I'm not disagreeing with the results of ABX testing for the ABX listening situation--in other words, the studies I have seen generally seem well-designed, and I trust that the results would typically hold true if someone listened to their equipment in a similar manner.
What I'm interested in is the idea that people may choose to listen to the equipment through their music or the music through their equipment. The latter is an aesthetic experience which evokes an emotional response, and doing the former, such as in ABX testing that I have seen, may represent a bias in ABX testing towards a particular type of listening that is not representative of how some/many people experience music through speakers or headphones. I think this could particularly be a problem with fast switching between equipment with short audio clips as is often done.
Anyone know of any research out there? I am just a hobbyist--not an audio professional--so any help would be appreciated. But I do have a good bit of expertise in the humanities, so I am aware that scientific efforts to quantify or qualify aesthetic experiences often are murkier/fuzzier/more difficult than scientists and engineers might like to believe.
UPDATE: xnor notes later in this thread that some of what is being discussed here in this thread is DBT, not ABX testing, and should be correctly labeled as such.
Edited by cel4145 - 11/10/13 at 8:37am