If you think otherwise I strongly advise you to take a blind or an ABX test to find out just how difficult it is.
The incredible power of expectation bias, placebo effect and the general ability of all listeners to 'hear' with their eyes is quite astonishing and, if you have never taken part in such a test, it is probably impossible to convince anyone of the truth of these statements.
Good luck, I think you're wasting your time though.
When i was still in the industry we carried out a lot of blind testing in the shop, not for customers of course, but for our own amusement and enlightenment.
They were not double blind or carried out with any degree of scientific rigor but they did prove to us just how small the differences between quite different components could be.
Of course there are differences, some components (and some cables for that matter) are deliberately 'voiced' to stand out in a simple demonstration, others deliberately designed to sound loud or more subtly have a slight presence peak to sound 'clearer' than the competition. In level matched tests where gross frequency response abberations are removed these differences usually disappear.
Also in many systems the differences that you do hear are the way some components interact with each other, amplifier frequency response being modified by 'difficult' speaker (or cable) loads for example, noisy DACS upsetting wide bandwidth amplifiers but not those with more modest response are just a couple of examples.
There are often real audible differences between different components, but the differeneces are often not what you think they are.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Some people are reluctant to listen to equipment precisely because they do not trust what they hear.
There are huge numbers of properly conducted, scientific listening tests that prove quite conclusively that sighted listening tests are, by and large, useless when it comes to evaluating hi-fi equipment, particularly electronic components.
This does not mean that all amplifiers sound the same in the real world but in controlled testing where competent designs are run solely within their designed operating range you would not be able to tell the difference.
How can you not trust what you hear?
I mean if you hear a difference why doubt it, why presume its this plasibo effect, to me that makes no sense. Whats even more suprising is trying to convince people that its all imagined, thats jusy stupid imo.
if you have speakers good enough to pick up subtle differences in the music thats been presented to them from cables between an amp/source how can that be dismissed as the mind playing games because a cable looks better - and how would a sighted test prove useless anyway?
If you can hear a difference chances are there is a difference - as I've said general listening all amps DO sound the same more or less, (within a power band) its when you actually listen the night and day differences become apparent - variations in bass notes, sharpness of high notes, seperation of individual parts, depth of field etc.
If you've ever read me in any of these 'snake oil' threads ...what no?....ahhh never mind... I will forever challenge any doubter to meet up at an independent venue (close to me) and under the cunning guise of doing a demo compare cables - no ABX testing, no science just a straight sit down and compare cables with decent kit, usually when I do that the thread drops dead...I dunno why....not like I'm gonna rob anybody....but seriously how can you not trust what you hear?
....but seriously how can you not trust what you hear?
Because it isn't "what you hear" it's about how your brain interprets the signal your ears receive. What you are concious of "hearing" is a result of the brain processing all the sensory input, not just the sound.
Its something that has been demonstrated over and over again in all manner of tests.
Why is it that optical illusions are so readily accepted by people yet auditory illusions are not? At least not by audiophiles.
What does it matter anyway - spend your money; if it makes you happy that's all that counts.
Lol...... you're so crazy......
No, just educated.
The crazy i'm picking up....the educated...no...no..naaah, its not coming through.....just teasing.
Seriously Pauln, do you think that makes sense 'sonic illusions' - I mean think about it, sonic illusions, if your music sounds more detailed or bassier after the change of a cable say, its more likely a sonic illusion than that your speakers getting more or less of a signal and altering the sound accordingly that the human ear/brain can actually hear/differenciate ....seriously?
Synology NAS + ATV2 > ADM9RS
Yes seriously, you really need to do your homework.
Just for amusement, a very simple illustration of how easily the brain can be fooled by what we do or do not hear.
I'm reminded of the old motto. "Never argue with idiots, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience".
i think this blog from an engineer should be required reading for anyone thinking of buying a new hifi. it's a shame most people seem to choose to believe a marketing department over someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
To quote the blog:
'WHEN SPECS ARE NOT ENOUGH: First the easy part. For speakers, headphone and phono cartridges I think everyone agrees it’s tough to look at the specs and know exactly what they will sound like. You can still make some valid comparisons but the specs only give you a partial idea of the sound. With speakers and headphones the acoustics are a big part of the listening experience—all rooms and ear/head geometries are different. The sound of cartridges are altered by the tonearm and turntable geometry they’re used in (effective arm length, VTA, arm resonance, damping, etc.). They also perform very differently playing worn vinyl as stylus tips come in an almost endless variety of shapes and sizes. So cartridge A rides in a different part of the groove than cartridge B. And measurements are limited by the relatively low resolution of vinyl test albums. So, in other words, your mileage may vary and caveat emptor. You have to listen to speakers, headphones and cartridges to fully evaluate them. But that’s much less true with electronics.'
So headphones and speakers contain no electronics whatsoever? He's clearly contradicting himself here. As far as his blog goes I'm neither here nor there.
Also to quote
'Think about the implications of the above. Most subjective audiophiles claim to hear differences between CD players, DACs, and indeed most anything that performs a digital to analog conversion. They also consider SACD and other high resolution formats as being plainly superior. Why can’t audiophiles detect any difference at all when the music is subjected to an extra A/D and then another extra D/A process when they don’t know that’s happening?'
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with him, but the first part of the second sentence is categorically wrong. The sound quality between my first CD player and my first DVD player was astonishingly marked - and there was nothing subjective about that because the difference was just plain to hear. And I loathed a NAD player I briefly owned too.
All in all his piece has some merit, but as with all media reading one needs to filter the signal from the noise.
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
"one needs to filter the signal from the noise" - true for most of the posts on here as well.
Headphones with single drivers (the majority by far) will contain no electronic components. What components do you think they have?
Speakers with multiple drivers (except speakers with internal amplification) will contain passive electronic components in their crossovers, but no active components. While it is open to interpretation, the term 'electronics' is generally used to cover active circuits, not circuits that just contain passive components.
then come back and tell me how you trust your ears?
This is an old story, the version I heard was that a prestigious UK speaker manufacturer of both domestic and professional models was presenting it's new multi thousand pound recording monitors to a group of recording industry profesionals.
The pros, recording engineers and the like, were somewhat fazed by a requst from the speaker manufacturer that they use some specific hi end speaker cable and made sure it was properly 'sexed' for direction.
Anyway, the presentation went as planned and the new monitors were quite a success, until a couple of cheeky sound engineers reveiled that while one speaker used the prescribed hi end cable the other used a cable of 'bell wire' with a selection of 'foreign objects', in this case, wire coat hanger, bent nail and some 'silver' paper wrapped around a biro, soldered into the line for the other.
Such stories are amusing but their are plenty of real, scientifically rigorous, tests that show that even experienced listeners can not tell the difference between cables in a level matched, blind test.
I'm with you to a certain extent, but at it's most extreme, this theory would have me believe that the difference in SQ I perceive between my Marantz PM66Ki and something cheap by Matsui is purely down to expectation bias and unscientific testing, and I can't buy that. It's probably more true to say that after a certain quality threshold (not sure how you quantify or measure what that is) the differences follow the laws of diminishing returns, and at that point you're possibly more influenced by expectation bias than the real qualitative differences between products.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 > HRT II+ DAC • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • MS 10i speakers [on loan]
Also cluttering-up the place: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
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