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Archimago on Greene vs Harley


Archimago/Greene/Harley  

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https://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/11/on-measurements-listening-and-what.html

 

Vote in the poll and feel free to provide any evidence (not just an opinion) to support or refute one side or the other, including @Archimago. Here's the original article:

 

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/measurements-listening-and-what-matters-in-audio/

 

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1 hour ago, Speedskater said:

Note that the Robert E. Greene editorial is 1600 words long and that the Robert Harley reply is 1000 words.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/measurements-listening-and-what-matters-in-audio/

 

It seems that Mr. Harley took off on a tangent (rant) and his reply has little to do with the editorial.

 

So, 1600 is objectively longer than 1000 words, that part is true :)

 

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32 minutes ago, semente said:

Is Harley protecting the industry or just defending his own approach to audio? His arguments are but a house of cards...

 

Yes, to me it also seemed like it was more of a rant than an argument. I found Archimago's rebuttal about jitter and power cords more interesting. 

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Why I put Archimago last is summed up in his conclusion,

 

Quote

I believe that for many products (like DACs, orthodox amplifiers, certainly wires), we are at a point of technological maturity where if you follow Greene's thesis to "concentrate on fundamentals", much of the little things have already been resolved by folks who know the science in a very competitive marketplace developing products over many generations

 

Key word here is "much" - my current active speakers are a case in point; delivering outstanding subjective results for 'ridiculous' money, where only a small number of tweaks were necessary to achieve an acceptable standard - this is indeed maturity of much of the technology. However, there is still an absence of the knowledge that "everything has to be got right", for the listening experience to deliver - which people like Archimago aren't strongly motivated to explore.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Sometimes measurable things aren't measured ... in the universe, ego is a mighty power ... 

 

Over and out.

 

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1 hour ago, PeterG said:

Harley has built his career and TAS around the small differences that Greene asserts are insignificant, and he believes that these small differences are what being an audiophile is about.  By that standard, Greene is spreading disinformation that could mislead newer listeners and/or more gullible readers.

 

But you can see that Greene might have exactly the same opinion of Harley's viewpoint, right?

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30 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

"Good enough" is often all we can do. And Mr. Greene and Archimago appear to be all about trying to figure out what that "good enough" really is.

 

It seems Greene thinks electronics in general is 'good enough'. Fair enough for him, that's based on his experience. My own experience differs - to me, not all DACs are 'good enough'. So I must disagree - electronics quality IME affects how much sense is able to be made from reproduced music. When recordings make more sense the enjoyment level rises considerably.

 

In terms of 'objectivity' its clear Greene sets up a straw man about 'soundstage'. He says :

 

This idea of evaluating everything in terms of soundstage is potentially a major source of confusion.

 

I've not seen any argument from any reviewer or audiophile where everything's evaluated in terms of soundstage. But if anyone has a link for an example, I'm game to read it.

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38 minutes ago, pkane2001 said:

 

I'd disagree with that, last point Frank. Archimago has spent a large amount of time investigating and exploring exactly this space. He didn't come to the same conclusions as you, though. 

 

 

Most likely because he didn't have the same experiences I did ... when convincing sound emerges, when 5 minutes earlier it didn't, it's a shock to the system - my human one, that is 🙂. If I had never got this to happen, those decades ago, I most likely would be singing from the same hymn book as he, right now ...

 

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"Everything has to be got right" is not supported by any evidence that you've presented so far, nor could it be, since there's no definition of what that "everything" is. Do you account for thermal noise? Do you correct for the parasitic capacitance between the PCB traces? Do you know if the wire used inside your speaker drivers is oxygen free copper? Or just some sort of copper alloy with impurities? What do you do to stop cosmic ray hits from interfering? Or sun spots? Etc., etc., etc. In real life, one must compromise. "Everything" can't be right, or we'd never get anywhere.

 

"Everything that's important" has got to be, yes, "right enough", is a wordier way of saying what is needed.

 

Quote

 

In my experience, and I believe that's what Mr. Greene is saying along with Archimago, is that everything has to be right enough. That "everything" isn't as important as some other things, and there are some very large elephants in the room that must be addressed before you get to swatting tiny bacteria. For example, things like a power cord are one of the last things you should be focused on to improve the sound of your system, especially if you've not yet dealt with speakers, and their proper position and room interactions.

 

The power cord may be the bottle neck, an absolutely critical one - in some, particular system. That's the bizarre aspect as it of course comes across, to objectivists. But why that may be so is because that cable is allowing, or introducing, a smidgin more noise into the circuits than that which is acceptable - change the cord , and the SQ comes good ... the noise isolation is now, "good enough".

 

Quote

 

"Good enough" is often all we can do. And Mr. Greene and Archimago appear to be all about trying to figure out what that "good enough" really is.

 

There are an infinite variety of "good enough" solutions - to get, 'right' sound, IMO requires that one becomes sensitive to the sound being 'wrong', and then using whatever means to introduce a "good enough" solution or workaround.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Sometimes measurable things aren't measured ... in the universe, ego is a mighty power ... 

 

Over and out.

 

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17 minutes ago, opus101 said:

 

It seems Greene thinks electronics in general is 'good enough'. Fair enough for him, that's based on his experience. My own experience differs - to me, not all DACs are 'good enough'. So I must disagree - electronics quality IME affects how much sense is able to be made from reproduced music. When recordings make more sense the enjoyment level rises considerably.

 

I didn't read it quite like that. What I thought Greene was stating is there are often very large errors in the transducer part of audio chain, with way, way smaller errors in the electronics. So, instead of spending time trying to squeeze that last error at -120dB out by using a better power cord, one may get much further by first trying to solve the large errors with speakers or headphones that often rise to the level of many dBs. He doesn't deny that some tiny effects might be audible, but he states this:

 

Quote

Some of these tiny effects may be audible, but the important point is that there is seldom any mechanism for deciding if the changes are to the good or not. If there is no way to know why some change, of a power cord say, affected the sound, there is no way to decide whether the effect, if any, was positive or not. How could you tell? Believe the manufacturer? Believe reviewers, who have as little basis as you yourself? This is a major issue.

 

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28 minutes ago, opus101 said:

In terms of 'objectivity' its clear Greene sets up a straw man about 'soundstage'. He says :

 

This idea of evaluating everything in terms of soundstage is potentially a major source of confusion.

 

I've not seen any argument from any reviewer or audiophile where everything's evaluated in terms of soundstage. But if anyone has a link for an example, I'm game to read it.

 

Soundstage is mentioned quite frequently as the argument against measurements. As in "we don't know how to measure a soundstage". I've encountered this argument plenty of times myself.

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2 minutes ago, opus101 said:

 

Yes, I agree that's what he's saying. But notice that 'way smaller' is from the point of view of our current measurement capabilities, not from the point of view of perception. Where I agree with him is that some things matter more than others, I disagree on what those things are. He's determining important ISTM from a numbers pov. I'd say that's non-sensical, what matters is what's perceived by the listener.

 

Perception of differences can also be measured, and has been for many things, like amps, DACs, power cords, speakers, headphones. Are you able to show any evidence that a swap of a power cord can make more of an audible difference (assuming both are functional, of course!) than swapping say, speakers or headphones?

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Just now, pkane2001 said:

Are you able to show any evidence that a swap of a power cord can make more of an audible difference (assuming both are functional, of course!) than swapping say, speakers or headphones?

 

I'm not at all interested in the question as its about 'audible differences'. To me they're a distraction.

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6 minutes ago, opus101 said:

I'm not at all interested in the question as its about 'audible differences'. To me they're a distraction.

 

I'm not sure what you're saying. In order to be perceived, differences must be audible. The test subject must be able to differentiate between two devices by listening, otherwise any perception they claim is not due to audio differences.

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