You are here

Log in or register to post comments
CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

Because they are story tellers, writers of imagination, not technical purveyors of truth. They are meant to sell product. Only technical measurements, show the equipment for the truth of what it is. All they ""reviewers" are lotsa glorified BS. When MF writes his diddys, he is making up so smuch crap, he is first a fiction writer, second anything of audio, his observations are filled with air and hype. Remeber, he likes how miswired obsolete chips sound, he is hardly a good reference on how something sounds good or bad. He hears outlets, rocks, lifts and other assorted nonsense, as do a lot of other magazine reviewers, they are there to sell stuff, without being responsible for what they say. When JA measures, and throws in his observations, he backs it with facts, not flowery prose that when you try to analyze it, says nutin'. Like that PS Audio DVD, what a waste of good plastic.
Now back to the wires, if it takes months to decide you hear something improved, you are just trying to convince yourself you didn't piss away money on useless crap. If it sounds better, you know it right away, it's very obvious, does it take you time to realize your car is out of gas, it's pretty quickly noticed, just like changes in audio, or video, it is either better (different?) or not. the 100 breakin BS, handed out by scam mfgs, hope you calm down after spedning big bucks on nothing, what a racket.!!!

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing

Ah. Mr. Derision.

While what you say has nothing to do with anything I've said I'd like to point out that you appear to have no problem getting behind subjective evaluations with not a measurement to support them in sight when they agree with your point of view. I'm thinking specifically of AlexO's write-up on your system as well as his more recent re-telling of your adventures with Stu. Not to mention your own observations pertaining to your own system.

Just as an exercise to see if you and I can agree on anything, what would you call that type of behavior?

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
Ah. Mr. Derision.

While what you say has nothing to do with anything I've said I'd like to point out that you appear to have no problem getting behind subjective evaluations with not a measurement to support them in sight when they agree with your point of view. I'm thinking specifically of AlexO's write-up on your system as well as his more recent re-telling of your adventures with Stu. Not to mention your own observations pertaining to your own system.

Just as an exercise to see if you and I can agree on anything, what would you call that type of behavior?

Hi Mich,

You are right. And no mention has really been made concerning physiological changes to the cochlear or other parts of the auditory system during dbt testing, even at 70db spl levels. It certainly appears some like to pick and choose what "science" they believe in. Again, nice comment Mr. D.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

I call it, I know what matters, and what makes things sound better, and I am right, most of the time.. Put money into the correct things, and avoid the nonsense? Or I'm right again!!!!!!!! Mapingoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. The difference is my subjective observations are based on objective facts. Ya can't decide something sounds better or different or worse, if you start out with no logic, or knowledge of teh basics. Logiclly, one certainly knows, that you cannot hear an AC outlet, changing how something sounds becuase it has vibration dampers!!! And you would sa, keep an open mind, etc etc. Logic shuts off open heads. That is neither subjective or objective, that's the difference between having a brain function or not. Logic also dictates that noone spends $10,000 on a piece of 8 ft wire and thinks it will make things sound better. Bring brain power back to audio. Audio needs a bailout to get rid of illogical nonsense. Do you prefer 10 tists or 23 in your speaker wire?

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
Ah. Mr. Derision.

While what you say has nothing to do with anything I've said I'd like to point out that you appear to have no problem getting behind subjective evaluations with not a measurement to support them in sight when they agree with your point of view. I'm thinking specifically of AlexO's write-up on your system as well as his more recent re-telling of your adventures with Stu. Not to mention your own observations pertaining to your own system.

Just as an exercise to see if you and I can agree on anything, what would you call that type of behavior?

Hi Mich,

You are right. And no mention has really been made concerning physiological changes to the cochlear or other parts of the auditory system during dbt testing, even at 70db spl levels. It certainly appears some like to pick and choose what "science" they believe in. Again, nice comment Mr. D.

He said cochlear, he he ha ha, hey Beavis he said COCHLEAR!!!

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
Ah. Mr. Derision.

While what you say has nothing to do with anything I've said I'd like to point out that you appear to have no problem getting behind subjective evaluations with not a measurement to support them in sight when they agree with your point of view. I'm thinking specifically of AlexO's write-up on your system as well as his more recent re-telling of your adventures with Stu. Not to mention your own observations pertaining to your own system.

Just as an exercise to see if you and I can agree on anything, what would you call that type of behavior?

Hi Mich,

You are right. And no mention has really been made concerning physiological changes to the cochlear or other parts of the auditory system during dbt testing, even at 70db spl levels. It certainly appears some like to pick and choose what "science" they believe in. Again, nice comment Mr. D.

SAS, can you comment on your listening habits when designing gear?

If we get listening fatigue so quickly, even at 70dB, then how would that not limit your listening time when listening critically in non-DBT trails?

When playing a new piece of gear, do you stop after a few minutes to avoid "listening fatigue?"

How long can you or do you listen when trying to make decisions regarding your gear?

These cochlear changes should be happening without DBT, too.

Shouldn't we be flooded with reviews that say, "In my 7 minutes of listening before physiologic changes rendered my opinion worthless, I found the Piso Mojado Numero Dos to have blah blah blah characteristics. After a suitable aural rest period, I returned to my listening and in the next listening interval noticed X, Y, Z...."

If we are going to fall on some excuse called listening fatigue for DBT, then why does it disappear when someone wants to talk about hours upon hours of critical listening in one session?

I think both sides pick and choose their favorite crap to wallow in.

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing

So for you, your logic supersedes measurements, DBTs and listening. OK. Based on that we

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

Yup, cus' it's the only logical thing to do. And no, listening does matter and so do measurements, never said it didn't. But some things don't even merit getting that far into, since first logic says to not bother. cus any reasonably educated person would get it, tht the type of AC outlet on teh wall, ain't changing how your stuff sounds....there have been discussions about how a BRAND or type of aC receptacle changes teh sound of stuff.....that doesn't need anyhthing past where logic says, are you retarded or what? P&S sound better than a Hubbell, or a Leviton.....how soft is that brain? And I love those Shumatshsuhiutatatatata, with those vibration damping pieces that improve teh sound of your stereo......cus when your AC cord moves or the outlet vibrates, it changes how the stereo sounds!!!!! The entire wall is shaking when teh thing is on, my floors rumble as do teh walls, why the heck would this magic outlet do anything that any non retarded person could figure out, is total nonsense....and they sell this crap to some really gullible people.....and most important, I just know. Listen to any blinking leds that are converting nAC line noise to light lately?

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
SAS, can you comment on your listening habits when designing gear?

Yes, Buddha. I take a long time, generally weeks, months, or years (3.5 years before introducing the 11A) before I introduce a product.

I developed proprietary multi-method testing procedures for performing my listening tests. I must state that my procedures are quite different than any other manufacturer I know of.

I generally listen to three back and forths and then rest for awhile or maybe even a day. This goes on until I am satisfied that I cannot hear a sonic difference when, say, a preamplifier is in the system and when it is out of the system.


Quote:
If we get listening fatigue so quickly, even at 70dB, then how would that not limit your listening time when listening critically in non-DBT trails?

The same conditions occur whether listening blind or seeing. I must emphasize that our concern is "Habituation to stimuli" when comparing two different entities. We unconsciously try to make them sound the same when repeatedly playing the same selection. Try breaking it up with different selections of two or three back and forths, and different types of music.

In general listening, one does not do alot of repeat listening to the same selection, although fatigue can also occur for other reasons.


Quote:
When playing a new piece of gear, do you stop after a few minutes to avoid "listening fatigue?"

Yes, see my above comments in this post. Of course, I sometimes just want to enjoy the music, and sometimes I get just plain tired and need a break lasting sometimes for days or even weeks.


Quote:
How long can you or do you listen when trying to make decisions regarding your gear?

Months if not years. It took nearly 3.5 years for the 11A. After I am satisfied do I work on cosmetics, chassis, knobs etc.


Quote:
These cochlear changes should be happening without DBT, too.

Yes, you are correct.


Quote:
Shouldn't we be flooded with reviews that say, "In my 7 minutes of listening before physiologic changes rendered my opinion worthless, I found the Piso Mojado Numero Dos to have blah blah blah characteristics. After a suitable aural rest period, I returned to my listening and in the next listening interval noticed X, Y, Z...."

I don't think so. Although I don't know for sure, I would think many if not most reviewers listen to music in general, and not continually repeating the same selection. I think most reviewers try to get a general sense of things and if the component, say, grates on their nerves, or is too full. This can take awhile. I compliment JA for being wise and taking his time when doing a review.


Quote:
If we are going to fall on some excuse called listening fatigue for DBT, then why does it disappear when someone wants to talk about hours upon hours of critical listening in one session?

For one, I hope they are not repeatedly listening to the same selection over and over. If they are, I personally doubt if anything was accomplished.


Quote:
I think both sides pick and choose their favorite crap to wallow in.

One thing for sure. If position "A" is taken as theory/fact in a particular field "X" and one learns of fact "B" in another field "Y" that disproves "A", then "A" cannot be true. Position "A" needs to go back to the drawing board.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: DBT testing

Great answer!

Thank you for the insight into how you do things.

That kind of answer would make for a great longer interview in an actual issue of Stereophile.

Kudos to you!

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 7 hours ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: DBT testing

Actually, you are being driven by simple specifications. If something sounds good but measures bad, you seem to be saying you'd skip it. That is fine but does not say much for your ability to determine gear that sounds good from gear that measures well and your rejection of the world of changes that do not measure limits your ultimate result.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

But i ahve learned over teh years, if it measures well, it's a starting point to great sound....3% THD amps and pre amps, don't even get into teh list, cus' they ain't reproducing the sound, they are creating it. Like Alex said a while ago, specs weed out teh crap, then ya move onto other issues, like mfg backing teh stuff, price for performance, is the stuff reliable, does teh mfg do this stuff for a long time and have a good background in this stuff? That usually gets ya into the realm of good stuff. $27,000 Cd only players in 3 boxes is instantly a joke, and disregarded as a real audio product, it's just a goof, and people buy it cus' it's just bizzare and they can afford it. $36,000 amplifiers at 100W and .5% distortion is a joke!!! Also. I've played around with this stuff since the late 60's...ya tend to see through a lota BS and hone in on some reality based stuff, priced for mortals, not art collectors!!! $10,000 8 ft pieces of magic wire is for retards, simple. couldn't be anymore blunt. Go to some live events and get a feel for what is being used, robust solidly made reliable, and sounds great. When ya have a room full of paying people, it should work, work well, and sound good. What a concept. Rember that multi thousand$$$ Chord i think it was, was missing about 500W off it's specified power ratings? MEASUREMENTS showed that's crap, and just for show, without measurements you would never know. Years ago when even Stereo Review did tests if it missed a few watts from some amplifier by 10 watts or so, they would proclaim it, not meeting published specs, since many quality units usally went over publised specs at what ever dist ratings...when spending mega thou$andS, it should be above and beyond it's specs.

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 7 hours ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
But i ahve learned over teh years, if it measures well, it's a starting point to great sound....3% THD amps and pre amps, don't even get into teh list, cus' they ain't reproducing the sound, they are creating it. Like Alex said a while ago, specs weed out teh crap, then ya move onto other issues, like mfg backing teh stuff, price for performance, is the stuff reliable, does teh mfg do this stuff for a long time and have a good background in this stuff? That usually gets ya into the realm of good stuff. $27,000 Cd only players in 3 boxes is instantly a joke, and disregarded as a real audio product, it's just a goof, and people buy it cus' it's just bizzare and they can afford it. $36,000 amplifiers at 100W and .5% distortion is a joke!!! Also. I've played around with this stuff since the late 60's...ya tend to see through a lota BS and hone in on some reality based stuff, priced for mortals, not art collectors!!! $10,000 8 ft pieces of magic wire is for retards, simple. couldn't be anymore blunt. Go to some live events and get a feel for what is being used, robust solidly made reliable, and sounds great. When ya have a room full of paying people, it should work, work well, and sound good. What a concept. Rember that multi thousand$$$ Chord i think it was, was missing about 500W off it's specified power ratings? MEASUREMENTS showed that's crap, and just for show, without measurements you would never know. Years ago when even Stereo Review did tests if it missed a few watts from some amplifier by 10 watts or so, they would proclaim it, not meeting published specs, since many quality units usally went over publised specs at what ever dist ratings...when spending mega thou$andS, it should be above and beyond it's specs.

You might have been playing around with this stuff for over 40 years but I suspect your ears went out of sync a few decades ago


Quote:
Go to some live events and get a feel for what is being used, robust solidly made reliable, and sounds great

Have you ever been to a live concert that was not classical...Noise, BAD sound, compressed, too loud, distortion, audience noise, etc.

I can count the number of concerts I have been to over the last few decades where the show was engineered right (exempting Opera and Broadway). Rap/POP/Rock is almost always a crap event, sound wise. High volumn is not HI-FI.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: DBT testing

Great post!

Excelent advice and procedures.

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing

Thanks Buddha and Elk. Much appreciated gentlemen.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

I've been to many many lousy sounding live events, and a bunch of terrific ones. I know the difference. Many by top names in the music entertainment, well known artists. I've also seen well known places, where they still don't get what good sound is, they just BOOM BOOM BOOM the hell out of ya. I've been to unknown places that had great sound, by the same groups. And they use the same equipment, it's up to who adj's the knobs. Best live sound event so far was House of blues Chicago, soem time back. I've heard others that where close, but HOB Chicago was terrific. I said before, then a few months after that event, I read in pro audio publication how the guy who does it got an industry award for sound quality, it only affirmed my ears do work, and still do. cus' at teh time I commented more than once to the people, how great this place sounds, then out of teh blue I read, it sure does. My ears are finely tuned test equipment, so they are protected when in use..(ear plugs) if it's too loud. Years ago after Kenny Wayne Sheppered almost took my entire head off, he was so damn loud in Tweeter Center in Camden N.J. It was totaly over done, but that dude can play, but I think the sound people where out of control, with the vol controls. A high school marching band can be too loud if they want to be.

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing

Thank you. I appreciate your posts as well, especially the one where you explain your product evaluation process in some detail. It just goes to show we can actually exchange ideas and perhaps even learn a thing or two along the way. Imagine that!

I mainly got into this thread for the wrong reasons

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
...I'm very sensitive to it and hear pitch issues such that my wife can sense my discomfort when I'm in the audience and hear an off pitch note within a group. ...

I too, but think it's largely not due to music training, at least in my case. One wishes one could fix those pitch 'strayings' from the audience's seat, is the type of discomfort for me.

(I'm away for a week and the thread doubles in pages!)

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I'd imagine this is simply a matter of clarification, but certain kinds of auditory memory seem to be more lasting than others. I'm thinking specifically about those instances where we recognize music by a composer or performer even in cases where we've never heard a particular composition/performance. In other words, after hearing a few seconds of a piece of music we can say "that's Stockhausen" or "that's Billie Holiday" even if we've never heard the specific piece being played. Of course we must already be familiar with their music.

In a slightly different vein, I was able to correctly identify a specific recorded performance broadcast over FM on a table radio in an office setting versus the same recorded performance I have heard many times at home on a "good" stereo. I would think this is both music memory and sound quality; the lower fidelity of the table radio doesn't seem to interfere with the music memory.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing

JIMV,
I too am not convinced that "months" will eliminate placebo effects.

However, I do identify with your non-expectation of a difference/improvement and being surprised afterward. That also was what I experienced with certain tweaks, unrelated to your fuses or cables experience.

I also agree that difference that jump out at you really don't need DBT to add information. It's when the difference is subtle, or you think you hear a difference but you're uncertain if there is a difference, that a DBT may help determine that, while removing subject bias. This is just what Ethan wrote about a few posts back.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
But i ahve learned over teh years, if it measures well, it's a starting point to great sound....3% THD amps and pre amps, don't even get into teh list, cus' they ain't reproducing the sound, they are creating it. Like Alex said a while ago, specs weed out teh crap, then ya move onto other issues, like mfg backing teh stuff, price for performance, is the stuff reliable, does teh mfg do this stuff for a long time and have a good background in this stuff? That usually gets ya into the realm of good stuff. $27,000 Cd only players in 3 boxes is instantly a joke, and disregarded as a real audio product, it's just a goof, and people buy it cus' it's just bizzare and they can afford it. $36,000 amplifiers at 100W and .5% distortion is a joke!!! Also. I've played around with this stuff since the late 60's...ya tend to see through a lota BS and hone in on some reality based stuff, priced for mortals, not art collectors!!! $10,000 8 ft pieces of magic wire is for retards, simple. couldn't be anymore blunt. ...

DUP,
I also start the same way, look at good measured performance to assure that the device is doing things fundamentally right. Then look for the customer support, reliability, etc. But the gear has to sound "right" as the final test. So far so good...

Some years ago, the late Richard Heyser demonstrated a device that measured extremely well in all the usual tests for electronic pre/power amps. It sounded horrible on music. So the standard measurements missed something, but the right objective tests would have exposed the device for what it was. What's interesting is that the listening test showed the problem immediately and unquestionably.

As for the expensive gear, I have concerns as to the worth of $10K cables for example. But if there is a custom gear that the inventor puts his/her heart and soul into, so that really good sound comes out, then maybe the price is not unreasonable, though high it may be. I'd give some of these people the benefit of the doubt, mainly because I have not met them personally to justify criticizing them at a distance. However, it's a different story if what they claim is way out of line with well-estabilished physical principles.

Edited for a misspelling 9-28-08.

JIMV
JIMV's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 7 hours ago
Joined: Jan 31 2008 - 1:46pm
Re: DBT testing

Removing bias is an interesting idea. I also believe folk expect a level of performance and even a house sound from some high end stuff. If the folk listening didn't know what they were listening to, their reviews might read differently. That said, how can one review when one does not know the product?

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

That's a good idea, they should review stuff not knowing what they are listening too. As they all seem to have their favorite BRANDS, and of course this leads them down a certain path. I'd put money on it, that MF couldn't tell a $27,000 obsoleted Cd player to a $500 Onkyo universal player, whilst teh Universal Onkyo does more, and probably sounds better, since it does DVD-A and SACD knowing what they are reviewing has already decided a lot of teh outcome. MF couldn't tell a $100K TT from a mortal priced one if he didn't know which was what, I'd like to see that review done several staff reviewers do blind tests on a few of MF's over priced toys compared to mortal stuff that is actually better. Can any reviewer hear a Philips SA963 versus a Philips old unit through a AVA DAC or Tascam through a EMMLABS, there mind is certainly influenced as they unbox teh units for review. It's like when teh judge tells the jury DISREGARD that comment, how the F' can ya do that? It's been made, I don't have a delete switch in my brain, really dopey concepts, by the judge and audio reviewers. MEASUREMENTS, the only un biased judge of what the thing is capable of, listening is so slanted, as to what you want to hear. Of course listening is what it's all about in teh end, but when listeing is how a product is qualified, it can lead to lotsa faults, what if in 2 weeks you hear differently, when a quality measured product holds up to time. Still can't get over how MF thinks obsolete chips in mis wired equipment sounds better than other stuff, if teh obsolete chip was so good, why did Philips decide it needed to improve it and make new stuff, I guess those audio guys at Philips are not as good at listening as some amazing writers. Philips has since sold it's entire semi div it's now NXP semi. Another $10 Billion div sold off.

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
It's been made, I don't have a delete switch in my brain, really dopey concepts, by the judge and audio reviewers.

Uh, right, Dup.

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing

Hi WTL,


Quote:

I also start the same way, look at good measured performance to assure that the device is doing things fundamentally right. Then look for the customer support, reliability, etc. But the gear has to sound "right" as the final test. So far so good...

Some years ago, the late Richard Heyser demonstrated a device that measured extremely well in all the usual tests for electronic pre/power amps. It sounded horrible on music. So the standard measurements missed something, but the right objective tests would have exposed the device for what it was. What's interesting is that the listening test showed the problem immediately and unquestionably.

However, it's a different story if what they claim is way out of line with well-estabilished physical principles.

I agree WTL. If the specs are excellent a component can still sound poor. If the specs are poor, it will never sound the best although it could still beat some components with better specs, as one could glean from your comment concerning Richard Heyser's demonstration. Listening is the final test.

Thanks for your post.
Steve

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing

sasaudio,
Thanks. Sorry I don't get to post more often.

absolutepitch
absolutepitch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
That's a good idea, they should review stuff not knowing what they are listening too. As they all seem to have their favorite BRANDS, and of course this leads them down a certain path. ... MEASUREMENTS, the only un biased judge of what the thing is capable of, listening is so slanted, as to what you want to hear. Of course listening is what it's all about in teh end, but when listeing is how a product is qualified, it can lead to lotsa faults, what if in 2 weeks you hear differently, when a quality measured product holds up to time. ...

DUP,

The objective tests should remain stable for a product over time, unless it drifts with age due to some wearing-out of a part such as a vacuum tube. Then auto-biasing circuits were implemented to adjust for aging tubes. But other stuff, like solid-state amps shouldn't change much over time unless parts wear, like drying of electrolytic caps, or overheated resistors.

Good point on hearing can change with time. So listening blind, not knowing what make or model of gear a reviewer is listening is an attempt to remove possible reviewer bias toward a favorite brand, or whether it's a large or small speaker, or does the faceplate look nice or not. But there would be a need for someone else to set-up and operate the equipment under review, placing practical obstacles in the review process. It can be done if one really wants to do so.

The above situation would be ideal, but is not as practical in real reviewing situations as we all hope it would be. Perhaps after that a reviewer can play with the product and evaluate its operation, ergonomics, and so forth. This means that a blind, long-term listening test is a difficult thing to achieve in practice.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: DBT testing

Jose' Felliciano or Stevie Wonder are both incredible musicians with some excellent hearing, I'm sure. Hire them to evaluate what things sound like. Come on bbaby light my fire. Jose' is way under rated, that guy can wail on any guitar, beyond his hits. There should be the initail listen without the listener knowing anything about the stuff, then of course, they jot down notes, not to be changed once they know to what they are listening, for more observations. I bet the results would show how much BS is applied to some grossly over priced stuff, that is always the months most incredible breakthrough in sound. Power amps going into 10's of thousands of dollars, pre amps in the stratosphere, great sound and reliability, is done for much less. When it's not hyped with useless crap.

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing

Here's an interesting quote from Frank Van Alstine of AVA regarding cables, long term listening and A/B tests.

"Finally, neither I nor the rest of my staff could pick out the cables on an A-B blind test (except for the marginally shielded KCAG types which we could pick out close to the woofer by noticing a bit more background hum). But, the bottom line is that when I put Kimber Kables everywhere in my system I think long term listening tells me the system is a tiny bit sweeter, a bit clearer, and a bit purer."

And

"Then Why Am I Using the Kimber Kable?

Because when all the formal tests were done I went ahead and installed the Kimber Kables from input to output of both channels of my reference system and went back to simply relax and listen to the music and that is when I started to "hear something" or more appropriately, "not hear something." Everything sounded the same, but everything sounded a tiny bit closer to live real music. Not all on my staff agree. Some think I am simply hearing the "sugar pill effect" of all those expensive cables being there. Others don't disagree with my very subjective evaluation. They remember that we designed some widely accepted audio equipment (the Dyna 416 and Double 400 for example) "by ear" long before we had full time electrical engineers on the staff and that the test bench and formal A-B testing doesn't give us all the answers (or always the right answer).

Maybe I am "hearing things" and certainly I would not want to pay as much for audio cables as these cost, but the Kimber Kables are staying in my system for now. They met my challenge fairly and surprised me by making my system seem to work that little bit better and in the quest for perfect music reproduction, each "little bit" counts."

It's interesting to note this was the result of Frank's "Cable Challenge" where he states:

"So there, dear cable manufacturer, help us eat crow. Put some action where your mouth is. Don't just write letters to Audio complaining that we have slurred you. Send us some cable and speaker wire samples and see if you can help us prove we were wrong."

Ray Kimber accepted this challenge and sent along his cables. I wonder if Frank enjoyed that crow.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: DBT testing

I appreciate both his honesty and willingness to listen. He did not believe the cables would make a difference, but listened and fairly reported his conclusion.

I raised this previously. It was fun to watch DUP try to dance around his hero's conclusion.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: DBT testing

Nah, it's just comb filtering. Really.

Either that, or the previous cables were broken or lame.

BTW, I see that Frank also acknowledged comb filtering (using other words). But the test was not very scientific IMO.

--Ethan

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: DBT testing

Thanks to Ehtan's insistance that most observed differences are due to comb filtering, I've taken to using my AKG K701 cans for most of my comparisons, particularly cables and ICs. That experience tells me that Ethan is wrong in this regard. The observed differences can be heard both through the speakers and through the cans.

Dave

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I've taken to using my AKG K701 cans for most of my comparisons, particularly cables and ICs.

That's a great first step Dave because it rules out comb filtering, though it ignores all the other factors. Here's the key: If you can hear a difference, then a difference can be measured. Not sure how up you are on this stuff, but if you have a way to measure the frequency response from input to output of your system, please do so and report back.

--Ethan

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
Nah, it's just comb filtering. Really.


It could be.

Actually I am more impressed with his willingness to try and to honestly report his experience than with his testing protocol. It's hard to be predisposed to a specific finding and yet to experience differently.

I, too, like Dave's idea to check with headphones.

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I raised this previously.

Some things are worth repeating ;-)

I appreciate Ray Kimber's willingness to participate in the 'challenge' and I'm sure Frank appreciated his free cables.

bifcake
bifcake's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
Re: DBT testing

I challenge Ray as well! Step up to the challenge, Ray... if you're man enough!

PS. Unbalanced interconnects and speaker cables qualify.

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: DBT testing

Ya know, I don't think anyone has challenged Avantgarde on those Trios with Basshorns (think big).

bifcake
bifcake's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
Re: DBT testing

You're right! That's what I like about you: You dot all the i's and cross all the t's.

Yeah! I challenge Avantgarde and Ray Kimber!!! Put up or shut up! I also challenge DCS, Mark Levinson and Krell and Lamm!! Yeah!!! I throw my glove at you! Are you going to step up to the challenge or will I have to drag your names in the dirt for all eternity?

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
You're right! That's what I like about you: You dot all the i's and cross all the t's.

Yeah! I challenge Avantgarde and Ray Kimber!!! Put up or shut up! I also challenge DCS, Mark Levinson and Krell and Lamm!! Yeah!!! I throw my glove at you! Are you going to step up to the challenge or will I have to drag your names in the dirt for all eternity?

You have to remember conventional AB testing (with many multiple back and forths) is horribly flawed/ skewed to no sonic difference. Why should they subject themselves to a rigged test?

bifcake
bifcake's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 27 2005 - 2:27am
Re: DBT testing

I plan on doing my testing for an extended period of time. Very extended period of time.

SAS Audio
SAS Audio's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 6 2007 - 6:56am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I plan on doing my testing for an extended period of time. Very extended period of time.

Yes, if you decide to do any testing, maybe 3 or 4 back and forths at a time, over an extended, very extended period of time, to minimize the effects of "Habituation to stimuli" and cochlea fatigue.

Nice point.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:

That's a great first step Dave because it rules out comb filtering, though it ignores all the other factors. Here's the key: If you can hear a difference, then a difference can be measured. Not sure how up you are on this stuff, but if you have a way to measure the frequency response from input to output of your system, please do so and report back.

I have nothing to "prove" so why would I measure it, except with my ears? As a musician, I know what I hear and I'm making decisions for myself. I do share my opinions, but others understand where I come from, so they can take or leave my advice.

When I hear the overtones of a note more clearly deliniated and separated, rather than smashed together and homogenized, how would you propose that I measure that? Just for instance.

Dave

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
When I hear the overtones of a note more clearly deliniated and separated, rather than smashed together and homogenized, how would you propose that I measure that?


Very easy! You measure the frequency response and optionally distortion. I say "optionally" because no cable will affect distortion unless it has bad solder joints. So all that's left is frequency response. That too should not change from one competent cable to another. At least not below 50 KHz or whatever.

What does change is human perception. Some days your system sounds bright, and other days it sounds dull. But the system didn't change, your perception did. Even 20 seconds apart the sound can seem to change when it really did not. If you're a musician and listen to a lot of recorded music, I'd expect you'd have experienced this already, no?

--Ethan

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
When I hear the overtones of a note more clearly deliniated and separated, rather than smashed together and homogenized, how would you propose that I measure that?

Very easy! You measure the frequency response and optionally distortion. I say "optionally" because no cable will affect distortion unless it has bad solder joints. So all that's left is frequency response. That too should not change from one competent cable to another. At least not below 50 KHz or whatever.

So, if someone does not have the gear, is he allowed to listen and hear the difference, or does he have to buy the measuring gear in order to be allowed to hear the difference?

What does change is human perception. Some days your system sounds bright, and other days it sounds dull. But the system didn't change, your perception did. Even 20 seconds apart the sound can seem to change when it really did not. If you're a musician and listen to a lot of recorded music, I'd expect you'd have experienced this already, no?

If our listening apparatus can change over a time interval as short as 20 seconds, how on earth can you insist that DBT would be of any specific use at all? If my perceptual system is that labile, then DBT is also renedered unreliable, eh?

--Ethan

judicata
judicata's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jun 26 2008 - 11:55am
Re: DBT testing

I posit that a 20 second gap can change perception. Also, any component that provides an immeasurable difference that is eclipsed by any perception change a 20 second gap gives, it better be dirt cheap or free. But, this is also why we test multiple times and, potentially, with multiple people. Of course, having multiple people is helpful in any comparison (set aside DBT for the moment) because of differences in opinions. It's handy to know that 80% preferred one component, while the other 20% preferred another (if you keep in mind that your tastes/hearing may be in that 20%).

To the extent that someone buys a component because it provides better sound than another, DBT is the way to go. All we're talking about is a difference between comparisons in a controlled vs. uncontrolled test.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:

Quote:
When I hear the overtones of a note more clearly deliniated and separated, rather than smashed together and homogenized, how would you propose that I measure that?


Very easy! You measure the frequency response and optionally distortion. I say "optionally" because no cable will affect distortion unless it has bad solder joints. So all that's left is frequency response. That too should not change from one competent cable to another. At least not below 50 KHz or whatever.

What does change is human perception. Some days your system sounds bright, and other days it sounds dull. But the system didn't change, your perception did. Even 20 seconds apart the sound can seem to change when it really did not. If you're a musician and listen to a lot of recorded music, I'd expect you'd have experienced this already, no?

I don't think that frequency response measurement will reveal a clearer deliniation of the harmonics comprise a note and it's timbre. If there is no change in loudness and the upper and lower harmonics are the same, then how will separatiion or clarity in the harmonics show up as FR???

This is cable related. The specific example that I'm thinking of is upgrading cable and the main benefit noted is greater clarity in the harmonic structure. When I went back to the original cable, then harmonics lost their identity. This is speaker cable, so I couldn't use my cans, but the speakers were in exactly in the same place. I went A-B-A-B and it took three or four minutes for each change. The difference was very clear.

Yes, I do understand listening fatigue and environmental change. I try to avoid riding in a car and turn off all the air conditioning and other producers of ambient noise, etc., etc. These ARE big factors that can easily mislead, I agree. I try to limit critical listening to times when my ears are "clear" and the environment is quiet and I'm rested.

I would actually like it if I could measure these things, but I don't think that in-room FR will reveal many of the differences that we discuss hear.

Dave

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
So, if someone does not have the gear, is he allowed to listen and hear the difference, or does he have to buy the measuring gear in order to be allowed to hear the difference?


That's silly. The issue is the frailty of perception, which is the only explanation for competent cables sounding different from one another.


Quote:
If our listening apparatus can change over a time interval as short as 20 seconds, how on earth can you insist that DBT would be of any specific use at all?


Because DBT can be switched in one second. You play a fragment, then play another. If you can reliably pick one from the other blind, then there probably is a difference.

I can distinguish 100 Hz from 400 Hz every time, whether played one after the other or a year apart. I can also distinguish 400 Hz from 405 Hz when played one right after the other, but probably not five minutes apart. Likewise for small amounts of HF roll-off, which is the only possible thing that could change with different cables.

The frailty of perception is the entire issue. And it is responsible for all of these, er, "discussions" about cables, power conditioners, magic isolation pads, tiny "acoustic treatment" dots, ad infinitum.

--Ethan

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: DBT testing


Quote:
I don't think that frequency response measurement will reveal a clearer deliniation of the harmonics comprise a note and it's timbre.


Then you don't understand what frequency response is and means.


Quote:
If there is no change in loudness and the upper and lower harmonics are the same, then how will separatiion or clarity in the harmonics show up as FR???


If there is no change in loudness, or the relation between the fundamental and harmonics, then there is no change! Aside from distortion which is not relevant with wire.


Quote:
The specific example that I'm thinking of is upgrading cable and the main benefit noted is greater clarity in the harmonic structure. When I went back to the original cable, then harmonics lost their identity.


Sure, because you knew which cable was which!


Quote:
I would actually like it if I could measure these things


If you're serious, I'll be glad to guide you. Heck, if you can even just record the output of your amp on the way to the speakers, then you could e-mail me two short Wave files and I could prove they are identical with a null test.

--Ethan

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: DBT testing

I disagree about instantaneous testing.

In one drop increments, I may not be able to tell Mouton from Two Buck Chuck, but with a proper glass, it would be obvious.

If I am only allowed an instantaneous glimpse of a section of skin, I may not be able to tell my wife from Sarah Palin.

Why do think instantaneous listening switches be able to reveal all the necessary differences to compare two pieces of auio kit?

I prefer single blind listening where the listener has as much time as desired to listen to one source, then another, and continue the back and forth until the listener is satisfied. This accomodates for hearing lability, mood effects, bias expectation, etc. So, I do not have anything against blind listening, but I am opposed to some dumb ass with a switch thinking click-click-click reveals all.

Ethan, your pure tone listening skills sound magnificent. Keep up the good work.

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: DBT testing

Ethan, if a note's timbre changes, then the spectrum of FR will change, that's easy to understand; however, if a given note's fundemental and range of harmonics stay the same, maintaining the same basic timbre, but the individual harmonics are easier to distinguish, then how will that change FR??? I'm going to need some sort of very refined spectrum analysis to see a difference, I suspect.

I think that you're over simplifying by saying that it'll show up in a FR comparison. If so, I think that'll need to be a very refined spectrum analysis, measuring fractions of dBs at very small Hz increments, that'll be very hard to do in-room.

If I'm missing something, then say what. Don't be an asshole and say that I don't understand. You're trying to sell things here, so make yourself useful and explain what you mean.

Dave

Pages

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading