Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
BTW, the irony of what won me over to replace my speaker wire with higher-end stuff was a double-blind test! I had heard the difference, which sounded pretty dramatic to my ear (tighter bass and much cleaner, airier highs) with a higher-end Monstor cable, but I didn't have the luxury of doing an A/B double blind test on myself. So I didn't tell my roommate that I had changed anything in the system.
Later that night when we listened to some music... almost immediately, he said "wow! did you get new speakers?!?" I said no. we kept listening to a few well-known recordings and each time he kept going on and on about how it sounded better than it ever had before... better bass, more detailed open midrange and highs (all the stuff I had noticed too). Finally after about 10 minutes of him trying to figure out what had changed I admitted that something had... and that it was new speaker wire.
IMO that's the most powerful "double blind" result... when the listener was not even made aware that anything had changed and they *still* noticed and commented on the improvement.
Before everyone materializes out of the woodwork to pounce on me for claiming that high-end $$ cables "sound better" allow me to clarify that like any other component in the electrical path, cables can affect the final sound quality. However, that does not automatically mean that all cables sound different from each other or that a more expensive cable sounds "better" than a less expensive cables. In *all* cases, as with any other component, I'd recommend attempting as close to a double-blind set up as you can to determine how changing something in your own system may or may not affect sound quality.
That certainly conflicts with the truly scientifically conducted test where they found that the listeners could not even reliable tell the difference between expensive speaker cables and some coat hangers welded together! It is really lucky for the cable manufacturers that people can conduct "tests" that support the hype. No scientifically conducted test on cables has ever supported the claims that anyone can reliably tell the difference between reasonably priced cables, such as those sold by monoprice and even the super high priced cables. Nada. As I mentioned, the best place to put money is into genuinely better speakers rather than expensive cables. Pretty much all purveyors of hype have to rely on testimonials, and many of them are probably sincere believers, not just being paid for the ad. And that is also why it is well known that testimonials are the least reliable source of information, no matter how sincere. Again, there is NO substitute for a properly conducted double blind test.