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Audiophile Neuroscience

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  1. In my world if you keep on removing the bits you don't like you are butchering the recording....Which is why it seems rather silly to think that you are approaching "the sound of the recording". Our worlds will never meet.
  2. Exactly so! There is no such thing as the perfect system. Each will have their own version of which comes closest. Some will value particular attributes over others. However, the competition is between the best designers and the best engineers on the planet to produce the goods. In the context of this thread, it is whether you believe those designers and engineers can be bested by people tweaking very modest equipment. Thus far, my ears have not heard this.😉
  3. Start at 4:30 to skip Elvis and go straight to the Diana Krall interview with Elton John
  4. Who knows this sort of stuff? I guess musicians. The girl from Ipanema apparently turns 50 and is reported to be the second most recorded song in pop music history. An interesting look at the song and people behind "the girl from Ipanema". An even more interesting look at cultural differences behind-the-scenes, choice of key, inclusion of blues counter melody and different chord progressions. A dip into bossa nova and cool jazz... Martina da Silva is the voice of the Girl from Ipanema! http://martinadasilvamusic.com/ 0:00 Introduction 2:42 A brief history of Bossa Nova 8:35 Melodic sequences 13:25 The Blues countermelody 17:43 Harmony and ambiguity 24:29 Bridge comparison Ribeiro vs. Gilberto 27:25 Context and poetic deletion
  5. I think you're missing the point Frank. Other members have already got it right. It is your assertion or otherwise implication that they have not i.e. it doesn't match your perception of right. It is also very strongly suspected that what you consider "the right combination of everything" will not match others perception of right. And yes, I fully realise that you are comparing your playback system to the real thing and the lure is that you can use the standard terms to describe both sets of conditions. That indeed is the weird part and brings me full circle to the theory that you have very unique perceptual experiences that really do not match the experience of others.
  6. At some point they will. At some point it won't. It is better to fix the road rather than trying to invent a suspension system that attempts to compensate for multiple large potholes and at the same time keep you glued to the road as you come around the corner at 200 km/h. In this case you can't fix the road but I wouldn't want to screw the suspension system of my racing car so that it can deal with a bush track, making me feel completely comfortable like the bumps weren't there. In essence Frank that's what you're settling for, a comfortable ride, not great performance. When you experience the exhilaration of the latter in the service of beautiful music it is hard to go back to mediocrity. Admitting defeat is not the issue. The issue is that you have claimed success and can do it again. No one believes It's an insult by inference and the use of putting down phrases like "ambitious rigs" or "poo". You being the only one that can achieve extraordinary claims insults the intelligence, skill, experience and knowledge of the other members Everybody already knows this and does this, or in the alternative they have purchased an excellent system that does not require the tweaking (despite your claims otherwise). The repeated assertion that they have failed in their endeavours is insulting. Moreover, you don't actually pass on anything. Telling people to fix any problems is self-evident, they already know it they already do it. It's only you that has the extraordinary successes I totally disagree. Virtually every audiophile has gone through a tweaking phase. There is absolutely nothing special or extraordinary about an audiophile seeking to tweak his or her system. There is no handful of people that have explored this specific aspect of system optimisation because there is no specific aspect of system optimisation. Once again, "fix any faults" is not specific at all and is already well known to everybody. It is the extraordinary claims specific to you and you alone which is the issue
  7. They do, they have, but it appears that only you report such extraordinary claims. Personally, Frank, I think you need to stop trying to convince people about your method. To the extent that you find it works (and perhaps your interpretation of a few around you) that's great, enjoy it. At some point you have to accept that not only will you not convince others, but your repeated claims of your successes over others failures, insults their level of expertise and experience and skill. It becomes not so much a mission to share or improve the lot of others as it is an exercise in self validation. Just a thought Frank.
  8. You would hear those things (hopefully) because they are there, in the recording. A high-end system will simply put more "there" there. Frank I accept that you have a whole suite of bad recordings. These do not identify the weaknesses in other systems, they identify the weaknesses in the recordings. The sticking point I believe is the extent of what you claim is possible to achieve, as much as you believe it and as much as you may perceive it.
  9. Frank, there are a great many people here that would agree. But the ongoing disagreement between objectivists and subjectivists as to what constitutes fidelity and how it is assessed is not the issue. It is your extraordinary claims that seem to have both camps scratching their heads It is claims like the above, whether you are coming from the objectivist or subjectivist (and I am neither) point of view, that engender disbelief Again, there would be many that would agree that it is pointless to discuss rainbows with blind people. I get it. I also have some understanding of neurophysiology and neuropsychology and how perception works. In short, there is a problem when only one person sees the rainbow. This is distinctly different when there are thousands of people reporting the same rainbow such as cables making a difference.
  10. Frank the logic is just getting more bizarre in my opinion. I too get "a buzz out of the energy of musical sounds". This does not mean I enjoy "terrible" music or performers because they incorporate some nice sounds Why not just have good sounds in the service of good music performed by good performers and played on high-end quality playback systems.
  11. Frank, it's hard to fathom how far apart we are in our approach given that our descriptions of the final listening experience are so close. I can only go back to the theory that we are having extremely different perceptual experiences but using the same words to describe them. You describe an ambitious rig (high end) "the usual signs I hear is an unpleasantness in the treble area, lack of resolution of inner detail, and a presentation which is not at all convincing - say, vocals which just don't ring true." These are the words I would describe for a lo-fi or mid fi system. That's not to say that a high-end system is perfect, is just a matter of degree. You say "Less ambitious rigs are usually "better balanced" as a listening experience, because they don't highlight misdemeanours." I just couldn't disagree more. High-end systems are simply better balanced. Yes they will reveal "misdemeanours" in recordings as they should. I don't want to smear my lens with Vaseline or stick a pillow over my tweeter to achieve supposedly "better balance". I have no challenge that some music is better tolerated on very mediocre systems but I don't strive for mediocrity. The difference here is that better tolerated does not equate with more lifelike, real sounding music. Mediocre systems even if expertly tweaked and tuned just do not produce lifelike sound quality to my ears. They produce music that can be very much enjoyed but hardly at a lifelike level of sound quality. No doubt, after tweaking a lesser system you will use similar words and descriptions to describe the achievement of lifelike levels of sound quality that somehow the brain can latch onto once freed from certain irritations and distractions. This is just not my perception of the reality. I think this is the main sticking point. While I can tweak the tone controls on an old radio so that I can enjoy the music of bad recordings or bad broadcasts, I do not in any way shape or form equate that with good sound quality let alone a lifelike rendering. It also doesn't lead me to the conclusion that high-end systems must therefore be "ambitious rigs" failing in their musical mission.
  12. I would say that such people probably do exist but rather than being the definition of audiophiles (as suggested by the Alan Parsons sarcastic quote), they are the antithesis of audiophiles. This would be true in my opinion whether one "used music" to listen to their equipment or "use music" to measure their equipment. The way I see it, an audiophile's ultimate goal and therefore the ultimate reference point is in the listening of music.
  13. Signal jockeys can never understand this simple truth. There is only one thing better than "sounds so great that the artists are playing for me in my room" and that is "sounds so great that I am in the artist's room with them playing for me"
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