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Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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"Perception is all" or "Perception is ultimately biased". If you believe the former, you can be happy. If you believe the latter, it would appear you can never be content as there will always be another "battle" in which to engage.

This is yet another false dichotomy. I believe both to be true.

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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It does sound as though you are a "one answer is all I will accept" researcher. I guess the important thing would be whether you've already decided what that answer is supposed to be.

I don't really know what you are trying to say about me here. But let me be very clear. I am actually quite comfortable with no answer. That means I feel no need to make one up in the absense of one. I have no problem with finding "answers" that run contrary to my expectations. that's called learning. I have no problem not knowing what the Furtech is or is not actually doing. I don't *need* to draw hasty conclusions just cause I gotta have the answer right now.


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My charge was very clear. That was her dichotomy was both false and ignored the possibility of bias effects. If that actual charge is wrong feel free to show me where she acknowledged the possibility of bias effects in the actual post for which I took May to task


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Do your research, Scott. Most of us here do not insist every member repeat each and every detail of their life story with each post in order to be taken seriously. Particularly when the research is so easily found.

Look, May's post speaks for itself. I find it disingenuous to say that some how I should have found something in her life story to add something to make her post somehow any less ridiculous. Here it is. here is what May said.
"I would like to change YOUR definition of the two groups - more to how I see it.

There is Group A. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have experienced things, changing sound, which cannot be explained from within those conventional theories.
Things such as applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs.
Things such as applying colour to the edge of CDs.
Things such as cryogenically freezing CDs.
Things such as applying a chemical to the LABEL side of CDs, to the LABELS of LPs, to the outer insulation of cables.
Things such as different cables giving different sounds.

There is Group B. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustic theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have NOT experienced those same things inexplicably change the sound."

Sorry, I don't need to look up anything about May's life story to assert that *this claim* clearly denies the *possibility* of bias effects as a cause. The fact is this following excerpt "Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have experienced things, changing sound, which cannot be explained from within those conventional theories." Is a clear denial of the fact that bias effects *is* a reality that very well *can* explain all of the above. So she is either in denial or asserting from a position that is utterly ignorant of peer reviewed published psychoacoustics. that would hardly qualify her to speak about the experiences of people who allegedly "KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories " Anyone, anyone who is well versed in these matters ought to know that bias effects is a *possible* explination for that which May asserts has *no* explination.


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The only research anyone needs to do in regards to my assertions would be to review the actual content of May's post. The one that I charged created a false dichotomy. My only assertion at that point was that *the post* asserted a false dichotomy and ignored the *possibility* that bias effects were in play.


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Gee, where have I heard that before?

Oh, yeah, in the sentence you posted just before this one.

Saying it once is sufficient, Scott.

It seems to me that it is not. So now I have spelled it out as clearly as I can with direct references to May's actual assertion and the specific problems I have with her assertions. Hopefully that will do the trick.


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And please understand that I actually haver a great deal of respect for real science. I am not one to give anecdotal evidence any more or less creedence than it warrents.


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Then I would have expected you to find the BS jj posted absolutely infuriating.

I think I have called him on all the B.S. I have noticed on this thread.


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But you cannot expect each one of us to repeat our entire life's work with each post.

I don't. But May's post didn't need any such life's work added. Her post clearly speaks for itself and I called her on it.


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We live with perceptions and accept them and our opinions about them at face value on a daily basis. I am fine with that.


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Appparently you are also fine with believing jj is a "real" scientist, audiophiles are to blame for the current state of the world and that you did resort to name calling.

Huh? How do you draw such wild conclusions? Where have I commented on JJ's status as a scientist? Where did I do any name calling? I don't know where this is coming from.


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Those folks also need to come to grips with any number of other basic truths of science, such as it aint real science if there is no peer review.


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Did jj offer any such proof?

Proof of what exactly?


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You asked jj several questions. How many answers did you receive?

If I ask a pointed question of JJ and he fails to answer it... Seems we kinda got the answer, no?


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Lastly, it matters not how many reviewers were involved or how "respected" any of them are. I am not impressed by any arguments by authority.
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Then you should have been tougher on jj. Asking jj a question or show proof is like asking a river to stand still.

I don't see that I have been any tougher or less so on anyone in particular. I don't see any need to change that.


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I have done tons of research.


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Then you'll have to get more aggressive on this forum than, "Show me". And you should have done your research before you began with your "dichotomy" and ignorance charges against May.

"Show me?" who are you quoting and in what context? I stand by my charges about May's assertion. Hopefully everyone interested will understand my explination.


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Do some reading, Scott.

I've done a bunch. Even read the article you linked to this thread. What more do have that you think I should read?

PS sorry for the format hell. I tried to get the quotes to work right. Life is too short. For the record, IMO the quote formats suck here

michiganjfrog
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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There is Group A. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have experienced things, changing sound, which cannot be explained from within those conventional theories.
Things such as applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs.
Things such as applying colour to the edge of CDs.
Things such as cryogenically freezing CDs.
Things such as applying a chemical to the LABEL side of CDs, to the LABELS of LPs, to the outer insulation of cables.
Things such as different cables giving different sounds.

There is Group B. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustic theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have NOT experienced those same things inexplicably change the sound."

Sorry, I don't need to look up anything about May's life story to assert that *this claim* clearly denies the *possibility* of bias effects as a cause.

So.... explain to me how your bias theory convincingly explains how different people, unaware of each others dalliances with the above tweaks, appear to reach a consensus over how the different tweaks affect their sound. ie. Where reports come in that agree upon the particular characteristics that each tweak effects on the sound.


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Then I would have expected you to find the BS jj posted absolutely infuriating.


I think I have called him on all the B.S. I have noticed on this thread.

You said you were not impressed by arguments to authority. Neither am I. However, I never saw you calling "j_j" out on any of his arguments to authority, such as he engaged in, in the Interesting Papers thread. As I find the kind of arguments to authority he makes appaling, I have called him out for this, many times.


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You asked jj several questions. How many answers did you receive?


If I ask a pointed question of JJ and he fails to answer it... Seems we kinda got the answer, no?

Well among other things, I asked "j_j" what his name was. About 105 times now, by last count. I mean just to simply tell me directly what his real name is, since he has stated on many occasions with many members here, that anything that anyone says who is not using a real name to post, should be summarily dismissed. He failed to answer that question every single time. And I mean every single time I or others asked him what his name was . I can only presume by this, that he was born to parents who were too poor to afford him a real name, and is ashamed of that fact. So, I feel sorry for "j_j". Sad, isn't it?


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PS sorry for the format hell. I tried to get the quotes to work right. Life is too short. For the record, IMO the quote formats suck here

Agreed. But so does the search function. I did indeed have trouble trying to figure out what you were or were not responding to, and who said what when. I almost missed seeing that you did respond, and I find this happens quite a bit, where people end up in quote loops. The workaround is a bit of a pill itself, but it does work better, so I'll post it:

Copy this (without the spaces in between the text and bracket): [ /quote ]

Then paste a copy of this (quotation tag) before and after the text you are responding to, removing the backslash on the before part. e.g. [ quote ] Your subject's text goes here. [ /quote ]

If for example you are responding to a quote which includes a previous quote from a conversation your subject was having with another poster, it would look like this:

Example:
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[ quote ][ quote ] Jan: You asked jj several questions. How many answers did you receive?[ /quote ]
Scott: If I ask a pointed question of JJ and he fails to answer it... Seems we kinda got the answer, no?[ /quote ]

Yes, Scott. Alas, it appears that in every debate going, j_j always avoids responding to questions that he sees will put him in a bad position, strategically speaking. Yes, I do find it dishonest and less than courageous, as it is an avoidance of taking responsiblity for his own words, especially when they are incorrect or hypocritical words. But I don't know what to do about it, except to point out the fact that he is always doing that with people, and has always been known for this.
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You can also click on the "quote" selection just below the editing window, and write the text you wish to respond with, between the quote tags. Well, until or if the (UBB) forum software gets improved to a better system (which keep in mind is a -lot- of work on the part of the administration), I hope that helps!

Jan Vigne
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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I've done a bunch. Even read the article you linked to this thread. What more do have that you think I should read?

How should I know, Scott? I have no idea what you need to read to convince yourself of anything. You began this thread by stating this is a hobby and people are after enjoyment which they find despite what folks like jj try to get them to believe then you tell us "it aint real science if there is no peer review."

I'm not at all sure what you are after here, Scott. I'm not in the least clear on how you want May to respond.

If by "peer review" you mean only "scientists" can instruct us as to what we should be doing with our hobby, then I would say you have reached a conclusion that will not be supported by a great deal of listeners and readers of Stereophile. What if the "scientists" are not correct? What if the "scientists" are biased? Is that not what this thread is at least partially about?

When you do your "ambush demonstrations" do you insist on having a "scientist" as your second opinion? What if what you heard was described as being impossible by the scientist and yet you know you are certain you have heard something and can confirm it wih repeated experiments on your part? Heard something such as cables affecting the sound? Or amplifiers sounding unlike one another? Or colors affecting audio? Many of the "scientists" on this forum would tell you none of those are all impossible and, if you have mistakenly thought you have heard such differnces, you have obviously fallen victim to bias and placebo. Who would you believe?

We've just seen an instance where a half dozen "scientists" couldn't figure out what to measure and how what they measured actually measured since most of their measurements vastly disagreed with the others from the point of obvious changes to no changes. Several reversals were made and "peer pressure" seems to have been more a factor in their interpretation of conflictiing data than any "peer review" of the same data would show.

On the other hand, take the article about colors affecting audio as an example of 'peer review" done by a group of well respected and experienced listeners who, as May points out, have a very good working knowledge of audio, sensory input and electronics. No biases were indicated in the article and most would agree a bias toward color affecting sound quality would be a negative bias going into any such trials. Yet one by one, in their own audio systems with equipment and music they are familiar with, they all reached the same conclusions as the others though no one had suggested to the others beforehand any biases toward a particular color or lack of color in the ten samples presented.

The Sony audio engineers certainly did not get the go ahead and funding for this project without the attention of other engineers at Sony giving their approval of the experiment and final OK for the demonstration with Sony as the sponsor. Here then is Sony saying to the world, "There is something to color affecting audio." The "scientists" we are familiar with on this forum would quickly and vociferously disagree and begin the "snake oil" chant for which they are so famous (this depsite most of them never having done the trials because they aleady know the answer). Don't doubt me here, Scott, it is too easy to show you evidence otherwise.

There you have an example of the two groups May has described. One group cannot come to grips with something outside of their knowledge base. The other group perceives something out of the ordinary and explores the perception until they reach a workable theory - possibly not the correct theory, it's only a theory, but one that can be worked with rather than merely discarded because it does not fit into any preconceived formulas. Their perception theory is then presented to the audio world filled with people knowledgeable about audio, sensory perception and electronics along with the average hobbyist for their review and comment.

Which group do you have a bigger problem with?

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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So.... explain to me how your bias theory....

It isn't my bias theory. This is the stuff of well documented scientific research.


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....convincingly explains how different people, unaware of each others dalliances with the above tweaks, appear to reach a consensus over how the different tweaks affect their sound. ie. Where reports come in that agree upon the particular characteristics that each tweak effects on the sound.

1. Where is your evidence of a consensus? what data have you actually gathered and how? One has to be carefull not to cherry pick the data 2. The research on bias effects shows that it is not so uncommon for the effects to display such patterns as an appearance of a common consensus. I don't see any conflict with the facts and the *possibility* of bias effects being in play. I also don't see why it is so difficult to accept the lack of certainty that comes with anecdotal evidence.


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You said you were not impressed by arguments to authority. Neither am I. However, I never saw you calling "j_j" out on any of his arguments to authority, such as he engaged in, in the Interesting Papers thread. As I find the kind of arguments to authority he makes appaling, I have called him out for this, many times.

Huh? You are dis-satisfied with my personal policing of JJ on this entire forum? seriously? Do you see *any* posts on that thread by me? C'mon folks, the only side I am taking is my own side.


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Well among other things, I asked "j_j" what his name was. About 105 times now, by last count. I mean just to simply tell me directly what his real name is, since he has stated on many occasions with many members here, that anything that anyone says who is not using a real name to post, should be summarily dismissed. He failed to answer that question every single time. And I mean every single time I or others asked him what his name was . I can only presume by this, that he was born to parents who were too poor to afford him a real name, and is ashamed of that fact. So, I feel sorry for "j_j". Sad, isn't it?

Clearly there is history here that I have not been a part of. Please understand that.

Jan Vigne
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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I also don't see why it is so difficult to accept the lack of certainty that comes with anecdotal evidence.

However, you should be able to accept the overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence as a reason to believe there is something to consider even if it contradicts accepted thinking. And with no proof of bias shown you should then exclude bias from your argument. Given ten selections what are the chances bias would always lead the unrelated and independent listeners to the same conclusion?

The point being any bias would have tended toward a different conclusion in each trial. That each listener came to the same conclusion with no bias communicated, suggested or indicated, you cannot continue to insist bias is the sole responsible factor in these findings.

May Belt
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

In an earlier reply to you I said "Please, give people credit for having a modicum of intelligence." I say that again !!

When discussing things with intelligent people one does NOT have to qualify every sentence with,
"I heard this happen but I appreciate it could have been *bias*." OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *autosuggestion* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *the placebo effect* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *imagination* AND SO ON !!

Before going on to describe what it was that happened !!

One just shouldn't have to do that. One should be able to presume that anyone you are talking to is as intelligent as you and will already be conversant with all the usual studies regarding *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, etc. Etc. !!

Yes, these are all well established facts - so are understood by intelligent people ! So, if they are not mentioned in conversations, then it is because it is presumed to be already in the understanding of the person you are talking to.

>>> "Check your post again May. You did not mention bias effects. You did ignore it." <<<

Of course I ignored it. In the same way I ignored *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc. It is already taken as 'read', as already understood as something being taken into account.

>>> "(May) clearly denies the *possibility* of bias effects as a cause." <<<

I don't DENY the possibility. I would never deny the possibility. I say, yes, I ignored it as I did all the others because that is what one does when crediting people you are talking to with the same level of understanding !!!!!!

You say :-
>>> "That does not preclude the very real possibility that he (Michael Fremer) may have been somehow biased to hear differences." <<<

The point I tried to make (but obviously did not succeed) was that the VERY REAL POSSIBILITY would be that Michael would have had the expectation *bias* NOT to expect differences in the sound, not the other way round.

Your response that I have ignored *bias* is like expecting every reviewer reviewing ANYTHING to start every review with the sentences :-

"I, the reviewer, understand that 'bias' could be involved, that 'autosuggestion' could be involved, that 'the placebo effect' could be involved, that 'imagination' could be involved, that 'effective marketing' could be involved and I also understand about human beings and that 'simple human reality is present in all of our perceptions and opinions'.......... But this is MY opinion about........................."

Imagine every reviewer have to start like that or else they will be accused of ignoring...........!

Just because they might ignore mentioning any of those things does not mean that they are denying them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

>>> "the experiences of people who allegedly "KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories " Anyone, anyone who is well versed in these matters ought to know that bias effects is a *possible* explination." <<<

THAT is what I have been saying, over and over again (obviously not successfully enough).
These people DO know, that is why you don't have to repeat it over and over again when talking to them !!!!!!!!!! It is already accepted as 'read'.

Regards,
May Belt.

May Belt
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Quote by Scott :-
>>> "you cannot continue to insist bias is the sole responsible factor in these findings." <<<

I don't think Scott is meaning that *bias* is the SOLE responsible factor, Jan, he just thinks we don't understand that it MIGHT be a factor !!!! He just doesn't realise that you just don't include it in every sentence.

Another quote by Scott :-
>>> "I also don't see why it is so difficult to accept the lack of certainty that comes with anecdotal evidence." <<<

Again, Jan, I don't think that Scott appreciates that we already KNOW that with anecdotal evidence there IS a lack of CERTAINTY !! Wouldn't we all just love certainty ? Wouldn't that be great ? Instead we have to start with observation, observation and observation and yet more observation. Maybe what we observe is confirmed by others, maybe not. The plague of uncertainty !!

I suspect some youth peeping through, Jan.

Regards,
May Belt.

michiganjfrog
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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It isn't my bias theory. This is the stuff of well documented scientific research.

Well documented scientific research on high end audio? If this is so, and you are not trying to expand one area of science over another, as pseudoscientific "DBTologists" always do, show me links to this well documented research.


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1. Where is your evidence of a consensus?

I guess you're not familiar with the audiophile community. For this is a common occurence among audiophiles. I have been witnessing it for nearly 30 years. Have I taken notes for 30 years and done a peer reviewed study on what is a commonly known obvious fact? No. I never thought of doing that, you got me there, Scott.


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The research on bias effects shows that it is not so uncommon for the effects to display such patterns as an appearance of a common consensus.

Again, you generalize, every time I get specific. Every quasi-objectivist trying to defend their pet theory of theirs, does. As above, show me the bias theory studies that can specifically demonstrate how specific sonic characteristics can "magically" appear in the descriptions of audiophiles who have heard the same product or idea, without knowledge of the other's experience. This btw is the same thing if 5 unrelated children, who have never spoken to each other, were to describe (anecdotally) the specific birth marks on Michael Jackson's penis, and you're the defendant arguing there's no evidence they had ever seen it, because of some completely unrelated "bias theory" you cooked up from somewhere.

SHOW ME HOW THAT IS POSSIBLE, with evidence please, thank you. I'm really curious to know, because you'd be the first. I will not accept generalized evidence that talks vaguely about how there might be a "common consensus" in an unrelated experience. If you do not have evidence related to what we are talking about, then it appears you are simply bending over backwards in order to adhere to a particular belief system you have.


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I also don't see why it is so difficult to accept the lack of certainty that comes with anecdotal evidence.

That's because you don't see why it is possible to accept the certainty that can come with anecdotal evidence. That is inevitably the response which people with little to no actual experience doing advanced audio research often give.

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."



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You began this thread by stating this is a hobby and people are after enjoyment which they find despite what folks like jj try to get them to believe then you tell us "it aint real science if there is no peer review."

Yes. There is no conflict between those two statements.


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I'm not at all sure what you are after here, Scott. I'm not in the least clear on how you want May to respond.

I think she would have done herself a big favor by acknowledging her mistake and correcting it.


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If by "peer review" you mean only "scientists" can instruct us as to what we should be doing with our hobby, then I would say you have reached a conclusion that will not be supported by a great deal of listeners and readers of Stereophile.

I have no idea where that came from. What I was saying is that real science only acknowledges peer reviewed published research as scientifically valid. Now here is a secret that the folks badgering you about your perceptions would probably prefer not to talk about. There is pretty much nothing in the way of peer reviewed published data to support any of the objectivist mantras. Personally, I don't need scientific research to support my subjective opinons. They are just opinions. They are by nature subjective and they are personal. It is silly to make such demands on ordinary people. We all go through life forming opinions about our daily perceptions without any scientific varification. Why bother? If you like something you like it. If you don't you don't. Who needs varification for that?


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What if the "scientists" are not correct?

Scientists are incorrect about a lot of things quite often. They are human too.


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What if the "scientists" are biased?

there is no what if. They are. They are human too.


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Is that not what this thread is at least partially about?

Ironically no. at least I don't see it that way. You see, there is very little if any real scientific research that addresses the issues often debated by objectivists and subjectivists. And I guess this is an issue with me. I don't like seeing legitimate science get a bad rap because the dorks at Hydrogen Audio like to play pretend scientist and the old guard like to wave the science flag in your face. What these folks really don't want to talk about is that all their home brewed DBTs are no less anecdotal in the eyes of real research science than any of the sighted evaluations made by subjectivists.


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When you do your "ambush demonstrations" do you insist on having a "scientist" as your second opinion?

No. although, ironically, almost all of my ambush demos have been at the expense of one of my best friends who actually is a real live research scientist. But no, I'm not doing scientific research. I'm just doing home brewed auditions like so many other audiophiles. But I know my results don't have the same level of reliability as do that of research scientists doing actual scientific research. I don't have an issue with that. I don't need absolute certitude to enjoy the aesthetic value of my percpetions even with all my biases in play.


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What if what you heard was described as being impossible by the scientist and yet you know you are certain you have heard something and can confirm it wih repeated experiments on your part?

Your question assumes too much. 1. I never feel that certain about anything that is perception based. 2.Your scenereo is too vague to even address. What is it to hear something that is impossible? what does that mean?


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Heard something such as cables affecting the sound?

Yes. Even under blind conditions.


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Or amplifiers sounding unlike one another?

Yes, even under blind conditions.


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Many of the "scientists" on this forum would tell you none of those are all impossible and, if you have mistakenly thought you have heard such differnces, you have obviously fallen victim to bias and placebo. Who would you believe?

ask them to show you the peer reviewed published reseach that supports their assertion. Then listen for the crickets chirping or watch the hand waving.

We've just seen an instance where a half dozen "scientists" couldn't figure out what to measure and how what they measured actually measured since most of their measurements vastly disagreed with the others from the point of obvious changes to no changes.

Of course. We are talking about weekend warriors doing home brewed tests. *That* aint scientific research. That is just as anecdotal as anything subjectivists come up with.


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Several reversals were made and "peer pressure" seems to have been more a factor in their interpretation of conflictiing data than any "peer review" of the same data would show.

But there was no peer review was there?


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On the other hand, take the article about colors affecting audio as an example of 'peer review" done by a group of well respected and experienced listeners who, as May points out, have a very good working knowledge of audio, sensory input and electronics. No biases were indicated in the article and most would agree a bias toward color affecting sound quality would be a negative bias going into any such trials. Yet one by one, in their own audio systems with equipment and music they are familiar with, they all reached the same conclusions as the others though no one had suggested to the others beforehand any biases toward a particular color or lack of color in the ten samples presented.

The Sony audio engineers certainly did not get the go ahead and funding for this project without the attention of other engineers at Sony giving their approval of the experiment and final OK for the demonstration with Sony as the sponsor. Here then is Sony saying to the world, "There is something to color affecting audio." The "scientists" we are familiar with on this forum would quickly and vociferously disagree and begin the "snake oil" chant for which they are so famous (this depsite most of them never having done the trials because they aleady know the answer). Don't doubt me here, Scott, it is too easy to show you evidence otherwise.

That wasn't peer reviewed published research either. I am against cherry picking. if it's good science it's good science whether I like the results or not. Likewise, if it's anecodtal it's anecdotal regardless of my feelings about the results.


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There you have an example of the two groups May has described. One group cannot come to grips with something outside of their knowledge base. The other group perceives something out of the ordinary and explores the perception until they reach a workable theory - possibly not the correct theory, it's only a theory, but one that can be worked with rather than merely discarded because it does not fit into any preconceived formulas. Their perception theory is then presented to the audio world filled with people knowledgeable about audio, sensory perception and electronics along with the average hobbyist for their review and comment.

Which group do you have a bigger problem with?

I don't think that is quite what May said. But I have problems with people who misrepresent science in audio (most so called objectivists) I have problems with anybody that demands "proof" of others who are just making personal evaluations of their perceptions. OTOH I have a problem with anyone who claims to be knowledgable in acoustics and is oblvivious or in denial about the real effects of bias on our perceptions and I have a problem with people who can't accpet their own falability that is the nature of being human. And I have a problem with people coming up with bogus explinations for their percpetions just because they feel some odd compulsion to explain their perceptions.

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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I also don't see why it is so difficult to accept the lack of certainty that comes with anecdotal evidence.

However, you should be able to accept the overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence as a reason to believe there is something to consider even if it contradicts accepted thinking. And with no proof of bias shown you should then exclude bias from your argument. Given ten selections what are the chances bias would always lead the unrelated and independent listeners to the same conclusion?

The point being any bias would have tended toward a different conclusion in each trial. That each listener came to the same conclusion with no bias communicated, suggested or indicated, you cannot continue to insist bias is the sole responsible factor in these findings.

Where did I ever make any such insistance? I think I was very clear in stating that I am in no way making any claims that bias effects are the sole cause only that they have not been eliminated as a *possible* cause. HUGE difference.

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:

In an earlier reply to you I said "Please, give people credit for having a modicum of intelligence." I say that again !!

When discussing things with intelligent people one does NOT have to qualify every sentence with,
"I heard this happen but I appreciate it could have been *bias*." OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *autosuggestion* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *the placebo effect* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *imagination* AND SO ON !!

Before going on to describe what it was that happened !!

That has nothing at all to do with your post that I asserted was a false dichotomy. Nor does it have anything to do with my assertion that your particular claims ignored bias effects. it didn't ignore them really. It denied them.


Quote:
One just shouldn't have to do that. One should be able to presume that anyone you are talking to is as intelligent as you and will already be conversant with all the usual studies regarding *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, etc. Etc. !!

Not the same thing May. Your assertions indirectly were in denial of the possibility of bias effects being in play. And I'll tell you something else. I have read this post in it's entirety and you will do it again. I'll just point it out.


Quote:
Yes, these are all well established facts - so are understood by intelligent people ! So, if they are not mentioned in conversations, then it is because it is presumed to be already in the understanding of the person you are talking to.

That's fine but when you make assertions that directly run contrary to these things that all "intelegent' people should know then you have a problem.


Quote:
>>> "Check your post again May. You did not mention bias effects. You did ignore it." <<<

Of course I ignored it. In the same way I ignored *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc. It is already taken as 'read', as already understood as something being taken into account.

You didn't just ignore it. You made an assertion which precluded it.


Quote:
>>> "(May) clearly denies the *possibility* of bias effects as a cause." <<<

I don't DENY the possibility. I would never deny the possibility. I say, yes, I ignored it as I did all the others because that is what one does when crediting people you are talking to with the same level of understanding !!!!!!

sorry. you are simply wrong. I have already explained how so. But never worry you are about to do it again right in this post.


Quote:
You say :-
>>> "That does not preclude the very real possibility that he (Michael Fremer) may have been somehow biased to hear differences." <<<

The point I tried to make (but obviously did not succeed) was that the VERY REAL POSSIBILITY would be that Michael would have had the expectation *bias* NOT to expect differences in the sound, not the other way round.

There it is. You are making unfounded presumptions about what the biases can and can not be. You are once again denying the *possibility* that bias effect were the cause of the observed difference.


Quote:
Your response that I have ignored *bias* is like expecting every reviewer reviewing ANYTHING to start every review with the sentences :-

"I, the reviewer, understand that 'bias' could be involved, that 'autosuggestion' could be involved, that 'the placebo effect' could be involved, that 'imagination' could be involved, that 'effective marketing' could be involved and I also understand about human beings and that 'simple human reality is present in all of our perceptions and opinions'.......... But this is MY opinion about........................."

Imagine every reviewer have to start like that or else they will be accused of ignoring...........!

Just because they might ignore mentioning any of those things does not mean that they are denying them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No. that is not what I am doing at all. I suggest you reread what you wrote and try to understand what it actually means.


Quote:
>>> "the experiences of people who allegedly "KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories " Anyone, anyone who is well versed in these matters ought to know that bias effects is a *possible* explination." <<<

THAT is what I have been saying, over and over again (obviously not successfully enough).
These people DO know, that is why you don't have to repeat it over and over again when talking to them !!!!!!!!!! It is already accepted as 'read'.

Regards,
May Belt.

actually you cut the relevant part. accident? Here are the key words, your words. "Can not be explained" Given the fact that bias effects *can* explain all the described experiences by saying they "can not be explained" you are denying the possibility of bias effects.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

There is no pleasing you, is there? You have disgreed with virtually everything that has been posted in this thread. Quite literally line by line by line you have disagreed with everything. What you don't disagree with, you dismiss.

What do we agree on, Scott?

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Quote:
There is no pleasing you, is there? You have disgreed with virtually everything that has been posted in this thread. Quite literally line by line by line you have disagreed with everything. What you don't disagree with, you dismiss.

What do we agree on, Scott?

Gosh your post is all about me. It's on you to answer your own question. I think I have been quite clear about where I stand on any number of issues. But what does it say that your post is all about me and there is nothing about audio or anything I have said on the subject? Maybe you should try to refocus.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

I could ignore you.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Or is that all about you too?

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:

In an earlier reply to you I said "Please, give people credit for having a modicum of intelligence." I say that again !!

When discussing things with intelligent people one does NOT have to qualify every sentence with,
"I heard this happen but I appreciate it could have been *bias*." OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *autosuggestion* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *the placebo effect* OR
"I heard this happen but I appreciate that it could have been *imagination* AND SO ON !!

Before going on to describe what it was that happened !!

One just shouldn't have to do that. One should be able to presume that anyone you are talking to is as intelligent as you and will already be conversant with all the usual studies regarding *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, etc. Etc. !!

Yes, these are all well established facts - so are understood by intelligent people ! So, if they are not mentioned in conversations, then it is because it is presumed to be already in the understanding of the person you are talking to.

IF ONLY.

Audiophiles who had the understanding you claim they
typically do, would not make the claims they make.


Quote:
Of course I ignored it. In the same way I ignored *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc. It is already taken as 'read', as already understood as something being taken into account.

That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture. They are most definitely NOT taken into account. Typically, subjective impression is considered to be just as valid a method of arriving at audio 'truth' as scientific methods...moreso, actually.

If things were otherwise, there would BE no "Great Debate'.

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Quote:
Ironically no. at least I don't see it that way. You see, there is very little if any real scientific research that addresses the issues often debated by objectivists and subjectivists. And I guess this is an issue with me. I don't like seeing legitimate science get a bad rap because the dorks at Hydrogen Audio like to play pretend scientist and the old guard like to wave the science flag in your face.

Could not have said it better myself, about the dorks at Hydrogen Audio who like to play pretend scientist, and wave the science flag in your face, and try to make everyone believe that they speak for legitimate science, and anyone who disagrees with them is a Luddite. This lot has invaded our forum of recent, and this is why there has been a lot of friction and sparks flying in a lot of threads where they are involved. You may have a foot in both camps, but at least you have the sense to see through their MO.

You're absolutely correct when you say there has been very little research to back up much of what these agenda-driven "objectivists" continually try to bash people over the head with. The audio DBT for example was an idea 'stolen' from legitimate research, to try to give the idea a cachet of legitimacy, and adopted to pursue their anti-high end audio agenda. It has nothing in common with legitimate DBT research, other than superficially. Indeed, it has never been scientifically validated.


Quote:
What these folks really don't want to talk about is that all their home brewed DBTs are no less anecdotal in the eyes of real research science than any of the sighted evaluations made by subjectivists.

Couldn't agree more.


Quote:
I don't have an issue with that. I don't need absolute certitude to enjoy the aesthetic value of my percpetions even with all my biases in play.

Me neither.


Quote:
Your question assumes too much. 1. I never feel that certain about anything that is perception based. 2.Your scenereo is too vague to even address. What is it to hear something that is impossible? what does that mean?

Hearing the effects of color would be a good example.


Quote:
But there was no peer review was there?

No. He is referring to what you were referring to. A bunch of dorks from Hydrogen Audio forum (Arny, j_j, Ethan, Axon, etc.) with an anti-high end audio agenda who like to play pretend scientist, pretended that they were "scientifically investigating" LP demagnetization in the "Visit to Mikey's" thread, after feeding unvalidated sample files into SonicForge, etc., and giving us their "surprising conclusion" about the demagnetizer's effect. It all started to get really ridiculous, when one dork's analysis contradicted another and then another's, and then they revised their findings and mysteriously agreed with each other the next day, in order to appear consistently skeptical. This same sort of unscientific hand waving spectacle by the same group of guys was repeated recently in the "Interesting Papers" thread, until we had a real scientist come in and explain in no uncertain terms, just how unscientific these boys were behaving.

krabapple
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

And why are some on this thread so obsessed with jj (James Johnston, whose name was displayed plain as day in the link provided in his profile, where obsessives such as MJ Frog were also participating?) Is it because they feel threatened by him?

JJ is an acknowledged inventor of and authority on lossy codecs, digital audio signal processing , and psychoacoustics and a multiply-honored Fellow of the
AES.
Among other things.

So, you were saying?

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

"That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture. They are most definitely NOT taken into account. Typically, subjective impression is considered to be just as valid a method of arriving at audio 'truth' as scientific methods...moreso, actually."

"JJ is an acknowledged inventor of and authority on lossy codecs, digital audio signal processing , and psychoacoustics and a multiply-honored Fellow of the AES. "

Hmmm, that all sounds SO familiar. Oh yeah, now I remember! That's right out of Zen and the Art of Debunkery.

1. Arrange to have your message echoed by persons of
authority. The degree to which you can stretch the truth is directly
proportional to the prestige of your mouthpiece.

2. Put on the right face. Cultivate a condescending air that
suggests that your personal opinions are backed by the full faith and
credit of God. Employ vague, subjective, dismissive terms such as
"ridiculous" or "trivial" in a manner that suggests they have the full
force of scientific authority.

3. Portray science not as an open-ended process of discovery
but as a holy war against unruly hordes of quackery-worshipping
infidels. Since in war the ends justify the means, you may fudge,
stretch or violate scientific method, or even omit it entirely, in the
name of defending scientific method.

4. At every opportunity reinforce the notion that what is
familiar is necessarily rational. The unfamiliar is therefore
irrational, and consequently inadmissible as evidence.

And there is more:

"Yes, these are all well established facts."

"It isn't my bias theory. This is the stuff of well documented scientific research."

5. Reinforce the popular misconception that certain subjects
are inherently unscientific. In other words, deliberately confuse the
*process* of science with the *content* of science.

6. State categorically that the unconventional arises
exclusively from the "will to believe" and may be dismissed as, at
best, an honest misinterpretation of the conventional.

Scott Wheeler
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:

That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture. They are most definitely NOT taken into account. Typically, subjective impression is considered to be just as valid a method of arriving at audio 'truth' as scientific methods...moreso, actually.

If things were otherwise, there would BE no "Great Debate'.

Really? Well how does that apply to the Furtech? Do you have data from a peer reviewed paper that examined the audible effects of the Furtech? Or are you just waving the science flag with no substance behind it? You want to talk about science show us the science. Show us the actual science, you know as a scientist, the stuff actual scientists regard as real science that should put the "great debate' to bed. Anything else is, as you say, Bullshit.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
""Yes, these are all well established facts."

"It isn't my bias theory. This is the stuff of well documented scientific research."

5. Reinforce the popular misconception that certain subjects
are inherently unscientific. In other words, deliberately confuse the
*process* of science with the *content* of science.

You are quoting me here but you seem to be misunderstanding me. Some things *are* inherently unscientific. Most things are actually when we are talking about the pecpetion based opinions of human beings. So what? Who here needs a scientific study to "validate" their opinion of Pizza, baseball or Jazz?

And I assure you there is no deliberate confussion of the *process* of science and the *content* of science on my part. When it comes to high end audio the "content" is pretty much absent. I'd like to think it's because science has better things to do like curing cancer rather than settling debates about the audibility of high end cables.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

can I just ask a couple of simple questions (to catch up, trying to follow the thread here)? By the way, hi, I'm new here. :-)

This demagnetizer is designed to demagnetize vinyl, is that correct? People are claiming to hear a difference, I haven't even listened, I don't even want to just yet. I do try to look at things scientifically, but am a musician and the music must come first to me, and I'm open minded and smart enough to know that I don't know everything about physics... although I do know a fair bit.

So, with that info in place, since as far as I understand it Vinyl doesn't contain any iron or similar content that could either be magnetic or affected by a demagnetizer, if this product really does do something then it would have to be doing it to something other than the actual vinyl itself.

I'm wondering if people are thinking that maybe it alters the static electricity (obviously research already exists to show if that is possible or not, I don't know off hand and can't say for absolutely certain that it's impossible). That's one slight possibility I would think. Or maybe I'm wrong about vinyl having no iron or other content that could be magnetized/demagnetized. Is vinyl a type of plastic (as I've always thought) or is it some kind of complex material that could be magnetized (and therefore react to being demagnetized)?

I'd love to know what this product is doing that is changing the sound of LP playback. Certainly the phono cartridge operates using either a moving magnet or moving coil electrical circuit. Possibly the theory is that the vinyl, upon rotation, creates a static charge that alters that circuitry, and by being previously demagnetized the likelyhood of that happening is slimmer.

since that has likely been discussed already (what the device is actually doing I mean), and I can't find those posts in this thread or elsewhere because the threads are so long and complex to a newcomer, can someone briefly tell me what they think the demagnetizer is actually doing? Obviously if it alters the sound of playback then it's doing something.

I'm intrigued. And even though it seems unlikely to me, I'll keep an open mind, as noted I certainly don't know everything and I love great playback of music as much as the next person!

Cheers,
Don

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

According to Furutech the material added to vinyl to color it black has magnetic properties and demagnetizing LPs makes them sound better. Now, has anyone tried to demag a clear vinyl record to see if the black vinyl theory might be true? Naw...that's probably asking too much...

Although I realize this subject is VERY CONTROVERSIAL and will bring down ALL KINDS OF HEAT, can I just get the comment in that one can get quite good results with the inexpensive Radio Shellac large bulk tape eraser (demagnetizer) - currently out of print but available on eBay at ridiculously low prices? Why, they're practically giving them away! For LP, CD and interconnects.

"The older I get the more attracted I am to metaphysics." Albert Einstein

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
And why are some on this thread so obsessed with jj (James Johnston, whose name was displayed plain as day in the link provided in his profile, where obsessives such as MJ Frog were also participating?) Is it because they feel threatened by him?

Here is J_Js profile.

Quote:

Email

Member # 14261

Name

Title
Total Posts 298

Homepage http://home.comcast.net/~retired_old_jj

Occupation Research Scientist

Hobbies Audio, Photography, Skiing, Reading

Location Redmond, Washingtoon

Bio Bell Labs Acoustics Research, 1976-2002. Microsoft Audio Architect 2002-2008. Chief Scientist, Neural Audio and then DTS, 2008-present.
ICQ Number
Registered on Fri Mar 13 2009 07:22 PM

Where is his legal name listed "plain as day" on posts here? Large difference, ethical and legal wise, between signing his legal name here verses a webpage. We keep asking J_J to sign his post with his legal name and he keeps refusing post after post, string after string. If he posts his legal name on his webpage/site, what is the problem posting his legal name here. Afterall, he is a professional.

Evidently he wishes to keep arms distance from his own posts, for ethical and legal reasons?. That does not stand good for continued evasion in said matter Krabapple.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Axon
Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag [Re: Ethan_Winer]
#67238 - 05/08/09 09:42 PM


Quote:
Actually, a basic google search will bring up this:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Process for removing iron impurities from petroleum oil distillation residues
Document Type and Number:
United States Patent 5607575

Abstract:
A process for removing iron impurities, inter alia iron or iron compounds, from petroleum oil distillation residues is disclosed in which a high gradient magnetic separator incorporates a pack of ferromagnetic fillers in the form of a generally flat or curved sheet-like strip. The ferromagnetic filler is a Fe--Cr alloy of a selected composition and the strip is of selected geometric characteristics such that the rate of removal of iron impurities can be maintained substantially at a maximum throughout the separation mode of operation prior to and after washing of the ferromagnetic filler.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IIRC, digging further reveals that it is not uncommon for the insides of tankers to rust into their contents (while significant quantities of ferromagnetic materials in actual oil deposits are kind of rare). Superficially, insofar as carbon black is a petroleum byproduct (and even a distillation residue as I recall!), the chemical path IS there for iron to make its way into a record.

Note that does *not* prove that any record is actually ferromagnetic at any significant level - it just means that it's harder to dismiss the problem than even I anticipated. Just because the conjecture is plausible doesn't mean it's true or important.

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...=true#Post67254

http://blog.stereophile.com/stephenmejias/a_visit_to_mikeys_and_the_glamorous_side_of_publishing/

http://www.furutech.com/a2008/product1.asp?arr_cata=Exceptionals

krabapple
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:

Quote:
And why are some on this thread so obsessed with jj (James Johnston, whose name was displayed plain as day in the link provided in his profile, where obsessives such as MJ Frog were also participating?) Is it because they feel threatened by him?

Where is his legal name listed "plain as day" on posts here?

Try not to be obtuse for once.

I wrote *plain as day in the link provided in the profile*.

That means you click the link provided by him in his Stereophile forum profile and voila, you get taken to a page with JJ's full name and professional bio on it.


Quote:
Large difference, ethical and legal wise, between signing his legal name here verses a webpage.

That's not actually the case here, and you're being a contentious fool. His posts all provide a means to ascertain his real name and MORE.

That's more than most people here provide.


Quote:
We keep asking J_J to sign his post with his legal name and he keeps refusing post after post, string after string.

And why exactly do 'you' Sherlocks expect anyone to give a flying fig at this point, given your record of bumbling accusation? Again, jj's Stereophile posts all link to his Stereophile profile, which includes a link to a website all about him. Which is not even a 'requirement' in this case anyway, since THE EDITOR OF STEREOPHILE, JOHN ATKINSON, IS A PROFESSIONAL ACQUAINTANCE OF JJs AND KNOWS WHO 'JJ' IS.

Do you need me to rub your fool face in proof of THAT, too, 'SASAudio' (btw, that's not your legal name, is it?)

(Personally, at this point if I was JJ I'd withhold ever signing my name to a post here, just on *principle*. Your paranoia is contemptible and not worth assuaging.)


Quote:
If he posts his legal name on his webpage/site, what is the problem posting his legal name here. Afterall, he is a professional.

Let's recap. You and others all but call jj a fraud (and, bizarrely at one point, a 'sockpuppet'), but jj turns out to be the real deal -- an honored professional in digital audio signal processing and psychoacoustics -- so you turn out to be wrong about him, yet you just can't let go. Haven't you made enough of a fool of yourself already about it or are you some sort of masochist?


Quote:
Evidently he wishes to keep arms distance from his own posts, for ethical and legal reasons?.

You've proven yourself really, really bad at determining what is 'evident', so maybe you should refrain from that.

krabapple
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:

Quote:

That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture. They are most definitely NOT taken into account. Typically, subjective impression is considered to be just as valid a method of arriving at audio 'truth' as scientific methods...moreso, actually.

If things were otherwise, there would BE no "Great Debate'.

Really? Well how does that apply to the Furtech? Do you have data from a peer reviewed paper that examined the audible effects of the Furtech? Or are you just waving the science flag with no substance behind it? You want to talk about science show us the science. Show us the actual science, you know as a scientist, the stuff actual scientists regard as real science that should put the "great debate' to bed. Anything else is, as you say, Bullshit.

I presume you mean one of the Furutech demagnetizing devices (IIRC they have one for LP and one for CDs, how clever of them!), and if so, why have you written this nonsequitur?

My point to May Belt was that contrary to her claim, psychological confounders of perceptual accuracy -- effects that must be accounted for routinely in scientific work -- are not typically accounted for in reviews and claims made by audiophiles.

So what on earth does the Furtech [sic] flooby have to do with this, except to provide an example of it? Or do you have evidence that Michael Fremer et al. suddenly have become concerned enough with the native fallibility of reports from 'sighted' comparison, and scientific standards of proof, to start adding the sorts of qualifiers that a scientist could accept? (Like, '....we haven't ruled out that that we imagined the difference and the device actually had no audible effect whatsoever.')

krabapple
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
geoff kait wrote something

Mr. Kait, my understanding is that you are the entity behind the utter pseudoscientific nonsense peddled by Machina Dynamica. If so there are only three possibilities that seem reasonable to me. You're either

1) sincerely and deeply deluded, or
2) engaging in a particularly long running and intricate piece of conceptual art , or
3)a mountebank of the first order;

in either case, there is no purpose served in engaging you in online conversation.

If you're not the entity behind MD, my apologies for associating you with it, but your post is still just a big ol' cowpatty of sophistry.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Krabapple, shouldn't you be standing out on a ledge somewhere?

May Belt
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Regarding your reply to Scott :-

>>> "My point to May Belt was that contrary to her claim, psychological confounders of perceptual accuracy -- effects that must be accounted for routinely in scientific work -- are not typically accounted for in reviews and claims made by audiophiles." <<<

So, Krabapple, are you saying that when Robert Harley described hearing improvements in the sound from CDs which had been cryogencially frozen, he DID NOT take into account any influence of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc or DID NOT take into account that he might have needed such a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" to enable him to be able to enjoy his music ?

IF that is what you are saying, then you and I will have to disagree !!

Are you saying that, when Keith Howard described hearing the cryo'd copper cable sound better after he had done the comparison (cryo'd copper versus non cryo'd copper) many times and the difference continued to astound him, he DID NOT take into account any influence of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc or DID NOT take into account that he might have needed such a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" to enable him to be able to enjoy his music ?

IF that is what you are saying, then you and I will have to disagree !!

Are you saying that, when John Atkinson, after colouring the edge of a CD, described hearing a 'clear improvement in sound quality', he DID NOT take into account any influence of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc or DID NOT take into account that he might have needed such a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" to enable him to be able to enjoy his music ?

IF that is what you are saying, then you and I will have to disagree !!

Are you saying that, when Michael Fremer described hearing improvements in his sound after applying a demagnetiser to his LPs, he DID NOT take into account any influence of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc or DID NOT take into account that he might have needed such a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" to enable him to be able to enjoy his music ?

IF that if what you are saying, then you and I will have to disagree !!

You would then be saying that any influence of all those things listed "are not typically accounted for in reviews and claims made by audiophiles" whereas I would say that with intelligent people involved, those things listed would, in general, be taken into account before anything is reported. You do not need scientific studies to show how such things as 'effective marketing' can be influential, you just need to look at 5 year old children wanting the toy which has just been advertised. BUT, here, we are NOT holding discussions with 5 year olds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However, that aside, disagreeing is one thing, implying fraud followed by accusations of dishonesty (as in the case of some responses to the Furutech device), is a completely different matter and surely not acceptable between intelligent people !!

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

>>> "That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture." <<<

I did NOT say that *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* was NOT fought over 'tooth and nail'. I said, that in my opinion, those concepts would have already been taken into account by a reviewer before writing his article. And it is because this is dismissed or discounted as happening that there is then the 'tooth and nail' fight.

There are two things at play here.

1) Such as a reviewer knows about the uncertainty of whether or not all or any of those things I have listed could have had an effect on how/what they claim to have observed. ANYONE , giving their subjective opinion on ANYTHING, even on the taste of different Asparagus soups, knows that any of those things could have had a bearing on the results. So, they assess their subjective opinion and then write of their experiences BUT, as I have said, if they started their review qualifying everything in the first sentence,

"I, the reviewer, understand that 'bias' could be involved, that 'autosuggestion' could be involved, that 'the placebo effect' could be involved, that 'imagination' could be involved, that 'effective marketing' could be involved and I also understand about human beings and that 'simple human reality is present in all of our perceptions and opinions'.......... But this is MY opinion about........................."

Then no one would have the patience to keep on reading ANY review, any further.

Everyone knows that many restaurant critics will have already read other peoples reviews on certain restaurants, but they don't start THEIR subjective review of a particular restaurant with the disclaimer "My review might have been influenced by what Joe Bloggs wrote last week (i.e auto-suggestion)."

Everyone knows that theatre critics get free tickets to many if not all the shows. But they don't start their subjective review of a show with the disclaimer "My review might have been influenced by being given a free ticket (i.e "effective marketing".)"

They are not IGNORING nor DENYING such, merely not referring to them in their review.

2) You are right about the concepts referred to being "fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture". But by whom and why. In an attempt to further knowledge ????

30 years on since Jean Hiraga caused what Keith Howard described as a shock of 8 on the audio Richter scale when he described hearing different cables sound different, how has the "tooth and nail fight" as to whether other people also hearing those differences was because of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc, helped to move things further ?

22 years on since the subject of colours affecting sound was described, how has the "tooth and nail fight" as to whether other people also hearing those differences was because of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc, helped to move things further ?

20 odd years on since the subject of freezing things affecting the sound was described, how has the "tooth and nail fight" as to whether other people also hearing those differences was because of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc, helped to move things further ?

Yes, people say (for example) "I tried different cables and I heard one sound better than another." Or "I have tried discs which have been cryogenically frozen and heard improvements in the sound from those discs." Or, "I have heard discs which have had a demagnetiser applied to them and heard better sound after doing so. So, what does it matter to anyone else ? If I am getting enjoyment from it, then why should other people object.?"

In general terms, they are right. In quite general terms, it doesn't matter to anyone else what they have actually experimented with to achieve their good sound. Except that many of those same people do not admit (many times because they just do not think about it in those terms) that they would NOT have had that additional wealth of enjoyment from their $5,000/$10,000/$20,000 audio equipment if someone, somewhere, at sometime had not decided to describe what they had observed.

If Joe Bloggs had not described the beneficial effect of changing cables in the first place.
If Jack Smith had not described the beneficial effect of cryogencially freezing CDs in the first place. If Bill Brown had not described applying a demagnetiser to discs in the first place.
If Tom Jones had not described applying a particular colour to a disc in the first place, some other people would NOT have tried the same thing for themselves - with some of the results described below !!

I have given a small compilation of the improvements which people have described from all those 'so called tweaks' I have mentioned.

"Improvements noted are notably better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging and most importantly, naturalness and musicality, greater degree of air and life around the instruments and the instruments become more palpable, not to mention bass improvements."

Any one, or more of those improvements have been used to describe the effect after applying any of the 'tweaks' referred to. For the people who have tried any of the so called 'tweaks' referred to and have gained any, many or all of the improvements listed, then someone, somewhere, at sometime MUST have originally described those 'tweaks'.

Can EVERY mention, over these past 30 years, of people hearing improvements when changing cables REALLY be down to one or other of *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc, OR some people needing a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" to enable them to be able to enjoy their music ?

Ditto cryogenically freezing things ?
Ditto applying a particular colour to a disc ?
Ditto applying a demagnetiser to a disc ?

Before some people react. I am not ignoring or dismissing technical breakthroughs - and they also happen because people are also searching for ways of improving sound - I am not discounting those efforts.

So, Krabapple, I would ask you the question. "What has the 'tooth and nail' fight done to advance knowledge ? Except to dismiss so many people's experiences and observations and declare that it was all down to *bias*, *autosuggestion*, *the placebo effect*, *imagination*, *effective marketing* etc, OR some people needing a "prop", "talisman", "ritual", "potion", "elixir" ?

Before some join in with 'measurements will reveal all' we might not yet be at the stage of 'measuring'. We might only be at the stage of experimenting and observing !! Apply a different colour to a CD and get a different sound. What are you going to 'measure' ? If you can think of some sort of measurement, you measure and get no change in the measurements - then what ? Has THAT answered the question "Why does applying a particular colour to a CD change the sound ?"

100 years ago, the medical profession were not at the stage of 'measuring the germs in the air' - they were still at the stage of trying different techniques and observing !!

Nor are Blind Trials the absolute answer. They may or may not show some answers, some being helpful and some unhelpful. The problem with relying both on Blind Trials and measurements for the answer is that so many times the answer (whatever that might be) would then be regarded by some as the ULTIMATE answer - no reason to look any further, they would have their answer !! And, horror of horrors, if there were no changes 'measured' and no changes shown in Blind Trials, then nothing further would be investigated !!!

Geoff is quite right, science is an open-ended process of discovery.

AlexO said in another thread :-
>>> " I think that we can and should accept the premise that "if it can be heard, it can be measured". Once everyone accepts that premise, it doesn't preclude them from purchasing vinyl or tubes or demagnetizers. However, folks wishing to do so will do so with full appreciation that they're buying either into the (for lack of a better word) distortion they like or a cool looking gadget that may simply serve as paper weight." <<<

So, according to such as AlexO, if applying a particular colour to a CD changes the sound and can be HEARD - if his measurements show NO changes taking place, then what ? Do we then accept AlexO's "therefore, if it cannot be measured, it cannot be heard", therefore there is nothing further to discuss ?

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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And why are some on this thread so obsessed with jj (James Johnston, whose name was displayed plain as day in the link provided in his profile, where obsessives such as MJ Frog were also participating?) Is it because they feel threatened by him?

Where is his legal name listed "plain as day" on posts here?

Try not to be obtuse for once.

I wrote *plain as day in the link provided in the profile*.

Now here is what I really said.


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Where is his legal name listed "plain as day" on posts here? Large difference, ethical and legal wise, between signing his legal name here verses a webpage.


Quote:
That means you click the link provided by him in his Stereophile forum profile and voila, you get taken to a page with JJ's full name and professional bio on it.


Krab seems to have a problem telling the whole story as I quoted myself above. Besides standing arms length from is own posts due to ethical and legal problems,
J_J signs his webpage but refuses to sign his own posts. He knows he has problems.


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Large difference, ethical and legal wise, between signing his legal name here verses a webpage.

krab

That's not actually the case here, and you're being a contentious fool. His posts all provide a means to ascertain his real name and MORE.

Not legally buddy. Not by a long shot. Better take law my friend because you have no idea of what you are talking about.

What these guys are shouting is I have something to hide, or am not telling the truth.


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Do you need me to rub your fool face in proof of THAT, too, 'SASAudio' (btw, that's not your legal name, is it?)

Remember, I already specifically gave my name to you, Steve Sammet.

The rest of his post is similar and simply PR control.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Not wishing to enter into the fray for this round of Onanism, just a linguistic request...

Can you quit it with the "cryogenically frozen" stuff?

The objects in question are already solids, and placing them in a home freezer does not 'freeze' them.

This nonsense is where we get 'neurolinguistic programming' in lieu of 'affirmation,' and 'applied kinesiology' substituting for 'suggestion.'

'Morphic resonance' fits this line of sales-speak, as well.

I will now step aside while this round of master debation continues.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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That's bullshit, Madame. Those concepts are fought against tooth and nail in audiophile culture. They are most definitely NOT taken into account. Typically, subjective impression is considered to be just as valid a method of arriving at audio 'truth' as scientific methods...moreso, actually.

If things were otherwise, there would BE no "Great Debate'.

Really? Well how does that apply to the Furtech? Do you have data from a peer reviewed paper that examined the audible effects of the Furtech? Or are you just waving the science flag with no substance behind it? You want to talk about science show us the science. Show us the actual science, you know as a scientist, the stuff actual scientists regard as real science that should put the "great debate' to bed. Anything else is, as you say, Bullshit.

I presume you mean one of the Furutech demagnetizing devices (IIRC they have one for LP and one for CDs, how clever of them!), and if so, why have you written this nonsequitur?

My point to May Belt was that contrary to her claim, psychological confounders of perceptual accuracy -- effects that must be accounted for routinely in scientific work -- are not typically accounted for in reviews and claims made by audiophiles.

So what on earth does the Furtech [sic] flooby have to do with this, except to provide an example of it? Or do you have evidence that Michael Fremer et al. suddenly have become concerned enough with the native fallibility of reports from 'sighted' comparison, and scientific standards of proof, to start adding the sorts of qualifiers that a scientist could accept? (Like, '....we haven't ruled out that that we imagined the difference and the device actually had no audible effect whatsoever.')

Nonsequitur? No Steve, the Furutech has been exhibit A through out this discussion. Have you read this thread? It looks to me like the charge of nonsequitur is just hand waving and a way of avoiding actual answer to the question posed. That answer being "no I don't have any of that real science when it comes to the question of the effectiveness of the Furutech LP demagnetizer." You are also a complete no show on all that real science that should have laid the "great debate to rest." It took all that posturing and hand waving just to say you got nothing? So it actually was just all "bullshit" after all.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Nice raging meltdown, Krabby. You must have read "How To Win Friends & Influence People" by eating the pages, one by one. Look, I don't have to time to spank you properly, I'll get you next time, ok? Just wanted to say how funny it is that a "j_j" lickspittle who goes by the name "krabapple", is actually defending the "honor" of a troll who won't even say what his real name is, while attacking everyone else who uses a pseudonym as he does. This makes both of you contentious fools. If your "j_j" master had any "honor", he would not have emailed you in the first place, to beg you to defend his pseudonymous sockpuppetry. He would have addressed the question as to why he will not simply state his real name to anyone here, as "SASAudio" has honorably done with you. Which is more than he should have, since you're a lowlife troll, and you have no honor or shame yourself. Which begs the question...

Why is anyone of sane stock responding to this abusive troll?! In case it isn't clear, this "Krabapple" troll is a hostile agent here, who's only purpose is to disturb discussion, crap all over our threads and attack the audiophile members here. It can not be reasoned with, and it will only respond with unprovoked abuse. As we have already seen, and as I predicted as soon as it entered this thread. Engage the troll if you will, engage the troll if you must, or think we will derive some benefit from it. Just don't expect to have a reasonable, let alone civil debate with it, and don't say I didn't warn you!


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And why are some on this thread so obsessed with jj (James Johnston, whose name was displayed plain as day in the link provided in his profile, where obsessives such as MJ Frog were also participating?) Is it because they feel threatened by him?

Where is his legal name listed "plain as day" on posts here?

Try not to be obtuse for once.

I wrote *plain as day in the link provided in the profile*.

That means you click the link provided by him in his Stereophile forum profile and voila, you get taken to a page with JJ's full name and professional bio on it.


Quote:
Large difference, ethical and legal wise, between signing his legal name here verses a webpage.

That's not actually the case here, and you're being a contentious fool. His posts all provide a means to ascertain his real name and MORE.

That's more than most people here provide.


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We keep asking J_J to sign his post with his legal name and he keeps refusing post after post, string after string.

And why exactly do 'you' Sherlocks expect anyone to give a flying fig at this point, given your record of bumbling accusation? Again, jj's Stereophile posts all link to his Stereophile profile, which includes a link to a website all about him. Which is not even a 'requirement' in this case anyway, since THE EDITOR OF STEREOPHILE, JOHN ATKINSON, IS A PROFESSIONAL ACQUAINTANCE OF JJs AND KNOWS WHO 'JJ' IS.

Do you need me to rub your fool face in proof of THAT, too, 'SASAudio' (btw, that's not your legal name, is it?)

(Personally, at this point if I was JJ I'd withhold ever signing my name to a post here, just on *principle*. Your paranoia is contemptible and not worth assuaging.)


Quote:
If he posts his legal name on his webpage/site, what is the problem posting his legal name here. Afterall, he is a professional.

Let's recap. You and others all but call jj a fraud (and, bizarrely at one point, a 'sockpuppet'), but jj turns out to be the real deal -- an honored professional in digital audio signal processing and psychoacoustics -- so you turn out to be wrong about him, yet you just can't let go. Haven't you made enough of a fool of yourself already about it or are you some sort of masochist?


Quote:
Evidently he wishes to keep arms distance from his own posts, for ethical and legal reasons?.

You've proven yourself really, really bad at determining what is 'evident', so maybe you should refrain from that.

May Belt
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

>>> "The objects in question are already solids, and placing them in a home freezer does not 'freeze' them." <<<

WHO mentioned placing them in a home freezer ?

John Atkinson, could you please give the link to "The Cryogenic Compact Disc" article by Robert Harley in the Stereophile October 1990 issue ?

I don't think Keith Howard's article "The freezing issue" in Hi Fi News July 2001 issue can be linked via the Internet, but I could be wrong !

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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WHO mentioned placing them in a home freezer ?

May, you do!

Read all about it at this website:

"Freezing" using a domestic deep freezer.

May Belt
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

The quotes I gave in my reply to Krabapple were from the experiences of well regarded people in the world of audio !!

I SPECIFICALLY used examples of 'cryogenically frozen' cables and CDs.

Now, yes, we DO describe a DIY technique of using a domestic deep freezer which people can experiment with. We describe this because that is a technique we discovered when we could not bake (anneal) the plastic insulation used around a metal conductor. We found that it had improved the sound from different plastic insulation materials after carrying out that simple freezing technique. When we then tried the same technique on the metal conductor, it had a similar beneficial effect. When we then tried the same technique on some CDs, it had a similar beneficial effect. When we told other 'professionals in audio' and THEY tried the same technique, it had a similar effect for them.

Then, when we tried using the same technique with batteries.............. , well, that is another story altogether !!!

Now to something extremely serious. Your quote :-

>>> "Not wishing to enter into the fray for this round of Onanism, just a linguistic request...
Can you quit it with the "cryogenically frozen" stuff?
The objects in question are already solids, and placing them in a home freezer does not 'freeze' them." <<<

Your request to "quit with the cryogenicially frozen stuff". Requests like that say to me "Don't rock the boat" "Because we cannot cope if it can be shown that freezing solids, using a domestic deep freeze, can give improvements in sound" !!!

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
John Atkinson, could you please give the link to "The Cryogenic Compact Disc" article by Robert Harley in the Stereophile October 1990 issue ?

www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/822

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

SAS Audio
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Yep Michigan.

Dr. Kunkur publishes his name in his emails, I have, others have, J_J has at his link website, but fighting like dogs for J_J not too on forums. Also notice they sidestepped the question concerning "Conference presentations and abstracts:" and "Colloquia and seminars:." Dr. Kunkur was quite open in this regard. Very telling indeed.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
Your request to "quit with the cryogenicially frozen stuff". Requests like that say to me "Don't rock the boat" "Because we cannot cope if it can be shown that freezing solids, using a domestic deep freeze, can give improvements in sound" !!!

Not at all, I would just prefer more precise language. Not taking issue with your passtime, just the terminology.

Trying to avoid redundancy, as well.

A domestic freezer is not 'freezing' a CD, you are merely 'cooling' it to around 70 degrees F below room temperature. The objects are already 'frozen.'

"Cryogenic" is also a more precise term than you marketing types give it credit for. Properly used, it implies lowering the temparture of an object to around -238 degrees F. Misappropriating a term to give a dissimilar process linguistic credibility is not kosher.

Not trying to rock your boat at all, otherwise I'd bring up the utter lack of anyone's demonstrable ability to hear your tweaks under blind conditions, which I am not doing!

geoffkait
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

"Not trying to rock your boat at all, otherwise I'd bring up the utter lack of anyone's demonstrable ability to hear your tweaks under blind conditions, which I am not doing!"

Excellent Troll-Strawman Argument combo!! Best one of the day! 3 stars.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

I wouldn't do that, geoff, it'll just go to his head.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


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"Not trying to rock your boat at all, otherwise I'd bring up the utter lack of anyone's demonstrable ability to hear your tweaks under blind conditions, which I am not doing!"

Excellent Troll-Strawman Argument combo!! Best one of the day! 3 stars.

Thanks, coming from the master, that means alot!

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
Not at all, I would just prefer more precise language. Not taking issue with your passtime, just the terminology.

Trying to avoid redundancy, as well.

A domestic freezer is not 'freezing' a CD, you are merely 'cooling' it to around 70 degrees F below room temperature. The objects are already 'frozen.'

"Cryogenic" is also a more precise term than you marketing types give it credit for. Properly used, it implies lowering the temparture of an object to around -238 degrees F. Misappropriating a term to give a dissimilar process linguistic credibility is not kosher.

I'm not sure why you're engaging in semantics here. I don't see any misappropriation of the term, for referring to what happens in a domestic freezer as "freezing". As that's what it's called. Perhaps this Wikipedia definition of "freezing" might help you sort it out:

In physical science, freezing or solidification is the process in which a liquid turns into a solid when cold enough. The freezing point is the temperature at which this happens.

" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freezing

A working domestic home freezer reaches the freezing point. Which is why it's commonly referred to as a "freezer". So yes, it is appropriate to say "I froze my CD's" or "I froze the bag of peas" when using a domestic freezer. As to whether domestic or freezing at cryo temps can be beneficial to sound... that's another bag of peas.


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Not trying to rock your boat at all, otherwise I'd bring up the utter lack of anyone's demonstrable ability to hear your tweaks under blind conditions, which I am not doing!

That's not called "rocking the boat". That's called "argument from ignorance". It's a logical fallacy which means that you are asserting that if you have an utter lack of awareness of any demonstrable ability to hear the PWB tweaks under blind conditions, then this means there is an "utter lack of such". This editor of a Hungarian HiFi magazine reflects on a study he had done in the mid 80's on PWB's products. It incorporated more than 1,000 subjects, with 75% positive results. I don't know, is a thousand subjects enough for you to stop claiming there were no blind tests done on PWB products?

http://forums.naim-audio.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/48019385/m/9992910907?r=2222930907#2222930907

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

May,
I liked what you posted earlier about a groundrule that we all assume that we do not need to qualify each statement we write with words to the effect that 'we already understand that bias, prejudice, prior experience, mood, etc., all can affect our perceptions'. That understanding would eliminate a lot of back-and-forth posts. However, when claims are made of sonic changes due to use of a particular device or item, the proof is the burden of those that claim it. When those claims are very much outside the realm of conventional knowledge, the claim is certainly going to be suspect. Now the following quote is appropriate as a lead-in:


Quote:
There is Group A. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have experienced things, changing sound, which cannot be explained from within those conventional theories.
Things such as applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs.
Things such as applying colour to the edge of CDs.
Things such as cryogenically freezing CDs.
Things such as applying a chemical to the LABEL side of CDs, to the LABELS of LPs, to the outer insulation of cables.
Things such as different cables giving different sounds.

There is Group B. Members who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustic theories - forwards, backwards and upside down - but who have NOT experienced those same things inexplicably change the sound.

Both groups A and B KNOW conventional electronic and acoustic theories - most of the time equally as well as each other. And, I would submit, as soon as some of the members of Group B DO SUDDENLY experience what the members of Group A have experienced, then they too join Group A. For members of Group B joining Group A does NOT mean abandoning their existing knowledge - it means that all is NOT known - it means that there are things which yet have to be worked out !!!!!!

I had posted about changing capacitors in my electronics and hearing an audible difference and judged it an improvement. Yes, I would have put myself in Group B initially, and after the tweaks, into Group A. I do claim that I am educated in the sciences and engineerring, and also musically talented, but *not* one "who KNOW conventional electronic and acoustics theories - forwards, backwards and upside down".

I have not tried the demagnitizers, or freezing CDs or applying material to the cables or other parts (other than cleaning the LPs, which does make an audible improvement).

I have tried the coloring on the edge of CDs (no difference heard), and different cables (difference clearly heard).

Going from Group B to Group A for me was really interesting. Although I am convinced that the effects I hear are real, there are things not accounted for in the comparison that could really be the cause of the difference, and not a capacitor'dielectric-type effect. All may not be known about why there is this audible difference, but it does not mean that conventional knowledge is lacking or not.

What if I did not change capacitors, but altered whatever conventional parameters (distortion products, frequency response, signal delay, etc.) that achieves the same result in the sound that a substituted capacitor would have given, then those parameters are what matters, and the changed capacitor simply provided the necessary changes in a neat package. It may not be the dielectric alone, as often casually claimed.

Going from Group A to Group B and back should not be a controversy, or a dividing line. We live in both worlds all the time. Those with more technical leanings will look at it with a different approach than those that depend on their ear more because that's what they have to use. Some of us are lucky to have both technical training and be blessed with good hearing. For me, I try to see it both ways.

I must say that putting so-called magic stones or disks on equipment does not make a whole lot of sense. If small items like that can make a sufficient impact on your perceived sound, then everything matters in the room, and one can no longer judge their system as the same from day to day, or minute to minute. The we would have nothing left to discuss, as there is not enough constancy to which we can refer, simply because sitting in a sofa is different each time to as small degree as adding one disk or removing one stone. I also clearly must say, I have not tried these, but you can understand that without a clear mechanism described by those that manufacture and sell these, personal bias may be the more rational explanation, until proved otherwise.

geoffkait
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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

"I must say that putting so-called magic stones or disks on equipment does not make a whole lot of sense. If small items like that can make a sufficient impact on your perceived sound, then everything matters in the room, and one can no longer judge their system as the same from day to day, or minute to minute."

But, what if what you just said is actually true - that (some) small things make a big difference and that you can no longer judge your system from day to day, minute to minute? Wouldn't that be a kick in the rear? You and everyone else really would have to go back to the drawing boards, eh? Well, guess what? Get ready for the big surprise.

"Then we would have nothing left to discuss, as there is not enough constancy to which we can refer, simply because sitting in a sofa is different each time to as small degree as adding one disk or removing one stone. I also clearly must say, I have not tried these, but you can understand that without a clear mechanism described by those that manufacture and sell these, personal bias may be the more rational explanation, until proved otherwise."

Not sure that's a realistic option since clear mechanisms are nowhere to be found for many of these things and the ones that are provided often either can't be proven or are arguable, as we have seen.

Cheers

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."

Eventually, this thread too shall be closed.

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Re: "But it does not end by merely closing a thread."


Quote:
I must say that putting so-called magic stones or disks on equipment does not make a whole lot of sense. If small items like that can make a sufficient impact on your perceived sound, then everything matters in the room, and one can no longer judge their system as the same from day to day, or minute to minute. The we would have nothing left to discuss, as there is not enough constancy to which we can refer, simply because sitting in a sofa is different each time to as small degree as adding one disk or removing one stone. I also clearly must say, I have not tried these, but you can understand that without a clear mechanism described by those that manufacture and sell these, personal bias may be the more rational explanation, until proved otherwise.

Very very few people would even begin to understand me saying that everything does matter in the room, and also outside the room. It matters for different reasons in different ways. They may be small ways when and if they are observed individually, but significant in the overall scheme of things. Stones (though I have never heard of a "magic" stone) and mpingo discs are to me what Klipschorns and Magnepans are to you: big things. I have done perhaps several hundred experiments with objects slightly smaller than a grain of sand, perceptibly and reliably changing my perception of sound (though not always in ways I cared for, and certainly not in ways as evident as the aforementioned big things).

Absent of a clear or "proven" mechanism, "personal bias" is not a "rational explanation". Not after hundreds of times, not resulting in a predictable sound, and not when it's been possible for me at times to have someone else confirm what I observed. Rather, that's more of a (tired and tiring) catch-all for those who don't understand the mechanism, or won't believe the explanation for it. Those still stuck in a box and who choose to remain there, because it's warmer and safer for them. Those who just peer out of their box and call everything they don't understand "magic", and prefer to avoid what is outside of their comfort zone; if not regard it with disdainful skepticism.

In my opinion, it's presumptious to say we have nothing left to discuss because of the fickle and mysterious nature of Nature. In fact, those small things that matter are to me things to discuss, particularly because they are mysterious and little known. And because there is a hell of a lot to discuss of this (though we never do here, because the politics of audiophilia are more important to audiophiles than the endless pursuit of good sound. Ironically). Although the sound and our perception of it can change minute to minute, does not mean it's enough for everyone to notice. Those with keener listening skills will be more aware of this. You can even miss an elephant in your driveway, if you're not looking, you know. So the constancy you seek was never there on audio forums. What does and doesn't have an effect almost always comes down to what people are able to hear, and what they are willing to hear.

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