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Help with a philosophical problem with blind testing cables - Page 2

post #16 of 51
[QUOTE=sanderx;5874119]

It is wrong to state that these will affect the sound. There is no basis for such claims.

QUOTE]

I think this is exactly the absolutist statement that is being discussed here. You can't always rely on scientific "basis" to discern differences. You need to use your ears in audio. No, my old slide rule can't hear a difference, but my ears can. I base this opinion on actual experimentation on my part, not on hearsay or a textbook.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderx View Post
It is wrong to state that these will affect the sound. There is no basis for such claims.
Well, I'm glad we settled that. Let's all go home now. Don't forget to close this thread first.
post #18 of 51
[QUOTE=BobMcN;5874232]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderx View Post
No, my old slide rule can't hear a difference, but my ears can. I base this opinion on actual experimentation on my part, not on hearsay or a textbook.
You set up a test to determine if a ruler could hear a difference between components.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderx View Post
It is wrong to state that these will affect the sound. There is no basis for such claims.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
Well, I'm glad we settled that. Let's all go home now. Don't forget to close this thread first.
Actually he(?) is correct. You should not state "will" without evidence, you could assert "might" and then you have a testable hypothesis.

I spent months testing different cables on the basis that they "might" (by dint of different materials and construction) be different...
post #20 of 51
Please don't let the sarcasm prevent you from understanding my meaning.

(There was no reason to test the ruler. It had already had too many beers to make an honest judgement call that particular day. I haven't used it in so long that it has filled its day with alcoholic tendencies. I have taken it to AA meetings, but alas, I feel it only has a short time to live. It's kidneys are shot. Oh, and it doesn't have any ears either.)
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Actually he(?) is correct. You should not state "will" without evidence, you could assert "might" and then you have a testable hypothesis.
I'll bet you dollars to donuts that he would say it is wrong to say that they "might" affect the sound. I think you're missing the thrust of his statement. But then again, I could be wrong.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
I'll bet you dollars to donuts that he would say it is wrong to say that they "might" affect the sound. I think you're missing the thrust of his statement. But then again, I could be wrong.
No, nick_charles is entirely correct. Hypothesis should not be presented as facts - anything in the chain might (or may, depending on probability) influence the end result. A chance exists that something in cables has been overlooked that might cause the connector material to have effect on sound, just like it might be (but as with connectors appears unlikely) that different dielectrics (say plastic vs teflon) might materialy affect the sound transmitted through cables.

But as it is, there is no real ground to say that these things will affect the sound.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
I'll bet you dollars to donuts that he would say it is wrong to say that they "might" affect the sound. I think you're missing the thrust of his statement. But then again, I could be wrong.
No, I get it and you are probably right about his(?) intent but he(?) did not say it. You cannot accuse someone of libel based on what you think they believe only on what they openly express(*), as at the time of writing

"Might" seems appropriate here since I can conceive of some mix of materials that might make a big difference, Titanium might be a poor choice


* - Though silence can also be loud ......


CROMWELL But, Gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man when he is dead. Let us say we go into the room where he is lying; and let us say it is in the dead of night-there's nothing like darkness for sharpening the ear; and we listen. What do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing. This is silence, pure and simple. But consider another case. Suppose I were to draw a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it, and suppose their lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop or crying out for help to stop me, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that 1 should do it, and under the law they would be guilty with me. So silence can, according to circumstances, speak. Consider, now, the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to good and faithful subjects up and down the country and they had declared His Grace's title to be just and good. And when it came to the prisoner he refused. He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court, is there a man in this country, who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of the King's title? Of course not! But how can that be? Because this silence betokened-nay, this silence was not silence at all but most eloquent denial.

MORE (With some of the academic's impatience for a shoddy line of reasoning) Not so, Master Secretary, the maxim is "qui tacet consentire." (Turns to COMMON MAN) The maxim of the law is (Very carefully) "Silence gives consent." If, therefore, you wish to construe what my silence "betokened," you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

CROMWELL Is that what the world in fact construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

MORE The world must construe according to its wits. This Court must construe according to the law.
post #24 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderx View Post
But as it is, there is no real ground to say that these things will affect the sound.
You mean, existing measurements have not shown any evidence that these components will make a difference in the audible range.

But people claim there are audible differences and the statement above does not "prove" they are wrong. The measurements may not be measuring the right thing. Of course, my question is then, if we can ensure blindness and a acceptable ABX protocol, how can we identify the wire as the culprit in a positive blind test. Is is simply running combinations until the wire demonstrates consistent sonic changes across all other changes?

This seems a little nuts to me since there are so many possibilities. You've even got to blind test the solder...
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Of course, my question is then, if we can ensure blindness and a acceptable ABX protocol, how can we identify the wire as the culprit in a positive blind test. Is is simply running combinations until the wire demonstrates consistent sonic changes across all other changes?

This seems a little nuts to me since there are so many possibilities. You've even got to blind test the solder...
You are making this harder than it needs to be. You should with start with the question:

"Are there ever any reliable audible differences between any two cables of whatever ilk?".

Only when you get at least one solid "YES" to this is it worth investigating further. Worrying about things that might make a difference when you have never found a difference is is doing things backwards.

If nobody ever finds any differences between cables then why they are the same is of only academic interest...
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderx View Post
No, nick_charles is entirely correct. Hypothesis should not be presented as facts - anything in the chain might (or may, depending on probability) influence the end result. A chance exists that something in cables has been overlooked that might cause the connector material to have effect on sound, just like it might be (but as with connectors appears unlikely) that different dielectrics (say plastic vs teflon) might materialy affect the sound transmitted through cables.

But as it is, there is no real ground to say that these things will affect the sound.
Got it. We're on the same page now.
post #27 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
You are making this harder than it needs to be. You should with start with the question:

"Are there ever any reliable audible differences between any two cables of whatever ilk?".

Only when you get at least one solid "YES" to this is it worth investigating further. Worrying about things that might make a difference when you have never found a difference is is doing things backwards.
That was actually my rationale when I originally stated that people should blind test amps, dacs, sources, etc. before cables. If a person cannot have a positive result between those devices, then how are they going to have a positive result with cables?
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
That was actually my rationale when I originally stated that people should blind test amps, dacs, sources, etc. before cables. If a person cannot have a positive result between those devices, then how are they going to have a positive result with cables?
Ah, sorry, I misunderstood your intent my apologies.

....though I do know of at least one person (mentioning no names but he is Swedish) who has argued that cables can be more important than components.
post #29 of 51
Odigg, I think you're on the right track here, wrt your conclusions. I would be far more interested in a blind test between DACs or amps than between cables because the results will probably be more meaningful. Chances are that the cable testing currently going on will still provide a negative result, and the debate will continue to go on with more and more different doubts about blind testing. These doubts are fine and good, but it's terribly inefficient to go testing hypotheses without first ordering them by their strength and falsifiability.

Take the case of amplifiers and DACs: saying that differences between DACs and amps are inaudible is a very bold claim. Therefore, a negative result would be far more significant than with cables. Many people claim that cables make small differences that reveal themselves over time. However, not many people claim that amplifiers make small subtle differences that reveal themselves over time. Therefore, a negative result would be of much interest, because whatever the testing methodology used, it would have to be absurdly terrible and horrifically flawed to obscure what would presumably be a very large effect size.

A positive result, OTOH, would also be useful. A positive result would suggest that current audio measurements as they stand are incomplete (assuming one is testing DACs/amps that measure the same, as is the case with most), and we could provide evidence for that claim very easily if differences between DACs and amps are not subtle. With cables, the problem is that a new doubt will always appear because cable differences are supposed to be small. It's a lot harder to doubt a negative result when the differences are supposed to be night and day.
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
....though I do know of at least one person (mentioning no names but he is Swedish) who has argued that cables can be more important than components.
I actually agree with this statement. I am currently moving homes. Some cables are in boxes with the movers, and some equipment came with me in my car.

So you see, I cannot use this equipment without the cables. In this case, the cables are certainly more important than my equipment because the equipment is useless without the cables.

My spouse finds this very important as well. Without equipment to distract me, I spend more time with her. So cables are important to her in a different sense.
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