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Are audio companies all involved in a huge conspiracy? - Page 15

post #421 of 3048
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Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you here. But you have to admit it's strange, an entire population acting against their best interest.

I can't think of any other product category where consumers exhibit this behavior.
Politics. smile.gif
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In every category I can think of, and certainly every one in which I've worked, the market research matches the consumer behavior.
Sean Olive isn't doing market research. I think you're making a conceptual error there. Differences between perceptual research and market behavior are not uncommon. See krab's earlier point about wine.
post #422 of 3048
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

On the other hand, you were happy, which is the whole point.

Not really. I went there hoping for Key Lime biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
post #423 of 3048
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I can't think of any other product category where consumers exhibit this behavior.

Politics. smile.gif

So true that it doesn't deserve a smiley smile.gif

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Sean Olive isn't doing market research. I think you're making a conceptual error there. Differences between perceptual research and market behavior are not uncommon. See krab's earlier point about wine.

Thanks for clarifying, I'm not actually familiar with Mr. Olive's research except for what Mr. Winter paraphrased here and what I read on his blog. Thanks for kicking this around with me and apologies to the OP for further hijacking his thread.
post #424 of 3048
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Originally Posted by EEcle View Post

Why the attitude? We agree on what you said above, but I'm asking whether this bias is a better explanation for Bose sales than people actually liking the performance of the product. It's an awfully cynical assertion and, in my opinion, pretty unlikely. Bose products have a distinctly exaggerated mid-range that certainly sound *different* than the other speakers on the shelf. I would think the sound of the speakers would weigh at least moderately in the purchasing decision.
These things would go against Bose as often as for them.

Not if there is pre-existing marketing in play, and if the demo is weighted for Bose (as is the typically the case ...Bose usually has its own 'demo' setup in place to make sure their products have an audible wow factor. LIke I said, they are GOOD at what they do). Bose only has to be 'good enough', and I am not one of the people who automatically dismiss their products as terrrible (which is bias of another sort.)
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Even if we throw out the Bose issue, would we expect someone to blind test the "loudness" button on their boom box? Or the "mega bass" button? Of course not, it's easy to tell when those settings are turned on. And the fact that they exist means that someone's product testing showed that a significant portion of users liked the feature. Which brings me back to my original musing, do people universally prefer flat, accurate reproduction? There just seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that they don't.

Please do some online research on various biasing factors on audio preference (including differences in 'loudness', a very common biasing trick). I'm kinda tired of teaching the basics right now, sorry.

(And NO , people do not 'universally' prefer anything worth testing . That's a straw man. Research only produces statistical data, not absolute claims about what is 'universally' preferred )
post #425 of 3048
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Originally Posted by EEcle View Post

Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you here. But you have to admit it's strange, an entire population acting against their best interest.

Ha. As mcnarus noted: US politics.

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I can't think of any other product category where consumers exhibit this behavior. People claim to like stylish, powerful, easy to use phones and they buy the iPhone.

I like those things and I bought a Samsung Galaxy III . So have lots and lots of other people. CONFUSION.

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People claim to like reliable, roomy cars with good gas mileage and they buy Camrys. In every category I can think of, and certainly every one in which I've worked, the market research matches the consumer behavior.

Why Camrys versus other models that might offer the same, or better? And really, people like different kinds of cars because not all of them are searching for 'roomy with good mileage'.
post #426 of 3048
Remember that preference may well change in accordance to testing circumstances. Perhaps people prefer flat response in a quiet room with quality music, no distractions, and enough time to focus and form a thoughtful opinion. Perhaps they prefer exaggerated highs and midbass in a busy store or glitzy showroom with other distracting sounds and carefully selected music samples. New coke vs classic coke taste testing demonstrated this effect.

And regardless of the speaker purchased, people will tend to prefer it once home since it is what they have spent money on, and also is very likely to sound better than whatever is being replaced anyway.
post #427 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I know what you're saying, and I do understand the value of blind testing for preference. But the improvement - not just the "difference" - is so obvious it's incomprehensible to me that anyone would question the benefit of a properly treated room.
--Ethan

A majority of people in the audiophile community would say the same concerning changes other than room treatment that are as obvious to them as your treatments are to you.smile.gif
post #428 of 3048
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

The plural of anecdote is not data.
What a great line. I'm going to steal that one.
post #429 of 3048
I must admit it is not original.
post #430 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

A majority of people in the audiophile community would say the same concerning changes other than room treatment that are as obvious to them as your treatments are to you.smile.gif
Who cares about those fairy tail stories. rolleyes.gif Unless they can show measurements from the listener's position.
post #431 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski 
A majority of people in the audiophile community would say the same concerning changes other than room treatment that are as obvious to them as your treatments are to you.smile.gif
If there is any doubt, audible change wrt room treatment can be quickly established with controlled testing.

The same cannot be said for those "other changes."

It is baffling why some people continue to ignore facts, obfuscate truth, and use strained contrived analogies in an attempt to justify the selling of a lie.

In your case, of course, there is no such confusion as to the motive.
post #432 of 3048
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

What if someone did question those "improvements"; e.g., when given a choice between absorbing high gain early reflections on the side walls vs leaving them alone. Which do you think listeners would prefer? Which do you think listeners would say makes vocals/dialogue easier to understand?

The vast majority of "experienced" listeners prefer absorbing early reflections in a domestic size room. Virtually every professional recording studio control room avoids early reflections either via absorption or angled walls. Most of the people I see arguing that reflections are not damaging have no room treatment and haven't heard a proper A/B comparison. The number of people who argue for allowing reflections who have actually heard a proper RFZ are few and far between. But if someone prefers the sound of reflections, it's absolutely their right to have that sound in their listening room. All I ever ask is to actually try it both ways. That's why I often suggest hanging doubled-up bath towels on the side walls, to at least get a taste of what that sounds like and hear how much clarity is improved.
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Olive's tests showed that the flatter and smoother a speaker measured in an anechoic chamber, the more it was preferred in blind listening tests.

I might be mistaken, but I thought the data I saw in Sean's blog was as measured in the Harmon listening room, the one with the speaker rotator thingie. Either way, flatter is flatter. A flat speaker in a room won't be as flat as in an anechoic chamber, but it's still flatter than a non-flat speaker in the same room.

--Ethan
post #433 of 3048
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Originally Posted by EEcle View Post

How would he [Sean] explain the popularity of Bose speakers? Or the "Loudness" button that was so prevalent on gear in the 90s?

This is an absolutely valid question. The key difference for me is the skill and experience of the listener. What appeals to the masses - the smiley EQ curve comes to mind - is often rejected by people who listen professionally. Tastes also improve over time and with experience. And often a loudness button does make the music sound better, especially at low volume on bass-light material.

--Ethan
post #434 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

The vast majority of "experienced" listeners prefer absorbing early reflections in a domestic size room. Virtually every professional recording studio control room avoids early reflections either via absorption or angled walls.
What data do you have Ethan that shows that what those pros like, is what consumers like? Or is it just a bunch of anecdotal data masquerading as data? biggrin.gif
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Most of the people I see arguing that reflections are not damaging have no room treatment and haven't heard a proper A/B comparison.
People have Ethan. And they published them after performing formal listening tests in papers after papers, in both Audio Engineering Society (AES) and Asocustic Society of America (ASA). The authors of such papers have impeccable credentials to boot. I can post study after study that shows how removing said reflections make things worse, not better. Indeed, I quote them in my WSR article and have done so extensively in this forum. Here is an example from a top expert designing rooms for recording engineers, the "experienced" listeners as you called it, George Augspurger in his AES paper, LOUDSPEAKERS IN CONTROL ROOMS AND LIVING ROOMS:

”Third, I did a lot of listening with various amounts of absorptive treatment in the comers behind the speakers. When first-order reflections were largely absorbed I noted that locations of individual sound sources were more precise, that the timbre of individual instruments was more natural, and that the overall stereo picture was more tightly focused. These observations agree well with other reported listening tests. Nonetheless, after extensive listening to classical and pop recordings I went back to the hard, untreated wall surfaces. To my ears the more spacious stereo image more than offset the negative side effects. Other listeners, including many recording engineers, would have preferred the flatter, more tightly focused sound picture.

So once again you are saying something doesn't exist when it clearly does.
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But if someone prefers the sound of reflections, it's absolutely their right to have that sound in their listening room. All I ever ask is to actually try it both ways.
Why? Why can't we ask that you run the experiments backing the effectiveness of the solution your company manufactures? I was just told that manufacturers claims are what is bothering people. So where is the listening data that says what you say is true, that we like what experienced listeners like and that side reflections should be removed? If you still think you should not have to produce such results, should we have people buy after-market power cables too and run the experiment as you say? And keep them if they think they made the sound better?
post #435 of 3048
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

What data do you have Ethan that shows that what those pros like, is what consumers like? Or is it just a bunch of anecdotal data masquerading as data? biggrin.gif
(let me borrow your tactic for a second) Do you have data that shows that what those pros like, is not what consumers like? " biggrin.gif "
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Most of the people I see arguing that reflections are not damaging have no room treatment and haven't heard a proper A/B comparison.
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

People have Ethan. And they published them after performing formal listening tests in papers after papers, in both Audio Engineering Society (AES) and Asocustic Society of America (ASA). The authors of such papers have impeccable credentials to boot. I can post study after study that shows how removing said reflections make things worse, not better. Indeed, I quote them in my WSR article and have done so
...

So once again you are saying something doesn't exist when it clearly does.
Looks like you don't quite understand what "Most of the people" means. As I've pointed out before, your problem with English language is your limiting factor when trying to argue via written words, sadly.
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Why? Why can't we ask that you run the experiments backing the effectiveness of the solution your company manufactures? I was just told that manufacturers claims are what is bothering people. So where is the listening data that says what you say is true, that we like what experienced listeners like and that side reflections should be removed? If you still think you should not have to produce such results, should we have people buy after-market power cables too and run the experiment as you say? And keep them if they think they made the sound better?
I believe it's your turn to provide the listening tests about your claimed audible difference made by that expensive amp you sell. You've been asked about this long ago which still has not been answered.
post #436 of 3048
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Originally Posted by EEcle View Post

... There just seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that they don't.

And, it still remains just that, anecdotal, not a fact. But then, there are myriads of anecdotes out there, equally without facts.
What's one more anecdote.
post #437 of 3048
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Originally Posted by EEcle View Post

Come on now, you don't blind test everything you buy do you? You must have some other way of determining whether you're about to buy woo woo biggrin.gif
Just last night I went to the frozen yogurt place and they had "Orange Supreme" next to "Raspberry Breeze" or something. I tasted both, preferred the orange and purchased a bowl. I might have selected the orange because I was swayed by the name telling me it was superior to the others...or perhaps I just didn't need a blind test to know I like orange better than raspberry cool.gif
Well, some things are important and others are not. Taste differences between two different flavors are not small differences, right? And, you just demonstrated a preference, no? I would prefer the raspberry too without tasting, from prior life events;)
But, lots of discussions in audio are beyond an issue of preference and claims are made that can be tested. And, small differences, unlike a preference between large differences like two singers or artists, a bias controlled comparison has no equal, if differences matter. Otherwise, if it doesn't, not sure why it is discussed.
post #438 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

A majority of people in the audiophile community would say the same concerning changes other than room treatment that are as obvious to them as your treatments are to you.smile.gif

And the difference being Ethan doesn't have a problem setting up a properly controlled A/B/X. What audio show are you going to be at that I can bring some Mogami Gold interconnects and have some people come in cold and pick out the obviously superior JPS products as preference?
post #439 of 3048
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

(let me borrow your tactic for a second) Do you have data that shows that what those pros like, is not what consumers like?

Bingo.

And as I said, unskilled listeners can learn to appreciate the improved clarity of a reflection-free zone, just like they can learn to prefer a flat response to a smiley EQ. Further, missing from George Augspurger's quote is the size of his room. If it's a 25 by 35 foot pro control room, the treatment needs are very different from a 10x12 bedroom or a 15 by 20 living room.

In the larger picture, quoting one or two individual "professionals" in the way Amir does is the local fallacy known as "Argument from Authority." If we want a broad consensus, I could post a poll at Gearslutz asking people to vote on whether they prefer treated walls or bare walls. That will at least offer some sort of data.

--Ethan
post #440 of 3048
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Why? Why can't we ask that you run the experiments backing the effectiveness of the solution your company manufactures? I was just told that manufacturers claims are what is bothering people. So where is the listening data that says what you say is true, that we like what experienced listeners like and that side reflections should be removed? If you still think you should not have to produce such results, should we have people buy after-market power cables too and run the experiment as you say? And keep them if they think they made the sound better?

There's a big difference between "preference" and "difference" you seem to conveniently ignore.

Treating the first reflection will yield a "difference" that is easily audible, it might require DBT to establish "preference" for the individual, but not difference. Power cables, on the other hand, need DTB's to even establish "difference", never mind "preference". Why? Because they don't do anything!!!

Again I use the analogy of how an empty room vs a furnished room is plainly obvious to even a neophyte acoustically. You don't need to prove a "difference" exists... it does.

It's nowhere near trying to validate physically impossible differences that something like a $1000 power cord is "supposed" to yield, let alone establish a "preference" for it.
post #441 of 3048
I'm just curious. What do makers of the $1000 power cable claim it does, and how do they rationalize it's application with the 100ft or more of 14ga house wire between it and the breaker, the 100s of feet of cable between you and the pole pig, the miles between the pole pig and the substation, the more miles between....ah, you get it. You're changing the last 6 feet which, unless it's something like 18ga, is a small portion of the total impedance. Even if that 6 feet were 'magic wire', what about the rest of the wire in the circuit? Wouldn't you do even better by cutting off the 5' of cord you normally bundle up and don't really need?

I already know it's Blue Smoke, but what do they actually claim? I've forced myself to remain naive about exotic power cables for logical reasons.

Same thing for 'hospital-grade connectors". They are just well made connectors designed for rough use, they aren't lower resistance connections.

It's always entertaining to review the pitch for these things.
post #442 of 3048
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

I'm just curious. What do makers of the $1000 power cable claim it does, and how do they rationalize it's application with the 100ft or more of 14ga house wire between it and the breaker, the 100s of feet of cable between you and the pole pig, the miles between the pole pig and the substation, the more miles between....ah, you get it. You're changing the last 6 feet which, unless it's something like 18ga, is a small portion of the total impedance. Even if that 6 feet were 'magic wire', what about the rest of the wire in the circuit? Wouldn't you do even better by cutting off the 5' of cord you normally bundle up and don't really need?
I already know it's Blue Smoke, but what do they actually claim? I've forced myself to remain naive about exotic power cables for logical reasons.
Same thing for 'hospital-grade connectors". They are just well made connectors designed for rough use, they aren't lower resistance connections.
It's always entertaining to review the pitch for these things.
It's been done here recently (the usual shill posts by the seller). http://www.avsforum.com/t/1369578/i-was-wondering-can-anyone-explain-t-me-how-a-upgraded-power-cord-can-help
post #443 of 3048
The miles and miles of cable before the equipment argument has been covered before. Each component does not interact with the miles and miles of cable outside. In most homes the main demarc point is the mains or breaker panel, so any discussion concerning residential power delivery and a component connected to such should end there.

As for 'hospital grade' connectors such as duplex outlets, part of their improved construction over standard outlets is their rated grip on a mating plug. And with this added grip comes a lower contact resistance, particularly over the long term. There is nothing entertaining about it.


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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

I'm just curious. What do makers of the $1000 power cable claim it does, and how do they rationalize it's application with the 100ft or more of 14ga house wire between it and the breaker, the 100s of feet of cable between you and the pole pig, the miles between the pole pig and the substation, the more miles between....ah, you get it. You're changing the last 6 feet which, unless it's something like 18ga, is a small portion of the total impedance. Even if that 6 feet were 'magic wire', what about the rest of the wire in the circuit? Wouldn't you do even better by cutting off the 5' of cord you normally bundle up and don't really need?
I already know it's Blue Smoke, but what do they actually claim? I've forced myself to remain naive about exotic power cables for logical reasons.
Same thing for 'hospital-grade connectors". They are just well made connectors designed for rough use, they aren't lower resistance connections.
It's always entertaining to review the pitch for these things.
post #444 of 3048
So let's say there is a slight difference in timbre of a particular instrument when we make a change within an audio system; not the room, the system. Other than the human ear/brain, there is no standard room or equipment measurement in use that would show this change, yet a very experienced listener would have a preference. So there are no measured differences, and no obvious audible differences, yet there is a preference.

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Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

There's a big difference between "preference" and "difference" you seem to conveniently ignore.
Treating the first reflection will yield a "difference" that is easily audible, it might require DBT to establish "preference" for the individual, but not difference. Power cables, on the other hand, need DTB's to even establish "difference", never mind "preference". Why? Because they don't do anything!!!
Again I use the analogy of how an empty room vs a furnished room is plainly obvious to even a neophyte acoustically. You don't need to prove a "difference" exists... it does.
It's nowhere near trying to validate physically impossible differences that something like a $1000 power cord is "supposed" to yield, let alone establish a "preference" for it.
post #445 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

So let's say there is a slight difference in timbre of a particular instrument when we make a change within an audio system; not the room, the system. Other than the human ear/brain, there is no standard room or equipment measurement in use that would show this change,
If you can hear it, it can be measured and shown in graphic form these days.
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yet a very experienced listener would have a preference. So there are no measured differences, and no obvious audible differences, yet there is a preference.
Haven't you ever heard of "placebo effect"?
post #446 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

So there are no measured differences, and no obvious audible differences, yet there is a preference.
No measurable or audible differences, so all that's left is imagination or wishful thinking. Just like this.

Preference can easily come from things that have no bearing on it's audible performance.
post #447 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski View Post

... , yet a very experienced listener would have a preference. So there are no measured differences, and no obvious audible differences, yet there is a preference.
Oh, but how was that preference arrived at, under what conditions? Sight, sound, controlled, uncontrolled? Even a preference can be tested. I am pretty sure I prefer one flavor of ice cream over another even under dbt;)biggrin.gif
post #448 of 3048
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

The vast majority of "experienced" listeners prefer absorbing early reflections in a domestic size room. Virtually every professional recording studio control room avoids early reflections either via absorption or angled walls.
If "experienced" means daily listening in a professional studio control room, then your reasoning is circular. In order to find preference for the studio sound, you have to restrict your poll to recording engineers (or, by extension, the GearSlutz website). By that logic I could demonstrate a preference for the nightclub sound by limiting my survey to DJs.

But professional listening environments are different from recreational listening environments, just as professionals hear differently from consumers. According to research from Professor Yoichi Ando, industry professionals (musicians, mixing engineers, acousticians, speaker designers) can be up to seven times more sensitive to reflections than typical consumers. When you've spent years dialing in reverb and ambience into recordings that you're hearing in a reflection free zone, how can you avoid becoming more sensitive to those type of things than the general public. By comparison, when non-professionals were tested, as was done in a series of experiments a couple decades ago by loudspeaker researcher Wolfgang Klippel, results show a preference for early reflections (especially lateral ones) to be left alone, not absorbed. Listeners really craved the spaciousness and broader soundstage.

Haas described the effect of high gain (lateral) early reflections as "a pleasant broadening" of the source when writing his Ph.D paper (even 60 years ago, researchers were acknowledging the effect as pleasing, not detrimental). Professionals might find that absorbing early reflections is preferable, or just plain useful when mixing, but that doesn't automatically translate to what consumers will prefer in a recreational listening space.
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Most of the people I see arguing that reflections are not damaging have no room treatment and haven't heard a proper A/B comparison.
Then you need to see arguments from people that have done proper comparisons and found that early reflections can be beneficial, let alone "not damaging". Mathias Johanssen of Dirac Research wrote in his room correction whitepaper: "There seems to be consensus in the field that some early reflections actually help make speech more intelligible." The consensus he's talking about comes from similar findings by Bradley & Sato, Burger & Lochner, Ando, Soulodre, amongst others. And that's backed up by research from scientists in fields ranging from hearing-aid manufacturing to conference room designing. Depending on direction, early reflections can also help lower the audibility of room resonances and timbral colourations (Zurek and Barron both found that lots of reflections coming from a variety of directions can make it much harder to hear colorations). Helps explain why so many researchers have found a preference, not dislike, for early reflections.
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I might be mistaken, but I thought the data I saw in Sean's blog was as measured in the Harmon listening room, the one with the speaker rotator thingie. Either way, flatter is flatter. A flat speaker in a room won't be as flat as in an anechoic chamber, but it's still flatter than a non-flat speaker in the same room.
The speaker rotator thingie (spin-o-rama) is in one of their anechoic chambers, not the Harman listening room.

As for "flatter is flatter": anyone who has seen equal loudness curves knows that what we humans hear as flat is anything but. So let's not deliberately conflate peceptually flat with measured flat.
post #449 of 3048
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anyone who has seen equal loudness curves knows that what we humans hear as flat is anything but

What are you trying to say? Because human aural perception is non flat that justifies non flat speaker response?
This nonsensical argument that because human perception follows fletcher munson justifies speakers that have atrocious FR but are costing as much as a small dwelling I encounter often by those who consider themselves audiophiles.
Non flat speaker response to me simply means that the source material is altered more than need be and is avoidable by modern speaker design, including digital correction.
Edited by kraut - 9/29/12 at 11:37pm
post #450 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Skubinski 
So let's say there is a slight difference in timbre of a particular instrument when we make a change within an audio system; not the room, the system. Other than the human ear/brain, there is no standard room or equipment measurement in use that would show this change, yet a very experienced listener would have a preference.

It is quite shocking that a self proclaimed expert would so openly demonstrate his ignorance of even basic aspects of audio science.

What you wrote above is ludicrous because it is based on your absurd belief that such things are not easily measurable. What exactly do you think "timbre" is anyway... magic, like your cables?

Wait, let me guess. You're going to define timbre as that elusive audio quality that can only be heard, not measured, right? biggrin.gif
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