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post #31 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
I guess the thread's headed for a DBT debate.
Headed? ;)

I've read this thread, under various guises, at AVS Forum, AudiogoN, and other audio related websites, so many times ad nauseum and nothing changes. It's like reading two religious zealots trying to prove, persuade, convince [insert whatever other verb you like] to one another that their, and only their, God is real. It is, and always will be, a conversation rooted in opposing and/or mutually exclusive beliefs and, as such, it is a dead end conversation.

The DBT advocates and subjectivists are no different. Each believe their point of view is correct, but neither will or can convince the other that their belief is incorrect.

Quote:
But, to keep it fun, I'm going to test some other stuff too, like coke/pepsi and some sausages.
Can I come? :D

------------------------------------
Ron Party
post #32 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ
Not if those measured parameters are below the threshold of detection. Well made modern CD players meet this criteria whether this is accepted or not.
The human ear doesn't have limitless ability and its limits are know to acousticians and some audio engineers. Obviously not all as the others make silly claims not supported by facts.

Oh, your THd theory on sound stage, where is that paper so that I can expand my knowledge?
Not theory dude, practical experiment . No paper is required here.

Besides, no golden ears are required to perceive soundstage differences. All you need is a setup that is transparent enough to be able to produce a decent soundstage.
post #33 of 390
yes ron as you said it is a dead end

but same questions asked 5-10 years ago you get different answers base on different tests done

and thanks machani for the ref on dbt
post #34 of 390
[quote=machani]Not theory dude, practical experiment . No paper is required here.

What I stated is not theory at all. Please read the literature and how the data is derived? It is not plucked from thin air. Yes, science IS required but you don't have to accept it, that is for sure.

Besides, no golden ears are required to perceive soundstage differences. All you need is a setup that is transparent enough to be able to produce a decent soundstage.

But you said soundstage differences exist and is affected, didn't you? Or, am I thinking of another person.
post #35 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiobomber
but I picked Pepsi in the blind test.... and the test gave me a bad result. .

How did it give you a bad result? You picked what you like on the spot, unless your taste bud at the time was not working properly. Should have repeated the test to see how often you pick Pepsi.
post #36 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by dg1968
In my opinion, and in those of many others who understand the principles of experimental design, improperly conducted DBTs carry weight equal to sighted comparisons, and should be considered anecdotal.

And yes, if reasonable conclusions are to be drawn from them, they should be performed with principles similar to controlled, scientific studies.

Unless this is done, they will give information that is no more reliable than that gained from sighted comparisons, and in fact may be worse because the results are usually presented under the guise of "science". Period.

Well, we'll just agree to disagree on this as well. Just be sure to tear down all claims equally not peer reviewed, including sighted listening, ok?
post #37 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Party
Headed? ;)

I've read this thread, under various guises, at AVS Forum, AudiogoN, and other audio related websites, so many times ad nauseum and nothing changes.
And you keep reading them. Here you are. It's the mystery.

Quote:
It's like reading two religious zealots trying to prove, persuade, convince [insert whatever other verb you like] to one another that their, and only their, God is real. It is, and always will be, a conversation rooted in opposing and/or mutually exclusive beliefs and, as such, it is a dead end conversation.
This is not religion, it is science. There *will* be resolution on this issue someday. We will know why and how. It doesn't help that the hi-fi community refuses to use the scientific method. As a result resources are wasted and threads like this go on and on because no one wants to do the work (or is scared of the results).

Imagine the systems we could be building if we were all using science to further the hobby. I suspect digital technology and acoustical treatments is the way to move forward, not capacitors and tubes and attenuators. Imagine being able to transform your room into Carnegie Hall by just selecting it from your remote.

Quote:
The DBT advocates and subjectivists are no different. Each believe their point of view is correct, but neither will or can convince the other that their belief is incorrect.
Except the body of evidence is with the objectivists. How come there isn't even one rain man type guy (how many toothpicks ray?) that can identify cables unsighted?

Quote:
cpu88: yes ron as you said it is a dead end
Isn't the dead end here now? The dead end is not doing any science. It will probably end up being the video guys with the audio discoveries.
post #38 of 390
john elliott

you forgot my "but"

and spelled out my name wrongly
post #39 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
This is not religion, it is science.
This statement is not fact, it is an oxymoron.

---------------------------------
Ron Party
post #40 of 390
Thread Starter 
Sorry Ron. Oxymorons are when you have a COMBINATION of seemingly contradictory terms. Like "Jumbo shrimp." But if thats all I had to say I wouldn't have posted again, so here is what I mean to say:

I BELIEVE (yes, this is not a fact, but an opinion) that what matters most in hearing is the sound wave that reaches my ears and nothing else. The price tag on the equipment, the nametag on the equipment, the hype from avsforum, none of this matters.

Strongly held expectations are the whole reason I am writing these posts. Audiobomber EXPECTS there to be audible differences when there may be none, thus he will "hear" audible differences regardless of whether the waveform being produced by his speakers has actually changed.

When you have high expectations, the ability of your senses to perceive are overshadowed by the ability of your brain to fabricate.

I believe the sound that comes out of the speakers is "reality." What you "hear" is a combination of reality and, to a greater extent in some than others, your expectations of what you're going to hear.

The only "Real" test to some people here is one that allows them to "cheat" by way of using their expectations.

The bottom line is, if DBTs are "hard/inconclusive" when testing cd players but "easy" when testing speakers, all I can conclude is that the stark differences people CLAIM must exist between various CD players, probably do not actualy exist.
post #41 of 390
Quote:
When you have high expectations, the ability of your senses to perceive are overshadowed by the ability of your brain to fabricate.
The senses to perceive may be overshadowed by...

DBT has been brought up probably about a thousand times in the past month. And the counter claim is that DBT still doesn't prove something is different if the difference is small. DBT may be used to dismiss imagined difference conjured up by hype, hope, or just being on drug. But it doesn't work the other way. You can't first claim something is imagined, and use DBT to prove it. When the counter claim is being dissmissed and shut out then it's not a debate. And circling back to DBT won't improve the situation.

Someone brought up a good point earlier which I'll stress again. Instead of condemning the side with opposite claim, why not give a benefit of doubt, and use the scientific methodology to prove it? Instead of assuming the current method and tool is sufficient to perfectly measure the sonic difference, why not assume, for the sake of the argument, that the current technology is insufficient, or maybe the tools being used to measure the sonic difference is insufficient? After all, we cannot reproduce perfect sound with the current technology. Why assume that the methods you use are perfect?
post #42 of 390
Ron, religion has nothing to do with any of this.

Sound reproduction follows the laws of physics. The idea of conducting blind tests in evaluating components is not religion, nor should it be controversial. If you fail to identify the $4000 cd player from the $40 one, well then it is what it is.

Now if you can hear a difference sighted, then that is what it is. You could say that the combination of eye and ear is what is necessary for you to distinguish them.

How many DBTs has 'Insert Large Cable Company here' conducted? I bet hundreds, but they aren't publishing the data.

Let me give you an example of the problems with the current 'science.'

A manufacturer of CD players states this in their product literature:

Low resonance, acoustically damped chassis improves sonic performance

Now that is a false claim. There is no evidence that dampening the chassis improves sonic performance.

Yet the community doesn't challenge that, and what's the result? We have what we have, which is all of these mystical theories to explain data that doesn't exist.

Crazy. It's the Helsinki Formula.
post #43 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Sorry Ron. Oxymorons are when you have a COMBINATION of seemingly contradictory terms. Like "Jumbo shrimp."
Don't be sorry. Moreover, I know what is an oxymoron. The problem is that "science" is a belief system (and therefore the reference to religion, to squarely address johnElliott's point above). To contend science is fact is incorrect. There are plenty of cultures that reject science to varying degrees, if not outright altogether. johElliott's statement was presumptuous and indeed an oxymoron.

Quote:
I BELIEVE (yes, this is not a fact, but an opinion) that what matters most in hearing is the sound wave that reaches my ears and nothing else. The price tag on the equipment, the nametag on the equipment, the hype from avsforum, none of this matters.
Agreed. Your ears and your wallet. It seems so simple.

Quote:
Strongly held expectations are the whole reason I am writing these posts. Audiobomber EXPECTS there to be audible differences when there may be none, thus he will "hear" audible differences regardless of whether the waveform being produced by his speakers has actually changed.
Two points here. (1) I agree with you, generally speaking, about the impact expectations can have. Of course, assuming logic has any validity in the discussion, logic also would dictate that the impact of expectations also works in the corollary situation where one would not expect there to be any audible differences where there may in fact be some. (2) Audiobomber's personal expectations are not so clear cut.

Quote:
When you have high expectations, the ability of your senses to perceive are overshadowed by the ability of your brain to fabricate.
Maybe. Certainly possible. But not necessarily so with each person or under all circumstances. These kinds of generalizations must be taken for what they are and boundaries must be recognized. There is no one size fits all.

Quote:
I believe the sound that comes out of the speakers is "reality." What you "hear" is a combination of reality and, to a greater extent in some than others, your expectations of what you're going to hear.
When I first read this statement, I got a chuckle because it reminded me of that riddle about a tree falling in the forest... Seriously, though, I appreciate your view here. I don't know if I agree or not. After all, we're trying to describe many things here, including, without limitation, emotion, perception, and art, through the use of language. Not an easy task. (Please note: I'm not addessing measurements of the kind that one would see in a Stereophile review of a speaker.)

What we hear, how we hear, and how perception, emotion and any number of other influences all impact our response to a speaker's output. Expectations may, but not necessarily do, play a role for each person or under all circumstances.

Quote:
The only "Real" test to some people here is one that allows them to "cheat" by way of using their expectations.
Again, I believe that is a generalization. This statement easily could be paraphased in sort of a shoe's on the foot fashion: the only real test to DBT advocates is one that allows them to cheat by way of using their expectations.

Quote:
The bottom line is, if DBTs are "hard/inconclusive" when testing cd players but "easy" when testing speakers, all I can conclude is that the stark differences people CLAIM must exist between various CD players, probably do not actualy exist.
DBTs must be seen for what they are and, implicitly, what they are not. To those that believe in the validity of DBTs, certain conclusions can be drawn. To those that do not believe in their validity, no conclusions can be drawn. As I posted before, these are belief systems.

-------------------------------------
Ron Party
post #44 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
Ron, religion has nothing to do with any of this.
The analogy is sound (no pun intended).

Quote:
Sound reproduction follows the laws of physics. The idea of conducting blind tests in evaluating components is not religion, nor should it be controversial. If you fail to identify the $4000 cd player from the $40 one, well then it is what it is.
Resorting to science to prove science is valid is circular. The conclusion to be drawn from a DBT is not so clear cut. Is a DBT worthless. No. But is it the be all and end all? Depends on your "religion".


-----------------------------------
Ron Party
post #45 of 390
Thread Starter 
If your "religion" dictates that science is "just another religion," then I wouldn't tell that to the guys who built your audio hardware or worse yet the guys that designed the computer hardware you're using. They used science as a tool to achieve something greater than they could have without it.

The disrespect for science and rational thought on this board is seriously concerning. To dismiss science so casually is to dismiss everything that differentiates modern life from ancient history. People are fallible and may try to use a scientific explanation to come to a fallacious conclusion (as, in my opinion, Stereophile does quite frequently). Science itself, however, can't be dismissed outright just because its possible for a single person to come to an incorrect conclusion.

Next time you fly on a plane, or drive across a bridge, or take comfort in your air conditioned house, remember that these were designed with science as an underlying tool. You can't dismiss one argument because you believe science to be "just another religion" and then bask in modern life that was created through none other than the very thing you're so quick to dismiss.
post #46 of 390
Ron, I never said a blind test was the be all end all. I don't think anyone has said that. But it is data that is worth having. Then you can make up your own mind.

I mean, do we even know what is detectable and what isn't? Do we know if some people have golden ears? There's a derth of data.

If you notice an improvement after installing a component, then that seems like a good reason to purchase it, no blind test necessary, but what is going on? That's the question we are trying to answer. When we know the answer, everyone can move on to the next modern marvel.

But trying to say that science is religion is just wrong. This is AV Science forum. For the discussion of AV Science, right? Science is the religion here.
post #47 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ
Well, we'll just agree to disagree on this as well. Just be sure to tear down all claims equally not peer reviewed, including sighted listening, ok?
Remember that I not tearing down the claims made through poorly-conducted DBTs, just considering them at the same level as sighted tests-- that is anecdotal. So no problem.
post #48 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
It doesn't help that the hi-fi community refuses to use the scientific method.
It also doesn't help that most people doing these DBT/ABx comparisons are not using the scientific method either (certainly that I have seen posted on this site).

Remember that hi-fi people generally are not claiming to be scientific when they describe something on a forum like this. They are just relaying their experiences, which are obviously anecdotal. (Claims from manufacturers are another story, and of course much of this is marketing and can be found in almost any product category).

Contrast this with the DBT/ABx people who claim that their observations are "scientific". Because of this, the onus is on them to prove that their tests are valid. If they are not able to do this, their results are most definitely not scientific, and should not be considered to be conclusive of anything.

This is not to say that the results are worthless, but should be considered similar to other anecdotal claims. However, anecdotal evidence certainly can add up and be highly suggestive of a particular point of view.

I agree with you that when both groups get together and start performing some well-designed tests that truly utilize the scientific method, then we will start to get to the bottom of this.

dave
post #49 of 390
Thread Starter 
Furthermore, I use science as a tool to predict what devices will increase the enjoyment of music and what will be likely to have no effect on my ability to enjoy the music at all.

Some $3,000 transport that can't easily be proven to be superior to a $200 5 disc changer from Tweeter will be extremely unlikely to increase my enjoyment of the music (though it will quite rapdily lighten my wallet).

If the differences are so subtle that they can ONLY be reliably determined in sighted conditions, then it can't really follow that they will significantly change my enjoyment of the music.

Between "letting my brain create differences that don't exist to justify the purchase of an extremely expensive component" and "letting my brain fill in the hypothetical gaps in supposedly (but not demonstratably) inferior equipment" I'll chose the option that costs me less.
post #50 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
If your "religion" dictates that science is "just another religion," then I wouldn't tell that to the guys who built your audio hardware or worse yet the guys that designed the computer hardware you're using. They used science as a tool to achieve something greater than they could have without it.
I am not talking about the science that was used to build a piece of hardware or the computer. I am talking about DBTs. It is for that reason that I've previously posted that the two camps (i.e., DBT advocates and subjectivists) always reach a dead end in these discussions.

With respect to the "disrespect for science and rational thought", I agree that many seem to exhibit that disrespect to varying extents. But I also have tried to emphasize that science or, more particularly, DBTs, are not necessarily the holy grail that some would make it out to be and that the conclusions to be drawn from DBTs also are not necessarily that which is sometimes represented herein. The self-proclaimed scientists who fail to recognize the boundaries of scientific theory also exhibit in a very different way a disrespect for science and rational thought.

Indeed, and I commend you for it, you seem to agree with me in this last point, though your focus or point of emphasis is elsewhere:
Quote:
People are fallible and may try to use a scientific explanation to come to a fallacious conclusion.
-----------------------------------
Ron Party
post #51 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Furthermore, I use science as a tool to predict what devices will increase the enjoyment of music and what will be likely to have no effect on my ability to enjoy the music at all.

Some $3,000 transport that can't easily be proven to be superior to a $200 5 disc changer from Tweeter will be extremely unlikely to increase my enjoyment of the music (though it will quite rapdily lighten my wallet).

If the differences are so subtle that they can ONLY be reliably determined in sighted conditions, then it can't really follow that they will significantly change my enjoyment of the music.

Between "letting my brain create differences that don't exist to justify the purchase of an extremely expensive component" and "letting my brain fill in the hypothetical gaps in supposedly (but not demonstratably) inferior equipment" I'll chose the option that costs me less.
As I posted before, your ears and your wallet. It seems (and is) so simple. :)

---------------------------------
Ron Party
post #52 of 390
Quote:
Remember that hi-fi people generally are not claiming to be scientific when they describe something on a forum like this. They are just relaying their experiences, which are obviously anecdotal.
right, and *not scientific*
Quote:
Contrast this with the DBT/ABx people who claim that their observations are "scientific".
But DBTs *are scientific* -- even if -- the data is flawed. There would not be all of the wonder drugs we have, if it weren't for DBTs. And flawed data is part of the process.

This point really needs to be agreed upon.
post #53 of 390
I learned a long time ago with the purchase of an Akai 710D (glass and crystal heads!) cassette player that you buy audio equipment with your ears - not your wallet, eyes, or certainly not based on marketing hype or what your friends buy. I suppose that expands to Internet opinions now too.

30 years ago double blind tests weren't as common as they are now and the audio store I worked for an a technician had one. Banks of crude relays and thumbwheel switches routed inputs to outputs connecting the systems in anywhich way you wanted. I spent hours building, testing, and they playing with that ABx system.

There is no God in audio outside your ears. We can't argue what sounds better or worse as that's an opinion, we can only argue that we can or can not hear the difference in sounds. The science doesn't matter if you can't hear the difference. I love to poke fun at the car stereo guys fighting over two CD players - one with -90 dB noise and the other -94 dB noise in a car that has a +50 dB noise floor. Cost doesn't matter when you can't hear the difference. Brandname doesn't matter (outside of warranty support I guess).

For me the begining, middle, and end of an audio decission rests in my ears.
post #54 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Audiobomber EXPECTS there to be audible differences when there may be none, thus he will "hear" audible differences regardless of whether the waveform being produced by his speakers has actually changed.
I expected to hear that:
- the Meitner speaker cables I tried would sound different than my Linn K400 cables. They sounded exactly the same.
- the Classe CDP-10 that I home auditioned would be much better than my Cambridge DiscMagic/IsoMagic. Instead, I found they were different, but neither was significantly better.
- I expected that a loaned Bryston 3B would be far superior to the 50W NAD 2140 I used for years. It wasn't. The NAD was more musically involving.

I normally do careful home auditions when I buy gear. Of the times I've broken that rule, some have worked out and some haven't, in spite of my expectations.

PS, waveforms produced by speakers are immensely complex, unless you're listening to sine waves.
post #55 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
The disrespect for science and rational thought on this board is seriously concerning.
I'm concerned about the number of people here who claim to espouse science, yet at the same time believe that science has nothing more to learn about audio. A closed mind is anathema to science.
post #56 of 390
Thread Starter 
The whole point of fourier theory is that any waveform can be expressed as a sum of sinusoidal waves.

Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure waves in air between ~20hz and ~20khz.
post #57 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
The whole point of fourier theory is that any waveform can be expressed as a sum of sinusoidal waves.

Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure waves in air between ~20hz and ~20khz.
And where are you going with it? Have you read the equipment review section of stereophile? In case you didn't know their reviews include fourier analysis of response on each transports. Have you found any two graphs that look exactly the same?
post #58 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiobomber
yet at the same time believe that science has nothing more to learn about audio. .

A preposterous distortion of facts.

And as to closed minds, Carl Sagan had something interesting to say about having an open mind:

" On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity, then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all." Carl Sagan, Pasadena lecture, 1987
post #59 of 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
The whole point of fourier theory is that any waveform can be expressed as a sum of sinusoidal waves.

Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure waves in air between ~20hz and ~20khz.
Cowclops I picture the Beatles sitting around a table, playing their instruments, writing the White Album and discussing the fact that: "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." You have to be kidding me…

Cowclops have you ever played music???? I would assume no. I played in a Rock and Roll band for 25 years. In fact, have you ever turned on a CD or Album and truly enjoyed what you were listening to? Did it ever have an emotional affect on you?

The point you are missing is that audiophiles like me truly enjoy our hobby and have a deep love for music. We love music and listen to it everyday. Music enriches our life and makes us happier people. This is why we pursue the best sound reproduction we can afford.

My invitation still stands from the last post!! You and all the other skeptics can still come to Tucson and hear my system that I put together for quite a lot of money. Like I said, I will be happy to go a purchase a lesser system and have it in the exact same spot as my system and we can then A/B the two. We then can then discuss which is better and why. It would be worth it to me to go spend a couple grand on a lesser system just to prove a point.

One more thing Cowclops…One thing that I will refuse to do when I turn on my favorite CD is to think "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." If you truly believe this then you are missing the point of music.

Music is emotional.
Music is supposed to affect US emotionally.
Music is to be enjoyed and loved. (well not Britney Spears but you know what I am saying)
post #60 of 390
diamonds,

I truly think that you are attempting to describe color to someone who has only known black and white all their lives... it's futile, at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonds
Cowclops I picture the Beatles sitting around a table, playing their instruments, writing the White Album and discussing the fact that: "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." You have to be kidding me…

Cowclops have you ever played music???? I would assume no. I played in a Rock and Roll band for 25 years. In fact, have you ever turned on a CD or Album and truly enjoyed what you were listening to? Did it ever have an emotional affect on you?

The point you are missing is that audiophiles like me truly enjoy our hobby and have a deep love for music. We love music and listen to it everyday. Music enriches our life and makes us happier people. This is why we pursue the best sound reproduction we can afford.

My invitation still stands from the last post!! You and all the other skeptics can still come to Tucson and hear my system that I put together for quite a lot of money. Like I said, I will be happy to go a purchase a lesser system and have it in the exact same spot as my system and we can then A/B the two. We then can then discuss which is better and why. It would be worth it to me to go spend a couple grand on a lesser system just to prove a point.

One more thing Cowclops…One thing that I will refuse to do when I turn on my favorite CD is to think "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." If you truly believe this then you are missing the point of music.

Music is emotional.
Music is supposed to affect US emotionally.
Music is to be enjoyed and loved. (well not Britney Spears but you know what I am saying)
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