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Why you can't trust measurements


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1 hour ago, GoldenOne said:

This video isn't about ASR

I did however post in the thread they have going on there about this video. It was instantly removed of course but there's an archive.org page here if anyone would like to read it:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220421140602/https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/why-you-cant-trust-audio-measurements-by-goldensound.33222/page-4

(You must remove the spaces/quotes from 'audio “science” review'. Audiophilestyle automatically puts them in so the link doesn't work)

Link doesn't work archive says there's no such page-even when it lists all the archived pages from the site.

Main listening (small home office):

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 Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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10 minutes ago, firedog said:

Not really. It's pretty easy.

 

Probably even easier if you insult the owner of the site and accuse him of improprieties, like @GoldenOne had done publicly. I assume he'll never be allowed back on ASR. But it would've been an interesting conversation about testing methodologies and blind/ABX testing. By the way, Amir does offer his APx project files to anyone who asks. Can't say if he'll share them with those who he has personal beef with, though.

 

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On 4/23/2022 at 1:28 PM, GoldenOne said:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220421140602/https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/why-you-cant-trust-audio-measurements-by-goldensound.33222/page-4

(You must remove the spaces/quotes from 'audio “science” review'. Audiophilestyle automatically puts them in so the link doesn't work)

On 4/23/2022 at 2:54 PM, firedog said:

Link doesn't work archive says there's no such page-even when it lists all the archived pages from the site.

You also have to add ".com".

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3 hours ago, JoshM said:

 

That's fair. I read your response as, "It's not surprising given that he insulted Amir." My reaction was simply that Amir clearly doesn't apply the same standard to himself.

 

I think the issue is that much of what happens at ASR is "appeal to authority," rather than "science." This, for example, was just posted:

 

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 4.16.55 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 4.17.16 PM.png

 

I don't know how anyone is supposed to react to that. As we've all seen during the pandemic, doctors disagree with one another. If I'd have listened to the doctor who once told me "We can't do anything about your pain besides give you opioids," I'd be in bad shape today. My mother had to diagnose herself with a rare disease that multiple doctors missed, likely saving her life. Others in that thread noted similar personal experiences with doctors, but Amir has no response to that.

 

There's a reason why appeals to authority are identified as a logical fallacy. Amir has justified MQA by saying "Well, are you Bob Stuart!?" over and over again. Yet simultaneously the expertise of someone like Mike Moffat is dismissed. However, if we're supposed to trust Stuart on MQA, why shouldn't we also trust Moffat on the Yggy? Appeal to authority is why Amir made such a big stink about @Archimago being anonymous. But either evidence speaks for itself, without reference to someone's name and CV, or we're not really dealing with science. 

 

There is, of course, some truth to the fact that how much you trust any evidence is at least partly based on the behavior and track record of the person presenting the evidence. We can't all replicate measurements at home because we can't all afford AP equipment (or have the time to conduct the measurements). But that's exactly one of @GoldenOne's points.

 

Ultimately, every ASR debate comes down to "Amir must be the unquestioned authority," which isn't really conducive to robust inquiry, scientific or otherwise. 

 

In my view, the more people doing measurements and checking each others' work, the better. But Amir's work is no more above criticism than anyone else's. (Indeed, based on track record, it's just as reasonable for someone to trust Amir less than someone like Arch or Golden!)

 

Josh,

 

Doctors may disagree with one another, but I still won't take advice to drink bleach to kill the virus from someone with no background in medicine. 

 

People  come to ASR to read Amir's opinion and then disagree with him and fight him on it. In reality, (and to most knowledgeable folks) Amir's opinion isn't interesting. His measurements are. And while there are those who criticise his measurements, their opinions are just as irrelevant as Amir's unless they can produce measurements that demonstrate that Amir borked his. Arguing about his "biases" or his "preferences" makes sense only if you give any weight to his opinion and subjective parts of his reviews. Personally, I don't, and have no reason to defend these. In fact, when ASR was just starting, the reviews only had measurements. Readers insisted that Amir give his opinion and his subjective reviews. So, now, here we are, discussing opinions which are not objective, not scientific, and unimportant.

 

I disagree that we are completely helpless and can't reproduce any of Amir's measurements at home without major investment. Investment in time and learning, yes, but not necessarily money. I've been doing this for years, and others have done, as well. It takes a little ingenuity and the desire to find things out for yourself. But then, there are many others that would rather be told what to think and what to like. While I can understand their motivation, such as lack of time, or lack of interest, I find it much more less acceptable to be told to drink bleach by someone -- I'd much rather have science and measurements presented to me to make up my own mind than to listen to an opinion of someone "in authority".

 

You can see people disagreeing with Amir in nearly every review thread. Few have facts, most have opinions. Of course, I'd also like to have more independent measurements. More real information, more facts and less opinions is a very desirable outcome to my mind. Which is why I said I was disappointed when GoldenOne was banned from ASR. But, I can also understand why Amir did it and it had nothing to do with measurements or objectivism.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

I've had run-ins with Amir ... he has a powerful need to have the last word, and will end up throwing everything he can possibly think of, so that he can come out on top ... when you realise the exchange has got to this point, the best option is to withdraw quietly; to continue will only cause the mud to get thicker, and more smelly ...

Please post on ASR more regularly than you do here, thanks!

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1 hour ago, pkane2001 said:

And while there are those who criticise his measurements, their opinions are just as irrelevant as Amir's unless they can produce measurements that demonstrate that Amir borked his.

 

 

Whilst I agree with a large part of what you wrote @pkane2001 I disagree with this bit. The Andrew Jones example that @botrytis has just given shows that its not necessary for AJ to come up with his own measurements to show that Amir's are erroneous.

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1 hour ago, botrytis said:

Well, the way Amir dismissed and banned ELAC designer. Andrew Jones, speaks volume about his arrogance. Andrew Jones was nothing but a gentlemen. Jones told Amir that his measurements were done above the maximum SPL if the speakers. Also, he offered to look at the speaker and ship back to him on his coin. Amir was a ponce and banned him.

 

I was not aware of what happened. In any case, I'm less interested in Amir's personality, or his disagreements with others than I am in the measurements.

 

1 hour ago, opus101 said:

Whilst I agree with a large part of what you wrote @pkane2001 I disagree with this bit. The Andrew Jones example that @botrytis has just given shows that its not necessary for AJ to come up with his own measurements to show that Amir's are erroneous.

 

Sure, a mistake is a mistake and can often be spotted without duplicating the measurements. I apparently missed this whole thing with AJ. Can someone point me to the thread where this happened? This is not the first time this incident is mentioned.

 

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2 hours ago, pkane2001 said:

 

Josh,

 

Doctors may disagree with one another, but I still won't take advice to drink bleach to kill the virus from someone with no background in medicine. 

 

People  come to ASR to read Amir's opinion and then disagree with him and fight him on it. In reality, (and to most knowledgeable folks) Amir's opinion isn't interesting. His measurements are. And while there are those who criticise his measurements, their opinions are just as irrelevant as Amir's unless they can produce measurements that demonstrate that Amir borked his. Arguing about his "biases" or his "preferences" makes sense only if you give any weight to his opinion and subjective parts of his reviews. Personally, I don't, and have no reason to defend these. In fact, when ASR was just starting, the reviews only had measurements. Readers insisted that Amir give his opinion and his subjective reviews. So, now, here we are, discussing opinions which are not objective, not scientific, and unimportant.

 

I disagree that we are completely helpless and can't reproduce any of Amir's measurements at home without major investment. Investment in time and learning, yes, but not necessarily money. I've been doing this for years, and others have done, as well. It takes a little ingenuity and the desire to find things out for yourself. But then, there are many others that would rather be told what to think and what to like. While I can understand their motivation, such as lack of time, or lack of interest, I find it much more less acceptable to be told to drink bleach by someone -- I'd much rather have science and measurements presented to me to make up my own mind than to listen to an opinion of someone "in authority".

 

You can see people disagreeing with Amir in nearly every review thread. Few have facts, most have opinions. Of course, I'd also like to have more independent measurements. More real information, more facts and less opinions is a very desirable outcome to my mind. Which is why I said I was disappointed when GoldenOne was banned from ASR. But, I can also understand why Amir did it and it had nothing to do with measurements or objectivism.

 

People can do some measurements at home. But if the response is, “The APx555 is better” or “You can’t trust [Jude/Marv/Bob/Arch/Golden…]’s measurements, only mine,” then there’s not much left to say. 
 

There have, of course, been instances when people have produced measurement that conflicted with Amir’s, and it hasn’t mattered. The (in)famous Yggy “droop” comes to mind. Multiple people measured Yggys and didn’t find it. (I had one at the time and didn’t find it myself.) There have also been much less flattering measurements of various Topping products elsewhere. Was this borking, unit-to-unit variation, something else? I have no idea.
 

Andrew Jones was already mentioned, and that’s an example that points to the subjective decisions involved in conducting a measurement, such as, “What’s the right SPL to highlight?”

 

Like you, I totally discount his subjective views. But he does go to great lengths to argue that his listening impressions are better than others’. I find this silly, particularly given that according to his own account he didn’t score very well on Harman’s How to Listen. That said, it does at least highlight that, in reality, some people are (due to hearing ability, training, or both) better listeners than others. That’s a whole other can of worms, though, which raises lots of interesting questions.

 

While it’s only in the past few years that Amir has given explicit reviews, from the beginning he passed judgment on (and insulted) companies and products. For example, his 2017 Schiit Modi 2 review said, “Either they don't measure their DACs, don't care or don't know how to design a clean DAC. Yes, -85 db distortion products is not likely audible and hence the reason they get away with such poor performance. But the engineer in me wants to throw up on it.”
 

Besides the language involved, there are all kinds of claims in there related to what’s audible and why we should still care about something that supposedly isn’t audible. It’s that tone and condescension that rub many people the wrong way, not measurements per se. This is why it’s bad that Amir (and some of his critics) conflate his work with measurements, objectivism, or any other label. It muddies what we’re actually talking about, and creates a situation where someone like Golden can’t make his wide-ranging video without Amir taking it as a personal attack.

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37 minutes ago, opus101 said:

This post contains about as close as you'll get on AS to a link to ASR (down at the bottom in italics) : https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30381-mqa-is-vaporware/?do=findComment&comment=1137966

 

Thanks! Just checked it out. Possibly the thread was sanitized after the fact, but I found nothing inappropriate in what's there now of Amir's test. For one, he did all the Klipple measurements within the specs of the speaker, not exceeding any ratings. And as I said, that is the more interesting part to me, not his listening reports or his subjective ratings.

 

Amir's subjective listening to the speaker produced some noise/resonance from the cabinet. Maybe he exceeded the spec SPL, maybe not, this is not clear. AJ says he was able to reproduce the problem, but only near the maximum SPL range. From what I can tell, a few owners also reported the same problem. So, maybe it's not a huge issue, but it is good that it is documented. By the way, the test track that Amir claims caused this problem is a single female voice, singing in a quiet recording. To try to get 140 SPL out of the speaker on this track sounds like an insane thing to do. 

 

The measurements are still there for anyone to use or to dispute, but I don't see any disputes about these.

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It was sanitized for sure. If you read the rules of that forum, one rule is like do not argue with the owner of the forum. No questioning is allowed.

 

I was on another forum, since 2003, and had about 32-35K posts. I was banned because one mod didn't like my posts. He banned me and also erased all of my posts. It was like I never existed. I was happy to walk away from that forum. It was another Audio forum.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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On 4/23/2022 at 7:28 AM, GoldenOne said:

This video isn't about ASR

It seems that some technical threads at 'ASR' quickly get emotional.  Rather than discussing different viewpoints and 'best engineering practices' , the threads turn into I was right and you were wrong arguments.

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Sometimes I've used excellent measurements to prompt me to an audition. Sometimes an excellent audition has prompted me to examine the measurements and see if I can find a connection. But purchases have nearly always been of equipment and recordings that move me rather than based on measurements alone.

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On 4/24/2022 at 9:39 PM, JoshM said:

 

That's fair. I read your response as, "It's not surprising given that he insulted Amir." My reaction was simply that Amir clearly doesn't apply the same standard to himself.

 

I think the issue is that much of what happens at ASR is "appeal to authority," rather than "science." This, for example, was just posted:

 

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 4.16.55 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2022-04-24 at 4.17.16 PM.png

 

I don't know how anyone is supposed to react to that. As we've all seen during the pandemic, doctors disagree with one another. If I'd have listened to the doctor who once told me "We can't do anything about your pain besides give you opioids," I'd be in bad shape today. My mother had to diagnose herself with a rare disease that multiple doctors missed, likely saving her life. Others in that thread noted similar personal experiences with doctors, but Amir has no response to that.

 

There's a reason why appeals to authority are identified as a logical fallacy. Amir has justified MQA by saying "Well, are you Bob Stuart!?" over and over again. Yet simultaneously the expertise of someone like Mike Moffat is dismissed. However, if we're supposed to trust Stuart on MQA, why shouldn't we also trust Moffat on the Yggy? Appeal to authority is why Amir made such a big stink about @Archimago being anonymous. But either evidence speaks for itself, without reference to someone's name and CV, or we're not really dealing with science. 

 

There is, of course, some truth to the fact that how much you trust any evidence is at least partly based on the behavior and track record of the person presenting the evidence. We can't all replicate measurements at home because we can't all afford AP equipment (or have the time to conduct the measurements). But that's exactly one of @GoldenOne's points.

 

Ultimately, every ASR debate comes down to "Amir must be the unquestioned authority," which isn't really conducive to robust inquiry, scientific or otherwise. 

 

In my view, the more people doing measurements and checking each others' work, the better. But Amir's work is no more above criticism than anyone else's. (Indeed, based on track record, it's just as reasonable for someone to trust Amir less than someone like Arch or Golden!)

 

ASR has become a church of "Cience", with Amir its sumo pontífice and Toole's book its bible.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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