You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

Let's look at what Art Dudley says about an Inmate at Audio Asylum. Richard BassNut Greene must really have gotten under his skin. You would think that Art had actually read a fair number of RBNG's posts, but it certainly doesn't show. Art said:

"The problem: Several times a week

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.


Quote:
Let's look at what Art Dudley says about an Inmate at Audio Asylum. Richard BassNut Greene must really have gotten under his skin. You would think that Art had actually read a fair number of RBNG's posts, but it certainly doesn't show.

I followed RBNG's postings on Audio Asylum before he was banned, and he was insulting, derisive, and personally antagonistic to those whose opinions differed from his own. Like "DUP" on this forum, RBNG was a bully who appeared to believe that by shouting longer and harder than others, his views could prevail.

He also was dismissive of evidence that was contrary to his predetermined beliefs: see, for example, http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/t.mpl?f=critics&m=17369 .


Quote:
Of course, if Art really wants to prove he can actually detect the difference between good solid state amplifiers and make some money doing, too, there's always Richard Clark's amplifier challenge:

http://www.tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/index.htm

How about it, Art? Show what you can hear: it would involve a double blind test, of course. That would be better than name-calling.

Ah, the usual appeal to a blind test, which, as I wrote a while back, is the "last refuge of the scoundrel" (see www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/407awsi/).


Quote:
Art Dudley owes Richard Greene a public apology.

I don't think so. Stereophile's "Letters" column is open to Mr. Greene if he wishes to respond, as is this forum, of course.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

Implicit in your posting is that Art Dudley should present a neutral and balanced view even though an audiophile publication's voice is openly and unashamedly emotive and pro-audiophile. So how should audiophile writers deal with uninvited attacks from the rational world outside the audiophile one? Should they play by the rules of the opposition with controlled listening tests or by established audiophile rules?

Personally I enjoy reading the odd Stereophile editorial article precisely because the viewpoint and reasoning is so far removed from my own. Had people like Richard Greene and DUP lightened up a bit, enjoyed the differences, toned down the missionary zeal to convert audiofools to the one true path to enlightenment then their postings expressing matters that audiophiles find a bit awkward may have been better received. Or at least in smaller volumes they might.

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

Andy,

I have to agree. A recent dismissal was an AD review of a Grado phono cart that it seemed to me he tried to like. Grado is certainly a well respected company as I own their SR 60s my son as absconded with (I am on to him now), and my 80's he cannot have.

I really think what is happening is that it is really hard to find gear that is not at least acceptable today. I am sure many find the Grado AD did not care for as serving them quite nicely. I am often surprised gear that ends up not measuring well, Phile writers like and they didn't know it before hand.

Today in gear land the glass is mostly over half full and if you can afford the really good stuff that is class A and over, then good for you. I would bet that it is really hard to find new gear that is just totally awful.

I respect the writers at Phile and if I had a real life might find myself not caring so much. If you started subtracting certain writers from the magazine strickly based upon what one didn't agree with, much would be lost. I may not own most of the gear reviwed here, but I do enjoy knowing where the hobby is headed and who is leading the pack.

I can't wait to read about the next concert AD has at his house. That is what this hobby is about.

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
When you can't meet the argument, change the ground . . .

The fact is that Richard Greene did not attack the honesty and intelligence of those who think they can detect differences in the sound of amplifiers, even though Art Dudley said he did. Indeed, as I mentioned, there are DBTs which have shown that some do--Stereophile ran one using a tube and a solid state amp, and Richard Greene has discussed it. The fact that you have some other real or imagined grievance against Richard Greene hardly justifies Art making up things about him. Any stick will do to beat a dead horse, eh?

Of course, Banks and Krajicek ran a much better DBT using the same two amp models and obtained much less ambiguous results:

http://www.stereophile.com/features/587/index.html

We are still waiting for you guys to show, as Richard Greene has suggested, that you can hear the difference between 3 foot interconnects and 10 foot speaker cables suitable for high fidelity applications.

You found some of his posts abusive but the post you linked doesn't show any abusive language He simply disagrees with you, that's all. Whether advertising results in biased reviews is another issue entirely. I don't think Richard's arguments are very strong there. Like the old Stereo Review, Stereophile tries to review only good products.

Suggesting that double blind tests are the last refuge of the scoundrel is mere name calling. The fact is that long ago you took a double blind test, made an incorrect generalization, bought another amp and found you didn't like it. You did that. Don't blame blind tests for it.

One disturbing thing is that both you and Art Dudley seem to think that name calling is an argument. In Art Dudley's case, we could add giving amateur psychological analyses provides an argument. But these strategies don't do anything to prove that you can detect the kinds of things you say you do.

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: When you can't meet the argument, change the ground . . .


Quote:
You found some of his posts abusive but the post you linked doesn't show any abusive language He simply disagrees with you, that's all.

So RBNG's calling me "World Champion Audio Happy Face Review Editor" is not namecaliing but merely an expression of disagreement? :-)


Quote:
Whether advertising results in biased reviews is another issue entirely. I don't think Richard's arguments are very strong there. Like the old Stereo Review, Stereophile tries to review only good products.

He didn't make an argument. He merely expressed his opinion that "he root cause of the huge [Recommended Components] list is the positive review bias. If that bias has absolutely no link to the fact that Stereophile is supported mainly by advertising, then I'll eat my hat." Yet in the same thread, I had already offered the data that the fact that in 7 consecutive issues of Stereophile, 48 out of 90 brands reviewed do not advertise, hence there was no connection between our positive coverage and whether or not a company advertises.


Quote:
Suggesting that double blind tests are the last refuge of the scoundrel is mere name calling.

Did you not read the article at the link I supplied? (www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/407awsi/). There have been many published blind tests where an unscrupulous tester arranged for there to be a null result even when a small but real audible difference existed between the devices under test. In the hands of such scoundrels, blind tests are nothing more than exercises in applied gamesmanship. See, for example, http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/107 .


Quote:
The fact is that long ago you took a double blind test, made an incorrect generalization, bought another amp and found you didn't like it. You did that. Don't blame blind tests for it.

I assume you are referring to my experience in an amplifier blind test that "proved" a Quad 405 sounded no different from more expensive amplifiers, which I mentioned in the debate at HE2005, see http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/705awsi . With respect, you misrepresenting my argument in that case. And please note that my distrust in blind tests is the result of having taken part in many such tests and having organized several myself. The fact to the matter is that it is very difficult to design such a test that is sufficiently sensitive to detect small but real differences.

Hence the plethora of null results in published blind tests, such as the 1987 Stereo Review amplifier tests, where the listeners failed to detect that large audible difference due to the amplifiers' very different output impedances. If the editors who proclaimed that those tests proved that all amplifiers used within their clipping powers sounded identical are not scoundrels, it is difficult to come up with another descriptions.


Quote:
One disturbing thing is that both you and Art Dudley seem to think that name calling is an argument.

I try very hard to stay polite in on-line arguments, as can be seen by reading any of the threads in this forum, on the Audio Asylum, on rec.audio.opinion, or on hydrogenaudio,com. But faced with the blind intransigence of a Richard Bass Nut Greene, who refuses to acknowledge any factual evidence that his predetermined opinion is incorrect, yes I did resort to sarcasm. It appears you take that one example and construct a universe of "namecalling" from it. I respectfully suggest that you are not being as objective in this matter as you might wish.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.


Quote:
Implicit in your posting is that Art Dudley should present a neutral and balanced view even though an audiophile publication's voice is openly and unashamedly emotive and pro-audiophile. So how should audiophile writers deal with uninvited attacks from the rational world outside the audiophile one? Should they play by the rules of the opposition with controlled listening tests or by established audiophile rules?

Personally I enjoy reading the odd Stereophile editorial article precisely because the viewpoint and reasoning is so far removed from my own. Had people like Richard Greene and DUP lightened up a bit, enjoyed the differences, toned down the missionary zeal to convert audiofools to the one true path to enlightenment then their postings expressing matters that audiophiles find a bit awkward may have been better received. Or at least in smaller volumes they might.

I thank you for your thoughtful comments. I don't think I imply that Art Dudley should be totally objective, just that when he presents factual material, he should ensure that he has his facts correct. When one accuses someone of disparaging other's honesty and intelligence, one ought to be able to back it up.

I have heard of DUP but am not familiar with him. I can think of some subjectivists who seem to be able to get away with almost anything, both here and at Audio Asylum.

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

> just that when he presents factual material, he should ensure that he has his
> facts correct. When one accuses someone of disparaging other's honesty and
> intelligence, one ought to be able to back it up.

Why? Art and John are writing for an audience of people who are believers. So long as what is presented is at least semi-plausible and pro-audiophile it is very likely to be accepted. I would expect tales of unreasonable anti-audiophiles being vanquished to be well received.

> I have heard of DUP but am not familiar with him. I can think of some
> subjectivists who seem to be able to get away with almost anything, both here
> and at Audio Asylum.

Yes but I would again suggest you are perhaps seeing things from your point of view rather than the point of view of people trying to build forums for audiophiles. Yes the behaviour of some pro-audiophiles is irritating to other audiophiles but this is misbehaviour by people that part of the community. Posts by anti-audiophiles like DUP and Richard Greene were not only annoying but were also attacks on the beliefs of the community. In moderation a bit of spice is fine but in large repetitive volumes it is almost certainly wisest to remove it in order to avoid driving off people that make a more positive contribution.

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

Andy, you make it sound like Stereophile is the Fox News of audio journalism and Art Dudley is its Sean Hannity!

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Art Dudley should publicly apologize to Richard Greene.

> Andy, you make it sound like Stereophile is the Fox News of audio journalism
> and Art Dudley is its Sean Hannity!

Yes I think the analogy works in some ways. Stereophile and Fox both promote a view and distort reality to fit a view that is significantly biased away from what would be accepted by rational intelligent open minded people. The regular readers/viewers of both would almost certainly dispute this and say matters are being reported "as we see it". The reporters/writers are professionals targeting a particular audience and are unlikely to fully hold what they promote even if they support it in spirit.

The analogy also works for those that do not accept the view promoted by Stereophile/Fox. A small proportion become upset and vocal that the view being put forward is not the one they perceive and become active in trying to persuade people to stop subscribing to it but the majority take little notice of what is not pitched at them and get on with what is.

One of the ways the analogy fails is that Stereophile is the least extreme of the main publications promoting home audio luxury goods. There is no mainstream publication promoting a rational reasoned open minded view on the subject. In the case of Fox there is a business case to support a range of alternative views and so people get to choose their poison.

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: When you can't meet the argument, change the ground . . .

I doubt very much that you consider being called

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
You found some of his posts abusive but the post you linked doesn't show any abusive language He simply disagrees with you, that's all.

So RBNG's calling me "World Champion Audio Happy Face Review Editor" is not namecaliing but merely an expression of disagreement? :-)

I doubt very much that you consider being called "World Champion Audio Happy Face Review Editor" as abusive.

The word you used was "namecalling," as can be seen in the quotations I reinserted in this posting. Certainly this phrase would appear to fall into that category. And within the context of RBNG's posting, which was his statement that Stereophile's review findings were connected to advertising from the companies whose products were being reviewed, yes, I did regard it as abusive.


Quote:

Quote:
Did you not read the article at the link I supplied? ( www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/407awsi/ ). There have been many published blind tests where an unscrupulous tester arranged for there to be a null result even when a small but real audible difference existed between the devices under test. In the hands of such scoundrels, blind tests are nothing more than exercises in applied gamesmanship. See, for example, www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/107
.

I tried the link you supplied to your article on two browsers and it led me to Stereophile's home page. You apparently didn't copy and paste all of it. I had to do a search and found "The Joy of Music." I think this link will work: http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/407awsi/index.html

In the first listing of the URL, a period had inadvertently been included at the end. It worked fine the second time I posted it.


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
The fact is that long ago you took a double blind test, made an incorrect generalization, bought another amp and found you didn't like it. You did that. Don't blame blind tests for it.

I assume you are referring to my experience in an amplifier blind test that "proved" a Quad 405 sounded no different from more expensive amplifiers, which I mentioned in the debate at HE2005, see www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/705awsi . With respect, you are misrepresenting my argument in that case.

I don't think I misinterpreted the story you related in your debate with Arny Krueger where you and others could not show you heard the difference between a Quad 405 and other amps. I interpreted it as a kind of conversion story. In another article, "Blind Tests & Bus Stops," we learn that they were "a Naim NAP250"and a tube amp, a Michaelson & Austin TVA-1" (I am not familiar with that make). So you replaced your amp with a Quad 405. But in the end, you didn't like it and replaced it with "an M&A tube amplifier two years later."

Indeed, the same impression comes from reading "Blind Tests & Bus Stops," when you refer to the same incident. You present it as a kind of conversion experience.

Indeed it was. Up to that time, I had been a hard-line "objectivist." The blind test in which I had participated had been designed by Martin Colloms and scrutinized by technical journalist Barry Fox. It certainly did not have any obvious flaws, and I was convinced by the results that the Quad was indeed no different-sounding from the other amplifiers. I put my money where my mouth was and bought the Quad. In the long term it proved disappointing, yet, had the blind test been repeated, I was in no doubt that it would have still sounded identical to the other amplifiers under test. As I wrote in July 2005 ( http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/705awsi/ ):

"If, as the "objectivists" repeatedly claim, these factors were going to influence my listening, I would have been satisfied with the amplifier. However, my increasing dissatisfaction with the 405 was real. I was having to work harder to appreciate my music through the amplifier, and it was this cognitive dissonance that triggered the tipping point at which I changed from a hard-line objectivist into someone who recognized the value of listening."


Quote:
Nowadays, it certainly is not surprising that a tube amp would sound different from many solid state amps. E. Brad Meyer showed this in an article in Stereo Review in 1991.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/features/651/the-ampspeaker-interface.html

And for a long time, you have yourself showed the response of amplifiers into a simulated speaker load in your reviews.

Of course. Yet the blind amplifier test, whose methodology had been well-regarded at the time (1979), failed to pick up any subjective difference between the Quad and the tubed amplifier. That is the point I was making: that the fact that a test is blind does not in itself mean that it will be able to detect small but real differences between the components being tested. This something that the RBNGs of this world, with their belief that the null results of blind tests "prove" that there are no audible differences between amplifiers fail to comprehend.


Quote:

Quote:
please note that my distrust in blind tests is the result of having taken part in many such tests and having organized several myself. The fact to the matter is that it is very difficult to design such a test that is sufficiently sensitive to detect small but real differences.

Hence the plethora of null results in published blind tests, such as the 1987 Stereo Review amplifier tests, where the listeners failed to detect that large audible difference due to the amplifiers' very different output impedances. If the editors who proclaimed that those tests proved that all amplifiers used within their clipping powers sounded identical are not scoundrels, it is difficult to come up with another description.

I do not have the article reporting Stereo Review's 1987 blind tests of amplifiers. Results could vary depending on a number of factors including the output impedance, the speaker load, and the program material.

You can find a pdf of the article on-line by Googling. And you reinforce my point: that the test being blind did not in itself make the results definitive.


Quote:

Quote:
I try very hard to stay polite in on-line arguments, as can be seen by reading any of the threads in this forum, on the Audio Asylum, on rec.audio.opinion, or on hydrogenaudio,com. But faced with the blind intransigence of a Richard Bass Nut Greene, who refuses to acknowledge any factual evidence that his predetermined opinion is incorrect, yes I did resort to sarcasm.

What you should realize is that there is no way to disprove Richard Greene's suspicions. He thinks there must be some influence from advertising. The best you can do is to show there is no evidence for it in the statistics and that you have policies in place to help prevent it.

So if there is no physical evidence for Stereophile being corrupt and a statistical analysis of the available data shows zero correlation between review coverage, or review findings, or even whether or not a product is featured on the magazine's cover and advertising support, it is surely fair to point out that RBNG's publicly expressed opinions are not founded on fact? That they are merely unsupported beliefs of the type he so often ridiculed?


Quote:
You still haven't shown that Richard Greene "attacked the honesty and intelligence of anyone who believes that different amplifiers actually sound different from one another," as Art Dudley put it.

By publicly disregarding the factual evidence that disprove his expressed belief that I and my reviewers are corrupt, yes, certainly I do believe that RBNG has "attacked" our honesty and intelligence."

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

PS: I note that you changed the thread title to "When you can't meet the argument, change the ground . . ." Please note that I did indeed address your arguments, as I have done again. Changing thread titles to score "points" over others is something that Richard Bass Nut Greene did ad nauseum on Audio Asylum, as did Arny Krueger on r.a.o. It is not forbidden but it is certainly bad manners.

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: Facts vs Opinions

My main argument has been that Art Dudley has not established that Richard Greene "attacked the honesty and intelligence of anyone who believes that different amplifiers actually sound different from one another." Art Dudley provided no evidence for that and neither have you.

"So if there is no physical evidence for Stereophile being corrupt and a statistical analysis of the available data shows zero correlation between review coverage, or review findings, or even whether or not a product is featured on the magazine's cover and advertising support, it is surely fair to point out that RBNG's publicly expressed opinions are not founded on fact? That they are merely unsupported beliefs of the type he so often ridiculed?"

Certainly! As Mr. Spock often said, "I believe I said that, Captain." A very legitimate point but there's no use getting huffy about it.

Now, it seems you are now worried about whether he says you are dishonest and lacking in intelligence!

"By publicly disregarding the factual evidence that disprove his expressed belief that I and my reviewers are corrupt, yes, certainly I do believe that RBNG has "attacked" our honesty and intelligence."

Corrupt? I don't think he said that at all. I would say he just thinks that you are too confident in your "null" hypothesis of no influence of advertising on Stereophile's reviews. Art Dudley has attacked Richard Greene even more publicly, based on no evidence. Indeed, he accused RBNG of opinions he has specifically denied.

I do point out that you have failed to understand Richard Greene's views in a basic way:

"That is the point I was making: that the fact that a test is blind does not in itself mean that it will be able to detect small but real differences between the components being tested. This something that the RBNGs of this world, with their belief that the null results of blind tests "prove" that there are no audible differences between amplifiers fail to comprehend."

RBNG does not disagree with that. He has said similar things for years.

You have addressed my comments on matters you raised but which have nothing to do with the original topic. So you have indeed attempted to change the ground.

My own policy is to try to be aware of things that have been proven to make important differences to the sound, because there is no reason to trust subjective reports of the supposed 'sound' of electronics. I pay some attention to subjective reviews of speakers because speakers really do sound different and most people with normal hearing seem to prefer the same sorts of performance parameters for speakers. I pay even more attention to the measurements though. Any listening that needs to be done, I can do myself.

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

I'd like to think this thread matters about anything, or that it was going to resolve or enlighten even one human on the planet, but I can't make myself believe it.

Art's obvious point was zealots never add to the conversation. This thread proves it all over again.

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

> I'd like to think this thread matters about anything, or that it was going to
> resolve or enlighten even one human on the planet, but I can't make myself
> believe it.

That is likely to be because you are believer who is not questioning his beliefs. If you were perhaps having some doubts or maybe were only aware of the mainstream view of audio but not the audiophile one then a thread like this where someone, in this case John, is engaging in debate and putting across the audiophile case in a coherent form is likely to be useful. It seems to be rather rare on audiophile forums where disengaged preaching tends to be the norm concerning points of disagreement.

Whether one feels John or Xenophanes has made a good case or not is for the reader to judge but by engaging in conventional debate an interested reader can follow the arguments more easily and see what makes sense, what is being avoided, what is being presented in a biased way and similar.

> Art's obvious point was zealots never add to the conversation.

Agreed.

> This thread proves it all over again.

Can you explain how since it strikes me as more of an example of the opposite?

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

I'm highly aware of how the mainstream views high-end audio, good food, reading, and quality workmanship and informed political views. All with disdain, based on the vocal fringe elements in each category. An audio forum probably attracts more of the fringe than is really there- just as politics attracts more of the extremes on both sides. But that's my point here: a guy who obviously aligns himself with one extreme is angry a writer called the other forums poster out on it. Art is hardly part of an extreme in his writing or personality, at least from what I can tell from many years of his articles.

But Xenophanes seems to not be able to deal with a reasonable opinion that calls a spade a spade. And anytime I see a poster repeatedly get hung up on a few "key" words here, and looks to argue literal quotes or details, it's my opinion the conversation is unlikely to get very far. So the other poster may have never used the "exact" phrases of questioning someone's intelligence. Big deal- there are a HUNDRED way of making that opinion abundantly clear without ever needing to say it. So there you go. Just sayin'...

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

> An audio forum probably attracts more of the fringe than is really there- just
> as politics attracts more of the extremes on both sides. But that's my point
> here: a guy who obviously aligns himself with one extreme is angry a writer
> called the other forums poster out on it.

The mainstream is by definition not the extreme. High-end audio is distinguished from the mainstream by opposing such things as technical knowledge, technical performance, value-for-money, etc... It is high-end audio that is distinctive (extreme) in adopting a set of beliefs about the performance of audio equipment that is not shared by the mainstream. However unwisely he may have been going about it, Richard Greene was expressing mainstream views not extreme views.

> Art is hardly part of an extreme in his writing or personality, at least from
> what I can tell from many years of his articles.

From my perspective as someone from the technical mainstream, the views expressed in his writings are extreme. Admittedly not as extreme as the writings in most of the other high-end publications but extreme compared to the mainstream.

> But Xenophanes seems to not be able to deal with a reasonable opinion that
> calls a spade a spade. And anytime I see a poster repeatedly get hung up on a
> few "key" words here, and looks to argue literal quotes or details, it's my
> opinion the conversation is unlikely to get very far.

Is a disregard for precision about what is being said really a good thing and might it not be important if someone is not quite telling it like it is?

> So the other poster may have never used the "exact" phrases of questioning
> someone's intelligence. Big deal- there are a HUNDRED way of making that
> opinion abundantly clear without ever needing to say it. So there you go. Just
> sayin'...

Assuming one has a basis for distinguish the two, does it work for facts in the same way as opinions?

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

OK... obviously mainstream and high-end are going to be a positive or negative depending on you perspective. To me, mainstream is unquestioning, mediocre, average. Examples being pop music, suburban housing, big boxes stores. High-end is cutting edge, willing to question the norm, willing to be wrong in order to find the truth.

But the dictionary says:
main

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

> Mainstream: Representing the prevalent attitudes, values, and practices of a
> society or group.

As mentioned earlier, for the case of home audio the most striking difference between the mainstream view and the high-end view is the role of technical/scientific knowledge.

> High-end: Appealing to sophisticated and discerning customers.

This is indeed a large part of the sales pitch for luxury goods but is there evidence to suggest it applies to the consumers of high-end home audio? Do the majority of audiophiles enjoy easily accessible commercial popular music or the more challenging music preferred by those with a more highly developed interest in music? Are the views expressed in the forum's Open Bar those of sophisticated and discerning people or quite the opposite? Is the majority of high-end equipment ostentatious and put on conspicuous display or understated and out of sight? Would a discerning and sophisticated person engage in a conventional debate with someone with a different view and successfully persuade them to their viewpoint or would they avoid addressing points of disagreement and preach I believe, I believe,... Can you suggest something more to support the case that the majority of high-end audio consumers are sophisticated and discerning?

dbowker
dbowker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

"Can you suggest something more to support the case that the majority of high-end audio consumers are sophisticated and discerning? "

No- I can't. And I won't try and speak for any group as diverse as the audio community. Just look ate the weekly votes, Even when there is consensus, the actual answers are still extremely varied. It's only my opinion for sure, and belive me, this forum and many others around have plenty of people with more than few issues with connecting to other people, and reality in general. But how is that different than any enthusiast hobby?

My point is that if you take the bell curve of audio enthusiasts, (which despite their being paid writers I'd include most of the Stereophile contributors and Art in particular) you'll find pretty reasonable guys, who LOVE music most of all (including all genres from country punk, jazz, classical, classic rock, twee baroque, and everything in between) and who also derive enormous pleasure from that music sounding as good as possible given constraints of time, money space and family. Some people have more time and money than is healthy probably. But that is a minority in my opinion. The ones I know personally don't do it to impress friends, aren't obsessed with voodoo tweaks, wouldn't get wire that costs $1200 per meter, or cover their walls with panels. In fact, I know golfers, boaters, and car buffs who are way more obsessed about equipment, looking good and spending the most to earn status than I do audiophiles who take it too far.

If someone tells me that all amps sound the same, radio shack wire is all you need, and the CD was designed as the perfect medium, well, I'd have to disagree. I'd assume they either have their mind or ears closed, don't care, or were just looking to argue. If they went further and implied anyone who thought differently was delusional, taken in by snake oils salesmen or just all about image, I'd KNOW they just wanted to fight and the conversation would end. I don't try and convert ANYONE. All my non audio/music lover friends would readily say my system sounds leagues better than what they own, but it's not a priority for them, and I don't try and make it one. The ones who want to know more, I share as much as I think they want to know (usually just a little) and leave it at that.

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:
I'm highly aware of how the mainstream views high-end audio, good food, reading, and quality workmanship and informed political views. All with disdain, based on the vocal fringe elements in each category. An audio forum probably attracts more of the fringe than is really there- just as politics attracts more of the extremes on both sides. But that's my point here: a guy who obviously aligns himself with one extreme is angry a writer called the other forums poster out on it. Art is hardly part of an extreme in his writing or personality, at least from what I can tell from many years of his articles.

But Xenophanes seems to not be able to deal with a reasonable opinion that calls a spade a spade. And anytime I see a poster repeatedly get hung up on a few "key" words here, and looks to argue literal quotes or details, it's my opinion the conversation is unlikely to get very far. So the other poster may have never used the "exact" phrases of questioning someone's intelligence. Big deal- there are a HUNDRED way of making that opinion abundantly clear without ever needing to say it. So there you go. Just sayin'...

I see. You think Art Dudley can say anything he likes, true or untrue, without being called on it. Heaven forbid we actually look at Art's words and see if what he says is true! You said above that "Art's obvious point was zealots never add to the conversation." Unfortunately, Art also named someone and got his facts wrong. Apparently that's all right with you.

It's pretty clear that you know nothing of what Richard Bass Nut Greene posted at Critics Corner or the rest of Audio Asylum beyond what Art Dudley has said about him.

andy19191
andy19191's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 25 2006 - 1:50am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

> But how is that different than any enthusiast hobby?

The home audio hobby is different from almost every other hobby with a focus on the performance of technical equipment in the role that scientific/technical knowledge plays. Most hobbyists will enthusiastically skew the relative importance of various performance parameters compared to someone who is not a hobbyist but has knowledge of the subject. However, the key point is that the parameters being skewed will be valid repeatable ones that are measured as part of assessing the technical performance of the particular technical equipment.

The audiophile sector of the audio industry is almost unique in actively rejecting the scientific view and promoting ever evolving alternative magical ones. Obviously the industry does not refer to it as magic and I suspect the vast majority of consuming audiophiles like yourself would strongly object to the somewhat old fashioned term with its unattractive associations. Nonetheless in the interests of "calling a spade a spade", "things that science does not yet understand", "audible but unmeasurable", etc... are straightforward appeals to believe in magic however they may be dressed up.

The rejection of a scientific view for the luxury end of the home audio industry that started in earnest over 30 years ago was probably pretty much a requirement for the industry to remain viable in the developed world but it did rather restrict the active hobbyists to those that are able to believe. People that struggle to believe but still want to belong tend to be marginalised and pushed to the fringes like poor old DUP and Richard Greene. Of course, it has effectively no room for people who actually are "sophisticated and discerning" but has lots of room for those would like to be seen as such.

> If someone tells me that all amps sound the same, radio shack wire is all you
> need, and the CD was designed as the perfect medium, well, I'd have to
> disagree.

And yet every single time an audiophile has tried to demonstrate they can distinguish between the sound of normal wires under controlled conditions they have failed. Ditto for reasonable amplifiers with a few more caveats. Why is that? Do you think it might be magical like that frog that would not talk in front of other people? Or maybe the scientific view of how sound and sound perception works actually stands up to close scrutiny unlike the audiophile one?

> I'd assume they either have their mind or ears closed, don't care, or were
> just looking to argue.

The possibility does not exist that you might be wrong in your interpretation of what is going on and that established scientific knowledge might be right? I, like a lot of other people, am quite happy to make a large bet that you cannot successfully demonstrate any magical abilities. But if you would like to adopt the conventional audiophile position of asking people to believe without providing anything but assertions in support then I can quite understand why.

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:
You said above that "Art's obvious point was zealots never add to the conversation." Unfortunately, Art also named someone and got his facts wrong.

That is not correct. Here is what the Asylum's moderators posted in July 22 to Richard BassNut Greene: "Based on the mountain of complaints we've received, it's clear that you've worn out your welcome on Critic's Corner. Don't post here anymore." See http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/critics/messages/4/44788.html .


Quote:
It's pretty clear that you know nothing of what Richard Bass Nut Greene posted at Critics Corner or the rest of Audio Asylum beyond what Art Dudley has said about him.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but it appears that many of the abusive posts made by Richard BassNut Green on Audio Asylum, particuarly in the Critics Corner forum, to which Art was referring, have been purged by the moderators following his banishment.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

andy_c
andy_c's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: Dec 25 2007 - 12:48pm
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:
Perhaps I am mistaken, but it appears that many of the abusive posts made by Richard BassNut Green on Audio Asylum, particuarly in the Critics Corner forum, to which Art was referring, have been purged by the moderators following his banishment.

Well, I'm not sure if this accounts for each and every post, but apparently Richard deleted his AA account, then re-registered it. When this is done, and one looks up the user's account, it shows only the quantity of posts that person made after re-registering their moniker. However, the posts can still be found using the conventional search function. A more complete explanation can be found here.

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:

Quote:
Perhaps I am mistaken, but it appears that many of the abusive posts made by Richard BassNut Green on Audio Asylum, particuarly in the Critics Corner forum, to which Art was referring, have been purged by the moderators following his banishment.

Well, I'm not sure if this accounts for each and every post, but apparently Richard deleted his AA account, then re-registered it. When this is done, and one looks up the user's account, it shows only the quantity of posts that person made after re-registering their moniker. However, the posts can still be found using the conventional search function. A more complete explanation can be found here.

Thanks for the correction. I was puzzled because I couldn't find postings by RBNG that I knew used to exist because I had responded to Mr. Greene at the time and still have my response in my email archive.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Xenophanes
Xenophanes's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 2:48pm
Re: Facts vs Opinions


Quote:

Quote:
You said above that "Art's obvious point was zealots never add to the conversation." Unfortunately, Art also named someone and got his facts wrong.

That is not correct. Here is what the Asylum's moderators posted in July 22 to Richard BassNut Greene: "Based on the mountain of complaints we've received, it's clear that you've worn out your welcome on Critic's Corner. Don't post here anymore." See http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/critics/messages/4/44788.html .


Quote:
It's pretty clear that you know nothing of what Richard Bass Nut Greene posted at Critics Corner or the rest of Audio Asylum beyond what Art Dudley has said about him.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but it appears that many of the abusive posts made by Richard BassNut Green on Audio Asylum, particuarly in the Critics Corner forum, to which Art was referring, have been purged by the moderators following his banishment.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

I'm still waiting for evidence that Richard Greene maligned the honesty and intelligence of anyone who thinks amplifiers sound different. He didn't do that even for people who think 3 foot interconnects and 10 foot speaker cables sound different.

I suppose it's natural enough for you to look for some other issues you and Art have with Richard Greene, but I can't see that they justify attributing to him opinions he doesn't have.

Now, I did a search for the terms words "liar" and "lying" in Critics Corner, and you will see that Richard Greene's name comes up very seldom but that some other names occur often. Of course, one must actually read the posts to see just how those words are used, whether to accuse someone of lying, whether to deny saying someone is lying, and so on. For some of the subjectivists, those seem among their favorite words!

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/search.mpl...p;forum=critics

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Facts vs Opinions

Art just hates woodies. Probably hates levellers, too.

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Facts vs Opinions

Isn't the truth that facts are what your spouse has and opinions are what we have. Self=facts others=opinions. It's what makes America great.

Is there any speaker manufacturer that thinks he just introduced a bad speaker? Some are just "more better" than others.

richard bassnut...
richard bassnut greene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: May 2 2011 - 3:05pm
And now over a year later I get the last word

This thread about me was brought to my attention by a friend today.

.

While I did not read the Stereophile column where I was character attacked at the time, I did read the relevant paragraph today.

.

Character attacks don't bother me -- they are the "arguments" used by people who don't have facts and data and logic on their side.

.

My hobby is collecting and listening to recorded music -- we used to be called audiophiles.

.

People who enjoy recorded music tend to prefer above-average sound quality.

.

Some of us wonder how well audiophiles can hear differences among components.

.

We know that most owners of expensive audio components claim every component sounds different.

.

But we also know most audiophiles compare components playing at different volumes (average SPL's),

which could result in an audible,  but not meaningful, "difference".

.

We also know most audiophiles compare components knowing the brand names in use, often after reading a positive review, and sometimes even in different rooms!

.

Some more objective audiophiles have compared components with precise volume-matching

and brand names hidden.

.

Blind comparisons of electronics and wires since the late 1970's consistently have had very different results

than sighted auditions and reviews -- components playing at the same volumes with brand names hidden

often sound the same.

.

Under blind conditions, audiophiles seem to hear differences about as well as they claim happens to non-audiophiles (who usually don't hear a difference in sound quality at all).

.

Yet audiophiles using sighted non-volume matched auditions often claim everything sounds different.

.

For speakers, alll audiophiles do agree that different speakers sound different (and rooms sound different too).

.

For electronic and wires, the hearing ability claims versus actual demonstrations in front of witnesses are "light years" apart.

.

The obvious conclusion is that audiophiles who claim that all, or nearly all, components sound different,

are making a claim they can never demonstrate in front of witnesses.

.

Unfortunately, audio has divided into two camps -- people who collect and like music, and people who collect and like components.

.

Some people who collect and like components have moved into what I call Fantasy Audio, where every component “sounds different”, and no product that claims to improve sound quality, even bizarre products such as Brilliant Pebbles, is ever rejected as worthless.

.

I challenged the Fantasy Audio hobby online for several years because members were spouting their golden ear beliefs as facts.    

.

Yes, anyone has the right to spend $500 for an "upgraded AC cable”.

.

But it is also my right to post online that no audiophile has ever demonstrated to witnesses that different A/C cables actually sound different.

.

To a Fantasy Audiophile, my saying that is almost as bad as telling a Christian: "There is no God".

.

Stereophile magazine creates a friendly environment for advertisers, and potential advertisers, by rarely publishing negative reviews. 

.

Any advertiser or potential advertiser knows the probability of a negative review is slim, so the magazine is a safe forum for advertising.

.

Atkinson twists what I have said and "replies" by claiming most companies who recieve positive reviews don't advertise.  

.

Let me repeat slowly: Stereophile is a  'safe haven' for advertisers. 

.

But there are some British audio magazines, with advertisers, who publish a wide range of reviews, from poor to excellent -- not all positive or very positive component reviews -- and THEY manage to stay in business.   

.

People who want to collect expensive cool-looking audio components may want to believe that different wires have audible differences -- but where are the public demonstrations of such exceptional hearing abilities?   ,

.

 

Over three decades of experimenting and testing, true golden ears, demonstrated publicly to witnesses,  simply don't exist!

.

It is true that Stereophile once did a blind amplifier comparison.

.

Yet in spite of his claims to be an expert on blind tests, Mr. Atkinson made a serious error with the methodology chosen for his blind test.

.

Mr. Atkinson apparently did not realize that most audiophiles are biased toward saying they “hear differences” when comparing two components.

.

That's what high-end audiophile component collectors like to do -- talk about the "differences" they "hear".

.

So any blind test where listeners are asked if they hear a difference, or don't hear a difference, between two components, will result in too many "I hear a difference" answers ... making the listeners seem “smarter” when the two components compared happen to be different ... and "dumber" when the two components compared happen to be the same.

.

A much better non-biased blind comparison methodology is to listen to component A, listen to componet B, and then listen to component “X” (A or B selected at random).

.

Then the listener decides whether the randomly selected component “X” was really component A, or component B.

.

It's sad that I have to lecture John Atkinson on proper blind testing methodology, since he works in the field of audio full time, and has claimed strong expertise in the subject in online posts.

.

Of course, even with the inferior blind test methodology used for the Stereophile blind amplifier test, it was obvious that no participant had a right to claim "all amplifiers sound different", because no one had even come close to being able to demonstrate that claim during the test.

.

The Fantasy Audio hobby has one primary belief: "Everything sounds different, because I know what I hear, and couldn't be wrong".

.

Not very scientific.

.

And not even close to reality.

.

When you question the Fantasy Audio beliefs, you are often greeted with harsh character attacks.

.

Character attacks are a tool used by feeble-minded people who have no logical data-driven arguments to support their beliefs.

.

I thank Stereophile for the opportunity to post "the last word here", but also ask them to reconsider publishing character attacks naming real people in future magazines.

.

The fact that a character attack naming me was allowed to be published, is a public demonstration of poor character by Stereophile’s management.

.

It appears that I have brought too much logic and science into the world of the high-end audio Fantasy Audio hobby, and had to be silenced by Audio Asylum’s decision to delete any post I made, along with a simultaneous character attack published in Stereophile (I am interested to know if any audiophile has ever before been named and character attacked in the pages of Stereophile before I was?).

.

The moderator of the Critics Corner forum at Audio Asylum banned me from that forum, and then immediately started a new thread bashing my character (to which a post in my own self-defense was not allowed).

.

Unfortunately, high-end two-channel audio seems to have become a smaller and smaller group of middle-aged and older while males, who can become very hostile to any questions about their "everything sounds different" beliefs.

.

You don't even need two components to demonstrate the "everything sounds different" belief applies ONLY to loudspeakers.

.

You can just tell an audiophile you are switching to different wires, for example, and then move a disconnected A/B switch from A to B, and many audiophiles will claim they "hear differences", even though nothing has changed.

.

I've led that kind of “psychology” test, and have been a "victim" too – both tests were good learning experiences for someone like me who wants to LEARN more about how well humans hear, rather than just accepting popular beliefs.  

.

John Dunlavy used to have his employees pretend to change speaker wires to his excellent prototype speakers, and most of his listening panel would then "hear" a difference! 

.

He was smarter than me though -- he started selling a $1,000 Dunlavy Cable for his speakers!

.

Dunlavy never claimed his $1,000 cables sounded any different than generic 12AWG zip cord, so he was making no unproven claims, but I believe he got a kick out of observing the Audio Fantasy beliefs in action.

.

I don't tell anyone I'm an audiophile anymore -- I tell them I collect and enjoy listening to recorded music.

.

Being an audiophile with thousands of dollars invested in cones, footers, ultra-expensive wires, and other audio do-dads that make no audible difference has made Fantasy Audiophiles seem quite strange to "normal" people.

.

Don't the Fantasy Audiophiles ever realize their two channel stereos, no matter how expensive, still rarely sound like live music? 

 

And that room acoustics treatments, which many audiophiles skimp on, are WAY more important than "upgrading" to $1,000 wires?

.

Fantasy Audiophiles seem to live in an unusual belief-based reality of their own creation -- Stereophile and The Absolute Sound are their "bibles".

.

But believing "everything sounds different", no matter how strong the belief, doesn't make it true.

.

And using blind demonstrations of hearing abilities in front of witnesses, rather than simply believing all “I know what I hear” claims, the "everything sounds different" claim appears to be VERY far from reality.

.

I prefer to live in audio reality.

.

That doesn’t mean I hate the audio hobby, or even the bizarre Fantasy Audio folks – I don’t care how much money they spend on audio equipment – but I do mind when they advise others that a stereo system can’t sound good if it uses inexpensive generic wires, because that belief is false.

.

I love listening to music, building subwoofers, recording and sharing music compilation CDRs.

.

Getting character attacked in the pages of Stereophile was not the highlight of my life, but that character attack did expose the true character of the high-end Fantasy Audio cult: If you question my audio beliefs, I will (verbally) kill you.

.

.

Richard "bassnut" Greene

Bingham Farms, Michigan

May 2, 2011   

.

.

PS:

I was thinking about subscribing to Stereophile again, just so I could tear up the new issue every month … and maybe even subscribing under my wife’s name too, so I could tear up two new issues every month … but now that I’m approaching age 58, I barely have the strength to tear apart a paper napkin.

tmsorosk
tmsorosk's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 29 sec ago
Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
Bass nut

I think Mr. Greene has some interesting comments and makes some sense , now if he could do that in a more civilized tone .

sat7
sat7's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: May 31 2011 - 9:51pm
You are Kidding - right?

I love Music. Technology is the way I enjoy my Passion. I hear differences in every piece of equipment. I hear differences in different vinyl records made by the same manufacturer and the same label. I do not have to be right. I live in a commitment to Grace. I know what I like and that is Good Enough. I think all should embrace the concept of "Good Enough" not a message of mediocrity - a message of satisfaction and contentment. Chase it all you want, but when you find it is good enough, it is truly good enough.

 

Blessings

Rev. Steve

jgossman
jgossman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 10 min ago
Joined: Aug 18 2011 - 6:21am
Silly season

What is the point of this thread..  I'm a young man who has read Art Dudley since I was a very young man.  The most extreme thing I've ever read is that maybe we shouldn't elect a recovered alcoholic with a history of DUI president.  And while I happened to like, while not always agreeing with said president, that's hardly an extreme statement or out of line insult.  But it is informative of how he seems to view life.

He gets along with some tweakery, while not getting into non-sense.  He has a slight bent toward tubes.  He is slightly liberal.  Sort of sarcastic.  A little this..  A little that. 

I've read the occasional AA thread, and the BassNut is really just a jerk.  To ask someone who rarely says anything controversial and even more rarely untrue is, well, silly season.

 

Get over it.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading