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Is this what is wrong with this hobby?

SIY

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I do think that objectivity can also be taken to an extreme- the idea that a measurement doesn't show something, so discard what you think you are hearing. The answer to that would be ...
...verify what you think you're hearing with a DBT. If null, move on. If positive, then think through what and how you're measuring.
 

jsrtheta

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Back when, my impression matched the conventional wisdom exactly. I had the chance to hear Theta before it was widely known so there was no conventional wisdom yet at that time.

It is also true that measurements by Stereophile show Theta dead flat to 20 khz and Wadia down 3 db at 20 khz. Also the Wadia slightly depressed the top octave enough it would be an audible difference. Not night or day, but tends in the direction of the description. Wadia used a different non-ringing filter while Theta didn't.

I'd owned a Theta and a friend had several and updated as they released new ones. I didn't care for Theta dumping it almost immediately, but had a Wadia 25 I really loved and kept quite some time.

So your example might not be the best one.

And yes all quite subjective as were my habits at the time years ago. Which isn't to defend the subjective approach. Only to point out there were measurable reasons the two would sound different and in the direction of the conventional wisdom of those days.
That's a fair point. Wadia's algorithm did result in HF rolloff, and was heavily criticized in some circles, notably by Stanley Lipshitz and The Audio Critic. I don't recall seeing any DBTs regarding the audibility of what Moses was up to (there may have been, I just never saw such), but I can believe it was audible. I stand by what I said about Theta.
 

Sal1950

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I do think that objectivity can also be taken to an extreme- the idea that a measurement doesn't show something, so discard what you think you are hearing. The answer to that would be humility. Maybe the correct thing is not being measured, so lets look at it further.
Yes, possible. What is it you believe you are hearing? Hold that perception to a DBT and see if it survives that listening test.

My favorite example is frequency response graphs on amplifiers. Pretty much everything measures ruler flat up to 20khz, or effectively so. Yet, I hear certain power amps (AVR receivers) to have a warm character, others on the "bright" side. I've always wondered why. I suspect the answer is in the balance of distortion and noise, i.e poor figures in the bass or midbass region, as well as poor damping, might sound warm. Amps with poor high freq distortion might sound like they have more "detail" on the high end. And of course none of these amps even approach 90db Sinad, so anyone who says they hear something, I would tend to believe.
Also possible the amp is reacting to the speaker load. Also measurable.

Just making the point that there is nothing going on that modern technical knowledge of high fidelity can't deduce, there's no magic dust in there.
 
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In any case the multich music market never took off in any big way and the any hope for a revitalized high fidelity market died with it.. :(

I'll get down off my soapbox of trying to support a "accurate" reproducer of 3D space.
... and to add insult to injury, much of the good multi content is OOP/NLA, and you can't download it anywhere except from websites with rather broken English that do seem to charge a more than reasonable amount for the privilege... Hmmm.
 

restorer-john

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My favorite example is frequency response graphs on amplifiers. Pretty much everything measures ruler flat up to 20khz, or effectively so. Yet, I hear certain power amps (AVR receivers) to have a warm character, others on the "bright" side. I've always wondered why.
Truly ruler flat is rare. If you take the examples of the past, particularly printed in HiFi magazines of yore, you will see the pot range graticules on the old B&K paper plotters were often 5dB to 10dB. When these graphs were re-printed in magazines as a small FR plot they all looked ruler flat. They were not remotely flat in real terms.

Now we can zoom right in to a fraction of a dB or V and yet we still see commercial offerings rolling off at each end more than they should.
 

Kal Rubinson

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... and to add insult to injury, much of the good multi content is OOP/NLA, and you can't download it anywhere except from websites with rather broken English that do seem to charge a more than reasonable amount for the privilege... Hmmm.
I haven't noticed that.
 

Ron Texas

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One of the big positives about ASR is cleaning out the bullshit that is rampant in Audio. We know now that $100 buys a transparent DAC and that Hypex amps while not that inexpensive represent a big leap in performance. When it comes to speakers we probably don't know as much as we do know. It's true Toole and Olive have done some great research, but the problem will likely take more than the entire career of two really talented men to solve.

The real kicker is one quickly reaches a point were small improvements cost a lot. Audiophiles may be paying for a different flavor, so to speak. New speakers may sound better because they have a response dip at the same frequency a room has a peak. It's an improvement, but it could have been handled with EQ.

My view is audiophiles spend too much time obsessing over the next thing to buy.

Have you ever noticed how rare it is for a woman to take an interest in this? Something to think about.
 

Blumlein 88

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One of the big positives about ASR is cleaning out the bullshit that is rampant in Audio. We know now that $100 buys a transparent DAC and that Hypex amps while not that inexpensive represent a big leap in performance. When it comes to speakers we probably don't know as much as we do know. It's true Toole and Olive have done some great research, but the problem will likely take more than the entire career of two really talented men to solve.

The real kicker is one quickly reaches a point were small improvements cost a lot. Audiophiles may be paying for a different flavor, so to speak. New speakers may sound better because they have a response dip at the same frequency a room has a peak. It's an improvement, but it could have been handled with EQ.

My view is audiophiles spend too much time obsessing over the next thing to buy.

Have you ever noticed how rare it is for a woman to take an interest in this? Something to think about.
Women have no problem obsessing over the next dress or pair of shoes to buy. Or the next piece of jewelry when they can't wear all they have at once already.

But yes audio or other technical things are overwhelmingly a guy thing. There are more women in creation, recording and other aspects of music.
 

Ron Texas

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Women have no problem obsessing over the next dress or pair of shoes to buy. Or the next piece of jewelry when they can't wear all they have at once already.

But yes audio or other technical things are overwhelmingly a guy thing. There are more women in creation, recording and other aspects of music.
It seems to me women don't obsess about clothing, they just buy it.
 

JJB70

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There is an old barb in sporting circles to describe a certain type of sports enthusiast - all the gear and no idea. It describes those people who go out and buy the best professional level sports gear as they are more obsessed with the gear than learning how to use it and doing the hard work of training. I see the same in photography, a lot of people have a hobby of cameras and lenses etc but really aren't very good photographers. Many really excellent amateur sports people and photographers use quite modest or mid-level equipment as they just want something that serves their needs and see no reason to spend a kings ransom on the best of gear. I think audio is the same, some are into audio equipment to maximise their enjoyment of music, others are just obsessed with equipment. Some buy a piece of equipment and unless it breaks will enjoy it for a long time, others are buying new stuff constantly (I've been guilty of that myself in my audiophool days). As I've already said, to me audio gear is a tool, not an end. That is not an argument that audio equipment doesn't matter, or that anything will do, as a tool has to be fit for its intended purpose. However what I would say is that if you look at audio gear from that perspective then it can be quite remarkable just how well a lot of modest gear performs and you really do not need to spend a fortune on gear. Well, at least not the source, DAC and amp, good speakers still need a bit of thought but even there room placement and correction can count for much and a well set up pair of good modest speakers can perform extremely well. Now if people want to spend a lot of high end gear that's fine, we all want to spend money as we decide and people do like nice made things, good industrial design and lets be honest in admitting that pleasure of ownership does count for something. And some expensive gear really is superbly designed and made (even if in audible terms the resulting difference in sonic signature is marginal). So I have no issue with anybody spending their money however they like, if people have a hobby of buying and fiddling with audio equipment then that's their right, just as it is mine to decide that if equipment facilitates my enjoyment of music without making me feel the equipment is affecting that enjoyment then I see no necessity to spend any more (although I'll admit I do like nice headphones and still have a hankering for certain expensive gear just because I like it). What I do hate is all the hyperbole we see about night and day differences, lifting of veils, moving people two rows forward blah blah blah and the supercilious sneering at modest gear we see in certain parts of the audio hobby to inflate high end sales.
 
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My view is audiophiles spend too much time obsessing over the next thing to buy.
When I was doing that I called it 'knowing just enough to be dangerous'. And even the 'knowing' was actually often just 'thinking I knew' because I'd read it somewhere. Much of the pure hype products contain a bit of fact somewhere in the information. Just enough to make someone that understands that little bit go "well, that all makes sense"

The other thing I 'knew' was that my system could sound better because people on forums and youtube were saying that these things made their system sound better. Better was what I was searching for so it would make sense to try their solution.
When I'd read and watch things with my critical thinking not at 100% it would be so clear that I needed to try that in my setup, look what it did in theirs. It didn't just make it sound a little better it was a huge improvement. My system sounds really good now but just imagine if it sounded even better!

Even the lower priced things add up fast. A hundred here, fifty there, two hundred, another hundred, some seventy five dollar capacitors and pretty soon I could have had an entirely new system.

I've noticed at various jobs that people that head up sales departments are the first to buy into really absurd claims from people trying to sell them something when in reality they should be the first to smell it for what it is.
If you are, like I was, easily excited about possible improvements then hearing from someone that is also excited about improvements just sucks you in. "tell me more about this magic elixir that has you so enthralled, Paul."
 
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FrantzM

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That's because they're using our money to buy it! :p
(Sal looking around and hoping no women are reading this thread :eek:)
i did not agree with you. No !!! Ok the « like » was accidental and I don’t know how to erase it.
 

sergeauckland

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I've noticed at various jobs that people that head up sales departments are the first to buy into really absurd claims from people trying to sell them something when in reality they should be the first to smell it for what it is.
If you are, like I was, easily excited about possible improvements then hearing from someone that is also excited about improvements just sucks you in. "tell me more about this magic elixir that has you so enthralled, Paul."
As a cynical Englishman, I used to infuriate my non-UK bosses by being very sceptical of new products they would expect me to sell, when I couldn't see the point of them, or at best they just weren't suitable for the UK market. I was told I 'had to get religion' and believe, then I could sell anything to anyone. This might have worked in their markets, it would have put off pretty much all of my customers who were as cynical as I was about any new claim. The only thing that impressed them was 'did it meet the spec' and was the total cost of ownership low enough over the products' lifetimes. No 'belief' necessary, just the facts. I've used the same cynicism in all my everyday purchases. Does it meet the spec and is the price right? That's all I need to know.

S.
 

svart-hvitt

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When I was doing that I called it 'knowing just enough to be dangerous'. And even the 'knowing' was actually often just 'thinking I knew' because I'd read it somewhere. Much of the pure hype products contain a bit of fact somewhere in the information. Just enough to make someone that understands that little bit go "well, that all makes sense"

The other thing I knew was that my system could sound better because people on forums and youtube were saying that these things made their system sound better. Better was what I was searching for so it would make sense to try their solution.
When I'd read and watch things with my critical thinking not at 100% it would be so clear that I needed to try that in my setup, look what it did in theirs! My system sound really good now but just imagine if it sounded even better!

I've noticed at various jobs that people that head up sales departments are the first to buy into really absurd claims from people trying to sell them something when in reality they should be the first to smell it for what it is.
If you are, like I was, easily excited about possible improvements then hearing from someone that is also excited about improvements just sucks you in.
Audio is an engineering discipline. So measurements mean a lot. Measurements could come in the form of electronic measurements - like @amirm ’s - or in the form of blind tests, preference and audibility polls, like the ones you find in for example Toole’s book.

Because engineers need to work a lot to make progress in their fields (progress is difficult when so many things have been discovered already), they always (?) want to show their peers what they did. AES conferences are such a venue for «showing off». And I guess researchers who work for a company are sometimes drawn between their wish to show off and not giving away «secrets», intellectual property, or to publish research that cast their existing or even older products in a bad light.

When it comes to people who market acessoires or even classical gear with revolutionary effects, they would have every interest of showing off by means of measurements, facts to document their revolutionary products. The absence of such measurements can be interpreted as evidence of bullshit.

We should - and I think I have stated this previously - have a list of the companies that publish the most measurements of the trustworthy kind of their own products. When measurements are nowhere to be found, go figure.
 

Sal1950

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I've noticed at various jobs that people that head up sales departments are the first to buy into really absurd claims from people trying to sell them something when in reality they should be the first to smell it for what it is.
I remember when my boss came back from some dealer show and had bought a case of these expensive magic dust things you drop in your fuel tank, they last forever all the while making some chemical alteration to the base fuel. They promised the world including horsepower increases, mpg increases, even extended engine life. I was so surprised the parts manager had fell for the snake-oil but he insisted they work and put the pressure on me to push them since he had invested a bunch of money in them. He was a smart guy and somewhat tech minded, I couldn't believe he fell for the show sales pitch.
I any case my integrity forbid me to push them but he got some other employee's to get rid of them over a long time. He was pissed at me for not getting on board but I won't look a man in the eye and tell him something I don't believe in.
In the end we got quite a few complaints that they didn't do shit. :mad:
 

Sal1950

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Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog- educational, but there's not much left of the frog afterwards.
I thought it was fairly obvious? :)
 
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