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The pain of being a member of ASR

Multicore

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If it were a silver necklace instead of a silver cable would you feel such pain, or is it only because you know something about the cable that you feel entitled to tell someone how to spend their money?
I tend to agree. Some argue that there's a difference between something that is overtly just an expensive show-off item, e.g. jewellery, and audiophile USB cables, which involve a deliberate deception. That's an interesting point but, if we leave aside the question of deceptive marketing (which a lot of vendors carefully avoid, including those who sell expensive but well-engineered, by ASR standard, equipment) then I think both the necklace and USB cable work by the same magic. They both rely on belief that something is changed for the better through the item and there's a mystery involved in the how. How does this necklace make me more pretty, desirable, superior, impressive, aloof, or whatever it is I believe it will do? Hard to say but by some magic it often does seem to work, if sometimes only in my own mind, or not very durably in the minds of others. But history clearly shows this kind of adornment is extremely important and effective in influencing social relations. I'd argue it's the same with the USB cable. I suspect it's the same thing with a Benchmark power amp. It's hard to know for sure that it really does sound better than another amp with fewer sinads and this not knowing is the same mystery at the center of the magic of all luxury goods.
 

Anton D

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He has more than one snake oil product or product with snake oil claims. I2S comes to mind. Some of his worst videos are dripping in snake oil and downright falsehoods.
Thank you. I thought it was only one thing.

I appreciate the reply!
 

thegeton

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I am not sure this forum would be of any use if it didn't raise a few hackles. We don't want a self-pleasuring echo chamber like some of the subjective forums seem to be.
Hear, hear!!!

It's ok to disagree, as long as the involved parties avoid becoming disagreeable. A robust discussion can be productive and even enjoyable regardless of which side you're on. If neither party changes their position, then they can agree to disagree on that topic and move on as friends. Grudges, crusades, and tilting at windmills are for fools.
 

Purité Audio

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If it were a silver necklace instead of a silver cable would you feel such pain, or is it only because you know something about the cable that you feel entitled to tell someone how to spend their money?
Both are jewellery,
Keith
 

bodhi

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I tend to agree. Some argue that there's a difference between something that is overtly just an expensive show-off item, e.g. jewellery, and audiophile USB cables, which involve a deliberate deception. That's an interesting point but, if we leave aside the question of deceptive marketing (which a lot of vendors carefully avoid, including those who sell expensive but well-engineered, by ASR standard, equipment) then I think both the necklace and USB cable work by the same magic. They both rely on belief that something is changed for the better through the item and there's a mystery involved in the how. How does this necklace make me more pretty, desirable, superior, impressive, aloof, or whatever it is I believe it will do? Hard to say but by some magic it often does seem to work, if sometimes only in my own mind, or not very durably in the minds of others. But history clearly shows this kind of adornment is extremely important and effective in influencing social relations. I'd argue it's the same with the USB cable. I suspect it's the same thing with a Benchmark power amp. It's hard to know for sure that it really does sound better than another amp with fewer sinads and this not knowing is the same mystery at the center of the magic of all luxury goods.

The thing about objectivist caring about how other people spend their money (the classic) is red herring of worst kind. It's used in a few ways, most often for provoking arguments, as copium or attempt to rally likeminded persons to a circlejerk.

In reality, very few people care at all where others spend their money, least of all anonymous forum users. But in this case these people make the claim that these "silver necklaces" really make the sound better. Implicitly telling that if you cannot hear it there is something wrong with you or your equipment.

That is something about this debate I really dislike. Subjectivist people commonly complain that objectivists insult them, are elitist, prejudiced or just downright mean. Yet they fail to see how their own statements are also kind of a challenge. Think about it, what does it actually mean when a subjectivist tells that there is a huge, night and day difference between some boutique dac and perfectly measuring Topping?

I've tried so many times to settle the argument by asking if a mild subjectivist, who says he just wants to let anyone to enjoy what they like, to change his statement about for example power cables to: "using this cable enhances my experience but I'm not 100% if the effect is real or placebo". Nobody has agreed to that one, which would end the argument right there. So it again becomes "my cable is better than yours but it's not your fault that you cannot hear it because of some deficiencies you have".
 

Purité Audio

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Hardly anyone admits to being taken for a sap, purchases are intertwined with ego .
Keith
 

fpitas

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If it were a silver necklace instead of a silver cable would you feel such pain, or is it only because you know something about the cable that you feel entitled to tell someone how to spend their money?
You can go ahead and wear your silver cables. We don't mind.
 

pderousse

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The thing about objectivist caring about how other people spend their money (the classic) is red herring of worst kind. It's used in a few ways, most often for provoking arguments, as copium or attempt to rally likeminded persons to a circlejerk.

In reality, very few people care at all where others spend their money, least of all anonymous forum users. But in this case these people make the claim that these "silver necklaces" really make the sound better. Implicitly telling that if you cannot hear it there is something wrong with you or your equipment.

That is something about this debate I really dislike. Subjectivist people commonly complain that objectivists insult them, are elitist, prejudiced or just downright mean. Yet they fail to see how their own statements are also kind of a challenge. Think about it, what does it actually mean when a subjectivist tells that there is a huge, night and day difference between some boutique dac and perfectly measuring Topping?

I've tried so many times to settle the argument by asking if a mild subjectivist, who says he just wants to let anyone to enjoy what they like, to change his statement about for example power cables to: "using this cable enhances my experience but I'm not 100% if the effect is real or placebo". Nobody has agreed to that one, which would end the argument right there. So it again becomes "my cable is better than yours but it's not your fault that you cannot hear it because of some deficiencies you have".
I have none of the sinister motives suggested, science just is whether we like it or not; however sometimes proud owners of suspected trinkets are not ready to hear about research, and usually friendship is more important. I appreciate your third way out of a common false dichotomy.
 

Purité Audio

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The question is would that chap have bought that cable if the retailer had told him that it couldn’t possibly make any difference to sound quality?
Keith
 

fpitas

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A lot of people here own trinkets of one sort or another, especially nicely made cables. I have never seen any negativity unless pseudo-scientific claims are made.
 

pderousse

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A lot of people here own trinkets of one sort or another, especially nicely made cables. I have never seen any negativity unless pseudo-scientific claims are made.
Indeed, these are 'first world' problems.
 

fpitas

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Indeed, these are 'first world' problems.
All of ASR is, really. If you live a hand-to-mouth existence, you probably aren't terribly concerned about SINAD.
 

Cbdb2

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Both are jewellery,
Keith
Does he wear the USB cable around his neck? Jewelry has a purpose and passes testing.

"Indian jewelry is as ancient and complex as Indian civilization itself. Gold, in particular, has a deep-rooted history and significance in India. Beyond being a status symbol and display of wealth, it is also a means of saving and investing. Adorning oneself in jewelry is not only a custom and tradition for Indian people, but it also has meaning and value attached to each and every piece. Gold is an investment that increases in value over time and can easily be converted to cash. The value and rarity of gold make it a source of comfort and security in times of economic trouble. Gold also has great religious significance for Indians, particularly those of the Hindu faith."

Please stop insulting jewelry. Other than the religious significance cables have for some people (audio rag reviewers) they have nothing in common with jewelry.
 

fpitas

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Cbdb2

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It's a fair point. USB is all the same as long as you have a solid data connection, as far as that goes. But the power situation has become a lot more complex over the years.

My MOTU M2 freaks out most of the time if I turn on phantom power. Is it possible a different USB cable could cure this? Honestly, yes. Is it possible that it would improve the sound quality coming from the line out? Not really...
Its not the cable (measure it) unless its too long, its the device powering it.
 

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Cbdb2

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How do you know its not true? Did you listen to both cables? Did you do electrical measurements of both cables? Perhaps the new cable has better electrical characteristics or noise rejection or the two ends are designed to make a better connection? Yes, there is snake oil out there, but there are also perfectly valid scientific, measureable reasons why one cable sounds better than another. Before making light of what he claims to have heard, at least do your due diligence and listen to both cables and measure both.
Do you know how digital works?
 

Cbdb2

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Exactly. I have seen multiple situations where someone could clearly NOT afford a particular piece of HEA gear (by afford I mainly mean they would go into significant debt to make the purchase) but they were being fully mesmerized and taken in by the snake oil salesperson (some of whom in this hobby are very good at convincing folks to believe the nonsense). In these cases I do all I can to convince them otherwise, but the psychology and “dark side of the force” can be sadly impossible to overcome much of the time.

On the other hand I have also had situations where friends/acquaintances could easily make the big purchase of the snake oil. In those cases I of course offer my opinion, mainly that is not best use of your money, but in the end their money and if it makes them happy to purchase the snake oil, knock yourself out.
That sounds like an addiction. Try that angle. Like gambling, only sometimes with gambling you win.
Do we need an AA, Audiophiles anonymous?
 
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