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The Cable Factor - Page 5  

post #61 of 211
This cable subject/issue has now become a bit of a baiting subject
hasn,t it?
Strikes me those doing the baiting have had little experience with
auditioning cable[or so it seems]as yet for instance, Dark Angels
reguest to Ricky has had no response,but plenty of the respondants here do seem to have a wealth of experience with cables of various design and price pionts.

I for one get the impression that doubt is being cast over the
faculties of the individuals who report differences in cables[myself
included here as obviously I am fool enough to purchase cables of
considerable cost based on my own ears and sonic preferences].

I can't help but find this a little insulting.

Afterall in this universe I doubt anything is truly identical on all levels.

Two lengths of cable taken from the same reel are not going to
be truly identical even if we are unable to measure the difference.

Cable from different manufacturers made to different spec are
definitely going to be different.

Whether a listener is going to be attuned to those differences is
another matter.
But to have any chance of detecting differences one has to at least try to listen.

Will the thread starter please speak up


Setmenu
post #62 of 211
I'm not the thread starter, but I guess you are referring to me.

Does it matter if you put a sewing needle glued on top of a car on the driving experience? The needle changes the car's mass, aerodynamics, etc, it's not the same thing, there are differences. But, do they matter? Can you notice them?

I'm not calling you fools for hearing differences, I'm just trying to explain that those truly perceived differences might be for different reasons than you think, and those reasons would make moot how much money you spend on cables.

I believe that the listening experience is many times more brain-driven than ear-driven. So, any feelings, emotions, thoughts, desires, doubts, expectations, anything, can make you perceive a different sound quality, even when objetively there's none, or if there is, is far beyond our hearing abilities as imperfect humans we are.

I have done casual blind tests over cables, although I have no audiophile-grade quality cable as yours, using a self-made switch box. I use from time to time a 10 meter supposed good quality cable (but I guess it's not so good quality for what I paid for it) and some short microphone cable. I use regularly some cheap standard RCA interconnects, some coaxial ethernet cable, of low capacitance and good shielding, and on my casual, non thorough blind tests, I have noticed no difference between none them. The only different effect over audio signal I've been able to measure between some of these cables, is a higher or lower noise rejection, and still I don't know if the higher noise would be audible under regular listening conditions, maybe it would be for the long cable, but I didn't notice on casual listening.

I think I've layed my cards on the table. I think it would be fair if you did the same thing.

So, please take the test I've set up at www.kikeg.arrakis.es , and tell me your results.

In this test, I've played and recorded a 30 sec. musical clip up to 4 consecutive times with my soundcard and a pair of cheap interconnects. There are 5 clips at the page, one of them being the original unprocessed original clip, extracted from a cd. The other four have been played and recorded 1, 2, 3, and 4 times.

The clips can be easily burned to cd in order to do your listening tests with your favourite equipment.

The effect of the soundcard should be greater than the effect of the cable, so I believe it would be easy for you to tell the original clip from the others, and even rating correctly the 5 clips from best to worst quality.

I'm waiting to know your results.
post #63 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Does it matter if you put a sewing needle glued on top of a car on the driving experience? The needle changes the car's mass, aerodynamics, etc, it's not the same thing, there are differences. But, do they matter? Can you notice them?
Interesting that you used the exact opposite analogy than your argument for cables. The above example is one where we can measure a difference, but it does not affect performance. Your standard anti-cable argument is that if we can't measure a difference, there will be no difference in performance.

Quote:
I'm not calling you fools for hearing differences, I'm just trying to explain that those truly perceived differences might be for different reasons than you think, and those reasons would make moot how much money you spend on cables.
To be a skeptic, and to raise that question, is one thing. But to continue, over and over and over again, questioning people's experiences, especially when some of us who have a lot more experience in research methods than you have done some of our own double-blind tests and identified audible differences in cables -- that's precisely what setmenu was talking about.


Quote:
I believe that the listening experience is many times more brain-driven than ear-driven. So, any feelings, emotions, thoughts, desires, doubts, expectations, anything, can make you perceive a different sound quality, even when objetively there's none, or if there is, is far beyond our hearing abilities as imperfect humans we are.
If this was the case, a double-blind test would identify it.


Quote:
I have done casual blind tests over cables, although I have no audiophile-grade quality cable as yours, using a self-made switch box.
But using a self-made switch box probably invalidated any conclusions at which you might have arrived. How can you test cables when they're just going through some home-made switch box? If you want to test cables, test cables. You're testing cables and a switch box.

You also said you did "blind" tests -- what methodology did you use? If they were simply "blind," then the very phenomenon you claim is responsible for people "hearing" differences in cables is just as, if nor more, appropriate for explaining your "inability" to not hear differences.

What is the "good" cable you have? Why not tell us the brand/model? You've finally admitted that you've never even tried really good cables, which speaks volumes for your position.


Quote:
I think I've layed my cards on the table.
Yes, thankfully.

Quote:
So, please take the test I've set up at www.kikeg.arrakis.es , and tell me your results.
In this test, I've played and recorded a 30 sec. musical clip up to 4 consecutive times with my soundcard and a pair of cheap interconnects. There are 5 clips at the page, one of them being the original unprocessed original clip, extracted from a cd. The other four have been played and recorded 1, 2, 3, and 4 times.
What are you testing here? Interconnect quality? Soundcard quality? Recording quality?
post #64 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
I have done casual blind tests over cables, although I have no audiophile-grade quality cable as yours, using a self-made switch box. I use from time to time a 10 meter supposed good quality cable (but I guess it's not so good quality for what I paid for it) and some short microphone cable. I use regularly some cheap standard RCA interconnects, some coaxial ethernet cable, of low capacitance and good shielding, and on my casual, non thorough blind tests, I have noticed no difference between none them. The only different effect over audio signal I've been able to measure between some of these cables, is a higher or lower noise rejection, and still I don't know if the higher noise would be audible under regular listening conditions, maybe it would be for the long cable, but I didn't notice on casual listening.

I think I've layed my cards on the table. I think it would be fair if you did the same thing.
Thanks for the info Ricky, even you have not mentioned by brand name any cable you have used or owned, I think we all get the picture of your experience level comparing cables. Also you have not given any info about what audio equipment was used with your "cables" so nothing really to go on here.

Most members here do "lay their cards on the table", check the profile buttons for equipment and cables owned. I have probably tried @15-20 brands of cable in the last 10yrs, that doesn't make me an expert on anything but what DarkAngel likes in his system.

My point is if you had really tried several recognized good cables and then reported they all sound the same to you therefore don't waste money on cables, I would respect you opinion even though my experience is different.
post #65 of 211
Thats a good point Dark Angel..Profiles,I think that counts as
cards on table, decision made hard earned bucks spent.



setmenu

Team deluded
post #66 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF


Interesting that you used the exact opposite analogy than your argument for cables. The above example is one where we can measure a difference, but it does not affect performance. Your standard anti-cable argument is that if we can't measure a difference, there will be no difference in performance.
I was responding to setmenu, when he said that there are always small differences even between similar cables.

My "standard" argument is that if we can't measure a difference, there will be no difference in performance, but also that even if we can measure small differences, many times they won't make a perceivable difference in performance.

Quote:
especially when some of us who have a lot more experience in research methods than you have done some of our own double-blind tests and identified audible differences in cables
I can't understand how with so much experience in research methods, you didn't do a true rigorously controlled double blind listening test, including measurements, effective level matching, and statistical analysis.

Quote:
You also said you did "blind" tests -- what methodology did you use?
Very similar to yours, but witch a switchbox that adds no measurable degradation, and also effectively matching levels.

Quote:
If they were simply "blind," then the very phenomenon you claim is responsible for people "hearing" differences in cables is just as, if nor more, appropriate for explaining your "inability" to not hear differences.
No logic here. so, if the test is not truly blind, that is a reason for NOT hearing differences? Doesn't make much sense, it should be the opposite. The person making the extraordinary claims is the one that should prove it using the most rigorous methods.

Quote:
What is the "good" cable you have? Why not tell us the brand/model?
It's no good for your standards. It's regular cable, a little bit more expensive than cheap coax., no brand.

Quote:

You've finally admitted that you've never even tried really good cables, which speaks volumes for your position.
I have said that I hear no difference with different regular cables. Is a good cable of those make he hear a difference? I don't think so, unless those cables do alter the sound, which is not my goal at sound reproduction.

Quote:

What are you testing here? Interconnect quality? Soundcard quality? Recording quality?
Everything at the same time, including the cable factor. Mostly, if our ear is as sensitive as some like to think.

Please try the test, and let me know your results.
post #67 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel

Thanks for the info Ricky, even you have not mentioned by brand name any cable you have used or owned, I think we all get the picture of your experience level comparing cables. Also you have not given any info about what audio equipment was used with your "cables" so nothing really to go on here.
No cables of any known expensive brand, I think it's useless.

Audio equipment: Sennheiser HD 560 headphones, Sony MDR-7506 headphones, Denon DCD-2560 cd player, M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card, AVC Soul Player DMP-01 (= Rio Volt SP100) portable cd/mp3 player, Pioneer A-307R stereo amplifier's speaker outputs as headphone amp. I'm planning on purchasing a couple of small Tannoy studio monitors, and another pair of good headphones, such as Sennheiser HD 580. Also planning on building some twisted pair shielded interconnects, in order to test their noise pickup, for measurement purposes.

Please note that my equipment is irrelevant according to the main argumentations I've exposed along the different posts.

Quote:
My point is if you had really tried several recognized good cables and then reported they all sound the same to you therefore don't waste money on cables, I would respect you opinion even though my experience is different.
Please try my little test at www.kikeg.arrakis.es, and report how different my cables sound to you, compared to no cables at all.

That's what I mean when I ask you to lay your cards on the table. You wanted me to tell what good cables I had auditioned and the results. I want you to audition my standard cables and tell me what you hear.
post #68 of 211
... and once again a quiet forum is thrown into turmoil by the suggestion that cables might make no difference. For the 68th time on this forum. For the 19,876,368,977th time on all known audio forums. The same arguments, the same responses. Science, double blind-tesing, resistance, capacitance, inductance, proof, placebo ... out they all come, yet again, the same tedious pattern of ill-informed argument and counter-argument.

The person who started this thread ended his first post with "peace", knowing full well that the exact opposite would ensue. And then he disappeared. What was his goal, and did he achieve it?

Ross
post #69 of 211
Quote:
I have said that I hear no difference with different regular cables. Is a good cable of those make he hear a difference? I don't think so, unless those cables do alter the sound, which is not my goal at sound reproduction.
There is a HUGE GAPING FLAW in the very foundation of your reasoning Ricky. You ASSUME that your sub-standard, one step above stock cables are NOT altering the sound, but that well-made well-designed, and high-performance cables (that you have NEVER tried) are the ones that screw up the signal.

No cable can "improve" the sound. At best, better quality cables interefere with the sound LESS than cheap-ass stock cables of the variety you own.

And it's incredibly relevant to know what you are listening to. I bet it's a crappy computer sound card or a portable Mp3 player or some such. Of course devices like those will reveal no differences in cables. Get some real gear, some real cables, then come back and talk to us.

markl
post #70 of 211
And another thing...

Before the invention of the thermometer, your ancestors insisted that you couldn't conclude it's colder today than it was yesterday, because there was no way to measure it.

Meanwhile, it's snowing outside.

markl
post #71 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
My "standard" argument is that if we can't measure a difference, there will be no difference in performance, but also that even if we can measure small differences, many times they won't make a perceivable difference in performance.
But yet you continue to ignore the fact that there are plenty of things humans can hear that science cannot accurately describe, let alone measure.


Quote:
I can't understand how with so much experience in research methods, you didn't do a true rigorously controlled double blind listening test, including measurements, effective level matching, and statistical analysis.
1) I don't have the funds, nor the lab, nor the subjects to do a large-scale study.

2) Given #1, the test I did, fully controlled and double-blind, showed with 100% accuracy that I could tell the difference between cables. Everyone else I've sat down in that test has also clearly been able to identify the differences. The sample size is small, but given the overwhelming results, the level of confidence in the results is quite high.



Quote:
Very similar to yours, but witch a switchbox that adds no measurable degradation, and also effectively matching levels.
1) Have you even tried to measure the degredation? (And remember the truth that measurements can't "measure" all audible differences.)

2) Adding a switchbox adds another variable to the mix, no matter how much you try to "match" the levels or claim that it adds no degredation.

3) Not "very similar to mine," since you're using all cheap, poor-quality cables.


I'm not surprised that using a switchbox on poor-quality cables and your less-than-high-end system, plus your own admitted skepticism about cable differences, that you hear no difference. In fact, I'd argue that your test was doomed to not find differences.

Quote:
Quote:
If they were simply "blind," then the very phenomenon you claim is responsible for people "hearing" differences in cables is just as, if nor more, appropriate for explaining your "inability" to not hear differences.
No logic here. so, if the test is not truly blind, that is a reason for NOT hearing differences? Doesn't make much sense, it should be the opposite.
The logic is quite clear. If people's own expectations or biases lead them to hear a difference in cables, it also follows (and has been demonstrated quite clearly in the fields of audiology and psychology) that their expectations or biases can also lead them to *not* hear a difference, even when it's measureable and quite clear to others. Your test wasn't double-blind, used such equipment and test materials so as to minimize any possible differences, and was undertaken by someone who is overwhelmingly skeptical of such differences. Your bias was more than enough to have overcome any differences your ears might have been able to hear. You can't use the "bias" argument to discredit others and then hope no one aims it right back at you, especially when it's far more appropriate in that direction.


Quote:
The person making the extraordinary claims is the one that should prove it using the most rigorous methods.
As I have... and I would point out that claiming there is a difference between cables is no more "extraordinary" than claiming there isn't.


Quote:
It's no good for your standards. It's regular cable, a little bit more expensive than cheap coax., no brand.
So you're testing a cable that is little, if any, different from another cable, and that proves there is no difference between cables



Quote:
I have said that I hear no difference with different regular cables. Is a good cable of those make he hear a difference? I don't think so, unless those cables do alter the sound, which is not my goal at sound reproduction.
If you're using cheap cable, it may not be your goal, but it is most certainly your result.



Quote:
Please note that my equipment is irrelevant according to the main argumentations I've exposed along the different posts.
Your equipment is very relevant. If your equipment is not up to snuff to begin with, how are you going to hear the subtle, but valid, differences between cables?

A cable is like a pipe, carrying the signal as if it were water. A crappy cable is like a rusty pipe, adding color and crap to the water. A good cable is like a new copper pipe, carrying the clean, crystal-clear water without adding a thing.

Comparing cables with less-than-great components is like trying to figure out if your pipes are rusty by pouring dirty water down the drain -- how are you supposed to see if the crud in the water is from the source or from the pipe? And how are you supposed to see which pipe is rustier if the water started out brown to begin with?
post #72 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
I'm not calling you fools for hearing differences, I'm just trying to explain that those truly perceived differences might be for different reasons than you think, and those reasons would make moot how much money you spend on cables.

I believe that the listening experience is many times more brain-driven than ear-driven. So, any feelings, emotions, thoughts, desires, doubts, expectations, anything, can make you perceive a different sound quality, even when objetively there's none, or if there is, is far beyond our hearing abilities as imperfect humans we are.
My degree is in psychology. No real point in false modesty here: I know much more about the influence of the brain on perception than you do. There are certain systematic distortions in perception that are hardwired into the nervous system. There are others that can be attributed to "software", our beliefs and expectations. However, the distortions so introduced tend to be short-term in nature. One way to think of them is short-cuts our brain takes to sort out relevant data in novel situations. As the situation becomes less novel, our brain becomes more efficient at processing the information. A wide variety of exposure, across various times, in various settings, and with various ancillary equipment will eventually allow a person to sort out what parts of a sensory experience are stimulus-driven, and what parts are driven by expectation. To put it more succintly, expectations change, while stimuli don't. That part of the sensory experience that is stimulus driven will stay constant, while other aspects will be far more labile depending on mood etc. The fact that the brain influences perception is unquestionable. However, your assumption that we cannot tell when this is occurring is true only for brief exposures in novel situations. It's not all that hard to get past this.

Quote:


I'm waiting to know your results.

You're going to wait a long time for mine. I have no interest in listening to a poorly recorded musical cut that won't prove anything. If you want to illustrate that an expensive cable doesn't sound different than a cheap one, you're going to need to throw an expensive cable into the mix. You're also going to need to take steps to insure that your system is not introducing distortions that might conceal or interact with the cable differences that may be present.

Do read MacDEF's comment about how your own biases might be affecting this experiment. Read it several times until you understand it.
post #73 of 211
Jude, other Moderators,

I thought the whole point of declaring this a Double Blind Testing Free zone was to eliminate threads like this. So how about shutting a thread down when it gets into DBT, and banning members who continue to bring up DBT's. I don't find these threads particularly helpful, especially when some of the participants don't seem to have much understanding of the science they are bashing and/or promoting, contradict themselves, and not present a very coherent argument.

If you want to talk about psycho-acoustic affects, fine, start a thread about that. If you want to talk about overpricing of cables, start a thread. BUT NO TALK ABOUT DOUBLE BLIND TESTING! Please, read the sign before entering. Just my thoughts
post #74 of 211
Man, we're not going to arrive anywhere with this type of discussion.

So, please, TRY my test at www.kikeg.arrakis.es, and see at least if you cant sort out the ORIGINAL FILE from the others ones recorded with my crappy equipment. Would be great if you could sort out the worst one, and would be greater if you coud rate the 5 from best to worst, best the ORIGINAL, UNPROCESSED, NON-DEGRADED, UNTOUCHED file from the original cd, the worst the 4 times passed one. Should be very easy with your great ears and great equipment.

I'm sincerely interested in having an idea on how good people's ears are.


Anyway, here's my reply

Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF

But yet you continue to ignore the fact that there are plenty of things humans can hear that science cannot accurately describe, let alone measure.
What fact? Where's that fact? Where's any serious study claiming that humans are able to hear things that science cannot measure? I mean, besides from just your non-rigorous blind tests.

The opposite has been many times done. I mean, people claiming to hear differences, that suddenly dissapeared under blind and
controlled conditions. It's easy to disprove, there's no need to do a serious study, because the differences DO dissapear from sighted to blind. What uncontrolled conditions could make the differences dissapear after going blind?

Quote:

1) I don't have the funds, nor the lab, nor the subjects to do a large-scale study.
I wasn't talking about a large-scale study, I'm only interested about your experiment with you as subject. The statistical results were about your number of trials. You say here that you were successful 100% times. I'd like to see the exact procedure you used for every trial, and series of trials.

Quote:

2) Given #1, the test I did, fully controlled and double-blind, showed with 100% accuracy that I could tell the difference between cables. Everyone else I've sat down in that test has also clearly been able to identify the differences. The sample size is small, but given the overwhelming results, the level of confidence in the results is quite high.
Everyone? Then, your test setup must be flawed, as many people can't hear any differences even on sighted conditions, not to talk under blind conditions. Still, your test lacks effective level matching and additional measurements, things that could spoil your test.

Quote:

1) Have you even tried to measure the degredation? (And remember the truth that measurements can't "measure" all audible differences.)
Of course I have measured it, I try not to talk cheap.


Quote:

3) Not "very similar to mine," since you're using all cheap, poor-quality cables.
Well, the cables are the subject of the experiment, I was talking about the procedures.

Quote:

I'm not surprised that using a switchbox on poor-quality cables and your less-than-high-end system, plus your own admitted skepticism about cable differences, that you hear no difference. In fact, I'd argue that your test was doomed to not find differences.
I said that they were casual, non thorough tests. I just have answered to your questions of what tests I had done. If I had found differences, we won't be talking about the matter, obviously. It's your tests that matter, not mines, as I can't hear any differences.

Quote:

The logic is quite clear. If people's own expectations or biases lead them to hear a difference in cables, it also follows (and has been demonstrated quite clearly in the fields of audiology and psychology) that their expectations or biases can also lead them to *not* hear a difference, even when it's measureable and quite clear to others. Your test wasn't double-blind, used such equipment and test materials so as to minimize any possible differences, and was undertaken by someone who is overwhelmingly skeptical of such differences. Your bias was more than enough to have overcome any differences your ears might have been able to hear. You can't use the "bias" argument to discredit others and then hope no one aims it right back at you, especially when it's far more appropriate in that direction.
It's much more likely for bias the reason of hearing differences that don't exist, that don't hearing differences that exist. Yes, I'm skeptic and that could have influenced me. But then, there's no need for a blind test. I said I had done casual ones, but just because you asked me to do, but when not hearing differences, blind tests are irrelevant, can be only relevant if the listener is more sensitive under blind conditions. Blind test are needed when trying to prove if differences are real or self-induced by external factors to sound.

Quote:

As I have... and I would point out that claiming there is a difference between cables is no more "extraordinary" than claiming there isn't.
You seem to think that way, but indeed it's extraordinary claiming to hear things that are not measurable, since it has been never scientifically proven.

Quote:

So you're testing a cable that is little, if any, different from another cable, and that proves there is no difference between cables
I didn't say that proved anything. I just wrote it because you asked me to do it. I did say that I don't think expensive cables would make a difference. Please, stick to what I really said.


Quote:

Your equipment is very relevant. If your equipment is not up to snuff to begin with, how are you going to hear the subtle, but valid, differences between cables?
Because it's not he point of my argumentation.

Quote:

A cable is like a pipe, carrying the signal as if it were water. A crappy cable is like a rusty pipe, adding color and crap to the water. A good cable is like a new copper pipe, carrying the clean, crystal-clear water without adding a thing.
Comparing cables with less-than-great components is like trying to figure out if your pipes are rusty by pouring dirty water down the drain -- how are you supposed to see if the crud in the water is from the source or from the pipe? And how are you supposed to see which pipe is rustier if the water started out brown to begin with?
Then, my test should be very easy for you, as there's a file that has no cable influence at all.
post #75 of 211
Quote:
Originally posted by markl

And it's incredibly relevant to know what you are listening to. I bet it's a crappy computer sound card or a portable Mp3 player or some such. Of course devices like those will reveal no differences in cables.
Then, my test at www.kikeg.arrakis.es shoud be fairly easy for you.

Quote:

Get some real gear, some real cables, then come back and talk to us.
I could say, try my test, and then come back and talk to me.
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