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Topic: Literature on ABX testing? (Read 6348 times) previous topic - next topic
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Literature on ABX testing?

Hi, I'm doing a school project which involves ABX testing. As you probably know, in an academic environment, Internet sources usually tend to be frowned down upon. Unfortunately, it seems to be that virtually all of ABX has been developed on the Internet. Are there any publications or papers which describe ABX at all? I've looked through my usual means of finding academic papers through my school (JSTOR, EBSCO, some other journal searches) with no success.

I found a document which looks interesting: [] Unfortunately, there's no abstract, so I'd rather not buy it before I know what it's about. Has anyone read it before?

Also, there seems to be a lot of interesting articles from the audio engineering society []. I've been trying to reach it with no luck. Have they simply disappeared, or is their site just down at the moment?


Literature on ABX testing?

Reply #1
Look through this PDF paper for references 12 and 13:

David Clark was the person who developed the ABX paradigm in 1982, according to this paper.  At least he was the first to write it up and submit it to a peer-reviewed journal.

If you visit this website:

You will find that good ol' Arny Krueger (author of PC-ABX), as well as David Carlstrom (owner of that website) were also there at the beginning (see the following reference):

Clark, D. L., Krueger, A. B., Muller, B. F., Carlstrom, D., "Lipshitz/Jung Forum", Audio Amateur, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 56-57 (0ct 1979)

btw, my name is listed as a contributer down at the bottom of the page

If you want the straight scoop, I would contact Arny directly.  He would probably gladly reply to a post made on  However, I must warn you that you post there at your own peril!  You will know what I mean after you get your first few responses to your query.


Literature on ABX testing?

Reply #2
hey, if anyone's still interested, I've been doing a LOT of research on ABX. I've found quite a few references to ABX from the 1950s (!) in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. A lot of the research there is on speech intelligibility and such, but there's a lot of rather interesting research on what sounds our ears can distinguish. Using ABX, one group discovered that people can distinguish between two sine waves which are 0.1Hz (!!!!!) different. It seems that for ABX, it's important for the listeners to train themselves with the ABX equipment beforehand. For the experiment where they found that listeners could distinguish a 0.1Hz difference, the listeners practiced for almost a month before doing the actual testing.

The first article, as far as I could find, which described ABX, was published in 1950. The description of the method appeared in the appendix; unfortunately, it's saved on my other computer atm, so I don't remember the title or link. The journal can be accessed at; unfortunately, it's only available if you work/study at an institution with access to it (or subscribe to the journal)

Literature on ABX testing?

Reply #3
Perhaps once you've got your bibliography together, you could post a copy of it here?  There is a thread devoted to publications of potential interest to HA memebrs  (audio, psychoacoustics, etc), and such a list could be a good addition.

Literature on ABX testing?

Reply #4
Try this fun test to determine your pitch discrimination abilities.  Sub Hertz is not extremely difficult, although I think it's pretty hard once you get below 0.5 Hz.

Literature on ABX testing?

Reply #5
It's been forever, but in case anyone's still interested in the article:
This is the first reference to the ABX test I've found. I'm pretty sure they invented the method. Look in the appendix for info on the actual method.

doi: 10.1121/1.1917047
Loudness Patterns---A New Approach
W. A. Munson and Mark B. Gardner, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 21, 59 (1949), DOI:10.1121/1.1917047