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Mark Powell

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  1. It was very easy to get the levels the same on the somewhat gimmicky AV receiver I was using at the time for my simple 'blind' test. I read recently that if you are listening to a pair of speakers in a demo with a view to buying them, you should at some point turn the level right down, as many speakers don't to well with this. If the music does not sound good at these low levels don't buy them. Which ties up with what Barry said. As an example, Quad electrostatics continue to sound good at very low levels.
  2. A reasonable sized room, which the equipment to be compared, plus the person to be doing it, down on his hands and knees if necessary, plugging and unplugging the equipment, all behind a simple screen. And off you go. No point in 'double blind', the victims are not going to see the operator anyway. I didthis myself with a cople of people, when I was trying to convince myself that there was a clear difference between my regular fairly good CD player and the computer playing a rip of the same CD. Not even a screen. They were sat on either side of me on a sofa and I used the remote control to switch the amplifier inputs. Dead easy. None of us really heard a difference Psychologists? A relative is a proper psychiatrist (has to do several years as a regular qualified doctor, etc. before he can even start to specialise, just like any other UK 'consultant') and a friend is a 'counsellor' for the local authority (done a few simple courses). They only complicate things. No well paying job for them otherwise
  3. But the words 'blind test' are like a red rag to a bull for some people. So, as I did further down the thread, I limit my comments about them to circumstances (only 'you alone', whoever 'you' might be) so people cannot pick holes in what I say. The only people who have a legitimate reason for picking holes in blind tests are manufacturers who don't want beople to find out that their 10000 dollar amplifier or whatever cannot be distinguished from someone else's 1000 dollar one by a group of interested people. If the manufacturer was really convinced that his was better he would not mind at all, as it would come out that it was.
  4. 'sufficient number of listeners'. In my opinion, comparative testing, blind or otherwise, is only of use when it is *you* alone doing the comparison. If you can't tell the difference, buy the cheaper one. Blind testing is advantageous here, as you are not influenced by the usual issues. Why on earth should you, Julf, and others poke their noses into *my* blind test? It is my money and my ears that matter, not yours. Just the same for you. All I can do in *your* blind test is introduce doubt about whether you are making a *wise* choice, and what help is that to you? None at all. My wife can come and listen too if she likes. But not you
  5. You can't do it with measurements. But it is faur to say that if something measures truly badly it might be an indication (only) that it might not be much good. And there is a lot of low priced stuff that though 'ok' is not in any way special. So it is all subjective opinion. I have a mental list of quite a lot of mid priced stuff that is not as good as it could be, including some that are frequently reported as 'good'. And a rather shorter list of very good stuff. I will be positive. Anything with 'Musical Fidelity' written on the front is likely too be good. The lower cost Naim stuff is better still, though further up their range they are as crazily priced as, and every bit as good as, the top priced US brands. Don't dismiss some gear from 'unlikely' countries in South America, or Israel and Greece. Negative? There are one or two nominally UK companies that are not as good as many people think, though they could be described as 'better than the high street brands'. People who like this sort of stuff have never heard what hifi can be like. But it is just my opinion. Worth no more or no less than anyone else's, highly regarded and well known 'reviewer' or just one of us.
  6. You are so right! That is what it is supposed to mean. But the 'high price' merchants have deliberately diverted it. There is much fairly low cost good stuff around that sounds every bit as good, sometimes better, than a whole lot that costs ten times as much. I could name the high-priced crap, and the high-priced really good stuff, but I won't. I am British, but I cannot think of any US made stuff that is high priced crap, but there are quite a few European manufacturers that though even higher priced, don't really make it as 'high end'. And I don't mean B&O, which is actually quite good, not especially high priced, and has no pretensions to 'high end' anyway.
  7. We have to play 'Cowboys and Native Americans' now They are not, of course. They came from Mongolia or thereabouts. They are no more 'native' than someone who came from Europe.
  8. Nothing. A good async DAC totally removes the 'responsibility' for jitter from the computer. So what goes on in the computer and the software player is no longer of any importance. All this computer 'tweaking' may have been important before async DACs became the norm, but it isn't now. Remember what a software player actually does. It takes the bits off the internal hard disk or SSD, or off an external drive and sends them to the output port, usually the USB port. That's all. If it does it in a 'bit perfect' manner there is nothing left to 'improve'. Not even 'play from memory' should matter, though I do use that. I use JRiver. Not because it is 'better' in any way, but it has a useful 'bit perfect' light. If it is on, which mine always is, as I don't use equalizers, convolvers, or any other of this sound quality destroying stuff, then the output is bit perfect. Not unlike a DAC with sample rate lights, it gives you confidence that everything is working as it should. Given a good clock in the async DAC there is simply nothing beyond this. We have already achieved 'perfection'. There is only higher sample rates left and that is not related to bit perfect playback. We are fortunate. Unlike users of turntables, FM tuners, tape recorders, etc. we can now forget our source and just listen to thw music. If we want to 'tweak' we can happily play with our DAC, amplifier, speakers, cables, etc. knowing our source is as good as it gets. That's what I now do. Shame really, I enjoyed the computer part. But I will still do it, same as I do a lot of other pointless things in my life.
  9. My "Right up the last paragraph I was with you" etc. was directed at Teresa, not you. However, that does not matter. Personally I agree with some things any given person might say, and disagree with other things from the same person. As I am sure, do we all. Some I very much respect for their 'balanced' view, which is not easy to achieve, and some I respect for their willingness to state their opinions, whether I agree with it or not. Even the things I think are 'crazy' I find more interesting than the things I agree with. And I do not think the 'industry' or the hobby can be destroyed by anyone. We are too few to be taken any notice of. 'Anoraks', as Julf said. I am even worse, I build toy planes too. and some people do object to them, though not as much as they used to. But I always call them 'toy planes', rather than 'Radio Controlled Model Aircraft'. PS: I fly real aircraft too. The airfield I fly from has an interesting history and is 103 years old. Recently they built some houses nearby. The occupiers are already complaining about the airfield, which they knew about before they purchased the houses, which are 102 years newer than the airfield. They are complaining about the nearby military airfield too, which has also been there a long time!
  10. Leaving some cables aside, it is not snake oil. Most equipment is very good indeed. But some of the prices are crazy, given that the general cost of 'consumer electronics' (which our stuff actually is) is coming down all the time. And each new 'wonder amplifier' costs even more than the last one. We went into 'why' months ago. It is not worth doing it again.
  11. In a case rather like a Mac mini. With at least 8Gb of SSD RAM for the operating system etc, which I will also partition for the player and 'odds and ends' and a hard disk of 500Gb or more. Some know my preferences (or prejudices). I hope I have not accidentally said 'a Mac Mini running Windows, using its useful dual boot facility' Although I have a Naim 'appliance' server as well as my current Windows laptop, on reflection I am not sure such fairly expensive dedicated servers are actually worth having. They don't really do anything that a Windows machine or a Mac cannot do perfectly well. Come to that, I don't really even need my 'ideal' machine either. The laptop, now I have an iPhone for JRemote, can sit comfortably on top of my DAC, as part of the stereo system. Maybe all I would see as 'ideal' is just another laptop for general use.
  12. @Julf Did you ever do 'constant aspect' on landing approach when you were learning? I never did, even though I was taught by the CFI of the the UK equivalent of the US 'Top Gun' school. He hadn't heard of it then either. He did all the testing of the McDonnel Douglas Phantom for its acceptance by the Royal Navy, but enjoyed light aircraft in his spare time. Now 'constant aspect' is all the fashion. I don't teach anything else.
  13. Airplane wing. "Who keeps them up". Was an article I read. Newton or Bernoulli? There are lots of discussions about that too. Newton's got to be right and Bernoulli wrong, or they could not fly upside down. All of the learning to fly textbooks favour Bernoulli, because it makes more intuitive 'sense'. Newton is never mentioned, he is the 'Elephant in the Room'. And few beginners fly upside down. Not on purpose, at least.
  14. Noy my favourite choice of places either. But there will be one occasion when I won't mind it at all.
  15. Yet another word that is bandied about without knowing what it means. Rhetoric is talking to persuade someone.
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