Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/22

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Off Topic - Point of Comparison
From: Alexey Merz <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 16:54:19 +0100 wrote:
> Paul, thanks for the note.  Interestingly, I just received two flames from a
> couple of Leica guys who also are audiophiles and who really resented my
> implication that an $800 power cord may not be worthwhile.  Actually, it is
> difficult to tell what is snake oil and what may have some basis.  I am in the
> process of buying a new system and the research process is fascinating.

My father, an electrical engineer who began his career designing ultra-
high-end analog amplifiers (we're talking DOD Cold War high-end, not 
wussy rich-person high-end) laughs himself to tears at people who spend 
such sums on hi fi cables. 

As a biologist, I have to add that the further one gets from youth
the less one is able to hear, because hair cells (the cells that 
actually detect sonic vibrations) simply don't regenerate very well. 
I thus find it funny that (generally) the people who can afford hi-end 
audio equipment are the same people who are least likely to benefit 
from any increase in actual fidelity that it might offer!

In short, the placebo effect is a _very_ potent thing. And don't you
believe simple blind tests - they have to be _double_ blind. That 
cable salesman _will_ tip you off, whether you realize it or not!
Alexey Merz | URL: | email:
            | PGP public key: | voice:503/494-6840
            |"...during my five minutes of reflection, the world spent ten
            | million dollars on armaments in order that one hundred sixty
            | children could be murdered with utter impunity in the war of
            | wars, the most silent, the most undeclared war, the war that
            | goes by the name of peace."                --Eduardo Galeano