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Mcintosh integrated amp MA6600 for B&W 803D - Page 6

post #151 of 195
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Originally Posted by akhter View Post

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


The people who make sensible posts have no embarassment to avoid.

Hmmm, amateur psychology from thousands of miles away. Not even a professional would try to pull that off.

I just provided a bibliography with more than 20 items in another post.

It takes a lot of ego and arrogance to attack a persons credibility and then ask for a favor. From thousands of miles I'll diagnose narcissistic personality disorder. LOL!

Narcissistic, ego, arrogance coupled with god like superiority complex. I wonder who else is exhibiting such behavior.

You seem to have confused marginal humor, technical competence and social skills with God-like superiority. Does that say anything about you? ;-)

I suspect that at least one person almost gave their PC display a coffee bath while reading the above...

You could try lightening up!

Oh, and according to psychological testing, I am kinda borderline narcissistic. But I'm happy!
post #152 of 195
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Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

If it is true that every connection audibly detracts from the sound quality, then please explain how mixing boards can have literally hundreds of sliders, switches, knobs, etc... and yet we are nonetheless able to enjoy some beautifully clean recorded music. ..Your claim strikes me as nonsense. ..I've read many similar comments about bass and treble controls, balance control, and mono switches.. That they are to be avoided because, no matter how well they are implemented, they audibly damage the signal even when zero'd

Hell, back up from the board, even. Consider the spaghetti of cables and connectors used for microphones, amplifiers and various effects boxes.

It's true that there's always potential for signal degradation throughout the signal path, but we have test instrumentation that can measure those effects, and it's far more sensitive than the human ear. Only in the "audiophile" fantasy world do they claim that these effects are audible despite measurements to the contrary.

Blind ABX testing would resolve all this, of course, but the "audiophile" has an answer for that too -- the ABX switch (somehow) "degrades" the signal and (somehow) makes formerly distinct sonic signatures all sound alike. What evidence do we have of that? As usual, we have none; once again, it's made up.
post #153 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brownstone322 View Post

Blind ABX testing would resolve all this, of course, but the "audiophile" has an answer for that too -- the ABX switch (somehow) "degrades" the signal and (somehow) makes formerly distinct sonic signatures all sound alike. What evidence do we have of that? As usual, we have none; once again, it's made up.
The important question is, how many of them actually participated in such test themselves?
post #154 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brownstone322 View Post


Hell, back up from the board, even. Consider the spaghetti of cables and connectors used for microphones, amplifiers and various effects boxes.

It's true that there's always potential for signal degradation throughout the signal path, but we have test instrumentation that can measure those effects, and it's far more sensitive than the human ear. Only in the "audiophile" fantasy world do they claim that these effects are audible despite measurements to the contrary.

Blind ABX testing would resolve all this, of course, but the "audiophile" has an answer for that too -- the ABX switch (somehow) "degrades" the signal and (somehow) makes formerly distinct sonic signatures all sound alike. What evidence do we have of that? As usual, we have none; once again, it's made up.

Not to mention the fact that ABX tests have been done of switchboxes and other ABX tests have been done without any switchbox at all.

No theoretical or practical support can be found for the audiophile myth that switchboxes inherently degrade sound quality to the point where differences can't be heard.

It is easy to speculate, but often far more difficult to work out practical tests that are definitive. Nevertheless ABX advocates have done their homework.
post #155 of 195
A certain poster who joined 7/2013 just has to be trolling.
post #156 of 195
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Your list demonstrates a random level of knowledge of listeners, particularly in its inclusion of musicians and orchestral conductors.

It turns out that many musicans and orchestra conductors don't have the best audio systems and many aren't particularly good detectors of technical flaws in audio systems. They are often great at picking out musical flaws, but for many of them technical flaws are a completely different kettle of fish. So they are great at noticing playing that is off-key or out-of-time, but 10% THD and/or depressed midrange can fly right by many of them.

That has been my observation as well. I have a friend who is an accomplished musician, perfect pitch hearing, both parents have PhDs in music. He picks out that a violin player is slightly out of tune or off in timing but doesn't hear the things audio nuts listen for. He's content with a HTIB-type system.

I have another friend who has released a couple of recordings on CD. He played all the instruments on one. I couldn't do that to save my life. But he can't seem to distinguish between a good-sounding recording and a crappy one.
post #157 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You seem to have confused marginal humor, technical competence and social skills with God-like superiority. Does that say anything about you? ;-)

I suspect that at least one person almost gave their PC display a coffee bath while reading the above...

You could try lightening up!

Oh, and according to psychological testing, I am kinda borderline narcissistic. But I'm happy!

I assure you its all good fun. Atleast for me hifi is purely a hobby--such forums--an added bonus!
post #158 of 195
I can hear a difference in whether a switch box is in the system or out of the system. And if a switch box is in the system, then I don't hear any difference in amplifiers.
Can anybody give possible reasons for this?
I have given logical reasons as to why this would be.
The science, numbers, statistics, and normal everyday common sense don't support this.
I know this. The only sense that it makes to me is for the reasons I have mentioned.

Could there not be more to this audio thing than just electrical test numbers and statistical results?
If there could be something more to it, then why not search for and try to find it?

If you're happy with the science, numbers, and statistics, then good news! You're done!
You're search is over. Can you tell me why I (and apparently others) can hear a difference in amplifiers? You can certainly tell me why I should not be able to tell the difference by using the science and numbers (and by attacking my character and credibility). But it doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference. It's possible that my own personal reasoning and logic as to why I hear a difference could be flawed. That doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference.

This is not a religion or a false myth that I'm trying to perpetuate. I can hear a difference. I don't just believe this just because. I have chronicled some of my experiences and have done many, many sound tests. I question every test, result, and conclusion that I have ever come to. I question myself so much that most of my speaker sound tests have lasted for months.

Can you please tell me why I can hear a difference instead of why I shouldn't be able to?
The only possible reason from other people that I have seen is that it could be psychological.
Could be. Please understand that I have tried to rule out this possibility as much as humanly possible through the shear extent of my sound testing. I did not, do not, want to have to spend thousands of dollars in order to get very good sound. So, I psychologically didn't want to do it anyway. I want something for nothing as much as anyone else. It's just what I (and many others) had to do to get very good sound.

Why can I hear a difference even if I, scientifically and statistically speaking, should not be able to?
post #159 of 195
Quote:
I can hear a difference in whether a switch box is in the system or out of the system. And if a switch box is in the system, then I don't hear any difference in amplifiers.
Can anybody give possible reasons for this?
Yeah. It's all in your head.
Quote:
Could there not be more to this audio thing than just electrical test numbers and statistical results?
If there could be something more to it, then why not search for and try to find it?
We don't have to search for it. We know exactly where it is. (See above.)
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Can you tell me why I (and apparently others) can hear a difference in amplifiers?
See above.
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You can certainly tell me why I should not be able to tell the difference by using the science and numbers (and by attacking my character and credibility). But it doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference. It's possible that my own personal reasoning and logic as to why I hear a difference could be flawed. That doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference.
But until you do a comparison that holds constant what's in your head, you have no evidence that there's any explanation other than, it's all in your head. And given that people have been doing such comparisons for 30+ years, with remarkably consistent results, it's reasonable to conclude that, well, it's all in your head.
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This is not a religion or a false myth that I'm trying to perpetuate. I can hear a difference.
No. You think you hear a difference.
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Can you please tell me why I can hear a difference instead of why I shouldn't be able to?
Because it's all in your head.
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The only possible reason from other people that I have seen is that it could be psychological.
My god, you finally got one right!
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Please understand that I have tried to rule out this possibility as much as humanly possible
No, you haven't. You haven't taken even the slightest precautions to preclude this possibility. Blind. Level-matched. Prove you can tell which amp is which. (Note: I'm not requiring you to use a switchbox. It's your funeral.)
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I did not, do not, want to have to spend thousands of dollars in order to get very good sound.
Yeah, that's what they all say.
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Why can I hear a difference even if I, scientifically and statistically speaking, should not be able to?
Do I have to say it again?
post #160 of 195
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Blind. Level-matched. Prove you can tell which amp is which. (Note: I'm not requiring you to use a switchbox. It's your funeral.)

By the way, if anyone has ever actually read the full text of the original Stereo Review test, you'll see that (predictably) they too had listeners who objected to the ABX switch in the circuit. So, for those listeners, they physically swapped cables. Didn't make any difference in the results. Shocker.
post #161 of 195
It is always amazing that folks without the slightest clue of how the ear works - (electromechanically) by definition a fault prone system (see speakers) because it demands the coupling of air to a sensor system, so the system is liable to act differently to variances in air pressure, air moisture content, ambient noise etc. - think that system is somehow superior to non biological transduction systems.
At least in engineered mechanical systems we have control over the materials, design, etc. In biological systems ....who knows, depends what gene was switched on or off and for how long during the construction process.
Add to that the whole fault prone processing system called brain, functioning impeded by emotional states, environment etc.
Subjective testing with the evaluation by statistical methods is the only way we can get somewhat of a baseline what is considered "normal range".

There might be folks out there who could hear distortion levels below .01% or so - but even most basic amps nowadays usually breach that threshold downwards. And except for lousy designed boutique ware almost all amps work within +- 1 db from 20 - 20kHz. And even if someone could hear much beyond that limit, does not mean they could detect - aside from a pure sine - the level difference at those infra frequencies.

Yes, not most - all of what you hear, all of it, is in your mind, and what you think what you hear is your brains interpretation of it, not what happens measurably.
The brain is a useful tool - as about 5 million years of evolution have shown, but we might be at its limits already, as more processing means more faults that might go uncorrected and signal processing by that tool might be incorrect or runs through signal inappropriate filters...i.e. bias.
Edited by kraut - 7/25/13 at 9:52pm
post #162 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh25ep View Post

I can hear a difference in whether a switch box is in the system or out of the system. And if a switch box is in the system, then I don't hear any difference in amplifiers.

Do you think that all switch boxes are the same?

Please describe the offending switch box(es), preferably including parts list, as well as pictures of the inside and outside.

The switch box that I have described was preceded by at least 5 generations, used professional grade connectors and relays that were also used in high end audio gear, and was a totally unique product. Some of the earlier designs had audible problems.

Much of the information that I have requested above is given for our switchbox in the Clark JAES article: High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 30 No. 5, May 1982, pp. 330-338.. There's a picture of it in JAES Volume 55 Issue 9 pp. 775-779; September 2007: "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/DA/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback"
Edited by arnyk - 7/26/13 at 1:32am
post #163 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Do you think that all switch boxes are the same? Please describe the offending switch box(es), preferably including parts list, as well as pictures of the inside and outside.

Look at this through the eyes of an audiophile though.

They have their $30,000 CD player hooked up to their $30,000 amp sitting on a $30,000 component rack with their $30,000 speaker cables to their $30,000 speakers. Putting a $20 component anywhere in that chain is obviously going to degrade their entire system to a "$20 sound".

If however you charged $30,000 for that switchbox though and have some reviewer wax lyrical about it in that how it lifted a veil and you put a 'you're special' sticker on it, audiophiles would actually be tripping over themselves to get one in the chain somewhere.
post #164 of 195
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So, for those listeners, they physically swapped cables. Didn't make any difference in the results
How could it? Didn't they just lump them all together at the end? Don't answer. I don't care. Sorry I brought it up.
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Add to that the whole fault prone processing system called brain, functioning impeded by emotional states, environment etc.
Couldn't that be why some people can't hear the difference? I'm just saying that it could go either way.

If you don't think that you will be able to hear a difference, and then you don't hear a difference, then isn't that psychological also?
If you confirm (but not really) your own psychological evaluation with "scientific" tests, then that will give you many numbers to affirm your psychological feelings with the possible information that the human race has on hand at the time.
Does what we know today, to the extent and limitation of human knowledge, make it any less psychological? Is the answer to that not an opinion in and of itself?
post #165 of 195
Arny! You totally forgot to blast me there.wink.gif Unless it was done tacitly. I can never tell....

No I don't think that all switch boxes are made the same.
What I'm thinking is that, because of the scientific, statistical results of whatever tests have been done, the end result between different ABX boxes is the same.
Or said another way, I think that different ABX boxes made differently will still make the all the amplifiers sound the same.
If they've gone through 5 generations, and assuming each generation has better hardware, and the test results are still 50/50, why does this mean all amplifiers sound the same to everybody?
Could it not mean that different ABX boxes made differently will still make the all the amplifiers sound the same?
I know. I know. You also have many, many numbers.

The ABX box that I made could have serious, serious flaws. I used gold plated everything except the relays which were copper throughout their entire construction. And copper wire point to point. Load resistors that, like yours, were not in the system when the amplifier was being used. So, my bad on my previous comment on how that worked.

Professional grade and high end grade do not mean the same thing to me. Professional grade to me means behringer, dbx, crown and the like while high end means rotel, nad, mcintosh.
Is this how it is for you or is it different?
post #166 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Do you think that all switch boxes are the same? Please describe the offending switch box(es), preferably including parts list, as well as pictures of the inside and outside.

Look at this through the eyes of an audiophile though.

They have their $30,000 CD player hooked up to their $30,000 amp sitting on a $30,000 component rack with their $30,000 speaker cables to their $30,000 speakers. Putting a $20 component anywhere in that chain is obviously going to degrade their entire system to a "$20 sound".

If however you charged $30,000 for that switchbox though and have some reviewer wax lyrical about it in that how it lifted a veil and you put a 'you're special' sticker on it, audiophiles would actually be tripping over themselves to get one in the chain somewhere.

Yeah, we missed the boat. The ABX RM2 sold in the late 80s for only about $1K, if memory serves.

We did have a high end reviewer (Gordon Holt) give us a good review. It is in the Stereophile archives.

Of course high end components were generally also considerably less expensive in those days.

If we sold the exact same thing today, we'd have to charge about $8K for the controller and the relay module combo.

Technology has marched on, and ABX controllers have been transformed into free software, while the core of a relay module is about $35 on Amazon and eBay.
post #167 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh25ep View Post

No I don't think that all switch boxes are made the same.
That's not the question I asked. Thanks for running true to form and dodging all of the tough questions. Let me clarify:

Do you think that all switch boxes sound the same? Notice that I claim that they don't all sound the same, and that some are capable of adversely affecting the performance of equipment attached to them.
Quote:
What I'm thinking is that, because of the scientific, statistical results of whatever tests have been done, the end result between different ABX boxes is the same.

Or said another way, I think that different ABX boxes made differently will still make the all the amplifiers sound the same.

Your post again shows your lack of familiarity with this topic. There have been ABX tests that showed amplifiers sounding different. They've been cited on this subforum, and mentioned in this thread.
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If they've gone through 5 generations, and assuming each generation has better hardware, and the test results are still 50/50, why does this mean all amplifiers sound the same to everybody?

Once again your post shows that you simply don't know what you are talking about when it comes to ABX. There have been many ABX tests that found amplifiers that sound different.

There is a little hitch from the standpoint of radical self-professed subjectivists: The amplifier has to measure sufficiently different to actually sound different.

Here are some examples:

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_pwr.htm

The above has been on the web since the middle 1990s, if memory serves. You obviously don't have a clue about it, because you couldn't be misrepresenting facts that you actually know, right? ;-)

About half the amplifiers tested and documented on that web page sounded different in ABX tests. One example of this was documented in detail in this feature article from a first-tier audio magazine:

Carlstrom, David, Greenhill, Laurence, Krueger, Arnold, "Some Amplifiers Do Sound Different", The Audio Amateur, 3/82, p. 30, 31, also reprinted in Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Link House Magazines, United Kingdom, Dec 1982, p. 37.

Bottom line - your posting is demolished by its ignorance of first rate publications that have been around for decade(s). Your alleged ABX box is probably no better then your literature search. ;-)
Edited by arnyk - 7/26/13 at 11:05am
post #168 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh25ep View Post


The ABX box that I made could have serious, serious flaws. I used gold plated everything except the relays which were copper throughout their entire construction.

If those were your technical guidelines, then you probably made a number of significant errors.

Fancy materials like gold don't matter. Gold is generally a poor material for switchboxes and audio gear in general for a variety of reasons. Performance matters and much of that comes from design and wise execution, not name-dropping expensive materials.

For example our ABX box used line level relays with Ruthenium (way cheaper than Gold) contacts because that is actually a far more ideal material. Not a lot were made, and we competed for production with a well-known manufacturer of studio consoles. We were advised to do that by a Bell Labs PhD who specialized in the area and had influenced the design of most of the US telephone system at the time. We used hard plated jacks not gold, because gold doesn't hold up to repeated use.

Gold plated connectors scream Amateur and Boutique to any in-the-know audio pro.

In terms of audibility, probably the most important things were the balanced wiring and our contact operation timing scheme. The skinny about that is in the Clark JAES article. Please note that the JAES is about as pro as you can get in audio, so all this talk about ABX being an amateur effort is ignorant and insulting.
Quote:
Professional grade and high end grade do not mean the same thing to me. Professional grade to me means behringer, dbx, crown and the like while high end means rotel, nad, mcintosh.
Is this how it is for you or is it different?

Again professional grade is for me is about performance, not names. For example some Behringer and Crown is pro and some is DJ. Some legacy Mcintosh was pro but their current stuff is mostly boutique and glitz. I was reminded of audiophilia when I recently saw a TV show about someone who was allegedly outfitting a yacht for a round-the-world tour, but much of the fancy nav equipment wasn't even hooked up. In fact the boat's purpose was to be a prop for an investment scam
post #169 of 195
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Do you think that all switch boxes are the same?
I said "No I don't think that all switch boxes are made the same."
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That's not the question I asked. Thanks for running true to form and dodging all of the tough questions. Let me clarify: Do you think that all switch boxes sound the same?
I didn't mean to dodge the question.
What I effectively did (or tried to do) was to answer both of those questions with the one answer "No I don't think that all switch boxes are made the same." Yes, even before you asked the second question, because I knew what you meant. Allow me to clarify:
Since I don't think they are made the same, I don't think they are the same.
Since I don't think they are made the same, I don't think they would sound the same.
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There have been ABX tests that showed amplifiers sounding different
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There have been many ABX tests that found amplifiers that sound different.
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we test amplifiers and find that we frequently fail to find the allegedly obvious differences
I'm confused. Are these statements contradictory?confused.gif Really, I don't know.confused.gif
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Your alleged ABX box is probably no better then your literature search.
I agree. It must be a piece of crap because when I use it I can't hear a difference in my amplifiers. And since I'm not an audio professional, I don't have time to do as much research on the subject as I would like.

Arny, I thank you and appreciate your posts and professional insight. I realize you are trying to help and are not necessarily trying to be abrasive. Please consider the following:
I am an amateur. You are the professional. Can you please stop assuming what I've seen or heard? Can you please stop assuming that I dodge tough questions, don't have a meter, or am scared? It could make you seem less professional.

And besides, it scares me.wink.gif
post #170 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh25ep View Post

I can hear a difference in whether a switch box is in the system or out of the system. And if a switch box is in the system, then I don't hear any difference in amplifiers.
Can anybody give possible reasons for this?
I have given logical reasons as to why this would be.
The science, numbers, statistics, and normal everyday common sense don't support this.
I know this. The only sense that it makes to me is for the reasons I have mentioned.

Could there not be more to this audio thing than just electrical test numbers and statistical results?
If there could be something more to it, then why not search for and try to find it?

If you're happy with the science, numbers, and statistics, then good news! You're done!
You're search is over. Can you tell me why I (and apparently others) can hear a difference in amplifiers? You can certainly tell me why I should not be able to tell the difference by using the science and numbers (and by attacking my character and credibility). But it doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference. It's possible that my own personal reasoning and logic as to why I hear a difference could be flawed. That doesn't mean that I don't hear a difference.

This is not a religion or a false myth that I'm trying to perpetuate. I can hear a difference. I don't just believe this just because. I have chronicled some of my experiences and have done many, many sound tests. I question every test, result, and conclusion that I have ever come to. I question myself so much that most of my speaker sound tests have lasted for months.

Can you please tell me why I can hear a difference instead of why I shouldn't be able to?
The only possible reason from other people that I have seen is that it could be psychological.
Could be. Please understand that I have tried to rule out this possibility as much as humanly possible through the shear extent of my sound testing. I did not, do not, want to have to spend thousands of dollars in order to get very good sound. So, I psychologically didn't want to do it anyway. I want something for nothing as much as anyone else. It's just what I (and many others) had to do to get very good sound.

Why can I hear a difference even if I, scientifically and statistically speaking, should not be able to?

 

Of course people can hear differences between amplifiers. And I can tell you the reason why you can too. It's because of the way you have performed the comparisons.

 

  • You have done sighted comparisons where you know which amp is which and which is playing. This causes expectation bias (google it).
  • Or you have failed to level match the two amps to an accuracy of 0.5dB. This causes one amp to play louder than another and when that happens the louder amp is invariably preferred.
  • Or you have swapped amp A for amp B and this has taken you more than 4 or 5 seconds, and this mean that your auditory memory is now completely shot and you actually have no idea what you can remember from the first amp's sound.
  • Or you have used two non-identical pieces of music as the test content.

 

Heck - you may have even done ALL of the above at the same time!  This is not at all uncommon. And in these circumstances you have all but guaranteed you will hear differences between the two amps. The problem is that you are not actually hearing the difference between the amps at all - you are hearing the differences which arise from your random style of 'testing'.

 

Have you ever done a properly conducted blind ABX test?  If so, could you reliably (say more than 7 times out of 10 or better) then pick out the differences between amp A and amp B?  I am guessing the answer there is "no".

post #171 of 195
Quote:
Or you have failed to level match the two amps to an accuracy of 0.5dB. This causes one amp to play louder than another and when that happens the louder amp is invariably preferred.
Just for the record, as long as you're level-matching you should try to get a lot closer than 0.5 dB. That's definitely enough to make two otherwise identical amps sound different.
post #172 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


(a very good list of reasons why people (even myself) perceive differences between pieces of audio gear when there can be none)
One little comment about an otherwise very good list:
Quote:
Or you have failed to level match the two amps to an accuracy of 0.5dB. This causes one amp to play louder than another and when that happens the louder amp is invariably preferred.

Probably the best authority about level matching I've seen is this graph:



It is figure 2 in the following JAES (refereed professional journal) article:

Clark, David L., "High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator", Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 30 No. 5, May 1982, pp. 330-338.

It basically says match levels within 0.2 dB, which is the same as setting the levels of A and B within +/- 0.1 dB.

IME actual audible differences start being reliably heard somewhere around 0.3-0.4 dB under ideal conditions, but obviously you have to do better than that if you don't want to introduce audible differences due to a level mismatch.
post #173 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
Or you have failed to level match the two amps to an accuracy of 0.5dB. This causes one amp to play louder than another and when that happens the louder amp is invariably preferred.
Just for the record, as long as you're level-matching you should try to get a lot closer than 0.5 dB. That's definitely enough to make two otherwise identical amps sound different.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It basically says match levels within 0.2 dB, which is the same as setting the levels of A and B within +/- 0.1 dB.

IME actual audible differences start being reliably heard somewhere around 0.3-0.4 dB under ideal conditions, but obviously you have to do better than that if you don't want to introduce audible differences due to a level mismatch.

 

Thanks guys. Not sure where 0.5 came from - 0.1dB it is.

post #174 of 195
What surprises me about audiophiles (I was one once) is that they insist on arguing about bias controlled listening tests but never seem to want to experience them themselves. Conducting a bias controlled test is a hassle and very time consuming. But it isn't very difficult. Two people can put together a fairly simple test. I ended up spending years doing them because of a simple test I did with my wife which debunked the concept of audible wire for me. Give it a try. Then you will know for yourself. I marvel at people who insist that their hearing isn't biased but won't find out for themselves. It is human nature to cling to beliefs in the same way that it is human nature to have biased hearing.
post #175 of 195
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

... because of a simple test I did with my wife which debunked the concept of audible wire for me. Give it a try. Then you will know for yourself. I marvel at people who insist that their hearing isn't biased but won't find out for themselves. It is human nature to cling to beliefs in the same way that it is human nature to have biased hearing.

I did something similar with wire. ..I simply wired one speaker with one (pricey) cable, then the other with cheap radio-shack speaker cable. I then moved the speakers right next to each other, hit "mono" on my pre-amp, then used the balance control to switch b/w the two speakers. And what did I, and family notice? ..Nothing. no difference. ..This probably qualifies as a rather poor test as it's possible that volume diffs b/w the channels - due to a poor balance control - might have led to hearing a difference. ..but it didn't. They sounded exactly alike. If one cable provided a night-and-day difference as so many claim, I surely would have heard it using this test.

Another one to try - which debunks the silly notion of speaker break-in - is when you buy your next speakers, hook up just one and let it play overnight. ..Next morning, hook up the other, set them directly next to each other, play a mono source, and switch b/w the two. ..Hear a difference? ..I haven't. ..And I did this w/ Vandersteen 3A Sigs, PSB Alpha A/V's, and Paradigm S8 Sigs.

Neither of these test is very rigorous, but they seemed good enough to rule out the possibility that Cables and Speaker Break-in are as HUGELY audible as is so often alleged on this and other sites.
Edited by syd123 - 8/3/13 at 10:30am
post #176 of 195
Studies like this explain a lot:

http://www.popeconomics.com/2010/04/27/how-the-placebo-effect-goes-beyond-medicine/

People thinking they were drinking $90/bottle wine had the pleasure centers of their brains react like they were experiencing something special, though they were in fact consuming pretty ordinary plonk. If looking at a rack of uber-expensive gear connected by pricey cabling makes you feel good, go for it--so long as you don't have to steal to pay for it.
post #177 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post


Neither of these test is very rigorous, but they seemed good enough to rule out the possibility that Cables and Speaker Break-in are as HUGELY audible as is so often alleged on this and other sites.

The one thing about speaker break-in is that I think it would be a nearly universal truth amongst audio engineers. In other words, you'd see peer-reviewed AES papers written about the phenomenon and so forth (I'm not talking about marketing ad-copy here).
post #178 of 195
Speaker break in (well, actually driver break in) is real and can be measured. But it typically happens very fast and is not very audible, if at all, except in the case of very low bass from big woofers. It is definitely exaggerated in forums and in magazine reviews, but there is some limited physical reality to it.
post #179 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Speaker break in (well, actually driver break in) is real and can be measured. But it typically happens very fast and is not very audible, if at all, except in the case of very low bass from big woofers. It is definitely exaggerated in forums and in magazine reviews, but there is some limited physical reality to it.

Thanks for the clarification Beaveav. I suppose I was speaking more to the hours and hours break-in we hear about.
post #180 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh25ep View Post


This is simply not the case.

If you believe that modern amplifiers sound alike then:
A. You haven't actually listened to them.
B. You assume that because the specs are the same, then they must sound the alike.
C. You're testing them wrong.

Just to be clear. Not all modern amplifiers sound alike. Those with flat frequency response and inaudible distortion do sound alike. We tested several lower end tube amps, for instance, that had a sonic signature. But they didn't have a flat frequency response and their distortion was in the audible area. Also it is possible to overdrive and amplifier and overdriven amplifiers certainly do not sound the same as those being used within the design parameters. So, yes, we've listened to them but we tested them without hearing bias. I don't assume that, if the specs are the same, then they will sound alike. I confirm that without question from personal experience. No, it is you who are listening to them wrong If you allow hearing bias to affect your reaction to their sound or lack of sound.

I understand the audiophile love of amplifiers. I've been there and done that. I don't have a problem with people enjoying one amplifier over another. I just hope that they do so with the right knowledge and for the right reasons. Like many others, I like the look and panache and history of the McIntosh line. Nothing wrong with that.
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