Originally Posted by dexter3d
I got the impression that blind testing discussions on Head-Fi are explicitly _censored_, _marginalized_ and moved to the _outskirts_ of the forum, to one geeky sub-forum, mysteriously called 'Sound Science' (who cares about science anyway?).
Here is my own experience: in one ultra-popular thread, which discussed some flavor of the month gear, one reviewer made quite comprehensive review of some stuff, including USB DATA CABLES, and concluded that this but not that USB DATA CABLE makes a BIG DIFFERENCE SQ-WISE (I am not overemphasizing - this was the wording of the conclusion of the review). Now, I _instinctively_ posted a reply, something like 'Dude, did you perform a blind test, cause your sound perception might have been blinded by your shiny bourgeois cable'). Whoo, that was my mistake. I received a very strong reply from the reviewer, after which I felt like I have engaged in some illegal activity or something. It began like 'Did you compare? No? Then STFU', which was kinda OK, but that was not it - the guy continued, relied on AUTHORITAHH (apparently there was a 'sticky' post somewhere prohibiting DBT suggestions!) and asked me not to do that again! Now I see the same guy posting comprehensive detailed reviews of different stuff, which are followed by numerous 'ooh ahh how nice', and then - procession to group buys, of course. To my humble mind, hearing BIG differences in USB DATA CABLES completely invalidates all other observations of that person with regard to SQ, and extensive reviews written by such a person in confident fashion may be very misleading. Therefore, when such a person writes hearing big differences in USB cables, people have the right (I would say, an obligation) to debunk them INSTANTLY, here and now. After all, our aim here is to be as objective as possible, as otherwise no single review would make any sense (except as a piece of arts, if it is written poetically).
Anyway, I was shown my place, but I thought for myself - what is the rationale behind such a prohibition? As you can't even mention DBT to some lunatic who claims that expensive usb data cables make big difference in sound. Here are some possible answers that I came up with:
1) Materialistic interests. Millions of bucks made from cable believers are the ultimate force, and openly debunking this stuff would interfere with this kind of business.
2) Feelings. Perhaps this is one of American 'exceptionalisms' - you can claim respect for your fragile _beliefs_, even when those are like the earth is 6000 years old, super sounding usb cables, or people riding dinosaurs and so on. Debunking stuff can make some people feel bad, how dare you to make fun out of them?
3) Flame prevention. Idea that blind testing suggestions may generate pages of unnecessary flame topics, departing from the original topic. But heck, are 'ooh ahh how nice' replies any better than a gentle debunking statement?
Other than that, I could not think of anything else. Did I miss something? I am really curious as to what other rationales might be behind this rude censorship.
It is a scientific FACT that human hearing (and not only that) is extremely prone to illusions facilitated by the intelligent brain (esp. when something is expensive and shiny); and the only way to get out of this situation is to use blind controlled tests. This is how scientific method works, this is how brilliant headphones and all music reproduction equipment were invented in the first place - through highly critical, impersonal, evidence based research.