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BillB
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Acoustic effects and size matters

There are acoustic treatment tweaks out there that include SMALL LITTLE things. I recall those coin-sized discs that allegedly changed acoustics if rotated on their own axis. And you know those things that look like a large fork, with wavy wood tines?
I know acoustic treatment is very valuable - but why would any reasonable person, with even a tiny bit of acoustics awareness, entertain the idea that itty bitty things inside a room would help? Or, IF there is something to it, can you explain?

ethanwiner
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

You are absolutely correct Bill. With acoustics and treatment, size is paramount. The small things you mentioned work entirely on placebo effect and the power of suggestion. The fork thing-a-ma-bob might have a real effect if you stick it between the loudspeaker and your ears, but in that case the effect will be negative.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

My physics professor use to marvel at why anyone would ever want 1,000 watt systems in car audio. He would

rabpaul
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
I know acoustic treatment is very valuable - but why would any reasonable person, with even a tiny bit of acoustics awareness, entertain the idea that itty bitty things inside a room would help? Or, IF there is something to it, can you explain?


All that matters is that can you hear a difference.
If you think its all in your mind then do a double blind test and get a second opinion from your spouse, a friend or another audiophile.
Must everything you hear need an explanation?
Do you need to know how a transistor or a tube works in order to appreciate music?
Do you need to know about organ stops or piano pedals to appreciate the effect they have on the sound these instruments produce?
These Harmonix are small. To suggest they do nothing (and that its all in ones head) just can't be right.
Application Guide even mentions Stereophile.

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Do you need to know how a transistor or a tube works in order to appreciate music? Do you need to know about organ stops or piano pedals to appreciate the effect they have on the sound these instruments produce?


That's a great point - the consumer does not need to know how the guts of their gear works in order to enjoy music that comes out the other end. However, designers and manufacturers need to know how the gear works! They also need to know how to measure their gear, so they can assess proposed designs during development. Legitimate gear vendors publish performance data such as maximum power and distortion, or in the case of acoustic products absorption or diffusion data. This is a key distinction, because:


Quote:
These Harmonix are small. To suggest they do nothing (and that its all in ones head) just can't be right.


But it is right. The only way those can possibly work is by placebo effect. In this case even the manufacturer can't explain how these work, or show data proving they work. All they offer are vague promises such as, "the listening experience can be elevated to unprecedented new levels of clarity and power" which I'm sure we all agree is meaningless. Since these devices defy all that is known about physics and acoustics - in this case that size is important - the burden of proof is on the vendor. I see no proof, only prose.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Speaking of little products, do these little guys actually help control vibrations of a glass window?

Tuning Dots

I like the idea but have trouble accepting that they would be able to absorb and dissipate significant vibrational energy.

ethanwiner
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Speaking of little products, do these little guys actually help control vibrations of a glass window?


Nope, same thing - way too small to do anything. Reducing resonance would be easy to prove with a waterfall plot. So where is their data?

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Makes sense and as I suspected.

But I still like the idea, but I also like the idea of routine space travel.

rabpaul
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters
Elk
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Have you tried the Tuning Dots?

If so, what was the result?

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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In the late Richard Heyser's words, "I no longer regard as fruitcakes people who say they can hear something and I can't measure it
ethanwiner
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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I understand why you (as a designer and manufacturer) would need and explanation as to how these things work or even possible not work


Right, I'm focused on the science, and as such I understand that the laws of physics don't change at the whim of a vendor. So if someone claims to hear a change when no change is possible or likely, what is your conclusion? This is a serious question!


Quote:
but to say reviewers (there are a number of them) are as gullible is another.


Logically speaking that makes no sense. What special attribute do magazine reviewers enjoy that mere mortals do not? Why should reviewers be exempt from the same frailty of perception that afflicts everyone else? BTW, I've been a magazine reviewer too!

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Right, I'm focused on the science, and as such I understand that the laws of physics don't change at the whim of a vendor. So if someone claims to hear a change when no change is possible or likely, what is your conclusion? This is a serious question!

The laws of physical science don't change at the whim of anyone. However, there are more than a few incidences which are not explained by those laws. Relying upon laws which do not adequately describe what actually occurs in these instances to dogmatically state a specific action could not occur seems short sighted at best. On one hand science is viewed as inadequate while another view suggests it is all knowing. Somewhere there must be a porridge that proves to be "just right". Heyser seems to be looking for that bowl.

If large numbers of people claim to grow bigger, better tasting tomatoes by using the moon as a planting guide and fertilizing with organic materials, what is your conclusion? If someone claims to hear a change when a change is made, what then is your conclusion? These aren't panels that take long periods of time to install. You move them in and you move them out. It's a reasonably easy comparison. To tell someone they simply cannot be hearing what they know they are is somewhat arrogant. You are certainly free to not try them but it would seem foolish to suggest anyone who tries these tweaks is simply delusional. And, actually, what if they are as long as they are content with what they hear? We are using our collection of boxes to create an illusion in the first place.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:

Quote:
In the late Richard Heyser's words, "I no longer regard as fruitcakes people who say they can hear something and I can't measure it
Elk
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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OBSERVATION.. drives science.


Exactly.

Observe!

Become curious.

Investigate.

Try to quantify.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat, until the explanation and the measurements correlate with the observations.

Some observations are even contradictory - photons are both waves and particulate. While hard to wrap one's mind around, this is just the way it is.

Additionally, we are still doing it and still learning! We do not know everything. We are not done in any field, including electrical circuits.

I am with you, KBK, in not understanding why this basic point is so difficult for many to comprehend.

ethanwiner
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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However, there are more than a few incidences which are not explained by those laws.


The laws of physics are correct and irrefutable, but perhaps the human interpretation is flawed.


Quote:
On one hand science is viewed as inadequate


Only by people who don't understand it! In my experience, the more schooled one is in electronics, the less likely they are to believe that different competent speaker wires can sound different. If you poll 100 degreed engineers about this, and then 100 non-degreed audiophiles, I imagine you'll find a large disparity. Does this not account for anything in your opinion?


Quote:
Somewhere there must be a porridge that proves to be "just right".


It's not difficult to find a dozen people that claim to have been abducted by little green men in flying saucers. Does this mean that the truth is somewhere in between? Maybe they weren't green but blue? Or maybe the anal probes were really belly button probes? But other than that the reports are partly legitimate?


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If someone claims to hear a change when a change is made, what then is your conclusion?


I think you're confusing skepticism with arrogance. In my heart of hearts I'm sure people think they heard a change. I don't believe anyone is lying! So that tells me the real issue is the frailty of perception, as I'm sure I've mentioned many times here.

Everyone has experienced this: You play a favorite CD and it sounds fabulous. The next day you play the same CD on the same system and it doesn't sound so great. This has happened to you, yes? Heck, the same music played twice in a row sometimes sounds different to me when nothing has changed. The same thing happens when auditioning tweaks. You'd swear the sound became better, or worse, even though nothing changed but your perception.


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And, actually, what if they are as long as they are content with what they hear?


This is a great point and I agree completely. Where I feel compelled to pipe up is when a newbie with a limited budget asks for honest opinions on how best to spend his money, or when someone asks a specific question as the OP did in this thread.

I'll never change the mind of someone who is convinced his audiophile fuses or whatever improved the sound, no matter how compelling my logic. So I don't even bother to argue with those people any more. You might as well try to convince someone that your religion is better than theirs.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Or maybe the anal probes were really belly button probes?


Say it's not so!!


Quote:
Everyone has experienced this: You play a favorite CD and it sounds fabulous. The next day you play the same CD on the same system and it doesn't sound so great. This has happened to you, yes? Heck, the same music played twice in a row sometimes sounds different to me when nothing has changed. The same thing happens when auditioning tweaks. You'd swear the sound became better, or worse, even though nothing changed but your perception.


Great example, Ethan.

I also agree, regardless of one's belief as to the efficacy of cables, that a Noob or one with a limited budget should pay little attention to cables.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Only by people who don't understand it! In my experience, the more schooled one is in electronics, the less likely they are to believe that different competent speaker wires can sound different. If you poll 100 degreed engineers about this, and then 100 non-degreed audiophiles, I imagine you'll find a large disparity. Does this not account for anything in your opinion?

This does NOT concur with my experience. When I lived in Dallas I was about two-miles from Texas Instruments HQ and I also had close proximity to the telecom corridor right above TI along Central Expressway. As a consequence, many of my friends were (are) EEs and coincidentally many are audiophiles and/or musicians. (TI has a great stage band that's toured Europe, etc.). Anyway, EVERY EE that was an audiophile friend also believed that cables sounded different. The physics of the question did not trouble them in the least; however, they would all attempt to explain it via better insulation, better termination, better copper and better configuration.

Every time my best EE friend and I get together we'd compare best single malts, best beers, best female singers, best power cords, best amps, etc., etc. He believed that if you could hear it, taste it or feel it, it's real. He even upgraded the internal speaker wire on one of my favorite guitar speaker cabs while he was doing the same to his own. The difference was stunning, not surprisingly.

Point is, he wasn't alone. About half our little audio group were EEs and they had no problem with power cords. They'd say something like, "wow, I wonder how he did that." These guys included key people in the DLP development team, a radar developer, a developer of a voice simulation chips (first used in TI toys, remember Speak and Spell), an early VoIP developer and others from similar projects. None were "audio engineers", just your everyday EEs making livings in technology.

Dave

Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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However, there are more than a few incidences which are not explained by those laws.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The laws of physics are correct and irrefutable, but perhaps the human interpretation is flawed.

So you're telling me no law of physics has ever been proven to not be 100% correct? How many laws are there and how many theories? Are theories irrefutable also? I thought that's why they are theories and not laws.


Quote:
On one hand science is viewed as inadequate

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Only by people who don't understand it! In my experience, the more schooled one is in electronics, the less likely they are to believe that different competent speaker wires can sound different. If you poll 100 degreed engineers about this, and then 100 non-degreed audiophiles, I imagine you'll find a large disparity. Does this not account for anything in your opinion?

So once you understand science it is ... adequate?

I'm not sure what to make of that!

Ethan, I don't believe cables sound different. I've talked to all of them and they all sound the same. Cables are very, very quite sounding folks. Have they said anything to you?

However, we do have more than a sufficient number of "audiophiles" on this forum who don't believe cables can affect a change in what we hear as the musical performance - which is what I'm interested in and not whether cables make sounds. Therefore you could conceivably get a wide deviation in responses to your poll no matter where you asked the question. I have sold equipment to engineers and technicians, scientists and such who thought nothing but speakers affected the final sound. Not even the room mattered. And I've sold TipToes and CD treatments to engineers, technicians, etc. If you truly believe your ability to question what you experience diminishes with more education and a resulting degree, you actually scare me. People with advanced degrees can be some of the dumbest - or brightest - folks I have ever talked to.


Quote:
Somewhere there must be a porridge that proves to be "just right".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's not difficult to find a dozen people that claim to have been abducted by little green men in flying saucers. Does this mean that the truth is somewhere in between? Maybe they weren't green but blue? Or maybe the anal probes were really belly button probes? But other than that the reports are partly legitimate?

Obviously you feel my question was a joke and making fun of someone's beliefs is a good way to dismiss the possibility there might be any validity to anything they say about a different topic. I'm rather disappointed in your approach to this, Ethan. Is this you pulling out your credentials to prove everyone else wrong? Once again I will have to admit to knowing some very bright people with multiple diplomas who haven't the slightest bit of common sense and knowledge. So diplomas and degrees don't impress me much though I have a few of my own.

Let's leave the little green men aside for the moment and discuss something more familiar to everyone. According to a news article I was reading today, it is widely admitted that stress will make someone more susceptible to bacterial or viral infection or even a major disease. This is attributed to a weakened immune system which reacts to the stress levels. Yet, according to this article, there is no agreed upon "reason" for this cause and effect and no agreed upon numbers to prove a weakened immune system exists before the illness occurs. In other words, everyone agrees with the idea that stress can open the door to illness but no one knows exactly how, or why, how to determine the point where this is important or how to reverse the situation. But it is accepted as truth. It is accepted to be true but no one can explain how and why it happens through simple numbers and measurements. And though Western medical science tells us herbal treatments cannot possibly affect a change in the human immune system, thousands of people believe these treatments and remedies are effective. As an example, I have given my animals holistic remedies and they have responded to the treatment though they cannot possibly know they should or in what manner they should respond. There are numerous reports of a human unknowingly responding to a remedy that Western science simply says cannot be effective. Someone with a "logical" mind can dismiss these claims but anyone with such empirical experience will refute that dismissal. Someone with a "logical" mind can ignore the results and claim only placebo effects but anyone who doesn't question those results for what they actually might prove is, for me, too damn satisifed with the amount of knowledge they already have.

To believe the physical laws surrounding us are complete and irrefutable seems, to me, to be arrogant and suggests someone who is simply incurious. All the things we need to know, we aleady know? That reminds me of Henry Kloss saying something to the effect of, "It wouldn't be called experimenting if we already knew the answer."

I remember taking my dog to the vet and explaining I don't have a flea problem in my yard because I practice organic management techniques. The vet, schooled at Texas A&M and instructed only in chemical controls, flatly stated that organics cannot work. I found another vet. Most organic and holisitic practices are based in logic and repeated empirical evidence whether Western science wishes to acknowledge their truth or not. Therefore, I find it unbelivable when anyone suggests what we know right now is "irrefutable". What Western knowledge knows is far from what is considered to be true in many other societies.


Quote:
I think you're confusing skepticism with arrogance. In my heart of hearts I'm sure people think they heard a change. I don't believe anyone is lying! So that tells me the real issue is the frailty of perception, as I'm sure I've mentioned many times here.

Once again I find that approach to be dismissive of what could actually be taking place. I suspect Heyser would agree with me in this case.


Quote:
And, actually, what if they are as long as they are content with what they hear?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a great point and I agree completely. Where I feel compelled to pipe up is when a newbie with a limited budget asks for honest opinions on how best to spend his money, or when someone asks a specific question as the OP did in this thread.

I can't imagine anyone suggesting a newbie just starting out should invest in the sort of treatments we are discussing here. First, it would be the rare newbie whose system and perception were at a level that would benefit from the resonance control devices mentioned. Second, I would also be willing to bet such a system would require far more tweaking of a garden variety before a newbie got around to questioning whether dots actually make an improvement in sound quality. So I think we can all agree we should probably discourage a newbie from any investment in the more "advanced" methods some audiophiles pursue.

But I strongly disagree with your conclusion that a newbie should be told such tweaks simply cannot work. This is like telling a child they cannot play an instrument or learn math. Curiosity is a natural part of all endeavors and should be encouraged and not discouraged. I would draw the line at telling anyone they can stick a screwdriver into an operating component but beyond that I think for the most part curiosity should be allowed to flourish and find its own level. If you choose not to be curious, Ethan, that's your business - your personal business and not your commercial business I hope - but I really don't think you should tell anyone something is impossible. They are capable of deciding for themself when the time is right.

This is why I feel these numerous and constant threads which attempt to disprove all things "audiophile" do more harm than good. The opinions of the entrenched members of the forum are unlikely to change in either direction. But the "Entry Level" lurkers see a hobby full of people saying more things can't be than can and calling each other fools for believing what they believe. I fail to understand why this is the only thing this forum actually discusses in length.

RGibran
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

This is why I feel these numerous and constant posts by you which attempt to prove all things "audiophile" do more harm than good. The opinions of the entrenched members of the forum are unlikely to change in either direction. But the "Entry Level" lurkers see a forum full of your posts saying more things can be than can

Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Yes, you would find that confusing. Would you care to actually contribute something of value to this discussion? Or will you be content to just sit on the sidelines and do your usual sniping? We're discussing room treatments - just so you know.

Elk
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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So you're telling me no law of physics has ever been proven to not be 100% correct? How many laws are there and how many theories? Are theories irrefutable also? I thought that's why they are theories and not laws.


A clarification of terminology. When Ethan uses the terms "theory" and "law" he is using them as do scientists.

Theory

In common parlance "theory" means a speculation or hunch. Not so in science.

As used by scientists, a theory is an established, thoroughly tested, comprehensive explanation. A theory is as strong and as certain as it gets; all known facts regarding the matter are consistent.

A good example is the theory of gravity. We are all certain that if we let go of a book it will fall to the ground. This is always true if you are within the presence of a large mass, such as the earth.

Law

A physical or scientific law is a statement or formula founded in observation and empirical analysis. A scientific law describes an observable characteristic of the natural world which has been rigorously and repeatedly tested.

A good example is the first law of thermodynamics which posits that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form.

Another is the law of inertia: an object resists a change in motion; that is, an object at rest remains at rest, an object in motion remains in motion. We know these things to be true, consistent and immutable.

The distinction is that theories explain the world, laws describe the world. Both have reached the status that we know them to be true.

As applied to audiophilic observation

I am aware of no law or theory however that posits that speaker cables cannot sound different. Speaker cables happily follow all known laws of physics. The issue remains whether - while operating within these laws - there are discernible differences.

The fallacy of thought by many that feel they are objective is the belief that if they put forth a logical argument for the non-existence of a certain phenomena that they have "proved" that it cannot be so.

One problem is that deductive statements shown to be true or false by the application of logic alone are not scientific laws. They are merely deductions, subject to being verification and testing.

Another is that the starting assumptions may be wrong and the interaction of the chosen concepts may not work together in the fashion assumed.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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As applied to audiophilic observation

I am aware of no law or theory however that posits that speaker cables cannot sound different. Speaker cables happily follow all known laws of physics. The issue remains whether - while operating within these laws - there are discernible differences.

The important word there is "known" which, if you are not a learned scientist I assume, can be misleading. If you had written those same words fifty years ago, what would we have not known that was still waiting to be discovered? As in the case of Heyser, what would have been too trivial to have raised concern?


Quote:
I say "misleading" because, although much of Richard Heyser's audio-related academic work did involve time-delay spectrometry, which he derived as a means for assessing the anechoic response of a loudspeaker in a normal room back in 1967 (footnote 2), the philosophical thrust of his writing involved, as did Richard Feynman's, the wider implications of what at first might be thought trivial.

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/572/index.html


Quote:
The fallacy of thought by many that feel they are objective is the belief that if they put forth a logical argument for the non-existence of a certain phenomena that they have "proved" that it cannot be so.

I somewhat disagree and would rewrite your sentence to read, "The fallacy of thought by many who feel they are objective - and therefore logical - is the strongly held belief that should they put forth a logical argument for the existence of a certain phenomena, they have 'proven' it and only 'it' can be so."

This would be The Law of Conservation of Ignorance: A false conclusion once arrived at & widely accepted is not easily dislodged, & the less it is understood the more tenaciously it is held.


Quote:
One problem is that deductive statements shown to be true or false by the application of logic alone are not scientific laws. They are merely deductions, subject to being verification and testing.

Fair enough, as long as someone is willing to do the testing and not simply fall back on "logic" since logic, in this case cuts both ways. How would the logic be tested? Your statement implies logic is tested by means of deduction and not observation. If that is so, we are back to what matters on paper and what matters in real life.

http://stereophile.com/asweseeit/57/

http://stereophile.com/asweseeit/107/

http://stereophile.com/asweseeit/104awsi/

http://www.stereophile.com/thinkpieces/165/index.html


Quote:
Another is that the starting assumptions may be wrong and the interaction of the chosen concepts may not work together in the fashion assumed.

This would appear to be "Garbage in = garbage out". This can occur within either the empirical or the "logical" group. I can no more defend all the subjective conclusions that have been reached in audiophilia than I can accept the unbending logical conclusions which ignore empirical evidence. To write all of these observations off, whether they concern acoustic treatments or UFO's, as merely the mistaken perceptions of the observer would appear to be a, "There, there, little fella, it's OK, you just had a bad dream. Don't worry, I know the laws of physics and I'm here to protect you from yourself."

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:

Quote:
One problem is that deductive statements shown to be true or false by the application of logic alone are not scientific laws. They are merely deductions, subject to being verification and testing.

Your statement implies logic is tested by means of deduction and not observation. If that is so, we are back to what matters on paper and what matters in real life.


I hope my statement more than implies that logic is tested by means of process rather than observation; this is exactly how logical arguments are tested.

This is precisely what is wrong with the objectivist's misuse of deductive logic to "prove" that listeners cannot possibly hear what they do in fact experience. That is, deductive logic does not trump observation when it comes to the scientific method.

Jan, you do appreciate that I have given you a lot of ammunition with which to critique the arguments of the dyed -in-the-wool objectivists, don't you? Merely because I am replying to your post does not mean I am arguing with you.

I do have one disagreement however. When/if we learn of that which makes cables sound different this something will not "break" any known laws of physics. It will simply be a new phenomena of which we were previously ignorant. Cables follow all physical laws in their operation, but there may be things we do not yet know about the transmission of analog signals.

This is similar to learning of jitter. Data timing errors did not break any physical laws, we just did not know of it and its impact until relatively recently.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Every time my best EE friend and I get together we'd compare best single malts, best beers ... best power cords


That explains everything.


Quote:
He believed that if you could hear it, taste it or feel it, it's real.


You left out "if you could measure it."


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About half our little audio group were EEs and they had no problem with power cords.


Which half was the believers?

Seriously, I know a lot of EEs and not one of them believes power cords can make any difference unless they're poorly made.

The real issue is that speaker and power wire can affect the sound (always negatively) compared to suitably heavy lamp cord if it's badly made or too thin etc. Nobody questions that, and certainly not me because I've seen lame wire. And after that thread last year where people were praising 30 AWG wire for loudspeakers, I'm convinced that some people consider any change they hear to be an improvement. But any change that can be heard can also be measured! Especially in the case of wire, where all it can possibly affect is signal level and frequency response. And maybe distortion if it's poorly soldered or crimped. So by extension, all the wire believers and sellers need to do to convince me is show some hard evidence. When they duck the issue with "science doesn't know how to measure what I'm sure I can hear" they have lost all hope of convincing me.

Tell you what - let's name names to avoid a "he said, she said" argument. Some of my EE friends who don't believe in wire are John Roberts, Bill Eppler, Joseph Deninson, and my cousin Gordon Winer. I can probably come up with ten more. Who are your EE friends who do believe?

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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I have sold equipment to engineers and technicians, scientists and such who thought nothing but speakers affected the final sound. Not even the room mattered.


Yes, I've seen people who should know better not understand how important the room is too. But once you explain it to them they always get it. Especially if you show them a waterfall plot. This is a big difference, compared to people who will not be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence. Heck, I'll be swayed as soon as someone shows hard evidence those magic balls do something.


Quote:
If you truly believe your ability to question what you experience diminishes with more education and a resulting degree, you actually scare me.


You continue to misunderstand my main point, which is that auditory perception is very frail. Versus an oscilloscope that shows the same information every time (assuming it's calibrated.) I'm not calling anyone a liar. I'm saying they are well-meaning but mistaken. Every professional recording engineer, at one time in their career, has had the experience of tweaking the EQ on a guitar track to perfection, only to discover later they were adjusting something else. Once you've had that experience you understand how easily the ear is fooled. This is why I asked if you've never had the same music sound good one day and bad another even though nothing changed. So has that never happened to you?


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People with advanced degrees can be some of the dumbest - or brightest - folks I have ever talked to.


Again I agree. Someone has to graduate last in their class.


Quote:
Obviously you feel my question was a joke and making fun of someone's beliefs is a good way to dismiss the possibility there might be any validity to anything they say about a different topic.


Not at all! Those people are absolutely convinced they were abducted, and nothing you or I can say will convince them otherwise. I see no difference between those people and the people who are certain the little magic resonator balls improved the sound.


Quote:
Is this you pulling out your credentials to prove everyone else wrong?


I have no credentials. Only common sense, 40 years experience as a professional musician and audio engineer, and perhaps a better than average grasp of logic principles. I have taught audio in college, but never actually graduated college myself.


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everyone agrees with the idea that stress can open the door to illness but no one knows exactly how, or why, how to determine the point where this is important or how to reverse the situation.


Okay.


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But it is accepted as truth.


By everyone? Doubtful. Stuff like that is hard to pin down and requires assessing thousands of subjects over many years. Versus changes in frequency response which are simple to pin down and 100 percent repeatable.


Quote:
And though Western medical science tells us herbal treatments cannot possibly affect a change in the human immune system, thousands of people believe these treatments and remedies are effective.


Now hold on a moment. Nobody is a bigger critic of Alternative Medicine than me, but even I know that plants are the basis for many "real" medicines. Penicillin first came from mold, and didn't aspirin originally come from a tree bark? And don't dismiss the power of the placebo effect which is very real and most relevant to this discussion.


Quote:
it would be the rare newbie whose system and perception were at a level that would benefit from the resonance control devices mentioned.


Now who's being dismissive and maybe even a little arrogant?

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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When/if we learn of that which makes cables sound different this something will not "break" any known laws of physics.


Yes, and I'll take that one further. We already know what makes speaker cables sound different! It is the effect their resistance, inductance, and capacitance have on frequency response and possibly amplifier and loudspeaker ringing. (And as I mentioned elsewhere, bad crimping or soldering can add distortion via rectification.)

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

I had another thought (uh oh). This is a serious question, and I hope the "tweaks believers" here will all answer at least Yes or No:

After seeing DUPs latest tirade against teh Mapleshade product line, is there any tweak you will agree cannot possibly make any difference? If someone says in earnest that they tried some tweak or other and they're sure they heard a difference, is there any point at which you'll consider them mistaken?

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Jan, you do appreciate that I have given you a lot of ammunition with which to critique the arguments of the dyed -in-the-wool objectivists, don't you? Merely because I am replying to your post does not mean I am arguing with you.

Yes, I understand that you and I are for the most part on the same side of the fence on this matter. As you say, my response should not be taken as argumentative. They are merely a clarification of my thoughts and where points you and I do differ somewhat. I do see resistance on the part of the objectivists to any new information which might upset the apple cart. I think you are correct when you say there are no known laws which state a cable cannot affect sound quality. However, I feel there is as much reluctance to quantifying those laws as there still is to accepting that "bits is bits" doesn't work. The camps have been established and boudaries drawn. Partisanship seems to rule our every thought.

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I do see resistance on the part of the objectivists to any new information which might upset the apple cart.


You'll get no resistance to new information from me. Bring it on - please! But "we don't necessarily know all there is" is not new information. If you have new information to share, please do.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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And after that thread last year where people were praising 30 AWG wire for loudspeakers, I'm convinced that some people consider any change they hear to be an improvement.

Since I was one of the posters on that particular thread and since I am in favor of no more guage in a cable than required by the circumstances, I once again am disappointed in your response here, Ethan. We were discussing room treatments and you introduced cables to the discussion. I see cables as the "Al Gore" of audio objectivists. Every time a conservative wants to dismiss any thought a liberal might have, they pull out "Al Gore", "Ted Kennedy", "Bill Clinton" or "Hillary". It is the propoganda which has been repeated a sufficient number of times to now produce a Pavlovian response in the listener. Just as Rush Limbaugh only need mention the name "Hillary" to get his followers salivating and leaving all common reasoning facilities behind, so too do the objectivists use "cables" as the catch all Pavlovian mechanism for audiophiles to say, "You're all goofy if you believe this". Bringing cables into a discussion of any belief system among audiophiles is meant to end the conversation instead of prolonging discussion. It is another way to dismiss those who believe in cables, unusual room treatments, Alternative Medicine and UFO's. All of which are tied together to imply you logically know better than I what I should believe.


Quote:
Yes, I've seen people who should know better not understand how important the room is too. But once you explain it to them they always get it. Especially if you show them a waterfall plot. This is a big difference, compared to people who will not be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence. Heck, I'll be swayed as soon as someone shows hard evidence those magic balls do something.

I would disagree with the idea they all "get it" once you show them a waterfall plot. I think that would be true when you were dealing with someone who had come to you being open to the idea of room treatments. If their mind remains closed, however, they will never approach the subject because they have reached their conclusion and are not interested in new information. That seems to be what this discussion is about.

To be honest, I don't really know what those little balls are supposed to effect. So I can't make any argument for or against whether they could result in a changed plot on a piece of paper printed by a machine. I am also not sure that what gets printed by a machine is the whole story of what is happening in the room. I suppose you and I will have to disagree upon the value of printed plots in all cases and technology solving all riddles. I know JA had promised to correlate the measurements he has taken with the perceived sound the reviewers report. This has never come to fulfillment due to time schedules and so forth. Even when it's completed, however, I tend to think there will still be things plots on paper do not fully explain.


Quote:
I'm not calling anyone a liar. I'm saying they are well-meaning but mistaken. Every professional recording engineer, at one time in their career, has had the experience of tweaking the EQ on a guitar track to perfection, only to discover later they were adjusting something else. Once you've had that experience you understand how easily the ear is fooled. This is why I asked if you've never had the same music sound good one day and bad another even though nothing changed. So has that never happened to you?

"There, there, you just had a bad dream." I undersatnd how a technician can tweak a guitar track and later find they adjusted the wrong thing. Most often this occurs when the engineer is distracted by something else and they are not paying the strictest attention to what they are doing and hearing. If you are distracted, then your other faculties are not as sharp as when you are relaxed and paying attention. I'm not seeing how this proves your point, Ethan.

As to music sounding good one day and bad the next? Sorry to say, no, I haven't experienced that. I've experienced a bad mood, distractions or times when I sat down and hoped music would lift my spirits when it just hasn't. But I can't say the music "sounds" different day to day on a level of poor frequency response or any technical measurement. Does that really happen to you?


Quote:
Obviously you feel my question was a joke and making fun of someone's beliefs is a good way to dismiss the possibility there might be any validity to anything they say about a different topic.

-------

Not at all! Those people are absolutely convinced they were abducted, and nothing you or I can say will convince them otherwise. I see no difference between those people and the people who are certain the little magic resonator balls improved the sound.

But would you agree your tone implies you dismiss out of hand what either has to say? Your conflating of both experiences would indicate you feel neither is possible since both are outside your realm of experience and logic. I still find that troublesome. Maybe that is because I am more prone to believing people often do know what they exerience is not an illusion or simply a frailty of their perception. This is not to say I think every listener is always right in what they believe they hear, but neither are they always wrong.


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But it is accepted as truth.

-------

By everyone? Doubtful. Stuff like that is hard to pin down and requires assessing thousands of subjects over many years. Versus changes in frequency response which are simple to pin down and 100 percent repeatable.

You could say the sun rises in the East every morning and still find someone who would disagree. This is the basis for partisan bickering. As long as you can state that one person disagrees, you technically cannot be proven wrong.

"Al Gore"!

Does frequency response trump everything else, Ethan? Does frequency response indicate transparency in a system?


Quote:
And though Western medical science tells us herbal treatments cannot possibly affect a change in the human immune system, thousands of people believe these treatments and remedies are effective.

-------

Now hold on a moment. Nobody is a bigger critic of Alternative Medicine than me, but even I know that plants are the basis for many "real" medicines. Penicillin first came from mold, and didn't aspirin originally come from a tree bark? And don't dismiss the power of the placebo effect which is very real and most relevant to this discussion.

I'm not at all dismissing placebo effects. But you seem to hang your entire argument on placebos and "Al Gore".


Quote:
it would be the rare newbie whose system and perception were at a level that would benefit from the resonance control devices mentioned.

-------

Now who's being dismissive and maybe even a little arrogant?

I don't know, who? I thought that was as obvious as not suggesting a newbie spends 20% of their budget on cables. Until I know what a client is after and how they hear, I would say they should stay away from various tweaks until they have more experience with their system and possibly live music.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
I had another thought (uh oh). This is a serious question, and I hope the "tweaks believers" here will all answer at least Yes or No:

After seeing DUPs latest tirade against teh Mapleshade product line, is there any tweak you will agree cannot possibly make any difference?

Yes, of course. When I was reading "HiFi Answers" many years ago, Jimmy Hughes told the story of going to a friend's house to hear a new tweak this friend had "discovered". I don't remember the exact methodology but the tweak basically revolved around opening all the CD cases on any disc with green liner notes. I also tend not to take too seriously the majority of Peter Belt's tweaks. But I still have my litle booklet from "HiFi Answers" which offers common sense tweaks to improve the performance of your system. Most of those are plain ol' common sense even if they didn't appear to be at the time they were written. A Linn LP12 on a lightweight support?! What fool wrote that the first time?

If someone says in earnest that they tried some tweak or other and they're sure they heard a difference, is there any point at which you'll consider them mistaken?

No. I don't tend to believe they haven't heard a difference. The question would be whether they heard an improvement in the musical performance and is it important let alone repeatable. A difference is just a difference. A "better high end" or "cleaner cymbals" is not of any real consequence to me when viewed without context. But I have no reason to believe they did not hear these things. You are once again playing partisan games, Ethan. "If McCain wins the nomination, will you remain a strong enough Conservative Republican to not vote for him?" The implication being you are not a true conservative if you decide to vote for McCain. If you are not a true consservative, then you have a character flaw which means you are not thinking correctly and can be discounted and diminished. You are asking me whether I am so committed to believing in the efficacy of tweaks that I cannot admit to the placebo effect. I don't know how to say this other than to just say it, but this line of questioning is somewhat offensive.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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I do see resistance on the part of the objectivists to any new information which might upset the apple cart.

-------

You'll get no resistance to new information from me. Bring it on - please! But "we don't necessarily know all there is" is not new information. If you have new information to share, please do.

OK, though it's hardly new to most of us.

Significant numbers of those who have tired the tweaks mentioned at the beginning of this thread have felt they contribute to the performance of their systems and enhance the musical experience. Cables can be identified in blind listening tests with a better than chance regularity. So can various amplifiers and CD players.

Exactly what sort of information were you looking for? Was I to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that all cables can influence the performance of a sound system? That's a fairly steep request, don't you think?

Let's look at some other information. We had a UFO sighting here in Texas not that long ago. Almost an entire town saw an unindentified object doing maneuvers that defied the known laws of aviation. When pressed for information the USAF stalled and later said it was conducting experiments over the area. They suggested that all everyone saw was a common jet doing uncommon things. I don't think one of those people who saw the object is convinced it was what the official response wants them to believe it was. Did they all suffer from a frailty of perception at the same time for the same length of time? I'm not arguing for or against UFO's but you cannot dismiss the group experience with the idea they are all hallucinating. Are they responsible for evidence the object was not a USAF craft?

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Yes, I've seen people who should know better not understand how important the room is too. But once you explain it to them they always get it. Especially if you show them a waterfall plot.


It is good to keep reminding everyone of the importance of the room. As a group audiophiles really don't understand this and those that do often forget.

None of the tweaks we are describing - setup, cables, even many components - makes anywhere near one-tenth the difference that a good room/proper treatment makes.

This is one area where the pro audio and project studio hobbyists are typically well ahead of audiophiles. They really get the importance of room treatments and solid speaker setup.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
After seeing DUPs latest tirade against teh Mapleshade product line, is there any tweak you will agree cannot possibly make any difference? If someone says in earnest that they tried some tweak or other and they're sure they heard a difference, is there any point at which you'll consider them mistaken?


Anyone else? This is a serious question that I think can quickly get to the bottom of whether we should trust all anecdotal reports and consider them all equally valid.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Ethan, since you're in the room treatment business, I assume you've made comparisons to other products from your competitors. Have you tried either the Shakti or Harmonix devices?

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
The Shun Mook Mpingo discs divide me straight down the middle: I can't see why they have any effect; yet I have heard them make an improvement. But while I can think of no mechanism by which the Mpingo discs can work their magic, that doesn't mean any effect must be non-existent. I am not so arrogant as to suppose that the only things that can happen are those that I can imagine. (Those who declare that, unless they can think of a mechanism for something happening, it can't happen, are presuming knowledge of all that was known, is known, and is still to be known. That they actually possess such knowledge seems unlikely.) I will not allow my skepticism to interfere with the joy I get from my music, therefore.

I am reminded of a powerful essay by Stephen Jay Gould, "Velikovsky in Collision" (reprinted in Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, Norton Paperback, 1977), in which the biologist logically and carefully destroyed the colliding-world "theories" the ill-informed Immanuel Velikovsky had advanced to explain Biblical history. Yet having done so, Gould concluded that he "will continue to root for heresy preached by the nonprofessional," on the grounds that only after the event can you tell which scientific heresies will become orthodoxy. I feel the same way: I want to live in a world where I can still be surprised, where Velikovsky might be out to lunch, but it still might be possible for a handful of small ebony discs to improve my system's performance.---JA

http://www.stereophile.com/features/69/index6.html

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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It pays to remember the rhythm by which science has always advanced: first comes the admission of the existence of inexplicable phenomena; only then can theories be advanced to explain them.
---Richard Lehnert

http://www.stereophile.com/features/69/index13.html

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


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Ethan, since you're in the room treatment business, I assume you've made comparisons to other products from your competitors. Have you tried either the Shakti or Harmonix devices?


I have never tried either of those personally. The only silly (IMO) acoustic products I've actually auditioned and tested are the Cathedral Panels. Those are too small to be useful acoustically when installed as directed, and they're not designed in a way that could be useful either. So it was no surprise that I was unable to measure any change in a smallish room after installing four of them as advised by the manufacturer. Indeed, at the same time I tested the Cathedral Panels I also tested three half-filled plastic garbage cans I had laying around. Let me know if you'd like me to post graphs and photos of those tests. In fact, the garbage cans actually made a modest but measurable improvement in the room's bass response and ringing!

That said, the Cathedral Panels are much larger than these Harmonix devices:

http://www.combak.net/roomtune/roomtuning.htm

One style of Harmonic "Room Tuning Devices" is the size of a quarter, and the other is smaller than a dime. In both cases you get 18 of them. Even considering the larger size model, the total surface area combined is only a few square inches. My company's MiniTraps are 8 square feet and 3 inches thick, and most rooms need at least four of them to make a meaningful improvement. So how do you imagine these Harmonix doodads could possibly "eliminate boomy bass" as claimed on the site?

Products like these Harmonix dots defy all logic, common sense, and everything known about the physics of acoustics. So in the absence of hard test data showing a change, or even an explanation as to how they actually do what is claimed, I have to conclude these work entirely on placebo effect. What other explanation possibly makes sense?

Now, the Shakti Hallograph is almost big enough to make a physical change in the sound of a room. Here's the vendor's web page I found:

http://www.shakti-innovations.com/hallograph.htm

But what exactly could it do that would be useful? The web site says to place them behind the speakers, which might be a good place for absorption. But clearly these are not absorbent. So what do they actually do to change the sound in the room? Apparently Shakti doesn't know either since they limit their presentation to flowery prose such as "The Ambient detail of the original recording site is now finally revealed in all its glory."

I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear me say that I consider all of the products sold by both of these companies to be total bullshit with no foundation in science or anything else beyond wishful thinking. I probably wouldn't object so strongly if the prices were more reasonable. But $800 to $1,000 for placebos?

BTW, I don't usually trash other vendors in my business, but you did ask so I gave you my honest opinion. And since I'm replying as a representative of my company RealTraps, I did not disable my sig as I usually do in threads about audio silliness.

Jan, if you have any suggestions for how these devices could possibly do anything more than placebo, I'd love to hear it.

I imagine you will duck every single point of logic I just made and say something like, "Aha - I knew it! You never even tried or heard them, yet you're convinced they can't possibly work." Or you'll start talking about politics again. Is that about right?

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:

Let's look at some other information. We had a UFO sighting here in Texas not that long ago. Almost an entire town saw an unindentified object doing maneuvers that defied the known laws of aviation. When pressed for information the USAF stalled and later said it was conducting experiments over the area. They suggested that all everyone saw was a common jet doing uncommon things. I don't think one of those people who saw the object is convinced it was what the official response wants them to believe it was. Did they all suffer from a frailty of perception at the same time for the same length of time? I'm not arguing for or against UFO's but you cannot dismiss the group experience with the idea they are all hallucinating. Are they responsible for evidence the object was not a USAF craft?

Then you can get into the works of Brad Steiger (150+ books) and Charles Fort.

How about a 140,000 year old Amerindian skull found in Iran, this year, 2008? Or 60 million year old fossilized shod-with stitching human footprints? This exact kind of evidence, not a few times..but thousands of times.

Or the blindingly severe amount of evidence of prehistoric nuclear blast artifacts all over the world, in dozens of locations.

The kind of stuff that people don't like to look at, as it upsets their minds too much, so they turn it away. Governments are only too eager to help them in that endeavor.

This is, by the given scientists, in every stinking case, that..all of YOUR objections, of ANY kind, have been considered and dealt with.

So NO.... all other considerations, even remotely possible, of these glassified soils..have been assessed, and dismissed, in each and every case..by separate scientists and experts. There is simply no other explanation, of any kind, due to the evidence at hand. They are pre-historic nuclear blasts.

Oddly enough, in the same places where cites and populations where known to have been eradicated 'by the gods', considered to be, by those records, in the area of 5,000 to 25,000 years or more, ago.

Yet, how much of this have any of you heard about? Not much, I'd wager.

But that is changing. Rapidly.

This is an interesting fact: The biggest, most important , most incredible dig site known to ever exist, a 400 acre area, was being unveiled and finally being presented to the world in Iraq, just before the invasion. This site, was the most important dig known to exist, and was on it's way to providing the most important evidence to ever emerge on the origins of mankind.

Now, what newly erected site, after the invasion.. in Iraq was..co-incidentally..400 acres in size?

Additionally, and at least as important...what incredibly important and mind numbingly old (and barely scratched at, as it had MANY of these new dig finds in it) repository of artifacts was completely sacked and torn to pieces the VERY SAME NIGHT of the invasion???

Only if one opens their mind and begins searching, will truths be set free. In any endeavor.

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Well, yes, I am surprised that you aren't a bit more curious about your competitor's products. I'd be just as surprised to find out the folks at Conrad Johnson never listened to a Jeff Rowland Design Labs amplifier or Dave Wilson didn't care what a Quad ESL sounded like because it was just a "silly" speaker.

But I am even more surprised at your attitude on this thread. You have repeatedly insulted your competitors - and me. You have labelled their products snake oil and silly without making much of an attempt to see anything they have done from a viewpoint other than your own. Your approach to my replies has been to take audiophile partisanship to the extremes. You have lumped together all the things that do not fit into your "logical" world and you have declared everything outside of that viewpoint to be delusional and caused by the frailty of perception, as if we are all just too weak minded to resist the purveyors of snake oil. You have then baited me to see if my thought processes could be proven diminished or even totally nonfunctional and therefore I could be tagged into the crowd of whackos you see wandering aimlessly outside the narrow window of your belief system. None of those whackos are worthy of your further consideration because they just don't get it. Overall, Ethan, you seem to be very prejudiced against anything that you have decided is not "logical". You get to set the rules and boundaries and we all must play within your game plan. I don't consider that fair, Ethan.

Your frequent rationalization of the more unconventional room treatments is they are way too small to be effective. Effective at what? Doing things your way?

You approach room treatments in one fashion. Absorption. It doesn't take much logic to figure out absorbing a 100Hz wave front at more than 11' PTP is going to require large amounts of surface area. Your webpage has lots of charts and graphs and programs to prove this must be true and logical. And I applaud you for the information. It is quite useful.

But as these alternative vendors suggest, a large, absorptive surface area will be predominantly nonselective in the frequencies and reflections which are absorbed and diminished. The larger the surface area relative to the room's size, the more this is true. To many potential clients your approach presents the twin problems of both intrusive size and possibly deleterious effects at desireable frequencies when your sizable treatments are employed. So, while logical in approach, your methods are not the panacea everyone would wish for. I would hope your logic allows for that possibility.


Quote:
One style of Harmonic "Room Tuning Devices" is the size of a quarter, and the other is smaller than a dime. In both cases you get 18 of them. Even considering the larger size model, the total surface area combined is only a few square inches. My company's MiniTraps are 8 square feet and 3 inches thick, and most rooms need at least four of them to make a meaningful improvement. So how do you imagine these Harmonix doodads could possibly "eliminate boomy bass" as claimed on the site?

None, if you exclusively consider size to be all important. If you consider lots of salt to be an effective ingredient in food rather than well chosen herbs and spices, you will do fine with nothing more than a large quantity of sodium.


Quote:
Products like these Harmonix dots defy all logic, common sense, and everything known about the physics of acoustics. So in the absence of hard test data showing a change, or even an explanation as to how they actually do what is claimed, I have to conclude these work entirely on placebo effect. What other explanation possibly makes sense?

None, if you are mired in a Western thought process which insists everything must conform to a specified Western "logic". Whether you have intentionally or unintentionally misundertood the name of the Harmonix discs is something I cannot judge. The devices are "room tuning products". If you read the webpage, you will see the manufacturers approached the problem from a different direction than you did and they use the term "tuning" in a different manner than you. If I understand their methods correctly, they are tuning the room to a response which is uniform and friendly to music. Just as the instrument builder uses different materials and techniques to tune the sound of the product, the Harmonix products tune the room not by absorbing pressure waves but by making the room surfaces resonate in a manner sympathetic to the music played "with" that room. Their process is no more illogical than a luthier shaving a minute bit of material from a back panel to tune an instrument or selecting different woods for the back of the neck and the front of the neck. The process might not appear to be "logical" from the stand point of someone who has made no attempt to understand the workings of the luthier's mind and experience but it is a process that is based in common sense and empiricism. While it is a process which has no explanation suitable to a Western viewpoint, X + Y = Z, it is as simple and repeatable a process as establishing the edge on a sushi knife.

Or using your opponent's size and mass against them.

Ethan, you must be familiar with the martial arts and the manner in which the smaller combatant can use the aggressor's force against them to overcome the apparent mismatch in size and strength. I suspect you've seen videos of the aging Tai
Chi master throwing several strong, young students literally across the room with a mere flick of an index finger. There appears to be not the slightest exertion on the old man's part but the students are in a pile on the floor. It defies "all logic, common sense, and everything known about the physics" of the material world. Yet it is real, it is repeatable, it is effective and it is teachable.

You speak of size and absorption as if they are the only possible solution to the problem. That is the arrogance of ignorance I would say. It is what the martial artist or the guerilla fighter relies on in combat. It is what keeps the world's most effective fighting machine pinned down in a country ineffectively swatting at a poorly equipped, rag tag militia whether we are discussing the Continental Army or the jihadist. If you can only see one solution to a problem, you are bound to be defeated sooner or later by superior understanding and the ability of the smaller force to effectively use their smaller size against the more massive problem. When your only response to the situation is, "It ain't possible", you will look foolish as you eventually loose your advantage to slow attrition.

Ethan, if you insist size and absorption are the only ways to solve room problems, you are working from a very narrow thought process that cannot open itself up to the possibilities of alternative methods. You are seeing only what has been done before and quite possibly ignoring what could be done simply by narrowing your viewpoint to ignore everything that doesn't fit into your little box of toys. If, for every problem, you must have the hammer that is a "common sense" answer which fits into a narrow Western made sheath of a thinking regime, then I suspect you will never "get" the Harmonix dots. However, if you did try them with an open mind, you might come away with a new thought. What's the danger there?


Quote:
Now, the Shakti Hallograph is almost big enough to make a physical change in the sound of a room. Here's the vendor's web page I found:

http://www.shakti-innovations.com/hallograph.htm

But what exactly could it do that would be useful? The web site says to place them behind the speakers, which might be a good place for absorption. But clearly these are not absorbent. So what do they actually do to change the sound in the room? Apparently Shakti doesn't know either since they limit their presentation to flowery prose such as "The Ambient detail of the original recording site is now finally revealed in all its glory."

In your attempt to deflate their value you misstate what the Shakti webpage says. Here's what precedes the sentence you quoted.


Quote:
The Hallograph breakthrough technology is the result of over 10 years of research that studied the effects of the speaker/room interface. We learned how to reduce the audibility of the chaotic reflections from the walls of the listening room so they won
Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Let's look at a proposed situation, Ethan. We'll start with an acoustician who understands how pressure waves of various lengths excite peaks and nulls within an enclosed space of specific dimensions. You work by way of absorption, diffusion and reflection. Add an instrument builder/repair technician who works mostly by intuition after observing the changes which occur as he adds or subtracts materials to alter the resonant/nonresonant modes of the materials used in the instrument.

Someone brings an instrument to both of these knowledgeable workers and asks for an opinion. The instrument suffers from a "lack of clarity". The acoustician, relying on their tecnical knowledge of acoustics and pressure fronts, runs a few tests, produces a few graphs and then recommends stuffing large quantities of absorption devices inside the instrument's cavity to reduce the effects of standing waves and points of pressure build up.

The instrument builder listens to the instrument, presses here and there, rumages through his back room and suggests adding a small piece of "X" material in a fairly but not exactly specific location within the cavity of the instrument claiming it will properly tune the instrument.

Which "expert" would you tend to believe has given the best advice?

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Jan, you have completely missed all of my points yet again. I have no choice but to give up - your mindset and belief in magic cannot be overcome no matter how compelling the arguments. So I'll leave you to enjoy your system, and continue to misunderstand how proper room treatment works (it's broadband on purpose), and make just this one final point below. Based on your past replies I don't expect a reasonable answer from you this time either, but here's your last chance:


Quote:
The devices are "room tuning products". If you read the webpage, you will see the manufacturers approached the problem from a different direction than you did and they use the term "tuning" in a different manner than you. If I understand their methods correctly, they are tuning the room to a response which is uniform and friendly to music. Just as the instrument builder uses different materials and techniques to tune the sound of the product, the Harmonix products tune the room not by absorbing pressure waves but by making the room surfaces resonate in a manner sympathetic to the music played "with" that room. Their process is no more illogical than a luthier shaving a minute bit of material from a back panel


I have no idea what the word "tuning" means to you, but to me it implies something will be different after the tuning process. Not something magical and undefinable, but something concrete and measurable. Such as resonances which are easily measured, as happens with plate tuning on violins and cellos. If Harmonix products make "the room surfaces resonate in a manner sympathetic to the music played" then those resonances can be easily measured. I have $100 that says nobody can show this with a waterfall plot (or any other scientifically acceptable data) using 18 of those Harmonix devices in a normal size room.

Even if the Harmonix devices do what is claimed and add resonances, which they don't, the only possible result would be negative! A playback system should never add its own resonances. Even JA will agree with that since he shows waterfall plots of speaker resonances in his reviews. I'd be mighty surprised if JA's opinion is that speaker resonances are desirable! Same for window rattles and buzzes, etc. You don't want anything like that because it obscures the music.

Over and out. Though I'd still like to hear from others here as to how small a tweak device must be before they'll consider it ineffective no matter how sincere the anecdotal reporters are.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
Jan, you have completely missed all of my points yet again.


Quote:
Based on your past replies I don't expect a reasonable answer from you this time either

And you have responded to none of my arguments no matter how plainly I try to make them for you. You dismiss them just as you do anything outside of your "logic" walls. That's quite a feat of arrogance, Ethan!

And with that I take it I have been dismissed? Why is that, Ethan? Because there is the possibility I can see something you don't care to observe? I never made the claim the discs add resonances. And neither have the Harmonix folks as far as I can see. You are filtering everything through your narrow viewpoint once again. Seeing only what you wish to see even when the evidence proves otherwise. dup v.II!

In the above example, is stuffing large quantities of materials into the cavity your only choice for repair? Can you concieve of anything which produces a desirable result without waterfall plots and graphs to be anything other than your despicable "magic"? One way and only one way, right, Ethan?

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
And you have responded to none of my arguments no matter how plainly I try to make them for you.


You haven't presented any arguments! Most of your replies are irrelevant comparisons with politics and kung fu. Or claims that my dismissing the most blatant snake oil is arrogant because how can we know for sure they don't work. And so forth. You prefer to believe in magic, and you naively give the benefit of the doubt to every crackpot theory out there. That's okay, and it's your right. But to call me arrogant for having common sense and caring enough about the science of audio to learn how it works is even more arrogant than what you accuse me of!


Quote:
Because there is the possibility I can see something you don't care to observe? I never made the claim the discs add resonances. And neither have the Harmonix folks as far as I can see. You are filtering everything through your narrow viewpoint once again. Seeing only what you wish to see even when the evidence proves otherwise.


You are incorrigible. You use so many words to say nothing of substance. You say "evidence proves otherwise" but you have no evidence at all. Only meaningless words, and "you can't prove Harmonix don't work so that means there's a chance they do work." Yes Jan, you're dismissed. I'd rather spend my time educating people who are actually interested in learning.

--Ethan

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

All that haughty blather shields the newbies from the evils of the likes of you, Ethan!

RG

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
All that haughty blather shields the newbies from the evils of the likes of you, Ethan!


Indeed.

I'm still waiting for Dave (dcstep) to name his EE friends who believe in replacement power cords, and for Jan to define timing, pace and rhythm.

--Ethan

Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Check 'em out. You might learn somethin'.

Nawwwwww! Ain't gonna happen in this lifetime.

http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

ethanwiner
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

Not to beat this thread to death, but I wonder if anyone here actually believes any of these products from Machina Dynamica do what is claimed:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/index.html

As best I can tell this company is pulling a prank, and it's doubtful they believe their own claims. But what do the others here think? Hogwash, or worth consideration that it might be effective?

--Ethan

Jan Vigne
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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters

AL GORE!!!

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Re: Acoustic effects and size matters


Quote:
Not to beat this thread to death, but I wonder if anyone here actually believes any of these products from Machina Dynamica do what is claimed:


I've always enjoyed these also, especially the Teleportation tweak and Brilliant Pebbles.

But they do offer a money back guarantee.

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