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If it quacks like a duck…

Xulonn

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#1
After negative comments from fellow ASR members whose opinions I respect, I see their point and have deleted much of this post and the poll that was part of it. Those components were detracting from my original motivation the starting this thread.

Although I am very interested in the psychology behind subjectivist audiofoolery, I do not wish to be associated with personal attacks on industry pioneers.

Below is the essence of what I was pondering when I stared this thread:

---------------------------------

I stumbled across a February 2018 THREAD from the "Paul's Post" blog page at the PS Audio website titled "If it quacks like a duck"...

The discussion following Paul's post looks interesting - enough so that I have bookmarked it and will return to it this evening to read and digest at my leisure. But I decided to start this thread, and let others read the link and join in on a "yet another discussion" about the controversial subject of measurements and listening and their relationship.

I took a cursory look at the linked thread's post and responses - including responses by both Paul McGowan and John Curl personally, and it seems as well balanced as many threads here at ASR, much more so than the response from the TotalDAC people in the other thread.
 
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DonH56

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#2
Actually, that much overshoot and ringing from an amp driving a nonreactive 8-ohm resistor is pretty bad, and it's true a 'scope will show it very well.
 

watchnerd

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#3
I answered "Not Sure" because I don't remember or know what rep they used to have before they embraced subjectivism.

They've always been engineer / marketing / sales mashup guys to me.
 

suttondesign

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#6
The measurement approach of ASR is sufficient rebuke to any audio industry insiders, old or young. Measure a Curl amp, or an ATI amp (ATI, i believe, makes some amps which are sold under other names).
 

DonH56

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#7
Ugh...I'm realizing I'm really uncomfortable with this thread.

It seems unbecoming of a science oriented site just to have a thread that seems to go after people's personal reputations or to try to fan the flames of audio tribalism.
Good point. I deleted my original post. There are plenty of other threads bashing the guy, and the opening of the cited blog actually makes sense.
 

SIY

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#8
Subjectivism is not a problem in the least. When you do a valid listening test, you're making subjective judgments.

Where these guys go off the rails in pursuit of money and fame is the embrace of irrationalism and anti-science.
 

Sal1950

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#9
Subjectivism is not a problem in the least. When you do a valid listening test, you're making subjective judgments.
??? For a listening test to be "valid" it must be done in a controlled manner and have repeatable results.
Then the outcome is no longer subjective. ;)
 

SIY

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#10
??? For a listening test to be "valid" it must be done in a controlled manner and have repeatable results.
Then the outcome is no longer subjective. ;)
Sure it is. If under DBT conditions I judge that A is different than B or that I like A better than B, it's a subjective judgement. Now to your point (and mine), because it's done with proper controls (ears-only), it is objectively validated as being an effect of the sound rather than other influences.

The co-opting of "subjective" to mean "totally uncontrolled" by the fashion audio set is, IMO, one of the most pernicious effects of their irrational and revenue-driven approach. I will not go along with that.
 
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Speedskater

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#11
It's not subjectivism that's the problem, it's New Age Subjectivism that the problem.
What's New Age Subjectivism?
That's when anything an audiophile writes, automatically becomes true.
 

watchnerd

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#12
It's not subjectivism that's the problem, it's New Age Subjectivism that the problem.
What's New Age Subjectivism?
That's when anything an audiophile writes, automatically becomes true.
While true, this has been going on for decades, at least since Harry Pearson created TAS and crowned himself a guru.

But I don't expect it to go away any time soon, if ever. The ease with which sighted listening fools us almost guarantees the persistence.
 

pozz

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#13
I don't know their history well enough to comment or vote. Is John Curl really one of the "measurements only go so far" folks? And was McGowan ever not?
 

SIY

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#14
I don't know their history well enough to comment or vote. Is John Curl really one of the "measurements only go so far" folks?
Yes.
 

rwortman

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#15
I think it is possible that there is an audible phenomenon what we don't know how to measure. I don't think it's very likely but it is impossible to rationally rule it out. Does this explain all the snake oil, no. Are real audio engineers humans whose perceptions can be unreliable. Of course. Quite a few people thought they heard something going on with the "Golden Sound Intelligence Chip" even though their engineering brains told them it was balderdash. When you are around a bunch of audio guru's telling you they hear something, it's easy to start hearing it to. Not pretending, actually hearing. Suggestion is powerful.
 

SIY

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#16
I think it is possible that there is an audible phenomenon what we don't know how to measure.
In a cosmic sense, sure. But after decades of people making claims about this and not a single piece of good evidence backing it up, I'd bet on the under.
 
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