How do I convince people that audio cables DO NOT make a difference
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:11 PM Post #2,101 of 3,317

manueljenkin

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Posts
398
Likes
203
POST 2088
Going back to the subject matter "How do I convince ..." it should be obvious that You can not convince people!
2087 previous posts and back-forth's means the subject matter is almost a religious one.
- There are believers , who will swear that cables matter, silver sounds better than coat-hangers and they can hear a feel the improvements.
- And there are non-believers who quote all kinds of science and blind-test experiments to prove cables don't matter.
No group can convince the other.
After all similarly in religion, Faith and feelings are meaningless to non religious people, and equaly one can not prove god does not exist by logical scientific means to those who believe non-scientific things.
Just give up!

There's nothing proven. Go check out YouTube videos of recordings of power cables, etc and just compare the waveforms. That's enough to see a very noticeable delta. Besides, you cannot really "prove" the non-existence or impossibility of something, for most scenarios. Human cognition and perception limits are extremely non linear, situation dependant (with lots of masking and priorities etc, so you just cannot take learning from tests done using sine sweep to overall hearing) and are still a puzzle to researchers. It's an active area of research, and it's funny to see you guys try to be conclusive about your analysis on this topic.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:13 PM Post #2,102 of 3,317

Bernard23

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Posts
461
Likes
444
Location
Uk
Well it's not really necessary to do that to show up a hole in your arguments. You're trying to be conclusively dismissive of the possibilities, which is wrong since the limits/weights is not well defined yet. So about "measuring" these changes with cables, I'm not sure, we'll first have to solve cognition first again, get our correlation matrices wrt thresholds and weights right then we can be fairly conclusive of things. For now the only option is to be open to things. No need to accept what some one else says, just be open to the possibilities.
I think you missed my point, sorry. I'm not being dismissive, quite the opposite. Challenging yes! I haven't actually made any hypothesis (to shoot holes in) I'm merely asking what else can you do, that hasn't been done already? I don't accept opinion either, it needs to be supported by repeatable evidence that's all. The correlations, the theories all need to be consistently repeatable within acceptable margins of uncertainty otherwise it's not accepted as "fact". That's not my definition by the way.
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:13 PM Post #2,103 of 3,317

manueljenkin

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Posts
398
Likes
203
You would not do straight measurements. You would use sound signatures and artificial intelligence matching programs to predict which sound would be preferred by a user based on their stored database of preferences as they relate to other peoples similar preferences. Patterns of preferences will predict quality.
Just blindfold the cable and make it a triple blind test (now the cable doesn't know who's listening to it). Best scientific test ever.
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:14 PM Post #2,104 of 3,317

Kentajalli

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 7, 2020
Posts
1,215
Likes
1,119
Location
London
Why do you say that? I'm genuinely intrigued as to what measurands we could investigate to characterise human hearing better then we have done so far?
That's the million dollar question!
We as yet don't know enough to say we can measure everything, we don't know what everything is - in the first place.
Again - I believe fancy cables are just bling - @HiFiHawaii808 doesn't.
But what does it matter? if he can believe and possibly can hear differences, it is his money - his decision.
It is absolute madness for some wanna-be- scientists to claim " I can and have measured everything there is to measure, and I can tell for sure - you are full of ...".
I can not measure nor hear any differences, so I won't buy.
Good luck to others who do.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:17 PM Post #2,105 of 3,317

manueljenkin

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Posts
398
Likes
203
I think you missed my point, sorry. I'm not being dismissive, quite the opposite. Challenging yes! I haven't actually made any hypothesis (to shoot holes in) I'm merely asking what else can you do, that hasn't been done already?

If I have an answer for that I'll also have been working on those research labs now, instead of chatting in this forum. But I do have fair idea about the limits where our present understanding of audio perception somewhat ends (have worked along similar lines on a project). If that was solved you'd have 100% perfect auto generated subtitles in youtube videos regardless of noise levels and audio chaos in the video. (By that, I mean, it being able to auto caption reliably, every single scenario a human ear can discern and make information out of).
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:25 PM Post #2,106 of 3,317

Bernard23

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Posts
461
Likes
444
Location
Uk
That's the million dollar question!
We as yet don't know enough to say we can measure everything, we don't know what everything is - in the first place.
Again - I believe fancy cables are just bling - @HiFiHawaii808 doesn't.
But what does it matter? if he can believe and possibly can hear differences, it is his money - his decision.
It is absolute madness for some wanna-be- scientists to claim " I can and have measured everything there is to measure, and I can tell for sure - you are full of ...".
I can not measure nor hear any differences, so I won't buy.
Good luck to others who do.
I have a semi professional interest in this topic, since I work in a metrology institute. We spend a lot of time responding to industrial and societal demands to develop capability to measure things we haven't done before, or things we have but to greater accuracy and consistency. I can come up with many physical attributes of an electrical conductor that we can measure to a low level of uncertainty (ie directly traceable to the SI units), and genuinely can't think of any attributes that we could explore, unless we get into quantum gravity effects!
I see it this way, rightly or wrongly; if we can hear a difference, and we can't measure it scientifically, then either we don't have sufficiently accurate instruments, or the subjective response is some kind of placebo or bias. What I do know from my own ears, is that they are often swayed by some form of bias, and so as singular instruments are probably hopelessly unreliable as a scientific instrument, hence any subjective trials are done with large groups.
This is an interesting debate, and we haven't got into the question of existentialism yet!
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:47 PM Post #2,107 of 3,317

Kentajalli

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 7, 2020
Posts
1,215
Likes
1,119
Location
London
I have a semi professional interest in this topic, since I work in a metrology institute. We spend a lot of time responding to industrial and societal demands to develop capability to measure things we haven't done before, or things we have but to greater accuracy and consistency. I can come up with many physical attributes of an electrical conductor that we can measure to a low level of uncertainty (ie directly traceable to the SI units), and genuinely can't think of any attributes that we could explore, unless we get into quantum gravity effects!
I see it this way, rightly or wrongly; if we can hear a difference, and we can't measure it scientifically, then either we don't have sufficiently accurate instruments, or the subjective response is some kind of placebo or bias. What I do know from my own ears, is that they are often swayed by some form of bias, and so as singular instruments are probably hopelessly unreliable as a scientific instrument, hence any subjective trials are done with large groups.
This is an interesting debate, and we haven't got into the question of existentialism yet!
Correct me if I am wrong, when you measure anything, I bet you have certain criteria for your test, otherwise an open ended test takes forever and costs whatever.
The limit of the measurement is going to be the intended purpose of the device to be tested.
Say, for example, in this case, some interconnect cables - you would probably measure the tearing limit of the cable, impedances, capacitive and inductive qualities etc.
Evert cable is going to give different results, but assumptions are made as to what is relevant, what is not! say a capacitance of 20pF or less is regarded as inconsequential, right?
So problem is in few folds, are there tests we are omitting? are our assumptions for what is relevant correct? are there tests we haven't even imagined yet?
My assertion is an academic one! Do not assume we know everything yet.
Personal bias maybe at play here, misconception, snake-oil ..... but then again, perhaps one day we could scratch beneath the surface of this belief "that cables matter" .
Till then, everyone to their own. No science can prove otherwise.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 3:58 PM Post #2,108 of 3,317

manueljenkin

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Posts
398
Likes
203
Correct me if I am wrong, when you measure anything, I bet you have certain criteria for your test, otherwise an open ended test takes forever and costs whatever.
The limit of the measurement is going to be the intended purpose of the device to be tested.
Say, for example, in this case, some interconnect cables - you would probably measure the tearing limit of the cable, impedances, capacitive and inductive qualities etc.
Evert cable is going to give different results, but assumptions are made as to what is relevant, what is not! say a capacitance of 20pF or less is regarded as inconsequential, right?
So problem is in few folds, are there tests we are omitting? are our assumptions for what is relevant correct? are there tests we haven't even imagined yet?
My assertion is an academic one! Do not assume we know everything yet.
Personal bias maybe at play here, misconception, snake-oil ..... but then again, perhaps one day we could scratch beneath the surface of this belief "that cables matter" .
Till then, everyone to their own. No science can prove otherwise.
Even cable risers theoretically make a difference in measurable parameters (capacitance to ground, and the related antenna effects since they actually refuse to obey lumped models that well, atleast for hv electric lines). The problem is how to really see its influence on sound output, which to some extent is already seen in recordings of playback systems, and it's perceivable sq changes (which cannot be concluded without solving cognition). As you said, the overall analysis we can do as of now, is very open ended.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:01 PM Post #2,109 of 3,317

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
24,175
Likes
5,271
Location
A Secret Lab
The limits/bounds of hearing perception is still not well defined scientifically yet.

Most of the major thresholds of hearing have been established for almost a century. It's very easy to test a perceptual threshold. You just use a double blind test. Here in sound science, we consider that proof.

If you want to find out if two cables sound different, a simple double blind test will tell you that in a jiffy. There are plenty of examples in the first post in the audio myths thread pinned to the top of this forum.
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:04 PM Post #2,110 of 3,317

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
24,175
Likes
5,271
Location
A Secret Lab
You would not do straight measurements. You would use sound signatures and artificial intelligence matching programs to predict which sound would be preferred by a user based on their stored database of preferences as they relate to other peoples similar preferences. Patterns of preferences will predict quality.

That isn't a threshold of perception. That is testing for preference. We aren't talking about tastes and preferences. We're talking about whether human ears can hear a particular type of sound or not. Ears can be degraded, but there is a limit to what undegraded ears can hear, and it is very consistent on most measures of audio fidelity.

By the way, the argument, "We don't know everything so we can't know anything." is a logical fallacy. And if the body of scientific testing shows that humans can't perceive ultrasonic frequencies or very very low level sounds, it's the responsibility of the person claiming those things might be perceptible. Show me a controlled test where someone was able to hear distortion at -80dB under music, or frequencies above 25kHz. THEN we will have something to talk about.
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:15 PM Post #2,111 of 3,317

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Posts
24,175
Likes
5,271
Location
A Secret Lab
If I have an answer for that I'll also have been working on those research labs now, instead of chatting in this forum. But I do have fair idea about the limits where our present understanding of audio perception somewhat ends (have worked along similar lines on a project). If that was solved you'd have 100% perfect auto generated subtitles in youtube videos regardless of noise levels and audio chaos in the video.

Audio fidelity doesn't depend on interpretation. You compare one signal to another and it is either the same to human ears or it isn't. Perception is separate from fidelity.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:15 PM Post #2,112 of 3,317

sander99

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Posts
1,447
Likes
663
Location
The Netherlands
But I do have fair idea about the limits where our present understanding of audio perception somewhat ends (have worked along similar lines on a project). If that was solved you'd have 100% perfect auto generated subtitles in youtube videos regardless of noise levels and audio chaos in the video. (By that, I mean, it being able to auto caption reliably, every single scenario a human ear can discern and make information out of).
You are talking about interpretation and recognition of sound and speech. That is a completely different matter than reproduction of sound and speech. As you are kind of hinting at yourself, noise and chaos don't necessarily prevent the human brain from doing a good job in those areas, in other words: audio fidelity doesn't play a key role in this! What you say is like saying perfect 8k video (overkill in most situations) is not good enough because the tv can not read the lips and body language of the people in the picture, and (taking it another step further) can not understand what they are philosophizing about!
The complex processing of the human brain is exacly about creating something understandable from a big chaotic mess of sensory input that by itself is much less precise than we would think based on the 'precise experiences' resulting from that brain processing.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:26 PM Post #2,113 of 3,317

Bernard23

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Posts
461
Likes
444
Location
Uk
Most of the major thresholds of hearing have been established for almost a century. It's very easy to test a perceptual threshold. You just use a double blind test. Here in sound science, we consider that proof.

If you want to find out if two cables sound different, a simple double blind test will tell you that in a jiffy. There are plenty of examples in the first post in the audio myths thread pinned to the top of this forum.
And if you can demonstrate that there are no known physical differences between them that's pretty conclusive. We're pretty good at understanding electromagnetics, so again, unlikely there is some physical characteristic of a cable that we haven't already considered and defined.

It's easy to prove beyond doubt that cables cannot be sonically different, it's a lot harder to prove the opposite.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 8:22 PM Post #2,115 of 3,317

colonelkernel8

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Posts
2,951
Likes
263
Location
Minneapolis
Go tell that to the thousands of people still trying to solve human cognition limits and bounds using sophisticated equipment. The limits/bounds of hearing perception is still not well defined scientifically yet. You love to speak your personal opinions, and disguise them as if they were facts.

Now if you cannot even determine conclusively what one can hear and what one cannot hear, how can you conclusively attribute parameters of some random measured phenomena, assign weights, and conclude sound quality?
Human cognition has nothing to do with the very mechanical, and very well understood apparatus that is our ears.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top