Debate Thread: Scott's Hi-res Audio Test - Page 65 - AVS Forum
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post #1921 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic
The song has to do with misuse/abuse of the expert status, aside from promoting a healthy scepticism towards expert-ism. Shure, i get that but keep in mind that when you are talking to an expert, with a healty scepticism towards expert-ism, you are talking to an expert
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post #1922 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post
The song has to do with misuse/abuse of the expert status, aside from promoting a healthy scepticism towards expert-ism. Shure, i get that but keep in mind that when you are talking to an expert, with a healty scepticism towards expert-ism, you are talking to an expert
In my experience with the world of high-end audio, I've found that experts hold differing, contradictory opinions on many topics. One of my favorites is the relevance of infrasonic content, and whether listeners should make an effort to reproduce it faithfully.

Another, even more contentious topic is whether or not swapping two or more different speaker cables of a similar gauge and length can have an audible effect on sound reproduction, with increased sound quality correlated to more sophisticated cable engineering and the higher prices that design expertise demands. What is the official opinion on that topic, is it truly considered a settled issue among audio experts?

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post #1923 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Another, even more contentious topic is whether or not swapping two or more different speaker cables of a similar gauge and length can have an audible effect on sound reproduction, with increased sound quality correlated to sophisticated cable engineering and the higher prices that expertise demands. What is the official audio expert opinion on that topic, is it truly considered a settled issue?
Oh Boy!
Now you've done it!

I'd be willing to propose (not commit), that the answer is, "it depends".
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post #1924 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by skater2 View Post
Amir, sorry if you have posted this already, but what setup/equipment are you using? DAC/amp/speakers or headphones. Thanks.
I did but happy to explain again .

* The machine is my everyday laptop and is an HP Zbook 14 "workstation:" http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/w.../zbook-14.html.

* The audio output is the stock DAC inside the Zbook. I am simply using the headphone jack on the machine.

* The headphone is my etymotic ER4 (I think -- I bought it some 10 years ago). No headphone amp. Just direct connection to the laptop per above.

* I am using Foobar but with standard Windows audio stack (all settings in default mode). Since Windows performs a forced sample rate, I had to configure that manually. I used 96 Khz, 24 bits since that is the format for both Arny and Scott's files.

I bought this laptop a few weeks ago and had not done much listening on it. I must say, I am most impressed with the fidelity so far. When I have time I will run it through my analyzer to see how well it performs. But for now, the subjective performance is quite excellent. The speakers are also superb for a laptop but of course I did not use them for this test.

Feel free to ask if I have forgotten to mention something.
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post #1925 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
OTOH... you can't just over and over again as a pair of individuals and keep arguing with the same quotes, charts and graphs. Are there only two bona fide "experts" that contribute on AVS?
I have been posting the results of my listening tests. Where the heck are yours? You don't believe in listening tests anymore?

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Originally Posted by rat
As a courtesy to everyone, let Scott conduct his own threads/discussions.
This thread exists with consensus of Scott:

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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by amirm 
 Quote:Originally Posted by pennst48 

I'd been hoping people could self-moderate and keep this thread focused on doing the best that can be done (even if not perfect) for a HR/CD test, but the derailments take too much time to filter. I wish everyone the best of luck.

I will let Scott explain more. As I post earlier, I thought as you and created a debate thread as to not derail this. But I have been told that such discussions would be useful to have here so now I am back commenting as appropriate.

Someone needs to say which way I need to turn. Can't go both left and right at the same time. Help Scott!!!


I'll do my best! Amir was correct in his premise that this thread should be limited to a discussion about how best to set up and conduct my proposed test, as unscientific as it admittedly is. More general discussions about the value—or lack thereof—of high-res audio versus CD audio are more rightly conducted in a separate thread. (Originally, I had thought that such discussions would be helpful in this thread, but I see now that they can easily devolve into religious arguments, which is fine with me, but of little value in this particular thread.)
 
If you want to discuss the specifics of this proposed test, please comment in this thread. If you want to discuss the general issue of high res vs CD audio, comment in either Amir's debate thread or my "Is High-Resolution Audio Irrelevant?" thread. Amir, I thank you for your concern about keeping this test thread on topic, and I hope you continue to contribute to the discussion about how to set up and conduct the test here. I imagine that some people will still post general comments here, and you're free to respond or not. When I see such comments, I'll suggest that they be posted in one of the other two threads, where I'm sure you will continue to post thoughtful, respectful comments.
If it bothers you or anyone else, all you have to do is not read or post in it. If you are going to stay here as a courtesy to people who come here to learn something, you need to contribute technically. Please run Arny and Scott's listening test or explain why you won't.

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post #1926 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
Absolutely just as there are golden noses, taste buds, and other senses. In this test that you're doing (I'm on an iPad and the wife's laptop is verbotten, so I haven't done the test but plan to), is the point you're making or suggesting that the audible differences you're picking up on are related to non-linear distortions? If so, which in your opinion is the more egregious?
I think you are being too specific with respect to the use of the term non-linear in my post. So allow me to explain.

Our audio systems can suffer from two types of distortions: linear and non-linear. Linear distortions do not create additional frequencies whereas non-linear ones can. An example of the former is what the room does to your speaker's low frequency response. You will get peaks and valleys but they are all of linear type. While the response has changed, there is nothing new in the audio.

We tend to have better sensitivity to linear distortions because we are more familiar with them. You would for example know what "too much bass" or too much highs sound like.

Non-linear distortions is everything else. This type of distortion can be any and all things. For example when you compress files, the transients create what is called "pre-echo" where a version of the sound is heard prior to it actually playing! This is data dependent distortion and highly non-linear. Yet, people listen to and enjoy compressed music despite high levels of distortion there.

When you reduce the bit depth, assuming you have added dither (noise), you are hiding the low level details. What would that sound to you? You probably couldn't describe it even though this seems like an intuitive concept. Due to masking often these distortions are hidden. If you don't know what they sound like, you can't find them in the track.

Jitter is another type of non-linear distortion where two sidebands of distortion are created. I often ask people what jitter sounds like and of course they can't answer.

So going back full circle, the point I was making is that non-linear distortions are tricky in that to most people they are not audible. Because of that people have a strong tendency to declare them inaudible. But as you have seen, just like audio compression, training helps significantly in identifying these distortions. Training comes in two forms which is understanding the nature of the system, the distortion and hearing its audible form in many variations.

As to your question, I am not ready to declare the source of degradations. That would require more testing to narrow it down. As a minimum we would want to separate the effect of sample rate from bit depth.
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post #1927 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
I have been posting the results of my listening tests. Where the heck are yours? You don't believe in listening tests anymore?


This thread exists with consensus of Scott:



If it bothers you or anyone else, all you have to do is not read or post in it. If you are going to stay here as a courtesy to people who come here to learn something, you need to contribute technically. Please run Arny and Scott's listening test or explain why you won't.
You do realize that your link to "Amir's debate thread" ends up being this one, don't you? Oh the irony.
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post #1928 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
I have been posting the results of my listening tests. Where the heck are yours? You don't believe in listening tests anymore?


This thread exists with consensus of Scott:



If it bothers you or anyone else, all you have to do is not read or post in it. If you are going to stay here as a courtesy to people who come here to learn something, you need to contribute technically. Please run Arny and Scott's listening test or explain why you won't.
I PM'ed both you and Scott when this "new" thread was started. Neither responded.

Have fun with the "debate". And... thank you. Your experience and wisdom in this area of expertise has been invaluable and appreciated. Hopefully you and JA have set the record straight for Arny (and the others) in this and the other two threads about jitter when using HDMI.
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post #1929 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
In my experience with the world of high-end audio, I've found that experts hold differing, contradictory opinions on many topics. One of my favorites is the relevance of infrasonic content, and whether listeners should make an effort to reproduce it faithfully.

Another, even more contentious topic is whether or not swapping two or more different speaker cables of a similar gauge and length can have an audible effect on sound reproduction, with increased sound quality correlated to more sophisticated cable engineering and the higher prices that design expertise demands. What is the official opinion on that topic, is it truly considered a settled issue among audio experts?
Those are very good questions. Let me share a letter I received on my audio blog, Chu On This, where people write to me regarding ad ice on audio related matters.
Dear Chu,
I am at my wits end and completely devastated. I took your advice as well as going to several high end audio shops in my area. As you might recall, I wanted to surprise my husband by buying him the audio system of his dreams as a way of celebrating our 10th anniversary. Besides the electronic equipment, with names I don't remember, I bought him gorgeous Revel speakers, 3 subwoofers, and some very expensive Nordost wire to hook everything up. Oh, and also got him a very nice leather recliner so he could enjoy his favorite hi-Rez music in comfort.
I had hoped to be home this past weekend when it was scheduled to be delivered but my meetings in NYC looked like they wouldn't wrap up early and that I wouldn't return till Wednesday. I called my husband to tell him I'd be a few days late getting home and he pleasantly told me not to worry.

As it turned out, we finalized business early and I caught a flight home arriving Saturday night. I figured I would surprise my husband and so didn't tell him, opting to take a cab home.

I arrived home and saw the empty boxes outside our home and a very loud noise coming from inside. So I quietly opened the door, took off my shoes, and softly made my way to the room where I nudged the door open ever so slightly. I was devastated. The speakers were against the back wall and the subwoofers were all lined up against the sidewall. On the recliner, faced away from me, was my husband laying down with my younger sister straddling him in a reverse cowgirl moving up ad down. The sound was deafening to my ears, everything was booming, and I could hear her say things like, "A little more to the left. Turn those knobs baby."

I couldn't watch or listen to more of and in a state of shock, left the house and went to a hotel.

What should I do Chu? What's wrong?
I replied.
You did nothing wrong. You bought top notch equipment. The problem is that your speakers are too close to the wall, the system hasn't been calibrated, and the subwoofers need to be positioned around the room and not bunched together. See if the hifi shop will send someone over to properly set up the component. Afterwards all your worries should be a thing of the past.
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post #1930 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
Those are very good questions. Let me share a letter I received on my audio blog, Chu On This, where people write to me regarding ad ice on audio related matters.
Dear Chu,
I am at my wits end and completely devastated. I took your advice as well as going to several high end audio shops in my area. As you might recall, I wanted to surprise my husband by buying him the audio system of his dreams as a way of celebrating our 10th anniversary. Besides the electronic equipment, with names I don't remember, I bought him gorgeous Revel speakers, 3 subwoofers, and some very expensive Nordost wire to hook everything up. Oh, and also got him a very nice leather recliner so he could enjoy his favorite hi-Rez music in comfort.
I had hoped to be home this past weekend when it was scheduled to be delivered but my meetings in NYC looked like they wouldn't wrap up early and that I wouldn't return till Wednesday. I called my husband to tell him I'd be a few days late getting home and he pleasantly told me not to worry.

As it turned out, we finalized business early and I caught a flight home arriving Saturday night. I figured I would surprise my husband and so didn't tell him, opting to take a cab home.

I arrived home and saw the empty boxes outside our home and a very loud noise coming from inside. So I quietly opened the door, took off my shoes, and softly made my way to the room where I nudged the door open ever so slightly. I was devastated. The speakers were against the back wall and the subwoofers were all lined up against the sidewall. On the recliner, faced away from me, was my husband laying down with my younger sister straddling him in a reverse cowgirl moving up ad down. The sound was deafening to my ears, everything was booming, and I could hear her say things like, "A little more to the left. Turn those knobs baby."

I couldn't watch or listen to more of and in a state of shock, left the house and went to a hotel.

What should I do Chu? What's wrong?
I replied.
You did nothing wrong. You bought top notch equipment. The problem is that your speakers are too close to the wall, the system hasn't been calibrated, and the subwoofers need to be positioned around the room and not bunched together. See if the hifi shop will send someone over to properly set up the component. Afterwards all your worries should be a thing of the past.
LOL. A "reverse cowgirl"??? Now THAT's critical listening (and probably not jitter free).

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post #1931 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 03:48 PM
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... (and probably not jitter free).
That's what makes it wonderful! It's jitter with HD-OH-MY!
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post #1932 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 04:39 PM
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I also get a kick out of the Quantum Resonant Technology Qx4 ($2699.99), that's supposed to be a "scalar field generator". Golly gee, that technobabble sure sounds impressive.

I am holding out for a Quantum Entanglement Technology Qx10 which will no doubt cost well into 6 figures, but to have my sound travel faster than the speed of light will be worth every penny!
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post #1933 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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You do realize that your link to "Amir's debate thread" ends up being this one, don't you? Oh the irony.
Yes I do. That was the whole intent of me quoting Scott's post. And it is not my link. That was written by Scott sending people to this thread who want to argue rather than help with the test protocol.

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post #1934 of 2920 Old 07-11-2014, 05:27 PM
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Yes I do. That was the whole intent of me quoting Scott's post. And it is not my link. That was written by Scott sending people to this thread who want to argue rather than help with the test protocol.


Worked like a champ.


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post #1935 of 2920 Old 07-12-2014, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post
* The machine is my everyday laptop and is an HP Zbook 14 "workstation:" http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/w.../zbook-14.html.

...I bought this laptop a few weeks ago and had not done much listening on it.
Not a Surface Pro 3 ??? Traitor!


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post #1936 of 2920 Old 07-12-2014, 04:15 PM
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I did but happy to explain again .

* The machine is my everyday laptop and is an HP Zbook 14 "workstation:" http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/w.../zbook-14.html.

* The audio output is the stock DAC inside the Zbook. I am simply using the headphone jack on the machine.

* The headphone is my etymotic ER4 (I think -- I bought it some 10 years ago). No headphone amp. Just direct connection to the laptop per above.

* I am using Foobar but with standard Windows audio stack (all settings in default mode). Since Windows performs a forced sample rate, I had to configure that manually. I used 96 Khz, 24 bits since that is the format for both Arny and Scott's files.

I bought this laptop a few weeks ago and had not done much listening on it. I must say, I am most impressed with the fidelity so far. When I have time I will run it through my analyzer to see how well it performs. But for now, the subjective performance is quite excellent. The speakers are also superb for a laptop but of course I did not use them for this test.

Feel free to ask if I have forgotten to mention something.
Perhaps we should credit the Beats Audio in your laptop for revealing the differences in the files

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post #1937 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps we should credit the Beats Audio in your laptop for revealing the differences in the files
I don't need the "beat" in my laptop because forever I have had it in my headphones. Here is a never seen selfie of mine with my everyday headphone:



And yeh, I was taking selfies before there were cell phones and coined the term back in 1982 as the above evidence proves.

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post #1938 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 09:39 AM
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I didn't know ethnicity enhancement surgery was a thing.

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #1939 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't know ethnicity enhancement surgery was a thing.
What???

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post #1940 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 12:17 PM
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the real amirm would have insisted upon quality frame leveling.

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #1941 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 03:59 PM
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I don't need the "beat" in my laptop because forever I have had it in my headphones. Here is a never seen selfie of mine with my everyday headphone:



And yeh, I was taking selfies before there were cell phones and coined the term back in 1982 as the above evidence proves.

i like this one
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post #1942 of 2920 Old 07-13-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
In my experience with the world of high-end audio, I've found that experts hold differing, contradictory opinions on many topics. One of my favorites is the relevance of infrasonic content, and whether listeners should make an effort to reproduce it faithfully.

Another, even more contentious topic is whether or not swapping two or more different speaker cables of a similar gauge and length can have an audible effect on sound reproduction, with increased sound quality correlated to more sophisticated cable engineering and the higher prices that design expertise demands. What is the official opinion on that topic, is it truly considered a settled issue among audio experts?


Is Robert Harley an expert?
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post #1943 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 04:40 AM
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Is Robert Harley an expert?
He wrote a long article on the topic, he is the editor of a popular publication that covers cables, and he sounds like he knows what he's talking about... he must be an expert.

But then he writes this: "You should also know that cables and interconnects sound better after they have “settled in” for a few days." - Robert Harley

Has anyone, ever, set up a double-blind listening test between two identical sets of speaker cables where the main difference was one set was hooked up on the day of the test, and the other set was hooked up a week earlier? Would anyone bet real money that some goldenear could come along and ace that test?

So I guess the answer to your question is... it depends.
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post #1944 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 05:25 AM
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This was exactly the point I was making about this forum being a "bubble" compared to the real world, where qualifications, expertise, and experience do matter.
Given that the writer of the above is the editor of a publication that secretly advertises itself to its advertisers as a journal of opinion, the apparent high estimate of the value of opinion shown is understandable but seems self-serving.

In science, the value of so-called facts or perhaps more correctly stated, confirmed observations is provisional or transient which is to say not so much. The value of mere opinions is of course considerably less than that. This means that opinions, even group opinions from a popular group, can easily be worthless. When the opinion is as vaguely stated as they are in the document that has been quoted to us once a day for more or less the last geological era, they are easily and properly disregarded.

As far as the AES goes I've personally seen the opinions of their highest level review committee fluctuate from complete fascination with a once-allegedly widespread issue such slew induced distortion, to complete disregard for it. They may be struggling with eternal issues, but their thoughts and decisions aren't always eternal. There are JAES papers in the archives that are classics, and others that should be ignored early and often.

That's for issues for which there is strong evidence. When the issue is complex and conditioned by a number of influences, punt!
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post #1945 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 05:28 AM
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Is Robert Harley an expert?
I think you need to tell us which field of endeavor you wish for us to judge him in. ;-)

I personally think that John Atkinson has done a few good things and any involvement he may have had with the exit of Harley from Stereophile was one of them.
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post #1946 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 05:31 AM
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Has anyone, ever, set up a double-blind listening test between two identical sets of speaker cables where the main difference was one set was hooked up on the day of the test, and the other set was hooked up a week earlier? Would anyone bet real money that some goldenear could come along and ace that test?

So I guess the answer to your question is... it depends.
In this case there appears to be no depends to depend on.

There are no actual physical processes that I know of that can be credited with cable break in having audible effects.

I know of a ton of psychological and social processes that can be credited with cable break in having perceived audible effects.
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post #1947 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 05:42 AM
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In this case there appears to be no depends to depend on.

There are no actual physical processes that I know of that can be credited with cable break in having audible effects.

I know of a ton of psychological and social processes that can be credited with cable break in having perceived audible effects.
Of course... I was making a joke about being an expert. Speaker cables do not experience break in.

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post #1948 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Given that the writer of the above is the editor of a publication that secretly advertises itself to its advertisers as a journal of opinion, the apparent high estimate of the value of opinion shown is understandable but seems self-serving.
Good morning Arny. John was simply stating a fact: that he learns from experts at AES. Do you not?

Since you are back, do you mind posting the results of your listening tests for both your own clips and that of Scott's? Thanks in advance.

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post #1949 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 12:31 PM
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John was simply stating a fact: that he learns from experts at AES.
He must pick and choose his experts very poorly, because if he learned what he needed to from Clark, Vanderkooy, Lipshitz, and Geddes for example (All AES Fellows) , he would be publishing the results of DBTs instead of the unfounded opinion that he does. I only say that because I've heard each and every one of them say as much.

My preference is to not learn from experts, but rather to learn from the real world. I first run their advice against the measuring stick of the real world.

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Since you are back, do you mind posting the results of your listening tests for both your own clips and that of Scott's? Thanks in advance.
Asked and answered. Since there has been so much talk about the number 42, the post that you need to recall had the number 67 in it.
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post #1950 of 2920 Old 07-14-2014, 12:53 PM
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In science, the value of so-called facts or perhaps more correctly stated, confirmed observations is provisional or transient which is to say not so much. The value of mere opinions is of course considerably less than that. This means that opinions, even group opinions from a popular group, can easily be worthless.

And since you're one of the most vocal ABXers, known to man, I guess you can just pour a *shitload* worth of links and such to prove your point? In the name of science, of course? No?

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