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Freako
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What's your explanation?

On all forums there's flame wars about whether it is possible to hear the difference (read: improvement) when changing cables in a system. IC's, speaker cables and power cables included.

Even though I am 57 and cannot hear a thing over 13 kHz in a hearing test, I feel it's different with music. I have no trouble detecting minor differences when changing cables, whether one or the other type. Sometimes, e.g. with IC's it can be very minor differences, and thus hard to detect.

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Many explanations appear in my mind, like their equipment is insensitive to those minor changes for some reasons, or the audiophiles in question have obvious hearing deficiencies. What is yours?

Please try to keep your answer short, and please: NOT another flame war!

mark evans
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
On all forums there's flame wars about whether it is possible to hear the difference (read: improvement) when changing cables in a system. IC's, speaker cables and power cables included.

Even though I am 57 and cannot hear a thing over 13 kHz in a hearing test, I feel it's different with music. I have no trouble detecting minor differences when changing cables, whether one or the other type. Sometimes, e.g. with IC's it can be very minor differences, and thus hard to detect.

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Many explanations appear in my mind, like their equipment is insensitive to those minor changes for some reasons, or the audiophiles in question have obvious hearing deficiencies. What is yours?

Please try to keep your answer short, and please: NOT another flame war!

Great question Duck. Personally, I feel that since we are all different and unique, and no two people have the same sets of ears. It is safe to say that we all hear differently whether it be marginal differences to over-whelming differences.

Mark

geoffkait
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Please try to keep your answer short, and please: NOT another flame war!

If you put 93 octane gas in the tank of a car designed to run on 87 octance gas, hoping to obtain better performance, nothing happens.

If the carburetor is not cleaned regularly and spark plugs are not replaced when worn, performance will always be substandard. The driver is used to it, so he doesn't mind.

Most people are happy with a Honda or Toyota, something to get from point A to point B. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"When you control the mail you control information." - Newman

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

Quote:

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Please try to keep your answer short, and please: NOT another flame war!

If you put 93 octane gas in the tank of a car designed to run on 87 octance gas, hoping to obtain better performance, nothing happens.

If the carburetor is not cleaned regularly and spark plugs are not replaced when worn, performance will always be substandard. The driver is used to it, so he doesn't mind.

Most people are happy with a Honda or Toyota, something to get from point A to point B. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"When you control the mail you control information." - Newman

Right, but some of the audiophiles in question have equipment for around $20k, and I'm not sure if it's correct to call that a Honda or Toyota in this context. In comparison, I have equipment for only around $8k, and I hear differences in cables quite easily.

There must be another reason. Which, I'd sure like to know.

geoffkait
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

Right, but some of the audiophiles in question have equipment for around $20k, and I'm not sure if it's correct to call that a Honda or Toyota in this context. In comparison, I have equipment for only around $8k, and I hear differences in cables quite easily.

There must be another reason. Which, I'd sure like to know.

I'm pretty sure there are other reasons. But I didn't want to go there....

You might not be familiar with The 4 reasons why Audiophiles Sometimes Fail to Hear Tweaks, a letter by George Tice published in Stereophile a couple of eons ago. Excerpt below:

"There are four reasons why someone could not get the full potential from a TPT Clock. They are: 1) You did not follow the directions. 2) There are one or more choke points in your system (a choke point is a component which is significantly below the quality of the rest of the system). 3) Your audio system is not up to the standards by which anything can be accurately judged. (I noticed in your letter you never mentioned what components you use.) 4) Your hearing ability is not as refined as that of other music lovers and audiophiles."

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

That's more like it! I was not familiar with The 4 reasons... but they are very close to what I am thinking myself. Thanks!

JIMV
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

Quote:
On all forums there's flame wars about whether it is possible to hear the difference (read: improvement) when changing cables in a system. IC's, speaker cables and power cables included.

Even though I am 57 and cannot hear a thing over 13 kHz in a hearing test, I feel it's different with music. I have no trouble detecting minor differences when changing cables, whether one or the other type. Sometimes, e.g. with IC's it can be very minor differences, and thus hard to detect.

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Many explanations appear in my mind, like their equipment is insensitive to those minor changes for some reasons, or the audiophiles in question have obvious hearing deficiencies. What is yours?

Please try to keep your answer short, and please: NOT another flame war!

Great question Duck. Personally, I feel that since we are all different and unique, and no two people have the same sets of ears. It is safe to say that we all hear differently whether it be marginal differences to over-whelming differences.

Mark

My Father used to have a reel to reel player. When I came to visit I could hear a loud squeal from the front lawn. My father's response was 'what noise'....

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

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Re: What's your explanation?

hi keld:

i and my local stereo buddies can all hear the most difference in interconnects first followed by power cables then speaker cables. our level of investment runs the gamut from fairly low to insane ($300k and up). the group opinion is that you can hear the greatest difference in an interconnect that comes from your source component followed by a power cable to same. Speaker wires tend to have more subtle differences.
If you know anyone with Nordost interconnects, substitute any other interconnect and you should be able to hear a clear difference.
When I bought my first power cord and replaced the standard black plastic $1.99 special, the differences were great.
Another group finding is that the further up the line you go, generally, the less difference you hear. So, that first bite for say $300 will get you a larger improvement than the next step for $500 and so on.
One last thought. I am convinced that some of the largest changes are due to capacitance issues and how the cords allow the components to relate to each other. I recently bought a set of passive attenuators. Lack of volume can be a big issue with these and some people can't use them. I felt that my cd was lacking in absolute volume and that I might not be able to keep it for that reason. On a whim, I replaced the Nordost Red Dawn interconnects I have been using with the top of the line interconnect from a fellow named Mike Morrow. The volume difference must have been 3db or roughly double. There were other subtle improvements as well, but no one, no matter how skeptical could have heard these 2 cables and not heard the difference.
Now, the question is, with the higher volume, I can run the volume controls at lower levels that permit the amp to run in a different range of operation, so, are the differences I hear actually from the cables or from the amp in a more relaxed state? That's a tough one.
Great question.

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

Great reply!

JoeE SP9
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Re: What's your explanation?

I've been in the cables sound different camp since the early eighties. I don't know why some can't hear differences and I've ceased caring. I only request they keep their opinion to themselves and let me continue to be "deluded".
Every woman that Ive ever met that cares about sound can easily, I mean really easily hear difference in wires, cables and just about everything else. The few that have an interest in this hobby almost always have very good gear and very discerning ears. I wish there were more women who have an opinion about gear and music.

Those that are out there, please speak up.

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

I agree. Women look better, smell better and hear better. Let's have more women in this hobby, but don't let them treat your receords like this!

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Re: What's your explanation?

Good question. I'm surprised no one has stated what to me is often obvious by the comments you hear: "It's impossible and a waste of money so of course you can't hear anything because you'd be a fool if you could." It's a little like an atheist talking about a spiritual experience. The very idea one might experience some kind (any kind!) of spiritual or religious experience would be antithetical to their entire world-view. For many audiophiles it seems to be a similar all-or-nothing deal.

Now that's not to say that there are quite a few audiophiles out there that take it to the other extreme to say the least. Hyperbole and exagerated effects of the smallest possible changes suggest an overeager desire for difference, if not a misplaced importance in hearing over listening. It's like a game of sonic charades ("what can we hear this time?!") rather than a process of listening to music and noticing flavor.

I've never met anyone with half-way decent hearing and an open mind who didn't hear sonic character in cables. My wife has commented favorably that "something sounds better" without even knowing anything changed at all (and her hearing isn't even that great from too many rock concerts early on) Since casual settings rarely bring up cost up front, I have a hard time believing it was solely the desire to like something more expensive (which isn't always the case anyway.) I've heard plenty of pricey cables I didn't like to the point if offered to me for free I wouldn't put them in my system.

I try and approach cabling as an important but ancillary component(s) that shouldn't be more than 15% (for all cables in total) of my entire system. It's my formula only, not based on anything but my own instinct.

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

Great post. I couldn't agree more. I am not even sure the 15% is true, I'd say maybe 10%, but you are right, cables have a very small influence, maybe except power cables, and of course cable dressing which in my case made a pretty large improvement.

May Belt
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
"I've never met anyone with half-way decent hearing and an open mind who didn't hear sonic character in cables. My wife has commented favorably that "something sounds better" without even knowing anything changed at all (and her hearing isn't even that great from too many rock concerts early on) Since casual settings rarely bring up cost up front, I have a hard time believing it was solely the desire to like something more expensive (which isn't always the case anyway.) I've heard plenty of pricey cables I didn't like to the point if offered to me for free I wouldn't put them in my system."

Dbowker, I am curious to know what would be your reaction if your wife 'heard' differences in the sound (either worse or better) and you were not able to hear ANY differences. Would you believe her - that there WERE differences in the sound - i.e her describing the differences as the sound going 'harsh, shouty, aggressive', or as 'having greater height, greater depth and better resolution between instruments' - or would you believe your own experiences (that there were NO differences in the sound) ?

Because this is the dilemma faced by quite a number of couples !! TWO different people but listening to the same disc (musical information), the same audio system, in the same listening room but with different 'hearing' experiences !!

I am reminded of having heard of experiences where the wife has gone away for the weekend, visiting relatives, and the husband has decided to carry out a few 'tweaks' whilst she was away. He gives up, after spending many hours, because he has not been able to 'hear' any changes in the sound, even after all his efforts. The wife arrives home, at the end of the weekend, whilst he is relaxing listening to his Hi Fi and his wife, hearing the sound to be much better now than when she left, immediately confronts him so :-

"What have you been out buying ?? What have you been spending money on NOW ?? After we had both agreed that you would not be buying any more Hi Fi equipment this year !!"

Either there WERE changes to the sound which the wife could hear but which the husband could not. Either the wife was correct or the husband was correct, or both were experiencing any changes differently !!

The title of this thread is "What's your explanation?".

What I find, many times, in some people's 'postings' is the wife's experiences being given secondary importance. More as an afterthought - an adjunction to the husband's experiences !! Rather than of equal status in experience !!!! For example. It is a rare sight to see a male contributor stating that their wife (or partner, let us not be puritanical) has a better, more tuned sense of the sound getting better or getting worse !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will obviously have to make an exception for JoeE :- (Smiley face !!)


Quote:
"Every woman that Ive ever met that cares about sound can easily, I mean really easily hear difference in wires, cables and just about everything else. The few that have an interest in this hobby almost always have very good gear and very discerning ears. I wish there were more women who have an opinion about gear and music.

Those that are out there, please speak up."

Regards,
May Belt.
P.W.B. Electronics.

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
It's a little like an atheist talking about a spiritual experience. The very idea one might experience some kind (any kind!) of spiritual or religious experience would be antithetical to their entire world-view.

Not at all. Atheism is based on an acceptance of many things but not that of a god or gods as you would find in most "conventional" religions. To assume an atheist is not "spritual" simply applies your very narrow definition of the word to an entire group of people who do not cater to you defining who they are or what they should accept as an act of blind faith. Most atheists I'm aware of have many beliefs but they shy away from blind faith. Many atheists believe in the spirituality of life and of nature - some even in the "miracle" of it all, they just do not share those faith based fears of a Big Man in the Sky who is either the Vengeful God of the Old Testament or the Loving God of the New Testament knowing everything you do at all times. However, when it comes down to specifics of atheism, any single atheist is their own person and as such they are not willing to be told what they can and cannot accept, believe or do based on the premise this information was relayed from some Omnipotent God through some man (always a man) who then interprets the instructions. Individually, atheists are as different person to person as anyone else, each has their own approach to life and death and what each stage along the way represents.

Bad example you made there.

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Re: What's your explanation?

Well- regarding what my wife might or might not hear, she'd have to start "caring" a LOT more, haha. But sure, if she really was able to articulate some new change I hadn't heard I'd certainly look into it. But as I am in charge of all things electrical in the house, if I tried a new component/cable etc. and heard nothing, I'd very likely not leave it in the system. She just wants tunes coming out, and appreciates they sound good in the broadest sense of the word. After that, it'd be hard to get her to do anything close to an A/B comparison. It works for us, so I'm not looking to mess with it!

dbowker
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Re: What's your explanation?

I don't think I'm narrow minded about it Jan, I have friends of all belief (or non) stripes, it's just my personal experience. The self professed atheists I've met have as much a zealotry about seeing (and proving) the universe nothing more than a fascinating collection of physics and chemical interactions as any evangelist I've met. Now maybe it's just matter of definition: if I meet someone who says they profess to no religion, but believe the universe is permeated by an underlying spiritual energy, of Life itself is somehow all connected, or the like, I would automatically put them outside the "atheist" category. To me, I'd assume they were either agnostic, or just spiritualists, or something else.

Granted, strictly speaking atheist really just means "non-believer of a central God figure". But in practical terms, that's not usually how any I know define themselves. From that point of view, if they were to have what I would call a spiritual experience or insight, THEY would almost certainly put it off to hormonal, chemical or psychological reasons (or malfunctions).

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Well- regarding what my wife might or might not hear, she'd have to start "caring" a LOT more, haha. But sure, if she really was able to articulate some new change I hadn't heard I'd certainly look into it. But as I am in charge of all things electrical in the house, if I tried a new component/cable etc. and heard nothing, I'd very likely not leave it in the system. She just wants tunes coming out, and appreciates they sound good in the broadest sense of the word. After that, it'd be hard to get her to do anything close to an A/B comparison. It works for us, so I'm not looking to mess with it!

Unlucky me, who can only trust his own ears! No spouse and no hifi nut friends! Would that make me worse off?

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
I don't think I'm narrow minded about it Jan, I have friends of all belief (or non) stripes, it's just my personal experience.

Three things here; 1) I did not say you were "narrow minded". I said you were applying your own very narrow definition of the word "spiritual" to describe (as a stereotype) a widely divergent group of individuals. Hmmmm? Let's take a look at what was actually posted ... "To assume an atheist is not "spritual" simply applies your very narrow definition of the word to an entire group of people ... " Nothing about being "narrow minded", right? However, if you feel you must automatically defend yourself against even an imaginary accusation of being "narrow minded", I completely understand. I find it rather narrow minded of you to immediately assume you are being accused of being narrow minded - when you are not - but I assure you I find it completely understandable in this case.

2) If you were being truly open minded - and no one here is accusing you of that either!, shouldn't your response have been something along the lines of, "I see what you are saying and, yes, I am stereotyping an admittedly divergent group. That's unfair and unreasonable of me to do so. I wouldn't care to have that done to any group I belong to and I should not be doing it to atheists or any other groups. I'll try to not do that again"? On the other hand, if you are not truly being open minded - particularly when up to now no suggestion has actually been made that you are in any way "minded" at all - then wouldn't your response to an imagined accusation of being narrow minded actually be something along the lines of, "I don't think I'm narrow minded"? Once again, hmmmmmmm? Are you being truly open minded when you are denying you are being narrow minded - even when up until this point no one had accused you of being in possession of any sort of a mind?

3) Doesn't "... it's just my personal experience ... " say you admit to having a very narrow experience, in this case, with atheists? (Once again I want to assure you, we will not be going into the many other things about which you have no real experience.) Doesn't that say there has been no attempt on your part to actually understand atheists as a group or to grasp what atheism means to an individual person other than when you absentmindedly (and lest you jump the gun yet again I am not accusing, just asking) stumble across someone you feel is not ... "spiritual". And, if you were actually being truly open minded about this rather embarrassing issue you have created for yourself, that you should not be stereotyping an entire group of individuals based solely upon your admittedly narrow "personal" experience with a only few individuals - who you might actually prefer to think of as "agnostics" (since you appear to be so good at labeling entire groups of individuals to suit your own purposes and without checking with them first to determine whether they have any problem with their principles being questioned by you) - just to make yourself feel better about the whole affair? What if I had narrowmindedly said (remember, not accusing, just asking), "All narrrow minded people deny they are narrow minded"? You being not very open minded about this, I would suppose you would deny that you would deny being narrow minded. We certainly can see that you would based upon the fact that you already have. Of course, no one has - up to this point - said anything at all about you having a mind of any sort and certainly not one you could further narrow should that be your desire. Or, what if I had said, "All narrow minded people base their stereotypes on their narrow world view derived from their limited experience with a very small number of the entire group they are stereotyping. Of course, the narrow minded stereotyper would deny that"? What if I had said that?

I'll leave it to you to figure out but IMO this sort of stereotyping applies to a great many things discussed on an audio forum.

dbowker
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Re: What's your explanation?

Jan: Has it ever occurred to you to just let what is said or easily assumed to be WHAT IT IS? Why would I or anyone need a three paragraph lecture or your version of what was, wasn't or should have been said or not?

99% of social interaction is being able to read what the tone and flow of what's happening in a conversation and then just going with it. The inablilty to read the others response or displeasure with where you are going with an interaction is usually associated with Aspeger's syndrome or some other developmental malady. Not that it's going to solve anything if the above is true, but read my frustration RIGHT NOW: WHAT exactly is your problem!!!?

Based on the abnormally defensive, voluminous, and hyper-focused nature of so many of your posts I'm suddenly wondering if that's what's going on here with you. You just cannot have a normal social interaction. It's like you truly don't get what to everyone else is so OBVIOUS. It's unfortunately why your posts always were just the other side of the coin of DUP and a number of other obsessive posters. It's like you guys are operating in another world or something!

I mean- look at this thread: not even ANYTHING about atheism or any related issue! It was just a metaphor for Pete's sake. How is that not obvious? It's merely about one's opinion on why cables seem to float the boat of some and not of others! And yet, if given the chance, the next 25 (or 2500 posts could get chewed up by definitions, semantics, minor details and off-topic back and forth.

Prove me wrong please by NOT posting a 1000 word disertation. Please!

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?

Certainly, I can prove you wrong - again.

You are the person who introduced "atheism" to this thread. You are the person who introduced irrational, uninformed stereotypes into this thread. You are also the person who introduced "narrow minded" to this thread. Now you not only want to blame me for what you did (and poorly at that) but you are getting your blood pressure up over the fact you did it and it took you a five paragraph rant to get it done.

While you have no clue what I have done, I am absolutely positive about what you have done - again.

Nah-Nah, I know something you don't. Nah-Nah-Nah, I have something you don't.

"99% of social interaction is being able to read what [sic] the tone and flow of what's happening in a conversation ... "

You cannot expect me to continue holding up both ends of this conversation.

Don't make stereotyped statements regarding things you know nothing about.

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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Allahu Akbar

or....reason number 5

no differences exist

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Jan: Has it ever occurred to you to just let what is said or easily assumed to be WHAT IT IS? Why would I or anyone need a three paragraph lecture or your version of what was, wasn't or should have been said or not?

99% of social interaction is being able to read what the tone and flow of what's happening in a conversation and then just going with it. The inablilty to read the others response or displeasure with where you are going with an interaction is usually associated with Aspeger's syndrome or some other developmental malady. Not that it's going to solve anything if the above is true, but read my frustration RIGHT NOW: WHAT exactly is your problem!!!?

Based on the abnormally defensive, voluminous, and hyper-focused nature of so many of your posts I'm suddenly wondering if that's what's going on here with you. You just cannot have a normal social interaction. It's like you truly don't get what to everyone else is so OBVIOUS. It's unfortunately why your posts always were just the other side of the coin of DUP and a number of other obsessive posters. It's like you guys are operating in another world or something!

I mean- look at this thread: not even ANYTHING about atheism or any related issue! It was just a metaphor for Pete's sake. How is that not obvious? It's merely about one's opinion on why cables seem to float the boat of some and not of others! And yet, if given the chance, the next 25 (or 2500 posts could get chewed up by definitions, semantics, minor details and off-topic back and forth.

Prove me wrong please by NOT posting a 1000 word disertation. Please!

Having a touch of Asperger's myself, I must kindly dismiss your statement about this development "malady". Jan's development must have suffered from some other things, if this really is the case. Other than that I totally agree, no point in making any long-haired explanations to a metaphor like that. Good post and excellent reply

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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Certainly, I can prove you wrong - again.

You are the person who introduced "atheism" to this thread. You are the person who introduced irrational, uninformed stereotypes into this thread. You are also the person who introduced "narrow minded" to this thread. Now you not only want to blame me for what you did (and poorly at that) but you are getting your blood pressure up over the fact you did it and it took you a five paragraph rant to get it done.

While you have no clue what I have done, I am absolutely positive about what you have done - again.

Nah-Nah, I know something you don't. Nah-Nah-Nah, I have something you don't.

"99% of social interaction is being able to read what [sic] the tone and flow of what's happening in a conversation ... "

You cannot expect me to continue holding up both ends of this conversation.

Don't make stereotyped statements regarding things you know nothing about.

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Having a touch of Asperger's myself, I must kindly dismiss your statement about this development "malady".

Another group abused by irrational, uninformed stereotypes. Bad post, worse response.

dbowker
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Re: What's your explanation?

Keld: After my post I felt a little bad it might be construed I was being insensitive to those that have to deal with Asperger's or other issues, whether for themselves or in children etc. I have relations and kid's friends who are confronting it, so I WASN'T looking just for a cheap shot along the lines of "don't be such a retard Jan!" and more a real observation.

And you're right, whatever it is with Jan, it goes a lot farther than whatever it started out as. I think I just need to review my Ignore list again and perhaps add a name or two.

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?

Please do, then you won't be jumping into my conversations like Ward Cleaver "speaking" to Wally.

"Retard"? You got a million of 'em! I thought you were the one who didn't want to make a big deal out of this. Now look, you've taken up an entire page when you admit you don't have a clue. Awwww, but you can blame me for that too, can't you? "He's racist because he says I'm racist." And so it goes and you never have wanted to accept the fact that you began all this.

How about I remind you that you could have had none of this had you only been more open minded in the first place.

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Keld: After my post I felt a little bad it might be construed I was being insensitive to those that have to deal with Asperger's or other issues, whether for themselves or in children etc. I have relations and kid's friends who are confronting it, so I WASN'T looking just for a cheap shot along the lines of "don't be such a retard Jan!" and more a real observation.

And you're right, whatever it is with Jan, it goes a lot farther than whatever it started out as. I think I just need to review my Ignore list again and perhaps add a name or two.

Don't worry; no hard feelings from here

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?
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Re: What's your explanation?

How many of you have considered the way that the brain actually "analyzes" the signals that come down the auditory nerve?

Remember, there are at least 3 steps, from partial loudness, to auditory features, to auditory objects. At each step about 1/1000th of the information sticks around, and you can both conciously and subconciously steer your analysis to control what parts you actually recall at the concious level. On top of that, the auditory system is biased to "hear differences", probably as (originally) a survival mechanism.

Given that, why do you suppose you might hear a difference and be able to focus in on it?

Try to focus in on the same "difference" again with the original cable, or whatever, when you're doing this, and see what happens.

Also, before you swap cables that use RCA's, try simply moving the old RCA connectors, pull them partway out and put them back in.

Sometimes you'll be surprised at what happens. My AA501 was certainly surprised by this.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: What's your explanation?

JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!

Drtrey3
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Re: What's your explanation?

Well, sometimes, I hear what I want to hear. And other times, I think my hearing is more accurate, that is to say less biased by my expectations. My favorite listening "test" is when I am listening to something and the wife comes in from another room and asks "What did you do to make it sound so flat?" That was what convinced me that the difference I heard between 24/96 and 16/44 files was not just wishful thinking on my part.

Jan Vigne
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Re: What's your explanation?

SQUAT! SQUAT! SQUAT!

Lamont Sanford
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Re: What's your explanation?

I can hear you way up there! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!

roadster
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

Unlucky me, who can only trust his own ears! No spouse and no hifi nut friends! Would that make me worse off?

There's an old saying regarding one's trust in oneself (ears). If it sounds good to me...

"No spouse...", me neither. Blood pressure has declined...I feel better.

A "hifi nut friend" owns a local brick-and-morter audio store. Was there this past weekend deciding on some new equipment and we tried a variety of interconnects. There was a noticable difference between the cheap generic cables from the local big box store and the better, but not outrageously priced, audiophile grade interconnects. FWIW.

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

I have just updated almost all my cables, except a TT interconnect I'm still waiting for. I'd say go for it! It can make great improvements

Buddha
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

My question is: Why do some audiophiles clearly hear the differences, while some don't?

Different strokes for different folks, but not necessarily the same strokes for all folks.

Cheers, man.

Orb
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Re: What's your explanation?

Well to quote someone;

Quote:

1.If you listen to something differently (for different features or objects)
a. You will REMEMBER different things
b. This is not an illusion

2.If you have reason to assume things may be different
a) You will most likely listen differently
b) Therefore, you will remember different things


I think the humour of my quote is going to be lost on most due to not knowing the source of that info, but it has me smiling anyway

An interesting discussion is perception vs cognition and how it is possible that we skew our analysis.
We know that there is active listening training where one person can train another to detect artifacts or even sometimes the much more noticable tells such as noise hiss,echo-reverb energy,etc.
I do wonder though if some systems create a passive training scenario; by this I mean that you can have two systems but one nudges you to start to hear a certain noise/trait/etc and you then train the perception more to identify this.
However the reality is that both are presenting this information but for some reason only one of the systems was able to passively train you or nudge your perception into picking up something that you did not notice before.
The downside is that now cognition means you are familiar with that sound and when switching back to the original system will also hear it there now.

I have a perfect anecdotal experience of this myself, somehow for years I never did pick up on an artificial-flawed echo/reverb that when playing a CD track in my newer system highlighted the major flaw, so much so it was bloody annoying.
After spending time with this and then training myself to identify the sound in other albums/tracks we decided to see if there was something going on with the new system.
Turns out I could now hear this annoying flaw with my old system and also in other systems with different design topology in speakers/CD-Dacs/etc.

However if I had switched back to my initial system too early (before formalising what I was starting to pick up on), I would had been rather confused as I would then be picking up the subtle sound in both systems without possibly understanding why, or even having the confidence of knowing that it was the newer system that "trained" me to identify the flaw.
This is just one aspect highlighting the complexity where it is possible there is a very subtle difference but then once identified it can be heard in the original system, possibly explaining one area where some state they heard differences and switching back were no longer sure or switched early and state they became confused listening to both systems/products.

For a listener to compare different components in an A/B I feel they must have the understanding and experience dealing with perception vs cognition, otherwise they will be left confused as to potential differences.

Please appreciate this is not a post against A/B but the risk for the average or normal listener being caught out by perception vs cognition.

The best way I find is to study the behaviour of the listener and focus on preference combined with duration to relax and focus on the music without flicking through tracks, wanting to stop,etc.
This removes part of the subjective issues where one tries to specifically quantify the sound and performance, that as I feel can be distorted by listening to multiple products in a quickish A/B if not prepared and experienced.

After all, the goal I thought is to achieve a system that encourages you to play diverse music for the highest enjoyment/entertainment without it being a contest of fighting listening fatigue and other factors that draw us away from the music composition/instruments/etc.

Cheers
Orb

Freako
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Re: What's your explanation?

Great reply!

Buddha
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:

Well to quote someone;

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

1.If you listen to something differently (for different features or objects)
a. You will REMEMBER different things
b. This is not an illusion

2.If you have reason to assume things may be different
a) You will most likely listen differently
b) Therefore, you will remember different things

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

I think the humour of my quote is going to be lost on most due to not knowing the source of that info, but it has me smiling anyway

Well, I'm sure whoever said that, the subjectivists here would surely back him/her up!

ncdrawl
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Re: What's your explanation?

you can hear differences because you are all deluded. thats the long and short of it.

and yes, Jan has a social disorder. That is common knowledge. It is best to not judge him for what he is, but to love him for what he is not.

JSBach
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Re: What's your explanation?


Quote:
Well to quote someone;
Quote:

1.If you listen to something differently (for different features or objects)
a. You will REMEMBER different things
b. This is not an illusion

2.If you have reason to assume things may be different
a) You will most likely listen differently
b) Therefore, you will remember different things


True if somewhat superficial. Consider this. If we accept the above suppositions as universally applicable would you contract, for instance, Rieger and Co http://www.rieger-kloss.com/ to instal a pipe organ with a value of $2 mil' or would you consider Rieger's staff to be subject to such powerful psychological biases their skills would be void?

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