Originally Posted by upstateguy
What we are trying to identify in this thread is: If something can be transmitted over a wire, that can be heard but cannot be measured.
You keep leaving off the word "yet", as in "cannot be measured yet, with today's instruments, and theories behind them".
My guess at the answer is "no". I think we can
today measure everything
about the transmission from the headphone amp to the headphone, or from the power amp to the speakers ... i.e., what's on and what affects the wire, right at the input to the phones (or speakers).
I also think we can measure everything about the physical movement of the transducers, and the air they push. Pretty hard, but it can be done. Ditto for how the ear works, right to the brain synapses. So is there anything we can't measure in the process, up to but not including perception? IMO, no.
But I cannot prove this "no". It is a leap of faith. I have argued this in many other posts -- we might discover a new force, as we did in 1947 etc. But even though I say we can't prove it, I believe it. Maxwell was a pretty smart guy and I think he nailed it.
Other posters argued with me, but I think they thought I beleive there are things we cannot measure. I don't. But we must always tell ourselves that we are assuming that. Pretty good evidence, but not 100%, never can be.
Honestly I don't think this is an important, or even relevant
, question. Sorry. But there must be a reason this thread gets fewer views than "Coke vs Pepsi" by a factor of 3.
The important question is perception, as many here have said better than me.
Two points on perception have been made:
(a) The soundstage debate. Well analyzed by many here. Summary: we can measure all the attributes of the soundwaves in the room that lead to the soundstage illusion, and even understand them well (how the illusion happens) but we can't yet combine and correlate all the measurements to define this perception right. Some DSP units have tried. Part of the problem is we can't even define this perception well, as others have said. It has no units. Just like "red" visual perception can be defined and measured, but "pretty" is harder. Yet we have analyzed the visual attributes of a face photo that lead to the "pretty" perception. However we have not defined units for it yet. Same with soundstage. But all this presents no problem. Just ask people. Miss Universe has judges tell us if people are pretty. See where I'm going -- listening tests.
(b) We might perceive something other than what we hear physically. We fool ourselves -- placebo, fanboy-ism, please-the-crowd, follow-the-tester's- enthusiasm -- all reasons to believe we heard something we didn't.
The only roadblock we face is (b). Nothing else. And I believe that listener-blind tests can be done to eliminate much of this.
I also hope that cat scans can tell us what part of the brain the thought derives from, and maybe maybe we can smoke out placebo or other effects. But I have no idea, I am just starting to research this. Does not seem in the slightest bit practical at the moment, but worth thinking about.
So we are back to carefully designed experiments to eliminate the problems just listed.