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The Cable Factor - Page 7  

post #91 of 211
I don't know......but I go to bed every night with a prayer that goes something like, "In the name of the Tara, the Zen, and the Golden Ref'rence......"

Are cable purchasers indulging in an act of faith?
Is it a religeon

Could be something like that, but I guess you won't agree.
post #92 of 211
So I [and the others here] Have been had eh?

Now thats What I call cards on the table!

Oh fun fun fun

post #93 of 211
WOW did I get riped off. I payed 185.00 for the equinox replacement cable for my senn. 580s and after 70 hour breakin the mids are no longer laid back and the bass is tighter and lower and the hight are much sweeter. I also bought 4 DiMarzio ics and after a breakin I am getting a much better signal. Is this all make believe in my head? Am I deceiveing myself? Well if so its ok for I think that I do hear a difference a big difference and if its all in my head ok thats a good place for it to be besides my ears which lead to my head.But in all fairness if you dont think there is a difference ok. That is your opinion and I respect that. Rather then going on with this debait why not just say that you dont think that there is a difference and you need not explain your self any further. And if you do hear a difference ok you dont need to explain your self any further. We could accept all opinions even if we think that they may not be what other opinions are. Most of use do hear the difference but maby we have good ears.
post #94 of 211
Originally posted by Joe Bloggs
Ricky, are you deliberately mixing up the issues?
No, I'm not. I guess you would do better if you read the whole threads. Hey, I have to answer to a bunch of different ideas proposed by different people, and many of these ideas are different and not coherent from one person to another. Rather messy, but so are different people's arguments.

Issue no.1: Do cables measure different if they sound different?
Answer: in most cases probably yes but there may be measurements we are missing out on.
Issue no.2--THE ONE I'M ADDRESING--do the cables out there actually measure different?
You repeatedly make the argument that effectively goes something like 'cables all measure the same, so they can't possibly sound different'.
I know it's complicated, but so are many things in the world.

I'll try to summarize, and be concise:

1 - Regular standard non-expensive non-broken cables don't measure very different from neutral expensive cables, from the audio point of view. The only noticeable difference is their ability to reject electromagnetic noise. With short interconnects, this rejection is quite good even on standard cheap cables, I'd say not audible under normal listening conditions.

2 - Even though there can be differences in the electrical parameters of cables, most of the times these differences are irrelevant at audio levels and frequencies. To be significant, there must be quite gross diferences in these electrical parameters. When I measure a cable, I measure its effect on the audio signal, not their electrical parameters.

3- If two cables objectively sound different, there must be easy to measure differences between the cables at audio levels and frequencies.

Got it now?

By the way, thanks for your nice words on me, I'd say I didn't insult you nor anybody at this forums, or at least I tried not to.
post #95 of 211
Ho Hum.

post #96 of 211
Originally posted by Hirsch

Oh, I understood it. Either you recorded the file, or someone else did, which introduces variables from somebody's system into the equation. The farther it gets from your system, the less we know about it.
Well, I think the recording engineer did it for me and also for the whole world. I guess his equipment is quite good, as it's used regularly to make discs like the ones you listen to at your home.

...ever hear of digital audio extraction from a cd, or shorter, a cd rip? Ever heard of EAC? Ever bothered to read my first post about this test? Ever bothered on going to the test's page?

You're also assuming that cable effects are additive in some way over your process. If all of the damage was done in the recording, why on earth should I expect the differences I would listen for to be there in the first place?
All degrading effects use to be additive. If you can't hear differences, then the included cable factor can't be heard either.

Some of this things are explained at the test page,

Would you please bother to make a"click" and go to that page, and read what's written there. I think it's not so difficult.
post #97 of 211
Originally posted by kwkarth
I'll try to be gentle. You appear to be a willfully ignorant fool.
Thanks. Who's flaming here?

This is quite evident from your picking and choosing which posts and portions thereof to which you respond. There is no point in continuing discussion with you since it seems evident you're not seeking to enlarge the scope of your own knowledge.
Oh, how fair!! So I have to answer to every portion of every message of every person, and you and the others can post whatever you want and reply to whatever you want, whenever you want from whoever you want? How funny. You're truly an impartial guy.

TYou appear to be stubbornly clinging to your horribly ignorant and flawed misconceptions and trying to convince others of the same.
This is a waste of time.
While many of us enjoy a good challenge, I think this one is a lost cause folks.
I could say exactly the same.

I'm starting to believe you are afraid of the real and definitive challenge at Why is, that nobody has written here his impressions over the how the files sound?
post #98 of 211
Anyone else here think it is time for a "mercy kill" and close this thread, I think everyone knows each others position
post #99 of 211
Things have become a tad circular now.

I agree.

post #100 of 211
Let us change our point of view for a while.

A common complaint about blind tests with negative results is that the equipment/recording/switch box/ the ears of the testee etc. were not good/transparent/musical etc. enough to reveal the differences that otherwise wqould have been very real. There are plenty of examples of this kind of critique even in this thread.

So, I am kindly requesting suggestions about how to make those differences most apparent:

What particular headphones should I use ( I already have the HD600s)?

What aftermarket cables (if any) should I use?

What amplifier should I use? (I'm planning to buy a Corda - is it good enough?)

Suitable music (perhaps a particular recording) for listening?

Good enough source?

Two interconnects that supposedly sound different.

Any other requirements.

Thanks in advance.


post #101 of 211
This is a long post; Ricky, I hope you'll read it in its entirely; you continue to selectively ignore valid criticisms of your position.

Originally posted by Ricky
Man, we're not going to arrive anywhere with this type of discussion.
By "this type of discussion," I'm assuming that you mean you continuing to ignore the facts presented, and just repeating over and over "just take my test, please!"

If you want to test whether or not good cables make a difference, test good cables vs. cheap cables in a controlled environment using good equipment. You can't "prove" your argument using a flawed experiment.

So, please, TRY my test at,
If you had used a cross-platform codec, people who aren't using Windows could at least try it.

What fact? Where's that fact? Where's any serious study claiming that humans are able to hear things that science cannot measure?
*sigh* I'm not going to do your research for you. I even posted a link last week, directed to you, quoting a prominent physics professor; you must have ignored my post.

Part of the difficulty is that there are still unexplained acoustic phenomena. William Morris Hartmann, a professor of physics at Michigan State University in East Lansing, works on psycho-acoustic projects, which investigate the way sound is perceived, rather than the way it is produced.

There are examples, he said, of sounds that measure beyond the range of human hearing, and yet some people seem to perceive them.
Are you going to just dismiss him, as well, since he disagrees with you?

It's easy to disprove, there's no need to do a serious study, because the differences DO dissapear from sighted to blind.
WRONG. Some perceived differences disappear when going to a blind test. That is not the same thing as all differences being eliminated and/or controlled for.

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.
I outlined them quite clearly, several times. Were you in "ignore" mode then? Sorry, but it's utterly frustrating to keep going over the same argument when you don't even bother to read about the things which you're criticizing.

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.
OMG? Are you serious? So if an experiment simply proves you wrong, rather than admitting you might be wrong, you suddenly pronounce from on high that the test must be flawed? Give me a break, Ricky. This is actually becoming quite funny.

Couldn't it have been, just maybe, that there WERE differences in the cables? Naaah...

Still, your test lacks effective level matching and additional measurements, things that could spoil your test.
How does it lack effective level matching? You're making it clearer and clearer with every post that you don't even read what is being presented to you. If you had read my description carefully, you'd see that there was no need for level matching, because by design the levels were perfectly matched. And even then I controlled for that by swapping the outputs and re-doing the test.

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.
The point of these "experiments" is to find out if "better" cables sound different from "cheap" cables. My experiment actually tested that. Yours tested differences between various cheap cables. Therefore, our experiments were not the same.

In addition, my experiment did not use switchboxes, cheap cables, and a poorer quality system. My experiment was also double-blind, eliminating experimenter bias; your's apparently did not, according to your description.

It's much more likely for bias the reason of hearing differences that don't exist, that don't hearing differences that exist. [snip] Yes, I'm skeptic and that could have influenced me. But then, there's no need for a blind test. [snip] 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.
From those statements, it's obviously that you have no experience or training in psychology, experimental methods, or sensory perception.

Precisely because you're a skeptic is why you have to do not just a blind test, but a double-blind one, in order to get any sort of validity out of your conclusions (not to mention using equipment that actually has the resolution to reveal difference that might exist). Even then, someone with your skepticism is not likely to hear a difference, even if (in your all-important condition) the differences are measurable. That's why you need a sample size of more than one.

Since you don't seem to understand experimental methods, or results, here are the possible outcomes of a single run of such a double-blind test using a single test subject, along with the possible conclusions you can draw from them, assuming you have controlled for other factors.

1) The person consistently does not hear a difference. There are three possible explanations: a) there is no audible difference; b) there is an audible difference, but the subject does not have good enough hearing to hear it; c) there is an audible difference, but the subject's own biases prevent them from hearing it.

2) The person can sometimes or always hear a difference, but cannot consistenly identify it. a) there is no audible difference, but the subject sometimes or always thinks there is, for whatever reason; b) there is an audible difference, but the subject's hearing is not good enough to consistently identify it. There is also "c) there is an audible difference, but the subject's biases prevent them from hearing it consistently;" however, such an explanation is less likely than the other two since such a bias would generally either prevent the subject from hearing differences at all, or prevent the subject from admitting to hearing such differences. This is a difficult outcome to explain with certainty because of these possibilities.

3) The person can consistently hear and identifya difference. There is only one possible explanation for this result: differences exist, and the person has good enough hearing to not only hear them, but identify them. "Bias" cannot account for such results, since "expecting" to hear a difference would still not allow you to consistently identify which cable was which. The only way this result could be achieved if a difference could not exist is if the subject was the luckiest person in the world and guessed the correct cable every time -- the more trials you run, the lower the chances of this already unlikely scenario occuring.

Because of these factors, a sample size of a single individual is MUCH more valid if the results are #3 than if they are #1 or #2. Even so, the bigger the sample size, the more confidence you can have in your results.

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.
Um, see above. You're again making claims that are not supportable.

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.
You did say it proved something. You've said many times that your own "experiments" showed you that there is no difference between cables.

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.
The point of your argument is that cables do not make a difference. You use as support for your argument your own "experiments." Therefore, the equipment you use in such "experiments" is relevant to your argument.

I could say, try my test, and then come back and talk to me.
Again, your "test" does not effectively measure the difference between a cheap cable and a good cable in a high-quality system. It simply doesn't measure that. Comparing a cheap cable to a good cable in a high-quality system does.

If two cables objectively sound different, there must be easy to measure differences between the cables at audio levels and frequencies.

Again, you keep repeating that statement as if it's a fact, when it is anything but. Have you ever actually read up on this subject, other than the literature of the anti-cable brigade? Do you even know any audiologists? First, read what I posted above (the quote from the physicist). Second, do some searches in the literature on human auditory perception. Third, go find an audiologist and ask them to teach you about human hearing.

I was at a get-together this past weekend where I was talking to a friend who is actually an audiologist. You know... someone who is trained in the human hearing system and regularly does research in the field. This person works at the best audiology department in the western United States, and knows the people at Etymotic personally. This person is well-read on the topic of auditory perception. I asked this person point-blank, without any prompting: Can we measure everything the human ear can hear? The answer was quite clear: there are lots of things that human beings can hear that we cannot measure with existing technology, and there are lots of things about the human ear and hearing system that we, as a species, do not understand.

I don't know how much clearer I can be, Ricky. I appears that you simply don't understand this topic.

All degrading effects use to be additive.
I'm assuming you meant to say that "all degrading effects will be additive," since that is one of the bases of your "test;" the problem is that it is not true. If a cable's defect is that it strips out or distorts certain parts of the spectrum, there will be no additive effect.
post #102 of 211
Originally posted by MacDEF
I outlined them quite clearly, several times. Were you in "ignore" mode then? Sorry, but it's utterly frustrating to keep going over the same argument when you don't even bother to read about the things which you're criticizing.

Hello MacDEF,

Perhaps my "ignore" mode is permanently on... If so, I'm sorry but anyway:

I too asked about the number of trials and scores vs. errors. To me you replied:

[QUOTE]Originally posted by MacDEF
- Trials: I didn't set it up with a set # of trials, but I have done this experiment *many* times for myself, for friends, skeptics, etc., and the results are quite repeatable.

I am confused. Are the numbers to be found somewhere else or do they exist at all?


post #103 of 211
Originally posted by Leporello
If Ricky´s (supposedly) simple and passive switchbox is truly detrimental to sound - so as to mask the differences between wires (I confess I have a hard time believing this) - how can we ever evaluate anything? Just think of the amount of different components (passive and active) in CDPs, amplifiers etc.
The problem is that every time you add something to the signal path, you're affecting the signal -- a Max amp is no exception. Limiting the number of things in the path is one way to improve things; another is improving the quality of the things you do put there.

Unfortunately, given Ricky's views towards spending more than the bare minimum on wires/components/etc., I have little faith that his switchbox is anything more than a cheap switch using $3 in Radio Shack parts Of course, if he'd care to correct me by letting us know more about it, that would be appreciated.

You made your DBTs with your Max. Would the parts used in your amplifier be of sufficient quality to make a simple switchbox?
Using the Max served a couple purposes: 1) I was able to remove a couple objects from the signal path, since the amp/switch/etc. were all contained in a single component; 2) given the extremely high quality of parts in the Max, I was able to ensure a better signal path than by using a cheap amp and/or switch box.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Leporello
I too asked about the number of trials and scores vs. errors. To me you replied:
[QUOTE]Trials: I didn't set it up with a set # of trials, but I have done this experiment *many* times for myself, for friends, skeptics, etc., and the results are quite repeatable.

I am confused. Are the numbers to be found somewhere else or do they exist at all?
Again, I never intended my experiment to be published I set up the experiment as methdologically sound as I could -- which was pretty darned good all things considered -- and did a bunch of runs using myself as the test subject, then using other people. I've since repeated the experiment several times with other people. Every time the results have been quite clear and quite repeatable. So, no, I don't have a journal article with the # of trials listed but I've done it enough time with enough different subjects that I'm quite confident in the results.
post #104 of 211
Well, I still remain a sceptic, but your points were interesting, MacDEF. Using components of highest possible quality will certainly do no harm.

Thanks for replying.


post #105 of 211
I'm sorry but I've looked at Ricky's is very biased and will state why.

First of all, you acknowledge that your soundcard + cable setup results in high frequency roll-off (i.e. inaccurate playback of high frequencies). You apply a compensation EQ for this in each and every loop. And you normalize the result which can minimize the aspects of signal loss.

IMO your test of soundcard + cable degradation is about as useful as a test of trying to prove there is little perceptable sonic degradation caused by room interaction using a TaCT room interaction equalizer to compensate.

Your test is inaccurately titled as "how good are affordable soundcards and cheap cables?" it should be called "how good are affordable soundcards and cheap cable + digital mastering to compensate for the affordable soundcard and cheap cable".

If you were to apply that SAME equalization and normalization routine to the original file WITHOUT the soundcard and cables through the loop and did this 2-4 times, you would end up with ridiculously boosted high range. In otherwords you are intentionally masking the degradation qualities of what you were testing for.

From the viewpoint of anyone who has taken any science courses and learned how to run any experiments...I find it quite boggling myself.

After listening to all 5 files...I can conclude the following. Your ability to digitally remaster audio files to compensate for degradation of the EXACT variables you are trying to test for, outweighs your ability to set up conclusive tests.

I am glad you included technical details which shows how your testing methodology entirely fails to test your hypothesis as stated. I think you should do more than hide it in a little link...but make it flashing red and call it "why my test is invalid and biased".

If my explanation of why your digital remastering of the test data does not shine a light on why your test process is invalid, than I suggest you take some basic science courses again. You are incorrectly assuming that the original file is the "control" set. The true control set would be the original file with all N equalized and normalized settings applied to them...and how THIS set compares with the equalized set with the soundcard and cables in the path. Even better, don't apply any digital compensation at ALL...but of course this is only if you actually wanted to test a real hypothesis instead of trying to confuse people with poor test methodology.

So a breakdown on having correct control sets. IF you did not apply any compensations, your test would actually have some value with the current test set. Seeing that you however did apply compensation, in order to compare diffence you would need to add the original audio file with soundcard EQ and normalizations applied to those as well REGARDLESS that the recording was not looped through the soundcard (a possible result being that the 4 looped EQ'd soundcard + cheap cable sample may perceptively differ from the 4 looped EQ'd original recording...GEE YA THINK?). If you do not understand what I am saying than I do not think you really understand the basics of scientific testing.

I am being harsh...this is only because there is only one thing more annoying than detractors of science. Proponents of science that do not know science.
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