Originally Posted by sethsez
This is so remarkably stupid I'm not entirely convinced you're not just making it up.
I mean, I'm not calling you a liar. I'm just saying I don't have the mental capacity to conceive of people who actually believe this.
Back in the early 1980s when CDs were new I was at a social gathering with several other engineers. Of all of them I was the most skeptical. We each took turns trying this "test", which had no control, no scientific method at all. I raised all sorts of objections at the time, and after doing the analog watch first, then the digital watch (with the "tester" noting how much weaker I'd become), I insisted on doing the analog watch again. Surprise, I didn't get stronger, I got weaker still! At that point we all had dinner, and never went back to try the reverse order...digital first...it just didn't seem to matter. We'd all bought CD players and loved them.
No, not making it up. Sort of wish I was, but sadly, no. The "digital stress" concept never really went away. In fact, in an attempt to discredit the idea in the mid 80s, I tried to set up an ABX test where A was analog, live sound form a studio console, B was also the console but passed through an early digital recorder running "E to E", in other words A/D then immediately D/A. The digital stress people tried to discredit the 50% (yup, random guessing) results by claiming ABX testing was also stressful and reduced the ability of a person to discern subtle differences, and that the proper comparison would have to be to analog recording, not live audio.
You just can't win with these people.
However, I have a valid reason why digital audio causes stress. It's so much more real than analog that the recordings are more exciting to listen to. Hows that?
Actually, you do have all the mental capacity you need. I suspect those that latch onto the unbelievable as reality are the ones lacking mental capacity of some sort. One of my favorites was the "Tice Clock", a $350 digital clock that, when carefully located on top of your audio equipment, eliminated "electron noise". No, I'm not making that up either: http://www.stereophile.com/content/tice-r-4-tpt-coherence-electrotec-ep-c-clocks-specifications
The clock could only be bought from special high-end dealers...that's until somebody recognized the same exact clock at Radio Shack for $19.95! Of course, if you only paid $19.95, the reduction of electron noise would be minimal. Hundreds, if not thousands, were sold and it was reviewed with accolades...second only to the Audio Brick. You can guess what that was, what it did, and how you used it on your own.
I've always been impressed by the need people have to hang onto the mythical and magical when reality is usually sufficiently amazing. And, I know of no other field of science that is so unevenly populated with intense mythology as audio. Don't know why.
Edited by jaddie - 4/30/13 at 4:40pm