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Are audio companies all involved in a huge conspiracy? - Page 7

post #181 of 3048
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Assuming amirm wrote it. biggrin.gif

Yeah re-phrase that, what he "posted" is what I meant, don't know if he wrote it... tough crowd! tongue.gif
post #182 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

Who said anything about AVR's?
But you don't have to "believe" something is transparent to the source, you can simply measure it with instruments that are sensitive well beyond human hearing capabilities and prove it.
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Ahh, but there are no measurements for "transparency" no units for "holographic" as these are made up of different ratios of different elements and purely subjective (some might say its THD that determins it, but its probably a combination) -pottscb

Edited by pottscb - 8/24/12 at 10:53am
post #183 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by pottscb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post


But you don't have to "believe" something is transparent to the source, you can simply measure it with instruments that are sensitive well beyond human hearing capabilities and prove it.

Ahh, but there are no measurements for "transparency"

Sure there are - they are the conventional measurements for nonlinear distortion, linear distortion and noise.

It is easy to show that if any or all of the 3 are above certain thresholds that transparency is blown out of the room

It is also easy to show that if all of the 3 that are below certain thresholds that transparency is assured.
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no units for "holographic"

Please see above. If its transparent, its as holographic as holographic can get.
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as these are made up of different ratios of different elements

There are only three elements, and I listed them above. Transparency is not about the ratio between them but rather it is about whether or not they are too low to have an audible effect.
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and purely subjective (some might say its THD that determins it, but its probably a combination)

I sense some confusion here. Whether you like the SQ or not is a matter of opinion, and therefore subjective. Whether or not any of the 3 elements are audible is a matter of hearing thresholds, not ratios and combinations of them.

One of the bigger false claims in audio is that there is such a thing as euphonic nonlinear distortion. Tain't so.
Edited by arnyk - 8/25/12 at 2:32am
post #184 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by intamin View Post

I understand this. My point was that in every one of these threads people mention systems that can sound great for little to no money when compared to the super $ systems. I just wanted to put a name on that system. On other end of the spectrum, which company would be viewed as having the best engineered stuff, when it comes to specs, regardless of whether or not there are audible improvements?

That's just it... there's no one product that is the be-all and end-all. We all have different tastes in what we want from our music and we all have different rooms. Finding the right equipment that works with your particular taste and your particular room is the key.

What works in a large open plan space may not be the ideal system for my small cosy lounge and vice versa. Someone may prefer warm and organic... the next person may prefer detailed and analytical. There are just too many variables to pin it down to a few particular components. This is why there is such a huge variation of speakers on the market. But finding that right mix for you is not about if that system cost 1k or 5k or 20k or 100k. A 100k spent on inappropriate components for the room and taste of the listener is going to sound bad.

Simply having a list of fancy expensive components in your signature for bragging right purposes isn't necessarily going to guarantee a great sounding system for the person.
post #185 of 3048
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Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

The first one I found was a tester reliably distinguishing 320k MP3 here, using the foobar2000 ABX plugin. There are many more, just search the Hydrogen Audio listening tests forum.

The take home point of the results to date is that lossy encoding technology is good enough that if adequate bitrates and encoders are used, the average person, in most instances, will likely get a 'no difference' result in a blind test.... unless and until they are trained to hear lossy artifacts or unless tracks are specifically chosen that produce large artifacts (i.e., 'killer' samples) . At that point of course the listener or the test sample is no longer 'average'.

Thus for example, routinely being able to ABX 320 kbps mp3 from source, on random tracks, is a VERY rarely proven ability, even on Hydrogenaudio, where mp3 developers (and thus trained very well to hear mp3 artifacts) congregate.
post #186 of 3048
FWIW, my answer to the OP's subject question is, no, not a conspiracy of audio companies. There is at most an enabling and mutually beneficial environment for woo supported by the manufacturers and the high-end audio magazines. Conspirancy implies that the parties involved don't actually believe the woo they're selling. That's harder to prove.

And btw people should know better than to conflate the questions 'do differently-priced amps sound different' with 'do differently-priced speakers sound different' --- what amps are (electronic/digital) versus what loudpeakers are (electro-mechanical transducers) makes those questions very different --

--and they should also know better than to try to switch the conversation from 'do amps sound different' to 'are amps transparent to source'.

Unless they're muddying the waters on purpose. And why would anyone except a troll want to do that?
post #187 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post


Thus for example, routinely being able to ABX 320 kbps mp3 from source, on random tracks, is a VERY rarely proven ability, even on Hydrogenaudio, where mp3 developers (and thus trained very well to hear mp3 artifacts) congregate.

Yes, I should have worded that more carefully. I didn't mean to imply that such was a universal ability with respect to program material and test subject. The person to whom I responded asserted that nobody had been able to successfully distinguish 128k MP3 from lossless using DBT, so I just posted a link to the first successful one I found, which happened to be something of a "killer sample" of 320k MP3 tested by a person with exceptional hearing and listening skills.

Had the person who made the assertion been interested in further discussion, some of these issues would have likely come up. He didn't seem interested in any sort of discussion though.
post #188 of 3048
Speaking of Hydrogen Audio Forum there is a relevant discussion to this topic (i.e. amplifier differences in blind tests) there involving Michael Fremer (probably the most disliked magazine reviewer by objectivists): http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=71245&st=250&p=629443entry629443 (scroll down to post 273. For some reason I can't get it to show up)

You may want to first scroll down to the end of the post to read Arny's post and then his rebuttal at the beginning.

As luck would have it, when I asked about this in another thread, John Atkinson (who also took the same amplifier test) came on and post this further detail: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1326576/usb-vs-hdmi-for-2ch-audio-to-receiver/120
post #189 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Speaking of Hydrogen Audio Forum there is a relevant discussion to this topic (i.e. amplifier differences in blind tests) there involving Michael Fremer (probably the most disliked magazine reviewer by objectivists): http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=71245&st=250&p=629443entry629443 (scroll down to post 273.

The controversy between Fremer and I is pretty well encapsulated in post 274. It contains a good rendition of what I said and it contains his response. I find his response to be very ironic aa he starts his post by pretty harshly disparaging my honesty but by the end of his post he affirms most of the issues that I raised.

The irony in the big picture is for me quite extreme. These differences between amplifiers and other equipment and recordings are said to be quite extreme and they seem that way until the listener is deprived of accurate knowledge of exactly what he is listening to by non-audible means.
post #190 of 3048
One of the more amusing online exchanges involving Michael Fremer is this one in Romy the Cat's forum.
post #191 of 3048
My favorite line in that Romy link was,
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As I told above in this thread “Mike Lavigne” and “Michael Fremer” are not really names in audio but diagnoses.
post #192 of 3048
Romy is a wild and crazy guy, isn't he? I find his attempts at serious audio commentary to be mostly nonsense, but his satire can be hilarious! Someone should post his Vladimir Lamm interview over at the Lamm forum of WBF. biggrin.gif
Edited by rock_bottom - 8/26/12 at 8:30pm
post #193 of 3048
When Fremer starts calling a poster like Axon 'stupid' , you know Mr. Angry Little Teapot has boiled over.

No need to say more about him here -- I expressed myself just fine and at length in response to him there.

But don't miss the 'McLuhan in Annie Hall' moments when JJ schools Fremer on lossy audio and DBTs and Chris Helmrich of Fraunhofer schools John Atkinson on mp3s.
Edited by krabapple - 8/25/12 at 8:57pm
post #194 of 3048
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

No need to say more about him here...

But it's so much fun! biggrin.gif
post #195 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

When Fremer starts calling a poster like Axon 'stupid' , you know Mr. Angry Little Teapot has boiled over.
No need to say more about him here -- I expressed myself just fine and at length in response to him there.
But don't miss the 'McLuhan in Annie Hall' moments when JJ schools Fremer on lossy audio and DBTs and Chris Helmrich of Fraunhofer schools John Atkinson on mp3s.
Wouldn't you just love to sit down at a bar with Fremer after he's had a few. I'll bet he'd put Gilbert Gottfried to shame!

BTW, thanks for the addendum. I enjoyed it very much.
post #196 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Wouldn't you just love to sit down at a bar with Fremer after he's had a few. I'll bet he'd put Gilbert Gottfried to shame!

I don't think so. Gottfried's shtick is well-crafted humor. All I see from the other side is denial and rage.
post #197 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I don't think so. Gottfried's shtick is well-crafted humor. All I see from the other side is denial and rage.

That thread is a fun read.
It really makes me wonder if there indeed is a conspiracy. By that I mean a psychological conspiracy by the so called "high-end retailers" to brainwash what seem to be reasonably intelligent reviewers. Their level of blind faith driven vehemence doesn't make sense otherwise.
So if I'm a member of the "high end audio retailers association", who better to target than the reviewers our consumers will be reading and taking as authorities... makes sense, brainwash a few to brainwash the masses...
post #198 of 3048
Quote:
It really makes me wonder if there indeed is a conspiracy. By that I mean a psychological conspiracy by the so called "high-end retailers" to brainwash what seem to be reasonably intelligent reviewers. Their level of blind faith driven vehemence doesn't make sense otherwise.
So if I'm a member of the "high end audio retailers association", who better to target than the reviewers our consumers will be reading and taking as authorities... makes sense, brainwash a few to brainwash the masses...
But you don't have to brainwash anybody. "Professional" reviewers have every incentive to describe what they're reviewing in glowing prose, emphasizing the subtle differences between indistinguishable gear. And amateur reviewers, of the kind you find on the Web, want to believe they've made brilliant choices, and want you to believe it, too. And that's not even considering the "professional amateurs," people who are paid to "review" products they have no knowledge of.
post #199 of 3048
No I agree, you don't have to, and people by their nature are open to it especially with the emotional investment that coincides with the financial one.
The thing is if you were to conspire to brainwash, who better to target than the pack-leaders?





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Edited by rnrgagne - 8/27/12 at 5:53pm
post #200 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

That thread is a fun read.
It really makes me wonder if there indeed is a conspiracy. By that I mean a psychological conspiracy by the so called "high-end retailers" to brainwash what seem to be reasonably intelligent reviewers. Their level of blind faith driven vehemence doesn't make sense otherwise.

I think that there is good possibility that on the average the manufacturers, the dealers and the customers are sincere.

The false beliefs that they have based their lives on are natural enough. They are mislead by what are truly illusions. They are characteristic of people who are not caught up in a pathology, but rather have misinterpreted nature in an area where the correct interpretation is counter-intuitive.
post #201 of 3048
Exactly. Very nicely put. I get a little uncomfortable when the accusations of intentional "scams" and conspiracy talk come out. Sure, for a segment of the audio market this could be true, especially for the more outlandish "tweaks" that severely strain credulity. But for the most part, I think for those who are already neck-deep in the hobby and the industry types who design and create the products, it is exactly as Arny states, , i.e., they "have misinterpreted nature in an area where the correct interpretation is counter-intuitive."

It would be especially difficult for those who design and sell the products to change their minds because they already have too much financially and intellectually invested in their current points-of-view to change. Denial is a hell of a lot more palatable than a change of careers or severe reduction in ones bank account.
post #202 of 3048
I have to agree with you guys if we're talking "on average".
It just seems almost surreal how the level of resistance to common sense increases with the price tag.
post #203 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

I have to agree with you guys if we're talking "on average".
It just seems almost surreal how the level of resistance to common sense increases with the price tag.

Who would want to admit that they could not tell the difference between their old $15,000 turntable and their new $100,000 turntable. Mathematically, you would have spent $85,000 for nothing if you admitted you could not distinguished between the two in a blind test.
post #204 of 3048
Quote:
It just seems almost surreal how the level of resistance to common sense increases with the price tag.
If you can afford a megabuck audio system, you can get away with ignoring common sense to a certain extent. You may be wasting money, but your family isn't going hungry as a result. Whereas, if you're financially constrained, you need to make every dollar count.
post #205 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocophone View Post

Who would want to admit that they could not tell the difference between their old $15,000 turntable and their new $100,000 turntable. Mathematically, you would have spent $85,000 for nothing if you admitted you could not distinguished between the two in a blind test.
Who would want to admit that you can cook just as good as a meal in a kitchen with Formica counter tops instead of Granite? biggrin.gif

I still remember the day when I was in Florida (1980s) and was a night club next to the Intercoastal waterway. These two young kids pull up with a few girls in a massive cigarette boat ($$$). I ask them how much the boat is and they give this look of: "do I look like I care how much it costs???" The market for $100K turntable is not for people who hang around these forums and read such posts. It is made up of wealthy individuals who want to buy things that are the best. They trust whoever is giving them such advice and that is that. $100K does not even compute on their personal balance sheet. It is like a poor person in Africa wondering why you pay $1 for a can of soda instead of drinking free water smile.gif.

Speaking of granite, we put some in our vacation house that we were so proud of. Then I go to a customer's home and see that they are using the same granite. Except.... it is used on the walls of their outbuilding that houses the generator! The generator by the way was massive and the size of a garage. They had dug up many feet to bury it in the ground as to keep the noise out. I have a 30 KW generator that I think is big and fancy. Compared to what they have, it is a toy.

So really, you don't want to apply your metrics to people in different wealth class. They don't have time or worry to optimize their purchases. They want to spend the money and enjoy music. And one thing a lot of high-end has: great build quality. That $100k turn table would be work of art just sitting there smile.gif.
post #206 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocophone View Post

Who would want to admit that they could not tell the difference between their old $15,000 turntable and their new $100,000 turntable. Mathematically, you would have spent $85,000 for nothing if you admitted you could not distinguished between the two in a blind test.

By the same token if I sold the $100,000 turntable I wouldn't want him to admit it either....wink.gif
post #207 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

So really, you don't want to apply your metrics to people in different wealth class. They don't have time or worry to optimize their purchases. They want to spend the money and enjoy music. And one thing a lot of high-end has: great build quality. That $100k turn table would be work of art just sitting there smile.gif.

I think that's the extreme example, but the belief system of "audiophoolery" doesn't stricly apply to the elite. There is a trickle-down effect and sadly Joe Six-pack can get duped out of hard earned coin because of it.

I've always said all along, if there's a buyer at a given price someone will build it at that price. It's the reason $250,000 speakers and $100,000 turntables exist, it's not because they're breaking new audio performance ground.
post #208 of 3048
Don't forget that common sense can get you far in life.

Herbert Vogel, Fabled Art Collector, Dies at 89

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/arts/design/herbert-vogel-postal-clerk-and-modern-art-collector-dies-at-89.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
post #209 of 3048
Quote:
The market for $100K turntable is not for people who hang around these forums and read such posts. It is made up of wealthy individuals who want to buy things that are the best.
Right. The problem is, how do you define "best"? Too often, they seem to rely on one of two metrics:

1) the most expensive, or

2) the one that some "authoritative" source says is the best, viz. the people who will settle for nothing less than Stereophile Class A components, never mind that Stereophile's recommendations are put together by people with their heads up their a$$es. (See also the slick operators who put the word "best" in the name of their website. smile.gif )

The point isn't to have the best. The point is for everyone else to know that you have the best. So what matters is that it's recognized as the best, not that it outperforms everything else on the market.

Now, to be fair, I'm sure there are some people in the economic stratosphere who take the time to educate themselves on audio matters as much as people here have—maybe more so, if they're in the leisure class. But if you really want the best turntable on the market, the very last thing you should do is listen to the borderline psychopath who covers analog for Stereophile. If you can afford a $100K turntable, then you can afford the time and equipment necessary to learn how to actually measure the performance of turntables. And I really, seriously doubt that too many $100K turntables are sold to people who have done that.

The unfortunate thing is that this mindset—using price and phony authority as metrics—filters down to those who need to be much more careful about where they put their hard-earned dollars.
post #210 of 3048
Following up on my last post, if you really want to know what the real market for ultra high-end gear is, click on the search results of this query: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22an+interesting+install%22+whatsbestforum.com&rlz=1C1SNNT_enUS374US375&sugexp=chrome,mod=9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The much maligned high-end audiophile would barely pay for the rent on some manufacturer's building! The real market is entirely from luxury buyers who love music and spend no time researching it in such forums...
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