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A list of Audiophile Fallacies

Re : Ad vinum :

Completely missing the point that in this analogy. the music is the wine, not the audio gear. The music (like the wine) is the thing we enjoy/consume.

So the audio gear is analogous to the bottle, decanter and glass - needed to transport the finished product to our sense organs with as little contamination as possible. No-one wants to drink wine from a dirty glass.
 
If you were to ask me, which you probably wouldn't, I might suggest that much of the tension between the two camps could be resolved if the scientifically bent among us considered the remote possibility that the subjectivists aren't always wrong or deluded,

No need. They are wrong and deluded.
 
I’m in my early 30’s so I don’t know how much my hearing has degraded, but I think I’m picking up most of the spectrum well. This is in regards to my first post.
Back around 1977/78 I heard Neil Young at the L.A. Forum. Nobody used hearing protection back then. I was 22. That was the last time I heard a flyback transformer. It's pretty common for people, especially people exposed to such loud sounds as rock concerts, to lose their high frequency hearing at an early age.
 
Is there a Latin word that can be used to describe a person who claims to hear things that other people don't hear ?
 
Pedere In Ludo - better educated audiophiles sometimes bring this one up. They are open to the idea that one cable or capacitor sounds the same as the other but swapping cables and capacitors pretty much is the hobby for them.

To accept that it's all in the mind would 'ruin the game' and they would have to fall back on listening to music in order to pass the time.
 
I posted this in another thread, but I thought it might be useful to open source some more ideas in a separate thread.


The mark of genius is often to be misunderstood, but to be misunderstood is not usually the mark of genius - Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Ad Vinum
Audio is like wine, which inevitably involves incorrect assertions about the chemical make-up of wine (e.g. they allege that identical wines taste different) and blind testing (usually they are wrong about what sommeliers can and can’t do). For instance, the different tastes of different varietals, vintages, and terroir all have measurable chemical signatures (Giving rise to “frankenwines” blended to be similar to great vintages). They tend to ignore that the Sommelier and Master Sommelier exams involve an important label-blind test (but even that requires viscosity and color examination to get correct).

Ad Automobilis
Audio is like cars. Ok, now what?

Ad Horologium in Carpi
Audio is like wristwatches. True, but nobody is making claims about the quality of time-telling in a fancy chronomoter. Corollary: all audio debates devolve to wristwatch debates.

Ad Quantum
Your measurements are Newtonian and Audio involves significant quantum effects that are audible to us - we just can’t prove it

Ad Difficile Nito
Blind testing involves too much pressure/rapid changes and therefore is invalid. Typically ignores many blind tests where the timing, length, and rapidity are under the subject’s control. Those asserting this also tend to discount the audiological evidence that a) rapid switching is by far the best way for humans to distinguish small differences and b) that audio memory is incredibly short-lived.

Ad Mysterium
A superset of Ad Quantum and Ad Materiae, in which previous examples of ‘settled science’ being unseated are trotted out as dispositive that this is going on in Audio, despite the lack of unexplained phenomena to explain in unsighted testing. Often supported with the Shakespeare quote from Hamlet “There is more on heav’n and earth..”, ignoring that the speaker is defending the existence of ghosts. He is also expounding on the limitless nature of human imagination, which is actually quite apt to high end Audio, as that’s where most high end differences appear to arise. Typically used to confuse the fact that measurements don’t explain everything we hear with the truth that measurements can describe everything in the sound wave (above and beyond what is audible).

Ad Aures Aureas
The Golden Ear fallacy, usually trotted out by people with severe age-related hearing loss. Tales of extraordinary audio discernment with few witnesses accompanied by a violent allergy to any kind of blind-testing. Ad Difficile Nito is a common co-morbidity when cornered.

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Omnia Critica
Every little thing makes a difference, down to the cushion material used on the feet of your DAC. No threshold of difference is too small. Ignores the science of human hearing.

Contra Aequationem Volumen
Often committed en passant, without acknowledging as much, this is the practice of deprecating level-matching as the primary cause of actual perceived differences. Many audiophiles eschew any kind of level-matching in evaluating equipment, which has, perhaps, cost people more money than any other nonsense in the hobby. Also known as Contra-Fletcher-Munson.

Ad Materiae
Another subset of Ad Mysterium The materials used in electronics have their own audible quality, which transcends measurement. Amusingly, these qualities correspond directly to the tactile or visual characteristics of the material in question. Plastic waveguides sound synthetic, silver cables sound liquid, beryllium sounds hard, wood sounds warm, etc.

Russell’s Teapot
”You can’t prove it doesn’t exist”. A favorite of everyone with unsupported theories and claims, despite the well-known practical difficulties of proving a negative. Failure to disprove something is not evidence that it exists.

Others?
I will only deal with this last one: you only can (try to) disprove something that is. If it wasn't like that, we wouldn't be able to disprove myths, misconceptions, etc. Myths exist, you know...
 
So the audio gear is analogous to the bottle, decanter and glass - needed to transport the finished product to our sense organs with as little contamination as possible. No-one wants to drink wine from a dirty glass.

Aren't the people who like tube amp distortion similar to people who drink from dirty glasses?
 
Is there a Latin word that can be used to describe a person who claims to hear things that other people don't hear ?
That’s the Golden Ear fallacy in the list.
 
Aren't the people who like tube amp distortion similar to people who drink from dirty glasses?
Yes - just like there could be people who might like Raspberry jam flavoured wine, and regularly smear their glass with it. :p
 
Aren't the people who like tube amp distortion similar to people who drink from dirty glasses?

I like tube amps, and while I don’t drink from dirty glasses, I do like pineapple on pizza!

;)

(and anchovies)

(And ketchup on hotdogs)
 
An interesting opening line, because the remainder of your post goes on to assert certain audio fallacies as fact. Starting with omnia critica.

cheers
Hmmmm, I maybe got this incorrect or out of context but I was trying to show the duality of audio in the realm of objective and subjective. Coming from a person is very objective.

I may have not understood the entirety of the post, but from the read the main point is objectivity isn’t everything when there’s so many factors.

Nothing in my post is a fact per se, it’s my personal experience, my apologies if I did not make that clear.
 
I like tube amps, and while I don’t drink from dirty glasses, I do like pineapple on pizza!

;)

(and anchovies)

(And ketchup on hotdogs)
That is just wrong.
 
Assuming the THD of the 2 amplifiers under test are of equal magnitude, shouldn't the prudent objectivist then examine the distortion spectra before declaring the amplifiers functionally interchangeable.
Where did you see someone make that claim? I’ve seen a lot of discussion of the harmonic content of distortion. The only time I see objectivists saying they are interchangeable is when the distortion is below known thresholds of human hearing.
 
To borrow from my new best friend Kemmler3D, you miss the point. My observation regarding true believers was hardly limited to fields with revealed truths, like electronic. It is a general observation, i.e., a plague on both (all?) houses. Mine was a call for manners (on both sides) and for tolerance between those of different faiths. I used to be a fan of Percy Faith, but I grew up.

The problem is different interpretations of what "tolerance" and/or "good manners". I am sorry, I am not open to consider and respect flat-earther or anti-vaxxer beliefs. Believers tend to ask for people to "be open" to those beliefs. Sorry. That I cannot do. Or they consider the application of Hitchen's Razor a sign of disrespect. Again, sorry, but not sorry, belief dismissed.

That said, congrats on outgrowing Percy Faith. For me that was Paul Muriat. Loved it when my parents played it when I was a child. At some point, I just went.. "EWWW"

(imho, of course)
 
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