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post #166 of 498

That's a great post about the science of headphones and it can be applied to just about anything. The problem lies with the "audiophiles" who say they can hear this or that when the measurements don't bear that out. In an issue of Stereophile a few months ago, Michael Fremer was talking about some speakers (I think) he was reviewing and he said something along the lines of, "These sound great to me but I haven't seen the measurements yet so maybe I'm off-base". Who cares what the measurements are if you like how it sounds?

post #167 of 498

This can mean at least two things: a) his hearing is bad and/or b) he doesn't know how measurements relate to what we can or cannot hear.

 

Yes, for him it's fine if he likes the sound, but for others a review should have at least some objective data in it. Anyway, he's a nut so I hope only few take what he says seriously.

post #168 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadcykler View Post

That's a great post about the science of headphones and it can be applied to just about anything. The problem lies with the "audiophiles" who say they can hear this or that when the measurements don't bear that out. In an issue of Stereophile a few months ago, Michael Fremer was talking about some speakers (I think) he was reviewing and he said something along the lines of, "These sound great to me but I haven't seen the measurements yet so maybe I'm off-base". Who cares what the measurements are if you like how it sounds?


I feel the same way - objective data isn't going tell me if I like it or not, so why should I care? Perhaps at one point, hi-fi was a quest for perfect neutrality. I don't think that's the case anymore - people are pretty self aware of their own preferences, whether it's more bass, neutrality, or whatever, and people shop for headphones that they think will correspond to what they like. Here's an analogy (maybe not a great one): The newest top of the line Corvette might be faster in the 1/4 mile, have a higher top-speed, and pull more Gs around corners, but I'd rather drive an M3 any day of the week.

post #169 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post

Here's an analogy (maybe not a great one): The newest top of the line Corvette might be faster in the 1/4 mile, have a higher top-speed, and pull more Gs around corners, but I'd rather drive an M3 any day of the week.

 

Me too!

 

 

biggrin.gif

 

se

post #170 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post


I feel the same way - objective data isn't going tell me if I like it or not, so why should I care? Perhaps at one point, hi-fi was a quest for perfect neutrality. I don't think that's the case anymore - people are pretty self aware of their own preferences, whether it's more bass, neutrality, or whatever, and people shop for headphones that they think will correspond to what they like. Here's an analogy (maybe not a great one): The newest top of the line Corvette might be faster in the 1/4 mile, have a higher top-speed, and pull more Gs around corners, but I'd rather drive an M3 any day of the week.


Because in the olden days we used tone controls for that and now we have powerful DSPs. Paying lots of money for a particular signature instead of high fidelity is what makes the manufacturers sell crap in the first place. Think about it. Just look at the new "high-end" (in the price anyway) headphones, such as, Denons, Shures, Senn's HD700 etc.

 

The analogy is pretty weak and doesn't work for headphones. It's like saying that the LCD 3 has low distortion, wider frequency response etc. but you rather use the Monster Beats Solo (on-ear) because it looks better and doesn't ruin your hairstyle. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if that's what you prefer then you don't really belong in a hi-fi forum.


Edited by xnor - 9/15/12 at 9:54am
post #171 of 498

Am I the only one that has a tone generator app on their phone and tries to use it as a makeshift dog whistle to mess with people?


Edited by Rebel975 - 9/15/12 at 10:20am
post #172 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post

I feel the same way - objective data isn't going tell me if I like it or not, so why should I care? Perhaps at one point, hi-fi was a quest for perfect neutrality. I don't think that's the case anymore - people are pretty self aware of their own preferences, whether it's more bass, neutrality, or whatever, and people shop for headphones that they think will correspond to what they like. Here's an analogy (maybe not a great one): The newest top of the line Corvette might be faster in the 1/4 mile, have a higher top-speed, and pull more Gs around corners, but I'd rather drive an M3 any day of the week.

 

Also, whether or not you're after perfect neutrality, objective data certainly helps you determine whether or not you may like a headphone, assuming you know how to correlate it to your experiences well enough. For example, if I look at a headphone's FR graph and see steep roll off in the sub bass, or notice that the highest points of the treble sit -10dB below the bass, I can say that there is a higher probability I won't like them, since neither of those things match my preferences.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel975 View Post

Am I the only one that has a tone generator app on their phone and tries to use it as a makeshift dog whistle to mess with people?

 

Hahaha.

post #173 of 498
Thread Starter 
When I was a kid I thought lots of bass and treble meant good sound. I was listening to a lot of electronic music at the time, so there really wasn't any such thing as natural sounding. But once I got into classical and jazz everything changed... Balance was everything. The happy side effect was that a neutral response made all music sound better. I rarely need to use tone controls now.
post #174 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post


The analogy is pretty weak and doesn't work for headphones. It's like saying that the LCD 3 has low distortion, wider frequency response etc. but you rather use the Monster Beats Solo (on-ear) because it looks better and doesn't ruin your hairstyle. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if that's what you prefer then you don't really belong in a hi-fi forum.

Holding to "I know what I hear and I know what I like" on a hi-fi forum does have a downside. While almost everyone will be more accepting of opinions if the are backed up by reasons (not necessarily data), "I like distorted, unrealistic sound" needs to find an outlet somewhere else. It is like attending a cat show to tell people you don't like cats. Why waste everyone's time? High fidelity, even just fidelity, means true to the original.
post #175 of 498

head-fi would make a good sociology data base to mine for various group behavior, meme propagation, marketing influence...


Edited by jcx - 9/15/12 at 10:50am
post #176 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post


I feel the same way - objective data isn't going tell me if I like it or not, so why should I care? Perhaps at one point, hi-fi was a quest for perfect neutrality. I don't think that's the case anymore - people are pretty self aware of their own preferences, whether it's more bass, neutrality, or whatever, and people shop for headphones that they think will correspond to what they like. Here's an analogy (maybe not a great one): The newest top of the line Corvette might be faster in the 1/4 mile, have a higher top-speed, and pull more Gs around corners, but I'd rather drive an M3 any day of the week.

 

What puzzles me is that you assume objective data is only good to find neutral gear. You know you can look around FR graphs to find something with hyped bass, or a mid-treble peak, right? Objective data are just reliable and repeatable measurements, regardless of what it is. Even if you had a thing for distorted amps, you could check out measurements until you found one with considerable THD.

post #177 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardKing1 View Post

 

What puzzles me is that you assume objective data is only good to find neutral gear. You know you can look around FR graphs to find something with hyped bass, or a mid-treble peak, right? Objective data are just reliable and repeatable measurements, regardless of what it is. Even if you had a thing for distorted amps, you could check out measurements until you found one with considerable THD.


When did I make that assumption? The only thing I said was that hi-fi doesn't really mean the same thing to this new wave of enthusiasts. I agree that FR graphs can help you hone in on what you're after a bit easier, but it won't tell you which one sounds the best to you. And for the guy that compared an M3 to a pair of Beats...that's hardly an accurate appraisal of my analogy. An M3 is a very capable car (er, tank) and is more enjoyable to drive than a Corvette (in my opinion). If it was a souped-up Honda with ridiculous rims in my analogy, then you'd have me...

 

Quote:
Holding to "I know what I hear and I know what I like" on a hi-fi forum does have a downside. While almost everyone will be more accepting of opinions if the are backed up by reasons (not necessarily data), "I like distorted, unrealistic sound" needs to find an outlet somewhere else. It is like attending a cat show to tell people you don't like cats. Why waste everyone's time? High fidelity, even just fidelity, means true to the original.

Actually, I lean towards neutrality, so we're kind of in the same camp. I think the reason the "I know what I hear..." argument doesn't fly with some on hi-fi forums is different people are in it for different reasons. Some people focus more on enjoying their music and are a bit passive as far as having a quest for their ideal (which I think is mostly made up of those new to the hobby) while others are hell bent on hearing it true to the original (the veterans who've been in it a long time), even if it takes them into 5 figures worth of gear. I think the term  "high fidelity" is in the midst of an etymological change, for better or worse.

 

Maybe you should tell Jude to stop accepting ad dollars from companies that produce gear with a mid-bass hump or a treble spike, etc. since these companies don't make proper hi-fi gear. That would be akin to sacrilege for a true hi-fi man, no? It may be you who is in the wrong forum if you cannot tolerate opinions like mine - I certainly don't mind hearing what you have to say, nor do I think that you don't belong here.


Edited by doublea71 - 9/15/12 at 9:02pm
post #178 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post

It may be you who is in the wrong forum if you cannot tolerate opinions like mine.

 

I'm not sure I understand just exactly what the opinion you're trying to get across even is...?

post #179 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post

head-fi would make a good sociology data base to mine for various group behavior, meme propagation, marketing influence...


100% agree ^

post #180 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by manveru View Post

 

I'm not sure I understand just exactly what the opinion you're trying to get across even is...?


I basically said not everybody is after neutrality, and that's okay. Live and let live, in a nutshell.

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