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

Mart68

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

We aren't making progress.
IIRC the Hi-Fi Choice blind tests only involved loudspeakers and there were no controls other than a black curtain in front of the speakers.

Preference was, on some occasions, for the less well-measuring speakers.
 

BDWoody

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IIRC the Hi-Fi Choice blind tests only involved loudspeakers and there were no controls other than a black curtain in front of the speakers.

Preference was, on some occasions, for the less well-measuring speakers.

Speakers are, to me, in a different category than electronics.

Evaluating motors gets tricky.

I'm more generally talking of the chain of solid state electronics leading up to driving the motors. If that chain can be selected properly for the job at hand, that just leaves the elephant that is the speakers and room to be dealt with.
 

jtgofish

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IIRC the Hi-Fi Choice blind tests only involved loudspeakers and there were no controls other than a black curtain in front of the speakers.

Preference was, on some occasions, for the less well-measuring speakers.
The blind tests involved sources and amplifiers .One even tuners.I have some of the magazines from that era which contain and describe those tests.
 

HarmonicTHD

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The blind tests involved sources and amplifiers .One even tuners.I have some of the magazines from that era which contain and describe those tests.
From 1995?

How would that compare with state of the art electronics, which are reviewed/ discussed here?

Maybe scan and post one or two of your „evidence“ articles and post them here, so everyone can have a look? Would certainly make the whole discussion more specific.
 

SIY

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From 1995?

How would that compare with state of the art electronics, which are reviewed/ discussed here?
Sonically, likely the same. Electronics has been a solved problem for many decades.
 

jtgofish

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They compare very well.I have tried state of the art modern DACs which do not sound as good as that CD player.Nor as good as my Krell and Accuphase DACs from the same era.Some of the best sounding electronics I have heard [FM Acoustics and Metaxas preamp and Dartzeel and Threshold power amps are also from that era.
 

Mart68

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The blind tests involved sources and amplifiers .One even tuners.I have some of the magazines from that era which contain and describe those tests.
I don't recall them ever blind testing electronics but not saying you are wrong. It's a long time ago now and regrettably Hi Fi Choice is not included in this archive https://worldradiohistory.com/index.htm
 

AdamG247

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Jim Taylor

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DACs which do not sound as good
best sounding electronics

The adjectives "good" and "best" don't mean anything specific. They are not quantifiable. Subjectively, "good" to you might be "bad" to me or someone else.

Modern electronics, including CD players and DACs, which are designed and manufactured competently, do not have a "sound". IOW, they neither sound good nor bad. They simply pass the signal on to the amp or speakers ..... accurately
.
This is not to say that there are no electronics that exhibit inaccurate characteristics. There certainly are. Some manufacturers pander to these audiophiles, producing units that have an inaccurate sound that some people find pleasing. Some of these audiophiles find accurate electronics (and more accurate speakers) to sound "bad". There is really nothing wrong with that ...... as long as the units that perform less accurately are not touted as being more accurate, and especially as more accurate for people other than the original listener. Some people have been known to do that. Everyone has their own goal; for some it is accuracy and for others it is ..... something else.

Other electronic units are designed poorly, due to various factors including cost restrictions and, possibly, lack of integrity. The units you cited would certainly not be in that category.

Regarding the Hi-Fi Choice tests: one of the problems with listening tests is that they MIGHT not be conducted under conditions of rigorous control. If it's true that there were no controls other than a cloth screen for the magazine tests, then the results of the test would be highly questionable. Care in setting up a double-blind test for an owner, in their own home, is even more critical. All cues as to the identity of the DUT need to be eliminated, and that may be more difficult in an owner's home than it is in a room where reviewers audition unknown devices.


Jim
 
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MattHooper

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Some of these "cultists" (for lack of a better word)

How about “enthusiasts” or “fans” or just: “some of these audiophiles?”

The tendency to cast others who have a different point of view or enthusiasm as being in a “cult” is one of the more wearying and pernicious features of current public discourse.

ASR members rightly roll their eyes at being called cultists. I don’t think it helps to contribute to this manner of characterization.
 

Jim Taylor

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How about “enthusiasts” or “fans” or just: “some of these audiophiles?”

The tendency to cast others who have a different point of view or enthusiasm as being in a “cult” is one of the more wearying and pernicious features of current public discourse.

ASR members rightly roll their eyes at being called cultists. I don’t think it helps to contribute to this manner of characterization.

You might be correct. One of the reasons that I used the word "cult" was from the air of exclusivity that some of these groups project. I think I can edit the post using the word "audiophile" and still produce the intent I desired. :) Jim
 

ahofer

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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.
@SIY responds to your question on the positive existence of engineering studies. But you should also consider the many, many, blind tests where listeners largely cannot tell amplifiers apart. Start, if you like, with Stereo Review’s infamous blind amplifier test in 1987.


https://worldradiohistory.com/Archi...iFI-Stereo/80s/HiFi-Stereo-Review-1987-01.pdf. (page 80 of the pdf).

Seems to me you are attempting a high-difficulty maneuver here: asserting audible differences that have not been established, while denying the existence of preference tests and engineering and audiology research with a long, long history. This is either willful, or shockingly ignorant.

Nobody here would argue that you can’t tell well-designed, properly—powered speakers apart, but substitute any electronic item for ’speakers’ in that sentence and you would get a lot of takers– given that “well-designed” encompasses linear FR and low distortion.
 

GXAlan

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That review is actually pretty good because it does reach statistical significance for conditions where we today know are limitations

A) tube preamp which would be the lowest common denominator (worst SINAD). Had they used a more transparent preamp, it might be easier?

B) Magnepan MG3a
speakers that I personally own. Magnepans are famous for being a resistive load which results in minimal challenge to the amplifiers.

It also shows that the differences are small. (Effect size).

Time and time again, the best place to put money is your room and speakers and source (the actual media; mastering quality). Electronics are easier to fiddle with than room and speakers but the differences are less.
 

ahofer

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That review is actually pretty good because it does reach statistical significance for conditions where we today know are limitations

A) tube preamp which would be the lowest common denominator (worst SINAD). Had they used a more transparent preamp, it might be easier?

B) Magnepan MG3a
speakers that I personally own. Magnepans are famous for being a resistive load which results in minimal challenge to the amplifiers.

It also shows that the differences are small. (Effect size).

Time and time again, the best place to put money is your room and speakers and source (the actual media; mastering quality). Electronics are easier to fiddle with than room and speakers but the differences are less.
I used to have those speakers. I think the ribbon tweeters created a bit more challenge, if I remember correctly.

This test did not convince me, entirely, but it was sort of my gateway out of the nonsense. Honestly, prior to that, I didn’t really understand how completely full of shit the industry was.

Then the cable craze came and the emperor was proudly undressed in public.
 

GXAlan

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I used to have those speakers. I think the ribbon tweeters created a bit more challenge, if I remember correctly.

Not really. The 3.6R is effectively the same as the IIIA in the ribbon area and you can see that it’s a very easy load. A tiny bit below 4 ohms but you’re not dealing with a lot of watts.

1662923657614.jpeg
 

jtgofish

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The adjectives "good" and "best" don't mean anything specific. They are not quantifiable. Subjectively, "good" to you might be "bad" to me or someone else.

Modern electronics, including CD players and DACs, which are designed and manufactured competently, do not have a "sound". IOW, they neither sound good nor bad. They simply pass the signal on to the amp or speakers ..... accurately
.
This is not to say that there are no electronics that exhibit inaccurate characteristics. There certainly are. Some manufacturers pander to these audiophiles, producing units that have an inaccurate sound that some people find pleasing. Some of these audiophiles find accurate electronics (and more accurate speakers) to sound "bad". There is really nothing wrong with that ...... as long as the units that perform less accurately are not touted as being more accurate, and especially as more accurate for people other than the original listener. Some people have been known to do that. Everyone has their own goal; for some it is accuracy and for others it is ..... something else.

Other electronic units are designed poorly, due to various factors including cost restrictions and, possibly, lack of integrity. The units you cited would certainly not be in that category.

Regarding the Hi-Fi Choice tests: one of the problems with listening tests is that they MIGHT not be conducted under conditions of rigorous control. If it's true that there were no controls other than a cloth screen for the magazine tests, then the results of the test would be highly questionable. Care in setting up a double-blind test for an owner, in their own home, is even more critical. All cues as to the identity of the DUT need to be eliminated, and that may be more difficult in an owner's home than it is in a room where reviewers audition unknown devices.


Jim
Yes I agree that tests and comparisons done outside of a familiar acoustic environment using unfamiliar speakers are pretty pointless.That especially applies to areas of performance like imaging.The influential fundamental being the speakers,their electrical behaviour, and how they react with the room and that will rarely be neutral or have a perfectly flat response.So you have to select sources and electronics that compliment those room acoustics and speakers. A high damping factor amplifier with a very flat frequency response might be what is required or it might be the last thing you need.
Which puts into context this quote-"I then have to conclude that in terms of helping me decide which component is to my preference I can't trust measurements"

At least under the Hi Fi Choice tests the room was familiar to the listening panel.
 
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Emlin

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Yes I agree that tests and comparisons done outside of a familiar acoustic environment using familiar speakers are pretty pointless.That especially applies to areas of performance like imaging.The influential fundamental being the speakers,their electrical behaviour, and how they react with the room and that will rarely be neutral or have a perfectly flat response.So you have to select sources and electronics that compliment those room acoustics and speakers. A high damping factor amplifier with a very flat frequency response might be what is required or it might be the last thing you need.
Which puts into context this quote-"I then have to conclude that in terms of helping me decide which component is to my preference I can't trust measurements"
Bollocks.
 

jtgofish

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