Imagine What Car? coming out with the line, "they're all tin boxes on 4 wheels, don't waste your money"...
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.
You definitely would if they blindfolded you and then stuck you in the driver's seat!
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
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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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.
The wood will give a very natural, organic sort of tone although it may lack dynamic impact. They'd clash horribly with my carpet though.
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You could buy a class A amp and combine the two
Was that you behind me on the A63? Sorry about that, I was testing a new car stereo.
Er, I love you to John!
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"A music lover will stop what he's doing and stay glued to a favorite piece of music even if it's coming over a 3" speaker or a public-address system..." - Ken Rockwell
But we still get toaster reviews and people find then useful and will buy toasters from them.
Really? Toaster reviews? I can't believe this, I just bought the shiniest. Do the reviews mention anything about differences in the toasts flavour?
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 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.
I believe that conducting blind ABX tests would have a negative effect on WHF, (but not on circulation) and thus I can totally understand why they're not conducted by them (and it isn't because they're boring!!). But, it's one thing not conducting them, and it's quite another conducting their own, non ABX blind tests, that consistently offer counter evidence to the results of blind ABX tests that others have conducted.
Why allow the placebo effect (that is obviously going to come into play in these big question feautures), to indicate performance benefits from things that proper ABX testing have concluded have no benefits?
No blind ABX tests? Who can blame them.. But is it ethical to counter such tests in this way? Thus helping to sell snake oil in a contrived way!!
"I needed toaster and I bought it."
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?
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.
When I sat down and listened "critically" (whatever that is) between a couple of cables when they were being swapped round, I was listening hard, making sure I could hear certain points in favourite tracks. If the cymbals sounded like cymbals, and pianos sounded like pianos and so on, then I decided that they were pretty much identical in performance and that was that.
So then I'm relaxing one night and listened to the Marantz player with my Atlas Navigators in it. Not really paying attention too much but knew the track, whatever it was, and was busy doing some paperwork. Didn't really enjoy what I was hearing (Joni's "Night Ride Home" album, which is a big favourite of mine). Swapped out the pricey Atlas Nav's and put some Monster Interlink 400s in. About £40 a pair once upon a time. Much better, the muddiness disappeared. I plugged the Nav's into the Denon and that sounded better the next time I listened to it (replacing the £3 Fisual coax cable in there) on there!
I've no doubt that all types of testing are beneficial, but there's a lot to be said for being relaxed, not focusing too much on the gear. Over analysing just takes people away from the sole point of the hobby for many folk (which is the pleasure of listening or watching to a piece or music or film). No fun there.
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But the thing is, the big question in question doesn't answer any questions, what it does do is allude to the benefits of the products involved. Inadvertantly? No, I think it's obviously designed to do this, for obvious reasons.
As an entertaining feature? No, sorry, I'm just being silly aren't I
As I remember though, the HDMI cable BQ feature suggested two of the readers preferred the cheaper HDMI. So not sure how that benefitted the evil cable manufacturers.
...Thus helping to sell snake oil in a contrived way!!
And he was doing so well too...
(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?
It was sh*t. Microwaved Vectra of the day. I'd still have one mine, as a fairly well used and cheap fast wagon in 2.3HOT aero version, but then what do I know, I own a Skoda.
JRiver MC17 -> Cambridge Audio DACmagic+ -> Roksan Caspian M2 -> ProAc D18
If a review states item x has more bass, I want it be because it has got more bass, not because it's got a really heavy case. Clearly articles need to be readable and in keeping with the style of mag, but sorting out real performance gains from those that are purely cosmetic would, IMO, be very much in the interest of the consumer, audiophile or not.
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