I doubt that. Based on my experience with both Harman's free online Audiophile training software and a distortion test (used by audiophiles on another forum) I found (as did the other audiophiles who tried them) that the first time you took the test you did far worse than on subsequent tests when you had practiced. Generally, the more you practiced to detect differences, the better you became at identyfing them. That is totally different from understanding and communucating them. I became significantly better at identifying differences with practice and training.
Of course that leads to a bigger question - Why should I train to be able to pick out subtle differences? That seems to just lead to disatisfaction with my existing gear and the need to spend lots more money on upgrades.
No. That is illogical and unscientific. Science not proving something wrong, doesn't make it right. Just because I can't prove the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist, does not mean that it is real. So persons who believe it's real will continue to do so and those who don't believe it's real will also continue to do so. Neither side can prove anything to the other. So my point is not a cop out - just a fact. I just don't like to see when persons use DBT to make claims that are not actually proven by DBT. Now don't get me wrong - I support the use of DBT in HiFi as it helps to identify when differences are far more subtle than many audiophiles claim.
Now I've heard it all.. Audiophile Training software...... I am sorry but with the greatest respect that is a load of tosh old bean.
And insanely dull.
I agree entirely. It is hard to blame the manufacturer tho, especially in the current climate, as sales are everything. It is difficult to see a way to break the cycle tho.
Perhaps a warning "sticky" on this forum might help educate the potential consumer?
And maybe a glossary/translation of review terms:
"not the best match for a system which is already on the bright side" = "this thing will make your head hurt"
Only the individual listener can decide if it's the best match or not. Some actually prefer overly bright sounds. So such glossary is not possible in reviews. Some reviews do mention about pairing carefully.
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You could talk to the designers/engineers from Arcam, Sudgen, MF, Rega, Naim, AVI, Marantz, Cambridge Audio (and half a dozen others) and get an entire spectrum of highly experienced, highly qualified opinions on what makes a great hifi system. Many of these opinions will conflict and this is a good thing.
It leads to the diversity of 'solutions' to the problem of making great sounding hi-fi that we all enjoy.
Without any formal education in audio electronics, how are you or I to decide on the best sounding solution from all those different approaches? They will all be qualified and plausible and will all have data and test documentation to back up their individual philosophies.
I might sit in a room talking with Roy Gandy and Terry Bateman* (of Rega Research) and leave absolutely convinced that only Rega have the right engineering approach. The next day I might sit in a room and talk to the team from Naim (or Cambridge Audio or whoever) and leave convinced that only their engineers really know what they are talking about.
That's the problem with unqualified people like you and I. The qualified professionals who do this stuff for a living are all going to be really persuasive.
So it all, ultimately, comes down to things like listening for ourselves, budget, features, design, perceived build quality. (Things we can understand.)
*I'd love to chat to these two over a pint
Completely untrue. Different opinions yes. Ideas focusing on improving different areas yes. The building blocks are all the same however. Also engineers are notoriously unconvincing. They tend not to have the gift of the gab. Cable makers and hi fi salesmen on the other hand.
I have worked in sales for over 20 years, and that comment is deeply offensive
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Now I really don't get the point of that comment.
What hifi is all about is trusting your own ears to find what's right for YOU. Science, in as a far as someone who believes in it, or cares about it, is a means to an end. This is not a scientific debate, there are no universal truths about what hifi equipment sounds like (other than is sounds like sound sounds)
It is absolutely about trusting your own ears.
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And all of this based on a post that said nothing. The OP made no constructive comment on the study he complained about, nor did he acknowledge that people who do consider themselves audiophiles - or something like audiophiles, I hate the word, though I personally don't consider myself anything - also hold the view that there is no difference between many components.
And yes, there is a difference between talking about well made stuff and expensive nonsense and yes, whether something even can sound different to the human ear is a scientific matter, not a subjective one. And hifi is not about personaly preferences but accuracy.*
"How dare a non audiophile/fool comment on anything ever!!! Damn all, DAMN ALL!!!!!!".
*But no matter, if you're not into accuracy and just want the sound you want, regardless of the science, that's fine. Indeed, that's me.
Formerly known as al7478...
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'Accuracy' . Love that word, especially when it's used by so called 'objectivists' (who need to re-read the definition, and hypocrisy while there at it) usually to mock 'audio fools'
...And no thats not aimed at you Al.
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Accuracy is subjective in terms of music. One word destroys accuracy, that is 'acoustics' . . . where when and how?
So we are back to perceived sound by the human ear in a given situation. There is no science in the 'performance' of music . . . only in the production of a single note? Then we get into anechoic chambers and a whole new ball game
Give me the organics of music performance and my perception thereof.
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I would objectively disagree with the technical assessments which are only used to judge hifi,- purely because engineers disagree! Linn are quite haughty in how they describe themselves as an engineering company as well. But as far as digital products go they and Naim follow quite different principles. One believes in wave files, one believes in FLAC. And Naim are claiming that vanilla 16/44 playback from their forthcoming flagship player will beat hi-res playback from other makers.
I will also thus ultimately follow my ears and do what just sounds good to me, as will everybody else. Music is not a mechanical device like a car. A car can be technically measured by grip, performance, economy and so on as its outputs. How do you technically measure music?? It's just rubbish. And if that were the case then things like the turntable and compact cassettes had no damn right to exist - yet some sounded superb.
Don't get me wrong - obviously good engineering principals must be applied to hifi equipment, but as Ken Ishiwata says simply assembling the best components (capictors, ICs etc) won't guarantee the best hifi. So I will wilfully risk be called an audiofool, no matter what scientific facts are thrown down my throat.
If some believe cables make a difference and some don't I don't either warrants ridicule by each other - that's plain damn wrong. Or if some prefer one digital format to another. I mean really, who cares?
Good point, but I'm not sure how big a difference acousticws makes, within sensible parameters of course; I briefly had a room layout that was ridiculous (unavoidably) and that was reflected in the sound, but thats because I had all sorts in front of my speakers. I'd imagine (yes, only imagine) that MA BR 2s will broadly sound as they sound, as will, say, Wharfedale Diamond whatever-number-they-are-up-tos.
Indeed, don't most here feel that, for it is generally the culture here to (in theory anyway) go to a demo in an artificial environment then take your chosen speakers home to a totally different environment?
Mind you, I'm not saying "you should go and buy the equipment who's measurements show it to be the most accurate", and I want to make that most clear; you should buy what you want. But I am saying that, as for the definition of hifi, I think there can be little debate.
So I like to think of myself, rather long windedly, as someone who likes to listen to music and who likes to use stereo equipment to do so.
I'm not going to bother with quote formatting so I'll number my responses to correspod to the paragraph I'm responding to. Hopefully it'll be clear. It might read like I'm being curt(splng?) but that's not my intention. All intended in the best possible taste.
1 - I'm not sure your sentence about objectively disagreeing makes sense. IMO FLAC and WAV are the same, so neither company is right to have a preference (WAVs are not much good for tagging; personally I use neither). My understanding of hi res and what Naim or anyone else may do to make standard res sound better is patchy at best so I'll leave that.
2 - You must indeed buy what sounds good to you, but I disagree that the perormance of stereo equipment cannot be measured. Music probably can be too, though that is not actuially what is being measured.
3 - I don't think anyone is ramming anything anywhere. Would "cobblers to scientific facts" be a fair precis of your argument in this paragraph?
4 - Who cares indeed. As someone has just said to me "it's a pointless discussion and nobody will ever agree".
Nah, you don't want to do that, I've been in a few of them and they sound awful...
No signature worth mentioning...
Acoustics make a bigger difference than most people allow for and, for me, acoustics covers a broad range of factors including the shape and size of the room and the positioning of the speakers therein, the nature of the surfaces in the room (flooring, wall coverings, soft/hard furnishings, blinds/curtains), and even the resonant properties of the construction. For example I am convinced that some modern walls cause extra resonances in the bass frequencies and that where this is the case (my own room, for example) it needs to be taken into account with careful speaker selection (Eg. B&Ws are mostly a nightmare in my room, whatever the amplification, because they tend to have a big bass).
Regarding the whole concept of accuracy, I think it is something you can keep going round in circles with. Ultimately it can only come down to reproducing the recording accurately because there are many factors out of our control as listeners during the recording, mastering and distribution processes. To be truly accurate to the recording you would have to listen to it in the studio where it was recorded and mastered and using the same equipment. As this selection of equipment, and the acoustics of the studio, would be different for different recordings you are never going to achieve total, consistent accuracy with a domestic hi-fi system whether judged by measurement or by listening.
Ultimately, it has to come down to how your ears perceive the sound and whether you actually enjoy listening to it. If you enjoy the process of tweaking to get the absolute best out of a system, or to get it sounding accurate to a live sound in the broad sense (and in the way that you personally perceive it), then what is the harm in that? Each to his own, but please don't try to kid anybody that accuracy is as simple as it is so often made out to be.
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Huh? I'm totally lossed... What is your point? It's a free software Harman Kardon uses to train listeners so they can participate in the DBT of new products. You can try it if you like. I tried it out for fun as did several other persons on another forum.
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No. You are getting better are the tests because you are practicing the tests. You are training yourself at tests. Not the same thing by a long way. If you concentrate on one thing there is if anything an increased likelyhood that you are not concentrating on the rest. If anything you are likely to make yourself worse off when evaluating the whole. Happens alot. Read a hi fi mag. Convince yourself you understand more about hi fi because you have read about bass extension, punch and detail, then go out and listen for them and end up buying a system that sounds like a bag of £^$%^ because you bought something that ticked some boxes more obviously than other systems. If you'd gone into a a hifi store clueless and just listened though.
I don't think we're actually disagreeing here. I spoke about training to become better at identifying subtle differences, not musical enjoyment. I most certainly believe that it is easy to get so concerned with the minor details that you no longer enjoy the overall music. I believe that is a major mistake many audiophiles make - we constantly upgrade because we focus on some small area of the sonic performance that is not ideal, rather than just enjoying the music.
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