Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Why pick on cables ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why pick on cables ? - Page 9  

post #121 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

This "real" is the question, what kind of ontological position (way of existing) is this effect. Is the effect like a mountain or a tree? pain? beauty? good? logic? math?
The realness hasn't been able to be demonstrated and proved simply by pointing to it and saying, "see there it is."  

The effect would be a perception of the listener. You would likely use a diary based test survey with an agreed upon scale. You would need a large sample size. But you could fail to reject that they are different. This would make the perceived, real or at least not being random chance.

This is done with allergy patients to assess symptoms instead of directly measuring inflammation or nasal airway caliber. They are noisy because symptoms are qualitative measures but they are a perfectly valid means of evaluating something. Good enough for FDA however may not be good enough for Headfi...:-)
post #122 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

May I ask why you participate then? >6400 post is a significant investment in time for something that you don't believe offers value. Just curious

When I was in high school, a friend of my older brother who designed and built speakers took the time to explain some things to me and point me in the right direction. He built me custom speakers that I still use and I paid for them with paper route money. I'm sure what I paid him didn't even cover the cost of the parts. I like to do what I can for newbies to pay it back. Also, the internet is such a treasure trove of knowledge, I like to share the few things I know about to pay back for all those good things.

In any internet forum, there are always a few really knowledgeable people. You read a little bit and you can sort them out. Here in Sound Science, we're lucky to have quite a few.
post #123 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

The effect would be a perception of the listener. You would likely use a diary based test survey with an agreed upon scale.

I think direct A/B line level matched switching is a lot easier than asking people how they feel. If you put two things right next to each other, you can either tell them apart or you can't. Once you determine that there actually is a difference, then you can ask people to rate it as being better or worse.
post #124 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

When I was in high school, a friend of my older brother who designed and built speakers took the time to explain some things to me and point me in the right direction. He built me custom speakers that I still use and I paid for them with paper route money. I'm sure what I paid him didn't even cover the cost of the parts. I like to do what I can for newbies to pay it back. Also, the internet is such a treasure trove of knowledge, I like to share the few things I know about to pay back for all those good things.
In any internet forum, there are always a few really knowledgeable people. You read a little bit and you can sort them out. Here in Sound Science, we're lucky to have quite a few.

Thanks for explaining.
post #125 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I think direct A/B line level matched switching is a lot easier than asking people how they feel. If you put two things right next to each other, you can either tell them apart or you can't. Once you determine that there actually is a difference, then you can ask people to rate it as being better or worse.

We're talking about the same thing. That will only assess if their is an undefined difference. You need crieria if you want to assess specific aspects. You just need diary based, prospectively defined definitions of difference in order to run the study. The definitions would be assessed against their listening perceptions. They would need to pick the choice that best matched their perception of difference.

:-)
Edited by iim7V7IM7 - 9/3/12 at 4:25pm
post #126 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


I think direct A/B line level matched switching is a lot easier than asking people how they feel. If you put two things right next to each other, you can either tell them apart or you can't. Once you determine that there actually is a difference, then you can ask people to rate it as being better or worse.

 

No!

It's a lot easier to ask people how they feel than it is to set up a scientific experiment!

That's why everyone posts opinions on the Internet!

post #127 of 403

To be honest, given the limitations of auditory memory, even with fast A/B switching, I think the better experiment (if you had a really huge participant pool) would just be to ask people to listen to samples and rate each one after it's over.  You'd probably need a training session, some samples interspersed that are actually different in a known and audible way as a control and also to keep people awake and trying, and very careful controlling of order effects, blocking, subsampling, randomization.  

 

With enough participants, you could just look at mean rating scores, and even with a very high variance compared to any potential difference in mean values (if they exist), you might get some significant result, or not.

post #128 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


The effect would be a perception of the listener. 

This is why cables get picked on. The effect seems to exist in the perception of a subject, and if so is dependant on a conscious mind to exist. That's not to say it can't be a true fact, but this mind dependant mode of being is different than if the existence of an effect was demonstrable through simple instrumental measurements.  

post #129 of 403
If you can't consistently perceive it in double blind testing, and you can't measure it, it doesn't matter at all. The only argument in favor of high end cables that makes any sense is that they look nice.
post #130 of 403
Auditory memory isn't an issue with direct A/B switching. The best way to determine differences between two similar things is direct comparison. Ratings after the fact, even with a huge sample injects all kinds of randomness into your results.

To be honest, I don't even think you need a formal test. I listen to things and compare them. If two things are close enough that I have a lot of trouble telling them apart, I chalk it up as not mattering. Improvements should make a real difference.
Edited by bigshot - 9/3/12 at 6:54pm
post #131 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

To be honest, I don't even think you need a formal test. I listen to things and compare them. If two things are close enough that I have a lot of trouble telling them apart, I chalk it up as not mattering. Improvements should make a real difference.

That makes so much sense you would think it would stop most of the pissing and moaning. Problem is, when someone asks for advice a plethora of "information" ensues from people who have already dumpted a load of cash on gear. Their expectation bias is off the Richter scale at this point and so is their "I know what I hear" BS level. Add to this opinions by posters who have never heard the gear and myths repeated into common beliefs, and you have...audio forums!

So...Firstly, thank goodness for the Sound Science forum and

Secondly, you can see why I favor measurements over listening tests and reports. Do I use them to choose my gear? Heck no, I use your method. I prefer someone measuring electrical or microphone output so all these fools will STFU when there ends up being no positive difference after the tweak/pixie dust/chanting/better looking or more expensive gear has been installed/invoked. They will put up straw men about listening tests until all who doubt their beliefs have given up or died. Further, they cannot argue that some x-factor is not or cannot be measured if the entire output of the system, everything that creates the sound we hear, is measured electrically. The aptly named placebo factors coined earlier will be left with no possible means to create them. Subtle soundstage changes fuzzily defined with nonsense terms will no longer be abroad in the land, and I will have a Bell's Oberon in celebration.
Edited by Clarkmc2 - 9/3/12 at 9:44pm
post #132 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


Do you think that Sennheiser does their own injection molding? Does Audez'e do it's CNC work in house? No, companies create supply chains where they integrate components manufactured by specialty suppliers. Very few companies are vertically integrated (even large ones). Most of these smaller cable companies would not have the capability nor means to conduct such a study. Many products more important than this are QC/QA'd with quality attributes and specifications that do not relate to their primary function. Human Rx medicines come to mind.

You are missing the point. The key is QA to a specification. Medicines are tested vigorously before they're approved for sales and yes, that included DBT. In manufacturing the dosage and purity must be compliant to the specification. Now with cable, what is the approval process? What is the specification? Since the magic ingredient can only be heard, never mind how the factory is going to make it, but how do they QA it. Do they have a crew listen to cable all day? Power cable is worst offender of this. They need to find the worst cast power line. And I would like to know which one did they picked.

 

The excuse has always been these are small companies and they have no resource to conduct these studies. But without the study, there is no viable claim or product. For god's sake if they're selling power cable, the minimum they need is UL and that's only a few thousand dollars. Can you imagine a small company goes to FDA and say; "I have no money to conduct the study, but I'm sure my drug will work and it's safe?"

 

Now if they are rebadging Belden or any other cables? Don't you think it is dishonest to claim they designed their cable with their secret sauce?

post #133 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Auditory memory isn't an issue with direct A/B switching. The best way to determine differences between two similar things is direct comparison. Ratings after the fact, even with a huge sample injects all kinds of randomness into your results.
To be honest, I don't even think you need a formal test. I listen to things and compare them. If two things are close enough that I have a lot of trouble telling them apart, I chalk it up as not mattering. Improvements should make a real difference.

 

Yeah, for personal use, people are entitled to do whatever testing they please.  Certainly for many reasons, I wouldn't bother investing that much into formal testing of something that is pretty well understood and known to make small differences in all cases other than uncontrolled personal anecdotes.

 

Isn't it more difficult to remember and compare two things than one?  Short-term memory is a whole lot better than the kind of long-term comparisons everybody makes, but I'm not sure if it can be guaranteed offhand that A/B testing is sensitive enough for a "can it matter at all in an insignificant way that yet might be statistically significant" kind of exhaustive test of the kind of scale never done before for audio (even though I expect not to find any difference).  I think A/B testing is more likely to produce significant results (i.e. requires lower n) when there's a non-trivial difference, but if you want to go all the way and do it the right way in theory...

post #134 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Auditory memory isn't an issue with direct A/B switching. The best way to determine differences between two similar things is direct comparison. Ratings after the fact, even with a huge sample injects all kinds of randomness into your results.
To be honest, I don't even think you need a formal test. I listen to things and compare them. If two things are close enough that I have a lot of trouble telling them apart, I chalk it up as not mattering. Improvements should make a real difference.

I sure hope you don't ever need n Rx medicine. If we developed them using your proposed methodology, our medicines would be no more effective than the crap advertised on late night TV. Seriously, I believe your definition of significant difference is unrealistically large. You need large sample size numbers to assess smaller differences. These are the magnitude of difference I believe we are discussing with aftermarket cables. If we were assessing LCD-2 vs. my AKG K702 a smaller study could be run.

The size of difference that is considered significant and your level of confidence (typically a p-value of <.05 or <1 in 20 in being in correct) drives the study design. Significant differences can indeed be real and small. I suppose to many, such small differences are not significant enough to invest $ into achieving it. That is an honest debate. I get back to the exaggerated marketing practices and pseudo-science being the issue. I do not question the differences which I believe to be small.
Edited by iim7V7IM7 - 9/4/12 at 6:25am
post #135 of 403
Reality check: We're talking about a stereo system sitting on a shelf in your living room or bedroom. If a difference isn't big enough to hear in direct A/B line level matched comparison, why is it going to matter at all when you're listening to a Black Sabbath CD while surfing the internet?

Everyone wants to be Jonas Salk or discover a particle smaller than an atom. They put on white robes and stethescopes and touch their chin and nod knowingly. But this is *applied* science, not theoretical science. It all comes down to "will it make my stereo sound better?" The answer is so self evident, it's amazing it's even discussed at all.

Fancy wires don't make your stereo sound any better than wires from Radio Shack.
Edited by bigshot - 9/4/12 at 10:04am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Why pick on cables ?