@Makmeksam's good measuring vs. good sounding thread

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by makmeksam, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Rando

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    I’m probably going to regret posting this but.
    I think there is a generational gap between the measurement purists and what sounds good it good crowd.
    I got into Stereo in the mid 80’s. The only way to decide what you liked was to go and listen at your local specialist HiFi store. If you were moderately pleasant you got to spend hours listening to gear you wouldn’t be able to afford for 20 years, and walk out with something that was a cheap alternative. I still remember the equipment I wanted when I bought my first decent turntable a rega planar 3. I spent hours a week at the Sound Organisation in York listening to gear and talking to the staff.

    I’m not sure that exists anymore.

    With the internet, and online sales, there is a tendency to try and reduce everything to something quantifiable, that’s where measurements and sites like ASR that promote them as the “truth” get disproportionately valued.
    People have to start somewhere.
     
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  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Well with regards specifically to Schiit, they recognize the problem of auditioning equipment and have given you a couple solutions:

    1) If you are in SoCal you can go to the Schittr and audition whatever you want. Bring your own gear to compare too

    2) They have a return policy that accommodates auditioning their equipment just fine. Buy two and return the one you don't want without the restocking fee or just buy one and return it minus a restocking.

    yes, measurements are one thing to factor but the argument that you can't do this with Schiit gear is bunk. (Unless you are international)
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The modern world with the Internet and social media does lend itself to the "reduce to one number" school of pseudo science. I actually think this has it roots in average FPS measurements for GPUs from sites like Tom's hardware. As an aside, some sites like HardOCP (RIP) did it better with FPS plots over time to focus on choppiness or severe FPS drops.

    As far as demographics, it does appear most ASR types are young, staring out in life, don't have much disposable income yet, and lack experience with one-dimensional thinking as Spock would say to Kirk about Khan. You can also argue that our schools have failed in teaching kids the scientific method.

    However, that assessment would be insulting to 24-35 year olds, as this also happens to be the largest segment of readers of SBAF. Maybe we just got the smart ones, or the social ones, willing to get out and meet each other, actually playing with gear.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Maybe not hard from an algorithms point of view, but big challenges: data collection and data modelling and effectiveness of implementation.

    No amount of software processing is ever going to give Apple HomePods the linearity, frequency range, SPL capability, and high-frequecy dispersion as the JBL 4698b speakers in my living room.
     
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  5. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Gone for a few days and upon return find "the schiit hit the fan" on this measurement thread.

    I stated I would prefer listening to Magni 3+ for recreational listening. However, I would likely choose the Heresy for dialog editing.

    Goals for production tools are different than goals for recreational listening. Production work goals also differ depending on task. The tools for tracking may differ from those for mixing and again for mastering. example: in dialog editing I use Sony 7506 to clearly hear palette pops and other assorted mouth noises. I would never recommend 7506 for recreational listening. Then HD600 for tonal balancing when headphone checking. Otherwise A.D.A.M S3-A powered monitors are my project studio tool.

    The wise person utilizes a combination of data inputs:
    A. audio shows and meets provide some, however limited first hand experience
    B. written opinions provided personal preference and bias are understood, both those of the writer and reader
    C. measurements, provided they are consistent across components measured and competently performed by experienced engineers
    D. direct first person experiences, which must begin somewhere

    That last one is important. If beginning, I would recommend a simple, inexpensive system such as a schiit Fulla 2 or Modi3 + Magni3+ and HD600. Now go and LISTEN for a very long time before considering anything else. No upgrades, no spending of any further money. This will build experience for comparisons to posts from experienced listeners.

    Repeat the following mantra, as many times as necessary:
    "Not all that matters can be measured. Not all that can be measured matters." - Jonathan Novick (formerly of Audio Precision, lately at Avermetrics) at several AES presentations

    Personal preference is very different than absolute accuracy. The former is important in recreational listening. The latter is more important in production work.

    Let me make something very clear. The goals of big budget music production are as follows, in order of importance:
    1. make money
    2. make money
    3. make money

    Ok, further down on the list are
    4. make the bankrolling entity happy
    5. appease each of the musicians that their respective parts can be heard
    6. appease the producer that his/her vision is realized
    7. mix engineer probably desires the listener to have an enjoyable experience and the illusion of band playing to them personally
    8. mastering engineer wants the product to translate well to the gamut of playback system possibilities and provide a consistent track to track experience

    Often multiple monitoring systems will be used to check experience translation. Way back when (ok boomer) an Auratone was also used with a mono check mix to mimic listening on what was considered representative of in-the-car radio experience.

    Also keep in mind tracking may occur in multiple studios on multiple continents, mixing somewhere else and mastering at yet another facility different from tracking and mixing. Or it may all happen in one place. Varies by project.

    Now bedroom productions will be quite different and ability to deliver a big budget experience depends on the experience of the musicians and their engineer, who may be one and the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  6. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Rando

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    I think a more interesting use of ML would be mapping measured data to subjective terms.
    If you could find a large enough set of consistent measurements, and subjective reviews, it would be interesting to see if were even measuring the right things, and where the holes are.
    But like all ML it’s finding high quality labeled data that’s the hard part, most Data Scientists spend the bulk of their time just cleaning data.
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's actually practical and a matter of will to implement. Mastering stages vary all over. I've seen audiophile speakers like Focal or B&W, and I've seen pro monitors like Adam or Dynaco. However, the common denominator seems to be this: three-way systems (lows-mids, highs or subs-lows-highs) and treated rooms. The amplification can range form boutique audiophile gear to professional gear. I tend to see professional gear since that stuff is easier mounted on racks inside machine rooms and can be left on for long periods of time over many years.

    We can actually build baby versions of these kinds of setups. Adam, Eve, Neumann monitors if we have money or if we don't have money: JBL or Yamaha stuff from Guitar Center. Add two decent cheap subs with xovers (don't let the woofers on the small monitors run below 80Hz) and voila we are good to go. Add some furniture, and if the room is still too live, dial in some EQ to attenuate 1-5 kHz. Any decent DAC will do, but get something reliable and serviceable. Grab a used class AB pro amp from Crest, QSC, or Crown. Note that this gear will measure horribly to ASR standards, but professionals don't seem to mind.

    Hard to say, I've observed most people to prefer a V-shaped response with a lotta bass and a slight elevation in the highs. Sean Olive's research, his Harmon curve, would lend credence to this observation.
     
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  8. makmeksam

    makmeksam Rando

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    In the heat of Heresy and measurements release, this thread has SBAF views on,
    • How to see the reality and choose gear in the pool of subjective and objective views.
    • The time and place of the measurements and measurement champ devices.
    • What audiophiles are after?
    • Future directions and more.
    The thread is not bad after all right? I think this has a good concentration of information that can be a treatment for a measurement extremist (post #28 and #36 by @purr1n could be an eye opener). Not bad for a subjectivist too I guess.
     
  9. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    From my experience, some guys will master even on NS10s with desk or console reflections to bring up the bass. It works. Some guys will have other stuff and cycle through stuff but mostly still use the NS10.

    Most pros don't even use the stuff not sold in stores they can't replace right away. This shit is so fragile. Full scale tracking real instruments can kill almost all pro brands at any time. Even expensive ones. Audiophile hifi stuff tends to die instantly. They can't handle the sustained volume and distortion. ATC is the one exception but costs too much. So you won't actually see many Neumanns, hardly any Eves, and the most expensive things will be Adams and small Dynaudios. Mostly right now for new stuff, it's still JBL 305 and Yamaha HS8. The guys on web forums are a small minority. Even major pro sound dudes use a lot of stuff audiophile forums, even ASR would hate. Patrick W Engel does great work for major labels on the original KRK Rokits from 20 years ago. Bob Clearmountain uses NS10s, BM15a (anti ns10s with no mids), and these:
    [​IMG]

    The power amps pros like tend to be modded class AB pa amps or modded beefy class AB hifi amps they think sound good. Yes they mod all the time. The modded Adcom amps are a meme for a reason. They sound good. Some mod the shit out of old McIntosh amps. These would all measure like shit but are very reactive to changes (unlike the Benchmark streak mark) and sound good.

    For interfaces? RME is the God Emperor. The memes are real. Everything else is greatly inferior and may not work except for badass Lynx cards and the Protools HD rigs that sound like shit. People are moving away from those due to Apple and Avid scumbaggery. Even if some other brands like MOTU and Apogee work most of the time, Focusrite and Steinberg half the time, they're not RME. behringer is lol outside of the X32 in bar/grill live rigs. RME gets maximum respect for good reason. They cleaned up the sound a few years ago to compete with the best and always work. No random freak outs. All the pros I've talked to, from bedroom guys to people who do it to feed their families, respect RME unless they demand warmth from gear.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  10. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    @purr1n Remember when Ethan Winer fixed his "all converters null the same" test on gearslutz? Lars Urlich approved Death Magnetic by testing it in his old sports car and pronounced it "Smoking." Human error is the biggest thing.

    Humans will find gear that sounds good enough. Those old Swedish metal records were all done one of the best cheap PCB consoles around, the SECK things. It sounds better than old Mackie and way cooler than an SSL but ASR would shit on it. So many records that sound good were done on old Mackie VLZ or old Yamaha O2R into ADAT. Amir measuring an O2R or O1V and trying to say some crusty guy with a ponytail should buy a Sabaj to replace it would be lol. He rigs his recommendation and results to recommend cheap crap so he can claim to be an "influencer." He's the retired guy version of a 23 year old girl dressing like a hooker to become an Instagram influencer.
     
  11. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    I loved using the SSL 9000, O2r and Neve consoles when I was at LARS in Hollywood back in 2005. The Neve (can't remember the exact model) was by far the best sounding, but I did like the SSL 9000 quite a bit as well, particularly the compressors. The O2R was ok sounding, but mainly fun to do surround mixing on. Sony Oxford=million dollar trash; Sony DMX=Cheaper dogshit sound.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ^ from the posts above and this:

    The audio world is A LOT bigger than ASR has seen or experienced.
    Yes, he's definitely pandering to an audience.

    upload_2019-12-7_14-48-38.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    All I remember about Ethan Winer is that video he released years ago with the girl taking off her bra to demonstrate standing waves or something like that.
     
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  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    It absolutely stems from things like GPUs that can be benchmarked this way. That's why I was initially more of an objectivist with audio. I grew up with this stuff and expectations.

    Of course, I remember when I swore my framerate wasn't smooth. Framerate charts over time didn't capture this super well, but low level frametimes did. Turns out micro-stuttering was a big problem that no one thought to measure for, until they did. Prior, guys like myself were told, "You're just imagining it. FPS average shows otherwise."

    So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I could pick out "measurably inaudible" gear, once I finally gave it a shot for kicks.

    Then again, people weren't getting hard over multitone measurements back then. Goalposts moved since.
     
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  15. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Here you go R rated link mp4 should play in most browsers.
     
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  16. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Up to par for this place. Or you forget what the name of the annual audio award this place gives out.
     
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  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    It would be a great thread, if most of the information weren't already available on this website. You are receiving a personalized lesson, which may be the source of some of the dislikes. May I suggest you look at a few other threads with some informational content:

    Tutorial - Interpreting THD and THD+N specifications and graphs

    Tutorial - A tale of 6 amps THD+N and THD specifications

    Tutorial - Lies, Damn Lies and USB DAC technical measurements

    Modi 2U and D30 DAC: Deconstructing Amir's Hack Job Part II

    This is a beginning. There is a wealth of information awaiting those seeking enlightenment and are able to use search engines such with terms such as "information for which I am looking" site:superbestaudiofriends.org

    substitute "information for which I am looking" with the topic of interest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  18. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    For those wishing to see one of the lowest THD ever measured for a headphone amp:
    20191207-04 Magni Heresy 300R 1KHz THD short name for SBAF.png

    Measurement system block diagram:
    20191207 ADI-2 Pro - Magni Heresy HpW measurement system.png

    *edit*
    Reference: 0 dBFS = +4 dBu
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  19. makmeksam

    makmeksam Rando

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    That is true. But still I thought having this content in one place might be useful.

    I get it now. I did not know this is discouraged.

    Thanks for this. I am sure my family members are gonna hate me in the Christmas holidays.
     
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  20. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Still there... I stopped a few months ago traveling from State College to Baltimore
     

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