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post #271 of 3125
Heidigger, if you hear a difference, then why do you need to see the cable?

"Stress" is a red herring.

A test was conducted here a few years back where people received three different cables in the mail. They could listen to them as they pleased before sending them on. No one watching and nothing to cause stress.

No one could tell the difference - the results were the same as chance.

Similar tests have been conducted many times.

The simple fact is that no one can tell the difference between cables if they don't know what they're listening to.

So save a few bucks and get the cheap cables. Why not? This hobby is about getting great sound, not winning a fashion show.
post #272 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post

I'm very suspicious of blind testing. It introduces stress and totally changes the way people listen to music. Suddenly they are stressing over small differences rather than just relaxing and feeling the music. Sometimes test conditions change the very things they seek to measure. Moreover, there's no comparison between a test running only a few hours and living with something day to day when you really have time to notice differences. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between my RBCDs and SACDs in a blind test. I do know that in day to day listening I much, MUCH rather listen to SACDs. When I play regular CDs they can even sound great at first, but eventually something seems missing and I always go back to SACD. ALWAYS.


If you can't tell the difference from sound alone (i.e. blind)  then how can you say they sound better?



 

Well, I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference or not since I've never blind tested myself. All I can say is I listened only to SACDs for a few months, then tried switiching back to CDs. YUCK! Couldn't do it. CDs might sound similar to SACDs, but it's as if they have no soul. Something's missing. There is such a thing as unconscious perceptions. You may not be able consciously to perceive a huge difference between the sound of CDs and SACDs, but believe me your body senses it after a while. There's a huge difference in sheer visceral enjoyment. I would point to blind studies where people are unable to consciously distinguish between low rez vs. high rez, but there is a Japanese study where they monitered brain activity and they documented a physiological difference. This supports my contention that people may not be able to consciously tell a difference in a blind study, but that they still experience a gut-level enjoyment of high-rez that is absent when listening to low-rez. I wouldn't switch back to CDs if you paid me.

post #273 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Heidigger, if you hear a difference, then why do you need to see the cable?

"Stress" is a red herring.

A test was conducted here a few years back where people received three different cables in the mail. They could listen to them as they pleased before sending them on. No one watching and nothing to cause stress.

No one could tell the difference - the results were the same as chance.

Similar tests have been conducted many times.

The simple fact is that no one can tell the difference between cables if they don't know what they're listening to.

So save a few bucks and get the cheap cables. Why not? This hobby is about getting great sound, not winning a fashion show.



I'm not saying stress is always a factor. In terms of rca and other such cables, it may very well be that there is no differnce. However, see my last post above about my belief that people can unconsciously perceive differences that they aren't able to identify consciously. I do notice a big difference, even consciously, between my Cardas and stock Sennheiser headphone cables. The difference is obvious. But my comment was mostly directed at blind studies of amps and SACDs.

post #274 of 3125
Thread Starter 

Hif Wigwams blind power cable test also involved sending the cables to peoples houses to listen to them over time. Other blind tests talk of the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I suspect that any stress is felt by those who believe they can hear a difference, but have a horrible feeling that under a test, they will fail.

 

Heidegger, you are clearly very attached to SACD and it would be brilliant for you to do a blind test CDs vs SCAD. If you pass, which since there is a difference between them I hope you do, it can go in another thread on passed blind tests, to show that blind testing is not designed to fail as some claim.

post #275 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post

I'm very suspicious of blind testing. It introduces stress and totally changes the way people listen to music. Suddenly they are stressing over small differences rather than just relaxing and feeling the music. Sometimes test conditions change the very things they seek to measure. Moreover, there's no comparison between a test running only a few hours and living with something day to day when you really have time to notice differences. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between my RBCDs and SACDs in a blind test. I do know that in day to day listening I much, MUCH rather listen to SACDs. When I play regular CDs they can even sound great at first, but eventually something seems missing and I always go back to SACD. ALWAYS.


If you can't tell the difference from sound alone (i.e. blind)  then how can you say they sound better?



 

Well, I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference or not since I've never blind tested myself. All I can say is I listened only to SACDs for a few months, then tried switiching back to CDs. YUCK! Couldn't do it. CDs might sound similar to SACDs, but it's as if they have no soul. Something's missing. There is such a thing as unconscious perceptions. You may not be able consciously to perceive a huge difference between the sound of CDs and SACDs, but believe me your body senses it after a while. There's a huge difference in sheer visceral enjoyment. I would point to blind studies where people are unable to consciously distinguish between low rez vs. high rez, but there is a Japanese study where they monitered brain activity and they documented a physiological difference. This supports my contention that people may not be able to consciously tell a difference in a blind study, but that they still experience a gut-level enjoyment of high-rez that is absent when listening to low-rez. I wouldn't switch back to CDs if you paid me.


1.  Please post a link to the Japanese study to which you refer.  The crucial question is whether the test subjects had knowledge of the source material which allegedly produced those physiological responses.

 

2.  IMO you are correct when you point to an unconscious (or sub-conscious) phenomenon as the cause of your perception of higher quality.  The question is whether that phenomenon is the result of the high-rez material or your knowledge that it is high-rez material.  The aforementioned Japanese study may directly address that question.

post #276 of 3125

Some interesting tidbits on perception and hearing: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue52/ultrasonic.htm

 

This was "science" in the early 70's (known in the 50's), but since CD's took over, we shouldn't be able to hear (perceive) anything above 20K. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post

I'm very suspicious of blind testing. It introduces stress and totally changes the way people listen to music. Suddenly they are stressing over small differences rather than just relaxing and feeling the music. Sometimes test conditions change the very things they seek to measure. Moreover, there's no comparison between a test running only a few hours and living with something day to day when you really have time to notice differences. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between my RBCDs and SACDs in a blind test. I do know that in day to day listening I much, MUCH rather listen to SACDs. When I play regular CDs they can even sound great at first, but eventually something seems missing and I always go back to SACD. ALWAYS.


If you can't tell the difference from sound alone (i.e. blind)  then how can you say they sound better?



 

Well, I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference or not since I've never blind tested myself. All I can say is I listened only to SACDs for a few months, then tried switiching back to CDs. YUCK! Couldn't do it. CDs might sound similar to SACDs, but it's as if they have no soul. Something's missing. There is such a thing as unconscious perceptions. You may not be able consciously to perceive a huge difference between the sound of CDs and SACDs, but believe me your body senses it after a while. There's a huge difference in sheer visceral enjoyment. I would point to blind studies where people are unable to consciously distinguish between low rez vs. high rez, but there is a Japanese study where they monitered brain activity and they documented a physiological difference. This supports my contention that people may not be able to consciously tell a difference in a blind study, but that they still experience a gut-level enjoyment of high-rez that is absent when listening to low-rez. I wouldn't switch back to CDs if you paid me.

post #277 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by terriblepaulz View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post



Quote:

 

Well, I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference or not since I've never blind tested myself. All I can say is I listened only to SACDs for a few months, then tried switiching back to CDs. YUCK! Couldn't do it. CDs might sound similar to SACDs, but it's as if they have no soul. Something's missing. There is such a thing as unconscious perceptions. You may not be able consciously to perceive a huge difference between the sound of CDs and SACDs, but believe me your body senses it after a while. There's a huge difference in sheer visceral enjoyment. I would point to blind studies where people are unable to consciously distinguish between low rez vs. high rez, but there is a Japanese study where they monitered brain activity and they documented a physiological difference. This supports my contention that people may not be able to consciously tell a difference in a blind study, but that they still experience a gut-level enjoyment of high-rez that is absent when listening to low-rez. I wouldn't switch back to CDs if you paid me.


1.  Please post a link to the Japanese study to which you refer.  This is the Oohashi study http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548.full.pdf+html but it is not about high res vs CD it is about hypersonic frequencies,  later researchers Nishigichi et al, ‘Perceptual Discrimination between Musical Sounds with and without Very High Frequency Components’. NHK Laboratory Note No 486. AES 115th Convention 2003 NY October were unable to replicate the effect and attribute the effect to the filters used...also Oohashi in later research discovered that if only the ears and not the body were exposed to the stimulae there was no effect.

 

 

The crucial question is whether the test subjects had knowledge of the source material which allegedly produced those physiological responses.

 

2.  IMO you are correct when you point to an unconscious (or sub-conscious) phenomenon as the cause of your perception of higher quality.  The question is whether that phenomenon is the result of the high-rez material or your knowledge that it is high-rez material.  The aforementioned Japanese study may directly address that question.

post #278 of 3125

I believe the Positive Feedback article provide more current information re our perception of ultrasonic frequencies. 

post #279 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by terriblepaulz View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post



Quote:

 

Well, I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference or not since I've never blind tested myself. All I can say is I listened only to SACDs for a few months, then tried switiching back to CDs. YUCK! Couldn't do it. CDs might sound similar to SACDs, but it's as if they have no soul. Something's missing. There is such a thing as unconscious perceptions. You may not be able consciously to perceive a huge difference between the sound of CDs and SACDs, but believe me your body senses it after a while. There's a huge difference in sheer visceral enjoyment. I would point to blind studies where people are unable to consciously distinguish between low rez vs. high rez, but there is a Japanese study where they monitered brain activity and they documented a physiological difference. This supports my contention that people may not be able to consciously tell a difference in a blind study, but that they still experience a gut-level enjoyment of high-rez that is absent when listening to low-rez. I wouldn't switch back to CDs if you paid me.


1.  Please post a link to the Japanese study to which you refer.  This is the Oohashi study http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548.full.pdf+html but it is not about high res vs CD it is about hypersonic frequencies,  later researchers Nishigichi et al, ‘Perceptual Discrimination between Musical Sounds with and without Very High Frequency Components’. NHK Laboratory Note No 486. AES 115th Convention 2003 NY October were unable to replicate the effect and attribute the effect to the filters used...also Oohashi in later research discovered that if only the ears and not the body were exposed to the stimulae there was no effect.

 

 

The crucial question is whether the test subjects had knowledge of the source material which allegedly produced those physiological responses.

 

2.  IMO you are correct when you point to an unconscious (or sub-conscious) phenomenon as the cause of your perception of higher quality.  The question is whether that phenomenon is the result of the high-rez material or your knowledge that it is high-rez material.  The aforementioned Japanese study may directly address that question.


 


Thanks Nick.  I have heard reference (from you IIRC) to the Oohashi study before.  As I suspected - nothing new, and nothing definitive.

post #280 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdr. Seraphim View Post
Some interesting tidbits on perception and hearing: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue52/ultrasonic.htm

 

Missing from that article is a plausible explanation for how ultrasonic sound is generated from typical hi-fi loudspeakers which rarely have any real output above 20 KHz. How could one conclude that CDs are "missing" something compared to LPs and analog tape when few microphones can capture frequencies that high, and few loudspeakers ever play back that high?

 

--Ethan

post #281 of 3125
Quote:
Originally Posted by terriblepaulz View Post
I have heard reference (from you IIRC) to the Oohashi study before.  As I suspected - nothing new, and nothing definitive.


Further, the Oohashi study has been debunked and its flaws explained. Visit the Hydrogen Audio forum for the full details. The short version is they played multiple simultaneous tones through a single tweeter, and the tweeter's own IM distortion created alias difference frequencies within the audible band. So that's what people heard. When other researchers repeated the test using multiple tweeters, with one for each tone, nobody was able to hear or "perceive" the ultrasonic content.

 

--Ethan

post #282 of 3125
Thread Starter 

So many audiophile claims are along the lines "we have have found minute measurable differences, we can hear a difference, so they are down to those minute measurable differences". But that just cannot be if such differences are outwith the audible range.

post #283 of 3125

The A/B " blind" testing is nothing new to the Audio industry within the last couple decades. A simple search on AVS forum where all the genius rocket scientists gather together to challenge that amp is amp, cable is cable, DVD and CDP are all sound the same.

 

My take is if you do not hear the difference why bother with someone's preference.  If a pair of  clothes hanger sound as good as the Silver Streak then use the clothes hanger and save your money for some rainy days. If NAD amp sounds the same with Krell amp or Audio Research amp when driving the Martin Logan , then go with the NAD, there will be abundance of money left behind for your off-springs . Emotiva products are another example. There are plenty of fans who love the Emo and consider the Emo are among the best there is but there are others who believe otherwise. So is it a myth or is it a listening skill that require years the training one ears to differentiate the sound from one product to another product in the same line ( I.E : amp to amp )

 

There is no wrong and right answer. I prefer Martin Logan to dynamic speakers and I prefer to have the Krell to drive the Martin Logan SL3 and the Re-Quest than to have the NAD or Rotel to do the job because I can hear the difference in my enviroment and in my set up. Is it a myth ? To another guy who drive the Martin logan SL3 with the B & K receiver or the top of the line of the PioElite receiver, since he cannot hear no difference between the B &K and the PIO with the Krell or Bryston. Is it a myth or is it something wrong with his listening skill?

 

It is what it is. There is no wrong or right answer here. If I can hear the difference and another person cannot then more power to that person. The power of saving the money that is. Other than that, the scientific blind test within the last couple decades does not stop  people who can hear the difference from buying audio gear according to their own preference and taste.

 

It does not and will not stop me from buying Kimber Kables while according to someones else theRadioShack cables or Mono-Price cables supposedly produce the same sound quality.  Hey, this is a hobby for the discriminated ears and the non-discriminated ears. That's the beauty of it. I am happy with my SilverStreak/ Hero/ PBJ so do not tell me that it makes me wiser to buy Monster or RadioShack cables and so on and so on.

 

Happy listening and enjoy the music, either with a pair of clothes hangers or a pair of SilverStreak.  Just enjoy the music and have a good time. That's all it count.

post #284 of 3125

Are we talking typical hi-fi? If so, then yes, the argument is probably moot. However, typical hi-fi was not the impression I took away from the article. What I was reading between the lines from the author was what is "possible" with newer, extended formats. 

 

It was my experience in my early days dabbling with live recordings (high school bands and choirs, church choirs, rock bands, etc) that anything I recorded "live" or in our makeshift studio almost always sounded superior to what was generally available on the record racks in the stores. Musically, commercial music was original, that's for sure, but the sound quality we captured was vastly more alive, open, dynamic and realistic.

 

However, there were some quarter track recordings we sometimes purchased that sounded vastly superior in comparison to the LP version. Believe it or not, Crosby, Still, Nash and Young, Deja Vu was available on 1/4 track reel-to-reel and it sounded much better than the LP when played back over our Telefunken reel-to-reel, and HH Scott receiver! 

 

In the early 70's we once had a visit from a professional recording engineer who brought in his half-track master of the same recording that was in our record racks. It was so vastly superior that we couldn't believe it was the same music. 

 

There are plenty of examples of loudspeakers with FR beyond 20K, including the Revel Salon 2, Vapor Cirrus, Merlin VSM, and virtually all the Dali's, to mention a few. With your background in studio work, recording, (etc.) you are already aware of several microphones available with solid capabilities beyond 20K, including the Earthworks QTC30 (~30K), Sanken CO-100K (~100K), the Sennheiser mkh8050 (~50K) and mkh800 (~50k). (Which of these have you already used in conjunction with AD systems capable of capturing these extended frequencies? Can you let us in on your own personal experience and what differences you observed?) 

 

CD and LP comparisons? Well, besides the one's above, you're experienced enough to have heard some of the better LP based systems and know what sonic levels can be achieved from these and other analogue mediums. Speaking of typical hi-fi, personally, I'll take the sound quality from a $5K - $10K based turntable and some of my early Sheffield labs discs over 95% of the digital media and DACs almost any day. You can complain about the music on them all you'd like to but, the sound from these discs on a high-end system, or a typical hi-fi for that matter, is still highly regarded. (Although I'm starting to hear some similar sound quality--thankfully--from recordings from the new Bravura Records.) 

 

To me there's a lot left for discovery. If the CD is it, then, I'm just gonna have to attend more concerts. There's lots of musical content above 20K at a live symphony.  

post #285 of 3125
Quote:


1.  Please post a link to the Japanese study to which you refer.  The crucial question is whether the test subjects had knowledge of the source material which allegedly produced those physiological responses.

 

2.  IMO you are correct when you point to an unconscious (or sub-conscious) phenomenon as the cause of your perception of higher quality.  The question is whether that phenomenon is the result of the high-rez material or your knowledge that it is high-rez material.  The aforementioned Japanese study may directly address that question.


1. http://www.icad.org/websiteV2.0/Conferences/ICAD2002/proceedings/Oohashi.pdf

 

2. No matter which is true, I am enjoying SACD more than I ever enjoyed CD. Sound-and-enjoyment-wise, the best thing I ever did was switch to SACD, and I am not sorry about it. When I'm in 7th Heaven listening to Brahms' Piano Concerto or Third Symphony, questions about WHY I am enjoying it so much don't even come into the picture. But I am somebody who was never fully satisfied with the sound of CDs. If you're happy in the CD ghetto, then by all means stay there. 
 

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