How many times have you read on the Internet:
- I have spent money on snake oils, and couldn’t hear a difference, I was conned
- I have subjected myself in a blind test, and humbled by the fact I cannot hear a difference
Often the implication is they have ‘awakened’ from hifi con, and how they now know better.
This is just a passive aggressive form of them trying to say they are telling you they are better than you. If I get a penny for every post of the ilk above I never have to work again. But until then, all I can do is laugh. Let’s cut to the chase here, it is very likely they did none of the claims they made.
For the rare ones that actually subjected themselves to a blind test, they have made two very bad assumptions:
- have well calibrated and trained ears
- have a world class sound system
This is but one of many reasons why these arguments will never go away. Everybody thinks they have a good system, they have good ears. Just because they think they have do not make it true. They have not been exposed to a world class audio system.
They only think they have. They do not. World class systems are very rare. It is very hard to describe just how far ahead a good sound system is, they are simply transcending. The best sound system will bring out every emotions inside you, stir up memories you thought were long forgotten. The best sound system breathes life itself. And it is not something money can buy. This is what separates a good sound system from a world class one.
People who know/knew me personally would notice one thing about me - I openly tell people what I have and happy to share my opinions on what I have gleamed from my system (the genesis of this blog and the Snakeoil OS). But one thing I never do is brag about how good my audio system is. Because my audio system is nothing compared to a world class audio system. The ground to catch up is so vast it really pains me.
If like me you know what a world class audio system is, you’d instantly realise the blind testing brigade really have no clue at all what they are talking about.
Comment from: A fellow audiophile Visitor
OK, I appreciate the effort you put into this argument but you are wrong. If someone claims, for instance, that one OS sounds better than another OS, then in a proper ABX listening test - where they are given the exact surroundings and all the time they need - I expect them to pick out the OS they said sounds better every time. Otherwise, don’t make the claim.
There are too many non-audio factors at play here to simply take these claims at face value:
- it costs more therefore it must be better
- it’s newer technology therefore it must be better
- I own it therefore it must be better
- I invented it therefore it must be better.
I don’t buy the argument that if others can’t hear the difference it must be because their equipment, hearing, or appreciation are not up to snuff. If you make the claim you should be willing and able to prove it if challenged.
Comment from: Member
I don’t buy the argument that if others can’t hear the difference it must be because their equipment, hearing, or appreciation are not up to snuff. If you make the claim you should be willing and able to prove it if challenged.Proponents of blind testing should focus more time and attention to show the world how this discipline is applied in everyday hifi decision making, not just for winning arguments.
In the case of OS, the challenge is already issued. Try out Snakeoil OS and see for yourself if it’s better than what you have right now.
The thing is I cannot <em>talk</em> you or anybody into anything. e.g. my version of "better" is only for me and for me alone. My "better" cannot be forced upon you, all I can do is show to you what my version of "better" is. Whether you accept that is up to you, your comments and opinions is only personal to you. With Snakeoil OS I do encourage people to stray beyond the default settings and explore what their own "better" is. This is why Snakeoil OS is so openly configurable, and not locked down like almost everything out there.
Another reason why I even call this Snakeoil OS - the word itself automatically sets a audiophile up on a bias, trigger a flight or fight response. If you are willing to download the OS, willing to install the OS to test it out, willing to sit down for a minute and listen to the music. Those acts alone will set you apart from most audiophiles I know of. That’s the kind of fight response I’m looking for.
Arguing for blind testing typically on the forums is actually a flight response in my books, only meant to degrade the discussion into "winning" and "losing" and nothing more.