Well im more confused now than ever(waves white flag).i thought coming to a hifi forum would help me in my choices for equipment speakers.amps,ect.now all this has confused me so much that im keeping what i got and spending my money on a holiday
You have to cherry-pick through the posts.
I think it would be naive to assume that the lack of blind testing wasn't driven primarily by commercial considerations.
And paranoia sets in. Look, no-one's taking away merit from blind/ABX testing, but to imply this would be for commercial reasons, or that it's the only correct way of testing is just wrong. Why would B&W have done hours and hours of testing of similar components when developing their 685 speaker? So hang on, they must have done comparative/ABX testing. No, yet some will say they were not being scientific enough especially when the said components had apparently the same specs/tolerances yet they had to dig deep to select the right one.
Many here do some reading, read up on measurements and then think they're God, and manufacturers are all wrong. Yes manufacturers are guilty of hype, but please stop making blanket statements like this.
In a way I do blind testing all the time, because on weekends/late at night I listen to music with the lights out. Some differences I have heard in equipment were so apparent that I did not have to do any ABX testing or blind testing. They immediately sounded right or wrong to me.
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And ww should not forget our ears change from hour to hour. I nearly forgot that
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You miss the point! The industry in general has no interest in serious blind testing because they would gain commercial benefit from it. If you sell snake-oil you wouldn't back snake oil testing would you?
PS I like your joke about blind testing and listening in the dark.
You meant to say they would gain no benefit from it? And it doesn't make entire sense to me. It would cost them a bit more, but then they could charge more. Ok, be that as it may, please substantiate. I gave you the example of the 685 speakers. So give me something to substantiate your counterpoint.
My listening with the lights off is no joke I can assure you.
Magnificent reposte, hats off to you sir......
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.
If by 'naturally' and 'automatic' you mean that people prefer to think in fast mode in most circumstances, then yes you're right. But if you mean people always do so by default, then no. No-one prefers to think in fast mode when doing quadratic equations or translating Ancient Greek poetry. Horses for courses.
No, I don't agree. Mathematical equations use a different thought process and there is also nothing subjective about mathematics, there is always an objective and definitive resolution. Solving quadratic equations can not be analogous to listening to different AV equipment for apparent differences, where expectation has bias has already been set by pricing and marketing.
The reason that I don't believe that expectation bias can be truly 'filtered' out, is that for the most part, people don't even know that it exists, hence the need for various forms of blind testing, it removes another unreliable variable.
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Only evidence that it was stated in this thread:
"I don't want to take this too far from the realms of hifi but you are correct, there are plenty of researchers who play down the effects of expectation bias and placebo effect, just as there are plenty who do not."
Ah, I see. But davedotco was just putting up a smokescreen. There was no actual substance in that statement.
My comment was more about observing the irony than factual edification. As a general observation, professionals in any field for all their training that instills rigor in the so-called scientific Method, are just as likely to disagree with each other than not.
In any given field of science scientists agree with one another 99% of the time. The 1% where they disagree is at the cutting edge of science, where new knowledge is being produced and new and controversial theories have to be thought up to explain it. Scientists disagree, then they resolve their disagreements and move on. That's how science works. What would be the point in endlessly repeating Faraday's Law once it's known to work? We pay these people to disagree for a very good reason.
Agree 99% of the time? Blimey, you really aren't kidding either! I beg to differ - even scientists & enginners suffer from many negative emotions such as jealousy, anger etc. They can be incompetent or take a contrary view because they can rather than need to.
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ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
Actually I don't see the relevance of your example. Of course manufacturers test components, they would have to do so in order to produce equipment that met whatever technical specification they were aiming for. And I don't doubt that many manufacturers are aiming for technical excellence.
But the industry as a whole doesn't promote blind testing and you have to ask why not? The answer must be that there is nothing in it for them as a whole. If you could hypothetically for example test all amplifiers at the same price point against each other in a way that would be accepted as a definitive test the only one to win out would the one that came top. That's not a game I would play especially if the product I was making was snake-oil!
PS If it's not a joke I don't understnad the relevance of your point about listening in the dark. Surely you weren't equating it to blind testing?
I suspect we're just talking at cross purposes here, and there's no real disagreement. I'm saying that if a person (n.b. one person) is fully aware of the power of expectation bias -- and you would be a prime example of that person, because you're so keenly aware of its power -- then that person could actually begin to overcome the bias. Or are you saying that in your own case you have no confidence in your own ability to overcome expectation bias? I hope you have a higher opinion of your own abilities. Without wanting to be patronising, you seem like a very intelligent person.
You, on the other hand, seem to be talking not about one hypothetical or actual person, but about the population as a whole. I assume that's what you mean by "for the most part, people don't even know that it exists". And I'd agree with you.
But for my argument, it's irrelevant how the population as a whole behaves. I'm really only interested in my (or your) ability to overcome expectation bias. And as I've said several times on this thread, the scientific evidence from properly conducted psychological experiments indicates that people are able to overcome cognitive biases, assuming they're prepared to make the mental effort.
What classical music are you listening to?
Of course, you're right. People often disagree because they're being irrational. What I meant by saying that scientists agree 99% of the time, is that if you look at the significant knowledge in any given field of science, 99% of that knowledge is uncontested. That was the point of my example of Faraday's Law. Physics is mostly made up of stuff like Farady's Law that everyone agrees on.
Surely if you have excellent source and amplifier and sensitive speakers then cabling is extremely important. Cables might not make the sound of electronics any better but sub standard cables (relatively speaking) will strangle the sound.
Even on budget electronics differences can be heard.
Expectation bias may factor in but it seems an all too conveniently logical argument to make on behalf of doubt.
Enjoy the music!
Cable testing is an odd one. In most properly conducted blind tests most people can not reliably tell the difference between a budget cable and a hi-end cable at substantially higher cost, even one generally aclaimed to be excellent.
Level matching the two samples is critical and difficult enough in practice to make such tests quite difficult to organise, however should you ever get a chance to participate in a blind test it is definitely wort doing.
Blind tests last only a short amount of time though. Quite often subtle differences are only experienced over a longer time period. Sound fatigue is one such element that could only be experienced and judged over extended listening periods.
Blind tests do sound interesting though, I would like to participate in one at some point.
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