One's Gordon Brown in a scary wig; who's the other one?
Audio Editor, Gramophone
David Cameron with make up on?
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
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One of them is Scarlett Johansson - I'm just waiting for the call :) No, not from you Susan.
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By Elgar, perhaps?
Ah right – I think I've only ever seen her in Lost in Translation. No wonder I didn't remember her face...
Did someone mention wine ? Some interesting parallels here...
Apparently, she needed snake oil to get into this costume
I just looked at the above pic on my Samsung SGS3 while listening to some lossless vinyl rips and man, the difference in sound quality was HUGE!
Which proves two things:
1) idc's comments are spot on: looks play a huge part in influencing perception of sound
2) I'm a dirty old man
My take on this is that is because the big answer is not a very satisfactory one to many hifi buffs. I am sure I have the big answer and have all my reasoning and evidence in my blogspot, idc1966.
A brief summary is that sighted vs blind comparison vs ABX find consistent results and we can drawn conclusions from that.
Sighted tests find the biggest differences in SQ. They are also more consistent in terms of pricing (more expensive is better) than the other two tests. We also find that subjectively people can have huge disagreements over what does sound better. That tells us image, brand etc do influence sound quality in a real and meaningful subjective way for the listener.
Blind comparison tests find that SQ difference gets smaller. People are still being subjective as they are not asked to identify which is which, but what they think of each product they are listening to. We also find that price and image now have no influence and cheap often does as well as if not beats more expensive. That helps to corroborate the results found when using sighted tests. Remove information from the listener and SQ differences are less consistent and get smaller.
ABX testing is a test. You have to identify what you are listening to with onlu SQ to go by. Now previously reported differences either vanish completely as people cannot tell any difference or the reported differences have no bearing on what is being listened to. People report differences between the same thing, no difference between radically different things and cannot dientify their own hifi from a completely new one they have never heard. That corroborates sighted and blind compariosn testing as it shows the less other information you have, the smaller any SQ difference becomes to the point where even a perceived one is not accurate any more as it cannot identify what it is listening to.
We also learn from such testing what parts of the hifi chain inherantly and really do make a difference and what does not. Speakers pass ABX tests, cables do not. Bit rates pass ABX tests, transports do not. Amps some times pass ABX tests, CDPs have show signs of being distinguishable but the evidence on that is still not clear.
So the big answer is that SQ is also influenced by sight and product knowledge as well as the actual sound itself. SQ is ultimately subjective and so trying to quantify what product is better than another is pretty fruitless. Speakers are where you should consentrate your time and money.
That was really interesting!
+1 and probably why this thread has suddenly been diverted.
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
It is interesting and about what I would expect.
Further evidence for my conclusion came from cable makers in particular, but other hifi makers as well. They sometimes refer to blind testing, but never publish the actual results. The exception is Harman Internation, see Audio Musings by Sean Olive and their findings greatly influenced mine. Hifi also are very careful how they use descriptives as to how their product is better. They concentrate on build quality and materials. But no maker has ever submitted their goods for independent testing or verification. They also refer to electrical properties in a way that suggests such can influence SQ. But those properties have been known since the C19th, makers have found nothing new and most importantly nothing connected to SQ, except there is a positive blind test involving cable gauge.
Then, if you try and correlate how something is made to SQ, there is very little to show such. I do think that attenuation and its affect on volume is a cause of occasional reports of SQ differences. I think that is why gauge may affect SQ. Slightly louder is slightly clearer and more dynamic, so SQ is better. But you can do that with volume control. My own experience of modding and even trying to make an amp suggests many volume controls are rubbish. It is not possible to do, but if there after market volume controls like there are aftermarket cables and stands, I think we really would be onto something that has a real affect on SQ.
Finally and this is one audiophiles hate, but I think those who claim golden ears have got it very wrong indeed. If two people sit sighted and listen to different cables, then one hears a difference and claims golden ears over the other who hears no difference, the golden eared one is wrong. In fact the person who hears no difference is the golden eared one as they have correctly identified there is no audible difference.
I do not think that any of the above has a detrimental affect on what audiophile magazines say. There is no doubt that some hifi products sound better than others, objectively as well as subjectively. That is primarily down to speakers and I think speaker and headphone, radio, home cinema systems (anything with a speaker) tests are very worthwhile reading from people who have heard many different ones. I also think that specification and build quality reports make reviews worthwhile.
When hifi reviewers drift off into cables and stands and the likes, I tend not to bother any more. But they are sighted. subjective reviews aimed at people with golden ears!
Internet - laptop - DAC - amp - lots of headphones.
"A music lover will stop what he's doing and stay glued to a favorite piece of music even if it's coming over a 3" speaker or a public-address system..." - Ken Rockwell
mmhhh - sighted or blind, I know which one I prefer...
I would prefer the one on the left for singing and the one on the right for translating.
I am on a roll here and so hopefully you will not mind if I keep going
A quick google of sight and sound finds many works on how our senses are integrated and affect each other.
In extreme cases some people hear in colours and it is well known how synethesia works where our senses get mixed up. But the effect is there for all of us "Studies on the multi-sensory content of sound provide an in-sight into the complexity of auditory perception and illuminates the variety of tools available for multi-sensory approaches on sound design." I think that Bose and B&O have well and truely sussed the role of image and looks to perceived SQ. Which is maybe why there are the hifi marmite brands as people 'in the know' claim they are all looks and no SQ.
When I first started reading this CB I thought I was a "voice in the wilderness". I am pleased to find that I am not!
Formerly known as al7478...
HC: Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Humax Foxsat-HDR
Music: Optical out from Asus P7H55-M Motherboard into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers.
"Music will provide the light you cannot resist"
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