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geoffkait
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Why do scientists disagree

Scientists don't agree on much of anything unless it's a law. Theories frequently have competing theories, that means scientists don't agree. Didn't you ever notice how long it takes for anything new to get accepted by the Scientific Community? That's why you see a lot of old geezers accepting the Nobel Prize, it's often twenty or thirty years after their discovery. A little slow on the uptake.

Geoff Kait
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Advanced Audio Concepts

mosfet50
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Not true.

I explained at the beginning of this thread how science works, it has nothing to do with old guys getting Nobel Prizes, in fact you can't get a Fields Medal (mathematics) after forty.

You're making subjective statements void of basic logic that simply are false.

Hopefully someone else has something constructive to add to the discussion.

Rob

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A different angle

Let's look at it from a different angle. Suppose I say that I've done blind tests on one of my more controversial products, let's say it's the Clever Little Clock, the battery powered clock that you place somewhere in the room. And I publish the results of those blind tests, which are very favorable, on my web site. Now, do you really think everyine is going to jump on board and say, wow, the Clever Litlte Clocks really do work and that customers will be lining up in droves to buy them? No, probably not, right? And why not.? Well, for one thing they might not believe me. Or they might perceive the results as just a marketing ploy. Just as you're skeptical of reviewers' claims about listening tests, folks would be skeptical of manufacturers who publish test results and tend to pick at them like ducks on a June bug. You suspect them of something, maybe faulty hearing, but you have no real proof. You going on gut feeling and that's not very scientific. You kniw, real skeptics can never be convinced of these things. There is no evidence powerful enough to sway them from theiir beliefs. They would have to turn in their Skepticsl Society membership card. Just like you most likely cannot be convinced by ANY test results that lithium batteries sound different from Alkaline batteries. Right?

Geoff Kait
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Lithium batteries MAY sound different from Alkaline batteries

Because in a battery-operated device there (usually) are no storage capacitors so the dynamic might depend solely on the instantaneous discharge capacity of the batteries.
BTW, there are batteries recommended for high-drain, short use applications (think flashlights) and others recommended for constant-drain, long term use applications (think smoke detectors).

However, batteries cannot sound different if they are OUTSIDE the signal path, i.e. in an optically-coupled volume selector.

mosfet50
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Not in an LED drawing 20 ma.

The pot Sam Tellig reviewed uses an LED that draws 20 ma. - or less. The average AA battery has a capacity of 1.6 AMP hours. That means it can put out 1.6 amps for ONE HOUR before it is totally discharged.

So not only do we have high capacity in the plain old Nicad but it's driving a photo cell, not a circuit. Someone on this, or any other planet for that matter, prove to me that they can differentiate between two batteries in this circuit! That's rhetorical - it's totally impossible and I'll put money on it!

Again, I isolated this because it defines a specific mind set, it shows how astute they 'think' their hearing is. This is the 'expert' audiophiles are taking advice from?

I wish I could demonstrate to readers how highly error prone subjective listening is, regardless of the listener. Sure we have 'experts' flubbing 20% distortion and not being able to pass DBT's. Do you think that if they could pass a DBT differentiating minute aspects between equipment that they would hesitate for a second to use it. They would be shouting it from the hill tops. They want no part of it – because they simply can't do it. Period!

Rob

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You seem not to appreciate experience

Listening experience is crucial in evaluating audio. Experience, in general, is valued. What you refer to as "Golden Ears" in a dismissive manner is akin to dismissing a wealth of experience from which to compare, contrast and evaluate. Just because we can all hear, more or less, doesn't make us all equal in discerning the things that encompass high fidelity.

If the criteria for being qualified to render an expert opinion on audio was the ability to hear all the way out to 20K, then the only experts would be 18 year olds without any experience or knowledge on the whole topic to be qualified to even have an informed opinion.

Nobody is oblivious to the imperfect nature of subjective reviews, hell, this goes on in all sorts of fields.

It's healthy to be skeptical, but it's better to be skeptical with a bit of humility in the presense of people with so much more experience and knowledge on a subject than you have when their accumulated evidence differs from yours. And, no, I'm not talking about all us out here in the peanut gallery, but rather all the members and contributors to the Audio Engineering Society. Which, btw, would give you a lot more to think about if you should be curious enough to join.

Maybe you can be the guy who stood on the shoulders of giants and discovered a predictable way to measure all the multitude of things that impact what we perceive as realistic sound. Seriously, I think you would find AES fascinating and inspiring.

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Golden Ears - where? Are you sitting next to a dog?

What golden ears??
I just outlined how it was impossible for any individual to hear what Sam Tellig said he heard. Someone else spoke of MF not being able to hear 20% distortion. John Atkinson, by his own admission, bought a piece of audio equipment because he failed to hear any difference in a DBT but changed his mind after human subjectivity entered in. Art Dudley has admitted to limited high frequency hearing but still believes he can annunciate the finest details in high frequencies.
Every one of them is more than willing to highlight the smallest differences between two pieces of equipment he's heard months apart but can't do it in a DBT.

And there are individuals, aside from myself, who believe the DBT to be a valid system of evaluating equipment.

Listening is an INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE. That means that each, regardless of how well he hears or discerns frequencies, instruments or whatever still has the ability to decide for him or herself what they like in music and musical gear. NO ONE IS QUESTIONING THAT and it in no way affects their ability to use scientific testing to determine what's best for them in equipment.

Maybe, instead of going off on yet another tangent and advising me to join the AES, you might want to come up with an alternative to the above individual's subjectivity or at the least, show, scientifically, flaws in the DBT and the A/B subtractive test, No one here has done this as of yet.

So what's your answer?

Rob

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I got nothing against DBTs per se

It's actually not a valid argument to say many people believe DBT is a valid system of evaluating equipmentt therefore anyone who doesn't use DBTs is unscientific or that their opinion doesn't count. That's some sort of logical fallacy, give me a day or two and I'll get back to which logical fallacy that is. For every person who thinks DBTs are valid there is a person (at least) who thinks they aren't valid. Furthermore, whatever test protocol you can come up with for performing DBTs scientifically there are many who will tell you your test protocol is flawed. So you can t win.

Another thing - you keep saying over and over again that these reviews couldn't pass a DBT. But how do you know? Have they ever submitted to a DBT? Or are you just assuming they wouldn't be able to pass one? One more thing, you criticize senior reviewers for their hearing quite a bit. How do you know WHAT their actual hearing capabilities are. Or are you just assuming? Speaking of which, I bet your hearing is not all you're making it out to be. Have you been tested recently? I got a cup a coffee that says you haven't.

Okay, here it is. Didn't take me very long, either.

Argumentum ad populum
EditWatch this page
"Ad populum" redirects here. For the Catholic liturgical term, see Versus populum.
In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it: "If many believe so, it is so."

This type of argument is known by several names,[1] including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to democracy, appeal to popularity, argument by consensus, consensus fallacy, authority of the many, and bandwagon fallacy (also known as a vox populi),[2] and in Latin as argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"). It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect. The Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger" concerns the same idea.

Cheerios,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mosfet50
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Geoff -

Kindly please no longer respond to my comments as I will no longer be responding to yours.

Thank you,

R

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"doing"

This thread serves as a good example of talking without doing. I run into this alot on this forum, always asking myself why.

I understand the talk, but if your not "doing" things together in a practical application setting, it's "only" talk. As far as science, testing and application go hand and hand and is a requirement for moving from theory to true science.

I might have missed this, but do any of you belong to "science forums"? Do any of you belong to "testing forums"? Do any of you hang out with "practicing scientist" or have access to "science labs"?

From what I have seen since I've been posting here are people (mostly men) talking science but when you get to know them they aren't actively involved in the scientific labs and programs they are refering to. If you don't start talking about the doing instead of your particular belief on what is and isn't, at best you are still at least one step away from proving anything. I mean what power does one male ego have over another without the actual competition? I'm not going to go to an armwresting contest and talk my way to the trophy. With something as variable as music and music reproduction, I'm ceratinly not going to get anywhere without the "doing" on either end of the experience to testing without the actual "doing". You guys might as well measure your biceps and be done with it, because even though this is titled "Opinions and Science", all that has been going on is "opinion". Opinions about science, is far from science. And those who have those opinions are far from scientist without the "doing".

michael green
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geoffkait
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Proving once again

Proving once again there is no Stereophile thread that cannot be converted into a pulpit for the Tuning generation at the drop of a hat. You don't even have to address the topic of the thread, just a little hand waving will suffice. Just pull the good old reliable walk the walk routine and And voila - a Tuning bulletin board is born. Reference this - The OP mentions three things missing from reviewers:

1. The hearing spectrum.
2. The double blind test.
3. The AB subtractive test.

 photo photo_49_zpsgwximkxu.jpg

Geoff Kait
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Memorial Day

Geoff, I understand your going to put up stupid pics on these threads, but might I ask that around Memorial Day that you don't disrespect the troops or their days of recognition, on this thread and on the Memorial Day one! If your going to use pics and crayons to proove your right to express yourself, it would be good to do this with some decency, respect for those fallin and a little taste.

If you could at least do your trolling with some sort of respect when it is due, I think it would go a little further.

I'm sure you weren't thinking about this at the time of posting, but this is a sensitive time for many of us.

thank you

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

mosfet50
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Yes
michael green wrote:

This thread serves as a good example of talking without doing. I run into this alot on this forum, always asking myself why.

I understand the talk, but if your not "doing" things together in a practical application setting, it's "only" talk. As far as science, testing and application go hand and hand and is a requirement for moving from theory to true science.

I might have missed this, but do any of you belong to "science forums"? Do any of you belong to "testing forums"? Do any of you hang out with "practicing scientist" or have access to "science labs"?

From what I have seen since I've been posting here are people (mostly men) talking science but when you get to know them they aren't actively involved in the scientific labs and programs they are refering to. If you don't start talking about the doing instead of your particular belief on what is and isn't, at best you are still at least one step away from proving anything. I mean what power does one male ego have over another without the actual competition? I'm not going to go to an armwresting contest and talk my way to the trophy. With something as variable as music and music reproduction, I'm ceratinly not going to get anywhere without the "doing" on either end of the experience to testing without the actual "doing". You guys might as well measure your biceps and be done with it, because even though this is titled "Opinions and Science", all that has been going on is "opinion". Opinions about science, is far from science. And those who have those opinions are far from scientist without the "doing".

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

Michael,
Yes,
I do have a full lab and I do test all of my designs completely. Nothing goes to publication without using the instruments along with the tests I prescribe here.

The first step in going from the honesty of the lab to the audio community is in awareness and I had hoped to raise some of that here.

I had also hoped for more lively intercourse with solid ideas and improvements that I could take to publication. Why am I not surprised that didn't occur! Most of the comments, in addition to lacking cohesiveness, never addressed the problem, despite the number of times I asked,. They merely defended the sloppy, business as usual subjectivity, that audio reviewing is today.

I kept asking for scientific alternatives and problems individuals found with the DBT and A/B subtractive but I never got a single one.

I'm not daunted in my quest to bring honest clarity to audio, I just think I came to the wrong place.

You have added very little to the actual discourse so I find it ironical, unwarranted and out of place that you come in now with your criticism.

What exactly did you expect, above what I mentioned, from this thread?

R

geoffkait
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Whoosh!
michael green wrote:

Geoff, I understand your going to put up stupid pics on these threads, but might I ask that around Memorial Day that you don't disrespect the troops or their days of recognition, on this thread and on the Memorial Day one! If your going to use pics and crayons to proove your right to express yourself, it would be good to do this with some decency, respect for those fallin and a little taste.

If you could at least do your trolling with some sort of respect when it is due, I think it would go a little further.

I'm sure you weren't thinking about this at the time of posting, but this is a sensitive time for many of us.

thank you

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

It's always a good time to show what we were fighting against. My father fought in Anzio and North Africa. I'm assuming my post went over your head. Or at least you're pretending it did which is certainly understandable. any more pearls of wisdom?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica.

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At some point in the future

I can see someone developing a test where the listener has their brain activity monitored as they listen to establish whether a difference is being perceived by the brain, independent of whether the listener actually perceives any difference in sound.

I see it as a way to get around not being able to measure everything. Or, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. ,)

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Geoffy-boy, you're stupid as usual!
geoffkait wrote:

One more thing, you criticize senior reviewers for their hearing quite a bit. How do you know WHAT their actual hearing capabilities are. Or are you just assuming? Speaking of which, I bet your hearing is not all you're making it out to be. Have you been tested recently? I got a cup a coffee that says you haven't.

1. Well this is exactly the point: we cannot know WHAT their actual hearing capabilities are, we just have to assume (spare me the idiot joke with Uma Thurman). If the reviewers' hearing is good why don't they post recent audiometric tests?
2. mosfet50 does not have to post any hearing test since he's not asking to review audio gear. But when you ARE reviewing audio gear and expect to be credible, well, publishing your hearing test results is mandatory.

Now you get it, geoffy-boy?

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Huh?!

thing, you criticize senior reviewers for their hearing quite a bit. How do you know WHAT their actual hearing capabilities are. Or are you just assuming? Speaking of which, I bet your hearing is not all you're making it out to be. Have you been tested recently? I got a cup a coffee that says you haven't.[/quote]

1. Well this is exactly the point: we cannot know WHAT their actual hearing capabilities are, we just have to assume (spare me the idiot joke with Uma Thurman). If the reviewers' hearing is good why don't they post recent audiometric tests?
2. mosfet50 does not have to post any hearing test since he's not asking to review audio gear. But when you ARE reviewing audio gear and expect to be credible, well, publishing your hearing test results is mandatory.

Now you get it, geoffy-boy?[/quote]

Dear Costin, Are you posting drunk again? If you think that listening skill is determined by physical frequency response you need to check back into rehab for a tune up. You might as well demand that reviewers submit the frequency response of the listening room. People's listening ability or skill in evaluating components or cables is not determined by their ears' Frequency Response chart. Since you distrust reviewers as much as the OP why on Earth would you accept whatever hearing chart they submit? What is "Good hearing" according to you? Do you even know? How often do they have to be retested? How often do they have to resubmit a photo? It sounds like according to you all reviewers would have to be twenty year olds. What's the definition of bad hearing. If a reviewer has really good hearing and you have really bad hearing, what possible good would it do to purchase the component or speaker or cable he reviewed since you WOULDNT BE ABLE TO HEAR IT? And if your room has uneven frequency response, etc. How to you expect to hear what someone else hears in an acoustically "good" room? Doh! And finally, are you dumb or just pretending to be dumb?

Try not to get your sensitive bowels in an uproar on this thread, too. Remember, rehab is just a phone call away. ;-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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Lab

Hi Rob

Do you have a website so I can take a peek at your lab? I'm sorry I missed it earlier (busy couple of weeks).

thanks

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
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exactly right!

Catch said

"I can see someone developing a test where the listener has their brain activity monitored as they listen to establish whether a difference is being perceived by the brain, independent of whether the listener actually perceives any difference in sound."

At the CES this year, this was being demo-ed in some of the private think tanks on the main floor (not the audio rooms, but the medical and smart areas). I was surprised how far monitoring has come. I would guess next year this will be even bigger as they now have the monitoring watches and other wearables.

I think the new era of testing is right around the corner.

michael green
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Interesting Catch

Catch I like the progressive thinking but I'm wondering just how effective it would be. Perhaps contouring the test to specific individuals in certain surroundings might reveal some interesting results, I'd certainly like to see them, perhaps part of a spectrum of tests.

We all know the brain is quite a complex mechanism. Many people think our hearing, seeing, touch and smell are etched in concrete but they are highly subjective. The equipment that registers the highest on the satisfaction scale today might not tomorrow. I like to use this example as a glimpse of how the brain works:

We walk down a path in the woods, step on a snake and immediately jump back. What just happened? Senses entered the rear integrative cortex, started processing the sense of feel, the foot stepping on the snake, and immediately short circuited thought directing it to the Amygdala, the fear center in the brain. Instinct stepped in before we had time to process the information fully and before we knew it we jumped back. Let's say we stepped on a stick and not a snake. Thought enters in after the fact and we look down, see the branch or stick and finishes the thought process, now we're relieved. What I'm trying to show here is that our senses are not a cut and dry process, there's an awful lot going on inside our heads.

It would be interesting to see what the pleasure center of our brains register but I think it will take several tests to 'mold' our individual preferences. The concept that our hearing, sight, smell, etc. stay relatively constant throughout our life is entirely erroneous. If we could jump back to our 20's from our 60's we would very likely be awe struck at how much difference there is. There's more to it. If we ate a high salt diet all week and then cut out salt completely our food would taste horribly bland. We can expect the same with our hearing. Noise, how does it affect our perception and pleasure in music? Does someone living in a noisy city with car horns blaring all day reach the same pleasure level he does when he spends a week in the solitude of his summer home in the mountains?

Science has been mapping the sounds of animals and insects. Did you know that there are frequency ranges? Mapping the sounds of a forest , for example, reveals a relatively even audio spectrum of sound with different creatures responsible for different areas of the spectrum. It goes even further than that. Trees attacked by tent caterpillars will emit odors to warn other trees to build chemical immunity to the insects. Senses, what we hear and see are highly volatile and subject to our environment, inter-relationships and moods. Listening to music at work surrounded by a cacophony of voices and noise might very well influence the music that pleases us during the day. It also might be entirely different to the music that pleases us at night in the relative quiet of our living rooms.

Michael,
I'm retired now, one of my hats is audio design, I don't have access to most equipment to test and compare but I do test all my own designs.

I have tested my hearing. When I was in my 20's and early 30's it ran to 19kHz or so (quite high, most people don't go that high), today it runs about 13 to 14kHz

Rob

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That's why I'm fairly certain that no test could reveal

All the things that go into sound perception. Even the brain measurements couldn't possibly be adequately controlled to reveal anything more than "further evidence" as opposed to definitive proof. But, I think most all of us are fascinated to one degree or another with the subject.

Here's a link to a rather long discussion that Robert Harley started some years back. There's the usual static and noise within the multitude of responses, but there are also some real gems tossed in for consideration. Rather than focus on the obvious noise, read it all and you quickly realize the rather daunting task this sort of thing is. But, like lists, (we all love lists!) the comparable worth of opinion mixed with speculation and observations are pretty damn interesting.
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/forums/threads/13/

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Again -" let's not throw the baby out with the bath water."

I did not read all the responses to his original statement but I did read his complete original statement.

Harley makes some fundamental errors. First as I've said before, "you don't throw the baby out with the bath water". If DBT has flaws you work to resolve them. He wants a blanket condemnation of the DBT over what? Subjective testing? I've outlined here in several places how fragile our senses are, his included. Sure he wants to dismiss the DBT that's how he makes his living. He sells his subjective perceptions as facts. Don't dismiss the massive amounts of money involved in this or how persuasive individuals in Harley's position can be. Manufacturers don't, you shouldn't either.

He took one DBT and used it to discredit all DBT's, that's not science and that's not logic, that's biasing toward one's own agenda.

Now, take the A/B subtractive test and the DBT together and a powerful tool emerges. There's no reason we can't employ any number of tests, that's how science works. We keep improving the algorithm whether we're talking about Black Holes or audio playback.

What we never do is dismiss science for subjectivity or popularity, if we did that the world would still be flat!

Rob

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Still not going to happen...

Unless you team up with the folks who have convinced millions and millions of people around the world that everyone needs to take statin drugs for "high cholesterol" and anti-depressants for all manners of "life problems", you are not going to see this type of testing done any time soon. The data generated by these tests are of little interest and of little meaning to the general public.

Why not devote your time and energy to making the world a healthy and safe place to live?

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Look at the horizon with your own eyes!

Look at the horizon with your own eyes it's right in front of you - the world is flat.

I disagree, these guys are basically saying that we should discard science when they ask us to accept their views over it. They're not saying revise the test because if we did make a superb test or tests (entirely possible and is the basis of science) they would have no value and they love the power they now have and that's what this is about.

Don't you think there where 'experts' blood letting and telling the masses that the world is flat?

Again, we're at the point now where we can make equipment so accurate and so precise that we can control every aspect of audio to very close tolerances. We can make solid state amps that sound like tubes, contour signals to our liking and do it all at a fraction of the cost we did it even ten years ago.

At some point the dam will break just like it broke when we stopped seeing the world as flat and we realized that the changing pitch of a train moving away from us was the result of the Doppler Effect. In fact I think the dam is already breaking. I'm designing circuits today that match the best in the world and I'm not so foolish that I think I'm the only one. Do a search on the "gain clone". That started from some guys fooling 'experts' ears with high end 3k amp with a $5.00 National Semiconductor chip in it. Sure there will always be the sucker buying snake oil clinging to the 'expert' but while my pen still has ink in it I'll be calling that for what it is and writing about it. People aren't that stupid, we're seeing desktop amps and powered speakers that audiophiles love the sound of because, guess what, they sound really good!

DAC chips and what goes into a DAC? It's a joke these things cost what they do but now we're seeing plug in devices for under a couple hundred bucks that blow the doors off previous DAC chips.
This isn't the mid 80's when chips were so-so and discrete components were the only way to go. Think of it this way, is the electronics in your TV better or worse today? Reflect back to the 80's and even 90's when we were still watching CRT tubes and 27" was a BIG set. Well TV is a lot better and keeps getting better at a much faster rate. So if your TV resolution is really good what makes you think your audio resolution isn't? No one interested in audio has to settle for lower resolution anymore so what do you think the difference is between a 5k amp and a 100k amp? Not much! A lot of hype and a lot subjective opinions - enter the magazine editor. Take three guesses what his role is? Again, the first two guesses don't count!
Rob

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Exactly what you said...

"People aren't that stupid..."

But I know folks who say that they would never buy a Ford product, even though they've never been in one!

And there are still those millions and millions of people on medications that are not very effective and ultimately don't need.

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Don't try to be smart, geoffy-boy, we all know you're not

When a reviewer writes that "component X made his system sound like the live performance" but he is unable to hear anything above 8kHz he simply cannot compare the live performance to his system for frequencies above 8kHz.
Therefore, above that frequency the component under review might sound like a pile of crap and the reviewer wouldn't know this happens!
Oh yeah, the reviewer has good hearing and I have bad hearing. Said who? I just told you I don't need to prove my hearing: I don't review audio gear for a living - but the reviewer does!

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the point

Hi Rob

And this is the point I think people are saying.

As you said.

"I'm retired now, one of my hats is audio design, I don't have access to most equipment to test and compare but I do test all my own designs."

A true lab, is extremely hi-tech these days and very expensive. Doing home testing, which is what the reviewers and designers do for the most part is at the hobby level at best. High End Audio is not going to spring for "true testing sites", not going to happen. However the mainstream world has passed up high end when it comes to lab testing. I'm not talking necessarily audio, but a more innovative "smart world", where the labs are extremely advanced. I've consulted for two of these labs, visited the NASA lab and designed 3 others, along with attending the testing courses. I don't know if others here have been to these labs of late, but they are a long cry from A/B and bench testing. Honestly they make high end audio look like heathkits.

Here's what my friends have told me, and I have said this before here. They're not interested in designing for a small camp like the high end audio camp, because the other fields they are involved in are massive in numbers, such as the medical field, when it comes to devices. "Smart technologies" are probably the cutting edge in testing these days, and High End Audio will more than likey adopt some of this technology to use for "body response testing", and the guys here are right. This type of testing will be far more accurate, plus the additive of being personal.

For example: Sam says he hears something, you say it's impossible. At that point a "body response test" could be given to see if Sam did indeed hear what he says he did.

The new age of testing is an individual one as well as variable. True testing is opinion based, but it's also something that can be charted, and will be something that will be design variable to adapt to each listener.

As Chris just said, proof is in the doing. How we measure this proof will be something that inproves more and more as technology has the need.

With this I go back to my earlier comments. How much of this thread is relevant? From my point of view, only the part that is being done.

Reviewers

might I also add this

We wouldn't be having this conversation if it wasn't for the Mike's, John's, Tom's, JGH, Harry and many others who have brought us to this point, in this particular part of the hobby. Will the new generation follow suit? Of course not. "all things become new" and with this passing of the guard will come a different face for high end audio. Different types and styles of the gear, different types of testing, and overall a much wider more accessible hobby. The question is, are we going to look back or forward? Are we going to try to fix old testing or develope the future of testing, opinion, and taste?

I know I have joined this late, but maybe that's a good thing. I read this thread and feel almost like I'm walking backward down the stairs, trying to get higher. I believe some here are trying to shed the old in welcoming the new, and others are trying to stay in the old, puting their fingers in the dike of old school testing. I hope what I'm saying is view with the positive and not the negative.

We are at a very interesting time in this hobby and even industry. There are many things the old school has brought us that is outstanding, but what the future holds, could be something we couldn't have dreamed of, in the way of a hobby becoming more personalized. When you stop and think about it, all of these views are a part of molding and the needed molded future. We can debate the past or build the future.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

Catch22
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Value Judgments

That's a tricky area when you consider that most of the entire world would consider spending $1000 for a pair of speakers as totally insane. Or, $500 for a bottle of wine or...it's endless.

I know people who think I'm crazy for spending 4 figures for a CD player, yet they spend thousands on a few days vacation to the islands or a trip to Vegas.

On the other hand, you can often times tell a lot about people based on their values.

geoffkait
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Costin - Say what!?
iosiP wrote:

When a reviewer writes that "component X made his system sound like the live performance" but he is unable to hear anything above 8kHz he simply cannot compare the live performance to his system for frequencies above 8kHz.
Therefore, above that frequency the component under review might sound like a pile of crap and the reviewer wouldn't know this happens!
Oh yeah, the reviewer has good hearing and I have bad hearing. Said who? I just told you I don't need to prove my hearing: I don't review audio gear for a living - but the reviewer does!

People say a lot of things, It's a hobby. Get over it. Stop acting like a teenager.

You think reviewers write reviews for a living? Ha ha ha, that's priceless!

I may be slow but I'm ahead of you. Give my regards to your besotted liver.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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We cannot hear what we can not measure.

Michael,
Let me clarify my statement. I have a good deal of quality testing equipment, what I don't have is a large amount of audio equipment to test.

I'm also saying that a good portion of the high end audio market is, well, no higher than a good portion of the middle audio market. For instance, you can spend on a DAC that costs 1k or 10k. They all use a lot of the same chips but one has a hyped rep and the other doesn't but the sound is pretty much the same.

I outlined how the mind works. Testing for human pleasure response is not an accurate method. All we would be finding out is the individual's preferences looking through a very small slit in time. Did he have a fight with his boss, have a glass of wine, spend all day in an environment filled with noisy machinery in the upper audio range, did he eat something for lunch that he enjoyed or didn't? A massive amount of variables - all we would be determining is the individual's perceptions and what pleased those perceptions, at an instant in time.

Did you ever listen to music one day and love it but didn't the next? We all have and instead of looking at our subjectivity we blame the equipment.

Sam Tellig might very well have different pleasure responses (although not in a DBT) to different batteries but it proves very little. PLEASURE IS SUBJECTIVE.

Battery science, however, is not and the finest instruments in the world can't differentiate between two circuits remotely driven by different batteries out of the signal path. You can't measure what doesn't exist. The difference between this and the pleasure test is that we have removed human subjectivity from the equation. When an editor hears the small differences in details between two pieces of equipment that he's heard months apart he's being subjective, not objective and not scientific.

So back to my original premise, the only way to truly measure equipment is using scientific measurement. INDIVIDUALS CANNOT HEAR WHAT WE CANNOT MEASURE. Not with the precision instrumentation we have today.

I think a lot of the confusion enters in, not in the measurements, but the criteria we have established as creating good sound. Distortion for example is not a measure of good sound but every amp, preamp, DAC, etc. lists it and often with several zeros before it. Nonsense, for example, we've already proved that many of us like the second harmonic distortion that adds fullness and body to music. That's why many audiophiles went back to tubes. What's significant is that we can absolutely measure all of these things. So what makes equipment desirable is the criteria we use to design it. Take a look at guitar amps full of distortion, that's what guitar players like and, again, we can design for it.

Rob

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Rob's statement

Rob said

"I'm also saying that a good portion of the high end audio market is, well, no higher than a good portion of the middle audio market. For instance, you can spend on a DAC that costs 1k or 10k. They all use a lot of the same chips but one has a hyped rep and the other doesn't but the sound is pretty much the same."

mg

This statement is a big problem for the High End Audio. Not only is it true for the mid-priced but also for the entry level. The units used as parts have come down to numbers made in the production. I have kept friendships going for many years in the parts biz, and the ball game has changed dramatically in the area of bang for buck. In fact the choice I made for my reference CDP was one sold at Walmart for two years before model change. Many scoffed at this until they made the purchase and did the mod. Now these units are bought up as fast as they appear on Ebay or Amazon.

High End Audio, maybe in the 80's and 90's were at the top of the learning curve, but this is no longer the case as the R&D of the big companies have "real" labs for their testing and some super smart designers.

Rob

"Testing for human pleasure response is not an accurate method."

mg

I'm not going to hang in there with you on this one, because I have taken some of these tests and find that the variables (my specialty) is more specific. My approach is not separating the listener/gear/condition/experience as a specific moment into different pieces.

Rob

"Did you ever listen to music one day and love it but didn't the next? We all have and instead of looking at our subjectivity we blame the equipment."

mg

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ Tuneland is at the top of this game as we have made audio variably tunable.

Rob

"Sam Tellig might very well have different pleasure responses (although not in a DBT) to different batteries but it proves very little. PLEASURE IS SUBJECTIVE."

mg

Actually Ron we still do test the sound of batteries, and they do (as do all parts) sound different.

Rob

"So back to my original premise, the only way to truly measure equipment is using scientific measurement. INDIVIDUALS CANNOT HEAR WHAT WE CANNOT MEASURE. Not with the precision instrumentation we have today."

mg

Doing work for and with test labs, they would disagree with you. This is why the testing world has been re-inventing themselves for many years. Testing isn't about the measurement, and building the product based on, testing is about inventing (with the help of equipment), using the human experience as part of the equation. The science programs I have been a part of, use the equipment to reverse engineer, but are never 100%. Many times not even close. I did testing for IBM some years ago. Not one of the tests read the same after vibratory adjustments were made to the test equipment itself.

My suggestion is this Rob

There's a world of difference when we look at this hobby as distortion and less distortion vs out-of-tune and in-tune. The point is obviously the "variables", and what is the logical science of variables? Tuning! Tune your guitar with the auto tune, now tune it by ear. What do they both have in common? The variable adjustability. This is where you find the answer to accuracy.

Also might I make this comment for good measure. If you have the basic audio testing equipment, used in an in-home environment, your measurements could easily be off by 20% accuracy. We have designed not only testing buildings but the furniture housing the test equipment itself, and even the very best of gear needs constant calibration, because of the varying condition changes.

So accuracy to an audio designer is fairly far away from a real lab environment.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Right church wrong pew, Ooops daisy

Nt

mosfet50
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Negatives are not provable and rejected in science.

Michael,
Thank you for your response.
OK, I get the latest and best products from the major chip designers and I get to correspond with the people actually designing the chips, AD, TI, etc. Yes, it's getting really close now.

As for batteries being different? In what way? What's the difference between the DC from a Cad cell and Lithium-Ion? As for what Sam Tellig thinks he heard, again, it's impossible scientifically. He's hearing a battery driving a photocell that changes resistance? Not possible.
DC is DC, there is no AC contingent, so what are you hearing? And what is your measurement system and criteria?

Again, what is the criteria you're using that human hearing surpasses instrumentation? The human ear is finite, not infinite. It is a mechanical device and ALL mechanical devices have limits. The fluid in the cochlea can only vibrate so fast and that's the source of electricity to the brain. After that everything becomes a subjective assessment by the brain.

So exactly what are you measuring because the ear runs out of ability to resonate above a specific frequency ~20kHz. The NBC orchestra was once tested to see how well these elite musicians could differentiate pitch. Many of them could differentiate 999 and 1,000 cycles but some could not. These are people who play music all day and pride themselves on the ability to be on key. So what's being heard that we can't measure? Again, what's your measurement system?

Worse, if you can't measure it how do you know it exists? You're entering the world of negatives, aren't you? And that's entering the realm of Gods. Little green men exist– prove they don't. Negatives are not provable and not science.

Rob

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