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10 Biggest Lies in Audio (accidental repost - sorry!) - Page 3

post #31 of 60

level matching, blinding, positive and negative controls, multiple subjects, training sessions, ... Good audio perceptual Subjective evaluation is Hard, Expensive - and you can't establish the negative proposition that "no one" could hear something

 

the very least you could do is compare well established physical theory used by engineers to design the equipment and intelligently selected measurements (not THD) against the peer reviewed audio research literature on what Can be heard

 

when audiophile tweak component manufacturers advertisements claim physical causes that don't don't rise above the noise floor in any engineering evaluation of the system then we can save lots of our time and money by not believing them until they do scientifically acceptable DBT experiments establishing audibility

 

they are after all the ones with profits - and therefore motive to nail down their competitive advantage - except that human perceptual psychological and reasoning flaws make made up pseudo science and "storylines" much cheaper and more profitable 

post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsf3g View Post


 

Yeah, the problem isn't the guys spending money on snake oil. It's the professional reviewers writing for magazines who make claims for equipment that they do not, or choose not to back up with methodologically sound testing.
 



 

There are two prominent reviewers working for Stereophile, Michael Fremer and John Atkinson (ed), Fremer is an old school subjectivist, pro-vinyl, anti-dbt etc , Atkinson is subjectivist and anti-dbt but also does formal measurements of kit , on multiple occaisions Fremer has given **glowing** reviews to items that when Atkinson tests he concludes that they are basically broken (including a cable that adds audible noise and distortion and a $60K CD/DAC combo which has 25% distortion below 50Hz) and wonders why Fremer did not pick up on this. The stunning Zanden Combo is a good example http://www.stereophile.com/content/zanden-5000-mkivsignature-da-converter-2000-premium-cd-transport-measurements

 

post #33 of 60

HiFi Choice produce reviews which include measurments, which bear no relation to whether they like the sound of a product or not, and blind testing, but there is no mention of how that part is done or results shown.

post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post




I don't love grumpy old know-everything curmudgeons like the Audio Critic folks, but it's basic misunderstandings like the above that hurt the other side.  If a cable becomes part of a completed circuit, then a state of electric charge will propagate through said circuit at a speed approaching the speed of light.  But actual electrons will move very, very slowly - small fractions of a millimeter per second - and because audio circuits are AC circuits, they will then move right back to where they started.  In other words, they vibrate microscopically, but they don't really go anywhere.  The image of a cable being a pipeline through which electrons are flowing at lightning speed is entirely wrong, and it's a post-hoc image folks dream up to "explain" a basis for effects that may not exist.



There seems to be so little knowledge of basic science amongst people which is unfortunate.

 

We have seen this ignorance milked by some in the hi fi industry for decades.

 

While it is unreasonable to expect consumers to be scientific experts, I think it is reasonable to anticipate the magazines and blogs would have correspondents with some basic scientific knowledge?

 

This massive rip off that is the cable industry and many of the other rip offs in hi fi might well have been curtailed if some scientific knowledge was to be found in the publications that claim to be writing in the interests of the consumers.

 

post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

Fremer is an old school subjectivist, pro-vinyl, anti-dbt etc

 



The greatest time of the "golden ears" was their opposition to digital recording and playback.

 

I remember it so well, and I will add that then I was a "golden ear" myself!

 

Like all the rest of the golden ears I had been convinced by the gurus that digital recording was evil.

 

Today of course I listen to digital playback exclusively of recordings that are either entirely digital or are digital "remasters" of original analogue recordings. I do have a roomful of LPs which I am going to be selling when I get the time.

 

None of the advances in audio have come from the pseudo science of the golden ears.

 

Recording of music and its replay is a product of scientific activity, it is not the product of voodoo.

 

 

post #36 of 60

Ivor Teifenbrum failed a Boston Audio Society blind test which added digital processing and had him trying to pick out which had digital processing and which did not. Now Linn have moved fully with the times to concentrate on music streamers.

post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

 

This massive rip off that is the cable industry and many of the other rip offs in hi fi might well have been curtailed if some scientific knowledge was to be found in the publications that claim to be writing in the interests of the consumers.

 


Unfortunately that's probably never going to happen.  Any magazine that actually tested all that kind of stuff properly would find that their supply of free and loaned out review kit would dry up rather quickly.  They'd have to pay for most of the reviewed products themselves and the audiophile market isn't big enough to support a consumer reports style business model.

 

It'd probably get boring as well.  How many experiments that end up confirming the null hypothesis would you like to organize each month?

post #38 of 60


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

 

There are two prominent reviewers working for Stereophile, Michael Fremer and John Atkinson (ed), Fremer is an old school subjectivist, pro-vinyl, anti-dbt etc , Atkinson is subjectivist and anti-dbt but also does formal measurements of kit , on multiple occaisions Fremer has given **glowing** reviews to items that when Atkinson tests he concludes that they are basically broken (including a cable that adds audible noise and distortion and a $60K CD/DAC combo which has 25% distortion below 50Hz) and wonders why Fremer did not pick up on this.

 

 

Wow, this could form the basis for a hilariously nasty short-story or movie.
 

post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

on multiple occaisions Fremer has given **glowing** reviews to items that when Atkinson tests he concludes that they are basically broken (including a cable that adds audible noise and distortion and a $60K CD/DAC combo which has 25% distortion below 50Hz) and wonders why Fremer did not pick up on this.


LOL, that's great. And not surprising. A friend and I have been engaged in emails with Michael Fremer almost daily for a few months now. I'll patiently explain something about audio science to him, and he replies by calling me a douche bag or worse. My friend Carl and I have offered to drive two hours to his home to listen to what he believes he hears, such as "demagnetizing" LPs to "improve" their sound. His replies are always more vile and cursing.

 

Emailing with Fremer has become one of the more entertaining parts of my daily routine. beyersmile.png

 

--Ethan

post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post


Unfortunately that's probably never going to happen.  Any magazine that actually tested all that kind of stuff properly would find that their supply of free and loaned out review kit would dry up rather quickly.  They'd have to pay for most of the reviewed products themselves and the audiophile market isn't big enough to support a consumer reports style business model.

 

It'd probably get boring as well.  How many experiments that end up confirming the null hypothesis would you like to organize each month?



In the first paragraph I do agree. The problem being that as all hi fi publications seem to simply give glowing reviews with no technical analysis at all then anyone who starts to question the quality of the stuff either from listening to it or from technical analysis will not get anything to review. Why would hi fi manufacturers send things to a critical publication when there are so many uncritical ones?

 

In your second para, I agree as well, however to my credit I didn't really suggest that.

 

What I did say was that I thought that it would be good if magazines/blogs had a technical correspondent who could give a good technical overview of products being reviewed.

 

The current situation where each magazine/blog "review" is simply the impression someone had of some piece of equipment is really failing badly, well at least for me. I don't read them any more. After the first couple of sentences of the reviewer going through his or her CD collection, which includes 1 classical recording, like Beethoven's 9th or something, for which we get some passing comment about hearing individuals or not in the choral bit, then after that they go to what the reviewer really cares about which is something by the Prodigy or Steely Dan's "Aja" depending on their generation. Well it is just really boring.

 

It wasn't always like this. I remember when all audio reviews as a matter of course included technical analysis, and in fact I remember when often audio reviews were often only technical analysis, there being so subjective account of the sound at all.

 

This emphasis on the experience was a great thing when it came in the early eighties, but what I would like to see now is a balance.

 

There used to be a UK magazine which reviewed everything blind. They did the reviews as groups, say, 5 amplifiers or something, and there was a little panel of their journo's. They would write notes on the sound of each item. This wasn't a major scientific enquiry, but rather simply a way of reducing the influence of expectations.

 

I thought that was rather a good idea and I think that if publications did that it would be more interesting.

 

 

post #41 of 60

Hifi Choice has a blend of testing with technical analysis.

post #42 of 60

lol, the author just did a self-pwn:


The simple truth is that resistance,

inductance, and capacitance (R, L, and

C) are the only cable parameters that

affect performance in the range below

radio frequencies


perhaps there wont be a drastic change in sound (I havent tried different cables, so I cant comment), but they certainly have an effect. example: my computer emits quite a bit of line noise which is glazed over every song when played at lower volumes(like I usually do). If I dont have a line attenuator hooked up, the noise becomes very noticable, specially for the drivers which are easier to drive (my friends senn IE8 is a prime example).

here's a good article about cables having an effect on the sound(perhaps they were more clean?). while it was a subtle difference, the bottom line is: there is an observable difference

post #43 of 60

Interesting article - good to read it. Not sure I agree with every point - but I certainly agree with alot of it.

post #44 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.
 


How many times have you had to replace a "chip" in a solid state amp due to failure?

 

 

post #45 of 60

Nice article, I agree with all points except the "burn-in" one.

Despite how much I love vinyl :-)

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