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Old 02-23-2010   #103
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by DaveLadely View Post
Every company that produces an inferior product is against double blind testing because that is the only way to separate promotion, marketing, power of suggestion, hype, from the person actually being able to compare products without the "filters", on a direct one on one, ears only comparison.
Even then, though, a person's bias can affect choice, but at least its not contaminated by B.S of promoters. Some are biased toward an overall "warm" sound. some prefer an "analytical, cooler" sound. Either amounts to a coloration of the original sound, in imposition of the listener's preference as a sort of tone control, as if the product itself was a musical instrument rather than a device designed to reproduce most realistically.
Too bad its impractical to have the original musicians in the room, then the person could listen to one product, compare that to the real music, then the other product, compare that to the original music, without knowing the brand of either one.
Whichever product sounded most neutral and accurate would hopefully be the chosen one.
Cables lend themselves very well to double blind testing, to the vexation of the manufacturers of very expensive cables and those who judge cables by the sound of their names, their physical beauty, and, above all, the persuasiveness of the marketers and the "true believers" of the advertising hype. And who would be far far better served to put the money wasted into better speakers. But like P.T. Barnum observed, "There is a a fool born every minute".

Whining about test instruments sounds a lot like the days when snake oil sales people complained when they were forced by law to prove their products worked. Anyone who says test instruments are unnecessary to help make choices is likely hiding something, because knowing distortion figures, especially the ones the ears are most sensitive to, is an important way to eliminate the badly designed products before considering those that have low distortion. Manufacturers used to simply lie about distortion and power figures before the advent of accurate measuring devices. The measurements are themselves based on human hearing, and are used to separate the wheat from the chaff. After that comes the audition.
dave
My question is How to know whether a given factor, cable, speaker stand, mp3, That we will call "tweak", has an effect on the sound or not????
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Old 02-24-2010   #104
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Thumbs down Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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My question is How to know whether a given factor, cable, speaker stand, mp3, That we will call "tweak", has an effect on the sound or not????
That question seems a bit silly. Tests have proven that even those who believer marketing hype can't reliable choose very expensive cables over well made, but economical cables in a double blind test, which is embarrassing to both them and the profiteers, so they attack that testing. I think its obvious that the effect speaker stands have is due to positioning of the speakers. Raising speakers off the floor, tilting them, directing them, all affect what the listener hears. Mp3 is a compression method that is lossy and a compromise of quality vs. less storage space, which is hardly what an audiophile would want. "Tweak" is too general a term, meaning making small adjustments in an effort to improve the sound for the listener. Sounds like you need an English dictionary.
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Old 02-24-2010   #105
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Every company that produces an inferior product is against double blind testing because that is the only way to separate promotion, marketing, power of suggestion, hype, from the person actually being able to compare products without the "filters", on a direct one on one, ears only comparison.
I'm sure that companies that knowingly produce inferior products would neither look forward to double-blind tests nor measurements.

However, high-end audio companies (what we're really talking about here) have nothing against double-blind tests whatsoever. In fact, most audio companies, high-end or otherwise, use double-blind tests in-house extensively during design of their products. Speaker manufacturers, for instance, will have listening panels listen for hours in double-blind scenarios never knowing what component they're hearing... in order to gauge the best possible sound.

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Whining about test instruments sounds a lot like the days when snake oil sales people complained when they were forced by law to prove their products worked. Anyone who says test instruments are unnecessary to help make choices is likely hiding something, because knowing distortion figures, especially the ones the ears are most sensitive to, is an important way to eliminate the badly designed products before considering those that have low distortion.
A high-end audio manufacturer suggesting that test measurements are not the full story to express the whole of human hearing isn't "whining" or even minimizing the importance of measurable tests. It's simply putting measureable results into perspective and acknowledging that such measurements have limits. Once you've double-blind auditioned two components that "measure the same" and heard distinct differences between them, it's not so hard to undrestand.
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Old 02-24-2010   #106
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Thumbs up Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post
I'm sure that companies that knowingly produce inferior products would neither look forward to double-blind tests nor measurements.

However, high-end audio companies (what we're really talking about here) have nothing against double-blind tests whatsoever. In fact, most audio companies, high-end or otherwise, use double-blind tests in-house extensively during design of their products. Speaker manufacturers, for instance, will have listening panels listen for hours in double-blind scenarios never knowing what component they're hearing... in order to gauge the best possible sound.



A high-end audio manufacturer suggesting that test measurements are not the full story to express the whole of human hearing isn't "whining" or even minimizing the importance of measurable tests. It's simply putting measureable results into perspective and acknowledging that such measurements have limits. Once you've double-blind auditioned two components that "measure the same" and heard distinct differences between them, it's not so hard to undrestand.
No one mentioned how high end the company is. But the cable companies that charge very high, some extremely high, prices for cables clearly found a way to extract huge prices from gullible customers, and double blind tests pretty much prove that.
Also, I got the impression that the companies that criticize testing with test equipment have more than perspective in mind, their products more than likely don't test as well in comparison to competitors. Of course, tests certainly are not the whole picture, but those products having low distortion, especially certain types of distortion, such as odd harmonic distortion, are probably going to sound better to the ear. I do not reject a product by the results of test equipment alone, unless the distortion is unduly high, its just a consideration. I do reject equipment that imposes a "tone" of its own on all music, so I don't look for "warm" sound, I look for products that are most successful in replicating the music itself.
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Old 02-25-2010   #107
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Default Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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No one mentioned how high end the company is. But the cable companies that charge very high, some extremely high, prices for cables clearly found a way to extract huge prices from gullible customers, and double blind tests pretty much prove that.
Also, I got the impression that the companies that criticize testing with test equipment have more than perspective in mind, their products more than likely don't test as well in comparison to competitors. Of course, tests certainly are not the whole picture, but those products having low distortion, especially certain types of distortion, such as odd harmonic distortion, are probably going to sound better to the ear. I do not reject a product by the results of test equipment alone, unless the distortion is unduly high, its just a consideration. I do reject equipment that imposes a "tone" of its own on all music, so I don't look for "warm" sound, I look for products that are most successful in replicating the music itself.
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DAve
Agreed.

BTW, the irony of what won me over to replace my speaker wire with higher-end stuff was a double-blind test! I had heard the difference, which sounded pretty dramatic to my ear (tighter bass and much cleaner, airier highs) with a higher-end Monstor cable, but I didn't have the luxury of doing an A/B double blind test on myself. So I didn't tell my roommate that I had changed anything in the system.

Later that night when we listened to some music... almost immediately, he said "wow! did you get new speakers?!?" I said no. we kept listening to a few well-known recordings and each time he kept going on and on about how it sounded better than it ever had before... better bass, more detailed open midrange and highs (all the stuff I had noticed too). Finally after about 10 minutes of him trying to figure out what had changed I admitted that something had... and that it was new speaker wire.

IMO that's the most powerful "double blind" result... when the listener was not even made aware that anything had changed and they *still* noticed and commented on the improvement.

Before everyone materializes out of the woodwork to pounce on me for claiming that high-end $$ cables "sound better" allow me to clarify that like any other component in the electrical path, cables can affect the final sound quality. However, that does not automatically mean that all cables sound different from each other or that a more expensive cable sounds "better" than a less expensive cables. In *all* cases, as with any other component, I'd recommend attempting as close to a double-blind set up as you can to determine how changing something in your own system may or may not affect sound quality.

Last edited by DaViD Boulet; 02-25-2010 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 02-25-2010   #108
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Thumbs up Re: High end processors VS low end processors/receivers, hardware differences?

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Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post
Agreed.

BTW, the irony of what won me over to replace my speaker wire with higher-end stuff was a double-blind test! I had heard the difference, which sounded pretty dramatic to my ear (tighter bass and much cleaner, airier highs) with a higher-end Monstor cable, but I didn't have the luxury of doing an A/B double blind test on myself. So I didn't tell my roommate that I had changed anything in the system.

Later that night when we listened to some music... almost immediately, he said "wow! did you get new speakers?!?" I said no. we kept listening to a few well-known recordings and each time he kept going on and on about how it sounded better than it ever had before... better bass, more detailed open midrange and highs (all the stuff I had noticed too). Finally after about 10 minutes of him trying to figure out what had changed I admitted that something had... and that it was new speaker wire.

IMO that's the most powerful "double blind" result... when the listener was not even made aware that anything had changed and they *still* noticed and commented on the improvement.

Before everyone materializes out of the woodwork to pounce on me for claiming that high-end $$ cables "sound better" allow me to clarify that like any other component in the electrical path, cables can affect the final sound quality. However, that does not automatically mean that all cables sound different from each other or that a more expensive cable sounds "better" than a less expensive cables. In *all* cases, as with any other component, I'd recommend attempting as close to a double-blind set up as you can to determine how changing something in your own system may or may not affect sound quality.
That certainly conflicts with the truly scientifically conducted test where they found that the listeners could not even reliable tell the difference between expensive speaker cables and some coat hangers welded together! It is really lucky for the cable manufacturers that people can conduct "tests" that support the hype. No scientifically conducted test on cables has ever supported the claims that anyone can reliably tell the difference between reasonably priced cables, such as those sold by monoprice and even the super high priced cables. Nada. As I mentioned, the best place to put money is into genuinely better speakers rather than expensive cables. Pretty much all purveyors of hype have to rely on testimonials, and many of them are probably sincere believers, not just being paid for the ad. And that is also why it is well known that testimonials are the least reliable source of information, no matter how sincere. Again, there is NO substitute for a properly conducted double blind test.
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