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Topic: $1 Million, If You Can Prove That... (Read 15879 times) previous topic - next topic
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$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

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James Randi offered $1 million to anyone who can prove those cables are any better than ordinary (and also overpriced) Monster Cables. Pointing out the absurd review by audiophile Dave Clark, who called the cables "danceable," Randi called it "hilarious and preposterous." He added that if the cables could do what their makers claimed, "they would be paranormal."


LINK

edit: some admin can change the title to "1 Million If You Can Prove $7250 Speaker Cables Are Better"

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #1
Leave the audiophiles alone! Please!

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #2
well, it is an interesting proposition ... 1 million is good money!

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #3
He knows very well, that he will never have to give away this Million.  He's just teasing them poor lads, of which some might actually already be dreaming about what equipment to buy with the cash.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #4
I'M already dreaming, and i don't believe it can be proved!

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #5
ok, so what the makers claim? that they are danceable?
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$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #6
yeah, so i'm filimg a video dancing over the cables

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #7
I wonder if showing off a foot-tapping scene is sufficient.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #8
Ho-hum news all around. This hasn't been the first time Randi has tried to take on audiophiles. But if you go to the original article that precipitated this ("Speaker Cables: $7,250 Speaker Cables Turn You Into a Dancin' Fool"), you'll find a post by Kevin Lee, son of no other than Noel Lee, founder of Monster Cable. His opinion is not surprising, but it is informative as to the thinking behind high-end cable users.

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Scientifically, we know audible differences in cables are difficult if not impossible to measure. That's what started the whole idea in my father's head to make the first Monster Cable. As an engineer he was taught they don't make a difference beyond gauge and as an audiophile he knew it did. Me personally, I'm not a engineer nor a true audiophile. I've been trained to hear like an audiophile, but probably without the same passion as my father or others. I appreciate listening to a good properly set up high end audio system, I just don't go crazy over it.

What I do know is that I personally hear clear differences in premium speaker cables vs. zip chord, and I've seen plenty of other industry and casual friends hear the same to have confidence that the stuff works.

While I'm not a true audiophile, I do love music, and like to play it loud and have it sound good. Lots of low end bass punch and good clear undistorted highs. I also find it a shame when people don't get that from good speakers they bought, and yes, when I change the cable it has improved the sound. And for the most part the cost of better speaker wire is cheaper than the cost of a better pair of speakers, so I honestly believe that speaks to value.

As far as tests, DBT, etc. That's not the spirit of what I was offering. There's so much debate and drama around this in the audiophile world ( as can be seen by some of these comments) it makes my head spin.

But I love Giz, and if there are a few giz readers wondering if speaker cables would make a difference in the sound system they own, it would be my pleasure to take some time after work to help them do that wether they end up hearing and appreciating the difference or not.


$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #10
He knows very well, that he will never have to give away this Million. :D He's just teasing them poor lads...,

"Poor" is a good keyword. They are "mentally poor". Placebo and mental-selfstimulation is completely unrelated to the tech involved (thats why no difference can be found in the tech). So, one doesn't need the expensive tech to create the effect. There is nothing shameful in using the effect.... after all, it is the reason why for example value a candlelight dinner and presentation of content. This "spirituality" is part of the experience. The problem is that the audiofools are too mentaly poor to produce the effect themselves.... they need and expensive excuse and lie, to be able to experience it.

So, from my POV it is not the effect itself of which i disapprove - but instead "how" it is created in the case of audiofools - probably mainly because i look down to people who choose "stupidity and personal failure out of choice". Those idiots aren't just dumb in the sense of "ignorant/unexperienced".... they are dumb and incapable out of their own choice!

- Lyx
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #11
LINK
Oh, I like the comments because I love to play Audiophiles Bingo in addition with that good ole article: http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf A lot of matches... Discussing with those special kinds of audiophiles is as useless as talking with a priest or whoever christian; in the end it's all belief. Wasn't it Nietzsche who wrote something like "take the oppossite of what an audiophile claims to be the truth, and you have a good indicator of what the truth is" in his book "The Antiaudiophile"

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #12
i'm happy to say i am not a giz lover...

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #13
Let's assume somebody presents me (for free) those 'monster cables'. Of course after I see them, touch them, connect them, show them to my friends and boss. And after all 'wow's said - of course I shall feel they sound much more better than others - placebo. I really shall feel it. Placebo is integral part of human. It's normal. Most of us without blind test will feel it.
Here comes the difference between one of us and audiophile - we will not pay for those cables more than for simple cables. On the other side, audiophiles can work hard a year or two and spend all his maney on this bullshit.
Ogg Vorbis for music and speech [q-2.0 - q6.0]
FLAC for recordings to be edited
Speex for speech

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #14
I thought this comment was interesting:
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These imaginary differences have spawned their own vocabulary, with meaningless terms like "swing" and "pace."
And Dave Clark:
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... way better than anything I have heard...Simply put these are very danceable cables.

People are fascinating, aren't they?

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #15
And after all 'wow's said - of course I shall feel they sound much more better than others - placebo. I really shall feel it. Placebo is integral part of human. It's normal. Most of us without blind test will feel it.


I'd put it in a more drastic way ... after all the cash you have spent for your overpriced speaker cables, you will subcontiously want to hear these cables are superior ... and so be it.

Listening to and perceiving music always involves your psychological state of mind and the ability to focus/concentrate on what is going on within the music.

Having some new and expensive piece of equipment will alter your state of mind and your level of concentration ... and thus your musical perception will also be altered. A higher level of concentration will commonly make you perceive e.g. more musical details which is falsely believed to be related to the newly-installed equipment instead of really being related to your level of concentration.
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #16
I wish that for once some of these audiophiles would just tell the truth.  They like the cables because they LOOK really cool running across the floor on expensive little cable stands.  I mean, who wants an unattractive cable connecting all that snazzy looking gear?
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #17
And after all 'wow's said - of course I shall feel they sound much more better than others - placebo. I really shall feel it. Placebo is integral part of human. It's normal. Most of us without blind test will feel it.

Having some new and expensive piece of equipment will alter your state of mind and your level of concentration ... and thus your musical perception will also be altered. A higher level of concentration will commonly make you perceive e.g. more musical details which is falsely believed to be related to the newly-installed equipment instead of really being related to your level of concentration.

Who knows? If somebody has unlimited amount to spend on cables and it does make him feel happy and live like a lord - no crime here. But another man can spend much less and go happy as rich audiophile is.
You like clear sound. And you got perfection (for your ears) on your cables, CD, receiver e.t.c. No way to make it better. NO WAY, exept PLACEBO. Just imagine your lovest album of Uriah Heep (Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Verdi, Yello, Dio, Khachaturian, Tiamat, Moody Blues . . . ) becomes more beautiful, deep, clean, thin (thick - what do you wish). Are you ready to become audiophile and pay lot of monjey?
Ogg Vorbis for music and speech [q-2.0 - q6.0]
FLAC for recordings to be edited
Speex for speech

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #18
http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-09/092807reply.html#i4

A few points:

1) Randi has turned down audiophile cable challenges in the past:

http://www.audiobanter.com/showthread.php?t=47052

which raises the question what has changed?

2) What are we to hang on the word "better" rather than simply hearing a difference.

3) With a bit of effort one can arrange for the difference between a standard wire and an audiophile wire to be audible if you have control over the source, amplifier and/or speaker plus there is a significant enough electrical difference between the wires to work with.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #19
3) With a bit of effort one can arrange for the difference between a standard wire and an audiophile wire to be audible if you have control over the source, amplifier and/or speaker plus there is a significant enough electrical difference between the wires to work with.


Quite so, and Michael Fremer certainly knows this too.  If you follow the news on the JREF site, it looks like he's the one who is going to take the challenge, using cables he chooses (the Pear Audio charlatan having declined to offer a set of his $7000 cables, even though they're what sparked the challenge).
(btw from what I've read Fremer prefers Tara Lab speaker cables.)

http://www.randi.org/joom/index.php?option...05&Itemid=2

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written by Michael Fremer, October 23, 2007
Now I read about a conspiracy to "doctor" my reference cable. Well folks, if it can be so doctored what does that tell you? It tells you that cables can be made to sound different by altering, among other things, the inductance, capacitance and resistance of the cable. All of that is easily pre-determined by cable construction and geometry, not VOODOO. In addition different dialectrics have different storage properties (store and release electrical energy). All of this can be altered in a cable recipe and those are some of the very differences I CLAIM TO BE ABLE TO HEAR. DUH! When cable is "designed," the designer works with all of those factors, which all interact, to produce his final product. Leaving cost aside for the moment, the post about "doctoring" the cable proves that cables can and do sound different.



Leaving aside Fremer's lapse in logic  (that cables CAN sound different doesn't mean they necessarily DO) and his inclusion of woo (cable geometry, dielectrics), and the curious way he neglects to say whether he has in fact doctored his cables or not, it's clear he has a clue about how to make cables sound different...and he's doubtless aware that some boutique audiophile cable makers do this on purpose (e.g., placing a filter in an inline 'network box' a la MIT Cables and Transparent), whereas most cable makers aim to make their cables as 'transparent' as possible.

So right now it looks to me like Randi had better make some stipulations about measurable differences between the cables, or he's going to get taken.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #20
Quite so, and Michael Fremer certainly knows this too.

No. I am fairly sure he knows little about the equipment he reviews and this can be seen in his responses. However, one or two people among all the noise this challenge has generated are starting to mention things like amplifier stability. Normal cables that cause deviations of less that +/- 0.1dB over the range 20Hz-20kHz due to their RLC characteristics compared to the output impedance of the amplifier and the input impedance of the loudspeaker can still generate audible differences. This can be done by simply using a nonlinear response of the amplifier or speaker outside this range to shift information into the audible range. Normal competent audio equipment is obviously designed to avoid this but it is easy enough to modify if you know what you are doing. In addition, it is not unusual for expensive audiophile equipment to be incompetently designed and so might do this "naturally" without "cheating".

If you follow the news on the JREF site, it looks like he's the one who is going to take the challenge, using cables he chooses (the Pear Audio charlatan having declined to offer a set of his $7000 cables, even though they're what sparked the challenge).

Yes I have followed it a bit and some of the regulars are commenting on Randi's behaviour. He may well have twigged by now that things are a bit more risky than usual. He might have got some duff advice initially from his advisors who may well not have considered the whole picture but only the linear behaviour over the audible frequency range.

So right now it looks to me like Randi had better make some stipulations about measurable differences between the cables, or he's going to get taken.

The cables themselves could well be what a magician would use to misdirect the audience's attention while quietly fiddling with the amplifier under his hat.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #21

Quite so, and Michael Fremer certainly knows this too.

No. I am fairly sure he knows little about the equipment he reviews


I am saying he knows THIS: *some valid reasons why two cables might sound different*, suggesting that he knows how he could rig this challenge to win it, if Randi isn't careful.  It's not rocket science. I certainly didn't say he knows all about the equipment he reviews.  This is after all the guy who endorsed an LP demagnetizer.

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and this can be seen in his responses. However, one or two people among all the noise this challenge has generated are starting to mention things like amplifier stability. Normal cables that cause deviations of less that +/- 0.1dB over the range 20Hz-20kHz due to their RLC characteristics compared to the output impedance of the amplifier and the input impedance of the loudspeaker can still generate audible differences. This can be done by simply using a nonlinear response of the amplifier or speaker outside this range to shift information into the audible range. Normal competent audio equipment is obviously designed to avoid this but it is easy enough to modify if you know what you are doing. In addition, it is not unusual for expensive audiophile equipment to be incompetently designed and so might do this "naturally" without "cheating".


Yes, and I have been alluding to that on Randi's forums and news threads. I'm 'krabapple' there too.



Quote
Yes I have followed it a bit and some of the regulars are commenting on Randi's behaviour. He may well have twigged by now that things are a bit more risky than usual. He might have got some duff advice initially from his advisors who may well not have considered the whole picture but only the linear behaviour over the audible frequency range.


Here's to hoping.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #22
Normal cables that cause deviations of less that +/- 0.1dB over the range 20Hz-20kHz due to their RLC characteristics compared to the output impedance of the amplifier and the input impedance of the loudspeaker can still generate audible differences.


With special speaker cables and special speakers, Lucpes even achieved 20 times this deviation : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry148461

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #23
Normal cables that cause deviations of less that +/- 0.1dB over the range 20Hz-20kHz due to their RLC characteristics compared to the output impedance of the amplifier and the input impedance of the loudspeaker can still generate audible differences.


With special speaker cables and special speakers, Lucpes even achieved 20 times this deviation : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry148461

I think you and rather a lot of people are missing the point. If the cables directly change the frequency response between 20-20kHz then they will not be admissable in a cable challenge (of which there are a number) since they are defective as cables. Most expensive magic cables are not defective in this way although one or two are including it would appear some of those being considered for this challenge which is odd. My point is that two cables that function correctly between 20-20kHz can still be audibly different if one works with nonlinearities in the amplifier and/or speaker in ranges where the two cables are significantly different.

Perhaps you view this as cheating but for $1000000 significant numbers of people with a knowledge of how amplifiers work will want to take the test or go into partnership with rogues like dancing Dave Clark with an acceptable media profile to take the test. I thought about it.

$1 Million, If You Can Prove That...

Reply #24
Oh no, not another "audiophiles are lame"-thread...

I detest voodoo (that's what we call the placebodevices and their use
here in Germany) but I defnititely like good hifi. That includes wiring
NOT made of crap. I think the cheaper Oelbach cables do quite good
but would not dream of telling a guy he's out of his mind because he
owns Monster cables, I would just listen to music. I thought that's what
it's all about
.

Regards, Clobon

 
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