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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 147

post #2191 of 2566
Stick around. We cause trouble like this in Sound Science all the time.
post #2192 of 2566

What you can hear and what you can measure are not necessarily the same thing. To give an example I can hear up to about 20KHz. But if I had an oscilloscope I would be able to measure up to the limit of the test equipment. Another thing to consider is that you can hear phase differences but you cannot measure it with a multimeter.

I have seen humming birds fly backwards but it was only recently that I read a scientific paper that "tried" to explain why a humming bird could fly backwards. Conventional science has in this case no conclusive explanation for what is obvious to the eye.

Even more outlandish is the inability of science to provide conclusive proof of the existence of dark matter. It can be shown to exist with one set of measurement but impossible to put on the table in a jar even though about 60% of space consists of the stuff.

 

So at the end of the day scientific evidence is just another form of evidence. It is not the conclusion of what pertains to be factual.

post #2193 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Tique View Post

Another thing to consider is that you can hear phase differences but you cannot measure it with a multimeter.

 

It can be easily measured with other equipment, though.

post #2194 of 2566

For the benefit of myself and anyone else what equipment can be used to measure in stereo a phase difference within a listening environment?

post #2195 of 2566

That depends on what kind of phase difference you are trying to measure exactly. You would need an audio analyzer (which can possibly be software with relatively inexpensive hardware), measurement microphones if you meant acoustic phase differences, and a dummy head/HATS if you want to measure phase differences that are heard by a listener (of course, no dummy head will perfectly replicate a real listener, but then no two people have identical heads and ears either).


Edited by stv014 - 8/27/13 at 4:33am
post #2196 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Tique View Post

For the benefit of myself and anyone else what equipment can be used to measure in stereo a phase difference within a listening environment?

The problem with trying to measure phase in an acoustic environment is that at high frequencies, wave lengths are pretty short.  15KHz is under 1", which makes 10 degrees 50 thousandths of an inch.  Hard to get any high frequency accuracy in an acoustic space because positioning is so critical. You can do OK mid band and below. 

 

You don't actually need a dummy head to get a differential phase measurement that's meaningful, so long as it's done in the time domain, and you can ignore everything but the first arrival, and can take two measurements from positions that approximate the spacing of a pair of ears. The problem with time domain measurements is the resolution at low frequencies is terrible, and unable to differentiate small arrival differences.  

 

So, you at HF you loose precision because positioning is critical, at LF you loose precision because the resolution is bad.  

post #2197 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Tique View Post

What you can hear and what you can measure are not necessarily the same thing. To give an example I can hear up to about 20KHz. But if I had an oscilloscope I would be able to measure up to the limit of the test equipment. Another thing to consider is that you can hear phase differences but you cannot measure it with a multimeter.

I have seen humming birds fly backwards but it was only recently that I read a scientific paper that "tried" to explain why a humming bird could fly backwards. Conventional science has in this case no conclusive explanation for what is obvious to the eye.

Even more outlandish is the inability of science to provide conclusive proof of the existence of dark matter. It can be shown to exist with one set of measurement but impossible to put on the table in a jar even though about 60% of space consists of the stuff.

 

So at the end of the day scientific evidence is just another form of evidence. It is not the conclusion of what pertains to be factual.

Just because science can't fully explain something right now doesn't mean it never will.  Don't forget, there was a time when we had no capability to do any time-domain measurements at all, and today it's common place, and that ability has explained a lot about what we hear. 

 

It's also important to stay abreast of the latest research before drawing conclusions about the inability of science to explain something. Your humming bird flying backwards is actually a good example.  The answer to that has been well known and published for at least 15 years, perhaps longer.  A quick google search popped the answer up with a rather detailed explanation, within the first few hits.

 

You also have to separate popular myth from fact.  For example, "A duck's quack doesn't echo.  Nobody knows why."  That's so popular a myth it's included on the "entertaining" on-hold messages on some automated phone attendant systems.  But it's not true.  Duck's quacks do echo, and I have recordings to prove it.  However, sometimes when they fly overhead and quack, you don't hear an echo because you are only a few feet from the largest reflecting surface, the ground or water.  The echo is placed so closely in time to the first arrival that it's not heard, and there are no other strong reflections.  Any sound will echo under the right circumstances. 

 

Let's not devalue science just because it doesn't provide every answer right away.  There's nothing mystic about hearing, but there are limits to the number and type of people willing to do the research, and more significant limits to financing that research.  We probably have the right tools already, it's just a matter of time. 


Edited by jaddie - 8/27/13 at 7:31am
post #2198 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Tique View Post

What you can hear and what you can measure are not necessarily the same thing. To give an example I can hear up to about 20KHz. But if I had an oscilloscope I would be able to measure up to the limit of the test equipment. Another thing to consider is that you can hear phase differences but you cannot measure it with a multimeter.

I have seen humming birds fly backwards but it was only recently that I read a scientific paper that "tried" to explain why a humming bird could fly backwards. Conventional science has in this case no conclusive explanation for what is obvious to the eye.

Even more outlandish is the inability of science to provide conclusive proof of the existence of dark matter. It can be shown to exist with one set of measurement but impossible to put on the table in a jar even though about 60% of space consists of the stuff.

 

So at the end of the day scientific evidence is just another form of evidence. It is not the conclusion of what pertains to be factual.

LOL! Why would you compare something that doesn't even interact with light or anything else for that matter, with sound? Dark matter really isn't anything yet, it's just a name for something science hasn't been able to explain yet. It's simply just a name for a gap in science, just as dark energy.

 

Everything we can hear, can be measured. I'm sure some algorithms are lacking to explain some properties of sound, but it's possible nonetheless. The only thing microphones wouldn't be able to measure, is the way placebo and expectation bias can affect your music listening experience. You actually wouldn't need measuring device for that, just multiply the price of the product times gullibility :D

 

Guess what, scientific evidence is the Only form of evidence. If anything is factual, an experiment can be held, and the findings can be replicated. You literally cannot call anything factual if the outcome cannot be replicated. 

 

But, if you wish to maintain that strange bubble you're living in, be my guest. It's certainly good for all those overpriced cable companies.

However, if you even want to be remotely sure of anything, you need science. 


Edited by Marleybob217 - 8/27/13 at 8:15am
post #2199 of 2566

Science flies you to the moon. Belief flies you ... into buildings.

 

'nuff said.

post #2200 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Science flies you to the moon. Belief flies you ... into buildings.

 

'nuff said.

 

Snap!

 

but...without belief, there would be no motivation for science.  it's kind of too bad the word 'belief' has so many possible definitions...

post #2201 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferday View Post

 

Snap!

 

but...without belief, there would be no motivation for science.  it's kind of too bad the word 'belief' has so many possible definitions...

 

I'd use the word curiosity instead of belief - belief as you say is easily mistaken for other things such as faith


Edited by nick_charles - 8/27/13 at 11:35am
post #2202 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

I'd use the word curiosity instead of belief - belief as you say is easily mistaken for other things such as faith

That's exactly why I chose the word. The original quote is a bit different but "religious" discussions are not allowed here. wink.gif


Edited by xnor - 8/27/13 at 12:18pm
post #2203 of 2566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Tique View Post

you can hear phase differences but you cannot measure it with a multimeter.

Actually, phase shift per se is not audible in the amounts found in typical audio equipment, Yes, you might hear 40,000 degrees of phase shift at a turnover frequency of 1 KHz, but that never occurs except in special contrived situations. Further, phase shift in audio gear occurs mostly at the frequency extremes, where it's even less audible. Now, you can hear phase shift if you apply it to one of two identical signals and then combine the signals. But then what you hear is the comb filtered frequency response, not the phase shift.

--Ethan
post #2204 of 2566

Has there ever been a test of whether speaker stands make a difference in sound?  Does putting your speakers on a column of toilet paper rolls sound different from a proper lead shot weighted stand?  What about a stand weighted by water?

post #2205 of 2566
The main thing is that your speaker drivers need to be on the same level as your ears.
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