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Blind Cable Taste Test RESULTS! - Page 9

post #121 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
So I'm guessing a big Vat power cable on your computer magically makes 128kbps mp3's sound great as well, eh?
Yes, 128 kbps has sharp transients which can't be heard with muddy cables.

There are people who only care about specs. If there isn't a measured difference between cables, they become a skeptic and use stock cable. But they still use WAV which is more placebo than cable. There's a measured difference but that doesn't mean they can hear it. It's subtle at best.
post #122 of 578
First of all Thanks to Ed for doing this fun exercise!

I do understand the comments about the test being "a guess which cable cable is which brand", rather than "which sounds the best and which sounds the worst?", but I think we can draw some conclusions.

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but when you ask someone to guess which cable is a Radio Shack cable on this forum, it pretty much is the same as asking them which cable sounds the worst?

As Bigshot said, I haven't seen too many recommendations for Radio Shack cables from people who believe cables sound different. I wish a Monster Cable had been thrown into the mix, because a lot of people on this site claim that Monster Cables are overpriced and sound worse than other cables. While I hate Monster as much as the next guy, I feel their cables don't sound any worse than any other cable.
post #123 of 578
I fall into the naysayer camp myself, but the more I think about it, I must concede that as interesting as this test is, the methodology and small sample base make the results inconclusive and unfortunately, pretty much useless as a serious study. No offence intended to Edwood, as I know you and the members who did the testing worked hard on this, and I know it was done for fun.

While the fact that 6 members thought the Radio Shack cable was Canare seems initially important, 5 did guess the Radio Shack correctly, and with a sample base of only 14, this specific result means very little.....especially without equipment criteria being part of the results. A "believer's" argument I also agree with, is that any noticeable differences between the sound of cables ( if there are any), won't be noticeable on low end systems. The "weakest link" rule, makes that seem logical to me.

In hindsight, it's too bad that people weren't simply asked "Which cable sound's best...and why?" .... matched with a list of equipment they used to test with. I too wish I'd given this some thought and made some suggestions when the project first began.
post #124 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbriant
I fall into the naysayer camp myself, but the more I think about it, I must concede that as interesting as this test is, the methodology and small sample base make the results inconclusive and unfortunately, pretty much useless as a serious study. No offence intended to Edwood, as I know you and the members who did the testing worked hard on this, and I know it was done for fun.

While the fact that 6 members thought the Radio Shack cable was Canare seems initially important, 5 did guess the Radio Shack correctly, and with a sample base of only 14, this specific result means very little.....especially without equipment criteria being part of the results. A "believer's" argument I also agree with, is that any noticeable differences between the sound of cables ( if there are any), won't be noticeable on low end systems. The "weakest link" rule, makes that seem logical to me.

In hindsight, it's too bad that people weren't simply asked "Which cable sound's best...and why?" .... matched with a list of equipment they used to test with. I too wish I'd given this some thought and made some suggestions when the project first began.
I hate to say this but I TOTALY disagree with this post and here is why.

The test is NOT irrelevant based on the sample size. IF you were going to attempt to draw the concolusion that 6 out of 14 people (42%) of people can't tell the difference between the two cables you'd be basing that judgement on a sample size too small.

However, you can clearly draw a conclusion that the difference between the cables may not be as much as it is made up to be. Remember, we are supposedly talking the difference between a Ferarri and a Yugo folks!!@!@ To trump this, the test was done by audiophiles. Which means if you took 14 Nascar drivers and put them in a Corvette and then had them drive a Dodge Neon (no offense to Neon owners!) and 6 of them couldn't tell the difference, you can't tell me that doesn't say something.

So here you have 6 guys who can't tell the difference between a $5 cable and a $100 cable. Forget about the fact they didn't rate which one they thought sounded best, CLEARLY they knew there was an elite cable, a mediocre cable, and a crappy cable to choose from so in there minds they were saying "Hey, this one is best it must be X, and this one sucks it must be Y, etc".

I'm glad I don't dump my life savings into cables and just stick with "decent" stuff from bluejeanscables.com and Belkin's PureAV stuff. Pretty damn sure this stuff is plenty good enough.

Jon
post #125 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDobs
So here you have 6 guys who can't tell the difference between a $5 cable and a $100 cable.
Unless you know of 6 people from the test that stated exactly that, I dont know how you draw that conclusion. Just because what they heard did not match their expectation with their setup does not mean there is no difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDobs
I'm glad I don't dump my life savings into cables and just stick with "decent" stuff from bluejeanscables.com and Belkin's PureAV stuff. Pretty damn sure this stuff is plenty good enough.

Jon
That's funny. You clearly believe cable makes little or no difference yet "just in case" spend 5X the price of RShack for cables.
post #126 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoster
That's funny. You clearly believe cable makes little or no difference yet "just in case" spend 5X the price of RShack for cables.
That may very well have to do with things like reliability and looks, if the difference in $ is small.
post #127 of 578
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hirsch
Hi Ed,

I was not criticizing what you did, but rather those who started spouting statistics and trying to read more into it than was there. Incidentally, I apologize for not involving myself when this was being set up. You've got a good methodology that I think could be adapted to get at some serious questions.
I'm sure the test could've been alot more comprehensive and scientific, but the goal was to keep it as short and simple as possible, while keeping an emphasis on the fun aspect. And the whole "mystery" element to keep up an air of suspense with a pay off at the end of the test. Also, this test walks a fine line on the no DBT rule. I purposely designed it to keep it away from DBT. Technically, the test is a Single Blind Test, as the Tester and Test subject are one in the same person.

As it stands, I could've organized the test a lot better, but between everyone's hectic schedule and mine, the test took twice as long as I had first estimated. I'm sure we could come up with a far more If there is a another test in the future, there will have to be a better distribution model, and someone more on the ball wrangling the shipping and audition schedule better than I.


Quote:
And I still like the Fusions
Did you get in on the fire sale that Rat Shack had awhile ago?

-Ed
post #128 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoster
Unless you know of 6 people from the test that stated exactly that, I dont know how you draw that conclusion. Just because what they heard did not match their expectation with their setup does not mean there is no difference.



That's funny. You clearly believe cable makes little or no difference yet "just in case" spend 5X the price of RShack for cables.

No no... Don't get me wrong. I didn't say there wasn't a difference at all. I simply stated that the differences are not all that they are typically hyped up to be. I mean, if they were, you would think audiophiles could tell the difference EASILY between a cable that costs $100+ and one that costs $3.99. Who here could possibly deny this??!?!?

That's not to say that you still aren't getting a better product in the $100 item because I'm sure you are. It makes me think that the difference between the $20 cable and the $100 cable are probably REALLY small and maybe non-existant. The fact these guys couldn't tell the difference in almost 50% of the cases between the two cables is actually quite shocking.

Everybody's ego here aside......... What does this tell us? You can't say the experiment isn't valid because again.. the FACT of the matter is that 6 out of 14 guys guessed completely wrong!!
post #129 of 578
Thread Starter 
If I had a lot of money to throw away, a version of this test I considered was to take a few well known audiophile cables, and put their guts into identical cable coverings. But some cables (like Cardas) have such a large dialectic that it would not be feasible to cram it into another cable. Removing the guts from the outer dialectic would cause argument from those that believe the dialectic contributes significantly to the SQ.

Also, in going with more generic types of cables, I wanted to avoid Brand loyalty/fanboy arguments that would inevitably erupt. (a la Amp forum).

So from a personal standpoint, I have heard so many people comment that they could tell the difference between silver and copper, and that they preferred one over the other, etc. So in a very narrow definition, this was a test objective, and one that has often been debated amongst DIY cable makers.

-Ed
post #130 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Grey
That may very well have to do with things like reliability and looks, if the difference in $ is small.
Yes, this was the other point I forgot to make in my post above. In a $4 cable you feel like you're buying something a rat will eat through or will get crimped wrong and screw up your system. In the $25.00 cable, you feel you are getting something that is built to last and offers any POTENTIAL pluses in the sound category.

Let me make my point. Here is a link sponsored by Head-Fi.org that sells a 2-foot RCA cable at a "BLOWOUT" price of $80.00/foot or $640.00 for an 8-foot cable!!!!!!!!!
http://www.thecablepro.com/cableDetail.php?cID=10&tc=1

Here now is a link to a company who produces cables for a living and has developed what it considers to be a top quality cable. The 8-foot version of this cable retails for $49.99 but it's readily available with free delivery for $29.99 at newegg.com
http://catalog.belkin.com/PureAV_det...duct_Id=178506

Now... You may want to argue how much better the $640.00 cable is over this $30.00 jobbie... but the fact is that the extra $610.00 left over is DEFINATELY better spent in the area of speakers #1 and amplification or DAC 2nd...

Jon
post #131 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
If I had a lot of money to throw away, a version of this test I considered was to take a few well known audiophile cables, and put their guts into identical cable coverings. But some cables (like Cardas) have such a large dialectic that it would not be feasible to cram it into another cable. Removing the guts from the outer dialectic would cause argument from those that believe the dialectic contributes significantly to the SQ.

Also, in going with more generic types of cables, I wanted to avoid Brand loyalty/fanboy arguments that would inevitably erupt. (a la Amp forum).

So from a personal standpoint, I have heard so many people comment that they could tell the difference between silver and copper, and that they preferred one over the other, etc. So in a very narrow definition, this was a test objective, and one that has often been debated amongst DIY cable makers.

-Ed
Let's run the test again! I'll help coordinate....

Jon
post #132 of 578
I am not going to read all seven pages of this thread, but I just noticed something.

The test was run under the assumption that everybody knew what the cables were going to sound like. It wasn't "order the three shapes from best to worst", it was "tell me what the trinagle was, the square was, and the circle was".

This poses a few problems. But before that, let me mention that, for those listening to these cables on a sh*tty system with 128kbs WMA files and a generic sound card that came out of a Dell computer from 1996, the Radio Shack cables may have sounded the best due to the fact that they revealed the least amount of flaws in the sound file! Then again, people with these systems probably are unreliable to begin with since they don't have as trained ears.

But more about the actual setup of the experiment: When running this kind of experiment, you cannot assume that everybody is going to think the Radio Shack will end up sounding the worst. Some people here may be inexperienced, and may have thought, say, that the silver cable was not as good as a Radio Shack one because it didn't have a brand name on it. Then he will assign the silver cable to sounding the worst, and the radio shack to sounding the best or second best.

But then again, these kinds of people also are inexperienced.

Experience shouldn't even be a problem in this kind of test, as "experience" colors opinions and interpretations. Yes, it's difficult to avoid, but truly, there were just as many flaws in this kind of experiment as in any kind of test aiming to provide the same results. Sadly, I don't believe this proves much of anything in the long run. Yes, it does show some interseting results, but I don't think those are the results that everybody wanted to come out of this.
post #133 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman
I am not going to read all seven pages of this thread, but I just noticed something.

The test was run under the assumption that everybody knew what the cables were going to sound like. It wasn't "order the three shapes from best to worst", it was "tell me what the trinagle was, the square was, and the circle was".

This poses a few problems. But before that, let me mention that, for those listening to these cables on a sh*tty system with 128kbs WMA files and a generic sound card that came out of a Dell computer from 1996, the Radio Shack cables may have sounded the best due to the fact that they revealed the least amount of flaws in the sound file! Then again, people with these systems probably are unreliable to begin with since they don't have as trained ears.

But more about the actual setup of the experiment: When running this kind of experiment, you cannot assume that everybody is going to think the Radio Shack will end up sounding the worst. Some people here may be inexperienced, and may have thought, say, that the silver cable was not as good as a Radio Shack one because it didn't have a brand name on it. Then he will assign the silver cable to sounding the worst, and the radio shack to sounding the best or second best.

But then again, these kinds of people also are inexperienced.

Experience shouldn't even be a problem in this kind of test, as "experience" colors opinions and interpretations. Yes, it's difficult to avoid, but truly, there were just as many flaws in this kind of experiment as in any kind of test aiming to provide the same results. Sadly, I don't believe this proves much of anything in the long run. Yes, it does show some interseting results, but I don't think those are the results that everybody wanted to come out of this.
The question is... Are people reacting to the results because it runs counter to their beliefs or do they not like the results because the test was truly at fault. From what I can tell, you can critize the test all you want but the plain and simple fact is that EXPERIENCED audiophiles could NOT tell the difference reliably between a rat shack cable and a better cable. Remember, we are talking about a group of people here who make it a personal hobby to do this kind of thing. This isn't my grandmother making the opinion here.

Sad is it may be, the reality is that people are more stuck onto what they WANT to believe rather than seperate themselves from their beliefs to be objective. Politics is a classic example. People pick their party and spend the rest of their lives defending it regardless of right and wrong. Lack of objectivity is NOT a good trait.

Let's face it, there are people here who've spent a GREAT deal of time and money on cables and for them to not only admit all that energy was a waste is not going to be easy. Not to mention the personal embarassement associated with the ego behind saying "this cable is better than that one, etc"

Somebody needs to do a scientific study to determine what amount electrons flowing through copper/silver wire has an effect on physically moving a cone to produce sound. There has to be some physical limitations here that exist regardless of how "fat" that pipe is.

Jon
post #134 of 578
Is not the goal of designers of cable to make them as neutral as possible? That is, add nothing to the sound of the hardware that you spent your big bucks on. And one would assume the better the cable the less there is to hear. Which could explain why the Rat Shack cable was both the most correctly picked, and why it was also the one most chosen as silver.
The other more expensive cables basicly not having any sound.
post #135 of 578
This test effectively proves beyond a doubt that only the connectors matter
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