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Thread: 10 audiophile myths busted

  1. #191
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by George47 View Post
    1) You can minimise these effects by not carrying out ABX tests with 12 sec samples but by listening for much longer time periods and getting the real measure of the item and then trying the other component. Doing blind tests is an awful way to test components and I have not seen any statistically significant data that shows SS amp sound different. But they are.
    Indeed, although it's only "awful" in the sense of considering the results obtained as conclusive, which they aren't, simply because like every other test that involves the human brain and hearing, it's fallible! The likelihood is, whenever you try and *force* yourself to hear a difference, because you're under pressure to do so, in the way of ABX testing or similar, you run the risk of obtaining a false result, as most people don't respond well to being tested in that way.

    Subtle differences in sound between components, which generally is what you're testing for, if they exist, are more likely to be revealed naturally, over time, by listening to the component(s) concerned with a variety of familiar recordings, in a relaxed environment, than via any 'quick fire' ABX testing.

    Therefore, by all means undertake such tests, with whatever components you like, and use it as ONE valid means of determining differences, but the best way of obtaining meaningful results, is as you've said, by listening for much longer time periods and getting the real measure of the item, and then trying the other component.

    Of course, like ABX testing, that process is also fallible, for a variety of obvious reasons (NO test is perfect), but at least you've applied some reasonable judgement criteria, in order to determine the existence of any differences. Therefore, I'd contend that some form of objective *and* subjective testing (as outlined) is required, to get a proper handle on what's happening, not just 10 minutes spent getting jiggy with a blindfold!

    Marco.
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  2. #192
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

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    I'm Robert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMutt View Post
    I love The Smiths and Morrissey. Is it a myth that people on hifi forums all love Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Yello and Pink Floyd?
    ha ha, not sure about all, but indeed I'm aware that a heck of a lot (myself included) do like the Dan a lot which makes you wonder why so many of us audio nuts do whilst at the same time having very differing musical tastes otherwise

    Are the Dan a bit like Bob Marley then, as in everybody or most people tend to like them to at least a fair extent ?

    Maybe it's something to do with the connection of melody, musicality and groove of which those two are definately of 'that'
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  3. #193
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Bristol

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMutt View Post
    I love The Smiths and Morrissey. Is it a myth that people on hifi forums all love Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Yello and Pink Floyd?
    Like The Smith, Steely Dan and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Don't like Dire Straits, don't know Yello.

  4. #194
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: UK, East Midlands

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMutt View Post
    Is it a myth that people on hifi forums all love Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Yello and Pink Floyd?
    Yes ... is that another one busted?

  5. #195
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

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    I'm Steve.

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    Yello are a Swiss Duo whose best known track is 'The Race', which I guarantee you will have heard.

    I think Steely Dan have a large following among audiophiles, probably because the quality of the musicianship is only equalled by their production values, while I feel that Bob Marley songs have an irresistible groove which the production allows to shine through.

    Only my opinion of course, but I am a bit biased.
    'I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested'

  6. #196
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Audiophile myth #5: People buy expensive hi fi in order to listen to music.

    Wrong! That's like saying people buy expensive cars in order to drive themselves from A to B. There is so many reasons more important than transport that make people spend a lot of money on cars. If getting from A to B was the primary reason, everybody would be driving some shitty economy clunker.

    Aesthetics, social prestige, etc. all determine how much money is someone going to blow on buying an automobile. People like to drive a head-turner vehicle.

    Same motivation applies to hi fi. Aesthetics, wanting to impress our friends, wanting to have a head-turner hi fi in the comfort of our luxurious home, to tell the world that 'we have arrived' and are living the 'charmed life'.

    Music can be enjoyed on pretty much ANY system. If the music is good, the quality of audio components won't matter. I have, on more than one occasion, been driven to tears while driving and listening to some divine music on my shitty dinky car speakers, while the music playback was being drowned by the noisy car and the nosy traffic.
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  7. #197
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Indeed, although it's only "awful" in the sense of considering the results obtained as conclusive, which they aren't, simply because like every other test that involves the human brain and hearing, it's fallible! The likelihood is, whenever you try and *force* yourself to hear a difference, because you're under pressure to do so, in the way of ABX testing or similar, you run the risk of obtaining a false result, as most people don't respond well to being tested in that way.

    Subtle differences in sound between components, which generally is what you're testing for, if they exist, are more likely to be revealed naturally, over time, by listening to the component(s) concerned with a variety of familiar recordings, in a relaxed environment, than via any 'quick fire' ABX testing.

    Therefore, by all means undertake such tests, with whatever components you like, and use it as ONE valid means of determining differences, but the best way of obtaining meaningful results, is as you've said, by listening for much longer time periods and getting the real measure of the item, and then trying the other component.

    Of course, like ABX testing, that process is also fallible, for a variety of obvious reasons (NO test is perfect), but at least you've applied some reasonable judgement criteria, in order to determine the existence of any differences. Therefore, I'd contend that some form of objective *and* subjective testing (as outlined) is required, to get a proper handle on what's happening, not just 10 minutes spent getting jiggy with a blindfold!

    Marco.
    I agree. Doing pointed tests (i.e. focused short bursts of listening in order to try and hear differences between two configurations) is akin to doing short focused looks into one of those jumbled images that look chaotic, but the aim is to see what image is hidden in that chaotic mess. You'll only be able to really see the 'hidden image' emerge if you relax your gaze, take your sweet time, and not try too hard.

    To me, the same approach works when trying to determine whether a change in my configuration results in the changed sound quality. Intense listening simply doesn't work, as you're straining your ears and in the process just hearing your own blood pumping through your ears.

    Instead, I relax, grab a glass of wine/beer, sit back, and let the sound flow. Slowly but surely, those at first imperceptible 'images' start emerging. Or, if those hidden characteristics fail to emerge after a relaxed session, then I know that the change was for naught, and the purchase is to be returned for a refund.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  8. #198
    Join Date: Jun 2014

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    I'm Steve.

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    At the risk of getting my arse kicked for going slightly 'off topic', may I suggest looking at a video posted by stratmangler over on 'Musical Compositions'.

    It's a good reminder of why we got into this hifi malarky.

    Forget the myths for a few minutes, and just enjoy.
    'I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested'

  9. #199
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,253
    I'm Russell.

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    In an earlier post I said that I donít pay attention to measurements anymore, I buy stereo based on its ability to evoke emotion. It seems a lot of us are on the same page?

    But what I didnít say was that as my system has evolved to be emotionally evoking, I find that Iím using gear that has been touted as Hi End. Which usually means it has some quality that garners praise in the industry. So perhaps accuracy is what makes a system more involving? If a 13 foot grand piano sounds like a childís toy, itís not going to be satisfying.

    As far as buying name brands to impress others, I donít subscribe to that. Oh! I know people do! Well to do people want to show off the fact that they own the best! But personally, I donít know a soul who is impressed by the names on my stereo, no one I know is even aware of who these companies are. While they may be impressed by its sheer size, and quality of playback, the fact that I have a Cary CD player doesnít even register with them, theyíve never even heard of them. So I hang out with a bunch of hicks, so what. Thatís why Iím on this forum, to have someone to talk to about this crap. And Iíd hate to think I spent $20 grand to impress you blokes.

    Russell

  10. #200
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    I'm Grant.

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    I want an emotive connection to the music I play, and most of what I like gives me that. My system isnt top end by any means but it hits the spot, and that, to me, is what I do it for.
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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