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"Things that cannot be measured"

Beave

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#41
The limitations of measurements was something I covered in my 2015 RMAF talk, "What the specs don't tell you and why." And I only scratched the surface in that talk. I sold audio test gear for 15 years and sat on standards committees too. In a nutshell, we measure what we do because we can do so easily. It is my opinion that we can get A LOT more from instrumentation but choose not to because the financial reward for doing so is not there.
Linked here:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...15-what-the-specs-dont-tell-you-and-why.4874/
 

Beave

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#42
This is an eternal issue for endless discussion, I assume...

Just let me share this again here, which I have once shared in my thread post #316;

I had interesting communication at Watchnerd's thread entitled "Poll: Best Looking Stereo Integrated Amp", and the specific communication on "musicality" started by Doodski's post #851 showing Yamaha's (advertisement) YouTube video clip for the development of their integrated amplifier A-S1100;

In the video clip at 1:09, Mr. Taro Morii, Supervisor HiFi Group, specialist on fine tuning of Yamaha amplifiers, said;
We have developed it (A-S1100) based on the concept from A-S3000. The sound concept is "musicality", or to be more specific, the quality of low frequencies, the straight-forwardness of response, and authenticity of the sound...

really subjective comment, but it looks they are/were actually fine tuning the amplifiers based on this, i.e. what they call "musicality", in the final stage of their development by using their ears and brain.

And I believe no amplifier nor speaker is released to the market without the intensive ear-listening final fine tuning. Then the whole of "audio gears + room + environmets" is our HiFi "music istrument"...

Furthermore, we (you) do not always "like" the audio gear(s) which measured to be the best.
Amazing that all that "fine tuning" led them to a flat frequency response. I mean, what are the odds of that happening?!?!

(In other words, I'm calling BS on his claims. They design the gear to have the best measurements. The claims about designing to musicality and authenticity of sounds are hooey.)
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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#43
I'm in the "things that haven't yet been measured" camp. It find it too smug to claim we know every measurable parameter of things at present.
You may well be right, but first we need to establish this (apologies for quoting myself):

My feeling is that the "subjectivist crowd" first need to demonstrate that the bolded part is in fact true
 

Frank Dernie

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#44
Something the subjectivist crowd often brings up. "There are things we cannot measure but the human ear/brain can hear it."

We retort, an analyzer can hear much better than any human can. Which is the truth. But thinking about the question I did being to wonder... Could it be possible for there to be a form of measurement we have not found yet? Is science completely clear on this point? Or is there possibly another measurement out there be to found. Usually in my experience science is evolving.

Of course, I am not saying that the measurements used are not valid, they have helped me personally assemble some amazing sounding systems. I'm not as well versed in the science of audio as others in this forum. But I was wondering if there is a possibility, that there could be other measurements "underdiscovered". Or at this point are we just increasing our abilities to further analyze (as well as improve the actual technology) in the ways we already know how?
Think it through logically for yourself.

Sound is a fluctuation in the air pressure.

In order to record it we put a microphone somewhere in the sound field. Its sensing element creates a voltage which has magnitude, frequency and phase. There is nothing else.

This voltage is connected to some sort of recorder which stores the information in some way.
To replay this voltage we decode the stored signal, be it analogue or digital, and suitably condition (amplify) it to drive another transducer which, this time, creates the fluctuation in air pressure for us.

Now if we look at this process it is clear that, since we can measure the magnitude, frequency and phase of electrical signals to a degree of accuracy way beyond human hearing, it is possible to successfully measure everything about the sound accuracy of all the electrical elements in the process.

We don't know if the microphone position was well chosen, or whether the headphones or speakers creating the pressure fluctuation at our ears accurately but that has nothing to do with the electronic chain.

So we can't judge how accurate a recording is, or any of the manipulations the engineers make up to the point at which the recording is released.

We can't judge how precisely the pressure fluctuations picked up by the microphone are reproduced at our ear by our headphones or speakers due to the shape of our head, the position of speakers in a room, the room characterisatics, listening position and speaker frequency response and dispersion.

Everything else we can measure to a greater level of precision than human ears.

So in summary, we can measure the voltage amplitude, frequency and phase (and there is nothing else) of all the electronic elements from microphone to amplifier output accurately enough. The only thing left is estimates of at what level these accurately measured shortcomings become audible.

What we do not know is how accurate any recording is of the musical event.

We are also, perhaps, getting better at estimating the preference of humans to headphone and speaker characteristics but both have blatantly audible shortcomings.
 

Thomas savage

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#47
Plain and simple there aren't any, everything we hear is a physical phenomena transferred via the air around us.
The unmeasurable is the human doing the listening , we need some ' implants ' , I volunteer the folks making claims about the ' unmeasurable ' audio phenomenon go first .

My phone changes ' unmeasurable ' to ' unreasonable ' , sometimes auto correct knows best .
 

PierreV

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#48
Something that constantly amazes me is that the non-objective audiophiles who believe in audiophile network switches, beeswax fuses and, in the existence of mysterious, non-measurable but yet audible effects of power cables... (the list is endless) also expect their smartphone to simply work.
 

thewas

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#49
In the video clip at 1:09, Mr. Taro Morii, Supervisor HiFi Group, specialist on fine tuning of Yamaha amplifiers, said;
We have developed it (A-S1100) based on the concept from A-S3000. The sound concept is "musicality", or to be more specific, the quality of low frequencies, the straight-forwardness of response, and authenticity of the sound...

really subjective comment, but it looks they are/were actually fine tuning the amplifiers based on this, i.e. what they call "musicality", in the final stage of their development by using their ears and brain.

And I believe no amplifier nor speaker is released to the market without the intensive ear-listening final fine tuning. Then the whole of "audio gears + room + environmets" is our HiFi "music istrument"...

Furthermore, we (you) do not always "like" the audio gear(s) which measured to be the best.
First of all, what strikes me in such marketing videos is that they usually don't tell with which exact technical changes they try to implement such buzzword changes like "musicality". ;)

Secondly, before luxuries like discussing in which direction the sound changes, I would like to see first that they can prove to hear differences at all under controlled conditions, i.e. repeatedly and not knowing which amp plays, doesn't need to be short or quick test, but I have never seen such, why? ;)

On the other side I have seen dozens of documented amp and electronics blind tests where the testers always failed unless the measured differences exceeded some known high limits, here for example a large list http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-18-1857.html with even "crazy" comparisons like Mark Levinson Nº 38S + Mark Levinson Nº 333 vs AV Yamaha RX-V 540!!

So for me it makes only sense to do the next step research for reasons of different sound when audible differences under controlled conditions are proved at all.
 
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#50
He mentioned the freely available talk. So a quick Google:

Interesting talk at RMAF 2015 (?) about the audibility of measured distortion levels (and that not all types of distortion matter equally), and thus touches on whether specs tell the whole story, and that the measurement graphs tell more than a single spec number. About an hour long, plenty of humor but the audience did not respond with audible laughter. Skilled speaker, working for Audio Precision. At the end of the talk, there was time for questions from only two members of the audience. First question at 57 min into the video is from a gentleman at far left of the front row, none other than our host Amir! Audio engineering is a small world, is it not?
 

restorer-john

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#51
...beeswax fuses...
I can't believe I have been buying the honey (the guy at the end of the street with hives) from our local bees and completely missing the benefits of fuses made with beeswax.

Boy, that stings.
 
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#52
And about emotion, you might read something. It is a series of ordered squiggles that we know as code. Is there any emotion in that code? Is there a world of deeper sensory phenomena and emotion buried in that code? No. The letters are dead material on top of dead material. They are dead and lifeless. The same with sound carried over the air or some other medium. The sound is dead and is carried on a dead lifeless medium.
That is unless they (the letters) are in the Book of Kells.
 

diddley

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#53
Interesting talk at RMAF 2015 (?) about the audibility of measured distortion levels (and that not all types of distortion matter equally), and thus touches on whether specs tell the whole story, and that the measurement graphs tell more than a single spec number. About an hour long, plenty of humor but the audience did not respond with audible laughter. Skilled speaker, working for Audio Precision. At the end of the talk, there was time for questions from only two members of the audience. First question at 57 min into the video is from a gentleman at far left of the front row, none other than our host Amir! Audio engineering is a small world, is it not?

His new glasses looks better
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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#54
OK, if we accept the notion that there is something in audio that we can't measure but that can affect sound in our gear...how exactly is a manufacturer supposed to know how to design gear to take advantage of that? I mean it's fine to say there might be such a thing as telepathy, but unless it's quantifiable there's no way to actually make a machine that takes advantage of telepathy. So, in the end, it's only the measurable stuff that matters unless we are prepared to just say audio gear is nothing more than a lucky happenstance. Oh sure, somebody could throw a bunch of components together to build a dac, and then listen to it and say "hey, that's the best sounding dac I've ever heard!" But, if we then measure it's output and find that in fact in every measurable way its not at all a good dac, we're supposed to trust that the designer has tapped into some sort of magic that only special ears can hear? Sorry, I don't buy it.
 

thewas

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#55
First of all, what strikes me in such marketing videos is that they usually don't tell with which exact technical changes they try to implement such buzzword changes like "musicality". ;)

Secondly, before luxuries like discussing in which direction the sound changes, I would like to see first that they can prove to hear differences at all under controlled conditions, i.e. repeatedly and not knowing which amp plays, doesn't need to be short or quick test, but I have never seen such, why? ;)

On the other side I have seen dozens of documented amp and electronics blind tests where the testers always failed unless the measured differences exceeded some known high limits, here for example a large list http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-18-1857.html with even "crazy" comparisons like Mark Levinson Nº 38S + Mark Levinson Nº 333 vs AV Yamaha RX-V 540!!

So for me it makes only sense to do the next step research for reasons of different sound when audible differences under controlled conditions are proved at all.
By the way, about the marketing fun fact about audio electronic engineers doing their "voicing" by listening.
One of the world best best studio electronics engineer gave an interview from which I electronically translated a part below:

Friedemann Kootz: Your developments are really planned
planned, measured and tested down to the last detail.
and tested. Do you listen to the devices
do you listen to the devices you develop?

Thomas Funk: No. For example, our MTX monitoring controller
for example, I heard it for the first time about two
for the first time about two years ago, even though
have had it in our product range for nine years.
for nine years. Our customers from the high-end
always have astonished faces when I
the single loudspeaker box in the back under the
the desk on the metal shelf.
Some of the 'high-enders' sometimes react
downright mischievous when I tell them
that we don't do listening tests. But
it's easy to explain. We develop
technology, the most important property of which
is absolute linearity. If I have
a compressor, an equalizer, or anything else that would shape
sound shaping technology,
I would also do listening tests to see if it sounds
to check if it sounds 'good'. If I remember
remember, it happened once that I developed a headphone
developed a headphone amplifier
and listened to it under full load with about 10
dB overload. At that time I wanted to
to find out whether the stability
of the circuit in the absolute limit range
changes so much that it would have to be
would have to be modified. But since this was not the
case, this 'listening test' was exhausted after ten minutes.
exhausted after ten minutes.


Full original interview in German language can be found here http://www.funk-tonstudiotechnik.de/1 Studiomagazin 1-2009 Interview.pdf
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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#56
First of all, what strikes me in such marketing videos is that they usually don't tell with which exact technical changes they try to implement such buzzword changes like "musicality". ;)
If we were to ask the fellow exactly what changes were made in order to achieve said "musicality," I'm highly confident that every single item on the list would be a measurable thing.
 

thewas

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#57
If we were to ask the fellow exactly what changes were made in order to achieve said "musicality," I'm highly confident that every single item on the list would be a measurable thing.
Many parts don't really change measurably the output as they are inside the feedback loop(s) and even if so, for audibility it simply doesn't matter if THD is 0.0026 or 0.0027%.
But also the biggest problem/question remains, how exactly do you change the measurements to get better "musicality".
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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#58
Many parts don't really change measurably the output as they are inside the feedback loop(s) and even if so, for audibility it simply doesn't matter if THD is 0.0026 or 0.0027%.
But also the biggest problem/question remains, how exactly do you change the measurements to get better "musicality".
No, but anything that actually changes the sound in any audible way is going to be a measurable thing. If it doesn't, we're back in the "prove it in a blind test" zone...

For example, if we ask the fellow "OK, what exactly did you do to squeeze out that extra bit of musicality?" and his answer is "OH, we managed to find a way to get .000011% lower THD" that's a measurable thing. Is it audible? Well, that's the next question (and of course we know the answer), but it's measurable...

Now, if the answer to the question is instead "Oh, we bathed the amps in soft blue light for 96 hours before boxing them up" I'd want to know how they determined the result to be more "musical." If it's through listening tests (because what else could it be?) I'd want to see evidence that they can actually hear a difference under controlled (blind) conditions.
 
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thewas

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#59
No, but anything that actually changes the sound in any audible way is going to be a measurable thing.
Of course, but first it has to be proven if its audible as we can measure magnitude orders finer differences than we can hear, so the opposite direction that anything that measures differently is going to be also audible isn't true.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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#60
Of course, but first it has to be proven if its audible as we can measure magnitude orders finer differences than we can hear, so the opposite direction that anything that measures differently is going to be also audible isn't true.
absolutely. I was editing my previous post while you were responding. :)
 
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