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Amp. What's the point??? - Page 7

post #91 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

What's wrong with the Fulla, out of curiosity? I haven't seen enough measurements to make a judgment about whether the Fulla should be audibly transparent, but the specs certainly indicate it should be.

 

Nothing is wrong with the Fulla 2.

 

The Mjolnir 2 uses tubes in a hybrid topology, which makes it sound a bit different than a pure solid state device.


Edited by watchnerd - 1/16/17 at 1:57pm
post #92 of 103
Quote:
Quality-wise, my Mjolnir 2 is better, which shouldn't be surprising given the price difference.


"Quality-wise" ? 
...
which shouldn't be surprising "given the price difference" ??


It looks better and feel better build, is what you mean right ?

post #93 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morkai View Post
 


"Quality-wise" ? 
...
which shouldn't be surprising "given the price difference" ??


It looks better and feel better build, is what you mean right ?

 

More solid build feel.

 

More power in reserve if you have harder to drive cans.

 

Can add tube flavoring if you like.

post #94 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by watchnerd View Post
 

 

Nothing is wrong with the Fulla 2.

 

The Mjolnir 2 uses tubes in a hybrid topology, which makes it sound a bit different than a pure solid state device.

See, to me, that implies that the Mjolnir is worse, since sounding different than a pure solid state device (assuming the solid state device is well-engineered) tells me that the Mjolnir is adding distortion. When you said the Mjolnir was better, I assumed that meant there was something audibly wrong with the Fulla, not the Mjolnir.

post #95 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

See, to me, that implies that the Mjolnir is worse, since sounding different than a pure solid state device (assuming the solid state device is well-engineered) tells me that the Mjolnir is adding distortion. When you said the Mjolnir was better, I assumed that meant there was something audibly wrong with the Fulla, not the Mjolnir.

Everyone has different standards of what is good and bad, no? ^_^

That's the whole thing behind headphones as they all twist and mutilate sound differently, and is this the very reason this site exists: si people can recommend to you how they like to twist their sound. o(^_^)b

If objectively neutral amps were the only thing people ever cared about, people will be buying cheap 30 dollar amps from China that are fire hazards for their headphones or are amplify unusable due to terrible terrible designs (not saying that expensive amps don't have the same exact issues). biggrin.gif
Edited by U-3C - 1/16/17 at 3:34pm
post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

See, to me, that implies that the Mjolnir is worse, since sounding different than a pure solid state device (assuming the solid state device is well-engineered) tells me that the Mjolnir is adding distortion. When you said the Mjolnir was better, I assumed that meant there was something audibly wrong with the Fulla, not the Mjolnir.

 

Well if you don't want the tube distortions, stick in the LISST.  Then it sounds solid state.

post #97 of 103

I'd prefer my amp to not sound like anything. I want it to make the signal louder and do nothing else. Luckily, there are some good options that do that.

post #98 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

I'd prefer my amp to not sound like anything. I want it to make the signal louder and do nothing else. Luckily, there are some good options that do that.

 

"Sounds like solid state" in this case means "doesn't sound like tubes".


Edited by watchnerd - 1/16/17 at 8:01pm
post #99 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
 

 

You attempted to do the opposite to educating the thread, you attempted to mislead and provide false information to the thread, either deliberately or because you yourself are mislead. Either way, people don't want to hear it because it's nonsense!

 

 

Great argument, if you're trying to sell some expensive, unnecessary bit of kit but it falls apart pretty rapidly in the real world and has undesirable consequences.

 

1. We can't eliminate all biases which affect our perception in real world listening situations but some/many of the placebo effect biases can be eliminated/reduced because the placebo effect largely depends on expectation. For example, the placebo effect will often reduce or fail entirely once the subject knows it's a placebo.

 

2. Yes, it is part of the formula but only for that particular point in time. Maybe a day later you learn that it was a placebo and therefore the placebo effect no longer works on you. There are numerous biases which affect our perception, each of which can (independently of our other biases) stay static,  evolve over time or change rapidly. The undesirable consequence (for most) is that a piece of kit we believed was wonderful at one point in time is entirely likely to be perceived very differently the next day/week/month, leading to an unending, unfulfillable quest for "wonderful". If "perception is reality" then reality is constantly changing and therefore the sound quality of every audio component in my system is constantly changing and needs to be changed constantly! I personally therefore want to eliminate as many of those biases as possible, I don't for example want to be second guessing (and changing my perception) of my DAC with it's pico second accurate clock because someone is marketing a DAC with a femto clock which is apparently "night and day" better. Science helps here because it dictates there's no audible difference due to this femto clock and/or a DBT would confirm that. I can now be satisfied with my DAC, realise any changes to my perception are not real (and realign my perception), look for improvements elsewhere in my setup and spend my money on something which really does affect the audible sound quality (rather than just my momentary perception of it).

 

DBT is admittedly not perfect BUT it is BY FAR THE MOST effective method of eliminating or at least reducing more biases than any other method. Sighted tests are certainly not worthless, they're obviously a more effective evaluation tool than just accepting marketing material or someone's anecdotal evidence but they're still relatively worthless compared to DBT, not least because the marketers have spent over a century developing techniques specifically designed to influence/manipulate sighted tests to their benefit!

 

G


I don't disagree with you in the least.  Except, I'm of the opinion, that unless you can eliminate all biases permanently (which we can't), then there is no real point in trying to eliminate any of them, as some biases will always remain.  As long as some biases remain, one can never be sure which one actually sounds "better" from an objective point of view.  Therefore, IMO, I think it better to accept all biases as are present in real world listening.  Sure, those biases may change or evolve over time.  Nothing wrong with that.  Finally seeing what you've been listening to may trigger some biases that will affect how you hear it/them from that point on.  Plus, this only really matters in cases where actual sound differences are minimal between products.  In cases where you're not sure you hear a difference, even after going back and forth several times, then just go with whatever is cheaper/prettier/more comfy, etc.

 

I personally don't see much value in others' ABX or DBT testing.  It's still OTHER people doing the listening, and their subjective perception of hearing is the biggest factor of all.  I'd rather do my own real world testing with any and all biases in tact and in play (since I can't eliminate them all).  I guess some people are more susceptible to expectation bias and other biases.  I don't think I'm one of those people.  Not saying I'm immune, just can tell the difference between something that obviously sounds different than something else.  Also, most people's decisions are limited by their budgets.  So even though that $3000 headphone may sound better than my $150 598, it's not something I have to worry about with my budget.

post #100 of 103

it's your right to embrace biases and go full subjectivist (the real ones, not the lame excuse many audiophiles call themselves when they're wrong and ignorant). because indeed if you are affected by biases and it's making you enjoy something more, then why not benefit from it and keep enjoying the music more for unrelated reasons? a pretty bow is pretty, it can make the experience more enjoyable while not doing anything for sound.  at a personal level, I'm actually doing just that all the time. but then the purpose is clearly to enjoy ourselves. not to know the truth. 

 

 the drawback is that you do not know for sure what's happening, and you do not have the right to tell others how a device is. all you can reasonably do is tell how you feel about it and stay on the subjective side of things. 

to know for a fact what the sound is like and what a device does, you need controls and measurements. and only then, perhaps, we'll be able to say to everybody else with certainty what a device does or doesn't do. the problem with subjective impressions, it's that other people can have a different subjectivity. being a subjectivist shouldn't be limited to forcing our views of the world onto others. it should be about understanding that we're all different. that's why I care about objectivity, because it's relatively easy to share meaningful data and verify it. it's something that is still true if I'm not the one listening and experiencing. that's why it's such a great world view when sharing information. 

 

but alone in my house with my music, I'm rarely more objective than you are :D. because there is no point, I like stuff or I don't that's all I really care about when listening to music.

 

different needs for different purposes.

post #101 of 103

The biggest problem I see with embracing subjectivism 100% is slippery slope between acknowledging our biased nature, and living with them, and full blown audiophilia nervosa.

 

Leaning towards objectivism may be a bit of a killjoy to some, but it keeps me sane and listening to music instead of fixating on gear.

post #102 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyListener View Post
 


I don't disagree with you in the least.  Except, I'm of the opinion, that unless you can eliminate all biases permanently (which we can't), then there is no real point in trying to eliminate any of them, as some biases will always remain.  As long as some biases remain, one can never be sure which one actually sounds "better" from an objective point of view.  Therefore, IMO, I think it better to accept all biases as are present in real world listening.  Sure, those biases may change or evolve over time.  Nothing wrong with that.  Finally seeing what you've been listening to may trigger some biases that will affect how you hear it/them from that point on.  Plus, this only really matters in cases where actual sound differences are minimal between products.  In cases where you're not sure you hear a difference, even after going back and forth several times, then just go with whatever is cheaper/prettier/more comfy, etc.

 

I personally don't see much value in others' ABX or DBT testing.  It's still OTHER people doing the listening, and their subjective perception of hearing is the biggest factor of all.  I'd rather do my own real world testing with any and all biases in tact and in play (since I can't eliminate them all).  I guess some people are more susceptible to expectation bias and other biases.  I don't think I'm one of those people.  Not saying I'm immune, just can tell the difference between something that obviously sounds different than something else.  Also, most people's decisions are limited by their budgets.  So even though that $3000 headphone may sound better than my $150 598, it's not something I have to worry about with my budget.

 

I don't think you're fundamentally wrong in concept, but you do seem to be confused about what constitutes an objective vs. subjective evaluation.

 

In response to the bolded point, nothing sounds better than anything else objectively. "Sounds better" is a purely subjective concept. In this respect you're correct, there is no substitute for going and listening to a piece of equipment yourself to see how it sounds to you. From this perspective, anyone else's opinion is useless unless you've already established some baseline for comparison. This is the entire basis of objective analysis. Very reasonably, the most common objective definition for "sounds better" is simply "introduces the least amount of perceived inaccuracy from the recorded audio". This is where the entire study of what kinds of inaccuracies are and are not perceivable comes in.

 

From this point, ABX and DBT testing lets you ask two fundamental questions:

  1. Does A sound different from B?
  2. Does A sound better than B? Where better is left up to the listener or based on some specific criteria.

 

The first is simple. This is how you can, for instance, objectively show that some compression scheme does not degrade audio quality or that a given sample and bit rate is sufficient to reproduce all audible content in your recording. If either is not true, the subject will be able to tell a difference between your two audio samples.

 

The second is, almost by definition, subjective. After all, if you had a well-defined objective measurement for the quality you're trying to evaluate, you'd use it. What you're doing here is to eliminate any biases beyond the subject's perception of the audio itself, including but not limited to component bands, prices, and appearances. Again, what sounds better to you (within the test's criteria) is subjective, but at least this kind of test provides confidence that the reason a subject believes, for instance, one piece of equipment sounds better isn't simply because they're fond of the brand.

 

If you want to know whether you'll perceive one piece of equipment to be better than another and you believe you'll have a similar reaction to the non-audible factors as the subject, then a sighted test may certainly be more informative. The trouble is, at this point you're introducing so many additional factors it's quite hard to attribute a subject's response to any one of them. This is the point where, if you're trying to draw any definitive conclusions, you're probably much better off finding and listening to the equipment yourself.


Edited by chaos215bar2 - 1/18/17 at 12:29am
post #103 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyListener View Post
 

I'm of the opinion, that unless you can eliminate all biases permanently (which we can't), then there is no real point in trying to eliminate any of them, as some biases will always remain.  As long as some biases remain, one can never be sure which one actually sounds "better" from an objective point of view.  Therefore, IMO, I think it better to accept all biases as are present in real world listening.

 

You are of course entitled to your opinion. However, I believe that your opinion is based on a vast over-simplification of the situation and is therefore incorrect. Given the actual facts, your opinion would logically have to change, although in practise, people are not always entirely logical of course and many simply do not posses an open enough mind to change their opinions, especially strongly held opinions. The mistake I believe your making is in treating all biases as equal, when that's demonstrably NOT the case. The cognitive biases, by definition, depend on cognition (what you know or think you know) and cognition can of course change rapidly, some new fact or fact of which we were previously unaware may come to light, change our cognition and therefore our perception. Alternatively, cognition may have no effect whatsoever on our perception, especially in cases where conscious cognition conflicts with sub-conscious cognition. An example of this is the McGurk Effect, where we continue to perceive the Faa even after we learn/know that there is no Faa. Furthermore, in practise, not all biases are equally bad and even just looking at one of the biases, it maybe bad (undesirable) in one context but good (desirable) in another, see #3a below.

 

 Furthermore, you seem to be saying that: As perfection (in eliminating biases or in other senses) can never be achieved, why bother trying? We bother in order to get closer to perfection or at least to improve. This is a fundamental axiom of our species, without it we'd still be hunter/gatherers using tools no more advanced than the unmodified sticks and stones we just happened to stumble across. Surely this is a bizarre contradiction; isn't being an audiophile all about "bothering"? And by definition, bothering specifically and PRIMARILY about the audio, rather than primarily about the cost/status symbol/ownership pride/etc., of the equipment?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyListener View Post
 

I guess some people are more susceptible to expectation bias and other biases.  I don't think I'm one of those people.  Not saying I'm immune, just can tell the difference between something that obviously sounds different than something else.

 

1. A fundamental fallacy shared by many/most audiophiles is that they are immune or immune enough from those bias susceptibilities most likely to lead to erroneous (undesirable) perceptions. Ironically, this belief leads to the exact opposite, an even higher susceptibility! This is due to an over-confidence in their perceptive (unbiased) abilities and has a further highly undesirable consequence: Perception is easily fooled, so a group of consumers with an over-reliance on perception present a particularly attractive target to those willing and able to fool perception. There are few sectors which experience more snake oil products than the audiophile sector!

 

2. Your last sentence is not only entirely common amongst audiophiles, to the point of being taken for almost or entirely for granted, it's also demonstrably FALSE! Going back to the quoted McGurk Effect, are you saying you are immune to it, that you only ever hear the Baa? If you're not immune to it, the Faa "obviously sounds different" to the Baa, can you "tell [to us] the difference" between the Baa and the Faa?

 

3. Even ignoring the "other biases", there is rarely (if ever) just one expectation bias. While some people are more susceptible than others to some of the expectation biases, they maybe less susceptible to other expectation biases and equally susceptible to others. For example, many audiophiles are susceptible to the expectation bias of cost, they expect a high cost product to be better than a cheap one. It's extremely difficult to completely eliminate this expectation bias (without a blind test). Some audiophiles might be immune enough from cost expectation to believe that a $5,000 DAC has little or no perceivable SQ benefits over a $3,000 DAC but what about a $5,000 DAC compared to a $49.99 DAC? It's easy to believe the SQ difference might not be as great as the price difference suggests but not so easy to believe that there's absolutely no SQ difference at all! There are a number of additional expectation biases; reputation of the manufacturer, third party (allegedly!) testimonials, expectation of high quality components to perform better than cheap/standard quality ones, expectation that newer technology is necessarily better than older, expectation that more data and faster processing is better than less and slower or expectation of any claimed science/pseudo-science, the just to name a few. Are you immune or immune enough from all of them? And if you are, aren't you also immune or immune enough from all the other expectation biases, the desirable ones, the ones without which you couldn't appreciate audio at all, let alone be an audiophile? ...

 

3a. Classical music composers have relied on expectation for many centuries. Bach (and many others) was writing counterpoint which depended on implied harmonies, harmonies which were not actually present in the music but manufacturered/assumed by the listeners' perception. In fact, almost the entire history of western classical music for the last 500 years or so, is predicated on expectation! That sequences of chords create an expectation of a cadence (resolution) and how that expectation is managed/manipulated by the composer to create tensions and resolutions. And of course, this is true of pretty much all western music (pop, rock, jazz, etc.), as it's based on the basic "rules" developed by the classical world. Additionally, all narrative film and TV absolutely depends on expectation and other biases, along with a number of other quirks of perception. If you were able to perceive the actual reality of the audio, all films and nearly all TV would be an almost unimaginable confusion of random sounds, neither related to each other nor the picture they're accompanying. The same is true of music, the vast majority of it wouldn't be music, it would just be random unrelated notes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyListener View Post
 

1. Finally seeing what you've been listening to may trigger some biases that will affect how you hear it/them from that point on.

 

2. Plus, this only really matters in cases where actual sound differences are minimal between products.

 

3. I personally don't see much value in others' ABX or DBT testing.  It's still OTHER people doing the listening, and their subjective perception of hearing is the biggest factor of all.  I'd rather do my own real world testing with any and all biases in tact and in play (since I can't eliminate them all).

 

1. From that point on? You mean until: You close your eyes, learn it was a placebo, hear something else which for that moment sounds better, hear some other information (accurate or not) which triggers a stronger bias or anything else which may affect your perception?

 

2. This is demonstrably incorrect. How do you know if differences are minimal, "night and day" or non-existent? Isn't the difference between Baa and Faa both a "night and day" difference and non-existent? You're severely over-confident in your perceptive abilities.

 

3. I'd rather do my own real testing too, since I can completely eliminate all biases (on occasion) and when that's inconclusive, I would resort to the next best thing and try to eliminate as many of the most undesirable biases as possible, which is what DBT does. In this latter case, I can't absolutely guarantee that I won't fall for one of the countless snake oil products and waste my money but I can massively reduce the chances of it. This is important to me because I'm a real audiophile, I actually love audio and the money I have available I want to spend on real improvements to the audio, not on something that makes no difference or as is quite commonly the case with expensive audiophile products, actually makes it worse!! Sometimes, doing my own real testing is impossible before purchase, in which case I've no choice but to rely on other people's opinions (if the science is inconclusive). In which case I'm still going to look for the least biased opinions, rather than the most!

 

G

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