Originally Posted by redrich2000
I don't agree with that, there tonnes of subjective choices related to graphing, starting with the belief that graphs are objective, the interest in graphing data, the choice of data to graph and what not to graph, the choice how to graph it. Then there are heaps more in terms of the subjective interpretation of the graph. Quoting from the wiki page on Latour I linked before: "In the laboratory, Latour and Woolgar observed that if a typical experiment produces only inconclusive data, then that is attributed to failure of the apparatus or experimental method, and that a large part of scientific training involves learning how to make the subjective decision of what data to keep and what data to throw out. Latour and Woolgar argued that, for untrained observers, the entire process resembles not an unbiased search for truth and accuracy but a mechanism for ignoring data that contradicts scientific orthodoxy.
Ok, I contradicted myself in that first sentence. Yes, you are right, graphs do depend on subjective beliefs to some extent, but read what I wrote below that please. The reason for the contradiction in the first sentence is that I sort of wrote it in a rush before I finished my thoughts. lol What I really think is that the data that is being graphed doesn't depend on subjective beliefs, but that the way it's graphed can certainly be biased. But actually... I suppose that the data used for graphing can also be the result of subjective bias if the test/experiment used to obtain the data is manipulated in some way to increase the chance of a certain expected outcome I suppose. But I think that it certainly doesn't apply to headphone measurements, at least not to those conducted by a serious guy like Tyll Hertsens, who I think cares about the accuracy of the data quite a bit (if you disagree with this, please explain why and how you think headphone measurement procedures may be biased).
Originally Posted by redrich2000
You've made my point for me here by saying "accurate to me". Accuracy is not an objective concept. In fact it is really just a word and like any word is open to a complex competing set of meanings depending on context, experience, belief, culture and so on. Even on head-fi, where we often reach relatively shared understandings of certain terms and concepts, accuracy is a very vague term with many different meanings. Again, that doesn't mean we can't talk about it, but I'd prefer if people recognised its subjective nature.
hehe. Well, again, I didn't think when I wrote "to me". I always write "IMO", "in my opinion", "to me", etc everywhere to specify that everything I write is just my opinion, so it has become a habit for me and it screwed me over in this case. What I should've written is that accurate means high fidelity, implying that it's a fact. What else could accurate mean? Accurate means correct or exact, which in relation to sound reproduction basically means true to the original sound/recording. However, what qualities are required for accurate reproduction in headphones is certainly still debatable, especially the most correct frequency response required.
On second thought, "true to the original sound/recording" is not an accurate definition of sound reproduction accuracy IMO. This is because if the recording is made using fake $5 earbuds with no bass and no treble, and the recording engineer (lol) then boosts both ends of the spectrum by 50 db to compensate for the fake earbud's crappiness in an attempt to create a neutral sound, the recording will obviously blow your teeth out and drill right through your brain if you listen to it with your high end, accurate cans. In this case, you can't say that your cans are true to this recording, because they are not in the sense that you won't hear what the artist intended you to hear. No, an accurate headphone is the one that is capable of reproducing sounds the way a person with average normal hearing would hear them in real life. So if the sound of a piano is perfectly recorded so that it can be reproduced with complete accuracy, then you should hear exactly that same piano sound through a perfectly accurate headphone.
Of course, nothing is perfect and there can be no such thing as perfectly accurate sound, nor such thing as perfect reproduction of everything an artist intended you to hear. You can even argue that, as it is the case in the extreme example I provided above, you may not hear anything even resembling what the artist intended you to hear even with the most accurate headphones possible. However, the example is really too extreme and most respectable musicians and recording engineers, at least those whose music a normal person who appreciates high quality audio gear will want to listen to, usually use at least reasonably accurate, usually time approved studio monitors. Thus, in most cases, the more accurate your headphones will be, the more you should still be able to hear of what most (ok, maybe not most... arghh... let's just say many lol) artists intended you to hear.
Edited by Pianist - 5/3/14 at 11:09pm