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Old 10-13-2008   #112
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 938
Default Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
It's been scientifically proven a thousand times over that there is no difference. Believe all the snake oil salesmen and smoke and mirrors (placebo effect) all you want and I'll just laugh as I keep my hard earned money and use it for equipment that does in fact make a difference.

For someone who claims they have tested all the equipment you claim to have tested... I find this claim hard to understand.

As someone who actually HAS been involved with tons of testing, it has been scientifically proven there IS a difference between cables. What is argued is whether or not it causes an audible difference to the human ear. Our current tests (soon to be finalized and our findings published) show there is definitely a difference.

So for all the double blind tests I have been part of one thing is clear: there IS a difference in sound. Most tests I have overseen have shown without a doubt there is a difference. What most of the cable companies don't want people to hear is that the more expensive cables have never in any test I've been a part of that used random listeners (non-audiophiles)have they ever been selected as the best sounding cable (in double blind tests, in the placebo/psyche tests they always win). Neither has cheap lamp wire been chosen as the best either. So far our tests have used over 1200 people.

We've tested everything in multiple different ways. We even had a test where we told them that they would only be hearing 5 cables, and gave them the names and prices of the cables. We also told them when they were hearing each cable. Over 65% picked the most expensive cable as the best sounding cable. The problem? We never changed cables, it was always a cheap AudioQuest cable. Half the test group was NOT told what cable they were hearing or what brands or prices. That group showed that no one group of cables received better than 34%. Again it was all the same cable. The test group that wasn't given names/prices complained they couldn't hear much of a difference and over 70% claimed to randomly pick a cable (in the test it was cable a, b, c, d, e-- and c won).

We think we've proven that the Placebo Effect in the audio cable industry is very real. It also appears to be just as real as the Placebo Effect for speakers, amps, and processors. We ran tests on each, where we never changed speakers, amps, and processors. The same test just different categories. The test results were about 4% different either way (high was 71% picking the best "speaker," and the low was 63% on best "processor.") The people only told A, B, C, D, and E again chose C in every test (this isn't a surprise).

We're about 60% through our testing, and when we're done and publish our findings we're rather sure the Audio industry will not be happy. We've basically proven already (and more tests just keeps justifying our findings) that "psychology," is a bigger factor in sound quality than anything else. However in the totally blind tests we've also proven that Martin Logan likely makes the best sounding speaker in the world followed by Magnepan. We've also proven that expensive isn't better. The Wilsons used for the test have won in less than 15% of test groups (and overall less than 5% preferred it overall) vs speakers in the $2k to $10k range. Mark Levinson amps, Meridian amps, etc. haven't faired well at all. In fact I think it's safe to say the NAD Master Series amp may well be the best in the world. Bel Canto did extremely well in the tests as well.

Interestingly without a doubt we believe we've proven that electrostatic and planar based speaker types are better at producing sound the human ear likes.

For cables we've found that weirdly a company named Kubala Sosna appears to have a sound that nearly 40% of all test subjects have leaned to. Not so surprisingly (at least from all the tests we've done) the mid-priced Sosnas are preferred (just over 2/3rds chose the mid-priced). Of all the tests, this is the craziest and highest leaning of any category type. The Martin Logan Vantage received more leanings than any other speaker and that was only around 19% for an example (The Summit the more expensive ML was 12%, while the Magnepan 3.6 was preferred by 14%) and the NAD Master Series amp was 21%.

There are so many interesting things about these tests. We've brought some of the original subjects back in, and started combining "the best of," and re-doing tests for each category using the gear chosen previously as the best. So we use Kubala Sosna cables, NAD Amp, Arcam pre-pro for testing speakers for instance. With that gear the numbers of our top 5 speaker preferences went up. So we've had some real interesting tests going on.

So for all of you wondering why I don't post much, it's because I got involved in these tests.
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