James Randi Offers $1 Million If Audiophiles Can Prove $7250 Speaker Cables Are Better

Illustration for article titled James Randi Offers $1 Million If Audiophiles Can Prove $7250 Speaker Cables Are Better

Click to viewOur rant about those $7,250 Pear Anjou speaker cables found its way to the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), and Randi offered $1 million to anyone who can prove those cables are any better than ordinary (and also overpriced) Monster Cables. Pointing out the absurd review by audiophile Dave Clark, who called the cables "danceable," Randi called it "hilarious and preposterous." He added that if the cables could do what their makers claimed, "they would be paranormal."

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We see that the Pear Cable company is advertising a pair of 12-foot "Anjou" audio cables for $7,250; that's $302 a foot! And, as expected, "experts" were approached for their opinions on the performance of these wonders ... Well, we at the JREF are willing to be shown that these "no-compromise" cables perform better than, say, the equivalent Monster cables. While Pear rattles on about "capacitance," "inductance," "skin effect," "mechanical integrity" and "radio frequency interface," - all real qualities and concerns, and adored by the hi-fi nut-cases - we naively believe that a product should be judged by its actual performance, not by qualities that can only be perceived by attentive dogs or by hi-tech instrumentation. That said, we offer the JREF million-dollar prize to - for example - Dave Clark, Editor of the audio review publication Positive Feedback Online.

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This is not Randi's first clash with audiophile reviewers who claim to hear differences between various pieces of exotic equipment. He promises a million dollars (which he has waiting in an account for them) if any can prove in double-blind scientific testing that their extraordinary claims are true. None have stepped up so far. [James Randi's Swift]

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DISCUSSION

chopsue-me-old
ChopSue-Me

Well, after reading many of your replies to my post I'm still unconvinced that this is not an easy $1 million for someone to earn. All you need to do is put together in a room a bunch of "golden" ears and do an A/B test. Use Monster cable on A and put these fancy cables on B. First let them listen to the same music score/s on the two different systems so that they can hear the difference between the two wires. Then, don't let these testers see which one they are listening to and have them guess which one they're listening to. After about 100 tries for each tester, do a statistical comparison to see if there's a statistical difference. I bet there is.

Before I purchased my speak wire, I thought that it didn't make a real difference either until I was able to do an A/B comparison. The speaker wires I chose are not $7k but they're still pretty expensive, more than Monsters. I can clearly hear a difference on my semi-expensive system. It's not imaginary either. I have friends who come cover who are blown away when they hear my system. I didn't do an A/B test on them but I'm sure based on the way they raved about mine that I made the correct choice.

These systems all need break in time, from the amps, CD player, down to the speakers and speaker wire. New speaker wires have a tendency to sound harsh. New speakers have a tendency to sound tight. In fact, amps have a tendency to sound harsh too if not warmed up.

All of these things depend on your sense of hearing. Like being able to taste good wine, good sound depends of your sense of hearing. Watching American Idol has shown that many people are completely tone deaf. They can't hear for shoit. Not only that, many people use headphones so loudly that they're half deaf and don't even know it.

As for someone's earlier comment about wine glasses not helping the taste of wine try telling that to Riedel and the thousands of Oenophil who swears by it.

The fact of the matter is that it might be difficult to gauge scientifically WHY or HOW it works rather than seeing first hand that it does. Just like for many decades western made fun of acupuncture but you know what? It works despite no solid scientific proof!