You are here

Log in or register to post comments
JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Remember, we are speaking of audo cliches. The most consistent is the claim of an improvement that can only be heard on some systems by some folk, at best. The 'removes veils' sort of comment that most folk cannot duplicate on real world gear or with normal ears.

I am not saying such audible changes do not exist, just that many are of the semi wishful thinking sort.

I have posted before that I have never heard a megabuck system properly set up and playing for the Gods. perhaps odd system changes in such a system IS very much apparent. I just doubt the tweak or toy of the week really has that much effect on most folk's systems.

I do believe in better than provided cables, good contact cleaners, and the inherent sound improvement that is possible in higher priced gear with higher priced parts and better engineering and build quality. I have never heard any difference using tweaky vibration gear, magic wall wart power cleaners, CD polishers, or changes in turn table mats, and I have tried them all.

A clean record, basic decent cables, and a dedicated electric line have had audible differences. Even that ultimate, take it on faith, piece of gear, the Shaki stone, had an effect I can hear (in it's absence as I lost it in my last move). I have one of the new high end fuses on order for my amp. I will se if that does anything at all.

In this best of all possible worlds, if I had the money make $5K in changes, I would buy the new Bryston CD player, a PS Audio B stock power generator, and about a grand in media.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
If the amplifier is so poor as to inaccurately portray the timings between players this is a terrible amp. This is more than simple phase shift, these are timing errors exceeding a hundredth of a second - an eternity in electronics.

And not shown in basic measurements. Certainly not in turntable measurements and not in most amplifier tests. Once you begin to delve ever so slightly into the idea of "what measures the same should sound the same" you find nothing measures the same.


Quote:
As a separate issue, how can an amp choose which players to place before or behind another?

I don't know? How?


Quote:
If anything, the issue of timing (phase) is frequency dependent, not musical line dependent - and this would occur as often in a solo line as in a multi-player piece ...

I don't follow that logic. A solo player is only playing against their own internal timing cues. A quartet is playing with a group sense of timing. The problems this amp displayed were not so severe as to place a performer in front of or behind the beat, therefore, with no reference other than a smooth transition from note to note within a limited frequency range, a solo performer was adequately "timed". Not so a pianist who had two hands working and, through this amplifier, the left hand playing the foundation of the musical line did not know what the right hand was doing.


Quote:
... as well as occurring semi-randomly depending on the pitches and harmonics reproduced.

"As well as"? I don't know about "as well as". But, yes, that is the effect of negative feedback manipulating the upper harmonics until they are no longer in phase with the fundamental. This creates a timing error in certain instruments and not as much in others. Continually add higher levels of global feedback to the circuit and you have the resultant sound of a 1970's Technics receiver. More to the point, you would have the difference between a mass market, non-isolated, direct drive, servo controlled, fully automatic, linear tracking turntable with a throw away arm (except they never did throw it away) when compared to a basic Linn LP12 in 1978. Without correct timing cues, you cannot make sense of the music's forward momentum as the music becomes tangled in itself.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
And many of them use it as an inadequate & gross shorthand for something when a clearer and more incisive phrase would serve their purpose better.

And that phrase would be ... ?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
I think the root of my problem is that, as a musician, Pace and Rhythm have very specific meanings to me. Someone came along and created an acronym that uses those terms but describes things that don't have anything to do with Pace and Rhythm. The conflict is very clear for me to see, but I guess I understand how non-musicians can accept the term, even though it's weak and misleading, particularly to musicians.

Explain how you feel a musician views those terms and how a non-musician does the same?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
If Joe Blow and his $10K system cannot hear a consistent change, then one has to ask, is this improvement one that most listeners will hear on the average audiophile system or is this another device making an improvement only in systems that cost more than ones house or can be heard only by reviewers and other specialists.

I still think you're missing an essential part of how different listeners tune into various aspects of both the musician's performance and the performance of their system.

We do not all listen alike. I have sat beside people who I consider to have very good hearing and I have sat beside working musicians and we both come away with different ideas of what we have heard at live performances and in front of a music system. Listening to music is no different than taking in any other art form. You and I can read the same book or look at the same painting and we can both have very different impressions of what the artist intended. Someone coming from a different culture can have a very different view of "art" than someone else from another culture. The idea is to learn from other's experiences and not to dismiss them as "pretend" or as irrelevant because we do not perceive as they do. Do you believe someone who listens to Shosatkovich Sym. 5 and hears the tyranny of the Soviet Empire being portrayed is pretending they hear this if you do not? Someone looks as a late period Picasso and sees something you do not, are they pretending?

The point is no two people are alike when they describe what they perceive. Simply ask a few people to describe "red" for a good proof of this concept. No two systems are exactly alike so there will always be things one person hears that another ignores or does not pick up on. And yet both can be happy.

What you are stating sounds more like someone who doesn't want to believe in anything they cannot hear and therefore assumes no one else can hear it either. That's not how it works.

In audio you should find people who listen in much the same manner as you do and pay attention to their views. The equipment they use is not so important as how they listen, though the equipment will often be a reflection of how someone listens. Within Stereophile reviewers I find ST and AD to be more similar to how I listen that WP. As you learn who has similar tastes to yours you can find more relevancy in their comments. Just as you would take the opinion of a friend who cooks Italian food to judge an Italian style restaurant over a friend who is mostly familiar with authentic Japanese style cooking and seldom does Italian, so should you gravitate to people who listen with qualities you find appealing.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
As a separate issue, have you ever heard a system reproduce music so that the musicians did not appear to play together?

And yet it happens. Not as much as it did in the days when PRaT first entered the terminology of consumer audio but still it happens today more often than it should.

If it did not happen, why do you suppose the term gained favor?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
I have never heard any difference using tweaky vibration gear, magic wall wart power cleaners, CD polishers, or changes in turn table mats, and I have tried them all.

And yet they all have an effect that is easily heard by someone in tune with how they effect the music playback. Those people are not pretending nor are they not telling the truth. They just hear something differently than you do.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

Quote:
As a separate issue, have you ever heard a system reproduce music so that the musicians did not appear to play together?

And yet it happens.


Sorry, but I don't buy it. Phase differences occur in fractions of a wave form. Even if perceptible the timing differences are too small for anyone to perceive that musicians are not playing together.

In fact, musicians cannot physically play together in time so accurately for these timing errors to matter, no matter how good the performers are.


Quote:
If it did not happen, why do you suppose the term gained favor?


It's a cute acronym?

If PRaT is real, it is based on something other than gross timing errors. Once can definitely hear differing amounts of poorly applied negative feedback, but varying negative feedback does not bring musicians in and out of tempo.

Jitter is measurable timing errors. When perceptible it manifests itself in ways that have nothing to do with whether musicians are playing together in time.

59mga
59mga's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jun 21 2006 - 6:52am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
... "toe-tapping," ...

How's 'bout "foot-stompin".

Then there's; "I heard things I never heard before."...makes me think the listener needs to clean the wax out of their ears.

Or: "This equipment sounded outstanding...for the price." It either sounds good or doesn't. Try selling a car with such a referrence: "Wow! This cars brakes work great...for the price." Will they work good enough to keep yo from rear-ending the car in front of you?

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches

JV said:

"More to the point, you would have the difference between a mass market, non-isolated, direct drive, servo controlled, fully automatic, linear tracking turntable with a throw away arm (except they never did throw it away) when compared to a basic Linn LP12 in 1978. Without correct timing cues, you cannot make sense of the music's forward momentum as the music becomes tangled in itself ."

There we go, that's that exact BS that Linn spouted back in the 1970s. It just ain't true. Everyone I knew at the time could sing along with the radio with no trouble, despite the DD TT in use. I myself was busily playing Music Minus One and Jamey Aebersold LPs on my DD Luxman with no confusion or issues.

I tried to buy a Linn in the 1970s but the dealers were all spouting this same untrue crap. I could never bring one home to try it in my system and the dealer that tried the hardest to demo the difference put on an unconvincing demonstration. In its day, Linn was actually pretty good, but the perpetuation of this lie did a lot of damage with us musicians that knew the statement to be wrong.

Frankly, I wonder what's wrong with people that actually believe this, I really do. I have no doubt that some people really do believe this, but it's beyond my understanding why they can't follow the music from a DD TT. (BTW, I've got belt drive right now, but I'm certain that drive can be remarkably good with either belt, DD or idler).

Dave

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

Quote:
And many of them use it as an inadequate & gross shorthand for something when a clearer and more incisive phrase would serve their purpose better.

And that phrase would be ... ?

I think you're totally missing the point. I suspect that the phrase would depend on the circumstances. The point being made is that "PRaT" is often used when the writer is either too lazy or too ignorant to actually describe what is happening.

Dave

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

If it did not happen, why do you suppose the term gained favor?

Ignorant people say dumb things and some gullible fools pick up on it and repeat it as gospel. Happens all the time.

Dave

bifcake
bifcake's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

Then there's; "I heard things I never heard before."...makes me think the listener needs to clean the wax out of their ears.

Didn't JA have that done a while back?

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Audio Cliches

Could somebody please stop Jan. He's really giving me a headache from trying to bend logic to suit his very warped world view. He's kind of like the ANTI-DUP.

bifcake
bifcake's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
Re: Audio Cliches

Well DUP has been confined to the Rants and Raves section. Obviously, mixing DUP and Anti-DUP will lead to the end of the world as we know. Therefore, we need to separate the volatile mixtures to prevent a disaster. Since DUP is already limited to the rants and raves section, perhaps we can limit Anti-DUP to a different section. I proposed limiting him to the January 2008 section some time ago, unfortunately, no one stepped up in support of that suggestion.

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Could somebody please stop Jan. He's really giving me a headache from trying to bend logic to suit his very warped world view. He's kind of like the ANTI-DUP.

I just put him on ignore...........

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

I have to say that the first time I read PRaT, and it's implication, my BS sensor went off scale. BUT, when I put my Carver 1.0t in my system in place of the SM70's there is a perceptable change in the pace of the music. At least it seems as if the pace is faster. Maybe the Carver is more precise at controlling the low frequency. It was not noticable with LaScalas, but it is noticable with Paradigm Studio 100's. The Carver doesn't have the detail or quite the clarity, but there is something that I could relate to PRaT. Maybe I should switch them out a few times and listen some more. Or maybe Mr. Atkinson can explain this.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Next time you listen for this, try focusing on the relative dynamics of the two units, particularly in the bass. Stronger dynamic performance in the bass will the illusion of more forward movement. The more focused and controlled the bass, the more forward movement and energy will be perceived. The pace is not changing, it's just an illusion.

Dave

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: Audio Cliches

dc - you'll like this from a review of expensive cables:

"In extended listening sessions, I found the cables' greatest strength to be its PRAT. Simply put these are very danceable cables. Music playing through them results in the proverbial foot tapping scene with the need or desire to get up and move. Great swing and pace

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Sorry, but it's the truth. Once again we come to the point where you not hearing does not mean it is not a fact.

You can go on believing what you like but I and literally hundreds of thousands of others will believe what we hear even if someone who insists numbers are all that matter cannot measure it to their own statistical satisfaction.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Or: "This equipment sounded outstanding...for the price." It either sounds good or doesn't.

Your response would imply all equipment either sounds great or it sounds lousy. There can be nothing in between in your view. Everyone who agrees, everyone who has never made an upgrade in equipment, hold up your hand.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

I think you're totally missing the point. I suspect that the phrase would depend on the circumstances. The point being made is that "PRaT" is often used when the writer is either too lazy or too ignorant to actually describe what is happening.

The point is it is an excellent shorthand for what is happening. More needs to be said to make the thought complete but this is how it is described. Until you come up with a better terminolgy, you have nothing to complain about.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Next time you listen for this, try focusing on the relative dynamics of the two units, particularly in the bass. Stronger dynamic performance in the bass will the illusion of more forward movement. The more focused and controlled the bass, the more forward movement and energy will be perceived. The pace is not changing, it's just an illusion.

How about that?! You can describe what you don't believe is happening!!! " ... more forward movement and energy will be perceived." In other words the momentum of the musician's performance is made more evident, which will carry with it better timing and more rhytmic punctuation. With it the listener can find themself more immersed in the music and less in the audio system. Listening fatigue is no longer a factor.

That is PRaT!

As I said, if you don't know what you're listening for as a listener, you don't know what someone means when they use the term PRaT.

You just described it.

You just said there is a difference between components.

Without using the term PRaT you have concluded PRaT is real and not the same through every component.

Thank you.

Now, explain how you feel a musician views the terms pace, timing and rhythm and how you feel an uneducated, non-musician does the same? And is the term "musician" strictly one who plays for cash remuneration?

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Could somebody please stop Jan. He's really giving me a headache from trying to bend logic to suit his very warped world view. He's kind of like the ANTI-DUP.

That is the sort of comment that is totally useless and unecessary on this forum. Those are the sort of comments that go unnoticed by the moderator while, "buy a Tivoli radio", gets his dander up.

Any disagreement on this forum gets that sort of response from anyone who does not possess the intellectual capacity to discuss the topic at hand. And then the fight starts. And nothing gets discussed. Then we repeat the process.

Jazzfan, 50% of your comments on this thread are now personal insults. If you don't want to discuss something, stay off the thread. If you don't want to discuss a particular member's comments, place them on ignore or just shut up. If you are here to discuss what is being dicussed, then do so with some degree of intelligence and hopefully from experience.

But, please, leave the stupid personal attacks in your lunch box. Some adults are trying to speak to one another.

Editor
Editor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
PRAT makes me yuck. Pace, Rhythm and Timing, isn't that what it's supposed to mean? No system change, except for replacing a really faulty TT, is going to change Pace. No system change, is going to actually impact Rhytthm and no system change , except for the most gross of malfunctions, is going to change timing.

It really isn't as simple as that. See www.stereophile.com/reference/23 .


Quote:
All these idiots are really talking about dynamics and system clarity and transparency.

Speaking as one of the "idiots," I beg to differ. :-)

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:

Quote:
Next time you listen for this, try focusing on the relative dynamics of the two units, particularly in the bass. Stronger dynamic performance in the bass will the illusion of more forward movement. The more focused and controlled the bass, the more forward movement and energy will be perceived. The pace is not changing, it's just an illusion.

How about that?! You can describe what you don't believe is happening!!! " ... more forward movement and energy will be perceived." In other words the momentum of the musician's performance is made more evident, which will carry with it better timing and more rhytmic punctuation. With it the listener can find themself more immersed in the music and less in the audio system. Listening fatigue is no longer a factor.

That is PRaT!

As I said, if you don't know what you're listening for as a listener, you don't know what someone means when they use the term PRaT.

You just described it.

You just said there is a difference between components.

Without using the term PRaT you have concluded PRaT is real and not the same through every component.

Thank you.

Now, explain how you feel a musician views the terms pace, timing and rhythm and how you feel an uneducated, non-musician does the same? And is the term "musician" strictly one who plays for cash remuneration?

Exactly my point. It can be describe in real terms, rather than some vapid, weak term.

I described it, but you didn't get it. I said "illusion of" forward movement is "perceived." My point is, there's no change in absolute pace or rhythm, since it's all done with dynamics. You've got people that actually know what pace and ryhthm now looking for changes in that and it's not actually happening. They then hear a difference in dynamics, call it PRaT and continue the inappropriate description.

My point is, call it what it really is, not some meaningless, misleading acronym.

Dave

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:


Quote:
All these idiots are really talking about dynamics and system clarity and transparency.

Speaking as one of the "idiots," I beg to differ. :-)

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

I'm truly sorry to read that you would think that way.

Dave

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Audio Cliches

Ain't digital improved since 1992? Kinda an old article, especially in digital years. things have improved big time. They didn't have 2X DSD recorders for under $1,000 in 1992, let alone DSD did they? PRaT...Pretty Ridiculous Article There.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Audio Cliches

SLAM and IMPACT does more for ya' than any of that other hokie pokie stuff. If you can get PRaT out of 5", then it is nothing related to real live music. SLAM, IMPACT, CLARITY

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Thank you. We can then agree that different componants give the impression of different pace though the pace is actually the same. Is this the infamous PRaT?

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

I believe we are in agreement here Jan.

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Thank you for the limk. I have been looking for this kind of information.

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
I still think you're missing an essential part of how different listeners tune into various aspects of both the musician's performance and the performance of their system.

OK


Quote:
We do not all listen alike. I have sat beside people who I consider to have very good hearing and I have sat beside working musicians and we both come away with different ideas of what we have heard at live performances and in front of a music system. Listening to music is no different than taking in any other art form. You and I can read the same book or look at the same painting and we can both have very different impressions of what the artist intended. Someone coming from a different culture can have a very different view of "art" than someone else from another culture. The idea is to learn from other's experiences and not to dismiss them as "pretend" or as irrelevant because we do not perceive as they do. Do you believe someone who listens to Shosatkovich Sym. 5 and hears the tyranny of the Soviet Empire being portrayed is pretending they hear this if you do not? Someone looks as a late period Picasso and sees something you do not, are they pretending?

Come on, let's get real here. Do you really, truely believe all the changes to a sound system described in all reviews are really there, can be heard by others with similiar systems and rooms, and are not simply, and often, wishful thinking?

It is not a matter of a reviewer using languagge that, dare I say it, might slightly overstate the perceived change, good or bad. It is more a matter of the reiewer, who's job it is to describe real changes to his system, waxing eloquent about changes that are perhaps too small to warrant the vast price paid for them. Changes that are, as you note subjective, but whose price is both real and easily an issue.


Quote:
The point is no two people are alike when they describe what they perceive. Simply ask a few people to describe "red" for a good proof of this concept. No two systems are exactly alike so there will always be things one person hears that another ignores or does not pick up on. And yet both can be happy.

I am not claiming no change exists or that rthe reviewer is faking it. I am saying that many, many of the changes in the system described are simply not heard by most folk who read the review and bought the item. There are simply just so many 'veils' one can remove and still hear something one can describe.

No, I am not stating this well. If a reviewer is speaking of some $5K accessory or cable and says the thing adds something to the mix, is it unreasonable to expect at least some change to something other than the hopeful owners wallet to actually occur.

I am not speaking of specific types of change...you know, lifted a veil of darkness sorts of comments. What one hears will very from person to person and system to system, but most folk should hear something.

How many tweaks have you bought after having read a review or so that have done absolutely nothing in your system? Now imagine the system you are speaking of does not include a host of multi-thousand dollar compnents in a dedicated room with megabuck room conditioning but is simply well made gear and might cost, in total, perhaps $5-10K. Will this person hear the magic change the reviewer notes? is he wasting his money on a tweak that is both over rated and not effective in his system? Has the reviewer done the best he can to note the tweaks or equipments problems with eal world gear? Does he have a responsibility there. I say yes.

Fortunately, the major magazines have reviewers who do make an effort but they also have reviewers who do seem to be the equivalent of a politician loudly proclaiming 'do ou know who I am' when noting a review might just be lacking and the change discussed might be overstated just a bit?


Quote:
What you are stating sounds more like someone who doesn't want to believe in anything they cannot hear and therefore assumes no one else can hear it either. That's not how it works.

Actually, I am asking for more humility from the fellow making claims about gear that his readers simply will not hear on their gear and should not waste money on.

You seem to be confusing religion with science. Either a product does what the reviewer claims for most folk on most systems or it doesn't. If it doesn't, alluding to art of God will not change that unfortunate fact.

In audio you should find people who listen in much the same manner as you do and pay attention to their views. The equipment they use is not so important as how they listen, though the equipment will often be a reflection of how someone listens. Within Stereophile reviewers I find ST and AD to be more similar to how I listen that WP. As you learn who has similar tastes to yours you can find more relevancy in their comments. Just as you would take the opinion of a friend who cooks Italian food to judge an Italian style restaurant over a friend who is mostly familiar with authentic Japanese style cooking and seldom does Italian, so should you gravitate to people who listen with qualities you find appealing.

But those folk would all be able to say with some authority...this food is really pretty poor, not worth the price, and the service stinks. Some things are pretty constant, even in art. Either the gear does what the reviewer says more often than not or it doesn't. Is it too much to expect reviewers to note such things. How often do you read 'This reviewer heard a small but real change in my reference system, but this $10K speaker cable's changes in my system are way out of proportion with the price. I can only doubt even this change would be heard in the often less revealing systems found in most listening rooms'...Does almost never spring to mind.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
But those folk would all be able to say with some authority...this food is really pretty poor, not worth the price, and the service stinks. Some things are pretty constant, even in art. Either the gear does what the reviewer says more often than not or it doesn't. Is it too much to expect reviewers to note such things. How often do you read 'This reviewer heard a small but real change in my reference system, but this $10K speaker cable's changes in my system are way out of proportion with the price. I can only doubt even this change would be heard in the often less revealing systems found in most listening rooms'...Does almost never spring to mind.

Why is it whenever anyone who dislikes the fact they cannot hear what someone else claims is quite evident the argument immediately turns to hyperbole and exaggeration? Why is the rhetorical cable that you cannot believe in always one that costs $5 to 10k? Why use such an example when such an example is not what you have auditioned and not what you have considered for purchase? If you haven't heard this mythical $10k cable in your own system, how do you know what you can and cannot hear with it in place? I would very much appreciate an explanation how this is possible.

Why not just say, "I spent $39.95 on the cable the sales guy said was 'better' and I still can't hear anything different"?

Why is this imaginary cable that everyone writes about always one that costs $5 to 10k and not the $39.95 one that you actually bought?

Oh, yeah, because that imaginary $10k cable absolves you from any conflicts. Everyone knows $5 to 10k cables are just snake oil, right? No one wants to admit they can't hear into their system well enough to notice an improvement made by spending less than $50. No one wants to admit what they can't hear. It's the fault of the imaginary $10k cable that the real world $39.95 cable doesn't do anything different.

How's that work?

You know, when it comes to imaginary improvements made by imaginary cables placed in imaginary systems, I really have nothing more to say. If you would care to discuss real world items I would be happy to participate, but I have never heard this particular, imaginary $10k cable to which you refer nor am I familiar with the imaginary system in which it was placed so I could not possibly comment on its performance. And I am with you on never really getting much from that imaginary reviewer, he's such a dork! However, I think I did like the imaginary music that was played during the imaginary review process.


Quote:
I am not claiming no change exists or that the reviewer is faking it.



Quote:
I get annoyed when they pretend there is an immediate audible improvement when I cannot hear a thing.

Are you going to get annoyed when I point out that you did say they were "faking it" but you still could not hear anything?


Quote:
How many tweaks have you bought after having read a review or so that have done absolutely nothing in your system?

None, I rarely buy a component or accessory that I cannot audition before I lay down hard cash. This is another typical leap of faith in your type of argument, that all these items are sold with a no return policy and the minute you make the purchase the seller closes up shop and leaves you high and dry. It is comforting to believe someone else is responsible for your lapse in judgement when you handed over your credit card number to that internet retailer selling this stuff at a 10% discount.

How many audio components and accessories have you purchased without an audition? How many without a return policy?

From what you have posted I can only conclude you really have no idea how this works. If something doesn't work in your system and you keep it, the fault is not with the manufacturer, the seller or the reviewer. Must I explain this reasoning to you?

If someone hears an improvement after making a change in their system and you do not hear the same improvement in your system, that doesn't mean the improvement is not there, just that you are not listening for what it has rendered as an improvement. To discount what they claim to have heard just because you cannot hear the same is operating beneath the boards. You would do better to learn how it is they learned to hear such qualities rather than merely complain about the fact you cannot hear what they can.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Hello, shade, I haven't seen you around here lately.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
I described it, but you didn't get it. I said "illusion of" forward movement is "perceived." My point is, there's no change in absolute pace or rhythm, since it's all done with dynamics. You've got people that actually know what pace and ryhthm now looking for changes in that and it's not actually happening. They then hear a difference in dynamics, call it PRaT and continue the inappropriate description.

This would appear to be another case where what you think you know is not what actually exists and so rather than learn what you should know you prefer to blame those who use the term in its proper context.

What do you read that leaves you so under-educated to this hobby?

No one has used the concept of PRaT to suggest the music is performed at a faster speed with one component as compared to another. How would that be possible with an amplifier or speaker? That that is what you are "looking for" is a clear indication you do not understand the term and therefore wish to blame someone else for what you have failed to understand.

The LP still spins at 33.33 R.P.M. and the CD still finishes the work in the same time on every player. However, when listening to the music, it appears to have a faster pace and more dynamic contrasts in its rthymic structure. Players sound more like they were playing together in the same room and with more time to rehearse.

But a song that finishes in 5:13 on a player that damages PRaT will still finish in 5:13 on a player that serves it well. The designer and user of an amplifier or speaker that honors the PRaT of the music will not care how long or short the selection is, only that the design gets the music right.


Quote:
My point is, call it what it really is, not some meaningless, misleading acronym.

My point is your argument is once again the result of you not really knowing what you are talking about and not caring to find out sufficient information to carry on a conversation. Instead you just stand there jumping up and down while waving your arms above your head as if that will actually do something.

Please, read the article JA has provided.

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Audio Cliches

I don't think that this thread as evolved in quite the way that the OP may have envisioned. Instead it has turned into a classic example of why non-audiophiles think that audiophiles are a bunch of self professed golden eared nut jobs. So far this thread has over 80 posts and the vast majority of those posts are about PRaT, whatever the hell that means, since by simply reading the posts one comes away with absolutely no idea of what the hell is going on.

Over 80 posts and nary a mention of science or logic. 80+ posts and instead of exposing some audio cliches this thread has become it's own audiophile cliche. I suggest that everyone reread this thread just to get a handle on what being an audiophile can do to one's ability to use reason,logic and well established scientific principles.

Therefore, I motion that if and when this thread finally dies down the thread be made into a "sticky" thread and placed at the very top of the "General Rants'n'Raves" section as a constant reminder of just why the term "audiophile" leaves such a bad taste in so many peoples' mouths.

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Pace, Rhythm and Timing PRaT

piinob
piinob's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Aug 14 2007 - 11:31pm
Re: Audio Cliches

I come and go. That's why my Biker friends call me Casper.

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Pace, Rhythm and Timing PRaT

I know what PRaT stands for but even after taking two aspirins and rereading the entire thread I still have absolutely no idea how the term PRaT can be used to describe the functioning of an audio system. Sorry call me dense or, much more likely, an audio heretic. After reading a thread like this is it any wonder that most people would rather buy Bose and home-theater-in-a-box systems?

I have a question for Jan:

Do you really believe the nonsense that you write or are you just playing devil's advocate to liven things up?

If you really do believe such things then you are the epitome of all the things that are so very wrong with audiophiles. Not only are you the Anti-DUP but you are also the poster boy for all things audiophile.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Audio Cliches

Piggybacking on jazzfan, I want to broaden the discussion here b/c it seems that we're kind of mired in a bit of navel-gazing here. It is undeniable that certain terms (PRaT included) become used so much in the audiophile community that they have become cliches. The fact that such terms do capture certain aspects of audio reproduction is inconsequential, because - as I've said - cliches are not necessarily 'untrue'. What matters, though, is that these terms - PRAT, WAF, you-name-it - have been used so many times, both adequately and inadequately, that they've somehow become lazy linguistic placeholders rather than terms that hold genuine meaning.

This is where I object, and this is what I felt repulsed by when reading some forums or reviews, etc. when I got into audio. We're talking about MUSIC here. Something generous, capacious, and entirely moving. But when I read audio forums and journals, there always seemed to be a surfeit of these reductive terms whose function was to provide some kind of a shorthand which may be useful in the narrow scheme of things. PRAT, for example. As JA's link shows, yes, it does have meaning and I am certain it can be used in certain contexts. But that acronym has in effect outlived its purpose, precisely because of the way it's been overused and misused, beyond its accurate meaning. More crucially, such terms make audiophiles' love for music seem reductive, narrow-minded. Colloquial and specious.

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Piggybacking on jazzfan, I want to broaden the discussion here b/c it seems that we're kind of mired in a bit of navel-gazing here. It is undeniable that certain terms (PRaT included) become used so much in the audiophile community that they have become cliches. The fact that such terms do capture certain aspects of audio reproduction is inconsequential, because - as I've said - cliches are not necessarily 'untrue'. What matters, though, is that these terms - PRAT, WAF, you-name-it - have been used so many times, both adequately and inadequately, that they've somehow become lazy linguistic placeholders rather than terms that hold genuine meaning.

This is where I object, and this is what I felt repulsed by when reading some forums or reviews, etc. when I got into audio. We're talking about MUSIC here. Something generous, capacious, and entirely moving. But when I read audio forums and journals, there always seemed to be a surfeit of these reductive terms whose function was to provide some kind of a shorthand which may be useful in the narrow scheme of things. PRAT, for example. As JA's link shows, yes, it does have meaning and I am certain it can be used in certain contexts. But that acronym has in effect outlived its purpose, precisely because of the way it's been overused and misused, beyond its accurate meaning. More crucially, such terms make audiophiles' love for music seem reductive, narrow-minded. Colloquial and specious.

Great post, SD. I only wish more audio reviews were written with the style and grace of your prose.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
...What do you read that leaves you so under-educated to this hobby?...

Ah hah, there's your problem, you still believe what you read in school. You think that your degree from the University of Phoenix puts you in the same league as those of us that have been listening and making music for decades and graduated from a "real" universities decades ago. You must be 18, since you still believe your "professors".

BTW, I thought that you promised to ignore me. Instead it looks like you're trying to turn this in the JV circle-jerk. You enjoy being the center of attention, that's clear.

Dave

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Good idea SD, moving on to another cliche'. How about WAF? I really don't object to that, since it doesn't have anything to do with performance. We know who decides about WAF anyway and it's not you and me.

Still, we the faceplate is attractive, or the whole system is compact or the speakers are funiture quality and don't look like praying mantise, then I think that throwing out the WAF term is acceptable.

Dave

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Why is it whenever anyone who dislikes the fact they cannot hear what someone else claims is quite evident the argument immediately turns to hyperbole and exaggeration? Why is the rhetorical cable that you cannot believe in always one that costs $5 to 10k? Why use such an example when such an example is not what you have auditioned and not what you have considered for purchase? If you haven't heard this mythical $10k cable in your own system, how do you know what you can and cannot hear with it in place? I would very much appreciate an explanation how this is possible.

Perhaps because we are speaking of audio clich

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
I get annoyed when they pretend there is an immediate audible improvement when I cannot hear a thing.


Quote:
Are you going to get annoyed when I point out that you did say they were "faking it" but you still could not hear anything?

You DID note my qualifying phrases and words?

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Jan Vigne:

No one wants to admit what they can't hear.

Exactly!

This is true at both ends of the spectrum.

Just as it is possible that someone can't hear the differences, it is also possible that others are self deluded about what they hear. But, nobody seems really interested in exploring the possibility of being wrong. "Non-hearers" won't try what they expect not to hear, and "hearers" refuse to explore the possibility that what they "hear" may be internally generated.

We end up with opposing camps based on people unable to hear a difference, even when it's there vs. the people who are unable not to hear a difference, even when it isn't there.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Audio Cliches

WHAT???

I'm gonna go put on some Tom Petty

RG

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Audio Cliches

Here's another cliche', but it's anti-audiophile. Over on the AV forums the mantra, all equipment that measures the same sounds the same. "I'm an EE and I can't measure it, so it can't exist." and "Oh, you're not an EE, then we can't talk about audio."

A couple of my best audiophile buddies are EE and they ascribe to the school of thought where if they can hear something, but can't measure it, then there' must be something missing in their measurements. Over the last 40-years there's been some "new" measurement come to the fore, explaining things heard but not understood in the past. I say, when do we know that we've developed all the possible meaurements.

Anyway, the AV forums are full of the anti-listening attitude, basically saying that just look at the specs and buy on price/spec ratio.

Dave

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Audio Cliches


Quote:
Here's another cliche', but it's anti-audiophile. Over on the AV forums the mantra, all equipment that measures the same sounds the same. "I'm an EE and I can't measure it, so it can't exist." and "Oh, you're not an EE, then we can't talk about audio."

A couple of my best audiophile buddies are EE and they ascribe to the school of thought where if they can hear something, but can't measure it, then there' must be something missing in their measurements. Over the last 40-years there's been some "new" measurement come to the fore, explaining things heard but not understood in the past. I say, when do we know that we've developed all the possible meaurements.

Anyway, the AV forums are full of the anti-listening attitude, basically saying that just look at the specs and buy on price/spec ratio.

Dave

Video, those guys are crazy. Video is a crutch for those who can't listen. They deserve what they get.

Video, fie.

Pages

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