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ohfourohnine
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Considering your bona fides, I read your "..take on this stuff." with some interest. With all due respect, your "take" can fairly be summed up as, "Don't waste your money on new/better cables, components, etc. Instead, buy room treatments, which, incidentally, are available from a company which pays me handsomely for my design contributions."

Clearly room acoustics is a powerful factor to be dealt with in tuning one's home audio system, but you've been around long enough to know that it's not the only significant one.

Fear not, most of us are really vulnerable to tweaking urges and we aren't likely to leave your firm's products out of our considerations.

Scooter123
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Photographs in the Freezer ??? Could someone PLEASE get me this man's address. I have 37 rolls of unexposed Panatomic-X and 15 rolls of Ilford Pan-F in my freezer and wonder if that is why my CD's sound do poor. What is the "Audio Effect" of storing unexposed film in a freezer? Could it be that this is the reason that N. Korea has exploded a Nuke, or is it the reason for their Nuke being a ibt of a "dud". Enquiring minds MUST KNOW. After all, if just my small hoard of an obsolete and discontinued film can damp a nuclear reaction 6000 miles away, it may be our duty to start hoarding obsolete films in our freezers.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read about the photos in the freezer. That has to be the absolute classic example of how ridiculous some Audio tweakers have become. I fully expect that the "next level" of tweaks will be to hire a "psychic healer" for your Audio system. I always wanted to retire early, now I've found out how to make it happen. I'll just hang out a shingle as a Psychic Audio Healer and charge 5000 dollars an hour.

bjh
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio?"

Woah!, talk about a loaded question, nay!, "fully submerged" is a more fitting!

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

Quote:
What surprises me Buddha when you say that you have been in audio for 40 years is that you still are not aware that water pipes affect 'sound'. Enid Lumley knew this 20 years ago, they are part of her list of what she referred to as "Gremlins" - things which she found affected 'sound'.

Damn right they do! About 6 weeks ago a water pipe under the slab of my listening room developed a leak. Repair entailed rearranging furniture, pulling back the carpet, covering everything in plastic so they could bring in the jackhammer, remove approx. a 3' X 3' section, dig down to the pipe, repair, backfill and repour the concrete.

Two friggin' weeks later another leak developed, just a few feet down from the above. ARGGH! Once again, same scenario as above, except upon repair of this leak, the pressure test revealed there was STILL a leak, which ended up being detected a few feet on the OTHER side of the original leak! NOW i have about a 9' long trench in the listening room. Finally, all is repaired, the room back together, and I can tell you the system sounds Marvelous!

WHY? Because the nightmare and the bleeding has finally ended.....for now!

RG

You know what else pisses me off?

Semantic bullshit.

Check May Belt's quote about "water pipes...."

"...you still are not aware that water pipes affect 'sound'..."

Notice the subtle semantic shift from what her product claims to do?

Here, reread the Peter belt part about the "water reformer:"

absolutepitch
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Perhaps buying into a "con" results from listening to others' recommendations without critically evaluating the claims. When someone does critically evaluate the claim and verifies it, then one could be left with how to explain it.

In a prior post, an expensive cable vs. a cheaper "Wal-Mart" variety was tested in a SBT-mode, on his unsuspecting audiophile friends who claimed hearing dramatic improvements with the same cheap cable on both tries. That seems to show that when prompted by knowledge of which cable was purported used, their responses followed their biases.

However, I have tried two different DIY speaker cables. Sample A is a 10-foot length of two-conductor 10-gauge cable. Cable B is a 24-foot length of two conductor 12-gauge wire. My long-duration listening tells me that the 10 gauge shorter cable sounds better, and I hear the difference consistently. My hypothesis was that the longer narrower gauge wire has higher resistance (of course). My speakers needs good amplifier damping (no crossover) to control the voice coil. The longer the wire, the less damping appearing at the speaker terminals. Straightforward EE taught in school.

Now, I also replaced the exposed 4-inch length of phono leads in the tonearm from the OEM wires to teflon-insulated wire. Wow, what a difference! I did the same to the phono interconnects to the pre-amp. Wow, another difference. The former was about 2/3 of the effect and the latter about 1/3 of the effect. That's not straightforward EE from school, or is it?

Either way, I hear music better, and that's the purpose. I still am not sure of why or how.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

However, I have tried two different DIY speaker cables. Sample A is a 10-foot length of two-conductor 10-gauge cable. Cable B is a 24-foot length of two conductor 12-gauge wire. My long-duration listening tells me that the 10 gauge shorter cable sounds better, and I hear the difference consistently. My hypothesis was that the longer narrower gauge wire has higher resistance (of course). My speakers needs good amplifier damping (no crossover) to control the voice coil. The longer the wire, the less damping appearing at the speaker terminals. Straightforward EE taught in school.

Hmmm. Dunno about that hypothesis.

The difference in added resistance of 20 feet of 12 gauge wire compared to 10 feet of 10 gauge wire comes to a mere 1 milliohm (0.001 ohm). Don't think that's going to have any appreciable effect on damping.

And even if it were to have an appreciable effect, what if your speakers were already somewhat overdamped? Technically, adding a bit of series resistance could be an improvement.


Quote:
Either way, I hear music better, and that's the purpose.

I agree.


Quote:
I still am not sure of why or how.

Ultimately the question is, do you really WANT to know why or how? To truly get to the bottom of such things requires a hell of a lot of work. Starting with establishing that the differences you perceive are in fact due to actual audible differences and not other phenomena that have long been known to exist.

Until you do that, any theories put forth are pretty much worthless, as is any theory that's put forth but never actually put to the test. And this industry is already up to its eyeballs in theories which have never been put to the test.

The way I see it, you can either just not care about the how and why and get on with enjoying yourself, or prepare yourself for a lot of diligent work.

Personally I opt for the former.

se

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
I surely wouldn't stand between and audiophile and the person taking his hard earned cash, but neither will I sit idly by while people blow smoke up our collective asses without me trying to get the audiophile community to really see what claims are being made and to think about the implications of these claims.

Amen to that, I wrote about this in March 1991, also in the context of the Belt devices. See www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/787 in which I coined "Atkinson's Law of Effective Tweaking." This is based on "the relationship between how much the tweak costs and how much it runs counter to accepted knowledge. (A clue is when the manufacturer claims to have discovered a hitherto unknown form of energy or phenomenon or bandies words about with scant regard to their established meanings.)"

Things haven't changed in the 15 years since I wrote those words.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
Rjibran, did your Hi Fi rig clue you into the fact that something was wrong with your water pipe?

Less "liquidity" in the midrange?

"Muddy" bass?

Buddha,

I dunno about the midrange or the bass, but when it comes to "liquidity" I can assure you there was a major loss!

RG

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha,

You really ought to give some thought to the futility of saving those that are attracted to the likes of Beltian BS. Such types are really just at the opposite pole of the likewise thoroughly brain vacant rabid naysayers. It seems to me that you risk developing a Savior Complex which despite best intentions typically leads to yet another undesirabe outcome ... PITA-itis.

I suggest you chill out and where the Belts are concerned have a hearty laugh and Forgetaboutit!

ps.

I you dare responding with an indignant haughty response I swear I'll put a hex on you ... and not some weak hex mind you, I'm fully educated in the most advanced techniques! While I can't reveal much let me only say that my methods involves the usage of powerful morphic messages, nuff said ... so be nice or else!

Buddha
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Hi, Bjh!

If I ever develop Savior's Complex outside the realm of Belt-type tweak suspicions, treat me like you would any savior and feel free to nail me to something and poke me with a spear.

No way I want you to hex me. (You did mean that word to start with an "H," right?)

No worries about PITA on a chronic basis, these things simmer, then get press, then re-subside.

Since JA has lived through this before, maybe we can skip right to subsiding without the interim press.

Cheers, buddy!

(First beer's on me when we meet.)

(Then, the 14th beer is usually on me, too, but that's usually spillage.)

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Furutech Cable Technical Paper

I thought you all might find the newly posted Furutech Cable white paper of interest. Just page down our Press Resources page to Technical Papers.

Regards,
Jonathan
Scull Communications Press Resources

Buddha
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Re: Furutech Cable Technical Paper


Quote:
I thought you all might find the newly posted Furutech Cable white paper of interest. Just page down our Press Resources page to Technical Papers.

Regards,
Jonathan
Scull Communications Press Resources

Greetings, Mr. Scull!

We have some discussion about this topic going on in the "October" forum, as well.

Furutech's "data" is rather "optimistsic" and more "in vitro" than "in vivo."

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Clay,

Thanks for your comments.

> With all due respect, your "take" can fairly be summed up as, "Don't waste your money on new/better cables, components, etc. Instead, buy room treatments, which, incidentally, are available from a company which pays me handsomely for my design contributions." <

That's not really fair, or accurate. I was careful to not include my RealTraps sig in my post above, and the article is on my personal web site, not my company's site. You are correct that my conclusion is acoustical in nature, but that really is the only explanation that makes sense!

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what exactly do you disagree with in my article? Do you dispute my measurements showing a huge change in frequency response only a few inches away? I can't imagine you would because that's hard data, not opinion. But I am interested in hearing what about my article was not convincing to you and why. If a severe change in frequency response doesn't seem likely as why people hear a change with cables etc, then what do you think is a more plausible explanation? I'm also interested in knowing what part of my article you feel promotes acoustic treatment. All I said was the change in response is even more pronounced in an untreated room.

By the way, this past Sunday I repeated that test in my well treated home recording studio with similar results. The bass changed much less with distance, but the mids and highs still varied all over the place. Even with all of the first reflection points well treated. So that means that loudspeaker beaming is a contributor, and the comb filtering caused by the change in arrival times from the left and right speaker contribute too. I plan to add this new data and another paragraph or two to my article as soon as I get a chance.

--Ethan

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Re: Furutech Cable Technical Paper


Quote:
Greetings, Mr. Scull!
We have some discussion about this topic going on in the "October" forum, as well.

So I noticed, but I thought DUP had his usual last word in that thread!

Quote:
Furutech's "data" is rather "optimistsic" and more "in vitro" than "in vivo."


~humming along~ I see by your outfit that you are a kidder. I see by my outfit that I am one too! In Vitro/vivo... nice little turn of phrase there. Sure you're not a reviewer?

The measurements are what they are. Feel free to make what you will of them.

Regards,
Jonathan

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha,

Nice to see you response so cordially.

"First beer's on me when we meet."

We'll have to argue over that! In any event I'll use the occasion to tell you how I recently came into possession of a Bedini Ultra Clarifier (Quadri Beam) and what I think of it.

Cheers,

Scooter123
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Greetings Mr. Scull

I don't have a problem with people claiming that demagnetizing an LP improves the sound. I don't believe it but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What I have a problem with is companies selling devices like this for totally outrageous prices. If I believed that this actally would work, I would order a UL listed platform demagnetizer from MSC Direct for 79.95 USD and spend about 1/2 hour on a lathe making up a spindle from type 304-L Stainless Steel to allow the LP to be rotated over the active area of the Demagnetizer without damaging the LP. Total cost would be about 120 USD if you figure that 1/2 hour of machine time at cost about 30 USD and the stock 10 USD. Then to make it "pretty" I could than have a solid wood cover made on a CnC router for about another 200 USD. Total cost is now 320.00 USD and that's for a "one off" prototype. For a production run of 500 units the cost could probably be reduced to around 250 USD. Of course, if I really wanted to slash the cost I could have the solid wood cover made in China and probably reduce the manufacturing cost to under 170 USD. So, how come your charging nearly 2000 USD for what should be a rather cheap device?

If the reason for your high price is due to tooling and R&D costs, you really should be looking for another manufacturing engineer because your current one has no idea at all how to do low volume production. And if your producing that cover with Stereo Lithography, that was a totally inappropriate choice for a production item.

That's my big problem with all these "magic" tweaks, the total disconnect between manufacturing cost and the selling price. It not only makes me question the value of the tweak, it makes me question the motivation of the manufacturer.

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Re: Furutech Cable Technical Paper


Quote:

Quote:
Greetings, Mr. Scull!
We have some discussion about this topic going on in the "October" forum, as well.

So I noticed, but I thought DUP had his usual last word in that thread!

Quote:
Furutech's "data" is rather "optimistsic" and more "in vitro" than "in vivo."


~humming along~ I see by your outfit that you are a kidder. I see by my outfit that I am one too! In Vitro/vivo... nice little turn of phrase there. Sure you're not a reviewer?

The measurements are what they are. Feel free to make what you will of them.

Regards,
Jonathan

I would be most interested in seeing your take on the magnetic fields created by the uber magnets of the Continuum factor into this equation.

Same goes for alignment with magnetic north, local sedimentary rock formations, proximity to electrical lines, etc...

Furutech's numbers are so low compared to other real world effects, I'd be fascinated if they wanted to postulate how their device fits into the scheme of things.

I would almost (almost) be willing to bet that a good moment or two with a well aimed Zerostat gun would have a bigger effect on a record's "magnetism" than their machine.

I think it's important to put their numbers in the proper perspective with regard to the magnitude of the magnetic forces at play.

If turning (rotating) a turntable 90 degrees can have a larger effect on the magnetic field seen by a cartridge and cartridge wires than the magnitude of the Furutech's changes, why aren't we routinely talking about and recommending specific turntable magnetic feng shui?

I have infinitely (almost) less disdain for this Furutech device than I do for the Peter Belt tweaks, so I'm not so much opposed as dubious.

If Furutech is right, there are whole new vistas of magnetic effect that are larger than those in the LP itself that we need to discuss! Which may be good fun, to boot!

I also give them credit for being curious enough to try measuring things, but not full credit, as they neglect to contextualize their results.

(None if this is meant in any pejorative way. I think it would be cool to have some give and take. Sometimes, reviews seem to be the end of someone's willingness to discuss rather than the beginning. I think you are one of the people who are, and have been, good for the hobby, by the way, and miss seeing you in Stereophile.)

Best wishes.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Mr Winer, you say in response to my earlier post, "That's not really fair, or accurate." and you ask, "...what exactly do you disagree with in my article?"

I specifically disagree with your conviction that, "...comb filtering is at the root of people reporting a change in the sound of cables and electronics even when no change is possible." In the first place, "..no change is possible" might better have been, "no significant change is likely". Even when I modify your statement to that more defensible one, I have listened to good, better, and best system configurations in the same room over a short period of time and I, and others, can perceive the sonic differences. Such differences haven't always favored the more expensive component, and therefore weren't a function of expectations nor were they all attributable to placebo effect - some perhaps, but not all.. Listeners' heads were not fixed in vises. The differences were noticeable when the listeners moved around in the room. You may recall that regarding changes resulting from comb filtering you said, "We don't usually notice these changes when moving around because each ear receives a different response, so what we perceive is more of an average. A peak or deep null in one ear is likely not present in the other ear, and vice versa. And since all rooms have this property, we're accustomed to hearing these changes and don't even notice them."

So, as I said originally, I agree as to the importance of room acoustics but I believe other factors having to do with electronics, cables, interconnects, etc. can and do also have significant effects on the sonic quality of a system and people who listen carefully can perceive those effects.

As to whether my suggestion that you might, quite understandably, be touting products from which you derive income is fair I offer the following quotation of the credit line which accompanied your article, "Ethan Winer has been a professional audio engineer for nearly 40 years. He now heads up RealTraps where he designs acoustic treatment products for recording studios, listening rooms, and home theaters." Couple that with your following statement, "The room you listen in has far more influence on what you hear than any device in the signal path, including even the loudspeakers in most cases." , and I think a reasonable person might agree that it is a short and rather direct trip to the conclusion I drew. Unfortunately, you apparently took offense at what was meant to be a good natured jab in the ribs. That's regrettable, as no offense was intended.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Clay,

> I specifically disagree with your conviction that, "...comb filtering is at the root of people reporting a change in the sound of cables and electronics even when no change is possible." <

Okay, what would you propose as a better explanation?

> "..no change is possible" might better have been, "no significant change is likely". <

Fair enough, I agree that's less contentious and I just made that change.

> I have listened to good, better, and best system configurations in the same room over a short period of time and I, and others, can perceive the sonic differences. <

Differences you could measure using test equipment, or difference you were unable to measure? This is really the crux of it. Again, audiophiles often claim they can hear things that defy measurement. If someone does measure the change, then there's no mystery! Then it's reduced to "Cable A has less capacitance than Cable B, and this is clearly evident as a rolloff starting around 15 KHz" or whatever.

> I offer the following quotation of the credit line which accompanied your article <

Yes, that's my byline because that's what I do for a living. Please understand that I'm in the business of acoustic treatment because I believe in it, not the other way around!

> Couple that with your following statement, "The room you listen in has far more influence on what you hear than any device in the signal path, including even the loudspeakers in most cases." <

Do you disagree with that? Or put another way, if you have a first-class system in an untreated room, would your next investment be new speaker or power cables, or bass traps and first reflection treatment?

> no offense was intended. <

Nor is any intended back atcha.

Thanks.

--Ethan

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"Differences you could measure using test equipment, or difference you were unable to measure? This is really the crux of it."

And therein lies the crux, not of the issue but of our disagreement. I'm unwilling to measure. I'm about as far toward the subjectivist side of the eternal audiophile debate as one can go. I do believe in the importance of room acoustic considerations, but I don't employ electronic devices to tell me when I'm hearing accurate music reproduction - forty years of listening to live music gives me some idea of what I want music to sound like. While I engage in "critical listening" when it is called for, it bores me and gets in the way of enjoying the music I invested in the system for. I borrow measurement activities from folks like John Atkinson and you, and for what useful information those measurements might provide, I'm grateful.

It appears we're both "true believers" - each with his own beliefs. We can, I'm confident, live in peace.

Cheers,

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

>>>I do know what he has done in the past. <<<

You claimed in an earlier posting that you know about Peter and what he had done in the past. If you truly knew about Peter then you would know why we chose not to continue making our own PWB amplifier and our own PWB State of the Art Orthodynamic panel speaker system.

>>> Heck, as NFS pointed out, how about Belt belts? "26's" inlaid in treated leather, specially treated buckle...
You could also "specially treat" those items. <<<

Re: NFS 'posting' I thought that was good - I had not seen that one before. I had actually thought of replying asking people to "Belt Up but to remember to Cream the leather and buckle first." You beat me to it !!!

>> > I hope I did not insinuate against your stones. <<<

I noticed that you were reassuring to Jeff Wong, not wanting him to be upset by some of your comments.
Supposing the explanation for the effect of the Shakti Stone was that this Shakti Stone was creating a less threatening energy pattern around the item of equipment it was on - so enabling such as Jeff Wong and Wes Phillips to relax more - therefore enabling them to resolve more of the information already in the room. Exactly the SAME Shakti Stone, exactly the SAME item of equipment, exactly the SAME improvement in the sound - just a different explanation. If presented with this different explanation would your response, Buddha, still be as reassuring to Jeff after he stated that he uses the Shakti Stone or would you revert to your mocking tactics ?

People who are aware do not use mocking tactics. I am sure that once Jeff Wong had heard the effect of the Shakti Stone, he would not be able to mock someone else reporting their experiences with it. But, others who had not had that experience could readily mock away to their hearts content !!

I do not do a "subtle semantic shift" in my reply regarding water pipes. BOTH aspects (water coming from the water pipe AND just the plain and simple fact of water pipes and gas pipes for that matter being present in the environment) affect the sound.
For quite a number of years there were party tricks done by certain UK journalists (who had their water pipes 'treated). Visiting audiophiles (other journalists, editors, manufacturers, retailers) were asked to have a drink of water (unknown to them of water from the 'treated' pipe). They would find that the sound was much improved after doing this. They were then asked to have another drink (unknown to them from a bottle of untreated spring water) and they would experience a worsening of the sound !!

Also, merely 'treating' water pipes (such as washing machines, dishwashers etc) and gas pipes in the building gives an improvement in the sound.

>>> Why, with all this high level Hi Fi exerience of yours are you producing only expensive household crap?
Build an amp. Build a turntable. Build a speaker. With your 50 years of knowledge, you'd rule the waves if you built gear that took true advantage of your pen, mirror, foil, and "water transformation" knowledge. <<<

In 1981, after demonstrating our new amplifier and our new State of the Art actively driven Orthodynamic Panel speaker system at a Hi Fi Show (with many of the magazines commenting that we had the best sound at the show) and after returning home from the Show, Peter decided to pause and to investigate the emerging Cable Controversy. He decided to investigate why different cables gave different sounds. He also decided to investigate Ivor Teifenbrum's claim that any other passive speakers, which were present in the listening room, had an adverse effect on the sound. Ivor had demonstrated to a room of journalists and other audio personnel how he could control the sound in the room (have it better or worse) depending on what he did to the telephone in the hotel room !! This was the start of Ivor's campaign for 'single speaker dem rooms' in Retailers showrooms. I am sure John Atkinson would be able to fill you in with more of that story.

However, in investigating the adverse effect of a passive drive unit in the room, we found that after cutting out the speaker cone and removing it from the room, leaving just the metal frame and the magnet assembly, the adverse effect was still there !!
Then, after removing the drive unit's metal frame and just leaving the magnet assembly in the room, the adverse effect was still there !! Showing that the speaker cone was not the problem as we still had the same adverse effect when no speaker cone was in the room. We found (as Ivor had found) that introducing the telephone into the room had an adverse effect on the sound but we found that if we used a small Boy Scout compass and moved the compass along the body of the telephone, the needle swung around 180 degrees - showing that there was a magnetic field around the telephone. !!
There had also been reports in the magazines that an electronic alarm watch in the room created an adverse effect on the sound. We investigated that. We investigated a pocket calculator, a pen torch and a single working battery. All had an adverse effect on the sound. We had no explanation as to why all these things adversely affected the sound - only that they did !!

It was during this pause, during these investigations, that something remarkable happened which took us on a different exploratory path.

After these discoveries we had two commercial options to consider.
1) We could (as you pointed out) have put our new discoveries and techniques into our own amplifier and speaker system and marketed those as fully treated products.
But, as we looked at the whole retail situation as it was in the early 1980s, we reasoned out that if there are (say) 100 different amplifiers all competing for a place in the Retailers showroom, why add a 101st amplifier ? Ditto loudspeaker systems ?
So,
2) Why not try to develop devices and techniques which can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world, to enable them to treat their existing equipment and for manufacturers and retailers to treat the new equipment which they were trying to sell ? For example. We were well known for manufacturing moving coil, electrostatic and orthodynamic headphones. We could either expand the manufacturing (say) to more hundreds or so sets of our own headphones per year or we could enable many of the millions of headphone owners, anywhere in the world, with whatever brand, to improve the sound of their existing headphones !!!
We made the commercial decision to chose the second option.

A very valid question to ask me here would be "Why didn't we do both ? Why didn't we both manufacture and treat our own amplifier and loudspeaker system - thereby showing just what our treatments can achieve AND also market techniques and devices for people to use for themselves.
We actually did choose a version of that particular option.

We gave certain Retailers the opportunity of having an amplifier, turntable, CD player, speaker system of their choice 'treated'. After hearing the beneficial effects of such treatments, some kept absolutely silent but some of them actually demonstrated to other retailers, to other manufacturers, to other journalists. The result of this was ERUPTIONS !!

We gave certain Manufacturers the opportunity of having items of their equipment 'treated'. After hearing the beneficial effects of such treatments some kept absolutely silent but some of them actually demonstrated to other manufacturers, to other retailers, to other journalists. The result was ERUPTIONS !!

We gave certain Journalists the opportunity of having items of equipment of their choice 'treated'. After hearing the beneficial effects of such treatments, some of them kept absolutely silent for fear of being ridiculed, some of them wrote of their experiences, some of them demonstrated to other retailers, to other manufacturers, to other journalists. The result was ERUPTIONS !!

One of the journalists did venture to write an article describing assessing the difference in sound between a 'PWB treated' 99 UK pounds CD player and a New, 750 UK pounds Sony Flagship CD player - the 'PWB treated' 99 UK pounds CD player winning in the listening stakes !! The resulting Eruptions were VOLCANIC !!! I think they are still, to this day, scraping bits of the Editor of that magazine off the ceiling of the magazine's offices !!!
Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

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May Belt
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

"If the Tweak" is cheap, then why not" is a laudable sentiment, one that will be acceptable to anyone and will not 'rock the boat'. If the Tweak is cheap enough and people try it and gain an improvement in their sound, then they have an improvement for very little cost. If the Tweak does not work for them, then it has not cost them much and they might even have had fun trying it. But, John, does this personal rule of yours merely allow you to stay clear of controversy whilst, as editor, you can allow other people to report on more expensive 'Tweaks' and use the "it's the reviewers opinion and I respect it is their opinion and I do not wish to influence what they write" type of response should any criticism occur ? To give two examples from the Stereophile October 2006 issue - Wes Phillips placing the Shakti Stone on the Super T amp and gaining an improvement in the sound and Michael Fremer using the demagnetizing process on a vinyl record and gaining an improvement in the sound.

But what happens John when something changes your sound but where you can find no explanation as to why - not from electronic theories and not from acoustic theories ? Do you stay at that point ? Even though you are a 'professional in audio'? Or, as a 'professional in audio', do you experiment - constantly seeking to find an explanation ?

I would like to describe an experiment for you to do John. IT IS FREE !!!
As I have outlined in my reply to Buddha, all batteries are a problem regarding good sound. Any battery !! Not only the batteries in the remote control which you use for your audio system but in all the other remote controls for other equipment which are just passively laying around, not in use !! Also Batteries such as the ones in the battery powered clock on the shelf !! And so on.
Place these batteries in a plain plastic bag and place them in the domestic deep freezer overnight. When you take them out to defrost them, allow them to defrost very, very slowly. Placing them in a blanket or towel is very effective for this.
Replace the batteries back in their original positions and listen. When you are used to the (hopefully) better standard of sound, change one or two of them for standard (non frozen) batteries and see if you can listen to the same music with the same pleasure.

Following on the story of our experiences (which I have outlined to Buddha) where we investigated Ivor Teifenbrum's findings that passive speakers in the room had an adverse effect on the sound. We investigated the presence of the drive unit in the room, the presence of the telephone, the presence of a watch, the presence of a pocket calculator, the presence of a pen torch and finally found that even the presence of a working battery ALONE had an adverse effect on the sound !! We had no explanation for this and so that state of affairs lasted for quite a few months. Until something quite remarkable happened and the result of that further discovery took us back to re-investigate the effect of all the things I have just mentioned. We found that, after treatment, all those things could stay in the room, without any adverse effect on the sound, providing they were 'treated' in a certain way. Not only, after treatment, could they stay in the room without any adverse effect on the sound but we realised that in their (treated) state they were actually providing better sound than we had ever had !!
Including a single (treated) working battery !!

Now I ask the question "What deals with sound and uses a battery ?" - The answer - A Hearing Aid !!
Our daughter has had impaired hearing since she was tiny. She has had one operation without any success. Whilst at school she tried a hearing aid but rejected it immediately as having 'harsh, aggressive, shouty sound' and said she would prefer to try to cope without one.
However, because of her hearing problem, I had access to the ENT Consultant and his Chief Audio Technician at one of the leading UK teaching hospitals. I explained to them both what we had discovered and was met with the usual disbelief. "No, Mrs Belt, the battery is only the power supply, you cannot improve the sound of a hearing aid by 'treating' the battery." But, to their great credit, they carried out some blind trials with surprising results. Over 75 % of the patients taking part in the trials registered an improvement in the sound from their hearing aid when using a 'treated' battery - describing the improvement as 'clearer, clearer, a lot better, more natural, clearer'.
The next set of trials being planned were to be to try a 'treated' hearing aid but this time using a standard non treated battery.

I would like to interject here that this is a personal story of mine. Peter was not involved. Peter never met the ENT consultant nor his Chief Audio technician. So, there could not be an element of what Ken Kessler refers to. During a public session at a London Hi Fi Show last year, Ken Kessler answered a question put by a member of the audience with "Oh, Peter Belt's devices work when he is in the room and stop working as soon as he leaves the room".

The Chief Audio Technician was a lover of music and spending his evenings listening to his audio system. He read some of the Hi Fi magazines from time to time. It so happened that exactly around that time (1985) a flippant, dismissive article appeared in a British Hi Fi magazine entitled "Beyond the Fringe" by Jonathan Kettle. Jonathan had listed a variety of things which he considered to be "Beyond the Fringe" - one of them being something which Peter Belt had sent him to try. Jonathan admitted in the article that he had not actually tried what Peter had sent because he (Jonathan) could not understand how it could possibly work.
Unfortunately, the Chief Audio Technician (who was highly respected in his field of expertise) read that particular article and decided that, as far as his professional reputation was concerned, it would be better for him if he did NOT become any further involved with anything which could be described as "Beyond the Fringe". So, the trials with hearing aids ceased !!!!!!!

It was a letter, published in Stereophile, which prompted John's 1991 article "As we see it". I prefer the reply to that letter from Richard Lehnert.

>>>> Though JA also comments on Peter Belt's "idiotic crap" in this issue's "As We See It," my feeling is that it is important to remember that, in the history of science, theories usually come after the facts to explain otherwise inexplicable events. If Peter Belt's tweaks work, then it is the responsibility of professional audiophiles to first investigate and report that fact (or, at least, that opinion as informed by experience, however subjective), then speculate as to its cause. Rejection of alleged phenomena on purely theoretical grounds

ethanwiner
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Clay,

> I'm unwilling to measure. <

I have no problem with that at all! I wish more people would trust their ears, at least for the "big" stuff. I visit a lot of home recording type forums, and all the time I see people ask questions like, "Would I get better results recording at 96 KHz than 44.1 KHz?"

My reply is always, "Why don't you just listen and decide for yourself?"

> I don't employ electronic devices to tell me when I'm hearing accurate music reproduction <

Nor should you. But you don't dispute that measurements accurately reflect what we hear, right?

--Ethan

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

May - I'm sure Buddha wishes to keep things platonic between us, and will steer clear of my stones. Steers don't have stones, but, that's an entirely different matter.

I'm sure there are factors that affect sound that are beyond our ability to comprehend or measure at this point in time. There have been studies showing connections between power lines and their magnetic fields causing brain cancer in people living nearby. This could have something to do with the crystal structure of the brain cell. Frozen photos and quantum effects are pretty out there and if they do affect things, it's on a level so small and out of our control; Buddha's points are well taken -- how do you control the number of turned leaves outside your window? There are too many variables, and they may be on a level of such subtlety, one could consider them negligible. By comparison, the effect of something like a Shakti is gross in size (to my ears), and easier to swallow. I have no doubt that everything we do affords some kind of change... moving a stack of CDs or pile of papers would change the shape of the room. But, there are only so many hours in the day and so much music to listen to, it's hard to justify trying everything.

On the count of three, let's spin some discs.

ethanwiner
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

May,

> this Shakti Stone was creating a less threatening energy pattern <

You're kidding, right?

> We had no explanation as to why all these things adversely affected the sound - only that they did !! <

You really need to read the article I mentioned above. Here's the link again for your convenience:

www.ethanwiner.com/believe.html

--Ethan

bjh
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Anyone care to tell me why a number of battery operated audio components have been well received by reviewers and happy owners, e.g. the Sutherland PhD to mention just one.

Enough BS already! Next ...

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

I suspect the reason is battery power is pure and not subject to the hash and noise from the power grid that can affect AC lines.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
I suspect the reason is battery power is pure and not subject to the hash and noise from the power grid that can affect AC lines.

Hash and noise from the power grid? That's nothing compared to the hash and noise produced by the power supply in the equipment itself.

bjh
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
I suspect the reason is battery power is pure and not subject to the hash and noise from the power grid that can affect AC lines.

Dear Mr. Wong,

I am, it goes without saying, seeking a more interested explanation, something mystical and magical, preferrably something involving some unbeknownst, or better, unknowable energy field.

Now, if all you have to offer is commonsense I would ask you to keep it to yourself.

Thank you very much,

-

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
I suspect the reason is battery power is pure and not subject to the hash and noise from the power grid that can affect AC lines.

In addition to "purity," we gain elegance and simplicity.

With batteries, as mentioned, no trouble with the AC anywhere from the coal/hydro/atomic power plant all the way to your receptacle.

No power cord stuff.

No rectifier!

You start with DC, avoiding the need to create it.

Once those ceramic and glass batteries from New Mexico hit the market...as Emeril would say...BAM!

I think part of the cool future of Hi Fi will be an entire DC system with a trickle charger.

One that doesn't need AC tweaks, even!

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

Quote:
I suspect the reason is battery power is pure and not subject to the hash and noise from the power grid that can affect AC lines.

In addition to "purity," we gain elegance and simplicity.

With batteries, as mentioned, no trouble with the AC anywhere from the coal/hydro/atomic power plant all the way to your receptacle.

No power cord stuff.

No rectifier!

You start with DC, avoiding the need to create it.

Once those ceramic and glass batteries from New Mexico hit the market...as Emeril would say...BAM!

I think part of the cool future of Hi Fi will be an entire DC system with a trickle charger.

One that doesn't need AC tweaks, even!

What about the increase in a batteries internal series resistance as they age? Could cause current limiting and voltage drop to the circuits.

A total battery powered system? That would either require a lot of batteries wired in series to generate the 100v supply required for a power amp again creating a series resistance problem by adding the resistance of all the batteries together or taking a lower voltage battery supply and feeding it to a DC to DC converter to increase the voltage. The chopper in the converter creates a base frequency and many harmonics (basic square wave). Still has a transformer, rectifier and filter.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

As you may already know, lots of batteries is how Sutherland does it in his acclaimed PHD Phono Stage - 16 D cells. He monitors their aging and indicates when they need replacement.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
What about the increase in a batteries internal series resistance as they age? Could cause current limiting and voltage drop to the circuits.

That can easily be amoeliorated by using reservoir capacitance in parallel with the batteries. Or, for low current circuits, you could eliminate the battery completely and just use an all capacitor "wind up" supply. The carbon aerogel super caps would allow you to concentrate a lot of energy storage in a relatively small space.


Quote:
A total battery powered system? That would either require a lot of batteries wired in series to generate the 100v supply required for a power amp...

100 volt supply required for a power amp? Well, the idea is that you wouldn't use inefficient speakers that soaked up power like a sponge.

se

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Speaking of designs that use copious amounts of capacitance, Blue Circle should be showing a prototype of a new TOTL pre-amp at RMAF this week that is perhaps *the* extreme statement of such designs.

Here's a peek:

[image]http://static.flickr.com/117/257289765_080e0c0d92.jpg?v=0[/image]

Oh, and here's the external power supply (an in-progress shot)that the designer says has enought "storage energy to run 20 (twenty) 100 watt stereo tube power amp":

[image]http://static.flickr.com/89/257289675_40a83d4313.jpg?v=0[/image]

ARGGG! Sorry, no idea why the tags don't work for me!

Steve Eddy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
Speaking of designs that use copious amounts of capacitance, Blue Circle should be showing a prototype of a new TOTL pre-amp at RMAF this week that is perhaps *the* extreme statement of such designs.

Oh, and here's the external power supply (an in-progress shot)that the designer says has enought "storage energy to run 20 (twenty) 100 watt stereo tube power amp":

Yeah, but at the end of the day, it's still an AC power supply.


Quote:
ARGGG! Sorry, no idea why the tags don't work for me!

Mmmm. Dunno. Lemme try.

Ah, ok. Gotta take the "?v=0" part off the end of the URL so it ends in ".jpg" then it works ok.

se

bjh
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Thanks!

BTW, if I'm not mistaken from what I know of a related BC prototype, the new pre-amp would probable run for hours (if not days!) after being unplugged. If that's the case then "still an AC power supply" wouldn't apply during disconnected operation. Hmmmmmm ....?

tandy
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Very true BJT.

Steve, the only problem I see with an all cap supply is the cap itself. I wonder what sonic signature it might have, especially in the large values needed. Any problems so far in your testing?

Batteries sound inviting, but a tube pre and/or amp needs a descent amount of plate voltage (as well as current for the filaments), so a fair number of batteries. Space, weight, and looks may become factors with average households, and the Mrs.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
BTW, if I'm not mistaken from what I know of a related BC prototype, the new pre-amp would probable run for hours (if not days!) after being unplugged. If that's the case then "still an AC power supply" wouldn't apply during disconnected operation. Hmmmmmm ....?

That's true enough, though... how much capacitance is he using for the heaters?

Those would be sucking in the neighborhood of a few hundred milliamps a pop and it would take one hell of a lot of capacitance to keep several of them glowing for hours or days at a time.

se

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Re: Furutech Cable Technical Paper

How come Furutech LP demangetizer doesn't do blu-Ray discs? What is differetn in their lables that don't need it? Or will there be a new model costing more for blu-ray? The description in the "white" paper said nothing, it was the same prose in the ads. Carbon black is magnetic? No one has yet answered the question about the motor's magnetic influences on a turntable, is that not important, only the residucal what about disc motors in optical drives? More magnetism than what's in teh lables? And when does magnetism bend or effect LIGHT, like laser? At what point in teh electromagnetic spctrum does magnetic fields stop and start efffecting it? Inquiring minds need to know, some specs, not ad verbage....your "white" paper seems a bit grey to me. and how come the high end vinyl pressers making teh 180 200 gram top of teh line pressings NEVER mentioned a problem with magnetisim effecting their LP'S? Shouldn't teh dude from RTI who has been written about in SteroPhile have know of this issue, since he is so much in awe with his pressings? Did Furutech do this latest discovery, and not tell the vyinl dudes, about the troubles occuring with their stuffyou know what Furutech spelled backwards means ?....neither do I.

bjh
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Re: Furutech Cable Technical Paper

DUP,

The main thing about Furutech papers is that they contain objective claims that can presumably can be independently verified. For example in one of their papers (an earlier one) they published tables of before/after (after demag) CD Read Error Rates showing decreased error rates after demag.

What could be more objective than that? Subjectivity doesn't even come into play here, i.e. one could argue that a reduced Read Error Rate has not practical benefit but that would be quite beside the point. The point is that they claim an easily verifiable object measurement that demonstrates an effect with the usage of the product.

To put it plainly isn't this an opportunity for skeptics to demonstrate that this tweak is nothing but snake oil? Simply repeat the experiment and if no change in Read Error Rates is found ... Presto! The Emperor has no clothes!

So why don't you get busy and go bag youself a snake oil salesman ... a better opportunity is not likely to arrise.

bjh
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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
That's true enough, though... how much capacitance is he using for the heaters?

Those would be sucking in the neighborhood of a few hundred milliamps a pop and it would take one hell of a lot of capacitance to keep several of them glowing for hours or days at a time.

se

Good point, and now that I think of it the other device, a custom phono stage, didn't feature any tubes (just SS). Mind you that phono stage had well over a Farad of capacitance (no typo, it was about 1.5F IIRC) and to judge by the number of capacitors the new pre-amp positively dwarfs it. Still the draw to keep 4 tubes (6922's I believe) happy would likely place a real limit on disconnected operation.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
Good point, and now that I think of it the other device, a custom phono stage, didn't feature any tubes (just SS).

Yeah, not having to feed heaters is at least one plus for solid state.


Quote:
Mind you that phono stage had well over a Farad of capacitance (no typo, it was about 1.5F IIRC) and to judge by the number of capacitors the new pre-amp positively dwarfs it.

When you say "that phono stage" I take it you mean the solid state one you mention above? If so, then I doubt there's 1.5F in the Blue Circle design in spite of it using more capacitors. I doubt that solid state phono stage was running off a 100 volt supply. Not so difficult to get 1.5F of capacitance at relatively low voltages. For 100 volts, that's a whole other ballgame.


Quote:
Still the draw to keep 4 tubes (6922's I believe) happy would likely place a real limit on disconnected operation.

Yeah, if they're 6922s, that's 300mA per tube for a total of 1.2A. Ouch!

se

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
People who are aware do not use mocking tactics.

Mockery and ridicule are rhetorical tactics employed by those who have no recourse. Were this to be an official debate (as in high school or university) the judges would automatically downgrade anyone who engages such devices. In a forum such as this, however, they do serve to create snickers among the "knowing" partisans, but no other particularly useful purpose.

Why must audio art be turned into a religion? The mockers and scorners write, "I can't believe in that." O they of little faith... in themselves! Were they to be subjected to an experiment, they'd be afraid they might actually... hear something! So they refuse, by dismissing others' experience as mere belief.

The same thinking can be couched in other words, such as "I don't buy in to..."

I'll never forget a review in Fi many years ago of a new AR preamp. The writer had formed a rather low opinion of it until, he said, he tried a specialty power cord, and then wow! What was the upshot? Grateful readers thanking him for the insight? No. The respondents were *angry* at him, just like some folks here.

Afterwards no one at Fi ever did that trick again, nor is it much seen in the other (surviving) magazines. One must take what comes in the box, plug it in and listen. The few swap-outs one sees are of tubes, and then not regularly.

Regarding PWB products, I have not used them myself (yet) although I know plenty of other little tricks that work. Over twenty years ago super-tweaker Enid Lumley got a bunch of PWB thingies and tried them. Her finding? Some worked for her, some didn't -- just as one might expect, unless one were one of those mockers.

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

OK, here's where the circular endgame comes into play...

Those who don't hear it are philistines, blah blah blah.

Clark, it's free, you mean to tell me you haven't tried the photos in the freezer or writing the number 26 on the baggies yet?

Skeptics get accused of mocking, then we get examples of tweaks that work tossed at us a validation that the actual crazy stuff we're talking about has something to hide behind. Standard move, Clark.

Consider, not every kid who flunks math should be able to pull the "Well, Einstein failed math, too" line of reasoning.

Why the pie eyed acceptance of any old bullshit that gets tossed your way?

You've been around a long time, and still not an afternoon to clip a safety pin to your shirt or clip it to a curtain?

I've seen you leap on many other tweaks on much shorter notice than a decade or so.

I suspect there is a reason for that.

Question: Where do you draw the line for yourself?

Just how far away from your system will you venture?

At what point will you finally say, "OK, that's quite enough, thanks."

We've all got that point, I made mine pretty obvious. Where, beyond frozen photos and red "26's" do you reach an endpoint?

Is there any tweak you won't buy into?

At the point where you can't hear something, you'll face the same arguments from the other side - you are just not able to hear it!

I've got to go look, have you ever reviewed a tweak that didn't work? (Not a flame, legitimately wondering.)

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:
Is there any tweak you won't buy into?

Again with the mockery, the last resort of a... well...

Were the question phrased sincerely ("Do you listen to every tweak?"), the answer would be, "Yes, all those that come my way." And I would respond with another question: "On what objective basis do you disparage what you haven't tried?"


Quote:
Have you ever reviewed a tweak that didn't work?

Perhaps not (why bother?), but I do each one the courtesy of giving it a shot. You see, my approach to audio is unconstrained by a belief system such as yours. To quote: "My system doesn't suffer for your beliefs, yours does."

clark

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Buddha,

Since you were so gracious in not reacting badly to my solicitation not to take Beltian BS too much to heart please allow me to extend the suggestion to cover C-The Only Good Tweak Is A Controversial Tweak And Only If I Can Gain Notoriety For Announcing It To The World-J

Cheers,

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio


Quote:

Quote:
Is there any tweak you won't buy into?

Again with the mockery, the last resort of a... well...

Were the question phrased sincerely ("Do you listen to every tweak?"), the answer would be, "Yes, all those that come my way." And I would respond with another question: "On what objective basis do you disparage what you haven't tried?"


Quote:
Have you ever reviewed a tweak that didn't work?

Perhaps not (why bother?), but I do each one the courtesy of giving it a shot. You see, my approach to audio is unconstrained by a belief system such as yours. To quote: "My system doesn't suffer for your beliefs, yours does."

clark

Oh, geez...

Talk about the last refuge...of bullshit.

"You see, my approach to audio is unconstrained by a belief system such as yours."

Unconstrained by what, reality?

For someone who claims to be a "reviewer", why refuse to answer a simple yes/no question?

Your answer does reveal something.

"Yes, all those that come my way."

So, I'll try again, what luck have you had with the "putting your picture in the freezer" tweak, or the "write the number 26 on the picture with a certain red pen" tweak?

I'd think that you may have tried this low cost tweak, especially in the last several days, or as you typed "all those that come my way."

My objective basis for dismissing frozen photos and Ziplocks with "26" written on them? How about, "no connection to reality," by way of...at the point of these working, then I've suddenly got to deal with how the other pictures on the packages in my freezer affect the sound. Also, the freezer leads one to the fridge, which leads on to the shelves...

The red pen...

Sir, at what level does your brain start saying, "Hey, wait a minute. What about all the other color pens in the house? What about the kids' drawings on the freezer door? How about what color font I use on my word documents?"

Mine starts asking those questions at about the time someone tries to sell me a special red pen for writing the number 26 on a freezer bag.

Objective testing?

OK, how many other numbers have they tried?

How does 36 differ from 26? Is it "ten better" or "ten worse?"

Sorry, but I gotta draw the line somewhere, and it starts at pictures and "26's" in the freezer, and includes the need for buying a specially treated red pen from the Belts.

Why haven't you tried it?

You get your feathers ruffled over my disdain, yet you don't even do it the service of an audition?

Since you haven't tried it, on what objective basis do you endorse this sort of tweak?

So, you've never reviewed a tweak that didn't work?

Hell, either you're the luckiest reviewer ever...you only run into tweaks that work (what are the odds?) or perhaps you skip reviewing ones that don't work?

Can you name some for me?

That's a sincere and serious question.

I wonder, if you answer that, is the inventor of that tweak allowed to come into the thread and accuse you of closed mindedness?

In all honesty, how can I, or any audiophile, trust a reviewer who offers no evidence of being able to discriminate that which works vs. that which doesn't.

We had Julian Hirsch for those kind of reviews.

100% positive reviews for tweaks? Every one you've reviewed works...and then you assail someone for claiming that there exists a tweak or two that don't work.

Nice work.

You are a "Tweak Fundamentalist."

I like to pick and choose amongst the tweaks, some work, some don't, I'm honest enough to tell people where my limits on reality exist...

So, I would reply to your criticism by pointing out that you are restrained by your lack of ability to discern, based on your written record.

Which of the two of us is more true to the hobby?

Mr. J, we see your kind in the world all the time. The giggling guru who laughs his little laugh when people ask challenging questions, and his accolytes laugh along, because only they "know" that their faith is the key to open mindedness and insight...all the while, the guru is humping the teenage girls and building a Swiss bank account.

Hi Fi should be wary of anyone with "Sexy Sadie Syndrome."

Edited to add:

Not meant as mockery: I really wonder what the heck is going on when someone puts no limits on the outlandishness of some tweaks.

If it will help, I'd be happy to share lists with you with regard to tweak talk.

Pro-tweak, anti-BS.

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Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Jeff, I have been to Hesperia Lake, fishing for gigantic, nutless (and peckerless, apparently -- I try to make it a point never to look too closely for some things)trout. A fish hatchery near Bishop, California raises giant trout and sells them to concessionaires at various lakes around here. Hesperia Lake is one of those. The way hatchery biologists produce these Moby Trout(s)? At a crucial stage in their embryonic development, they introduce warmer water into the environment, which arrests the sexual development of the fish. Apparently, considerable energy and growth potential are wasted on sexual development. Freed from the (obvious) constraints that shackle normal, sexually active trout, these rainbows grow to over 25 pounds. This, of course, explains why I am not over 7' tall, as well as why I weigh considerably less than 350 pounds. Chained to my own dick, I have been and am. Anyway, I have been catching some of these neutered giants and have missed the subject under discussion.

Caution. This may be a government-supervised project. You know, super-sized (but unhung) soldiers to make the world safe for Democracy. Sort of the "palace eunuch" concept on a grander scale. In short, another reason you may want to avoid visiting California. Alas, It's too late for me. Be forewarned the next time you take a cold shower, only to find the temperature stuck on lukewarm.

I also attended my first subscription concert of the season, Joshua Bell doing the honors on the Mendelssohn, and Herbert Blomstedt leading this and a stunning performance of the Schubert 9th Symphony, subtitled "The Great," and with good reason.

I am catching up on this most interesting thread. Who in hell is Peter Belt? I've heard of Peter Built, but this one has eluded me in my lifetime of pursuing sonic perfection. Is May Belt his wife, sister, or daughter -- or a pseudonym? Anyway, there is much of interest, here. Later, Clifton.

May Belt
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Joined: May 8 2006 - 1:51am
Re: Why do so many buy into the "cons" in high end Audio

Ethan, I have read you page. I think we may have agreement on a few things but how far that agreement will stretch remains to be seen.
I would like to reply in General terms and keep away from technical - although I do understand acoustics, reflected sound, peaks and nulls, nevertheless I would like to keep it general.
The aspect I think we can agree on is that you and I know that there is a wealth of information available, in the room, which we (human beings) are not resolving correctly. Far more information than anyone has ever realised !!! At some point in the past, you will have done something in the room, something which could not possibly have had any effect on the signal travelling through the audio system, but where you suddenly realised that the sound was much improved. You will have realised that the additional information you could now hear must have been there, in the room, all the time !! You had just never been aware that it was there !! This is my starting point. That, prior to that happening, you will have been like everyone else, believing that the information which you HAD BEEN hearing - was all there was !
I would also like to use my favourite technique of using letters (ABC through to XYZ) to denote information. We can use letters to denote information just like we do in algebra PROVIDING we all understand what those letters mean.

To establish what I mean. When someone puts on a disc and hears information coming out of the loudspeaker - sufficient information to enable that person to recognise the musical information on the disc as Tosca - I would call that "Information ABC". The majority belief structure of audiophiles is that if Information ABC is what they can hear coming out of the loudspeakers, then that is it !! If they can't hear anything else, then that is all there is. Because if there WAS any additional information in the room (acoustic information) then the belief structure is that they would be able to hear it. If they can't hear it, then it can't be there. And this would have been YOUR belief structure until you had the experience of doing something in the room which gave you better sound !! And, if you could hear improved sound, then this means that you were hearing more Information. As soon as you were made aware that there had been additional information in the room which you had not been able to hear previously - then you moved on in your belief structure - you moved on to a different stage of awareness. But anyone else who had NOT experienced what you had experienced would still continue to believe that there was no further information in the room other than what they could actually hear !

I want to start at a hypothetical beginning.
In the beginning there are 100 people with audio equipment, listening to music - you being one of them. Everyone believes that the information they can hear is what the equipment has 'handled' and presented into the room via the loudspeakers. This information has now become acoustic information and, the belief structure is that if it is acoustic information, in the room, then this acoustic information should be being picked up by our ears. Let us call this information "Information ABC". Enough information contained in ABC to enable it to be identified as Tosca.
At some point, Ethan, you will do something in the room, something that could not possibly have had any effect on the audio signal travelling through the system, but which suddenly gives you an improvement in the sound. The improvement in the sound means that you are now hearing additional information (Information DEF ?). Which, logically, means that this "Information DEF" MUST HAVE BEEN in the room all the time. Yes, the information regarding the violins and all other musical instruments must have been there in the room to provide the Tosca information but the violins had been in a jumbled mix up with all the other instruments. Now, suddenly, the violins and other instruments are separate, in their individual positions, playing with and against each other, making the music far more enjoyable. What this means is that you are better able to resolve more of the information in the room correctly. You tell a friend what you have found out and exactly what you did in the room and he tries the same thing in his room, with the same result as you. Now there are two of you whose awareness has expanded, two people who are now aware that there had been additional information, in the room, which they had not previously been resolving correctly. But, there are still 98 people who do not know this.
Gradually as more and more people are told and try the technique you describe for themselves, you end up with 10 people as aware as you but still 90 people who are not.
The 90 people who are still not as aware as you and are only hearing information ABC, hold the majority belief structure (which the audio industry encourages) that their existing equipment is only capable of 'handling' information ABC and that if they wish to hear additional information DEF, GHI, JKL etc then what they must have is Bill Brown's new $4,000 CD player, or Jack Smith's new $4,000 amplifier, or Tom Jones new $20,000 speaker system. And here is where you will have conflict as soon as you wish to advise people on what to do in their room. Because so many of these 90 people will say to you that as they firmly believe that their existing equipment can only 'handle' information ABC, they feel it would be a waste of their time and money doing anything in their room UNTIL they are able to get Bill Brown's new CD player, or Jack Smith's new amplifier of Tom Jones new speaker system. WHEN they have those, when they are able to extract more information from the disc/equipment, then they will consider it might be worthwhile 'doing some room treatments'.
Multiply this by thousands and you will have a brief outline drawing of the world of audio.

We progress on. You do more things in the room, hear more improvements in the sound, realise that there is yet more additional information (GHI, JKL, MNO ?) already in the room which you had not been resolving correctly. Again, logically, if you can hear yet more additional information which had been in the room all the time, all this additional information DEF, GHI, JKL, MNO, MUST have been 'handled' perfectly adequately by your EXISTING equipment - even equipment which you may have had for 5, 10, 15 years !!!! But, the major problem here is that if people's existing equipment (what would regarded by the world of audio and the majority of audiophiles as well made but only adequate) was shown to be perfectly capable of 'handling' beautifully a wealth of information ABC, DEF, GHI, JKL, MNO, then this challenges the very belief structure of the audio industry !!!

Before anyone responds and tells me about the effects of capacitance, resistance, inductance, microphony, the dielectric effect, vibrations, static, RF interference on the audio signal, and WHY one SHOULD have the new equipment - (a response usually in the form of "Obviously May Belt, you have never heard the new Joe Bloggs CD player, where Joe Bloggs, in his new design, has isolated this, and that, and that, and that, to overcome all the problems caused by capacitance, resistance, inductance etc etc in a deliberate attempt to 'nurse and protect' the audio signal through the CD player as well as possible) I would like to emphasise that I am not challenging conventional electronic theories and the reason why some designers do certain things, in a certain way. What I am saying is that audio equipment, for very many years now, has been perfectly capable of 'handling' the audio signal far better than anyone has ever imagined and HAS BEEN presenting a wealth of information into the room.

I am sure, Ethan, that you and I might have got to this point along the path in agreement but now we have reached a gate. I know what is past that gate, because I have been further along the path of awareness, but I don't know if you and I have now reached the first hurdle !!

Your concept has stayed firmly with acoustics. I am not challenging acoustics. I KNOW that there are such things as reflections, peaks and nulls. But I also know that, at some time in the future, you will do something else in the room, something which cannot be explained within your acoustic concept as much as you push, pull and stretch it. Something such as applying a tiny amount of a chemical to a tiny area of an object in the room and, depending upon the chemical, have worse sound or hear more information than you have heard previously !!! Or, such as changing the colour of an object and changing the sound (either for better or worse). In neither case will you have changed the acoustic information, not the reflections, not the peaks, not the nulls !! So, you will be left with an observation without an explanation !! I am not challenging conventional acoustic theories, I am not challenging conventional electronic theories, all I am doing is saying that there is more 'going on', connected with sound and hearing, over and above all these conventional things. !!

One stumbling block with your 'acoustics of the room' concept (as per your sentence) "It seems to me this explains pretty much all of these otherwise unexplainable listening experiences." is when many of the 'tweaks', many of the 'unexplainable listening experiences' you are referring to can still be heard when listening through HEADPHONES i.e. isolated from the acoustics of the actual room !!

You don't need to go into the area of 'magic', you don't need a new science, you just need to look at an old science (Biology) but look at it in more depth and look at it with relation to human beings, audio and hearing !!
Regards,
May Belt.

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