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ILikeMusic
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Damning with faint praise?

Are you kidding me?

"The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced, and human." Etc., etc.

I could supply several more glowing remarks Dudley made but why waste this forum's time by rewriting them here.

geoffkait
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Art's report

"please tell me where Art wrote this."

Ilikemusic:  You wrote:  

"Art Dudley wrote he does not mind "living in a world in which P.W.B. Cream Electret has an audible effect." 

You quoted him yourself.  Hel-loo!

Regarding Art's positive comments on the cream, I already pointed that out. It was the comment above that he doesn't mind living in a world with the cream I was referring to, obviously, when I made the "damning with faint praise" comment.  He doesn't mind.  Lol

Besides, you made the statement a couple posts ago, 

"Of note, this recent Belt related column is probably the least 'effect' he's ever reported upon for anything. You may wish to cross reference that, but I can't recall Art ever before not hearing anything, or hearing so little."

I suppose you wish to withdraw it at this point.

 

Geoff Kait

www.machinadynamica.com

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iLikeMusic

I think you misunderstood what I said.  I guess it would have been better to say.. Who gives a eff.  Because that's basically what I meant to say.

ILikeMusic
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JGrossman

No, I believe that I properly interpreted your initial comments.  My reply to you listed two reasons why people should care.  Why would that suggest a misinterpretation?

Furthermore there is no disgrace in expressing disagreement with another person's opinion.

ILikeMusic
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Quoting

Ok, let's back up and start over real slow like.

From wikipedia:

Quotation is the repetition of someone else's statement or thoughts. Quotation marks are punctuation marks used in text to indicate the words of another speaker or writer.

So yes indeed I did properly quote Art Dudley.  My point is that you did not. You twisted his words to suit your argument.  Do not put quotes around something that you said in an attempt to claim that another person stated it.

Furthermore I never made the quote that you are attributing to me in your last post. Please retract it immediately.

Your rationalization for the justification for the use of the "damning faint praise" phrase is a simple example of cherry picking data to support your argument while ignoring the preponderance of contradictory data.

I am truly beginning to question your credibility and intelligence.

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Art's report

I was paraphrasing Art's comment.  I do not have the article in front of me.  I fail to see how I twisted what he said.

You are correct, the quote was Anton's, not yours. My bad.  

 

Geoff Kait

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May Belt
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Controversial Tweaks
Quote:

>>> “ Most people are not very concerned with how or why (yourself included it would seem).” <<<

And YOU know this how ????   

Quote:

>>> “I fail to understand the intent of your "survival mechanism" example.  We all agree that humans can detect changes in their environment and that these changes will produce various changes in the person's physiological and emotional state. The concept of confirmation bias, however, gives us a testable hypothesis to predict the likely direction that these physiological and emotional changes will take.” <<<

Not when one is unaware that anything is even happening or might happen !!!!!

The whole survival mechanism is geared to acting automatically and without you being aware of it happening.   It is programmed to read/sense/monitor the environment, every second, on your behalf, even if you are not doing ANYTHING !!   The confirmation bias only comes into the equation when you DO something !!   If you are not expecting anything, then the concept of expectation bias is non valid.   The basis of our concept is that there is already adverse conditions, present in the modern environment, before we even wake up or blink, let alone do something deliberately  !!!   Only after ‘doing something’ and hearing improvements in the sound, does one realise that prior to doing (whatever)  there must be  existing adverse conditions which we were/are unaware of.  

Contrary to what Anton likes to repeatedly convey, I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time.   We can all only offer the benefit of our experiences and any devices and techniques which have worked for us – which situation applies to everyone else who produces or describes so called “tweaks”.

 

Quote:

>>> “ 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,” <<<

As the quote says,checking for changes. “millisecond to millisecond, continuously updated by new data”,      And, what on earth is changing constantly in the modern environment ?   For sure at least ONE thing – the AC mains !!   Meaning, there is now no stability or stable “readings” – only constant changes   so, with no “stable” readings,  we cannot now ‘sign off our environment’ as safe.   And Nature dictates that if we cannot sign off our environment as ‘safe’, then we must remain under tension until such time as we can    Irrespective of WHO  wants to repeatedly insist that they are immune from such adverse environmental happenings !!!!!

Someone asked the question “Why is it sound which seems to register changes the most, why not taste, or smell etc”  .   I would suggest that it is because millisecond by millisecond , with sound, we are presented with DIFFERENT and important information with each musical note – and we are programmed, by evolution, to take particular notice of differences in any SOUND and changes in sound taking place within our environment!    There is an intensity in the changing sounds when we are listening to music which we have to deal whilst being in the middle of everything that is going on in the modern environment.

I would seriously ask the question   “Are we, human beings, FAR more sensitive than has ever been realised to what has now been introduced into our modern environment ? Sensitive to certain inversions of energy, to certain polarities, to mixtures of certain chemicals (some of which have been used as danger signals by Nature) and so on ?"

John Atkinson was invited to do a lecture at the 131st Audio Engineering Society Convention.

 

Quote:

"Perhaps some of things we discard as audio engineers bear further examination when it comes to the perception of music, says Atkinson, adding that his lecture will offer no real answers but perhaps will allow some interesting questions to develop."

Quote:

>>> “but perhaps will allow some interesting questions to develop."<<<

Would that be so !!!!!

Regards,

May Belt,

 

Anton
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Well, here's a new start!

Quote may: "Contrary to what Anton likes to repeatedly convey, I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time. We can all only offer the benefit of our experiences and any devices and techniques which have worked for us – which situation applies to everyone else who produces or describes so called “tweaks”."

That's certainly not very Lister-like, for heaven's sake, May!

I do not see how your claim could be made any more broad:  "I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time."

surprise

(So, Joseph Lister said, "There's no way to tell if my approach will make any particluar difference to any particular person under any particular circumstance...?")

I think you will agree that I had been giving you more credit than that by merely claiming some people may not require your tweaks to get the same degree of sonic pleasure as others who need the tweak to get there.

Now, we find you are simply claiming that your tweaks are 'unguided missiles,' no telling who will have what experience with them!

I hope these are vetted for safety.

Pardon me, now, I have some spaghetti to throw on the wall and see what sticks.

 

 

 

 

geoffkait
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Art's report

 

Anton, 

 

You made the statement a couple of posts ago, 

 

"Of note, this recent Belt related column is probably the least 'effect' he's ever reported upon for anything. You may wish to cross reference that, but I can't recall Art ever before not hearing anything, or hearing so little."

 

Unfortunately for your argument Ilikemusic correctly observed several posts ago that Art wrote this regarding the cream electret, "

 

"The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced, and human." Etc., etc.  I could supply several more glowing remarks Dudley made but why waste this forum's time by rewriting them here."

 

Ooops.  You probably didn't finish reading the article.  

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Exotica

Anton
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*

I have already released my copy of Stereophile to the great unwashed, but if you do read the entire article, Art is very blase' about many aspects of the products.

When the site posts "Listening, #113" we can review!

 

 

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Art's report

Anton, you said,

"I have already released my copy of Stereophile to the great unwashed, but if you doread the entire article, Art is very blase' about many aspects of the products."

Why do you think Art acted blasé about Belt products when he was impressed with the cream?  

 

Geoff Kait

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May Belt
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Well, here's a new start
Quote:

>>> “Quote may: "Contrary to what Anton likes to repeatedly convey, I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time. We can all only offer the benefit of our experiences and any devices and techniques which have worked for us – which situation applies to everyone else who produces or describes so called “tweaks”."

That's certainly not very Lister-like, for heaven's sake, May!

I do not see how your claim could be made any more broad:  "I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time."

 

(So, Joseph Lister said, "There's no way to tell if my approach will make any particluar difference to any particular person under any particular circumstance...?") <<< “

So, you want to do Lister, do you ?

Well, here goes.   Lister did not know precisely WHAT germs were “in the air” and he did not know precisely WHICH germs would affect WHICH person !!   Ditto Pasteur.   What they DID realise was that there was “something” there, causing problems and they had some techniques.

Lister went through many combinations of ideas, showing he was struggling to find the best combination to do the best good – helped, I might add by other’s input and suggestions.   A bit like the audio industry, I would suggest.      THAT is why I keep saying that the Lister story IS very apt.   And, that anyone who knows the story in any depth will use it and refer to it !!!!!

Some of Lister’s trials :-

Early 'antiseptic' pads were - a piece of calico dipped in a solution of one part carbolic acid in four parts of Linseed oil.

 

then a mixture of carbolic acid, linseed oil and common whitening - antiseptic putty, spread on tinfoil.

 

then oiled silk, coated with copal varnish.

 

In 1868.

He tried a mixture of carbolic acid and shellac, spread on calico and coated with a solution of gutta-percha.

 

then he tried a complex combination of paraffin, wax, olive oil and carbolic acid.

 

then he tried Chloride of Zinc, Boracic acid and salicylic acid.

 

In 1878.

Charles Darwin suggested Benzoic acid.

 

In 1881.

Lister became interested in oil of eucalyptus and also tested oxidized oil of turpentine.

 

In 1882.

He tried iodoform.

 

In 1883

He tried gauze containing corrosive sublimate beneath which he used a rubber protective.

 

In 1885

He used gauze impregnated by Sal Alembroth, the double cyanide of mercury and zinc.

 

then he tried various zinc and mercury compounds, often in combination with the new aniline dyes.

 

In 1887.

Lister dropped the carbolic spray and experimented with various dressings to replace carbolic acid. All these experimental dressings were coloured with different dyes as a King's student put it in a Ditty :-

 

"There is a worthy Baronet who once took up the cause

 

Of Antiseptic surgery and Antiseptic Gauze.

 

First there was a yellow one, then there was a blue,

 

Then there was a red one, and a white one too.

 

Next there was a violet one, so we thought he'd go

 

Right through all the colours of the bright rainbow."

 

The Violet gauze was the last one to be produced. It was muslin gauze covered with a fine white powder, the double cyanide of zinc and mercury. Lister found that this powder would not stay on the gauze unless it was moistened. He first tried a solution of chloride of mercury, but it proved too irritating to the skin. Then he found a dye called "rosanilin" would fix the powder, so he had a very satisfactory dressing which was coloured a beautiful shade of heliotrope. This cyanide gauze was used as a dressing for many years.

 

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

Lister did NOT know which ‘treatment’ would work for which person under which circumstances !!   Because he/they did not know ALL the circumstances.

All that rather reminds me of people’s audio experiments with various Crystals.!!!!!

If you are the same Anton I think you might be, then didn’t you do some experiments with Crystals ??

To quote :-

Quote:

>>> “Undamped crystals leave a little smear. The oil damping leaves the benefit and removes the smear.   Interestingly, the oil leaves the crystals more free to do their work.

 

The damped crystals make for better imaging and sonic decay.

 

The oil alters the resonance frequency of the container/crystals, with the most significant impact being, like the trough of a Well Tempered Arm, a sort of "instantaneous" damping of induced vibration.

 

With the crystal/oil matrix, the original vibration would be transmitted, but any continued response to the vibration would be damped.

 

I find that by attenuating ongoing oscillation produces as better "leading edge" on the sonics - hence, my comment about "smear."

 

It may be something I listen for that others may not.

 

The same goes for quality of decay - it seems to make for a more seamless transmission of sonic decay as sounds end - less "smearing" of the end of the signal, as it were.

 

Not to sound crazy, but there also seems to be a crystal size factor, with too small or too large not getting the job done.” <<<

Then again, I might have got the wrong Anton.   If I have, then I apologise.

Back to the ‘germs in the air’ concept.

Today (2012) we have a fairly universal (allegedly germ killing) chemical called Dettol in the UK.   Their adverts say “Kills all known germs” (or does it say “Kills 99% germs ?).   Meaning that there may STILL be other “germs” that are NOT known !!!!    And, still leaving open the possibility that there will still be “germs” on surfaces not ‘treated’.   Meaning that EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE cannot be done or known or EVERYTHING guaranteed !!!!!!

But, apparently Anton, according to your outlook, May Belt has not to state the obvious, i.e that EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE cannot be known or EVERYTHING guaranteed.  

Regards,

May Belt.

geoffkait
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Anton

May, I don't think this is the same Anton, the other Anton is from Las Vegas, while this one is a California native.  I also think this Anton is considerably more civil and reasonable. 

 

Geoff

machina dynamica

Anton
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Same guy.

May, as I have pointed out about the oil and crystals in the past (and you are not required to have been present in all locations, so I do not mean it's your fault for not knowing the whole genesis of that post)....it was originally tested on 'April 1st' and managed to hook quite a few fish.

Performance art, phishing, call it what you will.

It then took on a life of its own, but I am pleased to see you are so enamored of it! Did you ever try it, though? Maybe it's all true!

devil

 

 

geoffkait
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Anton

The smirkiness is unmistakeable.

 

Geoff Kait

machina dynamica

Anton
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Good to see you, too.

May needs her loyal Renfield!

 

geoffkait
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Anton

Give my condolences to your liver.

I almost forgot to ask, when did you get out of rehab?

 

Geoff Kait

machina dramatica 

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cool it

Give my condolences to your liver.

I almost forgot to ask, when did you get out of rehab?

What's this about? I don't think it's cool to accuse people of having a drinking problem. Further, your comment has nothing to do with this discussion and doesn't lead it anywhere.

ILikeMusic
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More confirmation bias

I wrote “Most people are not very concerned with how or why (yourself included it would seem).” 

The first generalization is based on my life experiences and common sense.  How many people know how computers, the internet, wireless communication, etc. operate?  How many of those people are bothered by their ignorance? My statement regarding your lack of concern is based on your lack of empirical testing and reluctance to state a reasonable, testable hypothesis for the operation of each of the products you sell.

May Belt writes "If you are not expecting anything, then the concept of expectation bias is non valid."  

This is the basis for showing that all of your products do not change the sound one iota and solely rely on confirmation bias for their effect.

 

I find your references to Joseph Lister and the analogy between surgical antiseptic history and some fantasized future scientific outcome justifying your products as quite weak and ineffective (and frankly quite disrespectful to Joseph Lister).   Lister's work was driven by scientific hypothesis and the outcome of Lister's investigations were measurable.  The results were applicable to virtually all medical situations and medical patients.  Sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread, enabling and guiding Lister's efforts.

On the other hand there is May Belt who is unable to provide a reasonable scientific basis for any of his products and instead relies on misapplying scientific jargon to confuse and suggest to his potential customers that he knows what he is talking about.  Countless examples abound - here is one: He names his products "Frosted Rainbow Foil, the group of Morphic Message Foils and Quantum Rainbow Foil with Quantum Cream"

Joseph Lister was a great individual. May Belt appears to be a complete fraud and charlatan. 

geoffkait
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Art's report

Pretty tough talk from someone who hides behind an anonymous username.  What's up with all the insults and angst?  Are you standing out on a ledge somewhere?

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

ChrisS
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It's free!

How about getting a free sample of the foil and the cream and just trying them? If they work for you, great! If not, nothing lost.

Anton
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Getting back to faint praise...

I dion't want to run afoul of  'fair use,' but the column is redolent of ambivalence...

"I creamed the cable links between the HF and LF terminals on my 'speakers.' If it made any difference, I couldn't hear it."

"Likewise running a bead of cream....no better than before."

Next, Art offers three possible explanations for his 'experience' of 'the cream'...

If you read Art frequently, how often does he says that what he hears may be figmentary?

He says...regarding his experienc that there are three possible explanations:

"I heard the change because I psyched myself into hearing the change."

"I heard the change because, at the moment of relistening, my system was that much more warmed up."

"I heard the change because Peter Belt is really on to something."

Can anyone recall Art ever qualifying a review in such a way?

Has he ever said..."This amplifier may have sounded it like it does to me by way of 'psyching me up?' The Sugden intergrated may sound better than the other amp on hand, but you never know...smiley

Regarding the foil...

"The recording didn't sound any worse, but if it sounded better...the difference was exceedingly slight."

After applying the foil..."I replayed Egyptology - or, as much as I could stand before realizing that, although the sound hadn't seemed to change, the music was no longer as electric and involving as before." (Did it overcome the beneficial effect of the cream? If so, Art forgets this in his concluding paragraph, by the way.)

After removing the foil, he thinks the sound improved.

Regarding his Glenn Gould disc...

"it sounded dull and lacking in animation with the application of the foil."

Later, on another disc: "The foil didn't make things worse of better."

Regarding the photo stunt and any improvement in sonic experience...MF: "No. I mean.....no. No different than it has been..."

To sum up, Art  is essentially never this blase about a product line. Interestingly, he runs a sort of random gamut between effect, no effect, and ill effect.

Hence, my sensation of 'faint praise.' If anyone else reported this result, May and her acolytes would berate the poor audiophile who had that same experience.

_

 

On a side note, if people are to touch that stuff, shouldn't there be an ingredient list?

ILikeMusic
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It's free??

It is on my list of things to do. But first I must investigate the purported benefits of consuming deer penis and then I must fully examine the accuracy of horoscopes.  Then finally I can begin to remove the intruders and predators from my listening environment by using the Belt treatments. Man, it is hard work trying to be open minded.  But at least once I publish my findings I can feel confident that it will actually change the practices of the people participating.

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Art's Report

Funny thing is you apparently don't even know what the expression damning with faint praise means.  Thanks for the deranged ranting and raving, nevertheless. 

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

ChrisS
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Yep, it's free...

You sound like my kid who didn't want to try fish, because he knew he wouldn't like it...

Yep, go to the website-

www.pwbelectronics.co.uk

Like I said, it's free. If you don't try, you'll never know.

My kid likes fish now...

ILikeMusic
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No it is not free.

My time is quite valuable to me.

And are you suggesting Art Dudley really should look for his underpants on his roof?

ChrisS
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You're not free with your time, yet...

You're concerned about what others do and think, and you write about things you've never experienced.

ILikeMusic
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Oh yes I am

It is *my* time to spend as I wish.

"You're concerned about what others do"

Would you like to be the pot or the kettle?

"You're concerned about what others think"

No I am not. What evidence do you have of this? I have never bought into the concept of the thought police - whether that be someone's god or otherwise.  Now I may concern myself with what they say to me or with what they write to me but this is called communication.

"you write about things you've never experienced."

This is a platitude, but I will bite - which post of mine supports this statement?

Now answer the question -

Are you suggesting Art Dudley really should look for his underpants on his roof?

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What is really being tested?

Many of the PWB products are offered free to anyone who is willing to try it, as Art's article says. Yet I seem to recall it written in an article somewhere, that once the cream is applied, it has done its job, so does not easily allow A/B testing. If that's so, then we have to look for what reasons might cause that response in the person. Expectation bias is one of those reasons, and can be eliminated by proper testing. Other reasons so far presented have yet to offer 'proof'. One example follows.

Art tested the Cream on this tonearm, among other things later in the article, as he wrote in the section of the articled subtitled "A couple of belts in the morning". He basically listened to some musical selections, lifted the tonearm, and applied a light coating of the Cream and started at the beginning of the record to listen again.

At least three things changed in this non-blind test.

1.) The record was recently played and the same tracks played with only a short delay. That means the grooves may have not recovered from the first pass of the stylus.

2.) The Cream adds mass and damping to the tonearm, and the tracking force and other stylus related geometry has changed.

3.) The Cream does something to the system or the environment, including the person's response. 

Art writes regarding the audibility of the changes, "I don't think I heard much of a change." He goes on to write that the harps and arpeggios may have been 'prettier' the second time around, but he was not sure.

If Art could not be sure of whether he heard any difference, then if there was a difference, it is very subtle. It also means that the listening test did not detect with good confidence any of the three possibilities above. There may be more possibilities, so we should look at it with an open mind as to what exactly is being tested, and it's not only the Cream.

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Whar is Really being tested.

Hello absolutepitch.

Quote:

>>> “3.) The Cream does something to the system or the environment, including the person's response. “ <<<

I suggest “Doing something to the environment – which can then trigger a person’s response.”

(And before Anton (or IF he is the same person as the other Anton/Buddha yet again misrepresents what I say) I have used the words “CAN trigger a person’s response !!”.    I don’t say DOES, I don’t say WILL, I say CAN !!!  And, of course it means by that that the end result must be governed overall by “different people, listening to different music, through different equipment, in different environments.”   What I DO say is that we all cannot now escape the invasion, into our environment, of AC mains, RF, many mixtures of different chemicals etc. etc.

Regards,

May Belt.

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What is really being changed?

May I suggest listeners' responses to the types of tweaks being discussed in this forum (that is those tweaks that do not make a demonstratable  and meaningful change to the sound waves reaching a listener's ears) are governed by “different people, listening to different music, through different equipment, in different environments” with different expectations and different propensities to believe.

The particular case of coating the stylus with a creamy substance is quite different than smearing that same substance on a window in the next room or even on the cover of the preamplifier.  As absolutepitch correctly points out, there are several important system parameters that are potentially modified by the former.  However the randomness and degree of the introduced changes still makes me skeptical that this tweak will make a consistent positive change (once confirmation bias is eliminated and ignoring potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc.).  But, for example, it is quite possible that most audiophiles set the tracking force under the optimal setting for their cartridge, etc., which would potentially allow this tweak to actually work.

geoffkait
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Cream

Sorry to break the news to you but all of your assumptions are incorrect.  The cream is applied extremely sparingly, the thickness of a molecule, and the area of a fingertip. For LPs the cream is applied to the label only, a molecule thickness and the area of a fingertip.  It helps to read the User Manual if you want to be an intelligent troll.

May Belt
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Art’s Report.
Quote:

>>> “The particular case of coating the stylus with a creamy substance is quite different than smearing that same substance on a window in the next room or even on the cover of the preamplifier.  As absolutepitch correctly points out, there are several important system parameters that are potentially modified by the former.  However the randomness and degree of the introduced changes still makes me skeptical that this tweak will make a consistent positive change (once confirmation bias is eliminated and ignoring potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc.).  But, for example, it is quite possible that most audiophiles set the tracking force under the optimal setting for their cartridge, etc., which would potentially allow this tweak to actually work.” <<< 

Sorry, ILikeMusic, but you seem to be responding with “quickie”, ‘knee jerk reactions.

Firstly, Art did not apply a coating of the Cream on the stylus, he applied a light coating to the tonearm.   He reported that he didn’t think he heard much of a change.   So, adding a puff of weight with the Cream to the tonearm obviously did nothing to the tracking force of the cartridge/stylus OR introduced  any potential problems as you suggested below.

Quote:

>>> “potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc. “ <<<

However, he added a smearing of the Cream to under the front edge of the preamp and was startled by the improvement, describing it as the music having more bounce, more nuance and sheer force to the bass.   He also added a smearing of the Cream on the outlet strip into which all his components are plugged – again with a similar and further improvement.

Quote:

>>> “The sound improved again:   The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced and human.

A specific example;   At the very end of his first solo in that number, Rice digs in with his pick on a brief Clarence White-like flourish, hammering from the second to the flatted third of the tonic chord.   That flourish jumped out as I’d never heard it before.   To me, that’s the sort of thing – that humanness, that organic quality – that separates music from mere sound.    The Cream seemed to bring to it the fore, howsoever subtly and slightly“ <<<

I would suggest nothing here which would, in any way, suggest ADDED WEIGHT !!!!!

Art then went on to Cream the cable links but couldn’t hear if it made any difference.

IF “expectation bias” was at work in this particular situation with Art, then SURELY he would have heard a similar improvement in the sound in whatever area or on whatever object he applied the Cream ???

Now, going back to my comment that you seem to be responding with  ”quickie” reactions.

Quote:

You said >>> “I find your references to Joseph Lister and the analogy between surgical antiseptic history and some fantasized future scientific outcome justifying your products as quite weak and ineffective (and frankly quite disrespectful to Joseph Lister).   Lister's work was driven by scientific hypothesis and the outcome of Lister's investigations were measurable.  The results were applicable to virtually all medical situations and medical patients.  Sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread, enabling and guiding Lister's efforts.” <<<

I DO NOT use the Joseph Lister story as justification for our products.   I use the story (as others do) to show a particular peer group’s REACTION (which I might add is repeated many times throughout history).   Exactly as Art used the Lister story :-

Quote] >>> “scepticism among the educated was exemplified by the medical establishment, which ridiculed Joseph Lister’s notion of “animals in the air”. “ <<< [/quote]

Your quoting that “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread” is not, I am sure, how Lister saw it !!   I think he would WISH it had been so easy – as easy and with the straightforward progression as you seem to illustrate !!!!

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY would Lister not be believed by Dr Bennett, Professor of Medicine in Edinburgh, who was an expert with the microscope ?

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY would Simpson who  had discovered the value of chloroform as an anaesthetic  think Pasteur’s work “nonsense” ?

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY, over 10 years after the first successful reports appeared in the British Medic al Journal the Lancet of the use of Lister’s techniques would the majority of the doctors and surgeons in the USA still be ANTI Lister ?????

Why, ILikeMusic, would the majority of the US Doctors and Surgeons be anti Lister, if not because of a basic mindset ?

Regards,

May Belt.

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Cream stuff

The following quote is from May:

"Art then went on to Cream the cable links but couldn’t hear if it made any difference.

IF “expectation bias” was at work in this particular situation with Art, then SURELY he would have heard a similar improvement in the sound in whatever area or on whatever object he applied the Cream ???"

The problem with expectation bias is that it is present as a possible explanation when the test is done in non-blind conditions, i.e. lack of experimental naivete. In the case of the above cable links, Art says "If it made any difference, I couldn't hear it." Because the test was non-blind, expectation bias could not be ruled out, but the bottom line was that he could not hear a difference. That seems to tell me that either there was no difference or it was not audible. Either way, it's a null result, saying that applying the Cream showed no difference could be detected compared to no Cream.

Another quote from May:

"However, he added a smearing of the Cream to under the front edge of the preamp and was startled by the improvement, describing it as the music having more bounce, more nuance and sheer force to the bass.  ..."

Again, Art applied the Cream and re-listened to the first two songs, meaning the LP's grooves were played twice in succession with a likely short interval between them. Was the grooves not recovered from the first playing? No information was provided by Art on this. Although Art's description of "...music having more bounce to the picking..." etc., has been credited by some in this forum as proof that the Cream has an audible effect, he said that he was not startled by the "...degree of improvement, which was actually rather slight: ...", but rather by his being startled at having "...heard any change at all...". Again this test was done non-blind, so expectation bias could not be ruled out. Also, the possibility that Art really heard an effect cannot be ruled out either. One can argue this forever. The reader cannot tell from the article, whether the effect of the Cream is real or not, only that Art reported what he heard and wrote about it as best he could.

None of the foregoing proves that expectation bias was responsible for the results Art got, only that expectation bias, among other things, could not be ruled out as possible explanations to what Art did hear. That simply means that conclusions regarding only effects from the Cream cannot be made with confidence, given the data as presented in Art's article. Unless someone tries the Cream and reports the findings under controlled test conditions, it is not productive to speculate about it much more.

The PWB website information about the Cream claims that only a molecule thickness is enough, but offers no detailed information about this. I did not see any confirmation or measurement that the application of the Cream in Art's case was only a molecule thick or limited only to a fingertip amount. Art did write that he applied  "...a thin schmear of Cream.." when referring to the preamp.

Later, Art applied some Cream to the outlet strip, after hearing a piece called Black-berry Blossom, and re-listened. Same LP grooves played twice. But this time Art reported positive results, that "... The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced, and human." Some sentences later, he credits the Cream, writing, "The Cream seemed to bring it to the fore, however subtly, and slightly." However more than one variable was changed in this non-blind test, so to credit the change only to the Cream, albeit of 'subtly' and 'slightly' effect, may or may not be accurate.

Correct testing is not easy to accomplish. I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review. Sometimes it's the things we changed in a listening test that lead us to erroneously attribute that a particular change made the difference we thought we perceived, but forgetting to check that other things may also have changed in addition to what one thought was the 'only' change. I know this can happen because I've made similar errors when trying out other tweaks in the past. IT just means we have to be extra careful, and that proper evaluation of some tweaks is very challenging.

 

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 May May May

 

You write:

"Firstly, Art did not apply a coating of the Cream on the stylus, he applied a light coating to the tonearm."

Where did I state that Art did this?

 

You write:

"IF “expectation bias” was at work in this particular situation with Art, then SURELY he would have heard a similar improvement in the sound in whatever area or on whatever object he applied the Cream ???"

Again your lack of critical analysis is evident.  Why need Art have the same expectation with each differing application of cream?

 

"Why, ILikeMusic, would the majority of the US Doctors and Surgeons be anti Lister, if not because of a basic mindset ?"

Possibly because they were awaiting the preponderance of data to confirm the new theories. Possibly because they were happy with the surgical procedures that they were currently using. Etc. Your question is not relevant to this discussion - you miss the critical point.  But you continue to simplistically suggest this as justification for the efficacy of your products - it is just a matter of time before the scientific community 'sees the light' proclaimed by May Belt.  But the critical difference is that Lister used the scientific method to guide his investigations, basing them on previous published experimental work of Pasteur. Your products are not based on any science whatsoever, in spite of your constant misuse of scientific jargon. [For example, please define what a 'friendly' energy pattern is and suggest a method of measuring it.]  Let me suggest a more appropriate physician to compare with May Belt - John R. Brinkley.

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Re: Controlled Tests

absolutepitch wrote:
I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review.

No-one should expect him to do so. Stereophile is not a scientific journal; instead it is a magazine of opinion and readers are free to give our published opinions as much or as little weight as they think appropriate.

Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column: see http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-113-page-2.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Photos in the Freezer

The problem with the blind test that Art conducted with the photos in the freezer is that the test was not performed correctly.  Of course I was not there, but judging by what Art wrote and the photo of the young Mr. Fremer's photograph he obviously skipped some very important steps in conducting the photos in the freezer experiment.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  

I suspect if Art had consulted with May or had read the article on the PWB web site describing the details of the photos in the freezer tweak, he would have had an excellent chance of conducting a successful blind test.  Of course, that might have been kind of a problem for Art, you know, having to explain that the test was successful. Lol

 

Geoff at Machina Dynamica

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Belt Cream Electret

Having read the 'yes - no' discussion regarding the PWB Cream Electret ("Belt') has really surprised me. Therefore, my first entry to any forum at all. Running a quite expensive audio system (Accuphase - B&W 802 Diamond) and always interested in upgrading, I became aware of the totally different approach of the 'Belters'. Their low end products are very cheap, hard to believe, that it can come to a real improvement. However, with such small investments I gladly took the risk and was fully amazed by the results. My room was treated by an experienced 'Belter' with the Cream Electret (some USD 30) and I installed some of the yellow and red magnadisks (some USD 15 each), as per their description. Friends suspected me to have invested in the B&W 800 Diamonds - technology, that is geared to go to the edge, compared in German audiomagazines with a Formula 1 sportscar, whereas the 802 Diamond is a luxury, relaxed system (they compared with the high end BMW / Mercedes cars). But none of that, just strictly application of the Belt possibilities.

Since then, I've applied the various foils, creams - also the higher end products - and the unbelievable Quantum Clip. I realise, that the stories behind their technology are not easy to be understood-- have even studied the recommended literature (Rupert Sheldrake). But at the end - - what does it matter? Just open minded listening to the results of each and any step will be sufficient. My recommendation to any serious stereophile: start with the cheaper, low end products, e.g. their beginner package. The next steps surely will follow. To the non - believers: it has always been like that. Imagine the first idiots, driving in a one cylinder car (Was it Benz, or Daimler, or...), surely horses are better and faster. They still are, or?  Accujan

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What does it matter?

Apparently Accujan is another person who does not care about the hows and whys (see my post #69).  I submit that the hows and whys are important.  Surely a measurable definition of a 'friendly' energy pattern would be a significant scientific advance (we all wait with bated breath).  If we understood the mechanisms involved in the Belt products we could devise ways to improve their usage. If we could gather evidence through double blind testing that the perceived benefits of using the Belt products were due to confirmation bias perhaps we would be motivated to replace them with free and simple 'tweaks' (like cleaning the listening room).

The analogy with automobiles is quite poor.  Speed, cost, passengers carried are all measurable quantities.  In these regards it is easy to determine which is the preferred manner of transport. And let us be thankful for those who understand the workings of the internal combustion engine (possible because it is a technology based on science, and as opposed to the unfalsifiable Sheldrake nonsense), enabling them to make real and measurable improvements to the performance of automobiles.

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Double blind tests

Just curious, what Explaination do you have why double blind tests would help at all? Seems to me folks like yourself who have obviously made up their minds are not going to be persuaded by any evidence to the contrary.  I know what you're thinking - double blind tests will prove that Belt products don't work.  LOL

 

Geoff Kait

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Double blind tests

If a properly conducted double blind test is performed and the results are negative (listeners are not able to distinguish between the control [perhaps a different but similarly colored substance, for example] and the pwb cream on a reliable basis), this would be strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that the perceived benefits of the cream are due to confirmation bias. On the other hand, if the results are positive, this would support a hypothesis that the application of the cream is introducing changes to the listening environment that are actually changing the sound waves reaching the listener's ears to an extent that is humanly discernable.

I have clearly stated that my current belief is that observer/confirmation bias is responsible for the audio improvements claimed for pwb cream.  Your asssertion that I am incapable of changing my mind is baseless.  The advertised effects of the cream represent an extraordinary claim and require extraordinary supporting evidence. Currently there is zero evidence supporting the claim.  The onus of providing evidence rests with the individual making (and profiting from) the extraordinary claim.

 

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Double blind tests

Ilikemusic, you said,

"If a properly conducted double blind test is performed and the results are negative (listeners are not able to distinguish between the control [perhaps a different but similarly colored substance, for example] and the pwb cream on a reliable basis), this would be strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that the perceived benefits of the cream are due to confirmation bias."

Negative results of a double blind tests is evidence of no such thing.  The most probably reasons why results of a double blind test are negative are the test was conducted improperly, the directions were not followed correctly, the hearing of the person performing the test is not up to par, there is at least one fault in the test system or the system is not revealing enough.  Besides, bias of various kinds can be eliminated by careful testing.  In fact, double blind tests are purported to do just that.  

You also said,

"On the other hand, if the results are positive, this would support a hypothesis that the application of the cream is introducing changes to the listening environment that are actually changing the sound waves reaching the listener's ears to an extent that is humanly discernible."

Sorry, that's simply not true.  If the results are positive it only supports the hypothesis that the cream works.  You cannot necessarily surmise anything about the mechanism by which it works.  When you think about, how will applying cream to a CD label change the sound waves that are reaching the listener's ears?  Even more to the point, how can applying cream to a CD that is just sitting on the table (unplayed) or to a book cover change the sound waves that are reaching the listener's ears?  Follow? There must be another mechanism.  

You also said,

"I have clearly stated that my current belief is that observer/confirmation bias is responsible for the audio improvements claimed for pwb cream.  Your asssertion that I am incapable of changing my mind is baseless.  The advertised effects of the cream represent an extraordinary claim and require extraordinary supporting evidence. Currently there is zero evidence supporting the claim.  The onus of providing evidence rests with the individual making (and profiting from) the extraordinary claim."

Actually there is quite a bit of evidence to support PWBs claims.  Unfortunately, you have no experience (evidence) yourself to support your beliefs (correct me if I'm wrong) and apparently refuse to accept the testimony (evidence) of audiophiles who report positive results, including Art Dudley.  Finally, and this might come as a bit of a shock, but in real life there is no onus on manufacturers to provide evidence or proof regarding their products. That's what I think they call an old wive's tale.

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

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Proper double blind testing

 

 

I argue for 'properly conducted' tests, then you give arguments denigrating improperly conducted tests and deny possible conclusions from properly conducted tests based on previous and unrelated experiments being improperly conducted. This is illogical and unfair.

 

You write

"The most probably reasons why results of a double blind test are negative are the test was conducted improperly, ..."

 

Your comments here are of no significance. The double blind test we speak of has not yet been defined or implemented.  It makes no sense to cast judgement on it. Furthermore we will take as evidence the outcome of this test if and only if we consider the test to be proper.

 

 

I accept your correction to my statement regarding the reasons for possible positive results from a double blind testing of pwb cream.  I was being generous in allowing for the possibility that the cream has a measurable effect on the audio reaching a listener's ears.  I am heartened that you agree that this is highly implausible.  This leaves either expectation bias or an undefined mechanism as an explanation for a possible positive result.  The former is a well documented fact of human behavior; the latter, an extraordinary claim. It is the purpose of double blind testing to eliminate the possibility of expectation bias. As a reasonable person, I am going with the former as the prohibitive favorite.

 

The personal testimony of audiophiles claiming to perceive audio benefits arising through the use of pwb cream is not evidence that there is any mechanism other than expectation bias at work.  The claim is exceptional; the evidence you provide is not. This is why I am arguing for the use of double blind tests.

 

It appears that you have a hard time following along. So let me repeat.

I write

"I have clearly stated that my current belief is that observer/confirmation bias is responsible for the audio improvements claimed for pwb cream."

 

Let me add for clarity that I do not deny that some people claim to perceive an audible improvement after the application of pwb cream.

 

 

I understand that there may be no legal or moral onus for some manufacturers to provide evidence supporting some of their product claims (though, as an aside, this is not universally true as you seem to claim).  But if May Belt wants to convince me that 'friendly' energy fields [I am still awaiting the definition of this term.] are responsible for the performance of his products (rather than bias), the onus (that I spoke of) is on him to provide the extraordinary supporting evidence.  Until then he is a mere charlatan, in my opinion.

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Double blind test

Ilikemusic - It appears you wish to define your ideal double blind test as the one that proves the item under test doesn't work.  It kind of sounds like the dunking chairs used to determine whether a suspected witch was really a witch - if the suspected witch drowned she wasn't really a witch.  When I gave reasons why a double blind test could give negative results, I meant ANY double blind test.  Including ANY double blind test that you wish to implement. By the way, it almost sounds like you want to conduct a double blind test on the cream.  I think that would be a good idea but for the fact that you are so blatantly biased (so, yes, I think that bias can sometimes explain results).

As anyone who has tried the PWB cream knows, and anyone who has read what the Belts say on their web site about the cream, or has read May Belt's posts here, the cream doesn't have anything remotely to do with the acoustic waves reaching the listener's ears.  Or with the electronic signal anywhere in the system.  Don't you know that?  Anyway, your argument that the cream doesn't affect acoustic waves so therefore doesn't work is an excellent example of a strawman argument.  You know, an illogical argument.

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

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double blind testing

Actually there was an error in what I wrote concerning positive results of a double blind test.  Since we agree that sound wave differences are not a feasible possibility then the only possible explanation for a positive outcome would be some currently undefined mechanism since the nature of the double blind testing conditions would effectively eliminate bias.  [This would be an extraordinary outcome and the person who devises a testable theory explaining it would certainly win a Nobel Prize.]

Geoff, is English not your first language?

I define the 'ideal' double blind test as a double blind test in which all identified sources of bias have been effectively eliminated.  Nowhere do I or have I made qualifications on the results.  Please provide justification for your assertion.

You write

"It appears you wish to define your ideal double blind test as the one that proves the item under test doesn't work."

after I wrote (post #91)

"If a properly conducted double blind test is performed and the results are negative ...  On the other hand, if the results are positive,..."

You write

"your argument that the cream doesn't affect acoustic waves so therefore doesn't work ..."

after I wrote

"Let me add for clarity that I do not deny that some people claim to perceive an audible improvement after the application of pwb cream."

Please explain.

 

Then you write

"As anyone who has tried the PWB cream knows, ... Don't you know that?"

after I wrote

"I am heartened that you agree that this [the possibility that the cream has a measurable effect on the audio reaching a listener's ears] is highly implausible."

Please explain. 

 

You write

"Including ANY double blind test that you wish to implement."

Even one in which the test is properly conducted, the directions are followed succinctly, results are correlated with hearing tests of each listener given before the test, all identified faults are removed from the test system, and the test system is of the highest audio standards?

Will there always remain 2nd or 3rd order interactions in any test? Quite probably. I argue that these higher order interactions are much less significant than expectaion and placebo biases, allowing for well designed double blind tests to still provide invaluable information.  They are used effectively in many other areas of investigation and I believe they can be very effective for testing of audio products.

 

 

 

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Double blind tests

You said double blind tests are used effectively in many areas of investigation and you believe they can be used effectively to test many audio products.

While it might be true that double blind tests are used in many areas of investigation, that fact is irrelevant to the area we are discussing - audio.  We are aware that dyed in the wool skeptics use double blind tests as some sort of bully pulpit to attempt to prove that certain difficult to explain, controversial audio tweaks don't work. We also know that negative results of double blind tests do not prove anything, certainly not that some manufacturer is a charlatan. Ironically, dyed in the wool skeptics never actually get down to brass tacks and do any testing of the controversial device themselves or investigate - as a serious, curious person would.  As a scientist would. Apparently you're perfectly happy to sit back in the comfort of your easy chair, call names and pontificate on double blind tests that are, in fact, irrelevant to audio.  

 

 

 

 

Geoff Kait, 

Machina Dynamica

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Re: Controlled Tests
Quote:

>>> “Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column:” <<<

Yes, John, it was a true blind test in that Michael Fremer had no idea that anything had been done or even, prior to that, had expected that anything was going to be done !!

But nothing was reported as to whether Art had later taken Michael’s photo out of the freezer again.

Particularly with listening experiments, there should before, after and back to before comparisons taking place.   Using the same music, with the same equipment and in the same environment.   From what I read of Art’s experiment he had placed Michael’s photo in the freezer and then, later, phoned him to ask how his equipment sounded.   Michael replied that he had been playing music in the background MOST OF THE MORNING (which infers different music over a period of the morning) and Michael reported that it sounded as good as always.   I am sure, John, that if anyone was doing a review of some equipment for your magazine, you would not accept a publishable (if there is such a word) review of anything if the person reported that he had been listening to it ‘playing in the background’ all morning.   It is all too casual.  You would have expected, from a reviewer, a more concentrated listening as a real assessment.   So, I would suggest that Art’s results with Michael’s photo as not a ‘real’ assessment but as a casual experiment done, yes, blind.

I have no problem with Art trying such things, to see what happens – but I did not read it as being a serious “blind” test.   I see it as a non serious, casual “blind” test.

Unfortunately, if Art had then taken Michael’s photo out of the freezer and then, later, phoned him to ask if his sound was still as good, the complete ‘blind’ aspect of the test would have gone.   Michael had already been alerted that Art was ‘doing’ things.

Regards,

May Belt.

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Reply to ILikeMusic
Quote:

>>> “Where did I state that Art did this?” <<<

YOU obviously wanted to emphasise the example of weight (affecting the stylus) as one explanation as to why Art could have heard an improvement in the sound or, to add more emphasis, why anyone might hear differences in other situations.

Quote:

>>> “The particular case of coating the stylus with a creamy substance is quite different than smearing that same substance on a window in the next room or even on the cover of the preamplifier.  As absolutepitch correctly points out, there are several important system parameters that are potentially modified by the former.  However the randomness and degree of the introduced changes still makes me skeptical that this tweak will make a consistent positive change (once confirmation bias is eliminated and ignoring potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc.).” <<<

However, it WAS quite a strong paragraph of yours, all about “cream on the stylus”, about “potential real problems of build up of Cream in the record grooves”, “accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application (of the Cream ?)”. 

Do you REALLY think I, Art or many others who may read these exchanges are so thick that we do not know there are many/numerous possibilities as to why sound changes ?    That we are so thick that we cannot (do not) go through the usual mental check list BEFORE making sensible and informed comments from our experiences ?

For the past 30 years, ever since Jean Hiraga caused seismic eruptions of ‘eight on the audio Richter scale’ (to quote Keith Howard), the audio industry has been confronted with the various responses of:-

It’s autosuggestion, stupid.

It’s the placebo effect – have people never heard there is such a thing as the placebo effect.   It has been proved enough times ?

It’s bias – it has to be bias at work.

It’s imagination – it must be imagination, it can’t be anything else.

It’s effective marketing.   There have been enough studies showing how good and successful effective marketing can be.

One of the most amusing responses, in my opinion, was “the sound changed because (the person) moved the position of their head a few millimetres”.   Amusing because if one is going to seriously put that explanation forward as to why the sound changes for people (which I might add, some people DID), then there might as well not be any audio magazines describing the different “sound” of things relating to music !!!    Instead they would just say “This is how it measures” !!!!!

And then we have Anton’s/Buddha’s  - “people who use Tweaks need them as  props, talismans, rituals, potions, elixirs etc or people have a deficiency which needs a Tweak or Tweaks as a remedial action”

And, after Jason Victor Serinus reported coverage of the Stein Music Harmonizers at a Hi FI Show, Steve Eddy’s answer was following a similar trend as Anton/Buddha’s:-

Quote:

>>> “It's just another dalliance brought forth by the mentally ill for the mentally ill and which does nothing more than saddle this industry with yet further embarrassment.

 

That Stereophile of all publications should brand it as "intriguing" in their show report is truly sad.” <<<

From that list, ILikeMusic, your choice appears to be the ”bias” one  

My approach is that people’s experiences with the numerous Tweaks (some listed below again) is telling the audio industry something !!   That “something” is going on concerning ‘sound’ and what and how we hear and resolve it which warrants further investigating.

Cryogenic freezing.

Colouring the edge of CDs.

Different cables sounding different.

Directionality in some wires.

Directionality in some fuses.

Dieter Ennemoser’s C37 lacquer.

Shun Mook devices.

Harmonic Discs.

Shakti Stone.

The lacquer which Sonus Faber use on their speaker cabinets (which they claim is ‘friendly to audio’).

Nordost ECO 3 liquid.

Applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs.

(Small size !!) Room resonance devices.

Aiming a hair dryer containing Tourmaline balls at a CD.

Applying various crystals.

The Schumann Resonance device.

The Stein Music device

The Less Loss device.

To name but a few.  

I have deliberately used other’s devices on that list.   Because even without any of our devices listed people’s experiences with all those other Tweaks being able to change the sound have to be explained !!

The concept of “Proper Blind Testing” – where the results would be acceptable to ALL - is brought out again and again in discussions.   The concept is Bold, yes, but is so often used to stifle discussions.   That is why DBT’s are banned from such discussion groups as the Cable section of Audio Asylum.  

To quote :-


Quote:

>>> “The Cable Asylum is a DBT-free zone.

These rules cut both ways:

  • Pro-DBT posts are not allowed.
  • Anti-DBT posts are also not allowed.

Why are DBT discussions not allowed?

Quite simply, the reason is that these topics rarely spark a productive exchange. While a vast majority of Asylum inmates are firmly in the middle ground, the topics of DBT and ABX tend to force polarization and quickly degrade into death spiraling flame wars.” <<<

AND :-

 

Quote:

>>> “Quote by John Atkinson 21/01/09

 

>>> “This forum has the same policy. Discussion of DBTs is only allowed in threads specifically concerned with that subject. Otherwise, all meaningful discussion ends as a sub-set of posters answers every expression of opinion with a cry to "put it to a DBT."

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile “ <<<

Quote:

>>>”I argue for 'properly conducted' tests” <<<

Of course you can argue for properly conducted tests.   But in THE MEANTIME just what ARE you prepared to discuss regarding what can affect sound and listening to music ?

Demands for DBTs and measurement proof has dogged the subject of such as cables sounding different for the past 30 years !!

The lack of productive exchange in discussions because of demands for DBTs or “measurements” – “Show us the DBT results and Show us the measurements and we will believe and if you haven’t got those, then keep quiet” and with many discussions therefore ‘degrading into death spiralling flame wars’ was illustrated quite well during the pages and pages of discussions on the Forum section of Stereophile during the discussions on the technique of applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs and on the tiny ART room devices.

Such discussions didn’t die out because of lack of interest, they were actually halted.    The discussions on HOW these devices and techniques could give improvements in the sound could not get any further because they WERE stifled by constant demands for Double Blind Trials or Measurement proof !!

Proof.   Proof.   Proof would be lovely, yes.   Until the Proof, however, articles like Michael Fremer’s article describing the effect of applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs, John Atkinson’s (and others) reports on the effect of the tiny ART room devices and Art Dudley’s article about the Belts techniques and reports of the effect of such as the Schumann Resonance device should be of help to people interested in obtaining the best sound possible from their equipment and their listening environment.

Quote:

>>> “Then finally I can begin to remove the intruders and predators from my listening environment by using the Belt treatments.” <<<

That was your quote !!   A good example of how you have no understanding of what is behind our techniques and devices and yet participate strongly in a discussion as though you DO !!.   Intruders and predators do not have to be there, in the room, for us to go under tension – just some of Nature’s danger signals associated with the presence or possibility of danger need be around.  

Quote:

>>> “the application of the cream is introducing changes to the listening environment that are actually changing the sound waves reaching the listener's ears” <<<

Another good example of how you have no understanding of what is behind our techniques and devices and yet participate strongly in a discussion as though you DO !!

For the past 30 years we have always stated that our techniques do not, in any way, affect the signal travelling through the audio system OR affect the acoustic air pressure waves reaching the human ear drum.

Another thing.   The problem with Art introducing the idea of “looking for his underpants on his roof” to lighten the tone of the article (said by Art with affection/teasing I hope and not with venom) it gives some people yet another ‘hook’ on which to attach scorn !!!

Regards,

May Belt.

absolutepitch
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Controlled Tests
John Atkinson wrote:
absolutepitch wrote:

I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review.

No-one should expect him to do so. Stereophile is not a scientific journal; instead it is a magazine of opinion and readers are free to give our published opinions as much or as little weight as they think appropriate.

Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column: see http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-113-page-2.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

John, I agree with you completely, and thought, but did not write what you wrote about this being a magazine of opinions and not a scientific journal. Thanks for extending my "...few expect..." to "No-on should...", as I thought it more appropriate for you, than I, to write that.

Yes, I am aware that Art did that test as a single-blind test. Certainly, Michael did not have any expectation of any sonic improvement, being unaware of what Art did with pictures of Michael. That's one piece of information for the 'it didn't show any difference' side. On the other side (as discussed in forum, and articles) was the opinions that, when tested under non-blind conditions, people who put pictures in the freezer noticed a difference in the sonics. I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results.

Anton
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While we wait for the DBT Messiah....

As we sit and wait for the Audio Godot to arrive; you know, the One who can hear differences without being told in advance what He/She is listening to, the Diety who can discern and subsequently identify the sonic qualities between gear and tweaks without an open "label" staring Him in the face, we are left, necessarily with the hyper/marketing/religion/science/actual argument.

 I'd be happy if those making claims such as May's would at least do people the courtesy of being steadfast in their claims.

 May's positions, limited to this thread alone:

 "The whole survival mechanism is geared to acting automatically and without you being aware of it happening. It is programmed to read/sense/monitor the environment, every second, on your behalf, even if you are not doing ANYTHING !! “

Here, may has lain a claim as to precise knowledge of how her tweaks work and the mechanism through which they exert their effect. They work by subduing/sedating one’s early warning/tension system. She is also sly about requiring every person to be subject to her hypothetical claim…no one on Earth can escape May’s marketing claim.

Chalk this one up to ‘marketing’ or ‘faith’ if you are feeling generous.

“If you are not expecting anything, then the concept of expectation bias is non valid.”

May, simply by participating in a review of your products, Art established an expectation bias. The fact that he plagiarized your Lister shtick is a solid sign, as well!

 “Meaning, there is now no stability or stable “readings” – only constant changes   so, with no “stable” readings,  we cannot now ‘sign off our environment’ as safe.   And Nature dictates that if we cannot sign off our environment as ‘safe’, then we must remain under tension until such time as we can    Irrespective of WHO  wants to repeatedly insist that they are immune from such adverse environmental happenings !!!!!”

Nature dictates this? Can you send me a copy of the memo where she dictated it? May also tries to attack those who don’t believe her religion, saying that she is right about her claim no matter who may question the universality of her sales pitch. That’s what we in America call the Pat Robertson Maneuver.

Their adverts say “Kills all known germs” (or does it say “Kills 99% germs ?).   Meaning that there may STILL be other “germs” that are NOT known !!!!

May, you are stealing from Donald Rumsfeld.

Actually, you are doing a tricky maneuver beyond Rumy’s rumminess…

Start with The Donald:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

 We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

 But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know…”

May goes a step further. To paraphrase, May would add….”And since I know that there are unknown unknowns, I therefore know them!”

Sorry, May, we are on to you.

I especially like this next one: “Particularly with listening experiments, there should before, after and back to before comparisons taking place.”

May, you are taking Art to task because he did not do a valid testing maneuver? Why on Earth aren’t you also complaining about the parts where Art did hear a difference (the result you like) but failed to follow your recommended procedure? You are cherry picking, no?

Finally, the kicker….after May makes claims about her product affecting our danger/tension sign off mechanism, she then decides to name this product what?

“Electret Crème.”

May, using a word implies you know the meaning of the word.

Did you even Google the term “electret?”

Sounds like “quantum” was already taken by some other marketer.

If the crème is all about our tension/release cycle, and no affect takes place within the realm of the system hardware, as you yourself point out, what's with the obviously discombobulated and frankly wrong use of the term ‘electret?’

May, there are two types of electret: Real Charge Electrets and Oriented Dipole Electrets. Which of the two pertains to your product and how did you determine that? Did you know the word has specific meaning?

I am doing you the courtesy of accepting your use of the term pending your ability to explain how you arrived at the conclusion that this is an appropriate term to use.

"Electret" in the product name implies something, May, so I will also do you the courtesy of assuming you to be honest and that you will be able to explain this use of vocabulary choice!

If not, I respectfully request, on behalf of people who use words based on their meaning, that you cease and desist with the misappropriation of the tem "electret."

Thanks for either the explanation, or the ceasing of using garbled fake knowledge words!

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