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post #91 of 122

 

That would be ol' Percival Lowell.

 

However the pseudo-objectivists prefer to portray themselves as Galileo.

 

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post #92 of 122

The experimental design itself has a lot to do with just how open to interpretation the results are. One guy looking through a telescope isn't a very rigorous or controlled experiment. His measurements are all done by eye, by hand, by our brain's weird affinity for seeing structure (we have cells in the visual areas designed specifically to amplify line arrangements of various degrees... Look at the clouds and tell me if you see clouds or shapes). As such it's genuinely remarkable that early astronomers were able to break out of prior modes of thinking about how the universe was arranged - but also not surprising that their observations, even when highly systematized, often led to incorrect deductions, or, more accurately, incorrect inferences.

 

Measuring cables is cake compared to measuring the astronomical phenomena that keep being brought up. You have a scope, a lab-grade power supply, tools to measure the data you're after... The task of observation is removed largely from human interpretation of raw sensory input to humans writing down results shown by much, much, much, much more precise machines. A human looking at the results displayed by these tools has a heck of a leg up on a guy checking out mars through a telescope and trying to find canals. The problem is a lot smaller, the approach a lot simpler, the potential for error far more remote. So you get things like a proposal that the real issue is that there is an unmeasurable property that somehow would only affect audio frequencies (which are not, as far as the universe is concerned, special frequencies; they're just the ones that a particular breed of ape can detect and interpret), even though such a property would have to be universalized to the extent that it would affect other transmissions of electricity. But it doesn't. So we can either hunt and hunt for this ghost property, or we can dismiss it as vanishingly unlikely, unreasonable in its perfection. In fact it's sort of the inverse of experimental design - it's a property dreamed up precisely to elude experimentation, an invented star shaped peg put forward by someone who insists that it defies measurement since our instruments are all, sadly, square shaped holes.


Edited by NotJeffBuckley - 8/6/11 at 5:51pm
post #93 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotJeffBuckley View Post

The experimental design itself has a lot to do with just how open to interpretation the results are. One guy looking through a telescope isn't a very rigorous or controlled experiment. His measurements are all done by eye, by hand, by our brain's weird affinity for seeing structure (we have cells in the visual areas designed specifically to amplify line arrangements of various degrees... Look at the clouds and tell me if you see clouds or shapes). As such it's genuinely remarkable that early astronomers were able to break out of prior modes of thinking about how the universe was arranged - but also not surprising that their observations, even when highly systematized, often led to incorrect deductions, or, more accurately, incorrect inferences.

 

Measuring cables is cake compared to measuring the astronomical phenomena that keep being brought up. You have a scope, a lab-grade power supply, tools to measure the data you're after... The task of observation is removed largely from human interpretation of raw sensory input to humans writing down results shown by much, much, much, much more precise machines. A human looking at the results displayed by these tools has a heck of a leg up on a guy checking out mars through a telescope and trying to find canals. The problem is a lot smaller, the approach a lot simpler, the potential for error far more remote. So you get things like a proposal that the real issue is that there is an unmeasurable property that somehow would only affect audio frequencies (which are not, as far as the universe is concerned, special frequencies; they're just the ones that a particular breed of ape can detect and interpret), even though such a property would have to be universalized to the extent that it would affect other transmissions of electricity. But it doesn't. So we can either hunt and hunt for this ghost property, or we can dismiss it as vanishingly unlikely, unreasonable in its perfection. In fact it's sort of the inverse of experimental design - it's a property dreamed up precisely to elude experimentation, an invented star shaped peg put forward by someone who insists that it defies measurement since our instruments are all, sadly, square shaped holes.


 

I'm referring more to when people are using their own senses as a judge, not advanced measurement tools.

post #94 of 122

I'm mostly referring to cable science, though reading through it does seem like maybe I'm in the wrong thread, title notwithstanding tongue.gif

 

There are lots of interesting, fun, strange, and significant bits of science and the practice thereof, the foibles of individuals who have tried to do or say something new, all chronicled in reading that can be absolutely devoured if you've a taste for it. Even Popper's frail magnum opus, the occasionally updated culminating work of a long life dedicated to trying very hard to hand-wave the inferential step, is quick reading once you've begun (provided that you're interested in a fine though flawed effort at grounding science in logic, an attempt to rectify the problem that was crystallized with Hume, Locke and Kant). And Kuhn's much shorter but frustratingly devastating counter-argument is similarly brisk if it's the kind of thing that revs up your thinkin' cap. But...

 

This is a thread called "Cable Science." I assume from the title that the topic is cables, and I presume from the title that science is to be trusted within the boundaries of exploration as we know it. I further propose that until strongly demonstrated otherwise, there's a fundamental circularity in claiming that there is an essentially inscrutable property which somehow affects the transmission of electrical signals along a conducting wire that affects:

 

1. Audio frequencies as human beings perceive them, and not other frequencies, making it a very peculiarly specific claim...

2. ... despite its apparent existence as a phenomenon only for some people...

3. who, coincidentally, have invested time and effort into making a much broader positive claim.

 

It's as of yet an entirely empty hypothesis and has nothing about it which is defined as even potentially testable. In fact it's been suggested that it is obviously not testable by any current testing methodology, since the tests show that there is no such property. That must mean the tests are insufficient. What a shame, what a magnificently convenient shame?

 

So if I should apologize for trying to stick to the topic, I will, but I just don't have it in me to think about this silly claim in the same mental go as really neat cosmology.

 

It's sort of like mourning the inherent loneliness brought on by the limitations of the speed of light and what it means for our little planet and how unlikely it is we will ever reach even Proxima Centauri, let alone explore the universe, and in the same train of thought wondering why there isn't a better place to buy shoes locally. Small, absurd, and rather out of place in that much broader and more significant context..

 

Cable science. Thoughts?

post #95 of 122

Philosophy and cosmology in a thread about cables - we may have to revise Prog Rock Man's 3rd Law of Philosophical Diversion.

post #96 of 122

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post
Best post ever in a cable thread beerchug.gif. Could any cable believers come up with an experiment to show how cables inherantly make a sound quality difference?


Which particular cables? This is an important question, as, just as people's observations are inconsistent, so too are the electrical measurements of both cables (of which there are numerous models) and equipment they are used with. 

 

Maybe a more practical thought: There are interconnect cables with built-in impedance-matching boxes. Since such a box will change the electrical behaviour of the equipment, then that could very possibly produce measurable and audible results.  My point though is, the question about whether or not cables make a difference tends to be asked for the sake of making a generalisation, which is rather ridiculous considering the huge number of variables possible. 

 

To directly answer that question, I'll bet I could come up with an experiment as you describe, with specifically tailored cables... Seriously though, I'd suggest interconnect cables that have impedance-altering boxes on them (MIT? I'm not sure) or cables that audibly change the tone of the music (Nordost).

 

 

post #97 of 122

Fact is, ask any cable manufacturer to test his product with an O'scope and plot charts within the 20-20k range, you will be surprised.

 

I believe there should be standards in audio equipment. Manufacturers should have their equipment tested and rated accordingly using measurable characteristics. Although it is true that a good looking cable will cause some mental effect, it does in any other product be it laptops, PMP's etc.. But a cable should be shipped with a chart of it's electrical characteristics which should be presented in a way that anybody can understand. 

 

Second of all is defining audible difference, when will a person experience difference. Just simple numbers wont do the trick, a user should know what matters and what does. once all this is done, i think the industry will change forever, especially the prices of products.

 

If i had the money, i would love to start an independent lab that gives actual data about products and not just simple rating of reviews but factual data. 

post #98 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan575 View Post

Fact is, ask any cable manufacturer to test his product with an O'scope and plot charts within the 20-20k range, you will be surprised.

 

I believe there should be standards in audio equipment. Manufacturers should have their equipment tested and rated accordingly using measurable characteristics. Although it is true that a good looking cable will cause some mental effect, it does in any other product be it laptops, PMP's etc.. But a cable should be shipped with a chart of it's electrical characteristics which should be presented in a way that anybody can understand. 

 

Second of all is defining audible difference, when will a person experience difference. Just simple numbers wont do the trick, a user should know what matters and what does. once all this is done, i think the industry will change forever, especially the prices of products.

 

If i had the money, i would love to start an independent lab that gives actual data about products and not just simple rating of reviews but factual data. 


Stereophile does it, kind of, I usually like their measurement section of the reviews, several pro audio magazines also publish detailed measurements.
Edited by khaos974 - 8/7/11 at 1:34am
post #99 of 122
Stereophile only publishes measurements for transducers, amps and sources.

They have never published measurements for cables.

It's telling.
post #100 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan575 View Post

Fact is, ask any cable manufacturer to test his product with an O'scope and plot charts within the 20-20k range, you will be surprised.

 

I believe there should be standards in audio equipment. Manufacturers should have their equipment tested and rated accordingly using measurable characteristics. Although it is true that a good looking cable will cause some mental effect, it does in any other product be it laptops, PMP's etc.. But a cable should be shipped with a chart of it's electrical characteristics which should be presented in a way that anybody can understand. 

 

Second of all is defining audible difference, when will a person experience difference. Just simple numbers wont do the trick, a user should know what matters and what does. once all this is done, i think the industry will change forever, especially the prices of products.

 

If i had the money, i would love to start an independent lab that gives actual data about products and not just simple rating of reviews but factual data. 



An ideal cable should have a perfectly flat frequency response.

post #101 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Stereophile only publishes measurements for transducers, amps and sources.

They have never published measurements for cables.
 

 

Yes, they have.

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/harmonic-technology-cyberlight-wave-p2a-interconnects-measurements

 

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post #102 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post



 

Yes, they have.

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/harmonic-technology-cyberlight-wave-p2a-interconnects-measurements

 

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But that was an active component, wasn't it?
post #103 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

But that was an active component, wasn't it?


It used a power supply for the electro-optical converters, but it was a cable none the less, its job being to convey the signal at the output of one component to the input of another component.

 

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post #104 of 122

Okay, it is not a conventional cable, as a cable is normally defined as a passive component. When a cable starts actively doing things to the signal (I know normal cables technically alter the signal microscopically, but that doesn't count) all bets are off as to what it sounds like.

post #105 of 122

I was thinking this morning that it would be a fun project to make a little box that alters inductance and capacitance and call it the Thousandollarizer because it ought to be able to make pretty much any good (that is, well shielded, sufficient gauge, non-flawed for audio purposes - a nice lamp cord, for example basshead.gif) cable sound like pretty much any other cable after a few measurements.

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