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linden518
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Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

The greatest debate since the Cartesian mind-body split:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/fragilesouls/fragilesouls.html

I expect molotov cocktails.

RGibran
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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

Great read. Friggin' Monks!

RG

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

A revised version of this essay will appear in the September issue of Stereophile.

j_j
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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
A revised version of this essay will appear in the September issue of Stereophile.

I hope that he realizes by then the difference between specific preferences, which everybody gets to have, and which are personal to that individual, and "fact" or "scientific determination" which require objectivity.

Also, it appears that he wishes to argue, via absurd photographs and false insinuations, that "objectivists" expect people to wear blindfolds. In doing so, he is making a patently dishonest attempt to frighten people via spreading myths about what a 'blind test' is.

John, I ran a single-blind test on you and Wes Phillips, and you didn't even notice until after the fact, when I told you what you were listening to. It doesn't have to be unpleasant now, does it?

His summary of "objectivists" is simply wrong, it is a misrepresentation, and it appears to insult the people who actually build stuff. It is jingoistic, and appears to be intentionally fostering hatred of objectivists.

As to his material claim of:

Quote:
The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi.

Well, I'd like to see some actual, material proof of this claim, which would appear to suggest that I never spend time listening to music as music, which runs entirely counter to the fact. I won't speak for other so-called "objectivists". Again, the claim shows that this article is nothing more than emotionally loaded rhetoric intended to inflame the public against the people who actually bring them the music.

Pathetic.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

"The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi."

It is overly broad, but I have had discussion with folks who did bear out that over-inclusive statement.

I was posting about ripping my vinyl at 96k 24 bits and a guy came on and said I was wasting bandwidth because of the limited dynamic range of the vinyl. He said that the numbers showed that 320 mp3s would be indestinguishable from my huge files.

In our discussion, I asked him if he had ever listened to the mp3 vs. the redbook vs. the high rez rips, and he said no, that he did not need to, as the math told him everything he needed to know. I shared that everyone I had played the different files for could hear the difference, and he should hear for himself. He was not interested.

So some folks would rather "know" than experience. But certainly not all.

Trey

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
"The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi."

It is overly broad, but I have had discussion with folks who did bear out that over-inclusive statement.

I was posting about ripping my vinyl at 96k 24 bits and a guy came on and said I was wasting bandwidth because of the limited dynamic range of the vinyl. He said that the numbers showed that 320 mp3s would be indestinguishable from my huge files.

In our discussion, I asked him if he had ever listened to the mp3 vs. the redbook vs. the high rez rips, and he said no, that he did not need to, as the math told him everything he needed to know. I shared that everyone I had played the different files for could hear the difference, and he should hear for himself. He was not interested.

So some folks would rather "know" than experience. But certainly not all.

Trey

Well, I would submit, despite the various defamatory statements made by anonymous stalkers here, that I'm about as far on the "science side" as anyone on the planet, so it's not the "science" part that's the issue here.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
He said that the numbers showed that 320 mp3s would be indestinguishable from my huge files.

Heh. Sticking to 44/16 for the nonce, just for a hoot, ask this fellow to take Track 11 of Ry Cooder's "Jazz" album and try it on mp3 at 320 vs. redbook CD.

Get him to listen to the first 30 seconds of each.

You won't need to hold your hands over your ears, but listen to the attacks and the "ringing notes".

(jj wanders away whistling "that'll be the day")

Edited for bad spelin

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

Yeah, the HA crowd does not make it a secret that there are lots of successful ABX tests at 320kbps. (There's a hell of a lot more concrete information on how to do that there than on, say... Stereophile.) What is questionable are statements to the effect that such issues will always be audible, and for all listeners.

More to the point, just because somebody dismisses one's listening observations does not make that person less interested in "the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi". Ignoring for the moment the truth or falsehood of the justification for the dimissal for a moment... Maybe that person is challenging your beliefs on what that experience actually means, but if so, that's your problem, and not necessarily his/hers. Personal experience is personal experience, and unless you're a mind-reader, it's folly to presume what's going on inside somebody else's head.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
Well, I would submit, despite the various defamatory statements made by anonymous stalkers here, that I'm about as far on the "science side" as anyone on the planet, so it's not the "science" part that's the issue here.

I fear that science is often the innocent victim in the objectivist/subjectivist debates.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi.


Well, I'd like to see some actual, material proof of this claim, which would appear to suggest that I never spend time listening to music as music, which runs entirely counter to the fact.

I think an average of 110 posts per month on this forum, beating audiophiles over the head with your "theories of sound and perception", is proof enough for most people. In three months, you've nearly equalled what it took me two and a half years to build up. And if anyone was brave enough to cull through and count ALL of these like-minded posts in your entire lengthy decades long trolling career, under all the different sockpuppet identities you were known to use, from web forum to usenet group to mailing list, it would probably equal what it would take the average discussion group forumer 36 lifetimes to achieve. That is, provided he quit his job and devoted his life to "arguing the theory of sound and perception" against audiophiles, on their little discussion groups. Yup, I'd say Mr. Lavorgna definitely did his research well! Can't wait to read the article!

Instead of trying to convert lost souls to your anti-high end cause, which is a lost cause in itself, I suggest that if you do own any music apart from test records and samplers, you will probably find it more productive and personally rewarding to actually listen to music on your audio system, than whatever it is you get from fighting every audiophile you see on audio theories all the time. Just take a day off from the forums and see if I'm not right! (Don't worry, I'm sure you will still be ahead of Arny in the post count! )

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
...just for a hoot, ask this fellow to take Track 11 of Ry Cooder's "Jazz" album and try it on mp3 at 320 vs. redbook CD.

Get him to listen to the first 30 seconds of each.

You won't need to hold your hands over your ears, but listen to the attacks and the "ringing notes".

(jj wanders away whistling "that'll be the day")


Funny, but this quote kind of substantiates what the article is arguing against. Way to prove his point, JJ.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

I think that Michael missed the point that if you want to JUST enjoy the music, you don't need hi-fi. You can do it on a Bose radio, with your computer speakers, etc.

The reason people get into hi-fi is because they want something MORE than just listening to music. They want greater fidelity of sound. What's fidelity? Fidelity is science. Science is repeatable and measurable.

That's really the crux of it. If all you want is to enjoy your music, by all means do so on whatever device that suits your fancy. However, if you want to listen on hi-fi (the "fi" in hi-fi standing for "fidelity"), then you can have a legitimate argument as to what makes something better than something else.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
In our discussion, I asked him if he had ever listened to the mp3 vs. the redbook vs. the high rez rips, and he said no, that he did not need to, as the math told him everything he needed to know. I shared that everyone I had played the different files for could hear the difference, and he should hear for himself. He was not interested.

So some folks would rather "know" than experience. But certainly not all.

Indeed. You've just described nearly every member of Hydrogen Audio, and the "audio objectivist cult" community that exists on the internet, in little pockets here and there. It's a fundamental difference between this anti-high end clique, and the audiophile community at large - which doesn't try to fit a square peg into a round hole, because some theory or other convinced them that the hole is supposed to be square. Audiophiles learn by listening, and if they have enough of an interest in the why's, may try to understand why a given (but not universally recognized) practice produces a repeated, predictable kind of change in their sound. One that others may hear as well. While the so-called "objectivist" clique, upon hearing about this, just responds with their usual "placebo" theory, because they can't find anything convincing enough in whatever theories they learned, to explain it either. It is why there will always be friction between the speculators and the empiricists, in the same space.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists
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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
A revised version of this essay will appear in the September issue of Stereophile.


Glad I let my subscription lapse.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
...just for a hoot, ask this fellow to take Track 11 of Ry Cooder's "Jazz" album and try it on mp3 at 320 vs. redbook CD.

Get him to listen to the first 30 seconds of each.

You won't need to hold your hands over your ears, but listen to the attacks and the "ringing notes".

(jj wanders away whistling "that'll be the day")


Funny, but this quote kind of substantiates what the article is arguing against. Way to prove his point, JJ.

Not at all, it goes to show that one can easily enjoy the music at 320 kb/s, even if you know better, but that you may be able to hear a difference.

One can, as somebody else pointed out, enjoy the music on a very bad system. Most of us do (by necessity, we can't always be at home in a good setting). What you're blurring is enjoyment, preference, and science, three different things.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
A revised version of this essay will appear in the September issue of Stereophile.


Glad I let my subscription lapse.

Glad I signed up for a subscription.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
I think that Michael missed the point that if you want to JUST enjoy the music, you don't need hi-fi. You can do it on a Bose radio, with your computer speakers, etc.

The reason people get into hi-fi is because they want something MORE than just listening to music.

can't go there with you on that. sure I *can* enjoy music on a radio but I enjoy it more if it sounds better. I didn't get into hifi because I wanted something more *than* just listening to music, I got into hifi because I wanted something more *from* listening to music. The better the sound the more I got from the experience.


Quote:
They want greater fidelity of sound. What's fidelity? Fidelity is science. Science is repeatable and measurable.

Fidelity is not science. Fidelity is truth. That is the actual meaning of the word.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
Fidelity is not science. Fidelity is truth. That is the actual meaning of the word.

And science means "knowlege".

Without knowlege, what is truth? More to my point, what IS your point?

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
...just for a hoot, ask this fellow to take Track 11 of Ry Cooder's "Jazz" album and try it on mp3 at 320 vs. redbook CD.

Get him to listen to the first 30 seconds of each.

You won't need to hold your hands over your ears, but listen to the attacks and the "ringing notes".

(jj wanders away whistling "that'll be the day")


Funny, but this quote kind of substantiates what the article is arguing against. Way to prove his point, JJ.

Not at all, it goes to show that one can easily enjoy the music at 320 kb/s, even if you know better, but that you may be able to hear a difference.

One can, as somebody else pointed out, enjoy the music on a very bad system. Most of us do. What you're blurring is enjoyment, preference, and science, three different things.


Hi, JJ. I value what you have to say, as I'm of the belief that subjective/objective dichotomy doesn't have to be so stark, that both have a place in enjoying hi-fi as a hobby. That said, I think your quote still illustrates what ML argues against. Just reading what you wrote: take 30 seconds of a Ry Cooder track #11, listen for attacks & "ringing notes" all the while you take your leisurely (and pretty self-righteous!) whistling break. Seems like the bulk of Michael's article's all about why the hell would anyone even WANT to listen for ringing notes and attacks for 30 seconds to a song? So it still seems Michael's point is well illustrated & you kinda stepped on a landmine there unwittingly.

AlexO & your points are well taken. You can enjoy the music on the Bose or iPod, but Hi-Fi brings something different to the equation of 'enjoying the music'. I agree. But I don't think Michael Lavorgna would disagree either? I mean, the guy went through a lot of gears, before eventually settling down with Shindo electronics, A23 Solovox and Nouvelle Platine, etc. I wouldn't say he didn't use some kind of an objective and empirical discernment to arrive at where he is, hi-fi-wise.

I believe he's railing against the strict measurements = only barometer of sound kind of thinking. (Didn't some of these extreme objectivists at one point think that all amps sounded the same?) In illustrating his point, I do kind of detect an over-simplification of the objectivist viewpoint in ML's article... it did seem a bit caricaturish in its rhetoric. Still, it's no less denigrating than your accusing Michael or me or whoever else of not being able to discern among enjoyment, preference and science.

Goes both ways, I suppose.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
Fidelity is not science. Fidelity is truth. That is the actual meaning of the word.


Quote:
And science means "knowlege".

Knowledge is not limited to science.


Quote:
Without knowlege, what is truth?

Far too broad a question. Truth about what? Truth about art? Truth about love? Truth about atrocities of man against man? Truth about the meaning of life? Again knowledge is not limited to science. Do tell us what truths science tells us about love. I'd rather get that "knowledge" from Shakespeare. He was man who told us many truths better than any other human being (IMO) but knew little about science.


Quote:
More to my point, what IS your point?

That one can love the sound of music and form opinions about the aesthetic values of audio without needing to turn it into some sort of twisted science project.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

You're right, you don't need to turn it into a science project most of the time. However, if I give you a ribbon and tell you that if you tie it around your pecker, your system will sound better, would you want some sort of proof? I will give you testimonials from 100 people saying how wonderful the system sounded after the fact. 50% of the people on Stereophile forums will tell you that they definitely heard the difference. My ribbon will only run you $300. Wanna take the plunge?

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
Just reading what you wrote: take 30 seconds of a Ry Cooder track #11, listen for attacks & "ringing notes" all the while you take your leisurely (and pretty self-righteous!) whistling break.

The "attacks" and "ringing notes" ARE the music, dude. It's a hammered dulcimer.

It's pretty cool, too. Just beats the (*&(*&* out of most audio codecs.

And my comment about the Cooder track was directed to the idea that 320kb/s was as good as lossless.

Which is not "the music", that's already technical details.

If I'm playing music, I'm playing music. If I'm analyzing it, I'm not PLAYING MUSIC.

Which is what Lavorgna misses entirely. I would be glad to agree that some objectivist types also miss the point, but even those who seem to miss the point (who I know) are seen to be tapping their toes in time to the music, even under bad conditions.

So, objectivists do listen to the music. They also do something else when being "objectivists". Lavorgna would have the world believe that I never, EVER enjoy music.

So, sorry, his phrasing is general, it includes me, and it amounts to a personal attack based on a deliberate scare stereotype.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
And my comment about the Cooder track was directed to the idea that 320kb/s was as good as lossless.


Probably for another thread, but incidentally, in the past month's review of Wavelength Cosecant USB DAC, Art Dudley says almost as much when he says he clearly preferred AIFFs, but the difference between Apple Lossless and lossy mp3s were surprisingly small... someone start another thread on this please? Would love to hear on this topic, but am hurrying my ass out of my office as of this moment...

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Quote:
You're right, you don't need to turn it into a science project most of the time. However, if I give you a ribbon and tell you that if you tie it around your pecker, your system will sound better, would you want some sort of proof?

No. I'd be afraid you might actually have some. I'm just not doing that even for better sound.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


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The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi.


Yes, that is preposterous and insulting. I'm about as hard-core objectivist as it gets, and I am totally passionate about music. I write music in many styles including for full orchestra, and I play a number of instruments at a professional level including the cello. Does Michael Lavorgna "do" any sort of music even at an amateur level?

--Ethan

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
The people on the 'science' side of the argument are more interested in the theory of sound and perception than they are in the actual experience of listening to music on a hifi.


Yes, that is preposterous and insulting. I'm about as hard-core objectivist as it gets, and I am totally passionate about music. I write music in many styles including for full orchestra, and I play a number of instruments at a professional level including the cello. Does Michael Lavorgna "do" any sort of music even at an amateur level?

--Ethan

You seem to constantly be oblivious to the fact that this hobby is about listening to music. Not playing music. Yes, there's a difference, mate. That's another hobby entirely. This sort of response just supports Lavorgna's argument.

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Quote:
You're right, you don't need to turn it into a science project most of the time. However, if I give you a ribbon and tell you that if you tie it around your pecker, your system will sound better, would you want some sort of proof? I will give you testimonials from 100 people saying how wonderful the system sounded after the fact. 50% of the people on Stereophile forums will tell you that they definitely heard the difference. My ribbon will only run you $300. Wanna take the plunge?

Pecker ribbons, eh? Sounds good to me. Ok, you've got a deal. Show me the 100 testimonials saying how wonderful the system sounded after the fact, and the testimonials from %50 of the people on Stereophile, and I'll write the check.

Oh. You can't do that, can you?

Didn't think so. Next! (ding!)

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Quote:
This sort of response just supports Lavorgna's argument.


LOL, let me guess, you have no musical aptitude either, right? That just supports my argument.

If you have ever done anything musical other than as a spectator, here's your chance to shine by telling us about it and hopefully supporting it with a link. Otherwise your comments about music and audio are about as relevant as my opinions of soccer players. Here's a hint Sherlock: I never played soccer. But at least I know I'm ignorant about soccer.

--Ethan

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
This sort of response just supports Lavorgna's argument.


LOL, let me guess, you have no musical aptitude either, right? That just supports my argument.

If you have ever done anything musical other than as a spectator, here's your chance to shine by telling us about it and hopefully supporting it with a link. Otherwise your comments about music and audio are about as relevant as my opinions of soccer players. Here's a hint Sherlock: I never played soccer. But at least I know I'm ignorant about soccer.

--Ethan

While participation in any given dicipline is valuable for it's particular insight it is not always madatory for one to qualify as an expert. There are a lot of soccer fans who know the game inside out.

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There are a lot of soccer fans who know the game inside out.


I agree 100 percent, but a fan will never ever experience the passion of the game as deeply as a player, or even an umpire, will. Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand. Sort of like the most empathetic husband will never know what it's like to give birth.

--Ethan

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
There are a lot of soccer fans who know the game inside out.


I agree 100 percent, but a fan will never ever experience the passion of the game as deeply as a player, or even an umpire, will. Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand. Sort of like the most empathetic husband will never know what it's like to give birth.

--Ethan

I don't want to know what it's like to give birth and I don't want that first hand experience with music. I have that with my own career and while I love what I do I also miss the magic I felt when I was a mere spectator. I would never want to lose that with music.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
There are a lot of soccer fans who know the game inside out.


I agree 100 percent, but a fan will never ever experience the passion of the game as deeply as a player, or even an umpire, will. Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand. Sort of like the most empathetic husband will never know what it's like to give birth.

--Ethan


I can't agree. Maybe you found a bad analogy, Ethan. I've seen a lot of young kids, for example, who are more passionate about baseball than some of these petulant players.

Back to music: saying that a listener just won't understand without playing at a fairly high level is patently untrue. It's true that theoretically & structurally, the "player" can grasp such elements better, but the appreciation of sublime music does not depend on expertise of craft. (Just read Kant's Critique of Judgment, the entirety of which is devoted to aesthetic judgment for a more in depth analysis of this...) Consider also the Wittgenstein family. Ludwig Wittgenstein, of course, was the genius philosopher, but his brother Paul was the professional pianist (after he lost his arm in the war, many composers dedicated pieces to him, including Ravel with the Concerto for the Left Hand...)

Anyhoo, although Paul was the better player, it was no secret to anyone who knew the Wittgensteins that Ludwig comprehended/apprehended music better even when he couldn't get around to playing as well as Paul.

Saying that you need to play at or near professional level to really understand music or the passion behind it seems absurd to me. I can sit at a piano and am proficient enough to stumble through a Rachmaninoff prelude or a Chopin Ballade, but my passion or understanding for music were no less when I did not know how to play.

It seems like a weird condescension or unfounded snobbery to say to a "non-player" that he/she just doesn't get what music is. Especially when such a claim is illogical and untrue.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


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Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand.

No.

Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand what it's like to play music at a fairly high level.

Yes.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

I think I could find a lot of high level performers who do not understand music or have a love of music (other than the works for their instrument). While I am jealous of conductors and their know;ledge of a score, conductors will complain that once you are used to taking things apart sometimes the simple joy of the whole is harder to reach.

I'm a painter and I can say with certainty that I understand the physicality of a painted surface and the romance of representation - and abstraction, better than non-artists. Am I justified in my assessment? I certainly think so, but I bet the art appreciation culture, collectors, museum/gallery goers and scholars might disagree.

I'm wary of both sides, but I am always more wary of the authoritarian posture that I sometimes hear from Objectivists. Why do we assume that we are at a stage where what we measure relates to what we hear. At the same time I do subscribe to the thought that the part of the audio chain that exhibits the most pronounced level of break-in are our ears.

Still I am amazed at how many audiophiles have giant car stereos in their homes, AND how many large speaker tiny amps SET-ups lack the barest whisper of dynamics - yet their proud owners love to show off the volume. Meaning that there is no basis for conversation since there is no standard for music reproduction - and certainly no absolute sound to base a standard on.

OK, so I am not sure where I stand, but I know I am not going to be smug regarding those who take the time to listen.

Gregg

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

I play music; I listen to music; I greatly enjoy doing both. And I care about sound. Have done for decades.

Anyone who claims that's impossible to do, is an ass.

And here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:

http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200905.htm

It;s called "The Misinformed Misleading the Uninformed -- A Bit About Blind Listening Tests"

And here's part II
http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200906.htm

Btw, reflexive anti-authoritarianism is also dumb. It's what leads to idiocy like advocating that creationism be taught in biology classes because those eggheaded scientists 'don't know everything'.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

So, does the sort of clueless drivel in Lavorgna's article merit a response at all? Maybe. But not much. I'd like to make a nomination though. I'd like to nominate Michael Lavorgna the second-most clueless Stereophile writer, second only to Jason Victor Serinus.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
So, does the sort of clueless drivel in Lavorgna's article merit a response at all? Maybe. But not much. I'd like to make a nomination though. I'd like to nominate Michael Lavorgna the second-most clueless Stereophile writer, second only to Jason Victor Serinus.

So, does your take on operatic sopranos differ all the much from Jason's?

Andy C, if you let your subscription lapse, when did you do so?

You seem awfully current in the complaint department.

My own take at this point is that all audiophiles have a sonic fetish. To the objectivists, it's neurological; to the subjectivists, it's psychological.

I think Michael is completely right except for the parts where he is obviously wrong. And those parts vary from reader to reader.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
I play music; I listen to music; I greatly enjoy doing both. And I care about sound. Have done for decades.
Anyone who claims that's impossible to do, is an ass.

And here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:
(propaganda snipped)

It;s called "The Misinformed Misleading the Uninformed -- A Bit About Blind Listening Tests"
And here's part II
(propaganda snipped)

And after we read the articles... do we get the privilege of being automatically inducted in your little Hydrogen Audio DBT cult, or does that only happen after we've spent the extra dollars to be brainwashed on a cruise ship in the Carribean sea? Either way, please stop disseminating propaganda without a license. Where can you get a license? You can't. They're not given to trolls. Sorry.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
So, does your take on operatic sopranos differ all the much from Jason's?

You got me there! I think I need to consult the Stereophile experts here. Without them, I am nothing!


Quote:
Andy C, if you let your subscription lapse, when did you do so?


A few months back.


Quote:
You seem awfully current in the complaint department.

Well, bullshit is bullshit. What can I say? Must I keep my subscription current to express this?


Quote:
I think Michael is completely right except for the parts where he is obviously wrong.

Indeed! Everyone is entitled to their own strawmen and false dichotomies. I don't feel entitled to pay to read such crap though.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
I play music; I listen to music; I greatly enjoy doing both. And I care about sound. Have done for decades.

Anyone who claims that's impossible to do, is an ass.

I must have missed it who claimed it was "impossible?" By the way, I don't doubt you care about music and sound.


Quote:
And here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:

http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200905.htm

Give me a break. It's the same old drivel. Wine tasting (BFD) and medical research. As if there is any reasonable comparison between a hobby that is all about the pleasure of listening to music and medical research. That is a stupid ass comparison.


Quote:
Btw, reflexive anti-authoritarianism is also dumb. It's what leads to idiocy like advocating that creationism be taught in biology classes because those eggheaded scientists 'don't know everything'.

That's a load of crap. The only one arguing from authority in that debate are the creationists and it's a good thing we reject that B.S. Last time I checked scientists used evidence to support their belief in evolution. But please correct me if I'm wrong about the argument for evolution being based in a mountain of evidence rather than an argument from authority.

I just gotta ask you though, as such a blind testing enthusiast what sort of blind listening tests did you use to help pick your equipment?

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

>>> "I must have missed it who claimed it was "impossible?"" <<<

Presumably Scott both you and I would agree that the words "not possible" means the same as "impossible" ?? If we do, then the quote you say you 'missed' is from Ethan (below).

>>> "Unless one plays music, and at a fairly high level, it's just not possible to understand." <<<

I am presuming that Ethan, with his description "playing music at a fairly high level" meant 'playing a musical instrument at a professionally high level' - and not 'playing music at a high sound level' ??

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:

http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200905.htm

I think it fair to point out, Mr. Sullivan, that while you may agree with the sentiments in the linked article, neither the publication concerned, nor its siblings, employ blind testing to reach review judgments. The reviewers use exactly the same methodology as Stereophile's, though, as I argued in the debate at the April Show in Montreal, with perhaps less rigor.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

>>> "Why do we assume that we are at a stage where what we measure relates to what we hear." <<<

Spot on, Greg. Some people DO presume that what we can measure must relate to what we 'hear'. This is one of the major stumbling blocks in progressing forward in gaining an understanding of what might be going on.

The people who insist on 'measurements' as being able to give an ultimate answer obviously believe that 'what is available to measure is heard in the same way - i.e at the same volume, the same information, the same acoustics etc. And, from that belief, then, any changes which people claim they can hear MUST BE able to be measured - and, following on from that, any measurement must follow the intensity of what was heard !! That then becomes the brick wall !!

Let me give you an example from the subject which started this particular controversy.
Michael Fremer described, in an article in Stereophile October 2006, that he heard an improvement in the sound by applying a demagnetiser to LPs. Michael said later:-

"What I heard was so obvious, so repeatable, so clear, it was like "is that the Empire State Building?" Not "I'd better do an A/B/X to prove it really is the Empire State Building" (I know that analogy is not valid). The point is, not one skeptic---and I'm talking recording engineers, mastering engineers whose names you know, and the editor of the magazine have all heard the difference...."

Then, during a visit to Michael's in 2009, Stephen Mejias also heard an improvement from a similar demagnetising demonstration by Michael and Stephen said:-
"We only had time to try it with one LP, but, with that one LP, it made a big improvement. There is a difference and it is obvious and it is immediate. The applause at the very beginning of the LP sounds more like real applause, more like pairs of human hands coming together to make sound, and less like Styrofoam or static."

*********

We then had the 'measurers' coming into the discussion i.e such as AlexO saying :-
>>> "If it can be heard, it can be measured." <<<

That, to me, shows that the people who are so insistent on 'measuring to provide the answers' are not understanding well enough how people (human beings) and their brains function.

It is a basic understanding amongst most scientists that human beings do not 'hear' exactly the same volume, the same information, the same acoustics etc as the sound being physically produced. A microphone picks up the (acoustic) sounds but the hearing/brain can discriminate - from exactly the same information.
It has to be discriminate because the brain has to be economical with the amount of energy it devotes to specific things. I can best describe this from Richard Dawkins in "Unweaving the Rainbow" quoting Cambridge physiologist Horace Barlow.

>>> "To summarize, it is as if the nervous system is tuned at successive hierarchical levels to respond strongly to the unexpected.

In Barlow's terms, it is the unexpected, it is 'news', and that is why we register it.

>>> "a type of computer model, programmed by past experience and continuously updated by new sense data from millisecond to millisecond, are running inside the skull of every swimming fish, every galloping horse, every echo-ranging bat."<<<

>>> "We could say that the brain constructs a virtual world which is more complete than the picture relayed to it by the senses." <<<

>>> "It is as if the nervous system is tuned at successive hierarchical levels to respond strongly to the unexpected - and weakly or not at all to the expected.
To push the idea to an extreme, most of the time the brain does not need to be told anything because what is going on is the norm. The brain is protected from redundancy by a hierarchy of filters, each filter tuned to remove expected features of a certain kind.
We see that the sensory coding units with which the brain confronts the environment also constitute a statistical description of that environment. They are tuned to discount the common and emphasize the rare." <<<

>>> "Everything that we know about the world outside our skulls comes to us via nerve cells whose impulses chatter like machine guns...... How would you translate information from the outside world say, the sound of an oboe or the temperature of a bath, into a pulse code ? The hotter the bath, the faster the machine gun should fire..... Actually this would not be a good code because it is uneconomical with pulses. By exploiting redundancy, it is possible to devise codes that convey the same information at a cost of fewer pulses..... To signal "It is hot, it is hot, it is still hot" by a continuously high rate of machine-gun pulses is wasteful; it is better to say "It has suddenly become hot". <<<

>>> "Most nerve cells are biased to respond to signal changes and programmed to exploit what is referred to as redundancy - screening out the wastefulness of energy. By using the term 'redundancy', it does not mean that the brain throws away information. The brain is told only about changes, and it is then in a position to reconstruct the rest" <<<.

**********

One example would be of a daily Newspaper and what headline it will print each day.
It will not print the headline "The Sun rose in the East this morning" day after day, because that is mundane - nobody would want to read that, nobody would buy the Newspaper. But if they printed the headline "The Sun did NOT rise at all this morning" or "The Sun rose in the West this morning" then everyone would want to buy/read that Newspaper to find out what was happening. THAT would be new - that would be rare !!
THAT would be taken notice of, would take on a greater importance than the mere words used - but in pure 'measurement' terms the number of letters in the different Newspaper headings would hardly be that different !!!!!!!

So, to come back to people's experiences when listening. If a person is listening to their favourite disc, one they were used to, one which they have heard many times, then their brain would be in some sort of 'ticking over' mode - the disc is something they are used to, something they have experienced being the same each time, the brain feels quite safe in being in 'ticking over/idling' mode but they then do something which gives a change, which makes a difference in the sound they are used to. Suddenly the brain is alerted, and goes into 'alert', 'what is going on' mode. Into Barlow's "surprise", "unexpected", "news" - hence far more notice being taken of the change !!! BUT a change has taken place, nevertheless !!!!!!!!!!!!

I can best quote Stephen again as an example of what I mean :-

>>> "We only had time to try it with one LP, but, with that one LP, it made a big improvement. There is a difference and it is obvious and it is immediate." <<<

Barlow's "surprise", "unexpected", "news" - triggering the brain to 'take notice', 'it might be important' - hence Stephen's words. But not only Stephen's words but similar words when other people have experienced a similar thing !!! I.e "Something, suddenly, gave me an improvement in the sound."

So, Greg, we have the people who are in the 'measurements will explain all' camp. I.e If there are no changes in the measurements, then no changes have taken place in the information, therefore people cannot have heard what they say they heard.!!
And then you have the people who KNOW what they heard, who were taken by surprise by what they heard. And there are many of those people, dotted around the world !!

Hence the continuing controversy.

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists

"
My own take at this point is that all audiophiles have a sonic fetish. To the objectivists, it's neurological; to the subjectivists, it's psychological.
"

++++
love that!

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
I am presuming that Ethan, with his description "playing music at a fairly high level" meant 'playing a musical instrument at a professionally high level' - and not 'playing music at a high sound level' ??


Yes, of course. Though playing good-sounding music at high SPL levels is pretty cool too.

--Ethan

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


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Why do we assume that we are at a stage where what we measure relates to what we hear.


We overcame that literally 50 years ago. Where have you been? But I'll humor you anyway. Please describe what you think we can hear that will not correlate with a comprehensive set of measurements? Be very specific! In the mean time, this article is right up your alley:

Artifact Audibility Report

And maybe this one too:

A common-sense explanation of audiophile beliefs

--Ethan

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:

http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200905.htm

I think it fair to point out, Mr. Sullivan, that while you may agree with the sentiments in the linked article, neither the publication concerned, nor its siblings, employ blind testing to reach review judgments. The reviewers use exactly the same methodology as Stereophile's, though, as I argued in the debate at the April Show in Montreal, with perhaps less rigor.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

As part of its reviews Soundstage! farms out some of its loudspeaker measurements to the NRC, which I don't recall Stereophile doing. So 'exactly the same methodology', no, I'm afraid not, nor do you necessarily win in the 'rigor' department.

You also neglect to point out that the author acknowledges that Soundstage hasn't often done DBTs, for reasons of practicality. But he indicates he's trying to change that:
"The downside: Although I believe in blind testing and the good it can bring, it

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:
Speaking of which, since I at last have your attention, you might want to rein in the more rabid-dog Stereophile subscribers on the 'Interesting Papers' thread, who keep saying that 'j_j' is lying about his identity. It would only take a sentence from you to correct their severe misperception. Why have you not done so?

Krabapple, Steve Sullivan, what you state is incorrect and the reasons why have been posted more than once to you, so you have no excuse continually posting incorrect information. In legal terms, it does not matter who or how many times another claims J_J is J. J. Johnston, nor that J_J links to J. J. Johnston's webpage. The fact is that by J_J not posting his legal name is an attempt to distance himself, both ethically and especially legally, from his posts.

I suggest you take some law classes. I also suggest that since you have been informed of this information several times, you have consistently and willingly attempted to mislead the public on this matter.

If you cannot conduct yourself with honesty and integrity, why don't you leave this forum.

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
I play music; I listen to music; I greatly enjoy doing both. And I care about sound. Have done for decades.

Anyone who claims that's impossible to do, is an ass.

I must have missed it who claimed it was "impossible?" By the way, I don't doubt you care about music and sound.

Don't play your typical semantic games, Scott. The subjectivist claims and insinuation that 'objectivists' only care about graphs, measurements, and DBTs, rather than music, are as common and predictable as guano in a birdcage.
Lavorgna is peddling old canards...his only 'innovation' is to ludicrously suggest that now objectivists only care about 'sound', making them monkish, whereas true audiophiles care about 'music'.

Oh, *really*? So those hordes of sweaty, smelly middle aged
dudes I've seen at Stereophile-sponsored conventions , crowding into small, badly-treated rooms to hear overpriced audio jewelry -- they're all doing it to hear the *music*? They're subscribing to Stereophile for its music reviews? Meanwhile, I only care about 'sound'?


Quote:


Quote:
And here's an intelligent counterpoint to Lavorgna's frankly dumb but not atypical (for the high-end) article:

http://www.goodsound.com/editorial/200905.htm

Give me a break. It's the same old drivel. Wine tasting (BFD) and medical research. As if there is any reasonable comparison between a hobby that is all about the pleasure of listening to music and medical research. That is a stupid ass comparison.

And the fact that blind methods are an accepted part of wine tasting? 'BFD'? Wow, that's a stunning argument.

How about the blinding of orchestral 'juries' when they are choosing new members? That involves evaluating musical performance, while recognizing the biasing factors of 'sighted' methods. BFD?


Quote:


Quote:
Btw, reflexive anti-authoritarianism is also dumb. It's what leads to idiocy like advocating that creationism be taught in biology classes because those eggheaded scientists 'don't know everything'.

That's a load of crap. The only one arguing from authority in that debate are the creationists and it's a good thing we reject that B.S.

You don't get it. The creationists are 'arguing' that scientific authority is not privelaged. In other words, that their authority -- a book written thousands of years ago, not based on experiment or careful observation -- is actually just as good as science, when it comes to making claims about the natural world. Better, actually.


Quote:
Last time I checked scientists used evidence to support their belief in evolution. But please correct me if I'm wrong about the argument for evolution being based in a mountain of evidence rather than an argument from authority.

Thanks for making my argument for me. So, you agree that reflexive anti-authoritarianism is dumb, because some authority actually does have a sound basis?

Blind testing, btw, is backed up by scientific authority. Yet articles like Lavorgna's basically say that scientific authority in this case is *beside the point* for the audio hobby!

J Gordon Holt thinks that's idiotic and bad for the hobby, and so do I.


Quote:
I just gotta ask you though, as such a blind testing enthusiast what sort of blind listening tests did you use to help pick your equipment?

Another inevitable arrow in the 'subjectivists' arsenal. It always goes wide of the mark. And you've fired it before, just as uselessly.

It doesn't matter whether I used blind tests to pick my gear (in fact I didn't. I didn't use auditioning, either.)

What matters is what claims are made about the sound, and by what method. Does the method used support the strength of the claim? If the method is sighted auditioning *alone*, the strength of the claim is hobbled and restricted from the start; the claim should be suited to the evidence, no more or less.

What claims have you seen me make about sound of my gear, Scott?

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Re: Michael Lavorgna on subjectivists vs objectivists


Quote:

Quote:
I am presuming that Ethan, with his description "playing music at a fairly high level" meant 'playing a musical instrument at a professionally high level' - and not 'playing music at a high sound level' ??


Yes, of course. Though playing good-sounding music at high SPL levels is pretty cool too.

--Ethan

I wonder why it is in a majority of the cases that great musicians use such crappy playback rigs in their own lives.

We see it over and over.

I don't think it requires high level musicianship to be a 'better' listener.

One is not required to be a winemaker to be a skilled taster, nor an expert chef to appreciate good food. No need to be a 'high level' artist or photographer to appreciate the results of either endeavor.

Ridiculous.

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