Blind or Just Deaf?

Does anyone following these forums actually insist
on doing a "Blind" listening test before laying out
several thousand on a new piece?

Or is a little Herb wax all you need to slip into something comfortable?

I do not necessarily mean in your own listening room
as that is difficult to do. If you have to bring your own
Amp or speaker to a retailer then you have done what can be done.
Or you may be comparing two items you do not own.

Finally, would you pay $ for a blind comparative listening session
at a properly set up facility?

I have an idea I think may be a good one.
Not from Dwight either.


I am a big believer in double-blind listening tests. I have been surprised by how little differences there are when you don't know which item you are listening too. When double-blind is not an option I will down-select to two choices and then bring along the family for a listening session. They will not know what two items they are comparing.
Blind or just deaf? You know the answer. Only technically its not that they're deaf. Its just that they haven't much in the way of listening skills. Which are not, by the way, so easy to develop.  

Its like just now, had to take a break from audio to help a doc read an x-ray. He's not blind. Just hasn't as much skill as me at reading films. He'll probably get better at it. 

The reason I say probably, some docs never do. Because they have a radiologist, they use that as a crutch and excuse for developing skills that take time and effort to master.  

I'm always happy to do a double-blind test.  As long as I trust the test-giver & venue, supply my own test recordings, be the person who matches the sound levels and is the person who gives the order to do the change.  I've actually done it more than once.  It's what induced me to purchase both my speakers and my integrated amp...and to not purchase another integrated amp.
Nope, read reviews, have a drink , order away & hope for the best. It's life, take a chance.
Alternatively send the 'peakers over to me and I will gladly put them through the proprietary kenjit (TM) test for hifi speakers. I will give em a full workup. No charge. Shipping payable by the speaker company. 

So what gear did you buy after the test?

Booze hounds- If an alternative had been available
would you have used it? i.e. a blind listening comparison.
A blind listening test does not tell the whole story just part of it . Extended listening sessiones can give you much more information on the differences between audio equipment . 

That is the reason why on blind listening test where there is switching between A and B , differences are not all that audible giving results that statiscally are not relevant but do the same test on my equipment which I have heard extensively over months I can identify with a almost 100% certainty what is being played be it IC , speaker cable or what ever I have in my system at that particular moment . And its not that I have golden ears but rather I have climatized my ears to a certain equipment sonic tapestry . Case in point I have 3 different types of interconnects for my system and I switch between them playing around with them in order to get different sonic results . They are JPS Labs , Cardas 5C and DNM Reson . Using the source as where to change the IC ( I've learn that 85% of the sonic signature of a particular cable is recognizable when the IC is placed at the source ) you can change the IC without me knowing which and I can tell you which IC you have placed with 100% positive results , even with bad recordings .

Double Blind listening test have their place and analizing the result correctly can give you alot of info but to say just because you could not pickup differences in a double Blind test does not mean there aren't differences .
Chorus -- I can't remember the exact speakers that were in the comparo where I wound up buying my current Nola Boxers, but I believe they were the equivalent-sized B&Ws, or perhaps a pair of Rogers.  I've never had a megawatt stereo system or a large room to play them in, and I've loved Brit monitors ever since I got a pair of KEF Corellis, who knows when.  For the speaker comparison I also dragged in the pair of speakers I had the time, Celestion SL600's.   As for the amp comparo (which happened some time later), I brought in my Primaluna Prologue integrated to face off against a Lyngdorf room-correcting integrated.  I'd bought my Boxers at the place where I did the amp audition and they still had a pair, so I didn't have to bring them, as well.  I preferred the Primaluna.  For all its high-tech wizardry, the Lyngdorf didn't throw that much better of a soundstage, and the sound felt a hair hyped up and artificial.  Even the salesman agreed that the Primaluna sounded better.

So yeah, these may not have been strictly kosher double-blind situations but I had the money burning a hole in my pocket when I went to the stores, and I didn't have a hair of emotional prejudice. 
Well there are alot of people  who don't  believe it even they are proved  wrong .Why do they ? 

I don't insist on blind testing all my equipment, but I understand their use and sometimes employ blind testing when I feel like it.

Blind testing for me helped verify the sonic differences I thought I was hearing between some CD players and DACs seemed to be there.

On the other hand, blind testing some expensive AC cables helped remind me of the power of sighted bias.  I thought for sure my system had changed sound with the expensive AC cable.  But when I tested without knowing which cable was being used - expensive audiophile cable or the cheap stock cable - the "obvious" sonic differences vanished.   That saved me a good heap of money. :-)

Blind testing also helped me with an issue I had when I switched to a new server system for streaming my digital sound to my DAC.  When I switched, it seemed like the new server seemed a bit more bright and brittle, which alarmed me as I really wanted to use the new server.  But, knowing it was technically dubious that the sound would actually be any different and having experience with the power of sighted bias, I had a friend help me blind test between the old and new server.   Result: no sonic difference to detect.  And from then on I was happy with the new server and realize that, yeah, it sounds the same as always.

But if I were writing a purely subjective review of either the AC cable or the new server, like most subjective reviewers I would have told people they made clear sonic differences.

It's a really good learning tool, and it's up to any individual if they want to use it or not.

Some people prefer to believe they have Infallible Ears, and no one can tell them it's up to you if you want to follow their lead, or the more reasonable, modest proposition that you can actually mis-perceive things sometimes ;-)

Good to know that some people still recognize that they
may not be infallible.