considerable time at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere. Long before I could fully appreciate the finer nuances of recordings, I have been exposed to Harry's incredible reviewer's systems. Quite frankly, I could never fully appreciate what I first heard in his system back in '80 when I was 23. It took me twenty years to fully comprehend his notion that tube amplifiers render a closer truth to live music in the critical midrange than do the very best solid state amplifiers. He has access to virtually all of the pretenders to the throne, both SS and tube alike. I now agree based upon listening to his spectacular system using a wide variety of state-of-the-art amplfiers. I will admit though, that the Edge Signature Monoblocks come close and do have a most silkly high end. I partook of his latest system just two months ago and remain awestruck at what is possible with the the best recordings.



As for Automotive testing, I stick with Consumer's Report. They not only tell you what's good, they tell you what's bad, something I never saw in magazines like Road and Track. They also have an extensive data base of user reliability complaints to make statistical observations about reliability on.
I will both agree and disagree. Indeed CU has a comprehensive database of reliability statistics. It supports my passion for Honda brand vehicles, two and four wheel alike. You will find far more "red" in their evaluations than "black" over most companies. I continue to admire the legacy of Soichiro Honda and own three of his products. On the other hand, their evaluations of performance metrics such as handling leave much to be desired. You will never find them driving a Ferrari Enzo or a Porsche Carrera GT. Such vehicles and levels of performance envelope are completely beyond their experience. Which is fine. I rather prefer Automobile and Car and Driver magazine to provide the greatest insight to vehicle performance. They are not at all shy as to calling as they see it. Just like TAS.

rw

skeptic
06-20-2004, 02:32 PM
"Very good question. And my response is extremely biased. I have known both John Cooledge and Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound for more than 25 years."

Lucky You!

E-Stat
06-20-2004, 03:16 PM
Lucky You!
Indeed ! :)

Now all I need to do is befriend a car reviewer where I might have access to drive the automotive equivalents: Enzos, Bugattis, Murcielagos, Volantes, Carreras, McLarens, etc.

rw

mtrycraft
06-20-2004, 07:39 PM
To each his own. Similarly, I more highly value the opinion of automotive journalists who have experienced the complex results of many automobile designs rather than say that of a shock or fuel pump engineer, much less one from any single company.

rw


I keep forgetting, cables are in the same category as cars. No wonder you treat them as such.

Resident Loser
06-21-2004, 07:27 AM
...particularly in this venue, is as good a word as any, I suppose...the Philips show certainly gave me a sense of expectation...big speaker as I recall...the sound produced certainly seemed comensurate with the enclosures' size...bamboozled, snookered, misled, given to a preconcieved notion...what ever you call it...when the lighting changed so that the grille-cloth was revealed to be a scrim, I am of the opinion that most, if not all in the room, were taken aback at being "taken"...The sheer "volume" of clean sound being produced by what was revealed to be in fact such a diminuitive speaker, caused more than just a few very vocal comments, from simple "Wha?"s to "Hot d@mn!"...all registered in a tone indicative of disbelief...

jimHJJ(...take it FWIW, if nothing else, we were all fooled...everyone certainly seemed to expect "big" sound...a very effective presentation...)


You must have left something out of the story. Otherwise, it seems like you are suggesting Phillips' disguise biased everyone who walked into the room. But how could you know what everyone there was thinking?

E-Stat
06-21-2004, 08:04 AM
I keep forgetting, cables are in the same category as cars. No wonder you treat them as such.
Actually cables would be more like transmissions. High fidelity music systems are like any number of complex electronic and mechanical devices in that they are the sum of the various parts. I use the car analogy because most folks own cars and more readily identify the automotive high end.

rw

pctower
06-21-2004, 12:22 PM
I was really PO'd when you called me a "refreshing exception", not that I know what that means. But "exception" didn't seem good.

The "all wires sound the same" claim reminds me of an old post where I tried out a $50 RCA CD player at home and found I could enjoy music when listening to such a cheap CD player (suggesting differences among CD players were not all that great). I hadn't mentioned it was a "remanufactured" CD player that normally sold for about $80 at the time ... but that didn't matter to Risch who blathered in response that one needed to spend at least $300 to get a decent CD player. Of course I went on the counterattack telling Risch he had just "evaluated" a CD player without ever hearing it based solely on the price and then came up with some arbitrary $300 limit as if he'd listened to every CD player under $300 and found all of them to be unsatisfactory. My point, and I do have one, is that conclusions that are not based on auditions are embarassing ... sometimes conclusions based on sighted auditions are embarassing too (deception tests) but at least one has heard a component before commenting on it.

In my opinion, some percentage of differences heard among wires, especially speaker wires, are due to thin wire / thick wire SPL differences and/or loose connections ... and some percentage of differences among speaker wires and interconnects are due to corrosion and/or oxidation on the terminations.

Add in the percentage of imagined differences among wires, and then subtract from
100%, and what's left are real, meaningful sound quality differences ... assuming we hadn't reached 0% after subtracting ... or became confused by all the math as I was ...
heh heh

I'm sure a speaker cable that drove an amplifier into oscillation when connecting a difficult load such as some planar speakers would be audible. Or at least mistaken for new electronic "music" one hears when walking past night clubs these days.

Politics:
Before you call me a "left pinky" please be aware that my last vote for a Dumbocrap president was George McGovern in 1972. You could just as well call me a "right pinky" as I voted for Reagan in 1980. That was my last vote for a Repooplican president.
Libertarian since then.
Neither party comes close to my positions. I would like to find a party consisting of:

1. Neocons who would demand very good inteligence;

2. Fiscal conservatives, who would make an exception for a national health care system;

3. Social liberals who reject the religious right;

4. People who are serious about eliminating our dependence on foreign oil by way of government financed efforts to develop alternative energy sources (I know - another exception to #2); conservation and opening up domestic drilling;

5. People who are constantly in search of ways to balance our ongoing need for a healthy free-market based economy with coping with the problems of world-wide poverty and gross disparity in weath and the broader issues involved in the long-term preservation of the world's ecosystem; and

6. People who believe that state and local communities must find ways to salvage our educational system.

I don't ask for much, do I?

skeptic
06-21-2004, 12:30 PM
Did I miss something?

What does any of this have to do with cables?