Lies, Damned Lies, and Specifications...

...was the title of the seminar presented Sunday afternoon by Audio Precision's Jonathan Novick. Audio Precision manufactures high-performance test gear (including the systems used by Stereophile for its reviews) and Novick's presentation concerned, among other things, how graphs, as published by Stereophile, are more meaningful than single figures of merit and how conventional measurements can miss problems with amplifiers that are undoubtedly audible. I came away from this presentation with some ideas on how to improve the magazine's test regime, but most telling was Novick's final slide which paraphrased Albert Einstein: "Not all that matters can be measured. Not all that can be measured, matters!."

David_L's picture

Hmmm ways to measure everything except.......cables, power cords and magic bowls of course?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

For that, see the report of the research from Nordost and Vertex EQ that appears earlier in this blog. The effects of cables, power cords, and equipment supports on time domain errors can be measured. The means to do so will be available to consumers, hopefully in a year's time. Equally measurable are the effects of room treatment, including the ART system. And, as Jonathan Novick declared, paraphrasing a not-so-shabby scientist named Einstein, "Not all that matters can be measured. Not all that can be measured, matters!.End.

David_L's picture

Yeah whatever, like YOU measure anything . xDIt's always the ones that "can't" or "won't" that quotes that tired old saying.

alan m. kafton/audioexcellenceaz's picture

Nordost has spent serious time and real folding money, but you still complain. Jason is being a gentleman in responding. As I am fond of saying, and have said for YEARS...."do your own homework".

simon's picture

Nordost have shown that with a million bucks of RF lab you can measure time domain aberrations that lie significantly below the threshold for audibility.They have shown this for multiple modifications to a hifi including power conditioning and support for electromechanical components. They haven't shown cables alone to make measurable differences, and they have not taken the time to prove any audibility of the changes that were measured.

A retort to the Measurists among us.'s picture

I regret appearing so unlearned, but I had to research that paraphrased Einstein quote. The real one is "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted", and I LOVE it. TYVM, Mr. Atkinson. And the Measurists I speak of are NOT those who use measurements AND their ears to design and/or evaluate equipment but those who believe that if a difference cannot be measured, it doesn't exist. That, IMO, is arrogance supreme.