While Strolling Through The Net Today...

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by a10warthog, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    ...I stumbled upon this website (link below) some of us may find interesting. It has to do with taking a scientific, and dispassionate look at claims made regarding our audio hobby, passion, mania....however we describe our interest in audio gear.
    I hope you all take it in the spirit I intend it; purely in the interest of getting other points of view in order to better keep a proper perspective about everything audio, and as food for thought.
    The Title of the article is "A Brief Guide to Audio for the Skeptical Consumer." (I'm not the author)

    https://numeralnine.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/a-brief-guide-to-audio-for-the-skeptical-consumer/
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  2. onplane

    onplane What! No Wake???

    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks for sharing. The article is consistent with the views of many people who participate on this site.

    I do like the way they dance around tube amps. They do leave room for people who enjoy that sound.

    Jerry
     
    a10warthog likes this.
  3. SiliconTi

    SiliconTi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,715
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I disagree on #3, 4, and 6 based on my own experience.

    The others, I'll agree on.

    #3: Under normal conditions, virtually all audio amplifiers/receivers sound the same (sans EQ). They do not have their own sonic signature that must be carefully paired with speakers.

    I have a few amps, some sound better with some speakers - the Magnepans love Mac and my Haffler, they hate my Nikko, Yamaha and Kenwood.

    #4: “Burn in” factor—the idea that speakers or electronics sound better after X hours of use—is likely a delusion.

    I have noticed it with speakers. Maybe new amps need to "neutralize" via burn in, but I have never owned a new one.

    #6 The look and feel of CDs or computers can’t compete with vinyl, which can sound amazing for what it is. But there is no music lost “between the bits.” High quality digital formats are sonically superior to vinyl in every measurable way.

    If the original source for the CD and Vinyl is the same, I may agree with this, HOWEVER, many CDs were mastered from inferior sources and so they sound crappy (at one point, anything on CD was "better", so they got lazy and got the CD out as quickly as possible.

    My $0.02.
     
  4. russel1972

    russel1972 Active Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Regina, Sask.
    Great article that still lets me believe whatever I want and not feel guilty. Every time I listen to my main system, I am very happy with what I hear. Now I can be happy without feeling guilty that I don't have the latest and greatest.
    Akai AM 2850 integrated $20
    Akai AT 2600 tuner $60
    JBL 4301 speakers $30
    Pioneer CD player $15
    It's fun too listen too music, enjoy the music instead of trying to pinpoint every little thing that we may focus on that we think can be improved with something newer.
     
  5. dave1701

    dave1701 Active Member

    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    Southfield, MI

    I believe that most all of what is said on that page is true, but I do hold a little willful ignorance for the sake imagination and enjoying myself.

    In a perfect world, every statement that people made about audio would be backed up by an AB test. I think we'd find that more than 75% of claims are bogus. But the way I see it, no one is being hurt by the somewhat...imaginative ideas about audio that are held in the minds of many of us.
     
    Drumolator and a10warthog like this.
  6. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    Much of why I love vintage gear is not based on whether or not it is measurably better, sounds better, or more reliable than new(er) equip. of comparable quality. Most of the reasons I have kept my 1978 Denon turntable and LPs, and find pleasure using them is not because they sound better than my new (expensive) CD system.
    I love my old gear for its qualities which cannot be measured using math, or seen on an oscilloscope.
    I love my old gear for its aesthetics, and nostalgic qualities; it's a soul thing, not a mind thing.
    A brand new, factory TOTL Camaro will blow the doors off a classic, 1968 factory Camaro.
    But there's no nostalgia in owning a 2017 Camaro.

    Nothing worth knowing can be truly appreciated by the mind.
     
    Bubba57, WillVT and bluesky like this.
  7. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,255
    Location:
    Española NM
    I do believe that the audio industry is full of more B.S. than you can shake a stick at. I also believe that a significant percentage of that B.S. comes from so-called "objectivists".

    I disagree with all seven assertions, in whole or in part. If that makes me a Schmuck, better that than a Philistine.

    Certainty is for cretins.
     
    cratz2 likes this.
  8. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Citrus Heights CA
    I agreed with every single word.......especially this:

    2. It is unlikely that expensive CD players or DACs improve sound quality. Many of the claims these manufacturers make do not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

    • “Every low-distortion electronic signal path sounds like every other. The equipment reviewers who hear differences in soundstaging, front-to-back depth, image height, separation of instruments, etc., etc., between this and that preamplifier, CD player, or power amplifier are totally delusional. Such differences belong strictly to the domain of loudspeakers.”Electronic Signal Paths Do Not Have a Personality! @ The Audio Critic


    And this

    • “Even if you prefer the sound of tubes, please understand they simply cannot restore any quality that was lost earlier in the recording process. All a tube preamp can do is add an effect that you may find pleasing. Studio monitor amplifiers should never have a “sound;” if they do, they are in error. Tube circuits can affect the sound in a way that is similar to analog tape recorders, and you may in fact find that pleasing.”Dispelling Popular Audio Myths by Ethan Winer
     
    Judas Priest, DaveVoorhis and cratz2 like this.
  9. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Citrus Heights CA

    I agree with a lot of what you said.....especially since we own both vintage cars (well now down to my 73 Mustang) and receivers as well as newer cars and an AVR. Some old things are just too old for me to fart around with anymore. I have owned my Mustang since 1987 and while it is still pretty much stock I have put more modern parts on it to improve it while not changing it much (electronic ignition, ceramic brake pads, bigger more modern tires 235/60s, AC no longer uses R12 etc) so it remains easy to use.. I bought a brand new 05 Mustang GT for my work car (I was a traveling district manager with a 500 mile radius territory) and loved it but I still kept the 73 and when I retired unexpectedly I got rid of the 05. My wife's 07 Pt Cruiser Turbo (with CAI and a tune) can wipe the floor with my 351 4V Mustang up to about 60 or so but of course the Ford sounds a lot better while doing it.

    The same goes for vintage stereo equipment. It looks good to me and I like how it sounds (or how I think it sounds) but I use modern speakers with it. I am sure modern two channel units would probably sound the same or maybe different but I like the looks and nostalgia factor of the old stuff. We own an AVR for awesome movie sound and would never use 2 channel stereo for Blu Rays and DVDs etc, because it just is not in the same league.
     
  10. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    Citrus Heights CA
    While reading the article, this one was linked and proved a great read.....it explains the difference between subjectivists and objectivists and what they think about audio.

    http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/05/subjective-vs-objective-debate.html

    THE SUBJECTIVISTS: The hardcore Subjectivists trust their own ears above all else and often ignore, downplay, or sometimes even actively discredit objective efforts. Some argue they have superior hearing and/or listening skills and more refined tastes. That sometimes creates at least a whiff of an elitist “club” that some are drawn to (think Robb Report). But, regardless, their genuine passion for audio is to be admired. And I believe at least some of them do have superior listening skills compared to the Average Joe. Despite their more emotional left brains, which might imply a greater love of music, there’s some consensus Subjectivists spend more of their time tweaking and evaluating their hardware than a typical objectivist. Stereophile’s Michael Fremer is generally considered a strong subjectivist.

    THE OBJECTIVISTS: This group tends to prefer some sort of science, measurements, or objective listening tests to back up claims of “A is better than B”. When reading a gear review they’re more likely to skip to the measurements section (if there is one) than read subjective impressions. They tend to be skeptical of outrageous claims and ultra high priced gear. They also tend to buy less expensive gear, less often, than subjectivists making them less attractive to manufactures. As mentioned above, they tend to be more satisfied with their systems so the spend more time just listening to music rather than the gear. Some have speculated this is because they’re confident more of their hardware is already “good enough.” Peter Aczel and the late Julian Hirsch are classic audio objectivists. And a lot of the folks at Hydrogenaudio fall in this category.

    THE MODERATES: Just as with politics and religion, it’s not black and white. Some have a foot firmly in both the objective and subjective side of things. Some examples are John Atkinson at Stereophile, John Siau at Benchmark Media, and to some degree, myself. We value objective measurements but also trust our ears and just because we may not hear a difference we accept someone else might. I believe those in the middle are generally the most open minded.


    There is a lot more in the article.....very enjoyable no matter what side one comes down on.
    ACCOUNTABILITY: The subjective reviewers have it easy. If someone doesn’t agree with one of their reviews, excuses are plentiful. When subjective reviewers are questioned, I have seriously seen or heard variations of all of these responses:

    • While you might not like it I preferred the slightly more recessed presentation of the UberDAC Black Edition
    • The UberDAC is a better match with my ultra expensive reference system than your more modest gear
    • Did you use the UberLink Reverse Twisted Unobtanium cables I recommended for the UberDAC?
    • I was in a noisy restaurant for lunch immediately before reviewing the UberDAC and my ears hadn’t fully recovered
    • I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out I was in the early stages of a head cold when I reviewed the UberDAC
    • I had too much wine the night before (my personal favorite)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    DaveVoorhis likes this.
  11. bluesky

    bluesky Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,228
    Great articles!!

    STILL stick by my 'feelings':
    1. LPs sound totally engaging. Not as accurate, but a lot more WOW.
    2. CDs put me to sleep. 'Some' sound great but are not engaging - to me. And... after I play 3... I'm fried - bored, & Finished.
    3. There is BIG DIFFERENCES in the sound quality of different vintage amps - even when new. Which is why most guys always bought this amp over that amp. Flavor, DEPTH, or whatever. But it is true. If I can hear it, anyone can!

    &... "it's a 'soul thing', not a mind thing, which cannot be measured using math, or seen on an oscilloscope ." :) As a10warthog said.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  12. evsentry3

    evsentry3 Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I disagree with every one of those silly statements.

    Following that authors path is the way to mediocre, unexciting, bland, fatiguing audio that will cause you to nervously sort through what's available, never completing any one cut. And then shortly lead to your attention being on something else handy and then shortly getting up and going on to something else with the music turned back off.

    It's sad to think that people come close, but fall short of greater satisfaction all over trying to follow something other than their ears.

    EV3
     
    maxhifi, E-Stat and darkblue94 like this.
  13. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,886
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    I agree, but the OP keeps pushing an agenda of argumentative post lately, baiting the site to comment on them.
     
    Bubba57 and darkblue94 like this.
  14. Dr. Morbius

    Dr. Morbius I.N.T.E.R.O.C.I.T.O.R.

    Messages:
    3,104
    Location:
    Indianoplace, IN
    I take all of my audio advice from Selena Gomez. That's all the science I need, bro! ;)
     
    Ronald1973 and biscuithead like this.
  15. evsentry3

    evsentry3 Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Actually, the shorthand name usually used like you did is "science", but the full name is "internet science".

    EV3
     
    darkblue94 and Dr. Morbius like this.
  16. Jeffery

    Jeffery High Powered Mutant Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,021
    Location:
    Timbuktu, Mali


    There you go, last word on the subject.
     
  17. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,886
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    Cool I'll just dump my gear at a fire sale price and go to Goodwill and buy a $10.00 AVR. :thumbsup:

    I just knew I was being hoodwinked:(
     
    rcspkramp and darkblue94 like this.
  18. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    17,503
    Location:
    SE PA
    The first numbered statement was enough for me to move on. That was is just wrong.

    I had my amps plugged into the preamp that had outlets designed to handle that load and more. Moved the amps to the wall outlet and had considerably better sound. nuff said, cable talk is just for arguments now and I don't care what anyone thinks. I know what works for me and don't care if someone wants to do something different. Rest of that article is probably just as full of holes.
     
    darkblue94 likes this.
  19. Will S.

    Will S. AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    886
    Magnepans are notoriously difficult loads. It's likely that your Nikko, Yamaha and Kenwood amps can't deliver current like your Mac and Hafler. As such, the lesser amps won't be able to deliver clean, undistorted power at normal listening levels like the better ones when driving the Magnepans. That's not inconsistent with the skeptic's approach.
     
    Bodyblue likes this.
  20. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,116
    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    Actually a Magnepan is not a difficult load at all. It is a stable 4 ohm load across the spectrum. Now the addition of ribbon tweeters might change that, but not at the levels where a lot of current is being drawn.

    Panel speakers that were difficult loads were full range Martin Logans like the CLS, Acoustats, Apogees, King Sound and a few others. But these are true electrostatics or ribbon speakers.

    Magnepans are a standard speaker with a magnet array and voice coil printed on a mylar panel. They may be inefficient, but they are not a difficult load.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
    91r100gs, MacNoob, E-Stat and 2 others like this.

Share This Page