Speaker Cables Sound the Same - Still

This is an interesting test, but IF I would play Devil's Advocate I would say that it is a pity they stopped so early after a limited number of trials. From a formal point of view you can criticize the statistics.

Example: suppose you do a series of coin flips and 8 straight heads come up, do you conclude that the coin is loaded? No. If you do 1000 series of 8 coin flips you can almost guarantee that at least one serie will come up with 8 straight heads (or tails). The chance that you hit that straigt 8 as the first series is a whopping 1: 1000. You really need to complete the full 1000 series to get any meaningful result.

Jan Didden
 
We must know nothing and see nothing if we want to arrive to unbiased listening impressions.

Short and precise. :)

It´s very preferable to get in the mental state of awareness during a blind test procedure.
In this mental state nearly all brain areas will be on the edge for something new.

It needs some practice/training to reach this state just when needed.
 
No, it just means that the test subjects couldn't hear the difference with that particular setup.

Of course, when this happens enough times with continued null results for any test where the cables or driving amp aren't pathological, at some point a reasonable person will conclude that it's mostly hype, marketing, imagination, and sociology, and use a stable amp and reasonable wire, then concentrate his efforts elsewhere.
 
they need to do the opposite test as an interesting experiment.

show people some cables. which are exactly the same but dressed up to look different.

tell them that the green ones are $3000 and the blue ones are regular speaker cables ("monster" or whatever)

switch back and forth telling them which cables you are switching to
(you dont have to actually switch anything, just make it look like you are)

see how many of them think the expensive ones sound better.
 
Of course, when this happens enough times with continued null results for any test where the cables or driving amp aren't pathological, at some point a reasonable person will conclude that it's mostly hype, marketing, imagination, and sociology, and use a stable amp and reasonable wire, then concentrate his efforts elsewhere.

That could be a plausible conclusion, but (isn´t there always a but? ) i´d feel much more confident with this conclusion if the tests would incorporate controls on different levels to confirm the listeners ability in a specific test protocol.

In the official test procedures (like ITU or MUSHRA ) are controls incorporated for good reasons.
 
These tests were certainly not definitive, just one more log on the not-inconsiderable pile. I'm still waiting to see one test, just one, directly showing audibility of cable factors beyond predictable changes in frequency response or amp stability (viz my earlier qualifier about pathological components).

That's all it would take, just one measly positive result in a controlled subjective test. Seems odd that in the 30 years or so that the cable hype has been going on, we still wouldn't have that one positive result.
 
That's all it would take, just one measly positive result in a controlled subjective test. Seems odd that in the 30 years or so that the cable hype has been going on, we still wouldn't have that one positive result.

To be acceptable of course a positive test must be reproducible.

It is sort of amazing, that no positive results are reported. But that seems to be true for other components as well; afair there aren´t any positive results in controlled tests for amplifiers or da-converters as well.

For cd players there is one positive result reported on the abx-site for the comparison between a phillips cd100 (14-bit oversampling) and a sony esd707 (18 bit oversampling).
I´ve found another one at a now defunct swedish website but that seems to be all.

Are there others out there i´m not aware of?

It seems probable for statistical reasons that controlled subjective listening tests are done in much smaller numbers than one would expect.
 
SY said:
These tests were certainly not definitive, just one more log on the not-inconsiderable pile. I'm still waiting to see one test, just one, directly showing audibility of cable factors beyond predictable changes in frequency response or amp stability (viz my earlier qualifier about pathological components).

That's all it would take, just one measly positive result in a controlled subjective test. Seems odd that in the 30 years or so that the cable hype has been going on, we still wouldn't have that one positive result.

There are the frequency response changes, especially with tough loads like big electrostats or multiple-tweeter monstrosities, but I've also heard a difference in RF-noisy environments, where coaxial speaker cables seemed to have a "blacker" background when compared to twin-lead. Someone posited the effect might have been caused by RF injection into the feedback loop, and it's as plausible an explanation as anything else I've heard - certainly better than T*c* gassing on about "aligning electrons" or similar nonsense.
 

soongsc

Member
2005-03-26 2:31 pm
Taiwan
We did a very interesting listening test a few months ago. It was just a "get together an bring some cables" type of gathering. It turned out that my home brewed braided cable using the technique published in Speaker Builder or Audio Amateur (can't remember which) sounded the most cleanest, most detail, and most neutral. The cables are probably over 20 years old. People liked them better than the Alpha Cores I prefer.