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Never ceases to amaze me the level of subjectivity on headfi. Oye!
Look, you're free to take what others say with a pinch of salt, but its another to directly criticise when all one is doing is reporting the observations one has made, which only helps enhance the collective knowledge of the community which is the purpose of the forum. You should have a look at the 1Z and 380 threads, where even swapping the solders and internal wiring of the player has been reported to lead to substantial sonic changes.
look, all i'm saying is that when ppl do try variances from the standard norm to see if there are differences, and find a positive change, it only enhances the community. If common and standard expectations were all that mattered, a discussion forum wouldn't be necessary, since everyone would just arrive at the same solution and understanding irrespective of each other's input. You may think it snake oil, but I'm not forcing you to buy something, all i'm doing, is stating that there is another option one can explore if his needs happens to fit the results that this small option provides. Having more options, can't do any harm.
Not to start a fight, but there should also be a certain understanding or explanation on how you came to your conclusions. Simply referring to the use of switches being detrimental to fidelity simply "just because" or under presumption that a variable resistor is inherently inferior to a fixed resistor is also equally poisonous to the audio community.
And even if there was a difference (which I doubt as I trust Jomo to use high quality components that achieve the required impedance) I doubt there would be any objective difference between the two. Subjectively... eh, perhaps in placebo. I wouldn't really know, psychoacoustics aren't exactly my forte. People claim to detect a lot of far-fetched things in this hobby.
At any case, I'd like to know how switches would be technically inferior to fixed resistors in your opinion. Maybe there's something I overlooked.
Lets just agree to disagree on this here. This hobby, is one that has many findings and observations, for which measurements dont really count for anything because the data dont reflect what people hear. Case in point, the Mojo Copper case swap, and the AK 380CU chasis, or even swapping the internal wiring of the players, all have been reported to have a noticeable difference on the sound, even though the data doesnt show it and conventional logic suggests otherwise.
I am just stating that, between two units, every component in the way will degrade the final output, sometimes you may or may not hear it, but in all these cases the measurement data will probably not show it. In this case, a switch is a less than full contact soldered connection that relies on physical contact when engaged, and I think that that contact is less than optimal when compared to a full on soldered joint. Why do you think contact enhancers exist, and are routinely used in the hi fi world by the enthusiasts between all connections in their audio component chain. The best connections to optimise the signal flow, is still either a single wire from A to B, or at least a solder soldered with a good quality solder.
Which is why measurement datas are just that; it shows the response volume, tells you what the iem peaks or dips at or the general signature of the iem, but does not tell you anything really useful like, e.g. coherence, decay speed, resolution, soundstage, transient speed and so on. All of these have to be experienced through hearing. Which is why when most people here reviews stuff like cables or iems, measurement data is, usually, not provided because said data is nothing more than pedantic reverence.
But, I'm going to end here. I am sure that Jomo uses the best parts possible to minimise the loss in sound quality, but nothing is as good as a direct wire connection between points. If all that mattered was that the signal is transmitted, why then would cables material, number of wiring, geometry, make a difference to the sound when heard, even though measurements dont reflect that? Its a good iem, if you like having versatility, then the switches will enhance your experience.
For those who dont need that versatility because they 1) only want one sound 2)have multiple IEMS 3)too lazy to switch about, then I am just offering a suggestion, that you can forgo the switches for a direct connection to bypass the switch pins, avoid adding more solder connections, and just go for a direct wired connection to optimise the connections within the iems.
Similarly, if i ever owned the PP8, I would probably forgo the switches for a single setting to optimise the connection. But, i doubt that I will, given that the PP8 doesnt come in custom form, and there is a custom iem that does a better job of being a reference monitor.
crinacle, excellent post. We can't agree to disagree on this one as the assertion that a relay somehow "degrades" audio quality is simply indefensible from a physics point of view. Subjectivity in the absence of any objective measureablity is the definition of placebo. Such an approach is not helpful, but rather harmful to the community's education and enrichment of this hobby.
To your first point, yes a frequency measurement only measures relative volume levels but there are many other types of measurements commonly made over at innerfidelity that will indicate objective views of all aspects you list. The human ear is a measuring tool. If it can hear it we can design mechanical tools to measure it.
To your second point, this is only true when signal paths are long. In speaker placement, anything over 30ft should have higher guage wire to ensure no signal degradation. Passing over lengths of wire in an iem is negligible and will not be affected by an indirect route if using quality components, which is why we pay so much for our iems. Your assertion gives away your lack of understanding of circuitry and physics.
Anecdotal at best. I can also claim that putting a sapphire gem next to my DAC chip improves audio quality, but my words mean nothing unless backed up by some form of evidence. Doesn't have to be measurements (though it is definitely preferred) but can also simply be linked by relevant chemistry or physics theories. There's also a lot of "sunk-cost fallacy" going on in this hobby where people spend hundreds and sometimes thousands on weird modifications like chassis swaps or re-wiring, so of course they are going to justify their spending by claiming exaggerated improvements in the leaps and bounds when in actuality some of these differences are so small you'd have to be a literal Superman to detect them.
Resistors are routinely used in IEM crossovers so claiming that every component will "degrade the final output" is a very weird way of thinking about things, like thinking that the engine of the car itself degrades performance simply because it's a component that introduces friction to the system.
I'd give you the point that switches can degrade over time and is a common issue in modern IEMs nowadays, but that's more an issue of durability than anything. More a problem of "I'm worried the switches will fail in time" than "the switches would compromise the fidelity of the sound".
Total Harmonic Distortion, CSD waterfalls, impedance curves, impulse response. If there is a difference, there needs to be a physical metric in which it can be measurable.
no, subjectivity in the absence of measurable data yet has observed differences can be attributed to 1) insensitive measurement data 1) invalid test parameters . Just because we cant measure something that we observe, doesnt negate its presence or existence, those are two separate issues and to reject its presence based on a lack of measured data is a fallacy.
What is harmful, rather, is actually your position, where you unilaterally reject anything you cannot comprehend based on a set of measurements, and discount its presence without first hand trying it our yourself. I dont think that a position of "if it exists it can be measured, if it cant be measured it is placebo" is a very healthy approach to take as a philosophy for understanding things.
Ok guys. Lets wrap up the topic and get back on point.
More impressions on Flamenco please
You should at least try and get some data for your iems (find it or make it). That way you actually know what you think you are hearing is in fact real. As previously mentioned, all of what your claim to hear can be measured using "Total Harmonic Distortion, CSD waterfalls, impedance curves, impulse response" curves. These are not as common as a simple frequency response curve so you might have to investigate them. However, once you get the data it would provide some talking points that are based in objectivity for this thread.
If that is your request, I would invite you to provide me with the necessary equipment, or secure me financial and physical ease of access to said testing rigs.I would then be more than happy to conduct said measurements.
However, as I mentioned, I do think that, contrary to your position claimed your persistent need for measurable data isn t healthy in a hobby that is predominantly user experience driven. To claim that measurement data is of paramount importance for existence of a claim, is a fallacy. You, have not addressed this point.
I agree with you, this is a predominantly user experience driven hobby, but there's some science behind these user experiences. Its not just voodoo magic. It isn't rocket science either.
See, whatever you are hearing can be explained to a large extent with measurable data. What do you think are the people behind the designs of the latest DAPs and IEMs/Headphones doing? Mixing rare exotic materials and hoping that it sounds great? I don't think so. They are engineers and they use measurable data to verify their designs. They just don't hope for the best. Any exception to this, is most likely snake oil.
Blindly preaching all out subjectivity with little regards to the science behind it simply provides more avenues for the snake oil industry to bloom. Not to mention, subjective listening experience is heavily influenced with expectation bias, something even the most seasoned listener is susceptible to.
Where's the fun in not trying to understand one's hobby anyway?
I wholly agreeing with what you said, as I too do recognize that measurement data does have a role in understanding our subjective experiences and observations in this hobby. What I have spoken out against, if it was clear, is a blind adherence that rejects any subjective experience that is not reflected in measurements. As you many have noted, I would have conducted said tests, if I had the requisite instruments, I would have loved to conduct those tests myself. What I have my doubts about, is that what we layman have access to, is not sufficient or unable to record with precision the differences brought about by many audio myths (e.g. burn in, sire changes), despite being able to detect it from our ears. Hence, there is a disjoint between measurable data available to us, between what we subjectively hear and experience.
However, the official position of head-fi.org seems to be an extreme one that rejects ALL notion of subjectivity in favor of total measurable parameters. @crinacle, who holds a position as a consultant at head-fi, offered open criticism of subjective user experience with his statement of "If there is a difference, there needs to be a physical metric in which it can be measurable." , a view that is supported by his reviews which seem to be mainly made up of naught by measurement data and discussions center solely upon said graphical data.
There is a difference between recognizing when measurement data can enhance our understanding of subjective experience, and rejecting all subjective experience contrary to their bias as nonsense in the absence of measurement data. That, is the distinction I see an issue with, and why I have called both @bavinck and @crinacle out for their positions for being overly zealous.
Please don't spread this misinformation. Not once have I stated on this forum that I was ever working under Head-Fi.
Also, my reviews are mostly subjective. Just because I have the means to create and post meaningful frequency response data doesn't mean that my own write-ups are "mainly made up of naught by measurement data and discussions center solely upon said graphical data". They are meant to back up my own impressions of certain IEMs and certainly not the other way around.
Do not engage in ad hominem on this. Your credibility is already on thin ice as it is.
AK never once claimed their 380cu having the exact same internals and tuning vs their standard 380. as for the mojo copper case, it's a good idea as mojo have a very poor rfi shielding, to hype it up to make people think it does make night and day difference is just a blatant monkey business scam considering theyre charging over 500 dollars for the copper case swap. though there are a lot of better ways to create a better more cost effective ways to improve rfi shielding e.g through wrapping with AF.
It's good to explore, but in this hobby, people who ignores basic objectivity and science and being a self proclaimed golden ear disgusts me as it encourages the newer guys into believing into those and manufacturer will make more of those BS products because it sells.