What the professor said, basically.
All this idea of 'testing' is complete nonsense really - If you listen to the same track three times in a row on the same kit, you'll hear it differently each time. The brain picks different things to attune to and thats conditional on so many variables it's pointless even trying to nail it down and measure it.
The cable and the interconnect and the racks and the whatnot manufacturers all know this, of course, and so do you, and you all play along and turn 'double' blind eyes because it staves off the tedium and horror of life for a little while and keeps your hands and ears busy. And adds friction to the girlfriend and wife dynamic, of course, which is essential in perpetuating this merry dance we call existence. ;-)
Question to the bloke who was part of the What Hi-fi test - were you allowed to speak to the other guys doing the tests, did you have water to drink, how comfortable were the chairs, did you have breakfast beforehand, were you in a good mood? And so on.
Unless its absolutely scientifically provable, with data and charts and whatnot, forget it, its another bit of entertainment designed to rob your wallet. And fair play if you go along with it - I'm not judging anyone either way.
I had an experience with an iron & glass hifi stand i bought long time ago. I was told to change from my old target stand to the new stand, & that I will hear more detail. After setting up the stand then I sat down to listen.
Let me tell you my system sounded so bright. after just 3days the new system stand had to go.
I did this in studio enviroment so could hear the difference clearly. For me steel & glass stands are a no no from now on.
[EDITED BY MODS to clarify quote and response]
Oh, sure. Of course it matters what you stand your hifi and speakers on. Try a waterbed, for instance.
But, while its pretty obvious that if someone says "Put this chilli oil on your chips and your chips will taste of chilli" that they're on to something, when it comes to wood and glass and steel and Meccano and Lego, we're talking differences that are less no-brainery.
And really, I do think if you've reached the point where you're considering spending lots of money on something to put your stereo on, just to make it sound slightly different, well it might be time to take a little walk outside and breathe the air and kick the leaves around. Or just step away from the internet and the magazines and pour a beer and chill.
Because yes, no doubt music sounds great when its played on great kit. But you can also enhance your experience of it by upgrading your self, as well as your shelf.
I found, a little while back, that the best support I had for my cd player was an old Ikea three legged plastic table.
The plastic legs are hollow and see through and the top surface is a sandwich of two plastic surfaces fitting inside one another thus creating a complete air gap between the outside edges. It sounded significantly better than a dedicated rack, the floor[solid concrete], the floor with carpet and a very solid oak sidetable. My wife checked it out to and found the Ikea to be the best.
No I don't know why either!
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
What do we perceive as best sound...... thats personal
What you are looking for is not the same as me..... personal also
What you feel justifies money spent is also personal.
I know now what I want my music to sound like - and I am on a mission to get as close to it as possible - starting with my room and that was thanks to my day in the What Hifi Listening room.
If you get the chance to apply its worth it, its a great day and you get to hear a very good system in an acoustically perfect room which is an experience in itself it really is. They are not trying to sell you anything so dont panic
However be prepared to spend money when you get home as you your own system wont cut it anymore as you will have heard much better.
And thats what its all about for me, thats the hobby factor, winding the wife up, competing with my cousin and his system choices - until you hear better you think you have the best
Meridian G61R, HD621, Bryston 9BSST
Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply
Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference
Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, GXFX, BK XLS400 (set with hard knee house curve)
JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digital / Analogue IC x 9
winding the wife up,
:D awesome... "yes dear, this foam that I've stuck all over the walls is a new type of super duper wallpaper that only the celebs and rich are using" he says whilst whistling
Convincing her that diy acoustic panels is art is a tricky one - lucky I wear the trouser in this house hold ....
Although I have gone to the lengths of ordering samples of material and offering her the choice of colour - she doesnt want them up but once they are they will be forgotten about, until I do something wrong of course ...
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
big hugs all round
as for the testing issue, that's the catch 22 isn't it? Like has already been mentioned, sound is such a subjective thing, and can be so different each time, I don't think there is any kind of "definitive" test that you can do other than use ones own ears.
So long as people don't present points of view, or opinions as fact, it's not a problem. (and to play devils advocate) I guess that's why some people get annoyed with whf and other magazines in other walks of life, because they "test" in the loosest sense of the word and then judge, when it's actually just an opinion. But then that's totally up to the end reader to decide if to take their word or not. However, in some instances (HDMI cables for eg ;) ) there are ways that can be tested so as to remove opinion from fact that are not used, or likely to be used, which in turn, for some people, makes their respect of the magazine decrease.
Personally I'd love to have a go in the testing room, but am not in the country so no good for me
So long as people don't present points of view, or opinions as fact, it's not a problem. (and to play devils advocate) I guess that's why some people get annoyed with whf and other magazines in other walks of life, because they "test" in the loosest sense of the word and then judge, when it's actually just an opinion.
But any review or judgement is an opinion. When a judge in a TV show "judges" a contestant, it's their opinion of whatever they've just seen or heard. When a judge in a court of law "judges" a defendant's case, it's their opinion (or their interpretation) of the law, and then their judgment (or opinion) of the appropriate sentence or punishment for that crime (assuming the defendant has been judged to have been guilty).
You can't have a review or a judgement that isn't an opinion, unless it's a literal description of the product in question. Which would make for a fairly dull review.
But that was my point. People see these opinions as fact because it says so in a magazine that a is better than b, when it's just an opinion. However, there are some magazines that like to present these opinions as fact, when they aren't.
Well, if people are unable to differentiate opinion from fact, then there's not much that can be done about that. I've never seen any review in a reputable magazine start describing their opinion of something as "It's a fact that..." . With that in mind, the impact of what you're saying is, magazines must start every sentence which isn't a fact as "In our opinion", in order to make this clear?
How come these testing sessions are not video'd and streamed so we can all have a go?
Because it would be only slightly more stupid than attempting to demo speakers or TVs over the internet. Or it might be slightly less stupid than that, I haven't decided yet. Either way, it's stupid.
No signature worth mentioning...
sorry, guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one as I have read different magazines that do present opinion as fact.
Worth a laugh though, I reckon. I mean, come on - who wouldn't want to check out the discernible differences between £5 and £500 hdmi cables? Or hear the pure awesome that is the reasonably priced (only half a kidney per metre) new speaker wire made of angel eyelash-fibre, with less than zero percent whathaveyou?
And anyway, here's a true fact: my opinion is correct. I have a team of monkeys working round the clock to back that up too.
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