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Audio placebo with relation to medicine and drugs - Page 3

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBenway View Post
But as you also point out, we are talking about "micro-details" here. Isn't that a bit like the bewilderingly minute detail with which wine afficionados describe a particular vintage? You know, along the lines of "strong notes of cherry, dried apricot, turpentine and a rather saucy, oaky finish redolant of soiled diapers?"
I'd give an arm and leg to see such imagery used in audio hardware reviews. But I really don't know just how minute cable differences are supposed to be because I've only experienced two aftermarket cables, a moon-audio blue dragon headphone cable and audio-gd custom power cable, and some mutilated stock cables. I know my cables sound only minutely different under certain circumstances, like if I take out my power conditioner (something not everybody uses), but when I put it back in the difference isn't so micro anymore.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I'd give an arm and leg to see such imagery used in audio hardware reviews. But I really don't know just how minute cable differences are supposed to be because I've only experienced two aftermarket cables, a moon-audio blue dragon headphone cable and audio-gd custom power cable, and some mutilated stock cables. I know my cables sound only minutely different under certain circumstances, like if I take out my power conditioner (something not everybody uses), but when I put it back in the difference isn't so micro anymore.
I'm not qualified to discuss differences in cables, because I've never had the equipment necessary to make legitimate comparisons. My point, though, is that there are other areas in which differences are obvious to anyone with ears. My main system is based around a pair of PSB Stratus Minis, which are far and away the most expensive speakers I have ever owned. They were floor samples at a local audio shop that was going out of business, and when I heard them, my instant response was "I...WANT...THOSE."

I drive them with decidedly mid-fi electronics, and they still sound substantially as good to me as they did in the shop, when driven with much pricier gear. While I would love to feed them a pair of Bel Canto monoblocks, that's not realistic for me. Believe me, if I had bigger bank, I'd probably go crazy trying to squeeze the last 5% out of them. But I don't feel deprived as things stand.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
The problem is there hasn't been a trustworthy objective test on cables that anti-cablers and pro-cablers are satisfied with.
As I see it the "anti-cable" side is quite happy with objective tests such as tests of electrical characteristics such as attenuation and frequency response and carefully controlled double blind listening tests, it is the "pro-cable" side that by and large objects to these tests.


Quote:
Such a test would take much time and money,
Serously no, cable swap tests are trivial, you need one experimenter to randomise the order of presentation and set the cables up and volume match and then leave and another to merely observe the listeners without knowing which cables they are listening to. The only real cost is time.

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with being firmly entrenched in your belief that cables work/don't work,
Actually there is, both positions fail to admit the possibility of being wrong or misled. Althought I am very much in the skeptical camp I do not deny the possibility that out there there *may* be a cable that is notably different.

Every tme I see someone make some explicit claim such as rolled off high end I am tempted to (and sometimes do) ask them to measure the cable performance since something as strong as a rolled off high end **must** be measurable in FR terms, so far nobody I have asked has been able to empirically confirm this.

Quote:
it's better to just acknowledge pro-cablers hear a difference and anti-cablers (those who have tried) can't hear a difference, that's all, and stop hijacking cable threads mkay anticablers?
Well no, this is still an assertion not yet backed up by credible evidence. It does not matter if anti-cable folk cannot hear a difference due to some bias if pro-cable folk with the opposite bias cannot hear a difference either.

Let me give you an analogy I believe that almost all CD players by and large sound the same, this is a bias, yet I can easily tell my own CD players apart, how can this be true, how can my bias allow me to do this, simple there is an actual (1.7db) real difference in output levels between the quietest and the loudest this overcomes my bias quite easily. So in my case a sufficient real difference will overcome bias.
post #34 of 52
You misunderstand everything I've written. I'll just address your last response and say I know that it is unsubstantiated, the only way to substantiate whether the difference heard is placebo or not requires a foolproof DBT which I don't think has been done yet.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBenway View Post
I'm not qualified to discuss differences in cables, because I've never had the equipment necessary to make legitimate comparisons.
I think you are being swayed by the pro-cable ideology here. This position ascribes some magical resolving properties to more expensive solid state equipment a position that can not be supported by empirical evidence. It is an archetypical defence mechanism, part of a complex belief system.

There has been to the best of my knowledge no controlled tests whatsover that have investigated whether expensive amps can show more difference between different CD players than competent but modestly priced amps or vice versa. Seriously you will not find one example of any controlled test that has tried to explore this, it is just folklore.

When Masters and Clark tested amps in the 1980s they found listeners unable to discriminate between $12,000 monobock pairs and $230 receivers. Other blind tests have shown $12,000 CD players and $200 DVD players indistinguishable. Giving something a big price tag is no guarantee that it will be audibly better. That is down to good design and implementation.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
The problem is there hasn't been a trustworthy objective test on cables that anti-cablers and pro-cablers are satisfied with. Such a test would take much time and money, until then all we have is subjective experience, potentially subject to both placebo and nocebo. And I don't believe anyone here understands the full power of placebo, so you guys are being seriously unscientific flinging that label on pro-cablers.

There's nothing wrong with being firmly entrenched in your belief that cables work/don't work, what's wrong is when you accuse pro-cablers of not having the scientific integrity to rule out the effects of placebo. How would you anti-cablers like it if I kept repeating ad infinitum that you guys suffer from nocebo, the inability to hear a difference between cables because you are biased and trying to justify your cheap stock cables?

But to be on topic, the illusion of placebo presupposes a faulty sensory or distorted perception so you're pretty much saying "it's okay for pro-cablers to be stupid because it makes them happy". I'd rather not do that, it's better to just acknowledge pro-cablers hear a difference and anti-cablers (those who have tried) can't hear a difference, that's all, and stop hijacking cable threads mkay anticablers?
The problem with testing is that believers always dismiss the results, no matter what. No matter how fairly tested, no matter how controlled, no matter how ingenious the method, results are consistently denied.

I'm not a psychologist, but I believe that cognitive dissonance plays a strong role.

No, it is wrong to be firmly entrenched in the belief that cables don't work. Actually, they do work, and all work about the same. The reason I'm open to testing is because I'm open to the possibility that they change the sound. According to everything I've heard and seen so far, they don't.

But I remain open to the possibility. It is a shame that promoters and manufacturers don't put their vast profits into R&D with results. Funny that they don't, isn't it? They could use the results to make more money. Isn't that why people go into business? And even if this has been done, then where are the patent filings, journal articles and other prior art? Why isn't there any for cables?

Not only has no test been successful, there has been absolutely zero research into the phenomenon by those who profit from it. Why is that?

Try reading the cognitive dissonance article again.

Finally, is it wrong to own a cable and to tell others that you hear no difference? Are you saying that if you buy a cable and hear nothing, that you're obligated to lie and make claims about its sound that you don't hear and don't believe? If anyone asks for an opinion of the cables I own, why shouldn't I tell them the truth? Likewise, should I start lying about my opinion of the K-701, so as not to offend people who enjoy the K-701 and not to start fights in the threads over the K-701?
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
I think you are being swayed by the pro-cable ideology here. This position ascribes some magical resolving properties to more expensive solid state equipment a position that can not be supported by empirical evidence. It is an archetypical defence mechanism, part of a complex belief system.

There has been to the best of my knowledge no controlled tests whatsover that have investigated whether expensive amps can show more difference between different CD players than competent but modestly priced amps or vice versa. Seriously you will not find one example of any controlled test that has tried to explore this, it is just folklore.

When Masters and Clark tested amps in the 1980s they found listeners unable to discriminate between $12,000 monobock pairs and $230 receivers. Other blind tests have shown $12,000 CD players and $200 DVD players indistinguishable. Giving something a big price tag is no guarantee that it will be audibly better. That is down to good design and implementation.
I really don't disagree with you. I have a very modest system, and, on the whole, I find it very satisfying. All I'm saying is that it would be fun, if I had the money, to hear for myself what a money-no-object approach could do for my listening room (Heh. Which is also my living room and my kitchen.)
post #38 of 52
All I'm saying is pro-cablers should leave anti-cablers alone, and anti-cablers should leave pro-cablers alone. You're happy with the tests done to-date, I am not, but I'm perfectly fine with you saying you don't hear a difference, don't think there's a difference, and repeat as much as you like that current scientific instruments do not measure the difference pro-cablers believe exist. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what you or I do, if there's DBT's funded by aftermarket cable companies saying cables do make a difference most anti-cablers won't believe it, just like pro-cablers don't believe in current DBT's we don't believe are up to snuff.

I'm not going to debate in these circular cable threads anymore, I'd rather spend time talking with other pro-cablers and uh pro-ampers.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
where are the patent filings
audio cable patent - Google Search

I do not see any listening test results in these patents.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBenway View Post
I really don't disagree with you. I have a very modest system, and, on the whole, I find it very satisfying. All I'm saying is that it would be fun, if I had the money, to hear for myself what a money-no-object approach could do for my listening room (Heh. Which is also my living room and my kitchen.)
Personally I think the secret lies mostly in the speakers or headphones as long as they can be driven properly in electrical terms and there are no bizarre impedance mismatches. To me this is where the vast majority of variance should be found.

When Wilson demonstrated their kick-arse speakers at a CES in 2005 to a rapt audience they revealed at the end that the $20,000 CD player on the shelf was not what listeners were listening to but in fact they were hearing an iPod.
post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by userlander View Post
What you say about the medical field is largely accurate, but you've got the global warming part completely backward. The petroleum industry has been funding the fight against the climate change scientists for decades. Recognition of global warming eats too deeply into their profits. It's therefore only logical that they would want to impede widescale acceptance of the phenomenon. That's why they've been funding and fueling (no pun intended) their industry scientist scammers for years to deny it, just like the tobacco industry did to slow public acceptance of the fact that cigarettes cause cancer. And now they have a whole new slew of propaganda tools to help push their agenda, mostly on the right wing, like rush windbag. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake, and just like the tobacco industry that is so severely harming people's health they're not going to go down without a fight.

You and I are taught one method of "logic" in approaching the world around us but "the system" uses another. You come to realize this quickly if you spend time around Wall St.

Try this out. Big Oil decides he's getting tired of pumping so fast and feels he isn't appreciated enough. He wants to work less and make more, after all he's getting older and monopoly has become boring. Being well versed in "system logic", he creates a network of "helpers"; foundations, non-profits, "expert" yahoos educated in "the systems'" universities and emotionally unstable activists who blindly parrot "the cause".

Now we have a problem that didn't exist before. The earth is heating up and lo' and behold it's "carbons" fault. Well, we'll have to curtail that oil usage, make it an expensive option and while we're at it let's create a new "worldwide" tax on "carbon". Meanwhile, we set our generals at JP Morgan and Gollum Suchs loose to entangle the world financial system in a 500 trillion dollar quagmire of incomprehensible stupidity. The likely outcome will be another "fix"....a Phoenix waiting in the wings. Simply put, less freedom, more taxes, more control.

The sad part, and what makes them most dangerous, is they believe they are doing Gods will. As though they were a type of Prometheus

These placebo type threads are a great exercise. We all need to examine "truth", "science", "fact", etc. Cables are a good way to do that apparently
post #42 of 52
Here is an interesting link to a discussion about a cable test that took place, it wasn't for science but for a group of audiophiles own entertainment/exploration.

Observations of a controlled Cable Test - AVS Forum
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Personally I think the secret lies mostly in the speakers or headphones as long as they can be driven properly in electrical terms and there are no bizarre impedance mismatches. To me this is where the vast majority of variance should be found.

When Wilson demonstrated their kick-arse speakers at a CES in 2005 to a rapt audience they revealed at the end that the $20,000 CD player on the shelf was not what listeners were listening to but in fact they were hearing an iPod.
I've always felt that the speakers, or headphones, are the most important link in the chain. That's why I took a deep breath and spent for the Stratus Minis (and, just for the record, I got them, stands included, for $750.) To people with unlimited funds, that probably sounds pathetic. But, honestly, I'm still happy with the purchase ten years on. I don't think we really disagree here. I just don't have the funds to go the last mile, and I suspect I never will. I'm happy that I invested my meagre funds in speakers, as opposed to any other component. Right now I'm listening to a solo acoustic guitar recording of Derek Bailey, and I am very, very happy.
post #44 of 52
There's a reason for the "industry" to dismiss DBT, and there's a reason for professional reviewers to dismiss it. We all know what the reason is.

In the world of medicine it's the industry that has to prove the effect of medication or medical equipment and not the consumers. It should be the same in this buisness. If a company want us to buy their "superior" cable, amplifier or whatever, they should prove that it's either experienced as more enjoyable or more neutral in trustworthy DBTs. It should be the same for HiFi magazines. We pay for their magazines, and we should demand some kind of objectiveness, not narcissistic mumbojumbo.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditmyself View Post
There's a reason for the "industry" to dismiss DBT, and there's a reason for professional reviewers to dismiss it. We all know what the reason is.

In the world of medicine it's the industry that has to prove the effect of medication or medical equipment and not the consumers. It should be the same in this buisness. If a company want us to buy their "superior" cable, amplifier or whatever, they should prove that it's either experienced as more enjoyable or more neutral in trustworthy DBTs. It should be the same for HiFi magazines. We pay for their magazines, and we should demand some kind of objectiveness, not narcissistic mumbojumbo.
I was waiting for someone to raise this point before I jumped in...I agree wholeheartedly that the burden of proof should be on those who are selling the cables. In fact, I think "anti-cablers" (great term, btw) are doing the audiophile world a service by demanding reliable data. For the record, I have a PhD in behavioral neuroscience and will assert that double-blind testing is the ONLY way to produce reliable, trustworthy data. The fact that pro-cablers fail to discriminate between cables (or what have you) using this design is particularly compelling, considering that they are motivated to find this difference (financially and otherwise).

Should a test be designed such that a listener can hear the difference afforded by a cable, then I propose that the next phase of the test should involve a qualitative assessment of which cable actually sounds better. Different is one thing, however discriminating which cable actually sounds better could be quite interesting...coat-hanger bests monster, lol.

This topic reminds me of when I used to be into performance mods for cars. Lots of folks would state their theoretical horsepower numbers by totaling up the advertised gains from each of their bolt-on performance parts, only to be seriously embarrassed at the dyno (manufacturers overstate their claims; shocking!!!), or when the car was actually slower in the 1/4 mile (for whatever the reason; wrong gear ratios for the new power band, etc.).

As far as the message boards are concerned, for both cars and audio, for a lot of folks it comes down to having impressive-on-paper **** in the signature line.
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