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  1. #1
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    Golden Ears Fail Again

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-12-2004.html

    I don't read or post here much anymore (a grew weary of the high end terriers who love to hear themselves talk and the biased moderators), so I don't know if anyone has mentioned the test in the link above.

    As I have tried to point out previously, the fact that these highenders failed is not particularly significant. (I mean, they are trying to hear differences in power cables after all--which doesn't verge on the ridiculous--it IS ridiculous.) The real significance is that they felt they could hear differences (even after the test). Thus, as has been seen in other blind tests, what highenders think they hear (or claim to hear) is worthless as any kind of evidence. The "claim to hear" result is significant beyond audible differences in power cables as it estalishes the unreliabilty of subjective reports of audio fans. As I said, this has happened before.

    Note: I know their test is not ideal and even the simpliest satistical analysis seems beyond them, but most do realize that they did not demonstrate that they could hear any difference. Now if they could just redefine reality....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-12-2004.html

    I don't read or post here much anymore (a grew weary of the high end terriers who love to hear themselves talk and the biased moderators), so I don't know if anyone has mentioned the test in the link above.

    As I have tried to point out previously, the fact that these highenders failed is not particularly significant. (I mean, they are trying to hear differences in power cables after all--which doesn't verge on the ridiculous--it IS ridiculous.) The real significance is that they felt they could hear differences (even after the test). Thus, as has been seen in other blind tests, what highenders think they hear (or claim to hear) is worthless as any kind of evidence. The "claim to hear" result is significant beyond audible differences in power cables as it estalishes the unreliabilty of subjective reports of audio fans. As I said, this has happened before.

    Note: I know their test is not ideal and even the simpliest satistical analysis seems beyond them, but most do realize that they did not demonstrate that they could hear any difference. Now if they could just redefine reality....
    Welcome back, mon frere - good to see your handle appear here once again. This entire subject is one that has been driving me bonkers here for a long, long time. This insistence on the part of those with no real understanding of electronics whatsoever that everything in a system - even the fershlugginer power cord affects the performance of the system. When I try to tell them that this is just a physical impossibility, that there is simply nothing that a power cord can do that will have the slightest ompact on the output of the device in question ... well, you know the rest of the story. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeesh!

    Amazingly, a thread that discusses this insane flight of fantasy is likely to go on for days - even weeks, and generate tons of posts. By contrast, a thread that deals with a subject that does have at least a tiny bit of legitimate debate to it will be very likely to shut down after only a few simple replies. Go figure.
    woodman

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-12-2004.html

    I don't read or post here much anymore (a grew weary of the high end terriers who love to hear themselves talk and the biased moderators), so I don't know if anyone has mentioned the test in the link above.

    As I have tried to point out previously, the fact that these highenders failed is not particularly significant. (I mean, they are trying to hear differences in power cables after all--which doesn't verge on the ridiculous--it IS ridiculous.) The real significance is that they felt they could hear differences (even after the test). Thus, as has been seen in other blind tests, what highenders think they hear (or claim to hear) is worthless as any kind of evidence. The "claim to hear" result is significant beyond audible differences in power cables as it estalishes the unreliabilty of subjective reports of audio fans. As I said, this has happened before.

    Note: I know their test is not ideal and even the simpliest satistical analysis seems beyond them, but most do realize that they did not demonstrate that they could hear any difference. Now if they could just redefine reality....

    Thanks for the article. I learned that these particular audiophiles could not distinguish these particular power cords on this particular day. But I'm afraid I can't jump to the same conclusion that it's "evidence" of anything beyond that. OTOH, I can't say I've ever heard any differences in power cords - or CD transports - even in sighted auditions. That carries more weight to me than your link.

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    Thanks for your input

    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    But I'm afraid I can't jump to the same conclusion that it's "evidence" of anything beyond that. OTOH, I can't say I've ever heard any differences in power cords - or CD transports - even in sighted auditions. That carries more weight to me than your link.
    You certainly are entitled to conclude what you want to conclude. The emphasis is on "want".

    Your position is unscientific, and somewhat illogical. Science cannot test every case so it is stuck with sampling a population and drawing conclusions from the sample. What we CAN say, regardless of sampling, is that there is no credible evidence that someone has heard differences in power cords (or other specific audio stuff). Until someone does, why would we think anyone can? We go over this point repeatedly in this forum, but too many people are scientifically illiterate in the US general population (you know, the ones who say evolution is "just a theory"). (Note: there are also plenty of theoretical and empirical reasons to believe that people cannot hear differences in power cords.)

    The assertion I tried to make in my post is that if we cannot trust some high enders' claims, why should be trust any? This test and others demonstrate that "some" audio buffs claim to hear differences, but can't really show that they do. So, I claim, audio buff claims are unreliable. That applies to ALL audio buffs, some being unreliable DOES result in making any particular sampling of them unreliable without other information of evidence. Sorry you can't see that, but it seems to make sense to me.

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    RGA
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    Science takes second fiddle to philosophy always - so in point of interest when you learn about what is true and what is the case - well that throws these pointless arguements out. DB testing is used incorrectly per usual. And sadly for some strange reason they actually think they can use DB testing to prove or disaprove a point of irrifutable fact - now that is the most abnoxiously arrogant of stances. Engineers - too funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    You certainly are entitled to conclude what you want to conclude. The emphasis is on "want"..
    Ditto.

    The answer to if you should trust any "high-enders" claims is, of course, no you shouldn't. There's no reason for you to, just as there's no reason the high-enders should care if you do or don't. It's all a matter of what you and they "want" to conclude, as you pointed out. I don't necessarily trust anyone's claims, either. I find empirical evidence to have more teeth i.e I try things for myself if it's something I think is important enough to try. In the area of audio gear... amps, cables, CD players, etc... someone's claim that one sounds better than another would certainly have to be tested. You and I just disagree on what tests yield the most valid results.

    Sorry if I come off rude - I actually appreciated the read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Science takes second fiddle to philosophy always - so in point of interest when you learn about what is true and what is the case - well that throws these pointless arguements out. DB testing is used incorrectly per usual. And sadly for some strange reason they actually think they can use DB testing to prove or disaprove a point of irrifutable fact - now that is the most abnoxiously arrogant of stances. Engineers - too funny.
    Can you explain this part of your post... "so in point of interest when you learn about what is true and what is the case - well that throws these pointless arguements out. "

    I think the height of arrogance is someone telling me absolutely what I don't hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    Can you explain this part of your post... "so in point of interest when you learn about what is true and what is the case - well that throws these pointless arguements out. "

    I think the height of arrogance is someone telling me absolutely what I don't hear.
    The height of ignorance is someone telling another person that they absolutely can hear when they haven't even followed basic scientific theory (ie do a blind test).

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-12-2004.html

    I don't read or post here much anymore (a grew weary of the high end terriers who love to hear themselves talk and the biased moderators), so I don't know if anyone has mentioned the test in the link above.
    Actually, I posted a link to the in the cable forum when first came out. A few comments went back and forth, and the discussion got locked down.

    I think in audio, there are obvious improvements, subtle improvements, and psychosomatic improvements. The problem is that a lot of the subjectivists lump any and all improvements into the same grouping, regardless of magnitude or whether their conclusions will be consistent under any kind of bias control (we're not even talking about DBT).

    So, basically we got people running around these forums talking about how cables are just as important as room acoustics, or how things like transports or racks or digital interconnects produce "night and day" improvements. I wonder how many of them have actually participated in a blind test, or even done something as simple as level matching with a SPL meter during sighted listenings.

    And of course, we got others who like to deride the validity of measurements, and if the measures that can be verfied and replicated don't fit their preferences, then we get into all the murky terminology that people make up -- stuff like "musical" or "airy" or "dynamic" etc.

    I think the arguments about power cords are probably the most nonsensical ones out of all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I think the arguments about power cords are probably the most nonsensical ones out of all of them.
    Of course, they are Wooch. Nonsensical because the very idea that a power cord can actually have an effect on the performance of the component that it is supplying A-C power to is outside the realm of possibility, that's why.

    I posted an analogy on these boards a couple of years back - which was promptly pooh-poohed by the likes of Jon Risch (if my memory serves me). But, he was flat-out wrong to deny that my analogy was accurate, for it was very much "on the mark". It likened an A-C power cord to the hose that transfers gasoline from the pump at the gas station into the gas tank of your car. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to that gasoline hose that can have any effect whatsoever on the performance of your car. You could make it out of a different material - line the inside of it with Teflon (or whatever) - make the diameter larger - coat the outside with diamonds, etc. It's not going to make an iota of difference. Likewise, the A-C power cord can have no effect whatsoever on the performance of an electronic component ... none. It merely supplies raw electrical power to the power supply circuitry within the electronic device, where it's converted into an entirely different form of electrical power to run the other circuits of the device with. There's nothing that can be done to that power cord that's going to have any effect whatsoever on what the power supply inside the component receives and does with the power once it gets inside the "box". Yet there are countless people running around loose proclaiming that such and such a power cord made a remarkable improvement to the sound of their system, and willing to spend inordinate amounts of hard-earned cash to bring this bit of pure, unadulterated fantasy into reality - at least, that's what they think they're doing. What a pity! IMO, it's also a pity that those that are foisting off these magical pieces of wire - under the most blatant of false pretenses, aren't likely to be prosecuted for perpetrating this sort of a SCAM!
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    Quote Originally Posted by magictooth
    The height of ignorance is someone telling another person that they absolutely can hear when they haven't even followed basic scientific theory (ie do a blind test).
    Thank you for proving my point about the height of arrogance And calling me an ignorant idiot on top of it all! Wow! That's gotta be off the charts! But I'm sure one happy ignorant idiot! You, on the other hand, seem disconcerted to say the least. May I suggest a cable change? Perhaps you're listening to too much distortion!

    When you follow scientific theory and do blind tests to determine all your preferences, come back and we'll talk.

    I recall reading someone post on this site once that it was the yeasayers that were the most rude and condescending. Guess they were wrong.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    Of course, they are Wooch. Nonsensical because the very idea that a power cord can actually have an effect on the performance of the component that it is supplying A-C power to is outside the realm of possibility, that's why.
    Woodie, theory is great when all contingencies are met. In this case, they are not. You are thinking entirely within the box. The next time you're in Atlanta, look me up. You may be surprised when experience confronts theory. As it has been the case with many an audio engineer and music lover.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    It likened an A-C power cord to the hose that transfers gasoline from the pump at the gas station into the gas tank of your car. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to that gasoline hose that can have any effect whatsoever on the performance of your car.
    Bad analogy. The rate of filling a gas tank is COMPLETELY irrelevant to an engine's performance because.... the engine isn't even running! A more apt analogy would be to compare a run-of-the-mill car's fuel pump to that of a drag racer. Music, like the acceleration of top fuel drag racers, can be downright violent. The 2000 hp motor in the drag racer would be starved for fuel on an instantaneous basis if conventional fuel pumps were used. RMS specifications for high current amps are useless when dynamic music content is used. Another factor totally absent in your analogy is the effect of local RF. The better power cords contain filter networks and specially shielded grounds. My environment is full of RF energy. Ever heard of spark suppressors on car radios?

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 01-20-2005 at 06:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Woodie, theory is great when all contingencies are met. In this case, they are not. You are thinking entirely within the box. The next time you're in Atlanta, look me up. You may be surprised when experience confronts theory. As it has been the case with many an audio engineer and music lover.
    You're certainly not equating your experience with mine, now are you? And pray tell me, just what "experience" does an audio engineer (or a music lover either) have relating to the practical applications of power supply circuitry design for electronic components? Aren't you (conveniently) forgetting the fact that I spent the better part of 50 years actually working on the power supplies of both audio and video (television) products? It's probably not common knowledge, but the power supplies of just about all electronics products account for something like 75% of all servicing problems. So, I've spent a whole lot of time gaining actual "hands-on" experience in this area. Do you have any actual experience even remotely the equivalent? I'm not quoting from "theory" here although you seem to be implying that that is the case, while you on the other hand have experience to back up your assertions. Don't be offended, but I'm not inclined to buy it - especially because of some of the off-the-wall claims that I've seen you make here.

    Bad analogy. The rate of filling a gas tank is COMPLETELY irrelevant to an engine's performance because.... the engine isn't even running!
    Au contraire, frere. It's not a bad analogy at all. I see that before you edited this post, you made a statement to the effect that " ... There is nothing stored in an amplifier (in)advance of playing music." Sorry guy ... that is totally incorrect (perhaps why you edited it out?). There is DC power stored in the filter capacitors of the unit's power supply at all times - before, during, and after music starts, stops, or whatever. The point of the analogy (which again, you conveniently ignore) is that the qualities of the gasoline hose cannot have any effect on the car's performance simply because it is doing nothing more than providing a raw material for the car to use at it sees fit. The AC power cord is fulfilling the exact same function ... it's providing a raw "material" for the electronic device to use as it sees fit - nothing more, nothing less.

    Another factor totally absent in your analogy is the effect of local RF. The better power cords contain filter networks and specially shielded grounds. My environment is full of RF energy. Ever heard of spark suppressors on car radios?
    Once again, your understanding of basic electronics is falling short of the mark. "Better" power cords contain filter networks all right, but I contend that they are there to hoodwink the gullible and impressionable among the unknowing, rather than to solve some "problem" of stray RF that might have a deleterious effect on the music. FYI, spark suppressors on car radios are not there to get rid of RF, but to suppress the electro-magnetic "noise" produced in the car's engine - and that is not "RF" by any stretch. I don't know whether it will relieve your mind (or just piss you off) to learn that the RF that you seem to think is such a problem for audio amplifiers that a special (and very likely expensive) after-market power cord is required to get rid of it, somehow magically disappears as the AC power is rectified and filtered by the power supply "inside the box".

    P.S. I am not only a "music lover", but also a musician - with very sensitive ears. I have never in all of my life heard any RF emanate from a loudspeaker ever. Evidently, the power supply circuits in all of the audio amplifiers that I've ever heard must have done a quite remarkable job of eliminating it, don't you think?
    Last edited by woodman; 01-20-2005 at 11:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    Thank you for proving my point about the height of arrogance And calling me an ignorant idiot on top of it all! Wow! That's gotta be off the charts! But I'm sure one happy ignorant idiot! You, on the other hand, seem disconcerted to say the least. May I suggest a cable change? Perhaps you're listening to too much distortion!

    When you follow scientific theory and do blind tests to determine all your preferences, come back and we'll talk.

    I recall reading someone post on this site once that it was the yeasayers that were the most rude and condescending. Guess they were wrong.
    Ignorance can generally be defined as a state of being uninformed, unaware, and/or uneducated. I feel that it is extremely ignorant to pass off as real knowledge anecdotal comparisons between cables when there hasn't been any type of meaningful testing done. I feel that some people are ignorant when they insist on misleading innocent newbies. This is probably my biggest beef. I was led down the garden path by people making statements such as I've seen by all the yeasayers here. I still have and use a set of speaker cables that cost about $18/ft. I still have and use a single pair of 3' ICs that cost about $150. At the store where I bought the cabling, you're for damn sure I could hear a difference in their sighted tests. And you could be for damn sure that for at least 2 years, I could tell a difference in sighted testing at my home. Some time ago, I compared these ICs in blind tests to several different types of ICs and couldn't hear a difference. you can only imagine my surprise.

    You're right about one thing. I probably listen to too much distortion. I like my tube amp a lot.

    As for being rude and condescending, I'm doing like Simon on American Idol does it: I'm only telling it like it is.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    The assertion I tried to make in my post is that if we cannot trust some high enders' claims, why should be trust any? This test and others demonstrate that "some" audio buffs claim to hear differences, but can't really show that they do. So, I claim, audio buff claims are unreliable. That applies to ALL audio buffs, some being unreliable DOES result in making any particular sampling of them unreliable without other information of evidence. Sorry you can't see that, but it seems to make sense to me.
    I am sorry your position is as unscientific as the position you are attempting to rebuff, claims are rebuffed on a case by case basis, that is what is scientific. Hearing differences between CDPs is a totally different claim from hearing differences upon the use of shakti stones and to lump both together as per your comments is about as unscientific as you can get.

  16. #16
    RGA
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    musicoverall

    If someone is sayng there is a difference between whatever that is one thing - if they're trying to out that upon you then that is I agree problematic.

    Truth has many variables. I can park my car in lot B and go to class and when asked where my car is - I can truthfully answer that my car is in lot B. The statement or truth however depends on one thing whether or not in fact my car is in Lot B - it may have been stolen. The scientific method itself is observtional - NO matter what they try and claim the element is still there. To their credit the definition when using DBTs are very carefully constructed to not actually prove or disprove the given issue - this is exactly why there are continual arguments over it. It appears to hold that if we take sight bias out that we would then TRULY be testing one's hearing and this of course is a good thing. That does not however alleviate the obvious psychological ramifications related to what the brain is doing under duress or a test of this nature - one of which is that the brain A) utilizes a multi-modality approach to processing information including listening. The brain is partitioned in two hemispheres - 1) is an analytical side which would be to PICK either or b in a test 2) is an artistic side which would deal with the emotional response from listening to music and the way one normally listens to music. These two sides don't get the whole picture which has been shown when the brain has been surgically cut from each other - there is testing moreso on sight but it's exactly the same thing.

    The concept of language in learning is huge as well which is primarily centered on socialization - somehting that tests generally fail horribly on not just some listening tests but in any academic field. So it is not surprising that when Hi-Fi Choice magazine who level matches all componants in a completely blind environment has some very different results than the "typical" and old out of date models used in various fields like engineering. The point of the thing is to remove sight bias and audible cues bias- Hi fi choice does that it is not a test environment - but then of course it should NEVER be anything resembling a testing environment.

    This is a very very simplistic overview at what is happening and has been researched now for the last 5 years or so and it is pervasive in fields of education and psychology. I like Philosophy because it is a check on the arrogance of science claiming to know what in fact they don't know - with DBT's relying on statistical models it is doubly as bad. Few want to look at issues outside the box. It takes a bit of looking and thinking and a muti-disciplinary approach. I don;t claim to know it all - but I do claim to know what something isn't telling me.

    That is why you will never hear some folks admit any sort of fallacy in DBT's(which does not mean they're not useful) - If they can't see ANY of the problems using basic logic even without the research on it - then why bother. One reason I don't argue it - if you want to believe in DBT's then it will save you money. If people are deluding themselves with fancy cables then their level of happiness rises so who cares. Either way it's a non issue in the big scheme of things.

    Of course any designer can DELIBERATELY make a cable sound different - a DBT if it were any good SHOULD detect those differences - the fact that they do not says more about the test than the participants. Hifi News did some sot of cable test - I didn't read the thing as I was in a hurry and I don;t buy rags - but they seemed to get differring results. If we're going to use substandard tests to show "they all sound the same" then it's also ok to use substandard tests to "show they all sounded different" It's interesting the supposed scientific group is so hypocritical on this - see mrty posting the sensible sound - not a credible test by scientific standards - so why post it - and then claim some other hackneyed test in some other mag is the spawn of simple minded. Some see only the results they want to see it would seem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    The concept of language in learning is huge as well which is primarily centered on socialization - somehting that tests generally fail horribly on not just some listening tests but in any academic field. So it is not surprising that when Hi-Fi Choice magazine who level matches all componants in a completely blind environment has some very different results than the "typical" and old out of date models used in various fields like engineering.
    ...I like Philosophy because it is a check on the arrogance of science claiming to know what in fact they don't know - with DBT's relying on statistical models it is doubly as bad.
    ROTLMAO , out of date models! which ones exactly? I missed the article where the engineering societies announced the perfect modelling methodology. Arrogance of science more like the arrogance of a few self deluded audio enthusiasts who make controversial claims and after so many years have yet to provide any credible evidence, thereby opening the industry and the hobby to public ridicule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magictooth
    Ignorance can generally be defined as a state of being uninformed, unaware, and/or uneducated. I feel that it is extremely ignorant to pass off as real knowledge anecdotal comparisons between cables when there hasn't been any type of meaningful testing done. I feel that some people are ignorant when they insist on misleading innocent newbies. This is probably my biggest beef. I was led down the garden path by people making statements such as I've seen by all the yeasayers here. I still have and use a set of speaker cables that cost about $18/ft. I still have and use a single pair of 3' ICs that cost about $150. At the store where I bought the cabling, you're for damn sure I could hear a difference in their sighted tests. And you could be for damn sure that for at least 2 years, I could tell a difference in sighted testing at my home. Some time ago, I compared these ICs in blind tests to several different types of ICs and couldn't hear a difference. you can only imagine my surprise.

    You're right about one thing. I probably listen to too much distortion. I like my tube amp a lot.

    As for being rude and condescending, I'm doing like Simon on American Idol does it: I'm only telling it like it is.
    And I feel it is not only ignorant but ridiculous for anyone to infer that because they can't tell the difference between two cables, that the rest of the world can't, either. I've never seen a post from even one of the naysayers that says they might be wrong. I'm willing to admit that cable differences might be a result of my imagination. So I'll use the word if... IF someone ever does show that there are sonic differences between two different cables using the convoluted and overly complicated DBT method that you espouse, what then? Are you that sure you're right and I'm wrong?

    Telling it like it is or telling it like you believe it? If misleading someone is advising them to try it for themselves, to listen in their own system because different cables react differently in my system than in theirs, to listen and if they hear no difference to buy the cheap generic cables... if that's misleading them, most people do that kind of thing every single day of their lives with all kinds of things. If that's ignorant, I accept that badge. It must be absolute hell to have to prove everything to yourself over and over, day in and day out. You have my pity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Some see only the results they want to see it would seem.
    Bingo!

    I've not seen any proof in EITHER direction on the cable sonics issue. It would be interesting to compare two cables that sound very different from one another... which would likely be two on the far opposite sides of neutral and see if DBT is worth anything. I might try that myself. I wish I would have tried on on a couple of CDP's when I had the chance! There is one that sounded so smooth that it had to have been altered to make it that way. It was made by a famous British turntable/arm manufacturer and it came out late in the CD era. It was a POS, as far as I was concerned. I think they wanted it to sound analog-like and it just came out boring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    And I feel it is not only ignorant but ridiculous for anyone to infer that because they can't tell the difference between two cables, that the rest of the world can't, either. I've never seen a post from even one of the naysayers that says they might be wrong.
    You still don't get it. For human studies, the aggregation of scores on a large scale and extrapolation of the finding is the only way that you can accurately assess the validity of a claim. From what you're saying, we would need to test each and every person on the Earth in order "to prove" to you that sighted testing is invalid. My fervent hope is that one of the yeasayers proves us wrong. If you are able to, please present your findings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    You're certainly not equating your experience with mine, now are you?
    We're talking about different kinds of experience. I trust your career in electronics was both long and noteworthy. I'm asking about your exposure to live music and to high resolution systems, not repairing electronics. You could design, drive, and repair a Buick for a century and never have a clue as to the performance envelope of an F1 race car. Speaking of which, there was an interesting article in Car & Driver a while back where two top-of-their-game race drivers swapped cars for a day. They were Jeff Gordon, a NASCAR driver, and Juan-Pablo Montoya, a Formula One driver. Guess which one of them came closer to matching the other's lap times in the their ride? The obvious result was Montoya since he was accustomed to a much higher level of performance than Gordon. I think Gordon was a bit taken back by the difference.

    If I truly wanted to understand nuances of the highest performance driving experience, I would talk to MIchael Schumacher, not the Ferrari engineers who designed the car he drives. Similarly, if I wanted to understand nuances of the highest performance musical systems, I would talk to someone with vast experience in that area, not an engineer. One of my mentors fills that bill. While he has retired as a doctor, he has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus for over thirty years. He attends every week. He remains the liason between the ASO and Telarc Records. He wrote for The Absolute Sound for twenty years and had access to a wide range of superb gear. It was he who introduced me to the notion of audible differences in power cords. Don't get me wrong - you certainly need engineers. I'm a software engineer myself. But rarely, if ever, are the designers of - well fill in the blank: sports equipment, cars, aircraft, electronics, etc. experts on the ultimate performance envelope of that which they create.


    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    And pray tell me, just what "experience" does an audio engineer (or a music lover either) have relating to the practical applications of power supply circuitry design for electronic components?
    Irrelevant. Does Michael Schumacher know how the pneumatic valves operate in his Ferrari? Who cares? It is the result that is most important.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    Aren't you (conveniently) forgetting the fact that I spent the better part of 50 years actually working on the power supplies of both audio and video (television) products?
    Not at all. I'm sure you can visualize schematics in your head while you sleep. Again, irrelevant as far as I'm concerned when the criteria is sensory experience with specific equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    I'm not quoting from "theory" here although you seem to be implying that that is the case, while you on the other hand have experience to back up your assertions.
    Of course you are with comments like this:

    Nonsensical because the very idea that a power cord can actually have an effect on the performance of the component that it is supplying A-C power to is outside the realm of possibility, that's why.

    You make blanket assertions about components for which you have no direct exposure. Fortunately, there are other engineers who supplement their theoretical knowledge with experiential knowledge that is specific to this question. I'm not talking about TVs. I just got a new 61" Samsung DLP set. Great picture in hi-def. Wonderful color saturation. Sound quality of the built in system? Poor. Doesn't matter as I switch it off and use a separate 5.1 system.
    [edit] I will be happy to relate details of the systems I've heard that form my opinion. The best of which is certainly not my own. My guess is that you possess little listening experience with the kinds of systems I have. I understand that you are reticent to provide such details.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    It's not a bad analogy at all. I see that before you edited this post, you made a statement to the effect that " ... There is nothing stored in an amplifier (in)advance of playing music." Sorry guy ... that is totally incorrect (perhaps why you edited it out?). There is DC power stored in the filter capacitors of the unit's power supply at all times - before, during, and after music starts, stops, or whatever. The point of the analogy (which again, you conveniently ignore) is that the qualities of the gasoline hose cannot have any effect on the car's performance simply because it is doing nothing more than providing a raw material for the car to use at it sees fit. The AC power cord is fulfilling the exact same function ... it's providing a raw "material" for the electronic device to use as it sees fit - nothing more, nothing less.
    Nope, it's still a bad analogy. Tell me this. How many times do automotive engineers test an engine at full speed on the dynamometer with a gas pump filling it's tank? Uh, the answer would be never. Call me crazy, but when I fill my gas tank, I always shut the engine off. Even if I left it on, I wouldn't be trying to test out it's power. LOL !!! Your analogy is bad because the car is not even running during the filling. I edited my comments to clarify that point. The parallel to your analogy would be to compare the AC cord with the power amp turned off. Of course power cords don't matter when the component is off. The only time when the AC cord matters is when the amplifier, like the engine, is running !! So, what effects fuel delivery and performance to a running engine? The fuel pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    "Better" power cords contain filter networks all right, but I contend that they are there to hoodwink the gullible and impressionable among the unknowing, rather than to solve some "problem" of stray RF that might have a deleterious effect on the music.
    Once again, that is your theory based upon non-exposure to aftermarket cords used in high resolution systems. Here's a short, but relevant story about one engineer's experience (who designs excellent electronics) with power cords. He, like most everyone else at first, could not believe the notion.

    http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?...at&r=&session=


    Quote Originally Posted by woodman
    P.S. I am not only a "music lover", but also a musician - with very sensitive ears. I have never in all of my life heard any RF emanate from a loudspeaker ever.
    I've never heard a radio broadcast break through either, if that is your assumption. RF interference from nearby digital circuitry, wireless routers, etc. can manifest itself simply as high frequency hash, masking detail. That is what I and others hear on their systems.

    rw

  22. #22
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Rga

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    The scientific method itself is observtional - NO matter what they try and claim the element is still there. To their credit the definition when using DBTs are very carefully constructed to not actually prove or disprove the given issue - this is exactly why there are continual arguments over it. It appears to hold that if we take sight bias out that we would then TRULY be testing one's hearing and this of course is a good thing. That does not however alleviate the obvious psychological ramifications related to what the brain is doing under duress or a test of this nature - one of which is that the brain A) utilizes a multi-modality approach to processing information including listening. The brain is partitioned in two hemispheres - 1) is an analytical side which would be to PICK either or b in a test 2) is an artistic side which would deal with the emotional response from listening to music and the way one normally listens to music. These two sides don't get the whole picture which has been shown when the brain has been surgically cut from each other - there is testing moreso on sight but it's exactly the same thing.
    Your post is really good, and a flashback to some Psych courses in my University days...the only problem I have with this argument is that the brain is also under similar distresses when doing "sighted tests" in the comfort of your own home when undertaking any test of a sensory nature...not to mention the impact mood, fatigue, etc have on your senses and perception. There exists the fact that much of this mental behaviour the brain undertakes is a constant in blind and sighted testings, and therefore can be discarded as irrelevant to the results.

    But your arguments of "what is truth" hold. I think it's safe to say that we are not necessarily testing just for truth in DBT's though...and that we can learn more than "truth" from the results. We are also testing the consistency in observations...if we don't even have that consistency (as DBT's immaculately suggest), we can't begin to use logic, science, philosophy, or even testament to speculate what a truth might be about a cable, CD player, or anything else...if nothing else, this raises considerable doubt about claims of sonic differences, and sways the debate in that direction.
    This puts the onus on the manufacturers ( a cop out argument too often, but in this case relevant I think) to provide us with some sort of argument to support their claims. What research do they have? Do they have consistent results? If not should we buy something that might work some of time?

    I suspect (but can't prove) that cables do in fact contribute at least something to the sound quality...it may not be detectable by the human ear, or possible to prove, but it would be premature to write-off a possibility simply because the testing methods to date haven't confirmed this. But until something comes along to end the debate definitively I'll continue to invest money into more tangible and cost-effective methods of improving my system.

    OT: How do legally blind people fair in these DBT's??
    Last edited by kexodusc; 01-21-2005 at 11:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Here's a short, but relevant story about one engineer's experience (who designs excellent electronics) with power cords. He, like most everyone else at first, could not believe the notion.

    http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?...at&r=&session=



    rw
    Hmm, interesting read, but you still haven't answered my question as to why you feel a sighted test is better than or equivalent to a blind test. The engineer in question didn't do a blind test either. Why not? Why didn't this engineer present his findings to Nature or the NEJM? How about an EE journal? He may have some valid points. You may have some valid points. If sighted testing is truly the best, then I'm sure you can get your findings published in a real journal.

  24. #24
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magictooth
    Hmm, interesting read, but you still haven't answered my question as to why you feel a sighted test is better than or equivalent to a blind test. The engineer in question didn't do a blind test either. Why not? Why didn't this engineer present his findings to Nature or the NEJM? How about an EE journal? He may have some valid points. You may have some valid points. If sighted testing is truly the best, then I'm sure you can get your findings published in a real journal.
    I guess neither he nor I has a scientific proof fetish. I buy audio components to enjoy music, not impress people. That's it.

    rw

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    gasoline

    the gas filling analogy is illicit in concept BUT look at it from another angle-or fourier transform-remember THAT catchword and how it was overused in audio?

    FILLING the tank efficiently is VERY important in auto racing when the car comes in for a pit stop. just look at the filling cans that are VENTED to allow rapid flow of the gas to the tank. who knows what ELSE goes into their design .perhaps special shapes of the tubes from can to filler orifice? in racing, time is money, just as in any other business.

    remember that a full tube does NOT flow as fast as one at 85% capacity (if memory serves me). so it may be power supply filling efficiency that is the issue. electronics are certainly different from gasoline engines.

    some very respected reviewers and engineers hear diffs, so even if only a diff is what is heard reliably, then there are real diffs. i havent participated in listening tests of these cords either sighted OR blind but my mind is open to the possibility.
    Last edited by hifitommy; 01-21-2005 at 07:34 PM. Reason: mispelling
    ...regards...tr

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