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Your hearing is not that good… Sorry, it’s just not

Zapper

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Who are you talking to?
I agree with your little rant at that post. ASR tends to promote a certain objectivist audiophoolery, whereby achieving >100dB SINAD is a standard of minimal acceptability, rather than the measure of overkill that it really is.
 

Multicore

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Agreed.

That’s no offence to Amir. And for what it’s worth, my experience is that he doesn’t show much bias.

Apart from with bass…
I think Amir's subjective comments have some value. I mentioned it here

 

Chromatischism

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• I will take issue with Amir on two subjects. The first is about phase response in audio and whether it’s important and you can hear it. Having done a decent amount of experimentation creating DIY, active loudspeakers, you can hear the improvement that time alignment and linear phase filters produce. Having done that as well as using DSP such as Dirac or Audessy with a “perfect” crossover, the improvement is audible. That being said, if all of the other qualities of the loudspeaker are not top-notch, you are just polishing a turd. DSP is the last thing that you can and should do to improve a loudspeaker. Its improvement is only a couple of percent in the overall scheme of things involving the sound of the a really good loudspeaker. To go the DIY route, though, is a lot of work, and not for the faint of heart.
Actually the research (highlighted not only by Amir) shows that most people can not detect absolute phase. Adjustments made to phase in order to optimize driver and speaker/sub alignments are audible when they correct issues with the frequency response that were caused by phase issues.
 

MattHooper

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Well, that was...an opinion....:)

• Totally subjective audio reviews that focus on the listener’s experience ingesting audio from any source that then that person’s impressions as fact are basically useless.

I disagree. I have found plenty of subjective reviews to be informative and useful. So have countless audiophiles. Among the myths that often seem to haunt this place is that someone listening to speakers in a different room from yours can't tell you anything about how they will sound in any other room, and also that subjective audio reviewers are just writing poetry that has nothing to do with the sound of a loudspeaker, and has no relationship or accuracy to the actual sound.

I've addressed those claims many times, including recently HERE

And HERE showing the relationship between what the reviewers heard and the measurements.

• The objective, science-based reviews given at this site are among the few you will find on the web that aren’t total crap. Seeing how most audio reviewers have just jammed a bunch of equipment into a room with bare wooden floors, drywall and dubious acoustics, why you would listen to any of these blithering idiots and take their opinions seriously even the least bit is beyond me.

See above. You are exaggerating the chaos of subjective reviewers listening in their rooms to the point of strawmen.

I have ended up with a number of loudspeakers that sounded essentially as described by reviewers. Yes there is some crap and useless stuff to winnow out. But there is also useful info out there...IF you care to use that type of information. If you don't, that's fine, but it's not very compelling to imply it's useless to anyone else.


The worst of these is Michael Fremer. The man is both a gigantic a-hole and a dilettante. He’s a know-nothing moron.

On the contrary, I find Fremer to be quite perceptive, particularly when it comes to loudspeakers, and talented at putting sound in to words. I know that's not a talent many here have any regard for, but...so what.

Every loudspeaker I've heard that Fremer reviewed, had the essential characteristics he described. Whether I heard the speaker before or after I read his review. I know that it's just impossible for some to believe that an individual who has been listening to untold number of loudspeakers, evaluating them in the same room for decades, could possibly have any actual insight in to how they sound different. But that for me is taking skepticism in to sheer cynicism. Of course Fremer can get things wrong. But if you actually pay attention - and I've given examples before - Fremer's descriptions often track quite well with JA's measurements on many loudspeakers.

Just looking up a fairly recent Fremer stereophile review of the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 loudspeakers, Fremer described stable imaging and timbral characteristics in terms of off axis behaviour, and that was in line with JA's comments about the measurements. As well, Fremer wrote that they were generally neutral sounding but:

"Pressed to find fault with the spectral balance, I'd say the top end was ever so slightly mellow and the mids a bit forward"

And that shows up in the measurements - a mellower top end than his Wilson speakers, with a bit of emphasis in the upper mids - as well as JA's comments in the measurement section:

"Other than a slight excess of energy in the presence region, the Von Schweikert's output in the midrange and low- and mid-treble, averaged across a 30° horizontal window centered on the tweeter axis, is commendably flat. There is a gentle rolloff in the top audio octave, reaching –6dB at 20kHz."


I also detailed here how Fremer was VERY perceptive in detailing a sonic anomaly with the MBL speakers when set up wrong that I heard myself (well before reading his review), and which I don't think are obvious from the measurements:

 
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Cbdb2

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So why does the most expensive gear almost always get the best reviews, even if they have terrible specs, and they always hear a difference between gear. l would bet you next months pay that if you told any one of these reviewers to blind compare two different DACs that were actually the same DAC they would come up with 2 pages of poetry that describes there differences and the more expensive one is better . There job and ego depends on there fantasies. There a reason they never do blind testing, there hearing sucks. Theres even some measurements by Dr. Toole that show this. One last reason, the elephant in the room, power cable reviews.
 
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Anton D

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Agreed.

That’s no offence to Amir. And for what it’s worth, my experience is that he doesn’t show much bias.

Apart from with bass…
I'd like to see the listening impressions done prior to measuring. Confirmation bias is a big deal.

As for humans....

What do people want?

440px-Animal_hearing_frequency_range.svg.png


Put a shell up to your ear...we can hear our own circulatory system. That's pretty good!

We can even hear zero decibels (maybe lower.) That sound pressure level (SPL) corresponds to 0.000002 Pascals — a measure of vibration or pressure waves that we really hear.

I think we do great.
 

Count Arthur

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I'd like to see the listening impressions done prior to measuring. Confirmation bias is a big deal.

As for humans....

What do people want?

440px-Animal_hearing_frequency_range.svg.png


Put a shell up to your ear...we can hear our own circulatory system. That's pretty good!

We can even hear zero decibels (maybe lower.) That sound pressure level (SPL) corresponds to 0.000002 Pascals — a measure of vibration or pressure waves that we really hear.

I think we do great.
So that's why you don't see chickens wearing headphones.
 

Blumlein 88

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31 Hz? I think we can go lower than that.
At what threshold? Some early texts listed human hearing as 30hz to 15 khz because the thresholds rise so rapidly past those points. There are some young adults that hear to 22 or 23 khz and a very small number near 25 khz, but at highly elevated levels and only in isolation with tones. Drawing thresholds is not an exact on or off proposition.
 

MattHooper

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So why does the most expensive gear almost always get the best reviews,

Eh. You can find plenty of highly enthusiastic reviews for far from top priced gear too.

even if they have terrible specs, and they always hear a difference between gear. l would bet you next months pay that if you told any one of these reviewers to blind compare two different DACs that were actually the same DAC they would come up with 2 pages of poetry that describes there differences and the more expensive one is better .

Yup, that happens. People can hear differences that aren't there. People can also hear differences that are there. I generally pay attention to subjective reviews where the sonic differences are very plausible (e.g. speakers).

There job and ego depends on there fantasies.

Well...that's a claim of yours...

I don't find audio reviewers any more, or less egotistic as a group than any other group.

There a reason they never do blind testing, there hearing sucks.

Then how do you explain the examples I've given where the reviewers described sonic characteristics that showed up later in measurements? I mean, it's easy to cast aspersions....

As usual: I'm not arguing there aren't all sorts of variables and issues involved in the subjective review industry. But sometimes people substitute cynicism for skepticism.
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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I'd like to see the listening impressions done prior to measuring. Confirmation bias is a big deal.

As for humans....

What do people want?

440px-Animal_hearing_frequency_range.svg.png


Put a shell up to your ear...we can hear our own circulatory system. That's pretty good!

We can even hear zero decibels (maybe lower.) That sound pressure level (SPL) corresponds to 0.000002 Pascals — a measure of vibration or pressure waves that we really hear.

I think we do great.



Amir’s bias with bass has nothing to do with 20hz-20hz.
 

CapMan

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And that shows up in the measurements - a mellower top end than his Wilson speakers, with a bit of emphasis in the upper mids - as well as JA's comments in the measurement section:
If what he (Fremer) says is validated as ‘good’ because it shows up in measurements why do we need his comments in the first place?

Just sayin’
 

Cbdb2

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Eh. You can find plenty of highly enthusiastic reviews for far from top priced gear too.



Yup, that happens. People can hear differences that aren't there. People can also hear differences that are there. I generally pay attention to subjective reviews where the sonic differences are very plausible (e.g. speakers).



Well...that's a claim of yours...

I don't find audio reviewers any more, or less egotistic as a group than any other group.



Then how do you explain the examples I've given where the reviewers described sonic characteristics that showed up later in measurements? I mean, it's easy to cast aspersions....

As usual: I'm not arguing there aren't all sorts of variables and issues involved in the subjective review industry. But sometimes people substitute cynicism for skepticism.
Untill they compare it to something more expensive. There jobs depend on hearing differences real or not, other than speakers (which we can all hear a difference between), the only examples you give, usually not. How long would an honest reviewer last if 80% of his reviews said I don't hear a difference. They all say everything matters, which is total BS.
 

Digital Mastering System

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We all used to think a new vinyl record sounded good. A look at the ASR

Phono Cartridge Measurement Library​

database shows that state-of-the-art phono setup has about 0.3% THD best case. Frequency response can be pretty good, certainly to 10KHz or so.
- But the overall Signal to Noise ratio is surprisingly poor. I think of these measurements when people claim vinyl is superior, and smile...
 

Kal Rubinson

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I'd like to see the listening impressions done prior to measuring. Confirmation bias is a big deal.

As for humans....

Put a shell up to your ear...we can hear our own circulatory system. That's pretty good!

We can even hear zero decibels (maybe lower.) That sound pressure level (SPL) corresponds to 0.000002 Pascals — a measure of vibration or pressure waves that we really hear.
Of course, we can hear lower. 0dB in humans was defined as the threshold sensitivity at 1KHz although that is not the frequency at which we have our highest sensitivity.
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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Of course, we can hear lower. 0dB in humans was defined as the threshold sensitivity at 1KHz although that is not the frequency at which we have our highest sensitivity.
This^
I’m always amused when people, not realising that it’s defined that way, hold our ability to hear 0dB as something extraordinary.
 

MattHooper

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If what he (Fremer) says is validated as ‘good’ because it shows up in measurements why do we need his comments in the first place?

Just sayin’

Because, for one thing, not everyone can look at speaker measurements and know exactly how a speaker will sound - the actual subjective consequences on music played through the speaker. So there's an upper midrange peak in measurements? So what? What does that mean for the sound and why should I care? So it can help to have someone perceptive describe the sonic characteristics. And, there are subjective reviews where there aren't accompanying measurements. But the descriptions can be helpful.

Even on this forum I have found that not everyone is good, even on this forum, at inferring the sound of a loudspeaker from the measurements.

As a related aside, I've been looking up more reviews of the Alta Audio speakers among different subjective reviewers, even the dreaded youtube reviewers, and there is a clear pattern that emerges in their descriptions in terms of the speaker traits - a sense of impressive scale to the sound, in terms of soundstaging and the "heft" and weight of the sound, and powerful bass. It's mentioned constantly. I think it would be too facile to simply dismiss all of them as "just hearing things" and describing fantasies.
 
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