Testing audiophile claims and myths
Feb 12, 2024 at 11:05 AM Post #17,236 of 17,336
an “experience” is not real, it is a creation of their brain that doesn’t actually exist. Music is a particularly interesting example because... it doesn’t really exist,

G
Another chart-topper for the "total nonsense" list.

'A "X" is not real, except that it was created, but doesn't actually exist.' Ummm...what? A 6 year-old would be hard pressed to say anything so stupid. Not to mention the fact that there's probably nothing more real than an experience. It may be of interest that the brain is a real thing with real physiology, said physiology, by the way, being responsible for the entirety of the human experience. Indeed nothing exists BUT experiences.

And it's news to me that music doesn't exist since I work on it every single day, and the vast majority of the planet hears it every day and has done for hundreds of years.

One should never take seriously anything stated by someone who spews such utter gibberish.
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 11:19 AM Post #17,237 of 17,336
Isn’t the waveform comparison further on into the article? Where they stop bothering with frequency domain and work with time instead, comparing those errors to the 22 microsecond CD sample intervals?

Thanks for the responses so far.
Just got to reading the article. It seems to me that the main point of the article was to make the contention that a signal processing chain utilizing their product (power cable and vertex racks) resulted in measurable differences in a null test between the the control and experimental setups in relation to the source file as reference, thus explaining the perception of improved sound in a listening test.
I think you misunderstand what the graph represents if you're talking about the ones from page six and onward.
The red trace in page 7 does not directly compare the waveforms the way a null test does. It's not the difference in amplitude between the two waveform at any given time, which is what the null test would show. They estimate how much the recorded waveform drags or rushes compared to the one contained in the CD at any given point in time. Notice how the delay can be a fraction of the sampling time (~22uS). Making an algorithm that can accurately estimate these delays/rushes in between the samples might sound like a futile task because it isn't intuitively apparent that any values in between can be calculated with arbitrary precision. The precision basically just depends on the computing power and the amount of time given to the program to run the interpolation algorithm. They say their program can't run in real time so I imagine they made an effort to make it accurate.

All of the graphs up to page 9 represent this type of error instead of being graphs of null tests. The error they measure is called jitter by the way. As long as the jitter is uncorrelated (and looking at the traces it seems like it is but they haven't analyzed any of it) the only consequence is increased noise. If jitter has a discernible pattern to it, it can cause much more objectionable type of distortion than just adding noise to the signal.

The only place they show something close to a null test (besides comparing the recording to the CD right at the beginning) is in the very last page. These are the tweaked and the nontweaked outputs overlayed together if I understand correctly. They didn't do a difference plot of it however. Maybe if they did, it would be turn out that the difference is completely random (it's just noise).
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 11:45 AM Post #17,238 of 17,336
Another chart-topper for the "total nonsense" list.

'A "X" is not real, except that it was created, but doesn't actually exist.' Ummm...what? A 6 year-old would be hard pressed to say anything so stupid. Not to mention the fact that there's probably nothing more real than an experience. It may be of interest that the brain is a real thing with real physiology, said physiology, by the way, being responsible for the entirety of the human experience. Indeed nothing exists BUT experiences.

And it's news to me that music doesn't exist since I work on it every single day, and the vast majority of the planet hears it every day and has done for hundreds of years.

One should never take seriously anything stated by someone who spews such utter gibberish.
Perhaps because a 6-year-old wouldn't be so well-studied in matters of philosophical, metaphysical, and epistemological contention. Take a course in philosophy and many things so "obvious" to you about the world will no longer be so. Here, it is a disagreement on what counts as "real". At least from what I remember, your "Indeed nothing exists BUT experiences" would fall under philosophical "Idealism" if not solipsism while I believe most of us objectivists follow a variation of Materialism where things can exist independent of their being perceived. KinGensai had already mentioned the apparently more recent distinction between the "real" and the "actual". Likewise, I have believed that much of the offense "subjectivists" take is in the failure to separate the physical, electrical, acoustic sound from the perception of that sound. It's okay if the "subjectivists" subjectively perceive the differences they report that they hear, but it is different when they escalate that into a claim about the objective content of the audio signal (e.g. silver cables being innately bright as opposed to likely psychologically inducing that percept) while still claiming those differences to be immeasurable.

I'd say that gregorio is describing music as "not existing" in the same way that some schools of thought would describe the universe's indifference to planet Earth if it were to be struck by a giant asteroid. Unless you believe in a flat Earth, humanity is quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things, or all "meaning" ascribed to culture, language, and knowledge is just a statistical outcome of countless arrangements of matter. "Music" to us may be to some alien little more than somewhat statistically correlated noise, or like an encrypted file without a key or a compressed/proprietary file without a program to interpret it.
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 12:20 PM Post #17,239 of 17,336
Cheers, I get it. Just one thing about the clouds though - it’s subtly different I think, than the way you described it. You went from clouds to thinking the sun rotated around the earth. My cloud analogy isn’t akin to that, it’s akin to noticing the sun is there and wondering what it’s all about. Notice the clouds, wonder what they’re about. Not notice the clouds and make assumptions about them. So with an aural phenomenon I’m only saying it’s been noticed - no assumptions about its nature, origins or reality. I think the language and meaning of what each of us is saying is important if we’re to understand each other.
Thanks for the post, super clear.
You're right, I went for something else(the problem of the wandering mind ^_^).
I get your point, and of course there are very many audio cues that just about anybody notices, with nobody asking to prove that it was real. It's typically a matter of magnitude and common knowledge about hearing abilities and the type of difference a certain situation tends to create. Such example could be the sound from a crying baby one row from us on a plane. The same trip with and without the crying baby, that's something you probably won't have to ABX when telling others that it was audibly different. ^_^

But that's because babies can be loud, they "attack" a frequency range we're quite sensitive to, and the SPL output is so much above audibility that we still get annoyed while hearing the turbines of the plane. + Most people know exactly how it feels.
We could also consider saying that headphone X and headphone Y sound audibly different. I don't imagine people challenging you on such a claim because it's usual for headphones to have audible levels of sound difference(it's rare not to have completely different distortion profiles and a few dB here and there being louder on one phone).
But already we are in trouble because it's extremely hard to put on a headphone and not feel the difference in pads, weight, clamping force, amount of isolation, or just the look while picking them up. So if and when 2 headphones turn out to sound the same, it's likely that people would still find "sound" differences.
When Harman tried to test different headphones for preference, people would recognize the Audeze(heavier than Thor's hammer) in the group. When trying to only test for sound preference, that's a serious problem if people recognize the super popular LCD at the time. They ended up using the same headphone and simulate, with convolution, the sound of several headphones. Which is bad in various ways and displeased many people reading the paper, but that shows you how far they decide to go to try and remove non audio variables in a listening test.
Harman is also the company that built an entire system so that they could move speakers rapidly and quietly while doing blind tests behind a curtain. Because, even with the curtains and even with people not being told which speaker was used in the trial, just the position of the speakers was impacting the results.

It's quite hard for someone with a little knowledge on human senses, psychology, or just listening tests in general and their results, to just take the global human experience of listening, as something specific to sound. I get that it makes us look paranoid and perhaps even crazy sometimes, but the distinction between subjective and objective reality exists for good reason.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 12:39 PM Post #17,240 of 17,336
Another chart-topper for the "total nonsense" list.

'A "X" is not real, except that it was created, but doesn't actually exist.' Ummm...what? A 6 year-old would be hard pressed to say anything so stupid. Not to mention the fact that there's probably nothing more real than an experience. It may be of interest that the brain is a real thing with real physiology, said physiology, by the way, being responsible for the entirety of the human experience. Indeed nothing exists BUT experiences.

And it's news to me that music doesn't exist since I work on it every single day, and the vast majority of the planet hears it every day and has done for hundreds of years.

One should never take seriously anything stated by someone who spews such utter gibberish.
Again with the attacks on Gregorio? Is it all we can hope to see you post in here? The diva that was virulently doing the same has been shown the door. You're going to be next soon if you keep this up.

Couldn't you disagree without the insults? Or better yet, try to read his posts not to find an opportunity to roast him, but to try and understand what I tried to mean?
Sound is a physical event, air pressure changes and such. In that way, it's real. Music on the other hand is a concept. We have expectations about what is and isn't music, usually influenced heavily by education. To me, not all sounds are music.
You could easily argue that what happens in the brain is electrical and chemical in nature, and that real events lead us to think of something as music. I'm fine with that, but not with the insults.
You could also take the idea that our own experience of reality is the only reality we'll ever know and the only real thing in our lives.
There are many ways to skin that cat. None of them requires insults.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 1:55 PM Post #17,241 of 17,336
I think you misunderstand what the graph represents if you're talking about the ones from page six and onward.
The red trace in page 7 does not directly compare the waveforms the way a null test does. It's not the difference in amplitude between the two waveform at any given time, which is what the null test would show. They estimate how much the recorded waveform drags or rushes compared to the one contained in the CD at any given point in time. Notice how the delay can be a fraction of the sampling time (~22uS). Making an algorithm that can accurately estimate these delays/rushes in between the samples might sound like a futile task because it isn't intuitively apparent that any values in between can be calculated with arbitrary precision. The precision basically just depends on the computing power and the amount of time given to the program to run the interpolation algorithm. They say their program can't run in real time so I imagine they made an effort to make it accurate.

All of the graphs up to page 9 represent this type of error instead of being graphs of null tests. The error they measure is called jitter by the way. As long as the jitter is uncorrelated (and looking at the traces it seems like it is but they haven't analyzed any of it) the only consequence is increased noise. If jitter has a discernible pattern to it, it can cause much more objectionable type of distortion than just adding noise to the signal.

The only place they show something close to a null test (besides comparing the recording to the CD right at the beginning) is in the very last page. These are the tweaked and the nontweaked outputs overlayed together if I understand correctly. They didn't do a difference plot of it however. Maybe if they did, it would be turn out that the difference is completely random (it's just noise).
Oh ok, I guess that makes more sense if they are selling a power conditioner. I'm still not sure why the DAC wouldn't be able to handle a regular AC power supply if it's designed for it, if a standard UPS can't achieve the same thing, and if any of this even matters for audibility given we are apparently talking about errors of approximately 1μs?
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 2:19 PM Post #17,242 of 17,336
I'd say that gregorio is describing music as "not existing" in the same way that some schools of thought would describe the universe's indifference to planet Earth if it were to be struck by a giant asteroid. Unless you believe in a flat Earth, humanity is quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things, or all "meaning" ascribed to culture, language, and knowledge is just a statistical outcome of countless arrangements of matter. "Music" to us may be to some alien little more than somewhat statistically correlated noise, or like an encrypted file without a key or a compressed/proprietary file without a program to interpret it.
Oh, this is not how I was expecting your thoughts to go. So are you saying you think gregorio believes music does not exist because of a problem of significance in scale as opposed to being phenomenologically indistinguishable from other sounds in actuality? So in this hypothetical, at what scale would music begin existing? Would certain patterns of sound spontaneously gain meaning at a certain scale without an observing consciousness in defiance of Hume's argument?

Some more esoteric types I've run across have made statements like the entirety of existence creates sound that resonates through all existence, forming a music that is incomprehensible to the human mind, yet governs the entirety of existence. Kind of reminiscent of the lovecraftian idea of Azathoth.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 2:39 PM Post #17,243 of 17,336
Oh, this is not how I was expecting your thoughts to go. So are you saying you think gregorio believes music does not exist because of a problem of significance in scale as opposed to being phenomenologically indistinguishable from other sounds in actuality? So in this hypothetical, at what scale would music begin existing? Would certain patterns of sound spontaneously gain meaning at a certain scale without an observing consciousness in defiance of Hume's argument?

Some more esoteric types I've run across have made statements like the entirety of existence creates sound that resonates through all existence, forming a music that is incomprehensible to the human mind, yet governs the entirety of existence. Kind of reminiscent of the lovecraftian idea of Azathoth.
My description was more analogical; I didn't think the interpretation would be taken that far. "phenomenologically indistinguishable from other sounds in actuality" was what I was trying to get at, though I also can't say whether that description is sufficient. But I am still personally of the stance of all "meaning" or "order" being relative to us "human" observers, just as one would imagine perhaps jokingly the existence of aliens who consider Earth to be "devoid of 'intelligent' life" or to be like their equivalent of "ants".



The objects of human language and thought to me gain "meaning" in similar fashion to how a .docx file's "meaning" is dependent upon an MS Word application to read it.
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 2:53 PM Post #17,244 of 17,336
My description was more analogical; I didn't think the interpretation would be taken that far. "phenomenologically indistinguishable from other sounds in actuality" was what I was trying to get at, though I also can't say whether that description is sufficient. But I am still personally of the stance of all "meaning" or "order" being relative to us "human" observers, just as one would imagine perhaps jokingly the existence of aliens who consider Earth to be "devoid of 'intelligent' life" or to be like their equivalent of "ants".


Ok, that makes more sense, although that makes Azathoth sad lol.

Meaning I agree completely, that's a product of consciousness in much the same way as value judgements are heuristically, although the argument would be that meaning encompasses the metaphysical more than mere values would in an existentialist sense.

Order gets more interesting because that's starting to enter into the realm of deontology and rules as opposed to chaos. I actually think that order is more attributable to actuality than chaos is because chaos is in essence a failure of the observing consciousness in question to comprehend reality in any sensible way. What we see as chaos or even stochastic tendencies is actually a perfect system following perfect order, it just appears as chaos because we can not comprehend the rules governing that order.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 3:48 PM Post #17,245 of 17,336
Time errors and jitter as they exist in home audio have never been anywhere close to being audible to my knowledge. Whenever I hear of a manufacturer talking about stuff like that, I become suspicious of their intent. I guess that’s another good reason to blur out the scale on the charts- so you don’t see how far below peak level the stuff they’re discussing is.
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 5:22 PM Post #17,246 of 17,336
The iem's I've been having problems with were still bugging me, even though I thought it was just all down to tips. Tips took them so far but after a while the edginess/sharpness was still there, though not nearly as pronounced. I imagined listening to notes where they needed smoothing - like you see in graphs before an anti-aliasing filter is applied, jagged.
So I knew I couldn't fine tune with different tips any better, plus you shouldn't have to to that extent, and thought I'd try a different cable just to see if another made any difference as what was there to lose? I have a spare cable I bought recently for $300 and thought no way would it improve on the bundled $800 one but on first try I fancied it did sound a little smoother. I switched back and the eginess was there again, very slight but enough to spoil the listen, Swopped back to the cheaper cable, a PW Loki (7 groups of extruded and deoxygenated alloy (70% Silver 30% Copper, Conductor Gauge: 34AWG, Number of Conductors : 4) and compared to the original PW Silver Liar (Material undisclosed) and for the first time in over a year I'm actually enjoying them, I'm hearing better separation, stage and depth - which I was disappointed with considering the cost.
Interestingly on another site trying to learn more about the cable it says about them:

Where it really shines is in adding life to your upper-midrange instruments. Female vocals also particularly sparkle.
Anything that needs a pinch of upper midrange spice must be auditioned with Silver Liars.

So the original cable is said to add 'spice' to the upper ranges which is where I was noticing the issue. The cheaper cable is staying on these as the iem now sounds more like you'd expect a kilo buck earphone to perform. Now I can't notice different frequencies being mellowed or enhanced but an overall smoothness and cohesiveness of sound. What do you guys think is going on, my feeling is the bundled cable must be defective in some way.
 
Feb 12, 2024 at 6:30 PM Post #17,247 of 17,336
Classic description of expectation bias. Enjoy it while the impression lasts. A glass of wine might help it last longer.

For sound quality improvements, swapping wires is barking up the wrong tree. But you've been told that over and over and don't listen.
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2024 at 6:43 PM Post #17,249 of 17,336
Like I say, you can enhance that kind of enjoyment by means of wine and soft couch, and it won't cost you $300.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top