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Why not 5 stars?

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Al ears

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Hi,
There is a forum where people believe cables make a difference (mains, speaker, interconnect), because the majority hear the difference (subjectively) - or maybe cables are being sold by the subjectivist. If fuses or cable lifters are discussed, then the person hearing a difference is told they are imagining it etc.

On another forum, subjectivity is nigh on enforced, and those extremely rude breaking the AUP are subjectivists, and it goes unchallenged.

Subjectivity states that if someone hears a difference, then it must be true, yet some subjectivists are ridiculed by other subjectivists, as it is claimed without evidence by subjectivists, that people cannot hear the differences.

On another forum, it is claimed that isolating a digital switch (ethernet) changes the sound.

Again, on another forum, it is claimed that human hearing is so good, that in a specific case, measuring equipment is not as good (no evidence provided).

Subjectivists are constantly being hypocritical, but with objectivism, it is based on science and engineering.

Subjectivists are constantly claiming science does not know it all, yet they never take a test to prove a cable makes a difference. The claim is that the test is flawed. Yet, if they knew that they would get 100%, they would take the test no problem.

Hifi is full of folklore, and someone hearing something is an opinion, and not a fact that there is a difference. If there was any evidence provided by the subjectivists, then there would be no issue. Without evidence, then it is just an opinion.

Regards,
Shadders.
Well said sir.....
 
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rainsoothe

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Of course I haven't, because I have technical knowledge acquired over my working life that informs me that no change in performance is possible. The mains only has to be delivered to the unit, how it arrives there makes no difference. It's like me asking you to put your finger on an ice cube to see if it's cold. You already know it is.
In a nutshell, your bet is stupid.
Faulty logic on both accounts:
1. Bet is not stupid because the premisis is bad (allegedly, more on that on my second point). Bet is good because the point of a bet is to win it. Which I would have.
2. Bad analogy which, ironically, helps my case. You are right, I already know the ice cube is cold, but guess how... I'll answer for you, since I'm afraid you might get this wrong as well: once upon a time, before I already knew it was cold, I put my finger on it.
3. The technical knowledge argument can be pretty irrelevant, much like the "I'm an electrician" one, since you could just be a bad or mediocre one, that only got the basics right. Like me, I'm an actor, diploma and all, but noone's ever heard of me.
 
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rainsoothe

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They are not wrong, they simply have an unchangeable opinion. Which you should respect.
This is a forum where not everyone sings from the same hymn sheet as you will discover.
Respecting one's right to have an opinion is a totally different thing from respecting the opinions themselves.

EDIT: Also, please don't disregard the tone that posts made by "engineering background know-it-alls" usually (or sometimes) take - I mean they are usually pretty condescending and dismissive, and imply that opposing opinions or statements belong to ignorant morons and carry no weight whatsoever. So of course snarkiness will be met with snarkiness.

EDIT2: Guess who turned this into a cable thread.
 
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rainsoothe

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1. Subjectivists are constantly being hypocritical, but with objectivism, it is based on science and engineering.

2. Subjectivists are constantly claiming science does not know it all, yet they never take a test to prove a cable makes a difference. The claim is that the test is flawed. Yet, if they knew that they would get 100%, they would take the test no problem.

3. Hifi is full of folklore, and someone hearing something is an opinion, and not a fact that there is a difference. If there was any evidence provided by the subjectivists, then there would be no issue. Without evidence, then it is just an opinion.

Regards,
Shadders.
Hi. I numbered the relevant paragraphs from your post to show you why they are incomplete.
1. This does NOT prove, however, that someone claiming to be objective is actually not subjective but in the opposite direction. It's just a definition of the concept of objectivity, that's preceded by a gross generalisation: subjectivists are constantly being hypocritical, therefore constantly wrong (which is a false concept in itself - since you can't be "wrong" if you like Van Gogh's paintings but hate Degas or whatever - but this is irrelevant here).

2 (and part of 3). I could be accused of subjectivity, and I would take such a test anytime, but
-A) I'm not in the vecinity of people who could organise such a thing, and (most importantly)
-B) the so-called "objectivists" would (and DO) react in the same way: "the test was flawed"/"he's lying"/"I call BS, the numbers don't lie"/"coincidence" etc.
-C) this paragraph also implies that "objectivists" are basing everything on evidence and testing, yet (ironically) in our case the objectivist simply refuses to take the simplest cognitive test.
-D) you are implying that the "science doesn't know it all" is a bad argument, and yes, worded like that, it sounds like something an anti-vaxxer would say. BUT: in the case of the anti-vaxxer, they are denying something that's proven to work (as opposed to an audiofool saying that maybe we can't yet measure everything - which has been the case time and time again - let's not forget that the atom was thought to be the smallest particle at some point, or that relativity does not work in the quantum realm - so science is an evolving beast, what was sometimes considered a "FACT", suddenly was not a fact anymore, but just an outdated or incomplete theory. This is what the "science doesn't know it all" argument is about, and implying it's a wrong one is pretty biased.

3. " Someone hearing something is an opinion, and not a fact that there is a difference." This is true, but this is not what's usually being argued by the subjectivists. They usually say "I don't know about measurements, but I can hear it". So they're not disputing the fact that, let's say, 2 different brands of speaker cable have identical measurements. They claim they HEAR a difference. I don't know if I'm making myself clear, but what I'm trying to say is that even if the difference is only percieved (a placebo), it doesn't mean that it doesn't work. Placebo is an EFFECT (a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause), it's not used to describe the fact that the effect isn't there, just that the CAUSE isn't there.
 

rainsoothe

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I never said they all sound the same, I used the word similar. Except for valve amplifiers, they sound worse.
Yes you did. You wanna know why I made that bet? Because a long time ago, on the previous version of these forums, you said just that: "all amplifier sound the same". Somewhere in some thread that I, unfortunately, will probably not find. To which I replied "have you tried A/B testing two amplifiers?" To which you replied "I don't need to, since I already know they can't sound different, thanks to measurements". So see? I knew what your answer would be beforehand.

Also, valve amps sounding worse is a subjective assessment. Measuring worse? Yes. But some people prefer some type of distortion, which makes them sound better in their opinion. And valve amplifiers are still used in guitar work, and it's not because they sound "worse" or measure one way or the other. It's just a matter of preference.
 

TrevC

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Jun 12, 2013
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If I had ever said all amplifiers sound the same it would be here. https://forums.whathifi.com/search/28450/?page=4&q="all+amplifier+sound+the+same"&o=relevance
I could have said it if I was talking about the Carver challenge of course.

Faulty logic on both accounts:
1. Bet is not stupid because the premisis is bad (allegedly, more on that on my second point). Bet is good because the point of a bet is to win it. Which I would have.
2. Bad analogy which, ironically, helps my case. You are right, I already know the ice cube is cold, but guess how... I'll answer for you, since I'm afraid you might get this wrong as well: once upon a time, before I already knew it was cold, I put my finger on it.
3. The technical knowledge argument can be pretty irrelevant, much like the "I'm an electrician" one, since you could just be a bad or mediocre one, that only got the basics right. Like me, I'm an actor, diploma and all, but noone's ever heard of me.
Your bet is stupid because nobody would ever try doing something they already knew would not work. An amplifier is ultimately powered by a DC voltage which, in an unregulated power supply, will vary as the mains voltage varies but changing anything else in the mains feed wouldn't do anything to that DC voltage that the varying mains doesn't do. If you disagree, rather than insulting my technical abilities, please be so kind to explain where exactly you think I'm going wrong.
I'm not expressing an opinion on this, my statement is objectively true.

Valve amplifiers have much higher distortion than SS ones. Of course some people, like electric guitarists for example, may rather like that distortion. I do. But if we are talking about high fidelity sound an SS amplifier is markedly superior. An SS amplifier also has a much lower output impedance (higher damping factor) so will control the speakers far better. Most budget amplifiers these days will comfortably outperform an expensive valve amplifier.
 

rainsoothe

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What would scientists discover if they refused to perform certain tests because their background (which is based on testing) told them there was only ever going to be the conclusion they expect from them?
But that's not what I'm saying, I'm saying that at some point, the consensus was (according to their testing methods) that the earth was flat. Or that there was nothing smaller than an atom. Or that the relativity theory aplies to the quantum realm.

Also, @TrevC , I'm not disputing the fact that SS amps measure better, I'm disputing the statement that they SOUND better, which can't be a fact since it's a matter of preference. Because first of all, we like different stuff and secondly, our senses are severely compromised - see the Yanny vs Laurel or blue vs gold dress stuff.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Hi. I numbered the relevant paragraphs from your post to show you why they are incomplete.
1. This does NOT prove, however, that someone claiming to be objective is actually not subjective but in the opposite direction. It's just a definition of the concept of objectivity, that's preceded by a gross generalisation: subjectivists are constantly being hypocritical, therefore constantly wrong (which is a false concept in itself - since you can't be "wrong" if you like Van Gogh's paintings but hate Degas or whatever - but this is irrelevant here).

2 (and part of 3). I could be accused of subjectivity, and I would take such a test anytime, but
-A) I'm not in the vecinity of people who could organise such a thing, and (most importantly)
-B) the so-called "objectivists" would (and DO) react in the same way: "the test was flawed"/"he's lying"/"I call BS, the numbers don't lie"/"coincidence" etc.
-C) this paragraph also implies that "objectivists" are basing everything on evidence and testing, yet (ironically) in our case the objectivist simply refuses to take the simplest cognitive test.
-D) you are implying that the "science doesn't know it all" is a bad argument, and yes, worded like that, it sounds like something an anti-vaxxer would say. BUT: in the case of the anti-vaxxer, they are denying something that's proven to work (as opposed to an audiofool saying that maybe we can't yet measure everything - which has been the case time and time again - let's not forget that the atom was thought to be the smallest particle at some point, or that relativity does not work in the quantum realm - so science is an evolving beast, what was sometimes considered a "FACT", suddenly was not a fact anymore, but just an outdated or incomplete theory. This is what the "science doesn't know it all" argument is about, and implying it's a wrong one is pretty biased.

3. " Someone hearing something is an opinion, and not a fact that there is a difference." This is true, but this is not what's usually being argued by the subjectivists. They usually say "I don't know about measurements, but I can hear it". So they're not disputing the fact that, let's say, 2 different brands of speaker cable have identical measurements. They claim they HEAR a difference. I don't know if I'm making myself clear, but what I'm trying to say is that even if the difference is only percieved (a placebo), it doesn't mean that it doesn't work. Placebo is an EFFECT (a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause), it's not used to describe the fact that the effect isn't there, just that the CAUSE isn't there.
Hi,
For your 1) reply - i was basing my statement of the behaviour of subjectivists on other forums. The claim is that they hear a difference, and therefore there is a difference, yet when someone claims the same for fuses for example, they are ridiculed. It is hypocrisy. The objective response is based on measurements and understanding theory, and unless someone is being purposefully erroneous (example), then what is said is based on science etc.

For your 2) reply. If a subjectivist can hear a difference as claimed, then they just need to take a test and get 10/10 for a cable change for example. This never happens, and there are many pages devoted to the discussion on why any test is invalid. It is farcical, as everything that gives the subjectivist the wrong result is therefore wrong, because they "heard" something.

For the science does not know it all response - just because science progresses in the quantum physics field, does not mean there is more to discover in the classical theory field.

For your 3) response. I agree that hearing is an experience and placebo effect is in play. The discussion occurs when it is claimed that when a person hears a difference, that it is factual, when it is not factual, it is just an experience. It is possible that what was heard is an actual difference - but when it is discussed and science/engineering is applied, showing no difference exists, subjectivists refuse to accept the explanation that there is no difference.

When you contrast this faith in their hearing as a subjectivist, and then see that they ridicule someone who hears a difference in what they believe is impossible to hear a difference, then this is why the hypocrisy is noted and i think it is funny.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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rainsoothe

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Hi,
For your 1) reply - i was basing my statement of the behaviour of subjectivists on other forums. The claim is that they hear a difference, and therefore there is a difference, yet when someone claims the same for fuses for example, they are ridiculed. It is hypocrisy. The objective response is based on measurements and understanding theory, and unless someone is being purposefully erroneous (example), then what is said is based on science etc.

For your 2) reply. If a subjectivist can hear a difference as claimed, then they just need to take a test and get 10/10 for a cable change for example. This never happens, and there are many pages devoted to the discussion on why any test is invalid. It is farcical, as everything that gives the subjectivist the wrong result is therefore wrong, because they "heard" something.

For the science does not know it all response - just because science progresses in the quantum physics field, does not mean there is more to discover in the classical theory field.

For your 3) response. I agree that hearing is an experience and placebo effect is in play. The discussion occurs when it is claimed that when a person hears a difference, that it is factual, when it is not factual, it is just an experience. It is possible that what was heard is an actual difference - but when it is discussed and science/engineering is applied, showing no difference exists, subjectivists refuse to accept the explanation that there is no difference.

When you contrast this faith in their hearing as a subjectivist, and then see that they ridicule someone who hears a difference in what they believe is impossible to hear a difference, then this is why the hypocrisy is noted and i think it is funny.

Regards,
Shadders.
I understand, and you're right, I've seen it happen. But it seemed like a generalization, and being a subjectivist doesn't mean you're in the wrong 100 percent of the time, just like being an objectivist doesn't prove you're right 100 percent of the time. Also, the analogy I made with discoveries and stuff, doesn't apply in all cases. My point was that everything is a proven consensus until a new measurement is available. Which is not to say that the majority of proven theories are false, just that some of them evolve. Can you state for a fact that stuff that we can't yet measure at a subatomic level does not affect sound? I know it's much like a relegious person's argument - challenging others to prove a negative. But IMO people should just use their ears in this hobby, and just use what they prefer.
 

TrevC

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Also, @TrevC , I'm not disputing the fact that SS amps measure better, I'm disputing the statement that they SOUND better, which can't be a fact since it's a matter of preference. Because first of all, we like different stuff and secondly, our senses are severely compromised - see the Yanny vs Laurel or blue vs gold dress stuff.
We had an Alba radiogram once, back in the 60s. I don't remember disliking the sound of it, but hifi it was not. I did mention about some people liking the sound, but obviously and objectively 1% distortion is worse than 0.01%.
 
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shadders

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But it seemed like a generalization, and being a subjectivist doesn't mean you're in the wrong 100 percent of the time, just like being an objectivist doesn't prove you're right 100 percent of the time.
Hi,
Yes, it was a generalisation - so not definitive and does not cover every subjectivist. It is just that if you (not you personally) are a subjectivist, then everyones experience is as valid as another. This does not seem to happen on many forums.

Also, the analogy I made with discoveries and stuff, doesn't apply in all cases. My point was that everything is a proven consensus until a new measurement is available. Which is not to say that the majority of proven theories are false, just that some of them evolve. Can you state for a fact that stuff that we can't yet measure at a subatomic level does not affect sound?
Yes - i can state that the thermal noise (voltage) in a piece of wire or in an amplifier is vastly greater (many orders of magnitude) than any voltage produced by a quantum effect.

I know it's much like a relegious person's argument - challenging others to prove a negative. But IMO people should just use their ears in this hobby, and just use what they prefer.
I agree - you should purchase based on what sound right for you. No one can dispute your experience. The issue or discussion would be, how real is that experience, especially for cables, fuses, cable lifters, grounding boxes, or any other "supplementary" product.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Jimboo

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Interesting isn't it
Does cable/amp A have room for sonic improvement. ?
Ok, say they can. So they are upgraded and the blurb says that they are and a whole raft of figures , wavy lines and meter readings that also prove ghosts exist are used to back it up.
18 months later despite the fact that all the 'problems' are improved the cables are purer, proved in tests and the amp is the best they have ever produced. MK2 is better!!
Except to some the improvement isn't there and for others the tweaks are game changers.
Domestos kills 99 per cent of germs . Once it hits a hundred there will be nowhere to go. So they make it thicker and it must be better because it means something. 200 g pressing is better than 180g which is better than plain old pressings. Yet it never seems clear why.
You forget they didn't get it right the first time , you believe they get it right the next year.
It's subjective, evolution even sub atomic , maybe chord will alter the behaviour of neutrons and protons in this forthcoming Ultima cable.
The hi fi world is just different quasi-religious cults continually arguing that their text is sacred and you can measure the miracle.
I wish you lot would give us examples of recordings that sound better. Was it better on the remaster or the red book version via Tidal or a Steven Wilson remix etc. What recordings and formats do the improvements bring to what recordings?
 

Jimboo

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As a test of super components and the average system. What Beatles song can you hear on the end of Pink Floyd's dark side of the moon? No googling , can you hear it on your system? If you have never noticed it does it mean you should upgrade?
 

shadders

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Does cable/amp A have room for sonic improvement. ?
Hi,
There are amplifiers that by design, omit the output inductor before the speaker terminals. Using a high capacitance cable will cause the amplifier to oscillate, or oscillate when the amplifier output is high (loud material). The manufacturer cables have high inductance per metre to solve the issue.

So an amplifier and cable combination can cause differences in the extreme. Most amplifiers (solid state) implement the output inductor, so this is not an issue.

Sometimes, even with an output inductor, an amplifier can behave badly when under a low impedance load, or high output voltage.

It is not that a cable sounds different, but can cause the amplifier to behave badly.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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Jimboo

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And yet here we are back where the bog standard advice begins. Audition , audition.
Then realise it's amplified noise coming through your speakers from a source produced , mixed and created as information.
How hard is it really to find something that does the job.
 

Jimboo

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If you like something, give it a 5 star review yourself. Your ears are probably just as good as those of a reviewer on here. The reviewers here think mains leads sound different, so i wouldn't worry about what they say.
But they do, they do.
 

SpursGator

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I have a slightly different angle, as someone who disagrees with the objectivists even though I still consider myself an objectivist. In fact, I currently have a Benchmark AHB2 amp sitting in my living room, which I've had for about a year. This should make the "objectivists" happy. I measuring well equals good, this is objectively the best amp ever built. It's connected to the same company's DAC1, which I have owned since buying one, in person at the factory, in 2002 before Benchmark had any idea they were going to become an audiophile company (and the DAC1 still sounds f-ing amazing). I have also owned a some tube gear.

I don't know why I'm jumping in here but I have a very different take on this oft-repeated debate. I used to live in France and over there I found a used BAT tube preamp in France, really cheap, a $10k machine for three digits. It lasted three glorious years before it died (and would have cost insane money to repair). Sticking that thing between my two hyper-accurate components (I had a similarly "clean" solid state amp) was like going from 1920's film to 4k HDR video. The difference was JUST INSANE. Nothing has sounded as good since.

So look, I accept as an objectivist that I likely added distortion. But what exactly are we trying to do? Here is the problem with the "objectivists" in these online debates: they also tend to be reductionists, which is just about as dangerous as being irrational. If the purpose of hifi is to create some kind of mathematical reproduceability from sound, we already know how to do that. Talk to the folks who build DA and AD converter chips. It is old tech to go from one to the other and back and have a signal that is measurably identical to the original.

That isn't hifi. By the rules of the objectivist, the things that audiophiles want to do (e.g., make their living room sound like a symphony hall), are IMPOSSIBLE. It is objectively impossible to do that - living rooms objectively don't sound like that. No speaker that I have ever heard accurately reproduces the sound of a very low organ pipe. It is objectively impossible for a speaker that fits in a normal house to do that.

One has to be slightly less reductionist (and a lot less dogmatic) and take a step back and look at this like an engineer. What are the design objectives? Hifi has certain features (for example, having a right and a left speaker) that are inherently designed to fool the human brain. The anti-objectivists' arguments do not need to rely on some yet-undiscovered natural law. It is actually a natural phenomenon that has already been discovered, but which is far less understood than sound waves: the human brain.

Once hifi is understood this way, as akin to an optical illusion or a brilliant bit of stage magic, rather than something like the Space Shuttle, the anti-objectivists start to make more, well, objective sense. The design brief is to use technology to fool the human brain into hearing something that sounds real, with a GIVEN that it will never approach something truly identical to the actual performance. The goal is NOT to achieve some kind of on-paper engineering victory that no one could appreciate without having measuring equipment and practically being an engineer themselves.

All of this equipment falls short, no matter what all of these graphs have convinced you. HOW they fall short, and how our brains make sense of that, is up to individual taste, which for sure cannot be measured. This is why the audio market manages to support so much diversity of products and companies for its small size. I tend to pick very accurate equipment because as an objectivist, the burden of proof will always be heavily on anything that is adding complexity - which usually means inaccuracy. But if hear something that my ears tell me sounds a LOT better, and I deny it because it can't be true based on measurements? Sorry, denying observation is NOT being objective - quite the opposite. It's more like being a flat-earther.

I've built seven pairs of speakers and never used a metal cone. Why, if they are more accurate? For me their decreased sensitivity drives the amp much harder and the whole thing sounds different - and not often better. The speaker and the amp interact electrically, the speaker cone interacts with the air mechanically, and every link on that chain affects the performance of the link above and below it. Most of this can be measured and this is useful data. However, it takes a lot of hubris to think that any one of these components can be "transparent" or "perfect" - they aren't.

In Benchmark's AHB2 manual, there is a blurb begging the user not to put a preamp between their seriously accurate DACs and this power amp that exposed errors in John Atkinson's measuring equipment. I am mostly with them on this, but it must be understood as their vision of their uniqueness in the marketplace. Not everyone wants self-pick, self-assembled, Danish-style, laminated, particle board furniture. Ikea still became the most successful furniture store in the world because they had a vision and stuck to it, and a lot of people bought into it. Other companies also have audio engineers, dealing with the same laws of nature, who also build very good amps that are supposedly hyper-accurate. Trust me: they ALL sound different.

Sorry for the long post - it's a habit - but I really don't see the debate. Unless you're arguing that ears aren't connected to brains and/or we already know everything about the sensory part of the human brain, we are just arguing about taste. No one should be 100% sure about anything - that's hubris when the brain is involved, and is akin to the Pope refusing to look into Galileo's telescope.
 
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shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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I don't know why I'm jumping in here but I have a very different take on this oft-repeated debate. I used to live in France and over there I found a used BAT tube preamp in France, really cheap, a $10k machine for three digits. It lasted three glorious years before it died (and would have cost insane money to repair). Sticking that thing between my two hyper-accurate components (I had a similarly "clean" solid state amp) was like going from 1920's film to 4k HDR video. The difference was JUST INSANE. Nothing has sounded as good since.

So look, I accept as an objectivist that I likely added distortion. But what exactly are we trying to do? Here is the problem with the "objectivists" in these online debates: they also tend to be reductionists, which is just about as dangerous as being irrational. If the purpose of hifi is to create some kind of mathematical reproduceability from sound, we already know how to do that. Talk to the folks who build DA and AD converter chips. It is old tech to go from one to the other and back and have a signal that is measurably identical to the original.
Hi,
No one is being reductionist. For myself, all i am interested in that the amplifier has low THD etc., low output impedance, and can drive the speaker load. If a person likes distortion added to their signal, then i don't challenge them. The problem is, is that they associate the extra signals that were never there as being more revealing etc. Ths is just not the case - they are perceiving it as such, but it is still distortion.

That isn't hifi. By the rules of the objectivist, the things that audiophiles want to do (e.g., make their living room sound like a symphony hall), are IMPOSSIBLE. It is objectively impossible to do that - living rooms objectively don't sound like that. No speaker that I have ever heard accurately reproduces the sound of a very low organ pipe. It is objectively impossible for a speaker that fits in a normal house to do that.
No, i disagree - all i want is that the system does not add any distortion.

I don't think anyone is arguing that only the lowest distortion equipment is permissible. If people like distortion, and it gives them the illusion they want, then good for them. It is the denial of science so as to support their experience, yet they (groups of people on forums) deride those who hear differences in equipment they deem to be foo. It's hypocritical.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Jimboo

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It doesn't matter what the advice is , doesn't matter if they don't follow it. It doesn't matter what they believe or how many years they try. Some people just need the drug , be it the look or the circuitry, review, cost or kudos. Who buys hifi takes it home decides one piece is crap and then decides to keep it in the system change it later then decide that maybe changing another bit will do it , over and over. What do you people actually do in the hifi shop ?
I like this believe it should have this, then buy it.
 

SpursGator

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Jan 12, 2012
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No one is being reductionist.

.
.
.

all i want is that the system does not add any distortion.

OK, this statement is the definition of reductionist!

There is so much more that goes into a great amp than the measured distortion. Your idea that there is some kind of perfect signal, and the amp's job is to stay out of the way, is flawed. The amp is changing the signal, which itself isn't perfect (and it's a non-perfect recording from a non-perfect mic, too). There is no perfect version of what you want to hear. This sound is being CREATED in your room, by electromechanical drivers, all of which have several orders of magnitude more distortion than any modern amp. I don't think there is a single amp reviewed in WHF with audible distortion.

Speaking of speakers, even if you could build a perfectly "flat" speaker, it would be terrible! It is well-known among speaker designers that if the midrange is too flat, listening fatigue sets in quickly, and much of the music will be inaudible at low volumes.

Low distortion is a good thing, but it doesn't equal better. How the amp and speaker interact electrically has a much bigger effect on the sound - things like damping/slew rate, max current draw, etc. A lot of THAT is more traditional engineering (which is to say, trade-offs and compromises to fit within a budget). It isn't convenient, and won't give you a league table, like a nice linear THD number, but it's the truth.
 

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