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why I'm a subjectivist - Page 3  

post #31 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post
 

Of course, there is more different to speakers and headphones than just the FR differences, so you can't be absolutely convinced (based on just this data, though others seem to corroborate it) that it's the FR that is making the difference.

 

It's been my experience that most of the problem with speakers is frequency response. If the response is correct, the ear forgives the rest. Of course it isn't easy to achieve a flat response. You have to know what you're doing.

post #32 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

It's been my experience that most of the problem with speakers is frequency response. If the response is correct, the ear forgives the rest. Of course it isn't easy to achieve a flat response. You have to know what you're doing.

What you are saying is that nonlinearities in speakers don't matter. And you know this how? Your "experience"?

 

By the way, speakers are also characterized by polar radiation pattern, and room acoustics are important. These are things about which is no debate--they are different between different speakers/rooms and they are audible. Also I'm pretty sure nonlinearities in speakers are at least sometimes large enough to be audible. So you haven't really escaped the problem. We can have two speakers/rooms A and B and we are trying to determine which one is more accurate.


Edited by raddle - 1/10/14 at 1:51pm
post #33 of 188
Thread Starter 

Everyone is talking about preference. I'm talking about accuracy. Having experienced listeners check out each speaker and determine which one sounds more like the real instruments, and conveys the real music, that was present in the recording studio. A speaker needs to present pitch, articulation, timbre, hall reverberation, dynamics, have resolution into complex textures, etc. The only way to determine if it does these things accurately is to listen. If it doesn't do these things accurately, it won't only affect the "sound," but it will affect the music. I'm interested in the kind of evaluation of a system that a musician does... is the music right? That's the important question.

post #34 of 188

If you want to know which speaker has the most accurate response, you measure it and compare it to the source.

 

If you want to know which speaker has the lowest distortion, you measure it and compare it to the source.

 

If you want to know how a room affects a speaker's output, you measure it and compare it to the source.

 

If you want to know if a difference is audible, you measure it and compare it to the thresholds of perception.

 

If you want to determine the thresholds of perception, you do double blind, level matched direct A/B comparison listening tests.

 

If you don't care to know for sure, you just listen without any controls.

post #35 of 188
Quote:

Originally Posted by raddle View Post

A speaker needs to present pitch, articulation, timbre, hall reverberation, dynamics, have resolution into complex textures, etc.

 

Many of those are MUSICAL and CREATIVE aspects of sound. A speaker has nothing to do with that. It simply presents sound.

 

Frequency response = the range from high to low, and the balance of the various ranges

Distortion = the difference between the original source and the reproduced sound

Signal to Noise = How much of the signal is the recording, and how much is added noise

Dynamic Range = How wide a range from quiet to loud

 

At this point, digital technology has solved every one of these. The only problem comes at the mechanical end of a home stereo (speakers). By carefully isolating and calibrating to insure apples to apples comparisons, and then comparing the output of the speakers to the original signal, you can determine how accurate a speaker is.

post #36 of 188

The link there is that the preferred sound is the one that is more accurate, according to the open research.

 

You can cross-check results with respect to perceptual ratings, preferences, and measured response. The ones with accurate measured response are preferred and most perceived as accurate. This is especially the case for speakers and not headphones, where there are fewer details that need to be considered.

 

But if you're talking about playback, again, you need to be careful in considering the recording and everything that goes into the music files. I guess we're assuming that everything is some kind of correct except the hypothetical speakers?

 

 

I tend to find that musicians more often critically evaluate music more so than sound systems, but that doesn't mean the latter never happens, so I guess it's worth consideration. With playback gear, pitch is almost never too wrong unless your DAC's clock is terrible. Not affected by speakers, anyhow. Assuming something even remotely close to linear, you're not going to have dynamics messed up... I mean, what's it going to take for something at a lower level not to sound quieter? As for if quiet things can be distinguished and heard, check the noise level and maybe nonlinear distortion and other parameters. Articulation and reverb and so on could be affected noticeably by resonances (maybe, for some severe ringing) and/or very large phase shifts. Timbre is definitely a frequency response thing (well, and phase response) because you're looking at relative loudness of the harmonics. Flatter response and the timbre is more correct.

 

 

 

If you literally wanted to know on average which speaker people choose as more accurate sounding to them (according to whatever they think that means or not) between different models that sound different, I guess you're not actually going to know unless you get a whole bunch of people and make them listen to both? That's not really much of a point to make. If you're saying that it's not possible to take measurements of the speakers and get a good idea of which might be scored as more accurate by listeners, that seems unlikely to be true, given what we know.

 

Are there really "objectivists" that object to listening to gear and listening tests? I mean, I'm not really understanding the point here.

 

To the point in the OP about accuracy being subjective, can we just assume you're talking about individuals' notion of perceived accuracy? If yes, I don't really think people would disagree. For audio reproduction I guess this is the thing that matters, but for more precise communications I guess most prefer to think of accuracy in terms of measurements here. Some calculations like mean-squared error for a signal would be how accuracy may be evaluated in non-audio fields, and this is based on measured data, so measurement-based ideas and definitions may be more natural, particularly to the technical audience.


Edited by mikeaj - 1/10/14 at 2:54pm
post #37 of 188

There seem to be quite a few "subjectivist vs objectivist" arguments in the Sound Science section. I don't see a similar number of such arguments in the other sections of Head-Fi. I understand the prohibition on "objectivist" posts in the other sections. I would have expected a similar prohibition on "subjectivist" posts in the Sound Sciences section. It appears to me that there isn't one, or at least it's not being enforced. What's the story here?

post #38 of 188

Perhaps they can dish it out, but they can't take it.

post #39 of 188

Now you see why Nick Charles calls this the back of the bus.

post #40 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
 

There seem to be quite a few "subjectivist vs objectivist" arguments in the Sound Science section. I don't see a similar number of such arguments in the other sections of Head-Fi. I understand the prohibition on "objectivist" posts in the other sections. I would have expected a similar prohibition on "subjectivist" posts in the Sound Sciences section. It appears to me that there isn't one, or at least it's not being enforced. What's the story here?

 

we cannot badmouth people or make sponsors too uncomfortable. it has nothing to do with who's right or wrong so you can go post whatever nonsense all over headfi, as long as it's positive nonsens.

we end up in here because we are not creative enough. we only repeat the same stuff again and again for the petty reason that it's how it works. no imagination at all.

 

 

 

 

give me back my xnor, if I have to spend my time in the closet, at least let me be with interesting people.

post #41 of 188
Thread Starter 

Bigshot, you haven't answered my question. How do you know that nonlinearities in speakers are inconsequential? Why is it all about FR.

 

For that matter, you are overlooking polar radiation patterns, and as far as "measuring a room" that would require characterizing the 3D wavefront arriving at a listener's position, not something you appear to have had in mind.

post #42 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
 

There seem to be quite a few "subjectivist vs objectivist" arguments in the Sound Science section. I don't see a similar number of such arguments in the other sections of Head-Fi. I understand the prohibition on "objectivist" posts in the other sections. I would have expected a similar prohibition on "subjectivist" posts in the Sound Sciences section. It appears to me that there isn't one, or at least it's not being enforced. What's the story here?

 

we cannot badmouth people or make sponsors too uncomfortable. it has nothing to do with who's right or wrong so you can go post whatever nonsense all over headfi, as long as it's positive nonsens.

we end up in here because we are not creative enough. we only repeat the same stuff again and again for the petty reason that it's how it works. no imagination at all.

 

 

BS. The reason some arguments aren't allowed is for the same reason politics and religion aren't allowed. If someone does a DBT or ABX when writing a review, despite it being essentially forbidden in the main forums, I've always allowed the review, and so has every other moderator as far as I know. The problem is, various people have been going around trying to railroad through their ideas and trash the forums in the process (about many topics, not just related to Sound Science, but even what headphones or IEMs are "good"). They aren't interested in the arguments, they are only interested in their arguments being the only truth. When they run out of arguments, they get abusive and start calling people names, or make up lies. When I stopped that, they'd try implying that other people were deluded or similar. When they were banned, they'd say we were protecting sponsors (when sponsors products had nothing to do with the discussion and despite the fact that sponsors' products are lambasted daily here).

 

A point I've continually tried to make is: Science is about discovery. Its purpose is help us understand ourselves, our world and our universe. Our understanding of things is continually evolving and we don't yet understand a huge number of things about either ourselves, our world or our universe. When I gave an example yesterday of a person having developed an ability beyond what is known by science to be possible, all I got back was rudeness. When I checked the Sound Science forum, a few of the active threads were not about science at all, but were about mocking ideas or products (even if those products are extremely dubious).  The threads I think should be active here are the ones where people test their ability to hear differences in compressed files, DBTs of different products, explaining to members the technical aspects of audio and other, practical topics.  Better still would be if people here developed experiments, DIYed or modified products, and discussed the results. Sometimes I see some of this, but not often enough.

 

Good science takes a LOT of effort. Many scientists I know spend not just years, but decades researching the same thing.  Andrew Wiles, who figured out Fermat's Last Theorem was fascinated by it from his childhood and, after becoming a university professor, spent 7 years on it alone. To prove it, he had to prove a mathematical theory that nobody had ever been able to prove, then connect two completely very high levels of unrelated mathematics together by designing an entirely new system to explain them. I mention this because I feel many people here don't appreciate how much hard work science of any kind can be. It's infuriating to see comments such as those suggesting a product is a rip off because it is only $50-worth of parts in a box, without the slightest appreciation for what is required to learn how to make, think of, design, test and redesign many times product which then has to be tediously set up for manufacture, with huge financial risks, after which the company has spend a lot of time and/or money providing customer service.

 

On the other hand, it's very easy to register on a forum and rubbish a product or person, with no knowledge of these things (maybe after reading Wikipedia) and little effort.

 

A while back people were saying that people shouldn't be allowed to post in the Sound Science forum anything they couldn't back up with evidence. I replied that if people were going to be required to do an ABX or DBT for everything they claimed here, then everyone should also provide their qualifications and experience when commenting here too. 

 

I really wish that genuine science and learning could happen here, but that requires a lot of effort and it would require the help of manufacturers too. The problem is, I fear, is the same thing would happen as did to Dan Lavry and others who attempted to discuss the complexities of audio electronics -- they were shouted off the forums by people only interested in trashing manufacturers of expensive products and perpetuate the "hate club" mentality that has developed around the discussion of science.


Edited by Currawong - 1/12/14 at 1:57am
post #43 of 188

What does music look like as an object?

post #44 of 188

Sounds like a self serving load of garbage to me Currawong. 

 

If someone tells me they can flap their arms and fly like a bird, I don't need an interest in aeronautics since childhood to tell them they are deluded and wrong. 

 

Discovery is a part of advancing science.  Science is actually about explanation of observed and verified phenomena.  Manufacturers aren't usually your prime source of science.  They sometimes can provide it, but rarely are they at the forefront of it.  More self serving garbage.  Far more often than not manufacturers promote some garbage notion of science or even just plain garbage for financial reasons.  You sound like a shill for some of those people. 

 

The bulk of your post is mindless drivel meant to shroud those who use misunderstanding to their advantage.  Heck, more than I would have thought, sounds like your first impulse is always to protect advertisers. 

post #45 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

 (...)

 

Thank you for the explanation. I don't agree with it, but it's your sandpit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

 ... If someone tells me they can flap their arms and fly like a bird, I don't need an interest in aeronautics since childhood to tell them they are deluded and wrong. ...

 

I use to tell them they were deluded and wrong. Nowadays I just express interest and ask them for a demonstration - from a great height.

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