I should have said blind "ABX" tests, which is of course what I meant, JD
So set up a magazine that does that and let us know how you get on.
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Do you think it would benefit their readership, if WHF ran the odd blind test of products that have no proven benefit?
You're too late mate; I knew all about IDC's tests page ages ago and the St. Andrews Uni test page before that. Personally, I couldn't care less. I use a £3 coax cable, a £30 interconnect, a £200 pair of Atlas Navigators, a £8 optical cable, a £10 Tesco HDMI cable and a £30 Hitachi HDMI cable. So shoot me.
I don't care either , but come on, what do you think? I think it would be very beneficial to their readership if WHF conducted some blind ABX tests on products that have no proven benefit, like your interconnects and HDMI cables. Surely you have an opinion on whether these tests would help the public?
Probably 90% (or maybe even more) of WHF's readership have never even heard of blind ABX tests. I never had until I joined this forum. Why? Because they don't really have any relevance in the everyday world (and by that I mean most people just don't do blind ABX tests before buying anything). They have a look or a listen at things and then choose the one they like best.
Probably 90% (or maybe even more) of WHF's readership have never even heard of blind ABX tests. I never had until I joined this forum. Why? Because they don't really have any relevance in the everyday world.
And because people buy it because they need a telly?
I don't get why you keep demanding WHF to do this. It's a mainstream "pop" mag, scientifi ABX testing would appeal to a small minority of its readership, and probably have a negative effect on its circulation figures (as the whole idea is pretty boring to most readers I suspect). You can surely tell from the slightly colloquial style where it's target demograph is.
There are other journals with a much greater scientific bias, perhaps better to make this demand of them where it might be a more logical alignment with their position. Nothing at all wrong with the concept of blind testing, just I suspect you are trying to swim upstream here.
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And there's the rub. I remember reading posts made by Alan Sircom on hifi wigwam along the lines of 'mags that engage in ab/x testing go bust, no-one wants to read that everything sounds the same'. Basically, a fair portion of people who regularly buy hifi mags and, by extension, post regularly on hifi forums, actually want there to be differences between bits of wire, etc. I'm just glad I tried my own blind testing and woke up.
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Imagine What Car? coming out with the line, "they're all tin boxes on 4 wheels, don't waste your money"...
Nope; no opinion either way I'm afraid. There are just too many other things in the world to get worked up over and which are far more important. I used to be bothered; hence the £3 interconnect, or the £7 Tesco cable. But then I bought a £30 HDMI cable last year. Why? I'd just bought a Blu-Ray player in Currys. Or Comet, whichever and that was what they had. They had other ones that cost way more, but it was fine for me. It's well built, good construction and works. So does the £7 Tesco one.
And why limit it to just WHF? It's the drum that's banged loudest on another forum that I know about, to the point of obsession at times I think. Add to the list, The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, Hi-Fi's World/Choice/News....just about all of them acknowledge the cable debate and all of them test them.
Whether a bunch of people on a few hifi forums going round in ever decreasing circles make that much of a difference, I have no idea. Changing buying habits (or selling ones) is not that easy. FWIW, I have a lot of time for WHF's approach and honesty and have bought on the back of their recommendation several times.
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They have a look or a listen at things and then choose the one they like best.
According to a couple of shops near me, they tend to just ask for the whf award winners. I once went to a shop in York when I was first thinking of upgrading my first hifi, hoping for some good advice from the sales staff, instead they told me to look through whf and decide what I wanted from the reviews. I've never been back. The shop was Vickers (when they were on Gillygate) in case anyone's interested.
a fair portion of people who regularly buy hifi mags and, by extension, post regularly on hifi forums, actually want there to be differences between bits of wire
I just want them to look pretty on my cable elevators.
I think if you blind folded me, stuck ear plugs in my ears and strapped me into the passenger seat of a Fiat 500 and then a Ferrari Enzo, I'd be able to tell they weren't the same car.
I agree. Very few people buy cars because of their dynamic prowess, mainly the percieved excellence. The original Audi A4 handled like a bag of spanners, the MkII not much better, but that didn't stop it establishing itself a credible alternative to a 3 series, despite the fact that all the way through the 90s it (the beemer) was by far the better drivers car; and we're all drivers, right?
(the beemer) was by far the better drivers car
I preferred my Saab 9-5 to my 3-Series by a factor of about 47 (for those who like measurements). What did the reviews say?
There are loads of products which blind tested would give similar results to hifi. I remember seeing a blind test where a guy sat in the back of a ten year old and a brand new S Class Merc. He was not sure which was which.
Then if you made ten slices of toast from ten different toasters priced from £5 to £100 and asked someone who had not seen which toaster had made what slice, they would be guessing which came from which. But we still get toaster reviews and people find then useful and will buy toasters from them.
There is only so much that we can learn from blind testing and to use such to try and invalidate the results of sighted tests is wrong. WHF does sighted tests, they make no bones about that and are prepared to do blind comparison tests to show how certain products maybe don't perform as expected.
To ask WHF to a blind tests is bit like asking Toaster Magazine to do one. You would get a result that would confuse and perplex and put people off buying that magazine. That is because we buy all our hifi kit and toasters sighted and listen to and make toast sighted. So is not the case that sighted reviews are the most accurate for the real world audiophile and toast aficionado?
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