Yup, but much of what is out there may not be 100% fact. Due to research, there's always something new we're finding out about the universe and its contents. If scientists knew absolutely everything about the human body, there'd be no disease or illness. Or at least, there'd be no incurable diseases.
Yep. You don't know what a scientific theory is.
And just because 'scientists don't know everything' doesn't mean you or I can fill in the gaps with any old nonsense and claim validity for it.
Yes in science theory works well enough to make things work - to turn on the lights, to make planes fly. But I personally haven't yet read anything conclusive on the limits of human hearing yet. In that regard I'm with David.
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
Anyone comparing a 200w amplifier to a 40w one, and then driving them both, for example, at 20w to compare them is being idiotic. You can take a Ferrari, and my old first gen Ford Focus 1.6 - reknowned for its ultra-sharp steering and handling and claim that both cars are equally good at 80km/h. Will both deal with a hairpin bend equally well at 120km/h? I doubt it.
Neither do I but a great number of posters & no doubt lurkers seem to think the idea that our hearing can be "fooled" a gross insult to their intelligence. Show them visual equivalents & they will smile or be amused. Go figure!
I certainly believe our hearing "can" be fooled. That doesn't mean that it's always fooled. It's a hugely effective weapon that allows anyone using it to dismiss anything they like, based on expectation bias etc (and from the comfort of their armchair).
I couldn't agree more. The most effective weapon is rational discussion. It's like expectation bias - it's used as a catch-all phrase whether or not it's relevant or not. Going back to the idea of visually equivalent "tricks" that usually only amuse, doesn't mean we have to question everything we see (such as a propeller appearing to rotate slowly backwards when viewed in a video). If we know our senses can be "fooled" we can then learn when & where to account for it (and when we can't). A simple example would be to undo an improvement to hear if it reverts or not as a simple reality check. We should all be sceptical - doubt can be a good thing.
"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 (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
So you have to driv ethe Ferrari at 180mph?
If I had a 200W amp. I would not play it at 200W I would probably play at around 1w to 10W!
I'm a new guy so can someone please help me, why do the engineers go to such great lengths of listening to components over and over again and then chose the component that sound best? Surely they just need to copy someone else work, or just chose those that measure best?
It's very simple once you realize that there are basically two camps:
OBJECTIVISTS - who work from specs and go deeply into measurements, as this explains what they hear. They put huge stock in testing (ABX / Double Blind etc) and proof. Their goal is getting a system that's as neutral as possible, which often takes them down the Active or Studio Monitor route. They have no time for what they call "foo", which incorporates things like fancy cables, conditioners and isolation devices. They have what I call, "A Science Brain".
SUBJECTIVISTS - They really don't give a stuff about neutrality or having an in depth knowledge of measurements. They go and listen, and then pick what sounds best to them. They see the appreciation of music as a subjective experience, where measurements do have a role, but aren't the most important factor. Quite often, they are open to the possibility that "foo" has its benefits. They try it, and are prepared to go with what they hear. They have what I call, "An Art Brain".
As you can see, they are the polar opposite of each other, and don't come within an Ass's roar of understanding each other. The Objectivists have little time or patience for the Subjectivists' "non scientific notions," and take every opportunity to tell them so, in no uncertain terms. The Subjectivists get very defensive in the face of such a confrontational approach, as they feel that what they hear is real. So the polemic arguments go on and on and on..............................
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Of course you are, skipping science classes presumeably.
I know that having any kind of scientific knowledge is deeply uncool but really.........
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
...I don't know exactly what Harbeth was specifying when it said level matching but in most tests that are carried out (like on the matrix site) the only level matching is the volume.
Yes it's the volume levels of the two amplifiers that Harbeth was referring to.
This can roughly be done by ear but to do it accurately you would need to use a voltmeter and to make sure that the output of both amplifiers is exactly matched.
Yep and depending on how said amps volume is attinuated it could cripple one... stupid test.
It's not stupid at all. You just make sure that the volume levels on both amps is low enough so that neither of them is clipping.
For example you had a 20 watt amp and a 200 watt amp you would first set the volume on the 20 watt amp to a comfortable level where it's not clipping. Then you can set the output of the 200 watt amp to match the output of the 20 watt amp. This way they will both be set at exactly the same volume level and neither of them will have any distortion caused by clipping.
Missed this one.......lol.
eh, em.... yes it is stupid suppose the 20watt amp output/point of distortion is really low.
On my amp at home the Yamaha dsp-ax620 it responds differently at various levels between -50db and -40db the sound/imaging changes dramatically. At -50db its mellow fairly even in terms of 3d depth. At -45db the vocals jump clear of the speakers into the room, while left and right detail is thrown further out from the speakers, the sound stage grows and detail/seperation is more pronounced.
At -40db eyes closed you're lookng at a giant head in the middle of the room and eveything is bigger, seperated and clear.
Now if this 200watt amp you speak of is limited to its equivalent -50db so it matches the 20watt amp - you will never knowhow it'll drive the speakers in the system - but you would be able to convince someone they sound the same...... is that not stupid?
As you can see, they are the polar opposite of each other, and don't come within an Ass's roar of understanding each other. The Objectivists have little time or patience for the Subjectivists' "non scientific notions," and take every opportunity to tell them so, in no uncertain terms. The Subjectivists get very defensive in the face of such a confrontational approach, as they feel that what they hear is real. So the polemic arguements go on and on and on..............................
Sorry Cno but with the deepest of respect, that is complete bulls**t.
It is about as accurate as the contention that all passive speakers 'boom and tizz' and that all studio monitor types are 'harsh and forward'.
Sure there are some (people and speakers) that fit those stereotypes but really........
Apologies again, no offence meant, I normally hold your posts in high regard.
If you want the most neutral, accurate system the only way to truly achieve this is through scientific measurement. That accuracy is only going to apply as far back as the recording process, but nevertheless it is the closest you are ever going to get to achieving accuracy with hi-fi equipment. In the strictest terms this is what 'Hi-Fi' or 'High Fidelity' actually is.
However, all the accuracy, neutrality and measurement in the world is absolutely no use if you don't end up enjoying the ensuing sound/music. The recording process is imperfect, ranging mostly from hugely flawed to not much more than OK, so you certainly aren't being accurate to the original performance or the music. There are many people who enjoy this accuracy and these listeners, the objectivists, are sitting closest to the real mening of 'Hi-Fi'.
There are also many people who prefer a more coloured sound and in different regards this can still be regarded as high quality if perhaps not, strictly speaking, 'high fidelity'. Ultimately if a more coloured system takes you, as an individual, into a closer relationship with the music, then it is every bit as successful as the objectivist's neutral and accurate system. We don't all feel the need to have any interest in measurements and prefer to rely on our ears, because although those ears are undeniably fallible and can be fooled, they are ultimately all we have for the pure enjoyment of sound and music.
Me? I'm a subjectivist, but I can perfectly appreciate where the objectivists are coming from. What I don't understand is the determination for one group to convert the other (in either direction). Enjoy what you enjoy, and let others enjoy what they enjoy. Neither approach is wrong and I don't believe they are even polar opposites. Ultimately both camps are exploring their different approaches to sharing and enjoying music.
Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P
Amplification: Exposure 1010
Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6
Listening to MUSIC!
Absolutely no offense taken, as this is simply how I see things....it will be interesting to see if anyone else agrees with me. If I can't get you to agree with my point, then I haven't made it well enough....and therein lies an interesting challange.
Yes it's a generalization, but I feel it has some merit. It's played out over and over again on this forum.....Eg. Anyone hearing a difference in a cable will soon have folk with a science based background, lining up to tell them it's impossible.
It is certainly more often the case with people (usually from a science background) who don't go and hear for themselves, as logic (and science) tells them it's impossible, so there is no point. This btw, is not meant as a crticism, but a personal observation.
You are the exception to the rule, as you've lived and breathed it. You have taken nothing for granted and come to your own conclusions, which are based on a mixture of science and personal experience / experimentation.
Provided the levels of distortion (which is measurable) is suitably low in both amps then yes they will both sound the same.
I'm not saying that all amplifiers do sound the same though. That would be daft. Some amplifiers are deliberately 'voiced' to sound different by being warmer or brighter or whatever but this is really just a measurable type of distortion being added to the sound. Also many hifi amplifiers are underpowered and will start clipping at much lower volume levels than most people realise which can give them a distinctive sound (which some people seem to like).
But at the end of the day provided that the levels of distortion are low enough and the amplifiers are not being driven beyond their limits then yes both amplifiers will sound the same. While it's likely to cost more money to build a powerful amplifier there is no reason why a 200 watt amplifier can't have low distortion measurments like a 20 watt amplifier.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
This is exactly how I feel.
I agree that it's the overiding need for one group to "educate" the other, that leads to the problems. The bottom line is, that if you don't enjoy the way your system sounds, you won't listen to it....which after all is the whole point.
Live and let live!
Personally I'm both a subjectivist and objectivist. Most of the time I enjoy listening to music on a hifi system the has the minimal amont of distortion possible which is why I tend to like brands like Quested, AVI and Genelec the best.
But depending on my mood and what music is being played I also sometimes like to listen to a smoother/warmer sounding system too. So now I have the most accurate system that I can afford which sound great most of the time and use a digital graphic equalizer to alter the sound whenever the music/mood takes me.
I couldn't agree more Cno. Provided that you're listening to your music in a way that you enjoy who cares what equipment you use?
I see you as an Objectivist, but with potential.
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