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A stimulating read about cables (at least I thought so)

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hey headfi,

 

I hope no-one has posted this before, but I found it to be a really interesting read. I post this not to start a war of the zealots and im pushing no agenda here (people are more than welcome to disagree with this kind of thing) but because I found it interesting and well presented.

 

If opening with a thread like this is bad craic then I apologise in advance.

 

Let me know what you think guys, hopefully you will find it stimulating (if you don't agree with what he says, it might help you clarify your thoughts about why you don't agree).  

 

Happy reading

 

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

 

 

post #2 of 35

I've read that before but it's still interesting. Something else that is interesting, is that even though the guy from a well respected company like McIntosh conducted listening tests and found no difference there are still people who will swear they hear a difference. confused.gif

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Well, I think his comments about the troubles of not being able to immediately A/B cables in most cases are quite accurate. Without an immediate method of switching it must be very hard to get an accurate impression of the difference. 

 

Perhaps more telling is that James Randi is offering $1 million to anyone who in blind tests can accurately distinguish 'audiophile cables' from monster cable. Obviously according to the McIntosh article the only way this would make a difference is if the lengths and gauges were different. So far no-one has claimed this prize which seems odd given that many cables are being reviewed as a night and day difference. 

 

I tell you, if I thought I could tell the difference I would be on the phone right now and id make myself a rich man. It really does strike me as odd that out of all the audio reviewers and consumers no-one has taken him up. If a headfier here is sure they can distinguish they should get on the blower. You could buy ALOT of sweet gear with that $1 mil. 

 

I'm still not angling to begin a war here but I would be interested to hear the opinions of cable supporters as to why Randi has not been taken up on his deal. 

 

Im glad you found the article interesting

 

A link to a news report about the offer - http://gizmodo.com/305549/james-randi-offers-1-million-if-audiophiles-can-prove-7250-speaker-cables-are-better

post #4 of 35
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fidelity_Fiend View Post

 

It really does strike me as odd that out of all the audio reviewers and consumers no-one has taken him up.


Oh no. Michael Fremer of Stereophile took him up on the offer, but Randi disingenuously pulled the rug out from under him before Fremer had a chance to even try.

 

I lost all respect for Randi after that incident.

 

se

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Not so - http://gizmodo.com/315250/pear-cable-chickens-out-of-1000000-challenge-we-search-for-answers

 

Randi was unwilling to let Framer use his cables (as they could have been tampered with). But then pear audio pulled out of supplying their own $7000+ speaker cable. Both Randi and Framer were game

 

exerts - 

 

Although it was Fremer's challenge to Randi, it was Blake who first announced it and agreed to provide the Pear Anjou cables for the test. And it was Blake who withdrew from the testing. Randi still invites Blake to provide his Pear Anjou cables for the test. He said, "It's all up to him [Adam Blake]. I'm 100% willing, always have been. I did not say that I was backing out. He could be saying that I'm backing out of it. No. It was very evident from the nature of the withdrawal of the Pear Anjou manufacturers, that they weren't going to provide the cables. I'm damned if I'm going to buy the cables. And Fremer says that he wasn't willing to, either. He wanted to borrow them."

 

As it stands now, both Michael Fremer and James Randi are still willing to perform the double-blind testing if they can be loaned a pair of Pear Anjou cables

 

Fremer said he felt he had been left in the lurch by Pear Cable, especially since he and Randi were both still willing to test the cables. Fremer told Gizmodo, "When the guy [Adam Blake] backed out—and I don't know him from a hole in the wall—I said, 'Why are you backing out? It's going to make you look bad.'"

 

 

No need to loose respect for anyone but pear cables as a consequence of these events.

 

Notes to readers - the original link is not related to the Randi fiasco and still comes highly recommended.

post #6 of 35

Wouldn't be too hard to make the test happen.  Randi could just go to a few local stores and pick up some boutique XLR cables and some monoprice cables.  But, even he must believe that he's got a fair chance of losing his money.  While cables aren't the most important thing, I'm pretty sure that the most experienced ears in the business can tell the difference and Randi knows it.  

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post

I'm pretty sure that the most experienced ears in the business can tell the difference


Why? They know what to listen for, but they must still obey the natural limits of the human ear.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelity_Fiend View Post

Not so - http://gizmodo.com/315250/pear-cable-chickens-out-of-1000000-challenge-we-search-for-answers

 

Randi was unwilling to let Framer use his cables (as they could have been tampered with). But then pear audio pulled out of supplying their own $7000+ speaker cable. Both Randi and Framer were game

 

 

Yes so.

 

At the time Randi pulled the rug out from under Fremer by declaring the challenge over, there were still TWO cables on the table. Fremer's Tara Labs and some even more expensive Transparents.

 

Randi declared the challenge over the moment Pear backed out. At that time, Fremer's own cables HAD NOT been ruled out. Nor had the more expensive Transparent cables.

 

Randi took advantage of Pear's backing out as a shameless opportunity to mock and impugn both Pear and Fremer, and more to the point, to disingenuously pull the rug out from under Fremer.

 

se

 

 

 

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
 
  While cables aren't the most important thing, I'm pretty sure that the most experienced ears in the business can tell the difference and Randi knows it.  


And yet in over 30 years, none of them have ever been able to actually demonstrate it.

 

I think Randi's money is pretty safe.

 

se

 

 

 

post #10 of 35
Forget the $1 million.

Doesn't anyone want to do it for free? After being called frauds and snakeoil merchants, I'd think at least one manufacturer would want to prove the skeptics wrong. Hell, if I were being continually insulted, I wouldn't care about the money. I'd want to prove myself and tell the insult slingers off.

Yet every cable manufacturer starts spouting lame excuses and scurries off to dark corners when any kind of objective test is mentioned.

Why don't they man up and silence the mockers?

The only reasonable explanation is that they know they're selling snakeoil and are afraid. They'd rather hide.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post

Wouldn't be too hard to make the test happen.  Randi could just go to a few local stores and pick up some boutique XLR cables and some monoprice cables.  But, even he must believe that he's got a fair chance of losing his money.  While cables aren't the most important thing, I'm pretty sure that the most experienced ears in the business can tell the difference and Randi knows it.  


Nope Randi's money is safe, as every properly conducted ABX test of cables has failed to show an audible difference.

 

I think that that both Randi and Fermer could not get the test going reflects badly on both of them.

 

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

 

I think that that both Randi and Fermer could not get the test going reflects badly on both of them.

 


What are you talking about? Fremer was an honest broker throughout the whole thing. It was Randi who was the weasel that sabotaged the whole thing.

 

se

 

 

 

post #13 of 35

Do you think he would give away one million dollars easily ?  Is there an independent party judging those tests ?

post #14 of 35

I don't think he has had to pay out for anything. I was always under the impression Randi was a mad, self seaking, 'magician' going by hifi forums. Then I saw a documentary about how he has tackled psychics and others who make claims of special powers. He came over as being very reasonable and considered, but not afraid to mercilessly take apart those who make ridiculous claims.

 

One thing that happened when those who claimed special powers failed their tests was that they would claim undue pressure stopped them from performing. That is very similar to those audiophiles who fail ABX tests, they site pressure as a reason for the failure.

post #15 of 35

Is such test independent and not designed to favour one outcome over another ?

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