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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 10 May 2014 3:25 am

"High end audiophiles" have got to be the most gullible people in the world.

For example, take the "My system is so good I can hear the cables" crowd. The editor of an audiophile magazine actually said he could tell the difference between regular old "cheap" Monster cables and the $21,000 cables he was testing. http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2008/11/mos ... udiophile/

Yet, in double blind, A-B-X tests no one can do better than random probability in trying to tell which is standard lamp cord and which is the expensive stuff.

But one example of an audiophile: http://db.audioasylum.com/mhtml/m.html? ... l&n=519873

Same with amplifiers. Richard Clarke, starting back in 1990 offered $10,000 to anyone who could correctly identify which amp was X using two sets of 12 tests. Out of the thousands who have tried, no one has passed. Not even come close. http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/.

And while I cannot find the link, there was yet another audiophile website wherein the editor claimed to be able to tell the difference in sound when the amplifier had been plugged into a wall outlet where the outlet had been immersed in liquid nitrogen in a magnetic field to "align the atoms" so that "the electrons moved more freely". $35 for a $2 wall outlet. Go figure.

The audiophile magazines have convinced me that the product to make is any high end audio gizmo that costs a lot of money.

The obvious exception is speakers... where the technology of converting a sine wave into sound is as much art as science. Far better to invest more money in speakers than in higher end amps or speaker cable.

Here is a good summary of the various double blind and ABX tests that have been run. http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing ... -and-myths

Audiophile: "Ears that defy the laws of physics"... as evidenced by these "Recommendations" http://www.stereophile.com/content/2014 ... nts-cables
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Sat, 10 May 2014 11:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 10 May 2014 4:25 am

Tangentially related, tests on "high end" HDMI cables:

http://gizmodo.com/282725/the-truth-abo ... e-part-iii

• The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins. Fortunately for Monster, there are plenty of those people. They're not even suckers, they are just rich as hell, and want the best. This testing did not prove that Monster is not the best. It just proved that the best is, for the most part, unnecessary.


* "Benjamins" means $100 USD for those of you unfamiliar with US currency.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 10 May 2014 11:38 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Tangentially related, tests on "high end" HDMI cables:

http://gizmodo.com/282725/the-truth-abo ... e-part-iii

• The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins. Fortunately for Monster, there are plenty of those people. They're not even suckers, they are just rich as hell, and want the best. This testing did not prove that Monster is not the best. It just proved that the best is, for the most part, unnecessary.


* "Benjamins" means $100 USD for those of you unfamiliar with US currency.


And the thing about HDMI is that it is DIGITAL... it either works or it doesn't. Therefore, if your TV picture is not broken up, not fuzzy, or jittery caused by packet loss caused by bad cables, you simply cannot get "more better" than the digital signal. HDMI signals degrade with distance, so buy only the quality needed to cover the distance you want. One or two meter cables can be cheap cheap.

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 10 May 2014 11:44 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:Tangentially related, tests on "high end" HDMI cables:

http://gizmodo.com/282725/the-truth-abo ... e-part-iii

• The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins. Fortunately for Monster, there are plenty of those people. They're not even suckers, they are just rich as hell, and want the best. This testing did not prove that Monster is not the best. It just proved that the best is, for the most part, unnecessary.


* "Benjamins" means $100 USD for those of you unfamiliar with US currency.


And the thing about HDMI is that it is DIGITAL... it either works or it doesn't. Therefore, if your TV picture is not broken up, not fuzzy, or jittery caused by packet loss caused by bad cables, you simply cannot get "more better" than the digital signal. HDMI signals degrade with distance, so buy only the quality needed to cover the distance you want. One or two meter cables can be cheap cheap.


Yes, Eagle! I can see you're a secret sound appreciation expert.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sun, 11 May 2014 2:21 am

BillyB wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:Tangentially related, tests on "high end" HDMI cables:

http://gizmodo.com/282725/the-truth-abo ... e-part-iii

• The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins. Fortunately for Monster, there are plenty of those people. They're not even suckers, they are just rich as hell, and want the best. This testing did not prove that Monster is not the best. It just proved that the best is, for the most part, unnecessary.


* "Benjamins" means $100 USD for those of you unfamiliar with US currency.


And the thing about HDMI is that it is DIGITAL... it either works or it doesn't. Therefore, if your TV picture is not broken up, not fuzzy, or jittery caused by packet loss caused by bad cables, you simply cannot get "more better" than the digital signal. HDMI signals degrade with distance, so buy only the quality needed to cover the distance you want. One or two meter cables can be cheap cheap.


Yes, Eagle! I can see you're a secret sound appreciation expert.


I really do like the best sound I can possibly get. And I'm not saying that you don't get better quality for more money up to a point, and I'm not saying that you don't get more features or perhaps longevity or power for more money. Nor am I saying that changes in equalizer settings, loudness, or tone doesn't make a difference.

But, once you reach the price range of $500 or so for an amp, the differences in output become inaudible to the human ear. You reach a point where you can't get better electronic components, and you reach a point where your design is good enough that the output signal is pretty much identical to the input signal.

You can pretty much prove this up by feeding two amps an identical signal source with one 180 degrees out of phase with the other. If they are identical, no output sound will be produced when the output signals are combined. And this is why those audiophiles can "tell" which amp sounds better when looking at them but fail miserably in a blind or ABX test.

When it comes to interconnect cables and speaker cables, we move from the sublime to the farcical. Sonic connoisseurs claim to be able to hear differences that scientific measurements cannot detect, and they fall for completely false and misleading advertising claims for cable including claiming that copper wire is directional, slow moving electrons create distortion, that there is "resonance" at audio frequencies, and that cables induce "tonality" in music, to name just a few. And the really crazy ones like "cable burn in".

And then, listen to meaningless words used to describe the supposed differences the audiophile ear can hear:

dramatic overall sound
clean transients and impressive dynamics
more low-level resolution
more transient speed
lower noise floor
the quietest and most transparent cables
outstanding dynamic articulation
better at communicating pitch relationships
a richer, warmer sound, with a softer attack
slower overall music flow
greater nuance, detail, clarity, and bass control
lacked the rich, textured midrange

I mean, can you say "Bullshit!", sonny?

Put your money into the speakers.[/list]

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Postby taxico » Mon, 19 May 2014 3:21 pm

i don't mind certain stuff pre-owned... so i trawl xtreme place's audio equipment sales forum from time to time. many locals post their high-end stuff FS there...

trust your ears!

(i'm not related to xtreme place in any way)
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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 19 May 2014 10:07 pm

taxico wrote:trust your ears!


The only way you can trust your ears is in a blind test. Otherwise bias is sure to come into the picture.

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Postby taxico » Fri, 23 May 2014 1:14 pm

it's difficult if not impossible for any store to replicate your home/office... so even a blind test is useless as they will sound different once you've hooked it up at your place. even the genre of music makes a difference...

which is why i prefer buying my audio stuff overseas - if i don't think my ears like them, i return them.

in brand conscious singapore, the higher end stuff would eventually find a buyer - so i take it as renting equipment that i may possibly like. if i like what i hear, i keep 'em.

one of my favorite set-ups have been a 70s sansui amp + speakers. which i got for free. they got thrown out by mistake because they look extremely ratty and dirty. i miss them because that sound has never been replicated thus far.
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Postby BillyB » Fri, 23 May 2014 2:52 pm

taxico wrote:it's difficult if not impossible for any store to replicate your home/office... so even a blind test is useless as they will sound different once you've hooked it up at your place. even the genre of music makes a difference...

which is why i prefer buying my audio stuff overseas - if i don't think my ears like them, i return them.

in brand conscious singapore, the higher end stuff would eventually find a buyer - so i take it as renting equipment that i may possibly like. if i like what i hear, i keep 'em.

one of my favorite set-ups have been a 70s sansui amp + speakers. which i got for free. they got thrown out by mistake because they look extremely ratty and dirty. i miss them because that sound has never been replicated thus far.


I've also found that people don't always listen to music in FLAC or lossless format - which, itself, can make a huge difference to the type of and the quality of the sound.

Even using analogue sources and stripping out all the processing can make a big difference.

I've found many 'audiophiles' tend to buy with their eyes and follow the herd on online forums, rather than buying with their ears!

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Postby taxico » Fri, 23 May 2014 4:19 pm

BillyB wrote:I've also found that people don't always listen to music in FLAC or lossless format - which, itself, can make a huge difference to the type of and the quality of the sound.

Even using analogue sources and stripping out all the processing can make a big difference.


good speakers/amps naturally amplify all the defects inherent at source. so unless we're ripping a very well recorded CD (/DVDA/SACD/HDCD) with good software/settings/equipment... or buying "real" lossless digital music... (which some purists believe requires a DAC for playback), audio fidelity will probably sound worse than a cheap hifi set.

i do not currently own any real audio equipment as i shipped all of mine home last year when i originally planned to go back to the US. plans changed and i'm still here... so i'm back to using computer bluetooth speakers or my ipod which i used to only use on long plane rides.

Image

to be honest... sometimes i wonder why i bother with the dollars, sweat, sore knees and backaches that audio equipment induces... $200 computer speakers work just fine!
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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 24 May 2014 6:09 am

BillyB wrote:
I've also found that people don't always listen to music in FLAC or lossless format - which, itself, can make a huge difference to the type of and the quality of the sound.


Years ago I returned my first set of $300+ headphones (hardly considered 'audiophile') because I realized all of my mp3s were only ripped at 192k. I could very clearly hear the difference between those and the 320kb ones, or lossless copies.

Later after replacing everything with better rips, I now buy better headphones again.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 24 May 2014 8:43 am

I don't care that much how well the sound is reproduced. I don't think anything really good is possible with the equipment I can afford (or willing to buy). Even more importantly, I don't think I would notice the differences.

Ultimately what matters for me is whether I like it or not and for low/middle end it is just a lottery. Similarly to some other posters I have like 13y old cheapo Pioneer HT with half rotten speakers and I like its sound most, and some middle range Onkyo and Pioneer "regular" AV receivers with "better" quality speakers that IMHO don't come even close to this 13yo Pioneer HT.

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 24 May 2014 12:22 pm

taxico wrote:
BillyB wrote:I've also found that people don't always listen to music in FLAC or lossless format - which, itself, can make a huge difference to the type of and the quality of the sound.

Even using analogue sources and stripping out all the processing can make a big difference.


good speakers/amps naturally amplify all the defects inherent at source. so unless we're ripping a very well recorded CD (/DVDA/SACD/HDCD) with good software/settings/equipment... or buying "real" lossless digital music... (which some purists believe requires a DAC for playback), audio fidelity will probably sound worse than a cheap hifi set.

i do not currently own any real audio equipment as i shipped all of mine home last year when i originally planned to go back to the US. plans changed and i'm still here... so i'm back to using computer bluetooth speakers or my ipod which i used to only use on long plane rides.

Image

to be honest... sometimes i wonder why i bother with the dollars, sweat, sore knees and backaches that audio equipment induces... $200 computer speakers work just fine!


Yep - my current set-up can be very sensitive at times to lossless. Some stuff is far too lively. I guess it goes down to how the stuff was edited and produced.

But i find it worth it when everything is dialled in and the volume cranked up...............or maybe everything sounds good after a few wines!

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 24 May 2014 12:27 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
BillyB wrote:
I've also found that people don't always listen to music in FLAC or lossless format - which, itself, can make a huge difference to the type of and the quality of the sound.


Years ago I returned my first set of $300+ headphones (hardly considered 'audiophile') because I realized all of my mp3s were only ripped at 192k. I could very clearly hear the difference between those and the 320kb ones, or lossless copies.

Later after replacing everything with better rips, I now buy better headphones again.


I think i'm tone deaf when it comes to MP3 quality through headphones - i use Sennheiser and find they just give a nice, warm low end sort of sound. But nothing too discernible over standard issue stuff. No DAC either, just the hardware that comes with the phone.

But for FLAC versus streaming or MP3's at 320kb on a normal speaker system, i find it generally to be a no contest. FLAC is much cleaner and defined throughout the frequency range.

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Postby drawde » Sat, 28 Jun 2014 6:52 am

Agree with the suggestions for Adelphi, opposite funan.


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