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Peer groups, self selection, the breadth of the audiophile community - Page 2  

post #16 of 170
Responding to the original post...

It seems to me there are three types of people who come to forums like this...

1) Audiophiles who enjoy shopping for equipment and churn through a lot of upgrades. The only way to convince themselves to upgrade is to decide there is room for improvement. As we know, a lot of equipment sounds pretty much the same. So if they want to keep shopping and upgrading, they need to use vague, subjective excuses to replace one DAC with a more expensive one that sounds the same.

2) We sound science types who want to know the nuts and bolts of how digital audio works so we can tweak the last ounce out of our systems. It isn't good enough for us to just want to upgrade, we want to know exactly why it's necessary.

3) People who are in the market for some particular piece of equipment and find the forum from google searching. They aren't looking for flowery descriptions or dense technical explanations, they just want plain language common sense tips from people who know their stuff. Which one should I buy? Why is this one better than the other? Once they get the answers, they go to Amazon and buy it and never think about it again. They do what everyone should be doing- listen to music.

Number 1s are in their own dream world of flowery reviews and compulsive buying. Nothing anyone says can affect them. No point trying. Number 2 people may be interested in theory, but the issues get raised and discussed and then what? Everyone just sits around and waits for a audiophool to come along so it can all be discussed again. Circular. There are a LOT more number 3s than either of the others. They're the ones that appreciate the help. We should be addressing them.
post #17 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

I have to say it was a little troubling to hear about all those non-objective engineers, though.  I can't say I've shared the experience.

I think non-objective engineers are like veils and prat. Some people dearly wish they could actually exist, but alas they don't.
post #18 of 170

After closure of the other thread by Currawong, I was wondering what would it take to make a forum for rational, reality based audio discussions by the general audio public workable.  I decided it is a non-starter right now.  The reason is such forums are funded by ads.  There is more money to be made from companies putting up ads for higher priced products that are of dubious value.  Forums that cater to that rather than reality based audio will be far more profitable. Only if the general public with audio interests look upon such companies with disdain in general would such ads be unproductive and such companies would diminish.  I don't see that happening any time soon. 

 

Publications like Stereo Review, and Audio perished when all this subjectivist thinking that sighted auditioning experience trumped everything else became the norm. John Gordon Holt started Stereophile precisely because measurements seemed not to correspond to listening pleasure.  It seems certain less accurate equipment can be more pleasing than accurate equipment in some situations.  I don't think JGH was against rationality.  We probably know by now mechanisms that lead one astray. Partly human perceptual psychology when nothing is really different, and perceptual artifacts that make one prefer what is different and audibly so over more accuracy. 

 

Further there is nothing wrong with a little seasoning for perceivable sound differences one prefers for musical enjoyment.  But it need not cost much if any extra and doesn't need to involve any pseudo-science of mysticism.  Nothing wrong with single ended triode tube equipment makers (for one example) saying their sound is preferred, just own up to why.  Tube guitar amp companies basically function that way.  The particular distortion and sound signature is why people like those.

 

I do think using a transparent system and altering the sound digitally is the way to go.  One could easily duplicate SET sound with a good AVR and the appropriate digital processing of the signal.  One need not have the glowing tubes. (though there is value in the sight, sound and experience of the actual real deal for some).

 

The other issue with reality based forums is it will be less interesting and busy (which again impacts ad revenue).  Bigshot's post a couple above mine describes why pretty well.  The one where he describes the 3 groups of people who would visit a forum like this. 

 

On the other hand, if more people understood it, and it doesn't take detailed knowledge there is one area that could be very deep, interesting (bordering on mystical) and useful.  The speaker/room interface.  Plenty of work to do there, plenty unknown, plenty that is unique to each situation.  Also the area where improvements can do the most good by a couple orders of magnitude above anything else in the whole audio chain (the recording/mastering end is the other area with potential, but as a consumer you don't have any choice other than recordings available).  But as long as Joe Q. Audiophile thinks expensive cables can cure as many ills as room correction software well you get the inane situation where people spend money on cable equal to very well designed room correction hardware/software.  I do think in a generation or so the latter will displace the former. 

post #19 of 170

If you distill the breadth of the head-fi community to a single average user they would be an uninformed Beats-wearing young adult looking for shopping advice. Whatever the perceived function of this forum may be it is still a business. The overall trend to marginalize skepticism and science to a subforum when these approaches to product selection became an inconvenience to some users was perfectly rational. Yet from high up on a cynical mountain the process of ostracism inherent in the self-selection of a group seems painfully absurd. Each individual head-fi user has a different background and whatever strength and knowledge that may be found in this community comes from pluralism.

post #20 of 170
I've been around here for a few years now, and I remember well when the Sound Science forum was created. Those of us who talked about verifying subjective impressions through controlled testing were seen as "intruders" in the other Head-Fi forums. We were troublemakers that needed to be banished to the Sound Science forum. They told us that we would be free to discuss DBT to our heart's content in our own little island of science.

Now, here we are in our own forum talking about double blind tests and scientific stuff quite happily, but the mystical subjectivists just can't resist coming in to our forum, dragging their anti-science diatribes and argumentativeness with them. Being separate isn't good enough. They have to go out of their way to pick fights with us.

It kinda shows you who the real troublemakers were in the first place.
post #21 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Each individual head-fi user has a different background and whatever strength and knowledge that may be found in this community comes from pluralism.

I agree. Participation in the community increases its vitality. A vital community can be used by advertisers to find customers. The revenue stream doesn't exist without the community. Squashing active participants to the community is bad business.

I've contributed to this community over 10,250 times.
Edited by bigshot - 6/9/13 at 3:43pm
post #22 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Perhaps its the difference between a forum and a blog.  Not much back<>forth on a blog, nothing to debate. 

 

 

Oh no, his blog postings were prolific as well. Plus he was also posting regularly over at diyAudio as RocketScientist.

 

se

post #23 of 170
His blogs were well researched and very informative, even for a nooblet like me. He was very thorough in his measurements and offered concise explanations for what he was doing and why he was doing it.
Having access to expensive equipment was the cherry on the top.
post #24 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Now, here we are in our own forum talking about double blind tests and scientific stuff quite happily, but the mystical subjectivists just can't resist coming in to our forum, dragging their anti-science diatribes and argumentativeness with them. Being separate isn't good enough. They have to go out of their way to pick fights with us.

I don't really mind mystical subjectivist that much, even if they don't have an open mind they are often entertaining. What annoys me is that each of the last five pages of thread listings for this subforum has at least two locked topics in it. You have to go back four pages in the Cables/Tweaks/DBT-free forum before you'll find the first locked thread. You can draw two conclusions from this, 1) there is greater disagreement and therefore a greater variety of opinion in the sound science forum; 2) this subforum is subject to much greater moderator scrutiny. I don't know the distribution of flagged comments or other complaints across the various subforums yet I doubt that they are the sole reason for this greater scrutiny.

 

Sound science threads are sometimes locked without any explanation at all. In the latest case there was not so much an explanation as a demeaning reprimand. This is quite troubling when you consider the acting moderator's involvement in the thread at the time of closure.

post #25 of 170
If my math is correct, 2 new threads were locked in sound science today. Brace yourselves, a raid on the *ghetto is imminent.
Edited by Greenleaf7 - 6/9/13 at 11:06pm
post #26 of 170

To me it's more or less clear that reasonable discussion regarding actual scientific research is quite impossible here, if the discussion at all ends up straying towards the philosophy of science - which it almost inevitably does over time.

 

This is quite frustrating, of course.  I'm conflicted myself between thoughts that in principle, actual scientific research and debate should be open to contribution and comment by all, and the reality that making the discussion too open in fact keeps it from going anywhere at all.

 

Add to that that I don't even have the freedom here to discuss things and say what I really think - and you can understand why I rarely even bother to visit this site or post here anymore.

post #27 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7 View Post

If my math is correct, 2 new threads were locked in sound science today. Brace yourselves, a raid on the getho is imminent.

The last one was a good science thread, it actively ridicules claims and product concepts which is a BIG part of science. Not only that, it helps readers be aware of questionable products that are taking prey of those incompetent of science. Hence, that thread was in a way a thread that people can learn of science...even if it was basic stuff.

 

BTW it is spelled ghetto ;)

post #28 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

The last one was a good science thread, it actively ridicules claims and product concepts which is a BIG part of science. Not only that, it helps readers be aware of questionable products that are taking prey of those incompetent of science. Hence, that thread was in a way a thread that people can learn of science...even if it was basic stuff.

 

BTW it is spelled ghetto ;)

 

 

Indeed:

 

Quote:

The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.

 

H.L. MENCKEN, Baltimore Evening Sun, Sep. 14, 1925

 

Not that anecdotes are any sort of "evidence" per se regarding what is philosophically "right", but I thought the above quote was entertaining at least.

 

By the way, apparently I'm 1337 now.  :-)


Edited by BlackbeardBen - 6/9/13 at 11:06pm
post #29 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

The last one was a good science thread, it actively ridicules claims and product concepts which is a BIG part of science. Not only that, it helps readers be aware of questionable products that are taking prey of those incompetent of science. Hence, that thread was in a way a thread that people can learn of science...even if it was basic stuff.

BTW it is spelled ghetto wink.gif

That was precisely the reason I started the thread. I was only hoping to enlighten the head fi community about such blatant scamming in the audio industry, and sincerely felt that it would benefit audio enthusiasts from both objective and subjective camps.

The reason it was locked, according to Currawong, was because of the use of the term 'snake oil' in the title. I was never warned about the title being inappropriate and it was never my intention to breach any head fi rules and regulations.

That said, in the event that Currawong is willing to unlock the thread, I will make the necessary changes to the title of the thread just so that it abides to head fi rules.
Edited by Greenleaf7 - 6/9/13 at 11:09pm
post #30 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbeardBen View Post

Add to that that I don't even have the freedom here to discuss things and say what I really think - and you can understand why I rarely even bother to visit this site or post here anymore.

 

^ This.  I barely participate because this sub-forum is the only place on the entire website that seems to have anyone approaching even the bare minimum in logical standards.  The rest of the board is >90% advertisement, ego and noise and <10% meaningful debate/discussion.  

 

It's almost embarrassing how absurd the claims are around here.   Psychic abilities?  Guffaw.

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