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Old 01-14-2009   #129
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 64
Talking Re: How much difference do you think cables makes in the audio quality of your system

Originally Posted by View Post
Do you think cables make a difference in the quality of the audio in your system? Do you think you could tell the difference in a blind A/B test?
Its been well demonstrated by double blind tests that no one could tell the difference between cables, including speaker cables. One such test was done by Belden. Another actually used coat hangers and still no one could tell the difference. Home Theater magazine did a double blind test, found that no one could hear any real difference and, when they claimed they could, it was shown that they misidentified the cable anyway. Needless to say, that article was NEVER referred to by any salesperson. But the magazine showed some honor by actually doing an objective testing.
There is a good REASON why double blind tests are necessary and are ALWAY used in proper scientific testing for the very purpose of eliminating bias and the dangers of subjective thinking. Whether it is some medical snake oil or sales people wanting to sell a high profit item (they are the culprits who spread the 10%-15% "rule" for blowing your hard earned money on cables that make no difference instead of advising spending the money on better speakers, etc, and customers think they are in the know and parrot them. I know, I sold high end audio for decades) or just a person who, listening, can convince themselves that they can hear a "difference". Some get pretty carried away, declaring all the nuances they say they hear, but when they are faced with double blind testing, they can't tell one from another.
I think subjective thinking is pretty well known to be a method whereby perfectly serious people fool themselves. Just consider the snake oil claims that have existed for many decades, but still work on the non analytical, ignorant, and gullible members of the population.
And the "scientific" claims for analogue signals to justify ripping naive customers off only apply to gigahertz signals. Audio signals are thousands of times lower as are video signals. And digital either is on or off, but playing on the ignorance of the public is a national pastime to separate a gullible customer from their money.
The audio industry simply found a way to get a customer to buy a very profitable product, much as they push extended warrantees. Some sales people may really believe the BS, but they have never done the double blind testing and would probably be intimidated by such testing, not wanting to be shown they have not only been misleading their customers, they have been conning themselves.
I have been in high end audio since 1965, when I lived with Bob Carver. He and I designed the first super amp, the Phase Linear 700, which hugely changed the audio world regarding power. Recently we both had a laugh about the claims about cables and how easy it is to fool people and how easily they can completely fool themselves. i dare anyone who makes subjective claims to undergo a TRUE double blind testing. Even the suggestion undermines their false confidence!
I consider the claims of cable superiority by manufacturers and salespeople for the sake of conning trusting customers to arbitrarily pay high prices for cables to be a form of fraud, which the double blind testing exposes.
The very best place to put money is in speakers, so save money by refusing to be dupes, then put that 10%-15% phony "rule of thumb" into better speakers!! Any honest salesperson will back me up!! We all should be experienced in the techniques of con-artists after the last US administration. Did Cheney ever tell the truth - as he "ordered" Americans to believe his assertions. Too many people merely assert things, and may believe themselves, but they sure avoid any possibility of having their assertions put under any valid test or analysis.
Dave Ladely, Snohomish , WA
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