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10 Biggest Lies in Audio (accidental repost - sorry!)

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm a newbie. I've been lurking Head-fi for months now trying to research the Hifiman HM-801 and UE Reference Monitors to a degree that justifies purchasing them. In that time I've read quite a few threads on IEM's, sources and audio (24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! being one of the most educational), but I came across this article on another site which I thought was interesting, and since I haven't seen it on here I thought I'd share it.

 

 
I'm looking forward to see if anyone agrees or disagrees with any of the points mentioned.
post #2 of 60

I love this stuff and I love this article - thank you for posting it!

post #3 of 60

that a doozy of an intro to the forum!  this should be fun biggrin.gif

post #4 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurwazajebista View Post

Hi,

 

I'm a newbie. I've been lurking Head-fi for months now trying to research the Hifiman HM-801 and UE Reference Monitors to a degree that justifies purchasing them. In that time I've read quite a few threads on IEM's, sources and audio (24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! being one of the most educational), but I came across this article on another site which I thought was interesting, and since I haven't seen it on here I thought I'd share it.

 

 
I'm looking forward to see if anyone agrees or disagrees with any of the points mentioned.

 

This has been posted several times already.  Look about 12 posts down in this sub-forum and you will see a thread with the same title.  What I find very amusing is the fact that when this comes up, people ridicule the author by stating something like: "... that article is ridiculous because I have heard differently with my own equipment, some of which was quite expensive."

post #5 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terriblepaulz View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kurwazajebista View Post

Hi,

 

I'm a newbie. I've been lurking Head-fi for months now trying to research the Hifiman HM-801 and UE Reference Monitors to a degree that justifies purchasing them. In that time I've read quite a few threads on IEM's, sources and audio (24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! being one of the most educational), but I came across this article on another site which I thought was interesting, and since I haven't seen it on here I thought I'd share it.

 

 
I'm looking forward to see if anyone agrees or disagrees with any of the points mentioned.

 

This has been posted several times already.  Look about 12 posts down in this sub-forum and you will see a thread with the same title.  What I find very amusing is the fact that when this comes up, people ridicule the author by stating something like: "... that article is ridiculous because I have heard differently with my own equipment, some of which was quite expensive."



 Wow. Thanks for pointing that out. Looks like I don't lurk hard enough or been around long enough. Any way to delete threads?...

post #6 of 60

My problem with this article, or any statement where the author claims there's no difference to some long standing 'truth', is the basic principle thats wrong with EVERYONE's opinion on here.

 

Everyone that makes these claims assumes the false truth that all ears are created equal. Thus, if he cannot hear a difference, no difference must exist.  Well clearly thats bull.  There's people who have perfect pitch, that can identify a note just by hearing it. 99.9% of people CANNOT DO THIS.  Thus this could be another thing that people could easily claim is false (PERFECT PITCH IS A LIE, ITS A MYTH) except of course that it has been proven to be real.

 

So the point I'd like to leave you with, is that most people do not have golden ears.  Just because one person cannot hear something doesn't mean its not there.  We're not all created equal and most people writing reviews have inferior ears (again, people with perfect pitch being the reference of 'golden ears' to me)

post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post

My problem with this article, or any statement where the author claims there's no difference to some long standing 'truth', is the basic principle thats wrong with EVERYONE's opinion on here.

 

Everyone that makes these claims assumes the false truth that all ears are created equal. Thus, if he cannot hear a difference, no difference must exist.  Well clearly thats bull.  There's people who have perfect pitch, that can identify a note just by hearing it. 99.9% of people CANNOT DO THIS.  Thus this could be another thing that people could easily claim is false (PERFECT PITCH IS A LIE, ITS A MYTH) except of course that it has been proven to be real.

 

So the point I'd like to leave you with, is that most people do not have golden ears.  Just because one person cannot hear something doesn't mean its not there.  We're not all created equal and most people writing reviews have inferior ears (again, people with perfect pitch being the reference of 'golden ears' to me)

 

There's two things that made me think of:

1. Does having perfect pitch (or ability to identify frequency) increase enjoyment when it comes to listening to music?

Here's a definition from wikipedia: "Absolute pitch (AP), or perfect pitch, is the ability to name or reproduce a tone without reference to an external standard."

This is a bit off-topic (and irrelevant to enjoyment of mastered tracks) but my piano tuner once recited a story of a musician with perfect pitch who was forced to performed on a out-of-tune piano (It was in-tune with itself but middle C was not tuned to 440hz, but 420hz for example). Story goes that he couldn't play at all because what he was hearing was conflicting with what he was trying to play (or expecting to hear). Apparently he said to the piano tuner later that it was the most embarrassing moment for him because he couldn't even play twinkle twinkle little star.

 

Perfect pitch has been scientifically verified as real. Golden ears, however, have not. It's difficult to discuss the subject because we (or at least I) lack a concrete definition of what abilities someone with golden ears has over everyone else. I assume it means they can identify sounds and textures, etc, that the general population can't, but how do you measure this? Can you measure this? I'm guessing it would be similar to perfect pitch, in that it's a genetic quality concerned with improved or more efficient brain process in regards to aural perception. Still, we need specifics.

 

2. I think you made a very good point that in order to disprove something you must do your very best to prove it (and test each fact proving it) instead of creating statistics against it. This reminds me of the whole god debacle: no, we can't disprove god, but all the evidence out there (all the findings of evolution, physics, chemistry, biology) points that his existence is so unlikely (and unnecessary for our existence) that it is illogical to believe that he does exist. Maybe it's the same with golden ears.

By that I simply mean that they can't be disproved (not commenting on how likely or unlikely their existence is). I still lack a definition to go by and until I come across one it's pointless to keep talking.

post #8 of 60
Can we just get down a distinction here -

Perfect pitch or any other ability to identify or distinguish sounds, is nothing to do with your ears, or your ability to hear. A person with perfect pitch hears exactly what someone with out it hears - they just know they are hearing "a minor" rather than "a piano".

When some one loses their sight and their hearing gets keener, do you think their ears have physically changed, super hero style into superior instruments?

Of course not, nothing physically has changed - the mind has diverted far more resource to the sense, focussed far greater because it needed to.

This is the most embarrassing side of audio mythology - the idea "audiophiles" have that they are actually physically superior human beings with super powers over mere mortals, rather than just having trained themselves to listen more carefully. ..
post #9 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

the mind has diverted far more resource to the sense, focussed far greater because it needed to.
 


I am terrible at wording things. That's a better way to explain what I was getting at (that some people may be genetically predisposed to devoting more resources to that part of the brain).

 

As Howard Gardner theorized, everyone's got different strengths and weaknesses when talking about multiple intelligences. I know I'm horribly primitive when it comes to anything visual, but fare a lot better when it comes to most things musical. I'm also not that discerning in terms of tone, being more picky in regards to compositional value, emotional expression and musical ideas.

 

That's one of the reasons I'm hoping to own a Hifiman HM-801 and UE RM's, because I'd like to train myself to hear and recognise better quality sound amongst other things.

post #10 of 60

When I say not all ears are created equal, I don't mean just physically their ear is different.  I mean everything in the chain from the ear to you hearing it, is not equal between people.  Nor am I saying that audiophiles are better then mortals.  There's a lot of people here who think themselves audiophiles but cannot hear any 'better' then a 70 year old grandmother who never listened to a headphone a day in her life.

 

Having said all that, I still firmly believe that not everyone's hearing senses are the same.  So again, just because a person says they cannot hear a difference in something (different cables, amps, fuses, interconnects, etc.) it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

post #11 of 60

which is why the only legitimate way to test the differences between components iand verify the veracity of marketing claims is via double blind tests held under controlled circumstances, such as those suggested by this article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post

When I say not all ears are created equal, I don't mean just physically their ear is different.  I mean everything in the chain from the ear to you hearing it, is not equal between people.  Nor am I saying that audiophiles are better then mortals.  There's a lot of people here who think themselves audiophiles but cannot hear any 'better' then a 70 year old grandmother who never listened to a headphone a day in her life.

 

Having said all that, I still firmly believe that not everyone's hearing senses are the same.  So again, just because a person says they cannot hear a difference in something (different cables, amps, fuses, interconnects, etc.) it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

post #12 of 60
Just because everyone is different doesn't mean that claimed differences do exist. Also, the burden of proof is on people making claims. You cannot prove a negative, so evidence of a claim is necessary. Sorry, but testimonials do not count as evidence.

As for the article, well, I've said this before. But I have a couple of issues with it.

One, tube gear is much simpler to maintain. You can get tubes for most things and should be able to into the forseeable future. Chips, not so much. When chips go out of production, they're almost impossible to replace. Practically speaking, tubes are better. Easier to work on and you can usually find replacements. If you're in for the long haul, tubes are the safer purchase.

Second, I don't claim vinyl is better. However vinyl is good enough to provide a wonderful listening experience. Further, there's a ton of music not available on CD. Moreover, used vinyl is damned cheap. If you want to explore music and/or get cheap music, nothing is better than owning a turntable. I do use (and love) a CD player, as well. I'm not a format snob. However, a turntable is necessary if you really want to explore music.
post #13 of 60

There are a few blogs and websites out there dedicated to creating and archiving digital version of out of print records that never got made into CDs.

 

If anyone has a turntable, a decent soundcard/ADC and such records please join the movement to preserve those recordings in this way.

 

I little part of me dies when I imagine music disappearing forever as those records slowly degrade and get lost.

post #14 of 60

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

One, tube gear is much simpler to maintain. You can get tubes for most things and should be able to into the forseeable future. Chips, not so much. When chips go out of production, they're almost impossible to replace. Practically speaking, tubes are better. Easier to work on and you can usually find replacements. If you're in for the long haul, tubes are the safer purchase.


Depends on what tube you're using and what you're using it in.  Some amps have to be biased monthly - that's not easier to maintain at all.  While you can get tubes, some grow very expensive anyway; with speaker amps at least (pretty sure what this article is geared towards).  For a NOS some tubes are $80 a pop, with how many tubes some speaker amps take a solid state amplifier at that point would be a welcome change.  If you're looking at headphone amps they're a bit easier to maintain, but still affordable solid state amps can sometimes be had for the cost of tubes anyway so the point becomes rather moot.

 

I also don't think there is a safer purchase when you get down to it, just because you can find tube today doesn't mean their supply won't grow limited.

post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennyboy71 View Post

which is why the only legitimate way to test the differences between components iand verify the veracity of marketing claims is via double blind tests held under controlled circumstances, such as those suggested by this article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post

When I say not all ears are created equal, I don't mean just physically their ear is different.  I mean everything in the chain from the ear to you hearing it, is not equal between people.  Nor am I saying that audiophiles are better then mortals.  There's a lot of people here who think themselves audiophiles but cannot hear any 'better' then a 70 year old grandmother who never listened to a headphone a day in her life.

 

Having said all that, I still firmly believe that not everyone's hearing senses are the same.  So again, just because a person says they cannot hear a difference in something (different cables, amps, fuses, interconnects, etc.) it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


 

Don't mention that.

O well looks like you got banned -.-
 

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