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May Belt
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"An even Bigger Issue"

John A:- >>> "We all now live in a bath of 2.4GHz radiation, which, coincidentally, is the frequency microwave ovens operate on. Look at the dimensions of Ted Denney's bowls: could it be that they are diffracting/reflecting that RF bath away from the listener, thus improving his state of mind and his receptivity to the music?" <<<

Ted D:- >>> "Actually John they do exhibit some rather interesting characteristics at very high frequencies." <<<

Can we stay on that theme for a bit ? Without resorting to demands for measurements, without resorting to demands for 'proof' - just a discussion around a concept ?

We have been along the OTHER, more usual routes before, at great length.
As in :-
The whole thread of "Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements or more snake oil?" extended over 39 pages. !!!

From that thread I would like to copy one reply :-
By Stephen Scharf in reply to one of Ethan's postings :-
>>> "There's more than one way to skin a cat; in this case, out of the box thinking might apply." <<<

The whole thread of "Acoustic Effects and size matters" in the Tweaks section extended over 38 pages !!

From that thread I would like to copy a few quotes to set the scene for a further discussion :-

Quote from Jan Vigne March 2008:-

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

These aren't panels that take long periods of time to install. You move them in and you move them out. It's a reasonably easy comparison. To tell someone they simply cannot be hearing what they know they are is somewhat arrogant. You are certainly free to not try them but it would seem foolish to suggest anyone who tries these tweaks is simply delusional. And, actually, what if they are as long as they are content with what they hear? We are using our collection of boxes to create an illusion in the first place." <<<

And by KBK :-
>>> "OBSERVATION.. drives science." <<<

And by Elk :-
>>> "Exactly.
Observe!
Become curious.
Investigate.
Try to quantify.
Some observations are even contradictory - photons are both waves and particulate. While hard to wrap one's mind around, this is just the way it is.
Additionally, we are still doing it and still learning! We do not know everything. We are not done in any field, including electrical circuits.
I am with you, KBK, in not understanding why this basic point is so difficult for many to comprehend." <<<

****************

John A has brought the environment in which we listen and the human being into the discussion. Can we consider a concept that there could be something PHYSICAL (as in John A's reference to "We all now live in a bath of 2.4GHz radiation, which, coincidentally, is the frequency microwave ovens operate on. Look at the dimensions of Ted Denney's bowls: could it be that they are diffracting/reflecting that RF bath away from the listener, thus improving his state of mind and his receptivity to the music?" happening in the listening environment PLUS something else PHYSICAL (as in Ted's devices, as in the Franck Tchang's Bowls, as in such as the Harmonix Discs, as in such as the Schumann Resonance device) in the listening environment which are NOT affecting the actual acoustic air pressure waves of that environment (and therefore would not produce changes in acoustic measurements) but which the human being is reacting to and that that reaction could change the 'sound' ? Please, can we stay away from the usual response of "If the human being is reacting, then it can only be because of bias, audo-suggestion, the placebo effect, imagination, audio faith healing, effective marketing, and so on" ?

It is not IMPOSSIBLE for 'something' to affect the 'sound' nor does it involve disregarding known physics or abandoning the laws of electronics and acoustics. It DOES require, though, removing the blinkers and looking around oneself - to use the common phrase "to think out of the box" !!

Taking the discussion away from the actual room acoustics, what can be regarded as the REAL sound ?
1) The information carried by the audio signal travelling through the audio system ?
2) The information presented into the room as acoustic air pressure waves by the loudspeakers ?
3) The acoustic information reaching the ear drum ?
4) The final information reaching the working memory, to be identified and resolved by the working memory in order for it to do it's job of presenting a comprehensive 'sound picture' to the brain ?

On this last point, it should be blindingly OBVIOUS that if any part of the information presented into the room by the loudspeakers does NOT (for whatever reason) reach the ear drum/hearing mechanism, then it will not reach the working memory to be dealt with, so, for the sake of starting this discussion, it is taken as 'read', between intelligent people, that certain room acoustics could have an effect on the information being carried by the acoustic air pressure waves which will arrive at the ear drum !!!!! So, yes, what reaches the ear drum, in the form of acoustic air pressure waves, IS relevant !!!

But surely, No. 4 can only be the REAL 'sound' - the final resolution of the information ???

Let me begin by putting what I will call 'some flesh on the bones of the concept'. I will resort to my usual technique of using the letters of the Alphabet to denote information. It is perfectly acceptable to use letters to denote information, exactly as we do in algebra, providing we all know what those letters mean. So, hypothetically, let us say the letters ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL refer to the information of Dvorak's New World Symphony. Having been processed by the audio system, this information is presented into the room by the loudspeakers and, let us say, reaches the ear drum intact i.e as ABC + DEF + GHI + JKL.

Now, let us move away from the information reaching the ear drum and look at the involvement of the human being in all this process.

The human being (via millions of years of evolution) is programmed to read/sense it's environment every millisecond of every second of every minute of every hour of every day of it's life and to compare each new 'reading' with the 'reading' taken immediately before and the ones before that. All this in order for the human being to be able to sign off their environment as 'safe' !!

***************

Back to the listening environment and looking at the example John A gave "We all now live in a bath of 2.4GHz radiation."

It is not so much a question of the "2.4GHz radiation" 'going through us' therefore affecting us in that way (by directly affecting the activity going on in our brain), it is just it being there, in the environment, pulsating, changing, fluctuating.
And then we have such as Ted D's devices (and such as the others I referred to). Not so much 'adding something' (in a passive situation) but reducing an already adverse effect !!! And, by reducing an already adverse effect, so allowing more of the information already available to be better identified and resolved - in other words - an "improvement in the sound"!!!!
But, a PHYSICAL effect on something which has a PHYSICAL effect on something else which has a PHYSICAL effect on something else.

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

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

So the summary of what you are saying is (presented in a non-judgmental manner):

1- traditional/mainstream acoustical treatments are acting directly on the musical waves being transmitted by the speakers and therefore providing benefit in such areas as reducing standing waves, unwanted reflections etc

2- non-traditional acoustical treatments (such as some you mention and potentially Ted's devices) are acting on such things as environmental noise that are not effectively treated by traditional/mainstream acoustical treatment

If this is the case, I think the issue some people have is where the non-traditional acoustical treatments are presented as working in a similar nature to traditional/mainstream acoustical treatments.

For example, you can go back any number of decades (or in fact millennia), to find theory and working examples of different kinds of bass absorption. In all cases, the structures used to provide this bass absorption are large in size.

So the disconnect occurs when claims are made of physically small

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Can I mention Ultra Tweeters for a second? Ultra Tweeters are add-on electronic audio devices with a slots in the front that look like mini-horns. They look for all the world like super tweeters. The Ultras are attached to the existing speaker terminals and usually placed on top of the existing speakers; if that's not convenient they can be placed anywhere in the room. Unlike Super Tweeters, the Ultras do not have to be time aligned with existing speaker drivers; the reason is the Ultras do not produce any frequencies in the audio range.

In fact, the operating frequency if the Ultras is in the microwave region, low GHz. Thus, the Ultra Tweeters are not speakers at all, they are something else. But what could that something else be? Is it merely coincidence that the Ultra Tweeters operate in the microwave region - like Franck Tchang's bowls and Synergistic's bowls? And if not a coincidence, is the mode of operation possibly the same for the bowls and the Ultra Tweeters? According to the manufacturer, the microwave frequency used for the Ultras is the resonant frequency of the atoms in air - exciting the air atoms with microwave polarizes the atoms, producing a more homogeneous medium through which acoustic waves (from the main speakers) can propagate. I.e., as with a good traffic cop, the traffic in the city travels with less congestion and less "stop and go." Looking at it another way, a powerboat gets much better performance in smooth water than it does in choppy water.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

It seems fairly obvious that listening has two easily discernible components: the listener, and everything else.
A objectivist, (like myself), focuses on the 'everything else' category. Perhaps there is an unintended narrowness there, in neglecting the listener. On the other hand, the subjectivist may well place undue emphasis on the (impossible to quantify) listener.

The arguments start when the subjective/objective person attempts to mix the categories.

I think music sounds better in a warm, well lit, and comfortable room, after a delicious meal and a glass of wine. I really don't care to say that it is because I use 0000 gauge room temperature superconductor cables to hook my speakers up, as compared to 12 gauge plain old copper.

Brass bowls, wooden volume knobs, quart crystals hanging in the proper feng shui arrangement- if you think it sounds better, it sounds better to you, by definition.

I'm not going to buy any snake oil to rub on my disks or speakers, because, also by definition, it *will not* make it sound better to me.

I don't feel like wasting a bunch of time, I just wanted to observe that there is a gulf here that will never be crossed by arguing, as neither side is talking about the same things, even though they use the same words.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
Is it merely coincidence that the Ultra Tweeters operate in the microwave region - like Franck Tchang's bowls and Synergistic's bowls?

When I asked Ted if his bowls produced headaches in humans as Franck Tchang's do, he replied his bowls do not work at the same high freq. rates as Frank's.

Better stuff - 2 beers!

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
Can I mention Ultra Tweeters for a second? Ultra Tweeters are add-on electronic audio devices with a slots in the front that look like mini-horns. They look for all the world like super tweeters. The Ultras are attached to the existing speaker terminals and usually placed on top of the existing speakers; if that's not convenient they can be placed anywhere in the room. Unlike Super Tweeters, the Ultras do not have to be time aligned with existing speaker drivers; the reason is the Ultras do not produce any frequencies in the audio range.

In fact, the operating frequency if the Ultras is in the microwave region, low GHz. Thus, the Ultra Tweeters are not speakers at all, they are something else. But what could that something else be? Is it merely coincidence that the Ultra Tweeters operate in the microwave region - like Franck Tchang's bowls and Synergistic's bowls? And if not a coincidence, is the mode of operation possibly the same for the bowls and the Ultra Tweeters? According to the manufacturer, the microwave frequency used for the Ultras is the resonant frequency of the atoms in air - exciting the air atoms with microwave polarizes the atoms, producing a more homogeneous medium through which acoustic waves (from the main speakers) can propagate. I.e., as with a good traffic cop, the traffic in the city travels with less congestion and less "stop and go." Looking at it another way, a powerboat gets much better performance in smooth water than it does in choppy water.

From the website: "Ultra Tweeters are remarkable new audio accessories from the makers of the Intelligent Chip and Magic Ring."

I thought manufacturers weren't supposed to be marketing products on the discussion forums.

That was purely an ad.

For the fun part, though, your claim about their operating frequncies should be substantiatable!

Geoff, you should remember that when you "discuss" a product you sell, the connection should be made clear.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

"From the website: "Ultra Tweeters are remarkable new audio accessories from the makers of the Intelligent Chip and Magic Ring."
I thought manufacturers weren't supposed to be marketing products on the discussion forums. That was purely an ad."

Uh, the original Intelligent Chip was not my product. Nor were the Ultra Tweeters or Magic Ring. They were made by JMSR and marketed in US by Golden Sound. I used to sell those products up until around 2007.

The New Intelligent Chip is, however, my invention and sold exclusively by Machina Dynamica since 2007. Clear, now?

"For the fun part, though, your claim about their operating frequncies should be substantiatable!"

Why on Earth would you think that?

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
From the website: "Ultra Tweeters are remarkable new audio accessories from the makers of the Intelligent Chip and Magic Ring."
I thought manufacturers weren't supposed to be marketing products on the discussion forums. That was purely an ad."

Uh, the original Intelligent Chip was not my product. Nor were the Ultra Tweeters, or Magic Ring. They were made by JSMR and marketed in US by Golden Sound. I used to sell those products up until around 2007. The New Intelligent Chip is, however, my invention and sold exclusively by Machina Dynamica since 2007.

"For the fun part, though, your claim about their operating frequencies should be substantiatable!"

Why on Earth would you think that?

I didn't, I was kidding around. As if they would actually have a measurable effect!

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

"I didn't, I was kidding around. As if they would actually have a measurable effect!"

Oh, right, I forgot. You're a skeptic.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
"I didn't, I was kidding around. As if they would actually have a measurable effect!"

Oh, right, I forgot. You're a skeptic.

No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it.

Skepticism has nothing to do with it!

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

"No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it. Skepticism has nothing to do with it!"

Now, you're just being dopey.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
"No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it. Skepticism has nothing to do with it!"

Now, you're just being dopey.

What? Did he just purchase something from you?

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it. Skepticism has nothing to do with it!"

Now, you're just being dopey.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What? Did he just purchase something from you?"

Good one Scott. Glad to see you're coming out of your shell.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
Quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it. Skepticism has nothing to do with it!"

Now, you're just being dopey.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What? Did he just purchase something from you?"

Good one Scott. Glad to see you're coming out of your shell.

I would think your customers would deserve some privacy. Why are you posting their pictures? That's just wrong.

geoffkait
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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

You sick little monkey, now cut that out!

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
Quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"No skepticism at all - I just know that if YOU provide a claim such as an object's operating frequency, it will not have anything other than your claim behind it. Skepticism has nothing to do with it!"

Now, you're just being dopey.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What? Did he just purchase something from you?"

Good one Scott. Glad to see you're coming out of your shell.

Wow, Scott!

You have Geoff all wrong. Posting pics is his method of surrender.

Also, you don't recognize the Mogul of Machina Dynamica?

Geoff is offering to blow you!

That red thing on his nose will make the sound of the Hi Fi in the room sound better, too.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Uh, oh, here come the drunk jokes. Good one, Bubbha.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


Quote:
It seems fairly obvious that listening has two easily discernible components: the listener, and everything else.
A objectivist, (like myself), focuses on the 'everything else' category. Perhaps there is an unintended narrowness there, in neglecting the listener. On the other hand, the subjectivist may well place undue emphasis on the (impossible to quantify) listener.

The arguments start when the subjective/objective person attempts to mix the categories.

The categories are always mixed. You can not have the everything else without the listener.

May Belt
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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Thank you for a reasoned, non judgmental response. Can I answer you in stages ?

>>> "If this is the case, I think the issue some people have is where the non-traditional acoustical treatments are presented as working in a similar nature to traditional/mainstream acoustical treatments." <<<

Yes, that IS one of the issues. I have given some form of explanation before as to why this could happen. Engineers are engineers and they think engineeringwise. So, (I suggest) when they initially find that 'something', quite unexpectedly changes the sound, they go through a conventional check list looking for an explanation for what has just happened. I.e :- Could it be anything to do with -
Capacitance ? Inductance ? Resistance ? Microphony ? The Dielectric effect ? Vibrations ? Electromagnetism ? RF interference ? Static ? Resonance ? and so on until they find one which 'nearly' fits (is the closest they can get to (conventionally) explaining what they have just experienced).

I have no idea HOW Ted reached an explanation for what effect his devices are having 'on the sound' just as I have no idea how the makers of the other 'resonance' devices or such as the Harmonix discs reached the explanations they have put forward (other than choosing the nearest one from the conventional check list). What I DO know of is the many other instances (from my own experiences) of how, over the years, other audio people have OBSERVED unusual things 'changing the sound', have (obviously) gone through the conventional check list, found an explanation which near enough fitted, and gone forward with that explanation.

To give a few examples. :-
Ivor Teifenbrum OBSERVED that passive speakers, when present in the listening room, had an adverse effect on the sound coming from the speakers being played. His explanation for the adverse effect on the sound was that the air pressure waves being generated by the playing speakers were, in turn, activating the cones of the other (passive) speakers in the room !! - i.e an ACOUSTIC explanation !! Our experiments, however, found that YES, Ivor's OBSERVATION was correct, but his explanation was not. When you strip down, bit by bit, the passive speakers in the room, listening with each change, until all you are left with is the drive unit MAGNET assembly (i.e NO passive speaker CONES left in the room to be activated by the generated air pressure waves), the adverse effect on the sound is STILL there !! The explanation (for the adverse effect) is NOT therefore an acoustic one !!! BUT, Ivor's original OBSERVATION was correct - that passive speakers, when present in the room, had an adverse effect on the 'sound' !!

Someone discovered that by marking the edge of a CD with the colour Green, you could gain an improvement in the sound. The OBSERVATION was correct. The explanation put forward was that the laser beam was (somehow) being refracted or reflected by colouring the edge of the CD and that was what caused the improvement in the sound. The more experiments one does (particularly using the colour Violet/Purple) one finds that one can make an identical mark with the colour Violet/Purple on the edge of a VINYL record and on the edge of the plastic case of an AUDIO TAPE and gain an identical improvement in the sound !! There is NO laser beam associated with a vinyl record and with an audio tape so the original explanation (refraction or reflection of the laser beam) no longer holds water. But the original OBSERVATION (the change in the sound of the CD) was correct !!

Nordost have a chemical which they say if applied to the label side of a CD, to the labels of vinyl records, to the outer insulation of cables, including AC power cables, you will gain an improvement in the sound. The explanation they put forward is to do with 'static'. I.e That static is having an adverse effect on the CD, on the vinyl record, on the signal travelling along a cable. Again, I am sure, an explanation plucked from a conventional check list after someone had experienced a particular chemical 'changing the sound'. But, if you apply the chemical to the outer insulation of a PASSIVE cable in the room (say a cable dangling passively from a table lamp), not connected into the AC supply, just dangling passively from the table lamp, you will get a similar improvement in the sound. But there IS no audio signal travelling along the passive table lamp cable to be affected by 'static' !! But the original OBSERVATION (the change in the sound) was correct !!

There is no reason at all why Ted or all the other people reported as having heard Ted's devices improve the sound should not be correct. I am meaning their OBSERVATIONS being correct !!

Which means, in my opinion, that if these things 'happen', if these things change the 'sound', (and they cannot be dismissed EVERY TIME as auto-suggestion, the placebo effect, imagination, audio faith healing, effective marketing) then one has to look 'out of the box' for other explanations !!

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

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

>>> "So the disconnect occurs when claims are made of physically small "non-traditional acoustical treatments " providing any degree of bass absorption, as has been discussed/presented by Ted." <<<

Yes, I understand what you are saying about bass absorption and 'things which are physically small' and how it is difficult for people to believe that such small things could have an effect on the 'sound' but I would like people to appreciate just how difficult it is for people who HAVE discovered things which can 'change the sound' to 'find a peg on which to hang' any description/explanation.

Just imagine a scenario where such as Ethan has 'treated' a room with his 'acoustic room treatments' to the best of his ability and to the best of any measurements he can take, for Ted to then introduce into that room some of his 'small devices' and improve the sound in that room even further !!!! I predict that it could happen exactly as I have described !! Then what ??? If there is 'something else' happening (changing the sound further) over and above any acoustic treatment, then what ? How is it going to be described ?

Even more bizarre. Listen to some music for some time, get used to that 'improved' sound, then remove Ted's devices and listen again. This time the sound would be described as 'worse' ! How come ? Ethan's 'acoustic room treatments' would still be in EXACTLY the same position - where they had always been throughout the listening trial, the 'measurements' would still be EXACTLY the same. Surely this result would point to 'something else going on' which can affect the 'sound' ?

Equally bizarrely. If Ethan changed the COLOUR of the material he used in his 'acoustic panels' he would change the 'sound' !!!!! - From exactly the same acoustic panel construction giving exactly the same measurements !!!

Equally bizarrely. If Ethan applied a specific CHEMICAL to his 'acoustic panels' he would change the 'sound' !! - From exactly the same acoustic panel construction, in exactly the same position in the room, giving exactly the same measurements !

NOW. FURTHER.. Exactly the same thing would happen with Ted's 'small devices'. With Ted's 'small devices' in the room, if he applied a particular COLOUR to them, he would change the 'sound'. If he applied a specific CHEMICAL to them, he would change the 'sound' !!!!!!!!!!!!

If people choose to stay rigidly with the traditional way of looking at audio and 'sound' i.e that ONLY changes in the audio signal travelling through the audio equipment and changes in the acoustic air pressure waves can change the sound, then further understanding will not be possible - for them !!

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

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

>>> "Putting aside the case for supplying supporting evidence, I think these discussions become nasty because the basic theory of why these physically small "non-traditional acoustical treatments " act the way they do, at the frequencies they do, is not presented." <<<

Your expression "act the way they do, at the frequencies they do" is actually putting on the 'blinkers' by limiting the thought process purely to 'frequencies'. Frequency (any frequency) may not be anything to do with how the "physically small non-traditional acoustical treatments" are affecting the 'sound' !! THAT is why I started this particular thread !!

The magnets in the Ivor Tiefenbrum story (including, I might add small magnets in the room) have no specific frequency involvement !!
The colouring of the edge of CDs etc has no specific frequency involvement !!
The chemical in the Nordost story has no specific frequency involvement !!

And yet ALL the techniques give a similar descriptive improvement in the 'sound' !!

The common denominator is that they are all present in the listening environment !!

I used John A's specific comments "We all now live in a bath of 2.4GHz radiation" and John A making the reference - "could it affect the way people listen ?" as an example of John bringing into the discussion what is happening in the environment. But John A could just as easily have said "We all now live in a bath of electronic smog" and him making the comment - "could it affect the way people listen ?" (not especially referring to ANY specific frequency) !!

Is it the human being who has the sensitivity to the devices, far more than any measuring instrument's sensitivity ? I think, to get any greater understanding we have to start at the OBSERVATIONS and work backwards - not start at the conventional electronic and acoustic theories and try to explain from within them !! If the explanations WERE within the conventional electronic and acoustic theories, then there would be NO controversies surrounding the devices !!

If the explanations were within the conventional electronic and acoustic theories, then John A would never need to say :-
>>> "There are things that boggle my mind in High End audio. There are things that I would like to think I understand (from a technical and engineering point of view) and then something happens which literally blows my mind and it doesn't fit the world view. " <<<
And :-
>>> "Something is happening with the ART devices: either they affect the listener or they affect the room's acoustics. I have suspected the former; Ted's measurements suggest the latter." <<<

Under the thread "Existing Proof for the Synergistic Research Acoustic ART System"
Lecteur Lumi

May Belt
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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

MJ Frog is right, "The categories are always mixed. You can not have the 'everything else' without the listener."

It is a question of what percentage of importance any individual wishes to apportion to which category.

>>> "The arguments start when the subjective/objective person attempts to mix the categories." <<<

Yes, this IS where the arguments start but subjectivism AND objectivism ARE mixed - they cannot be separated !!! The usual division occurs when people, heavily leaning on the objective side, IMPLY that skilled audio engineers always provide measurement proof or technical descriptions regarding their work and therefore all that can be relied upon to be 'delivering' more certainty !! Nothing in your 'posting' Jim gives the impression that you understand that SO many skilled audio engineers (who in your category would be 'objectivists') both follow and (sometimes) recommend what are generally regarded as 'tweaks'. I.e things from the 'subjective' area with no explanation from within conventional electronic or acoustic theories !!

To give one example.
Such as Naim would be generally regarded as extremely technically knowledgeable and under your comment "A objectivist, (like myself), focuses on the 'everything else' category." would come under the 'everything else' category. But Naim also know that a particular cable 'sounds' better when connected a specific way round in the audio system - so they mark arrows on their cable to denote which way it should be connected for the best 'sound' results !!!

>>> "I think music sounds better in a warm, well lit, and comfortable room, after a delicious meal and a glass of wine. I really don't care to say that it is because I use 0000 gauge room temperature superconductor cables to hook my speakers up, as compared to 12 gauge plain old copper." <<<

So, Jim, if you were an audio equipment manufacturer such as Naim would you just supply Naim Hi Fi equipment and keep quiet about the directionality of certain cables (your comment "I really don't care to say") - knowing what would allow yours (or anyone elses) equipment to 'sound' better i.e. for people to get better enjoyment from listening to music (because that is what it is all about in the end !!!) or would you describe to people what you had discovered (heard) ?

You may argue that there could be a technical reason as to why a cable could 'sound' better when connected a certain way round so the example I give could fit into the 'objective world'. If so there should not still be an ongoing controversy surrounding different wires 'sounding' different - which to my knowledge has been going on for the past 30 years !!

And, Jim, how many audio equipment manufacturers do you know who have PUBLICLY disclosed that they 'freeze' their equipment ??? Not, I might add, 'freezing' their equipment because of any technical reason or measurement reason but because it 'sound's' better !!

>>> "I'm not going to buy any snake oil to rub on my disks or speakers, because, also by definition, it *will not* make it sound better to me." <<<

That comment means that you have no idea which audio equipment manufacturers have applied so called 'snake oil' to the various audio equipment (INCLUDING speakers !!!) they have provided for review purposes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, Jim, YOU might not 'rub snake oil' on YOUR speakers but others certainly DO !!!

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

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


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Your expression "act the way they do, at the frequencies they do" is actually putting on the 'blinkers' by limiting the thought process purely to 'frequencies'.

While I dont not have the energy to find Ted's exact quote(s) in the previous thread, he on several occasions made reference to his various devices acting at specific frequencies. And he in fact calls one of the devices a "bass station", implying that it works at the bass frequencies.

So I am not being blinkered.

In terms of your responses, can I conclude that when an observation (say the passive speakers in the room or edge colouring working on many types of media) shows that the obvious reasons for the affect are discredited and that leads to no explanation... then we just accept it as a new Phenomena that cannot be explained (or potentially measured)?

In my opinion, you dont need to be a die-hard objectivist to want an explanation. Its just human nature to want to understand how and why.

So we end up with these outcomes:

(1) an explanation is provided why said device works but its affects cant be measured

(2) an explanation is not provided why said device works but its affects can be measured

(3) an explanation is not provided why said device works and its affects cant be measured

For most people, based on human nature, can live with (2) but not (1) or (3).

We have at our disposal all types of measuring equipment from many different scientific disciplines. We can measure all types of changes (thermal, electromagnetic, radioactivity, sound pressure etc) at very small degrees of resolution so it must be possible for (1) and (3) to use these different measuring techniques to arrive at a reason

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


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there should be money available to measure how they affect our perception of sound reproduction.

I have commsioned an investigation of the Synergistic ART devices from an independent engineer, to be published in Stereophile next spring.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

May Belt
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>>> "can I conclude that when an observation (say the passive speakers in the room or edge colouring working on many types of media) shows that the obvious reasons for the affect are discredited and that leads to no explanation... then we just accept it as a new Phenomena that cannot be explained (or potentially measured)?" <<<

No. That is not the conclusion I was suggesting. If the obvious reasons for the effect are discredited, then one has to SEARCH for another explanation - and search and search and search !! I did NOT say just accept it as a new Phenomena !!! THAT is why discussions take place, to try to look for answers !!

>>> "In my opinion, you dont need to be a die-hard objectivist to want an explanation. Its just human nature to want to understand how and why." <<<

OF COURSE one wants an explanation. Nothing to do with being a die-hard objectivist.

Your (1), (2) and (3) are too narrow. What I was outlining was :-
(4) An observation happened. An explanation was given but, on further investigation, that explanation no longer holds water. So, one is still left with the original observation but now with no explanation. One is STILL searching for an explanation/s !!!

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

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Below is a reply given by you, Geoff, in a separate 'thread' but which I think is just as appropriate for this 'thread' about "An even Bigger Issue" - the issue of searching for explanations !!

>>> "It's quite humorous that "skeptics" constantly whine for explanations for audio devices, or dismiss them out of hand, yet are never able to figure them out for themselves. Looks like the whining will continue. Oh, sweet mystery of life" <<<

Could it be, Geoff, that they (the sceptics) do not WANT to figure things out for themselves rather than are unable to ?? Anyone WANTING to can surely figure things out much further ? I have tried to open up the subject for a more extensive (far reaching) discussion on this particular thread.

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

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"Below is a reply given by you, Geoff, in a separate 'thread' but which I think is just as appropriate for this 'thread' about "An even Bigger Issue" - the issue of searching for explanations !!

>>> "It's quite humorous that "skeptics" constantly whine for explanations for audio devices, or dismiss them out of hand, yet are never able to figure them out for themselves. Looks like the whining will continue. Oh, sweet mystery of life" <<<

Could it be, Geoff, that they (the sceptics) do not WANT to figure things out for themselves rather than are unable to ?? Anyone WANTING to can surely figure things out much further ? I have tried to open up the subject for a more extensive (far reaching) discussion on this particular thread."

May, excellent point, and one I overlooked. If I were to make a list of reasons why "skeptics" continually make demands for proof and explanations, dismiss or trivialize controversial audio devices ("it is too small," "it disobeys the laws of science" or "it is the placebo effect in full bloom"), dismiss actual experience, shrug off new or unfamiliar concepts, dismiss listening tests while promoting DBTs as the only path to the truth, ridicule audiophiles while pretending to be audiophiles themselves and ferociously embrace the status quo, then I'd certainly include, "they don't want to figure things out for themselves."

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


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Below is a reply given by you, Geoff, in a separate 'thread' but which I think is just as appropriate for this 'thread' about "An even Bigger Issue" - the issue of searching for explanations !!

>>> "It's quite humorous that "skeptics" constantly whine for explanations for audio devices, or dismiss them out of hand, yet are never able to figure them out for themselves. Looks like the whining will continue. Oh, sweet mystery of life" <<<

Could it be, Geoff, that they (the sceptics) do not WANT to figure things out for themselves rather than are unable to ?? Anyone WANTING to can surely figure things out much further ?

It's a good point, and in all of my experiences in dealing with skeptics, there is only one conclusion that I can make. They do not WANT to figure anything out for themselves. Every time a product or idea in audio does not appear to be right in the core of whatever is accepted among them, a new example of this is created. The latest example was the S-Art devices. Who among the skeptics said he was willing to try it? After some teeth pulling, I only heard Scott finally agreeing to it (but we never heard the result of that?). Every skeptic dismissed out of hand the positive reviews on the products, while waiting to dismiss the objective evidence. But while no one was prevented from listening to the products themselves, no skeptic took it upon themselves to do so. Same pattern repeated with the Furutech controversy. No skeptic accepted the empirical evidence. Which would be understandable, were it not for the fact that no skeptic took it upon themselves to actually test the product they had generated so much controversy over. I did at the Montreal show, but that didn't count, because I didn't take the position of a hard line skeptic!

The odd thing about all of this, is that skeptics maintain the reason they dismiss such products or concepts out of hand, is because they respect rules of science. Which is false, because dismissing such things without observation is decidedly -not- scientific, and respectful of the scientific method. It is in fact impossible to advance science and technology with the position adopted by so called "objectivist" internet audio skeptics. The very idea that a new product submitted for consideration by audiophiles has to come with its own peer-reviewed citations in an audio or science journal, and seal of approval from the desk of James Randi, does no service to our hobby. I believe that if the chat forum skeptics had a sincere interest in the science of audio, they would be doing a lot more listening, and a -lot- less chattering.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


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"Below is a reply given by you, Geoff, in a separate 'thread' but which I think is just as appropriate for this 'thread' about "An even Bigger Issue" - the issue of searching for explanations !!

>>> "It's quite humorous that "skeptics" constantly whine for explanations for audio devices, or dismiss them out of hand, yet are never able to figure them out for themselves. Looks like the whining will continue. Oh, sweet mystery of life" <<<

Could it be, Geoff, that they (the sceptics) do not WANT to figure things out for themselves rather than are unable to ?? Anyone WANTING to can surely figure things out much further ? I have tried to open up the subject for a more extensive (far reaching) discussion on this particular thread."
May, excellent point, and one I overlooked. If I were to make a list of reasons why "skeptics" continually make demands for proof and explanations, dismiss or trivialize controversial audio devices ("it is too small," "it disobeys the laws of science" or "it is the placebo effect in full bloom"), dismiss actual experience, shrug off new or unfamiliar concepts, dismiss listening tests while promoting DBTs as the only path to the truth, ridicule audiophiles while pretending to be audiophiles themselves and ferociously embrace the status quo, then I'd certainly include, "they don't want to figure things out for themselves."

I do not think it appropriate to accuse skeptics as not interested in figuring things out. One has to look at where the bases of these objections come from. For example, the reasons of this device's small size and does not obey scientific principles may be valid criticisms.

I have not seen or tried these devices. But from the discussions, I'd guess the size as in the ballpark of between 1 to 12 inches. If so, 12 inches is the wavelength of 1000 Hz frequency sound wave, and 1 inch is 12000 Hz. For it to affect bass, according to scientific principles, is a *very* small contribution than its effect on mids to treble frequencies. It is possible that the overtones of a bass signal may be affected and maybe that is what is audible. But the statement of these devices affecting bass frequencies is not entirely correct.

As for May: The above may illustrate a difference in thought. If the skeptics are asking for explanation of how the small devices affect bass frequencies, you can see the they're 'right' in asking. If the effect is on high overtones of the bass signal, and that is what people heard, then the listeners are also 'right', attributing to the effect on bass when the bass frequency may not be affected at all!

As for the reference to DBT as the final end-all, it's not, because it is one of many tools for evaluation. If a manufaturer makes extraordinary claims, one has to eliminate possible explanations, one of which is listener bias, which DBT is one way to do so. Just because one uses this valid test does not invalidate its use or speak to the motive of its proponents. It has its place, like many other techniques.

Because of the animosity in the threads related to this topic, real information is being lost. I don't recall who suggested this, but I agree with them - Let Ted have his 'day in court' and show what his devices do or do not do with evidence he has promised from a third party. I'm willing to look at that and then form some opinions, or more questions.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

If it weren't for skeptics, we'd all still be worshipping Anu and thinking thunder happened because the gods were angry.

Substitute "Tiamat" for any of the myriad subjectivists' worlds of belief and their 'theories' would remain the same. They fear and loathe skepticism for a reason, it will expose them.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

what does U2 have to do with this

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"I do not think it appropriate to accuse skeptics as not interested in figuring things out."

Oh, please! Don't you know the difference between real skeptics (the ones you never see) and the "skeptics" I am referring to? You know, ones you actually run into on these threads, the ones who don't have the experience to back up their arguments, the ones don't have any interest in actually getting to the bottom of things but who do have an interest in constructing elaborate "arguments" in order to defend "scientific principles" or the conventional wisdom."

"One has to look at where the bases of these objections come from. For example, the reasons of this device's small size and does not obey scientific principles may be valid criticisms."

So, they're just too small - that's your objection?! Geez, here we go again. Very small audio devices never fail to upset the delicate sensibilities of "skeptics."

"I have not seen or tried these devices."

Hint: That admission doesn't exactly bolster your case. You might try Zen and the Art of Debunkery for some excellent ideas how to present your arguments more effectively.

"But from the discussions, I'd guess the size as in the ballpark of between 1 to 12 inches."

If you had seen them, you'd know that 12 inches is an extremely lousy guess.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

Crop circles are cool. Does U2 really make crop circles?

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Crop circles are cool. Does U2 really make crop circles?

To not believe U2 makes crop circles would require skepticism.

May likes to quote Ivor: If you have not inspected a given crop circle personally, then you have no opinion on it.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

"To not believe U2 makes crop circles would require skepticism.
May likes to quote Ivor: If you have not inspected a given crop circle personally, then you have no opinion on it."

While most crop circles are real, obviously, many skeptics are up in arms, proclaiming this one's a fake.

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"

>>> "If the skeptics are asking for explanation of how the small devices affect bass frequencies, you can see the they're 'right' in asking." <<<

Of course sceptics are "right" in asking questions. Whoever said they should NOT ??? Certainly not me !! I would also consider myself a sceptic and I ask questions right, left and centre !!

>>> "I do not think it appropriate to accuse skeptics as not interested in figuring things out. One has to look at where the bases of these objections come from. For example, the reasons of this device's small size and does not obey scientific principles may be valid criticisms." <<<

There are sceptics and there are sceptics !! ALL are asking for explanations, many will criticise but only SOME are interested in trying to figure things out further.

>>> "If the effect is on high overtones of the bass signal, and that is what people heard, then the listeners are also 'right', attributing to the effect on bass when the bass frequency may not be affected at all!" <<<

This is what I am meaning by my phrasing "interested in trying to figure things out further".
Your reply is staying solely in the area of acoustic effect (the SIZE of the devices under discussion) and various frequencies.
Supposing the 'listeners' are attributing the effect to be on the acoustics of the room when the acoustics of the room may not be affected at all ?? Supposing the 'listeners' are attributing the effect to be to do with specific frequencies when the frequencies may not be affected at all ?? Then what ?? Would you then conclude that, therefore, the devices are not working at all - in the face of so many people reporting 'hearing' them give improvements in the sound ?? Or, would you continue exploring, searching for other explanations ? THIS is what I mean by "many people are perfectly ABLE (intellectually) to figure things out further if they want to" and "some people are able to but don't WANT to" !!!

Let me choose two people as examples of what I mean. Not to 'pick on them' but because they have been quite vocal in their views and because they represent an attitude shared by so many people.

I think one of the basic problems is evidenced by both Scott's responses over many weeks of the different discussions taking place and by Ethan's responses.
When both are faced with hundreds (probably thousands worldwide - over these past 30 years) of reports of 'observations' of the effects - 'on the sound' - of various so called 'tweaks'- in Scott's case if he cannot understand what and why people are describing what they have experienced he resorts to arguing that, therefore, it MUST be because of 'bias' or he wants proof, proof and yet more proof for what they are describing. Why can't Scott just think, think and think some more to try to understand what other people are experiencing ?

In Ethan's case, if he personally has not had the experience (of things changing the 'sound') which others are describing (and have been describing for quite a number of years now) then he resorts to dismissing the 'things' as 'bullshit, as 'fraud', and people's experiences as 'the placebo effect', as 'imagination'.

Lecteur Lumi

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Re: "An even Bigger Issue"


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"To not believe U2 makes crop circles would require skepticism.
May likes to quote Ivor: If you have not inspected a given crop circle personally, then you have no opinion on it."

While most crop circles are real, obviously, many skeptics are up in arms, proclaiming this one's a fake.

Of course most of them are real. CGI is expensive. Boards and rope are cheap. IMO they are highly under rated as the conceptual works of art they truly are. maybe they became to aesthetic in th end.

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>>>This is what I am meaning by my phrasing "interested in trying to figure things out further".
Your reply is staying solely in the area of acoustic effect (the SIZE of the devices under discussion) and various frequencies.
Supposing the 'listeners' are attributing the effect to be on the acoustics of the room when the acoustics of the room may not be affected at all ?? Supposing the 'listeners' are attributing the effect to be to do with specific frequencies when the frequencies may not be affected at all ?? Then what ?? Would you then conclude that, therefore, the devices are not working at all - in the face of so many people reporting 'hearing' them give improvements in the sound ?? Or, would you continue exploring, searching for other explanations ? THIS is what I mean by "many people are perfectly ABLE (intellectually) to figure things out further if they want to" and "some people are able to but don't WANT to" !!!

Lets take the case of Ted's products. If one were to really want to know why people are percieving a difference it would be simple. We have three distinct possibilities here. 1. They are having an audible affect on the room acoustics. 2. They are having an affect on listener bias.
3. something completely out of the ordinary.
since we know how to check for 1 and 2 and they are the two leading candidates it would make sense to eliminate those before moving on to mysterious cause and effect. JA has commissioned some tests that will tell us something about number 1. It would be pretty simple to do a test for bias to eliminate number 2. So if I were going to investigate that would be my approach.


Quote:
Let me choose two people as examples of what I mean. Not to 'pick on them' but because they have been quite vocal in their views and because they represent an attitude shared by so many people.

I don't mind you "picking on me" May but I do get a bit annoyed when you misrepresent my views despite having explained them to you numerous times. Given that you are grouping me with Ethan you are already off on the wrong foot. Ethan and I disagree on many things in audio.


Quote:

I think one of the basic problems is evidenced by both Scott's responses over many weeks of the different discussions taking place and by Ethan's responses.
When both are faced with hundreds (probably thousands worldwide - over these past 30 years) of reports of 'observations' of the effects - 'on the sound' - of various so called 'tweaks'- in Scott's case if he cannot understand what and why people are describing what they have experienced he resorts to arguing that, therefore, it MUST be because of 'bias' or he wants proof, proof and yet more proof for what they are describing.

May please don't tell lies to support your position. everything you just said about me is plainly not true and since that has been explained to you numerous times I can't just say oops you made a mistake. Please don't tell any more lies about me or my beliefs on audio.


Quote:
Why can't Scott just think, think and think some more to try to understand what other people are experiencing ?

Why can't May just tell the truth when trying to make a point? why must she resort to telling lies?

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