Objective testing of speaker wire? Does it exist?

mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
To add a layer to that, maybe run the 10 trial 3 times in a row with some time between them. That gives 3 seperate trials but without obvious excuses of listening fatigue. Without the ABX box coin flip may have to do, but time between cables would be an issue there.
Another consideration to your trek into all this are these two documents:
"High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator", Clark, David, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol30, no 5, May82, pg 330-338.
Fig 2 is telling about level differences for detection over bandwidths.

"Level discrimination as a function of level for tones from .25 to 16 kHz" Mary Florentine et al; Journal of Acoustic Society of America, no 81, (5), May 1987, pg 1528-1541.
JND (just noticeable difference) with test tones, headphones, very sensitive, more so than what we listen to. At 10kHz, it is at 1dB, 16 kHz is 3 dB if you can hear 16 kHz. ;)
Unfortunately it didn't go down to the low bands but that 1st paper, fig 2 is of interest.
 
Will Brink

Will Brink

Enthusiast
Here's a vid that's very useful to the topic:

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" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Oh I've seen plenty of the wire fiends dismiss ol' Ethan....
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
There's absolutely no use in testing speaker wire. The purpose of the wire is to carry current to a speaker and the only important characteristic to consider is its resistance which of course varies with its length. To resume, two wires having the same electrical resistance will make a speaker sound the same, except for the people who have golden ears.

Here is a good read on speaker wire: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Using a multimeter, or any other electronic lab bench measurement, only measures physical parameters. You cannot measure what people hear with a multimeter. Only listening tests can do that. Floyd Toole and Sean Olive spent much of their careers establishing how to do that with proper scientific controls that minimize or eliminate the subjectivity.
In a listening test, there's no way to accurately quantify anything so it would be described as a 'subjective test', not objective,
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
In any listening test, listeners' responses are YES or NO. How do you make that semi-quantitative?

If positive controls are carefully selected, they can be used to make a standard curve. For those who need an illustration, here is how to use added pink noise to make a standard curve for the listening test. I've made up some numbers for 5 imaginary listeners (A through E), put them in Excel, and I made and X-Y graph of it. For the listener's answers, YES = 1 and NO = 0.
Pink NoiseABCDETotal% of Total
0.0%0000000%
0.1%10000120%
0.3%11000240%
1.0%11100360%
3.0%11110480%
10.0%111115100%

On the graph, the horizontal axis shows % Listeners That Hear Added Pink Noise, and the vertical axis shows % Added Pink Noise on a log scale.

I drew two extra lines in red. The vertical red line is drawn from the 50% of listeners point, and the horizontal red line shows what % Added Pink Noise corresponds to the 50% listeners point. It's a little more than 0.5% Pink Noise.
Std Curve.png

In the speaker cable listening test, for each listener, you have multiple repeats of two different tests, the actual test where two different cables are compared, and the negative control where two identical cables are compared. Subtract the negative control value from the cable comparison. If, on the negative control test, a listener says 50% of the time that he hears a difference, you must subtract 50% from his answers for the cable comparison test. Ignore the results from any listener that result in zero or negative values after subtracting the negative control. Once you've done this for all the listeners in the test, look of the pink noise standard curve, and find where the 50% listener's point is.

For example, let's say that point is 0.5% Pink Noise. You can conclude that, under conditions where half the listeners can reliably report hearing 0.5% added pink noise, listeners can also hear sounds due to different speaker cables.

Of course, if most or all of the listeners produce results that are zero or negative values after subtracting the negative control, you can conclude that listeners could not hear sounds due to different speaker cables. And you can describe what levels of added pink noise they could hear with the audio gear and the room used for the test.

If anyone wants to repeat the test, they can compare standard curves to see whose test was more sensitive.

I deliberately chose my example to make a simple looking graph where the points generate a straight line. In a real listening test, there will be more listeners, and the resulting graph won't be so clean looking. Each listener will hear 3 to 5 repeats of every level of added pink noise, the negative control, and the cable comparison, so each point will represent an average of the repeats. The resulting graph will probably be an S shaped or sigmoid curve instead of a straight line. But it will contain a linear portion that can be used for this purpose.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Here's a vid that's very useful to the topic:

...
One thing about null testing. It is not the difference as you could probably get a difference in null at some very small level between 5 ft and 10 ft wire of the same everything. The real test is audibility of the difference. Will it get masked? Is it below JND?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
In any listening test, listeners' responses are YES or NO. How do you make that semi-quantitative?
But they can't ascertain the amount of any characteristic in question and that's where objective testing comes in- people aren't calibrated test instruments and the description of any differences won't be the same for 100% of the listeners.

Anyone who plans to do a listening test needs to start by telling anyone in the area to shut up and let them listen- any description of what will be heard skews the results because of pre-conditioning, which is a tool used by many salespeople and it's very effective. The power of suggestion has caused many people to regret their purchases.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
YeH that was me. I thought gene did the hanger and roger Russell did similar tests with actual wire, and also someone used tin foil. Now I just can’t remember...I’ve read too many words in my life and now they’re running together lol.
Right there with you. I've found my brain (without my knowledge, at least consciously) will scrub un-needed information that I haven't used in a long time.

Or, it'll remember a phone number I haven't had in 27 years. Go figure.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic General
Right there with you. I've found my brain (without my knowledge, at least consciously) will scrub un-needed information that I haven't used in a long time.

Or, it'll remember a phone number I haven't had in 27 years. Go figure.
Or all those 4 digits PIN codes that everyone and their pack of dogs are using. Over the years I've had so very, very, very many PIN codes with the requirement that "you should keep it unique and safe". Mostly I remember them by the pattern how I punch the codes, but when the keypad orientation changes you can imagine between devices, most of you have the mental capacity to work that out for yourself :D
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Or all those 4 digits PIN codes that everyone and their pack of dogs are using. Over the years I've had so very, very, very many PIN codes with the requirement that "you should keep it unique and safe". Mostly I remember them by the pattern how I punch the codes, but when the keypad orientation changes you can imagine between devices, most of you have the mental capacity to work that out for yourself :D
Yep. I always had to tell my friends that I wouldn't get cash out of the atm for them because if they tell me their PIN, I'll never forget it. Don't know why, but that's the way it is.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic General
Yep. I always had to tell my friends that I wouldn't get cash out of the atm for them because if they tell me their PIN, I'll never forget it. Don't know why, but that's the way it is.
You're memory is better than mine :)
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Right there with you. I've found my brain (without my knowledge, at least consciously) will scrub un-needed information that I haven't used in a long time.

Or, it'll remember a phone number I haven't had in 27 years. Go figure.
Right?!?! My kids just say it’s cause I’m getting old...
Wait, what was I gonna type.........?
 

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