• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

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

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
5,797
Likes
17,343
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
What is like to live an anechoic chamber?I have heard it can be a bit unsettling.

This isn't going to be productive, so that's enough for you in this thread.
 

Jim Taylor

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,347
Likes
2,886
Yes I agree that tests and comparisons done outside of a familiar acoustic environment using unfamiliar speakers are pretty pointless.

Totally wrong. Tests and comparisons of unfamiliar speakers are very much needed, and the environment has nothing to do with it. The point is that TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS DONE WITHOUT THE DISCIPLINE OF RIGOROUS CONTROLS ARE PRETTY POINTLESS.

When I was young, I frequently heard a saying that went, "Do it right, or don't do it at all." That applies here.

So you have to select sources and electronics that compliment those room acoustics and speakers.

Select sources? How is that? As for electronics, only neutral electronics are acceptable for the market. The manufacturer can't know your particular wishes and desires, and neutral is the only thing that will satisfy the requirements of the whole market. Namely, for those who want neutrality, they have it. For those that want something affectatious, they can get it by adding apps to the neutral gear.

Otherwise, all you're doing is setting up conditions similar to the "circle of confusion" that Toole discusses.

"I then have to conclude that in terms of helping me decide which component is to my preference I can't trust measurements"

No one ever said that complicated and sophisticated tests and measurements were easy to understand. I know that I sure don't understand a great many of them. But there are people here who do, and I have learned to trust them. So therefore by proxy, I trust the tests and measurements. It's like going to the doctor; I didn't go to medical school, but I have learned to trust the tests and measurements the medical profession use.

Tests and measurements of audio aren't meant to stand alone as the end-all and be-all of evaluation. They aren't 100% of all that we want to know, but they're pretty damn close. If done correctly, they are consistent, repeatable over time and in different locations, and yield information that unlike opinions, does not change. So yes, you can absolutely trust measurements in that they are useful for their intended task.

Of course, mis-using measurements or using them for tasks other than that for which they are intended results in unusable information.

Jim
 

Mnyb

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
1,586
Likes
2,102
Location
Sweden, Västerås
How can a fully transparent source with inaudible contribution "compliment those room acoustics and speakers" .

The deviations that rooms and speakers have are big deviations in electronics are small (or non existent ) they are not of the same magnitude , so this approach cant work anyway .

Hopefully no one has a source with 10dB ripples in the bass under 200hz or similar ?

Its further impossible in that your source cant know the distances involved and know when the deviations are unimportant due to pshychoacoustics .

Unless its an actual room acoustical EQ system :)
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,915
Likes
2,238
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!
Except of course it has been tested….and didn’t pass the test.

Please purchase and read Sound Reproduction by Dr Floyd Toole, then come back and post less uneducated views.

cheers
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
1,359
Likes
2,150
Except of course it has been tested….and didn’t pass the test.

Please purchase and read Sound Reproduction by Dr Floyd Toole, then come back and post less uneducated views.

cheers

@jtgofish is actually correct. (As is Dr. Toole). The latest Harman data provides STRONG evidence that slight embellishment can enhance preference, particularly in the real of BASS content. The published papers were for headphones but Sean Olive confirms on his personal blog that they saw the same trend with loudspeakers (that wasn't published).


1662991926201.png
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,915
Likes
2,238
Even the earliest Toole data says that we need to adjust bass levels to taste. Nothing new in that. But outside the bass….

Also remember that our thread-banned friend went on to say that the embellishments he is talkiing about go far beyond FR…(cue theremin music)….
 

killdozzer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
1,130
Likes
1,088
@jtgofish is actually correct. (As is Dr. Toole). The latest Harman data provides STRONG evidence that slight embellishment can enhance preference, particularly in the real of BASS content. The published papers were for headphones but Sean Olive confirms on his personal blog that they saw the same trend with loudspeakers (that wasn't published).


View attachment 230384
Aaaah, you see, even that doesn't show the entire picture. Toole has recommended a slight increase in bass for a long time, but he still advocates FFR because slight increase in bass will differ from room to room depending on the in room response. Increasing it in the start might over stress bass in LF reinforcing rooms.
 

Dimitrov

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
115
Likes
40
Blind testing makes very little sense because how and why should we rely on insights gained with blind testing when 99.9% of people listen to equipment not only with their auditory sense but also look at equipment, think of what they paid for it, they might unconsciously find the brand aspirational.

Blind testing also ignores the growing evidence that our senses are intricately linked - so a thick red cable can perhaps sound better than a blue one.
 

Emlin

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
413
Likes
665
Blind testing makes very little sense because how and why should we rely on insights gained with blind testing when 99.9% of people listen to equipment not only with their auditory sense but also look at equipment, think of what they paid for it, they might unconsciously find the brand aspirational.

Blind testing also ignores the growing evidence that our senses are intricately linked - so a thick red cable can perhaps sound better than a blue one.
You've just given the reasons why blind testing is so important.
 

pkane

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
4,168
Likes
7,155
Location
North-East
Blind testing also ignores the growing evidence that our senses are intricately linked - so a thick red cable can perhaps sound better than a blue one.

Some of us chose the red pill (I'd say the majority here), others stay with the blue. Blue is fine, as long as you realize you're in a matrix and are making a conscious choice to ignore reality. It's those who are unaware of their reality that should at least be given a chance to choose. Think of ASR as the offer of a red pill -- you decide if you want to take it ;)
 

Shadrach

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
536
Likes
791
Blind testing makes very little sense because how and why should we rely on insights gained with blind testing when 99.9% of people listen to equipment not only with their auditory sense but also look at equipment, think of what they paid for it, they might unconsciously find the brand aspirational.

Blind testing also ignores the growing evidence that our senses are intricately linked - so a thick red cable can perhaps sound better than a blue one.
Blind testing and double blind testing is not meant to be used to discover if one has a preference. It should be used to discover if one can hear a difference between one product and another. Nothing more.

You are absolutely correct when you write people use more than their hearing to assess their preferences in audio equipment.
There is nothing wrong in prefering a fat blue pair of speaker cables to a thin red pair. There isn't any getting away from if it sounds better to a listener then to them it is better. Lots of people buy audo equipment for this reason.

What all the testing about is to provide a standard of performance. One may detest the product and prefer a product that performs measurably less well.

What has been discovered is that a sample of listeners have under test conditions prefered equipment that has measured well.
 

kemmler3D

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
304
Likes
665
Location
San Francisco
Blind testing makes very little sense because how and why should we rely on insights gained with blind testing when 99.9% of people listen to equipment not only with their auditory sense but also look at equipment, think of what they paid for it, they might unconsciously find the brand aspirational.

Blind testing also ignores the growing evidence that our senses are intricately linked - so a thick red cable can perhaps sound better than a blue one.

Fancier gear is definitely perceived to sound better, the effect is remarkably consistent. However, it doesn't actually sound better. That's the point of making measurements.

Measurements make it possible to find out how something sounds without actually listening to it. When we listen, our ears hear, but our brain perceives - and the color of cables begins to have an effect. How can we be sure we're hearing the gear and not the red cable? We can't, not without measuring something.

As we have seen over the decades, the brain's influence over perception of sound makes it impossible to accurately describe the real differences between gear without doing some measurements.

I think people are free to lean into self-induced placebo effect if they have the time, money and inclination, but we should be honest about it. Measurements are simply a means of enforcing honesty. They are never meant to replace one's ears.

We can design gear to (actually) sound good via blind testing, we can then design it to sound better, by adding bling and a high price tag. Both approaches are arguably necessary.
 

Benton1234

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2022
Messages
4
Likes
25
Location
Texas
Hi ASR forums!

I'm not sure if this is the right thread but, I wanted to admit I have just recently realized I'm one of those audiophiles chasing "special" source gear only to finally come to a conclusion that it's the brain playing tricks on me. This seemed like the thread to admit in as the original post fit my journey very well over these last 10 years.

I went from a PSP with some Sony headphones from BestBuy to ATH-M50's, Beyer Custom One Pro's, then bought a Fiio E07K Andes to drive my headphones still through the PSP (Lasted my all through middle school and high school).

After high school I ended up with my Beyer COP's into an NFB-11 and I thought that was a crazy upgrade from my Creative SoundBlaster in my FX-8350 machine at the time.

Then I get hit with the big snake oil, I have a few friends telling me that Mike Moffat's Theta DAC's are the best thing to ever exist and I'm sold! I find a DS Pro Basic I for about $300 shipped on eBay that ends up actually being a DS Pro Basic III when I took the steel cover off and inspect the chips inside. I thought I had hit Summit-Fi for really cheap. I did also get an NFB-1 Amp around this time as well and a Schiit Eitr for the coax to USB conversion on the Theta.

Unfortunately, I was pretty sure I heard some audible noise when my room was quiet, not even my Creative sound card had this much noise. My friends thought I was deaf and were pleading with me to just sell it or give it to them since "I didn't what I had".

Then, I get pulled into learning about Delta Sigma DACs and how R2R is "just better". This was also what sold my on the Theta purchase.

Somewhere between the next "adventure" and the Theta purchase I got a THX 789 and was extremely happy with it. Though it was sold pretty quick to pay for the next unfortunate decision.

At this point I was really wanting something more compact, and if possible, portable as well. But most portable gear I had found didn't have a great amp or I was just being picky on features. This lead to another friend pushing the Chord Hugo 2 and I scoffed at the price. $1500 for this black or silver wallet with RGB seemed insane right?

Well, I convinced myself that this would be it. I'd get a "baby yggdrasil" that was portable! I had also acquired a set of HD 800's with the SDR/French Mod on eBay for quite a steal, around $600 shipped.

I finally had it all! The most detailed/resolving headphones, a killer DAC/Amp, and some nice custom cables from a friend to tie it all in.

And I've been pretty happy with this Hugo 2 + HD 800 combo for about 2 years. Then I find ASR about a month ago.

The more I read, the more disappointed I get. But, I FINALLY found a location for information that made sense! There was no "warmer is best", "Dark amps are all the rage!", "It's R2R or nothing!". Everything started to make sense as some of the gear I've had or listened to over the years was thankfully measured by Amirm here. The complaints of noise or measurements that showed how hot garbage some of the things I've been lead to believe were the best, are now shown in full color.

I have a lot to learn still but, I think I'm definitely done with pouring money into this hobby expecting a magical outcome from special transformers, magic DACs, burn-in times, and cables that will give you at least 200% more fidelity.

I'm extremely thankful of the community here and I'm shocked how understanding all the members are. Even threads that seem to end in a negative light are kept up and reading through them helps tremendously when you start realizing how deep into the façade of the audio industry some of these people are.

I'm happy to be a member and to have found this community!
 
Last edited:

pkane

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
4,168
Likes
7,155
Location
North-East
Hi ASR forums!

I'm not sure if this is the right thread but, I wanted to admit I have just recently realized I'm one of those audiophiles chasing "special" source gear only to finally come to a conclusion that it's the brain playing tricks on me. This seemed like the thread to admit in as the original post fit my journey very well over these last 10 years.

I went from a PSP with some Sony headphones from BestBuy to ATH-M50's, Beyer Custom One Pro's, then bought a Fiio E07K Andes to drive my headphones still through the PSP (Lasted my all through middle school and high school).

After high school I ended up with my Beyer COP's into an NFB-11 and I thought that was a crazy upgrade from my Creative SoundBlaster in my FX-8350 machine at the time.

Then I get hit with the big snake oil, I have a few friends telling me that Mike Moffat's Theta DAC's are the best thing to ever exist and I'm sold! I find a DS Pro Basic I for about $300 shipped on eBay that ends up actually being a DS Pro Basic III when I took the steel cover off and inspect the chips inside. I thought I had hit Summit-Fi for really cheap. I did also get an NFB-1 Amp around this time as well and a Schiit Eitr for the coax to USB conversion on the Theta.

Unfortunately, I was pretty sure I heard some audible noise when my room was quiet, not even my Creative sound card had this much noise. My friends thought I was deaf and were pleading with me to just sell it or give it to them since "I didn't what I had".

Then, I get pulled into learning about Delta Sigma DACs and how R2R is "just better". This was also what sold my on the Theta purchase.

Somewhere between the next "adventure" and the Theta purchase I got a THX 789 and was extremely happy with it. Though it was sold pretty quick to pay for the next unfortunate decision.

At this point I was really wanting something more compact, and if possible, portable as well. But most portable gear I had found didn't have a great amp or I was just being picky on features. This lead to another friend pushing the Chord Hugo 2 and I scoffed at the price. $1500 for this black or silver wallet with RGB seemed insane right?

Well, I convinced myself that this would be it. I'd get a "baby yggdrasil" that was portable! I had also acquired a set of HD 800's with the SDR/French Mod on eBay for quite a steal, around $600 shipped.

I finally had it all! The most detailed/resolving headphones, a killer DAC/Amp, and some nice custom cables from a friend to tie it all in.

And I've been pretty happy with this Hugo 2 + HD 800 combo for about 2 years. Then I find ASR about a month ago.

The more I read, the more disappointed I get. But, I FINALLY found a location for information that made sense! There was no "warmer is best", "Dark amps are all the rage!", "It's R2R or nothing!". Everything started to make sense as some of the gear I've had or listened to over the years was thankfully measured by Amirm here. The complaints of noise or measurements that showed how hot garbage some of the things I've been lead to believe were the best, are now shown in full color.

I have a lot to learn still but, I think I'm definitely done with pouring money into this hobby expecting a magical outcome from special transformers, magic DACs, burn-in times, and cables that will give you at least 200% more fidelity.

I'm extremely thankful of the community here and I'm shocked how understanding all the members are. Even threads that seem to end in a negative light are kept up and reading through them helps tremendously when you start realizing how deep into the façade of the audio industry some of these people are.

I'm happy to be a member and to have found this community!

Welcome! I think you'll find that many regulars here are just like you -- recovering audiophiles. There's a lot of good information but the most important thing to take away, in my opinion, is the need for critical thinking. Just accepting what the "media" and marketers are trying to sell you is to be caught on a hamster wheel trying to get off by running faster and faster.
 

fpitas

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 7, 2022
Messages
1,778
Likes
1,981
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
Welcome! I think you'll find that many regulars here are just like you -- recovering audiophiles. There's a lot of good information but the most important thing to take away, in my opinion, is the need for critical thinking. Just accepting what the "media" and marketers are trying to sell you is to be caught on a hamster wheel trying to get off by running faster and faster.
...and you have to keep paying more to buy faster wheels.
 

kemmler3D

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
304
Likes
665
Location
San Francisco
The funny thing about ASR is that it's made me more of "an audiophile". I started out being very skeptical about the audibility of noise or distortion below -60dB, I didn't appreciate the importance of dispersion at all, (just sit closer and listen nearfield, easy), I considered listening above 95dB to be virtually suicidal (still do to some extent) and I figured any 100W class-D amp was plenty good enough as long as it was wired correctly. For some reason reading the SINAD charts and reviews increased my willingness to pay for better performance on those metrics. I'm not totally insane yet, but I did spend $600 on amps for $400 speakers, so my sanity might be slipping... :oops:
 
Top Bottom