There are some good arguments here, but I've yet to read anything that explains to me why accuracy has got such a bad reputation and subjectivism such a strong hold.
Escape from reality.
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
...My amp sounds stunning, and almost never makes things unlistenable......which I believe is down to the removal of crossover distortion. Don't get me wrong, a bad recording is easily recognisable, but it doesn't compound the problem and make it worse.
Problem is you'd have difficulty picking it against my cheapy in a level-matched, blind tests, mate. I'd not be able to pick mine, either, and neither, I expect, could most, which could explain why every audiophile ran away from the Harbeth challenge!
I didn't bother with the Harbeth challenge because of their get-out clause. They'd claim that my ss amp had a different frequency response to my SET amp and that this is what I was using to hear the difference. They do have a slightly different frequency response - at the frequency extremes. But there are more differences between them than frequency response. Not huge differences admittedly with the right speakers. But nevertheless detectable, icing on the cake differences between them.
That's a pretty big accusation to level at the forum. In any event a Mclaren MP4-12C may be technically superior to a Ferrari 458, yet why would some choose the latter?
wnen you drive, you do not reproduce anything, the driving experirnce is coming from the car. In hifi, the kit has to reproduce the music so it has to do it well, i.e. accurately. Not subjectively.
Still have the Magnepans, no worries about that!
The AL 2s are currently in production, since the AL1s got given away to a needy mate. Will take some photos along the way. Only problem is, you seem to need a website to post them on here, or have I got that wrong?
P.S A friend walked in with a Myriad (?) amp yesterday so I'll be trying that tomorrow with the Maggies, and will give a go at comparing it with the Pioneer. Will be using an app on the phone to match levels.
All joking aside, I admire those who build their own kit, be it speakers or amp.........so good job.
Yes you need to have your photos on something like Photobucket.
I look forward to your thoughts on the Myriad driving the Maggies.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
In hifi, the kit has to reproduce the music so it has to do it well, i.e. accurately. Not subjectively.
Unfortunately, no matter how well meant, it is statements like these that inflame the whole debate (I make them too). This is where Cno's points come into it and I agree with him. There is no definite right or wrong. Its what works for you.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
If the Ferrari was technically the better car, I'd choose the McLaren. I hate Ferrari with as much passion as the Tifosi love Ferrari.
So in answer to your question, preference and prejudice.
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
IMO. There is also, that the line between what "is accurate" and what is "perceived to be accurate", is blurred....and so has a degree of subjectivity to it.
If you asked 10 people on here (not all from the AVI forum ) to list what the most accurate system is, in all likelyhood, you would get 10 different answers....therefore, it is subjective. If there was only "one single reference", then all accurate components would sound the same. I don't believe any of them sound the same, so how do you hold them to a standard that, in reality, doesn't exist.
So absolute accuracy is open to debate (subjective) and how close a component gets to this nebulous, esoteric standard is also a judgement call (subjective). Measurements definitely help, but aren't the whole story.
Rooms also have a nasty habit of messing with accurate. Unless you live in an anechoic/treated one, you're unlikely to benefit from the full extend some manufacturers go to to achieve near as perfect on paper results. Some form of room equalization would come in handy. AV receivers do it as do some of the more specialist hifi/pro audio manufacturers. Pure Hifi, high or lo end, are mostly still burrying their heads in the sand though. Simple tone controls are widely sniffed at and whilst not ideal technically, they at least offer a modicum of adjustability. On occasions, surely better than nothing.
But you wouldn't want an anechoic chamber for a listening room. It'll do your head in for a start.
But why? Were you bitten by a horse when a child?
Marantz M-CR603 + AirPlay • Rega R3 loudspeakers • iPhone 5 • iMac • Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n • Apple iPad Mini • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390 • Ruark Audio R1 Deluxe • Humax HDR-Fox T2
As someone who's spent much of their career servicing & calibrating test equipment - much of it used for audio as well as RF, I've been intregued by the lack of correlation between measurements & perceived SQ. I've also gone to more classical concerts that I can remember where the difference between live & recorded was stark.
My goal has always been to use that experience as a reference - to have a system that reproduced that live sound as closely as possible but without sacrificing the musical satisfaction. Unfortunately, that goal has drawbacks in that some of my music collection that's poorly recorded (too bright, distorted, little bass & amplitude distortion caused by overuse of compression or plain muddy) sounds unsatisfying to the point that they would sound better on a system designed to even out many of these warts. Some would ask what's the point in owning a system that renders much of their music unenjoyable! A perfectly valid PoV, I should add, hence phrases like too analytical & uninvolving get used. I don't restrict my taste in music to what's well recorded & don't know anyone who does. That's why it so important to take not only recordings that sound great but those that don't when auditioning new stuff (music we are familiar with rather than "HiFi" recordings recommended by others on forums!)
As for objectivism v subjectivism, the whole foundation of objectivism revolves around DB-ABX testing being valid - I have doubts that it is for a number of reasons, the main ones being the reliance on short-term auditory memory & the lack of controls to reduce false-negatives. On the other hand we have Flat Earthers who refuse to acknowledge their hearing can be inherently unreliable or belief pseudo-scientific stuff that's so prevalent in audio.
the real issue is not the lack of HD material but the poor recording of much of the music we love due to over-use of compression & lack of headroom that's so unnecessary when the recording has limited dynamic range anyhow! It's not so much the hardware being the problem but the rubbish recordings we accept.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
That's not true. A car can reproduce grip, stability through electronic and mechanical systems. Some prefer the safety of a RS quattro to the ultimate sharpness of a BMW M. Some prefer, and here I will generalise for the sake of this argument, the 'safety' of a NAD to the 'zing' of a Cyrus.
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
This is part of the reason that all sorts of personal, subjective and even somewhat irrational criteria (including guidance from hi-fi mags and dealer suggestions) will come into play. There simply isn't enough time in the world to (scientifically or otherwise) compare every possible combination even with relatively modest numbers of components.
Your prize is in the post Chebby. Clearly, yer average Joe spends their time working, or seeing family, or doing other domestic stuff, or travelling for work. Amount of spare time in the day or at the weekend to accommodate that....?
When I went to The Home Cinema Centre at the end of last year to buy my speakers, I think I went through about four pairs, eventually plumping for the Tannoys at the end. That was still a good hour and not really spending a massive amount of time with each. And that was just for speakers, never mind anything else.
So it's a combination of both. Spec sheets to give someone like me a basic understanding of the electronics side (and that's all I'll be able to deal with as I'm no engineer!) and a good sprinkling of background reading on components including reviews. You can sort through the wheat from the chaff and if words like "air" and "transparency" bother you, then ignore them and work out the percentages from the rest of the review.
There's a lot of hot air expended by some who have a little tirade going against this magazine (strangely, for none of the others interestingly), some seem to think it's a "conspiracy" - ironic, all things considered) and beat the usual drum.
Personally, I can't see why you wouldn't want a review from a magazine (take your pick, there are plenty of good journalists out there - David Price, Alan Sircom, Noel Keywood, Adam Smith, Andrew Everard and some of the other ones on the US side). When someone's got a range of gear to comment on and draw experience out against a range of other kit, the benefits of balanced and objective reviews (allowing for it being based on the reveiwers own opinion, but what else are they going to do?!) are necessary IMO.
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
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