Originally Posted by stereoeditor
If you had actually read my article that I referenced, Mr. Krueger, you will have noted that I did include this qualifier.
It's a clear case of the little boy who cried "Wolf" That article has been waved under my nose more times than I can count, and I actually read it once or twice.
Furthermore, it seems to understate the relevant facts.
"Much later, Anna Case admitted that she had toned down her voice to better match the phonograph."
"Anna Case finally came clean 50 years after the Carnegie Hall show, admitting that she, and the other singers that took part in the tone tests, actually trained their voices to sound like the machine! Not only that, but even at a large venue like Carnegie Hall, the voice of an operatic soprano would certainly overwhelm the modest sound coming from the phonograph – so while the record played full volume, Anna had to turn hers down a bit. - See more at: http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/hil...co-conspirator
IOW your account suggests she changed the volume of her singing, but her own admission was that she also changed its timbre.
In any case your lecture did present a reasonable conclusion which is:
"Still, the point is not that those early audiophiles were hard of hearing or just plain dumb, but that, without prior experience of the phonograph, the failings we would now find so obvious just didn't fit into the acoustic model those listeners were constructing of Ms. Case's voice."
Or as I would put it, over 100 years ago the simple phrase "sounds the same" meant something completely different to a casual observer, than it does to a person who is truly sophisticated about sound quality today. For example by the early 1990s I had done enough DBTs related to audio electronics and speakers that it was arguable that as far as sonic defects in audio gear went, not much would surprise me. Then I started doing DBTs related to the emerging perceptual coder technology and I heard an entirely new world of sonic defects.
However, as we commonly see with people of shall I say a creative bent (not meant in a good way) truth was used as a cover for personal attacks on a despised group of people who disagree with subjectivism:
"Footnote 3: For a long time, I've felt that the difference between an "objectivist" and a "subjectivist" is that the latter has had, at one time in his or her life, a mentor who could show them what to listen for. Raymond was just one of the many from whom I learned what to listen for."
I'll counter that with the assertion that the best way I know of to learn what to listen for involves an ABX comparator. That way you know that you are hearing a difference and not some will-o-the-wisp invention of your brain operating in wish-fulfillment mode.
IOW John it looks to me like that Heyser lecture took advantage of the honor of speaking to the AES to grind one of the oldest of subjectivist axes - the war with people who know that the primary subjectivist tool, the sighted evaluation, is so hopelessly prone to generating false positives as to be completely useless for studying small differences in the interest of finding audio truth. The expectations of many were fulfilled.