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Conflicting information on Cables and other audiophile components. - Page 11

post #151 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post

OK, then let's look at it anecdotally. Let's assume someone did a test comparing audio cables at varying price points and nobody was able to tell one from another when they didn't know which cable was in use at a given time.  How would you explain how people hear differences when they do know which of the same cables is in use?  No need for a test or a proof.  A logical explanation will suffice.

You must be late to the party smily_headphones1.gif

That has already been covered in this thread, and in every other cable debate.
post #152 of 241
Thank you Currawong.

Edited by bigshot - 8/8/14 at 9:59pm
post #153 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roly1650 View Post

I think you're way over complicating this, if a cable or interconnect is time shifting the signal, it will show up in a null test of two recordings, one from the "suspect" and one from a reference. Software like Audio Diff Maker will time sync and level match automatically, before running the null test, ie: reverse phase on one recording by 180 degree and subtract that from the other recording. All you need is a good sound card to make the recordings, which you need for REW anyway.
Sure you don't get waterfall plots or impulse response graphs, both of which require interpretation, but you'll get an inkling of any timing errors by examining the difference signal in comparison to the original in any wave editor and/or by listening. What you will get is a number for the null difference and can decide whether that's humanly possible to hear in the presence of music.
Trying to discern differences with a $100 mic over speakers and REW is IMO, going to be really difficult and/or misleading, too many degrees of separation from measurement and DUT, but probably the way I'd go if I wanted to "prove" cables/interconnects make a difference. wink.gif

Huh. I had not thought of that. If I understand you right, one could just use the inputs on a good sound card to hook up a dac with interconnects and go to town with testing difference. Lot of head-fiers have a good sound card in a computer, so plenty of people could do that test. I could test my 3.5mm interconnects using my DX50 as the source and the Xonar DX I have on one of my computers. Wouldn't cost me a dime.
post #154 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

For instance, Bigshot didn't you make some claim about pads in the Oppo thread being exactly the same? Did you do the proper testing to determine that?

 

Well... While I was doing beta testing on the PM-1s, I invited a friend of mine over who is a sound engineer who calibrates response of studio and performance monitors for a living. He brought his signal generator and equalizer over and he ran test tone sweeps through the cans, noting the deviations from flat as he went. I had already used my method of EQing by ear with music and had already jotted down my results. When he was done, we compared our results and his were much more detailed, but mine hit the same significant marks. Next, I swapped to the velour pads and he ran the sweeps again. Same results.

 

Is that proper enough? It was good enough for me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

The conjecture is that cable materials and construction can smear signals in the time domain, which requires very expensive equipment to measure.

 

Smearing of signals in the time domain would show up very clearly in even the most basic test for distortion. "Time smearing" is a guess at the cause of an effect that isn't proven to exist. Kind of like putting the cart before the horse so to speak.


Edited by bigshot - 8/8/14 at 10:29am
post #155 of 241
Rts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Huh. I had not thought of that. If I understand you right, one could just use the inputs on a good sound card to hook up a dac with interconnects and go to town with testing difference. Lot of head-fiers have a good sound card in a computer, so plenty of people could do that test. I could test my 3.5mm interconnects using my DX50 as the source and the Xonar DX I have on one of my computers. Wouldn't cost me a dime.
Yes, you can use a null test for all sorts of comparison, Dacs, amps & etc. I recently ran a test on a 24/96 file bounced down to 16/44 and then bounced back up to 24/96. I hadn't been buying hi-def files from "that" site for a few years now and this test confirmed why I shouldn't have in the first place! Resampling from 16/44 to 24/96, packaging it as flac and selling it, does not a hi-rez file make.
I should also add that you should run the test comparing sound card with sound card first, to see what depth of null you get due only to the card.
Edited by Roly1650 - 8/8/14 at 10:48am
post #156 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Well... While I was doing beta testing on the PM-1s, I invited a friend of mine over who is a sound engineer who calibrates response of studio and performance monitors for a living. He brought his signal generator and equalizer over and he ran test tone sweeps through the cans, noting the deviations from flat as he went. I had already used my method of EQing by ear with music and had already jotted down my results. When he was done, we compared our results and his were much more detailed, but mine hit the same significant marks. Next, I swapped to the velour pads and he ran the sweeps again. Same results.

Is that proper enough? It was good enough for me.

Glad to see an objectivist who follows through smily_headphones1.gif
post #157 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Huh. I had not thought of that. If I understand you right, one could just use the inputs on a good sound card to hook up a dac with interconnects and go to town with testing difference. Lot of head-fiers have a good sound card in a computer, so plenty of people could do that test. I could test my 3.5mm interconnects using my DX50 as the source and the Xonar DX I have on one of my computers. Wouldn't cost me a dime.

 

I've used Audio DiffMaker before, but don't know how to work with and interpret some of the advanced settings.

 

Yes, you can make recordings of audio using various components, then compare the difference.

post #158 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Many of the people who act like hardcore scientists tend to apply their objectivism sporadically. If they didn't, they wouldn't have any fun here. They couldn't post their subjective evaluations. 80-90% of what's posted on head-fi is dubious if one applies hardcore objective scientific principles and one demands evidence. If Head-Fi strictly followed objectivist principles, there wouldn't be an active forum.

Here's the thing about subjective evaluations: I absolutely think they have a place in something like audio. However, I would simply ask that it be shown that there actually is a difference between two components before beginning the subjective evaluation. If two speakers genuinely are different, demonstrating that difference in a blind test is fairly easy, and after that, it is really a matter of subjective preference which speaker sounds better to any particular individual. The demands for objective evidence tend to be more focused on wild claims of differences between components when there is no reason to expect such differences to exist in the first place.

 

Basically, if I were to state that an SUV was superior to a Corvette because it could go more places and hold more people, someone else is perfectly welcome to disagree and say they prefer the Corvette. That's a matter of subjectivism. However, if I claim that one blue '09 Corvette with 15k miles is superior to another absolutely identical blue '09 Corvette with 15k miles, because I can tell that it is clearly faster (even though every time we run them down the drag strip, they're dead even), sounds better (even though all audio measurements show them to be the same), and rides better (even though every accelerometer measurement we take shows the same vibe levels inside), you would be justified in telling me that I was spouting nonsense.

 

In the case of comparing two different speakers, or two different headphones, or even a well-made solid state amp vs a tube amp intentionally designed to cause euphonic distortion, we're arguing between the SUV and the Corvette. There is no one right answer. However, in arguing between two solid state amps that both have adequate specs, or between two reasonably well-made cables, or that sort of thing, we're arguing between the two Corvettes.


Edited by cjl - 8/8/14 at 12:56pm
post #159 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

Here's the thing about subjective evaluations: I absolutely think they have a place in something like audio. However, I would simply ask that it be shown that there actually is a difference between two components before beginning the subjective evaluation. If two speakers genuinely are different, demonstrating that difference in a blind test is fairly easy, and after that, it is really a matter of subjective preference which speaker sounds better to any particular individual. The demands for objective evidence tend to be more focused on wild claims of differences between components when there is no reason to expect such differences to exist in the first place.

Basically, if I were to state that an SUV was superior to a Corvette because it could go more places and hold more people, someone else is perfectly welcome to disagree and say they prefer the Corvette. That's a matter of subjectivism. However, if I claim that one blue '09 Corvette with 15k miles is superior to another absolutely identical blue '09 Corvette with 15k miles, because I can tell that it is clearly faster (even though every time we run them down the drag strip, they're dead even), sounds better (even though all audio measurements show them to be the same), and rides better (even though every accelerometer measurement we take shows the same vibe levels inside), you would be justified in telling me that I was spouting nonsense.

In the case of comparing two different speakers, or two different headphones, or even a well-made solid state amp vs a tube amp intentionally designed to cause euphonic distortion, we're arguing between the SUV and the Corvette. There is no one right answer. However, in arguing between two solid state amps that both have adequate specs, or between two reasonably well-made cables, or that sort of thing, we're arguing between the two Corvettes.

Not quite the same. With audio equipment, we are generally talking about sound, and sound is a subjective assessment that, as been pointed out already, is subject to expectation bias and the poor audio memory of human beings. So for instance, one can measure and know that the SUV holds more people and cargo than the Vette, or that the Vette has better acceleration and top end. One cannot know with certainty many of the finer claims made about audio quality on this forum. And then sound with audio equipment is generally influenced by the aesthetic experience of listening to music or playing a game, which is not necessarily a transferable experience. For example, as Music Alchemist already pointed out, one can listen to the same music with the same equipment on different days and the music can sound different to you; it is a difficult thing to separate the aesthetic experience from the quality of the equipment itself. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it probably often isn't done as effectively as people might like to think it is, if it all.

So yes. I would continue to argue that Head-Fi is much more about comparing experience, about sharing experience, than it is about actually finding out with validity if A is better than B, and especially if A >> better than B, because it is harder to communicate the level of significance of aesthetic experience. That requires a lot of norming. Not saying it doesn't happen. Just more difficult than people expect.

Not that any of is bad about Head-Fi. It's the enjoyment of the shared experience that is what makes this a great place. And that shared experience does create shared meaning, but often a ways that cannot be (or would not be) validated by scientific methods.
post #160 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Not quite the same. With audio equipment, we are generally talking about sound, and sound is a subjective assessment that, as been pointed out already, is subject to expectation bias and the poor audio memory of human beings. So for instance, one can measure and know that the SUV holds more people and cargo than the Vette, or that the Vette has better acceleration and top end. One cannot know with certainty many of the finer claims made about audio quality on this forum. And then sound with audio equipment is generally influenced by the aesthetic experience of listening to music or playing a game, which is not necessarily a transferable experience. For example, as Music Alchemist already pointed out, one can listen to the same music with the same equipment on different days and the music can sound different to you; it is a difficult thing to separate the aesthetic experience from the quality of the equipment itself. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it probably often isn't done as effectively as people might like to think it is, if it all.

So yes. I would continue to argue that Head-Fi is much more about comparing experience, about sharing experience, than it is about actually finding out with validity if A is better than B, and especially if A >> better than B, because it is harder to communicate the level of significance of aesthetic experience. That requires a lot of norming. Not saying it doesn't happen. Just more difficult than people expect.

Not that any of is bad about Head-Fi. It's the enjoyment of the shared experience that is what makes this a great place. And that shared experience does create shared meaning, but often a ways that cannot be (or would not be) validated by scientific methods.

 

I don't have much technical knowledge to contribute, but an old DAP of mine has horrible sound quality compared to a newer one, yet is very enjoyable in its own way.

 

Has anyone else noticed varying perception of time while listening to the same music? At least a few times, especially shortly after waking up, a song would seem much faster to me than later in the day.

post #161 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

I don't have much technical knowledge to contribute. . . .

No need for technical knowledge for what I'm describing. In fact that is the blindspot of those who place so much emphasis on physical measurements for evaluating audio equipment. The impact of aesthetic experience gets lumped in under bias, despite the fact the aesthetic experience is the main reason most of use audio equipment in the first place (excluding maybe audio professionals). For thinking about aesthetic experience, you have to look to the social sciences and to theory in the humanities, and to start to construct/evaluate your own aesthetic.
post #162 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

No need for technical knowledge for what I'm describing. In fact that is the blindspot of those who place so much emphasis on physical measurements for evaluating audio equipment. The impact of aesthetic experience gets lumped in under bias, despite the fact the aesthetic experience is the main reason most of use audio equipment in the first place (excluding maybe audio professionals). For thinking about aesthetic experience, you have to look to the social sciences and to theory in the humanities, and to start to construct/evaluate your own aesthetic.

 

This is true. In conversations with industry insiders, some emphasized that measurements and the like are merely a starting point. There is so much more to the enjoyment of music than fulfilling certain technical specifications.

post #163 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Not quite the same. With audio equipment, we are generally talking about sound, and sound is a subjective assessment that, as been pointed out already, is subject to expectation bias and the poor audio memory of human beings. So for instance, one can measure and know that the SUV holds more people and cargo than the Vette, or that the Vette has better acceleration and top end. One cannot know with certainty many of the finer claims made about audio quality on this forum. And then sound with audio equipment is generally influenced by the aesthetic experience of listening to music or playing a game, which is not necessarily a transferable experience. For example, as Music Alchemist already pointed out, one can listen to the same music with the same equipment on different days and the music can sound different to you; it is a difficult thing to separate the aesthetic experience from the quality of the equipment itself. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it probably often isn't done as effectively as people might like to think it is, if it all.

So yes. I would continue to argue that Head-Fi is much more about comparing experience, about sharing experience, than it is about actually finding out with validity if A is better than B, and especially if A >> better than B, because it is harder to communicate the level of significance of aesthetic experience. That requires a lot of norming. Not saying it doesn't happen. Just more difficult than people expect.

Not that any of is bad about Head-Fi. It's the enjoyment of the shared experience that is what makes this a great place. And that shared experience does create shared meaning, but often a ways that cannot be (or would not be) validated by scientific methods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

I don't have much technical knowledge to contribute, but an old DAP of mine has horrible sound quality compared to a newer one, yet is very enjoyable in its own way.

Has anyone else noticed varying perception of time while listening to the same music? At least a few times, especially shortly after waking up, a song would seem much faster to me than later in the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

This is true. In conversations with industry insiders, some emphasized that measurements and the like are merely a starting point. There is so much more to the enjoyment of music than fulfilling certain technical specifications.

Yes, last time I talked to an amplifier designer he told me that amplifiers do not sound the same.
That's the short answer.
Another way to view this is to agree that no amplifier is perfect, the amplifier designer must pick his compromises.
Edited by Chris J - 8/9/14 at 6:29am
post #164 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I don't always do a good job of expressing myself -- too much multitasking going on when I write sometimes.

 

The point I wanted to make is: If this is a science forum, then it should be a science forum. I closed yet another thread the premise of which was "Let's mock stuff we think is BS". Scientists sit around all day mocking stuff, but working, gradually and painstakingly to contribute to our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

 

I think a better attitude towards the questions such as the OP asked in this thread would be to approach the experiences people have as something to be investigated and tested. As much as some people might wish, I think that the answers will not be absolute in many cases, and there is a bit of truth in every opinion.

In a way I do agree with you. to find the truth, we need civility and respect. But often time, discrediting people and accusing people of not having the proper manufacturing background is not right either. Most inaccurate technical answers are corrected right away in this forum  If I am a manufacturer and touting my machine's ability to demagnetize vinyl and CD, do I have credibility without any peer review. Or if I am not a manufacturer and point out this theory, am I mocking a product? Can anyone in this forum question a manufacturer's claim?

 

I used to design DAC chips when I was younger. While supporting customers, I found a lot of the manufacturers are not qualified to discuss transmission theory or even have an adequate understanding of Nyquist Theorem. Those that are qualified are not willing to speak out because they are charging a premium for the myth in the market place. we always marvel at the "audiophile market", It is the ONLY technology market that has inflation and not deflation. A 2TB dive is cheaper than a1TB drive from three years ago. Same can not be said about an audiphile headphone or amplifier, although the low end "consumer" market, quality is getting better and cheaper.

post #165 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Not quite the same. With audio equipment, we are generally talking about sound, and sound is a subjective assessment that, as been pointed out already, is subject to expectation bias and the poor audio memory of human beings. So for instance, one can measure and know that the SUV holds more people and cargo than the Vette, or that the Vette has better acceleration and top end. One cannot know with certainty many of the finer claims made about audio quality on this forum. And then sound with audio equipment is generally influenced by the aesthetic experience of listening to music or playing a game, which is not necessarily a transferable experience. For example, as Music Alchemist already pointed out, one can listen to the same music with the same equipment on different days and the music can sound different to you; it is a difficult thing to separate the aesthetic experience from the quality of the equipment itself. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it probably often isn't done as effectively as people might like to think it is, if it all.

So yes. I would continue to argue that Head-Fi is much more about comparing experience, about sharing experience, than it is about actually finding out with validity if A is better than B, and especially if A >> better than B, because it is harder to communicate the level of significance of aesthetic experience. That requires a lot of norming. Not saying it doesn't happen. Just more difficult than people expect.

Not that any of is bad about Head-Fi. It's the enjoyment of the shared experience that is what makes this a great place. And that shared experience does create shared meaning, but often a ways that cannot be (or would not be) validated by scientific methods.

I know it's not what you intended, but you have given the perfect argument for never trusting human hearing, measuring equipment is far more accurate and consistent than we will ever be, although I do understand what you're trying to get at.
Personally, I find it hard to understand how anybody could think the electronics isn't the least important part of audio reproduction, we know exactly what to measure to understand what works and what doesn't. Designing an amp to be a straight wire with gain is fairly easy these days. If two amps sound different there's a reason for it and measurements will find it.

The real torture test is in the design of the transducers, (loudspeakers and headphones) and why the differences in performance are so startlingly wide. It wasn't that long ago that loudspeaker design was considered an art form. Thanks to the work of people like Theile and Small, the ongoing work of Sean Olive, and many others has transformed this into solid science. Better measurement and affordable computing power has had a major impact together with DSP and room correction at crazy low prices. However the average transducer designer faces a set of compromises that would stagger the amp or dac designer, the chip manufacturers have made that in comparison, like falling off a log.
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