What are the benchmarks for Objectivists? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 08:44 AM
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Some examples of preconceived notions bandied about by objectivists in forum are:
1) All modern electronics are acoustically transparent
2) All modern CD players are indistinguishable sonically.
Neither myself, krabapple, nor Charles has ever stated that. Don't make up stuff. What is said in a nutshell is that one needs to evaluate players under level matched, unsighted conditions. If you can tell the difference then base your decision on that. If you can't, it still doesn't mean that you necessarily buy the least expensive. After all, not everyone buys a Timex or some other watch at Walmart.

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What about the "hard facts" that are ignored:
1) Two different brands/models of CDP may have vastly differing internal electricals and electronics - from the power supply, to the laser pickup mechanism, to the digital receiver (for the DAC), to the DAC, to the analog output stage.
2) Two different brands/models have different specifications and actually measure differently - in THD, dynamic range, frequency response, etc.
3) Two different brands/models of CDP may employ different sampling rates and digital filtering (inside the DAC chip) and also different filtering in the analog output stage (i.e., the opamp)
4) The digital clock/PLL mechanism may be differnt between two brands/models yielding different measured jitter.
1) Which has to do with things like patent infringements, design goals, different sources for components, constraints put on by management with respect to costs, etc. I don't know of two engineering groups, that when given the same problem, will give you the same solution down to the part level and layout.
2) See above. In most cases the THD, dynamic range, and FR are suffiently similar to be audibly indistinguishable. Also, it's not unusual to find the THD and FR to be far more rigorously implemented in players than in many amps. We can give a pass to an expensive enough amp that's got 1% THD but we'll lambast the player that performs that abymally.
3) See above. In some cases the players intentionally allow out of band signals to come through. If sufficient, that's generally audible.
4) There comes a point where jitter is inaudible. Do you worry about wow and flutter of turntables? What about if record holes are a fraction off center? You'll find if you convert this to jitter it'll make the worst CD player look like a shining star.

Quote:
Yet, we get the same inane reply, without proof, that two differnent brands/models of CDP are sonically indistinguishable.
Again, that's never been stated. See above.

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Further, forum members who offer their concerted opinions and anecdotal evidence for the benefit of other are threatened to "be taken to task" by the self appointed "smarter than thou" forum police.
Of course you can be on the other side of the fence, Machini. In that case the scientific approach is poo-pooed and we have to trust and believe. Just a little bit of faith. Maybe a special interconnect or a mod or the right kind of isolation device or maybe a special CD treatment. At least you're getting a balanced look at things. Even StereoPhile underscores the importance that output levels play in proper evaluations. Did you ever wonder if manufacturers intentionally have different output levels in order to shade your subjective impressions?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #182 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 08:46 AM
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Well let's see what they found.

The were able to reliably discern a difference between a Sony E-775 Discman vs an Audionote DAC3 while using a Sony XA3000ES SACD player as the transport when the output levels of both players were carefully matched.

They were unable to reliably discern differences between a Sony XA3000ES SACD player and the Sony E-775 Discman when the output levels of both players were carefully matched.

They were unable to reliably discern differences between a MERIDIAN 588 and the Sony E-775 Discman when the output levels of both players were carefully matched.

They were unable to reliably discern differences between a CEC TL 51Z MKII, Ken Ishiwata version? and the Sony D-E775 Discman when the output levels of both players were carefully matched.

FWIW, this is the Discman in question. Amazon has it for $230, which is not an especially inexpensive price. Its specs are...

Product Features
Super ESP shock protection
Slim design
Mega Bass
2 AA batteries last up to 23 hours
Remote control
Technical Details


Frequency Responce: 20 -20,000 Hz
Output: Headphones, line output, optical digital output
Power Requirements: 2 AA batteries, AC adaptor
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 31/32 x 5 5/8 inches
Weight: 7 ounces
Operating Temperature: 41 - 95 degrees F
What's in the box: AC power adaptor, headphones with remote, rechargeable batteries, AC plug adaptor, Battery carrying case, Carrying case

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/...CLZZZZZZZ_.gif



Now, over at http://www.pcavtech.com/play-rec/summary/index.htm you'll find some technical reviews of various players. While the particular Sony in question was not found, one does note that so long as the shock protection is not engaged, the measured performance of these players is by and large, quite good. Probably not as good as the Sony SACD in question, but as in all cases, there does come a point where improvements are technical rather than audible.

Therefore, when looking at the four comparisons, one might ask why was it the only time a difference was heard was when using the AudioNote DAC3? If memory serves me correctly, past technical reviews of AudioNote DAC's have indicated that they let a signficant amount, enormous even, of out of band signal into the audio stream. That could be because they dispense with the reconstruction filter. So, what we have is a euphonic, and IMO intentionally misdesigned piece of equipment. Gets good reviews and has a following though in the audiophile community.

Should the result be surprising? I don't know. You save a lot of money that can go into other things when you've got small packaging, eliminate large power supplies, don't have to deal with circuitry to cope with typical house AC, don't have to deal with heat, reduced s/h costs, reduced inventory costs, reduced packaging costs, reduced manufacturing costs, neglible heat dissipation issues, neglible RFI and EMI issues, no mechanized tray, and all that. Some of that money can easily go into things like better circuit design and components. It's not so unreasonable that if one were to put that into a conventional box with a power supply that the cost could easily skyrocket upwards. It'd be interesting to have tested a less expensive portable player.

For those who are interested in looking at technical measurements, you might want to compare the Sony D-828 portable at http://www.pcavtech.com/play-rec/Sony_D-828k/index.htm to the Sony SCD-XA9000ES at http://stereophile.com/hirezplayers/...ny/index4.html. I know they're not the same players as were tested, but it's not so easy to find measurement tests on everything. Interesting though, don't you think?

Now you talk about how they have an agenda. Well that may be, but so what? Jason Serinus, in his review of $10,000 worth of Nordost power cords vs. stock power cords at HomeTheaterHiFi I'm sure also had an agenda but he also came up with a null result. Sometimes though, Machani, people can use words to convey other things than they really mean. One could replace the word agenda with hypothesis or investigation and not change what was done although agenda tends to imply sneaky stuff going on. A conspiracy if you will.

Maybe the conclusion to be drawn from this is if two players have similar frequency responses, levels of distortion and jitter that are inaudible, and are designed so that the Nyquist criteria is adhered to, then it's highly likely they'll be indistinguishable.

Quote:
Finally, neither you, nor anyone else in the self appointed clique of objectivists with "smarter than thou" attitude have the right to tell me what I or anyone else can post.
Where have I ever said that?

Regarding the link, I'm not going to pick on a guy who's on Social Security but I've got to wonder how he can afford what he's bought on that.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #183 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:37 AM
 
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The first time I bought a Discman, several of my freinds had pretty good stereos that they were still using with turntables and/or tape decks. As I hooked the Discman up to each of these in turn my freinds were all, without exception, utterly blown away by the sound. Three bought CD players within the week, the rest soon after.
That was a first-generation portable. CD technology has come so far since then that virtually any of today's players, however cheap, are superior to it. To me, this puts the CD player quality debate in perspective.
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post #184 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cowclops
...you have NEVER IN YOUR LIFE studied any experimental science whatsoever.
I'm not sure that's a prerequisite for musical enjoyment. :D If one wanted to STUDY differences in gear, fine. Most of us just want to make a series of equipment purchases that satisfy all requirements (one of which is sound), and enjoy the media.

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #185 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ
And Bose lost :D
CR is yet to loose a case. Many have tried :D
It's too bad you can't sue a publication for causing a retailer to lose business because said publication is filled with retards. Alas, stupidity isn't necessarily malicious. :o

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #186 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 06:12 PM
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Chu Ga,
I certainly appreciate you taking the time to show your sources and related material. This has given me opportunity to refer to sources of my own.

Formerly an objectivist myself, I have experienced things which to me are undeniably true - that I can hear differences in cables, CD players, and so on. Nor do I consider myself having "golden ears."

It's interesting that you bring up the HomeTheaterHiFi double blind test by Jason Victor Sirinus with the help of BAAS on Nordost Valhalla power cords and stock ones. It's interesting because I have read Jason's other positive review on the Valhalla cord. What are some of the conclusions from the DBT? Quoting from the article:
Therefore, we cannot conclude that different power cords produce a difference using the blind ABX protocol. However, we also cannot conclude that there are no differences.

Read also the limitations of that test, for example the short duration of the music tracks, the long time between cable changes, the fact that all listeners were not sitting in the sweet spot, and so on.

It's interesting you bring up technical measurements from Stereophile, because Stereophile is a magazine which includes subjective reviews of such topics as cables - which are considered heresy by objectivists.

Stereophile's John Atkinson's article on the subject of double blind testing is particularly relevant to me. This article and some of the reader responses explain how A/B/X testing leaves out aspects important important to audiophiles. Besides A/B/X is a forced-choice experiment that assumes a person can come to a conclusion after a short observation.

Wouldn't it be more relevant if a subjectivist (myself included) who claims he can hear differences between cables devise a blind test with his own optimized setup? Then have someone else switch the cables while the subjectivist is blindfolded. But the subjectivist will have access to the CD player's remote control and have the ability to switch or repeat the tracks being played.

I can guarantee you that in my setup I can very easily tell the difference between RadioShack interconnects and my latest DIY interconnects, or between my old cheap Carol brand speaker cables and DHLabs Q10.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai

Quote Machani:
Finally, neither you, nor anyone else in the self appointed clique of objectivists with "smarter than thou" attitude have the right to tell me what I or anyone else can post.


Where have I ever said that?
Sorry for the confusion, that statement was intended for CharlesJ.

C N Machani
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post #187 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by schticker
It's too bad you can't sue a publication for causing a retailer to lose business because said publication is filled with retards. Alas, stupidity isn't necessarily malicious. :o

Bose sued. The court decided CR did nothing wrong in the article.
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post #188 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 08:36 PM
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[quote=machani]Chu Gai,
I question the validity of their studies if their setup environment is no abysmal that they connect pick out the difference between a Sony Diskman and a true Hi-Fi model. From their outset I find their intentions suspect and seem to want to further an objectivist agenda.


I see you also have a closed mind. Have you tried to replicate the test for a different outcome??? Of course not as then your protocol would be in question, I am sure. Why is it not possible for that Discman to be audibly the same, especially if the digital out is used??? Of course it can. You just cannot stand the truths.

I find their study on cables highly questionable. Hell even AudioHolics now talks about how shielding can affect sonics of interconnects.

Talking is not demonstrating, is it? Have they conducted DBT listening?
And, even if that was the case, so what. Who said all cables sound the same?
After all, a 24ga speaker cable was differentiated from a 16ga in a DBT. So what.


rry, just because they have references to probability and statistics methodologies, when the data gathering method itself is flawed does not a scietific study make!

You opinion, of course. Have you shown their data to be flawed? Do you have data to show a different outcome???

on't see how much more valid their study can be different from one recently done by a former skeptic, who set out to prove cables don't make a difference but the tests proved otherwise. Here's the link if you are interested.

Well, he has a mountain of evidence to overcome. But, of course you don't question his test, right?

course you will now claim that the study I quote fails to conform to scientific methodology, which is fine. I don't see how the studies by matrixhifi conform to science either. Please refer to my questions about the validity of the tests in my previous post.

Only that his outcome has yet to be replicated by others.

ally, neither you, nor anyone else in the self appointed clique of objectivists with "smarter than thou" attitude have the right to tell me what I or anyone else can post.

Oh, please, no one is telling you what to post. Just don't be surprised when you make a testable claim and you are put to the burden of proving it.
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post #189 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randybes
And Dave Wilson used an IPOD to demonstrate his MAXX speakers and none were the wiser. He probably did have good cables and a high end power cord though :D

YES, that is the answer :D
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post #190 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophiliac
You find one device that can do that 100% perfectly. :)

TO be transparent the process or device doesn't have to be 'perfect' -- it only has to be *inaudible*. Digital copying -- e.g. ripping a track from a CD, then reburning it to a CDR, using a CD drive and software -- is routinely transparent. I would expect a digital recording of an LP to be transparent. I would expect competently made cables to be transparent as well.
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post #191 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machani
Some examples of preconceived notions bandied about by objectivists in forum are:
1) All modern electronics are acoustically transparent
I have never, ever seen that notion bandied about, on any of the many forums I have participated in or read. I have often seen some form of this GROSS exaggeration of *actual* views of objectivsts, posted by people like you.

Quote:
2) All modern CD players are indistinguishable sonically.
Again, not a notion I;ve seen bandied about in that form. Usually there are some caveats.


Quote:
What about the "hard facts" that are ignored:
1) Two different brands/models of CDP may have vastly differing internal electricals and electronics - from the power supply, to the laser pickup mechanism, to the digital receiver (for the DAC), to the DAC, to the analog output stage.
They may, and in some cases the performance of one may be so poor that there may indeed be audible differences. No objectivist I've ever seen denies this.

Quote:
2) Two different brands/models have different specifications and actually measure differently - in THD, dynamic range, frequency response, etc.
No objectivist denies this either. THe important thing here, of course, is whether the differences are actually audible. Because for a fact, not all measurable differemces are audible.

Quote:
3) Two different brands/models of CDP may employ different sampling rates and digital filtering (inside the DAC chip) and also different filtering in the analog output stage (i.e., the opamp)
If implemented poorly, these coudl indeed produce an audibly identifiable CDP, as any objectivist will agree.


[quote]4) The digital clock/PLL mechanism may be differnt between two brands/models yielding different measured jitter.[quote]

ANd again, the levels at which this becomes AUDIBLE is what matters. Have you familiarized yourself with the research on audibility of jitter?

Quote:
Yet, we get the same inane reply, without proof, that two differnent brands/models of CDP are sonically indistinguishable.

The only inane thing is the idea that all measurable differences imply audible difference


Quote:
Further, forum members who offer their concerted opinions and anecdotal evidence for the benefit of other are threatened to "be taken to task" by the self appointed "smarter than thou" forum police.
The outright mischaractierization of objectivist views is a constant theme among subjectivists, in my experience. Shame on them.
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post #192 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lcaillo
I would like to see some of this research.
the Benjamin and Gannon paper can be orderd from the AES website for $20. It's well worth it as it puts the torrent of nonsense written about jitter by 'audiophiles' into good perspective

some of Dunn's work is available for download from nanophon
http://www.nanophon.com/audio/index.htm

his paper with Dennis on the 'mystery' of numerically identical CDs sounding different, is here. The parts regarding 'golden ear' test subject are particularly amusing:

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/pi...s/cdinvest.pdf
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post #193 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai

You've forgotten a whole lot of other 'requirements' too Machani. Like you have to be very familiar with the music. You've got to be very familiar with the equipment. You've got to have a lot of experience listening. You've got to be relaxed. You've got to have had a good day. You can't be on medication. You've got to have your hearing checked. (Now wouldn't that be a revelation if reviewers submitted to that on an independent, periodic basis.) You've got to have circuit breakers and not fuses, as per Jason Serinus. The list goes on.

Isn't it funny how subjectivists get so *very* concerned about methodological rigor, when they are presented with a controlled comparison report? Especially in contrast to their monthly silence at the outrages against good listening test methodology circulated in every issue of The Absolute Sound and Stereophile, not to mention the 'mass market' audio mags.
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post #194 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
I have used a Sony Discman as the primary source in a stereo system before, and it sounds quite good. :D

IIRC, for awhile, back in the early 90's, Sam Tellig or someone of that golden-eared ilk was touting the sonic excellence of a Radio Shack discman, in one of the audiophile rags.
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post #195 of 438 Old 05-16-2006, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machani
Finally, neither you, nor anyone else in the self appointed clique of objectivists with "smarter than thou" attitude have the right to tell me what I or anyone else can post.

I'm not sure who is 'smarter than thou' here, but for sure some are more *informed* than thou. And btw, YOU have explicitly tried to dictate conditions for posting by others, have you not? Or was it someone else who wrote:

Quote:
If you would like to take this further please furnish us with answers to my questions. Otherwise stop quoting this as "science".
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post #196 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by krabapple
the Benjamin and Gannon paper can be orderd from the AES website for $20. It's well worth it as it puts the torrent of nonsense written about jitter by 'audiophiles' into good perspective

some of Dunn's work is available for download from nanophon
http://www.nanophon.com/audio/index.htm

his paper with Dennis on the 'mystery' of numerically identical CDs sounding different, is here. The parts regarding 'golden ear' test subject are particularly amusing:

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/pi...s/cdinvest.pdf

Thanks. Good resources. Obviously, they do not show that either fringe is right, and support the notion that more, better research is needed to understand the issues involved in the perception of differences in audio products. I find it refreshing that an author is really attempting to understand rather than prove one side right or wrong.

Yes, calibration is important...every user should be calibrated.

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post #197 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 05:38 AM
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I usually have some related material Machani ;)

The thing is, how do you come to the conclusion that you can reliably hear differences in CD players or cables for that matter? If you've perused StereoPhile, then you've noted that when they do measurements, it's quite common that CDP's output levels vary. So, how do you ensure that the levels are the same? And if you do sighted comparisons, what about the various biases you have, both concious and subconcious? YOu can't simply will them away or state to yourself that you're going to approach this without any preconceived notions. Those that lie within our mind, tucked away, just don't respond to such things in part because we don't know most of them.

With regards to the JVS PowerCord tests, I was a comparatively active poster during the genesis of the test so I'm fairly familiar with it. Also, I'm aware of his positive comments and subjective impressions of his positive review. Now bear in mind, this is a reviewer who also believes in the healing ability of whistling, Reiki (he's a practioner), and also has this Psychic Lavender Network where he and others gather together remotely at designated times (they live in different parts of the country) to do psychic healing. He's also a strong believer in Astrology and things like Homepathy. I say this not to disparage JVS because awareness of where he's coming from will make it self evident that he is fully capable of doing that himself. So I ask you Machani, how much credence in anything can you put in what JVS has to say regarding sighted evaluations? Fantasy and the belief in discredited and uproven areas are the hallmark of this man.

So when you lift his quote, Therefore, we cannot conclude that different power cords produce a difference using the blind ABX protocol. However, we also cannot conclude that there are no differences. I personally find rather cold comfort in constantly invoking the null hypothesis as an escape clause.

Confining my remarks to PC's, there are several reasons why the null hypothesis is an unreasonable answer. For starters, this thing with audiophile power cords is essentially confined to audio. Audio's a small business compared to other areas such as computers, medical equipment, scientific research equipment, and everywhere else. There's been no penetration whatsoever into these areas. It can't be because of cost, because the costs of instrumentation in these areas make $100,000+ amps look cheap by comparison. Further, as delicate as you think audio signals are, they pale in comparison to scanning electron microscopes, femtogram and lower detection of organic compounds, low voltage signals generated by cellular processes, devices that can look at individual atoms, seismographs that can detect earthquakes and explosions half way around the world, radio astronomy, and so forth. No penetration whatsoever even though funds could easily be justified for a $10,000 power cord just to go one order of magnitude lower in detection limits. Easily. All businesses want to expand. Why can't this one?

If one were to measure the performance characteristics of an amp, preamp, CD player, etc., there'd be no difference before and after the cord was inserted. Why?

Sundry controlled tests, admittedly with small populations and admittedly without every possible combination of device out there, have indicated a failure for people to differentiate or identify power cords.

Not one manufacturer or vendor has provided evidence in the way of controlled listening tests or measurements of equipment that substantiates an audible difference when using their cords. Anecdotal stories and testimonials have been provided but stories are not evidence.

Discussions with professors at various universities in disciplines such as electrical engineering have generally yielded the response that if a power cord were to result in measurable differences in a piece of equipment (that doesn't mean using the wrong size/gauge) the most likely the power supply section has been poorly designed. It's reasonable to think that if a person or company can't get the power supply section right, there's a pretty good chance there's other things wrong too.

From a marketing perspective, vendors of high priced equipment where the price is due more to exclusivity and style rather than audible superiority, welcome tweaks or after-market power cords because they know that the longer you keep the equipment, the less likely you'll return it. That means the dealers are happy and the manufacturers are happy since they don't have to deal with returns or disgruntled dealers. Virtually everyone has a grace period where you can return something, usually for your money back. No one really wants to have to deal with a return. That's costly!

The audible differences that people hear when they do a sighted comparison, even level matched (although it would be rather remarkable if that were needed when doing switching) that can't be substantiated when the test is blind and randomized, are easily explainable without invoking unusual rationalizations or theories. Changes in auditory focus, unintentional and innocent in most cases is one reason. Expection effects are another. Embarassment is another. Wanting to belong to the audiphile crowd is another. Poor acoustic memory is another. Occam's razor if you will :)

Quote:
Read also the limitations of that test, for example the short duration of the music tracks, the long time between cable changes, the fact that all listeners were not sitting in the sweet spot, and so on.
I criticized the long changes in Secret's forum. That was apparently because Jason wanted to stack the deck in favor of the Nordost. Therefore he used 4 PC's at a cost of $10,000 compared to the 4 generics. I also criticized Jason himself who was said to have been a distraction himself because of his animated behavior. Before the test was performed, Jason, who self-admittedly was able to discern nuances, had training sessions with several participants. One of them, John Beavers, also writes for some on-line review place and supposedly has a trained ear. If you know what to listen for, and the majority of these people had training, then short durations work to one's advantage.
Given that they wanted to get several people in on this, not everyone could sit in the sweet spot. However, to do the test one or two at a time would've meant more time. Time, was not available for those doing the switching. Consider though Machani, the response you get when asking a manufacturer or salesperson how you should listen to a power cord or anything else.

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It's interesting you bring up technical measurements from Stereophile, because Stereophile is a magazine which includes subjective reviews of such topics as cables - which are considered heresy by objectivists.
I trust the measurements aren't fudged. Whether they have the necessary skill to do things like speaker measurements when dealing with larger units is debateable. At least though, they tell you wnat their doing.

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Stereophile's John Atkinson's article on the subject of double blind testing is particularly relevant to me. This article and some of the reader responses explain how A/B/X testing leaves out aspects important important to audiophiles. Besides A/B/X is a forced-choice experiment that assumes a person can come to a conclusion after a short observation.
I've read that article. It's a very old recollection by JA. Note that he says, "However, over time I began to realize that even though the sound of my system with the Quad was the same as it ever had been, the magic was gone. Listening to records began to play a smaller role in my life—until I replaced the 405 with an M&A tube amplifier two years later." I'm not sure what to make of this other than he felt that some sort of magic was gone. Now, just because two amps can't be distinguished from each other in a blind test, does not mean that both amps are equally capable of driving a speaker to the same levels. That's an entirely different matter and perhaps that's what JA was getting at. Consider though Machani, a similar story. A son goes off to college and returns home to his parent's farm where he tells his dad that horseshoes hung up over a barn are just superstition. He removes it, but after a time the father puts it back on. To him, things just didn't feel right. In summation, the standards when writing to the public in a magazine are different than when writing for a peer reviewed publication. Different audiences and different goals. It is possible to write about something that is the same yet make it sound different. Put an apple on the table and ask the people around it to write about it. Tell them to take their time. Now look at all the responses. Are they talking about the same apple?

Also, there's nothing in an ABX test that forces a person to do a short observation. Nothing whatsoever. You can listen for as long or as short as you want. That's up to you. You can make as many comparisons to X as you like before making a decision. But you have to make a decision otherwise what's the point? There's much to argue in favor of rapid switching with passages of short duration, but you have to know what you're listening for. That's the training part. The longer you listen, the less likely you'll be able to pick up on subtleties or nuances. The simple reason for this is that the power of our hearing lies in the ability of our brain to reject, simplify, and reduce the information it receives. If your auditory focus changes because you're paying more attention to one part and not another, or if there are other distractions, or your mood is different, then this reduction of information changes each time. IOW, you're hearing different things even though you're listening to the same thing.


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Wouldn't it be more relevant if a subjectivist (myself included) who claims he can hear differences between cables devise a blind test with his own optimized setup? Then have someone else switch the cables while the subjectivist is blindfolded. But the subjectivist will have access to the CD player's remote control and have the ability to switch or repeat the tracks being played.
Sure, why not? All you've got to do is figure out how to ensure the levels are identical in both cases. So burn some test tones, get a VOM and make sure that the very act of switching doesn't impart a signature sound. Go for it.

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I can guarantee you that in my setup I can very easily tell the difference between RadioShack interconnects and my latest DIY interconnects, or between my old cheap Carol brand speaker cables and DHLabs Q10.
I'm not stopping you. Make sure the cables aren't oxidized or broken though.

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post #198 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 05:54 AM
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Well in the Benjamin & Gannon paper, they found that so long as the DIR can lock on to the signal, that jitter was not a problem. This would suggest things like jitter reduction boxes, while potentially effective, are worthless from the point of audibility. Plastic or glass toslink, for typical lengths used by an individual, is irrelevent.

Their findings were that the threshold for jitter is ~10 ns, peak to peak, for a sine wave. For musical sources, it's around 30-300 ns. The reason why it's higher with musical sources has to do with masking in which case the jitter must exceed the masking threshold in order for it to be perceptible. Keep in mind here, that we're talking about 'just noticeable'.

So, look at the various results for jitter with CDP's. What kind of levels do you find? How would you contrast StereoPhile's claims that their people can detect levels around 10 ps in music? Does the discrepency bother you?

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post #199 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lcaillo
Thanks. Good resources. Obviously, they do not show that either fringe is right, and support the notion that more, better research is needed to understand the issues involved in the perception of differences in audio products. I find it refreshing that an author is really attempting to understand rather than prove one side right or wrong.
Actually, for each of the phenomena studied in the two papers (jitter, and putative difference between numerically identical CDs), the evidence presented was that under normal conditions *neither is audible*. In the case of Dunn et al, it was also found that jitter is not likely to be the cause of said putative difference anyway.
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post #200 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 08:25 AM
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Audiophile subjectivism leaves one no ground to stand on to criticize this, er, tweak:



http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/im...s/ac/knobc.jpg

http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Me...Code=NOB_C37_C


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Good vibrations, Bad vibrations it’s all about vibrations!! RAM would like to introduce a new signature level knob developed for the mighty Silver Rock potentiometer. The standard bakelite knob is certainly the best sounding compromise... but now Audio Consulting has taken this aspect of the Silver Rock much further. The new knobs are custom made with beech wood and bronze where the bronze is used as the insert to mount to the stem of the volume pot. The beech wood is coated several times with C37 lacquer for best sound as pointed out by Dieter Ennemoser. How can this make a difference??? Well, hearing is believing as we always say. The sound becomes much more open and free flowing with a nice improvement in resolution. Dynamics are better and overall naturalness is improved. Here is a test for all you Silver Rock owners. Try removing the bakelite knobs and listen. You will be shocked by this! The signature knobs will have an even greater effect…really amazing! The point here is the micro vibrations created by the volume pots and knobs find their way into the delicate signal path and cause degradation (Bad vibrations equal bad sound). With the signature knobs micro vibrations from the C37 concept of wood, bronze and the lacquer itself compensate for the volume pots and provide (Good Vibrations) our ear/brain combination like to hear…way better sound!!

Shameless nonsense, you say? Hey, what matters it that it makes some people believe stuff sounds better, right? (And isn't it funny how nearly every tweak ever reported makes the sound 'more open', and 'improves resolution'?)

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post #201 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 08:53 AM
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You know, Jitter has interested me. I wont pretend to understand all of the items in those papers. Though they seemed very good and informative. My player was measured by sterophile to have a jitter factor of 495pico seconds.
The quote is
"The actual jitter level was quite respectable, at 495 picoseconds peak-peak, with data-related jitter (red numeric markers) relatively low, other than the sidebands at the squarewave's fundamental frequency (red "10"s). However, not only are a large number of sidebands present at multiples of ±30Hz, but a double-humped swell in the noise floor can be seen around the central 11.025kHz tone"
Now again, I wont pretend to understand all of that. But also, in the same section it is stated
"In almost all respects, and whether playing back CDs, SACDs, or DVDs, the Esoteric DV-50 gets a clean bill of health. However, its merely good jitter rejection gives rise to some minor concern on my part. Still, it's fair to note that Paul Bolin noticed nothing amiss in his auditioning."
Now I also can not find anything wrong with the sound of this player. Other players have much lower jitter then this one does. Yet it has always been reviewed very well. None of the many reviews of it state that it is a problem. And again, I can not hear a problem with it either.

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post #202 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
I've read that article. It's a very old recollection by JA. Note that he says, "However, over time I began to realize that even though the sound of my system with the Quad was the same as it ever had been, the magic was gone. Listening to records began to play a smaller role in my life—until I replaced the 405 with an M&A tube amplifier two years later." I'm not sure what to make of this other than he felt that some sort of magic was gone. Now, just because two amps can't be distinguished from each other in a blind test, does not mean that both amps are equally capable of driving a speaker to the same levels. That's an entirely different matter and perhaps that's what JA was getting at.
I think what JA was trying to say was that his ears were telling him things that the level matched A/B/X was not. This is the crux of the issue,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Sure, why not? All you've got to do is figure out how to ensure the levels are identical in both cases. So burn some test tones, get a VOM and make sure that the very act of switching doesn't impart a signature sound. Go for it.

Machani:
I can guarantee you that in my setup I can very easily tell the difference between RadioShack interconnects and my latest DIY interconnects, or between my old cheap Carol brand speaker cables and DHLabs Q10.


I'm not stopping you. Make sure the cables aren't oxidized or broken though.
Lets take the potential of fudge factor (i.e., intentionally spiking a DIY cable) out of the equation. Get a pair of cheapest unshielded RadioShack brand ICs and a pair of Harmonic Technology Pro-Silway II or PS Audio Transcendent ICs.

Have the subjectivist sit blindfolded in the sweetspot of his own optimized environment. Have someone else switch the cables plus one or two neutral observers (include a video camera to make sure no hanky panky is going on). The subjectivist has access to both the CD player's remote and the preamp's volume remote (so no question of level matching here). The reason for this is that cables can actually alter the SPL (or perceived SPL). Give the subjectivist the freedom to replay tracks and also alter the volume levels.

Given the fact that the subjectivist is blindfolded and someone else is switching the cables, it's the job of the subjectivist to indentify which cable is playing - so the need for level matching does not arise.

Repeat the test as many times as necessary, giving the subjectivist time to relax and take breaks. In my setup, I can say with 95% confidence (2 sigma) that I can identify which cable is playing with the above cables mentioned - perhaps less so if both pairs of cable were of higher end.

C N Machani
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post #203 of 438 Old 05-17-2006, 12:02 PM
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So go for it. Just use a VOM to check the voltages at the terminals after playing a test tone at say 1 kHz.

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post #204 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Bose sued. The court decided CR did nothing wrong in the article.
I wasn't referring to Bose. They can get bent. :D

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #205 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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He doesn't need science to support his beliefs. :D
We only know what we know, and it the grand scheme of things, that ain't much. :D

Science as it is known it not the final arbiter. The way our ear/brain perceives things is also science, but since the response varies so much from person to person, perception is very hard to measure.

I'm still not convinced that boiling a hobby that is based on perception down to "measurable and repeatable" tests is really a great idea. It seems the intention is to suck the fun out of it all...

The First Clarke Law states, 'If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.'
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post #206 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by schticker
We only know what we know, and it the grand scheme of things, that ain't much. :D

Science as it is known it not the final arbiter. The way our ear/brain perceives things is also science, but since the response varies so much from person to person, perception is very hard to measure.

I'm still not convinced that boiling a hobby that is based on perception down to "measurable and repeatable" tests is really a great idea. It seems the intention is to suck the fun out of it all...
Well said.
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post #207 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple
Audiophile subjectivism leaves one no ground to stand on to criticize this, er, tweak:



http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/im...s/ac/knobc.jpg

http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Me...Code=NOB_C37_C





Shameless nonsense, you say? Hey, what matters it that it makes some people believe stuff sounds better, right? (And isn't it funny how nearly every tweak ever reported makes the sound 'more open', and 'improves resolution'?)

Cost: $485.00 ea
Value as an example: priceless
Obviously this is BS and the difraction distortion off of the ridge around the knob is more of a problem than the vibrations. I mean really, how open could it be with those nasty reflections...I bet they are just about at the same frequency as the artifacts of the jitter from a CD player and probably sound horendous. What real audiophile needs a potentiometer anyway? Just decide which gain setting presents the best image and resolution for your system and replace it with fixed resistors. Just be sure to use matched parallel wire-wound resistors that are made with single crystal OFC and wire wrap them rather than soldering...

BTW, at Leon's Snake Oil System Therepy Solutions, we do these mods for $1295 and replace the knobs with elliptical foam stubbs to prevent the diffraction distortion problem. An hour and a half of pre-paid counselling with a well respected psychotherapist is included.

Yes, calibration is important...every user should be calibrated.

Need electronics repair? A great place to start looking for a shop in your area: http://www.tvrepairpros.com/
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post #208 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 05:53 PM
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And if I were a manufacturer of products, I'd champion those thoughts also. Yes, it's a hobby. It's fun. Enjoy. However schticker, just because you've never picked up a book or taken classes that have to do with hearing and perception, don't foist off your ignorance of the matter and make it sound that things are all that hard or that unknown. There's been around 2 centuries of work in this area so it's hardly a hazy thing. Maybe to you though.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #209 of 438 Old 05-18-2006, 07:19 PM
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[quote=schticker]
Science as it is known it not the final arbiter.


What is then? I believe reality demands an arbiter.


The way our ear/brain perceives things is also science, but since the response varies so much from person to person, perception is very hard to measure.

Well, not sure about that. We can certainly test ones perception if it is imagined perception or fact based. This is done all the time when we need to decided.

I'm still not convinced that boiling a hobby that is based on perception down to "measurable and repeatable" tests is really a great idea. It seems the intention is to suck the fun out of it all...

No, that is not the intent. Reality is the intent. Facts are the intent. After that, one can certainly ignore both and take the other branch in the road. Then, a person as an informed choice which branch to take instead of not having that fork in the road.
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post #210 of 438 Old 05-19-2006, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schticker
We only know what we know, and it the grand scheme of things, that ain't much. :D

Science as it is known it not the final arbiter. The way our ear/brain perceives things is also science, but since the response varies so much from person to person, perception is very hard to measure.

I'm still not convinced that boiling a hobby that is based on perception down to "measurable and repeatable" tests is really a great idea. It seems the intention is to suck the fun out of it all...
Again, well said.

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