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Investigating Role of Placebo in Audio

dallasjustice

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It's a well known phenomenon in blind studies that the subject will say they hear a difference in two stimulus when played one after the other but the the stimulus is identical. These types of biases can be controlled for though.
 

Mivera

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Thomas savage

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I think he means most of us here are already "reformed". :)
i know what he means and i know where he would like this to be posted...
i was pretending not to know, for light hearted fun between two knowing individuals based on a well established understanding that does not require literal explanation.:)
 

Purité Audio

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The Machina Dynamica site is a wind up isn't it?
Keith.
 

Opus111

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He makes a couple of mistakes - first there are no 'digital signals', all signals are analog. The digital part is in the interpretation of that signal, as either 0 or 1.

The other error I noticed is his claim that digital is all or nothing, no in between. He says 'you don't have varying degrees of degradation'. But those who use digital video say that's nonsense, that digital systems don't degrade to nothing like totally falling off a cliff. Rather they gradually are subject to higher and higher rates of errors. Digital radio (DAB) is no different, it doesn't suddenly stop working. but degrades first.
 

Phelonious Ponk

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Not having the technical expertise many here have, I approach this subject simply, applying a bit of experience and logic:

On one hand I know, through reading and practical involvement in enough consumer testing in my career, that placebo and expectation bias are very real. They have been repeatedly observed and verified, are phenomenon that have been well-known and understood for decades.

The entire audiophile subjectivist position, on the other hand, is built on faith in some supposedly audible but demonstrably immeasurable "X" that audiophiles "hear." This "X" is imagined to be very real audio content that science just hasn't caught up with yet, that will one day be revealed, proving that they were right all along. The ultimate example, of course is vinyl. With all it's clearly audible and measurable distortions and limitations, is declared "better" than digital. Not a personal preference, but something objectively closer to real music.

I don't hear "X" - oh I hear the difference between vinyl and digital, but that difference can be measured and analyzed, found in vinyl's distortions and limitations, and correlated to the difference we hear. Of course the folks who love vinyl, having invested tens of thousands of dollars in it, don't want to believe that they've put all that time, money and heart into building a softer version of audio reproduction that they simple like better. It must be "better." Closer to the nonexistent "original event."

So here's the simple part: What is more likely -- that audiophiles are jumping through perceptual hoops, fueled by expectation bias and a massive need for purchase justification, to hear what they desperately want to hear and believe what they want to believe, or that there is some immeasurable magic as yet undiscovered in this extremely mature industry, that not only renders 100 year old technology superior to the latest developments, it overcomes a plethora of distortions to get there?

That's not a hard question to answer.

Tim
 

Purité Audio

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Personally I awaiting for the new science to explain everything, I do hope it comes along quickly though because I am not getting any younger.
Keith
 

Phelonious Ponk

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Personally I awaiting for the new science to explain everything, I do hope it comes along quickly though because I am not getting any younger.
Keith

Take comfort in knowing that now matter how old you get, you'll never be as old as me.

Tim
 

Purité Audio

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I hoped that as I aged might come wisdom, but no.
Keith
 

Phelonious Ponk

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naa, just your hair stops growing out of your head and decides to grow out of your ears and nose instead :)

I've been spared the dense tufts of ear hair that look like little brushes. I just get these coarse hairs that emerge from the perimeter, with root balls so substantial that plucking them is like jerking a radish from hard ground. But I digress....
 
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