Aloha, loving the DBT debate, with nice points on all sides. My buddy "Big Mike" and I have been working on a DBT at a level we can master while swilling vino and debating hi-fi.
Being the master debaters that we are, we have arrived at a DBT test that may satisfy some. Granted, it is situation specific, but DBT nonetheless!
At the last CES, we became immersed in the uproar over that chip device thing that, when laid on a CD payer that is spinning a disc, is said to "treat" the CD in such a way that it's subatomic particle matrix is altered and the disc is thereby improved - irrevocably.
Laying any a priori knowledge of the possible or impossible aside, we undertook a DBT mission to check the veracity of those claims.
Since CD's have reasonably good consistency in quality from disc to disc, we gathered up some CD's that we each had a copy of and A/B'd them to see if we could tell either one apart - we could not. We tried this on the wives, friends, relations, well wishers, hangers on, and foes...none could reliably identify any difference between untreated discs.
Then we treated one of each disc with the chip thingy, staying within the chip's alotted number of treatments. We made a pile of treated vs. untreated discs and the had one of the wives randomly place a uniform identifying mark on "Disc A" or "Disc B" for each pair, randomly assigning treated or untreated discs to either category. She then made a list for reference and hid it, leaving us boys with only a selection of identical appearing "A" or "B" discs.
Listen as we may, the same assemblage of golden ears and "dog ears" - "dog ears" those are the best of the best amongst us, and they read alot - that had tried to tell untreated discs from one another could not show any statistical ability to differentiate treated vs untreated discs.
Even without releasing the blinds, no disc scored as dependably different from or better than it's mate on trial after trial.
Many listening sessions later (eight months of dashed hopes and listening dreams) - nada. No disc has risen to the challenge.
We did manage to burn ourselves out on a couple of Lyle Lovett tunes, however, so it's not a trial completely without consequence.
In fact, we have yet to unblind the discs. We still have wine left, after all, and three months until the next CES!
We do have an acquaintance who is a firm believer in the device who is very pissed off, stating that there is a likelihood that we accidentally chose only inferior CD's for treating and thereby have made them the equal of the untreated discs, ruining our trial. He conveniently missed the first trial. I will leave that to him and his audio imam.
So, are we double blind?