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post #136 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick20 View Post
You'll also often hear that you should burn-in your speaker cables, as well as your components. These burn-in periods have as little effect on your home theater as the length of your speaker cables.
The topic we are discussing has nothing to do with cables, it is about the terms of reference for debate on head-fi. But first I will digress and tell you what I think when I see a statement like that above.

First of all, I have no firm beleif either way and as I have not conducted, or seen peer-reviewed evidence of, a scientific test of the hypothesis, I am in no position to make judgments. As is no-one here. However, we, and I, do have the right to an opinion. And here's mine:

Quote:
These burn-in periods have as much effect on your home theater as the length of your speaker cables.
I assume a normal length speaker cable is several feet.

Answer these questions:

If the length of your speaker cables was several thousand miles, would you expect that to have an effect on your home theater?

If no, fair enough for you.

If yes:

You have just admitted that "cables length makes a difference"

Presumable a 10 ft and an 11 ft cable will show no difference. A 10ft and a 10'000 mile one will.
Can you offer me evidence to show the length below which length cables fails to make a difference?

Obviously the answer is no. There is no scientific proof either way.

And similar scenarios holds true for ANY debate on cables.

Even if there was scientific proof, scientists know that it could be overturned any time as new evidence comes to life.

A lot of people want things digital so the world is easy to understand. It is or it isn't, yes or no, black or white. the world is analogue, things can only be measured in probability and the best we can ever say is something like:

"There is a high probability that E=MC2"

"Facts" are just a convenient way of putting forth our strong beliefs.
post #137 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick20 View Post
This is where I get caught up. Regardless, if there is "scientific 'anything' " or not, why do I need to prove there is something "scientific" going on? Better yet, HOW do I go about proving something scientific when it's my ears that's hearing it.


Because, what I hear, and what others (who believe in burn-in) hear is conclusive, why can't it not be true? This is the exact statement that has me dumbfounded.

Weather it's scientific, or a "placebo"effect (as its called) and if there is a change in the end, then wouldn't this be enough to call it conclusive? Therefore, it would be real. "Scientific" or not. Right?
If the change you hear is not objective but caused by changes in your perception it is meaningless to talk about the sound quality of a cable because the sonic change is in your head not out there in the world. If I buy the same cable or follow the same procedure as you there is no reason for me to hear the changes you heard or even hear any difference whatsoever for that matter, because the sonic qualities you heard are not in the cable, nor in the burn in; they are in your mind.

A real experience? Yes.
An objective fact? No.
(and the difference is huge)
post #138 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenkelby View Post
I think this is useful to establish the attitudes and opinions of some people. I know I've learned a lot.

We can't talk about cables on head-fi until these characters are dealt with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwojciec View Post
Wow, wow, wow, my friend. There is a distinctly ominous sense to what you are writing here. And I thought we were to have a battle of arguments, not some dark alley stabbings.

I stand by that. What I was referring to was the characters of the people posting the personal attacks and ban-able comments I quoted earlier, not the people themselves.
post #139 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
If the change you hear is not objective but caused by changes in your perception it is meaningless to talk about the sound quality of a cable because the sonic change is in your head not out there in the world. If I buy the same cable or follow the same procedure as you there is no reason for me to hear the changes you heard or even hear any difference whatsoever for that matter, because the sonic qualities you heard are not in the cable, nor in the burn in; they are in your mind.

A real experience? Yes.
An objective fact? No.
(and the difference is huge)

But maybe it is the other way around, maybe it IS out there, in the cable, and in my head. But I don't know way of testing it scientifically.



So then what's the point to have $20, $50 or $200 IC's over $.50 IC's? If it can't be real world, then why buy any cable you can't get from the dollar store?



Why is there no reason for you to not hear the same qualities, or different qualities from the same cable?



But how can you prove that it's all in my head, not not something inside the cable, amp, power cord, speaker cable, etc. etc.?
post #140 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenkelby View Post

"Facts" are just a convenient way of putting forth our strong beliefs.
People have stronge beliefs in anything from UFOs to angels. Those are not facts.

In general facts are reasonable beliefs supported by evidence.

Scientifically facts are reasonable beliefs supported by evidence that are stated in such terms as to be falsifiable.
post #141 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick20 View Post
But maybe it is the other way around, maybe it IS out there, in the cable, and in my head. But I don't know way of testing it scientifically.



So then what's the point to have $20, $50 or $200 IC's over $.50 IC's? If it can't be real world, then why buy any cable you can't get from the dollar store?



Why is there no reason for you to not hear the same qualities, or different qualities from the same cable?



But how can you prove that it's all in my head, not not something inside the cable, amp, power cord, speaker cable, etc. etc.?
There are ways of testing this. Double blind testing. All the double blind tests I have seen show that people cannot reliably distinguish one cable from another.

I cannot prove what you hear is not real. I have however no need to prove that, because I have a perfectly reasonable theory (placebo), supported by double blind testing, that explains what you hear. Why would I look for another?
I can understand some people don't LIKE this theory, but that is a different matter. If you don't you come up with a different one and provide evidence to support it. So far we have only the vaguest hint of a theory, and no evidence to support it whatsoever.
post #142 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
There are ways of testing this. Double blind testing. All the double blind tests I have seen show that people cannot reliably distinguish one cable from another.

I cannot prove what you hear is not real. I have however no need to prove that, because I have a perfectly reasonable theory (placebo), supported by double blind testing, that explains what you hear. Why would I look for another?
I can understand some people don't LIKE this theory, but that is a different matter. If you don't you come up with a different one and provide evidence to support it. So far we have only the vaguest hint of a theory, and no evidence to support it whatsoever.


I guess I have nothing else to say.

If I can hear a difference in cables, then fine. I'll keep doing what works for me. Placebo or not, burn-in or not, I'll keep doing those things, because it's what's worked for me. I CAN hear a difference, and why doubt or question it? I'll quietly leave this section.. and bring my beliefs with me.


Since you believe in an untested theory, I take it you use stock cables, and very cheap IC's? Because its not a difference in the cable (except for the fact your paying $100 for a cable [which is where the placebo effect is starting]) except the "price" makes you think its working and hearing things. So you would assume a $5 cable sounds just as good as a $50 or $300 cable, I take it... ?
post #143 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick20 View Post
I guess I have nothing else to say.

If I can hear a difference in cables, then fine. I'll keep doing what works for me. Placebo or not, burn-in or not, I'll keep doing those things, because it's what's worked for me. I CAN hear a difference, and why doubt or question it? I'll quietly leave this section.. and bring my beliefs with me.


Since you believe in an untested theory, I take it you use stock cables, and very cheap IC's? Because its not a difference in the cable (except for the fact your paying $100 for a cable [which is where the placebo effect is starting]) except the "price" makes you think its working and hearing things. So you would assume a $5 cable sounds just as good as a $50 or $300 cable, I take it... ?
Yes. I only have basic cheap interconnects.
For clarity's sake, I'm not saying there are no possible audible differences in cables, I have no evidence to support that claim, I just have no reason to believe in that claim either, and generally it's a very EXPENSIVE and LUCRATIVE claim for cable makers. As soon as I find convincing evidence that cables make a substantial difference in sound quality I might look into it, but it doesn't really look like that's going to happen.
post #144 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
Yes. I only have basic cheap interconnects.
For clarity's sake, I'm not saying there are no possible audible differences in cables, I have no evidence to support that claim, I just have no reason to believe in that claim either, and generally it's a very EXPENSIVE and LUCRATIVE claim for cable makers. As soon as I find convincing evidence that cables make a substantial difference in sound quality I might look into it, but it doesn't really look like that's going to happen.


30-day money back guarantee... if not more.. 60 or 90 days..



That's what got me.. I can return it, if I can't hear any differences... real simple.
post #145 of 260
I designed a range of cables myself that used the best materials short of gold. But people kept telling me they were too cheap. Next time I shall develop the same cable in a different colour and make them 10 times more expensive.

I have been using a set of the Beresford digital coax cable for digital as well as analog. I was told they weren't designed for analog specifically, but tell that to my pre-amp. The main reason I decided to use those cables is because of their technical construction:
Resistance: < 0.0001Ω/m
Conductor material: PCOFC
Insulator: PTFE
Earth Conductors: Dual PCOFC mesh
Earth Conductors: 124 & 126 x 0.2 mm
Center Conductor: 80 x 0.2 mm
Diameter: Ø 6.5 mm
Shielding: 99% +
Signal-noise: >150 dB
Bandwidth: 0 to 50MHz

OK, that's all engineering stuff, but I am an engineer and I can't find many cable sellers that are able to even email you their cable specs. If more of them did publish their specs we would all have a right laugh and easier life. Some of those high-end cables have less than a 1/3rd of the strands and amount of conducting material that is in the Beresford cable, let alone the diameter, type of insulator, shielding strength, etc. All they have is extra or higher numbers after their U$ price. I am not saying this cable is the best, but I doubt very much that many of your expensive interconnects can rival it for technical construction. Dynamics, detail, and smooth sound need loads of conducting material and shielding from interference. That's because they need low resistance, wide bandwidth, and good noise rejection. But most manufacturers avoid talking about the things we can see and measure. They prefer to boast about the things we perceive as being good.
post #146 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick20 View Post
30-day money back guarantee... if not more.. 60 or 90 days..



That's what got me.. I can return it, if I can't hear any differences... real simple.
I understand the logic of that, however, my problem is that cables are not like headphones or amps where there is a clear explanation of how they have different sonic qualities. For cables there is no such explanation and I do not trust my ears enough to spend a lot of money on cables that may not have any added value, rather that have been proved time and time again to be completely indistinguishable sonically no matter how expensive they were to people claiming to have golden ears or at least very good hearing. This would indicate at the very least that cables, even if they make a difference, only make a very marginal and subtle one.

I think part of my skepticism also stems from my awareness of the complex ways in which perception functions. We are, to name one thing, able to completely eliminate very loud noises from our conscious perception if we give our mind the time to adapt to a situation. People are for instance in most cases able to sleep through the most INFERNAL noise as long as it is a regularly recurring sound and the mind has had time to grasp the fact of it's recurring nature and non-significance. Think of trains passing close to your house at night at regular times. In fact while you are listening to music your mind is constantly filtering out background noises from your conscious awareness.

I think some people making claims about cables could learn some very interesting things if they were a bit more open to the possibility that not everything they hear is caused by objective factors in their equipment. Human perception is a very fascinating subject and scientific field of study; and our minds are capable of some quite amazing and fascinating things that have nothing to do with objective perception!
post #147 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
I understand the logic of that, however, my problem is that cables are not like headphones or amps where there is a clear explanation of how they have different sonic qualities. For cables there is no such explanation and I do not trust my ears enough to spend a lot of money on cables that may not have any added value, rather that have been proved time and time again to be completely indistinguishable sonically no matter how expensive they were to people claiming to have golden ears or at least very good hearing. This would indicate at the very least that cables, even if they make a difference, only make a very marginal and subtle one.

I think part of my skepticism also stems from my awareness of the complex ways in which perception functions. We are, to name one thing, able to completely eliminate very loud noises from our conscious perception if we give our mind the time to adapt to a situation. People are for instance in most cases able to sleep through the most INFERNAL noise as long as it is a regularly recurring sound and the mind has had time to grasp the fact of it's recurring nature and non-significance. Think of trains passing close to your house at night at regular times. In fact while you are listening to music your mind is constantly filtering out background noises from your conscious awareness.

I think some people making claims about cables could learn some very interesting things if they were a bit more open to the possibility that not everything they hear is caused by objective factors in their equipment. Human perception is a very fascinating subject and scientific field of study; and our minds are capable of some quite amazing and fascinating things that have nothing to do with objective perception!
QFT.
I absolutely agree with you here.

The only difference being that I do trust my ears (and personal perception) to guide me to the (for me) most enjoyable sound signature.
The added value is in my perception and not in specs or scientific proof.
post #148 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
QFT.
I absolutely agree with you here.

The only difference being that I do trust my ears (and personal perception) to guide me to the (for me) most enjoyable sound signature.
The added value is in my perception and not in specs or scientific proof.
I do trust my ears as well of course. In the end I decide what I like by using my ears. I am, however, quite aware that my ears can be fooled and I am aware that my perception of sound changes under the influence of mood, time of day, what music I'm listening to, what volume I'm listening at, what equipment I have been listening to previously, etc.
post #149 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
I do trust my ears as well of course. In the end I decide what I like by using my ears. I am, however, quite aware that my ears can be fooled and I am aware that my perception of sound changes under the influence of mood, time of day, what music I'm listening to, what volume I'm listening at, what equipment I have been listening to previously, etc.
I guess that is why I don't take just a few hours to do comparisons, but weeks or even months.....
post #150 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
People have stronge beliefs in anything from UFOs to angels. Those are not facts.

In general facts are reasonable beliefs supported by evidence.

Scientifically facts are reasonable beliefs supported by evidence that are stated in such terms as to be falsifiable.

Semantics. You agree with my point though I see.
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