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Thread: What's the best system you've heard?

  1. #111
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    "I contend that some technical measurements produced are fatally flawed, simply because we can't currently measure all that we can genuinely hear".

    The fact that we cant measure all that we can 'genuinely hear', does not in any way have a bearing on whether or not some technical measurements are fatally flawed; the two are quite separate, but may indicate their inadequacy to fully explain all.
    Ok, fair enough. I should have said:

    "I contend that some technical measurements can be used to distort the truth, because they don't necessarily provide all the information required about the phenomenon being measured, and therefore can't act as definitive proof, in circumstances where they are being used to disprove the existence of that phenomenon".

    Extrapolating that further, I would add... And therefore, any argument put forward using measurements in that way, is potentially fatally flawed.

    How's that?

    I accept that I was being presumptive about the your inclination on ICEpower, and meant no offence.
    No offense taken.

    I didn't mean "sabotage" in a literal sense, perhaps "compromise" would have been abetter choice of word.
    Indeed, and I've identified where I consider compromises have been made in active speakers.

    There are also obvious compromises in passive ones, so at the end of the day, we simply have to choose which ones we can most easily live with, as there is no universally, 'definitively best' solution to anything in audio, no matter how measurements are used by some to portray that assertion as fact.

    The last point is that we are not 'objective beings' in any absolute sense. We always have an internal psychological context which is our backdrop to the I/C information we receive, and optical illusions show us how our perceptions are also influenced by other I/C information.
    Indeed, and given that's the case, it seems fatally flawed (there's that term again) to adopt a purely objective outlook to assessing audio, when it's alien to our 'natural DNA'...

    All technical measurements are valid, though their significance may be major, minor, and even questionable.
    This is quite separate from our lack of a comprehensive knowledge, ie. limitation in understanding, of audio.
    Yes I agree, but they're only valid, in terms of how they've been applied, within the specific context of what's being measured. Therefore out with of that, should only be considered as providing a guideline as to what *may* be happening, or in terms of indicating the existence or otherwise of a specific phenomenon, not definitive proof of such.

    So yes, significance is a big part of it all, and the refusal of some people to accept that fact, and worse, use measurements simply to support the values of their scientific belief system, and preach to others how they are unquestionably correct, is where so much dangerous misinformation is born!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  2. #112
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    I'm Dennis.

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    In general people can and do use any supposed truth to do all sorts of wrongs and evils in this world, and audio is no special forum for this, having no special facility for it.

    What you are describing is human beings breaking rules of logic and argument either to deliberately deceive others, or, and this is often the case, to deceive themselves in an attempt to alleviate their own internal conflict, and in so doing provide themselves with an internal comfort zone.

    People chat themselves up all the time, and if a few victims are also caught up in this self created BS, well, that may well provide them with further support for their illusions.

    I do not know what you mean by "adopting a purely objective outlook in audio". I also think that what I hear, whilst a subjective perception, ie. it is my own, it is also me having the facility to "perceive that which is ourtside of myself", this being the definition of objectivity.

    Objectivity requires discipline both in methodology and personal will, the latter often being very hard under certain social pressures. Three come to mind, exam pressure, which lowers one's functionality, interviews where tension lessens performance, and peer group pressure to conform, this latter can be very insidious and powerful.

    The 'objective' measures are very limited, but universally true; if we take any amplifier and increase its distortion, its noise, worsen its transient behaviour, reduce its bandwidth, and a few other factors, as we do so, it will sound worse and less like the original source which it is being fed.

    It really is a quick matter to subject a piece of audio equipment to a series of tests, and eliminate what we know to be main criteria for failed sound quality as listed above. Having done that now we can listen agast at the seeming differences which may exist between equipments, and wonder what the hell is going on. My mind boggled at the use of Kimber 8TC with my ESS woofers, and I still have no idea what was going on.

    With that established, the audio world can move on to find other new parameters and variables which also define sound, but other than TIM in the 80s, I see no further evidence of new criteria.

    Of course we will still hear different sounds as better or worse despite the measurements; our sensitivities to certain errors must vary amongst the population, and so some will be more offended than others by a particular error, and this also applies to speaker layout configurations, for eg., I could not live with the Grand Utopia's five drive units in a large arc.

  3. #113
    Join Date: Apr 2008

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    I'm Neil.

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    This is a good snippet around measurements:

    “Why do audiophiles do not like the sound of current oversampling DACs ?
    Oversampling DACs are textbook correct, right ? So they should sound perfect, no ? Well ...

    While it is true that oversampling DACs are textbook correct, if you make the wrong assumptions about the human hearing system, you may end up making mistakes, even if you do the math right !

    Let me give you a simple example : it is generally assumed we hear the spectrum of sounds, but can't hear the phase.
    Now try "binaural beats" on Google and listen for yourself. These clearly show the phase information IS sensed, AND remains present far inside the brain.
    So maybe the spectrum-only approach to DAC design is not telling the whole story...

    Traditional non-oversampling DACs from the past did not make any assumptions about hearing mechanisms, they just tried to replicate in analog what you fed them digitally as closely as possible...”

    http://audio.starting-point-systems.com


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  4. #114
    Join Date: Apr 2016

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    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post

    Traditional non-oversampling DACs from the past did not make any assumptions about hearing mechanisms, they just tried to replicate in analog what you fed them digitally as closely as possible...”

    http://audio.starting-point-systems.com


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hence the popularity of NOS Dacs, and not just from the past

    Here is an article that's well worth a read if you have time.

    http://sw1xad.co.uk/technology_post/...r-dac-designs/
    Last edited by bumpy; 05-12-2017 at 09:19.
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  5. #115
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpy View Post
    Hence the popularity of NOS Dacs.

    Here is an article that's well worth a read if you have time.

    http://sw1xad.co.uk/technology_post/...r-dac-designs/
    I'd be wary of taking any manufacturer's blurb as gospel. NOS DACs sound different because they introduce distortion, not because they reduce 'timing errors'. Distortion can make the sound more appealing, as we see with vinyl. It's a different way of doing things which some people will prefer but claiming it is superior or more accurate is to go too far.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  6. #116
    Join Date: Apr 2008

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    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I'd be wary of taking any manufacturer's blurb as gospel. NOS DACs sound different because they introduce distortion, not because they reduce 'timing errors'. Distortion can make the sound more appealing, as we see with vinyl. It's a different way of doing things which some people will prefer but claiming it is superior or more accurate is to go too far.
    Let's have a look at the distortion measurements of my NOS DAC:

    Harmonic Distortion:
    0.002% @ 1kHz, 50% full scale (-6dBFS)
    0.012% @ 1kHz, 10% full scale (-20dBFS)

    Intermodulation Distortion (CCIR):
    0.009%
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    What you are describing is human beings breaking rules of logic and argument either to deliberately deceive others, or, and this is often the case, to deceive themselves in an attempt to alleviate their own internal conflict, and in so doing provide themselves with an internal comfort zone.
    That last bit is spot on, as is this:

    People chat themselves up all the time, and if a few victims are also caught up in this self created BS, well, that may well provide them with further support for their illusions.
    ...and *that* is where a big problem exists on forums.

    I've also noticed that it's the scientifically-minded fraternity (and certain EEs amongst them) who are generally most guilty of that behaviour, especially the cognitive dissonance you describe in your first paragraph, and unfortunately it leads to the gullible following bad (fundamentally biased) advice from someone that they consider is an expert.

    I do not know what you mean by "adopting a purely objective outlook in audio".
    Someone who forms their opinions on hi-fi, solely based on measurements, who assembles their system using test equipment, rather than their ears, who believes that all equipment is sonically 'transparent', if the measurements dictate so, who will shun using anything that they think sounds great, if it doesn't measure well, or if what they're hearing doesn't conform to established scientific facts, in which case it will be automatically dismissed as imagined. And who's whole audio raison d'etre is governed by the laws of physics, which they serve like a humble disciple. I could go on...

    Now, normal people reading that might be thinking to themselves 'Who the hell are these weirdos?' Well, I can assure you they exist, as unfortunately I've encountered, and crossed swords, with plenty of them over the years!

    And they do a great disservice to the furthering of any useful knowledge, simply because they're more interested in portraying themselves as 'experts', in order to massage their egos, scoring points against those whose opinions they dislike, and seek to demean or ridicule, and protecting their scientific belief system from having its fallacies exposed, which of course causes them great distress [see cognitive dissonance, as mentioned earlier].

    Those types will never be welcome on AoS - and if they join, they rarely last long, because eventually they get exposed for what they are...

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  8. #118
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    I'm Dennis.

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    I was recently given a book on the psychology of certain personality types - those who are much more able to cope with and deal with the tension from unresolved issues, and it is very enlightening.

    The types you list Marco could well fall into the category that is unable to deal with this tension. We all would like life 'watertight and shipshape', but it is not so, and the sooner we come to terms with its variability and the fickle nature of existence, the better we will be at dealing with its issues.

    Of course the internal 'comfort zone', is an attempt at resolving things to a neat and complete understanding, but it is based on illusion, and hence under the constant threat from reality propounders.

    "Someone who forms their opinions on hi-fi, solely based on measurements, who assembles their system using test equipment, rather than their ears, who believes that all equipment is sonically 'transparent', if the measurements dictate so, who will shun using anything that they think sounds great, if it doesn't measure well, or if what they're hearing doesn't conform to established scientific facts, in which case it will be automatically dismissed as imagined. And who's whole audio raison d'etre is governed by the laws of physics, which they serve like a humble disciple. I could go on..."

    I have had enormous fights with academics who are of such an arrogant (self) persuasion, that they are really very aggressive, and want to punish anyone who has the balls to oppose their views, even giving them poor marks for their stance, and this could well describe such people.

    "and protecting their scientific belief system from having its fallacies exposed,"
    By definition this belief system is not scientific.

    The real problem is that they are actually breaking the rules of science, and if they were to see that, it is possible that their whole personality could collapse. Science requires modesty and humility, and a burning self sacrificing desire to seek truth.
    Last edited by Pharos; 05-12-2017 at 23:40.

  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    This is a good snippet around measurements:

    “Why do audiophiles do not like the sound of current oversampling DACs ?
    Oversampling DACs are textbook correct, right ? So they should sound perfect, no ? Well ...

    While it is true that oversampling DACs are textbook correct, if you make the wrong assumptions about the human hearing system, you may end up making mistakes, even if you do the math right !
    Whilst leaving aside the debatable veracity of that statement, in the context in which you're applying it (although I'm on your side there), for me, it is undoubtedly a truism, in terms of both the designing of audio equipment as a whole, and the perception of what ultimately matters when said equipment is listened to by a human being.

    And in that respect, the penny should be dropping by now that there is a large enough body of user evidence, amassed over many years, to suggest that maths and measurements only takes us so far, simply because if we take your example above and add it to (justified) claims of vinyl and R2R tape being preferred to CD, valves to transistors, 'obsolete' loudspeaker technology to the current variety, analogue radio to digital, etc - with each example of older technology measuring worse than its modern counterpart, yet STILL sounding better to many people, then it should be patently clear that we hear things in a way that we're currently unable to measure.

    And given that's the case, then we have to question the true efficacy of the measurements being taken to produce the equipment we're listening to, as I don't believe for one second that in every instance above, older technology was preferred simply due to users being seduced by euphonic distortions or nostalgia. Something more fundamental is happening, and whatever that is needs properly investigated, if we're ever to make *genuine* advances, WHERE IT MATTERS MOST, in the field of audio.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  10. #120
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Dennis, I've just read your last post which is *so* true it's unreal, and lives up to your title of 'Captain Insightful'. I may well even add it to the section containing Our Ethos!

    Anyway, I'll comment later, as I just need to do a few things first

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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