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Dissecting a listening comparison situation - and ways of doing it better

fas42

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#1
This is going to look at http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm, and point out the issues not addressed in the testing methodology - and how I would approach it, including the way the source material is used.

TBD ...

BTW, as a first go, what can people pick that is 'wrong' with the experiment, as presented in that link?
 

Blumlein 88

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#2
Well, the human switchers are an area of possible concern. Plus the time needed to switch. Plus listening to far too long a sequence to choose. Though as is often the case it was people who wanted it that way. You can tell people their results are better with short selections and quick switching all you want they damn well will not believe you. I also wonder how they kept the CD's in synch though I suppose more similar to conventional audiophile auditioning it wouldn't matter. Plus picking for best sounding is a different animal than picking for hearing a difference. Rather than 38 people picking what they think sounds best would they have gotten a different result from one person picking 38 times. Maybe one person's sound best is opposite of another persons.

I also am guessing none of these are what you see wrong with it.
 

Blumlein 88

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#3
Having read one of your replies in Fight Club, I surmise you would say they didn't stress test the two systems to see once they started to fail how they differed?
 

fas42

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#4
Well, the human switchers are an area of possible concern. Plus the time needed to switch. Plus listening to far too long a sequence to choose. Though as is often the case it was people who wanted it that way. You can tell people their results are better with short selections and quick switching all you want they damn well will not believe you. I also wonder how they kept the CD's in synch though I suppose more similar to conventional audiophile auditioning it wouldn't matter. Plus picking for best sounding is a different animal than picking for hearing a difference. Rather than 38 people picking what they think sounds best would they have gotten a different result from one person picking 38 times. Maybe one person's sound best is opposite of another persons.

I also am guessing none of these are what you see wrong with it.
Pretty well. As a first step, there is no mention of whether the "premium" system was working at a standard that people who were familiar with the gear that made it up considered acceptable. IOW, it was not mentioned whether people were allowed to listen to that system at their leisure, using any recordings they were very familiar with, to assess whether it showed the qualities they would have expected of it - this is part of the, call it say, 'calibration' of the test.
 

tomelex

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#5
perhaps surprisingly, I see nothing worth complaining about, simple test, predictable AND accurate results IMO.
 

fas42

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#6
perhaps surprisingly, I see nothing worth complaining about, simple test, predictable AND accurate results IMO.
Which is the main failing, in fact.
 

fas42

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#7
Having read one of your replies in Fight Club, I surmise you would say they didn't stress test the two systems to see once they started to fail how they differed?
More that I would bring recordings to the table which I know most systems struggle with, and raise the volume until one system was showing severe anomalies, as compared to the other. This does not have to be anywhere near loud, just enough to highlight where they vary. As an example, I would play Status Quo, and listen to the quality of the cymbals - years ago, most systems failed to get this right at headphone levels, let alone something decent in volume.
 

watchnerd

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#8
Because the speakers are the same, the stress test will primarily be one of the amps.

The YBA Alpha is rated for 70 W into 8 ohms.

The Behringer is rated for 300 W into 4 ohms.

It wouldn't be shocking for the pricier amp to succumb to stress first.
 

fas42

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#10
Because the speakers are the same, the stress test will primarily be one of the amps.

The YBA Alpha is rated for 70 W into 8 ohms.

The Behringer is rated for 300 W into 4 ohms.

It wouldn't be shocking for the pricier amp to succumb to stress first.
The ATCs are a little lower in sensitivity than usual, 85dB rating; the Behringer is really a 125W into 8 ohms unit, if you look at the specs; there's barely a slip of paper between 70 and 125W in acoustic terms - they're reasonably closely matched, nominally. The key would be, which amp can produce at close to clipping more cleanly.
 

fas42

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#11
Just looking at the test again, another thing sticks out: the set of testers included some termed objectivists - IOW, those whose "mantra" is that reasonable equipment will sound identical. For them, it would in their interest to say they heard no difference, the natural inclination.

If you're attempting to assess whether people who claim better gear sounds better can actually pick the difference, then including people who believe otherwise, or who have no interest in such in the testing, and having them part of the statistical summary of the results - then you're not testing what you claim to be testing! First principle of science: understand how to test ...
 

fas42

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#12
Sorry, I haven't forgotten this ... will get it happenin' soon ...
 
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