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How to detect Snake Oil - Page 2

post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
Have you blind tested the cryo cables vs. standard/burned-in cables vs. the new ones? If you haven't, you can't call them "completely bull;" you can say your experiences have differed, but saying that something is meritless usually demands some sort of substantial evidence aside from personal experiences. Anecdotal evidence isn't invalid, it just isn't compelling.
Likewise, anything presented in that article is largely anecdotal as well. It's the itarwebs, folks.

Until I see Audioholics submitting papers to the IEEE, undergoing peer review, and publishing papers, I'd submit that THIER evidence isn't invalid either, and neither is it compelling.

So where does that leave us?
post #17 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yotacowboy View Post
Likewise, anything presented in that article is largely anecdotal as well. It's the itarwebs, folks.

Until I see Audioholics submitting papers to the IEEE, undergoing peer review, and publishing papers, I'd submit that THIER evidence isn't invalid either, and neither is it compelling.

So where does that leave us?
Follow the links in the article and find papers by established audio designers and other experts that have backgrounds in physics, electrical engineering, etc... you know, all that science stuff.
post #18 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
That website is an on-line store that sells home theater equipment and cables from "SonicWave" and "Velocity". Why is their proclamation any more useful than any other proclamations from other vendors and retail stores?


...and at what price point do they sell these items?
post #19 of 91
I know i never heard a difference in cables or amplifiers.....i only think i did.

Just because everyone in the room thought the Tara cables were muddy and the Synergistic Research cables were tinny doesnt mean there was a real difference. We were all just kissing eachothers butt and being agreeable.

Just like people who say their stereos sound better at night.

post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Know Talent View Post
Follow the links in the article and find papers by established audio designers and other experts that have backgrounds in physics, electrical engineering, etc... you know, all that science stuff.
I followed links. Several (many!) citations were from one specific cable manufacturer... smells like a conspiracy to me!

(Audioholics in bed with a cable manufacturer? It's not like they've got any money riding on the sale of cheap, re-branded, made in China cables through an online store...)

When are you kids gonna learn that EVERYONE in this business is here to make a buck and EVERYONE is selling something that some may consider "snake oil". Even your precious Blue Jeans Cables operates to make money selling Belden and Canare stuff that any competent enthusiast can DIY for cheaper.

Are you in this to buy cheap stuff, or are you in this to listen to music?
post #21 of 91
O.K., I give up. How many angels CAN dance on the head of a pin? I'm waiting with bated breath.
post #22 of 91
I'd like to see them substantiate their claims, rather than just give us a Letterman Top 10. Cables don't require burn-in? C'mon...
post #23 of 91
Most of that article sounds like a personal and vindictive attack on Audioquest, if you ask me. It looks as though they are responding to Audioquest's article on cable theory -

http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/aq_cable_theory.pdf

LOL!
post #24 of 91
My rule of thumb is that if they're an audio cable vendor, they're almost certainly selling snake oil.
post #25 of 91
I usually use a dowsing rod to find snake oil.
ymmv.
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
Sure, I built a new pair of cables yesterday using the same materials I always use in my system (18AWG Cardas wire in Teflon with Yarbo 50RB RCA) because I need a slightly longer cable than before (1m instead of 2ft). I plugged it in and noticed that the cable sounded sharper in the highs and the bass wasn't as controlled. I switched back to my old pair and everything sounded right again. Switched again to the new IC and the bloated bass is back. It's not night-and-day difference but it's noticeable enough that I want to find out why it doesn't sound right. I know how my favorite tracks sound and when they don't, I get concerned.

----------

Now this really confuses me; what exactly would qualify as "substantial evidence aside from personal experience"?
Um... that's not really blind-testing. Your methodology is extremely susceptible to placebo and internal expectations. If you know what cable is plugged in when you listen to the music, then it's not blind and can be skewed by placebo effect. I'm not saying that the placebo effect does exist, but there's no way to tell if it did occur (because if it did, it would be subconscious and not something you or any human being has control over).

And yes, as been stated before, I would consider some sort of controlled blind testing (hell, it doesn't really NEED to be double-blind, though it couldn't hurt) to be compelling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotacowboy View Post
Likewise, anything presented in that article is largely anecdotal as well. It's the itarwebs, folks.

Until I see Audioholics submitting papers to the IEEE, undergoing peer review, and publishing papers, I'd submit that THIER evidence isn't invalid either, and neither is it compelling.

So where does that leave us?
I'll say this: my original post was not done with the intent of defending the paper quoted in the first page. I simply am pointing out that, while a claim isn't verified by a lack of evidence against it, it also isn't meritless without evidence against it. The claims being put are indeed just a bunch of unbacked assertions, but they're neither true nor false without some sort of warrant.

That being said, there is comprehensive testing done on the cables in the various papers on the website, including double-blind testing. You can make the argument all you want that their source is biased, but if a guy out to sell sunglasses says that UV rays hurt your eyes, he's not wrong. Also, when you say that several citations were from one cable manufacturer (in another quote), I suggest you read the article "The Truth About Interconnects and Cables," which has tons of tests (including ABX and double-blind) and studies done primarily by a source that has no interest in selling cables (Elliot Sound Projects sells printed circuit boards and other miscellaneous DIY audio project kit).

Also, if you note the date on several of the articles, you'll notice they were published well before Audioholics opened up their storefront (the article I mentioned was from 2004) - sure it could all be a conspiracy, with them painstakingly laying out articles years (!) before opening their store in order to slowly goad people into buying their cables, which make up only a small section of their overall store stock... but that sounds like a step into the tinfoil-hat category.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
Also, if you note the date on several of the articles, you'll notice they were published well before Audioholics opened up their storefront (the article I mentioned was from 2004) - sure it could all be a conspiracy, with them painstakingly laying out articles years (!) before opening their store in order to slowly goad people into buying their cables, which make up only a small section of their overall store stock... but that sounds like a step into the tinfoil-hat category.
Advertising revenue generated by an audio review website is still real "money", even when there is no actual storefront. They are no different than 6moons or any other "looney" audio web-zine. Further, regardless of the portion of overall stock sold, Audioholics is indeed selling cables, and marketing them to increase their perceived value and generate sales.
post #28 of 91
I reiterate - if a guy out to sell sunglasses says that UV rays hurt your eyes, he's not wrong. Sure they get advertising revenue, but that doesn't invalidate the several sources they cite, many of which have nothing to do with their site or their advertising income. That article "The Truth About Interconnects and Cables," is a prime example - tons of sources, including ABX testing, done by people other than audioholics. Surely not ALL of these people are in it for the money?

Also, if Audioholics really wanted to make money, they would say their cables are better than everyone else's (thus ensuring that people buy their cables) rather than simply denouncing higher-end cables and saying that any reasonable quality cable would work (which may or may not be their cable).
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
I have snake oil detectors available, £349.99 each and can be used up to 15 times before you need to refill the detection cartridge.
My snake-oil detectors have be cryo-treated, which reinforces it's detector components and prevents the typical wear of constant use, meaning they'll continue to run at optimal levels for twice the life-span.
post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
Also, if Audioholics really wanted to make money, they would say their cables are better than everyone else's...
I'll rephrase:

If Audioholics isn't in it to make money as a business (both through advertising dollars from their website, and through goods sold through their online store) what is their motivation?

Debunk audio snobbery by making fun of the poor saps who spend more than 84¢ on a piece of wire? Or the droves of idiots that think that an LP sounds better than a CD?

Promoting "Truth" one ABX at a time? Gimme a break.

DellaSala wreaks of the same snobbery he rudely attacks. Audioholics promotes snake-oil just the same. Just because they advise you to spend less doesn't mean they don't want you to spend anything. They'll gladly take your money for their overpriced (however cheap & junky) cables.
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