Power Cables... Really?
Jul 13, 2010 at 1:11 AM

#### JamesL

Quote:
Even the medical field gets a better pass than fifty percent.

"This drug may work only ten percent of the time but using this drug enhances your survival rate from zero percent to ten percent."

You absolutely gotta be kidding me... this is elementary-school logic..

You're chance from randomly guessing STARTS at 50%, whereas in your example, the rate starts at 0%.

A better analogy would be such -
"in your situation, the chances of your kid being born with blue eyes is 50%"
"if you buy this untested drug for a lot of money, then the chances of your kid being born with blue eyes is still 50%"
"on the bright side, there will be no adverse side-effects"

Quote:
"I'm sorry, you didn't hear what you just heard because if you don't hear it often enough to suit my statistical purposes, I'm here to tell you, that you didn't hear what you heard."

"inside one of these 2 boxes, there is a slip of paper.  If you are psychic like you claim you are, then you can tell me which one has the slip of paper."  (psychic guesses correctly 5 out of 10 times)
"see, I told you i'm psychic.  just because I can't choose correctly all the time, doesn't mean I'm not psychic some of the time"

mind blowing...

Jul 13, 2010 at 1:20 AM

#### JamesL

Quote:
Just because some dude can reliably only hear a difference ten percent of the time, don't mean he's not hearing a difference like the anti-cable crowd says.

Sometimes, the results come out to 60/40.. sometimes 40/60.  All in all, it averages out to 50%

Also, phrases like "what a day and night difference!!!", doesn't really lend itself to your 10% theory.

Jul 13, 2010 at 1:38 AM

#### Uncle Erik

##### Uncle Exotic
If someone can only hear a difference 10% of the time (assuming that isn't lucky guesses), then that means there is hardly any difference between cables. You might as well go with the \$2 surplus power cord instead of the \$500 one because even expert ears hear a minor difference one time out of ten. And for those of you who have never taken statistics, you really should.

Jul 13, 2010 at 1:58 AM

#### Currawong

Quote:
If someone can only hear a difference 10% of the time (assuming that isn't lucky guesses), then that means there is hardly any difference between cables. You might as well go with the \$2 surplus power cord instead of the \$500 one because even expert ears hear a minor difference one time out of ten. And for those of you who have never taken statistics, you really should.

How do you know this? No, really? In any of these DBTs, was the person's hearing measured? Was their hearing ability in a test environment measured against other environments?  The reason I ask this is, because I know I perform worse in a test environment (as do many other people).  Has any of these tests measured the ability of a person or people to hear a measurable difference in equipment?

Let me say this: Science is NOT making gross generalisations from limited experiments.  You are abusing science just as badly as the press does writing sensationalist nonsense. You can only conclude absolutely from a test what it measures, nothing more.  If scientists made such gross generalisations from experiments as people do here, then we would not be discovering anything new about the universe with live in, as people would have long declared, for example, that subatomic particles and other obscure types of matter do not exist, and anyone saying otherwise would have been lynched, as scientists were lynched by religious leaders in previous centuries.  Your behaviour, just as with many others here, amounts to nothing more than a kind of religious belief, backed up by what evidence you can find, and ignoring any possibility of anything different. And before you say that your beliefs are backed up by evidence, re-read what I just wrote more carefully.

It's sad that it's almost impossible to discuss these things rationally, as people are more interested in ego gratification than learning the truth of anything. The truth is not "I read it there and it fits with what I believe in."

Jul 13, 2010 at 4:42 AM

#### JamesL

^

I don't understand your post, or how it relates to what you quoted.

edit correction - I do understand the words you are saying, but not in the context of what you replied to.

Jul 13, 2010 at 5:11 AM

#### Prog Rock Man

Quote:
How do you know this? No, really? In any of these DBTs, was the person's hearing measured? Was their hearing ability in a test environment measured against other environments?  The reason I ask this is, because I know I perform worse in a test environment (as do many other people).  Has any of these tests measured the ability of a person or people to hear a measurable difference in equipment?

Let me say this: Science is NOT making gross generalisations from limited experiments.  You are abusing science just as badly as the press does writing sensationalist nonsense. You can only conclude absolutely from a test what it measures, nothing more.  If scientists made such gross generalisations from experiments as people do here, then we would not be discovering anything new about the universe with live in, as people would have long declared, for example, that subatomic particles and other obscure types of matter do not exist, and anyone saying otherwise would have been lynched, as scientists were lynched by religious leaders in previous centuries.  Your behaviour, just as with many others here, amounts to nothing more than a kind of religious belief, backed up by what evidence you can find, and ignoring any possibility of anything different. And before you say that your beliefs are backed up by evidence, re-read what I just wrote more carefully.

It's sad that it's almost impossible to discuss these things rationally, as people are more interested in ego gratification than learning the truth of anything. The truth is not "I read it there and it fits with what I believe in."

With regards to your first paragraph, I have not come across a blind test where hearing ability was measured before hand. That would be a step to take which could help to explain why some hear differences and others do not, it is their hearing and those with better hear more and pick out the differences.

Hearing ability in the test environment against other environments. Well, their actual hearing ability would be the same. If they perform worse in the tests environment that would mean they have failed the test.

Blind tests not only measure whether actual differences can be heard or not. Blind tests are there to see if any difference can be heard or not. Claims that because 10% can hear a difference, there is a difference do not add up. If blind tests produced 90% results, then there really is a difference.

Your second paragraph is wholly wrong. Blind testing is a recognised means of finding out if there is a difference between two or more things. It is used in all sorts of testing. When it is applied to audiophile claims of differences, those differences are regularly dis-proved by blind tests. That is not religious belief, it is belief of the science. If you say there are still differences, despite what blind tests say, then there is a reason for that. Actually that reason is well known and it is the placebo effect and psycho-acoustics.

For me blind testing shows that there is no actual difference, but placebo effect and psycho-acoustics explain why some say there is still a difference.

Jul 13, 2010 at 5:19 AM

#### Prog Rock Man

Quote:
The same isn't true for power cables.

And the rub to the whole thesis of the anti-cable gang...... Just because some dude can reliably only hear a difference ten percent of the time, don't mean he's not hearing a difference like the anti-cable crowd says.

Might convenient wouldn't you say?

"I'm sorry, you can reliably hear a difference only ten percent of the time, so I'm here to state for the record, you ain't hearing pootie.  Why?  Because I say so, that's why."

And nobody on the anti-cable side of the aisle sees this as self-serving to say what a person is or isn't hearing?

Wow!

You have mis-used the word reliably here. Achieving something 10% of the time is not reliable.

That suggests I could sell you some thing that only works 1 in every 10 attempts and you would be happy with that and would go on to recommend my product to your friends as reliable. I promise you they would disagree!

Sorry, but getting something to work only 10% of the time is actually very unreliable.

Jul 13, 2010 at 5:51 AM

Quote:
How do you know this? No, really? In any of these DBTs, was the person's hearing measured? Was their hearing ability in a test environment measured against other environments?  The reason I ask this is, because I know I perform worse in a test environment (as do many other people).  Has any of these tests measured the ability of a person or people to hear a measurable difference in equipment?

Let me say this: Science is NOT making gross generalisations from limited experiments.  You are abusing science just as badly as the press does writing sensationalist nonsense. You can only conclude absolutely from a test what it measures, nothing more.  If scientists made such gross generalisations from experiments as people do here, then we would not be discovering anything new about the universe with live in, as people would have long declared, for example, that subatomic particles and other obscure types of matter do not exist, and anyone saying otherwise would have been lynched, as scientists were lynched by religious leaders in previous centuries.  Your behaviour, just as with many others here, amounts to nothing more than a kind of religious belief, backed up by what evidence you can find, and ignoring any possibility of anything different. And before you say that your beliefs are backed up by evidence, re-read what I just wrote more carefully.

It's sad that it's almost impossible to discuss these things rationally, as people are more interested in ego gratification than learning the truth of anything. The truth is not "I read it there and it fits with what I believe in."

Wonderfully said, and even so, there will be problems found in it as I see ProgRockMan has.

Jul 13, 2010 at 6:31 AM

#### Currawong

Quote:

Your second paragraph is wholly wrong.

It's entirely correct. Very simply, an experiment only measures what it has measured.  If, when you write up an experiment, you don't mention any possible variables that have not been considered that may have affected the results, then it's a poor experiment.

Much of the problem is, we're used to reading about science as reported by the press.  When they report science, they only ever report the results of experiments and calculations, rarely to never the parts where the scientists state the limitations of what they've done.  So we're used to science being more black and white, when reported, rather than seeing the careful considerations that go into experiments and calculations. Reports about climate change are a great example of this, with the news generally saying "scientists have said XYZ" when really what they have said is "XYZ, but these are only estimates and could be inaccurate because of PQR".  I can clearly see, from my own experience, that much DBT is poor science, because of the things I mentioned in my previous post: No testing of the listening ability of the subjects; no attempt to determine if the components being tested have any electronically measurable differences; no attempt to determine at what threshold a positive result can be obtained (related to the previous points) and the people performing the tests are usually extremely biased and are performing them intent on getting a negative result.  None of this is good science.  It's actually closer to the kind of deception used by drug companies, anti-global-warming groups (sponsored by large, heavily polluting companies) and other corporations and religions use to try and continue destroying our health or whatever for their own profit.  The difference is, people are doing it blind to their own psychological motivations rather than to deliberately deceive others.

The net result is, there is no point in discussing power cables, because, like religious discussions, they are pointless with people more interested in trumpeting their beliefs over any desire to know the truth, let alone do anything to find the truth.  This is true for most of the world.  We can just count ourselves lucky that it's just a power cable discussion. In some places, where people argue this way about their religion or whatever, it results in people being killed.  Worth thinking about (if grossly off-topic).

Jul 13, 2010 at 6:50 AM

#### JamesL

Some of what he has to say holds a lot of truth, but I'm still trying to figure out if he misunderstood uncle erick's post, or if he's just posting a random rant.

I think he was directing the post at uncle erick, but in my eyes, the same things he said holds even more true for most people who try to argue that cables do make a difference.

Using any kind of scientific evidence to justify their point of view?... sounds like a cable marketing team...

People who refuse to believe any other possibility?  Cable-believers believe in cables because they refuse to believe that their senses are fallible.

Ego gratification?  holds equally true for both sides...

is it the kettle that calls the pot black, or is it the pot that calls the kettle black?
Often times, we find people from two different sides of the argument using the same example to support their side of the argument.

Jul 13, 2010 at 6:54 AM

#### Prog Rock Man

Currawong, your post above reads like a rant against the press, science and suggests that there is a devious motive behind testing. Is that really the position that you hold?

From my reading of blind tests, they are conducted by -

audiophiles, on themselves sometimes with not the best procedures (here!) and some with very good (The Boston Audio Society),

audio magazines, with better procedures (What Hifi) and

audio companies, with the best procedures (Belken, Harman International)

I see no intent to deceive and for you to claim such really needs examples. I see no influence of the press in such tests.

I agree that if XYZ is shown, then there could be another explanation of PQR causing inaccuracy. But that also may not be the case. Your only putting forward a theory to discredit test XYZ. To gain credibility show an example, tell us what the PQR might be. The reason why I say you are wrong to claim XYZ could be wrong is that XYZ in different testing situations come to very similar conclusions i.e. blind testing finds audiophiles cannot reliably pick out claimed sound quality differences and there is no PQR present to explain why that is wrong.

I wish you would stop bringing religion into this. I believe in the science and you do not. We disagree with each other. We are participating in a free debate on a forum. Religious beliefs have nothing to do with that.

Jul 13, 2010 at 7:01 AM

Quote:
It's entirely correct. Very simply, an experiment only measures what it has measured.  If, when you write up an experiment, you don't mention any possible variables that have not been considered that may have affected the results, then it's a poor experiment.

Much of the problem is, we're used to reading about science as reported by the press.  When they report science, they only ever report the results of experiments and calculations, rarely to never the parts where the scientists state the limitations of what they've done.  So we're used to science being more black and white, when reported, rather than seeing the careful considerations that go into experiments and calculations. Reports about climate change are a great example of this, with the news generally saying "scientists have said XYZ" when really what they have said is "XYZ, but these are only estimates and could be inaccurate because of PQR".  I can clearly see, from my own experience, that much DBT is poor science, because of the things I mentioned in my previous post: No testing of the listening ability of the subjects; no attempt to determine if the components being tested have any electronically measurable differences; no attempt to determine at what threshold a positive result can be obtained (related to the previous points) and the people performing the tests are usually extremely biased and are performing them intent on getting a negative result.  None of this is good science.  It's actually closer to the kind of deception used by drug companies, anti-global-warming groups (sponsored by large, heavily polluting companies) and other corporations and religions use to try and continue destroying our health or whatever for their own profit.  The difference is, people are doing it blind to their own psychological motivations rather than to deliberately deceive others.

The net result is, there is no point in discussing power cables, because, like religious discussions, they are pointless with people more interested in trumpeting their beliefs over any desire to know the truth, let alone do anything to find the truth.  This is true for most of the world.  We can just count ourselves lucky that it's just a power cable discussion. In some places, where people argue this way about their religion or whatever, it results in people being killed.  Worth thinking about (if grossly off-topic).

I assume here that you're referring to the DBT's comparing audio components and interconnects?  I have serious reservations about them myself.  However, I wouldn't agree that in all these DBT's, the testers are biased.  While I do have reservations about the test designs at times, I also have a fundamental problem with switching back and forth between two very similar signatures and being able to easily and reliably tell the differences while doing so.  I have a problem with it even when doing sighted testing and it's not only with cables.  I am much better able to tell differences when I spend time with one signature and then switch to the other.  It's that one switch over that tells the most.  Once I start doing multiple switches back and forth, the differences are much less discernible.  As to the value of small differences, from experience again, I can say that small differences often make for significant differences in enjoyment over extended listening periods across different genres and different recording qualities.  So I also have disagreements with  those who say that even if there are differences, they they're insignificant and not worthwhile because they are supposedly so difficult to discern in blind testing.

The curious thing is I'm still yet to hear from an anti-cable enthusiast who does hears differences in cables and have willingly admitted that these perceived differences are imagined.  Strong is the believer who has science backing his own personal experience.  Bewildered at science will be the ones who have a convincing experience as any, and are being told by current scientific evidence that it's all in their mind.  For many who experience this, they patiently wait for science to catch up.  Many have persisted and discovered appropriate methods for demonstrating the truth in their experience.  I'm in waiting since it's my belief that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  There'll always be a lot of contention in and around things that not all are able to perceive.  Ego's will always abound and those who aren't able to perceive something will always claim that if they can't perceive X, then X doesn't exist.

Jul 13, 2010 at 7:04 AM

Quote:
I believe in the science and you do not. We disagree with each other. We are participating in a free debate on a forum. Religious beliefs have nothing to do with that.

How on earth did you come to this conclusion from Currawong's posts????

Jul 13, 2010 at 7:20 AM

#### JamesL

Quote:
The curious thing is I'm still yet to hear from an anti-cable enthusiast who does hears differences in cables and have willingly admitted that these perceived differences are imagined.  Strong is the believer who has science backing his own personal experience.  Bewildered at science will be the ones who have a convincing experience as any, and are being told by current scientific evidence that it's all in their mind.

I can consistently hear a difference between 2 of my diy amps for example, but if I still consistently heard that difference after it was revealed to me that someone switched out the internals from the enclosure, I would be willing to admit that the difference I heard could have been a result of my expectations for what each amp should sound like.  (or influenced by the appearance of the enclosure or the heat it produces).
I hope that I am not a minority.

Jul 13, 2010 at 7:28 AM