Originally Posted by Heinrich S
To the objectivists, riddle me this : why do others experience the same thing, in the same way, with the same equipment? I fully accept the brain/ear relationship is complex and linked to moods, expectations etc. But it doesn't explain why many other people feel the same way about the same equipment and think they hear the same thing.
Many possible reasons, and there are some basic 'problems' with the formulation of your question.
Firstly, as chu mentioned, ARE these opinions formulated in a vacuum? Are they as independent as you suspect? I'd argue 'not even close'.
How did you buy your amplifier? I doubt you just bought it completely at random. So then, why did you buy it? Because (from somewhere, and almost an infinite number of possible places) 'it drives the load', or is a 'good match' to your speakers, or or. So from the get go you have been influenced 'somehow'. No doubt then there has been some research done, mag reviews, user reviews, advertising. I doubt any of them said 'these amps are rubbish'. In fact, I'd suspect that there were 'particular descriptors' used, after all to reviewers all amps have a particular character no?
So straight away, 'some' type of amp personality has started to appear.
Have you ever just sat back and observed a group of people when a discussion is taking place? It's fascinating to see how slowly but surely, a consensus is reached. That usually involves at least some people modifying the initial position. Next time you go to an audio gtg and they are trying new gear, just watch and listen. You will see the final agreed upon position emerge. Often dominated the the 'alpha' personality. Think jury decisions! This is not cut and dried, a general thing I am talking about, only to illustrate that in many cases these decisions are NOT arrived at independently.
On the Opinion Leader bit. Well audio is full of them, not limited to the mag writers. But even there some writers hold sway more than they should, their opinion is only elevated due to the importance placed upon them by the reader. Be careful of who you elect your personal guru.
But back to your question, can you not see the flaw that 'destroys' it?The same thing the same way.
Audiophile terms and descriptions are for the most part meaningless. What I mean by that is that I seriously doubt they are transferable. YOU might know what you mean when you say 'transparent', and so have a particular idea when that word is used, but how the hell do you know that I have exactly the same meaning? Or what it is that I hear that leads me to use that word? Maybe you hear a completely different thing that leads you to use transparent.
But what do we do when we read about a chocolate velvety midrange? Sadly that is not a stupid made up example, it would not surprise me in the slightest to read a description like that in audio.
So personally, I dispute the idea that anyone really
agrees in the manner your question presupposes. Ten people agreeing on a common description (made up of 'standard phrases from the flowery audio cookbook description bible') would, much like eyewitness reports, be describing ten completely different reactions. It just LOOKS like they are saying the same thing, only because group agreement built up over decades of audio reviewing has built up a common vocabulary.
I am not saying there is no general, in principle broad brushstroke type of agreement, it is very fuzzy indeed (I'd say). Fuzzy enough that if unbeknownst to the listeners the amp was secretly changed then the general thrust would not
Earlier you were questioning the bias of science, how could we come to a conclusion that is true if the assumptions or the test itself were biased (hope I got the gist right)
Why not apply that very same reasoning to yourself for example? Could you respond to this as we have responded to your 'riddle'?
You are railing against the 'findings' from amp dbt's. Now if we apply your question of bias to your stance, well you are rejecting these results without ever having tested the principle.
Who, then, is biased?
Or alternatively, you HAVE done a proper level matched dbt. Well, what were the results? As you have not given any it seems fair to conclude you have not done any.
I can accept a statement from you like 'Wow, really, you can't tell them apart? That's weird, because I honestly think I can tell amps apart from personal auditions'. That's fine, got it and I believe you, it does not surprise me in the slightest. Intellectual honesty however 'demands' that until you have done the same test and have gotten different results
that that is as far as you can honestly go. Expressed doubt.
What you cannot do is deny these earlier results. That kinda leads to things like 'how do I know that is truly from Richard Clark'..you know, clutching at straws. Those results exist, they were done. All you or anyone else can do is the same test, and report the results. That way the data base grows, and for all we know you will find that you can tell these amps apart.
Earlier we were asked to 'prove' the colour we saw, or the emotions we felt. You know, prove to an external person an internal reaction. (only used to try and deny these results) That's fine, but what I find interesting in light of that is how it can get flipped upside down, that we take for granted (no proof required) that people hear The same thing the same way.
Not only is no proof required that they actually heard that (which a blind test would show anyway, they report exactly the same differences even when they do not know the identity of what is playing at the time) we ALSO accept that they are using the terms in identical ways.