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May Belt
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"Controversial discussions"

Your comment from the Room Acoustics section, Stephen.


Quote:

This thread has run its course, so it's time to lock it. I am going to please do so now.

If you'd like to open a new thread on this or a similar topic, please do so.


Stephen. It would appear that yet another audio subject causing controversy has hit the "locked" button. Is it at all possible for ANY subject which causes controversy to NOT be "locked" ??????? Can anyone think of any guidelines - even extreme guidelines - which could be considered (even something as extreme as agreeing to give a pint of blood every time a negative contribution is 'posted') (smiley face) if THAT suggestion would preserve the essence and continuation of a meaningful discussion ??

I am re-visiting two different approaches to controversial subjects in audio. The different approaches give some sort of background glimpse as to how different people 'handle' a particular subject, how they 'handle' what might be going on.

I will take you back, Stephen, to the controversy regarding applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs and to the talk you attended (with other Stereophile members) at the Montreal Show in 2009.

John's response to the subject of applying a demagnetiser to LPs etc was :-


Quote:

"I believe that I understand most of what (technically) goes on in audio - and then something happens which completely blows my mind. I wasn't expecting a difference. It just doesn't fit my world view. But I know that if I tell someone out of our community they will........!!!!! "

Compared with John's comment, your comment regarding your experience with the SAME 'technique' was :-

Quote:

"It doesn't scare me."

One (you) isn't 'scared', the other (John) finds that the experience 'completely blows his mind' !!

I am wondering if you SHOULD be 'scared', Stephen - meaning should be WORRIED, SHOULD be concerned !! Because, as a significant member of the audio community, you SHOULD find it worrying when there are 'things' changing the sound which, by the conventional understanding, should not be - but they ARE !! So, the world of audio has to (somehow) deal with what is happening !! Not, to casually say "It doesn't scare me." (i.e it doesn't 'faze' ME, Stephen) when others with the years and wealth of experience in audio say "I wasn't expecting a difference, it doesn't fit my world view, but it completely blew my mind." !!

A good and succinct comment was made by Charles Hansen (Manufacturer) General Asylum 16/01/10


Quote:

"Every time that I have decided a priori that something can't *possibly* have any effect, I have always been proven wrong by listening tests at a later date. So I end up deliberately not listening to some things because I'm not sure if I want to know the answer...

I wonder just how many more people "end up deliberately not listening to some things because they are not sure if they really want to know the answer, if they really want their beliefs challenged ? "

SOMEHOW, we have to find out what is 'going on' - which usually means some form of controversy !! To repeat the obvious again - if ALL was known, there would be no controversy !!

So, how do we get an active, ongoing, controversial discussion without it degenerating to such an extent it has to be "locked" ?

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

David_L
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

May, while I respect your opinions about audio, I almost universally disagree with 99% of them. That being said, the ONLY way for a thread not to be locked is by the participants not name calling or insulting others. Good luck with trying to keep that to a minimum

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Great post, May.


Quote:
So, how do we get an active, ongoing, controversial discussion without it degenerating to such an extent it has to be "locked" ?


In my view this is simply a function of open respectful dialog. Phrases such as "that's the stupidest thing you ever posted" tends to choke off meaningful discussion.

I find you a great role model. You challenge assumptions and ideas, but without attacking the person. I may not agree with you but appreciate and enjoy our exchanges.

I love your quote from Charles Hansen (Ayre).


Quote:
Because, as a significant member of the audio community, you SHOULD find it worrying when there are 'things' changing the sound which, by the conventional understanding, should not be - but they ARE !!


There is absolutely no reason to be scared or worried, merely intrigued.

I think the strong emotional disagreements arise because our experiences of audio are not the same. We agree that speakers so different as we have all heard this. Most agree that pre-amps so different. Less people agree that competently designed amps sound different. Etc.

When we have a universal experience, such as speaker differences, we agree. Additionally, when we can readily measure differences in an objective fashion we agree there are differences - although we often argue over whether the differences are meaningful.

We vehemently disagree when we don't hear the same thing. Many simply do not hear any difference between wires. But many do. Many do not hear any change when unconventional tweaks are introduced to the room, others do.

Why we hear differently is tough to answer. We have different physical abilities, various levels of experience, we value different aspects of musical production, we experience live sound in different ways. Music is physical but it triggers emotional response.

If we all experienced unconventional tweaks as making significant differences we wouldn't be arguing that they do something. We would be discussing how and why.

Great questions.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

May wrote in another thread:

Quote:
I am trying to address this 'stalemate' with another thread - but this time centered under "Tweaks" section as the particular section we are in now is called "Room Acoustics" which might not be appropriate if 'things' MIGHT not actually be altering the acoustic air pressure waves of a room !!!!!!!


Excellent point.

May, if you are willing, perhaps you are willing to state what you believe may be happening with the Acoustic ART bowls. Do they fit in with the hypothesis of operation for Belt devices or is something else going on?

The job of the rest of us is to respectfully consider these ideas.

Assume for purposes of the discussion that the Acoustic ART products work. With this assumption, let's explore what they could be doing.

So far we have:

1) Mr. Atkinson's idea that influencing microwave radiation may influence our perception of sound.

2) That the products are modified Helmholz resonators that affect physical sound.

3) May's thought that that they affect the listener and/or listener's perception (perception = listener's experience of playback). I don't recall that she has yet had the opportunity to flesh out her thoughts on this.

So far number 3 makes the most sense to me as a possibility.

As for #1, I am not aware of anything that indicates our ability to hear is impacted by the existence of microwaves - but my lack of awareness doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

#2 doesn't make sense to me as Helmholtz resonators are narrow band (high Q) with frequency a function of size. While narrow band filters and boosts are audible these would not have universal application, but rather would be very room specific.

Finally, I would enjoy knowing specifically what those who have experienced the ART products heard. Not just that the sound was "better" but how was it better? Or, is this an irrelevant question? For example, was the experience simply "I enjoyed it more," or the experience had greater emotional content.

smejias
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Stephen. It would appear that yet another audio subject causing controversy has hit the "locked" button. Is it at all possible for ANY subject which causes controversy to NOT be "locked" ???????


Sure. I have no problem with controversial topics. In fact, I think they're great! Problems arise, however, because people are sometimes unable to advance these discussions in a civilized and mature manner, resorting instead to name-calling and inflammatory comments regarding integrity and personal worth, etc.

It's all very weird.

Next thing you know, I'm receiving e-mails and private messages demanding me to make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, please do so, etc.

So, when I close a thread like the one about the Acoustic Arts bowls, which had gone on for almost four months and had over 400 replies, I do so because I feel: 1. The thread has devolved beyond repair, and 2. The forum needs, or wants, the thread to be closed.

Closing a thread doesn't mean the conversation has to end. It just means it has to be reconstructed; it gets a fresh start.


Quote:
Can anyone think of any guidelines - even extreme guidelines - which could be considered (even something as extreme as agreeing to give a pint of blood every time a negative contribution is 'posted') (smiley face) if THAT suggestion would preserve the essence and continuation of a meaningful discussion ??


I expect people here to be intelligent. People here are free to say just about anything they want to say, but should know that they will be held responsible for their words.

I'm thinking about coming up with some House Rules. The first one would be something like "Don't be an asshole." But do I really have to say that? Really?!

I'll have to think about it some more.


Quote:
I am re-visiting two different approaches to controversial subjects in audio. The different approaches give some sort of background glimpse as to how different people 'handle' a particular subject, how they 'handle' what might be going on.

I will take you back, Stephen, to the controversy regarding applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs and to the talk you attended (with other Stereophile members) at the Montreal Show in 2009.

John's response to the subject of applying a demagnetiser to LPs etc was :-


Quote:
"I believe that I understand most of what (technically) goes on in audio - and then something happens which completely blows my mind. I wasn't expecting a difference. It just doesn't fit my world view. But I know that if I tell someone out of our community they will........!!!!! "

Compared with John's comment, your comment regarding your experience with the SAME 'technique' was :-

Quote:
"It doesn't scare me."

One (you) isn't 'scared', the other (John) finds that the experience 'completely blows his mind' !!


First of all, I'm sure I said more than just that, May. Second, I'm sorry, but I don't understand your point. John and I are very different people, and we react to things differently. What does this have to do with closing threads here on the forum?


Quote:
I am wondering if you SHOULD be 'scared', Stephen - meaning should be WORRIED, SHOULD be concerned !! Because, as a significant member of the audio community, you SHOULD find it worrying when there are 'things' changing the sound which, by the conventional understanding, should not be - but they ARE !!


I'm sorry, May. I've told you before: I just really don't care about this stuff. There's a lot of stuff in life that doesn't make sense, and much of it doesn't seem worthy of my time. I have no problem with others wanting to spend their time on it.

You know what's important to me? John Prine singing "Angel From Montgomery." That's something I'd like to explore. I love music. (That's just one example. I also love my friends and family, hi-fi, girls, the Mets, and pizza.)


Quote:
A good and succinct comment was made by Charles Hansen (Manufacturer) General Asylum 16/01/10


Quote:
"Every time that I have decided a priori that something can't *possibly* have any effect, I have always been proven wrong by listening tests at a later date. So I end up deliberately not listening to some things because I'm not sure if I want to know the answer...


I agree: That is a good and succinct comment made by Charles Hanson. Charlie is a very intelligent, considerate, and thoughtful person. I would not make the same comment, however, because 1. I'm not Charlie, and 2. I never felt that the deMag device couldn't have an effect.

I didn't have a very strong opinion about it one way or another. Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.

See what I mean? I think it's okay for me not to care.


Quote:
I wonder just how many more people "end up deliberately not listening to some things because they are not sure if they really want to know the answer, if they really want their beliefs challenged ? "


Lots, probably. Lots and lots. People have to make decisions regarding what's important to them. Otherwise, we wouldn't make it through the day.


Quote:
SOMEHOW, we have to find out what is 'going on' - which usually means some form of controversy !! To repeat the obvious again - if ALL was known, there would be no controversy !!


You have a deep curiosity, which I admire. Though I don't share your curiosity about certain things, such as the deMag device, I think your curiosity is a great thing -- and very necessary! And, as I said earlier, I have no problem with controversy. Controversy is great -- it breeds page views, if nothing else. But we can't allow the name-calling and all the other abuses.


Quote:
So, how do we get an active, ongoing, controversial discussion without it degenerating to such an extent it has to be "locked" ?


It shouldn't be hard. Be mature, respectful, thoughtful. You know: Don't be an asshole.

Freako
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Great post, May.


Quote:
So, how do we get an active, ongoing, controversial discussion without it degenerating to such an extent it has to be "locked" ?


In my view this is simply a function of open respectful dialog. Phrases such as "that's the stupidest thing you ever posted" tends to choke off meaningful discussion.

I find you a great role model. You challenge assumptions and ideas, but without attacking the person. I may not agree with you but appreciate and enjoy our exchanges.

I love your quote from Charles Hansen (Ayre).


Quote:
Because, as a significant member of the audio community, you SHOULD find it worrying when there are 'things' changing the sound which, by the conventional understanding, should not be - but they ARE !!


There is absolutely no reason to be scared or worried, merely intrigued.

I think the strong emotional disagreements arise because our experiences of audio are not the same. We agree that speakers so different as we have all heard this. Most agree that pre-amps so different. Less people agree that competently designed amps sound different. Etc.

When we have a universal experience, such as speaker differences, we agree. Additionally, when we can readily measure differences in an objective fashion we agree there are differences - although we often argue over whether the differences are meaningful.

We vehemently disagree when we don't hear the same thing. Many simply do not hear any difference between wires. But many do. Many do not hear any change when unconventional tweaks are introduced to the room, others do.

Why we hear differently is tough to answer. We have different physical abilities, various levels of experience, we value different aspects of musical production, we experience live sound in different ways. Music is physical but it triggers emotional response.

If we all experienced unconventional tweaks as making significant differences we wouldn't be arguing that they do something. We would be discussing how and why.

Great questions.

Well said my good man

Buddha
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Assume for purposes of the discussion that the Acoustic ART products work. With this assumption, let's explore what they could be doing.

So far we have:

1) Mr. Atkinson's idea that influencing microwave radiation may influence our perception of sound.

2) That the products are modified Helmholz resonators that affect physical sound.

3) May's thought that that they affect the listener and/or listener's perception (perception = listener's experience of playback). I don't recall that she has yet had the opportunity to flesh out her thoughts on this.

So far number 3 makes the most sense to me as a possibility.

As for #1, I am not aware of anything that indicates our ability to hear is impacted by the existence of microwaves - but my lack of awareness doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

#2 doesn't make sense to me as Helmholtz resonators are narrow band (high Q) with frequency a function of size. While narrow band filters and boosts are audible these would not have universal application, but rather would be very room specific.

Finally, I would enjoy knowing specifically what those who have experienced the ART products heard. Not just that the sound was "better" but how was it better? Or, is this an irrelevant question? For example, was the experience simply "I enjoyed it more," or the experience had greater emotional content.

I think your list is too short.

We also have:

4) The bowls ring at certain ferquencies in response to acoustic stimulation and this ringing may be perceived by some as adding to the sound in such a way that it is a pleasant phenomenon.

(You know how JA whacks speaker cabinets and then measures the result? I think that would be cool to do to the bowls.)

5) Expectation bias.

6) The hypothesis that the bowls do not operate in the acoustic realm but do somehow physically directly stimulate neurons in an uncertain way.

If I had to choose a side, I'd lean toward the number 4, but number 5 is not out of the question, either. Or, both!

As neurologists point out, expectation is a neurologic state that may be repeatable when a subject is given the same cues with each experience.

Also, many people find positive effects from things like meditation, tea ceremonies, yoga, etc...the placing and appreciation of bowls may also have a salutatory effect on a listener who is performing a ceremony to achieve the proper state of mind. Whatever totem or avatar someone chooses is completely valid for that person. This would also allow one to relax about the incessant 'placebo/DBT' aspect of the issue and allow specific individuals to share specific anecdotes without generally assigning their own experience to everyone.

That's fine, too.

Cheers.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Well done, Buddha.

I like 4 a lot, especially in the context of Tibetan prayer bowls.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
There's a lot of stuff in life that doesn't make sense, . . .


I've noticed this, too.


Quote:
Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.


Quote of the Day!

Orb
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
May wrote in another thread:

Quote:
I am trying to address this 'stalemate' with another thread - but this time centered under "Tweaks" section as the particular section we are in now is called "Room Acoustics" which might not be appropriate if 'things' MIGHT not actually be altering the acoustic air pressure waves of a room !!!!!!!


Excellent point.

May, if you are willing, perhaps you are willing to state what you believe may be happening with the Acoustic ART bowls. Do they fit in with the hypothesis of operation for Belt devices or is something else going on?

The job of the rest of us is to respectfully consider these ideas.

Assume for purposes of the discussion that the Acoustic ART products work. With this assumption, let's explore what they could be doing.

So far we have:

1) Mr. Atkinson's idea that influencing microwave radiation may influence our perception of sound.

2) That the products are modified Helmholz resonators that affect physical sound.

3) May's thought that that they affect the listener and/or listener's perception (perception = listener's experience of playback). I don't recall that she has yet had the opportunity to flesh out her thoughts on this.

So far number 3 makes the most sense to me as a possibility.

As for #1, I am not aware of anything that indicates our ability to hear is impacted by the existence of microwaves - but my lack of awareness doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

#2 doesn't make sense to me as Helmholtz resonators are narrow band (high Q) with frequency a function of size. While narrow band filters and boosts are audible these would not have universal application, but rather would be very room specific.

Finally, I would enjoy knowing specifically what those who have experienced the ART products heard. Not just that the sound was "better" but how was it better? Or, is this an irrelevant question? For example, was the experience simply "I enjoyed it more," or the experience had greater emotional content.

I guess you do not think perception of unusual object or an objects location can affect a listener?
It is quite plausible, and I only mentioned it like 5 times now

Thanks
Orb

May Belt
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
"I didn't have a very strong opinion about it one way or another. Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.

See what I mean? I think it's okay for me not to care."

Yes, I know what you mean. I still don't think you grasp what I mean.

Someone who is a 'professional in audio', faced with things which change the sound and which cannot be explained from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories, should not be saying "I really don't care". !!!

For example. A designer and manufacturer of audio equipment, knowing that some components, some wires, some this, some that, can sound different when connected a different way round (worse one way, better the other way) should not SURELY state "I don't really care", should they ?

Should ANY 'professional', in ANY field, faced with things happening which don't fit in with what they have been conventionally taught state "I don't really care" ?

The comparison I made with you and John A is that from my experience knowing John A from way in the past, that his attitude is not "I don't really care" OR, "It doesn't scare me" !!!!!!!!!! He takes audio far more seriously than that !!!!!!! He was certainly prepared to go out on a limb when he was the editor of Hi Fi News to try to push understanding forward !!.

I personally think we can get further forward in understanding when people do care !

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

May Belt
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
"There is absolutely no reason to be scared or worried, merely intrigued."

I was meaning that someone who is a "professional in audio" should be MORE than intrigued. They are not amateurs, they are not mere bystanders, they are not 'johnny come lightly', anyone who professionally earns their living in the world of audio SHOULD be disturbed when things are described as improving the sound when it cannot be explained from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories.


Quote:
"The job of the rest of us is to respectfully consider these ideas."

I wish !!!!!!!!


Quote:
"Assume for purposes of the discussion that the Acoustic ART products work. With this assumption, let's explore what they could be doing.

So far we have:

1) Mr. Atkinson's idea that influencing microwave radiation may influence our perception of sound."

I am still having a problem with the word (and meaning) of perception. Where, Elk, in your understanding, does the 'sound information' i.e Dvorak's New World end, and perception (resolving of it) begin ? We cannot explore WHERE any microwave radiation might be having an influence until the understanding of perception is agreed.

We are now starting at fundamentals in a discussion.

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

clarkjohnsen
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Elk, I replied to you over on the new Bowls thread... had I noticed this one first I might have done so here.

clark, in his bowls

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
I guess you do not think perception of unusual object or an objects location can affect a listener?
It is quite plausible, and I only mentioned it like 5 times now


You did. And it is plausible.

But wouldn't this wear off quickly once the object is no longer new and no longer seems unusual? Humans adjust to novelty exceedingly quickly.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
I was meaning that someone who is a "professional in audio" should be MORE than intrigued.


I understand what you mean.

On the other hand, no single reviewer can intensely look into everything.

Thus we have reviewers "specializing" in multi-channel, analog, etc.

As a group however we should be interested in exploring everything that impacts our enjoyment of reproduced sound.


Quote:
I am still having a problem with the word (and meaning) of perception. Where, Elk, in your understanding, does the 'sound information' i.e Dvorak's New World end, and perception (resolving of it) begin ?


Let's see.

The sound itself "ends" when it physically reaches the listener.

Perception starts as the listener senses the sound. This is comprised of a number of steps. For example, the physical excitation of auditory hair cells, excitation of the auditory nerve (etc.) culminating in the brain's interpretation of these sounds. The brain both simply recognizes sound as sound (high, low, loud, soft, harsh, soothing) and, based on experience, assigns meaning to sound (is it a chord, a melody, a siren, a bird).

How do you want to use the word perception?

Buddha
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Quote:
"I didn't have a very strong opinion about it one way or another. Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.

See what I mean? I think it's okay for me not to care."

Yes, I know what you mean. I still don't think you grasp what I mean.

Someone who is a 'professional in audio', faced with things which change the sound and which cannot be explained from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories, should not be saying "I really don't care". !!!

For example. A designer and manufacturer of audio equipment, knowing that some components, some wires, some this, some that, can sound different when connected a different way round (worse one way, better the other way) should not SURELY state "I don't really care", should they ?

Should ANY 'professional', in ANY field, faced with things happening which don't fit in with what they have been conventionally taught state "I don't really care" ?

The comparison I made with you and John A is that from my experience knowing John A from way in the past, that his attitude is not "I don't really care" OR, "It doesn't scare me" !!!!!!!!!! He takes audio far more seriously than that !!!!!!! He was certainly prepared to go out on a limb when he was the editor of Hi Fi News to try to push understanding forward !!.

I personally think we can get further forward in understanding when people do care !

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

If an effect was of a magnitude that it did not appreciably affect a listener's enjoyment of a performance, then I'm fine with, "I really didn't care."

Or, if the change was such that the listener considered it a 'lateral' change, I'm also fine with, "I really didn't care."

If a change is notable, but somehoew lessened someone's enjoyment of the musical performance, I'm even more fine with "I really didn't care."

Perhaps there are some changes people notice but the change is not necessarily better. Noticing change for change's sake is a common audiophile blunder. "Different = better" is a top level Hi Fi fallacy, and likely shows up in many an audiophile's system in which rotating gear is always "better," but never remaining.

If a tweak cannot generate passion, why blame the person's reaction? Think about that. Perhaps Stephen had a fully appropriate response. Sometimes, "It didn't do enough to overcome the barrier between indifference and enthusiasm" is accurate.

Why would you think Stephen made such a reply?

Lack of professionalism?

Stephen seems to have loads of enthusiasm, when appropriate.

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the messenger.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Very thoughtful post, Buddha.

I think we could power a New York City apartment building with Stephen's enthusiasm.

And cool it with his patience.

Jan Vigne
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Congratulations on the quotes placement.

smejias
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Very thoughtful post, Buddha.

I think we could power a New York City apartment building with Stephen's enthusiasm.

And cool it with his patience.


Ha! Thank you, Buddha and Elk. Your posts made me smile!

smejias
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Someone who is a 'professional in audio', faced with things which change the sound and which cannot be explained from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories, should not be saying "I really don't care". !!!


I hear what you're saying, and I understand what you mean, but I don't agree. I think it's okay for me not to care about certain things, and I think it would be wrong for me to pretend that I do care when I don't. The Furutech deMag costs around $2000 and I do think it's worth the money, but I'm just not very interested in expensive accessories.


Quote:
For example. A designer and manufacturer of audio equipment, knowing that some components, some wires, some this, some that, can sound different when connected a different way round (worse one way, better the other way) should not SURELY state "I don't really care", should they ?


I think it depends on the designer/manufacturer and what that designer/manufacturer is trying to achieve.


Quote:
I personally think we can get further forward in understanding when people do care !


I absolutely agree, which is why, for instance, when Stereophile receives a product for review, we carefully select a reviewer who we believe will be sympathetic to that product. We wouldn't ask someone who doesn't own a turntable to review a mono phono cartridge, for example.

michaelavorgna
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
4) The bowls ring at certain frequencies in response to acoustic stimulation and this ringing may be perceived by some as adding to the sound in such a way that it is a pleasant phenomenon.

(You know how JA whacks speaker cabinets and then measures the result? I think that would be cool to do to the bowls.)

Here's a quote from the Synergistic website:

"During the hardening process, each resonator is tapped with a small steel hammer. A microphone connected to a spectrum analyzer measures the acoustic property of each resonator. When the resonator reaches its desired acoustic property, it is immediately quenched in an oil bath to halt the case- hardening process. Tuning each resonator ensures proper acoustic properties are met and corrects for variations that can occur in the forging process."

I also like your #4 and would suggest that if, and I do mean if since I'm only guessing, if the resonators resonate this sympathetic ringing may be changing among other things the listeners perception of pitch. If this makes any sense, maybe someone could explain how we measure the perception of pitch without involving the listener.

Not to throw this discussion off course, but aspects of listener response to the Synergistic bowls as well as the Acoustic Resonators sound similar to the affects of adding so-called super tweeters. What is interesting here is the common perceived difference in bass quality even though we're talking about the addition of only high frequency information.

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Quote:
4) The bowls ring at certain frequencies in response to acoustic stimulation and this ringing may be perceived by some as adding to the sound in such a way that it is a pleasant phenomenon.

(You know how JA whacks speaker cabinets and then measures the result? I think that would be cool to do to the bowls.)

Here's a quote from the Synergistic website:

"During the hardening process, each resonator is tapped with a small steel hammer. A microphone connected to a spectrum analyzer measures the acoustic property of each resonator. When the resonator reaches its desired acoustic property, it is immediately quenched in an oil bath to halt the case- hardening process. Tuning each resonator ensures proper acoustic properties are met and corrects for variations that can occur in the forging process."

I also like your #4 and would suggest that if, and I do mean if since I'm only guessing, if the resonators resonate this sympathetic ringing may be changing among other things the listeners perception of pitch. If this makes any sense, maybe someone could explain how we measure the perception of pitch without involving the listener.

Not to throw this discussion off course, but aspects of listener response to the Synergistic bowls as well as the Acoustic Resonators sound similar to the affects of adding so-called super tweeters. What is interesting here is the common perceived difference in bass quality even though we're talking about the addition of only high frequency information.

Speaking only for myself...I think maybe a generally more open soundstage (which may be the product of higher frequency changes) may improve my opinion of a system's bass, as well.

Similarly, better bass seems to also open up a sense of over-all space; of which a great part is perceived as being much higher in frequency to me.

Kind of paradoxical, I guess.

When I spend time with speakers with really fine bass, I feel like there are much better higher frequency spacial cues, too.

I was thinking about that just this week spinning The Cowboy Junkies' original Trinity Sessions. Better bass really opens up the sense of the place, seemingly at all frequencies!

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Some of the most convincing recordings I've heard in terms of 'space' have been mono LPs and 78s. Go figure.

I'd highly recommend listening to Sun Ra's recently reissued soundtrack LP Space Is the Place and leave the paradoxes to people with commoner sense.

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When I spend time with speakers with really fine bass, I feel like there are much better higher frequency spacial cues, too.

Or are better HF spacial cues helping you perceive better bass?

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Quote:
When I spend time with speakers with really fine bass, I feel like there are much better higher frequency spacial cues, too.

Or are better HF spacial cues helping you perceive better bass?

I know the answer to that, actually.

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Could it have something to do with a "masking effect" when the ears are presented with "unclean" sound? I suspect so. The ears get all tangled up with trying to sort out the genuine signal from the polluted additives, and thus will send mixed signals to the brain. Maybe wrong, but an idea...

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Quote:
I guess you do not think perception of unusual object or an objects location can affect a listener?
It is quite plausible, and I only mentioned it like 5 times now


You did. And it is plausible.

But wouldn't this wear off quickly once the object is no longer new and no longer seems unusual? Humans adjust to novelty exceedingly quickly.

It is more than novelty, but yes it would be fair to say that after some time the effect could wear off, it is not novelty but perception changes and perception of environment.

However we are talking long enough that you would probably have forgotten accurately the differences before and after.
Consider how long it would take you to ignore an interesting painting in your living room to the point you do not notice it ever again.

As an example of how fallible we are; in the game paper/scissor/stones it is possible to never lose and I have tested this myself on several friends (beating each 5 out 5 times in one night), also much easier once they are relaxed and say after a couple of drinks.
Basically you link a visual hand shaped as one of the objects (such as paper) while timing it with specific words relating to the game (do a search sure the technique may be on the internet).
Done correctly you can suggest to the opponent what shape to choose, and yes it does work once you learn to do this well.
One of my friends is a laywer and he could never understand why he kept choosing rock that he never chooses normally.
The test was done 5 times for each over four hours.

The point being, while you think that such an object is a novelty, it can still have an effect even without you consciously being overly aware.
And then there is the point about paintings as an example.

If you want to try it, get a 6inch picture of say Crusty the Clown and put it in a spot that can be seen.
Now let me know how long it takes you to never notice even when you walk around or reenter the room
I place a bet your partner will go nuts before they forget or become use to it there.

And no, using a 6inch picture of Crusty will not improve the sound, although it would probably be distracting or set up irritation in most listeners that may lessen enjoyment

Edit:
Importantly do not forget that those who use these products understand that they are designed to affect the sound they hear.
So the perception of unusual object and location is probably integral to this, whether or not the listener expects the sound to change (most likely in this hypothesis is that the perceived change triggers the listener to hear differences where they may not be any) is affecting cognition, although it is still plausible that just perception of the product and location are triggering the change in sound.

However I am not stating this is actually happening, just that it needs to be considered and why a duplicate say made of plastic is required, it is a parameter/factor that has to be taken into account in testing to limit caveats relating to the result and conclusions.

Cheers
Orb

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
I guess you do not think perception of unusual object or an objects location can affect a listener?
It is quite plausible, and I only mentioned it like 5 times now


You did. And it is plausible.

But wouldn't this wear off quickly once the object is no longer new and no longer seems unusual? Humans adjust to novelty exceedingly quickly.

It is more than novelty, but yes it would be fair to say that after some time the effect could wear off, it is not novelty but perception changes and perception of environment.

However we are talking long enough that you would probably have forgotten accurately the differences before and after.
Consider how long it would take you to ignore an interesting painting in your living room to the point you do not notice it ever again.

As an example of how fallible we are; in the game paper/scissor/stones it is possible to never lose and I have tested this myself on several friends (beating each 5 out 5 times in one night), also much easier once they are relaxed and say after a couple of drinks.
Basically you link a visual hand shaped as one of the objects (such as paper) while timing it with specific words relating to the game (do a search sure the technique may be on the internet).
Done correctly you can suggest to the opponent what shape to choose, and yes it does work once you learn to do this well.
One of my friends is a laywer and he could never understand why he kept choosing rock that he never chooses normally.
The test was done 5 times for each over four hours.

The point being, while you think that such an object is a novelty, it can still have an effect even without you consciously being overly aware.
And then there is the point about paintings as an example.

If you want to try it, get a 6inch picture of say Crusty the Clown and put it in a spot that can be seen.
Now let me know how long it takes you to never notice even when you walk around or reenter the room
I place a bet your partner will go nuts before they forget or become use to it there.

And no, using a 6inch picture of Crusty will not improve the sound, although it would probably be distracting or set up irritation in most listeners that may lessen enjoyment

Edit:
Importantly do not forget that those who use these products understand that they are designed to affect the sound they hear.
So the perception of unusual object and location is probably integral to this, whether or not the listener expects the sound to change (most likely in this hypothesis is that the perceived change triggers the listener to hear differences where they may not be any) is affecting cognition, although it is still plausible that just perception of the product and location are triggering the change in sound.

However I am not stating this is actually happening, just that it needs to be considered and why a duplicate say made of plastic is required, it is a parameter/factor that has to be taken into account in testing to limit caveats relating to the result and conclusions.

Cheers
Orb

I'm afraid things are worse than you realize. Much, much worse. For those who may not have been following these things closely -- Silver Rainbow Foil, Mpingo discs, clocks, chips, Red Pens, and such -- it is not at all necessary for the observer to know that the item is in the room to observe/perceive the effect. Thus, the hypothesis that these odd looking goo-gaws influence the observer's perception flies out the window. At least in some cases.

And for the case when the observer CAN see the odd looking goo-gaw, wouldn't the Nocebo Effect be, well, in effect? You know, the Placebo Effect's ugly cousin. A prime example of the Nocebo Effect is the Silver Rainbow Foil, a tiny sliver of holographic foil 1/2 x 1/8 inch placed over the Compact Disc logo on the CD or on the 33 1/3 symbol on the LP. I implore you, who among us would expect this tiny foil to affect our perception, would expect the sound to change?! Or, more on topic, would expect a tiny 17mm metal bowl to have an effect on the bass frequencies?

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


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[I'm afraid things are worse than you realize. Much, much worse. For those who may not have been following these things closely -- Silver Rainbow Foil, Mpingo discs, clocks, chips, Red Pens, and such -- it is not at all necessary for the observer to know that the item is in the room to observe/perceive the effect. Thus, the hypothesis that these odd looking goo-gaws influence the observer's perception flies out the window. At least in some cases.

Proof? Any links? Tests? What nothing to back up you claims? Just asking if there are any objective reviews on the above items.

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Quote:

Quote:
[I'm afraid things are worse than you realize. Much, much worse. For those who may not have been following these things closely -- Silver Rainbow Foil, Mpingo discs, clocks, chips, Red Pens, and such -- it is not at all necessary for the observer to know that the item is in the room to observe/perceive the effect. Thus, the hypothesis that these odd looking goo-gaws influence the observer's perception flies out the window. At least in some cases.

Proof? Any links? Tests? What nothing to back up you claims? Just asking if there are any objective reviews on the above items.

You're soooo suspicious. What ever happened to taking someone's word for it?

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Yeah valid point.
Well this can also be overcome by introducing the original without their knowing and away from the listeners sight at time the listener is completing their listening familiarisation of the room.
Although this then requires an ideal location that the listener cannot see.

And the second point not entirely sure how that can be considered as we are talking about the use of a placebo duplicate.
In your example did they use a false duplicate made from plastic,etc?
Seems your describing the case where the original is used.

If the original and the placebo duplicate both have the same effect on the listener in this test, it means that the listeners are picking up on auditory changes that are nothing to do with the original product, this can be for a few reasons that most likely proposes a cognition skewing without actual changes occuring (includes the JA hypothesis).
This can be proved further by then comparing results with the original being used without the listener knowing as explained initially.

If the original but not the duplicate affects the listener, then we have an indication that something else is occurring possibly along the hypothesis of JA.

You also need to consider that the listener will know that there is also a placebo and over the course of the listening sessions will probably see both.
Hence as far as the listener is concerned the expectation is limited due to them knowing there is also a false product.
The placebo effect should have no cause on the test as recent studies showed that placebo and associated expectation is related to endogenous opioid release.

However you do open an interesting area, that being it has been proven that mOFC does affect mechanisms associated with enjoyment and can be applied to marketing and goods vs expectation and enjoyment; test was done with wines.
If the testing wants to be truly complete then they should look to monitor mOFC as per the following study:
Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness;
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050.full.pdf

Thanks
Orb

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Quote:
Yeah valid point.
Well this can also be overcome by introducing the original without their knowing and away from the listeners sight at time the listener is completing their listening familiarisation of the room.
Although this then requires an ideal location that the listener cannot see.

And the second point not entirely sure how that can be considered as we are talking about the use of a placebo duplicate.
In your example did they use a false duplicate made from plastic,etc?
Seems your describing the case where the original is used.

If the original and the placebo duplicate both have the same effect on the listener in this test, it means that the listeners are picking up on auditory changes that are nothing to do with the original product, this can be for a few reasons that most likely proposes a cognition skewing without actual changes occuring (includes the JA hypothesis).
This can be proved further by then comparing results with the original being used without the listener knowing as explained initially.

If the original but not the duplicate affects the listener, then we have an indication that something else is occurring.

You also need to consider that the listener will know that there is also a placebo and over the course of the listening sessions will probably see both.
Hence as far as the listener is concerned the expectation is limited due to them knowing there is also a false product.
The placebo effect should have no cause on the test as recent studies showed that placebo and associated expectation is related to endogenous opioid release.

However you do open an interesting area, that being it has been proven that mOFC does affect mechanisms associated with enjoyment and can be applied to marketing and goods vs expectation and enjoyment; test was done with wines.
If the testing wants to be truly complete then they should look to monitor mOFC as per the following study:
Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness;
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050.full.pdf

Thanks
Orb

I prefer not to use the words "enjoyment" or "pleasantness" as it confuses the issue. I realize that better sound quality would be a pleasant change and would make listening more enjoyable. But I'm referring to sound quality only! - not enjoyment or pleasantness, and not some psycho-acoustical effect, not a psychological effect, not a subliminal effect and not some bias/placebo anomaly.

I take it for granted we all have the experience and listening skill to determine if a particular thingamabob or component or cable has an effect on sound quality. Is that wrong?

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Excellent points, Orb and well-expressed.

I like your systematic approach to testing the efficacy of a tweak.

The cited paper made quite a stir when it was first published, both because it was seen as poking a bit of fun at the wine world and because it demonstrated a physiological response - not just a reported subjective change.

Audio companies have long included non-intrinsic quality aspects in their products to enhance perceived enjoyment - consider 3/4" milled faceplates. As you point out, perhaps such things change listener perception in a physiological way, even though it is based solely on faith in the product.

Along these lines, there are a number of studies that demonstrate that marketing luxury items must balance our desire for maintenance-free bullet-proof products and a belief that high-quality objects need a certain degree of special care.

Your new buffalo horn glasses frames will last forever, but will look even better and last longer (to infinity and beyond!) if rubbed with special oil every six months. (I'm not making this up.)

One of my favorites is how many Porsche owners are proud that they have never driven their car in the rain. It doesn't rain in Germany? Do they use synthetic non-rain to wash the car?

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I think your taking the case a bit too far there Geoff
If timbre/dynamics/etc all match it is very difficult to argue that sound quality is the difference.
Now I appreciate we do not know everything and there may be a case relating to not measuring the right factors.

However we are going by reviews and listeners, by this it means it becomes subjective and only a very very few can differentiate on actual sound quality relating to timbre/pitch/harmonics/etc.

Therefore it is actually enjoyment and pleasantness that listeners apply to their weighting process as part of their detemination of what sounds better.
And indeed, due to the mOFC change an identical product may seem to be better.
Hence why it needs to be measured, this is the parameter affecting or skewing are decision process on what is perceived as better.
Just pointing out its mOFC that needs to be monitored, and placebo effect can be ignored due to the associated chemicals (taking placebo effect in its correct medical context and cause).

If you want to remove this from the case, then a subjective listener must be removed, or somehow learn to disable and switch off mOFC activity as described in that research paper I linked.

Cheers
Orb

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Thanks Elk,
its a great paper even for those who are subjective (personally I am a mix of subjective and also objective when it comes to audio) as you say it provides a measurable mechanism that can be described and seen to work.

Cheers
Orb

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Quote:
But I'm referring to sound quality only! - not enjoyment or pleasantness, and not some psycho-acoustical effect, not a psychological effect, not a subliminal effect and not some bias/placebo anomaly.


Does this mean that the sound itself is physically changed after introduction of the product?

That is, the change will exist independently of whether there is a listener? (I appreciate this sounds pedantic. My understanding however is that May's theories are dependent upon the existence of a change in a listener's perception - not a change in the actual sound itself.)

Do you believe that the Belt devices physically change the sound independently of listener perception? (I ask as you incorporate Belt devices in some of your products.)


Quote:
I take it for granted we all have the experience and listening skill to determine if a particular thingamabob or component or cable has an effect on sound quality.


Perhaps. Auditory memory is disturbingly fragile and expectation bias strong.

And what do you mean by "sound quality" and how do we know it is improved?

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Quote:
"I hear what you're saying, and I understand what you mean, but I don't agree. I think it's okay for me not to care about certain things, and I think it would be wrong for me to pretend that I do care when I don't. The Furutech deMag costs around $2000 and I do think it's worth the money, but I'm just not very interested in expensive accessories.

I didn't have a very strong opinion about it one way or another. Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.

See what I mean? I think it's okay for me not to care.
I'm sorry, May. I've told you before: I just really don't care about this stuff. There's a lot of stuff in life that doesn't make sense, and much of it doesn't seem worthy of my time."

Of course it is okay for you 'not to care about certain things' !!
Stephen, it looks as though my challenge to you has been interpreted as me suggesting that you "Don't care about ANYTHING" !! That is obviously not the case. I was being specific in what I was challenging you about !!

One example of the reaction to what I said is the quote by Buddha :-


Quote:
"If a tweak cannot generate passion, why blame the person's reaction? Think about that. Perhaps Stephen had a fully appropriate response. Sometimes, "It didn't do enough to overcome the barrier between indifference and enthusiasm" is accurate.

Why would you think Stephen made such a reply?

Lack of professionalism?

Stephen seems to have loads of enthusiasm, when appropriate.

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the messenger."

I was not challenging you in a general fashion - as if you "Don't really care whether a speaker is coloured Black or Brown" and I am challenging you to 'care about everything' - which seems to be what Buddha has presumed - or that I am challenging your enthusiasm etc !!!!!!!!!!!!! I was specific in what I challenged you about.

When something which has happened, been experienced, by many people, ACTUALLY challenges conventional electronic or acoustic theories, then when someone who is within that particular field responds with "It doesn't scare me" I am really surprised. What I am saying is that when John A responds with "when something like that happens, it blows my mind", John A is showing that he understands the enormity of what has happened. 'Things' don't 'blow a person's mind' without it is significant !! To further understand the impact of something like that challenging conventional electronic theory, you only have to look again at such as Welsh Hi Fi's reaction when the suggestion was made that the sound of CDs can be improved by applying a demagnitiser to them !!! The steam could nearly be seen to be rising from his page !!!

If you don't react with "it blows my mind" or what has happened does not 'rock you back on your heels', then it seems that you don't understand what it means for conventional theory (of anything) to be so challenged !!!

Again, the cost of (whatever it is) is irrelevant. The importance is if it is challenging conventional theory, in which case the cost does not come into it !!!!

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

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Quote:
"On the other hand, no single reviewer can intensely look into everything.

As you will see from my further reply to Stephen, I was not meaning that he should be "intensely LOOKING into EVERYTHING !!


Quote:
"As a group however we should be interested in exploring everything that impacts our enjoyment of reproduced sound."

Again, in my further reply to Stephen, I explain that I was being specific !!

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:


Quote:
"I hear what you're saying, and I understand what you mean, but I don't agree. I think it's okay for me not to care about certain things, and I think it would be wrong for me to pretend that I do care when I don't. The Furutech deMag costs around $2000 and I do think it's worth the money, but I'm just not very interested in expensive accessories.

I didn't have a very strong opinion about it one way or another. Before experiencing it, I thought it probably did something, but I didn't really care. After experiencing it, I thought it definitely did something, and I still really didn't care.

See what I mean? I think it's okay for me not to care.
I'm sorry, May. I've told you before: I just really don't care about this stuff. There's a lot of stuff in life that doesn't make sense, and much of it doesn't seem worthy of my time."

Of course it is okay for you 'not to care about certain things' !!
Stephen, it looks as though my challenge to you has been interpreted as me suggesting that you "Don't care about ANYTHING" !! That is obviously not the case. I was being specific in what I was challenging you about !!

One example of the reaction to what I said is the quote by Buddha :-


Quote:
"If a tweak cannot generate passion, why blame the person's reaction? Think about that. Perhaps Stephen had a fully appropriate response. Sometimes, "It didn't do enough to overcome the barrier between indifference and enthusiasm" is accurate.

Why would you think Stephen made such a reply?

Lack of professionalism?

Stephen seems to have loads of enthusiasm, when appropriate.

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the messenger."

I was not challenging you in a general fashion - as if you "Don't really care whether a speaker is coloured Black or Brown" and I am challenging you to 'care about everything' - which seems to be what Buddha has presumed - or that I am challenging your enthusiasm etc !!!!!!!!!!!!! I was specific in what I challenged you about.

When something which has happened, been experienced, by many people, ACTUALLY challenges conventional electronic or acoustic theories, then when someone who is within that particular field responds with "It doesn't scare me" I am really surprised. What I am saying is that when John A responds with "when something like that happens, it blows my mind", John A is showing that he understands the enormity of what has happened. 'Things' don't 'blow a person's mind' without it is significant !! To further understand the impact of something like that challenging conventional electronic theory, you only have to look again at such as Welsh Hi Fi's reaction when the suggestion was made that the sound of CDs can be improved by applying a demagnitiser to them !!! The steam could nearly be seen to be rising from his page !!!

If you don't react with "it blows my mind" or what has happened does not 'rock you back on your heels', then it seems that you don't understand what it means for conventional theory (of anything) to be so challenged !!!

Again, the cost of (whatever it is) is irrelevant. The importance is if it is challenging conventional theory, in which case the cost does not come into it !!!!

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

That reminds me, being numbed by bullshit can take the edge off someone's enthusiasm, too.

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
"The sound itself "ends" when it physically reaches the listener. Perception starts as the listener senses the sound."

And herein lies my problem in discussing 'sound' with people. YOU, Elk, have the 'sound information of Dvorak's New World' ending at the ear drum and perception starting at that point.

I have been through all this before with you (and others).

Can you understand where I am at, how I am thinking ?
Let me describe it hypothetically. Discussions about audio (sound) is like people discussing 'sound' where one group is talking about the audio information travelling through the audio equipment and wiring and being vulnerable to being affected along it's journey (by such things as capacitance, resistance, inductance, microphony, the dielectric effect, RF interference, EM interference etc.) - and calling THAT 'sound' and another group ALSO talking about 'sound' but referring to the acoustic audio information travelling from the speakers to the ear drum (also vulnerable to being affected along it's journey by the acoustic peaks and nulls in the room) !!! Either the talk continues at cross purposes, with endless arguments, or both groups (both the electronic group and the acoustic group) agree to call it ALL 'sound' - ALL audio information !!!!!!!!

So, Elk. You believe that what I call audio information (sound in our hypothetical example) stops at the ear drum and then becomes perception. Whereas I believe that the audio information continues through the ear mechanism (also vulnerable to being affected along it's journey), reaches the base of the inner and outer hair cells (deep in the inner ear) where it meets the auditory nerve, is converted to electro-chemicals for it's journey along the auditory nerve (also still vulnerable to being affected along it's journey) until it finally reaches the working memory and it is THERE, at the working memory, where perception takes place. I.e where the working memory attempts to resolve this audio information, identify it from within it's own experience and memories to then present the best 'sound picture' to the brain. To me, the audio information's journey through the hearing system (after the ear drum) is NO different to it's journey through the audio equipment and wiring !!!!!!!!!!!! To me, the ear drum is no different to a microphone diaphragm picking up acoustic information and processing that information physically along equipment !!

You see my problem, Elk. Your view sees all changes to the audio information HAVE TO BE before the ear drum. In your view, there is nothing like the equivalent of capacitance, resistance, inductance, microphony, the dielectric effect, RF interference, EM interference etc having any effect on the audio information after the ear drum. I used the words "equivalent of" before people begin to lecture me that there are no such things after the ear drum !!!

I have difficulty discussing 'sound' (audio information) and any effect on the sound (on the audio information) if people I am talking to want the 'sound' (audio information) stopping at the ear drum and nothing affecting the 'audio information' afterwards !!

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

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Quote:
"I like 4 a lot, especially in the context of Tibetan prayer bowls." (4) The bowls ring at certain ferquencies in response to acoustic stimulation and this ringing may be perceived by some as adding to the sound in such a way that it is a pleasant phenomenon).

I have no problem with people 'liking' (4). But just 'liking' is not enough in a discussion. If you 'like 4 a lot', then you have to begin to explain people's descriptions of what they hear (after such as the ART devices have been introduced into the room). It is their LISTENING experiences which we are discussing. You have to explain where what they describe hearing has come from !! I.e :-

>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<<

You suggest "by the bowls adding to the sound". Adding WHAT to the audio information of Dvorak's New World to give them:-
>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<< ????

To use my favourite tool - using letters to denote complex information. We can use letters to denote information (exactly as we do in algebra) providing we all understand what those letters mean.
Let us say that the audio information of Dvorak's New World is on the disc as information ABC onwards. They are listening to the disc on the Sunday and this information ABC onwards is in the room. They are HEARING the audio information (on the Sunday) as ABC through to JKL. On the Monday they introduce the ART devices into the room and listen and they hear 'improvements in the sound'. They suddenly describe the improvements as a mixture of or all of :-

>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<<

Are you saying, with (4) Elk, that the ART devices have ADDED further information MNO, PQR, and STU to what people heard on the Sunday for them to now describe the sound on the Monday as :-
>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<<

OR, have the ART devices allowed them to hear what had been there, in the room, all the time, on the Sunday, but they had not been aware of it fully UNTIL installing the ART devices on the Monday ???????????

Back to :-

Quote:
(4) The bowls ring at certain ferquencies in response to acoustic stimulation and this ringing may be perceived by some as adding to the sound in such a way that it is a pleasant phenomenon).

So, with (4) is it being suggested that 'the bowls ring at certain frequencies' and 'some people' perceive additional information MNO, PQR, and STU which was not there, on the original disc, but which can NOW give them :-

>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<<

Is it really just a 'pleasant' phenomenon, experienced by 'some people', or could the additional information MNO, PQR, STU have BEEN THERE, in the room, all the time on the Sunday but not being resolved correctly - until...... ??

Buddha's favourite explanation is that 'some' people NEED a 'potion'., an 'elixir'., a 'ritual', in order to help them relax, in order for them to hear what normal people can hear without such things. That some have 'certain defects in their experiences' that they may 'need'.......etc !!.

To quote Buddha from another interchange with me :-


Quote:
"Excellent analogy for 'listener directed' tweaks. Some may need them to experience what normal people already do.

Those with certain defects in their experiences may, indeed, enjoy employing tweaks that permit them the same enjoyment felt by normal listeners."

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

mark evans
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Excellent points, Orb and well-expressed.

I like your systematic approach to testing the efficacy of a tweak.

The cited paper made quite a stir when it was first published, both because it was seen as poking a bit of fun at the wine world and because it demonstrated a physiological response - not just a reported subjective change.

Audio companies have long included non-intrinsic quality aspects in their products to enhance perceived enjoyment - consider 3/4" milled faceplates. As you point out, perhaps such things change listener perception in a physiological way, even though it is based solely on faith in the product.

Along these lines, there are a number of studies that demonstrate that marketing luxury items must balance our desire for maintenance-free bullet-proof products and a belief that high-quality objects need a certain degree of special care.

Your new buffalo horn glasses frames will last forever, but will look even better and last longer (to infinity and beyond!) if rubbed with special oil every six months. (I'm not making this up.)

One of my favorites is how many Porsche owners are proud that they have never driven their car in the rain. It doesn't rain in Germany? Do they use synthetic non-rain to wash the car?

A most excellent point Elk. Well stated.

And thank you for the 'non-synthetic rain' interjection. That one made me laugh. Good one.

Mark

May Belt
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
"3) May's thought that that they affect the listener and/or listener's perception (perception = listener's experience of playback). I don't recall that she has yet had the opportunity to flesh out her thoughts on this."

Oh. Elk, where have you been these last 25 years ??? The flesh on my thoughts is in shreds - they have been out so many times.


Quote:
"As for #1, I am not aware of anything that indicates our ability to hear is impacted by the existence of microwaves - but my lack of awareness doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

Shall we leave it at 'lack of awareness' ? Instead of the wording "ability to hear (the information)", I prefer the wording "ability to resolve (the information)" !!

First of all I have a problem with your interpretation of (1). It contains an inference that microwave radiation may DIRECTLY influence our perception of sound. I also have a problem with the word 'perception' (as I have explained previously). Where exactly were YOU thinking this microwave radiation might be affecting the sound ?

My thinking is along the lines of an 'effect once removed'. I.e. There is the microwave radiation PHYSICALLY present in the room !! It is not DIRECTLY affecting us as in David L's "beaming into the brain" more just being there - (I will now be outrageously simplistic) being a PHYSICAL nuisance - and because it is nuisance - we are under tension because of it, creating PHYSICAL tension chemicals, which, in turn, affects the audio information of Dvorak's New World being conveyed along the auditory nerve. Because THAT audio information of Dvorak's New World is being conveyed along the auditory nerve by electro-chemicals (positive and negative ions) i.e just as vulnerable to being 'interfered with' as it would be if it was the audio signal being conveyed by the interconnect cable of the audio system !!!!!

Now, with this view, you don't stay ONLY with microwave radiation. You look around the modern environment and you can see an entire man made "mess" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

smejias
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
Of course it is okay for you 'not to care about certain things' !!
Stephen, it looks as though my challenge to you has been interpreted as me suggesting that you "Don't care about ANYTHING" !! That is obviously not the case. I was being specific in what I was challenging you about !!


Okay, I think what you're saying is that you are challenging my reaction to my experience with the Furutech deMag. Is that right? You feel that my reaction to the Furutech deMag is insufficient. Is that right?


Quote:
What I am saying is that when John A responds with "when something like that happens, it blows my mind", John A is showing that he understands the enormity of what has happened. 'Things' don't 'blow a person's mind' without it is significant !!


Okay, I can agree with that. But are you then saying that that which is significant to you, or to JA, should also be significant to me?

I don't expect you or anyone else to be interested in the same things I find interesting. For instance, the next Cold Cave album might be completely earth-shattering. It might just change everything about rock and roll. It might

blow
my
mind.

Into a billion little pieces.

Would you care?

Maybe I'm stretching too far. Fictional speaker company, Jersey City Hi-Fi For Stephen Mejias, invents a speaker that matches the color of my couch, fits perfectly in my living room, achieves perfect synergy with any components I bring home, reads my blog, compliments me on my hair, and gives me regular updates on the Mets. That would be pretty awesome.

Would you care?

Am I being stupid? What am I missing here?

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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Quote:
But I'm referring to sound quality only! - not enjoyment or pleasantness, and not some psycho-acoustical effect, not a psychological effect, not a subliminal effect and not some bias/placebo anomaly.

Does this mean that the sound itself is physically changed after introduction of the product?

>>>>>Yes, the sound is physically changed. Although, the word physically can be a little misleading. I am referring to the sound as observed by the listener, as processed by his ears and brain.

That is, the change will exist independently of whether there is a listener? (I appreciate this sounds pedantic. My understanding however is that May's theories are dependent upon the existence of a change in a listener's perception - not a change in the actual sound itself.)

>>>>I define sound as that which is observed by a listener. I consider the sense of hearing and the perception of sound to be synonymous. Let's not make things more complicated than they need to be.

Do you believe that the Belt devices physically change the sound independently of listener perception? (I ask as you incorporate Belt devices in some of your products.)

>>>>I believe that Belt devices as well as a couple of mine affect the sound indirectly, as opposed to such devices as resonators, isolation stands, diffusers, and Mpingo discs. However, an objective observer cannot differentiate (usually) whether the sound has been changed directly or indirectly. He simply hears the sound change. It's as simple as that.


Quote:
I take it for granted we all have the experience and listening skill to determine if a particular thingamabob or component or cable has an effect on sound quality.

Perhaps. Auditory memory is disturbingly fragile and expectation bias strong.

>>>>For some people that may very well be true. I suspect for experienced listeners that is not so true. Are you saying your auditory memory is disturbingly fragile and your expectation bias strong?

And what do you mean by "sound quality" and how do we know it is improved?

By sound quality I mean the degree to which the sound approaches our ideal of what the "ideal sound" should be. Of course, this is a very sticky wicket, also subjective, since we all have different ideas as to what is the true or ideal sound. And the "ideal" keeps changing as we improve the sound. If we surpass what we thought was very good sound, or maybe outstanding sound, our idea of "ideal sound" might very well change, no?

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Hi, May

I inquired "How do you want to use the word perception?" I asked as I understand your position to be that products such as the ART devices change a listener's perception.

In one of your posts you responded, in part,

Quote:
. . . until it finally reaches the working memory and it is THERE, at the working memory, where perception takes place. I.e where the working memory attempts to resolve this audio information, identify it from within it's own experience and memories to then present the best 'sound picture' to the brain.


This appear to be the same thing I expressed when I stated "The brain, . . . based on experience, assigns meaning to sound (is it a chord, a melody, a siren, a bird)."

Thus, when you use "perception" you are not including physical sensation or how the information gets to the brain, but just the brain's translation of the information. Correct?

Do the ART products affect "perception at the working memory?"

You also stated:

Quote:
To me, the audio information's journey through the hearing system (after the ear drum) is NO different to it's journey through the audio equipment and wiring !!!!!!!!!!!! To me, the ear drum is no different to a microphone diaphragm picking up acoustic information and processing that information physically along equipment !!

I don't think anyone disagrees with this conceptually. Much of the body functions as a electro-mechanical device, although the analogies only go so far.

I understand however that you do not call this "perception."

Do you assert that the ART products affect the body as the sounds are sensed by the ear drums and before the information gets to the brain?


Quote:
You see my problem, Elk. Your view sees all changes to the audio information HAVE TO BE before the ear drum.


This is incorrect. This has never been my position..

It is possible for audio information to be changed both before and after the eardrum. For example, by Real Traps panels before the ear drum or after the ear drum by the ingestion of alcohol which dulls sensitivity to sound, particularly to high frequencies.


Quote:
Oh. Elk, where have you been these last 25 years ??? The flesh on my thoughts is in shreds - they have been out so many times.


Your general beliefs are well publicized. However I don't think you have had a chance yet to state what your thoughts are specifically as to the Acoustic ART products. This is what I was referring to and hoping to learn.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Thanks, Geoff


Quote:
Yes, the sound is physically changed. Although, the word physically can be a little misleading. I am referring to the sound as observed by the listener, as processed by his ears and brain.


But after the ear drum, not before the ear drum - correct?

It appears you draw no distinction between what occurs between the ear drum and brain, or in the brain. All of this is "indirect."


Quote:
I believe that Belt devices as well as a couple of mine affect the sound indirectly, as opposed to such devices as resonators, isolation stands, diffusers, and Mpingo discs.


"Direct" and "indirect" effects may prove to be a useful distinction for purposes of discussion.


Quote:
However, an objective observer cannot differentiate (usually) whether the sound has been changed directly or indirectly. He simply hears the sound change.


Good point.


Quote:

Quote:
Auditory memory is disturbingly fragile and expectation bias strong.

For some people that may very well be true. I suspect for experienced listeners that is not so true. Are you saying your auditory memory is disturbingly fragile and your expectation bias strong?


I feel it varies for all of us. I agree that it is probably less of a problem for experienced listeners - practice is helpful in all things.

geoffkait
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Re: "Controversial discussions"

Quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, the sound is physically changed. Although, the word physically can be a little misleading. I am referring to the sound as observed by the listener, as processed by his ears and brain.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
But after the ear drum, not before the ear drum - correct?

It appears you draw no distinction between what occurs between the ear drum and brain, or in the brain. All of this is "indirect."

I think that one's perception of the sound, if I can be allowed to use that phrase, is a result of both the physical acoustic waves arriving at the outer ear from the speakers (the direct part) AND the conscious or unconscious interaction one's brain has with local environment, the indirect part -- can I call the subconscious component mind-matter interaction?

When one hears the sound of a system, even listening analytically, he does not separate out the direct part (acoustic wave) and the indirect part (assuming he knows there is such a thing) - it is simply whatever the sound is. We have always taken it for granted what we're hearing is the direct, acoustic wave part only. Unfortunately, that ship sailed a long time ago.

May Belt
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
"Thus, when you use "perception" you are not including physical sensation or how the information gets to the brain, but just the brain's translation of the information. Correct?"

This is going to be difficult to answer (or maybe difficult to understand).
I am of the opinion that there is a PHYSICAL effect - a (physical) change takes place to the information as it travels along the auditory nerve which, then, in turn, will affect how the working memory 'translates' that changed information !


Quote:
"Do the ART products affect "perception at the working memory?"

This is what I am suggesting could happen. Just taking the one suggestion by John A - microwave radiation. The microwave radiation is present, in the environment. The very fact that it is present in the environment causes us (human beings) to react adversely, and an adverse reaction causes tension chemicals to be produced !! Say, hypothetically, in an environment without the presence of the ART devices. Change the circumstances within the environment by introducing such as the ART devices, you change (reduce) the adverse effect somewhat, this reduces the 'tension caused', which, in turn reduces the production of the 'tension chemicals', which allows more of the "correct" information to reach the working memory. The working memory interprets the sound to now be better i.e.

>>> "Improvements such as notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, pace and rhythm, not to mention bass improvements." <<<


Quote:
"I don't think anyone disagrees with this conceptually. Much of the body functions as a electro-mechanical device, although the analogies only go so far.

I understand however that you do not call this "perception."

That is right. I call it perception only when the working memory has to resolve the musical information of Dvorak's New World. Up to that point I see the information conveyed as electro-chemicals - analogous to the audio signal conveyed by the actual audio system.


Quote:
"It is possible for audio information to be changed both before and after the eardrum. For example, by Real Traps panels before the ear drum or after the ear drum by the ingestion of alcohol which dulls sensitivity to sound, particularly to high frequencies."

And WHERE exactly do YOU suggest that the chemical influence of the alcohol can affect the 'sound' if not where the information of Dvorak's New World is ACTUALLY conveyed by electro-chemicals. I.e. The auditory nerve. Surely you have just made my point for me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The alcohol HAS TO effect the 'sound' information of Dvorak's New World SOMEWHERE !!!!!!!!!!!! - if it is going to 'dull the high frequencies', otherwise the high frequencies would get through intact !!


Quote:
"Your general beliefs are well publicized. However I don't think you have had a chance yet to state what your thoughts are specifically as to the Acoustic ART products. This is what I was referring to and hoping to learn."

If you already KNOW my general beliefs, then all you have to do is to extrapolate from those to (quite possibly) explain such as the ART devices, the Other small resonance devices mentioned, the Schumann Resonance device, applying a chemical to the label side of CDs, to the labels of LPs, to the outside insulation of cables (including AC power cables) and so on.

Regards,
May Belt,
P.W.B. Electronics.

Buddha
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:

Is it really just a 'pleasant' phenomenon, experienced by 'some people', or could the additional information MNO, PQR, STU have BEEN THERE, in the room, all the time on the Sunday but not being resolved correctly - until...... ??

Buddha's favourite explanation is that 'some' people NEED a 'potion'., an 'elixir'., a 'ritual', in order to help them relax, in order for them to hear what normal people can hear without such things. That some have 'certain defects in their experiences' that they may 'need'.......etc !!.

To quote Buddha from another interchange with me....


Quote:

May, who's to say , "More information...?"

More enjoyment does not necassarily mean that more information is present.

As for your problem with tweaks that are remedial , I can understand how this would be anathema to a salesperson.

I have asked you before, do you wear a hearing aid, or do you not require what some others require to hear what others hear without a hearing aid.

Elk
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Re: "Controversial discussions"


Quote:
I think that one's perception of the sound, if I can be allowed to use that phrase, is a result of both the physical acoustic waves arriving at the outer ear from the speakers (the direct part) AND the conscious or unconscious interaction one's brain has with local environment, the indirect part -- can I call the subconscious component mind-matter interaction?


I understand what you are saying. And using your terminology is appropriate - it's your ideas after all that we are discussing.

So what are your thoughts specifically as to what the ART products do?

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