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post #91 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


You're conflating and building up a straw-man. There is a big divide between science and scientism - "objectivists" are generally more towards scientism than science. I'm also pretty sure that everyone currently posting in this thread is an actual scientist or engineer; this isn't some anti-science anti-intellectual rant, it's a derision of scientism and other woowoo.


I'm an engineering student if that counts! atsmile.gif

post #92 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post


I'm an engineering student if that counts! atsmile.gif

It does. Like I said, I'm pretty sure everyone here actually *gets* proper research methods for their given discipline, and doesn't (hopefully) regard their chosen field as offering Truth and other woowoo. Because Truth isn't science.
Edited by obobskivich - 10/26/12 at 9:23pm
post #93 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


It does. Like I said, I'm pretty sure everyone here actually *gets* proper research methods for their given discipline, and doesn't (hopefully) regard their chosen field as offering Truth and other woowoo. Because Truth isn't science.

Don't take this the wrong way, but what exactly do you mean by that? I regard my chosen field as offering a logical, objective, and mathematical explanation of the world around me, which remains constant and unchanging, if something does change and doesn't work based upon calculations and the theory behind it, then I'm the one who's made and error, not the fundamentals of science and math.

 

I think it applies to headphones and other gear in a similar way, but this hobby is subjective in some ways. For example, we could hypothesize that a sony mdr-XB700 has more bass than an audio technica AD700. we could test this hypothesis by having multiple people compare the two headphones, nobody is going to say the AD700 has more bass than the XB700, then, we could take multiple graphs of the two headphones, or even several copies of them using several copies of them, and if we continuously get people saying it has more bass, and the graphs keeps showing it has more bass, we can now say that we have a scientific theory that mdr XB700's have more bass than AD700's. But, if we hypothesize that everybody will think the MDR XB700's bass sounds good, we are going to fail to prove that, because some people will like it, some people won't.

 

We can prove that an accurate headphone is technically superior using measurements, provided our definition of "superior" is a headphone that reproduces a perceived response as close to the original signal as possible.

 

We can prove that a solid state amplifier is technically superior to tubes based amps based on our definition of superior being the one that again, reproduces the original signal as close to perfect as possible.

 

This is science, and this is objective, opinions are not objective, and people who try and place objective views on peoples opinions are doingitwrong.jpg

post #94 of 215

@ AiDee. 

 

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 ingroup/outgroup discrimination (stereotyping); conformity, polarization of various kinds and other group phenomena; and the function of discourse in all of this.

That sounds like really interesting and important work. I'm happy that you took my question in such a broad sense. 

post #95 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

Don't take this the wrong way, but what exactly do you mean by that?

The idea of "truth with a capital T" is what I'm getting at - absolutes. They don't exist, empirically. Science deals with "small truths" as a result. It's very much a philosophical argument, I know, but it's a distinction that I see a lot of people fail to make when talking about science. A great anecdote for this appears in Men In Black:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_m8LJ2Z3no

There is no "irrefutable Truth" unless we're talking about religious faith, which is called faith for a reason.
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I regard my chosen field as offering a logical, objective, and mathematical explanation of the world around me

That's empiricism, that's science.
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which remains constant and unchanging, if something does change and doesn't work based upon calculations and the theory behind it, then I'm the one who's made and error, not the fundamentals of science and math.

That's scientism.

The difference is fundamental - one side is simply the construction of a philosophy of structured inquiry to observe and describe the physical world around us. The other rejects the ability of that philosophy to change, wants to carve it into stone, and says all problems stem from human flaw or failure (and because I don't know what your frame of reference is with respect to religion, this is VERY similar to Abrahamic tradition of accepting God as static perfection, and all flaw stemming from original sin and human failure).

In other words, science DOES change, that's part of the point. It's self-correcting and self-improving, you take what you knew yesterday and use it to try and explain why you're seeing today, in order to understand what might happen tomorrow. The "constant and unchanging" bit doesn't work at all - if that were the case, there'd be no scientific innovation, or engineering at all. It doesn't deal in absolutes, it deals in theory and law, both of which are fickle and transitive.
Quote:
I think it applies to headphones and other gear in a similar way, but this hobby is subjective in some ways. For example, we could hypothesize that a sony mdr-XB700 has more bass than an audio technica AD700. we could test this hypothesis by having multiple people compare the two headphones, nobody is going to say the AD700 has more bass than the XB700, then, we could take multiple graphs of the two headphones, or even several copies of them using several copies of them, and if we continuously get people saying it has more bass, and the graphs keeps showing it has more bass, we can now say that we have a scientific theory that mdr XB700's have more bass than AD700's. But, if we hypothesize that everybody will think the MDR XB700's bass sounds good, we are going to fail to prove that, because some people will like it, some people won't.

Sure, but this isn't the same as "unchanging and constant" and it doesn't set-up an absolute. You never prove anything, you just support or refute a hypothesis with evidence. For example, what happens if someone DOES say that the AD700 is bassier? You can't pre-suppose the outcome, it's bad experimental design and you've already shot yourself in the foot.
Quote:
We can prove that an accurate headphone is technically superior using measurements, provided our definition of "superior" is a headphone that reproduces a perceived response as close to the original signal as possible.

You don't "prove" you only "support" or "refute" - there is no "prove." You can postulate that a headphone capable of reproducing the signal with the least amount of deviation or distortion is more accurate, and then objectively measure a few headphones and find the one that has the least deviation in its results, which shows that it comes closest to meeting your original criteria. But you haven't "proven" anything. You can then take that and go talk to the perceptual and behavioral guys, and set-up your HSR to get an idea of what people actually like, testing the headphone you found to be least deviant against other options, and see what you get. And then crunch the math on the returned data and figure out if there's a strong correlation or preference, and what kind of confidence you have, and then present your findings as support or refutation of your original hypothesis. But you still have not "proven" anything. And any research design that sets out from day 1 to "prove" something is inherently flawed.
Quote:
We can prove that a solid state amplifier is technically superior to tubes based amps based on our definition of superior being the one that again, reproduces the original signal as close to perfect as possible.

Again, see above. There is no "prove" there is only description, demonstration, observation, and so on. There is no Truth seeking here.
Quote:
This is science, and this is objective, opinions are not objective, and people who try and place objective views on peoples opinions are doingitwrong.jpg

No, it's not. It's something else. Science isn't about "prove" or Truth, it's about description, observation, postulation, theory formation, and so on. And you don't ever stop that process just because your field-work is done, or your lab-work is done, there's interpretation, peer-review, revision, theory testing, and so on. External controls and regulation. It goes on and on and on. Some guy sitting in his basement with an oscope telling the world "how it is" is far from science.

The bit on opinion feels too heavily influenced by modern Western scholarship too - truly unfortunate that. Unfortunately there's a MASSIVE misunderstanding and general ignorance towards what actually constitutes objective or subjective, qualitative or quantitative, inductive or deductive, etc and the words get thrown around willy-nilly by a lot of people as meaning something they aren't. And it's from the rise of scientism (has anyone actually gone and looked this up as a philosophy? as in, can I assume that people actually know exactly what I'm talking about here? or do I need to provide more explanation?) in my view - not to keep hitting movies up for quotes, but:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHGHkGmOmD4

And I see that as sort of the "trend" recently (without the dinosaurs (FUN SIDE NOTE: obobs has met one of the people who designed the animatronics for that movie)); a re-construction of the supernatural through "science" and "irrefutable natural law" (Natural Law being an Enlightenment era concept). It's unfortunate, because it does a dis-service to what science truly is, and I think leaves a lot of bad taste in its wake, where you get people who have no formal experience with science coming out of it with this vision as science as "yet another religion" and the scientismists (yes I know this isn't grammatical, but "scientist" and "scientologist" are both unrelated demonyms) thinking they're doing "God's work" (for lack of a better phrase) in proving Truth and showing the heathen-savages how wrong they really are (this being a hallmark of Western civilization for the last 500 years, at least).

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Regarding whether or not I'm condemning the Sound Science board - I really don't care either way (I'm not "for" or "against" (well, I'm "for" inasmuch as it hopefully prevents board-wide drama)). There are plenty of bright people who post there, and some of their posts are very informative and interesting, but the whole "DBT as religion" and "science proves you wrong" kind of thing is where I really have to draw the line and say "no thank you." redface.gif If it took a more scientific tack, and was more interested in description, analysis, and interpretation - not prescription, prediction, and argumentation - it would be a far better resource imho. And that kind of information already sort of exists elsewhere on Head-Fi. The parts of Sound Science that are based on discussing science news or people talking about published findings are usually interesting though, but I see that as a minority of the content there.

AiDee -

Just saw your most recent post. Very insightful indeed, and I think you've probably hit it on the head. Online fora (like any other form of social interaction) have an associated schema, and accepted speech/image acts (lets see if I can for the hat-trick and mix a third discipline's concepts into one sentence, shall we!) - and that's where you see a lot of formulaic and structured interaction (BA-ZING!). It becomes routine.

Personally I agree to some extent - I can talk philosophy and theory all day, and it doesn't really bore me, but it doesn't excite me either. I like talking audio gear, and that's basically why I'm here, but I don't see any reason for that to spill into "haves" and "have nots" (be it knowledge, gear, money, whatever); I just like talking gear.

On a broader note, the social issues you're touching on are impossible to even characterize in a global manner (sure, the behavioral neuroscientists *say* they can do it, but fMRIs are expensive and that field is very much an infant), but within a properly framed lens, solution-focused applied projects happen all the time, but they're always one-offs. There is no universal "fix all" - and historically speaking everything that has purported to be such at best is just wishful thinking, and at worst usually results in atrocities being committed at some point (usually sooner than later). But I'm glad other people are thinking about these kinds of things.
Edited by obobskivich - 10/26/12 at 11:13pm
post #96 of 215

Some great reading guys. (especially Obobs) Just a point of view regarding truths. Because everything is constantly changing, from the smallest particles to planets, dark matter/space whatever you want to call it, nothing can be "absolute" in scientific terms. Science proves (empirically) that change is constantly happening. So how can anything be "set in stone"?. The ball will fall in the same place 1,000,000 times under strict condictions but if there is an earthquake then it will distupt this pattern. Nevermind probability, that really doesn't apply when looking for truth. I'm not a scientist or engineer (no schitt ha!), I've just had a general interest in Philosophy for many years and in my experience the further you delve into philosophy or anything looking for answers regarding truth, the further away you end up....  wink_face.gif There have been some fantastic minds through the ages from Plato/Aristotle Kant/Newton Nietzsche/Einstien and they have all had great theories. Some Brilliant theories! And some of them have changed our lives for good or indeed bad. But thats all that they are, theories/ideas. Does it really matter if we break the speed of light one day...? We still won't be any closer to a "truth" from when we used to rub sticks together and worship the sun. People will "believe" in whatever they desire to, regardless..

We think we are sooo clever with our science and theories, but imo we are probably the stupidest species on the planet biggrin.gif. And we prove that everyday without scientific theory. I am a very positive person beileive me! But we have to just sit back and enjoy our cables, and if they do improve the sound then all the better. 

 

Cheers  

 

post #97 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


You're conflating and building up a straw-man. There is a big divide between science and scientism - "objectivists" are generally more towards scientism than science. I'm also pretty sure that everyone currently posting in this thread is an actual scientist or engineer; this isn't some anti-science anti-intellectual rant, it's a derision of scientism and other woowoo.

 

I'm a linguistics major, which is most certainly a science. My specialization is in the statistical side, meaning building and parsing large corpuses of words and studying broad usage patterns and trends over time or in regards to specific, arbitrarily-selected criteria. There's a lot of, shall we say, less than objective notions floating around in the general linguistics field, and more than a few circular arguments. One of those involves the idea that people like me aren't really doing linguistics because we're attempting to boil down human language usage and evolution to spreadsheets, which apparently "can't be done."

 

So I'm more than familiar with the objective side of making arguments, seeing that's what I happen to do in my field. I admit that I've never been to our own personal science forum, but I have been to HA and a few other similar-minded fora (can't remember the names now, as it was a while ago) and I know our own forum by its reputation. I understand that in science an individual is expected to rigorously defend his research or hypotheses. This is intended to ensure that only the most plausible ideas are put forward, and also that conflict of interest/personal agendas are sniffed out and expunged.

 

But when that rigor is directed toward herding in or denigrating the non-believers, instead of challenging new ideas, it is no longer appropriate. When the scientist forgets that his primary aim is to repeatedly try to disprove any given hypothesis through rigorous testing, and instead bands together with other like-minded scientists and attempts to prove a hypothesis by consensus, he ceases to be a scientist. And when an entire field is taken over by this attitude, it ceases to be science.

 

I don't think that audio science as a whole has reached this state at all, but in some places (HA) that's pretty much what it's devolved into (unless it's changed in the past three years or so). I'm all for testing and finding the answers. I'm a firm believer that there is merit in trying to determine just how humans perceive sound and what they can and cannot detect. And there's quite a lot to be skeptical of on the opposite (non-science forum) side of the Head-Fi fence, and I'd love to someday be able to put all those notions to rest once and for all, whoever turns out to be right.

 

But I'll say one more thing. I was happy to be proved wrong when I swore up and down that I could tell the difference between a high bitrate AAC file and WAV. When Foobar's ABX comparator came back and said I was completely guessing at 192kbps, I nodded my head, smiled, and said, "there's no arguing with that." Being wrong is a part of science, and how you deal with that as an individual makes all the difference in the world if you're going to stay objective. On both sides of the audio aisle, both objective and subjective, I've seen a lot of people who just can't handle being wrong. We're never going to get anywhere with that going on.


Edited by Argyris - 10/27/12 at 12:59am
post #98 of 215
I wish there was an actual person named "Newton Nietszche" - really I do. It just speaks to me on so many levels. biggrin.gif

Serious-faced: +1 to your post.
post #99 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I wish there was an actual person named "Newton Nietszche" - really I do. It just speaks to me on so many levels. biggrin.gif
Serious-faced: +1 to your post.

biggrin.gif If only...

 never been good with comma's beerchug.gif

post #100 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

I'm a linguistics major, which is most certainly a science. My specialization is in the statistical side, meaning building and parsing large corpuses of words and studying broad usage patterns and trends over time or in regards to specific, arbitrarily-selected criteria. There's a lot of, shall we say, less than objective notions floating around in the general linguistics field, and more than a few circular arguments. One of those involves the idea that people like me aren't really doing linguistics because we're attempting to boil down human language usage and evolution to spreadsheets, which apparently "can't be done."

NLP and similar is usually regarded with derision in the social sciences - I think it's more that a lot of old guard types fear change (and computers tongue.gif). At least, that's how I've always seen what you're describing handled. I would personally say that what you're attempting to do is feasible, if not impractical. But it still won't "solve the world" even if your field pulls it off. Well, I guess that kind of comes down to where you fall in your thinking about linguistic determinism - I can easily see where the other school of thought on that issue would certainly say that you're basically writing a how-to for everything. redface.gif


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So I'm more than familiar with the objective side of making arguments, seeing that's what I happen to do in my field. I admit that I've never been to our own personal science forum, but I have been to HA and a few other similar-minded fora (can't remember the names now, as it was a while ago) and I know our own forum by its reputation. I understand that in science an individual is expected to rigorously defend his research or hypotheses. This is intended to ensure that only the most plausible ideas are put forward, and also that conflict of interest/personal agendas are sniffed out and expunged.

But when that rigor is directed toward herding in or denigrating the non-believers, instead of challenging new ideas, it is no longer appropriate. When the scientist forgets that his primary aim is to repeatedly try to disprove any given hypothesis through rigorous testing, and instead bands together with other like-minded scientists and attempts to prove a hypothesis by consensus, he ceases to be a scientist. And when an entire field is taken over by this attitude, it ceases to be science.

Yep. And it starts to become a religion. ph34r.gif
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I don't think that audio science as a whole has reached this state at all, but in some places (HA) that's pretty much what it's devolved into (unless it's changed in the past three years or so). I'm all for testing and finding the answers. I'm a firm believer that there is merit in trying to determine just how humans perceive sound and what they can and cannot detect. And there's quite a lot to be skeptical of on the opposite (non-science forum) side of the Head-Fi fence, and I'd love to someday be able to put all those notions to rest once and for all, whoever turns out to be right.

Indeed. But perceptual studies are like NLP and structural linguistics - they make people very uncomfortable for some reason. I think it's that people have some inherent issue with a machine telling them how it actually is, as a construct. I think it's because of the risk of such research to become truly predictive in nature, and the historical abuses of such things that have been perpetrated in medicine and psychology (but honestly, I cannot name a single linguist who mediated new HSR regulations or ethics compliance issues, but one could write an entire multi-volume work on the "gifts" of psychology, medicine, and sociology over the last hundred years). But then again, if you consider that behaviourial marketing is basically woowoo, let's just say that I'm skeptical but respectful of those who do try.
Quote:
But I'll say one more thing. I was happy to be proved wrong when I swore up and down that I could tell the difference between a high bitrate AAC file and WAV. When Foobar's ABX comparator came back and said I was completely guessing at 192kbps, I nodded my head, smiled, and said, "there's no arguing with that." Being wrong is a part of science, and how you deal with that as an individual makes all the difference in the world if you're going to stay objective. On both sides of the audio aisle, both objective and subjective, I've seen a lot of people who just can't handle being wrong. We're never going to get anywhere with that going on.

+1. But again, this is more down to if people can accept change and be honest with themselves, than anything to do with science. We're talking about things that typical 10 year olds should be able to do.
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Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

biggrin.gif  If only...
 never been good with comma's beerchug.gif

I thought it was kewl beans. No offense was intended. beerchug.gif
post #101 of 215
@obob--ignore if you're not interested in a description of computational linguistics (which is everybody, right ;-) (Click to show)

 

I'm not bristling or anything, but I'll assure you that as far as my field goes, I've never thought we could "solve the world." I'm far too humble for that, and I think people who think that sort of thing about any scientific discipline are getting it all wrong. In fact, I kind of got pushed into this part of the discipline because I found Chomsky and what remains of his followers to be too much of the very thing I'm arguing against in this thread. He did his bit back in the sixties and has had to endure everything he set in motion being torn to pieces since then, and he's taken it exactly the wrong way.

 

I wouldn't say what we're doing is NLP. It's more of a categorizing branch. We actually have more in common with computer science than we do with linguistics. Basically we tag large bodies of language (either intrinsically text or conversations that have been written down) in order to create an arbitrarily searchable database. From there, anybody who wants to test a hypothesis can use that database instead of having to do endless field work, getting permission from ethics boards for use of human subjects, etc. The more data that gets added, and the more arbitrary ways it can be cross cut, the more representative of the whole the sample becomes. It will always be an asymptotic relationship, but then, so is all statistics, which is basically what we're doing. Much of the backlash against us comes from the idea that our databases can't directly get at the questions of how language actually came about or how it's generated. Since nobody ever claimed that was what we were trying to do, and since for all his bluster Chomsky hasn't figured it out, either, these criticisms entirely miss the mark.

 

But enough about that. Just wanted to make sure I was clear about where I'm coming from.

 

 

I agree that there's definitely a sense of old guard versus new guard in a lot of things. In fact, I'll try to bring this back around to Head-Fi again, since that applies here as well. I can understand the attitude. From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong with anything here), Head-Fi came into being from another forum, and there was a pretty close knit group of people who came over in the transition. It continued on in this form for a while, steadily growing in membership until it became the dominant such forum on the Internet. As it grew in popularity, its membership swelled, and members of the original membership started getting jaded and leaving. There were fewer of them and much more noise to contend with, and they started feeling like the community they had enjoyed previously had grown beyond them. Fanboyism became rampant (I've read some dark hints that the K701 started this), and of course now we have the endless recommendation threads.

 

Also, the headphone landscape itself has changed. Back in the early 2000s the most expensive headphones were ~$500, unless you were looking at electrostats or rarities (the Orpheus counts as both, of course). Now, partially thanks to Monster, there's a whole new upper tier to contend with, and there have been some questionable entries as of late. For instance, I know a lot of people (Tyll Hertsens perhaps most colorfully) who didn't like the Edition 10, and there's been a lot of complaining that AKG isn't competing much anymore (opinions on the K550 are split, and anyway it's closed, so it's not a successor to the K70x). There's the whole Changstar thing. Headphones aren't just about sound anymore, and I agree with some that this is an unfortunate development, but it's a reality that is changing the whole hobby.

 

I wasn't around when the old guard were starting Head-Fi, and while in general I tend to sympathize with them, I can't in fairness (or in fact) consider myself one of them. I'm not exactly sure how you would define the new guard. Maybe people who are okay with a highly colored sound (e.g. Grado) as long as it's technically proficient? People who are more likely to seek a good portable headphone than a good stationary set? People who are concerned about style as well as substance? People who got into headphones post-iPhone or post-Beats? Maybe it's so difficult to define this because it hasn't really solidified itself yet.

 

EDIT: Edition 10. Must learn to proofread better.


Edited by Argyris - 10/27/12 at 2:34am
post #102 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

@obob--ignore if you're not interested in a description of computational linguistics (which is everybody, right ;-) (Click to show)

I'm not bristling or anything, but I'll assure you that as far as my field goes, I've never thought we could "solve the world." I'm far too humble for that, and I think people who think that sort of thing about any scientific discipline are getting it all wrong. In fact, I kind of got pushed into this part of the discipline because I found Chomsky and what remains of his followers to be too much of the very thing I'm arguing against in this thread. He did his bit back in the sixties and has had to endure everything he set in motion being torn to pieces since then, and he's taken it exactly the wrong way.

I wouldn't say what we're doing is NLP. It's more of a categorizing branch. We actually have more in common with computer science than we do with linguistics. Basically we tag large bodies of language (either intrinsically text or conversations that have been written down) in order to create an arbitrarily searchable database. From there, anybody who wants to test a hypothesis can use that database instead of having to do endless field work, getting permission from ethics boards for use of human subjects, etc. The more data that gets added, and the more arbitrary ways it can be cross cut, the more representative of the whole the sample becomes. It will always be an asymptotic relationship, but then, so is all statistics, which is basically what we're doing. Much of the backlash against us comes from the idea that our databases can't directly get at the questions of how language actually came about or how it's generated. Since nobody ever claimed that was what we were trying to do, and since for all his bluster Chomsky hasn't figured it out, either, these criticisms entirely miss the mark.

But enough about that. Just wanted to make sure I was clear about where I'm coming from.

Are you familiar with HRAF and its history?


Quote:
I agree that there's definitely a sense of old guard versus new guard in a lot of things. In fact, I'll try to bring this back around to Head-Fi again, since that applies here as well. I can understand the attitude. From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong with anything here), Head-Fi came into being from another forum, and there was a pretty close knit group of people who came over in the transition. It continued on in this form for a while, steadily growing in membership until it became the dominant such forum on the Internet. As it grew in popularity, its membership swelled, and members of the original membership started getting jaded and leaving. There were fewer of them and much more noise to contend with, and they started feeling like the community they had enjoyed previously had grown beyond them. Fanboyism became rampant (I've read some dark hints that the K701 started this), and of course now we have the endless recommendation threads.

My understanding is that Head-Fi was borne out of Headwise (I think it was Headwise) going under due to financial reasons, but this was over ten years ago now. I would agree with the rest, and the K701 is an interesting phenomenon - I'm inclined to agree with Erik's original condemnation of the K701 and the mythos that surrounds it, but I don't think it created fanboyism. The "big baddie" is more that a lot of more mainstream tech publications have gotten into headphones, and a lot of the never-ending blood-feuds associated with techies in general have spilled over here.
Quote:
Also, the headphone landscape itself has changed. Back in the early 2000s the most expensive headphones were ~$500, unless you were looking at electrostats or rarities (the Orpheus counts as both, of course). Now, partially thanks to Monster, there's a whole new upper tier to contend with, and there have been some questionable entries as of late. For instance, I know a lot of people (Tyll Hertsens perhaps most colorfully) who didn't like the Edition 10, and there's been a lot of complaining that AKG isn't competing much anymore (opinions on the K550 are split, and anyway it's closed, so it's not a successor to the K70x). There's the whole Changstar thing. Headphones aren't just about sound anymore, and I agree with some that this is an unfortunate development, but it's a reality that is changing the whole hobby.

Yes and no, but it's nothing I can discuss in sufficient detail here. The pricing thing is kind of a dualistic mythos - expensive headphones have existed since the 1970s, so have celebrity-endorsed headphones (Koss, on both counts). But expensive headphones being "average" or "entry level" is a new phenomenon, and while I'd love to point the finger at Monster for it, I think the blame should be more fairly levied elsewhere.
Quote:
I wasn't around when the old guard were starting Head-Fi, and while in general I tend to sympathize with them, I can't in fairness (or in fact) consider myself one of them. I'm not exactly sure how you would define the new guard. Maybe people who are okay with a highly colored sound (e.g. Grado) as long as it's technically proficient? People who are more likely to seek a good portable headphone than a good stationary set? People who are concerned about style as well as substance? People who got into headphones post-iPhone or post-Beats? Maybe it's so difficult to define this because it hasn't really solidified itself yet.

I think the reality is that we're seeing a transition from "headphones for audiophiles" to "help me show up my 10th grade classmates" (this is a very exaggerated example, but I think still fair). The biggest difference I have observed is a transition from headphone collectors or audio gear nuts, to people who just want to be spoon-fed a "consumer reports 1-10 rank" (of everything in the entire world, which they believe exists "because science"). And that's where the "objectivists" come into the whole thing - they're not really ideologically "new" (what is?), they're just banging on a now popular drum. It's like, 10 years ago there wasn't this huge burden to provide "Benchmarks" for everything, theoretical values and manufacturer figures were accepted. But thanks to the rise of tech "journalism" and the subsequent spill-over of that, there exists this assumption that there is a 3DMark or viewperf suite for testing or assessing anything, and the goal is just to get the "high score" and that will be the product to buy.
post #103 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

I'm confused here. People don't like the negative tone of "objectivists" but will diminish the only part of the forum that's allowed to openly discuss the perspective by calling it the "sci-fi forum," comparing defenders of the stance to religious zealots, or even lobbing criticisms while admitting never to have visited the sub-forum. If you're concerned about matters of tone and tolerance in others, please take a moment and look at what your own actions are. 

 

Let me try again, as I am in a less sarcastic, disgusted mood today.

 

A few things I have observed:

 - most of the folks who I have seen get Banned from "The Fi" are hardline, inflexible Objectivists.

-AiDee, O'Bob, if you will allow me.....................I have gotten into numerous discussions with Ai and O'Bob and there have been numerous times where we have disagreed or I have not understood them, but our discussions have always ended with civility.     For my part, I have always respected their point of view.

Just my opinion and personal observations, but there have been numerous times where I have seen discussions in the Science Forum, to put it politely, "break down", due to a lack of civility and flexibility. Call me what you will, but I do not like being lectured and hectored by the Hectors of the modern world. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

Don't take this the wrong way, but what exactly do you mean by that? I regard my chosen field as offering a logical, objective, and mathematical explanation of the world around me, which remains constant and unchanging, if something does change and doesn't work based upon calculations and the theory behind it, then I'm the one who's made and error, not the fundamentals of science and math.

 

I think it applies to headphones and other gear in a similar way, but this hobby is subjective in some ways. For example, we could hypothesize that a sony mdr-XB700 has more bass than an audio technica AD700. we could test this hypothesis by having multiple people compare the two headphones, nobody is going to say the AD700 has more bass than the XB700, then, we could take multiple graphs of the two headphones, or even several copies of them using several copies of them, and if we continuously get people saying it has more bass, and the graphs keeps showing it has more bass, we can now say that we have a scientific theory that mdr XB700's have more bass than AD700's. But, if we hypothesize that everybody will think the MDR XB700's bass sounds good, we are going to fail to prove that, because some people will like it, some people won't.

 

We can prove that an accurate headphone is technically superior using measurements, provided our definition of "superior" is a headphone that reproduces a perceived response as close to the original signal as possible.

 

We can prove that a solid state amplifier is technically superior to tubes based amps based on our definition of superior being the one that again, reproduces the original signal as close to perfect as possible.

 

This is science, and this is objective, opinions are not objective, and people who try and place objective views on peoples opinions are doingitwrong.jpg

 

Hello,

I mean no disrespect by what I say, you are free to express your opinion, in fact, I invite it.

I have practiced Electrical Engineering for over 25 years and it is my opinion that while I am applying science to real word problems it is important to keep in mind that when I am solving these problems (almost always in the context of a team BTW!) I must work within my various contraints, many of which would be considered very mundane by the public at large................not enough time, not enough money, the interference from Marketing/Sales/Management (Yes! this is reality!).

Ultimately, more often than not, we are working with a set of compromises and it is our job to find the best solution within the parameters set by those compromises.

Trying to apply an incomplete science in an imperfect world, perhaps?

 

The accurate headphone: I see this a bit of a paradox. 

Headphone A is the best: it has the lowest THD and it's followers like the lack of grit

headphone B is the best; it has the lowest IMD and it's followers like the lack of fog

headphone C is the best: it has the best frequency response: very flat throughout it's range, it's followers like an accurate midrange

headphone D is the best, almost as flat a C, but it goes deeper and higher: it's followers listen to pipe organs

headphone E is the best, transient response..........you get the idea

headphone F is the best, it's almost as good as A, B, C and E in those parametere, but, damn it! It is the most comfortable! And, at the end of the day, you must be comfortable.

 

The solid state vs. tube thing............an argument for another day, but I will leave you with this: which device is more linear, a BJT or a triode?

post #104 of 215

The title of the thread should now read "You will get sick of the endless sound science debates proliferating all areas of head-fi and not being confined to their own particular subsection of the forum!" or something equally catchy.

post #105 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_h View Post

The title of the thread should now read "You will get sick of the endless sound science debates proliferating all areas of head-fi and not being confined to their own particular subsection of the forum!" or something equally catchy.

 

Hmmmm, a bit long and not very catchy! wink_face.gif Sorry!

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