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Placebo, how much does it affect audio enthusiasts?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by mgear, Apr 5, 2012.
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  1. scud80
    measurements don't tell the whole story because not everything can be measured (or measured accurately) yet.  they *could* tell the whole story though, or at least enough of it where the difference is irrelevant.
  2. jcx
    a recording is a "measurement" - especially apparent today with digital audio = a sting of numbers
    what people really want is a single or few numbers for ranking of perceived "quality" - which we don't get with say THD
    the "we all hear differently" is mostly a red herring - we all use very similar physiology (excepting defects/damage multiple sigma from the mean) - but the real deal is we all interact with whatever personal hearing physiology with the same sound fields as everyone else so our individual neural pre-processing accommodates for minor variations - to the degree we can share any "consensus reality" - and the evolution driven need for processing sound for situation awareness, warning, language suggests we are similarly "prewired", to the extent we largely fall for even the same audio "illusions"
  3. wakibaki
    You got it.
  4. atty101
    I love debates like this!
    On a related topic: How many angels do you suppose can dance on the head of a pin?
  5. Matt head 777

    I don't feel I'm as smart as I used to be, maybe that's because of college...
    Tough question. It's the uncertainty of audio quality factors that makes audio interesting. So how much is placebo, how much is pride, how much is money making & how much is actually acoustic?
  6. Magick Man

    A lot of it is money making. Look at the latest HD700 stuff. Now that I've heard them I can't see how they even made it into production, as flawed as they are, but others are claiming they're like the second coming of Jesus. You know there's something going on, but what can you really do about it?

    All of them, but they prefer to just stand at the bar and look cool.
  7. estreeter
    Would that be a standard pin or a Milwaukee No, 17 ? You really need to be more specific. I believe there may also be an ordinance prohibiting gatherings of more than 5 angels in any one place across most of New Jersey, South London and our very own Gold Coast. Its an initiative to stop organised merriment and joy to the world. 
  8. estreeter
    I always make it very clear at the beginning of any set of impressions I deign to give that I completely accept the reality of the following:
    purchase justification
    new toy joy
    expectation bias
    How can we grapple with any of the above if we try to deny that they influence our initial impressions ? Even people who have been reviewing kit for 20 years get caught up in the hype around some kit. 
    For me, trying to deny the impact of any of the above is short-sighted, but that's why I don't like to see people rushing to their keyboards within minutes of cracking open a new FedEX delivery. Whether you believe in burn-in or not, forcing yourself to give a new toy 100 hours at least ensures that any early impressions arent given on kit you are hearing for the very first time. I very rarely even look at my kit these days - I just plug headphone A into amp B and DAC C, then rinse and repeat - but I would happily stand by impressions that I gave on this board 12-18 months ago. Any failures go straight in the bin - ZO2 and RE0 - but the rest have lived up to my expectations and then some. Old and proven kit really doesn't hold much sway on Head-Fi - we are all about novelty and attaining some kind of  transient 'kit pinnacle' - witness the large number of people who have consistently dashed out and bought the K701 / DT880 / LCD-2 etc then sprinted to a keyboard to try to find a 'cheap' amp solution. I just dont know of anyone on AK or elsewhere who buys a pair of top-shelf speakers then rushes around trying to find an amp to drive them - YMMV.
  9. Magick Man
    Too true. I spent a lot of time testing and finding my DAC/amp baseline (Benchmark DAC1 PRE > Cary SLI-80 or SRM-717) but it's been 100% worth it. I'm not one to start yelling about synergy and all that, but they do play incredibly well together. And I know that if something is wildly "off", it ain't my gear.

    Get your chain hammered out, spend some time with it, and get some good headphones for base comparisons. Then you can confidently throw any set of cans at it and feel good about your assessments.
  10. Mauricio
    Yeah, true.  Especially if you buy actives.
  11. sofaball
    This is very interesting!
    I recently did a listening test with 20 participants on different bouncing methods. 15 of them claimed to hear difference between four versions. When I later did a inverted-null test, i found out all four versions were identical. I might have done something wrong along the way, but right now I'm more interested in the placebo-aspect of it. 
    I am presenting the test to my class (i am a student) in two days, and I'm wondering if anyone knows if there has been any research on this subject? 
    Would be nice to be able to point to some good sources in my presentation :)
  12. gshay
  13. Mauricio
    Google Boston Audio Society test.
  14. xnor
    It's called censorship.
  15. mikeaj
    I'm really late responding to this, but 75% reporting differences (of course, small sample size for your case and maybe a different setup) is a shockingly consistent result in the literature for what happens if there are no differences:
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