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post #46 of 71
To me, a believer in cables has a simple philosophy. If the cable has a a really nice synergy with your gear? USE IT. Don't matter if it cost 50 bucks or 1000 bucks. I can care less on the scientific data. That stuff interferes with me listening to music.
post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
I recall seeing several posts from objectivists over the past few months, to the effect that, even when they hear a difference between two components, if the measurements don't indicate there should be an audible difference, then they will not accept that there is an audible difference. In a sense, they entirely discount what their ears are telling them, and they consider the measurements conclusive on the issue.

Anyway, that's what I think I've heard, but I didn't intend to mischaracterize anybody's position. My main point was that I don't believe it is fair to suggest that believers ignore certain evidence, while objectivists are entirely free from bias or prejudice in that regard.
Hmm... I think that most "objectivists" tend to believe in DBT more strongly than measurements. That is, many objectivists will say even though $$$ amp measures better (lower output impedance, higher slew rate, higher power...) than $ amp, they're not audibly different. If differences can be heard under DBT then it would be silly to not recognize that difference. HOWEVER, I think this whole chain of thought is irrelevant because I think this is how differences are generally ranked: Non-blind differences < Measurable differences < Differences detectable under DBT
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCox View Post
I don't understand where you're getting that from. A sine wave only has a few properties that describe it - all of which are measurable on an oscilloscope to a far, far higher accuracy than anything attached to our bodies.
cough...arbitrarily complex combination of sine waves...cough
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post
To me, a believer in cables has a simple philosophy. If the cable has a a really nice synergy with your gear? USE IT. Don't matter if it cost 50 bucks or 1000 bucks. I can care less on the scientific data. That stuff interferes with me listening to music.
I think that is great and say More power to you! Go for it!

Personally, I find it hard to test $1000 parts with my gear. I have to buy to try, generally. So, that investment is a deal breaker for me. If I had reason to believe it really would improve the music enjoyment experience, I might spend the money. And there's the rub -- how to assess that something will probably make a desirable audible difference to me before spending the big bucks? Testimonies from others definitely have value. But I have seen too much evidence on how bias can influence a person's perceptions to totally trust those testimonies. I consider them, but if they fly in the face of what I understand should be possible with the component in question, I will want to ask questions and see more proof.

None of this interferes with my enjoyment of music, btw. I already get tremendous joy listening to music with my existing setup. I'm always open to upgrading things to increase that joy but am certainly not on the upgrade treadmill.
post #50 of 71
I make all my cables so I have tried several combination's of what works with what.
post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCox View Post
I don't understand where you're getting that from.
If you're talking to me, I don't understand what you mean by "that."

Also, if the issue of audible differences can be resolved with certainty by looking at an oscilloscope, why do we conduct DBT's? That would seem to be a meaningless exercise.
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjisme View Post

Personally, I find it hard to test $1000 parts with my gear. I have to buy to try, generally. So, that investment is a deal breaker for me. If I had reason to believe it really would improve the music enjoyment experience, I might spend the money. And there's the rub -- how to assess that something will probably make a desirable audible difference to me before spending the big bucks?
I bought almost every component in my system, and several components that are not in my system, on 30- to 60-day return, including trying and returning a couple of CD players costing in excess of $1,000. Buying with a return policy is a great way to see if a potential purchase makes a difference to you. This is rather obvious, I guess, but sometimes we forget that people can decide the issue of audible differences for themselves -- usually with minimal expense and inconvenience. They don't have to decide based exclusively based on what a bunch of strangers on Head-Fi are telling them.
post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
cough...arbitrarily complex combination of sine waves...cough
It doesn't matter - the point remains valid wether it's a pure sine wave, a mixture or a saw-tooth wave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
If you're talking to me, I don't understand what you mean by "that."

Also, if the issue of audible differences can be resolved with certainty by looking at an oscilloscope, why do we conduct DBT's? That would seem to be a meaningless exercise.
'That' seems to be your belief that the human ear can pick up differences in sound that science cannot currently measure.

And DBT are conducted to mark out any audible differences and what effect those differences have. It's all good measuring things but even with a difference it may not be heard.
post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCox View Post
'That' seems to be your belief that the human ear can pick up differences in sound that science cannot currently measure.
I would not say that this is my "belief." It is something that I think is possible, based on a variety of factors, including experience.

In brief, people say on this forum (and elsewhere) all the time, with absolute certainty, that X is an established scientific fact, and that X is all we need to know about an particular issue. My experience of being on the planet Earth for more than five decades has taught me that, on many issues, the more certain someone is about a matter involving human perceptions, preferences, abilities, experiences, etc., the more likely it is that the issue is not as simple or as absolutely clear as they believe.
post #55 of 71
I've said it before, I'll say it again.. measurements are abstractions or models---they take a very rich behavior and describe it with a few numbers.

The problem with measurements is not that we can't get the data. The problem is how to abstract that data into meaningful numbers.

For example, if we pump a signal into an amplifier, then read the output with an A/D, we can get megabytes of data out of that. But there are two questions: (1) What signal do we pump into it? (2) How do we interpret the results?

For example, we could put a sine wave into it, and then run an FFT on the output and compute the value of each harmonic. That's terrific. But it doesn't give you the whole picture. It doesn't show changes in behavior over time. It doesn't show noise.

We could put a MLSSA signal into it and compute the transfer function. Wonderful. But it's a model of the system as linear. It doesn't capture non-linearities. It doesn't capture behavior that occurs in contexts with another very different input such as a square wave.

What objectivists believe is that we current have and understand a good set of models (abstractions) that completely describe the behavior of the device---and therefore two devices which measure (using these particular models/abstractions) almost exactly the same will therefore sound the same.

What subjectivists say is that the models are complete enough---the abstractions too poor, missing critical information---to make predictions about sound quality.

Saying "you don't have the right measurements" is not to say that you can't pull in megabytes of data, and not to say the answer isn't hidden somewhere inside those megabytes.
post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post
I've said it before, I'll say it again.. measurements are abstractions or models---they take a very rich behavior and describe it with a few numbers.

The problem with measurements is not that we can't get the data. The problem is how to abstract that data into meaningful numbers.

For example, if we pump a signal into an amplifier, then read the output with an A/D, we can get megabytes of data out of that. But there are two questions: (1) What signal do we pump into it? (2) How do we interpret the results?

For example, we could put a sine wave into it, and then run an FFT on the output and compute the value of each harmonic. That's terrific. But it doesn't give you the whole picture. It doesn't show changes in behavior over time. It doesn't show noise.

We could put a MLSSA signal into it and compute the transfer function. Wonderful. But it's a model of the system as linear. It doesn't capture non-linearities. It doesn't capture behavior that occurs in contexts with another very different input such as a square wave.

What objectivists believe is that we current have and understand a good set of models (abstractions) that completely describe the behavior of the device---and therefore two devices which measure (using these particular models/abstractions) almost exactly the same will therefore sound the same.

What subjectivists say is that the models are complete enough---the abstractions too poor, missing critical information---to make predictions about sound quality.

Saying "you don't have the right measurements" is not to say that you can't pull in megabytes of data, and not to say the answer isn't hidden somewhere inside those megabytes.
Why is this model not complete? It's easy to doubt that a model is complete, but we don't have a reason to believe it's incomplete. What behavior does measurements not cover? I have yet to see an actual behavior that has been observed but not modeled.
post #57 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
I bought almost every component in my system, and several components that are not in my system, on 30- to 60-day return, including trying and returning a couple of CD players costing in excess of $1,000. Buying with a return policy is a great way to see if a potential purchase makes a difference to you.
I did expect to get a reply suggesting utilizing a return policy. It is certainly an approach that makes it possible to address risks of buyer's remorse. There are cases where I would do that, but I tend to rely on that as a final guarantee after I have already judged that I most likely will be happy with the purchase. For straight up comparison shopping, I don't want to put down what amounts to a $1000 deposit. That works for some, but not for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
This is rather obvious, I guess, but sometimes we forget that people can decide the issue of audible differences for themselves -- usually with minimal expense and inconvenience. They don't have to decide based exclusively based on what a bunch of strangers on Head-Fi are telling them.
I'd say it's completely obvious that the final decision has to be your own and what you hear. What is less obvious is that you may not be literally hearing everything you think you hear. And that's OK if you are happy with it. If you begin to believe that maybe something didn't really offer an improvement over a much cheaper alternative, an independent, objective look at the differences between them can help in understanding if that is a valid concern.
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCox View Post
'That' seems to be your belief that the human ear can pick up differences in sound that science cannot currently measure.
I don't think that's exactly the case. «Science» can measure clear differences between all audio components (sound transducers, sources, amps, cables, plugs...), the only question is if they are audible. It's not necessarily a matter of science to answer this question.
.
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
Why is this model not complete? It's easy to doubt that a model is complete, but we don't have a reason to believe it's incomplete. What behavior does measurements not cover? I have yet to see an actual behavior that has been observed but not modeled.
Let me put it this way. You measure an amp using any measurements you like. Then I'll hand you an arbitrary input signal. Using your measurements, predict the output of the amp. If you can do that for any input signal, and prove mathematically you can do that for any input signal, then you have a complete model.
post #60 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjisme View Post
If you begin to believe that maybe something didn't really offer an improvement over a much cheaper alternative, an independent, objective look at the differences between them can help in understanding if that is a valid concern.
Agreed.
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