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Old 05-17-2022, 12:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Guybrush View Post
You there. Yes, you.

The world of audio equip is just so ripe for myth. Tone and quality are often hard to pin down in quantitative ways and if you spend $$$ on a piece of equip, you have placebos and various cognitive biases that are going to try to fool you into thinking it's somehow improved things.
Isn’t it amazing then that pipe organ builders, violin makers etc aren’t led astray by their ‘cognitive biases’.

Quote:
HOWEVER. We know (or should know) that when audio equip is blind tested, listeners (including audiophiles) often can't reliably identify supposed higher quality gear, like preamps, dacs or cables.
Why ’should we know’?
Blind testing has itself been proven one of the best methods to confuse listeners perceptions. Have you considered the influence upon a signal arriving at your ears and the effect of cloth or whatever stretching over your face
?
Quote:
We may have an inkling that the higher up in price you are, the less you get for your money. At worst, we're paying for snake oil.
Who are ‘we’?. At worst we may be paying for snake oil but my deluded perceptions tell me over and over the obscene amount (to some) I’ve paid for my audio gear has been worth every penny, just as my ‘deluded perceptions’ tell me the Rieger organ installed in Scots Church Melbourne is one of the most brilliant instruments. Maybe however I should attend the next organ recital blindfolded in order to learn what really is going on?

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So what are some of your favourite worst ways (pet peeves) in terms of wasting money on audio equip?
I don’t get peeved if the rich splurge obscene amounts on audio gear that to my ears is as musical as a strangled pig fart. I do get peeved at those who assume all of us using high-end gear are deaf and deluded.
And no, I’m not going to list the gear I run. Last time I stupidly did so on a forum I had the lot burgled . There’s another side to all this. There are some absolute bargains to be had today for, for instance in budget speakers. Sadly only the dedicated audiopress get around to reporting on such items :- from Stereophile magazine.
JBL Stage A170: $499.99/pair $$$
Measuring a little over 3' tall and a mere 7.5" wide, this slender floorstander uses a combination horn/waveguide for its 1" aluminum-dome tweeter. Below that are two 5.25" Polycellulose-cone mid-woofers, one crossed over at 2.8kHz and the other at 1.8kHz: The Stage A170 is a 2.5-way design. On the rear of its vinyl-clad cabinet are two reflex ports, and two pairs of loudspeaker connectors to facilitate biwiring. Key specs include a 6 ohm impedance and a sensitivity of 89dB. According to HR, the JBLs weren't at all fussy when it came to intricacies of setup and projected "an enormous, nicely detailed soundstage." On rock fare, and apart from slightly rounding-off leading-edge transients, the JBLs offered "relatively unrestricted" dynamics and allowed music to roll forward "with ridiculous ease." Writing from his test bench, JA confirmed the speaker's above-average sensitivity and praised the Stage A170's "excellent measured performance, especially considering its affordable price."


Not let’s throw a nasty suggestion into the ring. How many of you out there know many of the digital appliances, such as your Mac or whatever you run, are feeding dirty radio frequency signals not only into the ether but back onto your mains supply? If your audio gear doesn’t have effective noise suppression built between its power supply and the mains and your system can reproduce those higher frequencies, - - - - ? ? ? ?
But hey, all that’s just audiophile nonsense, isn’t it ? ? ? ?

Last edited by Ayn Marx; 05-17-2022 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 05-21-2022, 12:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ayn Marx View Post
Isn’t it amazing then that pipe organ builders, violin makers etc aren’t led astray by their ‘cognitive biases’.
Are they not? How do you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayn Marx
Why ’should we know’?
Blind testing has itself been proven one of the best methods to confuse listeners perceptions. Have you considered the influence upon a signal arriving at your ears and the effect of cloth or whatever stretching over your face
?
I assume this is a joke, but I'll pointlessly point out that blind test doesn't mean you're blindfolded while listening or have cloth over your ears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayn Marx
Who are ‘we’?. At worst we may be paying for snake oil but my deluded perceptions tell me over and over the obscene amount (to some) I’ve paid for my audio gear has been worth every penny, just as my ‘deluded perceptions’ tell me the Rieger organ installed in Scots Church Melbourne is one of the most brilliant instruments. Maybe however I should attend the next organ recital blindfolded in order to learn what really is going on?
Listening to an organ you seem to know well while blindfolded isn't blind testing.. Against my better judgment, I guess I'll give an example.

Imagine you have need of a Digital to Analog (DAC) unit somewhere in the signal chain of your stereo listening setup. Let's say you get to test three units - a cheap one at 20 bucks, a medium priced one at 100 and an expensive one at, say, 3000.

A cognitive bias you could have is that the most expensive unit is the best sounding one. It seems a reasonable assumption, but may influence your listening experience even when it's not true. This is bad if you want the best sounding setup. However, you can avoid being influenced by this bias by having your friend set up a blind test.

So you listen to the same bits of music three / nine / 30 / whatever separate times with one of those three units in the chain. What makes it blind is you don't know which one you're listening to. All you get to do is rank unit A, B and C in terms of preference. Your buddy knows which is which.

If you did this, you might find you prefer one of the cheaper DACs over the most expensive. Not necessarily, obviously, but there are many good examples of this, but specially when the most expensive product is overpriced due to snake oilisms that just don't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayn Marx
I don’t get peeved if the rich splurge obscene amounts on audio gear that to my ears is as musical as a strangled pig fart. I do get peeved at those who assume all of us using high-end gear are deaf and deluded.
I don't either. I get peeved at people trying to scam other people. I get peeved by people harming other people with lies and falsehoods.

Quote:
Not let’s throw a nasty suggestion into the ring. How many of you out there know many of the digital appliances, such as your Mac or whatever you run, are feeding dirty radio frequency signals not only into the ether but back onto your mains supply? If your audio gear doesn’t have effective noise suppression built between its power supply and the mains and your system can reproduce those higher frequencies, - - - - ? ? ? ?
But hey, all that’s just audiophile nonsense, isn’t it ? ? ? ? [/SIZE][/FONT]
Is it? You may have attached some mythical thinking to this topic, but at least every music producer, bedroom or otherwise, who have ever turned on a pair of active speakers will hear noise very clearly and will soon read about ground loops and try to figure out how to best power the speakers to reduce hum. Anyone who dabbles in audio gear will eventually stumble upon a ground lift button on a preamp or something made for those situations when power causes hum.

I don't consider ground lift buttons a scam. But let's take cable elevators instead. Some may claim that the static electricity in your carpets and the occasional mechanical prod a cable might experience will significantly decrease your audio listening experience and that you should spend stupid money buying rubberized elevators for your cables to lift them off the floor.

In that case, they've pretty much made up a problem so that they can sell a solution. That would be a scam which is what I'm trying to target with this thread. My claim then is that if you blind tested many times with your cables either on the floor or elevated on rubber feet, the results would show that you're not able to tell the difference. Spending money on rubberized feet might, from a utilitarian point of view, have kept you from spending money on something that did matter and also make you worry about non-existing problems. It might've been better for your wallet and your happiness to spend your money elsewhere.

If you're really into audio gear, perhaps you know a scam or two?
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Last edited by Guybrush; 05-21-2022 at 12:57 PM.
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