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

Emlin

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No but I would only want to view paintings lighted in a way which perfectly reflected the lighting in the studio of the artist at the time of painting.That might include lighting from animal fat candles or daylight in Amsterdam in the winter of 1642.Anything other than that would not be accurate.The specialised modern lighting they use today which tends to highlight colours and textures and depth is not what you want because it makes these paintings look better and more enjoyable than they really are.
I suspect that your views are best appreciated from under a bridge, where they originated.
 

Peluvius

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No but I would only want to view paintings lighted in a way which perfectly reflected the lighting in the studio of the artist at the time of painting.That might include lighting from animal fat candles or daylight in Amsterdam in the winter of 1642.Anything other than that would not be accurate.The specialised modern lighting they use today which tends to highlight colours and textures and depth is not what you want because it makes these paintings look better and more enjoyable than they really are.

I think that is a great point and consistent with the theme although I generally love the high CRI lighting used & have used this type of lighting for my home spaces as well (there is that personal preference creeping in). You just never really know exactly how it sounded when it was recorded unless you were there I guess.

To extrapolate on this, I would think that it is better to use a high CRI consistently rather than look at all the paintings using an animal fat candle light (whatever that may look like) wouldn't it?
 

jtgofish

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I think that is a great point and consistent with the theme although I generally love the high CRI lighting used & have used this type of lighting for my home spaces as well (there is that personal preference creeping in). You just never really know exactly how it sounded when it was recorded unless you were there I guess.

To extrapolate on this, I would think that it is better to use a high CRI consistently rather than look at all the paintings using an animal fat candle light (whatever that may look like) wouldn't it?
So you think some slight highlighting or embellishment and deviation "strictly accurate"might be lead to greater enjoyment and appreciation?
That is a pretty radical concept.Except of course it isn't!
 

Peluvius

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So you think some slight highlighting or embellishment and deviation "strictly accurate"might be lead to greater enjoyment and appreciation?
That is a pretty radical concept.Except of course it isn't!

But we are not talking about highlighting and embellishment, we are talking about accuracy and precision. We are specifically talking about a hypothetical situation in which we have learned that an artist used animal fat candles to light his studio and this had a bearing on the colours he/she intended to reflect in the work. In that case my preference would be to re-create the CRI & colour temperature of that light to see what was intended to be seen. Very specific and not applicable to other artwork or artists.

If your preference is to view all art work using that specific lighting condition then that is your choice.
 

SIY

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So you think some slight highlighting or embellishment and deviation "strictly accurate"might be lead to greater enjoyment and appreciation?
That is a pretty radical concept.Except of course it isn't!
That's why on the eighth day, God invented EQ.
 

jtgofish

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That's why on the eighth day, God invented EQ.
Except frequency response is only a small variable.I agree it might be of some help but it is only a small part of the total picture.I have used EQ and have never been convinced that it helps improve overall sound quality.Of course in some rooms [really bad rooms] it probably would but that has not been my experience.Plenty of friends have tried it but they have all given up on it.Auto EQ seems to consistantly make things sound worse.
 

pkane

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Except frequency response is only a small variable.I agree it might be of some help but it is only a small part of the total picture.I have used EQ and have never been convinced that it helps improve overall sound quality.Of course in some rooms [really bad rooms] it probably would but that has not been my experience.Plenty of friends have tried it but they have all given up on it.Auto EQ seems to consistantly make things sound worse.
Please list some of the other major variables, preferably based on something more substantial than the opinions of ‘plenty of friends’.
 

Mnyb

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Please list some of the other major variables, preferably based on something more substantial than the opinions of ‘plenty of friends’.
+1 fr response is actually the dominant variable and the single most important one as we as humans easily pick up variations here if they are in the wrong place ? ( did I understand the research here ). It should be a solved issue in electronics ( unless you buy some fringe high end ).

In acoustics it’s harder then the question gets to be “which fr response” as research have shown than some speakers take to eq very well and others don’t due to directivity errors . And personal taste is a factor here as speaker and rooms never get to inaudible levels of issues and always have some residual character , but it’s still mostly about managing fr response in some way .
 

Killingbeans

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Yes all that is true but there is also no evidence to support the hypothesis that measurements can in any way help people decide which component will be to their sonic preference .Or put simply what sounds best to them.What is the point of comparing devices based on these parameters if we cannot show that there is a correlation with how something might sound?
As somebody else said "I then have to conclude that in terms of helping me decide which component is to my preference -I CAN'T TRUST MEASUREMENTS"

Just because you can't correlate every nuance, doesn't mean all and any correlation goes out the window.

I'm pretty sure nobody enjoys a dominant standing wave in a room, or an amplifier that's forced into hard clipping.

Some things are just universally repulsive... like the taste of toothpaste+ orange juice. We are individuals, but we are not that individual.

IMO, the real question is at what point the line between objective performance and personal taste becomes fuzzy.

I suspect a lot of the reason why the correlation seems to be non existent is due to mental burn-in. If you subject youself to something mildly offensive for long enough, your brain can easily begin to perceive it as the new "correct". Once you remove the offensive component/effect, the brain will perceive it as "wong". Ironically the correct sound becomes offensive. It takes a new round of mental burn-in to make the brain accept normality. Most people don't like the idea of going through that agony, or they simply aren't aware of what's happening and interpret the experience as an idicator of personal taste.

And of course if people have an expectation that something might sound good because it has good measurements that will create expectation bias.

Absolutely true. Bias haunts us all, no matter what side of "the fence" we are on.
 

SIY

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Just because you can't correlate every nuance, doesn't mean all and any correlation goes out the window.
Once you put in basic controls so that evaluation is done by sound alone and look at the important (to the ear) variables, the correlation between measurements and sound is excellent.
 

jtgofish

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Once you put in basic controls so that evaluation is done by sound alone and look at the important (to the ear) variables, the correlation between measurements and sound is excellent.
Could you point us to properly collected data like large sample size double blind tests involving experienced listeners which supports that claim?
I can imagine that could well be the case if you include components and speakers with quite bad measurements [especially speakers] but would be very surprised if you could do it with ones that are slightly bad.And how would you decide and define what was good and what was slightly bad?
And even then you would be quoting an average trend and not specific products which might be an exception.Like some high end valve amps or SS amps which are reputed to sound excellent that might not measure very well.Something like a Dartzeel NHB 108 power amp for example which uses no negtaive feedback so does not measure as well as many other SS amps.
 
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SIY

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Could you point us to properly collected data like large sample size scale double blind tests involving experienced listeners which supports that claim?
I can imagine that could well be the case if you include components and speakers with quite bad measurements [especially speakers] but would be very surprised if you could do it with ones that are slightly bad.And how would you decide and define what was good and what was slightly bad?
About 50 years worth of literature? Start with Lipshitz & Vanderkooy's papers from 40-50 years ago. Keep following the trail to Olive and Toole.
 

BDWoody

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If my sonic preference is a signal that isn't noisy or distorted with a flat frequency response, (in other words I prefer High Fidelity), how do measurements not show me what I need to know?

How well do you understand them?
How would you know that is what you prefer if you have not conducted comparisons [ideally unsighted ] with components that have less "perfect" measurements?

So, you seem to be doing the troll dance where you avoid the questions you aren't happy with.

Let's go back...

IF my sonic preference is a clean, flat signal, determined however that was determined, are measurements not going to be helpful to me?

Second question is how well do you understand these measurements?

Have YOU done controlled testing to determine what you prefer? If so, you might be able to come up with a distortion or noise profile that you seem to consistently prefer over the flat, clean kind, then you would have a clue as to what you might want to look for. Are you interested in narrowing down your choices? If I'm starting from flat and clean, I can add whatever I want to it through DSP and EQ. If I'm starting from something else, I can't really remove noise and distortion from the signal...it is there always and forever.
 

jtgofish

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...determined however that was determined?
Even if you had a preference for a clean flat signal and had a room and speakers that could reproduce that [which is extremely rare] there are many other factors that you might have preference for which are not strictly related to frequency response.Imaging and soundstage shape and depth for example [or the ability to produce a convincing phantom centre image or proper stereo effect].Factors which are much harder to measure and which have been documented and described through many years of unsighted testing [Hi Fi Choice group tests for example] to be significantly different between different sources,preamps,power amps and integrated amps.So your preference for a clean flat signal might also mean a preference for a flat 2D sort of sound.The rest of the sonic picture might be lacking to various degrees.I have owned amplifiers with extremely good measurements that sounded really 2D.Horrible things.
 

BDWoody

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Factors which are much harder to measure and which have been documented and described through many years of unsighted testing [Hi Fi Choice group tests for example] to be significantly different between different sources,preamps,power amps and integrated amps.

Can you link to one of these please? Pick one good one, and let's see how they did these tests.

So, for the third time, how well do you understand the measurements done?
 

killdozzer

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OK. I find this challenging and I accept the challenge. BEFORE I start, this is my genuine effort at giving some material for people to think about and perhaps we’ll better understand each other as a result of this.

I have NO intention of provoking, insulting, demeaning or otherwise hurting anyone. But I WILL be quite frank and straight forward.

Here goes: it’s true! I DO think flat frequency response is superior. AND, I think it’s superior for everyone involved, even the boutique audiophiles.

First the neutral gear:

Briefly, FFR is not dull, flat, flabby, unexciting… This is a term that means that “what you feed a piece of equipment, will be what comes out”. It will NOT flatten out or make dull some audio material that isn’t otherwise dull in the first place, due to production. If it’s dull, you hear it dull, if it’s exciting, you hear it as such (whatever that meant to anyone).

NO ONE is saying you should leave all of your gear completely neutral since most here understand it’s not possible. Me and my brother have exactly the same equipment in different houses, so who has the neutral one, right? They sound completely different.

Even if the gear is neutral, it can only perform as such in an an-echoic room and that was probably the last time it did. You always have to fine tune it (or at least should). You buy gear, you see how it interacts with your space and fine tune it.

IMPORTANT: whatever you want from your gear, you’ll get it more easily if it’s as neutral as possible. Dialing back some distinctive voicing you, accidentally, don’t like is not as easy as you may think. It’s not just – lower the bass and raise the treble, for example. So, ALL your preferences are easier to achieve with neutral equipment and that’s why I say it’s superior even for those of you who like certain sound signatures.



Now, sound signatures.

Buying sound signature equipment is not as subjective as you may think. It’s just another brand and all of them are mass produced. It’s not your individual taste, it’s more like; do you prefer Mercedes or Porsche. It is NOT taylor-made for your listening room and your ears in particular.

Expecting some company to tap blind in the dark until it accidentally stumbles upon the sound signature that will perform in your house the way you imagined, even though their testing room has nothing in common with your house… I don’t know, you should rather play lottery. It’s not impossible, but life’s too short.

One other thing, trial and error would imply that you can only decide after hearing them all. Who knows, maybe in the shop next to the one you've visited is the love of your life, but you just got tired that day and missed on it.

Many of the usual arguments of the “sounds good to me” crowd, fall short even for their own choices. Thinking a company will guess what you like and what “sounds good to you” (even though most of you think we all hear a bit differently, which would include you and the manufacturer) by accident is less than convincing.

If gear preforms well, doesn’t add or subtract, it is RELIABLE for all your sound signature explorations. It is, so to speak, more tunable or at least much more easily tunable and thus, IMO, superior.

This is why I DON’T think our choices are equal and are just a matter of opinion in this one regard; in the DSP era, we can both use FFR gear much more effectively and much more easily than sound sig. gear. Chances you will hit it on the head with blind guessing are negligible.
 
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killdozzer

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...determined however that was determined?
Even if you had a preference for a clean flat signal and had a room and speakers that could reproduce that [which is extremely rare] there are many other factors that you might have preference for which are not strictly related to frequency response.Imaging and soundstage shape and depth for example [or the ability to produce a convincing phantom centre image or proper stereo effect].Factors which are much harder to measure and which have been documented and described through many years of unsighted testing [Hi Fi Choice group tests for example] to be significantly different between different sources,preamps,power amps and integrated amps.So your preference for a clean flat signal might also mean a preference for a flat 2D sort of sound.The rest of the sonic picture might be lacking to various degrees.I have owned amplifiers with extremely good measurements that sounded really 2D.Horrible things.
A lot of inaccurate statements that have been debunked so many times that you could expect someone to lose patience which is why some new members get the feeling that they're not allowed their own opinion as I tried to explain a day or two ago.
 

jtgofish

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Can you link to one of these please? Pick one good one, and let's see how they did these tests.

So, for the third time, how well do you understand the measurements done?
Hi Fi Choice ran monthly group tests of all sorts of audio components for many years.They were conducted by a very experienced team of their reviewers /writers and and involved multiple unsighted listening sessions from which ratings and comments were compiled.The products were also professionally measured and that information published together with the listening results.They abandoned that process some years ago.iIstill have some magazines from 1995 which reviewed some components which i bought on their recommendation.I still have a CD player from that time which still sounds excellent [and which sounds very 3D which is what they said].I am not sure if there are any of those pubilcations from that era available online .

I believe i understand the measurements well enough.I have always been interested in measurements .Especially pertaining to speakers because building and restoring speakers has been a hobby for nealy 40 years.
 

BDWoody

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They were conducted by a very experienced team of their reviewers /writers and and involved multiple unsighted listening sessions from which ratings and comments were compiled.

So, no links? Reviewers generally are the worst at setting up valid controlled tests.

We aren't making progress.
 
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