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manisandher

red or blue pill - Part II?

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12 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

Mani, there are some things that need to be considered in (1) as well. Bit-perfect transmission is not sufficient if the interface (SPDIF) also carries the clock signal used to drive the DAC output. Large amount of jitter on the interface can cause timing errors. For this reason, using a USB or another asynchronous connection to the DAC would be a much better choice, IMO.

 

So, use a USB DAC with an spdif output, and capture spdif output in real-time to test that A and B are bit-identical?

 

Any way of checking A and B are bit-identical using a USB DAC without an spdif output?

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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44 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

With DeltaWave software, I've compared now a large number of DAC/ADC loop-back recordings from various sources. The better equipment produces a null of -90dB or better. The recordings your sessions produced generated, at best, a -50dB null. That's a really poor conversion quality compared to some of the better equipment out there.

 

I've got the following ADCs to hand:

- RME Fireface 800 (need to repair the SMPS first)

- MOTU 896HD (mkI)

- Prism AD124 (44.1/48 only)

- Tascam DA-3000

 

(Shame I don't still have my Pacific Microsonics Model Two :(.)

 

The Tascam should be fine for the digital captures, as there's no actual conversion going on.

 

I'll do some DA/AD loops with my USB DAC and the other converters to figure out how they fare. Would a simple sine wave suffice, or would real music content better?

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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15 hours ago, fas42 said:

But to do a serious test, well, you need to be at complete ease with the situation.

 

Agree 100%.

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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2 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

So, use a USB DAC with an spdif output, and capture spdif output in real-time to test that A and B are bit-identical?

 

Any way of checking A and B are bit-identical using a USB DAC without an spdif output?

 

Mani.

 

There are very inexpensive USB to SPDIF converters out there that could be used, but that wouldn't work simultaneously with the DAC unless there's some PC sound driver software used that can feed the same input to multiple outputs (easy to do on the Mac, not sure about Windows).

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2 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

I've got the following ADCs to hand:

- RME Fireface 800 (need to repair the SMPS first)

- MOTU 896HD (mkI)

- Prism AD124 (44.1/48 only)

- Tascam DA-3000

 

(Shame I don't still have my Pacific Microsonics Model Two :(.)

 

The Tascam should be fine for the digital captures, as there's no actual conversion going on.

 

I'll do some DA/AD loops with my USB DAC and the other converters to figure out how they fare. Would a simple sine wave suffice, or would real music content better?

 

Mani.

 

For loop back, both, a simple 1kHz sine wave and a music files would both be useful. Sine wave is easier to interpret (get actual THD+N, etc.) but a music file will exercise a lot more of the converter chain. The Gearslutz interface loopback thread uses this WAV file (24/44.1kHz).

 

 

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another comparison you might consider is a set of 10-run ABX for ~10-12 minutes each vs. longer listening passages compared to each other

 

this is another thing where people claim one type of test is better than the other, but without any testing

 

 


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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5 hours ago, manisandher said:

 

The previous 10-run ABX took nearly 20 minutes to complete. Each A and B sample lasted for about 20 seconds, and then another 20 seconds for the X. So you're concentrating hard for over a minute for each run. I can tell you, doing 10 runs back-to-back was exhausting.

 

Probably why I got #9 wrong :P.

 

Mani.

 

The huge failure of the "scientific method" with many of things it tries to test about human behaviours is that it doesn't want to know about human adaptability, loss of interest, and fatigue levels - the obsession with deriving numbers is so strong that it attempts to push through with getting this data, no matter what; and ends up with results which are largely 'tainted', or are shown to have poor relevance in the long run.

 

Personally, I rely on the coming to a situation in a refreshed, "will now turn my attention to this" state, and see what my immediate, 'gut' reaction is telling me - this has always worked out, in that it allows me to make decisions which I am satisfied with, long term.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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27 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

Ah, yes! Scientific studies obviously have completely failed us, which is why all of science is now done by gut reaction 🤣😂

 

Ah, yes! It helps to doctor the quote, to improve the "funniness" of the response - and completely lose the point of the original ... 😉

 

I could point to the medical trials that 'proved' that certain treatments were effective, a decade or two ago - but now, for some bizarre reason 😊, no longer show the same results ... but I won't ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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2 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

When you were making the statement earlier about:

"The huge failure of the "scientific method" with many of things it tries to test about human behaviours is that it doesn't want to know about human adaptability, loss of interest, and fatigue levels...".

 

And then that:

"Personally, I rely on the coming to a situation in a refreshed, "will now turn my attention to this" state, and see what my immediate, 'gut' reaction is telling me..."

 

I'm curious as to what failure in the the science of audio you're referring to? And what answers have you been able to ascertain that is based on the advice of your "gut"? Are these answers that you found generalizable to everyone or are they your own? I've also seen your blog... Have you been able to succinctly document your principles in any specific post?

 

The failure as I see it is to appreciate that human hearing is far more acute in its ability to detect conflicting or disturbing anomalies in what it hears, than is generally accepted by the audio researchers - in simple terms, it's what always "gives the game away" when you can hear sounds somewhere, and you have to decide "Is it real, or only a hifi?" That it's only reproduction is clearly picked up by the listening mind, because either there is extra content that shouldn't be there, or something is missing - or both.

 

In these situations it is a gut reaction by the individual that causes him to decide one way or the other, and that's the sense that I'm using that term. I have learned to use this approach every time I experience some new audio reproduction situation - and it's served me well. It won't tell me whether the sound is as good as it could be, or what exactly is incorrect with what I'm hearing, unless I listen further - it's a Yes/No trigger as to whether the sound is in the "right zone" of accuracy.

 

What I've found is that if I manage to evolve the SQ to the level that I find acceptable, that other people find it engrossing. In particular, people who are not interested in the technical aspects of audio, typically women, enjoy the experience.

 

I have made many posts over the years, describing my approach from various angles ... a basic principle is that one has to become aware of deficiencies in the sound in a way that allows one to modify or improve the system, while being acutely aware of whether deficiencies are being reduced, hopefully to the point of inaudibility ... if one can't hear whether what one is doing has true value or not, then you're working blind.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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Thanks for your thoughts Peter.

 

7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

Can someone please repeat what's on then test bench here ? apart from a nice discussion, I personally lost the subject.

 

At this point, just a "nice discussion".

 

7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

Mani, you can't just let yourself drive into a corner and remain to be in the position that you are able to hear differences between "anything", which is what it seems to be about by now. I mean, up to listening to 1KHz sines, as it seems. 😮

You never clearly stated what this listening test will be about, according to you and your capabilities. You seem to allow to let others determine what you will be able to discern. Well, that most certainly isn't going to work ...

 

No, I'm not going to get myself into any corner(s). At this point, I just want to gather some ideas and get a sense of how we could improve on the previous listening test. That's all. I'm absolutely not committing to anything.

 

And I certainly wouldn't be listening to sine waves! That discussion with Paul was purely about testing the capability of an ADC, using a loop-back, and comparing against the source. We'd be looking for a difference of below -90dB or so between the resulting DA/AD and the source file. I just wanted to know what source would be best for the loop-back test. No listening involved whatsoever.

 

7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

Like you, I too can easily state what I can (and what I can't) discern, but that doesn't mean that I would be able to technically prove it. Scientifically, yes (statistics), but technically not. I'd even give you or anyone the guarantee.

 

OK, this gets to the crux of things. And it's why I think it's helpful to separate the methodology into two:

 

1) Proving that bit-identical replay can sound audibly different. ("Statistically")

 

Can be done via a controlled blind ABX, and showing that A and B remain bit-identical. This was exactly what we did in the previous ABX. I'm confident that I could at least match my previous result in a new ABX, using streaming vs. local replay, say.

 

But this shouldn't really be that controversial. As Paul stated earlier, jitter on the interface can cause timing errors. So, bit-identical replay certainly can sound different if something changes the amount of jitter reaching the DAC chip(s). I remember buying my first CD green marker pen, which certainly changed the sound... but unfortunately for the worst. I tried on on a couple of of CDs before cleaning their sides again and throwing the pen away. The green marker changed the sound, without changing any bits whatsoever.

 

People seem to think that modern USB DACs are immune to these sorts of influences. I don't think so - based on my experience.

 

2) Understanding the mechanisms that cause bit-identical replay to sound audibly different. ("Technically")

 

The biggest issue here by far is actual measurement.

 

7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

Let me remind people that quite in the beginning of the Red and Blue Pill I, I indicated that no technical test means would exist to prove it. People, mansr too, ignored that too easily. This, while it is (and appeared to be) the most crucial. Thus, someone scoring 99% probability is one, but trying to prove by technical means how that was done, is two - and impossible. One simply can-not prove the rightness of it by means of using too weak test means. So better have consensus about that first. And that can't happen by means that I know of, so we should ditch that part.

 

I totally agree that before any repeat ABX, we need to get a means of measuring the analogue output of the DAC that changes consistently with bit-identical changes upstream, e.g. streaming vs. local playback. You say it's impossible. I'd like to at least explore things further...

 

Peter, a question for you: If the ear can detect the difference (assuming proven by the ABX), why can't we measure it, either at the output of the DAC, or in the listening room with a microphone? Is it that the measurement device (in this case the ADC) simply isn't resolving enough (THD+N, clock stability, etc), or is it that the measurement device is simply measuring the wrong thing, and therefore not fit for purpose? If the latter is the case, then my earlier suggested loop-back tests will prove pointless - I could get the best-measuring ADC on the planet, and it still wouldn't find any difference between the analogue outputs.

 

7 hours ago, PeterSt said:

What thus, IMHO, remains, is a fairly simple test depicted by Mani (he knows what his capabilities are and with what means), which definitely needs real time checking for bit perfectness. And that is easy enough. Still a note of warning: whatever the means, it will influence SQ and Mani can't just let it happen that any random means is injected in his chain which will obfuscate. So whatever the means for testing bit perfectness, *or* #1 Mani must have applied that himself for approval by those directing the later test, *or* #2 those who direct the test must apply it, for Mani to check the usability for him. Probably for quite some days of easy listening (not under stress of the day itself). Next he should be allowed to reject the means because it does not work for him.

If I may give an advice on this one: try to accept #1 because else the lot will be a too tedious procedure (#2 may even imply several iterations).

 

I would only ever do an ABX if I were confident that I could still hear audible differences with the final setup. For example, before the previous ABX, I tried putting a preamp (a Pass Labs X1) into the chain to give us the option of taking analogue captures in real time. But it totally screwed up the sound, so I insisted on a direct DAC -> power amps path for the ABX.

 

Mani.


Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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16 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

another comparison you might consider is a set of 10-run ABX for ~10-12 minutes each vs. longer listening passages compared to each other

 

this is another thing where people claim one type of test is better than the other, but without any testing

 

 

 

I don't think it would be productive to use two different methods in the same day. But it would be interesting.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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12 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

Interesting how you're viewing this Frank. Obviously in science one can utilize all kinds of methodologies to ascertain the results. Biology and medicine are complicated and involve huge arrays of variables and results can change based on further awareness of things previously unappreciated. There are also experiments in medicine one simply cannot do due to ethical considerations which makes finding clear answers more difficult.

 

Computers, digital audio, amplifiers, etc... are based on physics and these are engineered devices of course. Challenges are different as well.

 

When you were making the statement earlier about:

"The huge failure of the "scientific method" with many of things it tries to test about human behaviours is that it doesn't want to know about human adaptability, loss of interest, and fatigue levels...".

 

And then that:

"Personally, I rely on the coming to a situation in a refreshed, "will now turn my attention to this" state, and see what my immediate, 'gut' reaction is telling me..."

 

I'm curious as to what failure in the the science of audio you're referring to? And what answers have you been able to ascertain that is based on the advice of your "gut"? Are these answers that you found generalizable to everyone or are they your own? I've also seen your blog... Have you been able to succinctly document your principles in any specific post?

 

I think that with "scientific method" he means the fallibility or limited effectiveness of A-B listening assessment testing, and if this is so I would agree with him.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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37 minutes ago, manisandher said:

Peter, a question for you: If the ear can detect the difference (assuming proven by the ABX), why can't we measure it, either at the output of the DAC, or in the listening room with a microphone? Is it that the measurement device (in this case the ADC) simply isn't resolving enough (THD+N, clock stability, etc), or is it that the measurement device is simply measuring the wrong thing, and therefore not fit for purpose? If the latter is the case, then my earlier suggested loop-back tests will prove pointless - I could get the best-measuring ADC on the planet, and it still wouldn't find any difference between the analogue outputs.

 

If there are differences would they most likely be captureable at the DAC output?

Is there a chance that the cause of such differences would produce some sort of interaction downstream with pre- or power-amplification?

 

What is the chance of the A/D process masking (allegedly) audible but hard to explain differences (jitter, filtering, noise-shaping, my knowledge is too limited to suggest potential causes)?

Will capturing the output affect the audibility of the differences?

 

Is it possible to compare both the original digital waveform and the digitalised capture?

How accurate and resolving is such a comparison?

Which parameters other than frequency response might be at play here and can be measured/compared?


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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39 minutes ago, manisandher said:

I would only ever do an ABX if I were confident that I could still hear audible differences with the final setup. For example, before the previous ABX, I tried putting a preamp (a Pass Labs X1) into the chain to give us the option of taking analogue captures in real time. But it totally screwed up the sound, so I insisted on a direct DAC -> power amps path for the ABX.

 

Mani.

 

Which is what makes understanding what's going on so difficult - the very presence of additional circuitry in the environment, to facilitate "taking measurements", can be a confounding influence which destroys the integrity of what is being measured. I have noted this myself when attempting to record some audio output - the ol' observer effect emerges to bite you, when it's least wanted! 😉


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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26 minutes ago, semente said:

Will capturing the output affect the audibility of the differences?

Maybe, but as long as the difference is audible during the capture, it doesn't matter.

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1 hour ago, mansr said:

Maybe, but as long as the difference is audible during the capture, it doesn't matter.

 

You mean if manisander can still hear the difference when comparing both captures?

Yes, that makes sense.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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On 1/11/2020 at 6:07 PM, fas42 said:

 

The failure as I see it is to appreciate that human hearing is far more acute in its ability to detect conflicting or disturbing anomalies in what it hears, than is generally accepted by the audio researchers - in simple terms, it's what always "gives the game away" when you can hear sounds somewhere, and you have to decide "Is it real, or only a hifi?" That it's only reproduction is clearly picked up by the listening mind, because either there is extra content that shouldn't be there, or something is missing - or both.

 

Thanks for the response @fas42. Let's perhaps get a bit more specific and work up to your perspective.

 

While no doubt human hearing (ears+mind) is good, we always need to remember thinking back to first principles that:

 

1. Hearing / perceptual resolution is not infinite - we can easily see the frequency-domain limits for hearing on the Fletcher-Munson curve and in the time-domain, humans are not that sensitive to phase anomalies.

 

2. Psychological effects are strong which shapes so much of perception - especially auditory perception which is the weaker compared to vision. Whether it's something like the McGurk Effect, or thinking something sounds "better" because it's slightly louder... Or of course seeing a fat fancy cable vs. flimsy cable and forming a bias.

 

Given the above, which is the basis for where science typically would like to find the thresholds of hearing (1) and use controls to rule out external variables (2), I'm not sure I see any specific instance where we can see a failure of science as you suggest. In your statement "Is it real, or only a hifi?", is there an example you have come across where scientists actually say "This will sound real!" but we know to be untrue or incomplete?

 

From what I have seen, I'm not sure any scientist has thus far claimed that sound systems today, especially 2-channel rigs sound exactly like the "real" thing (even though certain golden-ear subjective audiophiles believe this is possible with $$$ products probably, and advertising departments have been claiming such things for years).

 

Quote

In these situations it is a gut reaction by the individual that causes him to decide one way or the other, and that's the sense that I'm using that term. I have learned to use this approach every time I experience some new audio reproduction situation - and it's served me well. It won't tell me whether the sound is as good as it could be, or what exactly is incorrect with what I'm hearing, unless I listen further - it's a Yes/No trigger as to whether the sound is in the "right zone" of accuracy.

 

Sure. We all have our ways of doing things and we can all tweak our room, equipment, etc. to hit some kind of threshold of "this is good", or "this sounds more real", or "this sounds natural", to the satisfaction of the gut. 😉

 

Quote

What I've found is that if I manage to evolve the SQ to the level that I find acceptable, that other people find it engrossing. In particular, people who are not interested in the technical aspects of audio, typically women, enjoy the experience.

 

Okay. So what sounds good to you has utility to others as well and probably gets within the "normal curve" of what is "good sound" for most people with adequate hearing, including the women you come across. Great! But we can get there as well with instruments and room measurements.

 

Quote

I have made many posts over the years, describing my approach from various angles ... a basic principle is that one has to become aware of deficiencies in the sound in a way that allows one to modify or improve the system, while being acutely aware of whether deficiencies are being reduced, hopefully to the point of inaudibility ... if one can't hear whether what one is doing has true value or not, then you're working blind.

 

Hmmm. Okay. So that sounds like you've had enough experience with probably some typical musical tracks that you would use for system evaluation, coupled with the technique above developed over time. I assume the "basic principles" you speak of would correlate to the science of acoustics? Reasonable frequency response, low noise, watch for room issues like reflections and resonance if we break down the elements of what you're listening for.

 

So going back to what seems like your core belief as per your first sentence:

 

"The failure as I see it is to appreciate that human hearing is far more acute in its ability to detect conflicting or disturbing anomalies in what it hears, than is generally accepted by the audio researchers..."

 

You basically believe that "accepted audio research" at this point in history has not fully figured out all that the ears/mind is capable of perceiving. That at least in part it's because researchers have been underestimating the ear/mind's ability to figure out "conflicting or disturbing anomalies". And that your technique and "gut" have the ability to relatively consistently perceive and neutralize these anomalies.

 

While I don't know what your specific technique might be (as I said earlier perhaps a succinct link would help), isn't that what I and probably everyone else in these forums are doing? We're all trying our best to understand the limits and "anomalies" in our systems? All developing the technique to make the system sound "real"? While I wouldn't put any special recognition of my "gut" being important, I'm guessing this is the same thing as emotionally feeling (perhaps to use a less somatic description) like the system is "dialed" in to my taste for what the "real" performance could sound/feel like.

 

From my perspective, it's a bit presumptuous and dramatic to claim that science has "failed" unless you have some specific examples to mull on...


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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And thank you, for your detailed response, Archimago ... 🙂

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

Thanks for the response @fas42. Let's perhaps get a bit more specific and work up to your perspective.

 

While no doubt human hearing (ears+mind) is good, we always need to remember thinking back to first principles that:

 

1. Hearing / perceptual resolution is not infinite - we can easily see the frequency-domain limits for hearing on the Fletcher-Munson curve and in the time-domain, humans are not that sensitive to phase anomalies.

 

2. Psychological effects are strong which shapes so much of perception - especially auditory perception which is the weaker compared to vision. Whether it's something like the McGurk Effect, or thinking something sounds "better" because it's slightly louder... Or of course seeing a fat fancy cable vs. flimsy cable and forming a bias.

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

Given the above, which is the basis for where science typically would like to find the thresholds of hearing (1) and use controls to rule out external variables (2), I'm not sure I see any specific instance where we can see a failure of science as you suggest. In your statement "Is it real, or only a hifi?", is there an example you have come across where scientists actually say "This will sound real!" but we know to be untrue or incomplete?

 

I don't think audio scientists ever say "This will sound real!" - they're aiming for a best fit, as far as I can see. What happened is that I experienced reproduction which sounded "real", which was completely unsuspected by me as a possibility - but I didn't see anyone else say similar things - so, I started to explore what was going on ...

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

From what I have seen, I'm not sure any scientist has thus far claimed that sound systems today, especially 2-channel rigs sound exactly like the "real" thing (even though certain golden-ear subjective audiophiles believe this is possible with $$$ products probably, and advertising departments have been claiming such things for years).

 

Agree.

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

 

Sure. We all have our ways of doing things and we can all tweak our room, equipment, etc. to hit some kind of threshold of "this is good", or "this sounds more real", or "this sounds natural", to the satisfaction of the gut. 😉

 

 

Okay. So what sounds good to you has utility to others as well and probably gets within the "normal curve" of what is "good sound" for most people with adequate hearing, including the women you come across. Great! But we can get there as well with instruments and room measurements.

 

Instruments as in measuring what it is specific about the sound in that instance, that is "guaranteeing" that it is going to be "good sound"?

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

Hmmm. Okay. So that sounds like you've had enough experience with probably some typical musical tracks that you would use for system evaluation, coupled with the technique above developed over time. I assume the "basic principles" you speak of would correlate to the science of acoustics? Reasonable frequency response, low noise, watch for room issues like reflections and resonance if we break down the elements of what you're listening for.

 

To the science of acoustics as currently used, only partially. It turns out that frequency response is of low importance, because the listening brain unconsciously compensates, if the SQ in other areas is sufficient. Low noise, in the sense that anomalies in the sound that correlate with the music playing should be reduced to an absolute minimum is critical. Room issues are not important, the brain automatically compensates, I find.

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

So going back to what seems like your core belief as per your first sentence:

 

"The failure as I see it is to appreciate that human hearing is far more acute in its ability to detect conflicting or disturbing anomalies in what it hears, than is generally accepted by the audio researchers..."

 

You basically believe that "accepted audio research" at this point in history has not fully figured out all that the ears/mind is capable of perceiving. That at least in part it's because researchers have been underestimating the ear/mind's ability to figure out "conflicting or disturbing anomalies". And that your technique and "gut" have the ability to relatively consistently perceive and neutralize these anomalies.

 

Yes.

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

While I don't know what your specific technique might be (as I said earlier perhaps a succinct link would help), isn't that what I and probably everyone else in these forums are doing? We're all trying our best to understand the limits and "anomalies" in our systems? All developing the technique to make the system sound "real"? While I wouldn't put any special recognition of my "gut" being important, I'm guessing this is the same thing as emotionally feeling (perhaps to use a less somatic description) like the system is "dialed" in to my taste for what the "real" performance could sound/feel like.

 

The techniques are a variety of methods which all overlap what at least a decent number of people have used over the years ... the short and sweet version of the story is that with the first rig that attained the right SQ I merely was doing the same sort of things that thousands of enthusiasts have done since the dawn of audiophilia - except I struck it lucky. "Realistic" sound emerged one day, and almost literally floored me - one of the most obvious aspects of it is that it becomes impossible to "force your mind" to grasp that the sound is coming from drivers which could be literally inches away; the illusion of what you are hearing always maintains its integrity.

 

It's not the actual what's done that matters; rather, it's the consistent and continuing attention to very fine detail in locating areas in the system where the SQ is being degraded too much - because the engineering just happens not to be sufficient, to eliminate the problem.

 

 

24 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

From my perspective, it's a bit presumptuous and dramatic to claim that science has "failed" unless you have some specific examples to mull on...

 

"Fail" is just a strong word to describe the situation 😉 ... to this day, science has "failed" to explain how the universe works, to everyone's satisfaction.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

And thank you, for your detailed response, Archimago ... 🙂

 

I don't think audio scientists ever say "This will sound real!" - they're aiming for a best fit, as far as I can see. What happened is that I experienced reproduction which sounded "real", which was completely unsuspected by me as a possibility - but I didn't see anyone else say similar things - so, I started to explore what was going on ...

 

Hey Fred,

Well there are certainly times when I listen to my system and am surprised by how "real" the sound can be. At times with non-musical sounds, wondering if what I heard came from the system or maybe my wife and kids in the house. I suspect many of us would have similar occasions and stories where the illusion seems very real.

 

1 hour ago, fas42 said:

Instruments as in measuring what it is specific about the sound in that instance, that is "guaranteeing" that it is going to be "good sound"?

 

Of course not. There's no guarantee with instrumentation but like trial and error which we all do when optimizing the gear, the instruments can point us in the right direction especially when something is grossly off or give us further precision or clarity when we're close.

 

1 hour ago, fas42 said:

To the science of acoustics as currently used, only partially. It turns out that frequency response is of low importance, because the listening brain unconsciously compensates, if the SQ in other areas is sufficient. Low noise, in the sense that anomalies in the sound that correlate with the music playing should be reduced to an absolute minimum is critical. Room issues are not important, the brain automatically compensates, I find.

 

I'd have to disagree with you on this one. Frequency response is absolutely important - some headphones sound terrible with bad treble roll-off, likewise, it's hard to believe that one is listening to an organ without the lower registers! How can one possibly feel that a system is reproducing a "real"-sounding facsimile of music and musicians if it's missing chunks of frequencies!?

 

No other SQ quality is going to be compensating for those losses and my brain ain't going to make up for the experience of those bass drops in some dubstep that went missing!

 

Room issues not important!? Again, since we're talking "real" sounding audio, even if I could squeeze my system in the bathroom, how am I supposed to consider that as sounding "real" with all the echoes, perhaps vibrating shower door, and poor representation of low frequencies!?

 

1 hour ago, fas42 said:

The techniques are a variety of methods which all overlap what at least a decent number of people have used over the years ... the short and sweet version of the story is that with the first rig that attained the right SQ I merely was doing the same sort of things that thousands of enthusiasts have done since the dawn of audiophilia - except I struck it lucky. "Realistic" sound emerged one day, and almost literally floored me - one of the most obvious aspects of it is that it becomes impossible to "force your mind" to grasp that the sound is coming from drivers which could be literally inches away; the illusion of what you are hearing always maintains its integrity.

 

It's not the actual what's done that matters; rather, it's the consistent and continuing attention to very fine detail in locating areas in the system where the SQ is being degraded too much - because the engineering just happens not to be sufficient, to eliminate the problem.

 

Hmmm.. Okay, still would love to see that summary blog post Fred! And maybe some pictures of what was done, maybe a before and after of what the components and room looked like. If what you've accomplished in creating "real"-sounding hi-fi is something that can be taught, I'm sure many audiophiles across the Interwebs would be very thankful for your helpful blog post. If however, it can't be summarized or taught, then I guess there's no point saying too much.

 

For example, even if I'm able to convert lead to gold, what's the point in me speaking about it if it can't be taught to those I wish to share the knowledge with? Might as well stay quiet and just enjoy the result for myself...

 

1 hour ago, fas42 said:

"Fail" is just a strong word to describe the situation 😉 ... to this day, science has "failed" to explain how the universe works, to everyone's satisfaction.

 

Fair enough Fred... Let's still focus on that idea of whether the system sounds "real" though. Because I have some concerns about your perspective on what is needed and what isn't! 😲


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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There is no such thing as real sound. There is only sound the confirms to all the cues for localization or not. 
 

Put a person playing bagpipes on one side and a speaker playing piano on the other side behind the curtain. If you ask a person who has never heard these instruments before both will be real to him. 
 

A sound is real when it confirms with the psychoacoustics principles. Practically all demos about how real the high end system can sound usually confined to solo or two instruments. 

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