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Digi&Analog Fan

Does Anyone Miss When Audio Was More Conservative?

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I don't think that audio was more 'conservative' (prejudicial term), but comparisons were less dependent on the variations in human perception.  The quality of equipment has generally outstripped the ability for the general consumer to do reliable ad-hoc comparisons.   We have a lot better equipment, but our math, scientific and electronics skills haven't kept up for the correct observations, evaluation of observation, creation of results/conclusion.  0.001% accuracy doesn't help if the measurment isn't done correctly, or the results fully understood.  (Worst case: "sounds a lot better" is not a useful observation when a bunch of ear-wax has been cleaned out.)  This is NOT intended to claim that audiophiles are less competent, but instead nowadays, there is greater precision and fewer/smaller differences that need to be discerned.

When comparisons are done, the person is LOOKING for differences.  Since the 'difference' is the goal, and hearing is so variable, even from minute to minute, then 'differences' will be found.   One area where audio hobbyists have generally not kept up over the years, that is with experimental and statistical methods.  Closer-to-scientifically valid methods really need to be used because todays equipment is so very good.

I do believe a lot of the 'esoteric' equipment nowadays is intended to A) make money (relatively undeserved) B) exploit varations in perception, including 'emperors new clothes' syndrome.

 

So, IMO -- best to listen to music, don't try to be a frustrated EE or DSP person unless trained.  This stuff is complicated and without experimental rigor will confuse the best of us.  Existence proof of my own experimental confusion in recent days -- it REALLY DOES happen to the best of us.

 

John
 

 

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50 minutes ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

Technicality and measurements have never been particularly interesting to me. I just want to hear a good impersonation of music sounds. All music is really, is someone plucking something, hitting something or blowing air into something. That's all I need to hear a good impersonation of. I like to keep things simple and basic. At a simple basic price if possible.

That impersonation or  replication of reality is a laudible goal, but VERY FEW systems that I have heard could really replicate the real, intimate sound of Blues in a bar, or like Bluegrass like my family played.  I think the best that we typically can get is 'plausible.'.

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