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"The Audio Critic" Subjectivists v Objectivists or The Blind Misleading The Blind - Page 2

post #16 of 55
It's all very interesting but I'll be honest and say I think his numbers may even be overstating the case since the measurements over at audioholics come out with a lot smaller inductance numbers than the one he's talking about.

Speaker Cable Faceoff 2 - Measurements - Part 2 — Reviews and News from Audioholics

As best as I can tell they are per ft so roughly multiply by 3.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjisme View Post
Since the discussion topic of this thread is The Audio Critic, it would be helpful if you'd make the effort and raise some of those debatable points. BTW, I tried to find the issue 16 closing paragraph you referenced, but couldn't.
Seriously? No really.

Firstly, I explicitly stated that raising any points "would not be worth the effort". I didnt think I would need to explain why. Uh, the reason is because even honest attempts to "debate" specific points on this forum always end up in an endless vicious circles. Just like every other opinion on cables in this place, for or against, the Audio Critics is just as if not more biased as the rest. That was my point. I dont care to start another vicious circle with the specifics.

Secondly, since the topic in question is one regarding cables I assumed everyone would be able to figure out that when I reference the "closing paragraph" in "Issue 16" that people would get that it was the closing paragraph of the article on cables. Not a review of the Oscar Peterson Trio. SHEESH!
My apologies. In the new year I shall endeavor to be far more specific. So for those who coudlnt figure out exactly which paragraph I was talking about.
Here is the page number of issue 16: 44 The paragraph is titled "One more thing"
And if you still cant figure it out, here is the precise two sentences that I specifically commented on.
"Not that they're the only snake oil artist among cable vendors, but I happen to be particularly irritated by their kind of scientific non sequitor. The only thing that irritates me even more is that a few years ago I allowed one of those adds to slip through into the pages of this publication."

And for the person who wonders why I think this is questionable...... Irritation is an emotion. Science is ideally without emotion. This shows obvious bias to me. I didnt ask him to admit his emotional bias. I just commented on the fact that he did and as such he loses some degree of credibility with me.
Do I now need to include the obligatory....... IMO
post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Champ04 View Post
And for the person who wonders why I think this is questionable...... Irritation is an emotion. Science is ideally without emotion. This shows obvious bias to me. I didnt ask him to admit his emotional bias. I just commented on the fact that he did and as such he loses some degree of credibility with me.
Do I now need to include the obligatory....... IMO
There's no doubt the Audio Critic is biased against subjectivists, but that's because subjectivists have never scientifically and significantly proved the objectivists wrong.

It's very simple to beat the objectivists once and for all. Have an experiment with two systems that measure exactly the same but is supposed to sound different to a subjectivist. If the subjectivist can reliably differentiate the systems 13-14 out of 16 times, then the objectivist is forever eliminated. If ONE person can pass this test, then it's over! Unfortunately, this hasn't happened. Keep in mind that this would be a double blind test, so any sort of bias is mitigated.

The Audio Critic has GOOD reason to be irritated. Many audio manufacturers rip off customers by claiming absurd benefits by using their equipment. If anything, the Audio Critic wants to help people realize that their money is being fed to deceptive and greedy companies.
post #19 of 55
I was so disappointed to see Sound & Vision finally go to the dark side recently, spewing nonsense for the sake of their advertisers with the best of them. I did not renew my subscription, and subscribed to PC World instead. There was a very fine tradition dating back to the High Fidelity and Stereo Review magazines (Sound & Vision was the morph of the merger between the two) of honest audio information.

There's no one left giving straight talk in the mainstream audio press, as far as I know.

The Audio Critic goes one step too far once in a while, but they are much closer to the truth as I understand it than the mainstream press. They are competent and honest. That's not so easy to come by anymore.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
There's no doubt the Audio Critic is biased against subjectivists, but that's because subjectivists have never scientifically and significantly proved the objectivists wrong.

It's very simple to beat the objectivists once and for all. Have an experiment with two systems that measure exactly the same but is supposed to sound different to a subjectivist. If the subjectivist can reliably differentiate the systems 13-14 out of 16 times, then the objectivist is forever eliminated. If ONE person can pass this test, then it's over! Unfortunately, this hasn't happened. Keep in mind that this would be a double blind test, so any sort of bias is mitigated.

The Audio Critic has GOOD reason to be irritated. Many audio manufacturers rip off customers by claiming absurd benefits by using their equipment. If anything, the Audio Critic wants to help people realize that their money is being fed to deceptive and greedy companies.
I'm often the first person that complains when things become too subjective, but the Audio Critic is not unbiased nor is it knowledgable enough to be making the broad denials it has a habit of doing. It's simply the other side of the coin - just as biased, but in the opposite way, as placebo victims. It continually makes the fallacy of believing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, too often jumps to conclusions which aren't justified, makes very poor arguments which are sometimes self-contradictory, and in general suffers from a lack of imagination. I and others have pointed out this overt bias in past threads which unfortunately seem to have disappeared since the Great Crash.

This for example is one paper I came across recently which has some bearing on the topic: Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect -- Oohashi et al. 83 (6): 3548 -- Journal of Neurophysiology

This paper has been out 8 years now, and IMO is an important result, both in terms of audio quality and listening tests. I wonder if the Audio Critic has covered it?
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect -- Oohashi et al. 83 (6): 3548 -- Journal of Neurophysiology

This paper has been out 8 years now, and IMO is an important result, both in terms of audio quality and listening tests. I wonder if the Audio Critic has covered it?
Thr oohashi paper is interesting and has ben the subject of much heated debate.

So far nobody has been able to replicate tne results that Oohashi got. In one attempt

"Detection threshold for tones above 22 kHz,"

Ashihara and Shogo(2001) suggested that the effect that Oohashi et al got was due to intermodulation distortion.

To investigate audibility of ultrasounds contained in a complex tone, psychoacoustic experiments were designed. Human subjects were required to discriminate stimuli with and without components above 22 kHz. All subjects distinguished between sounds with and without ultrasounds only when the stimulus was presented through a single loudspeaker. When the stimulus was divided into six bands of frequencies and presented through 6 loudspeakers in order to reduce intermodulation distortions, no subject could detect any ultrasounds.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
I'm often the first person that complains when things become too subjective, but the Audio Critic is not unbiased nor is it knowledgable enough to be making the broad denials it has a habit of doing. It's simply the other side of the coin - just as biased, but in the opposite way, as placebo victims. It continually makes the fallacy of believing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, too often jumps to conclusions which aren't justified, makes very poor arguments which are sometimes self-contradictory, and in general suffers from a lack of imagination. I and others have pointed out this overt bias in past threads which unfortunately seem to have disappeared since the Great Crash.
Well, you can also give examples of what you said. This would help the discussion along:

1) Fallacy of believing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence (how is the conclusion that there's no audible difference in certain hardware a fallacy)
2) Too often jumps to conclusions which aren't justified (I think you may be confused by their bias rather than their conclusions - some of their conclusions were justified in previous articles, so they just state the finding in future articles without the data)
3) Suffers from a lack of imagination (what sort of imagination is needed for an equipment test)

What I think is that the subjectivists have brought this sort of condemnation upon themselves. When I say subjectivists, I mean hardcore "silver is twice as fast as copper" kind of people; I'd say almost everyone on Head-fi has a tint of subjectivist character in them. The problem is that subjectivists make A LOT of claims, as read on Head-fi and in every audio forum. Some of these claims are outright "wow the difference is night and day" - say between two cables. The question is how do we, as readers and prospective buyers, justify these claims at all when some of these changes in hardware have been verified to have no audible differences. Personally, I don't think anyone can make a conclusion unless they were able to properly A/B the equipment, and even in that case, there's still a lot of bias going on. Just the simple fact that people (audiophiles in particular) hear differences between the same two setups goes to show a lot.

If anything, the subjectivists are the more biased group. They aren't willing to test their overwhelming number of claims. They think they have abilities others don't. They're more closed minded and are afraid of being proved wrong.

As I said, it's easy to eliminate the objectivists altogether - have a DBT where there's an audible difference between two identically measured hardware (say cables), where the participant differentiates 13-14 out of 16 correct. Isn't that supposed to be easy when subjectivists are always saying there's sooo much of an AUDIBLE difference? Yes, the subjectivists claim audible differences but can't prove it. Therefore, they are wrong. Isn't this the most sensible conclusion? There's no bias or anything to be considered. Someone please knock some sense in me if I'm being naive.
post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Champ04 View Post

And for the person who wonders why I think this is questionable...... Irritation is an emotion. Science is ideally without emotion. This shows obvious bias to me. I didnt ask him to admit his emotional bias. I just commented on the fact that he did and as such he loses some degree of credibility with me.
Do I now need to include the obligatory....... IMO
Science, along with most other human endevour, is governed by emotion and creative thought, afterall we are not robots.
post #24 of 55
I am a pretty hard core objectivist these days, but I think your conclusions are too strong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
1) Fallacy of believing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence (how is the conclusion that there's no audible difference in certain hardware a fallacy)
You can never say no audible difference ever, which Aczel does a lot (vide the comments on the Meyer and Moran paper) you can only say with any certainty with this sample and under these conditions no difference was found. Of course if you keep replicating a test and it always comes up negative you might infer a strong case for the null hypothesis.

Aczel is however inconsistent , when he has blind tested kit with no or tiny measurable differences he gets a null result. But he then makes the mistake of sometimes not blind testing later components, he has decided that since they measure the same they *will* sound the same. Since he takes a "no effect without cause" stance he judges it rational to do this as his measurements reveal no cause (differences) that would lead to an effect (audible differences). However he really should for the sake of consistency blind test everything before pronouncing "null difference".

2
Quote:
) Too often jumps to conclusions which aren't justified (I think you may be confused by their bias rather than their conclusions - some of their conclusions were justified in previous articles, so they just state the finding in future articles without the data)
No, see above Aczel does make assumptions of no difference. Having said that if you read the speaker article he does posit audible differences for some of the esoteric cables which have extreme frequency attenuation at the high end but he does not test this with listening tests.

In fact Aczel may be overegging this one. Back in the 1980s AES listening experiments suggested that higher frequencies were not missed very much when low pass filters of 20K , 18K and even 16K were applied to music, he obviously did not read this stuff...
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Thr oohashi paper is interesting and has ben the subject of much heated debate.

So far nobody has been able to replicate tne results that Oohashi got. In one attempt

"Detection threshold for tones above 22 kHz,"

Ashihara and Shogo(2001) suggested that the effect that Oohashi et al got was due to intermodulation distortion.

To investigate audibility of ultrasounds contained in a complex tone, psychoacoustic experiments were designed. Human subjects were required to discriminate stimuli with and without components above 22 kHz. All subjects distinguished between sounds with and without ultrasounds only when the stimulus was presented through a single loudspeaker. When the stimulus was divided into six bands of frequencies and presented through 6 loudspeakers in order to reduce intermodulation distortions, no subject could detect any ultrasounds.
When I was reading it I was worried the authors would fall into the intermodulation trap you mentioned. However there's strong evidence against IMD as the cause: the ultrasonic content, when played back without the audible content, still elicited a significant response in the brain.

For the regular test where audible and ultrasonic sound were played together, IMD can't be ruled out in the same way as above, but the fact that the brain response lagged stimulus by 15-30 seconds in both cases suggests that the cause is the same in both cases. Since the lagged brain response can't have been IMD in the first case, it's unlikely to have been in the second.


Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
Well, you can also give examples of what you said. This would help the discussion along:
He had a piece where he "debunked" a dozen or so audio myths. In the previous thread I and others went through most of his arguments and put them to rest. I don't want to half-assedly make the same arguments here again, suffice to say I don't normally dismiss someone so quickly but I have zero confidence in the intellectual integrity/capability of whomever it is that writes the Audio Critic.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
You can never say no audible difference ever, which Aczel does a lot (vide the comments on the Meyer and Moran paper) you can only say with any certainty with this sample and under these conditions no difference was found. Of course if you keep replicating a test and it always comes up negative you might infer a strong case for the null hypothesis.

Aczel is however inconsistent , when he has blind tested kit with no or tiny measurable differences he gets a null result. But he then makes the mistake of sometimes not blind testing later components, he has decided that since they measure the same they *will* sound the same. Since he takes a "no effect without cause" stance he judges it rational to do this as his measurements reveal no cause (differences) that would lead to an effect (audible differences). However he really should for the sake of consistency blind test everything before pronouncing "null difference".
Thanks, that's right; the conclusions made are only for certain and specific conditions. There's no doubt the writers are biased, but can't we extrapolate the conclusions as far as we want since there hasn't been any evidence against it? For example, in physics, we assume the whole universe and time follows the same rules as on Earth; it has helped us get to the moon and Mars (and so on..). Why isn't it a good idea to say, "since these two setups measure exactly the same (in the audible region) as the ones we did listening tests on, they should have no audible difference.", which is what I assume the writers did. Sure, there may be time where their emotions and impatience got in the way (i.e. let's get this issue out ASAP), so they didn't properly conduct the tests.

In the end, I think the Audio Critic's main conclusion is that if it measures the same, then it should sound the same, which is why they keep measuring stuff like it's going out of style
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
When I was reading it I was worried the authors would fall into the intermodulation trap you mentioned. However there's strong evidence against IMD as the cause: the ultrasonic content, when played back without the audible content, still elicited a significant response in the brain.
In the first experiment they do not compare HCS and LCS and in the 2nd experiment

There was no significant difference among HCS, LCS, and baseline (P . 0.8 for all comparisons).

I have some concerns about the stats they used as well. They did not do a repeated measures test just ANOVAs. if you are using the same subjects in different conditions then using a standard ANOVA is not appropriate because it fails to model the correlation between the repeated measures: the data violate the ANOVA assumption of independence.

This renders the results highly iffy.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
In the first experiment they do not compare HCS and LCS and in the 2nd experiment

There was no significant difference among HCS, LCS, and baseline (P . 0.8 for all comparisons).

I have some concerns about the stats they used as well. They did not do a repeated measures test just ANOVAs. if you are using the same subjects in different conditions then using a standard ANOVA is not appropriate because it fails to model the correlation between the repeated measures: the data violate the ANOVA assumption of independence.

This renders the results highly iffy.
Ah yes that was a complete brainfart on my part. Thanks for clarifying.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
In the end, I think the Audio Critic's main conclusion is that if it measures the same, then it should sound the same, which is why they keep measuring stuff like it's going out of style
The matching handbag to that is figuring out if you're measuring the right things. In some parameters a 10% error isn't bad, but in others 0.1% is annoying.

At some point people figured out that THD (total harmonic distortion) isn't really a good measure because odd multiple harmonics are more disturbing than even ones. Sorta like LDL and HDL cholesterol, and why an SE tube amp with relatively high THD can still sound good ("enhanced" to some.)
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Champ04 View Post
Seriously? No really.
[...rant...]
This forum was set up to have a place to debate this kind of thing and, yes, possibly fall into a <shudder> vicious circle (hopefully not -- it definitely depends on everyone behaving like adults). You opened a point of discussion in the 2nd post of this thread. But you don't want to talk about it?

The rest of your rant, well, maybe you're just having a bad day.
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