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about power cords - Page 2  

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch


Exposure to stimuli in a variety of situations produces learning, in particular perceptual discriminatory learning, which both alters expectations and increases the ability of the listener to detect subtle sonic changes. People aren't born with "golden ears", they are the result of a long period of training in perceptual discrimination. This phenomenon is real and has been extensively studied. It's not a result of conscious attempts to learn...it simply comes from exposure to a wide variety of audio stimuli, and trying to attend and quantify differences between components...such as you would experience in testing different components in your home before buying, or going to something like the Headroom shows, where a variety of different sonic stimuli are available in the same location. This is another reason why a good reviewer listens to equipment over time...the particular aspects of the audio stimulus of a particular piece of equipment may not be something that he is particularly sensitive to, despite years of experience. However, comparative listening with the component in question over time in different systems may produce the discriminatory learning necessary to hear critical aspects of the sound that component.

I'm not surprised that you don't hear cable differences. If you haven't had the necessary exposure, you simply aren't sensitive to them. The greater the variety of audio equipment you listen to, with high resolution, the greater the chances that you will learn to perceive the differences you are arguing against. Until you have undergone the requisite perceptual learning, you really are stuck with a "tin ear". This is not IMO. This is scientific fact.
Quite interesting, Hirsch. To be able to detect subtle differences may indeed require considerable amount of learning and time. Makes sense to me. If I asked my mother to compare the sound of my HD600s and my previous phones (HD530s, btw) she probably would say that they sound alike and honestly mean it.

So, while it certainly is possible that this kind of learning could happen in comparing wires, is there any reliable evidence that this actually has happened? Anything else than anecdotal evidence from sighted tests?

I have not seen any.


Regards,

L.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Leporello


Quite interesting, Hirsch. To be able to detect subtle differences may indeed require considerable amount of learning and time. Makes sense to me. If I asked my mother to compare the sound of my HD600s and my previous phones (HD530s, btw) she probably would say that they sound alike and honestly mean it.

So, while it certainly is possible that this kind of learning could happen in comparing wires, is there any reliable evidence that this actually has happened? Anything else than anecdotal evidence from sighted tests?

I have not seen any.
Nor are you likely to. A learning experiment such as this requires repeated exposures over periods of time. Recruiting subjects, scheduling sessions, running controlled exposures etc. takes both time and money. I'm not aware of anyone (regardless of their position on cables) who has made this kind of effort needed to do a carefully controlled experiment that is in fact sensitive to the differences being tested for. The "experiments" that have been conducted on cable differences are for the most part a joke to anyone with a background in experimental design. The phenomena of perceptual learning are well-documented, and certainly apply to differences between any audio stimuli.

With regard to cables, I have proven to myself that I am able to perceive differences between cables and that's the only real proof I'm interested in. Since I represent an N of 1, I can't generalize from myself to anyone else. I have no real need to spend time and money proving what I hear to someone else.

Sooner or later somebody will figure out how to measure what we're hearing, and then the Ricky's and their ilk will either find a way to dispute the measurement, or move on to something else, or maybe just keep arguing. Hey, there are still people who will argue that the Earth is really flat. While I'm waiting for measurement to catch up with perception, I'm simply going to enjoy the music.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch


With regard to cables, I have proven to myself that I am able to perceive differences between cables and that's the only real proof I'm interested in. Since I represent an N of 1, I can't generalize from myself to anyone else. I have no real need to spend time and money proving what I hear to someone else.

No point in arguing here. Anyway, to me the whole debate has been interesting and - well, entertaining, much more than the usual 'veiled' vs. 'no-bass' type of threads.


Regards,

L.
post #19 of 45
Hope this can be of interest to you. Revel use blind testing in their speaker development. This is complicated if you want meaningful results. You can't just stack up a number of speakers in a row. It is even wrong to put them in the same position, one at a time. To do justice to a speaker it must be positioned in the room according to its design an acoustic properties.
So they developed a computerised system with some kind of robot that puts speakers at their individual place and removes them. Of course, very expensive.
The other point is that they have an educational program for participants in the listening panels, to learn to differentiate and describe sound. Probably the whole thing would be meaningless if they just pick people from the streets.
post #20 of 45
markl,

After reading the Virtual Dynamic thread and talking with the main guy (I forgot his name) of Virtual Dynamic on the telephone for 45 minutes, I ordered two cryo Power 3 cables (the new flexible ones) and IC's. I spent $400. I hope it's worth it. They DO have a 14 day return policy. I expect to hear a "real and significant" improvement to my ears or I will return the cables.

Michael
post #21 of 45
Hi Michael,
Besides the Corda, what are you going to put the other Power 3 on? Did you get the cryo versions?

And what's this about "new flexible Power 3's"? Have they changed them? That can only be a good thing as the version I had was a bit unwieldy, to put it gently.

What ICs did you get, and where are those going? Please feel free to add your comments (good/bad/indifferent) in the VD thread and maybe answer this post there. Cheers.

markl

P.S. Ricky can't be in our club. Neener neener.
post #22 of 45

GIVE ME A LINK!

Does Virtual Dynamics have a website? Please help me spend more of my hard earned money on a power cable upgrade that will surely be better sonically than my stock cable. Thanks!
post #23 of 45
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
Hi Michael,
Besides the Corda, what are you going to put the other Power 3 on? Did you get the cryo versions?

And what's this about "new flexible Power 3's"? Have they changed them? That can only be a good thing as the version I had was a bit unwieldy, to put it gently.

What ICs did you get, and where are those going? Please feel free to add your comments (good/bad/indifferent) in the VD thread and maybe answer this post there. Cheers.

markl

P.S. Ricky can't be in our club. Neener neener.
I have a SCD-CE775 cdp (the cheap $180 models with SACD) that I may mod by replacing the attached power with a connector that accepts the Power 3 cord.

Yes. I got the cryo Power 3's and their new "flexible" Power 3 cable ($100 each).

I bought a demo Audition cryo IC for $200.

I basically bought these power cords on markl's and others rave reviews. Right now I can't believe I spent $400 on power cords and $525 for a Corda and Senn 600 to use with my CE775. I'm thinking now that this was an insane purchase. The proof will be when I hear the sound. Again, if there isn't a "dramatic" sound improvement, the cables will be return. If I'm totally awed by the Power 3 on the amp and the IC's, I'll mod the cdp. Hey, I'll try anything as long as I can return the products if not satisfied. It's worth the shipping cost to me to give the cables a try, especially when the cords are half price until the end of June.


Michael
post #25 of 45

Re: about power cords

Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky


In my opinion, audiophile power cords are even more absurd that cables, mainly for two reasons:

- The power cable has gone through tenths of meters of plain electrical wire, before the power cord, so the only effect it could have is to filter some interferences in the power line. For that, it would need some kind of inductive element on it, I guess some of them have ferrite cores that could work in that way. A shielded power cable is absurd, because has gone unshielded for tenths of meters before the power cord.

- Even if the power cord has inductive elements to filter high frequency interference, any non crappy power supply at the end of the power cord will filter all interferences, in a much more effective manner that a few inductive elements at the power cord.

Again, it's just placebo effect, and in this case, it can't be another thing but placebo effect. Power cords have no real effect at all.

Placebo effect is what you are experience right now.
You don't believe in cables? That means you have never heard the right equipment, or your ears are not capable of distinguishing the difference. That's ok. Some people are color blind, some have less than acute hearing.

But I agree about power cables. They are for suckers. That's my placebo. If you can run specialty cable from the outside transformer to your equipment, yeah. But nobody can do that. So they are suckered. I could be wrong.

I was pure engineer until I heard the differences in a high end shop. It opened my ears, my eyes, and my wallet.

I am poorer for all of it. But love it.

But if the ac power cord people want to spend their money, why not? It's their hobby! Perhaps there IS a difference. My placebo is thinking they are full of it. Mainly because I can't afford it, and it's not practical for my home.

From most of what I have learned, those who believe in the placebo effect, well, if they were born a few hundred years ago, they would have believed the world was flat.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky


The fact that you trust them has nothing to do with the fact that they may not be trustable, sorry. Is just that you like to think they are trustable, but it has nothing to do with if they are really trustable or not.

Seems that you all like to rely exclusively on your ear/brain combination. That's not very scientific. But then comes again the "no science, please, we're audiophiles" thing.

Placebo effect is not controllable, nobody can get rid of it just by thinking he can control it, nobody can say he's not prone to it. Placebo effect appears unconscioulsy too.

So, I keep shouting: placebo, placebo, and nothing more than placebo!!
Dear Ricky. I don't care if this is you trolling. I think it's a fun thread.

Engineers and their accurate sound, and audiophiles and their artsy sound.

Photographers and their precise images, calling painted art placebo effect because it does not accurately represent things we see exactly. Ansel Adams or Pablo Picasso? I can see Adams calling Picasso's images "placebo effects".

In audio, the weak earred have the weak brains.
post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by fredpb

Dear Ricky. I don't care if this is you trolling. I think it's a fun thread.


I thought some people were interested in my opinion, I started this thread mainly for that.

Quote:

Engineers and their accurate sound, and audiophiles and their artsy sound.


What I say is "Music is art, audio is engineering", as what a known poster at other forums has as signature. And I could repeat once more, applied yo you: "no science, please, we're audiophiles", and should add: "we audiophiles know more than science, science is for losers."

Well, science has taken the man to the moon, has made Internet possible, has made possible for you to live in a comfortable world. Science has nothing to do with people ranting about mysterious undiscovered phenomena as unique solution for what they hear. It's more simple than that. The phenomena is at the listener brain, not at the cables, this is very easy to verify, and has been done many times.

Our brain is by far more complex than audio signals, cables or power cords, and I think nobody can say that is not true.

Quote:

Photographers and their precise images, calling painted art placebo effect because it does not accurately represent things we see exactly. Ansel Adams or Pablo Picasso? I can see Adams calling Picasso's images "placebo effects".


Sorry, that has little to do with placebo effect meaning, you shoud read a dictionary. Placebo effect is expectation effect, is our brain playing tricks on us and making feel or hear differences that are not physical. We're humans, not machines, we are prone to errors, and many times can't separate what we perceive from what we think, feel or know.

You seem like those people believing in ovnis, spoon bending, astrology, precognition, refusing to accept any other possible ideas that refute yours, just because you believe in them and that's the only thing that counts for you, and struggling to keep your mind closed to anything else.

Quote:

In audio, the weak earred have the weak brains.
Can't see any logic in that sentence.
I'd say, instead: sometimes the supposed strong earred, instead of strong earred, are weak minded.
post #28 of 45
Ricky, please, engage your ears before engaging your mouth.

NGF
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

Sorry, that has little to do with placebo effect meaning, you shoud read a dictionary. Placebo effect is expectation effect, is our brain playing tricks on us and making feel or hear differences that are not physical. We're humans, not machines, we are prone to errors, and many times can't separate what we perceive from what we think, feel or know.
You need to separate expectation or "placebo" effects from other effects of the brain on perception.

Some effects are immutable. These are hard-wired heuristics that our brain applies to perceptual stimuli, so that the end perception in some way differs from physical reality. This cannot be controlled.

Expectation effects are a different beast. I'm not going to try and teach a perceptual psychology course online, but expectation effects can be controlled for, identified, and eliminated by an individual. Want to get rid of a placebo effect in a drug trial? Simply tell the person that it's a placebo, and watch the effect go away. Now try it with cables. When the effect doesn't go away, something else is going on. Incidentally, please don't use the word "placebo" unless you have a very clear understanding of its scientific meaning.

Many of us started as cable skeptics. However, when faced with the evidence provided by our hearing, have determined to our own satisfaction that we are in fact hearing real differences. The pattern of diffences that I hear has very little to do with anything I can tie to expectation. My own preferences don't necessarily tend to the most expensive, or a particular material, or anything systematic that I've identified.

What I DO look for is are differences that are stable over periods of time. I do a lot of sighted A/B listening if I'm trying to quantitate a difference. I need to go back and forth, hearing each component, then the other, then back again...until I've identified what I'm hearing. Once I can define a difference in qualitative terms, I can then determine if my findings hold up over time. Expectations change. The physical properties of a stimulus are much more stable.

Note that there are several process that may influence perception that haven't been touched on yet. A big one is attention. Simply because a stimulus is not reported as perceived, does it mean that it's not perceived? Try standing in a crowded room and have a conversation. You'll have little trouble hearing the words of a person near you...but can you repeat the conversation of another couple twenty feet away? This is a physical and measurable stimulus that certainly could be perceived if you tried to...but if you weren't attending, it's just background noise that you won't even remember as having happened.

Now look at a normal comparative listening test. Try an A/B, and report the aspects of the sound that you heard differently. Were you paying attention to the strings, or the vocalist? Highs or lows? Imaging, detail? Or were you focussing on one aspect at a time? If you're going through that kind of checklist, how many repetitions do you have to go through before you have a good sense of those dimensions of the sound that you're interested in...and then how do you know that you've adequately determined all the dimensions of the sound that are part of our perceptions? If the key stimulus dimensions that are altered aren't on your mental checklist, you're going to report "no difference" even if a fully measurable difference in stimuli is present. Note that this ability to focus attention is one part of the perceptual learning process I alluded to in an earlier post.
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch

Expectation effects are a different beast. I'm not going to try and teach a perceptual psychology course online, but expectation effects can be controlled for, identified, and eliminated by an individual. Want to get rid of a placebo effect in a drug trial? Simply tell the person that it's a placebo, and watch the effect go away. Now try it with cables. When the effect doesn't go away, something else is going on.
Not so easy. You say that the way to remove placebo effect is to tell the person it's a placebo, but, it's not just to tell the person it's placebo, the person has to *know* it's a placebo. That leads to an oximoron in your case. If you really *knew* cables are placebo, we wouldn't be talking here, but you think they are not placebo, so this dissapearing effect should'n work on you. The only reliable and valid method to remove expectation effects is to use a double blind test, as is done regularly wen testing drugs effectiveness.

Quote:

Many of us started as cable skeptics. However, when faced with the evidence provided by our hearing, have determined to our own satisfaction that we are in fact hearing real differences. The pattern of diffences that I hear has very little to do with anything I can tie to expectation. My own preferences don't necessarily tend to the most expensive, or a particular material, or anything systematic that I've identified.
How do you know you're not influenced by expectations? If you did, you would be some sort of super-man. If it could be done, people could be trained to avoid expectation effects, and double blind tests eliminated. Expectation effects can happen and many times happen at unconscious levels. Also, that's why tests are double blind, to eliminate any possible expectation effect from the person setting up the test and analyzing the patient's reactions, it's not enough for him to think he's not prone to expectation, this person expectations have to be truly removed, or at least randomized. The expectation effect from patients can't be removed, has to be effectively taken into acount and removed after the analisys of the results.

Quote:

What I DO look for is are differences that are stable over periods of time. I do a lot of sighted A/B listening if I'm trying to quantitate a difference. I need to go back and forth, hearing each component, then the other, then back again...until I've identified what I'm hearing. Once I can define a difference in qualitative terms, I can then determine if my findings hold up over time. Expectations change. The physical properties of a stimulus are much more stable.


Well, in my case, perceptions on the same stimulus can vary from one day to another, depending on many external factors. As to stability of perceived differences, I think it has been proved that auditory memory is quite short, and not very reliable under long periods of time. Still, you can't say that you are not prone to expectaton effects to have an effect on you, even over long periods of time.

Quote:

Note that there are several process that may influence perception that haven't been touched on yet. A big one is attention. Simply because a stimulus is not reported as perceived, does it mean that it's not perceived?
...


Well, if it's perceived in any way, it's perceived, if not, it's not. If not reported or even not perceived, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist or is not measurable, of course.

Quote:

...
perceptions? If the key stimulus dimensions that are altered aren't on your mental checklist, you're going to report "no difference" even if a fully measurable difference in stimuli is present. Note that this ability to focus attention is one part of the perceptual learning process I alluded to in an earlier post.
Yes, this doesn't contradict anything I have said. Of course, reporting no differences doesn't mean that there are no differences, this is obvious. But being able to report differences even under blind controlled conditions is indeed proof of real differences perceived, that's why blind tests are required by the scientific community to prove that perceived differences are real and not just due to external uncontrolled factors such as expectation effects.

And about mysterious properties of cables, for every unknown property of sound and cables you could talk of, I could say the same about the brain having an effect on perception, and it would be much more likely to be the way I say. Cables are just pieces of metal and plastic, the brain is the most complex machine known, and not enough understood in most of the ways, by far (VERY big far).
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