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Blind Cable Taste Test RESULTS! - Page 11

post #151 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
They did, I took the test.
the flaw being you knew there were 3 different cable.
post #152 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
No, we don't!
That was the probelm with this test.
Please re-read Hirsch's excellent post #112.
Do you disagree then, with the commonly held belief that that silver cables sound bright? (For example post 145)
post #153 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danamr
Do you disagree then, with the commonly held belief that that silver cables sound bright? (For example post 145)
I can neither agree or disagree since I never owned/used silver cables.
Therefore I can only assume what a silver cable sounds like based on what I read.
I think we've already been down this road....
post #154 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
No, we don't!
That was the probelm with this test.
Please re-read Hirsch's excellent post #112.
Iti s better to say "no I do not" as you don't know about others...BTW nobody can state in this forum in front of me at least, as I had read enough of that crap, many times before, that in any system a Ratshack $2.00 cable will sound more detailed, more extended, and overall better than a silver one, to the point of take one for the other, if you do believe that, then those who state that for years were simply liying...

BTW Hirsh was assuming "in that excellent post" also, that those RS cables were the fussion ones which those were not...
post #155 of 578
Sov - You obviously don't get the point we are trying to make. Not wasting any more time here.
post #156 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman
When running this kind of experiment, you cannot assume that everybody is going to think the Radio Shack will end up sounding the worst.
I think that is the safest assumption you can possibly make about this test. The second safest assumption would be that just about everyone who participated was a cable believer- someone who knows that all cables sound alike wouldn't have wasted their time. The fact that believers picked Radio Shack cables in numbers that correspond to random chance pretty much tells you what you need to know.

See ya
Steve
post #157 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hirsch
In this test, the question appears to have been "which cable is which"? What basis would they have for making an identification?
Depends. I think many of the people went in with at least some expectations, along the lines of "the cheapo Radio Shack cables sound worst" or "silver cables sound bright" as per Clarke68 back in post #15. This is a pretty sophisticated audience--I'd be unsurprised if some of them have, in fact, heard silver and starquad (or something similar) before. I suspect a majority of Head-Fiers who would participate in such a test don't use stock interconnencts, so they probably have some ideas what "stock, cheap" sounds like relative to something pricier.

Quote:
If I give a subject an unlabelled headphone, and ask, "Is this a Grado HP-1?" and the subject has never heard a Grado HP-1 (nor seen one) I'd expect a fairly random response.
I've never heard a Grado HP-1. But I've owned a pair of Grados and I've heard other Grados at meets. Thus, I would expect me to be able to pick it out in an A/B vs. something with a markedly different sound signature, such as HD580s--which I've also never heard, but I'm pretty sure I could discriminate those two purely on the basis of what I've read about how they sound and my direct experience with headphones in the same family.

Quote:
In fact, if I gave the subject three completely unfamiliar headphones, and asked them to identify Sennheiser HD-650, Sony SA-5000 or AKG K-701 (and they have never seen or heard any of them) how could you get anything besides random?
I don't think this is an appropriate analogy, or at the very least, there's an alternative analogy which some might feel is more appropriate. To wit:

Let's say you gave three Head-Fi'ers Sony V600DJ, HD600s, and Stax Omega 2s and told them the different price points of the phones, but they had never seen or heard any of these three before. I bet you'd get responses that were systematically far from random. People have pretty strong expectations that more expensive headphones sound better. I bet if you ran my example here you'd get a significant chi-square statistic, and nobody would be surprised.

Quote:
And yet, I do suspect that the majority of listeners who have heard those three headphones will agree that they do not sound the same. In fact, I don't even think the "can we detect headphone differences?" question even attracts controversy.
Nope, not even among the most skeptical.

Quote:
If the analogous experiment to the one reported, using items with known audible differences, would be expected to generate random data, why would we try and draw conclusions from this one?
I don't think that it's necessarily the case that one was guaranteed random results. In fact, I think a lot of people would have been very happy with non-random results if they had come out a particular way. Do you really think that if most of the people had correctly identified all three cables, all the "true believers" wouldn't be in here declaring victory? Of course they would be, and somehow all the methodological issues would be conveniently not discussed.

So I don't think it's necessarily clear-cut that we'd get random data on the back end (though I agree that it isn't very surprising), and similarly, I think it would be meaningful if we didn't.

Quote:
I was not criticizing what you [Ed] did, but rather those who started spouting statistics and trying to read more into it than was there.
I think I've been clear in saying that I don't think these results are conclusive--I'm not suggesting there aren't issues in the design, depending on what question you think is important. However, I do think I the results are interesting (as someone said, this is a nice pilot study), but by no means definitive.

Obviously, we need a follow-up!
post #158 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman
There are very few Head-Fi members here who are truly "experienced" audiophiles. Very few of them have anything even resembling a true "low-end" setup. I myself fall into about a low-end (or possibly mid-level) setup.
They did a poll of people asking them if they were going to heaven. 80 someodd percent of people said they were. Then they asked the same people what percentage of other people were going to heaven. The response was around 25 percent. Everyone likes to be just a little better than the rabble!

See ya
Steve
post #159 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman
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.
This guys have some experience, and it should sound the worst accourding to the believers....it should, it is a far worst done cable....


Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
Sov - You obviously don't get the point we are trying to make. Not wasting any more time here.
The point you guys are trying to make, or better, to try to make others believe is, if I understand correctly, that this test means absolutely nothing to you, and has to be dismissed as it has the flaws you want to see in them, to keep on believing in what you do, and consider it a waste of time, as it was based on wrong assumptions, or questions, or oriented in a wrong direction, right??? Sorry but to me it was not, and it proved to me one more time, exactly what I was expecting from it, and what I do believe...I think that this makes me happier...and will keep my wallet on the safe side...
post #160 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
No you cant!

I hate to sound like a broken record here, but people were asked to guess which cable they thought each was... not which was better!

It is like lining up 14 people and asking them to guess someones name and given three choices. Hmmm, he looks like a Chris... I'll go with that.
NO... This analogy is HORRIBLE because people were given the three names and they are NOT arbitrary! They represented three distinct levels of quality. The name Sallie, John, & Sue are all "equal". It was clear to all those who took the test that they KNEW there was a Rat Shak cable and that's the one that is supposed to sound tiny and weak. They also knew there was a really good one there and that of course would represent the cable that should sound the best. So your analogy here is absolutely wrong.

Jon
post #161 of 578
This is a great thread on quite frankly a very good and important topic. I'm trying to determine what kind of common ground exists among all posters and the only thing that seems to rings true almost 100% of the time is that most all believe..

#1) The test had at least some flaws that could have been corrected.

#2) The test didn't have a sample size large enough to give good results.

Seems there are enough people in or around this issue that getting to some more common bottom line understanding would have some value. Enough value to justify setting up a new test and pooling together whatever resources necessary to accomplish this, including cash.

Does anybody else have some ideas on this subject? I'd be willing to participate in an equal share....

Jon
post #162 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDobs
NO... This analogy is HORRIBLE because people were given the three names and they are NOT arbitrary! They represented three distinct levels of quality.

So your analogy here is absolutely wrong.
I've already answered this earlier, but I'll give it another go. Your stance on this assumes that everyone who took the test was familiar with the cables. Even if they had preconceptions as to what the cables would sound like, there would be no continuity between these perceptions... everyone could have a different 'idea' of what they should sound like. So all that was being tested was how people's preconceptions weighed against reality. Now, if they all had identical preconceptions, this would be an interesting study in psychology, but still tells us basically nothing about the cables.

Let me expand on my analogy.

The test group is given the following information:

Fred is smart. Pat is sweet. John is mean.

They are then asked to pick them out with three people lined up.

1. A big guy wearing gothic punk clothing with a grimace on his face.
2. A petite girl in a catholic school girl uniform.
3. A man wearing glasses in a business suit.

Personally I think the most obvious choice here would be Fred#3, Pat#2, John#1.

Turns out, Fred is short for Frederica, Pat is the misunderstood street kid with a heart of gold and John works a deskjob during the day and reads the entrails of stray cats in the evening.

Now if you knew all of these people personally, the questions would be much easier to answer accurately.
post #163 of 578
This has been an extremely informative thread. I expected some conflict would arise, and hopefully some agreement on how to proceed. I believe this test could be conducted several times and still not have everyones blessings on the results. Changes / improvements could be done on another series of test and possibly get a higher percentage of acceptance on the results. I like the idea of a known reference cable, even if it's the Radio Shack cable. A larger participation would also help. Any problem with posting a monthly update of the results? (If the tests were run again).

Any plans do do it again? Great idea!
post #164 of 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDobs
I'm trying to determine what kind of common ground exists among all posters
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

gasp... breathe... common ground... hahaha... all posters... hahahaha...

on a cable thread?

OK, more seriously, I think it's safe to say that there's unlikely to be a test which will satisfy everyone. I think there are people on both sides of the issue who will always find something to object to if the test doesn't go "their way." I mean, can you really imagine any test that would get, say, sovkiller and markl to agree about cables? (Just for example's sake, nothing personal to either one of you.)

Now, if we accept that (and assume some people will be unswayed no matter what) but still believe there are enough people who only lean one way or another but aren't quite religious about it, then yes, there's probably common ground in the middle somewhere.

One problem is that we'd all have to agree what the right question is in the first place, and I think even there we might have some dissent.

Furthermore, I think an important part of the process would be for people to state clearly what they think the results would mean given certain outcomes before they know which way the data comes out. Hindsight bias is potentially enormous here.

But in principle, I think it's a fun idea to discuss what could be done to be more definitive. And I'd like to reiterate that no matter what, we owe Ed a huge debt for getting the ball rolling...
post #165 of 578
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
They did, I took the test.



No, we don't!
That was the probelm with this test.
Please re-read Hirsch's excellent post #112.
Not really a problem, it was part of the test. Many people have preconceptions about certain sonic characteristics that different materials like silver and copper have.

The problem was with the data collection. I suppose I made it a little too simple, I should've had a standardized "form" or even better an automated "web form" for people to fill out. And it would include a comments section, like what their thoughts of each cable was, and why they thought it was silver, starquad, or rat shack.

-Ed
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