Bi-Wiring, Cable Elevators and Other Audio Myths

People do strange things to make things better in their lives, even when they themselves cannot really tell the difference between the results of that new thing, and the way it was before.  This is one of the many reasons why I am a fan of the scientific method.  By using methods such as blind and double-blind testing, correlation and variation analysis, we can determine with freakish levels of accuracy whether one thing is actually different from another, or if we just imagine a difference.

Of course a difference can be an improvement or decline in some previously steady state.  It can also be as simple as asking someone to taste banana samples from two unmarked plates after being told one of them was organic, and then asking them which was which.  People who expect organic to be better will choose the one labeled "organic" even when they are actually two halves of the same banana.  It's all down to expectations.  There are lost of ways we humans can be tricked by our senses and expectations.  And this is where marketers can take advantage of us.

The article I just read mentions a few of the myths propagated by marketers of such things as speaker wire.  Since there isn't a lot to differentiate one wire from another, false claims are made about how much better our wire sounds because of some bogus thing.  It turns out that other than how thick speaker wire is, there is no measurable difference in audio quality from one type of wire to the next.  But that doesn't stop people from paying way too much for wire, and then literally believing their audio sounds better when it can be proved that there is no difference in the quality before and after.

Ethan Winer has done extensive testing - using the scientific method - of several of these types of claims, including bi-wiring, cable elevators, and the age-old thing about vinyl records sounding better than digital audio.

Read his full article here: http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/the_audio_expert_part_3_common_audio_myths/

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the article, it is crazy what people spend on speaker cables, and then they convince themself they sound sooooo much better.

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