# The "Real Cable-Test Debate"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tan_N, Mar 1, 2002.

1. ### Tan_N Stunt Coordinator

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There seems to be a lot of heated debates upon the issue of inter-connects. But in order to have a meaningful debate we all have to start off at the same point. It seems to me that there are 2 sides (Believers vs Non-Believers) and that boths sides start the debates on opposite extremes. Let's try to start out on common ground this time.

FACTS:

This debate is about AUDIO inter-connects not VIDEO inter-connects.

THEORY:

1) If 2 items are the "SAME", then there can be no comparision.

2) If 2 items are "DIFFERENT", then Individual Preference will determine which one is better for that person.

EXAMPLES:

1) \$10 bag of "pure cane sugar" from HighEnd store vs \$1 bag of "pure cane sugar" from local supermarket. Both are the "SAME", so there can be no comparisions upon taste.

2) I take sugar and make 2 cakes (1 chocolate & 1 strawberry). My wife thinks the strawberry cake taste better and I think the chocolate cake tastes better. BOTH OF US ARE CORRECT AND NONE OF US ARE WRONG. I could never pursuade her to liking chocolate and she could never pursuade me to liking strawberry.

HYPOTHETICAL TEST DATA RESULTS:

CABLE A = \$300 Reference Cable

CABLE B = \$1 Cheap Cable

Play CABLE A and CABLE A again:

Non-Beleiver says sounds "SAME"

Beleiver says sounds "SAME"

(both people have backed up there claims)

Play CABLE A and CABLE B next:

Non-Beleiver says sounds "SAME"

Beleiver says sounds "DIFFERENT"

(both people have backed up there claims because you can't prove that the Non-Beleiver is lying)

Play CABLE A and CABLE B next:

Non-Beleiver says sounds "SAME"

Beleiver says sounds "SAME"

(Beleiver can be proven WRONG because the CABLES are different)

CONCLUSIONS:

A) There can only be one state either "SAME" or "DIFFERENT"

B) A Non-Beleiver can always falseify a TEST and you can never prove them wrong. They will alwasy say "SAME"

C) The Burden of Proof must lie in the Beleiver to prove that there is a Difference in sound.

IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH THE PREVIOUS THEORY, ASSUMPTIONS, EXAMPLES AND CONCLUSIONS THEN STOP READING!!!

Almost every Beleiver in the other THREADS always state that there is such a BIG difference. Someone even commented that the Power Cord makes a difference! Well it's time for the Believer's to "Walk the Walk".

TESTING Equipment:

CABLE A = REFERENCE CABLE of Believer's choice

CABLE B = \$1 CABLE

Believer's CD player with 2 outputs

Believer's Receiver with at least 2 inputs

Believer's choice of 1 song from a CD to listen to

Believer's choice of speakers and speaker wires

Setup:

1) Connect CABLE A from CD player output 1 to Receiver AUX1

2) Allow the Beleiver to listen to the setup as long as they want to get accustomed to the sound.

3) Connect CABLE B from CD player output 2 to Receiver AUX2

The TEST:

1) Play the Song using AUX1

2) A non-partial tester will flip a coin

4) Tails: Play AUX2

5) Believer says either "SAME" or "DIFFERENT"

6) non-partial tester will record results

7) Repeat this at least 20 times

RULES:

1) DONT CHANGE THE VOLUME

2) Do the coin flip and switching from AUX1 to AUX2 as quickly as possible.

If the difference in sound is as great as the Belivers say, then this should be a very easy test for them. The quote that the Believer's have been saying suggests that they sould get 100% correct. To be fair lets make it 85%.

Everything about the test is in the Beliver's favor.

1) Believer's choice of Reference CABLE

2) use the cheapest CABLE to compare against

3) Believer's choice of Equipment

2. ### Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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I did this, exactly as you described. I only got 8 of 10 correct.

Ive been told repeatedly that my results were statistically insignificant.

Mike "walking the walk" Knapp

3. ### Kiet_H Stunt Coordinator

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Tan,

The problem in your thoery is that you assumed that believers will step up to the plate and accept the challenge. YOU ARE WRONG!!! As you will see from the following post, the believers will not step up to the plate. All they seem to do is talk the talk but they never build enough courage to actually walk the walk. If you remember in my previous posts, I tried to make it as convient as possible for a certain "Believer" here on the board to take a test, but all I got in return is the typical, "its a waste of time" or "I don't need to prove my to anyone I can tell the difference". Yes, I even offer to meet him at his location of choice with his system of choice to test his cables of choice. I was even willing to provide the cables for testing. All he had to do was able to tell me which cable was playing 80% of the time. This is very ironic when you think about it. They tell everyone that they are able tell the difference. Some even claim that they experienced such a "HUGE" difference with a certain cable that they rushed out to circuit city to purchase the even higher end level of cables and noticed right away that they produce a different sound. They come on the forum and and try to de-bunk all the tests that non-beleivers have performed, stating that all the tests done by non believers were not valid. Yet when they are asked to perform a test, they all run and hide behind their usual comment, "Its a waste of time", "You can't perform a valid test" or my favorite, "I don't need to prove that I can tell the difference to anyone". While all these are valid reasons for not taking a test, it destroys all credibility because it shows how much believers are afraid to prove to themselves that all the money and time wasted in the cables to make their system sound better in fact does not improve on the systems sound. They are afraid to face the fact that all their perceptions of an audible difference is just that, perceptions. Until any beleiver is able to step up to the plate and identify the difference between cables in a blind test, all of their claims are worthless.

Some will reply to this post and point out the fact that I have about \$1000 worth of cables in my system and question why I spend so much if I do not beleive they improve the sound. And my reply will be because I like the way they "LOOK" not the way they improve the sound.

Therefore: If there is any beleiver in the Austin/Houston/San Antonio area who are willing to walk the walk and come forth to take a blind test, I will be more willing to provide the cables for the test. There is at least one believer in the Austin area, but as you will see, he will (like all others) chicken out of the test. How typical....

4. ### Phil A Producer

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I've done the test several times, with several so-called believers and non-believers and the results have always come to the conclusion by both parties in at least 90% of the cases as there is a difference. I would not classify the difference as believers and non-believers. I would classify them as a trained ear and an untrained ear. Most of the so-called non-believers don't believe due to measurements. They feel if cables measure the same, they sound the same. Unfortunately most CD players, amps, etc., measure substantially the same according to current measurement standards. Something could be plus or minus a decibel at different frequencies or have different inductance, capacitance to interaction with different components of the system. I think we have beat this issue to death and even if results of a particular test come in one way or the other, the only minds that are likely to change are the handful of test participants. There is nothing in the measurement of a cheap CD player vs. a reference CD or SACD player that is going to be indicative of sound differences. To evaluate those, it takes listening and changing the one variable in the system only. If someone does not hear a difference then according to their hearing there is no difference in their view. If someone hears a difference then there is one in their view. I am not going to refute what someone claims not to hear or to hear.

5. ### RicP Screenwriter

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6. ### Chu Gai Lead Actor

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perhaps it would be interesting to use the same cable in the course of the test with the participants not knowing and see the results of the responses. in the same fashion to reverse the hookups. it is important to eliminate variables. tedious yes. understand those who read, it is not my purpose to subscribe to one point of view, it is to try, if possible, when faced with non-ideal situations as are being described here, to try to arrive at a more scientific approach to getting to the bottom of the barrel.

7. ### Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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Chu,
I am puzzled. In effect you are using the same cable for several of the tests by opting not to switch inputs when the coin toss indicates it.
Did I miss something.
Mike

8. ### Chu Gai Lead Actor

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ruling out a variable, making the test more robust...sop.

9. ### Tan_N Stunt Coordinator

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I'm not taking one side or another. I've been reading the other threads and it seems like the 2 parties take to their sides and put up their walls and launch one-sided analogies at each other. I thought long and hard about trying to end all these debates. I came to the conclusion that you can NOT test a Non-Believer, they will always respond "SAME". The only person that you can test is a Believer. Then I tried to place every variable in the Believer's favor. A test that does not try to test the "Golden Ear". A test with the hightest statistical possiblity (50/50). The Equipment of the Beleiver's choice. And the Cable that the Believer will be facing is the cheapest Cable that they can find. According to the other Believer's threads, the difference in sound is immediatly noticable. That suggests that there should be a 90% to 100% accuraccy rate. I am only suggesting a 85% accuracy rate. Why 85%? Because if you flip a coin 10 times there is still a possibilty of getting 8 Head or 8 Tails but the possibilty of getting 9 out of 10 is next to impossible! So 80% wouldn't prove anything and 90% would lean towards the "Golden Ear". Plus if you take the test 20 times then 17 out of 20 is exactly 85%. It's an easy whole number. So far in this thread we have two set's of numbers. Mike got 80% and Phil got 90%. I am not disagreeing with any of them. I stated earlier that 80% would be inconclusive. Phil's 90% is hard to believe! Why? if a Non-Beleiver or "untrained ear" took the test, they would reply "SAME" every time because they would not be able to hear the difference. that would make them staticically 40% to 60% accuracy. A Believer or "trained ear" would say gets it "100%". The average would be no where near 90%.. It would fall between between 70% to 80%.

10. ### Kiet_H Stunt Coordinator

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RicP,

11. ### AjayM Screenwriter

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Tan, your statistics are off and well, on. In a basic sense 8 out of 10 is 80% accurate (obviously), but in a statistical sense, it's closer to 95% or something whacky like that.

There was a good explanation on it before the server crash, maybe one of the statistics guys can explain it again.

Andrew

12. ### RicP Screenwriter

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13. ### Brian_C Stunt Coordinator

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Tan, you fail to see the problem that's current. Typically, cable-believers DO NOT believe in blind tests. Cable non-believers DO. That's a problem that's pretty hard to solve. Cable-believers cry foul because blind tests typically do not favor them.

You could tell me I'm wrong, but I'll just go into the other threads and quote information you've posted before.

14. ### Kiet_H Stunt Coordinator

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15. ### DerrickT Auditioning

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So I should return this 40 dollar monster SVideo Cable and stick with the 7 dollar generic one?

16. ### RicP Screenwriter

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17. ### BruceD Screenwriter

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Ajay,

18. ### Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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I promised myself I'd stay out of this thread, but I don't understand why Mike Knapp hasn't shot down RicP's comments about a cable's appearance, since Mike believes a cable that looks good to him causes it to sound good when compared an ugly cable
And as far as my "100% rule" - why is it that a cable-beliver misses identifying a cable in a test in the first place? What exaclty in the huge variable that causes the supposed audible difference between a \$1 throw-away cable and a cost-no-object design to be obscured to the point where they sound the same to a cable-beleiver? Mike, were you too tired to get that last 20% correct? How far along in the test was it before the cables started sounding the same? Perhaps someone in your immediate vicinity expelled an unpleasant odor that caused the cables to sound the same?
And further into the cable appearance debate, why, oh why, does bettercables.com put gold plated ends on a cable that attaches to an all plastic jack, which relies on a non-electrical cennection? http://www.bettercables.com/1met328feetp1.html

19. ### Kiet_H Stunt Coordinator

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