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Old 18th May 2005, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default The great ABX debate: Atkinson vs Kreuger

is now on Stereophile's website:
http://www.stereophile.com/news/050905debate/
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Old 18th May 2005, 02:40 PM   #2
keyser is offline keyser  Netherlands
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funny!

"By the end of the hour, if you had been a recent arrival from another planet and had oriented yourself to life in the USA by watching action flicks and video games, you would have been certain that Arnold B. Krueger was God and John Atkinson was a pathetic girly man.
Time for a reality check..."

And then come a few anecdotes. Not one factual argument.
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Old 18th May 2005, 03:00 PM   #3
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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Intersting. A couple of points I would like to pick out:

Quote:
incontrovertible evidence that ABX is the only adequate method for evaluating equipment.
I don't think any objectivists would claim that. There are other double-blind test methods that are equally valid, if not moreso. The only important factor is that the tests must be double-blind. You could take a piece of equipment home with you and listen to it for as long as you want, just as long as you don't know what you are listening to.


Quote:
John, on the other hand, has participated in a large number of blind tests over the past 28 years, and has discovered that it is "extraordinarily hard to produce anything but a statistically null result." In the end, he has concluded that if so-called objective testing lets you down, it is best to follow Stereophile founder J. Gordon Holt's strategy and judge equipment by how it sounds playing real music in real time.
Alternatively, you could conclude that most of the differences that people believe are audible, are in fact psychological. In order to determine whether that is true, or if ABX is really flawed, it would be necessary to compare results from ABX tests with those from other types of double-blind test. If they yielded different results then the tests are probably affecting the results. If not, then the results are probably correct.
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Old 18th May 2005, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by keyser
And then come a few anecdotes. Not one factual argument.
Would you expect anything less from Stereophile?

BTW, I was reading the Hi Fi trade rag, British Audio Journal the other month, and it seeems that tweaks, like cable, stands, connectors etc, now make up 65% of the profit margin of High St dealers. With that sort of money involved, it's a loosing battle...
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Old 22nd May 2005, 06:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Evil
ABX is really flawed
ABX is flawed. At least statistically. Because of the forced choice the only results that are valid in an ABX test are those where a difference is shown. The test is not strong enuff to say 2 DUTs are the same.

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Old 22nd May 2005, 06:40 AM   #6
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Yes - stereophile.. I had subscribed to it since 1989, but stopped last year. The bull was getting too thick to wade through. Although, I liked cheapskate sam tellig. Too bad they let skull go - he was so nuts it was fun to read and see what hyperbole he would come up with next.

I stopped worrying about cables ever since I tried to pin down - sighted - the difference between a regular radioshack 9.50 cable, an audioquest for 150$ and goertz flatcable (copper)
There were maybe some differences - but I was unable to pin it down.

So - no highend tweaks for this guy. Canare L4E6s with neutrik xlr for balanced, Belden coax with canare rcap termination for rca, Canare 4S11 for speakers.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 12:04 PM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
The test is not strong enuff to say 2 DUTs are the same.
No test can "prove" a negative hypothesis. I cannot "prove" that Santa doesn't come down the chimney somewhere or that somewhere the speed of light in vacuo isn't constant. So this is not a defect of the test, it's a function of logic.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by keyser
funny!

"By the end of the hour, if you had been a recent arrival from another planet and had oriented yourself to life in the USA by watching action flicks and video games, you would have been certain that Arnold B. Krueger was God and John Atkinson was a pathetic girly man.
[snip]

... which probably says more about "life in the USA by watching action flicks and video games" then about Atkinson or Kreuger

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Old 22nd May 2005, 12:40 PM   #9
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... more OT: It is very normal, to be expected, that the results, preferences if you prefer, between blind and sighted testing are different. To expect that double blind tests give the same results as sighted tests points to a basic misunderstanding.
Double blind tests are designed to try to limit you perception to the sound of a componens only. This gives a certain result or preference or whatever.

Now, in sighted tests, one cannot avoid that the perception is also influenced by the look of the component, peer opinion, reputation, design, size, color, price, what have you.
As I have given numourous examples in this forum just a single one: Floyd Toole, Director of Engineering at Harman International, has clearly shown that listener preferences for speakers change between blind and sighted tests. Google "Science in the service of Art" for his article. This is normal, to be expected, and is not limited to audio.

I never tried, but I am confident that most peoples preferences for women based either on just the voice or based on full view and sight of the person, would also be different.

So, this has nothing to do with "overheated imagination", and using that term is unfair and incorrect. It is just a matter of how we humans are put together.

Jan Didden
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Old 22nd May 2005, 01:06 PM   #10
AJinFLA is offline AJinFLA  United States
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I think the most fascinating part of the article was that the writer is a (3rd Place) Grand Champion at the International Whistlers Convention. (Yes I had to look it up to see if it meant what I thought it meant). He is certainly qualified to review equipment at Stereophile with those sort of credentials. $2500 for a power cord, err cable If people want to delude themselves this way to make them happy, so be it. It's their money. Remember the saying......A fool and his money are easily parted...
. If these imaginary differences please the listener, more power to them, after all it's THEIR listening experience. Allow me a laugh when you state it as reality though.

Cheers,

AJ
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