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What are the benchmarks for Objectivists?  

post #1 of 438
Thread Starter 
To be clear: Reading here from some that "if the analog waveform is reconstructed the same, two CD players will sound the same." Saying this ignores all other componentry in that player, and also assumes that the tolerances are the same among everything else. This is great, but are we to dismiss that these differences aren't audible? Are we to infer that all other components have this magical "hot button" property that causes them all to sound the same?

I need help understanding how scientists here tend to throw away so much data, in order to bolster their claims on the data they wish to focus on. Not being a scientist, I need to know how this is justified.
post #2 of 438
What data is being thrown away?
post #3 of 438
A level matched, unsighted comparison. If it leads to a reliable audible difference, then there's a difference.
The statement that they all sound the same is a trivialization.
post #4 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99
What data is being thrown away?
I think schticker was posing a rhetorical question.

While I don't consider myself firmly in either the subjectivist or the objectivist camp, I feel objectivists tend to discount the impacts of various internal components in the signal path on the audio signal. Even if they do agree that there differences in the quality of components having the same specification (for example, different brands of capacitor), there are a number of examples where their response is that the "differences are negligible and/or inaudible" - rather unscientific, coming from objectivists!

IMHO, I think the battle between objectivists and subjectists partly has its roots in emotion rather than logic. A lot of objectivists own cheap or mainly HT gear and have simply not heared true high end audio, so they cannot fathom what "hi end" sounds like.

(BTW, I don't own particularly expensive equipment or high end gear myself).
post #5 of 438
Quote:
there are a number of examples where their response is that the "differences are negligible and/or inaudible" - rather unscientific, coming from objectivists!
Well, can you quote such examples?
Quote:
IMHO, I think the battle between objectivists and subjectists partly has its roots in emotion rather than logic. A lot of objectivists own cheap or mainly HT gear and have simply not heared true high end audio, so they cannot fathom what "hi end" sounds like.
What is true high end audio? If you own a Realistic receiver and a decent set of speakers does that make you an objectivist or subjectivist?
post #6 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by machani
IMHO, I think the battle between objectivists and subjectists partly has its roots in emotion rather than logic. A lot of objectivists own cheap or mainly HT gear and have simply not heared true high end audio, so they cannot fathom what "hi end" sounds like.
It seems that no objectivist could possibly have a system resovling enough to satisfy the subjectivists. Thus the typical argument of the subjectivists is that the systems of the objectivists can't reveal the differences between components that they know are there because that is what their Golden Ears tell them. I think people don't like being told that their perceptions may be false hence the disdain both camps show for each other.
post #7 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by machani
I think schticker was posing a rhetorical question.

While I don't consider myself firmly in either the subjectivist or the objectivist camp, I feel objectivists tend to discount the impacts of various internal components in the signal path on the audio signal. Even if they do agree that there differences in the quality of components having the same specification (for example, different brands of capacitor), there are a number of examples where their response is that the "differences are negligible and/or inaudible" - rather unscientific, coming from objectivists!
It seems simple to me. As Chu said, just demonstrate that a difference can be repeatedly/reliably identified in a properly controlled blind test. That would pretty much end any debate on the components in test, IMO.
post #8 of 438
whoaru99,

I don't think it's that simple - I've read previous threads here that attempt scientific double-blind testing, but completely dissolve because the test methodology is never perfect, which leaves room for error (and later, doubt).

Examples: The famous/infamous Stereophile amp comparison test. A recent discussion in the local $20k+ forum about power amp power cords.

- Steve O.
post #9 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123
whoaru99,

I don't think it's that simple - I've read previous threads here that attempt scientific double-blind testing, but completely dissolve because the test methodology is never perfect, which leaves room for error (and later, doubt).

Examples: The famous/infamous Stereophile amp comparison test. A recent discussion in the local $20k+ forum about power amp power cords.

- Steve O.
or the current debate in the Tweaks section about power and ICs.... I don't think either side will ever win the debate.
post #10 of 438
there is no win or lose situation. the world still rotates. the audio world still goes on.

objectivists deal with fundamental notes, using unreliable bt, dbt, abxt which cannot repeat results and, not trusting their hearing impaired ears, resort to measuring equipment which may have more distortions than not and measuring irrelevant parameters

and subjectivists concentrate on harmonics, microacoustics and their own hearing ability thinking they have golden ears.

how objectivists select their equipment i dont know. does any of them ever done some sort of blind tests before they make a decision?
post #11 of 438
Wouldn't it seem, though, that the inability to repeat the results in DBT/ABX is an indication that there is no audible/meaningful difference?

I mean that's the whole point of the DBT/ABX, isn't it?
post #12 of 438
dbt/abx been around for so many years

it can mean these tests, not medical, food etc, are inappropriate for audio

otherwise the whole audio industry will take them as the true tests

in reality it has not happened and only objectivists are using it

whoaru99 do you select your equip after you have done these tests?
post #13 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpu8088
whoaru99 do you select your equip after you have done these tests?...

otherwise the whole audio industry will take them as the true tests...
For the most part, no. (Edit): But, that does not change my overall belief in the theory of a properly controlled DBT/ABX test to proof out that differences do or do not exist.

When I auditioned a Benchmark DAC1, I did some level matched testing both sighted and unsighted. The combination of these two experiences led me to the conclusion that the DAC1 was not the right choice for me.

It's all in a thread "Relative benefits of a more expensive CD player?".

As to the second part, wouldn't the high-end audio industry (especially stuff like cables) be turned upside down if they came out in support of DBT/ABX? It sure would be an embarrassment to be unable to identify differences, let alone the signature sound of your product.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the merits of the benchmarks/blind testing. :) That does not mean that I would not buy something I wanted for a particular reason even though it may be more expensive but sound the same (or at least similar enought I could not readily identify differences).
post #14 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpu8088
how objectivists select their equipment i dont know. does any of them ever done some sort of blind tests before they make a decision?
CPU that's a great question! if objectivists don't do a DBT before buying doesn't that invalidate their own argument?
post #15 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyc
CPU that's a great question! if objectivists don't do a DBT before buying doesn't that invalidate their own argument?
It just seems that pure objectivists insist that (potentially) there is no difference between the dumpiest stuff out there, and multi-thousand dollar gear.

It's kind of like DBTing food, only measuring taste and texture. If you knew that the "better" food was squid brain, you may not like it after all. :eek: I don't think that purely instrument-based testing is really telling the whole story.
post #16 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by schticker
I don't think that purely instrument-based testing is really telling the whole story.
I'm not sure there are too many people suggesting purely instrument-based decisions.

The objectivist point to me is that that if you can't identify differences in a reliable/repeatable manner in an unsighted test then there must be no difference, right? Or, worst case, the differences are too small to be detected.

Keep in mind this has nothing to do with what sounds best, looks best, weighs the most, etc. - only that the ability to identify differences exist on a repeatable basis when you don't know what gear is being played.
post #17 of 438
IMO the "objectivist" camp tend to substantiate the arguments mainly based on what elementary physics principles show about electricity and electronics concepts applied to the audio world.

The theoretical framework available so far indicates that there is no apparent reason to accept different audio components sound different, or that the measured differences are even audible. Certain audio components sound noticeably different though (speakers).

Nevertheless, human perception is involved in the equation, so in order to make sure all factors are being considered, psychoacoustics should be take into account.

The point here is to demonstrate whether the differences (if any) can be attributed to the equipment alone, or the differences are related to psychological factors such as eagerness, suggestion, expectation and some others.

In short: the Placebo effect.

The placebo effect is so strong that there are many sensory tests that are completely accepted and used in many other fields. Food Industry and Medicine are the most important. Triangle tests, minimum detectable differences, blind tests, double blind tests and some others are extensively used everyday and millionaire decisions are made based on the results of those tests!

The problem is that there have been some difficulties that (in some cases) avoided a complete and plain extrapolation of that methodology to the audio world. Those difficulties have been exagerated by the subjectivists that dare to state the methodology is not rigorous enough :rolleyes:

Yet ABX test results are still the best approach to the study of the phenomena.

All other subjective experiences and blank statements are usually based on personal believings, faith, ignorance and/or prejudice. They prove nothing, they support nothing.

Now and then, some subjective claims are so ludicrous that they provoke the sarcasm of the objective side.
post #18 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11
IMO the "objectivist" camp tend to substantiate the arguments mainly based on what elementary physics principles show about electricity and electronics concepts applied to the audio world.

The theoretical framework available so far indicates that there is no apparent reason to accept different audio components sound different, or that the measured differences are even audible. Certain audio components sound noticeably different though (speakers).

Nevertheless, human perception is involved in the equation, so in order to make sure all factors are being considered, psychoacoustics should be take into account.

The point here is to demonstrate whether the differences (if any) can be attributed to the equipment alone, or the differences are related to psychological factors such as eagerness, suggestion, expectation and some others.

In short: the Placebo effect.

The placebo effect is so strong that there are many sensory tests that are completely accepted and used in many other fields. Food Industry and Medicine are the most important. Triangle tests, minimum detectable differences, blind tests, double blind tests and some others are extensively used everyday and millionaire decisions are made based on the results of those tests!

The problem is that there have been some difficulties that (in some cases) avoided a complete and plain extrapolation of that methodology to the audio world. Those difficulties have been exagerated by the subjectivists that dare to state the methodology is not rigorous enough :rolleyes:

Yet ABX test results are still the best approach to the study of the phenomena.

All other subjective experiences and blank statements are usually based on personal believings, faith, ignorance and/or prejudice. They prove nothing, they support nothing.

Now and then, some subjective claims are so ludicrous that they provoke the sarcasm of the objective side.
It is true that the extreme subjective side is as ignorant and laughable as the other, no doubt.

That said, I often wonder what the motivation is for objectivists to poo-poo the people in the middle (like me) that know and have heard differences in a variety of components. Extreme subjectivists I think just want to take some type of elitist stance. With objectivists, it's almost as though there is some type of anger towards those that appear to be able to perceive these subtle differences. The hostility comes from the objectivist.

Like people, not all components are created equal.
post #19 of 438
Until you can speak in concrete terms instead of just generalities, schticker, no one has any idea of what these differences, subtle or not, were in relation to or under what conditions you determined there to be a difference.
post #20 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by schticker
It is true that the extreme subjective side is as ignorant and laughable as the other, no doubt.

That said, I often wonder what the motivation is for objectivists to poo-poo the people in the middle (like me) that know and have heard differences in a variety of components. Extreme subjectivists I think just want to take some type of elitist stance. With objectivists, it's almost as though there is some type of anger towards those that appear to be able to perceive these subtle differences. The hostility comes from the objectivist.

Like people, not all components are created equal.
I for one certainly do not feel any sort of anger or hostility about what other people buy. As long as it is their money and not my money being spent. :D
post #21 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Until you can speak in concrete terms instead of just generalities, schticker, no one has any idea of what these differences, subtle or not, were in relation to or under what conditions you determined there to be a difference.
Conditions? I plugged in one player and heard one things, plugged in another and heard something better.

All you need to know, really, right? Not to a pure objectivist. :rolleyes:
post #22 of 438
It's sloppy. In the words of Wednesday Addams, "Your work is puerile and underdramatised. It lacks any sense of structure, character, or the Aristotelian unities."
post #23 of 438
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
It's sloppy. In the words of Wednesday Addams, "Your work is puerile and underdramatised. It lacks any sense of structure, character, or the Aristotelian unities."
No, it's what I need to know outside of a lab, where I do not live. ;) I will completely agree that in terms of a science experiement, it does not pass muster. That is really quite irrelevant, though.

My only concerns are how that unit meshes sonically with what I own already, what I like (sonically and aesthetically), and is equal in "appropriateness" with what I already have.
post #24 of 438
I don't tend to think of careful level matching as equivalent to an arduous scientific endeavor. Even Atkinson takes some pains to do that although I don't think he then does unsighted comparisons. As you state..."Perception does not equal reality". Have a good weekend folks!
post #25 of 438
[quote=cpu8088]
objectivists deal with fundamental notes, using unreliable bt, dbt, abxt which cannot repeat results and, not trusting their hearing impaired ears, resort to measuring equipment which may have more distortions than not and measuring irrelevant parameters


OH, please, stop this silliness.


and subjectivists concentrate on harmonics, microacoustics and their own hearing ability thinking they have golden ears.

And this one as well. Meaningless. Microacoustics??? Really? Your hearing is that good??? Unproven to date. Your protocol is, well, unreliable at best.
post #26 of 438
[quote=cpu8088]dbt/abx been around for so many years

it can mean these tests, not medical, food etc, are inappropriate for audio


Absolute nonsense. You don't have any idea, do you??? Perhaps that site, how stuff works may inform you better???
Try to investigate the issue before you make such unfounded comments. Do some research in acoustic journals, audio journals and see if anyone using DBt protocol in acoustics/audio???
The hi-end is clueless, don't take your ideas from them and make absolute statements.


otherwise the whole audio industry will take them as the true tests

Actually, the audio industry in th eknow do this already. Obviously you have not investigated this either before commenting from the hip. Doesn't bode well for you.

in reality it has not happened and only objectivists are using it

In reality, you have zero idea. :eek:

whoaru99 do you select your equip after you have done these tests?

Irrelevant how he selects his components until he makes a testable claim for them, don't you think???
post #27 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyc
CPU that's a great question! if objectivists don't do a DBT before buying doesn't that invalidate their own argument?

Actually, not. Many reasons to select a component. Brand loyalty, flexibility, looks, price, etc. As modern components, well designed, are transparent, no real need to listen. But, golden ears must, a good excuse for them.
post #28 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99

Keep in mind this has nothing to do with what sounds best, looks best, weighs the most, etc. - only that the ability to identify differences exist on a repeatable basis when you don't know what gear is being played.

Well, if you cannot differentiate between components, how can one sound better unless one is biased? The others are valid reasons to pick one over the other, as are any number of other reasons.
post #29 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11
All other subjective experiences and blank statements are usually based on personal believings, faith, ignorance and/or prejudice. They prove nothing, they support nothing.
.

Well stated :D
post #30 of 438
[quote=schticker]
That said, I often wonder what the motivation is for objectivists to poo-poo the people in the middle (like me) that know and have heard differences in a variety of components.



Well, it is simple. Most likely your protocol was sighted or poorly controlled, hence, it has not much meaning and is unreliable at best. The evidence out there from controlled testing tells a different story, that is why.


Like people, not all components are created equal.


You are partly right. Some components are audibly different and it will assuredly show up in the numbers and certainly in a DBT. But, most modern components are well designed, not mystery there, and are transparent.
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