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Can we trust our ears?

Snarfie

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#61
Yamaha declares that their electronics are tuned on the tone range of their pianos ...
Rick Wakeman (the synth player from Yes) has some great anecdotes. Basically what he did when he got a new synth (like a Korg Kronos roland whatever) he deleted all factory presets and spent weeks in creating his own sound. Than a Yes fan bought a similar synth and ask him i can't get this sound you played on a certain track. He told him yes it's mine, but can you tell me how you did make this sound or share your presets, no Make your own sound and if you don't you sound like anybody else. Kraftwerk went a step further an developed their own synths so they stay unique.
 
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trl

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#62
This is like comparing electric grills meat with wood or even gas grills meat taste; it will always win the wood grill because of the flavor and smell added to the meat...and the difference is from the first byte, no A/B test needed. :)

However, electric grills or ovens will always preserve the exact taste of the meat, unless we add condiments (read EQ/DSP), instead gas or wood grills will add some flavors and some more crisp too. This is my subjective comparison between good sounding amps and good measuring amps, so being subjective please take it with a grain of salt.

Also, regarding the soundstage and imaging, it's like 3D glasses with red/green: if one channel of an amplifier is not identical with the other, then imaging & soundstage will be better to our ears: a 0.5dB channel imbalance, a 10-20 degrees phase shift/delay or even different THD numbers between the 2 channels...or similar issues that could occur inside an amplifier due to using 5% resistors and caps instead of 1% or due to different bias currents a.s.o..

Some examples: These two amplifiers http://www.pmillett.com/NuClassD.html and http://www.pmillett.com/3B7.html are very good examples of smoking wood flavors, because they are intentionally "harmonically rich" to sound better. Also, there's no frequency roll-off and the square-wave test signal @1KHz is very well plotted on the scope, so everything's done by altering the harmonics, as Pete Millett said inside the NuClassD's webpage:
"Measurements. My goal here was to build a hybrid amp that sounds - and measures - like a big single ended triode amp. I think I succeeded, though one could argue I should dial in a little more 2nd harmonic distortion. That is easy to do by changing the bias point or the plate load resistor of the Nutube".

And for who wants some meat "done on electric grill", without any wood flavor added, there's always: http://www.pmillett.com/butte.htm that I'm sure it measures very well with no harmonics higher than -90dB. I'm sure the goal here was to measure as accurate as possible, in respect with the input signal and not with how the triode is measuring.
 

trl

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#63
I've created few custom files that contains fundamental @ -1dB (first 5 sec.), then one of the harmonics (2nd to 5th) @ -60dB for the next 5 sec., then again until file ends after 20 sec.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Jh9JXt4rhLRIzUhVV382nhoyZ3H8MDE1?usp=sharing - hope you're able to download them all and give them a try.

Fundamental+harmonics.png

There are 100Hz and 1KHz audio files and up to 5th harmonic, difference being of exactly 60dB between the fundamental and its harmonic.
There are also couple of files containing phase shift: 50Hz +/-10 degrees and 1KHz +/-45 degrees.

All these files should be listened to both cans and speakers,because I've noticed that speakers might help a bit more in revealing the -61dB harmonics out of the -1dB fundamental.

On speakers, moderate volume, I was only able to get the 5th one, but I'll keep trying...I kinda feel that the 4th one is there, but still unsure....so will definitely retry.

Phase shift is very easy to hear it; I'll probably do another couple of tests with +/-5 degrees difference @ 50Hz and +/-15 degrees @ 1KHz.
 

klimbo

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#64
Rick Wakeman (the synth player from Yes) has some great anecdotes. Basically what he did when he got a new synth (like a Korg Kronos roland whatever) he deleted all factory presets and spent weeks in creating his own sound. Than a Yes fan bought a similar synth and ask him i can't get this sound you played on a certain track. He told him yes it's mine, but can you tell me how you did make this sound or share your presets, no Make your own sound and if you don't you sound like anybody else. Kraftwerk went a step further an developed their own synths so they stay Bluestacks Kodi Lucky Patcher unique.
exactly i confirm ,Kraftwerk went a step further an developed their own synths so they stay unique
 
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trl

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#65
"Perception of complex sound is a process carried out in everyday life situations and contributes in the way one perceives reality. Attempting to explain sound perception and how it affects human beings is complicated. Physics of simple sound can be described as a function of frequency, amplitude and phase. Psychology of sound, also termed psychoacoustics, has its own distinct elements of pitch, intensity and tibre. An interconnection exists between physics and psychology of hearing".

"Perception of music in normal subjects and psychiatric patients is reported to be different. Analyzing the way music affects human beings may be easier and better when using simpler and shorter sound stimuli. All psychoacoustic elements of sound are represented in the human auditory system starting from the cochlea, the cochlear nuclei and the central auditory pathways all the way up to the temporal lobe. Future research is important in order to document normal responses and reveal patterns of perception in different psychopathologic groups".

Worth reading the entire article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar...qWT2VR5QG9TEpUnet0IJYuN1z_iEis6j4ugxlsfXy1hrY.
 

Xulonn

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#67
Blind listening - comparison of violin players and instruments

The above is a fascinating recent "playing around" with single-blind listening tests that has received nearly 1/2 million views in less than a week. It features $1k vs $10 million violins, and musicians with good to excellent skill levels. Turns out that the best musician also had the best listening skills.

Like audiophiles and their components, systems and tweaks, self-described experts on the sound of different classical instruments such as Guarnieri and Stradivarius violins seldom base their opinions on blind testing. This simple, poorly controlled single-blind listening test demonstrates that reality doesn't often match expectations. At least these guys have a sense of humor, and accepted the results with laughter.
 

trl

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#69
Blind listening - comparison of violin players and instruments

The above is a fascinating recent "playing around" with single-blind listening tests that has received nearly 1/2 million views in less than a week.[...]
Such a comparison is plausible and it's like testing between two different brands of speakers. Different wood, different drivers, different crossover filter and sometimes even different colour (especially if wrapped in plastic foil or melamine with different thickness) will change the sound (harmonics and subharmonics, but also settling time of the drivers etc.). The fact that two speakers or, why not, two violins can sound different can be easily proved with REW and a decent mic.
 

Hypnotoad

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#71
@trl you have to try American barbecue. It's a slow smoking process which produces the most heavenly meat you ever tasted.
I lived in Houston for over 15 years leaving in 2014, Rudy's etc was very nice but funnily enough the one place I miss is Whataburger, I used to go to the one on Veteran's Memorial and in the drive through as soon as I spoke (Aussie accent) they would say we know your order, drive up.
 
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#72
Yes Sir, I do trust my own ears @ 42 years...and counting. :)

Got some audiocheck.net tests myself these days at an average-to-loud (no SPL-meter, sorry):
A) your equipment is not calibrated, therefore your results are moot.
B) listening acuity has almost nothing to do with listening bias.
C) Psychoacoustics shows that human hearing is highly biased.

Therefore, no, you cannot trust your hearing to make objective evaluations.
 
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#73
The thing with higher harmonics is somewhat related to masking and sensitivity of the ear. If you were using 500 hz tones, the 7th harmonic is at 3500 hz. That is high enough it will not be masked by the fundamental. It will be near the most sensitive frequency of your hearing, and it might be heard at around those -60 db levels. If you were using 2 khz fundamentals, then 7th harmonic is still unmasked, but is at 14 khz where your hearing threshold is rather elevated. I doubt you'd hear -60 db 7th harmonic.
It's not "somewhat" related, it is absolutely related to masking. There is also temporal masking, both pre and post. Masking also limits our perception of IMD. Even further, masking is level dependent.

Even further, distortion sensitivity is directly a function of the fundamental frequency. The research shows that humans are virtually deaf to bass and treble distortion, for example, but highly sensitive to midrange distortion. https://www.axiomaudio.com/blog/distortion
 

trl

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#74
A) your equipment is not calibrated, therefore your results are moot.
B) listening acuity has almost nothing to do with listening bias.
C) Psychoacoustics shows that human hearing is highly biased.

Therefore, no, you cannot trust your hearing to make objective evaluations.
Did you actually took those tests or others? These tests are black or white, there's no psychoacoustics there at all, this is not even an A/B test, it's more similar with audiometry, so it is valid for sure. You can also find some good tests on SBAF as well.

As long as all the harmonics from my audio system are kept 90dB away from the fundamental (including on multisines) and the freq. response is flat across audio band, then these tests are as valid as an audiometry test. If you think not, then maybe we should ask Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon to close down his websites.

I must say that I hear all, but absolutely ALL my SMPS from home: TVs, AC units, computer etc., so I'm objective when I say this.
 

daftcombo

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#75
Why would our ears be better than our eyes?




Listen to the same song twice.
According to what you focus on, the bass will sound tight or it will sound muddy.
It mostly depends on what you're expecting.
 
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#77
Such a comparison is plausible and it's like testing between two different brands of speakers. Different wood, different drivers, different crossover filter and sometimes even different colour (especially if wrapped in plastic foil or melamine with different thickness) will change the sound (harmonics and subharmonics, but also settling time of the drivers etc.). The fact that two speakers or, why not, two violins can sound different can be easily proved with REW and a decent mic.
"But some scientists and violinmakers question whether Strads and other "Old Italians" really have superior acoustic qualities. For decades, blind comparisons have shown that listeners cannot tell them from other violins, and acoustic analyses have revealed no distinct sonic characteristics. In 2014, Claudia Fritz, a musical acoustician at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, and Joseph Curtin, a leading violinmaker in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported that in a double-blind test with 13 modern instruments and nine Old Italians, 10 elite violinists generally preferred the new violins to the old. "

The science says that listeners generally cannot tell the difference between new and old violins, but generally prefer newer ones.
https://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5395
 
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#78
Did you actually took those tests or others? These tests are black or white, there's no psychoacoustics there at all, this is not even an A/B test, it's more similar with audiometry, so it is valid for sure. You can also find some good tests on SBAF as well.

As long as all the harmonics from my audio system are kept 90dB away from the fundamental (including on multisines) and the freq. response is flat across audio band, then these tests are as valid as an audiometry test. If you think not, then maybe we should ask Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon to close down his websites.

I must say that I hear all, but absolutely ALL my SMPS from home: TVs, AC units, computer etc., so I'm objective when I say this.
Hearing acuity has nothing to do with psychoacoustics. Thus, your good acuity is irrelevant as to whether or not you can "trust" your ears. It has been shown over and over again that our hearing is extremely non-linear, which then means they cannot be used for any kind of objective evaluation. Even further, our hearing is influenced by what we see (as well as probably other senses), with hearing being subordinate to vision. This has nothing to do with personal subjective preference however.
 

trl

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#79
Not sure I am immune to psychoacoustics or not, but every time I heard a difference between two opamps (when swapping, same stage) I was able to measure the differences or one of them was oscillating.

Same applies in A/B tests, if one sounds different, than it measures differently (although I mostly hear background noise diff. or mains hum, but sometimes soundstage diff. caused by channel imbalance).

I usually measure my audio devices prior to critical listening, so psychoacoustics don't do me much. :)
 
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#80
Not sure I am immune to psychoacoustics or not, but every time I heard a difference between two opamps (when swapping, same stage) I was able to measure the differences or one of them was oscillating.

Same applies in A/B tests, if one sounds different, than it measures differently (although I mostly hear background noise diff. or mains hum, but sometimes soundstage diff. caused by channel imbalance).

I usually measure my audio devices prior to critical listening, so psychoacoustics don't do me much. :)
You actually don't have a clue about blind testing, from what you wrote in this post. The fact that you measured it first makes you biased already, for one thing. So, no, you still have not proven that you can trust your hearing at all.
 

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