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The problem with subjective impressions

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1 minute ago, Ralf11 said:

Many many qualified members do not agree with you in this area

 

 As this is mainly a Subjective based forum, as evidenced by the name of the forum, and supported by paid advertisements from members of the Hi Fi industry, the % of suitably qualified members is almost certainly a small minority of the total membership and readers of the forum.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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1 minute ago, sandyk said:

 

 As this is mainly a Subjective based forum, as evidenced by the name of the forum, and supported by paid advertisements from members of the Hi Fi industry, the % of suitably qualified members is almost certainly a small minority of the total membership and readers of the forum.

 

Yep and it was Computer Audiophile before that. Computers deal in protocols, they deal in substantiation and data integrity. Either by a few feet or thousands upon thousands of mile.

 

Many a hospital where patients outnumber the MD's.

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Rather than let this thread get sidetracked by the Radical Subjectivists, I hope the OP and others will keep it on track.

 

What the OP, Kimo, and Archi and others are pointing to is a rational and realistic subjectivism and a sensible balance between the objective and subjective aspects of audio.

 

It is here that the hobby bears fruit and it is here that Radical Subjectivists of all sorts, rather the aggressive sort or the seeming "innocuous" such as @joelhaderail useful discussion with their insistence on an open-ended anything goes voodoo hobby/industry.


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

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5 hours ago, Kimo said:

Subjective impressions may be problematic in that they generally will reflect the listener's subjective impression of what a good system should sound like,  which may not align with your own. 

 

For example, I have a strong dislike for almost all metal dome tweeters to the point that I find most systems difficult to listen to when I first sit down with them.  They typically sound harsh and flat to me.  I am aware that the Raal ribbons I prefer probably don't measure as well as some dome tweeters, but they also don't annoy me.  For those who don't share my affliction, the metal dome may be the superior choice, and my subjective view isn't worth squat to them.

 

If you do happen to find someone who shares your impressions in general, I believe that their subjective impressions can be quite valuable.  

 

Here's a good example of allowing the "shape of the camera body" to loom like a large monster, getting in the way of being able to take "good shots" ... a tweeter is merely part of the system delivering the recording; if you can "hear the tweeter" then you are listening to the rig, and not to the musical event - the equipment used is dominating your perspective, such that the capture of the musical event is well down on the totem pole ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Keeping it on track, what @kimo gets right is that he starts in the right place:  language

 

A useful subjectivism and review based hobby will have a common language -  words will mean something, and that meaning will be transferable to others:  when you say "transparent" or "warm" others will know what you mean and how it relates to their (subjective) preferences/expectations.

 

A common language would even get us a kind of "honesty control" via a crowd source methodology.  For example, when @Kimo claims he can hear the sound of "metal tweeters" (and thus the materials a transducer has imparts a "sound" to the waveform) others who don't have an expectation around this could report their subjective impressions in a common and repeatable language, and we could then correlate (based on multiple impressions) rather the material of transducers really does impart a "sound" to the waveform.


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

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5 minutes ago, crenca said:

Rather than let this thread get sidetracked by the Radical Subjectivists, I hope the OP and others will keep it on track.

 As is usually the case, blame everybody except yourself.

Note also that this IS a Subjective thread that was started by a member from the Subjective side, who almost certainly didn't wish to hear the usual demands for DBT testing every time somebody reports hearing a difference after an equipment modification or change of equipment.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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4 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Here's a good example of allowing the "shape of the camera body" to loom like a large monster, getting in the way of being able to take "good shots" ... a tweeter is merely part of the system delivering the recording; if you can "hear the tweeter" then you are listening to the rig, and not to the musical event - the equipment used is dominating your perspective, such that the capture of the musical event is well down on the totem pole ...

 

Nope.  If I disconnect the offending tweeter, the offense disappears.  If I insert a single driver, the offense remains at bay.  Some parts of the system are more critical than others.

 

First rule, do no harm, neither subjectively nor objectively.  

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8 hours ago, Rexp said:

All us subjectivists can get a little carried away sometimes, I think its important to have a reference sound to benchmark against. What hi-end systems can do is allow recorded music to trigger an emotional response in the same way a live performance can. So for me its fairly black and white, either a component/system delivers the emotion in the music or it doesn't. Beyond that it's personal preference. 

 

Yes. It's a "reference experience" I'm chasing, not a "reference sound" - if I'm not getting the former, then it's all just junk, subjectively - and I have zero interest in it.

 

What is fascinating, from a technical POV, is that the most unlikely recordings can trigger that emotional response; and that one has to work hard, very hard, on "audible differences" in the 'right way' to make this happen - this is where the subjective and objective approaches do indeed overlap, very strongly.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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4 minutes ago, esldude said:

I think all of those are so good other than amps and speakers there isn't much difference.  Saying so isn't good business.  I think consumers fancy themselves to be reviewers or have their abilities.  Like a mystic group where you wish to ascend into the ranks of the worthy ear inner circle.  Yet they lack the exposure to much outstanding gear or notable gear.  Combined with the fact there actually is little difference in gear other than amps and speakers, and I think the whole industry went off in left field.  

 

If it weren't about business, magazines wouldn't subjectively review anything except transducers.  If a component other than speakers has a sound it is a failure of design.  

 Dennis

 You really need to get out and hear  more equipment of different types at other friend's houses. I have heard gear way in excess of my ability to afford, in fact, systems costing >$100K, that sounded way better than most people hear especially at a typical Hi Fi show.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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16 minutes ago, esldude said:

Now back in the early days of the subjective mags (Stereophile and then TAS), those guys got to listen to noteworthy gear you didn't find just anywhere.  When in time I managed to hear some of that gear in person it was notable in some way well beyond the norm.  Which gave them credibility in my eyes.  Turntables, arms, cartridges, speakers, and amps would be at least generally as they described them, and while maybe or maybe not to my preference there were differences. Preamps not so much.  I never did get the fetish over preamps, most didn't make a big difference one way or the other.

 

"Noteworthy" gear is only so because they make it easier to assemble a system which can deliver what's "on the recording" - the "specialness" of the component is only there because the company making it got more things right than normal - meaning people like me don't have to do major surgery to allow the recording to come through, 😜. You see, it's always a game of Subtracting Badness, not Adding Goodness ... 😉.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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38 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 

 As this is mainly a Subjective based forum, as evidenced by the name of the forum, and supported by paid advertisements from members of the Hi Fi industry, the % of suitably qualified members is almost certainly a small minority of the total membership and readers of the forum.

 

not very Stylish of you

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9 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 Dennis

 You really need to get out and hear  more equipment of different types at other friend's houses. I have heard gear way in excess of my ability to afford, in fact, systems costing >$100K, that sounded way better than most people hear especially at a typical Hi Fi show.

 

Hmmm ... usually the failings are so annoying, considering the price of the stuff, that it disturbs me - like buying a brand new car which vibrates badly at some speeds, and bits of the interior fall off when you touch them - umm, I'm not impressed ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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28 minutes ago, plissken said:

 

Measurements would suffice. I blind tested reconstruction filters of a DAC over headphones and could 100% pick out when it was A or B. The cool thing is seeing what it looked like measurement wise.

 

 

 

I have tried switching through the filters on my DAC and found that I can't reliably pick them out on my monitor speakers.  

 

I was able to pick out a misbehaving ESS 9038 implementation, however.  

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6 hours ago, Summit said:

 

I do not share your belief that subjective impressions mostly are made up to justify choice of purchases.

 

I believe it’s true that in the effort to get better and better audio system to enjoy the music it can become the hobby of listening to the equipment.


As we age we tend to forget our first purchase. It can be shoes, nice shirt, racquet, car or phones. 
 

When we’re young it was all about music. There was no soundstage or depth that we bothered about. Just good sound. 
 

I am an accidental audiophile because I had no idea what high fidelity was. The only thing I knew about good sound was the more expensive and bigger the system the better the sound was. 
 

When I was young I was on the road most of the time driving long distance. The only think that kept me company was the music. Those days after market car audio were not a well known concept. One of the car had a Blaupunkt New York system and another one with a Clarion player. The Blaupunkt sounded better. 
 

One day during one of the business lunch, the client asked for the car key and unknown to me he took the car for audio upgrade. After a long lunch, he told me he got a surprise and took me to the car where the audio system was still being installed. That’s when I heard a sound which was far superior than any of the car audio that I was familiar with. It cost about US$7000 ( I didn’t pay for it) in the 80s. 
 

The subjective opinion started from there. My car sound was the reference for others. And I formed an opinion based on what was done to my car about sound quality.  I described the sound using words that I know of. Formed an opinion that Clarion player was the best because that was not changed during the upgrade. It was only much later that I came to know they had changed the speakers and added amplifier. 
 

Everything was fine until I feel that one or two tracks could be better. Took to the shop, and was lectured that I needed two additional mid woofer for vocal accuracy and the tweeter need to be placed in the dashboard. And they told I needed a better cable and a capacitor.......

They all made a huge difference in my mind. The others who fancied good sound just started to get opinion from me. Soon I was an audio expert.  I started to listen to equipments. 

 

 

 

6 hours ago, Kimo said:

 

We also have respected and successful tube amp manufacturers that would say the same thing, though not about Scott and Fisher.

 

I also know of speaker manufacturers that will tell you the greatest sounding driver ever built was the RCA.


unfortunately they are not consistent. They declared digital sounded awful but now promoting digital product. One guy went around challenged everyone that he could make his amplifier to sound like any other amplifier but now selling all tube sound with excuses.  We also have one famed engineer who doesn’t believe in IC or cables but admit using the highly rated product of other engineer because that’s what customers would like to see. 

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3 hours ago, esldude said:

.  I never did get the fetish over preamps, most didn't make a big difference one way or the other. 


This is the only part I disagree. A preamp is the most crucial thing for what comes out you Amp. A good preamp should have the input and output adjustment. 

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3 hours ago, sandyk said:

 Dennis

 You really need to get out and hear  more equipment of different types at other friend's houses. I have heard gear way in excess of my ability to afford, in fact, systems costing >$100K, that sounded way better than most people hear especially at a typical Hi Fi show.


Try that in the same room. 

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the problem with saying "subjective impressions mostly are made up to justify choice of purchases" is that it is ambiguous as to conscious (likely untrue) vs. unconscious state of mind (likely true)

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29 minutes ago, STC said:


This is the only part I disagree. A preamp is the most crucial thing for what comes out you Amp. A good preamp should have the input and output adjustment. 

 

I also disagree, but for different reasons ... the preamp is a problem child because it has all the means for adjusting things; switching inputs, varying gain, different paths for the signal to traverse. Every "decision point" is another weakness ... my current NAD integrated was pretty awful to listen to when I first tried it - I had to steadily go through it, and "rip out" all the preamp functionality, for it to evolve into a decent sound path.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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28 minutes ago, fas42 said:

... my current NAD integrated was pretty awful to listen to when I first tried it - I had to steadily go through it, and "rip out" all the preamp functionality, for it to evolve into a decent sound path.

 

Always have two units. One untouched with your tinkering. After a year or two listen to them side by side and you would realize what a big circle you have been walking for decades. 

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31 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

the problem with saying "subjective impressions mostly are made up to justify choice of purchases" is that it is ambiguous as to conscious (likely untrue) vs. unconscious state of mind (likely true)


Audio is not a necessity. It is a luxury. It gives you the pleasure in being part of a elite group. Of course, in between you may exercise common sense for the purchases but the very fundamental reason for buying high end equipment is the sense of self esteem (sic)?  I can’t think the the right word for now. 

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46 minutes ago, STC said:

 

Always have two units. One untouched with your tinkering. After a year or two listen to them side by side and you would realize what a big circle you have been walking for decades. 

 

No. It doesn't work that way ... at least for me - get two cars, full of squeaks and rattles, and unpleasant, non-motoring noises. Leave one alone, and excise all the irrelevant noises from the other - and listen again. Now, you may not like the remaining wind, road and engine noises of the 'fixed' car - but it doesn't take any effort to realise how far you've 'travelled', if you listen again to the untouched vehicle.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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