Hifi news USB cable shootout
May 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

astroid

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This month, they used a Sony Vaio laptop running foobar, thesycon 1.56 drivers to Musical Fidelity M1 S Dac, this served as a active usb to spdif convertor only  , then fed coaxial to a Devialet D-Premier DH amp.
They also measured the cables using an Intel based USB transmitter as the source , interestingly they modified a Musical Fidelity V link to act as a reciever. They measured the signal rise and fall times , displaying the results in eye patterns.
 
Anyway i cant print anything from the magazine but they did find difference's in results for different cables and different lengths of the same cable.
They also said they blind tested the cables with no one being aware of the cable being tested.
 
Whether the visable differences in eye patterns caused an audible difference is debatable, they didnt publish notes or any info on whether they were allowed to discuss what they were hearing, if there was a concensus etc.
 
Worth a read though.
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM Post #2 of 15

robertsong

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Thanks asteroid. I'm going to seek out the Magazine. I can usually find Hifi News here in the States. It's the June issue, correct?
 
 
 
Btw, here's another blind test I have stumbled on:
 
 
http://www.crystalcable.com/CMS/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Hi-Fi+%20februari%202012%20Crystal%20Cable%20USB.pdf
 
 
Not surprisingly in least, the results sound to similar to what you summarized.
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM Post #3 of 15

Steve Eddy

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Quote:
Btw, here's another blind test I have stumbled on:

 
But it was only single blind:
 
"As test admin, my opinions and findings do not form part of the test, because I was the one person who knew what was playing at any given time."
 
There are very good reasons why not even the person administering the tests know what the identities are and why single blind tests such as this should not be given any particular credence. For starters, see "Clever Hans effect."
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clever_Hans
 
se
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM Post #4 of 15

robertsong

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Quote:
 
But it was only single blind:
 
"As test admin, my opinions and findings do not form part of the test, because I was the one person who knew what was playing at any given time."
 
There are very good reasons why not even the person administering the tests know what the identities are and why single blind tests such as this should not be given any particular credence. For starters, see "Clever Hans effect."
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clever_Hans
 
se

 
 
 
Read more carefully. It was only single blind for the guy who administered the test. Double blind for the other testers.  I appreciate the administrator's complete honesty about that.
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM Post #5 of 15

Steve Eddy

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Quote:
 
Read more carefully. It was only single blind for the guy who administered the test. Double blind for the other testers.

 
It can't have been double blind for the other testers if the person administering the test knew the identities of the cables. For the person administering it, it wasn't even single blind. It was fully sighted.
 
Double blind is when neither the administrator of the test nor those being tested know the identities of the cables.
 
se
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM Post #6 of 15

robertsong

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I concede on this. You are correct.
 
But I'm under the impression that many skeptics will not give any kind of credence to empirical testing (blind, double-blind, whatever). Am I right?
 
Very interested in reading the article astroid posted about. Regardless of what I already heard for myself.
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 4:38 PM Post #8 of 15

Steve Eddy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
But I'm under the impression that many skeptics will not give any kind of credence to empirical testing (blind, double-blind, whatever). Am I right?

 
I don't see how one can give much credence to a test which didn't employ proper controls, and leaving you with such ambiguous results. We've had decades of hand-waving and uncontrolled tests. What we've been waiting for is for someone to demonstrate actual audible differences using proper controls. So far that hasn't happened. Instead they just persist with the same hand-waving and uncontrolled tests as if they feel that if they do it enough, somehow that will magically change things. But it doesn't. It just wastes time and doesn't get us any further down the road. Might be great for marketing propaganda, but that's all that can be said for it. And I think that's really all they care about. As long as they can keep fooling some of the people some of the time, they're happy.
 
se
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM Post #9 of 15

Steve Eddy

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Quote:
When did Steve get hair plugs?

 
Last week. Thank you for noticing.
biggrin.gif

 
se
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 11:11 PM Post #11 of 15

esldude

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I haven't seen the article.  Was Martin Colloms involved?  He who can hear the difference in bit-perfect files.  He who can tell which power supply was used to rip bit perfect files.  Sorry, I am really disappointed in MC.  He really needs someone who understands modern digital stuff to educate him a bit on what he is doing. 
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM Post #12 of 15

robertsong

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Quote:
 
I don't see how one can give much credence to a test which didn't employ proper controls, and leaving you with such ambiguous results.

 
 
Really? Even if the sound is strikingly different? Why would you need controlled tests to prove anything other than subtle differences. When somebody makes a statement like that I wonder if they really have any experience in how to listen to discern differences. Audiophiles are people who have this experience.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM Post #13 of 15

Greenleaf7

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Quote:
 
 
Really? Even if the sound is strikingly different? Why would you need controlled tests to prove anything other than subtle differences. When somebody makes a statement like that I wonder if they really have any experience in how to listen to discern differences. Audiophiles are people who have this experience.

Do you consider yourself an audiophile who's capable of discriminating those differences?
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 3:49 PM Post #14 of 15

xnor

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Quote:
 
Really? Even if the sound is strikingly different? Why would you need controlled tests to prove anything other than subtle differences. When somebody makes a statement like that I wonder if they really have any experience in how to listen to discern differences. Audiophiles are people who have this experience.

<rant> Would you consider alien abductions are strikingly different from normal life? Why would you need controlled tests to prove anything other than subtle differences to normal life? </rant>
 
No, not all audiophiles have this experience. Imo not even close. But all "experiencers" are people who have the experience of alien abductions.
 
Assume you had a similar experience that felt real to you. Judging by your standards you would (have to) believe that you truly were abducted by aliens.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM Post #15 of 15

esldude

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Had a long thread on another forum once a few months ago.  Was about watching water flow uphill.  Something you see under the right circumstances.  Most real, most obvious, no amount of more careful looking will make it appear differently.  Water flowing steadily and clearly uphill. 
 
Now do I assume due to the obviousness of the perception, and its repeatable consistency that water does sometimes flow uphill? 
 
 

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