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  1. #1

    Hearing the differences

    It would appear that in order to pass the rite of passage and be decorated with the "you're now one of us, one of the in-crowd" gold medal on this (and on many other audiophile forums), one need to put on the most cynical, skeptical face and ridicule and deride anyone who claims to be able to hear any differences between any components.

    Still, many people (myself included) can clearly hear the differences in the sound quality when replacing/modifying the system components. My question: if you can hear a difference, does it, according to the First Audiophile Asshole Law, always mean that something about that component is broken?

    I ask this because any time I report that I'm hearing a difference, for example by switching to a different DAC, all the audiophile assholes hasten to jump on my case and explain to me that the DAC in question most be seriously broken. In other words, in their exalted opinion, no two DACs should ever sound different, providing, of course, that they're not somehow broken.

    Same goes for speaker cables, amplifiers, digital transports, speakers, rooms, you name it.

    How can people afford to always act in such an asshole-ish knee-jerk manner all the time?

    Trolling over and out!
    Last edited by magiccarpetride; 2011-04-15 at 13:25.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    It would appear that in order to pass the rite of passage and be decorated with the "you're now one of us, one of the in-crowd" gold medal on this (and on many other audiophile forums), one need to put on the most cynical, skeptical face and ridicule and deride anyone who claims to be able to hear any differences between any components.

    Still, many people (myself included) can clearly hear the differences in the sound quality when replacing/modifying the system components. My question: if you can hear a difference, does it, according to the First Audiophile Asshole Law, always mean that something about that component is broken?

    I ask this because any time I report that I'm hearing a difference, for example by switching to a different DAC, all the audiophile assholes hasten to jump on my case and explain to me that the DAC in question most be seriously broken. In other words, in their exalted opinion, no two DACs should ever sound different, providing, of course, that they're not somehow broken.

    Same goes for speaker cables, amplifiers, digital transports, speakers, rooms, you name it.

    How can people afford to always act in such an asshole-ish knee-jerk manner all the time?

    Trolling over and out!
    MCR, I enjoy many of the threads you start with philosophical questions and I think of you as a very high quality troll* (and I don't know how to best convey this, but I actually mean this in a nice way). Where some folks around here have problems are when (1) all changes produce "staggering improvements", (2) ABX or blind tests are lambasted, based on incorrect assumptions about how such tests can be done, and (3) the negativity when someone dares to say that they can't hear any differences (or that mathematically, the difference suggested is impossible, e.g., the 100% volume mod).

    And then Phil finds very small measurement differences under very limited circumstances, and some use this to declare soundcheck's mods to be a gift from the audio gods.

    I'm happy that Soundcheck tinkers with this stuff and some folks really like his mods. I actually assume that some (maybe all) of them certainly can't hurt (but again, there's the "staggering difference" part). And I have to admit I often get a kick out of some of these threads, even though they lead nowhere. I picture you getting the same kind of chuckles, as you certainly don't take all this too seriously (of course none of us should...it's just fun stuff related to our music interests).

    But hey, this is a public forum, not someone's private blog. And people are free to express their opinions, even if clearly wrong. I frankly would be embarrassed to call myself an audiophile. The term has been hijacked by wackos to the extent that it is embarrassing to be lumped into that group. But again, that's my personal opinion.

    I started hanging out here because I wanted to learn about SB stuff. I've learned a lot and very much enjoy my SB products and my setup. I rarely have any problems, but continue to hang out here to try to answer questions of newbies that are confused about how the dang things work. I'm not an engineer or a technical person by trade, so I'm only useful for explaining a few basics and suggesting a few tried and true cures for problems. And sometimes I post to provide a counter opinion (e.g., posts that suggest that everything is broken for everyone because MINE doesn't work). But I'm not trying to change the world, audiophiles or otherwise.

    On the one hand your posts indicate that you have thick skin, are a thinking adult well versed in the ways of internet forums, and like to have a bit of fun. But then posts like this one seem odd as you are essentially complaining that you don't like how other people respond. That's your right of course, but it seems the opposite of your primary persona around here.

    This said, you seem like the kind of guy I'd enjoy having a few (staggeringly good) beers with and solving the problems of the world. Cheers.

    *my troll definition: someone who posts almost exclusively to stir things up
    Last edited by garym; 2011-04-15 at 14:22.

  3. #3
    Having just read the post(s) that seem to have inspired this thread, let's fix that statement to reflect the alternate point of view:

    It would appear that in order to pass the rite of passage and be decorated with the "you're now one of us, one of the in-crowd" gold medal on this (and on many other audiophile forums), one need to put on the most cynical, skeptical face and ridicule and deride anyone who does not claim to be able to hear any differences due to specific modifications.

    Still, many people cannot hear differences in the sound quality due to those modifications. My question: if you cannot hear a spectacular difference, does it, according to the First Audiophile Asshole Law, always mean that something about that person's hearing is broken?

    ...

    How can people afford to always act in such an asshole-ish knee-jerk manner all the time?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Soulkeeper's Avatar
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    Post

    In my view, sometimes there is a discernible difference, sometimes there is not. It depends on what has been substituted for what.

    Yes, the people who always claim there's no difference at all, regardless of what modification has been made, are deluded. Just like the people who always claim that the differences are earth-shattering and paradigm-shifting, regardless of what modification has been made.

    And the difference between these two groups of people? Well, the biggest difference is probably that the first one doesn't exist. ;P

  5. #5
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    aint it the truth!

    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    It would appear that in order to pass the rite of passage and be decorated with the "you're now one of us, one of the in-crowd" gold medal on this (and on many other audiophile forums), one need to put on the most cynical, skeptical face and ridicule and deride anyone who claims to be able to hear any differences between any components.
    I agree that there is a very high level of snob-ism and hostility on audio forums, with a selective disregard for "simple minded" objective observations.

    Occasionally one of the "chosen ones" will break rank and admit to noticing said difference. Pretty rare though. Its not socially acceptable. I would venture to say that those differences are real. Read any reputable audio review and you will read of many observations. For some reason, when a common mortal makes such an observation it is immediately in question.
    System: modified Winsome Labs Mouse, modified Maggie MMG's, Transporter, HSU sub 12, MSB DAC to modified 300watt class d amp, JPS labs power cords, Silver audio interconnect, Audioquest Granite speaker cable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Soulkeeper's Avatar
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    Ok, you've disclosed the conspiracy, I admit it. Audio forums exist so people can reassure themselves there are no differences between equipment, just like car forums exist so people can reassure themselves that all cars are exactly the same.

  7. #7
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    Smile not exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulkeeper View Post
    Ok, you've disclosed the conspiracy, I admit it. Audio forums exist so people can reassure themselves there are no differences between equipment, just like car forums exist so people can reassure themselves that all cars are exactly the same.
    In car forums they are not debating who has the best smelling rubber after a smoky burnout, or if in fact you can tell the difference between a smoking Bridgestone and a Michelin in a double blind test.

    If someone states they like the smell of a good old fashioned bias ply belt, his word would probably be taken as that!
    System: modified Winsome Labs Mouse, modified Maggie MMG's, Transporter, HSU sub 12, MSB DAC to modified 300watt class d amp, JPS labs power cords, Silver audio interconnect, Audioquest Granite speaker cable.

  8. #8

    People needs to be open about it!

    Audio reproduction is a multi-dimensional problem. The two groups Audiophiles (Art of sound) and non-Audiophile (Science of sound) are unable to answer many unanswered questions.

    Our tendency as humans is to come to a conclusion because our minds cannot deal with infinitum comfortably. We know that speakers and space are the weakest link in the audio chain so majority believes that suddle changes are irrelevant heck even the temperature and pressure can change the sound. But all things being equal suddle changes can be noticeable. I am not sure if they are desirable.

    I think every body should take a middle ground, if someone can hear a difference power to them and if majority of folks cannot, good for them.

    On the other hand we have many religions and countries so we'll always argue! Just grow up and ignore what you don't agree with.

    Cheers!
    Transporter > NAD C272 > Magnepan 1.7

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Still, many people (myself included) can clearly hear the differences
    Nothing exceptionable there.

    in the sound quality
    A very questionable assumption.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Curt962's Avatar
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    Garym said it all

    Referring to Garym's post #2...

    100% dead-on correct IMO. I too also find myself enjoying MCRs often thought provoking posts.

    I am a recovering audiophile. Recovering in the sense that I no longer am able to delude myself into hearing staggering differences where none exist.

    As Gary so eloquently stated, the High End has to a large extent been hijacked by hacks, and wackos. Preying on the suggestibility, and insecurities of otherwise intelligent persons to make their money. As a result the credibility of claims made have become highly suspicious to a great number of persons. Myself included. It's not a "me-too" club many of us have joined, rather it is a group that simply asks that you prove your claims before asking for our money. Seems quite fair to me. After three decades of hearing how the "musical truth" has been revealed....again and yet again. (for a few thousand dollars more each time) I've thrown the BS flag.

    It is unfortunate to me that the truly outstanding designs of some great engineers has been lumped into a category that includes "audio grade fuses", and "Hi-definition solder".

    I no longer believe the nonsense, and I'm disappointed in myself for taking so long to come to this conclusion.

    I don't want differences. I want improvements, and I will find them in products that can actually deliver.
    Last edited by Curt962; 2011-04-16 at 07:10.
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