You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:

Jan, I would ask that you read this link and not simply dismiss what does not agree with your position:

Uh ... Ethan, ... What's the point of quoting yourself?! Am I now supposed to see you as some sort of infallible God like figure? Sorry, I can see you ship on the horizon and you look just like me - you just don't hear like me. I've read most of what you've written and you're wrong!

You really don't see those shovelfuls of propaganda as unbiased I hope. You call things you dismiss as "silly" and "scams". That's like hearing Limbaugh "rationally" discuss Hillary!

Geez, Ethan, you're like the professor I had in college. It took him a dozen rewrites and nobody cared when he got done, but he got himself published. And he was still a lousy teacher who didn't know squat about the real world and who never had anyone willingly sign up for his classes.

C'mon, Ethan, if you're going to quote someone, quote people other than yourself. Like John and Sam and JV, people without a bias and with some authority on the topic. You know, like I did.

Quoting yourself to prove your right?

ROTFLMAO

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Jan, when you are done ROTFLMAO, can you answer the question about the threads?

You know it will keep coming up, just grace us with your answer to that one question.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

I did! Read the post. There are no yes/no answers to hypotheticals.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Buddha - Do you trust what you hear even when it can't be supported by measurements? Would you want me to believe you correct or a lunatic?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

The biggest problem with Ethan's question is he has addressed it from the wrong starting point. Ethan has tied his boat to size. It is not an issue of size. Will the beating of a mosquitoe's wings cause a change in the sound of your room? My answer is yes. If they are beating within inches of my ear! So size is irrelevant to this discussion.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
http://www.stereophile.com/features/69/index12.html

Shall we now dismiss ST also - even after quoting him? This is becoming more dupian by the page.

By your own admission this thread is about room treatments. Your link is in reference to one of your gods experimenting with the product being used as a component tweak.

RG

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
There are no yes/no answers to hypotheticals.


Nonsense.

If, hypothetically, Jessica Alba offered me a night of guiltless sex would I be interested? Absolutely! (No side cracks re size please)

Consider also Gedankenexperimente - which Ethan's question obviously is.

We commonly answer hypotheticals: would this amp work with this am? will it sound better if I...?

You complain of lack of real-world context. Here is your chance - will the threads make a real-world perceivable difference in the sound reproduced in the room?

So you cannot squirm out of the question, perceivable difference means by changing the frequency response by .25dB or more at any frequency (your choice) or changing the timing by 5 or more ms of the reproduction of any frequency (again, your choice) at the listening position.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Screw off, Elk. I answered the damn question. Read it and live with it. If you believe a change in frequency response is the only answer to room treatments, you are as off base as Ethan is.

Hypothetical; would you commit suicide if the doctor told you what you had was terminal?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
By your own admission this thread is about room treatments. Your link is in reference to one of your gods experimenting with the product being used as a component tweak.

It is not by my "own admission", you fool. It is because I insist cables and other items meant as an obvious AL GORE!! be kept out of this discussion.

I wouldn't mind this BS half so much if even 1/3 of you knew what you were talking about. It's blatantly obvious none of you have even read the literature on the Shun Mook, Harmonix or Shakti products. The Mpingo discs also go on the speakers as part of the room treatment package. The discs are part of the package! The other devices have and do not have devices which treat the speaker depending on the product you wish to dicsuss. Read up on the basics of the stuff before you criticize it. At least do some homework. Sitting in the bleachers yelling, "Heybatta", is about as effective as that last post.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
Speaking of perception and $1 offers, I'll pay at least $1 to see a photo of Jan's stereo rig. I searched the galleries and came up empty. Jan, would you please post a photo of your gear, speakers, setup, room etc? I want to better understand the environment in which your perception exists.

While we're wading through the BS, what's up with this, Ethan? You'll pay to see what I own?!!!

This is type of high school mentality BS I expect from dup. "Hey, Jan's not with it. Hey, look at the shoes Jan wears. Look at the car Jan drives. Let's make fun of Jan's stuff."

What I own has nothing to do with what I have to say. It shouldn't matter if I own nothing or a system that would make HP shudder with envy. I don't ask anyone else to "prove" anything by listing what they own. That's only fair. I've mentioned what I own on this forum. It is off limits to this discussion since it has nothing to do with this discussion. If this continues as a personal atatck, then this thread can end now.

Answer your own question, Ethan. What is the smallest device that can affect the sound in the room?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Everyone else gets the question, do you trust your own ears and your own perception when listening? Do you wish to be thought a fool or a lunatic if someone disagrees with what you perceive as good sound?

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
This is type of high school mentality BS I expect from dup. "Hey, Jan's not with it. Hey, look at the shoes Jan wears. Look at the car Jan drives. Let's make fun of Jan's stuff."

There you go with some more of that expectation bias again. I don't know why you would single out Dup? The rest of us are laughing our ass off as well!

RG

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
Screw off, Elk. I answered the damn question. Read it and live with it.

The old, and still ineffective, personal attack.

Can you really not do any better?


Quote:
If you believe a change in frequency response is the only answer to room treatments, you are as off base as Ethan is.


Re-read my post.


Quote:
Hypothetical; would you commit suicide if the doctor told you what you had was terminal?


Probably.

Relevance?

What are you so afraid of? The obvious fatality of your reasoning through Ethan's reductio ad absurdum? Again, clip on a pair and deal directly with the real world challenge you face.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
The old, and still ineffective, personal attack.

As effective as any. I was asked to provide an honest answer. I did. You cannot continue to ask for other answers until you get the one that pleases you.


Quote:
Again, clip on a pair and deal directly with the real world challenge you face.

And what exactly, in your estimation, is the challenge I face?

KBK
KBK's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 30 2007 - 12:30pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

And now for something completely different but exactly the same, some tiny BMW's that have clipped on 1000 hp.

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/950-Hp-BMW-E30-M3-with-M5-36-turbo-motor-Some-ra_76570.htm

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
The rest of us are laughing our ass off as well!

Yes, I'm sure every time you pass a mirror you bust a gut. And then ... slooooowlyyyyyy ... it dawns on you how a mirror works.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
And what exactly, in your estimation, is the challenge I face?


Saving face?

cyclebrain
cyclebrain's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jun 16 2006 - 11:40pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Well, isn't this productive?

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
And what exactly, in your estimation, is the challenge I face?


Already stated: "The obvious fatality of your reasoning through Ethan's reductio ad absurdum."

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
And what exactly, in your estimation, is the challenge I face?

Saving face?

And that challenge would also "face" John Atkinson? He is not in agreement with Ethan.


Quote:
You're making a false distinction, Ethan. _Everything_ is perception. The question is: is the perception formed from "real" external stimuli, from internal stimuli, or from a combination of both?

You can't differentiate between what you appear to be calling the "real" world and what you refer to as being in the listener's imagination. It all contributes to perception.

I am not playing word games here, merely pointing out that your approach to the question is incomplete.

And Jason; http://blog.stereophile.com/ces2008/010808shakti/

And a half dozen other reliable sources I have quoted to be in disagreement with Ethan. In short, everyone who does not agree with Ethan should make an attempt to save face.

I came to this thread with my "face" intact and I firmly believe we shall all leave this thread with the body part we brought with us. I with my face and Ethan with the part of his body he brought to this thread.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Well, thanks for that, Elk. I was hoping for a bit more assistance since I seem to be doing the heavy lifting on his thread.

We are spending large amounts of time talking past one another on this thread. I have already proven Ethan's argument to be absurd and incongruous on several occassions.

How about Ethan's declaration that, "Empirical evidence trumps theory every time", while patently diclaiming any acceptance of such empirical evidence when supplied by numerous independent sources? Either Ethan believes in empirical evidence or he does not. If he truly and logically feels empiricial evidence trumps theory every time, he must then accept the empirical evidence presented which makes his argument for placebo effect false.

Ethan's original argument for placebo effect is based upon device size. Yet he himself suggests a device even smaller (and outside of the listening room proper) can and must be treated as only affecting placebo. Surely, if the smallest device Ethan has proposed can work as a placebo, then the larger and more numerous devices discussed here must also be allowed to operate by placebo. If Ethan clings to the concept these devices work by placebo, then he must admit they are not too small to operate by placebo. Therefore, his main line of argument crumbles when faced with Ethan's own words and "logic".

I have proven placebo cannot be effective over a broad expanse of time, subjects and environments. Placebo is not repeatable on demand. Therefore, Ethan is incorrect in asserting everything he disagrees with can only be attributed to placebo.

And assert is something Ethan does with gusto as we shall see later.

Even when provided simple explanations and repeated validations for the effect of these devices Ethan's only disclaimer remains, "How can that be?" Well, possibly if Ethan took into consideration the fact so many people cannot be so wrong all the time, he could find an answer. Possibly that answer is perception. It might even be a perception Ethan does not share with those who report benefits from the devices. Possibly Ethan put away his test equipment a decade ago because he found it unhelpful since no new ideas were entering his mind at that point.

More likely, however, judging from his incredulity when the Cathedral Panels were reported effective despite their failure to suit Ethan's technical requirements, Ethan simply does not hear everything the same way anyone else hears. Which is a perfectly normal thing. I have sat beside friends and clients listening to a piece of music and walked away with impressions not similar to their's. I think we all share this sort of variance in perception. Most of us acknowledge it and accept it. It is the reason some of us reading Stereophile like AD and others prefer WP or RR. It is the reason a review magazine such as Stereophile must have a variety of perceptions presented. There is no one right way to hear music.

My personal experience, however, suggests there are many who would prefer to deny any variability amongst listeners. Quite often I find this a prevalent trait with musicians. They simply hear what they hear and when they are asked to hear what an audiophile might percieve through their home system and in their home setting, musicians do not "get" what audiophiles hear. The subtle cues that are familiar to an audience member can be lost on someone whose perception is based upon an instrument three feet from their ears. Not all musicians have this approach to home audio but in my experience many do.

It's when they become engineers and begin battering people about the head with what they should or must be hearing that things turn out to be absurd.

Since Ethan quoted himself to prove his point, I think it's fair to look at what Ethan does believe. From the article, "Audiofoolery", printed in Skeptic magazine, http://www.ethanwiner.com/audiophoolery.html, the self decribed "sceptic" writes;

" ... it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy looking wire that's no better than heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store."

" ... I will relate only those things that matter to my experienced ears ... "

"The earliest audio scam I can recall is fancy wire for connecting loudspeakers ... "

"Another popular scam is mechanical isolation devices. The claims have a remote basis in science that are skewed to suggest importance where none is justified."

"Isolation has no advantage for other electronic gear either. You can spend thousands of dollars on fancy isolation devices for preamps and receivers, yet they don't improve the sound even a tiny bit."

"Bi-wiring is a more recent scam ... "

"Vinyl records and vacuum tube equipment are very popular with devoted audiophiles who believe these old school technologies more faithfully reproduce subtle nuance. There's no question that LPs and tubes sound different from CDs and solid state gear. But are they better? Not in any way you could possibly measure."

"Other common scams are small devices that claim to improve room acoustics. You can pay a hundred dollars each for small pieces of rare wood the size and shape of hockey pucks."

"FREE BUT STUPID ANYWAY
The key to identifying most audio scams is the very high prices charged. As an audio pro, I know that $1,000 can buy a state of the art power amplifier. So it makes no sense to pay, say, $17,000 for an amplifier that is no better and may well be worse."

"Many audiophiles truly believe they hear a change in quality, even when none can possibly exist."

"Like the Emperor's New Clothes, many people let themselves be conned into believing that a higher truth exists, even if they cannot hear it."

There you have Ethan in 2005. And from an earlier source and his own admission, we know Ethan has not actually listened to anything he condemns. What we have here are beliefs that are absurd in the sense of being obviously false for most audiophiles and indeed even a bit ridiculous to some outside the audiophile community.

How many of those statements do you agree with? How many do you think are absurd? Doesn't matter, Ethan's made up his mind and these all represent scams and hoaxes fousted upon unwitting and unthinking, gullible audiophiles, bless their little pea picking pointed heads!

Whenever any evidence is put in Ethan's path his quick and constant reply is, "I know what others think, but they are wrong."

The basis for a reductio ad absurdum is as follows;

1) a self-contradiction
2) a falsehood
3) an implausibility or anomaly.

Ethan has provided us with all of these - and more! He has introduced numerous instances of AL GORE!!! in an attempt to distract the conversation away from the absurdity of his argument which remains everything Ethan disagrees with need only be explained away by a weak minded audiophile falling prey to the placebo effect. Everything! He has also tried to reduce this argument to suggestions I am not smart enough or well versed enough to put together a system that would meet his criteria - "I'll pay at least $1 to see a photo of Jan's stereo rig."

Attack the messenger, Ethan?

Yet, after 22 pages of this thread Ethan has yet to offer one scrap of evidence his opinion could possibly be correct. To be correct everything outside of Ethan's approval must be the result of placebo effect. Ask youself how likely that would be.

In the Audiofoolery article Ethan states, "Experience has shown that it's futile to claim I know what someone else can or cannot hear." In a clear contradiction to that statement, Ethan here states quite plainly he does know exactly what you can hear. And you can be certain Ethan has done his best to dissaude everyone who claims a perception different from his that they are either mistaken at best and lunatics more likely. It is evident Ethan will claim to know what you should be hearing and then proceed to tell you exactly what that is.

Is it fatal to continue to beat my head against a mountain of bricks that hasn't budged for over a decade? Probably. But should anyone care that I tried? Yes, because we spend an enourmous amount of time on this forum reading posts that tell us we are wrong about almost everything we percieve. If that's what we wish to read, there are other forums dedicated to just that belief. That is not why I continue to come to this forum.

I made the case early on that I believe it is imperative for someone with questions to be allowed to find their own way with encouragement and not a closed ended argument that dismisses their curiousity. I still believe that and that is why this thread has gone on for 22 pages.

I know what Ethan thinks.

But he is wrong!

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Everyone involved in this thread gets the question, do you trust your own ears and your own perception when listening? Do you wish to be thought a fool or a lunatic if someone disagrees with what you perceive as good sound?

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
And that challenge would also "face" John Atkinson? He is not in agreement with Ethan.

The problem I have with Ethan's point of view is that it assumes that all is known and all is understood. In which there is no point in exposing oneself to new experiences. In which case, what is the point in doing anything at all?

I continue to be surprised by things I think should matter having little effect on what I perceive and by things my preconceptions would lead me to dismiss apparently having a significant effect (positive or negative) on perceived sound quality. So when presented with something that appears to defy logic or my understanding of how the world works, I try not to dismiss it, instead filing it away under "things to return to if there's time."

I do accept that some things affect the listener, not the soundwaves. But if they do so consistently for more than listener, surely that means the effect is "real"?

In the end, the older I get, the more I realize how much more there is to know about everything. For example, I have been married 3 times but I still don't understand what a woman means when she answers the question "Is anything the matter?" with the word "Nothing."

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:

Quote:
I have been married 3 times but I still don't understand what a woman means when she answers the question "Is anything the matter?" with the word "Nothing."


Now we are swimming in dangerous uncharted waters. An unfathomable koan, this.

I also find Ethan too "mechanistic" but respect his opinions as he has spent a lifetime fascinated with sound. I do not accept his apparent premise that all is known and explained. Moreover, the more I learn about electricity the more I think it is truly odd, wondrous weird stuff.

Jan appears to inhabit the opposite corner. It seems to me that he lives in a world where everything is possible, regardless how far-fetched. Even under the influence of drugs I don't find this Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole world view appealing or plausible. Three short threads attached to the outside of a window cannot possibly improve the sound within the room - at least in this dimension.

But more importantly, who let DUP out of his cage?!

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
Jan appears to inhabit the opposite corner. It seems to me that he lives in a world where everything is possible, regardless how far-fetched.

I do not understand why this is such a difficult concept to grasp. Perception precedes reality. Almost all that I know I learned from someone else or something else. I do not claim to have perception of all things and I readily acknowledge that others perceive things and events differently than I do. That does not negate the fact and should emphasize the importance of others perceiving things I am not capable of understanding or accepting.

My heritage is Italian. To an Italian each side of the hill is different because they perceive dissimilar events and objects existing on one side and not the others. The terra is different as is the air and the light. The olives grown on one side of the land cannot be the same as the olives grown on the other. When the cows who give the milk for Parmessano Reggiano wander off their allotted parcel of land, they can no longer be used for making Reggiano, because they have tasted other grass. True Balsamic can only be made in two areas of Italy and the product is not Balsamico until a group of elders taste it and then say it is officially the real deal. None of this is necessarily "scientific" but is is logical to Italians and has been for centuries. Each Italian male thinks of himself as the most desireable and each woman as the most beautiful. Plop yourself down in their society you would be a fool to argue. If you have tasted the various meats and foods from the regions of Italy, you taste the land, the sun, the air and the benefits all of those bring. So I start from a place where things are always possible because the perception is the possibility which becomes the reality - but only if you are attuned to the clues provided and the perceived values of each "difference".

Difference is not always just different. It can be an improvement but an improvement not everyone detects. If, to you, Proscuito de Parma is just expensive ham, then you are a hopeless Westerner. If you cannot taste the difference the air and sea breezes have made in Parma and Danielle, you are beyond assistance. The trees are different and therefore so is the wood which protects and feeds the soil. If you don't get why Chianti Classico can only be produced in a small portion of the Chianti region, you will remain an outsider. Volcanoes were given to the Italians so they could make good food. All these things are possible and all these things are a reality if you pay attention.

It's no different with audio. All things are possible if they are perceivable. That's all I said about the strings. If someone told me they perceived an improvement, I would not doubt their perception though I might think it not the same as my own. When multiples of people tell me they perceive an improvement with the various room treatment devices, I have to believe there is more here than placebo. I may never hear what they hear. But I must believe it is possible for me to hear the improvement. That's not too unlike most systems I've heard. If you tell me you hear word for word what JA describes in his reviews, I find that more remarkable and unbelievable than a group of people hearing benefits from these devices. You are not likely to hear exactly what JA hears even if you were in his listening seat. That's all this amounts to. Someone has perceived a change, possibly not in measureable frequency response but in what internally they appreciate, a change in what they perceive to be more real than without the device. As John says we take the external and mix it with the internal and that is our own personal pathway to perception. It can be shared by no one and we cannot give it away to someone.

What we can do is take it away from someone by telling them something is not possible because we can see no reason for it. That's what this thread should be about. Take that away from them and you've taken away their curiousity which then you might as well take away their volcano.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Apparently Ethan is an atheist. I would assume he is an atheist who knows everyone who believes in God is wrong. More than likely he is an atheist because he feels God is illogical. DUH, yeah!

I happen to be atheist who believes it is possible someone else might be right. I just haven't found them yet.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Wow! I missed some good stuff.

If the answer to the three thread question is neither "yes" nor "no," then it must be "maybe."

That's fine.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

I preferred the unedited version.

RG

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

I take John's post as a reply to my question. Anyone else willing to add their thoughts?

Do you trust your own ears and your own perception when listening? Do you wish to be thought a fool or a lunatic if someone disagrees with what you perceive as good sound?

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

I think John said it best when he said "Perception is everything" It is in fact a reply that says yes Jan might be right on some level, and Ethan is right at some level.

There is a felllow in Paris selling room tuning devices about the size of a thimble mounted on a piece of maple the size of an index card. These little cups are made of metals like gold, silver, platinum, and brass. They are said to work in manner of a tuning fork absorbing excess energy where it collects in the room and smoothing out the sound. Reviewers have made all kinds of claims for these devices if properly used. So when you buy them they come with a "rational explanation" of how they might work. I say might because I do not actually know if they work. Nor will I spend the required dollars to find out. Last I looked it was on the order of 10 g's. It has probably doubled by now.
I believe this fellow is on to something, tiny though it may be. But I am not going to argue with anyone about it. It just doesn't matter to me. Until the blocks get a "rational explanation" I will remain very sceptical.

After 30 years working in various departments of these science labs we call power plants I recognize that there is much more that we don't know than there is that we do. Any honest scientist who is not worried about losing his money/job/grant will tell you the same.

May Belt
May Belt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 36 min ago
Joined: May 8 2006 - 1:51am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

What, in my opinion, you are doing Jan is discussing (arguing) with Ethan from the wrong angle, from the wrong viewpoint. You are allowing the discussion to be wholly within Ethan's remit of 100% acoustics !! You are allowing the rigid and blinkered outlook that any 'sound', in a room, is 100% acoustic to dictate the discussion. Ethan appears to wish to look at the acoustics of a room, measure those acoustics, manipulate those acoustics to change the sound - and in his world there might or might not be a human being doing the listening - the human being is not really necessary for him to do his work. For HIS work, he does not actually need a human being listening, he appears to rely on measurements to tell him when he is right. If, in Ethan's acoustic room there IS a living, breathing, coughing, sneezing human being, then that human being is merely receiving the acoustic information via their ear drum !!

Let me put it in some sort of context within the world in general by using a parallel example.

Let us imagine that you, Jan, are living 100 years ago and suffering from Tinnitus (noises and ringing in the ear). Tinnitus can only be described subjectively - there are no measurements to detect whether someone is suffering from Tinnitus or not - the condition can only be described to another person subjectively. No doctor can measure the patient's pulse, temperature, blood pressure, listen to their lungs, analyse their blood, their urine, look at their tongue or whites of their eyes or pallor of their skin in order to detect or confirm Tinnitus.

If, 100 years ago, you came up against a doctor, and described subjectively your symptoms of ringing in the ear - even happening after all noises had ceased and the room was absolutely silent - and the doctor told you that it was NOT possible, that you must be imagining it - surely you would not carry on going back, again and again to that same doctor ? AND, any other person, describing the same thing and going to that same doctor would only come up against the same doctor's attitude - that they MUST BE imagining it !!!

Surely what you would do Jan is to seek out others who are experiencing similar 'ringing in the ear' as you ? And, even better, if you can find a few others who are actually medical practitioners themselves but who have experienced the same effect as you have, so no longer believe what they had been taught - i.e that it must be 'imagination' !!!

Bringing the situation back to a April 2008 parallel. Ethan has even been dismissing another 'professional in audio' as being 'mistaken' after stating that he had heard small devices (the size of a dime) improve his 'sound' !!!

Ethan appears not to want to listen to other people's experiences - even though those other people may be as knowledgeable (or maybe more so) regarding all matters audio. Ethan is dismissing what people can hear - left, right and centre.

Let me go back to my original story.

Not much progress could be made regarding understanding the causes of Tinnitus whilstever the belief structure was that the hearing mechanism was a one way system. That is, acoustic information reaching the ear drum, travelling through hearing mechanism, then travelling along the auditory nerve to the brain. If anyone then, in the world of medicine, believed that there WAS such a thing as Tinnitus, then they believed that it must be because of some damage to some part of the hearing mechanism. Even when some studies eventually found that the problem of 'ringing in the ears' was STILL there even after the auditory nerve had been severed away from the hearing mechanism, that belief still held (because there was no other concept to alter that belief) !!!

The 'one way' belief system was still firmly held by the medical profession well into the mid 20th century. In the 1980s, I was delving into the 'hearing textbooks' and described some of what I found in my 1986 paper :-

(Extracts from my 1986 paper) :-

>>> "The text books on the human hearing mechanism are not a great deal of help. But at least they are truthful! What they do not know, they say they do not know, unlike many audio and electronic text books which give the impression that everything is already known regarding audio and electronics.

For example from "An Introduction to the Physiology of Hearing" published 1982.

"The intracellular voltage changes of inner hair cells cause the release of transmitter at the synapse at the base of the hair cells, so activating fibres of the auditory nerve.

Outer hair cells will be omitted from the model; we have too little information on their properties, and are not sure of their role in transduction".

And from "Science & aesthetics in sounding and hearing" 1985

"Much remains poorly understood about the functions of the hearing mechanism".

What they do know about the human hearing system however, has been of considerable help to us in understand the results of our research.

For example from "An Introduction to the Physiology of Hearing"

"It is presumably advantageous for the current to be carried by K+ rather than say Na+.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
I believe this fellow is on to something, tiny though it may be. But I am not going to argue with anyone about it. It just doesn't matter to me. Until the blocks get a "rational explanation" I will remain very sceptical.

I'm confused again. Do I put you down on the "yes" side of trusting your perception or the "no" side? You have the right to remain sceptical as we all should even when scientific explanations appear "logical". I've said in this thread there are no graphs or charts which describe "tighter bass" or "cleaner highs", we are told that is what we will hear based on how the chart looks and that is generally what we then accept as the result of the treatments Ethan sells and installs. I doubt most of Ethan's clients buy his products simply because they are promised a change in frequency response greater than 1/10dB. I would suspect Ethan sells his products by touting the subjective quality change his products can induce. It is only when subjectivity disagrees with Ethan that the problem reaches the level we have in this thread.

"Empirical evidence trumps theory every time."

As JA says it's surprising what logically should make a change and yet does not. Say you heard an improvement exhibited by these cup type devices you describe. Would you trust your perception or wait for someone to explain how they couldn't possibly affect the change you are perceiving? Would you accept that you are wrong or even a bit daffy?

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

May, Thank you for your cogent and temperate viewpoint. R

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
May, Thank you for your cogent and temperate viewpoint. R


Yes, an interesting post. Thanks for the effort to put that together.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
blah blah
more blah
yet more blah
<snip>
How about Ethan's declaration that, "Empirical evidence trumps theory every time", while patently diclaiming any acceptance of such empirical evidence when supplied by numerous independent sources?


The key thing you miss is that anecdotal accounts are not the same as actual evidence. Empirical evidence as I use the term is along the lines of "I made the crossover frequency 300 Hz lower and was surprised by the results. I expected to reduce the crossover dip but this change made it worse."

When this happens to a designer he realizes his calculations were wrong and looks further to see what's really going on. This is in the context of someone who actually understands how audio works, knows how to design loudspeakers or power amps, etc. It does not mean that everyone who thinks he hears a change in the sound was correct.

So Jan, how about those three threads? Any chance you think they'll work?

--Ethan

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
The problem I have with Ethan's point of view is that it assumes that all is known and all is understood.


Pretty much everything that affects audio quality is indeed well known, and has been for 50 years or more. Also well-known is how very frail human perception is. In one of the pro audio forums I frequent (Gearslutz) a fellow started a thread to complain that some days a mix will sound great, and other days the same mix sounds terrible. He knows the problem is his own perception, and he wishes his ears (brain, really) were more reliable and repeatable. Hey, that's life, and the frailty of perception is the root cause of this.

I am amazed that everyone who listens to music seriously and critically, as I do, does not understand this. Instead they concoct cockamamie reasons to explain what is really very simple. Hell, play the same track four times in a row and you'll hear different things with successive plays, and most likely perceive the same things differently. However, I'm quite certain that the differences are entirely perception, and not the result of something physically changing.


Quote:
I do accept that some things affect the listener, not the soundwaves. But if they do so consistently for more than listener, surely that means the effect is "real"?


No, it's not real, it's imagined. If it were real it would affect every listener in the room, including me!


Quote:
I still don't understand what a woman means when she answers the question "Is anything the matter?" with the word "Nothing."


I can't disagree with you there John.

--Ethan

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

I think you are both right to some degree. I have heard things in my system that I could not recreate the next day so I recognize that sometimes I fool myself. I consider most of this life an illusion anyway, but I don't care if anyone agrres on that or not because it will not change my experience one iota.
If I heard the devices in question, and could play with them for a day or two I might become a believer one way or another depending on my experience. I remain open to possibilities. In the meantime I remain cautiously sceptical and ,some would say, stingy with my increasingly worthless dollars.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
In one of the pro audio forums I frequent (Gearslutz) a fellow started a thread to complain that some days a mix will sound great, and other days the same mix sounds terrible.


Been there.

Especially the "it sounded great at midnight after 13 hours of work but this morning it sucks" syndrome.

My theory is that the equipment needs a 13 hour warm-up to sound good. Thus the mix should sound great again the following late evening.

I've got a window however...

I got it! Ethan, lend me your three threads!

"We'll fix it in the shrinkwrap."
-Frank Zappa

KBK
KBK's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 30 2007 - 12:30pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Well folks, it comes down to one thing and one thing only.

If you take any physicist, any theorist, any true expert in the cutting edge of science, and/or the defining of reality and ask them hard questions..and they are entirely honest (which some are not), they will tell you one thing:

There is no reality, none of any kind -whatsoever. There are no facts of any kind, none whatsoever, save one potential, possible point.

That there are no facts of any kind, except the fact of there being none.

In truth -Nothing -of any kind- has ever been truly defined or etched in stone. Ever.

This kind of thing is difficult for most folks to deal with, so they fabricate realities in a consensus manner. The reality is that observation and or measurement is worthless, except as a point in context of the idea of reality - as a shared 'consensus' system. Once again, this is no proof of anything.

If one does not like it, if one does not like such things, such thinking??

Tough shit. Eat it. It's as real as it gets.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:

Quote:
May, Thank you for your cogent and temperate viewpoint. R


Yes, an interesting post. Thanks for the effort to put that together.

Also very well written L'Affaire Belt , JGH 1987.

RG

trevort
trevort's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: Aug 21 2007 - 8:05am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

...What those other guys said.

I really enjoyed this post as well, and just when I thought that this fundamentally interesting discussion had its final drops wrung out.

Not only do I enjoy the enlightenment on the little understood process of hearing, but also that you use it to make the analogy that just because someone thinks that everything that affects audio is well known, it doesn't mean that it is.

Nice bit of lateral thinking, May.

May Belt
May Belt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 36 min ago
Joined: May 8 2006 - 1:51am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Also very well written are the numerous other articles by other journalists over these past 20 years giving exactly the opposite viewpoint to J. Gordon Holt.

Opposing viewpoints in exactly the same way that Ethan Winer is telling John Atkinson, over and over again, that he (John) is 'mistaken', that 'what he hears is not real' when John describes experiencing an improvement in his sound after attaching some Harmonix Dots to his B & W speakers. In 20 years time, RG, which of those viewpoints are you going to quote to people ?
It is amazing how often J Gordon Holt's 1987 article is trotted out whenever the name Belt appears !!

The theme of this thread was about Room Treatments. I wholly agree that there is a wealth of information, already in the room, which we are not resolving correctly but I (we) believe that only some of the problems are acoustic and therefore only some of the solutions can be acoustic solutions. THAT is why so many of these other (small ?), (unconventional ?), (downright weird ?) devices have been discovered which can improve the sound !!

It is exactly this theme which I am exploring in my articles on Positive Feedback Online.

Regards,
May Belt.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Mrs. Belt, thank you for your contribution. I assume I know where I can place you on the balance beam of "perception".

I am curious however about your experiences in the area of perception. Should I have introduced those sorts of perceptions which are truly personal such as tinnitus? Possibly. The example would have been dismissed as easily as any other I've tried. In case you missed the post, Ethan has "dismissed" me weeks ago, nothing I've posted has been taken into consideration other than I am still here.

That brings me to my question, why? In your years of battling against the critics of personal preception or even shared perception you must have developed some ideas why those who cannot acknowledge the perception of one person being different from their own remain so adamant to prove the other person a lunatic. No matter what evidence is presented in what quality or quantity, they are merely dismissive - a rather simple stance to take when you ignore any burden of proof as Ethan has magaged here. We could stay here for all eternity going back and forth "Can" "Can't" "Can" Can't" ...

I've stated plainly why I feel it is wrong to deny the possibility another's perception might prove real, as has John. Ethan ignores, mischaracterizes ("Jan denies all that modern physics knows") and spins whatever comes his way when it is not to his advantage. Your post has been ignored by Ethan.

Do you have any ideas why the "opposition" forces simply choose to ignore what they are being told? And why they tend to trot out their years of personal experience in one field or another as proof we should ignore our own perceptions and believe what they tell us they cannot hear?

Thanks again for joining the discussion.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

As if Ethan weren't already in the habit of providing further proof of my assertions, here we have


Quote:
blah blah
more blah
yet more blah

Ethan, do you only look for your own words when you read? You quote yourself to prove you are right. And you consider anything else to be "blah blah blah". Absurd indeed!


Quote:
The key thing you miss is that anecdotal accounts are not the same as actual evidence. Empirical evidence as I use the term is along the lines of "I made the crossover frequency 300 Hz lower and was surprised by the results. I expected to reduce the crossover dip but this change made it worse."

The key thing you prove is that you are inconsistent with your words. Evidence is only evidence when it suits Ethan's case - all other is blah blah blah. Empirical applies to what is seen or heard. Evidence applies to what is seen or heard. Perception applies to what is seen or heard. You cannot dismiss empirical evidence from perception by way of obfuscation.

What you have tried to link to empirical evidence is an example of what was not expected and the result of a mistake which can be proven or in your similar example earlier in the thread a miscalculation due to error and inattention. You would like us to accept lack of attention for what we know to be real. Convenient but not realistic. Let's return to a point made just the other day.


Quote:
In its most general construal, reductio ad absurdum - reductio for short
Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
When this happens to a designer he realizes his calculations were wrong and looks further to see what's really going on.


Quote:
I am amazed that everyone who listens to music seriously and critically, as I do, does not understand this.

Another contradiction.

Now none of us can listen as critically as you do, eh, Ethan? None of use can think this through as thoroughly as you, eh? You forgot to mention how many years of experience you have an as "audio professional".


Quote:
Hell, play the same track four times in a row and you'll hear different things with successive plays, and most likely perceive the same things differently. However, I'm quite certain that the differences are entirely perception, and not the result of something physically changing.

Well, now we're getting somewhere. However, you still seem to place all perception in the "cannot believe" category. Did you ignore May's post?

I think it would be polite of you to acknowledge the points she has brought to the discussion, Ethan. Were is she "mistaken"?


Quote:
No, it's not real, it's imagined. If it were real it would affect every listener in the room, including me!

And there you go back sliding into your "lunacy" defense. You cannot really believe that to be true, Ethan. I can only take it to mean you have dismissed my examples of how we all hear differently to be so much blah blah blah. Are you going to actively participate in this thread or just throw in a cut and paste quip every now and again?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...

Is it so very difficult to decide whether you trust your own senses and perceptions? Very few of you have answered what I consider to be a very simple question. Do you rely on your ears, what you've been told, what you accept as "true" and "cannot be" or do you only trust a piece of paper? A few answers to that query would be instructive to this thread.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
If I heard the devices in question, and could play with them for a day or two I might become a believer one way or another depending on my experience. I remain open to possibilities. In the meantime I remain cautiously sceptical and ,some would say, stingy with my increasingly worthless dollars.

So your auditory perception is tied to the value of the USD?

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
Is it so very difficult to decide whether you trust your own senses and perceptions? Very few of you have answered what I consider to be a very simple question.


Probably because everyone finds it to be an unanswerable hypothetical, with unimaginable complexity, defying even the possibility of a meaningful response

Additionally, the mirror question, Do you trust your own rational analysis and knowledge?, is at least as significant.

I am willing to posit that most here would answer "yes" to both.

However it appears that there are a few that must honestly answer "no" to one of these, while recognizing that they also simultaneously exhibit unquestioning loyalty to the other - thereby losing their balance.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:

Quote:
If I heard the devices in question, and could play with them for a day or two I might become a believer one way or another depending on my experience. I remain open to possibilities. In the meantime I remain cautiously skeptical and ,some would say, stingy with my increasingly worthless dollars.


So your auditory perception is tied to the value of the USD?


Jan, play - but play fair.

This is not even close to what shade expressed.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ...


Quote:
Now none of us can listen as critically as you do, eh, Ethan? None of use can think this through as thoroughly as you, eh? You forgot to mention how many years of experience you have an as "audio professional".


You know what Jan? Believe it or not, you have finally convinced me! I now realize what a fool I've been to pass up a great marketing opportunity. So with that in mind, I am pleased to announce my newest room treatment product - the PicoTrap (tm).

Although this new product may appear to defy physics, in fact it is highly effective when placed behind a loudspeaker. At only $400 each, PicoTraps are a true a bargain! Expect to see dozens of favorable customer testimonials on my company's web site very soon. I probably won't show any performance data because, well, what this amazing new product does simply cannot be measured using standard acoustic tests. But believe me, it really works! I just tried it in my home studio, and the improvement in imaging, bass weight, and overall clarity was simply staggering.

The PicoTrap is the best tweak I've ever tried.

--Ethan

Pages

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