A real test of super speaker cables, maybe not

I read in Swift that one of the outrageously expensive sets of speaker wires where going to submit to a real test. There is no rocket science involved in determining if a person can hear a difference between audio products. The ABX Double Blind Comparator System isn’t exactly new technology and when used in a properly controlled test yields excellent results. The problem is that most manufacturers don’t seem to want to do good tests , instead they depend on reviewers and not necessarily applicable technical measurements.

The next week I read about more developments in the process and it was looking like the people making the claim for the big money cable where backing out. However the next section of Swift gave me hope this would go forward. Randi had done something I hadn’t seen before, he changed the wording of his challenge rules to address the complaints of the reviewer, Michael Fremer.

To those readers who are unfamiliar with the JREF challenge here’s a few important points about it. People often make claims for things that have no plausible scientific explanation. The JREF has put up 1 million dollars US as a prize for any person who has made such a claim, has gotten the claim publicly known via the media and can demonstrate the affect to the JREF. The claimant doesn’t have to explain how anything works all they have to do is show that it works. Both the claimant and the JREF have to agree ahead of time on a test that demonstrates the claim. If the claimant passes the agreed upon test the JREF hands over the prize.

For the claims made by this audio reviewer this should be a very simple and straight forward test. The claim is that the reviewer can reliably tell the difference between the ultra-expensive Pear speaker wire and normally priced speaker wire. A simple controlled double blind listening test will be all that is needed to decide the matter. So if the reviewer and manufacturer are truly sincere about their extraordinary claim they will now go ahead and start discussing a simple test.

Sadly this post, BLAKE WITHDRAWS, has just gone up at the JREF. The manufacturer is pulling out before even hammering out a simple test procedure. This says to me that the manufacturer isn’t all that certain of their claim.

Some more reading about audio cables:
The Truth About Cables – AxiomAudio
Interconnect and speaker cable whitepaper
Speaker Cables from Blue Jeans Cable

From Audioholics Home Theater Reviews and News:
Un-Sound Advice About Cables
Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil
AudioQuest Responds to Top 10 Snake Oil Article
Thiel Audio Interview on Cables
Cable Distortion and Dielectric Biasing Debunked
Skin Effect Relevance in Speaker Cables
Speaker Cable Face Off 1
Speaker Cable Reviews – Faceoff 2
Speaker Cable Faceoff 3