• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Message to golden-eared audiophiles posting at ASR for the first time...

killdozzer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
653
Likes
598
@MattHooper if you understand that, I apologize for stating the obvious. It seems to me I'll have to read what Newman said in order to understand what prompted your response. Without that, you still look like you're getting lost on those slippery slopes of yours. I'm having a hard time imagining that Newman said if one greets you with "Good day, sir", that you jump right at him and ask if he did a DBT on whether the day is indeed good.

I don't feel like being on a slippery slope at all. I can exchange whatever thoughts I like with my friends, but in the very instance when we ask ourselves; "can we actually assert that what we did made the difference?" that's when we have to find a way to neutralize all biases and all other variables.

There's one more thing about subjective I find very important. Subjective is at the same time of utmost importance and completely irrelevant. It is all one man has, even after all the testing, and still it means nothing to anyone around you except perhaps to someone who loves you. Even the friendliest and most well intended advice you give someone based on your subjective experience is completely wrong. Or, rather, illogical. One man's subjective can't be other man's subjective. So when you say: "I find Marantz warm, you should buy Marantz", that would be as true as saying: "I like blue, you should buy a blue raincoat". That is what subjective is. When you realize that you can have two people attend the same listening session, one coming out saying he though the sound was warm and the other saying the sound was cold, that's when you realized what you're dealing with when you address subjective. It's not even about trust or mutual respect or anything. Who would you trust among the two guys with cold/warm references? I can offer an answer - the one who said what you hold true. That's what subjective is. Subjective is much like personal experience. It is... unrepeatable.
 

Mart68

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
490
Likes
812
Location
England
^^^^ And here we see yet again the naive overreach concerning the reliability of our senses and perception.

It's similar to leaping from studies showing we experience optical illusions to "therefore our sense of sight is wholly illusory and unreliable."

And yet, we manage to find our way out the front door whenever we want. And navigate the world mostly successfully using our sight and other senses.

.
Lots of people are run down by motor vehicles every day because their senses- both sight and hearing - failed to alert them to the presence of such.
How often have you tripped over something or bashed into something that was in plain view but which you didn't 'see'?

We mostly navigate the world successfully, until we don't.

Sometimes are impressions are correct sometimes they aren't. The level of failure is enough that they cannot be considered reliable. Look how many people think a power cable changes the sound. 'My friend heard it too' is not any use as evidence. Neither is 'All those thousands of people who hear a difference can't be wrong.' Yes they can!
 
Last edited:

killdozzer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
653
Likes
598
Inconsistencies in your audio system sound is more than just mental instability :)

Humidity and temp will affect some loudspeakers more than others and check if you have any noise in your current setup, you need to tend to it ..

audible back ground noises at wide open gain can be helped with a proper grounding scheme between units and will go along way in consistency of sound reproduced ..



Regards
I'll be first to admit in no way would I hear a difference in my system when played on a sunny day or on a rainy day. That's waaaay beyond me. Although I did a detailed test of my hearing and the doc was amazed. He teased me asking if I live under a glass dome like Michael Jackson. He said I hear like 14yo.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,086
Likes
1,303
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
I changed one old (but good?) power amp for another similar the other day and the 'difference on the day' was huge - all my lost 'sibilance and presence' came back and I was thrilled but totally stumped as to how two basically good amps of similar power levels could be that different! A few days later, I ran this system again and it sounded just like it did with the previous power amp (well, maybe very slightly livelier and I believe for measurable reasons). Knowing how my ears are these days (acute Rhinitis and ear infections in my pre-Diabetic days have taken their toll nd they vary hugely), I suspect it was on a good-ear day I changed the amps over (my next speakers will have to be slightly assertive in the lower kHz region and with smooth dispersion too at these frequencies rather than recessed I feel, as my current boxes are).

I visited my dealer friend to help with some turntable work a couple of weeks back and once again had the pleasure of being in the company of some current Luxman amps. Even the cheap one (a mere £3800 or so) has a fit, class and 'feel' that is so luxurious it gladdens this enthusiast heart that's still there inside somewhere. He has an ancient Accuphase 202 integrated nearby and that feels like a tractor in comparison (switches engage with a precise clickety clack). The experience reminded me of the Yamaha 400/600/800/1000 amps we sold in the mid 70's (I owned a CA1000Mk2 for a while) where the tab switches had a glorious silky delicate feel lost in the replacement 410, 610 and so on models with less elegant and chunkier looking switchgear. I kind of went the opposite after owning a perfectly reasonable if very expensive ARC preamp (one of the FET ones) and going to something half the price and just as good (in my system then). Looking back three decades on, I do miss the 'luxury look and feel' of high end gear, but as I'll never be in a position to own such stuff now unless it's old, maybe outclassed and potentially unreliable (old stuff still costs as much to service as new versions), it's a moot point.

I think today that the gear-loving part of this industry and hobby deals with ALL our senses working together. It's just that subjectivists may not realise this perhaps and put it all down to their hearing acuity alone and that I think is where the issues may lie.
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,130
Likes
1,278
It seems to me I'll have to read what Newman said in order to understand what prompted your response. Without that, you still look like you're getting lost on those slippery slopes of yours. I'm having a hard time imagining that Newman said if one greets you with "Good day, sir", that you jump right at him and ask if he did a DBT on whether the day is indeed good.

Yeah, all I said is the two posts you already ‘liked’ on the previous page. That’s it.

Not sure if you are aware, but the guy you are trying to reason with has a bit of history and belongs in the Audio Science Denier column, and that is why he will so grossly misrepresent what I say that you are left wondering where my words are written: you have actually already read and liked them, but you can’t even recognise them, based on his misrepresentation.

You may have missed the other thread with his novel-length dissertations in defence of the Poetic Subjective Reviewers, of the Stereophile/Herb Reichert ilk, and their reviews of speakers yes, but also amps with immaculate measurements, and even power cables etc, all described with the same vocabulary, all clearly ascribed to the sound waves, with no grasp of the science of human perception. Defending their subjective reviews is no problem for MH. He can argue a rock into dust with sheer volume of air expelled. He mistakes logic for truth (“Me and my mates can ‘hear’ the same things Reichert writes about, hence they must be in the sound waves” - you get the idea). And he mistakes audio reproduction (an error reduction process) and production (a creative process) as having the same role for subjective listening. Hence he sees my words, about uncontrolled subjective listening not being a basis for assessing the sound waves coming out of playback gear, he sees as a threat to his use of subjective listening in his work in a production environment.

I just thought I would clear up for you the confusion that he is creating in your mind about me, and why he did that, and why it will continue. He has ‘skin in the game’.

cheers
 

killdozzer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
653
Likes
598
Yeah, all I said is the two posts you already ‘liked’ on the previous page. That’s it.

Not sure if you are aware, but the guy you are trying to reason with has a bit of history and belongs in the Audio Science Denier column, and that is why he will so grossly misrepresent what I say that you are left wondering where my words are written: you have actually already read and liked them, but you can’t even recognise them, based on his misrepresentation.

You may have missed the other thread with his novel-length dissertations in defence of the Poetic Subjective Reviewers, of the Stereophile/Herb Reichert ilk, and their reviews of speakers yes, but also amps with immaculate measurements, and even power cables etc, all described with the same vocabulary, all clearly ascribed to the sound waves, with no grasp of the science of human perception. Defending their subjective reviews is no problem for MH. He can argue a rock into dust with sheer volume of air expelled. He mistakes logic for truth (“Me and my mates can ‘hear’ the same things Reichert writes about, hence they must be in the sound waves” - you get the idea). And he mistakes audio reproduction (an error reduction process) and production (a creative process) as having the same role for subjective listening. Hence he sees my words, about uncontrolled subjective listening not being a basis for assessing the sound waves coming out of playback gear, he sees as a threat to his use of subjective listening in his work in a production environment.

I just thought I would clear up for you the confusion that he is creating in your mind about me, and why he did that, and why it will continue. He has ‘skin in the game’.

cheers
@MattHooper I must say i don't see anything wrong with what Newman writes. I read it and gave it some thought. I was going to come here with my morning coffee and write that same exact thing, but Newman chimed in. Regardless, I didn't get the feeling that Newman doesn't let the opinions flow freely, it's just that when opinions come to test, you'll have a hard time finding a better scrutiny to put it under than what was already agreed upon. But as I say, it's only when you want to firmly establish the cause, the roots of things. It is not supposed to get in anyone's way of free interpretations.

OTOH, if it's true you support what we jokingly call pink prose, I can't subscribe to that. I think it is a con, it's cheating and fooling people and it's not what I approve of.
 

tonycollinet

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
990
Likes
1,365
Yeah, all I said is the two posts you already ‘liked’ on the previous page. That’s it.

Not sure if you are aware, but the guy you are trying to reason with has a bit of history and belongs in the Audio Science Denier column, and that is why he will so grossly misrepresent what I say that you are left wondering where my words are written: you have actually already read and liked them, but you can’t even recognise them, based on his misrepresentation.

You may have missed the other thread with his novel-length dissertations in defence of the Poetic Subjective Reviewers, of the Stereophile/Herb Reichert ilk, and their reviews of speakers yes, but also amps with immaculate measurements, and even power cables etc, all described with the same vocabulary, all clearly ascribed to the sound waves, with no grasp of the science of human perception. Defending their subjective reviews is no problem for MH. He can argue a rock into dust with sheer volume of air expelled. He mistakes logic for truth (“Me and my mates can ‘hear’ the same things Reichert writes about, hence they must be in the sound waves” - you get the idea). And he mistakes audio reproduction (an error reduction process) and production (a creative process) as having the same role for subjective listening. Hence he sees my words, about uncontrolled subjective listening not being a basis for assessing the sound waves coming out of playback gear, he sees as a threat to his use of subjective listening in his work in a production environment.

I just thought I would clear up for you the confusion that he is creating in your mind about me, and why he did that, and why it will continue. He has ‘skin in the game’.

cheers

You are the guy making personal attacks here ("science denier", "grossly misrepresent"). This is the opposite of the scientific method, and not what I come here to see. Attack the argument, not the man. It's much harder by the way - you actually have to engage brain and understand the opposing viewpoint.

There is nothing inherently unscientific in what @MattHooper wrote.
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,130
Likes
1,278
He attacked me. You got that back to front. Don’t lay into the guy who defends himself against being called “naive”, “Philosophy 101 Student Phenomenon”, “besotted” (with science), “incoherent”, “bogus reasoning”….
….and all because I said something absolutely demonstrable and demonstrated, that “sighted comparison listening is not any kind of pathway to discovery about the sound waves from music playback gear”.
 

Spkrdctr

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
819
Likes
948
Lots of people are run down by motor vehicles every day because their senses- both sight and hearing - failed to alert them to the presence of such.
How often have you tripped over something or bashed into something that was in plain view but which you didn't 'see'?

We mostly navigate the world successfully, until we don't.

Sometimes are impressions are correct sometimes they aren't. The level of failure is enough that they cannot be considered reliable. Look how many people think a power cable changes the sound. 'My friend heard it too' is not any use as evidence. Neither is 'All those thousands of people who hear a difference can't be wrong.' Yes they can!

That is why you never trust the wire review UNLESS your wife can hear the difference from the kitchen while the dishwasher is running and she is busy cooking. Then you can take it to the bank! :)
 

Spkrdctr

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
819
Likes
948
I could wade into this with long posts trying to explain the hearing vs vision and other items brought up. But I will save you all that reading. What Matt is saying does apply when listening to a transistor radio from the 70s vs a full blown high end Revel sound system. Yes, anyone can tell a difference. But, when it gets much tougher to tell any difference, that is when you have to measure. That is when your brain takes over and changes the sound to what it wants it to be. Others have responded and brought up many good points. I will let this sleeping dog continue sleeping!
 

Spocko

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
1,031
Likes
1,904
Location
Southern California
The biggest shortcoming of subjective review is how adjectives describing tonal quality lacks any usable "degree". Let's take food reviews as an example because these are always purely subjective without measurements. When I say a food is "spicy, sweet, salty or too hot", the reader has zero context. What if I love spicy food and when something is "too spicy" for me that may also mean that if I think it's "just right" it could be too spicy for you. Alternatively, I cannot stand eating food that is a touch too sweet so when I complain that a drink is "too sweet", I know for certain my daughter would respond "no, it's perfect!" and so forth. Now on to sound - my wife and son cannot stand the sound of metal knives and forks scratching the surface of a ceramic dish as it literally sends shivers up their spines whereas I can hear it but am not bothered by it at all. So you see where I'm going here - the problem of subjective reviews is twofold:

(1) A "review" by its nature suggests that their subjective impressions are somehow universally applicable when in fact it's merely stating the reviewer's personal eccentricities, tastes preferences or biases, and even if the subjective impressions are a useful guide, the very words used to describe the subjectivity lacks any standard of measure; when a reviewer says there's an annoying bit of sibilance, we have no context of whether he's hyper sensitive to sibilance or not, and maybe 20 years ago he was hypersensitive but today he can no longer notice it unless it's punched up by 6dB! Many reviewers have been in this game for 20 years - have their hearing changed at all over the years? Absolutely - age, experience, injury - life happens.

(2) What if the reviewer chooses the wrong music and does not catch issues in the speaker simply because his musical selection does not bring out those flaws? We have Stereophile reviews where subjective speaker reviews are followed by JA's measurements and the two are not consistent - in this most recent Stereophile review of the Alumine Three, Herb Reichert's glowing love for this speaker is at odds with John Atkinson's measurements (audible resonance near 1kHz):

HR: "the almost fullrange Alumine Threes made this type of music play bigger, more distinctly, more open, easier to follow, and more interesting than it did with my Falcons or DeVores…delivered a bigger "sound" fueled by more undistorted volume, more unrestrained dynamics, more absolute clarity, and of course, more and deeper and less distorted bass...I never imagined how much previously undelivered recorded information the Stenheim Alumine Threes would bring into my room. Or how powerful and compelling this newly discovered information would be."

JA: I was puzzled by the resonant peak in the port's output and by the small peak/dip just above 1kHz, but to be fair, any audible consequences of these resonances will depend on the music being played. [emphasis added]


And so ultimately, subjective reviews are limited to the reviewer not knowing what music to play in order to bring out the best or worst in a speaker and if you the prospective consumer happen to play the wrong music, well, don't blame the reviewer because he didn't catch it with his selection of esoteric audiophile review music.
 

sq225917

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
582
Likes
623
Reviews are just entertainment, nothing more or less. On the odd case where one has built up years of reading reviews by a journalist and you have some shared experience of the devices they review its possible to build up an understanding of how they use language, and thusly their meaning and intent. All based on them not being a schill for hire or a rabid fantasist of course.

Mostly it's just flowery writing meant to stimulate your 'want' glands.
 
Last edited:

Spkrdctr

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
819
Likes
948
Reviews are just entertainment, nothing more or less. On the odd case where one has built up years of reading reviews by a journalist and you have some shared experience of the devices they review its possible to build up an understanding of how they use language, and thusly their meaning and intent. All based on them not being a schill for hire or a rabid fantasist of course.

Mostly it's just flowery writing meant to stipulate your 'want' glands.
Great summary!
 

MattHooper

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
2,314
Likes
3,607
Not sure if you are aware, but the guy you are trying to reason with has a bit of history and belongs in the Audio Science Denier column,


Pure unadulterated bullshit.

Try backing that up.

Show me once...even ONCE...where I have actually "denied science" in a post.

And do it without misunderstanding, misrepresenting or strawmanning what I wrote.
 

MattHooper

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
2,314
Likes
3,607
You may have missed the other thread with his novel-length dissertations in defence of the Poetic Subjective Reviewers, of the Stereophile/Herb Reichert ilk, and their reviews of speakers yes, but also amps with immaculate measurements, and even power cables etc, all described with the same vocabulary, all clearly ascribed to the sound waves, with no grasp of the science of human perception. Defending their subjective reviews is no problem for MH.

^^^ Example of flat out lying.

Nowhere in either that thread or any others did I defend reviews claiming sonic differences between amps with "immaculate measurements, and even power cables etc,"

In fact I have routinely jumped on that stuff same as most here. And I have constantly argued the case for the relevance of objectivity and pointed out the problems of the purely subjective approach that leads to nonsense of "even power amps that measure the same sound different" and "expensive AC cables change the sound" etc.

Before falling for Newman's misrepresentations, here is one of many of my posts on the problems with purely subjectivist approach:

 

steve59

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
460
Likes
273
After post #2000 or so would it be safe to suggest everything to be said on a subject has already been said?
 
Top Bottom