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Master Thread: Are measurements Everything or Nothing?

Blumlein 88

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I've not been following this conversation, but I'd recommend not getting your news from social media. I think Google search is a good way of researching anything you're interested in (not really talking news related).....and I think you develop a sixth sense for whether what you're reading is balanced/factual, etc.
I don't use social media at all. Google searching is what I have in mind. Yes, you can get a sense of what is good info or not, but you have to work at it more and more. If it isn't an area you are somewhat knowledgeable about you really have to work at it.
 

Jim Taylor

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who had a really excellent sounding room and then decided it was too dull sounding,which it wasn't,

That right there is what I'm talking about. He thought it was, and you thought (evidently with certainty) that it wasn't. In both cases, all you had were opinions, and no data. In fact, it's possible BOTH of you were wrong.

As I stated in a previous post, some people who are infatuated with euphonic sound find accuracy distasteful. That might describe what happened here.

Jim
 

Peluvius

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I've not been following this conversation, but I'd recommend not getting your news from social media. I think Google search is a good way of researching anything you're interested in (not really talking news related).....and I think you develop a sixth sense for whether what you're reading is balanced/factual, etc.

So would I however an increasingly significant percentage of the population is receiving their information this way. I do not think there is any sixth sense for BS on the internet unfortunately (face to face yes). This is one of the challenges of our times and one of the points I was attempting to make in my earlier post.

Take the recent example of a “peer reviewed” paper released by an individual with credentials which proposed there was an audible distinction between cheap, mid and expensive cables. Post that on TicToc or whatever platform penetrates your target demographic and you will convert 90% of those who watch it. The fact that the paper was full of baseless claims, false statements and his credentials were not relevant to the field under discussion is not detail available to the recipient (without further work).

A political party without a firm understanding of how the “truth” is now delivered to their electorate is a party that will lose these days. Look at how recent elections in the US have been impacted (trying not to name names).
 
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Blumlein 88

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How many people will listen to Kunchur because he is a credentialed scientist and even claims to be using blind testing to find out cables really do matter and so do high sample rates. Yet it is all bad information. If you don't know electronics, or signal transmission theory, how do you know he isn't credible outside his field?

I know a few people who should have or in the past did have more sense, but they are on facebook. It is nearly unbelievable some complete garbage things those people believe. Not just believe, but firmly believe all from listening to some BS artist on facebook. Trying to show them real facts is worse than changing someone's religion. It is mind blowing. Now my policy is if they learn something on facebook just don't discuss it with them.
 
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MattHooper

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As I stated in a previous post, some people who are infatuated with euphonic sound find accuracy distasteful. That might describe what happened here.

Jim

I think it also depends on one's familiarity with sonic accuracy - that is having heard pretty flat on axis/controlled off axis. Because I think some audiophiles may have heard speakers they thought were "accurate" but weren't - or that were quite flat on axis, but the off axis caused them to sound bright/sterile or whatever.

I remember listening to some speakers with another audiophile and he found them "too accurate, clinical, not euphonic enough." Except they weren't accurate.
They had an obvious dip in the warmth region making them sound lean and highly detailed, which he chalked up to "accuracy...I guess I don't care for it."

(BTW, in the 90's some of our dialogue editors bought some B&W monitors and they really liked them. They weren't accurate, had an obvious rising top end and some dips here and there. But they emphasized all the flaws in the tracks, making it really easy to hear all the tiny background flaws they were trying to cut out).
 

Ja1man

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Hello,

I've spent a few days meditating and discussing, and I think I understand the core of the issue. Furthermore, I am hoping, this post can help resolve our disagreements.

Disagreements between the so-called "subjective" and "objective" audiophiles arise from a dichotomy in the definition of the word audiophile itself.

Cambridge dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/audiophile

"a person who is very interested in and enthusiastic about equipment for playing recorded sound, and its quality"

Merriam webster
: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/audiophile

"a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction"

As you can see, the first definition above is purposefully and intractably subjective. The enthusiasm is focused on the equipment and its quality. Quality here is clearly referring to the equipment and not the recorded sound itself as it comes after a comma. This definition clearly aims to be inclusive of placebo and the sum total of indicators that make up the audio experience. Including what you touch, how it feels, what you know about it, and what others think.

However, the second definition forays into the concept of fidelity. Fidelity refers to the devotion to the source, not to some magical original moment when the audio was recorded. It is clear, that we can never replicate a moment of the past in its entirety. However, we can replicate a recorded sound and make efforts to have that replication done with as less flaws as possible.

The best metaphor for this is a dirty vs clean wineglass that taints the wine your pour into it. If you are trying to learn what wine really tastes like, you would like to drink from a clean glass.

I would further like to concede that after watching this video (and Amir's review of the Niagra power conditioner) -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WfWHC05lbg&t=18s. It is clear that we cannot trust our ears. And anyone who says that their ears are the measure of all objective truth simply does not understand how interconnected our biology is. It is equivalent to seeing a mirage on the road and showing up with swimming trunks over and over again.

It is time to either create a new word for the subjective audiophile or for the objective audiophile. It is clear to me that both communities can no longer claim dominion over this word without perverting its meaning.

Disclaimer - My change in opinion does not force me to chastise lovers of vinyl or tube amplifiers or any implementation that is objectively inferior.

Furthermore, why do the fringe members of ASR have to bandy together to excommunicate these people who are simply chasing a particular kind of sound that resides in their hearts? Is it not possible that people who grew up with vinyl prefer its flaws? Why must you make them feel bad just so that you can feel better about yourself? (mainly the radical fringe community)

However, lovers of flaws, you must also in turn concede that your wineglass has salt on its rim because you are drinking margaritas not wine. And you must also concede the following (excerpt from L7 wolf)

If the playback of a device with more harmonics is used as a benchmark, the device with less harmonics will sound like something is missing.

I hope we can create a more inclusive world together instead of falling into silos filled only with people who agree with us.

Thank you for making it this far.
 

Blumlein 88

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Hello,

I've spent a few days meditating and discussing, and I think I understand the core of the issue. Furthermore, I am hoping, this post can help resolve our disagreements.

Disagreements between the so-called "subjective" and "objective" audiophiles arise from a dichotomy in the definition of the word audiophile itself.

Cambridge dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/audiophile

"a person who is very interested in and enthusiastic about equipment for playing recorded sound, and its quality"

Merriam webster
: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/audiophile

"a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction"

As you can see, the first definition above is purposefully and intractably subjective. The enthusiasm is focused on the equipment and its quality. Quality here is clearly referring to the equipment and not the recorded sound itself as it comes after a comma. This definition clearly aims to be inclusive of placebo and the sum total of indicators that make up the audio experience. Including what you touch, how it feels, what you know about it, and what others think.

However, the second definition forays into the concept of fidelity. Fidelity refers to the devotion to the source, not to some magical original moment when the audio was recorded. It is clear, that we can never replicate a moment of the past in its entirety. However, we can replicate a recorded sound and make efforts to have that replication done with as less flaws as possible.

The best metaphor for this is a dirty vs clean wineglass that taints the wine your pour into it. If you are trying to learn what wine really tastes like, you would like to drink from a clean glass.

I would further like to concede that after watching this video (and Amir's review of the Niagra power conditioner) -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WfWHC05lbg&t=18s. It is clear that we cannot trust our ears. And anyone who says that their ears are the measure of all objective truth simply does not understand how interconnected our biology is. It is equivalent to seeing a mirage on the road and showing up with swimming trunks over and over again.

It is time to either create a new word for the subjective audiophile or for the objective audiophile. It is clear to me that both communities can no longer claim dominion over this word without perverting its meaning.

Disclaimer - My change in opinion does not force me to chastise lovers of vinyl or tube amplifiers or any implementation that is objectively inferior.

Furthermore, why do the fringe members of ASR have to bandy together to excommunicate these people who are simply chasing a particular kind of sound that resides in their hearts? Is it not possible that people who grew up with vinyl prefer its flaws? Why must you make them feel bad just so that you can feel better about yourself? (mainly the radical fringe community)

However, lovers of flaws, you must also in turn concede that your wineglass has salt on its rim because you are drinking margaritas not wine. And you must also concede the following (excerpt from L7 wolf)

If the playback of a device with more harmonics is used as a benchmark, the device with less harmonics will sound like something is missing.

I hope we can create a more inclusive world together instead of falling into silos filled only with people who agree with us.

Thank you for making it this far.
Straw man. I don't see excommunicating going on for those with a preference. Plenty here have and acknowledge those preferences. Plenty of tube or vinyl threads. What gets people off on the wrong foot is telling us their preference is of higher fidelity, and that we are wrong about what fidelity is.
 

voodooless

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The problem is not that people like the flawed gear. People should like whatever they damn well please.

The problem starts when the arguments go into the territory of provable false claims of superior equipment.

Because the argument is never: “oh, I know it’s flawed, but I just like it”. It’s always some pseudoscience technobabble parroted from a reviewer or company website.

And that is where the real problem lies: this industry is build around selling bullshit to anyone gullible enough to buy it. People opinions are based on this. The industry is poised to brainwash people into that mindset they have.
 

solderdude

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Disclaimer - My change in opinion does not force me to chastise lovers of vinyl or tube amplifiers or any implementation that is objectively inferior.

The word 'audiophile' is just a word invented by someone and is used to describe a group of people. Some audiophiles hate the word as it includes people they don't identify with.
It is basically the same reason as the whole gender thing. You are something but do not identify with the usual descriptions. They don't want to be put in the classic 'boxes' but want their own box. And a lot more boxes will be needed as not all people are the same and relate to newly invented boxes.
Chastising is of all ages and all 'groups'. Its why wars are there. Not all people go to war and want war.
The same is going on here. Not all ASR people chastise, some don't give a hoot what other like and if it differs from their preference. Some hang on to 'lets formulate correctly', some love science so much they forget humans are involved. Some are open ... no.. lets not go there.
Black and white are not the only colors there are many, many shades of grey.

Furthermore, why do the fringe members of ASR have to bandy together to excommunicate these people who are simply chasing a particular kind of sound that resides in their hearts?

Audio SCIENCE Review. Notice the word science. Also notice the emphasis on measurements. It attracts and deters people. So ASR consists mainly of a group of people drawn to this subject. They usually prefer signal fidelity over personal taste. Get satisfaction/a sense of security that the used gear is not going to stand in the way. They believe (yes believe) that the original music file should be reproduced as closely as possible to the, handed to them, recording.

Usually they take for granted that recordings can be poor and the result will thus be poor. Good recordings will sound good. Most of them also realize that the room and transducers are an important part of that equation and use EQ and or room treatment to achieve that goal, usually in a restricted small optimal listening spot (alas).
This is where they stray from the path of others.
Others may want as much recordings as they can find to sound pleasant. This requires a different approach, different gear, different wallet and the look for something they like.
There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Color things every way you want. However, followers of the signal fidelity church will disagree. That should be clear to them.

There's the rub. "Signal fidelity aficionados" and "music enjoyment aficionados" mean something entirely different with the word 'good' and 'poor' based on their religion practiced in their community.
No matter which aficionados enter a different community to preach their belief run the risk of being chastised by convinced people. Regardless of what other folks in that community even think or deem necessary.
A dialog with convincing arguments may well be preferred by most but not supported by all.

Is it not possible that people who grew up with vinyl prefer its flaws?

Possible yes, maybe even likely for whatever reasons they can think of
I can only speak for myself (and some others I know) but I have always hated its flaws and am glad I have a choice to listen to it or not and do not have to force others in agreeing with me.
Technically speaking (I am an electronics engineer) it is extremely clear that signal fidelity is the weakest point of vinyl. The guys claiming 'vinyl' or even 'tape' is 'better' than 'digital' are simply wrong. They are wrong in the eyes of 'signal fidelitists' but not in the eyes of 'enjoymentists'.
The dispute is about the words 'good/better/best' here and what those words define.

Why must you make them feel bad just so that you can feel better about yourself? (mainly the radical fringe community)

The real question is whether it is the intention to make 'other minded folks' to feel bad or whether it is to 'educate' or 'correct' others.
Person A may see this as an opening to a discussion, person B may find it insulting of their 'acquired knowledge', person C may disagree and move on or leave shaking their heads.
You can't please everyone. If one feels offended then realize those are their feelings. Not everyone is out to make others feel bad but indeed some are out there with that sole purpose. This is true for all people on all sides of life.
 
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tonycollinet

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I agree with you. Some time management guy wrote a book in the mid-1990's about the coming OVER-INformation age and how it would make facts available to everyone and truth nearly impossible to discern by non-specialists. And as a result even well educated rational people would find truth hard to discern outside of their field. He was right. Throw in most people either have no training in disciplined logical thought or rational argument or forget what they know in personal matters, and you'll always get the truth drowned out by well meaning people who believe some plausible to them truth which is a nothing of the sort. Worse I'm not exempt from being manipulated that way myself. Dammit.
At least in the UK, the education system is arming kids on how to deal with this. They are now being taught critical thinking skills to help them identify good sources of info amongst the piles of dross available to them.
 

solderdude

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Hmmm I don't know.
I rather believe they are being taught to think in a certain way and are told that is the correct way.
Come to think of it, that has always been the case but goal posts are changed over time.
When one wants to change the world one has to change the way people think.
Children are the most malleable. Older people usually aren't. Audiophiles are usually 'older' people.
So to change the way things go you need to change people = educate = school = young people = 'indoctrinate' with what is deemed to be 'the correct way'.
 

HarmonicTHD

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What would the objections be to those kinds of stories? Especially the "noticed a difference without being told a cable was changed"?

I'm spitballing but it might have something to do with "tells", inadvertently given?
The objections are that these stories are not replicable nor verifiable in a scientific manner unless the claims / stories are derived from some properly controlled ABX tests. And if so, the person claiming such differences should have no problem publishing these facts. Unfortunately in many many of these claims, such facts don’t exists. However many engineering derivations and scientific tests show that these differences don’t exist. So the story remains a story and everyone can tell a story.
 
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Blumlein 88

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At least in the UK, the education system is arming kids on how to deal with this. They are now being taught critical thinking skills to help them identify good sources of info amongst the piles of dross available to them.
How is this being taught? Interesting if you some concise information about how that is being done.
 

voodooless

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I think to younger people it will be quite clear that critical thinking is necessary. They have access to so much information, that it's clear that not all is correct, simply because there are so many inconsistencies.
 

HarmonicTHD

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At least in the UK, the education system is arming kids on how to deal with this. They are now being taught critical thinking skills to help them identify good sources of info amongst the piles of dross available to them.
I admire your optimism given how people reacted to facts and obvious non facts in the past 5 years worldwide.
 

Robbo99999

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So would I however an increasingly significant percentage of the population is receiving their information this way. I do not think there is any sixth sense for BS on the internet unfortunately (face to face yes). This is one of the challenges of our times and one of the points I was attempting to make in my earlier post.

Take the recent example of a “peer reviewed” paper released by an individual with credentials which proposed there was an audible distinction between cheap, mid and expensive cables. Post that on TicToc or whatever platform penetrates your target demographic and you will convert 90% of those who watch it. The fact that the paper was full of baseless claims, false statements and his credentials were not relevant to the field under discussion is not detail available to the recipient (without further work).

A political party without a firm understanding of how the “truth” is now delivered to their electorate is a party that will lose these days. Look at how recent elections in the US have been impacted (trying not to name names).
I know, it's worrying that increasingly large amounts of people get their news from social media, it's very skewed.
 

SIY

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Hello,

I've spent a few days meditating and discussing, and I think I understand the core of the issue. Furthermore, I am hoping, this post can help resolve our disagreements.

Disagreements between the so-called "subjective" and "objective" audiophiles arise from a dichotomy in the definition of the word audiophile itself.

Cambridge dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/audiophile

"a person who is very interested in and enthusiastic about equipment for playing recorded sound, and its quality"

Merriam webster
: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/audiophile

"a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction"

As you can see, the first definition above is purposefully and intractably subjective. The enthusiasm is focused on the equipment and its quality. Quality here is clearly referring to the equipment and not the recorded sound itself as it comes after a comma. This definition clearly aims to be inclusive of placebo and the sum total of indicators that make up the audio experience. Including what you touch, how it feels, what you know about it, and what others think.

However, the second definition forays into the concept of fidelity. Fidelity refers to the devotion to the source, not to some magical original moment when the audio was recorded. It is clear, that we can never replicate a moment of the past in its entirety. However, we can replicate a recorded sound and make efforts to have that replication done with as less flaws as possible.

The best metaphor for this is a dirty vs clean wineglass that taints the wine your pour into it. If you are trying to learn what wine really tastes like, you would like to drink from a clean glass.

I would further like to concede that after watching this video (and Amir's review of the Niagra power conditioner) -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WfWHC05lbg&t=18s. It is clear that we cannot trust our ears. And anyone who says that their ears are the measure of all objective truth simply does not understand how interconnected our biology is. It is equivalent to seeing a mirage on the road and showing up with swimming trunks over and over again.

It is time to either create a new word for the subjective audiophile or for the objective audiophile. It is clear to me that both communities can no longer claim dominion over this word without perverting its meaning.

Disclaimer - My change in opinion does not force me to chastise lovers of vinyl or tube amplifiers or any implementation that is objectively inferior.

Furthermore, why do the fringe members of ASR have to bandy together to excommunicate these people who are simply chasing a particular kind of sound that resides in their hearts? Is it not possible that people who grew up with vinyl prefer its flaws? Why must you make them feel bad just so that you can feel better about yourself? (mainly the radical fringe community)

However, lovers of flaws, you must also in turn concede that your wineglass has salt on its rim because you are drinking margaritas not wine. And you must also concede the following (excerpt from L7 wolf)

If the playback of a device with more harmonics is used as a benchmark, the device with less harmonics will sound like something is missing.

I hope we can create a more inclusive world together instead of falling into silos filled only with people who agree with us.

Thank you for making it this far.
Shorter version: using basic controls ruins my fun.
 

Mulder

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So ASR consists mainly of a group of people drawn to this subject. They usually prefer signal fidelity over personal taste. Get satisfaction/a sense of security that the used gear is not going to stand in the way. They believe (yes believe) that the original music file should be reproduced as closely as possible to the, handed to them, recording.
........ Others may want as much recordings as they can find to sound pleasant. This requires a different approach, different gear, different wallet and the look for something they like.
There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Color things every way you want. However, followers of the signal fidelity church will disagree. That should be clear to them.

There's the rub. "Signal fidelity aficionados" and "music enjoyment aficionados" mean something entirely different with the word 'good' and 'poor' based on their religion practiced in their community.
No matter which aficionados enter a different community to preach their belief run the risk of being chastised by convinced people. Regardless of what other folks in that community even think or deem necessary.
Hmm Interesting, but I gather that the real awkward disagreement is more about whether a particular piece of equipment in the sound reproduction has any effect at all. "Subjectivists" tend to dismiss blind tests, and emphatically claim that cables, power cleaners, etc. lead to clearly audible differences in the positive direction. The "objectivists" usually dismiss this, precisely because measurements show that it does not affect the fidelity of the signal, and therefore cannot at all affect the sound that reach our ears - and that improvement anyone hear must be identified as imagination. This is not about preferring one or the other, it is about whether one believes in measurements at all or if one's own auditory impression always trumps what can be determined objectively. It's a bit like witchcraft or voodoo pitted against science.
 
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BDWoody

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It is clear that we cannot trust our ears. And anyone who says that their ears are the measure of all objective truth simply does not understand how interconnected our biology is.

I believe this is the major division. I don't think anyone here really cares if someone likes their turntable or tube amp. I have 4 turntables and hundreds of records, and I don't remember anyone telling me I'm an idiot for owning them (even before I was moderator...;). If I were here telling everyone how much better it is than digital, that would be a different issue.

Furthermore, why do the fringe members of ASR have to bandy together to excommunicate these people who are simply chasing a particular kind of sound that resides in their hearts?

I'm not sure about the excommunicate part, but this isn't a site for people to talk about the sound that resides in their hearts as much as the signal that comes out of the device. There are plenty of places where people can work on their creative writing skills, but here we try to provide evidence based information for those who believe that matters.

And you must also concede the following (excerpt from L7 wolf)

If the playback of a device with more harmonics is used as a benchmark, the device with less harmonics will sound like something is missing.

I'm not sure I must concede anything if there isn't evidence to back it up. How much more distortion before it becomes identifiable as present or missing? Is it preferred? Is there real data to support that? You know...any evidence?

People generally come here to get clear evidence based answers to questions they often didn't even know they had. If all one does is listen to the 'high end' propaganda machine, there will be a lot of 'unlearning' to do before they can start building based on actual knowledge, as opposed to crowdsourced feelings and thinly disguised sales pitches masquerading as reviews.

You seem to believe we all need to come to an understanding. Who is it that needs better understanding?
 

HarmonicTHD

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I believe this is the major division. I don't think anyone here really cares if someone likes their turntable or tube amp. I have 4 turntables and hundreds of records, and I don't remember anyone telling me I'm an idiot for owning them (even before I was moderator...;). If I were here telling everyone how much better it is than digital, that would be a different issue.



I'm not sure about the excommunicate part, but this isn't a site for people to talk about the sound that resides in their hearts as much as the signal that comes out of the device. There are plenty of places where people can work on their creative writing skills, but here we try to provide evidence based information for those who believe that matters.



I'm not sure I must concede anything if there isn't evidence to back it up. How much 'more distortion' before it becomes identifiable as present or missing? Is it preferred? Is there real data to support that? You know...any evidence?

People generally come here to get clear evidence based answers to questions they often didn't even know they had. If all one does is listen to the 'high end' propaganda machine, there will be a lot of 'unlearning' to do before they can start building based on actual knowledge, as opposed to crowdsourced feelings and thinly disguised sales pitches masquerading as reviews.

You seem to believe we all need to come to an understanding. Who is it that needs better understanding?
Nicely said.

We do not have to come to an agreement. This is not a negotiation either.
It would be like starting to negotiate and make concessions whether gravity exists and how much of it.
 
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