You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Generally I do believe that if it takes a blind test, or if there's ground to use the word placebo in connection with a tweak, a new cable or whatever, it's not worth it.

The "smallest" tweak I have performed that I could still hear, and that I have kept, was a change in interconnect cables and the adding Nano Pads under the equipment - that is, these were the hardest tweaks to establish as actual improvements. Every other tweak or change that has been introduced to my system was clearly audible, even the change in speaker cables.

An exception was the adding weight to the speakers, which I couldn't really hear, but I kept them there anyway because I believe it sounds like a sound thing to do.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

An exception was the adding weight to the speakers, which I couldn't really hear, but I kept them there anyway because I believe it sounds like a sound thing to do.

You little monkey! I knew it, I knew it!!

Funny how we want to believe with all our hearts in things that seem to be very well founded in science, eh? They just make SO much sense... And we're NOT stupid!

So, mass loading is not all it's cracked up to be, eh?

Vibration Isolation and Resonance Control is my middle name.

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Damn... you got me

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Bear in mind though I still would say that expectation bias is a mechanism that can affect listeners in terms of auditioning equipment and tweaks (and also just in general when one looks forward to drinking say wine and listening to music), while I mentioned the mOFC study and its enjoyment vs price/quality, the associated mechanism and actual monitored controlled test can be applied to other scenarios beyond just price and quality (which it seems to me JJ may not had picked up on as I was keeping it as a simplistic point).

However it can be said that it is highly possible to debias oneself, but I must admit I am curious if one can debias the chemical or brain activity that boosts the enjoyment sensation and perception caused by the relevant expectation mechanism.

I am not aware of any studies that has looked at the mOFC monitoring expectation used on those utilising debiasing, a shame as this could had been an additional study along with the original wine tasting controlled test.
My mention of the expectation boost relating to looking forward to a drink of wine while also listening to music comes from some of the studies relating to drug addiction where there is a boost/enhancement/buzz/thrill generated from the expectation of the taking before the event, again this causes a chemical release/activity.

Its a very complex situation IMO, and while there are more traditional biases that can affect the decision process of those doing auditions and analysing, there are also the mechanisms such as the expectation bias that really do boost our enjoyment and are not imagined.

There is still a position for placebo in audio, but IMO it should be restricted explicitly to placebo controlled testing that involves inert duplicates, while expectation bias around the mOFC enjoyment possibly should be a primary mechanism considered instead when applying the general bias comment.
Shame debiasing or controlling biases studies though are a fraction of those related to how biases skew ones decision.
Anyway thats my thoughts on the subject at a pretty high level.

However it is fair to say that all those interested in auditioning and judging audio should consider biases and the potential for their affects.

Cheers
Orb

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
Damn... you got me

My 1st product was the world's first Sub 1.0 Hertz platform...photo from customer in Sweden.

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Might it be a tad bit overkill?

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
Might it be a tad bit overkill?

Depends on what one is trying to achieve. I mean other than a good case of OCD.

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Hehe...

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
Bear in mind though I still would say that expectation bias is a mechanism that can affect listeners in terms of auditioning equipment and tweaks (and also just in general when one looks forward to drinking say wine and listening to music), while I mentioned the mOFC study and its enjoyment vs price/quality, the associated mechanism and actual monitored controlled test can be applied to other scenarios beyond just price and quality (which it seems to me JJ may not had picked up on as I was keeping it as a simplistic point).

However it can be said that it is highly possible to debias oneself, but I must admit I am curious if one can debias the chemical or brain activity that boosts the enjoyment sensation and perception caused by the relevant expectation mechanism.

I am not aware of any studies that has looked at the mOFC monitoring expectation used on those utilising debiasing, a shame as this could had been an additional study along with the original wine tasting controlled test.
My mention of the expectation boost relating to looking forward to a drink of wine while also listening to music comes from some of the studies relating to drug addiction where there is a boost/enhancement/buzz/thrill generated from the expectation of the taking before the event, again this causes a chemical release/activity.

Its a very complex situation IMO, and while there are more traditional biases that can affect the decision process of those doing auditions and analysing, there are also the mechanisms such as the expectation bias that really do boost our enjoyment and are not imagined.

There is still a position for placebo in audio, but IMO it should be restricted explicitly to placebo controlled testing that involves inert duplicates, while expectation bias around the mOFC enjoyment possibly should be a primary mechanism considered instead when applying the general bias comment.
Shame debiasing or controlling biases studies though are a fraction of those related to how biases skew ones decision.
Anyway thats my thoughts on the subject at a pretty high level.

However it is fair to say that all those interested in auditioning and judging audio should consider biases and the potential for their affects.

Cheers
Orb

I'd argue with you if I could. Of course, I'm not talking of "enjoyment" or any such ill-defined characteristic, I'm referring to the sound one hears in some definite, describable way - whether it can be measured or not. You know, things like: the soundstage is higher, there is less congestion in the midrange, there is more extension in the treble, there is less glare, or less grain, or the sound is more dynamic AND more relaxed-sounding. Or the sound is subjectively louder... those sorts of things. I'll let the philosophers argue it out over bias, placebo effects, inert duplicates and "enjoyment."

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

What would probably be more relevant for most of us here is how much debiasing and using specfic methodology can go towards neutralising biases.
I am sure some reviewers are much better than others due to being able to understand biases and therefore being more selective/thorough in their thought process and approach to listening-auditioning-reviewing.

The key though is to appreciate that all of us are affected by biases daily and not just in audio, and importantly how we handle them.

Cheers
Orb

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
What would probably be more relevant for most of us here is how much debiasing and using specfic methodology can go towards neutralising biases.
I am sure some reviewers are much better than others due to being able to understand biases and therefore being more selective/thorough in their thought process and approach to listening-auditioning-reviewing.

The key though is to appreciate that all of us are affected by biases daily and not just in audio, and importantly how we handle them.

Cheers
Orb

Hey, I'm all in favor of deprogramming, if that's what you mean.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
What would probably be more relevant for most of us here is how much debiasing and using specfic methodology can go towards neutralising biases.
I am sure some reviewers are much better than others due to being able to understand biases and therefore being more selective/thorough in their thought process and approach to listening-auditioning-reviewing.

The key though is to appreciate that all of us are affected by biases daily and not just in audio, and importantly how we handle them.

Cheers
Orb

I agree with you, Orb!

The main confounder of the conclusions regarding "placebo effect" in audio would be "time."

For almost all interventions, there is a notable decay in placebo effect over time.

People like to point out the well established presence of placebo effects in things like medical studies and point out the high rate of occurrance....same with nocebo effects....and extrapolate this to audio reviewing/listening. However, for many things, these 'placebo' effects are generally fleeting and the longer the trial (or listening period,) the greater the potential decay in placebo effect.

So, the implications for audio 'reviewing' that would make for the greatest chance to arrive at 'accurate' conclusions would be to watch and wait and track listening impressions over long periods of time....which is the opposite of what reviewers are often allowed to do! The most difficult task for a reviewer, to me, is having to arrive at an 'objective' conclusion in the limited time allotted. I think many reviewers can do this, but it seems to be a skill to be honed in light of known 'placebo' effects. Your point is spot on!

Another key (and a personal favorite) that goes to eliminating 'placebo' effects is seeing which equipment abides.

Time is a good placebo filter and watching the evolution of someone's long term references may give better insight into sound quality (or musical worth for a given piece of music) would be the ability to remain in place over time. (It may also point out someone's natural biases, as well, so I do not mean this as a definitive or universal result.)

One example from TAS and Stereophile is watching a reviewer's list of gear he lists over time; which, despite certain audio-press buffoons' refusals to divulge, gives a pretty good glimpse at what gear may supercede others at delivering the musical goods.

One specific example would be Mike Fremer's lists, going back to his pre-Stereophile days and which tweaks have survived...or not.

"Placebo" tweaks would tend to appear and then relatively quickly disappear, while tweaks with some validity would persist.

As an example, you can go back in time and track his affection for the Tice Clock and a subsequent brand that displaced it...and the subsequent relatively rapid disappearance of these devices from his listening room.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 3 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
One specific example would be Mike Fremer's lists, going back to his pre-Stereophile days and which tweaks have survived...or not.
"Placebo" tweaks would tend to appear and then relatively quickly disappear, while tweaks with some validity would persist.
As an example, you can go back in time and track his affection for the Tice Clock and a subsequent brand that displaced it...and the subsequent relatively rapid disappearance of these devices from his listening room.

Funny how we kinda assume peoples' systems improve over time and their hearing improves over time. Especially reviewers. In reality, this may or may not be true.

On a related note, there are more than a few cases of reviewers disavowing one tweak or another after an outpouring of angst and horror from the subscribers. A sack of angry email from aghast or irritated subscribers can be most, uh, persuasive...one must keep up appearances.....

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.

Yeah very good points.

Cheers
Orb

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

The creation of an inert duplicate is what I suggested in the bowls thread where I went into a bit more detail with Jan.

Well, the setup that actually DID use a placebo was a labelled switch (that the subject was using) that did nothing.

Yes, I understand that the individual has to know of the placebo's existance, yes, yes.

However, a placebo is just a simplistic explanation for the whole issue of bias, expectation or otherwise. My other point, of course, is that there does not have to be any specific expectation at all.

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:
the associated mechanism and actual monitored controlled test can be applied to other scenarios beyond just price and quality (which it seems to me JJ may not had picked up on as I was keeping it as a simplistic point).

My point is that there does not have to be any expectation AT ALL, only the knowlege "something changed" or "nothing changed".

And, the placebo (yes, placebo) method of telling someone something changed, when it didn't (yes, that is a placebo, please) shows this quite obviously.

For instance, labeling a switch "tube amp" and "transistor amp" (a switch that does nothing) certainly creates expectation.

Labelling the null switch 'a' and 'b', ditto, WITHIN each individual listener's results.

You don't have to 'expect' anything at all. All that is needed is the idea "something changed".

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

The main confounder of the conclusions regarding "placebo effect" in audio would be "time."

For almost all interventions, there is a notable decay in placebo effect over time.

Hence, new tweaks... Buddha-BING.

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

Quote:
What would probably be more relevant for most of us here is how much debiasing and using specfic methodology can go towards neutralising biases.
I am sure some reviewers are much better than others due to being able to understand biases and therefore being more selective/thorough in their thought process and approach to listening-auditioning-reviewing.

The key though is to appreciate that all of us are affected by biases daily and not just in audio, and importantly how we handle them.

Cheers
Orb

I agree with you, Orb!

The main confounder of the conclusions regarding "placebo effect" in audio would be "time."

For almost all interventions, there is a notable decay in placebo effect over time.

People like to point out the well established presence of placebo effects in things like medical studies and point out the high rate of occurrance....same with nocebo effects....and extrapolate this to audio reviewing/listening. However, for many things, these 'placebo' effects are generally fleeting and the longer the trial (or listening period,) the greater the potential decay in placebo effect.

So, the implications for audio 'reviewing' that would make for the greatest chance to arrive at 'accurate' conclusions would be to watch and wait and track listening impressions over long periods of time....which is the opposite of what reviewers are often allowed to do! The most difficult task for a reviewer, to me, is having to arrive at an 'objective' conclusion in the limited time allotted. I think many reviewers can do this, but it seems to be a skill to be honed in light of known 'placebo' effects. Your point is spot on!

Another key (and a personal favorite) that goes to eliminating 'placebo' effects is seeing which equipment abides.

Time is a good placebo filter and watching the evolution of someone's long term references may give better insight into sound quality (or musical worth for a given piece of music) would be the ability to remain in place over time. (It may also point out someone's natural biases, as well, so I do not mean this as a definitive or universal result.)

One example from TAS and Stereophile is watching a reviewer's list of gear he lists over time; which, despite certain audio-press buffoons' refusals to divulge, gives a pretty good glimpse at what gear may supercede others at delivering the musical goods.

One specific example would be Mike Fremer's lists, going back to his pre-Stereophile days and which tweaks have survived...or not.

"Placebo" tweaks would tend to appear and then relatively quickly disappear, while tweaks with some validity would persist.

As an example, you can go back in time and track his affection for the Tice Clock and a subsequent brand that displaced it...and the subsequent relatively rapid disappearance of these devices from his listening room.

I too must say I agree, and yes, bias IS a fickle thing!

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

Quote:
the associated mechanism and actual monitored controlled test can be applied to other scenarios beyond just price and quality (which it seems to me JJ may not had picked up on as I was keeping it as a simplistic point).

My point is that there does not have to be any expectation AT ALL, only the knowlege "something changed" or "nothing changed".

And, the placebo (yes, placebo) method of telling someone something changed, when it didn't (yes, that is a placebo, please) shows this quite obviously.

For instance, labeling a switch "tube amp" and "transistor amp" (a switch that does nothing) certainly creates expectation.

Labelling the null switch 'a' and 'b', ditto, WITHIN each individual listener's results.

You don't have to 'expect' anything at all. All that is needed is the idea "something changed".

I would say we differ then on our take of placebo testing and placebo effect.
Overcoming expectation or conditioning is incredibly difficult and both will skew the test if not accounted for and will result in differences as shown in some medical placebo tests specifically investigating the placebo effect.

Just to clarify one point:

Quote:
And, the placebo (yes, placebo) method of telling someone something changed, when it didn't (yes, that is a placebo, please) shows this quite obviously.


Is an example of setting up an expectation and possibly conditioning that needs to be avoided (and IMO also can possibly apply to the A/B comment that was made as well and also possibly introduces further biases such as my comment in another thread about the affect of perception of creating a change or activity causing a potential change - and this is not taking into account some research done into A/B order bias).

Anyway I would say where we differ is that I take the classical view of placebo as outlined in the modern studies into placebo effect and conditioning/expectation and it is not possible to compare this to the audio placebo examples you provide.
Furthermore I still maintain that the only way to do accurate placebo testing in audio is to exclude any product where a true inert duplicate cannot be made and no A/B intervention from the listener; hence we are restricted to items such as the bowls,etc.

To exclude expectation bias relating to the mOFC enjoyment you either have to fully hide the product and keep its model/manufacturer secret so the listener has no clue what is involved at all or as with the placebo testing create an inert duplicate where the listener sees both (such as listening multiple times with the bowls originals/placebo inserted).
IMO your suggestion does not involve an inert substance/product and also cannot remove some biases and possibly expectation/conditioning.

However maybe it is just easier to monitor mOFC in any test and go with the simple testing

Cheers
Orb

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Rainbow foil and electret cream etc.


Quote:

IMO your suggestion does not involve an inert substance/product and also cannot remove some biases and possibly expectation/conditioning.

If you think that, then I'm very much not clear on what you think my "suggestion" is. Perhaps you're not clear on what I'm suggesting, either.

What do you think I'm saying?

Pages

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading