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Old 2nd March 2011, 02:30 PM   #10351
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Default Long Term listening is The Absolute Criterion...

What are the typical conditions of formal ABX testing ????.
Through long audio experience I am well able to discern and describe reasonably subtle differences quickly and reliably on music and systems and environment that I am well familiar with...for REALLY fine differences I may require multiple AAA-BBB-AA-BB-AB plays of particular passages on music that I know intimately to isolate and define sonic subjective differences.
Then after that comes longer term listening over multiple tracks/albums/genres that can extend to hours or days to properly establish subjective opinions.
Can it be that typical ABX testing of FINE differences is fundamentally flawed because it does not meet the above conditions ????.

Dave.

Last edited by soundmeister; 2nd March 2011 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 02:31 PM   #10352
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Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Ivor was a 'fool' to be 'trapped' like that in a listening test that is set up to generate 'null' results, unless one 'cheats'. Ivor has had to live that one bit of overconfidence in his own listening ability for many years.

This is WHY I do NOT do ABX tests. I can't pass them, either. Neither can John Atkinson, or just about anyone else.

Are we deaf, but arrogant? Are we 'fools' to believe in our own listening comparisons? Some here, will tell me so, and more often than necessary. However, I just muddle on, seemingly getting good reviews for some reason, and many happy customers. I guess it is just 'dumb luck' with a few measurements added in.
This is a very revealing statement.
Unfortunately, some will find it amusing while others might mistake it for being insightful.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 02:40 PM   #10353
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Joachim, good to hear from you. Both you and I know what high quality vinyl can do, but many here never will, nor should they, given what they want to invest their time and money on. I still haven't mounted the 'new' SL cartridge. My vinyl playing is limited at the moment, and I have other priorities. They had some good vinyl playback at CES, but nothing TRULY outstanding.
Listening tests are akin to something like a 'religion', dressed up as 'science'. The arguments are a matter of OPINION and BELIEF.
The problem is that BOTH sides can be 'proven' with little doubt. All you have to do is to SELECT the type of test that you want to believe in.
If you select ABX testing as the reference standard, then everything that I have said here for the last 5 years will be of no use to YOU.
If you select your own ear's opinion in simple A-B listening tests, then what I have said here can be very valuable, perhaps more valuable than many other threads and websites.
However, trying to explain to someone who is locked into either camp, appears to be pointless.
It is 'something' about the ABX type test that makes it virtually impossible to not confuse what you are hearing so that you cannot hear differences between components. Please remember that the MUSIC is changing, as well. This could be a MAJOR KEY in why there are problems. It would be like trying different wines blind, during a forced change in the food that you must eat before another taste and selection. Sort of like onions, then, pate, then sauerkraut, etc. and comparing a good wine with 2 buck chuck.
That might be fun! But I doubt that I could tell the difference. I have enough trouble in general tasting tests. Maybe someone here could do it.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:16 PM   #10354
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Your expectation is I will find nothing. Mine is I will find something and it often will not be what I am looking for. I presume you find nothing upsetting about the experiment.
No, but I will not do much criticism from now on. I expect you to find something and not be able to explain it and that is where it will be left.

As a general comment, I don't think some folks around here appriciate the level of sophistication that has been around for decades in the precision instrument domain. I could go on forever nuclear research, ultrasound, CAT, PET, geoscience. To think that audio taxes the limits of collective engineering wisdom is unbelievably fatuous and a fantacy. Good solid engineering practice works in audio as well as anywhere else.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:22 PM   #10355
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If that statement is supposed to be logical, then an equally logical statement would be "It seems to me that those people against blind tests don't trust their own listening ability." Or further, that those people that are against blind listening tests are stressed out ninnies because they are fearful that they won't be able to find differences when there aren't any.
Does this view of yours include also violinists, pianists and other musicians?
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:23 PM   #10356
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What really bugs me here is that very few here have constant exposure to a real High End Vinyl Playback System. An old Thorenz or something can not be compared to what is availlable now. If you never heard such a system over an extended period at home you can not judge about it.
Indeed.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:29 PM   #10357
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To think that audio taxes the limits of collective engineering wisdom is unbelievably fatuous and a fantacy. Good solid engineering practice works in audio as well as anywhere else.
There may be a difference.
Some engineers are satisfied with "solid engineering practice" only, without bothering to listen to the outcome. Those engineers may miss the core issue with audio design.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:29 PM   #10358
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Does this view of yours include also violinists, pianists and other musicians?
Not at all. Playability and responsiveness to PLAYER INPUT are large factors in choosing an instrument. Therefore, your analogy to choosing an instrument is faulty.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:35 PM   #10359
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I like my Strads, double-blind or not. '-)
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Old 2nd March 2011, 03:39 PM   #10360
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There may be a difference.
Some engineers are satisfied with "solid engineering practice" only, without bothering to listen to the outcome. Those engineers may miss the core issue with audio design.
So why lump all of them together to support your logic? How many of those engineers are also hampered by bean counters and marketing departments?
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