the work of Karl Popper.
I had to chuckle . Audiophiles , " they cultivate a distinctive vocabulary and set of attitudes " , who can argue with the attitude part ?
Or is musicality a certain way of falling short of accuracy, a fortunate sonic adulteration? The former alternative renders the ‘musical’/‘revealing’ distinction otiose; the latter pits two types of audio excellence against each other."
The above is the most important part of the whole paper (in my opinon).
It is a long winded way of saying if the recording/reproduction chain were perfect and an original musical event could be reproduced with 100% fidelity in our homes then the two sides would have nothing to fight about.
The fact that the recording/reproduction chain fail by a long way to recreate the original musical event means the debate will go on forever.
Some of the most natural recordings I have were made during the 50's ad 60's with a couple tube mics, minimalist cabling and a 2 track recorder. Minimalism seems to add a certain purity to the sound, when engineered by someone who knows what their doing. In some cases technology takes over and the human factor winds up sitting in the back of the bus wondering what happened:O)
Geez, what's next, a glimpse into the minds of model railroad builders?
In over 40 years as an audiophile, I have never met any audiophile who judges sound quality by only using measurements.
"Meter readers" is just silly name calling.
Objective audiophile would be a better name.
The term "Golden Ear" is not silly, however, because it accurately describes audiophiles who claim that every, or nearly every, electronic component and wire, sounds different.
For audiophiles who believe "I know what I hear, and coudn't be wrong", I prefer the term Fantasy Audiophile, because these audiophiles usually claim to "have" hearing abilities SO MUCH better than hearing abilities that have been demonstrated publicly to witnesses in three decades of blind auditions, that their beliefs seem to be a fantasy.
I have no problem with Fantasy Audio and Fantasy Audiophiles.
I suspect their main hobby is collecting audio equipment.
My hobby is collecting and listening to recorded music.
I believe it's impossible to fully enjoy recorded music if you divert your attention to "sound quality".
It's possible to listen to music ... or listen to sound quality ... but when you try to do both at the same time, you risk not doing either as well as you could.
In my opinion, the best way to make a stereo sound better is to focus on the music, and forget about the "sound quality" for a while -- the stereo is good enough for today.
For some reason I suspect the thought that 'my stereo is good enough' will taken by Fantasy Audiophiles as an anti-audio rant
Fantasy Audiophiles can be very sensitive, you know.
Richard BassNut Greene
Bingham Farms, Michigan
when you write: "I believe it's impossible to fully enjoy recorded music if you divert your attention to "sound quality"."
I think I get your point in general, but better sound reproduction is what gets me closer emotionally to the music. I enjoy hearing music I like in my car, but it is not the same emotional experience as listening at home through better equipment. Not that I have expensive equipment, I just took care in setting things up well.
But hearing Paul sound like Paul when playing the 24 bit Beatle tracks or the 24/96 Band on the Run tracks makes a real difference in my emotional responses. I smile bigger listening to Bluebird at higher res. It touches my soul more.
Now, it does not when I am trying to figure out how much to toe in a speaker or such, so I agree with that part of your point. But in general, it is better sound that makes me closer to the music. I bet it does for you too.
I just have to note that the auditory features that "make Paul sound like Paul" are very much overt features that are well over the threshold of audibility, and things that are not terribly prone to being destroyed by system impairments that are actually quite enormous.
Noise in the listening room, however, is another story. If you have a 50dB noise floor, like a lot of offices, etc, you can't hear (bleep).
I find that when listening to music, I can enjoy music on my car radio, assuming I'm not going too fast and I can hear the music, even if it is compressed to (expletive deleted).
BUT when I want to hear GOOD music played well, now I have to sit down in front of those large loudspeakers, relax, and listen.
It's a different kind of enjoyment.
Finally, when I'm listening to audio quality, I am often listening to music I may not like, but that will help expose particular problems or issues with the audio quality, the playback system, or whatever.
Finally, I've listened to MP3/AAC/etc algorithms so much for so long I don't lilsten to them at all. I'm far, far too trained on the artifacts, and I can't ignore them any more. So I don't try. Lossless is the way to go. Oh, and lossless is lossless, if you hear a difference in two lossless codecs that are in fact both lossless, your hardware is fubar.
I like car stereo too. In fact I like car stereo a lot. When you think about it, there are at least a few reasons why a humble car stereo might sound better than a lot of home set-ups in certain respects.
We do Artifical Atoms Right
Only if you fill the glovebox with brilliant pebbles.
Pretty funny, Audio Circle wise.
We do Artifical Atoms Right
Oh come on now Geoff....that's even funny here. But thanks for googling my handle...ouch, that sounds sexual in a perverted sort of way.
Makes sense you would take it that way.
Now THAT hurts.