Who says you can't have both? We can put a man on the moon. Why not an edible audible?
Edited by Steve Eddy - 4/19/14 at 9:32am
Don't know, but I bet if you put it through a cellophane tube with a high gauge gold wire you could sell it for 50k usd per foot.
works better if you have an audiophile nuclear reactor to put a few megavolts through the air...
Okay, you're not all going to like this. In the end, it turned out the equipment used were:
MBP -> USB -> Gungnir
Nordost Blue Heaven going from Gungnir RCA#1 -> Input 1 of the SYS
Wire World Oasis 7 going from Gungnir RAC #2 -> Input 2 of the SYS
Output from the SYS goes to the RCA input of the Mjolnir via a pair of 6" PYST cables
From the Mjolnir -> Stock cable -> Alpha Dogs
When switching, I had the assistanct switch on an electric toothbrush to mask any possible click I can hear from the actual chassis of the SYS's switch spring mechanism.
The SYS itself does not make any sound through the output, but I paused the music to be sure.
Levels were not adjusted and only 1 song was used. (Lorde, Tennis Court).
So, I had no idea which was which input so I just marked on my 'score sheet' as A or B.
My assistant had two states to work from, switch were X and Y.
We then had a scoring system where I had to assume whether A=X (and B=Y) or the other way around.
We did 15 tests.
If A=Y and B=X, I got it right 9 times out of 15 which is 60%. Okay, it's only 1 or 2 more than a 50% split.
An interesting result was that, if we discount the first 3 results, I got 8 out of the last 12 consecutive guesses correct, which is 66.7%. The same ratio applies for the last 9 consecutive results. I don't know if that means I got better at it or what but I didn't try the test before so for the first few I was guessing quite a bit.
Is 60% from 15 tests significant? To be honest, towards the end it was getting a bit boring and I found that I'd arrive at a conclusion in less than a minute and it wasn't really about focusing on one detail/aspect of the sound, but more of an overall picture like the 'height' of the 'head stage' which is probably a bit weird.
I can tell you for certain, there IS a difference. But seriously, it's a hair-width. With the Blue Heaven being $364.99 for a 1m pair and the Oasis 7 at $110.00 for the same length, it's kindda debatable with regards to value and all that. To be honest, I don't think I've concluded that I prefer one over another and that's really not my focus here. If pushed, I'd actually say I prefer the airiness of one but a slightly more stable soundstage of another. Wishy-washy words, I know, but that's how the difference manifests itself to me.
I'm open to hearing more about the significance of the 9/15 figure. Some would probably have something to say about the fact that I have another 6" of PYST cables, a switch and an attenuator in between, plus there are more transparent set ups out there for sure. (The Mjolnir's SE inputs are a step behind its XLR inputs, IMO.) So I'm not pretending this is anything definitive by any means. I'm just stating what I got.
My conclusion form all this, and it's a personal one, is that while there's a difference between cables, it's not a hugely apparent difference, specially if your set-up is more average like the one I used. I don't know I would have heard more or less of a difference if I used another pair of cables perhaps with even more of a price gap or design principles. Going up the range, Nordost has their mono-filament and Wire World I'm sure has some other tricks so who knows.
Would love to hear from you guys about this...
A very good effort. Maybe not completely double blind but certainly enough to produce a useful result. Unfortunately 9/15 is statistically insignificant, you'd need 12/15 to reach a 95% confidence level.
I appreciate that it's very tedious to set up and go through so many trials. Sometimes it helps to take a break between the sets. If you think that you can identify the difference then you need more tests to indicate that.
Is 60% from 15 tests significant? To be honest, towards the end it was getting a bit boring and I found that I'd arrive at a conclusion in less than a minute and it wasn't really about focusing on one detail/aspect of the sound, but more of an overall picture like the 'height' of the 'head stage' which is probably a bit weird
If you were guessing totally randomly you'd get that score or better (on 15 trials) about 30% of the time so it doesn't meet the threshold for significance.
If we take the last 12 trials it improves to 20% which is still not significant, but you can't actually do that because it's cheating - naturally if you pick only the best results you will get something better.
1. there is no audible difference
2. there is a difference bordering on perceptibility but it is small and a much larger trial is needed to detect it
Firstly, good effort.
Secondly, I agree with the recent posts that's it's not quite statistically significant - with the numbers so far.
One thing that springs out to me is that in this test you felt the differences (if they even existed) to be tiny.
Before this test, did you have a stronger view on the differences between these two cables?
Irrespective of other suggestions you may get to make the results more statistically significant, how about trying just one longer term test to see how that goes:
Still blind, leave Cable A or B in place for a few days and just listen to that "normally" with two or three different albums (not just one track, or you'll go mad).
Then still blind, get the cable swapped and listen for an evening. Do the differences appear any more obvious? If yes, then more work to be done to make that statistically valid.
Finally, I'd have started with one of the cables being stock against the one you perceive to be the best you have. Simply to more easily ascertain that you can spot cable differences at all.
The most important thing you can try in my opinion is to buy a cheap pair of monoprice/radioshack RCAs and do another test with those. It'll make the lack of difference, or of improvement, painfully obvious.
The point you made about boredorm (and implied listener fatigue) is very valid.
To stop yourself going mad, how about restricting to fewer sessions (say 10), then have a break and change the track to a different kind of music and doing another stint of 10, and so on.
Choosing the Lorde song as your only test track is interesting. That ablum is quite compressed and "produced" (not all in a bad way). I wonder how a different kind of sound would fare?
I really like her album BTW.