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Shunyata Venom USB should not be making this difference

Discussion in 'audio' started by naimnut, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    A friend suggested that this is because it allows them to offer "huge reductions" on a pretty regular basis :)
    I recently made enquiries about cables at a Danish retailer's and witnessed the phenomenon up close (didn't buy though).
  2. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    I don't have a horse in this race, so I will refrain from taking a position on the actual question, but:

    The bold-text part is self-contradictory. It wouldn't be a double-blind test if the patient knew which one was the placebo.

    Also, I would imagine that clinical trials of, say, anti-depressants consist of plenty of subjective self-assessment by the patient for improvement in all manner of hard-to-pin-down aspects of the inner workings of their brain.
    sq225917 likes this.
  3. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Well yes. Where to begin?
  4. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    I guess if people wanted to model their double-blind tests after clinical ones, the better format would be to have a large cohort of audiophiles and each one has either an Amazon Basics cable installed or a Fancy Pants cable installed, but they don't know which one they have (and the installer doesn't know which one they installed). They then have to live with the change for N weeks of normal listening, during/after which they report on any perceived improvement to their audio. The researchers then tally the responses to determine whether a statistically significant number of audiophiles detected an improvement with Fancy Pants cables compared to the Amazon Basics group. By taking weekly responses, the researchers can also account for purported cable break-in effects.
    sq225917 and mansr like this.
  5. leroyd

    leroyd pfm Member

    A very nice summary and it would be an intriguing study.
  6. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Then I imagine the starting point would be to consider how perceptual discrimination tests are actually carried out in perceptual science, audiology etc.
    The sort of approach you suggest might also work, but would require very careful cohort matching etc besides the set up problem, and would be a different beast. But of course something very similar has been done with audio files by eg Archimago and Mark Waldrep.
    gustav_errata likes this.
  7. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    My post wasn't to be taken too seriously. It was just a riff on the comparison to pharmaceutical and clinical trials. I have every confidence that researchers in perceptual science have developed robust testing methods that are more suitable to the task at hand.
    adamdea likes this.
  8. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Platinum Ears

    What level was the phenomenon, in percentage? :)
  9. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    I love cable threads, said nobody ever
  10. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    Around 25%
  11. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Platinum Ears

    Thats less than I expect as a mandatory discount on any hifi I buy! :)
  12. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    I find 10-12% on cables is more usual, at least here on the Continent.

    25% is usually reserved for ex-dem cables ansd not necessarily recent ones at that..
  13. Frizzy

    Frizzy Liberal anarchist

    The cable discount thing is not unusual, I tried out some high fidelity cables and was offered a %30 discount , after some internet browsing it seems this was general practice in diff countries so must have been a policy decision.
    Whereas stillpoints have a pricing policy that Apple would kill for, distributor jokes they are better than bullion.
  14. naimnut

    naimnut Deep in the Mines of Soul

    I titled this thread "shunyata venom USB should not be making this difference". There was some good discussion here.

    In the interest of sharing our experience for the benefit of others, I'll share my latest thoughts. I was out of town from Thursday through Monday and have only recently had time to listen properly, once again.

    IMHO, the Venom makes a beneficial difference in my system. I'd describe it this way. There is, on the one hand, better separation between the various instruments. That is, they sound a little bit clearer, easier to follow. On the other hand, there is also a greater sense of cohesion among the members of the ensemble. That is, things hang together better and make more sense, artistically.

    A data point, for any who still are interested, is that since I was out of town and not listening for about six days I was not able to keep the humidity in my listening room as low as I normally do (below 50%). It's taking me several days to get it down from about 53%. It also means the Quads were left unpowered over this time. This means the Quads are not performing at their optimum. A symptom of this is an increased tendency to pop occasionally. This happens more with the Venom in the system than with the standard MHDT USB. Not sure what it might mean, but I hear it. Makes me think that with the Venom in the system it's increasing dynamics just a tiny bit, thereby causing the Quads to do their popping thing more. BTW, my comments regarding the Quads is not intended to be "the final word". It's just my experience. YMMV. And that's fine. My experience is that they sound better when I've been able to keep the humidity in the 40s and power them up for a while on a daily basis.

    I doubt that this thread has changed any minds. That's fine. But I do think there would be a value in some of our stalwarts giving such an experiment a try. See how your actual experience compares to mine. Rather than your *theoretical* experience.
    gustav_errata likes this.
  15. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    I've tried loads of usb cables, never made a difference, unlike the obvious change in quad volume level with humidity.
    naimnut likes this.
  16. naimnut

    naimnut Deep in the Mines of Soul

    Thanks for sharing. Good to find a fellow curious person.
  17. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    So, overall, you thought the cable was awesome, then not sure it made a difference, then good, after an absence.

    In the meantime, your system stayed the same.

    Is there anything that may have changed during this time?
    narabdela likes this.
  18. naimnut

    naimnut Deep in the Mines of Soul


    I'll mention that, while I plan to buy my buddy's used Venom, I'm probably continue to swap between them, just to check myself.

    @DimiryZ I wouldn't know how to do the data nulling project you suggested. I wish you'd do it.
  19. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    One needs an ADC, which I don't have. But apparently good ones are available for short money.
  20. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    Just out of curiosity, which DAC/Chip?

    Veering off on a tangent (on a hifi forum? Surely not?), one of my all-time favourite album titles is Martin Simpson's 'Righteousness & Humidity.' As he said in an interview at the time, "it's a powerful combination..."

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