Curing Audiophilia Nervosa

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by watchnerd, Jan 18, 2016.
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  1. bigshot
    I'm not an IEM person... I can't imagine enjoying jamming things in my ears... but from what I've read, it's very difficult to do accurate measurements of IEMs. A lot of it depends on the shape of the person't ear canal, so one person's measurement won't be the same as another person's. That is the sort of thing that equipment manufacturers pounce upon as an opportunity to inject lots of subjective smoke and mirrors.
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  2. Strangelove424
    A few hundred bucks for acoustic paneling so your million dollar system won't sound like a turd falling down a well? Nah, that would actually be a good, cost effective idea, and you can't be giving your audiophile clients good cost effective ideas. Once they get on that train, they ain't headin' back. Nope, instead they just put the speakers on BS custom stands with 4x "Shun Mook diamond resonator feet" for $900 each. That's 4x $900= $3200 x 2 speakers atleast = $6400 just for the damn feet. I bet they're even more expensive than that because I am only calculating the cost of the Shun Mook feet, not the base they screw into which he probably made out of voodoo board for $1000/sq ft. The priorities of these people are totally wacked out of order. The best part is when that guy in the video says, "some people get it, and some people don't" without any sense of irony whatsoever.

    edit: sorry, I misread the Shun Mook page it's $900 for a set of 3. So that's $1800 less ridiculous, but still $900 too much. You could fill the room with acoustic paneling for the cost of the feet.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  3. SilverEars
    If they have the disposable income, it's their choice. it becomes a big problem if the budget isn't in the level relative to your disposable income. Only you know you can control what price brackets you should be dealing with, but I feel sorry for some people that cannot and get sucked into a lot of the baiting schemes that are out there.

    Certainly it takes common sense to know that some products are over priced. Depending on your level desposible income, if it doesn't make it in the high bracket, you'd most likely do greater digging in search for value for money.

    I've been trying various gears, and the companies do place the pricing for their products in terms of performance(not linear of course).

    In reality transducers are not the only part of the chain that effects audio quality. I wish this was true, but it really isn't.

    Like anything in life, if you have some speculatory notions, you'd have to find out. Sometimes a leap of faith is required, and it takes a bit of trial to get the reality of things vs non-experienced speculations. I've tried out many gears, and know what to believe at this point. If somebody draws a conclusion or makes generalizations without much experiences, it really has not much of a support back it up.

    Anyway, I know my boundaries, and I recommend you to try hard to keep within boundaries as well as there are some crazy levels that people reach out to.

    As an example, I recently tried out Monolith M1060 which is priced at $299 point, and it sounds fantastic. I've also compared with much more expensive headphones, and also different sources, and it does sound different out of various sources. And these electronics do make a difference.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  4. castleofargh Contributor
    when you say high fidelity, you mean the logo used for marketing or actual objective fidelity? because measurements are the only thing determining a level of fidelity. IMO any measured variable can in some way correlate to performance if only to warn when there is a clear issue. and while right now we don't know a lot about how to take measurements and directly speculate on subjective preferences for a user(well at least I don't aside from my own taste), I would argue that it is mostly because we have so little data and so little people working on it.
    @crinacle has become an absolute reference of IEM's FR in the entire world after taking a cellphone and a 30$ microphone into stores. by doing so he has already outperformed almost any depository of objective data on IEMs. that's saying something about how ignorant we are and how nobody gives a crap about fidelity or proper standards. oh as a concept, everybody's up for fidelity. the consumer can't stop asking for more fidelity. but when it comes to facts or any actual effort to verify that we're getting improvements... we're so deep into marketing and obscurantism that when another high tech hobby makes mention of us, it's usually because they are discussing snake oil.

    audiophiles aren't insecure because it's fun, they are because this hobby is spear headed by movements actively silencing objective approaches or any fact checking process. that's where this hobby is at.

    and yes I have gears I consider to have higher fidelity over others. headphones and IEMs are harder to ascertain in general because they can happen to dominate clearly over a few variables and then be worst in some other ones. and I have no mean to translate one variable into another based on how little tests were done on audibility. so it ends up as a subjective opinion unless the magnitudes are really massive some pass expected audibility. sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not, and sometimes I don't have a clue. but I certainly have such gears that clearly dominate in pretty much all variables over another similar device. for IEMs, over the dozen or so I've measured extensively, I have no incentive to say that money correlates to fidelity or frequency response standards. they all do their stuff, over the years the 3khz boost has been accepted by most, a little bass boost too, beyond that I feel like it's still FFA.
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  5. Redcarmoose
    They actually go into how both rooms are not optimal but that the strange treatments (those Japanese wood disks) which you can see somehow changed the reflections or standing wave areas.

    The speakers on show radiate 360 so I'm sure that has an effect. Though the camera man remarks how the room seemed treated well as far as how he could hear his voice reflect. Though I have listened in rooms with thousands in room treatments and the owner varified that it was his final goals in mind believing it brought the best out.

    If we were to try and learn more about the two systems in the video, it may be that you actually want the reflections from the untreated walls?

    360 radiators do change the gameplay somewhat. Only ones I owned were the Walsh Ohm 2s which you could place in a variety of places. And 360 sound fields produced by a speaker seem to be much more forgiving of bad rooms. Though I'm far from any level of expert either in room treatments or 360 radiators. I'm simply trying my best to make sense of the video. There could remarkably be 80% of truth to the whole video. I'll never know though because I would never spend that much on audio.

    But that's just the thing if the system really does sound the greatest then folks are going to buy into the Japanese Wood Disks? Much of the stuff from the video is mildly strange. Reworked old Teac reel to reels, one which had turquoise knobs (Jewelry Edition) and started at 10K then went up. And crazy the back shelves were all boxes of reel-to-reel tapes. ..............and those limited edition tapes must have been expensive because he explained how instead of buying 10 audiophile record repressings/pressings, you could get a tape! Haha.

    In ending, most of this stuff does have some elements of truth. My reel to reels always sounded slightly better in the bass department than my vinyl. But there was always a ton of tape hiss, as well as the couple of minutes it took to thread each tape. Still I was happy to get rid of my reel to reels. My new turntable was able to get closer to how the reel to reels sounded. Plus I thought there was no way to get future reel to reel tapes. Even in the 1970s at the apex of reel to reel they were used mostly two ways.

    1) People recorded new music off the radio.
    2) People backed up a new vinyl purchase.

    (Not to mention that while listening to that tape of the record over and over your wearing down the tape head.) Those tape heads didn't last forever and they would be the first thing you would inspect looking at a used reel to reel. Cheaper really just to buy two editions of the vinyl.

    Strange that back room didn't seem to contain one record, simply a wall of tape boxes?

    At this level of cost you have to wonder the pure placebo effect of a surprise format up-change or side change?

    After a couple of those $350 bottles of wine the visitor says........

    "I'll take that $25K reworked old Tascam or Teac Deck, throw in 25K of those old fashioned reel to reel tapes, cuz I have to have something to listen to on it."
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  6. pinnahertz
    Ah, another person who doesn't understand "objective" and "subjective".

    Objective: evaluation not subject to personal feelings or opinions, representing fact (in other words, "measurement").
    Subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions (observations, not measurements).

    Objectivity, then, wouldn't just correlate well with measurements, it would BE measurements. You can't have an objective experience without actually making the measurements, and therefore do not require empirical experience.

    Measurements do determine performance. The difficulty is in coupling raw measurement with audible difference. Just because a particular measurement doesn't seem to represent better sound quality doesn't mean the measurement is wrong. It could be incomplete, misinterpreted, or simply not measuring an audible aspect of change. An example would be a THD measurement stated without mention of level or frequency. Real THD measurements would be a 3D data block with level, frequency and THD each on a different axis.
  7. bigshot
    The term "high fidelity" as it applies to home audio goes back to the beginning of the LP era. It means that a recording has a full frequency response range (FFRR)- 20Hz to 20kHz with low noise and distortion levels. Snake oil salesmen tend to redefine it to describe things that are far beyond the humble goals of the LP record. I think the purpose of doing that is to keep raising the bar so achieving "high fidelity" is always just out of reach, or more to the point, attainable ONLY with the handy dandy new technology they're trying to sell you.
  8. old tech
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  9. JaeYoon
    That article is amazing, Completely blows all the "I swear my cable makes the soundstage incredibly large!!! You can't hear this because I can!!! I know I'm hearing this!"

    But then that's not how digital data works!
    Just imagine people on headfi saying that you can send an audio file through a god forbid "Audiophile USB Cable " and it's altering the "soundstage" and increasing "clarity" and "Details" onto this "audiophile SD Card" which increases soundstage even more!!!!
  10. bigshot
    All that stuff is kinda obvious if you know what they're talking about.
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  11. MisterMudd
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  12. gazzington
    This hobby spirals out of control quickly. I have bought several headphones, dabs, amplifiers, DACs etc. Not ro mentions loads of earbuds. In reality all I wanted was a great portable set up for work but it then went to whole new level. People at work think I’m crazy constantly turning up with new headphones. So I have started selling stuff off to try Andy bring money back in.what would you people say is the best cheap set up I could have for work?
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  13. bigshot
    You probably already own the best setup for work. Just pare down to the essentials and listen to music.
  14. gazzington
    I have been thinking about this situation for a few hours and I’ve come to the conclusion that for me it’s not just the quest for better and better sound but also that I like researching new items and then the thrill of new the new shiney item turning up. I read on a different thread about headphones people regretted buying and focal elears come up all of the time, and I still was thinking I would love to try them. Jeez I’m a lost cause! I need to stop thinking like that and just enjoy some music. I mean back in the 90s I had a Sony Walkman and tapes that I had recorded and I loved it.
    To be honest, I think my phone with a dragonfly black and some monk earbuds should serve me well at work for years.
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  15. Killcomic
    Sorry to be a necromancer but I've been really occupied with things like measurements and such when I bought equipment.
    I'm pretty new at this and I was planning larger and larger purchases, but I think I figured out the best way to pick audio gear.
    I needed a new IEM as carrying my full sized headphones was too inconvenient.
    I read, researched and looked up reviews of a bunch of possible candidates, made a short list then made my way to Minidisc in Sydney.
    I tried a few IEMs and then walked away with one that I hadn't even considered (the ATH-LS70). They didn't have rave reviews and I had no idea what was their frequency response or even the impedance.
    So why did I buy them?
    Because when I put them on, it made me smile.
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