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Ex-subjectivists on ASR

Are you a former subjectivist? What are you now? (See post for explanations)

  • Yes

    Votes: 84 35.3%
  • No

    Votes: 80 33.6%
  • Subjectivist

    Votes: 5 2.1%
  • Soft / moderate objectivist

    Votes: 84 35.3%
  • Objectivist

    Votes: 116 48.7%

  • Total voters
    238
Formerly a "soft" subjectivist, now a soft objectivist.

Why was I a soft subjectivist? Initially it was my ears, (i.e. ear/brain), that told me that such things as cable had no discernable effect on the sound of my syst. Hence it wasn't to hard to convince me to tend to objectivism.

Why not a "hard" objectivist today? So essentially I'm any objectivist but in the ASR context I still have a couple of issues:
  1. Despite the great and ever improving efforts of Amir and other reviews, testing could still be a bit more extensive, e.g. measuring distortion at various frequencies, power levels, and speaker loads.
  2. The environment here has too many hard objectivists who -- as it seems to me -- refuse to believe that any but gross measurement differences could be audible, and basically consider that questions of audibility are "settled science". (Real scientists, (vs. know-it-all engineers), know that science is never settled.)
 
In another thread, @MattHooper mentioned that many in ASR are former subjectivists.
That's because Matt et al can't discern false dichotomies. An Objectivist is a follower of Ayn Rand.
Everyone is a Subjectivist, myself and Floyd Toole et al included.
The difference/real dichotomy, is that most people on audio forums falsely equate "Subjective" with "uncontrolled".
Everyone of us subjectively evaluates sound etc, etc, etc on a daily basis. Toole's tests were almost entirely subjective evaluations, as are most listening tests.
The only difference, is blind/controlled vs sighted/uncontrolled. All subjective.
THAT is the only dichotomy.
 
Formerly a "soft" subjectivist, now a soft objectivist.

Why was I a soft subjectivist? Initially it was my ears, (i.e. ear/brain), that told me that such things as cable had no discernable effect on the sound of my syst. Hence it wasn't to hard to convince me to tend to objectivism.

Why not a "hard" objectivist today? So essentially I'm any objectivist but in the ASR context I still have a couple of issues:
  1. Despite the great and ever improving efforts of Amir and other reviews, testing could still be a bit more extensive, e.g. measuring distortion at various frequencies, power levels, and speaker loads.
  2. The environment here has too many hard objectivists who -- as it seems to me -- refuse to believe that any but gross measurement differences could be audible, and basically consider that questions of audibility are "settled science". (Real scientists, (vs. know-it-all engineers), know that science is never settled.)
This board is full of know-it-all-engineers. I was one (still am but not for audio) and this board opened up my eyes into how repulsive that hard line approach can be
 
I think I just became more cynical.

I never believed in magic cables. I stopped believing in dramatic differences in most electronics after the "newness" of different DACs and amps wore off.

I voted "soft" because there are still open questions in correlating measurements to what we hear, mostly in transducers.
 
This board is full of know-it-all-engineers. I was one (still am but not for audio) and this board opened up my eyes into how repulsive that hard line approach can be
There's some truth to what you're saying. We attract a unique kind of troll that preys on them, too.
 
I have no idea what I am - sub or ob... I do know this however - I feel sorry for most everyone putting a sound system into a residential room... it's an extreme challenge with diminishing returns from the first power-up cycle...

if it weren't for the pure enjoyment of music itself - fidelity be damned - I don't know why would anyone would bother...
 
I have no idea what I am - sub or ob... I do know this however - I feel sorry for most everyone putting a sound system into a residential room... it's an extreme challenge with diminishing returns from the first power-up cycle..

if it weren't for the pure enjoyment of music itself - fidelity be damned - I don't know why anyone would bother... .
We're picky around here, but I think the vast majority of people are happy enough.
 
Before I was an objectivist, i was a "hey, these differences don't seem to be as large as described"-ivist.
 
Beats me. I think that measurements are the best decision support tool available. Because the listening room is the wild card in the audio chain, how it sounds to me is important. Since I got my first component with room correction built in I've been much happier. It does mean that I'm putting faith in the algorithm built into the component.

I'm not an audio engineer but I've been reading about audio since the early '60s when I was in high school. My favorite thing from an audio magazine came around 1980. It was a double blind level controlled listening test pitting high end speaker cables against zip cord. No difference detected. Because I took a year of inferential stat in school combined with a fair amount of study of experimental design I know the value of a well designed double blind test.
 
I am an objectivist with subjective tendencies. You believe that anything that cannot be measured is not audible. Knowing this you still choose some components (knowing how they measure) based upon subjective preference.
I think everyone is that way when it comes to speaker purchasing decisions, there is still a ways to go on how things sound vs. measure on loudspeaker measurements correlating with preference.

The measurements do filter out a lot of the crap, but for a certain type of speaker, bookshelf, floor-stander, etc. there are still multiple choices that all fit in the “excellent” tier and the only way to decide is to listen.

On equipment/devices I’m almost entirely objectivist.
 
I will note that the older one gets, the less the details matter because you can no longer hear them :)

But that aside I suggest we are all lucky enough to witness a true golden age for HiFi. Finally there are test regimens that are thorough enough and with enough noise headroom to beat the best of human reception capabilities, combined with low cost products that demonstrably beat audibility thresholds, or in the case of speakers are approaching that at least.

I see the biggest remnant problem being the availability of standardized useful data about products in an industry used to and swamped by meaningless advertising/marketing BS.

But that BS can’t beat an avid ASR member. Full immunity. Buy with confidence and enjoy.

Imperfect, but close?
 
That's because Matt et al can't discern false dichotomies.

Objectively speaking, that’s the response of a troll, the equivalent of noise and distortion.

Subjectively speaking, why am I seeing this bulls*it spread over the Forum? Is this going to result in another 20 pages of back and forth expressions of uncivil and personal affronts?
 
I've always felt like a gestalt entity. After university I immediately worked in studios, where most colleagues thought HiFi reviews a complete joke. I started tinkering with electronics before I was ten, so had practical and technical understanding and cannot easily be hoodwinked. I have bought kit based on review, but mostly the sort of kit and review that measured as low noise, low distortion and as flat FR as possible. As a result (and never being rich) I don't change kit very often and I look after the kit that I've got - some of the stuff I use daily I bought two decades ago, some is closer to four decades old.

I've PM-ed, built and managed large IP structures, and so I am astonished that people think a switch can change sound (unless it is faulty). Subjectivism of this nature shocks me.

Despite this, I'm not yet convinced that measurements always tell all the story. I look back to my early years where it was simply not possible to look at noise spectrum (since FFT etc. was not viable). Noise measurements were effectively a single number. I wonder what decisions, with studio gear, I would have made if I could have seen the noise spectrum. So I wonder what it will be like in 40 years time when people are shocked at what we thought was objective proof!
 
- Yes. You started off as a subjectivist and you are now an objectivist, or you are still transitioning (see second part)
- No. You started off as an objectivist.

- I am a subjectivist. Measurements have no correlation with audibility. You are still buying audiophile cables, fuses, and tweaks.
- I am a soft / moderate objectivist. You pay attention to measurements, you might even do them, but ultimately all your decisions are made on subjective grounds. You might own high end amps and DAC's that you bought because you think they sound nice.
- I am an objectivist. You believe that anything that can not be measured is not audible, and that claims of audibility are due to placebo. You are a purist who believes that fidelity to the recording is all that matters.
I would vote either for option 2 or 5 but i am not sure what their difference is?
There was a very short phase though in my teenage time where I once bought a thicker loudspeaker cable (around $30) and one "better" (around $50) RCA cable because of the audiophool press propaganda although from my understanding they wouldn't make an audible difference and found myself confirmed so luckily it was a short and not expensive sidestep.
 
Because I always would have sworn by What Hifi and Stereophile for purchases, I must've been a subby. Now, it will be all things Amirite, so I must have turned into an obby! :cool:
 
Unobjective crying duly noted
Well I reported it, simply because I may have lost all subjectivity and am subject to an unconscious bias. Wouldn’t be the first time. I will leave it to the powers that be to determine.
 
That's because Matt et al can't discern false dichotomies. An Objectivist is a follower of Ayn Rand.
Everyone is a Subjectivist, myself and Floyd Toole et al included.
The difference/real dichotomy, is that most people on audio forums falsely equate "Subjective" with "uncontrolled".
Everyone of us subjectively evaluates sound etc, etc, etc on a daily basis. Toole's tests were almost entirely subjective evaluations, as are most listening tests.
The only difference, is blind/controlled vs sighted/uncontrolled. All subjective.
THAT is the only dichotomy.
Is it though? To me, there's more. For example, something that's plausible (not necessarily true) e.g. all things being equal, a DAC equipped with an AKM chip will sound different from an ESS vs something that's not even plausible, e.g. putting cables on raisers will affect sound quality. It's strange putting both positions in the "subjectivist" camp.

Then, of course, there's the crowd that thinks "we can measure everything, all the conclusions we draw are correct and relevant, we have basically perfect prediction power" vs the crowd that says "not really, there's much we still don't know". Some of the former call themselves "objectivists" as if designing a perfect chair was actually possible.
 
For example, something that's plausible (not necessarily true) e.g. all things being equal, a DAC equipped with an AKM chip will sound different from an ESS vs something that's not even plausible, e.g. putting cables on raisers will affect sound quality. It's strange putting both positions in the "subjectivist" camp.
Plausible isn't evidence. Evidence for SQ would be a listening test, subjective evaluation.
 
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