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The walking dead and "blind listening"


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It's the same for audio as it is for any other scientific technology.

 

Actually, anything to do with the five human senses and their interpretations by each individual unique human brain cannot be scientifically quantified to represent the entire human race.

 

If you can't back up your your opinion with double blind testing and pure accurate measurements it will forever remain just that, YOUR OPINION.

 

Exactly! Anything using any of the five human senses is unique to each human being and is each person's own unique opinion.

 

Also blind or sighted AB or ABX testing does not work as it fails to reveal anything expect very, very large differences. The biggest problems being:

 

  • Cognitive bias - your brain will fill in missing information thus making both sound the same on repeated listening.
  • Listener Fatigue - switch back and forth too much and both will sound like crap.

Thus I have zero confidence in AB or ABX tests either sighted or blind. Even before my memory problems when I compared two things even knowing which was which (sighted) I would play the first (A) and then the second (B) and if I believe I heard a difference I would replay them and the difference would be gone. It's a problem with how normal human brains work.

 

The only way I have ever been able to verify differences (if they exist) and which one sounds the best is long term listening over several weeks with a wide variety of music.

 

On the other hand DBTs work in the medical field as the human subjects don't have to make any decisions whatsoever. The subjects either are given the real medicine or a sugar pill. Those who get well taking the sugar pill do so as unconsciously their believe the medicine is real thus their antibodies manage to kill the disease, this is known as the placebo effect. If considerably more people get well with the new drug than with the sugar pill, the drug is considered effective. None of our five senses come into play in this type of test.

 

So there should be no rush to judgement with any of our five senses.

 

If you say amp A sounds better than amp B and Joe Listener comes to a different conclusion, who's right? How do you prove it?

 

Both are correct, Amp A sounds better to one listener and Amp B sounds better to the other listener. There is nothing to prove as the ear/brain system is no different than the unique individual interpretations of any of the other senses: smell, touch, taste or sight. Why do you need one to be correct and the other wrong?

 

[/b]This is a position that would be laughed out of any scientific investigation accept audio

Just ridiculous!

 

Science does fine when they stick with inanimate objects or natural laws of the universe. When they attempt to try to explain expected individual responses to stimulus to any of our five senses they go wildly astray.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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You speaking for yourself ?

 

 

No. I'm speaking for those audiophiles (and we have all encountered them) who are way too obsessive about the "hobby". People who wring their hands in angst over every little thing. Those who are ritualistic in their approach to listening and neurotic about all things audio. People who care more about the equipment and tweaks for it than they are about the music. That's not me.

George

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No. I'm speaking for those audiophiles (and we have all encountered them) who are way too obsessive about the "hobby". People who wring their hands in angst over every little thing. Those who are ritualistic in their approach to listening and neurotic about all things audio. People who care more about the equipment and tweaks for it than they are about the music. That's not me.

 

Like those who will spend thousands of dollars on a few feet of power cord when they have no control over the miles of wire between the outlet and the power station. ROTFLMAO

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

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Actually, for most audiophiles, it's a neurosis more than it's a hobby. Building model airplanes is a hobby, playing golf is a hobby, listening to reproduced music is, at best, a pleasant passtime, and at worse a horribly neurotic tail-chasing endeavor bordering on the psychotic! :)

 

Audiophilia nervosa. Numerous definitions can be found, but this one describes it pretty well. Urban Dictionary: audiophilia nervosa

"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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No. I'm speaking for those audiophiles (and we have all encountered them) who are way too obsessive about the "hobby". People who wring their hands in angst over every little thing. Those who are ritualistic in their approach to listening and neurotic about all things audio. People who care more about the equipment and tweaks for it than they are about the music. That's not me.

 

Well, you have shown yourself to be obsessive about telling people what they should believe about audio, ritualistic about demanding 'scientic' proof, and neurotic about how other people should enjoy their hobby. So maybe not so different after all ?

 

Perhaps more of a sense of humor might help. :)

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Like those who will spend thousands of dollars on a few feet of power cord when they have no control over the miles of wire between the outlet and the power station. ROTFLMAO

 

That's like saying a tap in your kitchen can have no control over the water flow because there are huge pipes bringing water to your house, isn't it?

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Here we go again....!!!!

 

Yes indeed (sigh...)

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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I have the answer...invite them over for a beverage of their choice and have a listen to their favorite tracks. Then go to their place and have a listen with your favorite beverage and your favorite tracks. Then go together to a concert and discuss the music over your favorite beverages.

 

It's called friendship...

 

Very nice.

 

I have one too:

 

Ask them: 'What are you listening for, and what are you hearing precisely?'

 

It goes with your answer well too.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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You wouldn't have to date yourself if only you would learn to listen with your heart instead of having the Audacity to look at Fourier transforms.

 

Would using the iHeart radio app on my phone help?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Building model airplanes is a hobby,

With as many neurosis and debates over how accurate everything should be and the exact shades of pain and paint mixes to use I'm sure...

 

playing golf is a hobby,

No having a nice walk is a hobby ... playing golf is ruining that nice walk :-)

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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It's puzzled me for years why some always try to discredit an audio review by calling it invalid if it wasn't a "blind listening" test. At audio shows I don't even bother to look at the equipment when I walk into a room, I'm listening and comparing to what I remember from other rooms and from home play, within 5 minutes I know if there's something that's an improvement or an also ran. However this article hits what I believe to be the truth, those insisting on "blind listening" are basically untrained at listening.

There is a big difference between blind listening, and carrying out a double blind test.

 

At audio shows I don't even bother to look at the equipment when I walk into a room, I'm listening and comparing to what I remember from other rooms and from home play is a kind of blind listening.

 

On the other hand if a reviewer has always enthused about a particular brand, and a new amplifier (for example) arrives from that company; human nature means they have already pre-judged that device and there is a likelihood of a good review overlooking and small negatives. Equally a new amplifier from a brand they do not like and any negatives picked up will likely be exaggerated.

 

Not that they are completely blind, but some magazines do arrange group tests which are at least semi-blind in that the amplifiers will be behind a curtain during initial listening.

 

Eloise

 

PS. Please not I'm not judging which is a better methodology...

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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I think on the "big pipe outside the house/little pipe inside the house" metaphor is a bit more like the real thing than folks are saying.

 

Lead is too extreme an example. I don't think lead is really a problem for most modern systems...think of this as voltage variance or power outages. Test for lead and you won't find any. If you have major voltage swings or outages, you will agree there is a problem to be solved with your power system. But most of us don't have that kind of extreme so we get complacent with our power and we don't get the full potential of what we could.

 

However, the metaphor may still work. The first place to begin looking is the actual connection between the outside delivery and the inside connections: if it is a loose fitting connection, you won't achieve a water tight seal and you won't have good water pressure. This is the outlet that all to often is old, corroded, and lacks clamping power. Too often our outlets don't let us take advantage of what is fully available at the outlet.

 

The second place to look is proper filters, much like a water softener or water filter if there is iron or salts or organics in the water. If you have the right filter, you can remove the impurities and even good water tastes (and feels) better. I've lived in areas with both lake water (organics) and well water (hardness) and can say that good filtering for the issue at hand is better than no filtering. Same thing with power. Blacker backgrounds, greater dynamics the same as a nice glass of filter water is cleaner and smoother to drink.

 

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Very nice.

 

I have one too:

 

Ask them: 'What are you listening for, and what are you hearing precisely?'

 

It goes with your answer well too.

 

I like that a lot....

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Actually, for most audiophiles, it's a neurosis more than it's a hobby. Building model airplanes is a hobby, playing golf is a hobby, listening to reproduced music is, at best, a pleasant passtime, and at worse a horribly neurotic tail-chasing endeavor bordering on the psychotic! :)

 

George, I guess you don't know many serious golf "hobbyists". Golfers often get to levels of neurosis equaling, or even surpassing audiophiles. :)

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +>Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Strip/Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three (on their own electric circuit) >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Like those who will spend thousands of dollars on a few feet of power cord when they have no control over the miles of wire between the outlet and the power station. ROTFLMAO

 

I think this approach is fundamentally flawed: Your power cable to your audio device isn't "the last few feet of miles of wire". Essentially your cable and amp/dac/etc are both part of a very large electrical loop, and they are found in the middle of the loop, not at the end. The AC flows back and forth on this loop/circuit.

 

Different way of looking at it, and then maybe there are some explanations of how a power cable can make a difference.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +>Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Strip/Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three (on their own electric circuit) >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Originally Posted by [email protected] viewpost-right.png Building model airplanes is a hobby,

 

 

With as many neurosis and debates over how accurate everything should be and the exact shades of pain and paint mixes to use I'm sure...

 

As a model builder for over 60 years I have to strongly disagree. Sure modelers have disagreements, but nothing like what I've witnessed in the audiophile world for 40 years now !

 

In model railroading some people can adopt a 'Rivet Counter' approach, getting to the point of obsession about fidelity to the prototype. And that is fine since their work is often exemplary, but it is rare that those kind of people try to force their style on others. There are also 'artistic', and even impressionistic approaches. All are welcome under the tent. Perhaps audiophiles could take a lesson there ?

 

Perhaps it has something to do with the zen of actually building something with your own hands. Or, it may be the modeling culture is just more easy going and respectful. Or both, and more. But then it doesn't matter really, I just love it :)

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As a model builder for over 60 years I have to strongly disagree. Sure modelers have disagreements, but nothing like what I've witnessed in the audiophile world for 40 years now !

I will take your word for it having very little knowledge of modelling.

 

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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That's like saying a tap in your kitchen can have no control over the water flow because there are huge pipes bringing water to your house, isn't it?

 

Poor analogy. Any mains cable can do what the tap in your kitchen does: pull it from the back of the component (or from the wall), and the flow of electricity stops. Put it back in, and the flow starts again. Just like turning the tap on or off (but in all honesty, the mains switch on the component is a better analog to the water tap).

George

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Well, you have shown yourself to be obsessive about telling people what they should believe about audio, ritualistic about demanding 'scientic' proof, and neurotic about how other people should enjoy their hobby. So maybe not so different after all ?

 

Perhaps more of a sense of humor might help. :)

 

 

I might have come off as a bit obsessive (I prefer the word "evangelistic") about cables*, but that's because I don't like to see people getting ripped-off by cynical "snake-oil" salesmen who have only removing your money from your pockets and transferring it to their pockets without giving value for that money at heart. The demand for proof is based on the old adage that 'extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof' and I don't even see 'ordinary proof' coming forth. And if a demand for honesty is a neurosis, then I wish more people were neurotic.

 

The difference between your sense of humor and my sense of humor, is that I have one. :)

 

 

*BTW, I will never evangelize my opinions on cable sound, here on CA, again. If I do peripherally make a comment about some cable issue, it will not be about my opinions on the subject (as in my comment on the kitchen tap analogy in #45. I say that the analogy is flawed, but I make no comment about the efficacy of the mains cable itself).

George

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*BTW, I will never evangelize my opinions on cable sound, here on CA, again. If I do peripherally make a comment about some cable issue, it will not be about my opinions on the subject (as in my comment on the kitchen tap analogy in #45. I say that the analogy is flawed, but I make no comment about the efficacy of the mains cable itself).

 

George, I hope you realize that you will be held accountable to this pledge. :)

"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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George, I hope you realize that you will be held accountable to this pledge. :)

 

Don't worry. There's simply no percentage in continuing to tell people things that they clearly don't want to know. So, on this particular subject, I've had my say and that's it.

George

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*BTW, I will never evangelize my opinions on cable sound, here on CA, again.

 

Thank you, George, and I'll take your word for it.

 

And I promise I won't shove my digital cable listening experiences in your face. Through they may appear somewhere on CA.

 

 

Have a nice weekend :)

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