ASR Member Takes Offense At Real Science; Also Cries

Discussion in 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' started by vodkadebugger, Jan 8, 2024.

  1. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    The discipline is pretty old: Alexander von Humboldt made the first steps in exploring the process of listening to music in the context of physical science, and created a foundation for psychoacoustic. This guy actualy created the foundation of modern concepts of what can be decided through science, scientific methodology etc.
    What is well describe here he considered in his book from 1880th
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoacoustics
     
  2. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Well, I was kidding: acoustics for psychos! I never read it that way before and liked the idea. So I thought I'd inflict it on everyone else ;)

    I have heard of psychoacoustics, although not formally read up, although I used to be more interested in the ear and brain as a signal-processing chain, and the part played by the brain in our actual perception of the waveforms that enter our ears.

    One doesn't have to get very far into it to see that the the really extremist objectivists are barking up a tree that doesn't even exist. The real acoustic psychos!

    Mind you, the really extremist subjectivists are just as bad.
     
  3. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Amir and his acolytes like Purite Audio showing up on Gearslutz, here, and other forums under various sock puppets over the years to trash what they don’t sell and promote what they do sell is the cause of the toxic behavior. The science angle is just the latest. He has no idea in the world what makes an ATC better than a Genelec in a treated room assuming adequate low end extension or what makes either of those monitors much better built and to own than JBL actives or what Sennheiser is currently branding as Neumann speakers. Amir, Ilkless , and Purite Audio were told why to their own faces why on their own platform and others by professional acousticians, room builders, techs, dealers, and long term end users in audio production. Hardly any of those are asr notables and of the few that are on asr, pretty much acknowledge many of the speakers Amir, Ilkless, and Purite Audio trash as excellent tools.

    Ask any audio repair guy what he really thinks about complex crossover active speakers using unreliable but well measuring class d amps in a hot metal box. @Parker
     
  4. goodvibes

    goodvibes Facebook Friend

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    OP is absolutely right. I've seen the light and will from now on do qualitative sound evaluations with my eyes.

    I've often found a result very, very different than my expectation.
     
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  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Just for the record, just because something doesn't match your expectation does not mean that biases are not there.

    This has been a message from a former lifetime in which I was a bit of a hydrogenaud.io man.
     
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  6. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    Reading the original post, I can only think that .. as usual, context is the king.
    I have great sympathy for people who put their trust into maximal objectivity, but one should always be cautious and humble, and assume the other party might know something you don't.

    As an example about that FR OP mentioned - it has already been explained by Purrin that it's not in fact the be all end all for a number of reasons, for real world transducers and their environments. You can see that in speaker building too, I'd dare and say that now, as a solidly experienced builder, I really don't even consider linearity that much of a big deal. Sure, it can't be total shit, but stuff like stored/delayed energy, IMD, radiation pattern, etc, are in my view much, much more important for the overall quality than linearity or distortion, in normal conditions. When I started, I too though that FR/THD is all that there is to stuff.

    Linearity/IR is also very easy to fix. Unlike these other things. So.. he's unfortunately just plain - wrong.

    But, it is a good idea in my opinion to trust and conduct proper methods and test absolutely everything you can with the best available equipment, and to educate oneself as much as possible about a topic before making a decision, rather than believing "expert opinions" and conjectures. This is something I always try to be aware of. In such sense, I don't think the folks who want to be objective are wrong per se. It's good to be mindful of your own shortcomings, and to be aware that in this hobby, there really is a lot of bullshit . But a healthy dose of humility, and honesty, is always good.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
  7. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    Also I think Purrin or someone else here said (very true) - who gives a shit what happens at -120 dbfs.
    It's really true. You will only ever use 70-80ish realistically, tops. That's a pointless metric. (But at least it IS a metric.)
    And folks make like, lists of these distortion numbers, and rank amps or dacs through that. It truly is senseless.

    I know precious little about amps and dacs, but I know a bit more now than when I started.
    I used to believe that amps are quite simple, you just measure them for distortion at different levels and that's it. I mean, output impedance too, okay, little bits like that. Then I read a bit of Nelson Pass's first watt reasoning and how IMD will absolutely wreck things and suddenly it's not as simple any more.
    And it's not magic woodoodoodoo, it's actual objective sense and reason why things are like that - I just didn't know it then.
    It's one of the reasons why it's hard to make a good amp that has to drive the entire audible range - one "easy" remedy to this is to multiamp, like I do, but there it is.

    And possibly folks that say stuff like "amps just amplify it's super simple" - might not know it yet too.

    DACs too. Multibit and stuff - it's not smart to overly simplify things, it's better to keep an open mind, but a rational open mind.
     
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  8. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    My conundrum is whether I use glasses or contact lenses. And how often should I see the eye doctor so I'm more in line with our objective overlords?
     
  9. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    If everything is OK, regular check-ups are recommended every 3 years here in CRO(EU), for young folks.

    Not so much for glasses/correction, but you never know what can develop (tumors, conus, etc).
    If you use lenses, probably every so often. Also, if you do use lenses, and get an infection, don't screw around, you can lose an eye.
     
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  10. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. Objectivism taken too far!

    But seriously...

    Ardacer, those last posts make so much sense. I also respect real objectivists. And I don't mean people who do stuff like ranking equipment by one set of numbers, and certainly not those who buy like that. I mean those who can admit that there is more to hearing, both inside and outside one's head, than meets the eye, and one's ego is absolutely not a certificate of infallibility.

    The people I don't respect, and the people I don't want to listen to, are what I call the straw man objectivists and subjectivists. They are both as bad as each other. They love to argue that the other side's life view is totally invalid, but they don't argue about the realities. They argue about stuff they made up. They make up their own straw-man definition of objectivists, and then argue to demolish their own creation. And vice versa.

    They, and the extremists on both sides, are just... nuts. Stale nuts, rancid nuts, nuts that sound bad...
     
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  11. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    "I also respect real objectivists. And I don't mean people who do stuff like ranking equipment by one set of numbers, and certainly not those who buy like that. I mean those who can admit that there is more to hearing, both inside and outside one's head, than meets the eye, and one's ego is absolutely not a certificate of infallibility."
    -Thad, 2024

    This is such a great thought and statement.
    I'm sorry for posting just to say that this is great, but it's a worthy quote. It is short but somehow encapsulates everything. Good job.
     
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  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Your choice of word, infallibility, brings me back to some Popper readings from a while back. I propose the use of Popper's falsifiability instead. Both sides are guilty of affirming the consequent in this case; and neither are open to the notion that "just because you've only seen white swans does not mean a black swan doesn't exist".
     
  13. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    Science!
     
  14. THeProfessor

    THeProfessor New

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    New member here, but the OP seems to forget that the whole point of this hobby is that it is a ... hobby. You know, something that you do for pleasure, enjoyment, even fun? If you don't like spending money on DACs / AMPs spend it in another way, on speakers or headphones, just don't worry about feeding them any electrical signals!

    I think people forget that hifi isn't really leading you to some promised land of perfect replication. Nothing sounds "uncolored" (like it does in real life?) because so little is actually recorded like how it would sound to a real person sitting in an audience, where everything from coughs to chair squeaks and blocked sound (and sound system distortion in a venue's system) can get in the way. Microphones are positioned by the guitar, the vocalist and other instruments all a the same time. So listening through headphones is like listening through a magnified glass and being able to listen to all parts of the band at once. A bizarre experience, but some people like probing the pleasures of that.

    What the headphone hobby is, at the end of the day, stimulation for your ears. Why ruin it with your science?
     
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  15. Puma Cat

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    In my experience, I have a hypothesis that the reason that some (or some cases, many) guys make such posts is they are only in these forums in the first place to…fight. I should also add that it doesn’t matter what “predominantly male” Internet forum I may go to, whether it be audio, digital photography, sport bikes, sports cars, etc., I see the same exact behavior by guys who just come to…fight. I’ve developed my own TLA for this: MFB…Male Fighting Behavior. If you guys think the audio guys can “get into it”, check out the digital photography forums where the Canon guys fight with the Nikon guys…Sheesh! :p

    Personally, I used to find MFB irksome and irritating, but as I’ve gotten wiser and more “philosophical” on my outlook towards Life, MFB, etc., I’ve adopted many of the principles of Stoicism as espoused by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, and I’m paraphrasing here but in essence, it comes down to this: “It doesn’t matter what others think, or say, or do. Only what YOU…do.”

    If the principles of Stoicism resonate with any of you guys, check out Ryan Holiday’s blog, “The Daily Stoic”

    Cheers, gents.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
  16. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    You just think you are better than us because you are a cat.

    But I have seen things.

    [​IMG]

    (Also this is how I imagine mfb must seem like from your perspective)
     
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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
  17. Ardacer

    Ardacer Friend

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    Well look I get your sentiment, but, and I know this sounds like me trying to be a rectal alpinist here, sbaf's approach really is the best. It just is. And it's a fine combination of both scientific mindset and a general open mind, with the final goal being enjoying your hobby the way you please, and not trying to force your viewpoints onto others, using whatever as an argument. There are numerous pitfalls on the extremes. And this is coming from someone who was once on the extreme.

    I wouldn't say science ruins the hobby, done right it's the only thing protecting you from bullshit. Always and everywhere.
     
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  18. THeProfessor

    THeProfessor New

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    To be clear, I agree with all of this. I am here precisely because just every recommendation I have gotten from here has gone things from sounding like shit (Sony bluetooth headphones) to sounding pretty close to as good as I want or need audio to be / sound. I have found myself naturally gravitating to these forums because it's the right balance of things.

    By "science" I just mean this approach that takes measurements to be the only thing, and for a long time I took that approach at least to the extent I thought amps didn't matter -- when now I see (hear) that they matter a lot. To the point where I even picked up a little piety to use with some Moondrop Kato's to hear them out of the macbook pro's speaker jack better.

    Perhaps my thinking about this will evolve but I just wonder what the point is of thinking there is some "objective" representation of the sound. I agree there can be better or worse on some parameter (e.g. noise) but what you're hearing at the end of the day is just a with its own "color" and distortion that are part of the experience of listening to music no matter how you try to do it.
     
  19. Bowmoreman

    Bowmoreman Facebook Friend

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    Well, I would submit there is an “objective” *target* for many of us. I can only speak to my adventure. I long ago decided that the only thing that made sense (this, after my initial HUGE disappointment in just how ass-like initial CD/digital sounded - despite my being an Electrical Engineer and WANTING to believe it was “perfect sound forever” because… you know #Science! #Math!… ;) )

    … would be to chase reproducing the exact sound *I* heard from live, unamplified, music in a real space. E.g. acoustic Jazz, classical, etc. (and, when possible, in venues I knew in real life).

    Because that made a lot of sense to me. And so, for most of the 80’s, that was my approach, until I could grasp for my personal “end game” rig (1990). I went to so many concerts (BSO, Tanglewood, local Jazz clubs, etc.) in the 1980’s. Yeah, also did big shows for Rock of course (Pink Floyd, Rush, Journey, Fleetwood Mac… the list is huge), but I didn’t fool myself that these presented any type of “objective goal”… because… “how could they”?

    Once one has heard truly properly/minimally miked, acoustic music (e.g. RCA Shaded Dogs, or Mercury Living Presence, or good Verve or Blue note Jazz) recorded AAA… one can get a sense of how one can “objectively” chase (in an oblique/circular/spiraling way) getting closer to reality of sound/experience. This is the reason behind all the old “classic” audiophile albums…

    Is there still some subjectivity involved? Absolutely, because it is “measured” according to (solely) my ears/hearing/recollections of live, etc. But the *process* is objective within that over-arching parameter.

    The engineer in me always wants to know WHY, but that is a different part OF that same process: chasing the true, “absolute” (to me) sound of real music in a real space. “Perfect” that (to one’s own individual definition of perfection of course), and all the OTHER music takes care of itself.

    Example: Once one gets ones system to where things like orchestral timpani drums sound realistic on classical, then, wow, listen to how good ELP’s Tank sounds when Carl kicks the big-ones about 3 1/2 minutes in…

    Or, if you can get Miles Davis’ trumpet sound real, and then go listen to, oh, say Chicago, their horns will *also* sound more real.

    But, this ONLY works for properly (typically extremely minimally miked and at a distance) miked and mixed recordings; which was frequent on 1950’s and 1960’s recordings, but became almost non-existent once digital took everything over. Remixing changes everything.

    Go find a nice old clean RCA shaded dog in an early stamper of a great piece of work you love in AAA and experience a taste… ;)
     
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  20. Bowmoreman

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    PS: old Mono’s from the 50’s can be your friend in this adventure as well… ;)
     

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