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ifor's picture
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Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

I expect many have read this before, but it's new to me.

http://www.avguide.com/forums/blind-listening-tests-are-flawed-editorial?page=1

I'm open minded when it comes to the interconnect and speaker cable debates.  I've never bothered, yet, to make comparisons, either blind or otherwise, but I do get exceedingly irritated by fundamentalist non-believers.  What won't they just relax back to a position of extreme scepticism? Smile

I do believe that double blind ABX is probably flawed, but that doesn't make me a believer.  Curiosity got me googling and I ended up at the page for which I've given the link.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

Oh goody!

:cheer:

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

quite frankly that article is just a crock of balls.

 

He goes to say that blind listening tests are flawed because he doesn't believe in them (referencing the amplifier test) then uses one single test to try an debunk all the other tests.  Was he at the amplifier test - no, but he still is talking as though what he believes is fact with absolutely nothing but his own opinion to back him up.  He sets out his stall staight from the off using terms like "absurd conclusion" which instanly makes it more like an ill informed rant than somebody trying to disprove something, and more and more reading through the article, he sounds like a bitter person who refuses to believe that there may or may not be minor differences with things hifi as otherwise his repuation may be at stake.

 

I don't think anybody wouldn't say blind tests are not flawed, but they are generally a lot less flawed than sighted tests, which is where his argument falls completley flat on his face.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

Thank you for the link. It puts paid to zealots who espouse blind-testing as the only valid method. Linn have their tune-dem method which is not necessarily blind. And of-course there are other sighted/blind methods too.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

manicm wrote:

Thank you for the link. It puts paid to zealots who espouse blind-testing as the only valid method. 

 

but that arrticle doesn't do that at all.  It's no different than any random post on here....

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

cheeseboy wrote:

I don't think anybody wouldn't say blind tests are not flawed, but they are generally a lot less flawed than sighted tests, 

Please substantiate this self-admitted generalisation.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

manicm wrote:

cheeseboy wrote:

I don't think anybody wouldn't say blind tests are not flawed, but they are generally a lot less flawed than sighted tests, 

Please substantiate this self-admitted generalisation.

 

hows about I do that after you substantiate why you think one mans rant puts pay to all those "zealots" ?

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

manicm wrote:

Thank you for the link. It puts paid to zealots who espouse blind-testing as the only valid method. Linn have their tune-dem method which is not necessarily blind. And of-course there are other sighted/blind methods too.

 

His reason for damning blind testing is because he believes the results are "absurd".

However, if I take his first example, that HD audio sounds identical to CD quality audio, it isn't absurd at all. the science behind the creation of the CD standard was used to create an "exact" copy of the original analogue sound within the boundaries of human hearing, which it does.

 

A 16 bit by 44.1 KHz signal is "able" to perfectly construct any analogue sound, within the 0-22 KHz range. The fact that some HD versions of albums sound better is irrelevant, as they have been mastered differently.

So his "absurd conclusion" is in fact the scientfic, yet to be disproved conclusion.

 

No testing system for sound is perfect. Blind testing is better than sighted as it removes some of the unnecessary stimuli that can and do change our perception...the ONLY thing you need to test something for sound quality is your ears. Any extra inputs from the senses will affect what we *think* we hear. That's a fact, an indisputable fact (look up the oft quoted McGurk affect for the best example).

the article is idiotic in the extreme and proves nothing other than the guy is a moron.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

He would say that of course.

Of course blind tests don't work because you can't tell whats being tested, so how can you tell if its a $1,000 cable or a $1 one? As these guys found out:  http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

 

Someone who does not agree:  http://seanolive.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/dishonesty-of-sighted-audio-product.html

 

And someone else:  http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing.htm

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The objective of bind trials

The objective of bind trials is to remove sources of potential bias. Clearly, not every trial is perfect and much psycology comes in to play and confounding factors need to be recognised. However, evidence is evidence and as such can be helpful in making decisions. I suspect that the peson who authored the avguide article will beleive in homeopathic treatments for HIV and cancer.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

cheeseboy wrote:

quite frankly that article is just a crock of balls.

You owe me one monitor and a gobfull of coffee .

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

floyd droid wrote:

cheeseboy wrote:

quite frankly that article is just a crock of balls.

You owe me one monitor and a gobfull of coffee .

 

Was just going to post my chuckling at the same line. Nicely summarised.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

The author described his piece as 'a fairly reasoned and in-depth analysis of why blind listening tests are flawed'. I missed that bit. Would the OP care to point to the reasoning and analysis?

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

cheeseboy wrote:

hows about I do that after you substantiate why you think one mans rant puts pay to all those "zealots" ?

I never said blind-testing has no merit. But you've failed to substantiate your generalisation that sighted testing is inferior. To date I've seen no scientific evidence of this.

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Blind testing, with all of

Blind testing, with all of its variables and flaws still manages to produce repeatable results and evidence.

This article seems to provide no evidence at all other than one mans opinion.

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RE: Blind Listening Tests are Flawed

fr0g wrote:

the science behind the creation of the CD standard was used to create an "exact" copy of the original analogue sound within the boundaries of human hearing, which it does.

What you expediently and conveniently, and perhaps deliberately leave out is the fact that late into CD development it didn't have the capacity to hold Beethoven's 9th symphony. Herbert Von Karajan almost single-handedly made Sony/Philips fix this.

I have no truck with CDs, I buy them to this day, but your assertion that 'the CD standard was used to create an '"exact" copy of the original analogue sound within the boundaries of human hearing' is neither a fact nor accurate - it may have been good enough but was limited by the technology of the day.

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