Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › To the cable non-believers...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

To the cable non-believers... - Page 2

post #16 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
We need to get a life size Foobar ABX going:

2 identical sets of equipment except for the cabling!
Finding two identical sets of equipment is a problem in itself. Even if the models are the same, there are measurable differences between two units. If you take the time to measure each cap, resistor, chip, tube, transformer, etc., you'll discover that no two are exactly alike. Look at the frequency response charts for the Sennheiser HD-800. There are differences between headphones that come from a tight manufacturing environment. To get identical equipmen chains - source, amp and headphones - would be a difficult and expensive task. Even then, the "believers" would likely find "fault" with something in one of the units.

Which is why I think much of the debate is just arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. There are measurable differences between seemingly identical pieces of equipment, not to mention differences in listenin environment, power, and many other factors.

In short, there are just too many variables to control for everything. If cable differences are too subtle to be picked up by highly sensitive test gear, then whatever differences there are must be masked by one of the multitude of variables in a setup. Which, to me, makes the cable exercises totally irrelevant. What might be a difference could be masked by a resistor that's 2% out of spec. Further, the value of resistors (and caps, for that matter) varies with its temperature. So not only would you have to know its value at room temperature, you'd also have to know its value at the operating temperature while figuring in the ambient temperature from the room. You'd probably also want to factor in cosmic background radiation (it is there) and a multitude of other factors.

This is why I think cables are mostly an argument about angels on the head of a pin. If you cannot measure the difference and no one can head the difference nder controlled DBT, then the difference - if any - is so slight it's irrelevant. You're better off just picking up well made cables and focusing instead on recording quality as well as exposing yourself to new music. Trying to pin down differences that might not even exist is a waste of time.
post #17 of 149
I don't think there's any magic involved, simply that what science reckons is beyond our ability to perceive is wrong. It is not the first time by a long stretch that science has been proven wrong.

It would be a better test if someone who didn't know about the cables could switch them around. However, from my experience in martial arts, you can train yourself, with enough effort and practice, to quite high levels of ability, beyond what science thinks is possible. Very likely what gave the positive result was that it was his own system he was listening to. Formal DBT tests always seem to use unfamiliar systems.
post #18 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Formal DBT tests always seem to use unfamiliar systems.
Here is an interesting thread from another forum not about interconnects but about a speaker wire test using a very nice system familiar to the test subject. Observations of a controlled Cable Test - AVS Forum

Quote:
However, from my experience in martial arts, you can train yourself, with enough effort and practice, to quite high levels of ability, beyond what science thinks is possible.
An example here would really help what can you do that science says is impossible for you?
post #19 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
I don't think there's any magic involved, simply that what science reckons is beyond our ability to perceive is wrong. It is not the first time by a long stretch that science has been proven wrong.

It would be a better test if someone who didn't know about the cables could switch them around. However, from my experience in martial arts, you can train yourself, with enough effort and practice, to quite high levels of ability, beyond what science thinks is possible. Very likely what gave the positive result was that it was his own system he was listening to. Formal DBT tests always seem to use unfamiliar systems.
Science has never been proven wrong (though Feyerabend may disagree) and it has never suggested what may or may not be possible. Scientists, hypothesies, and theories have been proven wrong of course, but that is a integral part of science itself.

This may be seem like a semantical argument, but it is quite harmful to associate a small number of scientific results with the system itself. Just because some hypothesies have been proven wrong means nothing in consideration to what we scientifically know unless evidence is given to question that knowledge. That being said: until evidence is put forward it strikes me as folly to distrust the process that is completely responsible for every single aspect of what we are debating here (amplifiers, speakers, etc).

Sorry, but I just can't understand trusting the scientific process to produce a transistor or valve then disregarding it when convenient. If you believe that a particular idea is incorrect, then become part of the process, no well organized and documented test will be ignored, otherwise simply saying it is wrong gets you no where.
post #20 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
I don't think there's any magic involved, simply that what science reckons is beyond our ability to perceive is wrong. It is not the first time by a long stretch that science has been proven wrong.

It would be a better test if someone who didn't know about the cables could switch them around. However, from my experience in martial arts, you can train yourself, with enough effort and practice, to quite high levels of ability, beyond what science thinks is possible. Very likely what gave the positive result was that it was his own system he was listening to. Formal DBT tests always seem to use unfamiliar systems.
The scientific method is a system for investigating the world around us. There is no monolithic "science" to be wrong.
post #21 of 149
^^ No, this is not a semantical argument at all.

Sometimes people need to listen to the substance of what people are saying, instead of picking at nits.
post #22 of 149
It used to be that there was no way to measure the distance between the sun and the earth. Does that mean that the sun and the earth were in the same place? Of course not. There used to be no way to measure differences in quantum particles. And now we accept the differences as real. Similarly, while we can measure many things related to audio reproduction, it would be arrogant to think that we can measure everything that is important. In my lifetime, there has been new technologies, etc. and I assume that it will continue.

That not everybody does not perceive the differences does not mean that there are none. Some people can perceive minor differences in color, others cannot. Some people can note minute differences between two musical tones, most cannot. The majority perception does not mean that there are no differences. Again, I think it arrogant to assume that because not everybody perceives the difference that there is no difference.

My bottom line is that if you perceive a difference, and that difference is meaningful to you, then I accept that and invite you to seek the sound that you want. If you don't perceive a difference, then so be it. You are probably saving a considerable amount of money compared to those who do not note the difference. It is not an absolute measure of whether or not there is a difference - just that not everybody perceives the difference.
post #23 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry View Post
It used to be that there was no way to measure the distance between the sun and the earth. Does that mean that the sun and the earth were in the same place? Of course not. There used to be no way to measure differences in quantum particles. And now we accept the differences as real. Similarly, while we can measure many things related to audio reproduction, it would be arrogant to think that we can measure everything that is important. In my lifetime, there has been new technologies, etc. and I assume that it will continue.
And yet neither the distance between the sun and earth, nor the existence of particles exist completely due to their measurement; reproduction of audio does. The exact same process that led to the invention of devices allowing audio reproduction also shows us that there is no audible difference at audio frequencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry
That not everybody does not perceive the differences does not mean that there are none. Some people can perceive minor differences in color, others cannot. Some people can note minute differences between two musical tones, most cannot. The majority perception does not mean that there are no differences. Again, I think it arrogant to assume that because not everybody perceives the difference that there is no difference.
Yes people can perceive minor differences in color, but that is a moot point since we can measure differences in color a few orders of magnitude better. Very few people are claiming that because not everyone can nobody can, what they are claiming is that nobody has, under proper controls and documentation, demonstrated that there is a difference. Furthermore detailed technical analysis shows that differences are well below audible (people can detect a difference in 1-3dB, Nick Charles' measurements, for example, found differences on the scale of a hundredth of a decibel) and in fact well below any reasonable noise floor.
post #24 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
Here is an interesting thread from another forum not about interconnects but about a speaker wire test using a very nice system familiar to the test subject. Observations of a controlled Cable Test - AVS Forum

An example here would really help what can you do that science says is impossible for you?
Sleep standing up. I've done it. According to doctors I know it's impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePredator View Post
Science has never been proven wrong (though Feyerabend may disagree) and it has never suggested what may or may not be possible. Scientists, hypothesies, and theories have been proven wrong of course, but that is a integral part of science itself.

This may be seem like a semantical argument, but it is quite harmful to associate a small number of scientific results with the system itself. Just because some hypothesies have been proven wrong means nothing in consideration to what we scientifically know unless evidence is given to question that knowledge. That being said: until evidence is put forward it strikes me as folly to distrust the process that is completely responsible for every single aspect of what we are debating here (amplifiers, speakers, etc).

Sorry, but I just can't understand trusting the scientific process to produce a transistor or valve then disregarding it when convenient. If you believe that a particular idea is incorrect, then become part of the process, no well organized and documented test will be ignored, otherwise simply saying it is wrong gets you no where.
Where would I begin to tear apart the contradictions in this?

Anyway, my point was familiarity with the equipment being blind-tested, along with extensive experience and skill being factors.
post #25 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Sleep standing up. I've done it. According to doctors I know it's impossible.
That is an anecdote not evidence (to be more specific: how do you know you were asleep? Were you hooked up to an EEG? In all likelihood your's and the doctor's definition of sleep differed).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong
Where would I begin to tear apart the contradictions in this?
At the beginning I would assume. I would like to read them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong
Anyway, my point was familiarity with the equipment being blind-tested, along with extensive experience and skill being factors.
OK? I believe that I was specific as to which statements is was replying to, if it seems I at all misunderstood what you were saying, please be more specific as to what.
post #26 of 149
OP,
i think the differences between cables can become apparent when you listen with them in a familiar hi-fi - your uncle is obviously is very familiar with his own kit. it sounds like he has spent some time and effort building it to his satisfaction, and subtle changes can become more apparent.

could he have picked the cables out in an unfamilar hi-fi and room - probably not.
post #27 of 149
Off topic.

Erik -- Medieval philosophers understood that angels must have 0 mass. Why? Simple logic: since every person who dies is replaced by an angel, and the angles live among us for eternity, we would soon run out of room, hence 0 mass. Thus an infinite number of angels can dance on the head of a pin, since the head of a pin has a measurable area -- they all knew that. This is not the queston they asked (although it is -- incorrectly -- what we all say today. It is a mis-translation of Latin).

But the point of a pin is someting different -- it has 0 area. It all comes together at the point -- hence 0 area. Now we have a tough question: how many entities of 0 mass can fit (or dance) in a place of 0 area.

We say "how many angels can dance ..." to dismiss arguments as silly and time wasting. But asking how many 0-mass things can fit in 0-area is neither silly nor time wasting. It is about infinity and infintesimals -- these philosophers were smart.

The answer leads to L'Hospital's rule on the ratio of limits, how to give meaning to 0/0, etc. A fundamental problem of calculus. And I do believe that L'Hospital preceeded Newton and the other inventors of calculus with his logic.
post #28 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post

But the point of a pin is someting different -- it has 0 area. It all comes together at the point -- hence 0 area. Now we have a tough question: how many entities of 0 mass can fit (or dance) in a place of 0 area.

We say "how many angels can dance ..." to dismiss arguments as silly and time wasting. But asking how many 0-mass things can fit in 0-area is neither silly nor time wasting. It is about infinity and infintesimals -- these philosophers were smart.

The answer leads to L'Hospital's rule on the ratio of limits, how to give meaning to 0/0, etc. A fundamental problem of calculus. And I do believe that L'Hospital preceeded Newton and the other inventors of calculus with his logic.
Mod parent up Informative!
post #29 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePredator View Post
This may be seem like a semantical argument, but it is quite harmful to associate a small number of scientific results with the system itself. Just because some hypothesies have been proven wrong means nothing in consideration to what we scientifically know unless evidence is given to question that knowledge. That being said: until evidence is put forward it strikes me as folly to distrust the process that is completely responsible for every single aspect of what we are debating here (amplifiers, speakers, etc).

Sorry, but I just can't understand trusting the scientific process to produce a transistor or valve then disregarding it when convenient. If you believe that a particular idea is incorrect, then become part of the process, no well organized and documented test will be ignored, otherwise simply saying it is wrong gets you no where.
Being sceptical of some particular idea, commonly accepted or not, does not make one "distrust science".

We are dealing with extremely complex systems here. The brain, the mind, the body. Not only that, but we are dealing with very subtle phenomena of these complex systems - edge cases, the limits of the system's capability. It is in such cases that the scientific models we use to help describe these complex systems are most prone to being in disagreement with reality.

So, although I don't personally believe cables sound different, someone else may have had a different experience than myself. Their experience may be so convincing to them that they simply are not convinced that the current scientific evidence disproves their own experience. Sure it could be placebo, expectation, etc. Or it might not be. It is not, however, unreasonable to be aware of the fact that our knowledge of reality is not complete and absolute, and that even things firmly believed by intelligent people can be (and are) wrong or not the entire truth. Look at what respected geologists of the day said about plate tectonics when it was first proposed. Look at what happened to Julius Mayer when he discovered the first law of thermodynamics. Look at the embarrassingly unscientific conduct of those involved with string-theory. Look at some of the revealing "scientific" exchanges that have gone on in the global warming debate. Throwing out one's senses without sufficient reason is supremely foolish, and I would say veers well into scientism.

Not only that, but what we're dealing with here is particularly difficult to test because we are in fact testing not just simple old hearing, but all of the following: -

-The general sound processing capabilities of the brain, as distinct from the sound measurement capabilities

-The potential improvement in hearing performance as a result of adaptation by the brain

-If delving into the previous point, the effectiveness of the training

-If delving into the previous point, the question of how to know when someone has reached their peak potential performance as a result of training, and how to distinguish ineffective training from the subject having reached their peak potential performance

-The validity of the assumption that sound is processed in the brain the same way when simply listening to music without attempting to form any conscious comparisons or determinations as when consciously attempting to compare two sounds

-The effect of state of mind on performance


There are more, but that should put across the point.

I'm not suggesting everyone should be oblivious to the fact that our senses can deceive us, but to equate trusting one's own senses to distrusting science when the two vaguely disagree is very wrong IMO.
post #30 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
-The potential improvement in hearing performance as a result of adaptation by the brain

-If delving into the previous point, the effectiveness of the training

-If delving into the previous point, the question of how to know when someone has reached their peak potential performance as a result of training, and how to distinguish ineffective training from the subject having reached their peak potential performance

-The validity of the assumption that sound is processed in the brain the same way when simply listening to music without attempting to form any conscious comparisons or determinations as when consciously attempting to compare two sounds

-The effect of state of mind on performance
These all point towards a question that I have about people who lean on the subjective side of the audiophile world. Why depend on outside objects to tweak an internal first person experience? If listening is a subjective first person experience there are many avenues that could result in improvements in the listening experience.

Where is the discussion of listening training, were is the talk about meditation? There is allot of subjective first person exploration that I don't see discussed.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › To the cable non-believers...