TRUST YOUR EARS ........!!
But what a phool believes ... he hears
No wise man has the power to reason away
- With apologies to The Doobie Brothers
and the ignorant just try to hide their ignorance with really really weak sarcasm...no its not even that, I have challenged you and others to prove my points and have also been willing to make a wager. Wise men....prrrft!
The Jehovah's Witness line was better but I've used that before.
I believe you're the one that ignores all the blind testing and the science? That's ignorance.
No doubt you've seen those line drawings of optical illusions - they are fairly entertaining & give a glimse into the inner workings of how we process data. At the minimum they show that things are not quite as simple as expected. From this example, I'd suggest that ALL our senses can be fooled to some degree including hearing. Consider a noisy party where many are talking yet we are able to somehow block out much of the extraneous sounds & hold a conversation. Not an example of fooling as such but illustrates the complexities involved.
Most of our perceptions happen not with our sense organs but in our brain where a great deal of filtering of uneeded data allows us to make out our surroundings pretty efficiently. I used to think that my hearing was consistent & the idea it could be fooled - impossible, I now know this is not the case. Many changes we hear are generally pretty subtle - it's not as though we are talking about going from not being able to understand speech to be able to understand it. Reality is experienced as a heavily filtered time-delayed illusion & a damned clever one at that! It feels so real.
I'm far from being an objectivist - if was, I would have spent a fraction on Hi Fi equipment but having a technical background does mean a degree of understanding of was is probable & what isn't. This allows me to concentrate on proven concepts before exploring the more left-field ones without dismissing them utterly as some seem to. Ultimately, it's my ears I listen with. Looking at measured data is a chore, not a pleasure, despite understanding much of that data & knowing how it was obtained. It's not as though looking through measurements gives much of an insight on how something will sound - not to me anyway. I invite you to rethink the idea that your hearing can't be fooled - I say if it wasn't capable of being fooled, music would be meaningless.
busb, I read you - but consider this - you have a system on it you play the same track over and over again - as the system warms the sound changes, subtle changes maybe. But from cold you hear the bass becoming fuller, vocals more projected instruments becoming more realistic with a fuller tone. Are we to believe this is not real, we the listener are only fooling ourselves - creating our own illusions.
That maybe we are just getting into the music or is the reality that performance does change and the system does change the presentation of the music its playing as it gets to its optimum tempreture?
Maybe it depends on the quality of your speakers - maybe with poorly designed speakers you really cannot hear any difference or maybe the listener really needs to get a match and give his/her ears a clean.
To expand you listen to your system (its fixed) one track - you notice a triangle left of centre its clarity striking, you hear a hand clap outside of the right speaker only, it sounds like a hand clap - you change nothing more than a cable suddenly that triangle does not sound so sharp, the hand clap sounds more like a slap on a table, distinctly different than what you heard a few moments before....you must dismis that down to your ears fooling you?....seriously?
People accept it, have faith in your ability to differentiate changes in sound....... it does not make you a wizard or a witch and no one will be knocking at your door to burn you at the stake.
Please do not confuse warming up with burning in or other such imagined effects. The parameters of electronic components are temperature sensitive. Designers spend a long time trying to iron out these dependencies in their designs, but there is every chance that the overall response of an analogue electronic system will change as temperature changes. In systems that need high degrees of stability, it is common to have temperature controlled 'ovens' to maintain a constant temperature for the more critical components. Whether these temperature effects are audible in a home setup with a 'normal' amplifier is another matter, but the effect is real.
As for 'Trust your ears', human perception is extremely unreliable, and subject to all kinds of bias. The last thing to do is trust your ears, they really are not trustworthy. Have a google around on the extreme lengths that go into reliable human testing - double blind being a good example.
It is worth looking at. Just as an example, in drug trials, it was found that if the clinician administering the drug knew which was real and which was placebo, that the unconcious cues given to the patient (who didn't know which was real and which was placebo) were sufficient to skew the results. That's bias one step removed. So all the 'well my girlfriend could tell the difference immediately' posts probably have more to do with the enthusiastic owner of a new mains lead / squidgy acoustic pad / speaker cable saying 'you can hear the difference, cant you??' than any perception change on the part of the long suffering girlfriend.
It is also noticeable that when tests are conducted to remove bias (ABX or similar) most of the differences disappear. One can only guess why the HiFi press shy away from such testing.
Good analogue cables don't add any noticable distortion so they will all sound the same because they can't make the original signal any better than it already is.
Bad cables that do add phase distortion can make it worse though and I suspect this is what often gets mistaken for an 'improvement' with some of the overpriced audiophile cables.
This hits the nail on the head for me.
Poor cables can hold a system back and good cables will let the signal pass through without fuss or colouration.
So...what consitutes a good cable?
Thats the thing, is it cost or construction?
For speakers, thick conductors work best.. Lots of strands make it flexible.
The phase distortion stuff is more balderdash!
In the interests of balance it's worth pointing out that your hearing is both less consistent than you think and also more sensitive than you think. Our ability to pick up seemingly inaudible sound is remarkable.
One can certainly speculate on why the hi-fi press doesn't do (much) blind testing. But I can give you one good reason, and it's the same reason why drug companies do as little blind testing as the regulatory authorities will let them get away with: scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.
What classical music are you listening to?
scientifically robust blind testing is time-consuming and expensive.
I expressed myself quite carefully: "scientifically robust blind testing". Without knowing more about how these tests were conducted, it's impossible to say how robust they were. Judging by the pictures, the Spanish test looks pretty amateurish. Certainly it wouldn't be publishable in any of the psychology journals I'm familiar with.
with regards to the home theatre one, this is the company that conducted the tests http://www.dlcdesignaudio.com/
I've posted this before, but it's an interesting article and covers a lot of the phsycology of how and why we purchase things http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/05/19/fanboyism-and-brand-loyalty/
It was robust enough for a trivial matter IMO.
I don't want to get involved in these endless debates on whether cables can or can't make a difference but I can't help but wonder why people keep referring to science? I'm a biologist which does not qualify me to comment either way in this debate however I have yet to see someone produce an article that has been published in a scientific journal supporting either side of the argument. Links to websites and things found on google are not credible in the world of science I'm afraid. I know some people are in engineering and I respect your views from that point of view but could other people stop referring to science unless they can produce published articles.
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I agree. Too much Googling being passed off as 'science'.
Davis, Fred E., "Effects of cable, Loudspeaker and Amplifier Interactions", JAES, vol. 39, no. 6 Jun 91
Used to be easy to find, the JAES (Journal of the Audio Engineering Society) have now put a paywall for non members. You may be able to find a pdf copy on another site to download. The paper is over 20 years old, but not much has changed in electrical conduction theory since then (or for the 100 years prior to that).
I have to agree with you there.
What I was trying to explain is that only in the most extreme of circumstances with a badly designed cable that has an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance it is possible to alter the tone slightly be altering the phase.
However I hope that these comments haven't confused the issue. Any normal OFC speaker cable will work perfectly without adding any audible distortion. Normal OFC speaker cables won't have an excessive amount of capacitance or inductance so they will all sound the same because they don't introduce any audible distortion.
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Thanks for that. You are the first person who has actually provided such a reference.
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