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post #61 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by stewtheking View Post
The only way that we currently have to perform that (although admittedly in audio it is not an entirely perfect test method for picking up the subtle differences) is some form of blind trialling.

I think some of the more over-zealous objectivists would be less evangelical about it if some of the disputed exotic gear (and disputed exotic ears) were shown to be able to hear the differences.
Agreed. I think that some folks though don't provide the necessary environments for a suitable DBT. Give me a black box, set it up and let me listen for say 1 month. Give me another black box, have it sit right there beside box 1. Let me switch at my leisure. After a suitable time where I feel I might write about my experiences, let me do so. Compare with others having done the same thing. Does this happen? No.
post #62 of 180
Why would you even need one month? If the difference isn't immediately audible, it is a near certainty it does not exist.

We understand very well how the human auditory system functions, and we also understand its weaknesses and sensitivities (or lack thereof). The reason there is a large body of data concerning differences in sound where none should exist is not because of the greatest power of the human mind is not its ability to perceive, but rather, it's ability to fool itself and alter its own perceptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer-expectancy_effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer%27s_remorse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

For example. People know these kinds of psychological effects exist, and yet they still give an almost religious reverence to the power of the human ear and mind's ability to perceive differences in sound that are technically far below the threshold of audibility for a human, if they even exist at all.
post #63 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
Why would you even need one month? If the difference isn't immediately audible, it is a near certainty it does not exist.

We understand very well how the human auditory system functions, and we also understand its weaknesses and sensitivities (or lack thereof). The reason there is a large body of data concerning differences in sound where none should exist is not because of the greatest power of the human mind is not its ability to perceive, but rather, it's ability to fool itself and alter its own perceptions.
Wow! My goodness, such hubris! Physiologists and neurologists would never declare we understand "very well" how the human auditory system functions. I'm awaiting your Nobel prize announcement in the field of medicine! Most scientists are bewildered by the new data coming in daily regarding our perception of all sensory input. Sound is actually one of the least understood from a psychological standpoint...superceded only by visual stimuli.

Does the mind fool itself? Yes. So this should be taken into account no doubt with appropriate tests being conducted, but to decide outright that because a group of people can't hear something, and these same people decide our testing methods are sensitive and specific enough to dismiss the claims of a large enough population is completely abhorrent science. Honestly... I can't comprehend how an objectivist could even post such things.

Regarding your edit, why one would need a month (or anything longer than "immediate") is because stress, fatigue, what one recently ate, the level of hunger etc all take their tole on what one hears. Such things as stress and fatigue can induce ringing in the ears for example, which would mask high frequency hearing, yet on tests when an individual is not tired or stressed, their hearing is normal.

During a DBT, one might feel uncomfortable, nearly on trial, being tested to "hear" or "not hear" certain things. In the comfort of one's own home, at one's leisure, if one is able to listen at different times of the day, then differences may be more readily apparent.

I mean, seriously, what is the problem in a test liek this? Obviously current DBT tests fail miserably. So a real scientist would say: "fine, scratch this, running more trials of this inadequate experiment isn't cutting it, let's reevaluate, reformulate and test anew!"

Read "The Fabric of Reality" by David Deutsch on how scientists should be conducting science.
post #64 of 180
You keep talking about psychology. I am talking about the mechanical and neurological functioning of the human auditory system, which is well understood. We can even classify cells in the auditory cortex as being associated with the perception of specific frequencies! Certainly, we also understand very well how the eardrum and inner ear bones transmit vibrations to the cochlea, and how the vibrations of the hair cells contained within transmit electrical impulses to the brain! We have done testing to determine what frequencies humans are sensitive to, how high and low we can hear, and the threshold for hearing very quiet sounds, among many other things.

Quote:
Does the mind fool itself? Yes. So this should be taken into account no doubt with appropriate tests being conducted, but to decide outright that because a group of people can't hear something, and these same people decide our testing methods are sensitive and specific enough to dismiss the claims of a large enough population is completely abhorid science. Honestly... I can't comprehend how an objectivist could even post such things.
You seem to think that because this shady cabal of people cannot hear these differences, that they simply decided nobody else will be able to either. But a real objectiveist would never think like that. Which is why they use testing to make sure that nobody could be hearing any differences.

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Regarding your edit, why one would need a month (or anything longer than "immediate") is because stress, fatigue, what one recently ate, the level of hunger etc all take their tole on what one hears. Such things as stress and fatigue can induce ringing in the ears for example, which would mask high frequency hearing, yet on tests when an individual is not tired or stressed, their hearing is normal.

During a DBT, one might feel uncomfortable, nearly on trial, being tested to "hear" or "not hear" certain things. In the comfort of one's own home, at one's leisure, if one is able to listen at different times of the day, then differences may be more readily apparent.

I mean, seriously, what is the problem in a test liek this? Obviously current DBT tests fail miserably. So a real scientist would say: "fine, scratch this, running more trials of this inadequate experiment isn't cutting it, let's reevaluate, reformulate and test anew!"

Read "The Fabric of Reality" by David Deutsch on how scientists should be conducting science.
Fair enough. If I was conducting such a test, I would certainly try to make the subject comfortable and ready-to-go.
post #65 of 180
I'd like to have this point addressed by a moderator or someone in-the-know about what's going on here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by monolith View Post
The only reasonable way to do this is to have the forum in which discussion of DBT and such is allowed be the "default" one, with a special one reserved for people who don't want their faith challenged specifically marked as such.

Keeping the "don't talk about science" forum as the default is pretty silly indeed.
post #66 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
You keep talking about psychology. I am talking about the mechanical and neurological functioning of the human auditory system, which is well understood. We can even classify cells in the auditory cortex as being associated with the perception of specific frequencies!
Right, but anyone who believes that "hearing" sound is ultimately about the vibration of some molecules is horribly mistaken. HOW the signal stimulates the brain is all fine and dandy, quite well understood yes, sure, but HOW a person hears, their perception of sound (since the ear is pretty well HARD WIRED to the brain) is the most important point of this discussion. The brain is the least understood "machine" in the universe. It is also the most complex. How each person "hears" is a result of how they "perceive" sound and music etc. Teaching people how to listen to music for instance is possible because of the brain, not because of the ear. It's not as if the sensory cells of those that have "learned" to listen have multiplied in extreme numbers, no, it is because the neural pathways of the brain have been re(constructed) in such a way as to perceive details, nuances etc, that others whose pathways are not as connected, merely miss out on. What constitutes such learning and how it can be strengthened is not very well understood. Read This is your brain on music It should be required reading for anyone in this hobby.

Quote:
You seem to think that because this shady cabal of people cannot hear these differences, that they simply decided nobody else will be able to either. But a real objectiveist would never think like that. Which is why they use testing to make sure that their equipment is good enough so that nobody will be hearing any differences.
The problem is that one thinks! their testing equipment is good enough when in fact, it fails miserably. Think Galileo and his heliocentric theory. He challenged current thinking and was actually VERY VERY VERY wrong in his mathematical analysis. It wasn't until other scientists revised his theories, bettered his math and conducted more observations that we were able to come to the near elliptical theory of orbits. THEN! This too was further improved upon when general relativity came under our undertanding.

Now, Galileo's peers believed the earth stood still. In fact, when Galileo proposed his circular orbits for a heliocentric theory, scientists were able to formulate theories that accurately predicted the earth standing still and everything orbiting around it WITH!!! Galileo's math. The problem? No one was right, BUT! Galileo was able to usher in a new age of reasoning which encourage mathematical formulations, predictions, observations and EXPLANATIONS to further our knowledge. Had the status quo prevailed, who knows where we would be right now. So too then, when there is data out there and we know we don't know quite a bit about our brains, it is best for scientists to reevaluate their methods to better understand what people are claiming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monolith View Post
I'd like to have this point addressed by a moderator or someone in-the-know about what's going on here:
Your point though favours reductionism and omits emergence as a form of knowing and understanding reality. There can be no favourtism over one and the other. They should be combined in research to form a whole of understanding.

The problem as mbriant has outlined so very well many times in this thread is that it tends to be that when objectivists chime in, snide remarks about ignorant people are thrown around very quickly and thus the derailment of threads and the overall nasty air surrounding such topics. If we could all just get along, there should be no reason reductive vs. emergent reasoning could not coexist, but sadly, as has been proven for decades, this does not work in this hobby.
post #67 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Right, but anyone who believes that "hearing" sound is ultimately about the vibration of some molecules is horribly mistaken. HOW the signal stimulates the brain is all fine and dandy, quite well understood yes, sure, but HOW a person hears, their perception of sound (since the ear is pretty well HARD WIRED to the brain) is the most important point of this discussion. The brain is the least understood "machine" in the universe. It is also the most complex. How each person "hears" is a result of how they "perceive" sound and music etc. Teaching people how to listen to music for instance is possible because of the brain, not because of the ear. It's not as if the sensory cells of those that have "learned" to listen have multiplied in extreme numbers, no, it is because the neural pathways of the brain have been re(constructed) in such a way as to perceive details, nuances etc, that others whose pathways are not as connected, merely miss out on. What constitutes such learning and how it can be strengthened is not very well understood. Read This is your brain on music It should be required reading for anyone in this hobby.
The real problem with all of this talk about hearing and perception is that these neural centers that are doing the perceiving are being fed information by a mechanical apparatus that is in many ways flawed, clunky, and inefficient. The brain may perceive the sound, but the ear, eardrum, middle ear bones, and cochlea are what actually pick up the information and transform it into a form the brain is capable of understanding.

Now, knowing this, we know that the auditory cortex is effectively limited in its capabilities by equipment far upstream in the chain. (Now doesn't that sound familiar! ) We know through rigorous testing and experimentation the limits of our ability to hear certain frequencies, what our SPL thresholds are, among other things.

The point I am trying to make is that you cannot perceive something which your sensory apparatus cannot pick up in the first place. That is why there are prescribed levels for things like TMD, IMD, and noise floors, because we know that at or below those levels the effect will be literally inaudible, and we design our equipment with this in mind.

Cannot perceive something which your sensory apparatus cannot pick up... unless... your belief in the perception is so strong, that you create it for yourself.

Quote:
The problem is that one thinks! their testing equipment is good enough when in fact, it fails miserably.
Could you explain to my how our testing equipment fails? Our best equipment is many times more sensitive than our own ears and can "hear" sounds and frequencies that are far, far beyond the threshold of audibility for humans, which is why we can use it to establish standards and to determine whether or not a particular product (such as an amplifier) will have audible problems or not. For example, HeadRoom's dummy head could easily tell the difference between a headphone that had 0.05% THD and 0.04% THD, and the experiment could be repeated reliably with the same results. However, no human could ever make that distinction, even if they knew what to listen for. And that dummy head isn't even that advanced compared to something like a KEMAR manikin. We have microphones that can pick up sounds in excess of 100kHz, which puts our paltry 20kHz limit to shame. The auditory threshold at 2kHz is 2×10−5 Pa, but microphones exist that can pick up sounds much, much softer than this.

And you say our equipment fails miserably! If anything, We fail in comparison to the equipment we have designed.
post #68 of 180
I agree with everything you mentioned regarding the limits of our "mechanical" functions. In terms of picking up the sound waves and transmitting the electrical impulses to the brain, yep, we know quite a bit about the hard limits (say for instance 20-25 KHz as the rough upper range of all human hearing). And yes, there exists instruments that can easily detect frequencies 10x higher! But, what isn't well understood is how those high frequencies (say in the 100 KHz range) affect sound overall. I'm not saying the Murata supertweeters do anything for us, but there is a claim they do, and if so, why and how?

You are absolutely right in declaring we can't perceive things that we can't sense but at the same time, my point is that we don't know if we are measuring all the aspects of sound that ARE sensed. This is where I think both sides need to come together on and discuss. If the brain is consistently picking something up, perceiving some aspect of the sound, then somehow, someway, there is something going on that current measuring equipment isn't "geared" towards measuring. Therefore, refocusing efforts on better understanding these perceptions and designing experiments where one might gather meaningful data is a good start to growing our bank of knowledge.

Again, if DBT isn't working for everyone, particularly a group of individuals who are known to have an increased skillset in listening to music, then DBT, as it exists now, isn't the proper testing method. An improved DBT as I described might be a step in the right direction.

Remember, just because the mechanics are easily described (from sound wave to sensory cell to transmission of electrical potential to simulating cortex nerves) doesn't mean we know all of the biochemistry that goes on in between. Again, fatigue, stress and hunger have known affects on sound perception, this means that despite a person's overall capacity to hear a 20 KHz pulse, if one is in a biochemically altered state, their capacity might be masked or diminished outright. In such an instance, is it fair to state that a person is absolutely incapable of hearing 20 000 Hz? Or is it better to state that despite a person no registering such sounds, the engineer conducting the experiment forgot to run blood labs to ensure a normal basal level vs. current levels of all chemicals known to affect sound.

See how insufficient current tests are? Again, it is not only about analysing the data from the point of view of the physicist and engineer, but also the emergent information gathered by biologists and psychologists. Without both, we have an incomplete dataset and all analysis is ultimately handicapped.
post #69 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
But, what isn't well understood is how those high frequencies (say in the 100 KHz range) affect sound overall. I'm not saying the Murata supertweeters do anything for us, but there is a claim they do, and if so, why and how?
I would say that it doesn't matter. There is no instrument I know of that can produce a 100kHz tone, nor is there any CD or record that could possibly hold a 100kHz frequency even if there was one present during recording. It is also unlikely that a microphone that can actually pick-up 100kHz would have been used, so the point is really moot.

Quote:
You are absolutely right in declaring we can't perceive things that we can't sense but at the same time, my point is that we don't know if we are measuring all the aspects of sound that ARE sensed. This is where I think both sides need to come together on and discuss. If the brain is consistently picking something up, perceiving some aspect of the sound, then somehow, someway, there is something going on that current measuring equipment isn't "geared" towards measuring. Therefore, refocusing efforts on better understanding these perceptions and designing experiments where one might gather meaningful data is a good start to growing our bank of knowledge.
The first step is to prove that the perceptions are real and not a figment of the observer's imagination. This can only be done with double-blind testing. If the subject of the test consistently and reliably passes such testing, then it will be time to start looking for the source of these new kinds of perceptions.

Quote:
Remember, just because the mechanics are easily described (from sound wave to sensory cell to transmission of electrical potential to simulating cortex nerves) doesn't mean we know all of the biochemistry that goes on in between. Again, fatigue, stress and hunger have known affects on sound perception, this means that despite a person's overall capacity to hear a 20 KHz pulse, if one is in a biochemically altered state, their capacity might be masked or diminished outright. In such an instance, is it fair to state that a person is absolutely incapable of hearing 20 000 Hz? Or is it better to state that despite a person no registering such sounds, the engineer conducting the experiment forgot to run blood labs to ensure a normal basal level vs. current levels of all chemicals known to affect sound.
There is only so far that you can go to make sure that every variable is accounted for, you know. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever come a time when subjectivists will be satisfied with the parameters of a test. It seems that there is always something wrong.
post #70 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Your point though favours reductionism and omits emergence as a form of knowing and understanding reality. There can be no favourtism over one and the other. They should be combined in research to form a whole of understanding.

The problem as mbriant has outlined so very well many times in this thread is that it tends to be that when objectivists chime in, snide remarks about ignorant people are thrown around very quickly and thus the derailment of threads and the overall nasty air surrounding such topics. If we could all just get along, there should be no reason reductive vs. emergent reasoning could not coexist, but sadly, as has been proven for decades, this does not work in this hobby.
My point specifically strives to not favour anything over anything else, in direct opposition to the intent of these changes. All I'm saying is that the "main" cable forum must be the one in which any topic goes. Something like:

Main cables/tweaks/accessories forum: "Talk about cables, tweaks and such here"

DBT/science free cable/tweak/accessory forum: "Talk about cables, tweaks and such without subjectivist beliefs being challenged"

Separating a subforum and only allowing unbiased conversation there is substantially more indicative of favouritism.


As for derailed conversations, those are due to the specific posters doing the derailing. If someone is being snide or unecessarily contentious, warn them or ban them. "None of them" is a valid and worthwhile response to "which one of these cables will sound best?" The response may be presented rather glibly, but that's the fault of the poster, not the subject matter of his post.
post #71 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
The first step is to prove that the perceptions are real and not a figment of the observer's imagination. This can only be done with double-blind testing. If the subject of the test consistently and reliably passes such testing, then it will be time to start looking for the source of these new kinds of perceptions.p
Wrong. This is not only accomplished via double-blind testing. This unfortunately is the major fallacy pushed on everyone by blinded objectivists, or rather reductionists. Seriously, do you know what emergence is? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm asking legitimately. Everything hinges on the understanding between reductionism and emergence. You are clearly in the reductionist camp.

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There is only so far that you can go to make sure that every variable is accounted for, you know. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever come a time when subjectivists will be satisfied with the parameters of a test. It seems that there is always something wrong.
No, no no! This is heinous science! For a time, there was "only so far" one could go with measurements, until our ideas pushed for explanations which drove progress in developing new technologies in understanding reality. Conversly, some of the greatest technological advancements have in turn, stimulated discussion on reality and our overall expansion of understanding has increased merely because something from a different field was introduced to those in another (think Bell labs and microwave radiation detection).

First the earth was flat and the center of the universe. Then the earth rotated around the sun in a circular motion, then it was elliptical, then nearly elliptical with general relativity kicking in to better approximate our observations. At each step the concensus was that we knew all there was to know. Heck, one of the leading scientists of last century (I want to say Bohr but I think that is wrong) announced that within a decade, everything there was to know about the universe (particularly physics) would be known and that there was not much point in pursuing physics from that point. Within months, quantum physics was discovered and the understanding of the fabric of reality was changed forever. Up to that point, stubborn scientists felt they knew everything there was to know. From Euclidian mathematics to the new math of Newton and Leibnitz to Einstein, relativity and quantum physics, world views change when our perception of reality does not meet up with the mathematical and/or observational/experimental data. From here, scientists must let go of their notions of knowing everything (which is hubris at best) and move towards better understanding from a top down approach if/when the bottom up has failed to describe everything.

In this case, bottom up is failing, why? Instead of dismissing as hocus pocus or psychosis, how about formulating new theories? Implementing new experiments? Nah...why bother to do that? It's much more entertaning and productive to be dismissive. This goes for both sides btw.
post #72 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
People need to understand two concepts: reductionism and emergence. Far too many DBT-loving folks are reductionists at heart, fine, be that way. However, it is not the only source of knowledge and in fact is often very near sighted as is clearly evident by people who stare at numbers and plots all day long vs. those listening to music.
Zanth DBT it is not the only method that could prove something in audio, and in the worst case that it could be implemented, is IMO far better than the opposite. BTW do you know of any other method offered by the called subjectivists, AFAIK, the "other offered" we have seen here are just fairy tales, not sure why a DBT is considered like a tabu, and a worst method that has to be isolated, and a fairy tale (AKA anecdotal experience) is widely accepted and promoted...And IMO both aproaches, both, have been responsible in the same way, for the conflicts we have seen in the same degree, if you are going to blame one, blame also the other...both objectivist and subjectivist have been really stubborn in their aproaches equally...

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Are there people half baked in both camps? Certainly. Are there sufficient testing methods to accurately distinguish one person's perception of sound and another's? At this point, no. We are able to understand that no two people interpret sound exactly the same but we can't identify exactly why and how. Nor can we isolate the differences and reproduce them nor accurately describe them.
That is why the need of scientific evidence is a must, what is proved is no longer discussed...

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The best we can hope for on a site like this is for people of like minds to associate with each other. Those that tend to prefer one type of sound are able to communicate; those that prefer another type are likewise able to communicate. In this way, one might be able to "trust" another person's ears enough to make a blind purchase and feel confident enough that it wasn't a waste of time and money.
Well that may work, or not...hope it will...That will become the forum in a peer back padding site, anyway there is too little we can do at this point...so let's accept it...

As side note, I would not trust any other person experience, not even if they are on my same side of the fence, simply that do not guaranty, that what he or she is after, is the same others will...

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Does this reduce science and engineering to the back room? No. If product A has specific technical requirements, associated gear must be able meet or exceed them. Otherwise, let your ears decide!
IMO yes, to avoid the request of any scientific evidence or statistical method, and resuming it just to anecdotal experience, will reduce somewhat science and engineering to he back room...but what do I know???
post #73 of 180
Well, 8 posts by mods/admins later, still no addressing of this point, so I'll bump it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arainach View Post
This entire thread seems to have missed the point of the first post, which I took as this:

Seeing as the staff has already decided that separate forums are necessary, why is it that the objectivist forum is expressed in a decidedly negative tone and is as a less visible "sub-forum" of the subjectivist forum instead of them being on equal levels?
For reference, here are the descriptions of the relative forums (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum)
Discussion of cables, power (the electric kind), tweaks, & accessories.

I, Objectivist: The Objectivist Audio Forum (opening soon)
If you feel the uncontrollable urge to use the word "placebo," in here is where you'll post (and only here). Discuss DBT all you want in here
That language seems decidedly negative against the objectivist forum. I disagree with its status as a subforum rather than an equal forum but doubt I'll win that debate; nevertheless, the negative language seems absurd and excessive.
post #74 of 180
I wouldn't want to enter that discussion for anything in the world but ...

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Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Heck, one of the leading scientists of last century (I want to say Bohr but I think that is wrong) announced that within a decade, everything there was to know about the universe (particularly physics) would be known and that there was not much point in pursuing physics from that point.
The quote from Lord Kelvin is :"There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement."
post #75 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arainach View Post
Well, 8 posts by mods/admins later, still no addressing of this point, so I'll bump it:For reference, here are the descriptions of the relative forums (emphasis mine):That language seems decidedly negative against the objectivist forum. I disagree with its status as a subforum rather than an equal forum but doubt I'll win that debate; nevertheless, the negative language seems absurd and excessive.
Perhaps it can be reworded. I didn't write it up so I can't comment on why it was written that way, though a decent hypothesis was put forth by mbriant. For instance, look at how Sovkiller addressed anything other than DBT - fairy tales. When I was posting, I was not taking cheap shots at the objectivist camp as a whole, nor at the subjectivist camp as a whole, but specifically addressing extremist in both camps and attempting to find a middle ground. The response from an objectivist? The opposite side is clueless, senseless, they believe in fairy tales! Right...there is absolutely no reason for a negative tone for a subforum for people that enjoy mocking others...
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