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Objectivity without measurements


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A very simple way to have an "objective" point of view about the effect of component changes in a system is to simply test those changes with someone who has no interest in audio systems. If they cannot hear a marked difference (repatedly) then there probably is no difference (or very little). 

 

Reality can be sobering...

 

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15 hours ago, Archimago said:

Yeah, agree, that's one way to do it. Realize however that strictly speaking, in this situation, you are actually "measuring" the change using this person as your "instrument". The question is how accurate is this "instrument" 🤔?

 

Gotta say, I hate it though when I change a cable and my wife or kid from the other room while cooking, doing homework, or watching YouTube videos says to me "Hey, what did you do!? Veils lifted!" forces me to write about it. 🤣

 

If the unit catches on fire, or the program crashes, then it fails.  Didn't need a measurement device...  Of course, needed to make a call to the fire department.

 

John

 

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How well our senses can differentiate is a matter of training. That applies to vision, sound and taste.

Harman Research (Toole and Olive) used extensive blind listening test to establish objective evaluation of loudspeakers. It is clear that trained listeners give more reliable information than untrained. 

If someone can not hear a sound difference but other do under blind conditions it would indicate lack of auditory training (or auditory deficiency). Many can not differentiate wines whereas persons who care about wine can.

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On 2/22/2020 at 9:44 PM, Archimago said:

Gotta say, I hate it though when I change a cable and my wife or kid from the other room while cooking, doing homework, or watching YouTube videos says to me "Hey, what did you do!? Veils lifted!" forces me to write about it. 🤣

 

Although sometimes I expect the veils to be lifted, and they’re not.

 

Like last week, when I when I routed my 12-NIC team, each member named for one of Santa’s reindeer, through my overclocked Speak & Spell, then out to the DAC with USB.

 

I cut the cables with hedge clippers, but traceroutes to the North Pole showed the same number of hops as before, and everything still sounded the same.  So much for expectation bias.  🤣

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1 hour ago, monteverdi said:

How well our senses can differentiate is a matter of training. That applies to vision, sound and taste.

Harman Research (Toole and Olive) used extensive blind listening test to establish objective evaluation of loudspeakers. It is clear that trained listeners give more reliable information than untrained. 

 

 

Toole seemed to find that experienced listeners had less overall variation in their judgements and tend to differentiate their ratings more strongly compared to untrained listeners, but the averaged results for each group was the same.IOW their was overall agreement (concordance) between the two groups but differences in what Toole called kind. One would expect less experienced listeners to be required to get a statistically significant result.

 

"Inexperienced listeners, and listeners with deteriorated hearing exhibited higher variations in their judgments , for different reasons obviously. The opinions of the inexperienced youths when averaged were not different from those of selected and trained listeners"

 

 

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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26 minutes ago, hopkins said:

If differences can only be perceived by trained listeners than chances are they are subtle and not significant... 

 

In the Toole example, as I understand it, both groups heard differences and chose similarly. The trained group were just better at it (read more consistent and more definitive).

 

In the case where things can only be perceived with training I believe there can be large differences once you learn where and how to look/listen. Perception is more than just registration of a sensory stimulus in the cortex. Thats a big topic.....

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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15 minutes ago, STC said:

Audiophiles make up less than 1% of music lovers. 

 

That does not mean that "non audiophiles" cannot appreciate a good system. It probably means that good systems are rare, and that most expensive audio equipment has little added value. It is surprisingly easy to make a "non musical" system with expensive audiophile equipment. 

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22 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

That does not mean that "non audiophiles" cannot appreciate a good system. It probably means that good systems are rare, and that most expensive audio equipment has little added value. It is surprisingly easy to make a "non musical" system with expensive audiophile equipment. 


Doesn't mean they will have the best equipment for high fidelity. My better half got a very large family and in the business of providing sound solution . Not even one of them got a hifi system at home. They appreciate the music. And whenever they drop by for visits they still like to hear the fav songs in my system. But they just do not have the interest nor time or the need to setup a high end system. The younger generation do pay big bucks for good sound system for their car audio though. 

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1 hour ago, hopkins said:

 

That [Audiophiles make up less than 1% of music lovers] does not mean that "non audiophiles" cannot appreciate a good system.

 

Totally agree

1 hour ago, hopkins said:

It [Audiophiles make up less than 1% of music lovers] probably means that good systems are rare,

 

This assumes that only audiophiles have good systems.

 

1 hour ago, hopkins said:

and that most expensive audio equipment has little added value.

 

IMO the assertion (right or wrong) of "most expensive audio equipment has little added value"  does not follow from "Audiophiles make up less than 1% of music lovers"

 

1 hour ago, hopkins said:

It is surprisingly easy to make a "non musical" system with expensive audiophile equipment. 

 

as it is with cheap systems.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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