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post #31 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


At least esh516 is honest and openly says that he doesn't care about science. He prefers the 'evidence of his own senses' just as the anti-Copernicans did all those centuries ago.

The context of the scientific discoveries if Copernicus, etc. makes another point. Parasitically for those of us with a well-structured education in physics and electronics, the comments many of us make about good cable's ease at passing audio cleanly are not contrary to our sense. Intstead, they are supported by our senses. A well-structured education takes the student though the fundamental principles of science via his senses. When I comment about wavelength effects in cables I still remember basic experiments that we did in Fields and Waves during my sophomore year that demonstrated these principles via and to the satisfaction of my senses.

The actual comparison is not between esh516's senses going head to head with mine. If I naively compared cables like he seems to have done, I might easily have similar beliefs.

Yes, there was a pre-DBT Arny who was a disciple of the early writers in The Absolute Sound and Stereophile. I learned about the fallacies and illusions that seem believable when the strong influence of human bias is ignored, and how they fall aside when human bias is honored with proper management.
post #32 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


At least esh516 is honest and openly says that he doesn't care about science. He prefers the 'evidence of his own senses' just as the anti-Copernicans did all those centuries ago.

The context of the scientific discoveries if Copernicus, etc. makes another point. Parasitically for those of us with a well-structured education in physics and electronics, the comments many of us make about good cable's ease at passing audio cleanly are not contrary to our sense. Intstead, they are supported by our senses. A well-structured education takes the student though the fundamental principles of science via his senses. When I comment about wavelength effects in cables I still remember basic experiments that we did in Fields and Waves during my sophomore year that demonstrated these principles via and to the satisfaction of my senses.

The actual comparison is not between esh516's senses going head to head with mine. If I naively compared cables like he seems to have done, I might easily have similar beliefs.

Yes, there was a pre-DBT Arny who was a disciple of the early writers in The Absolute Sound and Stereophile. I learned about the fallacies and illusions that seem believable when the strong influence of human bias is ignored, and how they fall aside when human bias is honored with proper management.

You are right. I wasn't suggesting that the 'evidence of our senses' is reliable - in fact I know it is not reliable and often cunningly deceptive. But the sense that tells some people that a $1,000 cable is sonically superior to the Monoprice equivalent is a misguided sense. The 'fact' that they can 'easily hear' the 'differences' even when your 'sense', and my 'sense for that matter, tells us there are no audible differences (and moreover we can actually prove our POV) shows just how strong placebo and expectation bias really are. And yes indeed, when one is educated in the relevant sciences, or has taken the trouble to learn the necessary information, then it makes perfect 'sense' that there will be no audible difference between one mechanically well-constructed cable and any other.

 

It is interesting how the journeys of many people coincide. I too used to believe in all the gobbledegook about cables and amps and so on, once upon a time. I used to hang on every word of the contributors to the UK Hi-Fi magazines that are the equivalent of those you mention. I used to read their entirely subjective reviews, conducted with no level matching, and even sometimes in different rooms or with different speakers etc, and fall for their schtick. Then, later, after unfortunately having wasted many thousands of pounds/dollars, I stopped one day and said to myself that I actually cannot hear the 'difference' and 'superiority' and 'greater sense of space' and 'more air in the upper treble' and all the other nonsense that was being propounded. At first this caused me great angst: was my other equipment (chosen following glowing reviews of course) deficient at passing these 'audible differences' the reviewer could 'easily hear'?  Or, much worse, was my own hearing deficient in some way? So I started on the long path of learning - not easy for me because I have no background in science at all, and in those days there were no forums because there was no Internet (imagine!). Eventually I learned the truth, based on the science of physics. Since then I have been enlightened further by the many knowledgeable people on these forums - people from whom it is easy to learn because they impart their knowledge so freely - and I have learned to invest my money in the areas where there is truly a discernible difference in the resultant sound.

 

I hope I did not give you the impression that I was in any way disagreeing with you, Arny. I have read your many contributions on AVS for some time and have learned much, for which I thank you.

post #33 of 873
I went through a period where I believed what the subjectivists say. A dear friend loaned me many years of Stereophile and I read them all cover to cover. I was amazed that these people had a language all their own but it occurred to me that if there was any reality behind these words that they wouldn't need their own vocabulary. My education in acoustics is entirely self-taught but I think I have at least the minimum required in order to understand it. I know enough to reject the "snake oil" of magical cables etc.
post #34 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

I went through a period where I believed what the subjectivists say. A dear friend loaned me many years of Stereophile and I read them all cover to cover. I was amazed that these people had a language all their own but it occurred to me that if there was any reality behind these words that they wouldn't need their own vocabulary. My education in acoustics is entirely self-taught but I think I have at least the minimum required in order to understand it. I know enough to reject the "snake oil" of magical cables etc.

 

Wasn't it some legendary contributor to Stereophile who invented this special vocabulary in, presumably, an effort to enable people with no scientific understanding to be able to get some idea of what was meant - for example instead of referring to a rising treble frequency plot, they just said it sounded "bright"?  If so, then that may have been a laudable intention, but it was inevitable that this new language would be hijacked and so we then get "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes" and all that claptrap.

post #35 of 873
I've heard that was the reason for Stereophile adopting the subjectivist language. Kal could probably answer this.
post #36 of 873
You guys overlooked one likely reason why esh516 posts what he posts and the way he does it. Care to guess? One hint, it's humanly natural, sadly.
post #37 of 873
Quote:
Wasn't it some legendary contributor to Stereophile who invented this special vocabulary in, presumably, an effort to enable people with no scientific understanding to be able to get some idea of what was meant - for example instead of referring to a rising treble frequency plot, they just said it sounded "bright"? If so, then that may have been a laudable intention, but it was inevitable that this new language would be hijacked and so we then get "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes" and all that claptrap.
The problem wasn't the lingo itself. That could have been very useful. The problem was that their method of comparing components was so bad that they couldn't distinguish between real sonic differences and imagined ones. A speaker whose FR rises in the treble might reasonably be described as bright. But if you're using the word to describe DACs with ruler-flat FR, then you've made the word meaningless. At that point, "bright" isn't any more informative than "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes."
post #38 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
Wasn't it some legendary contributor to Stereophile who invented this special vocabulary in, presumably, an effort to enable people with no scientific understanding to be able to get some idea of what was meant - for example instead of referring to a rising treble frequency plot, they just said it sounded "bright"? If so, then that may have been a laudable intention, but it was inevitable that this new language would be hijacked and so we then get "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes" and all that claptrap.
The problem wasn't the lingo itself. That could have been very useful. The problem was that their method of comparing components was so bad that they couldn't distinguish between real sonic differences and imagined ones. A speaker whose FR rises in the treble might reasonably be described as bright. But if you're using the word to describe DACs with ruler-flat FR, then you've made the word meaningless. At that point, "bright" isn't any more informative than "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes."

Yes, good point, and reinforces the need for proper, objective testing, not simply relying on our deceptive senses.

post #39 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
Wasn't it some legendary contributor to Stereophile who invented this special vocabulary in, presumably, an effort to enable people with no scientific understanding to be able to get some idea of what was meant - for example instead of referring to a rising treble frequency plot, they just said it sounded "bright"?

Stereophile was founded in 1962 and I was a charter subscriber. This turned out in a funny way because Holt offered one year 12 issue subscriptions and then took about 6 years to get them out.

The word bright as applied to rising treble response is far older than 1962. I think I first read it in the early 50s. In those days audio was a subtopic of magazines devoted to radios and TVs.
Quote:
A speaker whose FR rises in the treble might reasonably be described as bright. But if you're using the word to describe DACs with ruler-flat FR, then you've made the word meaningless. At that point, "bright" isn't any more informative than "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes."

Excellent points. Speakers routinely have frequency response variations that are relatively easy to hear. So do rooms and recordings. Good DACs (which now cost equipment manufacturers well under a buck) actually sound alike as peas in a pod.
post #40 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

 

Wasn't it some legendary contributor to Stereophile who invented this special vocabulary in, presumably, an effort to enable people with no scientific understanding to be able to get some idea of what was meant - for example instead of referring to a rising treble frequency plot, they just said it sounded "bright"?  If so, then that may have been a laudable intention, but it was inevitable that this new language would be hijacked and so we then get "deep pools of velvet black space between the notes" and all that claptrap.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

I've heard that was the reason for Stereophile adopting the subjectivist language. Kal could probably answer this.

Yup.  J.Gordon Holt, the founder of Stereophile, did so.  You can access it here:  http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

post #41 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

The "anti-science" attitude among some makes me seriously question the quality of our educational system.
Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !
post #42 of 873
Quote:
Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !
What does this have to do with an anti science attitude that you so clearly exhibit?
There are actually some "scientists" out there who maintain - with sufficient evidence to the contrary of course, like the combined evidence of physics, palaeontology, biology etc. that the earth is about 6004 years old.
post #43 of 873
Always thought that was hysterically funny since we have recorded HUMAN history in excess of 10,000 years.
Edited by Gizmologist - 12/2/12 at 7:03pm
post #44 of 873
Quote:
Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !
Yeah, well science wasn't so far advanced in 1884. smile.gif
post #45 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !
Funny indeed. Hey, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard.
post #46 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !
Funny indeed. Hey, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard.

 

Qualifying entry for AVS Riposte of the Yearbiggrin.gif

post #47 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Funny indeed. Hey, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard.

My daughter is a student at Harvard. smile.gif I am so proud! She's oblivious to good music and quality reproduction though.
post #48 of 873
Quote:
Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !

...but, did you attend Yale university, or graduate from it?
post #49 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

Quote:
Funny how I graduated in Yale in 84 !

...but, did you attend Yale university, or graduate from it?

 

Sheesh - I thought he meant the lock company! ;)

post #50 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson 

Yup.  J.Gordon Holt, the founder of Stereophile, did so.  You can access it here:  http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

"The language of subjectivity has been around since before Edison. Musicians have long been familiar with terms like "mellow," "strident," "rich," and "euphonic," but the advent of reproduced music introduced new kinds of sonic qualities for which new descriptive terms were needed. The 1953 Radiotron Designer's Handbook---for its time, the "bible" of electronics design---listed more than 70 terms, most of which are still in use today.

Stereophile magazine, launched in 1962, was the first to review audio products on the basis of their sound rather than their measurements. Stereophile and other like-minded magazines have expanded subjectivity's working 70-word vocabulary to to over 300 terms, all of which are listed and defined in this series of articles."

The 1954 RDL pp 604-606 is readily available online. It includes the following subjective terms:

Frequency Range Notation:

Extreme Lows Below 100 cis
Lows 100- 300 cis
Lower Middles 300- 800 cis
Upper Middles 800-1500 cis
Lower Highs 1500-4000 cis
Highs 4000-8000 cis
Extreme Highs Above 8000 cis

Subjective terms for distortion:

General: Dirty, non-linear distortion.
Overload: Hash-up, mush-up.
Thump (sudden rectification when signal hits bottom).
Sound often becomes strident if harmonic energy peaks in the lower highs.
Records: Fuzz or lace. Inability of stylUS to track at high groove curvatures.
Crackle: Same as fuzz, but occurring principally on high-amplitude peaks.
Rattles or buzz, rub or wheeze.
Swish-scratch periodic with rotation of record.
Carbon Microphones: Frying; popping, sizzle.
Sub-harmonics: Breakup, birdies, tweets.
Intermodulation: Harsh, rough.
Cross-over distortion: Marbles, garble.
Transient distortion: Hang-over.
Attack-good or slurred.
Intermodulation with peak in the high-frequency region :
Violins sound wiry.
Male voices have kazoo.
Brass instruments show jamming in upper octaves

(c) General Terms
Position presence : Localization, mass of sound; advance, come forward,
stand out; distant, dead, recede, lost.
Intimacy presence : Intimate, rapport.
Detail presence: Transparent, translucent, clear, opaque, acoustic fog, veiled,
Source size :
Realism :
Reproduction :


muddy.
Live; broad, volume, floods out, big tones, well-focused
tones; dead and fiat, compressed, from a hole in the wall,
out of a barrel.
Presence, natural, life-like, pleasing; canned music.
Realistic, perfect, adequate.

I Excess

Grunt Sock Tinkly* Harsh
Muddy Shrill
Solid Brassy Hard
Dead, dull
or thick Metallic
Boom Flat- Masculine Bright
sounding
Body Baritone Brilliant
Mellow Crisp Brittle Brittle
Defici- Lean Warm Soft Soft
ency Soprano
Thin
Tinny
post #51 of 873
Due to the reactance of any audio system a cable that colors the sound one way in my system could very easily sound quite different in your system , also the reason why some cables that may not be very expensive at all just work supremely well because by fluke they react favorably (to the listener) with the make up of the system they are installed in.

This sounds like a really credible argument to me!?!!?!!!
post #52 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Due to the reactance of any audio system a cable that colors the sound one way in my system could very easily sound quite different in your system , also the reason why some cables that may not be very expensive at all just work supremely well because by fluke they react favorably (to the listener) with the make up of the system they are installed in.

This sounds like a really credible argument to me!?!!?!!!

Not only credible, but one that has much broader applicability.

*Any* component that intentionally audibly colors the sound in a way that is not user adjustable is like rolling the dice.
post #53 of 873
Quote:
This sounds like a really credible argument to me!?!!?!!!

There are measurements floating out there that confirm very minor influences by cable on the signal - but nobody as yet has convincingly demonstrated in any valid test (blinded and statistically significant) that those minor effect are actually audible.
And that is the point.
post #54 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Due to the reactance of any audio system a cable that colors the sound one way in my system could very easily sound quite different in your system , also the reason why some cables that may not be very expensive at all just work supremely well because by fluke they react favorably (to the listener) with the make up of the system they are installed in.

This sounds like a really credible argument to me!?!!?!!!

no, that really doesn't sound "credible" at all...
post #55 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Due to the reactance of any audio system a cable that colors the sound one way in my system could very easily sound quite different in your system , also the reason why some cables that may not be very expensive at all just work supremely well because by fluke they react favorably (to the listener) with the make up of the system they are installed in.

This sounds like a really credible argument to me!?!!?!!!

Not only credible, but one that has much broader applicability.

*Any* component that intentionally audibly colors the sound in a way that is not user adjustable is like rolling the dice.

Correction:

I didn't see the any. In general audio cables lack sufficient reactance to create an audible difference.
post #56 of 873
As many of you know I have high end interconnects and power cords. I finally got around to trying various speaker cables. I tried wire from Purist Audio, JPS, Cardas, and Analysis Plus. They all sounded quite different. I even tried 4 different speaker cables models from Purist and they all had a different sonic signatures.

With many of the high end cables, the improvement was SO OBVIOUS that you don't have to be an enthusiast to notice. I am sure some of of you know this and still claim high end wire does nothing.

Since your all dying to know smile.gif my favorite was the Purist Audio Venustas. The sound stage was so much larger than some of the other cables. A nice smooth and a tad warmish sound with a very solid midrange that helps with dialog intelligibility. No hint of sharpness in the upper frequency region.. A nice upgrade particularly for movies.
post #57 of 873
Quote:
I am sure some of of you know this and still claim high end wire does nothing.

I am sure that you know that "high end" wire is a scam and will not improve anything, but you will still claim that it does wink.gif
post #58 of 873
Quote:
With many of the high end cables, the improvement was SO OBVIOUS that you don't have to be an enthusiast to notice.
Even newbies can read pricetags. smile.gif
post #59 of 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj 
no, that really doesn't sound "credible" at all...

Did you not notice the sarcasm?!!!!!?!?!!?
post #60 of 873
Sarcasm doesn't work real well on teh Internets. frown.gif
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