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YouTuber claims to have passed blind test on different digital CD transports

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tmtomh

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I don't much care for threads where someone posts a link to a video where the YouTuber's claim or argument is obviously bogus, so apologies in advance if people feel that way about this one.

I thought this was interesting.


No direct evidence of course - the test itself was not recorded and we don't see the person's raw notes taken in the moment.

But he's well aware of the likely objections, and he has the person who conducted the test for him in the video too, and that person is savvy enough to understand the difference between a blind test and a double-blind test and fully admits it was only blind and not double-blind. He also says he measured the output and of each transport when played through the speakers and volume-matched them to within 0.23dB. (He's that precise because one transport measured 1.77dB lower or higher in volume and his preamp has 2dB volume increments.)

The author of the video also does not say how many repetitions were done in each test/trial and how many he got right.

Still, though, I find this more interesting than the typical YouTube "I compared" type of video, and @Brab 's comment in the Schiit Urd thread about easily hearing obvious differences between a cheap DVD player used as a transport and a Cambridge CD transport got me wondering further.

So what do we think? Did the tester give unconscious cues to the listener? Is 0.23dB of volume mismatch a problem, precisely because it's so small that perceived sonic differences are not necessarily perceived as differences in volume? Did he possibly not properly ID each transport to a level of statistical significance? Is he lying (doubtful IMHO)? Or is there some possibility that jitter and/or noise through a coax connection could could cause some of the differences he says he heard?
 

solderdude

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I did not watch the video but... I suppose he compared the CDP's (with their own DAC) and not used them as a transport to one DAC.
In the latter case there can not be a level difference unless processing in the digital domain was done.

0.23dB level mismatch could be detectable if the switching was immediate, when there was some time between it I doubt 0.23dB would be detectable.
 

Zensō

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The author of the video also does not say how many repetitions were done in each test/trial and how many he got right.
The video starts off by teasing a blind test, then no results at all were provided and the presenter then goes on to give the usual flowery subjective descriptions. A total waste of time in my opinion, just another subjectivist video with no data to back up his claims.
 
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tmtomh

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I did not watch the video but... I suppose he compared the CDP's (with their own DAC) and not used them as a transport to one DAC.
In the latter case there can not be a level difference unless processing in the digital domain was done.

0.23dB level mismatch could be detectable if the switching was immediate, when there was some time between it I doubt 0.23dB would be detectable.

He ran two tests. First test was using them as transports into the same DAC. Second test - which he describes as mostly for fun and not the primary purpose of his testing or the video - was comparing them with different analogue output stages: their built-in DACs for the two units that have them, and digital output into (I think) the same outboard DAC used in the first test, for the one unit that does not have its own built-in DAC.

When it came to the second test he says the differences were easier to hear, and if memory serves the guy who administered the tests says that with the second test the YouTuber was consistently able to identify which exact player was playing. With the first test, he says it was more difficult, especially with the two transports he rated most highly.
 

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Too obnoxious for my taste in watching his videos, nor am I familiar with this Mike Galusha guy, but maybe he explains more in this video?
I'm much more confident that LK99 is the Holy Grail than I am that this result is reliable.

He said the cheap transport sounded "congested"...
 

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Too obnoxious for my taste in watching his videos, nor am I familiar with this Mike Galusha guy, but maybe he explains more in this video?

My goodness, that Mike character needs to stop waving his hands around and stop sprouting BS.

"The transport needs to spin the disc at a very consistent speed" Right, OK. Ever heard of Constant Linear Velocity (CLV), Mike? The disc is constantly SLOWING down (~500rpm to ~200rpm) as it plays. Not only that, the buffer built into every CD player is used for both error correction and buffering FIFO to ensure a perfectly clocked data stream.

He really has no idea.
 
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Palladium

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I mean its not like Redbook actually stops broken-assed implementations in the wild.
 
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tmtomh

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@AdamG247 , do you think maybe this thread should be deleted? I don't ask this for defensive or critical reasons. I ask because of what I wrote in my OP above: I genuinely do not want to clutter up these forums with another "someone said this online, what do you think?" thread if folks don't think there's any real value in discussing it. So if the consensus is that it's just worthless clickbait, I'd be perfectly fine with the thread getting nuked. If not, that's fine too. Or if folks want to keep dunking on this guy, that's of course fine too, even though it wasn't my intent in starting the thread. Just wanted to raise the possibility - whatever you think is best for ASR. Thanks!
 

restorer-john

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I reckon there's value in your thread @tmtomh , even if it's just to remind people to be very critical of anything they see or hear on Youtube.

I see youtube purely as entertainment and from what I can see, most 'creators' are coming around to that realisation. They need to present something somewhat remotely useful, entertaining and sufficiently controversial to get a few people engaged enough to comment. It's no different to commercial TV. You find something entertaining, shout at the TV occasionally and turn it off in disgust- you know.
 

Chrispy

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@AdamG247 , do you think maybe this thread should be deleted? I don't ask this for defensive or critical reasons. I ask because of what I wrote in my OP above: I genuinely do not want to clutter up these forums with another "someone said this online, what do you think?" thread if folks don't think there's any real value in discussing it. So if the consensus is that it's just worthless clickbait, I'd be perfectly fine with the thread getting nuked. If not, that's fine too. Or if folks want to keep dunking on this guy, that's of course fine too, even though it wasn't my intent in starting the thread. Just wanted to raise the possibility - whatever you think is best for ASR. Thanks!
From my perspective just posting a video and not particularly illustrating your own questions about validity (of youtuber as well as the specific content) just don't go far for me. This guy's presentation is basically obnoxious and can't get thru it myself let alone knowing what you got out of it/or not. Why do you think this guy is worth listening to/watching in the first place?
 
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tmtomh

tmtomh

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From my perspective just posting a video and not particularly illustrating your own questions about validity (of youtuber as well as the specific content) just don't go far for me. This guy's presentation is basically obnoxious and can't get thru it myself let alone knowing what you got out of it/or not. Why do you think this guy is worth listening to/watching in the first place?

Fair point. I don't know if he's worth listening to. What I did find interesting is that, unlike so many of the YT videos that folks link to and ask what folks thing of them, the video does not discount measurements; explicitly addresses the issue of volume-matching; and while it does not describe a double-blind test, it does describe a blind test and the administrator of the test proactively acknowledges that it was blind but not double-blind. And I guess I just didn't get the sense that the author of the video was lying or merely trolling for views.

I certainly have my suspicions: his preferences follow the order of the cost of each unit, and he repeatedly refers to them in terms of their cost; he doesn't say how many rounds he ran in the test among the disc transports or what his success rate in identifying them was. So of course even if he's not lying, he simply could have ID'd a difference to a degree that does not meet the standard for statistical significance; or perhaps the person who administered the test was giving unconscious cues and the author of the video was unconsciously picking up on those cues.

It just seemed to me that this video avoided or acknowledge the most typical and obvious flaws we tend to see in such videos, like sighted comparison, lack of level-matching, the person doing the switching themselves, and so on.

It might be a distinction without a difference, but that's what caught my attention. And to be clear, this video doesn't make me thing that digital transports sound different.
 

Chrispy

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Fair point. I don't know if he's worth listening to. What I did find interesting is that, unlike so many of the YT videos that folks link to and ask what folks thing of them, the video does not discount measurements; explicitly addresses the issue of volume-matching; and while it does not describe a double-blind test, it does describe a blind test and the administrator of the test proactively acknowledges that it was blind but not double-blind. And I guess I just didn't get the sense that the author of the video was lying or merely trolling for views.

I certainly have my suspicions: his preferences follow the order of the cost of each unit, and he repeatedly refers to them in terms of their cost; he doesn't say how many rounds he ran in the test among the disc transports or what his success rate in identifying them was. So of course even if he's not lying, he simply could have ID'd a difference to a degree that does not meet the standard for statistical significance; or perhaps the person who administered the test was giving unconscious cues and the author of the video was unconsciously picking up on those cues.

It just seemed to me that this video avoided or acknowledge the most typical and obvious flaws we tend to see in such videos, like sighted comparison, lack of level-matching, the person doing the switching themselves, and so on.

It might be a distinction without a difference, but that's what caught my attention. And to be clear, this video doesn't make me thing that digital transports sound different.
From the comments so far they did not demonstrate anything about a proper test; if they know the difference particularly even less reason to listen to the "results" if they're trying to make it seem like they are using such. Unless they're really clear about everything I generally suspect bullshit and trying to use psuedo test talk as an excuse, and after just a glance at other videos (subjects/titles) figure not worth watching to begin with.
 
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tmtomh

tmtomh

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From the comments so far they did not demonstrate anything about a proper test; if they know the difference particularly even less reason to listen to the "results" if they're trying to make it seem like they are using such. Unless they're really clear about everything I generally suspect bullshit and trying to use psuedo test talk as an excuse, and after just a glance at other videos (subjects/titles) figure not worth watching to begin with.
Fair enough.
 

Chrispy

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Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean a lot (or in print for that matter)......or to take an extra step, have even a somewhat significant number of subscribers/believers doesn't mean much.
 

Blumlein 88

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There was a thread about this already around 4 months ago. Maybe they should be combined. Bottom line is he keeps spouting blind test, and never will quite come clean and give his results. This was no blind test.

 
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tmtomh

tmtomh

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There was a thread about this already around 4 months ago. Maybe they should be combined. Bottom line is he keeps spouting blind test, and never will quite come clean and give his results. This was no blind test.


Oh, sorry; did a quick search before posting but clearly didn't use the right search terms. Definitely should be merged with that thread (or this thread just deleted).
 

Chrispy

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Oh, sorry; did a quick search before posting but clearly didn't use the right search terms. Definitely should be merged with that thread (or this thread just deleted).
I find the best way to search pretty much any forum; e.g. to use "xxxxxx" for subject and "xxxxxx site:audiosciencereview.com" in a search engine (not the search feature within the forum).
 

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The theory of why one DDC may sound different from another seems rather obvious, even though I really struggle to hear any difference. So as a proper scientist I consider neither the hypothesis nor the null hypothesis confirmed. Curious as to why everyone here considers it a dead-ringer that the null hypothesis is scientifically confirmed.
 
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