"Cable Blind Taste Test"
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Edwood

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I know DBT is not allowed here, but how about an in home, one person, "Blind Cable Taste Test"?
*edit, The test has been changed to a single set of Three cables.

I want to make two visually identical InterConnect's. Label one a generic "A" and the other "B". One will be made from standard Starquad microphone cable, the other all balls out solid 99.99% silver. A mailing list gets started in this thread, and everyone tries them out for a week and posts which one they like better. They then mail it to the next person, etc etc. When the cables return to me, I reveal which cable was made out of what.
(cables could also be labeled with symbols or something, since the whole "letter grade" bias might factor in.)

Should probably be limited to unbalanced IC's for now, as most people do not have balanced sources and amps.

To mix things up a bit, two sets would go out. But the "A" and "B" are reversed in each set. One set goes to the East Coast, the other goes to the West Coast.

I would like to limit this test to the United States for now, to keep shipping costs and time down for everyone.

I realize that there is always a risk for an unscrupulous member to just keep the wires and not mail it along for the next person, but I'm hoping that everyone will be honest, as the silver cable is obviously not cheap to make. Maybe this project will be limited to a smaller amount of people to start with?

I am still trying to make a decent silver IC (experimenting) so this little project won't be happening tomorrow. I just wanted to gauge the interest here. I'm not going to be charging anything for this, everyone would pay for their own shipping to the next person, and pay it along.

So here's a chance to prove whether or not you can hear the difference between cables.
This is my current method for this "test" I'm open to suggestions. I think this will be fun.

-Ed
 
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meat01

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Sign me up! You should use different color heat shrink and/or techflex and put some sort of tamper seal or bond the connectors so that no one cheats
and you would not have to mark them.
 
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oneeyedhobbit

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Absolutely--I've never understood why this particular sub-forum was anti DBT anyway.
 
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Chinchy

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Count me in. Let me know when/how to provide my info. I'll be part of the West Coast team.
 
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Edwood

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DBT is not forbidden, it just that it's use in a heated discussion is not allowed.

This test is to leave it in a single person's hands. Everyone listens, passes the cables along, etc. And when the all is done, the secret is revealed.

Yes, the connectors will be tamper proof. Someone messes with them, we'll all know.

-Ed
 
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lan

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Sign me up. There's a chance that I like neither though. Should you make more than 2?
 
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ooheadsoo

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I put maybe because this thing is a time eater! Also of concern is how long the IC's will be. Some people may need longer lengths. For those who need shorter lengths, flexibility of the IC may be an issue.
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lan
Sign me up. There's a chance that I like neither though. Should you make more than 2?


I'm thinking two test pairs for now. One pair for the Eastern US and one for the Western half.

We'll see how it goes from there.

I also think it's best to limit the test to the two cables. "A" and "B"
It defeats the purpose of a blind test if you compare it to other cables. (of course everyone can compare them all they want to their own cables, but for the sake of simplicity in this test, I would ask that people only post about the two IC's for this test.)

I know you have a fondness for for tape, lan, but I will be disguising these cables, so no scotch tape will be used here.


-Ed
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
I put maybe because this thing is a time eater! Also of concern is how long the IC's will be. Some people may need longer lengths. For those who need shorter lengths, flexibility of the IC may be an issue.


That's why I think one week should be just enough time. Too long and the test could go on forever. What does everyone think? Is one week long enough for each person? Keep in mind that shipping between people will add time to the test as well. But that's why I am thinking two pairs of IC's will help. Also, I think it would be best to organize the shipping to be from whichever person is closest to the next one, to make shipping cheaper and faster.

I would like to ideally limit the length to 1 - 1.5 meters. What's everyone's thoughts? What's a good length? Remember, the silver gets kinda expensive the longer I make it, and also the shorter the better for SQ.
Since I'm doing this for free, I think it's not a lot to ask for people participating to rearrange their equipment a bit if it is needed.

The cables should be pretty flexible, BTW.

-Ed
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwood
....DBT is not forbidden, it just that it's use in a heated discussion is not allowed....


Says who? DBT discussion isn't allowed in this forum because of a problem we had with a couple of people (one really bad one in particular) -- as well as experience from at least one other audio forum -- in which cable discussions were being hit with "you're-crazy-'cause-DBT-would-prove-so" posts. No cable discussion seemed safe for a time, so the no-DBT rule, first in place at Audio Asylum's cable forum, was instituted here.
 
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Edwood

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I'm trying to come up with a very simple bullet proof test for people to have fun with. I suppose it is technically "single blind" and not Double Blind as the tester and test subject are one in the same, and they'll know when they're switching cables.

So I guess this test should really be called a "Blind Cable Taste Test".


-Ed
 
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Dane

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What is described here isn't a real blind test - the subject knows when the switch is done.

A single blind test (which this is not) means that the subject doesn't know when the switch is done, but the assistent does.

A real DBT means that both the subject and the assistent don't know what's going on. A third person is needed in this case.

So you see, you do not need to worry since hardly anybody performs the forbidden DBT - the legal SBT can however bring you a long way, but it works best if the assistent is a non-believer determined to hide the switch from the subject.
 
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lan

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I think 1 week is enough time and 1 meter is good. 0.5 maybe too short for some people setups. 1.5 is kind of getting long.
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dane
What is described here isn't a real blind test - the subject knows when the switch is done.

A single blind test (which this is not) means that the subject doesn't know when the switch is done, but the assistent does.

A real DBT means that both the subject and the assistent don't know what's going on. A third person is needed in this case.

So you see, you do not need to worry since hardly anybody performs the forbidden DBT - the legal SBT can however bring you a long way, but it works best if the assistent is a non-believer determined to hide the switch from the subject.




I am going to call it the "Blind Cable Taste Test" from now on.

Like the infamous soft drink taste tests, the tester has no idea which drink is what, and they get to choose which one to drink first. Then they are asked which one they like better and why, and finally after that, it is then revealed which drink was what.

Try not to chew on the cables, though.


-Ed
 
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Canman

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This sounds like a great idea Ed. I think you should stick to 1M cables since that seems to be most common length. I wouldn't worry too much about particulars, but this will be an interesting test.

It is important to come up with a solid hypothesis so that the results are less arguable. The way I see it, a decent hypothesis is if a statistically significant majority is able to identify the correct interconnect, then there are audible differences between different conductor types (or just different cable). To determine what is statistically significant, you'll have to consult one of our resident statisticians like Hirsch.

You also need to figure out what data you want to collect from participants. Will it matter when it comes times to discuss the results what components people used? Maybe the older guys went to too many concerts in their younger days and can't hear squat anymore..in this case recording age might be helpful.

Also--maybe the test participants can each paypal Ed a dollar or two so that his costs of doing the test are less.

I am very interested in participating. Keep us posted!
 
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