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ABX Reliability - Page 2

post #16 of 73
Thread Starter 

Eucariote - Yes, it was a good example of perception, but again, it proves that our memory sucks. And this is this is the basis for a scientific experiment? If you are strictly testing memory duration of the human brain, then ABX might be useful.

 

Can someone provide some real information on how ABX proves anything related to making selections in purchasing A/V equipment?

 

I havn't tried the fubar plugin in a couple years. Codec testing is a little more interesting than cable testing. With cables, you hear a difference or you don't. Codecs have been designed to essentially trick the brain or prey on the limitations of the brain. Last time I took it, I don't think I could tell the difference between 160Kbps and Flac, but I use still Flac since it doesn't cost me anything and ensures no loss of quality in case my hearing magically improves.


Edited by Slaughter - 5/16/10 at 4:19pm
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

Can someone provide some real information on how ABX proves anything related to making selections in purchasing A/V equipment?


Well, if you still want to argue that it's a flawed test for differentiating between audible differences, the least it could do is prove that the differences are frighteningly subtle and not worth the money for some.

post #18 of 73
Thread Starter 

I'm in total agreement about the cost v. benefit and in some cases cheaper equipment is better or preferred over something more expensive. I just don't understand why ABX is used to prove or disprove what people believe. It's like a lie detector test. Some take its results as fact, some use it as a basis for argument and others despise it. But police still use it and courts don't. Another piece of science gone awry.


Edited by Slaughter - 5/16/10 at 5:04pm
post #19 of 73

The Seiveking test to me shows that if you make a huge effort, suspend any enjoyment in what you are doing and concentrate like hell, you may see a difference. But what is the point in that? It has proved that there may be tiny differences that really do not matter and are actually counterproductive because you no longer get any enjoyment out of looking at nice colours.

post #20 of 73
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

Eucariote - Yes, it was a good example of perception, but again, it proves that our memory sucks. And this is this is the basis for a scientific experiment? If you are strictly testing memory duration of the human brain, then ABX might be useful.

 

Can someone provide some real information on how ABX proves anything related to making selections in purchasing A/V equipment?


Well, for starters, a cable ABX test presents a situation that makes hearing audible differences as easy as possible - in other words, it minimizes those so-called issues with "memory", by minimizing the time spent between listening to two different samples. If you can't manage it then, what does that say about the odds of you hearing any differences in less controlled circumstances? Yes, it's a good way to maximize ROI - that's kind of the point, in fact. To not spend money on things to don't make a difference, so you can spend the money on things that do.

post #21 of 73

Here is another argument against ABX testing. It is a genius argument. It says that because so many ABX tests result in no difference being heard in the sound, then the tests are invalid because there is a difference in the sound. I use the same argument every time something or someone proves me wrong. I say that I am not wrong and the proof must instead be wrong. That way I am always right, even when I am wrong........

 

http://www.avguide.com/forums/blind-listening-tests-are-flawed-editorial?page=2

post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Here is another argument against ABX testing. It is a genius argument. It says that because so many ABX tests result in no difference being heard in the sound, then the tests are invalid because there is a difference in the sound. I use the same argument every time something or someone proves me wrong. I say that I am not wrong and the proof must instead be wrong. That way I am always right, even when I am wrong........

 

http://www.avguide.com/forums/blind-listening-tests-are-flawed-editorial?page=2


I believe this defense is worth double points in high school debate contests.

post #23 of 73
Thread Starter 

lol

post #24 of 73


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Here is another argument against ABX testing. It is a genius argument. It says that because so many ABX tests result in no difference being heard in the sound, then the tests are invalid because there is a difference in the sound. I use the same argument every time something or someone proves me wrong. I say that I am not wrong and the proof must instead be wrong. That way I am always right, even when I am wrong........

 

http://www.avguide.com/forums/blind-listening-tests-are-flawed-editorial?page=2

 

 

I think the OP's argument is pretty similar to this and does make sense.

 

If a testing method only gives you ONE result even when measured differences are entered like the picture test, maybe it's time to think about how the testing method may not lend itself to  honest results given you are testing the persons short term memory in a highly confusing scenario and not the actual equipment. If all you get is null results and you really can't do anything with those results what is the point?

 

If I buy a cable, and it sounds better in my system, in an ABX test I get a null result, but yet I put the cable back in my system and hear the same positive results I heard before the ABX test what am I supposed to do with the null results? Am I supposed to then buy cheaper cable, notice the downgrade in sound and then just deal with it because ABX almost always just produces null results? If my perception of improved sound in my system happens before and after the ABX and is persistent there after how is that placebo and if it is do I care?

 

So we have a test that just produces null results, and  with those results we still aren't going to do anything with them. So what is the point again?

 

Seems more like a parlor trick to me, hey look even when measured differences show up in the test you still can't pick it out and get it right woo hoo.
 


Edited by swanlee - 5/16/10 at 5:21pm
post #25 of 73

Swanlee, I think that the answer is to say you preferred cable 2 to cable 1 because it looks nicer and gives you a nicer feeling about your kit. If you only get that nicer feeling by buying more expensive or a specific brand, fine. Just don't say it sounds better than other cables and try to use pseudoscience evidence to back that up. (When I say you I am not saying you do that, my answer is more of a general you than specific to you).

 

I am convinced that my DIY cables are the best in the world, they give me enormous pride and satisfaction. I love showing them off. They sound no different to any other cable I have owned.


Edited by Prog Rock Man - 5/16/10 at 5:30pm
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Swanlee, I think that the answer is to say you preferred cable 2 to cable 1 because it looks nicer and gives you a nicer feeling about your kit. If you only get that nicer feeling by buying more expensive or a specific brand, fine. Just don't say it sounds better than other cables and try to use pseudoscience evidence to back that up. (When I say you I am not saying you do that, my answer is more of a general you than specific to you).

 

I am convinced that my DIY cables are the best in the world, they give me enormous pride and satisfaction. I love showing them off. They sound no different to any other cable I have owned.

 

 

Great but the ABX still had zero value and in the end was a waste of time as I obviously am not going to swap cables to ones I DON'T like the sound of in my home just because of some ABX test.  I have also switched out equipment and cables with less expensive and uglier choices that in my setup sounded better. Not all of us  upgrade with more expensive prettier equipment some times a better made cheaper product will sound better but in an ABX test I'd get a null result which would have no bearing on my decision.

 

If I always get null results and those null results have no impact on my decision it is a waste of time.

 

Heck just look at my sig I recently replaced my 300$ zune and 300$ xm5 amp with an SFLO:2 that only cost 150$ and has a much less pretty interface. I did this because it sounded better right off that bat, I'm sure I'd get null results in an ABX test, but do I care? Nope it would not provide me with anything worthwhile.
 


Edited by swanlee - 5/16/10 at 5:40pm
post #27 of 73

Swanlee, why do you think some cables sound better than others? 

post #28 of 73

I use the technique for a living and believe me there are positive results.  Pick up any scientific journal - almost all empirical studies use dbt and a form of abx- and most studies got published because they found a significant effect.  The journal I linked before, for example, contains at least a dozen statistically significant abx human sensory discrimination results per issue.

 

Consistent negative results are universally interpreted as a lack of effect, because the drug/cable/whatever doesn't work.   And the nice thing about the technique is that it is objective and so the results are repeatable when the tests are done again.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swanlee View Post


 

 

 

I think the OP's argument is pretty similar to this and does make sense.

 

If a testing method only gives you ONE result even when measured differences are entered like the picture test, maybe it's time to think about how the testing method may not lend itself to  honest results given you are testing the  person short term memory and not the actual equipment. If all you get is null results and you really can't do anything with those results what is the point?

 

If I buy a cable, and it sounds better in my system, in an ABX test I get a null result,  but yet I put the cable back  in my system and hear the same positive results I heard before the ABX test what am I supposed to do with the null results? Am I  supposed to then buy cheaper cable, notice the downgrade in sound and then just deal with it because ABX almost always just produces null results? If my perception of improved sound in my system happens before and after the ABX  and is persistent there after how is that placebo and if it is do I care?

 

So we have a test that just produces null results, and  with those results we still aren't going to do anything with them. So what is the point again?
 

post #29 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

Eucariote - Yes, it was a good example of perception, but again, it proves that our memory sucks. And this is this is the basis for a scientific experiment? If you are strictly testing memory duration of the human brain, then ABX might be useful.


Okay, I can't help myself.    Are you really now saying that someone can't pick out differences between two televisions when looking back and forth because memory is too faulty?

 

Short term memory might have a hard time with this one (10-15 secs), but sensory memory (under 2 secs) is almost as good as the original image/sound.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_memory

post #30 of 73
Thread Starter 

Of course not. Side by side static images are very easy to compare and distinguish. Unfortunately we will never, ever be able to test audio in the same manor. Thanks for the link to sensory memory.

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