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What is the rationale behind the prohibition of DBT discussion? - Page 8

post #106 of 454

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexter3d View Post

The reality is, however, that there is nothing ambiguous, complex or controversial about the fact: If you really hear the difference with your ears, you should hear the difference with the same ears when your eyes are shut (ceteris paribus). If you don't, well, then the difference was not about hearing. It is as simple as that, you don't need to talk about philosophy of science or statistics to realize that.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

This is exactly the kind of gross generalisation I have been talking about.  

 

 

Sensory experience, preference and choice are shaped by prior expectations and information from multiple senses - phenomena that are well documented by psychology,neuroanatomy and economics.  So by removing awareness of the sound source and non-auditory cues, these biasing factors can be eliminated.  What's gross or general about that?  

 

There's nothing controversial or dogmatic about blind testing- it's a methodological standard that is upheld by all peer-reviewed scientific journals precisely because it helps eliminate biases, opinions and dogma.

 

Did you know that over 70% of the connections to the human visual and auditory cortex are from within your brain, and not your eyes and ears?

post #107 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by dexter3d View Post

The reality is, however, that there is nothing ambiguous, complex or controversial about the fact: If you really hear the difference with your ears, you should hear the difference with the same ears when your eyes are shut (ceteris paribus). If you don't, well, then the difference was not about hearing. It is as simple as that, you don't need to talk about philosophy of science or statistics to realize that.


Wavoman needs to weigh in on this.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wavoman View Post


....  I highly advocate single-subject blind testing on yourself.....

 


Everyone has a favorite post, this is mine....... Go Wavo!

 

Blind test your self as good as you can!  The better you do it the worse you'll feel.

 

 

USG

 

post #108 of 454

My issue with DBT is really an issue with AB tests in general (sighted or otherwise) when comparing essentially neutral components (like cables, DACs, sensibly designed amps) which have, as near as damn it, the same distortion, frequency response and any other traditional measurement of quality.  I’m not claiming this is particularly scientific, but dexter3d you did ask earlier, so here goes...

 

I think everyone agrees that our response to music is affected by all sorts of mind tricks, of which placebo is a very significant one. But there are many others that come into play based on a combination of 4 parameters (expectation, memory, imagination and circumstance). Now our minds are incredibly clever at using these parameters to get a satisfying emotional reaction to sounds of the most appalling quality – e.g. noisy shopping mall with grossly coloured sound system. But this great strength is also a weakness that so easily can confuse us.

 

It’s my contention that I can overcome placebo (with the only reliable test I know: listen to unchanged system for months, then change just 1 component) easier than I can overcome all the other mind tricks that occur with AB tests. For example, if I suddenly notice a new sound when listening to A, then I’ll forever hear that sound on A, but also on B as well. Does that mean that B is identical to A, or that I’m just forever hearing that sound because it’s now come to my attention?

 

Of course, my only reliable method is often impractical, and so I have to compromise with all sorts of AB situations at home or at the dealer. That’s life and I just have to rely on experience as best I can. Now, just add the tiniest bit of stress into the equation, and I’ve frequently not been able to tell A from B on components I KNOW are different. It’s incredibly easy on such occasions to get into a complete muddle, so that I can no longer tell the difference between A and a giant pink giraffe.

 

I’m not saying it’s impossible to do an accurate AB or DBT test and I’m sure one can be trained to overcome the mind tricks and stress. Now, I have the highest respect for Nick Charles and his carefully thought out cable DBT tests. However, his results merely confirm my concerns about such tests. Did he prove there was no difference, or did he succumb to the mind tricks?  Being confident of his results is no guarantee that he overcame the mind tricks. And a test that can successfully spot tonal, volume and gross distortion differences is not guaranteed to also spot the differences between essentially neutral components.   

 

Another issue I have with AB tests is that, even when you do spot a difference, it tends to be minimised such that you can’t judge whether that difference is of long term significance and whether it is worth the price difference between A and B.

 

Wavoman, re your offer of SB v IG. Yes I accept. Life’s too short not to grab such opportunities with both hands (did I just say that out loud?).

  

 

 

 

   

post #109 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

 

Sensory experience, preference and choice are shaped by prior expectations and information from multiple senses - phenomena that are well documented by psychology,neuroanatomy and economics.  So by removing awareness of the sound source and non-auditory cues, these biasing factors can be eliminated.  What's gross or general about that?  

 

There's nothing controversial or dogmatic about blind testing- it's a methodological standard that is upheld by all peer-reviewed scientific journals precisely because it helps eliminate biases, opinions and dogma.

 

Did you know that over 70% of the connections to the human visual and auditory cortex are from within your brain, and not your eyes and ears?

 

No disagreement here. Just saying that the "standard" needs to be properly applied and the conclusions need to be as valid as the experiment. Otherwise we're talking about poor experiments and erroneous conclusions.  The OP isn't interested in science, he's interested in his ability to push his opinions and beliefs where he wants, regardless of how it affects the forums. I've seen this so many times regarding so many subjects on so many forums.  Neither have directly to do with the subject matter of his opinion, just his desire to express himself as he wants.

 

For me personally (and I'm putting this here because people are misunderstanding my reasons for posting), with audio gear, I'd like more useful data to be available for some components, as I'm finding the improvement offered by some components is indeterminate when listening -- ie: I don't trust my own hearing entirely.  Things like, "With X USB cable plugged in, the jitter was Y amount lower than with a stock USB cable, however, with Z DAC it would only make NdB worth of difference at NkHz so would only be worth it if your gear and hearing was capable to such a degree." would be a hell of a lot more useful than what we have now. Sound reasonable?

 

To add, learning about the ways I might be fooling myself with gear, along with some things about electronics has been very useful for me to help determine whether things I've bought or am thinking of buying or doing would be worth considering.  The problem is, I want to discuss these things and learn more, but don't want to do so on Head-fi, because there are too many people who are so obnoxious in their beliefs that would trash the discussion that I believe it would be impossible.

post #110 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ypoknons View Post

 


One of the things about lawyers is that we have to get a feel for evaluating claims in areas where we lack of the specialist knowledge. Even more so for judges, I suppose.


I fell for cables hook, line and sinker at the beginning of my hifi buying and listening. But, also being part of the criminal justice system, as time went by my BS meter sent out more and more warning signals that this was not right. This forum and some DIY gave me the evidence I needed to make the switch from pro to anti. I do appear to one of the few who have been prepared to do such and admit it.

 

Still a great thread BTW.

post #111 of 454

I've always thought this rule was to create a friendlier ecosystem for the MOT -- as with any specialized forum I figured their sponsorship is one of the things that keep things running (and money flowing for the few where maintenance has grown to be a full-time job).  I don't have too much of a beef with them, as they ARE selling high-quality equipment if you disregard whether or not it really makes any difference; when I was researching for good companies to transport my car cross-country I encountered tons of 'review sites' and 'forums' with phantom members that spoke praise of their sponsors and spat in the faces of everyone else.

 

If discussions were open to begin with I'm sure you could have conversations regarding testing, etc w/o either side getting overly defensive and asking for / debunking results one way or another, but I'm afraid it might be a little too late for that to happen w/o major clashes erupting. 

post #112 of 454

One of the things that is easy for newbies to the forum to miss is the relative value for different members.  You have a cheap pair of headphones and are maybe looking to upgrade or get a dac or amp, and you have people talking about the differences between two different $500 cables.  Well, given that one guy I recently saw had FIVE $20,000 amps - one for each channel of his 5 channel system - in addition to all his other gear, well, hell $500, doesn't seem like anything to worry about one way or another.  

 

Similarly, on the portable amp forum, new members - many using portables - will probably tend to think that the best portable amplifier = the best amplifier.  I did this myself, thinking that the RSA Shadow, the latest FOTM just had to be incredible given all the reviews.  I only later realized that these were all people who had maxed out home setups, and good portable rigs, and were talking about tiny variations amongst portable amps only.  Only then did I realize that I could vastly upgrade my SQ by getting a home amp and dac for half the price of a portable amp alone.  

 

So a lot of this is also context.  Face it, a lot of audiophile people have tons of disposable income.  And once they've found all the basics of their system, stuff like cables becomes one of the few ways they can still toy around with spending relatively small amounts of money and seeking the latest *new gear* fix.

post #113 of 454
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

This is exactly the kind of gross generalisation I have been talking about.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

 

Sensory experience, preference and choice are shaped by prior expectations and information from multiple senses - phenomena that are well documented by psychology,neuroanatomy and economics.  So by removing awareness of the sound source and non-auditory cues, these biasing factors can be eliminated.  What's gross or general about that?  

 

There's nothing controversial or dogmatic about blind testing- it's a methodological standard that is upheld by all peer-reviewed scientific journals precisely because it helps eliminate biases, opinions and dogma.

 

Did you know that over 70% of the connections to the human visual and auditory cortex are from within your brain, and not your eyes and ears?


Thanks eucariote, I wouldn't say this any better.


Edited by dexter3d - 7/30/10 at 2:33pm
post #114 of 454
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post



 

No disagreement here. Just saying that the "standard" needs to be properly applied and the conclusions need to be as valid as the experiment. Otherwise we're talking about poor experiments and erroneous conclusions.  The OP isn't interested in science, he's interested in his ability to push his opinions and beliefs where he wants, regardless of how it affects the forums. I've seen this so many times regarding so many subjects on so many forums.  Neither have directly to do with the subject matter of his opinion, just his desire to express himself as he wants.

 

 

Dude, seriously. Since you are already starting to draw my psychological picture (as often happens in discussions when rational talks end), let me ask you something. What is that YOU suggest? What is YOUR methodology? See, you talk about 'poor experiments', call me not interested in science, but what is that YOU suggest instead of blind testing? As many here tried to say, blind testing, even in its rather 'poor' form (meaning relatively few samples and so on), is light years ahead of making your 'impressions' in any other way. There was a guy (pro-statistician) here who confirmed the validity of this point; then another guy made the same point from the perspective of neuroscience. I just tried to talk commonsense here, and this time it coincides with what science has to say. So, please, go forward and suggest a better alternative to blind testing in listening tests, and I will count the flaws in your method.. just this time, unlike in case of blind testing, I suspect they will be quite fatal..


Edited by dexter3d - 7/30/10 at 3:16pm
post #115 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

Wavoman, re your offer of SB v IG. Yes I accept. Life’s too short not to grab such opportunities with both hands (did I just say that out loud?)

 

Laugh not.  In 1977 my BFF Scott and I were eyeing two fine female twins at a statistics seminar at Bell Labs (we were not paying much attention to the speaker).   We decided to make our choices -- he chose one sister and I the other.  Twenty years (and another marriage) later I in fact married the one I selected, and today she proudly wears my D2000's ... modded and balanced, of course, like a proper head-fi wife.

 

post #116 of 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

Blind test your self as good as you can!  The better you do it the worse you'll feel.

 


Backwards ... my parents said that if I made myself "feel better" as good as I couId, I would go blind.

 

Wavoman finds the gutter again.   [cut-and-paste that to ease the burden of replying]

post #117 of 454

Now for the serious answer:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


Wavoman needs to weigh in on this.
 

 

Blind test your self as good as you can!  The better you do it the worse you'll feel.

 

OK I think Dex got this right.  The subject should be blinded.

 

You only feel worse if you continue to spend money needlessly.  Buying something then failing the blind test once is "tuition".  Remember the digital coax spdif test we did -- you switched the cables, I was the blind subject?  I learned so much about digital audio that day!!  What I spent on that exotic (and useless) cable was NOT wasted!

post #118 of 454

AVU wrote:
 

[snip] DBT proponents, and many on the Sound Science Forums I've read, even here, go far beyond such commonsense propositions. 

 

They believe - yes, "believe" is the correct term here - in Science with a capital S.  Science "proves" things, establishes "facts" that are simply no longer disputable.  

Academically speaking, that's just not correct. But even without getting into the dreaded "philosophical discussion", I think most people will recognize that this sort of thing simply does not obtain in daily life.  Science is great - we have much to thank it for.  But the problem I believe Currawong is bringing up is a real and valid one: it's the worship of Science by those who are not themselves scientists, and don't really understand how complicated science actually is.... ...


The only "fact" is, the human animal, for all our insane amount of research, simply gets more and more complex the further in we go, and while it's certainly possible to say a great many things that we weren't able to before, there are precious few answers to any of the big questions that people most want to know about.  How does this related to audio?  Well, one thing is that you've got electrical engineers on one side, who know very well how to build circuits.  But on the other, you don't have anywhere near a perfect understanding of how human hearing works, whether for musical reproduction or just in general.  ...

 

I think the better reviews around head-fi already make use of blind testing, but I think it would be difficult to chide them for not doing it in an absolutely standardized way, since there's no accepted standard by which it would be done.  And given our present understanding of the human brain and thus the human sensory system, I doubt there could be.


An amazing, brilliant, thoughtful post ... hats off to AVU.  I have read it several times, and it gets better on every reading.  Let's all grok the wisdom offered ... lots of it in this post.
 

post #119 of 454
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

 

It’s my contention that I can overcome placebo (with the only reliable test I know: listen to unchanged system for months, then change just 1 component) easier than I can overcome all the other mind tricks that occur with AB tests. For example, if I suddenly notice a new sound when listening to A, then I’ll forever hear that sound on A, but also on B as well. Does that mean that B is identical to A, or that I’m just forever hearing that sound because it’s now come to my attention?

 

 

That is a valid point. However, how about this: you start listening blindly (and volume-matched, of course). If you spot new details in your old gear - then maybe you should not continue your test detail-wise, as it's probably becoming not very productive:), but if you spot something exciting, remove the veil of ignorance and see that this came from your new device - that's already something, and this is a good start. Then you start the same blind procedure with another song, and if details appear with the new device again, you are on to something.

This is something that I suggest without much thinking, but the main idea is that this 'first-time-detail' problem can be overcome not putting aside blind testing.

 

 

Quote:

Now, just add the tiniest bit of stress into the equation, and I’ve frequently not been able to tell A from B on components I KNOW are different. It’s incredibly easy on such occasions to get into a complete muddle, so that I can no longer tell the difference between A and a giant pink giraffe.

 

 

Ok, another valid problem. But stress is not limited to blind testing, right? I mean, you can also stress when seeing your 500$ USB cable not shining as bright sonically as on its surface, and then start (perhaps unconsciously) doing mental gymnastics and finding differences where there are none :) I wouldn't agree that blind testing is more prone to this muddle thing than sighted testing.

post #120 of 454
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVU View Post


But the problem I believe Currawong is bringing up is a real and valid one: it's the worship of Science by those who are not themselves scientists, and don't really understand how complicated science actually is. 


If that's directed towards me - I am a scientist, young but experienced enough to find many clichés in your unnecessarily philosophical post  :) But we are not gonna compare penises, tits or credentials here, are we? :)

And in what way worshiping science by non-scientists is problematic for you? As I see it, it is far more productive than worshiping some shaman or star-metal cables ;)

 

Back to the subject, what I am saying is this: one doesn't need to brag about quantum mechanics in order to distinguish shit from gold.

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