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Placebo Effect

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Anonymous

Guest
jaxwired: trevor79:We have some friends who when the come round for Dinner always bring a cheap bottle of wine with them. They insist it is a waste of money spending more than a fiver. It didn't stop them rushing down a bottle of £15, drunk in record time. When we started specially buying in £5 for these occasions it lasts a real long time! Is that a placebo effect?

Trevor, you seem like a nice guy, but I really don't see your point. Are you saying that if more expensive wine is worth the money, so are mains cables? Hard to see the connection... Or are you saying that because no placebo effect exists for good wine, it does not exist for any other product?

I think we can all agree that placebo effect does exist and it does color our perception on occassion.

I agree the placebo effect exists everywhere and in everything one does, the mind is a powerful thing, not quite always "mind-over- matter powerful" but nonetheless a force to be reckoned with.

Trevor can answer your point himself but I understand what he is referring to - the "tight wallet" effect. For example, one doesn't buy expensive wine saying it is a waste of money, but then gulps down someone else's Chateau Lafite with gusto.

There is another commonly seen effect - the "sour grapes" effect. For example, one criticises others (quite vehemently sometimes) as blind/deaf "snake oil"-infused idiots because they are fortunate enough to spend some decent money on hi fi accessories like cables, mains block which may only give marginal benefits in terms of the cost vs benefit ratio. But hey it is their money and they can do damn well anything they like with it.

Then there is also the "Clapham Omnibus" effect. For example, one disputes/criticises something unless that something can be objectively proved by scientific measurements, conveniently ignoring the fact that like finger-prints, individual listeners are all uniquely differently in his or her ability to see, taste, hear, touch and smell.

Perhaps there is also the "testosterone" effect - a lot of posters here are men and sometimes, their instincts to win or conquer come across in their posts. This is of course a sexist generalisation, and probably unwarranted as there are plenty of gentlemen and ladies on this forum.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,042
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19,195
Tarquinh: idc, but do you not think science should have an effect?

I think that the only part science has in hifi is the technology required to make the kit and cables. The rest i.e. how it sounds and whether it is pleasing to the eye is subjective. I do not like constantly recycled arguments that this can only be validated by being subjected to scientific testing.

Tarquinh: Your analogy only works if you equate art with music, where you equate a score composed by myself, by mozart or by a 5 year old, with the three works of art. People should indeed be able to tell the difference. We're discussing part of the medium here - can you or an expert tell whether the drying conditions of the material used in the canvas had an impact on the colour saturation of the result?

My analogy is that to some there is no difference and to others the difference is huge. There is a part for the placebo effect in this, but mainly you either get it or you don't, a bit like modern art. Do you want to say which picture is which?
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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AKL:jaxwired: trevor79:We have some friends who when the come round for Dinner always bring a cheap bottle of wine with them. They insist it is a waste of money spending more than a fiver. It didn't stop them rushing down a bottle of £15, drunk in record time. When we started specially buying in £5 for these occasions it lasts a real long time! Is that a placebo effect?
Trevor, you seem like a nice guy, but I really don't see your point.ÿ Are you saying that if more expensive wine is worth the money, so are mains cables?ÿ Hard to see the connection...ÿ Or are you saying that because no placebo effect exists for good wine, it does not exist for any other product?ÿ

I think we can all agree that placebo effect does exist and it does color our perception on occassion.

I agree the placebo effect exists everywhere and in everything one does, the mind is a powerful thing, not quite always "mind-over- matter powerful" but nonetheless a force to be reckoned with.ÿ

Trevor can answer your point himself but I understand what he is referring to - the "tight wallet" effect.ÿ For example,ÿone doesn't buy expensive wine saying it is a waste of money, but then gulps down someone else's Chateau Lafite with gusto.

There isÿanother commonly seen effect - the "sour grapes" effect.ÿÿ For example, one criticises others (quite vehemently sometimes) as blind/deaf "snake oil"-infused idiots because they are fortunate enough to spend some decent money on hi fi accessories like cables, mains block which may only give marginal benefits in terms of the cost vs benefit ratio. But hey it is their money and they can do damn well anything they like with it.

Then there is also the "Clapham Omnibus" effect.ÿ For example, one disputes/criticises something unless that something can be objectively proved by scientific measurements, conveniently ignoring the fact that like finger-prints, individual listeners are all uniquely differentlyÿin his or her ability to see, taste, hear, touch and smell.

Perhaps there is also the "testosterone" effect - a lot of posters here are men and sometimes, their instincts to win or conquer come across in their posts.ÿ This is of course a sexist generalisation, and probably unwarranted as there are plenty of gentlemen and ladies on this forum.



I also don't think the money spent on cables is huge. I've just purchased a Nordost Shiva for £72 which won't lose a massive amount of value, even if I keep it for 5 years. Conversely it could be with me for 10 years and through several equipment upgrades. Great value in my book.ÿ

ÿ
 
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Anonymous

Guest
idc, no, but I'd be happy with the one on the left or the right. If you told me which was which, I'd go for the elephant one, of course, but that's because I'm an unashamedly prejudiced animal lover..

P.S. Don't think the middle one is bad, either, just couldn't look at it on a daily basis.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,042
13
19,195
trevor79:We have some friends who when the come round for Dinner always bring a cheap bottle of wine with them. They insist it is a waste of money spending more than a fiver. It didn't stop them rushing down a bottle of £15, drunk in record time. When we started specially buying in £5 for these occasions it lasts a real long time! Is that a placebo effect?

I think that this is a cracking analogy. Some people say they do not notice the difference between a cheap option and the more expensive one. But they do without necessarily realising it. Alternatively all they are really interested in is the wine (music) and the difference in the grape (cables) does not interest them.

There are some people with very sensitive pallets who can tell the difference between grape varieties and with time and study become professional at it, such as Oz Clarke. Then there are those who do the same with hifi and they become editors of What Hifi. Below that there are a lot of enthusiastic amateurs and below that are those who just ridicule the whole thing and tp paraphrase another poster they are the tone deaf with no sence of taste.
 

matengawhat

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
670
5
18,895
idc:
trevor79:We have some friends who when the come round for Dinner always bring a cheap bottle of wine with them. They insist it is a waste of money spending more than a fiver. It didn't stop them rushing down a bottle of £15, drunk in record time. When we started specially buying in £5 for these occasions it lasts a real long time! Is that a placebo effect?

I think that this is a cracking analogy. Some people say they do not notice the difference between a cheap option and the more expensive one. But they do without necessarily realising it. Alternatively all they are really interested in is the wine (music) and the difference in the grape (cables) does not interest them.

There are some people with very sensitive pallets who can tell the difference between grape varieties and with time and study become professional at it, such as Oz Clarke. Then there are those who do the same with hifi and they become editors of What Hifi. Below that there are a lot of enthusiastic amateurs and below that are those who just ridicule the whole thing and tp paraphrase another poster they are the tone deaf with no sence of taste.

see i would say they were shrewd - they prob know when they arrive you will have a great bottle of wine already uncorked and breathing and that you will never open their bottle

classic episode of the IT Crowd when roy arrives at a party with a bottle of wine called white wine and then when asked what he is drinking he says red!!!

I'd bring a great bottle and insist you open it!!!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
matengawhat, you can come round to my house any time you like.

On a personal note I spend/invest more on wine than on Hi-Fi.

My current system has a retail cost (when Bought) of around £5k plus various mods and cables I already had.

That equates to less than 2 cases of the best wine I have laid down.
I do have a little knowledge on that subject.

As for the pictures, I wouldn't have any of them hanging on my wall, prefer William Gatewood and have two of his in my lounge.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
trevor79:matengawhat, you can come round to my house any time you like.

On a personal note I spend/invest more on wine than on Hi-Fi.

My current system has a retail cost (when Bought) of around £5k plus various mods and cables I already had.

That equates to less than 2 cases of the best wine I have laid down.
I do have a little knowledge on that subject.

As for the pictures, I wouldn't have any of them hanging on my wall, prefer William Gatewood and have two of his in my lounge.

I'm guessing Margaux and Rothschild, with Yquem or Gevrey Chambertin as long shots?
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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Trevor, you are welcome to bring 1/2 crate of that plonk round to mine, and in exchange you can listen to the delights of my Arcams, and all the superb cables that hold it together. Oh and I'll throw in a nice curry too!

ÿ
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
2002 Ch. Ausone, St. Emilion, love it!

No not that year, will need about another 3 before I will consider opening a bottle.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JoelSim:
Trevor, you are welcome to bring 1/2 crate of that plonk round to mine, and in exchange you can listen to the delights of my Arcams, and all the superb cables that hold it together. Oh and I'll throw in a nice curry too!

ÿ

Your systems good, but not that good! ;-)

The wine needs something a little better than a curry (Cobra beer), perhaps a Scotish Rib eye roast thats been hung for 22 days, med rare with all the trimings.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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trevor79:JoelSim:
Trevor, you are welcome to bring 1/2 crate of that plonk round to mine, and in exchange you can listen to the delights of my Arcams, and all the superb cables that hold it together. Oh and I'll throw in a nice curry too!

ÿ

Your systems good, but not that good! ;-)The wine needs something a little better than a curry (Cobra beer), perhaps a Scotish Rib eye roast thats been hung for 22 days, med rare with all the trimings.

Had a nice rib roast last night actually. Although my favourite is lamb, the rib pushes it mightily close and is by far the best cut of beef. Melt in the mouth!

ÿ
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,042
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trevor79:......... perhaps a Scotish Rib eye roast thats been hung for 22 days, med rare with all the trimings.......

You certainly know how to live the highlife!
 

Gort1951

New member
Aug 18, 2008
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I noticed the difference in sound going from cheap bell wire to thick ofc 700 odd strand flat cable. I noticed better treble and bass. It sounded sharper.

There is too many brands and different types to choose from.

I bought a 20M HDMI cable for my projector, cost me £20. A mate paid £80 for a 1M HDMI cable. Tried it on his tv and there was no difference.

Smug Alert on South Park - Cy Twombly - That is for the rich smug people like George Clooney's 78th Academy Awardhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/78th_Academy_Awards acceptance speach.

I'd rather pay the guy who does the concrete drawings to do my pathway.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The placebo discussion seems to concentrate on cables (and wine). If I were a cable maker I could do 2 things: make a very good cable that is completely neutral, no impact on the sound whatsoever, no difference between a cable of 30 cm or 3 m or even 10 m. Knowing that it is hard to sell and there must be hundreds of cables that try to do this I'd make it look and feel as "high end" as possible, and hope for a placebo effect. Or, I could reason why would someone be interested in forking over a considerable sum for a neutral cable, and I'd really make it change the sound in some way or another (if that is possible), and make 'warm' cables, and 'punchy' cables.

My feeling is that if there really is an objective difference between two expensive cables at least one of the two affects the sound in a way it should not. Maybe both. But if the end result is pleasing to some customers, so be it. What I do like is stuff that is well manufactured, like flexible cables with good connectors. Likewise, I prefer the build quality of a Primare vs a Naim Nait, regardless of the quality of the sound. Presumably this also makes me vulnarable to placebo effects.

Indeed, it's like going to the doctor. Do you really want medication that was scientifically double blind tested and proven to be effective, or do you just want to get better, with or without placebo?

Anyway, here is the order of importance for sound quality IMHO... 1. quality of the recording, 2. speakers, 3. room acoustics + placement of speakers, 4. your own position in the room, 5. amp, cdp, dac etc, 6. cables. Good s*x the previous night should also be included somewehere, I suspect before the cables, but feel free to disagree.

P.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
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Well I've just agreed to pay £300 for two mains cables second hand, so if they don't perform they will be going back on the market!
 

Andrew Everard

New member
May 30, 2007
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Pete10:Good s*x the previous night should also be included somewehere

Yes, an evening of live jazz probably helps, but clarinet or guitar is as good as sax.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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Andrew Everard:
Pete10:Good s*x the previous night should also be included somewehere

Yes, an evening of live jazz probably helps, but clarinet or guitar is as good as sax.

I prefer it with no strings attached

ÿ
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,042
13
19,195
JoelSim:Andrew Everard:

Pete10:Good s*x the previous night should also be included somewehere

Yes, an evening of live jazz probably helps, but clarinet or guitar is as good as sax.

I prefer it with no strings attached

So Joel no harpists for you then................................................
 

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