A good friend of mine, Dane Fehlberg, (Where are you now???) bought a new $1800 CD player. (I won't mention the name, but it was VERY well reviewed.) He swore black and blue that it sounded much better in the shop than any others that he auditioned at the time. I've owned a $300 Sony CD player for years and was starting to get a little restless about the possibility of an upgrade. So, we arranged a blind listening session, at my place. Dane agreed my speakers would resolve any differences between the players.
First we meticulously adjusted the levels. We then had a quick listen to each player (sighted) and we both commented "This will be easy, lets get on with the blind test".
At first I tested Dane. I had a list of As and Ss (denoting the two players) randomly in a line (about 20 of each) on a piece of paper, he had a pen and a blank piece of paper. Each test both players would be loaded and queued to the same track number, but the selector switch on the pre-amp would let only one player output to the system. The second CD was a placebo, so it was not obvious through other clues which player was being played. After about 40 tests we swapped seats.
We both returned the same scores! Very close to 50% either way. This was a very humbling experience for both of us. Considering the $1800 player was using $$$ cables and my player was using something I had whipped up, I think this puts two arguments to rest.
I have a few audiophile friends who still believe they can hear the difference between CD players and cables, but they are unwilling to make a time to sit my test. They are quite happy to say things like "you don't have good enough ears"(from a 50 yr old, I was 27 at the time) or the best one, "Your speakers are not revealing enough" (From a B@$# owner!!!)
I hope everybody who reads this and who disagrees with my findings tries this experiment for themselves. Please don't kid yourself and try to cheat! It shows that the ears are very good at hearing some things, but quite poor at hearing other things. The brain on the other hand is very powerful at filling in the blanks. A test like this makes Stereophool look like idiots. "It's the difference between chalk and cheese" I wonder what cheese they eat?!Back to my home page