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RE: Mains cables

TrevC wrote:

Expectation bias.

TrevC, I'd like to know what grounds you have for thinking that expectation bias is in play here. Do you have any psychological expertise? 

There are many cognitive biases, and they're very complex. I speak as someone who has some academic knowledge of this field, built up over twenty years or so. I'd be hesitant to accuse anyone of  a cognitive bias without good evidence and a full understanding of the subject.

In my experience, amateur psychologists are usually bad psychologists.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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RE: Mains cables

matt49 wrote:

TrevC wrote:

Expectation bias.

TrevC, I'd like to know what grounds you have for thinking that expectation bias is in play here. Do you have any psychological expertise? 

There are many cognitive biases, and they're very complex. I speak as someone who has some academic knowledge of this field, built up over twenty years or so. I'd be hesitant to accuse anyone of  a cognitive bias without good evidence and a full understanding of the subject.

In my experience, amateur psychologists are usually bad psychologists.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you pay a ridiculous sum of  money for something as simple as a mains lead you expect it to be better or you wouldn't have bought it. It wasn't intended as an insult, it applies to everyone.

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RE: Mains cables

TrevC wrote:

matt49 wrote:

TrevC wrote:

Expectation bias.

TrevC, I'd like to know what grounds you have for thinking that expectation bias is in play here. Do you have any psychological expertise? 

There are many cognitive biases, and they're very complex. I speak as someone who has some academic knowledge of this field, built up over twenty years or so. I'd be hesitant to accuse anyone of  a cognitive bias without good evidence and a full understanding of the subject.

In my experience, amateur psychologists are usually bad psychologists.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you pay a ridiculous sum of  money for something as simple as a mains lead you expect it to be better or you wouldn't have bought it. It wasn't intended as an insult, it applies to everyone.

 

Hi,

I didnt pay much for my mains lead and it made an improvement. People just like to share what has helped in improving their hifi system. Its about enjoying the music.  I let my ears make the decision. Have a good day.

Cheers

Steve. Smile

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RE: Mains cables

stephennic wrote:

Hi,

I didnt pay much for my mains lead and it made an improvement. People just like to share what has helped in improving their hifi system. Its about enjoying the music.  I let my ears make the decision. Have a good day.

Cheers

Steve. Smile

No problem with that at all.

However it is worth pointing out that if you are aware of some of the physics that makes hi-fi work and some of the phsycology of just how easy it is to fool the brain regarding what we hear, then it may become easier to "make the decision".

Take the mains lead you mention, the physics will tell us that a few feet of cable, on the end of miles and miles of transmission cables canot realistically make a difference, but it also tells us that a screened cable in an electronically noisy environment (the listening room) may well be able to keep noise out of the system, improving sound quality. 

Similarly I would encourage anyone, given the chance, to take part in a blind test, not to show anyone up, but to show just how unreliable our audio memory is and to show just how small differences in equipment can be, even when those differences are, by normal standards, considered to be huge.

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RE: Mains cables

There is a problem with blind testing that I read about on another forum .  It is contained in the quote below and makes a lot of sense to me .

I must add these are not my words but a quote from an engineer who is a member of the Audio Engineering Society .

 

"Blind tests don't work for the simple reason that when you hear system A, your brain remembers details in the music so that you always hear them again even if system B doesn't reproduce it as well. This is a well-known psychological/psychoacoustic affect, at least well-known in the Audio Engineering Society. Those people who rant about ABX testing being the only way haven't got a clue."

 

 Could this be one explanation as to why blind testing rarely seems to deliver any meaningful results that could not have been obtained by chance ?

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RE: Mains cables

Electro wrote:

There is a problem with blind testing that I read about on another forum .  It is contained in the quote below and makes a lot of sense to me .

I must add these are not my words but a quote from an engineer who is a member of the Audio Engineering Society .

 

"Blind tests don't work for the simple reason that when you hear system A, your brain remembers details in the music so that you always hear them again even if system B doesn't reproduce it as well. This is a well-known psychological/psychoacoustic affect, at least well-known in the Audio Engineering Society. Those people who rant about ABX testing being the only way haven't got a clue."

 

 Could this be one explanation as to why blind testing rarely seems to deliver any meaningful results that could not have been obtained by chance ?

There's an even simpler explanation for the non-meaningful results you talk about.  Maybe there's no meaningful difference between the stuff being tested!  Laughing

Chris

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RE: Mains cables

Covenanter wrote:

Electro wrote:

There is a problem with blind testing that I read about on another forum .  It is contained in the quote below and makes a lot of sense to me .

I must add these are not my words but a quote from an engineer who is a member of the Audio Engineering Society .

 

"Blind tests don't work for the simple reason that when you hear system A, your brain remembers details in the music so that you always hear them again even if system B doesn't reproduce it as well. This is a well-known psychological/psychoacoustic affect, at least well-known in the Audio Engineering Society. Those people who rant about ABX testing being the only way haven't got a clue."

 

 Could this be one explanation as to why blind testing rarely seems to deliver any meaningful results that could not have been obtained by chance ?

There's an even simpler explanation for the non-meaningful results you talk about.  Maybe there's no meaningful difference between the stuff being tested!  Laughing

Chris

 

That's exactly right. If you blind test speakers you will hear large differences because large differences exist. 

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RE: Mains cables

Covenanter wrote:

Electro wrote:

There is a problem with blind testing that I read about on another forum .  It is contained in the quote below and makes a lot of sense to me .

I must add these are not my words but a quote from an engineer who is a member of the Audio Engineering Society .

"Blind tests don't work for the simple reason that when you hear system A, your brain remembers details in the music so that you always hear them again even if system B doesn't reproduce it as well. This is a well-known psychological/psychoacoustic affect, at least well-known in the Audio Engineering Society. Those people who rant about ABX testing being the only way haven't got a clue."

Could this be one explanation as to why blind testing rarely seems to deliver any meaningful results that could not have been obtained by chance ?

There's an even simpler explanation for the non-meaningful results you talk about.  Maybe there's no meaningful difference between the stuff being tested!  Laughing

Chris

Chris, why do you think your explanation is simpler? Both explanations involve us positing some form of cognitive bias: whether it's the bias that predisposes people to hear the same thing twice or the bias that predisposes people to hear differences in sighted listening tests. Is one really simpler than the other?

:cheers:

Matt

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RE: Mains cables

stephennic wrote:

TrevC wrote:

matt49 wrote:

TrevC wrote:

Expectation bias.

TrevC, I'd like to know what grounds you have for thinking that expectation bias is in play here. Do you have any psychological expertise? 

There are many cognitive biases, and they're very complex. I speak as someone who has some academic knowledge of this field, built up over twenty years or so. I'd be hesitant to accuse anyone of  a cognitive bias without good evidence and a full understanding of the subject.

In my experience, amateur psychologists are usually bad psychologists.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you pay a ridiculous sum of  money for something as simple as a mains lead you expect it to be better or you wouldn't have bought it. It wasn't intended as an insult, it applies to everyone.

 

Hi,

I didnt pay much for my mains lead and it made an improvement. People just like to share what has helped in improving their hifi system. Its about enjoying the music.  I let my ears make the decision. Have a good day.

Cheers

Steve. Smile

 

Mains wires can have no effect on sound quality. It isn't possible.

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RE: Mains cables

MadSquirrel

Over the past twenty years or so I have I've tried numerous different mains cables (ranging from cheap generics to expensive high-end - Transparent, Soniclink/Black Rhodium, Russ Andrews, MIT, Belden, etc) with numerous different products and in numerous different locations, and from a personal perspective I couldn't notice any real discernible differences, and on the odd occasions I did,  I believe it was more to do with cleaner mains rather then the leads themselves.

I have personally used the cheaper Maplins lead, and in truth couldn't notice any audible difference between it and the generic leads originally supplied with the different pieces of equipment - cd players, integrated amps  and a basic power amp, (I could not try it with my higher powered power amps as they have C16 IEC plugs).

The bottom line is that irrespective of whether myself or other people can or cannot hear a difference, it is your ears with which you listen and they are what will determine any apparent difference with your equipment and your home. If possible try and find a dealer willing to home trial a few mains leads and or offer a full guaranteed no quibble return and then let your ears decide for you - nothing worse then forking out large sums of money on something (e.g. mains cables) only to find out that in reality you cannot hear a difference between that and the basic generic lead that came with the equipment, and then spending the next months trying to convince (trick) yourself into thinking you can hear a difference simply to justify your expensive outlay.

All the very best.

 

 

 

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RE: Mains cables

TrevC wrote:

Mains wires can have no effect on sound quality. It isn't possible.

So, let me nail my colours to the mast. It is so easy (and cheap) for any halfway competent amp designer to throw in a couple of caps and maybe an inductor in the incoming mains circuitry in their amp that will completely filter any mains bourne noise that it is difficult to imagine that any of the 'HiFi' amps discussed on these pages wouldn't have similar circuitry fitted. In which case, no amount of fairy dust in the mains cable will make any difference whatsovever.

However, TrevC, it is quite possible for an amp with no filtering circuitry operating in a high RF noise environment to be sensitive to the choice of mains cable. So while it is possible for a mains cable to make a difference, it is very unlikely.     

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RE: Mains cables

andyjm wrote:

TrevC wrote:

Mains wires can have no effect on sound quality. It isn't possible.

So, let me nail my colours to the mast. It is so easy (and cheap) for any halfway competent amp designer to throw in a couple of caps and maybe an inductor in the incoming mains circuitry in their amp that will completely filter any mains bourne noise that it is difficult to imagine that any of the 'HiFi' amps discussed on these pages wouldn't have similar circuitry fitted. In which case, no amount of fairy dust in the mains cable will make any difference whatsovever.

However, TrevC, it is quite possible for an amp with no filtering circuitry operating in a high RF noise environment to be sensitive to the choice of mains cable. So while it is possible for a mains cable to make a difference, it is very unlikely.     

 

That would cause background noise when nothing was being played, and nobody has mentioned that.

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RE: Mains cables

Surely if there's RFI in the mains then it's going to be all the way through the dozens of metres of cheap wires in the walls/under the floors and won't suddenly disappear just because there's one metre of shielded cable on the end.

 

I've never really seen anyone explain on what basis expensive mains cables are meant to work. Anything bad would surely have got into the earlier part of the chain.

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RE: Mains cables

MakkaPakka wrote:

Surely if there's RFI in the mains then it's going to be all the way through the dozens of metres of cheap wires in the walls/under the floors and won't suddenly disappear just because there's one metre of shielded cable on the end.

I've never really seen anyone explain on what basis expensive mains cables are meant to work. Anything bad would surely have got into the earlier part of the chain.

I can only answer anecdotally, the full details are in an earlier post, but in the electrically noisy environment of a hi-fi show the use of an Isotek power conditioner, an early model similar to the EVO3 Aquarius, and a handful of their cables improved the sound of the system significantly.

Maybe it was the isolation provided by the filters in the mains conditioner, I really don't know, but the package as a whole removed a layer of grunge that wrecked the performance of an otherwise very decent system.

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RE: Mains cables

matt49 wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

Electro wrote:

There is a problem with blind testing that I read about on another forum .  It is contained in the quote below and makes a lot of sense to me .

I must add these are not my words but a quote from an engineer who is a member of the Audio Engineering Society .

"Blind tests don't work for the simple reason that when you hear system A, your brain remembers details in the music so that you always hear them again even if system B doesn't reproduce it as well. This is a well-known psychological/psychoacoustic affect, at least well-known in the Audio Engineering Society. Those people who rant about ABX testing being the only way haven't got a clue."

Could this be one explanation as to why blind testing rarely seems to deliver any meaningful results that could not have been obtained by chance ?

There's an even simpler explanation for the non-meaningful results you talk about.  Maybe there's no meaningful difference between the stuff being tested!  Laughing

Chris

Chris, why do you think your explanation is simpler? Both explanations involve us positing some form of cognitive bias: whether it's the bias that predisposes people to hear the same thing twice or the bias that predisposes people to hear differences in sighted listening tests. Is one really simpler than the other?

:cheers:

Matt

Occam's razor.

Chris

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