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Old 18th December 2012, 03:03 AM   #1
br2600 is offline br2600  United States
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Default Bybee Quantum Purifier Measurements and Double Blind Test

There was a lot discussion of the Bybee Quantum Purifier in other threads, but no double blind listening test results, nor any measurements that I can recall. I was able to borrow a pair of Bybee Quantum Purifier "Speaker Bullets" for a day for testing.

These units physically consist of a banana plug, a body that is about 2 1/2 inches long by 1/2 diameter and a 5 way binding post. The units are plugged into an amplifier output and the speaker cables connected to the 5 way binding post, thus putting the Bybee device in series.

The first thing I did was to measure the DC resistance. The resistance was so low that I had to use a Kelvin 4 wire circuit to get an accurate measurement. I obtained a reading of 0.013 ohms on both samples. I then measured the impedance at various frequencies. As expected, the device behaved like an inductance, a very small inductance, the impedance was 0.056 at 100 KHz. Subtracting the DC resistance gives an inductive reactance of 0.043 ohms. Solving for L gives an inductance of 0.0684 microhenrys. One can accomplish the same thing with about 5 turns of #18 wire wound on a 1/2 diameter form 2 inches long. However I suspect that the Bybee device is a straight through conductor surrounded by a ferrite material of some kind.

I then ran some harmonic distortion measurements with a very good 400 watt amplifier into a 8 ohm dummy load at full power. Measurements at 1000 Hz were identical 0.007% with and without the Bybee Quantum Purifier in the circuit. I then measured THD at 20 KHz. THD at 20 KHz on this amplifier measured 0.150% with and 0.155% without the Bybee devices. I ran the amp at full power for 15 minutes and took the measurements again, got 0.145% with and 0.150% without. A change but the difference between the two was the same and very slightly in favor of the Bybee device. Of course one would expect an inductance to filter the higher order harmonics.

A weighed noise measured exactly the same with and without the Bybee devices.

So perhaps there is some "magical" property that my simple measurements would not reveal, so on to the double blind listening tests.

The double blind test set up consists of a relay box controlled by the parallel port of a computer. It is an "ABX" test, in which either A, B or X can be auditioned at will. The computer randomly chooses what source will feed X. The goal of the listener is to choose what X sounds the same as, does it sound like A or does it sound like B? The listener chooses what he thinks X sounds like and the computer records the choice then presents a new trial, with a new random choice for X. This is repeated 20 times and only at the end of the run does the computer reveal what X was for each trial and report the final score. Any score between 40% and 60% is just guessing. Scores between 60% and 75% might mean something but are still not considered highly confident. Anything 75% and above gives a 95% confidence rating that there is an audible difference between the two sources.

I confirmed that the double blind ABX test setup was working correctly. First a run with "B" disconnected, so that X would be silent if "B" was the randomly chosen source. 100% score on that one! Then a second run with A and B both connected with a jumper wire. 45% score, yes, just guessing, as I could not tell the difference.
Finally the jumper was removed from the "B" source and the Bybee Quantum Purifier installed in the "B" circuit.

I first ran the real listening tests from an FM tuner, listening to classical music from the local PBS station and "Alternative" from a college station. Result: 55% score, basically just guessing. Perhaps the FM audio quality was too poor to reveal any difference that the Bybee Quantum Purifier would make.

I then put on an EMI CD recording of Willam Tell. Result first try using the entire overture, 55%, but I thought that I was hearing some difference in high pitched instruments, such as triangles and flutes. I ran another series, but using only portions of the overture with high pitched instruments. My score improved to 60%, but still by no means night and day difference, it could well be a result of statistical fluctuation.

Next a test with vinyl. Leory Anderson Volume II, Mercury Living Presence. I used "The Typewriter" and "The Song of the Bells". again a 60% score. It could still be a statistical fluke, but what I thought I was hearing on high pitched instruments was a slightly "cleaner" sound.

Conclusion: While there *might* be an audible difference, the money spent on ByBee Quantum Purifiers would give a more audible improvement if spent on new speakers or phono cartridge upgrade instead.

Future research to be done: Test with 5 turns of #18 wire as described above and see if I get the same audible results.
 
Old 18th December 2012, 03:10 AM   #2
Pano is online now Pano  United States
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Thanks for that.
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Old 18th December 2012, 11:22 AM   #3
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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Try with a lossy ferrite clamp, as used for EMI suppression.
 
Old 18th December 2012, 11:27 AM   #4
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But we already know ABX destroys the ability to hear the differences which reappear with long term sighted listening.
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Old 19th December 2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Cheers
 
Old 19th December 2012, 05:18 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Very interesting results, thank you for the scientific and unbiased approach and for sharing the results.

Please do this with the 5 turns of 18ga wire mentioned and perhaps a clamp on ferrite if you have the inclination.

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Old 19th December 2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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br2600, if I can ask, how many trials were involved in each of your listening series?

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Old 19th December 2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Nice job!
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Old 11th August 2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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I bought some small purifiers last year to try in some silver ribbon silver bullet ic experiments. More of a lateral move than moving subjective performance up or down. Next tried them out at positive terminals of planar neo 10 and neo 3 pairs. Felt after several weeks they robbed my system of transient snap and focus. They did seem to add some thing in the power umbilical feeding an old 1/2 Nelson MSB dac, but ultimately I was happy to recover my costs by including them in the sale of the 1/2 Nelson and it's tweaked power supply. In my experiences over about 10 months usage the results were not predictable. I have two pieces left. Does anyone think they are worth trying on eithe the inpu or output side of a passive stepped attenuator?
 
Old 11th August 2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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The ancillary question, would you please describe the complete system and listening room? Pictures might help.

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