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Stereophile's snide editorial on ASR and Amir

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krabapple

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The article was only posted yesterday yet here we are at ASR 11 pages deep in comments, and the source has two comments, not pages? Really you think they allow anyone to comment like Amir does here?

Have you considered that the online readers of Stereophile don't give as much of a raging shit about that particular article as ASR does?

Moreover, comments (and commenters) here do occasionally get sent to the cornfield by "Amir" (aka the moderators). (and I'm fine with that)

But go ahead, register on Stereophile and post a rebuttal, let's see if they publish it.
 
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captainbeefheart

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How well do you understand the measurements side?

This is the major fundamental disconnect between the two sides.

Brings me back to when Paul at PSAudio explained to us what "timbre" is while pronouncing it incorrectly and then go on to say if only we had a way to measure the timbre of an amplifier then we would have real measurements that showed how good an amplifier is. Yet the FFT analyzer is one of the most widely used tests for equipment.

It really goes to show that people that don't want to put the work in to learn the "science" part of the hobby are so confused about why the measurements can tell a competent enough story to make informed purchases. Mind you this doesn't mean you have to have the best SINAD score, you just have to know what your own hearing limitations are and what you find acceptable. For example there are tube amplifiers that might not make it to the top of the SINAD list but also are not at the bottom of the list, it might be perfectly acceptable to most people to reproduce their favorite music to the point where it puts a smile on their face.

Interpreting the data is as important as the data.
 

mhardy6647

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Intro to Glycobiology? Eek! A sticky subject. :D

(I do have an actual caution though...the most common snide comments about the phrase 'settled science' by far come from anthropogenic climate change deniers. But I suspect Naomi Oreskes of all people would absolutely agree that the factuality of ACC is about as 'settled' as science gets.)
Yeah, I know -- and I thoroughly concur when it comes to climate change. But I want my students to be aware that if everything we teach 'em is all they need to know... well... there's nothing for them to do!
Fortunately, I don't think that's the case... in glycobiology (which is more interesting than it sounds, trust me!) nor for sound reproduction. ;)
 

captainbeefheart

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Harvard by far produces the worst kinds of students and people.

"Education"? More like the opposite.

Sorry if this is offensive but Harvard graduates are for the most part some of the worst people I have ever encountered where logic has completely left the building.

My hats off to you, I hope you are successful in changing the way that place is run.
 

Rednaxela

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I honestly think that this is impossible on the ASR forums.
What you could do is a little forum search on ‘Fane’ and see what you get. But please don’t do it for me, only if you’re genuinely interested.

And on the tube amps, I’m still a bit new here, but I seem to remember that there are tube amp lovers who have a life here too.
 

bluefuzz

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As you note, many younger people today have more pressing things to spend their money on
Yes, like electricity! My electricity was 6.85 DKK/kWh yesterday evening. That's dangerously close to a dollar per kWh ... :eek:

No wonder the younger generations aren't attracted to the huge class A monoblocks beloved of Stereophile's clientèle. Even if they could afford such monstrosities they soon won't be able to afford to run them for more than 5 minutes a day anyway ...
 

teched58

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That's why scientists have peer review, to sort that all out. New findings win acceptance faster when they are objectively presented as well as reproducibly produced. (I didn't say to avoid disagreement. I just suggest winning hearts and minds along the way.)

I thought peer review was how established scientists made life miserable for young scientists with disruptive ideas. Sort of a modern version of what happened to Semmelweis (the pioneer of hand washing in medicine) and also how Humphry Davy sent young Michael Faraday off on wild goose chases so that Faraday would not displace him from his lofty perch.
 

Thomas savage

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We were the exclusive launch partner for Purifi amplifier by their choice! Bet Jim didn't know that.
Oh , that's what that cheque was for . I feared I best not mention it for fear they'd stop coming.

Doh .
 

captainbeefheart

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And on the tube amps, I’m still a bit new here, but I seem to remember that there are tube amp lovers who have a life here too.

Yes and I am one of them. I have no good reason to love tubes except for it's just what I prefer to build with. Maybe since there aren't complimentary pairs and other challenges that make getting good results rewarding.......plus they are just fun and nostalgic.

I'm in the camp that truly believes in measurements but to a degree, I have found that speakers are the absolute worst offenders in the entire chain and so distortion to a certain degree from an amplifier isn't going to make or break the experience like a poorly designed speaker will. Transducers are always the weakest link.
 

Thomas savage

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The requirements for car audio are quite different to home audio, especially when it comes to temperature extremes, vibration etc. Imagine the woofer in a sub zero situation or in Australia in summer, parked in the sun, where temperatures could reach well over 50 degrees celsius. It may simply fail or perform very poorly. Also, securing the magnet in such a way it won't detach in an accident and kill someone inside the car.
A cars about as hostile a environment for good audio that i can think of .
 

Timstunes

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During the 60s and 70s when HiFi was a major hobby, younger people were willing to spend a substantial amount of money on their stereo rigs. There was easily a critical mass large enough to keep the hobby going and healthy for decades. As you note, many younger people today have more pressing things to spend their money on, and a stereo isn't one of them.
Mass market audio today is more about convenience than sound quality, in recording and reproduction.
 

rgpit

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I lean more toward objectivity rather than subjectivity. However, those who think they are purely objective are in reality displaying their lack of objectivity.
 

AdamG247

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1658336618558.jpeg
 

captainbeefheart

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You need subjective data to correlate the objective data. Of course we can see measurements and conclude which tests better, but we need a baseline to correlate what is audible and what isn't audible. I think in this department is where there can be improvements here but Amir does a great job already at saying in his reviews of the test data what is audible and what isn't audible. I tend to relax his definitions of what's audible but that's my own experience, everyone needs to do their own homework to create their own baseline of what is audible to them. Bandwidth and distortion are grossly over exaggerated by far too many people in my opinion.
 

Sokel

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What you could do is a little forum search on ‘Fane’ and see what you get. But please don’t do it for me, only if you’re genuinely interested.

And on the tube amps, I’m still a bit new here, but I seem to remember that there are tube amp lovers who have a life here too.
Look at my example,I care only for the fun of listening and not much about measurements as far as something is barely transparent or with nice distortion but here I am,and it's fun!
 

bluefuzz

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I am not a scientist. I am doing what a reviewer should do in context of testing a technical product.
It is rather unfortunate, then, that you named the site Audio Science Review ...

It opens the site up to easy criticism since, as you freely admit, no 'science' is really being done here. If the site had been called 'Evidence Based Audio' or some such then it would be much more clear . But that horse has probably bolted ...
 

thorvat

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Direct quotes from the article:


Well, sure - owning AP analyzer by itself won't make you an audio expert. But neither will a college degree in physics followed by few years of "programming IBM microcomputers in the Budget Department" (!) and writing articles in HiFi magazine that contain pretty much none of the science based information and related conclusions.

I just remembered that not so long ago I read an article written by Jim Austin. As I managed to find it let me quote first few paragraphs from it:

Even though I'm the editor of Stereophile, I sometimes struggle to get my audio system to play. It's a little bit embarrassing. Just last night, I put on a record and there was no sound. I figured out the problem immediately: I'd forgotten to turn on the amplifiers. But the reason isn't always so obvious.
Back in the day, our stuff was simple; it just worked. There were power switches, a volume control, a source-selector, maybe a Tape Monitor button. Turn it on, select the right input, set the volume, and put on a record. If there's no music, make sure the Tape Monitor isn't pressed. Easy.

Today, things are more complicated. There are levels of input selection. Most systems still have a preamp, but other components accept multiple inputs. My phono preamp has two. The DAC I'm using has eight hardware inputs, plus Airplay. Certain inputs automatically play music when you send a signal to them, but others must be selected manually. Streaming data can arrive through its Ethernet port from many sources: Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, podcast networks, thousands of internet radio stations. I usually control all my music with Roon (which—another complication—encompasses only Tidal and Qobuz among the music streaming services), but it also has its own supporting app (which I use to fine-tune the hardware settings), and you can use many other apps to play music.

Today, many components are little computers, their operation controlled by microprocessors. That means bugs. (It's not just hi-fi of course: I'm in the process of replacing my refrigerator mainly due to a computer malfunction.) Sometimes a component stops working and you have to reboot it. Just a few nights ago, after much pointless troubleshooting, I rebooted the DAC and got music.

Currently, three components in my system have mute buttons. Two of those—the DAC and the preamp—have volume controls. Both have physical knobs, but they're drive-by-wire: I can control the DAC's volume with either the knob or various apps.

...
Is there a solution to this creeping complexity?

Yep, you got the idea of the article right - it is about how complicated it may be to get the sound to your speakers due to all these switches on the equipment. My mother-in-law would certainly agree. But then, she's 72 and she didn't study technically related college. She's also not an editor of a HiFi magazine, so I believe most of you would agree she could be forgiven for sometimes having difficulties to get the music playing. But Jim Austin cannot be excused, for him that should be "easy-peasy", right? Because if it isn't than he shouldn't be even thinking about criticisng the work @amirm is doing here..
 

Sal1950

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I am pretty sure this is a direct comment on the ASR community.
This "article" is not so new as yesterdays dating to the internet posting makes it seem.
It is the same one that was used in Stereophile's Aug issue "As We See It".
In any case sideways stabs at ASR like this have been going on for around 2 years now.
It only serves to put a smile on my face, as it reveals how scared they are at the penetration we've make
into their subjective fairytale review community in a short 6 years.
Even Mikey Fremer has gone running to (no measurements allowed) TAS , the real bible of the subjective believers cult.
 

Mr. E. Guy

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It is rather unfortunate, then, that you named the site Audio Science Review ...

It opens the site up to easy criticism since, as you freely admit, no 'science' is really being done here. If the site had been called 'Evidence Based Audio' or some such then it would be much more clear . But that horse has probably bolted ...
Thank goodness the language police are here, now we are all safe.
 
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