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more 'snake oil'

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SteveR750's picture
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RE: more 'snake oil'

BenLaw wrote:

SteveR750 wrote:

doing important real life stuff, or on the bog.

 

Surely there is no more important real life stuff than that?

 

Yeah ok, well that and eating food, sleeping, picking your nose; that kind of thing.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

WinterRacer wrote:
Perhaps the magazine you refer to should add something like this to each review: "Note, although we've written this CD player presents voices brilliantly, revealing every subtlety and small inflection.

Anyone on WHFSV who wrote a sentence that bad, hanging and with no resolution whatsoever, would be given a stern talking-to by our leather-clad (well, occasionally), Stasi-like production desk team. And get a stern tutting from me.

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RE: more 'snake oil' RE: more 'snake oil'

Tonestar1 wrote:

Before I start getting shot down. This is my opinion, nothing else.

To be honest, I enjoy reading WHF and don't need anymore science. I have bought the mag religiously for years and still enjoy reading it very much.

However, I think what hi-fi would gain a lot more credibility if it stopped making ridiculous claims that one length of glass can transmit digital light pulses better than another. Or that a decent quality HDMI cable can't transmit colour or provide blacks as deep as a similar quality cable. It's a joke, digital cables are a passive medium, nothing else. If it’s half decent quality it will work. End of story.  

I regularly work with large financial institutions transferring billions of pounds a day across digital networks I support. If there was any chance, any science to support expensive digital cables providing more accuracy do you not think they would already have the best money could buy? £200 for a cable would pay for itself in minutes if it provided 0.001% greater accuracy than another.  Or is this some secret only the hi-fi community know about? Get real.

I think WHF printing such nonsense damages reader’s confidence in the reviewer as well as seriously damaging the credibility of the magazine on the whole. Saying one digital cable is better than another defies all of the fundamental principles of science and makes me think crackpot. It reminds me of the new wave of creationists arguing against evolution. 100% pure science and experimentation against "we know what we know to be the absolute truth, so we must be right no matter what evidence is presented against us"

If someone wants to go and buy a £500 HDMI or optical then fair play, it’s their money to spend as they choose.

In all my experience of trying and testing, supported by a physics/chemistry background and 12 years experience in LAN/WAN networking, as well as the excellent evidence supplied by IDC in his blog, I think you are wasting your money.

 

My two bobs worth.

Good post and I couldn't agree with you more. good job

Like yourself I enjoy reading WHF magazine very much. It's both interesting and informative but they let themselves down by making silly claims that expensive digital cables work better than cheap digital cables. It's a shame because most of the stuff in the magazine is good but the cable reviews are ruining their credibility.

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Covenanter's picture
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RE: more 'snake oil'

I nearly had a heart attack laughing.

Chris

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RE: more 'snake oil' RE: more 'snake oil' RE: more 'snake oil'

idc wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

idc wrote:

Covenanter, you seem to arguing that there is no place for the review industry as a whole. But by doing that you risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.

 

No I'm not arguing for that at all.  There are clear areas in HiFi where judgements can't be wholly objective, speakers are the obvious example, and I'm perfectly willing to listen to opinions in those areas.  However there are other areas where objective reviews could be undertaken.  Blind testing of cables, mains conditioners, etc could be undertaken very easily and those would be objective.  I find it deeply disturbing (and deeply suspicious) that people in the industry aren't willing to undertake such objective tests.

Another hobby of mine is photography (I'm seriously untalented as a photographer!) and that is another area where a natural phenomenum (light as opposed to sound) is transferred through a piece of electronics back into the natural phenomenum again.  There is also quite a large element of subjectivity in photography.  However the reviews in the photography magazines are much more objective.  Here is a link to a review of a lens (one I happen to own) on ephotozine which is perhaps the leading UK website:

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-50mm-f-1-4-usm-interchangeable-lens-review-14849

The difference between this thorough review and the type of thing you get in a lot of the hifi industry as quite telling in my opinion.

Chris

 

Chris, I don't get this "There are clear areas in HiFi where judgements can't be wholly objective, speakers are the obvious example, and I'm perfectly willing to listen to opinions in those areas". Ultimately all SQ judgements are subjective, but within certain bounds which are not objective , but people would agree upon. For example the earlier photos of a good looking lady and a not so good looking one. Good looking is subjective, but some are more good looking than others. That is how I see subjective SQ hifi reviews.

 

The camera lens review is similar to the kind of reviews Hifi Choice do, where they publish measurements as well as opinion. I have had a look at trying to do study to see if there is any sort of link between how a hifi measures and reports of SQ. But so far it has proved to be hard with the information I can get hold of easily and frankly for free. (I am not going to susbscribe to Hifi Choice to sit for hours working out hundreds of measurements and how they compare to reports of SQ). What I can say is from the limited work I did do with review magazines was there is no apprent link. What I can say with a proper study of cable maker claims of measurements and SQ, is there is no link, except where there is attenuation affecting volume.

 

I do not know enough about cameras, so do measurements of lenses causally correlate to subjective reports of picture quality?

Yes they do pretty much yes!

Chris

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Covenanter's picture
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RE: more 'snake oil'

idc wrote:

Thanks Paul, so just like hifi, there are some products just not up to the job, a few that are superb, the rest come in the middle and just as subjectively some people are better looking than others and some are right munters, some will still prefer the results of a rubbish lens. Is that about right?

Paul's opinion is his and he's allowed to have it.  I don't think many would agree with him.  the 50mm 1.4 is a much better lens.

Chris

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RE: more 'snake oil' RE: more 'snake oil'

Andrew Everard wrote:

WinterRacer wrote:
Perhaps the magazine you refer to should add something like this to each review: "Note, although we've written this CD player presents voices brilliantly, revealing every subtlety and small inflection.

Anyone on WHFSV who wrote a sentence that bad, hanging and with no resolution whatsoever, would be given a stern talking-to by our leather-clad (well, occasionally), Stasi-like production desk team. And get a stern tutting from me.

I guess they wouldn't criticise somebody who starts sentences with a conjunction or uses words which don't exist in the English language?  rolling on the floor laughing

Chris

PS An "ad hominem" argument is one which attack the opponent rather than the opponent's argument, generally because of an inability to counter the argument.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Covenanter wrote:

I nearly had a heart attack laughing.

Chris

 

Really? I'd have thought you'd seen this sort of nonsense often enough before not to get that excited by it. Or this could be hyperbole.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Covenanter wrote:

I nearly had a heart attack laughing.

Chris

 

Brilliant read ! cheer

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RE: more 'snake oil'

.....this particular Snake seems to have produced an awful lot of oil (400 posts worth, and rising)! Shock

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RE: more 'snake oil'

Well, I once replaced a cheap HDMI cable with a fancy QED item (Performance?) as it was in a sale with something like 70% off, and felt the colours did actually look better.

 

I naturally put this down to the plecebo effect. But then you have to question it when the missus mentions out of the blue, "the colours are looking really nice aren't they?" She didn't know I'd replaced the cable.

 

Just my experience. Maybe there's something in it? However irrational.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

group hug anyone?

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RE: more 'snake oil' RE: more 'snake oil'

Covenanter wrote:

Andrew Everard wrote:

WinterRacer wrote:
Perhaps the magazine you refer to should add something like this to each review: "Note, although we've written this CD player presents voices brilliantly, revealing every subtlety and small inflection.

Anyone on WHFSV who wrote a sentence that bad, hanging and with no resolution whatsoever, would be given a stern talking-to by our leather-clad (well, occasionally), Stasi-like production desk team. And get a stern tutting from me.

I guess they wouldn't criticise somebody who starts sentences with a conjunction or uses words which don't exist in the English language?  rolling on the floor laughing

Chris

PS An "ad hominem" argument is one which attack the opponent rather than the opponent's argument, generally because of an inability to counter the argument.

That's interesting to know. Thanks.

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RE: more 'snake oil'

fr0g wrote:

group hug anyone?

Count me in, but be warned....I've got "Man Flu"! Sad

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RE: more 'snake oil'

RobinKidderminster wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

I nearly had a heart attack laughing.

Chris

 

Brilliant read ! cheer

 

So did I, but would it add to their credibility if suddenly they started to spend a lot of money in advertising in Hi-Fi magazines and getting 5 star reviews?