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4. seconds.

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by deafmutelame, Sep 25, 2018.
  1. deafmutelame


    4. seconds.

    It's all you have to discern a 'high-end' component from another one.

    Try listen analytically to 2 components of your favourite gear.

    Stop to switch cables and you have lost it.
    Stop to switch headphones and you have lost it.
    Stop to compare a DAC vs. another and you have lost it.
    Stop to compare a DAP vs. another and you have lost it.
    Stop to compare ... & ... and you have lost it.

    4. seconds.

    Imagine that 90% of the 'audiophile' scene was based on the inability to factually check sound quality within that 3-4 seconds maximum window of opportunity.

    Imagine everybody despises 'ABX tests"...

    Imagine an ocean of snake oil...


    P.S.: I just bought me this & this. :ksc75smile:
  2. bigshot
    The more similar the samples are, the shorter the window of auditory memory is. All of this stuff about long term listening being necessary to judge audio quality is dead wrong. Put one thing right next to another thing. Compare back and forth. You'll discern a difference better that way than to listen to one thing all day and then another thing all day the next day. That just allows time for ears to adjust and bias to interfere.
  3. Speedskater
    For discerning very small differences in products, very short samples with almost instantaneous switching is best.
    For forming a preference between products with greater differences (say loudspeakers), long term listening is best.
  4. bigshot
    If you can't discern a difference using a controlled method like that, then any preference you come up with from long term listening is going to be based on things other than sound quality, like bias and how you feel that particular day. I don't see long term listening as much use for determining differences between identical things.

    If you can hear a significant difference with a controlled test, THEN you might find that long term listening will help you determine a preference. But if the difference is very small, odds are your ears will just adjust to the difference and you'll be back to square one again- it wouldn't matter.

    The thing long term listening is good for is to determine whether you can tolerate significantly imbalanced sound for extended listening, or if it will drive you nuts. I don't really have that problem because every bit of equipment I own is audibly transparent, and I calibrate the response to compensate for the imbalances in my speakers. I arrived at that optimal setting using short tests, not long ones. I listen to music for enjoyment over long periods of time once my testing and calibration is done.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  5. Speedskater
    If you can't discern a difference in a very sensitive short test, you can't have an audible preference in any type of test.

    But sometimes the short test works better, after long listening sessions. Choosing musical selections that expose the differences is an important part of a short test.
  6. bigshot
    Yeah... full frequency range, broad dynamics, etc.

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