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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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The proper evaluation of audio equipment - where do we go from here?

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  • #16
    Science, rationalism and self delusion?

    Originally posted by EricW View Post
    I can understand your frustration with the small number who took part, but perhaps it seems like weighing in on whether the engineers who designed your car used a correct methodology to test engine performance - in other words, beyond one's ken (I don't think it is, but that's only my view).

    The reason I think it's such an important issue is the reason you expressed in one of your posts in the main thread: without some form of rigorous, objective evaluation, what's to stop someone from putting $3 worth of drivers into a $20 box and charging $10,000? From going for the quick buck instead of lasting quality? If that's an opportunity to be had, someone will take it - that's just how it is.

    For me too, the question is interesting because it deals with the nature of knowledge and the difference between objective and subjective knowledge. I strongly believe that there are real, objective truths about the world that exist despite our beliefs about them. That may seem unremarkable, but I think there are many people nowadays who do not necessarily believe that, strange as it may seem. My wife's an academic (a historian), so I know first hand from her and her friends and colleagues how pervasive is the idea in the social sciences and the humanities that all reality is socially constructed, that there are no objective truths, and so on. That may seem like esoterica, but I think it filters into the wider population, and is reinforced through mass culture, which would far rather deal in mythology and emotion (exciting!) than scientific truth (dull!). My favourite example is Star Wars: "use the Force, Luke" - what the hell is "the Force"?

    Anyway, I don't mean to ramble so I'll suggest one point of clarification. Many people speak of "blind" or "double blind" testing, and associate any form of A-B comparison with "double blind" testing. Now I know the two can go together, but they don't have to. It seems to me that the A-B comparison methodology you're describing is not at all blind, single or double. I.e. that the listener can know which is A and which is B, and still arrive at a valid result. Is this correct? Or does the outcome need to be validated with a blind test? If not, I'm even more perplexed as to why people would think A-B is not a good methodology, especially if the listener is in complete command of switching and timing.
    As a trained historian I have to comment on the above. While historians strive to be as objective as possible they understand that they are dealing with artifacts--traces--which have their own inherent biases and set(s) of problems. That is why good historians actually utilize 'scientific methods' to arrive at reliable knowledge based on close readings of the texts. However, this post-structuralist relativism you refer to pervades literary departments and does exist in certain methodological approaches to history.

    How does this relate to the discussion at hand? Well, the one thing the social sciences has given me are critical thinking skills--something many people in audiophilia apparently lack.

    I wonder, however, if this lack of critical thought is really just that. Or, is it a lack of understanding of basic scientific principles???

    Then again there are real engineers designing amplifiers who genuinely think that their amplifiers sound better than others...

    Comment


    • #17
      Self-worth and the audiophile

      Originally posted by Zemlya View Post
      ... the social sciences has given me are critical thinking skills--something many people in audiophilia apparently lack. I wonder, however, if this lack of critical thought is really just that. Or, is it a lack of understanding of basic scientific principles???

      Then again there are real engineers designing amplifiers who genuinely think that their amplifiers sound better than others...
      I find it deeply disturbing that despite all I've written, all the evidence of previous scientific studies of A v B which seem to usually or even always conclude that under controlled conditions, broadly similar amp designs are indistinguishable, I still read - this very week - an individual having the cheek to use this platform to promote the 'extra openness' (or whatever) of his pet amplifier. I am truly sick and tired of it. I'm actually now past the point that I am going to expend my energy to re-educate these misguided individuals. I have also hardened my heart so that I actually don't care if they throw precious money after a marketing fantasy - even in these difficult economic times.

      I think my last contribution will be in the next week or so to record the output as it drives the speakers of, say, a 1960s amp v. a highly respected contemporary brand. I have the amps and just need to make some time (I'm really busy at the moment). Maybe I'll surprise myself and there will be audible differences; I must keep an open mind about that.

      I have away on business this week and taking a stroll around the hotel soon found myself in the entertainment district. Too late for a live show I thought I'd treat myself to Batman: The dark night returns in IMAX. Thin plot; dreadfully written dialogue; far, far too loud throughout; bass not only ridiculously loud but of poor quality and worst of all, the dialogue channel was a borderline unintelligible. And that's state-of-the-art cinema at $20 a seat. On leaving, I overheard two lads (early 20s) behind me and a middle aged couple commenting how they too had struggle with the dialogue audibility. I think I'll write to IMAX UK - not that there will be any result.

      Anyway, your final comment is about amplifier designers believing in their creations. As a class, these chaps are spectacularly incapable of making proper A-B comparisons. I've seen one dither about switching off/on and soldering in one resistor from brand X or brand Y and then passing judgement, which in my view is utterly worthless. But they need to believe that they have a power and influence over events which somehow completes their self-worth. After the film, I went for a night cap in a local club - deserted I was told because of the economic climate - and fell into conversation with a nice young lady (30) from Poland who claims to be studying law there and doing holiday bar work in the UK for pocket money. Sitting around a bar you can always learn something about the human condition; it's easy to fall into conversation with strangers providing that you let them do the talking and have no intention of revealing anything of your work or profession. Slowly the picture unravels: she has an unshakeable belief that she is beautiful. The seed of this idea was (probably) planted by her doting father when she was a small girl and (I'm guessing) he reminded her of this every day. Naturally, she accepted it as a fact. Her long-term boyfriend ran with that baton until, for whatever reason, he stopped saying it. The sad fact is that in that environment, she was comparatively unexceptional. It's an awkward situation when someone who is so desperately hunting for a compliment indicates what they want you to re-affirm; you are torn between telling an untruth which merely perpetuates their delusion or steering the subject away leaving the question hanging in the air when you both know it is unresolved. What is kinder? What is cruel? Can her self-image and the reality ever be re-aligned? Should I try to play along even though my brain just would not allow my mouth to utter those affirmative words because they were just not true (even though it is ungallant not to)? Is it my duty to do anything other than drink and listen? Do I care? Yes I do; I'm reliving the three hour conversation as I write this and it pains me to think that she is there now, days later still desperately needing to prop-up her identity, using the warm words of strangers as positive feedback. Trapped in the moment, unable to move-on, unable to create a real place for herself in the world despite her evidently brilliant legal brain and income potential. Trapped in a self-image loop. What a miserable existence. I suggest that 'audiophilia' has much in common with Jessica from Poland.

      The astute marketing man positions himself as the proud father bouncing his bonny baby consumer on this lap creating respect, then telling him how wonderful he is and then how much more wonderful he would feel if he purchased this and that fantasy. This is the well oiled process of 'setting-up the consumer to fail' and is the normal way to sell lifestyle products these days. I find it deeply upsetting that the consumer cannot see how malleable he is to the marketing expert. There is a way out: self-awareness. Not one consumer in a thousand wants to be more self-aware as the HUG experience has shown ad nauseum.

      Nothing I could have said to Jessica or to the hardened audiophile will make a scrap of difference. They'll plough on just the same!
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #18
        AB testing - essay

        Would like to hear Alan's thoughts on this essay/paper. As it seems to question aspects of AB testing with regarding audio.

        I stumbled across it simply because one area I was trying to understand how possibly other designers other than Alan have managed to compare equipments with quick A-B changes whilst the Musical passages listened to would inevitable be different between switching.

        This essay brought that question / problem up.http://www.anstendig.org/ABTesting.html
        Again I have no strong opinion yet on this but thought it may help clarify our position here.

        {Moderator's comment: are you sure that you really understand Alan's method? If you press the switch within about fifteen thousandths of a second you have made the change over. How far can a 'musical passage' proceed in a fifteen thousandth of a second?}

        Comment


        • #19
          Having read the paper the word 'cobblers' comes to mind. Written to support a personal theory and repeats the mantra without example or justification ...

          Direct visual comparison has been accepted for centuries as scientifically accurate. But direct comparison is possible only with sight and impossible with all the other senses. That fact is probably the most pertinent scientifically established fact about all sensory perception.
          Unfortunately, a large part of the audio research that has already been published has utilized AB or similar testing that is simply a misapplication of visual criteria in the realm of sound. All of that research has, therefore, to be considered invalid. If any valid conclusions have been reached by these methods, their acceptance will have to wait until they can be confirmed by means that are scientifically accurate. It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of this situation. Whole edifices of scientific thought, methods, and practice have been built upon this scientifically invalid procedure. No matter how the procedure is refined (as in double-blind AB testing, using two or more blindfolded subjects and comparing components, etc., in such an order that the subjects could not guess their identity), there is no possibility of dependably recognizing subtle differences.
          I profoundly disagree. I note that the author does not indicate that he himself has made a switcher box. The style of the writing doesn't inspire me to confidence in the opinions. We here try wherever possible to use home-made examples to illustrate a point. Yes, it takes my time to conceive and prepare and test run, but I strongly believe that if one makes a claim about audibility issues, it should where possible, include worked examples. Such as my examples of a piano recording here.

          I wonder if you can really visualise in your mind's ear (if you know what I mean) what virtually instantaneous switch-overs sound like. OK, here is a very quick mock-up. Imagine that you are in the hot seat with a hand or foot switch driving a relay change over. We know that the relay needs fifteen thousandths of a second to click from A to B, during which time there will be a fifteen thousandths of a second gap in the music because neither A nor B is receiving a signal. Tell me how many times the switch has been operated in the following musical clip - this is exactly what you would hear if you were comparing speakers A v. B or amp X v. Y. How much (or little) audio memory do you need to make this procedure a valid one? Despite what the author of your paper said, isn't this a close approximation to placing two coloured objects one atop the other? I'd say it is.

          Loading the player ...
          Clip 1

          Can't hear any difference? Good, that's because there isn't any difference between A and B. A and B are the same audio file, just with a minute pause introduced at certain random places (on both channels) to simulate the relays operating. There are in fact 13 simulated switch-overs, 13 gaps in the music each of 0.015 seconds. I'd hope you could hear perhaps 6-10 of those change-overs: some are inaudible because the gap is masked by some feature in the music at that random point. So, Clip 1 is All A. No B at all.

          If we now operate the relay once before the music starts and listen to all B only (no A at all) we hear this:

          Loading the player ...
          Clip 1B

          How does that sound in comparison? Is A the same as B? How would you describe the difference between A and B (if any)? How would you like to play A today, and play B next week and make a reliable mental comparison? Or even after dismantling the listening rig for A, going and making a cup of tea, returning and ten minutes later re-starting the comparison. Absolutely and utterly useless as a piece of science I'm sure that you'll agree.

          Now, leaving the time markers where the A-B switching was applied to Clip 1, I have applied an audio effects which simulate in an extreme way, what we may be presented with in real an A-B comparative session, for example, comparing two loudspeakers. So this is what we hear when we switch between A and B with 15 thousandths of a second gap between them as the relays change-over:

          Loading the player ...
          Clip 2

          Surely it must be obvious to the least able listener (who himself decides when to make the change-over and hence is prepared for a sonic event change which he has triggered) that at switch-over that A does not sound the same as B. It's crucial (in my methodology) to remember that the listener himself is making the decision to switchover. He can do this as frequently as he likes. As fast as his finger will permit or every few minutes. I would encourage him to changeover frequently in the early minutes of the listening session as he builds a mental model of what he is hearing and of the gross differences, rather like priming a mental pump with as much early exposure data as possible. Decoding what he is hearing into frequency bands and resolving more subtle sonic events will certainly need longer focused attention to A or B alone, and then once an effect detected, switch to the other. This is just a 50 second clip: we are only just about becoming familiar with the differences when the clip runs out, but were we playing 30 mins. of music or so, we would have enough data to make some useful comparisons between A and B which would be unlikely to be contested by more exposure. What I notice is that my sensitivity to the sonic differences is enhanced the more switch-over comparisons I hear in Clip 2, so that towards the end of Clip 2, A and B sound distinctly different even iof they didn't sound much different at the outset. This is exactly what we want; increased hearing acuity through training of our own ears, through comparative exposure.

          The approach is one of using musical events to as they pass the listener to pique his curiosity as to how that event (instrument/acoustic space) sounds on A or B and to encourage him to effect a switch-over. No musical events are so transitory that they appear and disappear within a tiny fraction of a second such that they would have ceased by the time the switch-over operates: musical events take seconds. This gives us time to hear the same event on A or B. There is nothing to prevent the listener from rewinding the music or putting the music into a play loop for close listening to a particular feature. In practice, that is a degree of precision not required - the differences between loudspeakers are generally not that subtle.

          What do you experience when listening to these three clips?
          Last edited by A.S.; 20-08-2012, 05:44 PM. Reason: A-B in practice - examples (revised)
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #20
            A-B thoughts

            Thanks Alan for taking the time (again!) to make up those illuminating clips. I'm pretty much now with you on all this.

            The three clips do really help clarify how it would work in practice and you can hear the differences ( at some points clearer than others) in clip 2. In Clips 1 and 1b you can hear the difference (b being less 'bright' for want of a better word) but this was again when listened after a short period. Your point about after longer change over periods would surely make one more uncertain ( opposite to what the essay I attached suggested).

            The authors resume certainly is interesting. especially his mystical work!http://www.anstendig.org/Vita.html

            I would still love to hear a report from you, if you ever get the chance to try a super duper high end amp with your selector. As part of me still hopes it would reveal some small but worth while improvements to the musical stereo illusion we all enjoy. Maybe you already have? I'm just not sure from what I've read in the forums if you have or not. I know you are confident of little difference but would still like confirmation from someone I trust.

            Comment


            • #21
              Pantone colours and grading sound

              Originally posted by P.C. View Post
              ... Your point about after longer change over periods would surely make one more uncertain ( opposite to what the essay I attached suggested)....
              Thanks for the appreciation. In fact, I made the clips late last night (after returning from the BBC) and playing them this morning, I didn't think they were adequate to convey the point. So I spent a couple of hours experimenting and re-making etc..

              The problem I have here is that I take all of this for granted - tools of my trade - that its easy to forget just how revolutionary the A-B concept is to outsiders. My neighbour is a fashion clothes designer and has a house full of colour charts so that when she instruct the factory (in Pakistan, China or Vietnam - sometimes the same garment made simultaneously at all three for supply security) she defines exactly what colour numbers to use. The factories have the same printed books of Pantone (or similar) colours and side by side, all three garments should look identical when compared on her desk in London, under neutral light and against her colour chart books which are very expensive as the confounding variable in the printing process have been tightly controlled. Those are the tools of her trade, and to suggest that she burns her Pantone books and relies on her colour memory would bring on one of here famous quizzical looks and the question 'why the hell would I want to work blind?' I'm sure.

              The point is that in the world of colour manufacturing there are absolutes, and those absolutes are communicable to others using the standardised charts and tables you can see here. The essence of controlling colour is making visual side-by-side comparisons, and even better than that where matching A with B is super-critical (and get it wrong and 'see you in court') you use an instrument such as here and here and here. All we are doing with a sonic A-B is using our ears as that sonic A-B Pantone chart!

              Can you just clarify what you mean in the above quote? I want to be sure that we are absolutely in-step. Thanks.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #22
                Clarification

                Sorry the quote was rather clumsy (rushing to get to work!) I was just agreeing with you that trying to compare the separate clips 1 and 1 b after any period of time ( tea making, cable swapping etc) would be very hard if not impossible.

                Where as the author of essay seemed to suggest that this was the correct method to evaluate differences.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Increasing the inter-gap between event A and B

                  Originally posted by P.C. View Post
                  Sorry the quote was rather clumsy (rushing to get to work!) I was just agreeing with you that trying to compare the separate clips 1 and 1 b after any period of time ( tea making, cable swapping etc) would be very hard if not impossible.

                  Where as the author of essay seemed to suggest that this was the correct method to evaluate differences.
                  OK, good.

                  You prompted me to ask myself what would the consequence of 'slipping' the delay between A and B from the mechanical time-of-flight of the relay contact leaf-spring (about 0.015 sec) to an six times longer - 0.1 Second. So I made another example (different switch-points, not directly comparable with Clip 2 - forgot to save the master file with cue points). Would you say that a gap of one tenth of a second made comparison of A v. B easier or not? Or just a slightly different, but not necessarily better or worse way of comparing?

                  Loading the player ...
                  Clip 3 - longer gaps

                  I have my own view on this but both Clip 2 and 3 are unrealistic for two reasons: you the listener have no control over the switching as I've done that for you. If you did have control (and maybe this is where I unwittingly differ in methodology from some of the prior art) you would expect to hear a difference and would mentally prepare yourself for that and to make sense of it. After all, you are not going to the trouble of setting up your own A-B test to hear that A and B sound the same: you are anticipating that they won't and are tasked with analysing that difference as part of your project workflow. It's not a leisure activity for fun! Secondly, we are just using a pre-recorded audio file. The practical use of this is to compare loudspeakers which fire sound into the room over 180 degrees+, some of which returns to our ear colored by room reflections. Depending on the dispersion of the speakers (etc. etc. etc.) what you will hear will be a little or a lot different between A and B.

                  So what I will try and record over the next days is what a dummy head stereo mic at the hot spot actually hears when comparing two speakers using the A-B relays. I'd expect that to me a much more interesting test.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Distracting pauses?

                    Well I found the delayed switching much more of a distraction. It made it harder to focus on the continual musical line.I think there was only six switch changes in clip 3 and of those I could discern a change in tone on about 4 of them. On the original clip 2 I heard 12 of the 13 switch overs and of these probably heard 10 changes to the tone.
                    The clarity of those change did depend somewhat on what instruments and notes happened to being playing at the time of each switch .Which does suggest that the choice of music/ instrumentation may play a part in how easily or not a difference can be heard.

                    This was my earlier concern as regards the continual changing nature of music. But as you said an audio loop along with shorter or longer gaps selected between the switching would hopefully overcome those problems . I should add that i listened to the clips through headphones. It will be interesting to hear what the dummy head stereo mic ( binaural?) adds to the test.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Self-deception

                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      It's an awkward situation when someone who is so desperately hunting for a compliment indicates what they want you to re-affirm; you are torn between telling an untruth which merely perpetuates their delusion or steering the subject away leaving the question hanging in the air when you both know it is unresolved. What is kinder? What is cruel? Can her self-image and the reality ever be re-aligned? Should I try to play along even though my brain just would not allow my mouth to utter those affirmative words because they were just not true (even though it is ungallant not to)? Is it my duty to do anything other than drink and listen? Do I care? Yes I do; I'm reliving the three hour conversation ...
                      I don't know if you own a Kindle but if you do I can recommend a rather fascinating essay called "Lying" by the American writer Sam Harris (as far as a I know it's only available as an e-book on Amazon). The case he makes is that even the little social "white lies" that we nearly all tell - and you neatly describe one way in which the pressure to do that arises - are morally questionable and ultimately perhaps as harmful as what we think of as "real" lies, because we reinforce people's illusions rather than helping them see reality. It's a bit more complicated than that, of course, but that's the general gist of it.

                      And Zemlya, yes, of course, I believe historians are capable of rational thought! Sorry if it seemed that I suggested otherwise - it's certainly not what I meant. I don't think you have to be a scientist to think rationally (that would certainly exclude me) or use elements of the scientific method: you just have to keep an open mind and try to be persuaded by evidence rather than belief. Sounds simple, but it's apparently a challenge for many (and yes, a little knowledge doesn't hurt either, as long as you don't use it to erect belief systems that go way beyond the evidence).

                      I have done some quick switchovers between audio equipment (back in the say when retailers had comparators that allow for that) but not the kind of A/B testing described on the HUG. However, it seems glaringly obvious to me that, if a reliable and knowledgable person adverts to scientific studies in which amplifiers have been determined to be indistinguishable under A/B conditions if levels are properly controlled, then the onus is one anyone holding a different view to (1) demonstrate how/why the existing studies are faulty, and (2) demonstrate how differences are audible under blind, level-matched conditions. How can one possibly be seen as credible if one refuses to do that?

                      Even if you grant some credence to the idea that prolonged (solo A or B) listening will reveal subtleties and nuances that A/B testing won't, and accept that it's not just all psychological artefacts (which prolonged listening probably is), shouldn't you at least be prepared to do an A/B test after you've acclimatized to the mysterious differences and have sensitized yourself to what they sound like? I mean, once you know, you know, right? If not, why not?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by P.C. View Post
                        Well I found the delayed switching much more of a distraction. It made it harder to focus on the continual musical line.I think there was only six switch changes in clip 3 and of those I could discern a change in tone on about 4 of them. On the original clip 2 I heard 12 of the 13 switch overs and of these probably heard 10 changes to the tone. The clarity of those change did depend somewhat on what instruments and notes happened to being playing at the time of each switch .Which does suggest that the choice of music/ instrumentation may play a part in how easily or not a difference can be heard.

                        This was my earlier concern as regards the continual changing nature of music. But as you said an audio loop along with shorter or longer gaps selected between the switching would hopefully overcome those problems . I should add that i listened to the through headphones. It will be interesting to hear what the dummy head stereo mic ( binaural?) adds to the test.
                        I agree. Getting the best outcome from the A-B comparison seems to benefit from a short interruption, and yes, I absolutely agree that the sonic comparison is heightened or somewhat suppressed depending upon what the music is doing at the point of switch-over. If speaker B has, for example, a boosted HF response compared with A, and if by coincidence a cymbal is hit just at or on the point of change-over then B will be distinctly obvious. But if a cello is playing at change-over then, assuming the loudness of A and B are similar, there will be no detectable sonic difference.

                        However, this is not a major inconvenience. The listener has full control over the switch operation and will be aware that he needs to randomise the operation (especially in the all-critical early minutes where he is bombarded with sonic data) and to switch backwards and forwards when curious about how an instrument sounds on both. Secondly, he has complete control over the musical library. It's no bad thing that he takes mini-breaks to get up and change a CD or he can pre-burn a CD with a musical selection and just plough through it. Or both. Or any other strategy that suits him. All that matters is his opinion at the point of comparison which, over the minutes after many comparisons, will settle down to a long-term view which really doesn't change.

                        If he does take a break, then don't make a mental note of whether the switch is on A or B - just leave it on whichever one sounds "best" without trying to double guess what it is, take a break and return to playing the music without touching the switch-over control. Let it play for a minute or so and change-over. Does the pre-break "best" now still sound "best" after the break? Often it doesn't because the pre-break has seduced the listener with a particular sound. I've been round this loop so many times that I know exactly how you (want to) fall head over heels in love with your new creation that you've spent months on. But if you don't get a grip on the reality that in truth, it doesn't sound as good as an older model, you will never bring to market a truly superior design. Your income, your pension, your lifestyle depends upon total self-honesty, no matter how painful that may be. If you can be honest early in the design you stand a good chance of minimising wasted effort.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          ABX and levels

                          http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/dem...ng.html#toc_lt

                          Not sure if the above link will work...but it may be of interest to read, to get another confirmation of the validity of ABX testing. And of level matching:-)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                            http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/dem...ng.html#toc_lt

                            Not sure if the above link will work...but it may be of interest to read, to get another confirmation of the validity of ABX testing. And of level matching:-)
                            I've only just skimmed the article but there seems to be a lot of good sense there.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Credible article

                              Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                              http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/dem...ng.html#toc_lt

                              Not sure if the above link will work...but it may be of interest to read, to get another confirmation of the validity of ABX testing. And of level matching:-)
                              What a great article, Kumar. Thanks.

                              I particularly liked this paragraphs, as it seemed to applicable to much of the recent debate on HUG, and is (I venture to say) a truth of general application, with validity beyond audio:
                              How to [inadvertently] screw up a listening comparison

                              The number one comment I heard from believers in super high rate audio was [paraphrasing]: "I've listened to high rate audio myself and the improvement is obvious. Are you seriously telling me not to trust my own ears?"

                              Of course you can trust your ears. It's brains that are gullible. I don't mean that flippantly; as human beings, we're all wired that way.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Human ears

                                Originally posted by EricW View Post
                                What a great article, Kumar. Thanks.

                                I particularly liked this paragraphs, as it seemed to applicable to much of the recent debate on HUG, and is (I venture to say) a truth of general application, with validity beyond audio:
                                How to [inadvertently] screw up a listening comparison

                                The number one comment I heard from believers in super high rate audio was [paraphrasing]: "I've listened to high rate audio myself and the improvement is obvious. Are you seriously telling me not to trust my own ears?"

                                Of course you can trust your ears. It's brains that are gullible. I don't mean that flippantly; as human beings, we're all wired that way.
                                Eric, you are welcome. I thought that the part about hirez audio, another controversy like the amp one, might be of interest to people here too.

                                Of course we are all wired that way, ears are just transducers, it is the brain that hears, usually what it wants to, influenced by lots of things beyond what the ears pass on.

                                I also liked the comments about louder music sounding better in quality -and that "stereo salesmen have known this trick for a long time".

                                Comment

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