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Audio reproduction is a matter of taste?


hopkins
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6 minutes ago, mfsoa said:

I love it! Perfectly captures what we want out of our systems.

 

To those who are trying to accurately replay the sound on the disc -The disc has no sound. You are trying to replay what you think is the sound on the disc. Very different...

 

Since no two people think that a disc should sound the same way, it then comes down to personal preference and boom - it's all subjective ultimately.

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There seems to be bit of a bifurcation here...    Of course, one wants the most neutral system that is possible, but perception/sensation is the goal.   Trying to listen to music for perfection is not always the same as listening for enjoyment.  The kind of enjoyment can be a matter of taste, but it isn't about 'good taste' or 'bad taste', but 'different taste'.

Some people might really enjoy their boom box or their boomy car system, but who am I to say that someone has 'bad taste'?

The real problem about taste is the quality of recordings, because we do have the technical quality down to perfection, certainly often much better (more 'elite') than what was used in the recording studio.

Part of the sensory mechanism can also include the kind of packaging finish on the equipment.   To some people, that might be very important, but to others (like me) -- I don't care.  However, those who want the latest in-vogue high-tech look to their equipment are not wrong.   Same as $200 cables, even when most of the audio path was likely done by standard industrial cables.  It isn't wrong to prefer the experience from the high-end consumer audio HW, but not everyone agrees.  I don't think that there will ever be 100% agreement about any single thing in audio.

 

 

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In this review, I wonder if gmgraves was actually in the recording studio to substantiate this claim 😂

 

"One of the most natural, and realistic recordings that I have is our own Mario Martinez’ recording on his PlayClassics label “Angel Cabrera Plays Debussy”. This album is a perfectly recorded solo grand piano. I’ve always thought that this recording sounded more like an actual grand piano playing in my living room than any other that I have ever heard. But the new Yggy breaks through that wall of recording artificiality and actually, uncannily, brings already great sounding piano right into the room. All sense of listening to a recording is gone. It’s quite incredible!"

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Just now, hopkins said:

 

 

In this review, I wonder if gmgraves was actually in the recording studio to substantiate this claim 😂

 

"One of the most natural, and realistic recordings that I have is our own Mario Martinez’ recording on his PlayClassics label “Angel Cabrera Plays Debussy”. This album is a perfectly recorded solo grand piano. I’ve always thought that this recording sounded more like an actual grand piano playing in my living room than any other that I have ever heard. But the new Yggy breaks through that wall of recording artificiality and actually, uncannily, brings already great sounding piano right into the room. All sense of listening to a recording is gone. It’s quite incredible!"


I think there is a language barrier here and a cultural barrier. None of your examples make any sense to me. 

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37 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I don’t follow. 

 

In comment 1157781 hopkins (replying to mfsoa) said,
"I've been to a good number of classical music concerts in my lifetime (and also played piano for a number of years) to know what violins, for example, sound like in a good concert hall."

 

In your comment 1157785 you quoted this, saying,
"Rhetorical question: You know what all violins sound like in all concert halls?"
which looked pretty much like a challenge.

 

In comment 1157788 hopkins said,
"I am talking about sound "characteristics" not the actual sound of a given violin on a given day, on a given concert hall. There are obviously differences, but there are also similarities."

 

You challenged agin in comment 1157790 saying,
"What do you mean by characteristics?".

 

In comment 1157792 hopkins replied saying,
"All these different violins played on different occasions, places, by different people, recorded with different microphones, etc.., share some similarities. I think our brain is able to tell us, when we listen to a variety of recordings whether two different systems are better at reproducing sound based on these types of attributes,"

to which your only response was,

"I'm out." (comment 1157793)

 

As you know, I am vested in the psychological aspect - vis we certainly can recognise the extent to which what we hear maps to our aggregate experience in any matter (as distinct from absolute or specific references). I don't see the need to question or dispute this to ourselves, much less judge the assertions of others (especially if their experience outranks our own). I commented accordingly (1157798).

 

Since then, hopkins introduced a series of sample reviews (after I had challenged him to produce quotes actually - 1157963), some of which illustrate your use of the word "real" to describe what you are hearing - in particular 1157969,

"I'm not joking when I say that I could completely picture Jordan striking the steel drum ... it was just more real ..."

 

I think I've correctly imagined - and said in this thread - that when you say "real" you may mean "convincing", and that requires no justification.

 

Happy to be corrected re intent. I did read this things but I didn't write them.

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7 minutes ago, Iving said:

 

In comment 1157781 hopkins said,
"I've been to a good number of classical music concerts in my lifetime (and also played piano for a number of years) to know what violins, for example, sound like in a good concert hall."

 

In your comment 1157785 you quoted this, saying,
"Rhetorical question: You know what all violins sound like in all concert halls?"
which looked pretty much like a challenge.

 

In comment 1157788 hopkins said,
"I am talking about sound "characteristics" not the actual sound of a given violin on a given day, on a given concert hall. There are obviously differences, but there are also similarities."

 

You challenged agin in comment 1157790 saying,
"What do you mean by characteristics?".

 

In comment 1157792 hopkins replied saying,
"All these different violins played on different occasions, places, by different people, recorded with different microphones, etc.., share some similarities. I think our brain is able to tell us, when we listen to a variety of recordings whether two different systems are better at reproducing sound based on these types of attributes,"

to which your only response was,

"I'm out." (comment 1157793)

 

As you know, I am vested in the psychological aspect - vis we certainly can recognise the extent to which what we hear maps to our aggregate experience in any matter (as distinct from absolute or specific references). I don't see the need to question or dispute this to ourselves, much less judge the assertions of others (especially if their experience outranks our own). I commented accordingly (1157798).

 

Since then, hopkins introduced a series of sample reviews (after I had challenged him to produce quotes actually - 1157963), some of which illustrate your use of the word "real" to describe what you are hearing - in particular 1157969,

"I'm not joking when I say that I could completely picture Jordan striking the steel drum ... it was just more real ..."

 

I think I've correctly imagined - and said in this thread - that when you say "real" you may mean "convincing", and that requires no justification.

 

Happy to be corrected re intent. I did read this things but I didn't write them.

So the upshot is, Chris, and I assume other reviewers, can't use "real" as a descriptor? What a bunch of nonsense. 

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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35 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

There seems to be bit of a bifurcation here...    Of course, one wants the most neutral system that is possible, but perception/sensation is the goal.   Trying to listen to music for perfection is not always the same as listening for enjoyment.  The kind of enjoyment can be a matter of taste, but it isn't about 'good taste' or 'bad taste', but 'different taste'.

Some people might really enjoy their boom box or their boomy car system, but who am I to say that someone has 'bad taste'?

The real problem about taste is the quality of recordings, because we do have the technical quality down to perfection, certainly often much better (more 'elite') than what was used in the recording studio.

 

These are really good points.  As audiophiles, we are typically trying to fool ourselves that the original music is in the room and that it is simultaneously the highest fidelity and most beautiful.  A utopian dream.

 

The boom box guys are not doing this--they are simply listening for their own definition of best possible sound.  Even more in contrast is that certain indie artists make a conscious artistic decision to go for a "lo-fi" sound.  This is part of the aesthetic.  One example:

 

 

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1 hour ago, mfsoa said:

I love it! Perfectly captures what we want out of our systems.

 

To those who are trying to accurately replay the sound on the disc -The disc has no sound. You are trying to replay what you think is the sound on the disc. Very different...

 

Since no two people think that a disc should sound the same way, it then comes down to personal preference and boom - it's all subjective ultimately.

So all speakers, for example, are equally good at imaging? There is no better, its all subjective? 

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32 minutes ago, Rexp said:

So all speakers, for example, are equally good at imaging? There is no better, its all subjective?

Not really sure what this has to do with what I said but if I had to guess, I'd answer that minimonitors present the soundstage in one way. Planar speakers present the image in another. Please tell me which is better so I can make sure I don't make the wrong choice as subjective preference for a one or the other is apparently the wrong way to go about this. 

 

 

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The most underwhelming, disappointing, worst-bang-for-the-buck-and-effort system I ever heard was at Ralph Glaskal(?)'s mansion, in an Ambiophonic setup with, I forget, dozens(?) of SoundLab(?) speakers arranged around the listener (It was a while ago...). A system set up with soundstaging as the number one priority and I thought the overall SQ it was terrible. Surely not helped by having at least some of the panel speakers simply buzzing with electrical noise...

 

My subjective taste in imaging was clearly different from Ralph's (who was a very kind and gracious host). Please let me know which of us was right.

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OK, so Chris, let's go completely off topic and discuss which recording techniques are better. That's going to be really helpful. 

 

It can turn into a "free for all" when the administrator of this site does not agree with the OP! WTF ! 

 

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32 minutes ago, firedog said:

Austinpop is a very careful listener and comparer.

I would never setup a system like that, but he has spent countless hours evaluating different setups, and at the time of that graph, I assume it's what he found sounded best. 

None of us can say he's wrong with any degree of authority. We'd just be imposing our assumptions on his reality.

 

I don't get this whole discussion. It's obvious no 2 playback systems sound the same, and if both are fairly good, people are going to disagree about which one they want to listen to. None of us really knows which one is more accurate or real. We all have subconscious assumptions about how things should sound, and we base our evaluation on that. We don't all have the same assumptions, so we don't agree on evaluations of audio equipment. 

In that sense it is all taste. There is no absolute sound. Even 2 different masterings of the same recording can sound different. Which one is more accurate and real?

 

edit: by the way, I agree with using the term "convincing". My setup is the most "convincing" one I could find that fit my budget and not large listening room; and would sound "convincing" in that space. One of the things that "convinced" me to buy it was playing back large scale orchestral music like Mahler.

It clearly sounds nothing like a real orchestral performance of Mahler in a concert hall. But it sounds pretty "convincing" in my playback space. Much more than any other setup I've had or could reasonably presume to have in that space. 

I'm sure there are some that wouldn't like the sound of it or find it convincing. They have other systems. I probably wouldn't like the sound of their system in my space. 

 

Just wanted to add to this that we each may hear in quite different ways. See many of the examples on this page in which what you hear depends to a great extent on whether you are right- or left-handed:

 

https://deutsch.ucsd.edu/psychology/pages.php?i=201

 

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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12 minutes ago, firedog said:

Nonsense. A distinction without a difference here. Play the two masterings back on the same system and they sound different. Which version of the same recording is more real or more accurate?

That's why your argument is junk, no matter how much you try to dress it up.

 

You are confusing things between accuracy of the recording/mastering and accuracy of the playback (to the recording/mastering). They are two different things. They obviously both contribute to the end result, but we are not talking about the recording here. We are talking about the equipment.

 

In fact, it could be argued that accuracy of the recording/mastering is irrelevant to evaluate the equipment. Why? Simply because you can compare the playback of a same recording on different equipment and evaluate the accuracy of the equipment on a set of criteria. 

 

It's all common sense. 

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And by the way, if you are so convinced that you cannot evaluate the accuracy of the equipment, then it should follow that you cannot evaluate the accuracy of the recording either (or that it's purely a matter of taste), for exactly the same reasons.

 

In fact, there are plenty of people who don't give a crap about audio equipment and who actually do have opinions on recording quality. These opinions often converge, and while there are differences not everything is a matter of taste. 

 

You don't have to be in the recording booth to know that a recording is good or bad! Let's cut the BS. 

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18 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

You are confusing things between accuracy of the recording/mastering and accuracy of the playback (to the recording/mastering). They are two different things. They obviously both contribute to the end result, but we are not talking about the recording here. We are talking about the equipment.

 

In fact, it could be argued that accuracy of the recording/mastering is irrelevant to evaluate the equipment. Why? Simply because you can compare the playback of a same recording on different equipment and evaluate the accuracy of the equipment on a set of criteria. 

 

It's all common sense. 

Your sense isn't very common. And for good reason.

I'm not confused. You've set up a fake definition that doesn't exist.

My example shows why there isn't such a thing as you claim. It's all preference and taste in the end. 

You can setup your criteria and 2 listeners will disagree about how real it sounds  when listening to the same equipment playing back the same recording. How do you think there is then some sort of standard that can be evaluated  on different equipment according to your criteria?

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Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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7 minutes ago, firedog said:

Your sense isn't very common. And for good reason.

I'm not confused. You've set up a fake definition that doesn't exist.

My example shows why there isn't such a thing as you claim. It's all preference and taste in the end

 

It must be a cultural difference or language issue after all because I have no idea what these sentences mean. 

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