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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 10

post #136 of 3672

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Pio2001, what do you mean by "But the measurements made with artificial heads make clear that ABX test would succeed."? How does that work? Why?

 


The measurements show that from a pair of headphones to the next, the frequency response differ by an amount of 10 dB at given frequencies.

 

According to ABX tests, this is more than 10 times bigger than the smallest detectable threshold : http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_crit.htm

 

Therefore even if we could prevent the listener to feel what headphones are on his head, it is clear that the ABX test would be successful.

post #137 of 3672
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Speakers off all types are the one hifi product I would expect to be easily identifiable. Then bit rates, amps, CDPs, DACs then last cables.

post #138 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Sorry K.I. Unlimited and Pio2001, I am still unsure. Do you mean that different headphones, if subjected to blind testing would easily be differentiated and that the testing of headphones with the HATS gives a totally different result from subjective reviews?

First point is incorrect. I'm looking at whether blind testing will show whether people can still recognize headphones/IEMs in a blind test. And to make things more tricky, have some DBT's with headphones from the same brand.

 

Second point is correct. The HATs' review of many headphones differ vastly. Like I mentioned once, due to the "non-human nature" of the test, the HATs cannot tell us things like, for example, how warm, cold or neutral a pair of earphones sound. How wide the soundstaging might be. And other subjective things.

Due to HATs testing, things like ER6's get praised to heaven while Grado SR60's are found to be lacking all of a sudden.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Thanks. Speakers off all types are the one hifi product I would expect to be easily identifiable. Then bit rates, amps, CDPs, DACs then last cables.


I find it oddly hard to differentiate between speakers. Unless one compares for example, a $25 mass-produced speakers from SonicGear and one of those $1000 tower speakers.

 

Compare all the mass-market speakers and most people wouldn't tell the difference. Or rather, if speakers in the same price range is compared; one of your links showed no difference in speaker setups.

 

As for me, I couldn't d/dx between high bitrate lossy and lossless, DACs and CDPs at all. Differences in amps were audible. Cables for me...is another question mark.

 

More tests of these kind might help me (and us) answer our questions.


Edited by K.I. Unlimited - 9/7/10 at 10:50pm
post #139 of 3672
Thread Starter 

Bump as more tests found and added.

post #140 of 3672

Since it hasn't been mentioned in response to a previous comment. There ability for someone at all, anyone to pass a comprehensive blind test between 128kbps and lossless is sufficient evidence to prove there is a difference (not only has 1 passed it, but many, some may fail but that doesn't take away from the validity).

 

I cannot say the same for cables, I have yet to see 1 comprehensive blind test of cables where someone has passed.

 

I don't know if it's been mentioned here, but there is such a thing as the null statement. Cable people are coming with the claim "cables improve your SQ" the null assumption is to not believe until there has been testable and verifiable evidence to show that cables do in fact affect SQ. 

 

A couple logic 101 classes would do some people good " class="bbcode_smiley" files.head-fi.org="" height="" http:="" images="" p="" smilies="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />

 

Again, I'm not insulting anyone, the human brain is easily fooled, if you are so confident in your belief in cables, do a monitored blind test, where volume is accounted for to test your belief.

 

 

-A R

 

P.S Here is an example as clear as I can make it regarding the default position:

 

A man walks up to you and hands you an orb made of glass, he tells you to keep this with you at all times and your life will improve.

 

From a scientific standpoint the default position is to not believe him until he gives you sufficient evidence.

 

The man insists that it improved his life It will work for you too. 

 

Lets break here and ask "should we believe this man?" Any rational person would say no.

 

Being a normal person you say, OK what's the hurt in trying. You keep this orb with you, after 10 years your life has improved nicely since that time, should you believe now?

 

Again the answer is no, there are thousands of other factors in your life (including auto-suggestion and the placebo effect), a subjective experience that can have thousands of different explanations is not proof.

 

So the rational thing to do is to still not believe and do a blind test, removing all the factors, take 2 people in a vacuum and slip the orb into one of their pockets, slip an object that feels like the orb into the other man's pocket, observe. THE SAME THING should be applied to cables, take out all subjective interferences, make it the same headphones, same amp, blindfold the guy so there is no placebo effect, test over and over again.

 

Now apply this to the cable dilemma, except this man is selling you cables for $300+ and tell me what's wrong about that. Hope this makes it crystal clear.

 

-A R


Edited by AmbientRevolut - 9/22/10 at 2:34pm
post #141 of 3672


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbientRevolut View Post

Since it hasn't been mentioned in response to a previous comment. There ability for someone at all, anyone to pass a comprehensive blind test between 128kbps and lossless is sufficient evidence to prove there is a difference (not only has 1 passed it, but many, some may fail but that doesn't take away from the validity).

 

 

Who claimed that the difference was inaudible? Not even jj, who developed the MP3 CoDec, has ever made that claim.

 

se

 

post #142 of 3672
Thread Starter 

There are those who like the idea of having a glass orb that they will cherish it. I know of one person on the forum who has read this thread and still bought an expensive cable. That is fine as they had all of the evidence and made a free choice. My main worry is for those who are not given all of the information and are only presented with bogus science and spurious opinions.

post #143 of 3672

I didn't read the entire thread--just the first page, but has anyone done a double-blind test of headphone amps? I'm asking because I have heard amps that cost well over a thousand dollars but sounding not that better than straight out of my mp3 player when I A/B'd them.

post #144 of 3672

This thread is very interesting.

 

As someone previously wrote : "I have to resist upgrading my DAC, even if I know that it won't probably change anything".

 

Now, if I forget upgrading paths like DAC, tubes, headphone amplifiers, etc... Wich way should I go ?

 

What about electrostatic ? Is there scientific evidence that people prefer the SQ of electrostatic headphones ?

 

I'm not looking for a justification based on physical properties of the drivers, but a hearing test.

 

Any information would be welcome, before I dig in my pocket to get a pair...

 

Thanks all, 

post #145 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post

I didn't read the entire thread--just the first page, but has anyone done a double-blind test of headphone amps? I'm asking because I have heard amps that cost well over a thousand dollars but sounding not that better than straight out of my mp3 player when I A/B'd them.



PIO2001 has done blind tests of headphone amps with some positive results !

post #146 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

PIO2001 has done blind tests of headphone amps with some positive results !

 

Wasn't that because of the different output impedances?
 

post #147 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headdie View Post

 

What about electrostatic ? Is there scientific evidence that people prefer the SQ of electrostatic headphones ?

 

I'm not looking for a justification based on physical properties of the drivers, but a hearing test.

 

Any information would be welcome, before I dig in my pocket to get a pair...

 

Thanks all, 


Electrostats sound nothing like dynamics. I heard my first electrostat a few months ago and it was so very different from any dynamic headphones I have ever heard. I spent hours comparing the Stax 007 MK2 (powered by the 717 amp) to various high-end dynamic headphones like the D7000, Alessandro Pro, HD800, W1000X, DX1000...etc and the flagship Stax just completely and utterly destroyed them in terms of musicality, clarity, detail, texture, holographic imaging, presence, and so on. If you know anything about high-end studio microphones, then it's exactly like the difference between dynamic mics and condenser mics--two very different sounding technologies running on different principles and designs. This is nothing like cables or amps or whatever--this is two completely different sounding technologies.

 

But keep in mind that I listened to one of the finest electrotats every made and the flagship product from Stax. I have never heard the entry or mid-level electrostats and cannot say if they sound similar to the 007mk2.

post #148 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

 

Wasn't that because of the different output impedances?
 


There certainly may have been differences in output impedance, but if you null for them are you not then making the amps deliberately the same like the Carver challenge, that said if the only difference between a flat FR multi-$K amp and a flawed $200 amp is output impedance and you could do a cheap fix to make the cheapo the same as the expensive you could save a lot of money
 

post #149 of 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

There are those who like the idea of having a glass orb that they will cherish it. I know of one person on the forum who has read this thread and still bought an expensive cable. That is fine as they had all of the evidence and made a free choice. My main worry is for those who are not given all of the information and are only presented with bogus science and spurious opinions.



Yes, this is the main thing which concerns me.

 

There is now a common belief that when you buy headphones it is a good idea to get them re-cabled.

 

Those cable companies will make a fortune out of this and it often hits the pockets of people who don't have a great deal of money to begin with.

 

post #150 of 3672
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headdie View Post

This thread is very interesting.

 

As someone previously wrote : "I have to resist upgrading my DAC, even if I know that it won't probably change anything".

 

Now, if I forget upgrading paths like DAC, tubes, headphone amplifiers, etc... Wich way should I go ?

 

What about electrostatic ? Is there scientific evidence that people prefer the SQ of electrostatic headphones ?

 

I'm not looking for a justification based on physical properties of the drivers, but a hearing test.

 

Any information would be welcome, before I dig in my pocket to get a pair...

 

Thanks all, 


I can see plenty of reasons to not resist the urge to upgrade your DAC. A hifi system with a feel good factor is, for psychoacoustic reasons, likely to sound better than one without. It is like the person who read the thread and decided still to buy fancy new audiophile cables. Music is about emotion after all.

 

The money I would have spent upgrading is now spent on a monthly Spotify Premium subscription and collecting headphones. There is no scientific evidence that electrostatic headphones are best, just that they are different.

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