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Article: Guest Editorial: Why did audio stop being about audio?

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6 minutes ago, vortecjr said:

Why did audio stop being about DACs and AMPs?

 

THEY started building them into the speakers - killed the hobby

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On 12/9/2019 at 10:20 AM, firedog said:

I'm perfectly willing to accept what anyone else says they hear. My only issue is when they present their individual experience as somehow applying more generally, or as "proving" something. Just as I'm willing to accept what they hear, I expect them at a minimum to acknowledge that they may be subject to expectation bias during sighted listening. 

 

I think I've succeeded in the more recent past in not arguing with anyone's perceptions, but rather with how the personal perceptions are presented in some cases. That at least is my intent. 

 

I also realize that very few of us can reliably conduct a DBT or even an SBT at home; so the most practical fallback is to audition stuff in the best way we can and then make a decision on what we hear. That's what the vast majority of us do most of the time. And if that's expectation bias coloring our perceptions, that's also okay. After all, just like the placebo effect can sometimes cure disease, what we hear and enjoy is what we in reality are hearing, no matter the reason. 

 

My problem in the more recent discussion here is not so much with listeners as it is with manufacturers. Many audio manufacturers make claims about their devices that defy known engineering and scientific principles. Could they be telling the truth? Yes, and certainly some of them genuinely believe they are. But those extraordinary claims should be backed up by more than anecdotal sighted evidence. If you want me (us) to spend big bucks on a device that costs 2X, 5X or 50X, the price of a "conventional" equivalent, shouldn't you have an ethical obligation to base those claims on more than sighted and - by definition biased -listening?

 

Isn't that, for instance, one of our gripes about the MQA fanboys and their claims of vastly improved sound - that all those claims are based on sighted listening, manipulated shows, groupthink, etc? Why is it okay to doubt those claims, but not the claims made about "Device X", when the claims about "Device X" are fairly outlandish, according to accepted engineering/scientific norms? But that (MQA directed) skepticism isn't seen  as something illegitimate, for some reason. 

 

And as far as manufacturers measuring devices, I also get that some of these very small operations can't reasonably be expected to shell out multiple tens of thousands for testing equipment - at least not until they've been in operation quite a while. But they could pay a much smaller fee to someone else to measure/test their products. (And if they didn't like the results they could always not publish them, anyway). 


So I find it very telling that we almost never see such measurements. Even from some of the bigger operations that certainly know how to do them and can afford to. Again, get some testing that backs your claims up and publish them - it will only enhance your reputation and increase your sales. Doubters, and maybe even some of the ASR crowd will buy your stuff. 

 

"Many audio manufacturers make claims about their devices that defy known engineering and scientific principles"


This is decidedly not true, it is impossible to build audio equipment or peripherals that defy known engineering and scientific principles.

Now, - there may be manufacturers who may attempt to explain what we may be hearing when listening, and/or WHY a particular component or cable can cause some people to hear what they do: but that is decidedly not the same thing.

 

Also, - science is not rigid. It is FLUID. Science advances all of the time. Newton was not wrong. Newton just did not have the tools & knowledge and testing methodologies that became available and were by others, notably Einstein that allowed for "better" explanations on both micro and macro levels. The science ADVANCED.

 

 For example, there are more than a few physicists who have come to understand that electrons don’t flow at all but rather propagate in energy "waves"  that move through or along a conductor with many factors that alter the wave at quantum levels.

 

And as we have seen in some instances in high performance audio, - that many of these products aren't significantly different in design topology: but the internal components are MUCH BETTER built to tighter tolerances with less percentage variances: and are, therefore, much more expensive.

""I think I've succeeded in the more recent past in not arguing with anyone's perceptions, but rather with how the personal perceptions are presented in some cases. That at least is my intent. ""

 

I think that you have. FWIW, - i have a lot of respect for your reasoning, and your testing, your approach,  and your open mind and desire to "test" all kinds of devices.

 

Finally, - I want to mention that very few of us are songwriters, musicians and producers. Many folks who are NOT at the mix down sessions, or better yet, at K-Disc or any of the CD/Digital file manufacturing facilities: aren't going to know what the recording was supposed to sound like. I can tell you that my guitars sound different through the 5 or 6 generations beyond when I stood playing in front of the amp. So at the end of the day, - it's all about what YOU (each of us) want to hear that's going to make the music that we like, be enjoyed more.

 

 

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2 hours ago, joelha said:

For this forum, my examples of vitriol would include "dishonest", "lying", "shill" and other terms that discredit an individual or company.

 

Joel

 

Joel, when I called Lee S a liar about HDTracks Streaming service I had proof.  And if people don't want me to make sheep references about them, well don't act like a sheep. As my friend Andy Quint noted I have a lot of sheep pictures.

 

 

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Bighorn sheep are noted for their power, wisdom, sharp eyes, balance, sure-footedness on suspect terrain, keen hearing, great strength, and a strong heart.

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10 minutes ago, Albrecht said:

"Many audio manufacturers make claims about their devices that defy known engineering and scientific principles"


This is decidedly not true, it is impossible to build audio equipment or peripherals that defy known engineering and scientific principles.

 

I suggest you look at this page for some great examples of claims that "defy known engineering and scientific principles":

 

http://www.machinadynamica.com

 


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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17 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Bighorn sheep are noted for their power, wisdom, sharp eyes, balance, sure-footedness on suspect terrain, keen hearing, great strength, and a strong heart.

 

They are hard to hunt with a camera the only way I do it.

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45 minutes ago, vortecjr said:

Why did audio stop being about DACs and AMPs?

 

Some people didn't get that cable......

 

Have learned alot about how knife sharpening sounds in Audio.

 

Power is important... especially as fuses can blow easily.

 

Cross overs don't work in reality or non reality and speakers can be loud, harsh and get easily distorted. No matter how solid a foundation they rest on.

 

Lots more puns but you get the point and I say again you learn more about people than audio on a forum...

 

More suprised we haven't got to this point and closed the thread......

......Chris Pickins

Slim.jpg

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:48 PM, Ralf11 said:

 

day-age works - i.e. it is outside the facts and so cannot be falsified (which is pretty much what faith is)

 

a literal day is ... entertainment


I has missed that you responded to something I wrote.  This is way off-topic, but I did want to mention that the day-age theory can most certainly be falsified.  All you need is conclusive evidence of a new animal species that appeared after man.  Hugh Ross in his book “A Matter of Days...” which was published in 2015, claimed that no such evidence has yet been found.   
 

Also I agree that the word “faith” has come to mean “outside” the facts, but that’s not what that word meant to the early Christians (or to me).  Quite the opposite, in fact.

 

But as I said, I’ve gone way off topic, so I apologize to the rest of you.


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27 minutes ago, austinpop said:

@joelha

 

Hi Joel, 

 

I normally keep well away from such threads, but I wanted to publicly thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful article.

 

Naturally, the ensuing discussion has devolved in exactly the expected trajectory.

 

But hey, such threads are a good way to refine one's Ignore list. I caught one or two new ones that I had missed. Thanks for that. 👍

 

Somehow @austipop is not reading the same article the OP wrote, which ended with:

 

"Can we respect the opinions of those who differ with us by not trying to shut them down with ridicule?"

 

Or was this all a bunch of hypocritical thumb in the eye posturing from the get go?


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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The proof that "everything matters", or however you wish to phrase this approach, is that careful focusing in that manner delivers 'magic' sound - that is, you can put on a recording that sounds like sh!te on 99% of 'audiophile' rigs - and you are presented with a powerful, emotionally involving musical event that transports you; it delivers all that music is cracked up to be, 😀.

 

Of course, if you're not interested in that ... well, have a happy day, 😉.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Tube amping is an age old tech. Yet still make the best voice reproduction, ever. Now we got portables w tube amp stage. That's a very nice otg treat to any legit audio enthusiast.

Let's all enjoy the Music....

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33 minutes ago, esldude said:

I'd say no as well.  I think some of the reason for a couple of them is that good instruments for measuring things are available widely that weren't in the past.  A few people learn to make use of them to help results in those hobbies.  Others learn from them.  And things actually are calmed down by more data.  Arguments generally follow with people presenting data in a way not much disputed.  The disputes are resolved with data from results.  

 

Somehow in audiophiledom, the more data the greater the dispute and the less likely the resolution.  So many refuse to accept the data and insist on some mystical way it isn't pertinent.  I think a large part of the reason for that is results in audio are ultimately subjective.  If I'm trying to shoot the best scoring target at 200 yards I either do it or demonstrate it and you can see if my methods work or not.  You don't get to dispute the target by saying "my grouping was larger, but it felt tighter when I made the shots.  Measuring the grouping is measuring the wrong thing when target shooting".  In astronomy you can resolve something or you can't.  Even when results are highly variable due to seeing conditions you don't much have people throwing in how it felt to explain results.  It is accepted that conditions vary without questioning how things work. 

 

So audiophiledom involves music which is art and subjective.  Somewhere sound, sound reproduction and hearing got imbued with the idea it was also subjective when it isn't.  

Yes I've always suspected my ability to judge SQ is objectively better than yours but how would I prove it? 

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2 minutes ago, Rexp said:

Yes I've always suspected my ability to judge SQ is objectively better than yours but how would I prove it? 

Why don't you offer up some hypothetical ways you could do that? It shouldn't be too hard. 


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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