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previous: Clyde Hmm, seems to me that if you know w... -- 1/17/2004 6:13 PM View Thread

Re: Fancy parts -- is there a placebo effect?

1/17/2004 7:18 PM
M. Taylor
Re: Fancy parts -- is there a placebo effect?
I've been interested in this too... There's a hardware ABX comparator used (perhaps not often enough) in the audiophile world that works on a random double-blind system. It's cool but quite expensive (about $700 US I think), though there's this great freeware program on the net called "PC ABX" which lets you compare .wav files in a similar blind manner. While this isn't directly all that useful in comparing amp changes, it certainly does illuminate certain things about our hearing... For example, I was fairly certain I was able to discern between a plain signal and the same with 1% percent second harmonic distortion while I was doing the test, but I failed spectacularly. It not only has distortion tests but also includes things like high end roll off, signal inversion and the like. I think it's a neat way to test our ears and learn about our particular strengths and weaknesses. It seems that practice makes a difference as I've found that my performance increases after a few tests.  
I wonder about homebrewing a hardware comparator being basically a sub box with computer driven relays and a pre-recorded input guitar signal to remove performance differences. That probably wouldn't be too expensive since it wouldn't require the microprocessor, display, ect. that the hardware ABX unit uses and the software would be pretty quick to write. Of course this would only be valuable in detecting if there is a difference between components, since which sounds "better" is a lot more subjective.  
The PC version can be found at  

Dai Hirokawa Speedy said:[QUOTE]you want... -- 1/18/2004 1:36 AM