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My cable test enterprise - Page 4

post #46 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Or he may like one and keep it and return the one he doesnt like. This is why I mentioned contacting a cable Rep because they will have samples for just this reason. Must be some cable reps in the UK somewhere right? Also, the test is not over as Nick hasnt spent time listening to each of the cables.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
He ISN'T trying them out. He is USING the dealer to prove a scientific point, not to further the sales of the dealer.
After being in sales for 16 years, it was my job to get product in as many hands as possible, its the one and only best way to have people decide if they like something. Why do you assume he wont like one and return the sample and buy one new? Even if it were impossible for him to buy one, it is possible he may write something good about the product and cause others to buy the product. Word of mouth, Fourm, Trying a sample, it makes no difference, why not complain about Skylab when he is testing amps, we all know he cant and wont buy them all,!!!
post #47 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
After being in sales for 16 years, it was my job to get product in as many hands as possible, its the one and only best way to have people decide if they like something. Why do you assume he wont like one and return the sample and buy one new? Even if it were impossible for him to buy one, it is possible he may write something good about the product and cause others to buy the product. Word of mouth, Fourm, Trying a sample, it makes no difference, why not complain about Skylab when he is testing amps, we all know he cant and wont buy them all,!!!
The idea is completely eluding you. This experiment is to study the differences in scientific properties of cables. This is not a 'hey I want to try some cables and review their sound so I can get people in the forum to buy them' thread.

This thread is the equivalent of a dealer shipping off a cable to a science lab in some university where it will be studied and the results would be published in some academic journal in big blocks of numbers and equations. Is that really what you would want as a dealer? The end result is you get no money, you get virtually no advertising, and worse yet, the experiment could prove that cables make no difference meaning you could lose the ability to sell those premium cables.

There is almost no upside to a dealer in this situation. There are catastrophic downsides to this situation. Which would you pick?

You may have a point about posting about benefits of that dealer's cables, but that is far into the future. This test is at the 'is there a difference' stage. A dealer would only be interested in the 'my cable is better than the other cable because of the difference already proven'. This is the almost no upside.

As to Skylab, you'd have to ask him how he gets his amps. I've read several of his reviews and many are on loan either as pre-production units or final production units. It really doesn't matter though, because he isn't doing a study on if there is a difference between amps. He's reviewing the differences to tell which one is better than the other. This is completely different than the test nick charles is attempting.
post #48 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
The idea is completely eluding you. This experiment is to study the differences in scientific properties of cables. This is not a 'hey I want to try some cables and review their sound so I can get people in the forum to buy them' thread.

This thread is the equivalent of a dealer shipping off a cable to a science lab in some university where it will be studied and the results would be published in some academic journal in big blocks of numbers and equations. Is that really what you would want as a dealer? The end result is you get no money, you get virtually no advertising, and worse yet, the experiment could prove that cables make no difference meaning you could lose the ability to sell those premium cables.

There is almost no upside to a dealer in this situation. There are catastrophic downsides to this situation. Which would you pick?

You may have a point about posting about benefits of that dealer's cables, but that is far into the future. This test is at the 'is there a difference' stage. A dealer would only be interested in the 'my cable is better than the other cable because of the difference already proven'. This is the almost no upside.

As to Skylab, you'd have to ask him how he gets his amps. I've read several of his reviews and many are on loan either as pre-production units or final production units. It really doesn't matter though, because he isn't doing a study on if there is a difference between amps. He's reviewing the differences to tell which one is better than the other. This is completely different than the test nick charles is attempting.
Why did nick say he would listen to the cables? As for sales, the rep can do nothing and have a zero percent chance of selling anything or he can participate and have a 50 percent chance Nick will like one of his products. I can assure you it is not me who is confused about this. I don't have to ask Skylab anything, he writes honest reviews and sometimes he likes what he hears and sometimes he doesn't and it all goes into writing here at Head-Fi, and guess what??????? Amp builders continue to send him amps. Why is it you COMPLETELY ignore the part where Nick listens to the cables and then writes about his experiences? As for your mis-placed morality lesson I think that would be better off in the Members Lounge as this thread is about cables, I will not discuss morality with you in this thread or entertain any of your salesmanship mis-conceptions any longer. The next step is way down the road when Nick is done listening to the cables.

Flame On.
post #49 of 438
You do like pouring gasoline on a fire, but I won't bite.

You are confusing 'is there a difference' with 'comparing the differences'. The results of this test are to see if there are differences. The next step, if there are differences, would be to review the differences.

You really shouldn't have brought up Skylab in the first place. Since this test isn't a review this tangent is meaningless to compare.

I ignore where he listens to the cables because it does not produce scientific proof. Him listening to cables and posting his impressions are exactly the same thing that thousands of other people have already done, yet the debate still rages. If I were him I wouldn't even listen to them at this point. Try to analyze the data into proof of sound change, then see if the results match common thoughts on the sound quality of the specific cable, then finally as a last move listen to the cables yourself. This places you objectively away from your test subject until you have finished analyzing the data and comparing to other people's impressions. That way your own thoughts don't interfere.

This is basic scientific method. You are trying to come at it from the wrong end. You establish evidence and form a factual belief, not the other way around.

edit: If you want to continue the dealer debate I'd gladly take it to pms.
post #50 of 438
I would consider, if I was in the market for more cables, buying one and having it shipped to Nick to test. I think the rest of this discussion is moot unless someone is willing to either send a cable, or wishes to buy a cable and have it pass through Nick's hands.
post #51 of 438
I fail to see what is so hard about emailing a producer of one of these cables and saying something such as:

Greetings!
I don't mean to take too much of your time, so I'll get straight to the point. Honestly, I'm a bit of a cable skeptic, but I am open to the possibility of interconnects changing sound. Your product has been recommended to me as a high quality one. However, at $200, I find the price a bit steep and am hesitant to pull the trigger on such a purchase before I know that this will definitely affect sound in a manner I find pleasing, if at all. If you wouldn't mind and have an extra one available for such purposes, do you mind sending me a cable to audition?"

or if he never has any intentions of actually buying a cable if he found it pleasing, all he'd have to do is change a few words.

"I'm a bit of a cable skeptic and I've heard your product has recommended as very high quality. I am performing a test to actually see if interconnects CAN change sound in any significant manner, and my results will be posted for many other audiophiles to see at head-fi. If you have an extra unit I could audition for this brief purpose, I would be very thankful. What better way to bring in business than to have convinced a skeptic? I can give you my CC number as insurance if I damage or fail to return the cable. Thanks for the time!"

I know from firsthand experience that James from Stefan Audio Arts to be very cordial and helpful with all queries I've had of him. I'm sure some of these other cable makers will be very amiable as well, just as long as you are straight-forward and honest about your intentions and let them know that this experiment will go a logn way to convince skeptics.
post #52 of 438
It's a great test and sounds like it is fastidiously done. Thanks for taking the time to do it a post the results!

I feel though you are approaching it from a skeptical position, though this will not alter the test results.
post #53 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevM2 View Post
"I'm a bit of a cable skeptic and I've heard your product has recommended as very high quality. I am performing a test to actually see if interconnects CAN change sound in any significant manner, and my results will be posted for many other audiophiles to see at head-fi. If you have an extra unit I could audition for this brief purpose, I would be very thankful. What better way to bring in business than to have convinced a skeptic? I can give you my CC number as insurance if I damage or fail to return the cable. Thanks for the time!"

I know from firsthand experience that James from Stefan Audio Arts to be very cordial and helpful with all queries I've had of him. I'm sure some of these other cable makers will be very amiable as well, just as long as you are straight-forward and honest about your intentions and let them know that this experiment will go a logn way to convince skeptics.
I agree it is best to be honest from the start, but also doing this approach you should expect a dealer to decline rather than expect cooperation. Earlier in the thread, and I've seen in many other threads, that people are suggesting people take advantage of dealers by ordering things they never intend to keep. I finally got annoyed to the point where I had to bring up how wrong it really is.
post #54 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_h View Post
It's a great test and sounds like it is fastidiously done. Thanks for taking the time to do it a post the results!

I feel though you are approaching it from a skeptical position, though this will not alter the test results.
no but good chance it will effect the listening tests unless he has an ABX box or someone else to swap out each cable
post #55 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
I agree it is best to be honest from the start, but also doing this approach you should expect a dealer to decline rather than expect cooperation. Earlier in the thread, and I've seen in many other threads, that people are suggesting people take advantage of dealers by ordering things they never intend to keep. I finally got annoyed to the point where I had to bring up how wrong it really is.
He needs to ask a few sources before he assumes they won't be receptive to his efforts. A lot of the audiophile dealers are much more consumer oriented than in other fields.
post #56 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
...In addition I plan therefore to make test recordings from each cable, this time of musical samples and with the same rigour, i.e aligning and trimming to the same length +/- 1/1000th of a second.

Then I will load the files into FooBar and choose two at a time for an ABX, not to test my ABXing as such, but so that I do not know which one I am listening to at any time, thus if I express a preference it is not based on my biases.
Thanks for your effort, Nick! I appreciate it and your open-mindedness as a skeptic. I just have one reservation against your planned ABX procedure: Possibly the digitalized signals won't reveal the sonic differences anymore. At least that's my experience with one test I've made in the past. It wasn't blind by any means, but so weren't the others before which yielded positive results.

BTW, during my sound-editing occupation I often encounter cases where amplitude differences below 0.1 dB make an audible difference. E.g. when I increase the high frequencies at a corner frequency of 12 kHz and afterwards decrease them by the same amount at 11 kHz. The music sounds slightly different than when left linear. (And it isn't because of the double equlization process, since the same test with identical frequencies for increase and decrease shows no difference to the original sample.)

I guess this effect could very well be at work with cables. At the same time I speculate that it might not be audible with continuous signals such as sine waves or pink noise, but just with transient-rich signals.
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post #57 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
no but good chance it will effect the listening tests unless he has an ABX box or someone else to swap out each cable
I do have a means of creating recordings and comparing them blind, it is crude but it will suffice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevM2 View Post
He needs to ask a few sources before he assumes they won't be receptive to his efforts. A lot of the audiophile dealers are much more consumer oriented than in other fields.
I have contacted Audioquest. I have honestly explained my position and pointed them to this community and to this thread. Having two of their cables already they may just be more amenable. We shall see.
post #58 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Thanks for your effort, Nick! I appreciate it and your open-mindedness as a skeptic. I just have one reservation against your planned ABX procedure: Possibly the digitalized signals won't reveal the sonic differences anymore. At least that's my experience with one test I've made in the past. It wasn't blind by any means, but so weren't the others before which yielded positive results.
Sadly I do not have a better method. There is no way I can persuade the missus to administer 30 - 50 cable swaps.

As for differences after digitization there is a further test I can do I can compare reference WAV files and individual AD'ed recordings with suitable gain adjustment. This should show which recordings differ least in waveform from the reference. Now obviously there will be a slight difference between the reference and any recording since there is an extra step , however my model has always been to look for the least difference, the best is the closest.

A 16 bit system has a resolving power of 65536 levels viz a nominal 2V signal can be sliced into chunks of 0.00003V. The differences I have found between cables are between 0.002db and 0.02db , The smallest difference 0.002db represents a difference of about 0.0004V , well within the resolving power of a 16 bit system. Even if my A/D is a bit out at say 15bits (really unliklely but use it for a test) then the resolving power is 0.00006V , the differences are still much bigger than that.

In 1984 Ivor Tiefenbrun was challenged by the BAS on his assertion that an AD/DA link would degrade sound. he was unable to tell the difference between an analog feed and the same feed that had undergone an additional AD/DA step using a Sony PCM-F1.


Quote:
BTW, during my sound-editing occupation I often encounter cases where amplitude differences below 0.1 dB make an audible difference. E.g. when I increase the high frequencies at a corner frequency of 12 kHz and afterwards decrease them by the same amount at 11 kHz. The music sounds slightly different than when left linear. (And it isn't because of the double equlization process, since the same test with identical frequencies for increase and decrease shows no difference to the original sample.)
In some cases differences of .1db can be heard in JND testing. The differences I am finding have not yet exceeded 0.02db. I was contemplating testing with square waves and transients.
post #59 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
In some cases differences of .1db can be heard in JND testing. The differences I am finding have not yet exceeded 0.02db. I was contemplating testing with square waves and transients.
I wouldn't limit audibility to any specific dB value. The mentioned «below 0.1 dB» implicate clearly smaller values as well. Also, it may in fact not be the difference in amplitude which makes for the difference, but the deviations with transient/phase response that come with it.

And as to the latter, unfortunately your intended digitization will inevitably corrupt it (considering the tough filtering done by ADC and DAC).
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post #60 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
I wouldn't limit audibility to any specific dB value. The mentioned «below 0.1 dB» implicated clearly smaller values as well. Also, It may in fact not be the difference in amplitude which makes for the difference, but the deviations with transient/phase response.
.
Transient response might be a factor , I will scope some square waves but
differences between two 1m lengths of cable cannot have any significant affect on phase.
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