Beta testing allows us to collect subjective opinions about new designs
and verify our own impressions of the sonic qualities of a new cable model. Usually several samples of a new cable model are made and offered for “beta testing” to people with very good systems (and
ears). It's one thing if we (Stealth) like a new cable in our main system and in one or two of our (smaller) secondary systems, and it's a completely different thing if a number of people with different systems and tastes hear the same (or similar)
things as we do.
Unlike software companies, we cannot make the product “expire” when the testing is over, and we cannot afford the luxury to provide beta cables to the testers for free. We do change a deposit for beta cables, the deposit amount is a bare minimum
to cover our cost to design and make beta cables. The beta testers are welcome to keep the cables after testing (and
we do not return the deposit) – or return them to us (in this case we do refund the deposit in full). The beta-testers are required to submit detailed
written opinions (mini-reviews) about the sound. These opinions allow us to determine whether a new cable model works well in different systems or not,
and decide whether to put this new model into production - or redesign the cables - or forgo a particular design completely.
Getting the cables, listening to them briefly and sending them
back in a day or two is NOT a way to do a cable evaluation. The cable differences are
often subtle, and cables need to
settle in a system to sound the way they should. Yes, sometimes
the difference is clear right out of the box, and it becomes even
greater as the cables break in. But this is true in less than 50%
of all cases. Sometimes a new cable might sound somewhat disappointing
at the beginning, and it's important not to draw immediate
conclusions. It is usually wise to "live" with a
component (or a set of fine cables) for some time and develop
personal relationships with it; and in addition, because of the
break-in, it's not recommended to do any critical listening sooner
than two weeks after installing the cables in a system. Of
course you are welcome to listen during this time - but try to
delay finalizing your impression until the appropriate time -
because it might be, and often is, quite different from what you hear at the
If you'd like to be a beta tester for the new cable, please let
us know, and we'll make the appropriate arrangements for you. It's also helpful
if you are currently using a very good cable from another company - or have access to
several high quality (from a friend or a friendly high-end dealer). The goal of the beta testing is to evaluate our new cable as objectively as possible, and comparing it to
other cables - preferably the best cables on the market - makes the testing results better supported and valid.
Statistically valid results
We do have a reference system, and we do listen to our cables,
but we never put our personal opinion over the opinion of the majority of
other listeners. When we recommend cables for particular components or cables to improve certain performance areas, we base our recommendations on the feedback we
accumulate from audiophiles that use our cables. We carefully listen to what our customers say (and hear in their systems). When different audiophiles, with different systems and setups, mention a certain cable characteristic over and over again - then this characteristic gains a “statistically valid” status with us and becomes a recommendation which we pass to our customers. Collecting and analyzing opinions allows us to recommend particular cables for particular systems with greater accuracy and reliably “predict” the sonic changes. Please do not hesitate contacting us to let us know your opinion about our cables!
How to become a beta tester
For a true audiophile, it's simple: a good system (and
preferably a good, acoustically treated room), access to good
cables (to compare to our beta cables), ability to listen
critically, analyze the listening experience and white about it -
this is practically all what's needed to become a beta tester.
Please contact your local STEALTH dealer for details or e-mail us
and we will help you to find a dealer in your area.
The new STEALTH cables currently available for beta testing are
Please e-mail us
if you want to participate, and stay tuned for more info!
BASS (entering beta testing soon)