Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,871
Re: Single group option

tbcass wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

tbcass wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Sounds like a good plan.

Sometimes a single, undivided group is used. Random pattern of switching between two units is used, known only to the test organizers. And while there are only two units compared, participants are told that there are 4 or 5 different units, and asked to rate them from best to worst.

One thing to note is it is best if the people conducting the tests are unaware of that or hidden from view lest they give subtle visual and verbal clues.

I'm all for blind and double blind testing of essential things but at some level it seems of less necessity for testing of basic good audio equipment. If you have to go to that trouble to detect a small difference then you might be overworking the purchase.

I don't think anybody is suggesting that. This discussion is more about the placebo effect and how to eliminate it in testing.

Well, one part of the discussion is wandering around the issue of how much one must spend to get acceptable, highly pleasurable and reasonably accurate audio reproduction. Double blind A/B testing can show relatively small but detectable differences. However, since my career was in cellular neurophysiology I feel comfortable in being skeptical about the absoluteness of the accuracy of the detection, transmission and processing systems of the outer ear, the middle ear, the cochlea, the auditory pathways and the auditory cortex. I think that minor detectable A/B differences may be of minor relevance in the living room listening context.

In the universe of differences in the source recordings, and of the tweaking one might choose to do to improve the pleasure of listening to them, the A/B differences may pale compared to the tweaks made. They may  also pale compared to the money involved in choosing A over B when tweaking is involved as it often is in my experience. I'm sure it's not an opinion shared by most folks who are self-identified these days as "audiophiles."

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