Biggest myths in audio that tick you off/General things in audio that tick you off. - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post


Perhaps the McIntosh amp was clipping/distorting.

Possible, but based on MK's gear he mentioned earlier, I doubt it. With speakers that sensitive, it would have been an extraordinarily loud DBT!
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post #632 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Just a coincidence. All the many scientists on this site claim all amps sound the same.

wrong. but that's ok...

what those of us of a scientific bent say is that "driven within spec, any competently designed ss amplifier will be audibly the same, as long as the manufacturer doesn't intentionally color the sound"...

when people "listen" only with their ears, this is repeatedly proven to be true...

what those who repeatedly state "i listen with my ears", "don't tell me what my ears hear", etc. fail to understand is that if the test is not controlled, they are NOT listening with just their ears...

once more, "i heard it" is NOT evidence, nor is it even an opinion... it is merely an uncontrolled observation... which means nada...

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post #633 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post


Possible, but based on MK's gear he mentioned earlier, I doubt it. With speakers that sensitive, it would have been an extraordinarily loud DBT!

What speakers did he mention? I didn't see.

HAVE:

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Speakers: Philharmonic 2; TagMclaren Calliope; Pioneer BS-22
Sub: W15GTI MKII (Tuned to 20hz; 300 liter enclosure) X 2
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post #634 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

Common sense tells me they don't so I'll ask the question again " Will amps, with no DSP or any filters applied whatsoever actually change the sound characteristics of the source?"

Yes, it's possible to have amps sound different. For instance, one may induce a ground loop that creates hum. One may be have noisier outputs than another, perhaps because its gain is very high. One may have transformer hum (particularly common on "blade" style multichannel amps with 7 separate transformers). One may have insufficient power to drive a given pair of speakers.

But if one competently specifies an amp for a given situation, no.

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Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

I did not expect to hear a difference when I replaced my Denon 3808 (may it rest in peace) with my Pioneer, but I did.

You should have expected a difference. Signal processors do different things to the signal by definition, and often sound different from one another. MultEQ XT and MCAAC have different target curves and different measurement methodologies.

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Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

I believe it is because many science types dismiss personal preference and instead demand charts and graphs alone.

That is simply not true.

What the less sophisticated audiophile fail to realize is that "personal preference" is not a one step affair. Before arriving at the possibility of preference, there is a threshold question that must be affirmatively answered: is there any difference to begin with, that could form a basis for preference. That question can only be answered in controlled listening. No "charts and graphs" will get you there, just as no "I heard this and that and oh man this had so much more detail and transparency than that" type drivel will get you there.

One cannot simply assume away the threshold question. If there is no difference, then there is no valid preference based on sound. Though there is valid preference based on about every other variable imaginable (price, resale value, looks, brand image, perceived quality, etc.).

But if there is a difference, then all preferences are valid as to that person, and invalid as to everyone else. It's a personal thing. All one can say is that a given percentage of people have preferred one over the other in controlled listening. There is no guarantee that any individual will not fall into majority camp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

Perhaps the McIntosh amp was clipping/distorting.

Way more likely, he simply didn't match levels to the required degree of accuracy.

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post #635 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:34 AM
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why testing must be controlled:

i wake up one day, and it is cloudy...

i do not see the sun...

i therefore draw the conclusion that "there is no sun, because my eyes told me there wasn't one"...

or...

i wake up in the middle of the night and it is dark...

i do not see the sun...

i do see the moon...

i therefore draw the conclusion "there is no sun, and the moon actually makes light, becuase my eyes told me so"...

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post #636 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I tried a blind test to my friends many times. The convenience of having your gear in another room and the speakers and subs behind the screen. I told them that I want them to tell which sounds better or if it sounds the same. I ran a 2 channel with subs of the dark night movie sound track with number 1 and number 2. I kept switching back and forth within the tracks and let the whole song play as well. Number one was McIntosh amp and number two was a EP-2500. Every single person chose a winner, number 2!

One of my biggest Amp wow moments was putting an EP-2500 into the mix for two subs vs my Behringer A500.

The entire point is the increased wattage definitely made an output difference (about 4.5 dB). That was a wow moment. While it didn't really sound different at low level, there was a whole other aspect when getting on it. The headroom was noticeable by the wife when she was in the kitchen.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #637 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Yes, it's possible to have amps sound different. For instance, one may induce a ground loop that creates hum. One may be have noisier outputs than another, perhaps because its gain is very high. One may have transformer hum (particularly common on "blade" style multichannel amps with 7 separate transformers). One may have insufficient power to drive a given pair of speakers.

valid argument

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But if one competently specifies an amp for a given situation, no.

not sure what you mean...kind of sound like an insult or not.
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post #638 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

What the less sophisticated audiophile fail to realize is that "personal preference" is not a one step affair. Before arriving at the possibility of preference, there is a threshold question that must be affirmatively answered: is there any difference to begin with, that could form a basis for preference. That question can only be answered in controlled listening. No "charts and graphs" will get you there, just as no "I heard this and that and oh man this had so much more detail and transparency than that" type drivel will get you there.

One cannot simply assume away the threshold question. If there is no difference, then there is no valid preference based on sound. Though there is valid preference based on about every other variable imaginable (price, resale value, looks, brand image, perceived quality, etc.).

But if there is a difference, then all preferences are valid as to that person, and invalid as to everyone else. It's a personal thing. All one can say is that a given percentage of people have preferred one over the other in controlled listening. There is no guarantee that any individual will not fall into majority camp.

bingo... before "preference" can be made, "difference" has to be established... and, as noted lo so many times, "i heard it" does not establish a "difference"...

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post #639 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 12:13 PM
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Everything was level matched and both amps had plenty of power, 300 watts from my Mac amps and 450 from the EP-2500. I was powering a 103 dB speaker so power did not matter. I did tell them that one amp was expensive and the other was cheap so they were looking for something different. I went into the room and I could not tell a difference so I sold the Mac amp although it was pretty!
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post #640 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

why testing must be controlled:

i wake up one day, and it is cloudy...

i do not see the sun...

i therefore draw the conclusion that "there is no sun, because my eyes told me there wasn't one"...

or...

i wake up in the middle of the night and it is dark...

i do not see the sun...

i do see the moon...

i therefore draw the conclusion "there is no sun, and the moon actually makes light, becuase my eyes told me so"...

One difference in this scenario vs. making subjective comments regarding audio is that we have schema to draw from with our audio experiences. At least, I feel my "opinion" comments are in relation to all my audio experiences. It's not a "snapshot" comment like your analogy is. You can't remove all value from them.

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post #641 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkish54 View Post

What speakers did he mention? I didn't see.

They were my JBL pro 3622N's at the time. 103 dBs sensitive and 4 ohms, piece of cake for both amps at the level I was playing, 95 dBs.
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post #642 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post




Way more likely, he simply didn't match levels to the required degree of accuracy.

Not correct, I level matched as always and played speakers capable of 133 dBs at 95 dbs crossed over to subs at 80hz. The speakers are also very sensitive and both amps had no difficulty with what was playing, even if it was at 105 dBs.
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post #643 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 01:51 PM
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You guys are missing the point, they knew one amp was much more expensive than the other so they had to pick one thinking that is correct. The truth is they were all lucky to pick the same amp and there really was not a difference. Once I told them that there does not have to be a difference they all started telling me how they thought it was really hard to tell a difference. I said even if there was a slight difference would it justify the price tag and they all said no. I then asked what if the amps were in your room and were out the open then would the difference in price be justifed and the answer was yes. Some people are willing to pay more money just for looks but I don't see my equipment while watching a movie so I care about performance only!
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post #644 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

not sure what you mean...kind of sound like an insult or not.

No insult intended. Just a statement that one needs to competently specify amps to drive a given set of loudspeakers in a given room to a given SPL. After that, issues such as noise (either through the outputs or transformer buzzing) are the only things that really matter.

My big test for an amp is a cheap Eminence compression driver on a small horn that's hugely efficient (>100dB). If it makes noise, that thing will reveal it.

The one that's most impressed me so far, FWIW, was an Sherwood Newcastle A-965 7 channel amp ca. 2006. The only other amps that have been as quiet were by Bryston, McIntosh, and Anthem Statement. It impressed me so much, I bought it.

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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Everything was level matched

How? By taking a multimeter to the outputs and matching voltage with a test tone? That's the only valid approach.

"Level matching" based on in-room response is too error-prone and imprecise to be valid, IMO. Even if one doesn't (consciously) move the mike, etc. It's just bad procedure.

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post #645 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

You guys are missing the point, they knew one amp was much more expensive than the other so they had to pick one thinking that is correct. The truth is they were all lucky to pick the same amp and there really was not a difference. Once I told them that there does not have to be a difference they all started telling me how they thought it was really hard to tell a difference. I said even if there was a slight difference would it justify the price tag and they all said no. I then asked what if the amps were in your room and were out the open then would the difference in price be justifed and the answer was yes. Some people are willing to pay more money just for looks but I don't see my equipment while watching a movie so I care about performance only!

Let's also not forget that people tend to also follow the herd, meaning that if one person selected cheaper amp, they would be influenced by that choice and go along with the concensus.

Does anybody remember the Pepsi/Coke challenges they had in the malls acroos the country? I have always prefered Coke over Pepsi, and at home it would never fail that I would pick Coke, repeating the test as if it were being done like at the mall. In the mall however, it was always Pepsi that won out... herd mentality colors test results, plain and simple.
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post #646 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post

In the mall however, it was always Pepsi that won out... herd mentality colors test results, plain and simple.

So you are saying that at real time, if I'm in the mall, that the choices that people made an hour before me are affecting my singularity of a moment in tasting A then B and stating a preference?

Not sure how they conducted their tests so I would be interested in seeing that. I vaguely remember the commercial with people professing their like of Pepsi and thinking: Are they really going to show the people that picked Coke?

Same goes for the tire and carpet commercials: If we can't match their price we'll give it to you! Really, your are going to give me free carpet because you can't match another vendors price? My other favorite at car lots: No credit application refused!

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #647 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post


Let's also not forget that people tend to also follow the herd, meaning that if one person selected cheaper amp, they would be influenced by that choice and go along with the concensus.

Does anybody remember the Pepsi/Coke challenges they had in the malls acroos the country? I have always prefered Coke over Pepsi, and at home it would never fail that I would pick Coke, repeating the test as if it were being done like at the mall. In the mall however, it was always Pepsi that won out... herd mentality colors test results, plain and simple.

The Coke/Pepsi test results weren't the result of herd mentality. It came out after the fact that Pepsi was being served colder than Coke. It does make an interesting analogy for creating a level playing field (or level matching) though.

Again highlighting why properly controlled testing is vital.
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post #648 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by giedrys View Post

4. Overall silly and outrageously overpriced audio products be it $500 power cord or 50K TT sitting on 500 pound stand that reduces "vibration".

While I generally agree on cabling and many other tweaky things, I have to take issue with turntables that strive for strong isolation from both internal and external vibration amongst other features. It's one of the few areas where you can actually make seriously audible differences. Not that you have to spend $50k for first rate analog sound, but when you require critical playback accuracy such as the Library of Congress requires when archiving our nation's recorded history, you don't use a Technics SL1200.
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post #649 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by vraxoin View Post

While I generally agree on cabling and many other tweaky things, I have to take issue with turntables that strive for strong isolation from both internal and external vibration amongst other features. It's one of the few areas where you can actually make seriously audible differences. Not that you have to spend $50k for first rate analog sound, but when you require critical playback accuracy such as the Library of Congress requires when archiving our nation's recorded history, you don't use a Technics SL1200.

Hopefully we can agree that tweeking a turntable and tube amps to your liking is the one area of the hobby where subjectivity rules.
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post #650 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post

Hopefully we can agree that tweeking a turntable and tube amps to your liking is the one area of the hobby where subjectivity rules.

Yeah, runs right in the envelope of EQ'ing. Shape the sound to taste.
Of interesting note: Carvin Stereo Tube Amp. It's price is reasonable too and you can roll tubes with it.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #651 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post

Let's also not forget that people tend to also follow the herd, meaning that if one person selected cheaper amp, they would be influenced by that choice and go along with the consensus. ***

Does anybody remember the Pepsi/Coke challenges they had in the malls acroos the country? I have always prefered Coke over Pepsi,

While your example is obviously flawed, you managed to hit on something interesting here:

IF all of the listeners were together, and
IF MKTheater told them that they were listening to an expensive amp and a cheap amp, and
IF one person came out in front saying one of them (that ended up being the Berry) was the better amp

then suggestion may be the reason for his statistical anomaly.

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Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post

Hopefully we can agree that tweeking a turntable and tube amps to your liking is the one area of the hobby where subjectivity rules.

Sure, whatever.

However, it bears noting that not all tube amp are low-fidelity devices. Some are about as good as modern amps. For instance, nobody would be able to distinguish an old Sonic Frontiers Power 3 from a competently-designed solid state amp of choice.

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post #652 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 06:39 PM
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Actually they all thought they were picking the McIntosh amp and I don't know if they shared notes but it could have happened. I level matched each speaker at 75 dBs at the LP with each amp. One amp was not louder than the other, again there was no difference, they just thought there should be.
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post #653 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 09:38 PM
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Was there any channel of communication between someone that knew what amp was playing (you?) and the listeners during the test? It is easy to subtly communicate, even if you are trying not to. That's what the 'double' in DBT refers to -- the test administrator must also be blind to prevent contamination of the results.

-Max
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post #654 of 998 Old 04-17-2012, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Actually they all thought they were picking the McIntosh amp and I don't know if they shared notes but it could have happened. I level matched each speaker at 75 dBs at the LP with each amp. One amp was not louder than the other, again there was no difference, they just thought there should be.

Was this a Mac amp with an Autoformer?
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post #655 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

While your example is obviously flawed, you managed to hit on something interesting here:

IF all of the listeners were together, and
IF MKTheater told them that they were listening to an expensive amp and a cheap amp, and
IF one person came out in front saying one of them (that ended up being the Berry) was the better amp

then suggestion may be the reason for his statistical anomaly.

Along the lines of the Asch conformity experiments?

That could/would be a reason, if the results were audibly shared. If they were written down without before they were shared, and the answers were not allowed to be changed, this may be less of a cause. Although body language can transmit a lot, so it is hard to completely eliminate it.

The order of the amps could also be an issue.

Small sample sizes suck.

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post #656 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by repete66211 View Post

You're misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) the argument. No one says you can't prefer one piece of equipment to another. If you prefer A to B and there is an actual difference between A and B then there is nothing wrong with preferring A to B. The argument I most often see is whether or not there is an actual difference between A and B. If there is no difference--if A and B produce an identical "product"--then there is nothing to prefer, they're both the same. So the argument boils down to this: Does A output the same as B? If not, how can that be demonstrated (i.e. measured) in a manner that is independent of subjective bias.

Actually, even if the effects are psychosematic, if the owner is happier due to the purchase of whatever, that is what matters to the owner. If buying cable lifters to "lift up the highs" or some such tripe makes the owner happier and he swears his experience is improved and life is better because of it, then it is money well spent.

After all, the goal of home audio and video is not to be able to show a graph and say "see my graph, it is perfect" but to say "wow, this sounds and looks great, I am happy".

Of course, for a seller, the graphs are vital and very important. Once in your home, they are only useful as a starting point. After that, tweak until you are the happiest, then stop there.

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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

You should have expected a difference. Signal processors do different things to the signal by definition, and often sound different from one another. MultEQ XT and MCAAC have different target curves and different measurement methodologies.

Before you knew something, did you know that something you had yet to know?


Quote:


That is simply not true.

What the less sophisticated audiophile fail to realize is that "personal preference" is not a one step affair. Before arriving at the possibility of preference, there is a threshold question that must be affirmatively answered: is there any difference to begin with, that could form a basis for preference. That question can only be answered in controlled listening. No "charts and graphs" will get you there, just as no "I heard this and that and oh man this had so much more detail and transparency than that" type drivel will get you there.

One cannot simply assume away the threshold question. If there is no difference, then there is no valid preference based on sound. Though there is valid preference based on about every other variable imaginable (price, resale value, looks, brand image, perceived quality, etc.).

But if there is a difference, then all preferences are valid as to that person, and invalid as to everyone else. It's a personal thing. All one can say is that a given percentage of people have preferred one over the other in controlled listening. There is no guarantee that any individual will not fall into majority camp.

Yep, which is why charts and graphs are only the starting point. After that, you listen and decide what you personally like better. It does not really matter why you like B over A if you have the choice to buy either, you buy the one you like better. It would be silly to buy the one you do not like better just because someone else says they are supposed to sound the same to you.
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post #657 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Actually they all thought they were picking the McIntosh amp and I don't know if they shared notes but it could have happened. I level matched each speaker at 75 dBs at the LP with each amp.

So, we're basically back to a simple issue of imprecise level matching. Fair enough.

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Actually, even if the effects are psychosematic, if the owner is happier due to the purchase of whatever, that is what matters to the owner. If buying cable lifters to "lift up the highs" or some such tripe makes the owner happier and he swears his experience is improved and life is better because of it, then it is money well spent.

Those words, along with a mention of a "money back guarantee," will warm the cockles of any con man.

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Yep, which is why charts and graphs are only the starting point. After that, you listen and decide what you personally like better.

WHEN there's an actual difference. When there's not, there's no point in listening.

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Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

It does not really matter why you like B over A if you have the choice to buy either, you buy the one you like better. It would be silly to buy the one you do not like better just because someone else says they are supposed to sound the same to you.

You're making an unfounded leap from sonic performance to purchasing preference. People make purchasing decisions on all manner of variables. In audio gear, given that most of it actually sounds the same, sound is simply not the dispositive factor.

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post #658 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Actually, even if the effects are psychosematic, if the owner is happier due to the purchase of whatever, that is what matters to the owner. If buying cable lifters to "lift up the highs" or some such tripe makes the owner happier and he swears his experience is improved and life is better because of it, then it is money well spent.

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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Those words, along with a mention of a "money back guarantee," will warm the cockles of any con man.

I agree. "Money well spent" for the audio industry which puts considerable marketing into the benefits of equipment upgrades that make no significant sonic difference. But consumers? Who wants to find out later than they have been fleeced?

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post #659 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 08:22 AM
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A power cord makes a difference, seems people forget about the wire in the wall.

And for the amps all sounding the same, my guess is that would be true given both amps actually being able to power the full range of the speaker to equal levels. But I have tried out different receivers and amps on full range speakers, and you need a lot of power to get the full range on those speakers. The obvious part was the bass, on the budget receivers sounded like small bookshelf speakers. Mid/Higher end receivers would sound alright with an alright amount of bass, but still felt like it needed a sub. Once went to a good power amp I had to check to see if the sub was still attached because it sure sounded like it.

Even with budget receivers that were tested to have good power it had basically no bass.
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post #660 of 998 Old 04-18-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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If something makes you happy, why would you seek out ways to make yourself unhappy? Being happy is good, and purposefully attempting to make yourself unhappy is bad - and probably a psychosis of some form.

If Item A sounds better to a person than Item B (meaning A makes that person happier), that person should buy Item A. It would be silly to purposefully buy the item which does not make the person happier. Telling the person "you should not buy the item which makes you happier because this graph says it should not make you happier - therefor you are actually not happier" is also quite silly.

Just buy what makes you happy. Let others be unhappy with your choice if they like, it is not their choice to make - but they can certainly be unhappy as much as they desire.
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