I haven't watched this all the way through yet, but I noticed that Ethan Winer just posted this today a couple hours ago.
Watching now, also see: http://www.rane.com/pdf/ranenotes/Audio_Specifications.pdf
edit: oh, he mentions rane in the video ;)
How can we convince audiophiles that measurements are not negligible?
edit: I think the problems are:
- not knowing what the measurements are,
- or how to read plots
- or, and I think that's very important, not being able to relate them to audibility
Then there's people that "forcibly" try to relate measurements to perceived sound quality: e.g. some sound card reviews contain complaints that the THD plot shows harmonics at -95 dB vs. another card with -105 dB and the reviewer argues that the -105 dB one sounds <insert audiophile babble here> better.
According to the motto: a few dB better here and there *has* to cause an audible difference, it *has* to sound better.
I am assuming that they are assuming that there is no such thing as transparency, which is really sad. Doing one blind test would probably change their mind..
I agree, although I think there is a lot more to it as well. I think a lot of the problem has to do with human culture and society in general. A lot of the things which prevent people from understanding facts about how audio devices work are the same things which contribute to everything from everyday disagreements to war and poverty. There are many reasons why people are unable to understand certain things, regardless of the evidence or logic presented to them. It's not that they are innately incapable of understanding, they just sadly haven't been given the tools. Most human beings haven't even begun to understand let alone accept the extent to which science and objective reality effects how we think and behave.
When you have been raised since birth in a culture based on violent, sociopathic, and primitive values such as free will, competition, debt, differential advantage, mysticism, punishment and reward, right and wrong, good vs bad, etc, the psychological trauma and abuse one endures is endless and deeply scarring. It's subconscious in most people and goes completely unnoticed because all of these things are considered "normal" and socially acceptable.
For example, you can't even bring up any kind of "controversial" subject such as audio science without people's brains instantly going into "debate" mode, as if it's a competition and there are "sides" or something. Arguments can only exist where ignorance of an objective reality exists. When the existence of an objective reality is acknowledged, communication now has a clear goal and we only need to find the most efficient method to reach that goal (or in some cases acknowledge that at least currently we don't have the necessary data or tools to reach that goal). A conversation should be a collaborative effort where people with different backgrounds and experiences pool their knowledge in order to reach an agreement and discover what is real, not mindless defense of the limited data in one person's brain against the limited data in another person's brain without reason or purpose. Most people seem to have a difficult time differentiating between facts and their personal tastes or preferences (which are a subset of facts). They have been conditioned to associate a sense of identity with their so called "opinions" or "beliefs," which often leads to false perceptions of "offence" and prevents people from being able to focus on and discuss the actual topic at hand. They have been traumatized to be afraid of being punished if they are "wrong" (e.g. social alienation, getting made fun of, being labelled a "failure") and to anticipate being rewarded if they are "right" (e.g. social acceptance, praise and compliments, favoritism), and this internal conflict often takes precedence over empathizing with others and especially over the facts.
I've barely even begun to touch the first molecule of the tip of the iceberg and could probably go on and on, but this post is getting really lengthy...
Makes it more enjoyable for sure, haha.
I call it the 'superman' syndrome.
Everyone thinks they have superman ears when they describe 'obvious' differences in sound.
The illusion shatters when they realize there wasn't any difference in the first place.
This elicits two reactions:
You can lead the horse to water, but cannot make it change its USB cables.
I've worked mostly in TV post, and the engineers there are more pragmatic I guess. I've never met a single engineer who didn't have a clear idea of the real way things worked. Probably because there is a lot more to go wrong in video. You can't waste time on phantoms.
That's when you know that they know deep down their position isn't defensible and they don't actually know or have an explanation for what they're talking about. Very sad.