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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
    Thanks for the kind words.
    I think this is the first post I've ever read by Arny that didn't have the word "Placebo" in it.

  2. #12
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    In a certain kind of way, "kind words" ARE a kind of placebo, often a way of easing opinion pain without actually addressing substance.

    Although not in this case . . .
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  3. #13
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Okay so I'm late to the party. With spring now struggling to arrive here in the northeastern US I have been busy out riding my bicycles (I have several bicycles although I can only ride one at a time) rather than sitting at the computer reading on-line audio forums.

    So far a very interesting discussion, filled with lots of great links. My feelings about the high end audio industry remain highly skeptical since there are some kernels of truth buried within all the audiophile voodoo.

    While the use of measurements is a wonderful tool perhaps a basic primer on the differences between what can be measured and what is actually audible is needed. Two quick examples would be jitter in digital audio and the effects of cable/wire in both digital and analog audio. In the case of jitter it can shown while jitter can be easily measured, jitter cannot be heard by human ears. The case for cables is even more absurd since the claimed effects of most cables can't even be measured let alone be audible.

    Then there is the myth that electrical and digital audio signals somehow behave differently than other electrical and digital signals. For example the video portion of a HDMI connection is not effected by a fancy high end HDMI cable but the audio portion is.

    Then there is the money, as in the saying "follow the money" - following the money goes a long way in helping to explain most, if not all, audiophile myths. And there is lots of money being made by keeping audiophile myths alive and well. $50,000 power amps and $10,000 speaker cable offer profit margins that should make one's head spin.

    One of the main reasons that this forum seems to attract so many objective audio enthusiasts is that most of us understand that the aforementioned audiophile beliefs are myths and simply reject the outright dismal seen in the audiophile world that the Squeezebox devices are only "mid-fi" and are not capable of delivering "high end" audio. Truth be told, it was only after my purchase of my first SB3 that I began to fully question many of the audiophile myths. And once I was able to hear the truth with my own ears many of the audiophile myths started to fall like dominoes.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphpnj View Post
    And once I was able to hear the truth with my own ears many of the audiophile myths started to fall like dominoes.
    Check it, add to it! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

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  5. #15
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenyeats View Post
    Love it!

    Also check out the extended version of "Fallin' Like Dominoes" on Gare Du Nord's "Let's Have A Ball" release (sorry no video available).
    Living Rm: Transporter-SimAudio pre/power amps-Vandersteen 3A Sign. & sub
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    Bedroom: Touch-HR Desktop w/DAC-Audio Refinement amp-Energy Veritas 2.0
    Guest Rm: Duet-Sony soundbar
    Garage: SB3-JVC compact system
    Controls: iPeng; SB Controller; Moose & Muso
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenyeats View Post
    1. It was your MP3/FLAC test that convinced me I CAN distinguish MP3 and FLAC! It was the metal track - I couldn't establish a preference, but I could pick out A and B at will for that one track. Once, I randomised the playlist and tried it 10 times. I got 9 right. Until your test, I was thinking it might be placebo but now I'm convinced it's audible.

    2. One of your tests on digital cables is the ONLY concrete evidence I have seen that changing a digital cable can affect measurements at the analogue output of a DAC. Without your evidence, I would probably have to concede this might be just a theoretical possibility. (Just in case it isn't clear from the preceding words, I am not writing about audibility.)

    I thank you for your measurement-led approach. I don't agree with all your summarisations though.

    I can see how certain audiophiles might jump on some of the above words and extrapolate wrongly. But that's no reason to bury or twist conclusions.
    Hi Darren,
    Yeah, let's talk about this...

    1. Indeed the metal tune "Keine Zeit" was the track that would likely sound "most different". Lots of noise and other stuff for the MP3 to encode :-). But remember, the MP3 was also the "most preferred" over the original FLAC! So yes, I suppose if one had lots of hard-to-encode hard rock / metal albums, maybe one would notice a difference... But one might also *prefer* the sound of MP3 at 320kbps.

    Remember that MP3 is indeed not perfect of course! There are test tracks like keys rattling and such used to fine tune the psychoacoustics at various bitrates.

    2. Sure. Stuff like coaxial digital cables that pick up noise can influence the DAC output in extreme cases (eg. poor shielding). But I don't think I've demonstrated anything else unusual...
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  7. #17
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    It seems to me that MP3 can deliberately "clean up" a complex signal and make it sound more defined, just because it throws away some of the subtlety.

    But then, I am sitting in a pub..

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
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    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julf View Post
    But then there is this: Why the Flat Earth Movement is the Best Symbol of the Increasingly Diminished Value of Truth and Intelligence

    "It’s the same quick-fix attitude that’s besieging our political landscape: information that doesn’t accord with your carefully manicured world-view is “fake news,” opinions that don’t cohere with your own are offensive, everything you dislike or that frightens you can be wedged between scare quotes and rejected out of hand. Never mind the “expertise” of “professionals” and “elites.” You still matter. You know everything you need to know."

    For many audiophilia is a way to escape from a modern world full of knowledge, science, technology and expertise into a simpler, gentler word where you count simply for having been around long enough to read enough audiophile magazines and but the right boxes. But because you are Special, with better ears than the ears of all those know-it-all engineer types, your Truth trumps (pun intended) all their formulas.

    Unfortunately proving them wrong just strengthens their resolve.
    Yup, very appropriate observation into the nature of audiophilia and the bigger sociological context which we're seeing playing out all over the place like politics.

    Years ago, I remember the term "intellectual embarrassment" being used as one which I've thought about as apropos for much of what we see written in the audiophile world. I think it applies nicely to the quote from the flat earth article and your comments about the desire of a "simpler, gentler world" where essentially any opinion can be acceptable no matter how outlandish.

    This has become the fate of various audiophile sites IMO (cough... cough... AudioStream, 6moons...). Even if at some point the intent was to seriously discuss the technology and disseminated knowledge, they now read like either a bad music review site that just wants to sell whatever idiosyncratic stuff the guy likes, or a hangout for the New Age faithful. Forget the "intellectual embarrassment" part, it's just plain embarrassing that this is presumably what many audiophiles consume in terms of the source of information on a regular basis!

    As for likening this to the Flat Earthers, thankfully there aren't many of those around even if the article can throw up a few celebrity names. They can perhaps take pride in being the "few" and the "elite". However, considering that the audiophile press has been at this for decades now and considering how many audiophiles already belong to the subjectivist camp, maybe the psychology works out better for the vocal objective folks which might be a minority at this time in many places.
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    It seems to me that MP3 can deliberately "clean up" a complex signal and make it sound more defined, just because it throws away some of the subtlety.

    But then, I am sitting in a pub..

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
    Yes, that was my suspicion as well. The psychoacoustic algorithm sanitizes the signal a bit by removing extraneous information deemed "unnecessary".

    You're reading this forum from the pub!? I guess it's not exactly a "happening place" this Friday evening :-(.
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphpnj View Post
    Okay so I'm late to the party. With spring now struggling to arrive here in the northeastern US I have been busy out riding my bicycles (I have several bicycles although I can only ride one at a time) rather than sitting at the computer reading on-line audio forums.

    ...

    While the use of measurements is a wonderful tool perhaps a basic primer on the differences between what can be measured and what is actually audible is needed. Two quick examples would be jitter in digital audio and the effects of cable/wire in both digital and analog audio. In the case of jitter it can shown while jitter can be easily measured, jitter cannot be heard by human ears. The case for cables is even more absurd since the claimed effects of most cables can't even be measured let alone be audible.

    ...

    One of the main reasons that this forum seems to attract so many objective audio enthusiasts is that most of us understand that the aforementioned audiophile beliefs are myths and simply reject the outright dismal seen in the audiophile world that the Squeezebox devices are only "mid-fi" and are not capable of delivering "high end" audio. Truth be told, it was only after my purchase of my first SB3 that I began to fully question many of the audiophile myths. And once I was able to hear the truth with my own ears many of the audiophile myths started to fall like dominoes.
    Hey there Ralph!

    Good that you've been able to enjoy the weather... Alas here in Vancouver out west, it has been a rainy and cold spring thus far. Hopefully this weekend will brighten up and get warmer to enjoy the outdoors.

    Measurements and results from blind testing alas end up being the only tools we have to escape from the subjective "I heard it so you have to believe me" mindset. And of those 2, good luck bringing up blind testing in many forums unless you're looking to be banned...

    You're right, at multiple nanoseconds of data jitter, we already cannot hear a sonic difference but when even the measurements suggest there's essentially no jitter worth mentioning, then IMO the subjectivists have nothing to say. We are already there with even very inexpensive DACs these days (I have one I'm testing currently!).

    I find it fascinating that over the years, there has been essentially no testing of crazy priced $$$$ cables in the major magazines. Simply amazing! Logically, every cable reviewer (probably) can accept the idea of transparency - that "the best cable is no cable". But yet, unless there's something other than electrical (or optical) conduction, they never bother to test... Truly amazing!

    Yup. That whole "mid-fi" vs. "hi-fi" divide comes across absolutely ridiculously these days as if price dictates quality; especially in the world of high fidelity digital... Discussed in my recent post last week.
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

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