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Your objective / subjective ratio - Where lies your audiophile threshold?


Your subjective / objective ratio  

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Hi All,

 

First of all I want to make it clear this is a just take the poll and answer the question topic, not to discuss, question or debate the posts of other posters. Please respect these limits! If you do want to discuss, use an appropriate existing topic, create one yourself or use PM.

 

The topic has two parts:

 

A - The poll...

 

You have to choose your personal objective / subjective ratio that comes the closest to what you think applies to you. Subjective means you rely on sensory input and reports bases on sensory input from others, while DBT, measurements or other objective methods of determining audible differences have *chosen ratio* meaning to you. Obviously objective means the direct opposite...

 

If you take the poll, you can elaborate on your choice in a post.

 

 

B - The question...

 

Where lies your audiophile threshold? What do I mean with this? I believe most audiophiles have a limit to what they believe / are sure of can cause audible differences in an audio-system, or at least have serious doubts about the possibility to cause audible differences.

 

You may categorize or name specific products, topics etc... An explanation / elaboration on the why is welcome. Let's limit the number to five entries, if possible numbered from 1 to 5 in descending order of importance.

 

 

With enough input after 28 days, I would like to create another poll with the "top 10" of entered "thresholds".

 

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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This seems a silly question. I, for one, could never apply a percentage to something like this. The more unusual the observation, the less likely I am to trust it. No vote.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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It is difficult to put a number on such things ... but I've tried to.

 

The way I work through things is I will listen (or read someone's comments); I will then work out if in my mind I can conceive a method that what is stated (or heard) is able to influence the sound.

 

There are also different circumstances. If I'm looking to buy a new amplifier or DAC or speakers I would say I am 90% subjective; if evaluating the claims of a manufacturer my bias is more 90% objective.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi All,

 

I voted 87.5% objective. I use my ears to determine what I like, mainly when it comes down to loudspeakers (obviously limited to the hardware in the audio-chain).

 

My list of thresholds:

 

1) Differences between bit-identical files in an otherwise equal playback-situation. I simply can not see any mechanism that could cause in what represents a "0" or "1" as they are just agreements on the interpretation of a signal.

 

2) Power-cables and anything between the power-cable and the PSU. No compelling evidence.

 

3) Pretty much all "gadgets" outside the audio hardware-chain.

 

4) Signal-cables in general, unless they are of poor quality or do not meet the required specification, in the sense they alter the signal itself in such a way it becomes audible. I exclude changed behavior in component-interaction caused by a signal-cable.

 

5) The necessity for hi-res (better than red-book CD) recordings for accurate music-reproduction.

 

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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Speakers....simply the number one determining factor in sound.

Acoustics....how the sound waves interact with the space follows as close as the transducer

Source....... The quality of the recording,...can't turn garbage into flowers mechanically.

Amplifier..... THD, current,...there's so many things here to affect how things sound

DACs.........the analog side of the circuit.

 

All in descending order of importance.

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This seems a silly question. I, for one, could never apply a percentage to something like this. The more unusual the observation, the less likely I am to trust it. No vote.

 

Hi 4est,

 

I completely understand your POV. I did not really mean to present it like hard "always' figures, but more like averages as a lot of it depends on the situation.

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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Speakers....simply the number one determining factor in sound.

Acoustics....how the sound waves interact with the space follows as close as the transducer

Source....... The quality of the recording,...can't turn garbage into flowers mechanically.

Amplifier..... THD, current,...there's so many things here to affect how things sound

DACs.........the analog side of the circuit.

 

All in descending order of importance.

 

+1, though I would be inclined to think that DACs matter as much as amplifiers. The difference between DACs can be quite audible: for instance, I compared my Benchmark DAC2 to the Cirrus DAC chip embarked on the Pure i-20 iPhone dock. The Pure i-20 has a warm sonic signature that is not present in the Benchmark DAC2. A funny thing was, with the recording with which I made the test (I think it was Gustav Leonhardt playing the harpsichord), the warm sound of the Pure i-20 was more pleasant to the ear, more flattering, than the DAC2. But then it was also less accurate, and I would never trade my DAC2 for a Pure i-20: what I want in a DAC is accuracy, if I want some coloration, I eq the music myself.

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Speakers....simply the number one determining factor in sound.

Acoustics....how the sound waves interact with the space follows as close as the transducer

Source....... The quality of the recording,...can't turn garbage into flowers mechanically.

Amplifier..... THD, current,...there's so many things here to affect how things sound

DACs.........the analog side of the circuit.

 

All in descending order of importance.

 

Hi Anthony,

 

I was actually asking for things you believe that don't matter :) Perhaps I should not have used "importance" in the last paragraph...

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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+1, though I would be inclined to think that DACs matter as much as amplifiers. The difference between DACs can be quite audible: for instance, I compared my Benchmark DAC2 to the Cirrus DAC chip embarked on the Pure i-20 iPhone dock. The Pure i-20 has a warm sonic signature that is not present in the Benchmark DAC2. A funny thing was, with the recording with which I made the test (I think it was Gustav Leonhardt playing the harpsichord), the warm sound of the Pure i-20 was more pleasant to the ear, more flattering, than the DAC2. But then it was also less accurate, and I would never trade my DAC2 for a Pure i-20: what I want in a DAC is accuracy, if I want some coloration, I eq the music myself.

 

Hi Boris75,

 

Can you please follow the stated directions not to discuss other people's posts?

 

Thanks & kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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This needed multiple choices, since any individual case can vary.

 

Sort of like a sliding scale.

 

The more something costs- in general, the more objective I am. But conversely, the more any final decision will be subjective, based upon if I like the device.

 

Sometimes, given a low enough price, I will just try things- like power cables. Occasionally things like power cables will surprise the heck out of me. So that kind of thing is pretty much 100% subjective.

 

It also greatly depends upon what exactly the product is too. Speaker cable, for instance, is an area full of hoodoo science, so I wound up depending far more on subjective listening tests of cables recommended by other people than I would normally be comfortable with. So out comes the blind tests and thank God for The Cable Co. Digging out objective truth about speaker cables is a long, expensive, and very time consuming effort. That one I know personally.

 

Amps? It is easy to be objective about amps, picking out those models that meet your needs and budget, and ruling out others. But again the final decision is based upon trusting my ears. And sometimes with surprising results. Not only do amps sometimes sound the same or as good as each other, the prices are not always a good indicator of the sound and quality in an amp.

 

Go figger.

 

I wound up voting for 37.5% subjective, but that target is all over the board, at least for me. It would be fun to nust be able to catalog shop! Less stress, no mess, home delivery guaranteed. :)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Hi Boris75,

 

Can you please follow the stated directions not to discuss other people's posts?

 

Thanks & kind regards,

Peter

 

If I get it right, you are telling me to refrain from doing what you just did in Post #8, that is to say discussing another person's post. I find this amusing.

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If I get it right, you are telling me to refrain from doing what you just did in Post #8, that is to say discussing another person's post. I find this amusing.

 

You are easily amused :) But if you read what I wrote you will see it is a clarification of the subject, not so much discussing Anthony's content of his post. The same goes for post #6. As is this one, BTW :)

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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I voted 75% objective.

 

For example, I believe in sound differences between different playback software (without having a decent explanation and not understanding a word of Svensons's article), but not between ALAC and WAV when played back from memory. And even less in the impact of powersupplies on the ripping for example. Am also rather skeptical with regards to most cables, but still have spent some money on them.

 

But anyhow, I'd never try to impose my views on somebody else, and stay away from all the subjectivist/objectivitis discussions here.

 

As somebody rightly said, this is a hobby and nobody is Klingon Puppies ;-)

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75.234564341% objective (approximately, to an accuracy of +/- 0.555643% as measured on the International Objectiveness Scale)

110% subjective (precisely, and anyone who questions this figure is a joyless music hater who has no right to be on this forum)

 

Oh, alright then. I voted for 50/50

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1 speakers

2 room correction traps, diffusers

3 signal processing: room eq software, aphex 204

4 source material

5 amplifier headroom

 

100 % objective. :)

 

cheers

ken

 

Hi Ken,

 

Thanks fro your input, but the list is supposed to contain the things you believe not to matter...

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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Speakers....simply the number one determining factor in sound.

Acoustics....how the sound waves interact with the space follows as close as the transducer

Source....... The quality of the recording,...can't turn garbage into flowers mechanically.

Amplifier..... THD, current,...there's so many things here to affect how things sound

DACs.........the analog side of the circuit.

 

All in descending order of importance.

 

 

 

+1 Well said!!!!!

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Hi Ken,

 

Thanks fro your input, but the list is supposed to contain the things you believe not to matter...

 

Kind regards,

Peter

 

That I did not understand either.

 

So here is my list of 5 things I find really didn't matter to sound quality, despite what I had been told:

 

1. Wireless vs. ethernet cable connection

2. SSD vs spinning hard drive

3. Integer vs ordinary mode

4. Bi-wiring

5. OS X file system and operating system tweaks

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This seems a silly question. I, for one, could never apply a percentage to something like this...No vote.

 

+1

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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That I did not understand either.

 

So here is my list of 5 things I find really didn't matter to sound quality, despite what I had been told:

 

1. Wireless vs. ethernet cable connection

2. SSD vs spinning hard drive

3. Integer vs ordinary mode

4. Bi-wiring

5. OS X file system and operating system tweaks

 

I feel I have to work on my communication-skills :)

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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I'm an investor by profession. Over many decades I have learned that the best investment decision is equal parts instinct and fact. By fact, I mean things I can diligence, articulate and measure -- ignoring these can cause costly error, so do your homework. By instinct, I mean things that my experience guides me on, but that are much harder to articulate clearly, are often impossible to research or diligence and for which I have not yet found a good measurement tool. Interestingly, these "instinctual" reactions is where all the real action is, they represent the things that help you avoid your biggest losers and find your biggest winners, they also often run contrary to logic or popular wisdom.

 

That same balance carries over to my hobbies, be it art, music, wine, etc. -- logic, facts and reason only get me so far. The really good stuff requires me to try things that only gut and instinct can lead to. But once led there, I do spend a lot of time trying to figure out what underlying facts or measurements might allow me to repeatedly achieve that win (or avoid that loss).

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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+1

 

Hi Allan,

 

While I understand your post, I believe that, at least at some times, an objective view takes over, even though one might me quite subjective oriented. I just ask CA-members to choose the closest match to get an idea of where they stand. Like I pointed out before, it is not a hard number, but an average.

 

Kind regards,

Peter

“We are the Audiodrones. Lower your skepticism and surrender your wallets. We will add your cash and savings to our own. Your mindset will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” - (Quote from Star Trek: The Audiophile Generation)

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