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The Objectivist Audio Forum - Page 3

post #31 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadden View Post
It's because your tone in these arguments is so glibly dismissive that you catch it Steve. Sort of like here were everyone who disagrees with you is supposedly mentally and socially immature. Give me a bloody break.
The internet is not good at conveying tone. You shouldn't assume that I'm dismissing someone as socially or mentally immature unless they act like it. I don't put up with ad hominem attacks. No one should have to.

I'm still waiting for an answer to my question about whether the division is between cable believers and non-believers, or whether the division is between simply stating an opinion and arguing a differing opinion. If it's the former, I will be only posting to the non-believer forum. If it's the latter, I will be participating in both. In any case, the descriptions in the menu should be clearer.

See ya
Steve
post #32 of 180
elrod, was that cryo on your Denon's at the meet?? It was really great to meet you last Saturday, and to listen to your gears also. I think that this forum definitely has a place here, and will no doubt rack up views in the thousands in no time flat.
Thanks,
Scott
post #33 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The internet is not good at conveying tone.
It's not "the internet", it's writing, and it is very easy to convey tone through writing. The problem is, many people who write on the internet (ahem) are not very good at conveying tone through their writing. Right now, for instance, I am intentionally conveying a patronizing tone, and I think most readers get it. Yes?

Anyway, I look forward to reading and posting in the new objectivist forum.
post #34 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
elrod, was that cryo on your Denon's at the meet?? It was really great to meet you last Saturday, and to listen to your gears also. I think that this forum definitely has a place here, and will no doubt rack up views in the thousands in no time flat.
Thanks,
Scott
Yes, it had the Jena cryo wire. Enjoyed meeting you as well.

I also think that the new sub-forum will be a plus. I've got no objection to discussion of DBT...for me, it becomes a problem when threads constantly go off-track in the same way. We think it will be a good way of eliminating that as an issue.
post #35 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post
It's not "the internet", it's writing, and it is very easy to convey tone through writing. The problem is, many people who write on the internet (ahem) are not very good at conveying tone through their writing. Right now, for instance, I am intentionally conveying a patronizing tone, and I think most readers get it. Yes?
Well, I can't tell if you're joking or not, so I guess that answers your question!

See ya
Steve
post #36 of 180
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidbasement View Post
It's not "the internet", it's writing, and it is very easy to convey tone through writing. The problem is, many people who write on the internet (ahem) are not very good at conveying tone through their writing. Right now, for instance, I am intentionally conveying a patronizing tone, and I think most readers get it. Yes?
Anyway, I look forward to reading and posting in the new objectivist forum.
Sorry, I'm not getting it either..... oh well....

USG
post #37 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Science gives the best possible explanation to our world, not the absolute truth. No matter how well a experiment is designed and executed, it still based on a finite group of data and always results in calculation of possibility, plus conclusion and assumption draw from those calculation. Thus, any scientific finding must allows itself to be challenged, even when the challenger is irrational - that is the spirit of Science.
And how you will challenge it, becasue till now all challenges I have seen are just based in our perceptions, anecdotal experience, or in fairy tales and voodoo, that are miles inferior to the instruments we have nowdays? For bad that science will be, and for unaccurate that science will be, always will be miles ahead to any other of the approaches we have seen here in headfi, welcome to 21st century...!!!
post #38 of 180
i just like to add abit to this thread...

personally i feel like i cannot benefit from the subjective descriptions of people listening to songs etc etc etc, instead i talk about frequency bands in my EQ setting, because that is the only objective measure i can think of... on the threads about the headphones i own, people keep telling me to stop using the EQ whenever i describe the sound to them
i would be more specific and objective about it if i had the ability or equipment, for example , using a spl measurement across the frequency spectrum of a sine wave sweep, adjusting the EQ to attain the flattest possible response, then begin comparing 2 different headphones by trying to get them to sound exactly the same to music by readjusting the EQ, and taking note of these EQ settings...
post #39 of 180
May I change the topic? I love the concept of this thread and would like to make a few observations and then a challenge.

I want to discuss testing (with human listeners) vs. measurement (with equipment).

The food industry provides an interesting model. Food chemistry is certainly advanced, on par with modern audio science and electronics. Nearly every aspect of human tasting has been studied (some new discoveries recently!) and can be measued chemically. But the profit-making food industry uses taste testing, not measurements, to make final marketing decisions, since time after time it has been shown that measurements, no matter how precise, just fall a tad short of predicting human perception. The chemical tests say "difference in saltiness is too small to be tasted" but the consumer panel says one sample is "too salty".

So very careful scientific testing rules their world. Disclosure: I am not a food scientist and don't work in the food industry, nor an audio or electrical engineer working in the audio industry. But I am a pretty good statistician (I won the Journal of The American Statistical Assoication Theory and Methods prize several decades ago) and have read widely on testing via food tasting and testing via audio listening. I believe I am qualified to judge the statistical methods used (there's a doctorate diploma in statistics from a fancy school with my name on it gathering dust in the back of one of my mom's closets, btw).

Blind testing should rule the day here. It doesn't have to be double blind, just blinded from the listener. Typically that would eliminate headphones, but not cables, oversampling DACs, portable amps etc. I suppose we could literally blindfold people and put the cans on their ears, so let's allow HPs back in ... but to start, lets try cables and portable amps.

Consumer food testing uses some clever protocols that bait and switch ... you lie to the tester about which sample he has, etc. This is important. As important as getting the levels right, etc.

At the NJ meet there was a blind test of silver vs copper line-out cables for an iPod. The blind was done well, but no valid statistical protocol was used. Nonetheless, I am convinced most of us heard a difference between the cables. Trying to assign "cool" to silver and "warm" to copper, I mis-identified them. Interesting.

A better test -- a test with a protocol -- would have proven or disproven than I could reliably tell the difference between the cables, i.e., that there was a difference or not (for me). It would then be great fun to measure the standard electrical attributes of these two cables.

I tried to get the group to do a blind test of Predator vs iQube, but no one would take the time. Everyone wanted to listen to the shiny toys. I had prepared a precise "fool 'em" design, and printed sheets to record the answers. No go.

I plan to do a mini-meet at my house in December specifcall inviting two or three NJ-based "subjects" and do this for real.

Shouldn't we organize this ... do it at meets all over ... champion this as the way out of our endless debates ... sure, the pro audio literature does blind tests and reports "no difference" all the time, but they typically use big panels of listeners and rooms with speakers. The variation between people swamps the results. This group needs to do this our way, with our esoteric gear ... person-by-person.

We exist to help each other wring performance out of our gear, and optimize our spending. Vendors are guests only. It's time to put these things to test.

My view of a meet would be a sequence of highly planned, well-publicized shoot outs done scientifically.

Comments? Ideas? Suggestions on how to go forward?
post #40 of 180
double blind testing... where neither the guy being experimented on nor the guy doing the experiment, knows which is which so that there is no bias on both guys

i still dont quite understand how this carries over into headphone testing, for example , for the blinding of the guy being experimented on, the shape, weight, clamp or other feature of the headphones would give it away... and for the guy running the experiment couldnt he plainly see what cables/amp/headphones/whatever it is since he set it all up?
post #41 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Well, I can't tell if you're joking or not, so I guess that answers your question!

See ya
Steve
What does joking or not have to do with tone in writing? But I was being facetious, yes. Good on ya for calling me on it rather than taking offense.
post #42 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmatic View Post
...using a spl measurement across the frequency spectrum of a sine wave sweep, adjusting the EQ to attain the flattest possible response, then begin comparing 2 different headphones by trying to get them to sound exactly the same to music by readjusting the EQ, and taking note of these EQ settings...
You are staking out the position exactly the opposite of my post. I want to be very objective, but use (carefully designed and analyzed) listening tests only. After all, this gear exists only to listen to, not measure, so a direct assult on listening seems the straighest line to a conclusion.

Similarly, we all plan to listen to music, not sine waves, so again: a direct bee-line means testing what we want to hear.

Of course we have to work to avoid the flaws in testing.

As to your tests, freq response does not measure transient handling, nor resolving power (you would need to superimpose multiple sine waves, and test square waves). But how do you put this together -- you need to know how these are reflected in real music. That's why I want to use real music.

Also, as you change the EQ to match two HPs, as you suggest, you may be introducing different amounts of distortion from your EQ box or DSP. So you are not comparing like-with-like. Sterophile magazine measures the freq response of HPs, and it is fun to look at the charts. The Smyth guys use little mikes to actually measure your ears, your HRTF. This is better than the Kemar dummy head for sure ... but when all is said and done, it seems to me that blind tests answer the question.

Blind tests answer the right question, with a bit of imprecision. Equipment tests answer the wrong question quite precisely.

IMHO, anyway.
post #43 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmatic View Post
double blind testing... where neither the guy being experimented on nor the guy doing the experiment, knows which is which so that there is no bias on both guys

i still dont quite understand how this carries over into headphone testing, for example , for the blinding of the guy being experimented on, the shape, weight, clamp or other feature of the headphones would give it away... and for the guy running the experiment couldnt he plainly see what cables/amp/headphones/whatever it is since he set it all up?
I think single blind is fine, double blind is not possible as you point out. We assume the tester has no bias -- he is one of us, not a vendor. And we are all watching (except the subject) so the tester can't pull a fast one or do anything to make the test unfair.

As for cans, indeed -- testing cables and DACs and amps can be blind, but HPs with a blindfold on still lets you feel the weight and clamping. That's why I said let's start with cables. Nonetheless, think about the following:

If we don't even tell you what phones we are going to be putting on your head, how are you to use the weight/clamping differences to bias your answers?? We ask you -- do you like A or B? (we ask many times, presenting different selections, different orders, some clever mix-ups, etc.).

Yea you know A clamps more than B, but so what? OK, so I guess A is Ultrasone and B is AKG ... but if we eliminate fanboys, if we look at the subject's equipment lists and present him only with brands he does not own (still he has no idea of what they are), if we trust the fact that we are in this to learn, not to justify past purchases, then we can still test HPs.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.
post #44 of 180
For headphones/speakers I think that is more a matter of preference rather than performance. But for the cables the DBT is possible and even under the best conditions, and could offer some valid results....Hey it could be even recorded, it was indeed by Wireworld some time ago, just that they stopped offering the CD with the recordings of 17 different cables...Guess why? I have the CD...

The main reason we avoid this discussions of DBTs here IMO, is that it most of the times it ends in a bloddy war...Nothing else, I do not feel that anybody is against a scientidfic evidence, or an enlightment, but the price we pay is too high sometimes and it is not worthy for a hobby...
post #45 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
Shouldn't we organize this ... do it at meets all over ... champion this as the way out of our endless debates ... sure, the pro audio literature does blind tests and reports "no difference" all the time, but they typically use big panels of listeners and rooms with speakers. The variation between people swamps the results. This group needs to do this our way, with our esoteric gear ... person-by-person.

We exist to help each other wring performance out of our gear, and optimize our spending. Vendors are guests only. It's time to put these things to test.

My view of a meet would be a sequence of highly planned, well-publicized shoot outs done scientifically.

Comments? Ideas? Suggestions on how to go forward?
I think it's a great idea for giving an individual an idea of whether a particular piece of gear is an upgrade, downgrade, or sidestep. However, given people's differing ideas of what is good, bad, or even noticeable (some people - granted, usually not audiophiles - can't even distinguish which instruments are playing which lines in any given song), I think knowing that a test group was not able to differentiate between two different types of gear would not satisfy most of our curiosities. We would still want to hear it for ourselves, and some of us (statistical aberrations we may be) would argue vehemently and probably truthfully that we heard something the rest of the pack did not. So, I think it would be interesting and informative to do, but I don't think it would make debates go away - and why should we want it to?
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