Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Photographers vs. Audiophiles (Part 2): Audio Woo

mpix345 wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

tbcass wrote:

While what you are saying might be true it would be interesting to see if the effect is audible by running double blind tests.

I kind of accidently did that in college. I replaced my 12 gauge monster Cable with the Kimber Kable while my roommate was in class. He had no idea I was even thinking about doing that. He walked in later and within a few seconds of walking in he said, "what did you do to the stereo"?

I'm not defending Monster, as I think they made a fortune hawking low-grade cables to the unsuspecting masses, but I have to think that if your roommate had that reaction after seconds of casual listening it likely means that the Monster cables were not connected properly or they were defective.

Doubt it.  I used plated pins connected to screw terminals, which is a very positive connection.  I still have the cables and they are still fine.  Junk, but fine.

I've compared Kimber and other similarly priced cables to more expensive stuff and to cheapest Radio Shack options and honestly couldn't tell the difference.

Well, I could - easily - and so could my roommate.  We listened a lot (like 16 hours a day) and the cables were like turning up the treble knob.

Remember, long runs combined with low impedance speakers exacerbates the problems with skin effect.

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Lee Jay

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,925
Re: Brain myths
2

tbcass wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

MediaArchivist wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

There is also the case of biology as biologists have determined that the two hemispheres of the brain have different functions. The left brain involves scientific analysis while the right brain involves appreciation of music.

That is largely a myth, the logic/art "functionality" is not neatly split between left/right.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071275

Man, you guys are science obsessed.

Yes I am and proud of it. Only science can save us from lies and superstition. I've been science obsessed since I was a child.

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

24IS wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

Hard to deny that some people are more analytically oriented while others are more experiential.

That is the same thing! When you analyze something experimentation is necessary to reveal the facts.

No, Tom. Brev00 said experiential. Learning as a gestalt thing. Perceiving something, and then forming an opinion about it. Gaining experience. It's a different slant on what may very well be the same root (I'm not Noam Chomsky, so how can I be sure?). Sort of like how cleave can have rather opposite meanings depending on context.

Maybe he did mean it that way but neither you nor I know for sure. If he did mean it that way then I think experimental was the wrong word to describe it IMO. To me experimental means something new based on untested ideas so testing and experimentation is necessary to prove the validity of those ideas. As far as forming an opinion, well you know the saying, just like aholes everybody has one.

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Tom

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tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

J A C S wrote:

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

That is completely untrue. There is no room for dogma in science. Science tries to reveal the facts through repeatable observation and experimentation. A good scientist always has to know that any rule or scientific law is always open to question and can be overturned when new evidence is revealed. Any person or scientist has a dogmatic attitude toward scientist is a poor one.

In science a theory becomes a law when the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the chance of it being wrong is extremely small but it never reaches the point where it is 100% certain.

Dogma on the other hand requires no overwhelming evidence but instead is accepted as truth based primarily on faith. Religious and political dogma are 2 prominent examples. This puts dogma purely into the realm of opinion.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

Brev00 wrote:

I am suggesting balance, incorporating subjective experience with objective agreement.

I certainly would never disagree with that but some in this discussion were putting subjective experience above reason and science. I say they are two completely different things and a thinking person can experience both but while keeping the two separate.

A prime example is when people say one camera has "better" color than another and takes this as dogmatic truth even though it is impossible to prove. This is usually done in a effort to prove their camera or brand is "better" than another.

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Tom

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tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Single group option

Don_Campbell wrote:

tbcass wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Sounds like a good plan.

Sometimes a single, undivided group is used. Random pattern of switching between two units is used, known only to the test organizers. And while there are only two units compared, participants are told that there are 4 or 5 different units, and asked to rate them from best to worst.

One thing to note is it is best if the people conducting the tests are unaware of that or hidden from view lest they give subtle visual and verbal clues.

I'm all for blind and double blind testing of essential things but at some level it seems of less necessity for testing of basic good audio equipment. If you have to go to that trouble to detect a small difference then you might be overworking the purchase.

I don't think anybody is suggesting that. This discussion is more about the placebo effect and how to eliminate it in testing.

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Tom

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Brain myths

tbcass wrote:

In science a theory becomes a law when the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the chance of it being wrong is extremely small but it never reaches the point where it is 100% certain.

You'd better read this:

https://blog.ed.ted.com/2016/06/07/whats-the-difference-between-a-scientific-law-and-theory-in-ted-ed-gifs/

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths
1

Lee Jay wrote:

tbcass wrote:

In science a theory becomes a law when the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the chance of it being wrong is extremely small but it never reaches the point where it is 100% certain.

You'd better read this:

https://blog.ed.ted.com/2016/06/07/whats-the-difference-between-a-scientific-law-and-theory-in-ted-ed-gifs/

You are right and I should have known better. I was mixing up the English definition with the Scientific definition. A scientific law is merely an observation that something always happens without exception without knowledge of why it happens. A theory attempts to explain a phenomenon that is so pervasive that it is considered a scientific law. Newton's Laws of Gravity which Einstein tried to explain in his general theory of relativity is an example. Newton observed that things fall to the ground when unrestrained and developed mathematical formulae that could predict that movement. He had no idea why it happened. Einstein developed theories as to why it happens. Regardless the fact remains that there is no room for absolute dogma in scientific research.

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Tom

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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Brain myths

tbcass wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

tbcass wrote:

In science a theory becomes a law when the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the chance of it being wrong is extremely small but it never reaches the point where it is 100% certain.

You'd better read this:

https://blog.ed.ted.com/2016/06/07/whats-the-difference-between-a-scientific-law-and-theory-in-ted-ed-gifs/

You are right and I should have known better. I was mixing up the English definition with the Scientific definition.

That is probably the most common reason people don't believe things like the theory of evolution and the theory of heliocentricity.  The general public equates "theory" with "guess".  I like to point out to them that gravity is "only a theory" but that testing out it's validity by jumping off a high object is not advisable, just because they don't understand what the term "theory" means in science.

A scientific law is merely an observation that something always happens without exception without knowledge of why it happens. A theory attempts to explain a phenomenon that is so pervasive that it is considered a scientific law. Newton's Laws of Gravity which Einstein tried to explain in his general theory of relativity is an example. Newton observed that things fall to the ground when unrestrained and developed mathematical formulae that could predict that movement. He had no idea why it happened. Einstein developed theories as to why it happens. Regardless the fact remains that there is no room for absolute dogma in science.

Undoubtedly.

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Lee Jay

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

In addition scientific theories are not generally accepted until they are tested repeatedly through observation and experimentation. In the over 100 years since Einstein's theories they have proven to be extremely accurate and reliable as better and better methods of testing have been developed that confirm them.

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Tom

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,925
Re: Brain myths
1

tbcass wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

That is completely untrue.

It is completely true. I was not talking about scientists.

There is no room for dogma in science. Science tries to reveal the facts through repeatable observation and experimentation. A good scientist always has to know that any rule or scientific law is always open to question and can be overturned when new evidence is revealed. Any person or scientist has a dogmatic attitude toward scientist is a poor one.

In science a theory becomes a law when the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the chance of it being wrong is extremely small but it never reaches the point where it is 100% certain.

Dogma on the other hand requires no overwhelming evidence but instead is accepted as truth based primarily on faith. Religious and political dogma are 2 prominent examples. This puts dogma purely into the realm of opinion.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 54,790
Re: Brain myths

tbcass wrote:

In addition scientific theories are not generally accepted until they are tested repeatedly through observation and experimentation.

Actually, we're still having definition problems.

By definition, a scientific theory is generally accepted. Before one is generally accepted, it's called a "conjecture" or "hypothesis". It becomes a theory once it's "generally accepted."

https://ncse.com/library-resource/definitions-fact-theory-law-scientific-work

"Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses."

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory

"plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena"

https://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

"Every scientific theory starts as a hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that doesn't fit into a currently accepted scientific theory. In other words, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hypothesis is an idea that hasn't been proven yet. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step — known as a theory — in the scientific methodand becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon."

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

J A C S wrote:

tbcass wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

That is completely untrue.

It is completely true. I was not talking about scientists.

Personally I consider all dogma wrong but if the people believing in scientific dogma have a knowledge of the facts it is still much different than believing in superstition which is based on no facts. They merely don't fully understand the scientific method. If there are people believing in scientific dogma that have no knowledge and believe because of what other people have told them, and their belief is based on faith that what they've been told is true, then on some level it is the same as superstition. I'm not sure many people fall into that category.

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Tom

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tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

Lee Jay wrote:

tbcass wrote:

In addition scientific theories are not generally accepted until they are tested repeatedly through observation and experimentation.

Actually, we're still having definition problems.

By definition, a scientific theory is generally accepted. Before one is generally accepted, it's called a "conjecture" or "hypothesis". It becomes a theory once it's "generally accepted."

Except that Einstein's hypothesis was called a theory before it was confirmed by repeated observation probably because the math made sense. Measurements sensitive enough to actually confirm the theory were not done until 1954.

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Tom

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24IS
24IS Senior Member • Posts: 1,335
Re: Brain myths

tbcass wrote:

24IS wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

Hard to deny that some people are more analytically oriented while others are more experiential.

That is the same thing! When you analyze something experimentation is necessary to reveal the facts.

No, Tom. Brev00 said experiential. Learning as a gestalt thing. Perceiving something, and then forming an opinion about it. Gaining experience. It's a different slant on what may very well be the same root (I'm not Noam Chomsky, so how can I be sure?). Sort of like how cleave can have rather opposite meanings depending on context.

Maybe he did mean it that way but neither you nor I know for sure.

Is certainty required? The sentence "Hard to deny that some people are more analytically oriented while others are more experiential" makes perfect sense as it is.

If he did mean it that way then I think experimental was the wrong word to describe it IMO.

You mean to say here Brev00 mistyped and made an ambiguous statement?  And, here, I say ambiguous, because experimentation can be done within an analytical process, or by rote. But, again, I'm assuming that the word intended was "experiential." The sentence makes perfect sense so why not accept it prima-facie?

To me experimental means something new based on untested ideas so testing and experimentation is necessary to prove the validity of those ideas. As far as forming an opinion, well you know the saying, just like aholes everybody has one.

You are of the opinion that Brev00 made a typing error.  I don't agree.  By the way, Tom: I believe the word you want to use here is assumption, as in assume, or ass-u-me.

MediaArchivist
MediaArchivist Veteran Member • Posts: 5,198
My gut

J A C S wrote:

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

Dunno. My gut tells me they are opposite.

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,925
Re: Brain myths
2

tbcass wrote:

J A C S wrote:

tbcass wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Using science as a dogma is not different from superstition.

That is completely untrue.

It is completely true. I was not talking about scientists.

Personally I consider all dogma wrong but if the people believing in scientific dogma have a knowledge of the facts it is still much different than believing in superstition which is based on no facts.

Most of the time they do not.

They merely don't fully understand the scientific method. If there are people believing in scientific dogma that have no knowledge and believe because of what other people have told them, and their belief is based on faith that what they've been told is true, then on some level it is the same as superstition.

It is worse than that. They do not believe what have been told - they distort whatever they have heard or googled to fit their narrative. They are worse that just the ignoramuses (not that they are not such) because they claim the intellectual superiority which they do not have.

I'm not sure many people fall into that category.

Too many. Almost everybody you see on TV who swears about science could not pass a calculus school algebra exam.

Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Single group option

tbcass wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

tbcass wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Sounds like a good plan.

Sometimes a single, undivided group is used. Random pattern of switching between two units is used, known only to the test organizers. And while there are only two units compared, participants are told that there are 4 or 5 different units, and asked to rate them from best to worst.

One thing to note is it is best if the people conducting the tests are unaware of that or hidden from view lest they give subtle visual and verbal clues.

I'm all for blind and double blind testing of essential things but at some level it seems of less necessity for testing of basic good audio equipment. If you have to go to that trouble to detect a small difference then you might be overworking the purchase.

I don't think anybody is suggesting that. This discussion is more about the placebo effect and how to eliminate it in testing.

Well, one part of the discussion is wandering around the issue of how much one must spend to get acceptable, highly pleasurable and reasonably accurate audio reproduction. Double blind A/B testing can show relatively small but detectable differences. However, since my career was in cellular neurophysiology I feel comfortable in being skeptical about the absoluteness of the accuracy of the detection, transmission and processing systems of the outer ear, the middle ear, the cochlea, the auditory pathways and the auditory cortex. I think that minor detectable A/B differences may be of minor relevance in the living room listening context.

In the universe of differences in the source recordings, and of the tweaking one might choose to do to improve the pleasure of listening to them, the A/B differences may pale compared to the tweaks made. They may  also pale compared to the money involved in choosing A over B when tweaking is involved as it often is in my experience. I'm sure it's not an opinion shared by most folks who are self-identified these days as "audiophiles."

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,532
Re: Brain myths

24IS wrote: why not accept it prima-facie?

Because I'm a skeptic. I assume things are wrong unless proven otherwise.

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Tom

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Don_Campbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Single group option

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

Don_Campbell wrote:

tbcass wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Sounds like a good plan.

Sometimes a single, undivided group is used. Random pattern of switching between two units is used, known only to the test organizers. And while there are only two units compared, participants are told that there are 4 or 5 different units, and asked to rate them from best to worst.

One thing to note is it is best if the people conducting the tests are unaware of that or hidden from view lest they give subtle visual and verbal clues.

I'm all for blind and double blind testing of essential things but at some level it seems of less necessity for testing of basic good audio equipment. If you have to go to that trouble to detect a small difference then you might be overworking the purchase.

If the difference is spending $5,000 vs $30,000 for a piece of high end audio, serious unbiased testing is a must - unless those sums are pocket change for the buyer.

I said in the "testing of basic good audio equipment." Basic good audio equipment doesn't need to mean $5000 vs $30000. And, as soon as you take that marvelously magical $30000 instrument and slightly tweak the equalization to more closely match your musical taste to a more pleasing sound than the recording producer managed to achieve? You've then decided that whatever "accuracy" it had in your neutral blind test wasn't good enough for that CD playback experience.

Across my collection of old, medium old and new CD's the optimal sound can often be tweaked to be more pleasing than the neutral settings of my amplifiers.

I never accepted the idea that you should listen to music flat. I prefer elevated frequency response above 12 khz to compensate for reduced sensitivity (I am over 50). I also prefer a combination of fast and tight bass and low frequency extension. Therefore I use a good parametric equalizer in my system. Some would consider that a blasphemy.

And it makes whimsical the careful double blind decision of the accuracy of some nominal "neutral setting."

An awful lot of modestly priced hardware is available that has the capability to be low noise, low distortion, high output, flat frequency response over the audio range at neutral settings and so on.

Exactly, there are many "hidden gems " in audio, capable of delivering high end experience for thousands less. Especially if you like repairing and restoring the older tech.

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