Originally Posted by lvtdude
The ears are more sensitive to sound than any measurement tool you can throw at us.
No they aren't.
They've evolved over millions of years, and we all have a pair, but we probably don't know everything that the ear/brain mechanism picks up on.
We don't need to know everything in order to know enough about something to reach good conclusions. The proof of that is the fact that we don't know everything about anything, yet we are able to live and manage a great many things quite effectively.
BTW, our ears evolved over millions of years in such a way that they ignore a great many sounds. If a tiger is sneaking up on you, you don't want to be distracted by the sound of the wind. Our brains have limited speed and processing power. Therefore our hearing evolved in such a way that it ignores the things that don't matter and focuses on the things that do matter.
It's not that every bit of distortion couldn't be measured. It probably could be, if we knew what we were looking for. Until we know every type of distortion that exists and have eradicated all of them, I'm going to believe that there are audible differences.
You can believe in whatever you wish, but that doesn't make it so. I've already shown that your basic logic that we have to know everything to know anything is flawed. I've shown that our ears and brains are designed to very definately not hear everything.
I once read an article on fractals that was very enlightening. Yes, it was in Stereophile, so if you want to stop reading, go right ahead. The basic idea is that analog signals can be more accurate than digital signals. It talked about the resolution of low level detail and compared a digital signal to a painting.
Were you really enligtened, or just mislead. YOu may have felt enlightened, but how do you know that what you read was true or relevant or helpful?
A painting made up of blocks or dots may look perfect from a distance, but as you get closer and closer, the individual dots or blocks would become more and more apparent. A digital image on a 1080p TV would be another example. Great from 10 feet away, not so great from 2 feet away. An analog signal when taken down to the lowest level gradually fades away into nothingness. The closer you get the more you see (or hear.) Go tell a photographer a digital image is more accurate than an analog image, I dare ya.
All so-called analog photographs are actually made up of granules. It takes more than one property to charaterise a good granule. Not only do the granules have to be small enough to fuse into a picture that does not appear to be granulated, but ganules must also be the right color and brightness.
Your mistake is that you have only considered granule size. Many if not most professional photographers use digital cameras for a number of reasons, but one of them is the way that the fact that digital granules are easier to work with and move around and copy without changing their number or the accuracy of their color and intensity.
It turns out that in some ways digital cameras even beat analog when it comes to the numbers of and fineness of the granules. Modern digital cameras often produce higher resolution photographs than analog cameras of the same size. A picture taken with a modern megapixel digital can often be blown up far larger with minimal grain than a 35 mm camera using film of equal light sensitivity.
Photo processing houses have been using digital techniques to improve the quality of the pictures they process for over a decade.
Digital music when you get down to the lowest level loses it's resolving power as well...
So does analog, and analog media runs out of resolution first, and by far.
and if you have linearity errors in a DAC that resolving power can be even worse.
Modern converters are inherently linear. Modern converters are among the most linear of all kinds of audio gear, and not by just a little.
Stereophile just reviewed a McIntosh Music Server that suffers these linearity errors (I know, they pointed out a problem! Maybe McIntosh didn't pay their advertising bill??? Take that conspiracy theorists!) and I read elsewhere on the site that this error results in the McIntosh being more equivalent to a 14 bit digital system than the 16 bit system it's supposed to be. Now maybe you can or maybe you can't hear that. It can be measured. And this poor performance comes from a VERY expensive high end manufacturer.
Your mistake is blindly believing that you always get what you pay for. Just because Ferraris have great performance on a test track doesn't mean that so do Rolls Royces.
Low volume, high price audio gear often has a far smaller development budget than high volume, lower cost gear. Modern basic parts and production techniques have inherently low cost and high quality.
If a high end item that costs thousands of dollars can have such problems, why not a $79 cd player?
Because of the respective cost structures for the products. These days all mass-market products are sold with warrantees. A small mistake in a high volume product can put a manufacturer out of business. Less total money is on the table for a low-volume product.
If you had a PERFECT 16 bit digital system, it may be impossible to hear differences.
Other than the converters, there is no reason for a 16 bit system to be other than perfect. The price-performance of converters has improved dramatically to the point where converters with better-than-16 bit performance have become commodity items. I took apart a $39.95 DVD player and found 24/192 converters from one of the finest manufacturers of converters.
I'm suggesting that your situation is more like poorly-informed.
but I don't think anyone's produced that perfect system to this day.
You've changed the topic, which was CD and DVD players in such a way that you can make claims that don't apply to CD adn DVD players but make it seem that they do. Bad logic at the very best.
If there's a system out there with perfect linearity, perfect (zero) distortion and perfect (again zero) jitter performance, I'd like to hear about it.
Excluded middle argument. There's plenty of evidence that measurably imperfect audio gear will pass audio signals that the ear can find no fault with that can be attributed to the imperfect audio gear. All that is needed is that the imperfections be smaller than certain amounts.
It stands to reason that if there are measurable differences, then there may be audible differences.
You've said absolutely nothing with any certain meaning in that sentence!
"..there may be audible differences"? That's totally weak and meaningless!
You're ignoring a big well-known issue: Quantification. In sufficiently small doses some heavy metals are not only not poisonous like they are in big doses, they are vital to human health.
I know, I know, but what about double blind testing? What about it?
Three things are required for a sensitive, reliable listening test: Accurate level matching, time synchronization, and bias controls.
Can anyone offer up a perfect double blind test?
You seem to be all hung up on making the same logical error again and again. Nothing physical in this universe is perfect. If you are looking for perfection, you are on a fool's journey.
Is a level matching device going to be completely transparent?
If well-made, yes. I made my first transparent level-matching device in the middle 70s. Were you even born then?
Does anyone listen to their music while under the stress of being "tested?"
Presumably everybody who is doing a listening test, blind or sighted, is under some kind of stress.
Do people do these tests in the comfort of their own home with equipment they're completely familiar with?
Lastly, if people think they hear differences in equipment, and you don't, what do you care?
It is rather pathetic to see people so bound up and hog-tied with bad logic, false claims, and expensive misapprehensions.
I don't believe in gods, but I don't tell people they're crazy for having religion. No one can prove the existence of any deity, yet BILLIONS of people are religious. Are they as nuts as we audiophiles, or more so?
You seem to have a religion of your own making, You have made audio gear into a kind of a god by saying that it has supernatural properties.
What we're talking about here is open to debate. Nobody has proven or disproven that audible differences exist.
That would like a religious belief of yours. You're denying well-known facts. Your logic is very bad.
I hear differences. Maybe I'm a nut, who knows for sure?
You're not nuts, you are just rather poorly educated about logic and science.
"To a sufficiently backward people, modern science seems the same to them as magic."