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Cable Skeptics, Tubes and Opamps - Page 2

post #16 of 105

It's human nature to hide behind mistrust and foolish judgments to mask ignorance but to not even take the effort to find out by attending meets is lazy and defiant. Look no further than these forums to read testimonials of discovery by our members. To keep preaching the "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe" routine and deflecting member experience as misguided, gullible, foolish is a bit over the edge in calling a good many of our members incapable to think for themselves without the superhuman effort to make them see the light. If you won't put in the effort, enjoy the music. If you're curious, go to a meet and try it for yourself.

 

Leave the drama in the courtroom.

post #17 of 105

 

Very well spoken and my philosophy as well.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Good point, Shike.  It's also important to keep in mind that tubes are constantly changing.  They're not the same value some hours in.  That's why I don't bother with tuberolling and obsessing over NOS tubes.  Whatever "sound" you achieve will probably be slightly different in a few months.  So why make a big fuss over it?  I just buy reasonably priced tubes that are reliable.  Then I enjoy the music and stop worrying about it.

post #18 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post


However the measurements for audio equipment are not about what humans make of sound, they are simply comparing input signal with output signal and ascertaining if there is any difference. 


Exactly.  Thanks.  All we ever hear is yes, the output is the same as the input, or no, it's not.  We never hear about the factors that distinguish "live" from "not live" being absent from the input in the first place.  That's because no one knows what those factors are, and no one cares enough to find out - or, rather, pace Erik and his hypothetical mai tais, there's not enough financial upside to spur anyone to make the effort.  No one is going to make a billion dollars by designing a better stereo.  Sadly!


Hi

 

Maybe I did not write that very well.

 

Comparing output and input is a good thing. The factors that distinguish "live" from "not live" will be there, or not depending on that comparison. It doesn't matter whether we know what those factors are because the comparison of output versus input is a comparison of a varying electical signal. If the output is the same as the input (albeit amplified of course) then we know that the equipment is doing a good job.

 

The other issue is human comprehension of sound and it is that which is for the time being mysterious, but that is quite a different thing from ascertaining if audio equipment is doing its job or not.

post #19 of 105
HC, a lot of people operate under false assumptions. I've changed my politics, religion, lifestyle, and much else when things stop stacking up. I'm sure I'll find out I'm wrong about more stuff. Yes, even cables, if something actually turns up.

However, finding proof of cables would be a nightmare for manufacturers and audiophiles. Since there are so many contradictory design philosophies, a discovery would probably show the vast majority of the market to be a fraud, if not all, save for the one design demonstrated to work. Most of the people who believe in cables probably are hearing placebo/suggestion. We just don't know which ones. Not all cables can work because of the design variations and the certainty that a percentage of cables on the market are frauds. Some of them are just assembled in a garage, never tested or anything, and just put out there to fleece people. Some manufacturers might be sincere, but some of them are just selling smoke and hype.

So if some evidence does turn up, it will not only validate that particular design/materials, it is also going to disprove pretty much everything else. I suppose it would just put the believers and especially the sellers, back in the position of arguing against facts.

As for testing people, you need to go more at the psychological expectations. Put a string of paperclips inside a Cardas wrapper and have someone "review" the sound. Compare that to a test where they listen to a known string of paperclips and then compare the reviews.

This not some deep philosophical thing or involving complex physics. It's people hearing what they expect to hear. It can be nailed down with some simple psychological tests. Discount those as "biased" or "unfair" if you want, but the results will be plain. Same with test gear. Nothing new needs to be developed or a new branch of physics developed. There are only three electrical properties: inductance, resistance and capacitance. If something changes electrical properties, you'll see a change in one of them. This is high school electronics, not something deep and mysterious.

I still argue that there is a lot of money to be made proving that there is something to cables. It is not just the audio industry that would benefit. If particular materials/construction really make a difference, there will be all sorts of industrial applications. Maybe you could improve the efficiency of electric motors. Maybe it would improve solar cells. Who knows? Lots of inventions get applied to other things down the line.

Also, a discovery would overturn known physics. Imagine that. There would be prizes, awards and lots of lucrative opportunities.
post #20 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

It's human nature to hide behind mistrust and foolish judgments to mask ignorance but to not even take the effort to find out by attending meets is lazy and defiant. Look no further than these forums to read testimonials of discovery by our members. To keep preaching the "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe" routine and deflecting member experience as misguided, gullible, foolish is a bit over the edge in calling a good many of our members incapable to think for themselves without the superhuman effort to make them see the light. If you won't put in the effort, enjoy the music. If you're curious, go to a meet and try it for yourself.

 

Leave the drama in the courtroom.

 

Or your experience at meets could be an opportunity to witness and experience expectation bias, confirmation bias, the bandwagon effect and a host of other cognitive phenomena which have actually been documented.  You will also get to try different cans and meet interesting people 

.

post #21 of 105

What's really sad on these forums is how few people are actually interested in audio. Listening to lots of equipment doesn't make you an expert, what does is making a conscious effort to learn. What differentiates professional in the audio industry from others is not that they've used a lot of high-end gear, it's they they seriously studied the subject. Most professed audiophiles on these forums don't know and don't care about audio reproduction-they care about gear. They're not audiophiles, they're consum-ophiles.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post


It's human nature to hide behind mistrust and foolish judgments to mask ignorance but to not even take the effort to find out by attending meets is lazy and defiant. Look no further than these forums to read testimonials of discovery by our members. To keep preaching the "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe" routine and deflecting member experience as misguided, gullible, foolish is a bit over the edge in calling a good many of our members incapable to think for themselves without the superhuman effort to make them see the light. If you won't put in the effort, enjoy the music. If you're curious, go to a meet and try it for yourself.

 

Leave the drama in the courtroom.


Edited by Antony6555 - 11/26/10 at 11:08pm
post #22 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

What's really sad on these forums is how few people are actually interested in audio. Listening to lots of equipment doesn't make you an expert, what does is making a conscious effort to learn. What differentiates professional in the audio industry from others is not that they've used a lot of high-end gear, it's they they seriously studied the subject. Most professed audiophiles on these forums don't know and don't care about audio reproduction-they care about gear. They're not audiophiles, they're consum-ophiles.



Yes Antony6555 I agree with you very much. For years many years now audio has been a consumer exercise almost exclusively and the "hi" that many people seek is not the "hi" in "hi fi" but rather a consumerist "hi".  "Consum-ophile" is a great word!

 

The way the consumer "hi" is achieved is by first immersing yourself in a lot of advertisements and reviews to convince yourself that you will be happier when you buy item X. Then when you do buy item X you experience a temporary hi because you have rehearsed this of course. After a while this temporary hi wears off so to achieve it again you immerse yourself in more silly advertisements and reviews of something else, convincing yourself once again that you will be happy when you get that. And so the cycle continues...

 

So many postings reveal that people are listening to their equipment, wishing that their actual equipment can perform in some way. They want a "sound signature", or they think their headphones have become "boring" or they want an amp which applies warm colouration to everything.

post #23 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

If the output is the same as the input (albeit amplified of course) then we know that the equipment is doing a good job.

 


That's what I mean about the low-hanging fruit.  The faithful onward transmission of a wholly inadequate input isn't enough.  We need to move beyond that.  Quite rightly you make much of expectation bias ... but expectation of what?  People want better sound, and I think we're now at a point where the only way to pursue it is to make a clean-sheet admission that we understand very little about what the original input ought to contain, and we should concentrate on figuring it out.  I'm pretty sure that if some substantial breakthrough came on the front end of the process, you'd find people would give up on superficial snake oil later in the process.  People have desires and expectations, like you say, but right now there's nowhere for that energy to go.

post #24 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

What differentiates professional in the audio industry from others is not that they've used a lot of high-end gear, it's they they seriously studied the subject.


Not really.  IME there was very little study and very few formal qualifications.  Recording and broadcast people operate very like we do - trial and error, insider scuttlebutt, anecdotes, myths and rumors, old habits, etc.  What differentiates them is that their value system operates on completely different parameters.  Can they make money?  Can they satisfy their clients?  Will their clients come back?  Will some weird tweak produce a single that sounds great on the radio, thereby filling their diaries with bookings?  I agree, there's absolutely no consumerism there, and they don't worship gear.  But it's just as chaotic in an intellectual sense.

post #25 of 105


Not really, recording engineers receive formal training, as do the engineers that design our audio equipment.

 

Why do you assume they've gotten it wrong, your personal experience with sighted (ie non-dbt listening)? If you want to prove that they've gotten it wrong, do some dbts and see if you can even distinguish a difference. Right now though, your making claims with zero evidence.

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

What differentiates professional in the audio industry from others is not that they've used a lot of high-end gear, it's they they seriously studied the subject.


Not really.  IME there was very little study and very few formal qualifications.  Recording and broadcast people operate very like we do - trial and error, insider scuttlebutt, anecdotes, myths and rumors, old habits, etc.  What differentiates them is that their value system operates on completely different parameters.  Can they make money?  Can they satisfy their clients?  Will their clients come back?  Will some weird tweak produce a single that sounds great on the radio, thereby filling their diaries with bookings?  I agree, there's absolutely no consumerism there, and they don't worship gear.  But it's just as chaotic in an intellectual sense.


 

post #26 of 105
Most recording professionals are quite familiar with test gear and evaluations. They're constantly measuring what they record. If something doesn't make a difference, they won't spend money on it. Conversely, if something lets them make a better product, they sill use it.

The biggest difference between the pros and audiophiles is the fashion/status aspect. A lot of audiophiles are trying to impress each other with giant pricetags. Someone recording a band doesn't care as long as they deliver a good recording.
post #27 of 105

DAMN, Isn't "IT" all about the music?? I can be dazzled by a AM station, or a 78 lacquer played on a rebuilt transcription table! I shouldn't have to mention going to a live show..........What's all the debating about????  Let people believe in whatever they want, be it anything in the "Sound Science" field...JMO.....

post #28 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post


Not really, recording engineers receive formal training, as do the engineers that design our audio equipment.

 

Why do you assume they've gotten it wrong, your personal experience with sighted (ie non-dbt listening)? If you want to prove that they've gotten it wrong, do some dbts and see if you can even distinguish a difference. Right now though, your making claims with zero evidence.

 

 

Zero evidence?  I have 18 years in that biz as evidence.  I said "very few" and I stand by it.  Almost none of the many hundreds of recording engineers I have worked with have formal qualifications.  Electronics designers, yes.  And I didn't say they have gotten anything wrong.  On the contrary, they usually get it right - using practical hard-won experience.  I love 'em.  This has got nothing to do with DBTs ... which are an audio forum obsession, anyway.  Recording engineers have never heard of them.  It's trial and error for those guys.
 

post #29 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Most recording professionals are quite familiar with test gear and evaluations. They're constantly measuring what they record. If something doesn't make a difference, they won't spend money on it. Conversely, if something lets them make a better product, they sill use it.

The biggest difference between the pros and audiophiles is the fashion/status aspect. A lot of audiophiles are trying to impress each other with giant pricetags. Someone recording a band doesn't care as long as they deliver a good recording.


That's all muddled.  No recording engineer I ever met in 18 years in the biz measured anything.  They "evaluated" by ear and by subsequent client reaction.  If it worked in a money-making sense, you couldn't pry it out of their hands.  If it didn't, it gathered dust.  And there's a lot of fashion and status in the recording biz ... albeit forced on the studios by client expectations and demand.  Bands can be a nuts as audiophiles.

post #30 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

DAMN, Isn't "IT" all about the music?? I can be dazzled by a AM station, or a 78 lacquer played on a rebuilt transcription table! I shouldn't have to mention going to a live show..........What's all the debating about????  Let people believe in whatever they want, be it anything in the "Sound Science" field...JMO.....


Of course it's about the music.  But you'd still be using 78s and AM if it wasn't for sound science.  You want to close it down now?  You think we've arrived at the top of the mountain?  But OK, I'll let people believe what they want.  Like recording engineers walk about with multimeters in their pockets, LOL.

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