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Poor Audiophile
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Great AWSI!!

I really like RD's article this month!
One thing I got out of it is that just because one person doesn

flatmap
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Leveler vs Sharpener

Yes, nice article.

For myself, I fall into the "Sharpener" category during system setup... until I feel that I reach a certain threshold of SQ goodness. Above this threshold I pragmatically lean much more to the "Leveler" side of the fence. I'm aware of various imperfections, but they no longer keep me from the music.

Buddha
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener

We are a hobby of sharpeners.

Levellers stop at Bose Wave radios, if that.

Aren't Snake Handlers just Christian 'sharpeners?'

Maybe Hamas are just Islam sharpeners.

The KKK? Race sharpeners.

Sharpeners, levellers...audiophilia is based on one of the two to begin with, eh?

Audio sharpeners seem to differ from other audiophiles by virtue of needing to feel even more special.

Just to be clear...

Freud is looking down at us laughing..."Sharpeners."

rmeyer52
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener

I also enjoyed the article. I have a friend who broke up with his girlfriend because she kept putting CD cases on his CD player and he would freak out.

I'm not one of those people who wants to learn to listen to music. I put on the remastered CD set of Chicago at Carnegie Hall and it blew me away and I heard things I never heard before plus I felt the energy of the show. To me that's what great hi-fi is all about

Buddha
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:
I also enjoyed the article. I have a friend who broke up with his girlfriend because she kept putting CD cases on his CD player and he would freak out.

I'm not one of those people who wants to learn to listen to music. I put on the remastered CD set of Chicago at Carnegie Hall and it blew me away and I heard things I never heard before plus I felt the energy of the show. To me that's what great hi-fi is all about

Completely fair.

As my grandpa the carpenter used to say, "Sharpener, leveller, either way you are a tool!"

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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:

As my grandpa the carpenter used to say, "Sharpener, leveller, either way you are a tool!"

Grandpa Buddha was a wise man.

Buddha
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:

Quote:

As my grandpa the carpenter used to say, "Sharpener, leveller, either way you are a tool!"

Grandpa Buddha was a wise man.

Yeah, and grandma had a take on it, too.

Sharpener = advertising/sales.

Leveller = fulfillment.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:
Yeah, and grandma had a take on it, too.

Sharpener = advertising/sales.

Leveller = fulfillment.

Grandma:

Sharpener: "Ooooooh, that's nice!"

Leveler: "Couldn't we try something different?"

bifcake
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:

Yeah, and grandma had a take on it, too.

Sharpener = advertising/sales.

Leveller = fulfillment.

Sharpener = Running moonshine through the backwoods of Georgia

Leveler = Drinking moonshine, which was ran through the backwoods of Georgia.

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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:

Quote:
Yeah, and grandma had a take on it, too.

Sharpener = advertising/sales.

Leveller = fulfillment.

Grandma:

Sharpener: "Ooooooh, that's nice!"

Leveler: "Couldn't we try something different?"

If levellers minimize or deny differences, why would a leveller ask to try something different?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener

Grandma's talking to Grandpa.

About ice cream.

bifcake
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Re: Leveler vs Sharpener


Quote:

Grandma:

Sharpener: "Ooooooh, that's nice!"

Leveler: "Couldn't we try something different?"

If levellers minimize or deny differences, why would a leveller ask to try something different?

Grandma Leveler - Missionary position

Grandpa Sharpener - Why don't we do it doggy style, so that we can both watch tv?

Robert Deutsch
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Thanks for the comments on my AWSI piece. As a fan of, and a performer in, musicals (Toronto area readers have a chance to see me in a production of "Anne of Green Gables" this spring--see http://www.marqueeproductions.ca/), I've been trying to think of songs in musicals that illustrate the Sharpener/Leveler distinction. I haven't been able to come up with a good illustration of Sharpening, but I have a couple of examples of Leveling.

In "Man of La Mancha," Aldonza sings:
"One pair of arms is like another
I don't know why or who's to blame
I'll go with you or with you're brother
It's all the same
It's all the same"

And in "Finian's Rainbow" Og sings:

"My heart's in a pickle
It's constantly fickle
And not too partickle, I fear
When I'm not near the girl I love
I love the girl I'm near"

If anyone can come up with a good example of Sharpening from a musical--or any other song--please post it.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!

"Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K."

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!

"TONY
(spoken)
Maria . . .
(sings)
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
Maria!
I've just met a girl named Maria,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.
Maria!
I've just kissed a girl named Maria,
And suddenly I've found
How wonderful a sound
Can be!
Maria!
Say it loud and there's music playing,
Say it soft and it's almost like praying.

Maria,
I'll never stop saying Maria!

The most beautiful sound I ever heard.
Maria.'

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Any song from "Little Mary Sunshine".

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Sharpening:
(Exagerated, histrionic, not accurate)

No I can't forget tomorrorow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there but then I let you go
And now it's only fair that I should let you know
What you should know

I can't live if living is without you
I can't live, I can't give any more
Can't live if living is without you
I can't give, I can't give any more

Accurate to levelling:

Woke up, got out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, i noticed i was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
Somebody spoke and i went into a dream

Slightly levelling, but for artistic affect:

Eleanor rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?

Father mckenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working. darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Eleanor rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father mckenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!

The Beatles did good levelling songs...

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine,
We talked until two and then she said, "It's time for bed"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn't it good, norwegian wood.

Bob Dylan seems to lean toward sharpening...

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears.
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand,
I got all the love, honey baby,
You can stand.

I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke.
Friends will arrive, friends will disappear,
If you want me, honey baby,
I'll be here.

Like your smile
And your fingertips
Like the way that you move your lips.
I like the cool way you look at me,
Everything about you is bringing me
Misery.

Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain't no monkey but I know what I like.
I like the way you love me strong and slow,
I'm takin' you with me, honey baby,
When I go.

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must.
You do what you must do and ya do it well,
I'll do it for you, honey baby,
Can't you tell?

_____

'Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I'll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved.
Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail,
Poisoned in the bushes an' blown out on the trail,
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Suddenly I turned around and she was standin' there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Now there's a wall between us, somethin' there's been lost
I took too much for granted, got my signals crossed.
Just to think that it all began on a long-forgotten morn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much, it's doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

I've heard newborn babies wailin' like a mournin' dove
And old men with broken teeth stranded without love.
Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn?
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an' they gave me a lethal dose.
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Well, I'm livin' in a foreign country but I'm bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor's edge, someday I'll make it mine.
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born.
"Come in," she said,
"I'll give you shelter from the storm."

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Just as a generalization, John Lennon seems to be quite the leveller.

"She was just seventeen, you know what I mean."

Perfect.

KBK
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Generalization as a form of unaware physiological self protection combined with an inherent lower empathy - is the issue itself.

Sharpening leads to and/or exists within it's own form of capacity or state of advancing self awareness.

Which is why the levelers will not engage in it. 'At Play in the Fields Of The Lord', one could say.

The rest of us have to clean their crap up.

The issue is both simple and complex, which is a point that the sharpener will 'get' but the leveler will not.

Robert was kind enough to not get into the real depth of the issue in the one page, which is frankly, not possible, as he was aware of. It is difficult, sometimes, to write a small bit that is complete enough to be relevant. It's an art. The page works and stands on it's own and says what it needs to say-without galloping off in all the the different directions it could have gone. I'm sure it took a bit of polishing to get it to that point!

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
Generalization as a form of unaware physiological self protection combined with an inherent lower empathy - is the issue itself.

Sharpening leads to and/or exists within it's own form of capacity or state of advancing self awareness.

Which is why the levelers will not engage in it.

The issue is both simple and complex, which is a point that the sharpener will 'get' but the leveler will not.

Robert was kind enough to not get into the real depth of the issue in the one page, which is frankly, not possible, as he was aware of. It is difficult, sometimes, to write a small bit that is complete enough to be relevant. It's an art. The page works and stands on it's own and says what it needs to say-without galloping off in all the the different directions it could have gone. I'm sure it took a bit of polishing to get it to that point!

I think you mistaking error for insight.

Sharpening in his example is erroneous overstatement, levelling is erroneous understatment.

Both are erroneous.

Notice he included no category for people who reported the phenomenon accuartely (correctly.)

The psychologically unaware who might need a little narcissistic charge will quickly run toward any adjective that might make them seem more special. I guess that's all to the good, but for "advancing self-awareness," it pales in comparison to actually assessing something and trying to describe things with accuracy.

Is a shaprener's need to have some special experience really what 'advances' things?

I think people miss the fact that subtle communication can be even more earthshaking than needing to be the audio Boy Who Cries Wolf.

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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
I think you mistaking error for insight.

Sharpening in his example is erroneous overstatement, levelling is erroneous understatment.

Both are erroneous.

Notice he included no category for people who reported the phenomenon accuartely (correctly.)

Exactly. This is the very definition of the false dichotomy logical fallacy. Poor job by the author.

KBK
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Of course, Buddha. I left the 120 page thesis out.

I didn't feel it was necessary.

It's down to that point about those who have capacity for balance not needing the extra bits. They read the author - as well as the text-via the text.

Those who are blind to such things, do not.

A million ways to say it.

Half my posts ARE designed to create riot in certain individuals. It is a specific directed consideration.

mmmkk?

I'm up to about 20k+ pages (standard novel word length pages estimate) of text on boards on the internet, now.

Lotsa experience with direct feedback, it is.

After 10 years of this experience, it has taught me that balance brings out no change in the psychologically recalcitrant.

However --- delicately handled and accurately applied hammers BURN.

And the thought remains - Ken is a fucking asshole.

But at least they remember. Tick, tick, tick - goes the brain.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
Both are erroneous.

We've been through this on another thread, that isn't what the article states. Do I need to repeat the post that clarifies what was said in the article vs. what you think was in the article?

You say what you care to believe, what makes you feel better about your own situation, and not what is actually in print, as we see in the next whopper of a misstatement you've latched onto and are repeating ad nauseum.


Quote:
The psychologically unaware who might need a little narcissistic charge will quickly run toward any adjective that might make them seem more special.

What bullshit!


Quote:
Generalization as a form of unaware physiological self protection combined with an inherent lower empathy - is the issue itself.

There you go, Buddha, you've been accurately diagnosed and you didn't even have to pay for it.

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Good to see you, too, Jan.

I'm sorry you can't understand the research result.

So, if you'd like to be this way, I'd be happy to start asking the question you are congenitally unbale to answer.

Robert Deutsch
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Re: Great AWSI!!

Let me try to clarify the meaning of Sharpening and Leveling as I see these processes applying to the world of audiophiles. My reference to the classic visual perception experiment, in which people were asked to reproduce an asymmetrical figure, was meant to illustrate the concepts of Sharpening and Leveling, but this experimental situation is somewhat different from the audiophile endeavor. The difference is that in the visual perception experiment the degree of asymmetry can be quantified objectively, and the person whose drawing exaggerates that difference can be shown to be in error, and so can the person whose drawing minimizes the difference. However, when we're making complex perceptual judgments, such as whether the difference in the sound of two CD players is "marginal" or "vast," there is no simple measurable objective reality (analogous to the measurement of the degree of asymmetry of a figure) that these judgments can be checked against for accuracy. If the difference to me is marginal, then it *is* marginal, and if to you it's "vast," then it *is* vast--for the person who made each judgment. As I said in the AWSI piece, "in my opinion, there is no "objective" answer--each person's perception is true *for that person*. And, again, if I may quote myself, "a problem arises when a Sharpener or a Leveler tries to persuade that one is true and the other is false." Alas, I see too many postings on the Stereophile and the Audio Asylum forums where this is exactly what

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!

If you think that's how your time is best spent on this forum, you can ask all you want and as often as you want. You aren't scaring me with some stoooopid threat, so why don't you just put this to rest?

You can't seem to understand what May and I posted about why a specific tweak might not be immediately perceived by one individual as an improvement but still be an effective tweak. The point is, if I remove the tweak, do I perceive a lowering of quality now that I am accustomed to the tweak's presence?

And still, if what the tweak improves is something not high on my priority list, I might not immmediately notice it is missing until I play a piece of music that would effectively demonstrate that particular tweak's benefits. That would still make the tweak effective but not overly important to me.

You're a diehard leveler so there's not much hope you will ever will get that idea. I'm not going to argue a point that anyone with a year's experience in audio and a willing capacity to grasp a simple topic should understand without question nor am I going to answer any question from someone who cannot be trusted with written information.

And I'm not interested in the BS you start with every thread. You make up the sort of crap you posted above and then you start getting deeper and deeper into the insults. Take it somewhere else, Buddha. If that's where you're going to head with this thread, to derail it just like so many others, then just stop now.

The article states the sharpeners overstated the amount of distortion in the figure and the levelers downplayed the amount of distortion. They both reported what they perceived. They are both correct according to their perception of the event. Neither group is in "error" of their own perception though they do not agree.

But that doesn't fit your little world of make believe where only you and those who agree with you are right, so you make up what you want to believe in spite of what is written. You've done this as long as I can rememeber on this forum. You want to make this a competition and it isn't.

No one claiming to perceive a tweak is doing so because they need "a little narcissistic charge". No one who perceives a subtle improvement in a system's sound quality "will quickly run toward any adjective that might make them seem more special".

It's you that has the problem with this because you do not percieve what others do and that bothers you. So you decide to tear down anyone who claims to hear what you do not.


Quote:
Generalization as a form of unaware physiological self protection combined with an inherent lower empathy - is the issue itself.

If you want to argue this, argue with KBK or RD. I've seen you do this dozens of times and I'm not interested in more of your BS. Go read RD's article, see what it says.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
Let me give another example of the Sharpener/Leveler distinction; this goes back to the field of visual perception, but in a way that's more analogous to the judgments made by audiophiles. I have an interest in digital photography, and I know many of you share this interest. Consider the differences in image quality between cameras. People often post images on photography web sites showing the differences in image quality between cameras or lenses Some of these differences can be quantified (e.g., resolution, measured noise), but people's judgments of the importance of these difference vary. Looking at the same images, one person (the Sharpener) will say that the difference is huge while another (the Leveler) will say it's barely noticeable. Is one right and the other wrong? I would argue that they
Jan Vigne
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Re: Great AWSI!!

In the visual perception experiment, are the sharpeners and the levelers the two groups that exist? Understanding that each group has its degrees of variation, is there another group that neither sharpens nor levels but instead plays it down the middle every time?

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
If you think that's how your time is best spent on this forum, you can ask all you want and as often as you want. You aren't scaring me with some stoooopid threat, so why don't you just put this to rest?

You can't seem to understand what May and I posted about why a specific tweak might not be immediately perceived by one individual as an improvement but still be an effective tweak. The point is, if I remove the tweak, do I perceive a lowering of quality now that I am accustomed to the tweak's presence?

And still, if what the tweak improves is something not high on my priority list, I might not immmediately notice it is missing until I play a piece of music that would effectively demonstrate that particular tweak's benefits. That would still make the tweak effective but not overly important to me.

You're a diehard leveler so there's not much hope you will ever will get that idea. I'm not going to argue a point that anyone with a year's experience in audio and a willing capacity to grasp a simple topic should understand without question nor am I going to answer any question from someone who cannot be trusted with written information.

And I'm not interested in the BS you start with every thread. You make up the sort of crap you posted above and then you start getting deeper and deeper into the insults. Take it somewhere else, Buddha. If that's where you're going to head with this thread, to derail it just like so many others, then just stop now.

The article states the sharpeners overstated the amount of distortion in the figure and the levelers downplayed the amount of distortion. They both reported what they perceived. They are both correct according to their perception of the event. Neither group is in "error" of their own perception though they do not agree.

But that doesn't fit your little world of make believe where only you and those who agree with you are right, so you make up what you want to believe in spite of what is written. You've done this as long as I can rememeber on this forum. You want to make this a competition and it isn't.

No one claiming to perceive a tweak is doing so because they need "a little narcissistic charge". No one who perceives a subtle improvement in a system's sound quality "will quickly run toward any adjective that might make them seem more special".

You do, all the time.

It's you that has the problem with this because you do not percieve what others do and that bothers you. So you decide to tear down anyone who claims to hear what you do not.


Quote:
Generalization as a form of unaware physiological self protection combined with an inherent lower empathy - is the issue itself.

If you want to argue this, argue with KBK or RD. I've seen you do this dozens of times and I'm not interested in more of your BS. Go read RD's article, see what it says.

Now you not only fail to understand why using styles of systematic error-making bode poorly for audio, you get belligerent about your inability to be a shapener when it comes to actually making a point.

In the world of sharpening, Jan, you are what we'd call hystrionic. You invent things to sharpen. Mix that in with your baseline anger, and you end up being a guy who can't discuss a tweak that didn't work for him while all those around him can - for fear of being found out.

Your embrace of being "Mr. Sharpener" seems apt, you react to everything as though its the birrest event, ever. AlexO is a worthless pile for value shopping, Ethan is a worhtless pile for measuring...although AlexO is really just a price sharpener and Ethan is a room treatment sharpener.

Be gone, Jan.

Buddha
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Re: Great AWSI!!


Quote:
As I said in the AWSI piece, "in my opinion, there is no "objective" answer--each person's perception is true *for that person*.

So, why base the article on an example with a clear objective reference?

You could choose 'prettiness' of girls, or 'loveliness' of sunshine and it would be a subjective funfest about the nuances of each.

Audio as a hobby primarily exists without such an objective reference, embracing specific types of perceptual error reporting does not seem apt.

If neither the sharpener nor the leveller can make an accurate assessment, I would prefer to buy gear made by neither.

We've seen these error based types of gear hit the market many times, and reviews reflect it. It makes for gear that may be charming at first blush, but its inappropriate exaggeration of certain aspects of the sound is not satisfying with longer exposure.

The opposite approach leads people to conclude that all gear, if properly made, sounds the same and tell us all to go buy Pioneer receivers.

I would not want to own gear made by either type of person.

Audiophiles seem to be hugging on to 'sharpening' to mean that they are capable of finding great details of nuance, outcompeting the ears of levellers; when, in fact, they, by your own definition, have taken to erroneously overreporting.

Heck, a drunk going through DT's sharpens his environment to the point he may see pink elephants, I guess you'd say his experience is 'real' for him, but he shouldn't get worked up if we don't see them, too.


Quote:

Let me give another example of the Sharpener/Leveler distinction; this goes back to the field of visual perception, but in a way that's more analogous to the judgments made by audiophiles. I have an interest in digital photography, and I know many of you share this interest. Consider the differences in image quality between cameras. People often post images on photography web sites showing the differences in image quality between cameras or lenses Some of these differences can be quantified (e.g., resolution, measured noise), but people's judgments of the importance of these difference vary. Looking at the same images, one person (the Sharpener) will say that the difference is huge while another (the Leveler) will say it's barely noticeable. Is one right and the other wrong? I would argue that they

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Be gone, Jan.

What a lovely forum you make this! How about you just grow up and let other people have an opinion that isn't the same as your's? How about you try to do one thread that isn't filled with insults? How about you try not to drive a thread into the ditch with your personal insults?


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The orginial study looked at how subjects make errors in describing objective visual items, the photo example now changes your definition to mean that sharpeners assign more importance to some differences while others do not find that same difference as being important. In this case, both are right, as it relates to their personal
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The orginial study looked at how subjects make errors in describing objective visual items, the photo example now changes your definition to mean that sharpeners assign more importance to some differences while others do not find that same difference as being important. In this case, both are right, as it relates to their personal
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As I said in the AWSI piece, "in my opinion, there is no "objective" answer--each person's perception is true *for that person*.

So, why base the article on an example with a clear objective reference?

The experiment I described is the classic one that led to the development of the concepts of Sharpening and Leveling, and I would have been remiss if I had not started by describing this experiment. But the concepts of Sharpening and Leveling do not require that there be an objectively-verifiable "correct" answer. What I tried to do in the AWSI piece is to apply these concepts to the world of audiophiles. There are some nuances and complexities that I was not able to cover in a 500-word article, but I'm satisfied that the basics are there to stimulate discussion--which at least the article appears to have done.

There is one additional point I'd like to make, and it's in response to Jan Vigne's question about whether there are two groups: Sharpeners and Levelers, with perhaps a third group that's in-between. In fact, Sharpening and Leveling are just extremes on a continuum. People are distributed throughout this continuum, so it's a matter of degree. And while some may be fairly consistently at a certain point on the continuum, that point may change with learning, and, as I said in the article, at different times you may be in a Sharpening or a Leveling *mode*. Tweaking a system requires being in the Sharpening mode, but once the tweaking is done, it's best to let it go and switch over to the Leveling mode. Or, if you must use a Sharpening approach, then apply it to the evaluation of differences in musical performance.

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Fella, we all know why you're typing really, really slow.

Priorities and trade offs are involved in, if not being the same as, perception of the event, which is what RD's article describes. The difference here being the visual perception test has an objective degree of accuracy. There is no objective degree of accuracy that can be applied to the reproduction of music. We all respond in different ways to different stimuli. That doesn't negate the sharpener and leveler concept in any way, the article is about the subjects' perceptions.

If I sharpen coherence while leveling hyper-detail, I am using priorities to establish just what I will respond to and in what manner. A system that excels at hyper-detail will not be on my radar or may even be less than desirable in some cases while a system that destroys coherence in the process of detail retrieval will be perceived as undesirable. The system does what it has been designed to accomplish but it isn't anything I find appealling. Put another listener with different priorities in the test seat and the results will very likely be different since another listener will very likely sharpen and level different priorities.


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As a consumer, I want the people who got the data correct to be the designers, not some hysterical overreporter.

As a consumer you choose which designer has priorities you agree with. If you think there are designers who are "accurate" just because you agree with their designs, then you are fooling yourself. If you have three systems in your house, they don't all sound identical. So which two are not accurate?

Every designer and every design brings with it the priorities of the person making the decisions. If you choose a component that sounds good now and then sounds bad later, you don't have your priorities straight and it's not the component or the designer you should be blaming.


Quote:
But, the stone cold inability to be accurate in one's assessments should not be worn as a badge of honor, for either side.

And once again you are just making this up to satisfy your own agenda.

Since you seem to know "accurate" so well, why not tell us exactly what accuracy is when we are discussing music reproduction? As they say, be specific.


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I know, you are some sort of competitive listener who needs to hear more than others.

No, I said this is not a competition no matter how much you try to make it into a competition. I've said it before but of course you've paid not attention to it; I don't care what you do or do not hear. It's a small group on one side of this that cares to make certain no one hears anything they cannot.

That they cannot let go of this and allow everyone to sharpen and level as they choose is one of the reasons for the constant rancor on this forum.

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That they cannot let go of this and allow everyone to sharpen and level as they choose is one of the reasons for the constant rancor on this forum.

Perfect, now if you could please combine that statment with a moment of Jan-introspection...Bingo!

Audio Detente!

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Perfect! Now answer the question, what is accuracy?

And for goodness sake try to read what's actually on the page. I've said it, Dudley has said it and RD has said it.

I don't care what you cannot hear.

So leave the insults behind and try to keep this thread on the road.

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Jan, you demanding answers?

Try providing some...

I'll go first, but then you are on the hook, lady.

Accuracy in description is providing a reproduction of the original data with minimal error. This would be true of someone trying to reproduce a visual stimulus, such as the drawing in the study, or 'reproducing;' or in our case as audiophiles, propgating the original input information with as little degredation as possible.

Accuracy is not distorting a stimulus in such a way as to exagerate or reduce the qualities of the original signal.

For these 'sharpeners,' the focus seems to be on overstating, for 'levellers' on understating.

Breaking down a hobby of people who are sharpeners by nature strikes me as ridiculous. Notice, we are now told these qualities exist along a spectrum, yet there is still no word for describing the people who performed the task 'best' - with the least amount of error. I guess that doesn't surprise anyone but me. I'm more interested in who got it right than glorifying those who got it wrong. The whole construct of shaperner and leveller is based on error, not fidelity.

____

So, the most interesting people in that study, the ones who could actually more accurately reproduce the stimulus, are left out of the equation.

I'm calling them the ones who are interested in fidelity!

________

About you equating this sharpeneing and levelling with 'priorities,' wrong again, Jan.

When we talk about our audio priorities, we are talking about acceptable/or at least tolerable trade-offs in how much loss of the original 'signal' we have to put up with. It has nothing to do whether we are sharpeners or levellers. It's about which set of compromises each of us make, and where we find those compromises least offensive.

Please, leave the sharpening BS out of that equation.

An audiophile on a budget may have to put up with less bass, but it doesn't mean he does not value it or appreciate it as much as someone with a carte blanche budget.

______

So...

According to RD's new bastardization of the terms 'sharpener' and 'leveller'....

Ethan is a keen sharpening razor when it comes to room treatmentsa and being interested in measurement. He's a total measurement sharpener.

I have made a thread about interconnects and CD players sounding different from one another, so now because I notice that I'm a sharpener? No, thanks, I'd rather be able to accurately relay the differences than be regarded as exagerating a result.

SAS Audio is a 'sharpener' about the components inside the electronics he designs. If we were to call him a 'sharpener,' then we would insulting him by insinuating that as a sharpener he is exagerating something that was present in the original signal, not being as faithful to it as possible. SAS is aiming for maximum fidelity, not sharpening the original signal and distorting it.

You, on the other hand, are a true sharpener in the sense of the original study. So much so, you are afriad to actually decsirbe your own listening experience for fear of...what?

Why the fear of telling people about your tweak experiences with Frogbelt tweaks that didn't improve your system?

OK, I tried my honest best to answer the question about accuracy. Now, your turn.

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Jan, you demanding answers?

No, I'm asking once again that you make clear what you consider to be the main point in your stance against RD's article.


Quote:
Try providing some...

No, I've provided the answer you're going to get to your prying. I've done it more than once and May has also provided an answer. You don't want to accept the answers provided but that's all you're going to get.

The difference here is what I asked is central to this discussion while the question you keep asking has nothing to do with anything. So, to your question that pertains to nothing, you've received more than a fair answer IMO.

Now how about disconnecting those jumper cables to your animosity and we get on with this thread in a civilized manner? My tweaks are a dead topic.

*****

Here are the flaws I see in your post; first, you argue only for a dictionary definition of "accuracy". Julian Hirsch would be proud. The intial problem with this point is we've all agreed there is no component that to some degree does not degrade the input signal. As RD points out this makes audiophiles very different in their subjective assessment of "accuracy" and then leaves behind only those diehards who fall back on measurements to believe accuracy can be found in a mechanical device that is being measured by another mechanical device. That is what makes this statement incorrect ...


Quote:
For these 'sharpeners,' the focus seems to be on overstating, for 'levellers' on understating.

Both sides are describing as accurately as possible their perception of the event. I don't know why you ignore the idea that neither side is wrong when perception is taken into account and our individual perception of an emotional response is all we have to deal with when discussing music - which is the purpose of an audio system.

However, going back to your dictionary definition of accuracy, what you have inadvertently or intentionally left out is that the event must be perceived by someone before anyone can assess the right or wrong of the event. That is the major flaw in your concept of accuracy, you blatantly remove the human element from the event.

That is the basis of subjective reviewing in all areas, to remove the mechanical devices which provide only simple mechanical measurements of other mechanical devices and then to rely on the human response to and the human perception of the event.

Now, if you and those on "your side" wish to ignore the human element, that is your business and you are free to do as you please I don't care what you want to do with your system. As I've said more than once, I don't know and I don't care what you cannot hear but I am not in competition with anyone over what I can hear. Despite all that the simple notion that a human must be involved in the perception of accuracy is not arguable in any case.

The point here is nothing can be done without the human element which relys on perception and priorities and that is especially accurate when we discuss the arts. The art of music is what we perceive when we sit in front of the mechanical devices that make up our system. How we respond to the music is essential in audio and the idea of high end audio is that we can remove the mechanical devices from the response and is therefore essential to the subjective assessment of a system's capacities.

Nowhere in this statement...


Quote:
Accuracy in description is providing a reproduction of the original data with minimal error.

... do I see the human element of perception being taken into account. You are describing a player piano version of accuracy. The same description of accuracy could be applied to a forger's copy of a work of art. You are ingoring the human element involved in creating art with the mechanical element involved a making copy - beyond being mechanically accurate. There is no inspiration or talent and no great emotional response involved in the creation of such accurate copies. The realization of that fact would lead most people to believe there is no true accuracy to the original event to be found in a copy unless perception by a human is not essential to your argument.

Is that what you're trying to say? If so, then I would have to conclude you are confused and have no concept of what an audio system's main purpose should be.

If that's the case, that you can remove the human element, then you really have no clear reason for posting this ...


Quote:
Accuracy is not distorting a stimulus in such a way as to exagerate or reduce the qualities of the original signal.

It is the "stimulus" that we are discussing here and not the mechanical device that reproduces that stimulus. There is no accuracy until someone perceives the event. Going back to RD's article, who is it that says what is "accurate" in the visual perception test and what response is skewed in one direction or the other? A leveler or a sharpener! After all the perception of accuracy is being judged against the perception of the tester. The curve of sharpeners and levelers only occurs against the perception of the tester who grades on the curve.

You cannot remove the human response to a perceived event.


Quote:
Breaking down a hobby of people who are sharpeners by nature strikes me as ridiculous. Notice, we are now told these qualities exist along a spectrum, yet there is still no word for describing the people who performed the task 'best' - with the least amount of error. I guess that doesn't surprise anyone but me.

There you go again, giving yourself more credit than you deserve. Of course we all understand there is a continuum of responses across the spectrum - human perception is involved. That is why I asked about the number of test subjects who consistently responded with a perceived degree of always being in the middle of the curve. Unfortunately, RD apparently didn't get the question and only said there is a continuum. I suspect, however, there is no one who is always in the middle of the curve when it comes to perceived events. As we know from the last fifty years of US history, the element of human eye witness perception is always unreliable because of the individual filters and priorities we all bring to the event. Just look at the numerous eye witness accounts to the Kennedys' killing, one the most viewed murder in all of history, to see perception at work. If filters and priorities weren't involved in the recounting of the story even when accurate images of and numerous eye witneses to the actual event are provided, we would know exactly who did the deeds, from where and how many shots were fired on those two days.

Therefore this ...


Quote:
Please, leave the sharpening BS out of that equation.

... cannot be accomplished. We have to rely on human filters and priorities to allow life to make sense to each of us individually. If there were no conservative ideas, there would be no liberal concepts as their counterpoint. If there were no religious priorities, there would be no atheists; no Jews, no Palestinian conflict; no multi-theists, no Christians.


Quote:
About you equating this sharpeneing and levelling with 'priorities,' wrong again, Jan.

When we talk about our audio priorities, we are talking about acceptable/or at least tolerable trade-offs in how much loss of the original 'signal' we have to put up with. It has nothing to do whether we are sharpeners or levellers. It's about which set of compromises each of us make, and where we find those compromises least offensive.

Please, leave the sharpening BS out of that equation.

An audiophile on a budget may have to put up with less bass, but it doesn't mean he does not value it or appreciate it as much as someone with a carte blanche budget.

No, I think what I am doing here is the same as RD's second example.

more to come ...

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When doing color measurements that need a bit more sensitivity, I keep the Gretag-Macbeth Sensor in the freezer for at least a few hours prior to using, and only have few minutes before the sensitivity goes downhill from warming. Note I did not say accuracy.

This is done, as recommended by the creator and seller of the color and contrast testbed/calibration system.

The Minolta unit used by the company involved is $28K and utilizes and active cooling system. I believe the cooling system is nitrogen based.

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Quote:


Quote:
About you equating this sharpeneing and levelling with 'priorities,' wrong again, Jan.

When we talk about our audio priorities, we are talking about acceptable/or at least tolerable trade-offs in how much loss of the original 'signal' we have to put up with. It has nothing to do whether we are sharpeners or levellers. It's about which set of compromises each of us make, and where we find those compromises least offensive.

Please, leave the sharpening BS out of that equation.

An audiophile on a budget may have to put up with less bass, but it doesn't mean he does not value it or appreciate it as much as someone with a carte blanche budget.

No, I think what I am doing here is the same as RD's second example.


Quote:
Consider the differences in image quality between cameras. People often post images on photography web sites showing the differences in image quality between cameras or lenses Some of these differences can be quantified (e.g., resolution, measured noise), but people's judgments of the importance of these difference vary. Looking at the same images, one person (the Sharpener) will say that the difference is huge while another (the Leveler) will say it's barely noticeable. Is one right and the other wrong? I would argue that they
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I'll meet half way and just put you down as an "exagerator" or "imaginator" rather than a "sharpener." Sharpeners actually describe things. You, not so much. You call yourself one, but there is no evidence because you can't even describe what you do or don't hear.

Hiding behind May's skirt like that in order to avoid talking about an audio experience. Pitiful.

At least in RD's example, the people peforming the tasks decsribed their perceptions, you can't even go that far. They were designated sharpeners or levellers based on their reports, you try to do it by proclamation.

You're the ultimate tweak leveller, Jan. No visible ability to discern at all.

You claim to have run into some that didn't improve the sound of your system, but can't discuss it.

The ultimate leveller. Nobody is gonna be able to top that.

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Well, isn't that imaginative?! Resorting to form.

You have nothing left to stand on so you post insults. "Your side" sure has this down to a form letter.

Whatja drinkin' today, guy? How long do you figure before your liver turns to stone and you can't do this any more?

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Well, isn't that imaginative?! Resorting to form.

You have nothing left to stand on so you post insults. "Your side" sure has this down to a form letter.

Whatja drinkin' today, guy? How long do you figure before your liver turns to stone and you can't do this any more?

Yes, 'my side' is about posting things I hear, or don't. Subjectivist/objectivist, it don't matter, it's talking about things we hear. You should try it, Dick Cheney.

Seriously, Jan. The experiment used people who could actually try to report their findings, one way or another. You aren't even study material!

They'd have to add an asterisk: "*There was one guy who refused to tell us what he saw. Said it was privileged information that he didn't want falling into the wrong hands. He just said, 'Put me down as the ultimate el supremo sharpener and leave it at that.'"

You can't be a sharpener, Jan. You don't meet the entry criteria.

I find it odd that would would so whole heartedly embrace a false dichomotomy like 'shaperning' and 'levelling.' Why? Maybe it's because you are a Leo.

You also seem to like 'fuzzy' vs. 'woodie.'

Why go along with that kind of stuff?

We have enough 'Muslim/Infidel' 'either/or' crap in the world to begin with, but you really seem to love to be categorized.

We'll get you a button, no...a hat! An official "Sharpener's Hat."

To be fair, for levellers, a "flat head"...

Now, stay in character and get back to not talking about your tweak experiences.

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Yes, a picture of that bizarre American predilection for/with blowing shit up with gasoline.

You two are like the fight in Blazing Saddles - You just keep breaking through into one set after another.

You two are both a pair of fairly intelligent guys.

Why not just give it up and stop trying to give each other this now obviously out of control mental equivalent of a meeting between a beating and a reacharound?

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Yes, a picture of that bizarre American predilection for/with blowing shit up with gasoline.

You two are like the fight in Blazing Saddles - You just keep breaking through into one set after another.

You two are both a pair of fairly intelligent guys.

Why not just give it up and stop trying to give each other this now obviously out of control mental equivalent of a meeting between a beating and a reacharound?

That's a good idea, I will.

Thanks, KBK.

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What? Give up the entertainment value of proving Buddha so wrong so often all he has left are sputtering insults?

That would be like missing Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage.

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And now I will fib to myself that I have fixed this little war and go play, in celebration, my copy of the extended version of Jame's Brown's 'Funky Drummer'.

Jan Vigne
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Got a link?

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It's on LP. So I will air-drum the thing for you.

I just thought of that something that the stereophile editorial/writing crew is very likely aware of but might appreciate being reminded of.

That is ..that the cross section of respondents/denizens to/of the forum in reality represent a lopsided viewing hole on the response patterns of the readership, overall.

I'm aware of it, you are aware of it, it's just that sometimes, we need reminders.

What to do with this forum data in front of you, with regards to it affecting the flow of the rag is, of course, the issue. And THAT, with regards to steering, has a lag/lead/response time that is difficult to read, at best. It's like driving a truck that has a 3-12 month delay in steering response. What a bastard to deal with - Politics would be easier! I wouldn't wish that headache on anyone. It's a complex issue at best.

For example, the comment that JA might be vexed by the fact that the readership is predominantly conservative. I don't think so.

I'd think (as a wild-ass cultural anthropologistic kind of response) that the bulk of the readership hews more closely to the center of things and keep to themselves with regards to the level of vociferous interaction in the public/forum sense.

The answer is always the same:

Go for their balls. Tickle them - Rub their nipples. That always works.

Sad but true. Then put the sheen of intellectualism on top, for those who can see it for what it is.

Wait a minute..That sounds a lot like it already is......in any given magazine with a varied readership.

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What we seem to be seeing in the CD Demagnetizing thread is something that could be called The Power Of NOT.

Those who know the world through leveling and negativity as a form of self protection and projection into the world attempt to enforce their answer as the only thing that can be visualized as an answer to a given problem.

With regards to psychological development, this is a common problem that we all have to some degree or another.

It's that same old line about where if one is a carpenter, then all problems are seen as needing a hammer to solve them. Regardless of the idea of needing to engage in both activities, sharpening and leveling.

It is sad, to me, that more people have never managed to get to the idea of a internal shift into the joy of learning.

It's a big problem, as Robert knows, and would take a bookshelf of writing across a plethora of subjects to explain it..at the same time that to the more learned folk - it can be expressed in half a sentence.

Thus the single line of:

"The Power Of NOT".

Essentially..the ruination of mankind that those who 'run' western society (and others) have pandered to as a form of a carrot.

Now it comes home to roost.

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