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Old 26th March 2003, 11:25 PM   #481
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Thumbs up baxandal..

Quote:
Originally posted by nw_avphile

Wasn't Mr Otala under contract (a consultant) with Harmon Kardon when he published that paper? Considering HK waved it around as The Next Big Thing in amplifier design in all their marketing materials one has to wonder about his motives for writing it when his paycheck was coming from HK--an amplifier manufacture?

Baxandal also pioneered the null difference test just before that period--a test that's very revealing of TIM, etc. under real-world conditions.

The baxandal series running from late '78 to early '79 in Wireless World, (now Electronics World), should be compulsory reading for anyone discussing feedback 'TIM' etc..in linear audio amps.

More Dr. cabot stuff from the audio/radio section...below...

download chapter 13.3 from:


http://www.tvhandbook.com/support/TVHB_updates.htm
 
Old 26th March 2003, 11:30 PM   #482
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Mark

I think we're actually arguing from the same side

The mere fact that the listener has an expectation that he is listening to one of the amps has a distorting effect on his perceptions of the test, let alone any bias set up by the question it's self.

Maybe the way to approach this is to have an extra, unknown amp C that is also randomly selected among with the A and B amps, and ask the question "what amp do you think you are listening to, A, B, or can't tell"

This will act as a lie scale, because if a test subject can hear differences then the "can't tell" answer will have an equal score to A and B, yet any bias or preconceptions on the subjects behalf will show as they will not deliberately select the "can't tell" answer.

BTW folks, this is only one methodology- there are others that are different, yet work the same way, out there, so don't think you know all the answers!
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Old 26th March 2003, 11:40 PM   #483
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Default FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH.

Hi,

Dixit Mr.Hafler:

"This means that the listening test is the one of most importance-it is the most stringent test of all"

Now, can we have that Mexican wave or not?

Cheers,
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Old 26th March 2003, 11:42 PM   #484
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Default Blind realities...

One more very important bit of info on blind testing that's not been really discussed:

Let's for a moment, completely ignore the statistics, math, etc, involved with blind testing. A very revealing thing can come out of doing the MOST SIMPLE blind test: A new personal paradigm.

Most people I've encountered have never taken part in an audio blind test before. From comments here, that would seem to be consistent with this group as well (for you statisticians, "most" means more than 50%! ). It can be a very eye opening experience even before you learn your "score".

In my experience, many audiophiles who are CERTAIN they hear obvious differences between two things are AMAZED they can't hear any difference once they don't know what they're listening to. With some tests, no level matching is required. A good example would be changing brands of capacitors, or even easier, changing interconnects.

It goes like this: Someone else connects either the $3 Radio Shack RCA interconnects or your $250 Kimber Silver ones at random, you play some music, the someone then does a known swap (not a random or fake one), you play some more music, and this amazing look spreads across the listener's face as they realize they sound the same! They throw up their arms and ask if you're really swapping as they can't be sure they hear ANY difference. The paradigm has shifted...

Now, if you're trying to publish a paper, write a book or convince a skeptic, THEN you need to drag out the statistics, do it by the numbers, and be able to point confidently at your test data. But if the listener is the honest open minded sort, and they verify that yup, you did indeed switch from their $250 interconnects to the $3 ones, and yup, they did sound pretty much the same, it's an eye (ear?) opening moment!

So... don't let the numbers and math scare you. Have your significant other, audio geek buddy, son, daughter, or whoever do some swaps from a random starting point and see if you can hear any difference. You can use the results of that simple exercise to see if more testing/research/whatever is justified.

In the end, I don't know what SY would say (as it sounds like he's gone through a similar "paradigm shift"), but for me, it's been relaxing to no longer stress over nearly as many things in my system compared to before my newfound knowledge. It honestly has improved my listening pleasure a bunch.

Prior to my paradigm shift, I was somewhat envious of not being able to afford The Really Good Stuff. But once you realize that, in a blind test, some of things you already have sound exactly the same as The Really Good Stuff, it makes you smile with newfound joy! You take great pleasure in the fact that say your amplifier sounds as good as that $8000 one you brought home from the dealer but returned when it flunked a blind test. Or, in a more DIY sense, your $2 capacitors sound the same as the ones GoldenEar spent $100 on.

But most of all, it allows me to simply focus on the MUSIC more without worrying nearly as much about the hardware. THAT, as American Express might say, is priceless.
 
Old 26th March 2003, 11:42 PM   #485
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Default Proof versus Significance

My apology for the boring stats bit. (especially since I have no formal training in stats)

We are deviating slightly in this from what I believe NW was suggesting at the beginning.

The statement, that simple blinded listening by an individual may allow them to more objectively (by reducing psychological overlay) assess the merits of two devices (or one device + a mod) is still reasonable.

There is no burden of "scientific proof" here. The individual can simply make up their own mind as to if they believe the cost differential is justified, given their ability to tell things apart solely on sonic performance.

An individual is equally entitled to say, but I live in a subjective world, I accept psychological factors will influence what I hear, I am happy to accept this and moreover believe it is a part of my overall experience. A good example would be me, I like listening to my Aleph5 more than the 4, because I did a better job, it is neater, etc. I accept this, however I have no illusion that I could tell them apart blindly.

The important bit here, is again there has been no proof, it is simply the subjective impressions of the individual concerned. So long as these recommendations are seen within their scope of evidence, fine.

I strongly think NW's suggestion and intent were well placed.

Where I do get slightly "pissed-off" is where I see commercial manufacturers claiming wildly unbelievable benefits from things where there is (1) no commonsense reason why, and (2) without a shred of robust scientific analysis.

The later is where I see "proper studies" and real stats having their place.

The suggestion that a few people actually try it for themselves would, I suspect, be educational.

mark
 
Old 26th March 2003, 11:52 PM   #486
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Default Hold It...

Hi,

Quote:
It goes like this: Someone else connects either the $3 Radio Shack RCA interconnects or your $250 Kimber Silver ones at random, you play some music, the someone then does a known swap (not a random or fake one), you play some more music, and this amazing look spreads across the listener's face as they realize they sound the same! They throw up their arms and ask if you're really swapping as they can't be sure they hear ANY difference. The paradigm has shifted...
Get yourself a cheap transisssstor radio and be happy... or you could get your ears checked...while you're at it, have your brainfunctions checked too, I start to worry.

I mean how difficult can the listening to and swapping of cables be?

Are the Ratshack cables really the worst you could imagine? How about a mile of nichrome wire?

Sorry but this is more and more starting to look like a serious waste of time to me.

Nothing personal, just an observation.
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Old 26th March 2003, 11:59 PM   #487
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Default PARADIGMS AND OXYMORONS.

Hi,

Quote:
But most of all, it allows me to simply focus on the MUSIC more without worrying nearly as much about the hardware. THAT, as American Express might say, is priceless.
Yes, the moment you give up searching you'll end up enjoying the music more, less stress listening etc.

OTOH, I would get bored living with the imperfections of the system I listen to...guess it's just me.

Cheers,
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Old 27th March 2003, 12:02 AM   #488
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Default Re: HOLD IT...

Quote:
Originally posted by fdegrove
Get yourself a cheap transisssstor radio and be happy... or you could get your ears checked...while you're at it, have your brainfunctions checked too, I start to worry.
Here come the personal attacks again! Was there ANYTHING in my post aimed at you Fred to justify calling me deaf and stupid?


Quote:
Originally posted by fdegrove
I mean how difficult can the listening to and swapping of cables be?
Exactly, so what's the harm in trying it blind?


Quote:
Originally posted by fdegrove
Sorry but this is more and starting to look like a seious waste of time to me.

Nothing personal, just an observation.
Well the first part of your reply was very personal, and if you consider it a waste of time, you're welcome to just ignore this entire thread. It doesn't seem to apply to you anyway.
 
Old 27th March 2003, 12:13 AM   #489
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Default Uh?

Hi,

Quote:
Was there ANYTHING in my post aimed at you Fred to justify calling me deaf and stupid?
Dear man, it wasn't personal at all. And yes, I do start to worry when you make it personal...you confuse Fred and myself (I feel kinda flattered here) which is why I suggest to give it a rest.

All this thread has done so far is to conveniently disregard any counterarguments and from what I observe you're only trying to convince yourself that all the effort spent at making things better is just not worth it.

Fine by me, but why do you need to convince other people of that lazy philosophy?

That, is a decision you have to make for yourself and as such is personal.

Cheers and do some soulsearching please,
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Old 27th March 2003, 12:38 AM   #490
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Default Is Anybody Actually Listening Properly ?

Quote:
"Now, if you're trying to publish a paper, write a book or convince a skeptic, THEN you need to drag out the statistics, do it by the numbers, and be able to point confidently at your test data. But if the listener is the honest open minded sort, and they verify that yup, you did indeed switch from their $250 interconnects to the $3 ones, and yup, they did sound pretty much the same, it's an eye (ear?) opening moment!"
Sure, due to electrical values being similar, expect interconnects to sound pretty much the same overall.

However the sonic differences percieved by experienced listeners are not due to Frequency Response changes per se, but more so due to fine changes in spectral/impulse response due to differing conductors and dielectrics mostly.

These changes require familiarity with the system and the music, and these sonics changes can require extendes listening time in order to correlate/diffrentiate them.
With practice this period can become short, but for some listeners this is never going to happen mainly I suspect because of listening in a wrong mode, or lack of hearing accuity.

Picking sonics differences in interconnects is a bit like recognising voices coming down a telephone line.
Once you have heard and imprinted the characters of a particular set of voices, you are then able to reliably discern which voice is coming down the line.

I have no trouble doing this over the telephone, and I have no trouble differentiating interconnects and other kit and modifications.

I will admit to cheating somewhat in this area, because since first noticing fine sonic changes I have spent much time investigating and understanding the causes and natures, I have found an interesting way of completely cleaning system sound, and understanding this technique has indeed sharpened my hearing accuity and I now easily hear spectral/impulse changes in an instant.

When you understand this concept, you can then at will 'effect' system sound and predictably get the sonic results desired.
I can now get 'vinyl' sound from a cdp at will, but I would say that vinyl sound is flawed and coloured, but not neccsarily objectionably so, but when it comes down to it I much prefer dead clean sound.

Studio condenser microphone sound can be cleaned or 'effected' too, and this is a perfectly revealing test that most 'audiophiles' never get the opportunity to try, and it is this sort of learning that is required to become an expert listener.

As Bernard stated yonks ago, we have a very powerful DSP between our ears that requires training, and once trained becomes a very discriminating and reliable over time.

It seems to me that some listeners have bugs and loops in their dsp programming.

Eric.
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