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Cable Skeptics, Tubes and Opamps - Page 5

post #61 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

DBT is subjectively determined. How would that fit in a mathematical formula? If you are going to accept math and science, DBT has no purpose. If you are going to accept subjective opinion from DBT, you have to accept subjective evidence countering it. If not, I call BS.


Huh??

 

The great value of DBT for audio is that it can clearly demonstrate (in many cases) that people who say they hear a difference, don't.

(As in the well-known DBT where self-described 'golden ears' listened to a $10k+ Futterman system and a $200 Pioneer, and stated that they were certain they could distinguish between them in a DBT given immediately after the listening session. Pre-DBT, the 'golden ears' also said that the DBT was  well-designed and should give valid results. The result: 'Golden ears' often couldn't tell the difference between the amps, and where they did hear a difference, they mis-identified  the amp about 50% of the time. i.e. results no different from chance. When later informed of their own results, the 'golden ears' frequently changed their opinion of the validity of the DBT, stating that it was not a valid method. )

 

DBT is one of the standards in clinical trials, so I don't understand how there is a conflict between DBT and science/math.

 

A couple of years ago, when I got interested in the 'audio hobby' and building amps/speakers I built a 'cap switcher' with a wired remote control. Tested a number of 'high-end' caps against Russian PIOs and off-the-shelf cheap poly caps. All were good, functional caps. Caps were inside the case, and the selector switch was unmarked- ie the listener didn't know which cap was selected. Colored LEDs on the faceplate allowed people to state which combo they preferred. I also put duplicate sets of some caps into the order. 8 selections offered.  None of the guests (a couple with deep audio interest) to my home could tell much difference between the caps, and none of them could identify the duplicates. Results strictly random. Follow-up: I offered to lend the cap switcher to  local audiopliles for a get-together. Not surprisingly, nobody was interested.

You should build something similar for yourself- it's interesting.

post #62 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaGuy View Post


DBT is one of the standards in clinical trials, so I don't understand how there is a conflict between DBT and science/math.

 

 

Well, I don't want to over-argue the point, but DBTs in clinical trials aren't about differences.  They're about whether two things already known to be different work differently in terms of a human subject's medical condition.  Placebo effect is well catered for (absolutely part of the test) and what researchers are beginning to call "nocebo" shows up too - where people known to be skeptical and hostile don't benefit to the level expected.

 

I think in audio terms we should investigate whether different tubes, op-amps or cables (etc) produce differences when measured very exactly (using tests more advanced than the old DC- and transmission line-based high-school-level things we use now) and then we can figure out how and why they're different, and then we can DBT to see whether the differences are generally audible or not.

 

That way we would advance the science a little.
 

post #63 of 105

If you sit in a DBT and give your answers, are you giving them based on a formula or are you stating what you heard? If you are giving your opinion on what you heard, that's subjective. Introducing the impurity of human audio memory and an answer based on preference can't be as scientific as hard testing. So for the testers to fall back on the DBT argument is shallow.


Edited by Happy Camper - 11/30/10 at 2:48pm
post #64 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

If you sit in a DBT and give your answers, are you giving them based on a formula or are you stating what you heard? If you are giving your opinion on what you heard, that's subjective. Introducing the impurity of human audio memory and an answer based on preference can't be as scientific as hard testing. So for the testers to fall back on the DBT argument is shallow.



It's subjective, but if you go to someone who's convinced they've got golden ears, there's not a set of scientific tests of the equipment that will convince them otherwise (as far as I can tell after a month of reading around on these forums). On the other hand, if they undergo a DBT and are shown that they can't tell the difference between X and Y (equivalent through hard testing), they'll either have better respect for scientific testing or will have to fall back on magical thinking.

 

Either way, it's another way of getting information to people.

post #65 of 105

Let's not re-define the goal posts. The question is "can qualitative differences be heard", not "do they exist".

 

And even that language is specific: as (caused by crossovers) phase difference can be heard in rapid A/B switching: but neither can be identified as "better" (excepting instances of phase cancellation).


The logic is inescapable. If someone can hear a qualitative difference, they they can reliably discern one from another. That there is an qualitative audible difference is the positive claim and so carries the burden of proof. All the other side can do is infer from a complete lack of demonstrated ability a statistical likely-hood.

post #66 of 105

Antony6555 writes:

Yeah exactly. I think that a lot of younger audiophiles don't realise that hi-fi once had a much more objective emphasis than it does today. I think one of the reasons things like cables are so successful these days is that the younger generation tends to view everything a simply a matter of personal opinion.

This holds some truth when dealing with intangibles like morality or political views, but audio reproduction is a hard science. Accuracy can be measured objectively, it's not just a matter of personal opinion.

I remember very well when Hi Fi reviewing was very much more objective than today. I also remember how that came to an end, in the UK at least. I have to say that I welcomed all the "subjectivism" when it arrived, but now I would like to see a good balance between personal opinion and sound science.

Opinion is not formed in isolation. People tend to adopt opinions as a group as well as individuals. Most often we select an opinion from a set of available opinions. Sometimes we do come up with an absolutely original opinion, but usually we take one that is already exists.

In our post-modern societies personal opinion is often considered inviolate. There is a confusion with the idea of freedom of speech. We are free to say that in our opinion "the earth is flat" but that doesn't actually mean the world is flat.

In Hi Fi the personal opinion has been raised to a sacred level. Those who believe that cables have magical properties, for example, will immediate cite opinion as the basis for this. They have experienced the magic first hand and so therefor magic does exist.

What the cable magic faithful don't realise is that their opinions are not formed in isolation as they believe. In fact their "opinions" are often reiterations of other opinions they have read in magazines or blogs. These day those magazines and blogs simply adopt the opinions given to them by the manufacturers.

Unfortunately today there is no opinion forming taking place separate from the Hi Fi manufacturers. It used to be that in the UK magazines did make a good effort to have their own centre of gravity of opinion formation but that was abandoned in the 1980s in favour of simply following the leads of the manufacturers.

post #67 of 105

deleted


Edited by Antony6555 - 11/30/10 at 7:18pm
post #68 of 105

x2, No one says cables don't make a difference in an absolute sense, they just say that said difference is not audible. Measurements suggest that the difference is probably not audible. But most importantly, no one has demonstrated that they can even personally hear a difference.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Let's not re-define the goal posts. The question is "can qualitative differences be heard", not "do they exist".

 

And even that language is specific: as (caused by crossovers) phase difference can be heard in rapid A/B switching: but neither can be identified as "better" (excepting instances of phase cancellation).


The logic is inescapable. If someone can hear a qualitative difference, they they can reliably discern one from another. That there is an qualitative audible difference is the positive claim and so carries the burden of proof. All the other side can do is infer from a complete lack of demonstrated ability a statistical likely-hood.


Edited by Antony6555 - 11/30/10 at 7:14pm
post #69 of 105

Antony6555 writes:

I think most people's attitude can be summed up in this way: "Why try to understand existence when we can buy things"

I think that in the last few decades it is the act of purchasing which has become the entertainment. The product itself can be almost nothing.

I remember in the UK when bottled water arrived. In the UK the tap water is absolutely fine for drinking. Buying water in bottles is just an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of obtaining water in the UK. It is also environmentally highly destructive compared with just opening the tap. However people still buy water in bottles. I think the reason for this is that the act of purchasing is the entertainment.

In the 70s and the 80s I think that the criticism of people who spent a lot of time on Hi Fi was that they were seeking entertainment in their "system" and that was indeed a very reasonable observation.

In the 90s and the 00s people still seek entertainment in the actual components of the Hi Fi, but now it is also an entertainment in the purchasing.

They have perfectly good cables for their Hi Fi, but now they replace those with new ones, which cost a small fortune. The cables have been "blessed" by some review or maybe a guru, and when they plug them in they hear an immediate improvement in sound quality. But the buzz is not from an improvement in sound quality but rather from the purchasing experience, receiving the blessing from the retailer and the reviewers.

For years I've believed that the frequent "upgrading" of some is simply an exercise in purchasing. People buy a new thing, for their Hi Fi, then they plug it in, and sit listening attentively to their "system". In fact in this fairly short period, soon after the upgrade, they are listening to the music with some sort of interest. After a while the joy of the new purchase wears off and they stop listening to their music and return to daydreaming while the music is playing. They think that the new addition to their system brought some improvement in sound quality, but what actually happened was that during the period soon after the purchase they simply were licensed, by that purchase to listen to their music. They were riding on a wave of consumerist joy. The new thing made no real difference to the replay of the music, it was just its new-ness that led to the period of attentive listening.

post #70 of 105

deadhorse.gif It will never end. The war wages on. Have fun people.

post #71 of 105
If audio memory is too frail to conduct ABX tests, then it is also too frail to conduct sighted AB tests.

However, sighted AB tests are cited constantly as "proof" of differences. How can that be? If you can hear differences sighted, then sight shouldn't have to play any role. You should be able to differentiate cables blind.
post #72 of 105

Yeah I think that while we have seen some positive social changes (for example, less racism or at least less blatant racism), Western culture has become more and more commercialized. You're right that the purchase becomes an end in itself, and since Western culture is dominant, it's become a characteristic of the human culture universally.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

Antony6555 writes:

I think most people's attitude can be summed up in this way: "Why try to understand existence when we can buy things"

I think that in the last few decades it is the act of purchasing which has become the entertainment. The product itself can be almost nothing.

I remember in the UK when bottled water arrived. In the UK the tap water is absolutely fine for drinking. Buying water in bottles is just an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of obtaining water in the UK. It is also environmentally highly destructive compared with just opening the tap. However people still buy water in bottles. I think the reason for this is that the act of purchasing is the entertainment.

In the 70s and the 80s I think that the criticism of people who spent a lot of time on Hi Fi was that they were seeking entertainment in their "system" and that was indeed a very reasonable observation.

In the 90s and the 00s people still seek entertainment in the actual components of the Hi Fi, but now it is also an entertainment in the purchasing.

They have perfectly good cables for their Hi Fi, but now they replace those with new ones, which cost a small fortune. The cables have been "blessed" by some review or maybe a guru, and when they plug them in they hear an immediate improvement in sound quality. But the buzz is not from an improvement in sound quality but rather from the purchasing experience, receiving the blessing from the retailer and the reviewers.

For years I've believed that the frequent "upgrading" of some is simply an exercise in purchasing. People buy a new thing, for their Hi Fi, then they plug it in, and sit listening attentively to their "system". In fact in this fairly short period, soon after the upgrade, they are listening to the music with some sort of interest. After a while the joy of the new purchase wears off and they stop listening to their music and return to daydreaming while the music is playing. They think that the new addition to their system brought some improvement in sound quality, but what actually happened was that during the period soon after the purchase they simply were licensed, by that purchase to listen to their music. They were riding on a wave of consumerist joy. The new thing made no real difference to the replay of the music, it was just its new-ness that led to the period of attentive listening.

post #73 of 105



That would be your SUBJECTIVE opinion.Just like sharing the same meal from the same plate, you say it's terrible, and i though it was quite delicious.wink_face.gif We have 2 different opinions in the end. No sense in arguing the fact after the disagreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

Antony6555 writes:

I think most people's attitude can be summed up in this way: "Why try to understand existence when we can buy things"

I think that in the last few decades it is the act of purchasing which has become the entertainment. The product itself can be almost nothing.

I remember in the UK when bottled water arrived. In the UK the tap water is absolutely fine for drinking. Buying water in bottles is just an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of obtaining water in the UK. It is also environmentally highly destructive compared with just opening the tap. However people still buy water in bottles. I think the reason for this is that the act of purchasing is the entertainment.

In the 70s and the 80s I think that the criticism of people who spent a lot of time on Hi Fi was that they were seeking entertainment in their "system" and that was indeed a very reasonable observation.

In the 90s and the 00s people still seek entertainment in the actual components of the Hi Fi, but now it is also an entertainment in the purchasing.

They have perfectly good cables for their Hi Fi, but now they replace those with new ones, which cost a small fortune. The cables have been "blessed" by some review or maybe a guru, and when they plug them in they hear an immediate improvement in sound quality. But the buzz is not from an improvement in sound quality but rather from the purchasing experience, receiving the blessing from the retailer and the reviewers.

For years I've believed that the frequent "upgrading" of some is simply an exercise in purchasing. People buy a new thing, for their Hi Fi, then they plug it in, and sit listening attentively to their "system". In fact in this fairly short period, soon after the upgrade, they are listening to the music with some sort of interest. After a while the joy of the new purchase wears off and they stop listening to their music and return to daydreaming while the music is playing. They think that the new addition to their system brought some improvement in sound quality, but what actually happened was that during the period soon after the purchase they simply were licensed, by that purchase to listen to their music. They were riding on a wave of consumerist joy. The new thing made no real difference to the replay of the music, it was just its new-ness that led to the period of attentive listening.

post #74 of 105

Not everything is subjective. Do you think scientific truths are subjective too?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guidostrunk View Post



That would be your SUBJECTIVE opinion.Just like sharing the same meal from the same plate, you say it's terrible, and i though it was quite delicious.wink_face.gif We have 2 different opinions in the end. No sense in arguing the fact after the disagreement.

post #75 of 105



When it comes down to you telling me I'm crazy that i believe in sonic differences in cables. A subjective topic ie. religion, politics, Food etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

Not everything is subjective. Do you think scientific truths are subjective too?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guidostrunk View Post



That would be your SUBJECTIVE opinion.Just like sharing the same meal from the same plate, you say it's terrible, and i though it was quite delicious.wink_face.gif We have 2 different opinions in the end. No sense in arguing the fact after the disagreement.

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