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Thread: "Audio and technological myths" - the Top Ten most incredible

  1. #1
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    Default "Audio and technological myths" - the Top Ten most incredible

    Near the bottom of this article read the Engineering and Technology magazine "Top ten craziest audio 'enhancements'". If you believe even one of those maybe musical appreciation is impossible for you?

    Read here.

  2. #2
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    Default The emotional tickle of the tube amp experience

    I love the part about tube amps that aren't connected to the signal path, but kept there for just the visual of the warm glow of tubes, it is an example I have used somewhere. Having done the tube amp thing for a few years, I realized that it is this visual input that was creating better music for me, in my brain where the hearing happens, ears being just transducers. They do look lovely!

    After some time I realized that the sound from a decent solid state amp was just as good, so when I decided to build a system for keeps, that's the route I took. Tube amps also add a lot of heat to the room, which isn't welcome where I live, and usually consume a lot more electricity. And intuitively I believe that cooler running equipment will last longer. I still miss the tube glow, with the lights low, but adding that without connecting it to anything won't work for me, once I know that it isn't connected to anything - one can't fool oneself! I once also had a tube equipped DAC, with the tubes not visible. Needless to say, it didn't do anything special. Instead, the thing had feet that glowed, changing color after the time that the tubes would need to become hot enough to run optimally! It was fun till the novelty lasted.

  3. #3
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    Default Common sense - surely

    Quote Originally Posted by HUG-1 View Post
    Near the bottom of this article read the Engineering and Technology magazine "Top ten craziest audio 'enhancements'". If you believe even one of those maybe musical appreciation is impossible for you?

    Read here.
    Not just musical appreciation but common sense in general i.m.o.

  4. #4
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    Default The demagnetiser at work

    I love the CD demagnetizer myth so much I had to Google it. This description of a demagnetizing CD made me laugh right out loud.

    'Some years ago we discovered that a strong signal from a signal generator through the signal path of an amplifier had a positive effect on the sound. One year later, during which we had experimented with complex signals, we found an algorithm of signals that gave a stunning improvement in soundstage, transparency, details and dynamics of audio systems.

    The reason behind this is that small magnets in the signal path are, with time, orientated in one direction. This produces a detrimental effect on the signal. The [brand name] signal actually relocates the magnets, and thereby breaks the magnetic field and it's negative effect on the sound'.

  5. #5
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    Default Science ... you are kidding aren't you?

    It doesn't get much more whacky than this. Or does it? Stuff every audiophile needs to know here.

    This necessarily short list was drawn up by Prof. Leach. Is he in a position to judge? We think he probably is.

    These people at Junk Science deserve a medal. Or do they? Is this a double-bluff conspiracy?It's all here in glorious colour.

    No dedicated audio section yet. We'll drop them a line.

  6. #6
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    Default Is junk science junk?

    I'm not crazy about the term "junk science". In practice, it seems to end up meaning "anything I disagree with and feel strongly about" so it's simply a term of abuse. Deserved in some cases maybe, but not in others, so it becomes mere use of an epithet doesn't advance anyone's understanding of anything very much.

    For example, some say climate change/global warming is "junk science" even though many apparently reputable scientists seem to consider it a real phenomenon. Unless you're a scientist yourself, your position on the issue is more likely to be determined by other ideological and social factors, and not by an impartial review of the scientific literature.

    It's never a bad idea to stick to what you know.

  7. #7
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    Default Beranek's Law of speaker design

    From one of the founding fathers of acoustic science ...

    "It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.

    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208"

    Possibly true of ones own hifi system compared with ones friends?

  8. #8
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    Default Beranek's syndrome alive and well in the tropics

    A friend modified an amplifier and was very happy with the results. After his success with his first amp he bought a similar amplifier to modify it as well but only to find out the amplifier in its original unmodified condition sounded way better than his modified amp. He gave up the idea of modifying after that. He was without a reference when he altered the original amplifier and let his heart to rule over his head or in this case his ears.

    Another person built his own 3 way speakers with one set of extra tweeters at the rear of the speakers that was rated by the local audiophile community to be better than most famous brands. The only thing I cant explain about his system was why the phase test merely moved the image from centre to the back not the usual in focus and with no apparent direction with out phase. An obvious fault but probably suffering from Beranek's syndrome.

    ST

  9. #9
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    Default More like a trumpet ...

    I think this is unbeatable #1!

    http://www.highendnovum.de/index.php...mid=61&lang=en

    P.S. there is also a Premium version of the PMR© (Passiver-Multivokal-Resonator)

    {Moderator's comment: we're not quite sure what this product does or how it works, but we strongly endorse prospective customers discovering for themselves.}

  10. #10
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    Default HiFi myths and live and let live?

    Hm,

    in all hifi forums all over the world you will find thousands of threads about "hifi myths", "idiots" who hear differences between loudspeaker cables etc. Thousands of "experts" try to prove what you are able to hear and what you cannot (in their opinion). When I read one of those forum threads, the word intolerance comes to my mind.

    To me, more interesting than the discussion about hifi myths is question why it is so important for some people to bash others. Alan probably would say: listen to the music and relax. Mocking about other people always is said to be a sign for little self-consciousness, just ask a psychologist about this. Live and let live. ;-)

    Just my 2 cents...

  11. #11
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    Default Good engineering?

    Dear Mr. Reinhard,
    thank you for yor opinion on my winner proposal. Just before I read your post I was reading this:

    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...od-engineering........

  12. #12
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    Default Audiophilia is The Grim Reaper

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
    Hm,

    in all hifi forums all over the world you will find thousands of threads about "hifi myths", "idiots" who hear differences between loudspeaker cables etc. Thousands of "experts" try to prove what you are able to hear and what you cannot (in their opinion). When I read one of those forum threads, the word intolerance comes to my mind.
    To me, more interesting than the discussion about hifi myths is question why it is so important for some people to bash others. Alan probably would say: listen to the music and relax. Mocking about other people always is said to be a sign for little self-consciousness, just ask a psychologist about this. Live and let live. ;-)

    Just my 2 cents...
    In my opinion, Alan et. al. have actually been amazingly tolerant of this goofiness. They are not "bashing others," but rather trying -- in a variety of ways, including sometimes sarcasm, when nothing else has any effect -- to bring some semblance of common sense, based in the facts of science and engineering, to the audiophile world. This is valuable (and frustrating) work on their part, for this unscientific audiophilia nonsense is killing the business of serious audio.

    Bruce

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    Default Getting edumacated in nuw werds

    eventually, I find the most interesting part on most audio sites to be the word association threads. Very little in opinion on audio, just some fun with words...more educational frankly...glad that here there is no word association thread...:-)


    cheers

    george

  14. #14
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    Default Equipment vs. Music and the 'tweakoid'

    I'm congenitally wary of absolutes, but on the whole I think that the hallmark of the "audiophile" is that he or she (oh, who am I kidding, he) is more in love with the equipment than the music, and the whole fascination with "tweaks" is part of this. Whether it's audio, cycling, cars, golf (I have spent many enjoyable hours with a friend putting together clubs to the most exacting specifications, though I can't say it improved my actual golf game much), photography, etc. people (mostly male) are fascinated by the gear.

    And that's fine, up to a point. The problem, as Alan has pointed out, is that there's probably a much larger group who would like quality music reproduction, and would be willing and able to pay for it, but are scared away by the obsessive, cultish, tweakoid fantasy world that too many audiophiles (not all, though) seem to inhabit.

    I almost think it calls for a new name and a new form of marketing to signal the difference.

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    Default Gear Yes, But Greater Irrationality in Audiophilia (healing crystal clusters?)

    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    I'm congenitally wary of absolutes, but on the whole I think that the hallmark of the "audiophile" is that he or she (oh, who am I kidding, he) is more in love with the equipment than the music, and the whole fascination with "tweaks" is part of this. Whether it's audio, cycling, cars, golf (I have spent many enjoyable hours with a friend putting together clubs to the most exacting specifications, though I can't say it improved my actual golf game much), photography, etc. people (mostly male) are fascinated by the gear. [snip]
    Yes, there's a fascination with gear in audiophilia, as in, for example, photography. But at least in photography higher priced gear generally speaking comes with measurable improvements that can be observed in the resulting photographs or in the process of taking the photographs: less noise in low light, finer resolution in large prints, quicker and more accurate autofocus, a wider contrast range so that more detail appears in the shadows and highlights, etc..

    With audiophilia, on the other hand, you have folks (including reviewers) going on and on about the transparency of this cable or the musicality of this preamp. It's all so psychological -- ignoring science and engineering, they convince themselves that they would be able to hear differences if the levels were matched, but of course this belief is never put to the test -- and these strong psychological forces keep the belief system of the audiophiliac closed off from rational counter-argument.

    So it seems to me there's more here than the fascination with gear. Entering the audiophiliacs world is like visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico, and listening to the talk of "healing crystal clusters," "selenite for sealing aura from energy leaks," "aura photographers," "crystals having a lovely energy," and so on.

    Bruce

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    Default Hearing versus seeing

    This months, july 2012' editorial of the absolute sounds found here http://www.enjoythemusic.com/tas/ could be of interest re :photography v audio raised in the last few posts.

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    Default Keelping an open mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Euler View Post
    ...With audiophilia, on the other hand, you have folks (including reviewers) going on and on about the transparency of this cable or the musicality of this preamp. It's all so psychological -- ignoring science and engineering, they convince themselves that they would be able to hear differences if the levels were matched, but of course this belief is never put to the test -- and these strong psychological forces keep the belief system of the audiophiliac closed off from rational counter-argument...

    Bruce
    Those who read your arguments carefully, Bruce, might get the impression that you are a little afraid of people "who's belief system is closed off from rational arguments". If they "convince themselves" that they hear differences, why not let them? Why do you on the other hand try to convince them of the opposite? Seems to me quite as irrational, only vice versa. As I said: tolerance.

    People who's belief system only relies on science seem to forget that they only got the science of the year 2012. Perhaps there are psycho-acoustic effects which can be proven later. Who knows? ;-)).

  18. #18
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    Default Audiophiles are skydivers, without parachutes - why?

    After over 30 years in professional audio, I've learned a few things about electronics, about sound and above all, about people.

    Amongst the things I've learned is that if one jumps out of an aircraft without a parachute, the eventual impact is likely to do fatal harm.

    Why on Earth do so many audiophiles insist that skydiving without a parachute is worth attempting because it might prove that science is not always right.

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    Default Not All Science, But How About a Little Science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
    Those who read your arguments carefully, Bruce, might get the impression that you are a little afraid of people "who's belief system is closed off from rational arguments". If they "convince themselves" that they hear differences, why not let them? Why do you on the other hand try to convince them of the opposite? Seems to me quite as irrational, only vice versa.
    Why not let them? Because they are doing harm. Surely it cannot be irrational to defend something you care about. As Alan has pointed out, audiophilia is in the process of killing serious audio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
    People who's belief system only relies on science seem to forget that they only got the science of the year 2012. Perhaps there are psycho-acoustic effects which can be proven later. Who knows? ;-)).
    I never advocated for a belief system that relies on only science. In the meantime, I'm not going to jump from a plane without a parachute, hoping that on the way down advances in science will allow me to turn gravity off before I smash into the ground.

    Bruce

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