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Don't get why "Audiophile" USB Cable would improve sound quality - Page 50  

post #736 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

LOL so after about 3 pages of arguing and calling me and other people stupid cynics etc. You have now basically admitted that you are probably wrong and my explanation is actually a lot more likely. Maybe you should do some more research before calling people names and making yourself look silly.... Basically my comments were aimed at steering people away from spending extortionate amounts of money on scam USB cables. I was giving a more logical arguement then your subjective, psuedo science and random opinion based claims.

 

Mate don't worry you had nothing to do with my last post and have made no contribution at all to this thread.  Other people who actually have more technical insight than me in the area of electronics have leaned in and provided information which I was not previously aware of.  I respect the opinion of other people who either A) have sufficient technical insight to give meaningful input or B) have personal experience in the said area and give honest input based on their experience.  Further I think you will find I have not called anyone a stupid cynic (I hope.)

 

It is not in my personal interest to spend large tracts of time reading Electrical Engineering 101 texbooks in order to speculate about whether a particular audio technology will have audible effects.  I already have another career.  I do however occasionally read up on said topic in order to try to gain better understanding out of personal interest, and I think threads such as this are a great place for discussion to take place which can not only extend my own understanding but also serve as a body of knowledge for others to gain insight from.  I may however unintentionally overreact when people who think the little knowledge they have is an adequate basis from which to declare jihad on the audiophile community without any intention of increasing their insight nor the decency to acknowledge the limits to their insight. I apologise if I have done this, it is nothing personal.

 

I think most people are wise enough to steer clear of spending huge amounts of money on audio cables - it simply odes not make sense when the differences are so small (or possibly imaginary) that the money is better spent on components that have proven audible benefits.

 

Claiming that any anecdotal observations are resulting from cognitive bias is itself spewing pseudo science - it is making a hypothesis which has not yet been proven directly.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  


Edited by drez - 5/11/12 at 9:46am
post #737 of 835

I have not declared "jihad" on the audiophile community at all...

 

I am all for buying DAC's, Amplifiers, Speakers, Headphones etc.

 

I was merely giving my opinion on why people perceive differences in USB cables... I have already researched this subject and come to the conclusion that it is highly unlikely that they make a difference to sound quality other than expectation bias.

 

I was merely voicing this opinion as I find it annoying that companies such as wireworld and nordost etc. are making VAST amounts of money selling these things to people at EXTORTIONATE prices.

 

I think that on the subject of USB CABLES that thje psychological perspective is VERY VALID....

 

DAC's, Amplifiers, Speakers, Headphones etc. I completely agree that these components DO make a measurable difference to sound quality... I am talking about USB cables.

 

Cognative bias is not "psuedo science" AT ALL it has been proven in HUNDREDS of studies... Jeez please research things before making blanket claims which are wrong.


Edited by nicholars - 5/11/12 at 9:48am
post #738 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

How did I miss the point? I made a simple comment trying to stop people wasting money because those cable companies annoy me... He starts defending them based on psuedo science and random opinions... How did I miss the point?

 

You missed the point because you simply made an assertion, rather than an evidence-based argument grounded in logic and theory.  You're no different from the hundreds of other people parroting the same crap over and over again, based on something they read on the forums.  It's fine to adopt the viewpoint of one side or the other and have your own opinion in a given argument, but Drez is an open-minded individual, and he was simply looking for a rational scientific explanation for why or why not his claim was grounded in reality.  If you're going to make a case to him, you need to back it with evidence, which was delivered in spades by other, more knowledgeable members.  You have made precisely zero scientific/intellectual contributions to this thread, and in no way have you demonstrated that your opinion is worth consideration.  Screaming that the earth is round one hundred times at the top of your lungs doesn't prove that the earth is round, it just proves that you think it is but you either lack the understanding or the evidence to present a convincing argument that it is.

post #739 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

Claiming that any anecdotal observations are resulting from cognitive bias is itself spewing pseudo science - it is making a hypothesis which has not yet been proven directly.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  

 

In science, the absence of evidence supports the null hypothesis. It is not "proof" I'll grant you, but when that continues to be the case in test after test the preponderance of the evidence begins to be clear. When anecdotal evidence disagrees with a mountain of objective data AND theory, the first place to look is for where there are flaws and biases in the subjective evidences, not at tossing out the objective information.

post #740 of 835

Ok I admit that you are correct that I have not contributed much to this thread.... I am not spewing this stuff about all equipment though... only about USB cables because I find the companies charging extortionate prices irritating and wanted to voice my opinion (which is most probably correct) on this matter. I was hoping to discorage other people from wasting their money but then Drez started insulting me saying he waas going to block me blah blah. My opinion is just as valid even if it is from a psychological and not scientific viewpoint because lets face it I am blatantly right.... I also find people saying everything is placebo and expectation bias annoying for example "amplifiers or dacs are all the same" etc. They clearly are not all the same. But yes USB cables are most probably expectation bias causing any perceived changes... TBH that opinion regarding USB cables is just as valid as anything else.

post #741 of 835

Cognitive bias is a valid hypothesis but it is just that - it is a mechanism which has been theorised to be responsible for behavior of subjects in previous experiments, and which may be posited as a possible explanation for other phenomenon.  AFAIK Cognitive bias explains the tendency for people to attribute properties or differences when they are not actually directly perceived.  In the case of USB cables cognitive bias can be posited as a hypothesis for people mistakenly attributing properties that they cannot reliably perceive.  It does not however directly disprove the possible audible effects of USB cables on a DAC as it is a hypothesis rather than evidence.

 

I actually agree that it is highly unlikely from a theoretical standpoint that USB cables will make an audible difference, and the hypothesis that peoples subjective observations of differences are caused by expectation bias is a valid hypothesis.  It is perhaps one I have read a few too many times though.

 

This however is not in agreement with my personal experience, which I cannot posit as conclusive evidence but which I personally also cannot disregard without conclusive evidence such as persistent negative DBT results.


Edited by drez - 5/11/12 at 10:06am
post #742 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

In science, the absence of evidence supports the null hypothesis. It is not "proof" I'll grant you, but when that continues to be the case in test after test the preponderance of the evidence begins to be clear. When anecdotal evidence disagrees with a mountain of objective data AND theory, the first place to look is for where there are flaws and biases in the subjective evidences, not at tossing out the objective information.

 

Personally I don't think that the validity of past research into effects of jitter on distortion, audibility of distortion etc and the possibility of USB cables havaing audible effects on the performance of a DAC are mutually exclusive.  As is typical with situations of cognitive dissonance I would instead posit that there it is possible that due to the wide variety of technologies, due to the numerous factors that make discerning audible differences difficult, that positive evidence is waiting to be found.

 

This is however a hypothesis which is without any evidence and is without a theoretical basis, so from a scientific standpoint it is probably not so valid.triportsad.gif

 

I don't like this game - I am predestined to lose.redface.gif  I guess I am a romantic at heart lol.


Edited by drez - 5/11/12 at 10:38am
post #743 of 835

Cables have often been my saving grace in this audio hobby...

how often have i bought a can or an amp, and tot i made a "mistake"...

then with a few switching of cables, i arrived at sonicbliss,

and began to better appreciate my purchase.

Its a very convenient tuning device...cables.

Home science at work thru my ears.

Logic takes a backseat.

This is audiopleasure.

 

 

 

 

post #744 of 835

Yes I agree that people who call everything expectation bias is highly annoying and is used far too much....

 

I think DAC's, Amplifiers, speakers, headphones all definately have effects on the sound... POSSIBLY speaker cables and interconnects although personally I am on the side of "any well designed, decent quality, non faulty cable of the same material will probably sound the same"....

 

With USB cables however I think it is a valid explanation of the perceived differences.

 

TBH I don't think I would even be having this conversation if I did not feel genuinely annoyed by cable companies and the prices charged....

 

If they were charging £20 for a USB cable then fair enough... It is better quality probably then a standard one and looks nicer.... But the prices charged... Hundreds, even thousands of pounds... Is just extortionate and a scam IMO. Especially with some publications (not mentioning any names) CLEARLY revieiwing these products and saying they have massive sound improvements etc. It is clearly a scam.


Edited by nicholars - 5/11/12 at 10:45am
post #745 of 835

I think the problem is that this thread is here to discuss the "why" not the "if" and as such presupposes that differences are at least perceived (even if incorrectly).

 

As such even if someone claims to hear a difference they are usually unable to explain the "how" at least in terms of strictly supportable science.  On the other hand science offers the usual explanation that cognitive bias is at play.

 

I think this thread is at it's most productive when probing the technological side of the equation and tends to get stuck on the question "why are differences heard?"  Where people, myself included, attempt to problematise scientific research and hypotheses with untested subjective observations which tends not to go down so well...

post #746 of 835

Ok then fair enough I see your point there....

 

My post was mainly made out of irritation at the prices charged and the obvious links between the publications and the cable companies which is a scam and genuinely annoys me.

post #747 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Yes I agree that people who call everything expectation bias is highly annoying and is used far too much....

 

I think DAC's, Amplifiers, speakers, headphones all definately have effects on the sound... POSSIBLY speaker cables and interconnects although personally I am on the side of "any well designed, decent quality, non faulty cable of the same material will probably sound the same"....

 

With USB cables however I think it is a valid explanation of the perceived differences.

 

TBH I don't think I would even be having this conversation if I did not feel genuinely annoyed by cable companies and the prices charged....

 

If they were charging £20 for a USB cable then fair enough... It is better quality probably then a standard one and looks nicer.... But the prices charged... Hundreds, even thousands of pounds... Is just extortionate and a scam IMO. Especially with some publications (not mentioning any names) CLEARLY revieiwing these products and saying they have massive sound improvements etc. It is clearly a scam.

 

I think there is a culture in audiophile circles of grossly overstating casually perceived differences when in all likelihood the differences are either non existent or very small.  I think a lot of equipment has grossly inflated prices, not only cables, but cables tend to be controvertial because the overwhelming scientific research/theory is against them.


Edited by drez - 5/11/12 at 10:53am
post #748 of 835

And I think people are too quick to dismiss psychological explanations....

 

People who report hardware which changes daily are maybe just people who are perceiving the same sound differently on different occasions for whatever reason.

 

Anyway this is irrelevant to this thread now so I will leave you to continue the discussion.

post #749 of 835

What ever cable makes one happy. Personally i have never heard any differences.

post #750 of 835

I bet the manufacturers of wireworld or audioquest cables are VERY happy.... Smiling all the way to the bank!

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