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Subjective descriptors for audible transparency (that aren't BS)

MattHooper

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#21
I sense an irony and tension in the concept of a forum wherein members discuss audio, the gear and the hobby, when the goal of the site hosting these discussions is to objectively test gear and publish that data. Every day I see posts and very-persistent posters who, whether on purpose or not I cannot usually discern, blur the lines between goals of quantifying performance and layering on human subjective experience on top of that.

My own opinion is that almost every other audio forum is drowning in subjectivist hokum and I wish I could avoid much of the same here, but then again there would be much less discussion perhaps.
It sounds like you would be happier with the HydrogenAudio Forum. They have reduced "subjectivist hokum" to a minimum.

https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=3974

Pay special attention to TOS 8.
 
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#22
For question is, how would you describe gear with good measurements, a.k.a. audibly transparent gear, to a non-technical person, in a way that would make them understand why 'audible transparency' is a good thing?
Enthusiastic, entertaining, emotional, inspiring, involving, sharing, caring.
 

TimF

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#24
It largely doesn't matter which is to say it is not of much consequence yet we fuss over it. It is therefore a game so to speak this interest in audio equipment. Am I being demeaning of your interest or your fussing? No I am not. For us this is play. This is an endeavor wherein we can play and imagine and try all manner of experiments and wander all over the field and yet it is not deadly serious or consequential. Thank god there are ways we can still play and that we do it. Not easy for older men to play. I hope you all are well and staying well.
 

MattHooper

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#25
Or perhaps you'd be happier on Vinyl Engine or Audio Karma or Super Best Audio Friends or one of the myriad other sites where subjectivism is king.
I was not being facetious when I posted the link. The irritations you have with this forum are taken care of at HydrogenAudio. It really does seem suited to what you are calling for and I wasn't sure if you were aware of that community. Am I wrong?

BTW, if you think I am a "subjectivist" who thinks "subjectivism is king" then you don't know what I believe or argue. Or don't care to.
You could hardly be more wrong. A purely subjectivist approach is essentially what I view to be the cause of "most of what's wrong" in the world.
 

Wes

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#26
can you "objectively test gear" by using double blinded listening tests?
 

MattHooper

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#27
can you "objectively test gear" by using double blinded listening tests?
Depends upon what sense of "objective" we are talking about and precisely is being tested for, but in the sense most of us here care about I'd say "yes."

The type of subjective claims audiophiles make that we tend to complain about here are a bit different from "I like chocolate; you like rasberry ice cream." These are purely subjective reports of "what it's like to be me" and we generally accept subjective reports. And they are accepted insofar as they are plausible (chocolate and raspberry ice cream do indeed tend to taste different).

The problem comes when audiophiles use pure subjectivity to make *objective claims* or inferences. Things like "the new DAC altered the sound of my system because I experienced a change in the sound" is a claim that some objective change caused the subjective experience.

Saying

"I hear an audible difference between DAC A and DAC B"

vs

"I hear and audible difference between DAC A and DAC B" with supporting blind tests

...are both reports of subjective experience that make an objective claims.

It's only in the second case, the blind testing method helps give confidence in the objective aspect of the claim (that something objective indeed changed in the sound, that was detectable). And the results of the test...pass or not...are objective (not subject to or altered by personal opinion.
If you dispute the test results, you are objectively "wrong.").
 
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Thread Starter #28
Here's what I have so far. IOW, how I would explain the concept to a room full of non-technical people:

The measurements done at sites like Audio Science Review test whether an audio component, such as a DAC or amplifier is 'audibly transparent'.

Having an audibly transparent DAC or amplifier allows the least amount of alteration or degradation of the original source music before it reaches your ears. This is the original definition of Hi-fi, or High Fidelity, which, these days, is an often misused term.

It’s like ‘seeing’ the music through an open window with no glass. Or like Instagram with #nofilters. (If you want to add ‘color’, you can always do so afterwards with EQ). This allows you to experience the music in the most unadulterated way possible. In other words, listening with audibly transparent gear is arguably the most ‘musical’ experience you can have with audio equipment.


'Audibly transparent' equipment do not change the sound. As such, audibly transparent DACs or amplifiers are audibly indistinguishable from each other when listeners can't see what they are listening to.

People who are audio science inclined are ‘enthusiastic, entertaining, emotional, inspiring, involving, sharing, and caring’ about such things.

After this, you are just limited by the technical quality of your recordings, and the sound characteristics of your headphones or speakers, which is mostly preference.


That's not BS, is it? ;)

 

Putter

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#29
There is already a thread that attempts to tie subjective descriptions to objective measurements.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...vs-colder-more-technical-clinical-sound.9707/

To quote a small portion of it from a post by Solderdude

Warm/warmth – a general downward tilt in the frequency range between 300Hz and 3kHz. The opposite is cold.

Cold – a general upward tilt in the frequency range between 300Hz and 3kHz. The opposite is warmth.

Warm or cold is usually describing a general tilt of the frequency response in the frequency response shown above.
It does not need to be sloping in a flat line as in the example. It gives more or less a 'general direction'.
The angle of the tilt determines the amount of 'warmth/cold'.
Amplifiers and DACs do not sound warm or cold. Such is a subjective found idea that is not demonstrable in level matched non-sighted tests.
 

Wombat

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#30
It largely doesn't matter which is to say it is not of much consequence yet we fuss over it. It is therefore a game so to speak this interest in audio equipment. Am I being demeaning of your interest or your fussing? No I am not. For us this is play. This is an endeavor wherein we can play and imagine and try all manner of experiments and wander all over the field and yet it is not deadly serious or consequential. Thank god there are ways we can still play and that we do it. Not easy for older men to play. I hope you all are well and staying well.
Many don't think they are playing around when forming unverifiable subjective opinions. 'Damn the rationalists', they opine.
Don't%20tell%20anyone.gif
 

BDWoody

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#31
The measurements done at sites like Audio Science Review test whether an audio component, such as a DAC or amplifier is 'audibly transparent'.

I would say ASR measures a device to verify competence, as any DAC that shows competent design will not have any audible effect on the signal conversion process. What was sampled is what is recreated.

An amp is slightly more tricky, with more ways to mismatch things...but the idea is the same.

Using the window analogy...beyond some point of clarity, what you see out that window will be visually indistinguishable from an open window.
 

Blujackaal

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#32
The type of subjective claims audiophiles make that we tend to complain about here are a bit different from "I like chocolate; you like rasberry ice cream." These are purely subjective reports of "what it's like to be me" and we generally accept subjective reports. And they are accepted insofar as they are plausible (chocolate and raspberry ice cream do indeed tend to taste different).

The problem comes when audiophiles use pure subjectivity to make *objective claims* or inferences. Things like "the new DAC altered the sound of my system because I experienced a change in the sound" is a claim that some objective change caused the subjective experience.
Same thing when they use pure subjectivity to go why BA drivers suck & Dynamic drivers rule. When in objective terms, The ER3XR will outperform the HD6xx on detail/decay/transient responce which oddly could back up why the XR sounds fantastic despite it's high THD vs the ER4SR/ER3SE. I've had some weirdly defend planars when there decay/transient is the same as BA headphones?.
 

pwjazz

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#33
I sense an irony and tension in the concept of a forum wherein members discuss audio, the gear and the hobby, when the goal of the site hosting these discussions is to objectively test gear and publish that data.
I don't. I'm interested in enjoying music. Measurements are only interesting in so far as they relate to what I hear when listening to music, so anything that scientifically correlates audio perception with technical measurements is gold to me.
 

NoMoFoNo

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#34
One way to interpret what you say here is that you are looking for numbers that confirm what you believe you hear. Sort of like the religious person looking for science to confirm their belief. Is that what you're saying?


I don't. I'm interested in enjoying music. Measurements are only interesting in so far as they relate to what I hear when listening to music, so anything that scientifically correlates audio perception with technical measurements is gold to me.
 

pwjazz

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#35
what you believe you hear
What I "believe" I hear varies greatly depending on time of day, mood, how I slept and ate, prior activities that day, etc.

Sort of like the religious person looking for science to confirm their belief
Not even remotely. Observation is a critical element of science, and for me is often the starting point of understanding. I'm able to enjoy a golden sunset without knowing anything about what causes it, but I'm curious and want to know the how behind the what. Understanding the atmosphere and refraction deepens my experience of the sunset and complements my lived experience.

My broader point is that I consider the division between "subjectivism" and "objectivism" counter-productive and somewhat artificial, and I derive the greatest benefit from people and practices that don't treat that division as gospel and who instead remain curious, observant and skeptical. We would do well to remember that religious zeal and credulity can manifest even among adherents to "science", if they unquestioningly take established theories at face value.
 

NoMoFoNo

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#36
Sorry to say that is a red herring often used in 'anti-science' arguments. I very frequently hear the religious talk about science as if it is just its own religion. It's an utterly false argument. The scientific adherent is, by definition, curious and skeptical and data driven.

Your post is filled with subjective experiential discussion, which is great as far as it goes. Who doesn't love a sunset? Who doesn't love music? Your enjoyment of music isn't at issue and has nothing to do with measuring equipment. The question of the transparency of reproduction equipment, versus the typical audiophool-generated magical nature of reproduction equipment, that is the issue here.

e
We would do well to remember that religious zeal and credulity can manifest even among adherents to "science", if they unquestioningly take established theories at face value.
 
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Blujackaal

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#37
Sorry to say that is a red herring often used in 'anti-science' arguments. I very frequently hear the religious talk about science as if it is just its own religion. It's an utterly false argument. The scientific adherent is, by definition, curious and skeptical and data driven.
Ironically your own points are 'anti-science' since you seem to be not grasping that headphones/speakers. Are subjective by nature since people are listening to them with there ears not with there eyes, Most of the R&D is from them gaining subjective data by doing tests with people & dummy heads to before finalising the product. I have no idea what your beef with subjective impressions if the hard data backs it up?.

Not everyone is botherd by Grado/Beyer treble, Not everyone like the 6 - 15db bass boosts on harman IE 2018?.
 
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pwjazz

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#39
Sorry to say that is a red herring often used in 'anti-science' arguments. I very frequently hear the religious talk about science as if it is just its own religion. It's an utterly false argument. The scientific adherent is, by definition, curious and skeptical and data driven.

Your post is filled with subjective experiential discussion, which is great as far as it goes. Who doesn't love a sunset? Who doesn't love music? Your enjoyment of music isn't at issue and has nothing to do with measuring equipment. The question of the transparency of reproduction equipment, versus the typical audiophool-generated magical nature of reproduction equipment, that is the issue here.
It seems that you have made up your mind about me, so there's nothing else to discuss. I'm going to get back to listening, measuring and reading in an effort to better understand why I hear what I hear.
 

NoMoFoNo

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#40
Your opinions will begin to carry water with me when you discuss blind testing, objective performance and transparency. Until then, it's all the same fluffery and puffery that infests every other audio forum on the web.


It seems that you have made up your mind about me, so there's nothing else to discuss. I'm going to get back to listening, measuring and reading in an effort to better understand why I hear what I hear.
 

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