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Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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Don, with respect - but a careful listener of home audio reproduction systems is probably listening for totally different things than those other folks you mentioned. 

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I might add that test referred to in the first post, which is a dumb test, indicated that 24 of 38 people had a preference for one sample over the other.  So 63% of the subjects indicated a preference.  It doesn’t really matter which system they chose.  They chose one over the other.  This indicates a perceived difference between the two systems with 63% of subjects.  Add to this the very real possibility of a certain percentage of the group of people who are members of an “audio club” being predisposed to choose “no difference”, which skews the result in that direction.  In this thread, there are folks that claim to hear differences and those that don’t.  This will result in a predisposition to pick one system or “no difference”.  Just look at ODS123.  Does anyone believe that ODS123 would ever pick a system if he was put to the test, as opposed to sticking to his mantra of “no difference”?

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I thought of this early on, but didn’t quite  know how to articulate it. Nice job. 

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19 hours ago, mikebse2a3 said:

I think my best advice for a beginner is make it your goal to put together a system that connects you to the music and draws you in to the point that you can listen for hours on end with “0” listener fatigue. Don’t settle for less 🙂

 

You need to go into marriage counseling....

 

You did however, lose me at the "to the point you can listen for hours on end".....  so maybe not...

 

:huh:

 

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56 minutes ago, Tizman said:

I might add that test referred to in the first post, which is a dumb test, indicated that 24 of 38 people had a preference for one sample over the other.  So 63% of the subjects indicated a preference.  It doesn’t really matter which system they chose.  They chose one over the other.  This indicates a perceived difference between the two systems with 63% of subjects.  Add to this the very real possibility of a certain percentage of the group of people who are members of an “audio club” being predisposed to choose “no difference”, which skews the result in that direction.  In this thread, there are folks that claim to hear differences and those that don’t.  

 

The test was not powered to determine whether or not people can reliably distinguish b/w two amplifiers.  Rather, it was designed to see if people prefer a high cost "audiophile" system to a low-brow inexpensive system.  As i said earlier...

 

 I'm surprised you wouldn't find it a bit eye-brow raising that in a comparison of a $260 to an $8000 audio system 28 of 38 people - probably all audiophiles who also think they're blessed with exceptional hearing - either preferred the $260 system OR heard no difference.  

 

This is relevant to newbies, I think, because it suggests that rather than get exercised over which amp has better PRAT (ugh, I had that acronym), a deeper soundstage, or whatever other nebulous description golden-eared audiophiles might use in differentiating amps that they instead look for the features that matter to them - like balance control, tone controls, integrated DAC, etc.

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How does one test for “no difference” anyway?  If, like ODS123, you are predisposed to hear “no difference” you are likely to say “no difference” whether you are listening to the same system or two different ones.   His observations are skewed by his predispositions.  Look at all his posts everywhere.  His observations are effectively useless and have no value due to his obvious, repeated and consistent expression of his predisposition (fervour is probably a better word) to not hear a difference.  How can the opinions of someone so fixated that he ignores and discounts the observations of others in this forum,  audio equipment designers, etc. have any value?  Also, for some unknown reason, the guy who thinks everything sounds the same has followed a fairly typical upgrade path that many normal audiophiles follow.  Why do so if everything sounds the same?  

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2 hours ago, ODS123 said:

 

 

 I'm surprised you wouldn't find it a bit eye-brow raising that in a comparison of a $260 to an $8000 audio system 28 of 38 people - probably all audiophiles who also think they're blessed with exceptional hearing - either preferred the $260 system OR heard no difference.  

 

 

 

 

I believe this is prima facie evidence that “something is rotten in Denmark”. 

 

As I said in an earlier post, IMO this raises the question as to which listening test methodologies (that apparently are borrowed from completely unrelated fields such as pharma) are reliable when used to judge the quality of audio from a hi-fi system?  

 

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/180949-advice-for-beginners-consider-this-test-from-an-audio-club/&do=findComment&comment=2342444

 

And as @Tizman pointed out in the previous post, bias cuts both ways.

 

BTW, I mean this as no disrespect for the hobbyists in Guadalajara, Spain.  It sounds like they had an enjoyable get-together.  (And to illustrate my belief that people around the world really aren’t all that different, the hi-fi hobbyists in Spain refer to “WAF”.)   With that said, it seems to me that using CDs vs. hi-res recordings, and some testers listening to disco music, using fairly wimpy speakers, results in a test that may not be particularly discriminating.

 

I think the real issue is the effectiveness of various methodologies for hi-fi listening tests.

 

Bottom line, IMO, more research is needed to answer why there is a disconnect between what some listening tests appear to show (i.e., no difference in amps), compared with the fact that many experienced hobbyists report that they hear differences.

 

It seems to me that this dilemma is something that scientists should investigate.

 

 

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18 hours ago, ODS123 said:

 

Much of my music is from the early days of Stereo when it was common to have some musicians coming entirely from one speaker and the rest from the other channel.  

 

When you conducted your listening comparisons that caused you to conclude that “all modern amps sound the same”, were you listening to recordings “from the early age of stereo”?   Or, were you listening to modern recordings that were captured and mastered in hi-res (i.e., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered in a hi-res format (e.g., SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 24/192 download, or DSD download)?   What type of player did you use to play the music files?

 

In other words, have you performed your listening tests with top-quality state-of-the-art recordings and play-back gear?   Or, are your conclusions based on listening to 50 year-old recordings?  

 

What genre of music was played during your listening tests?  Music for which there is a clear benchmark for quality (e.g., classical), or not (e.g., disco)?

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44 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

 

I believe this is prima facie evidence that “something is rotten in Denmark”. 

 

As I said in an earlier post, IMO this raises the question as to which listening test methodologies (that apparently are borrowed from completely unrelated fields such as pharma) are reliable when used to judge the quality of audio from a hi-fi system?  

 

 

 

As I said before, this test fall quite short of a high quality SBT, let alone DBT.  But at least it is an effort on the part of this club to inject some semblance of validity testing into this hobby.  

 

For subjectivists to entirely denounce this test because of it's imperfections as they do NOTHING to control biases when they compare gear, is a lot like people who take nutrional supplements endlessly criticizing Pharmaceutical companies b/c of side effects that were missed in the clinical trials. 

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He asked you a question. 

 

I also asked several questions across multiple threads that you never bothered to answer.

 

Stop with the blah blah repetitive bullshit. It contributes absolutely zero. 

 

Answer the questions, and I’m with Dave - start providing some evidence supporting your claims to expertise.

 

You’ve been baiting and trolling since the beginning. You are going to be the first person in 20 years that I’m hitting the ignore button on. 

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15 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

 

 

As I said before, this test fall quite short of a high quality SBT, let alone DBT.  But at least it is an effort on the part of this club to inject some semblance of validity testing into this hobby.  

 

For subjectivists to entirely denounce this test because of it's imperfections as they do NOTHING to control biases when they compare gear, is a lot like people who take supplements endless criticizing Pharmaceutical companies b/c of side effects that were missed in the clinical trials. 

 

Respectfully, I suggest that you re-read my post.   I did not “entirely denounce this test”.  

 

I said: 

 

  • “IMO, more research is needed to answer why there is a disconnect between what some listening tests appear to show (i.e., no difference in amps), compared with the fact that many experienced hobbyists report that they hear differences."
     
  • “It seems to me that this dilemma is something that scientists should investigate.”

 

I think that your characterization of my post as dismissive is unfounded, and unfair.

 

P.S.  What does pharma have to do with the price of rice in China?  

 

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34 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

When you conducted your listening comparisons that caused you to conclude that “all modern amps sound the same”, were you listening to recordings “from the early age of stereo”?   Or, were you listening to modern recordings that were captured and mastered in hi-res (i.e., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered in a hi-res format (e.g., SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 24/192 download, or DSD download)?   What type of player did you use to play the music files?

 

In other words, have you performed your listening tests with top-quality state-of-the-art recordings and play-back gear?   Or, are your conclusions based on listening to 50 year-old recordings?  

 

What genre of music was played during your listening tests?  Music for which there is a clear benchmark for quality (e.g., classical), or not (e.g., disco)?

 

My music tastes run the gamut.  From The Ink Spots to Pete Seeger, from Nina Simone to Adele, from Bee Gees to EW&F, from Man of LaMancha to Miss Saigon & Phantom of the Opera;  from Duke Ellington to Quincy Jones, from Sandy Denny to Diana Krall, from Johnny Cash to Steve Earl and Lucinda Williams, from Bob Dylan to Richard Thompson & Bruce Cockburn and Jack White, from Green Day to White Stripes, from Rickie Lee Jones to Steely Dan and so on and so on....   There is awesome music to be found in every genre from every decade.  If it's good music that comes from authentic emotion, I will probably like it.

 

When buying gear I am smart enough to include some audiophile favs like The Nightfly, Aja, Keith O Johnson Recordings (Ref. Records) and so on....   Always in lossless format.  I do have many LPs but find the format so flawed (though I love it) that it's not really suitable for auditioning speakers.

 

Honestly, feel free to criticize if you will.  ..But I don't think there's anything wrong w/ my music or format choices.

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25 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

Respectfully, I suggest that you re-read my post.   I did not “entirely denounce this test”.  

 

P.S.  What does pharma have to do with the price of rice in China?  

 

 

You're right.  ..My apologies. 

 

And I'm drawing parallels between the way some people are comfortable using supplements, despite the lack of credible clinical studies, and subjectivist audiophiles.  Clinical trials don't have a perfect track record for ensuring efficacy and safety but to use supplements is to throw all caution to the wind.  No clinical data showing safety/efficacy AND no gov't oversight ensuring that what is listed on the bottle is actually inside the bottle.

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Despite his repeated shouts of “Subjectivist!”, ODS123 is in fact the biggest subjectivist in this thread.  His subjective, preconceived beliefs, and the predispositions that are the result of them, affect his perception of reality so much that he is incapable of objectivity.  That is the irony of his content.

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On 12/18/2018 at 10:31 AM, ODS123 said:

A few weeks ago I urged beginners to heavily skew their spending toward speakers by suggesting that audible differences b/w modern amplifiers that are engineered to be linear (which is pretty much ALL solid-state and any good tube amps these days) will sound pretty much alike.

 

Let's be fair, folks.  It's okay to disagree with what he'd said.  State your disagreement in plain terms and leave it at that.  The record will remain so long as the forum maintains its history.

 

Please don't, however, misstate his claims and then battle endlessly over things he didn't say, namely shortening his declaration to merely "ALL AMPS SOUND THE SAME."

 

I'd think at least some of you combatants would raise holy hell if that'd happened to you.  Unless, of course, it's your intent all along to engage in a straw man argument.

 

I'm relatively new in these parts (but not new to online discussions) and while thumbing through some of the history had not looked at the recent similar thread until today.  I got a kick out of Chris mentioning "pigeon chess" (had to look up that term) there.  Spot on.

 

All forums inevitably have similar groupings of participants.  It doesn't take long, especially with the help of threads like the present, to determine who's who.

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.

17 minutes ago, glens said:

Please don't, however, misstate his claims and then battle endlessly over things he didn't say, namely shortening his declaration to merely "ALL AMPS SOUND THE SAME."

ODS123 has said that all “modern linear” amplifiers sound the same.  Repeatedly.  

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9 minutes ago, glens said:

 

Let's be fair, folks.  It's okay to disagree with what he'd said.  State your disagreement in plain terms and leave it at that.  The record will remain so long as the forum maintains its history.

 

Please don't, however, misstate his claims and then battle endlessly over things he didn't say, namely shortening his declaration to merely "ALL AMPS SOUND THE SAME."

 

I'd think at least some of you combatants would raise holy hell if that'd happened to you.  Unless, of course, it's your intent all along to engage in a straw man argument.

 

I'm relatively new in these parts (but not new to online discussions) and while thumbing through some of the history had not looked at the recent similar thread until today.  I got a kick out of Chris mentioning "pigeon chess" (had to look up that term) there.  Spot on.

 

All forums inevitably have similar groupings of participants.  It doesn't take long, especially with the help of threads like the present, to determine who's who.

Thanks Mom.  Want us to go make our beds now?

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4 minutes ago, jimjimbo said:

Thanks Mom.  Want us to go make our beds now?

 

If you haven't already done so...

 

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10 minutes ago, Tizman said:

.

ODS123 has said that all “modern linear” amplifiers sound the same.  Repeatedly.  

 

Modern, linear AND not driven to distortion which means some degree of care should be taken in matching amp to speakers.  ..I NEVER said ALL amps sound the same.  I do think it's a fair bet that pretty much any amp or AVR a newbie might buy from BEST BUY falls into the "modern and linear" category so long as it's not overdriven.  

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Posted (edited)

- duplicated below -

Edited by glens
Duplicate post

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