Audio Science Review Review

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

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  1. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    HOW DID YOU GET THIS PICTURE OF ME?
     
  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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  3. daduy

    daduy Acquaintance

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    Just a rando perspective, but I find it weird if people choose audio devices based on measurement alone, because at the end of the day you listen to the music using your ears, rather than your eyes interpreting signals and whatnot.
     
  4. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Yeah there’s a whole community of spec chasers and diyers out there who just want to believe certain things in spite of any evidence. They want to have something nobody else has and for it to be good. They want to be influencers like Audio Science Review in spite of objective measurements and subjective perceptions. A lot of YouTube talking heads scream about it.

    The DAWBench specs still put Intel on top for low latency performance. They check it with Uhe Luna and some of the Shattered Glass tube plugins. Intel is still ahead in single core performance exactly as it looks on the spec sheet. Mac OS has far worse performance than Windows on the same hardware. Pcie cards are still by far the most stable interfaces. Rme and then manufacturers who write their own drivers have the most stable USB and Thunderbolt connections.

    the diy pc builder crowd really believes that they have the know how to put together a silent pc to run low latency at the max turbo clock rate on all cores without melting that runs 24/7. I’ve never seen it except from people who repair computers for a living. Most of the people I know who rely on cpu intensive computers for a living (audio producers, chess masters, mathematicians, etc) make money from their own labor by the hour or project or grant. Spending weeks tweaking a pc is not an option. They need it to just run. Paying an extra 500-1000 dollars up front is cheaper than 72 hours of their time to get something they have to waste more time themselves fixing if anything goes wrong. Good luck tweaking gpu drivers for AI stuff or lower latencies.
     
  5. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    Funny enough though, this was not the best advice for the onboard wifi with latest z490 2.5G intel wifi chip; there was a bug in the chip and all z490 boards are apparently affected. So a lot of manufs (like MSI for instance) aren't using Intel wifi even on their $750 Z490 boards.

    But yes, Intel is usually best :)

    Yes latencies are always overlooked. I used to do music production and this was always important to me - and intel still dominates here. Now I mainly just game and playback music on computer, so the single core performance is important when building computer recently (10900K here). The 10900K is great for gaming as even unoptimized nextgen console ports should run great, with 8c/16t dedicated to the game and 2c/4t for multitasking.

    The only chip I felt was a disappointment from Intel recently was the 10980XE, even within its own model lineup. It actually wasn't much faster in most applications than the 10940X since the thermally limited low all-core clocks of the 10980XE essentially made it perform at the level of a 16-core instead of an 18-core, and on top of this most apps don't use more than 14 cores. On non-AVX512 workloads the 10900K would beat up on most of the cascade lake x HEDT lineup; unless of course you actually had the storage configuration to utilize the pci-e lanes. Pretty clear the inability to transition to 10nm timely really hurt the HEDT parts. Mainstream desktop still rocking along tho.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  6. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    It's the only way I can pay the bills during the pandemic.
     
  7. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    There is a lot of time spent on the video side about measurements too, resolution, on/off & ansi contrast ratio, max brightness, etc. But just like audio there is a lot of stuff that is failed to be captured in measurements as well, such as frame accuracy/motion resolution, how the brain interprets one combination of measurements vs another, etc. There are multiple camps just like tube vs solid state except with video display techs etc.

    The difference is our eyes are more sensitive than our ears, and its more easy to understand and describe what we see than what we hear. So the measurements aren't as important because you can look at a few types of one tech or another and be "yeah i like that tech" and then you just pick the one you think looks best.

    Our ears are less sensitive and its sometimes harder to understand what we hear, figure out if we are hearing what we intend to hear or something else in the chain/room, and even whether we are really hearing something we think we are hearing or just fooling ourself - and I think the biggest problem is that there are some very real scams that have taken advantage of this fact. One example I can think of from a while back is the $795 Camelot Technology Dragon 5.1. It was a device that sat in between your DVD player and receiver and reclocked the 5.1 audio so that it had no jitter. Just one small problem, all of the 5.1 audio for DVD was packeted so reclocking it did absolutely nothing. Then there are cables like the Denon AK-DL1, a $500 ethernet cable to connect Denon products. I mean, that damns itself by description.

    So there is some merit to measuring things to weed out the BS. But you can't use that alone (OK, maybe in the above 2 examples you can), as while there are many tools to measure things they really don't tell us exactly how something is going to sound, because some elements of the sound signature seem to evade typical measurements taken (LP example mentioned earlier for instance). And, people have different preferences - some might hear warm audio as musical, others might hear it as muddy; some might hear bright audio as detailed, others might hear it as harsh. So measurements maybe can give you a rough idea of some aspects of the sound, but they can't describe how you are going to personally hear the sound.

    When you see a good looking TV its easy to describe, you just say like "yeah it looked really sharp with high contrast, excellent dynamic range, good color, and nice peak brightness" - everyone reading this can pretty much picture what this TV is going to look like in their mind. Describing audio its more like "yeah, it was warm and sweet with a touch of air, but mids were a bit forward and the bass was a bit recessed; soundstage had good width and depth felt like sitting in the 2nd row" - now reading this you might have some idea but really isn't too clear even after a much longer and more detailed description. It seems like hearing is much more nebulous than seeing, and maybe all of this uncertainty is too much to handle for some people - so its easier to put it in a box and label it as "measures xyz," even if the act of doing so is fruitless in describing the quality of the sound and how one will perceive it. Humans love order and can't stand chaos, so measurements are one way to try to pin down the chaos of sound.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    An inherent problem is lack of stores to experience audio gear. Once upon a time, there was The Good Guys and Circuit City. No longer. In the USA, stores with headphones are rare. Three decades ago there was Century Stereo in San Jose which had a wall of headphones and where you could special order STAX. Today in El Lay, there is maybe Element Audio in Pasadena with a few Audezes on the wall, and TSAV in Torrance which has a amazing selection. However, El Lay is a huge place and Torrance is a bit out of the way (no one wants to get stuck on the 405).

    The lack of being able to physically touch, examine, and listen to the gear before buying contributes to what I would call the "HF and ASR effect": HF in that everything is great; ASR in that only a handful of steady-state signal measurement presentations matter. As someone stated earlier, the vast majority of these people actually have very little hands on experience with a large varied amount of gear. The guy who called me out by name on ASR probably has no experience with gear outside of a handful of Topping, KEF LS50, HD600, and various AV receivers from the big-box stores.

    These are the reasons why at SBAF we have a loaner program and rely on shared experience to develop a common vocabulary and experience. This process is difficult, takes time and experience, and isn't cheap. People who normally couldn't afford certain kinds of gear, myself included, get to experience some very top notch sounding gear. If not, we at least have communicated with each other enough to be able to imagine how a piece a gear may sound like. At least that's the goal.

    Another factor is that a lot of ASR folks migrated from AV sites, which had always tended to be very anal about measurements, particularly with subwoofers and TVs. Culturally, SBAF has a outlook more similar with that with traditional two-channel, with a little bit more emphasis on measurements. In regards to measurements, Changstar was dedicated to finding atrocious headphones with severe problems in the high frequencies. SBAF is dedicated to providing measurements so readers can determine if that piece of gear is something they may want to consider. Measurements are rarely used as a litmus test here. When they are, it's because the measurements are extremely bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    One good example in terms of approach, and I know the ASR and AV guys would shake their heads at this:

    I prefer to run subs by taking the output from the main amp and padding it down to line input level. The reason is because I want the sound characteristics of the main amp to be carried forth to the sub amp for the best integration and most seamless transition from mains to sub. The AV method is to take a clean sub line out from a preamp / AV receiver to feed the sub amps to yield the lowest possible distortion.

    Now, if I were running the same amps, say a stack of Crowns, and were using JBL Cinema speakers and JBL Subs, I 'd take the line outs from the preamp / AV receiver.
     
  10. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    ASR has some good info. But the direction and commentary are random variables, with a Topping mean.
     
  11. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

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    it’s the closed mindedness that rubs me and I assume others the wrong way. They’re so sure that what I’m hearing is simply not there as if their measurements account for everything, including how unique each of us are physiologically.

    it’s the same with cameras now. Obsession with specs, just sucks all of the joy out of the hobby.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  12. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    valid point you could also rephrase this slightly:

    ...., with a mean topping.
     
  13. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Don't remind me of that terrible Tom's Hardware DAC review
     
  14. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    The other problem with subs is most of them are low detail boom boom dirt bass or don’t crossover to the two channel woofer at all timbre wise.

    If someone doesn’t believe in detail (Amir) or believe that a 50 dollar stamped Chinese poly woofer is going to match 500 dollar doped paper cone in a cast basket with massive iron magnets (Purite Audio) then they’re just delusional.
     
  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    I had written quickly a text yesterday to reply on their topic but since i was in a hurry, and i wanted to proof read a bit, i decided to hold on.

    Now i came home and when i pressed send the thread was closed. Since they seem to be following this topic i will leave it here so they can read:

    We are different clubs, with different trains of thought, keeping ourselves at arms lenght is good but i wish some of the issues would have been actually rebutted instead of brushed aside. That would've helped everyone in my opinion.
     
  16. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Enough purple has always been good to me. Although, since HF hearing loss got a hold, I need to turn up the pinks.
     
  17. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    That is I think is the key to SBAF being different and a lot of folks from other forums simply cannot get it. From my experience it takes time and, even in small way, being a part of this process to really understand the value of it.
    So I am not surprised that they do not get it and that lack of understanding is, I think, the reason for comments about SBAF being echo chamber, a cult etc...
    In my view every big forum, certainly HF, would be smart to use similar approach and, in a sense, function as a bunch of little SBAFs.
     
  18. YMO

    YMO Chief Fun Officer

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    Quality control is a big thing on a forum. Also helps that we aren't as huge a HF. All those posts per day on HF, hard to keep up.
     
  19. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    All HF cares about these days (other than $$$$) is making sure things don't go off topic and ppl are nice to each other. Beyond that everything goes.
     
  20. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    I mean there is more than one way to skin a cat, so I am relatively flexible to different approaches that accomplish the same thing

    For home theater, I use the sub AV out because its the easiest to control and apply independent room EQ correction, delay times, etc to each channel; assuming that your room is not acoustically perfect like most using the amp out means you'd need to use the same Room EQ. delay settings, etc, profile for both the mains and the sub. That is, unless you bypassed room EQ on your mains and used an external box on the sub but this seems a bit duplicative and also possibly impacting your mains/sub quality unless you somehow got them all time-aligned acoustically and perfect bass curve naturally which is tough to achieve in multiple seating positions (6 in the last home theater I built, half at different heights). Also, I'd wonder with the extra work to do it your way, it seems like I'd be better off putting that work into optimizing positioning of sub(s), crossover frequencies, room treatments, room EQ curve, etc, first.

    But, if you find a way that works for you and you think sounds best I say go for it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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