Originally Posted by rocktober
Originally Posted by kbarnes701
And you are absolutely entitled to your opinion - nobody would disagree with that.
The problem is that ears/brain are unreliable and to trust them is likely to lead you up the garden path. And they are almost useless at isolating most problems and finding a solution to them. For example, if your ETC is showing some very nasty reflection spikes, it is just impossible to address them by using your ears alone. You need to take steps, then measure again, maybe take more steps, then measure again, until the spikes have gone. Then, when you listen, the sound will be better, the imaging better and so on - and you will know why.
You my friend have taken this conversation to another route. We are not discussing the diagnosing of audio issues. The nature of this discussion was based on what gets me to sonic nirvana, and fortunately for me I don't have to have someone tell me when that is, those two things on each side of my head is all I need. Listening pleasure, that's why I'm in it.
Agreed - that is why we are all in it. But how do you know you have achieved nirvana? How do you know my system, for example, doesn't sound way better than yours? How do you know that you don't have a little too long a decay time at 40Hz, or that there is a suck out between 700 and 1200 Hz? Your ears surely are not able to detect a 300ms ring at 40Hz or a 5dB dip between 700 and 1200Hz?
It's not a question of 'having to have someone tell you' what is good - it is more a question of how you know it is good yourself in the absence of any objective means to know so. You can't go elsewhere and listen to another system for comparison because the room is not the same as yours. It is impractical to bring other gear into your own room for comparison, and in any case you'd have to have some way to level match it all and switch it. So while you think it sounds great (and it may - I am not questioning your system or your room or your ears) how do you know it really does? And on the subject - the room is the most important component in any system, yes? So is yours treated? How have you dealt with the inevitable modes and ringing issues? If you haven't treated it, then the sound will be less good than it can be, and certainly far from 'sonic nirvana'. If you have treated it, then how did you know what to do if you didn't first measure it?
What I am really saying is, I guess, ears are not enough because they are just too unreliable. We don't rely on our senses in other areas of science do we? We don't drive along and say "I am sure I am doing 70 mph now" because it feels like you are - you check the speedometer. When you go to the hospital, the doctor doesn't say "You look as if you have <insert name of condition>". He runs tests to verify his feeling. Heck, our ears can't even tell us how LOUD something is, let alone how much it sounds like a flute or a piano or whatever it is meant to sound like. Can you use your ears and say that a tone is playing at 80dB or whatever?
When we relied on our senses to give us an objective reality of the world, what happened? Yep - we came to the conclusion that the earth is the centre of the universe and the sun revolves around it. Our senses tell us so! When we applied some objective science, we realised that our senses are always deceiving us. The McGurk Effect shows how it happens with our hearing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0&feature=related) and the Muller Lyre test shows how it applies to our vision:
At the end of the day, how it all sounds is what matters. But to get to "sonic nirvana' one needs more than just one's ears.
Edited by kbarnes701 - 2/8/13 at 10:49am