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Anton
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Well, here's a new start!

Quote may: "Contrary to what Anton likes to repeatedly convey, I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time. We can all only offer the benefit of our experiences and any devices and techniques which have worked for us – which situation applies to everyone else who produces or describes so called “tweaks”."

That's certainly not very Lister-like, for heaven's sake, May!

I do not see how your claim could be made any more broad:  "I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time."

surprise

(So, Joseph Lister said, "There's no way to tell if my approach will make any particluar difference to any particular person under any particular circumstance...?")

I think you will agree that I had been giving you more credit than that by merely claiming some people may not require your tweaks to get the same degree of sonic pleasure as others who need the tweak to get there.

Now, we find you are simply claiming that your tweaks are 'unguided missiles,' no telling who will have what experience with them!

I hope these are vetted for safety.

Pardon me, now, I have some spaghetti to throw on the wall and see what sticks.

 

 

 

 

geoffkait
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Art's report

 

Anton, 

 

You made the statement a couple of posts ago, 

 

"Of note, this recent Belt related column is probably the least 'effect' he's ever reported upon for anything. You may wish to cross reference that, but I can't recall Art ever before not hearing anything, or hearing so little."

 

Unfortunately for your argument Ilikemusic correctly observed several posts ago that Art wrote this regarding the cream electret, "

 

"The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced, and human." Etc., etc.  I could supply several more glowing remarks Dudley made but why waste this forum's time by rewriting them here."

 

Ooops.  You probably didn't finish reading the article.  

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Exotica

Anton
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*

I have already released my copy of Stereophile to the great unwashed, but if you do read the entire article, Art is very blase' about many aspects of the products.

When the site posts "Listening, #113" we can review!

 

 

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Art's report

Anton, you said,

"I have already released my copy of Stereophile to the great unwashed, but if you doread the entire article, Art is very blase' about many aspects of the products."

Why do you think Art acted blasé about Belt products when he was impressed with the cream?  

 

Geoff Kait

www.machinadynamica.com

May Belt
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Well, here's a new start
Quote:

>>> “Quote may: "Contrary to what Anton likes to repeatedly convey, I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time. We can all only offer the benefit of our experiences and any devices and techniques which have worked for us – which situation applies to everyone else who produces or describes so called “tweaks”."

That's certainly not very Lister-like, for heaven's sake, May!

I do not see how your claim could be made any more broad:  "I/we /anyone cannot predict exactly WHAT particular technique will ‘do it’ for which particular person, in which particular situation, listening to what specific music, through whatever particular equipment, at any particular time."

 

(So, Joseph Lister said, "There's no way to tell if my approach will make any particluar difference to any particular person under any particular circumstance...?") <<< “

So, you want to do Lister, do you ?

Well, here goes.   Lister did not know precisely WHAT germs were “in the air” and he did not know precisely WHICH germs would affect WHICH person !!   Ditto Pasteur.   What they DID realise was that there was “something” there, causing problems and they had some techniques.

Lister went through many combinations of ideas, showing he was struggling to find the best combination to do the best good – helped, I might add by other’s input and suggestions.   A bit like the audio industry, I would suggest.      THAT is why I keep saying that the Lister story IS very apt.   And, that anyone who knows the story in any depth will use it and refer to it !!!!!

Some of Lister’s trials :-

Early 'antiseptic' pads were - a piece of calico dipped in a solution of one part carbolic acid in four parts of Linseed oil.

 

then a mixture of carbolic acid, linseed oil and common whitening - antiseptic putty, spread on tinfoil.

 

then oiled silk, coated with copal varnish.

 

In 1868.

He tried a mixture of carbolic acid and shellac, spread on calico and coated with a solution of gutta-percha.

 

then he tried a complex combination of paraffin, wax, olive oil and carbolic acid.

 

then he tried Chloride of Zinc, Boracic acid and salicylic acid.

 

In 1878.

Charles Darwin suggested Benzoic acid.

 

In 1881.

Lister became interested in oil of eucalyptus and also tested oxidized oil of turpentine.

 

In 1882.

He tried iodoform.

 

In 1883

He tried gauze containing corrosive sublimate beneath which he used a rubber protective.

 

In 1885

He used gauze impregnated by Sal Alembroth, the double cyanide of mercury and zinc.

 

then he tried various zinc and mercury compounds, often in combination with the new aniline dyes.

 

In 1887.

Lister dropped the carbolic spray and experimented with various dressings to replace carbolic acid. All these experimental dressings were coloured with different dyes as a King's student put it in a Ditty :-

 

"There is a worthy Baronet who once took up the cause

 

Of Antiseptic surgery and Antiseptic Gauze.

 

First there was a yellow one, then there was a blue,

 

Then there was a red one, and a white one too.

 

Next there was a violet one, so we thought he'd go

 

Right through all the colours of the bright rainbow."

 

The Violet gauze was the last one to be produced. It was muslin gauze covered with a fine white powder, the double cyanide of zinc and mercury. Lister found that this powder would not stay on the gauze unless it was moistened. He first tried a solution of chloride of mercury, but it proved too irritating to the skin. Then he found a dye called "rosanilin" would fix the powder, so he had a very satisfactory dressing which was coloured a beautiful shade of heliotrope. This cyanide gauze was used as a dressing for many years.

 

********************

Lister did NOT know which ‘treatment’ would work for which person under which circumstances !!   Because he/they did not know ALL the circumstances.

All that rather reminds me of people’s audio experiments with various Crystals.!!!!!

If you are the same Anton I think you might be, then didn’t you do some experiments with Crystals ??

To quote :-

Quote:

>>> “Undamped crystals leave a little smear. The oil damping leaves the benefit and removes the smear.   Interestingly, the oil leaves the crystals more free to do their work.

 

The damped crystals make for better imaging and sonic decay.

 

The oil alters the resonance frequency of the container/crystals, with the most significant impact being, like the trough of a Well Tempered Arm, a sort of "instantaneous" damping of induced vibration.

 

With the crystal/oil matrix, the original vibration would be transmitted, but any continued response to the vibration would be damped.

 

I find that by attenuating ongoing oscillation produces as better "leading edge" on the sonics - hence, my comment about "smear."

 

It may be something I listen for that others may not.

 

The same goes for quality of decay - it seems to make for a more seamless transmission of sonic decay as sounds end - less "smearing" of the end of the signal, as it were.

 

Not to sound crazy, but there also seems to be a crystal size factor, with too small or too large not getting the job done.” <<<

Then again, I might have got the wrong Anton.   If I have, then I apologise.

Back to the ‘germs in the air’ concept.

Today (2012) we have a fairly universal (allegedly germ killing) chemical called Dettol in the UK.   Their adverts say “Kills all known germs” (or does it say “Kills 99% germs ?).   Meaning that there may STILL be other “germs” that are NOT known !!!!    And, still leaving open the possibility that there will still be “germs” on surfaces not ‘treated’.   Meaning that EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE cannot be done or known or EVERYTHING guaranteed !!!!!!

But, apparently Anton, according to your outlook, May Belt has not to state the obvious, i.e that EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE cannot be known or EVERYTHING guaranteed.  

Regards,

May Belt.

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Anton

May, I don't think this is the same Anton, the other Anton is from Las Vegas, while this one is a California native.  I also think this Anton is considerably more civil and reasonable. 

 

Geoff

machina dynamica

Anton
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Same guy.

May, as I have pointed out about the oil and crystals in the past (and you are not required to have been present in all locations, so I do not mean it's your fault for not knowing the whole genesis of that post)....it was originally tested on 'April 1st' and managed to hook quite a few fish.

Performance art, phishing, call it what you will.

It then took on a life of its own, but I am pleased to see you are so enamored of it! Did you ever try it, though? Maybe it's all true!

devil

 

 

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Anton

The smirkiness is unmistakeable.

 

Geoff Kait

machina dynamica

Anton
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Good to see you, too.

May needs her loyal Renfield!

 

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Anton

Give my condolences to your liver.

I almost forgot to ask, when did you get out of rehab?

 

Geoff Kait

machina dramatica 

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cool it

Give my condolences to your liver.

I almost forgot to ask, when did you get out of rehab?

What's this about? I don't think it's cool to accuse people of having a drinking problem. Further, your comment has nothing to do with this discussion and doesn't lead it anywhere.

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Art's report

Pretty tough talk from someone who hides behind an anonymous username.  What's up with all the insults and angst?  Are you standing out on a ledge somewhere?

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

ChrisS
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It's free!

How about getting a free sample of the foil and the cream and just trying them? If they work for you, great! If not, nothing lost.

Anton
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Getting back to faint praise...

I dion't want to run afoul of  'fair use,' but the column is redolent of ambivalence...

"I creamed the cable links between the HF and LF terminals on my 'speakers.' If it made any difference, I couldn't hear it."

"Likewise running a bead of cream....no better than before."

Next, Art offers three possible explanations for his 'experience' of 'the cream'...

If you read Art frequently, how often does he says that what he hears may be figmentary?

He says...regarding his experienc that there are three possible explanations:

"I heard the change because I psyched myself into hearing the change."

"I heard the change because, at the moment of relistening, my system was that much more warmed up."

"I heard the change because Peter Belt is really on to something."

Can anyone recall Art ever qualifying a review in such a way?

Has he ever said..."This amplifier may have sounded it like it does to me by way of 'psyching me up?' The Sugden intergrated may sound better than the other amp on hand, but you never know...smiley

Regarding the foil...

"The recording didn't sound any worse, but if it sounded better...the difference was exceedingly slight."

After applying the foil..."I replayed Egyptology - or, as much as I could stand before realizing that, although the sound hadn't seemed to change, the music was no longer as electric and involving as before." (Did it overcome the beneficial effect of the cream? If so, Art forgets this in his concluding paragraph, by the way.)

After removing the foil, he thinks the sound improved.

Regarding his Glenn Gould disc...

"it sounded dull and lacking in animation with the application of the foil."

Later, on another disc: "The foil didn't make things worse of better."

Regarding the photo stunt and any improvement in sonic experience...MF: "No. I mean.....no. No different than it has been..."

To sum up, Art  is essentially never this blase about a product line. Interestingly, he runs a sort of random gamut between effect, no effect, and ill effect.

Hence, my sensation of 'faint praise.' If anyone else reported this result, May and her acolytes would berate the poor audiophile who had that same experience.

_

 

On a side note, if people are to touch that stuff, shouldn't there be an ingredient list?

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Art's Report

Funny thing is you apparently don't even know what the expression damning with faint praise means.  Thanks for the deranged ranting and raving, nevertheless. 

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

ChrisS
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Yep, it's free...

You sound like my kid who didn't want to try fish, because he knew he wouldn't like it...

Yep, go to the website-

www.pwbelectronics.co.uk

Like I said, it's free. If you don't try, you'll never know.

My kid likes fish now...

ChrisS
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You're not free with your time, yet...

You're concerned about what others do and think, and you write about things you've never experienced.

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What is really being tested?

Many of the PWB products are offered free to anyone who is willing to try it, as Art's article says. Yet I seem to recall it written in an article somewhere, that once the cream is applied, it has done its job, so does not easily allow A/B testing. If that's so, then we have to look for what reasons might cause that response in the person. Expectation bias is one of those reasons, and can be eliminated by proper testing. Other reasons so far presented have yet to offer 'proof'. One example follows.

Art tested the Cream on this tonearm, among other things later in the article, as he wrote in the section of the articled subtitled "A couple of belts in the morning". He basically listened to some musical selections, lifted the tonearm, and applied a light coating of the Cream and started at the beginning of the record to listen again.

At least three things changed in this non-blind test.

1.) The record was recently played and the same tracks played with only a short delay. That means the grooves may have not recovered from the first pass of the stylus.

2.) The Cream adds mass and damping to the tonearm, and the tracking force and other stylus related geometry has changed.

3.) The Cream does something to the system or the environment, including the person's response. 

Art writes regarding the audibility of the changes, "I don't think I heard much of a change." He goes on to write that the harps and arpeggios may have been 'prettier' the second time around, but he was not sure.

If Art could not be sure of whether he heard any difference, then if there was a difference, it is very subtle. It also means that the listening test did not detect with good confidence any of the three possibilities above. There may be more possibilities, so we should look at it with an open mind as to what exactly is being tested, and it's not only the Cream.

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Whar is Really being tested.

Hello absolutepitch.

Quote:

>>> “3.) The Cream does something to the system or the environment, including the person's response. “ <<<

I suggest “Doing something to the environment – which can then trigger a person’s response.”

(And before Anton (or IF he is the same person as the other Anton/Buddha yet again misrepresents what I say) I have used the words “CAN trigger a person’s response !!”.    I don’t say DOES, I don’t say WILL, I say CAN !!!  And, of course it means by that that the end result must be governed overall by “different people, listening to different music, through different equipment, in different environments.”   What I DO say is that we all cannot now escape the invasion, into our environment, of AC mains, RF, many mixtures of different chemicals etc. etc.

Regards,

May Belt.

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Cream

Sorry to break the news to you but all of your assumptions are incorrect.  The cream is applied extremely sparingly, the thickness of a molecule, and the area of a fingertip. For LPs the cream is applied to the label only, a molecule thickness and the area of a fingertip.  It helps to read the User Manual if you want to be an intelligent troll.

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Art’s Report.
Quote:

>>> “The particular case of coating the stylus with a creamy substance is quite different than smearing that same substance on a window in the next room or even on the cover of the preamplifier.  As absolutepitch correctly points out, there are several important system parameters that are potentially modified by the former.  However the randomness and degree of the introduced changes still makes me skeptical that this tweak will make a consistent positive change (once confirmation bias is eliminated and ignoring potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc.).  But, for example, it is quite possible that most audiophiles set the tracking force under the optimal setting for their cartridge, etc., which would potentially allow this tweak to actually work.” <<< 

Sorry, ILikeMusic, but you seem to be responding with “quickie”, ‘knee jerk reactions.

Firstly, Art did not apply a coating of the Cream on the stylus, he applied a light coating to the tonearm.   He reported that he didn’t think he heard much of a change.   So, adding a puff of weight with the Cream to the tonearm obviously did nothing to the tracking force of the cartridge/stylus OR introduced  any potential problems as you suggested below.

Quote:

>>> “potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc. “ <<<

However, he added a smearing of the Cream to under the front edge of the preamp and was startled by the improvement, describing it as the music having more bounce, more nuance and sheer force to the bass.   He also added a smearing of the Cream on the outlet strip into which all his components are plugged – again with a similar and further improvement.

Quote:

>>> “The sound improved again:   The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced and human.

A specific example;   At the very end of his first solo in that number, Rice digs in with his pick on a brief Clarence White-like flourish, hammering from the second to the flatted third of the tonic chord.   That flourish jumped out as I’d never heard it before.   To me, that’s the sort of thing – that humanness, that organic quality – that separates music from mere sound.    The Cream seemed to bring to it the fore, howsoever subtly and slightly“ <<<

I would suggest nothing here which would, in any way, suggest ADDED WEIGHT !!!!!

Art then went on to Cream the cable links but couldn’t hear if it made any difference.

IF “expectation bias” was at work in this particular situation with Art, then SURELY he would have heard a similar improvement in the sound in whatever area or on whatever object he applied the Cream ???

Now, going back to my comment that you seem to be responding with  ”quickie” reactions.

Quote:

You said >>> “I find your references to Joseph Lister and the analogy between surgical antiseptic history and some fantasized future scientific outcome justifying your products as quite weak and ineffective (and frankly quite disrespectful to Joseph Lister).   Lister's work was driven by scientific hypothesis and the outcome of Lister's investigations were measurable.  The results were applicable to virtually all medical situations and medical patients.  Sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread, enabling and guiding Lister's efforts.” <<<

I DO NOT use the Joseph Lister story as justification for our products.   I use the story (as others do) to show a particular peer group’s REACTION (which I might add is repeated many times throughout history).   Exactly as Art used the Lister story :-

Quote] >>> “scepticism among the educated was exemplified by the medical establishment, which ridiculed Joseph Lister’s notion of “animals in the air”. “ <<< [/quote]

Your quoting that “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread” is not, I am sure, how Lister saw it !!   I think he would WISH it had been so easy – as easy and with the straightforward progression as you seem to illustrate !!!!

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY would Lister not be believed by Dr Bennett, Professor of Medicine in Edinburgh, who was an expert with the microscope ?

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY would Simpson who  had discovered the value of chloroform as an anaesthetic  think Pasteur’s work “nonsense” ?

IF such “sufficient knowledge of germs was becoming widespread”, then WHY, over 10 years after the first successful reports appeared in the British Medic al Journal the Lancet of the use of Lister’s techniques would the majority of the doctors and surgeons in the USA still be ANTI Lister ?????

Why, ILikeMusic, would the majority of the US Doctors and Surgeons be anti Lister, if not because of a basic mindset ?

Regards,

May Belt.

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Cream stuff

The following quote is from May:

"Art then went on to Cream the cable links but couldn’t hear if it made any difference.

IF “expectation bias” was at work in this particular situation with Art, then SURELY he would have heard a similar improvement in the sound in whatever area or on whatever object he applied the Cream ???"

The problem with expectation bias is that it is present as a possible explanation when the test is done in non-blind conditions, i.e. lack of experimental naivete. In the case of the above cable links, Art says "If it made any difference, I couldn't hear it." Because the test was non-blind, expectation bias could not be ruled out, but the bottom line was that he could not hear a difference. That seems to tell me that either there was no difference or it was not audible. Either way, it's a null result, saying that applying the Cream showed no difference could be detected compared to no Cream.

Another quote from May:

"However, he added a smearing of the Cream to under the front edge of the preamp and was startled by the improvement, describing it as the music having more bounce, more nuance and sheer force to the bass.  ..."

Again, Art applied the Cream and re-listened to the first two songs, meaning the LP's grooves were played twice in succession with a likely short interval between them. Was the grooves not recovered from the first playing? No information was provided by Art on this. Although Art's description of "...music having more bounce to the picking..." etc., has been credited by some in this forum as proof that the Cream has an audible effect, he said that he was not startled by the "...degree of improvement, which was actually rather slight: ...", but rather by his being startled at having "...heard any change at all...". Again this test was done non-blind, so expectation bias could not be ruled out. Also, the possibility that Art really heard an effect cannot be ruled out either. One can argue this forever. The reader cannot tell from the article, whether the effect of the Cream is real or not, only that Art reported what he heard and wrote about it as best he could.

None of the foregoing proves that expectation bias was responsible for the results Art got, only that expectation bias, among other things, could not be ruled out as possible explanations to what Art did hear. That simply means that conclusions regarding only effects from the Cream cannot be made with confidence, given the data as presented in Art's article. Unless someone tries the Cream and reports the findings under controlled test conditions, it is not productive to speculate about it much more.

The PWB website information about the Cream claims that only a molecule thickness is enough, but offers no detailed information about this. I did not see any confirmation or measurement that the application of the Cream in Art's case was only a molecule thick or limited only to a fingertip amount. Art did write that he applied  "...a thin schmear of Cream.." when referring to the preamp.

Later, Art applied some Cream to the outlet strip, after hearing a piece called Black-berry Blossom, and re-listened. Same LP grooves played twice. But this time Art reported positive results, that "... The playback was now irresistible, bouncy, nuanced, and human." Some sentences later, he credits the Cream, writing, "The Cream seemed to bring it to the fore, however subtly, and slightly." However more than one variable was changed in this non-blind test, so to credit the change only to the Cream, albeit of 'subtly' and 'slightly' effect, may or may not be accurate.

Correct testing is not easy to accomplish. I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review. Sometimes it's the things we changed in a listening test that lead us to erroneously attribute that a particular change made the difference we thought we perceived, but forgetting to check that other things may also have changed in addition to what one thought was the 'only' change. I know this can happen because I've made similar errors when trying out other tweaks in the past. IT just means we have to be extra careful, and that proper evaluation of some tweaks is very challenging.

 

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Re: Controlled Tests

absolutepitch wrote:
I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review.

No-one should expect him to do so. Stereophile is not a scientific journal; instead it is a magazine of opinion and readers are free to give our published opinions as much or as little weight as they think appropriate.

Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column: see http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-113-page-2.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Photos in the Freezer

The problem with the blind test that Art conducted with the photos in the freezer is that the test was not performed correctly.  Of course I was not there, but judging by what Art wrote and the photo of the young Mr. Fremer's photograph he obviously skipped some very important steps in conducting the photos in the freezer experiment.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  

I suspect if Art had consulted with May or had read the article on the PWB web site describing the details of the photos in the freezer tweak, he would have had an excellent chance of conducting a successful blind test.  Of course, that might have been kind of a problem for Art, you know, having to explain that the test was successful. Lol

 

Geoff at Machina Dynamica

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Belt Cream Electret

Having read the 'yes - no' discussion regarding the PWB Cream Electret ("Belt') has really surprised me. Therefore, my first entry to any forum at all. Running a quite expensive audio system (Accuphase - B&W 802 Diamond) and always interested in upgrading, I became aware of the totally different approach of the 'Belters'. Their low end products are very cheap, hard to believe, that it can come to a real improvement. However, with such small investments I gladly took the risk and was fully amazed by the results. My room was treated by an experienced 'Belter' with the Cream Electret (some USD 30) and I installed some of the yellow and red magnadisks (some USD 15 each), as per their description. Friends suspected me to have invested in the B&W 800 Diamonds - technology, that is geared to go to the edge, compared in German audiomagazines with a Formula 1 sportscar, whereas the 802 Diamond is a luxury, relaxed system (they compared with the high end BMW / Mercedes cars). But none of that, just strictly application of the Belt possibilities.

Since then, I've applied the various foils, creams - also the higher end products - and the unbelievable Quantum Clip. I realise, that the stories behind their technology are not easy to be understood-- have even studied the recommended literature (Rupert Sheldrake). But at the end - - what does it matter? Just open minded listening to the results of each and any step will be sufficient. My recommendation to any serious stereophile: start with the cheaper, low end products, e.g. their beginner package. The next steps surely will follow. To the non - believers: it has always been like that. Imagine the first idiots, driving in a one cylinder car (Was it Benz, or Daimler, or...), surely horses are better and faster. They still are, or?  Accujan

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Double blind tests

Just curious, what Explaination do you have why double blind tests would help at all? Seems to me folks like yourself who have obviously made up their minds are not going to be persuaded by any evidence to the contrary.  I know what you're thinking - double blind tests will prove that Belt products don't work.  LOL

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dramatica

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Double blind tests

Ilikemusic, you said,

"If a properly conducted double blind test is performed and the results are negative (listeners are not able to distinguish between the control [perhaps a different but similarly colored substance, for example] and the pwb cream on a reliable basis), this would be strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that the perceived benefits of the cream are due to confirmation bias."

Negative results of a double blind tests is evidence of no such thing.  The most probably reasons why results of a double blind test are negative are the test was conducted improperly, the directions were not followed correctly, the hearing of the person performing the test is not up to par, there is at least one fault in the test system or the system is not revealing enough.  Besides, bias of various kinds can be eliminated by careful testing.  In fact, double blind tests are purported to do just that.  

You also said,

"On the other hand, if the results are positive, this would support a hypothesis that the application of the cream is introducing changes to the listening environment that are actually changing the sound waves reaching the listener's ears to an extent that is humanly discernible."

Sorry, that's simply not true.  If the results are positive it only supports the hypothesis that the cream works.  You cannot necessarily surmise anything about the mechanism by which it works.  When you think about, how will applying cream to a CD label change the sound waves that are reaching the listener's ears?  Even more to the point, how can applying cream to a CD that is just sitting on the table (unplayed) or to a book cover change the sound waves that are reaching the listener's ears?  Follow? There must be another mechanism.  

You also said,

"I have clearly stated that my current belief is that observer/confirmation bias is responsible for the audio improvements claimed for pwb cream.  Your asssertion that I am incapable of changing my mind is baseless.  The advertised effects of the cream represent an extraordinary claim and require extraordinary supporting evidence. Currently there is zero evidence supporting the claim.  The onus of providing evidence rests with the individual making (and profiting from) the extraordinary claim."

Actually there is quite a bit of evidence to support PWBs claims.  Unfortunately, you have no experience (evidence) yourself to support your beliefs (correct me if I'm wrong) and apparently refuse to accept the testimony (evidence) of audiophiles who report positive results, including Art Dudley.  Finally, and this might come as a bit of a shock, but in real life there is no onus on manufacturers to provide evidence or proof regarding their products. That's what I think they call an old wive's tale.

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

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Double blind test

Ilikemusic - It appears you wish to define your ideal double blind test as the one that proves the item under test doesn't work.  It kind of sounds like the dunking chairs used to determine whether a suspected witch was really a witch - if the suspected witch drowned she wasn't really a witch.  When I gave reasons why a double blind test could give negative results, I meant ANY double blind test.  Including ANY double blind test that you wish to implement. By the way, it almost sounds like you want to conduct a double blind test on the cream.  I think that would be a good idea but for the fact that you are so blatantly biased (so, yes, I think that bias can sometimes explain results).

As anyone who has tried the PWB cream knows, and anyone who has read what the Belts say on their web site about the cream, or has read May Belt's posts here, the cream doesn't have anything remotely to do with the acoustic waves reaching the listener's ears.  Or with the electronic signal anywhere in the system.  Don't you know that?  Anyway, your argument that the cream doesn't affect acoustic waves so therefore doesn't work is an excellent example of a strawman argument.  You know, an illogical argument.

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

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Double blind tests

You said double blind tests are used effectively in many areas of investigation and you believe they can be used effectively to test many audio products.

While it might be true that double blind tests are used in many areas of investigation, that fact is irrelevant to the area we are discussing - audio.  We are aware that dyed in the wool skeptics use double blind tests as some sort of bully pulpit to attempt to prove that certain difficult to explain, controversial audio tweaks don't work. We also know that negative results of double blind tests do not prove anything, certainly not that some manufacturer is a charlatan. Ironically, dyed in the wool skeptics never actually get down to brass tacks and do any testing of the controversial device themselves or investigate - as a serious, curious person would.  As a scientist would. Apparently you're perfectly happy to sit back in the comfort of your easy chair, call names and pontificate on double blind tests that are, in fact, irrelevant to audio.  

 

 

 

 

Geoff Kait, 

Machina Dynamica

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Re: Controlled Tests
Quote:

>>> “Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column:” <<<

Yes, John, it was a true blind test in that Michael Fremer had no idea that anything had been done or even, prior to that, had expected that anything was going to be done !!

But nothing was reported as to whether Art had later taken Michael’s photo out of the freezer again.

Particularly with listening experiments, there should before, after and back to before comparisons taking place.   Using the same music, with the same equipment and in the same environment.   From what I read of Art’s experiment he had placed Michael’s photo in the freezer and then, later, phoned him to ask how his equipment sounded.   Michael replied that he had been playing music in the background MOST OF THE MORNING (which infers different music over a period of the morning) and Michael reported that it sounded as good as always.   I am sure, John, that if anyone was doing a review of some equipment for your magazine, you would not accept a publishable (if there is such a word) review of anything if the person reported that he had been listening to it ‘playing in the background’ all morning.   It is all too casual.  You would have expected, from a reviewer, a more concentrated listening as a real assessment.   So, I would suggest that Art’s results with Michael’s photo as not a ‘real’ assessment but as a casual experiment done, yes, blind.

I have no problem with Art trying such things, to see what happens – but I did not read it as being a serious “blind” test.   I see it as a non serious, casual “blind” test.

Unfortunately, if Art had then taken Michael’s photo out of the freezer and then, later, phoned him to ask if his sound was still as good, the complete ‘blind’ aspect of the test would have gone.   Michael had already been alerted that Art was ‘doing’ things.

Regards,

May Belt.

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Reply to ILikeMusic
Quote:

>>> “Where did I state that Art did this?” <<<

YOU obviously wanted to emphasise the example of weight (affecting the stylus) as one explanation as to why Art could have heard an improvement in the sound or, to add more emphasis, why anyone might hear differences in other situations.

Quote:

>>> “The particular case of coating the stylus with a creamy substance is quite different than smearing that same substance on a window in the next room or even on the cover of the preamplifier.  As absolutepitch correctly points out, there are several important system parameters that are potentially modified by the former.  However the randomness and degree of the introduced changes still makes me skeptical that this tweak will make a consistent positive change (once confirmation bias is eliminated and ignoring potential real problems of build up of cream in the record grooves, accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application, etc.).” <<<

However, it WAS quite a strong paragraph of yours, all about “cream on the stylus”, about “potential real problems of build up of Cream in the record grooves”, “accidental physical damage to the sensitive stylus during application (of the Cream ?)”. 

Do you REALLY think I, Art or many others who may read these exchanges are so thick that we do not know there are many/numerous possibilities as to why sound changes ?    That we are so thick that we cannot (do not) go through the usual mental check list BEFORE making sensible and informed comments from our experiences ?

For the past 30 years, ever since Jean Hiraga caused seismic eruptions of ‘eight on the audio Richter scale’ (to quote Keith Howard), the audio industry has been confronted with the various responses of:-

It’s autosuggestion, stupid.

It’s the placebo effect – have people never heard there is such a thing as the placebo effect.   It has been proved enough times ?

It’s bias – it has to be bias at work.

It’s imagination – it must be imagination, it can’t be anything else.

It’s effective marketing.   There have been enough studies showing how good and successful effective marketing can be.

One of the most amusing responses, in my opinion, was “the sound changed because (the person) moved the position of their head a few millimetres”.   Amusing because if one is going to seriously put that explanation forward as to why the sound changes for people (which I might add, some people DID), then there might as well not be any audio magazines describing the different “sound” of things relating to music !!!    Instead they would just say “This is how it measures” !!!!!

And then we have Anton’s/Buddha’s  - “people who use Tweaks need them as  props, talismans, rituals, potions, elixirs etc or people have a deficiency which needs a Tweak or Tweaks as a remedial action”

And, after Jason Victor Serinus reported coverage of the Stein Music Harmonizers at a Hi FI Show, Steve Eddy’s answer was following a similar trend as Anton/Buddha’s:-

Quote:

>>> “It's just another dalliance brought forth by the mentally ill for the mentally ill and which does nothing more than saddle this industry with yet further embarrassment.

 

That Stereophile of all publications should brand it as "intriguing" in their show report is truly sad.” <<<

From that list, ILikeMusic, your choice appears to be the ”bias” one  

My approach is that people’s experiences with the numerous Tweaks (some listed below again) is telling the audio industry something !!   That “something” is going on concerning ‘sound’ and what and how we hear and resolve it which warrants further investigating.

Cryogenic freezing.

Colouring the edge of CDs.

Different cables sounding different.

Directionality in some wires.

Directionality in some fuses.

Dieter Ennemoser’s C37 lacquer.

Shun Mook devices.

Harmonic Discs.

Shakti Stone.

The lacquer which Sonus Faber use on their speaker cabinets (which they claim is ‘friendly to audio’).

Nordost ECO 3 liquid.

Applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs.

(Small size !!) Room resonance devices.

Aiming a hair dryer containing Tourmaline balls at a CD.

Applying various crystals.

The Schumann Resonance device.

The Stein Music device

The Less Loss device.

To name but a few.  

I have deliberately used other’s devices on that list.   Because even without any of our devices listed people’s experiences with all those other Tweaks being able to change the sound have to be explained !!

The concept of “Proper Blind Testing” – where the results would be acceptable to ALL - is brought out again and again in discussions.   The concept is Bold, yes, but is so often used to stifle discussions.   That is why DBT’s are banned from such discussion groups as the Cable section of Audio Asylum.  

To quote :-


Quote:

>>> “The Cable Asylum is a DBT-free zone.

These rules cut both ways:

  • Pro-DBT posts are not allowed.
  • Anti-DBT posts are also not allowed.

Why are DBT discussions not allowed?

Quite simply, the reason is that these topics rarely spark a productive exchange. While a vast majority of Asylum inmates are firmly in the middle ground, the topics of DBT and ABX tend to force polarization and quickly degrade into death spiraling flame wars.” <<<

AND :-

 

Quote:

>>> “Quote by John Atkinson 21/01/09

 

>>> “This forum has the same policy. Discussion of DBTs is only allowed in threads specifically concerned with that subject. Otherwise, all meaningful discussion ends as a sub-set of posters answers every expression of opinion with a cry to "put it to a DBT."

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile “ <<<

Quote:

>>>”I argue for 'properly conducted' tests” <<<

Of course you can argue for properly conducted tests.   But in THE MEANTIME just what ARE you prepared to discuss regarding what can affect sound and listening to music ?

Demands for DBTs and measurement proof has dogged the subject of such as cables sounding different for the past 30 years !!

The lack of productive exchange in discussions because of demands for DBTs or “measurements” – “Show us the DBT results and Show us the measurements and we will believe and if you haven’t got those, then keep quiet” and with many discussions therefore ‘degrading into death spiralling flame wars’ was illustrated quite well during the pages and pages of discussions on the Forum section of Stereophile during the discussions on the technique of applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs and on the tiny ART room devices.

Such discussions didn’t die out because of lack of interest, they were actually halted.    The discussions on HOW these devices and techniques could give improvements in the sound could not get any further because they WERE stifled by constant demands for Double Blind Trials or Measurement proof !!

Proof.   Proof.   Proof would be lovely, yes.   Until the Proof, however, articles like Michael Fremer’s article describing the effect of applying a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs, John Atkinson’s (and others) reports on the effect of the tiny ART room devices and Art Dudley’s article about the Belts techniques and reports of the effect of such as the Schumann Resonance device should be of help to people interested in obtaining the best sound possible from their equipment and their listening environment.

Quote:

>>> “Then finally I can begin to remove the intruders and predators from my listening environment by using the Belt treatments.” <<<

That was your quote !!   A good example of how you have no understanding of what is behind our techniques and devices and yet participate strongly in a discussion as though you DO !!.   Intruders and predators do not have to be there, in the room, for us to go under tension – just some of Nature’s danger signals associated with the presence or possibility of danger need be around.  

Quote:

>>> “the application of the cream is introducing changes to the listening environment that are actually changing the sound waves reaching the listener's ears” <<<

Another good example of how you have no understanding of what is behind our techniques and devices and yet participate strongly in a discussion as though you DO !!

For the past 30 years we have always stated that our techniques do not, in any way, affect the signal travelling through the audio system OR affect the acoustic air pressure waves reaching the human ear drum.

Another thing.   The problem with Art introducing the idea of “looking for his underpants on his roof” to lighten the tone of the article (said by Art with affection/teasing I hope and not with venom) it gives some people yet another ‘hook’ on which to attach scorn !!!

Regards,

May Belt.

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Controlled Tests
John Atkinson wrote:
absolutepitch wrote:

I believe that few expect Art to do controlled tests in a review.

No-one should expect him to do so. Stereophile is not a scientific journal; instead it is a magazine of opinion and readers are free to give our published opinions as much or as little weight as they think appropriate.

Having said that, you should note that Art did perform a true blind test that was reported on in his May column: see http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-113-page-2.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

John, I agree with you completely, and thought, but did not write what you wrote about this being a magazine of opinions and not a scientific journal. Thanks for extending my "...few expect..." to "No-on should...", as I thought it more appropriate for you, than I, to write that.

Yes, I am aware that Art did that test as a single-blind test. Certainly, Michael did not have any expectation of any sonic improvement, being unaware of what Art did with pictures of Michael. That's one piece of information for the 'it didn't show any difference' side. On the other side (as discussed in forum, and articles) was the opinions that, when tested under non-blind conditions, people who put pictures in the freezer noticed a difference in the sonics. I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results.

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While we wait for the DBT Messiah....

As we sit and wait for the Audio Godot to arrive; you know, the One who can hear differences without being told in advance what He/She is listening to, the Diety who can discern and subsequently identify the sonic qualities between gear and tweaks without an open "label" staring Him in the face, we are left, necessarily with the hyper/marketing/religion/science/actual argument.

 I'd be happy if those making claims such as May's would at least do people the courtesy of being steadfast in their claims.

 May's positions, limited to this thread alone:

 "The whole survival mechanism is geared to acting automatically and without you being aware of it happening. It is programmed to read/sense/monitor the environment, every second, on your behalf, even if you are not doing ANYTHING !! “

Here, may has lain a claim as to precise knowledge of how her tweaks work and the mechanism through which they exert their effect. They work by subduing/sedating one’s early warning/tension system. She is also sly about requiring every person to be subject to her hypothetical claim…no one on Earth can escape May’s marketing claim.

Chalk this one up to ‘marketing’ or ‘faith’ if you are feeling generous.

“If you are not expecting anything, then the concept of expectation bias is non valid.”

May, simply by participating in a review of your products, Art established an expectation bias. The fact that he plagiarized your Lister shtick is a solid sign, as well!

 “Meaning, there is now no stability or stable “readings” – only constant changes   so, with no “stable” readings,  we cannot now ‘sign off our environment’ as safe.   And Nature dictates that if we cannot sign off our environment as ‘safe’, then we must remain under tension until such time as we can    Irrespective of WHO  wants to repeatedly insist that they are immune from such adverse environmental happenings !!!!!”

Nature dictates this? Can you send me a copy of the memo where she dictated it? May also tries to attack those who don’t believe her religion, saying that she is right about her claim no matter who may question the universality of her sales pitch. That’s what we in America call the Pat Robertson Maneuver.

Their adverts say “Kills all known germs” (or does it say “Kills 99% germs ?).   Meaning that there may STILL be other “germs” that are NOT known !!!!

May, you are stealing from Donald Rumsfeld.

Actually, you are doing a tricky maneuver beyond Rumy’s rumminess…

Start with The Donald:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

 We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

 But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know…”

May goes a step further. To paraphrase, May would add….”And since I know that there are unknown unknowns, I therefore know them!”

Sorry, May, we are on to you.

I especially like this next one: “Particularly with listening experiments, there should before, after and back to before comparisons taking place.”

May, you are taking Art to task because he did not do a valid testing maneuver? Why on Earth aren’t you also complaining about the parts where Art did hear a difference (the result you like) but failed to follow your recommended procedure? You are cherry picking, no?

Finally, the kicker….after May makes claims about her product affecting our danger/tension sign off mechanism, she then decides to name this product what?

“Electret Crème.”

May, using a word implies you know the meaning of the word.

Did you even Google the term “electret?”

Sounds like “quantum” was already taken by some other marketer.

If the crème is all about our tension/release cycle, and no affect takes place within the realm of the system hardware, as you yourself point out, what's with the obviously discombobulated and frankly wrong use of the term ‘electret?’

May, there are two types of electret: Real Charge Electrets and Oriented Dipole Electrets. Which of the two pertains to your product and how did you determine that? Did you know the word has specific meaning?

I am doing you the courtesy of accepting your use of the term pending your ability to explain how you arrived at the conclusion that this is an appropriate term to use.

"Electret" in the product name implies something, May, so I will also do you the courtesy of assuming you to be honest and that you will be able to explain this use of vocabulary choice!

If not, I respectfully request, on behalf of people who use words based on their meaning, that you cease and desist with the misappropriation of the tem "electret."

Thanks for either the explanation, or the ceasing of using garbled fake knowledge words!

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Photos in the Freezer experiment

Absolute pitch said,

"Yes, I am aware that Art did that test as a single-blind test. Certainly, Michael did not have any expectation of any sonic improvement, being unaware of what Art did with pictures of Michael. That's one piece of information for the 'it didn't show any difference' side. On the other side (as discussed in forum, and articles) was the opinions that, when tested under non-blind conditions, people who put pictures in the freezer noticed a difference in the sonics. I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results."

I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results, either.  If one wishes to crow about the lack of positive results in an experiment it behooves that person to take some pains to perform the experiment correctly.  But, as the smirking anti tweak crowd appears to be tickled pink with the outcome all cannot be considered lost.  

Note:  I was the one who first conducted the photos in the freezer at a distance experiment, about 10 years ago.  The Teleportation Tweak was only a glimmer back then.

"What hath God Wrought?"- first message sent over telegraph (by Samuel Morse)

A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Arthur C Clarke

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dramatica

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personal testimony

"The personal testimony of audiophiles claiming to perceive audio benefits arising through the use of pwb cream is not evidence that there is any mechanism other than expectation bias at work.  The claim is exceptional; the evidence you provide is not. This is why I am arguing for the use of double blind tests."

Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations. And there are other tweaks that do not, in my experience.

I exprienced these differences several times, with two of such experiences conducted under single-blind condition. Of the two single-blind tests, one was done by me alone in non-blind conditions beforehand, and later tested with a friend in single-blind condition as confirmation that what my friend heard was really there, and surprisingly to me was reported like what I heard. The audible difference I would describe like that of two samples of musical instruments, say the difference between two pianos or between two violins.

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Interesting DBT trials...

DBT is not controversial at all in the wine world. In fact, most 'reviews' are done blind because of the known effect of labels as biasing agents.

I guess people suffer from DBT deafness, but not DBT anosmia or ageusia.

cool

That's kind of neurologically interesting.

Visually, there was an interesting study done that anybody here can go check.

There are samples of complex visual fields that are very difficult to tell apart.

After 'failing' a DBT at differentiating the two or more fields, the subjects are shown the differences.....and from that point forward, the subjects can readily tell the different fields apart without being told in advance which field they are about to see.

As an audio nerd, I've been able to accomplish something similar when helping a neophyte shop for gear. A person may not be able to discern certain performance characteristics at first, but after ppointing out certain sonic differences, the new listener can readily, repeatably, and with blind trials, identify these differences. I guess blind comparisons aren't so daunting to neophytes, but they certainly seem to anathema to cable/tweak/amp/preamp/whatever "reviewers" and salesmen.

Bang! Blind listening deafens even our most golden of golden ears!

Another problem with blind deafness in audio is that even AFTER tspecific differences are reported by listeners under sighted conditions, they suddenly lose the ability to hear what they previous proudly proclaimed/identified when given a blind listening trial. They actually forget how to hear the differences they previously heard. That blind testing deafness is one bad mutha!

With audio blind testing, differences readily heard and commented upon (even described in detail) with the 'lights on' become indistinguishable when the 'lights are turned off,' so to speak.

In audio, people don't just fail to discern an initial differnce, they lose the ability to hear what they claimed to obviously hear under sighted conditions with familiar gear!

It seems blind listening 'unlearns' one's ability to hear what one heard before the trials.

That's an almost unique phenomenon.

Luckily, this ability to hear these obvious, exponential, jaw dropping and veil lifting/parting differences returns once subjects regains knowledge of the product being listened to.

wink

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Double blind tests

Absolute pitch, you said,

"Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations."

I happen to agree. I also think that "PWB cream" may be replaced by whatever cable, interconnect, amplifier, preamplifier or speaker you wish to name.

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

 

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"I guess I'm not surprised at

"I guess I'm not surprised at Art's results, either.  If one wishes to crow about the lack of positive results in an experiment it behooves that person to take some pains to perform the experiment correctly.  As the smirking anti tweak crowd appears to be pleased with the outcome all is not lost."

Geoff, let's discuss the topic at hand, not what you label (incorrectly, IMO) about any person or group or people.

There my be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence? The problem is there has not been that type of evidence presented that I have seen. It's easy to understand why some will 'smirk', personalities aside. A magazine is not the venue to present evidence (unless reporting a published scientific study) and probably does not have the time and resources to investigate it fully. 

For example, years ago I thought that capacitor mods were rubbish, thinking that LCR is all there is to a capacitor (elementary textbook teachings), and any capacitor will sound like any other. The real world (as many of us know) is different enough from the textbook that many other effects are there and are known. Accounting for these effects can explain a lot about the capacitor mods.

I then tried these mods, without a SBT or DBT, and am convinced that the difference is clear enough to be audible. On the other hand, I had not removed expectation or confirmation bias in my such experience that a SBT or DBT would have. I cannot claim in a scientific way that the difference is there (judged an improvement IMHO). That means I can write about this in a forum, perhaps publish in a magazine, but not in a scientific journal.

There is a way to do the cap mod test in SBT or DBT conditions, but I do not have the inclination yet to tackle this. One way is to get two 'identical' samples of gear (pre-amp, or amp, etc.), and somehow confirm that the two are 'identical'. Then make mods to one of the two. Follow that up with SBT or DBT tests. See if a difference can be detected.

But that's how one can prove that a tweak really works, if the results are positive. If the results are negative, it says the difference could not be detected, but is neither intended to nor can it prove the absence of difference. Personally, I'll bet that the difference in the cap mods will be detectable. If detectable, and a well-conducted test was done, then the results may be publishable in a scientific journal.

[edited to correct misspelling]

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Scientific evidence for the photos in the freezer tweak

Absolute pitch, you wrote,

"There my be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence? The problem is there has not been that type of evidence presented that I have seen."

Well, by scientific evidence, one assumes that you mean some sort of measurements. But I suspect that is one big Mazza ball hanging out there.  But how would you go about measuring the effects of the photos in the freezer tweak?  Since the photos in the freezer doesn't affect the audio signal anywhere in the system, the electrical power anywhere in the system or any acoustic waves arriving at the listener's ears, one assumes the standard procedures for measurements must be abandoned.  LOL

What is the scientific evidence that the atomic bomb works?  I don't think it is all the mathematical formulas.  It's the fact that the bomb exploded.  

The best scientific evidence short of measurements for the photos in the freezer tweak might be to assemble a panel of experts, reviewers and or audiophiles, folks with not only good listening and analytical skills but skill in describing characteristics of sound, including subtle characteristics. Then ask them to describe the sound with the photos in the freezer and with the photos out of the freezer.  The experiment could be set up for each person, with separate sets of photos, one young and one older, for each person. The experiment could comprise separate tests one person at a time and a Final Test with all test subjects evaluating the sound seated together with all sets of photos in/out of the freezer. Until we have a better grasp on why our photos affect our perception of sound, the importance of the freezer and until we can figure out how to measure this sort of mind-matter interaction, that's probably the best we can do.  

I should've mentioned that this is a relatively easy experiment to carry out on your own. All you need is two photos of yourself, one recent one and one when you were younger, a red pen and two zip lock baggies.  You simply evaluate the sound before placing the photos in the freezer and after placing them in the freezer.  If you're unsure that the sound changed, repeat.  

Geoff Kait

machinadynamica.com

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Spot in, Geoff!

All I would add is to allow listeners however much time they would like per session, and keeping the trials blind, of course!

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"I guess I'm not surprised"
Quote:

>>> “Let's just say that the phrase "pwb cream" may be replaced by whatever tweak you wish to name. There are some tweaks that do show an audible difference, clear enough to be heard without blind testing, and without extraordinary claims or expectations. And there are other tweaks that do not, in my experience.” <<<

Now we are getting somewhere.   THIS is more like a discussion about “Tweaks”.    Yes, let’s take out of the discussion particular PWB tweaks for the moment.    You say, that from your experience, there are some tweaks that do show an audible difference – but to SOME people,  absolutepitch, those very same ‘tweaks’ do NOT show an audible difference – as much as you say that they (the tweaks) are ‘clear enough to be heard without blind testing’ !!   Hence the antagonism aimed at these “Tweaks” (and at the people who claim to be able to hear them) by the people who DON’T hear them !!   

Therein lies the whole problem.   THEY will dismiss your experiences as you’ imagining it’, or ‘that it is autosuggestion’, or ‘that it is bias at work’, or ‘that it is effective marketing being successful’ etc.

Let me give you one example of such a reaction.

Michael Fremer wrote that he tried applying a demagnetiser to LPs and heard an improvement in the sound.   Not only did Michael hear an improvement but so did Stephen Mejias and John Atkinson at the same time !!   To quote Michael :-

Quote:

>>> “I didn’t want them to work.   I really didn’t “

I trusted mine (judgement) when I heard what the Furutech did, despite my utter cynicism about it (which is why it sat on the floor for 3 months before I tried it).

What I heard was so obvious, so repeatable, so clear, it was like "is that the Empire State Building?" Not "I'd better do an A/B/X to prove it really is the Empire State Building" (I know that analogy is not valid). The point is, not one skeptic---and I'm talking recording engineers, mastering engineers whose names you know, and the editor of the magazine have all heard the difference....the only reason. The only reason you wrote what's above is because you haven't experienced it. Because had you, even if you don't trust your own ears (or your own eyes I guess), this is an easily heard, easily repeatable phenomenon. It's a HUGH difference.” <<<

 

And from Stephen :-

 

Quote:

>>> “Of course, my primary position is that the deMag influenced the sound. Because:

 

1. we played the record

2. we deMagged the record

3. we played the record again

4. there were immediate and obvious differences

 

I simply believe, based on my experience, that the deMag influenced the sound. That is what I reported. I am not concerned with what the deMag does exactly, or how. I do not think that a similar difference in sound would have resulted had we, say, blown on the record or thought nice thoughts or whatever.” <<<

 

And from Robert Deutsch :-

 

Quote:

>>> “On applying a demagnetiser to CDs. “Every time I have used it I have experienced an improvement in the sound each time” <<<

 

The attacks, criticisms and responses which followed Michael’s report covered some 39 pages on the Stereophile Chat Forum !!!!!

One of the responders (who I might add is a manufacturer of audio products) commented (or, in truth, reacted more strongly than a mere comment) :-

Quote:

>>> “Likewise for demagnetizing CDs and LP records, the subject of this thread. Unless the heads of Furutech are idiots, which I doubt, all that's left is dishonesty. So all they can do is reject standard testing and claim there's more to it than "science" knows.”

 

I sent this letter in November 2006 to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):

 

    Quote:

    Hi,

 

    I'm working on an article for a major audio magazine about fraud in marketing for audio products. I noticed you gave an award to the Furutech CD "demagnetizer" and I'm wondering on what basis you determined this is an award-winning product. As best I can tell this device is pure snake oil with no basis in science. So please forgive such a direct and possibly rude sounding question, but did they pay you for this award? If not, is there a way you could put me in touch with one of the judges or the person in charge who decided this product is worthy of an award? “ <<<

 

Back to your description of some ‘tweaks’ you have heard which were “ clear enough to be heard”  and some that were not.   Now, Sir, there are quite a number of people who may have tried the “tweaks” that YOU,(yourself and a friend)  have heard show an audible and clear difference but THEY CANNOT hear those same tweaks themselves.   Then THEY demand DBTs and measurements.   And so it goes on – like a permanent merrygoround.   And has been going on for more than 30 years to my knowledge.

Which ones, from the list I have given, are the tweaks which YOU personally have heard and which come with what you call “without extraordinary claims or expectations”.   Of the others (in my list) which of the ones you have not tried but where you would say that you would be prepared to accept other significant (significant in audio) people’s experiences ?    I don’t mean by that ‘believe outright without question or scepticism’ but to be prepared to accept that they DID hear the improvements they describe and that they WERE able to resolve more of the musical information.

Let me come back to your experience.   With the capacitors mods you refer to giving you an improvement in the sound, if YOU were a journalist, writing for an audio magazine, would YOU like to inform others of the improvements in the sound you heard ?  For their overall (enjoyment)  benefit ?

Using the example of different cables sounding different, exactly that has been going on for some 30 years with SOME people being prepared to try for themselves and TELL others and yet others dismissing outright that any differences can be heard – and, I might add – using the same excuse as to why they WON’T try as your earlier statement :-

Quote:

>>> “For example, years ago I thought that capacitor mods were rubbish, thinking that LCR is all there is to a capacitor (elementary textbook teachings), and any capacitor will sound like any other. The real world (as many of us know) is different enough from the textbook that many other effects are there and are known. Accounting for these effects can explain a lot about the capacitor mods.” <<<

You say “that many effects ARE there and are known”.   I would suggest NOT to a good many others !!!!!

To quote one vociferous ‘poster’ (a manufacturer of audio products!!) on previous Stereophile Forum debates :-

Quote:

>>> “everything that affects audio can be expressed using the following four parameters:

 

* Frequency response

* Noise

* Distortion

* Time-based errors

As far as I know those four parameters define everything that affects audio reproduction.

If you change an AC power cord and hear an improvement, science can explain why. And it's not because the AC power cord changed the sound.

When it comes to AC power cords and Ted's magic bowls, I can explain in excruciating detail why neither can change the sound arriving at your ears.

I'm well educated in electronics, and I don't hear differences with things such as cable elevators, replacement AC power cords, too-small room treatments, and so forth. And when I've measured such tweaks I didn't measure a difference either.” <<<

 

And this, absolutepitch, was said in 2009 – NOT the last century !!

And another (audio industry member) dismissing people’s listening experiences as :-

Quote:

>>> “that sound changes every times one listens.   That one can hear something different every time one listens, even if it is to the same piece of music and even after a small gap of (say) 5 minutes.

That that is human nature and that that will be the explanation for people saying that they can hear changes in sound after trying some ‘tweaks’.” <<<

 

Quote:

>>> “There may be an "anti tweak" crowd, as you wrote. What better means to silence that crowd than with good scientific evidence?” <<<

Wow, Sir.   Why didn’t everyone who has ever introduced so called “tweaks” to improve the sound think of that.   What you have stated, Sir, is a truism and anyone would be a fool to argue against a truism.

Would that it would be SO easy for everyone to be able to provide ‘good scientific evidence’ !!

If it was THAT easy, don’t you think results of DBTs and measurements would have been ‘shouted from the rooftops’ repeatedly over these past 30 years.   If it IS so easy, then why is there still a controversy surrounding different cables sounding different and why the Cable section of Audio Asylum has to be a DBT free zone ?

Quote:

>>> “Correct testing is not easy to accomplish.  IT just means we have to be extra careful, and that proper evaluation of some tweaks is very challenging.” <<<

I would not dispute that in any way.   Unfortunately all the parameters are not known and therefore anyone who thinks that all the parameters can be controlled and then ‘acceptable’ Blind trials carried out with ‘acceptable’ results does not have an understanding of all the problems.

To my knowledge, over these past 30 years, various reputable people in audio have tried doing reliable DB trials (and measurements) and, again to my knowledge, they have turned out to be non conclusive.   If they HAD BEEN conclusive, there would be no controversies today.

Let me give you one further example – from one of the most respectable and reputable people in the UK audio industry:-

Quote:

>>> “Julian Vereker (of Naim Audio) in 1995 wrote :-

Everything that we do to our hi-fi systems affects the way that they sound;   Some of these things are simple to measure while others are not so straight forward.

When we were designing the Naim loudspeaker cable, we specified all the parameters that we thought were controllable in manufacture, but when we came to listen to some music on a system using the new cable, we were somewhat alarmed to note that the sound was rather ‘phasey’ - lacking in a coherent soundstage.

This was such an obvious characteristic we felt sure that we would be able to measure something.   But we looked from DC to 500kHz (down to -1440dBV) then up to 500 MHz and down to -100dBV at low currents, high currents, low voltage and high voltage and we could not find anything different in any respect between this new cable and the old design or in fact the new cable and our current loudspeaker cable, NACA5.

We also listen to mains cables of the same specification from different manufacturers for the same reasons.   We know they make a difference but have not yet been able to measure anything of consequence.   So we specify exactly which mains cable the moulded lead manufacturers may use when supplying us.

I feel that if one cannot be scientific it pays to be pragmatic.” <<<

 

And, as I understand even now, Naim supply (and recommend) interconnects which are marked for optimum direction.

 

Which brings me to another ‘tweak’ (well you DID ask, absolutepitch)

None other than a report from John Atkinson (then editor of the British Hi FI News) in October 1983 – Practically 30 years ago !!!!!!! and prompted by the usual reaction of “rubbish”, “Snake Oil” to some people’s observations :-

Quote:

>>> “I had an interesting conversation with a contributor to HFN/RR some months back.   “Isn’t it about time”, I was asked, “that we organised a test to show that this business about cables being directional is a load of rubbish, dreamed up by unscrupulous con men ?”......

 

How could such a phenomenon like directionality in conductors, therefore, have been missed by researchers all this time ?   Surely it is too much to believe that it hid if an engineer bearing measuring equipment approached, but it was only too willing to be heard if carrying a music signal ?...........

 

My initial reaction, therefore, to this new fact, was to dismiss it as moonshine.   However, a less-than-open-mind is nothing to be proud of, even when confronted with statements which appear to contradict everything one has learnt or been told.

 

The dogmatic approach adopted by some engineers and scientists that a phenomenon can’t be held to exist until it can be satisfactorily explained, is obviously unsound.” <<<

This entire thread here on the Stereophile Forum was started around the basis of ‘let’s attack/criticise Art and others for what they have been writing.

 

Quote:

>>> “More Alchemy

Again Sam spends a couple of pages on magic/quackery.

No sentient being could take any of this seriously.

If one wants quackery, go to Salem and you can find entire shops dedicated to magic crystals, odd potions, and inexplicable phenomenon only experienced by true believers.” <<<

,

We don’t seem to have moved on one iota, over the past 30 years, do we ?

Regards,

May Belt.

absolutepitch
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May,

Thanks for getting on with discussion of Tweaks. Your post is very long so I will not re-quote it. Here are my thoughts regarding your response.

Regarding why some people hear the capacitor tweak or not, I have not tested anyone else, so I do not know if there are people that cannot hear the difference that I claim to hear. Going more generally, if one cannot hear a tweak, of course they may say that the tweak is nonsense.

One such tweak for me was the green marker around the edge of the CD. I really, really tried to hear a difference. I really wanted to hear a difference, because of the curious reviews that claimed audibly improved sound. I actually tried to hear if there was a difference between these CDs before applying the green marker treatment, and could not, so I was convinced the two CDs before the test are 'identical' as far as I could tell. After applying the marker, I could not hear any difference between two identical CDs, one treated and one not treated, repeatedly. Because of the null result, I gave up in disappointment. I could have said that this tweak is 'rubbish', although I am inclined to think that's probably the case. However, the proper (IMO) conclusion is that the test did not show any difference with the CD that were tried, not that it has no effect. 

Michael'e LP demagnitizing experience is one I would like to try. I have yet to go get two identical, new LPs. If I ever get around to it, I'll report back. The problem with the test, if I recall correctly, was the same LP was played twice. The problem with only one set of two new LPs as I proposed, is that the effect may vary from LP to LP, so would not be tested with only one set of two identical LPs. On and on it goes...! Good controlled tests are not easy to do, and time-consuming.

May, unfortunately, I do not have the time to do tweaks as much as I did in my younger years, due to a LOT of responsibilities. Some mods take little time to do, but much time to evaluate properly. I'll only do so if I can give the mod sufficient allotment of my time to do it justice. doing otherwise would be unfair to the mod, and unfair to the forum members by reporting incomplete information.

Having said that, you asked about what if people cannot hear the improvement that I heard, so they ask for DBT's. Well, they are correct because I asked myself that too, because I did not do a SBT or DBT to 'prove' that I was not imagining what I heard - I cannot eliminate that as a explanation yet. My interpretation of the degree of what I heard was enough to tell my ears that the sound was better, comparing years of hearing the same LPs before and the same LPs after the cap mods - only I have no independent verification of this claim. And yes, if I were a reviewer, I would report what I heard.

Also, the cap mods were implemented by me after there already were some investigations and reports of this in the audio press, with possible explanations offered in the press. I believe it was the Jung, et al., articles. Even after the articles, I still was skeptical and thought that 'it just cannot be'. Then I decided to try it because the mods are reversible.

I also agree with you that these investigations are not easy, and I do not imply anywhere that it is. BTW, you're too kind to call me 'Sir'; I've not been knighted, and am not eligible to be knighted. 

The rest of your post is regarding what several audio people have said or wrote about in the past, dismissing the extraordinary claims as snake oil. It's perfectly understandable from the known stuff that those claims just can't be. It's possible that the claims are correct; it's also possible that those who have years of published investigative knowledge (that some here dismiss, or are ignorant of) know better.

If as system sounds different on different occasions, it does call into question what casual reviewing's value is. But we also have to balance that with the years of experience with long-term listening, that may reveal sonics not easily heard in a few sessions alone. Not having been where some people have (e.g. John Atkinson, etc., and his years of musical and journalistic experience) I can offer my opinions in a forum, but am not in a position to criticize him on a professional level. The same goes for those who have performed peer-reviewed research in audio (e.g. Floyd Toole, etc.).  

Yet there is Mr. Vereker of Naim that says he built a cable that should be a top performer but didn't sound like that. his investigation did not reveal why, and nothing popped out as an explanation why it should not work well. Well, one can easily criticize in the press or forums that he missed this or he missed that - but were they there doing the investigation to know what he tried? I too can think of things that he appears to have missed, but I think it more likely that he just didn't have the space to list it all. Of course, there still could be some missing things too. I won't know from any article or white paper, and could get a better idea only if I talk to him. My mind is still open on this one.

Regarding the criticism of Art in this forum, I thought JA wrote that a reviewer is reporting his opinion of what he/she heard. We all do that with respect to what we heard, and report it here. We all should discuss the issues, not the person, if we are to make progress.

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The real bottom line here...

Don't forget the real bottom line about Art's column about this sort of remedial tweak: Look at how many views, hits, and replies it generated compared to, say, his Thorens plinth project column.

Talking about these sorts of tweaks accomplishes the same thing as when Ann Coulter says she hates 911 widows.

Attention!

Not that that's a bad thing, by the way.

I think an annual April/May tweak-fest issue like they did with all the columns would be a completely fun thing, and timed appropriately!

RTD4, the two Recommended Components issues...and an annual tweak-o-rama would make for another anticipated issue! 

 

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At least you're consistent

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. - RW Emerson

People would be much better off believing in too much rather than too little.  - PT Barnum

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

May Belt
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Reply to absolutepitch .
Quote:

>>> “ Also, the cap mods were implemented by me after there already were some investigations and reports of this in the audio press, with possible explanations offered in the press. I believe it was the Jung, et al., articles. Even after the articles, I still was skeptical and thought that 'it just cannot be'. Then I decided to try it “ <<<

These are some good and crucial points you make.

1) That you read about it in the audio press – NOT from information in the text books.

2) You were sceptical and thought it not possible but decided to try it in any case !!!!

3) And, blow me, even though you thought “it just cannot be”, it worked !!!!!!!

Quote:

>>> “The rest of your post is regarding what several audio people have said or wrote about in the past, dismissing the extraordinary claims as snake oil. It's perfectly understandable from the known stuff that those claims just can't be. It's possible that the claims are correct” <<<

Of course it IS understandable to believe – from what existing knowledge is in the text books – that certain claims just cannot be.   But if, after trying, it IS found that certain things DO ACTUALLY give improvements in the sound, then surely that OBSERVATION – from reputable and significant people – should not be so readily dismissed, ridiculed, attacked.   Surely advancement in any knowledge starts with THE OBSERVATION  ?   If the OBSERVATION then goes on to be confirmed by quite a few others, then surely it warrants notice taken of it.   I don’t mean here confirmation by DB trials – we haven’t got to that stage in this part of the discussion yet – we are still at the OBSERVATION stage – we are still trying to get to grips with the effects on the sound from the “tweaks” I have listed !!!!!    You start at the observation and work back from that – trying to understand and asking the questions HOW and WHY and What is going on.

The Schumann Resonance device is one very good example.   The Schumann Resonance device was originally developed some time ago to aid a person’s wellbeing – it was not originally developed to improve sound.    I believe it was a chance event such as someone who had one of those devices suddenly observing that whilstever that device was in the room, their sound was much better  - and reported such to others.  Many others, including Art, have confirmed this with Art saying “it is doing SOMETHING ” to the sound.

So.   We start there, first with the observation and then with our attempting to think it through.   i.e With it “doing something” to the sound.

HOW can that be ?   If it is not doing anything to the audio signal travelling through the audio system and not doing anything to the room acoustics but yet giving improvements in the sound.

Either the answer isn’t known and has to be teased out, strand by strand, clue by clue, as most science is/has been OR the answer IS known and is (as one well known person in the audio world simplistically said):-

Quote:

>>> “, that the sound changes every times one listens.   That one can hear something different every time one listens, even if it is to the same piece of music and even after a small gap of (say) 5 minutes.

That that is human nature and that that will be the explanation for people saying that they can hear changes in sound after trying some ‘tweaks’.” <<<

So, WHAT is going on ?

With some people continually insisting on “Where are the DBT’s, Where are the measurements.   Show us the measurements and we will believe” gets no one any further on.   And certainly not further on creating better sound !!

Quote:

>>> “We all should discuss the issues, not the person, if we are to make progress” <<<

I couldn’t agree more, but I am afraid that sentiment falls on some deaf ears.   They MUCH prefer to attack the person !!

However, would you be willing to discuss the issue (and not the person) further ?   You come over as not having as much rigidity of thought as others.

Regards,

May Belt.

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A little dissension has a purpose in my mind.
jgossman wrote:

everyone "doth protest too much".  If you read in a magazine something that strikes you as bullshit, why not just say to yourself "that's bullshit", and move on to the next article.  If the ratio of bullshit to honesty is more than you can handle, you carry no obligation to continue your subscription.  But what does a rant on an online post do to positively affect anyones life, or our hobby?  

Grunt if you get it.

That's the great thing about it all.  May Belt and her husband may be completely full of said bullshit.  But I'll bet were you to get to know them they have other interests, hobbies, etc., that make them wonderful likeable people.  So what does pissing on thier parade provide anyone?  Maybe certain peoples lack of grace toward others they disagree with about stuff that really doesn't matter much makes THEM the ones the most full of, you guessed it, bullshit.  So if people want to piss around painting the edges of CD's green or smearing magic vascaline on thier candle holders, or wrapping magic pebbles in magic cellophane around the Super Cable of the Month, it's probably not doing anything.  But you know what, I'm pretty sure my room sounds better when I clean it up and dust and vacuum, and that's about as free as it gets.  And you know why?  Because I like my room clean and it makes me happy.  When's the last time you walked out of your house, unhappy, grizzled, and distracted and noticed the buzzing of a fly, and the chirping of the birds?  Think about it.  -- That's a shift in perception with no physical science to back it up.  Are the birds not chirping in the trees because YOU are having a bad day?  

Again, grunt a happy grunt if you understand.

I agree with what you said here.

Though I recall my thoughts when I first ran across a reference to Belt products just over three years ago. At first I thought, here was a new-to-me method of improving the performance of my audio playback equipment. Then after looking more closely into the various Belt tweaks, it was obvious that the whole thing was an amazingly clever satirical joke. So after reading more on the subject to better appreciate the joke, it seemed that there were people that actually took the tweaks seriously, and  believed in their effectiveness. But wait, did they really believe, or were they taking the joke to ever higher levels. I admit I was a little unsure at the time, but realized in pretty short order that there were both believers, and non-believers..

Since then I've developed my own independent attitude toward the Belt products as well as tweaks developed by others (you know who you are), and no confusion remains for me. But for people new to the subject, I think it serves a useful purpose to have both sides of the issue presented, though I think we can see that dragging it out endlessly in confrontational ways can get a little ugly at times.

geoffkait
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Unmentionables

 Demondog, you said,

"Though I recall my thoughts when I first ran across a reference to Belt products just over three years ago. At first I thought, here was a new-to-me method of improving the performance of my audio playback equipment. Then after looking more closely into the various Belt tweaks, it was obvious that the whole thing was an amazingly clever satirical joke."

Geez, Louise, Do you really think anyone has the time and wherewithal to perpetuate a joke for 30 years?  

You also said,

"So after reading more on the subject to better appreciate the joke, it seemed that there were people that actually took the tweaks seriously, and  believed in their effectiveness. But wait, did they really believe, or were they taking the joke to ever higher levels."

Let me get this straight - you, who haven't tried any of the Belt products, think it's an elaborate hoax while those who did try the Belt Products take them seriously.  Sorry, that doesn't make much sense.  

You said, 

"I admit I was a little unsure at the time, but realized in pretty short order that there were both believers, and non-believers.."

How very astute of you.

You also said,

"Since then I've developed my own independent attitude toward the Belt products as well as tweaks developed by others (you know who you are), and no confusion remains for me. But for people new to the subject, I think it serves a useful purpose to have both sides of the issue presented, though I think we can see that dragging it out endlessly in confrontational ways can get a little ugly at times."

Yes, that's some attitude you developed.  Nice to see you are so open minded and I feel certain all the innocent, gullible people new to the subject really appreciate your concern. And thanks for not making this any uglier than necessary.  LOL

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Erotica

Demondog
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You're welcome Geoff Kait

The answer to your first question is yes, especially when it's self serving. But I never said I continued to think it was a joke. I think of it as something else now.

I'll let the rest of your ridiculing, insulting post speak for itself.

May Belt
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Reply to Demondog.

I wonder if you actually read and fully digested what jgossman wrote ?

Jgossman said :=


Quote:

>>> “

So what does pissing on thier parade provide anyone?  Maybe certain peoples lack of grace toward others they disagree with about stuff that really doesn't matter much makes THEM the ones the most full of, you guessed it, bullshit.  So if people want to piss around painting the edges of CD's green or smearing magic vascaline on thier candle holders, or wrapping magic pebbles in magic cellophane around the Super Cable of the Month, it's probably not doing anything.” <<<

He was actually saying that certain people have “lack of grace to others about stuff that really does not matter much”.

I would agree with him on the first part (that some people have lack of grace towards others) but I would disagree with him on the second part (that some ‘tweaks’ do not matter much).

The point of the whole controversies surrounding so called ‘tweaks’ (or, to put it another way, things which can give an improvement in the sound) is that to some significant and technically competent people in audio – some “professionals in audio” it DOES matter because they know that many of the things (tweaks) being reported SHOULD NOT have had any effect on the sound at all – but they DID and DO!!!   So, such people are attempting to deal with the fact that they DID and DO!!

And, whilst THOSE technically competent people are struggling to get to the bottom of all that is happening, you, Demondog, dismiss the past 30 years of trying to come to terms with some “tweaks” as either a ‘joke’ or as merely ‘belief or non belief’.

Why, if what has been and is still happening can all be so EASILY dismissed as a ‘joke’ or ‘belief or non belief’, why has it puzzled some ‘professionals in audio’ as to make the following comments ?

John Curl :-

Quote:

>>> “or using superior passive components, such as bypass caps, wire, and connectors. It works. Why it works, as an engineer is just as much a mystery to me, as it is to many others.” <<<

Charles Hansen :-

Quote:

>>> ““Every time that I have decided a priori that something can't *possibly* have any effect, I have always been proven wrong by listening tests at a later date. So I end up deliberately not listening to some things because I'm not sure if I want to know the answer...

 

I have never listened for wire directionality. I have talked with enough people I trust to believe that it is real. Some of them think that it is part of the wire itself and is created as the wire is drawn to smaller gauges through the dies. Others think that it acquires its directionality by being played in the system. I don't really know.” <<<

 

Paul Messenger :-

Quote:

>>> “The intriguing bit was the placing in and removal from the room of various Acoustic Art treatments from Synergistic Research.   A small voice in one ear warned me that this way lay madness, because BOTH ears were making it quite clear that these little steel cups placed in strategic locations were indeed affecting the sound.” <<<

Keith Howard :-

Quote:

>>> “But these were mere pre-shocks ahead of the eight-on-the-Richter-scale upheaval triggered by the Hiraga article.   If even connecting cables sounded different, I remember thinking, then nothing of the old view could be taken for granted any longer.   Intellectually, the earth had moved.

 

The difference between the non frozen and the cryogenically frozen cables continues to astound me.

 

Having heard for myself the astonishing effect of cryogenically treating the copper in speaker and interconnect cables, I cannot imagine how this process and its benefits could fade into obscurity.” <<<

John Atkinson :-

Quote:

>>> ““It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible”.

********

“Conservative scientists appear to have difficulty with both of these hypotheses, but it is inescapable that one or the other must be correct and that existing physics is incorrect in that its predictions don't explain what is observed”.

********

“There are things that boggle my mind in High End audio.  There are things that I would like to think I understand (from a technical and engineering point of view) and then something happens which literally blows my mind and it doesn’t fit the world view”.  

********

“I am not so arrogant as to suppose that the only things that can happen are those that I can imagine (Those who declare that, unless they can think of a mechanism for something happening, it can’t happen, are presuming knowledge of all that was known, is known, and is still to be known.   That they actually possess such knowledge seems unlikely).   I will not allow my skepticism to interfere with the joy I get from my music”.

*******

“it assumes that all is known and all is understood. In which there is no point in exposing oneself to new experiences. In which case, what is the point in doing anything at all?”

 

********

“I continue to be surprised by things I think should matter having little effect on what I perceive and by things my preconceptions would lead me to dismiss apparently having a significant effect (positive or negative) on perceived sound quality. So when presented with something that appears to defy logic or my understanding of how the world works, I try not to dismiss it, instead filing it away under "things to return to if there's time."

 

*********

“I do accept that some things affect the listener, not the soundwaves. But if they do so consistently for more than listener, surely that means the effect is "real"?” <<<

 

Robert Harley at the end of his article “The Cryogenic Compact Disc” in Stereophile :-

 

Quote:

>>>“Furthermore, I see CD tweaks as a Rosetta Stone to an audio engineering establishment that dismisses the possibility that freezing a CD, or painting it black, or putting green paint around the edge, or making it from a different material, could affect its sound.   Because these treatments are considered the epitome of audiophile lunacy and because they are readily audible, some measurement-oriented scientists may, if they listen for themselves, realize that audiophiles are not always the demented mystics they are often accused of being.” <<<

There IS no joke, Demondog, from anyone  !!!!!!!!

Why do you think there has been numerous and different so called “tweaks” over these past 30 years – which have perplexed many different, intelligent people involved in the world of audio ?

(See my list of some of those tweaks.)

Because it has all been one HUGE joke as you claim ?  –  Because it can be simply explained away by belief or non belief and you claim ?

Just how dismissive of others can you get !!

I am not talking here about you being dismissive of lay people’s experiences I am talking about technically competent, ‘professionals in audio’ people who have heard certain techniques and devices improve the sound whilst, at the same time, knowing full well that they should not have had any effect on the sound at all !!!!!

The “Tweaks” and their effect are telling you something.

These intelligent people, involved in audio most of their working life, are telling you something.

Regards,

May Belt.

Demondog
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Joined: Feb 22 2009 - 5:01pm
You didn't have to do that.

I'm sorry you felt the need to reply to my post. It really wasn't necessary.  

I did read and understand what jgossman wrote. Especially the part about it not being necessary to piss on peoples parade. That is what I was agreeing with, and if you read and understand my posts, you should be able to see that I try to stick to relating my own experiences, not telling other people what to believe. I even ended my last post in the HiFi Tuning Fuses thread with "Notice I didn't say other people don't hear things." But besides not pissing on parades, I still enjoy reading some of the friendlier discussion.

I think there is some over reaction going on here. When I was speaking of the joke, I was clearly relating my first reactions upon first discovering the subject of tweaks. Must be a joke, was because it all seemed so far fetched. I bet I could describe the tweaks to 100 random people, and 99 or more of them would have the same reaction, or else they would think I'm crazy. Putting that aside, I'll repeat what I said in my last post in case it was missed, I no longer think it's a joke.

And of course tweaks are a matter of belief. people either believe they hear an improvement with a tweak, or they believe they don't hear a difference. At the risk of creating an even larger controversy, I deal with the issue of tweaks the same way I do religion, and the existence of God. Neither one has been proven, to my knowledge, and so remain a matter of faith. Despite you taking the trouble to quote all the experts on their tweak experiences, I would require a little more than that to form an opinion one way or the other. I hear there are people who claim to hear God's voice also. People claim things all the time that I'm not ready to buy into.

Whether tweaks or religion, I don't really like to discuss it very much, as nothing will come of it. I thought my first post in this thread was a pretty noncontroversial, short recounting of my own evolution on the subject, while agreeing that not bashing the other side was good. It seems to have stirred a few people up.

Bottom line is that I do not hear improvement in sound from applying what people call tweaks, and what other people hear is their issue. If by stating that I do not hear any difference due to tweaks is pissing on someone's parade, I suggest an umbrella.

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