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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 105

post #1561 of 3732
Quote:

Originally Posted by xnor View Post

 

So back to the anecdote: a salesman telling you that "this shiny cable improves sound, you just have to give it a listen and you'll hear what I'm talking about" does influence what you'll hear.

 

It really is trivially easy to influence one's subjective perceptions.

 

To give your anecdote something of a real world example, late last year I had a customer return a cable. He said he preferred a silver cable he was comparing it to. During the course of this, he said he really wished we'd made a silver cable. And that's when the devil on my shoulder whispered in my ear.

 

So I told him a story. A story about a friend of mine who's in the audio transformer business. About how some years ago he'd bought a bunch of high quality silver magnet wire so he could offer transformers with silver windings in response to customers of his who were saying they wanted silver wound transformers. And how, when they saw the prices, they decided they didn't want silver wound transformers so much after all. And how he's been sitting on a bunch of silver magnet wire ever since.

 

I told him we'd talked about this over the Thanksgiving holiday and that I had decided to buy some of his silver magnet wire and have it made into litz wire. I dragged this out for about two months, telling him that first it had to go to my wire guys to make litz wire out of it, then it had to go over to France to have the silk serve applied as no one in the US does silk serve anymore.

 

Finally I told him I'd received the litz wire back from France and that I'd have his silver cable made up and sent out to him the next day.

 

As expected, when he received the cable and gave it a try, he said it sounded better than the copper cable he'd returned. Of course he wasn't listening to a silver litz cable, he was listening to the same copper cable he'd previously returned. Well, not THE exact same cable he'd returned, but one made identically to that one.

 

Then I broke the news to him. From our previous discussions I knew he had a good sense of humor so I thought he'd likely take it well. And he did. So well in fact that he immediately turned around and pulled the same stunt on a friend of his. biggrin.gif

 

So yeah, it is trivially easy to influence one's subjective perceptions. And it's quite reliable. I've done similar things many times over the past 30 years and it's never failed.

 

se


Edited by Steve Eddy - 10/23/12 at 8:16am
post #1562 of 3732

Since it was not the same cable, did he have the old one to compare to the new one? Even if he did I wouldn't be surprised if he still preferred the new one.

 

Anyway, thanks that was fun to read.

 

That's basically the same story (SS vs. tube amp with a switch -> people prefer the tube amp, but the switch didn't do anything other than *click* ...) as jj tells in the Audio Myths Workshop video.

Quote:
It is not delusion, it's nothing of the sort, it's the way the brain works.

The brain will use and integrate any information...


Edited by xnor - 10/23/12 at 10:03am
post #1563 of 3732

Well, just because the brain operates in that manner, doesn't mean it is not also a delusion. It's just not a deliberate one. 

post #1564 of 3732

To me a delusion is a thought disorder which somebody clings on to despite all contradictions with reality. When you tell people it is the same cable, amp etc. the differences they heard usually go away. If they don't then we can say it's a delusion. Otherwise it's just the way the brain works.

 

It's the same with tuning an EQ filter only to find out later that the EQ/filter was bypassed. Once you know it was bypassed and listen again you understand that what you heard was imagined. I guess not everyone has made that experience yet.

 

edit: oh I just noticed the

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Wow.

Thanks. If it wasn't meant that way maybe write a few more words? :S


Edited by xnor - 10/23/12 at 12:08pm
post #1565 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

It really is trivially easy to influence one's subjective perceptions.

 

To give your anecdote something of a real world example, late last year I had a customer return a cable. He said he preferred a silver cable he was comparing it to. During the course of this, he said he really wished we'd made a silver cable. And that's when the devil on my shoulder whispered in my ear.

 

So I told him a story. A story about a friend of mine who's in the audio transformer business. About how some years ago he'd bought a bunch of high quality silver magnet wire so he could offer transformers with silver windings in response to customers of his who were saying they wanted silver wound transformers. And how, when they saw the prices, they decided they didn't want silver wound transformers so much after all. And how he's been sitting on a bunch of silver magnet wire ever since.

 

I told him we'd talked about this over the Thanksgiving holiday and that I had decided to buy some of his silver magnet wire and have it made into litz wire. I dragged this out for about two months, telling him that first it had to go to my wire guys to make litz wire out of it, then it had to go over to France to have the silk serve applied as no one in the US does silk serve anymore.

 

Finally I told him I'd received the litz wire back from France and that I'd have his silver cable made up and sent out to him the next day.

 

As expected, when he received the cable and gave it a try, he said it sounded better than the copper cable he'd returned. Of course he wasn't listening to a silver litz cable, he was listening to the same copper cable he'd previously returned. Well, not THE exact same cable he'd returned, but one made identically to that one.

 

Then I broke the news to him. From our previous discussions I knew he had a good sense of humor so I thought he'd likely take it well. And he did. So well in fact that he immediately turned around and pulled the same stunt on a friend of his. biggrin.gif

 

So yeah, it is trivially easy to influence one's subjective perceptions. And it's quite reliable. I've done similar things many times over the past 30 years and it's never failed.

 

se


Classic!

post #1566 of 3732

It is and funny too. bigsmile_face.gif No one is debating how easily one can be fooled. Lots of folks can't escape their own heads in many aspects of life. Keep in mind, that comment came form a cable manufacturer that feels his sound better than some others. One can understand the problem and still not agree that all differences are placebo. Steve seems as though he doesn't take things for granted as I don't either. Either way.

post #1567 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Keep in mind, that comment came form a cable manufacturer that feels his sound better than some others. 

 

He actually makes no such claims. Never has. 

post #1568 of 3732

OK but he sells $300 interconnect cables for a reason whether he says so or not. I appreciate it if he would prefer not to get into it and see he helps hobbyist when he can. My intention was not to put words in his mouth as he shouldn't need to defend his cables here.

post #1569 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

OK but he sells $300 interconnect cables for a reason whether he says so or not.

 

The reason is pretty simple. Like most everyone else, I'm not independently wealthy and have to earn a living for myself.

 

Quote:
I appreciate it if he would prefer not to get into it...

 

Why's that exactly?

 

se

post #1570 of 3732

I'm good. I just assumed an independant cable maker did so because he felt he could offer something better sounding. Poor assumption on my part. My mistake and I retract my comment.

post #1571 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I'm good. I just assumed an independant cable maker did so because he felt he could offer something better sounding. Poor assumption on my part. My mistake and I retract my comment.

 

Well, "sound" let alone "better sounding" is highly subjective (in fact, I'd argue it's ultimately entirely subjective), so it really hasn't much meaning outside a particular individual's experience so I don't even go there.

 

What I make and sell is that which I've designed to satisfy only myself. Fortunately others have also found satisfaction with them which has allowed me to earn a living at it.

 

se

post #1572 of 3732

Works for me. Again, sorry to make you go there at all.

post #1573 of 3732
Diogenes would like you Steve.
post #1574 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Works for me. Again, sorry to make you go there at all.

 

No problem!

 

se

post #1575 of 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Diogenes would like you Steve.

 

Yeah? Does he have any cute sisters? biggrin.gif

 

se

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