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[YouTube] The Big Measurement & Listening Mistake Some Hi-Fi Reviewers Make - SoundStage! Real Hi-Fi

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spigot

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If you've read anything by him, you would know he's a subjectivist.

Nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition.
Amir's running a website, not a crèche. I'm guessing he doesn't keep tabs on everyone's activities because there aren't a thousand hours in a day. That's a weird expectation to justify the lack of a simple disclosure related to the subject (reviewers) being discussed. Wouldn't occur to me that a one-man operation running a site with thousands of posts would be familiar with any individuals posting history - perhaps I need a bigger ego?. But, to defend someone you agree with, I suppose you have to see the preposterous as being perfectly normal. o_O
 

amirm

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My anecdotal experience: in the early 90s, I went to a big audio show at a hotel in Los Angeles. Spent two days wandering from room to room. In one room, the music sounded almost magically lifelike. I inquired about the apeakers in use (which annoyed the exhibitor, an amp company that wanted to tout their amps, but I didn't care about that at all). They were Virgos by Audio Physique, a German company that I had never heard of. These speakers then went on to be very well reviewed by the audio press, and IIRC were eventually the least expensive speakers named on Stereophile's Class A list.
Company name is Audio Physic. Here is my take on it: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...o-fest-rmaf-2017-day-1.1981/page-5#post-52462

Audio Physic:

Andaluza by Alexander Moszkowski & Vienna Symphony Orchestra. https://shz.am/t42807208


Come on now. Don't play the whole darn LP for heaven's sake. :( It sounded just OK to me.

But come on now. Your proof that it was a good speaker was that the "audio press" liked it? What are we doing here if what they are doing is trustworthy?
 

Robin L

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You would if you had spent a ton of time answering him, and suffering through his long missives....
Any one of those missives would have indicated he's a subjectivist. You could have stopped any time you wanted to.
Anyway, as a rational subjectivist he acknowledges science often enough. It's just that he's simply not pure enough for you.
 

amirm

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Although I am a hard-core objectivist (PhD in physics from Stanford, using 16-gauge lampcord for speaker wire since 1979), I find the notion that any and all subjective reporting has no value to be quite absurd.
Subjective reporting can be 100% accurate or 0%. Or somewhere in the middle. And that is its problem. Reliability. As I have shown, research shows that the reliability of speaker assessment by subjective reviewers is poor. This is a fact. Assessing speaker tonality is a hard job and without formal training, this is difficult for them to do. Since they seem to be unwilling to get trained, my suggestion is that they learn to read measurements and use it as a guide to figure out what they are doing.
 

amirm

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Any one of those missives would have indicated he's a subjectivist. You could have stopped any time you wanted to.
He keeps saying he believes in measurements. Here is one of many such posts:

First, I certainly agree that reviews that include both measurements and listening reports are more valuable than just listening reports.

Regardless, that is orthogonal to the topic. I am happy to have discussions with subjectivists. What I am not happy is to have someone keep praising subjective reviewers without telling us he used to be one. I can't fathom why this has not been front and center in his posts and instead he keeps talking in third party about reviewers.
 

MattHooper

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Simple. When you interact with me on this topic, you make that front and center. You know who I am front and center. I had no idea who you were and read that as a pure reader of reviews.

So you haven't paid attention to the many times I've mentioned it. And that's MY fault?

And in this VERY thread I mention it, TWICE, and you even quote it...and then STILL accuse me of wanting to HIDE the fact?
Why would I mention it in this very thread you are participating in, if my intention was to HIDE that I ever reviewed speakers, from you or anyone else?

Your attempt to paint me as hiding this information is not only wrong, shown by all the times I've mentioned it; it seems incoherent.

Nothing about the tone of your responses owned up to this. It was quite a surprise to read that you had such a history.

Ok, you never paid attention to it, or never read any of my posts describing it. But quit trying to cast that as MY FAULT. And casting me as dishonest.


I would address you very differently knowing what I know now. I would have probed you as a subjective reviewer, just as you probe me as who I am here.

How exactly would your arguments change from the ways you have already challenged my arguments?

I can not think of one intellectually honest way in which it would change anything.

Why? Because the arguments, yours and mine, fall on whether they are good or not. Not on whether I reviewed a few speakers 20 years ago.
Thus the only way it would change is if you added in some misdirection/ad hominem, like "this can be dismissed BECAUSE you reviewed some speakers once."

But, if I'm wrong about that, I'd like to see how this Startling New Knowledge changes your or my arguments.

You may have different ethical standards as I.

At this point I might be led to agree, given how I'm being unjustly accused of deliberately "hiding" things from people that I clearly did not hide.

(Note that you have moved the goal posts as well, earlier saying why didn't you tell "us"...which of course I had...now it's "why didn't you repeat it explicitly in your first post to me?"...)


Mine says you say front and center who you are. That is why I put what I put in my signature.

So I should have put in my signature "reviewed a handful of speakers 20 years ago?"

As if that would change whether my arguments are sound or not?

This is why the second sentence in ever review says where I got the product under test. This is why there is a prominent notice at the top of the review if there is remotely a conflict of interest.

Yes. I'm aware you run a web site, and produce reviews.

I don't. Nor have I been affiliated with any for many years. I have not pushed for anyone to buy anything that I ever reviewed way-back-when or otherwise. Nor would I even entirely defend the site that I briefly reviewed for, which also produces some of the types of reviews I would disparage. All of which is perfectly consistent with how I have represented myself on this website.


You seem to think that in a topic where we are discussing subjective reviewers, the fact that you were one is just "oh by the way." It is not. It is the very topic of the thread and I would have expected you to make that clear in the first response to me and repeated in later responses.

If you think this reaction is "disgusting," it is nothing of what I think of your conduct in this regard. I suggest moving on and getting someone who doesn't mind such lapses in transparency and ethical conduct.

This thread was about the arguments made by Doug Schneider in the original video, concerning "Measurements Before Listening" and "Hi-Fi Measurements Do Matter." It's right on the front page. It gradually morphed in to including a wider discussion of the worth of subjective reviews, at which point I gave my own viewpoint. I argued for the relevance of *some* reviews, and then discussed a review you were disparaging by Herb. He seemed to identify a coloration that showed up in the measurements. You wouldn't acknowledging that, arguing as if Herb's use of those subjective descriptions were illegitimate...and when I showed that YOU indulge in just the same type of subjective descriptions that could be critiqued on the same grounds, you ignored it and now pivot to finding a way to paint me as dishonest, rather than addressing the content of my arguments.

Then when the accusation that my motivation was to hide that I once reviewed speakers is shown to be b.s it's just more doubling down trying to paint me as having been dishonest.

Now you are pointing to my first reply to you as if the absence of me starting with "I reviewed a few speakers 20 years ago" was because THAT WAS SOMETHING I SEEK TO HIDE. When it has been shown I have not hidden that fact, have ZERO problem with anyone knowing it, have zero problem mentioning it wherever it seems relevant to me, INCLUDING IN THIS THREAD.

I don't talk "as a reviewer" because I am not a reviewer. Haven't been one for 20 years.

I tend to mention it more when the purported dishonesty of subjective reviewers comes up, and then my experience of the reviewing milieu seems to be of some bit of relevance. But since most of my time before that was just reading reviews, and for the last 20 years has been simply as a regular audio consumer discussing this stuff on audio forums or reading reviews and auditioning gear, that tends to be my reference point.
Also, it starts to feel egotistical to me, to argue from my old reviews. I did get some nice feedback from readers as to how my descriptions matched what they heard too, but since that's more old news I try not to make too much hay of it, and reference more of what I have gotten from other reviewers.

Given most of the arguments I have presented do not depend on my reviewing anything for their relevance or soundness, I don't seek to just cram "I once reviewed a few speakers" in to the posts. But I have never "Hidden" anything. And frankly your responses have suggested it was a bad idea to have no problem mentioning having been a reviewer briefly, since it will be apparently seized upon to disparage my character, rather than addressing points I made against your argument, or the soundness of my arguments.


Time to move on.

(I hope to see no more attempts to paint me as being dishonest, thanks).
 
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MattHooper

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Amir's running a website, not a crèche. I'm guessing he doesn't keep tabs on everyone's activities because there aren't a thousand hours in a day. That's a weird expectation to justify the lack of a simple disclosure related to the subject (reviewers) being discussed. Wouldn't occur to me that a one-man operation running a site with thousands of posts would be familiar with any individuals posting history - perhaps I need a bigger ego?. But, to defend someone you agree with, I suppose you have to see the preposterous as being perfectly normal. o_O

Except that I did mention it. In this thread. Twice. Remember?

And your diss depends on mischaracterizing the situation. I said, explicitly, I don't expect Amir to keep tabs on everything I've written. That's fine of course. So no, I was not arguing from a "Bigger Ego." But that at least it would be charitable to not ignore that I'd mentioned it in this thread, and also in his reply leave out my saying I've brought it up before, which I had many times, before casting me as Trying To Hide It.

I explained why I don't constantly bring it up; only when it will add relevance to the argument I'm trying to make.

Explain to me how my starting with "I once reviewed a few speakers" changes things: how it bears upon the soundness of my actual arguments...in a way that does not suggest an appeal to one fallacy or another, e.g. ad hominem.

Is it going to be "Oh, since you reviewed a few speakers 20 years ago, your argument fails?"

Or "Now I can see your motivation behind your arguments?" Like...what? That I actually don't believe them and I'm arguing in bad faith? (That would be false). Or that having a motivation discredits arguments? We all have motivations for why we hold positions. Amirm has motivations related to owning a web site, being a reviewer, defending and propounding things he believes etc. But I don't normally analyze his arguments about audio gear, subjectivity etc, based on that, as if "because of X motivation, Y argument fails." But rather on the evidence and reasoning he presents. That's the intellectually honest thing to do.

It's only when my own motivations are questioned, that this at all becomes an issue.

The more you emphasize the apparent relevance of my having reviewed anything, the more suggestive it is of an impulse to argue from ad hominem or irrelevance.

But I may be missing something. Can you be explicit, please, about how it would have changed the actual soundness of my arguments or not?

I think this is actually a relevant question to some of the discussions that happen on audio forums.
 
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amirm

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How exactly would your arguments change from the ways you have already challenged my arguments?
I would have asked you to post some of your reviews and we would examine them. To the extent you wrote a bunch of random stuff in your reviews, then we would know you are defending the profession as opposed to any search for truth.
 

Newman

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I think he is also defending the production professional’s use of subjective descriptors, which is conflating two disparate things.
 

GaryH

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Your take was "It sounded just OK to me."

Why did you report a subjective opinion out of the context of a direct multi-speaker comparison? Isn't that totally unreliable???

Must have peeked at the measurements first, because of course sighted single-speaker subjective reports are fine as long as they're 'informed' (which is totally not the same as getting biased) by the measurements :D
 
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MattHooper

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I would have asked you to post some of your reviews and we would examine them.

That's fine. And I posted a link to one in reply to you (which I'd previously posted on this forum).

But this has also come with you trying to paint me as dishonest and hiding my having reviewed. Can you at least admit that isn't the case?

To the extent you wrote a bunch of random stuff in your reviews,
then we would know you are defending the profession as opposed to any search for truth.

I could have been the crappiest reviewer yet could have been perfectly sincere in searching for, and defending what I think to be the truth. And I have pointed out that my arguments are not derived simply from my reviews. I've already given other examples from reviewers, and I did not see that you sufficiently addressed those, and when dissing Herb's attempts to put the sound in to language, you didn't respond when I showed your similar attempts to put sound in to language would suffer the same critique.

You can go look at the Waveform Mach Solo review I linked in a previous response to you. I'm not portraying it as The Greatest Review, nor of scientific rigor, and it's clearly not a review that will appeal to you or others here. It doesn't supply measurements and doesn't purport to. It is a subjective report of how the speakers sounded to me. I gave information about the design goals, and then tried to give a description of how that design sounded on various types of music. I certainly tried to describe the speakers in a way that I hoped other audiophiles would generally agree with, if they were listening with me. I heard from audiophiles who owned, or who heard those speakers, who felt I had described the character of those speakers in what they heard too. But, I doubt that means anything to you.

I'm not sure how you will determine I was just "writing random stuff" and that my descriptions didn't capture how the speaker sounded to me in my home. I mean, given how you have responded to that Herb review, where you summarily dismiss the subjective language of other reviewers.....I can't expect any subjective review, mine or otherwise, to make any headway at all with your position.
 

Sal1950

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Matt, if you got paid by the word for writing here you'd be a zillionaire.
Between our debates over vinyl, and your bickering here with Amir, you'd be a multimillionaire alone.
Can't you ever find a way to put across your point without a 10,000 word essay?
 

Newman

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Not in the subjectivist reviewer toolkit, didn’t you know?
 

diddley

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Matt, if you got paid by the word for writing here you'd be a zillionaire.
Between our debates over vinyl, and your bickering here with Amir, you'd be a multimillionaire alone.
Can't you ever find a way to put across your point without a 10,000 word essay?

That's what you get when you are a subjective reviewer, you need alot of words to get your hoopla across.
 

Inner Space

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I think he is also defending the production professional’s use of subjective descriptors, which is conflating two disparate things.

Not also, but primarily, I think. And he's right. There is a verbal subjective language among people at the interface between the creative and the technical, and there has been for the last hundred years, and it works very well. We all know that. There's a thread on this site about how music can make hard-asses like you all cry. Those tears were delivered via that professional language. As a form of communication, it's pretty good.

People who use it are usually deep into both sides, so they're bilingual, but acutely aware they're in the middle, which means they're not expert at either thing. So they ask about what they don't know, and they trust experts they have come to respect. (As in fact do the most hyper-objective here - you have no evidence Amir did a test. There were no witnesses. No sworn affidavit. He doesn't keep a camera running. It could have been his son's best friend, strung out on mescaline, playing with Photoshop. But we trust it wasn't.)

Because we're reasonable people. As were the first hi-fi reviewers. As they remained through the next era, when it became a side hustle for musicians and academics and so on. As it remains even now, here and there. It's a mixed bag. The too-cool-for-school cynicism about reviewers as a class isn't borne out. Some are decent honorable people. So if a studio guy hears a pidgin version of the language, albeit in a weird accent with some of the words wrong, he'll pay attention, especially if the reviewer is proved exactly right by the other half of his brain, when the measurements come in.

I would ask the community to respect such people, because without them you would have nothing to talk about here.
 

diddley

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Not also, but primarily, I think. And he's right. There is a verbal subjective language among people at the interface between the creative and the technical, and there has been for the last hundred years, and it works very well. We all know that. There's a thread on this site about how music can make hard-asses like you all cry. Those tears were delivered via that professional language. As a form of communication, it's pretty good.

People who use it are usually deep into both sides, so they're bilingual, but acutely aware they're in the middle, which means they're not expert at either thing. So they ask about what they don't know, and they trust experts they have come to respect. (As in fact do the most hyper-objective here - you have no evidence Amir did a test. There were no witnesses. No sworn affidavit. He doesn't keep a camera running. It could have been his son's best friend, strung out on mescaline, playing with Photoshop. But we trust it wasn't.)

Because we're reasonable people. As were the first hi-fi reviewers. As they remained through the next era, when it became a side hustle for musicians and academics and so on. As it remains even now, here and there. It's a mixed bag. The too-cool-for-school cynicism about reviewers as a class isn't borne out. Some are decent honorable people. So if a studio guy hears a pidgin version of the language, albeit in a weird accent with some of the words wrong, he'll pay attention, especially if the reviewer is proved exactly right by the other half of his brain, when the measurements come in.

I would ask the community to respect such people, because without them you would have nothing to talk about here.

You expect me to respect people like Darko and Beekhuyzen and influencers? I do not.
 
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