Originally Posted by pepar
Can't we all just get along?
Blessed are the peacemakers...
I had a little time today to catch up on this thread and the "donnybrook" as you termed it. The reading evoked a remembrance of your short post from a few days ago---an excellent suggestion and good advice for us all.
Now, I trust that getting along includes the freedom to express a perspective on audio evaluation which diverges from a certain doctrine of audiometric correctness that has found advocacy in this thread. I trust it also includes a reasonable expectation that members may post in considered dissent of that doctrine without repeated exposure to dismissive and condescending replies from its inventor.
In an earlier post, I expressed my strong disagreement with this "audio correctness" dogma---pointing out some dubious assumptions as well as conclusions---and I expressed my objection to the disdainful attitude displayed by its advocate toward those who do not share his point of view.
Mainly, though, I've tried to express my own particular understanding of audio perception and evaluation. My view (meaning simply that this is an opinion capable of being wrong
) is that audio measurement techniques are very helpful tools, and well worth employing to our best advantage for improving sonic performance in our HT environments. Metric displays are especially effective in identifying problem areas that are discerned during the listening process and in guiding us toward targeted correction strategies. However, I do not believe that audiometric techniques should take precedence over the faculties of human perception---i.e., listening---when it comes to the final evaluation of audio quality.
Human subjectivity is assumed by some to be a glaring detriment in evaluating audio. I dissent from this view---our subjectivity need not be seen as a negative factor in evaluative listening. In fact, it is an indispensable way of informing us intuitively about fundamentals within the soundtracks we hear: what we like and don't like, what sounds pleasing or appropriate or convincing and what does not. It can be conceded that the subjectivity of human perceiving is less precise than audio metrics in a number of ways. Nevertheless, I believe the capacities of human hearing (from sensory sound reception in the ear to subjective mental processing in the mind) constitute a powerful combination that grasps the character of sound more comprehensively and reliably than any array of metric instruments. At the same time, I believe that the measuring techniques now available to help us are also very beneficial, and can mesh well with our inherently subjective perception. In the end, though, I think we should acknowledge realistically the preeminence
of ear and mind in the process of perceiving audio. We should be willing to employ more fully our listening minds---that indispensable subjective capacity--- which extends our ability to evaluate audio well beyond the doctrinaire analysis of metric data.
If I may, I'd like to recapitulate from an earlier post: Audio reproduction was invented and designed to target the sensory apparatus of human beings. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that, in any given audio environment, a sonic evaluation which is derived through human auditory functioning
(the ear-brain perceptual apparatus) should rightly receive greater
weight than data derived from audiometric analysis. In other words, human listening ought to be regarded as the most decisive
criterion for judging the quality of reproduced sound.
(This is my
view, a single opinion offered for general consideration and unaccompanied by any attempt or coercive desire to impose it upon others. Persuasion is the only "authority" it could possess, if any.)
So anyway, I've had my say and I'll be standing down from the controversy. I've placed the referenced poster in my Unpersuaded file and it would be best if he deposited me in a similar file of his own.
IMO, it's worth remembering that none of our metric devices or graphic displays can appreciate audio/video the way we humans can. Yes, we are subjective...because we are
subjects, not mere objects. We have minds and ears capable of the remarkably complex process we call "listening", so we should feel free to use our listening minds to enjoy the hobby we share. Happy home theater-ing!