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What's your candidate for the biggest bunch of audio baloney ever written or perpetrated? - Page 6

post #151 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by BizarroTerl View Post

Many years ago Sony ran an ad where they bragged how their tonearm had greater mass yet less weight. rolleyes.gif

That is actually not necessarily a contradiction. Much of what we call mass in tone arms is actually inertia. The same mass can have different amounts of inertia depending on where it is with respect to the center of motion.

So, it is possible to to cut the weight of a tone arm in half and double its effective mass. Just concentrate the weight near the stylus and put the balance weight further away from the pivot.
post #152 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

3. "We all hear differently": a killer one for me. All 7 billion of us on Earth have the same ear mechanism, hearing or perceiving what we here is a totally different premise. Hearing mechanism is the same, perception is what we need to consider when making such statements, but that will lead us to psyhoacoustics, a very sophisticated field of science many are researching for the better understanding of "what's going on".
I know many will debate with what I said above, but always open to discussions. smile.gif
That is like saying that all of us ahve the same "build" Yes the basic bone structure is the same (contains the same parts) but we are all different sizes and shapes.

That allow different people to be able to jump higher-have different fexibility and so forth.

I have a particular "condition" that makes me talk louder than most people-yet my hearing has been measured to be much better than most.

What we "hear" when we talk is a combination of basically 2 things-the direct sound that comes out of our mouth and the physical bone conduction through the vibrations of our body.

That is why we don't sound the same on a recording as we think we do.

My bone conduction is not as "solid" as others-so therefore when I think I am at a normal level-others say it is to loud.

Yes-i agree that perception is one thing-and we all have the same basic "building blocks"-but they are not all developed the same way-just like the rest of our bodies.
post #153 of 183
Quote:
So, it is possible to to cut the weight of a tone arm in half and double its effective mass.

...by moving it to another planet with a lower gravitational pull.
post #154 of 183
I don't have time to deal with all these posts, so I'll just address this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

IMHO distortion can never occur naturally, it's always a manmade thing. Anything that vibrates will have a fundamental frequency and a series of harmonics (ocurring naturally), but I wouldn't call that DISTORTION.

Do you know what clipping distortion is, and how it occurs in loudspeakers? Then imagine what happens when you strike a drum hard enough that its head cannot move far enough to linearly follow the striking force. The result is "physical" distortion.

--Ethan
post #155 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

...imagine what happens when you strike a drum hard enough that its head cannot move far enough to linearly follow the striking force. The result is "physical" distortion.
--Ethan

Nope, that's not distortion, sorry. It may be called an unpleasant sound for our ears, like the sound of crashing cars, but since the original waveforms were not modified by anything (like in case of a clipping loudspeaker), it should not be called distortion. When the sound reaches our ears it will contain the exact same fundametal + harmonics it contained when the drum was hit. Agree?
post #156 of 183
Agreed, Ethan. Similarly, our eardrums and the other biomechanical structures of the ear must break up into distortion or "non-linearities", after a certain threshold is reached. [120-130 dB SPL?]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026266
Edited by m. zillch - 8/12/12 at 10:16am
post #157 of 183
Thread Starter 
Here is a link to a description of the No True Scotsman fallacy. Notice anything familiar?

Edit: This is not in response to m. zillch - he posted as I was originally writing this.
Edited by rock_bottom - 8/12/12 at 10:16am
post #158 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

Agreed, Ethan. Similarly, our eardrums and the other biomechanical structures of the ear must break up into distortion or "non-linearities", after a certain threshold is reached. [120-130 dB SPL?]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026266

The ear actually starts distorting at 85 dB SPL or below.
post #159 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

...by moving it to another planet with a lower gravitational pull.

My methodology, which is to reduce the weight of the components but move them further from the center of rotation does seem a tad more practical! ;-)
post #160 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Nope, that's not distortion, sorry. It may be called an unpleasant sound for our ears, like the sound of crashing cars, but since the original waveforms were not modified by anything (like in case of a clipping loudspeaker), it should not be called distortion. When the sound reaches our ears it will contain the exact same fundametal + harmonics it contained when the drum was hit. Agree?

I tend to align with the idea that musical instruments are sound sources, and so whatever they do is always the source. distortion is not an option.

However, lets not throw Ethan's point out on a technicality. It is true that the sound generated by a drum hit is strongly affected by clearly nonlinear behavior of the instrument.

You can't endlessly get more sound out of any musical instrument by trying harder. Eventually they all all prey to to some kind of nonlinearity.
post #161 of 183
When I wrote "breaks up" I meant "into overwhelming, massive amounts of distortion".
post #162 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Getting back to the topic, how about the now-defunct Reference Audio Mods, home of the $485 wooden knob?

My question was, why was everybody on the linked thread taking the OP seriously? It wasn't until the last few posts when people finaly started making satirical comments. It looks like the OP simply went a little further than most people and acually built a box with random components in it. I guess it's one way to get 15 minutes of internet fame.
post #163 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanLW View Post

My question was, why was everybody on the linked thread taking the OP seriously? It wasn't until the last few posts when people finaly started making satirical comments. It looks like the OP simply went a little further than most people and acually built a box with random components in it. I guess it's one way to get 15 minutes of internet fame.

Yeah, there were several layers of craziness to that thread. How did the OP let himself get conned so badly, and why, even after he realized he was being conned, did he continue to give the guy more money? Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a major con job on the part of Reference Audio Mods.

And to the OP's credit, it seems he was the one that finally brought Reference Audio Mods down. There were a lot of gullible people on Audiogon and Head-fi who were taken in as well.

I've noticed that on typical audiophile forums, audiophile types will fiercely defend modders against people who challenge their credibility. It seems to be rooted in the audiophile myth that anyone who does "design by listening" is guaranteed to come up with a better sounding component than some allegedly tin-eared engineer who "merely" optimizes it for best measurements. The modders have this self-appointed guru status, and claim to know how to optimize "sonic" performance. This seems to be the modus operandi for setting up the con.

Edit: Here's a funny thread I found: Marantz SA11: Reference Audio Mods vs. Upgrade Company. LOL.
Edited by rock_bottom - 8/12/12 at 4:51pm
post #164 of 183
Interestingly, I just watched a History Channel show on scams, and the RAM didn't have any of those aspects. I mean, the guy said he saw the guy working on his mom's kitchen counter. That doesn't inspire any sort of confidence or credibility, both of which are required for any sort of scam, among other things. That and many people on the thread openly called him a fool, and he didn't get defensive at all. And in the pictures shown, many of the components aren't even connected. If it was for real, the guy needed to pay his "stupid tax" one way or another. As it is, the impression I got from reading it was the guy was trying to be funy. I actually re-checked the date on top to see if it was posted in April 1st.
post #165 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanLW View Post

Interestingly, I just watched a History Channel show on scams, and the RAM didn't have any of those aspects. I mean, the guy said he saw the guy working on his mom's kitchen counter. That doesn't inspire any sort of confidence or credibility, both of which are required for any sort of scam, among other things.

That didn't occur until after the OP gave RAM his money (or at least the bulk of it).

I suppose you could argue that it was just plain incompetence on the part of both RAM and the OP of that thread. The OP was not alone though.

I first realized they were shady when I found out about the $485 wooden knob. Then they advertised mods for the Slim Devices Transporter at a time when the only one in existence was on the designer, Sean Adams' test bench. That started up a big flame war on the Slim Devices forum.

But yeah, the OP of that thread was wacky even by audiophile standards.
Edited by rock_bottom - 8/12/12 at 6:19pm
post #166 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

I've noticed that on typical audiophile forums, audiophile types will fiercely defend modders against people who challenge their credibility.

I consider WBF Forum an "audiophile" one yet we gave anything but warm reception to The Upgrade Company. Click on the first link in this search if you like to see the whole story: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awhatsbestforum.com+the+upgrade+company&rlz=1C1SNNT_enUS374US375&sugexp=chrome,mod=9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.
Quote:
It seems to be rooted in the audiophile myth that anyone who does "design by listening" is guaranteed to come up with a better sounding component than some allegedly tin-eared engineer who "merely" optimizes it for best measurements. The modders have this self-appointed guru status, and claim to know how to optimize "sonic" performance. This seems to be the modus operandi for setting up the con.

Per above, you are overgeneralizing. There are a lot of rational audiophiles who don't fit the stereotype you are painting.

And oh, that tin eared engineers is not all that interested in optimizing measurements. In the super competitive mass market, the #1 goal is minimizing BOM cost, the #2 is to meet the marketing department wish list (think maximum number of logos and features). Making measurements pretty is way lower priority than those unless the measurement falls under the marketing list. I recently asked for directivity index of a major speaker brand designed in the west and mass manufactured in China for many years. Answer? "No one has ever asked us for that and hence, we don't measure it!" They told me instead to go and read the measurement from a magazine review!
post #167 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

It seems to be rooted in the audiophile myth that anyone who does "design by listening" is guaranteed to come up with a better sounding component than some allegedly tin-eared engineer who "merely" optimizes it for best measurements.

The above is yet another audiophile myth. In fact the big and medium and even most small audio manufacturers have carefully designed listening rooms, sometimes several of them. At least one manufacturer that I know of has one room that was designed and maintained by people who have the more scientific engineering viewpoint, and another that is designed and maintained by people who have more of the audiophile viewpoint. Sometimes there are competitions between several groups related to the design of a new product, with listen-offs in the final evaluation process.

Now, there are also some very rigid people in most development processes, people who believe that if they can't measure it with a simple volt-ohm meter, it doesn't matter. However the project performance of most such people tends to keep them out of the top and even middle positions.
Edited by arnyk - 8/13/12 at 4:59am
post #168 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post


And oh, that tin eared engineers is not all that interested in optimizing measurements.

For example lets look at those pointy-headed measurement-driven, tin-eared engineers over at Harman,...

Guys named Olive and Toole for example.

Yeah, they all are just like that! ;-)
Quote:
In the super competitive mass market, the #1 goal is minimizing BOM cost, the #2 is to meet the marketing department wish list (think maximum number of logos and features). Making measurements pretty is way lower priority than those unless the measurement falls under the marketing list. I recently asked for directivity index of a major speaker brand designed in the west and mass manufactured in China for many years. Answer? "No one has ever asked us for that and hence, we don't measure it!" They told me instead to go and read the measurement from a magazine review!

The above is of course based on the writer's in-depth interviews with dozens of top design engineers from across the industry... ;-)

Or, do we have an example of someone who is trying to optimize the bottom line of their little audio company by appealing to the paranoia of high end audiophiles?
post #169 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

It seems to be rooted in the audiophile myth that anyone who does "design by listening" is guaranteed to come up with a better sounding component than some allegedly tin-eared engineer who "merely" optimizes it for best measurements.

The above is yet another audiophile myth. In fact the big and medium and even most small audio manufacturers have carefully designed listening rooms, sometimes several of them. At least one manufacturer that I know of has one room that was designed and maintained by people who have the more scientific engineering viewpoint, and another that is designed and maintained by people who have more of the audiophile viewpoint. Sometimes there are competitions between several groups related to the design of a new product, with listen-offs in the final evaluation process.

I should have made an exception for speakers in my statement of course, especially crossover design, in which there's a family of possible solutions that all meet the measurement criteria. In the above, I was thinking in the context of typical modders, who usually though not always work on electronics.

But also, there is a distinction that I did not make clear. That is between what I'm calling "design by listening" and performing listening evaluation of nearly-finished products. As an example of the former, listening might be used (or allegedly used) to pick, say, a circuit topology by building prototypes of several different topologies and doing sighted listening evaluation of each one. Anyone who does this with an audio product that's not a loudspeaker is in my opinion a complete idiot. But my views on this issue are probably considered extreme by many. Still, if you frequent forums dominated by "hardcore" audiophiles, there's a view that this technique or a similar one is the only path to audio nirvana.

For an example of what is allegedly the result of "design by listening", see this interesting blog entry about a NuForce DAC. The analog section of the DAC clips before the digital signal reaches full scale! That's just flat-out incompetent design.
Edited by rock_bottom - 8/13/12 at 7:41am
post #170 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The above is of course based on the writer's in-depth interviews with dozens of top design engineers from across the industry... ;-)
If you mean me, first of all, I worked for one of them: Sony. At the time Sony was one of the most well known and highest volume companies (1980s and early 1990s). Second, in my prior job, we licensed our audio/video technologies to all consumer electronic companies from Philips to Panasonic and Pioneer just staying with the "P" starting letter smile.gif. You probably have a half a dozen or more products in your home or car that use technology from my team that way. We also made our bits standard in such formats as Blu-ray. I spent 10 years doing that, personally leading many of the high-level discussions which almost always included tour of the factory, speaking to their "top designers," etc. We also worked closely with silicon providers to that industry to get our technology ported to their chips so that the CE companies could use it. Cost, cost, and cost was the prime barrier. And the thing that often got them past that was the desire for that logo. This is a business that I know intimately and frankly is quite well known in the manner which I explained. Last year two major chip companies got out of supplying the silicon for Blu-ray players for example because they simply could not compete on cost anymore even though they were both the leading/charter chip suppliers for that format when it first got started. Whatever extra bit of functionality they provided was immaterial if they could not keep up with bottom line.

Funny little story. When we came out with WMA audio codec, we created a logo for it. As part of licensing it companies could then use the logo. That created a problem for "MP3" because despite its popularity and mass adoption, it did not have a logo. So companies would invent their own poorly drawn logos just to have a stick on the front of the CE product! The logo is/was everything. That is why you see a ribbon of them stuck on the front of every CE product.
Quote:
Or, do we have an example of someone who is trying to optimize the bottom line of their little audio company by appealing to the paranoia of high end audiophiles?
If you are referring to my company, we sell a lot of mass consumer electronic products. And pro. A little of it [audio products] is high-end but the bulk of our business is the former two. The "high-end" for us is in other areas of home electronics ranging from control, lighting, security and such. And high-end audio for us is Harman products for the most part which is ironically the only one to perform blind tests in their R&D of them. So the disdain is poorly placed there Arny. And I am not just talking about speakers. Here is a bit from their marketing paper on Mark Levinson No 53 amplifier: http://www.marklevinson.com/downloads/products/prod_22_634473655136955941_ML%20No53%20Technology%20Background%20V5%2004032010_5.17.10.pdf

"Listen Testing & Evaluation
At each stage of the №53’s development, extensive listen testing and thorough
measurements ensured that our goal of Mark Levinson Reference Class performance
was attained. In addition to multiple rounds of in-depth critical listen-testing over a
period spanning many, many months, a differential amplifier comparison methodology
was also employed. A low power, mostly passive reference amplifier design was
programmed with the №53’s transfer function, and differentially (subtractively)
compared against the №53 itself. By subtracting the signal output from the №53, and
comparing against the reference transfer function design, our engineers were able listen
to any differential components between the two, and evolve the №53’s design to
improve sound quality even further. "


And this is the opening paragraph: http://www.marklevinson.com/downloads/products/prod_22_634473654338684909_ML%20No.%2053.pdf

"New Mark Levinson products are not introduced with
the seasons, or according to arbitrary marketing
schedules. They’re introduced as new technologies,
which have shown promise on paper, are perfected and
proven through rigorous in-house development and
evaluation procedures. In the case of the No
53, a highly experienced evaluation team was assembled to conduct
blind and sighted listening tests of a novel switching
amplifier prototype, measuring it against past and
present Mark Levinson linear power amplifiers as
well as a range of competitive products."


Can you please post the brochure for any audio product that you own that starts that way Arny? Or any reference to blind tests for that matter?
post #171 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

And oh, that tin eared engineers is not all that interested in optimizing measurements.
Yes but… is it audible?
post #172 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Here is a bit from their marketing paper on
...

And this is the opening paragraph:
...
Those who doubted when I wrote that this member constantly uses this forum as an advertising outlet for the products he sells, doubt no more.
post #173 of 183
Amir your post is partially irrelevant to my post, and partially agrees with it.

Therefore, other than the above, I need say nothing more. ;-)
Edited by arnyk - 8/13/12 at 8:55am
post #174 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

For an example of what is allegedly the result of "design by listening", see this interesting blog entry about a NuForce DAC. The analog section of the DAC clips before the digital signal reaches full scale! That's just flat-out incompetent design.

There's no doubt that measurement is a far more efficient and reliable means for finding technical faults, and therefore avoiding or correcting them. It seems to be just common sense that a product has to be free of obvious measurable faults that can easily be audible.

I still remember when the golden ears were oohing and aahhing over electronics designed (by ear) by a young designer named Andy Rappaport (sp?). His backers sort of fled the scene when his power amps allegedly started burning their customer's houses down!

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-26616.html

"
At the risk of walking on gravesights, I had more experience than I would
like with Mr. Rapaport when I was a high-end dealer back in the '70's.

His main product back then was a smallish, minimalist preamp.
Operationally, it was a disaster, huge bangs when switches were moved,
and, despite some uninformed participants in this groups claims to the
contrary, it EASILY sounded pretty lousy. Its cosmetic finish was crude,
at best. Inside, were black "bricks" containing the actual circuitry.
Finally had the opportunity to measure one, and it measured pretty awful
as well. Even on the easy stuff, like conformance to RIAA contour, it was
way out.

Despite that, a significant portion of the buying cognizeti at the time
thought Andy was just the darling designer.

He was prone to make some of the most ridiculous claims. For example, he
made one statement about the rear enclosure of the Quad ESL causing
severe box resonances. Well, he made that claim without having a clue as
to what a Quad ESL was, because he did some serious backpeddling when I
showed him a pair, minus the rear enclosure that it never had.

He was obnoxious, ill-informed, basically considered all his opinions as
universal fact. He claimed his preamp circuitry was the result of decades
(or some such nonsense) of research, which was interesting considering he
was something like 22 at the time, meaning, I guess, he was weilding a
soldering iron when he was 2.

One day, I got so pissed at his blustering, I took the demo he had
provided off the shelf and into the lab. With a combination of a small
ball-peen hammer, a cold chisel and some methyl ethyl ketone, I proceeded
to open up his magic bricks.

What was inside? Nothing more than a Motorola dual 741-style opamp
surrounded by the IDENTICAL circuit found in the Motorola apllications
note of two years previously INCLUDING the mistake in the original
printing that lead to the awful RIAA performance. What was missing was
reasonable high-frequency compensation to take care of the opamp's lousy
phase margin at about 20 kHz and any way of correcting the fairly high
input offset current and voltage. There was no innovative design, there
was no magic, it was pure plagerism, and plagerism of one of the poorer
examples of public-domain design at that. The lack of DC offset
compensation led to a much as 3/4 volt of DC floating around so that when
you switched input, you were switching pretty hefty damend voltages,
generating pretty serious pops to the power amp.
"
post #175 of 183
Quote:
My methodology, which is to reduce the weight of the components but move them further from the center of rotation does seem a tad more practical! ;-)

Your methodology requires the laws of physics to be broken....something that can only be accomplished in these fora wink.gif
post #176 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I still remember when the golden ears were oohing and aahhing over electronics designed (by ear) by a young designer named Andy Rappaport (sp?). His backers sort of fled the scene when his power amps allegedly started burning their customer's houses down!

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-26616.html

Oh man, thanks for posting that link. That was hilarious!

The old "decades of research" claim reminds me of yet another example of audio baloney - the darTZeel amplifiers.

http://dartzeel.com/

"darTZeel was born out of one man’s uncompromising passion for music and its reproduction.
The result of two decades of research and experiment, darTZeel products are intended for discerning music-lovers and audiophiles the world over."
post #177 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Nope, that's not distortion, sorry. It may be called an unpleasant sound for our ears, like the sound of crashing cars, but since the original waveforms were not modified by anything (like in case of a clipping loudspeaker), it should not be called distortion. When the sound reaches our ears it will contain the exact same fundametal + harmonics it contained when the drum was hit. Agree?

I agree the waves are the same, but to my thinking it's still a form of distortion because the drum head response is not linearly related to the striking velocity. Whatever. Semantics. Tomato / Tomahto. biggrin.gif

--Ethan
post #178 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I agree the waves are the same, but to my thinking it's still a form of distortion because the drum head response is not linearly related to the striking velocity. Whatever. Semantics. Tomato / Tomahto. biggrin.gif
--Ethan

And I also agree with you Ethan. My apologies for only looking at one single technical meaning of the work "distortion". Actually, English is not my first language. Nonetheless, 'distortion" as you described it can also mean "lack of fidelity in reception", or as you perfectly said: "the drum head response is not linearly related to the striking velocity". So can we say when the drummer beats his drum to death it will sound like "cr@p"? A synonym of perceptual "distortion", eh? smile.gif

Thanks for your input.
Edited by mogorf - 8/13/12 at 11:00am
post #179 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The logo is/was everything. That is why you see a ribbon of them stuck on the front of every CE product.

Logos? What logos? I just checked the Onkyo website...

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR5010&class=Receiver&p=i

... and other than those 37 little pictures they have under their receiver, I don't see any logos! wink.gif

On a serious note, I'm guessing the four logos actually silk screened onto the TX-NR5010 (THX, ISF, HQV, WRAT) are the most expensive logos. The THX one is for sure expensive, since it's the one logo most consumers are familiar with. Reminds me of Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" where the doctors bring the most expensive machines into the delivery room just in case the administrator stops by. PING!
post #180 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

It seems to be rooted in the audiophile myth that anyone who does "design by listening" is guaranteed to come up with a better sounding component than some allegedly tin-eared engineer who "merely" optimizes it for best measurements.


Well of course they are. Human hearing is perfect, didn't you know? wink.gif
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