I see the issue with ABX blind testing

I’ve followed many of the cable discussions over the years with interest. I’ve never tested cables & compared the sound other than when I bought an LFD amp & the vendor said that it was best paired with the LFD power cord. That was $450 US and he offered to ship it to me to try & if I didn’t notice a difference I could send it back. I got it, tried it & sent it back. To me there was no difference at all.

Fast forward to today & I have a new system & the issue of cables arises again. I have Mogami cables made by Take Five Audio in Canada. The speaker wire are Mogami 3104, XLRs are Mogami 2549 & the power cords are Powerline 10 with Furutech connectors. All cables are quite well made and I’ve been using them for about 5 years. The vendor that sold me the new equipment insisted that I needed "better" cables and sent along some Transparent Super speaker & XLR cables to try. If I like them I can pay for them.

In every discussion about cables the question is always asked, why don’t you do an ABX blind test? So I was figuring out how I’d do that. I know the reason few do it. It’s not easy to accomplish. I have no problem having a friend come over & swap cables without telling me what he’s done, whether he swapped any at all etc. But from what I can see the benefit, if there is one, will be most noticeable system wide. In other words, just switching one power cable the way I did before won’t be sufficient for you to tell a difference... again, assuming there is one. So I need my friend to swap power cables for my amp/preamp & streamer, XLR cables from my streamer to my preamp, preamp to amp & speakers cables. That takes a good 5-10 minutes. There is no way my brain is retaining what I previously heard and then comparing it to what I currently hear.

The alternative is to connect all of the new cables, listen for a week or so & then switch back & see if you feel you’re missing anything. But then your brain takes over & your biases will have as much impact as any potential change in sound quality.

So I’m stumped as to how to proceed.

A photo of my new setup. McIntosh MC462, C2700, Pure Fidelity Harmony TT, Lumin T3 & Sonus Faber Amati G5 & Gravis V speakers.


@soix Sorry you feel that way. I am a trained scientist and I know how skewed our internal system is. As I said, it is part and parcel of our survival mechanism. I do not trust ’golden ears’ because they are just as biased as the rest of us and as you age, hearing degrades, period.

The point being is that blind testing, if done right takes out all that bias out, however small it is.

I would say, it is the golden ears ones that are scared to find out all the massive expensive cables are just that, massive and expensive. When they say, ’aka people who can’t or haven’t developed the ability to use/trust their own ears’ I am done with the discussion as arrogance rules the day.

Hey, if you don’t like fungi, don’t eat mushrooms. drink Tokai or Sauternes, drink saki, eat blue cheese, use soy sauce/miso or many other naturally fermented products.

As I said, I am out of this discussion. Enjoy all.


... When they say, ’aka people who can’t or haven’t developed the ability to use/trust their own ears’ I am done with the discussion as arrogance rules the day ...

You've proven your point admirably well.

Testing hearings ability in some conditions is not the same as testing cables in some others conditions...

Accusation of "golden ears" are stupid. Each ears /brain perceive differently in his own hearing environment with his own systems...This is a scientifically proven fact in musical and speech acoustics...

Denying the validity or the usefulness of blind testing is also stupid. But there is difference between using simple blind test in my home as i did in my acoustics experiments and training  and using ABX DBT on statistical chosen population and using it to demonstrate as in a circus run by techno cultists some audiophile claims...😁

All that is conflated as "science" ... This conflation is preposterous...

This is why most cables debates are useless, there is too much factors and parameters meaningful in many fields and those who discussed are biased as : cables dont make a difference and cables makes powerful differences. Which neither claim is true because it is related to very different possible factors at play...

The less useful discussion are about cables...

The more useful one are about acoustics concepts ( not mere room acoustic ) and in second only about gear design ... 😊

Well, to the 'Golden ears' how were you trained? When I think of training of the senses, I think of how Sommeliers are trained. They are trained on taste, smell, grape, terrior, etc. They are all trained the same way. No audiophile is trained that way, unless they are a musician. Otherwise, just listening to cables is like being home schooled. That is all ego, all it is, to think one is as good as say as sommelier.

Sorry, that is why blind testing is important it takes the ego out of it.