Placebo
Jan 8, 2008 at 12:33 AM Post #91 of 104

smeggy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think acupuncture would be a better analogy. Many people don't believe it works...in fact, the very premise of it seems ridiculous to many. However, many people claim it does work, including some very intelligent, credible people. But science can't really tell us why it works. I've had several acupuncture treatments performed on me in the past in the attempt to releive back pain. Didn't work for me. Maybe in my case, it wasn't being done correctly. Maybe I don't have the correct physiology for it. Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance. Maybe I created a self-fulfilling prophecy by having a preconception that it wouldn't work. Maybe that same reason prevented it from working as a placebo on me. But that doesn't stop the fact that huge numbers of humans who couldn't care less what i think, swear by it.


It's true for homeopathy, voodoo, acupuncture, chiropractors et al. One persons medicine is anothers quackery. The thing most of these have in common is the dismissal of science in trying to explain them, or misrepresentation of same. Pretty much the whole 'wellness' industry is viewed that way, you either believe or you don't.

While we're on the subject of placebo, we should also be aware that placebo is not necessarily a bad thing. I wished more of it worked on me as I'd probably be happier. Placebos are well known in science to often have the same effect as the real thing in many instances. If you expect a thing to work, your brain can fill in a lot of what you need.

We tend to treat placebo as bad, in actual fact placebos can be extremely effective. Doctors often prescribe them, and they can be used to prove or disprove something in scientific studies on effectiveness. At worst a placebo can displace proper treatment leading to dire consequences. At best it is inert and benign while potentially providing mental and/or spiritual satisfaction.

In Head-Fi terms, even if we are getting placebo effects, the most harm it generally does is cost us some cash and cause some disgruntlement. At best, provide a transformative experience. And how bad it that, really? We live, we learn. If your cables/ipod/whatever sound better to you, money well spent. If not, one less thing to worry about.
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Jan 8, 2008 at 1:13 AM Post #92 of 104

AC1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdeadfolx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have been misquoted so many times in this thread it's not even funny. Saying I have called people "wrong" and "insisted my opinion was the truth" (in quotations, literally falsely quoting me). At worst, I said I bet anyone who thought otherwise (about a cable statement, no less) would fail the pepsi challenge. If they did not, and passed one such test with flying colours, then I guess I would be proven wrong. Throughout literally thousands of posts I have yet to see this happen. No need to take offense to anything I said, I meant none, and I feel some of you are actually trying to take offense in what I said, twisting my words so they can further insult you. No need to reiterate what has already been said in several long winded posts, I get your point. I am not going to defend my original post any further, I stand by exactly what I said, exactly the way I worded it.


The quote on truth was not to quote you but to exemplify that it is your truth not everyones truth.

You are invalidating people's experiences which differ from your own and essentially saying their experiences are made up in their heads. Now you can keep saying how you are not not trying to offend anyone, but putting out an idea like that will offend people.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 1:23 AM Post #93 of 104

mbriant

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdeadfolx
I have been misquoted so many times in this thread it's not even funny. Saying I have called people "wrong" and "insisted my opinion was the truth" (in quotations, literally falsely quoting me). At worst, I said I bet anyone who thought otherwise (about a cable statement, no less) would fail the pepsi challenge.


Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant
Where these sort of threads go wrong, is when along with "I personally don't hear a difference", other comments and/or insinuations are made that those who do or claim to hear a difference must therefore be wrong. Things like "having to wade through 20 opinions to get some accurate information" is essentially saying "opinions I disagree with are are wrong". People find that insulting. Saying things like 'My hearing is perfect and I don't hear a difference" is essentially saying "My hearing is perfect, therefore that's conclusive proof that what I'm hearing is real and anyone who differs is wrong."


Notice I use the qualifier "essentially" twice. But you're correct and I apologize. My use of "quotes" was often incorrect. I used them incorrectly for emphasis like some people do when they mime quotation marks in the air to emphasize something. Some times I used them to generalize not something specific you had said, but a collage of what has been repeated hundreds of times in hundreds of posts by others in the past. Other times, I didn't remember exactly what had been said and paraphrased. However, I still stand by my interpretation of what you were saying, whether my quotes were 100% accurate or not. Isn't "failing the Pepsi challenge" "essentially" saying they are wrong? And when you say someone who claims to hear something you don't is wrong, doesn't that at the same time automatically infer that you are right? Were you using the word "ridiculous' when describing other people's posts to mean valid and truthful? i've already mentioned that I agree with the general statement you' were trying to make .... because I too have serious doubts about some claims that are made by some people .... and my rant, although it comes across that way, was not solely directed at you. I'd just like to see civilized discussion on the topic where people also listen .... really listen .... to what the other side has to say. That'll never happen when a thread starts up which immediately insults the other side with a I'm right and you're wrong inflection to it. You know very well how contentious this believer/non-believer issue has always been in audio, and especially how much of an ongoing problem it's been around here lately with practically every discussion thread about cables being derailed by a few inflexible members who insist on attempting to debunk cable ( and other ) differences in every cable related thread they see ... no matter what the initial topic of discussion was. The other side is often guitly of inflexibility and throwing insults as well. Your thread IMO was yet another kick at a dead horse ( much like my continued posting in this thread
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) and since despite my non-believer leanings, I believe and have very recently made a purchase based on that belief, and more importantly publicly posted that I personally found the newest iPod to sound harsh compared to the 5th gen iPod. I also stated that I wasn't really thrilled with the fidelity of either. I realize that many will disagree with me on either or both opinions....and that's fine ... but in no way did I attempt to dismiss their "opinions" with words like "ridiculous". Having you group me and my reality as part of the "ridiculous" posts you are forced to wade through, is insulting. I didn't have to look for the insult, it was right there, intertwined in mentions of people who claim to hear differences in iPods and ridiculous posts.

What is good however, is that unlike so often, this thread has managed to discuss this issue through more than 90 posts without turning into a flame war. So I'll drop it.

EDIT: I see that AC1 knew what I was getting at with my "liberal" use of quotes. Still, since the thrust of my complaint revolves around how a post or comment is presented and/or interpreted, I should have been more "conservative" and accurate.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 1:43 AM Post #94 of 104

smeggy

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Who needs another cable fight? There are plenty of those already. I find the topic very interesting, which can only happen as long as we refrain from flames and such. Few, if any minds will change but that's not the point. Healthy discussion on this topic is potentially full of useful info and it is nice to be able to talk on controversial subjects without it totally degenerating within 5 posts as normally happens.
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Jan 8, 2008 at 2:39 AM Post #95 of 104

Austin 3:16

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You mean "bumped down" don't you?


Down, around, whatever. I decline said role due to high blood pressure.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 2:47 PM Post #96 of 104

MaZa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smeggy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In Head-Fi terms, even if we are getting placebo effects, the most harm it generally does is cost us some cash and cause some disgruntlement. At best, provide a transformative experience. And how bad it that, really? We live, we learn. If your cables/ipod/whatever sound better to you, money well spent. If not, one less thing to worry about.
smily_headphones1.gif





Personally I feel disgusted by the idea that I would let my mind fill the gap to make utter lie to illusion of truth. Thats why I try to take realistic and objective view on these things, and if something stinks of possible placebo, Im very carefull and try to research the subject and not let the "ZOMG this <add questionable headfi subject here> increased teh bass/mids/treble/soundstage/whatever to tenfold" happen easily.

And I think Im not the only one, thats why the subject of placebo is brought up, because some people dislike the idea of being lead wrong or live in illusion created by our mind, or even worse, marketing. Perhaps there is even some basic need to try to help others to think the possibility that they are led wrong and start researching? But of course, perhaps us doubters are actually misled... And the circle is complete, this subject will NEVER end and arguments keep going on and on.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 4:00 PM Post #97 of 104

Febs

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MaZa /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Personally I feel disgusted by the idea that I would let my mind fill the gap to make utter lie to illusion of truth.


Why? This is what the human brain does. There is nothing "disgusting" about it.

Do you see the white triangle in this diagram?

300px-Kanizsa_triangle.svg.png


There is no triangle in this drawing, but your brain perceives a white triangle on top of a black one. Does this "disgust" you?
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 4:14 PM Post #98 of 104

MaZa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Febs /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why? This is what the human brain does. There is nothing "disgusting" about it.

Do you see the white triangle in this diagram?

300px-Kanizsa_triangle.svg.png


There is no triangle in this drawing, but your brain perceives a white triangle on top of a black one. Does this "disgust" you?




Thats not what I meant, not by long shot, im not talking about fancy optical illusions nor brain making out shapes from different cues the receive. They are just showing that the artistic side of brain is doing their job... Im talking about being sort of misled, and my mind wanting to believe something despite what it actually is. And truth, what is real and what is figured, is what I keep important, hence Im doubter. I dislike the idea of POSSIBLY being lead by marketing and imaginative but false sensation improvements.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 5:47 PM Post #99 of 104

K2Grey

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Well, that is just how it is, how the human brain works. We are all affected by these sorts of things, it does not make us weak minded or gullible. That is why even though we normally trust our senses, when it comes to serious business like head-fi placebo arguments, its better to try and take the psychological element out at which point the DBT is invoked etc.

On that note, I know someone was talking about wine specialists somewhere back in the thread and I remember hearing that they can actually identify everything correctly while blindfolded, so I'm inclined to trust them more than say cable specialists. Science doesn't need to explain something to accept it as true, but it does need to verify things solidly first.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 6:27 PM Post #100 of 104

MaZa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by K2Grey /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, that is just how it is, how the human brain works. We are all affected by these sorts of things, it does not make us weak minded or gullible. That is why even though we normally trust our senses, when it comes to serious business like head-fi placebo arguments, its better to try and take the psychological element out at which point the DBT is invoked etc.

On that note, I know someone was talking about wine specialists somewhere back in the thread and I remember hearing that they can actually identify everything correctly while blindfolded, so I'm inclined to trust them more than say cable specialists. Science doesn't need to explain something to accept it as true, but it does need to verify things solidly first.




Agreed on all accounts. Yes, thats the way our mind works (unfortunately sometimes, luckily on other times), but I am just sort of obsessed about getting facts and/or obversations straight and leaving place to things like psychological things like placebo doesnt fit in my own personal way I look at things, and thus I remain doubter, perhaps even disbeliever till proven otherwise.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 6:30 PM Post #101 of 104

Austin 3:16

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The angle of the dangle is adversely proportional to the heat of the meat.
 
Jan 8, 2008 at 6:39 PM Post #102 of 104

MaZa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Austin 3:16 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The angle of the dangle is adversely proportional to the heat of the meat.



Again Austin hits the nail. End of the thread.
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Jan 8, 2008 at 6:42 PM Post #103 of 104

Austin 3:16

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MaZa /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Again Austin hits the nail. End of the thread.
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Thank you. First of all, I'd like to thank my parents (hi Mom!). Second, I'd like to thank all my fans. Without them, none of this would be possible....
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Sep 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM Post #104 of 104

VictorHalgaard

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Hmm...I think i just caught myself sidetracking due to placebo (partly). I've owned my iBasso PB2/DB2 balanced setup about two weeks and out of the box, i praised it for enlargening the soundstage and giving the sound more detail. I've been really happy with it until I made my balanced to single ended converter and did some side by side tests...Oh my...
My balanced quad driver custom IEMs switching between that setup and my macbook. And well... I can hear a slight difference, the iBasso setup is very slightly more refined and clearer, but it was VERY little...And certainly not something i want to drag half a kilo of 700$ worth of metal boxes and cables, and reterminating everything i own. 
 
I mean, the headphones themselves make a HUGE difference, wether its a Denon D7000 or a Grado HF2, the cable will change something if you go between pure copper and pure silver, without causing any inconvenience except that its expensive - but if you can afford a headphone worthy of that upgrade, thats probably not you biggest worry. Now to the part where it gets fishy to me: The amplifier, there are obvious reasons to get one such as: A hight impedance headphone, or in any other way difficult to drive cans or if you take the analog signal right from a cd player, and thats almost where it stops for me. I will say i have not heard a dedicated headphone setup more expensive than 1000$ but i think this applies to just about everything. If you got from a 256mb mp3 junk stick to a hifiman player, or from a prehistoric pc to a brand new Alienware pc you will obviously hear a difference, the same thing goes if you took the old piece of junk and coupled it with fx. the iBasso PB2/DB2, there would be an increase in sound quality but if you couple it with something decent nowadays like an ipod or macbook the difference is marginal in means of sound QUALITY. 
But what you WILL see differences in, is sound signature. An amp may cause more or less bass, mid or treble at different frequencies but to be truthful i don't think there is much to gain in terms of the sound quality or resolution when the music is in a hight bitrate, and even more importantly well recorded, and the headphones are decent. From there its all preferences in sound signature. The headphones can change it, the amp can change it, some cables can very slightly change it and a source with an EQ can too, but the sound quality is more or less the same. Those two things often get mixed by people.
 
 

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