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Blind Cable Taste Test RESULTS! - Page 2

post #16 of 578
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post #17 of 578
Good job, Edwood.
It interesting that only 12 out of 42 total guesses are correct, which is even worse than chance.
This ascertains my believe that anything beyond a reasoanbly constructed cable is only placebo.

Oh, I was recently informed that a certain "V" brand of expensive cable very hyped up around here actually uses Home Depot wires. The friend opened up the cable and saw--very familiar wires. Good luck if you dropped a few grands for their crap.
post #18 of 578
while the sample data may be too small. it would seem more than half thought the starquad was triangle. And only 2 thought the starquad was square. this seems to indicate that the 3 cables were not similar sounding.
post #19 of 578
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post #20 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoster
that's the problem. In my mind it would be more like:

Silver=extended/detailed/harsh/airy
Starquad=balanced/refined
Rat Shack=mellow/slightly muddy/pleasantly boring
Exactly!
I had nothing to base my guess on. For example, I have never used silver cables so I can only assume what they sound like based on what I have read.
But...they all sounded different from each other, and there was no doubt about that (attn: Sovkiller)

I think there should be another test for the cable skeptics out there.
Make 2 identical cables with the same wire, and one with different wire.
Pass those around and see how many people can pick out the different one!
That should settle it once & for all.
TR
post #21 of 578
Edwood, I don't understand the test (I didn't really follow the original thread). Can you explain the methodology and what you hoped to prove/disprove?

If I interpret it correctly, you are not trying to test if fancy cables make a difference over cheap ones, which is probably the test most people would find most relevant. Instead, it seems your test only measures whether people's pre-conceived ideas of what each cable type *should* sound like, matches with how they *actually* sound (or at least the individual samples under review). I'm not sure how useful this is.

I always say this in my reviews of cables-- having heard dozens and dozens of them, I've concluded that knowing the materials used (copper/silver), guage, connectors, etc. provides you with zero insight into how and given cable will actually sound. IMO, there is no "silver sound", no "copper sound" etc.

So, in this test, we seem to be measuring whether an undefined concept/perception (everyone has a different idea of what a silver cable is "supposed" to sound like, what a copper cable cable is "supposed" to sound like, what a cheap cable is "supposed" to sound like, but no two people define these things the same) matches with reality, or at least a reality composed of a universe containing only a sample size of one cable to represent each type of sound ("silver sound", "copper sound", "cheap sound"). What if none of the cables provided typify even the worst stereotype of what these metals are supposed to sound like?


I know you put in a lot of work, and I appreciate the effort, but I'm not sure what it proves? To me, it starts from a false premise/hypothesis (each cable material/metal type has its own, easily-identifiable and widely understood sound) and examines whether this can be accurately judged by people relying on a single example of each type of cable, assuming that these samples match 100% perfectly with the widely-understood pre-conception of how they *should* sound.
post #22 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
I think there should be another test for the cable skeptics out there.
Make 2 identical cables with the same wire, and one with different wire.
Pass those around and see how many people can pick out the different one!
That should settle it once & for all.
TR
brilliant!
post #23 of 578
Thanks for posting the results Ed. It certainly proves that people can't easily tell from the sound their hearing what the cables are made of. I'd be curious to know whether all the people suggesting that the radio-shack cable was the silver believed the sound to be 'better' than those of their other two guesses. Or, at least, that the 'worst' sounding cable in their listening was deemed to be the radioshack one.
post #24 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
I'm not sure how useful this is.
Very useful, for those who participated in the test. We were able to test the value of cables to our ears, in our systems, unhindered by the biases associated with product cost, materials, aesthetics, or brand name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
I know you put in a lot of work, and I appreciate the effort, but I'm not sure what it proves?
I think there are misconceptions by people on both sides of the DBT debate, that listening tests are supposed to be "scientific" and provide "proof" of something.

In reality, all that's required is to establish our preference. There's nothing scientific about that, and there doesn't need to be anything scientific about the process, although the elimination of non-sq-related biases is extremely helpful.

I learned from this test that I prefer the sound of cheap Rat Shack ICs. That fact doesn't have to mean anything to anybody else. It could be helpful, I suppose, to someone who has similar gear to mine and similar taste, but hey...if you want to go on buying 4-figure cables and writing reviews about them, be my guest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
That should settle it once & for all.
LOL...that would be nice, but it's not gonna happen in our lifetime...there will always be people who believe in cables and people who don't. I'd like to propose a new group: the people who don't care! There's a lot more interesting things than cables in audio (not to mention in life), and I am now officially on to bigger/better things.
post #25 of 578
Ed could you create a text file with all the replies you received from the participants?
The comments that must have been made are significant, yet hard to put on a chart.
post #26 of 578
Quote:
Ed could you create a text file with all the replies you received from the participants?
The comments that must have been made are significant, yet hard to put on a chart.
Agreed. We don't need to know the identities of those who made the comments, but it would be nice to know which cables were preferred as well as any other comments on each cable.
post #27 of 578
A few things seem to come out from the results.

1) 9/14 (64%) thought the RadioShack cable was a higher end cable.
By chance 66% would think this - so pretty much on target for random.


2) 9/14 (64%) thought that one of the higher end cables was a radioShack cable
Again 66% would be chance - 33% would think the Silver was RS and 33% would think the Canare was RS


3) More people thought that the radioshack cable was a higer end cable than thouight that the Canare cable was a higher end cable. But this is so far from significant as to be meaningless.

4) Though far from significant more (11) thought that the silver cable was a higher end cable than thought that the other two were higher end cables 8 (canare) and 9 (radioshack). Though this is so close to chance anyway - chance would be a 4 5 5 split so 9 or 10 so means nothing as such.

Conclusion -?
post #28 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
So, in this test, we seem to be measuring whether an undefined concept/perception (everyone has a different idea of what a silver cable is "supposed" to sound like, what a copper cable cable is "supposed" to sound like, what a cheap cable is "supposed" to sound like, but no two people define these things the same) matches with reality, or at least a reality composed of a universe containing only a sample size of one cable to represent each type of sound ("silver sound", "copper sound", "cheap sound"). What if none of the cables provided typify even the worst stereotype of what these metals are supposed to sound like?

I know you put in a lot of work, and I appreciate the effort, but I'm not sure what it proves? To me, it starts from a false premise/hypothesis (each cable material/metal type has its own, easily-identifiable and widely understood sound) and examines whether this can be accurately judged by people relying on a single example of each type of cable, assuming that these samples match 100% perfectly with the widely-understood pre-conception of how they *should* sound.
I don't agree.
People's preconception with "cheap" sound is that it sounds bad.
If thge cheap generic cable really sounds worse than fancier cables, we would expect many people correctly identifying Radio Shack cable because of its bad sound. On the contrary, half of the people thought RS cable was silver cable, supposedly the best cable according to audiophile preconception.
post #29 of 578
And for those of you who are statistically inclined, this produces chi-square(4) = 6.86, p = .14. Cannot reject the null hypothesis of no association.

This suggests, but does not prove, that responses were effectively random. We'd need a bigger sample to have more confidence either way, but on the other hand, if the Rat Shack cable was obviously much worse than the other two, it should have been picked up. I wouldn't term this "proof," but the results are more consistent with a skeptical position than a believer position.

Everybody update your subjective priors accordingly. (Sorry, statistics joke.)
post #30 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77
A few things seem to come out from the results.

1) 9/14 (64%) thought the RadioShack cable was a higher end cable.
By chance 66% would think this - so pretty much on target for random.


2) 9/14 (64%) thought that one of the higher end cables was a radioShack cable
Again 66% would be chance - 33% would think the Silver was RS and 33% would think the Canare was RS


3) More people thought that the radioshack cable was a higer end cable than thouight that the Canare cable was a higher end cable. But this is so far from significant as to be meaningless.

4) Though far from significant more (11) thought that the silver cable was a higher end cable than thought that the other two were higher end cables 8 (canare) and 9 (radioshack). Though this is so close to chance anyway - chance would be a 4 5 5 split so 9 or 10 so means nothing as such.

Conclusion -?
Thanks for doing the math for me! Since there were flaws in this test, and not a large number of people participated, I do not KNOW the conclusion, but I've got a pretty good idea
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