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Review and Measurements of Benchmark AHB2 Amp

Wombat

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Firewalled. Just because it is published on AES does not verify it. Let us know when 'slow listening' has been independently verified. ;)
 
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Thomas savage

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I can buy that, to the extent of giving a listener as long as he likes to zero in on the details he believes to be hearing.
But if after all that, if he can't reliably pick them out with his eyes closed, I have to write it off as erroneous.
That's interesting, slow listening sighted then test yourself blind .

The perfect strategy for loaner test gear.

Slow feeling a girlfriend for some time , it was dark I was blind , her sister felt the same to me ,, it's not my fault.
 

svart-hvitt

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Firewalled. Just because it is published on AES does not verify it. Let us know when 'slow listening' has been independently verified. ;)
Concluding about something one hasn’t read, is easy. Why not read before commenting?

The paper draws upon a wider range of scientific disciplines across decades than is usual in AES papers, and quotes 81 references.

The main theme of the paper is our general model of hearing and perception. One problem that may not be fully understood by today’s general model of human hearing is listener fatigue. So the paper is in the spirit of laying out an agenda for future research rather than having all the answers right now.

(Another example is our understanding of transparent audio codecs, which has evolved over time).

Science is about asking questions too. Some of those questions cannot be readily answered today. This is very frustrating for some, while it’s an inspiration for others.
 
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zalive

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You cannot generalize here. When I bought my first CD player in 1985 I also bought 3 CDs, one of them "Body and Soul" by Joe Jackson (A&M 395000-2, DDD = full digital recording). The sound quality and the dynamic is excellent, even (or especially) today. So at least a few engineers were able to do a very good job from the beginning of digital audio.
True. I didn't imply no one knew how to do it back then. It's that vast majority didn't understand how to do it. Today it's finally different.
For the example, I remember a certain EP from The Cult (late 80's) being mastered stunningly good (it wasn't mine but I had it borrowed). Later on I find the same cd, however it was from different 'press' (burn lol) and it wasn't sounding any better than usual Cult CD's. First release of R.E.M.'s Green was really sounding great (it was an AAD though, but the secret was in great mastering as well of course). It wasn't mine again. Later on I bought the Green and it sounded sh*te. I notice there was no AAD mark on the sleeve, so obviously it was a different 'press' as well.

Another thing is in this: back then in the beginnings you had a lot of mulitbit DAC based CD's as well. When I bought my first CD back in 1990 it was unfortunately a PCM from Sony, CDP-790 1-bit 'wonder' which sound was awful. At the same time I had a Dual 8000 (I can't remember full designation of the model but it was the 8000, second model behind their TOTL Golden One), and the difference in sound was immense in favour of phonogram. All connected, bad CD mastering, a bad CD plus obviously an amp which didn't like CD input as much as a phono input (it was a Marantz PM-35 MkII which was reviewed as having a very good phono preamp). On top of it all, speakers were not quite suited to limited space (Energy ESM-3 standmounts with big bass extension) so CD frequency band plus dynamic response made things additionally worse. Needless to say that my conclusion back than was that CD was pretty much cr*p lol. I made copies to the cassete tape (Yamaha deck) and the sound from the tape was more pleasent to listen than directly from the CD.
 

zalive

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Of course not!
The amps had to be powerful enough to drive the speakers without clipping have an even frequency response and not have audible distortion level.
There was a plethora of enthusiasts who, like you, were saying much the same but nobody actually came forward to prove what they were on about.
I assume they were afraid to fail and puncture their belief.
I am sure they would have done. Both. And I think that is why none of the vociferous fans took up the challenge, fear of being the naked emperor.
But this is funny.
They pick amps which are high powered with low distortion so they narrow the choice down. And what's left to hear as a difference in nuances. Which is of course much harder to prove you hear a difference in compliance with scientific criteria.
This has very little in common with the present market where majority of amps will be compromised at one or more points.
 

SIY

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They pick amps which are high powered with low distortion so they narrow the choice down...
...to things outside the very cheapest crap and the marginal stuff being sold to the minuscule "audiophile" niche. I.e., the big broad middle.

OK, so see if you can hear those "nuances" without peeking. Maybe you can, but I am skeptical.
 

zalive

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At the same time, I think it`s too simple to just discard sighted long-term listening out of hand. Humans have managed to develop quite a few things by using ear alone. Musicians, conductors, piano tuners etc - they all work (mostly) by ear, and honestly it has worked quite well. Last time I checked, the world of acoustic music was relatively well-functioning. This doesn't mean that anybody's listening is infallible, of course. But sighted listening does provide data points, at least. For those of you who are AES members, here's a fascinating paper by a couple of the engineers in Genelec: https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/conferences/?elib=19621
This. All the unreliability of subjective listening pours down to discarding completely any subjective sighted (or not level matched or both) impressions like its worth is zero. This is a huge mistake being done. Like someone is thinking that all the classic listening experience is 100% bias, 0% hearing, and completely worthless. Yet - this is the way we actually listen to music and enjoy it. Nobody blindfold us then makes the setup for us when we listen, right :)

I said, my system is made from recommendations, subjective listening, everything sighted, in most cases I didn't pay even much intention to measurements even if it was available (ATC's have nice measurements but it wasn't the reason why I bought them - I bought them because I liked what I was hearing). I tweaked things (for some things I still do) to a level of a connector. The sound of the system is the statement, so one should hear the end result to judge whether the process was worthless.
 

SIY

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SIY

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Firewalled. Just because it is published on AES does not verify it. Let us know when 'slow listening' has been independently verified. ;)
Conference paper, so not peer-reviewed.
 

zalive

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...to things outside the very cheapest crap and the marginal stuff being sold to the minuscule "audiophile" niche. I.e., the big broad middle.

OK, so see if you can hear those "nuances" without peeking. Maybe you can, but I am skeptical.
I'm curious to do blind tests so eventually I'll do it.
However the reason why I'm curious is not because I'm not able to set up a good sounding system without blind tests or level matching.
 

oivavoi

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Conference paper, so not peer-reviewed.
Correct. In any case, peer-review wouldn't magically validate the notions they develop. For that to happen, there would have to take place controlled experiments which show that their notions/theories can explain observations that rival notions/theories can't explain. But the paper is mainly a synthesizing review of lots of experimental research that has been done by others, which I still find interesting.
 

svart-hvitt

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Conference paper, so not peer-reviewed.
«This conference paper was selected based on a submitted abstract and 750-word precis that have been peer reviewed by at least two qualified anonymous reviewers. The complete manuscript was not peer reviewed. This conference paper has been reproduced from the author’s advance manuscript without editing, corrections, or consideration by the Review Board».

The paper was also, prior to publication as AES conference paper, presented as «AES Reviewed Paper at Tonmeistertagung 2018
Presented* by VDT in cooperation with the
Central European Region of the Audio Engineering Society (AES)».

Take a look at it instead of discussing form of publication.
 

SIY

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I would if I had a DOI number. :cool:

"The complete manuscript was not peer reviewed. This conference paper has been reproduced from the author’s advance manuscript without editing, corrections, or consideration by the Review Board."
 

Sal1950

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his. All the unreliability of subjective listening pours down to discarding completely any subjective sighted (or not level matched or both) impressions like its worth is zero.
And for the vast majority of subjective impression reports, that is exactly what they're worth, ZERO
All you have to do is pick up the latest issue of one of the subjective mags or read their websites and you realize its 90% BS. Heck no two reviewers can agree on the sound of a interconnect. LOL
From the audible reviews of power cables, SATA cords, snake-oil SR products, ,,,, must I go on?
With so much absolute garbage being written as gospel, how are you to separate the fact from fiction?
There are ONLY two ways, using a combination of measurement and bias controlled DBT, you can gather some reference to the facts.
 

Cortes

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This is the best statement about sound quality I have heard in a long time. I'de rather listen to good recordings on cheap equipment than to lousy recordings on highend equipment.
I'd rather listen to good music with lousy recordings and cheap equipment to anything else.
 

GrimSurfer

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I'd rather listen to good music with lousy recordings and cheap equipment to anything else.
This is exactly what the recording industry thinks you'll do which is why we see such indifference to professional standards.

The Beatles had some good, possibly great, music. Much of it is so poorly recorded, mastered, and produced that it is unlistenable. I haven't bought a Beatles album in over 35 years... and probably never will. That includes "remasters" that work with the same crappy tapes or 24/96 renditions of junk.

If the industry couldn't sell poorly made stuff, it would raise the level of its game.
 

zalive

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And for the vast majority of subjective impression reports, that is exactly what they're worth, ZERO
All you have to do is pick up the latest issue of one of the subjective mags or read their websites and you realize its 90% BS. Heck no two reviewers can agree on the sound of a interconnect. LOL
From the audible reviews of power cables, SATA cords, snake-oil SR products, ,,,, must I go on?
With so much absolute garbage being written as gospel, how are you to separate the fact from fiction?
There are ONLY two ways, using a combination of measurement and bias controlled DBT, you can gather some reference to the facts.
Published reviews have a commercial value. They can't be trusted, the main reason for this is not because it's from sighted listening.
I auto-censored my previous post, I didn't catch your point at first.
As for subjective impressions, it's how we enjoy music, it's the essence of listening. The meaning of listening to the music is in subjective impression.
 
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oivavoi

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There are ONLY two ways, using a combination of measurement and bias controlled DBT, you can gather some reference to the facts.
I agree that the only way to make authoritative statements is to use measurements and controlled listening experiments.

But I actually don't think that you yourself truly believe that sighted listening is completely unreliable, Sal... As I have understood it you have a preference for horns, based on things like perceived dynamics, immediacy, etc. Is this based on measurements and DBT's? Or is it because you have listened to horn systems, and figured out that you like them?
 
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