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post #1351 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

But shouldn't we all be skeptical unless the results were independently verified? Or should we accept the results by default? If the DBT's aren't published online then that's great. So no one will know ... except for the relevant parties involved in the testing. It doesn't sound like a particularly credible stance to hold,
That's your opinion but it will likely change if you have witnessed a properly controlled DAC DBT yourself.
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although I do believe that DACs largely sound the same under controlled testing.
What is your belief based on?
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It's just difficult to prove or at least show evidence of such a thing.
Difficult to whom?
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The anti-science brigade will demand evidence of DBT testing results of which none can be found and round and round we go .. biggrin.gif
Why would you say none can be found? Is it because you spent a few minutes looking through couple different threads online?
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So although their position may be weak the alternative doesn't strike a whole lot of confidence either.
Again, that's your opinion but it will likely change if you have witnessed a properly controlled DAC DBT yourself.
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post #1352 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

But shouldn't we all be skeptical unless the results were independently verified?

I think so. The burden of proof is generally on the claimant.

It seems to me most of the "drama" surrounding blind tests of things like DACs is when two devices measure good enough to be considered audibly transparent, yet people claim to hear a difference anyway. I think we all can agree that devices whose frequency response varies more than 1 dB or 2 from flat, or have more than 0.1 percent distortion, will not be transparent and will thus sound different.

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post #1353 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by diomania 
What is your belief based on?

Based on the biases in the brain affecting our conclusions, inadequate controls used in the tests themselves and the fact that distortion components in DACs are pretty darn low - two of those things are usually way out of whack in uncontrolled testing.

Based on this, I think it is more than reasonable to assume that once our biases are controlled to a more manageable state and the test properly done that DAC's generally won't sound different. You're right, I haven't spend much time looking up DAC DBT's except for one.

http://www.stereomojo.com/Stereomojo%20Six%20DAC%20Shootout.htm/StereomojoSixDACShootout.htm
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post #1354 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:17 PM
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But shouldn't we all be skeptical unless the results were independently verified?
If I told you that I had just determined that the earth orbits around the sun, rather than vice versa, but that my work had not been independently verified, would you be skeptical of my results?

You should be skeptical of results that contradict settled science and have not been independently verified. Results that confirm settled science do not call for skepticism. And yes, that DAC distortion levels are inaudible is settled science.

The right response to the silly objection that some DBT result is "suspect" (by someone with a preconceived notion that it is wrong) is to ask, "Well. where's the counterevidence?" In science, you don't refute data with quibbles; you refute it with better data.
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post #1355 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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If I told you that I had just determined that the earth orbits around the sun, rather than vice versa, but that my work had not been independently verified, would you be skeptical of my results?

Just to be pedantic and a massive pain in the kiester, that's not precisely wrong. The Earth and the Sun (or indeed, any two bodies bonded to each other gravitationally) mutually orbit their common center of gravity. This just happens to be deep inside the body of the Sun in this particular case.

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post #1356 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:32 PM
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Just to be pedantic and a massive pain in the kiester, that's not precisely wrong.
Oh, stuff it. smile.gif

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #1357 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Results that confirm settled science do not call for skepticism. And yes, that DAC distortion levels are inaudible is settled science.

"Settled science"...??? That's a term I've never heard before.

Could you keyboard pseudo scientists please stop using the word 'science' in trying to justify your particular prejudices.

Nothing is ever set in concrete as an end-of-story "fact".
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post #1358 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:37 PM
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It's hard to herd science.
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post #1359 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 04:40 PM
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Oh, stuff it. smile.gif
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It's hard to herd science.

And if you're not careful it can blind you.

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post #1361 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

"Settled science"...??? That's a term I've never heard before.

Could you keyboard pseudo scientists please stop using the word 'science' in trying to justify your particular prejudices.

Nothing is ever set in concrete as an end-of-story "fact".
And that is somehow relevant to current crop of DACs in the market? If so, how?
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post #1362 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 06:03 PM
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"Settled science"...??? That's a term I've never heard before.
Have you never studied science? What do you think science textbooks consist of? Mere conjectures?
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Nothing is ever set in concrete as an end-of-story "fact".
Do you really believe there is no such thing as a scientific fact?

Now, it is certainly true that scientific facts, like any other fact, can one day be proven wrong.

But they must be proven wrong. Mere carping will not cut it.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #1363 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

"Settled science"...??? That's a term I've never heard before.

Could you keyboard pseudo scientists please stop using the word 'science' in trying to justify your particular prejudices.

Nothing is ever set in concrete as an end-of-story "fact".

well, I guess it's a matter of perspective. Newtonian mechanics, as Newton described the field, is "wrong." Pool balls don't actually touch each other at all, and if string theory is accurate, what really happens as weirder than I can really wrap my head around. BUT I still can count on those old well worn principles to work exactly the same every time whether I am driving my car or playing pool or slicing an apple even designing an automobile engine. Equal and opposite reaction, etc.continue to apply perfectly to things on a scale that we see and touch every day, and those rules aren't going to change regardless of where physics goes.

that someday we may understand additional complexities underlying auditory phenomena is not terribly likely to make frequency stop defining pitch, or harmonics stop defining timber, or people start to have a longer auditory memory than has been demonstrated to date, or to make our subconsciouses cease to function.
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post #1364 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Because it really gives the anti-science camp even more leverage than they probably deserve.

This line irks me as well.

I own two different DACs and I think they sound different to each other. So I must be in the anti-science camp then?

Have you been reading so much of the pseudo science cr@p that gets posted in these AVS forums that you think science has proven all DACs sound the same and that anybody thinks they can sound different from one to the next is also the type of person that must believe in leprechauns and fairies as well?

Because of another strong passion in my life, astronomy, I have read enough history of science to at least have a basic grasp of what science is and isn't. The beauty of science is that it is the opposite of things like religion that claim to have the "truth" and other forms of dogma. Science is open to our ideas being totally turned on their head and admitting we were wrong and taking a new direction if that's what new discoveries/observations lead us to tomorrow. Arrogance of "I am right you are wrong... end of story" has no place in science. History has shown that people that clung to the understanding of the day with that attitude usually ended up been proven wrong.

Then someone just before use the term "settled science" ! WTF! There's no such thing! (read the start of this small article about the term "settled science" to try and understand what an oxymoron it is)

It just goes to show that a lot of what you read in these forums is pseudo science masquerading as science as most people only have some vague cartoon concept of science. Don't get sucked in by all the misinformation and ignorance around here.
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post #1365 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 06:29 PM
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Newtonian mechanics, as Newton described the field, is "wrong."

Right, a good example. Newtonian mechanics works to a certain level and is still applicable to that level. Einstein's theory of relativity goes beyond that level and allows us to delve deeper with gravity for example. Quantum theory may well one day unlock a deeper understanding again.... and so on and so on. Nothing is ever "we know everything - end of story" with science.
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post #1366 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Have you never studied science? What do you think science textbooks consist of? Mere conjectures?
Do you really believe there is no such thing as a scientific fact?

Now, it is certainly true that scientific facts, like any other fact, can one day be proven wrong.

But they must be proven wrong. Mere carping will not cut it.

We have scientific theories. Einstein's theory of relativity for example. Newtonian theory. Plate tectonic theory.

Our understanding why the earth orbits around the sun is a theory based on current observations/data that we have. If new and different observations and data comes to hand that says otherwise - then the theory will change/be modified. Nothing is ever end-of-story - case closed. There is only degrees of confidence in a particular theory.
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post #1367 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

And that is somehow relevant to current crop of DACs in the market? If so, how?

It's the absurdity of someone saying... "science has proven all DACs sound the same" (which it hasn't)... "you can't argue with science because science is never wrong" ... "therefore my belief that all DACs sound the same is right and you are wrong... End of story!"

Another hobby of mine was photography. In photography forums you would quite often get the "science" type that would have all the measurements and resolution charts and test shots of brick walls with all of his lenses as if somehow that would make better photographs. What those type of people usually overlooked is that photography is partly science and partly an art form. Subsequently these people usually also had the most boring unimaginative and poorly executed photography work in their photo albums to show for it.

For me music is also partly science and partly an art form. Artists perform music - not scientists. Reproducing music in my listening room is also partly an art form. If something sounds better to me one way or another... It doesn't matter if someone on an interweb forum doesn't think there is a scientifically proven and measured reason for it or not. Just like having a camera lens that measures better than another does not guarantee the photographer will be able to take more inspiring and captivating photos with it.
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post #1368 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 07:11 PM
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I own two different DACs and I think they sound different to each other. So I must be in the anti-science camp then?
No. That would put you in the uneducated camp. You've done an experiment with multiple independent variables, and concluded that your dependent variable is explained by only one of those variables. When you learn a little more about psychoacoustics, you'll see your mistake.
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Have you been reading so much of the pseudo science cr@p that gets posted in these AVS forums that you think science has proven all DACs sound the same and that anybody thinks they can sound different from one to the next is also the type of person that must believe in leprechauns and fairies as well?
If you want to have a conversation about science, you must at the very least represent your opponents' arguments honestly. No one has ever said that science has proven that all DACs sound the same. Quite the opposite; scientific tests have shown that some (few, oddball designs mostly) sound different. And you can be right about some things and wrong about others. I will grant that you are right about leprechauns!
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The beauty of science is that it is the opposite of things like religion that claim to have the "truth" and other forms of dogma.
Right, but you want to conflate dogma and fact. They are not the same. Believers in facts believe them because they understand and accept the evidence supporting them. They would cease to believe in them if new evidence arose. Believers in dogma are impervious to fact, old or new. I am open to being proved wrong about DACs, and I can tell you exactly what evidence would convince me. What evidence would convince you that you are wrong about DACs? If you cannot answer that question, then we know who is dogmatic.
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Then someone just before use the term "settled science" ! WTF! There's no such thing! (read the start of this small article about the term "settled science" to try and understand what an oxymoron it is)
I've read that very article. He's saying exactly the same thing I am. Only he's saying it in a somewhat careless way that could—and obviously has—confused some. The way I would put it is that science can be settled, but it is always contingent. it's settled in the sense that the field has largely agreed on certain explanations for observed phenomena. It's contingent in the sense that it's only settled so long as it can explain all observed phenomena. It is the observation of new phenomena that the existing science cannot explain which launches the revolution.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #1369 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 07:21 PM
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Have you never studied science? What do you think science textbooks consist of? Mere conjectures?

BTW... the textbooks contain 'our best understanding to date... subject to change'.

Our universities are meant to be turning out people that will hopefully go out and rewrite/update the textbooks... not a bunch of arrogant we-know-everything alls.
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post #1370 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 07:40 PM
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The way I would put it is that science can be settled, but it is always contingent. it's settled in the sense that the field has largely agreed on certain explanations for observed phenomena. It's contingent in the sense that it's only settled so long as it can explain all observed phenomena.

Science is never "settled". It is always open to change. What you are talking about is confidence in a theory. We have enough confidence in our theories of gravity to deploy satellites into space and they do indeed go where we predicted them to go. When we apply a theory to the real world and it works we have the confidence to use it as a tool and continue to use it. That theory is still open to change though if another one comes along that has even greater degrees of accuracy to the real world when applied. Nothing is ever "settled".
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post #1371 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 07:59 PM
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Science is never "settled". It is always open to change. What you are talking about is confidence in a theory. We have enough confidence in our theories of gravity to deploy satellites into space and they do indeed go where we predicted them to go. When we apply a theory to the real world and it works we have the confidence to use it as a tool and continue to use it. That theory is still open to change though if another one comes along that has even greater degrees of accuracy to the real world when applied. Nothing is ever "settled".

Yes but it can only be changed due to scientific proof, not conjecture, not anecdotal evidence, not belief.

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post #1372 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 08:22 PM
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Science is never "settled". It is always open to change.
Science is always open to change, but that doesn't mean it isn't often "settled," in between times! That's the sense in which I use the term settled. I think your disagreement is substantially semantic.
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What you are talking about is confidence in a theory.
No, I'm talking about having a theory, one that is generally accepted within the field. Again, that's the sense in which I use the term "settled." I.e., the field has settled on this theory. Once that happens, the burden of proof shifts to those who would question the theory. And that burden is actually rather high. Conjectures and quibbles won't cut it, as I said. Neither will a single contrary experimental result (contra Einstein, btw). If you want to make the case that you really can hear a sound quality difference between DACs, you have a fair bit of work ahead of you.

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post #1373 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 08:59 PM
 
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I own two different DACs and I think they sound different to each other.
To the best of your knowledge, what do you think causes that sound difference?
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So I must be in the anti-science camp then?
You should hold off on the conclusion until at least some debate has taken place.
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post #1374 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 09:06 PM
 
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It's the absurdity of someone saying... "science has proven all DACs sound the same" (which it hasn't)... "you can't argue with science because science is never wrong" ... "therefore my belief that all DACs sound the same is right and you are wrong... End of story!"
Are you basing this on fact or fiction? If former, can you quote some?
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Another hobby of mine was photography. In photography forums you would quite often get the "science" type that would have all the measurements and resolution charts and test shots of brick walls with all of his lenses as if somehow that would make better photographs. What those type of people usually overlooked is that photography is partly science and partly an art form. Subsequently these people usually also had the most boring unimaginative and poorly executed photography work in their photo albums to show for it.
And this has what to do with the current crop of DACs in the market?
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For me music is also partly science and partly an art form. Artists perform music - not scientists. Reproducing music in my listening room is also partly an art form. If something sounds better to me one way or another... It doesn't matter if someone on an interweb forum doesn't think there is a scientifically proven and measured reason for it or not. Just like having a camera lens that measures better than another does not guarantee the photographer will be able to take more inspiring and captivating photos with it.
Let me remind you that DAC is one of sound reproducing equipments. Do you know what the most important criteria is for judging the quality of such equipment?
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post #1375 of 3048 Old 02-20-2013, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Are you basing this on fact or fiction? If former, can you quote some?

Here is some such gibberish from this very page...
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You should be skeptical of results that contradict settled science and have not been independently verified. Results that confirm settled science do not call for skepticism. And yes, that DAC distortion levels are inaudible is settled science.
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post #1376 of 3048 Old 02-21-2013, 12:35 AM
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Kiwi, I think part of the problem here is semantics, and some is genuine misunderstanding about the nature of evidence involved. As far as semantics, in scientific circles "theory" is typically closer to the lay meaning of "fact." Both in their intended uses mean proven to as great a degree as is currently possible. Whereas the scientific "hypothesis" is what most lay people mean when they think or speak about a theory. In both of those uses, we are talking about our best shot at explaining something despite a lack of solid, complementary evidence. Either of those two ideas above may ultimately be found correct or incorrect, but mcnarus is not wrong in pointing out the weight of a scientific theory (fact), nor the evidence required to disprove it.

Which brings me to my second point, where I am reminded of something Daniel Dennett wrote about the "theory" of evolution and the evidence supporting it, which if I recall from many years ago was roughly (very roughly) something like 'evolution isn't some idea supported by a weak chain of evidence that, hope against hope, disbelievers think will come crashing down if they can find just one weak link, but rather is an idea supported by literally thousands of independent threads of evidence in dozens of disparate fields, all complementing and strengthening one another... and the most frustrating thing to skeptics is that if one thread manages to be found in error, the scientific method rejoices and replaces it with a new, stronger thread, making the whole of the body of evidence that much more resilient and convincing...'

Or something to that effect. The point being that "good dacs sound the same" isn't an idea based on a few controlled listening tests of dacs but rather decades of such testing of practically every aspect of human auditory thresholds in a variety of situations, improvements in measuring devices and circuit designs and our ability to drive electrical circuit performance often orders of magnitude below those limits, as well as decades of knowledge and evidence gathered in the fields of human psychology and behavior. You may poke a hole in that mountain of evidence, but its still a mountain.

To be kurt, if you say your two dacs in your living room sound different, there is every reason to simply dismiss you as being wrong. The truth is that given what we know about audio design, human perception, and psychology, we would predict that you should think your two dacs sound different. If we would predict that result, and can provide an explanation for that result that is in perfect agreement with our mountain of evidence, what exactly have you offered that in any way contradicts that mountain?

As mcnarus said, he can tell you exactly what type of evidence is required to call any part of that body of knowledge into question. And we welcome it. But don't be frustrated if that string gets replaced, the idea of what constitutes a "good dac" embraces this new knowledge and adapts, and the "science camp" keeps merrily whistling the same old tune.

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post #1377 of 3048 Old 02-21-2013, 01:34 AM
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In both of those uses, we are talking about our best shot at explaining something despite a lack of solid, complementary evidence. Either of those two ideas above may ultimately be found correct or incorrect, but mcnarus is not wrong in pointing out the weight of a scientific theory (fact), nor the evidence required to disprove it.

You think a theory remains a theory because it lacks solid evidence? A scientific theory can have a mountain load of solid compelling evidence yet it will always remain a theory because science avoids absolutes and this is a 'fact' or 'ultimate proof' kind of statements about our knowledge of things.

A theory needs to fit the observed data. And it also needs the ability to predict. The better a theory matches those two criteria, the more credibility it has and we run with it and use it as a tool to apply to the world around us until a better theory comes along that performs better at those two criteria. Science is not about 'ultimate proof' or 'absolute fact', 'end-of-story case closed we know everything' deals because tomorrow new observations could be made that turn our current understanding on its head.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 
I own two different DACs and I think they sound different to each other. So I must be in the anti-science camp then?

I'm sorry if I upset you. Please understand that it is nothing personal - I just don't think you grasp all the issues involved that influence what you hear. You, not necessarily you only, but those who believe their experiences are sacrosanct based on questionable testing. So you may hear differences but there is no reliable method of you determining whether what you heard was due to the DAC, or due to listener bias. Expectation bias is difficult to ignore.
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post #1379 of 3048 Old 02-21-2013, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

It's the absurdity of someone saying... "science has proven all DACs sound the same" (which it hasn't)... "you can't argue with science because science is never wrong" ... "therefore my belief that all DACs sound the same is right and you are wrong... End of story!"

So you haven't noticed that the only people who actually post such things are people who people who essentially agree with you that all DACs and audio components in general sound different? ;-)

Truth, brother!

The core of the problem is the fact that setting up a listening test in which absolutely identical components sound the same is non-trivial.

Please correct me with a good explanation how I'm wrong when I say: "One test of a method for doing listening tests is that equipment that sounds the same, is found to sound the same, and that equipment that sounds different is found to sound different. What's wrong with that?

Do you think that any two pieces of equipment can possibly sound the same? For example two pieces of equipment that are the identical same make and model?
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post #1380 of 3048 Old 02-21-2013, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post


Here is some such gibberish from this very page...
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

You should be skeptical of results that contradict settled science and have not been independently verified. Results that confirm settled science do not call for skepticism. And yes, that DAC distortion levels are inaudible is settled science.

Please explain why the above is gibberish?

Usually gibberish means that that independent of any truth or falseness in the message content itself, the form or format of the message is incomprehensible. For example, a message written in some foreign language that you don't know.

The relevant common expression among Amricans is "It is Greek to me!" In this case the word Greek is used as if it is a synonym for gibberish. Obviously Greek is a fine language, just one that is unfamiliar to most Americans.

Is that what you mean?
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