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SAS Audio
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Re: DBT testing


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Hmm, that's very interesting. This may explain why a prefer a quick comparison in a familiar system, without a lot of back and forth. I also like the mode of comparing over a long time, listening to a wide variety and then make a system change and track through much of the same material.

Dave

Hi Dave,

Yes, I think you are correct. I also do very few back and forths at one time; a few each day, for weeks and even months.

Nice info Dave.

SAS Audio
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Re: DBT testing


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2) From the professor.

"Hearing Fatigue - as I think of it in physiological terms - is the temporary reduction in function of the outer-hair cells within the cochlea, where the absolute detection threshold is reduced due to metabolically overloading the cells in a given frequency range. This will skew auditory perception until the cells have time to rest and recover."

So repeated repetitions of the same selection causes "temporary reduction in function of the outer-hair cells within the cochlea" which also skews one's perception of sonic differences. Does anyone normally listen by continually repeating the same selection? ...

How does this apply to an orchestra that repeatedly practices the same piece to "get it right" and the conductor eventually gets satisfied that the playing is good enough? If hearing fatigue affects his perception, then there's a real problem here.

You will have to ask a conductor. When I was in band, the conductor usually got on us for missed notes, wrong tempo etc.


Quote:
I also understand and have heard of point (1) in your post. Would a long stimuli (a long piece of music) qualify as a non-repetitive stimuli if one plays A version and then plays B version? One example is the Stereophile test CD1, tracks 16 vs. 17.

Depends upon how long the piece is. One's audio memory is another variable that could easily cause problems, especially with long times and repeated back and forths.

Elk
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Re: DBT testing


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How does this apply to an orchestra that repeatedly practices the same piece to "get it right" and the conductor eventually gets satisfied that the playing is good enough? If hearing fatigue affects his perception, then there's a real problem here.


The conductor is not listening to small changes in frequency response at the "absolute detection threshold". He is listening to a performance. That is, he is listening to the music rather to the sound.

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Re: DBT testing


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The conductor is not listening to small changes in frequency response at the "absolute detection threshold". He is listening to a performance. That is, he is listening to the music rather to the sound.

I think the original reference is the fatigue that causes the changing of the "absolute detection threshold". Yes, the conductor is listening to the music, and the sound. Seiji Ozawa, in an documentary shown on PBS, said that he was tested: by having one note changed in one instrument somewhere in the piece he was conducting. He was required to identify that note and where it happens while conducting. That may be listening to music. But hearing a slight out-of-tune is listening for the sound, also something that is required of a musician and conductor. That requires good listening thresholds, I would think.

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Re: DBT testing


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... But hearing a slight out-of-tune is listening for the sound, also something that is required of a musician and conductor. That requires good listening thresholds, I would think.

Musicians train for hours per day with one focus always being intonation. They've honed this skill to a level that hearing poor intonation is a "no brainer", really. I'm very sensitive to it and hear pitch issues such that my wife can sense my discomfort when I'm in the audience and hear an off pitch note within a group. She says that even when I'm playing trumpet on stage that she can see it in my eyebrows if someone gets low or high and I'll raise or lower one or both eyebrows trying to bring things into alignment. I try to hide it from the audience, but it's hard for me.

Anyway, only the very most dedicated audiophile will have honed their listening skills to the level of a world class level such as Maestro Ozawa's. He's a virtuoso listener, probably by virtue of genertics AND literally decades of musical performance immersion.

Dave

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Re: DBT testing

Listening for intonation is not a "detection threshold task" for a musician, as Dave points out. This does raise the interesting question as to why so may cannot hear intonation - yet others with no musical training have no difficulty doing so (for example, think of American Idol auditioners).

Hearing a wrong note in a symphonic work is similar, easy for a trained, experienced musician.

Conductors do listen for orchestral color however and often ask the players to manipulate the sound. Perhaps the strings should have more shimmer, there should be more of certain instruments to change the overall texture. These issues are more subtle.

Speaking of intonation in musical groups, I find interesting that even in top caliber Mariachi groups the violins are usually out of tune with each other - and they are typically playing unison. Excellent technique and precise playing, but out of tune. On the other hand, the trumpets are usually in tune as are the other instruments. It obviously is of no importance to the group or to the audience, but it is fascinating how different music is presented.

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Re: DBT testing

I still think the biggest problem with DBT is in how it is conducted. They attempt to 'prove' that changes folk hear do not exist but they 'prove'it by short lstening test on unfamiliar systems with unfamiliar music. In addition, they make no real allowance for break in time.

It takes months to know ones own system to the point that changes are apparent. How can one expect that when one gets a short listening session on an unfamiliar system.

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Re: DBT testing


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I still think the biggest problem with DBT is in how it is conducted. They attempt to 'prove' that changes folk hear do not exist but they 'prove'it by short lstening test on unfamiliar systems with unfamiliar music.


That doesn't have to be the case. First, if you can't hear a difference 2 seconds apart, then you won't hear a difference after three months. If anything it's the other way around. Auditory memory is very short.

Second, there's no reason tests can't be for as long a period as you want. Arnie Kruger's ABX system can be used in your own home with your own system for as long as you want, then when you're satisfied you can ask it to spit out the results.

It amazes me that so many people don't understand how fragile human hearing really is. Hearing is very fleeting! If I play a tune three times in a row it will sound different each time, and I'll likely hear things I missed earlier. This is the issue, not component break-in. (Except maybe loudspeakers and other mechanical devices like phono cartridges.) Same for "warm-up" time for a SS amplifier. The amp didn't change, your ears and perception did!

--Ethan

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Don't feed the Troll

I'm with Elk on this one. John Marks last review is a good case in point. He heard something in the Fried speakers that just wasn't right to him. JA confirmed it.

What Mr. Marks heard, clearly, was Fried's admission that it was a "manufacturing defect". Did no one at Fried listen to these before they boxed them up at the factory? Or did they, but not hear what JM heard? Who knows.

I have no issues with JA testing or in what the reviewers hear or think they hear. I love the exercise of DBT, but it is way too problematic to do properly, and most often the tests are not absolutely, 100% equal.

With manufacturers even recommending different stands, mounting positions, and seating distances how could it be an accurate reference? I think with speakers the only way to know is if you can audition them where and how you are going to listen to them...in your home. Otherwise it is just target practice. Often this method does work out fine for most of us. This is why in big dollar country dealers offer set up service as in the Watt Puppies.

I wish you all the best on hearing the differences in wire. My hearing is long gone for that. Here, I AM trusting someone else's judgement.

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Re: DBT testing


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It takes months to know ones own system to the point that changes are apparent.


While there is truth to this, if the changes are so subtle that this level of familiarity is required I have trouble justifying the cost unless it is equally small.

Same with wires; if you need a DBT to determine whether there is a difference and there is any doubt in your mind - don't buy the wires.

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Re: DBT testing

I'd really love to reply about DBT's, but I am suspending all audio debate until our grave national crisis has been resolved.

On the other hand, I just had some extra time open up on Thursday evening...

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Re: DBT testing


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Quote:
I still think the biggest problem with DBT is in how it is conducted. They attempt to 'prove' that changes folk hear do not exist but they 'prove'it by short lstening test on unfamiliar systems with unfamiliar music.


That doesn't have to be the case. First, if you can't hear a difference 2 seconds apart, then you won't hear a difference after three months. If anything it's the other way around. Auditory memory is very short.

Are you telling me you know how your system sounds, even down to subtle differences a few days after you ought it and set it up! WOW! Talk about golden ears. Why audition new gear...5 minutes in a well designed shop and you've got it all.


Quote:
Second, there's no reason tests can't be for as long a period as you want. Arnie Kruger's ABX system can be used in your own home with your own system for as long as you want, then when you're satisfied you can ask it to spit out the results.

'Spit put the results'? I am not familiar with the ABX test and am not interested in something that spits out results. Explain to me why a change in a system I know well, mine, is an illusion while a change to someone elses system that does not result in a perceived change in a DBL test is indicative of a realty beyone that the test is too short on a system too unknown to prove anything at all other than a lack of a deep understanding of what the system sounds like.

If you do not believe tubed amps need days to sound rght, you have never owned one.

michaelavorgna
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Re: DBT testing

Hi Ethan,

I'd imagine this is simply a matter of clarification, but certain kinds of auditory memory seem to be more lasting than others. I'm thinking specifically about those instances where we recognize music by a composer or performer even in cases where we've never heard a particular composition/performance. In other words, after hearing a few seconds of a piece of music we can say "that's Stockhausen" or "that's Billie Holiday" even if we've never heard the specific piece being played. Of course we must already be familiar with their music.

Perhaps you're differentiating between 'sound quality' and 'music memory'? And to clarify, I'm not trying to argue, just trying to understand what you mean when you say "Auditory memory is very short" and "Hearing is very fleeting". Even on a non-musical level, we certainly recognize people's voices even if we haven't heard them for years.

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Re: DBT testing


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While there is truth to this, if the changes are so subtle that this level of familiarity is required I have trouble justifying the cost unless it is equally small.

I'd like to offer a little story. Last year, I became dissatisfied with the sound of my system and went speaker shopping. My speakers had two very small problems, a slight cupped-hands coloration and a bit of upper midrange harshness. After spending the day auditioning some very fine speaker systems, I returned home to listen to my own system again. It didn't sound so bad, I thought. I was pleased with my old speakers. Then, after about twenty minutes, I began to hear those colorations again. They distracted me from the music to the point where I could not enjoy it. I bought new speakers, and I'm very happy with them. The point of this story is that it took twenty minutes for me to hear flaws I had heard many times before on a system I was intimately familiar with. I never was a DBT advocate, and am even less so now.

Elk
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Re: DBT testing

I see your point (I think) but twenty minutes to re-familiarize and refresh your ears is perfectly reasonable. Months is not.

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Re: DBT testing

Sorry if I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I had to briefly relinquish the computer to my daughter for homework.

It took twenty minutes to recognize a familiar flaw in a familiar system. It took much longer to notice and identify it the first time. I think trying to do the same while changing even one component would be much more difficult.

My experience also illustrates how even a very small flaw in the sound can ruin the musical experience. Can you put a price on that?

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Re: DBT testing

I can accept that it takes months, even years, to develop one's ability to discern what one is hearing. We are constantly learning. In this sense, it may take months to appreciate what one is hearing on even a known system.

But an "improvement" to a system should not take months to hear and appreciate.

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Re: DBT testing

Good point. I don't think I'd buy something if I didn't hear that improvement in the time I could spend (or was allowed to spend) at a dealer's showroom. But I did spend about ninety minutes listening to my Vandersteen's before dropping the cash.

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Re: DBT testing


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But I did spend about ninety minutes listening to my Vandersteen's before dropping the cash.


But this would have been fun! Great speakers.

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Re: Don't feed the Troll

So if some one says they can hear how wire sounds, you go along and maybe buy some scrap at incredible prices? Maybe some special connectors, which are probably also scrap. Blind test work for the muti BILLION drug business, again audio is always so special, and just needs so much better. Mapingooooooooooooooooooooooooooo to the rescue. ByBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee magic electron catcher.

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Re: Don't feed the Troll

I went to a local vinyl club meeting yesterday, something I have only recently joined, and got into a discussion with a fellow on MP3/IPOD music. He works for Apple (though I have no idea doing what). The reason I mention this is because this fellow seemed to absolutely NOT understand the equipment train.

He was explaining how the newer lossless (ie, bit pefect) IPODs produce perfect sound indistinguishable from the CD. I asked him how he was running the gear and he advised he was plugging the audio out straight into his stereo. I then asked about the DAC in the IPOD and he had no idea what I was talking about. He seemed to think the music leaped straight from the binary code to the speakers by magic and unchanged. I had to explain to a few folk that the signal had to change from a digital one to a analog one and that the thing that did that was caled a DAC and that all DACs were not alike and that no IPOD, or computer sound card, produced the best that was possible from that bit perfect digital stream.

Folk looked at me like I had grown a new head or suffered a sudden fit of dementia. They all were sure their setups were about as good as it gets, that the DAC in an IPOD or the sound card in a computer both produced very close to perfect sound...

Here I was in a group dedicated to playing and talking about the home reproduction of music and I find most of them do not know anything serious about the stuff they use to play the music.

This debate reminds me of that phenomenon. Some folk argue that, because they either cannot hear any change in a wire, power cords, etc, or in an equipment change in a DBT, those changes must not exist or be worthy of comment or the cost. I think they are like my vinl clubs folk...they simply have not approached the issue with the right data and with a good idea of what folk are trying to do when they do play with cables.

Most folk are not tring to change their $500 integrated amp into a $5000 seperate. They are trying to get the last bit of detail and sound their own sstem is capable of from it by playing with the connections.

I do not see anything wrong with that.

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Re: DBT testing


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I am not familiar with the ABX test and am not interested in something that spits out results.


LOL, yes, it's clear you are not interested in knowing the results.


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If you do not believe tubed amps need days to sound rght, you have never owned one.


I specifically stated SS (solid state) amps. Details my friend, details!

--Ethan

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Re: DBT testing

Lets see...tubes, well, we'll skip warmup there as that is a bit incnvenient. What about speakers? Do those not require tm to sound right? It has been a long time since I owned a solid state amp I actually used for music so I have no reference as to its burn in time. What of digital gear. The sound of my front end took a while to sond consistent, not weeks, but days. Does that not count either?

ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


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I'm thinking specifically about those instances where we recognize music by a composer or performer even in cases where we've never heard a particular composition/performance.


Yes, that is not at all what I'm talking about. My points are about the ability to hear fine details in a recording, and notice distortion and small changes in frequency response. That is, the "high" in high fidelity, totally apart from the musical content. More specifically, being to hear if the sound really did change or not after swapping speaker wires or AC power cords or even CD players. Or being able to identify the distortion in some recordings, or in loudspeakers, or notice a room resonance at 150 Hz. This is very different from identifying a singer or composer by their style.

--Ethan

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Re: DBT testing


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What about speakers? Do those not require tm to sound right?


I excluded speakers too in my post. Jim, why should I even bother to write if you won't read it? It was not a long post! Sheesh

--Ethan

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Re: DBT testing

I've been searching for a DBT Rainman for years.

Some sort of auditory savant who does not have his/her ears turned off by the onerous idea of listening without knowing which component is which.

I once met a guy who I thought was the one. I showed him a record I was about to play, and he just glanced at it and told me how many grooves were on each side.

Anyway, until I find him or her, I'll have to settle for me.

________

And as long as we are on the subject, regarding listening fatigue...how the Hell can we trust a reviewer who says something like, "One record lead to another, and then another, and suddenly it was hours later and I found that I had been revelling in the sonic blah blah blah characteristics of the Sansuchi X1000 Million..."

You'd think his damn fool ears would have turned off his ability to hear the fine details, etc... before the second record got put on.

Sure, we get listening fatigue, but how come we don't call people on it when they wax rhapsodic about one piece of gear listened to critically over several hours?

Nope, we're fine with that, just so long as the reviewer wasn't asked to compare two things without knowing which is which.

There is alot of BS on both sides of this issue, and I don't mean to validate an idiot with a Pioneer receiver and a switch, either.

ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


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The point of this story is that it took twenty minutes for me to hear flaws I had heard many times before on a system I was intimately familiar with.


If you tested your old speakers side by side with very good speakers, it would have taken you less than 3 seconds to hear the coloration. A sighted test would have been fine. Blind testing is needed only when the perceived differences are too subtle to pinpoint. So in the context of your story, loudspeaker satisfaction is unrelated to DBT.

--Ethan

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Re: Don't feed the Troll

JIMV:

First, Double Blind tests are not entirely objective in every sense of the term. Obviously, when you have a group of people making a determination of whether A or B sounds "better" there is an inherent subjective element. In audio, I think this is a strength of DBTs because, even if the data say X is better, but 90% of the people thought Y sounded better - you have to go with Y. Of course, there is personal preference, and someone may very well think X sounds better anyway. Again, I say this in defense of DBTs, and I think a lot of people have overlooked this important fact: i.e., it factors in the human element of preference.

Second, if I cannot tell a difference betweent the iPod's DAC and a $1,000 DAC that is technically "better," why on God's green Earth would I spend the $1,000? It's the same way with cables.

I think the technical "data" (derived from, e.g., testing equipment) should probably at least give you an idea of whether you want to audition it, although it isn't perfect (insert all the caveats about what we can test and what we can't, etc.). But the real test is whether you prefer it to other equipment (e.g., do you like A or B etc).

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing

You exclude so much that you lose your point.

Mine is diferent...I note that double blind testing is almost always on someone elses system with someone elses music. I note the warts in that process, a lack of familiarity with the system being tested, the music being played, etc, and I raise a few other issues like burn in time.

Folk claim changes heard in cables are bogus because they cannot be detected in DBT. I believe that is a lot like blaming the victim for the crime. The testing regime is at fault. If cables do not change sound why do folk hear changes and why, when added to a lot of other tweaks, on such system changes reult in a vastly different sound than the same well known system without them?

I can hear such changes in my modest system. That others cannot might say more about their systems, ears, and listening style than it does about the inherent sound cable changes might introduce to a system.

I think this upsets folk so much in much the same manner the pop religion of global warming does to others. Advocates for and agains the idea seem to want to insist their dogma win and demand all others go along to get along.

Why?

CECE
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Re: Don't feed the Troll

I do not find anything wrong with that..I do, cus' it's a lotta nonsense, no logic, and a lota marketing BS. Ya want more detail, better sound, get a better set of speakers, better faster amps and pre amps etc..and connect them with teh correct type of wire made for the purpose, that's usually the ones that are long enough with the correct conector. And depending on teh enviroment, determines the insulation and build. And they don't cost the prices of the crap scrap sold as magic better sounding wire. it's been proven, in real life demo and comparuisons. Wires don't make anything sound better, the pre and amps do, as do the speakers. Once you understand teh basics, you get a clear thought process, try it, the money you don't piss away will be your own. Not that I really care, but the utter nonsense that is bandied about about how a pice of wire sounds better than some other piece of wire, is like insanity. If the wire or connector is defective, replace it with one that ain't, then you get better sound, but when ya start with how some magic wire increased teh spaciousness, and ambience and the detail of some fish gurgle in some recording, ya gotta be a big DOPE...to think that's rally happening....And others claim they can hear differences between connecotrs and wall outlets!!! the powers of imagination, amazing. I had two pretty basic high powered amps smoke sonicaly two really cool looking well made higly well known brand, cus' it's the ckts inside that make it happen, not teh wires ....and they all where pretty startled by teh reality of simple basic cheap nice and flexible wires, that merely reached from here to there....Monster This

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Re: DBT testing

I assumed that's what you were getting at but just wanted to make sure. And hopefully without setting up another fence, I'd suggest some people are better able to recognize musicians for similar reasons as to how some people can better or more easily

ethanwiner
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Re: Don't feed the Troll


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when you have a group of people making a determination of whether A or B sounds "better" there is an inherent subjective element.


From my perspective, the only reason for a DBT is to determine if a significant number of people can even hear a difference at all. Forget better or worse. For example, if some people claim to hear the sound improve when they replace a stock power cord with a third-party model, can they still hear a difference when they can't see which cord is which or even know if it was replaced? A proper test will ask listeners to report if they hear a difference, but sometimes they won't even change the device. This is called an A/A test because it's the same device both times and the listeners don't know that.

If some people report the sound being "better" (or worse) when nothing was changed, that further proves the power of suggestion and placebo effect. That some people argue against honest tests like this just shows me they don't really want to know!

--Ethan

judicata
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Re: DBT testing

Look, I'm not saying cables don't make a difference. I'm defending a method of determining whether they do.

You're not making arguments against DBTs - you're arguing against a potential flaw in the variable control (i.e., the way the DBT is executed). If a cable makes a system sound better, why not take a "broken-in" cable (or break it in on the same system prior to the test), and A/B it to a brand-spanking new cheaper cable of proper gauge?

You are already making A/B comparisons, but they are uncontrolled, anecdotal, and subject to endless external influences. The only difference with a DBT is that you can control more of the variables. Are they absolutely perfect? No, but if there are 100 problems with DBTS there are 100,000 problems with off-the-cuff, individual testing.

If you're saying DBTs won't work because a cable may only sound good on particular systems, after being broken in for hundreds of hours on those particular systems, then you have just built an enormous obstacle to selling cable -- very high risk. I'd really hesitate to spend thousands of dollars to buy a lottery ticket (even one with ok odds) for good sound. If they aren't fickle lottery tickets, then they should be easily subjectable to double blind testing.

Any double-blind test will give you more information. If the changes in listening (even A/B back-to-back on the same system) are sooo subtle that we need everyone to listen to a system they're familiar with, then I GUESS we could A/B people in their own homes. I find this claim very suspect by the way - you would think that someone with a good ear could compare a system they just heard with a different component or cable. It isn't like we're just giving them a system and telling them to say whether they like the cable in it - DBTs ask them to compare a change.

Finally, all of what you say is very disparaging to the cable marketing industry. They claim you get consistent, noticeable, and dramatic results from their cables -- not something so nuanced that you have to be very familiar with the system in which an A/B test takes place...

If you like having certain cables for reasons other than the way they make your system sound (and, hey, I'm not going to argue - really, that's totally cool with me), then DBTs are not as valuable. Otherwise, I can't imagine why you would object.

ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I note that double blind testing is almost always on someone elses system with someone elses music.


Again, as I wrote earlier, Arnie Kruger's ABX tester can be used on your system, at your convenience, for as long a period as you'd like.


Quote:
Folk claim changes heard in cables are bogus because they cannot be detected in DBT. I believe that is a lot like blaming the victim for the crime. The testing regime is at fault.


Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Please describe how you would setup a test for yourself and/or others, where the person being tested doesn't know which device is being heard. Any method you describe is fine with me, as long as it's honest.


Quote:
If cables do not change sound why do folk hear changes and why, when added to a lot of other tweaks, on such system changes reult in a vastly different sound than the same well known system without them?


This has been covered again and again. Expectation bias, placebo effect, wishful thinking, buyer's remorse, and of course comb filtering.


Quote:
Advocates for and agains the idea seem to want to insist their dogma win and demand all others go along to get along.


Not me! That's why I asked you to please describe a test that is valid and honest. I'm glad to let you design the test! As long as there's no way for the listener to cheat. If the differences really are as significant as you say, I'm sure you'll agree it's not necessary to see which device you're hearing.

--Ethan

ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


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And my assumption is
ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


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You are already making A/B comparisons, but they are uncontrolled, anecdotal, and subject to endless external influences.


This nails it exactly.

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing


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Look, I'm not saying cables don't make a difference. I'm defending a method of determining whether they do.

You're not making arguments against DBTs - you're arguing against a potential flaw in the variable control (i.e., the way the DBT is executed). If a cable makes a system sound better, why not take a "broken-in" cable (or break it in on the same system prior to the test), and A/B it to a brand-spanking new cheaper cable of proper gauge?

If you are doing that on your own system and played your own music and tested over time with the owner NOT knowing which cable was installed, then it would help. Short changes do not give one time to determine if subtle things have happened.


Quote:
You are already making A/B comparisons, but they are uncontrolled, anecdotal, and subject to endless external influences. The only difference with a DBT is that you can control more of the variables. Are they absolutely perfect? No, but if there are 100 problems with DBTS there are 100,000 problems with off-the-cuff, individual testing.

Not really, I just value my own experience with my own gear and music over DBT done by someone else on their gear and their music. I believe what I hear more than I believe 3rd parties.


Quote:
If you're saying DBTs won't work because a cable may only sound good on particular systems, after being broken in for hundreds of hours on those particular systems, then you have just built an enormous obstacle to selling cable -- very high risk. I'd really hesitate to spend thousands of dollars to buy a lottery ticket (even one with ok odds) for good sound. If they aren't fickle lottery tickets, then they should be easily subjectable to double blind testing.

I won't argue as those are your words, not mine. I have no position on cable break in, just on the idea that cables make a change in the sound.


Quote:
Any double-blind test will give you more information. If the changes in listening (even A/B back-to-back on the same system) are sooo subtle that we need everyone to listen to a system they're familiar with, then I GUESS we could A/B people in their own homes. I find this claim very suspect by the way - you would think that someone with a good ear could compare a system they just heard with a different component or cable. It isn't like we're just giving them a system and telling them to say whether they like the cable in it - DBTs ask them to compare a change.

But my entire premise is that these changes are not like 3db loudness changes but are very subtle,at least after the initial cable upgrade. Subtle does not mean non existent.


Quote:
Finally, all of what you say is very disparaging to the cable marketing industry. They claim you get consistent, noticeable, and dramatic results from their cables -- not something so nuanced that you have to be very familiar with the system in which an A/B test takes place...

I am not interested in what the cable companies say, just what I hear in my system. You can believe it or not.


Quote:
If you like having certain cables for reasons other than the way they make your system sound (and, hey, I'm not going to argue - really, that's totally cool with me), then DBTs are not as valuable. Otherwise, I can't imagine why you would object.

I like certain cables because I like the way they sound and I pity folk who do not or cannot hear a difference.

You are trying to take you lack of discernment and turn that into a virtue

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing

A test could be simple. Get two different cables of the same length. Disguise them so they look identicle, have a 3rd party install one, then let the listener over time describe the sound. Then the 3rd party switches the identicle looking cables without the listener being aware and see if the comments change in tenor or tone. The control would also have to limit the music used to a dozen or so well known faorites or real changes would not be heard. Do the swap out two or three times over a few months. I am not saying limit all listening to a dozen CD's, just limit all written coments on the listening to those CD's.

judicata
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Re: DBT testing


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Not really, I just value my own experience with my own gear and music over DBT done by someone else on their gear and their music. I believe what I hear more than I believe 3rd parties.

This makes me wonder what made you decide to buy the cable in the first place.

rvance
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Re: DBT testing


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I once met a guy who I thought was the one. I showed him a record I was about to play, and he just glanced at it and told me how many groove were on each side.

I also have this uncanny ability. Any record, anytime, anywhere. There is one groove per side. Or none if you get Dup's fave audiophile 45 rpm 1/2 albums!

You may resume the DBT argument. (Did you hear my joke about Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli tripping over the cables in a DBT? It was a real knee-slapper!)

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing


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Not really, I just value my own experience with my own gear and music over DBT done by someone else on their gear and their music. I believe what I hear more than I believe 3rd parties.

This makes me wonder what made you decide to buy the cable in the first place.

Simple really, if spending more for about everything else in the food chain results in better systems and sound, why not try cables? If they have no change, then for a few hundred bucks I have determined I don't need to spend money there. The problem was, they DO have an effect so I continue to buy better than basic cables. As the changes are not of a vast category, spending vast amounts of money does not make sense, so I limit myself to cable lines basic fare. That does not mean their better stuff will not have better efect, just not worth the steep increase in price.

Elk
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Re: DBT testing


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Do the swap out two or three times over a few months.


Why in the world would this take months?!

The difference is so subtle it takes months simply to appreciate the improvement?

I am all for little improvements and their combined beneficial effects, I have heard differences in wire, but effective tweaks should not take months to discern whether they even exist. A tweak this subtle better be free.

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing

Months eliminates the placebo effect..If one can tell the difference over time, then the difference is real.

SAS Audio
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Re: DBT testing

Hi R,


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You may resume the DBT argument.

Actually I don't think there is much of an arguement.

Habituation to stimuli alone renders AB/ABX testing as unreliable as it heavily skews the results even though confidence is high.

Habituation to stimuli occurs in every case where the same selection is repeated over and over, blind or sighted. Usually 3-4 back and forths of the same selection, so 6-8 playings of the same selection at a time is max, and even then problems arise.

Here is an non audio example of a hidden condition that caused confidence to be high yet the results were wrong.

Let us compare the gas mileage of two cars, "A" and "B", over a 10 mile track. Test after test confirms that car "A" got the same mileage as car "B" (within 0,1miles per gallon). The statistical results prove it. Confidence is high.

Now let us breakdown the results mile by mile. For the first three miles of each test, car "B" got better mileage than car "A", but from the 4th through the 10th miles car "A" got better mileage.

The overall results were that car "A" got the same mileage as car "B". Confidence is high.

Later, as we check cars "A" and "B", we discover that because of the calipers heating (from engine heat) and too close of tolerances, car "B's" brakes were lightly applied from mile 4 through 10. When we corrected the tolerance problem with the brakes, car "B" actually got better mileage than car "A".

So there was a difference after all, even though the confidence level was high that both cars got the same gas mileage.

As the number of back and forths increases, both components sound the same because of hibituation to stimuli, so the final result is both sound the same even though the first three or four back and forths would indicate a sonic difference.

ethanwiner
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Re: DBT testing


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A test could be simple. Get two different cables of the same length. Disguise them so they look identicle, have a 3rd party install one, then let the listener over time describe the sound. Then the 3rd party switches the identicle looking cables without the listener being aware and see if the comments change in tenor or tone. The control would also have to limit the music used to a dozen or so well known faorites or real changes would not be heard. Do the swap out two or three times over a few months. I am not saying limit all listening to a dozen CD's, just limit all written coments on the listening to those CD's.


That works for me. Though I don't know why that's any different than a test done with Arnie's ABX tester. So it seems you are not opposed to blind testing in principle, you just want to dictate the terms and conditions so to speak. That's fine, and your proposal makes sense. Now let's see how the DBT deniers respond.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: DBT testing


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Months eliminates the placebo effect..If one can tell the difference over time, then the difference is real.

I don't buy it.

One can just as easily fool oneself a month from now as a week from now. The classic original placebo, a sugarpill, works forever. All it takes is for the subject to expect it to work.

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
A test could be simple. Get two different cables of the same length. Disguise them so they look identicle, have a 3rd party install one, then let the listener over time describe the sound. Then the 3rd party switches the identicle looking cables without the listener being aware and see if the comments change in tenor or tone. The control would also have to limit the music used to a dozen or so well known faorites or real changes would not be heard. Do the swap out two or three times over a few months. I am not saying limit all listening to a dozen CD's, just limit all written coments on the listening to those CD's.


That works for me. Though I don't know why that's any different than a test done with Arnie's ABX tester. So it seems you are not opposed to blind testing in principle, you just want to dictate the terms and conditions so to speak. That's fine, and your proposal makes sense. Now let's see how the DBT deniers respond.

--Ethan

A blind test that covered what I consider the problems of DBT would be interesting. DBT as done today proves little but claims much.

JIMV
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Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
Months eliminates the placebo effect..If one can tell the difference over time, then the difference is real.

I don't buy it.

One can just as easily fool oneself a month from now as a week from now. The classic original placebo, a sugarpill, works forever. All it takes is for the subject to expect it to work.

Perhaps, but I expected oth the fuse I bought and the power lines to have little or no effect. I was simply curious and willing to invest a small amount to satisfy that curiosity. I was surprised.

SAS Audio
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Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
A test could be simple. Get two different cables of the same length. Disguise them so they look identicle, have a 3rd party install one, then let the listener over time describe the sound. Then the 3rd party switches the identicle looking cables without the listener being aware and see if the comments change in tenor or tone. The control would also have to limit the music used to a dozen or so well known faorites or real changes would not be heard. Do the swap out two or three times over a few months. I am not saying limit all listening to a dozen CD's, just limit all written coments on the listening to those CD's.


That works for me. Though I don't know why that's any different than a test done with Arnie's ABX tester. So it seems you are not opposed to blind testing in principle, you just want to dictate the terms and conditions so to speak. That's fine, and your proposal makes sense. Now let's see how the DBT deniers respond.

--Ethan

A blind test that covered what I consider the problems of DBT would be interesting. DBT as done today proves little but claims much.

Very true Jimv. I would suggest that if one were to do an AB test, that one limit the back and forths to 3 per test (maybe wait a day or two in between actual tests) to limit the effects caused by "habituation to stimuli". Accumulate the results and see how the sum turns out.

michaelavorgna
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Re: DBT testing


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Absolutely! I have confidence in my hearing, and equally know how fragile my own hearing can be, in large part because I've been a professional recording engineer and musician for 40+ years. The experience of playing with equalizers on all manner of individual tracks and complete mixes goes a long way to learning to hear detail. Likewise playing an instrument at a professional level makes one very keen on tiny changes in pitch and timbre.

I think it

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