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Why "testing" for cable differences is ridiculous. (1 Viewer)

Mike Knapp

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Mike
FRED: Hey Bob, that new Italian restaurant over on 49th street sure has some sweet lasagne. It tastes a lot different than the stuff we get at The Pasta Pot!
BOB: Really? Are you sure? Have you done any DB tests?
FRED: Hey Bob, see that girl in the red dress over there? She looks different than her twin in the blue on the other side of the bar!
BOB: Really? Are you sure? Have you done any DB tests?
FRED: Hey Bob, those leather seats in my new car feel different than the ones in your new car.
BOB: Really? Are you sure? Have you done any DB tests?
FRED: Hey Bob, this cheese smells different than that cheese back in your fridge.
BOB: Really? Are you sure? Have you done any DB tests?
Now you see how ridiculous each of the above response are simply because they deal with one of our human senses which of course is different in each person. BUT....suddenly when it comes to the sense of hearing, the skeptics feel it is perfectly valid to apply a "test" to prove something.
You will always KNOW what kind of wire you are using. Why in the world would you want to test something in a way that it will NEVER EVER be used?
Would you test an electric drill underwater? Would you test a scuba tank in a bike race? Why test a cable without the knowledge of which cable it is, you will never use it not knowing.
The information gathered in a DB test for cables is as worthless as tits on a boar hog for use in real world decision making. The only test that has any validity is a listening test done under the same circumstances that you will be using the product....in your home, in your system. with your knowledge.
Just my little opinion! :)
Mike
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
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The information gathered in a DB test for cables is as worthless as tits on a boar hog for use in real world decision making.
Speaking as the official boar-tit reader to the President of these United States, I'm offended by that remark...

I'd say more, but I'm still trying to figure out why this gouda registers +2dB different from the parmesan.
 

Chu Gai

Senior HTF Member
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each of your four Fred/Bob scenarios were easily testable...quick A/B.

Would you test an electric drill underwater? Would you test a scuba tank in a bike race? Why test a cable without the knowledge of which cable it is, you will never use it not knowing.
In the first 2 scenarios, the answer is no, for knowledge will give us a reasonably expected outcome. What I'm puzzled by Mike, is why, when there is a body of scientific evidence indicating that humans, and that does include audiophiles, are not capable of using their hearing as "test instruments" and furthermore, that extended listening increases the unreliability of comparing one experience with another, that you choose to ignore it?

Since you seem to be a fan of analogies how about these?

Fred: I need a new pair of glasses.

Bob: Try these, let me know how you like them.

Fred: Look...I see water over there!

Bob: Ummmm, Fred, its a mirage.

Fred: This cup of coffee tastes sweeter.

Bob: Ummmmm, Fred, they both came out of the same carafe and the sugar was completely dissolved.

The fact that our senses, our ability to discriminate, varies from individual to individual, does not preclude that comparisons can be made.

You don't have to trust or believe me Mike. However, there are many research institutes, Indiana, Northwestern, a host of others that you, or others could contact to get a better understanding of audiology. There's a reason why companies that make cables don't go through the effort of conducting scientific tests and instead put the onus on, you, me, or enlist the aid of an 'audiophile reviewer', and its not for lack of money.

A sighted comparison for determining if a cable sounds different introduces a bias. As far as tits on a boar, wouldn't that make the boar more 'sensitive'?
 

Brian_C

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Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Messages
51
Decent arguments, but this one throws you off:

You will always KNOW what kind of wire you are using. Why in the world would you want to test something in a way that it will NEVER EVER be used?
Since you know what it is you're listening to, your mind is just playing games on you. You're also using one sided analogies for your argument, which I can do the same as Chu did:

FRED: I just bought this great Rolex from Fast Frank for $1200!

BOB: Really, I did too! Except he sold it to me at $20

FRED: I buy my sugar from Elite Groceries, it must be good!

BOB: My sugar from Kroger taste the same to me

FRED: I just bought the deluxo Honda Civic for $30k!

BOB: Dealer B also has that at only $21k
 

Mike Knapp

Supporting Actor
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Mike
Life is full of bias, thats why things should be judged with the biases intact! You cannot eliminate the bias, perform a test and then expect the results to be valid once the biases are re-established. This holds true for skeptics as well.

If you did a taste test on some soup, then removed the salt from the recipe and did a comparison but could not buy the soup without the salt anywhere then your test has been futile. You have suceeded in proving a difference but the test is invalid because you cannot eliminate the salt to begin with in the real world.

Remove the bias....alter the results. Including the bias is the ONLY way to get true real world results.

Mike
 

Mike Knapp

Supporting Actor
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Mike
Since you know what it is you're listening to, your mind is just playing games on you.
Not only does that not matter but it is an important part of the equation. Why would you want to eliminate something in a test that it is impossible to eliminate in the real world. Why test a device to be used here on earth in a zero gravity environment? Better yet, would you judge the taste of potato soup by tasting it sans potatos? Your mind is the MOST IMPORTANT component of this entire discussion.
You responses are very telling though. All of them deal with price factor. As I have said many times, the skeptics main objection to any of this is not science based it is cost based.
Mike
 

AjayM

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You don't have to trust or believe me Mike. However, there are many research institutes, Indiana, Northwestern, a host of others that you, or others could contact to get a better understanding of audiology. There's a reason why companies that make cables don't go through the effort of conducting scientific tests and instead put the onus on, you, me, or enlist the aid of an 'audiophile reviewer', and its not for lack of money.
How do you know what kind of testing those evil cable companies do? And contacting a University's Audiology program (where 99% of them are studying hearing loss) is going to do what (Audiology is the study of hearing, specifically the loss of hearing)?

Take a good look at the specs of these two cables (independently tested);

Silver Speaker Cable, 14 ft:

Loopback Inductance: 3.25 uH

Distributed Capacitance: 0.453 nF

Resistance one leg: 0.16 ohm

Resistance both legs: 0.32 ohm

Copper Speaker Cable, 14 ft:

Loopback Inductance: 0.35 uH

Distributed Capacitance: 1.36 nF

Resistance one leg: 0.033 ohm

Resistance both legs: 0.066 ohm

There are some very large differences here, now I'm sure I'll hear all of the "but those things aren't audible", but how do you know that? Can you point me to a study that shows a 10-fold increase in inductance won't be audible? Or that a 3-fold decrease in capacitance isn't, etc?

Andrew
 

Jim A. Banville

Supporting Actor
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Jun 20, 1999
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Face it - even for nothing more than to entertain us non-beleivers, the cable-believers shudder at the idea of having to PROVE that they can tell if one cable sounds differently from another. If the cable-believer can't listen to a piece of music of his own choosing on a high resolution system as many times as he wishes, followed by listening to the same music again as many times as he wishes, except this time he is told that the cables may or may have not been switched, and he can't make the statement "same" or "different", I would be very very skeptical that he has the alleged ability at all. While the cabe-believer may not care less as to whether I believe he has the alleged ability, I don't think he would be here procaliming his ability if it were not to convince someone other than himself.
 

AjayM

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Well, as always it comes down to cost....but let's look at your examples here,
FRED: I just bought the deluxo Honda Civic for $30k!
BOB: Dealer B also has that at only $21k
Fred didn't shop around, since he could have gotten the exact same model, from the exact same manufacture for less money down the street. This argument would work a little better if Fred bought a new Mercedes for $30k, and Bob said that his Honda Civic did the exact same thing his Mercedes did for $21k (but Bob won't mention having roll-up windows, no road side service, no free maintance, underpowered engine, no leather interior, etc).
Andrew
 

Mike Knapp

Supporting Actor
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Mike
the cable-believers shudder at the idea of having to PROVE that they can tell if one cable sounds differently from another.
I can play basketball better than Michael Jordan. Do you suppose he is "shuddering" at having to prove me wrong or do you think he could give a shit what I say and is confident in his skills? I havent heard from him challenging me to a test of my basketball skills, perhaps he is afraid that I am actually better!

Just wondering why I should have to "prove" anything to anyone. You certainly can (and do) dis-believe my claims. I feel no need to prove anything. I am confident in my abilities and weaknesses. Ive been doing this for 30 years, I am pretty self assured. You can benefit from my experience or dismiss it....your choice, and no skin off my nose either way.

Mike
 

John Beavers

Second Unit
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Mar 1, 1998
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Speaking of double blind testing of wires, did you know that there is a device that actually facilitates this? And has proven at a public event (CES 1995) that differences do exist, and in a way that fully met the double blind testing standards. Here's a link to the device and it's story http://www.wireworldaudio.com/compare.htm
 

AjayM

Screenwriter
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Aug 22, 2000
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Speaking of double blind testing of wires, did you know that there is a device that actually facilitates this? And has proven at a public event (CES 1995) that differences do exist, and in a way that fully met the double blind testing standards. Here's a link to the device and it's story http://www.wireworldaudio.com/compare.htm
Hmmmm, anybody want to take bets on how long this one will get shot down. A cable company that actually made a device to do scientific A/B testing (similiar to an ABX box) on cables. Has to be some kind of bias in there.
Interesting quote though,
Further research yielded a major breakthrough in late 1994. One day, as Lori observed me scurrying back and forth across the room to exchange test cables for bypass jumpers, she remarked “can’t you come up with a way to hook up both cables and switch between them ?” The Cable Comparator concept was born. In a few months, we had working prototypes which were demonstrated at the 1995 Winter CES in Las Vegas. This was the first public demonstration of double-blind cable bypass testing that we know of. For the first time in history, we proved that cable distortion was audible under double-blind test conditions.
Since its introduction in 1995, the Wireworld Interconnect Comparator has provided the only scientific proof of the audibility and value of high-end audio cables. It received the Innovations '96 award and received numerous reviews and enthusiastic endorsements from respected audio critics around the world. The original Interconnect Comparator is operated manually, and is limited to comparing a single pair of cables to a bypass or one pair of cables to another. In 1998 we introduced The Cable Comparator System, which extends the concept of the original device to provide a complete and practical testing facility for cables.

Andrew
 

Brian_C

Stunt Coordinator
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Fred didn't shop around, since he could have gotten the exact same model, from the exact same manufacture for less money down the street. This argument would work a little better if Fred bought a new Mercedes for $30k, and Bob said that his Honda Civic did the exact same thing his Mercedes did for $21k (but Bob won't mention having roll-up windows, no road side service, no free maintance, underpowered engine, no leather interior, etc).
Fred knows he could get the exact same model, but he thinks that service and quality from Dealer A is better! After all, he knows he bought from Dealer A, so his mind lets him know its better. Well worth that extra $10,000. On the other hand, Bob is laughing out loud because Civics all come from Honda and all Hondas under warranty can be serviced from ANY Honda dealer.

---

That's my whole point. Analogies are pretty pointless. We can all twist our words around and present one sided arguments...
 

Jim A. Banville

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Jun 20, 1999
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Just wondering why I should have to "prove" anything to anyone.
You don't "have" to. No one HAS to prove anything in the context of a hobby. But to me it seems logical that if someone had an ability that has so many skeptics, it would prove entertaining to show the skeptics they are wrong. I guarantee that if in my living room, a cable-believer was able to distinguish between two different cables 100% of the time while listening to music of his own choosing as many times as he wished, I would definitely be convinced in their ability and would look at the debate in a whole new light. As it is, we have a group of people that are basically saying that they can play basketball better than Michael Jordan, and argue against any and every means to PROVE it. Come to think of it, this Michal Jordan analogy (and all the other analogies I've read in this thread) has a serious problem - they deal with comparing things that are VERY different. Cables are made of metal and plastic/rubber. They don't require years of training, they aren't boiled in a pot and they don't spoil on a given date. Cables are tools for transferring an electrical signal from point A to point B, period. If I buy a 16 oz. glass at Walmart and another 16 oz. glass at Tiffany's, take them both home and wash them, would the water from the same source taste the same from both glasses?
 

AjayM

Screenwriter
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Cables are tools for transferring an electrical signal from point A to point B, period. If I buy a 16 oz. glass at Walmart and another 16 oz. glass at Tiffany's, take them both home and wash them, would the water from the same source taste the same from both glasses?

But do the properties of a 16oz glass change from example to example (in relation to the delivery of water)? I posted an example of 2 cables above, is there any place where the Tiffany's glass have a 10-fold difference in direct relation to the taste of the water compared to the Walmart glass? No, they both hold the same amount of liquid, but LCR can have a direct effect on sound with cables.



Andrew
 

Jeremy Anderson

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Nov 23, 1999
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1,049
Okay, let me see if I can clarify things here:

Fred goes out and buys a watch, but by "watch" we mean wires. And then Tiffany buys a glass at Wal-Mart, but by "glass" we mean speaker wire and by "Wal-Mart" we mean BetterCables. Or is Tiffany herself BetterCables and Wal-Mart Radio Shack? Then you have Bob, who is just wandering around drooling like an idiot, buying some fake knock-off Rolex for $1200 from a guy on the street! Like THAT's ever a good idea. Silly Bob!

So I think the moral of this story is:

Don't buy wires from people on the street, especially from some whore named Tiffany... and if you see Bob or Fred, kick their ass and take their money.
 

Jim A. Banville

Supporting Actor
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Jun 20, 1999
Messages
630
never said:
So are you saying that, as a cable-believer, that two cables that measure the same will sound the same or different? Or do you want it both ways - cables that measure differently will sound differently, and cables that measure the same will also sound differently? If silver cables are so superior as far as measurements are concerned, why aren't ALL high end cables made of silver? I'll have to do some searching, but I recall an "expert" relating that copper is the best electrical conductor.
 

AjayM

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If silver cables are so superior as far as measurements are concerned, why aren't ALL high end cables made of silver? I'll have to do some searching, but I recall an "expert" relating that copper is the best electrical conductor.
Now you are back to preference. Most believers think that a silver cable will add "brightness" to their system, if you have a bright system already, would you want to add something else that will make it more bright? Oh and the person who did the measurements on the cables listed above prefered the copper cables.

Andrew
 

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