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Cd treatment fluid - another snake oil? - Page 3

post #61 of 213
geekhd, in response to your post #58, there are two things that must be said regarding what we don't know about cd surfaces and/or audio technology in general.

One, is this kinda abstract thought: We don't know what we don't know.

Secondly, is the affect on psycho-acoustics and how much a placebo effect can have on our perceptions, including audio.

Combine these two thoughts, along with the fun of discovery when trying something new, and it does make a valid argument for one to experiment with a bit of snake oil now and then.
post #62 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

That is until he reads this forum and realizes he's been duped. Then that perception does 180 and starts hating what he's done to himself. If not this forum, it'll be somewhere else and sooner or later he may find out. That is unless he isolates himself from the rest of the world. You know what those are called.

I don't think that happens all the time. I would bet that there are many that come here, read what everyone is saying, and then leaves, saying to himself, "They MAY be right, but all I know is that it sounds better to ME. I don't know why, but it does", and then leaves because he doesn't want to incur the wrath of the anti-snakeoil crowd.

And as far as isolating oneself from the rest of the world, I would bet that those that believe in the snake oil are the majority, and those that don't are in the minority. All one has to do is look at the commercial success of Monster Cable and Bose on the low end, and super expensive tubed amps, turntables/cartridges, and 400 dollar a meter cable on the other.

We here at AVS, and those that share our thoughts are really only a very small part of the audio/home theater pie and how many people that want a audio or home theater system ever even get to this forum
post #63 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

In this instance, yes.

Example:
Audiophile "A" in his search for better sound, exchanges his receiver for an amp and pre/pro. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being heighest, his perception of improved sound is a 3.

Audiophile "B" in his search for better sound goes for the snake oil, and his perception of improved sound is also a 3, but for different reasons.

What is equal, however, is that they have both realized an improvement in perceived audio quality, and after all, isn't that what we are all after here?

And in your other example previously?

This is what Carl Sagan had to say back in 1987 at a Pasadena lecture:
"On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguis useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all."
post #64 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post


This is what Carl Sagan had to say back in 1987 at a Pasadena lecture:
"On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguis useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all."

Ok, now you've really peaked my interest being that Pasadena is about 2 miles west from me.

For me, it's all about the end result when it comes to my audio enjoyment. I really don't care how I get an improvement..........as long as I get it.

But I do take issue with Sagan's quote above (oh, blasphemy ) Here is a basic truism. We don't know what we don't know. How many ideas that we hold true today, were considered worthless ideas before they became worthy ideas.

I consider myself very skeptical. But I don't allow that skepticism to get in the way of either further enjoyment of what I am pursuing, or..........get in the way from experimenting with the validation or invalidation of my skepticism.

See, I don't see it as ".....no ideas have any validity at all". I see it more like ALL ideas have validity, and that they should all be explored, but not necessarily with equal effort, as some of those ideas may be REALLY out there. BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of light years out there .
post #65 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

geekhd, in response to your post #58, there are two things that must be said regarding what we don't know about cd surfaces and/or audio technology in general.

One, is this kinda abstract thought: We don't know what we don't know.

Secondly, is the affect on psycho-acoustics and how much a placebo effect can have on our perceptions, including audio.

Combine these two thoughts, along with the fun of discovery when trying something new, and it does make a valid argument for one to experiment with a bit of snake oil now and then.

Yeah, we don't know what we don't know but what aspect of CD surface does our current technology not understand when it comes to data extraction with laser? How would you know if there are things still left to be discovered in CD surface or not?

For both of your examples above, are they coming from your exhaustive research on this subject? I'm asking because I'm curious.

What would you say to someone who says 1+1=2.1? Would you say, "Well, we never know because there could be something we don't know in the universe that makes it the right answer therefore it should be viewed with an open mind"? Or would you say, "You are wrong"?
post #66 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Yeah, we don't know what we don't know but what aspect of CD surface does our current technology not understand when it comes to data extraction with laser? How would you know if there are things still left to be discovered in CD surface or not?

For both of your examples above, are they coming from your exhaustive research on this subject? I'm asking because I'm curious.

"our current technology" are the key words here. So it's back to the "we don't know what we don't know" answer. But all that is a bit esoteric. What is MORE concrete is that placebo affect of one who BELIEVES that it will sound better, therefore, to that person, it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

What would you say to someone who says 1+1=2.1? Would you say, "Well, we never know because there could be something we don't know in the universe that makes it the right answer therefore it should be viewed with an open mind"? Or would you say, "You are wrong"?

I would say, "You are wrong", and my answer would be based upon (here are those words again) "our current technology.

I don't have a problem in saying that this CD fluid will not work, but I would add a few caveats. One is that "It will not work based upon our current understanding of cd technology. And two, "Even though it will not work based upon science, you MAY find that it may work based upon your perception of what you BELIEVE will work.

In my opinion, psycho-acoustics plays a VERY important roll in how we perceive sound, maybe not as important as the science behind it, but still, an important factor in our perceptions.
post #67 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Yeah, we don't know what we don't know but what aspect of CD surface does our current technology not understand when it comes to data extraction with laser? How would you know if there are things still left to be discovered in CD surface or not?

There is no mystery to what is on a CD. What is on it is what was put on it. It would be possible in theory to do a bit-by-bit comparison between the output of a CD player and the original studio master to determine objectively if any loss occurred during playback or not. No "psychoacoustics" required.
post #68 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

No "psychoacoustics" required.

Psycho-acoustics is NEVER required, but it happens none the less.
post #69 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

"our current technology" are the key words here. So it's back to the "we don't know what we don't know" answer. But all that is a bit esoteric. What is MORE concrete is that placebo affect of one who BELIEVES that it will sound better, therefore, to that person, it does.



I would say, "You are wrong", and my answer would be based upon (here are those words again) "our current technology.

I don't have a problem in saying that this CD fluid will not work, but I would add a few caveats. One is that "It will not work based upon our current understanding of cd technology. And two, "Even though it will not work based upon science, you MAY find that it may work based upon your perception of what you BELIEVE will work.

In my opinion, psycho-acoustics plays a VERY important roll in how we perceive sound, maybe not as important as the science behind it, but still, an important factor in our perceptions.

Now we are talking about psychology and not CD technology. People believing that something is making a difference goes way way back before there was a thing called compact disc. Delusions have its own fate which can be revealed in time test.

There are those who say this fluid does make an audible difference and lets say, you told them that they are wrong. I've witnessed cases like this in which those believers would start calling you all sorts of names or tell you things like you have tin ears and ...etc. What would you say to them?

I'm still interested in hearing about what aspect of CD surface that's puzzling the designers and need to be solved.
post #70 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Now we are talking about psychology and not CD technology.

True, but when we are talking about how one perceives sound, technology and psychology are very much entwined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

There are those who say this fluid does make an audible difference and lets say, you told them that they are wrong. I've witnessed cases like this in which those believers would start calling you all sorts of names or tell you things like you have tin ears and ...etc. What would you say to them?

I would say to them that I have no doubt that it DOES make an audible difference to them if they say it does. Now WHY it makes an audible difference is a whole other story. Maybe it's because of some undiscovered technological measurements that we have yet to explore, or, and more likely, it is the placebo affect taking place here.

And, btw, making the placebo affect go away by a simple scientific explanation of what is REALLY going on, is not an easy task and may not work at all if one has their mind pretty well made up that they DO hear an audible improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

I'm still interested in hearing about what aspect of CD surface that's puzzling the designers and need to be solved.

I have no idea. "Maybe" nothing needs to be solved.
post #71 of 213
QUOTE=lwien;14286245]
I would say to them that I have no doubt that it DOES make an audible difference to them if they say it does.
[/quote]

What a steaming load of BS. A lot of people imagine hearing a difference from things that do not, in fact make any difference whatsoever (such as taping little bags of pebbles to the wires!)http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm
post #72 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post


What a steaming load of BS. A lot of people imagine hearing a difference from things that do not, in fact make any difference whatsoever (such as taping little bags of pebbles to the wires!)http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

........and using Alesis Monitor Ones as their speakers.
post #73 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

........and using Alesis Monitor Ones as their speakers.

Actually, those make a huge difference. No detail is too subtle for them to reproduce with 100% perfect clarity.
post #74 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM View Post

No detail is too subtle for them to reproduce with 100% perfect clarity.

And THAT statement can be viewed as just as bogus as those made by machinadynamica..........
post #75 of 213
I tend to collect a fair amount of out of print CDs and as a result end up having to buy used on occasion. This means I often have to deal with CDs that are less than pristine. Some of these CDs have audible problems but my main goal is to get them to rip with no non-recoverable errors using EAC so that I can play them back using my Sonos. To this end, some will need surface polishing to remove scratches and others will just need some cleaning.

One of the best cleaners I found is a bottle of Stainless Steel cleaner that came with one of our appliances. It's a spray on foam that seems to have a bit of surface sufacant in it that helps hide minor scratches. Sorta amazing how good it can make an otherwise marginal CD appear. Think the stuff costs maybe $5 for a 16 oz. bottle. I've also heard of some people going as far as using spray on furniture polish for scratches that seem to persist no matter what. Can't really recommend any of these methods as I don't know what the long term effects on the CDs are, but for my purposes they work fine since once the CD is ripped it basically goes into storage.

OB Ron, spend some time looking around the forums, you've got no idea how nice the people in this thread are being to you. This type of stuff is debated endlessly here; if you expect anyone to be impressed by this stuff you'll need a whole lot of science on your side and even then, you'll still get a debate.
post #76 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

I would say to them that I have no doubt that it DOES make an audible difference to them if they say it does. Now WHY it makes an audible difference is a whole other story.

One needs to be careful here. The word ought to be perceivable difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

Maybe it's because of some undiscovered technological measurements that we have yet to explore, or, and more likely, it is the placebo affect taking place here.

I would think it's the latter. I've been asking and searching around for things we can hear but cannot be measured and there has not been an answer from anyone including those believers. So I would conclude that if we can hear it, it can be measured.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

And, btw, making the placebo affect go away by a simple scientific explanation of what is REALLY going on, is not an easy task and may not work at all if one has their mind pretty well made up that they DO hear an audible improvement.

Those believers can be converted once they sit through bias controlled tests. But some of them refuse to do it though, i.e. Pear Cable and that's understandable since they are financially vested in their claims. The consumers who would do the same are just beyond me.
post #77 of 213
Ok, I'll go with "perceivable" difference.

And yeah, like I said, it probably is the latter.

And again a yeah on your statement that you would conclude that if we can hear it it can be measured, but do we know how, is the question. I remember when TM distortion was discovered, and that was not too long ago. Hmmm..........guess I'm showing my age here.

Consumers, in general, really WANT to buy into the magic. It's the excitement of discovering something that will work for them that most don't know about. It works on a lot of different levels, but definitely, not the levels of common sense or fiscal diligence.
post #78 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post


Those believers can be converted once they sit through bias controlled tests. But some of them refuse to do it though, i.e. Pear Cable and that’s understandable since they are financially vested in their claims. The consumers who would do the same are just beyond me.

Another thought.

If one could clearly hear a difference why on the plant would one bother with such ridiculous tests?
post #79 of 213
For those of you who have not engaged in bias controlled listening tests, I can tell you that perceived audible differences tend to go away or at least diminish over time. You begin to be able to hear past your biases simply because the bias controlled testing forces you to listen more closely than you ever have before and to judge sound naked all by itself. In other words you become a better objective judge of audible differences.

So perceived differences change and come and go. Audible differences always stay the same. I don't think it is correct to say that so and so believes he hears a difference so, therefore, it is as good as experiencing an actual difference. In my experience perceived differences aren't reliable and constant.
post #80 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

perceived audible differences tend to go away or at least diminish over time. You begin to be able to hear past your biases simply because the bias controlled testing forces you to listen more closely than you ever have before and to judge sound naked all by itself. In other words you become a better objective judge of audible differences.

.

Why would I want to do that? This is a hobby and I enjoy it as is. If this pseudo-science aspect of audio is important to you fine. Frankly I think you undermine the joy of the music.
post #81 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

why on the plant would one bother with such ridiculous tests?

You mean it's ridiculous to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

Why would I want to do that? This is a hobby and I enjoy it as is. If this pseudo-science aspect of audio is important to you fine. Frankly I think you undermine the joy of the music.

There's nothing wrong with expressing your personal opinion. I'm sure it's coming from what's perceivable to you.
post #82 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

Why would I want to do that? This is a hobby and I enjoy it as is. If this pseudo-science aspect of audio is important to you fine. Frankly I think you undermine the joy of the music.

He does that because that's the part of the hobby he enjoys. If this thread has done anything, it has proven that we all enjoy different aspects of this hobby, from purely enjoying the search for better equipment, to enjoying the source material more than the gear, to enjoying the gear more than the source material, to enjoying the validation process of WHY one piece of gear is better than the other............or not, to enjoying experimenting with snake oil, etc etc etc............

Fact is, is that all of the above practices are valid in our pursuit of the enjoyment of audio, no?

What isn't a nice thing to do however, is to invalidate the reason why one enjoys what they enjoy, regardless if you agree with the process or not.

Just my .02 cents.
post #83 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

Why would I want to do that? This is a hobby and I enjoy it as is. If this pseudo-science aspect of audio is important to you fine. Frankly I think you undermine the joy of the music.

Exactly the opposite is true. I stopped listening to equipment 10 years ago. I only listen to music now. Most high end audiophiles continue to listen to equipment. Incidentally, it isn't pseudo-science. It is plain old ordinary science.
post #84 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

He does that because that's the part of the hobby he enjoys. If this thread has done anything, it has proven that we all enjoy different aspects of this hobby, from purely enjoying the search for better equipment, to enjoying the source material more than the gear, to enjoying the gear more than the source material, to enjoying the validation process of WHY one piece of gear is better than the other............or not, to enjoying experimenting with snake oil, etc etc etc............

Fact is, is that all of the above practices are valid in our pursuit of the enjoyment of audio, no?

What isn't a nice thing to do however, is to invalidate the reason why one enjoys what they enjoy, regardless if you agree with the process or not.

Just my .02 cents.

It started for me one day when I read a review of the sonic marvels of a power cord. I racked my brain trying to figure out how a power cord could affect sonics and came up empty. I visited my friend the high end audio dealer and asked him how it could be. He said it couldn't. It is simply a belief. He then supplied me with box full of interconnect cables and power cords and invited me to take them home for some listening tests. He explained the process for bias controlled testing.

I got 11 members of an audiophile society together and we spent part of a weekend testing the box full of cables. Once we had learned that neither cables nor power cords affected sonics we started getting into all kinds of tests. We spent partial weekends over several month testing all kinds of things using the audiophile group's own gear as test subjects. This all resulted in the 11 of us leaving the audiophile society and giving up high end audio for the most part. We had learned what really mattered and what didn't in audio gear. I sold about $40,000 worth of high end gear over the next few months and replaced it with about $3000 worth of gear that produced the same sonic satisfaction.

Since then, I've conducted perhaps 15 or 20 other tests mostly to satisfy my own curiosity about specific things like biwiring etc.. Those have been done with my wife assisting - usually as the listener.

Other than that I have paid absolutely no attention to the sonics of hardware at all. My system sounds great and I don't need to worry about it or brag about it or show it off to anyone. I continue to use the same speakers I bought 10 years ago. I liked them then and I like them now. I've added the home theater stuff over the years but I still use the same speakers for my main left and right. No need to fix what isn't broken, they say.

I enjoy audio and home theater and that's why I come to the internet forums to talk about it. I assume you all do so for the same reason. I certainly don't make a hobby out of bias controlled testing. But I can say that bias controlled testing has certainly improved my appreciation of audio and recorded music as a hobby.
post #85 of 213
Quote:


What isn't a nice thing to do however, is to invalidate the reason why one enjoys what they enjoy,

Well, it may not be a nice thing to read if you happen to be on the receiving end. But it is nonetheless a nice thing to do for others, particularly newbies, who are struggling to sort out the truth from the BS in audio. And that is particularly appropriate for this thread, which has featured several extended advertisements for snake oil.

This is an open forum. If reading scientifically-based posts will spoil our fun, nobody's forcing you to read them.
post #86 of 213
Woah there. Who ever said anything about reading scientifically-based post spoiling anyone's fun? It sure as hell doesn't spoil mine.

Like I said, there are many facets of enjoying this hobby, and one of them is researching scientific studies to validate what you believe to be true. But..........one CAN validate their side of the story while still maintaining respect for those that don't agree with them.

I think dialog like this, debating two opposing viewpoints is a good thing, but again, for me, when push comes to shove, it's all about what the enjoyment of our hobby, and if one enjoys experimenting and playing around with snake oil, than so be it. To me, invalidating that persons experience to justify your own is nothing more than an ego play.
post #87 of 213
Quote:


To me, invalidating that persons experience to justify your own is nothing more than an ego play.

What does "invalidating that persons experience" mean? If someone puts up a post that says, "treating the surface of a CD will reduce jitter and sound better," how is it "invalidating that persons experience" to explain why that is a load of donkey dirt? For that matter, how is it "justify[ing] your own"? It's not invalidating or justifying anything. It's pointing out facts in the face of blatant nonsense.
post #88 of 213
mcnarus, you are correct when you state that pointing out facts in the face of blatant nonsense is not validating or justifying anything. Where the invalidation comes in is when you tell someone that they will not hear an improvement with this product, for they very well may.

Ya see, if there was a newbie coming on asking about this product, I would tell them that there is no scientific data to support the claims made by the manufacturer so I don't believe that it will work as advertised, but if ya want to experiment, give it a shot. There's always the chance that you may like it.

I've been in this hobby for a very long time, probably longer than most have been alive here. And not only has it been a hobby of mine for over 50 years, but I also made it a profession for over 30 years. In that time, after going to the CES show every year for decades, seeing and listening to just about everything that this industry has to offer, talking to hundreds of reps, owners and engineers of these companies, talking to thousands of customers over the years that have purchased these products, and discussed marketing and advertising with the marketing and advertising executives of dozens of companies in this field, I feel totally qualified to state that there WILL be those that will like the added performance of a product that is not backed up by any scientific data whatsoever.

And IF all those super-high end snake oil products disappeared tomorrow, I think our hobby would lose a bit of the magic that makes it as fun as it is.
post #89 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Once we had learned that neither cables nor power cords affected sonics we started getting into all kinds of tests.

There are speaker cables with higher capacitance or inductance that colors the sound. For that, I would say they can make an audible difference but that's adding coloration to sound which I personally am not in favor of.

If enjoying the sound can be done at lower cost, that's a better way to go. Simply to put, why spend more when you don't have to. Some speculate that they may have to because what they've been told about by these audio product companies. For example, I've read about a guy who spent extra for Liz wire for speaker cables which has individual strands insulated. His reason was to reduce skin effect and eliminate strand jumping. After hooking them up, he says there was an improvement. To those who are unfamiliar with skin effect and strand jumping, these issues seem like something need to be taken care of for better sound so they go on and fork over their hard earned money on wires like those.

Do any of you have any thoughts on Good Samaritan? I think people should put effort to help out others who are about to be suckered by those vendors. Sure, there may be some who enjoys getting suckered (audio version of masochist maybe? ) which I don't think your effort will be appreciated by but until that's confirmed, people who understand the subject should help out those who don't.
post #90 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

Where the invalidation comes in is when you tell someone that they will not hear an improvement with this product, for they very well may.

Wait a minute, is this a slip of the tongue, I mean finger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

Ok, I'll go with "perceivable" difference.
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