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post #91 of 170
How about: "Silver sounds cold, copper sounds warm".
It would be nice if we could measure that effect of wires on our perception of sound.
post #92 of 170
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
Hey, great question! What should we call it? Wouldn't it be nice if you could read a spec sheet and know how well an amp, interconnect, etc imaged? You can infer that now from some specs, but you really can't know until you hear the gear for yourself.

Let's see, maybe we could call it imageQ? Maybe stageQ? There would actually have to be two separate parameters. One would describe the capability of the measured piece of electronics to preserve the image contained in the program material, the other parameter would be the capability of a set of cans or headamp to create/model HRTF.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could read a spec sheet and know how an amp or tuner or receiver or speakers would sound? But that's not what we're talking about. We're just talking about a wire.

It's one thing to talk about how a piece of electronics can create an image and quite another to talk about how a piece wire can create an image.

USG
post #93 of 170
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
How about: "Silver sounds cold, copper sounds warm".
It would be nice if we could measure that effect of wires on our perception of sound.
When I first came to Head Fi, that was the prevailing sentiment.

For the purposes of this discussion, could you define what you mean by the word "cold" and the word "warm"?

USG
post #94 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hi KW

I am trying to make sense of this. When this discussion started I was attempting to investigate the possibility of an unmeasurable quantity being being transmitted over a wire, that would account for some of the claims being made in other forums about wire. All the claims eventually fall back on belief, individual perception and opinion and remain completely without scientific evidence.

I have never heard this unmeasurable thing so I cannot describe it to you. I have heard differences in cables but the differences I heard were frequency differences and therefore measurable and not what we are talking about.

If you are a cable believer, or are knowledgeable in what cable believers believe in, is there anything you might be able to offer that could help us understand what this phenomena is in terms of jonathanjongs revised question?

USG
Ok, I will do my best here. Thanks for the further explanation, BTW.

First, I guess I personally am one of those people that you could characterize as a "cable believer" because I have heard and can hear repeatable differences between cables. Widely understood theory says there can be no difference between one cable and another WRT sound. I used to be firmly in that camp. I am no longer, but I do have a foot in each of the two camps.

With certain amps and cans in my collection, and certain program material, I can clearly identify interconnect cable differences between source and headamp, with other combinations of equipment and program material, I cannot hear differences between the same interconnects. The differences that I do hear, when I can hear them have to do with the preservation (as best I can determine) of existing information recorded in the program material.

I do not have the proper instrumentation at hand to "measure" what I'm hearing, even though I have some "ideas" about why I hear what I hear.

Part of the complexity is the program material itself. Whether you observe the constantly changing "signal" in the time domain or the frequency domain, it's a very, very complex waveform, and too complex to obtain and resolve meaningful measurements of "live" data.

If you were observing a simple single frequency waveform, you could more easily quantify & qualify the faithfulness of the propagation of that waveform through the chain of equipment, in our case, the interconnect cable. Even though you have qualified & quantified the faithfulness with which said waveform was transmitted, the faithful conveyance of said waveform does not necessarily correlate to the very complex waveforms representing the music/program material, replete with all of the complex waveform interactions, some of which interact differently with one another in different mediums, such as sound in air vs. electrical signals in a conductor.

Perhaps using a fully qualified A/D-D/A process, one could examine the data in the digital domain where the complexity of the data could be analyzed in a meaningful fashion, and correlation between observed difference and measured difference could be discovered with complex program (music) material. Just some musings...
post #95 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Wouldn't it be nice if you could read a spec sheet and know how an amp or tuner or receiver or speakers would sound? But that's not what we're talking about. We're just talking about a wire.

It's one thing to talk about how a piece of electronics can create an image and quite another to talk about how a piece wire can create an image.

USG
Wire doesn't "create" an image, but it can destroy the image already present in the signal.
post #96 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Another gem by jonathanjong.
  1. Can you think of any other parts of the ear that are able to contribute to receiving sound, that we might be leaving out?
  2. Can you think of any other information that can be transmitted over a wire that the ear can receive?
  3. Is it safe to say that without vibration of the tympanic membrane, you would hear (in the full sense of the word) nothing?

You see why we have to do it this way, don't you?

USG
Why, thank you. Let's see...
1. Yea. The skull transmits vibrations too. Maybe the tympanic membrane isn't even necessary, actually. It just amplifies the vibrations of the air, which is basically what sound is. Unfortunately, I'm no expert in either audiology or neuropsychology. I study social cognition!
2. Well, the issue isn't the wire...it's the speaker. All the speakers do is make air vibrate, thus producing sound. Wires, on the other hand, might send out electromagnetic waves and other such thing even further from my expertise. Those might have magical (read: currently unknown to us) properties. But sound is relatively straight forward. It's just the movement of air, which causes stuff in our heads to vibrate, which stimulates some cells, which gets passed on into our brains. So...no.
3. As in 1., I'm not sure about this. I worry about bracketing out the brain, because I think "hearing" is irreducibly a neuropsychological phenomenon. Anyway, I think any vibration near the ear contributes to our audio perception. But audiologists should feel free to correct me.

And back to the problem of bracketing out the brain. It ends up being the case that all you're interested in is whether or not there's anything that vibrates the physical apparatus we have, which is not measurable. And given what we know about sound waves and about physical objects like tympanic membranes and our skulls, it's terribly unlikely. I keep raising the possibility of souls and Platonic musical qualities, but no one takes those seriously (and neither do I, really). I still think, and this is a personal opinion, that the question of perception is more interesting. Is our perception of musical qualities (e.g., warmth) reducible to the quantifiable, physical qualities of the audio signal? I'm inclined to think not, because our brains are not passive recipients of stimuli, but interpreters thereof, but some might disagree. Ah, the Hard Problem of Consciousness...
post #97 of 170
Hey Kees, did we ever come to a conclusion about whether reality is perception? Should the lines between the phenomenal and noumenal be drawn so distinctly, even if we reject Kant's inaccessibility thesis?
post #98 of 170
You guys are going in circles here. Is this a government funded project by any chance?
post #99 of 170
LOL, I wish. We're waiting for a paradigm shift. Maybe I should do my PhD. in armchair psychoacoustics instead...
post #100 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanjong View Post
LOL, I wish. We're waiting for a paradigm shift. Maybe I should do my PhD. in armchair psychoacoustics instead...
I'm sure that the armchair PhD to which you refer is "Piled higher & Deeper" as opposed to Philosophiæ Doctor.

Actually the paradigm has shifted. No one seemed to notice. It came and went.
post #101 of 170
Yea, gotta love Jorge Cham. He'll be the reason I can't finish this PhD., and get Permanent Head Damage instead. Him and Head-Fi.

Which direction did it go?
post #102 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
With certain amps and cans in my collection, and certain program material, I can clearly identify interconnect cable differences between source and headamp...it's a very, very complex waveform, and too complex to obtain and resolve meaningful measurements of "live" data..
OK now we are getting somewhere!! This is exciting. kwkarth, you've got the setup nailed for hearing a cable difference on a complex signal (music). It is repeatable. You have no obvious bias, so we doubt this is the placebo effect. Now go and get out that test CD with the sine wave sweep (or PM me your shipping address and I'll ship you mine) and see if you can still hear a difference.

If you can really hear it over and over, I might really buy a Kemar dummy head mic set, have it shipped to you, and see if you can measure it. Repeatedly. Then we post the graphs and the IC cable debate is over forever.
post #103 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
OK now we are getting somewhere!! This is exciting. kwkarth, you've got the setup nailed for hearing a cable difference on a complex signal (music). It is repeatable. You have no obvious bias, so we doubt this is the placebo effect. Now go and get out that test CD with the sine wave sweep (or PM me your shipping address and I'll ship you mine) and see if you can still hear a difference.

If you can really hear it over and over, I might really buy a Kemar dummy head mic set, have it shipped to you, and see if you can measure it. Repeatedly. Then we post the graphs and the IC cable debate is over forever.
I've done the sine sweeps and sine waves are totally unrevealing. For a simple time domain based test, pink or white noise might reveal gross differences, but I doubt we would learn much from that. As I mentioned in a previous post, the differences probably are (IMHO) a complex collection of parameters that only affect in an audible sense, complex musical waveforms.
post #104 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post
Wire doesn't "create" an image, but it can destroy the image already present in the signal.
Profound thought.

Wavoman, I share the same excitement. This is gonna be an awesome journey.
post #105 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
OK now we are getting somewhere!! This is exciting. kwkarth, you've got the setup nailed for hearing a cable difference on a complex signal (music). It is repeatable. You have no obvious bias, so we doubt this is the placebo effect. Now go and get out that test CD with the sine wave sweep (or PM me your shipping address and I'll ship you mine) and see if you can still hear a difference.

If you can really hear it over and over, I might really buy a Kemar dummy head mic set, have it shipped to you, and see if you can measure it. Repeatedly. Then we post the graphs and the IC cable debate is over forever.
Wireworld the cable manufacturer, some time ago, recorded a CD, comparing 17 different cables of the market (from Monster, Blue Jeans, to Valhalla's, all prices, even one BJC of 20 feet long) using the same track in an studio, using a master recorder at 20bits, and exactly the same setup associated, just replacing the cable, if there is a difference, the difference must be recorded there...

Some time after they stopped distributing the free CD that showed, or better, that supposedly would show the differences between the 17 cables...IMO, apparently a very few audiophiles, if any, were able to hear what they claimed, I have the CD around, honestly, there is no difference to me, but maybe for others it will be, you can also analyze the track recorded, etc...

So IMO some attempts have been made to demonstrate that differences may exist, the problems is that none of them have been conclusive yet, as to accept it as a universal truth...


Honestly I woulld like ot see those golden ears in front of a real and well controlled DBT to see what are they actually able to discern...

OTHO Randi offer is still active IIRC, a million bux is not IMO an amount to be dismissed so easily...
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