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hollowman
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NEEDED: serious, unbiased, discussion of VINTAGE vs. MODERN gear

The vintagephiles (forums like audiokarma, various YouTube channels, etc) and modernphiles (Sterophile, TAS, other mags, sites, forums) have been going at each others jugulars for decades.
MODERNPHILES claim that newer gear measures better and has the advantage of evolution (improved over time with both objective and subjective knowledge).
VINTAGEPHILES claim something (fidelity) got lost/compromised when OBJECTIVE measurements and other un-measurable effects (advertiser/manuf influence of major journals and mags and reviewers) are introduced into the equation.

Will post more on these issues soon .... meanwhile, how a average joe six-pack (who likes audio, but seems to have been kept isolated from forums and magazines)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlERMPE0Ucc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GF-0iAddF8

MattJ
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While I don't have a ton of

While I don't have a ton of experience with much vintage stuff, it seems to me that many of the complaints that vintagephiles have with modern stuff (with the exception of early solid state and early CD, which did have some issues), is the greater accuracy of modern equipment seems to offend their ears. A lot of vintage gear (and some vintage recordings) have less extended high frequencies than modern stuff, which vintagephiles may perceive as hard or bright or whatnot.

Kal Rubinson
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This sounds like a rehash of

This sounds like a rehash of the more common Objectivist vs. Subjectivist pseudodichotomy. However, you define one side as:

Quote:

VINTAGEPHILES claim something (fidelity) got lost/compromised when OBJECTIVE measurements and other un-measurable effects (advertiser/manuf influence of major journals and mags and reviewers) are introduced into the equation.

This makes no sense in two ways. First, one cannot group "other un-measurable effects (advertiser/manuf influence of major journals and mags and reviewers)" with objective measurements because the latter so rarely is objective. Second, the consideration of, as opposed to the total reliance on, objective reality can only strengthen anyone's efforts and avoidance or disdain for objective reality is pathological.

hollowman
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But, Kal...

... you made no remarks about the YouTube vlogger -- the type of audiophile that is probably more common and more of a market mover (think back to the Audio, High Fidelity and Stereo Review days) as well as modern vintage audiophiles on AudioKarma, et. al forums.
The Stereophile and TAS are an "elite" minority. Hmmm ... now that I think about it ... maybe Stereophile's forum ISN'T the correct right place to have this discussion. Maybe it's as much of filter bubble as the objective hangouts like ASR and hydrogenaudio.

Kal Rubinson
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hollowman wrote:
hollowman wrote:

... you made no remarks about the YouTube vlogger -- the type of audiophile that is probably more common and more of a market mover (think back to the Audio, High Fidelity and Stereo Review days) as well as modern vintage audiophiles on AudioKarma, et. al forums.

YouTube vloggers are invisible to me, so I cannot offer any remarks.

Quote:

The Stereophile and TAS are an "elite" minority. Hmmm ... now that I think about it ... maybe Stereophile's forum ISN'T the correct right place to have this discussion. Maybe it's as much of filter bubble as the objective hangouts like ASR and hydrogenaudio.

Nope. Discussion is open here and we are discussing your posted issues, not deleting them.

hollowman
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Kal, what a ...

....weird reply you gave. Definitely a "Huh????" moment, here on my end!!!

"YouTube vloggers are invisible to me, so I cannot offer any remarks."
What does that mean ... you can't see my links .... or that you see them and don't sample them? Like it or not, YouTube and other forums is where much of hi-fi and audiophilia now live.

"Nope. Discussion is open here and we are discussing your posted issues, not deleting them."
Are you suggesting that Stereophile mods would actually consider deleting such post because it was too controversial. What I meant in that last paragraph was a bit of self-reflection and rhetorical questioning.

More appropriate discussion issues might be, say:

Have over-reliance on measurements (in the design stage, and/or in the review stage) led to less musical, more analytical components?
Pure vacuum tube amps, vinyl and analog playback are STILL extremely popular in the audio enthusiasts community? WHY?
Etc.

Kal Rubinson
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Quote:
Quote:

"YouTube vloggers are invisible to me, so I cannot offer any remarks."
What does that mean ... you can't see my links .... or that you see them and don't sample them? Like it or not, YouTube and other forums is where much of hi-fi and audiophilia now live.

I did see your mention of AudioKarma, et al., but no links. However, I meant what I said in that I am aware of YouTube vloggers but I choose to ignore them because it is not a medium that I can tolerate and not because of any criticism of their content.

Quote:

Are you suggesting that Stereophile mods would actually consider deleting such post because it was too controversial. What I meant in that last paragraph was a bit of self-reflection and rhetorical questioning.

I am not suggesting anything but observing that the moderator of this forum has not deleted these posts and that discussion is ongoing.

Quote:

More appropriate discussion issues might be, say:
Have over-reliance on measurements (in the design stage, and/or in the review stage) led to less musical, more analytical components?
Pure vacuum tube amps, vinyl and analog playback are STILL extremely popular in the audio enthusiasts community? WHY?

I have opinions on these topics but they do not really interest me nor do I have any data or evidence. My opening comment was the only (minor) point that I wanted to make on this topic. Still, this is an open forum and, hopefully, others will join and respond more substantively.

hollowman
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Kal (Kal Kan dog food commercial)

... About no links in posts: The Stereophile forum engine does not hyperlink URLs, but I can SEE the full URL links in my first post -- it's just not hypered. And I guess you are too lazy to copy/paste. No problemo: (The Text Format mode is the key).

Eat this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SKxE0jsxHI

You like 'em Chunky, aye Rube?

hollowman
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kef LS50 sound review and vintage Kef comparison

Kelvin, a working-class lad from London lays it down ...
.... this video is especially for John Atkinson ... and others who own recent KEF models ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e5eHSsflv4

hollowman
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Specs as marketing

Probably obvious ... and often discussed before ... but selling selling (marketing) components based on THD and freq. response and Watts/Ch is considerably easier/cheaper (more trackable for marketers) than adjectives and prose. Yes, J. Gordon Holt did try to standardize the subjective arena with his Audio Glossary ... didn't get widely adopted, however.

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Romantic Effects

This makes me think of my father's early objections to digital photography. He said it looked very accurate in certain ways but nobody yet know how to make it look "good." Good is different than accurate. For a while I agreed with him. Even slides that had been digitized had something going for them that seemed to be missing from shots straight from a digital camera. One of the suggestions was the exposure knee on film allowing a larger range of brights and darks to be compressed into the exposure range. My own eyes agreed with that but in truth digital cameras actually had more dynamic range, not less. It was just a matter of how the raw data was processed. In time people learned how to simulate the effects of film very convincingly so that I could no longer tell the same picture shot on slide film and scanned from a picture of the same scene shot on digital and then filtered to look like the film. How much of film effects actually look better vs. pulling on my nostalgia strings to create a stronger emotional reaction to the look is difficult to tease apart. A few years ago I turned on my dad's old system and put on a record I used to play as a kid. The sound was strongly colored - and brought me nearly to tears because I recognized that color, and felt the way I did when I was a child listening to that same record, completely unaware at the time that there was any coloration at all.

hollowman
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Photography: NO; Cinematography: YES

About films vs. digital. And, yes, we're getting way OFF-TOPIC because the orig. subject was not analog vs. digital. But going that off-topic route, comparing analog to digital is a very different thing for imaging. Now, IMO, digital still photography has met or exceeded the best large-format film I've see. BUT ... I can't say the same for motion-picture capture. Even when you match the frame rates (e.g., 24 fps), analog may still have small advantage.
And you can also go the CRT vs LCD/OLED route ... for things like games.

hollowman
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Audio magazine and metrics, etc

I have been poring thru Audio magazine issues for their entire 1947-2000 run, and for most of it, they did do some fairly extensive labs measurements, and "standardized" the methodology a bit.
Shifting gears, its unclear why mainstream reviewers don't have access to well-kept vintage gear. Maybe in some centralized facility (or two) in major cities. I may be like a combination of University or Govt environment (like Canad's NRC --- standardized, well-funded and equipped, not funded by manuf. industry ), and the better hi-fi dealer showrooms.

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What an odd thread …

The beauty of this silly hobby is that both “vintage” and “modern” can be appreciated for what they are.

Then on the other hand it would be interesting to take two similar spec’s floorstanders from different eras and do a comparison using todays standards and equipment. Now that’s an interesting review I’d like to read. Did the Theil from 1994 age well vs a Revel F206! Now that’s a story!

Ariel Views
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Objective measurements are really the only legit way to go....

because subjective evaluations of gear cannot be agreed on even by the same person on a different day. Everyone's in search of the Holy Grail but it will never be found because people have many motivations for their audio purchases which have nothing to do with sound, or music. My own opinion is that modern equipment is probably better than vintage because of measurements, and a better understanding of what they mean. I have had vintage equipment in the past, and at the time it sounded wonderful, but I suspect direct comparisons with the modern equivalent would show up some noticeable flaws. Especially true of speakers I would think.

geoffkait
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It’s funny you should say

It’s funny you should say that since all components and speakers measure differently in different rooms and different systems.

Ariel Views
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Speakers measure differently

But all components? I don't think so. To the extent that other components measure differently, that's an objective difference is what I'm saying. So far as I'm aware a 100wpc amp is still a 100wpc amp whether it's in your house or mine.

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Let’s take an example, a

Let’s take an example, a preamp that is specified to have a frequency response of 10 Hz - 20 kHz. The only way to find out what the actual frequency response of the preamp is to play it in a system somewhere with speakers, etc. and measure the speaker output. But you just admitted you can see where speakers can have different responses in different systems and different rooms. See where I’m going? Another example is a stereo cartridge with frequency response 15 Hz - 22 kHz, it will exhibit a different frequency response for different systems and different rooms.

Ariel Views
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No preamps don't measure differently in different rooms.

In fact every other audio component will test identically save speakers, whether it's in your home or mine. Obviously, I'm speaking of the same make and model of preamp, amp, turntable, etc and assuming there's nothing wrong with it that got past QC.

geoffkait
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How would you test a preamp

How would you test a preamp for frequency response? How would you test a stereo cartridge for frequency response?

Ariel Views
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Frequency sweep...

Via spectrum analyzer. I think you've been missing my point which is that your ears cannot be used as objective testing instruments since what you hear, and whether you like it or not is wholly subjective. Add to that, that audiophiles are tribal with numerous psychological reasons for their opinions and you're in the realm of very subjective opinions. So the only objective way you can state what a preamp or anything else is doing is by bench testing it with scientific instruments. It may not quantify everything you think you hear but it tells you quite a lot.

SAS Audio
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Modern vs ancient

There are ways of performing specialized, multiple listening tests, and correlating the results. It is possible
to check for accuracy, output does not alter input. At least two ways are proprietary, but it is still possible over a lot of time.

There are pluses and minuses with both old and new, with tube and solid state, some inherent. The newer tube designs can overcome virtually all obstacles. However, SS has more inherent problems.

By the way, please congratulate Mr. John Atkinson on his latest award. He and I go back some 14 years on this forum, during the "wild west days".

cheers

steve (retired)

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You say subjective opinions,

You say subjective opinions, I say observations, you say highly subjective, I say empirical evidence. What’s so wrong with correlating sound quality with what you hear? We already found out a long long time ago how much the numbers for THD mean. Know what I mean?

Observation (hearing, seeing, touching, etc.) is a cornerstone of the scientific method.

Look, when you go to buy a car do you ask for a test drive? When you go to buy a TV do you ask to see the what the picture looks like?

Ariel Views
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The point is....

greatly depending on the room acoustics the same equipment in different environments will sound by orders of magnitude completely different. Your ears are the worst possible instrument for evaluating the differences between for example, amplifiers in different rooms. Lets face it, if two amps are approximately of the same power, noise, and frequency response regardless of cost, or brand, they will sound indistinguishable from each other in the same room all other things being the same. I'm not saying you couldn't screw one up in the comparison by mismatching it with something in the chain, but all things being equal. A good amp deviates from flat by fractions of a db while even the best speakers distort by full percentages, and deviate from flat by several dbs. You think you can hear what the amp contributes to that non-linearity?

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I bet you’d be really shocked

I bet you’d be really shocked to find out that tube amps with much higher THD generally sound better than solid state amps in many important ways. We learned 40 years ago amps that have exceedingly low THD like 80s amps with 0.001 % TDH sound harsh, irritating and *distorted* whereas tube amps with nearly *two orders of magnitude* higher THD circa 0.05% sound more open, more natural, less distorted. Ironic, ain’t it?

Furthermore, there are no specifications for air, graininess, bass slam, transparency, soundstage dimensions, naturalness of tone, humanness of voice, and many other attributes of sound.

Ariel Views
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No, I wouldn't be shocked

Because I spent years during the seventies, and eighties, in audio salons and have heard tubes, and solid state many times. At that time they were applying too much negative feedback in an effort to outdo each other in THD figures. The amount of distortion a tube amp makes is still negligible next to the best speakers' money can buy. A properly designed solid state amp today is more accurate than the best tube amps, but I will acknowledge that tube amps have a sound all else in the system and room being equal that can be distinguished and some people like that particular sound........some don't. The sound of a tube amp comes from it's relatively nonlinear behavior, and the fact that it can clip softly compared with a solid state amp. Of course if you have enough headroom in your solid state, and don't clip the amp there isn't the harshness you speak of. In any event I defy anyone to consistently choose a particular audio component in a blind test using their ears only, with the exception of speakers which do have a great deal of character that can be distinguished. No geofkait you aren't telling me anything I haven't heard countless times in the last 50 years. I still contend that you can switch out most components in the audio chain with any other component of good quality at any price and all things being equal you will not be able to tell a difference much less get people to agree on if that difference is better.

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You’ve got an answer for

You’ve got an answer for everything. Do you really think amplifier distortion is negligible? That’s a rather odd thing for a true believer in measurements to say if you don’t mind me saying so too much. I’m guessing you also dismiss any distortion cables bring to the table. And whatever distortion the room brings to the table. How about amplifier frequency response, surely the speaker frequency response will decide what the final frequency response is, so can we ignore the amplifier frequency response as well as the distortion? What other amplifier specs can we ignore?

Just so you know I don’t measure someone’s intelligence by how old he is. What’s that got to do with anything? Or how many years he’s been doing this. To me it’s irrelevant. If age or time spent in the hobby was a deciding factor we’d all be geniuses. That’s what we call a logical fallacy. An appeal to authority, or appeal to age, or appeal to years in the business.

Ariel Views
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I don't think you're reading what I've written

Very carefully, or I'm not communicating clearly enough. Either way this horse is beaten enough. Enjoy your day.

SAS Audio
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Ariel Views wrote:
Ariel Views wrote:

greatly depending on the room acoustics the same equipment in different environments will sound by orders of magnitude completely different. Your ears are the worst possible instrument for evaluating the differences between for example, amplifiers in different rooms. Lets face it, if two amps are approximately of the same power, noise, and frequency response regardless of cost, or brand, they will sound indistinguishable from each other in the same room all other things being the same. I'm not saying you couldn't screw one up in the comparison by mismatching it with something in the chain, but all things being equal. A good amp deviates from flat by fractions of a db while even the best speakers distort by full percentages, and deviate from flat by several dbs. You think you can hear what the amp contributes to that non-linearity?

The comment posted above is a very generalized comment that has problems with science, and as such contains myths.

First, we are comparing the output to the input of a component for sonic differences; which the ear is the best judge for the many aspects of perception, not the worst.

But then virtually no one understands how to perform such testing.
Objectively, there is virtually no way of measuring smearing, spacial information and detail, masking etc.

As per your post above, a +/-0,1db Frequency Response(FR) specification only represents a deviation of approximately
-54db. A very poor spec. Besides that, the deviation varies over
many octaves.

And where are the channel separation specs at all frequencies? Few are never posted and usually at 1khz. This alters the spacial information.

Next, a tube amplifier has much fewer inherent limitations than a solid state amplifier. Those SS inherent limitations include, for example, much larger electrolytic capacitors with high ESR and DA, internal junction capacitances in each active device. A dozen or m ore SS devices vs as few as 3 tubes. And with Each SS device, several associated sonic robbing parts.

My tube amps have 0,05% distortion at 1 watt. With greater spl, as you mention, the speaker distortion is much higher, so the amp distortion, whether tube or SS becomes inconsequential.

I hope this helps one to understand different aspects of component design, testing, and specifications.

cheers

steve

Ariel Views
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Point me to the

Videos of blind listening tests which proves your points please.

geoffkait
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I had a sneaking suspicion it

I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t be long before controlled blind testing raised its ugly head.

SAS Audio
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sas audio
Ariel Views wrote:

Videos of blind listening tests which proves your points please.

The onus is on you since your statements do not follow basic electronic science, known for decades. I have also clearly demonstrated that the frequency response and amplifier distortion specifications are basically irrelevant. I also made clear why channel separation across the audio band is not included in the specifications, which is relevant.

You might investigate sources such as the RCA "Radiotron Designers Handbook" written by some 2 dozen+ engineers, and includes external studies.

There are also other textbooks, and articles including "Picking Capacitors" by Walter Jung and Richard Marsh in Audio Magazine 1980, which also includes info such as measurements, resonances of different types of capacitors, DA, DF etc. May I also suggest taking some basic electronic engineering courses, especially in the area of analog.

Audio blind testing, and double blind testing, by audio entities or individually is clearly inaccurate since not all confound variables are addressed, which skews the results toward No sonic difference.

Why would one suggest individuals perform their own blind testing when they obviously don't understand what is involved, how to perform such a test. It is misleading, for marketing purposes.

Here is a basic problem for you to solve. If we have a group of subjects and statistically 50% are in bass increasing mode areas and 50% are in bass decreasing mode areas, how does one arrive at a result with 95% confidence?

Please also advised how one measures smearing, spacial information. Thanks.

cheers

steve

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The onus is certainly not....

On me. I ask you for the simplest most direct evidence there could be, and instead you hit me with a blizzard of irrelevant, and demeaning contentions, and suggestions. You then go on to say that controlled blind listening tests are unreliable, (that's kind of the point) after having previously stated that hearing is the most accurate testing of all. Which is it sas audio? I would suggest to you that one doesn't need a phd in electrical engineering to know when people are deflecting, and trying to bury you in a pile of bovine excrement.

SAS Audio
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If you don't understand
Ariel Views wrote:

On me. I ask you for the simplest most direct evidence there could be, and instead you hit me with a blizzard of irrelevant, and demeaning contentions, and suggestions. You then go on to say that controlled blind listening tests are unreliable, (that's kind of the point) after having previously stated that hearing is the most accurate testing of all. Which is it sas audio? I would suggest to you that one doesn't need a phd in electrical engineering to know when people are deflecting, and trying to bury you in a pile of bovine excrement.

I did respond to your "comments". You simply did not understand them.

I presented material that you could learn from. Simply "blinding" one does not cover all the confound variables for proper listening testing. That does not mean the ear cannot be used with proper testing methods.

Neither does simple measurements as one sees in the specifications. I demonstrated that with my above responses.
Yet I have yet to see you prove measurements explain what we perceive. You also failed to answer my questions.

So you know neither understand how to perform a proper listening test, nor answer my questions, nor prove your point that measurements explain what we perceive.

Which leaves you with just arguing.

steve

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Ariel Views wrote:

Sometimes the robot hung up, and evidently I double posted.
My apology. Please delete this post.

steve

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And he

doubles down, as if that's evidence. Speaking of confound variables, and you seem to think there are far too many to use blind testing. That suggests to me that if true, there would be far too many confound variables for you to make a selection of any amp for example over another. What is the objective basis for your selection of one piece of gear over another? If blind listing tests are not the way to determine whether an Audio Research preamp sounds better than say a Yamaha then exactly what is the listening criteria that enables Golden ears like yourself to confidently proclaim this sounds better than that. You're going to need a much bigger shovel than what you've been using so far.

SAS Audio
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Arguing is not going to help you.

Continuing to merely argue is not constructive.

I will ask the same questions again. Please advise how to bench measure smearing and spacial information with test instruments? Which instruments would you use?

Please answer, If we have a group of subjects and statistically 50% are in bass increasing mode areas and 50% are in bass decreasing mode areas, how does one arrive at a result with 95% confidence?

If you are still having trouble, please re-read my previous posts for the answers. I will give you a
hint. It involves different methods and cross checking the results. The ears are used to great effectiveness.

cheers and end of discussion.

steve

SAS Audio
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Remember the good old days?
geoffkait wrote:

I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t be long before controlled blind testing raised its ugly head.

Geoff, it has been some 12 years and I see the fun has not stopped here. Remember the "gang" of J.A., you, others, and myself had caught some falsifying data, attempting to discredit studies by false means, and causing tohu and bohu. :)

Brings back old memories.

cheers

steve

Ariel Views
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I never said

bench measuring was the be all, and end all of evaluating audio gear. I said, and more importantly, meant that it was the only objective way to evaluate gear that wasn't dependent on subjective means, about which people rarely agree. How else can you explain so many differing opinions about various components. One person insists that a McIntosh is the best sounding amp, and another says it's Hegel(pick your brand)at any price and level. Now in your own case SAS I'm sure you must have your own method for deciding that one component sounds better than another when you purchase it. What is that method, because as you previously noted there can be multiple other variables in the chain that impact on what you hear even apparently if all else is the same in the chain except the component you're switching between to determine which you prefer. If blind listening tests are of no value, then what kind of listening test do you do when you buy equipment. You mentioned earlier proper listening tests. What are they?

SAS Audio
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Ears and objective testing.....
Ariel Views wrote:

I never said bench measuring was the be all, and end all of evaluating audio gear. I said, and more importantly, meant that it was the only objective way to evaluate gear that wasn't dependent on subjective means, about which people rarely agree. How else can you explain so many differing opinions about various components. One person insists that a McIntosh is the best sounding amp, and another says it's Hegel(pick your brand)at any price and level. Now in your own case SAS I'm sure you must have your own method for deciding that one component sounds better than another when you purchase it. What is that method, because as you previously noted there can be multiple other variables in the chain that impact on what you hear even apparently if all else is the same in the chain except the component you're switching between to determine which you prefer. If blind listening tests are of no value, then what kind of listening test do you do when you buy equipment. You mentioned earlier proper listening tests. What are they?

I agree, objective Measurements mean very little. I also do not like negative feedback; just a touch in input stages is allowable though. At least one objective type listening test is good.

One simple experiment is to substitute a poly cap for an electrolytic and check for Sonic Differences. Just the caps being tested for sonic differences, not preference.

(I started in 1980 on the journey for a perfect preamplifier, then amplifier, and then system. (Started electronics at 7 years old.))

A general history.

A history. I do not purchase components except sources, computers, digital products. I, as SAS Audio Labs, only design analog components from scratch, and upgrade digital components that I use.

I had my lab until I retired, some 10 years ago, so I have used quality test instruments for many decades. Professors used to ask, and have sent students to me for help in analog, tube electronics as well.

I have to consider and address many variables (as you mention). For instance, each of hundreds of parts, the layout, materials, and purity/quality, transmission of audio signals via air, stray inductance and capacitance, tolerances etc etc. Some believe that solving a few equations does Not produce an accurate component.

It has taken some 42 years to develop a system that is near perfect. Below, one will find out the research and development, just how sensitive, no masking, my reference system is.

I had to develop an interconnect cable (ic) that did not alter the music, since every ic I tested over the decades altered the sound. None were accurate, and many believe only simple capacitance, resistance, and inductance are involved. However, physics and chemistry, materials are involved. For instance, 6N copper
wire (99.9999%) sounds different than typical 3N copper wire (99.9%) sold at the store.

I had to develop a preamplifier that also did not alter the sound. It had to be perfect since every preamplifier I had ever tested was inaccurate to some degree. Solder type, wire purity and type, parts placement, design, and other aspects come into play.

Next, the amplifier had to tested and tweaked for no sonic changes, a comparison. Yes, the amplifier can be tested for accuracy in absolute terms. That took years of specialized and proprietary listening testing, checking for differences, not preference.

So we have the ics, preamplifier, amplifier tested for no sonic differences. What about the source, speaker wire, and speakers?

The DAC source, like other DACs/players, has varying degrees of analog stage quality. I have not auditioned a DAC/Player that did not need analog upgrading, including eliminating the gain of 2 (6db) stage entirely if possible. Why have a stage when not necessary, redundant.?

The speaker wire and speaker work in tandem. Using a quasi 2nd order two way speaker I designed, crossover at ~170 hz, taking 9+ years to develop, and for good reason. Still minor tweaks needed.

Basically finished now, masking is virtually eliminated. To show how sensitive the system is, how low the masking is (masking covers up musical inner detail etc) the following.

I used 10 parallel 18 gauge copper wires (one 6N pure), 5 feet long in both red and black speaker legs. Switching from 10 to 9 or to 11 in only one leg was quite perceivable. Yes, total gauge is critical for optimum musical accuracy as is minimal inductace. Parallel wires, red and black wires are separated to minimize capacitance as well.

I used 600 watt iron core chokes to keep dc resistance down. Adding or subtracting 3/16" of one turn is easily perceivable.

One has to balance the full range driver with the huge woofer, in spl terms. This involves a high wattage low ohmage,
non-inductive resistor. Adjusting the resistor by 1 part in a million, or less, is easily perceivable.

The difficult part is keeping the resistance constant by keeping the Vishay bulk foil potentiometer resistance constant. Even then the wirewound and voice coil will change slightly VS temperature/wattage. With drivers not perfectly matched, we still need to adjustments so the speakers will sound as close as possible.

As one can see, the ear is quite involved, not for subjective testing for preference, but objective testing for differences.
The work demonstrates that even the extremely slightest tonal balance, frequency response deviations are perceived. (That is not the same as across the board spl changes.)

Concerning yesteryear and today, they both use better parts. They both have inherent design and general design problems that need addressing.

cheers and out.

steve

Ariel Views
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Now we're talking

So clearly you are far more qualified to talk about the technical aspects of hifi than me. I'm glad you took the time to explain all of this, and it might surprise you to know I was able to follow much of it. Now the listing for difference, not preference makes sense to me as explained. I am still a bit skeptical about some of hearing differences in the purity and gauge of the speaker wire though, but not actually having spent any time on it I can't really insist it's being nonsense.I suppose it's possible the ic cables you mention could have an audible effect. So I kind of wish we had started this conversation off like this because I'm always willing to learn new things, or at least consider them if it's in areas of some interest. I'm too old to be going for engineering degrees, and such. Thank you for taking the time to write this because it's actually quite interesting, and who knows if I read it a time or two more I might start thinking you're right.

SAS Audio
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sas audio

In the world of audio, it is so pleasant when minds come together. I sure appreciate it.
I was hoping a different way of explaining might help, and it has.

I can understand your concern over wire purity, ics etc Ariel. When I started decades ago, I had similar feelings.
I think a lot of confusion occurs due to the wide spread quality issues in audio systems.
At audio shows and homes, there are some systems that one could Not differentiate between wires and ics, while other systems it was easy.

I think some of the issues when setting up one's system (purchasing components etc) are due to one's
paradigm, referenced from venues over the years.

Anyway, I am glad to know you Ariel and look for your future posts in the forums.

steve

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Let me interrupt for a moment

Let me interrupt for a moment to list some cable and wire parameters/characteristics that I propose contribute to the sound. I also believe many folks, though well meaning, perform AB comparisons of cables incorrectly. Cables take time to “settle in” or “break-in” if you will. The electrical mechanical interfaces of the connectors also need time to re settle in as it were. Those two things make it difficult perhaps even impossible to fairly compare two different cables, since a week or two would be time enough to forget precisely what the sound was two weeks ago, not to mention changes to the system, even inadvertent ones, would put fair comparisons in jeopardy.

Here’s my list of characteristics that affect the sound of cables, not intended to be a 100% complete list,

1. Type of metal conductor
2. Stranded vs solid core
3. Gauge of solid core wire
4. Tinned or untwined wire(s)
5 Purity of metal
6. Whether metal conductor is cryogenically treated or not
7. Material of dielectric around wire
8. Direction of wire as the cable is fabricated, even stranded wire
9. Geometry of cable - twisted pair, etc.
10. Shielded vs unshielded

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Kal

Kal you have always been very thoughtful and diplomatic in your posts. Never saying anything unnecessarily negative even when confronted with things which you, obviously, think rediculous. Well done.

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The Stereophile and TAS are

The Stereophile and TAS are an "elite" minority. Hmmm ... now that I think about it ... maybe Stereophile's forum ISN'T the correct right place to have this discussion. Maybe it's as much of filter bubble as the objective hangouts like ASR and hydrogenaudio.

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The subject can be addressed

The subject can be addressed here. I used numbers for ease of separation of points.

1. Old tube type circuits were plagued by poor quality parts. This included carbon resistors, way too small (but descent DA and ESR) capacitors, small electrolytic capacitors, and many/most output transformers. They also included chokes (inductors), but also use them today as well. (Of course SETs need chokes to reduce hum, but the amps have their own major inherent problems.)

2. Some used global negative feedback to stabilize, and also increase the frequency bandwidth. That is still done in some designs.

3. Today, improved parts such as metal film resistors, poly capacitors, and improved output transformers have generally improved sonic quality.

4. When solid state, called transistorized amplifiers were first marketed, they were also plagued with the same problem, poor quality associated parts. However, no chokes which was good. However, beyond that, transistors were not exactly the best quality. Transistor specifications were so varied that manufacturers simply slapped new part numbers to cover the wide variances. The gain bandwidth product was also rather limited, just like 12ZX7 and other similar type tubes.

5. One huge problem with early transistor amps was when global negative feedback was applied, a type of distortion called Transient Intermodulation Distortion reared its ugly head. Because the open loop bandwidth (no global negative feedback applied) was so limited, by the time the output feedback signal arrived at the amplifier input, the "signal" was quite different, causing both a distorted input musical signal, and sometimes a huge voltage spike, overloading the amplifier stages. (This is simplified for audience basic understanding.)

6. Integrated circuits were especially prone so such in the early days. As a negative example, in college, there was an "OP amp" ic mentioned that had an open loop bandwidth of 100hz (cycles per second, no negative feedback applied). However, with huge amounts of negative feedback, the bandwidth increase to over 10khz.

7. With time higher quality transistors, ics etc were developed, along with better capacitors, resistors etc, giving improved quality sonic performance. Today, SS amps are pretty descent.

There is more, but I will stop at this point.

cheers

steve

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