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Trust your ears


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41 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

It's also not lost on me that @March Audio seems to find his way into every argumentative thread. 

 

 

Let's not forgot the folks that seem to follow him from thread to thread, nipping at his heels...

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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1 minute ago, pkane2001 said:

I don't think the subject of the thread is all that controversial. The definition of "ears" in "Trust your ears" might be 😎

 

As an objectively-minded person, I fully trust my ears. I trust my ears to tell me if I prefer something, if I enjoy something, or if I can hear differences, and also if I cannot. To me "my ears" means just that -- my ears and my brain. No other senses should exert an influence, not any preconceived notions, opinions of others, no reviews, or even measurements. 

 

Since I have no way to block all these external influences out of my mind, a good double-blind test is the only way I know to determine what I'm actually hearing. The only way to exclude all the superfluous influences that have nothing to do with sound. It's not that I like taking blind tests, or that I think they are a fun way to spend the time. It's that I've been fooled enough times in sighted/non-blinded tests to know that it is an unreliable way to judge. So, I can fully agree with the subject of the thread, if we can only make a tiny change:  Trust only your ears.

 

 

 

Well said.

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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3 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

I don't think there is a commonality "between the audiophile "trust your ears" subjectivist camp and the larger antiscience movement." 

 

I see the larger anti-science movement as much more political, religious, and involving perceived freedom. I see the audiophile "trust your ears" camp as people who have disposable income (a lot or a little) and find this stuff enjoyable. 

 

It's interesting Chris, I actually first made this point back in 2015 to, of all people, Michael Lavorgna, when he was the editor of Audiostream. I posted a comment on an article of his, questioning whether he was being objective or catering to his advertisers and he went ballistic. He emailed me with a really obnoxious message, threatened to ban me on Audiostream should I ever question his intentions again, etc. This was the year before Trump won the presidential election. 

 

I told ML I thought what I observed in much of high-end audio was similar to what I was seeing in the political world. That was six years ago. So yes, except for people being careless when upgrading fuses, nothing in the subjective audio world will kill people. However, I think the thought processes and approaches to knowledge formulation that I see in much of the subjectivist audiophile world do have a potential of cross-over into other domains.

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21 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

The "problem" you refer to is, at least with respect to this thread, the result of a topic Trust Your Ears that intentionally or otherwise invites replies from subjectivists. I agree with Teresa who, appropriately in my view, questioned whether this topic belongs in the Objective-Fi forum.
 

 

I agree but the "problem" of subjectivists taking potshots at objectivists in this sub-forum isn't confined to this thread, IMHO.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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57 minutes ago, Iving said:

 

imo it makes sense to divorce the macro from the micro.

 

At the macro level, perhaps it's legitimate to argue an "antiscience" (or similar) case wrt big business. I understand that people might want to grind an axe regards deception and rip-offs. This would be a quasi-political endeavour. I think if you're going to take a pejorative view of a particular business you should be willing to defend your position - because of the potential harm done if your position is faulty or unfair.

 

At the micro level, I have been a career academic scientist, yet have no trouble (let's say cognitive dissonance) building my system without recourse to blind tests etc. I think I should be able to share my experiences socially on this Forum free of demand for proof. If I am wrong about something, there's no harm done except to myself. I read other people's experiences with a pinch of salt. We are adults and can do that. If we hobbyists are fooled by each other, well then we deserve our mugging.

 

About "ears". I've said the like before. There's a twilight zone in which knowledge and understandings have not yet been established but *could* be - invoking the scientific method that is. It's such a disappointment that polar positions are resumed as soon as conversations begin. There's so much unexploited diverse talent and expertise here. For example, I'd like to see, in Objective-Fi, folks posting an interesting and answerable research question accompanied by a proposed method for addressing it. There would only be any point in doing so if a positive, conspiratorial debate ensued culminating in an actual experiment. That's why I don't do it!

 

Never mind. It is a fun hobby. And this *is* a fun place!

 

As you can see from my profile, I don't post a lot here. And I don't post on any other audiophile forum. So when I'm not listening to music I try to do something useful for the community at large. I spent many hours nights and weekends creating Volumio's Spotify plug-in a few years ago. It was a lot of work, and my first major project coding in Node.js. But it was a lot of fun and it feels good to know that many of the 400,000 active Volumio users are enjoying listening to Spotify with the code I wrote.

 

And as for my original post here, it itself was bit of an experiment. I was curious what range of reactions the post would elicit, and wanted to see how quickly somebody would personally insult me. It didn't take that long. That's why I don't usually post stuff here.

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1 minute ago, skikirkwood said:

 

As you can see from my profile, I don't post a lot here. And I don't post on any other audiophile forum. So when I'm not listening to music I try to do something useful for the community at large. I spent many hours nights and weekends creating Volumio's Spotify plug-in a few years ago. It was a lot of work, and my first major project coding in Node.js. But it was a lot of fun and it feels good to know that many of the 400,000 active Volumio users are enjoying listening to Spotify with the code I wrote.

 

And as for my original post here, it itself was bit of an experiment. I was curious what range of reactions the post would elicit, and wanted to see how quickly somebody would personally insult me. It didn't take that long. That's why I don't usually post stuff here.

Where’s the personal insult? I will take action. 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

Peter, if you don't have fun here, I highly recommend you take some time away. 

 

It's also not lost on me that @March Audio seems to find his way into every argumentative thread. 

 

People bashing isn't allowed. If you see it, report it.

I think you will find it's the same small number of posters who scream blue murder that their off topic subjectivists comments are called out.

Chris.  As I have asked previously, please don't imply I'm at fault for the behaviour of others.  I just call out people that are disrupting threads.

This was all quite sensible until Anotherspin decided to spam his metaphysics into yet another thread.  It's clearly off topic.

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If only discussions would go like this always ...

(seriously)

 

2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Where’s the personal insult? I will take action.

 

Chris, I think it is beyond imagination how cultures allow for different interpretation. This is how (at least) I can't parse the "harassments" you referred to, because in my perception it is all over the place. Already explicitly, let alone implicitly. Mind the term, which for me is about "taking prison" (please mind all the Trump angles involved). It could be nice word games in American language, but it is harassment literally in other parts of the world. It is not funny at all. It is choking. Deep stabbing, if you want.

This is abused by the grace of letting it be.

 

**I try to manipulate within the boundaries of what *my* interpretation of (mutual) American tries to "be". This is quite undoable for me and so many others (I'm sure).

There is a difference in trying to reach someone by indirect intelligent message (the American and IMO appropriate way) on one hand and bluntly scoff the hard way by means of so-called knowledge (organigram and staff influence as how I would call it) on the other.

This latter way will never work for people like in my part of the world because it is quite explicitly seen as shouting to get one's right. As you can obviously see, this is about half of the American thought and thinking (no judgment about that !) where a majority of the world may grab that for influencing (take that, please).

 

I am sure I don't make much sense because of my inability to bring it across, but please understand this:

There is no better understanding than whatever communication between Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo because we as Dutch and he as Aussie know exactly what we're up to. This is inherent and buried in there for decades. *Any* fragile assessment is interpreted immediately according its senses.

 

Harassment still is the key word. But man, it can be choking.

 

If this doesn't come across, then sorry.  I guess there really is a difference between a challenging way of putting things like PKane on one hand (good), and the inherently scoffing ways of others on the other (super bad). Someone like me can deal with people like Paul on an intellectual basis. But I can't deal with English language shouting and denigrating which IMHO should not be allowed in the first place.  

Constructively meant.

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Where’s the personal insult? I will take action. 

 

No need to take action, it was this:

 

Quote

So what! This says far more about you than it does about them. You apparently have a need to prove that you are right, whereas they are content - as am I and most who trust their ears - to be guided by their experience and simply enjoy the music. They have neither the need nor the desire to take you up on what they see as needless (annoying?) challenges.

 

What Allan F totally missed is I am sitting here thoroughly enjoying my music, and I have people telling me I need to upgrade my Raspberry Pi to a Lumin stream to get better sound quality. I need to upgrade my 22 year old Bryston Amp. I need to upgrade my Modi's to Yggy's. No, I don't, I am happy as is. And when someone tells me I need to do an expensive upgrade to achieve better sound quality, but it won't, I challenge them to prove it to me with a simple bet. Nobody has ever taken me up on this.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, skikirkwood said:

I need to upgrade my 22 year old Bryston Amp. I need to upgrade my Modi's to Yggy's. No, I don't, I am happy as is. And when someone tells me I need to do an expensive upgrade to achieve better sound quality, but it won't, I challenge them to prove it to me with a simple bet. Nobody has ever taken me up on this.

Given this is the objective sub forum, do you know how your 22 year old amp measures compared to the day it was released? Would be really interesting to see how well it has held up, given there are parts that age within the amp. 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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On 6/18/2021 at 1:59 AM, botrytis said:

I remember going to a listening test of high end Cables. The designer was there and described what to hear from the newer cables as compared to the previous generation of the cable.

 

I'm curious if anyone has done the opposite of the above?

 

e.g. have a person describe what to hear from one set of cables as compared to another, then pretend to fidget at the back of the amplifier but never actually swapped any cables, and record the responses/results from the audience? - i.e. reproducing a similar situation as the OP.

 

I imagine, on a larger scale, that this test could be done similar to how vaccine trials are done - in half the test group, an actual cable swap occurs and in the other "placebo" group, no actual cable swap is done. Though I'm no statistician, I'll leave it to more qualified people to determine how to interpret any results from such an experiment.

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15 minutes ago, Jud said:

 

I've been asking for citations to Toole and Olive papers because in one of them I distinctly recall reading that their supposedly "untrained" listener group was given a brief orientation telling them what to listen for in terms of flat(ter) frequency response across the audible range.  The responses from these people were then used to "prove" that even untrained listeners prefer speakers with flatter frequency response across the audible range.

 

Lots of people like to cite Toole and Olive for this proposition.  But I think we are all guilty of being less skeptical of what we already wish to believe, and must guard against it.

Listener training does not bias individuals into liking a certain sound.  It just makes them more adept and consistent at identifying certain traits.

 

Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained vs. Untrained Listeners in LS Tests: A Case Study (pearl-hifi.com)

 

4 DISCUSSION

This study reports one of the largest controlled loudspeaker listening tests conducted to date in terms of the sheer number of listeners involved. It is also unique in that most of the listeners (96%) had no formal training and little or no prior experience in controlled tests. One of the most significant findings is that the loudspeaker preferences of these nominally untrained listeners were very similar to those of the panel of trained listeners. The results may finally validate the use of trained listeners on the basis that their preferences can be extrapolated to a larger population of untrained listeners. The notion that the loudspeaker preferences of trained listeners are somehow biased can cannot be used to predict those of reviewers, audio retailers, and the intended (untrained) customer is not supported by scientific data. The differences between trained and untrained listeners are mostly related to differences in performance. The mean performances of the trained listeners based on loudspeakers FL values were 3–27 times higher than any of the other four listener occupations measured in this study. Training and experience in controlled tests lead to significant gains in performance so that fewer listeners are required to achieve the same statistical power. The comparatively poorer performance of the students relative to the other three groups of audio professionals suggests that in field job experience can be beneficial to making more reliable judgments of sound quality. This implies that some form of training may be necessary in order to measure statistically significant preferences using more naïve and inexperienced listeners. Fortunately Bech has shown that very little training (four to eight sessions) is required [1]. The trained listeners were also found to use lower preference ratings than the untrained listeners. However, the loudspeaker rank ordering and the relative differences in preference between them were quite similar for both trained and untrained listeners. This means that extrapolations across different listener groups are possible based on the results from trained listeners. Trained listeners were the least forgiving when it came to rating the technically and sonically weakest loudspeaker in the test (for example, loudspeaker M).

 

You can try out the Harman training software

Harman How to Listen: Welcome to How to Listen!

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