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Audiophilia: hobby or disease?
Hobby 17%  17%  [ 10 ]
Disease 31%  31%  [ 18 ]
could go either way 39%  39%  [ 23 ]
Your mom goes to college 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
We shewt people who use dem big purty words 'round here 10%  10%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 59
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 Post subject: Audiophilia: hobby or disease? (CONTINUED)
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:09 pm 
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This thread is a spinoff of a discussion contained in the latter part of this post. Please read the aforementioned post before responding to anything here! We do not need to repeat ourselves. :wink:


Last edited by Green Shoes on Tue May 10, 2005 7:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:18 pm 
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BobDog wrote:
Audio can be inexpensive too if you want it to be.


But can Audiophilia be innexpensive?

(I guess it can, if you're one of those people that believes an old record player is better than a high end CD player)

BobDog wrote:
On the other hand, like audio, silencing CAN be expensive... I've got over $5000.00 in parts into my silent PC (it is not yet built, I'm waiting for the fabrication to be completed on my chassis/heatpipe solution).


$5000 of PC-silencing parts? What are you getting, a case made out of sorbothane?

PC's are expensive. That's because they can do a ton of things. Silencing does not have to add much at all to the cost. In fact, it can actually save you a lot of money over obssesive overclocking. Audio is just the opposite, it can cost little, or it can cost a ton.

BobDog wrote:
and even the rigs that rely more on dremels and ingenuity than expensive parts require huge investments of time and skill to get right...


I'm getting the impression that a messily cut PC would really bother you. Cutting out obstructive fan grills with tin snips is not rocket science (and it's not a truck pulling contest either).


BobDog wrote:
In any event, when people see a Lamborghini driving down the street, they don't think “look at that dumb bastard who spent $200,000.00 more on that car than a Hyundai even though it is only a few seconds faster 0-60.” They say “wow, nice freakin' car.”


*AHEM*

http://www.fuh2.com/

Okay, so it's not exactly about gearheads, but it's similar.

And I would laugh my ass of if I ever saw someone wrecking their low floored supercar on a speed bump.

BobDog wrote:
And yes, cable risers are a great bargain and if they can now really be had for $2.00/ea., EVERYONE should buy them.


Why? How do they do anything to help?


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:43 pm 
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yay! time to rant over percieved differences. not just audiophiles, but things that make your engine run better, your cellphone battery last longer, or your water taste better.

to justify the difference between two things you have to do a double blind test. you have the listener not be aware of which state the equipment is in, then switch multiple times, sometimes just pretend to switch it and don't. best would be to have the listner blindfolded and remove them from the room while switching. then also have multiple people all do this double blind test.

if your testing a magic fuel saver, drive till it runs to empty, record milage, drive again with the device, and repeat this test multiple times.

if everyone can repeatedly tell the difference, than it's scientifically acceptable.

people are easily manipulated. watch "penn & teller: bullshit". they rub fake magnets on people pretending to heal them, and other "snake oil" tricks. and people believe they are feeling something because they want to believe. a good read is www.dansdata.com he gets samples to review of all sorts of things, and he usually is very scientific in his analysis. but he'll get letters from people who swear up and down that whatever he debunked actually works and insult his parentage, yet they never did a double blind test.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:44 pm 
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The same way that Homeopathic medicine can cure diseases.

The human brain can do amazing things just by beliving in them.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:54 pm 
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mathias wrote:
BobDog wrote:
On the other hand, like audio, silencing CAN be expensive... I've got over $5000.00 in parts into my silent PC (it is not yet built, I'm waiting for the fabrication to be completed on my chassis/heatpipe solution).


$5000 of PC-silencing parts? What are you getting, a case made out of sorbothane?


Custom chassis/heatpipes! Imagine something on the scale of this case, and add components powerful (and expensive) enough to warrant passive cooling of that magnitude. Assuming it's going to have some kind of FX-55, dual SLI setup and RAID 1000(!) I'm going to say "wow, nice freakin' rig" ;) Otherwise, I'll say "wow, nice freakin' chassis and upgrade potential" instead, and you can probably achieve silence for half the cost and maybe a few clever mods.

mathias wrote:
And I would laugh my ass of if I ever saw someone wrecking their low floored supercar on a speed bump.


By 'supercar', you mean a pre-1990 hatchback with added spoiler & air dam?
I'm quite disappointed that nobody's gone 2 Fast 2 Furious with a Smart car...



I don't think I will really understand audiophilia - I can hear a difference, but it is of little consequence to me up to a certain point, it doesn't affect my enjoyment.

Chasing after audio perfection is a waste of money if you don't know when you've reached your goal, but people do it regardless (as they do in other areas). And don't forget you may also have the placebo effect to deal with. At least with computers you can get a quantitave benchmark, even if you can't see the extra FPS you got with your mad overclocking skillzz!1.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:16 pm 
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StarfishChris wrote:

By 'supercar', you mean a pre-1990 hatchback with added spoiler & air dam?


I heard that word in one of the need for speed games, so I mean something that you'd find in those. Except of course the big rig that can go 210MPH, the monorail, or the outhouse.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:25 pm 
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What the #$&! does raising a cable off the floor do?

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:54 pm 
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i recall this debate many times over at hydrogenaudio.org, and the audiophile side always comes out with the bruises. so much of the gear is completely worthless, and so many of the perceived improvements in sound actually take you further from the sound-as-recorded (i.e. you're moving away from source transparency, not towards it) that i see little need for gear that you couldn't get off the shelf from say walmart. of course if the goal is to create a more pleasant sound instead of a more accurate one, then audiophile gear may have some use.

all i look for is a lack of buzz/hum when idle, ability to output over my threshold of hearing (17500 hz last time i checked) and ergonomics. for serious listening (transposing, compression artifact detection, codec tweaking, producing, etc.) you should have headphones anyway for imaging purposes.

now there are occasions when i can imagine the need for a monstrous setup (some users at hydrogenaudio have hearing that defies belief, detecting artifacts in mpc that i couldn't notice with 150+ fewer kbps) but the fact is, 90+% of people with an audiophilic setup would fail a double-blind test with a system from walmart or radioshack.

and why not, i'll keep ranting :twisted: the difference between audiophilia and silencephilia is that silencing computers has a real, measurable goal - a reduction in sound pressure. audiophiles seem to have no set goal, although there is a small and very respectable bunch that truly seeks accurate reproduction. but then there's the rest, the vocal majority. vinyl lovers? completely misguided. monster cable? please. cd polish, gold connectors, $500 freaking *DIGITAL* cables?!?!?!?!! it blows my mind sometimes, perhaps i should relabel some radioshack spdif cabling and sell it for $1000 a metre too. i'd coat it in uv-dried samoan banana peels to ward off neutrino bursts from nebulaic supernovas, they completely drain the warmth out of the bass.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 7:55 pm 
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yeha, you had me rolling on the floor. But I think when you said
yeha wrote:
and so many of the perceived improvements in sound actually take you further from the sound-as-recorded (i.e. you're moving away from source transparency, not towards it)

you really hit the nail on the head. It's one thing when you're recording music; Neve preamps are so sought after precisely because of the character they add to the sound, same with tube amps and most singers. But you would never put a large-diaphragm condenser on a snare drum. And by the time we get the music, I have put faith in the producer that he/she has made the best product possible. To buy equipment that doesn't accurately reproduce it seems counter-productive. I suppose if you only listen to smooth jazz, or only to bubble-gum pop (you've got lots of problems if that's the case), then you can buy gear with characteristics that complement that particular style of music.....but there's no way I could ever do that.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 8:24 pm 
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lol yeha.

Oh yeah and to answer Green Shoes: disease

edit: ok, disease, but also harmless and educational hobby with the sincerest of intentions

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 8:27 pm 
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yeha wrote:
and why not, i'll keep ranting :twisted: the difference between audiophilia and silencephilia is that silencing computers has a real, measurable goal - a reduction in sound pressure. audiophiles seem to have no set goal

I dunno, that seems to be the case here sometimes with the hardcore silencers. :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 10:31 pm 
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Sigh… like I said before, I do not understand all the hostility towards hi-end audio, particularly in a techno-friendly environment such as this one… but I digress. Since no one is going to stick up for the A-files, and since we feel the need to devote an entire thread to this topic, I’ll do the best I can to respond (there is a lot to respond to so this is a l-o-n-g post, you have been forewarned :shock: ):

tay wrote:
What the #$&! does raising a cable off the floor do?


OK. Electricity travels through the cables on the floor, some leaches out. This is stored in the carpet as static electricity (the earlier poster who thinks that carpets do not/cannot do this has apparently never shocked himself when crossing a carpeted room in sox, I guess). This electricity is then released back into the cables, interfering with the signal traveling down it. Simple.

I do not see why a cable manufacturer could not effectively shield their cables from this effect, though I expect their doing so would cost much more then the cable elevators (hi-end cable manufacturers mark up everything well over 20 times parts costs). One cable company, I unfortunately forgot which, has designed elevators into their cables, however.

NOTE: Cable lifters will do little if anything on a hard wood floor. Also, presumably, one need not buy cable elevators and could fashion something of their own to get their cables off the floor, but I have heard mixed reviews of attempts at doing this. I'd like to say that I have tried several such home-brew attempts but, truth be told, I just bought the elevators (they are pretty cheap) was thrilled with their performance, and left it at that. I have been double blinded, and I have forced friends and family to sit through double blind tests on exactly this tweak and ALL have consistently identified (and preferred) the lifters in the system. That is why everyone should buy them if they are $2.00/ea.

mathias wrote:
But can Audiophilia be innexpensive?

(I guess it can, if you're one of those people that believes an old record player is better than a high end CD player)


Records DO sound better than CDs (and even better than the awesome EMM Labs combo., playing SACDs, IMHO). If you spend the same amount of $$$ on a CD player and a 'table, the 'table will almost always sound better... beware you do not stumble upon a Rockport Sirius III turntable, however ($70k for the 'table and arm, cartridge extra; I have never been privileged to hear one, but I have been told that it is a religious experience).

More to the point, great performance can be had for very low prices as well (as in so many things, the point of diminishing returns in audio kick in quite early): Vandersteen and Gallo speakers punch so far above their weight that it is not even funny. I love what NAD can do for A-philes on a budget and I love, LOVE the Rega CD players; although Linn is not for everyone, I think their stuff kills at their respective price points, some of which are quite low (some of which are also quite high :wink: ). Audiophilia CAN indeed be inexpensive.

yeha wrote:
i see little need for gear that you couldn't get off the shelf from say walmart.


Yeha may be deaf.

Green Shoes wrote:
To buy equipment that doesn't accurately reproduce it seems counter-productive.


I could not agree MORE. Much audiophile gear is just really very, very expensive tone-controls. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard very pricy gear that sounded beautiful and also obscured EVERYTHING. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard really expensive great that sounded like dreck and still obscured EVERYTHING.

This is not the same as saying that better, more truthful, and more transparent gear does not exist. It does. Listen to the EMM Labs stuff just once in your life--you will not know what to think, I swear.

StarfishChris wrote:
I don't think I will really understand audiophilia - I can hear a difference, but it is of little consequence to me up to a certain point, it doesn't affect my enjoyment.


Some don’t mind the fact that their computers sound like leaf blowers either… but no one flames those that do….

In any case, yes Chris, I know what you mean... sort of. The whole reason I am in this forum is because I have given up my relentless pursuit of audio perfection (to ME, as many have posted, there is no objective criterion for perfection but if it is my ears and my money, why should they care how I spend it?) and am now doing HTPC because (a) I wanted to watch movies as well, (b) I was going broke, (c) music was no longer fun, and (d) I was buying CDs and SACDs because they would sound good on my system and not because I actually liked the music on them--this was the biggest warning sign that something was very amiss.

Despite the fact that I had a $35000.00 stereo downstairs, I was spending most of my time listening to music on my Gateway office PC (with an Audigy sound card, for God's sake!). Part of this had to do with the amount of time I spent working in my office, but a lot of it was because I didn't feel like listening to music any more when doing so was akin to a Sacred Rite: carrying the single CD to its awaiting transport atop a red velvet pillow with the lights dimmed and all that. Windows Media Player was quick, easy, and I could listen to any CD I wanted in any order at any time--wow, what a concept! Also, I could just enjoy the music, I could again listen to the less-than-perfect rock albums that sounded like crap on my big-rig, I did not feel the need to naval-gaze and contemplate the music as I heard it, I did not feel the need to agonize over the 80Hz room node in my main listening room (endless sleepless nights, I can tell you).

I thought, “who needs this”? I sold most off my mega gear, settled for some relatively inexpensive Krell electronics and massively scaled down AC line treatments (I am still debating what to do with my mbl speakers--I love them soooooooooo much, but I cannot afford 3 more at this time to do HT), and I have attempted to build what I hope will be a great HTPC, and I pocketed several thousand dollars in the deal (which then gave to the IRS :( ).

All this is NOT to say that better audio gear is not better, measurably, audibly, and emotionally. I have done double blind tests up the ass, worked for audio companies, gone to trade shows and conventions, I believe that I really know what I am taking about on this score (unlike, say, Yeha). If audio is your sand-box, then you should play in it and be happy, there are tons of great things to find in there! I, personally, just had to get off the the-next-up-grade-is-just-around-the-corner merry-go-round!

mathias wrote:
$5000 of PC-silencing parts? What are you getting, a case made out of sorbothane?


StarfishChris wrote:
Custom chassis/heatpipes! Imagine something on the scale of this case (Zalman TNN -500AN), and add components powerful (and expensive) enough to warrant passive cooling of that magnitude.


No, not $5000.00 in silencing parts, that's for the whole computer. I was waiting to get the case and build the computer before posting on it, but for the interested, my system is/will be (everything is purchased and waiting in my garage for the arrival of the case--should be less than a month more... I hope):

Case: A-tech Fabrication HeatSync Case 6000. This case has custom heatpipes for both the GPU and CPU. http://www.atechfabrication.com/product ... c_6000.htm
MOBO: Asus A8N-E, chipset fan replaced with Zalman passive cooler.
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Newcastle (bought it before the Venice cores came out, but I dont think it'll make too much differenc to me; I don't need much, it's just an HTPC/music server, not a gamer).
Memory: 1GB Geil DDR 400, run in dual ch.
PSU: Silverstone ST30NF (fanless).
Optical Drive: Pioneer DVR-K04L. Suggested by A-tech, now wish I had saved myself some trouble and not gotten a notebook drive, all things considered. Too bad, it's already sitting in my garage and I'm not going to sweat it too much. It is likely noisy, but I don't care: once all my media is ripped, I will never run it anyway.
Monitor/remote control: Gateway/Motion Computing M1300 tablet PC (fanless) and USB-IRT (connected to tablet docking station).
Storage: (a) 2 SimpleTech 2GB solid-state HDDs, 2.5" form factor; one for the HTPC, one for the tablet. These will hold the OS and networking drivers only. (b) A 1 TB NAS box from Buffalo Technology for movies and music (to be stored in the garage). Wired or wireless networking (Belkin pre-N) to be determined after the computer gets here and is up and running.
Video: X600 pci all-in-wonder; again, I am not a gamer.
Audio: Lynx L-22. I am planning on using the digital out only, but I'll give the on-board DACs a try to see what I can see. The Lynx has extensive jitter suppression on-board (why I bought it), and an input for an external word-clock generator (a future upgrade, maybe, we'll see).
Front End: X-Lobby (if I can get it running :shock: ). If looks cool, supports foobar (for kernel-streaming), and it's free!

I do not like the idea of modding too much. I like to get the right parts and have them work the first time--and keep on working, under warrantee. This is NOT, in any way a negative remark on those who do like to mod--I have been very, very impressed with many the systems I have seen here (and a little jealous at what those more capable than I have been able to do). My desire for built-up systems comes from my wish for simplicity and my total, utter, and complete lack of any of the skills required for successful modding. For those who can mod however, I think they must :D !


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 11:22 pm 
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BobDog wrote:
OK. Electricity travels through the cables on the floor, some leaches out. This is stored in the carpet as static electricity (the earlier poster who thinks that carpets do not/cannot do this has apparently never shocked himself when crossing a carpeted room in sox, I guess). This electricity is then released back into the cables, interfering with the signal traveling down it. Simple.

I do not see why a cable manufacturer could not effectively shield their cables from this effect, though I expect their doing so would cost much more then the cable elevators (hi-end cable manufacturers mark up everything well over 20 times parts costs).


Oh, okay. Maybe it would be practical to insulate cables yourself, especially if you were to run them under a carpet. I thought that this could be done for EMI shielding, when trying to think of a use for EMI shielding copper tape mentioned in a recent thread, and I'm guessing that the most effective way would be to alternate layers of the copper tape and insulative material.

BobDog wrote:
Some don’t mind the fact that their computers sound like leaf blowers either… but no one flames those that do….


Even if they don't mind on a conscious level, doesn't mean it doesn't affect them negatively in some way.


I think your post demonstrates the reasons for hostility towards high end audio very well. Especially since you claim to be of the relatively sane type of audiophile.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 11:22 pm 
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uhoh..

BobDog wrote:
OK. Electricity travels through the cables on the floor, some leaches out. This is stored in the carpet as static electricity (the earlier poster who thinks that carpets do not/cannot do this has apparently never shocked himself when crossing a carpeted room in sox, I guess). This electricity is then released back into the cables, interfering with the signal traveling down it. Simple.


come again? electricity leeches out of speaker cable? then leeches back in? got any snr measurements or oscilloscope readings to back that up? or an outline of the physics involved?

were that the case, to paraphrase Otto42 regarding those triad cable lifts, "most carpet materials are made out of nylon or some variation thereof, giving them a dielectric constant of around 3 compared to air's 1, and glass's 5 to 10. the triad stands are made of maple with a dielectric constant of 4.4 or so, meaning the cable stands will absorb and smear the electricity/music more than the carpet could have!" if some poor sap used glass stands it'd be even worse, increasing the hilarity further.

BobDog wrote:
NOTE: Cable lifters will do little if anything on a hard wood floor.


well that's odd, since if anything the wood should produce much more smearing and interference than carpet, if we're obeying the laws of physics. if it smears on carpet, it'll smear 50% more on wood.........

BobDog wrote:
Records DO sound better than CDs (and even better than the awesome EMM Labs combo., playing SACDs, IMHO). If you spend the same amount of $$$ on a CD player and a 'table, the 'table will almost always sound better... beware you do not stumble upon a Rockport Sirius III turntable, however ($70k for the 'table and arm, cartridge extra; I have never been privileged to hear one, but I have been told that it is a religious experience).


define sound better. at reproducing recorded sounds? digital is better at that, vinyl is provably inferior in frequency range and signal ratio (vinyl = 75db, cd = 96db) and it even degrades over time. many people prefer the sound of vinyl because of its inaccuracies, but the idea of it being a better recording medium than even run-of-the-mill cd audio is just plain incorrect. unless you can cite a paper that shows vinyl records having snr's of 100+ db with accurate frequency responses from 1 to 20000 hz..

BobDog wrote:
Yeha may be deaf.


or, since i've had blind testing runs with friends to analyse mp3 codecs and outscored over 20 people now at detecting artifacts, i have extremely good hearing for my age group (mid 20's).

i can see the fascination with high-spec parts, it's obvious, but the fact is you can measure the performance of playback equipment by using a digital source, recording the playback of it with good equipment and seeing how accurately it was recreated. many high-end parts distort the sound so that it sounds 'better', but it's certainly less accurate than many cheap-as-chips parts, and i care about accuracy. if i want to mess with recordings i'll do it with dsp's, not mysterious black boxes that companies try to sell me for 10,000% markups.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 1:21 am 
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yeha wrote:
come again? electricity leeches out of speaker cable? then leeches back in? got any snr measurements or oscilloscope readings to back that up? or an outline of the physics involved?

Well... I just listen, that has always been enough for me. My friends at Gallo Acoustics did do some research into this and found pretty much what I have been telling you. I spoke to them about it, I do not know if they have published anything.
yeha wrote:
most carpet materials are made out of nylon or some variation thereof, giving them a dielectric constant of around 3 compared to air's 1, and glass's 5 to 10.

Are you just making this up or do you know what you are talking about? The dielectric constant is the ability of a material to pass current--not absorb or store it. I am not sure exactly what you are getting at here... do you?
yeha wrote:
the wood should produce much more smearing and interference than carpet

Wood neither stores nor discharges static charge. See above.
yeha wrote:
define sound better. at reproducing recorded sounds? digital is better at that, vinyl is provably inferior in frequency range and signal ratio (vinyl = 75db, cd = 96db) and it even degrades over time.

I have read some very interesting papers (particularly in Stereophile magazine) that argue that vinyl has much more dynamic range than people originally thought because they had underestimated the fineness of the motions of the vinyl cutting lathes. Having not done the original studies, nor have I even read them, I am in no position to comment on these reports. I just note them for your benefit.

More to the point, dynamic range is only one measure of fidelity... an important one, but likely not THE most important one at that. Take an analogue (electrical) signal, sample it discontinuously, decimate it, reconstruct it, pass it through noise-shaping and/or brick-wall filters, (each step being subject to errors or distortions of their own) and then see how true the output is to a purely analogue medium. How embarrassing it must have been for perfect-sound-forever people, such as yourself, when even Sony and Philips (implicitly) admitted the failings of CD and rolled out SACD (and DVD-A for the DVD-A alliance)--the newer betterer, perfecter, perfect-sound-forever. Why does the Library of Congress continue to archive in analogue, waiting for the next, better, better, best digital technology to come along and displace it? Because digital has still not caught up.

I am not saying that digital cannot be made as good as analogue (I hope it is, I like the convenience and durability of digital), or that it is doomed forever. I am just saying that, right now, with the recording, storage, and playback technologies of today, digital is not as good. (BTW, how embarrassed was I when I swore that only up-sampling could ever make CDs even listenable, and that 16/44.1 technology was hopelessly flawed, and then filterless DACs from the likes of Zanden came along and blew most of the up-samplers out of the water--advancing technologies have forced me to reassess my beliefs in the past and likely will again in the future... I guess just not you).

Yeha wrote:
BobDog wrote:
Yeha may be deaf.

I cannot say for sure. Nothing you have said has convinced me otherwise, however.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 1:44 am 
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mathias wrote:
Bobdog wrote:
Some don’t mind the fact that their computers sound like leaf blowers either… but no one flames those that do….


Even if they don't mind on a conscious level, doesn't mean it doesn't affect them negatively in some way.


I don’t want a loud computer—that’s why I came to SPCR in the first place! I think that whining fans and hard drives likely do get to everyone eventually--perhaps only on a subconscious level. I know that working on my noisy-as-hell Gateway without music playing... loudly… gets me tense and often I cannot even figure out why I feel that way. I’m not sure I see your point.

mathias wrote:
I think your post demonstrates the reasons for hostility towards high end audio very well. Especially since you claim to be of the relatively sane type of audiophile.


Why exactly has my post "demonstrat[ed] the reasons for hostility towards high end audio"? I (1) Tried to explain why isolating your cables worked as well as it does; (2) Argued that you could be an audiophile on a tight budget and offered some examples of good, inexpensive gear; (3) Called yehe deaf, ok, that could be seen as a little off-putting by some; (4) Agreed with Green Shoes that euphonic sound is a poor substitute for accuracy and also agreed that far too many high end companies abuse this rule anyway; (5) Agreed with StarfishChris that, though differences may not be difficult to perceive, whether getting to them is worth the time and money involved is a personal choice, not one I would force on anyone; and (6) outlined my future HTPC.

I am sorry, but I do not understand what there was particularly objectionable... and I do think I'm pretty “sane,” I even gave up really bleeding-edge audio, as I noted in my earlier post. Other than the yehe comment, I think the most controversial thing I said was that people ought to go out and listen to some good quality gear before they pass blanket judgments on the high end as a whole. Is that a particularly troubling suggestion to you? I didn't mean it to be.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:28 am 
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I can definitely feel for all those audiophiles out there.

What I like best is to buy second hand gear off them for peanuts, because they got to have "the next best thing".

Nakamichi 6-cd player + Boston Acoustics lc-30 speakers, all for 400$, for example hehe :), oh and I use Ace hardware store 1$ cable to connect them all..

Personally I think that beyond 1000$ per device the improvements are marginal at best, even for pro-audio.

If you want perfect reproduction go out to a concert, I can assure you that for 70K$ you can have at least 500 religious experiences with U2, the best philharmonic orchestras, opera's and what not.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:35 am 
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There are always two camps in these discussions.

- rationalists who, imo quite rightly, want to see some academic proof that a cable riser or a $3800 (i saw one the other day) power cord influence sound. Influence, because why would it be better? The amount of blabla on manufacturers sites is just sad. People in the rationalist camp are more technically minded and also have build in alarm systems when they encounter expensive products without any scientific proof that they work. And again: work, be that positively or negatively.

- others who, do not hold any value to academic proof and are therefore open to trying everything. Cardboard under your amplifier, cable risers, $500 wooden volume knobs, magic platinum plated vibrating cones etc. The amount of nonsense that tries to explain why 'my product is better' is staggering. I hope one day a consumer organisation has the power to sue them.. Anyway, in a way these 'believers' people are more open as they want to try everything out. To me though, this 'lack of build in alarm system for dubious devices' is dangerous. Some points:

* with all the tweaks, the sound is often said to be 'a big improvement' or at least a substantial one. Clearly audible. "My wife hears the difference" etc etc. Firstly, wifes or girlfriends tend to say 'yes' to small things that make us happy, especially when the topic is boring to them! :) And if there are differences at all, they can only be very subtle. Certainly not in the shape off "as if a curtain was removed in front of the speakers". If so, you admit you where basically listening to pretty poor sound before, despite having paid a substantial amount of $ or €.

* Why does it almost NEVER sound worse? And why are the more expensive things nearly always 'better'? My alarm goes ringing again here.

* Why is it only with audio? Why does normal wiring suffice in space craft, medical instruments, and state of the art industry? Why are there no expensive dampers under a heart/lung machine? Because it doesn't make a difference....

* The non rational audio guy overestimates his hearing. What is truly going on is the brain in some complex way makes things sound better. Now this is a difficult situation. I seriously think that to buyers of audio 'gadgets' things really sound better to them. The audio signal has not or barely changed, but the postprocessing in the brain has. This makes it almost 'justified' even from my rational point of view. Placebo can work, the mind is the most beautifull and complex thing, perhaps it is unfair to just look rationally.

* should audio guys disagree with the above, and most of them do, convinced that they actually hear a difference in sound signal and not just 'brain postprocessing' things go messy:

1) The rationalist proposes a blind or double blind test. If you don't know what hardware is playing, yet you still pick out in which cases there was cardboard underneath the amp? Wow, hats off I loose. Differences are said to be at least 'considerable' so it shouldn't be too hard? Blind tests are often refused, but also often taken on.

Refused: "You can't hear the difference immediately, the sound has to gradually grow as it where, it doesn't work just playing one track and then switching hardware." Ok so the differences in sound are actually very small then if you think you can't hear them at first? And how will you ever remember how it sounded originaly before you switched cable or damper or whatever? Our brain doesn't store audio that well, it stores music and emotions. Unless you proof it with a blind test I'm firmly in the "you make the differences up" camp.

Taken on: Very interesting this, on a dutch audio forum the Uber Rationalist often challenges people to do a blind test of equipment. He is on the extreme of the spectrum saying that cables and cd players are all alike. The listeners where both rationalists and 'believers' so to say, and most of all they had an enjoyable afternoon chatting away and having a cuppa. (Very important that: both sides get along better in real life than on the internet! :)

The interlink test was interesting. A $2 bog standard link, a $75 better shielded, better connectors type cable and a $500+ siltech cable. The panel blindly scored the bog standard cable equal to the siltech. A small majority preferred the middle cable fairly consistently, although all of them had trouble saying which was 'better'. Very slightly different but hard to define better. A CD player test was also held with the same results. The cheaper players weren't consistenly rated worse than far more expensive players.

What I don't understand is that despite these results, the 'believers' still believe and would hapily buy an expensive cable despite that they heard with their own ears that it was as good as the standard cable. Surely a $2500 cd player should WIPE THE FLOOR with a $125 one? Your granddad should instantly hear the difference between a $2 cable or a $500 one? I did a test with my neighbour, who is an audiophile and doesn't mind me saying so. His system in my room, my system in his room. O my! such a difference! His hard / wood / stone room compared to my smaller more damped quarters. It was like listening to a totally different system. He invited me over the other day to listen to a $200 power cord.... His music collection is about 50 cds... sigh!

the price difference, going back to the blind test, was 2350+ 498 = $ 2848. That is 175 cd's, the sad thing being that there are many guys with $2500 cd players that don't even HAVE a music collection like that!

Although big money is often spend on the whole audio system, little or none goes to the acoustics. Yet the biggest factor, once you have 'decent' components, is the room in which they play. Positioning of the speakers in the room is of great importance as well, which is also forgotten more often than not.

2) often the rationalist is described as deaf

3) very often the rationalist audio system is said to be inadequate to allow the sound improvements to be heard.

That is laughable!.. Until proven in a blind test..

End note:
Most importantly, and already mentioned, the non believers and believers had a great time doing the blind test. Most luckily agree that it is about enjoying the music, and there is more to life. Believers and non believers are here to stay, and so are their differences..


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:11 am 
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An excellent post niels. Thank you!

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:07 am 
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nice post niels.

Still to this day the only place I can really hear huge differences in sound is the speakers; I don't mind dropping a load on those. the algorithms that the pre/pros use can be pretty big, too. Gotta know where the money counts (like CRT front-projection....mmmm....)

Oh, I made this a poll, too, just for some kicks. It'll be interesting to see the results :wink: .


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:34 am 
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Interesting thread :)

I dont think i can call myself an audiophile, but i do care about sound. I dont have room for speakers so im on Headphones, a pair of Grado 325i :)

There was an interesting dicussion over at a finnish hifi-forum not so long ago, about computers with good sound-cards vs. cd-players, the opinion seemed to be that the same machinery is used in both computer drives and seriously expensive hifi-equipment, and a pc combined with a good stereo soundcard was very good in comparison. The current cd/dvd players are able to transfer the signal digitally throug the IDE-cables, and with high-quality DACs on a sound-card the sound is indeed very good compared to even 1000$ cd-players.

I will probably buy a ESI Juli@ soundcard, and a headphone amp so i can more easily control the volume, and get every bit of performance out of the headphones. Currently looking for a high-quality used headphone-amp.. Preferably one with two inputs, havent seen many of those around though.

Currently im running the Grados with a Audigy2, Grados are easily driven even by portable players so its enough power, about half the volume is enough for normal listening. I mean the windows controlled volume, currently i dont have anything else to control volume with.. I use Foobar2000, its pretty handy when it can slow the drives down to 2x when playing audio, nero drive-speed didnt work on my drives.

I dont have room for a table either, though i cant deny there is "something" with vinyl that doesnt exist on all the digital media..

Im quite happy with the sound of the Grados, they are amaizingly detailed without being fatiguing. I compared Grados to the Sennheiser 650 before buying, both driven by the same Creek headphone-amp, and i preferred the sound of the Grados so i got them. The Senns are more comfortable though..

Oh and someone mentioned supercars, i would probably cry if i saw one being wrecked on a speedbump.. :shock: Never mind the civics someone also mentioned... :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:44 am 
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nici wrote:
i cant deny there is "something" with vinyl that doesnt exist on all the digital media..

Scratches?

(sorry, I couldn't help myself)


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:13 am 
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nici wrote:
i cant deny there is "something" with vinyl that doesnt exist on all the digital media..


It's the miracle of analog! :D Seriously, it is. Not having to deal with sampling rates and bit depth really helps the sound...the bad thing about vinyl is it has (as alleycat mentioned) a hard time standing up to the rigors of, well, daily use.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:27 am 
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Green Shoes,

Yep, speakers matter. All the distortion values in cd players and amps are like 0.000x but in speakers and filters a lot more goes 'wrong'. The room can make just as much or more of a difference though, as I found out at my neighbour's.

My speakers transformed from harsh and sharp to clear but soft replacing the tweeters and the filter. I love music and 'building stuff', so I will certainly make some 'cooler' speakers someday, that will hopefully sound even better.. Then there is this phenomena called 'neighbours' :(.


Back to the audio industry for a bit. Isn't it strange? I can't think of any other market where 'voodoo' marketing and pricing is so extreme..

Computers: Pay more and you get a faster one that might make your work a lot faster and more productive. Or you spend money to make it silent as a few of us tend to do.

Cars: expensive ones are more comfortable or faster. Pricing is fairly extreme at the top but a 'great' car is only 4 times more expensive than a 'good' car. Plus you can see / feel / hear the differences

Jewelery: Prices can be extreme, but hand made 2342341234 part watches are a work of art, that I can definitely see the point in.

Some brands of whatever product might get away with insane pricing but I can't remember ever being so shocked at wat is thought up, made, talked engineering nonsense about on a site and then sold in the audio world, probably delivering less quality and uniqueness than, say, clothing brands or Rolex or Ferrari.. If PC silencing was like the Hifi world, Uber Nexus 120mm fans would cost $250. You would get a low speed Yate Loon with a small gold sticker that says 'QC passed' .. :(

The serious problem I have with this is that 'joe the punter', who doesn't really know a lot of engineering / physics walks into a hifi store and sees cables that cost up to $500 per metre. Because in the 'real' world he would get a great car or a great watch or a great suit if he spent a LOT of money, he automatically expects that this cable will actually be a lot better than the stuff he has at home. I partly blame Joe the Punter as these days you have to do some research before blindly believing anything, but still see it as a crime that some products, especially in hifi are sold for the prices they are.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:43 am 
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BobDog wrote:
Are you just making this up or do you know what you are talking about? The dielectric constant is the ability of a material to pass current--not absorb or store it. I am not sure exactly what you are getting at here... do you?


which other physical constant will determine how much a surrounding material interferes with electrical fields? what physical phenomena do you believe is actually happening when electricity flows through a cable that's lying on several different substances?

BobDog wrote:
Wood neither stores nor discharges static charge. See above.


how on earth can a static charge build up to start with? you do know that static electricity isn't built up by interaction with electrical fields, but physical interaction between dissimilar materials? the only way you'll get static electricity to build up in a cable is if you swing it around like a jumping rope, exploiting the triboelectric effect.

that aside, wood most definitely can possess a static charge, it's a property of any substance containing electrons.

BobDog wrote:
I have read some very interesting papers (particularly in Stereophile magazine) that argue that vinyl has much more dynamic range than people originally thought because they had underestimated the fineness of the motions of the vinyl cutting lathes. Having not done the original studies, nor have I even read them, I am in no position to comment on these reports. I just note them for your benefit.


it's still a fact that starting from a 24-bit 192khz digital source, pressing vinyl from it, then re-digitizing the pressed vinyl and comparing it to the source shows barely a 70 db snr. doing the same with a cd will get you 90+ (filtering is never perfect). if there's some other way to store and retrieve information on vinyl that increases dynamic range i'd be all for it, but i've never heard of any.

BobDog wrote:
More to the point, dynamic range is only one measure of fidelity... an important one, but likely not THE most important one at that. Take an analogue (electrical) signal, sample it discontinuously, decimate it, reconstruct it, pass it through noise-shaping and/or brick-wall filters, (each step being subject to errors or distortions of their own) and then see how true the output is to a purely analogue medium. How embarrassing it must have been for perfect-sound-forever people, such as yourself, when even Sony and Philips (implicitly) admitted the failings of CD and rolled out SACD (and DVD-A for the DVD-A alliance)--the newer betterer, perfecter, perfect-sound-forever. Why does the Library of Congress continue to archive in analogue, waiting for the next, better, better, best digital technology to come along and displace it? Because digital has still not caught up.


well that's the great thing about digital - you can re-digitize your playback and compare it to the source to see just how accurately it's been recreated. last i read, the library of congress was actively vinyl-izing all their audio recordings because part of its charter was that its contents could be accessed 10,000 years from now by peoples unknown - instead of having them battle with electrical issues, they can just turn a record on a turntable to make sounds. while it's severely damaging the quality of many recordings, it's more important that future access is guaranteed than every last sound detail be recreated, in that case.

sacd and dvd-a are just stunts to shove digital restriction management (drm) onto audio - sure they're theoretically better quality, however cdda already has a higher dynamic range than studio microphones are even capable of recording. unless you can show me an anechoic chamber + microphone combination with a combined self-noise of 5 db, and a singer who then belts out a 0-110 db range. the newer digital mediums can capture the dynamic range of a jet engine, and i severely doubt anyone's speaker system is that loud.

BobDog wrote:
I am not saying that digital cannot be made as good as analogue (I hope it is, I like the convenience and durability of digital), or that it is doomed forever. I am just saying that, right now, with the recording, storage, and playback technologies of today, digital is not as good.


again i ask, not as good at what? it provably reproduces sound more accurately and removes many possible noise sources from a setup - lossless digital all the way to the speakers, instead of who knows how many interconnects, attenuating cable lengths, buzzing voltage regulators etc. you could theorize exist in an analog setup. vinyl is prefered because of the extra noise it introduces - it sounds warmer, gentler, more satisfying, but it's still mutilating the sound by 20+ db. i'm all for vinyl if the contest is noisy warmth, but the idea of it being able to reproduce any signal whatsoever better than a cd can is false.

edit: this debate is quite satiating really, i've been studying a whole bunch of areas to double-check things i believed true, and learned a lot the last couple days. good feeling.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:26 am 
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niels007 wrote:
Green Shoes,

Yep, speakers matter. All the distortion values in cd players and amps are like 0.000x but in speakers and filters a lot more goes 'wrong'. The room can make just as much or more of a difference though, as I found out at my neighbour's.


Have you ever seen the blueprints for a professional recording studio? It's really fascinating...they spend far more money on the construction process than they do the SSL consoles or the Fairchild compressors or all other gear combined. Most of a studio's money is sunk into proper sound diffusion, getting rid of all parallel surfaces, decoupling the floor from the ground :shock: , low-pressure HVACs, and all kinds of fun stuff that most people don't ever think about. Joe on the street would come in and be impressed by the 96-channel Neve console....but what makes a great studio great (i.e. the tracking room at Abbey Road) is the room acoustics.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:19 am 
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I personally voted, "could go either way."

My dad has his speaker cables, interconnects and power cables balance on top of hand-rigged take-out chopstick tents in his setup--there's no way in bloody hell I would ever admit to being able to hear the difference from him doing that (but I just nod when he asks me :wink:). I mean, please; the floor in our home is hard wood, the chopsticks are fairly stiff, as are the incredibly thick cables. Microphonic effect, even if present, would be to the point of inaudibility, and it's not like they're suddenly floating on clouds, they're still sitting on stiff stilts on a hard wood floor. I'm quite positive the amount of shielded on his cables also prevent any possible sort of electronic interference the floor could translate into the cable, so seriously, I doubt the difference is A/B-able. There are some other lengths he goes to that just seem nonsensical to me to the highest degree.

But still, I like my sound, and I like it to be very good; I won't lie, my sound system cost me around $4-6K, but you know what? I'm totally satisfied with it, and see no reason to spend any more on it. It sounds as good as I think it's going to get (with many of the very important things costing nothing at all!), and no changing components is going to improve the ability of the system to accurately reproduce the data that is there for the music, with the exception maybe of changing the speakers, but at this point I'd change the room before changing the speakers, and I'm certainly not going to go out of the way to do that.

I personally feel that there's very severe generalization going on in this thread, borderline prejudice. Just what's it to you how someone else spends their money, first of all, if it doesn't affect you in any particular way. Second of all, it's like saying all cooks are master chefs. All drivers are competition stiffs. All vocalists are professional bawlers. Come on now; not everyone takes everything to the extreme. There are thousands of people out there who are honest, know their limits and are reasonable--realistic with what is actually audible and what is not, and clearly capable of realizing that no improvement in sound is worth spending thousands of dollars on something like cables. Are you going to just shove us all together in with the lunatics (I'm not calling my dad a lunatic; well, at least the chopsticks didn't cost a cent...)?

Give me a freaking break...

-Ed

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:49 am 
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there are real, measureable ways to increase the fidelity of audio equipment. a lot of audiophile (and yes, i'm bunching the realistic, unrealistic and loony audiophiles together here) gear does no such thing.

the real, measureably better parts i applaud and am extremely respectful of the engineering involved. though at a certain point they become better than the human ear can perceive, and better than recording studios can actually record.

the demonstrably pointless or even harmful parts, i chastize bitterly because of and along with the bologne they're built and marketed on. i just can't let a logical deficiency drop when i hear it, be it in politics, car parts, computer parts, programming, management (marketing departments grrr), advertising, religion, etc. it's a bad habit, but i hate seeing fluff go unanswered.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:50 am 
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Interesting thread

I am a (mostly) classical musician and teacher and have some experience of recording (both rock/pop and classical). I think that from a classical / acoustic point of view, the most you can hope for from a recording is a rough memory jog of what the real sound is/was like. The beauty of a sound in a large space is very difficult to reproduce except in another large space, especially with only two speakers. I know how difficult it is to play low notes in a small room - the space is shorter than the wavelength of the note sometimes. A good example is to go and stand near a large orchestra bass drum being played softly in a concert hall and then go and try to find a reproduction system that can get anywhere close to the subtlety of the live sound.

Rock/pop, especially pop is a completely different animal as the sound is largely artificial to start with and the mixing and recording process is often integral to the creative one. The recording is not trying to reproduce anything - it is the piece.

I have heard, once in my life (many years!), a recording that sounded pretty close to the original. This was made using 2 stereo pairs, one forwards and one back taken directly to separate recorded tracks. It was played back in a large live recording studio straight from the recording device to 4 matched monitors. No compression, no EQ, just a straight as possible path. The playback space was empty, only a few chairs, so not your average living room and much bigger. The audience comprised both players and members of the live audience. We all thought it was pretty good but completely impractical. Apart from anything else, the dynamic range wouldn't work in most domestic listening rooms.

I have read a lot of research on cables and so forth. Nothing I have read that uses any kind of recognisable methodology makes me think that there is anything in most of the hype once one gets past bell wire. Certainly there doesn't seem to be any evidence from proper blind testing to support the marketing claims. I seem to remember reading a thread from a manufacturer of high cost cables who admitted that, when he tested his products properly, there was no improvement. However he did sell a lot of gear and one shouldn’t ignore the placebo effect of spending money.

To make us all feel better, classical musicians are as big suckers for labels as anyone else. A friend of mine bought a viola (medium price – about £20k I think) and took it into work at a well known orchestra. The first thing his colleagues wanted to know was who made it (i.e. what the label was) rather than what it sounded like. The instrument had a good pedigree so it kept everyone happy but a rather sad story.

I think the morel is, if a sound set-up makes someone happy then fine as long as they don’t expect everyone else to plug into their belief systems. It’s when they start preaching that life gets tedious.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:19 pm 
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yeha wrote:
...

Oh, I am done commenting on what yeha says... there is just so much pseudo-science, ignoring and ignorance of facts (masquerading as objectivity), and puzzling commitment to never just going out and listening no matter what, I just see no point. He is right about one thing, however: static electricity is not the same thing as static discharge. I was writing at like 2am and misspoke on that point--I am sorry for any confusion I created.

On the other hand, I thought niels007 post was a very provocative and good one; I do not agree with everything he said, but I do agree with a lot of it--and it that certainly deserves a reply:

niels007 wrote:
- rationalists who, imo quite rightly, want to see some academic proof that a cable riser or a $3800 (i saw one the other day) power cord influence sound.


Such data do exist. For example, you will often find that high quality amps and preamps have far lower THD than their budget counterparts (without recourse to large amounts of negative feedback--see below), exhibit far better thermal stability, have less resonant chasses, possess better slew rates, deliver more peak power for the same rated RMS, have more robust power supplies that shield sensitive electronics from city AC and other components on the same circuit, and are able to stay stable into more difficult loads (e.g. many real-world speakers). High quality digital gear has lower jitter... most of us seem to agree that better speakers will generally sound better so I will not get into that.

These are all testable and MEASURABLE factors--skeptics answer: "Oh, you cannot here an improvement in THD beyond point x, jitter doesn't effect sound quality, etc." WAIT A MINUTE! We are supposed to look at measurements and ONLY measurements when they do not show a benefit from hi-end gear, but the second they show an advantage to better implemented designs we are not supposed to HEAR it :shock: ?!? Give me a break.

Also on the topic of measurements: better measuring techniques and technologies come out ALL THE TIME, often only confirming what people were hearing all along. This is because measurement techniques are not (yet) as refined at measuring what we hear as our ears. Thus, until we have developed the "perfect" measurement techniques, measurements are only telling PART of the story. For example, one of the (supposed) effects of negative feedback is that it introduces faze errors into electronics and that this is has a very negative effect on perceived sound quality. However, since there is no generally agreed upon way for measuring these errors (although some companies, e.g. Goldmund, have used proxies that they think are sufficient to prove their points), we will have to continue to *gasp* listen to our audio gear to get the full story.

Finally, some very expensive gear measures terribly. Some say that is ok, it sounds WONDERFUL. I am NOT one of those people. If something measures poorly, it is almost certain to be a flawed design--I cannot take such a design seriously. On the other hand, good measurements only begin to capture a component's character--they are not the end!

niels007 wrote:
The rationalist proposes a blind or double blind test.
Why is the fact that several audiophiles, MYSELF included, and audiophile magazines do run double blind tests simply ignored (over and over again)? I keep telling you that many (but not all) of the things I have been telling you have been verified by double blind testing but many/most on this post simply chose to ignore this. Why? Why is the idea that a better audio experience so threatening to people like yeha that they will disregard anything that suggests that this may be the case? I do not know.

niels007 wrote:
* Why does it almost NEVER sound worse? And why are the more expensive things nearly always 'better'? My alarm goes ringing again here.
I have often found expensive gear to sound worse then more reasonably priced stuff. I have already said that I think that EMM Labs SACD/CD playback deck blows the doors off the dCS stack for 1/3 the money; my favorite digital interconnect is the fairly cheap MIT AVT 1 (though other good cables surely exist that I have not had a chance to hear); in spite of my deep desire to like Wilson Audio speakers (they are just so freakin' cool), in several demo. opportunities, I have been consistently disappointed with their sound--in spite of their imposing presence and $100,000+/pair price tag. The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, etc. constantly point out that inexpensive gear can often get the better of their pricier competitors (though then they go and do silly things like gushing over a $350,000 Wavac amp. that measures like it's broken, stupidity goes both ways :roll: ).

niels007 wrote:
And if there are differences at all, they can only be very subtle. Certainly not in the shape off "as if a curtain was removed in front of the speakers". If so, you admit you where basically listening to pretty poor sound before, despite having paid a substantial amount of $ or €.
We often do wax too poetic about very small differences--though I think this is often a defensive reaction to people like yeha who say that there is no difference, no way, never. Note, however, like when I posted about cable elevators I said (c) they were an improvement perceived by all who listened to them, (b) in double blind testing, (c) but the improvement was small compared to that of, say, a component swap, (d) but considering their inexpensive price I thought they were a great upgrade for cheap. Veils did not, however, drop. (Try the EMM Labs playback deck and they will, however.)

As far as admitting that our gear sucks, I will do so without a problem. No matter how much you pay for your rig, how well you set it up, how much you tweak it, we are still sooooooooo far from live... our stuff sucks. There is just so much room for improvement. There, I said it :oops: .

niels007 wrote:
* Why is it only with audio? Why does normal wiring suffice in space craft, medical instruments, and state of the art industry? Why are there no expensive dampers under a heart/lung machine? Because it doesn't make a difference....
Perhaps the only ignorant statement in this post. MOST of the isolation devices used by audiophiles came from medical and state of the art industries. Pneumatic suspension systems, such as Seismic Sinks and or my Arcici Suspense suspension rack are based upon gear used for testing and evaluating sensitive electronic gear (and lasers, but that's not really related). The AC cleaning material in Shunyata cables was developed by the NSA to clean power going into their sensitive listening and recording gear... these technologies are in use EVERYWHERE, why you would think they unique to audio is a mystery.

niels007 wrote:
the price difference, going back to the blind test, was 2350+ 498 = $ 2848. That is 175 cd's, the sad thing being that there are many guys with $2500 cd players that don't even HAVE a music collection like that!
That is just sad, I could not agree more. I have about 1000 CDs, and used to have more but I sold all my SACDs when I sold my SACD player.

Green Shoes wrote:
Have you ever seen the blueprints for a professional recording studio? It's really fascinating...they spend far more money on the construction process than they do the SSL consoles or the Fairchild compressors or all other gear combined.
100% right! I rent, so I have been unable to a tenth of the room work I would like to. I believe that had I spent $34,000 on my room and $1000.00 on my system, I would have gotten better sound than the $34000 I spent on my system and < $1000.00 I spent on my room. Life sucks for apt. dwellers, so we do the best we can with what we've got :cry: (see above on "all our systems suck anyway").

Edward Ng wrote:
But still, I like my sound, and I like it to be very good; I won't lie, my sound system cost me around $4-6K, but you know what? I'm totally satisfied with it, and see no reason to spend any more on it.
Then do not spend a dollar more :D ! You have already reached that zen point we are all seeking, envy you. This is not the same as saying that better gear cannot be had--but your music and movies should fit into your lifestyle, not the other way around!


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