Pear Cables has been offered the One Million Dollar JREF Challenge to prove their claims that an audible difference can be heard between their $7,250 cables and Monster Cable.
*UPDATE 10/24/07 – Response from Michael Fremer in comment on this post. Recommended reading*
Email exchanges between Michael Fremer and James Randi have gotten quite heated. You can read it for yourself on direct links supplied below. But Pear audio has definately and specifically been offered the One Million dollar prize. It will be very interesting to follow this.
LINKS TO INFO:
JREF Pear Cable Invitation – READ
Pear Cable Website
JAMES RANDI WRITES TO FREMER ON THE JREF WEBSITE:
Mr. Fremer, for further clarity, here is the essence of what the JREF will accept as a response to our challenge: We are asking you â€“ and/or Adam Blake â€“ to significantly differentiate between a set of $7,250 Pear Anjou cables and a good set of Monster cables, or between a set of $43,000 Transparent Opus MM SC cables and the same Monster cables â€“ your choice of these two possible scenarios. We will accept an ABX system test â€“ if that is also acceptable to you. This would have to be done to a statistically significant degree, that degree to be decided.
I can see many more possible ways for you to continue balking, so letâ€™s get along with it, Mr. Fremer.
One reader writes: “The skeptics have addressed the pseudoscience of high end audio in a past issue of skeptic magazine. For example, the superiority of vinyl records and vacuum tube amps are favorites of true believer audiophiles. Basically, anything that is difficult to detect and leaves a lot to interpretation gets the gullible out with their wallets. That goes for just about anything including alternative medicine and religion.”
FROM THE JAMES RANDI WEBSITE:
There is a case to be made for having quality components, but the claims weâ€™re dealing with here result from the â€œaudiophoolsâ€ who prefer expensive toys over actual performance, and assume superior personal sensitivity that is simply not there â€“ all of which is of course encouraged by the vendors of the toys and supported by the small army of self-appointed â€œexpertsâ€ who turn out reams of dreamy text extolling such nonsense, safely snuggled away in their Ivory Towers.
The JREF has put its money where its Internet mouth is.
I must thank those concerned readers who sent me informed warnings about the possibilities of fakery and the actual parameters of audio performance â€“ not wanting me to wander out of my sphere of expertise. As Iâ€™ve said before, I know two things with considerable authority: how people can be fooled, and how they can fool themselves. The latter of those is often the more important factor. In designing double-blind testing protocols, I have always seen to it that the security, randomization, isolation, statistical limits, and information-transfer elements are carefully set up and implemented. Designing an appropriate protocol is not outside of my abilities, and I feel quite secure with this. All my life, Iâ€™ve been involved in the fine art of deception â€“ for purposes of entertainment â€“ and I daresay that despite my advancing age, I can still do a few dandy card tricks and make a couple of innocent objects vanish from sight, if pressed sufficiently. When that acuity degrades, it will be time to call in appropriate assistanceâ€¦
FROM THE PEAR CABLE WEBSITE:
Info Found At: http://www.pearcable.com/sub_faq.htm#3
What makes Pear Cable different from all of the other cable companies out there?
This is difficult to sum up in a single paragraph, but certainly one of the biggest differences comes from our fundamental approach to cable design, which is to begin with basic science and engineering. Although it is a bit shocking, MOST cable companies do not share this fundamental design approach. There are probably three main categories of cable designers out there: ones that utilize pseudo-science or other types of faulty design principles, empirically driven cable designers, and designers that begin with real engineering and science. Unfortunately, the use of pseudo-science is probably the dominant cable design platform, with proven engineering principles being the least prevalent design platform. The cable companies that utilize faulty scientific conclusions can be spotted by the factual errors presented in their design philosophy, or misuse of otherwise sound engineering principles. Cable designers driven primarily by empirical listening results have great intentions, but are unlikely to ever reach the highest levels of performance due to a tremendous number of design factors. The few companies out there who actually utilize sound cable design principles often focus on only one design element, or fall victim to marketing pressure, only to end up with mediocre products. Pear Cable has the utmost confidence in the products that we offer, and the products have all had their scientific principles verified by human listening. We can stand behind all of the design principles that we utilize; can the other guys do that?
Do I need to be an audiophile to hear the differences between cables?
No. Anyone can appreciate the differences that cables make. A casual music listener may not be able to describe why a poor quality sound system doesn’t sound good, but they know that it doesn’t sound anything like live music. Improve the quality of the cables and the same listener may not know why the sound is better, but they know it is better. If you listen to music, you can benefit from the improvements in accuracy that accurate cables will enable.