Audio Science Review Review

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by purr1n, Aug 30, 2020.

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  1. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    I’m wondering how he didn’t blow those button domes and overextended woofers sky high at the volume he listens at. Or is he lying about that too? You can overheat the JBL 305 tweeters with 45 minutes at 85 db of classic rock. The response and stereo image will be cooked for a while.
     
  2. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    At 135db or whatever the f**k he listens to, I doubt he has any idea what it sounds like. So they're likely blown. Just sitting there farting beautiful music.
     
  3. Brad358

    Brad358 New

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    I completely agree, it is rank hypocrisy on his part and those agreeing with him on the matter. As I say, I'm happy to accept that if people think an active speaker performs well in audible terms then they can live with poor amplifier (and possibly certainly DAC) measurements then don't worry about it, it is the hypocrisy of being so judgemental about measured performance in amplifiers, DACs etc and dismissing perfectly decent gear because their numbers aren't stellar (though for audible purposes still way better than anything which is likely to cause any audible issues) that I object to. If people really think only equipment with state of the art measurements is worth buying (a subjective approach to audio I don't agree with, but I can see why some fall into that track) then how can they ignore such poor performance in active speaker modules and still claim that measurements are everything?

    I think another issue that sums up just how flawed the ASR approach is is the review on the Topping LS30. That amplifier gets a splendid review and is commended for being superbly engineered, at the same time as there being a disclaimer about reports of the unit having damaged headphones. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but in my own field of engineering trying to claim a design has been superbly engineered whilst warning people it might cause damage to whatever it is connected to would result in the person making the claim being a laughing stock. This shows the limitations of the measurebator approach, good measurements don't tell you anything about how well a product has been designed other than in terms of those specific measured parameters. And that is without opening the Pandora's box discussion of the hazards of over optimizing designs for specific parameters.
     
  4. loki993

    loki993 Facebook Friend

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    Unfortunately it seems he is contaminating other areas of the internet and audio now. I am currently looking at some new speakers and maybe a receiver for my aging HT setup and HT Receivers and Speakers seem to be his current target. A youtuber did an interview with him bowing at there altar of measurements with glowing comments on the video of people praising their one true lord and savior Amir.

    He has also fully ingrained himself at the home theater forum, not sure he actually posts but there are tons of his followers there declaring things like Marantz amps complete shit because they didnt measure as well as Denons. I see people say things on other forums as well in regards to " or well that didn't measure well or those really measure good" and I know where its coming from. Its unfortunate that the cult is expanding because I had really hoped it would have gone away by now.

    Be careful out there, as much as we would all like for him to just go away or for people to figure out hes a hack, he has a message that's perfectly tailored for the maximum desired effect. Its adaptable to basically anything audio related, to the uniformed its perfectly reasonable and it plays on emotions, mostly the emotion that a lot of people feel anyway that there is a lot of snake oil in the audio industry, they see him and the feel like he is proving that and they are in this crusade with him to stick it to the audio industry that's lied to us all these years. Its a perfect recipe for generating clicks and pageviews.

    Sorry but sadly, I think we will have to deal with Amir for a long long time, he isn't going anywhere soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  5. Brad358

    Brad358 New

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    Home theatre and recievers is a good example of why the ASR approach is at best flawed even though measurement is very useful in that segment.

    AV receivers have sometimes played silly games with their power ratings to mislead the uninformed by presenting power outputs that might politely be described as optimistic. So holding manufacturers to account by publishing realistic power ratings is useful. Although I think it's also true most people don't need anything like the sort of power outputs promoted by number games anyway I still think things should be accurately described.

    However, with receivers functionality, number of channels, onboard DSP, user interface etc are what tend to be important as their audio performance is generally more than adequate for their intended purpose. Obsessing over SINAD is even less useful than for a regular two channel amplifier (and it is hugely overblown in that case too). I have owned a couple of mid-tier Yamaha receivers and in each case sound quality was entirely satisfactory for both stereo music and multi-channel movie sound tracks. Yet ASR has been running a sort of vendetta against the things because they may not have SINAD values as good as Amir would like, even though their audible performance is fine. Judging them on a metric which is really of limited value and ignoring the things that most buyers really value spectacularly misses the point.
     
  6. Erroneous

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    "Judging them on a metric which is really of limited value and ignoring the things that most buyers really value spectacularly misses the point."

    The entirety of ASR misses the point.
     
  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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  8. PopJoe

    PopJoe New

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    One thing I don't get is that ... People are talking on ASR like they know stuff because they saw graph ... most of them never actually went to an audio store and tried each setup and move stuff around.... You would thing that this would be step 1 before commenting on anything. I started this hobby recently(a year ago) and I was following ASR since I didn't knew better. Then I went to an audio store and sat down... find out I didn't like the same headphone that all reviewer are praising. I started to test things myself, buy equipment and compare them .... For example, I have a WA2, Liquid Spark and a Magni 3 + amp, I can easily hear the difference between the 3. 2 Weeks ago I got a SMSL SP200 THX 888, I hated it ... I returned it the next day even tho all reviewer are praising THX 789 and 888 .... was just not my cup of tea ... We all have different preference and we have to try and not just look at limited measurements. If someone doesn't hear a difference then good for them they can buy cheap stuff. I had the same experience with DAC I was using Topping D30 because everywhere on ASR they said that as long as you have an OK dac it doesn't make a difference... when I returned the 888 amp I ordered a Gustard X16 and oh god al mighty .... I like it so much more than the D30 .... I don't want to argue with someone about the validity of what I hear, they can test it themselve and if they don't hear it than good for them. My recommendation in this hobby will always be to test it and see by yourself.
     
  9. PopJoe

    PopJoe New

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    For me measurements are limited. The best explanation I can give is a water tap, you can measure the flow, can you measure the amount of air bubble in real time at each second, the color of the water at each second, the smell of the water at each second, the temperature, the direction of each of it's particles at every moment, etc etc ? Ohh no you can't give me a number that would reflect all this data at once ? Measurements are tools like any other tools but they're not the whole story.
     
  10. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I don't give a toss for all that measurement stuff because I'm innumerate (dyscalculic even) and incapable of grasping it. I guess I'm damned lucky I wasn't able to get stuck in that rabbit hole!

    Having said that, I have a huge admiration for those who actually, seriously, academically and practically, understand sound science, and acoustic and digital maths. And I do read stuff when it comes up and try to get a glimmer.

    At least I understand my disability and how absurd it would be to buy or not buy on the basis of some 1/10,000th of a something difference on some spec when I don't even understand the spec. I'm betting that most of those who flock to the likes of Amir actually don't understand any more than I do, but want to pretend they understand and that it matters.

    Or worse, simply to quote that somebody else says this matters. And if I ever did that, I certainly picked my sources a damn sight more carefully than Amir's flock have
     
  11. Brad358

    Brad358 New

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    It can't be stated too often, frequency response tells you a lot about the tuning of a headphone or speaker, but whether or not you like a particular tuning is an entirely personal and subjective preference. And transducer quality matters. And with DACs and solid state electronics like amplifiers things like SINAD may be interesting but once you exceed the threshold of audibility (as most gear does by a wide margin) then what sonic benefits arise from putting more 0's into a brochure figure?
     
  12. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    Dyscalculic?! I'm definitely using that. It's the smartest-looking way I've ever seen someone use to say that they're dumb at math. It also has the double-function of highlighting an affinity towards english - it's the classic divide. That was clever.

    Right there with you. Amplifier math? Bad enough. Speaker math?
    Capture3.JPG
    And DACs can just f**k off. I don't have a deep enough meme to encompass them.

    That might be the biggest peeve.

    It's irritating on both sides. For people who are very passionate about the technical subjects, who have molded themselves to be versed and really give a shit, it is insulting to have people who you KNOW just aren't there, but are arguing with you like they know what they're saying. Imagine being a fan of a certain sports team - followed the sport so long you could coach an all-star team, and you're encountering someone claiming enthusiastic fandom... and then you get to talking, it's obvious they know nothing about the sport (let alone a single team,) but now for some reason they're arguing over the meaning of stats like they have something to say. And they're getting really serious about it! It's starting to get a little personal.

    How does anybody take that? You know? I have a hard time staying civil with that person. I'd rather just not talk to them.

    The thing that makes that annoying is that you BOTH know the truth. But only one party is living in it.

    And then for people who don't know, we can kinda tell. Like, I can look at somebody pretending to know something and think to myself how I would play it if I wanted to pull that off. If you can do that, it's a blessing and a curse. Because that person is permanently arrogant to you and even they never say it, you know they think they somehow know better, when YOU wouldn't trust it, knowing even as little as you do. That much is obvious - it flips the whole discussion in this subtle, but fundamental way. It's always annoying, but it protects you. You walk away mildly irritated/entertained instead of misinformed.

    My general policy is simply to not trust people who seem to have an answer for everything. Maybe they're alright. Maybe they don't know when they're wrong. But I don't take it at face value. I follow more than enough science to know that theories for everything are pretty much the hardest thing to establish. Look at string theory for a recent example.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  13. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    The other part of this I wonder about is when preferences are bent to match some consensus of optimal measurement. Imagine if certain folks are listening to certain gear knowing it's been measured to be "reference quality." And then, even though their personal preferences initially aren't aligned with it actually being "reference quality" based on their personal qualia (i.e., on initial listen to a greatly measuring DAC, I think it sounds like garbage, I adjust my preferences to match what must be most "correct"), they then adjust their personal biases to exclude any items that fall outside some spurious measurement.
     
  14. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    The bias absolutely swings both ways. If you are primed up with measurements and this habit of correlating minutia, to the point where you choose components based solely on that, I imagine that when you get the thing and hear it, you are going to think it's the best ever, so long as it's not egregiously bad. That's already what you believe. I assume that's why it's an established form of marketing.

    Honestly, it almost feels like really similar marketing to what I might see in Audio Advisor, only repackaged in a non-ORFAS way. I'm thinking specifically of the tendency to identify metrics and present them as objective gauges for certain things in the experience. Appeals to authority. Etc, etc. They're doing science and engineering there, and it sounds really good from what they say in those catalogs.
     
  15. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Measurement disciples don't have personal preferences - they believe that the bestest measuring stuff is betterer, and therefore that WILL be their 'personal preference' by default.

    When subscribing to a fundamentalist religion, there's no space for free will - let alone preference.
     
  16. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    They take the Harman Target curve as reference. They don’t even know what it sounds like, they just like the idea behind it that some “scientific researcher” has said that it’s a preferred curve under a small group of people.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  17. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I think it's a/the word. It may itself be a symptom that every time I want to use it I have to ask Google for the numeric equivalent of dyslexic! It goes beyond just being dumb at maths (when I was 15 I was told, "no point in you even taking the class, let alone the exam.") and is more to do with stuff like getting the number of teas/coffees right in a room full of people, or even getting the number cups right. It means that numbers on a train timetable are really difficult to follow as they float around, whereas text does not do that to me.

    It doesn't actually mean that I may be incapable of understanding some mathematical principle or theory. If I am interested and mentally able (both different things to number blindness) then I may well be able to get it, assuming that it is possible without the thrown-out-of-the-class groundwork. I did manage, for instance, to get basic trigonometry, at least in practice, when I learning to navigate a small boat.

    There are signs of improvement. I can now remember a six-digit number long enough to enter an OTP. PINs, I tend to remember the pattern on the keyboard, which reminds me of the number.

    Getting closer to topic... Whether we are mathematically inclined or not, there are areas in which we need to rely on others to to the work for us. It's a thing which allows most of the professions that genuinely require long and intensive study to even exist. So it is with audio and its science. Back in the day when I used to partake in the online taking arms against a sea of audiophools, I'm sure I appealed to authority more than a few times. Or was I just quoting science? Never been quite sure about that one.

    But I hope I never made a religion out of it. And I never ever bought anything because some self-appointed authority said that some equipment had to have some specific, absurdly tiny, specification. Or elevated that person to guru status.

    Of course, I have my biases. And ex enior guy at microsoft would be one of the negative ones. Biases are not always wrong! :D
     
  18. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    ASRer learns another lesson in buying “reference quality” Topping/SMSL DACs recommended by Amir: Measurements that don’t match Amir’s and inferior parts to those advertised.
     
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  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I think this emphasizes why we should not rest entirely on a relatively small suite of measurements and their results. They can be helpful, no doubt, but it's important to keep exploring, experimenting, and searching for differentiating factors (and hidden gremlins). Think of it more as iterative development on a knowledge library to aid in correlation with subjective listening, not a set-in-stone rulebook.
     
  20. Baten

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    Good testing on the guy's part though. Seems like the defect is entirely hidden in stereo/normal use, but it's definitely there...
     
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