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HT to reader Steven Beary for this story.

Many years ago, I was using your original PS Model 1 power amplifier, which, in stock form, had two, three-inch, coaxial leads from the RCA inputs to the immediately adjacent PC board. Subsequently, PS switched to using what appeared to be "Kimber PBJ" braided wire in pre-amps for the connections between RCA jacks and PCB boards.

One day, my wife went shopping and told me she would be gone for about three hours, so I took the Model 1 out of the system, opened the top, and replaced the two three-inch coax connections between the RCA input jacks and the adjacent PCB boards with two equal-length pieces of Kimber PBJ sourced from a longer run of PBJ I had picked up at CES (Ray Kimber braided it in his room and gave it away to attendees at the time), put the top back on, and put the Model 1 back in the system.

I thought it sounded much better, much more open, better soundstage, and better transient and dynamic response. My wife came home about 30 minutes later, walked into the living room about two steps, stopped in her tracks, and said "What did you do to the stereo? It sounds so much better".

So, she didn't even know there was a double blind test going on, and yet she instantly identified that there was a change from before.

All this over the change out of just two, three-inch pieces of wire. So much for those who claim it's all "snake oil"…

Similar scenarios have happened to me multiple times. I'll bet you have experienced the same. The question becomes, what do we do with this information? If the idea that a three inch piece of wire cannot matter is foremost in our minds, then what you just read surely threatens your worldview and most will find a way to dismiss the results on the basis it is not a scientifically controlled test. And if you are predisposed to accept differences in wire then this story becomes proof; it supports your worldview. Which is correct?

The observant among you will ask an obvious question. Why would a manufacturer quietly change a cheap three inch connection with a more expensive version if not for performance benefits? No manufacturer wishing to remain in business spends unnecessary money. So we must conclude in this case, PS Audio believed in the improvement enough to spend more to get it. BUT. That only validates our own worldview and proves nothing. Or does it?

Tomorrow I'll share with you an alternative to the DBT (Double Blind Test).

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Paul McGowan

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