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John Atkinson's of Stereophile Talks About Measurements

ahofer

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I don't find his comments that egregious to be honest, more like head nodding and argument avoidance. The actual video Amir linked to in the OP is virtually without any particular commentary I find disagreeable. Did I miss something?
The part where he asserts how Ethernet cables sound different is disturbing.
 

pozz

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I don't find his comments that egregious to be honest, more like head nodding and argument avoidance. The actual video Amir linked to in the OP is virtually without any particular commentary I find disagreeable. Did I miss something?
Perhaps that's because your threshold is set high, and you are used to the sort of misdirection and ambiguity that guide professional conversations. A good pro is not one who is easily taken in, after all.
I don't find JA all that egregious, especially given the balance he has to maintain.

Once more: Atkinsion provides the measurements of the gear and useful, understandable explanations of what they mean. That's not a trivial contribution for those interested enough to take a deeper dive. I said that I give him more shade than you do because he has to do business in his environment every day. That's enough for me. I accept the measurements and tend to gloss over the rest. I know what I think....cables, schmables. People sufficiently experienced in this business should feel reasonably well served in general by taking that attitude. If one is not so experienced, one is, I suppose a possible mark.
I think your final sentence above is the point. The not-so experienced are not well-served by Stereophile's mix of science, romance and business.
 

Beershaun

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Interesting to hear his criteria and observations on amplifiers and speakers. They are pretty much consistent with what our own Amir does for this site if my notes were correct.

@amirm are there any of his amplifier or speaker criteria stand out as something you don't already have covered in your tests that are worth adding or affect your weighting? Much of what he said is consistent with your measurements and graphs already but thought I'd write down what I heard to get your feedback.

I heard but may have missed things about amplifier criteria:
1)must be powerful enough
2)overall distortion and noise levels levels should be low
3)no/low distortion beyond 2nd or 3rd order harmonics
4)distortion and harmonic mix is the same across all frequencies.
5)distortion and harmonic mix is the same across the entire power range.
6)overall the amplifier behaves consistently across it's rated power range and frequency range.

I heard but may have missed things about speaker criteria, which seemed like a combination of empirically distinct measurements and managing to optimize the entire mechanical system:
1)is on axis response flat. Is the first launch of the wave from the speaker accurate and consistent across the frequency range.
2) do they handle off axis response flat and first reflection flat and well managed.
3)does the manufacturer understand the limits and weaknesses of the speaker and adjust to them to optimize as best they can to compensate for those weaknesses.
4) Speakers that physically have to move less will produce less distortion.
5) temperature plays a role in the performance of a speaker and speaker components have an optimal temperature range and may need to warm up.
6)Distortion
7) Resonances
8)Port resonances
9)speaker modulation noise
10)resonance across the rated frequency band
11)physically bigger speakers can give you a larger soundstage/presentation, more bass, louder volume than smaller ones.
 
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amirm

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@amirm are there any of his amplifier or speaker criteria stand out as something you don't already have covered in your tests that are worth adding or affect your weighting?
I don't think so. Membership asks for some of his measurements like waterfalls and step functions but I personally find them of little value. Too many graphs can be a turn off to many who read such reports so I have a very high bar for adding more tests.
 

Unclevanya

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Most Musicians dont hear there instruments the way they were meant to, in the audiance. Theres a huge difference in sound between the back of a trumpet and 10' in front of it. Maybe not as dramatic but this goes for every acoustic instrument. ( electric lets you pick your source position). So a trumpet player ( unless he listen to recordings) is the last guy to ask what a trumpet should sound like.
I don't know any musicians - especially jazz players - who don't spend time listening to other players live and recorded. To say they don't know what their instrument sounds like is ludicrous.
 

Beershaun

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I don't think so. Membership asks for some of his measurements like waterfalls and step functions but I personally find them of little value. Too many graphs can be a turn off to many who read such reports so I have a very high bar for adding more tests.
What do you think about his statement around penalizing heavier on higher order harmonics and being "more okay with" 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortion? I took this to mean: if two amps have similar THD the amp with less disturbance after the 3rd order harmonic should perform better and be more desirable than the other.
 

Blumlein 88

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I don't know any musicians - especially jazz players - who don't spend time listening to other players live and recorded. To say they don't know what their instrument sounds like is ludicrous.
No not ludicrous at all.

The thing that is a bit of a myth is getting sound like the artist intended. The artist doesn't know what he sounds like 10 feet away. Even more so a group of musicians. They hear themselves in a way you can't, and a group complicates it even further. So what they intend can be questioned if they want a certain sound. But whether that represents any kind of sonic accuracy is another question and one the musicians aren't best positioned to decide.

Now yes, musicians hear other musicians and know what the instrument sounds like, but in giving tips on their own playing they really aren't in the best position. That is without getting into how it is impossible for most to hear themselves playing the same way they hear others.
 
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amirm

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What do you think about his statement around penalizing heavier on higher order harmonics and being "more okay with" 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortion? I took this to mean: if two amps have similar THD the amp with less disturbance after the 3rd order harmonic should perform better and be more desirable than the other.
That's why I show the full spectrum using FFT in the dashboard.
 

Blumlein 88

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What do you think about his statement around penalizing heavier on higher order harmonics and being "more okay with" 2nd and 3rd order harmonic distortion? I took this to mean: if two amps have similar THD the amp with less disturbance after the 3rd order harmonic should perform better and be more desirable than the other.
You see this idea a lot. It makes some kind of sense. Where I see it fall down is when 2nd and 3rd harmonics are more than -90 db down for a pair of amps. However, one amp has nothing else above that and another has a few more harmonics at even lower levels. I don't think you'll hear a difference between them whatsoever.
 
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