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geoffkait
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Photos in the Freezer experiment

Absolute pitch said,

"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."

I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results, either.  If one wishes to crow about the lack of positive results in an experiment it behooves that person to take some pains to perform the experiment correctly.  But, as the smirking anti tweak crowd appears to be tickled pink with the outcome all cannot be considered lost.  

Note:  I was the one who first conducted the photos in the freezer at a distance experiment, about 10 years ago.  The Teleportation Tweak was only a glimmer back then.

"What hath God Wrought?"- first message sent over telegraph (by Samuel Morse)

A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Arthur C Clarke

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dramatica

absolutepitch
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personal testimony

"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."

Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations. And there are other tweaks that do not, in my experience.

I exprienced these differences several times, with two of such experiences conducted under single-blind condition. Of the two single-blind tests, one was done by me alone in non-blind conditions beforehand, and later tested with a friend in single-blind condition as confirmation that what my friend heard was really there, and surprisingly to me was reported like what I heard. The audible difference I would describe like that of two samples of musical instruments, say the difference between two pianos or between two violins.

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Interesting DBT trials...

DBT is not controversial at all in the wine world. In fact, most 'reviews' are done blind because of the known effect of labels as biasing agents.

I guess people suffer from DBT deafness, but not DBT anosmia or ageusia.

cool

That's kind of neurologically interesting.

Visually, there was an interesting study done that anybody here can go check.

There are samples of complex visual fields that are very difficult to tell apart.

After 'failing' a DBT at differentiating the two or more fields, the subjects are shown the differences.....and from that point forward, the subjects can readily tell the different fields apart without being told in advance which field they are about to see.

As an audio nerd, I've been able to accomplish something similar when helping a neophyte shop for gear. A person may not be able to discern certain performance characteristics at first, but after ppointing out certain sonic differences, the new listener can readily, repeatably, and with blind trials, identify these differences. I guess blind comparisons aren't so daunting to neophytes, but they certainly seem to anathema to cable/tweak/amp/preamp/whatever "reviewers" and salesmen.

Bang! Blind listening deafens even our most golden of golden ears!

Another problem with blind deafness in audio is that even AFTER tspecific differences are reported by listeners under sighted conditions, they suddenly lose the ability to hear what they previous proudly proclaimed/identified when given a blind listening trial. They actually forget how to hear the differences they previously heard. That blind testing deafness is one bad mutha!

With audio blind testing, differences readily heard and commented upon (even described in detail) with the 'lights on' become indistinguishable when the 'lights are turned off,' so to speak.

In audio, people don't just fail to discern an initial differnce, they lose the ability to hear what they claimed to obviously hear under sighted conditions with familiar gear!

It seems blind listening 'unlearns' one's ability to hear what one heard before the trials.

That's an almost unique phenomenon.

Luckily, this ability to hear these obvious, exponential, jaw dropping and veil lifting/parting differences returns once subjects regains knowledge of the product being listened to.

wink

geoffkait
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Double blind tests

Absolute pitch, you said,

"Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations."

I happen to agree. I also think that "PWB cream" may be replaced by whatever cable, interconnect, amplifier, preamplifier or speaker you wish to name.

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

 

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"I guess I'm not surprised at

"I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results, either.  If one wishes to crow about the lack of positive results in an experiment it behooves that person to take some pains to perform the experiment correctly.  As the smirking anti tweak crowd appears to be pleased with the outcome all is not lost."

Geoff, let's discuss the topic at hand, not what you label (incorrectly, IMO) about any person or group or people.

There my be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence? The problem is there has not been that type of evidence presented that I have seen. It's easy to understand why some will 'smirk', personalities aside. A magazine is not the venue to present evidence (unless reporting a published scientific study) and probably does not have the time and resources to investigate it fully. 

For example, years ago I thought that capacitor mods were rubbish, thinking that LCR is all there is to a capacitor (elementary textbook teachings), and any capacitor will sound like any other. The real world (as many of us know) is different enough from the textbook that many other effects are there and are known. Accounting for these effects can explain a lot about the capacitor mods.

I then tried these mods, without a SBT or DBT, and am convinced that the difference is clear enough to be audible. On the other hand, I had not removed expectation or confirmation bias in my such experience that a SBT or DBT would have. I cannot claim in a scientific way that the difference is there (judged an improvement IMHO). That means I can write about this in a forum, perhaps publish in a magazine, but not in a scientific journal.

There is a way to do the cap mod test in SBT or DBT conditions, but I do not have the inclination yet to tackle this. One way is to get two 'identical' samples of gear (pre-amp, or amp, etc.), and somehow confirm that the two are 'identical'. Then make mods to one of the two. Follow that up with SBT or DBT tests. See if a difference can be detected.

But that's how one can prove that a tweak really works, if the results are positive. If the results are negative, it says the difference could not be detected, but is neither intended to nor can it prove the absence of difference. Personally, I'll bet that the difference in the cap mods will be detectable. If detectable, and a well-conducted test was done, then the results may be publishable in a scientific journal.

[edited to correct misspelling]

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Scientific evidence for the photos in the freezer tweak

Absolute pitch, you wrote,

"There my be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence? The problem is there has not been that type of evidence presented that I have seen."

Well, by scientific evidence, one assumes that you mean some sort of measurements. But I suspect that is one big Mazza ball hanging out there.  But how would you go about measuring the effects of the photos in the freezer tweak?  Since the photos in the freezer doesn't affect the audio signal anywhere in the system, the electrical power anywhere in the system or any acoustic waves arriving at the listener's ears, one assumes the standard procedures for measurements must be abandoned.  LOL

What is the scientific evidence that the atomic bomb works?  I don't think it is all the mathematical formulas.  It's the fact that the bomb exploded.  

The best scientific evidence short of measurements for the photos in the freezer tweak might be to assemble a panel of experts, reviewers and or audiophiles, folks with not only good listening and analytical skills but skill in describing characteristics of sound, including subtle characteristics. Then ask them to describe the sound with the photos in the freezer and with the photos out of the freezer.  The experiment could be set up for each person, with separate sets of photos, one young and one older, for each person. The experiment could comprise separate tests one person at a time and a Final Test with all test subjects evaluating the sound seated together with all sets of photos in/out of the freezer. Until we have a better grasp on why our photos affect our perception of sound, the importance of the freezer and until we can figure out how to measure this sort of mind-matter interaction, that's probably the best we can do.  

I should've mentioned that this is a relatively easy experiment to carry out on your own. All you need is two photos of yourself, one recent one and one when you were younger, a red pen and two zip lock baggies.  You simply evaluate the sound before placing the photos in the freezer and after placing them in the freezer.  If you're unsure that the sound changed, repeat.  

Geoff Kait

machinadynamica.com

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Spot in, Geoff!

All I would add is to allow listeners however much time they would like per session, and keeping the trials blind, of course!

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"I guess I'm not surprised"
Quote:

>>> “Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations. And there are other tweaks that do not, in my experience.” <<<

Now we are getting somewhere.   THIS is more like a discussion about “Tweaks”.    Yes, let’s take out of the discussion particular PWB tweaks for the moment.    You say, that from your experience, there are some tweaks that do show an audible difference – but to SOME people,  absolutepitch, those very same ‘tweaks’ do NOT show an audible difference – as much as you say that they (the tweaks) are ‘clear enough to be heard without blind testing’ !!   Hence the antagonism aimed at these “Tweaks” (and at the people who claim to be able to hear them) by the people who DON’T hear them !!   

Therein lies the whole problem.   THEY will dismiss your experiences as you’ imagining it’, or ‘that it is autosuggestion’, or ‘that it is bias at work’, or ‘that it is effective marketing being successful’ etc.

Let me give you one example of such a reaction.

Michael Fremer wrote that he tried applying a demagnetiser to LPs and heard an improvement in the sound.   Not only did Michael hear an improvement but so did Stephen Mejias and John Atkinson at the same time !!   To quote Michael :-

Quote:

>>> “I didn’t want them to work.   I really didn’t “

I trusted mine (judgement) when I heard what the Furutech did, despite my utter cynicism about it (which is why it sat on the floor for 3 months before I tried it).

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....the only reason. The only reason you wrote what's above is because you haven't experienced it. Because had you, even if you don't trust your own ears (or your own eyes I guess), this is an easily heard, easily repeatable phenomenon. It's a HUGH difference.” <<<

 

And from Stephen :-

 

Quote:

>>> “Of course, my primary position is that the deMag influenced the sound. Because:

 

1. we played the record

2. we deMagged the record

3. we played the record again

4. there were immediate and obvious differences

 

I simply believe, based on my experience, that the deMag influenced the sound. That is what I reported. I am not concerned with what the deMag does exactly, or how. I do not think that a similar difference in sound would have resulted had we, say, blown on the record or thought nice thoughts or whatever.” <<<

 

And from Robert Deutsch :-

 

Quote:

>>> “On applying a demagnetiser to CDs. “Every time I have used it I have experienced an improvement in the sound each time” <<<

 

The attacks, criticisms and responses which followed Michael’s report covered some 39 pages on the Stereophile Chat Forum !!!!!

One of the responders (who I might add is a manufacturer of audio products) commented (or, in truth, reacted more strongly than a mere comment) :-

Quote:

>>> “Likewise for demagnetizing CDs and LP records, the subject of this thread. Unless the heads of Furutech are idiots, which I doubt, all that's left is dishonesty. So all they can do is reject standard testing and claim there's more to it than "science" knows.”

 

I sent this letter in November 2006 to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):

 

    Quote:

    Hi,

 

    I'm working on an article for a major audio magazine about fraud in marketing for audio products. I noticed you gave an award to the Furutech CD "demagnetizer" and I'm wondering on what basis you determined this is an award-winning product. As best I can tell this device is pure snake oil with no basis in science. So please forgive such a direct and possibly rude sounding question, but did they pay you for this award? If not, is there a way you could put me in touch with one of the judges or the person in charge who decided this product is worthy of an award? “ <<<

 

Back to your description of some ‘tweaks’ you have heard which were “ clear enough to be heard”  and some that were not.   Now, Sir, there are quite a number of people who may have tried the “tweaks” that YOU,(yourself and a friend)  have heard show an audible and clear difference but THEY CANNOT hear those same tweaks themselves.   Then THEY demand DBTs and measurements.   And so it goes on – like a permanent merrygoround.   And has been going on for more than 30 years to my knowledge.

Which ones, from the list I have given, are the tweaks which YOU personally have heard and which come with what you call “without extraordinary claims or expectations”.   Of the others (in my list) which of the ones you have not tried but where you would say that you would be prepared to accept other significant (significant in audio) people’s experiences ?    I don’t mean by that ‘believe outright without question or scepticism’ but to be prepared to accept that they DID hear the improvements they describe and that they WERE able to resolve more of the musical information.

Let me come back to your experience.   With the capacitors mods you refer to giving you an improvement in the sound, if YOU were a journalist, writing for an audio magazine, would YOU like to inform others of the improvements in the sound you heard ?  For their overall (enjoyment)  benefit ?

Using the example of different cables sounding different, exactly that has been going on for some 30 years with SOME people being prepared to try for themselves and TELL others and yet others dismissing outright that any differences can be heard – and, I might add – using the same excuse as to why they WON’T try as your earlier statement :-

Quote:

>>> “For example, years ago I thought that capacitor mods were rubbish, thinking that LCR is all there is to a capacitor (elementary textbook teachings), and any capacitor will sound like any other. The real world (as many of us know) is different enough from the textbook that many other effects are there and are known. Accounting for these effects can explain a lot about the capacitor mods.” <<<

You say “that many effects ARE there and are known”.   I would suggest NOT to a good many others !!!!!

To quote one vociferous ‘poster’ (a manufacturer of audio products!!) on previous Stereophile Forum debates :-

Quote:

>>> “everything that affects audio can be expressed using the following four parameters:

 

* Frequency response

* Noise

* Distortion

* Time-based errors

As far as I know those four parameters define everything that affects audio reproduction.

If you change an AC power cord and hear an improvement, science can explain why. And it's not because the AC power cord changed the sound.

When it comes to AC power cords and Ted's magic bowls, I can explain in excruciating detail why neither can change the sound arriving at your ears.

I'm well educated in electronics, and I don't hear differences with things such as cable elevators, replacement AC power cords, too-small room treatments, and so forth. And when I've measured such tweaks I didn't measure a difference either.” <<<

 

And this, absolutepitch, was said in 2009 – NOT the last century !!

And another (audio industry member) dismissing people’s listening experiences as :-

Quote:

>>> “that sound changes every times one listens.   That one can hear something different every time one listens, even if it is to the same piece of music and even after a small gap of (say) 5 minutes.

That that is human nature and that that will be the explanation for people saying that they can hear changes in sound after trying some ‘tweaks’.” <<<

 

Quote:

>>> “There may be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence?” <<<

Wow, Sir.   Why didn’t everyone who has ever introduced so called “tweaks” to improve the sound think of that.   What you have stated, Sir, is a truism and anyone would be a fool to argue against a truism.

Would that it would be SO easy for everyone to be able to provide ‘good scientific evidence’ !!

If it was THAT easy, don’t you think results of DBTs and measurements would have been ‘shouted from the rooftops’ repeatedly over these past 30 years.   If it IS so easy, then why is there still a controversy surrounding different cables sounding different and why the Cable section of Audio Asylum has to be a DBT free zone ?

Quote:

>>> “Correct testing is not easy to accomplish.  IT just means we have to be extra careful, and that proper evaluation of some tweaks is very challenging.” <<<

I would not dispute that in any way.   Unfortunately all the parameters are not known and therefore anyone who thinks that all the parameters can be controlled and then ‘acceptable’ Blind trials carried out with ‘acceptable’ results does not have an understanding of all the problems.

To my knowledge, over these past 30 years, various reputable people in audio have tried doing reliable DB trials (and measurements) and, again to my knowledge, they have turned out to be non conclusive.   If they HAD BEEN conclusive, there would be no controversies today.

Let me give you one further example – from one of the most respectable and reputable people in the UK audio industry:-

Quote:

>>> “Julian Vereker (of Naim Audio) in 1995 wrote :-

Everything that we do to our hi-fi systems affects the way that they sound;   Some of these things are simple to measure while others are not so straight forward.

When we were designing the Naim loudspeaker cable, we specified all the parameters that we thought were controllable in manufacture, but when we came to listen to some music on a system using the new cable, we were somewhat alarmed to note that the sound was rather ‘phasey’ - lacking in a coherent soundstage.

This was such an obvious characteristic we felt sure that we would be able to measure something.   But we looked from DC to 500kHz (down to -1440dBV) then up to 500 MHz and down to -100dBV at low currents, high currents, low voltage and high voltage and we could not find anything different in any respect between this new cable and the old design or in fact the new cable and our current loudspeaker cable, NACA5.

We also listen to mains cables of the same specification from different manufacturers for the same reasons.   We know they make a difference but have not yet been able to measure anything of consequence.   So we specify exactly which mains cable the moulded lead manufacturers may use when supplying us.

I feel that if one cannot be scientific it pays to be pragmatic.” <<<

 

And, as I understand even now, Naim supply (and recommend) interconnects which are marked for optimum direction.

 

Which brings me to another ‘tweak’ (well you DID ask, absolutepitch)

None other than a report from John Atkinson (then editor of the British Hi FI News) in October 1983 – Practically 30 years ago !!!!!!! and prompted by the usual reaction of “rubbish”, “Snake Oil” to some people’s observations :-

Quote:

>>> “I had an interesting conversation with a contributor to HFN/RR some months back.   “Isn’t it about time”, I was asked, “that we organised a test to show that this business about cables being directional is a load of rubbish, dreamed up by unscrupulous con men ?”......

 

How could such a phenomenon like directionality in conductors, therefore, have been missed by researchers all this time ?   Surely it is too much to believe that it hid if an engineer bearing measuring equipment approached, but it was only too willing to be heard if carrying a music signal ?...........

 

My initial reaction, therefore, to this new fact, was to dismiss it as moonshine.   However, a less-than-open-mind is nothing to be proud of, even when confronted with statements which appear to contradict everything one has learnt or been told.

 

The dogmatic approach adopted by some engineers and scientists that a phenomenon can’t be held to exist until it can be satisfactorily explained, is obviously unsound.” <<<

This entire thread here on the Stereophile Forum was started around the basis of ‘let’s attack/criticise Art and others for what they have been writing.

 

Quote:

>>> “More Alchemy

Again Sam spends a couple of pages on magic/quackery.

No sentient being could take any of this seriously.

If one wants quackery, go to Salem and you can find entire shops dedicated to magic crystals, odd potions, and inexplicable phenomenon only experienced by true believers.” <<<

,

We don’t seem to have moved on one iota, over the past 30 years, do we ?

Regards,

May Belt.

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Reply to May

May,

Thanks for getting on with discussion of Tweaks. Your post is very long so I will not re-quote it. Here are my thoughts regarding your response.

Regarding why some people hear the capacitor tweak or not, I have not tested anyone else, so I do not know if there are people that cannot hear the difference that I claim to hear. Going more generally, if one cannot hear a tweak, of course they may say that the tweak is nonsense.

One such tweak for me was the green marker around the edge of the CD. I really, really tried to hear a difference. I really wanted to hear a difference, because of the curious reviews that claimed audibly improved sound. I actually tried to hear if there was a difference between these CDs before applying the green marker treatment, and could not, so I was convinced the two CDs before the test are 'identical' as far as I could tell. After applying the marker, I could not hear any difference between two identical CDs, one treated and one not treated, repeatedly. Because of the null result, I gave up in disappointment. I could have said that this tweak is 'rubbish', although I am inclined to think that's probably the case. However, the proper (IMO) conclusion is that the test did not show any difference with the CD that were tried, not that it has no effect. 

Michael'e LP demagnitizing experience is one I would like to try. I have yet to go get two identical, new LPs. If I ever get around to it, I'll report back. The problem with the test, if I recall correctly, was the same LP was played twice. The problem with only one set of two new LPs as I proposed, is that the effect may vary from LP to LP, so would not be tested with only one set of two identical LPs. On and on it goes...! Good controlled tests are not easy to do, and time-consuming.

May, unfortunately, I do not have the time to do tweaks as much as I did in my younger years, due to a LOT of responsibilities. Some mods take little time to do, but much time to evaluate properly. I'll only do so if I can give the mod sufficient allotment of my time to do it justice. doing otherwise would be unfair to the mod, and unfair to the forum members by reporting incomplete information.

Having said that, you asked about what if people cannot hear the improvement that I heard, so they ask for DBT's. Well, they are correct because I asked myself that too, because I did not do a SBT or DBT to 'prove' that I was not imagining what I heard - I cannot eliminate that as a explanation yet. My interpretation of the degree of what I heard was enough to tell my ears that the sound was better, comparing years of hearing the same LPs before and the same LPs after the cap mods - only I have no independent verification of this claim. And yes, if I were a reviewer, I would report what I heard.

Also, the cap mods were implemented by me after there already were some investigations and reports of this in the audio press, with possible explanations offered in the press. I believe it was the Jung, et al., articles. Even after the articles, I still was skeptical and thought that 'it just cannot be'. Then I decided to try it because the mods are reversible.

I also agree with you that these investigations are not easy, and I do not imply anywhere that it is. BTW, you're too kind to call me 'Sir'; I've not been knighted, and am not eligible to be knighted. 

The rest of your post is regarding what several audio people have said or wrote about in the past, dismissing the extraordinary claims as snake oil. It's perfectly understandable from the known stuff that those claims just can't be. It's possible that the claims are correct; it's also possible that those who have years of published investigative knowledge (that some here dismiss, or are ignorant of) know better.

If as system sounds different on different occasions, it does call into question what casual reviewing's value is. But we also have to balance that with the years of experience with long-term listening, that may reveal sonics not easily heard in a few sessions alone. Not having been where some people have (e.g. John Atkinson, etc., and his years of musical and journalistic experience) I can offer my opinions in a forum, but am not in a position to criticize him on a professional level. The same goes for those who have performed peer-reviewed research in audio (e.g. Floyd Toole, etc.).  

Yet there is Mr. Vereker of Naim that says he built a cable that should be a top performer but didn't sound like that. his investigation did not reveal why, and nothing popped out as an explanation why it should not work well. Well, one can easily criticize in the press or forums that he missed this or he missed that - but were they there doing the investigation to know what he tried? I too can think of things that he appears to have missed, but I think it more likely that he just didn't have the space to list it all. Of course, there still could be some missing things too. I won't know from any article or white paper, and could get a better idea only if I talk to him. My mind is still open on this one.

Regarding the criticism of Art in this forum, I thought JA wrote that a reviewer is reporting his opinion of what he/she heard. We all do that with respect to what we heard, and report it here. We all should discuss the issues, not the person, if we are to make progress.

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The real bottom line here...

Don't forget the real bottom line about Art's column about this sort of remedial tweak: Look at how many views, hits, and replies it generated compared to, say, his Thorens plinth project column.

Talking about these sorts of tweaks accomplishes the same thing as when Ann Coulter says she hates 911 widows.

Attention!

Not that that's a bad thing, by the way.

I think an annual April/May tweak-fest issue like they did with all the columns would be a completely fun thing, and timed appropriately!

RTD4, the two Recommended Components issues...and an annual tweak-o-rama would make for another anticipated issue! 

 

geoffkait
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At least you're consistent

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. - RW Emerson

People would be much better off believing in too much rather than too little.  - PT Barnum

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

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Reply to absolutepitch .
Quote:

>>> “ Also, the cap mods were implemented by me after there already were some investigations and reports of this in the audio press, with possible explanations offered in the press. I believe it was the Jung, et al., articles. Even after the articles, I still was skeptical and thought that 'it just cannot be'. Then I decided to try it “ <<<

These are some good and crucial points you make.

1) That you read about it in the audio press – NOT from information in the text books.

2) You were sceptical and thought it not possible but decided to try it in any case !!!!

3) And, blow me, even though you thought “it just cannot be”, it worked !!!!!!!

Quote:

>>> “The rest of your post is regarding what several audio people have said or wrote about in the past, dismissing the extraordinary claims as snake oil. It's perfectly understandable from the known stuff that those claims just can't be. It's possible that the claims are correct” <<<

Of course it IS understandable to believe – from what existing knowledge is in the text books – that certain claims just cannot be.   But if, after trying, it IS found that certain things DO ACTUALLY give improvements in the sound, then surely that OBSERVATION – from reputable and significant people – should not be so readily dismissed, ridiculed, attacked.   Surely advancement in any knowledge starts with THE OBSERVATION  ?   If the OBSERVATION then goes on to be confirmed by quite a few others, then surely it warrants notice taken of it.   I don’t mean here confirmation by DB trials – we haven’t got to that stage in this part of the discussion yet – we are still at the OBSERVATION stage – we are still trying to get to grips with the effects on the sound from the “tweaks” I have listed !!!!!    You start at the observation and work back from that – trying to understand and asking the questions HOW and WHY and What is going on.

The Schumann Resonance device is one very good example.   The Schumann Resonance device was originally developed some time ago to aid a person’s wellbeing – it was not originally developed to improve sound.    I believe it was a chance event such as someone who had one of those devices suddenly observing that whilstever that device was in the room, their sound was much better  - and reported such to others.  Many others, including Art, have confirmed this with Art saying “it is doing SOMETHING ” to the sound.

So.   We start there, first with the observation and then with our attempting to think it through.   i.e With it “doing something” to the sound.

HOW can that be ?   If it is not doing anything to the audio signal travelling through the audio system and not doing anything to the room acoustics but yet giving improvements in the sound.

Either the answer isn’t known and has to be teased out, strand by strand, clue by clue, as most science is/has been OR the answer IS known and is (as one well known person in the audio world simplistically said):-

Quote:

>>> “, that the sound changes every times one listens.   That one can hear something different every time one listens, even if it is to the same piece of music and even after a small gap of (say) 5 minutes.

That that is human nature and that that will be the explanation for people saying that they can hear changes in sound after trying some ‘tweaks’.” <<<

So, WHAT is going on ?

With some people continually insisting on “Where are the DBT’s, Where are the measurements.   Show us the measurements and we will believe” gets no one any further on.   And certainly not further on creating better sound !!

Quote:

>>> “We all should discuss the issues, not the person, if we are to make progress” <<<

I couldn’t agree more, but I am afraid that sentiment falls on some deaf ears.   They MUCH prefer to attack the person !!

However, would you be willing to discuss the issue (and not the person) further ?   You come over as not having as much rigidity of thought as others.

Regards,

May Belt.

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A little dissension has a purpose in my mind.
jgossman wrote:

everyone "doth protest too much".  If you read in a magazine something that strikes you as bullshit, why not just say to yourself "that's bullshit", and move on to the next article.  If the ratio of bullshit to honesty is more than you can handle, you carry no obligation to continue your subscription.  But what does a rant on an online post do to positively affect anyones life, or our hobby?  

Grunt if you get it.

That's the great thing about it all.  May Belt and her husband may be completely full of said bullshit.  But I'll bet were you to get to know them they have other interests, hobbies, etc., that make them wonderful likeable people.  So what does pissing on thier parade provide anyone?  Maybe certain peoples lack of grace toward others they disagree with about stuff that really doesn't matter much makes THEM the ones the most full of, you guessed it, bullshit.  So if people want to piss around painting the edges of CD's green or smearing magic vascaline on thier candle holders, or wrapping magic pebbles in magic cellophane around the Super Cable of the Month, it's probably not doing anything.  But you know what, I'm pretty sure my room sounds better when I clean it up and dust and vacuum, and that's about as free as it gets.  And you know why?  Because I like my room clean and it makes me happy.  When's the last time you walked out of your house, unhappy, grizzled, and distracted and noticed the buzzing of a fly, and the chirping of the birds?  Think about it.  -- That's a shift in perception with no physical science to back it up.  Are the birds not chirping in the trees because YOU are having a bad day?  

Again, grunt a happy grunt if you understand.

I agree with what you said here.

Though I recall my thoughts when I first ran across a reference to Belt products just over three years ago. At first I thought, here was a new-to-me method of improving the performance of my audio playback equipment. Then after looking more closely into the various Belt tweaks, it was obvious that the whole thing was an amazingly clever satirical joke. So after reading more on the subject to better appreciate the joke, it seemed that there were people that actually took the tweaks seriously, and  believed in their effectiveness. But wait, did they really believe, or were they taking the joke to ever higher levels. I admit I was a little unsure at the time, but realized in pretty short order that there were both believers, and non-believers..

Since then I've developed my own independent attitude toward the Belt products as well as tweaks developed by others (you know who you are), and no confusion remains for me. But for people new to the subject, I think it serves a useful purpose to have both sides of the issue presented, though I think we can see that dragging it out endlessly in confrontational ways can get a little ugly at times.

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Unmentionables

 Demondog, you said,

"Though I recall my thoughts when I first ran across a reference to Belt products just over three years ago. At first I thought, here was a new-to-me method of improving the performance of my audio playback equipment. Then after looking more closely into the various Belt tweaks, it was obvious that the whole thing was an amazingly clever satirical joke."

Geez, Louise, Do you really think anyone has the time and wherewithal to perpetuate a joke for 30 years?  

You also said,

"So after reading more on the subject to better appreciate the joke, it seemed that there were people that actually took the tweaks seriously, and  believed in their effectiveness. But wait, did they really believe, or were they taking the joke to ever higher levels."

Let me get this straight - you, who haven't tried any of the Belt products, think it's an elaborate hoax while those who did try the Belt Products take them seriously.  Sorry, that doesn't make much sense.  

You said, 

"I admit I was a little unsure at the time, but realized in pretty short order that there were both believers, and non-believers.."

How very astute of you.

You also said,

"Since then I've developed my own independent attitude toward the Belt products as well as tweaks developed by others (you know who you are), and no confusion remains for me. But for people new to the subject, I think it serves a useful purpose to have both sides of the issue presented, though I think we can see that dragging it out endlessly in confrontational ways can get a little ugly at times."

Yes, that's some attitude you developed.  Nice to see you are so open minded and I feel certain all the innocent, gullible people new to the subject really appreciate your concern. And thanks for not making this any uglier than necessary.  LOL

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

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You're welcome Geoff Kait

The answer to your first question is yes, especially when it's self serving. But I never said I continued to think it was a joke. I think of it as something else now.

I'll let the rest of your ridiculing, insulting post speak for itself.

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Reply to Demondog.

I wonder if you actually read and fully digested what jgossman wrote ?

Jgossman said :=


Quote:

>>> “

So what does pissing on thier parade provide anyone?  Maybe certain peoples lack of grace toward others they disagree with about stuff that really doesn't matter much makes THEM the ones the most full of, you guessed it, bullshit.  So if people want to piss around painting the edges of CD's green or smearing magic vascaline on thier candle holders, or wrapping magic pebbles in magic cellophane around the Super Cable of the Month, it's probably not doing anything.” <<<

He was actually saying that certain people have “lack of grace to others about stuff that really does not matter much”.

I would agree with him on the first part (that some people have lack of grace towards others) but I would disagree with him on the second part (that some ‘tweaks’ do not matter much).

The point of the whole controversies surrounding so called ‘tweaks’ (or, to put it another way, things which can give an improvement in the sound) is that to some significant and technically competent people in audio – some “professionals in audio” it DOES matter because they know that many of the things (tweaks) being reported SHOULD NOT have had any effect on the sound at all – but they DID and DO!!!   So, such people are attempting to deal with the fact that they DID and DO!!

And, whilst THOSE technically competent people are struggling to get to the bottom of all that is happening, you, Demondog, dismiss the past 30 years of trying to come to terms with some “tweaks” as either a ‘joke’ or as merely ‘belief or non belief’.

Why, if what has been and is still happening can all be so EASILY dismissed as a ‘joke’ or ‘belief or non belief’, why has it puzzled some ‘professionals in audio’ as to make the following comments ?

John Curl :-

Quote:

>>> “or using superior passive components, such as bypass caps, wire, and connectors. It works. Why it works, as an engineer is just as much a mystery to me, as it is to many others.” <<<

Charles Hansen :-

Quote:

>>> ““Every time that I have decided a priori that something can't *possibly* have any effect, I have always been proven wrong by listening tests at a later date. So I end up deliberately not listening to some things because I'm not sure if I want to know the answer...

 

I have never listened for wire directionality. I have talked with enough people I trust to believe that it is real. Some of them think that it is part of the wire itself and is created as the wire is drawn to smaller gauges through the dies. Others think that it acquires its directionality by being played in the system. I don't really know.” <<<

 

Paul Messenger :-

Quote:

>>> “The intriguing bit was the placing in and removal from the room of various Acoustic Art treatments from Synergistic Research.   A small voice in one ear warned me that this way lay madness, because BOTH ears were making it quite clear that these little steel cups placed in strategic locations were indeed affecting the sound.” <<<

Keith Howard :-

Quote:

>>> “But these were mere pre-shocks ahead of the eight-on-the-Richter-scale upheaval triggered by the Hiraga article.   If even connecting cables sounded different, I remember thinking, then nothing of the old view could be taken for granted any longer.   Intellectually, the earth had moved.

 

The difference between the non frozen and the cryogenically frozen cables continues to astound me.

 

Having heard for myself the astonishing effect of cryogenically treating the copper in speaker and interconnect cables, I cannot imagine how this process and its benefits could fade into obscurity.” <<<

John Atkinson :-

Quote:

>>> ““It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible”.

********

“Conservative scientists appear to have difficulty with both of these hypotheses, but it is inescapable that one or the other must be correct and that existing physics is incorrect in that its predictions don't explain what is observed”.

********

“There are things that boggle my mind in High End audio.  There are things that I would like to think I understand (from a technical and engineering point of view) and then something happens which literally blows my mind and it doesn’t fit the world view”.  

********

“I am not so arrogant as to suppose that the only things that can happen are those that I can imagine (Those who declare that, unless they can think of a mechanism for something happening, it can’t happen, are presuming knowledge of all that was known, is known, and is still to be known.   That they actually possess such knowledge seems unlikely).   I will not allow my skepticism to interfere with the joy I get from my music”.

*******

“it assumes that all is known and all is understood. In which there is no point in exposing oneself to new experiences. In which case, what is the point in doing anything at all?”

 

********

“I continue to be surprised by things I think should matter having little effect on what I perceive and by things my preconceptions would lead me to dismiss apparently having a significant effect (positive or negative) on perceived sound quality. So when presented with something that appears to defy logic or my understanding of how the world works, I try not to dismiss it, instead filing it away under "things to return to if there's time."

 

*********

“I do accept that some things affect the listener, not the soundwaves. But if they do so consistently for more than listener, surely that means the effect is "real"?” <<<

 

Robert Harley at the end of his article “The Cryogenic Compact Disc” in Stereophile :-

 

Quote:

>>>“Furthermore, I see CD tweaks as a Rosetta Stone to an audio engineering establishment that dismisses the possibility that freezing a CD, or painting it black, or putting green paint around the edge, or making it from a different material, could affect its sound.   Because these treatments are considered the epitome of audiophile lunacy and because they are readily audible, some measurement-oriented scientists may, if they listen for themselves, realize that audiophiles are not always the demented mystics they are often accused of being.” <<<

There IS no joke, Demondog, from anyone  !!!!!!!!

Why do you think there has been numerous and different so called “tweaks” over these past 30 years – which have perplexed many different, intelligent people involved in the world of audio ?

(See my list of some of those tweaks.)

Because it has all been one HUGE joke as you claim ?  –  Because it can be simply explained away by belief or non belief and you claim ?

Just how dismissive of others can you get !!

I am not talking here about you being dismissive of lay people’s experiences I am talking about technically competent, ‘professionals in audio’ people who have heard certain techniques and devices improve the sound whilst, at the same time, knowing full well that they should not have had any effect on the sound at all !!!!!

The “Tweaks” and their effect are telling you something.

These intelligent people, involved in audio most of their working life, are telling you something.

Regards,

May Belt.

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You didn't have to do that.

I'm sorry you felt the need to reply to my post. It really wasn't necessary.  

I did read and understand what jgossman wrote. Especially the part about it not being necessary to piss on peoples parade. That is what I was agreeing with, and if you read and understand my posts, you should be able to see that I try to stick to relating my own experiences, not telling other people what to believe. I even ended my last post in the HiFi Tuning Fuses thread with "Notice I didn't say other people don't hear things." But besides not pissing on parades, I still enjoy reading some of the friendlier discussion.

I think there is some over reaction going on here. When I was speaking of the joke, I was clearly relating my first reactions upon first discovering the subject of tweaks. Must be a joke, was because it all seemed so far fetched. I bet I could describe the tweaks to 100 random people, and 99 or more of them would have the same reaction, or else they would think I'm crazy. Putting that aside, I'll repeat what I said in my last post in case it was missed, I no longer think it's a joke.

And of course tweaks are a matter of belief. people either believe they hear an improvement with a tweak, or they believe they don't hear a difference. At the risk of creating an even larger controversy, I deal with the issue of tweaks the same way I do religion, and the existence of God. Neither one has been proven, to my knowledge, and so remain a matter of faith. Despite you taking the trouble to quote all the experts on their tweak experiences, I would require a little more than that to form an opinion one way or the other. I hear there are people who claim to hear God's voice also. People claim things all the time that I'm not ready to buy into.

Whether tweaks or religion, I don't really like to discuss it very much, as nothing will come of it. I thought my first post in this thread was a pretty noncontroversial, short recounting of my own evolution on the subject, while agreeing that not bashing the other side was good. It seems to have stirred a few people up.

Bottom line is that I do not hear improvement in sound from applying what people call tweaks, and what other people hear is their issue. If by stating that I do not hear any difference due to tweaks is pissing on someone's parade, I suggest an umbrella.

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Reply to Demondog
Quote:

>>> “If by stating that I do not hear any difference due to tweaks is pissing on someone's parade” <<<

But you did not JUST enter the discussion JUST to say that “you do not hear any difference due to tweaks”.   You went much, much further !!!!

Yes, I did read your comments on the ‘HiFi Tuning Fuses’ section.   And, yes, you did say "Notice I didn't say other people don't hear things." But only again AFTER:-

Quote:

>>> “I chalk this up to my perception of what I'm hearing, you know, something going on in my head. I'm not about to go chasing my perception with cables, fuses, or other tweaks.” <<<

If you don’t want to benefit from other’s experiences i.e. better sound, then why enter discussions on ‘techniques on obtaining better sound’ ?   JUST to be able to say “I don’t hear any difference due to tweaks” in a very roundabout way ?

I would suggest that you have entered such discussions because you DO actually want to discourage others from trying for themselves (by doing what you describe as ‘putting another view’).   Or else why put it ?

You are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else but it is surely very boring to keep responding to discussions on various tweaks with the usual “I don’t hear any difference due to tweaks”?  

I think tmsorosk summed it up quite nicely (and politely) with his earlier reply to you.

Quote:

>>> “I guess that means that you haven't tried them. You'd be surprised what you can learn by experimentation.” <<<

Regards,

May Belt.

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It comes to this?

So now you're down to questioning my motivation, and the appropriateness of relating my own experiences on the subject. I think it's because that's all you have left. Anything to quell dissenting opinion I suppose.

My personal experience, and non-belief in the effectiveness of audio tweaks stands, and the more it is challenged, the more I will repeat it. If your goal is to stifle opinions that don't agree with yours, you are going about it in the wrong way.

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May Belt

Do you *still* not understand that any number of personal claims to hearing a difference does not constitute sufficient evidence to justify belief in an extraordinary claim?

Do you deny that expectation bias can account for all of these accounts that you cite?

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Quote:

>>> “Anything to quell dissenting opinion I suppose.” <<<

You suppose wrong !!

Regards,

May Belt.

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scientific evidence

Sorry for the belated response. 

I think a lot of people have an idea what scientific evidence is. It is the result of application of the scientific method, such as observing something, formulate a hypothesis, design controlled tests, execute the tests, evaluate results, and formulate a theory to explain the observation. Others may have somewhat more complete definitions, but we all get the idea. 

Some of the tweaks have not provided such evidence, only anectdotal expriences. Even the capacitor mod tweak I did and wrote of so far has only my own anectdotal experience on my stereo gear. I do have reports from at least two other audiophile friends that this tweak is for real.  Even so, I provided caveats regarding reporting that in a scientific manner, even though I remain convinced that the effect is real. I leave open the possibility that a DBT of one modded and an identical non-modded gear may prove me and my friends wrong.

I quote your response to 'evidence':

"Well, by scientific evidence, one assumes that you mean some sort of measurements. But I suspect that is one big Mazza ball hanging out there.  But how would you go about measuring the effects of the photos in the freezer tweak?  Since the photos in the freezer doesn't affect the audio signal anywhere in the system, the electrical power anywhere in the system or any acoustic waves arriving at the listener's ears, one assumes the standard procedures for measurements must be abandoned.  LOL

What is the scientific evidence that the atomic bomb works?  I don't think it is all the mathematical formulas.  It's the fact that the bomb exploded. ...  "

No Geoff, I do not restrict it to some standard measuements, although standard measurements can be evidence, even in this case. If one can prove via mesurements that the acoustic waves at the listener ears are absolutely identical regardless of whether the photos are in the freezer or not, then the conclusion would be that the audible changes the listener reports are not explained by any part of the entire chain of audio reproduction up to the listener's ears.

I cannot imagine how photos in the freezer can affect the audio signals or the acoustic waves. It's not impossible, but in my mind the effect is infinitesimal. But what if it does?

Since we cannot prove a negative, that photos in the freezer do not affect the audio signal, we must prove 'something' is affecting what a listener hears, identify what that 'something' is, and show that the 'something' really is doing that. It may be more than one 'something'. Or it may be as simple as expectation bias. Where's the evidence that is convincing, because some hear it and some do not?

You're right that the clear evidence of the atomic bomb working is that it exploded. There is no doubt that the atomic explosion happened, because the effect is hard to miss. There remains doubt about some of the tweaks, in which not everyone agrees that there was an 'explosion', so to speak.

Here's a simple tweak that is easily illustrates the foregoing. Let's say the tweak is 'changing the volume control setting'. If the change is sufficiently large (the 'explosion') then it is audible to all. Now decrease the change, and it will be detectable by some and not others. Decrease it even more, then it will eventually be inaudible to all. Frequency response differences, already scientifically investigated, fall into this category, and the evidence is there.

The difference between the volume control and some of the exotic tweaks is that the level is adjustable in the volume control. Some of the tweaks so far has not shown such level-behavior that's amenable to adjustment to even do such a test. If more of some tweak yields more audible effect, then there's has to be a scientific reason for what it is affecting, and hence measurable in some way. The volume control tweak example is measurable as position of the volume control setting, or SPL by microphone, or other methods.

I agree that the test of the photos can be easily done, such as with one person putting the photos in the freezer (or not in) and the test subject does not know whether the photos are in the freezer or not. Art did and reported in a single-trial, single-blind test, that no difference was heard by MF. More trials (as you said "repeat")  would be useful to gain statistical power of whether there is a detectable effect. Whoever tries this test, don't fall into the trap of getting negative results 9 times and on the 10th trial get a positive result and then incorrectly concluding that the result is positive.

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stuck or not, in our ways?

"... You come over as not having as much rigidity of thought as others."

I try to keep an open mind, not always successfully. One can learn from being wrong. One won't learn if one thinks that one is always right.

If one is an acknowledged expert in a particular field, it's more likely that one is right than wrong in that subject field compared to someone who is not an expert. What I see is people who are not known-experts in a subject area, claim to be an 'expert', and making extraordinary claims about areas in which the experts already have investigated and published to the contrary. This often happen because the non-experts are not fully informed or fully understand the research areas as the experts do. Then I have a hard time being convinced of what the non-expert says is correct, particularly after I read what the experts have published and I compared both sides of the argument.

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Photos in Freezer

Absolute Pitch, you said,

"I think a lot of people have an idea what scientific evidence is. It is the result of application of the scientific method, such as observing something, formulate a hypothesis, design controlled tests, execute the tests, evaluate results, and formulate a theory to explain the observation. Others may have somewhat more complete definitions, but we all get the idea."

 

I disagree with your premise that that all steps of the scientific method are required to produce evidence for audio tweaks.  All you need is observation, like Newton observing the apple falling under the "force" of gravity.  That observation, in and of itself, was enough to make Newton realize that something was going on.  Of course, you have to trust your senses that what you are observing is real.  If you go shopping for a new TV you pick the one that has the best picture, right?  Nothing complicated about it, you trust what your eyes tell you.  You do not ask for evidence that LCD technology is superior to plasma technology, or whatever, do you?  Thus, if you observe the capacitor mod tweak improved the sound, that is evidence that the capacitor mod is effective in your system.  Obviously it is not proof, just some evidence.  Aren't audiophiles more interested in whether a tweak works than how it works? I certainly hope so, since there are a lot of mazza balls hanging out there that lack "scientifically validated" explanations, Schuman Frequency generators, tiny bowls, ebony discs, clocks, chips, foils, et al.  If all the unusual and preposterous tweaks that have come out in the past 20 years had to undergo some sort of peer review or other scientific scrutiny for audiophile approval, a lot of folks would not have the benefits of those inventions.

 

You said,

"Some of the tweaks have not provided such evidence, only anectdotal expriences. Even the capacitor mod tweak I did and wrote of so far has only my own anectdotal experience on my stereo gear. I do have reports from at least two other audiophile friends that this tweak is for real.  Even so, I provided caveats regarding reporting that in a scientific manner, even though I remain convinced that the effect is real. I leave open the possibility that a DBT of one modded and an identical non-modded gear may prove me and my friends wrong."

 

But manufacturers are not required to provide evidence or proof, maybe you are thinking of reviewers, they do provide measurements of speakers and amplifiers, why not tweaks?  I know what you're thinking, how is a reviewer going to measure some of the more controversial tweaks, the ones that go bump in the night? Furthermore I don't think there really is anything like identical non modded gear since every room is different; room acoustics themselves are sufficiently diverse to make such an experiment as you suggest impossible.

 

You said,

 

"I cannot imagine how photos in the freezer can affect the audio signals or the acoustic waves. It's not impossible, but in my mind the effect is infinitesimal. But what if it does?"

 

No one said it does affect audio signals or acoustic waves.  In fact, i'm saying the photos in the freezer definitely do NOT affect audio signals or acoustic waves.  That is actually one of the points of performing the photos in the freezer tweak over long distance - as Art did for his article.  The photos of MF in Art's freezer cannot affect audio signals or acoustic waves in the listening room of MF, I think you will agree.

 

You said,

 

"Since we cannot prove a negative, that photos in the freezer do not affect the audio signal, we must prove 'something' is affecting what a listener hears, identify what that 'something' is, and show that the 'something' really is doing that. It may be more than one 'something'. Or it may be as simple as expectation bias. Where's the evidence that is convincing, because some hear it and some do not.  You're right that the clear evidence of the atomic bomb working is that it exploded. There is no doubt that the atomic explosion happened, because the effect is hard to miss. There remains doubt about some of the tweaks, in which not everyone agrees that there was an 'explosion', so to speak."

 

Well, that's precisely the problem with all  controversial tweaks, isn't it?  That the explanation provided is not "acceptable" and/or that results are not consistent.  This is why there has been a cable controversy for the past 30 years.  We certainly can't expect MIT or NASA or even AES to step in and settle any of this.  

 

You said,

 

"Here's a simple tweak that is easily illustrates the foregoing. Let's say the tweak is 'changing the volume control setting'. If the change is sufficiently large (the 'explosion') then it is audible to all. Now decrease the change, and it will be detectable by some and not others. Decrease it even more, then it will eventually be inaudible to all. Frequency response differences, already scientifically investigated, fall into this category, and the evidence is there."

 

Well, frequency response is an interesting subject because speakers that measure the same frequency response can often sound quite different, and stereo cartridges that measure the same frequency response also can often sound quite different, even just in terms of frequency response.  That was what got the guy at Stereo Review in so much hot water 30 years ago, when he claimed that amplifiers that measured the same will sound the same.   

 

You said,

 

"I agree that the test of the photos can be easily done, such as with one person putting the photos in the freezer (or not in) and the test subject does not know whether the photos are in the freezer or not. Art did and reported in a single-trial, single-blind test, that no difference was heard by MF. More trials (as you said "repeat")  would be useful to gain statistical power of whether there is a detectable effect. Whoever tries this test, don't fall into the trap of getting negative results 9 times and on the 10th trial get a positive result and then incorrectly concluding that the result is positive."

 

Actually, as I pointed out already, Art did not perform the photos in the freezer experiment correctly, and as May Belt already pointed out even if he had performed it correctly, MF did not have the opportunity to compare the sound with photos in to photos out.  If he had, who knows, he might have found the sound with the photos in the freezer to be better.  

 

Finally, I can't resist pointing out the irony of demands for evidence for the photos in the freezer tweak which is , of course, free.

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

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Newton, eh?

"All you need is observation, like Newton observing the apple falling under the "force" of gravity."

Let's compare your exemplar comparing Newton to Belt tweaks....

Does the apple fall only if Sir Isaac knows it's being dropped?

Does Sir Isaac see the apple fall when he is told it will be dropped, but fail to do so if he is not told at what instant, or which type,the apple is being dropped?

In a sighted test, does the apple fall, but if Sir Isaac is blindolded, does the apple fail to fall?

You picked a great example going for Newton.

If one is observant, can Newton's prediction be replicated with SBT or DBT?

Is there gravitational DBT "deafness?"

Can one measure what Sir Isaac reported?

How many apples out of 100 that are dropped from Isaac's tree will fall to earth?

How do we know this so called gravity exists without an objective, measurable outcome?

Is gravity a fact? How do we know? Is it a theory? If so, that implies testability. May fails at this requirement for 'theory.'

Sir Isaac described physical phenomenon he observed and worked to an objective testable theory, what May descibes is the equivalent of the invention of "intelligent falling."

Ironic choice of icons.

Again, not saying someone may hear what May tells them to, I am just opposed to her 'handicapping' those who don't require her balm in order to have an equivalent experience.

I'm not even claiming Sir Isaac provided the final answer - theories are potentially disprovable. May's are not.

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Reply to ILikeMusic
Quote:

>>> “Do you deny that expectation bias can account for all of these accounts that you cite?” <<<

Do YOU deny that any of the accounts I cite could be descriptions of people ‘resolving far more of the musical information than they had been doing prior to applying the (whatever) ‘tweak’ ?

Quote:

>>> “Most immediately apparent was a slightly darkened (more quiet) background fabric from which every sound seems to blossom more fully.

 

It was just as immediately apparent that there was a reduction of stridency to upper midrange and lower treble bands, a minimization of the "glare" - 

Noises previously buried down in, or slightly masked by, the noise floor are released much more coherently and identifiably

 

One of the more delicious aspects of its effectiveness is the resultant elevated bass performance. While the lowest registers are not any deeper, they are clearly more defined. Picking or fingering of strings in bass runs becomes much more apparent and discernable, allowing a greater ease in following complex bass lines. It also contributes seemingly faster rise times, with clearer decay and fall off than without its application.

 

And talk about enhanced spatial performance! Post treatment reveals more "space" between instruments, and greater "air" around them. We are treated to a more focused soundstage, with greater specificity to images. Staging is typically slightly wider, deeper, and taller, with heightened "illumination" of the rear left and right corners of the soundstage. The result is an overall perspective that is more honest, more faithful to reality, with better focus and more realistically sized.

What I heard was unmistakable.   The soundstage expanded moderately in width, and almost doubled in depth.   The upper midrange and treble was less strident and forward, and better integrated into the midrange.   Transparency was improved:   Image dimensionality was improved significantly, with better localization and differentiation of individual sounds, and there was more “air” surrounding each instrument.” <<<

These are an amalgamation of descriptions by ‘professionals in audio’ reporting their listening experiences after trying one, many or all of the ‘tweaks’ from the list I have referred to earlier.

I would seriously suggest that these descriptions fit FAR MORE a ‘greater resolving of the musical information’ than would come from expectation bias.

We are not talking here about people saying simply “Oh, I think the treble is better today”., or “The sound is better this evening than it was last night”.    The descriptions I quote would indicate MORE musical information being resolved.

Regards,

May Belt.

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Reply to Anton.

Many of us are fully aware that you, Anton/Buddha, have an “anti” agenda regarding Peter and May Belt.   That is why I have, many times, suggested that Belt techniques be removed from the discussion so as to be able to look at the subject of what can give ‘improvements to the sound’ without bringing personalities into it.   There are enough of the other ‘tweaks’ which I have listed and their effect on the sound to build any discussion around.

I will say again.   Imagine Peter Belt had never been born – which would then mean that May Belt would never have worked, in the audio industry, alongside Peter for the past 60 years !!!

Now, Anton/Buddha, leaving May and Peter Belt out of the discussion to avoid personality attacks, lets discuss the other ‘tweaks’ and whether, in your opinion, they come under the category of “people having a deficiency and therefore needing remedial devices”., or whether the many “professionals in audio” people, describing their effect for others to benefit from, really just needed them as “props, talismans, rituals, potions, elixirs etc" !!

 

Regards,

May Belt.

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Reply to absolutepitch
Quote:

>>> “If one is an acknowledged expert in a particular field, it's more likely that one is right than wrong in that subject field compared to someone who is not an expert” <<<

And, the quotes I have given of some people’s experiences ARE from significant people who have been involved in the professional side of audio for many, many years.

Regards,

May Belt.

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Newton

Anton/Buddha/Enophile - you apparently didn't get the memo that Newton's physics went out the window.  Some feller by the name of Einstein came along a while back. Maybe you've heard of him.  Now, am I saying you might not be qualified to pass judgement on anyone's scientific theories?  You decide.

You seem to be saying that you really don't care what the theory of gravitation is, as long as it exists.  If that's the case, then why would you care about any Belt theories, I mean other than they obviously stick in your craw?  Stand in line behind many others, including JA and AD.

 

You can paint a donkey different colors but it's still a donkey.  - old audiophile axiom

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dramatica

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Geoffie....

You seem to forget....that you were the one who brought up Newton!

LOL!

I give you as much credit as possible, so I worked purely with your own 'straw physicist' argument.

"Newton was legit, therefore May is legit."

I've been through all this "honor by association" stuff when May was busy comparing herself to Lister.

Fallacies are fallacies, Geoff.

Your 'ooh ooh ooh' about Newton was purely self inflicted, Geoff. Were you sitting under a canteloupe or baseball tree and got caught unawares? If you want Einstein, then start with Einstein...and then you'll still be behind the curve. You'd like him as a tweak example, I bet - he believed in a cosmological constant and said, "God doesn't play dice."

Good for May, I guess, and she tried using the old "They all laughed at Einstein...until he sat down at the piano" in the past as one of her examples of what great minds she should be considered among.

Go Google Einstein's cosmologic constant and tell us how that worked out.

cool

So, answer those 'antique' science questions for us...I gave you plenty.

Here's another - if only 50% of the time, the apple fell, would Sir Isaac have pulled a "I'm like Lister" and insisted his theory was still universally applicable?

As I keep having to point out, I am not opposed to someone hearing what May tells them to, only that she is wrong in saying everybody needs the same prescription.

Even Lister knew that - he didn't insist antisepctics be used to treat every patient in every setting.

Some people may need/want what May sells in order to get off, others not....and they will have the same joy.

Oooh, threatening, I know.

 

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Smoke and mirrors are real, just not the magic that is claimed.
May Belt wrote:

Many of us are fully aware that you, Anton/Buddha, have an “anti” agenda regarding Peter and May Belt.   That is why I have, many times, suggested that Belt techniques be removed from the discussion so as to be able to look at the subject of what can give ‘improvements to the sound’ without bringing personalities into it.   There are enough of the other ‘tweaks’ which I have listed and their effect on the sound to build any discussion around.

Well, yes, I do have an 'anti' May agenda, because you pathologically "make stuff up" and sell 1200 dollar roach clips. But, no, May, I do not have an "anti" agenda regarding someone hearing what you suggest they hear. I only switch back to 'anti' when you insist people who are already enjoying their Hi Fi just fine are deluded unless they hear as your faith requires of them. I get enough of that from the robed guys outside the airport. Some people don't need vision correction, May. Others do. Viva for them!

I will say again.   Imagine Peter Belt had never been born – which would then mean that May Belt would never have worked, in the audio industry, alongside Peter for the past 60 years !!!

I would imagine if no Peter, then you'd be living in a Sheldrake ashram selling something else. Perhaps we'd be arguing in a wine forum about how your "electret creme" enhanced the flavor of wine....just so long as the taster knew the tweak was there.

Now, Anton/Buddha, leaving May and Peter Belt out of the discussion to avoid personality attacks, lets discuss the other ‘tweaks’ and whether, in your opinion, they come under the category of “people having a deficiency and therefore needing remedial devices”., or whether the many “professionals in audio” people, describing their effect for others to benefit from, really just needed them as “props, talismans, rituals, potions, elixirs etc" !!

I think it's time you answer some of the many question I have posed to you on this very thread. Look around and tell us about 'electrets' and your creme as I asked up the thread, please. You like to ask, but then ignore others when they question you.

I will answer yours from your last paragraph now - I think there are obvious hacks in "professional audio" and "audio journalism."

Have you listened to very many new music releases? I will not name names, but there is a "master of the remix" who can't seem to press an LP one ounce better than the originals he is mocking from 40 years ago. And, yes, he does use talisman tweaks. 

As for reviewers - do we now have proof your rainbow foil does not function because Art had failures with it? He obviously simply did not require your vaporware in that instance.

There is another reviewer who is extremely well known (and seems to buy into your line of claim making) who can't even tell if he's listening to a broken CD player or a cable that doesn't conduct signal.

 

surprise

Regarding your narcissistic habit of comparing yourself to the great minds of science....

Even Einstein, Newton, and Lister went to church, May. And, as Geoffie pointed out, Newton and Einstein have already been proved wrong!

As I keep saying, May. I am not opposed to people hearing what your tell them to. I am opposed to the frankly bullshit notion of your claim to universal applicability. 

I have said before, we have used your tweaks, and Geoffie's at show demos and not one person, ever, has been able to identify an effect. At one show, one of the 'believers' (Geoffie knows who) even went room to room with a not so clever clock and had a zero percent (as in zero) percent audibility rate. We've got CD's that have been "intelligent chipped" and listened with the editor of an extremely well known astronomically named online audio review journal - who couldn't tell if ANY discs had been treated, including his own.

So, call us when you have a testable/disprovable hypothesis to work with.

Regards,

May Belt.

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    Anton/Buddha/Enophile

 

 

Anton/Buddha/Enophile said,

I have said before, we have used your tweaks, and Geoffie's at show demos and not one person, ever, has been able to identify an effect. At one show, one of the 'believers' (Geoffie knows who) even went room to room with a not so clever clock and had a zero percent (as in zero) percent audibility rate. We've got CD's that have been "intelligent chipped" and listened with the editor of an extremely well known astronomically named online audio review journal - who couldn't tell if ANY discs had been treated, including his own.

Hey, Anton/Buddha/Enophile, it's pretty obvious you need to get a new circle of friends, you know, ones who can hear.  Just curious, did milk squirt out of the astronomically named online audio review journal editor's nose?

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

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No Newton answers?

You and May treat questions with great fear.

Go for it, answer some!

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May Belt (One last try)

 

As Anton has just noted neither Geoff nor May are willing to answer simple questions posed to them.

May try answering the following two questions with either a Yes or a No.  Save us your long winded, tangential ramblings. 

1) Do you *still* not understand that any number of personal claims to hearing a difference does not constitute sufficient evidence to justify belief in an extraordinary claim?

2) Do you deny that expectation bias can account for all of these accounts that you cite?

And while we are at it please define what a 'friendly' energy field is, how it operates, and how its presence is detected.

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Geoff goes troll if you don't agree with him.

Watch his trend.

Content free, no nutritional value!

kiss

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Questions, you have questions?

Anton/Buddha/Enophile - Actually, if you don't mind my saying so too much, I treat your disingenuous questions and smirky posts with the contempt they deserve. 

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dramatica

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DarKness fears light, of course!

 No problem, Geoffie.

Your and May's obfuscation are now available for all to see.

Keep up your dark mission!

I don't blame you for not answering the questions. I didn't think you could in the first place. You are merely living down to our expectations.

 

 

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Now, now, whoever you are

Anton/Bubbha/Enophile - shouldn't you be standing out on a ledge somewhere?  By the way, nice touch slithering back in under a new moniker.  

Geoff Kait

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Bias

ILikeMusic, expectation bias can be easily eliminated as a culprit. Don't you know that?

Geoff Kait

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Get on subject! You have questions to answer.

Your shit is tired, troll.

Get with the discussion.

You fancy yourself and May to be Newtonian - how so? Answer some questions or go troll the Asylum.

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Help him out, Geoffie.
geoffkait wrote:

ILikeMusic, expectation bias can be easily eliminated as a culprit. Don't you know that?

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

Tell him how, Geoff.

Give him the set up.

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Maybe Art can help out.

We can use Art as the monkey....

Once the effect of this "electret" (still no explanation from May regarding the ridiculous use of the term 'electret,' I see....wonder why, May?) creme 'wear off,' he can get an incense holder or spoon and schmear the "creme electret" on it and take it into and out of the room.

Then, he can have a minion or spouse take it in and out without Art knowing what is where and see if he can identify the circumstances.

May and Geoff like Newton, so, lets use a system that would fit with their example.

100/100 apples will fall to earth when dropped.

Let's see what percentage of the time Art can identify the presence or absence of the creme.

Side bets: Odds Art will go for it?

devil

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Still free...

So if you were to try a free sample of the foil or the cream and you heard a difference, you wouldn't believe yourself? Even if you expected not to, but you did anyways?

Acupuncture- unexplainable by conventional medicine/science, has been used for thousands of years by millions of people. Next time you tweak your back or twist an ankle or have an ailment that's untreatable by conventional medicine, go see a qualified, properly trained acupuncturist (not an MD or physio or anyone who takes a weekend course). Not 100%, like everything else, but can work on animals, kids, or anyone who doesn't speak Chinese or anyone who doesn't even know anything or have expectations about acupuncture.

For awhile, no one could explain why the earth wasn't flat, but someone eventually went to the edge and looked.

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I'll ask the questions

Just curious, Anton/Bubbha/Enophile, when did you make the conscious decision to be a big phoney?

No need to respond, it's a rhetorical question.

 

Geoff Kait

machismo dramatica

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Believe myself?

Believe myself?  What does this mean?  You mean believe my senses?  We know that senses can be fooled easily. So I do not put 100% faith in my senses.

To be clear let me state again that I do not deny that people believe that some tweaks improve the enjoyment of their stereo.  I believe this is a result of expectation bias directly and is not related to 'friendly' energy patterns or 'intruders' in the listening environment, etc.

I do not exclude myself from the influence of expectation bias. If I were to try a tweak that had no identifiable influence on the waves reaching my ears and I thought I heard a change in sound, I would conclude (without access to more controlled experiments) that I was being subject to a psychological change and not a change to my system due to 'friendly' energy patterns, as May Belt describes his theory.

This is getting off topic but -

Acupuncture may not be a great example for you to use.  Please point me to a scientific study originating in China that does not support the medical efficacy of acupuncture. There are several of Western origin that do not.  Sounds like bias ....

Also please point me to an acupuncture study involving an ailment other than pain relief (which is hard to measure) in which acupuncture has shown to have a measurable benefit.

Your comment about a flat earth is inane.

I suppose I should now list some of the crazy things people believe or have believe that are still considered crazy.  This list would be orders of magnitude longer than the list of 'crazy' ideas since proven true.

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Expectation bias

Ilikemusic said,

"To be clear let me state again that I do not deny that people believe that some tweaks improve the enjoyment of their stereo.  I believe this is a result of expectation bias directly and is not related to 'friendly' energy patterns or 'intruders' in the listening environment, etc.

I do not exclude myself from the influence of expectation bias. If I were to try a tweak that had no identifiable influence on the waves reaching my ears and I thought I heard a change in sound, I would conclude (without access to more controlled experiments) that I was being subject to a psychological change and not a change to my system due to 'friendly' energy patterns, as May Belt describes his theory."

 

There's a bit of a problem with your argument, well two problems, actually.  The First problem has already been pointed out, that while everyone acknowledges that there is such a thing as expectation bias, which might come into play when auditioning a very expensive amplifier or a set of cables that has received a lot of high praise, for example, that type of bias can be easily removed by blind testing, which might be especially suitable for those who might be easily swayed by considerations of cost or other peoples' opinions or who are not experienced testers/reviewers.

The Second problem with your argument has to do with controversial tweaks, like the Belt products - the ones that are the most preposterous or outrageous, or have explanations that appear to make no sense, or have NO explanations - like the photos in the freezer tweak.  It's those tweaks that you have been psychologically conditioned, as it were, to expect NOT to work.  So, *expectation bias* in the case of controversial tweaks has the OPPOSITE meaning from how you are using it.  The photos in the freezer tweak is a prime example of a tweak anyone would strongly expect NOT to work. The psychologically conditioned "skeptic" will hear nothing, assuming he tries it, because of (negative) expectation bias.  He has psyched himself out.  LOL.  But there's hope even for the most suspicious individual as this type of bias can be removed by careful testing just like the other type.  So where's the beef?

 

Geoff Kait

www.machinadynamica.com

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Yes the samples are still free...

You don't rely on your senses a 100% of the time? Are you on your way to being a paranoid delusional schizophrenic? Of course not! How much do you rely on your senses? 90%? 75% of the time? Any less and you may have trouble grocery shopping... Or are your senses selective, 99% sometimes, but not always? If they are, when? When you choose to?  Do you rely on your senses only when you know what's influencing you? Do you live in a bubble?

Flat earth, inane? "Back in the day", when a "flat earth" or the Earth being the centre of the universe...(fill in the blank) was Truth and Reality, people died when they refused to believe in (......) when their observations and experience told them another reality existed.

Today, there's lots of "flat earth" people. And lots of people still die when they refuse to believe.

 

Acupuncture is a great example of a practice of a "scientific"/medical methodology that's been time tested and used amongst many cultures (Japanese, Koreans, French, British, Germans and anyone else who had contact with Chinese civilization)- there's thousands of years worth of documentation of empirical data with well documented studies showing repeatable results! How much more scientific can you get! After years of not knowing how acupuncture "works", with emerging technology, conventional western science/medicine is only now starting to get a handle on this "other" science.

Here's a list of what acupuncture works on- http://www.shannonfeely.com/2008/06/world-health-organization-report-on-...

And you dismiss acupuncture with a few bad "studies" and an explanation of "bias"! Give me a break.... I don't suppose pharmaceutical companies will come knocking on your door to ask you to do research for them.

Ed and May are looking over the edge. You seem to be afraid to go there. Or shall we dismiss you as just being biased?

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Try some fish...

Like I said before, you guys are like my kid who refused to try fish because he knew he wouldn't like it.

The samples are free. Get some and give them a try. Do your DBT's, SBT's, or try them at a party! You and your friends might learn something. Or maybe not.

Then talk.

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Nope.
ChrisS wrote:

Like I said before, you guys are like my kid who refused to try fish because he knew he wouldn't like it.

The samples are free. Get some and give them a try. Do your DBT's, SBT's, or try them at a party! You and your friends might learn something. Or maybe not.

Then talk.

 

Nothing to do with your analogy.

What if your kid tried fish and didn't like it?

May Belt would postulate the kid is incorrect about fish and there is something with him.

I've tried the tweaks, even had several of Geoffie's own tweaks on hand at shows for multitudes to 'experience' - nothing. Not even from people who worship the tweaks when they know they are present. Even from renowned audio writers/critics.

Geoffie claims that those who miss out on hearing something happen with his schtick means the listener is in error.

I contend some people don't need the schtick to have the same fun.

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Reply to Anton/Buddha.

Anton/Buddha .   Personal attacks are completely uncalled for !!

Is this going to be a repeat of what has happened over the last few years ?   That personal attacks will just increase ?

Quote:

>>> “Good for May, I guess, and she tried using the old "They all laughed at Einstein...until he sat down at the piano" in the past as one of her examples of what great minds she should be considered among.” <<<

Quote:

>>> “May Belt would postulate the kid is incorrect about fish and there is something with him.” <<<

I have told you repeatedly not to put words into my mouth which I do not/did not say.  I know this is ONE of your techniques but will you please stop doing it !!

Regards,

May Belt.

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